May 2023 Wrap Up

I say this every month, but that really was a quick month! Maybe I’ve just been enjoying all of this sun so much! It definitely puts me in a better mood!

In May, I read 27 books:

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Book Review: None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell

“Her lies could kill you.”

Set to be released on 20th July, None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell follows podcaster Alix Summers who, while celebrating her 45th birthday at her local pub, crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie is also celebrating her 45th birthday. They are, in fact birthday twins.

A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for Alix’s series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.

Alix agrees to a trial interview. Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep digging. Slowly Alix starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life – and into her home.

Soon she begins to wonder – Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?

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Book Review: Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

“Where there’s feeling — even if it’s pain — there’s life that can be recovered.”

Published in 2019, Dear Child by Romy Hausmann is set a windowless shack in the woods, where Lena’s life – and that of her two children – follows the rules set by their captor, the father. Meals, bathroom visits, and study time are all strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.

One day, Lena manages to flee – but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called ‘Lena’, who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn’t quite seem to fit.

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Book Review: Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn’t end up with you.”

Published in 2015, Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid follows Hannah Martin who, at the age of twenty-nine, still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence with her best friend Gabby. Shortly after, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent story lines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? Is there such a thing as a soul mate? Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she’s found him.

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Book Review: Black Summer (Washington Poe #2) by M.W. Craven

The second book in M.W. Craven‘s Washington Poe series and published in 2019, Black Summer sees Detective Sergeant Washington Poe forced to reinvestigate a case from his past, after convicting chef to the stars Jared Keaton to a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth, when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is the missing woman.

Now, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career. Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time? And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

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Book Review: Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus

Published in 2019, Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus follows twins Ellery an Ezra who have never been to Echo Ridge, but they’ve heard all about it. It’s where their aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news. And where Ellery and Ezra now have to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab. No one knows what happened to either girl, and their family is still haunted by their loss.

Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace. His mother’s remarriage vaulted her and Malcolm into Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but their new status grows shaky when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. No one has forgotten Malcolm’s brother-and nobody trusts him when he suddenly returns to town.

Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure. Then another girl disappears, and Ellery and Malcolm were the last people to see her alive. As they race to unravel what happened, they realize every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe.

And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.

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Book Review: The Interpreter by Brooke Robinson


Set to be published on 1st June in eBook format on 8th June in hardback, The Interpreter by Brooke Robinson follows single mother Revelle Lee, an interpreter who spends her days translating for victims, witnesses and the accused across London. Only she knows what they’re saying. Only she knows the truth.

When she believes a grave injustice is about to happen, and a guilty man is going to be labelled innocent, she has the power to twist an alibi to get the verdict she wants. She’s willing to risk it all to do what’s right. But when someone discovers she lied, Revelle finds the cost might be too high… and she could lose everything, including her son.

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Book Review: The Sisters by Claire Douglas

“One lied. One died.”

Pulished in 2015, The Sisters by Claire Douglas follows twin sister, Abo, who is haunted by her twin’s death. When one sister dies, the other must go to desperate lengths to survive. So Abi decides to make a fresh start in Bath. But when she meets twins Bea and Ben, she is quickly drawn into their privileged and unsettling circle.

As Abi tries to keep up with the demands of her fickle friends, strange things start to happen – precious letters go missing and threatening messages are left in her room. Is this the work of the beautiful and capricious Bea? Or is Abi willing to go to any lengths to get attention?

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Book Review: Talking with Serial Killers – Sleeping with Psychopaths by Christopher Berry Dee

Published in 2022, Talking with Serial Killers: Sleeping with Psychopaths by Christopher Berry Dee turns the attention to the wives or partners of serial murderers who remained unaware of exactly who they had fallen for until after their other half’s arrest or, in some cases, conviction, for multiple murders.

On finding out the truth, these innocents often experience a strange kind of guilt for not having recognised the killer in their home, as well as having to face the grim reality of betrayal and deceit.

Christopher Berry-Dee speaks directly to killers and their oblivious loved ones to get inside the minds of the men and women who fall for murderers.

