Saturday, 23 June 2018

BLOG TOUR: This I Would Kill For - Anne Buist

Natalie King has been hired to do a psychiatric evaluation for the children’s court. A custody dispute. Not her usual territory. A distraught mother Jenna needs help maintaining custody of her children, claiming her former partner Malik has been abusing one of the children. He claims she’s crazy and compulsive. 
But what if all the claims are true, or none? And how does she work out where her concerns for the child slide into her growing obsession with her own lost father? With all the public interest, social media trolling and intense media speculation, Natalie finds herself struggling to view the case impartially.
More urgently: with both parents saying they’re desperate to keep their daughter safe—what if one of them is desperate enough to kill?
Against the backdrop of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse, Anne Buist brings us the third instalment in the Natalie King series. Buist takes a routine psychiatric evaluation and develops it into an insightful look into the intricacies and agendas within custody battles. Dealing with the continuing themes of mental illness and family dynamics, this crime thriller is not one to miss.

What did I think?

This I Would Kill For is a relatively quick read as the story runs along at a surprisingly fast pace and I found myself jumping to my own conclusions.  I was actually surprised to find that this is number 3 in a series, as it most definitely reads very well as a standalone; I certainly didn't experience any detrimental effect from not having read the earlier two books.  In fact I felt intrigued enough by the main character of Natalie King to want to read the previous books, so that's always a good sign when a reader jumps in mid-series.

Dr Natalie King is called in as an expert witness in a custody case.  Jenna and Malik are fighting over custody of their children but that isn't the whole story: 3 year old Chris is Malik's son with Jenna but 8 year old Chelsea is not his biological daughter and Jenna is accusing Malik of abusing Chelsea.  Natalie must find out whether there is any truth to the accusation and then decide where the children will be safe.  As Natalie spends time with the family, she uncovers one secret after another and her decision on the children's safety is not one to be made lightly.  Is Malik guilty of abusing Chelsea?  Why would Jenna lie about such a terrible thing?  Natalie King will find out!

You can tell that Anne Buist knows the field of psychiatry inside out as we are given a glimpse behind the closed door of the consulting room.  I loved reading about the way that Dr King manages to coax information out of her patient and I found the thought processes behind her observations fascinating.  As much as the science is based on fact, there is a very good story playing out; one which is very true to life and unfortunately happens all too often in real life.

I really enjoyed This I Would Kill For and, as much as I guessed some of the plot, I found my virtual visit to the psychiatrist's chair absolutely fascinating.  I have already decided that I want to read the earlier books to find out more about Natalie King's character as Natalie is struggling with her own psychological demons.  I think Natalie is a really strong, fresh and funky character and I look forward to reading more about her.

Anne Buist shows us a contemporary and modern side to psychiatry in this page turner of a psychological thriller.  Anne Buist's excellent writing vividly paints the scenes and her vast knowledge explains all the reader needs to know in order to follow the case, making this both an interesting and a thrilling read. 

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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Friday, 22 June 2018

BLOG TOUR: Just - Jenny Morton Potts

It only feels like five minutes ago that I read and enjoyed Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts so I was very eager to read her new book, Just.  I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour by releasing my review today and there are 5 e-books of Just up for grabs so don't miss the fabulous giveaway at the end of this post.

How far would you go to save a life?

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.

‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea. 

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.

What did I think?

I've only recently discovered Jenny Morton Potts' books and I'm still absolutely flabbergasted at the outstanding quality of writing that was displayed in Hiding.  This quality naturally continues in Just but, whereas Hiding is very much a psychological thriller, this book is more of a bone-chilling thriller.  Not in the gorey and gruesome horror sense, but more that you could totally imagine it happening in real life.  

Luci's son, Scottie, is a volunteer medic for the Reach charity which aims to identify the remains of bodies that wash up on the shores of the Mediterranean.  It's so sad and too often in the news about these poor people who leave their homeland searching for a better and safer life, having no idea that they are stepping onto boats that will never reach their destination.  Scottie's boss is the mysterious Dr Fiyori Maziq who Scottie ends up falling for.  At first I thought Fiyori was the obligatory love interest but I couldn't have been more wrong!

