Blood runs cold – Dylan Young

Blair had stopped crying. There was no window, the walls were smooth and it was quiet. She didn’t want to be alone. But she didn’t want him to come back.

When eleven-year-old Blair Smearton is abducted near a river bank on the hottest day of the year, no-one can trace the man spotted taking her.

Detective Anna Gwynne is back at work with her cold case unit following a brutal attack that nearly cost her her life. She’s investigating the death of young Rosie Dawson, whose bones were found hidden in a hole in the ground ten years ago. At least avenging Rosie’s murder, focussing on her past, can help Anna ignore her own.

The only lead Anna has is a photo of Rosie posted on a chat room hidden deep online. And then she finds one of Blair. Kidnapped. In the exact same dark room. The same concrete walls. The same stony floor. The killer is bragging. No-one can trace the photo.

Blair’s time is running out. But Anna has a contact who knows the dark web better than anyone. He’s the key to finding those girls. Can Anna get his help to find Blair alive?

 

 

My review

I had mixed emotions about book 1 but was super pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns at the end of the book, That is why I was looking forward to read more about the Anna Gwynne series. I have to say I was hooked this time. All the things I did not like so much last time, were gone! No more boring bits, but it was utterly captivating. I could not put the book down. The writing style improved as well and I liked the fact that I learned something from the story.
This books adds a feather in the author’s cap.
I would recommand it to everybody but don’t forget to put part 1 in your basket as well! You won’t regret it! 5 stars.

Thank you, Dylan Young, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

Dylan Young grew up in a mining village in South Wales before boarding a train for London. A 35-year career in the NHS followed, the last 27 as a consultant ophthalmologist. Three dark psychological thrillers for Random House emerged in the late nineties and over the last decade, under different pseudonyms, he’s written children’s books and an adult contemporary fantasy series. Retiring from the NHS has allowed Dylan to spend (even) more time in his writing office — a shed in the garden. The first of a new three book crime series will be published by Bookouture in 2018 and he still can’t quite believe it.

www.dylanyoungauthor.com

Summer at the Castle Cafe – Donna Ashcroft

The cosy, crumbling Castle Café is a place like no other. With stunning views of the sparkling sea and sandy beaches, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome, delicious cake and plenty of laughter as soon as you step through the door…

When Alice Appleton escapes to the gorgeous seaside town of Castle Cove it’s the change of scenery she didn’t even realise she needed. Taking up a job in the charming Castle Café, Alice finds herself surrounded by cream teas, chocolate cake and quirky characters. Could this be the perfect place for Alice to embrace the summer?

Mysterious and hunky Jay O’Donnell has lived in picturesque Castle Cove since he was a child. As a volunteer on the lifeboats, his days by the sea are far from predictable. Haunted by a tragedy from his past, he’s on a mission to save as many people as possible. But when Alice Appleton walks into his life – and turns his world upside down – he begins to realise that perhaps it might just be his turn to be rescued…

As Alice and Jay find themselves unexpectedly falling for each other, will they learn the importance of letting go to make way for second chances? And will Alice find the life she’s always dreamed of in Castle Cove?

 

 

My review

How I love the covers of those feel good books. They already make me feel good even before I have read one single word. I adore the sun and the sea, so this setting is one of my favourites.
Of course you know from the start that you are in for a fairytale ending but you never know what you will get before you get there.
I have to admit that the story felt so real. I could see everything I read and I felt the hurt, the danger and the love as if I was a character in the story myself and the funny bits made me laugh out loud sometimes.
The charcaters could have been your neighbours because they were so down to earth and it’s true that you often think that what you don’t have is something you really want. By doing so you don’t see what’s under your nose and you don’t realize that you already have what you are looking for.
At the last page I kept tapping on my Kindle. I hoped that it would make pop up, miraculously, the sequel, because I want more … 5 stars
Thank you, Donna Ashcroft, Netgalley and Bookouture.
About the author

Donna wrote novels for over ten years before being published. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and was a joint winner of the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017. Her first two books Summer at the Castle Cafe and Christmas at the Castle Cafe will publish in 2018.

Donna loves a happy ending and is never happier than when she’s escaping into a romance novel or movie. When she’s not reading or writing she’ll probably be found hoovering … or negotiating with her teenagers about who is doing the washing up.

You can find Donna on Twitter @Donnashc or visit her at http://www.donna-writes.co.uk

My Big Greek Summer – Sue Roberts

A holiday can solve everything… can’t it? A hilarious, hot new summer escape about kissing your past goodbye and learning to love again…

Carefree, thirty-something Mandy thought she’d be married to first-love Danny forever.

So when she discovers her heart-throb husband has had a fling, she realises it’s time to make some BIG changes. But what will Mandy do now she’s single for the first time in her adult life?

