4*, blog tours, book review, debut author

#BlogTour #BookReview Only In Whispers by Jaqueline Grima. @GrimaJgrima @BooksManatee

whispersblogtour

My second blog tour today is Only In Whispers by Jacqueline Grima.

My Review:

Ok, so first off I have to admit that I struggled with this book at first. I found it slow to get into and the main character was quite annoying. I decided to check out some reviews on Goodreads (I normally don’t read reviews until after I’ve finished a book) and they were all four and five stars. Clearly I was missing something. So I tried to keep going and in the end decided to stop reading.

So why am I writing a review for the book? Well a funny thing happened. I made the decision to stop reading the book but almost immediately something in me wanted to keep going, I clearly wasn’t ready to give up yet. And once I’d made that decision I found that I got right into the story and quickly devoured the rest of the book.

The whole storyline intrigued me, you know that you were taken into care as a child and stayed with your aunt for over a year because your mum was unwell. That’s not a secret, you think that you know what happened and why. Until things start coming to you that don’t fit with the story that you have been told.

One of the things that frustrated me about this book was that the main character, Annie, seemed to suddenly start remembering things and these new memories came thick and fast. It seemed that she’d never thought about any of it before but suddenly bam, everything that she was doing seemed to trigger some sort of memory. It just didn’t feel natural.

Some of it was also quite predictable but that didn’t seem to matter. The story evolved and I enjoyed the read and was surprised that after I finished reading it I kept thinking about the characters and story. That’s a sure sign of a good read to me. The storyline was clever and different and it’s an impressive debut novel.

Thank you to Manatee Books for a copy of Only In Whispers by Jaqueline Grima. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

whispersbookA forgotten past
An uncertain future
A family hiding from the truth
When their mother is hospitalised with depression, Annie and her brother Matthew are fostered by their beloved Aunt Helen. Their family eventually reunited, the siblings begin a new life in Derbyshire with their mother and new stepfather.
Now in her thirties and separated from her husband, Annie is struggling to escape the past and move forward with her son. Haunted by memories of her childhood, she begins to realise that there may have been more to her time in foster care than her mother claims. Why did social services take her and Matthew away? Who can she trust to tell her what really happened?
As Annie finds out more, things take a sinister turn…has the life she’s lived so far been a lie?

About The Author:

DSCF1655Jacqueline Grima has recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her creative work has appeared in a variety of publications and, in 2014, she was shortlisted for the Luke Bitmead Bursary Award. Only in Whispers is her first novel. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @GrimaJgrima and read her blog at www.jacquelinegrima.wordpress.com

Only In Whispers by Jaqueline Grima is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks #TheLionTamerWhoLost

The Lion Tamer Blog Tour Poster Final

I’m really excited to be part of the blog tour for The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. I love Louise’s writing and you can read my reviews for two of her other books, Maria In The Moon and The Mountain in my Shoe both of which are beautifully written.

My Review:

I love Louise Beech, she is a fantastic writer who has a real way with words, managing to throw the reader right into the story and making the characters feel like real people that we know.

I’d heard a lot about The Lion Tamer Who Lost before I read it, and I was very excited to read it. I didn’t know what it was about, that doesn’t matter when you know that the author is Louise Beech, because I firmly believe that whatever she writes will be worth reading.

Readers of my book blog will know that I love to read thrillers and so a book like this is a big change of pace for me, which is something that I can struggle with, thrillers tend to throw the reader right into the middle of the story, the pace is fast, the chapters short. But a book like The Lion Tamer Who Lost shows me how important patience is.

Because once I was into the story I could not stop thinking about it. I really loved the character Ben, and this grew as the story went on. His relationship with Andrew was wonderful, I loved how they related to each other and how happy they made each other. It was beautiful and even thinking about it now as I write this makes me smile.

But we know that something went wrong, because Ben is out in Africa on a lion reserve and is not in contact with Andrew. So what could have gone so wrong on such a strong relationship? When the reader finds out it comes as a shock and I’m sure that my heart broke a little bit for Ben and Andrew, just as it must have done for them.

I really don’t want to give anything more away but if you love books that are beautifully written, that feel so real and that work their way into your heart in such a way that you know that it will never quite be the same again then stop reading this and buy The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. You really won’t regret it.

I received a copy of The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech from Orenda Books. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

thumbnail_Lion Tamer front cover finalBe careful what you wish for…

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?

About The Author:

thumbnail_Louise BeechLouise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Her third book, Maria in the Moon, was widely reviewed and critically acclaimed. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review, psychological thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview The Other Couple by Sarah J. Naughton. @TrapezeBooks @sarahjnaughton #honeymoon #TheOtherCouple #book #backablogger

Blog-tour-poster

It’s my stop on the blog tour for The Other Couple by Sarah J. Naughton. Thank you to Tracy Fenton for asking me to be part of the blog tour. I’m delighted to share my review with you!

My Review:

Early on in this book I got a bit worried, I was concerned that it was all going to be a little bit obvious. There have been other books recently set on small, exclusive islands where the dream holiday doesn’t quite go to plan (if you like that sort of thing try The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis or 37 Hours by J.F. Kirwan), and I hoped that this wasn’t going to be similar.

Thankfully it isn’t. The main character, Asha, is very different to what you would expect. She’s a woman who came from an estate with little money who married Ollie, an incredibly rich business man with more than a few enemies. They head to Vietnam for their dream holiday, or at least it is what Ollie thinks is Asha’s dream holiday, but we know from the start that all doesn’t end well as the book starts with Asha in the hospital, unable to remember what happened and how she got there.

What I liked about The Other Couple was that it really highlighted how ostentatious luxury resorts are, but also how fake it all is. The staff who are trained to treat the guests as royalty but who get paid very little, who lose their bonuses because a guest decided that they didn’t like something that the staff did. Or the guests who pretend to be something that they aren’t, with many motives for doing so. All the guests played a part in the story and they were all hiding something. It was cleverly done. The only thing that grated on me was Asha’s obsession with sex!

While The Other Couple isn’t an especially well written book it is one that I really enjoyed reading. I got into the story and wanted to know what was going to happen. It was an easy read and didn’t take me long to finish and work out what actually happened on what was meant to be a dream honeymoon.

I received a copy of The Other Couple by Sarah J Naughton from Trapeze via Netgalley. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

51btwEzBYTLIt was meant to be the perfect honeymoon.

A five-star resort in paradise.

White sands, a private villa and world-class cuisine.

A chance for newlyweds Asha and Ollie Graveney to recover from a recent tragedy, and enjoy the holiday of their dreams.

Except someone has other plans…

And paradise has turned into a nightmare.

 

About The Author:

sarahnaughton
Sarah J Naughton. Taken from her website.

Sarah worked as an advertising copywriter for ten years before her first book was published in 2013.  A supernatural thriller for teens, The Hanged Man Rises (Simon and Schuster) was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards.  A second thriller for teens, The Blood List (Simon and Schuster) came out in 2014.  Her first adult thriller, Tattletale (Trapeze) is due out in March 2017.

Sarah lives in London with her husband and two sons.

Social Media:
Twitter: @sarahjnaughton
Facebook: sarahjnaughtonauthor
Instagram: @sarah.naughton

The Other Couple by Sarah J Naughton is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.