Category Archives: louise Beech

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech #SummerMustReads @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks

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I’m thrilled to be sharing my review of The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. I’m not normally one of those readers who takes much notice of the cover of a book, but I love this cover. Read on for my thoughts about this fabulous book, but first the book description……

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Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes it hadn’t…

Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it? 

What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

A dark, consuming drama that shifts from Zimbabwe to England, and then back into the past, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a devastatingly beautiful love story … with a tragic heart. 

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Sometimes as a reader a book comes along that blows me away, it doesn’t happen very often I must say. There are books I love and books I will treasure forever and The Lion Tamer Who Lost by the superbly talented Louise Beech falls into the latter.  As far as I’m concerned Louise Beech is the “queen” of story telling, this novel was such a compelling and emotive read, and so beautifully written I’m not convinced anything I write will convey how truly wonderful this book was. When Andrew and Ben meet by chance little do they realise their meeting will irrevocably change their destinies forever.

Louise Beech has written one of the most powerful love stories I have read in a very long time, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a story of love, secrets and coincidences, but at the same time it’s also an emotive and beautifully told love story, that will break the most hardened heart into a million pieces. I’m not going to waste words on regurgitating the plot, read the book description if you want, but this is a novel that no book description can do justice to the captivating and bittersweet story that lies within its pages. 

The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a story that is superbly told, interspersed with extracts from Andrew’s book, and chapters set in the UK and on a Zimbabwe lion reserve. The author writes in such a descriptive way I could feel the heat, the smells, and the sounds of the Lion reserve, bringing scenes I could only dream about to life. For me personally it was the characters that made this such a fabulous read I’m sure Andrew and Ben will be in my thoughts for a long time to come, never have characters had such a profound effect on me, I laughed, I cried and then cried some more. Even Ben’s dad grew on me as the novel progressed despite his bigotry comments and his constant womanising. 

This is a modern day tale that tackles subjects that  many may consider to be taboo, but the author has an incredible way of writing, one that includes sensitivity and beautiful poetic prose that even the most narrow minded readers will find it difficult not to fall in love with this book and it’s characters. The Lion Tamer Who Lost made for an intense, all consuming read, and one I simply adored. 

This is going to come as no surprise but I’m giving The Lion Tamer Who Lost the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reached the very last page.

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  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (15 July 2018)

Pre-Buying Links :   Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

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**Blog Tour** Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks @LouiseWriter

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Today I’m absolutely thrilled to be one of the stops on the Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech blog tour. This really is a fabulous book and if you haven’t read it yet, it’s definitely one I would highly recommend, and it’s made it’s way to my top reads of 2017 list, yes it’s really that good.

Maria In The Moon is published by the simply awesome Orenda Books and you can buy a kindle copy right now, but this one has such a beautiful cover, it’s a book you will want to keep you can buy a physical copy on publication day the 30th September 2017

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Book description

‘Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’

Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria. With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love.

But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything. Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

My review

Every once in a blue moon (excuse the pun) a book comes along that blows me away, Marie In The Moon has left me with a serious book hangover not a common occurrence might I add. Marie In The Moon is without doubt Louise Beech best book yet I never thought I would say that, as I adored The Mountain In My Shoe, but oh my Maria In The Moon is something else, beautifully written, it’s a powerful and a emotive novel that will pull at the most hardened heartstrings. I seen a book quote which pretty much sums up my feelings for this novel ” some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up heart and soul”. 

Set in Hull, just after the floods of 2007, the book focuses on Catherine Hope, who had no memories of her ninth year. All she can remember is that this was when her beloved father died. She’s a volunteer at Flood Crisis, happy to help other people if it means she doesn’t have to deal with her own problems. When a long buried memories begin to surface, Catherine tries to ignore them, but as they become more vivid Catherine has to face her past and deal with the devastating events that she choose to forget, for it’s only then she will be free. Although this novel draws on some  difficult subjects Louise Beech deals with them with great sensitivity and empathy.

What a complicated but throughly intriguing character Catherine turned out to be, Louise Beech has an incredible talent that enables her to create such complex and flawed characters, she manages to get into the heads of ordinary people and makes them extraordinary, making the reader care about the characters she’s created. When the reader first meets Catherine she seems surly, antagonistic and defensive, she also appears to be in self destruct mode, but it’s not long before you become enchanted by this unbelievable character, she’s sensitive, passionate and caring and her story will break your heart.

