Review: Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell @DredaMitchell #bookreview #bookblog @bloodhoundbook

Blurb

Home Is Where The Nightmare Is

Beautiful double room to let to single person 

Lisa, a troubled young woman with a past, can’t believe her luck when she finds a beautiful room to rent in a large house. The live-in owners are a kind and welcoming couple. Everything is fine until she finds a suicide note hidden in her room. But when the couple insist this man didn’t exist and that Lisa is their first tenant, Lisa begins to doubt herself.

Compelled to uncover the secrets of the man who lived in the room before her, Lisa is alarmed when increasingly disturbing incidents start to happen. Someone doesn’t want Lisa to find out the truth.

As the four walls of this house and its secrets begin to close in on Lisa, she descends into a hellish hall of mirrors where she’s not sure what’s real and what’s not as she claws her way towards the truth…

This room has already claimed one victim?

Is it about to take another?

My Thoughts

Okay, I’m going to get this out of the way. I had an expectation for where this story was going to go and I was excited for that. So when it didn’t play out like that, I was disappointed (laughing). And to be honest, I’m still disappointed!

But in saying that, I was really impressed where the author took this because I didn’t expect it. It was a pretty good twist and something I feel was quite original.  I was pretty irked by Jack myself, his obnoxiousness was nicely done, so much so, that he annoyed the s*#t out of me! Martha’s character was cleverly crafted, she was quite sly and seemingly ‘normal’ despite that fact that she was with Jack. Lisa’s character felt very three dimensional; I liked her, could relate to her in a few levels, and her reactions and behaviours fitted the story line and believable.

It was something a little different which is refreshing. I thoroughly recommend you give this one a go and see if you can tell where it’s going, unlike me!

I rated The Spare Room: 4/5 stars

Happy reading

Nat

review: The Book of Dreams by Nina George @SimonSchusterAU #bookreview #bookblog

Blurb

Henri Skinner is a hardened ex-war reporter on the run from his past. On his way to see his son, Sam, for the first time in years, Henri steps into the road without looking and collides with oncoming traffic. He is rushed to a nearby hospital where he floats, comatose, between dreams, reliving the fairytales of his childhood and the secrets that made him run away in the first place.
 
After the accident, Sam—a thirteen-year old synesthete with an IQ of 144 and an appetite for science fiction—waits by his father’s bedside every day. There he meets Eddie Tomlin, a woman forced to confront her love for Henri after all these years, and twelve-year old Madelyn Zeidler, a coma patient like Henri and the sole survivor of a traffic accident that killed her family. As these four very different individuals fight—for hope, for patience, for life—they are bound together inextricably, facing the ravages of loss and first love side by side.
 
A revelatory, urgently human story that examines what we consider serious and painful alongside light and whimsy, THE BOOK OF DREAMS is a tender meditation on memory, liminality, and empathy, asking with grace and gravitas what we will truly find meaningful in our lives once we are gone.

My Thoughts

What a lovely story, thank you so much to Simon and Schuster for my copy. It’s one of those truly awful accidents and you can’t help but feel emotionally invested in Henri’s story from beginning to end. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing his coma (yeah that sounds a little weird to say) and it gave me a new appreciation for those who have been in a similar situation.

I loved all the characters. They all brought a unique and special voice to the story, especially henri’s son. The underlying telling of mortality and love was powerful, and stays with you long after you finish this story. I definitively recommend you try this one.

I rated The Book of Dreams: 4/5 stars

Happy Reading

Nat

Review: The Hundreth Man by J.A Kerley #bookblog #bookreview

Goodreads Blurb

Bizarre messages carved into the flesh of two corpses in Mobile, Alabama, launch a special unit devoted to solving psychotic crimes. They’re also launching Detective Carson Ryder into a nightmare with only one weapon-his own terrifying past.

