Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, First Read, Louise Voss, NetGalley, Novel

#HisOtherWoman by @LouiseVoss1

When my husband vanished, I could never have imagined that finding him again would be worse than losing him…

Not long before our daughter’s wedding, my husband plans a trip away. I encourage him to go I know he needs a break. I drive him to the airport, wrap my arms around him and kiss him goodbye, telling him I’ll see him soon.

Then he vanishes. And no one believes me when I say he would never have left us, not so cruelly, leaving our messages unread and our calls ignored.

I spend weeks in our empty house, surrounded by pictures of our family, desperately searching for answers. I go shopping with my daughter for her wedding dress, hoping beyond hope that he will come home in time to walk her down the aisle.

But when we find him, he doesn’t remember us – and he has done something I may never be able to forgive. I just want my husband back… but is he still the man I married?

From the bestselling author Louise Voss comes an unputdownable story about family and forgiveness, that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. Perfect for fans of Nicole Trope, Kerry Fisher and The Silent Daughter.

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Despite the early flight, the kids had all stayed over so they could come and see their dad off at Gatwick.

ONE

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(@Bookouture, 2 July 2021, 353 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 2 July 2021, #booksontour)

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This is a new author for me. The blurb really intrigued me. It made me want to read the book. I loved the sound of it. I thought this was a terrific read. The characters are well written and I felt connected to them especially Alanda (cool name by the way). I enjoyed the way the book is paced as well. This is the kind of book you don’t want to stop reading once you pick it up because it’s so engrossing. I had so many questions as I read and had to keep reading to get the answers. This book defines emotional roller-coaster. It’s a win-win for me.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, First Read, NetGalley, Novel, Sophie Anderson

#TheButterflyGarden by #SophieAnderson

I blamed my son for the death of my daughter…

When twenty-five-year-old Erin flees London for Cornwall and takes a job at Hookes End, a huge house clinging precariously to the Cornish cliffs, all she knows about it are the stories people tell. The owner, reclusive novelist and butterfly enthusiast Maggie, has kept the curtains of her dusty house drawn for many years. But now she is dying, and Erin, seeing the shadows that cross Maggie’s face, wants to help in any way she can.

Years ago, Maggie’s only son Lucas ran away to the other side of the world and the searing heat of the Costa Rican jungle. Maggie is desperate to see Lucas again – there is something she needs him to know.

Erin wants to help Maggie find peace. But when she travels to the warm white sands and tropical butterfly gardens of Costa Rica to find Lucas, it becomes very clear that he is hiding something too.

As Erin unravels the webs of deceit entangling mother and son, she learns about the terrible tragedy that changed their lives forever: the night when a little girl in a fairy nightdress went missing. But with Maggie’s time fast running out, is it too late for them to find the forgiveness they need to move on?

A heart-wrenching page-turner about a family ripped apart by guilt and lies. Set against the storms of the Cornish coast and the silvery sands of Costa Rica, The Butterfly Garden is a story of love, loss and letting go. Fans of Jojo Moyes, Harriet Evans and Lucinda Riley will be gripped.

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I had my first appointment with Dr Sham today.

CHAPTER ONE

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(@Bookouture, 21 June 2021, 311 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 24 June, #booksontour)

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This is a new author for me. I thought The Butterfly Garden was excellent. I enjoyed the way the author explores the relationship between Maggie and Erin as Erin ghost writes for Maggie and family secrets and tragedy is revealed. I got swept up in the book after a few pages and didn’t want to stop reading. I found the book incredibly sad at times. I really enjoyed this.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, Kerry Wilkinson, NetGalley, Novel, thriller

#TheChildinthePhoto by @kerrywk

I stare at the newspaper article about a baby snatched from the back of a car thirty years ago and wonder why someone would post it through my door. Looking closer, my blood freezes. The little girl in the photo has an unusual scar – just like mine. I’ve never met anyone with one like it. Is this stolen child… me?

Trembling with shock, I know I have to confront my mother. My parents got me through a horrific accident, helped me find a job I love teaching art, and even with buying my own house. But was it all built on lies?

She tells me the day I was born was the best day of her life, and I’m flooded with guilt for questioning her – but why do I catch her burning papers in the garden the next day?

Then I come home to find a woman sitting on my doorstep, covered in bruises and claiming she knows who abducted me. I don’t know if I can trust her – or if I’ll be the next to get hurt.

Because all the while, I’ve been hiding my own secret. Does whoever sent the article know what really happened the day of my accident? Desperate for the truth, I break into the house of my supposed kidnapper. Inside, I find a handwritten list of names. A shiver goes down my spine as I realise wasn’t the only child to be stolen.

