**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Oh dear oh dear! I have only managed one book this week, the good news…. my neck is much better so I’m back to work, but the bad news is it means I have little time to read. So after much consideration I’ve come up with a solution which will hopefully give me more time to read, no im not retiring! I’ve decided I spend too much time browsing social media so for one day a week I’m not going to log in to Twitter, Facebook etc or share posts. I love to support fellow bloggers but some evenings I spend much of the evening sharing posts, RT, liking, and commenting. I’m  sure every blogger on the planet knows what I mean here, so I’m going to use this one day a week to use as reading time only. I’m sure I will be itching to turn on my IPad but I’m going to give it a go. I’m not scheduling any posts next Tuesday so if you see me pop up on social media I’ve failed miserably 😂

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what I read this week

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Book description

Babs had all the world ahead of her, until she got pregnant and the father did a runner. Salvation comes in the form of a man who’ll look after her. Or so she thinks. Stan Miller is really the devil in disguise… and over the next twenty years, Babs will have reason to regret she ever met him.

Starting in the 70s, BLOOD MOTHER is the second thrilling installment in the Flesh and Blood series, capturing a London that was very different from today but where some things still hold true: be careful what you wish for, and watch out for who you trust…

Book post I received this week

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Book description

She Loves Me
A woman’s body lies in the road. At first it looks like a tragic accident. But when Helen Grace arrives on the scene it’s clear she’s looking at a coldblooded killing. But why would anyone target a much loved wife and mother?

She Loves Me Not
Across town, a shopkeeper is killed while his customers are left unharmed. But what lies behind the killer’s choices?

She Loves Me
Who lives? Who dies? Who’s next? The clock is ticking.

She Loves Me Not
If Helen can’t solve this deadly puzzle then more blood will be shed. But any mistake and it might be her own …

This weeks ARC’s

Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk

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Book description

Imagine a helpless, pregnant 16-year-old who’s just been yanked from the serenity of her home and shoved into a dirty van. Kidnapped…Alone…Terrified.

Now forget her…

Picture instead a pregnant, 16-year-old, manipulative prodigy. She is shoved into a dirty van and, from the first moment of her kidnapping, feels a calm desire for two things: to save her unborn child and to exact merciless revenge.

She is methodical—calculating— scientific in her plotting. A clinical sociopath? Leaving nothing to chance, secure in her timing and practice, she waits—for the perfect moment to strike. Method 15/33 is what happens when the victim is just as cold as her abductors.
The agents searching for a kidnapped girl have their own frustrations and desires wrapped into this chilling drama. In the twists of intersecting stories, one is left to ponder. Who is the victim? Who is the aggressor?

The Quiet Man by James Carol

I love this series and Faber & Faber granted my wish over on the dreaded NetGalley, so how could I refuse 🙈

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Book description
The hugely popular Jefferson Winter series returns in a gripping new thriller.

In Vancouver, the wife of a millionaire is dead following an explosion in her own home. Everyone thinks her husband is responsible, but former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter isn’t so sure.

The method is too perfect; the lack of mistakes, uncanny. He’s seen a series of carefully orchestrated murders – once a year, on exactly the same day, a woman dies in a situation just like this one.

That date is fast approaching and Winter knows another victim has been selected. Can he identify the quiet man before he strikes again?

Books I’ve bought

I haven’t bought any book this week, Shock! Horror! But I treated myself to a year’s subscription of True Crime Magazine. Going back a few years ago I only ever read true crime books, I like to think they give me insight in to why people do such terrible things, I’m not sure they answer all my questions by any means but I do find them an intriguing read.

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Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/06/blog-tourthe-good-daughter-by-alexandra-burt-extract-giveaway/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/07/the-promise-by-casey-kelleher-bookreview-caseykelleher-bookouture/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/08/blog-tour-dead-embers-by-matt-brolly-guestpost-matthewbrolly-fayerogersuk/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/09/evies-year-of-taking-chances-by-christie-barlow-review-christiejbarlow-bookouture/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/10/top-five-friday-with-the-book-review-cafe-thewowfactor/

Next week on the book review café

Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson – review

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

#TopFiveThursday

Top Five Friday- Crime books stand-alones

**Blog tour** Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

 

 

Evie’s Year Of Taking Chances by Christie Barlow #Review @ChristieJBarlow @Bookouture

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Book description

It’s Evie’s birthday and the start of a year she’ll never forget. An emotional story of love, friendship and grabbing life by the horns.

