The Shark Club

If you don’t even read this entire review, just read this next line…

THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANT – READ NOW

If you do have time to read the detailed review, carry on…

As a child, Maeve had her leg bitten by a black tip shark, leaving her with a permanent scar on her leg. For most people, fear would take over and they would never enter the sea again. Not for Maeve. Having lost her parents at a young age, she seems to have a surprising ability to embrace change and tackle her fears. Fast-forward to Maeve as an adult and we find that she is a marine biologist, itching to explore the wonders of sharks across the world.

Research trips mean Maeve never seems to settle and her past relationships have suffered greatly, including her first love – Daniel. Maeve struggles to get Daniel out of her head, even after all these years, but he’s moved on and has his own family now.

During a research trip in Bimini; The Bahamas, Maeve meets Nicholas – a marine biologist specialising in rays, although they manage to remain professional for the diving trips, the romance is bubbling away in the background and comes to boil on the last night.

Returning to her hometown for some downtime between research trips; where Maeve lives in a hotel owned by her Aunt Perri and ran by her brother Robin, Maeve suffers three shocks:

  1. Daniel is back and working as the head chef in the hotel restaurant – single and accompanied by his adorable daughter; Hazel, who is obsessed with sharks
  2. Her brother is about to be a published author – the problem: the main character seems to be shaped on Maeve and her disastrous love life
  3. Over a hundred shark fins have been found in a truck – illegal finning is happening in the area

Maeve is up against the people that love sharks for the money that their fins provide, rather than their beauty and unique place in the ocean ecosystem. Can her passion help her find out who is behind the finning?

There are a surprising amount of twists that will creep up on you (as silent as a shark approaching!) in this plot which has the perfect balance of romance and the sheer passion an individual can have towards something. Not only will this book get you heated up about shark welfare, it will remind you how important it is to follow your heart – very calming and thought provoking.

With characters ranging over a wide age group, Ann’s ability to dial into each characters’ thoughts and opinions on a range of topics, and make them seem so natural, deserves wide recognition. With hidden feelings explored, I was able to analyse the true source of Maeve’s emotions and feel a connection to my fictional friend.  This is an author who knows how to write a good story: one that you’ll remember because of its quirks; one that you’ll recommend because of the main character and one that will leave you craving a holiday!

And I nearly forgot to mention the best bit, the love for books radiates from the pages of this tale, the book themed hotel is a bookworm’s paradise!

The Shark Club will be published and out to buy in paperback on Thursday 22 February by Headline

Many thanks to Headline for providing me with a copy to review through bookbridgr, I am very grateful to have the opportunity to discover so many new authors and spectacular plots.

Until next time, Chloé x

Advertisements

Crimson & Bone

I will start with an apology: I’m sorry this review isn’t as good as usual. I can’t express to you how much I loved this book but when it came to writing a review, I really struggled to find the right words! Words like “JUST READ IT”, “AMAZING” and “TOOK ME BY SURPRISE”, popped into my head, but when it came to writing some further analysis of the plot and writing style, I was stumped. Does this happen to any of my fellow bloggers? I find it most frustrating; particularly as it usually happens to books that I have absolutely adored and therefore I am disappointed that my review isn’t screaming out how good it is!

Enough. I have apologised. Onto the review…

I was obsessed with this book and could not put it down!

Annie is about to take her life on the Waterloo Bridge, she’s lost everything – her flat and her best friend; with no money and a determination to not work on the streets again – Annie believes death is the only way.

Until a handsome stranger stops her and offers her a new life. Straight away I was suspicious, why would a young rich gentleman bring a penniless prostitute into his house? What is he after?

It appears at first that he wants to use Annie as his new muse, for Francis is an artist, with a piece currently in the London Royal Academy and after more fame.

Annie is willing to pose for his paintings and who can blame her? Francis has given her a warm place to live, clothes, food, money, books… everything she could ever imagine.

Francis looks at Annie with such adoration… and yet, he isn’t interested in her romantically – why?

I was completely under the spell of this plot; it was dark and endearing, to the point that I yearned to find out more about Francis. The tension of a hidden motive sizzled in the background of every page.

