Book Review: The Guest House by Robin Morgan-Bentley


Set to be released on 23rd June, The Guest House by Robin Morgan-Bentley follows Jamie and Victoria who are expecting their first baby. With a few weeks to go, they head off for a final weekend break in a remote part of the North Pennines. The small and peaceful guesthouse is the ideal location to unwind together before becoming parents. Upon arrival, they are greeted by Barry and Fiona, the older couple who run the guesthouse. They cook them dinner and show them to their room before retreating to bed themselves. The next morning, Jamie and Victoria wake to find the house deserted. Barry and Fiona are nowhere to be seen. All the doors are locked. Both their mobile phones and car keys have disappeared. Even though it’s a few weeks early, Victoria knows the contractions are starting. The baby is coming, and there’s no way out.

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Book Review: Don’t Tell (Chicago #1) by Karen Rose

“They tried to escape him, but he wouldn’t let them.”

The first book in Karen Rose‘s Chicago series, Don’t Tell follows Mary Grace Winters who knew the only way to save herself and her child from her abusive husband was to stage their deaths. Now, all that remains of her former life is at the bottom of a lake. As Caroline Stewart, Mary Grace has almost forgotten the nightmare she left behind nine years ago. Slowly she has learned to believe that her new life, and new identity, is here to stay. Then her husband uncovers her hidden trail. Step by step, he’s closing in on her. Now Caroline must decide whether to flee again or whether the time has come to stay and fight…

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Book Review: Taken by Lisa Stone

“Have you seen Leila?”

Published in 2020, Taken by Lisa Stone follows mother of eight-year-old Leila, Kelsey, who is an a alcoholic, a drug addict, and a prostitute. Leila has seen and heard things that no child should ever have to. And when she goes missing, her mother is too high to even realise that she’s not home. Leila often stays out after dark to avoid going home, but what Leila didn’t know was that someone had been watching her. When she disappears without a trace, the police start a nationwide search, but it’s as if Leila has vanished into thin air. Who kidnapped her? What do they want? Will she return home safely or is she lost forever?

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Book Review: A Stranger On Board by Cameron Ward

“A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A luxury superyacht. And a killer picking you off, one by one…”

Set to be published on 23rd June, A Stranger On Board by Cameron Ward follows ex-marine Sarah French who joins a luxury superyacht as on-board security, in hopes of getting her life – and career – back on track. Surrounded by crystal waters, it seems like the perfect place to start over. As they head into open water, though, tensions between the crew quickly build. And when someone goes missing, Sarah has a terrifying realisation. One of them is a killer. All of them are suspects. To protect the other passengers, Sarah needs to uncover the killer’s identity and return the boat safely to shore. But there’s a storm on the horizon – and not all of them will make it out alive…

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Book Review: Girl, Forgotten (Andrea Oliver #2) by Karin Slaughter

“A girl with a secret… An unsolved murder…
One final chance to uncover a killer…”

Set to be released on 23rd June and the second book in Karin Slaughter‘s Andrea Oliver series, Girl, Forgotten sees Andrea Oliver, now a US Marshal, arrive in Longbill Beach to investigate a cold case with links to her own past. Forty years ago, Emily Vaughn was killed on her prom night, but her murder remains a mystery. Her friends closed ranks, her wealthy family retreated inwards, and the small town moved on. But all that’s about to change. The killer is still out there, and Andrea must discover the truth before she gets silenced, too.

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Book Review: Layla by Colleen Hoover

“Falling in love with her was weightless, like air was breezing through my bones. Falling out of love is fucking heavy, like my lungs are carved from iron.”

Published in 2020, Layla by Colleen Hoover follows couple Layla and Leeds who take a spontaneous trip to the B&B where they first met after Layla is released from hospital after being involved in an unexpected attack. Leeds is convinced it will reignite their spark. But once they arrive, Layla’s behaviour takes a bizarre turn.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow, another guest of the B&B. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.

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Book Review: The House Across The Lake by Riley Sager

“Be careful what you watch for…”

Set to be published on 7th July, The House Across The Lake by Riley Sager follows Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, who has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of bourbon, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake.

One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other, the sooner it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage isn’t as perfect as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey immediately suspects Tom of foul play. What she doesn’t realize is that there’s more to the story than meets the eye, and that shocking secrets can lurk beneath the most placid of surfaces.

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Book Review: Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

“Daisy Darker’s family were as dark as dark can be, when one of them died all of them lied and pretended not to see…”

Set to be published on 18th August, Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney follows its titular character, Daisy Darker, who arrives at her grandmother’s house for her 80th birthday. It’s Halloween, and Seaglass – the crumbling Cornish house perched upon its own tiny private island – is at one with the granite rocks it sits on. The Darker family haven’t all been in the same place for over a decade, and when the tide comes in they’ll be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. When the tide goes back out, nothing will ever be the same again, because one of them is a killer.

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Book Review: No Place To Run by Mark Edwards

“Will he ever find her?”

Set to be released on 21st June, No Place To Run by Mark Edwards follows Aidan who, after years of false leads and dead ends, has almost given up hope of finding his fifteen-year-old sister, who vanished into thin air on a trip to Seattle two years ago. But then a woman sees a girl running for her life across a forest clearing in Northern California. She is convinced the girl is the missing Scarlett. But could it really be her?

