Contact Me...

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

#UnlikelyHeroics @rhysthomashello @Headlinepg

About The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway

This is no ordinary love story and Sam is no typical hero...but he is a hero.

Charming, quirky, and absolutely bursting with heart, this is the perfect book club read for fans ofThe Rosie Project, A Man Called Ove, and Eleanor Oliphant.

Sam Holloway has survived the worst that life can throw at you. But he's not really living. His meticulous routines keep everything nice and safe - with just one exception...

Three nights a week, Sam dons his superhero costume and patrols the streets. It makes him feel invincible - but his unlikely heroics are getting him into some sticky, and increasingly dangerous, situations.

Then a girl comes into his life, and his ordered world is thrown into chaos ... and now Sam needs to decide whether he can be brave enough to finally take off the mask.

Both hilarious and heart-warming, this is a story about love, loneliness, grief, and the life-changing power of kindness.

My review of The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway

The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway is all kinds of beautiful things. It's a story about the need for hope, of needing to belong, and that change and growth is possible, even in the most unlikely of circumstances. It's a love story, it's a story of self love, and of learning to love others. It is, quite simply, a beautiful and quirky read. And as you can probably tell, I loved it.

Sam is an unlikely hero. But, he is a likeable one. As we progress through the book we learn the deep meanings of why Sam needs to don his superhero outfit. I loved reading these passages of the book. They gave much needed light relief, while at the same time highlighting Sam's fragility and vulnerability. Sam is a broken man, a 'wanna be' hero, and I so badly wanted him to be made whole again.

Ultimately, this is a book about learning to love yourself. Learning to be valued and to be part of your community. At the beginning of the book, Sam is struggling. Yes, he has his own home, a job working in the Japanese factory, and a group of friends who he goes out drinking with; but, we quickly learn that underneath all of this he is merely passing through life, and not really living it. I loved Sam. He intrigued ne, and I wanted to dig up his past to find out what had happened to him.

We learn more about Sam's character when he meets Sarah. I read with baited breath, wondering if he would reveal his true identity to her. For me, these two characters were perfect together on the page. Both have secrets, both are wearing some kind of mask, and both need to learn how to live again.

The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway is a very different kind of romantic read, and I loved it because it was so very different. This is a clever and enjoyable read, with a love story at its very core.

With thanks to the publisher and @Phoebe_Swinburn for the paperback review copy.

The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway is published in ebook on May 31 and in paperback during August. It can be found on Amazon here.

Monday, 28 May 2018

#HerSecret @kellyflorentia @urbanebooks

About Her Secret

When one door closes, another opens, or so the saying goes.

After being in a long-term relationship for eight years, Audrey Fox never thought she'd tie the knot. But at the age of forty-two, fate throws her a lifeline and she finally has it all - a loving husband, successful career, beautiful family and loyal friends. Life couldn't be better for Audrey ... until a family member entrusts her with a secret that threatens trouble in paradise.

Lying to her new husband definitely wasn't on the cards when Audrey took her vows, but now she feels there's no other choice. She either keeps the secret or risks hurting the people that she loves. And then just when the dust seems to settle, an old flame turns up and creates a storm that could bring her world crashing down ...

Unable to discuss her dilemma with her significant friends Louise and Tina, or sister-in-law Vicky, the cracks begin to show. Torn between her husband and the people she's known and loved for years, Audrey's perfect life begins to spiral out of control. Where do her loyalties lie and  whom can she trust? Because there's no smoke without fire and everyone has secrets ... don't they?

My review of Her Secret

Her Secret is the second instalment in the story of the fabulous Audrey Fox, and follow up to No Way Back (which I absolutely loved)! It was therefore with great excitement that I began to read Her Secret, and I'm so glad to say that it didn't disappoint. It's a fabulous breathtaking read. It can be read as a standalone novel, but to gain the absolute best of this book, I suggest that you read No Way Back, before embarking on this book.

