Thursday, 23 May 2013
The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway (Michael Joseph, 23rd May 2013) 1812: On a lonely battlefield in Spain, twenty-two year old Lord Nicholas Falcott is about to die... run through by a French Dragoon. But, the next moment, he inexplicably jumps forward in time, nearly two hundred years- very much alive. Taken under the wing of a mysterious organisation, The Guild, he receives everything he could ever need under the following conditions: He can't go back. He can't go home. He must tell no one. Resigned to his fate, Nicholas rebuilds his life in the twenty-first century, until ten years later, when an exquisite wax sealed envelope brings a summons from The Guild. It seems for a select few the rules can be broken and Nicholas is forced to return to and confront his nineteenth century past...
Back in 1815, Julia Percy's life has fallen apart. Her enigmatic grandfather, the Earl of Darchester, has died and left her with a closely guarded secret, one she is only now discovering- the manipulation of time.
Hiding dark secrets and facing danger from unknown enemies, Julia and Nicholas are drawn to each other, as together they start to realise how little Julia knew about her beloved grandfather and to understand his ominous last words... 'Pretend.'
I think this book sounds fascinating and I am completely in love with the front cover!
Things We Never Say by Sheila O'Flanagan (Headline Review, 20th June 2013) Abbey Anderson is the last person to go looking for change. Yes, it's tough that she barley sees her mother these days- but in San Francisco she has great friends, a steady relationship and a job she enjoys. When Abbey is contacted by Irish lawyer Ryan Gilligan she learns in an instant everything she believed about her roots is a lie. She must travel to Dublin to find out more- but she's scarcely off the plane when she's plunged into a new crisis. One that will change everything not just for Abbey but for the family in Ireland who had no idea that she even existed.
Now Abbey has to make a choice that will affect everything she knows. How can she be sure she makes the right one? And can life ever be quite the same again?
I have read and enjoyed Sheila O'Flanagan's books in the past, I love stories about family secrets so this should be a good read!
In St Denis, Bruno, chef de police has uncovered a cache of old bank notes that may have links to Neuvic. He's also dealing with a wave of local burglaries, one of which has led to murder.
Meanwhile, the Mayor introduces Bruno to Jacqueline, a historian from the Sorbonne who's in town to research the missing Neuvic money from a different- and deadly- angle.
When Jacqueline's home is subsequently burgled it becomes clear that Jacqueline's work is political dynamite.
I've not read any books by Martin Walker, Bruno sounds like an interesting character and having it set in France will make a refreshing change.
Wicked Ambition by Victoria Fox ( Mira, 6th June 2013) Some will do anything for fame. Others will do anything to bring the famous down. Robin might come across as feisty and full of attitude, but as the tale progresses the reader soon learns her tough exterior conceals a damaged heart, while American megastar Turquoise, has a shocking secret that belies a murderous past. And unbeknown to Californian Kristin, her boy-band beau is harboring a dark story that could destroy both their careers. As Wicked Ambition follows the lives of these three ambitious starlets, it soon becomes clear that their rise to the top will be anything but plain sailing.
As the creme de la creme of bonkbuster books and one of the most hotly anticipated authors of 2013, Wicked Ambition is Victoria Fox's third novel and set to be her steamiest yet. Based between London and LA, Wicked Ambition follows the lives of Robin, Turquoise and Kristin whose Hollywood white smiles and angelic good looks hide murky pasts and scandalous secrets a-plenty.
This sounds like a very entertaining read, makes me want to book a holiday so I can read it on the beach!
This one sounds intriguing, secrets, ghosts and a big house!
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Katie and Mia couldn't be more different. They might share the fullness of their lips, and the arch of an eyebrow but that's about where the similarities end. Katie, the eldest, is the sensible one, with flourishing career and a stable, smart and loving fiance. Mia on the other hand is flyaway, with no ties and no responsibilities, no one to think about except herself.Katie had hoped the death of their mother would bring the two of them closer together and bridge the differences that had become more apparent as they got older. Persuading Mia to move to London with her, Katie tries to shoehorn Mia into her life, find her a job she can hold for more than two weeks and maybe even someone to settle down with.Wow, The Sea Sisters is a stunning debut by Lucy Clarke. I was completely absorbed by the story and I felt as though I knew the characters so well by the end of the book.
