Love Heart Lane ( #LoveHeartLane Series Book 1 ) by @ChristieJBarlow #TuesdayBookBlog Contemporary Romance @rararesources #NetGalley

Im delighted to be joining the blog tour for Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow, courtesy of Rachels Random Resources.

About the Book

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A Keeper by Graham Norton ~ Contemporary/Historical Fiction & Family Drama set in Ireland @grahnort #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Graham Norton

Narrated by Graham Norton

Released: October 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton

Category: Fiction, Contemporary, Historical, Family Drama, Book Review

The mystery of Elizabeth Keane’s father is one that has never been solved by the people of Buncarragh – not for lack of speculation.

Now, as Elizabeth returns to the village after her mother’s funeral, bringing with her own regrets and wounds, she finds a thin pile of ribbon-bound letters at the back of a wardrobe that may at last hold the key to her past.

It was the first week in January and Elizabeth Keane had flown from New York to Buncarragh after the death of her mother. Someone had to put her affairs in order and, while Elizabeth didn’t have particularly fond memories of Buncarragh, she felt guilty knowing she’d been all her mother had.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Once Upon A Time In The City Of Criminals by @GreenWizard62 #CrimeFiction #Mystery

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.

This week I’m revisiting Once Upon A Time In the City Of Criminals by multi genre writer and novelist Mark Barry. I’ve read several of Mark’s books and enjoyed them all.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Thicker Than Water (The Grayson Trilogy) by @GeorgiaRoseBook #RomanticFiction Drama #Suspense

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.

Thicker Than Water is the third book of the trilogy and was published in 2015. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of contemporary drama and suspense with romance (and animals) 

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ The House of York by Terry Tyler ~ A Contemporary Dark Family Drama @TerryTyler4

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.

My pick for this week is The House of York, a contemporary dark drama loosely based on events during The Wars of the Roses.

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The Chess Men (Lewis Trilogy #3) by @authorpetermay #AudioBookReview #FridayReads

Author: Peter May

Performed by Peter Forbes

Category: Crime, Drama, Murder, Mystery, AudioBook, Book Review

Released on Audible 2013, Published by Quercus Publishing PLC

Fin Macleod, now head of security on a privately owned Lewis estate, is charged with investigating a spate of illegal game-hunting taking place on the island. This mission reunites him with Whistler Macaskill—a local poacher, Fin’s teenage intimate, and possessor of a long-buried secret. But when this reunion takes a violent, sinister turn, Fin realizes that revealing the truth could destroy the future.

In another life Fin Macleod was a Detective Inspector in Edinburgh. That life is behind him now as he returns permanently to his roots on The Isle of Lewis and his first girlfriend, Marsaili, who is also the mother of his son.

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The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy #2) by @authorpetermay #TuesdayBookBlog ~ Mystery in the Outer Hebrides @QuercusBooks

Author: Peter May

Performed by Peter Forbes

Released on Audible 2012 by Quercus Publishing

Category: Crime, Mystery, Murder, Drama, Audiobook, Book Review

A body is recovered from a peat bog on the Isle of Lewis. The male Caucasian corpse is initially believed by its finders to be over 2000 years old, until they spot the Elvis tattoo on his right arm. The body, it transpires, is not evidence of an ancient ritual killing, but of a murder committed during the latter half of the 20th century.

On the Isle of Lewis peat cutting is considered a social activity, with families, friends and neighbours all joining in and working together. Trenches are dug and the peat cut and stacked as it has been for centuries. Only this time the peat cutters uncover more than they bargained for when an almost perfectly preserved body is discovered. Initially the police surgeon thinks the body could have been there for hundreds of years, it was only when a tattoo becomes visible they realise the young man had been murdered much more recently.

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The Blackhouse (Lewis Trilogy #1) by Peter May ~ Murder/Mystery on the Isle of Lewis @authorpetermay #BookReview

Author: Peter May

Performed by Peter Forbes

Released on Audible: February 2018 by riverrun

Category: Murder, Mystery, Crime, Drama, Book Review

When a brutal murder on the Isle of Lewis bears the hallmarks of a similar slaying in Edinburgh, police detective Fin Macleod is dispatched north to investigate. But since he himself was raised on Lewis, the investigation also represents a journey home and into his past.

