Thursday, 18 February 2021

Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (2021)


Description

 



I was glued to this audiobook for days and even now I am still thinking about it! The story is expertly narrated and I found myself immersed in the novel very quickly.
Caro is a fabulous character. I can't help but wonder what happens to her next. Will her story continue in another book? I really hope so.

There are plenty of characters in this novel. They are all flawed to some degree which makes them very human and realistic. The story gives a good insight into the kinds of dangers faced by young girls at the time and particularly those working in prostitution. I felt apprehensive for certain characters all the way through the book.
There are a good few twists and turns as the investigation unfolds and I was shocked by events on more than one occasion. Learning what happened to Pamela on that fateful night was quite horrifying but it wasn't until the end of the novel did I learn for sure what happened to her. 
I was surprised by the dramatic turn of events in the final chapters. Just when I thought everything had been solved, another piece of the puzzle emerged. Thrilling and exciting reading.

#DaughtersofNight is out now!

 



Friday, 12 February 2021

Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Mystery, #1) by Tirzah Price (2021)

 


When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates.

Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.







I am a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice but Austen inspired fiction is generally a no-no for me. That being said, I love a good old mystery and a murder to solve. The idea of Lizzie and D'arcy working together to defend Bingley and find the real killer sounded like something I just shouldn't pass up.
I loved it. I especially liked how the author worked in one or two lines of the more famous dialogue and quotes from P&P. It was cleverly executed and had me laughing out loud. The crime itself and the investigations made by Lizzie made great reading. An entertaining mystery with a few unexpected twists.
I really hope there are more mysteries in the pipeline for Lizzie and D'arcy to solve.


Initially, I was confused about the time period. Was it set in the modern-day with Regency societal conventions or was it set in the Regency era with a few modern twists on societal norms? I imagined it to be the Regency era but it wasn't really clear until the author notes in the end credits and I'm not sure the teen target market will necessarily draw the correct conclusion.


Pre-order this title now!



Pride and Premeditation will be published on the 6th of April in digital and audio format.
Hardback is due to be released on the 13th of May.

Amazon

Friday, 5 February 2021

Capturing the Earl (The Wallflowers of West Lane Book 3) by A.S. Fenichel (2021)


 


The friendship of four young ladies has created an indestructible bond to protect one another from the perils of love and marriage . . .
 
After the demise of her friend’s disastrous marriage, Mercedes Parsons isn’t about to let the widowed Wallflower of West Lane, Lady Aurora Radcliff, undertake another perilous trip to the altar. At least, not before the bridegroom-to-be is thoroughly investigated. If only Mercy could stop her uncharacteristic daydreaming about Wesley Renshaw’s charm, his intellect, his dashing good looks. After all, the earl has already set his sights on her best friend! She must keep her wits about her and avoid giving into temptation.
 
Wesley is both irritated and intrigued by the machinations of Mercy—He cannot let her cleverness and beauty distract him. He needs to marry her friend, Aurora, so he can reclaim his family’s ancestral home. A wrong he has hoped to right his entire life. Besides, who is penniless spinster Mercedes Parsons to decide whom he can and cannot marry? Yet while he admires her unwavering loyalty to her friends, he decides it’s high time the misguided woman had a dose of her own medicine. Two can play at this spying game. But they are both embarked on a dangerous charade. And it won’t be merely Mercy’s reputation at risk—or her heart on the line—as Wesley comes to the inescapable conclusion that he has found the right woman at exactly the wrong time.

******************

I am really enjoying this series. The Wallflowers feel like they are my old friends now at this stage. I want them all to be happy, especially Aurora. 
I loved the initial meeting between Mercy and Wesley. I thought it was sweet and charming. The fact that he wanted to gain back his family estate by marrying Aurora despite his attraction to Mercy made their romance fun to watch. It was obvious to Mercy's aunt and her friends that he was smitten with Mercy and that his goal of marrying Aurora was not going to happen. This was a sweet romance and a lovely read. I look forward to the next book.


Thursday, 28 January 2021

A Favor for a Favor by Nat Chelloni (2020)

 


"Forget favors given; remember those received." - John Wooden


A time for love can't be more deadly...

Julia Leonardi thought she put her past behind her. The widow of a mobster, all she wants is to steer clear of the criminal elements. Then she meets Domenico Bonacci...

Dom is handsome, charming, and intense. The world knows him as a prominent businessman, but Julia sees him as everything she fought to escape.

Once the scion of a powerful Mafia family Dom left the world of organized crime after his father's death. And he swore he would never go back.

No matter how hard she tries, Julia can't seem to ignore the powerful spark of attraction between them and her growing feelings for him. But when Dom's shady past catches up with him, the two forbidden lovers find themselves trapped in a deadly game.

Will Dom renege on his vow and lose the woman he loves, or he will manage to break free of his past for once and for all?

