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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

#Sleeper13 @RSinclairAuthor @orionbooks

About Sleeper 13

An action-packed and utterly gripping, globetrotting thriller from the bestselling author of The Enemy Series - for fans of I AM PILGRIM by Terry Hayes, ORPHAN X by Gregg Hurwitz and NOMAD by James Swallow.


Smuggled to the Middle East as a child.

Trained as one of the most elite insurgents of his generation.

Forced to do things no one should, for a cause he couldn't believe in.

But as his brothers were preparing to kill, he was looking for a way out.

Now, on the eve of the deadliest coordinated attacks the world has ever seen, he finally has his chance.

He will break free and hunt down those who made him a monster.

He must draw on all his training to survive.

He is SLEEPER 13

My review of Sleeper 13

Wow! I loved this book! What an absolute roller coaster of a read. This book has everything and quite literally took my breath away with its sheer energy and fast paced narrative.

Sleeper 13 refers to Aydin, a young man who was abducted as a child and sent to a place called 'The Farm' in Afgahistan, where The Teacher taught him, and twelve other boys to be an insurgent. All become deadly walking machines, but now, as a young man, Aydin wants out, and he wants to make those who are responsible pay.

This novel focuses upon multiple narratives, with the two most prominent being Aydin, and the lone MI5 Agent who is chasing the infamous 13, Rachel Cox. You couldn't get two more different characters,  and I enjoyed reading their alternating narratives. We read Aydin's point of view and this young man captured my full attention. A young man who although a trained killer and radical extremist,  desperately wants to leave this life behind. He wants to break free and to stop the planned attacks that will cause worldwide devastation. He fascinated me and my opinion of him shifted from negative to positive as I progressed through the novel.

I also completely understood Agent Cox's motives and needs to go undercover and to find the 13 young men. Here is a strong and determined woman who is strong not only in her physical pursuits, but also in her strength of mind. I had great respect for this character.

The real joy of reading this book is in the racing speed nature of the narrative. There really is no let up as we go from one drama to the next within milliseconds.  I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough. The sheer amount of detail in regards to setting and the environment in which the novel is set is also breathtaking. I lived and breathed every moment.

Sleeper 13 is one cracking read that you simply won't be able to put down. I also feel that Aydin will haunt my thoughts for a very long time.

Sleeper 13 is published by Orion in ebook on March 1. It can be found on Amazon here.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

#Killed @EngerThomas @OrendaBooks #Blogtour

About Killed

Crime reporter Henning Juul thought his life was over when his young son was murdered. But that was only the beginning…

Determined to find his son’s killer, Henning doggedly follows an increasingly dangerous trail, where dark hands from the past emerge to threaten everything. His ex-wife Nora is pregnant with another man’s child, his sister Trine is implicated in the fire that killed his son and, with everyone he thought he could trust seemingly hiding something, Henning has nothing to lose … except his own life.

Packed with tension and unexpected twists, Killed is the long-awaited finale of one of the darkest, most chilling and emotive series you may ever read. Someone will be killed. But who?

My review of Killed

Well, I'll start by saying that I am extremely late to the Henning Juul party as I have not read the previous four books. So, I read this book as a standalone,  and wow, what a book. I now need to find time to go back and read the previous four books, as I love Henning and I love this writer. I really have found my new Nordic noir fix. This book worked very well as a stand alone, but I do feel that you would probably gain even more enjoyment from the book if you have read the series.

The beginning, oh the beginning is  everything a Nordic noir should be. We have tension,  we have a boat on the lake (just look at the stunning cover) and we have a murder. But we don't know who. This beginning made me want to read more. I needed to find out what happened in that boat and ultimately who killed Henning 's son.

Now as a newbie to these books there were an awful lot of characters that I was intriduced to. However, there is a list of all major characters at the beginning or the book, which helped me to learn who was who and which helped to bring me up to speed.

This book has everything. It is a fantastic 'who done it', a family drama and underground thriller, all rolled into one. There is so much attention to detail in this bokk, yet this doesn't slow the narrative down, as the pace remsins relentless in Henning's pursuit for the truth.

