Hello I am a little bit crazy (but then aren't we all) and Have red hair ( well auburn actually) and I love love reading... eating.... reading..... ooo music I have a bit of a eclectic taste in what I like to listen to ranging from Taylor Swift to Slipknot and Sabaton (If you don't know who Sabaton are check them out... only if you like metal ofc) I also love to dance and make a fool of myself. I love different cultures and different food will try anything at least once. I am also a bit of a history lover too.
I would like to say a huge thank you to my SquadPod ladies (you know who you are) for organising this wonderful little review bash for this warmly romantic book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Boldwood books for allowing me to read and review a digital copy. I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Gillian Harvery for creating such a warm-hearted and loving book. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
It was just supposed to be a holiday, but could it become the second chance she didn’t know she needed?
Life isn’t quite going as planned for Katy.With her only daughter living in Australia and a husband who has asked for a break, she is suddenly at a loss.
Her best friends Sam, Vicky and Ivy have always been there for her through thick and thin and they’re not about to leave her all alone now. Whisking her away to glorious France for a last minute retreat is the perfect escape, and just what Katy needs to get her life back under control.
As Katy unwinds in the beautiful French countryside, surrounded by her friends, the pain of her past slowly begins to melt away under the warm summer sun. Will this rest give Katy a new lease on life and help her win back her husband? Or could there be a new love on the horizon where she least expects it?
This book is a lovely, heartwarming and gentle book about finding yourself again and being brave enough to reach out for what you want and what you deserve. This is a love story, but I feel that isn’t the main part of the story. We are pulled in Katy (the main character’s) orbit from the first page and we follow her and her friends antics throughout this novel. For me the main thrust of the story is for Katy to love and find herself again, as her marriage to a somewhat controlling, gaslighting and just plain obnoxious man who feels he’s entitled to ground her down and then leave her but also wanting to know he can come back to her… for me he deserves a slap (I will not mention his name not just because of spoilers but because men like him don’t need their names mentioned or any attention really). I loved Katy’s friends and how each tried to rally her and let her know that she can be a much stronger and better woman than she ever was with him.
I loved also the setting and the idea of an artistic retreat. And yes there’s the romance between her and her new man (sexy French man ofc 😉) but I feel that she’s the one that realises that to feel free and happy is to love oneself and find herself more than falling in love. This is one book that really made me think of my mum, (don’t worry dad is not like the main awful man… thank god) but how she felt about herself and how we as her family members only saw her… I realise mum is so much more than just being there for me or my sister or cook/partner to my dad but someone with secrets and hidden desires and yes unrealised dreams… I felt closer to my mum reading this one and it is a special book.
Ratings: 4 🌟s with a a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Gillian Harvey is a freelance journalist and the author of two well-reviewed women’s fiction novels published by Orion. She has lived in Limousin France for the past twelve years, from where she derives the inspiration and settings for her books. Her first title for Boldwood A Year at the French Farmhouse will be published in September 2022.
I hope you have enjoyed this lovely and heartwarming tale and if you are intrigued by this little review, you can find a copy in Waterstones, and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising such a wonderful and thrilling book’s tour. I would like to say a huge thank you to HarperCollins for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this gripping book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Jane Casey for creating such a gripping, thrilling and yet also a humane and dare I say it romantic suspense book, intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
At first glance, Jellicoe Close seems to be a perfect suburban street – well kept houses, with pristine lawns, neighbours chatting over garden fences, children playing together.
But there are dark secrets hiding behind the neat front doors, hidden dangers that include a ruthless criminal who will stop at nothing.
It’s up to DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent to uncover the truth. Posing as a couple, they move into the Close, blurring the lines between professional and personal as never before.
And while Maeve and Josh try to gather the evidence they need, they have no idea of the danger they face – because someone in Jellicoe Close has murder on their mind.
As soon as I read the first (digital) page I was hooked. The characters are sharp, vivid and yes boisterous and noisy and incredibly sharp/tongue witted. There is some past between the two detectives who are sent in undercover to get at the truth, Maeve and Josh and I am sure that at some point they will get together. But the main focus is on what is happening in the Close to generate such a covert operation?
