Circle-A Killings – Sean Heary

Welcome back everyone, the last few reviews I’ve done on Monday’s have been fantasy or sci-fi. Now it’s time to go back to Sean Heary and his suspense books!

Some sequels pick up exactly where the previous book left of. Generally speaking, the one’s I’ve read tend to have a bit of a gap. Sean’s created a little bit of a gap, but not much in the grand scheme of things. Yet emotionally, we’re way past where we left The Concordat.

The thing that intrigued me the most about this story was the motivation behind them. In The Concordat, it felt very religious. Looking back, I realise it’s more political than religious so I’m not sure how I missed that. Or maybe I forgot?

Either way, this suspense is stemmed from someone’s wealth. The richer you are, the more likely you are to die. O! And that’s the other thing! This is about a serial killer not a single object!

I think at the end of every chapter I had a suspect in mind. At several points I was partially correct in my theory for the who, why and how. Yet I never nailed it. Sean’s writing sucks you in, gives you all the clues you need (in hindsight I can see this) and yet doesn’t give you quite enough to figure it out.

The information you have to make your theories is exactly what Lorenzo and Cathy have. In several spots I had a brainwave SECONDS before I read one of the characters having the same brainwave. It keeps you involved without ever being obvious which is amazing!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll continue The Boys of Jackson Harbour series with Wrapped in love by Lexi Ryan.

Author Bio

Sean Heary is a former business executive who lived for many years a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. No wonder he writes political thrillers. He also spent several years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan where he met his wife. Born and raised in Australia, Sean now makes Germany his home.

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The Boundary Fence – Alissa Callen

Welcome back everyone, have you ever picked up a book thinking it’s a stand-alone only to find out after you’ve started that it’s a book in a series, and that it’s not the first one?

This is exactly what happened with this book.

I got it off NetGalley thinking it was a stand-alone, only to realise when I set up all my tracking that I’d started the seventh book in the Woodlea series. Normally I hate coming into a series mid-way through, yet the way Alissa wrote this one I didn’t feel like I had come in part way.

Knowing that it was the seventh book only made one difference to my reading, it made me wonder who all the other seven couples were. I could only pick three, so it’d be interesting to go back and find out who they are and their journeys.

The self-doubt, the emotions, the second guessing that both Ella and Saul experienced throughout this book felt so natural. I think the time this was spread over helped make it believable. I’m not sure exactly how long it’s set over, but its longer than a few days or weeks.

The feel of a small country town was so palpable throughout the story. Everyone knowing each other, the community spirit etc. It all felt so authentic to small, rural towns of Australia. I’m sure these aren’t unique to Australia, but when they make references to the hay truck convoys it reminded me how hard our farmers have it at the moment.

If I remember rightly, we’ve been in draught for close to 10 years. Our farming communities are struggling to provide feed and water to their animals, let alone themselves. And then our supermarkets buy their meat and dairy at cost and price it at profit for them. Sorry for the rant, but it really frustrates me to have these communities romanticised in books like this without showing what they’re going through financially.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Wednesday I’ll be reviewing the second Venators book, Promises Forged by Devri Walls.

The Daughter of Victory Lights – Kerri Turner

Welcome back everyone, this review is a week behind schedule since I never go around to writing this review let alone scheduling it last week!

I was a little confused initially trying to remember what period I was reading at the time. I mean, you started in the 50s, went back to the 40s, then jumped around a little (always moving forwards in time) before making a massive jump to the 60s in Part 2.

This jumping around didn’t make sense to me until well into Part 2, roughly 3/4 of the way through the book. The first part of the book follows Evenlyn Bell, while the second part followed her daughter. Which explains where there was such a jump in time from the end of Part 1 and the start of Part 2.

Although I found that Part 2 was very anti-climatic and let the book down compared to Part 1. You must wait until the end of the book to find out why her daughter was raised away from her. What happened and why her father is so odd. None of it made sense and I almost lost interest in the book because of it.

I did push through. And I kind of wish I hadn’t. Although the writing and the story were good the ending just sucked. It could have been so much better but it just…ended! Nothing to it! Just blah.

I still rated it 4 starts because the writing was well done, and the overall story was good. I just didn’t enjoy some of the execution. It wasn’t to my tastes but I can see how some would enjoy it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce.

The Gin Lovers Guide to Dating – Nina Kaye

Welcome back everyone, I’m sorry for being a bit sporadic recently. But I need to try and balance everything in my life which is proving difficult at the moment.

It took me almost 2 weeks to read this book, through no fault of its own! The writing was well done, the character was interesting and there was a lot of difficulties she had to face and work through. It was purely that I was lucky to find 45minutes each day to read. So it just took me forever!

One of the things I enjoyed about Liv was how real her struggles were. Much of it was out of her control, yet her reactions to them was within her control. The one I understood the most was her struggle to keep her apartment.

