Wednesday 28 December 2022

The Lost Witch by Paige Crutcher (2023)

Publisher's information
Paige Crutcher, author of the “mystical, magical, and wildly original”* The Orphan Witch, weaves a spellbinding tale of contemporary fantasy, romance, and Irish mythology as a woman torn out of time faces a dangerous coven, otherworldly creatures, and a seductive demi-god to save the souls of a cursed island in The Lost Witch.

1922. The town of Evermore off the coast of Ireland is under the protection of a Goddess. She has bestowed power upon village healer Brigid Heron to ensure the heart of magic within the Lough of BrionglΓ³id—the lake of dreams—remains untouched. For the witches of Knight want to absorb its powerful energies and release the Damned from the Otherworld. Brigid has devoted her whole life to being Evermore’s guardian, immersing herself in witchcraft, and sacrificing her own dreams. Until Luc Knightly, a trickster god with his own claim on the lough, offers Brigid her heart’s desire in exchange for betraying her Goddess’s trust.

2022. A century later, Evermore is under siege. The witches of Knight wield chaos magic, opening the rift between the island and the Otherworld wider every day. Beings born from folklore nightmares prey on the villagers, consuming their very humanity. Ophelia Gallagher, Brigid’s descendent, and her fellow witch Finola McEntire do their best to keep the monsters and mayhem at bay.

Brigid awakens in this world with no memory of how she traveled into the future, and why Evermore has been cursed. To seal the lough and stop the witches of Knight, she must work with Ophelia and Finola to help her remember the events of a hundred years ago. But the knowledge she seeks lies with Luc Knightly himself--mysterious, handsome, and powerful--and the one who once upon a time granted Brigid her dearest wish—a daughter.

To save Evermore, Brigid may have to lose her daughter—again…

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Cold Deceit by Toni Anderson (2022)


Cold Deceit
Series: Cold Justice – Most Wanted #2
Author: Toni Anderson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: December 20, 2022
When forensic anthropologist Zoe Miller stumbles across a murder victim in the blisteringly hostile Sonoran Desert, she triggers a chain of events that puts her in the crosshairs of a ruthless killer.
FBI HRT operator Seth Hopper is on secret assignment near the Mexican border when he suddenly finds himself on a rescue mission. The former Navy SEAL is ordered to protect Zoe, whether she likes it or not, which sets them off on a cross-country journey back to Virginia.
Zoe has good reason not to trust a man like Seth, but there is no denying the scorching heat that flares between them, hotter than the desert sun. Can Zoe find justice for the murdered woman? Or will the killers close in to destroy them both…
Don’t miss New York Times bestselling author Toni Anderson’s next Cold Justice® - Most Wanted novel, featuring agents from the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team.
Apple Books:

Also available in audio & print:
He placed a large palm over her forehead and she squinted up at him from under her lashes.
He had the most perfect symmetrical features—strong jawline, high cheek bones, a full lower lip. And those eyes…which veered in color from a pale olive-green to light brown and were probably technically hazel. They looked way prettier than any other hazel eyes she’d ever seen.
An unwanted quiver of awareness shot down her spine at the reminder of how attractive she’d thought he was when she’d first seen him at the motel about a thousand years ago. But, right now, he was examining her more like he thought she was a recalcitrant little kid with a fever.
She shuddered in his arms and he held her tight against him with a fistful of her fine blonde hair in one hand, her head tucked beneath his chin. He kept his eye on the mirrors searching their surroundings for possible tangos, all the while throbbing with the need to bury himself inside this woman when his only concern should have been protecting her.
#1 Cold Silence
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Toni Anderson writes gritty, sexy, FBI Romantic Thrillers, and is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author. Her books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, Readers’ Choice, Aspen Gold, Book Buyers’ Best, Golden Quill, National Excellence in Story Telling (NEST) Contest, and National Excellence in Romance Fiction awards. She's been a finalist in both the Vivian Contest and the RITA. Her books have been translated into five different languages.
Best known for her “COLD JUSTICE®” novels, perhaps it’s not surprising to discover Toni lives in one of the most extreme climates on earth—Manitoba, Canada. Formerly a Marine Biologist (Ph.D.), she still misses the ocean. Her greatest achievements include raising two kids, mastering the Tokyo subway, climbing Ben Lomond, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and surviving eighteen (and counting) Winnipeg winters.
Toni loves to travel for research and was lucky enough to visit the Strategic Information and Operations Center inside FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She also got to shove another car off the road during pursuit training at the Writer’s Police Academy in Wisconsin. She hopes not to get arrested for her Google searches.
Find out more on her website:

Cold Deceit had me glued from start to finish. The book starts off with an intensity that doesn't let up until at least halfway through when there is a short reprieve as Seth and Zoe begin their road trip. In the opening chapters, the pair of them, are faced with kidnapping, betrayal and murder and that's just the start of it. Throw in a cartel on their tail and an enemy Secret Service Agent and you've got a nail-biting race for survival. The suspense and drama kept me hooked. And the romance was a nice diversion to slow down the adrenaline spikes.
I liked Zoe as the female lead. She had an important job as a forensic anthropologist and I found it very interesting to read about her work, the environment she works in and how it helps bereaved families find closure.
An exciting read from start to finish and a series worth sinking your teeth into.