Evie’s job has always been her safe haven. As a librarian in the little town of Becton she loses herself in books – after all it’s far easier to read about other people’s problems than set about solving her own.

Then, one birthday, everything is turned upside down. A mysterious parcel containing a beautiful book with a poignant inscription arrives for Evie. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for Evie and she’s inspired to try and find her real mother.

Evie’s search leads her to meet handsome author Noah Jones. Charming and intelligent, Noah seems the perfect catch but what Evie doesn’t realise is that he is hiding something – a key to Evie’s past.

As Evie gets closer to Noah and discovering her mother, she must take a giant leap of faith. Can she embrace the new and make this her year of taking chances? And if she does, will she get her heart broken?

img_1258Normally nothing can separate me from my crime thriller reads but I have one exception to this rule and it comes in the shape of Christie Barlow. I would be the first to hold up my hand and admit I’m not a big fan of Rom Coms, I know I shouldn’t generalise but I usually find they all pretty much follow the same formula boy meets girl, lots of misunderstandings and then “happy ever after”, but this author provides the reader with so much more, her books have hidden depth, the dialogue is refreshing and superbly written and her characters are so well developed by the time you reach the End Of Evie’s Year Of Taking Chances you feel like your heart will break as you say “goodbye” to new found friends.

Evie has a good life she loves her job working in a library , she has wonderful relationship with Irene her foster mother and she has Clara the best friend anyone could ever wish for, but this doesn’t stop Evie wondering about her birth mother, as you can imagine there are so many questions Evie needs answering as to why she ended up in foster care. In finding the answers she hopes she can bring closure to her difficult childhood and start a new chapter in her life in the shape of Noah a handsome author, but like real life Evie will first have to face many “up and Downs” before she can’t find true happiness.

What I absolutely love about this authors books is her attention to her characters, they are so believable real that you find yourself becoming completely immersed in their story’s.
My emotions were all over the place whilst reading this novel, there are so many sensitive and heart breaking scenes in this novel one minute I would find myself laughing uncontrollably and the next minute I would find myself a snivelling mess as I reached yet another poignant moment in this delightful tale.

Christie Barlow has the unique ability to turn a Rom Com into something much more, yes there’s laughs a plenty, but she also draws on real life issues and writes about them with sensitivity, you can’t help but become involved in each characters story. Evie’s Year Of Taking Chances is like opening the most delicious box of chocolates a treat to be savoured. In my opinion Christie Barlow is one of the best writers in this genre and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a Rom Com with that extra special something.

Print Length: 350 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (10 Mar. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧             Amazon US 🇺🇸

Miss Wrong And Mr Right by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza @Bookouture

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Book description

Natalie Love has worked hard to have it all. She runs a successful London theatre that’s about to host one of Hollywood’s leading stars, Ryan Harrison. She’s pretty sure she’s found her man in yoga boyfriend Benjamin, despite his annoying habit of saying Namaste! every time he speaks. And her eccentric, glamorous Hungarian Gran is always on hand to offer sage advice and steaming bowls of goulash.

Life in the bright lights of London has always been Natalie’s escape from her chaotic country family in rural Devon and Jamie, the childhood sweetheart she left at the altar fifteen years ago. Until he turns up at her theatre door…

Jamie is in town producing a West End show and with rivalry suddenly clouding old feelings, this isn’t quite the reunion Natalie was expecting.

Will Benjamin prove to be Natalie’s perfect match? With Ryan turning her head, Natalie is more confused than ever. And what about Jamie – could he be her second chance at first love?

