The Retreat by Mark Edwards {Review}

Hey Everyone,

Today I bring you a review of The Retreat by Mark Edwards.

I’ve been a fan of Mark’s for quite some time after reading one of his other novels, The Magpies. After that I went on a binge and read loads of his work.

I picked up The Retreat not that long ago as I had it pre-ordered but I’ve only just got around to reading it and wow, it was amazing.

I absolutely loved it. The book initially gives the impression that it is heading down a certain road but the twists and turns never fully reveal what is going on until the end.

Mark has such an amazing writing style, you find yourself drawn into the world he creates as the imagery is so realistic and written so well.

Mark creates characters that you feel you understand, like you know them. They all have a depth and soul.

I would give this book a 5 star rating and recommend it to anyone who loves mystery or thriller books.

I’ve picked up A Murder of Magpie’s which is the sequel to The Magpies and I can’t wait to read it.

You can pick up a copy of The Magpies here and find out more about Mark and his other books here

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

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An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson {Review}

Good Morning,

Today I have a review of the 2nd novel by Kiltie Jackson.

I loved Kiltie’s first novel A Rock n Roll Lovestyle, so when I got the opportunity to read this I wasn’t going to say no.

Blurb…

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree
to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December to fulfill their quests.

If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.

If they should fail however…

Review…

Well I have to say Kiltie definitely has a way with words. After I read her first book I was hooked on her style. Kiltie writes in a way that is so easy to follow the book is over before you realise it’s even begun.

The characters have such depth you feel like they are real people who you know really well. Kiltie knows how to write a great villian because in both novels I’ve felt such utter dislike for them and not an ounce of sympathy.

This plot for this story is really good and has a great addition of being rather humourous. I love the twist of adding Death as a character and it really makes this novel stand out.

It was really good to see characters we grew to love in Kiltie’s first book have roles in this one as well. It is done in such a way that you really don’t need to read the first and allows this to be strong as a stand-alone novel.

Unfortunately for you An Artisan Lovestyle isn’t released until 28th June but it is well worth ordering, currently the kindle price is less than £2 which I assure you is a massive bargain.

You can pre-order from Amazon UK.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise xx

*Disclaimer – This ARC was given to me free of charge. This however, does not bias my review or opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Close Your Eyes by Darren O’Sullivan {Review}

Hey Everyone,

Today I have a review for you for the book Close Your Eyes by Darren O’Sullivan. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this which was fantastic as I had heard such good things about him with his debut novel Our Little Secret.

Blurb…

Close your eyes…and count to ten.

He doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know his secret.
When Daniel woke up from a coma he had no recollection of the life he lived before. Now, fourteen years later, he’s being forced to remember.

A phone call in the middle of the night demands he return what he stole – but Daniel has no idea what it could be, or who the person on the other end is. He has been given one warning, if he doesn’t find out his family will be murdered.

Rachael needs to protect her son. Trapped with no way out she will do anything to ensure they survive. But sometimes mothers can’t save their children and her only hope is Daniel’s memory.

Review…

Let me start by saying this book was brilliant. It takes a lot for me to really enjoy a good thriller as I find most of them fairly predictable but this kept me on the edge all the way through. There were a fair few twists which I didn’t see coming a mile off. I guessed who the perpetrator was as it was unveiled in the book, Darren did a great job there.

The plot concept was great. It felt like we were joining Daniel on this wild ride and uncovering things as he was which added to the atmosphere.

Darren’s writing style flows so well and he isn’t afraid to write graphically or against what is generally expected which is what gave this novel that extra bit of edge.

I would gladly give this 5 stars and recommend it to any lover of a good crime/thriller. I will definitely be reading his other title now.

You can purchase Close Your Eyes here for UK customers and here for US customers.

If you fancy checking out Darren’s debut novel Our Little Secret you can find it here.

To find out more about Darren you can do so here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

*Disclaimer – I received this book free however, all opinions are my own and are expressed without bias.

Blog Tour: A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe

Today I am sharing with you my review for A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe which is hosted by Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours

Blurb…

God ensured she crossed my path. And that is why I chose her.

The day Louisa and James bring their newborn son home from the hospital marks a new beginning for all of them. To hold their child in their arms, makes all the stress and trauma of fertility treatment worth it. Little Cory is theirs and theirs alone. Or so they think…

After her mother’s suicide when she was a child, Louisa’s life took an even darker turn. But meeting James changed everything. She can trust him to protect her, and to never leave her. Even if deep down, she worries that she has never told him the full truth about her past, or the truth about their baby.

But someone knows all her secrets – and that person is watching and waiting, with a twisted game that will try to take everything Louisa holds dear.

