Deceit by Kerry Barnes

Kerry Barnes Deceit Synopsis: Living in a beautiful home on the edge of a council estate, Kara Bannon can’t imagine what it’s like to have nothing.

An eerie phone call plays on her mind and within three days she loses everything – her job, her home and Justin, the only person she thought she could trust.

Alone and terrified, she makes a decision that will change her life forever.

Suddenly she has to enter a new world – Prison.

Revenge is not always so sweet…

My Rating: 5/5 Continue reading

The Sting by Kimberley Chambers

51F9I9jsy4L Synopsis: Tommy Boyle and Scratch always had each other’s backs. But old loyalties die hard on London’s streets, and when Tommy throws his lot in with the notorious Darling family, Scratch gets thrown to the wolves.

TWO SIDES OF THE LAW.

Shedding her old life for the Old Bill, Scratch goes undercover on Operation Sting. Bringing down the Darlings’ empire will be her duty – and getting revenge for an old friend’s sins will be her pleasure.

ONE SHOCKING TWIST.

My Rating: 4/5 Continue reading

Torment by Mark Tilbury

41imG5xeyiL Synopsis: Beth couldn’t be happier. She is eight weeks pregnant and married to the man of her dreams. But after returning home from a celebratory meal, she finds a wreath from her sister’s grave hanging above the bed and a kitchen knife embedded in her pillow. There are no signs of a forced entry. Nothing is stolen. And no one other than the cleaner has a key to the house. 

Then a campaign of terror begins. Beth becomes increasingly paranoid as it becomes clear that someone close to the family is behind these disturbing events.  But who would want Beth dead? Does the past hold the clue? And can Beth find the answer before it’s too late?

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: Beth is the main character and is currently pregnant again following past miscarriages. Along with her husband David they are looking forward to the pregnancy and life seems good for them. That is until they arrive home one day to find a wreath from her sisters grave hanging above their bed. This is the start of a very different life to what they planned.

The ensuing story is a very detailed and disturbing tale and highlights just how much havoc things like that have on a person and how their life is truly affected. In this case Beth becomes almost a different person. As the story progresses the tension seems to up a notch with every single day that passes and another event happens. Before too long I think I had suspected every character in this book of being the culprit but that’s the beauty of this book, is that you (and Beth) are never quite sure. 

I have never read Mark Tilbury before but this was certainly a page turner for me and I will most definitely be looking out for books of his in the future.

The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan (Mure #3)

41qH8ny3RKL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_ Synopsis: The third novel in the Mure series, from bestselling author Jenny Colgan. On the quayside next to the Endless Beach sits the Summer Seaside Kitchen. It’s a haven for tourists and locals alike, who all come to eat the freshest local produce on the island and catch up with the gossip. Flora, who runs the cafe, feels safe and content – unless she thinks too hard about her relationship with Joel, her gorgeous but emotionally (and physically) distant boyfriend. While Flora is in turmoil about her relationship. her best friend Lorna is pining after the local doctor. Saif came to the island as a refugee, having lost all of his family. But he’s about to get some shocking news which will change everything for him. As cold winter nights shift to long summer days, can Flora find her happy-ever-after with Joel?

My Rating: 5/5 Continue reading

The Choice by Kerry Barnes (Mike Regan #3)

516abDhS88LSynopsis: Mike Regan and Zara Ezra believe the so-called Governor is safely locked away – in Zara’s hangar.

But less than twenty-four hours later, the Governor is loose and out there, wreaking havoc.

After what Zara made him do to his own son, she knows he’ll be back with more than murder on his mind.

Moving the families to a safe place was all the firm could do to protect them. But now one of the boys goes missing. It can only mean one thing – the Governor has started his revenge.

Zara is faced with an unimaginable choice just as she forced the Governor to make his – only this time, it could cost the man she loves his life.

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: Oh. My. God. What an ending to this trilogy and a pretty amazing one at that! This was merely the cherry on the cake with this trio of books and my recommendation would be to buy all three. They are definitely making it into my top ten reads in this genre for the year!!! If you do plan on reading them in order, it’s probably best not to read on because there will inevitably be spoilers.

We return to Zara and Mike Regan along with Willie, Lou and Staffie. Alongside them we see their kids and we return to Ricky’s dilemma following his stay in hospital. From the very start of the book the action takes a front seat and pretty much stays there the entire book. Considering this is the last in the trilogy this didn’t surprise me as there is a lot going on.

The story line doesn’t need to be repeated in my review but I was surprised at a few events that unfolded. Having said that there wasn’t a moment in this book I didn’t enjoy. This is a prime example of what a British Crime writer should be doing, and boy has Kerry Barnes got it right! I was enthralled with this latest book but luckily I realised I have yet to read another of her books Deceit so I am off to start that!

A Very Distant Shore by Jenny Colgan (Mure #2 Short Story)

51FnMi6vXdL Synopsis: Lorna lives on the tiny Scottish island of Mure, a peaceful place where everyone helps their neighbour. But the local GP is retiring, and nobody wants his job. Mure is too small and too remote.

Far away, in a crowded camp, Saif is treating a little boy with a badly-cut hand. Saif is a refugee, but he’s also a doctor: exactly what Mure needs.

Saif is welcome in Mure, but can he forget his past? Over one summer, Saif will find a place to call home, and Lorna’s life will change forever.