Set on the Isle of Lewis, the largest island in the Outer Hebridean archipelago off the north-western tip of Scotland, a remote and harsh world where the ancient traditions and way of life are still followed. Fin Macleod, a native Lewis man, now a detective living in Edinburgh, is sent back to the island when a murder is discovered in his own village of Crobost, with distinct similarities to the case he’s working on. The victim is Angel Macritchie, the bully from his schooldays.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Losing It All by Marsha Cornelius #Drama @marshacornelius

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

Losing It All was published in 2013 and was a five star read for me. Set in the 1980s, it’s gritty and realistic with great characters. I didn’t know what to expect when I began but was soon immersed in the story.

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A Shiny Coin for Carol Prentice by Mark Barry @GreenWizard62 #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT #Drama

  • Author: Mark Barry
  • Published: March 2017 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Contemporary, Fiction, Drama, Crime, Book Review, Reading

“I swore that I would never go home, 

but in the end, I had no choice. 

I had to confront what happened. 

And them too. 

It was going be icky. And totally scary.”

When Carol Prentice left her home town of Wheatley Fields for Manchester University she had no plans to return. Her father’s death precipitates a change in her and the subsequent return to Wheatley Fields, along with the resolve to address those intimated demons which have blighted her life and made her believe herself to be less than. She had A Plan. Continue reading

Secrets of the Heart (Heartfelt Series #3) by Adrienne Vaughan @adrienneauthor #SundayBlogShare

  • Author: Adrienne Vaughan
  • Published: November 2014 by New Romantics Press
  • Category: Romance, Drama, Review

Finally free to be together on the remote Irish isle of Innishmahon, campaigning journalist Marianne Coltrane and her movie star partner, Ryan O’Gorman are looking forward to life away from the bright lights of Hollywood and the constant pursuit of the paparazzi.

Secrets of the Heart is the final instalment of the Heartfelt series. Marianne Coltrane’s birth parents, reunited after years apart, have finally tied the knot and she couldn’t be happier. The fabulously flamboyant Kathleen MacReady and Brian Maguire are in Dublin on honeymoon after a lovely wedding day. Continue reading

Strawberry Sky (Midnight Sky #3) by @JanRuthAuthor Contemporary #Drama #TuesdayBookBlog

  • Author: Jan Ruth
  • Published: April 2017 by Celtic Connections
  • Category: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction

A rosy future seems certain but Laura has some tough decisions to make.

Maggie is devastated by her daughter’s plans, but Jess is determined to remove the past from her life no matter the upset it will cause. James is no longer running from his past, but a multitude of unresolved issues are set to catch up with Laura.

Although the Carneddau ponies have shared ancestry with the Welsh Section A pony, they exhibit genetic signatures demonstrating that the population has been isolated for at least several hundred years…

The third in the Midnight Sky trilogy, Strawberry Sky continues James and Laura’s story. Despite the terrible life changing accident James suffered several months previously, things are at last looking up for the two of them, despite Laura’s overwhelming desire to be a mother. Work is progressing on the house and the business is expanding, with the addition of a  young, orphaned Carneddau strawberry roan and a newcomer to the team with whom Laura develops an affinity. Continue reading

An Acre of Fools by Aden James ~ #FridayReads @Acre_of_Fools #Contemporary #DrugAddiction @Audiobook

  • Author: Aden James
  • Performed by MacLeod Andrews
  • Released: February 2017 by Elevate Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary, Drama, Saga

The Stewart family finds its heart and soul in a broken-down vacation home amid the Southern Atlantic lowlands. As they welcome their second daughter, Austin, into the world, they soon discover a rare cancer that will riddle her little body for more than a decade, the battle against which becomes a defining component of their family.

