The Bastard – Lisa Renee Jones

Welcome back everyone, after a brief step back in time we’re back into modern times. This time in America where we have a mix of romance and suspense.

I found myself underwhelmed with this story as a whole. It had some great moments that captured my attention. But at the end of it I found I wasn’t dying to read the next book. Considering the last book I got from NetGalley I immediately bought the rest of the series this was a massive let down.

It’s not that the writing wasn’t good. We had a great mix of past and present, twists popping up at the right time etc. But I felt like I just didn’t really care. I feel like maybe there was some emotional buy in missing right at the start of the book.

If I had that buy in, I think I would’ve liked this a lot better.

Would I read the next book if it was given to me? Probably, but only if I felt like I had nothing else to read.

I’m kinda hoping that I just wasn’t in the mood to read this style, or at all when I read this. It would make me feel better about not really being interested given how highly it’s rated on Goodreads. But it just didn’t do it for me. Sorry.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley.

The Consequence of Loyalty – Trey Stone

Welcome back everyone, this week we have a change of pace from the romances I’ve been reading so far this year. Instead, we have a bit of a complex, suspense/thriller style story.

Writing Style

I found this book an interesting read throughout. Although there were a few cases of typos (I don’t think you can ever get rid of them entirely) that had me pausing to figure out what had been missed so I could understand the meaning of the sentence. Overall, this read as a story that is meant to challenge you and keep you guessing.

What I found quite useful was the date and time stamp at the start of each chapter. Since we were swapping between various characters and went back in time at a couple of points, this made it really easy to see the flow of the story and understand when I was reading about a particular character.

Given how complex this story is, I would’ve been lost without this so I’m super thankful!


Initial Thoughts

When I first started reading this story, I got the feeling I was going to read a book equivalent to “Quantico”. And that was pretty damn complex, so I knew I’d be in for a confusing ride if this was anything like that.

I was a little bit lost to begin with, until I got used to the writing style, when we kept swapping characters. But this quickly settled as you got told pretty much at the start of each change who you were following now based on where they were, what they were feeling and what they were doing.


Final Thoughts

I will admit I powered through this one more because I got my reading mojo back and because I was trying to avoid having to study since I wasn’t feeling 100%.

That’s not to say that the story wasn’t intriguing. It was!

It just wasn’t the whole reason I read this one in like 2 days.

Anyway, as I worked through the story, I found I couldn’t figure out what direction I was meant to be heading in. Was I meant to be seeing clues as to who was behind everything? Was I just meant to be along for the ride?

If I wasn’t meant to be seeing any clues as to who the mastermind behind the shooting was, then congrats! Coz I certainly didn’t pick up on anything. But if I was meant to see clues and start to figure out (even just vaguely) who was responsible. Well, you missed the mark there.

It kinda felt like when you’re near your word limit for a uni report or essay, but you don’t wana cut out anything you’ve done so far. So you just cram the last bit of the report into the fewest possible words without actually explaining yourself properly. It honestly was like a hail Mary as to who the evil mastermind was that I didn’t pick up on until they walked into the kitchen to arrest them.

Surely, I should have had at least SOME inkling by this stage as to who needed to be arrested? I’m not saying I’m always right with these things. But normally afterwards once you know who the bad guy is you see all the clues fall into place.

And I didn’t get that with this one. Which was a shame since the rest of it was well written and kept me engaged throughout the whole story.


Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Trust the Wolf by Zoe Ashwood.


Author Bio

Trey Stone is an author, reader, and reviewer. His first book, The Consequence of Loyalty, a crime thriller set in Columbus, Ohio was published in 2017. When he's not working on his second novel, he enjoys reading, playing the guitar, and his day job as an archaeologist.

          

Naked Truths – Karen Botha

Welcome back to another week on Book Tour. Just to let you know I seem to be reading books a little quicker now and I don't know if that's because the books I'm reading are shorter or because I've gotten a new job I actually get more reading time. So you may see some extra reviews go up on Fridays if I'm reading 2 books a week. I will have to see how I go!

