Thursday, 15 March 2018

Your Move - Silvia Forrester

About the book… 
Two women. Two dreams. One big lesson in love.

With a passion for people and property, nothing gives newbie estate agent Gemma Cole more pleasure than matching buyers with their ideal homes. After a nomadic childhood with her ditzy mum, Gemma longs for nothing more than a place she can call her own. But with one modest income and meagre savings, will she ever be able to make her own home-owning dream come true?

When Marcus, the new photographer, arrives at the estate agency, he’s the epitome of laidback, festival chic. Sexy, laidback, festival chic. But Gemma dismisses him as another commitment-phobic, eternal student, just like her ex. However, looks can be deceptive. Marcus is reeling from a shocking family tragedy, one that’s left him as sole carer for an eight-year-old boy, as well as his scruffy dog. Will Gemma revise her opinion of Marcus, and will he trust her enough to reveal his family’s painful past?

Pandora works at Perfect 10, a premier beauty and cosmetic clinic. Always effortlessly glamorous – with model-looks, bucket loads of confidence and bulging designer wardrobes – she appears to have it all. But Pan also has a spiralling spending addiction, a string of failed relationships, and still lives at home with her mum. Aged thirty-three.

When her numerous credit cards are refused, Pan takes drastic action, and joins dating website Will a super-wealthy guy be the answer to all Pan’s woes? And can she find one who’s sane, honest and not old enough to be her grandfather?

Your Move is a lively romantic comedy, charting the blossoming friendship between modern heroines Gemma and Pandora, as well as the amorous entanglements that crisscross both their lives.

Buy Links: 

About the author… 
Silvia was brought up in a seaside town on the south coast of England by her mother and grandmother; she now lives in Kent. Silvia has two daughters, two stepdaughters and three granddaughters. With an abundance of women and girls in her life, it’s not surprising that female relationships, love, family and friendship are frequently the focus of Silvia’s writing.

My thoughts…

I was given an ecopy of this book by JB at Brook Cottage Books in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour. This is something I'm more than happy to do.

I was initially drawn to this book by the lovely cover, on a dingy, grey day it looked like just the thing I needed to read, it hinted of spring and made me smile.

Your move is told by two characters estate agent Gemma and beauty therapist/receptionist Pan. On the surface they couldn't be more different. Gemma wants to blend into the background and isn't comfortable under the beauty spotlight and Pan who loves showing off every aspect of her perfectly buffed, polished, plumped body. She lives for a treatment. You could say she's addicted to them.

The girls meet when Gemma is sent to Perfect 10 for a make over by her boss in preparation for a publicity campaign aimed at attracting high end clients. Both are looking to the next phase in their lives - Gemma wants to settle down and own her own home, she comes across as homely, honest, sweet and reliable. Whereas Pan is bold, brash and has her designs on finding herself a millionaire boyfriend to settle her not insubstantial debts and keep her in the manner she's been living which is way outside her budget. She's not adverse to bending / twisting the truth to get there.

Your Move is fun and light-hearted, it has the right mix of 'feel good', romance, drama and humour. Allowing you to laugh and cringe in all the right places.

It is a beautiful story about love, friendship, family and discovering what is important in life, as the book progressed more of the 'real' characteristics were revealed. Gemma and Pan each discovering in different ways that to find true happiness, you have to be happy in yourself first - and sometimes you have to take a leap of faith, sometimes you have to lead with your heart and put your trust and happiness in the hands of someone else.

Thank you Silvia Forrester for creating delightful characters that appeared as vivid pictures in my mind, because of this I was fully engaged from the beginning - quietly mouthing my thoughts and advice to 'the girls' throughout - I thoroughly enjoyed this
slice of escapism into the worlds of two very different characters

Friday, 9 March 2018

The Babysitter - Sheryl Browne

About the book… 

The Babysitter: A gripping psychological thriller with edge of your seat suspense

You trust her with your family. Would you trust her with your life?

Mark and Melissa Cain are thrilled to have found Jade, a babysitter who is brilliant with their young children. Having seen her own house burn to the ground, Jade needs them as much as they need her. Moving Jade into the family home can only be a good thing, can’t it?

As Mark works long hours as a police officer and Melissa struggles with running a business, the family become ever more reliant on their babysitter, who is only too happy to help. And as Melissa begins to slip into depression, it’s Jade who is left picking up the pieces.

But Mark soon notices things aren’t quite as they seem. Things at home feel wrong, and as Mark begins to investigate their seemingly perfect sitter, what he discovers shocks him to his core. He’s met Jade before. And now he suspects he might know what she wants …

Mark is in a race against time to protect his family. But what will he find as he goes back to his family home?