Luci doesn't even notice that her business partner, Finlay, has feelings for her as she is still so very bitter about the break up of her marriage.  Luci point blank refuses to even name the new Mrs Langbrook never mind see a photo of her or, heaven forbid, meet her.  Luci might not be able to put this off for much longer when she receives the news that her ex-husband has been killed when his car hit an elephant in Botswana.  Obviously, Scottie gets his sense of adventure from his father but just how adventurous is he and how far is he willing to go to protect his family?  

Without going into any details and giving the plot away, I felt as if a game of chess was being played out and the characters were carefully manipulated into place against their knowledge.  That really scares the bejeezus out of me; trust is something we give quite easily but it is also very difficult to get back once it is lost.  Unless you have the ability to read minds, you will never know what another person is thinking and whether they are being honest or manipulative.

I admit to being a bit confused at the beginning of Just as the story jumped from Luci and Finlay in Cornwall to Scottie and Fiyori in the Mediterranean, but I know that Jenny Morton Potts is a hugely talented writer so I just went with the flow, confident that the mist would lift and it would all become clear.  Indeed it does, but there is no sun waiting to come out as this frighteningly true to life story chills you to the bone.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:
Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gĂ®tes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with the family. She tries not to take herself too seriously.

Social Media Links 

Win  5 x e-copies of Just by Jenny Morton Potts (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Thursday, 21 June 2018

Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey - Jennifer C. Wilson

I always love taking part in Brook Cottage Books tours, not only because they have great books, but there are always some extra little treats for visitors to the various blogs on the tour.  I have only recently discovered Jennifer C. Wilson's brilliant Kindred Spirits series so I couldn't wait to read Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey, book 3 in the series.

For my spot on the tour, I have an extract from Chapter 1, my review and a giveaway to win an e-copy of book 1, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London.  I absolutely loved Kindred Spirits: Tower of London and you can read my review here so make sure you enter the giveaway at the end of this post - good luck!

Extract - Chapter 1

Queen Elizabeth I of England was sulking. And not quietly, as the rest of the Abbey’s residents would have preferred. Despite her advancing years, she could still flounce in style, and was keen to ensure everyone knew what was annoying her this time.

“It’s so boring here!” she exclaimed, dropping gracelessly into one of the choir stalls. “Nothing ever happens.”

“She’s been to the Tower again,” whispered Catherine Knollys to her brother, but not quite quietly enough, as the queen’s friends and cousins wandered over to see what specifically had been troubling her this time.

“Yes, yes, I have. At least things happen there.”

“Our Uncle George still as entertaining as ever then?” Henry Carey tried to divert his cousin’s attention, but only made it worse.

“Naturally. He was haunting the barrel of Malmsey with Clarence, and it was hilarious, as usual. Scaring people out of their skins. That’s what we ghosts should be doing, not just loitering about discussing experiments.” She glared at where Charles Darwin and Robert Stephenson were once again in deep conversation, sitting out of the way of the early tourists starting to make their way through the great church. Without a word, Darwin glared at her, then shifted in his seat turning his back against her, much to Elizabeth’s disgust.

“We do plenty of haunting, Cousin. It’s just that, well, you know the Abbey’s never really lent itself to that.”

“No, Catherine – everyone has simply become too old and too dull over the centuries. And too weak to stand up to my wretched great-grandmother. It’s all her fault.”

Catherine and Henry shot nervous glances at each other. When Elizabeth was in one of these moods, little could be done to stop her. Even her beloved Dudley had retreated back to Warwick after witnessing one of her angrier days. Before either could speak again, their cousin had moved on, stomping through the Abbey until she found the memorial to William Pulteney, the Earl of Bath.

As though knowing what was expected, the book in the centre of the statue flicked pages in silence. It wasn’t good enough.

“See? See that? A page of a statue’s book turning. Over three thousand of us in here, seventeen monarchs, no less, as the guidebooks tell us, and that’s the best we can come up with?” Queen Elizabeth spun on her heel, turning back to the siblings. “At the Tower they have my mother removing her severed head, with my step-mother and my aunt alongside her. They have a young, robust King, leading the way forward. They have wailings and chain-rattlings and, well, everything. We have a statue, turning its page.”