So I want to start off this review at the end of the book momentarily, but it is for good reason. It's so I can say: nooooo!!!! I turned the page to get closer to closing off the book and was left with the book abruptly ending RIGHT as it was getting really interesting!!! WHY?!?!?!?!?! Now I've gota wait until the next book to find out what they said!

As frustrating as I find that it's one hell of a way to ensure people come back and buy the second book. And I'm sure you will want to because I totally got suckered in with this one. It slowly builds up the tension then seems to release it, only to build it up to breaking point and when you think everything is all good all of a sudden things don't make sense anymore!

I don't know if this is because one of the characters has split personalities, or whether Karen didn't realise (and I'm not comparing exact words, just my memory of the wording) that at one stage of the book they were thinking and saying one set of thoughts and feelings only to have that completely contradicted at the end of the book. I honestly don't know, but it really added to the suspense levels and my brain going "what the hell is going on?!"

Anyway I should probably tell you a little about it! We have 3 characters that this book follows and it's not really an even spread as to who you're following. It's more of a who does it make sense to follow at this point of the book? We start off following Lucy as she's painting her house on a public holiday and she gets a call for a new client to get a massage.

Giles is the only guy that we follow and the book pretty much rotates around him. He's at the centre of everything and it's his character that I felt had those conflicts. Some of the conflicts made sense but some of them didn't.

The final character we follow is Paula. Paula is Lucy's best friend and an ex-homicide detective. And it's this that brings her into the story and what forces the story to evolve, change and grow throughout the book. I honestly believe without Paula being the unfortunate third wheel this book would be just another typical romance novel. So having her in the mix throws that out the window and gives us the suspense and craziness that hooks you in.

I feel like I can't really say much else about the book without ruining it for you. With the suspense novels you really need to read the build up and what exactly causes it to really get the full impact. General romance novels you can typically say a little bit about it since they all follow the same framework but I feel like with this style you need to discover each little fact and contemplate it yourself to really enjoy it.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks review. I will see you next week with "All Wrapped Up" by Sun Chara. Don't forget to keep reading to find out about Karen!

Karen Botha was born in Lincolnshire, England where her father was in the Royal Air Force. As a young girl she always had a passion for reading and writing, studying English Language before University.

Working most of her adult life in digital marketing didn't leave her much time to pursue her passion for stories. But, at the age of 36 she retrained as a reflexologist and started working for herself. This helped her free up more than enough time to enjoy a re-found passion; writing.

Her first novel was inspired by the true lift experiences of her clients. But don't believe everything you read, she has more than enough imagination to catch you out with twist and turns galore.

She enjoys romance, travelling and motor sport, which also provide her inspiration for her books.

She currently lives in London with her husband and rescue dog, Shadow.

If you'd like to get in touch with Karen or check out what she's up to make sure you check out her website and social media pages:

Webpage: www.karenbotha.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenBothaAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenBothaNovel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenbothaauthor/

Don't forget to check out the other review's on Chasing Ghosts and you can see who's writing reviews below:

Daisy – Karen Botha

Welcome back all, this is the first week in the coming weeks where I will be reading a Karen Botha novel. And I gota say I'm impressed and am now looking forward to the next book of her's I'll be reading! I'm also already looking forward to the second instalment of this series.

We start off this book with Daisy, our main character, rushing to a business meeting in the pouring rain in London. She is instantly attracted to him in a way she can't understand to the point where she misses some crucial info he gives her. When we swap to his side of things (it does swap between these two every 1-3 chapters with the occasional other character involved as well) I started to feel a bit wary. Why did he have answers to potential questions "prepared"? There was something about this phrasing that kept nagging at me until I got my answer right near the end of the book!

Needless to say I was intrigued. Especially when she played him by having him come to a fundraiser just so she could figure out what details she missed. And she got them alright! She even got them with a side sex with her hot new business partner! only problem is, she's fairly certain he set her up the next morning when her house got broken into leaving her with a smashed face, smashed house and missing money. At this stage I felt like there had to be more to the story than we were getting, because otherwise, why write a book including this at what felt like a pivotal moment?