Marie In The Moon is one of the most haunting and compelling books I’ve read in a long time, it’s full of dark humour but also filled with warmth, this novel evoked so many emotion I laughed, I cried and then I cried some more, this is a huge testament to the author’s powerful writing. Dark and deeply moving this novel is one book that’s going to stay with me for a long time, and I’m sure I will often think of Catherine’s journey and the horrors she endured.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear I’m giving Marie In The Moon the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a fabulous read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

imagePrint Length: 276 pages

Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (15 Aug. 2017)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

IMG_2187Louise Beech remembers sitting in her father’s cross-legged lap while he tried to show her his guitar’s chords. He’s a musician. Her small fingers stumbled and gave up. She was three. His music sheets fascinated her – such strange language that translated into music. Her mother teaches languages, French and English, so her fluency with words fired Louise’s interest. She knew from being small that she wanted to write, to create, to make magic.

She loves all forms of writing. Her short stories have won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting twice for the Bridport Prize and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Her first play, Afloat, was performed at Hull Truck Theatre in 2012. She also wrote a ten-year newspaper column for the Hull Daily Mail about being a parent, garnering love/hate criticism. Her debut novel was a Guardian Readers’ pick for 2015.

She is inspired by life, history, survival and love, and always has a story in her head. Her debut novel, How to be Brave, came from truth – when Louise’s daughter got Type 1 Diabetes she helped her cope by sharing her grandad’s real life sea survival story. Her second novel, The Mountain in my Shoe, was released in September 2016 and was inspired by her time working with children in the care system.

When she was fifteen Louise bet her mother ten pounds she’d be published by the time she was thirty. She missed this self-set deadline by two months. Her mother is still waiting for the money.

Link to website – http://louisebeech.co.uk/

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My thanks to Karen over at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my ARC of this simply fabulous book, and also for allowing me to be part of the Maria In The Moon blog tour it’s been an honour to take part. 

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**Top Five Friday** with the book review café #TheWOWFactor

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Today on top five Friday I’m going to share with you the top five books that in my opinion have the WOW factor and left me speechless (no easy feat I can tell you). These are books that I’ve read this year and despite only being three months in to the new year there were plenty of books I could have choosen for this category, but for me these books are extra special and left me stunned by their sheer brilliance.

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The One by John Marrs

I just loved The One by John Marrs, he’s already gone on my list of “must read authors” after reading this awesome novel. With a highly original theme and one which intrigued me from the very first page, a cliche I know but I really struggled to put this book down.

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The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

I have to say it is the most exquisite and emotive book I have read in a very long while, and in a way it may sound strange but I’m glad I left it so long to read it as I savoured every page of this haunting and beautifully told story.

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Frailty by Betsy Reavley

Frailty by Betsy Reavley not only left me speechless (a very rare thing indeed, as Mr book review café will tell you) but it also reduced me to a blubbering wreck, it’s very rare that a book leaves me emotionally drained, especially a psychological thriller, but my god this book certainly did! From the disturbing prologue to the very last shocking page I struggled to put this book down.

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Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

Six Stories is like no other book I have ever read it’s highly original and superbly executed, for me Matt Wesolowski is a refreshing and powerful new voice in crime fiction and certainly one to watch out for. You can read my review for this awesome book on Saturday 18th March as I’m part of the blog tour.

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls is well worth a read, despite its subject matter this book has a hidden depth, it explores the complexity of love and relationships, and dysfunctional families with sensitivity. Although it feels wrong to say I enjoyed this book, it was a hard one to put down and I read it in one sitting.

You can read my reviews here

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/17/the-one-by-john-marrs-bookreview-johnmarrs1-eburypublishing/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/13/the-mountain-in-my-shoe-by-louise-beech-orendabooks-louisewriter-bookreview/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/11/09/frailty-by-betsy-reavley-review-betsyreavley-bloodhoundbook/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/28/the-roanoke-girls-by-amy-engel-bookreview-emilykitchin/

 

**My Book Of The Month** January 2017

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Well we’ve reached the end of January 2017 which can only mean one thing, it’s time to choose my Book Of The Month for January 2017.

The Book Of The Month is chosen by myself at the beginning of every month, for the previous month. It goes to the author/book that I found outstanding for that month, and I may have given a higher rating than a 5 star review. I’m also hoping if a do this monthly come December it will make it easier to do a best reads of 2017 post or that’s my plan.

