BLOG TOUR: Dead Inside by Noelle Holten

Dead Inside Synopsis: When three domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?

Rated: 5/5

My Review: Okay so I have to be completely honest here and say that I know Noelle as she first became a reviewer on my Blog, and not long after that we became firm friends. When she mentioned she would like to write a book, little did I realise that here I would be years later reading her debut novel. I also have to confess I was nervous going in, because all my friends, and some followers as well as authors know I am always honest about books. I mean what if I didn’t like it and had to say as much in the review? Well I was so busy worrying about all that I didn’t consider how I would feel if I started reading, and then realised that I hadn’t put the book down because it was so good? Thankfully, it seems the Universe has aligned Noelle with the job she was meant to do as her debut novel was written like she was a seasoned pro.

Lucy Sherwood is our main character and what a character she is. Instantly you are  drawn into the story as it becomes very apparent that Lucy has two very separate lives. Her work life as a Probation Officer was genuinely authentic (and Noelle’s previous career knowledge shone through there) and she was a likeable character. However, then there is the issue of her home life which is nothing short of harrowing.

On the other side of the fence is DC Maggie Jamieson who is investigating the murders of 3 men with a history of violence and domestic abuse. Sadly for Lucy all three men had her as their Probation officer. When Lucy’s husband becomes the fourth victim all eyes turn to Lucy!

I really thought I would be able to pull some criticisms from this but I truly couldn’t. It kept me gripped from start to finish and fits the bill perfectly for what a true psychological thriller should be. I would absolutely recommend this to people, the only thing I would say is that it obviously does touch on domestic abuse and some of it is not easy to read. I would suggest if the subject matter is something you are sensitive to then this may not be to your taste, but I felt it was dealt with extremely well. I am thrilled that Noelle is finally writing as it’s pretty clear that this is what she should have been doing for a career! An amazing debut novel!

The Paramedics Daughter by Tara Lyons

Tara Lyons - The Paramedic’s Daughter_coverSynopsis: Paramedic Abi Quinn is hailed as a hero by the patients she saves with the London Ambulance Service; but a secret she’s kept since she was a teenager now threatens to shatter that perfect illusion.
When her daughter Rose goes missing while studying at Brighton university, and ghosts from her past return to haunt her, Abi’s caught in a race against time to untangle the web of lies she set in motion over twenty years ago.

Everyone has something to lose.
Everyone is trying to protect themselves.
Everyone is broken.
But what lengths will they go to in order to stop the truth from being exposed?

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: Woahh okay I kind of didn’t expect this book to be what it was…so let me explain. So Tara is somebody I met a few years ago and we talked about her book she had released etc. However we also became firm friends and I can tell you now for a fact I have at various points on reading a book of hers actually picked up my phone and messaged her to say I hated something. She knows I will never write a fake review and will always be completely honest about it so I am going to try and do both. What happened was, I began to read her series of books featuring DI Hamilton, I started out liking them (not loving them) but her latest release with Denis Hamilton was awesome and a smashing 5 star read. When I picked this up I assumed it was another in the series. I was wrong, but a few chapters in realised I actually didn’t want to stop reading. However, there were things I didn’t like about the book but I still had that overwhelming urge to continue.

I read quite a few chapters the first time around and then the next time I picked it up, well… I finished it in one sitting. On one hand this was a TRUE psychological thriller and on the other there were things I just couldn’t gel with. Even after having negatives about this book I absolutely refuse to give it anything other than the full 5 out of 5. I didn’t want to put the thing down and was totally and utterly absorbed in the story line. My main gripe was the lead character Abi, I just didn’t like her. She felt a bit too much like a neurotic Mother for my liking. However, even though I didn’t like her it was pretty clear there were quite a few sinister things going on from the very early stages of the book. 

Her daughter Rose appears to have gone missing and it becomes apparent that Abi’s own secrets may well have played a part in her disappearance. The first quarter of the book was a little slow as it felt a little bit like listening to a Mother harping on about her child constantly, but the last three quarters literally took my breath away. Just when I thought the story couldn’t get any better I reached the last chapter….and all I can say is I was a little in shock! An absolute belter of a book that is a must read for psychological thriller fans!

BLOG TOUR: No Looking Back by Alex Kane

No Looking Back

Synopsis: ‘I’ve fled from my husband and the only life I’ve ever known. I’m terrified that if he finds me, I’ll never find myself.’

Kat is trapped in a world where she has never belonged. As a traveller, she has always felt lost, especially since the death of her parents in a fire when she was fourteen years old. Having been taken on by the Denton family as their own, Kat falls in love with their son, tearaway Jimmy. His charm soon wears off and Kat finds herself married to a controlling and violent thug.

Sixteen years later, Kat decides enough is enough and begins plotting her escape from a lifetime of abuse.

Stripped of her personality, Kat has no idea how to start again but she finds an unlikely ally in her sister-in-law Ellie who shows Kat that she is not alone.

