Book Review: The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy #TheGoslingGirl @Jacquel27815478 @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours

Synopsis

Michelle Cameron’s name is associated with the most abhorrent of crimes. A child who lured a younger child away from her parents and to her death, she is known as the black girl who murdered a little white girl; evil incarnate according to the media. As the book opens, she has done her time, and has been released as a young woman with a new identity to start her life again.

When another shocking death occurs, Michelle is the first in the frame. Brought into the police station to answer questions around a suspicious death, it is only a matter of time until the press find out who she is now and where she lives and set about destroying her all over again.

Natalie Tyler is the officer brought in to investigate the murder. A black detective constable, she has been ostracised from her family and often feels she is in the wrong job. But when she meets Michelle, she feels a complicated need to protect her, whatever she might have done.

The Gosling Girl is a moving, powerful account of systemic, institutional and internalised racism, and of how the marginalised fight back. It delves into the psychological after-effects of a crime committed in childhood, exploring intersections between race and class as Michelle’s story is co- opted and controlled by those around her. Jacqueline writes with a cool restraint and The Gosling Girl is a raw and powerful novel that will stay with the reader long after they have turned the last page.

My Review

The premise of this book centres around the character Michelle Cameron who at the age of 10 was convicted of killing 4 year old Kerry Gosling. From that day forward Michelle was given the name The Gosling Girl by the media. Now at the age of 21 Michelle now has been released from her incarceration under the identity of Samantha. Samantha has no identity or past and the people she interacts with have no idea what she did or who she really is. When she bumps into Lucy, who was also at the same young offender’s institution, Samantha starts seeing her as a friend and a reminder of the old days. When Lucy is found dead, Michelle is hauled in by the police as a suspect. However, when Michelle’s new identity and location is leaked to the media the world’s eyes once again turn to Michelle Cameron ‘The Gosling Girl’. When DC Natalie Tyler is assigned to investigate the murder she finds herself conflicted between investigating the murder and protecting Michelle.

I have been looking forward to reading this book since I read the synopsis. This was a well written and well researched book. It was a bit slow to begin with but I think that added more atmosphere and context to the story. It’s a story that you can’t rush. My first impression of Michelle was that although what she did or was alleged to have done was that she was very naïve. She’s clearly institutionalised and knows nothing of the world outside. She’s inexperienced, immature and her growth has been stunted due to spending the majority of her life in an institution. When sees Lucy it’s like having some normality and familiarity in her life. Although she’s an adult, her thought process is very much that of a child and effectively she is a child trapped in an adult body. She is always scared with heightened anxiety that she will be found out by members of the public and the consequences if her true identity is revealed.

One of the prominent themes within the book that appears over and over again is racism. This is included in people’s thoughts, feelings and some of the comments that are made that in some instance hide a racist connotation. Both Michelle and Natalie are the subject of racist taunts and comments. In Michelle’s case it’s the way that she’s portrayed after the killing of Kerry. Especially when more information comes to light Carrie comes to light as the story unfolds that Michelle wasn’t the only one present at the time. There was someone else present of a different race that may have played a prominent role in Kerry’s death who was investigated but no charges pursued. It makes you question how Michelle would have been treated by the criminal justice system and the media had she not been black. In Natalie’s case she has to deal with being part of an organisation where institutional racism exists. The comments she faces from her colleagues are awful as is the way she is generally treated i.e. if you don’t look like your colleagues you don’t belong.

What I found really interesting about this book was that it didn’t go into detail about what actually happened when Kerry died but the reader is given a small glimpse as to what did happen through Michelle’s narrative. At the same time the narrative is from the perspective of Michelle who at the time was a child herself and ultimately it is left to the reader’s imagination as to what did transpire and who was involved.

This was a brilliant psychological thriller which I would highly recommend to everyone. It’s one story that I kept thinking about even after I had put the book down. As for the ending it was both shocking and thought provoking. It wasn’t an ending that I saw coming or could have predicted.

This was definitely a haunting read for me and the authors done an amazing job.

