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» Listings for November 2012

  1. Paul G The FollowMy Rating: 5/5

    This latest book was a self-published book by Paul G (the surname is too long to keep typing!) and had been in my `to read' list for months and months. I finally got around to it recently and at only a few chapters in I was regretting not having read it sooner. The first thing that struck me is how similar it was to Peter James books. Not in a bad way, but that great feeling you get when you start a James book knowing it's going to be good!

    Gareth Bell is a copper in Brighton and is working with the Drug Squad. The job is run of the mill for him until his partner gets stabbed by the psychopathic dealer Quentin Davey. The case then becomes personal for him. Added to the fact his partner was stabbed, Davey walks away from court without so much as a slap on the wrist. Gareth decides then and there to take matters into his own hands.

    Gareth is an incredibly likeable character, and although he's a copper her pretty normal as crime characters go. Don't get me wrong he can handle himself but he's not a walking talking killing machine like many other characters you can read about! It made a refreshing change to see a character that is a bog standard copper doing what I think many coppers would love to do, but wouldn't risk their career for!

    The story itself had me hooked in and the writing style was easy to get sucked into and I found myself irritated that not only had I not read sooner, that he doesn't yet have a second book out (very disappointed)! The one thing that was maybe a little different with this book to other is the sheer detail at what police have to endure. You can tell that Paul speaks from experience and it makes the reading experience that bi better. It was almost like I did a bit of work experience with Brighton police.

    This book is an absolute bargain at just over a nicker and a half (£1.50 for those that will no doubt ask) on Amazon for the Kindle. If you are a Peter James fan you will love this book. My only disappointment is that a Publisher has not snapped him up and demanded he write a follow up immediately if not sooner. First class debut!

  2. Rebecca Chance Bad AngelsMy Rating: 5/5

    The only way I can describe Rebecca Chance books is that they are similar to her covers with the glitzy shoes on them. Imagine being online shopping and seeing a sexy new pair of shoes that you just HAVE to have, you go through the excitement of waiting for them to be delivered, and then the first time you wear them is sheer joy, sexiness and glamour all rolled into one! I feel the same way about a gorgeous pair of shoes as I do Rebecca Chance books. Sorry for that but I just HAD to describe them as there are sometimes no other words to get across the way a book makes the reader feel!

    Her latest offering Bad Angels is by far her naughtiest and is certainly a brilliant read. The first thing I must point out is that this book DOES contain scenes of (very) graphic sex. It doesn't bother me in the slightest but if it's not your bag, then please don't buy it and then complain about it! Rebecca Chance is the Jackie Collins of the current book world in my eyes. She does it all, glamour, sex and celebrities. It's all complete and utter escapism and these sorts of books I just love.

    This latest offering introduces us to the first two main characters. Melody Down is an actress who has slightly lost her way after falling for what Hollywood had to offer. After too much plastic surgery she comes back to England to have her original plastic surgery corrected and is recovering in Limehouse Wharf. Also in residence at Limehouse is Jon Jordan, an assassin for hire who is also convalescing. The glue that moulds these two together is the in-house nurse Aniela Fatyga. Melody was an easy character to get right into; slightly overwhelmed with the mistakes she has made you can't help but feel a little sorry for her as she tries to correct her past mistakes. Jon is another kettle of fish and is very cautious of all those around him. Rebecca Chance's very vivid description of Jon Jordan is something else though, and for anybody else who reads this book he will no doubt be a hunk of the highest kind ( I wipe my brow).

    The no-nonsense nurse Aniela is a funny character who is actually my favourite. She is a woman that isn't traditionally pretty but has that something about her. I loved the fact that we get to see how these three meet and get to know each other very early on. The other characters are Andy the concierge for the building who I loved from the get go and the Russian oligarch Grigor Khalofsky who lives in the building. So much happens in this storyline that I was alternating between blushing and laughing and found myself reading it in just under a day and a half. There are no hidden meanings to this story; it's just a brilliant `Bonkbuster' at its best!

    I can honestly say that this is one of my favourites from Rebecca Chance so far. It did have me hiding my book whilst I commuted on the train (for the incredibly raunchy scenes anyway), but it also had me hook line and sinker in terms of not wanting to put it down. It has everything I love in a book like this. Lots of glamour, lots of celebrities acting inappropriately and bucket loads of sex. What more can I say, the perfect Bonkbuster that I suggest you pick up from your nearest book shop ASAP.

  3.  Sue Watson Fat Girls & Fairy CakesMy Rating: 5/5

    As many of you already know I read a LOT of books. Sadly, there are many writers out there who are great, but just don't get the chance as the competition is fierce and us readers can be a critical bunch! Every now and then the same author's debut novels keep popping up and somewhere along the line Sue Watson's name came up to the point I clicked on the author page. When I read her paragraph on her author page, it kind of made my mind up that I really wanted to give her book a go.