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Book Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner) by Philip K. Dick

“You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.”

Published in 1968, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (which was adapted into the film Blade Runner) is set on an Earth devastated by World War Terminus. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalks, in search of his prey – renegade replicants. But in Deckard’s world, things are never that simple, and his assignment quickly turns into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit – and the threat of death for the hunter rather than the hunted…

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BLOG TOUR: The Spider (Joona Linna #9) by Lars Kepler

“Maybe this serial killer is unstoppable.
Maybe they’re already caught in the web…”

Set to be published on 25th May, The Spider by Lars Kepler is the ninth book in the Joona Linna series follows security inspector Saga Bauer who, three years ago, received a postcard with a threatening text about a gun with nine white bullets – one of which is waiting for Detective Joona Linna. But time passed and the threat faded. Until now.

A sack with a decomposed body is found tied to a tree in the forest. A milky white bullet casing is found at the murder scene. And soon the police are sent complicated riddles from the killer – a chance to stop further murders. Joona Linna and Saga Bauer must fight side by side to solve the puzzle and save each victim before it’s too late. But the violent hunt becomes increasingly desperate.

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Book Review: The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling

“Tears can heal a mind, as well as laughter.”

Published in 2020, The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling is set in a tiny kingdom called Cornucopia, as rich in happiness as it was in gold, and famous for its food. From the delicate cream cheeses of Kurdsburg to the Hopes-of-Heaven pastries of Chouxville, each was so delicious that people wept with joy as they ate them.

But even in this happy kingdom, a monster lurks. Legend tells of a fearsome creature living far to the north in the Marshlands… the Ickabog. Some say it breathes fire, spits poison, and roars through the mist as it carries off wayward sheep and children alike. Some say it’s just a myth…

And when that myth takes on a life of its own, casting a shadow over the kingdom, two children — best friends Bert and Daisy — embark on a great adventure to untangle the truth and find out where the real monster lies, bringing hope and happiness to Cornucopia once more.

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Book Review: The Fall by Gilly Macmillan

“Be careful what you wish for…”

Set to be published on 25th May, The Fall by Gilly Macmillan follows Nicole and Tom and whose lives are changed overnight by a ten-million-pound lottery win. Before they know it, they’ve moved into a state-of-the-art Glass Barn conversion in the stunning grounds of Lancaut Manor in Gloucestershire. But their dream quickly turns into a nightmare when Tom is found dead in the swimming pool, with a wound on his head. Someone close to home must be responsible. But other than the young couple who live in the Manor, and their housekeeper in the Coach House next door, there’s no one around for miles. Who among them is capable of murder?

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Book Review: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Maybe it doesn’t matter if you need someone during the everyday moments of your life. Maybe what matters is that when you need someone, they are the one you need.”

Originally published in 2014, After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid follows Lauren and Ryan whose marriage reaches the breaking point, so they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?


I’m an absolute sucker for a story about coming to a turning point in a marriage, whatever that may be, and about how you move forward and where you go from there. So this book completely pulled me in.

A beautifully honest portrayal of marriage, love and family, After I Do is far more than just a love story, it’s a story about what love means to us, why we fall in love, how love changes us, and who we are both with and without love.

Taylor Jenkins Reid always creates such authentic characters and Lauren and Ryan are both brilliantly developed. It was so interesting to see the story from both of their points of view, the way that they deal with their new situation, the ways that they still think about each other and, ultimately, their thought processes around what their relationship means to each other.

I related to the story at times – I think most of us will admit that we could make more effort in our relationships at times, with both spouses and family. But the dislike that these characters had for each other also took me aback slightly at first, as I suddenly began to worry that they wouldn’t find their way back to each other.

But the way this story progresses is done brilliantly. It’s heartwarming, reflective, touching, and overall just filled me a lot of emotion. Loved it!