Friday 16 December 2022

Death at the Auction (The Stamford Mysteries Book 1) by E.C. Bateman (2022)


A brilliant whodunnit mystery perfect for fans of M.C. Beaton and Richard Osman!
Murder stalks the cobbles in England’s finest Georgian town…

When an accident forces Felicia Grant back to her family’s auction house in Stamford, she vows it’ll only be a flying visit. But as the gavel falls on the final lot, a hidden secret is revealed—the body of her father’s business rival, murdered during the packed sale!

Soon, Felicia is swept into a mystery that has everyone in the community as a potential suspect―including her.

As the body count rises and with the people she loves under threat, Felicia takes matters into her own hands. But even the most picturesque place has its secrets…


A very enthusiastic five stars and two thumbs up for this brand-new series.
 I definitely enjoyed this more than Richard Osman's Thursday Murder Club.
         The murder itself is very surprising and unique in the manner in which it  
         happens. There is any number of plausible suspects. They are an eclectic mix of the very likeable and very odd sort of people that you would typically find in any little village or town but probably more so at an antique auction. I loved that the mystery was set around the antique world. It is very reminiscent of the antique shows that are always on tv. I found it very easy to picture the scene.
         I loved the main characters and the supporting cast. I particularly enjoyed Felicia's little boy Algernon and detective Sergeant Pettifer. I liked how she and the detective developed a little friendship despite being at odds with each other over the case. 
         As well as a very engaging mystery the story is laced throughout with humour. I found it very difficult to put down this book and was sad when it came to an end. I hope the next book in the series isn't too far away.
                                     Death at the Auction is out now.

Friday 9 December 2022

The Wrong Bones (Widow's Island Novella Book 10) by Melinda Leigh (2022)


A frantic chase to catch a grave robber reveals a startling discovery in this tenth installment of the Widow’s Island novella series by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh.

Deputy Tessa Black spots a man disturbing a grave in the local cemetery and gives chase. But when Tessa catches him, she learns that the ghoulish trespasser wasn’t robbing graves; he was burying a box of bones.

With the help of her fiancΓ©, park ranger Logan Wilde, Tessa discovers that the remains belong to a missing teenager from a nearby island. After the girl disappeared nine months ago, police labelled her a runaway. Now, though, it’s clear the teenager was murdered.

When the only witness is an uncooperative teenager, Tessa and Logan must find the killer before the boy becomes the next target.


What a great idea; a thriller series with each book of novella length. Not only is the mystery exciting and tense but each book can be read in one evening so it makes perfect reading for anyone who feels they don't have time to read. This is the tenth in the series but easily be read as a standalone.

In this instalment, Tessa starts the ball rolling by disturbing and giving chase to a person burying a box of bones in the graveyard. This quickly escalates into a murder investigation and there are a couple of suspects once the identity of the murder victim is revealed. Logan, the park ranger partners up with her to find the killer.

We get a sense of the realities of living on a small island where there are few resources and help can be far away when something goes wrong.  

This was a quick read with high drama and a satisfying conclusion. 

The Wrong Bones is out now. 

Monday 5 December 2022

Murder at the Tea Rooms: A 1920s Cozy Mystery (Lady Felicity Quick Mystery Book 3) by Rosie Hunt (2022)


The Green Ginger Tea Rooms have a neatly thatched roof, scones baked to perfection, and under a lace-edged tablecloth … a corpse!

England, 1921. On the eve of her first official assignment working with the reporter she admires most, journalist Lady Felicity Quick is more than slightly vexed when her grandmother requests a favour she cannot refuse.

Acts of petty sabotage are undermining the success of tea rooms run by a cherished friend of Felicity’s grandmother. But on arriving in the village to play the detective, Felicity finds more than spilt food dye and collapsed sponges.

Murder has occurred, and her grandmother’s friend is the prime suspect.

Can Felicity use her sleuthing skills to unmask the real killer and still make it in time for her special assignment? Or will Felicity’s battle to outwit a deadly foe destroy not only the tea rooms’ future — but also her own?

