I Heart Hawaii (I Heart 8)


51QMm81h1QL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

Synopsis: When you’re running away from real life, there’s only one place to go…

When Angela Clark’s best friend Jenny invites her to join a press trip to Hawaii, three days of sun, sea and sleep sounds like the perfect antidote to her crazed life.

At work in New York, she’s supposed to be the face of Having It All. But the only thing Angela feels she excels at is hiding in the printer cupboard, eating Mini Cheddars and watching Netflix on her phone and if this is living the dream, she’s more than ready to wake up.

A few days away with Jenny sounds like exactly what she needs but Angela’s talent for getting into a scrape guarantees nothing goes to plan – and not even the most beautiful beaches, blue skies and daiquiris will get her off the hook…

My Rating: 3/5

My Review: To be honest as much as I love this series I think it’s run it’s course and this seems to be (don’t quote me on it though) the last book in the series which I think it should be. Angela Clarke has been a great character to follow along with her mad friend Jenny and the rest of the gang. This follows Angela as she takes her first break away from her baby and leaves her in the capable hands of her husband Alex, while she flies off to Hawaii with Jenny and a whole crowd of people.

The story has its classic and very funny lines from all involved and as usual had me laughing along to some of the madness Angela gets herself involved in. But for me there was something missing in this book. There is a strain on the friendship between Ang and Jenny and although this is revealed and resolved later in the book, it felt like Jenny was the missing piece for a lot of this book.

There were some very funny moments during the Hawaii trip and Lindsey Kelk’s humour shines through like magic, but for me I was glad this was wrapped up the way it was and it ended the series well. It was a great way to say goodbye to the gang and leave the way clear for new characters and new books.

The Summer Of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

51ob7EeMlZL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_Synopsis: One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there’s a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.

‘The Welcome House’ is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there’s always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.

While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focussed on her work, she’s remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel. Continue reading

The Christmas Wish by Tilly Tennant

Synopsis: Christmas is coming but it doesn’t feel that way for Esme. Jilted by her cheating fiancée Warren and mourning the death of her beloved grandmother she’s determined not to let life beat her and books a trip to Lapland, on a holiday that her grandmother had always dreamed of taking.

Beneath the indigo skies of Lapland, love is the last thing on Esme’s mind but she can’t ignore a spark with Zach, a broodingly handsome actor, also nursing a broken heart. But when Esme is bombarded by messages from Warren promising he’s changed and she discovers that Zach is hiding something-will her head be turned? And when a trip to the northern lights reveals the full extent Zach’s own secret past is there any hope that Esme will get the happy ending that her grandmother wished for her?

My Rating: 3/5 Continue reading

The Birthday by Carol Wyer (Natalie Ward #1)

Synopsis: One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home… 

Two years later, Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

Kat’s Rating: 3/5 Continue reading

Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary (Marnie Rome #5)

225x346

Synopsis: On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

My Review: Well I am a little bit surprised by how I feel having finished this book. I am a huge Sarah Hilary fan and have loved the previous 4 books, however…yes you guessed it, I wasn’t overly keen on this one. Sometimes no matter how much a fan you are, some storylines you just can’t get into and this book was one such case.

For a start I picked up and started this book 3 times which is unusual for me, but every time I got the first couple of chapters in I found I didn’t want to read on. So on my third attempt I ploughed on and as with most books before you know it you are halfway through. The premise involves a riot at Cloverton Prison and a prisoner escapes, which leaves all sorts of problems in its wake and some of these problems involve Marnie Rome’s foster brother, Stephen Keele. Marnie’s sidekick Noah (who I love by the way) is back again and he and Marnie must find the escapee Michael Vokey before he does more damage.

I’m not going to delve any more into the storyline because the synopsis tells you that but in one way I almost felt like I had read this on its own without knowing who had written it Sarah Hilary would have been the last person I chose. I feel like her writing style is somewhat different to previous books and it almost felt like it could be read as a standalone book, even though there are some things that involve past events. I just can’t put my finger on what exactly it was but when you are part way into a series and have loved all 4 books, you have a certain expectation for book 5. I almost feel like having read this, somebody got it wrong and this isn’t the correct book by the right author…does that make sense.

