Author: BCBandMore

Dead Secret by Noelle Holten (Maggie Jamieson 4)

51t3-f23kjL Synopsis: Psychopaths can take root in the unlikeliest soil…

DC Maggie Jamieson crosses paths once again with Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood when a domestic violence survivor stumbles into her new refuge, unable to speak, desperate for help.

Then another case hits Maggie’s desk. A young man has been murdered, and a curious constellation of black dots has been inked onto his cheek.

That’s when DCI Hastings goes missing and Maggie uncovers a shocking connection that turns the case on its head.

Every family may hide secrets, but not every family buries them…

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I have to say this was my favourite book by Noelle so far….by a mile! Maggie Jamieson is maybe not a conventional character in some ways but is very enjoyable to read about. The storyline involves the murder of a man  clearly murdred but with strange markings on his face.If that wasn’t enough Maggies very own colleague and superior DI Hastings then goes missing and that takes the story up by quite a few notches. Then a woman turns up at a refuge run by Maggies friend Lucy. A lot of the characters you read about have all featured in previous books so as each book passes as the reader you certainly feel more invested in allof the characters.

There is a lot of intrigue and action in this latest book and it took me only a couple of days to plough through it in its entirety. This series seems to be going from strength to strength and even though you can read this as a standalone it always flows better when you have the history of all the characters. I absolutely loved this book and would defintely recommend it and I am really looking forward to the next installment.

Good Girl by Mel Sherratt (Grace Allendale 4)

51-tMaqPvCL Synopsis: When sixteen-year-old Erin Ellis is attacked, she dies in the arms of her best friend Molly, just metres from her home. Molly is the surviving girl but says she easily could have been the victim – it was a random mugging gone wrong.

With inconclusive evidence, DS Grace Allendale must dig deep within the tight-knit Stoke community for leads. And she soon finds that someone had a motive to kill Erin.

As the investigation unfolds, Grace is reminded of a horrifying case she worked on earlier in her career.

Is the past coming back to haunt her? And can she push through her fear to catch Erin’s killer before it’s too late?

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I was anticipating and dreading this book in equal measures. This is the fourth and last book in this series featuring Grace Allendale. This final book sees Erin Ellis dying in her best friend Molly’s arms. It’s certainly a dramatic opening and one that had me engrossed from the very beginning.  It happened just yards away from Erin’s home and it appears at first glance to be a mugging gone wrong. As with any Mel Sherratt book you know it’s never going to be that simple.

The story progresses with the usual door knocking and delving into Erin’s life and things slowly are uncovered that make it clear it isn’t necessarily cut and dried. Grace’s involvement with the Steele family once again creeps into the investigation. There are a lot of twists and turns and it’s certainly a book that will keep you engaged and totally absorbed. I absolutely loved this final book and the series. Highly recommended

A New Happy Place by Ruth Hanna

51EgaF231NL Synopsis: How do you get your mojo back when you’ve got a broken heart?

Violet is a seamstress who has big dreams of designing her own wedding gowns and opening her own bridal shop. But things fall apart when she finds Philip, her boyfriend, in a compromising position with one of her colleagues.

Violets decides it is time to go back home to her eccentric mother and particular father, Fred. And after wallowing, Violet decides to re-evaluate her life, put the past behind her, and search for happiness.

She meets with old friends and builds an unlikely friendship with a group of zany women from her mother’s Zumba class.

With the help of her friends, old and new, Violet begins to rebuild her life. Then she meets the handsome Ben Matthews and there is instant chemistry. But with life throwing up yet more problems, their relationship is put to the test.

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I picked this book up having no idea that I had never read this author before, I can assure you after finishing it Ruth Hanna is going straight up the list of authors to read in the future. Violet is our main character but her life literally falls apart when she finds her boyfriend in a compromising position. She decides to up sticks and go back to her parents Violet and Fred.

This book I read in just two sittings over two days and absolutely loved every page. I was truly disappointed when I had finished it. Violet and her parents are such great characters to read about and I loved  the setting, where they lived along with all the other featuring characters. The crazy golden girls of the village at their Zumba class and then the wonderful Ben Matthews! This book was a sheer pleasure to read and I would highly recommend it, a true feel good read!

