Review: Her Last Move by John Marrs @JohnMarrs1 @EmmaFinnigan @AmazonPub #HerLastMove

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: November 8, 2018

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

I’m so thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Her Last Move today!

Review:

Holy cannoli this was one hell of a read you guys! I was a huge fan of Marrs last book, The Good Samaritan and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. The wait was well worth it and one of the many things that made this a standout for me was that it was SO vastly different from his previous work but still outstanding, it’s so impressive when an author pushes the boundaries and shakes things up with each new book release.

This follows Becca, a police officer working on the case, Joe, another cop, but in a different department and then you hear from the elusive killer as well. All three were fascinating in their own way, Becca is trying to balance her work and home life, but her issues aren’t typical and were a new set of circumstances from the norm in a police procedural. Joe is what’s called a super recognizer, something I didn’t even realized I existed but I read several articles and was blown away. (Look it up, so cool!) The chapters from the killer were chilling, insight into a murderers motivations and thought processes always interests me and his were at once original and scary. All three were so very well developed, they were complex, deep and had interesting secrets.

While the tension throughout was great, a steady buildup for the most part, by the end my heart was in my throat and then something HUGE happened and let’s just say I was stunned. Not the direction I expected at all, but I respect the author so much for so many ballsy moves, I love nothing more than a bold story with risks and Marrs proves with this book that he is a force to be reckoned with. Highly recommended for thriller lovers but especially those who like a good police procedural as well.

Her Last Move in three words: Shocking, Intricate and Intense.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding by Robert Bryndza @CocoPinchard @RobertBryndza @BOTBSPublicity

Goodreads|Amazon

Genre: Chick Lit

Blurb:

After a tumultuous divorce, Coco Pinchard has found love with the gorgeous, hunky, four-years-younger-than-her-so-technically-a-toy-boy, Adam. Her career as an author is finally a success, and she has fabulous friends in Christopher, a neurotic middle-aged socialite, and Marika, a slightly alcoholic dog walker.

Coco is even learning to cope with her awful ex mother-in-law, Ethel, who despite the divorce, still thinks it’s fine to criticise, especially when Coco and Adam decide to take the next step, and move in together…

But hours before move-in day, Adam ends their relationship without explanation and disappears. After the initial shock and anger (and an ‘I told you so’ from Ethel) Coco sets out to discover what has really happened, and uncovers a shocking secret Adam has been hiding from her… 

I’m absolutely delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for the Coco Pinchard series today!

Review:

I know many of you are familiar with Bryndza through his Erika Foster series, it’s one of my favorites, so when I saw an opportunity to read a book from his CL series I just had to check it out! I already admire authors so much, but the ones that can write in multiple genres truly amaze me. I have to say, this book was just as great as the EF books but in a completely different way.

Though this book is part of a series it can easily be read as a standalone, I had no problem jumping in. I loved the structure of this, each section is separated by the month and then it’s all told through Coco’s emails to her friends and family. Coco is quite the character, she’s dramatic and a little over the top, but she’s also a ton of fun! I just adored her and found myself laughing at her antics and the situations she finds herself in.

If you’re looking for a read to escape into that’s hilarious and charming, try this out! Whatever genre Bryndza writes he’s so talented and I’ll read anything from him. I’m a new fan of this series and can’t wait to catch up now.

Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding in three words: Funny, Cute and Happy.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Sarah Hardy and the author for my review copy.

Giveaway:

There is a giveaway running where you can win a signed set of the whole series that’s open internationally, so make sure you enter here! And for my US readers the entire series is on sale for just 1.99 on Amazon and in the UK it’s only 99 cents!

Review: The Lingering by SJI Holliday @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks #TheLingering

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: September 15, 2018

Publisher: Orenda

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient spiritual commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