I have read some outstanding books in January, but here is where I fell at the first hurdle as I really couldn’t choose between two books this month, I’m not know for being decisive at the best of times! The two books I have chosen are polar opposites, but both books stood our for me because I still thought about them long after I finished them. Although very different in every way possible, they both had one thing in common they kept me glued to my kindle!

These fantastic books had all the elements I look for when reading books, well developed characters, a strong plot and bucketfuls of suspense, so without further ado the books I have given the Gold Star Award are……….

The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

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You can read my review here:
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/13/the-mountain-in-my-shoe-by-louise-beech-orendabooks-louisewriter-bookreview/

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

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You can read my review here: https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/29/blog-tour-behind-her-eyes-by-sarah-pinborough-authorinterview-review-sarahpinborough-wtfthatending/

As I mentioned earlier two very different books but they are two that I would highly recommend to everyone and anyone.

what do you think of my books of the month? Did I choose well? What books would you choose? Please feel free to leave a comment

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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I managed to read four books this week, which I’m  pretty pleased with. As from Monday I will be starting my new job which means back to good old shift work 😢 so it’s unlikely I will be reading  more than two books a week. So I might not be posting as many blog posts in the weeks to come as obviously books read equal reviews to post, but time will tell.

Books read

Blink by K L Slater

The One by John Marrs 

Backstabber by Kimberley Chambers 

The Break Down by B A Paris 

Book Post 

I love the cover of this book it’s a real beauty, but from what I’ve read it’s anything BUT a beautiful read! I’m looking forward to reading this one soon.

Books  I’ve bought this week

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I bought five books this week all are by authors I haven’t read before, remember in my yearly wrap up I said I wanted to read more books by new authors well I thought I would start with these.

The Reaper by Steven Dunne

The Disciple by Steven Dunne

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent 

What Remains Of Me by A. L Gaylin 

ARC’s

I’ve kept away from NetGalley as much as possible,but yet again Bookouture are my downfall 🙈 so I have Two ARC’s, in my defence one of them is for a blog tour so that doesn’t really count, or so I’m trying to convince myself 😂😂

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Book description

When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.

 

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Book description

She got into bed but sleep didn’t come easily. Every creak in the house made her alert. She was waiting for him to come and get her.

The small city of Stockleigh is in shock as three women are brutally attacked within days of each other. Are they random acts of violence or is there a link between the victims? For Detective Eden Berrisford, it’s her most chilling case yet.

The investigation leads Eden to cross paths with Carla, a woman trying to rebuild her life after her marriage to a cruel and abusive man ended in unimaginable tragedy. Her husband Ryan was imprisoned for his crimes but, now he’s out and coming for her.

As Eden starts to close in on the attacker, she also puts herself in grave danger. Can she stop him before he strikes again? And can Carla, terrified for her life, save herself – before the past wreaks a terrible revenge?

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/13/the-mountain-in-my-shoe-by-louise-beech-orendabooks-louisewriter-bookreview/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/12/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-kaisha-holloway-aka-thewritinggarnet/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/11/the-girl-before-by-jp-delaney-bookreview/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/09/%ef%bb%bfsnatched-from-home-by-graham-smith-caffeinenights-grahamsmith1972-bookreview/

Next Week on the book review café

**Blog Tour** Ledston Luck by Andrew Barrett – Author interview

**Guest Post** by J.M. Richardson author Of The Barataria Key

**Blog Tour** Guest post by CJ Carver Author Of Tell Me A Lie @C_J_Carver

#TopFiveThursday

and hopefully a couple of reviews

 

 

 

 

The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks @LouiseWriter #BookReview

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Book description

A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself.

On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she’s leaving, he doesn’t come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she’s befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor’s foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband’s secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all.

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I must be the last book blogger on the planet to read The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech, I think the reason it took me so long to read it was because everyone was saying how fabulous it was, now normally I usually find a book with so much praise leaves me feeling disappointed, but this wasn’t the case, so now every book blogger can say “I told you so”. I have to say it is the most exquisite and emotive book I have read in a very long while, and in a way it may sound strange but I’m glad I left it so long as I savoured every page of this haunting and beautifully told story.