Trapped by Anna Smith (Kerry Casey 4)

516C3cpWCuL Synopsis: Kerry Casey is still reeling from the bombshell that her lover, undercover cop Vinny Burns, has gone missing in Spain. She’s pregnant with his baby and will do anything to find him.

One night, driving along a country road, Kerry and her Uncle Danny are ambushed by gunmen. In the confusion that follows, shots are fired and two men are murdered. Kerry and Danny can only look on as the bodies are dragged from their assailant’s car and placed in their own.

The police arrive in minutes. With cocaine, dead bodies and guns in the car, it looks like an open-and-shut case.

Kerry’s been framed. She is forced to wait out her fate inside a women’s prison, still not knowing what has happened to Vinnie. On the outside the Casey gang are hunting down the men who did this to her and they will stop at nothing to find them.

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I have been desperate to read this book which is thelast of the 4 featuring Kerry Casey. If you haven’t read the other three books this review may contain spoilers. At the end of book 3 we as readers knew that Kerry was questioning where her lover and undercover copper Vinny was. With that huge worry she also has to try and keep herself safe and well as she is pregnant. When her and her uncle Danny are travelling one night they are well and truly stitched up and watch as two men are murdered.   Before they know it, the police arrive and they are both arrested and before long the only thing that looks certain is a prison sentance.

I was literally on the edge of my seat with this final installment and it delivered by the bucketload. By the time I got to the last quarter of the book I was beside myself needing to fnd out what happens. The last quarter of the book was amazing and I am SO glad that the book wrapped up the way it did. I absolutely loved the Rosie Gilmour series and was devastated when it ended. Then I fell in love with Kerry Casey and her crew. However, this time I didn’t feel AS devastated because I just know that Anna Smiths next book will no doubt be just as amazing. Anna Smith is an amazing author and one that I HIGHLY reccomend. If you haven’t read her books before, start off at the beginning with her Rosie Gilmour Series, you wont regret it.

Check out Anna Smith’s books in order of publication here

 

Happiness for Beginners by Carole Matthews

51FFIP5HAYL Synopsis: Molly Baker is living her best life.

Thirty-eight years old, she lives on the twenty-five-acre Hope Farm in Buckinghamshire, surrounded by (mostly) four-legged friends and rolling hills. There’s Anthony the anti-social sheep, Tina Turner the alpaca with attitude, and the definitely-not-miniature pig, Teacup.

Molly runs the farm as an alternative school for kids who haven’t thrived in mainstream education. It’s full on, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. So when the well-groomed Shelby Dacre turns up at Hope Farm asking to enrol his son Lucas, Molly isn’t fazed.

But Lucas is distant and soon Molly realises he might be more of a handful than she anticipated. And then there’s the added problem that his dad is distractingly handsome. Molly has her beloved farm to think of – could letting Lucas and Shelby in be a terrible mistake, or the start of something wonderful?

My Rating: 3/5

My Review: I have been reading Carole Matthews for over 20 years and rarely dislike a book she writes. I certainly didn’t dislike this book but it just wasn’t as good as some of her other books. The main character Molly just seemed a little flat and to be honest a little annoying. Shelby is the other main character and I didn’t feel like he was any more endearing. A well known actor with a son who he frankly couldn’t be bothered to look after. Therefore he drops him at Hope Farm where Molly runs the place with the help of her colleagues Bev and Alan.

The story was okay and it was certainly an easy read. However it was super predicatble and along with the fact I didn’t care for the characters meant I just wasn’t that bothered what happened.  I finished it but being totally truthful it was just unmemorable and I couldn’t help but feel a little dissapointed.