At once an unnerving mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre. 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Lingering!
Review:
If you’re like many readers and like to try and match your reads to the season then have I got the perfect book for you to add to your fall/winter TBR! The Lingering is ideal to dive into this time of year, it has a rich and vivid setting that will get under your skin, and the story itself is intriguing and also toes the line with hints at the supernatural without it totally taking over the plot. An added bonus for me is that it’s set in a commune and that sort of lifestyle absolutely fascinates me and this one was very interesting.
This flips back and forth between Ali’s POV and Angela’s, a valued member of the commune. The entire idea behind this group is that they seek the light in all things. They live in Rosalind House, which was once an old asylum which is such a creepy setting. There are many old stories and legends about what happened on the grounds and Angela is determined to prove there is the presence of ghosts one way or another.
Right away you feel like there is something a bit off about Ali and her husband Jack, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what made me feel uneasy about them. Was it their vague references to their elusive past? Or maybe it was just the claustrophobic setting and hint of the unknown, but whatever it was, it worked SO well for me. There was a constant sense of dread and a little bit of fear throughout that kept me on the edge of my seat.
I fear discussing the plot further would only spoil things, but I’ll close by saying that this would appeal to a wide variety of readers as it’s mysterious, highly atmospheric and also has a historical vibe due to Rosalind Houses background, and it also went in a few directions I wasn’t expecting and that my friends, is what it’s all about!
The Lingering in three words: Atmospheric, Gripping and Creepy.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: May 29, 2019

Publisher: Graydon House

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb:

The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.

Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.

It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?

The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together… 

Review:

Well, Rouda has once again shown that psychological thrillers can be both darkly funny and chilling at the same time without feeling cliched. Both this and Best Day Ever had a really fresh and current vibe that makes you feel like you’re reading something from an author who has found their perfect niche. I’m a huge fan of Rouda’s style and am so excited to (hopefully) see her continue writing in the same vein.

The entire story is told from Jane’s perspective and what a character she is. Often she is speaking directly to the reader giving this such a personal touch, I loved that aspect and she is also one of those narrators that constantly keeps you guessing, one minute I was sure she was delusional and a borderline psychopath and then the next I would almost feel sorry for her. Who is the real Jane?! You’ll have to read to find out, but finding out the truth was one hell of an addictive roller coaster ride.

Once again, I was confident I knew what would eventually happen but the author wrong footed me in the end, there were quite a few startling revelations that delighted me. Jane is just as over the top and dramatic as Paul was in BDE and I love me some drama! Totally recommend this for fans of domestic suspense, it was just so wickedly fun.

The Favorite Daughter in three words: Addictive, Dramatic and Sinister.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

PaperlessPost

Happy Sunday everyone! I have something a bit different to share today that I hope you’ll enjoy. I was recently given the opportunity to try out PaperlessPost which is the coolest site where you can send stationary and invites via email. I had so much fun playing around on the site and I’ll be showing you guys what I found and loved today.

What makes PaperlessPost unique is that they partner with different designers and well known brands to create amazing cards for all occasions and these are seriously beautiful! The one above is from a collection by Rifle Paper Co. and I thought it was just so cute. You can customize the text and I used the app to play around, it was super easy to navigate and very user friendly. You can choose different fonts and the selection was great and then when you’re satisfied you can email it to your friends and family.

There are a ton of categories and options and you can even make a custom card if you would like, but the one I think I will use the most is the thank you cards. When I was a kid my mom always had us send thank yous and I feel like that just doesn’t happen much anymore. These are so pretty and it takes minutes to make one, I can definitely see myself using them a lot in the future.

They also have an entire section of flyers that were so fun, most use gifs and they had predesigned options for every occasion imaginable!

Overall this is a site I wasn’t aware of before but one that I’ll definitely be using from now on. Have any of you heard of it before? I would love to know if you have.

Review: The Night Visitor by Patrick Redmond @PRedmondAuthor @BooksManatee #TheNightVisitor

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: October 29, 2018

Publisher: Manatee

Blurb:

When does a gift become a curse? 

Meg has a gift. She can change lives. But when tragedy strikes in childhood she vows never to use it again. 
Now an adult, she is living in Cornwall; a place where the elements themselves have a life of their own. When they call she refuses to listen, fearful of the dark places where her gift can lead.
 

But the dead will not be silenced. They are stronger than her. And now they have chosen she is powerless to escape… 

I’m delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Night Visitor today!

Review:

Ahh this is going to be a really tricky book for me to review without giving too much away! So much of it was surprising for me and I would hate to ruin the experience for future readers so if this seems a bit vague, you’ll understand why.

This is one of those books that drew me in right away, it begins when Meg is just a child and introduces you to her and her gift. This gift is of the paranormal type and it truly intrigued me, would Meg be mature enough as a child to understand and use it? How does a young girl navigate the supernatural? So interesting and a really creepy read for this time of year.