An Acre of Fools is Aden James’ powerful and haunting portrayal of a father’s unwavering love and hope in the face of his daughter’s descent into drug addition – until it becomes too much to bear, causing him to renounce everything he thought he believed in. A character driven story which unfolds with much drama and unpredictability as the wedge between family members is driven ever deeper. Continue reading

A Change of Heart (The Heartfelt Series #2) by Adrienne Vaughan @adrienneauthor #Drama #Romance #BookReview

  • 16301209Author: Adrienne Vaughan
  • Published: November 2013 by New Romantics Press
  • Category: Contemporary, Drama, Romance
  • five-stars

Escaping to a remote Irish isle, journalist Marianne Coltrane had not bargained for a tumultuous affair with movie star Ryan O’Gorman.

When Ryan leaves to pursue his career, Marianne remains to care for those who need her most, but Ryan soon realises he cannot live without her and returns to woo her back.

Following on from events in The Hollow Heart, Ryan O’Gorman returns to the beautiful island of Innishmahon with his baby son, Joey, much to the shock and amazement of Marianne Coltrane. Their relationship hasn’t been without its ups and downs but Ryan is determined this time he’s back for good. Unfortunately it’s not so simple. Ryan’s movie contract is for three pictures, he’s only made one. He brings more turmoil in his wake in the form of his troubled and trouble making ex-wife, Angelique de Marcos. It seems the peaceful, settled life he and Marianne are looking forward to is not going to materialise any time soon.  Continue reading

What I Did Not Say by B.A. Spicer #Drama @BevSpicer1 #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

  • 28455186Author: B.A. Spicer
  • Published: August 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Drama, Contemporary Fiction
  • four-half-stars

Jessica Morley is on her way to meet with a man she hasn’t seen for fifteen years. In her bag there is a package she must deliver. As she travels south, she remembers Jack Banford, a boy who captured her imagination as a child and made her believe in a future that could never happen. Now it is time for her to set the record straight and finally put the past behind her. ‘What I Did Not Say’ is a story of loyalty, cruelty and love at all costs.

Divided into three parts, What I Did Not Say is a complex, dramatic story of emotional turmoil and friendships told from the perspectives of several characters, so each interpretation and understanding of events differs according to personal viewpoints. Part one is the longest section beginning with Jess looking back on her close friendship with Jack Banford and giving an indication of some serious happening in the past.  Continue reading

The Hollow Heart (The Heartfelt Series #1) by Adrienne Vaughan @adrienneauthor #Drama #Romance

  • 16301205Author: Adrienne Vaughan
  • Published: October 2012 by Adrienne Vaughn
  • Category: Romance, Drama, Contemporary
  • four-half-stars

Marianne Coltrane is a feisty, award-winning journalist who is far from lucky in love. Taking herself off to the wilds of the west of Ireland to recuperate, she literally runs into Ryan O’Gorman, the most conceited, infuriating man in the world. 

We first meet Marianne Coltrane, investigative journalist for the Chesterfield Chronicle, as she confronts Sister Mary May about the illegal sale and adoption of children from the women’s refuge she runs. Marianne’s work and resulting article earns her a nomination for Journalist of the Year. Continue reading

The Devil You Know by @TerryTyler4 #psychological #drama ~ a serial killer is on the loose #SundayBlogShare

  • 61u3megpz6lAuthor: Terry Tyler
  • Kindle edition
  • Category: Psychological Drama, Suspense
  • five-stars

Every serial killer is someone’s friend, spouse, lover or child….

Young women are being murdered in the Lincolnshire town of Lyndford, where five people fear someone close to them might be the monster the police are searching for.

One of them is right.

Dora had been promised a job in England but her brother knew better. He pleaded with Dora not to trust the man who made the promises but she laughed off his concerns, believing she was in control of the situation and not in any danger. Dora found out to her cost her brother had been right. She paid the ultimate price for her naiveté. Continue reading

#FridayBookShare ~ The Devil You Know by @TerryTyler4 #psychological #drama @ShelleyWilson72

#FridayBookShare ~ an excellent idea created by Shelley Wilson

With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share meme to help search for that ideal read.