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: At 160 pages this is a short read, but having just finished the first book in this series I was thrilled to be able to take a closer look at Lorna and Saif. Book one introduces you to the tiny island of Mure and we met Flora who was the star of the show. However, her friend Lorna also featured and like everybody else was an interesting character. All we really knew about her from book 1 was that she ran the local school on the island and she had developed a crush on the Island Doctor Saif.

Although I am not a fan of short stories, this was enough of a bite to give a bit more detail into both Lorna and Saif in the lead up tp the follow up book. It was a quick, easy and thoroughly enjoyable read and enabled me to get ready for the next book.

Her Husband’s Mistake by Sheila O’Flanagan

51EFH2s4q3L._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_ Synopsis: Roxy’s marriage has always been rock solid.

After twenty years, and with two carefree kids, she and Dave are still the perfect couple.

Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour.

Suddenly Roxy isn’t sure about anything – her past, the business she’s taken over from her dad, or what her family’s future might be. She’s spent so long caring about everyone else that she’s forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make.

Whether it’s with Dave, or without him, it’s time for Roxy to start living for herself…

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

My Review: I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed by this book. Even the synopsis sounds cliched and sadly it was a little bit. Roxy is our main character and her and Dave have been married for years and have 2 children together. A day after Roxy’s fathers funeral she comes home and finds Dave in bed with the next door neighbour (see what I mean). Not only do we see Roxy lose her Father but we also see her lose a marriage. 

Now of course like most feel good books we also get to see Roxy try and grow as a person and all that jazz, but I have to be honest there were just too many elements of this book that grated on me. I thought Roxy was pretty weak for start, which normally wouldn’t bother me but with characters such as her Mother stating that “women cannot have it all” just irritated me. For some reason I loathed the majority of the characters and it spoilt the book for me. 

If I were to put my feelings of individual characters aside the story is okay, and I wouldn’t go as far as calling it bad because Sheila O’Flanagan is a natural born writer. I have been reading and loving her books for years, but for some reason everything about the characters just rubbed me up the wrong way. Not a terrible book but certainly not for me. 

Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan (Mure 1)

517kp2IvD7L._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_ Synopsis: Flora is definitely, absolutely sure that escaping from the quiet Scottish island where she grew up to the noise and hustle of the big city was the right choice. What was there for her on Mure? It’s a place where everyone has known her all her life, and no one will let her forget the past. In the city, she can be anonymous, ambitious and indulge herself in her hopeless crush on her gorgeous boss, Joel.

When a new client demands Flora’s presence back on Mure, she’s suddenly swept back into life with her brothers (all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework) and her father. As Flora indulges her new-found love of cooking and breathes life into the dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour, she’s also going to have to come to terms with past mistakes – and work out exactly where her future lies…

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I am a huge Jenny Colgan fan and was bewildered that somehow these Mure Books had passed me by. I figured to start at book 1 and make my way through them once I realised I definitely hadn’t read them and I am SO pleased that I did. My reading has over the years dipped and risen and lately although I have been enjoying reading a lot again, there are very few books that make me feel like I don’t want to put it down…until now.

So having recently finished a crime trilogy I wanted something a bit light-hearted to break the monotony of crime and thrillers. However, what I didn’t bank on was finishing this so quickly and immediately moving on to book 2! The thing that drew me in the most was the opening few chapters. It made me smile and then laugh and instantly I fell in love with Flora the main character. She was an Island girl that had moved to London and was currently working as a Paralegal. She has a ridiculous crush on her ridiculously rude boss Joel and when she is summoned to his office she has no idea what to expect.

When a new and rather rich big client needs help he demands that a local person from Mure help out as he now has property there which is where Flora gets dragged in. Even as a junior staff member, the fact she is a local on the small island of Mure in the northernmost part of Scotland means she is pulled in to help with the job.

From this point on as we watch Flora battle with her return journey home I fell in love literally every single page! From the wonderful characters that live in Muir, to Flora’s Father and brothers, literally every character ha=d their place and I just loved reading this book. When she returns to Mure as much as she has her own personal battles, she rediscovers her love for cooking and as such her life takes a very strange turn of events while she is back home.

I picked this book up at around 4pm and finished it that evening it was THAT enjoyable. Jenny Colgan has a true knack of creating places and people that you can fall in love with and empathise with too. The story and characters were wonderful and I have no intention of doing anything other than moving in to book 2 in Mure named A Very Distant Shore

The Innocent Ones by Neil White

51+5dZjEMkL Synopsis: Three lives cut short. Two decades of silence. One evil secret.

By day, the park rings with the sound of children’s excited laughter. But in the early hours of the morning, the isolated playground is cloaked in shadows – the perfect hiding place to conceal a brutal murder.

When London journalist, Mark Roberts, is found battered to death, the police quickly arrest petty thief, Nick Connor. Criminal defence lawyer, Dan Grant, along with investigator Jayne Brett, are called to represent him – but with bloody footprints and a stolen wallet linking him to the scene, this is one case they’re unlikely to win. Continue reading

Sunset Over The Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas

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Synopsis: It’s time for Beti Winter to dance to her own beat.

After three failed engagements Beti is in desperate need of a fresh start. What better place than the sun-drenched hills of southern Spain?

But it’s not all sangria and siestas. Beti finds work on an old Andalusian cherry farm where there are cherries to be picked, trees to be watered and her fiery boss, Antonio, to win over.

As the sun toasts her skin, Beti finds herself warming to the Spanish way of life. Embracing the art of flamenco, she discovers there is much to learn from the dance of passion. She just has to let loose and listen to the rhythm of her heart.

My Rating: 5/5 Continue reading