BLOG TOUR: The Hike by Lucy Clarke


Published in April 2023, The Hike by Lucy Clarke follows four friends who, leaving behind their everyday lives, hike out into the beautiful Norwegian wild – nothing between them and the mountain peak but forest, sea and sharp blue sky. But there’s a darker side to the wilderness. A woman went missing here one year ago, scarring the mountain with suspicion and unanswered questions. Now, the friends are hiking into the heart of the mystery. And waiting on the trail is someone who’d do anything to keep their secrets buried – and to stop the group walking away alive . . .

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Book Review: The Last Word by Taylor Adams

“If you give this book a one-star review, you might end up dead.”

Set to be published on 18th May, The Last Word by Taylor Adams follows house-sitter Emma and her golden retriever Laika in an old beachfront home on the rainy Washington coast. Her only human contact is her enigmatic old neighbour, Deek, and the house’s owner, Jules.

One day, Emma reads a poorly written — but gruesome — horror novel by the author H. G. Kane, and posts a one-star review that drags her into an online argument with none other than the author himself. Soon after, disturbing incidents start to occur at night. To Emma, this can’t just be a coincidence. It was strange enough for this author to bicker with her online about a lousy review; could he be stalking her, too?

As Emma digs into Kane’s life and work, she learns he has published sixteen other novels, all similarly sadistic tales of stalking and murder. But who is he? How did he find her? And what else is he capable of?

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Book Review: Don’t Look Back by Jo Spain

“Your dream island. The love of your life. A secret that changes everything…”

Published on 11th May, Don’t Look Back by Jo Spain follows Luke and Rose Miller on their surprise belated honeymoon in a Caribbean paradise. It’s more than Luke ever thought he’d deserve. But as they pack their bags, Rose breaks down, confessing that on the day they left London, a violent man from her past tracked her down and broke into their home. He wasn’t expecting her to fight back. And, in her terror, Rose killed him. Now, there’s a dead body in Luke’s apartment, and only one person he can think to turn to.

Mickey Sheils never expected to hear from Luke again, not after he disappeared the first time. Luke knows Mickey can’t deny a woman who needs help, so she promises she’ll deal with things – she’ll make sure Rose doesn’t have to keep running.

But it turns out, some lies are too big to run from.

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Book Review: Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“No matter how strong you are, no matter how smart you are or tough you can be, the world will find a way to break you. And when it does, the only thing you can do is hold on.”

Published in 2013, Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid is set on a rainy New Year’s Day, when twenty-something Elsie heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met, and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.

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Book Review: New Beginnings At Glendale Hall (Glendale Hall #2) by Victoria Walters

“Two weddings and a baby…but who will get their happy ever after?”

The second book in Victoria WaltersGlendale Hall series and published in 2020, New Beginnings At Glendale Hall follows Emily Prescott whose life isn’t going to plan. Her dreams of starting a family with fireman boyfriend Greg and opening up her own bakery in London feel like they will never come true. So when a wedding
invite arrives from her oldest friend, Beth Williams, Emily is thrilled. Not only will she get to return to her childhood home in Scotland, but best of all – Beth wants her to bake the wedding cake!

However, her excitement is cut short when she discovers that Greg has cheated on her. Devastated by his betrayal, Emily flees to Glendale Hall, Beth’s grand estate in the Highlands, and tries to distracts herself with helping with the wedding plans, but that’s not easy when Greg keeps hounding her to forgive him. Then she’s introduced to Glendale’s new young and handsome vicar Brodie, and things become even more complicated.

When Emily discovers that Greg’s betrayal runs deeper than she imagined, she finds herself with a whole host of decisions to make, especially when she discovers her long-awaited dream is finally being fulfilled – at exactly at the wrong time…

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Book Review: No One Saw A Thing by Andrea Mara

“No one saw it happen.
Everyone is lying.
Someone is to blame.”

Set to be published on 11th May, No One Saw A Thing by Andrea Mara follows Sive, standing on a crowded tube platform in London. Her two little girls jump on the train ahead of her. But as she tries to join them, the doors slide shut and the train moves away.

By the time Sive gets to the next stop, she’s convinced herself that everything will be fine. But she soon starts to panic, because there aren’t two children waiting for her on the platform. There’s only one.

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