Tuesday, 25 April 2017

5* Review - Behind The Lie by Amanda James

Available from - Amazon.co.uk

Who can you trust, when you can’t trust yourself?

Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.
Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.
Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him


The prologue sees Holly West giving birth to her twins, for her baby boy not to survive. 
We then flash back five weeks to when Holly is told there is a problem by her husband, Simon, a consultant. Their baby boy is not growing well and he fears he is too small to survive. When she gives birth the worst happens and her son dies before she is able to see him leaving her understandably bereft, not just for the loss of her son but for the guilt that her drug dependency and bad lifestyle before she married Simon could have been the cause.

She then receives a letter that tears her world apart. Someone claims that Ruan is alive and living with new parents, and that they were part of this cover up.
Is it lies spread, vicious and seeking revenge, or is it the truth?
Due to the problems in her past she knows that no one will believe her, so she sets out to seek the truth herself.

Amanda James is an elegant writer, effortless to read and with a pace that keeps urging you to turn the pages. The whole abduction story line is one that is well thought and executed, and just when Holly thought things were over, it picks up its pace yet again to deliver further blows which see Holly fearing for their lives.

I was rooting for Holly from the start, I love a strong female protagonist. I also loved her strong friendship with Demi and Jowan, and seeing just how far they would go to protect her and her babies.

I really loved this book and was reluctant to finish it!

A definite 5* from me. Fans of Susan Lewis and Diane Chamberlain will devour this.

About Amanda James: 

Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.
Amanda has written many short stories and has five novels currently published. Her time travelling debut - A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.
Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Three of her novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and Behind the Lie - April 2017 pub - HQUK ( HarperCollins)
Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Author links:

Summer in Tintagel (Urbane Publications July 2016)
Cross Stitch (Choc Lit December 2014)
Somewhere Beyond the Sea ( Choc Lit April 2014)
Dancing in the Rain (Choc Lit March 2014)
A Stitch in Time (Choc Lit) - http://www.choc-lit.com/
Righteous Exposure (Crooked Cat) - http://www.crookedcatbooks.com/

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

5* review: Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case. 

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery. 

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist? 

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

This is the fourth Erika Foster novel, and each one gets better and better. 
A young girl is found dead in a dumpster, having been brutally murdered and Erika Foster is desperate to be involved in the case. Stuck in a desk position in Bromley after being passed over for promotion she uses her wits to make it to MIT, she knows she can solve the case.

More murders are linked to the recent one, and more girls begin to go missing, but the killer is careful and is leaving no clues. She knows he will slip up but as the body count gets higher time is not on her side.

Relationship dynamics within the team alter, people reveal a different side and the course of Erika's career develops in a way she doesn't expect, but she remains hell bent on catching this murderer before anything else - alongside her team (which are wonderful in their own rights.)

Last Breath literally doesn't take a breath all the way through, it is fast paced and edgy, and keeps you turning the pages relentlessly, as with all Bryndza's books.

Although Last Breath is the 4th in the Erika Foster series, you can read it as a standalone, but you will be itching to read the rest after.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Blog tour: The Bluebell Bunting Society by Poppy Dolan

When the going gets tough, the tough get sewing…

Welcome to Bluebell Hall. Pull up a wonky chair, grab a cream bun and settle into a story about a little village, a determined caretaker – and bunting…

At twenty-nine, Connie isn’t quite where she thought she’d be. When her beloved gran died Connie returned to Hazelhurst, the village she grew up in, and took over her gran’s old job as caretaker at the village hall. It might not be the stuff of dreams, but Connie loves working at Bluebell Hall – the heart of the community.
So when Bluebell Hall is threatened with closure, Connie is determined not to let greedy property developers get their hands on it. She hatches a plan bonkers enough that it just might work. All it takes is a needle and thread, scraps of old material and willing hands. Can Connie convince the people of Hazelhurst that their village hall is worth saving? And will she save herself in the process…?


Connie, caretaker and Bloom Mistress (Hazelhurt's answer to Girl Guides/Brownies) is doing a job she enjoys and also feels it's her sense of familial duty. Going back as long as she can remember her family have been entrusted as caretakers/guardians of Bluebell Hall. Paid for by an ancient benefactor, there is a stipulation that the hall must be used by a certain percentage of the community - and Connie knows the numbers are seriously lacking as Hazelhurst is moving into the (more) modern ages and leaving the crumbling old village hall behind.

To try and increase their numbers she hatches several plans, not all so successful, but as it becomes apparent that property developers are keen to take over, and an audit is suddenly done, she knows she needs to take serious action, and enlists some friends and new faces to help out...

The Bluebell Bunting Society is born!

I love the community ethos in this warm and really funny story built around some fabulously constructed characters. The craft theme throughout is lovely and relaxing, and really draws you in. I even wanted to dig out an old sewing machine and take it up!



Poppy Dolan lives in Berkshire with her husband. She's a near-obsessive baker and a keen crafter, so on a typical weekend can be found moving between the haberdashery and kitchenware floors of a department store, adding to her birthday wish list. She has written three novels: The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp, There's More to Life than Cupcakes and most recently The Bluebell Bunting Society. The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp made it into the Amazon top 100 bestseller chart, so clearly someone other than her mum must have read it. She's currently working on her fourth novel – it's about friends, siblings and crafty things – and drinking far too much tea.

Buy links:

Find Poppy here:

Twitter @poppydwriter and on Facebook at /PoppyDolanBooks