As soon as they arrive they are greeted warmly by everyone, apart from a certain few who either feel intimidated by the presence of Josh or have sinister motivations of their own as they play their own covert operation on the new couple. This is such a brilliant and masterful book, I didn’t see who it could be until the very end and even then there were still more twists.
This is a brilliant and intriguing novel and it’s one that had me trying to puzzle out the main perpetrator and hoping the two would see they are meant to be (sighs sadly I am not sure that will happen… oh well) I also haven’t read the previous books in this series, but it’s written without giving too much of the past away but enough to stoke my appetite into understanding their pasts so this can be read as a stand-alone but if you have read the series it’s just as good if not better in my opinion.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.
Jane Casey was born and brought up in Dublin. A former editor, she has written twelve crime novels for adults and three for teenagers. Her books have been international bestsellers, critically acclaimed for their realism and accuracy. The Maeve Kerrigan series has been nominated for many awards: in 2015 Jane won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Stranger You Know and Irish Crime Novel of the Year for After the Fire. In 2019, Cruel Acts was chosen as Irish Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. It was a Sunday Times bestseller. The Killing Kind was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick in 2021, and is being adapted for television. Jane lives in southwest London with her husband, who is a criminal barrister, and their two children.
I hope you have enjoyed this thrilling and gripping tale of secret lives in what should be a perfect suburban life and how we really don’t know who is behind the friendly face of our neighbours. If you love the sound of this book and want a copy, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent stores and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising this thrilling and gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Point Blank Crime (Magpie) for allowing me to read a digital copy of this intriguing book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Julia Bartz for creating such a tense and twisted plot, you were never quite sure who to trust or believe. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
A book deal to die for.
Five attendees are selected for a month-long writing retreat at the remote estate of Roza Vallo, the controversial high priestess of feminist horror. Alex, a struggling writer, is thrilled.
Upon arrival, they discover they must complete an entire novel from scratch, and the best one will receive a seven-figure publishing deal. Alex’s long -extinguished dream now seems within reach.
But then the women begin to die.
Trapped, terrified yet still desperately writing, it is clear, there is more than a publishing deal at stake at Blackbriar Estate. Alex must confront her own demons – and finish her novel – to save herself.
As soon as I picked this book (ok kindle) up I was hooked from the first page, it grips you and compelled you to read on. I found myself unsure at first whether I liked the main character or not and when we are first introduced to each of the women or contestants (if you’d rather) I wasn’t sure whether I particularly liked any of them. But as the story progressed and you get yourself immersed with each character and see their strengths and foibles you find yourself gradually wanting them to come out of this alive or at least in one piece.
I have never been to a retreat and honestly after reading this am not sure whether I would (joke am sure these author retreats are fine and no one has done it to quite these lengths…. Hopefully, joke) . But that aside I found myself captivated and at once freaked out by this isolated and out of the way place that is at first look very nice and normal looking until the fun (hell) begins and the retreat starts to feel a bit like the shining hotel but on a bad day and with a caretaker who’s more like the lady in Misery(yes I am comparing this to Stephen King and to me the creepy factor is definitely giving off his vibe).
I enjoyed this book, but I wasn’t able to sympathise with many of the characters I found most of them a bit selfish and a bit too sharp and hard for my liking but that’s just my personal opinion and the book is executed to perfection and that ending wow… I was completely surprised by it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of creepiness and thrilling chills to their murder retreat novels.
Ratings: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Julia Bartz is a Brooklyn-based writer and practicing therapist. She is the author of the popular Psychology Today blog ‘My Pleasure: The New Science of Sex, Dating, and Self-Care’ and previously ran the Brooklyn literary blog ‘BookStalker’. Her fiction has been published in the South Dakota Review, FictionDaily and InDigest Magazine and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The Writing Retreat is her first novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this suspenseful, disturbing, gripping and thrilling novel about what seems to good to be true might just be a bit more than you bargained for. If you are wanting a copy you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Rosie Margesson and Wildfire Books for allowing me to read and review this utterly brilliant, wonderful and enchanting and mind blowing book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Meg Clothier, for creating such vivid, strong and complex characters who are based on some historically famous families (dynasties) in Renaissance Florence. It’s also about the power of women and that they should never be silenced or used for harm and at the same time it’s about the power of books. Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Beatrice is the Convent’s Librarian. For years, she has shunned the company of her sisters, finding solace only with her manuscripts.