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Book Review: The Bay by Allie Reynolds

“There’s a darkness inside all of us and The Bay has a way of bringing it out. Everyone here has their secrets but we don’t go looking for them. Because sometimes it’s better not to know.”

Set to be published on 23rd June, The Bay by Allie Reynolds sees Kenna arrive in Sydney to surprise her best friend. But Mikki and her fiance Jack are about to head away on a trip, so Kenna finds herself tagging along for the ride.

Sorrow Bay is beautiful, wild and dangerous. A remote surfing spot with waves to die for, cut off from the rest of the world. Here Kenna meets a mysterious group of people who will do anything to keep their paradise a secret. Sky, Ryan, Clemente and Victor have come to disappear from life. But what did they leave behind? And why does everyone seem to be hiding something? Only one thing is becoming rapidly clear about The Bay: nobody ever leaves.

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Book Review: Perfect Remains (D.I. Callanach #1) by Helen Fields

“It was the human condition: the need to know the worst, the destructive desire to see how it feels when you hit rock bottom.”

The first book in the D.I. Callanach series by Helen Fields, Perfect Remains sees Detective Inspector Luc Callanach’s first day at his new job, eager to prove himself to his new team, when he’s dropped right into the deep end with a missing person’s case. Elaine has been missing for weeks, but when her teeth and a fragment of her clothing are found next to the remains of an unidentifiable charred body in the Highland mountains, her case is soon escalated to a murder investigation.

But in the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness, and it’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep. Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes. The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

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Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

“We think we know where we’re aiming, and perhaps we do – but morning comes, and a change in the light, and we find out we should’ve been trying in a different direction after all.”

Published in 2016, The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry is set at the end of the 19th century and inspired by a true myth. Moving between Essex and London, Cora Seaborne’s spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

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Book Review: Verity by Colleen Hoover

“It’s what you do when you’ve experienced the worst of the worst. You seek out people like you… people worse off than you… and you use them to make yourself feel better about the terrible things that have happened to you.”

Published in 2018, Verity by Colleen Hoover follows struggling writer Lowen Ashleigh who’s on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

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Audiobook Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

“Once again I’m struck by melancholy. I want to spend the rest of my life studying Eridian biology! But I have to save humanity first. Stupid humanity. Getting in the way of my hobbies.”

Published in 2021, Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir follows Ryland Grace, the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission. If he fails, humanity and the Earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

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Book Review: Skin Privilege (Grant County #6) by Karin Slaughter


Originally published in 2007 and the sixth and final book in the Grant County series by Karin Slaughter, Skin Privilege centres on Lena Adams who has spent her life struggling to forget her childhood in Reece, the small town which nearly destroyed her. She’s made a new life for herself as a police detective in Heartsdale, a hundred miles away – but nothing could prepare her for the violence which explodes when she is forced to return. A vicious murder leaves a young woman incinerated beyond recognition. And Lena is the only suspect.

When Heartsdale police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, Lena’s boss, receives word that his detective has been arrested, he has no choice but to go to Lena’s aid – taking with him his wife, medical examiner Sara Linton. But soon after their arrival, a second victim is found. The town closes ranks. And both Jeffrey and Sara find themselves entangled in a horrifying underground world of bigotry and rage – a violent world which shocks even them. But can they discover the truth before the killer strikes again?

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BOOK TOUR: The Dark (Lacey Flint #5) by Sharon Bolton


The fifth book in the Lacey Flint series, The Dark by Sharon Bolton sees off-duty police officer Lacey Flint witness a baby snatched from its pram and cast into the river Thames. But who would want to hurt a child? DCI Mark Joesbury has been expecting this. Monitoring a complex network of dark web sites, Joesbury and his team have spotted a new terrorist threat from the extremist, women-hating, group known as ‘incels’. Joesbury’s team are trying to infiltrate the ring of power at its core, but the dark web is built for anonymity, and the incel army is vast.

Pressure builds when the team learn the snatched child was just the first in a series of violent attacks designed to terrorise women. Worse, the leaders of the movement seem to have singled out Lacey as the embodiment of everything they hate, placing her in terrible danger…

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May 2022 Wrap Up

I can’t believe it’s June already! I love doing these monthly wrap-ups but they do seem to make the month fly by quicker.

But anyway, I’ve had a great reading month! I read 19 books this month and while I feel like I could have fit in a few more, I did read some very chunky books this month and also ticked off some ARCs which I had waiting for review so I feel very productive!

I also had four five-star books, and three books made me cry!

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Book Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

“Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.”

Published in 2014, Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover follows Tate Collins who, when she meets airline pilot Miles Archer, knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her: Never ask about the past, and don’t expect a future. They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

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Audiobook Review: Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney

“Everyone’s always going through something, aren’t they? That’s life, basically. It’s just more and more things to go through.”

Published in 2017, Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney follows twenty-one-year-old Frances, a student in Dublin and an aspiring writer. At night, she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend. When they befriend Melissa, a well-known journalist who is married to actor Nick, they enter a world of beautiful houses, raucous dinner parties and holidays in Provence. But when Frances and Nick get unexpectedly closer, the emotion-averse Frances is forced to honestly confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time.

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BOOK TOUR EXTRACT: The Island by Adrian McKinty

Set to be published on 26th May, The Island by Adrian McKinty follows Heather, her husband Tom, and Tom’s young son and teenage daughter on a working vacation in the Australian outback. It’s the perfect way to bring the new family together. So when they discover a remote island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family take a chance on an adventure. But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers. Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

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