#BookReview The Millionaire’s Wife by Shalini Bolland #Weekendbloghop #thriller

​Anna is happily married to Will, a wealthy restaurateur, but on his thirtieth birthday she receives a chilling text message that brings a past she thought she had left behind tumbling into the present. As we read about how Anna deals to this new threat to her home and security, we find out what happened to Anna when she was fifteen and embarked on her first serious relationship. It seems her past is not done with her yet. 

I became totally engrossed in this suspense thriller from the outset as Anna is a strong narrator and protagonist, that is not to say she isn’t flawed and there were times her calm, intelligent sensibilIty seemed at odds with her passive and somewhat deceptive actions. All the characters in this unpredictable thriller raised my hackles, making this quite a thrilling read. 

The last few chapters really amped up my adrenaline and by the end I was rattled enough to have the story in my head for hours. This is my second book from this author and I absolutely loved it. Huge recommendation from me. 

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#BookReview Perception and Illusion by Catherine Kullmann #historicalfiction #RBRT

I chose this book to read from Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team book list.

An alluring story of a young girl, Lallie, who lost her mother at birth and is kept closeted by her father and stepmother. However, when her father hatches a plan to wed her to a man she dislikes to keep control of her fortune, Lallie plans her escape and finds herself ultimately in a more agreeable match, but can she navigate the world of the gentry and the complexities of her spouse? 

I absolutely loved this historical romance as the characters really came to life and unlike many stories the plot went beyond the happy ever after ending as the author showed, not only her connection with history, but her understanding of people and their actions. 

I found this difficult to put down and impossible to fault. A thoroughly satisfying read. 

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#BookReview The Substitute (The Wedding Pact #1) by Denise Grover Swank #Tuesdaybookblog #Romance

​Megan broke up with her fiance, Jay, six weeks ago, but couldn’t face telling her overbearing mother who has planned the wedding. Now she’s heading back home to Kansas City for her wedding and the last possible moment to break the bad news to her family. However, one thing leads to another and she finds the man sat next to her becomes a substitute for her fiance giving her an opportunity to end the wedding on her terms, what could possibly go wrong? 

This romcom caper was amusing and not too cringeworthy to read with an eccentric grandmother and a cast of interesting characters thrown in. Megan wasn’t the typical damsel in distress even though she has serious boundary issues with her mother. Josh, the tall handsome stranger she meets on the plane was probably the least interesting character in the pack and his often mentioned patootie didn’t really make up for it. 

This is the first book in a series that is tied together by three female friends who have had their fortune told and are warned to expect three unpredictable wedding upheavals. I’m not sold completely on the series but this was a good, fun and lighthearted read that would be ideal for a bit of escapism. 

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Advance #BookReview A Justified Bitch by H G McKinnis #Tuesdaybookblog #thriller #Netgalley

​When her neighbour, Bebe, is murdered Helen finds herself and her eccentric lifestyle under scrutiny. can hear and see Bobby her deceased husband, refuses to bathe and groom herself and lives with a number of cats in squalor. After being taken into custody by the police her sister, Pat turns up and although they have been estranged for years feels a sense of responsibility and guilt for not being around. With help from the detective on the case can Bebe’s killer be caught before becomes a target?

Easy to read and get into I found this crime thriller interesting as it gave an account of what it’s like to be a native of Las Vegas. Helen’s eccentricities were a quirky hook in this story and the complexities in her family add another dimension to the thriller. This is quite an even paced read and the characters really grew on me. 

The supernatural question of whether Bobby is really seen by Helen makes me want to read more in this series. 

This book will be available to buy from 8th August 2017.

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#BookReview The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances #thriller #Netgalley

Laura loves her son, Daniel, and is excited to have him nearby again as he finishes University and moves back to London to start his new job soon. However, she soon realised she won’t have him to herself when he meets and becomes smitten by the beautiful Cherry. Cherry has always wanted to leave her humble beginnings behind and sees Daniel as a way out of what she considers everyday drudgery. 

As Cherry and Laura face off, an avalanche of manipulation ensues driving Laura further from the ones she loves, but how far will Cherry go to get what she wants? 

I loved the chess moves played by Cherry and Laura to monopolise Daniel and I think the politics between them kept me turning the pages. Neither character was particularly likeable but Laura had my sympathy throughout this read. 

However, what I liked less whilst reading this was a sense of overdramatic events and the only character I really was interested in reading about was Cherry’s mum and I wished there was more of her. 

As a psychological thriller this didn’t breach any new barriers but it’s a perfect beach read and is entertaining enough to be recommended. 

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#BookReview Everything But The Truth by Gillian McAllister #wwwblogs #amreading #Netgalley

​Rachel after a whirlwind romance with Jack is pregnant with his baby. The past year has been hard for Rachel after a long-term relationship break-up, her mother’s illness and death and a mysterious event in her medical career. Rachel no longer works as a doctor, but a secretary at a legal firm and is still very much processing everything that has happened to her. One night she sees the notification of an e-mail on Jack’s iPad and becomes suspicious about what he seems to be hiding about himself. Realising she has not met any of his friends, Rachel tries to dig deeper into his life but is this about her paranoia or is he really hiding something?