So,  Her Secret continues the fast paced and somewhat turbulent life of Audrey Fox, a forty-two-year old woman whose life is never straightforward, and I loved her for it. At the beginning of this book she is married to Daniel after a whirlwind romance and finds herself having to adjust to life as a newly married woman, and stepmum to Daniel's twenty-nine-year old daughter. Her life is so completely different to how we met her in No Way Back, and I understood completely her need for change and stability.

This story is built around one huge secret, and many other smaller secrets. As the blurb suggests, we all have secrets, but, the one that Audrey harbours could shatter everything. This storyline fascinated me. Who could Audrey trust with her secret? Should she keep the secret? And for me, the real question was, is Daniel really as good as he seems? I loved Daniel in No Way Back, but as his character evolved in Her Secret, I was less sure of him.

There are so many wonderful characters in this book. All of them have chaotic lives and just help to add to the energy and life of the book. The final third of the book in particular was very fast paced, with lots going on and I was very much reluctantt to put it down, as I needed to unearth the truth about what was going on.

This is such a multilayerred book about modern life and the modern family. It has serious moments, gasp out loud shocking moments, and some very touching and laugh out loud moments. I thoroughly enjoyed Her Secret. I also loved the ending. Although it completely surprised me,  I also knew it couldn't have  ended any other way.

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

Her Secret was publishrd by Urbane Publications on17 May 2018. It can be found on Amazon here.

Friday, 25 May 2018

#EveOfMan @MrsGiFletcher @TomFletcher

About Eve of Man


All her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past.

But at sixteen it's time for Eve to face her destiny. Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of humanity is in her hands. She's always accepted her fate.

Until she meets Bram.

Eve wants control over her life. She wants freedom.

But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?

EVE OF MAN is the first in an explosive new trilogy by bestselling authors Giovanna & Tom Fletcher.

My review of Eve of Man

Oh my word! I was beyond excited to read this book and couldn't wait to dive on in. Well, I wasn't disappointed. This is a fantastic read, and although geared towards the young adult market, I thoroughly engaged with the two young central characters, Eve and Bram, and eagerly followed their story.

This is a fairly long book at just over 400 pages, but I read the book quickly.  Chapters are short and the pace fairly quick and acton packed, so it actually felt like a much shorter read. The way in which the book is structured is also easy to read, with Eve and Bram having their own chapters. Although each chapter is introduced with the character's name, their voices are truly unique. This is of course because of the two authors, Giovanna and Tom Fletcher. Both characters spoke to me, and I admired and loved both of them, although if I'm honest, Eve took me a little longer to warm towards. Perhaps because it took a while for her to realise what was going on in her secluded world of the Dome.

This book is a dystopian read with a fusion of epic fantasy, sci-if, adventure and good old romance. The dystopian world building is truly compelling and I could easily visualise the elegance and clinical coldness of the Dome, while the world outside was going to hell. The two worlds beautifully clashed.

We then have the fact that the entire human race depends upon this one sixteen-year-old girl. The idea that she has to choose from three eligible suitors made my blood boil, and if, like me, you are initially put off by this element in the book, then don't be. This book is so much more and actually highlights the sheer stupidity and shallowness of such a decision.  It's a book that questions the role that science has to play in our modern world, it also questions how men perceive the female image, of what true beauty really is, and how men objectivity women. It raises many questions about sexuality and the role that women have to play.

