#BlogTour #Book Review – Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K @ClaireAllan

Claire is an established author in her own right in women’s fiction, so for her to take a jump and go to the dark side of literature was a risk, but one that has certainly paid off.  You get a feel for Claire’s ability to write from the very first page, and the storyline is a corker that will keep you guessing until the very end.

518mrkqBS8L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_‘Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.’

The detail in the characterisation is astounding.  You really get to know the characters well, which is an aspect in reading that I love.  This is a well thought-out read, full to the brim with different emotions, from anger to heartache.  The story is told from the point of view of Emily, a lonely victim that witnesses a horrific death of which she was convinced was meant for her.  She takes this unusual chance as an opportunity though, to get the life she has always wanted; to be part of a loving family.  But not everything is as it seems…

Her Name Was Rose is primarily about domestic abuse and social media.  It is a slow-burning and believable read, with plenty of suspense and powerful moments that leave you breathless trying to second-guess everyone’s secrets.  Of which there are plenty.

We see an insight into Rose’s life via small passages that show us what she was like as a person, but more so that we can witness what her marriage was really like with Cian.  So when Emily is shown a diary entry of hers, all the puzzle pieces start to fall into place, or so she thinks.

This is a classic case of not everything is as it seems.  There are hidden layers, sub-plots galore and characters coming across holier than thou, when really they are the opposite. You can tell the research that Claire has undertaken with the subject of domestic abuse, and this is clearly portrayed and handled well within the story.  I have no idea firsthand of what it is like, but this is what I would expect – a girl easily blinded by love when really she is the subject of such terror.

The storyline has a real hook that pulls you in, and the portrayal of the darker side in everyday life makes for entertaining reading.  There is a lot you are left to think about with the immense plotting, but I am certainly hoping to see more of one or two of the characters in the future.

I would like to thank Sabah at Avon for inviting me onto the Blog Tour for Her Name Was Rose, and the above is entirely my honest opinion of the story.  It is out now, so why not check it out, along with some of the others on the tour?

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#BlogTour #BookReview – An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim @QuercusBooks @Anabooks @Thea_Lim #OceanofMinutes

This book is as mesmerising as its front cover.  It is beautifully written.  A masterpiece.  And deserves its place in the literary world.

51dfwKm47OL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_‘Polly and Frank are young and in love, a lifetime together before them. But one evening in 1980, as the Texas sun sets over their shoulders, the world is suddenly pulled apart by a deadly virus. Within months, Frank is dying. Polly can save him, but only if she agrees to a radical plan: to time travel to 1993 for a corporation who can fund his life-saving treatment. She can only go forward, she cannot go back. And she must leave everything she loves behind, including Frank.

All they have is the promise of a future together: they will find each other again in twelve years’ time, in Galveston, Texas, where the sea begins.

But when something goes wrong and Polly arrives late, Frank is nowhere to be found. Completely alone, Polly must navigate a terrifying new world to find him, and to discover if their love has endured.’

Thea Lim has taken the simple idea of love’s young dream and split them apart.  She then adds an element of science; time travel.  Polly would do anything to keep her and Frank’s love strong, and if that means travelling forward 12 years to save him from the flu pandemic, then that is what she will do.  She thought it would be so simple.  So easy.  But the path of true love doesn’t always go as smoothly as we would like.

Told from the point of view of Polly, this is a love story that will have your heart clambering onto the pages, and leave your mind racing with the desperation of a reunion.  You can feel the passion that has been poured into the pages, the research that has been undertaken and the scenes that all merge together, creating a captivating tale that leaves you falling in love with the idea of Polly and Frank.

We see very little of Frank and Polly together, which is why the flashbacks add a real emphasis to the story and helps us understand their love and who they are as people.  We witness how they got together, the moment Frank realises he must marry this girl, and when Frank becomes unwell.  The two passages of time complement each other beautifully and the ending was perfectly befitting.  I was unsure throughout as to how Thea was going to untangle the web and bring it together, but she did.

An Ocean of Minutes is imagination at its finest and I would truly urge you to read it.  This book just cannot be defined as sci-fi, dystopian, or even a love story.  This is something unique and of great beauty that draws you into the centre of its heart.

Thank you so much to Ana Mclaughlin at Quercus for inviting me onto the Blog Tour and for sending me such an alluring finished copy.  It is greatly appreciated.

I am the final stop on the tour, but why not check out some of the others?

F x

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#BlogTour #BookReview – How Far We Fall by Jane Shemilt @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 @Janeshemilt #HowFarWeFall

How Far We Fall is an incredibly engrossing read.  The characters are spot on; an all consuming, crazy bunch, all of whom work well within the storyline, each playing their part perfectly in the downfall.