Fiorato’s writing style is incredible; every part of this plot draws you in.

If you are a fan of the thriller genre, you will absolutely love this book!

Thank you Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with a copy through bookbridgr, I am so grateful that you introduced me to a fantastic author

The paperback version is out this Thursday (8th February) so go and add it to your wish-lists NOW!

Until next time, Chloé x

Friend Request

After seeing all the fantastic reviews on this book from my fellow bloggers, it was no surprise that it ended up in my basket!

Louise receives a friend request from Maria on Facebook, seems pretty standard stuff? Except it’s not, Maria died over twenty five years ago, so how could she be on Facebook. When Louise clicks on the request, she sees a photo of Maria from school time, the last time she was alive.

As the past collides with the present, Louise must confront an event that has haunted her for many years.

This was a gripping and breakthrough psychological thriller for a new author. Marshall has created a plot that is hauntingly good and packed full of twists.

From the very start, it is clear that Louise is very regretful of her past but it is unclear what she did, and this kept me turning the pages trying to find the connection to the sordid night.

Lots of key players start to enter the scene; people from the past and the ‘now’, and I was constantly reading into their words to see if Marshall had planted any seeds. I think having “an excellent twist” quoted on the front cover, meant my awareness was even more heightened… I knew a twist was coming, but could I guess it before it revealed itself? Evidently not… although I had some fantastic ideas of ‘whodunnit’, I had failed to guess the true perpetrator!

I really warmed to Louise, she seemed to have grown so much since her school years and matured into someone that would be classed as a ‘good person’; although when she starts lying to the police my thoughts waivered.

It became obvious that although Louise regrets her school-girl days, she isn’t willing to make amends. And that is what the person behind Maria’s Facebook account is after – the truth out.

If your mind is after a psychological work out – this book will do the trick!

Until next time, Chloé x

Dandy Gilver & A Spot Of Toil and Trouble

Dandy and Alec have been tempted to Castle Bewer to search for the family treasures.

When they arrive, it’s time for the two detectives to get their thinking caps on and uncover the lost jewel – The Cut Throat – a stunning ruby necklace.

With all great plots, a task is never as simple as it seems, and Dandy and Alex have to be careful of their surroundings. The Bewer family are hosting a group of actors and actresses who have come to perform a Shakespearean play to the public. With more people coming and going; the pair have to keep their wits about them, as they watch and listen for those who show too much interest in their case.

With interviews and a good hunt of the castle, Dandy begins piecing together the colourful past of this necklace, which seems to be connected to a family member who fled the castle years ago. Alec is sure the truth lies within the words, they have already heard…

But then the Bewers makes an announcement to the public, that puts a spanner in Dandy and Alec’s case…

Dandy is a fabulous main character with the most enjoyable type of personality – smart and witty. She has such a dependable and reassuring presence, with her ability to solve problems… even in the middle of the night when a ‘ghost’ appears. I loved following her thought process, I really felt like I was figuring out the case alongside her.

The whole story has been written beautifully with the perfect nod towards the traditions in the 1930s – meaning the book will appeal to fans of historical fiction and also to detective lit lovers!

It had the light heartedness of an Agatha Raisin plot, the calming thoroughness of Father Brown plots and, with plot twists galore it’s worthy of sitting on your bookshelf with all the great detectives.

Charming and utterly compelling – I recommend you give this a go!

Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for sending me a copy through bookbridgr

Publication date is just around the corner – next Thursday (8th February)!

Until next time, Chloé x

The Feed

Having just finished this book, I’m still in the process of detangling my thoughts on it all. I love books that plant a message in the reader’s mind.

‘The feed’ gives you access to knowledge, your own memories and other people’s memories. It’s like having the internet directly in your mind, access to your photos and others’, past events and unlimited Wikipedia. I can imagine how difficult it would be to lose access to my laptop, iPad and iPhone right now, but could I survive?

This book allows you to imagine what it would be like to be even further dependent on technology and to lose it. Imagine storing all your thoughts on the ‘cloud’ and not being gable to access them. Imagine libraries being something so in the past that you don’t have access to knowledge of engineering, medical science and all the other stuff we just take for granted. That’s what happened.