Silent Voices by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker 9)

511rsdW8EiL._SY346_ Synopsis: When Rachel Mullen is found dead by her only sister Beth, her body twisted in an arc of pain, Detective Lottie Parker knows that she has been murdered the minute she enters the bedroom. Lottie’s heart aches for Beth, all alone in the world, whose last memory of her sister will forever be the brutal way she was taken. And when Lottie finds a shard of glass placed in the young girl’s throat, she fears that Rachel may be just the first victim. The night before, Rachel had attended a party at a luxurious new restaurant in Ragmullin, and Lottie wastes no time in tracking down the other guests. But there are several things troubling her: Rachel’s handbag and keys are nowhere to be found, and no one at the party seems to have seen her leave.

Just as Lottie thinks she’s onto something, her worst fears are confirmed: another woman is found murdered… with glass in her throat. The brilliant, young doctor wasn’t a guest at the party and Lottie is forced to question everything. Desperate to find proof of what really happened that night, Lottie gets close to the hostess of the party, whose two daughters were friends with Rachel. But Lottie’s hunt for the truth must be getting under the killer’s skin, because then her beloved fiancé, Boyd, goes missing. Can Lottie get in the mind of this twisted killer before it’s too late? Or will the man she loves be silenced forever?

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

My Review: I am thoroughly enjoying this series and this book was another good addition, however it wasn’t quite as good as previous books in the series for some reason. The main storyline features the death of a young woman Rachel Mullen. Although we have the usual suspects back in this book such as Boyd, and Lotties other colleagues they featured very little in comparison to other books. In addition it feels like Lottie has an air of irritation throughout this book and I couldn’t quote understand why.

The storyline was okay but I felt like it fell short of other stories in the series. It gathers a little momentum towards the last quarter of the book however I felt like it didn’t have the same connections that were in previous books whether that be to family or colleagues. I definitely recommend this series andlook fotrward to the next book, but in all honesty this wasn’t my favourite.

Hard Vengeance by J B Turner (Jon Reznick 9)

53810275._SY475_ Synopsis: When the people he loves most are in danger, Jon Reznick will get revenge…or die trying.

When black-ops specialist Jon Reznick receives a voice mail from FBI assistant director Martha Meyerstein, hoping to explore their relationship outside of the federal government, Jon starts to imagine a new future, one where he can leave his past behind. But an unhinged killer with a grudge has other plans. He’s setting a trap for Reznick, one he knows the operative won’t be able to resist.

In a picturesque fishing village on the Mediterranean coast, a luxury yacht has gone up in flames. Was it a terrible accident or something much more sinister? Jon Reznick must travel overseas, to find out what’s happened to Martha and seek revenge on the psychopath who has put Reznick’s entire future in jeopardy.

Jon will need all the help he can get to bring him to justice. Fresh out of Quantico, Reznick’s daughter, Lauren, joins him against his wishes, along with hacker Trevelle Williams. But government operatives from across the globe have descended on this quiet vacation destination and will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from coming out

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: All I can say is that my heart can’t take all this drama going on in this series. I was gobsmacked by the start of this story and when Irealised that for Jon this was now super personal I felt sorry for whatever character would be on the receiving end of his fury! As Jon travels to Spain he has no clue what has happened and why. It soon becomes clear this is personal and as we get the killers side of the story it makes for a very intense read.  Now that Jon cannot call on Martha for help he turns to Trevelle, his hacker friend. I love Trevelle and wish we saw more of him, but at leasthe makes an appearance as does Jon’s daughter Lauren.

This latest installment had everything you could want in this type of book and more! Packed to the rafters with intense action, a fabulous lead character, an interesting storyline and a book that had me mesmerised. I thoroughly loved this latest book, only now I have to wait for feels like an eternity for the next one! A series I would highly reccomend.

500 Miles From You by Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan Synopsis: Lissa loves her job as a nurse, but recently she’s been doing a better job of looking after other people than looking after herself. After a traumatic incident at work leaves her feeling overwhelmed, she agrees to swap lives with someone in a quiet village in Scotland.

Cormac is restless. Just out of the army, he’s desperately in need of distraction, and there’s precious little of it in Kirrinfief. Maybe three months in London is just what he needs.

As Lissa and Cormac warm to their new lives, emailing back and forth about anything and everything, finally things seem to be falling into place. But each of them feel there’s still a piece missing. What – or who – could it be?

