Friday, 26 August 2016

***Blog Tour & Review** The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts


**Blog Tour Stop**



I'm really thrilled to be part of this blog tour for this brilliant book.  It was a real pleasure to read.  For my stop of the tour I have a review.

Released: 25th August 2016
Publisher: Piatkus
Format: Digital ARC
Source: From Netgalley

 
Many thanks to the Publisher & Netgalley for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:
 From the multi-award-winning author of The Apothecary's Daughter, The House in Quill Court is a gorgeously evocative Regency novel bursting with historical flavour and characters you won't forget. If you love Philippa Gregory and Joanne Harris, you will adore Charlotte Betts.


1813. Venetia Lovell lives by the sea in Kent with her pretty, frivolous mother and idle younger brother. Venetia's father, Theo, is an interior decorator to the rich and frequently travels away from home, leaving his sensible and artistic daughter to look after the family. Venetia designs paper hangings and she and her father often daydream about having an imaginary shop where they would display the highest quality furniture, fabrics and art to his clients.

When a handsome but antagonistic stranger, Jack Chamberlaine, arrives at the Lovell's cottage just before Christmas bringing terrible news, Venetia's world is turned upside-down and the family have no option but to move to London, to the House in Quill Court and begin a new life. Here, Venetia's courage and creativity are tested to breaking point, and she discovers a love far greater than she could have ever imagined . . .



My Review:

This book started off so well, it had me gripped from the word go.  The colourful scenery and the contrast in the characters was just breathtaking.

 I know very little about the regency era, but there is certainly a contrast between the classes.  The story follows several characters.  The two main ones were Venetia, who is a strong female lead.  Her life is tough, even in the decadent and rich surrounds.  I had a lot of respect for how this character when faced with enormous challenges, held her own.  It is very difficult for women of this age to stand up and be counted.  Venetia was a true, courageous and strong lady.

Then the other character which was featured heavily in this book was Kitty.  Kitty is a servant who is thrust out of the sleepy Kent village into the hustle and bustle of London.  With Kitty we get to experience the more darker and squalid side to London.  Showing that dangerous and murky side that the privileged Venetia doesn't get to experience.

I'm not hugely into interior design and could have possibly seen this as a hindrance to me enjoying the book, but the way the rich detail and decadence is woven into the story is really interesting.  I could almost see and touch the fabrics.

My only little criticism is that there was one plot twist which I had already guessed.  There was no oh my moment, which I really enjoy in a book.

I enjoyed the story and characters, the ending was a fast and exciting ride.

Yes I can whole heartily recommend this book and will definitely be looking out for more books by this author.  I do enjoy a good romantic, historical book. 

 Overall: Romance and history entwined in a fantastic book.

 My Thoughts on the Cover:  It's so lovely, the detail and that dress!  Just beautiful, I would be drawn to this cover.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

***Review*** Cherub: The Recruit by Robert Muchamore



Released: April 2014
Publisher: Hachette Children's Books
Format: Digital ARC
Series: Yes book #1 in the Cherub series
Source: From Netgalley
Find at:  Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones
Author Website: Robert Muchamore

Many thanks to the Publisher & Netgalley for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:

Number 1 bestselling series, CHERUB celebrates its 10th Anniversary with brand new covers!

Now is your chance to start right back at the beginning with The Recruit.

A terrorist doesn't let strangers in her flat because they might be undercover police or intelligence agents, but her children bring their mates home and they run all over the place. The terrorist doesn't know that one of these kids has bugged every room in her house, made copies of all her computer files and stolen her address book. The kid works for CHERUB.

CHERUB agents are aged between ten and seventeen. They live in the real world, slipping under adult radar and getting information that sends criminals and terrorists to jail.

For official purposes, these children do not exist.

The Recruit has also been selected for World Book Night 2014


 My Review:

I was very lucky to meet Robert Muchamore at a blogger event.  So was really keen to read his world renown series Cherub.  This is book one in the series.  It's hugely popular, which sometimes makes me scrutinise and have high expectations.  Sometimes hype can overtake a book.  I was not disappointed and will certainly be reading more in the Cherub series.  This book really appeals to both children and adults.

