#BlogTour #Review : A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb. @CandaceMRobb @severnhouse #LoveBooksGroup

Blurb: 1374. When a member of one of York’s most prominent families is found dead in the woods, his throat torn out, rumours spread like wildfire that wolves are running loose throughout the city. Persuaded to investigate by the victim’s father, Owen Archer is convinced that a human killer is responsible. But before he can gather sufficient evidence to prove his case, a second body is discovered, stabbed to death. Is there a connection? What secrets are contained within the victim’s household? And what does apprentice healer Alisoun know that she’s not telling? Teaming up with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is in York on a secret mission on behalf of Prince Edward, Owen’s enquiries will draw him headlong into a deadly conspiracy.

Buy Link

https://amzn.to/2YHDW0v

My Review: I love historical crime fiction so this book sounded right up my street when I got the opportunity to review it. This book is packed with detail and twists and turns that kept me guessing till the end. Purely coincidencentally my historical fiction is usually set in London so it was really interesting to explore York and the surrounding area in that time period.

While I did enjoy the story this is not the first book in the series and I feel that I would have got more depth from my reading had I read the other books first. However, I have discovered a series that I can now start exploring from book 1 which will keep me busy for a while. Definitely worth checking out if you, like me, love crime or historical crime.

About the author:

Candace Robb has read and researched medieval history for many years, having studied for a Ph.D. in Medieval & Anglo-Saxon Literature. She divides her time between Seattle and the UK, frequently visiting York to research the series. She is the author of ten previous Owen Archer mysteries and three Kate Clifford medieval mysteries.

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#PromoPost : The Blackthorn Series by Lindsay J Pryor. @bookouture @lindsayjpryor

Combining sizzling passion and sinfully seductive vampire heroes, Blackthorn is the perfect series for anyone who loves urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or dystopian fiction. Packed with suspense and intrigue, thrillingly sensual romance, and characters you can’t help but root for, Blackthorn has seen thousands of fans fall head over heels for this stunningly intricate world.
Each book takes readers on a dark, twisted journey deeper into the world of Blackthorn. Following four couples through intense passion, betrayals, and threats to the very fabric of their world, the series begins when Caitlin Parish, a Vampire Control Unit agent, is on a mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire. Her mission is complicated when an unexpected but deep passion builds between them…
Intense, addictive and action-packed, Blackthorn will leave you breathless. Discover the series today!
Books 1,2 and 3 are available in a box set for just £3.99/$6.99

About the author:

Lindsay J. Pryor is a speculative fiction author published by Hachette U.K. Her dark, gritty and complex dystopian BLACKTHORN series has achieved numerous Gothic and PNR Amazon number ones both in the UK and the US. Her spin-off LOWTOWN standalone novels are underway as well as her upcoming romantic Gothic horror.

Quickly deciding that fantasy was more interesting than reality, Lindsay has been creating stories since she was nine years old. She holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology and Communication and is a qualified Psychology lecturer and English teacher. She taught for eighteen years before becoming a full-time author.

Lindsay was born and grew up in Wales and now lives in South West England with her husband and a plethora of wild woodland creatures.

To find out more about Lindsay and her books, please visit her website: lindsayjpryor.com

#BlogTour #Review : The Summer of Chasing Dreams by Holly Martin. @HollyMAuthor #TheSummerofChasingDreams

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today. Huge thanks to Holly Martin for having me and sending me a copy of the book to review.

Blurb:

Eva is quite content with her life in London. In her job as a cover designer, she works at home, and often in her cosy pyjamas. She’s happy to stay in her safe little world and not explore much outside of it.

She is the opposite of her mum, a free spirit who craved finding adventure and thrills in all corners of the world. But on the day her mum’s will is finalised, Eva finds a list of all the dreams her mum wanted to achieve in her life. Things she never did because she fell pregnant with Eva.

Eva decides these dreams will not go unfulfilled – she is going to be brave and complete them for her mum. As Eva has no experience travelling the world, she hires a guide to go with her on this holiday.