Kat and Ellie Denton begin their venture into a new world, where they meet new people and build new lives. But Kat still wants to know more about her parents’ past and when she seeks the location of an address on the back of a family photograph, Kat begins to uncover more than she expected including a revelation that will lead Kat back to the traveller site she had been so desperate to escape from.

Will she find the answers she is looking for, or will she fall prey to the violent Jimmy Denton once more?

Kat’s Rating: 5/5 Continue reading

BLOG TOUR: The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey

51T8Bv73XEL Synopsis: Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.

Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.

By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: Isabel our leading lady is a journalist who has been set a mission by her boss. 31 days in a month so she needs to have 31 dates via INternet Dating Sites all for her column! I think Izzy is somebody as a character I had to warm up to but once I did I found her quite funny. This was almost like reading snippets from hilarious stories either you have had or your friends have had in the past with all of her dates she goes on.

I did initially think this would be a little reminiscent of the film How To Lost A Guy in 10 Days, but it wasn’t however it does give you a real insight into the idea behind the theory. There were some moments in the story which had me laughing out loud and as time went on I felt Izzy’s pain of wanting the month to be over.

This is certainly a fun and light-hearted take on dating and was an enjoyable read. If you want something to make you giggle and something not too serious then this may well be the book for you.

BLOG TOUR: WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE CHRISTMAS BY JENNY HALE

Synopsis: Christmas has always been a special time for Noelle Parker. Winter evenings spent with family and friends, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies at her family’s cozy bakery have shaped her love for all things festive. But this year everything is changing…

The beloved bakery is facing closure and Noelle needs a miracle to save Christmas.

Determined to raise funds for the family business, Noelle sets about revamping the bakery while juggling a surprise new job, caring for the elderly and cantankerous William Harrington in his luxurious, sprawling mansion.

As Noelle melts the frostiness of the house with cake baking, snowball fights and glittering decorations, she helps William to reconnect with a romance that has spanned decades and unexpectedly finds herself falling for his grandson – the gorgeous but mysterious Alexander Harrington…

In the countdown to Christmas, can Noelle save the bakery, reunite a family and create some magical memories of her own along the way?

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: I was thrilled to be a part of Jenny Hale’s blog tour as I am a huge fan! This latest Christmas themed book was an absolute corker and I loved it. Noelle Parker is in danger of losing the family bakery and as such she is pulling out all the stops to try and raise as much money as possible to be able to save it from closing. In her quest for money she finds a new job working for William Harrington and caring for him in his ridiculously large mansion house. The benefit for Noelle is that it’s a live-in position which enables her to live there with her son Lucas.

As time goes on Noelle and William form a bond and the story adds another layer, and then Noelle meets William’s Grandson Alexander and another element is added to the story. I don’t really want to re-has any elements of the storyline as it’s so much more enjoyable when you discover it yourself. What I will say is that this book just felt perfect for the Christmas season, love and romance, a fabulously engaging storyline and a splash of snow, you can’t really ask for too much more. I loved the characters in this book and I always think Jenny Hale does an amazing job with her descriptions as I literally feel transported reading her books.

Another cracking book by Jenny Hale and even though I think Summer at Oyster Bay remains my favourite of hers this definitely takes a close second. A wonderful book that I devoured in a day and would highly recommend.

Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza (Erika Foster #5)

558x1000

Synopsis: The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before.<blog_break>

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago.

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack.

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.

Kat’s Rating: 4/5 Continue reading

Blog Tour: Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream by Sue Watson

164x250

Synopsis: Dani’s on a mission to get her life back on track by the end of the Summer. Running, rowing, aerobics and more, but perhaps all she needs are sweet treats and a second chance? 

Twenty years ago, Dani fled Appledore with a broken-heart and a suitcase full of shattered dreams. Only now is she brave enough to put her past behind her and return for a summer selling homemade ice-cream and getting fit by doing sit-ups by the sea. 

But the new-look cafe is filled with old memories of Jude, her teenage sweetheart-turned-sour. She thinks of him every time she swirls warm sauce onto a “chocolate-bockaglory” and even with the help of Chris, her gorgeous personal trainer, the urge to break her diet is everywhere she turns. 

When Jude makes an appearance at the cafe on the eve of Dani’s birthday party, history threatens to repeat itself. Is Dani strong enough to say no? And is the love she’s been longing for much closer than she thinks? 

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: We are back in the town of Appledore and this time we meet Dani. She left Appledore twenty years before with a broken heart and now she is back, overweight and desperate to become thinner and more fabulous in time for her fortieth birthday. Dani is a very likeable character and to be honest you just know that she is going to struggle on her weight loss challenge. The first quarter of the book really sets the scene and the reader really gets to see what Dani is up against including some very funny scenes when she attempts to go to the gym.