I can't write too much about what happens in the book without ruining the main plot for you which is what I really connected to. After trying to figure who's robbed her Daisy gets sucked into a murder mystery where she's the prime suspect. How is she going to get out of this and back to her life as she knows it? Well it involves reuniting two friends that are in love, testing the limits of her resolve and it ends up giving her what her heart wants but she's been too afraid to pursue. All while on a rollercoaster ride with Errol.

The one theme that kept playing over and over through this book was that our choices, not our morals and values, are what shape the person we become. And I agree with this whole heartedly. I also agree that in the pursuit of fame and/or fortune many people forget what their morals and values are. So seeing this play out where Daisy is essentially not true to her morals and values is an extreme example of what can happen.

I also realised about halfway through the book that I'm fairly certain this book is the first book I've read where the main character is a black woman. How is it possible that out of ALL the books I've read, I've never come across one where the main character is a black woman? Have I been living a sheltered reading life? Or are there really that few books that use black woman as their main characters? I'm pretty sure I've had almost every other nationality appear as main characters, but not that. It really made me take a moment on my bus ride to work to absorb, recognise and wonder at that.

But the thing that made it amazing for me was that Karen hasn't written it in a way where it's screaming "I've included a minority! Look at me! I'm amazing and support them!" It's written in a way that it's like it's a common day occurance and shouldn't be a surprise. And in reality that's true. Minorities should be respected equally as much as larger demographics. And this book felt like it had the perfect balance to me.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing another book by Karen Botha, “Naked Truths”. Continue down to read a bit more about Karen.

Karen Botha was born in Lincolnshire, England where her father was in the Royal Air Force. As a young girl she always had a passion for reading and writing, studying English Language before University.

Working most of her adult life in digital marketing didn't leave her much time to pursue her passion for stories. But, at the age of 36 she retrained as a reflexologist and started working for herself. This helped her free up more than enough time to enjoy a re-found passion; writing.

Her first novel was inspired by the true lift experiences of her clients. But don't believe everything you read, she has more than enough imagination to catch you out with twist and turns galore.

She enjoys romance, travelling and motor sport, which also provide her inspiration for her books.

She currently lives in London with her husband and rescue dog, Shadow.

If you'd like to get in touch with Karen or check out what she's up to make sure you check out her website and social media pages:

Webpage: www.karenbotha.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenBothaAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenBothaNovel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenbothaauthor/

Don't forget to check out the other reviews:

The Makings of a Lady – Catherine Tinley

Welcome back to another round of book tour week! I've yet again managed to snag a spot in the blog tour on the day the book is released. YAY!!! I'm finding this experience super exciting and I don't feel like such a geek knowing that there are other's out there who are as into books as I am. So thank you to all my readers who make me feel included!

Alrighty, so the first thing I noticed about this book was that it's publisher is Harlequin and Mills and Boon. Now this might seem trivial but over the last 12 months I've read a bunch of books that have been published through them (is it weird that I remember that?) and I've enjoyed every one of them. So I immediately got excited about what was in store for me with this one. And I wasn't let down!

Now this one is the third book in the series but it's one of those series where the books can be read as standalone books or in order. In my case I haven't read the other two books so I read this one as a standalone. But I think I want to go back and read the other two as well!

So we start off with Olivia who is pretty nervous because she's hoping her crush loves her and is going to propose to her. Except he doesn't. He asked to walk with her because he's leaving her for Australia with no words of love or devotion. Which obviously breaks Olivia's 18 yr old heart. And like most people after they experience their first real heartbreak, she closes herself off from men not wanting to be hurt again. Which I completely understand. Once you've been hurt it's really hard to open yourself up knowing that you might get hurt like that again.