    Overweight TV Producer Stella is currently working on a gardening programme and that's how Sue's book starts. In the first two or three chapters I realised that I absolutely loved Sue Watson's humour. Her characters just radiated brilliance and I fell in love with the `not quite perfect' Stella. Stella is trying desperately to manage a career, a disgruntled husband and a young daughter. Stella's boss MJ is determined to make her life hell and some of the scenes you read concerning MJ are hilarious. It's difficult to say too much without plot spoiling, but I will say that we see Stella do her best to ensure MJ never humiliates her again!

    When Stella makes huge changes to her career, she has the support of her two friends Lizzie and Al. I must just say that Al deserves a lead of his own in another book as he was just brilliant in this one. Although the storyline may be a little clichéd, the writing and comedy value made it a winner in my eyes. I read the book in a day and am really looking forward to her second book. I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping that she creates a book that is just as funny as the first.

  4. Fiona Gibson Mum On The RunMy Rating: 4/5

    Having never read Fiona Gibson, but constantly seeing good reviews I opted to choose Mum on the Run for my first read. Laura Swan is a typical mother, and in true chick lit style we see the opening of the book showing us just how much she was dreading the kids school sports day. Sadly, it meant she would have to take part in the `Mum's' race, which she knew was not her thing. In the first few chapters I was chuckling away as Gibson describes how the other mothers will no doubt have been in training for this race, and will arrive impeccably dressed and no doubt make her look foolish.

    I warmed to Laura straight away and found the first few chapters very amusing which made it so much easier to immerse yourself in the story. Laura's husband Jed seemed to be a bit of a flake from the get-go and I didn't particularly like him at first. The overall plot is one that has been used countless times in this genre but (unless the writing is terrible) never fails to win the readers over. I think it's because the majority of us can empathise with at least one element of the story. Laura is your typical housewife who has married and had children. Maybe she has let things slide a little but when she sees the perfectly turned out, and beautiful French woman Celeste, talking to her husband it spurs her into action.

    She decides to start running and join a weight loss class. She meets Danny at the weight loss class and straight away I loved his character. I also really liked Laura's children in this book. They were written brilliantly and I found myself grinning at some of the remarks they made! The story was sadly a little predictable, but this didn't lessen my enjoyment of the book. I really liked Gibson's writing style and she is firmly on my `to read' list now.

    She has certainly used the tried and tested chick lit formula but has managed it with tongue in cheek humour and some great characters. Although this book wasn't necessarily one of the best I have read this year it certainly made me smile. It took me just over a day to read and I think the majority of people that read this will like it for what it is!

    I will certainly be looking out for new stuff by Fiona Gibson, and in the meantime will add her other books to my ridiculously long list of other books to read!

  5. Belinda Jones Winter WonderlandMy Rating: 3/5

    I am a huge Belinda Jones fan and was extremely pleased when I received an early copy of her new release (out early November 2012 in the UK) Winter Wonderland. The front cover is slightly different to her usual style but certainly no less appealing. The synopsis of this book explains that travel journalist Krista is attending the Winter Carnival in Quebec, Canada. With the temperature plummeting, she discovers that there is a lot more to this part of the world than snow.

    I actually liked the fact that the synopsis was pretty short and sweet and as I tucked into the book I was looking forward to finding out more. The first thing I was surprised about was the intro to the book. We see the main character Krista wakes up in the Ice Hotel. This may sound like a strange point, but part of the attraction of Belinda's books for me is the build up to the travels around the world. With the intro being already at the location, it kind of threw me. Undeterred I carried on as I got to know Krista and what brought her to Canada.

    I have to be honest and say that at a quarter of the way through I just couldn't connect with Krista. Her escapades start very early in the book, yet I just felt like it was all a little bit di-jointed. At around the halfway mark I started to warm up to Krista and the other eclectic characters. One thing that Belinda Jones certainly does well is describing the places in such detail that you begin to wonder whether you can squeeze a quick holiday in to your own life. The magical was she described the areas was as usual absolutely spot on.

    For me though, this was where it stopped. The story itself was okay and at three quarters of the way through I was a lot more interested in what was happening to other characters in the book such as the very mysterious Jacques who has very dark skeletons in his closet. There are certain elements of this book that were pure Jones, such as the husky riding and the very laughable attempts Krista makes trying to ride the Husky Sleds. Aside from that there was definitely something missing for me.