Except I nearly missed out the scary bit – you can’t sleep unwatched. When you’re asleep, you’re a target. Your mind can be taken over by ‘others’. No one quite knows who the ‘others’ are…

Join Tom and Kate as they survive post ‘the feed’; watching over others as they sleep and creating a new life.

But with any good thriller, life is never plain sailing for the main characters; people are taken, ideas don’t take off as expected and strangers mean danger.

When Tom and Kate’s daughter is kidnapped leaving the safety of the camp becomes their only option…

It’s not my usual genre, but nevertheless this book had some key aspects that I always enjoy: shocking plot twists and complex characters. The twists were always carefully executed and the background to the key characters was so wonderfully engineered, allowing the plot to slot into place and make perfect sense.

The book dives straight into this futuristic world, so paying attention is crucial to getting up to speed with how the world has changed.

I loved NCW’s realistic writing style, the brutal honesty of the characters’ thoughts painted a scenario that felt so tangible. The second half of the book is where the plot really opened up and it was difficult to prise the book out of my hand!

The book hit stores only two days ago (Thursday 25th January), so I recommend you show this book some well deserved love!

Thank you so much Caitlin at Headline for sending me a copy – this is my way of saying thanks – an honest review!

Until next time, Chloé x

Three Things About Elsie

What a remarkably sweet story this was and I loved the link to Battenberg cake. Buying this book was as satisfying as buying a Battenberg cake: the anticipation as you peel back the wrapper, the sheer delight at discovering how beautifully it has been presented and finally, the warm pleasure as you take your first bite. This book was delicious from the very first page to the very last.

What one can gather from the first few pages, is Florence has fallen and is unable to call for help. Whilst she lies on the floor, Flo casts her mind back to the events of her past and how they led her to this very moment.

At first you may think this is a sweet walk down memory lane, but quite quickly it becomes evident that there is far more to this than meets the eye.

Someone new has moved into the sheltered housing where Flo lives, except he isn’t new in Flo’s life. He’s a ghost from the past, but how can he be here? He drowned years ago… Unless.

Flo needs to discover the truth and her faithful best friend; Elsie, is by her side to help, and Flo truly needs her help because, frankly, Flo can’t remember a lot.

With mind tricks and memory loss, it’s hard for Flo to seek the truth, but she never relents.

What an adventure this tale turned out to be! I loved the detective nature that flowed through the book, and thought Jack was a fantastic addition to help follow up on any leads.

What I loved about The Trouble With Goats and Sheep was Cannon’s knack for really making each character; either big or small, come alive on the pages and, I felt this again in this tale. Miss Ambrose and Handy Simon, although ‘background’ characters, were thoroughly explored and their part in the tale fell perfectly into place – there are no random characters in this story, each character had an integral part to play.

As many have already said, this book is the definintion of a modern classic – 100% recommended to make you smile, laugh and shed a tear as you come to the end of an outstanding story.

Thanks to my mum for buying me a copy of this book when I was full of cold!

Until next time, Chloé x

This Is How It Always Is

This book took me by surprise, it had the soothing effect of a story of family life whilst tackling some big decisions, that not all families have to face.

Rosie has always wanted a baby girl and prays that her fourth pregnancy will bring her one. With four boys (twins – if you’re working out the maths!), you may think her yearning is about the balance of sexes in the house, but her desire for a girl runs deeper, losing her sister when she was only a child has had a lasting effect.

Nevertheless, when Claude is born, Rosie isn’t devastated, a healthy boy is something to be grateful for and she continues to be a fabulous mother to five boys, with the help of her sweet husband, Penn.

Except one day, Claude decides he wants to wear dresses and hair clips. What are Rosie and Penn to do? Claude’s older brothers want to protect him from the nasty people in the world and plead with him to dress and act like a boy. The elder boys plead to their parents to intervene. But Claude is so young, surely it’s just a phase?

When Claude begins to close off from the world, Rosie and Penn quit telling him to change out of his dresses and embrace who Claude wants to be. After all, a parent only wants their kid to be happy.

When Claude tells his parents he wants to be called Poppy, Rosie is emotional – Poppy was the name of the sister she misses so much… however, by embracing Claude’s/Poppy’s happiness, the older boys suffer.

