Escape to Giddywell Grange by Kim Nash

514cBLqq3EL._SY346_ Synopsis: Even if she’s lost most of her friends because of spending all her time at work, and can’t remember when she last had fun, it’s worth it.

Until she’s suddenly made redundant. Now she’s 37, jobless, and after the breakup with the former love of her life, unhappily single.

Enter Maddy’s childhood friend, Beth, the owner of Growlers, the doggy daycare centre at Giddywell Grange, on a mission to make Maddy see there’s more to life than work.

Soon, Maddy is swapping spreadsheets for volunteer duty at the library and her Prada handbag for doggy poo bags… And with Beth’s gorgeous brother, Alex, back from the States, Maddy starts to think that Giddywell might just be her happy place.

But when her old life – and her old boyfriend – comes calling, will Maddy go back to the job she loved so much? Or will she discover that the key to happiness lies in making others happy?

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: Oh…My…God! I absolutely LOVED this book from the very first page to the very last one. When Maddy loses her job suddenly following a split with her boyfriend she returns home to stay with her Mum and get herself together. It’s a story that will probably resonate with people and really highlights how much Maddy has missed out on while she juggles work and the day to day things that bog us down. Once she has returned home she really makes the effort to reinforce her friendship with Beth who she has known since she was a young girl. But like other areas of her life, her long term friendships also suffered s we see her take the opportunity to reignite her friendship.

I loved all the characters that popped up in this book as well as falling in love with her life at Giddywell Grange (including all the pooches). The writing was effortless and the story flowed so well the pages just drifted by and before I knew it, I was finished and left feeling a little bereft. I really enjoyed Kim’s last book but fell head over heels in love with this latest. I literally cannot wait for her next release!

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!

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 Rules by Kerry Barnes

Do you live by the rules, or die by them?

Holed up in prison, Mike Regan is offered a deal – his freedom in exchange for his firm taking down the gang that is supplying a new dangerous drug that has hit the streets. What starts as a game soon becomes a shocking revelation with devastating consequences.

Meanwhile, Mike’s fiancé, Zara Ezra, has her own firm to run. But when the so-called Governor is out to take her down, she has her own decision to make – either fight, run, or write her own rule book…

My Rating: 5/5  Continue reading

The Hunted by Kerry Barnes

Synopsis: Having spent her life watching her father run his East London firm, Zara Ezra has learnt a thing or two about being a gangster, and she’s ready to take over when the time comes.

Mike Regan, a blast from Zara’s past, is the head of his own firm, but when his son is kidnapped in the middle of a gangland feud, Mike has no choice but to accept help from the Ezras to get his little boy back alive.

With a rival firm playing increasingly dirty, murder moves to the top of the agenda and Zara has some big choices to make. It seems that the only way to come out on top is to play them at their own game…

But will she become The Hunter or The Hunted?

My Rating: 5/5 Continue reading

The Skeletons of Scarborough House by Kitty French (Chapelwick Mysteries #1)

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Synopsis: Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate fudge cake comes served with a side of murder.

Scarborough House is haunted, and it’s not doing much for Donovan Scarborough’s investment portfolio. No one wants to buy a place with levitating crockery, or (the wrong kind of) rhythmic pounding throughout the night.

Luckily, Melody “I-See-Dead-People” Bittersweet has just launched her own ghostbusting agency with best friend Marina, geeky, keen Arthur, and a one-eared pug called Lestat. They’re quick to take the case, even if it has already sort of (definitely) been given to Leo Dark, Melody’s rakish, despicable ex.

Melody soon discovers the resident phantoms are three brothers, one who was murdered at twenty, while the others lived to old age. But did the family exile the right person, or did the true killer get away with it?

Donovan Scarborough doesn’t care who solves the case. Whoever gets rid of the ghosts gets paid.

Can Melody and her new crew untangle the mystery, and bring the brothers peace, before Leo? Or will his distracting sexiness and Melody’s bonkers family cause the agency to fall at its first hurdle?

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

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Revenge by Nigel May

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Synopsis: In the South of France, playground of the rich and famous, world renowned chef Dexter Franklin is organising a night to remember. As he opens the doors to his exclusive restaurant for the first time, he’s handpicked a list of guests, as hot and dazzling as the St Tropez sun itself:

Mew Stanton: Fashionable, beautiful and a notorious TV chef, Dexter’s ex-girlfriend has all the ingredients for success. As her books fly off the shelves, a secret from her past is about to surface with explosive consequences. 