We then of course have Henning. You can't help but fall in love with this guy. A man who's world has slowly crumbled around him. His son is killed, his wife leaves him and has a baby with his best friend, and he has serious doubts about his sister and if he can trust her. He very much reminded me of the likes of Harry Hole. A flawed individual, but one who has integrity and likeability.

Killed is a fantastic finale to this obviously gripping series.  I only wish that I had read the previous books, but I do plan to do so over the summer. If you love your Nordic noir theh you'll love this book.

With thanks to Orenda books and Anne Cater for my review copy and invitation to the blog tour.

Killed is available from Amazon on the following link.

Killed was published by Orenda on 15 Feb.

About the author

Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndod) in 2009, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo's underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult. Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

Follow the blog tour....


Friday, 23 February 2018

The Shark Club @AnnKiddTaylor @headlinepg

About The Shark Club 

How do you choose between your first love and a sizzling new romance?

On a summer day in 1988, two extraordinary things happen to twelve-year-old Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is attacked by a shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve is a world-travelling biologist, swimming with the animals that once threatened her life. She is on the brink of a relationship with a fellow diver. Yet, as she returns to the idyllic island where she grew up, she is haunted by memories of Daniel, her first love, and what might have been.

A meeting with a sweet six-year-old girl fascinated by sharks draws Maeve back into Daniel's life. Suddenly she's awash in old feelings. Will she forgive Daniel for the mistakes of their youth? Or will she open her heart to Nicholas, the handsome colleague who shares her passion for the ocean.

My review of The Shark Club

What an absolutely beautiful novel. I adored reading The Shark Club, a leisurely romantic read about childhood love,  romantic love, deep rooted passions and family. This really is a perfect summer beach read that allows you to simply submerge yourself in this story,  and to forget about the rest of the world.

The novel revolves around Maeve, a thirty year old marine biologist with a passion for shark conservation. This love of sharks stemmed from when she was bitten by a shark,  aged onmy twelve, the day that changed her life forever. It was on this day that she kissed Daniel, her childhood frurnd, then aged only thirteen, who was her best friend and then eventually her  lover.

Fast forward eighteen years and Maeve is now a high profile biologist doing what she loves best,  working with sharks.  She spends her days diving in the world's oceans, recording and monitoring sharks, and helping to protect them. This aspect of the book fascinated me, with its attention to detail, showing clearly the bond and passion that Maeve had for her beloved sharks.

While on diving trips she has a diving partner, the handsome and dark haired  Nicholas, a British man from London, and it soon becomes appararant that they have a love for each other, just as they do for the sharks (Maeve ) and rays (Nicholas). From the moment I met Nicholas I fell a little bit in love with him.

The story really begins when Maeve heads home to her childhood home in Florida.  Here she lives with her grandmother, Perri, and twin brother, Robin, amongst the splendour of The Hotel of the Muses. Perri is an artist and book lover, Robin a soon to be published novelist,  and Daniel is now the hotel's chef. As soon as Maeve steps through the door she is greeted with memories of her past, ,lboth happy and sad, and finds that first love is so very hard to forget.

This really is a beautiful romantic tale about growing up, first love and adult love. it also poses the question,  can we ever truly go back to how things used to be? I liked and admired Maeve, and felt so sorry for her in the difficult decisions that she had to make.  Should she go back to Daniel and rekindle their old love?  Or should she she take a chance with Daniel, the man who is so obviously in love with her? This broke my heart.

This really is a gorgeous book that will warm your soul. Perfect for those lazy hazy summer days and those who enjoy good old fashioned romance stories with so much heart.

With thanks to the publisher and Bookbridgr for the Advanced Reader Copy

The Shark Club is published on 22 Feb by Headline Review and can be found on Amazon here.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Fear @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK #TheFear

About The Fear

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey

My review of The Fear

The Fear is a disturbing and gripping read. I raced though the pages that told the story of Lou Wandsworth, a woman whose life had been tragically altered by events that took place when she was just a young teenager. This book tackles the subject of grooming, so will not be a suitable read for everyone due to its sensitive nature. But, the author tackles the subject with great sensitivity, so that we gain an insight into Lou's life and how she manages to rebuild her life.