Fast forward 4 years and she's suddenly faced with Jem again, after 4 years of no contact. On the same day as he's set to arrive though she also meets another gentleman who immediately catches her eye. And even manages a sneaky kiss! And cue the manly jostling of Olivia's attention, made all the more awkward because Olivia doesn't know Jem is interested in her because he doesn't know if she's interested in him, because she doesn't know he's interested in her. And OMG please stop the merry go round! Personally I've never experienced this. I'm a very straight forward person and if I like someone I'll make sure they know it. So to read this cringe worthy over analysis and self destructive behaviour really had me wanting to smack their heads together going "you both like each other! Now talk it out!"

Obviously I couldn't do that, so I had to settle with obsessively reading this book to finish it within 4 days to know who Olivia ends up with. They both seem to have moments where they are sure of their feelings for one another, but then they over analyse and let silly comments from others make them doubt the other's feelings. And of course George constantly mooning over Olivia doesn't help matter's much. It's obvious he's vying for Olivia's hand in marriage and she doesn't seem to be pushing him away. So will she give up on ever understanding Jem and settle for George who she obviously doesn't love?

Or will she use the same courage she had when she escaped captivity to tell Jem how she feels and see where things go from there? Well as it turns out it's Jem who finally grows a pair and does something. Only to leave her again with no explanation of how he's feeling. Which then put's Olivia onto the backfoot again when someone mentions he's going to marry one of her friends. By this point I was ready to scream at Olivia for lacking some self-confidence and assurance.

Anyway, after another couple of unfortunately encounters for Olivia she FINALLY get's to hear Jem tell her that he loves her. And of course he stuffs up his proposal so she refuses him, which is good because it prompts him to propose in a much more romantic way that she then readily accepts.

My only criticism with this book is that I really would have liked an epilogue. Just to tidy up those loose ends, let us see Olivia and Jem some time later say on their wedding day or something to really solidify that happily ever after. The excitement, the hanging onto the edge of your seat and staying up late so you can know what happens next is great. But I feel like I really needed that extra little bit of closure. Especially since this is the final book in the trilogy.

Otherwise, yet another Harlequin book has not let me down! As I knew I would, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I'm sure anyone who's a fan of exciting, regency romance novels will love this one.

Don't forget to check out the other reviews as part of this tour, details are below:

Alrighty, so the first thing I noticed about this book was that it's publisher is Harlequin and Mills and Boon. Now this might seem trivial but over the last 12 months I've read a bunch of books that have been published through them (is it weird that I remember that?) and I've enjoyed every one of them. So I immediately got excited about what was in store for me with this one. And I wasn't let down!

Now this one is the third book in the series but it's one of those series where the books can be read as standalone books or in order. In my case I haven't read the other two books so I read this one as a standalone. But I think I want to go back and read the other two as well!

So we start off with Olivia who is pretty nervous because she's hoping her crush loves her and is going to propose to her. Except he doesn't. He asked to walk with her because he's leaving her for Australia with no words of love or devotion. Which obviously breaks Olivia's 18 yr old heart. And like most people after they experience their first real heartbreak, she closes herself off from men not wanting to be hurt again. Which I completely understand. Once you've been hurt it's really hard to open yourself up knowing that you might get hurt like that again.

Fast forward 4 years and she's suddenly faced with Jem again, after 4 years of no contact. On the same day as he's set to arrive though she also meets another gentleman who immediately catches her eye. And even manages a sneaky kiss! And cue the manly jostling of Olivia's attention, made all the more awkward because Olivia doesn't know Jem is interested in her because he doesn't know if she's interested in him, because she doesn't know he's interested in her. And OMG please stop the merry go round! Personally I've never experienced this. I'm a very straight forward person and if I like someone I'll make sure they know it. So to read this cringe worthy over analysis and self destructive behaviour really had me wanting to smack their heads together going "you both like each other! Now talk it out!"

