Friday, 30 December 2016

A Fine Fix: A Trudie Fine Mystery #1 by Gale Deitch (2013) Narrated by Kristin James (2014)



Publisher's Summary

Things couldn't be better for Trudie Fine and her partner, Zachary Cohen. It's the first big job for their catering company, A Fine Fix, and everyone who's anyone in the Washington, D.C., area will be at the Schwartzes' backyard Mexican fiesta. With the tables set, the food prepared to perfection, and the Mariachi band sizzling, Trudie is mellow as a Margarita smoothie... until a dead body is discovered floating in the pool. When Zach is arrested as the prime murder suspect, Trudie sets out to clear him and find the real murderer. Life gets spicier than a jalapeno pepper when she realises she's the focus of three men's affections, including the unnerving detective handling the case. Soon, however, Trudie is reaching for her favourite knife, but not to chop vegetables. Recipes included!

Audio book length: 5 hrs and 54 mins


Review 

A fantastic start to the series. 
I really enjoyed this fun mystery. A faster pace than the traditional cosy and filled with much more suspense and drama make the Trudie Fine series a real page turner.

 Trudie is a delightful character and a breath of fresh air. The mystery had me guessing and I happily trundled along with her as she investigated the murder and fell into one scrape after another. 
I loved the humour in the story as Trudie wrestled with the romantic attentions from three men whilst trying not to hurt anyone's feelings. The final chapters were exciting and suspense filled which had me at the edge of my seat. 
I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrator did a great job and I couldn't wait to get back to listening to the story after each time I had to press the stop button.

Purchase links


Book Depository (Intl Free Shipping) 

Friday, 23 December 2016

Winter's Revenge (The Guy Winter Mysteries Book 2) by James Phillip (2014) Narrated by Melanie Fraser (2016)





Winter's Revenge is the second full length Guy Winter mystery. It is set in England in the Second World War at the time of the Battle of Britain and the beginning of the devastating night Blitz of London in September 1940.

London reels under the onset of the Blitz as every night hundreds of Luftwaffe bombers unload their cargoes of death over the beleaguered city.

On the ground as the new brutal realities of the war are brought home to every citizen, the Ripper continues his rampage and the last secrets of Guy Winter's life are stripped away. As the bombs fall the mystery man unravels one mystery after another, knowing that sooner rather than later he must confront his deadliest foe.

This time it is not just Guy Winter's life and loyalties that are under the microscope. Under the Luftwaffe's reign of terror the past mistakes of friends and enemies alike suddenly come home to roost, but Guy Winter never stops hunting his man.





Review


The excellent narration by Melanie Fraser made listening to Winter's Revenge most enjoyable. The story picks up where it left off in book one and it gently unfolds as Guy Winter's hunts the person responsible for his wife's murder. There is some rehashing of events that happened in previous books, slowing the pace of the plot a little bit too much for me, however the twists and turns kept my interest in the story and the suspense towards the end of the book had me on the edge of my seat.


Audio version available to download from Audible   

Also available for Kindle 


Monday, 5 December 2016

To Trust a Wolf (Unnatural Alliances #1) By Danielle Hardgrave (2016)


Does he want her, or is he after something else?

As an archivist in a small museum, the biggest thing Helen Jurist has to deal with each year is the Annual Donor Gala. When her museum becomes a flurry of activity, due to the nearby discovery of a large Viking hoard, Helen finds the additional responsibility more of a pain than an honour. She doesn’t know anything about Vikings, or what makes the hoard so unusual. She just wants to get through the gala without her boss catching the drapes on fire. 

Nobody from the public is supposed to have access to the find, but try telling that to Rune Helsen. A handsome Dane with wolfish desires, he walks around like he owns the place. He’s Helen’s worst nightmare—if only her traitorous body wasn’t so attracted to him. 