Review…

After reading Gemma’s first novel Trust Me I was really excited to get a copy of A Mother’s Sacrifice.

Gemma has an amazing way of writing that keeps you guessing, you may have a prediction but that can change multiple times as you read and that’s what draws me to her work.

I found myself drawn to the main character. I not only felt sorry for her but could see things unravelling. I don’t want to give any of the story away but I thought it was very well written.

However, I have to admit the ending did disappoint me. While I understand why it took the path it did I would have liked answers to questions wrapping up first. I felt like for such a build up of every thing it fell a bit flat even if it wasn’t a typical generic ending.

Saying this though I highly recommend it. The problem is more with me and my need to have somethings tightly wrapped in a bow rather than the book itself and as far as it goes this is a very worthy read.

I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

You can purchase your copy here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

It’s A Family Thing: Jay-Jay And The Carnival by Sue Wickstead

Hey Everyone. Today Alexis and I have a review of another one of Sue Wickstead children’s books. This on is called Jay-Jay And The Carnival.

Alexis and I have been lucky enough to receive all the Jay-Jay books from Sue. Alexis really enjoys reading them and seeing the adventures that Jay-Jay goes on.

Jay-Jay and the Carnival was not any different, she really enjoyed it, particularly commenting on the fact that Jay-Jay had undergone a make over and was ‘bright orange’.

The story as always was entertaining and didn’t drag which held Alexis’s attention, something extremely difficult for any 3 year old to do.

We would highly recommend the Jay-Jay books for children. They are bright, colourful and fun. Great enjoyment. You can purchase a copy here on Amazon UK.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: The Cocktail Bar by Isabella May

Hey Everyone.

Today I have a review for you, The Cocktail Bar by Isabella May.

Blurb…

Rock star, River Jackson, is back in his hometown of Glastonbury to open a cocktail bar… and the locals aren’t impressed.
Seductive Georgina is proving too hot to handle; band mate, Angelic Alice, is messing with his heart and his head; his mum is a hippie-dippy liability; his school friends have resorted to violence – oh, and his band manager, Lennie, AND the media are on his trail.
But River is armed with a magical Mexican elixir which will change the lives of the Three Chosen Ones. Once the Mexican wave of joy takes a hold of the town, he’s glad he didn’t lose his proverbial bottle.
Pity he hasn’t taken better care of the real one…

Review…

Love, love, love this book. I read through it in 2 days and devoured the pages.

Isabella has such a gorgeous writing style, the flow from page to page makes reading such a pure pleasure. When I wasn’t reading The Cocktail Bar I was thinking about it.

The story itself is fantastic, such a great magical twist on story that would be entertaining in it’s own right.

All of Isabella’s characters, from the nice to the naughty are incredibly well written. Even some of the background characters will become your favourite ones, like Hayley.

I really did enjoy this book. I think people of any preferred genre would also love this book.

I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. In fact get me a Frisky Bison cause I may have to sit down and read it again.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: Spring at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett

Spring At Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett

Hey Everyone. Today I have a review for you for Spring at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett. I must apologise as this was due to go out at the weekend but I was unwell in hospital but as they say…better late than never.

Blurb…

A season for change…?

Beth Reynolds loved growing up close to Eleanor’s Emporium – a bric-a-brac shop full of wonders on Lavender Bay. Devastated to learn that Eleanor has died, she returns home from London immediately and is shocked to discover that the elderly lady has left the shop to her!Vowing to restore it to its former glory, she only intends to stay until the end of the season. Although the longer she spends in the colourful seaside town, the more she falls back in love with everything she left behind…and quite possibly, with her best friend Eliza’s older brother, local chef Sam Barnes!Why didn’t she notice he was quite this gorgeous before? And will their spring fling be enough to convince her to stay?

Don’t miss Spring at Lavender Bay, the first book in the enchanting Lavender Bay trilogy! Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Rachael Lucas and Hilary Boyd.

Book 1: Spring at Lavender Bay
Book 2: Summer at Lavender Bay
Book 3: Snowflakes at Lavender Bay

Review…

Ahhh I admit I totally loved this book. I read it really quickly because I enjoyed everything about it.

Both Beth and Sam were relatable and I felt like I really wanted the best for them.

The story wasn’t straight up soft and fluffy and it did touch on some sensitive subjects but it never took it to a dark place.

I will be reading the rest of the books in the series. Sarah has such a lovely writing style that her words flow so naturally on a page.

I would rate this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who wants something that is easy to follow, a bit of fun and a sprinkle of romance.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: A Dangerous Game by Madeline Dyer {Review}

Dangerous Game Banner

Today is my stop on the A Dangerous Game by Madeline Dyer blog tour.