My Thoughts

This is the first book in the Detective Carson Ryder Series, and unfortunately for me, I can’t say that I really enjoyed it all that much.  It was dreadfully slow. I found it got bogged down in “police office politics” too much.  It also annoyed the heck out of me how Ryder’s partner referred to him as “Cars”. I mean, that just didn’t sound natural to me. It would have made more sense if he had called him Ryder. The twists were missing, and the murderer felt very tame.  Compared with one of Chris Carters books, this was very placid. Wasn’t any real wow factor for me which was a shame because I love series like this. But I think it’s a tricky crowd to write for now because there are some really good authors with similar series so you really have to think above an beyond what everyone else is writing to make yours stand out. Although the writing was simple to read and flowed well, I can’t say anything else positive about this one unfortunately.  However, I will continue on with the series, in hopes that grow on me because there’s always a chance.

I rated The Hundredth Man: 2/5 stars

Happy Reading

Nat

Review:Look Again by Lisa Scottoline #bookreview #bookblog

Blurb

When reporter Ellen Gleeson gets a “Have You Seen This Child?” flyer in the mail, she almost throws it away. But something about it makes her look again, and her heart stops―the child in the photo is identical to her adopted son, Will. Her every instinct tells her to deny the similarity between the boys, because she knows her adoption was lawful. But she’s a journalist and won’t be able to stop thinking about the photo until she figures out the truth. And she can’t shake the question: if Will rightfully belongs to someone else, should she keep him or give him up? She investigates, uncovering clues no one was meant to discover, and when she digs too deep, she risks losing her own life―and that of the son she loves.

My Thoughts

Unfortunately this one just didn’t grab my attention.  I found it quite difficult to get through until after halfway.  It felt like it dragged a lot, too much background noise.  I couldn’t get close to Ellen, because she annoyed me if I’m honest.  I didn’t come across any twists, anything surprising, I didn’t feel any overwhelming emotions reading it.

Now this isn’t to say the writing wasn’t excellent, because it was.  I just didn’t jel with this one, but you might. Definitely give it a go.

I rated Look Again: 3/4 stars

Happy reading

Nat

Review: The French Photographer by Natasha Lester #bookreview #bookblog @Natasha_Lester @HachetteAUS

Blurb

Manhattan, Paris, 1942: When Jessica May’s successful modelling career is abruptly cut short, she is assigned to the war in Europe as a photojournalist for Vogue. But when she arrives the army men make her life as difficult as possible. Three friendships change that: journalist Martha Gellhorn encourages Jess to bend the rules, paratrooper Dan Hallworth takes her to places to shoot pictures and write stories that matter, and a little girl, Victorine, who has grown up in a field hospital, shows her love. But success comes at a price.

France, 2005: Australian curator D’Arcy Hallworth arrives at a beautiful chateau to manage a famous collection of photographs. What begins as just another job becomes far more disquieting as D’Arcy uncovers the true identity of the mysterious photographer — and realises that she is connected to D’Arcy’s own mother, Victorine.

Crossing a war-torn Europe from Italy to France, The French Photographer is a story of courage, family and forgiveness, by the bestselling author of The Paris Seamstress and A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald.

My Thoughts

A book that it so far from my usual reads that I almost didn’t read it. But boy, am I so glad I did. I laughed, cried, ugly cried, and was angered; essentially I did a full circle of emotions because the content called for it.  A story about women’s rights and their experience during WWII which was a time that really focused on the masculinity of men going off to war and woman staying home and tending to the house and children.

Jess’s character was admirable. She was strong, and identifiable.  I loved the vulnerability of Josh and D’Arcy, the walls that were broken given their struggles and the journey of discovery and intimacy that we, the readers, were taken on.  The ability to transport the reader to a different time and place is really an art, not everyone can do it, but Natasha use of description, both emotional and situational, was splendid.  That was the reason I cried. The reason why I felt so enthralled in every characters journey.

It was a story of dedication, passion, strength, and overcoming obstacles to find personal peace. It was inspirational. And it’s disappointing that woman have to fight so hard to be considered equals.

That ending though!

Thank you so much to Hachette AUS for my copy of The French Photographer, I really appreciate it.