A move to Seattle causes a ripple in the family dynamic. Seattle is supposed to be a fresh start. No one ones knows the family secret and Poppy is happy, can it last though?

This tale captured parenting in a very ‘real’ way, it explored the balance of respecting your kids’ wishes against being the ‘adult’ and protecting them from the outside world, and the conclusion? There’s no clear cut, mistakes will be made and you can’t begin to assume what everyone else’s opinions will be.

Whilst the main takeaway from the book is being able to understand some of the thoughts and opinions that run through families with a child who is trying to understand their true ‘self’; which includes exploring their gender. There is a whole lot more that this book offers!

It’s the story of five kids growing up and their relationship with their parents.

It’s about two parents who are still so clearly madly in love but need to look past their different opinions on certain aspects of parenting and find time to be together.

It’s about a mother balancing work and home life.

It’s about self discovery and being comfortable with who you truly are.

Expressive and honest, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thanks Headline Publishing for providing me with a copy through bookbridgr.

The paperback version hit shops this Thursday  – 11th January

Until next time, Chloé x

The Last Mrs Parrish – Mini Review

Oh how I LOVED this book. It was told to perfection.

Amber wants more from life. She wants more money. More clothes. More jewellery. A bigger house…. and freedom to spend her days however she wants.

Jackson can give her all of this.

One problem.

The wife.

But what Amber wants, is what Amber gets and so, she sets up her trap to lure Jackson away from Daphne… by first befriending Daphne.

And that’s as far as I’m going to go in recapping the plot because it was so darn clever, I know I’ll slip up and ruin it if I go any further. I’m also not going to discuss the characters in any great depth, other than to say they were deliciously executed… you think you know someone…. and then they go and surprise you…!

For fans of The Girlfriend and The Perfect Girlfriend – Mini Review (I know only fellow bloggers will have read The Perfect Girlfriend at the time of publishing this – FYI its out on 8th March – go grab it)… this book will definitely grab your attention.

It’s dark, it’s well written and it was unbelievably hard to put the book down!

Bravo to the Constantine sisters.

Until next time, Chloé x

 

 

The Fear Within

Within the first ten pages, I turned to my fiancé and said “it’s good”, which is code for: leave me alone until I’ve finished it!

I must first disclose that I’ve not read the first book (The Dark Beneath) in the Lieutenant Dani Lewis series, so I went into this tale blind of Dani’s previous events which delved into the corruption onboard the submarine Tenacity.

In this latest instalment, Natasha Moore has gone missing off Defiance, a type 45 destroyer. Dani has been sent in to discover the whereabouts of this sweet 18 year old girl. At first, it seems like Tash may have done a standard AWOL day and she’d be back onboard the next day; but as Dani talks to the crew – vague answers and sideways glances, set off alarm bells in Dani’s head.

Meanwhile, Dani has two other distractions: her previous case on the Tenacity is leaving her restless and, suspicious packages being sent to the National Crime Agency (NCA) linking to the shocking crimes that a previous colleague was sent to jail for, begs the question of who else was involved?

With multiple subplots, this book will suck you in from the very first page. Law successfully weaves together the subplots to create the most incredible ending and a triumphant build up.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I admired and warmed to Dani. For some reason, I find I usually dislike female main characters especially if they are cast in the role of a detective/main investigator, it’s the arrogance and selfishness that usually sets me off – the characters usually read more manly than feminine. Dani does have these qualities but they don’t come across overly strong and for that I was grateful – a female main character I like – hoorah!

One of my favourite aspects of this book was the flipping of perspectives, being able to see it through both Dani’s and Tash’s eyes added to the suspense. Dani’s story was told in the present time, whereas Tash’s chapters showed the build up to the day she went missing. Each chapter led me a little closer to realising the truth, it was a cleverly constructed puzzle.

Fully recommend all my fellow bookworms to give this series a go, I’ll definitely be going back to read the first! Fans of Stephen Booth will definitely enjoy this. The paperback version is currently out now in the UK.

*Thank you Headline Publishing for providing me with a copy through bookbridgr*

Until next time, Chloé x