FridayBookShare

Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading (or listening to, in my case) or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)  Continue reading

The Cold Cold Sea by @LindaHuber19 ~ How far would you go for the sake of family? #Drama #bookreview

  • ColdColdSeaAuthor: Linda Huber
  • Published: August 2014 by Legend Press
  • Category: Drama, Suspense, Thriller
  • five-stars

A powerful suspense thriller inspired by the author’s work with neurological patients.

Maggie and Colin Grainger along with their two children, Olivia and Joe, are spending time at their holiday cottage on the Cornish coast. They’ve been having a wonderful time until, during a day spent at the beach, three-year old Olivia disappears. Her parents are devastated and as the weeks pass and the police and coastguard searches find nothing, hope diminishes. Maggie is distraught and everyone tells her she must try to accept that Olivia was taken by the sea, yet she refuses to leave the cottage and spends her days on the beach, desperate to have her daughter returned to her one way or another. Continue reading

#FridayBookShare ~ The Cold Cold Sea by Linda Huber @LindaHuber19 #Drama #FridayReads @ShelleyWilson72

#FridayBookShare ~ an excellent idea created by Shelley Wilson

With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share game to help search for that ideal read.

FridayBookShare Continue reading

#Q&A with Ben Burgess Jr #Author of Love and Happiness

In your own words, please tell us about Love and Happiness

Love and Happiness by Ben Burgess Jr Book Cover PhotoLove and Happiness is a romance story that makes you think. It’s told from both Karen and Chris’s perspectives so you can see where both of their heads are at. 

Karen is cheating on her husband Chris, with not one man, but two. On the outside, her life seems perfect, but on the inside, Karen feels neglected. Out of fear of losing Chris and breaking up her family, Karen ends the affairs but when Karen’s dirty secrets are revealed, Karen must decide if she should sacrifice her happiness for her husband’s love, and Chris wonders if he should stay with Karen because he still loves her despite her infidelity.

Where do your story ideas come from?

My first novel “Monster” was based on my personal life and experiences. My second novel “Wounded” came about while I was actually working on “Love and Happiness.” “Ken” from “Monster” makes a cameo appearance in “Love and Happiness.” I didn’t want fans to think I was a one trick pony or feel that my book was derivative so I was stuck with how I would write it.

My co-workers (Who happened to be lesbians) asked me to write a book with a Lesbian protagonist. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be possible since I wasn’t a woman, and I knew nothing about being Gay or the LGBT community. My co-workers decided to take me to a Lesbian bar. (They took me to the Cubbyhole, which is the first bar I mentioned in Wounded.) After going there with them and talking to the women, I decided to work on the book. To make the book feel as authentic as possible, I did a lot of research. I interviewed fifteen women and five couples, to hear their thoughts, feelings, and philosophies about being a Lesbian, and life. I also used one of my family members as a basis for my character development, so I felt personally invested in creating “Samantha.” For my latest novel “Love and Happiness,” I used real life relationships as my inspiration. I talked to several married and divorced couples. I asked them what they enjoyed and hated with marriage. I wanted to know what they wish they could change or what they regretted not doing. With all of my novels, my goal is to make people think. I want to help people see things from different perspectives to help the world to be more open minded. Continue reading

Palomino Sky (Midnight Sky Series: 2) @JanRuthAuthor #RBRT #Contemporary Family #Drama

  • Palomino Sky Cover LARGE EBOOKAuthor: Jan Ruth
  • January 2016 by Celtic Connections
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction, Drama
  • five-stars

A golden promise for the future in a lonely palomino mare, but life deals a cruel hand for James and Laura.
James is still running from the past after the loss of his wife, and a devastating accident forces him to face his final demons, but at what cost? Laura is forced deeper into his rural world – a life she once despised – but discovers empathy and hope in the palomino mare she calls Song.
Repercussions abound for Maggie too, when the full extent of her daughter’s dangerous liaison comes to light, leaving the entire family in turmoil. Will James and Laura ever find a golden future, or has life dealt too vicious a blow?