For me, the fact that this bokk focuses upon the victim of grooming and paedophilia, makes it an incredibly powerful and different type of read.  Usually with this type of subject matter we are drawn to focus upon the perpetrator and their actions. But this bokk firmly focuses upon Lou, who is now 32 years of age. We are allowed an insight into how this affected her life, and how it shaped the woman she was to becone.  We also read how it affected her family and those who love her. 

As we begin the book, Lou  lives a somewhat lonely life. She has a successful career, but she finds it difficult to have any real lasting relationship because of what happened to her when she was younger. I felt so sorry for Lou, about what had happened to her, and as I read through the pages it soon became apparent of what she went through, and how this then affected her, both as an adolescent and then as a grown woman. 

Lou is an incredibly likeable character.  Her honesty oozes from the page, and the fact that she can now see that a young girl, Chloe, has found hrtsehf in a similar situation to herself as a young girl, sets her on a mission to protect this girl and to set things right. This also sets the wheels in motion for a fast, unsettling and grizzly tale.

The Fear is highly original. It's not a light read, but I feel that it is an important read in its highlighting of what can happen to young girls who find themselves chsrmes and then groomed by older men. The book helps to shed light on what happens to these victims, about what they go through, which we as the public never really get to know or understand.

The Fear is a brave novel, simply because of the subject matter. I feel that it gives a voice to those young girls who find themselves victims to such vile predatory  men. It gives them back the power. The sharing of Lou's story is a powerful and emancipating read.
Highly recommended.

The Fear is published by Avon on 22 March. It can be found on Amazon here.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Memory Chamber @HollyACave @QuercusBooks

About The Memory Chamber


True death is a thing of the past. Now you can spend the rest of eternity re-living your happiest memories: that first kiss, falling in love, the birth of your children, enjoyed on loop for ever and ever.

Isobel is a Heaven Architect, and she helps dying people create afterlives from these memories. So when she falls for Jarek, one of her terminal - and married - clients, she knows that while she cannot save him, she can create the most beautiful of heavens, just for him.

But when Jarek's wife is found dead, Isobel uncovers a darker side of the world she works within, and she can trust no one with what she finds...

The Memory Chamber is a thrilling and original story which vaults the reader into a world that is terrifyingly close to our own, where we can avoid everything we fear - even death itself. But can we ever escape the truth? Perfect for fans of Black Mirror.

My review of The Memory Chamber

I'll start by saying that I absolutely loved this book. The premise that you could invent your own heaven is something that instantly grabbed my attention. The whole concept of heaven and hell,  death and dying, will always make for an interesting story and, the author has taken these ideas to create a high concept and fascinating read.

The Memory Chamber rotates around two central characters, Isobel the Heaven Architect, and Jarek, her wealthy and handsome client who is both married and dying. The story is told from Isobel 's point of view. A young woman who has slowly built up her career to be the best Heaven Architect that money can buy. She knows she is the best, and so too does the company that she works for. She has a thriving career, a loving boyfriend and a seemingly perfect life.  But all of this is turned on its head when Jarek walks into her office.

The world in which we read about is like our own world but also different. There are automated cars and science and technology has evolved so that people with money can now create their very own heaven, featuring memories,  special places, and loved ones. A Heaven where time does not exist,  and which memories are played on a continuous loop for you to savour. The idea of this at first seems idyllic.  Who wouldn't want their own heaven? But as I progressed through the story,  it threw up many questions and possibilities that made me think twice. Woukd oblivion be a better option?

As I read I found myself becoming completely immersed in this book.  In the intaanglement of Isobel and Jarek. I found myself thinking, what are you doing Isobel? You hardly know this man. But like her I was drawn to his fragility,  his handsome features, and generous kind nature. But at the same time I knew what she was doing waa wrong. But deep down I believe that Isobel also felt this in her gut. Did I like Isobel? No, I did not. Not just because of the fact that she has an affair with a married man,  but also because of her treatment towards her boyfriend,  and her general lack of concern towards others.  But, I felt that this dislike was needed for me to remain objective while reading the book.  She fascinated me. As did Jarek, and I simply couldn't tear my eyes away from the page.