Then, one carnival night, two women, bleeding and stricken, are abandoned outside the convent’s walls. Moments from death, one of them presses something into Beatrice’s hands: a bewitching book whose pages have a dangerous life of their own.
But men of the faith want the book destroyed, and a zealous preacher has tracked it to her door. Her sister’s lives – or her obsession. Beatrice must decide.
The book’s voice is growing stronger.
An ancient power uncoils.
Will she dare to listen?
I am not sure how I can possibly review this wonderful, atmospheric, mesmerising and magical book, without coming across as being slightly mad or hysterical. Perhaps a bit of both. This is one book that will make you want to not just visit Florence (Italy) it to soak up its atmosphere, the culture and devour the food and wine. Reading The book of eve made me feel like I was walking, breathing and living in a place that was at once familiar but also slightly different. The period in which the events in this book take place is what we know as Renaissance Florence during the time of Peak Medici, obviously in this book names of historic figures have been changed but there is an outline on which the “Duke Stelleri” and all the other people are based historically on, including Brother Abramo who I feel is based on Savaronela the fiery priest who made Florence beg on her knees for a time till they got fed up with it of course.
I loved all the characters especially some of the sisters, though for me I found Sister Beatrice one character a bit difficult to like, she came across as being a bit of a child, naive, selfish and almost cruel, I also wasn’t sure on Sister Angelica (but I think you are meant to) but what I loved about Beatrice is her devotion (obsession) with books for me I think we would have got on. This is a bewitching tale about finding the power within us and also the power of finding a voice against the wills and force of men who want to control women for their own ends and find women with minds and hearts a terrifying thing.
This is one of those books that leave you spell bound and captivated even after you have finished with it. I can highly recommend this to anyone who loves Italy, Renaissance, magic, strong women and faith and of course love and books. If you haven’t already buy this book now!!! Well when you can.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 ( or that yummy custard/rice pudding tart that is a delicacy of Tuscany) seriously I could eat a whole box of those.
Meg Clothier studied Classics at Cambridge, sailed from England to Alaska, and worked as a journalist in London and Moscow. She now lives and writes in Somerset. The Book of Eve is her third novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this brilliant evocative and mind blowing book which captures everything about medieval Italy, both the good and the bad and yet also brings a lot of hope too. I fell in love with this book and I hope you do too. If you want a copy you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising such a wonderful and lovely book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this intriguing book. I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Eva Rice, for creating such a genuine, moving and heartwarming tale, that touches on grief and mental health and how the little things can break into our life and open our eyes to the world and though some people have gone it’s ok to move on and live your life. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
It’s 1990, the Happy Mondays are in the charts, a 15 year-old called Kate Moss is on the cover of the Face magazine, and Julia Roberts wears thigh boots for the poster for a new movie called Pretty Woman.
February Kingdom is nineteen years old when she is knocked sideways by family tragedy. Then one evening in May she finds an escaped canary in her kitchen and it sparks a glimmer of hope in her. With the help of the bird called Yellow, Feb starts to feel her way out of her own private darkness, just as her aunt embarks on a passionate and all-consuming affair with a married American drama teacher.
This is one that’s a fairly gentle read, but at the same time will hit you with it’s emotional impact. We have a girl going through grief and struggling to find any joy or meaning to face the day and live her life after a hugely tragic and shocking event. Until one day she finds an escaped canary in the house, mainly the kitchen, and that’s when her life starts surge back with colour. February feels incredibly fragile and yet is also stubbornly persistent in following where this canary came from and why it’s at their house and at this time?… which is a good thing as it forces her to look at herself and where she is in relation to others and also shines a light on the people who are trying to love her and make her feel better.
