Book Review: The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

“Because when I finally take those lips in mine, it will be the furthest thing from pretending. I will not be showing you what it would be like if you were mine. I’ll show you what it is. And I sure as hell won’t be showing how good I could make you feel if you called me yours. You’ll already know that I am.”

Published in 2021, The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas follows Catalina who is in desperate need of a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiralled out of control. Now everyone she knows — including her ex and his fiancée — will be there and eager to meet him.

She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic and aid in her deception. Enter Aaron Blackford — her tall, handsome, condescending colleague — who surprisingly offers to step in. She’d rather refuse; never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling, and insufferable man. But Catalina is desperate, and as the wedding draws nearer, Aaron looks like her best option. And she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.

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BOOK TOUR: The Rising Tide (Vera Stanhope #10) by Ann Cleeves

The tenth book in the Vera Stanhope series, The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves follows a group of friends who meet up on Holy Island every five years to celebrate their friendship, and have done so for fifty years now. During their latest reunion, one of the friends is found hanged one morning, and Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder – then, and now. But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface, and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible . . .

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Book Review: Keep It In The Family by John Marrs

“I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC”

Set to be released on 18th October, Keep It In The Family by John Marrs follows married couple Mia and Finn who are busy turning a derelict house into their dream home when Mia unexpectedly falls pregnant. But just when they think the house is ready, Mia discovers a chilling message scored into a skirting board: I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC. Following the clue up into the eaves, the couple make a gruesome discovery: their dream home was once a house of horrors.

In the wake of their traumatic discovery, the baby arrives and Mia can’t shake her fixation with the monstrous crimes that happened right above them. Haunted by the terrible things she saw and desperate to find answers, her obsession pulls her ever further from her husband. Secrecy shrouds the mystery of the attic, but when shards of a dark truth start to emerge, Mia realises the danger is terrifyingly present. She is prepared to do anything to protect her family — but is it already too late?

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Book Review: The Last Girl To Die by Helen Fields

“The island watched and wept…”

Released today, The Last Girl To Die by Helen Fields follows private investigator Sadie Levesque who has been hired by the Clark family to find their sixteen-year-old daughter, Adriana, who has gone missing. The family have only recently moved to the ancient, ocean-battered Isle of Mull, far off the coast of Scotland, as Sadie finds herself faced with hostile locals and indifferent police.

Sadie is the best at what she does. But when she finds Adriana’s body in a cliffside cave, a seaweed crown carefully arranged on her head, she knows she’s dealing with something she’s never encountered before. The deeper she digs into the island’s secrets, the closer danger creeps – and the more urgent her quest to find the killer grows. Because what if Adriana is not the last girl to die?

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BOOK TOUR: The Ex by SE Lynes

“The love of your life… or your biggest mistake?”

Set to be released on 26th August, The Ex by SE Lynes follows newly-single Sam who moved in his with his loving Gran just before lockdown after breaking up with longterm girlfriend, Naomi. With restrictions now lifted, Sam takes a walk to the beach where he bumps into Naomi for the first time in nearly a year. A lot has changed since then, most noticeably that Naomi is pushing a pram. Sam hesitates, not knowing what to think, but soon plucks up the courage to ask Naomi if he is Tommy’s father. Sam couldn’t trust Naomi before, but has motherhood changed her? Or is she about to bring even more trouble into his life?

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Book Review: Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular.”

Set to be published on 30th August, Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid follows retired tennis player Carrie Soto who is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning, British player named Nicki Chan. At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record.

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Book Review: Holy Island (DCI Ryan Mysteries #1) by L.J. Ross

Published in 2015, Holy Island is the first book in L.J. RossDCI Ryan Mysteries series which follows Detective Chief Inspector Ryan who retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary, when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory.

When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past. She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan rituals and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation

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Book Review: The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

“There’s a reason why we keep thoughts inside our heads for the most part—they’re not safe to be let out in public.”

Published in 2016, The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is set aboard the press launch on a luxury cruise ship promising the perfect trip to see the Northern Lights. It’s also a chance for travel journalist Lo Blacklock to recover from a traumatic break-in that has left her on the verge of collapse, and to work out what she wants from her relationship.

Except things don’t go as planned. Woken in the night by screams, Lo rushes to her window to see a body thrown overboard from the next door cabin. But the records show that no-one ever checked into that cabin, and no passengers are missing from the boat. Exhausted, emotional and increasingly desperate, Lo has to face the fact that she may have made a terrible mistake. Or she is trapped on a boat with a murderer – and she is the sole witness…

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Book Review: The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

Published in 2011, The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty follows professional hypnotherapist Ellen O’Farrell who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. But when she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back.

Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk. Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks it’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her. Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.

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Book Review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

“It is easy to mourn the lives we aren’t living. Easy to wish we’d developed other talents, said yes to different offers… It takes no effort to miss the friends we didn’t make and the work we didn’t do the people we didn’t do and the people we didn’t marry and the children we didn’t have… But it is not lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It’s the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people’s worst enemy.”

Published in 2020, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig follows Nora whose life has been going from bad to worse. Then, at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth, she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived. Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?

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Book Review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

“It’s like that, with all of us here. Sick, strange, and we don’t know why. Things bursting out of us, bits missing and pieces sloughing off, and then we harden and smooth over.”