But Rune has a secret, one that brought him to see the artefacts for more than just scholarly interest. Unknown to Helen, there’s so much more at stake than just pulling off a successful evening. A whole world she never knew existed, a world of vampires and shifters, stands on the precipice—and there’s something in the Cutler Hoard that could burn it all down. 


Review 


I can't wait to read the rest of this series having read this first installment. For a short book (76 pages) it managed to tick all the right boxes for me. The characters were likeable, charming and mysterious and I'm interested in finding out more about them in the next books. I loved the idea of the magical historical artefacts. There was plenty of drama, action and romance in this short novel. 
Loved it. I'm hooked!

Thanks to the author who provided me with a review copy.

Buy for 99p at Amazon also available on Kindle Unlimited

Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Rebels of Cordovia (The Rebels Series #1) The Highwayman of Cordovia (#2) by Linda Weaver Clarke


Publisher's Information
There was a time when swashbuckling men and brave women engaged in daring and romantic adventures, those who fought with bravery and valour. These courageous men and women were looked up to because they defended the people. A group of men and women who called themselves Robin's Rebels realise they must help the people survive this oppression. In this battle for freedom, a love story begins to blossom. Daniel, a rogue and a leader of the Freemen, doesn't realise that the sweet feminine woman he has met and is falling for happens to be the leader of Robin's Rebels. Realising the importance of uniting all the rebel groups, Daniel tries to recruit Robin's Rebels but they refuse. Now he has to find a way to convince them. When he finds out the leader is actually a woman, what will his reaction be? 


Review
Younger readers who like romance and adventure will surely love this Robin Hood style story. My 11 year old self would have happily spent a few hours reading this series on a rainy day. 
I liked the fact that the author wrote the leader of Robin's Rebels as a girl and made her character strong, independent, brave and equally as capable as the men in the book.
This family friendly tale entertains with its gentle romance and high adventure as the rebels fight to overthrow an evil king to bring peace and harmony to the land.

    Available at Amazon

This exciting saga continues in Book 2, The Highwayman of Cordovia

The Highwayman of Cordovia from Linda Weaver Clarke on Vimeo.

Centuries ago, valiant men and courageous women engaged in daring adventures as they helped their fellow man. In the country of Cordovia, the people enjoy their new-found liberty, but all is not well. A group of powerful men plan to take over the small country and replace the leader with a king.

With the help of a bold highwayman and a pastor’s daughter, they try to save their country from being taken over by a power-hungry leader. As they strive to stop the Kingmen and thwart their plans, Christine finds herself falling in love with Austin Knight. The only problem with their relationship is that she thinks he is her knight in shining armour instead of a highwayman. If she finds out his trade, what will her reaction be? As a pastor’s daughter, will love override her values?


Buy now at Amazon

Monday, 21 November 2016

Tarte Tatin Murder: A Seagrass Sweets Cozy Mystery (Book 2) by Sandi Scott (2016)

Publisher's Information
Ashley Adams is catering a charity golf outing for a nonprofit that is working to cure cancer. When a high profile researcher who was only a few months away from bringing a promising treatment to market is found dead on the golf course, the victim’s golf partner is charged. 
When Ashley learns that the suspect is her friend Ryan’s Uncle Charlie, the two of them set out to find the real killer. Meanwhile Ashley’s business partner Patty LaFontaine is acting strange and distant towards her, making Ashley wonder what is amiss. 
As Ashley and Ryan get deep into their investigation, they uncover secrets about their friends and family that shock them. Uncle Charlie is looking guiltier by the day - will they find the real killer and prove his innocence in time? 
A perfect book for readers who like cozy mysteries with women sleuths and pets. If you enjoy reading cozy mystery authors such as Harper Lin, Hope Callaghan or Susan Gillard of the Donut Hole mysteries, you will want to check out this series. 


Review 


This is the second book in the series.
The opening chapter really grabbed my attention straight away and I found the story to be a fun, fast read. I felt that I knew the characters well after reading the first book and so I was happy to see my favourite characters again. The author didn't waste any time rehashing lots of information about the characters. There is just enough information for any new readers to the series to be caught up. Instead, the author builds up the scene of the crime in the first chapter and puts the reader right in the middle of the action from the beginning. 