Whilst she is battling her demons (so to speak) her aunt is also coming out of her shell and exploring a rather dramatic affair with a drama teacher, this puts a whole new level of tension and stress on the relationship between them, though it should affect February in a bad way, but due to how she’s starting to come back to the present and finding that she does have the strength to do things that a few weeks ago would leave her breathless and weak, that marriages and relationships are not always static they can be flexible but also breakable.
I quite enjoyed this novel and found it quite moving at certain points in the story. It’s one that touches you and makes you empathise with the characters through what they are experiencing, I also loved reminiscing on the 90s nostalgia which made me think of where I would be during the action of the novel. I would recommend this lovely book to anyone.
Ratings: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Eva Rice has written 5 novels and is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets- a post-war coming-of-age story that was runner-up in the 2006 Richard and Judy Book of the Year. A 10th anniversary edition of the novel was published in 2015 with a foreword by Miranda Hart. The Lost Art Of Keeping Secrets is currently being developed by Fudge Park (creators of The Inbetweeners) and Moonage Pictures (Pursuit of Love) as a major new TV series. Eva has toured with bands since her early twenties. She has written the music and lyrics for Harriet a musical based on an early Jilly Cooper novel due to open in 2023. She has a geek-like fascination with pop music, and her party trick is recalling chart positions.
I hope you have enjoyed this little review of a moving and heartwarming book about grief, mental health and the power of little things that can make big changes in your life. If you are looking for a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones, any independent and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising such a magical and enchanting tour for this ethereal book. I would like to say a huge thank you to HarperVoyager for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this book and I am extremely grateful. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Amèlie Wen Zhao, for creating an enchanting tale of courage, magic, myths, legends and of course heartache, betrayal and a kingdom in need of saving. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out more.
In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to its forgotten past – and the demons that sleep at its heart….
Once, Lan had a different name. Now, she goes by one the Elantian colonisers gave her. She spends her days scavenging for remnants of the past. For anything that might help her understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother, in her last act before her she died.
No one can see the mysterious mark – until the night Zen appears at the tea house and saves her life.
Zen is a practitioner, one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose abilities were rumoured to be drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Magic to be hidden at all costs.
Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destinies remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.
As soon as I picked up this book and read the first page I was enchanted and hooked. The story enthralled me with its wonderful cast of characters and gorgeous, descriptions of an old land and a land that has also been conquered by new rulers leaving the remnants of a lost kingdom in tatters and with its people subjugated. We follow a young girl, who’s mysterious mark leads her searching to uncover what it means and why her mother burnt it into her arm, Lan is one of those characters you just instantly bond with, her fighting spirit and tenacity against all the odds means you are willing her to get out of scrapes which she manages to fall into.
We also meet Zen, a mysterious and enigmatic boy who’s abilities are like those of the practitioners of old, magicians who gained powers through dealings with a demon, one that was supposedly forbidden and been lost to time… until now. We watch as these two meet and travel together to find a way to get rid of their enemy and heal their land, but dangers and betrayals lie in wait for these two.
I loved all the other characters too, especially what would be described as a mystic or guru, and some rather tough talking fighters and some grumpy scholars. I loved the sense of being led down paths which the author does magnificently well and where every page there is a surprise or a twist you never really saw coming.
I would highly recommend this stunning and beautiful book that is both heartbreaking and yet also heartwarming. I would urge you to buy this book asap!!!
Rating: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰.
Amèlie Wen Zhao (赵雯）is the New York Times bestselling author of the Chinese xiānxiá fantasy Song of Silver, Flame Like Night and the Blood Heir trilogy. She was born in Paris and grew up in Beijing, where she spent her days reenacting tales of legendary heroes, ancient kingdoms, and lost magic at her grandmother’s courtyard house. She attended college in the United States and now resides in New York City, working as a finance professional by day and fantasy author by night. In her spare time, she loves to travel with her family in China, where she’s determined to walk the rivers and lakes of old just like the practitioners in her novels do.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into a land filled with mysticism, magic, myths and legends past and present. This modern fusion of Chinese Myths and legends is one that will stay with you in your heart. If you are wanting a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstones any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising another brilliant Orenda book tour and this one is no exception in fact it exceeds it. I would like to say a huge thank you to Orenda for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this brilliant book. I would also like to say thank you to the master mind, Vanda Symon for creating such a brilliant, darkly humorous and moving story with a bunch of wonderful characters especially Sam Shephard (what a woman!!! And what a character). Set in the wilds of New Zealand a land of ice, greenery and (yes iconic Lord of The Rings scenery *insert eye roll here*) I joke but it’s breathtaking. A community is shocked when a devastating and horrific and brutal murder happens which also personally affects the investigator herself. Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
A killer targeting pregnant women.