This novel shook me, in that it made me question the notion of heaven and hell, what happens when we are no longer hete,  what happens to our loved ones, and if we ever really truly know those closest to us. It threw up so many questions. This is such an original book that I couldn't help but be completely captivated by it. I felt so sad when I read the final sentence, as I was leaving the characters and this high tech world far behind. And with it the chance to have your very own personalised  heaven.

The Memory Chamber will grip you, it will make you think about those closest to you and if there really is such a thing as a perfect heaven. It's a fascinating and original story.

With thanks to the publisher and Bookbridgr for my Advanced Reader Copy.

The Memory Chamber is published by Quercus on 22 February and can be found on Amazon here.

Friday, 16 February 2018

#DontMakeASound @Author_Dave @BonnierZaffre

About Don't Make a Sound

You can't choose your family. Or can you? Meet the Bensons. A pleasant enough couple. They keep themselves to themselves. They wash their car, mow their lawn and pass the time of day with their neighbours. And they have a beautiful little girl called Daisy.

There's just one problem. Daisy doesn't belong to the Bensons. They stole her.

And now they've decided that Daisy needs a little brother or sister.

D. S. Nathan Cody is about to face his darkest and most terrifying case yet . . .

My review of Don't Make a Sound

Don't Make a Sound is the third book in the  DS Nathan Cody series and blimey what a fantastic read it is. This is one very dark, consuming and thoroughly enjoyable read.  I couldn't put it down. Really, I carried this bock everywhere with me, telling myself,  just one more chapter,  as I stirred the pasta sauce. This book got under my skin and kept me up late into the night devouring the pages. It's a fabulous read.  I'll just add that I haven't read the previous two books (but plan to do so over the summer) and this did not spoil my enjoyment of this book one little bit.

So, I was introduced to DS Nathan Cody and his partner DC Megan Webley and these two when working together were just hilarious. It was also obvious to me that there was a genuine spark between them. I enjoyed their banter and how they worked together on this case.

This book is dark and unsettling because it focuses upon the imprisonment of a little girl by a supposedly normal and happy couple. The subject matter is completely disturbing, it chilled me to the bone because it could so easily happen.

Malcolm and Harriet Benson are supposedly a normal middle aged couple who keep themselves to themselves,  and who on the outside look like any other married couple. But appearances can be deceiving, and the fact that Daisy,  the little girl who lives with them, is not actually their daughter made me feel a whole range of emotions. Anger, that they could get away with this, sympathy and heartache  for Daisy, as she was denied a normal childhood, and a great sense of unease because of the circumstances I was reading about.

We then have Cody, who investigates the case of a missing little girl. This is a tense storyline that highlighted the sheer determination and bravery of this police officer who wants more than anyting to find this missing girl. As I followed Cody in his search, I fell a little bit more in love with on every page.  But, I also knew that this case would change him, that it could break him, and my heart ached for him.

I loved this book. I loved the storyline about the missing girls,  the police search, and of how the families coped during these difficult times. I loved the description of Liverpool life and of how the police search led then to the Wirral (where I grew up). I loved the bond between Cody and Webley, and more than anything, this book kept me hooked on every single page

Don't Make a Sound is a remarkable book. It's a complete whirlwind of a read that fully immersed me. I love Cody. I love everything about him. And as for the ending,  well, it blew me away.

Don't Make a Sound is published by Bonnier Zaffre on 3 May 2018. It can be fond on Amazon here.

With thanks to the publisher and @Emily_BookPR for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

#HangmanBook @Daniel_P_Cole @TrapezeBooks

About Hangman

The new thriller from the bestselling author of Ragdoll

A detective with no one to trust
A killer with nothing to lose

18 months after the 'Ragdoll' murders, a body is found hanging from Brooklyn Bridge, the word 'BAIT' carved into the chest.