The story was a fun read which I found difficult to put down and I would certainly recommend it to any fans of the cosy genre.
The mystery had me entertained and guessing to the end. I prefer cosy mysteries to have a little bit of romance in them and so I loved the sweet romantic sub plot in this series.



Tarte Tatin Murder is out today and can be found at Amazon



Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The Legendary Lord (Playful Brides) by Valerie Bowman (2016)



Book 6 of 6 in Playful Brides Trilogy (6 Book Series)

THE MAKING OF A LEGEND…
When Christian Forester, Viscount Berkeley, flees the stuffy ballrooms of London for his Scottish hunting lodge, the last thing he expects to find ensconced before his fire is an incredibly beautiful woman. But the plight of lovely young Sarah Highgate, who has run away from an unwanted betrothal, inspires an eminently practical exchange. He’ll safeguard her reputation with the ton while she advises him how to best attract a proper bride…

As the undisputed belle of the season, Sarah has enchanted plenty of suitors. Still, she isn’t interested in marriage, especially not to the pompous bore her father has chosen for her. But her hasty escape seems reckless now that she’s estranged from her family and has no one to count on besides Christian. Turning the lucklesslord into such a catch has another unplanned consequence for Sarah: Has he run away with her heart?
The Legendary Lord is the sixth installment of Valerie Bowman's Regency-set Playful Brides series.


Review 

A lovely Regency romance, sparkling with wit and humour. 
Christian and Sarah make a delightful couple right from their first meeting. Sarah is young and full of cheer and has plenty of ideas to help Christian make a match in society. It left me tingling with anticipation for what was to come when the pair made their way back to London.

I haven't read any of the other books in the series but it certainly didn't prevent me from thoroughly enjoying this one. This is a series I will enjoy reading from the beginning.

I couldn't put this book down and I would definitely recommend it to all Regency romance fans.

The Kindle edition is now available from Amazon

Thanks to the publisher for the Advance Reading Copy.

Running Wild (LCR Elite #4) by Christy Reece (2016)




Publisher's Information

He’ll Stop At Nothing To Protect The Ones He Loves

LCR Elite operative Aidan Thorne is dedicated to rescuing kidnapped victims from some of the most dangerous places in the world, but that will never stop him from hunting down a cold blooded killer. Child psychologist Anna Bradford is a temptation unlike any he’s ever faced, penetrating the steely armor encasing his heart. Though he wants her with an unending ache, Anna’s very survival requires Aidan to stay as far away from her as possible.

Understanding human behavior is Anna Bradford’s profession. Aidan Thorne is a mystery she has yet to unravel. Her fascination for the snarling, often rude man is a battle she fights on a daily basis. Her head tells her to stay away, her heart tells her something different. When they join forces to help rescue a friend, Aidan finally allows Anna to see the man beneath the tough exterior. Falling in love with him was inevitable.

But someone is watching. He’s been hiding in the shadows for years, waiting. The time has finally arrived. Anna Bradford will be his tool, his perfect weapon of revenge. She will be his masterpiece.

His worst fears realized, Aidan must now find a way to save Anna before the madman that destroyed his life once before lives out his ultimate fantasy.



Review


Anna and Aidan's story is jam packed with suspense, intense emotion and lots of action.
Aidan's backstory is sad and tragic. He is fearful for the ones he loves and refuses to have a serious relationship because of this. I loved watching how his feelings for Anna finally made him make that last step in taking action to end the vicious cycle once and for all. 
I loved Anna's character. She was adorable, strong and kind; a perfect partner for Aidan.
She must have been really tiny though or else Aidan has some superhuman abilities. At one stage he climbed a mountain with one hand whilst carrying Anna under his other arm. I wouldn't want to see him try lugging my big arse up a mountain. 