A detective expecting her first baby…..
The shocking murder of a heavily pregnant woman throws the New Zealand city of Dunedin into a tailspin, and the devastating crime feels uncomfortably close to home for Detective Sam Shephard as she counts down the days to her own maternity leave.
Confined to a desk job in the department, Sam must find the missing link between this brutal crime and a string of cases involving mothers and children in the past. As the pieces start to come together and the realisation dawns that the killer’s actions are escalating, drastic measures must be taken to prevent more tragedy.
For Sam, the case becomes personal, when it becomes increasingly clear that no one is safe and the clock is ticking……
I am going to have to admit to something….. this is the first book of the Sam Shephard series I have read. (Hides face in hands ) but oh wow what a book!! As soon as I read the first page I did not want to put it down. The story just gripped me all the way to the last page. It is a gruesome and somewhat baffling case which Sam Shephard finds herself investigating, but due to her condition she finds it’s getting more and more personal and what with certain attitudes (of the male variety) which consider a woman should be safe and protected she finds herself sidelined doing a desk job which to anyone with a modicum of brains would find boring.
I loved all the characters especially her interactions with Paul (her colleague and boyfriend) and also her best friend Maggie, I loved the banter between them all and how Paul understands Sam’s need to be as much as part of the team as she ever was but also has the courage to say to her to try to keep them both safe. I loved her interactions with her bosses and how frustrating and difficult men like them can be, who don’t like an opinionated and strong woman especially one who can be a loose cannon such as Sam. And it’s all set in the majestic and beautiful scenery of New Zealand, a land of mountains and rugged terrains but also where man has struggled to survive against the elements.
This book has a lot of heart and warmth to it, yes there’s the gruesome discovery or discoveries but there’s also a lot of humour and love. I absolutely adored this book and cannot wait to go back to the start and see how Sam progressed to this point. But for me Expectant will always hold something special in my heart. I would urge anyone to read this fantastic book and series it’s a must read!!!
Rating: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 and a 🍪 or two or three…
Vanda Symon lives in Dunedin, New Zealand. As well as being a crime writer, she has a PhD in science communication and is a researcher at the Centre for Pacific Health at the University of Otago. Overkillwas shortlisted for the 2019 CWA John Creasey Debut Dagger Award and she is a three-time finalist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel for her critically acclaimed Sam Shephard series. Vanda produces and hosts ‘Write On’, a monthly radio show focusing on the world of books at Otago Access Radio. When she isn’t working or writing, Vanda can be found in the garden, or on the business end of a fencing foil.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into the world of expectant mothers and babies and how someone’s desire for a family is twisted enough to cause devastation on another family and a community. If you are wanting a copy you can pre order it from Amazon, or from Orenda Books site (would highly recommend it) or you can buy it in any store when it’s out on 16th. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Quercus for inviting me to take part on this wonderful, moving book’s tour, I would also like to say thank you for allowing me to read and review a physical copy. I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Linda Green, for creating such a heartbreaking, heartfelt tale of two families both different and yet the same but coming from different sides of a political divide which we have seen since brexit first came to our attention. And how two children from both families fall in love regardless of what their families think about that is it too late to heal the breach? Well let’s find out more from the blurb.
Two families divided by hate.
A love that will not die.
Sylvia and Donna travel on the same train to work each day but have never spoken. Their families are on different sides of the bitter brexit divide, although the tensions and arguments at home give them much in common.
What they don’t know is that their eldest children, Rachid and Jodie, are about to meet for the first time and fall in love. Aware that neither family will approve, the teenagers vow to keep their romance a secret.