I really connected with Meg, her life was tough and there is much more to her than meets the eye. She is quiet and reserved, she even comes across as snobby to people but she’s really anything but and I can always root for a character that is the underdog. Besides being wholly invested in the protagonist, I really enjoyed the authors writing style. It was very descriptive and detailed making it incredibly easy to picture each and every scene that was written. The setting was also spooky and so vividly described that I felt like I was right there myself.

If you don’t mind supernatural elements to your thrillers, give this one a shot! It was engaging and really different, the only other author I’ve read that is similar is Mark Tilbury, so if you like him check this one out. It really blurred the lines between genres, it would appeal to fans of historical fiction, romance and mysteries, there’s something for every reader here.

The Night Visitor in three words: Creepy, Immersive and Unnerving.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Christmas Spirit by Nicola May @nicolamay1 @rararesources

Amazon

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

It’s two days before Christmas – and Evie Harris finds herself both manless and jobless. After a chance encounter with handsome Greg (and egged on by her toy-boy-eating friend, Bea) she agrees to work at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.
Striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves, Evie begins an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening, all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London landmarks. 
A New Year’s Eve revelation is on its way . . . but will it leave Evie with a happy heart, or will she allow the pre-Christmas past to dictate her future?

I’m so pleased to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Christmas Spirit today!

Review:

Well if you’re looking for a quick read to put you in a holiday frame of mind then this one is absolutely perfect! It’s a novella, so really fast paced but it still packed quite an emotional punch and left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

I adored both Evie and her best friend Bea, they’re complete opposites and make quite the pair. Evie is sweet and caring and down on her luck and then Bea is outrageous and wickedly funny, truly naughty she made me laugh so hard. Besides fun characters this had such great meaning about what’s truly important in life. Evie goes through a remarkable period of growth over the course of just a few days and it was sweet and heartwarming. Ideal Christmas read, totally recommended!

Christmas Spirit in three words: Festive, Hopeful and Heartwarming.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author and Rachel for my review copy.

Review: Good Samaritans by Will Carver @will_carver @OrendaBooks #SixBottlesofBleach

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: November 15, 2018

Publisher: Orenda

Genre: Crime Fiction

Blurb:

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

I’m so thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Good Samaritans today!

Review:

Do you like dark, twisted and seriously messed up books? What about books that are fresh and like nothing you’ve ever read before? How about books that literally make you say WTF a thousand times? Friends, if you answered yes to any of these questions this book is for you!

The premise for this is amazing, you have Seth the insomniac who just wants someone to talk to, enter Hadley who needs someone to just listen and then finally the person who is watching…Creepy? Yes!! But so much more than just creepy, it’s provocative and edgy as well. It totally pushes the boundaries in the best possible way, I think dysfunctional is the best word for it, but even then, it doesn’t truly convey just how seriously screwed up this one is. Seriously, I felt dirty just reading it but I just could not stop, it was the very definition of gripping.

This not the book for a fragile reader, it’s bold and does not shy away from sex and graphic descriptions of violence, but if that doesn’t bother you this is a must read. I’ve never read anything quite like, it’s truly original and Carver completely blew me away. Some of the twists were so deranged I was shocked, but also in complete awe, this will most definitely be on my list of best books of 2018! (And this was book 267 for me so it really is a standout!)

Good Samaritans in three words: Edgy, Provocative and Twisted.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Who I Am by Sarah Simpson @sarahrsimpson

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: November 6, 2018

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb:

I know everything about you 

And you know everything about me… except 

WHO I AM. 

Andi met Camilla at university. Instantly best friends, they shared everything together. Until their long-planned graduation celebration ends in tragedy… 

Years later, Andi is living a seemingly perfect life on the rugged Cornish Coast with her loving husband, happy children and dream home. Yet Andi is haunted by a secret she thought only she knew. 

Someone out there is bringing Andi’s deepest fears to life. And she knows there’s no escaping the past that has come back to haunt her… 

You trusted me with your secrets, you told me everything, you thought I was your best friend… but you have no idea WHO I AM. 

Gripping, unputdownable and packed with twists and turns from the first page to the very last, this stunning psychological thriller will make you question whether we can ever really trust the ones we love.

I’m so excited to be kicking off the blog tour for Who I Am today!

Review:

This was a true psychological thriller in that it had all the elements I crave in a dark read that will mess with my head. I feel like the psychological thriller label is often used on novels that are really more of a standard mystery/thriller but Who I Am is an excellent example of a what a true PT really is.