Author Bio

Jacqueline was born and raised in London. Her father was Jamaican and her mother was English and she comes from a family of writers. She hated the pressure to conform at school and left early, so she did her degrees as a mature student and moved to Manchester to take up a full-time teaching post at Manchester Metropolitan University. She lectured in English for many years, specialising in postcolonial literatures. She also taught creative writing at MMU’s Writing School. She is particularly interested in exploring racial identities and the ways in which those who are marginalised find
strategies for fighting back. She is now a full-time writer and has produced fiction for adults and children.

Spotlight: Sasha’s Redemption by Grayson Avery #SashasRedemption @rararesources

Synopsis

This is a story about redemption and finding love in the unlikeliest of places. Sasha Sokolov is the woman every woman loves to hate. And if you’ve read any of the first three Sweet Water Circle books, chances are, you probably do, too. But doesn’t everyone deserve a chance to right their wrongs and be happy?

After Sasha is fired from her high-powered advertising job for lying about her college education, it sets her life off on a downward spiral, leaving her single, broke, and with no place to live. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Sasha’s unraveling life attracts the interest of the most unlikeliest of groups, The Sweet Water Circle, Sasha’s former work nemeses. Can this tight-knit group help Sasha turn her life around? And if they can, does Sasha even want their help? She might move to Skid Row just to spite them.

But sometimes, you don’t get what you want. You get what you need. And if anybody needs the snarky wisdom of the Sweet Water Circle, it’s Sasha. That being said, one thing she really doesn’t need is to move in downstairs from a single dad with two young girls who excel at invading personal
space. Or does she need them to learn what it’s like to truly care for another person?
This is a story of one woman’s battle between good and evil. Can Sasha redeem herself, find love, and for the first time in her life, be happy? Or will the strength of the villain inside her prevail?

Purchase Links
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BJYBHJF
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09BJYBHJF
https://store.graysonavery.com/

Author Bio

Grayson Avery is the author of The Sweet Water Circle Series, a romantic comedy series that focuses on childhood friends in their 30’s and 40’s as they help each other navigate the stormy waters of dating, marriage, divorce, and a whole lot of inappropriate, naughty, and downright hysterical situations.

Social Media Links –
https://facebook.com/GraysonAveryAuthor
https://amazon.com/author/graysonavery
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20888386.Grayson_Avery

Book Review: To Kiss You Again by Nicola Lowe #ToKissYouAgain @nicswriting @RandomTTours

Synopsis

A bright future awaits Lily Forshaw, who feels like the luckiest girl in the world. A future she fought for, cried for, and risked her heart and soul for. 

Lily’s life is incredible, yet a small, deep scar remains etched upon her heart. A wound that will never truly heal, for the scar is a memory. A memory and a hope of what ifs and what might have been.

Lily’s friendships are about to be tested, her career threatened, and her perfect love is set to falter – can any of this be repaired?

Meanwhile, the man she left in the past, holding a piece of her heart, has found his way back to her at a time when nothing else makes sense anymore.

What will Lily do? Will she fight for what she is about to lose? Or will she seek a new beginning?

Catch up with Lily, Cassie, Zack, and Luke in the hotly anticipated sequel to The Missed Kiss

My Review

To Kiss You Again picks up three weeks after the events of The Missed Kiss when Lily had to make the most difficult decision of her life. Who should she give her heart to Zach or Luke. But who is Lily’s soulmate and true love. Did she make the right decision or will she follow her heart even if that means breaking someone else’s.

I absolutely adored The Missed Kiss and after finishing that book I honestly felt bereft. I missed the storyline and characters. I was desperate to see what happened next to Lily, Luke and Zach. After reading the first few pages I was a complete mess and in tears. Lily is clearly torn between two people and each of them has a place in her heart. The way the story is written it hits you full on in the heart and pulls at your heart strings.

This is one book that I was desperate to read but reluctant to read all at the same time. As a reader I was cheering Lily on from the outset and hoping that she would make the right decision but there were times when Lily’s decision would sway. It was clear who Lily was meant to be with because they’re always drawn to each other. It was like the universe was conspiring to reunite Lily with the person she is meant to be with no matter what. I loved the rush hour crush entries and the notes that Lily kept finding, they were just so sweet.

