Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 11/02/18

Jen Med's Book Reviews (7)

Work, work, work. That’s the story of my life these days. Well, apart from Monday afternoon. I took that as annual leave. But the rest of the week was boring, uneventful and painfully long … This was all I had to show from a full day’s graft on Thursday. CAn you tell what it is? Me either.

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Ah well. Pays the bills.

Monday afternoon was a bit of fun though. Quick (?) trip down to the City to attend First Monday Crime at City University. Quite the session this time with Craig Robertson, Tammy Cohen, CJ Tudor and Chris Carter. It was a really entertaining session even if one of Chris Carter’s crime scene stories left everyone feeling a little revolted. If you ever get the chance to head to one of the First Monday sessions I would absolutely recommend them as they’re a great evening of bookish talk with some fabulous people. Yes, I didn’t get home until 01:45 Tuesday morning, but I was actually more awake than I have been in a very long time when it came to going into work that morning. About right!

As I was in the presence of such fabulous authors it would have been a crime not to pick up a couple of books and get some squiggles while I was there. So I did. Far be it for me to break the law 😉 Picked up The Photographer by Craig Robertson and The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor, who was comepletely shell shocked by the whole evening.

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Arrived home to more fabulous book post too, this time The Devil’s Dice by Roz Watkins. Thanks to Roz and publishers HQ for that. Love the dice that come with it. Also on Saturday I received a copy of Hold My Hand by MJ Ford from Avon, so a big thanks to Sabah Khan for that too.

Picked up a few books from Netgalley, again these were for blog tours so they’ll be gone in a few weeks. All Bookouture titles too. The Visitor by KL Slater;  The Babysitter by Sheryl Browne and Cold Heart by Stephen Edger.

Amazon wise I may have purchased and/or preordered a few books. As you do.

The Little Cottage on the Hill by Emma Davies; The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton; Come a Little Closer by Rachel Abbott and Perfect Silence by Helen Fields. Quite reserved for me.

Been quite productive from a reading point of view this week. Sort of. Nine books, well the best part of. Can’t complain at that. Two were Mr Men Dr Who books and one was a novella, but still – six regular books is still impressive.

Books I have Read

TLCOTHThe Little Cottage on the Hill – Emma Davies

There’s blossom in the trees and daffodils as far as the eye can see. Maddie is looking forward to a fresh start in the countryside, but there’s just one little problem…

Following a scandal at her high-flying PR agency, twenty-six-year-old Maddie flees London to help promote what she thinks is going to be a luxurious holiday retreat in the countryside. Everything is riding on her making a success of this new job…

Yet when she arrives, Maddie is horrified to find a rundown old farm in a terrible state. The brooding and secretive owner, Seth, spent all his money on leasing the land when he fell in love with the beautiful, dishevelled farm cottages and the very romantic story behind them.

When Maddie discovers an old oil painting by the original owner’s wife, she unlocks the secret of the farm’s history and quickly realises she must start getting her hands dirty if this very special place is going to have any chance of survival. As she and Seth begin working together, the stunning view from the top of the hill is not the only thing that’s leaving her breathless…

After weeks of hard work the dream looks like it might become a reality, until a secret from Maddie’s past threatens to snatch it all away again. Can Maddie find a way to save the business and herself? Will she finally find a place to keep her heart within the crumbling walls of the little cottage on the hill?

Set in my native home county of Shropshire, when invited to take part in the blog tour, I couldn’t resist. A feel good romance and a cracking story as Maddie and Seth fight to save Seth’s home. You can preorder a copy here.

CALCCome A Little Closer – Rachel Abbott

They will be coming soon. They come every night. 

Snow is falling softly as a young woman takes her last breath. 

Fifteen miles away, two women sit silently in a dark kitchen. They don’t speak, because there is nothing left to be said. 

Another woman boards a plane to escape the man who is trying to steal her life. But she will have to return, sooner or later. 

These strangers have one thing in common. They each made one bad choice – and now they have no choices left. Soon they won’t be strangers, they’ll be family…

When DCI Tom Douglas is called to the cold, lonely scene of a suspicious death, he is baffled. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she get there? How many more must die? 

Who is controlling them, and how can they be stopped? 

Continuing the Tom Douglas series this sees Tom and team investigating the mysterious death of a young woman found at a remote beauty spot. Intertwined is the story of another young woman trying hard to escape from an abusive boyfriend with the help of some friends. Love this series so I’m thrilled to be involved in the blog tour once again. You can preorder a copy here.

DWDFMr Men Dr Who – Dr Fifth – Adam Hargreaves

The greatest mash-up in the Whoniverse continues.

Doctor Who meets Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Men in this series of fun and charming stories, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves.

Join the fifth Doctor and friends, Nyssa, Adric and Tegan as they attempt to outwit the wily Master!

Who doesn’t love Mr Men/Dr Who mashups? Dr Fifth is a cracker of a book featuring my favourite Dr. Hard to review as my review will be longer than the book but you can order your own copy here.