By now, a crowd had grown around the Queen, noting, not for the first time, how similar she was to her great-grandmother when her temper really took hold. Fiery Tudor blood indeed.

“We’ve talked about this, Elizabeth.” The chattering and ranting was broken by the only voice which ever had any control over the wayward Queen.

“Now she’s in trouble,” Mary-Eleanor smirked to her companion, only to receive a regal nudge in the ribs from Anne of Cleves.

Edward the Confessor moved slowly through the group, not troubling himself with meeting anyone’s eyes, but knowing they would move for him. They always did.

“We do not waste our time with such infantile behaviour here, Elizabeth, as well you know. We have held meetings.”

“Then we should hold more,” Elizabeth protested. “Otherwise, what is the point of us being ghosts?”

“Spirits,” the Confessor corrected her. “We use ‘spirits’ here. I don’t like ‘ghosts’.”

“Either way, we should be haunting. Surely even just a couple of calm visitations. You’ve never had a problem with Father Benedictus.”

“The good Father has his reasons for still being here. And he does the people he talks to no harm whatsoever. The souls of the Tower are troubled; they know no better than to disturb the peace of the living. Those of us here, we are not of the same ilk.” He glanced at Mary-Eleanor, knowing that of all those present, she would be the second most likely to argue with him. But instead she lowered her head in a slow, graceful nod, not uttering a word.

“I trust this matter is dealt with.” The Confessor ended the conversation and headed back to his shrine.

My Review

Series: Kindred Spirits
Genre: Paranormal Historical Fiction
Release Date:8th June 2018
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
On hallowed ground…
With over three thousand burials and memorials, including seventeen monarchs, life for the ghostly community of Westminster Abbey was never going to be a quiet one. Add in some fiery Tudor tempers, and several centuries-old feuds, and things can only go one way: chaotic.
Against the backdrop of England’s most important church, though, it isn't all tempers and tantrums. Poets' Corner hosts poetry battles and writing workshops, and close friendships form across the ages.
With the arrival of Mary Queen of Scots, however, battle ensues. Will Queens Mary I and Elizabeth I ever find their common ground, and lasting peace?
The bestselling Kindred Spirits series continues within the ancient walls of Westminster Abbey.

What did I think?

I came across Jennifer C. Wilson's 'historical fiction with a difference' series thanks to the North East Authors and Readers group on Facebook.  I am passionate about supporting local authors and Jennifer's books really appealed to me as a history lover who loves something that little bit different.  The Kindred Spirits series definitely fits that bill: it's history but not as we know it.

In Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey you can read about your favourite people from history as you've never seen them before.  Jennifer C. Wilson's passion for history, especially Plantagenet history, is very apparent as she effortlessly brings the past into the present.  Jennifer C. Wilson breaks the mould that many historical fiction writers fit into; she doesn't just regurgitate our favourite stories from history but rather breathes new life into our favourite historical characters.  You just need to take a look at the handy cast list provided in the back of the book to see the impossible made possible as people from different eras become friends and acquaintances in the spectral world: who could ever imagine 16th century Queen Anne of Cleves and 15th century Queen Anne Neville gossiping together like lifelong friends or a poetry competition with Chaucer, Dickens, Kipling and Tennyson?  This is all made possible thanks to the amazing imagination of Jennifer C. Wilson.

I loved learning more about the characters as they glide around Westminster Abbey with little bits of information from their past sprinkled throughout the prose like an Easter egg hunt.  Even if you don't know anything about history, you will learn things you didn't know before in a fun and almost subliminal way.  I know Henry VIII's least favourite wife was Anne of Cleves as he married her based on a less than accurate painting, but I didn't know that he allegedly then named her the 'Flanders Mare'.  So how does Jennifer C. Wilson tell us this little historical nugget?  By having Anne of Cleves sneaking on to the computer in the abbey's office to take out the reference to 'Flanders Mare' on her Wikipedia page.  Brilliant!

There are loads of hidden historical gems in Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey and I have probably missed so many of them by reading it so fast, so that's as good an excuse as any to read it again.  Well I have two copies after all; after receiving an advance e-copy, I also bought a finished paperback to read at my leisure.