Gorgeous but rude Thor Anderson is not the person she would choose to accompany her on this journey, but somehow she gets stuck with him. As they discover the world together Eva starts to think he might not be as bad as she first thought. She is swept away by Thor’s kindness and mischievous sense of humour. But will it be a simple holiday romance or could this wonderful adventure lead to so much more?

My Review: I loved this book, I genuinely think it’s one of Holly’s best.

The story started well and though I found Eva irritating to start with I could understand why she was the way she was and was thrilled to see her develop as the story progressed.

Thór was a brilliant character, I’m quite sad he isn’t real, I’d love to meet him and pick his brains about different places around the world.

You can guess the way the story is heading, it’s not a complete mystery but the reason I loved this book so much is that it’s really well written, there aren’t really any of the over-used clichés and tropes that are frequently found in this genre of books and that made a refreshing change.

If you want a light and enjoyable, cosy read then this is an ideal choice. You can read this book at any time of year but it’s definitely a cosy up, mug of something warm, batten down the hatches type book for me. Can’t wait to see what Holly writes next!

About the author: Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books

Follow her on Twitter @HollyMAuthor

#BlogTour #Review : The Secretary by Renee Knight. #RandomThingsTours @DoubledayUk @alisonbarrow

I’m really pleased to be starting my week with this blog tour. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Doubleday for having me on this tour and sending me a copy of the book to review.

Blurb: Look around you. Who holds the most power in the room?

Is it the one who speaks loudest, who looks the part, who has the most money, who commands the most respect?

Or perhaps it’s someone like Christine Butcher: a meek, overlooked figure, who silently bears witness as information is shared and secrets are whispered. Someone who quietly, perhaps even unwittingly, gathers together knowledge of the people she’s there to serve – the ones who don’t notice her, the ones who consider themselves to be important.

There’s a fine line between loyalty and betrayal. And when someone like Christine Butcher is pushed to her limit, she might just become the most dangerous person in the room . . .

My Review: Having worked in a role in which I felt as though people forgot I was there sometimes I was intrigued when I heard about this book. It’s a complex mix of control, invisibility and power and shows just how much people take others for granted.

How much can you really trust those around you?, and how much should you trust them? Do we really know people we work with day in, day out? These are all questions that are raised by this book and it shows how complacent people can become about those around them.

The world created in this book is entirely believable, as are the characters and their actions. The story is told as a flashback for much of it until it catches up the the present day. I spent most of it wondering how it would end, what would happen to the characters involved and the ending, while not what I expected, was not disappointing and fitted really well with the rest of the story.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author but have had Disclaimer on my to-read list for some time and am glad I haven’t read it yet as I know now the standard to expect when I do read it. This book is definitely worth a read, if only to challenge how you view people you meet everyday. It’ll make you question what you thought you knew.

About the author:

Renée Knight worked as a
documentary-maker for the BBC
before turning to writing. She is a
graduate of the Faber Academy
‘Writing a Novel’ course, and lives
in London with her husband and two
children. Her widely acclaimed
debut novel, Disclaimer, was
a Sunday Times No.1 bestseller. The
Secretary is her second novel.

#Review : Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks #DirtyLittleSecrets

I am thrilled today to bring you my review of this fabulous book. Many thanks to Quercus Books for letting me have a copy of the book for review.

Blurb:

Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.

In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.

There’s just one problem.

Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.

The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.

My Review: I discovered Jo Spain through her Tom Reynolds series which I love so when I heard about this new book I was intrigued and excited. This is a stand alone so you don’t have to have read any of the others other books first.

This story questions how much we really know about our neighbours. People move in next door to us and we may talk but what do we really know about them, what secrets are they hiding?

Olive Collins lives in Withered Vale before the other houses are built and the gated community created. The story is told from her thoughts and memories about people who have and still live there, what they are like and her efforts to build a community within the gates. At the beginning of the book she is found dead and as the investigation into her death progresses we learn about the other residents of the neighbouring homes.