DT.jpgMr Men Dr Who – Dr Tenth – Adam Hargreaves

The greatest mash-up in the Whoniverse continues.

Doctor Who meets Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Men in this series of fun and charming stories, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves.

The tenth Doctor is taking a well-earned holiday – until the Sontarans show up! Can he stop the mighty warriors from invading yet another peaceful planet?

Dr Tenth. David Tennant as a Mr Man. No comment really. Loved this little story and I can almost hear David Tennant’s exasperation as I read. You can order your own copy here

TIHIEThis Is How It Ends – Eva Dolan

This is how it begins.

With a near-empty building, the inhabitants forced out of their homes by property developers.

With two women: idealistic, impassioned blogger Ella and seasoned campaigner, Molly.

With a body hidden in a lift shaft.

But how will it end?

A road trip to London on Wednesday let me clear this from by TBR by way of the audio book. A break away from her Peterborough set hate crimes series, this stand alone book is riveting and really makes you think. Set in the world of the protest movement, this is centered around a group trying to slow down the gentrification of London and save the people being priced out of the city. I’ll be sharing my thoughts soon and you can order your own copy here.

Blank coverNo Comment – Graham Smith

When a single mother, Julie Simon, is found in her kitchen with a stab wound to her stomach, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the case.

Under the supervision of DI Campbell and with advice from his former DI, Harry Evans, DC Amir Bhaki fights to discover who assaulted an innocent woman and left her with life-threatening injuries.

​Nothing is as it first appears and when the team looks into Julie’s life they uncover a hidden sex-life that may just hold the key to the identity of her attacker.

This is a novella from the DI Harry Evan stable. My first Harry Evans book but not my last and packs quite the punch for such a short story. Preorder links will be available soon.

tllThe Last Laugh – Tracy Bloom

‘I’ve googled it, how to die,’ Jenny says to Maureen. ‘It was full of climbing this mountain, swimming that sea, becoming a marathon runner and raising millions for charity.’

‘Sounds like bloody hard work. You can make it more fun than that surely?’

Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair… 

Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago. 

And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence.

Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime? 

Poignant and also funny, this is a great look at how the big ‘C’ diagnosis can impact upon our lives and the story of one woman’s reluctant acceptance of her fate. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the blog tour soon and in the meantime you can order yourselves a copy here.

bilygBefore I Let You Go – Kelly Rimmer

Your sister needs you. But her child needs you more… 

The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar-and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out-she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby-maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.

Kelly Rimmer’s books never fail to move me. Some are out and out tear jerkers, others, such as this one, are ones which will break your heart and make you grateful for family, while silently shedding a tear for all that is lost here. Such a great story. You can preorder a copy here.

TPThe Pact – SE Lynes

You made a promise to your sister. It could destroy your daughter. 

The Daughter 
15-year-old Rosie lies in hospital fighting for her life. She’s trying to tell her mother what happened to her, and how she got there, but she can’t speak the words out loud. 

The Mother
Rosie’s mother Toni has a secret. She had a traumatic childhood, and she and her sister Bridget made each other a promise thirty years ago: that they could never speak the truth about what they went through as children, and that they would protect each other without asking for help from others, no matter what…

Rosie was Toni’s second chance to get things right: a happy, talented girl with her whole life ahead of her. Having lost her husband in a tragic accident, Toni has dedicated her life to keeping Rosie safe from harm. 

But Rosie has plans that her mother doesn’t know about. She has dreams and ambitions – of love, of a career, of a life beyond the sheltered existence that her mother has created for her. But the secrets Rosie has been keeping have now put her life in danger. 

The Pact
In order to save Rosie, Toni may have to break her lifelong promise to her sister… and open doors to her past she hoped would remain closed forever. 

Another blog tour review and another blinder from the Bookouture stable. This is the first book by author SE Lynes that I;ve read but won’t be the last. I’ll be sharing my thoughts in a couple of weeks but you can preorder your own copy of the book right here.

Long week, lots of books. Sorry about that. Busy ish week on the blog too with posts from Tuesday to Saturday. You can catch up on any you missed on the links below.

Review: Perfect Remains by Helen Fields

Review: Killed by Thomas Enger

Review: Perfect Prey by Helen Fields

Review: Blue Night by Simone Buchholz

Review: The Lying Kind by Alison James

For the week ahead I’m taking it a lot easier. Two blog tours, Perfect Death today and The Reunion tomorrow, then just a few reviews through to the weekend. Plenty more reading time for me then.

I’ve a pretty dull week ahead too. I’m doing a joint presentation to our Senior Management Team as this post goes out. Dangerous Goods. Very exciting. Not. Then pretty much tied up in paperwork for the rest of the week. Still. COuld be worse. Less than two weeks to Granite Noir now. Cannot wait.

Hope you all have a fabulously bookish week.

Jen

 

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