Thursday 20 June 2019

The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw (2019)

The Space Between Time

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth...

Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She's the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She's also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.

But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.

The Space Between Time is a dark comedy about love and loss.  It’s also about memory and how a childhood remembered can years later falsely distort what we feel about those closest to us.

Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world.  She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation.  Tom Cruise is almost an adopted uncle.

She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist whose theories on the universe have been much ridiculed.

The story centres on Emma’s childhood in Edinburgh and East Lothian, and the overpowering event of her mother’s death, apparently in a freak lighting strike.  

However, the secret that only Emma knows is that her mother’s death was no accident.  It precipitates a suicide attempt, and estrangement from her father.

Emma stumbles through university and finds work as a journalist in Edinburgh, although she is once more becoming mentally unstable and, following the death of her father, again tries to commit suicide.

It’s while she’s in a mental institution that her psychiatrist suggests she writes a memoir of her life, to help her make sense of everything that’s happened to her, and The Space Between Time is the story she writes.

The tragic-comic story, aimed at both male and female readers, has heart, humour and warmth.  Its central message is that, even at the worst of times, a second chance can often be just around the corner.

In coming to terms with her life and the deaths of her parents, Emma finds ultimate solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe – which offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.

The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.


A difficult book to put down!
The story is deeply moving and poignant but I was struck by how much humour was laced throughout. Right from the opening chapter there were plenty of funny lines and observations. It was so well written that I knew straight away I was going to enjoy the book. I was right!
I felt that there was a perfect balance between the humour and the more serious elements of the story.
This was a very enjoyable read and a welcome change to my usual reading choices.

Available to buy now Amazon

Sunday 9 June 2019

An Officer's Vow (Gentlemen Book 2) by Penny Hampson (2019)

The future looks bleak to Major Nate Crawford. Depressed after being sent home from the Peninsular Campaign as unfit for service, he contemplates ending it all. Then an unexpected opportunity for adventure beckons in the shape of a delightfully intriguing runaway heiress. He will prove his worth as an officer and a gentleman by offering his help. He has a plan…Lottie Benham is desperate. Her life is in danger and she needs a place of safety until her next birthday. The unexpected proposal from this attractive, but intimidating officer could be the answer to her prayers. Not normally a risk-taker, she decides to gamble all by placing her trust in this charismatic gentleman, who she suspects might be more in need of help than she.But the best laid plans… Caught up in conflict, danger, and deception, will Lottie and Nate survive to find the perfect solution to their problems? An Officer’s Vow is the second in Penny Hampson’s Regency-set Gentlemen series, following the exploits and misadventures of a loosely linked group of friends. Penny Hampson Writes History, Mystery, and… a touch of Romance.

Adventure and intrigue in Regency England. The action starts in the opening scenes where Nate and Lottie collide on the road and it's a fast paced tale from there on out.
Lottie and Nate made a sweet couple but I found them infuriating in the way they constantly misinterpreted each other's feelings. It seemed to take a long time for them to straighten things out in the end.  
Lottie was a great character. She was strong and brave. I was glad that she wasn't a complete damsel in distress. 
This is book 2 in the series and can be read as a standalone. The Duke of Wheatley and Francis intrigued me. I look forward to reading more about them and their adventures.

Buy Link Amazon

Connect with Penny Hampson on Twitter 

Saturday 8 June 2019

Death and the Harlot: A Lizzie Hardwicke Novel, by Georgina Clarke (2019)

A gripping historical crime debut from an exciting new voice.

‘It’s strange, the way fortune deals her hand.’

The year is 1759 and London is shrouded in a cloak of fear. With the constables at the mercy of highwaymen, it’s a perilous time to work the already dangerous streets of Soho. Lizzie Hardwicke makes her living as a prostitute, somewhat protected from the fray as one of Mrs Farley’s girls. But then one of her wealthy customers is found brutally murdered… and Lizzie was the last person to see him alive.
Constable William Davenport has no hard evidence against Lizzie but his presence and questions make life increasingly difficult. Desperate to be rid of him and prove her innocence Lizzie turns amateur detective, determined to find the true killer, whatever the cost.
Yet as the body count rises Lizzie realises that, just like her, everyone has a secret they will do almost anything to keep buried…

A brilliant piece of writing from Georgina Clarke.
An unlikely  partnership between a bow street runner and a prostitute is needed to find a cold blooded murderer. Lizzie is a sharp witted and sassy heroine who has no difficulty in jumping into the fray in order to find justice for her friend.  Constable William Davenport plays Watson to her Holmes and comes in handy when some brawn is needed. He's an astute and likeable character.  He also has tragedy in his past which instantly evokes sympathy for him. I loved how his friendship with Lizzie developed in this book and I can't wait to see how it evolves as the series progresses. 

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Anasazi Intrigue (John and Julia Evans #1) by Linda Weaver Clarke


When a devastating flood takes out several homes in a small town, residents are shocked by the news of also a possible poison spill that kills many of the fish and neighbor's pets. Julia, the town's newest reporter, begins her investigation but realizes the story is much bigger and more dangerous than she thought! Julia and her husband find themselves on the run trying to save their lives while finishing the story of a lifetime! She never realized that being a reporter could be so dangerous. With artifacts, dead fish, a devastating flood, and miscreants, John and Julia have their hands full.
This is the first in a new series by Linda Weaver Clarke. I enjoyed her other mysteries (Amelia Moore detective Series) and was happy to discover she has another mystery series.
I love history so I really liked the historical aspect to the mystery and I learned something new.
I enjoy reading romance but I find when a series starts with an established married couple I find it difficult to connect with them as I wasn't privy to what came before. The secondary romantic story arc involving the younger generation held my interest more.
There were a few exciting and tense scenes as the mystery developed and concluded. 
Overall, a good read.