Eve of Man was a delight to read. I found it to be pure escapism, with characters that I cared about and a plot that took my breath away. The great news is that this is the first book in a trilogy, and I can't wait to read the next instalment.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

Eve of Man is published by Michael Joseph on 31 May 2018. It can be found on Amazon here.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

#MeetingLydia @LindaMac1 #BlogTour

About Meeting Lydia 

Now 46, when Marianne finds her charming husband in the kitchen talking to the glamorous Charmaine, her childhood insecurities resurface and their once-happy marriage begins to slide. Teenage daughter Holly persuades her to join Friends Reunited, which results in both fearful and nostalgic memories of prep school as Marianne wonders what has become of the bullies and of Edward Harvey. Frantic to repair her marriage, yet rendered snappy and temperamental by her plummeting hormones, her attempts towards reconciliation fail. The answer to all her problems could lie in finding Edward again...But what would happen if she found what she seeks? Meeting Lydia is a book about childhood bullying, midlife crises, obsession, jealousy and the ever-growing trend of internet relationships. It will appeal to fans of adult fiction and those interested in the dynamics and psychology of relationships. Author Linda is inspired by Margaret Atwood, Fay Weldon and David Lodge.

My review of Meeting Lydia

Meeting Lydia was an absolute delight to read. It was such a refreshing change to read a book with a female central character who was in her middle years. This is an emotional read, which deals with 'grown up' and mature worries surrounding the many issues that we have as we get older. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The book revolves around Marianne, and I had to like her in order for thus book to work. And, I did like her, very much. By the end of the book I really felt as if I knew Marianne. She has her faults, as we all do, but I couldn't help but like her because of them and her sheer thirst for life. Here is a character, who to me, was completely realistic, and who I rooted for. I wanted the absolute best for her.

The writing is beautiful and the narrative style easy to read. I particularly liked the way in which the past was discussed and the introduction of the infamous Lydia. The past blended beautifully with the present to complement the story as a whole. It was important that I understood Marianne's past and where she had come from, so that I could understand her present day state of mind and the choices that she made.

This book does deal with many serious issues. But all are tackled with sensitivity and kindness. Marianne is approaching the menopause, and all of life's nuances around this age ate talked about. That shifting stage in relationships and how we evolve as we grow older. This is expressed beautifully between Marianne and her husband. We also have themes of childhood bullying, mental health issues, and identity. Of how we change as we mature. I particularly liked the introduction of social media and of how Marianne used Friends Reunited to reconnect with her past.

Meeting Lydia is an incredibly refreshing read. It's a novel to be savoured, that will make you think about your own childhood and how your childhood helped to shape your present day life. It's a story about the fragility of human nature, but that at the end of the day, family and that sense of belonging are the only things that really matter.

Meeting Lydia can be found on Amazon here.

With thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour.

About the author 

Linda MacDonald is the author of four novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind, The Alone Alternative and The Man in the Needlecord Jacket. All Linda's books are contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.

After studying psychology at Goldsmiths', Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. The first two novels took ten years in writing and publishing, using snatched moments in the evenings, weekends and holidays. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.

Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham in Kent.

Follow her on Twitter @LindaMac1

Follow the blog tour...

Monday, 21 May 2018

#GuessWho @crmcgeorge @orionbooks

About Guess Who


'An impressive debut' James Oswald



A waitress. A cleaner. An actress. A lawyer. A student. Everyone is a suspect.


In a locked room - with no escape, and no idea how they got there.


In the bathtub, the body of a man they all knew. Someone murdered him. Someone in this room.


They have three hours to find out. Or they all die.


Imagine Agatha Christie had created an interactive Escape the Room game, and GUESS WHO would be the result. For fans of the DI Helen Grace series by MJ Arlidge, The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, Ragdoll by Daniel Cole, and Rattle by Fiona Cummins.

My review of Guess Who

I absolutely loved reading Guess Who. The idea of a modern day 'locked in room' murder was too irresistible to resist. I love a good old who done it,  and this book perfectly blended this genre with a modern and refreshing twist.

Morgan Sheppard is a well known TV personality who hosts his own 'detective' show, created due to his success as a child in solving the murder of his teacher.The show is similar in format to Jeremy Kyle, with the audience booing those who have cheated and lied. We gain snippets of the show throughout the book, which help to shed light on Sheppard's TV personality. Catapulted to fame at a young age,  Sheppard is now a victim of his own hectic and hedonistic lifestyle, and is on the slippery slope  towards self destruction. Sheppard is a complex character, but I found him likeable because of his many flaws and vulnerabilities.