Having a background working in debt recovery I had one perspective that wasn’t as dire as the book made out. Especially since she never seemed to talk to the bank. So unless the UK is DRASTICALLY different to Australia. Since I knew someone who worked in this field in the UK for a few years and their process wasn’t too different to Australia’s. Which kept throwing me a bit.

Since most people don’t have this insider knowledge, I highly doubt anyone else will have that issue.

The rest of the book blended gin, emotional growth and development, workplace romance and online dating into a great story. Who Graham is was a little obvious, but the impact he had to Liv and the overall story was great.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; I don’t think I’ll make my scheduled review for Monday. So please stay tuned to Twitter or Facebook to see when my next review goes live. OR you could sign up so you get an email letting you know it’s ready for you! Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Nina Kaye is a romantic comedy author who writes fast-paced, entertaining reads with a deeper edge. Nina started writing her first novel when she was 17 (locked in her room, supposedly studying). It was a short-lived experience that ended as soon as Nina’s exams did, but the dream of writing never left her.

Nina Kaye is a romantic comedy author who writes fast-paced, entertaining reads with a deeper edge. Nina started writing her first novel when she was 17 (locked in her room, supposedly studying). It was a short-lived experience that ended as soon as Nina’s exams did, but the dream of writing never left her.

Giveaway – Win a copy of The GIn Lovers Guide to Dating, a bottle of Tiger Gin and a copy of The Little Cocktail Box (UK 18+ only)

To celebrate this blog tour for The Gin Lover’s Guide to Dating, there seemed no better way than to give away some gin-related goodies! Nina has teamed up with specialist gin producer, Tiger Gin, to offer one lucky winner: a copy of her debut novel (Kindle Edition), a bottle of multi-Gold award winning Tiger Gin, and one copy of The Little Cocktail Box.

To enter, all you need to do is retweet and comment (just once!) on Nina’s pinned tweet on her Twitter page (@NinaKayeAuthor), telling her which blog tour post you have read. Nina will then choose the lucky winner at random after the closing date, which is 6pm (BST) on Thurs 29th April 2020.

This prize draw is only available to UK residents over the age of 18.

Full terms and conditions apply – bit.ly/2V6AdJ1. Always drink responsibly.

If I Never Met You – Mhairi McFarlane

Welcome back everyone, I’ve got another NetGalley review for you and I hope you’ll like the sound of it.

I’m not sure how I’m going to get through writing this review without spoiling it for you. Because OMG!

I can’t believe how involved I got with this story. I mean. The girl that’s so much like me it’s not funny, and the guy who sounds like he’s trying to be something he’s not. I love the trope of the opposites attracting yet I’m not sure how that’s going to play out in this situation.

The first thing I want to say is that Laurie is a half-white, half-black. Which to me means nothing because I honestly don’t care what your skin colour is. I only care what you’re like as a person. Yet the comments she makes throughout the book (including explaining why she asked if Jamie’s parents knew she was black) tell me so much about the indecency of others.

I always thought the media was playing up how racist people were about Meghan Markle since marrying Prince Harry. Yet reading this book gave me the feeling that it might be worse than what the media has made out. I mean. How crazy is that?! Who cares if someone is a woman, man, gay, straight, white, black or any other “variation”?!

The grace Laurie displayed throughout the book in the face of blatant sexism, chauvinistic ass holes and racism is amazing. Personally, I would’ve punched someone in the face, gotten my revenge etc well and truly before Laurie (who by the way is 36). The fact that the workplace allows that kind of behaviour is astounding and makes me wonder why any woman would want to work there.

Yet the office man whore seems to be the only man in the office who doesn’t feel that way about Laurie (other than her gay mate). The transition they go through is amazing. The confidence and growth they gain is amazing. I loved it the whole way through.

Right up until the end. That ending just killed it for me. How is that going to work?! How is that a happy ending?! I can’t see it as anything other than a disaster we haven’t read yet. Just tweak it a little bit and it’d be perfect! But nope. I don’t like that last little bit. If, or when, you’ve read it, I’m sure you know what I mean.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Devoted to Destiny by Lisa Kessler.

The Lawson Sisters – Janet Gover

Welcome back everyone, I’m finally getting onto some Aussie author’s and I’ve been lucky enough to start it with a good one! YAY!

To give you an idea on why I was surprised in the location for this book, I’ve only ever known the Hunter Valley to be a place for wineries and breweries. Having it as the prime location for a horse breeding set story was a bit of a shock for me.

Although I know some of the locations by name, and I’ve visited some, I’m not familiar enough with the region to know how accurate the descriptions were. Since the author spent time in the region while writing it, I’d assume they are on point.

Some people have marked this story as a romance, yet I feel it fits under women’s fiction a bit better. Purely because it felt like the majority of the story focussed on the sister’s relationship, their grief and their family stud farm.

The focus on the emotional growth and development of all the characters (Liz, Kayla and Mitch) is amazing. By having little snippets of the past shown it allowed me to add a little bit of knowledge and context to how the characters are feeling today as I went. They were also timed perfectly and only showed the tiny bit that would add value.