It amazed me the amount of action and suspense the author managed to get in to this story without it distracting from the romance. I prefer more suspense, action and a sense of the characters' emotions rather than a lot of sex scenes so I thought the author did a good job of balancing the two. 

A great read and thoroughly entertaining.

Available now from Amazon and with Free Intl Shipping from Book Depository

Thanks to the author for the Advanced Reading Copy.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Cream Puff Murder: A Seagrass Sweets Cozy Mystery (Book 1) by Sandi Scott (2016)

This is Book 1 in the *new* Seagrass Sweets cozy mystery series.



BONUS: Recipe included.

Ashley Adams is settling back into her life in Seagrass, TX after leaving a broken heart and criminal ex-boyfriend in Paris, France. Her French sweets catering company has finally landed a major job, making Ashley grateful for all that is going right – her business, her work partnership, and reconnecting with an old friend Ryan.


All that changes when Ashley overhears one of the guests arguing with a strange man in the bathroom. Things get worse when the woman is found dead the next day, poisoned by one of Ashley’s cream puffs.

Ashley must solve the mystery to save the reputation of her nascent business. She is thrust into the lives of people from her past who all have something to hide. Is the murderer a jealous lover? An out-of-towner with business interests? A local hero turned criminal? Teaming up with her old friend Ryan and her loyal dog Dizzy, Ashley sets out to solve the crime.

Will she be able to solve the murder before her business reputation is completely ruined?


Review 

I really loved this fun, cosy mystery. It's a cute story with very likeable characters including Dizzy, the dog, who was a very cute and helpful friend to have along on the investigation. There is a great bunch of characters in this gossipy, little town. 

I found it very interesting that Ashley followed a different career path before she took up catering. Her contacts and experience in the tech industry really come in handy. It was also refreshing to see that the love interest wasn't the usual police detective typical of the genre. I'm hoping that there's more to Ryan than just good computer skills. I really liked the sweet ending and I'm looking forward to reading where their budding romance leads them. 


I was very intrigued with the whole mystery and there were plenty of twists and red herrings along the way to keep me guessing.
The scene is set now for further adventures and I can't wait to see happens next in this series.
This is definitely a cosy series I'll be following and adding to my auto buy list.

Available now from Amazon

Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Sounds of Time: The Chronicles of Tavara Tinker, Book 2 by Sharon Skinner , Bob Nelson Narrated by: Melanie Fraser


Publisher's Summary

Faced with a threat half a world away, Tavara finds herself confronting an adversary that has even gotten the attention of Queen Victoria. Tavara must race against the black airship to save the lives of countless innocent people, and Johnathan as well.
©2015 Bob Nelson & Sharon Skinner (P)2016 Bob Nelson & SharonSkinner

Audio Length 58 minutes



This is a very exciting and fast paced story. I loved the opening scenes where Tavara has a meeting with the queen. I loved the whole idea of Tavara and her team having a secret mission to do for he queen and I can't wait to see what happens next. 
This is a short listen which means it is perfect for listening to in one go.



Melanie Fraser consistently produces a high class performance. She brings a sophisticated voice to the story and is very easy to listen to. I enjoyed the accents and I particularly liked the sounds effects. They heightened the performance without being a distraction. In fact I found the effects to be quite helpful as the story itself is very fast paced and the sound effects helped me create a sharper image in my head.


This book is quite short and so I would like to see any subsequent stories be a bit longer and maybe for the pace to slow down just a little bit so I can get to know the characters better.
So much happens in this story and at such a fast pace it would be easy to miss something if you get distracted.

I will enjoy listening to this book again!

I received a copy in return for my honest review.