If you loved reading The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister, you’ll love the suspense of The Babysitter. This unputdownable read will have you turning the pages until way after dark.

Buy Links: 

Amazon USA

About the author… 
Sheryl Browne brings you powerful psychological thriller and contemporary fiction. SheryI’s latest psychological thriller THE BABYSITTER – the first of a three-book deal – comes to you from fabulous BOOKOUTURE. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previously writing for award winning Choc Lit, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

So why does Sheryl write in two genres? Quoting E. L. Doctorow, Sheryl says: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights…” This she thinks sums up a writer’s journey, you never quite know where you are going until you get there. You might start with an outline, but a strong character will always divert from the plot. If Sheryl’s not sure where a character is going, she simply has to trust him to show her the way. Plus, according to one reviewer, she also has a scary insight into the mind of a psychopath.

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by Kim at Bookouture, Sheryl's publishers; in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I'm more than happy to do.

It is no secret that I love Sheryl's writing, she has the ability to shock me and then some - each book leaving me with palpitations and an after-shock.  This book was slightly different in that the horror and destruction that comes into the lives of Melissa and Mark and their children Poppy and baby Evie comes from within.

Meet Jade, homeless after a house fire she is rescued by Mark and invited into their home.  She is gorgeous, kind and very soon becomes an invaluable help to the family before taking on a role as a full-time, live in babysitter.  But.......she's a little to wholesome to be true and manages to unravel the tight knit family as easy as dropping a ball of wool.

This was a book that had me cussing and cursing, silently berating and muttering throughout - it was scarily frightening how easy their lives fell apart, doubting each other and second guessing their own sanity.  With Mark grateful that his children had got the love and care of Jade, 'the babysitter' as his wife loses the ability to function and care for her family or herself.  If only he knew.......I repeatedly wanted to shake him, wanting him to see what was happening around him.  The pressures of his job as a detective and his home-life meant he took his eye off the ball allowing Jade a way in!

Jade played them both, in a sickly twisted way.  I felt helpless and disgusted as Sheryl took me on an uncomfortable, voyeuristic journey as she allowed Jade to systematically chip away at Melissa's and Mark's life.

I don't think I've read a book in such a long time where I've disliked a character quite so much, Jade has a pure evil centre wrapped in a delicious coating. This is a book that built momentum, I found myself reading quicker wanting to get to the end in order to stop the torment. To watch the happy, connected family become separate entities unable to function in their rightful way was painful.  A sickenly, twisted story that has reality at the heart of it.  I always take people at face value - I'm now thinking there's a lot to be said for those that save judgement.

Thank you so much Sheryl for writing another totally absorbing read that fully engaged my vivid imagination and sense of judgement - a story that shook my values to the core,

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Bring Me Back - B A Paris

About the book… 

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she's not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he's engaged to be married; he's happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She's turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?
The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

Buy Links: 

Amazon USA

About the author… 
B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her books have sold in 37 territories around the world. Having lived in France for many years, she recently moved back to the UK. She has five daughters.

Contact Links: 
Twitter - @BAParisAuthor
Goodreads - B A Paris Author

My thoughts…
I was given a copy of Bring Me Back by HQ Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I am more than happy to do.

Talk about throw a line and reel you in - that's exactly what B A Paris did with Bring Me Back her latest book and from the very first page she had me hook, line and sinker. I loved every single page and was totally absorbed oblivious to everything around me except the story of Ellie, Finn and the mysterious Russian Dolls!
The prologue introduces us to Finn and his girlfriend Layla who are on the way home from a holiday in France.  They stop at services and Layla disappears never to be found - she completely vanishes off the face of the earth.  Fast forward twelve years and Finn is sharing a house with girlfriend Ellen when his past and the unsolved mystery of his then girlfriend is brought crashing into their lives in the form of mysterious gifts and emails.

B A Paris completely messed with my mind in the same way she did with that of Finn and Ellen. With every page turned I was absorbed further into their lives and lost complete sight of reality. I was three quarters of the way through the book before I sat back to take stock. Bring me back is totally engaging with the clues leading me on a merry dance, at times I couldn't even differentiate between real and imagined occurrences. I never even come close to fully unravelling the plot - and even now it has ended the story is still spinning around inside my head.

This book is a like a game of cat and mouse, with the protagonist changing with each chapter. My thoughts and feelings towards both Finn and Ellen along with their friends Harry and Ruby changed more times than in any other book I've read. I genuinely suspected therm all at one time or another, pitied and despised them all at other times and then felt deep pain and concern it was weird and made me feel uncomfortable.

With an ending and twist that made me sit with my hand over my mouth B A Paris has done it again, an outstanding, compelling read that I was devastated to have finished.

I highly recommend Bring Me Back - it's going to take a lot to push this story from my memory.