Determined to find her spark again, Mandy hops on a plane, ready for adventure and a second chance at happiness. Escaping to a sun-drenched Greek island, the glittering blue seas, golden beaches and delicious cocktails are exactly what she needs.

Over one spontaneous summer, Mandy has the time of her life making new friends in a pretty little Mediterranean village by the sea. And she finds herself unexpectedly falling for a tall, dark, handsome stranger. But Mandy soon realises that even paradise has its problems…

Can a holiday romance really heal her broken heart? Or will someone in Mandy’s old life call her home again?

 

 

My review

Sometimes you read a book and you think ‘What a beautiful story’ and you are aware that it is fiction. But here I felt like I was reading a diary. It seemed like Mandy was real and if I would live in Liverpool I could acutally meet here there.
The descriptions in the book were so realistic that I saw everything in my mind. I was in Liverpool, I was in Greece. It was as if I was an invisible friend going through all the emotions and facts with Mandy.
Sometimes it seems that a good friend is better for your heart than a lover but when friendship turns into something more, it’s wonderful to enjoy it with your best friend.
I loved that everything came together and what a beautiful fairytale ending. I dare to hope for a sequel, because closing this book feels a bit like loosing a friend. I am not ready to say goobye to Mandy. So, pretty please ….?

Thank you, Netgalley and Bookouture for giving me the chance to read this wonderful story. 5 stars.

 

About the author

I live in Lancashire with my long term partner Derek and have had a lifelong love of writing, encouraged by winning a school writing competition at the age of 11.

I always assumed that ‘one day’ I would write a book, always having a busy household and a job, the idea remained firmly on the back burner but never forgotten.

The inspiration for my first novel came to me on a holiday to a Greek village. My daughters had left home and suddenly the time had come to write that book!

Summer at the Art Cafe – Sue McDonagh

From watercolours and cupcakes to leather jackets and freedom … 
If you won a gorgeous purple motorbike, and your domineering husband said you were too fat for leathers and should sell it, would you do as you were told – or learn to ride it in secret?

Artist and café owner Lucy Daumier intends to do just that – but learning to ride is far from easy, especially under the critical eye of prickly motorcycle instructor, Ash Connor.

But gradually Lucy gets the hang of it, and in the process re-discovers the girl she used to be. So starts an exciting summer of new friendships and fun – as well as a realisation that there is more to Ash than meets the eye when she is introduced to his seven-year-old daughter, Daisy.

But can Lucy’s new-found happiness last when a spiteful family member wants to see her fail?

 

My review

Motorbikes and cakes, two things I like very much as well. So when they were combined in a story, it had to be a good one.
I loved the way Lucy, bit by bit, changed her life and put herself first for a change. She showed, that if you are determined enough, you can reach your goal.
Love seems to be in the picture again as well, but the road is bumpy and it looks like it is taking a wrong turn. Can everything be turned around or …?
A lovely summerread with ups and downs, funny bits and sad ones, love and bitchyness. These are all ingredients that will keep to glued to your seat.

Thank you, Sue McDonagh and Choc Lit.

 

About the author

Sue McDonagh’s career as a policewoman for Essex Police was cut short when she was diagnosed at the age of twenty-four with ovarian cancer. After a successful recovery and a stint working as a Press Officer she moved to Wales.

In Wales her love of art evolved into a full-time occupation and she made a living teaching and sketching portraits at shows. In 2014 she was a regional finalist for the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year. She now works exclusively to commissions from her art gallery.

In 2009 she learned to ride a motorbike, and now helps run Curvy Riders, a national, women only, motorbike club. Her joy of motorbikes and her love of writing inspired her to write the Art Café series. Sue, granny of two little girls and proud mum of two stepsons, lives a mile from the sea in Wales. She can often be found with her border terrier, Scribbles, at her art gallery. Scribble thinks the customers only come in to see him. Sometimes, Sue thinks that too.

When she’s not painting, she’s writing or on her motorbike. She belongs to a local writing group and the Romantic Novelist’s Association. Summer at the Art Café is Sue’s debut novel and the first in her Art Café series.

 

The truth lies buried – Morton S. Gray

Two children in a police waiting room, two distressed mothers, a memory only half remembered …

When Jenny Simpson returns to the seaside town of Borteen, her childhood home, it’s for a less than happy reason. But it’s also a chance for her to start again.

A new job leads to her working for Carver Rodgers, a man who lives alone in a house that looks like it comes from the pages of a fairy tale – until you see the disaster zone inside …
As Jenny gets to know Carver she begins to unravel the sadness that has led to his chaotic existence. Gradually they realise they have something in common that is impossible to ignore – and it all links back to a meeting at a police station many years before.
Could the truth lie just beneath their feet?

