Tag: MUST READ

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

Continue reading “The Skeletons of Scarborough House by Kitty French (Chapelwick Mysteries #1)”

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

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR: THE KILLING GAME BY JS CAROL”

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!

Hide and Seek by M J Arlidge (Helen Grace #6)

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Synopsis: AFTER Little Boy Blue FIND OUT WHAT AWAITS DI HELEN GRACE IN THE SIXTH THRILLER BY BESTSELLING AUTHOR M. J. ARLIDGE

Kat’s Rating: 6/5…oh no I can’t do that so 5/5 will have to suffice!


**NOTE – Do NOT read this review if you are planning on reading the series in order (which you really should) or are not up to date as this will inevitably contain spoilers!!!***

Kat’s Review: Oh my goodness, I literally do NOT know where to start. I think the first thing I need to point out is that although some people will say this can be read as a stand alone I COMPLETELY DISAGREE! You really do need the previous book and in my opinion the whole series to really feel the impact of this latest release.  We rejoin Helen Grace, except this time she is behind bars and awaiting her trial in Holloway Prison for murders that she didn’t commit. That’s the first thing that set my teeth on edge, it almost gave me a bad taste in my mouth…but in a good way if you know what I mean.

I was just gobsmacked, here she is the leading character and formidable DI Helen Grace and she is living alongside some of those she has put behind bars herself. The whole setting is enough to make you squirm with the feeling of hopelessness at Helen’s situation. However nothing is as easy or straightforward as that where Helen is concerned and being in prison only highlights that. Helen’s stay is far from easy and we see her battle to just stay alive as there are plenty of people who would like to finish her once and for all.

Thankfully there is one person left batting for Helen and that’s her colleague Charlie Brooks. While Helen is trying to stay alive Charlie is desperately trying to find the proof that Helen is innocent. Meanwhile a grisly murder happens within Holloway and it’s definitely on the inside. With so much going on there is no time for the reader to do anything (such as work or other important things) other than turn the pages. This was so well written I could almost feel myself getting claustrophobic from the time inside those prison walls. The ante is upped as more and more story threads are pulled at and there is no let up in this until the very last page.

Relentless in pace and a real nail biter, M J Arlidge has outdone himself with this terrifying and gripping book. I certainly didn’t want to put it down and think fans will be delighted with this latest instalment. My only question now is…”what next for Helen Grace?”. Whatever comes next whether it be more of Helen or a new character I will be itching to read it as M J Arlidge has just shot to the top of my ‘Must Read’ authors. An outstanding book, and an amazing series that I really think if you haven’t already you should read!

One Hot Summer by Kat French

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Synopsis: Being married to a celebrity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when that celebrity has a very public affair with his co-star…

Alice McBride is determined that the one thing she won’t lose in her marriage breakup is Borne Manor, her beloved home, but she gets more than she bargained for when she rents it out for the summer and a sexy cowboy comes to stay.

Country music star Robinson Duff has had his own share of heartbreak and needs somewhere quiet to hide out for the summer. Neither Alice nor Robinson are in any position for romance; the timing is terrible and they’re both rebounding like out of control frisbees.

Can a holiday romance help mend their broken hearts. Or will it just make things even worse when the long hot summer comes to its inevitable end?

Kat’s Rating: 6/5..oops sorry, I mean 5/5

Kat’s Review: Okay here’s a fact for you. I read a LOT of books, maybe not as much as some but certainly more than your average reader. Yes my preference is Crime, Thriller or Mystery but you need to break it up and I love nothing more than a good ol’ romantic fiction, especially if it’s funny. It’s why I’m a huge fan of people like Sue Watson. However, I admit when I started to read this and saw the cover I didn’t bother with the synopsis as I figured it would be ‘par for the course’ in this genre. Oh my, how wrong can one person be. Have you even been in a good old fashioned greasy spoon, and by the time you have finished your meal you are convinced it should be Michelin starred? Well, that’s kind of what happened to me with this book!

Alice McBride and her husband Brad start the opening chapters of this book and we see Alice sling Brad out of her beautiful marital home Borne Manor due to his wandering hands. So far so normal, except even at this point there was just something about the characters and the setting. It was so easy to read and Alice was just so normal and likeable. Seeing as her husband Brad is a reasonably well known Actor, her split is not easy and as she is recovering from it all she realises that she refuses to lose her home, so decides on a Summer Rental. 

Enter Robinson Duff, the country music star that’s had his own share of heartbreak and is getting away from it all. Now I know that so far it seems like your ordinary romantic comedy but believe me it is SO much more. The additional characters which make up the village cast had me howling at times. It contains naked painters, ex porn stars and practising witches are just the tip of the iceberg. Now don’t get me wrong it’s predictable to a point, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Kat French has created the man of (I would have thought) every girl’s dream. I am convinced that if women created men and they were made like Robinson Duff, the world would be an easy place to live in!

If you want some fluffy, romantic, amazing writing and eye watering funny scenes then look no further. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much since I first discovered Sue Watson’s (in particular Love Lies and Lemon Cake). It is the perfect remedy to reading too much crime, a depressingly bleak British Summer and the drudge of every day life. Everything you could want and more in a book of this type and I think many will LOVE it. I know I certainly did and I will be eagerly scouring Amazon for when her next book is due. It’s official, I am now a Kat French Fan Girl!!!