Available now from Audible

Monday, 3 October 2016

Muffins and Mourning Tea (Oxford Tearoom Mystery #5) by H.Y. Hanna (2016)




Publisher's informatiom

Cotswolds tearoom owner, Gemma Rose is excited to join the May Day celebrations in Oxford... until the beautiful spring morning ends in murder. Now, she's embroiled in a deadly mystery--with four nosy old ladies determined to help in the sleuthing! Before she knows it, Gemma finds herself stalking a Russian "princess" and keeping up with the Old Biddies in Krav Maga class, while still trying to serve delicious cakes and buttery scones at her quaint English tearoom. And that's just the start of her worries: there's her little tabby, Muesli, who is causing havoc at the local nursing home... and what should she do with the creepy plants that her mother keeps buying for her new cottage? But the mystery that's really bothering Gemma is her boyfriend's odd behaviour. Devlin O'Connor has always been enigmatic but recently, the handsome CID detective has been strangely distant and evasive. Could he be lying to her? But why? ** Classic Banoffee pie recipe at the end of the story! This book follows British English spelling and usage. Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language. Genre: humorous culinary cozy mysteries, cat cozy mystery series / women amateur sleuth / British detective mystery OXFORD TEAROOM MYSTERIES A Scone To Die For (Book 1) Tea with Milk and Murder (Book 2) Two Down, Bun To Go (Book 3) Till Death Do Us Tart (Book 4)



Review 

Another great adventure for Gemma and the 'Old Biddies.' This is one of the better books in the series. What I love most about The Tearoom Mysteries is that they are so funny. I love the humour; in this installment the Old Biddies doing Krav Maga provided plenty of light relief. Muesli also has his fair share of excitement and I couldn't help but laugh at his antics at the nursing home.
On a romantic note Gemma is worried about her relationship with Devlin as he works non stop and acts strangely around her. This story line kept the romance interesting for me. Lincoln, one of my favourite side characters, makes an appearance in this episode as well.
The mystery was fun but complex and it had me eagerly following the clues along with Gemma who seemed to be doing a better job of investigating than the police.

I love this series and I highly recommend it to all fans of cosy mysteries.

Available now at Amazon

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #1 by Nikki Jefford (2012) Narrated by Em Eldridge (2016)


Publisher's Information

If there is one thing eighteen-year-old Aurora Sky wants, it's to get off the iceberg she calls home. Being kissed before she graduates wouldn't hurt either.

Then a near-fatal car wreck changes everything. Government agents step in and save Aurora's life in exchange for her services as a vampire hunter. In Alaska. Basically she's a glorified chew toy. All thanks to her rare blood type, which sends a vampire into temporary paralysis right before she has to finish the job... by hand.

Now Aurora's only friends are groupies of the undead and the only boy she can think about may very well be a vampire.

(Mature YA, new adult series that becomes progressively more mature. Underage drinking, sexual situations, mild language and blood sucking.)





I loved this modern twist in the vampire genre. The characters are full of life, energy and attitude which makes it very relevant for young adult readers.

I loved Aurora and how she dealt with her trauma. She isn't given any choice in the matter of becoming a government assassin/vampire hunter but she faces it head on and deals with it in her own way.I felt that Aurora's emotional transformation after her accident was very well written and I thought that it made her seem more realistic. I could understand why she would grow apart from her normal friends and start hanging out with a more rebellious crowd. Her change in personality made the story line very interesting and the way she toughens up with each new experience with vampires makes her seem very believable as a vampire hunter.

I also loved the supporting characters and I look forward to seeing how Aurora deals with the conflicting task of hunting and killing vampires in general whilst being in love with one of them. The story was fast paced and the narration was excellent. I will definitely be checking out the rest of this series.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

This first book in the Aurora Sky series is free to download for Kindle

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Game of Throw-ins Ross O'Carroll-Kelly (2016)



Publisher's information 


I was a rugby player with a great future behind me. A 35-year-old father-of-five with an expanding waistline, who was trying to survive the bloody battlefield we call everyday life.
My son was locked in a violent turf war with a rival Love/Hate tour operator, my daughter was in love with a boy who looked like Justin Bieber and my old dear was about to walk up the aisle with a 92-year-old billionaire who thought it was still 1936.
I was, like, staring down the barrel of middle age with the contentment of knowing that I was the greatest Irish rugby player who no one in Ireland had ever actually heard of. Until a chance conversation with an old Jesuit missionary made me realize that it wasn't enough.
I was guided, as if by GPS, to a muddy field in - let's be honest - Ballybrack. And there I finally discovered my destiny - to keep a struggling Seapoint team in Division 2B of the All Ireland League.
Or die trying.