So, he finds himself in a hotel room, with five complete strangers. None of them know how they got there, but the dead body in the bath connects them all, as each and and every one one of them knew him. And all are a suspect. So, the big question is, who killed him? Hand on heart I can honestly say that my number one suspect kept changing, as I made my way through the book, and even towards the end I hadn't guessed who the murderer was. All of these characters intrigued me, all with their unique story to tell.  But, for me, Sheppard was the star of the show.

This is such an addictive read. Chapters ate kept fairly short and there are so many twists and turns that I honestly didnt see the end coming. We get glimpse of Sheppard's life as a child,  during the time his teacher was killed and the mystery surrounding this teacher's supposed suicide. This helped me to gain much needed insight into the man he  then became.

This book is full of black humour, which I love, and I found the balance between the macabre and spontaneously funny moments, just right. I couldn't put thus book down. If you love a good who done it, that is a little bit different, modern, and with memorable characters, then you'll love this book.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.

Guess Who was published by Orion on 3 May. It can be found on Amazon here.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

#LetMeBeLikeWater @_sarah_perry @melvillehouse

About Let Me Be Like Water

I ve met a man called Frank. He s seventy, a magician, and he tells me I need to slow down. He tells me things always work out ok when you re by the sea. But without you I don t know what ok means. I only know the empty space behind me in the mornings, the quiet while I eat breakfast, the cold spaces, the missing. I look at my hands and try to remember what I was before you, try to work out whether I will ever feel like a someone again. I thought it would be enough to escape our city, our routines, our friends. I thought it would be enough to sit with the waves on Brighton Beach and have sex with strangers and run and run until my body hurt as much as my heart. But I still feel lost and lonely. I still look at the waves and think about being part of them, holding my breath until all that is left is the water.

Holly moved to Brighton to escape her grief over the death of her boyfriend, Sam. But now she is here, sitting on a bench, listening to the sea sway... what is supposed to happen next?

She had thought she d want to be on her own. Wrecked. Stranded. But after she meets Frank, the tide begins to shift. Frank, a retired magician who has experienced his own loss but manages to be there for everyone else. Gradually, as he introduces Holly to a circle of new friends, young and old, all with their own stories of love and grief to share, she begins to learn to live again.

A moving and powerful debut which combines the emotional pull of Maggie O'Farrell with the lyrical beauty of Sarah Perry, Let Me Be Like Water is a book simultaneously about nothing and everything: about the humdrum yet extraordinariness of everyday life; of lost and new connections; of loneliness and friendship.

My review of Let Me Be Like Water

I have no idea how I am going to justify the absolute beauty of this book, but I'll do my best. It is one of the most haunting and exquisite books that I have read in a long time. It's a book about grief, about loss, but that even though you are broken, friendship and a sense of belonging can put you back together again. It is a stunningly empowering and breathtaking read about the fragility of every day human life.

We meet Holly, a young woman who flees from London to Brighton after the death of her boyfriend, Sam. She wants to run away from her grief, from those surroundings and things that remind her of Sam, but can she run away from grief and be an island? She wants to be invisible, to be alone and to simply 'be' but, while sat on Brighton Beach she meets Frank, a 70-year-old man and retired magician, and he changes everything.

This is very much a character driven novel, told through the eyes of Holly.  I felt every single emotion. I actually felt as if I was her. The grief so palpable, so real, that I had to simply close the book at times, to allow myself to breathe and think, as the emotion was so raw on the page. The storytelling is also lyrical, powerful and so very real. I found myself being swept along.

Although this is Holly's story, there is an array of wonderfully vibrant and colourful characters who help to shed light and much needed hope on this story, as there is hope. Yes, this story is very much about raw grief, and of how time shapes and moulds grief into something more manageable, but ultimately it is also a book about friendship, and of how being part of a close community can help to change your life, and perspective.