Holly Lydon: Ex girlband star who has fallen on hard times. Forced to make ends meet she’s having to sleep her way to the top. Now she’s making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Rosita Velázquez: Brazilian actress extraordinaire and girlfriend of Dexter’s brother, Leland. When she’s in town everybody needs to know about it, but this is one show-stopping entrance she’ll live to regret.

Three women have a past with Dexter and a grudge to bear against him. As fireworks ignite in the jet set capital of Europe, there’s murder on the menu. Who will be served their just desserts?

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: Well Mr May, it seems you have a never ending supply of bitch, glamour and salacious filled ideas! Yet again Nigel May has produced a stellar read in this genre and one that is filled to the brim with everything a reader of this genre could ask for and more! With a beautiful cover to boot, it seems Nigel’s books are getting more raunchy and dark with each year that passes, just how I like it!

The description for Nigel May in the past has been like a male version of Jackie Collins and this description couldn’t be more apt, so those of you who are JC fans you REALLY need to get on board with this author. Set in the South of France you already have the backdrop of this beautiful sun-drenched playground filled to the brim with the rich and famous. We get introduced to Dexter Franklin, the TV star and famous Celebrity Chef on the brink of opening his newest restaurant Tresor, and compiling his celebrity list of attendees. That list includes the basis for the main characters appearing in this book, and boy do they make an interesting bunch.

Mew Stanton and Holly Lydon were once band members of the famous Girl Group Crazy Sour, however with the band splitting up they are both now on very different paths. Dexter’s brother Leland who is a celebrity in his own right with and his girlfriend Rosita an actress who appears only to be famous in her home country of Brazil. Add in to that the Food Critic DC, and a plot line that had me hooked from the beginning and the story grabs you from the outset.

There are certainly a lot of characters and the story line at first seems disjointed, but man alive it certainly comes to an explosive head upon the opening night of Tresor. All of the characters I loved with the exception of Leland who frankly was a vile character, but who ticked all the right boxes with those sorts of characters you love to hate. By Chapter 4 it was clear that no housework would be done that evening so I settled down and made it to just over the halfway mark in the book in one sitting. The rest was devoured on a morning commute and my lunch hour! This latest offering is packed to the brim with a tantalising story line and characters that are so shallow and self absorbed I was completely entranced.

Each character brings something to the story along with the perils and pitfalls of fame. I truly loved this book and think that Nigel May is an author that is massively under-rated. I would say that his books are NOT for the faint hearted or for those that shock easily. I thought his last book was his best but take that back whole heartedly in replacement for this one. A trued ‘Bonk Buster’ that was a delight to read!

Lovers and Liars by Nigel May

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Synopsis: When Millionaire playboy Sheridan Rivers is found dead at his luxurious hotel on the paradise island of Barbados, there are several suspects in the frame…

Sutton: Sheridan’s long-suffering wife was permanently pushed aside for his younger lovers. Was it time for her to make a stand?

Kassidy: Sheridan’s assistant longs to be wealthy in her own right. Employed for her sexual and organisational skills, could she have had her eyes on a bigger prize?

Nikki: Sheridan’s oldest daughter has done something really bad that her dad has discovered. What price will she pay to keep his silence?

Heather: The apple of her father, Sheridan’s eye. But she’s recently been widowed due to a terrible accident Sheridan was responsible for. Is the time ripe for revenge?

Four women, each with a cross to bear – all waiting for the perfect moment to exact their revenge .

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: Well another Nigel May book an another corker of a read. It’s packed to the rafters with Glamour, murder, sex, more sec, infidelity, skulduggery…the list goes on! When I started to read this book I was a bit worried as there seemed to be so MANY characters. Actually by chapter 3 all the mundane duties such as housework, dinner and a bath had gone out the window. What at first seemed like a character overload ended up being just perfect. Sheridan Rivers is smack bang in the middle of every thread in this story. As the owner and Millionaire of the luxurious Hotels named Velvet he is every bit the arrogant idiot I expected him to be (and some). His long suffering wife Sutton is one of the ladies that has suffered as a result of this despicable man, however has the joy of having two wonderful daughters Nikki and Heather, The two girls couldn’t be more different as characters but equally as readable. Nikki is the party girl where a silly mistake gets her into an impossible situation. Heather on the other hand is a kind and gentle soul who is married to an amazing guy who is her world. Then on the other end of the spectrum you have Kassidy, Sheridan’s assistant who is not only hired for her skills but for her antics in the bedroom.