Obviously I couldn't do that, so I had to settle with obsessively reading this book to finish it within 4 days to know who Olivia ends up with. They both seem to have moments where they are sure of their feelings for one another, but then they over analyse and let silly comments from others make them doubt the other's feelings. And of course George constantly mooning over Olivia doesn't help matter's much. It's obvious he's vying for Olivia's hand in marriage and she doesn't seem to be pushing him away. So will she give up on ever understanding Jem and settle for George who she obviously doesn't love?

Or will she use the same courage she had when she escaped captivity to tell Jem how she feels and see where things go from there? Well as it turns out it's Jem who finally grows a pair and does something. Only to leave her again with no explanation of how he's feeling. Which then put's Olivia onto the backfoot again when someone mentions he's going to marry one of her friends. By this point I was ready to scream at Olivia for lacking some self-confidence and assurance.

Anyway, after another couple of unfortunately encounters for Olivia she FINALLY get's to hear Jem tell her that he loves her. And of course he stuffs up his proposal so she refuses him, which is good because it prompts him to propose in a much more romantic way that she then readily accepts.

My only criticism with this book is that I really would have liked an epilogue. Just to tidy up those loose ends, let us see Olivia and Jem some time later say on their wedding day or something to really solidify that happily ever after. The excitement, the hanging onto the edge of your seat and staying up late so you can know what happens next is great. But I feel like I really needed that extra little bit of closure. Especially since this is the final book in the trilogy.

Otherwise, yet another Harlequin book has not let me down! As I knew I would, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I'm sure anyone who's a fan of exciting, regency romance novels will love this one.

Don't forget to check out the other reviews as part of this tour, details are below:

The Makings of a Lady Full Tour Banner

Thank you for reading. Next week I will be reviewing "Chasing Ghosts" by Madalyn Morgan as part of a book tour. I did warn you that there'd be a few! Lol, but don't worry I have some of my TBR booking coming up in a few weeks. I look forward to seeing you next week, but don't forget to scroll down to read about the author and some extra goodies!

Catherine Tinley writes heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, cat, and dog and can be reached at catherinetinley.com, as well as facebook.com/CatherineTinleyWriter  and @CatherineTinley on twitter.

Don’t forget to take a look at Catherine Tinley’s Social media accounts.   She is running a giveaway to win a copy of the book, along with two other (surprise) romance novels by other writers.

2 x UK/Ireland Winners and 1 x International Winner.

For all the details look out for Catherine Tinley on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatherineTinleyWriter 

Twitter: @CatherineTinley

The Brilliant Game – A. Gavazzoni

Welcome back all, I hope you've been looking forward to this review because I've been looking forward to sharing it with you!

This is the final instalment of Behind the Door and Lara's Journal and I can honestly say I enjoyed reading this one and was cursing my Kindle when it was taking forever to download so I could get started.

So this one picked up a little bit after Lara's Journal ended but not before Simone's daughter was freed. Following on from the previous book I can tell you that you're in for one hell of a ride!

Firstly Peter's sister isn't connected to any of the murders and gets released. At first I couldn't believe this because how else did Peter escape? And how else could he have known when to kidnap Simone's daughter? And then I thought, maybe Peter has another accomplice? Maybe a guy? Maybe that's how the sperm samples aren't related to Peter's sister.

That certainly felt more plausible than Peter being adopted since it was never mentioned in any of the previous books. And surely if Peter was adopted that would've come out sooner. I mean, it'd just have to right? Which means Peter's sister and the receptionist are now out of the running for being the killer. Which leaves us with the ex-boyfriend; although he seems to have dropped off the map so I think we can scratch him off as well. So really we're left with Peter Hay, Carl and Edward.

And somehow I couldn't see Carl being responsible. I mean he really doesn't feel right for this. He goes to Simone honestly looking for help. He's in crisis over what happened with Lara and needs to absolve his guilt over her death. To begin with that's in the form of getting her to read his memoir and analysing the possibility that he purposely killed Lara. Then he is given a copy of Lara's story, her whole life on paper for him to read and really understand why she was who she was. Except facing those details can be tough so I understand why he'd need someone else, a third party, to read it along with him.