The storyline had everything I wanted all wrapped up in nice little bow at the end. The book had the happy every after and the ending I was hoping for from the first book. After turning the last page I cried and hugged the book. The story is the perfect way of showing that sometimes the hearts wants what it wants where logic goes out of the window. You have to listen to your heart and everything else will fall into place which is what Lily discovers in the end. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

If you love romance novels with tropes including friends to lovers, a love triangle and soul mates I would highly recommend this book.

Author Bio


Nicola lives in North-west England with her family. She has three daughters, and therefore will never be rich or sane but does have a house full of hormones and hair bobbles!

Turning forty during lockdown spurred her to pursue her dream of writing. Once she began, she realised she couldn’t stop.

Like her characters, she loves a glass of wine with her best friends, but sadly cannot walk in gorgeous designer heels like they do!

Book Review: That Certain Spark by Isobel Hart #thatcertainspark @IHartAuthor @rararesources

Synopsis

A one-bedroom apartment with creeping damp.
Depressed cat, complete with litter tray.
Neither was part of Claire’s five-year plan.
Nor, for that matter, was divorce.
Left with a comfort eating habit that’s costing her a small fortune in ice-cream, and panic attacks flooring her in front of the supermarket meals-for-one, Claire turns to her mum and Mindfulness in the hope that one of them can help her find real happiness.
She thinks she’s cracked it… but then her past comes creeping back.
Now she has to work out what really makes her happy or risk a life where Ben & Jerry are the only men who matter.

Purchase Link
US Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08Y7WKY4R
UK Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08Y7WKY4R

My Review

When we first meet Claire life hasn’t exactly been kind to her. Claire is struggling. Her marriage of 15 years ended 8 months ago when her husband left her for her business partner. She has been suffering from crippling panic attacks which cause her to black out and has shut herself off from the world. When her mum suggests that Claire attend mindfulness classes to help with her anxiety and her panic attacks Claire begrudgingly attends. The mindfulness classes open a whole new world to Claire. Will the classes help change Claire’s perspective of herself and her life.

I really enjoyed the storyline. As a reader it was hard not to feel sorry for Claire as she has been through so much. At the same time I think everyone can look at Claire and see a bit of themselves in her or relate to her situation after going through similar circumstances. However, Claire is such a funny character and has never lost her sense of humour. This is one of my favourite aspects of her character and there were many moments that had be laughing out loud including the moment when she was trying to get what she thought was her cat out of the tree. At the same time there were moments when my heart broke for Claire especially at the end of Chapter 27 when I had a little cry with Claire. The story is Claire’s transformation into a new person. The Claire we initially meet is withdrawn, anxious and depressed. Whether it’s joining the mindfulness class or the people and friends that she makes from the class Claire becomes a new person. She realises that she can’t let negative thoughts consume her and comes to accept who she is and makes peace with what’s happened to her. The confrontation at the pub was like watching an episode of Eastenders. Claire’s ex Ben is just hopeless and clueless. As for Bella, Claire’s ex business partner and Ben’s current love interest she is a character that you can’t help but dislike as she’s frankly a vile person. There are some loveable characters though in the form of Claire’s mum, neighbour Jack and Claire’s friends from the mindfulness group.

A brilliant and relatable read!

Author Bio

Born in London, Isobel Hart’s childhood was spent in the Middle East before being sent to boarding school. It meant she had a lot of time to read. Now based in the UK, she writes about what she knows – real women, with flaws.
A romantic at heart, happily married for nearly twenty-five years, her novels focus on relationships -good and bad – and the women at the heart of them. She is ever hopeful others will find their happy-
ever-afters or Happy-For-Now’s too.

Social Media Links –
https://www.facebook.com/isobelhartbooks
@IHartauthor
http://www.isobelhartsbooks.com

Spotlight: Finding Edith Pinsent by Hazel Ward #FindingEdithPinsent @HazelWard @rararesources

Synopsis

A moving story of love, loss and friendship that breaks and uplifts your heart.
Netta Wilde has a task to complete.
She’s agreed to go through the late Edith Pinsent’s diaries and possessions personally. The problem is, she’s been busy sorting out her own life. But she’s in a better place now. She’s free of her manipulative ex, has a new love in neighbour, Frank and has reunited with her kids.

What better time to begin Edie’s story?

But the path to discovery is not easy.

There are missing diaries to contend with, boxes of memories to uncover and revelations that turn everything on its head. Revelations that make Netta question if her own life really is sorted.