But as Sylvie’s family feel increasingly unwelcome in England, a desire for a better life threatens Rachid and Jodie’s relationship. Can their love unite their families – or will it end in tragedy?
As soon as I read the first page I was hooked and spell bound. It’s not a gripper nor is it thriller, but it gently makes you aware of feelings and issues and surrounding tensions that can build up to heated arguments and differences which lead to many people more often than not being hurt, and usually it’s those who try to help or stop things from escalating that get tragically hurt. This does focus on a lot of issues such as the Brexit divide, especially in the North where communities are afraid of an increasing number (in their eyes) of “foreigners” and in this book one family is on the brexit side whilst the other family are starting to feel unwelcome in a place that used to feel home but now feels threatening.
Even though these two families have more in common than they think, the arguments of who goes where, and who’s having trouble at school, are offset by the the mothers who try to keep the family together and to try and keep the peace between neighbours. It’s only when one of their own start to feel romantically involved with each other that things start to heat up and tensions rise.
I loved Rachid and Jodie, and how their relationship is both sweet and young and full of hope, even though they both come from different backgrounds and views they don’t care about the differences because all they see and know is what makes them similar and also what they love about each other. I found it hard to see Jodie’s family and especially the younger brother fall into the hands of far right groups and the slippery slope that leads to and how the father doesn’t see it that way, though Jodie feels her mum should do more and is disappointed with her, she doesn’t see that all her mum is trying to do is what is best and that’s to keep the peace.
Rachid on the other hand seems to have it all a mother and father both working and distinguished in their careers and yet there are cracks beneath the surface and which the father and son constantly use words to injure each other and again the mother is trying to keep her family together. This shows the tensions in families and yet also the backdrop to what is going on and how it might play out.
I don’t want to spoil anymore of the story only that it’s just brilliant and moving and that ending had me in tears. This is one book that will never leave my mind and one that I think everyone should read.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
is the bestselling author of ten novels, which have sold more than 1.4 million copies and been translated into 12 languages. Her latest novel, One Moment, was a Radio 2 Book Club pick and her previous novel, The Last Thing She Told Me, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. Linda has lived in West Yorkshire since 2001 but was born in North London in 1970 and brought up in Hertfordshire. She wrote her first novella, the Time Machine, aged nine, but unfortunately the pony-based time travel thriller genre never took off. Linda joined her local newspaper, the Enfield Gazette, as a trainee reporter at eighteen. During a ten year career in regional journalism, she worked as a reporter on the Birmingham Daily News, news editor on the Birmingham Metro News and Chief Feature Writer on the Coventry Evening Telegraph, winning Highly Commended in the Feature Writer of the Year category of the 1997 Press Gazette Regional Press Awards. By 1998 she left her staff job to write her first novel and work as a freelance journalist. She has written for The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, The Times Educational Supplement, The Big Issue, Wanderlust and Community Care Magazine. After more than a hundred rejections from agents (and more rewrites than she cares to remember) she finally obtained a two-book deal with Headline Review in 2006.
Her first novel I Did a Bad Thing was published in paperback in October 2007 and made the top thirty official fiction bestsellers list. 10 Reasons Not to Fall in Love was published in paperback in March 2009 and reached no 22 in the official fiction bestseller charts. Both novels were also long-listed for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award. They were followed by Things I Wish I’d Known, which was a top thirty paperback bestseller and And Then It Happened, which was a top forty bestseller in paperback and has sold more than 100,000 ebooks. After five years with Headline, she left to join Quercus in 2011. Her fifth novel The Mummyfesto, published in 2013, told the story of three women who set up a new political party and stand in the general election and was featured on Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour. Her sixth novel The Marriage Mender was published in August 2014. Linda’s first psychological thriller, While My Eyes Were Closed was published in ebook in January 2016 and paperback in May 2016 and has gone on to sell more than 450,000 copies across all editions. Her eighth novel, After I’ve Gone, has sold more than 100,000 copies. The Last Thing She Told Me was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and has sold more than 175,000 copies. In a previous life she enjoyed travelling and has trekked after wild orang-utans in Borneo, been to the edge of the Arctic Circle to see polar bears and as far south as Tierra del Fuego to photograph penguins. She also has a keen interest in politics and has appeared on Newsnight, Radio 5 Live, Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour and BBC News. She particularly enjoyed taking former PM David Cameron to task on Leadership Question Time in 2015. Linda lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and son.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into love in all forms and how fear and hate may cause people to lose their way, there is still hope that out of devastating loss, love and forgiveness can change how we think about others and that maybe we all are looking for someone to really see us. If you are wanting a copy, you can find this book in Waterstones, any independent store, and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Courtney Jefferies at EdPR for inviting me and the SquadPod on this book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for gifting me a proof copy to read and review, I am incredibly grateful. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Jessie Keane, for creating such a remarkable cast of characters especially tough and strong minded characters such as Annie Carter. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
THE CARTER WOMEN DON’T FOLLOW THE RULES: THEY MAKE THEM.