If you love puzzling period mysteries sprinkled with humour and set in the charming English countryside, then you will love this cozy series! For fans of Agatha Christie, Ann Sutton, and Helena Dixon. Get your copy today!


I've enjoyed the previous books in the Lady Felicity Quick historical mystery series and I am still a fan. Murder at the Tea Rooms is the third book in the series. The 1920s is one of my favourite time periods and this series sends you on a lovely short trip back in time with an intriguing mystery to solve. The author's sense of humour shines through in this book. I loved the fact that the murder weapon was, of all things, a teapot. 


Murder at the Tea Rooms is a light, pleasant read and an excellent whodunnit with a host of credible suspects. Most of the employees of the tearoom had previous trouble with the law so it wasn't a wild stretch that the murderer could be one of them. 

The story had loads of twists and turns and the mystery was complicated enough to keep me guessing until the end. To confuse matters further, Felicity's investigation was misled by the assumption that all the crimes committed were connected. So, Felicity and Alex had more than one case to solve while they were there.

I enjoyed their teamwork and the friendship developing between them. 

The humour at the end had me smiling as I closed the book. I'm looking forward to reading the next case for this investigative duo.

Murder at the Tea Rooms is out now! Amazon

Wednesday 30 November 2022

The Secret of Matterdale Hall by Marianne Ratcliffe (2022)



1863, Victorian England.

Susan Mottram lives an idyllic existence until her eighteenth birthday, when her father’s sudden death plunges the family into penury. To support her mother and younger sister, Susan takes employment as a teacher at a remote Yorkshire boarding school, Matterdale Hall, owned by the radical Dr. Claybourn and his penny-pinching wife. Susan soon discovers that all is not as it seems. Why is little Mary so silent? What really happened to Susan’s predecessor? Is anyone safe in the school’s draughty halls?

Through a life-changing meeting with the beautiful and mysterious Cassandra, Susan begins to uncover the truth about Matterdale Hall, and discovers the cruelty, and love, that can lie within the human heart.


 The Secret of Matterdale Hall is a gothic historical novel with LGBTQ characters. Cassandra is also mixed race and deaf.

I felt sorry for Susan the moment she stepped foot into Matterdale Hall. It was clear from the outset that the people there were as dreary and cold, as the building. The only consolation was the children who were very endearing, especially Mary. 

Susan seemed to find plenty to investigate in the beginning. Her impressionable imagination fuelled by her love of gothic novels led to hasty conclusions about Cassandra and the people at Heathersage Manor but fortunately the beginning of a lovely friendship.

There are very few likeable characters aside from Cassandra, Susan and the children which lends itself well to establishing a dark, tense atmosphere. Mr Claybourn is a mad scientist and Mrs Claybourn is miserable and nasty. Add in a missing teacher and the lunatics in Dr Claybourn's asylum and you have the recipe for a dark, mysterious story.

I loved how tense and dramatic it developed towards the end. The true secrets and horrors of Matterdale Hall were revealed after a lot of suspense. The narration is told from both Cassandra's and Susans's points of view at this stage and it was easy to feel their helplessness and worry.

The book may be predictable but it's a lovely and gentle read despite its gothic undertones. The romance is low key which allowed more focus on the plot and drama. A difficult book to put down once started.  

The Secret of Matterdale Hall is out now. Amazon


Monday 21 November 2022

The People Before by Charlotte Northedge, Harper Collins Publishers (2022)


What if your dream house became your worst nightmare?

Jess and her husband need a new start. So when the chance to buy a rambling old house in the Suffolk countryside comes up, they leap at it.

But not everyone in Suffolk is welcoming. The locals know a secret about the Maple House, and soon, Jess realises they’ve made a huge mistake.

Something bad happened in that house. Something nobody wants to talk about.

Something to do with the people before…

Tense and creepy with a few characters who are as odd as the house Pete and Jess have just moved into. Secrets, lies and misunderstandings do not make for good marital relations nor does the stress of moving into a somewhat isolated and dilapidated old house which feels like it could be haunted. And indeed I was expecting a haunting especially as the children seemed to be so sensitive to the atmosphere and people around them.

As the history of the house slowly becomes revealed the tension ratchets up. There is a general sense of threat and menace surrounding the children that Jess and Pete seemed oblivious to and when the story is told from Eve's point of view it becomes clear that the couple is dealing with something extremely nefarious. I had no confidence that they would be able to cope or come out on the winning side.

There are a few twists and turns but no crazy reveals or unnecessary twists at the end. It concludes in a satisfying way with drama and suspense.

