#BookReview – An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena @TransworldBooks @ThomasssHill @sharilapena

Unsettling descriptions, a terrifying plot and an array of differing characters is what makes Lapena a bestselling author.  She fails to disappoint and I always look forward to what she has in store.

51Ey4Qk6KfL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg‘We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.’

Lapena has brought the Agatha Christie style ‘whodunnit’ into the 21st century, adding her own style in the process.  You never quite know where you are going to be taken, nor who to trust, which makes it all the more excitable.

Mitchells Inn is THE perfect location; attractive, idyllic, the ultimate getaway… until of course it all goes wrong.  A horrifying “accident” leads to a killer on the loose and to add to the suspense, plenty of red herrings are thrown in for good measure.

There is an eerie feel to the air as the storm gets worse, and the loss of power means little to no access to the outside world.  Characters begin to get agitated, no doubt down to the inability to get away from the dead body at the bottom of the stairs, and suspicions escalate as a result.

The tale is told from multiple points of view.  They are all at the hotel for their own reasons; some are looking for inspiration, others are escaping their past whilst there are those that are trying to save their future.  I love the way Lapena builds on each character and only gives you slivers of each at a time.  It helps me feel drawn to the storyline rather than being inundated with vital information and clues in one go.

The reveal is powerful as Lapena catches you out.  It never is who you think.  An Unwanted Guest is a book to devour in a day.  Forget the household chores and enjoy a little ‘me-time’.  This is thrilling escapism at its finest.

Thank you to Thomas Hill at Transworld for my copy in return for my opinion, and I always appreciate your support with my blog.

F x

 

#BookReview – Believe Me by J P Delaney @QuercusBooks @Hannah_Robbo

Believe Me has a beginning that pulls you straight into the world of Claire.  A world where you need to have confidence to get by, and luckily for Claire, she is a pretty damn good actress.  She has the ability to become anyone she wants… but is she cunning enough to get herself out of an incredibly sticky situation?

41GCiWhAS5L._AC_US218_‘Claire Wright likes to play other people.

A British drama student, in New York without a green card, Claire takes the only job she can get: working for a firm of divorce lawyers, posing as an easy pick-up in hotel bars to entrap straying husbands.

When one of her targets becomes the subject of a murder investigation, the police ask Claire to use her acting skills to help lure their suspect into a confession. But right from the start, she has doubts about the part she’s being asked to play. Is Patrick Fogler really a killer… Or the only decent husband she’s ever met? And is there more to this set-up than she’s being told?

And that’s when Claire realises she’s playing the deadliest role of her life…’

Delaney writes with mesmerising force and captures tense moments perfectly that leave you lapping up each page vigorously.  This is a book that you will pick up and not want to put back down.  Believe Me has a storyline you will not forget.

Claire has been dealt some bad cards in life which made her all the more likeable to me. She perseveres, she works hard and she just needs that break for it all to be worthwhile.  I was rooting for her, but as Delaney does best, there are twists and turns galore that lead you on a chase of survival of the fittest.

I loved the short chapters, they really grab you and if I hadn’t had things to do, then I could quite have easily finished it in one sitting.  Believe Me is a seductive read that has compassion for issues surrounding mental health.  It is well plotted, gripping and definitely a great addition to any bookshelf.

Thank you to Hannah at Quercus for my copy in return for an honest review.  As always, I truly appreciate it!

F x

#BookReview – Resin by Ane Riel @alisonbarrow @TransworldBooks @AuthorAneRiel #ResinBook

Resin is a book about a young girl.  A book that shows how children are so easily influenced and how us adults can mould their world in a way that they believe whatever we want them to, because all we want to do is protect them.  However, some people show their need to love and protect in different ways to others.

5111nYB7IzL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg‘Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.

Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.

But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.

This way, Liv would be safe.’

A harrowing introduction shows how something so sinister can appear so completely normal for a child, and the different perspectives of this world of theirs is captivating.  We witness Liv’s point of view on life and discover why her father, Jens, is the way he is.  He appears normal to the outside world, however he is anything but.