So if you're looking for something different and you're tired of reading the same old historical fiction stories, you must pick up a copy of Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey and let Jennifer C. Wilson bring the past to life right in front of your eyes.

My rating:

Buy Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Or buy all three books in the series from:
Amazon UK

About the author:

Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating. 

Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books. In October 2017, she celebrated Richard III’s birthday by releasing her first timeslip novella, The Last Plantagenet.



Win an ecopy of book 1 in the series – Kindred Spirits Tower of London.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

BLOG BLITZ: The M Word - Eileen Wharton

Roberta Gallbreath is middle aged and menopausal. She dislikes her children, detests her ex-husband and despises her colleagues.

When her mother dies, Roberta is left with a pile of letters and a mystery surrounding her son. The letters reveal Roberta’s heritage is not what it seems and she is soon on a mission to become a better person.

Told with humour and emotion, The M Word is the tale of one woman’s journey to find out where she came from. As she looks to the past for answers, more questions are raised. Will Roberta discover who she really is?

What did I think?

It is rare to find a book so difficult to put down outside of the thriller genre but I had no difficulty at all in reading this cracking little book in one sitting.  It is so funny that I couldn't contain my laughter and I felt as if I was completely attuned to Eileen Wharton's prosecco-style humour (sparkling and dry, get it?).  

In fact, I felt as if Eileen Wharton knew me personally as I recognised so much of myself in the book; does the 'M' in The M Word perhaps stand for Michelle? I couldn't believe that both Roberta and I have an office bitch mug and anyone who knows me will have heard me referring to 'meat' sausages as being made of hooves and @rseholes, which is pretty much how hotdogs are described in this book.  So it was with tears of laughter streaming down my cheeks that I read most of The M Word, but life isn't always a comedy so Roberta also has many of the ups and downs of every day life to deal with.

Roberta is such a fabulous character; she is so honest and outspoken that you can't help but immediately love her.  It's quite sad at the beginning when Roberta finds out that her mother, Alice, is dying but when she visits her for the final time it is clear from their constant sniping at each other that they don't have a traditional mother/daughter relationship.  With her dying breath, Alice drops a bombshell and tells Roberta that the letters will explain everything.  As we read these heartbreaking letters with Roberta, we learn a lot more about Alice and why she was never able to show Roberta how much she loved her.

When her husband, Andy aka Knobhead, ran off with Terri-Ann from Thomas Cook, Roberta is encouraged by her hilarious friend, Tammy, to try internet dating.  This had my kindle shaking with laughter as Roberta went on one disastrous date after another in her attempt to show her boss, Mick the dick, that she could get a hot date for the company ball.  Roberta has no idea that when Mick asked her if she was taking a date to the ball, he was hoping she'd say no so he could go with her.  Awwwwww.  I had my fingers crossed for those two as Mick is completely smitten with Roberta but she's too insecure to see it.

I could write so much more about this book as I think it's brilliant; it is perfectly balanced with seriousness and humour and also contains a variant of my favourite Geordie word ever: claggy (meaning sticky).  I loved the witty hashtags sprinkled throughout, like #sickasachip and #datingdisaster which you could imagine Roberta using on social media if she's one of those people who document every minutiae of their lives online #asifanyoneisinterested.  I will also never look at a bottle stopper in the same way ever again...and again it reminded me of a funny day in my life when one of my colleagues in a design business asked me if I though his sculpture looked like a 'bottle stopper'.  He didn't say bottle stopper, but if you read The M Word you'll know what I mean!  I didn't even know what it was!  #shelteredlife

I abso-blooming-lutely recommend The M Word: it's fresh, honest and filled to the brim with sparkling dry humour.  It's so good I definitely want to read it again!