I rated The French Photographer: 5/5 Stars

Happy reading,

Nat

#blogblast Review: The Killer In Me by Olivia Kiernan #thekillerinme @LivKiernan @riverrunbooks @millsread11 #bookreview #bookblog

Blurb

A deadly past refuses to stay buried in Olivia Kiernan’s masterful new novel

Death is no stranger to Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan, but she isn’t the only one from her small, coastal suburb to be intimately acquainted with it. Years ago, teenager Seán Hennessey shocked the tight-knit community when he was convicted of the brutal murder of his parents and attempted slaying of his sister, though he always maintained his innocence. Now, Seán is finally being released from prison—but when his newfound freedom coincides with the discovery of two bodies, the alleged connection between the cases only serves to pull Frankie further from answers even as it draws her closer to her town’s hidden darkness. With a television documentary revisiting Seán’s sentence pushing the public’s sympathies into conflict on a weekly basis, a rabid media pressuring the police like never before, and a rising body count, Frankie will need all of her resources if she is not only to catch a killer, but put to rest what really happened all those years ago.

A dark, irresistible cocktail of secrets, murder, and family, Olivia Kiernan’s latest is an impossible-to-put-down triumph.

My Thoughts

Be prepared to wish you could read all day and flag life’s responsibilities!!!! First read, and most definitely not the last, from this author and so happy that I could take part in this book blast. A thoroughly enthralling read, pace was fantastic and the writing felt very natural.  There were a few plot twists I didn’t see coming, one I did, and although there were no WTF moments for me, it certainly did make me think.

The lead character was interesting and likeable, let’s face it, there’s nothing worse that giving us a character who’s the complete opposite! Frankie was fiesty, dedicated, and intelligent and I loved sharing the journey with her.  The secondary characters were also enjoyable, I even “liked” the baddie *laughing* and by that I mean an excellently built character.

If you haven’t read this then I absolutely encourage you to do so and make up your own mind. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed !

I rate The Killer in Me: 4.5/5 stars

Happy reading

Nat

 

Review: The Perfect Child By Lucinda Berry #lucindaberry #ebookreview #bookreview #bookblog

Blurb

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behavior threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.

My Thoughts

Are you joking! What the hell kind of ending was that?! *insert crying face* What a fantastic read. They really felt like the “perfect” couple. Reading to have children of their own, only to bite off a little more than they could chew. Had a very authentic feel to it, which after learning about the others other job, now makes sense. I’m not going to lie, I find stories where the author has that experience a tad more believable. It was a very riveting read, with a few twists I didn’t see coming. That end though… I don’t know whether I love or hate it *laughing* I do know that I didn’t want it to end!!

I rated The Perfect Child: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Happy Reading

Nat

Review: Keeper of the Light by Diane Chamberlain #bookreview #bookblog @DianeChamberlain

Blurb

Dr. Olivia Simon is on duty in the emergency room of North Carolina’s Outer Banks Hospital when a gunshot victim is brought in. Midway through the desperate effort to save the young woman’s life, Olivia realizes who she is—Annie O’Neill. The woman Olivia’s husband, Paul, is in love with. 

When Annie dies on the operating table, she leaves behind three other victims. Alec O’Neill, who thought he had the perfect marriage. Paul, whose fixation on Annie is unshakable. And Olivia, who is desperate to understand the woman who destroyed her marriage. 

Now they are left with unanswered questions about who Annie really was. And about the secrets she kept hidden so well.

My Thoughts

Could I love this authors books anymore? Phenomenal story. What I loved about it was that it’s a personally touchy topic for me. I have a pretty strong stance on infidelity and usually that skews my opinion on the story. However, I was so enthralled in the drama and lives, it just meshed with everything.

After the first chapter, you could see that the author was setting the affair scenario up. I was wondering how it was going to get any better. But boy were there some good twists. Wasn’t Paul a complete douche bag. I felt no sympathy or compassion for him at all. A complete snake really. Annie’s character was interesting in that we didn’t even get to actually meet her, but we learned that she’s got a lot more going on than people realise. Alec’s Daughter I had a soft spot on, and I liked how she developed. And old Mary? Well, I was a bit shocked by what she did for Annie.

It was an excellent read, I enjoyed the ease of flow, development and backstories we were given, and the ending wrapped it up nicely.

I rate Keeper of the Light: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Happy Reading

Nat