If you chose to add this to your TBR I want to advise you to pay close attention. There is quite a lot going on here; multiple narrators, and definitely the untrustworthy type, and it also jumps around from past to present. Each chapter is clearly labeled so it’s not confusing, but still this requires some focus in order to catch all the subtle nuances the author so deftly drops.

Andi and Camilla narrate the bulk of the book but there are also several chilling chapters from an unknown narrator that gave me goosebumps. I wouldn’t say either Andi or Camilla were likable characters but they were interesting and well drawn. Andi especially captivated me as she conveyed such a great sense of paranoia that made me uneasy. It also had that mounting sense of dread that I so love and the tension and pacing increases the further along you get. And of course there were some twists to be found and none that I saw coming, always so fun!

Who I Am in three words: Menacing, Dark and Intricate.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Excerpt: I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb:

Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do.

This is worse.

When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought she had buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.

But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel’s help, and she wants a place to stay. Just for a few days, while she sorts things out. It’s the least Mel can do.

After all, friends look out for each other, don’t they?

I Invited Her In is a blistering tale of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.

I’m excited to be participating in the excerpt tour for I Invited Her In today! This one sounds so good, it’s definitely on my TBR.

Excerpt:

When I told Abi that I was pregnant, she was, obviously, all wide eyes and concerned. Shocked. Yes, I admit she was bubbling a bit with the drama of it all. That was not her fault—we were only nineteen and I didn’t know how to react appropriately, so how could I expect her to know? We were both a little giddy.

“How far on are you?” she asked.

“I think about two months.” I later discovered at that point I was officially ten weeks pregnant, because of the whole “calculate from the day you started your last period” thing, but that catch-all calculation never really washed with me because I knew the exact date I’d conceived.

Wednesday, the first week of the first term, my second year at university. Stupidly, I’d had unprotected sex right slap bang in the middle of my cycle. That—combined with my youth—meant that one transgression was enough. And even now, a lifetime on, I feel the need to say it wasn’t like I made a habit out of doing that sort of thing. In all my days, I’ve had irresponsible, unprotected sex precisely once.

“Then there’s still time. You could abort,” Abigail had said simply. She did not shy away from the word. We were young. The power, vulnerability and complexity of our sexuality was embryonic, but our feminist rights were forefront of our minds. My body, my choice, my right. A young, independent woman, I didn’t have to be saddled with the lifetime consequences of one night’s mistake.

There had been a girl on my course who’d had a scare in the first year. I’d been verbose about her right to choose and I’d been clear that I thought she should terminate the pregnancy, rather than her education. The girl in question had agreed; so had Abi and pretty much everyone who knew of the matter. She hadn’t been pregnant, though. So. Well, you know, talk is cheap, isn’t it?She’s the chief financial officer of one of the biggest international fast-moving consumer goods corporations now. I saw her pop up on Facebook a couple of years ago. CFO of an FMCG. I Googled the acronyms. She accepted my friend request, which was nice of her, but she rarely posts. Too busy, I suppose. Anyway, I digress.

I remember looking Abi in the eye and saying, “No. No, I can’t abort.”

“You’re going ahead with it?” Her eyes were big and unblinking.

“Yes.” It was the only thing I was certain of. I already loved the baby. It had taken me by surprise but it was a fact.

“And will you put it up for adoption or keep it?”

“I’m keeping my baby.” We both sort of had to suppress a shocked snigger at that, because it was impossible not to think of Madonna. That song came out when I was about five years old but it was iconic enough to be something that was sung in innocence throughout our childhoods. The tune hung, incongruously, in the air. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that the irony hit me: an anthem of my youth basically heralded the end to exactly that.

“OK then,” she said, “you’re keeping your baby.”

Abigail instantly accepted my decision to have my baby and that was a kindness. An unimaginably important and utterly unforgettable kindness. She didn’t argue that there were easier ways, that I had choices, the way many of my other friends subsequently did.

Nor did she suggest that I might be lucky and lose it, the way a guy in my tutorial later darkly muttered. I know he behaved like an arsehole because before I’d got pregnant, he’d once clumsily come on to me one night in the student bar. I was having none of it. I guess he had mixed feelings about me being knocked up, torn between, “Ha, serves the bitch, right” and “So, she does put out. Why not with me?” I tell you, there’s a lot of press about the wrath of a woman scorned, but men can be pretty vengeful, too.