Mia hates London. She misses the freedom of their home in Cornwall, the endless blue sea meeting somewhere in the middle. As their relationship looks set to reach breaking point Mia decides to go travelling. Katie mainly feels relief.
Then, one devastating night, Katie's told the news that Mia is dead- and it was suicide. When Mia's things arrive back from the other side of the world, Katie clings to the travel journal she finds in Mia's backpack. Although they've barely spoken since Mia left, Katie refuses to believe that she would take her own life. Heartbroken that they never made their peace, Katie decides to leave London, and using the journal as a guide, follows in Mia's footsteps to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding her sister's death.
The Sea Sisters is told in alternating narratives by Katie and Mia so we often get both sisters views on the same situations which is a fantastic way of exploring their complex relationship.
Lucy Clarke examines the bond and relationship between sisters. I have an older sister myself so I very much identified with the feelings of Mia and Katie. Underlying everything is their love for each other but there are so many other emotions involved, some that they aren't even aware of themselves.
Lucy Clarke creates great suspense in this book, the reader is left wondering right until the very end as to whether Mia took her own life. We find out about events at the same time as Katie, just as Katie can't stop reading Mia's journal; we can't stop reading this book.
The Sea Sisters is an excellent debut. Lucy Clarke's writing is deep, thoughtful and moving; I highly recommend this book.
Many thanks to Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this book to review, it is out now.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
When you've got the dream boyfriend everything should be perfect, right?
So why isn't it? Wonders Sophie May.
When Sophie and Billy met and fell in love, she thought she was living in a fairytale. After all, Billy is an actor, a teen heart-throb adored by girls around the world- and he loves Sophie. She's the only girl for him.
But being on Billy's arm comes at a price. Their relationship has thrown Sophie into the spotlight after years of shying away from all the attention.
Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? Most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be found out and shared with the nation?
Billy and Me is the brilliant debut novel from Giovanna Fletcher. Sophie is working in a little tea shop in her small village of Rosefont Hill when she meets the gorgeous and seriously famous Billy Buskin. They fall in love and Sophie is thrust into Billy's very public life; will she be able to handle the constant attention and is she prepared to put her life on hold in order to support Billy's flourishing career?
The characters of Billy and Sophie are really lovely. At the beginning of the book I found Sophie a little frustrating but as I found out about her past, I understood her actions and attitude a lot more. Sophie has effectively been hiding since her school days, being thrust into the spotlight would be huge for anyone but Sophie finds it particularly difficult seen as she normally does everything she can to go unnoticed.
My favourite character in the book was Molly, she is the owner of Tea-on-the-Hill and Sophie's boss. More importantly though, she is Sophie's best friend. The scenes between Molly and Sophie were particularly touching and they had me in tears at the end of the book.
Giovanna Fletcher is married to Tom from McFly so she obviously has first hand experience of being married to someone famous. Giovanna clearly brings her own experiences to this book but I think she shows that you can still shine in your own right if you are with someone famous. Sophie has to discover who she is and what she wants to achieve just as Giovanna has shown by writing this wonderful book.
As I said, I was in tears by the end of this book and not many have that effect on me. I felt as though Billy and Me was a showcase of Giovanna's writing; she shows how she can be witty, warm, sexy and poignant, all whilst holding the reader's attention. I really hope that we can look forward to more books from this author and I highly recommend Billy and Me.
For the blog tour, the very lovely Giovanna Fletcher very kindly talked about where she got the idea for Billy and Me:
Thanks for joining me on the second day of the Billy and Me blog, head over to Chloe's Chick Lit Reviews tomorrow!
Thursday, 9 May 2013
Claire and Ben are the perfect couple. But behind the glossy facade, they've been desperately trying- and failing- to have a baby for years. Now, the stress and feelings of loss are taking their toll on their marriage. Claire's ready to give up hope and get on with her life, but Ben is not. And then Ben's best friend, Romily, offers to conceive via artificial insemination and carry the baby for them.Wow, this book was a real emotional roller-coaster I have read and enjoyed Julie Cohen's books in the past but Dear Thing was on a different level.
Romily acts in good faith, believing it will be easy to be a surrogate. She's already a single mother, and has no desire for any more children. Except that being pregnant with Ben's child stirs up all sorts of emotions in her, including one she's kept hidden for a very long time: Ben's the only man she's ever loved.
Two mothers and one baby who belongs to both of them, which only one of them can keep.