I liked this book but it took me longer to read it than it should have. Even though there is plenty of drama, suspense and romance in the book it didn't hold my attention all the way through. I got confused with all the names. There are only a few leading characters but there were so many names mentioned I couldn't keep track of who did what, when and why.
The attraction between Julia and Dom was obvious but I didn't get a sense of the love developing between them. It happened very quick.
I thought the poignant scenes at the beginning of the book were well written and a good indicator of the dark and dangerous world these characters inhabit. 

A Favor for a Favor is the debut novel by Nat Chelloni and is out now.




Sunday, 17 January 2021

Soothsayer by Kathryn Amurra (2020)

 

Paperback212 pages
Published May 10th 2020 by Independently Published

Synopsis
Aurelia has always valued love and happiness over titles and power. Though her kind-hearted father has allowed her to turn away suitor after suitor in pursuit of a love she cannot yet define, when he dies her choices die with him. Knowing that marrying the elderly governor of a neighboring province can secure her mentally challenged brother's safety, she gives up on her dream of finding love in return for his protection.Cassius is the ill-fated captain of the governor's guard tasked with escorting the Lady Aurelia and her unpleasant aunt to the governor's estate. Since the soothsayer Tullia foretold an early death for him, Cassius wants nothing more than to keep his hands busy with labor and his heart free from any connections to the world he believes he will be leaving soon. As they work through a series of misfortunes on the road to the governor's province, the words of the soothsayer start to make sense, and together they find the courage to allow their true destiny to unfold. 

I enjoyed this book but I didn't absolutely love it. The story held my attention as it was interesting and sweet but for a story set in ancient Rome, I was expecting it to be a lot more exciting and dramatic. I felt that the story could have reflected the time period better and I was disappointed in the lack of historical detail.

That being said, the love story between Cassius and Aurelia is sweet. I enjoyed the banter between them especially in the scenes along the road on Aurelia's journey to her new home. These were the most dramatic scenes of the story and my favourite part of the book.

Their burgeoning romance suffers a few obstacles but they are resolved without much to do by the end.

The story is a gentle romance and would suit younger adults.

Soothsayer is available now Amazon

Friday, 8 January 2021

Art and Soul by Claire Huston (2020)


There’s no problem Becky Watson can’t fix. Except for her own love life…

Struggling single mother Becky Watson longs to revive her career as a life-fixer, working miracles to solve her clients’ problems, no matter how big or small. Since the birth of her two-year-old son, she has been stuck preventing wedding fiascos for the richest and rudest residents of the Comptons, a charming, leafy area of southern England known for its artistic heritage.

So when semi-reclusive local artist Charlie Handren reluctantly hires Becky to fix his six-year creative slump, she’s delighted to set him up with a come-back exhibition and Rachel Stone, the woman of his dreams.

Though they get off to a rocky start, Becky and Charlie soon become close. But as the beautiful Rachel becomes Charlie’s muse, Becky is forced to wonder: will giving Charlie everything he wants mean giving up her own happily ever after?

A heart-warming romance about second chances perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Phillipa Ashley and Cathy Kelly.




I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming and humorous romance. I laughed at Charlie and Becky's bickering and I loved watching them become friends. I couldn't wait for them to figure out their feelings for one another. There were lots of laugh-out-loud moments and the touching, romantic scenes at the end, really pulled on my heartstrings. It was a lovely read and I can't wait for more from this author.

ART AND SOUL is out now and currently 99p for Kindle or free with KU. 


Friday, 1 January 2021

The Switch by Beth O'Leary (2020) Narrated by Alison Steadman, Daisy Edgar-Jones (2020)


'SO CHARMING, SO SWEET AND SO LOVELY' MARIAN KEYES


Leena is too young to feel stuck.
Eileen is too old to start over.
Maybe it's time for The Switch...

Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn't offer many eligible gentlemen... So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and L Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire.

But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect - and distractingly handsome - local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn't straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?

                         

This was one of my favourite books of 2020.
It had me continually laughing out loud and then teary-eyed in the more poignant scenes.
I adored Eileen. She was feisty and full of life. I wasn't too sure about reading about the sexcapades of a 79-year-old but that aspect of the storyline was handled very lightly. I loved her interactions with her neighbour on the dating website. I found that completely hilarious. 
I felt for Leena as she struggled with the death of her sister and the deterioration of her relationship with her mother. Stepping into her grandmother's shoes as she completed the tasks Eileen normally would have done was a real treat to watch. The dog walking episode calls to mind as being particularly comical.
As the story developed and relationships were formed and restored I was left with a warm glow and a smile on my face.

For a heartwarming, feel-good way to begin the new year, I couldn't recommend a nicer way than picking up The Switch.

The Switch is available in all formats but I listened to the audiobook and it was performed brilliantly by the narrators.