 

 

My review

I have read the first part of this series as well. So I was very curieus to read the next one. I was very pleasantly surprised. I liked this book even better than the first one. Although there was a lot of romance, there was also a lot of sadness, but always with a hint of suspense in the background. I adore this combination. It kept me wanting to read on and on and on until the end. It was very hard to put it away. I simply loved it and I am already looking forward to the next part. Bring it on! 🙂

Thank you, Morton S. Gray and Choc Lit

 

About the author

Morton S. Gray lives with her husband, sons and Lily, the tiny dog, in Worcestershire, U.K.

She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen, the plot of which closely resembled an Errol Flynn film.

Life got in the way of writing for many years, until she won a short story competition and the spark for writing was well and truly reignited. She carries a notebook everywhere as inspiration strikes in the most unlikely places.

She studied creative writing with the Open College of the Arts and joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme in 2012.

Previous ‘incarnations’ were in committee services, staff development and training. Morton has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She has diplomas in Tuina Acupressure Massage and Energy Field Therapy.

She enjoys history, loves tracing family trees and discovering new crafts. Having a hunger for learning is a bonus for the research required for her books.

The Girl on the Beach was her debut novel with Choc Lit and winner of the 2016 Search for a Star competition.

The purrfect pet sitter – Carol Thomas

Introducing Lisa Blake, the purrfect pet sitter! 
When Lisa Blake’s life in London falls apart, she returns to her hometown rebranding herself as ‘the purrfect pet sitter’ – which may or may not be false advertising as she has a rather unfortunate habit of (temporarily) losing dogs!

But being back where she grew up, Lisa can’t escape her past. There’s her estranged best friend Flick who she bumps into in an embarrassing encounter in a local supermarket. And her first love, Nathan Baker, who, considering their history, is sure to be even more surprised by her drunken Facebook friend request than Lisa is.

As she becomes involved in the lives of her old friends Lisa must confront the hurt she has caused, discover the truth about her mysterious leather-clad admirer, and learn how to move forward when the things she wants most are affected by the decisions of her past.

 

 

My review

I thought it would be about the funny tales of a pet sitter, but I was wrong. Although we follow Lisa when she is doing her job, the story is about so much more. It’s about friends, love and family lost and found, about a secret that seems to threaten but are lovely when revealed, about changes in life. There are fun parts but also moments filled with a lot of tears. Some are happy ones, some are sad ones. But in the end, everything comes together and only happy tears remain.

The book is fluently written and it took me by the hand and would not let go until the last full stop. Loved it!

Thank you, Carol Thomas and Choc Lit

 

About the author

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively young Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and was a primary school teacher for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book.

Watch for me by candlelight – Kirsty Ferry

“The stars are aligning and it’s time again …”
Working at the Folk Museum in Hartsford village means that Kate Howard is surrounded by all sorts of unusual vintage items. Of course she has her favourites; particularly the Victorian ice skates with a name – ‘CAT’ – mysteriously painted on the sides.
But what Kate doesn’t realise is how much she has in common with Catriona Aphrodite Tredegar, the original owner of the skates, or how their lives will become strangely entwined. All Kate knows is that as soon as she bumps into farrier Theo Kent, things start getting weird: there’s the vivid, disconcerting visions and then of course the overwhelming sense that she’s met Theo before …

 

 

My review

I have read part one of the series and I really liked it. So, when I was asked if I wanted to read the next book, I did not hesitate for one second. I honestly thought it would have been difficult to top it, but I have to admit I was wrong. This part I even liked more. Normally I am not a big fan of time travel, but the author has made me change my mind. The way she writes, adds emotions and drags you in to the story is high class.

It’s also nice to see that one of the characters ends up, even only for a while, in your home country. It even connects you more to the story.
If you have missed part one, hurry and buy it and oh, don’t forget to add this one to your basket as well. I know you will enjoy it as much as i did. 5 stars.

Thank you, Kirsty Ferry and Choc Lit.

 

About the author

Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.

Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.

Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.

 

The family at Number 13 – S.D. Monaghan

The most perfect lives can hide the darkest secrets…
Mary has everything. Beautiful and rich, she lives on an exclusive street in the heart of the city, in a house with gorgeous views and an immaculately maintained garden. Her life looks perfect.

But behind closed doors the truth is very different. Her husband Andrew barely speaks to her, spending his days down in the basement alone. Her teenage nephew is full of rage, lashing out with no warning. Her carefully constructed life is beginning to fall apart.

And then someone starts sending Mary anonymous notes, threatening her and her family…

Everyone has secrets. But is someone at number 13 hiding something that could put the whole family in danger?