The book starts off really well, you a propelled into the main characters life before Cherub.  Which isn't very pleasant, this does help with "bonding" with the character and you almost will him on to do well.

It's fast paced and exciting.  Throughout the book you are introduced to more and more of the characters.  Some nicer than others.  You go through the journey with the main character, it's not an easy ride.

My only negative, and this is why this doesn't quite reach the 5 star rating, is that sometimes it can chop really quickly into the next chapter of the main characters life.  I would have liked some of the scenarios to last a bit longer and have had more detail.

I really like the whole child spy theme, it's quite exciting at times.  I've read a few YA spy books and this series so far seems to be holding its own.  I will look forward to the next book in the series.


Overall: Fast paced and edgy.  Really enjoyed this.

My Thoughts on the Cover:  I really like this, almost looks to too dangerous to touch.

Friday, 19 August 2016

***Review*** A Place For Us by Harriet Evans


A Place For Us by Harriet Evans

Released: January 2015
Publisher: Headline
Format: Digital ARC 1st part - Then switched to audiobook for the rest
Source: 1st part Netgalley - The rest library lend
Find At: Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones

Many thanks to the Publisher & Netgalley for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest review


Synopsis:

From international bestselling author Harriet Evans, an engrossing new novel about a woman who, on the eve of her eightieth birthday, decides to reveal a secret that may destroy her perfect family.
The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.

When Martha, a wife and mother of three, sits down one late summer’s morning to write out the invitations to her eightieth birthday celebration, she knows that what she is planning to reveal at the party could ruin the idyllic life she and her husband David have spent over fifty years building…

But she has to let her family know what she and David have sacrificed. She can’t live a lie any more.

The invitation goes out far and wide, calling her three children and their families back home to Winterfold, their rambling house in the heart of the English countryside. They are Bill, the doctor; Florence, the eccentric academic; and Daisy, the child who never fit in. As the story unfolds, each character reveals the secrets, joys, and tragedies they are wrestling with through the confines of the family. What will happen when Martha finally tells the truth?





My Review:

This book can be purchased in four sections or as one book.  My original review copy was the first section, I then decided to review the book in it's entirety and this was in audio book format.

The book is filled with some really wonderful and complex characters.  The story jumps from character to character and in each chapter you start to get more of an in depth look into them.  The family history is very complex and you really need to not miss any crucial details.  I loved how as the story unfolds certain parts start to make more sense.  As there are a few characters it does take a few chapters to settle in.  One thing that does shine is the wonderful details of the surrounds, whether it was Winterfold - which sounded wonderful in itself, or Italy or the war torn parts of London.  The rich intensity do detail only enhanced things for me.

There is one character that really stands out in this book, this is Daisy.  She is so crucial to this story and it is amazing how she influences and changes lives of people.  Just her essence is enough to tip things.  I was really interested to learn more about her.

I think if you were looking at this family from afar you would think they had everything, but there is an undercurrent whereby if you scratched the surface off, would reveal a very different matter. 

I whole heartily enjoyed this.  I would definitely recommend this book and I look forward to reading more by this author.



 Overall: Thoroughly enjoyed this, secrets and family drama galore






Saturday, 30 July 2016

***Review*** Monsters by Emerald Fennell


Monsters by Emerald Fennell


Released: September 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Series: No
Format: Digital ARC
Source: From Netgalley
Find at: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones

Many thanks to the Publisher & Netgalley for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest review



 Synopsis:

 A blackly comic tale about two children you would never want to meet. Set in the Cornish town of Fowey, all is not as idyllic as the beautiful seaside town might seem. The body of a young woman is discovered in the nets of a fishing boat. It is established that the woman was murdered. Most are shocked and horrified. But there is somebody who is not - a twelve-year-old girl. She is delighted; she loves murders. Soon she is questioning the inhabitants of the town in her own personal investigation. But it is a bit boring on her own. Then Miles Giffard, a similarly odd twelve-year-old boy, arrives in Fowey with his mother, and they start investigating together. Oh, and also playing games that re-enact the murders. Just for fun, you understand... A book about two twelve-year-olds that is definitely not for kids.



