About That Night by Elaine Bedell #BlogTourReview

Sometimes it only takes one night to change everything … 

Elizabeth Place might have been jilted on her wedding day one year ago, but at least she’s still got her brilliant job producing one of the biggest shows on TV!

But when larger-than-life TV host, Ricky Clough, dies live on air, her life is sent spinning out of control.  And with foul play suspected, the spotlight is turned firmly on his colleagues – especially Hutch, the man desperate for Ricky’s job and whom Elizabeth is secretly dating.

As her world comes crashing down around her, Elizabeth realises that perhaps the only person she can really trust, is herself … 

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Firstly, let me just mention the cover – I love it.  There is no way I’d be able to walk past it in a shop without picking it up for a look.

About That Night is really well written and it’s quite hard to believe it’s a debut from the author.  It is utter brilliance.

The book itself only arrived on Wednesday so I didn’t have a huge amount of time to read it and lucky for me, it grabbed from the very beginning.  Let’s just say, it was a late night – but not through necessity.  I just couldn’t put it down.

As mentioned above in the blurb, Elizabeth’s colleague dies live on air and that, dear readers, is only the start of the drama.  It would seem that TV is only glamorous when you’re the one watching it!

I absolutely adored this book and I think the author’s experience working behind-the-scenes in TV really shows and adds so much to the story.  I truly cannot wait to see what Elaine Bedell brings to us next.

About the author

Elaine Bedell has been Controller of Entertainment at the BBC and Director of Entertainment & Comedy at ITV, commissioning and producing some of the UK’s most popular entertainment shows, including X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Take Me Out, Britain’s Got Talent, The One Show, Top Gear and Saturday Night Takeaway.  Before that, she was a Radio and TV Producer and won a BAFTA and a British Comedy Award.  She lives in Hackney and is married with two children.

She is currently Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre and the first female CEO in its 66-year history.  About That Night is her first novel.

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Thank you so much to HQ Stories for my copy of this book in return for an honest review.  

I really can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of About That Night.

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

I’ve said it before and here I am saying it again – I have no idea why I haven’t read these books before! Consider me a convert…

They call him the Duke of Ruin.
To an undaunted wallflower, he’s just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbour demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Rising to the challenge, Gabriel, who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse, is bewitched by the shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. But now she’s set her heart and mind on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.

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The main characters, Gabriel and Lady Penelope, are to die for – I loved their first meeting so much. It was funny yet cute and sexy all at the same time.

Their story is beautiful and requires a lot of discretion to make it work. She works on fixing him and he champions her wholeheartedly. How could they not fall in love with that being the case?

Thanks so much Netgalley and Mills & Boon UK for the advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.

You can get your hands on this book when it’s published on August 13, 2019.

How To Make Time for Me by Fiona Perrin #BlogTourExtract

Hello!  I don’t do extracts very often but I wanted you to get a real feel for this one.  I really think you’re going to love it.

About the book 

No-one said being a single mum would be easy…

Everyone knows that being a single mother means having no time to yourself. But for Callie Brown, its more exhausting than most. She’s juggling the needs of three teenage children, two live-in parents, a raffish ex-husband, and a dog who never stops eating.

The last thing Callie needs is anything more on her plate. So when she bumps (quite literally) into a handsome, age-appropriate cyclist, she’s quick to dismiss him from her life. After all, if she doesn’t have time to brush her hair in the morning, she certainly doesn’t have time to fall in love.

Funny, heart-warming and oh-so-true, this is a novel about motherhood, families, and life after divorce, perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Allison Pearson.