 

 

My review

I liked the beginning. It made me curious and I liked the way the story started in the present, then went back in time for a few days to pick up again in the present. The book is divided in 3 parts and part 3 was my favourite by far.
The book was like a rollercoaster for me with some ups (ah I like this part) but unfortunately a lot more downs (Pff, I would like to skip this part).
It was not gripping and although I have to say there sometimes was a hint of suspense, I can’t really call it a thriller.
There was a lot of analysing and psychology, but I never had the feeling of learning more about the characters. I felt there was a lot of unfinished business and I still have pile of unanswered questions.
I am sorry that I can’t be more positive, but this is my honest opinion. I am grateful for receiving the chance to read the book. 2,5 stars.

Thank you, S.D. Monaghan, Netgalley and Bookouture.

 

About the author

S. D. Monaghan grew up in Dublin before travelling extensively in Asia, Europe and America. After teaching English in Thailand for two years, he moved back to Ireland and gained an honours degree in psychology. While living in Canada for four year, he studied screenwriting in Toronto. S. D. Monaghan completed the Masters in Creative Writing at Trinity College, Dublin with the editorial guidance of the Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford and Orange Prize nominee, Deirdre Madden. On the strength of his work there, he was chosen to represent both the university and the Oscar Wilde Writers’ Centre to read excerpts at the Dublin Publishers Festival and on Dublin Culture Night.  He lives in Dublin with his wife, where he is currently working on his new novel. He is represented by Zoe Ross at United Agents.

One way or another – Colleen Coleman

Twenty-nine-year-old Katie Kelly is at an all-time low. The love of her life, gorgeous Ben Cole, took a job abroad and broke her heart, the restaurant she’d put her all into went bust, and now she works in a retirement home, cooking beige mush for the residents.

Not exactly the life Katie had dreamed of…

So when the opportunity comes up to work for one of the best chefs in the country – Katie’s idol – she is determined to get the job, no matter what. But then she discovers who she’s competing against: Ben, who Katie still isn’t over.

As the competition heats up, Katie and Ben spend more and more time together, and it’s clear the old spark is still there… But only one person can win their perfect job. Can Katie have it all, or will she have to choose between the man and the career she loves?

 

My review

I really enjoyed this story. Maybe because I have a diploma in hotel management that the setting took my interest even more.
The book is fluently written and is filled with emotions. When there is joy, you want to jump up and down as well. When there is sadness, you reach out for the tissues. Although it is indeed a comedy, a lot of thoughts have a deeper meaning : don’t hold on to the past, but look to the future, love your dreamjob, but don’t let it get in the way with the contact with you family and most important don’t stay glued in a place where you don’t really want to be and sometimes you have to take a risk to get where you truely want to be.
Only one more thing to add : read the book and see for yourself. 5 stars.

Thank you, Colleen Coleman, Netgalley and Bookouture.

 

About the author

Colleen Coleman is an Irish-Canadian novelist. She is the winner of the much-coveted Novelicious Undiscovered People’s Choice Award launched to find the next ‘chick-lit star’. She spent over ten years working as a teacher of English and Philosophy before finally taking a deep breath, scrunching her eyes shut, putting her pen to paper and vowing not to lift it again until she wrote the words The End. As a result, her first novel was born. Colleen lives between London, Ireland and Cyprus with her very patient husband and very, very chatty twin daughters. Don’t Stop Me Now is her first book and will be released in March. 

www.colleencolemanbooks.com

White lies – Lucy Dawson

When you have everything, you have everything to lose…

Alexandra Inglis is a respected family doctor, trusted by her patients to keep their most intimate secrets. And if sometimes the boundaries between duty and desire blur… well, she’s only human.

But when Alex oversteps a line with Jonathan, one of her patients, she knows she’s gone too far. Jonathan is obsessive, and to get what he wants he will tear Alex’s world apart – threatening not only her career but her marriage and family too.

Soon Alex finds she’s capable of doing almost anything to keep hold of her perfect life, as it begins to spin dangerously out of her control…

 

 

My review

Not once, twice but three times WOW! I started it yesterday and read up to 60% and I still did not want to stop, but then sleep interfered. How I wish I could drink some kind of healthy potion to keep me going and save me from those lost hours in which we have to sleep.
If you are looking for an author who knows how to write a book that messes with your head, don’t look any further. You feel for Alexandra, but suddenly you hear a different story and it seems like she is the bad ‘guy’. Your feel like a ball in a tennis game, because your mind keeps changing direction and you don’t know who is right or wrong anymore, who you should feel sorry for, who you should hate. And then everything is revealed … 5 stars.

A big thank you to Lucy Dawson for dragging me into your story and keeping me there until the end and to Netgallye and Bookouture as well of course.

 

About the author

Lucy has been writing psychological suspense novels since 2008, when her first bestseller – His Other Lover – was published. She writes full time from her home in Devon, where she lives with her husband and children.

Before that, she used to interview the likes of Steps and SClub7 for a living, making absolutely no use whatsoever of her psychology degree from Warwick University, but having a lot of fun. Lucy is published worldwide and her works has been translated into numerous languages.

www.lucydawsonbooks.com