Still reading and recommending…

Although I’ve not blogged for a little while, you can still keep up with my reviews and recommendations on Goodreads.

I keep track of books I’ve read (with a shelf just for books read in 2017), plus the all important 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟(5 star reads)  and the books I’m intending to read next

So whilst life has meant that blogging has had to take a backseat, I’m still reading and reviewing (with 55 books so far this year)!

Happy reading!

MetLineReader x

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**BLOG TOUR** Only Daughter

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#OnlyDaughter @HQstories @annasnoekstra

I’m delighted to be the next stop on the blog tour for this very cleverly crafted story.

About this book

In this chilling psychological thriller, one woman’s dark past becomes another’s deadly future.

In 2003, sixteen-year-old Rebecca Winter disappeared.

She’d been enjoying her teenage summer break: working at a fast food restaurant, crushing on an older boy and shoplifting with her best friend. Mysteriously ominous things began to happen—blood in the bed, periods of blackouts, a feeling of being watched—though Bec remained oblivious of what was to come.

Eleven years later she is replaced.

A young woman, desperate after being arrested, claims to be the decade-missing Bec.

Soon the imposter is living Bec’s life. Sleeping in her bed. Hugging her mother and father. Learning her best friends’ names. Playing with her twin brothers.

But Bec’s welcoming family and enthusiastic friends are not quite as they seem. As the imposter dodges the detective investigating her case, she begins to delve into the life of the real Bec Winter—and soon realizes that whoever took Bec is still at large, and that she is in imminent danger.

MetLineReader Review:

In order to escape shoplifting charges, our unnamed protagonist claims that she’s the missing Rebecca Winter who disappeared 11 years ago.

The story develops as the narrator begins to see the consequences of her lie unfold. The author is able to weave in her thinking whilst telling the story and not detracting from the developments.

Rebecca’s family are referred to as the mother and the father, whilst her twin brothers are named — and confused on regular occasions.

There’s definitely more to this story than meets the eye and the roles of her McDonald’s colleagues and her best friend Izzy are critical to build confusion, intrigue and pace.

I really enjoyed this book but found that it ended just a little too quickly!  A thumping good read!

MetLineReader rating 4.5*🚔🚔🚔🚔 ½

About the Author

Anna Snoekstra was born in Canberra, Australia in 1988. She studied Creative Writing and Cinema at The University of Melbourne, followed by Screenwriting at RMIT University. She currently lives in Melbourne with her husband and tabby cat.  😻

Keep up with Anna online at: her website (www.annasnoekstra.com)TwitterFacebook and Goodreads

Acknowledgments

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra is published by HQ, an imprint of Harper Collins on 20th September and is available from Amazon.  I received an advance review copy from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Don’t forget to stop by the rest of the blog tour…

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Holding out for a hero

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About this book

Graham Norton’s masterful debut is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss.

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother of­ two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former­ love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters, and explore – with searing honesty – the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

MetLineReader review

The day after I started the book, I saw an interview with Graham Norton (a sarcastic, humorous entertainer in the UK) in the Sunday Times. I wasn’t sure whether to read the interview but it confirmed everything I was thinking about this great book.

Graham himself confirmed that he hadn’t set out to write a rip roaring comedy with lots of gay characters or even something that could be seen as part autobiographical.

He has written a novel. And that’s what’s so refreshing about it. You can cast aside all your preconceptions about GN and just read it.

To be sure, there’s a hint of the Irish mischievousness about it as its set in a small blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village. There are some great “characters” from PJ the guard (policeman), his downtrodden housekeeper Mrs Meany, the trio of Ross sisters and the unhappy Brid Riordan.

Ultimately this is a gentle thriller, which unfolds nicely and it doesn’t matter who wrote it. Reminiscent of one of my favourite “gentle” Irish novels, The Misremembered Man by Christina McKenna. I really enjoyed it.

MetLineReader rating 4 🚔🚔🚔🚔 stars – Jubilee

Acknowledgements

Holding by Graham Norton is published on 6th October by Hodder and Stoughton. I received an advance review copy from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Christmas at the Little Village Bakery

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About this book:

It’s time to get toasty by the fire with a glass of mulled wine and a slice of chocolate yule log sprinkled with a little romance. Welcome to Christmas at the Little Village Bakery. 

Snow is falling in Honeybourne and Spencer is bringing home his American fiancée Tori for a traditional English Christmas with all the trimmings. But when his hippie mum and dad meet her high-maintenance parents, sparks of the wrong sort start to fly. Then Spencer bumps into his first love Jasmine and unexpected feelings come flooding back. 

Millie is run off her feet with Christmas orders at the Little Village Bakery and new baby Oscar. Thank goodness her cousin Darcie is here to help her. Although she does seem to be rather flirty with Millie’s boyfriend Dylan. 

Will Darcie ever find true love of her own? And is marrying Tori a terrible mistake for Spencer if his heart is with someone else? 

A heartwarming Christmassy romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson.

MetLineReader review:

A return visit to the little village of Honeybourne where Millie and Dylan have set up their little bakery. All the usual sights and sounds of the village, including the busy old lady (i.e. queen of gossip) Ruth Evans, the pub landlords Doug and Cassie, Dylan’s sister Jasmine, and the lovely Spencer. Ah Spencer is loved up with his American girlfriend Tori but Christmas in Honeybourne is showing up all those US/UK differences…

Read this book for a dollop of friendship, a spoonful of comfort and a whole lot of love!
Perfect for snuggling up by the fire (although I read it in August, so just had to imagine the snow and the fire!!)