The People Before is out now Amazon

Monday 14 November 2022

Never Rescue a Rogue by Virginia Heath (2022)

Virginia Heath’s Never Rescue a Rogue, the next book in the Merriwell Sisters series, is filled with whip-smart banter, swoony romance, hilarious mishaps, and twisty reveals that will make you gasp and laugh in delight.

A hilarious, sparkling historical romantic comedy, with an irresistible family at its heart, perfect for fans of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton and Martha Waters.

he perfect mix of romance and intrigue, and the formidable central couple is sure to win hearts. This is a gem' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY starred review

'Virginia Heath's fun characters and situations will have you laughing out loud! Don't miss this wonderful read!' SABRINA JEFFRIES

'Filled with fabulously British banter, wit, and heart, this delightful book is one of my must-read rom coms of the year' EVIE DUNMORE


Why on earth would she want to kiss him when he vexed her so?

Diana Merriwell and Giles Sinclair only tolerate one another for the sake of their nearest and dearest. Everyone believes that they are meant to be together, but Diana and Giles know that it is animosity, not attraction, that fuels their barbed exchanges. Anyway, Diana loves her freedom too much to give it up for marriage, and Giles is happily wedded to his bachelor lifestyle.

After Giles' curmudgeonly father, the Duke of Harpenden, unexpectedly turns up his toes, it's only a matter of time before the circumstances of his only son's birth are revealed. With the threat of blackmail hanging over him, Giles must uncover the truth, or he and all those who depend on him will be ruined.

As Giles and Diana dive into his family's past, the attraction that they insisted wasn't there proves impossible to ignore. It seems that the future of the Sinclair estate isn't the only thing on the line . . .

A light-hearted and charming historical romantic comedy. This novel's wit and humour abound as Diana and Giles verbally spar with each other from beginning to end. They hide their true feelings behind barbs and sarcastic comments but when push comes to shove they behave like best friends. They confide in each other and go to great lengths to look after each other's welfare.
There are a few amusing scenes where Diana is working as a journalist and Giles insists on being involved in whatever way he can. Of course, she never listens to his advice and this invariably results in all sorts of hilarity as they get caught up in the consequences of her sleuthing.
Giles's complicated family past provides the pair with an urgent mystery to solve as Gile's inheritance, title and freedom are at stake. The clock is ticking if they are to thwart his uncle's claim.
Friendship soon turns to romance as Giles and Diana work together. Diana's family and other side characters such as Dalton add more humour as they are not shy about voicing their opinions on the budding romance.

Never Rescue a Rogue is a lovely read, guaranteed to have you smiling from start to finish.

Never Rescue a Rogue is out now.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Ghost Talker : Madame Chalamet Ghost Mysteries, Volume 1 by Byrd Nash (2022)


Madame Elinor Chalamet battles a ghost in the Beyond.

Trained as a medium by the elite Morpheus Society, Elinor Chalamet uses her skills to aid the police while she hunts for her father’s killer in the coastal city of Alenbonne. But a dead body found in the canal puts her in deep with royal matters. And she might even succeed in solving the mystery if Tristan Fontaine, duke de Archambeau, would stop getting in her way.

The first of a six-part gaslamp fantasy ghost mystery series featuring a strong female character in a slow burn romance.

This novella of about 42,000 words is friendly to ages 16+.


Great fun! A historical murder mystery with ghosts, mediums and magic. 

The main character, Elinor Chalamet, is an independent woman who marches to her own tune and answers to no one. I loved that about her. Elinor's background is very intriguing and we don't learn an awful lot about it but she was trained as a medium, she sees and interacts with ghosts and is trying to solve her father's murder. All this adds up to make a fascinating heroine who has to contend with a very grumpy and reluctant sidekick in the Duke de Archambeau.

Despite his grumpiness, I quite liked him as there is more to him than meets the eye. Much is alluded to but not fully explained....yet. He lives in a house haunted by the spirit of his dead wife whom he claims to have killed. Paranormal activity abounds the more he and Elinor investigate. Elinor's own side business also brings some unwanted ghostly apparitions and these add a whole lot of humour and drama to the story.

Despite the ghosts, hauntings and murder, this is a light read that's very entertaining and difficult to put down. 

Ghost Talker is the first of six novellas and the second one 'Delicious Death' will be published on the 27th of December followed by book three in February 2023.

Find Ghost Talker on Amazon

I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series as it releases.

Saturday 29 October 2022

Next in Line: William Warwick, Book 5 by Jeffrey Archer (2022)

International bestseller Jeffrey Archer returns 


London, 1988. Royal fever sweeps the nation as Britain falls in love with the ‘people’s princess’.