Let Me Be Like Water is such a beautifully written book. I can't praise it highly enough.

With thanks to the publisher, and @NikkiTGriffiths for the Advanced Reader Copy and invitation to the blog tour.

Let Me Be Like Water is published by
Melville House Uk on 10 May 2018. It can be found in Amazon here

Monday, 14 May 2018

#TheStoryCollector @evgaughan @urbanebooks

About The Story Collector 

A beautiful and mysterious historical romance from the author of The Heirloom and The Mysterious Bakery on Rue de Paris.

Thornwood Village, 1910. Anna, a young farm girl, volunteers to help an intriguing American visitor, Harold Griffin-Krauss, translate 'fairy stories' from Irish to English.

But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the future of her community and her very way of life.....

Captivated by the land of myth, folklore and superstition, Sarah Harper finds herself walking in the footsteps of Harold and Anna one hundred years later, unearthing dark secrets that both enchant and unnerve.

The Story Collector treads the intriguing line between the everyday and the otherworldly, the seen and the unseen. With a taste for the magical in everyday life, Evie Gaughan's latest novel is full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell. Perfect for fans of Jess Kidd and Eowyn Ivey.

My review of The Story Collector 

Oh My Heart! Loved this book so much! It's full of magic and faeries and love and hope and stories. Blending the past and present day with the ordinary, and the not  so ordinary, creates a memorable and utterly breathtaking read.

I was instantly drawn to this book because of the cover, you just want to stroke it. Although I'm not usually a huge fan of historical  fiction, I love Irish stories and tales of magic and romance, and with the comparison made to Eowyn Ivey (I adore The Snow Child) I just knew that I had to read this book.

This really is a beautiful book that features two strong female characters. Sarah, who is based in the present day, and Anna who lived 100 years ago, and who is brought  to life through the reading of her diary. Both women share similarities, strengths and a common bond. At the heart of this story is how we learn to live with grief, how it shapes and defines who we are. Sarah reads Anna's diary, and although one hundred years separate them, Sarah feels a strong connection with this young woman, a farmer's daughter, and begins to learn how to live and love by learning from what happened to her.

Anna and Harold were truly captivating. Both as individuals, and when working together on gaining stories from the locals. I enjoyed their conversations, and of how Harold saw Anna as an equal. I loved reading about them. We then have Sarah and her personal struggles. How she welcomes the quiet village, its remoteness, while she gathers her thoughts and tries to rebuild her life. Here is a young woman with so much fight and spirit, that I just couldn't help but warm to her. Her story is just as fascinating as Anna's.

The Story Collector is a joyous read. It has everything. Magical tales, love, secrets and a mystery to solve. Perfect summer reading and pure escapism.

With thanks to the publisher who provided a paperback proof copy for review purposes.

The Story Collector is published on 14 June by Urbane Publications. It can be found on Amazon here

Friday, 11 May 2018

#TheManWhoDidntCall @TheRosieWalsh @MantleBooks

About The Man Who Didn't Call 

The Man Who Didn't Call by Rosie Walsh is a heart-wrenching love story with a dark secret at its heart, for anyone who's waited for a phone call that didn't come.

Imagine you meet a man, spend seven glorious days together, and fall in love. And it’s mutual: you’ve never been so certain of anything.

So when he leaves for a long-booked holiday and promises to call from the airport, you have no cause to doubt him.

But he doesn’t call.

Your friends tell you to forget him, but you know they're wrong: something must have happened; there must be a reason for his silence.

What do you do when you finally discover you're right? That there is a reason -- and that reason is the one thing you didn't share with each other?

The truth.

My review of The Man Who Didn't Call

As soon as I read the book description, I just knew that I would love this book! And i did! The whole idea of waiting for that special someone to ring, and then the disappointment that follows when they don't phone, hooked me in from the very start. I just imagined what it must be like to find that special someone, your soul mate, and to then never hear from them again. What must that feel like? This is exactly what happens to Sarah, after spending an intense week with Eddie, in his cabin, near to her childhood home.