Gangster Max Carter and his ex-wife Annie Carter are leading separate lives in separate countries: past hurts and broken promises cannot be resolved. But then a summons to Majorca and a tragic death makes Max question all that has happened to him over many years.
He had two brothers – both are now dead. His closest friend has been found hanging from a London bridge. As the police wrestle with a seemingly unsolvable case, Max is forced to revisit his painful past to find answers to a mystery that seems to make no sense at all. Who is targeting his family? And why?
Annie Carter is at a crossroads in life. She has a luxurious lifestyle but no one to share it with, and Max clearly thinks she is in danger too. Her daughter Layla, has left her mafia lover Alberto Barolli and is back in London, stumbling into the police investigation and making waves. You should never go back, so the old saying goes. But then the Carter women don’t follow the rules, they make them.
And when the truth of what’s been happening is finally revealed, will the Carter family stand together – or will it finish them for good?
I haven’t actually read any Jessie Keane books before this one, I know that’s an unusual place to start with for a review, but I do think it’s a good thing. Basically I have no previous knowledge of these characters and come to them with fresh and honest eyes, also as it’s a kind of prequel and sequel of its own due to the past coming back to haunt the Carter family, I feel that I don’t really need to read the other books to get a feeling for them.
From the first page I was hooked and transported to a rough and dirty yet full of straight talking rules, back alley London. I found myself in sympathy with a few of the characters and especially the main protagonist of the story who develops a certain grudge (understandable grudge) against the Carter boys even though all he wants is to be accepted by them, especially Max. As this story shifts about from the present to the past, we see more of the family that surrounded Max and how he became I guess the lead Alpha or mafia style boss in London town. We also see how the relationship develops between him and Annie and how it also breaks down.
I found myself picturing this on the tv like one of the soaps especially Eastenders. And it has that seedy yet utterly compelling plot of what goes down when a past comes back to haunt a powerful family even one with the cracks still showing and should the past consider to tickle a sleeping dragon or let sleeping dogs lie?.
I did enjoy this book and found it entertaining it’s one I would call a blockbuster read, as it’s engaging and very easy to read and takes you away from the world for a short time. I am not sure if it suits me as in the genre but I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of gangster angst, and a puzzling mystery.
Rating: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Jessie Keane Dubbed ‘Queen of the Underworld’, is of Romany gypsy stock. She was born rich, in the back of her gran’s barrel top wagon, and her family thrived until their firm crashed into bankruptcy and became poor. Her father died when she was a teenager and she fled to London to escape grim reality, finding there a lifelong fascination with the criminal underworld and the teeming life of the city.
Twice divorced and living in a freezing council flat, she decided to pursue her childhood aim to become a writer. She sold her wedding dress to buy a typewriter and penned her first Annie Carter book, Dirty Game.
This was followed by five more Annie Carter books, all Sunday Times bestsellers, then Ruby Darke arrived in Nameless, Lawless and The Edge. Jessie’s stand-alone novels include Jail Bird, The Make, Dangerous, Fearless, The Knock and The Manor.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into the seedy underbelly of London and it’s gangs of high flying criminals and families. And how you never can be sure the past will not come back to haunt you. If you are wanting a copy, you can find it in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you soon!!!