Claire and Ben have been trying for a baby for a long time; when their latest round of IVF fails, Claire is ready to give up. Ben, however, is clinging on to hope that they will be able to have a child. When his best friend, Romily offers to be a surrogate, Ben thinks it will be the answer to all of his and Claire's problems. Romily already has Posie; she's a single mum and has no desire to have another child. She would do anything for Ben but it may have been better to tell him she loves him before offering to carry his and Claire's chid.
Julie Cohen packs so many emotions into this book, Claire and Ben have been through so much, they have been so focused on having a baby that they may have lost sight of each other. Meanwhile, Romily is still getting used to being Posie's mum but maybe she's more of a natural mother than she thought. Will she really be able to hand over this baby after 9 months?
Dear Thing was a really interesting read, I thought it was particularly good as to how Julie Cohen approached the issue of parenthood. Ben, Claire and Romily all have different views on what makes a good parent and at the end of the day they are all right as the most important thing is
that the child is loved and wanted.
Dear Thing is a highly emotive read. The characters were realistic and the relationships between them made the story very intensive. This book is not just about surrogacy but love, friendship and parenthood. Dear Thing will have you gripped from the very beginning and leave you with a lot to think about by the end.
Many thanks to Transworld for sending me a copy of the book to review, Dear Thing is out now.
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
UPDATE: Both books have now been requested but check back in a few weeks for another reviewing opportunity!
I love this blog and I love reading but there just aren't enough hours in the day. I am so incredibly lucky to be sent books to review but with a one year old, a job, a stressed husband and a life, I don't always get chance to review them all. This is where you lovely lot come in! I am going to give away two books a month in return of a review. Comments will be disabled on this post so it will be whoever emails me first saying which book you would like to read. Here's the 'rules':
1. If you want to review one of the books then please email me on email@example.com and tell me which book you would prefer. If you have a blog then please include a link to it in the email, if you don't have a blog then you can still review.
2. Please try and review the book within 3 weeks of receiving it.
3. I certainly don't expect to like every book that I read but all I ask is that you provide an honest, fair and respectful review.
4. Send me your review and I will post it on Dot Scribbles and Twitter. If you have your own blog then we can agree a date for it to go on at the same time.
5. This is only open to UK residents.
Obviously I can't make you agree to these rules but hopefully people won't ask for a book and then do a runner! You do not have to write your own blog in order to review on here but if you do have a blog then we can feature the review at the same time and include a link to your site.
So here's the first two books that you can choose from:
Perfect Strangers by Tasmina Perry (Headline Review- 23rd May) How well do you know the man you love? When Sophie Ellis agrees to house-sit at a Knightsbridge townhouse, it's as if she's walked into a dream. At a glittering party she is swept off her feet by American businessman Nick Cooper and the two begin a passionate affair. But when Nick is found dead in his hotel suite and Sophie becomes the prime suspect, she realises her lover was not all he seemed. In order to clear her name, she must trust a mysterious stranger and travel with him across the globe in search of answers. The truth will change her life completely...
Melting the Snow on Hester Street by Daisy Waugh (Harper Collins_ 4th April) October 1929: As America helterskelters through the last days before t
he great crash, the cream of Hollywood parties heedlessly on. Beneath the sophistication and elegance, Hollywood society couple Max and Eleanor Beecham are on the brink of divorce, their finances teetering on a knife's edge after a series of failed films. As the stock market tumbles it seems they have nowhere to turn but to the arms of their waiting lovers. Hope is delivered in an invitation to one of the legendary weekend parties at Hearst Castle, where the prohibition champagne will be flowing and the room filled with every Hollywood big-shot around. They cannot resist one last chance of making it. Scandalous and absurdly glamorous, the Hearst party is the epitome of Golden era decadence, but for Max and Eleanor the time has come to make a decision that will change their future. Will they sacrifice everything for fame and fortune or plunge into their hidden past and grasp one last chance to love each other again?
Friday, 3 May 2013
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?I absolutely adored Jennifer E. Smith's last book The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight so I have really looked forward to reading her latest book This Is What Happy Looks Like. I have to say that Jennifer E. Smith's books have the best titles and I loved the yellow cover for this one.
It's June- seventeen-year-old Ellie O'Neill's least favourite time of the year. Her tiny hometown is invaded by tourists, and this year there's the added inconvenience of a film crew. Even the arrival of Hollywood heart-throb Graham Larkin can't lift her mood.