    I am still an ardent Jones fan and will always eagerly await her new releases. However, I just don't think I connected well enough with the characters in this book, and therefore thought it wasn't as good as some of her other books. On the plus side, if anybody is considering visiting Quebec, just read this book and I guarantee you will finish it and be down the travel agents within a matter of hours.


     My Rating: 5/5

    I keep getting told by FB followers that I MUST read Anna Smith and that her books are brilliant. Sadly, my to read list is stupidly long which means authors whose books I have on my Kindle, can sometimes sit there `undiscovered' for months! Anna Smith is one such author. What an idiot I felt once I'd finished this book, her debut novel. As soon as I was finished, I immediately downloaded her second book, and have her third release firmly in the calendar (31st Jan 2013 for anybody interested!).

    The synopsis sounded great before I had even started the book, but once I got going I was in for a treat. It's Glasgow in the 1990s and when the body of a young girl washes up on a beach, people don't pay much attention. It's just another dead junkie, except the media gets hold of the fact that the victim Tracey Eadie was just 14 years old and was meant to be in the safety of a children's home. The first few chapters had me hooked and from then on, things got put on the back burner (such as dinner!).

    The main character in this book is the journalist Rosie Gilmour. Rosie is certainly not whiter than white, but comes across as a little bit vulnerable too. One of the things that struck me about this book is the language, and I don't mean swearing. My husband family are from Glasgow so I am very well adjusted to the way they talk and their accent. Anna Smith manages to get across the accent and the way in which the Glaswegians talk, which translates on paper (if that makes sense?!?). In my opinion it gives the writing a real edge and you get a real feel for the way they speak which I really loved.

    The plot was what really kept me gripped, and the shocking part about it, is that it is 100% believable. It was gritty and particularly dark in places, covering subjects that won't be everybody's cup of tea but done with sheer brilliance. I am now obsessed with finding out what Rosie does in the future (yippee for book 2) and thought that she was such a solid character. All in this entire book had me totally and utterly enthralled from start to finish. It's already been recommended to all my friends and family, and now I'm recommending it to you lot too.

    Don't put it off a moment longer and grab yourself as copy, you'll love it!

  7. My Rating 5/5

    I have read nearly all of Karen's books and rarely read one that I don't love. When her newest book landed on my doorstep a few days ahead of publication (thanks to the Publishers) I was excited as I ripped open the package. However, my excitement was replaced with shock as even by Karen Rose standards this book was a humdinger at 544 pages. With the synopsis read in seconds I poured myself a brew and immediately got stuck in.

    For this that maybe haven't read any Karen Rose books this book, along with any other can be picked up and read in any order as a stand alone book. For those that have previously read Karen's books, you will see familiar faces from previous books. IN Karen's last book PI Paige Holden is the main character along with State Attorney Grayson Smith. Both Paige and Grayson return in this book but as the background characters to both State Attorney Daphne Montgomery and FBI Agent Joseph Carter.

    What I loved about starting this book was not only being introduced to Daphne and Joseph, but seeing what other characters were up to in their lives. Daphne's son Ford Elkhart is actually the main focus of this book and he is kidnapped and only recalls what happened when he wakes up on a cold dark floor and realises he is tied up and being held. The book takes an immediate dive into the kidnapping and we see many chapters start to form threads. I was totally and utterly engrossed and found myself being drawn back to the book every time I attempted to put it down.

    There are numerous threads and people to keep track of and at the halfway mark I had to take a breather as I realised I needed to get it all straight in my head?!? I had block read at least 250 pages and felt like I had overdosed on crime! Luckily a good nights' sleep sorted that out and the next day I resumed reading the rollercoaster ride of a book! The characters Daphne and Joseph each have their own demons and skeletons and as the story progresses we see the layers of their pasts slowly peeled back. I liked the suspense you are kept in, even though I am the most impatient person. As usual the actual crime scenes are written vividly leaving a somewhat sour taste in my mouth at times, but by no means put me off!

    Joseph and Daphne are both characters I really liked but the two that really pulled at me were Clay and Stevie. They were only in the book for small periods of time but I SO want to find out what happens there (I just know I'm going to have to wait on that front!). The plot itself had plenty of twists and turns and kept me guessing until the very end of the book. The one thing that stood out this time round was the sex! Yep, that's right people I did say sex! Karen Rose is a great crime writer, but her genre (if people care to check) is romantic suspense. It irritates me when people grumble about this in her books because it's what she does, and believe me when I say it's what she does best. Karen Rose surprised me this time round and at times I wondered if I had inadvertently picked up a Jackie Collins (not a bad thing in my book!).

    All in all, this book, although long even by her standards, was an absolute cracker. Karen Rose is first class at these sorts of books and this one didn't disappoint. As usual, you are in for a bumpy ride which will have you reading from morning until night. Highly recommended.