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Now anyone who follows my blog will know I mostly read crime or psychological thrillers, once in a blue moon I turn to the dark side and read something that’s completely out my comfort zone. Now I could tell you a whopping big fib here and say I felt like reading a Romantic comedy but that’s wasn’t the case! The only reason I choose to read Miss Wrong And Mr Right is because it’s written by the very talented and one of my very favourite authors Robert Bryndza, if you follow my blog you will know I’m a huge fan of his crime series and have been known to be rather enthusiastic with my reviews, I wasn’t convinced this would be a book I would enjoy as there was no serial killer or bad ass Detectives in sight so with trepidation and a crime book at the ready just in case I hated it (Apologies Robert Bryndza if you just happen to come across this review for doubting you) I began to read Miss Wrong And Mr Right……..

The first thing I should state is this novel should come with a safety warning “do not read whilst drinking coffee and holding your kindle” I literally laughed so much I choked on my coffee and covered my kindle in the stuff! The story opens up with Natalie Love jolting her boyfriend Jamie at the alter, and deciding life has much more to offer moves to London. Fast forward 15 years and Natalie is now a very successful theatre manager, has a yoga-loving boyfriend and life is great or is it? When Natalie’s ex Jamie shows up to open a burlesque venue with his new girlfriend Tuppence Halfpenny, life is never going to be the same for Natalie.

Robert Bryndza has created an array of characters that are larger than life, I especially loved Natalie’s gran and with the Hungarian accent thrown in there are some very funny moments involving her. I loved Natalie with her frizzy hair and far from perfect figure, in fact all the characters were very likeable. The author certainly has away of describing and making his characters come to life, and some of the dialogue between the characters certainly made me laugh out loud.

This is certainly one of the better RomComs I’ve read, yes it maybe a bit predictable and corny at times, but I have to say I really enjoyed it. If you are looking for a novel to lift your mood and forget your woes look no further, Miss Wrong And Mr Right is the perfect read to do just that, it’s light hearted and entertaining and not a serial killer in sight!

5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Out of 5

Print Length: 339 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (8 Dec. 2016)

Amazon UK

Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow #Review

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Book description

Every Christmas Lizzie promises herself that things will change and she will leap into the new year a new woman. And yet here she is again, at the beginning of December and nothing is different. Her girls have grown up and left home, her husband Henry is slumped in front of the TV and she is alone in the kitchen, seeking refuge in the cooking sherry and talking to her Gary Barlow calendar. She’s also been very diverted by handsome new neighbour Marcus and she knows she shouldn’t be …

So when best friend Ann suggests a weekend away in the country, Lizzie jumps at the chance. Will this Christmas escape give Lizzie some much needed perspective and allow her to mend her marriage? Or will Marcus prove to be too much of a distraction?

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Even though I’m a huge fan of crime/psychological thrillers there are a small bunch of authors who write what I call “need to escape, cheer me up books” and the very talented Christie Barlow is one of those authors, and she certainly never disappoints me. I’m sure millions of women will relate to Lizzie on many levels, she’s in a humongous rut, her marriage is stale, in fact she has better conversations with her Gary Barlow calendar than she does with her husband! her children have flown the nest and she’s not sure where her life is going (ring a bell anyone?), but then the very handsome and charismatic Marcus moves into her street and things take a turn for the better or do they? You will just have to read Lizzie’s Christmas Escape to find out!

What I absolutely love about the authors book is her attention to her characters, they are a joy to read about, they are so well developed by the end of the book you really do feel you are saying “goodbye” to old friends. The relationship between Lizzie and Ann was heartwarming and very genuine, they are the best of friends and you couldn’t help wishing for a friend just like Ann or Lizzie. Their friendship is one many woman could only wish for they are supportive, loyal of one and other and the humour and banter between them helps them through the difficult times, and there are plenty of those! The dialogue between the two friends was so realistic at times I thought I was eavesdropping on a friends conversation, it’s full of humour and honesty that only true friends would understand, and at times I laughed out loud at some of their conversations.

Lizzie’s story reminded me very much of an old adage “the grass isnt always greener on the other side”, or is it? this was something Lizzie was forced to find out for herself I’m afraid. Lizzie’s story made me laugh and cry, sometimes all in the same chapter, you can understand Lizzie feeling fed up with life and why she strived to find something better, but life is what you make it, and just maybe Lizzie will have to learn this lesson through making her own mistakes. As Christmas approaches you can’t help feeling sorry for the two friends (everything seems so much worse during this period, don’t you think?), as they experience what could be their worse Christmas ever.