Delving deeper into Edith’s history, Netta is overtaken by a need to revisit her own past and put things right, but to do that she has to find the two people who once meant everything to her.

As her two challenges intertwine, Netta realises that Edith had a purpose for her. One that she must fulfil

Bit by bit, the house yields a lifetime of secrets and the real Edith Pinsent begins to emerge.

But will it be the Edith everyone thought they knew?

Purchase Links
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B095PS1J46
US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B095PS1J46

Author Bio

Hazel Ward was born in inner city Birmingham. By the time the city council packed her family off to the suburbs, she was already something of a feral child who loved adventures. Swapping derelict houses and bomb pecks for green fields and gardens was a bit of a culture shock but she rose to the occasion and grew up loving outdoor spaces and animals.

Strangely, for someone who couldn’t sit still, she also developed a ferocious reading habit and a love of words. She wrote her first novel at fifteen, along with a lot of angsty poems, and was absolutely sure she wanted to be a writer. Sadly, it all came crashing down when her seventeen-year-old self walked out of school in a huff one day and was either too stubborn or too embarrassed to go back. It’s too long ago to remember which.

Against all odds, she somehow managed to blag her way into a successful corporate career until finally giving it all up to do the thing she’d always wanted to do. Shortly after, she began to write her debut novel Being Netta Wilde.

Hazel still lives in Birmingham and that’s where she does most of her writing, although she spends a lot of time in Shropshire or gadding about the country in an old motorhome. Not quite feral anymore but still up for adventures.

Social Media Links – For updates on Hazel’s books, freebies and various other bits of stuff you can join Hazel’s Reader’s
Club at:
https://hazelwardauthor.com/readers-club/
Or, you can follow her on all of the usual places:
https://www.facebook.com/hazelwardauthor
https://twitter.com/hazelward
https://www.instagram.com/hazel.ward

Book Review: Juno And The Lady by G.J. Kemp #junoandthelady @kemp_gj @RandomTTours

Synopsis

Juno’s beloved Petra is dead. Petra’s replacement, the mysterious Lady, has put Juno’s best friend Tilly under a dark spell that has left Juno with nobody she can trust.

Alone, scared, and without friends, Juno feels an unknown power growing inside her. A power she knows she will one day have to harness.

Juno and the Lady is a young woman’s journey into a land of the old ways, where men rule, and women are property.

With unlikely friendships, forbidden love and burning magic, can Juno change the conventions of old? Can she save the town? And will she figure out who the Lady truly is?

My Review

Our main character Juno lives in an orphanage. One day she saves a kitten and takes it back to her room. The kitten (who she names Chax) bites her and where she is bitten she notices a small flame shape appear. But that’s not the only strange thing to happen. Chax isn’t just a normal kitten as within a short time Chax starts to grow at an exponential rate. When the principal of the orphanage Miss Petra dies Juno is heartbroken but there is something about the new replacement Miss Lady that doesn’t sit right with Juno. There is something sinister about Miss Lady that only Juno can see and that doesn’t go unnoticed by Miss Lady. When her best friend Tilly falls under the spell of Miss Lady Juno escapes and finds herself hunted wherever she goes because Miss Lady quickly realises that Juno isn’t just an ordinary girl but holds great power. Can Juno escape the clutches of Miss Lady and save Tilly?

Wow this was a fast paced book from the beginning and this is one of the things I loved about the story. At times I felt like I was on the run with Juno. The storyline was unique and engaging. There was something about Miss Lady that definitely gave me Demon Headmaster vibes and I can see why Juno realised very quickly that something wasn’t right. I loved Juno as a character. She was strong, independent and took every challenge she faced in her stride and head on. One of my favourite parts of the book was when Juno meets the Sewer Rats and is taken to the underground city. It very much reminded me of the resistance group from Demolition Man which is one of my favourite films.

This isn’t just a fantasy YA novel with a female protagonist. It was so much more. The story covers topics such as sexism as Juno lives in a world where women are second class citizens in a male dominated world. This is contrasted later on in the book when Miss Lady’s powers start controlling others and the only hope for this male dominated world is Juno, a female. Although the story is centred around a world where men rule it was interesting to see what happened when the women were bewitched by Miss Lady and rebelled. Although painted as the dominant species the men found themselves clearly lost without the females in their lives and in order to survive had to take orders from a woman. This is one book that amplifies girl/woman power, their role in society and their importance.