Then I hear a key in the lock, and I know my life is in terrible danger…

An absolutely addictive read that will have you racing through the pages and questioning everything you thought you knew about your family. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Lisa Jewell and Shari Lapena.

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I don’t think human beings have enough hands.

ONE, FRIDAY

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(@Bookouture, 14 June 2021, 418 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 15 June, #booksontour)

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I’ve read and enjoyed other books by the author so was looking forward to The Child In The Photo. I read a lot of thrillers and this is offers what I’d expect from a good one; fast pace, well written characters, twists, turns and misdirection. I found this as quick and easy read and very engrossing. I felt some major plot elements are revealed too early but I kept reading to see how everything connected. This is the kind of book where you don’t know what’s going on and you need to keep flicking pages until it all makes sense. I thought this was terrific.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, NetGalley, Novel, Sue Watson, thriller

#TheForeverHome by @suewatsonwriter

You thought you’d always be safe there… you were wrong.

Carly had thought they’d always live there. The beautiful Cornish cliffside house they’d taken on as a wreck, that Mark had obsessively re-designed and renovated – a project that had made him famous. It was where they’d raised their children, where they’d sat cosily on the sofa watching storms raging over the sea below. It was where they’d promised to keep each other’s secrets…

Until now. Because Mark has fallen in love. With someone he definitely shouldn’t have. Someone who isn’t Carly. And suddenly their family home doesn’t feel like so much of a safe haven.

Carly thinks forever should mean forever though: it’s her home and she’ll stay there. Even the dark family secrets it contains feel like they belong to her. But someone disagrees. And, as threats start to arrive at her front door, it becomes clear, someone will stop at nothing. Because someone wants to demolish every last thing that makes Carly feel safe. Forever.

An utterly unputdownable psychological thriller about what lies are hidden in the most beautiful homes. Perfect for fans of Date NightGone Girl and The Woman in the Window.

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It felt like a wedding.

CHAPTER ONE

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(@Bookouture, 4 June 2021, 391 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 8 June, #booksontour)

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I’ve read and enjoyed other books by the author so was looking forward to reading this. The blurb made it sound like the sort of mystery / suspense / thriller I’d really enjoy. I was not disappointed. I got pulled deep into the book within the first few pages and I couldn’t stop reading it. I loved the dark secrets running through Mark and Carly’s marriage. I really sympathised with Carly unsure of who to trust when the floor is yanked from under her and her perfect life and marriage becomes unstable. This ticks all the boxes for a good thriller.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, Dana Perry, first, NetGalley, Novel, thriller

#HerOceanGrave by @DanaPerryAuthor

Over the cliff edge, she sees a broken body on the jutting rocks below, the waves crashing all around. She can’t see the girl’s face, which is covered by her long, brown hair. But she knows her. She met her just yesterday…

When Samantha Claymore doesn’t return home after an afternoon bicycle ride on Martha’s Vineyard, Detective Abby Pearce acts immediately. She knows from experience how quickly a lost girl can become a tragedy. Back on the island for the first time since she ran away as a teenager, Abby hopes solving Samantha’s case will make up for her past mistakes… But, as the media swarm and Samantha’s grieving mother joins the search, the police find no trace of the beloved sixteen-year-old—even when a reward is offered for her return.

Trawling through old case files, Abby discovers that Samantha is not the only girl to have gone missing in the small community of Martha’s Vineyard. She’s convinced more could follow, but her team insists there’s no link to be found. Until Samantha’s best friend is found dead at the bottom of a cliff the next day…

After searching Samantha’s bedroom and trawling through the files on her computer, Abby digs into the death of Samantha’s father five years ago at sea, following the trail to one of the island’s most powerful families. The same people who failed to protect Abby the night she was forced to leave as a young girl. Is there anyone left on this quiet island who Abby can trust? Can she find Samantha before more innocent lives are taken?

An absolutely unputdownable and nail-biting crime thriller that will have you racing through the pages. Perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Kendra Elliot and Gregg Olsen.

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Most crime stories have a beginning and an end.

PROLOGUE

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(@Bookouture, 2 June 2021, 314 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 5 June, #booksontour)

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This is my first time reading the author. I read a lot of fiction with female detectives. Thrillers and mysteries so I was on familiar territory with this book. I enjoyed the book a lot but some elements didn’t quite work for me. At points, the prose came across a quite stilted rather like reading reported facts rather than a narrative to help build pictures and a story in my head. This didn’t happen all the time and was quite jarring. Her Ocean Grave has most of the elements I expect from the kind of book; well written characters, twists, turns, tension and lots of suspense. I did enjoy the book.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, NetGalley, Novel, Vanessa Carnevale

#HerTuscanSummer by @v_carnevale

When I go to sleep at night, all I see is your face. All that matters to me is your happiness. I’d do anything for you. But don’t expect me not to fight for you. I’m prepared to lose you, but not like this.