My Rating:3/5

My Review: I am weirdly shocked by how indifferent I felt about this book. I am a HUGE fan of Jenny Colgan books and normally devour them but for some reason this one just didn’t hit the mark. There are a few books I think featuring this part of Scotland and from memory I enjoyed them but again they weren’t maybe favourites of hers that I recall. Lissa is the main character and she is a nurse who is involved in a traumatic incident at work. This is the catalyst for her being asked by her work to do a placement swap meaning she would swap homes and jobs with somebody up in Scotland.

Cormac is the person Lissa ends up swapping with and as Lissa moves to the small village up in Scotland, Cormac makes his way to London. Don’t get me wrong the story was okay and I didn’t dislike this book but it just didn’t feel like JC other books. It didn’t flow as well and frankly I didn’t really care what happened to the characters. I am struggling to find many positives within this as it just felt the opposite of everything I normally feel when I read one of her books. I can only hope this was just one of those books I didn’t gel with and the next one returns to her usual kind of book that I love

Liar, Liar by Mel Sherratt (Grace Allendale #3)

51kOfccPY4L._SY346_ Synopsis: The truth can be a dangerous thing…

When a young boy falls from a balcony in a block of flats, DS Grace Allendale witnesses the shocking aftermath of the tragic event. But strangely, no one will admit to seeing anything – and the parents will only tell the police that it was an accident.

Determined to sort the truth from the lies, Grace is thrown into a case that takes her to the darkest corners of the criminal world – and strikes closer to home than she could have ever imagined…

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I am absolutely LOVING this series and this book was no exception. Grace Allendale is back and this book felt much more focused on the story as opposed to anything personal about Grace. The first two books give you a real insight into her as a character which is great but this one was a pure page turner in terms of what why and who. It starts with a young boy Tyler Douglas ‘falling’ from a block of flats but conveniently nobody saw or heard anything.

At first we just see the storyline develop in terms of them questioning suspects and you will see a couple of characters brought into the fray. In addition a secondary thread switches between times and looks at Ruby back from when she was younger up to now. I can honestly say that I was really taken with the story and didn’t really want to put the book down.

This was such an enjoyable read and a brilliant addition to this series and I cannot wait to see what happens next. Luckily book 4 is already out so will be on my to read list in the not too distant future.

One Night on Ice by Mandy Baggot

51Wx1pEKuuL._SY346_ Synopsis: When routine-driven box office assistant, Samantha Smith, meets the stars of Skating on Broadway her life is turned upside down.

Immediately attracted to lead skater, Jimmy Lloyd, Samantha does her best to deny her feelings. But when all you can do is burst out laughing and hyperventilate every time you’re under pressure, keeping things under wraps is a hard task.

When the future of her beloved Civic Hall is threatened, Samantha must rise to the challenge to ensure its survival. Constantly scrutinised and criticised by her zany sister Cleo and her brogue-wearing boyfriend Jeremy, can Samantha save her job, save the Civic Hall and stop her panic attacks just long enough to give away her heart?

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: I really enjoy Mandy Baggot books and realised it had been way too long so I picked up this one as it was from back in 2019. I have read a fair few crime and thrillers so I needed something a little more light hearted. Samantha Smith is a pretty neurotic, socially challenged and complex character but for some reason one I liked a lot almost from the get go. She works as a box-office assistant for the Civic Hall and takes her job very seriously (like she does with most of her life).

The Civic Centre is hosting a show with the celebrity lead skater Jimmy Lloyd. Of course Samantha’s interests only seem to stretch as far as her beloved job so when their is the threat of the Centre closing she goes to pieces. The other character in this story other than Sam and Jimmy is Sam’s sister Cleo. Cleo is everything that Sam isn’t and is actually a decent balancing character for the book.

This isn’t one of my absolute favoruites by this author but was certainly a really good book that I thoroughloy enjoyed. It’s light-hearted and funny and such an easy read. I have yet to be dissapointed by any of Mandy Baggot’s and this is no exception.