During this book we're introduced to two more possible candidates for all the murders. A necrophiliac that Simone had previously treated, and John, one of Lara's lovers. Even though when the necrophiliac angle was introduced because Peter's DNA didn't match the semen found on the body it just didn't feel right. This necrophiliac was one who sought out already dead bodies. Unless of course he was brought in as the accomplice who would get rid of the bodies? But I dunno... It just didn't feel right to me.

John on the other hand went of the rails a bit once he read Lara's Journal. So I could see him killing people. But again, he didn't know Simone previously, so why was he attacking people and leaving them on her doorstep, and why attack her patients?

Now normally I would like to leave some mystery to the book so you can enjoy the full impact when you read it for yourself. But there's a few things I need to tell you because OMG! Adriana really left it to the last minute making me feel like there'd need to be a fourth book just to give me the answers I wanted!

But, instead she made it so that it all came out during Peter's trial in the final chapter of the book so you're only left with a couple of pages to process what's happened. Although I'm not a big fan of Tolkien's writing style where it takes 5+ pages to describe a leaf falling. I would have felt a little bit better with A LITTLE bit more time to have the reveal occur and see how everyone responds to it. I think one more chapter would have REALLY made this book amazing.

But Adriana really leaves you on tenterhooks that whole way through. Guessing, and guessing who could be behind the murders. How could Peter be innocent but not innocent? How did it take the FBI until the last minute, and even then it took Simone to figure out and expose what had happened?

I definitely feel like I need longer to just sit and process everything that came out in the last chapter of this book. So I think I should take a day before I start a new book.

I hope you enjoyed reading the final review on this trilogy and I honestly think you should give this trilogy a go if you enjoy books with suspense, sex and romance.

Thank you Adriana for giving me to opportunity to read your series. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all 3 books the whole way through!

Lara’s Journal – A Gavazzoni

Welcome back all, as promised I have the next instalment of Behind the Door for you! Now something that I often find when reading book series is that they get repetitive and a bit boring so sometimes I go into these with a grain of salt when the first book has really grabbed my attention.

But I didn't need to with this one. I was really unsure how we could continue on from the previous book when the killer has fled the country and we've solved the murder. Other than literally just reading Lara's side to her relationship with Carl (which I wanted to read anyway) I wasn't sure what else could be done. Like really, what would you have done if you were the author? Because I am a big fan of, if you've gotten it right don't ruin it by trying to make more money out of sequels when you had never planned on writing them.

Now the set up for this book is no where near as good as the set up for the third novel so I get the feeling that Adriana finished the first book intending to wrap it up there. Then really wanted to share more. Whereas the ending of this book is a total, blatant set up for a third book. Which I don't mind because it show's there's a plan. And she's ended it on a cliff hanger. And I am a TOTAL sucker for a good cliff hanger!

Anyway I feel like I've jumped ahead because I'm SOOOO eager to read the next book! Like normally I'd space it out a bit to give you guys, my readers, a bit of variety but I don't think I can with this one 😐

ANYWAY! I must move on to give you reason's why I liked this one so much! So we start off with a girl hooking up with a guy at a nightclub and having sex in the bathroom. Since I thought this was Lara, whatevs! Only, it turns out it's Simone, and she's slept with her friends cousin! How completely unlike Simone! But then again she had been kidnapped and drunk A LOT of wine and it's not like she's in a relationship. So she can totally live her life the way she want's to!

Next thing we know one of her reliable crazy patients has attacked his mistress, wife and the club his mistress works in so Simone has to rush home. Just in time to find out that the cousin is a crazy stalker. Just what she needs when she's still recovering from being kidnapped!