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I think I passed out again. When I opened my eyes, the cyclist was crouched down beside me. He was about my age, blondish hair poking from his helmet, from what I could see through my blur.
‘Curry,’ I said. ‘Lemongrass.’
‘Oh, hurrah, you’ve opened your eyes,’ he said. Relief lit up his face – it was a pleasant face, from where I was lying on the tarmac: blue eyes, skin pink from the exertion of cycling, even if he did seem a bit older than your usual food-delivery rider. Behind him was a giant billboard that greeted people coming out of the station: ‘Welcome to Seymour Hill’, the name of our market town thirty miles north of London. In front of that was a small circle of people peering down at me; someone was saying an ambulance was on its way.
‘Yes, I was delivering it to some people on…’ He looked around and I could see cartons of green food along with my pasta and, in my peripheral vision, a smashed bottle of carbonara sauce. ‘Seriously, I’m so sorry, but we’re going to get you help now. It’s all my fault, I just didn’t see you.’ His eyes were still desperate, a couple of feet from my face.
Ha, ha, I’m the Invisible Woman. This made me laugh again – a mad sort of cackle that didn’t sound as if it was coming from me at all. You’ve had a bang on the head. You’re deranged.
The cyclist shook his head and smiled back uncertainly. ‘I’m so glad you’re OK. Are you, do you think? I can’t move you until I know nothing’s broken.’ His voice was low and the sort that people described as English, when they meant no discernible regional accent.
I couldn’t feel any searing pain from my body and there was no tunnel full of angels waiting to greet me, even if I had turned into a nutty old fruit loop. ‘I think I’m fine,’ I managed, but everything was a bit dreamy, as if it were happening to someone else. ‘What about the people waiting for their curry?’
He laughed and put his black-gloved hand on my shoulder. ‘The ambulance is on its way,’ he said. ‘Do you want to sit up?’
‘Poor love, are you OK?’ A woman with a large Russian-style fake fur hat on crouched down beside him.
‘He just didn’t see me,’ I told her, and she looked at me quizzically. ‘He just didn’t see me. I’m the Invisible Woman.’ For some reason, I thought I was hilarious and was laughing again.
‘I came round the corner but I didn’t see anyone on the crossing…’ the cyclist started.
I was wearing a coat with a large deep pink band at the bottom of its flared black skirt. I have a full head of brown hair. I’m no short-arse either at 5’6”. And while I’m not overweight, I’m no stick insect. That was what I was thinking rationally.
Unfortunately, it’s not what I was saying.
As they helped me sit up on the cold floor, I could hear myself repeating over and over again: ‘the Invisible Woman, the Invisible Woman’ and I was laughing like a drain.
Then there was the pah-pah of an ambulance arriving.

About the author 

Fiona Perrin was a journalist and copywriter before building a career as a sales and marketing director in industry. Having always written, she completed the Curtis Brown Creative Writing course before writing The Story After Us. Fiona grew up in Cornwall, hung out for a long time in London and then Hertfordshire, and now writes as often as possible from her study overlooking the sea at the end of The Lizard peninsula.

Follow Fiona:

Twitter: @fionaperrin
Facebook: @fionajperrinauthor

Pre-order links:

Amazon
Google Play
Kobo
iBooks

Follow Aria:

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

 

Thanks so very much to Aria Fiction for the invitation to join this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book.

Razia by Abda Khan #BlogTour

A fast-paced thriller that exposes the truth behind Britain’s darkest secret.

About the book

Farah is a young lawyer living and working in London. She’s just ended a long relationship, and her parents are looking for a husband – whether Farah wants one or not. So far, so normal. But at a work dinner, hosted by a dangerously powerful man, she comes across a young woman called Razia, who Farah soon realises is being kept as a domestic slave.

We follow Farah’s daring investigations from the law courts of London to the brick kilns of Lahore, as she begins to uncover the traps that keep generation after generation enslaved. Everywhere she turns there is deep-rooted oppression and corruption, and when the authorities finally intervene, their actions have dire consequences.

Farah teams up with a human rights lawyer, Ali, and the two become close… but can she trust him; can they help Razia and others like her; and will they ever discover the explosive secret behind these tragic events?

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In Razia, Abda Khan brings us a fast-paced and multi-layered thriller, which exposes the truths behind some very, very dark secrets.

The author is a lawyer and campaigner who works with victims of domestic violence and she has written Razia with a voice of knowledge, which added to the reading experience for me.

There are themes of pain, romance, fear, humiliation and vengeance running through the entire book. It is non-stop and I really didn’t want to put it down.