Mia Moretti has always dreamed of becoming an artist. But after a fierce battle with a devastating illness that she is terrified will return, Mia is heartbroken to find herself unable to paint like she used to and is forced to give up her place at art school.

So when an opportunity to spend the summer in Italy presents itself, Mia jumps at the chance for a fresh start. She hopes that by travelling to the sun-drenched streets of Florence, surrounded by art and Tuscany’s rich green vineyards and sweeping hills, she will finally be able to heal.

What Mia doesn’t count on is meeting handsome local mechanic, Luca Bonnici. With his easy smile, endless warmth and irresistible joie de vivre, Mia can’t help but fall for him. And, as she slowly lets down her walls and opens her heart to Luca, Mia starts to fall in love with life again too.

But just when she is ready to let go of her past, tragedy strikes. Will Mia’s strength and her love for Luca be enough to save them both, or is it already too late?

Lose yourself in the blue skies and sun-kissed streets of Florence with this gorgeous, heart-wrenching story about love and second chances. Perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley, Santa Montefiore and That Month in Tuscany.

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The wheels of suitcases gaze waxed floors while I sit with a lapful of pencil shavings, drowning in a sea of crumpled balls bearing the lines of faded strokes.

ONE

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(@Bookouture, 25 May 2021, 418 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 3 June, #booksontour)

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I’ve read and enjoyed other books by the author, though not in the same genre so was looking forward to Her Tuscan Summer. I really enjoyed this book. It’s different from the stuff I usually read, though in a good way. Mia is a great character, I really emphasised with her struggle to find inspiration and a place in the world after battling cancer and I was on her side from the start. I loved the setting. The author does a brilliant job of creating a sense of place. I even enjoyed the love story between Mia and Luca even though it’s a bit twee at times. I guess I’m a sucker for a good love story.

Posted in 2021, Contemporary Fiction, Dean Koontz, Novella, thriller

The Neighbour by @deankoontz

An original short story from No.1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz. A prequel to THE CITY, his gripping and moving new novel.

Every city has its wonders and mysteries. For the Pomerantz family, the most disturbing mystery at the moment is the identity and the intentions of their new neighbour…

The year is 1967. Malcolm Pomerantz is twelve, geeky and socially awkward, while his seriously bright sister, Amalia, is spirited and beautiful. Each is the other’s best friend, united by a boundless interest in the world beyond their dysfunctional parents’ unhappy home. But even the troubled Pomerantz household will seem to be a haven compared to the house next door, after an enigmatic and very secretive new neighbour takes up residence in the darkest hours of the night.

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My name is Malcolm Pomerantz, and I’m an axe-man, though not like those guys on that reality TV-show about loggers.

1

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(@HarperCollinsUK, 5 June 2014, ebook, 49 pages, bought from @AmazonKindle)

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I read and really enjoyed The City years ago but completely forgot I’d bought this as well. It’s linked to the novel through the setting and characters but it can be read as a stand-alone separate to the novel. You don’t need to have read The City to enjoy it. A few years back the author had a habit of bringing out connected novella’s just before a new book was released. I have a bunch of those. He’s not done this for a while though. I enjoyed this novella. Koontz covers familiar ground with this tale of a creepy neighbour and a creepy house. I thought it was well-written and engaging. I may re-read The City at some point as I can barely remember it.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, First Read, Helga Flatland, Novel

#OneLastTime by @HelgaFlatland

Anne’s diagnosis of terminal cancer shines a spotlight onto fractured relationships with her daughter and granddaughter, with surprising, heart-warming results. A moving, warmly funny novel by the Norwegian Anne Tyler.

Anne’s life is rushing to an unexpected and untimely end. But her diagnosis of terminal cancer isn’t just a shock for her and for her daughter Sigrid and granddaughter Mia it shines a spotlight onto their fractured and uncomfortable relationships.

On a spur-of-the moment trip to France the three generations of women reveal harboured secrets, long-held frustrations and suppressed desires, and learn humbling and heart-warming lessons about how life should be lived when death is so close.

With all of Helga Flatland’s trademark humour, razor-sharp wit and deep empathy, One Last Time examines the great dramas that can be found in ordinary lives, asks the questions that matter to us all and ultimately celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, in an exquisite, enchantingly beautiful novel that urges us to treasure and rethink … everything.

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I bring the blade of the axe down on her neck.