Within a couple of weeks of returning like 3 or 4 of her patients have turned up dead, the FBI don't know whether to suspect her or Peter Hay (the guy that kidnapped her). And I was tossing up between the stalker boyfriend, the new receptionist, Peter, Peter's sister, Carl and Edward as to who the guilty party could be! Now to give you a bit of an idea where's why I suspect each of them:

  • Stalker boyfriend rocked up then everything turned to shit for Simone in a way that's different to before which suggests someone new
  • The new receptionist doesn't seem to smile, is happy to take the job of someone who was just killed. And no one died until after she started...
  • Peter Hay because you know, he did kidnap her and kill all those other people!
  • His sister, for revenge against Simone for Peter having to flee the country, and poison is typically known to be a female choice
  • Carl because both times he entered Simone's life shit hits the fan
  • And finally Edward, with him I don't really have a tangible reason why, it's just a gut feeling

Since this book ends on a cliff hanger I never get to find out who the one responsible for this round of deaths is. But my main suspects are the new receptionist and Peter's sister but with her I feel that Peter would have to be involved somehow. Ideally my gut is telling me the receptionist and Peter's sister are either one and the same or somehow linked.

So now that I feel like I've turned into a bit of a conspiracy theorist I'll let you go! And I look forward to sharing my next review on "Master the Marchioness" by Em Brown next week.

Dangerous Waters – Anne Allen

Welcome back to another Guernsey Book novel by Anne Allen. I read this one accidentally when I was meant to read A Family Divided. And I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed this book right from the get go and was really intrigued by the combination of historically accurate information that was woven into the story in way that made it feel seamless.

We start off with our main character Jeanne returning to Guernsey for the first time in 15 years and she's experiencing a panic attack due to the reminder of the death of her parents, which she witnessed. I can't say I've experienced this myself but I can empathise with her because it can be quite difficult to return to somewhere that was tarnished with difficult memories. Unfortunately some guy decides to be a bit of a dick and accuses her of being drunk when she stumbles due to her panic attack. Luckily, she has some family friends on the island that she is staying with who support her upon her return. Even though she doesn't seem to want to lean on them too much it's good that she's got them there for her when she needs them. Some people have a support system and choose not to use them, while others desperately need them but don't have them. Out of both of these options, I'd definitely rather have the system and not need it so that when I need it I know it's there for me.

She manages to get herself settled in her grandmothers cottage (she passed on and that's why she's returned) while she prepares the place to sell, since she has no intention of staying in a place with so many bad memories. While staying here she discovers a number of recipes going back to her French restaurateur ancestors which inspires her to write a cooking/ romance novel based on her families history on Guernsey Island during the war.

While researching for her novel and managing the renovation of the cottage she learns some dark secrets about her families past, including a love affair with a German soldier, while also working on hypnosis to regain memories of the night she witnessed her parents murder. I personally found this fascinating to read about because I have a little bit of a love affair with history and love learning about something I didn't know about previously. During this time she dates her crush from high school until she starts to feel a little uncomfortable and stalked. At which point she ends things and accidentally ends up dating the guy who accused her of being drunk when she first arrived. And I can't blame her for this given the relationship she got out of not long before coming back to Guernsey. Given that experience I'm all for date around casually, and when you feel ready commit. Don't commit just because for once a guy is ready to commit! What if he's crazy and you end up in an even worse position than you were in before? So it made me happy when she recognised what SHE wanted and followed her gut feeling, her head and her heart. Which luckily all agreed on the one thing, to dump the high school crush and move on to the nice guy you've been having lunch with.

One thing leads to another, and he ends up looking after her and protecting her from the people who killed her parents. The people who killed her parents even tried to kill her but luckily her love interest saves her and brings her to safety. I really feel for her when this happens, because not only is she terrified of being in a boat after her parents death. But the same people who killed her parents also try to kill her on a boat. And by a stroke of luck she's able to call her new boyfriend to come and save her. After he saves her it doesn't take much to sort out the mystery of her parents killers and bring them to justice.

And then as with any romance novel she wins the guy, her career kicks off and her family life takes a massive turn for the better. Although the following books don't follow the same character's; some of the characters we met in this book will also feature in the rest of the series. I've mentioned this in the "Family Divided" book, but I really enjoyed reading both these books and definitely plan to come back to this series to finish reading it. If you enjoy romance novels with a bit of history woven in you will probably like it one.