Palomino Sky is the sequel to the wonderful Midnight Sky, where we first meet Laura and James and their siblings, and are drawn into their complicated family lives. James and Laura, both recovering from momentous and traumatic life events, are finding solace in each other, although they are not helped by Laura’s wilful and temperamental teenage niece causing no end of trouble.  Continue reading

Once Upon A Time In The City Of Criminals

  • cRIMINALS E-coverAuthor: Mark Barry
  • Published: April 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Contemporary Drama
  • five-stars

Terry Valentine, ex-football hooligan and aging, small-time hood spends his nights driving beautiful young escort, Chloe, to her appointments in the urban inferno of the big city and the opulent manor houses of the countryside. Despite himself, knowing full well the madness, he falls in love with her. Hard. And so does Hope Calder, impossibly rich COE of Calder Phoenix, a multi-national financial conglomerate. Someone who has everything a woman could possibly want. Money, status power. Everything except love. When Chloe declines her advances, her driver knows that a simple polite refusal isn’t going to be enough. With her boss, the cunning Neville, manipulating the situation to his own ends, and Hope’s small army of corporate shills lurking in the shadows, Chloe finds herself in mortal danger. And only one man can protect her. Terry Valentine. Loser. Jailbird. Junkie.

Terry Valentine, a middle-aged ex con with an unsavoury past, and a less than wholesome present, is reduced to debt collection and working for dodgy businessmen. It’s all just a job to Terry, he thinks nothing of threatening people and carrying out those threats if he has a need to. Up to now his life has been a long list of lost opportunities and chances not taken, there’s nothing left for him. Continue reading

The American Policeman

After everything, there is peace. The Collective took London away from the gangs that terrorised the city after the plague and the slow terror of the Breakdown. The blood on the streets has dried. There is food, water and good housing. Everyone has work. But the meek have not inherited the earth. On a bitterly cold night a woman is brutalised and murdered, shattering the fragile calm of the city. The investigation of London’s first murder in two years falls to Inspector Timothy Conlan and the District team of the New Metropolitan Police. Tim ‘Con’ Conlan serenely navigates the harsh new London. He is dedicated, conscientious and smiling. Around him society is broken. People are traumatised, fearful and wracked with guilt.

Set in London a few years after the pandemic which swept the globe (The Turning of the World) District Inspector Timothy Conlan, or Con as he prefers, is woken with the news that a body has been found. He is part of the District team of the New Metropolitan Police formed in the aftermath, along with a new government widely known as the Collective. In post apocalyptic London, and the south of the country, things have been running pretty smoothly since the Restoration, houses and areas of the devastated city have been made habitable and are under the Collective’s protection. The lawlessness and gang culture prevalent during the fallout has been contained, or so they thought.  Continue reading

Changing Patterns

  • ChangingPatternsAuthor: Judith Barrow
  • Published: May 2013 by Honno Press
  • Category: Historical Fiction
  • five-stars

In May 1950, Britain is struggling with the hardships of rationing and the aftermath of the Second World War. Peter Schormann, a German ex-prisoner of war, has left his home country to be with Mary Howarth, matron of a small hospital in Wales. The two met when Mary was a nurse at the POW camp hospital. They intend to marry, but the memory of Frank Shuttleworth, an ex-boyfriend of Mary’s, continues to haunt them and there are many obstacles in the way of their happiness, not the least of which is Mary’s troubled family. When tragedy strikes, Mary hopes it will unite her siblings, but it is only when a child disappears that the whole family pulls together to save one of their own from a common enemy.

Changing Patterns continues the story of Mary Howarth and her family in the post WWII years. At the close of Pattern of Shadows, Mary, her brother Tom and their mother had moved from Ashford in the North of England, to Wales. Mary believed her ill-fated liaison with the German doctor and POW Peter Schormann was over until he turned up on her doorstep five years later. The war may be over but prejudice and danger still linger on, even in a small Welsh village. Continue reading

Thicker Than Water ~ The Grayson Trilogy

  • ThickerThanWaterAuthor: Georgia Rose
  • Published: September 2015 by Three Shires Publishing
  • Category: Romantic Suspense, Drama
  • five-stars

‘Vaguely aware of the tremor in my hand I ran my fingers up through the thick locks of his dark hair. Fear clutched at my heart as I sensed the icy tendrils of grief reaching for me once more.’
As the overseas action steps up a gear for Trent, Emma has her own challenges to face. Loyalties are tested and vengeance sought when she attracts interest from an unwelcome source. 
Because someone is coming. Someone who has Emma in their sights.
Someone who will turn her life upside down… forever.

