An Island Christmas by Jenny Colgan (Mure Series)

download Synopsis: It’s a time for hunkering down, getting cosy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram with the people you love – unless, of course, you’re accidentally pregnant to your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In what should be the season of peace and goodwill on earth, will Joel think Flora is a bearer of glad tidings?

Meanwhile Saif, the doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons – but without his missing wife. Can the little family possibly find comfort and joy?

My Rating: 5/5 Continue reading

Christmas At The Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

40542822 Synopsis: Especially Lizzy Kingham. But this year, she is feeling unloved and under-appreciated by her family. The present-buying, decorating and food shopping have all been left to her. So she wonders … what would happen if she ran away and left them to it?

Lizzy heads to her favourite place: a beach hut on the golden sands of Everdene. There she meets an unlikely collection of new friends, all running away from something. But the spirit of Christmas gets under Lizzy’s skin: soon the fairy lights are twinkling and the scent of mulled wine mingles with the sea air. Continue reading

Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

41SWJCXtmCL._SY346_ Synopsis: Six years ago, Evie Cormac was discovered, filthy and half-starved, hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a shocking crime. Now approaching adulthood, Evie is damaged, self-destructive and has never revealed her true identity.

Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven, a man haunted by his own past, is investigating the death of champion figure-skater Jodie Sheehan. When Cyrus is called upon to assess Evie, she threatens to disrupt the case and destroy his ordered life. Because Evie has a unique and dangerous gift – she knows when someone is lying. And nobody is telling the truth.

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

My Review: Wow! This was an absolute belter of a book and I was absolutely gutted when I finished it. I can only hope that we see the return of these two characters I absolutely loved. Evie Cormack is damaged and has had a horrendous start to her life. Now she is approaching adulthood her life is getting even more complicated. Psychologist Cyrus Haven somehow ends up agreeing to be her responsible foster parent and that is where the book gets even more interesting. 

Both of the characters are very different and extremely engaging. It’s clear that Evie is overly bright and intelligent albeit damaged in other ways. This story actually follows two threads, one being Evie’s background and what she appears to be hiding. The other is Cyrus helping on a murder case featuring Jodie Sheehan. Gone are the days where  where I will re-hash the story line to pad a review. What I will say is that this book was absolutely brilliant and I would LOVE to read the second book featuring these two and think this could be an amazingly good series. An absolutely excellent read and one that I would HIGHLY recommend

Hard Shot by J B Turner (Jon Reznick #7)

51Rq3q-Qq8L._SY346_Synopsis: When a group of homegrown attackers takes aim at cops outside a Fourth of July baseball game, black-ops specialist Jon Reznick and his daughter, Lauren, are caught in the cross fire. Jon hunts down two of the gunmen. But the last member of the group is at large and about to launch a fresh killing spree across the city. Cops are under fire, and Jon must stop this madman before more people are killed.

But Jon’s renegade tactics and vigilante justice are starting to ruffle some feathers, and his friends in high places might not be able to help him anymore. With leaks inside the FBI and resistance from the NYPD, Reznick doesn’t know whom to trust.

He knows one thing: he won’t watch the city he loves be torn apart, especially not with his daughter in the crosshairs. But can he get to her in time?

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: YES! Finally another installment featuring Jon Reznick. I like Jon as a main character and it seems like things are starting to take its toll and I think this latest book we see him try and take a step back (well at the end at least). This book is a typical high octane and action packed book that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Jon attends a ball game with is daughter when attackers start to take out police officers. Jon being Jon means he cannot leave it and as such becomes embroiled in this latest attack on US soil. Only this time it seems the attackers are closer to home. At 248 pages it isn’t a particularly long read but certainly an entertaining one.

I really love the characters and am crossing my fingers that we get to see Jon make a few changes in his personal life in the next book. I could easily read these books over and over as they are fantastic and I admit I am a bit of a fan. I cannot wait to see what’s next for Jon and highly recommend this series.

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!

Dry Hard by Nick Spalding

512CHERNnvL._SY346_ Synopsis: Kate and Scott’s marriage has always been a lot of fun, with alcohol at the heart of it. After all, what’s more entertaining than a good laugh and a large drink… or six? But recently, those relaxing drinks have become more crutch than comfort—and the couple have almost forgotten how to talk to each other sober.

Then their teenage daughter Holly uploads a video of their humiliating drunken escapades, which gets picked up by YouTube superstar PinkyPud—and goes horrifyingly viral. In a last-ditch attempt to prove to the world they’re more than just boozy idiots, Kate and Scott quit alcohol completely. But with Holly’s… er… ‘help’, what begins as a family promise soon escalates into a social media phenomenon: #DryHard!

With the eyes of the Internet upon them, can Kate and Scott stay teetotal—and save their marriage in the process?

My Rating: 5/5 Continue reading

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 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!

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