What I would say about Lizzie’s Christmas Escape is its a shame that many readers will only pick this book up if they are looking for a “Christmassy” read, I read it whilst led on a sun lounger in Portugal, and I feel this book has so much more to offer than a mediocre Christmas read, it’s about family, reaching a crossroads in life, and the importance of family and friends, with a “just what the Dr ordered, a dose of humour thrown in”

Christie Barlow has again written a captivating and charming book packed full of characters you will care about one way or another, full of drama and bucketfuls of humour. So I would recommend you pull the curtains, light the fire (unless you have an electric one of course!) and pour yourself something sparkling and immerse yourself in Lizzie’s heartwarming tale. This is a book I would recommend to anyone looking for “a feel good read” and definitely NOT just to be read at Christmas!

5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️out of 5

Print Length: 348 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (21 Oct. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

 

 

 

Dead To Me by Lesley Pearce

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Book Description

Spring 1935. Two girls meet by chance on Hampstead Heath. To an outsider, they could not appear more different. Verity is well-mannered and smartly dressed, living with her parents in a beautiful house close to the heath. Ruby is dishevelled and grubby, used to a life of squalor where she is forced to steal to survive. Yet there’s an instant affinity between them, and when their fortunes are shockingly reversed, it is the strength of their friendship that keeps them resilient to the challenges and hardships they face.

As Britain prepares for war, Ruby finds herself in Devon with the world at her feet and enjoying her first taste of romance. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, Verity is forced to leave behind everything she has ever known and a shadow from the past threatens her chances of a new beginning. But through it all, the girls are always there for each other. Until the day Verity does the one thing that will break Ruby’s heart.

In a country torn apart by fighting, will Verity and Ruby survive long enough to find a way back to each other? Or do some betrayals go with you to the grave . . .?

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Despite being a huge crime and thriller fan, (I would say 90% of the books I read are of this genre), I do love a Lesley Pearse book, I’ve read every and I mean every book she has ever written and she never fails to let me down. Dead To Me begins in spring 1935 and tells the story of Verity and Ruby, Its suffice to say the book description tells you all you need to. This is a story of friendship, resilience, challenges, hardship and most importantly the bond between two friends. Lesley Pearce has an extraordinarily talent, she is able to create such well developed characters you feel like you actually know them inside out, by the time I reached the end of Dead To Me I felt like I was saying “goodbye” to old friends. As Verity and Ruby suffer one traumatic event after another I felt so many emotions I laughed, I cried and felt so much empathy for these two characters, as I rooted for them to find their “happy ever after”.

Lesley Pearce always delivers on the plot, her story lines are well developed and flow seamlessly, rich in detail Dead To Me transports you first to the 1930’s and then to the blitz. I was captivated by the story of Verity and Ruby, as we follow their journey to adulthood, they face adversity that will test their friendship to the limits. Different as chalk and cheese Verity and Ruby life’s are changed dramatically by circumstances they have no control over, through tragedy and heartache, their friendship goes through many phases, which adds a sense of authenticity to both characters and their relationship. This is fairly long book at 512 pages, but it certainly never felt like it, as I found Dead To Me to be a compelling read, yes some parts of the story were predictable, but this in no way distracted from my enjoyment of this novel.

I really enjoyed this compelling story, the plot has plenty of depth to it with some suspense thrown it. Dead To Me is a heart-warming and evocative tale that is a real delight to read, if you are looking for a book to escape the demands of every day life for a few hours I would highly recommend you read Dead To Me.

Hardcover: 512 pages

Publisher: Michael Joseph (14 July 2016)

Amazon UK

**Blog Tour** Something Old Something New by Darcie Boleyn & Giveaway

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Today I am the next stop on the Something Old Something New blog tour, written by the very talented Darcie Boleyn, the tour is hosted by Jenny over at Jennyinneverland anyone who follows my blog will know I mostly review crime/pyschological/thrillers, but every now and then I like to throw in a “feel good” book, and Darcie’s Something Old Something New certainly fits the bill. You can read my review further down this post. Also don’t forget to enter the Givaway to win an Ebook of Something Old Something New, Darcie is kindly giving away three Ebooks.