But there is something making Ellie very happy. Ever since an email was accidentally sent to her a few months ago, she's been corresponding with a mysterious stranger, the two of them sharing their hopes and fears. Their developing relationship is not without its secrets though- there's the truth about Ellie's past...and her pen pal's real identity. When they finally meet in person, things are destines to get much more complicated. Can two people, worlds apart but brought together by chance, make it against all odds?
I can't really review this book without including spoilers but I think it is pretty obvious from the synopsis as to what will happen.
Ellie O'Neill receives an email from GDL824@yahoo.com, whoever sent it got the address wrong as it was meant for a different recipient. However they are soon emailing back and forth and this is what we have at the beginning of the book. This was one of my favourite parts, it's so easy to be honest and open when talking to a stranger, especially via email, there's no pressure or preconceptions.
Ellie begins to look forward to these emails every day, she can't believe how close she feels to someone she has never met. This all changes when Ellie realises that the stranger she has been emailing is actually the movie star Graham Larkin. He is no longer a pen-pal but a real life person in her small town where he is filming his latest movie. After the initial shock Ellie wants to get to know Graham but she has secrets in her past and being photographed with Graham could ruin everything. Is Ellie going to give up a chance of happiness in order to keep her past hidden?
Jennifer E. Smith has written another great book. I love the dialogue she creates between the characters, Ellie and Graham's relationship is very realistic and their interactions show their deep affection for each other.
This Is What Happy Looks Like is such a good idea, it's a classic love story with a twist. What would you do if you fell in love with a huge celebrity? Would you be happy to become part of their public and exposed life? I really enjoyed Graham's perspective in the book,
especially regarding his relationship with his parents. Outwardly, Graham looks as though he has it all but he begins to questions the sacrifices he has made for his career.
This Is What Happy Looks Like is a great read, I think it will appeal to a Young Adult audience and also cross over to older readers. I think Jennifer E. Smith offers something new to this genre, it will be very exciting to see what she does next.
Many thanks to Sam at Headline for sending me a copy, it is available now!
Sunday, 28 April 2013
The Maude is outside. It wants to come in.
It wants to sit on your chest.
The mentally ill patients in Beechway High Secure Unit are highly suggestible. A hallucination can spread like a virus. When unexplained power cuts lead to a series of horrifying incidents, fear spreads from the inmates to the staff. Amidst the growing hysteria, AJ, a senior psychiatric nurse, is desperate to protect his charges.
Detective Inspector Jack Caffery is looking for the corpse of a missing woman. He knows all too well how it feels to fail to find a loved one's body. When AJ seeks Caffery's help in investigating the trouble at Beechway, each man must face a butter truth in his own life. Before staring pure evil in the eye.
Jack is trying to find the corpse of a missing person, her family think she may still be alive but Jack knows for certain that she's dead; he just needs the body to prove it. It is during this case that Jack gets a call from AJ, he is a senior psychiatric nurse at the Beechway High Secure Unit. AJ is used to dealing with extreme situations and complex characters but a number of incidents at the unit have led him to ask questions. There have been a series of power cuts and during these some patients have mutilated themselves or even died. They talk of a featureless figure called The Maude, she is apparently the ghost of the hospital's Victorian matron. She is a dwarf in a white dress who sits on their chests and makes then inflict terrible injuries on themselves. Whilst trying to calm the situation down, AJ begins to wonder whether the patients are really hallucinating or does The Maude really exist, when do you start taking the crazy people seriously?
Poppet had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up from the very beginning. Mo Hayder is a master of dropping in macabre and sinister details into her story which play on your mind, she is continually ramping up the tension. Hayder has obviously done her research, her presentation of Beechway and it's patients seems highly realistic. The patients' description of The Maude are chilling and I found myself constantly questioning whether they have any foundation or are they just the ramblings of the mentally ill?
I loved the plot twists towards the end of the book, Mo Hayder is certainly not predictable. I didn't see what was coming at all but when I thought back, I could see all of the clues that Mo Hayder had scattered the story with.
Poppet is a terrifying, gripping read which I highly would recommend, Mo Hayder has reminded me how much I enjoy reading this genre.
Many thanks to the lovely Alison Barrow for sending me a copy of the book, Poppet is available now.