I won't say any more, as I don't want to spoil this deliciously sublime story. I wanted to know why Eddie hadn't called. Had he suffered an accident? Changed his mind? Found himself in difficulty? All of these scenarios ran through my mind in wanting to know what had happened. We read Sarah's thoughts on why she never received that phone call and my heart ached for her, it really did.

This book is so incredibly beautiful. Although there is a huge sense of mystery running throughout the pages, at its very core is a story about love and forgiveness. This is a love story that I could help comparing with One Day, in the way in which  the book is beautifully written. It's about the love that two complete strangers share after realising that they are meant to be together. It's a love story that transcends everything else.

The twist half way through this novel was  followed by many more twists, all  of which I didnt see coming. However, all made perfect sense. It's an exciting and exhilarating read, as I raced through these sublime pages in my search for what was going to happen and to unearth the dark secret that is hinted about in the book's description

What an absolutely glorious read. Simply beautiful. I have a feeling that this book will be one of this summer's most talked about romantic reads, and for very good reasons.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advance Reader Copy

The Man Who Didn't Call is published in hardback on 14th June by Mantle. It is available to buy from Amazon here.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018


About Underwater Breathing

On Yorkshire's gradually-crumbling mud cliffs sits an Edwardian seaside house. In the bathroom, Jacob and Ella hide from their parents' passionate arguments by playing the 'Underwater Breathing' game - until the day Jacob wakes to find his mother and sister gone.

Years later, the sea's creeping closer, his father is losing touch with reality and Jacob is trapped in his past. Then, Ella's sudden reappearance forces him to confront his fractured childhood. As the truth about their parents emerges, it's clear that Jacob's time hiding beneath the water is coming to an end.

My review of Underwater Breathing

Underwater Breathing is such a beautiful book. It has a haunting melody that runs throughout, from the very beginning when we meet Jacob and Ella, right until the exquisite ending. The storytelling draws you in, as do these very different characters. All who have their own unique story to tell.

This is a stunning book. The fragility of this family unit is  echoed in the fragility of the house, sat on top of a crumbling cliff. At the heart of this home is Jacob.   A young man, a teacher, and carer for his ageing and alcoholic father. Jacob has many demons to face, including those of never having come to terms with the disappearance of his baby sister, Ella, two decades  previously. His life is dominated by thoughts of his sister, of where she is, if she is still alive. Even when she returns to the family home, there are so many unanswered questions, with Jacob having to unearth the past to make sense of his future.

Throughout the narrative we go backwards and forwards in time. We meet Jacob as a fifteen-year-old, when Ella was only six. We are introduced to the underwater breathing game, and the interaction between the two of them is with heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. In fact, the bond that the two share is incredibly special, as it is born out of Jacob's need to protect his sister from his arguing parents and alcoholic father.

There are serious issues that are dealt with in this book. Those of loneliness, and what it means to enforce your own loneliness. Family, and the many different types of family unit are touched upon, as well as the responsibility that adult children face in caring for an ageing and ill parent. All of these complex issues and intertwined and made into something quite haunting that deeply touches the soul. On paper it would be easy to assume that this type of story would be somewhat dark and macabre, but there is a surprising lightness and joy to this tale of a lost sibling and a family that is falling apart at the seams. It is a haunting and dazzling read. This book really will stay with me for a long time.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the digital review copy.

Underwater Breathing was published by Legend Press on 3rd May. It can be found on Amazon here.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Genuine Fraud by E Lockhart @HotKeyBooks

About Genuine Fraud

From the author of the unforgettable bestseller WE WERE LIARS comes a suspenseful new psychological thriller - the story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life.