My Review:

My, what a dark and intriguing book this was.  Loved the narration through the eyes of  the girl who is 12 year old.  It had the most darkly comical moments, I just had to finish this to see where the story was going to end, and find out who had committed these murders.  I was not disappointed!

I'm not going to delve into the plot too much as I just don't want to spoil anything about this gem of a book.  It makes you forget just how old these two twelve year old children are, as you see the world through the eyes of curious, yet sociopathic children.  How the minds unfold with the morbid curiosity of the murders going on around them. 

The way the fishing town, characters and surrounds are described are just the right amount of detail.  I'm usually put off by flowery and poetic books, I love to feel my way around a book without having too much described in a way that puts me off the plot.  There was a great feel to this book and it was full of colourful characters.

Clearly this is not a book for young readers, as it does contain some adult themes and murder.

This is the first book I have read by this author and I would love to read more.  She draws you in and then gives a totally unexpected and wonderful ending.  I'm still thinking about the story and the characters days on from reading this book.  I'm sure if I read this again I would notice more and more about the behaviour and characteristics of the characters.  

Overall:  This was such a good darkly, twisty and comical book.  I've not read anything quite like this.

My Thoughts on the cover:  Yes it does capture elements of the book, however I can't say I'm so keen on it. 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

***Review*** The Perfect Lie by Emily Barr



The Perfect Lie by Emily Barr


Released: May 2010
Publisher: Headline
Series: No
Format: Audiobook
Source: Libray Lend
Find at: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones


Synopsis:

For Lucy Riddick, Venice has always been the dream destination. A dream inspired by the pretty picture pinned to her mother’s kitchen wall. To Lucy, Venice seems the ideal place to lose herself. And now she needs to do just that. 

The secret she’s been keeping from her boyfriend and her friends has finally caught up with her and Lucy needs to disappear – and fast. There’s no better time to pack her bags and head for Italy. But what if, when she sets foot in Venice, Lucy finds that the one thing she has been running from, the one thing she has been trying to escape, is already there, lying in wait for her? Time to run away again? Or time to end the chase, once and for all?




My Review:

This was an audio book version.  There were three narrators which really helped the story, it gave each character a more personalised feel.  One thing this book has which I love is short chapters.  When you're on the go and dipping in and out of books, short chapters really help.  

This book is set in two different times.  You have the story of Marianne when she was a teenager and then you have Lucy who is the grown up version of Marianne, this is interspersed with the voice of Eliza who is the friend and brother of Lucy's fiance.  I love how the story built as you got to learn more about the past and what effects this has had on the main character.  I know when I'm on to a five star read as I go above and beyond my normal reading pattern.  I couldn't wait to get this one finished and find out the whole story.  I was not disappointed.  I really felt for this poor hunted woman, how her past was dictating everything around her.  I was happy with the ending and there were a few surprises along the way which added to the story.

I've never been to Venice but the decription of the scenery and area really helped me get a feel for it.  I don't like overly descriptive or flowery reads and this was just right, just enough to set the scene and take me there.

I have moved straight on to another of Emily Barr's books, I look forward to reading/listening to more books by this author.  A well deserved 5 stars. 


 Overall: Thorouhly enoyed this book, gripped me from start to finish.  Can't wait to read more of this authors books.

My Thoughs on the Cover:  It's really pretty!  Lovely colour scheme.
 

Saturday, 16 July 2016

***Review*** All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Released: 14th July 2016
Publisher: Harlequin UK, Mira
Series: No
Format: Digital ARC
Source: From Netgalley
Find at:  GoodreadsAmazon UK | Waterstones

Many thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:


You can erase the memory. But you cannot erase the crime. Jenny's wounds have healed. 