Emma Grayson has come on in leaps and bounds since we were first introduced to her in A Single Step, book 1 of the Grayson Trilogy, as a damaged woman who suffered significant personal losses, the death of her child and the resulting breakdown of her marriage. From the beginning tantalising questions have been dropped into the narrative. For instance, who anonymously delivered the advert for the position at Melton Manor estate to Emma? As turned out, it was the perfect job for her and relocation was exactly what she needed for a fresh start. Emma has reserves of strength which even she doesn’t yet realise. Continue reading

My Grandfather’s Eyes

  • MyGrandfathersEyesAuthor: B A Spicer
  • Published: November 2013 by B A Spicer
  • Category: Psychological, Drama
  • four-half-stars

Alex Crane is a protagonist with a difference. Single-minded and, at times, glacial she is intelligent and independent. Her story begins in the past, unfolding into a multilayered plot that weaves its way through a family history peppered with secrets, towards a devastating conclusion. 

Alex’s story is told, in the first person and present tense and draws the reader into her world of extremely well drawn and distinct, albeit not always likeable, characters that surround her. The narrative begins with the death of Alex’s grandfather, his funeral and the first signs that maybe something about this family is slightly skewed. The heated words Alex overhears exchanged between her mother and father later that night unnerve her although she’s not sure why. 

Or perhaps, even before that, my grandfather’s accident had unbalanced me. I felt the loss of him, certainly. He was gone and there was no one to replace him.

And then, back to the present where Alex’s husband, Richard, is in hospital in a critical condition as Alex waits for news. Thereafter the timeline alternates between past and present giving an insight into Alex’s sometimes irrational thoughts and feelings, or rather the lack of them, since she was a young child. 

Alex’s physical appearance, and how it affects herself and others, may have sown the seeds for her heartless, and sometimes callous, behaviour but whatever the reason there are only two people she loves; her grandfather and her best friend since childhood, Lizzy. She selfishly manipulates situations and people, without conscience, to achieve her own desires regardless of any negative effects.

Some things are difficult to remember. Others stay sharp. The trip to London is as clear to me now as it was on that bright November day when, had I understood, I might have had the chance to change the future.

From the beginning of the story it’s apparent Alex has done something appalling but as the story progresses her cold and calculating nature becomes more and more obvious. It’s as though sentiments skim the surface, she does what is expected, and not much actually touches her. She’s always distant and detached and marries Richard with that same mindset, although he loves her deeply. Only her very strong feelings for Lizzy and her grandfather break through the barriers.

It’s an extraordinary novel, given the content, the original take on the main protagonist and making her mostly unlikable and difficult to warm to, as well as the excellent writing leading into ever more complex and multi layered plot lines. The family skeletons are revealed in such a way as to make reading compulsory with the need to know. And, although initially I felt some measure of sympathy for the young Alex, I couldn’t really maintain it. The characters are very well-developed and intertwined in an intensely powerful and dark psychological drama.

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

 Rosie Amber’s book review team

About the author

BevSpicerBev Spicer has a degree in English and French Literature (Keele University) and a PGCE in English methods (Queens’ College, Cambridge).

She has lived in Bridgnorth, Cambridge, Rethymnon (Crete), Mahe (Seychelles), and now lives in Charente Maritime. The next place she wants to explore is probably Spain. Her husband is very tolerant.

She has been a teacher, blackjack dealer for Playboy, examiner, secretary (various sorts – most boringly ‘legal’) and Sunday checkout girl at Tescos.

She loves people, reading, writing, speaking French, astronomy (quantum theory addict), gardening, travelling, and hates housework, cooking, drizzle and honey.

Please take a look at my other books (My Grandfather’s Eyes and Angels) both on Amazon and published under the name B A Spicer.

Author links ~  website, Facebook and Twitter

Shame ~ The Story of Jonathan St Andrews: A La Famille Lagniappe

I was given an ARC by the author in return for an honest review.