If I look at it as a standalone book, yes it’s certainly not a bad book and I am sure thousands of people will love this. However, for me I really couldn’t move away from a middle of the road rating because it is just too far removed from the others in the series. Having seen many other reviews, I feel like maybe I am in the minority and maybe (sometimes this happens) my head wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I think my conclusion would be certainly not a bad book, just not what I was expecting. I think I may we revisit this in a few months just before Book 6 being released and see if I feel differently about it.

Alert by James Patterson (Michael Bennett #8)

Synopsis: New York has seen more than its fair share of horrific attacks, but the city is about to be shaken in a way it never has before.

Two devastating catastrophes hit in quick succession, putting everyone on edge. Detective Michael Bennett is given the near impossible task of hunting down the shadowy terror group responsible.

Then a shocking assassination makes it clear that these inexplicable events are just the prelude to the biggest threat of all. Now Bennett is racing against the clock to save his beloved city – before the most destructive force he has ever faced tears it apart.

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Kat’s Review: I really like the Michael Bennett series however sometimes the books can be a little bit hit and miss and sadly in this case for me it was just mediocre. Normally these books pull me in but for some reason this one felt stilted or maybe I just need a rest from reading about terrorism?!? I didn’t feel like Bennett really got his usual outing where he uses his brainpower. This seemed more about packing in as much action as is humanly possible.

We hardly get to see the Bennett clan at all which is another minus for me, although I did like the addition of Martin the kid sitter! I read this and was reasonably engaged but although the storyline ticked along it just felt like it had been churned out to keep people happy. Finished this in record time as I do with most Patterson books but got to the end and just know it’s unforgettable which is never a good sign. I will continue to read the next in the series as normally I love them so I guess the odd one or two I’m not overly enthused with isn’t so bad.

Ladies Who Launch by Milly Johnson (Short Story)

372x500

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Kat’s Review: So the follow up from the Short Story Here Come The Boys is this one and it’s a perfect continuation and wrap up of both Angie and Selina’s story. Angie and Selina are now firm friends following their years of not speaking after their school days. Their last trip resulted in Seina making the brave decision to leave her husband and it made Angie see what she had waiting for her at home!

This book seemed a little shorter than the last and I literaly read it in about 10 minutes. I think this would have been better being added on to the last short story. Unfortunately about 40% of this was the short story and the rest is extracts from another MJ book. Couldn’t helpp being a little bit dissapointed but am hoping we return with a full length book at some point to see how Angie and Selina are getting on.

Summer at Seafall Cottage by Lily Graham

81S0eVrELwL._AC_UL436_

Synopsis: Victoria Langley’s world crumbles when her husband leaves, but she knows exactly where to go to mend her broken heart. The rugged shores of Cornwall will be her perfect sanctuary. 

In the quaint, little village of Tregollan, nestled in the sea cliffs, Victoria is drawn to Seafall Cottage, covered in vines and gracefully falling apart. Inside she finds a diary full of secrets, from 1905.

Victoria is determined to unravel the diary’s mystery, but the residents of Tregollan are tight-lipped about Tilly Asprey, the cottage’s last owner. Just as she reaches a dead end, Victoria meets Adam Waters, the lawyer handling the cottage’s sale. He’s handsome, charming, and has a missing piece of the puzzle.

Tilly’s diary tells a devastating love story that mirrors Victoria’s own. Can Victoria learn from Tilly’s mistakes, and give herself a second chance at love? Or is history doomed to repeat itself?

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Kat’s Review: I was looking forward to this release by Lily Graham as I absolutely LOVED A Cornish Christmas. However, I was surprised as this one seemed a little slower to get into.

Our lead character Victoria’s has gone to Cornwall and made an extremely rash decision and brought herself a derelict house. Following the breakdown of her marriage it appears this is her way of retreating to lick her wounds in private. ‘Seafall Cottage’ Has its own secrets though and when she finds some diaries in the house she cannot help but be pulled into the stories within those pages. Before long she becomes almost obsessed with the owner and writer of the diaries Tilly.  Tilly is a young girl living in the early 1900s and we see the story flip between present day and Victoria and then back to the past with Tilly.

Additional characters such as Angie, Victoria’s houseboat neighbor struck a cord and I really liked her and then there is Adam and a whole host of others. Somehow though I never really connected all that much with any of them. The writing was brilliant and the story enjoyable but I just felt there was something lacking with this latest book that wasn’t with the last one. I certainly enjoyed it, but think her first book was so amazing I spent the whole time comparing which is never a good idea.