About the Author 
Paul Howard's 'Ross O'Carroll-Kelly' series are annual No 1 bestsellers - they have sold over half a million copies, are annually nominated for the Popular Fiction prize at the Irish Book Awards - where they have won the prize an unprecedented three times - and are also critically acclaimed as satirical masterpieces. Titles include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightdress, Should have Got off at Sydney Parade, This Champagne Mojito is the Last Thing I Own, Rhino What You Did Last Summer, NAMA Mia!, The Oh My God Delusion (chosen as Ireland's favourite book in Eason's 2011 125th birthday poll), The Shelbourne Ultimatum and Downturn Abbey. 



Review 


I remember reading The Ross O' Carroll segment in the Sunday Tribune and as I was roughly the same age as Ross I found his world and all his shenanigans to be absolutely hilarious. After all these years and many books Ross is still as funny as ever.  
Ross is a complete idiot and 'let's be honest,' a bit of an ass but he is completely likeable at the same time. I inwardly cringed and cheered for him as he careened from one blunder to the next. The Netflix and Chill incident really stood out as hilarious not to mention the episode in Bundoran with the dolphin! I had my fingers crossed for him each time his team played and especially in the epilogue where he has his final golden opportunity to shine on the rugby pitch.

The witty one liners had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion and I also had a good laugh at how the accents were written. It reminds me of how people from Derry city write all their Facebook posts in 'Derry speak.' It can be a little confusing with poor grammar and bad spelling but the accent is instantly recognisable and you can hear it distinctly as you are reading. The same applies to the variations in the Dublin accent in the Ross books. The only difficulty I had was with how the New Zealand coach's accent was written. It had me completely flummoxed!

For a funny and entertaining experience this is a must read series. If you are not familiar with Ross O'Carroll Kelly I don't think you would have any difficulty diving in at this late stage with Game of Throw-ins. The story lines are quite simple and the characters are all easy to follow.

Game of Throw-ins is available now Amazon Book Depository


Thanks to Penguin Random House Ireland for the review copy.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Bound by Blood by Laura Daleo (2016)




Five years crawled by at a painfully slow pace for young vampire, Beth; each year more agonizing than the next. The powerful unyielding spell which masked Amon’s whereabouts showed no signs of weakening. Influenced by the binding ritual and Amon’s blood surging inside her, Beth will stop at nothing, and risk everything, to find him and turn the tables on Osiris, Isis, and Hathor. In foggy streets of London, lives are threatened by a new breed of hunter, and nothing is what it seemed. Beth once again finds herself surrounded by betrayal. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between Philippe and Amon – knowing that her decision will change one life forever. But whose?



This is the second book in the series and it picks up five years after Amon and Beth have separated. Beth is married to Philippe but yearns for her true love, Amon.
I enjoyed the story but felt that Beth wavered too much and unnecessarily between Philippe and Amon. Five years is plenty of time for her to have realised that marriage to Philippe wasn't working out and that she only wanted to be with Amon. I found this section of the book to be a little bit slow and I didn't have much sympathy for any of the characters. I really wanted Beth to stand up and say what she feeling regardless of any hurt feelings that may cause.

I loved the story line surrounding the hunters and I would have liked for it to have played a more prominent part in the book. The action and suspense involving the hunters towards the end of the book really drew me back into the story and I found it very hard to put down.