The story seems well-researched and it is very believable and real. It combines years of research with the pace and intrigue of a character-driven thriller. It really wrenches on the heart and highlights the issues and intricacies of domestic slavery. The Home Office estimates that there are currently around 13,000 slaves in the UK, though other sources suggest this is a gross underestimate and, after reading Razia, I’d feel that those other sources are probably correct in their thinking, which is devastating.

This novel is published to coincide with World Day against Trafficking in Persons on 30 July and I really, really hope it is read far and wide and receives the attention it deserves.

Thank you Anne Cater for my copy of the this book in return for an honest review.

About the author

Abda Khan is a lawyer and campaigner who works with victims of domestic violence, and was Highly Commended in the 2017 NatWest Asian Women of Achievement Awards in the Arts and Culture category.

She was born in Bradford in 1969 to Pakistani immigrant parents, and she now lives and works in the West Midlands. Her first novel, Stained, was published in 2016, and described by Booklist as ‘a contemporary Tess of the d’Urbervilles’.

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Truth or Die by Kat Diamond #BlogTour

Let the games begin…

When Professor Hugh Norris is found brutally murdered at Exeter university, DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles turn to the students for answers. Who would target a seemingly innocent man – and why? Someone knows more than they’re letting on – and they’re playing a very sinister game.

A game so dark, it will shake the university to its core…

As another professor is found butchered and the death toll begins to rise, the police have to examine their own pasts to uncover the person behind the killings – before it’s too late.

But are they brave enough to face up to the truth?

The Sunday Times bestseller is back in a twisty new novel, perfect for fans of M.J. Arlidge and Angela Marsons.

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I’ve got something exciting, and a little bit different, for you today in the form of an extract from Truth or Die by Kat Diamond.  Buckle in … 

DS Adrian Miles looked at the pink envelope on his desk. He glanced around the room and his partner, DS Imogen, Grey shrugged.

‘Don’t look at me!’

‘Is this a joke?’

‘Someone obviously loves you,’ Imogen said, although it sounded like more of an accusation than anything else.

He opened the card to see a picture of two bears cuddling, and inside, just a question mark.

‘This isn’t funny. Who left this here?’

‘It could be anyone in this place, Adrian, I’ve seen the way the new recruits look at you. If only they knew.’

‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ he said with more indignance than the question probably deserved.

‘Maybe it’s the duty doctor. What’s her name? Dr Hadley? She was in earlier.’

‘We went for one drink, that’s all. We decided not to go out again. I doubt it’s from her,’ he said, not convinced and more than a little uncomfortable getting this information from Imogen. He had been on a date with one of the doctors who worked invariably at the station. She had been their point of call on a couple of cases in the past and she had asked him out for a drink last week. He’d said yes – and in another life he might have been more interested. But the truth was that his friendship with Imogen was getting complicated, and so it felt really odd to be on a date with another woman.

Get your copy here

Thanks so much to Avon Books for providing me with this extract and for the copy of the book, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

 

As Luck Would Have It by Zoe May #BlogTour

About the book

One holiday can change your life forever.

Natalie Jackson might keep up appearances on Instagram, but in reality her fiancé has just jilted her after the birth of their baby and she’s moved back in with her mum. Life isn’t exactly going to plan!

So when she enters the village raffle for the holiday of a lifetime, she thinks she has no chance of winning. But her name is pulled out – and, as luck would have it, so is a ticket bought by her childhood nemesis: Will Brimble.

Surely a romantic holiday for two is the worst idea ever…right?

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My thoughts

As Luck would Have It has been a breath of fresh air after reading a bunch of psychological thrillers.  It was just the right amount of cute!

This book is a pure celebration of friendship and second chances.  We are taken to Marrakech on a journey of love and I could almost smell the spices in the warm air at times because Zoe May gives us some beautiful writing and plenty of skill – her descriptions of the destination are everything!

Natalie and Will gave me such a giggle at times.  I just love their vibe so much!

