Posted in Books I have read

Sweet Damage – Rebecca James

Mystery 4*'s

This book has the right setting for a creepy read, a large house with a single occupant the beautiful but slightly strange owner, Anna London. Tim has returned from his travels and is currently sleeping on his ex-girlfriend’s sofa and is working for his father at Manly Beach in Australia. Tim is likeable, a gentle soul without a burning ambition to do anything much except surf and win back the ex, Lilla.

Lilla’s current boyfriend, unsurprisingly isn’t too happy with the latest set-up and with Lilla urging Tim on to do something meaningful with his life when he comes across an advert for a room to let in Anna London’s house. He goes to see the house and meets two of Anna’s friends who want Tim to keep an eye on Anna in return for a reduced rent. Tim is up for the challenge and moves in but soon realises that maybe he has taken on more than he bargained for.

The creepy setting of the house is increased by the strange things that happen within its walls but as Tim gets to know Anna better he is reluctant to walk away. This proved to be a well-paced, fast and furious read with a mystery or two to solve aided by the revelation of plenty of secrets that come at the reader thick and fast. The fact that the book is split into two halves and eighty-six chapters meant that I was constantly reading one more chapter especially those narrated by Anna rather than Tim as I was sure these held the key to the spooky goings on in the big house.

My only slight criticism of this book is that Anna’s character seemed far too worldly for a twenty year old and I thought it read more like a woman in her mid-twenties but then I realised this book was being billed as a YA read which explains why Rebecca James has decided to make her quite so young. The characters were interesting and although because this is more a plot-driven rather than a character-driven novel they weren’t all extremely well-developed, especially the siblings Marcus and Fiona who seemed a little two dimensional. The YA aspect was well served by the romantic element of the book and unfortunately Lilla was perfectly drawn, most of us have met her in one guise or another and sadly not just on the pages of a book.

Too often with books that have the build-up was the ending can feel a bit of a let-down, not in Sweet Damage, where all the strands came together neatly and made sense in respect of all that had gone before.

I’d recommend this book for those who like enjoy a good plot, a creepy setting and a well-plotted mystery paired with a little romance.

I’d like to thank the publishers Random House Publishing Group for allowing me to read this book in return for my honest review.

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (November 26)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Sweet Damage by Rebecca James

Sweet Damage


‘In my dreams the house itself has sinister intentions.
In reality, the people who lived there did the damage…’
Tim Ellison is lucky to find a cheap room in the city’s best location. There’s a hitch, though – he must run errands for the reclusive owner, beautiful Anna London.
Anna is secretive, but it’s obvious something is haunting her…
When terrifying things start happening in the house, Tim is forced to think about leaving. But he’s fallen for Anna, and when her past comes back with a vengeance Tim is caught right in the middle. Amazon

I have recently finished The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth a book that comes I highly recommend by your truly. Find out why when I post my review.

The Life I Left Behind

Next I am going to read The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

The Girl in the Photograph


When Alice Eveleigh arrives at Fiercombe Manor during the long, languid summer of 1933, she finds a house steeped in mystery and brimming with secrets. Sadness permeates its empty rooms and the isolated valley seems crowded with ghosts, none more alluring than Elizabeth Stanton whose only traces remain in a few tantalisingly blurred photographs. Why will no one speak of her? What happened a generation ago to make her vanish?
As the sun beats down relentlessly, Alice becomes ever more determined to unearth the truth about the girl in the photograph – and stop her own life from becoming an eerie echo of Elizabeth’s . . . Amazon

What are you reading this week? Please share in the comments below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (August 8)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

I’ve had a very restrained, or maybe just a very busy, week so have a small selection for you to browse today.

From NetGalley I have Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little which is due to be published on 14 August, the seventh book on my list with this publication date! Until I started blogging (and scheduling) I didn’t realise that all publishers seem to have key dates where they publish most books

Dear Daughter


‘As soon as they processed my release Noah and I hit the ground running. A change of clothes. A wig. An inconspicuous sedan. We doubled back once, twice, then drove south when we were really headed east. In San Francisco we had a girl who looked like me board a plane to Hawaii.
Oh, I thought I was so clever.
But you probably already know that I’m not.’ NetGalley

I have also received a copy of Sweet Damage by Rebecca James which is going to be published on 2 December 2014. I was particularly pleased to be approved for this book as I enjoyed the author’s debut novel Beautiful Malice.

Sweet Damage


Tim Ellison feels lucky when he finds a cheap place to rent in his dream location, close to the restaurant where he works as a chef, and even closer to his favorite surf spot at Sydney’s popular Manly Beach. But the cavernous house is infused with a sense of foreboding, and his furnished room there comes with a condition: he must look after the mansion’s mysterious owner.
Anna London is withdrawn and frail, a twenty-year-old with the inexplicable demeanor and habits of an elderly woman. From her grand home on the hill, she can see the city and the ocean, but she can never leave. Her anxieties keep her locked inside, unable to handle the outside world.
As Tim settles in, he struggles to get to know the person who depends on him for food and care. Slowly, Anna reveals glimpses of herself—her history, her sadness, her crippling fears. And then strange things begin to happen: loud banging in the night, unexplained figures in the shadows, sinister messages on the walls. Tim is startled to find that even as his unease about the house grows, he is increasingly attracted to its hauntingly beautiful owner. But is Anna London someone to pity . . . someone to love . . . or someone to fear?
Taut and intense, Sweet Damage is an addictive novel about vulnerability, obsession, and duplicity, with a modern Gothic twist. NetGalley

I also have bought a copy of Cry Baby by David Jackson for my kindle at the bargain price of 99p.

Cry Baby

It’s every mother’s nightmare – the abduction of her baby.
That’s how it starts for Erin Vogel when she is attacked and left unconscious in her apartment. When she awakes, it is to find that Georgia, her six-month-old daughter, has been taken.
But Erin is given a chance to get Georgia back. At an unthinkable price.
Like most mothers, she has always said she would do anything for her child. Now the strength of that bond is about to be put to the ultimate test.
And when her actions arouse the interest of a certain Detective Callum Doyle, one thing is inevitable: a confrontation that will be as explosive as it is unforgettable.
From the highly acclaimed author of Pariah, The Helper and Marked comes a nerve-shredding novel that questions the line we draw between good and evil. Goodreads

Before I got stupidly busy at work, I finally sorted out my bookcases and thought I’d share the picture of the result.

Bookshelf total

The bottom shelf of this bookcase is dedicated to the books I own but haven’t read…. as you can see it appears to be full!

TBR bookshelf Aug 2014

The other bookcase, identical to this one, which was used for the header for my blog, now has a totally different selection of books on it so maybe it is time I updated that too?

Please share your finds with me, after all I’m sure I can make room for just one more!