Thankyou for reading this weeks post, and I will see you next with for "The Wedding Season" by Samantha Chase. As always, please visit the actual post (I'd love to know how many people are reading these posts!), like, comment and share 🙂

Behind the Door – A. Gavazzoni

A Gavazzoni contacted me to read this book and I'm really glad she did. I'm not sure if she's read my blog, but if she has I can see why she thought I'd enjoy it. Yes it had some graphic sex scenes in it (be prepared for way more than Fifty Shades of Grey). However the focus of this book was the psychology behind the characters which is something I really enjoy. Even in my job I love to be challenged. I even commented that I was getting bored at work recently because it was all making sense and I had to quickly get some easy stuff done due to a really tough deadline.

With the boring work having to be done I found myself constantly thinking about what could possibly be driving these characters, why were they reacting in certain ways? How were they all linked? Why did my gut tell me that such and such a character had more to them than it sounded like? So this definitely kept my mind active when I really needed it.

We start off this book with Simone who is a psychiatrist lecturing in New York and was interrupted by a lawyer; Carl; which I thought was odd. Lawyers don't tend to hang around those types of conferences, and if they do want to speak to a psychiatrist then they'd make an appointment or call them to their office. Then when he didn't pressure her to drop everything and focus on what he needed to meet his court deadline, it made me wonder what was going on. Not that you'll find out until right near the very end!

Due to Carl approaching Simone to help him with his court case the book takes two different approaches. One is Mark's story about Lara which he has written as a manuscript while the other is the murders happening in Simone's home town that start to impact her in her day to day life and her psychiatry practice. At this point I started to wonder if the two stories were intertwined or if this was just the beginning of a series to really explore both avenues.

I won't go into what happens in this story too much because I think it'd ruin the intensity for you. But basically someone starts murdering women in Simone's home town while she's working on the manuscript Carl gave her. The murderer even leaves a dead body on Simone's doorstep which freaks everyone out. And eventually Simone is kidnapped and tortured by the murderer. While held by them she figures out who they are and is able to report them to the police when she is rescued days after her kidnapping took place.

Meanwhile we get to read Mark's manuscript alongside Simone (this is where all the graphic details are) to find out what actually happened between Mark and Lara. Mark sounds like a decidedly normal and kinda boring guy, while Lara sounds like she has a LOT of mental issues that have been left unresolved that she doesn't seem to want to work on. Simone diagnoses her as sadomasochistic with ADHD tendencies that resulted in an addiction to adrenaline. That addiction is what seems to control her life as we know it and ends up being what killed her.

The thing that I really liked about this book that a few other books I've read recently hasn't really done when talking about these kinds of topics is that it showed the bad as well as how to combat it. Yes, Lara's mum was awful and sold her off and didn't act like a mother should. However her friends and the rest of her family supported her in any way that they could, including supporting her to leave those situations. Unfortunately for her it seems it was all too late to "fix" what happened, but it was good to hear about others that are willing to do the right thing. Including getting restraining orders, which I feel many people in those situations are too scared to do. I also liked the fact A. Gavazzoni explored how these events impacted those around Lara which is something most people tend to shy away from.

So although the sex scenes were a bit too graphic for my liking, I really liked the fact that Simone then explored the psychology behind these behaviours. In these situations it's the psychology, the thought process and the analysis that really gets me involved and hooked. And A. Gavazzoni nails this aspect of her writing and I love it. I got so hooked on the what and why the events occurred that I almost ditched my boyfriend on a Friday night to finish the book! Which is unheard of for me, especially since it was game night for my footy team which I always watch.

If you like brain teasers and can get through the sex scenes I think you'd really enjoy this book just like I did.

Thank you for reading, next week I will be participating in another Book Tour, this time with a brand new release called "One Summer Weekend" by Juliet Archer. I look forward to seeing you then.