But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

My review of Genuine Fraud 

How do I begin to review this book? I am so confused about it. But, perhaps that's the intention? It IS a twisted psychological thriller that is certainly fast paced and which kept me reading. And, I did enjoy it. HOWEVER, I disliked both of the central female characters. It's very unusual for me to like a book but to completely feel no emotion or connection to the characters whose lives I am reading about, hence the confusion. The time frame also jumps about a lot, and I had to reread some passages to ensure that I understood what time frame I was reading in. The plot is complex, and even if I wanted to explain the plot, I'm not sure that I could.

The style in which the story is told is at first somewhat confusing, but after a few chapters I eased in to it and understood where the author was coming from. It's an interesting writing style, and made complete sense to me. It also worked well with the overall suspenseful theme, and in learning the truth about Jules.

So, that leads us to Jules, whose head we are in. Although told in third person (which I liked) she has a really distinctive voice that helped to convey her as an unreliable narrator. What is refreshing is that Jules does not conform. She is her own woman, does what she wants, but I did not like her because of this. Is she a bad person? Is she a victim who simply does bad things? To be honest, by the end of the book I was none the wiser.

As you can probably tell I am still very confused by this book. It challenged me as a reader, and i like to be challenged, to read books that raise questions that make me feel a little uncomfortable.

If you want a book that is a little different, with complex unreliable narrators, then you'll probably like this.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the digital review copy

Genuine Fraud is released in paperback on 31st May by Hot Key Books. It can be found on Amazon here.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

#TheKindnessofStrangers @julesmnewman @urbanebooks

About The Kindness of Strangers

An intricate portrayal of love and loss, redemption and revenge which will stay with you long after the final page.' - Anne Coates, bestselling author of the Hannah Weybridge thrillers

Deception abounds in Julie Newman's breath-taking new novel.

Widow Helen is desperate for a perfect family life, and will do everything she can to get what she wants.

A veteran of the Afghanistan conflict Martin is adrift and seemingly without hope - can he ever win back his estranged family?

Pregnant teenager Charley is striking out on her own to create a new life for her unborn child, but her mother Lizzie has other ideas.

When three seemingly disparate lives connect, the past and the present collide to reveal secrets, lies and how far people are willing to go to hide the truth.

Following the gripping and controversial Beware the Cuckoo, Julie Newman's thrilling new novel lifts the lid on the dark past that haunts a seemingly happy household.

My review of The Kindness of Strangers

Wow! This book. Where do I start? It's a fantastic read that lulled me in with it's tales of kindness, grief, and sorrow in the first half of the book, and then completely blew me away in the second half. I found myself racing through the pages, of which turned out to be a dark and slick psychological teaser of a read.

The first half of the book is divided into three sections, each section  dedicated to the three central characters of Helen, Martin, and Charley. Each of these stories is told in first person which I really liked, as it helped me to crawl under their skin, and by the first half of the book I felt as if I knew each of then fairly well. Helen, who is coming to terms with the death of her husband, Robert. Martin, who is suffering from PTSD, and Charley, who finds herself pregnant. I needed to understand these characters, so as to better understand what would happen in the second half of the book. All I will say, is expect the unexpected.

The Kindness of Strangers is such a clever and dark read. It uses the common theme of Kindness and a linking character to explore human nature and our need to survive at all costs. All of the three central characters engaged me and I felt quite differently to each and everyone of them, with my views drastically changing as I made my way through the book. However, Charley I liked from the very beginning to the final pages. A young girl trying to to do her best under the most difficult of circumstances. I had a lot of empathy for her.

Although at first these three stories seem to be  in isolation, the author slowly brings these stories together and characters together, with the most unexpected consequences. What is interesting is that the second half of the book us told in third person narrative, weaving from one character to another, and that gave a completely different spin on events.

The unpredictability of Kindness and its repercussions are beautifully explored within this book. It's a dark and twisted tale which asks the reader many morality based questions. An intricate web of love, deceit, and kindness is slowly weaved as we finally learn the truth. Highly recommended.

The Kindness of Strangers was published by Urbane Publication on the 19th April. It can be found on Amazon here.

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