Phew…already I feel overloaded and I have already read this book! However the reality of reading this couldn’t be further from the truth. As each woman takes a thread to the story it gets more and more involved, dangerous and seems that nobody has any idea just how much double crossing is going on. At the halfway point I was completely and utterly enthralled, addicted and absolutely convinced that no amount of cajoling from my husband would move me from my sofa, book in hand.

A lot of the story features the women, however the main event that this story centres around is a major boxing match that will be set in the Barbados hotel featuring Hatton Eden. Hatton and his manager and trainer Fidge were excellent and added another layer of spice to the story. The settings for this sun drenched romp could’t be any better and it made me long for a sandy beach. It’s a saucy read (it seems Nigel is getting saucier with each book he writes and I LOVE it), so make sure you don’t have any nosey neighbours reading over your shoulder. Although in real life I did have to put the book down (sadly I HAD to eat) I read it in as near to one sitting as is humanly possible. If you are slightly prudish, then maybe not the book for you. For me this has everything PLUS MORE and I think this is my favourite of his books to date. Whoever said men couldn’t write romp clearly hasn’t had the pleasure of reading Mr May! Roll on the next book!

BLOG TOUR: THE KILLING GAME BY JS CAROL

This new release by JS Carol is also the one and only James Carol who writes the series of books featuring Jefferson Winter which I LOVE. This new book is a fast paced thriller which I promise…you won’t want to put down.

Synopsis: Imagine you are having lunch at an exclusive restaurant, filled with Hollywood’s hottest stars.

 And a masked gunman walks in and takes everyone hostage. 

You must bargain for your life against a twisted individual who knows everything about you.

 He also has a bomb set to detonate if his heart rate changes. 

If he dies. You die.

You have four hours to stay alive.

What would you do? 

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

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Painted Skins by Matt Hilton (Grey and Po #2)

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Synopsis: PI Tess Grey and her partner Nicolas Po Villere have been hired by Margaret Norris to find her granddaughter, Jasmine Reed, who has been missing for sixteen days. But if Tess is to have any chance of finding Jazz, she needs to know the truth about the young woman s troubled past. What is it that Margaret Norris isn’t telling her?

Tess and Po aren’t the only ones looking for Jazz. With shady local businessman Daryl Bruin and his henchman John Trojak also on her trail, as well as a mysterious and violent stranger, Tess prays, for Jasmine s sake, that she and Po find her first. But it s only when Tess uncovers a link to several other missing girls that she begins to make headway in the investigation and finds herself in a desperate race against time to track down Jazz before it’s too late

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: I’m thrilled that I bumped this book up my to read list as it was much better than I expected. I LOVE it when a book surprises me like this. I read the first in this new series and although I enjoyed it, I thought it was a little slow and I struggled to connect with the lead character Tess Grey. Following on with this book, clearly I was walking through sludge with the last book as with this book I fell in love with Tess and her ex-con Partner Po.

In book one (Blood Tracks) I can now see that this was meant as an extremely good base for getting to know these characters. With this book there is no need for that as the readers have already seen Tess reasons for making her way as a Private Investigator instead of a cop. Although book one is an excellent base, I guess this book can be read as a standalone, but I always feel like its best to start a series at the beginning. In this latest instalment, Tess and Po have been hired to find the granddaughter of Margaret Norris. Jazz has been missing just over 2 weeks so Tess and Po get started on trying to trace her.

It becomes apparent pretty quickly that Jazz is also being searched for by Daryl Bruin and his henchman John Trojak, Tess and Po want to know why and the story really starts to pick up pace. It becomes clear pretty quickly that there is a lot more to Jazz being missing than a simple runaway scenario. The book has a great hold over the reader and with each chapter it seems to gain momentum, tension and pace. When their old friend Pinky appeared I rejoiced as he was such a brilliant character in the first book I was hoping he would make an appearance in the second.

This book was everything a great thriller should be and I thoroughly enjoyed every single page. I can imagine this would make a GREAT film, although quite who would play these characters who knows. What I will say is that although the Joe Hunter series of books by Matt Hilton is hugely popular, this new series seems to have fallen short and I cannot work out why. This is an absolutely amazing book and a series that I will continue to read. Hugely enjoyable and massively under rated, if you haven’t tried Matt Hilton before then these books are a great place to start!