I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Available in Paperback and Kindle Amazon


Saturday, 17 September 2016

Love Lost in Time by Marie Higgins (2014) Narrated by Nancy Peterson (2016)

Publisher's Summary

Andrew Merrick was whisked from his home in England, 1848, to another time - the very day a mob had attacked his family. Wondering why he remains in this strange place, all he wants is to find the treasure his father had hidden, hoping this might take Andrew back home. But he's running out of time. When he meets a lovely woman in this new century, he feels she is the one who will help him.
Halle Chapman has come to England to find her missing father. What she finds instead is a nice man who claims he's from the past. Although she doesn't believe in time-travel, deep in her heart, she knows she must help Andrew. What she finds instead is that discovering the key to her future lies in the past. Now, to return to her own time, she needs to solve the mystery surrounding Andrew Merrick and his family's murder.


Review 

This is a charming time travel romance and it's a little bit different as it involves both characters travelling forward or back at different times. The story primarily takes place in Victorian times and is exciting and full of suspense.


Halle's character really appealed to me as she was intelligent, confident and brave. I loved how she dashed to action when the occasion warranted her help. As I listened to the story Halle felt very real to me. I liked Andrew as well but he was more like a fairy tale prince and I think that added to the charm of the story. Their romance was magical and charming and I just loved that.

There were so many scenes in this book that I enjoyed but I loved all the suspense filled scenes involving Halle and the family's enemies.
The final showdown where the house is attacked is filled with danger and suspense. It had me on the edge of my seat wondering how successful Halle and Andrew were going to be in altering the family's fate.
The narrator did a wonderful job of performing the characters and I found it very easy to listen to. She really brought the story to life and I got a great sense of the characters' emotions and feelings through her performance.

I thoroughly enjoyed this whole book and I couldn't put it down. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Available now from Audible

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Winter's War (Guy Winter Mysteries #1) by James Philip (2014) Narrated by Melanie Fraser (2016)


Winter’s War is the first full length Guy Winter Mystery. It is set in England in the Second World War at the time of the Battle of Britain and the start of the London Blitz. 

August 1940 - Chief Inspector Guy Winter has been Fleet Street’s favorite detective for over a decade. Dubbed the ‘Mystery Man’ by his friends and enemies alike, for all his fame he cuts a lonely figure at Scotland Yard, where every newspaper story is fresh grist to an already tired mill. Laid low by personal tragedy there are many who suspect that the great detective’s career is over. 

In Winter’s War Guy Winter, still in mourning the death of his wife in a tragic traffic accident the year before is summoned back to Scotland Yard to hunt for a psychopathic killer who is retracing Jack the Ripper’s fifty-two year old bloody trail of terror through London’s East End. 


Evil stalks the London blackout at the height of the Battle of Britain as a madman sets out to sow panic in the streets. But nothing is quite what it seems. As the threat of invasion looms ever larger and great aerial dogfights rage in the skies over southern England, as air raid sirens wail in the night, searchlights play across the face of the heavens and the first bombs fall, old scores are being settled and we discover that Guy Winter, the ‘Mystery Man’, has been living a double life more mysterious than anybody ever suspected. 

Now that double life has returned to haunt him. Now he no longer knows whom to call friend or foe. 

Now the sins of his past may be the death of him… 


Review  


The premise of the story i.e. a Jack the Ripper inspired murder mystery set in London during the Blitz, really appealed to me. The element of espionage added a layer of complexity and mystery to the story. The story line was very intriguing and the mystery had me hooked while the twists and turns kept me guessing. There were plenty of suspects and conspiracy theories as Guy Winters discovered who his friends and enemies really were. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

I liked Guy Winters; a complex and clever, albeit flawed, character with a skewed moral compass. There is never a dull moment as he flits from one woman to the next while investigating a string of gruesome murders. 
I also liked his Sergeant George Ransom who made a very likeable sidekick.

As always Melanie Fraser gives a flawless performance and The Guy Winters series is now one of my favourites. Her accent lends itself very well to the time period and the upper class characters portrayed in the novel. Their old fashioned phrases were in tune with the era and because Melanie voiced them with her RP accent I really felt like I was transported back in time. 

