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Category: Rating: 4/5

  1. Kat's Review of A Summer Scandal by Kat French

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    Kat French A Summer Scandal Synopsis: Summer has never been so scandalous…

    When Violet moves to Swallow Beach, she inherits a small Victorian pier in with an empty arcade perched on the end of it, and falls in love immediately. She wants nothing more than to rejuvenate it and make it grand again – but how?

    When she meets hunky Calvin, inspiration strikes. What if she turned the arcade into an adult-themed arcade full of artisan shops?

    Not everyone in the town is happy with the idea, but Violet loves her arcade and business begins to boom. But as tensions worsen and the heat between her and Calvin begins to grow, life at Swallow Beach becomes tricky. Is it worth staying to ride out the storm? And can Violet find her own happy ending before the swallows fly south for the winter?

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: I have read a lot of books that involve characters receiving places through inheritance but I admit it's the first time I have read of a character inheriting a pier. Violet makes the decision to move to Swallow Beach living at a place called The Lido. When she arrives she feels an instant connection with her Grandmother who lived there and before she knows it she feels like she belongs. However, nothing runs that smoothly and almost as soon as she arrives she runs into some characters determined to stop her doing anything with the currently unused Victorian Pier. 

    I absolutely fell in love with the characters at Swallow Beach. There is the elderly gentleman Barty who lives downstairs from her, as well as the rather attractive Calvin Dearheart who it turns out is her direct neighbour living across the hall from her. Of course sparks fly between herself and Cal and she finds herself wondering if she is making the right decisions with her life. I loved the fact there was almost a second thread running through this story with Vi reading her Grandmother's diary. It was a tale of her uncovering the secrets that were once part of Swallow Beach. 

    I absolutely love Kat French and her style of writing. She always creates stories that you become invested in as she seems to pour so much love into her characters. Once the pier became a real life work space, the characters that worked there all had their own personalities that all blended to form part of a fantastic story and I could almost imagine myself sitting on one of those benches on the pier.I thoroughly loved this book, but for some reason I couldn't help but feel the ending was a little too rushed for my liking. It would have been nice to see a bit of a stretch with how it played out but that's just a minor niggle. I will as always look forward to her next release. 

  2. Kat's Review of Dying Truth by Angela Marsons (Kim Stone #8)

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    Angela Marsons Dying Truth Synopsis: When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

    As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead. 

    With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable - whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim. 

    Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

  3. Kat's Review of A Summer Getaway by Tilly Tennant

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    51f5aG7OBDL Synopsis: Ashley Moon is all set for a dream holiday with her daughter in the glittering French Riviera. But nothing can prepare her for the shock of discovering who’s staying in the villa next door… 

    Ashley Moon
     got much more than a suntan on her first ever foreign holiday; one whirlwind romance and nine months later she had a daughter,Molly. 

    Too heart-broken and proud to ever contact the father, Ashley made a decision to go it alone and raise her daughter herself. Fifteen hard and lonely years later, she finally has the chance to take Molly on her first ever holiday; a gorgeous, all-expenses paid trip to the charming French resort of St Raphael. 

    It is the perfect setting for a week of quality time together; they plan to cycle through the sun-drenched vineyards, lounge by the glistening pool and practice their French on friendly locals. And just when Ashley thought things couldn’t get any better, comes the news of a handsome new occupant to the villa next door. 

    But fate has other plans for Ashley. One look in to her neighbour’s dark hazel eyes is all it takes to give her the shock of her life. Standing in front of her is Haydon, Molly’s long lost father and the holiday fling she thought she’d never see again.

  4. Kat's Review of The Chosen Ones by Howard Linskey

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    35232616Synopsis: Eva Dunbar wakes in a large metal box. She has no idea who has taken her. She has no way out . . .

    Eva isn't the first young woman to disappear. Detective Ian Bradshaw, leading the search, has no leads - and precious little time.

    When at last a body is found, the police hope the tragic discovery might at least provide a clue that will help them finally find the kidnapper.

    But then they identify the body - and realise the case is more twisted than they ever imagined . . .

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: So we finally get to see Tom Carney and his partner Helen as well as Ian Bradshaw. I've read all of Mr L's books and this particular series has always been one I enjoyed, however I lean more towards Tom and Helen as favourite characters over Bradshaw but this latest book makes them feel more like a team of three which is beginning to feel 'the norm'!

    Tom and Helen get called into help Bradshaw with the disappearance of a woman by the name of Eva Dunbar.We get to see Eva's terror at the beginning of the book as she experiences the worst horror imaginable. She wakes to find herself locked in a metal crate with no means of escape. She doesn't know how she got there or who did it, but her terror and fear literally drips from the first few pages.

  5. Kat's Review of Desperately Seeking Summer by Mandy Baggot

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    519lGlm158L Synopsis: A Greek getaway you won't forget...

    Escape to Greece with the perfect feel-good book to read on the beach this summer. If you love Kat French and Sarah Morgan, you'll love Mandy Baggot's sizzling summer romantic comedies.

    Abby Dolan is having a very bad day... In twenty-four hours, she's lost her job and her boyfriend. Single and with nothing left to lose, she's headed for a Corfu escape to spend time with her family while she heals her broken heart.

    Only her mum and sister's estate agency 'Desperately Seeking' is just that, desperate! Instead of the relaxing, sunshine holiday she'd hoped for, Abby finds herself spending her break helping get the business back on its feet. Determined to attract new clients and give her family a second chance at success, she finds the perfect property to sell in Villa Pappas complete with gorgeous gardener, Theo.