This tale is not all doom and gloom.  There are snippets of happiness that shine through, with descriptions of a boy and girl falling in love, and dimensions of a mother’s fearsome love for her children.  There are letters that we see from mother to daughter that add depth to a well thought out story.  The warning signs and history hidden by a mother will help a young girl understand the background of her family.

Liv herself is a force to be reckoned with.  A heroine.  A girl that gives me chills with how streetwise and able she is for such a young age.  The isolation and pain she has witnessed has made her who she is, and she is a girl that I just want to wrap up, and show her a different kind of love to what she knows.

Resin is a powerful medium that I urge you to read and experience.  My heart was in my mouth, with the question hanging on my lips throughout; ‘will Jens cocoon come crumbling down around him?’.  Ane writes in a way that helps makes this deeply disturbing read into something kind of beautiful.

Thank you to Alison at Transworld for a copy of this mind-opening read which I devoured in a day.  Resin is available to buy from all good retailers now.

F x

#BlogTour #BookReview #GuestPost – Sky’s The Limit by Janie Millman @ChezCastillon @DomePress

I am so appreciative of being invited to do blog tours, and especially with the case of Sky’s The Limit.  I have been able to submerge myself wholly into climates afar and smell the aromas of differing places with this delicious read; it is one that will take your breath away and is the perfect tonic for a summer’s eve.

51c1Jz7FY9L.jpg

‘Sky is devastated when she finds that her husband is in love with someone else, even more that it is her oldest friend Nick. She has lost the two most important men in her life and can’t ever trust either of them again.

To escape, she goes alone on a dream trip to Marrakesh and meets Gail, on a mission to meet the father of her child, a man she loved but thought did not want her.

In Marrakesh, Sky and Gail both find unexpected joys – and surprises. For Sky these lead to France, to a beautiful chateau and a family whose relationships seem as complicated as her own.’

From the moment I clasped open this book to the second I turned its final page, I cannot help but commend Janie for the way she fabulously pours her soul into each character and helps them creatively be a part of this story.  Sky’s The Limit is about taking chances, reuniting love and finding inner peace.  And the spell-binding locations of Marrakech and South West France really add emphasis to the exoticness and simplicity of this tale.

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#BlogTour #BookReview – Puzzle Girl by Rachael Featherstone @WRITERachael @DomePress

Puzzle Girl is a read that is full of energy, with hilarious and eager characters and plenty of every day moments that all of us will come across at one time or another. Rachael writes with flavour and the perfect amount of attitude that I feel helps develop certain characters well, and push those along that need a little encouragement in taking a hold of their life.

Puzzle Girl bc-1.jpg‘Love is a riddle waiting to be solved…

Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything.

When she finds herself stuck in a doctor’s surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-man behind it.  Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin.

Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?’

There are plenty of things going on in this book, never a dull moment as they say, as Cassie seems to stumble from one problem to the next.  She is an incredibly likeable character and a heroine at the heart of all of us.  She is the classic girl next door that sometimes doesn’t think before she acts; although we have all been there.

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#BlogTour #BookReview – No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister @MichaelJBooks @GillianMAuthor

This is definitely going to the top of my list for favourite reads so far this year.  No Further Questions has a storyline that maintains your attention, characters that draw you in, and an explosive finale.  This is the tale of two sisters and a trial that will either make or break them.

51t+sv5a-KL‘The police say she’s guilty.  She insists she’s innocent.  She’s your sister.  You loved her.  You trusted her.  But they say she killed your child.

Who do you believe?’

This is a smart thriller that has taken a simple idea and turned it into a fascinating courtroom drama.  This book is made for television.  Gillian writes with perfect pace, not too fast, not too slow, and keeps adding emphasis to the importance of each character throughout.  Everyone has their part to play and where they each end up is what makes it so interesting.

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#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…

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