Audible  

I received the audio book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Giving Up For You: Volume 2 (The Giving Trilogy), by L.M. Carr (2015) Narrated by Tracy Marks and Thomas Donohoe (2016)

Publisher's Summary               Audible

Breaking rules and tearing down walls, Adam Lawson and Mia Delaney give into a passionate love affair neither can resist. The love and intense bond they share is stronger than ever. But when dark shadows emerge from the past and threaten their families, how far are they willing to go to protect each other? How much are they willing to sacrifice to save the innocent ones they love? Join Adam and Mia as they navigate through this journey called love.

Review

I loved the first book and I couldn't wait to dive into this one. The story was a little bit slow but at the same time I couldn't switch it off and ended up listening at every opportunity. I was expecting a little bit of intrigue or suspense but the story centred round Mia and Adam's break up and its aftermath. Adam has turned into quite an unlikable character and acts like a total ass to Mia and the children. He has much to do to convince Mia (and the reader) that he truly loves her and isn't going to leave when the going gets tough.

I love the scenes that involve any of Mia's friends. She has a great group of friends who stick by her and stand up for her when the need arises. They are also quite funny and add a little bit of humour to the story.

Both narrators performed Mia and Adam excellently. I loved the dual narration and felt that it worked very well here.

I am quite addicted to this series and I have to know what happens next. Book 3 here I come!


I received this audio book from the author in return for my honest review.






Thursday, 8 September 2016

Going the Distance (No Excuses Book 1) by Mila Rossi (2016)



Publisher's Information

Once you slap the hell out of the light heavyweight champion of the world on the night of his first loss, how do you convince him to give you an interview? That’s the dilemma Samantha Wellington finds herself in after turning down the most desirable yet foul-mouthed athlete she’s come across. Unfortunately for her, her job depends on getting his interview and this boxer’s not talking. 

When Trent “The Punisher” Page is humiliated by the spunky reporter, then cornered for an interview, he does what he does best: he plays dirty. He didn’t earn his nickname for being nice, after all. If the little minx wants to know more about him, she’ll have to pay with the one thing she’s not willing to give - herself. 

Her elements of surprise meet their match in his determination to succeed. With vastly different motivations, can they break down the enemy without jeopardising themselves? 

DISCLAIMER: Due to Trent's foul mouth and sexual situations, this book is intended for mature readers.


Review 

The first book in the much anticipated new series from Mila Rossi.

The moment Samantha slapped Trent in the nightclub I wanted to cheer! I knew right then that I was going to love her character and their story. I wasn't wrong.
Samantha is a tough, independent woman who doesn't take crap from anyone no matter how famous or good looking they are.
Trent is an arrogant arse with a dirty mouth who needs to be taken down a peg or two. Samantha is just the girl to do that as she doesn't give a toss that he's famous. I loved how she didn't just fall at his feet like every other girl but instead drew him in through little acts of kindness and made him wait while they got to know each other. 
The more naughty scenes were very well written and not too frequent. I like a book to be more plot driven and I thought that the author got the balance just right.
I didn't particularly warm to Trent very much simply because of his bad boy personality. We don't get to see Trent having that Eureka moment where he realises the boxing ring isn't the only place he has to up his game. I liked how he reached out to Samantha during his TV interview but I felt that Samantha deserved a little bit of grovelling before she gave him a second chance.

Another reason why I liked Samantha's character so much is that we know more about her life. She didn't have an easy upbringing and if the novel had been longer I would have liked that aspect to have been fleshed out more. We got glimpses of the peril she faced growing up and I thought it could have made an interesting subplot with an element of suspense had the author wanted to go in that direction.
 Or maybe I just wanted to see Trent flex his muscles a little bit outside of the ring. 

Overall, Going the Distance is a fast paced, addictive read and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Buy now from Amazon



I received an advanced reading copy from the author in return for my honest review.