The Girl Who Came Back by Susan Lewis

51jnn-gPRgL._SL250_

Synopsis: When Jules Bright hears a knock on the door, the last person she expects to find is a detective bringing her the news she’s feared for the last three years.

Amelia Quentin is being released from prison.

Jules’s life is very different now to the one she’d known before Amelia shattered it completely. Knowing the girl is coming back she needs to decide what to do. Friends and family gather round, fearing for Jules’s safety. They know that justice was never served; every one of them wants to make the Quentin girl pay. 

The question is, what will Jules do; and which of them – her or Amelia – has the most to fear?

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Kat’s Review: I have been reading Susan Lewis for years and my very first review on Amazon nearly 10 years ago was one of her books. I always enjoy them but every now and then one comes along that I struggle with and sadly this was one of them. In the beginning we see glimpses of Amelia and instantly it becomes apparent she is no ordinary child and if that continues she may well become a very disturbed individual. Jules then becomes the main focus of the story and we see her struggle to come to terms with the news she has just been told. Amelia Quentin will be released from prison following an event that had far reaching consequences for her family.

As the story continues we see both present and past explored but it was done in an easy to read way. There are many elements to this book that maybe wont sit right with some people (subject matter for a start wont be everybody’s cup of tea), however the story flowed well and was easy to get into. However, there were one or two issues within the book I just felt had no added value, as well as the fact that certain elements within the story didn’t seem authentic and to be honest this spoiled things a little for me.

I continued reading and finished the book, and although I enjoyed it there were too many things I didn’t like or had niggles with so felt that the fairest rating would be the middle of the road. I certainly hope her next book is just as enthralling as the numerous others of hers I have read.

Right Behind ou by Lisa Gardner (FBI Profiler #7)

51WBF1Bfu-L._SL250_

Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Sharlah Nash knows that the first time her brother killed eight years ago, he did it to save their lives.

Now retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife Rainie Conner have offered Sharlah a new life of safety. She desperately wants to believe this is her shot at happily ever after.

Then two people are murdered in their local convenience store and Sharlah’s brother is identified as the killer.

Telly Ray Nash is on the hunt for Sharlah and as the death count rises it becomes clear that nothing and no one, including Pierce and Rainie, will stop him getting to her.

Now, Sharlah has one chance to take control.

She can run for her life… or turn and face the danger right behind her.

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Kat’s Review: I was THRILLED to hear that Lisa Gardner was bringing back Rainie and Quincy as it’s been at least 8 years. However, having finished the book I was hugely undecided about the rating and was decidedly underwhelmed by certain aspects of this latest release.  I have read all of the books in this series which I think always helps, however you could easily read this as a standalone and have no issue with what is going on. Previous books have always had me on the edge of my seat and this book did too to a certain degree. However, there was a lot of repetitiveness and it felt like going over old ground time and time again.

Sharlah has been living with Rainie and Quincy for some time and they are looking to adopt her and offer her a new life and secure family. Although Quincy is retired he still gets called to work on cold cases as one of the elite FBI profiler’s. When two people are murdered in a local convenience store Quincy and Rainie get dragged in when it soon becomes clear that the main suspect is none other that Sharlah’s older brother Tell Ray Nash.

Okay, irritation point one is the name of the suspect, for some reason it just didn’t sit right with me and grated on me from the beginning. I don’t let things like that bother me too much, but as I started to read there was a certain something missing from this book that was present in her others. It felt like the spark was missing and maybe that was due to the fact there was too long a gap between the last book and this one? The pace was good but the second half was much better and I found myself reading the second half in just one sitting.

I know I mentioned that something was missing which is generally pretty vague I know, but even though the second half was great again it felt like there was something not right. In addition there were elements to characters (such as Cal the tracker) which if I heard one more time I think I might have screamed. I mean how many times do you need to be told that Cal makes cheese??? I know that sounds petty but that, along with the name Telly, as well as feeling something wasn’t quite as it has been in other books just left me feeling a little let down. I am a huge fan of the DD Warren series and those books are amazing and seem to get better with each one released. For me this fell short and I couldn’t honestly say it stayed in my mind for any of the right reasons. A solid read, but far too middle of the road for such an accomplished author!