My only problem was figuring out who’s point of view, and when, I was reading at any given point in time. It only took me a page or so to figure it out, but it still tripped me up and took me longer, and more brain power, than I would’ve liked.

If it had character names and say a year at the start of each chapter, I think that would’ve really helped keep me fully involved in the story rather than trying to figure out who, and when, I was following. This would’ve been especially important the first time since I wasn’t expecting to be thrown into the past, so it took me a few pages to figure out I was reading about the past, not a dream or something.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce.

The Bachelor – Sabrina Jeffries

Welcome back everyone, I’ve been looking forward to reading today’s book since like, July last year. Since its release date is next week, I thought this would be a great way to break up all those tours for you!

I read the first book in the series, Project Duchess, in July 2019 and stumbled across the sequel on NetGalley available for request. Obviously, I asked for it and, luckily, was approved! YAY!

Given the time this series is set in I was a little confused as to why the cover art had the heroine holding a bow and arrow. After finishing the book, I can now see the clever use of one tiny part of the story to create that image. Genius!

Since it’s been ages since I read the first book, I struggled to remember what had happened to understand what some of the references were to. After a little bit I managed to remember the gist and remembered more as more bits and pieces were hinted at. I recommend re-reading the first book if you’re wanting to read this one to refresh your memory. Especially because this book continues some key aspects from that book.

Like with Project Duchess I found myself wrapped up in both the action and the romance. It felt like the pace alternated from slow, methodical and filled with anticipation to fast and suspense driven. Normally I’m not a fan of this, yet it worked really well to keep the story moving at a good pace without dragging on too much while still giving us the details we needed to truly enjoy the story.

Some of the emotional issues Sabrina raises between Gwyn and Joshua truly surprised me. Some of them I could understand, while others confused me. Given the age I don’t understand why one of them thought something was so uncommon. I thought people of that time spoke about those things more openly than we have tended to in the past 100 years or so. I’m struggling to explain this without ruining that little tid-bit. And I really don’t want to spoil that for you, coz it’s a pretty major part of the story.

With the way the story ended I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next instalment. Fingers cross I won’t have to wait TOO long for it since it’s scheduled for release in August.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Wednesday I’ll be reviewing Erotic Fiction? by Hannah Lynn.

The Dating Charade – Melissa Ferguson

Welcome back everyone, after finishing a book with a different take on the female anatomy we’re into a different take on dating.

I mean, who ends up with 6 children between two people anyway? And volunteering for them too!

I know right, that sounds completely crazy right? Especially for childless and happy me.

But seriously, I don’t understand the urge to look after kids. I’m lucky to have the urge to look after my nieces (not so much my nephews!) but they are amazing, and they come running to me whenever I come near them. So that’s easy.

What these two go through. OMG!

That’s some love dedication to those kids. And trying to date during those times? Isn’t it hard enough to date as a 30-year-old, let alone adding in the difficulty of kids?

Ok, I’ll try to be over the kids’ stuff and move onto the topics of the book.

The writing style felt like good fun. We swapped between Cassie and Jett each chapter and got involved in their thoughts, feelings and everyday actions.

It was set from like Thanksgiving (when is that BTW?) through to like Valentines Day. I don’t know if you’d classify it as a holiday romance. But it’s still got a bit of that feeling since most of the story is set in and around the Christmas period. And isn’t that all the rage at this time of the year?

Luckily it embodies everything I love about the Christmas period and just imbues you with everything you want to feel in the Christmas period. I love that feeling. But I also know it wasn’t as enrapturing as it could have been.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Naughty or Nice by Rachael Stewart.

You, Me, and the Movies – Fiona Collins

Welcome back everyone, although this isn’t a Christmas story like last week’s review. It’s begins around Christmas. I’m calling it that it’s still in the spirit of this season!

I’m just gonna put it out there. This book is classified as a romance, but it felt more like a self discovery story to me. Yes, this centred around a romance. But I honestly felt like I was reading Arden’s story of growth, pain, change and her friendships.

Arden had her ups and downs, just like anyone does. Her life took unexpected turns that didn’t give her the big amazing life Mac imagined she’d have. But she kept going. She lived for her son. She had the courage to change in the face of adversity, for her son. She found the courage to renew friendships she thought she’d lost and didn’t deserve.

Those actions speak so much louder to me than the romantic connection and memories from her time with Mac. With each chapter swapping between the past and the present, you get a sense of who Arden was, while experiencing who she is now.

I may have imagined it, but it felt like the chapters written about the past were written in a reflective style. Whereas the ones set now felt like there were written in the moment. If I did imagine it then I’m sorry! But I did feel like there was a difference in the writing style which helped to grow and develop the story.

The main thing I loved about this story was the deep meaning and value of friendships that’s displayed throughout the book. The messages coming through during these times were so intense that it caused me to reflect on my own friendships, past and present, to see how I could be a better friend to others.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I go back to a typical Christmas book with Lucy Coleman’s Magic Under the Mistletoe.