The story ended on a cliff hanger and I can already tell that the next instalment is going to be as action packed. I’m very much looking forward to reading the second book!

Author Bio

Finding the love for writing later in life, GJ spends most of his free time going for walks and dreaming of story ideas. He hopes to one day have a small place on the oceanfront where he can walk his dogs on the beach.
For more information please visit gjkemp.co.uk

Book Review: Her Legendary Highlander by Nicole Locke @NicoleLockeNews @rararesources

Synopsis

Her rugged prisoner
…becomes her fiercest protector

Capturing legendary Highlander Malcolm of Clan Colquhoun was Andreona’s last chance to win her tyrannical father’s respect. Instead he orders them both to be killed! Resigned to her devastating role as the family outcast, she and her prisoner escape and continue on his quest to return a treasured heirloom. They find solace in their unexpected passion, but haunted by a lifetime of betrayals, will either dare to hope it could last beyond their journey?

Purchase Links
https://www.millsandboon.co.uk/search?q=nicole+locke
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legendary-Highlander-Historical-Lovers-Legends-
ebook/dp/B096TC9VGK
https://www.amazon.com/Legendary-Highlander-Historical-Lovers-Legends-ebook/dp/B096TC9VGK
https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335407597_her-legendary-highlander.html

My Review

Andreona is the illegitimate daughter of the Ruler of Thieves. Having not been accepted by her father, Andreona and a group of other women and children who are also in a similar positon build a tower on the outskirts of the Ruler of Thieves lands. Andreona hopes to prove her worth to her father by catching enemies, spies or uninvited outsiders and presenting them to her father in the hopes that he will see her true worth and loyalty and accept her. When Andreona captures Malcolm her life takes an unexpected turn and truths are revealed that will change Andreona’s life forever.

This was bit of a slow read to begin with and then the pace did pick up quickly once Andreona and Malcolm meet and their adventure begins. I did like Andreona as a character. She was strong, fierce and independent. I did feel bad for Andreona especially when she realises the truth about why she is living in the tower and what her father really thinks about her. In her eyes she hopes to one day redeem herself and prove herself worth to be called his daughter, but her father has no intention of ever accepting his daughter. When this is revealed my heart truly broke for Andreona. From the description of Malcolm it is clear he is a strong and determined individual. Andreona and Malcolm are very similar in that they have both been hurt and betrayed by those that they consider family but the key difference between the two is that Malcolm still has a family that accepts him for who he is whilst Andreona doesn’t. One of the things I liked about the story was that Andreona and Malcolm don’t necessarily speak the same language but they still had the ability to communicate with each other and understand what the other one is thinking and feeling. I really enjoyed the storyline between Andreona and Malcolm especially the subplot of finding the jewel dagger and what it ultimately would mean for Malcolm and his family. This is one of the themes that’s been running throughout this series and in each novel the reader is given a little bit more about the background to the dagger.

A brilliant addition to the Lovers and Legends series.

Author Bio

Nicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother’s closet. Convinced hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly). If she isn’t working on the next book in her historical series, she can’t be found. No, seriously. Because she’s always working on the next story!

Social Media Links –
https://www.nicolelocke.com/press
https://www.nicolelocke.com/
https://www.instagram.com/nicolelockeauthor/
https://www.facebook.com/NicoleLockeAuthor/
https://twitter.com/NicoleLockeNews

Book Review: The Ends of the Earth by Abbie Greaves #TheEndsoftheEarth @AbbieGreaves1 @centurybooksuk @penguinrandom

Synopsis

Mary O’Connor has been keeping a vigil for her first love for the past seven years.

Every evening without fail, Mary arrives at Ealing Broadway station and sets herself up among the commuters. In her hands, Mary holds a sign which bears the words: ‘Come Home Jim.’

Call her mad, call her a nuisance, call her a drain on society – Mary isn’t going anywhere. That is, until an unexpected call turns her world on its head. In spite of all her efforts, Mary can no longer find the strength to hold herself together. She must finally face what happened all those years ago, and answer the question – where on earth is Jim?