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Eileen Wharton is not the naughty great-grandaughter of Edith Wharton. She is currently employed by MI5 but has had various jobs including: wigmaker to Donald Trump, Megan Fox’s stunt double and Ann Summers ‘toy’ tester. She also tells lies for a living.
She currently has five ‘lively’ offspring ranging from thirty to ten years of age and has no plans to procreate further much to the relief of the local schools and police force.
Her first novel, ‘Shit Happens’ was published in 2011 to worldwide critical acclaim. She’s also won awards for exaggeration. It did top the Amazon humour chart so she’s officially a best-selling author.
Her first children’s picture book, ‘The Shmoogly Boo’ was published in the same year and another is in the pipeline entitled, ‘My Dad’s Better than Your Dad.’
Her first crime novel, ‘Blanket of Blood’ was launched as a paperback on Friday 28th November 2016. She is now working on the sequel ‘Blood’s Thicker.’
 She teaches English to teenagers and lives on a council estate in Bishop Auckland. She has never eaten kangaroo testicles, is allergic to cats and has a phobia of tinned tuna.

Author links

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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

BLOG TOUR: Where The Missing Go - Emma Rowley

I volunteer at a missing persons helpline - young people who have run away from home call me and I pass on messages to their loved ones, no questions asked.
I don't get many phone calls, and those I do are usually short and vague, or pranks.
But today a girl named Sophie called.
I'm supposed to contact her parents to let them know their child is safe.
The problem is, Sophie isn't safe.

What did I think?

This is an amazing debut; I am simultaneously gobsmacked that it is Emma Rowley's debut novel and salivating at the prospect of what she might write next.  How on earth do you follow such a fantastic novel?  That's a problem for Emma Rowley to figure out but what a wonderful problem to have.

Kate's life was devastated when her daughter, Sophie, went missing.  Everyone feared the worst but then the postcards started to arrive and it looked like Sophie had run away from home.  Case closed as far as the police are concerned but Kate has never given up hope of being reunited with Sophie.  Kate copes with her situation by volunteering at Message in a Bottle, a missing persons helpline so she can help other people in the same position as herself.  One night Kate receives a call from a young woman who wants to pass a message to her family.  There's nothing unusual about that, except that the caller is Sophie and the message is for Kate.  Before Kate realises what's happening, Sophie has hung up the phone but it's enough to get the police interested in her case again.

Kate isn't content with the police investigation and can't help herself from doing a bit of investigation herself.  As she looks at the old postcards she has received from Sophie over the years, she wonders if there's a clue hidden in them.  The writing is definitely Sophie's but the tone of the writing isn't right then Kate spots something familiar that may be the key to the whole missing persons case.

I know I've already said that this is an amazing debut, but seriously take note: Emma Rowley is definitely one to watch.  She is immensely talented to write such a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that draws the reader in immediately and gives them no opportunity to pause for breath.  I don't think anyone will be able to work this one out before the end; I was guilty of thinking I knew what was going to happen only for Emma Rowley to very successfully pull the rug from underneath me.  

Where The Missing Go is BRILLIANT!  Yes, the capital letters are intentional: I'm shouting it's brilliance to the world and applauding the fabulous new talent of Emma Rowley.  Take a bow and enjoy your success, Emma; I'm sure we're going to see your books at the top of the charts for many years to come.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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Monday, 18 June 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Heat is On - Helen Bridgett

Angie Shepherd is back and this time she means business!
Life is perfect for Angie Shepherd. Her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur have come true, business is booming, and her best friend Patty is back in town. So when the opportunity of investing in a luxury hotel comes up, it seems like a no-brainer. It's all going swimmingly until a rival travel agency opens up across the street. Before long, The Mercury Travel Club is undercut, double-crossed and in deep trouble. It's time for Angie to up the stakes. But with costs mounting up, sales going down, and her personal life suddenly in freefall, can Angie and her friends weather the storm?
Witty and charming in equal measure, this feel-good novel shows that when the going gets tough, the tough definitely get going.

What did I think?

In this follow up to The Mercury Travel Club we rejoin Angie and friends at the point where the sky's the limit for their quirky little Manchester based travel agency.  The award winning travel agency is firmly established in the high street and they have plans to invest in a luxury hotel in an exclusive resort.  It seems like everything is going right until the vacant shop across the road is revealed as 'Launch', another travel agency and the high street is only big enough for one of them.  