51mgx4Quz0L._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_The perfect couple

Meeting Albie gave Beth a fresh start – a chance to leave her past behind. Now she has her new husband; an ambitious, talented young neurosurgeon.

The perfect marriage

Their marriage gives Beth the safe haven she’s always wanted – with just one catch. Albie has no idea of the secrets she’s keeping. He doesn’t know that years ago, Beth had an affair with Ted, the boss helping Albie’s star ascend. Nor that the affair’s devastating ending will have consequences for their own future.

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#BlogTour #BookReview – Sleeper 13 by Rob Sinclair @orionbooks @PoppyStimpson @RSinclairAuthor

Today’s blog tour spot for Sleeper 13 lands with me, and trust me when I say that this is a read to invest some quality time in.  It is a book brimming with adventure, incredibly emotionally testing, and an edge of your seat, one breath, read.

51skeL84C7L._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_‘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.’

We follow Rachel Cox, a pretty kick-ass character, in her path to foil a planned terror attack.  She has very little support from her work colleagues, and rather than do what they say, she plans on ‘going it alone’, using her expertise to trust her instincts and maximising her training to get to the core of what is going on.

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#BlogTour #BookReview – The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson @AvonBooksUK @FionaGibson @Sabah_K

I am super chuffed to be part of the Blog Tour for the latest read by Fiona Gibson.  I find that her stories tend to hit home a little bit, not in a depressing way, but more of a reassess and prioritise your life, sort of way.  In The Mum Who’d Had Enough, Fiona takes a rather classic case of a seemingly happy family but throws a bit of a spanner in the works with a wife who is fed up of being ‘undervalued’ and leaves home.

51khk+sPbvL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_‘After sixteen years of marriage, Nate and Sinead Turner have a nice life. They like their jobs, they like their house and they love their son Flynn. Yes, it’s a very nice life.

Or, at least Nate thinks so. Until, one morning, he wakes to find Sinead gone and a note lying on the kitchen table listing all the things he does wrong or doesn’t do at all.

Nate needs to show Sinead he can be a better husband – fast. But as he works through Sinead’s list, his life changes in unexpected ways. And he starts to wonder whether he wants them to go back to normal after all. Could there be more to life than nice?’

Although each chapter is told from a character’s point of view, either being Nate, Sinead, Tanzie or Flynn, we in fact spend most of our time as the reader following Nate.  And I have got to say that my heart was with him one hundred percent.  Whilst I can understand the logic and reasons behind Sinead walking out, it sounds like she had had a few too many to drink and everything just completely blew out of proportion.  And in my opinion, she was too afraid to admit she was wrong.

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#BookReview – One Small Thing by Erin Watt @HQStories #onesmallthing

When I first requested this for review, I had no idea that it was a Young Adult novel, but when it arrived, this by no means put me off.  In fact, the way it is written is rather refreshing as, although the underlying storyline is an upsetting one, it is by no means sinister or disturbing – it is, what it is, if you get me.

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‘Their secret could tear everything apart…

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died.  Trapped at home by her over-bearing parents Beth needs to get out.  So when she sneaks out to a party and meets the boy everyone’s been talking about she’s shocked by their instant connection, and the part he played in her sister’s death.

A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings become.

Beth has a choice to make – follow the rules, or risk ruining what she cares about most.’

I really enjoyed Beth as a character, although she was a little over-dramatic and infuriating at times.  But, I guess, what teenager isn’t?  All Beth wants is a normal life to get on and study, party when she wants, and be friends with who she pleases.  Her parents put a stop to all of that though, when they find out that Beth has been doing things behind their backs, leading them to not trusting her.  I can definitely see where her parents are coming from, they are just scared of losing her the way they lost Beth’s sister.

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#BlogTour #BookExtract – Stalker by Lisa Stone @AvonBooksUK

blog tour banner-1.png On my Blog today I have a little snippet of the latest book by Lisa Stone (aka Cathy Glass) entitled Stalker.  This is a book that promises to be gripping and full of suspense.  So, if you like a thriller as much as I do, then get adding this to your TBR just like I am.

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‘Paul stifled a smile.

In the two months he’d been working for Derek, Paul had learnt that the company was nowhere near the size his boss liked to pretend – indeed as far as he was aware there was just the two of them. He also knew that as well as being obsessed with good manners and politeness, Derek kept himself to himself, never went out socially and appeared to have no mates. He seemed to live for his work, and was meticulously clean and tidy to ridiculous lengths. Some days Paul felt he’d done nothing but clear up. Derek also liked to work in silence, only breaking it to explain something about the job, or to deliver a lecture. Lectures included the youth of today, lack of respect, the lowlife scum who stole from decent folk, and noise pollution – the latter delivered after Paul had naïvely asked if they could have the radio on as they worked.

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