Book Description

A heartwarming, giggle-inducing romance from Darcie Boleyn, just in time for the wedding season!

Will you marry me…again?

When Annie Thomas agrees to give her ex away at his wedding to his boyfriend, she thinks she’ll be fine. With her three children at her side, she can handle anything. Then she finds out her gorgeous first ex-husband Evan Llewellyn is flying in from his glamorous life in New York to attend as well!
An unexpected pregnancy ended their relationship and as she stumbles through the ups and downs of life as a working single mum – helping everyone else find a happy ending along the way – Annie refuses to believe their old and incredibly hot spark can still exist.
It’s only when she and Evan are forced to face up to the past together that they’ll discover if they can have their own happily-ever-after too!

Goodreads      Amazon

About Darcie Boleyn

Author Bio: Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

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Links:

Twitter     Facebook     Blog     Pinkinkladies blog

Giveaway

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Click for giveaway

 

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Once in a blue moon I like to drag myself away from serial killers, murders and gory deaths,
so I was really looking forward to reading Something Old Something New by Darcie Boleyn. I knew I was in for a treat with a dose of humour thrown in when I read the title of the first chapter “Dog Poo Divorce”, and I’m glad to say I throughly enjoyed it (despite there not being any serial killers hiding in the shadows).

Annie is fast approaching forty, twice divorced and struggling to balance her work and family life, she’s unintentionally funny, witty and a good friend and confidant to those around her. I loved the character of Annie she’s was very likeable, she is one of those women who always puts others before herself, even if it means putting her own dreams on hold to care for her family. I think most women will be able to relate to her in some way or another, which makes her credible as a character.

As Annie’s ex husband Evan comes back into her life, things take an unexpected turn and Annie will have to face up to her past before she can look to the future. Besides Annie there are multiple characters in Something Old Something New who all added to the enjoyment of this uplifting tale, and Annabelle Annie’s daughter was adorable and very mischievous, which added humour to the story.

There are real no surprises in Something Old Something New, but sometimes its just nice to read a book that you don’t have to think about to much, and this in no way distracted from my enjoyment of this heart warming tale of regrets, the power of love and friendship. Darcie Boleyn has written a uplifting tale that I’m sure fans of chick lit will really enjoy. It will make a perfect holiday read, so I suggest you Pour yourself a glass of wine, pull out a sun lounger, slather yourself in sun tan lotion and immerse yourself in this feel good book.

Publisher: Carina (16 May 2016)

Amazon UK

If you want to follow the blog tour, here is the tour banner and a list of the fabulous bloggers taking part
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**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Well this week I have only read 3 Books, and I’m half way through the fourth, my weeks holiday is over and now I’m back to work full time, so I don’t get to read as much as I would like, but I managed to read the following books

Deadly focus by RC Bridgestock

imageI’m on the blog tour next month for RC Bridgestock’s latest book When The Killing Starts, so I wanted to get a feel for the series and I have to say I really enjoyed Deadly Focus.

When He Fell by Kate Hewitt

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Again this is a blog tour book I found this book to be really emotive and compelling, you can see my review on Sunday 12th June

The Madam by Jamie Raven

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This week in case you haven’t noticed it’s all blog tour books and you can see my review for The Madam on Sunday 22nd May

The Safe Word by Karen Long

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Another blog tour read I’m about half way through The Safe Word and so far so good, but you can catch my review on Thursday 2nd June

Book post I received this week

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I received the following books in the post this week

How To Find Your (First) Husband by Rosie Blake 

Chosen Child by Linda Huber

Solomon Creed by Simon Toyne

Stalker by Lars Kepler

Watching Edie by Camilla Way 

Next week on the book review cafe

Dead Focus by RC Bridgestock review

Interview with Sanjida Kay author of Bone By Bone 

Last To Die by Arlene Hunt review

Something Old Something New by Darcie Boleyn blog tour Friday 20th May

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