Perfect Weddings by Lynda Renham

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Synopsis: Every bride wants a perfect wedding and that includes Georgina Winters. Amy Perfect is the crème de la crème of wedding planners so who best to plan Georgina s wedding… except the man Georgina plans to marry is the same man who jilted Amy three years ago. Will her plan to give Georgina the most imperfect wedding backfire on her? Is this the chance for Amy to win back the love of her life, or will insufferable Ben Garret put a spanner in the works? Arab princes, spoilt brides and wedding catastrophes make Perfect Weddings a page-turning romantic comedy that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

KAT’S RATING: 5/5

KAT’S REVIEW: Okay first up if you have a filthy and stupid sense of humour (such as I do) you HAVE to get this book. I have read quite a few of Lynda Renham’s books and this is without a doubt hands down the best book of hers I have read. I was feeling a bit irritated and having one of those days when I started this on my morning commute yesterday. It was finished by the time I got home and was frankly the one thing that got me through the day!

The book starts out with the worst possible scenario for a woman, in this case Amy who gets jilted at the alter. Almost immediately the characters that surround Amy are hilarious and Amy herself is a character that had me giggling from the get go. The book skips forward a few years and we meet Amy when she is finally where she wants to be. Instead of being the slightly overweight mortician who got jilted at the alter she is now a successful wedding planner who has the body to match.

Unfortunately Amy’s life goes into a full on spin when Georgina asks Amy to be her wedding planner. The only snag is that Georgina is marrying the same man who left Amy at the alter. Of course the sensible option is to turn it down, but Amy just can’t help herself. What comes next is a hillarious story of Amy trying to conceal who she is and in turn manages to involve other Brides, strange Sheikh Princes as well as her friend Rosie and on occasion her shockingly honest family.

This book truly was a joy to read. It gave me the same feeling of joy I get when I watch Bridget Jones (if you see what I mean).  There are moments in this book which literally had me belly laughing and although there will no doubt be people that criticise the author for these ‘ridiculous and unrealistic moments’, I certainly wont be one of them.  These situations Amy manages to get herself into are funny, outrageous and sometimes stupid. What made them all the more enjoyable is how normal Amy is. As a character I felt like Amy was a real ‘no holds barred’ kind of woman and the comments, quirks and scenarios we see her in felt perfect.

Not only does Amy make this a delight to read, but the other characters within it do too. Bride Chardonnay and Georgie’s friend Patsy were just two of the characters I loved. In fact there were none that I disliked. I can only cross my fingers and hope that maybe Amy, or some of the secondary characters may make an appearance in future books, and there are plenty of great characters to choose from.

Is this a book you can look back on and discuss at a book club about the hidden and wonderful meaning and morals within? Not in my opinion no. Is this a book that will make you laugh your a*se off and cheer you up no end? Yes! I will be passing this book on to all my family and friends as a MUST READ. Bravo  Lynda Renham, this is by far the best book of yours I have read and one that had me smiling right the way through…until I finished it and then felt like I had read too fast! AN absolute MUST for your to read list.

The Secret By The Lake by Louise Douglas

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Synopsis: A FAMILY TRAGEDY

Amy’s always felt like something’s been missing in her life. When a tragedy forces the family she works for as a nanny to retreat to a small lakeside cottage, she realises she cannot leave them now.

A SISTER’S SECRET

But Amy finds something unsettling about the cottage by the lake. This is where the children’s mother spent her childhood – and the place where her sister disappeared mysteriously at just seventeen.

A WEB OF LIES

Soon Amy becomes tangled in the missing sister’s story as dark truths begin rising to the surface. But can Amy unlock the secrets of the past before they repeat themselves?

Kat’s Rating: 5/5 Continue reading “The Secret By The Lake by Louise Douglas”

Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson

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Synopsis: Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials. But this year things are going to be different. 

For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever. 

Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off. After winning a competition to appear on Bella’s TV show, Amy is going to make sure that for Bella and her viewers, this will definitely be a Christmas to remember… 

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: Thankfully, I have my Sue Watson fix under control with her latest release Bella’s Bake Off. SW covers are as always incredibly enticing and since the Great British Bake Off has now finished for 2015, this was a perfect solution now I no longer had any left to watch. The book doesn’t wait to launch into Sue’s comedic patter between characters and launches straight into a very funny scene featuring Amy Lane and her husband. Within a matter of pages I was (as usual with these books) laughing my socks off and immediately fell in love with the slightly crazy Amy. The thing is it soon becomes apparent Amy Lane is far from crazy. She is the sort of character you can empathise with; you just know full well that one of your friends fits the bill for Amy’s life.

Amy spends her lead up to Christmas watching Bella Bradley, who is the queen of Television baking. She appears to have absolutely everything with her high flying career and amazingly gorgeous husband. The thing is Amy and Bella were best friends all the way through their childhood. It becomes clear from the beginning that Sue is giving nothing away that easy about why they stopped speaking but slowly and surely things start to unravel and make sense to the reader. When Amy decides to enter a competition to appear on Bella’s show you just know there are high jinks ahead.

When Amy finally makes it to Bella’s TV show the book goes from being brilliant to being AMAZING. Sue Watson has such a knack for the humorous side of characters and she is an author I have fallen a little bit in love with from very early on. Her humour, writing style and stories never fail to hit the spot and are guaranteed to cheer me up, make me laugh and generally improve my mood. Sue has once again swept me off my feet with the characters, although my first love (her book Love, Lies and Lemon Cakes) will always remain my all-time favourite. Please don’t look for any hidden meanings, secret morals or anything that you take away and seriously debate. However, if you want a book to make you laugh you’re a*se off and cheer you up then Sue Watson needs to be top of your list!