This book is beautifully light-hearted and an absolutely perfect read for summer.  I don’t know about you but I’d find it hard to walk past that cover in an airport (or anywhere else for that matter).  It’s so gorgeous!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this in any reviews before but I love when a book has an Epilogue.  You’ll always get me with the words “One Year Later…”  Can’t beat finding out what has become of characters I’ve grown to love.

Thanks so much to Harper Collins and Netgalley for my copy of this book, which was given in return for an honest review.

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The Closer I Get by Paul Burston #BlogTour

Some info on the book

Tom is a successful author, but for the first time in his life, he has writer’s block.  His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone.  Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her sick father and her social media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has.  When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world collapses, whilst Tom is free to live his life again, and to concentrate on writing.

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My thoughts

The author sets this story up nicely and as we get to know Tom and Evie the lines are drawn quickly – he is the hunted and she is the one hunting. But we can also see that there is more to Tom than meets the eye.  I loved trying to work him out!

This is what I’d call a compulsive read.  It’s very difficult to step away from and I think that’s due to the fact that the subject matter is relevant to today’s world. I wanted more and more. It made me take a step back and question my time on social media and how I interact with people as well who I’m interacting with.  I also had to ask myself how do I portray myself and what does the information I’m putting out there say to others.

The Closer I Get is hugely unsettling and is precisely what a psychological thriller should be in that it is full of tension, superb writing and plenty of alarm bells that are ringing out warnings constantly. If you listen hard enough I’m pretty sure they’re saying “DON’T POST THAT!”.

It’s very easy for any of us to hide behind a monitor or phone screen. It’s easy to hide behind a made-up profile name.  Trolls are part of everyday life online, unfortunately, and every now and then I do wonder who these people are and what their life consists of outside of their online presence.

Who is behind the profile pictures that smile back at us from the accounts we follow and those that follow us? We grow relationships with people online but do we stop to think if they really are who they portray themselves to be?  Do they ask themselves the same questions about us?  I’m often wary online but possibly not enough and I tend to take people at face value.  After reading this book there’s a very big chance I’ll ask more questions and be more mindful of my usage.

I could talk about social media all day.  I think it’s such an interesting subject and a great experiment in human nature, which lays out all of our flaws (and positive attributes) for precisely what they are.

This book is a perfect showcase of how people misinterpret the simplest of things over social media or in person. It’s such an easy thing to do and I think we’ve all come across different variations of it whether on Twitter or the comments section on an interview.

I read The Closer I Get in the form of an eBook on my phone. This isn’t the way I usually read books and I thought I’d find it quite difficult but it was the complete opposite. It allowed me more reading time than usual which is exactly what was needed for this book!

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Anne Cater, as well as Karen at Orenda Books

 

Some info on the author

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Paul Burston is the author of five novels and the editor of two short story collections. His most recent novel The Black Path, was a WHSmith bestseller. His first novel, Shameless, was shortlisted for the State of Britain Award. His third novel, Lovers & Losers was shortlisted for a Stonewall Award. His fourth, The Gay Divorcee, was optioned for television. He was a founding editor of Attitude magazine and has written for many publications including Guardian, Independent, Time Out, The Times and Sunday Times. In March 2016, he was featured in the British Council’s #FiveFilms4Freedom Global List 2016, celebrating “33 visionary people who are promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world”. He is the founder and host of London’s award-winning LGBT+ literary salon Polari and founder and chair of The Polari First Book Prize for new writing and the newly announced Polari Prize.

 

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One Night of Temptation by Darcy Burke

About the book 

Faced with a marriage she can’t abide, Lady Penelope Wakefield takes drastic measures to preserve her freedom. Her brilliant plan is foolproof until a sexy but imperious rector “rescues” her.

Rector Hugh Tarleton has no patience for the Society philanthropists who seek to bestow their pity—and not much else—on his oppressed flock in one of London’s worst neighbourhoods. When the daughter of a marquess is kidnapped and brought to the rookery, he vows to protect her, but the temptation to surrender to their mutual desire will certainly ruin them both.

