Tuesday 30 May 2017

Review: I Found You by Lisa Jewell

I Found You by Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: April 25th 2017
My rating: 4 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

A young bride, a lonely single mother, and an amnesiac man of dubious origin lie at the heart of New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell’s next suspenseful drama that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Paula Hawkins.

In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother.

Two decades of secrets, a missing husband, and a man with no memory are at the heart of this brilliant new novel, filled with the “beautiful writing, believable characters, pacey narrative, and dark secrets” (London Daily Mail) that make Lisa Jewell so beloved by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed I Found You! A mystery that kept me glued to the pages with tension that intensified with each chapter. 

You’re basically just thrown into the story when Alice, mother of three discovers a man outside her seaside cottage with no memory. Alice can’t help herself, and offers him a place to stay all the while they try and piece together the mystery of his life.  “Frank” as Alice begins to call him starts having flashes of memory, jogged by places in Alice’s town, and soon it becomes apparent that something terrible happened. 

We also have alternating chapters of a twenty-one year old new bride, Lily.  After three weeks of wedded bliss and passion, her new husband fails to come home and she’s alone in a foreign country. And chapters from the past, 1993, centered on a family vacationing on the beach.  At first I was wondering how these three POVs connected, but with every page I got a little more light shed on the situation.  I could sense a tragedy coming, impending doom and I wanted to know how it all turned out!

I was pleasantly surprised by how addictive and interesting I Found You was!  I think it’s best to say as little as possible with a mystery, but as someone who has read loads of mystery books I was pleased with the reveal, even though I had guessed at a lot of it, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment.  I wanted to know the particulars, and how it all turned out in the end.  There was some romance, just enough to satisfy this romance junkie here. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any other Lisa Jewell books now.

I used the UK cover for my review because I like it better, but this was supposed to be the US cover. :)

I Found You 

Connect with Lisa Jewell:

Monday 29 May 2017

Mini-reviews: Love Story and Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

Love Story by Lauren Layne
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: February 14th 2017
My rating: 3 stars 

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart. After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Once again Layne brings another one of my favourite tropes to this story; second chance romances. Lucy and Reece have known each other practically their entire lives. Reece is Lucy’s brother’s best friend, so they’ve grown up together. However since a few years ago, things haven’t been the best between the pair, Layne gives us hints of Reece and Luce getting together, but we’re never told about what could have caused their massive fall out, the two don’t seem to get along without bickering, and things don’t help the matter when they’re forced to take a two week trip (Lucy’s original plan was to go to on her own) by Lucy’s parents as they both will be travelling to the same place, so it makes sense too. I for one couldn’t wait to see how this road trip would turn out, could both Reece and Lucy finally get over the disaster that happened all those years ago or would this trip just be another disaster?

I really liked the way Layne gave us Reece and Lucy’s story, we weren’t immediately given their back story and what went down, but small snippets of their history together which built up to the present day. This really worked for me, as I was constantly left intrigued and wanting more. The only reason I wasn’t able to rate this book higher was despite clearly seeing that Reece and Lucy were meant to be together, it just felt as if there were a lot of hold backs (particularly on Reece’s side) and miscommunication which kind of put a dampener on things for me. This aside Love Story was still a great read, I particularly enjoyed the road trip aspect, but probably not one of my favourites by 

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
My rating: 4 stars

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams. Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

Walk of Shame was a book which reminded me of why I love Layne’s books so much, Whereas Love Story didn’t leave me feeling my usual giddy self afterwards, Walk of Shame had everything I love when it comes to reading, hate to love and trope, a slow burn romance and a swoony character to die for in Andrew. The constant jibes aside whenever Georgie and Andrew accidently met up in their lobby at 5am nearly every day, I couldn’t wait until things started to get a bit more heated up between them. I knew that there was real sexual tension and chemistry between them and I could honestly say Layne did a brilliant job at building up their relationship. There wasn’t an instant from enemies to lover’s moment and I appreciated how Andrew wasn’t your typical confident guy, yes he was a pretty good divorce attorney, but when it came to dealing with his feelings, he was known for saying the wrong thing and not getting ahead of himself. Whereas Georgie you could say was his opposite in this respect, she knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to put her heart on the line for it. You might be thinking how the heck did Layne even make this relationship work? There were a few road bumps and misunderstandings along the way (but these didn’t at any point take way the enjoyment of the story), but Andrew and Georgie just clicked and it was truly something to watch their relationship develop. 