This is a skillfully woven story which keeps you wondering all the way through until the resolution which I admit I didn’t see coming. We learn about the other residents through their reactions to the police investigation and their comments about each other but also through the eyes of the police, the outsiders who bring a fresh perspective to the area, almost like opening a window and letting air into a stuffy room. Throughout this all we get Olive’s voice, almost as if she is still there and providing her own commentary on the neighbours. It’s brilliantly done and perfectly plotted. I’ve admitted I didn’t see the resolution coming but when it did it fitted in perfectly and everything slotted into place like the final piece of a jigsaw.

If you’ve never read any of Jo Spain’s books before this would be an ideal one to start with, it’s a refreshingly original read in the psychological thriller genre.

#BlogTour #Review : Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow. @rararesources

Blurb:

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Heart-Lane-Christie-Barlow-ebook/dp/B07DX1YXKM/

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Love-Heart-Lane-Christie-Barlow-ebook/dp/B07DX1YXKM/

 

My Review : I’ve read at least one book by this author before so when the email for this blog tour popped up in my inbox I was excited, it sounded fresh and fun and just what I was needing.

Overall I enjoyed the story, the book is set in Scotland and living there myself I can certainly appreciate the wild weather in the book as it’s a fair representation of how our weather can be at times. There were a lot of characters in the book and they were well developed, for me they each had clear personalities, which isn’t always the case when there are this number of characters. I have to admit though, that I didn’t entirely warm to Felicity. I liked her but there were things that she said and did that I found quite immature and inconsiderate. Some people will no doubt argue that I’m being too hard on her but that’s how I felt although I did feel she matured somewhat during the course of the book.

The village has to deal with a lot in the course of a few weeks, a timescale that I felt was a bit short, but they rallied together and there was a real sense of community there, something that sadly is missing from a lot of places these days. It was lovely to see people being concerned about others welfare and helping out because it was the right thing to do.

This is one of those books that is perfect for a horrible weather day, one where you are all cosy with your choice of hot drink, I would recommend hot chocolate for this though. You can be sheltered from the weather outside and enjoy the book for what it is, a cosy read that is ideal winter reading.

About the author:

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Love Heart Lane. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

website www.christiebarlow.com

Twitter @ChristieJBarlow

Facebook page Christie Barlow author

#BlogTour #Review :Murder in the Caribbean by Robert Thorogood. @HQStories

Blurb: DI Richard Poole is hot, bothered and fed up. He’s stuck on the tropical island of Saint-Marie, forced to live in a rickety old shack on a beach, and there isn’t a decent cup of tea to be found anywhere.

When a boat explodes in the harbour, Richard and his team soon realise there’s a new murderer on the loose. But who is it? And why did the killer leave behind a ruby at the scene of the crime?

As the police dig deeper, they uncover secrets that go back decades, and a crime from the past that can never be forgiven.

Worse still, they soon realise this is only the beginning. They’ve got to catch the killer before there’s another death in paradise…

My Review: Being a fan of the TV series, it made sense for me to read this book when it popped up on my radar. The series is back in January and is the perfect antidote to the British winter so reading this book in December seemed like perfect timing, a good way to get some Caribbean sunshine into my life a bit earlier than planned.

Despite being set in the Caribbean I didn’t get much of a feel for the island at all, whether that was because I know it from the TV series and could imagine it myself or for some other reason I’m not sure, but I didn’t get any real sense of the tropical paradise of Saint Marie.

However, what I did get was a carefully plotted detective story, one which kept me reading and guessing until the same time that DI Poole figured it out. It’s not often I work out the killer at the same time or before the police but having done that I still enjoyed hearing/reading the explanation as to why and how. There were some red herrings and twists and turns in the book (just the right amount, not too many) so it was a story that kept me guessing and intrigued throughout.

Although I’ve not loved this book as much as I thought I would, I did still enjoy it and found it a nice, calming antidote to the chaos and pressure of Christmas. I could read it and get caught up in the investigation and forget about gift buying or decorations for a while which is always a good thing as far as I’m concerned.