My thoughts

Okay, this is my first book by this author and I flew through it.  It’s a very short book.  Typically of me, I’ve come in on Book 6 of a series so I’ll have to go read the others now – what a hardship!  NOT!

Due to me coming in at the end, I didn’t know any of the characters and that might have been a help but it definitely didn’t hinder me at all.

Being completely honest, I don’t read too many books in this genre but I’ve made a promise to myself that I’d like to try to read everything that falls into my lap – or onto my Kindle in 2019.

It’s a fun, light regency romance. Hugh is a hottie, Penelope is so cute and if it shows me anything (it showed me LOTS of things but … I digress!) it’s that family doesn’t always have to be the one you’re born into and that’s not a bad thing to come away with at all.

I’ll be reading more from Darcy!

Thanks so much to Darcy Burke Publishing and Netgalley for my copy of this book in return for an honest review.

 

 

 

The Bad Place – M K Hill

The newspapers called it The Bad Place. A remote farm out on the Thames estuary, where six children were held captive for two weeks. Five of them got out alive.

That was twenty years ago. Now adults, they meet up annually to hold a candlelit vigil for their friend who died. The only rule is that no-one can talk about what happened the night they escaped. But at this year’s event, one of them witnesses a kidnapping. A young girl, Sammi, is bundled into a van in front of their eyes.

Is history repeating itself? Is one of them responsible? Or is someone sending them a twisted message?

DI Sasha Dawson, of Essex Police, is certain that the key to finding Sammi lies in finding out the truth about The Bad Place. But she also knows that with every second she spends trying to unlock the past, the clock ticks down for the missing girl.

First thoughts?  Deep joy – it’s part one of a series!  For me, there is nothing worse than finishing a book and wishing there was more to come.  This time, there will be.

Sasha Dawson rocks!  Her home life is messy and chaotic and I just loved her.

The Bad Place is addictive and dark.  It is darker than I’d usually read but like I said above, I hoped for more once I reached the end so that alone speaks volumes.

The opening scenes of the first chapter set the storyline and you know straightaway all is not okay – even before DI Dawson makes her first appearance.

This book is out in September 2019, which thankfully isn’t that far away.  Keep note of the book as it’s definitely one for those who love mystery/thrillers.  You’ll be hearing lots about it, of that I’m sure.

Thanks so much to the lovely crew at Head of Zeus for my copy, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.

 

The Missing Wife by Sam Carrington

About the book

Imagine turning up to your own party, and recognising no one. Your best friend has just created your worst nightmare.

Louisa is an exhausted, sleep-deprived new mother and, approaching her fortieth birthday, the very last thing she wants to do is celebrate.

But when her best friend Tiff organises a surprise party, inviting the entire list of Lou’s Facebook friends, she’s faced with a new source of anxiety altogether: a room full of old college classmates who she hasn’t spoken to in twenty years. And one person in particular she never expected to see again is there – her ex-boyfriend from college, the handsome and charismatic Oliver Dunmore.

When Oliver’s wife Melissa goes missing after the party, everyone remembers what happened that night differently. It could be the alcohol, but it seems more than one person has something to hide.

Louisa is determined to find the truth about what happened to Melissa. But just how far does she need to look…?

One simple Facebook invitation unfolds into something both tragic and monstrous; a story of obsessive love, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation.

My thoughts 

This is the my second review this week that references social media.  Sign of the times maybe?

I’ve read two other Sam Carrington books – one I loved and one I struggled a little with.  I’m so happy to report that The Missing Wife did not disappoint.

It is well written and plotted out to perfection, which makes for a very easy read.  I had issue with Louisa’s character at times but to me it’s plain to see she’s struggling after the birth of her second child – and that’s definitely something I can relate to on a very personal level.  Although, I can’t say I’ve ever forgotten to feed my child no matter how exhausted I got!

When the past comes knocking (literally!) is it ever a good thing?

A book full of secrets and lies – you’ll enjoy it if you love a good psychological thriller!

Thanks so much to Avon Books UK for a copy of The Missing Wife, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.

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