Once Dani is in her stride she is joined by Chris from the gym who is on a mission to help her with her plan to lose weight. It was also nice to see brief glimpses of characters from the first book set in the same town. Although these are all set around the town and the Ice Cream Cafe, each book can certainly be read as a standalone. As the story progresses you soon understand that this is the reader experiencing Dani’s journey with her, including all the pitfalls and funny moments too.

In one respect this was very different from her last book but actually that made no difference and it was nice to have such a departure. As usual Sue Watson has created a book that will lift your spirits and more importantly make you laugh. I am a huge fan, and although this may not be my favourite of hers, it’s a brilliant addition and one that I thoroughly loved. Be warned though, with the sheer descriptive deliciousness, don’t expect to NOT want to eat a number of summer deserts whilst reading. The perfect beach read that will have you laughing into your Cocktail!

BLOG TOUR: Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson

220x346

Synopsis: They told us he had been missing for nearly two days, that he probably drowned. They told us a lie.

Megan was ten years old when her older brother, Zac, went missing among the cliffs, caves and beaches that surround the small seaside town of Whitecliff. 

A decade later and a car crash has claimed the lives of her parents.

Megan and her younger sister Chloe return to Whitecliff one summer for the first time since their brother’s disappearance. Megan says it’s to get her parents’ affairs in order. There are boxes to pack, junk to clear, a rundown cottage to sell. But that’s not the real reason

Megan has come to confront her family’s past after receiving a postcard on the day of her parents’ funeral. It had a photograph of Whitecliff on the front and a single letter on the back.

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: The opening of this book introduces us to Chloe and Megan as they return to their family home in the area of Whitecliff. Following the death of their parents, Megan suggests that the reason for their visit is to sort out their parents affairs. It becomes clear pretty quickly that the real reason is linked to the disappearance of her brother Zac when Megan was just ten years old. I have only read one other Kerry Wilkinson and enjoyed it so was looking forward to reading a standalone. The opening of the book was interesting enough but it was a little slow to get into.

Once I had settled and got over my initial niggle the story started to take some curious turns and I was a lot more engaged. The one thing that I thought was incredibly well done was the descriptive and creepy feel that Wilkinson gives to the town. That undeniable feeling that all may look okay on the surface but underneath there is a lot more bubbling away. Initially I wasn’t overly keen on Megan but as the story progressed I found her sheer determination warmed how I felt about her. Wilkinson also tackles the subject of Megans eating disorder incredibly well.

The story captured me more in the second half and I would certainly say this fits the bill as a creepy psychological thriller. By the time I got to the end I was surprised at how quickly I had read the second half of the book. This reminded me that I really must take a look at the incredibly popular series that Kerry Wilkinson writes featuring Jesssica Daniel. A thoroughly enjoyable read with plenty of grit and creep thrown in!

BLOG TOUR: THE SUMMER HOUSE BY JENNY HALE

Synopsis: Callie Weaver and best friend Olivia Dixon have finally done it: put their life savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint its sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast.

Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s property empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy, but as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks.

Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets… secrets that stretch across the island, and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor.

Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm it unleashes, or can true love save them?

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: That picture on the front of this book, well it sums up this story perfectly. Callie Weaver has invested everything she has into the Beach house in the Outer Banks. I’m a fan of Jenny Hale and I must say that this latest book was just what the doctor ordered for me. Jenny Hale manages to do a wonderful job of describing this quaint town with it’s stunning white beaches and I could almost picture the house that Callie is renovating. Her and her childhood friend Olivia want to reopen the house as a Bed and Breakfast. Olivia’s Grandmother Glady’s lives across the way and with her help and support they start the arduous task of getting it all ready for the end of the Summer.

Callie was a reserved character but one that I liked. Her tentative attitude towards people she doesn’t know that well is endearing and as a reader it’s nice to share her journey while she takes some chances with her career as well as her personal life. Callie runs into a guy whilst out shopping and circumstances throw them together. She has no idea at first that there is more to Luke Sullivan that the press make out. To the press he is just a Playboy and a man who seemingly does little more than flaunt his wealth. At first I have to be honest and say I wasn’t overly enamoured with Luke, but as the story progresses you soon see there is a lot more to him than meets the eye.

Callie’s story also sees her stumble across something that could tear people’s lives apart and she doubts what she should do. I loved reading about Callie and Olivia’s friendship and although Callie was the lead character it was nice to see Olivia’s life changing too in the background. The story progresses and eventually Callie realises that she needs to take a huge chance and just wonders whether in doing so she will jeopardise everything she has worked for.

Overall this was a hugely enjoyable book and would make a perfect beach read. Jenny Hale has managed to capture my attention with every book she has written and manages to take me away from it all, so much so I could almost imagine standing on that beach. Her last book remains my all time favourite but this was still a great read and an author I would highly recommend.

BLOG TOUR: Her Last Breath by Robert Bryndza (Erika Foster #4)

RBL

Synopsis: When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case. 

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery. 

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist? 

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Continue reading