Blurb…

LOVE WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE EASY.

All her life, Keelie Lin-Sykes has known what she wants: to protect her brother and sisters by killing as many of the soulless Enhanced Ones as she can. Oh, and to have fun while she’s doing it. After all, hiding in a secret Untamed community, while the group’s Seer warns them of danger, shouldn’t mean that life can only be serious, right?

But, when a face from her past suddenly—and secretly—shows up, Keelie’s catapulted back into the very world she’s been trying to escape from for the last ten years: a world full of guilt, lies, and…love. And the deeper Keelie gets into this world, the bigger the risks become.

Now, Keelie must deceive those she values most in order to protect them, even though her actions will destroy everything she knows and haunt her family forever. But she can’t ignore her feelings–not again. And Keelie will do anything to be with the man she loves.

Review…

Admittedly I have not read any of Madeline’s Untamed series books. I was a bit worried I would have had to have read them to fully understand the world that A Dangerous Game was set it. A Dangerous Game is a standalone and you don’t need to have read the other books. However, while the story is perfectly readable as a standalone, I did get the feeling that there was more to it which may be remedied by reading the other books.

Either way I will be more than happy to pick up the Untamed series as I really enjoyed A Dangerous Game. I enjoyed the characters but mostly I loved the world in which is was set. I really liked how things came together not just with the Enchanted and Untamed but with the element of the Spirits as well and Seers. The world has a lot of depth and I am really looking forward to exploring this in more detail.

I really like Madelines writing style it all flows very naturally and she has the ability to make you want to keep turning the pages. The ending surprised me quite a lot and I really liked that. I love it when a book isn’t predictable and the end comes as a surprise.

All in all I would give A Dangerous Game a very well deserved 4.5 stars (my first ever half star!).

Thanks for reading. To find out more about Madeline and her books you can do so on my previous post <here>

Emma-Louise x

It’s A Family Thing. The Spooky Tale by Sue Wickstead {Review}

A Spooky Tale by Sue Wickstead

Hey Everyone,

Today Alexis and I have a book review for you. Unfortunely due to Ill health, Christmas and other general life stuff this has been a little delayed getting out.

Originally we received the book back in October when we first read it.

This was different to Sue’s other books which we have read (Jay-Jay The Playbus) but it was still just as entertaining. You can see my other review here

Alexis really enjoyed this book and all the different elements and it is still one if her favourites now.

This book tells the story of a group of children who go on a walk with their teacher. Their walk becomes a great adventure and without spoiling it for others, it is fun.

If you have any young children I would highly recommend this book. It’s got a great story and illustrations.

You can find more of Sue’s work here on her Website.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

After Leaving The Village by Helen Matthews

Today I have a review for you for the book After Leaving The Village by Helen Matthews. Helen and I are in the fabulous Fiction Cafe book group and she approached me asking if I could possibly read her book in exchange for a review. I always like to help out new authors and found I had time in my schedule.

Blurb…

Two women. Two villages. Different destinies. Odeta’s life has shrunk to a daily round of drudgery, running her father’s grocery store in a remote Albanian village. One day a stranger from Tirana walks into the shop and promises her a new career in London. Odeta’s life is about to change, but not in the way she expected. Journalist Kate lives on a quiet London street and seems to have a perfect life but she worries about her son Ben, who struggles to make friends. Kate blames the internet and disconnects her family from the online world so they can get to know their neighbours. On a visit to her home village in Wales, Kate is forced to confront a secret from her past. But greater danger lies closer to home. Perhaps Kate’s neighbours are not the friendly community they seem.

Review…

I am not sure what I expected when I read the blurb but it wasn’t what I got. I was glued to the book.

The story follows two very different women and I couldn’t put it down. There are elements of a graphic nature but it isn’t written in a way that makes you want to put the book away.

I really felt for Odette and I kept thinking how this must actually be a harsh reality for many women in the world today. I really felt hate for this who kept her that way.

I liked Kate and I understand all to well what she was trying to achieve though I did think towards the later chapters she acted irrationally and put herself in unneccessary danger when others wouldn’t have despite those circumstances.

The main story though and bits that kept me really turning those pages was Odette.

Helen is such a great writer, she really invoked feeling when I was reading. I felt all possible emotions when I went through the story and I would really love another book on Odette’s story after everything that happened. I feel like I’m invested in her, I want to see if she does get a happy ending.

I really would recommend After Leaving The Village. It’s an amazing and thrilling read that keeps you holding on to hope.

Thank you Helen for allowing me the honour of reading your amazing book.

Emma-Louise x