This book is about Bernadette, a young woman trapped in an unhappy marriage who happens to befriend Conor, a 10-year-old who has spent all his life in foster care. The same night Bernadette’s husband Richard doesn’t come home, Conor also disappears. What happened to Richard and where has Connor gone? What follows is a gripping and deeply emotional read. Conor is a young boy who has spent his life being passed around the care system, he is desperate to be part of a loving family, as I read Conor’s life story told in book form I couldn’t help hoping he would find his “happy ever after”. The way the author tells Connor’s life story is ingenious, I felt for every child who has been through the care system, the writing is so expressive and credible I found myself in tears on more than one occasion.

Although this book deals with difficult issues of abandonment and abuse it’s a story of hope, compassion and the beauty of good people wanting to help others, it examines the meaning of family and explores how far a person is willing to go for the people they love. The Mountain In My Shoes is like no other psychological thriller I have ever read, it has depth but it’s also heartwarming and captivating.

This book has so many elements that made it such a special read, characters, settings, the attention to detail, the workings of the foster system all make this book something extra special. Louise Beech describes both characters and settings with such conviction the pages of this story come to life. Hauntingly poignant I really did not want this book to end, and I’m sure the characters will stay with me for a long time to come. On reflection The Mountain In My Shoes deserves all its hype and much more, would I recommend this book? Hell yes I will be recommending this book to everyone (who hasn’t read it yet!)

I won’t be giving The Mountain In My Shoes 5 star’s but I will be giving it the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, the first book of 2017 to get this award. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

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Paperback: 276 pages

Publisher: Orenda (30 Sept. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

My thanks to Karen over at Orenda Books  for my copy of this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review. Orenda books have published some of the books I have ever read and personally I can’t wait to see what books this publisher has to offer the reader in 2017.

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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This week I have managed to read four books, two ARC’s and two off my bookshelf, I felt a real sense of achievement as I actually read two books that have been patiently sat on my book shelf, only another 400+ books to go 😂. I’m hoping to read more books from my book shelf this year at least 1-2 a month, well that’s the plan!

Snatched From Home by Graham Smith

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Book description

Middle-class parents Victoria and Nicholas Foulkes are distraught when their children are kidnapped against Nicholas’ gambling debts. Penniless and desperate the couple turn to crime as a way to raise the ransom.

Hot on their heels is recently bereaved DI Harry Evans and his Major Crimes team. Evans is fighting against enforced retirement and his replacement – DI John Campbell – is foisted upon him along with other cases. If he must leave the police then he wants one last big case before he goes.

In a race against time Victoria and Nicholas must evade the police while continuing to add to the ransom fund. If they don’t pay up on time the kidnappers have threatened to amputate their children’s limbs with an oxy-acetylene torch.

Can they save their children before time runs out?

Tattletale by Sarah J Naughton

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Book description

The perfect brother. The perfect fiancee. The perfect revenge.
A thriller you won’t be able to predict.

One day changes Jody’s life forever.

She has shut herself down, haunted by her memories and unable to trust anyone. But then she meets Abe, the perfect stranger next door and suddenly life seems full of possibility and hope.

One day changes Mags’s life forever.

After years of estrangement from her family, Mags receives a shocking phone call. Her brother Abe is in hospital and no-one knows what happened to him. She meets his fiancé Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind. But the pieces don’t quite seem to fit…

The Girl Before JP Delaney

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Book description

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules.

After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before.

As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

The Mountain In her Shoe by Louise Beech

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Book description

A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself.

On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she’s leaving, he doesn’t come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she’s befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor’s foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband’s secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all.

ARC’s I received this week

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I managed to stay away from NetGalley for two Whole weeks and then had an epic fail when Bookouture put Blink by K L Slater up for review, but how could I resist? But then I have read and reviewed two of my NetGalley books and it’s now in single figures with 84% feedback, a record in itself for me!

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Last week on The Book Review Café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/06/run-by-mandasue-heller-bookreview/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/05/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-emma-mitchell/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/04/the-marriage-lie-by-kimberley-belle-bookreview/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/03/dear-charlie-by-n-d-gomes-review-nd_gomes-hqstories/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/02/the-fallen-by-michael-wood/

Next week on The Book Review Café

Review for Snatched From Home

Review for The Mountain In My Shoe

#TopFiveThursday

News from the book review café

The eagle eyed among you may have noticed my blog has a brand new look. Purely by accident I happened to be looking at changing theme but pressed the wrong button and changed it! Unfortunately it looked awful and as I couldn’t remember the name of the theme I had, so I had to go with one I knew would keep all my content. Now I’m getting use to it I ❤ it, what do you think hit or a miss?

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