The Ends of the Earth is at once a love story and a mystery, as well as a reflection on how to navigate a life in suspension. It is an incredibly timely novel which raises universal themes around mental health, relationships and the importance of community.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ENjXBp

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/3mSoQ6e

My Review

When Mary and Jim met something clicked and it was like they were meant to be together forever. Fast forward and it’s been 7 years since Jim left Mary without a word, a note or a trace. He quite literally fell off the face of the planet. But Mary has never given up hope that one day he’ll come home to her. This isn’t just a passing thought, this is Mary’s belief. So every day without fail she goes to Ealing Station after work and waits there with a sign saying ‘COME HOME JIM’. When an incident at the station makes Mary a viral sensation on social media, reporter Alice takes a keen interest in her story hoping that if she finds out what happened to Jim it will save her job. What did happen to Jim? Will Alice uncover the truth? That is all I’ll say to avoid spoilers.

There was something about the blurb of this book that made me want to read it. It was intriguing and mysterious all at the same time. It made me want to learn more about Mary and Jim’s story. The format of the story is told from a dual time perspective. The reader is given an insight into the past, how Mary and Jim met, their relationship and what led up to Jim’s disappearance. In the present Mary continues to hope that Jim will return and Alice tries to find out what happened to Jim. Mary is a very resilient and determined character. She never gives up that Jim will come home. At times I truly felt for Mary. She has been through so much and for the love of her life to disappear and her not know why or what caused him to make that decision brings her life to a standstill. It makes the reader think what would they do in that situation. The Mary in the past is hopeful of the future but the Mary in the present is existing rather than living and a shell of her former self. It’s like Jim’s disappearance has consumed her and her devotion to him is the only thing keeping her going. One of the things I found fascinating about Mary was the fabric maps she created.

There was a plot twist towards the end which I was not expecting and was a complete surprise. That twist did change my thoughts about the characters and the storyline. It made me look at what I had read with new and fresh eyes. It made me love the book all the more. The ending was quite poignant and thought provoking and I wouldn’t have changed anything about it.

A book I would highly recommend.

Author Bio

ABBIE GREAVES studied at Cambridge University before working in a literary agency for a number of years. She was inspired to write her first novel, The Silent Treatment, after reading a newspaper article about a boy in Japan who had never seen his parents speak to one another before. Abbie lives in Brighton. @AbbieGreaves1 IG @abbiegreavesauthor www.abbiegreaves.com

Book Review: King Of Battle And Blood By Scarlett St Clair #KINGOFBATTLEANDBLOOD #KBB @ScarlettStClai1 @BlackCrow_PR @RandomTTours @Read_Bloom

Synopsis

Their union is his revenge.

Isolde de Lara considers her wedding day to be her death day. To end a years-long war, she is to marry vampire king Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, and kill him.

But her assassination attempt is thwarted, and Adrian threatens that if Isolde tries kill him again, he will raise her as the undead. Faced with the possibility of becoming the thing she hates most, Isolde seeks other ways to defy him and survive the brutal vampire court.

Except it isn’t the court she fears most–it’s Adrian. Despite their undeniable chemistry, she wonders why the king–fierce, savage, merciless–chose her as consort.

The answer will shatter her world.

My Review

Adrian, the Blood King and King of the Vampires has one goal: to capture the The Nine Houses of Cordova which will make him the ruler of Cordova. One by one he starts to capture each of The Nine Houses until he comes to the House of Lara which is ruled by Princess Isolde’s father, King Henri. When Adrian is invited to Castle Fiora he offers a proposal to King Henri, in exchange for marrying Isolde he will not declare war on Lara. In order to protect her father, her country and her people Isolde agrees to marry Adrian. On their wedding night Isolde attempts to kill Adrian without success and Adrian warns her that should she try to kill him again he will turn her into one of the undead. Will Isolde succeed in her plan to free herself from Adrian? What is it that pulls her to Adrian? Once the truth is revealed how will she feel about him? Will Isolde be accepted by the people of Revekka, Adrian’s empire as their Queen?