    Perhaps working this summer could be a welcome distraction after all. But Theo has his own secrets and Abby isn't the only thing he wants to take off the market...

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

  6. Kat's Review of Dead If You Don't by Peter James (Roy Grace #14)

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    Peter James Dead If You Dont Synopsis: Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning author Peter James, faces his most complex case yet in Dead If You Don't.

    Kipp Brown, successful businessman and compulsive gambler, is having the worst run of luck of his life. He’s beginning to lose, big style. However, taking his teenage son, Mungo, to their club’s Saturday afternoon football match should have given him a welcome respite, if only for a few hours. But it’s at the stadium where his nightmare begins.

    Within minutes of arriving at the game, Kipp bumps into a client. He takes his eye off Mungo for a few moments, and in that time, the boy disappears. Then he gets the terrifying message that someone has his child, and to get him back alive, Kipp will have to pay.

    Defying instruction not to contact the police, Kipp reluctantly does just that, and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is brought in to investigate. At first it seems a straightforward case of kidnap. But rapidly Grace finds himself entering a dark, criminal underbelly of the city, where the rules are different and nothing is what it seems .

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: Well I must admit although I really enjoyed this latest Roy Grace outing I was kind of expecting a little more. If like me you were glad to see the back of the Sandy storyline, I also wonder if (like me) you were also expecting a little more from the thread regarding Roy's son? That little niggle aside this was a pretty decent read. You notice I say decent, and not great or good. I don't know whether that's because I just consistently expect more from Mr J or whether he just isn't up to scratch.

    This story is set around a bomb threat at the local Football stadium as well as the kidnapping of the son of local businessman Kipp Brown who was briefly featured in the last book. The storylines were okay and certainly engaging enough but I still felt like there was something missing and I still cannot put my finger on exactly what that was. I love seeing the return of characters I love such as Roy's sidekick Glenn Branson as well as people like the always inappropriate Norman Potting.These consistently good characters and now the additin of Roy's son are certainly what keep me going back to this series. 

    One of the most exciting threads for me is Roy's son who frankly is one of the best things recently introduced. I think this gives Peter James the scope to take this series in a new direction and I sincerely hope that he will. I don't know if it's just me as the reviews for this book are mostly amazing so it seems I am in the minority. I just feel like there was a little something slightly off and although I cannot qork out what that is this latest release just didn't feel like it was as good as it could have been.

  7. Kat's Review of Need You Dead by Peter James (Roy Grace #13)

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    Peter James Need You Dead  Synopsis: Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

    When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    *If you plan to read this series in order, please do not continue to read this review as this is book 13 in the series and will inevitably contain spoilers*

    Kat's Review: I realised quite suddenly that with the newest Peter James nearly upon us I was actually a book behind. Then it dawned on me that the saga that was Sandy was no longer an issue so decided to dive right into the last book. We are introduced to Lorna Belling, a woman that is in an incredibly abusive relationship, but who is being offered another chance with another man to start over. Unfortunately she doesn't get that chance and is found murdered...enter Roy Grace. From the off Roy seems a little unbalanced, however it totally makes sense as he is just getting closure after the death of Sandy his wife who disappeared many years before. However, he still has to face the shocking realisation (that came from the conclusion of the last book) in the form of his ten year old son Bruno who he has only just learnt about. 

    With all of these issues at hand, and loads of staff not being around (Glen Branson his trusty sidekick being one of them) he has a lot on his plate. Add to that his wife Cleo and son Noah, his personal life seems to be one big jumble of activity. Thankfully he has the help in the form of his colleague Guy Batchelor so he becomes the help rather than the main lead. However, it becomes clear pretty early on this will not be straightforward and the book itself leans heavily on the police procedural. 

    The storylines most interesting thread for me was Roy's son Bruno. I think that the next book will hopefully explore this element of Roy's life in greater detail as I feel like this is potentially a great contribution to revving up the series. That opinion to one side, this book was very much a whodunnit and with Glen Branson not at Roy's beck and call it lost a little bit of magic for me. In addition, I thought that Roy and Cleo weren't right, it seemed to have lost some of the character strengths in replacement for the police heavy duties. The ending was somewhat of a mystery as there were a few questions that didn't get answered and I thought were a bit odd, I can only hope these will be addressed in the next book. Overall it was a decent read and I really did enjoy it, but maybe at the cost of areas that were normally more enjoyable. A solid read, but I hope things get back on more of an even keel for the next book.

     

  8. BLOG TOUR - Kat's Review of No Comment by Graham Smith (Harry Evans Novella)

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    Graham Smith No Comment Synopsis: When a single mother, Julie Simon, is found in her kitchen with a stab wound to her stomach, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the case. Under the supervision of DI Campbell and witîh advice from his former DI, Harry Evans, DC Amir Bhaki fights to discover who assaulted an innocent woman and left her with life-threatening injuries.
    Nothing is as it first appears and when the team looks into Julie’s life they uncover a hidden sex-life that may just hold the key to the identity of her attacker.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: This novella/short story is just under 100 pages, and although these sorts of short books aren't always my cup of tea, this was a really enjoyable bite sized read. 

    The Major Crimes Team are handed a case involving the stabbing of a single mother Julia Simon. Even though a short story Smith manages to pack a fair bit into this latest installment. This is almost like a mini catch up to see where the team are and what they are up to. 

    We see DI John Campbell trying to replace the now retired Harry Evans, however somehow I don't see it happening. What I did get was a small but jam packed mini investigation with colleagues such as DC Amir Bhaki and DC Lauren Phillips making a welcome return. Thankfully this seems like the perfect time to read this with a full length novel entitled 'When The Waters Recede' due in May.