In London a copycat killer strikes, branded with the word 'PUPPET', forcing DCI Emily Baxter into an uneasy partnership with the detectives on the case, Special Agents Rouche and Curtis.

Each time they trace a suspect, the killer is one step ahead. With the body count rising on both sides of the Atlantic, can they learn to trust each other and identify who is holding the strings before it is too late?

My review of Hangman

From the very first page of Ragdoll I knew that I was reading something very exciting, and it soon became one of my favourite reads of last year. So, when I found out that the sequel,  Hangman, was to be released,  I was both excited and slightly apprehensive. Would I enjoy Hangman as much? Woukd it too live up to its hype?  Well, the good news is that Hangman is one cracking read and just as witty,  dark and engaging as it's predecessor. I will just mention that if you love Wolf (as I do) then you'll have to wait a little longer to read about him, as this book very much focuses upon Emily Baxter.

Hangman begins 18 months after the Ragdoll case and highlights the profound effect that that case had upon everyone,  especially Baxter who waa left realing at the end.

This book focuses upon a spate of copycat killers with the words Puppet and Bait etched into the bodies of those that are found. The case leads Baxter over to the States whete she joins forces with Special Branch to investigate the killings. Here she meets Agent Rouche and this brings both drama and humour to the novel.  I loved Baxter in Ragdoll, and she is just as interesting in this book. Wolf obviously dominated Ragdoll, but this book is all about Emily, and we learn so much more about her character.

I loved this book. Especially the dialogue and scenes between Baxter and Rouche. Once again, here is a very likeable and down to earth character that you just can't help but care about. He too has his own secrets and thoughout the novel, Baxter has to question if she can really trust him. I loved Rouche, just as much as Wolf. The good news is that Edmunds is in this novel and I've just got to say that I adore this character. He's funny, smart and always there for Baxter. In fact all three of these characters are what make this novel so highly addictive. That and the murder spree.

The book is deliciously dark with many laugh out moments. It's not for the faint hearted, and some scenes are particularly gruesome, but they are so well staged on the page. I could see them playing out so vividly in my mind and what I read took my breath away.

Hangman really is a fantastic follow up to Ragdoll and wonderfully sets up the the excitement for the third book in the trilogy.  If you loved Ragdoll,  then you will love this book. It's a delight to read.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Hangman is published by Trapeze on 22 Mar. 2018. It is available to buy from Amazon here.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Exhibit Alexandra @byTashB @MichaelJBooks

About Exhibit Alexandra

Alexandra Southwood: a devoted mother, a talented artist and now a missing wife.
Marc's world is seemingly perfect, complete with two daughters and a loving wife. Until the day she vanishes.

Police, friends and family pull together to find Alex but their hopes quickly turn into a nightmare as the missing person case becomes a murder investigation.

But Marc refuses to accept his wife is dead and embarks on his own frantic search which leads him into the heart of the New York art world that so gripped his wife.

Meanwhile, in a locked room, news clips of the police investigation and the family's grief are played out in front of a terrified woman. It is Alex. As the weeks pass all she can do is torment herself with images of her family's life without her.

As Marc begins to piece together hidden parts of Alex's life, he begins to question whether he really knew her at all . . .

My review of Exhibit Alexandra

I have never quite read a book like Exhibit Alexandra. This book examines the link between life and art, the role of women in bringing up a family, the life work balance, and if women really can have it all. It questions the role of identity and reality. This book poses many questions and is a very different type of psychological thriller.

The novel revolves around Alexandra Southwood, a mother to two young children, artist, university lecturer and wife to academic, Marc. The novel focuses upon Alex's disappearance, as told from her perceived view of events, while being held hostage. As time slowly ticks by, the police, and Marc's family and friends, believe that Alex is dead, but Marc believes that she is still alive, and begins his own investigation to find his wife.

This book is incredibly difficult to review without giving anything away. It's also somewhat confusing at the very beginning, because we are not sure if what we are reading is reality. She tells us of what is happening to Marc,  her children, and how he is feeling. I soon got used to this narrative style, and it did give a refreshing take on this genre.