Launch's owner, Lorenzo, is described brilliantly by Helen Bridgett as a snake in the grass who slithers along the high street wearing his snakeskin belt.  Obviously, I was on Team Mercury but with this brilliant snake theme the reader is under no illusion that Lorenzo is a typical cartoon style bad guy.  I even found myself imagining him as Dick Dastardly.  His underhand dealings threaten to put Mercury out of business but Angie's colleagues and friends rally round to play him at his own game.  With customers and even staff moving over to Launch, is it too late to save Mercury?  Time to bring in the big guns: Patty!

I absolutely love Angie's friend, Patty.  She reminds me so much of Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous, but now Patty has a new man in her life she is ready to settle down again.  There are still hints of the hilarious Patty we know and love, especially in the dating advice she gives Angie.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud at some of the things she comes out with but it was lovely to see another side to Patty as she shows what she's made of when the chips are down.

After working so hard for her business, Angie deserves a bit of happiness in her private life and she's met a lovely man in Michael.  With Lorenzo's plans to destroy Angie's business in full force, Angie's relationship with Michael also comes under threat.  I felt as if Angie's world could fall around her at any moment...but not if her friends have any say in the matter it won't.  I love how close these guys are; they aren't just colleagues and business partners, they're a family and a force to be reckoned with in the fight against snaky Lorenzo.

The Heat is On had me laughing one minute and seething the next.  It felt very much like a fight between good and evil and even typing the name 'Lorenzo' is enough to make my skin crawl and my blood boil.  One thought remained constant whilst I was reading: if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.  It's frightening but true, how quickly we can switch our allegiance when offered a shiny new 'too good to be true' deal but don't forget that you often get what you pay for...and here's one especially for Lorenzo: what goes around comes around.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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Friday, 15 June 2018

BLOG BLITZ: Deception Wears Many Faces - Maggie James

When Lyddie takes her sister to Devon to recover after a recent suicide attempt, it starts a train of events that will put their lives in grave danger.

Ellie has been the victim of a professional con artist, one who stole her savings, then disappeared from her life. Driven by her own history of failed relationships, Lyddie vows revenge on the man who broke her sister’s heart.

Soon she assumes a false identity and begins her hunt for a man she knows to be cold, calculating and ruthless. But who is fooling whom? And can Lyddie find the justice she seeks and heal her damaged sister? 

What did I think?

I thought I had this one all worked out...then I didn't...then I did again...then I didn't...but such is the amazing talent of Maggie James to drop in more red herrings than the fish quay at North Shields.  So I gave up trying to work it out, and just went along for the ride!

Ellie and Lyddie are really close sisters, more so after Ellie attempted suicide on multiple occasions.  Lyddie is understandably overprotective of Ellie so when Ellie is duped by a con-artist into giving him all of her inheritance, Lyddie vows revenge.  Lyddie sets up a fake profile on some dating websites to lure the con-man into her web so she can get her revenge but he always seems to be one step ahead of her...  Then Lyddie unexpectedly finds the man of her dreams but she worries that she will lose him when she comes clean about her fake dating profile.  Lyddie might just have to choose between finding love for herself or getting revenge for her sister.

I loved how Maggie James so cleverly led me in one direction then blindfolded me, spun me around and sent me back to square one.  I also think it's good to remind people about the dangerous predators lurking online.  I've dabbled in online dating in the past but I can't bear dishonesty and there's always that fear that the person you are corresponding with is somebody else entirely.  I'm sure that there are some honest people out there but I've never found one in the world of online dating.

Ellie's mental health is also a big part of the story and very topical at the moment as we are encouraged to be aware of mental health.  I did feel that Lyddie mollycoddled her a bit and I wondered what Ellie's failed suicide attempts were really all about when she clearly has a family who love her.  Maggie James is never one for leaving loose ends so all of this becomes clear as the story progresses and it's all beautifully wrapped up in a big bow at the end.

Deception Wears Many Faces is a fabulously entertaining, gripping and totally addictive book from the dark and twisty mind of the wonderful Maggie James.  It's definitely a read-in-a-day kind of book as I couldn't bear to put it down once I'd picked it up; Maggie James has this amazing ability to tie your brain in knots so you know you're going to get a top-notch thrilling read when you pick up one of her books.  There's a bit of a pattern forming here on The Book Magnet as Maggie James scoops another huge 5 stars from me.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!