Which means for Scotland Yard, the focus is on the elite Royalty Protection Command, and its commanding officer. Entrusted with protecting the most famous family on earth, they quite simply have to be the best. A weak link could spell disaster.

Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick and his Scotland Yard squad are sent in to investigate the team. Maverick ex-undercover operative Ross Hogan is charged with a very sensitive—and unique—responsibility. But it soon becomes clear the problems in Royalty Protection are just the beginning. A renegade organization has the security of the country—and the Crown—in its sights. The only question is which target is next in line...


Jumping into a series with the fifth book is completely out of the norm for me but the storyline here just really interested me. I've never read any fiction with the royal family of the 80s era as a plot concern and I was intrigued here. The royals don't feature very heavily as the author focuses on much more interesting characters but I was pleasantly surprised with the way Diana was portrayed.

I loved all the cloak-and-dagger investigations and the machinations of the villains, of which there are plenty.  

There are lots of great characters, William Warwick, of course being the favourite. 

I haven't read any of the previous titles in the series but I was able to follow this very easily and enjoy it as a standalone. Nevertheless, reading the first books is now on my to-do list before the next book is published.

Friday 21 October 2022

A Fact for Every Day of the Year by National Geographic Kids (2022)

      A Fact for Every Day of the Year

                        365 facts to make you say WOW!


The perfect gift to entertain kids all year round!

Be amazed and astounded with a new fact every single day of the year.

With 365 fascinating facts on everything from animals and nature to science, space, the world and more.

Did you know that red-eyed tree frogs have three eyelids?
That candy floss was actually invented by a dentist?
Or that on the 4th November 1922, Ancient Egypt’s most famous pharaoh was discovered?

You’ll find a perfect mix of random trivia and ‘on this day’ facts, plus tons of colourful photos to entertain all year round.

This book certainly had me saying wow! It is choc full of interesting facts presented in a very colourful and engaging way.

This book will interest and entertain any inquiring mind whether you are aged 7 or 99.

I liked that the facts are a mixture of science, history, geography, sports, and nature. I was expecting to be aware of most of the facts in this book already but that wasn't the case at all. There were so many new and fascinating items for me to read day. There's even an interesting fact about cats that I hadn't heard before. 

The facts are explained in child-friendly language that is easy to understand and remember for talking about later. 

Each book is accompanied by a fabulous photograph instead of a cartoon illustration and this will appeal more to the older child.

I got hours of reading from this book. It is perfect for dipping in and out of and finding something new everyday.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Smart Girl Summer by Kristin Rockaway (2022)


From Kristin Rockaway comes a fun, insightful romance about what can happen when life gets off track but you’re willing to go along for the ride.

This summer’s not going as Abby Atkinson planned. A thieving PhD advisor, a screeching halt to her grad program, and zero job offers have left her high and dry. Nothing a little eat, pray, love across the Mediterranean can’t fix, right?

Or eat, pray, tutor, more like. Her dissertation might be dead, but she can still teach. She’ll just have to do it for six weeks on a superyacht with a billionaire and his daughter.

A playboy billionaire, according to the tabloids―but Abby’s not so sure. As big as his bank account is, his heart’s that much bigger, especially when it comes to his daughter. Their strained relationship could use some mending, though, and Abby can help. She was hired to teach junior high math, but she’ll make room in her lesson plans.

Falling for her boss wasn’t part of the plan either, but…

Maybe it’s time she let her heart, not her head, teach her something new.

If you need something light in between dark reads this Halloween season then Smart Girl Summer will fit the bill. Also, I'm not ready yet for winter so travelling with Abby to sunny Europe really lifted my mood. The travel and sightseeing in the story was well written and I felt like I was on holiday too.
Abby is a nice character but she has a lot to deal with at university when her mentor steals her research and takes credit for it. I was hoping that Abby wouldn't let him get away with it and I was a bit disheartened with her when she kept saying she wanted to quit and to let it go. I wanted her to back and raise hell about it.
Richard's daughter, Bijou was a really nice child. I was expecting a spoilt, bratty preteen but she proved to be a source of humour and I liked the way she bonded with Abby and tried to enjoy her time with her dad.
Richard was perfectly pleasant and kind but a bit dull as we don't see him doing very much.
 I found the budding romance to be lacklustre. Abby and Richard got on well as friends and touring around together but I didn't see any real build up of attraction or sexual tension between the two. More time spent on cute scenes of them together to develop their mutual crush would have enhanced my enjoyment of their romance.
In saying this, I found the book very entertaining, lighthearted and difficult to put down.