Jonathan St. Andrews has spent seventeen years content to live in his quiet, secluded world. Popularity never more than a passing thought, friendships would inevitably lead to disappointment when others realized he was every bit as awkward on the inside as he seemed on the outside. With high school graduation right around the corner, Jon sets his sights on a career in medicine, spending his evenings at his father’s side learning the family business.

As part of the House of Crimson and Clover series, this is the back story of Jonathan St Andrews and helps us understand how and why Jon developed into the dark character we meet in The Storm and The Darkness. This can be read as a stand alone short story but if you enjoy family sagas with a difference, I highly recommend The House Of Crimson and Clover series.

Jon St Andrews is the antithesis of his younger brother, Finn. Jon, reserved and unpopular, with an inability to relate to people in general. Finn, easygoing, friendly and cheerful. At seventeen Jon also has a complicated relationship with his father, who assumes Jon will follow in his footsteps and become a doctor. Jon is torn, wanting to please his father but terrified of the close contact with people being a doctor would entail. 

For Jon, it was his inability to connect with other individuals. Or, as his father put it, Jon’s unwillingness to learn how to deal with people.

When Jon and Carla Edgewater, who he has known all his life but has always ignored him, form the unlikeliest of friendships it opens up a part of Jon that has always been suppressed. As their relationship develops the threat from Carla’s jealous and controlling boyfriend escalates and spirals towards an outcome none of them could ever have predicted.

Somber and compelling, this story highlights how Jon’s life was changed forever and why he evolved into the man he eventually became. But it does allow some empathy and compassion for Jon, the man. It’s a shocking tale of malicious intent causing untold and irreversible harm which has a knock on effect through the years.

Please click on the cover for Amazon UK, for Amazon US click here.

Sarah can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, her blog and Goodreads

Before The Dawn ~ The Grayson Trilogy #2

  • BeforeTheDawnAuthor: Georgia Rose
  • Published: September 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Romance
  • five-stars

…he moved closer and slowly ran the point of his blade along my jaw line as he spoke softly, intimately, to me. “So, you are Trent’s woman. Now that is very…appealing.” I glared back at him silently.

There’s a marked increase in the action and pacing in the second of The Grayson Trilogy and I was hooked into the story from the beginning. Emma Grayson has survived the traumas life hurled at her in A Single Step and has gained in confidence and strength.  She and Trent are learning to trust in each other as their relationship deepens although Trent, by Emma’s reckoning, is still overly protective and possessive. Her emotions are complicated but the dawning acceptance of her feelings is more apparent. 

To all outside appearances Melton Manor is an agricultural farm, but the people who live and work there are involved in supporting Cavendish and Trent in their undercover operations for MI6. When Cavendish is targeted after he and Trent help to break up a Russian criminal organisation everyone is put on high alert. Circumstances, however , are about to throw them and the residents of Melton Manor into a perilous situation. When danger materializes Emma, Grace and the children are caught in the cross fire and Emma needs all her resources to protect those she holds dear.

Trent looked around the room again before he went on. “This is only an initial briefing, and I’m going to hand back to Cavendish shortly, but before I do, I want to be very clear. This type of situation is the reason why we’ve all been brought together. This is what we’ve planned for, this is what we’ve trained for and it is our expectation that you will support us in the actions we’re gong to be taking.” 

The suspense and tension begin to build almost immediately with the impending threat, and increase as events unfold, escalating into a totally action packed sequence which paints vivid (and scary) images. Emma really shows what she’s made of and the huge leaps she’s made in personality and spirit. I love the way Emma and Trent’s characters are evolving, he trying to lessen his vigilance where Emma is concerned, while she is becoming less focused on being self-reliant and stubborn and is therefore able to accept more from Trent. She’s faced and come to terms with past losses which has made her stronger and able to commit to another relationship. 

There are hints that all wasn’t quite as straight forward as first supposed with Emma’s childhood and adoptive parents, and an intriguing part of the attack on the manor is left unanswered, to be resolved in the third instalment of the trilogy. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. 

Book links ~ Amazon UK AmazonUS