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and I honestly could not wait until I got my hands on this book. When I received the invitation to be on the blog tour I was absolutely ecstatic as I am a really big fan of the author and after reading this book I can’t wait to re-read the author’s other books. I read this book within 24 hours because it was just compulsive reading and I couldn’t put it down. The storyline was brilliant and had everything I wanted and more. It was dark, spicy, high epic fantasy, had both a political and romantic aspect all rolled together with the arranged marriage trope. The storyline was full of magic, vampires, deadly creatures and witches. As a character I loved Isolde. She is strong, independent, speaks her mind, makes sure her will is known, will not listen to Adrian and will defy him at every step just to show her power. At the same time she shows the same qualities as a political leader and Queen always putting the needs of her people before herself whether that is in Lara or Revekka. As a Queen she can be both soft and sharp at the same time. Adrian is the perfect Blood King/Vampire King. Everything about him oozes presence, charisma, hotness, darkness, deadliness but try as you might you just can’t stay away from him. It was good to see the characters develop as the story progressed and we quickly see Adrian soften toward Isolde and vice versa. As their history unfolds its clear why they are drawn towards each other. There’s nothing I would change about this book and as it finished on a cliff hanger I eagerly anticipate the next book.

A dark fantasy, with a fantastic storyline and amazing characters!

Author Bio

Scarlett St Clair is the author of the Hades x Persephone saga, the Hades saga, King of Battle and Blood, and When Stars Come Out. A former librarian, she also has a master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and a Bachelors in English Writing. She is obsessed with Greek Mythology, murder mysteries, and the afterlife. You can find pictures of her adorable dog Adelaide on her Instagram (@authorscarlettstclair) and updates about her books at http://www.authorscarlettstclair.

Book Review: You’ll Be The Death Of Me by Karen M. McManus #YoullBeTheDeathOfMe #TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour @writerkmc @The_WriteReads @WriteReadsTours @penguinplatform

Synopsis

From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand new addictive thriller.

Ivy, Mateo and Cal used to be close – best friends back in middle school.

Now all they have in common is a bad day. So for old time’s sake they skip school together – one last time.

But when the trio spot Brian ‘Boney’ Mahoney ditching class too, they follow him – right into a murder scene.

When their day of freedom turns deadly, it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out . . .

It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder, perfect for fans of One Of Us Is Lying and A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder. This explosive new thriller is impossible to put down.

My Review

Ivy, Mateo and Cal are all students at Carlton High. They were once close friends after skipping school together which they dubbed ‘the Greatest Day Ever’. They then drifted apart and became strangers. When they bump into each other they decide to skip school again. However, if they think they will be able to recreate another ‘Greatest Day Ever’ they are wrong when they stumble across a body and a murder scene. This is one day that the trio will never forget. Will they discover the motive behind the murder? When personal secrets are revealed how will this affect the group dynamic?

I am a big fan of Karen M. McManus and I have been ever since I read One of us is Lying so I was eagerly awaiting publication of this book. The author truly is the Queen of teen crime. This book was just brilliant and definitely kept me guessing throughout. I was on the edge of my seat whilst reading and the twist at the end I didn’t see coming. As with all of the author’s other books, this story was well structured and engrossing. The book was fast paced especially when the trio find themselves on the run and trying to solve a murder at the same time. There were many layers to the story. It starts with a group of teenagers skipping school, discovering a dead body and then a wider conspiracy unfolds which added more characters and depth to the story.

The characters felt believable, real and were all from different backgrounds. They were a real mix. Ivy comes from a privileged background and from a household of over achievers. Mateo studies as well as working multiple jobs to support his cousin Autumn and his mother who suffers from osteoarthritis. As for Cal he creates web comics including one based on the ‘Greatest Day’ and appeared the most insecure in the group. The chapters switched between Ivy, Mateo and Cal and gave the reader an insight into their background and also the secrets they kept and why. As for Crave Doughnuts it sounded absolutely fascinating.

There is a passage in the book just before the end that mentioned the calm before the storm and when I got to the last chapter I realised what that meant. This book had a jaw dropping ending that was unexpected.

Highly recommended to fans of the author both new and old.

Author Bio

Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of young adult thriller/mystery novels, including One of Us Is Lying, One of Us Is Next, Two Can Keep a Secret, and The Cousins. You’ll Be the Death of Me will be her next novel, publishing December 2021. Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels. For more information, visit http://www.karenmcmanus.com or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.