Walk of Shame is definitely one of my all time favourite reads that Layne has had to offer. Ladies if you want to add someone to your top ten fictional boyfriends, Andrew is your man!

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Review: The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication date: May 9th 2017
My rating: 4 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo


Amanda Quick, the bestselling author of ’Til Death Do Us Part, transports readers to 1930s California, where glamour and seduction spawn a multitude of sins…

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

My Thoughts:
Irene Glasson has come to California to escape a dangerous killer. She reinvents herself from personal secretary into an up-and-coming journalist for a small time gossip paper. While she’s on the hunt for a story she finds herself embroiled in another murder mystery, but this time she’s got Oliver Ward on her side. They work as partners to catch a murderer, all the while a simmering attraction brews between them!

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Girl Who Knew Too Much. It’s the perfect summer read! An engaging mystery set in the 1930s on the California coast. Dramatic cliffs overlooking the blue-green ocean are the backdrop for the Burning Cove Hotel, a Spanish style beauty that caters to the rich and famous, including glamorous silver screen stars.  

Big Sur, CA

Oliver Ward, a once famous magician and illusionist extraordinaire, is now the proprietor of this luxurious haven, and he has a strict policy excluding reporters and photographers.  That doesn’t stop Irene Glasson, from getting her scoop, though.  Unfortunately, her private invitation is marred by the murder of a woman and Irene is caught in the middle of a dangerous situation all over again. 

I love the time period this mystery is set in: the 1930s is a time of art deco, dressing up for dinner, dancing and cocktails, and old Hollywood glamour.  Burning Cove Hotel with its elegant old world Spanish style may have looked like:

Courtesy of Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/daeJfG

The setting was fantastic, but the mystery and romance are what kept me glued to the pages.  Filled with thrills and danger, attraction and romance, The Girl Who Knew Too Much is a fast, addictive, fun mystery, and I loved it!

Connect with Amanda Quick:

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Mini Review & Giveaway: The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart

The Darkest Corner (Gravediggers #1) by Liliana Hart
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
My rating: 3.5 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo


New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Liliana Hart’s first book in her sexy, suspenseful Gravediggers series, THE DARKEST CORNER, features an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise…

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and drop-dead gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Deacon is on a mission to stop the most deadly terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s perfect day. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.

My Thoughts:
Tess is a feisty, but sweet woman with an unusual job as the town’s mortician, but more unusual is the five men working as her “assistants”. There’s really no need for all the help when the small town of Last Stop doesn’t have that many deaths.  Not that Tess is complaining, they’re all easy on the eyes with their bulging muscles, and good looks, but there’s only one that captures her interest: Deacon Tucker.

Deacon and his team are stationed at the mortuary as a cover for their real assignment, tracking terrorists and thwarting their plans.  The team is multi-national and highly covert.  For the last two years, Deacon’s had to yearn for Tess from afar, unable to do anything about it, because of the classified nature of his job. But now the higher ups think Tess can be an asset on the case they are now working, and Deacon’s able to finally get able to get close.

The Darkest Corner was entertaining and fun. I’d call it more a romance than romantic suspense, but it was pretty action packed in the end.  I’m looking forward to Miller and Colin’s story next.

 About the Author:
Liliana Hart is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than forty titles, including the Addison Holmes Whiskey and J.J. Graves Mystery series. Since self-publishing in June 2011, Liliana has sold more than four million ebooks. She’s hit the #1 spot on lists all over the world, and all three of her series have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Liliana is a sought-after speaker who’s given keynote speeches and self-publishing workshops to standing-room-only crowds from California to New York to London. Please visit her at lilianahart.com, facebook.com/lilianahart, and twitter.com/liliana_hart.

Look for Gone to Dust (Book 2) June 20th!

The publisher generously provided a Paperback Copy of The Darkest Corner to giveaway to one lucky reader. The giveaway is open to US residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.

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