Did I like Alexandra? No, I didn't, which really surprised me, but I did like Marc. The story gripped me, and although deliberately slow in pace, I enjoyed how Alex told the story and her perception of the world. This is an interesting concept, as she is an unreliable narrator. What she is telling us may not have actually happened.

The novel touches upon some sensitive and serious themes. The role of women in society and how they are perceived,  plus how we see each other. Can women really have it all? their chosen career path and a family? This really is thought provoking stuff, and these themes, plus that of art reflecting reality, kept my interest and the need to plough through the book.

I really do feel that this is a marmite type of a book.  It won't be for everyone, as it is very different. I liked this book because of the questions it raised and the fact that it was different. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.

Exhibit Alexandra is published by Michael Joseph on 8 March. It can be found on Amazon here.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

#WeOwnTheSky @lukeallnutt @TrapezeBooks

About We Own the Sky

A story about love, loss and finding hope-against all odds.

Rob Coates can't believe his luck. There is Anna, his incredible wife, and most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. Rob feels like he's won the lottery of life. Or rather-he did. Until the day it all changes when Anna becomes convinced there is something wrong with Jack.

Now Rob sleepwalks through his days, unable to bridge the gulf that separates him from his wife, his son and the business of living. But he's determined to come to terms with what's happened-and find a way back to life, and forgiveness.

We Own the Sky will resonate with anyone who has ever suffered loss or experienced great love. Luke Allnutt shows that the journey from hope to despair and back is never as simple as we think, and that even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.

My review of We Own the Sky

Oh my heart!  What an emotional read. I loved this book for its honesty,  it's rawness and for its abundance of pure love. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it will, I know, stay with me for a very long time

This book is told from Rob's point of view. He is a father. He is a husband. And he is a nan who is trying to deal with the reality that is that of his young son being seriously ill. We meet Rob in the present day but we also  read about he meets his wife, about their early years together. We also meet Rob as he is coming to terms with being a father.

It's a beautiful book.

We Own the Sky spoke to me on such a personal level. It is an incredibly honest book that slashes open the pain of having a child who is seriously ill. It details with honesty the strain that this puts on the marital relationship, as well as the shifting change between father and child.

This bokk questions what it is to live with emotional pain. It explores how we seek out each other for reassurance and explanation,  aa well as building barriers to protect ourselves from the hurtful truths.

On paper you woukd think that We Own the Sky is a hesrtbreaking read with very little hope,  or humour,  but you would be wrong in assuming that.  It is obvious that the author is writing from an incredibly painful and personal place, when dealing with his own cancer diagnosis, and believing that he had very little time left to live. But, just the stunning cover. Sunflowers are bright,  beautiful and epitomise everything that is joy, and that is what this book does. It also cleverly makes references to the sunflowers within the book. This book may break you, but it will also put you back together again.

We Own the Sky makes you think about your own life. Your own relationship with your spouse and children. It is though, without doubt, a book about living, and that we have to make the most of every single day.  It's a beautiful story about what makes a family and I loved it.

We Own the Sky  is published byTrapeze on 8 Feb. 2018. It can be found on Amazon here.

Monday, 5 February 2018

29 Seconds @TMLoganAuthor @BonnierZaffre

About 29 Seconds

'This is my offer: all you have to do is give me one name. And I will make that person disappear.'When Sarah Haywood rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her instinctive act of bravery puts her in the debt of a powerful and dangerous man, and he has other ideas. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid - in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve an impossible situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that could turn her life around and make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29-second phone call...

Because everyone has a name to give. Don't they?

My review of 29 Seconds

29 seconds is a compulsive read that really hits home with the tag line ' Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .' It was this line that instantly caught my attention and made me want to read this story. It's an amazing read, packed with many surprises along the way.