Published in 2019, Wilder Girls by Rory Power is set at Raxter School for Girls which, eighteen months ago, was put under quarantine. The Tox hit slowly. First, the teachers died one by one. Then, it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

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Book Review: My Other Husband by Dorothy Koomson

“Someone’s trying to frame me for murder. But I can’t prove my innocence. Because then I’d have to confess about… my other husband.”

Set to be released on 18th August, My Other Husband by Dorothy Koomson follows bestselling novelist turned scriptwriter Cleo Forsum whose TV series, The Baking Detective, is a huge success. Writing is all she’s ever wanted to do, and baking and murder stories have proved a winning combination. But now she has decided to walk away from it all – including divorcing her husband, Wallace – before her past secrets catch up with her.

As Cleo drafts the final ever episodes of the series, people she knows start getting hurt. And it’s soon clear that someone is trying to frame her for murder. She thinks she knows why, but Cleo can’t tell the police or prove her innocence. Because then she’d have to confess about her other husband…

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BOOK TOUR: The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone

“A remote village.
A deadly secret.
An outsider who knows the truth…”

Published earlier this month, The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone follows Maggie Mackay who has been haunted her entire life. No matter what she does, she can’t shake the sense that something is wrong with her. And maybe something is…

When she was five years old, without proof, Maggie announced that someone in the remote village of Blairmore in the Outer Hebrides had murdered a local man, sparking a media storm. Now, Maggie is determined to discover what really happened and what the villagers are hiding. But everyone has secrets, and some are deadly. As she gets closer to the horrifying truth, Maggie’s own life is in danger…

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BOOK TOUR: Quarter To Midnight (New Orleans #1) by Karen Rose

“The truth of what happened that night lies with a secret witness.”

The first book in a new series by Karen Rose, Quarter To Midnight sees Rocky Hebert walks into his death at quarter to midnight one New Orleans night. His son Gabe can’t accept the official verdict of suicide and enlists the help of the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency to discover the real cause of death. PI Molly Sutton will go to any lengths to crack the investigation, as they soon realise that Rocky was working on an investigation of his own; one that threatened to expose the deep corruption going all the way to the top of the police department. Just what did Rocky know? And who might have shut him up?

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Book Review: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

“I felt that thread that had come between us, tugging, tugging at my heart – so hard, it hurt me. A hundred times I almost rose, almost went in to her; a hundred times I thought, Go to her! Why are you waiting? Go back to her side! But every time, I thought of what would happen if I did. I knew that I couldn’t lie beside her, without wanting to touch her. I couldn’t have felt her breath upon my mouth, without wanting to kiss her. And I couldn’t have kissed her, without wanting to save her.”

Published in 2002, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters follows orphan Sue Trinder who was left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, whose household also hosts a transient family of petty thieves. One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives – Gentleman, an elegant con man, who carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: If she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a naïve gentlewoman, and aids Gentleman in her seduction, they all will share in Maud’s vast inheritance. With dreams of paying back the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to the plan. Once in, however, Sue begins to regret her decision.

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Audiobook Review: The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine

“All she wants… is everything you have!”

Published in 2017, The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine follows Amber Patterson who is tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who melts into the background. She deserves more. She deserves a life of wealth, luxury and leisure.

Daphne Parrish is golden girl of the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut. With her modelesque looks, her picture-perfect mansion and her millionaire husband, Jackson, she has everything Amber has ever wanted.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive—if she didn’t have a plan. Gradually, Amber insinuates herself into the Parrish family’s life. Before long, she has become Daphne’s closest confidante, and is catching the eye of Jackson. But a skeleton from her past could undermine everything Amber has worked for, and if discovered, her well-laid plan may end in disaster…

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Book Review: Normal People by Sally Rooney

“I’m not a religious person but I do sometimes think God made you for me.”

Published in 2018, Normal People by Sally Rooney follows Connell and Marianne who grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins.

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BOOK TOUR: Hide And Seek by Andrea Mara

“Close your eyes. Count to ten. And when you open them, your child is gone.”

Set to be published on 4th August, Hide And Seek by Andrea Mara sees the end of a game of hide and seek. Everyone has gone home, but little Lily Murphy hasn’t been found. Her parents search the woods and tell themselves that the worst hasn’t happened – but deep down they know this peaceful Dublin suburb will never be the same again.

Years later, Joanna moves into a new house. It seems perfect in every way, until she learns that this was once Lily Murphy’s home. From that moment onwards, a sense of dread seems to follow her from room to room. As Joanna unravels the secrets at the heart of this close-knit community, her own dark past begins to resurface. Because she thinks she knows what really happened to Lily – and if the truth gets out, it might be her undoing…

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Book Review: The Places I’ve Cried In Public by Holly Bourne

“You never know if happy memories are going to become sad ones. They glow and shine in the vast realms of our subconscious, making that part of our brain feel like it’s filled with glitter. We pick them up and cradle them like expensive cats, or wriggle into them like they are jumpers we’ve left to warm on a radiator. Until the day when, for one reason or another, life can suddenly make this happy memory into a sad memory instead. Good memories exist in the naivety of not knowing any better.”

Published in 2019, The Places I’ve Cried In Public by Holly Bourne follows teenager Amelie. She loved Reese. And she thought he loved her. But she’s starting to realise love isn’t supposed to hurt like this. So now she’s retracing their story and untangling what happened by revisiting all the places he made her cry. Because if she works out what went wrong, perhaps she can finally learn to get over him.

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