1

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(@Orendabooks, 24 June 2021, 276 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 1 June 2021)

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This is a new author for me. I thought One Last Time was a remarkable book, incredibly sad at times but gripping and full of hope as well, a nice blend of light and dark. I plan to read more of her books. I’m in for a treat if One Last Time is anything to go by. The premise for the book isn’t exactly original, familiar territory that’s featured in books many times over, terminal illness that brings uneasy family relationships into focus. However, what makes One Last Time so unique is how great a job the author does of brining her complex characters and their relationship to life. I really connected with everything about the book.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, NetGalley, Novel, Sue Roberts

#GoingGreek by @SueRobertsautho

Sun, sea and a sizzling romance… the perfect holiday, right? Wrong.

After a work party gone disastrously wrong, Samantha suddenly finds herself jobless and jilted. So when her sister invites Sam to stay at her little whitewashed farmhouse on a Greek island, Sam leaps at the chance to escape. Before long, she’s trundling up the cobbled driveway, almost colliding with sexy neighbour Spyros.

It isn’t all sunshine and smiles though. For every afternoon spent lounging by the pool, cocktail in hand, there is a morning spent adjusting to life with boisterous six-year-old nieces. When Spyros invites Sam to explore the island with him she’s tempted, but with his carefree, live-for-the-moment attitude, he couldn’t be more different to Sam with her five-year plans and high-maintenance hair. One drink, as friends, couldn’t hurt though? Over glasses of fruity Greek wine and honey-sweet baklava, can he – and the other charming locals – help city girl Sam to appreciate the simple pleasures the Greek life has to offer?

Just as Sam is considering ditching her designer gear for good though, she runs in to an old flame from home, and suddenly her London life comes hurtling back. Can her smooth-talking ex convince Sam to return to the concrete jungle, or will the lessons she’s learned from her Greek escape persuade her to stay?

A fun, fabulous and completely laugh-out-loud summer read perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Jenny Colgan and Sophie Kinsella

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They’re still out there.

PROLOGUE

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(@Bookouture, 28 May 2021, 418 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 30 May, #booksontour)

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I’ve read and enjoyed other books by the author, even though they are different from the books I usually read so I was looking forward to Going Greek. I’ve enjoyed other books set in Greece and the author does good job provoking the country, culture, way of life, tastes and smells. There’s a real sense of place running through the books. Thankfully, the romantic elements aren’t over-bearing. This a fun read, perfect for the beach, preferably while sipping cocktails.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, First Read, Jenna Kernan, NetGalley, Novel, thriller

#TheHuntedGirls by @JennaKernan

Stumbling through the pitch-black forest, twigs scratching her bare feet, she sobs as she imagines her children crying for their mommy to put them to bed. By now everyone will know she is missing. Please, please let me find the way home. Before he comes back.

As Agent Nadine Finch rushes to investigate the murder of newlywed Nikki Darnell in Ocala National Forest, Florida, fear floods her body. She swore she’d never set foot here again, not since the case fifteen years ago which tore her life apart. But taking in the triangular cuts scarring Nikki’s perfect pale skin, she knows she must put her own traumatic past aside to find justice for Nikki’s inconsolable husband.

Discovering water in Nikki’s lungs, and certain the triangular wounds were made by arrowheads, Nadine must convince her team of her terrifying theory: that Nikki was hunted down and drowned before being left for them to find. But what monster would do such a thing? And why? Then another woman, a mother of two, is discovered in the woods, tell-tale arrow marks all over her body.

Recognizing the victim as a local waitress, Nadine fears the killer has started attacking women known to her. And the moment she traces the arrow heads to a nearby outdoors store, her own partner disappears.

Frantic, Nadine follows the trail to a lonely cabin deep in the Florida wetlands where she finally learns the heart-stopping truth. To save one of her own, she must confront a deadly hunter obsessed with the case that’s haunted her whole career. Will Nadine have to make the ultimate sacrifice to stop him taking more innocent lives?

Jaw-dropping, packed with twists and turns, and impossible to put down until you reach the final page. Fans of Robert Dugoni, Lisa Gardner and Rachel Caine will be totally addicted to The Hunted Girls.

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He moved undetected by the authorities, the public or his prey.

PROLOGUE

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(@Bookouture, 25 May 2021, 418 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 29 May, #booksontour)

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This is a new author for me. I really enjoyed The Hunted Girls. I read a lot of thrillers so felt very at home in the world created in the book. I was fascinated by the idea that Nadine’s mother and uncle were serial killers and other members of her family were felons and her grand-father had been a killer as well. This idea is not something I’d come across in a thriller before and I really enjoyed getting to know her as a character and the way her mind worked. I really connected to her and her fear that due to her family she might had had a genetic predisposition to be a killer. The book is intense at times and really gripping. I thought it was great.