Sarah is a university lecturer and mum to two small children. Although married, her husband is living away from home, so she has to juggle work life and parenting,  which she does happily with the help of her father. Sarah should have the perfect happy life, but it is tainted by her sexist boss and head of department who is part of the old boys club. She has the experience, the education and the right qualities to further her career, but this man could put a stop to it all, if she refuses to play his game.

Her life reaches a mid point when she finds herself in the position of saving a little girl. This girl's father is a powerful man, but a dangerous man, and he wants to repay his debt, hence the offer to make one person disappear.  One name instantly springs to mind. The phone call takes 29 seconds and changes Sarah 's life for ever. For better or worse - well, you'll just have to read the book.

This book is a pure delight to read as it has everything.  I couldn't put it down, as I found myself just saying, just one more page, which then turned into another hour. I quickly got to know and understand Sarah and the difficult situation she found herself in. I really liked her, and when she was given the offer of naming a person whom she would like to see disappear, I honestly didn't know what she would do. I found myself asking, what would I do? It's that kind of book,  in that it makes you think about those difficult questions. The fact that you say you would never do such a terrible thing,  but placed in Sarah 's position, you may very well change your mind.

29 Seconds is twisty and the second half really did take my breath away. Nothing was quite as it seemed. It's a very clever book, that makes you question everything that you have read. I loved it!

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my Advanced Reader Copy.

29 Seconds is published by Bonnier Zaffre in hardback on 8 Mar. 2018. It can be found on Amazon here.

Friday, 2 February 2018

#TheBelles @brownbookworm @Gollancz @orionbooks

About The Belles

Welcome to the dark decadence of Dhonielle Clayton's sharp tale of beauty, obsession and magic. . . I AM A BELLE. I CONTROL BEAUTY.

In the opulent world of Orléans, the people are born grey and damned, and only a Belle's powers can make them beautiful.

Camellia Beauregard wants to be the favourite Belle - the one chosen by the queen to tend to the royal family.

But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favourite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that her powers may be far greater - and far darker - than she ever imagined.
When the queen asks Camellia to break the rules she lives by to save the ailing princess, she faces an impossible decision: protect herself and the way of the Belles, or risk her own life, and change the world forever.

My review of The Belles

It waa an sbsolute joy to read The Belles. This groundbreaking YA novel ticked all the boxes for me. It has strong female characters, a stunning new world creation in Orleans, and it's a novel that packs a powerful punch about the way in which women are perceived by society.

The Belles is about a society that focuses everything upon beauty and material possessions.  It's a book that is enthused with magic and wonderful captivating characters, and I loved it!

The novel revolves around the central character of  Camellia Beauregard, a Belle, who has recently turned sixteen, along with her fellow Belles, whom she calls sisters. The Belles have magical powers that enable them to give beauty and colour to the population of Orléans. They are elevated and respected in all of society, but for Camellia, her dream is to be named the favourite and to work in the Palace for the royal family. However, the palace walls hide many secrets and nothing is quite as it seems. Camellia finds herself asking who can she trust?  She also has to dig deep and find out who she actually is and what she is striving for in life, when she has to make the decision of whether to save the ailing princess and risk her own life in the process, forever, or to save herself and the other Belles.

This is an absolutely stunning book. The language is poetic, and I could smell the flowers, see the beautiful dresses and snell the exquisite food. This is new world creation at its very best.

The novel works on two levels. It is an absorbing and enjoyable read about a young woman and her struggle with identity and trust. All of the characters are interesting, and the Belles in particular, who at first appeared superficial, are in fact so much more. It is an enjoyable story. But, on a much deeper level, this novel is about how women are perceived physically in society, and the importance that is placed upon their beauty. This novel raises the questions of 'is beauty so important in modern society? ' 'are women judged on their appearances? ' 'is beauty really that important? ' It's a fascinating read that showcases how women are objectified within Olrleans and which in turn reflects our modern day culture, not only by men, but by other women.

The Belles is a dynamic, multilayered read that grips you from the very beginning. This is a unique and absorbing read. I loved it!

The Belles is published by Gollancz on 8 Feb. 2018. It can be found on Amazon here.

With thanks tp the publisher and NetGaley for the Advanced Reader Copy.