As much as parts of this book’s did exasperate me, I couldn’t stop reading it as what could have happened that could be so awful that an otherwise affable Jack has gone to such great lengths to hide? As it is narrated from Rachel’s point of view you, as a reader, are at the mercy of her judgment and to complicate matters Rachel is far from transparent herself, with issues relating to her personal and professional life, which become clearer later on in the book. 

It would be easy to dismiss Rachel as whiney or paranoid but the reasons behind her insecurity and her beating herself up are caused by significant issues she has dealt with in a short period of time. Her pregnancy puts the pressure on her relationship with Jack to become all it can be before the baby arrives. 

I loved the resulting gray areas that presented in the issues both Rachel and Jack faced and the moral of this story, for me, questioned the vilification of people for choices they made with good intentions, whether it’s right to condemn these characters entirely based on events of their past and their need to be accepted for who they are without judgment. Ultimately the book gave me a lot to think about and for that reason I highly recommend it. 

The parts that irritated me were dwarfed by how much I enjoyed reading the moral dilemmas faced by Rachel and Jack and apart from saying the book was verging on being a bit too preachy about the medical profession, obviously written by someone who quite rightly has a great respect and admiration for someone close to them who is a doctor, I found Rachel’s past role as a new paediatric registrar odd. Her relationship with her consultant was odd.

Her singling out one patient as a paediatric registrar with most likely not a huge fraction of the knowledge or experience of paediatric oncology that the paediatric oncology consultant above her has (let alone other more experienced registrars in the department and all the support staff oncology units have thankfully) and going against departmental and GMC guidelines undermined the conscientious part of Rachel’s character that would have known that the diagnosis of cancer and the subsequent poor prognosis it may have can lead to catastrophic outcomes. I know this is fiction but to be realistic enough for me, this would have been, in my humble opinion, on the mind of an ethical doctor like Rachel in the way she is written: thorough and obsessive. As much as I liked this book the odd medicine did detract some of the enjoyment for me, but probably wouldn’t bother less obsessive medics and non-medics. 

Overall one I definitely recommend. 

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#BookReview Asking For It by Louise O’Neill #contemporaryfiction #amreading

​Set in a small Irish village this gripping novel does not pull any punches as eighteen year old Emma, a queen bee in her social circle, goes to a party one night that changes her life forever. The effect of alcohol, drugs and resulting social media in a present day where equanimity among the sexes still remains a theoretical idea, sees Emma weather her own prejudices as well as those of the people around her.

What made this hard-hitting read memorable for me was that Emma was not a sanitised character but one that was imperfect and authentic. This made hard reading in many ways as we navigated the brutal world of teens and the aftermath of the party that changes everything for Emma and her family.

It is hard to read a work of fiction like this without feeling outraged and horrified but it also saddens me that with great breakthroughs in this day and age we have still quite a way to go to address women’s rights around the world. Not an easy read but o e with many triggers as this tackles the issue of rape and consent, but in my opinion a must read. 

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#Bookreview The Traveling Bag and Other Ghostly Stories by Susan Hill #horror #weekendbloghop #amreading

Susan Hill undoubtedly knows how to write stories with a sinister undertone. The Traveling Bag and Other Ghostly Stories are no exception, however I found myself so engrossed in each story that I forgot I was reading an anthology as I sank into each dark tale. 

I’m not a huge fan of anthologies as I want a longer and more meaningful relationship with stories I read but I have to say I didn’t feel like I was reading an anthology, as each story had depth and left my imagination haunted in different ways. 

I’m glad I put aside the prejudices I have to pick up this book as I really did love it and recommend this read to horror readers everywhere. 

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#BookReview The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel #thriller #Fridayreads

​Lane went to live with her grandparents after her mother’s death but left their care whilst she was still a teenager, now she returns after getting a call that her cousin, Allegra, is missing. Lane tries to piece together what happened to Allegra in the dysfunction that is her family.

Not an easy read due to the themes of incest and grooming in this hard-hitting novel about a fundamentally flawed family. However, the mystery of what happened to Allegra kept me turning the pages and I read this book in one sitting. As bleak as the story was it did end on a note of hope and the complex characters made it a worthwhile read.

A definite recommendation from me.

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#BookReview The Escape by C.L. Taylor #thriller #Tuesdaybookblog #Netgalley

​Jo is threatened by a woman outside her place of work over something to do with her husband’s investigative journalist job. However, he doesn’t believe her and uses her longstanding anxiety and agoraphobia against her. Soon the threat against Jo and her daughter escalates and Jo must take drastic action to keep them both safe.

A taut, fast paced mystery psychological thriller, which not only presents us with Jo’s current day issues but also finds her heading on a collision course with secrets hurried in her childhood. Not knowing who she can trust anymore Jo flees and eventually realises the threat isn’t coming from where she thought.

A gripping page turner from a seasoned psychological thriller writer.

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