MetLine Reader rating 4⛄⛄⛄⛄

Acknowledgments

Christmas at. the  Little Village Bakery is published by Bookouture on 16th September and is available to purchase from Amazon.  My thanks to the publisher for an advance review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review

**BLOG TOUR** The Ex Factor by Eva Woods

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@inkstainsclaire @HQstories

I’m delighted to be the next stop on the blog tour for this amusing tale …  if you’ve ever fancied your friend’s ex, this could be the perfect book for you!

About this book

Is it possible to freecycle love?

Modern dating is hard, especially when all you meet are liars, oddballs, men who wear Superman pants and men who live with their mums.

So why not date someone who already comes pre-approved? Just because your friend’s ex wasn’t right for her doesn’t mean that he won’t be right for you. That’s Marnie’s new plan for herself and her three best friends, perennially single Helen, recently divorced Rosa and cynical lawyer Ani.

Through bad dates and good, the four friends begin to realise that there are advantages to dating pre-screened men…but there can be some serious pitfalls to falling for your friend’s ex.

MetLineReader review

A light hearted look at dating — ever fancied your friend’s ex?

Personally I’ve never been tempted but have been on a couple of blind dates which *shudder* were worse… Thankfully now 20+ years ago but it didn’t take long for the memories to come flooding back.

Marnie and Helen have been friends since primary school and would do anything (really?!) for each other. Ani and Rosa met at Uni, and the four have been inseparable ever since.

Marnie returns from an overseas trip – she’s been away for 2 years — and suggests they date one of the other’s ex-boyfriends….

The story, bittersweet in places and slapstick silly in others, develops from here — particularly as Rosa, a journalist on a magazine, ends up having to write about the experience….

MetLineReader rating 4* 🙅🙅🙅🙅

About the author

Eva Woods is the nom de plume for the well-known writer Claire McGowan.  Since 2015, she has been writing contemporary women’s fiction (“that means sort of romance, with jokes in”). She chose the name of Eva Woods as “this was the name of [her]  great-grandmother and [she’s] always liked it.

She says she’s “probably best-known for the Paula Maguire series of crime novels (which has been optioned for TV by BBC Drama) and the thriller The Fall. [She’s] had several short storiesin anthologies or broadcast on Radio 4.

You can find out more about Eva Woods on Claire’s website, the brilliantly named http://www.ink-stains.co.uk/

Acknowledgements

The Ex Factor by Eva Woods is published on 8th September by HQStories (formerly MIRA), an imprint of Harper Collins. It is available for pre-order from Amazon UK.

No Angel

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Another stunner from Mark Edwards. There’s something rather creepy and unsettling about his books, that make them truly fabulous psychological thrillers. From the outset, you get that funny feeling in your tummy that something horrible is going to happen… and it does, but not always as you’re anticipating!

Twists and turns, red herrings aplenty, The Devil’s Work is the tale of Sophie, who’s just returned to work after having her daughter, Daisy, who’s now 4. But Sophie has sadness in her life, including unresolved issues from when she was at University.

Superbly written, with an easy style, this is a novel you will want to read at pace. It has some dark moments that take you by the scruff of the neck, hardly daring to read on.. but at the same time, desperate to do so as it’s just so enthralling.

About this book

A gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies.

It was the job she had dreamed of since childhood. But on her very first day, when an unnerving encounter drags up memories Sophie Greenwood would rather forget, she wonders if she has made a mistake. A fatal mistake.

What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie’s predecessor? When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years.

As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job…before it kills her.

Acknowledgments

The Devil’s Work is published on 13th September by Thomas and Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing.  I was delighted to receive an advance review copy of this stunning book from the publisher via Netgalley.  It is available to pre-order from Amazon UK.

Blocks and bricks

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@keefstuart @littlebrownUK

About this book

Discover a unique, funny and moving debut that will make you laugh, cry and smile.

Meet thirtysomething dad, Alex
He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn’t understand him. Something has to change. And he needs to start with himself.

Meet eight-year-old Sam
Beautiful, surprising, autistic. To him the world is a puzzle he can’t solve on his own.

But when Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other . . . 

Can one fragmented family put themselves back together, one piece at a time?

Inspired by the author’s experiences with his own son, A Boy Made of Blocks is an astonishingly authentic story of love, family and autism.

MetLineReader review

Simply stunning. 

I found A Boy Made of Blocks a little difficult to get into at first because it reminded me so much of the wonderful Shtum by Jem Lester and I kept drawing parallels between Ben and Joshua and Sam and Alex.

Once I got past this (with a book in between) I began to enjoy The Boy for its own simplicity and beauty.

A sad tale but told with such warmth that it becomes a happy tale where you like all the characters — despite not wanting to.

I don’t want to spoil it but I would say that this is a must-read. It might not seem like your cup of tea from the blurb but it is well worth a read. An insight into the world of autism, relationships and for seeing people for who they really not who we think they are.

A must-read, along with Shtum (but not too close together or your heart will break in two)

MetLineReader rating 5🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Acknowledgements 

A Boy Made of Blocks is published by Sphere, an imprint of Little Brown Book Group on 1st September and is available for pre-order from Amazon.  I was delighted to receive an advance review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.