An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack. She is moving on with her life. 

That was the plan. Except it's not working out. Something has gone. The light in the eyes. And something was left behind. A scar. On her lower back. Which she can't stop touching. And she's getting worse. Not to mention the fact that her father is obsessed with finding her attacker and her mother is in toxic denial. It may be that the only way to uncover what's wrong is to help Jenny recover her memory. But even if it can be done, pulling at the threads of her suppressed experience will unravel much more than the truth about her attack. And that could destroy as much as it heals.



 My Review:

Wow!  This one was certainly a little on the shocking side and a thrilling read.   It shows how everything can have consequences, the smallest of changes, the decisions of others and yourself. All - have - consequences.  One way or another things will catch up.  This book is very much like a pressure cooker, it sets off at a high fast temperature and then just keeps on building.  This is not a book for young readers or for the faint hearted, the story has an adult theme.

One element this book does it take time to educate the reader on the scientific side of things.  I do like this as it's good to have the information, it adds to the book.

 The investigation that follows the rape of Jenny is very indepth and recorded.  Then on the other hand you have the aftermath and the effects on the family.  Each member reacts and tries to cope in different ways.  This book is narrated in a way that might not appeal to some readers, at times it can come across as clinical and detached.  I think this is why this book doesn't quite get the full five star rating.

There was a good mixture of characters.  I think my favourite was Charlotte, the mother of Jenny.  Charlotte is a complex character, who on the outside is trying to hold things together but on the inside was a very different kettle of fish.  She was the one who interested me the most, her actions and her behaviour to the attack and the aftermath, these actions are all perceived by the narrator who observes.

Overall: Not a light hearted read, at times it can come across a bit clinical. 

My thoughts on the cover:  It looks really striking and suits the story.




Sunday, 10 July 2016

***Review*** Night Shift by Charlaine Harris



Night Shift by Charlaine Harris


Released: 5th May 2016
Publisher: Gollancz
Series: Yes, book 3 in the Midnight, Texas series
Format: Hardback
Source: From Publisher for review purposes
Find at:  Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones

Many thanks to  the publisher for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest review


Synopsis

Welcome to the most intriguing mystery you'll read this year.

Welcome to Midnight, Texas.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels-"the Mark Twain of things that live under your bed"-comes a new novel of Midnight, Texas, the town where some secrets will never see the light of day...
At Midnight's local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves-only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town.
Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There's a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place.
And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose-which just might happen-it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be...

My Review

As this is book three in the series I am no going to give and spoilers to the character and their development nor the plot.  What I will say is that this series keeps on getting better and better and that I am not disappointed one little bit after reading this book.

When you are given a new book by your favourite author there is a certain level of expectation, the bar is set so high.  I never thought I would ever read a series as good as the Sookie Stackhouse series and when I started this brand new series I was a little 'mmmmmmm I do hope it doesn't disappoint.' Well guys it does not.

The setting of the series is a town called Midnight, it's very mysterious and has some unlikely characters all living together.  Not always so harmoniously, but when things do go down you can see them all rallying together like one big family.

As always I pick out my favourite character, throughout the three books Fiji has been my favourite.  She is sweet, charming and when the needs arises one kick ass witch, plus the addition of her talking cat, Mr Snuggly, injects some much loved humour.

I really do hope this series does go on for so many books.  I would love to know more about each character, there's some deep history with each of them.  They all bring a richness and supernatural edge to the book.

So yes, if you do love Charlaine Harris you will not be disappointed.  Do read the books in order, as they do loosely follow each other.  I think this really deserves the five star rating I'm awarding it.



Overall: Fantastic.  Never thought I'd get over the end of the Sookie Stackhouse series, but this injects much needed southern charm.

My Thoughts on the Cover:  It's really spooky.  I love the colour and it really draws me in.

Books in the series: 

Book 2 - Day Shift
Book 3 - Night Shift

 
Blog Design By Sweet Dreams Design using the Sweet Summer kit by Kay Miller Designs.