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» Listings for October 2015

  1. Synopsis: Scars. Sometimes they’re visible. Sometimes they’re hidden deep within. After years of living as a single parent, all Donna Adams longs for is someone to make her smile, to share hopes and dreams with, to keep her warm at night. But when that certain someone gives her the attention she craves, true love doesn’t always follow the right path. 

    Home from the army, Lewis is a changed man. Angry and consumed by grief, troubled by nightmares and flashbacks, his mind is worse now than ever. Shutting out what he’s seen isn’t easy, but he risks losing everything he’s come back to if he doesn’t, including his sanity. 

    Megan Cooper hides her scars for fear of being rejected. Mary Marshall can’t always remember how she got hers. If the past could be erased to make a better future, we’d all want that, wouldn’t we? But life is never that easy for the residents of The Mitchell Estate… 

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5

  2. NOTE - There WILL be swearing in this post, so if it offends you please don't continue to read (Noelle would expect NOTHING less from me)

    I don't often write Blog posts that are not related to books, but this one is for my friend. Noelle Holten. Now this may sound weird but I have never met Noelle in the flesh. We became friends over our love of books, and she subsequently started as a guest reviewer for me here at BCB, before finally starting up her own blog (insert proud moment here). I have had many people ask me how I can be friends with someone I haven't met. My response is normally to tell them to fuck right off as they have no clue, but in all honesty it's very simple. I don't have to have actually met the person, you spend time sharing posts, commenting and before you know it emailing and before long you consider them friends. 

    In the last few years there has been a small cluster of us 'book nerds' and I consider them all to be friends. I really feel like FB is generating its own Book Crew which I am very proud to be part of. Some of the people involved are Amanda Oughton, Vicki Wilkinson, Sarah Hardy, Alexina Golding and Joseph Calleja (just to name a few). There are also avid followers of our Blogs who are also a part of this little group (Angela Lockwood and Beverley Hopper instantly come to mind). In addition some of the authors we read such as Mel Comley, Angie Marsons, Caroline Mitchell, Steven Dunne, Mike Craven and Col Bury to name a few actually chat to us and before you know it you you have another few friends to add to that crew. Some people may look and think we are crazy, but in my mind my experience of making friends and interacting with these people regularly whether I have met them or not is irrelevant. When you are feeling like crap you can easily get picked up by a few kind words.

    Noelle has been a very good friend to me in the time I've known her and I am so excited that we are finally ( a few of us) getting to meet up next year at the next Harrogate event. One thing I know about Noelle is that her 2 pets are her babies. Pebble her cat and Buster her dog are a constant source of amusement and I feel like I know her animals as well as I do her as she regularly updates us with their antics. I was absolutely devastated for her last week when her cat Pebbles passed away. If you saw the comments that her friends posted on Facebook you would realise it's totally irrelevant whether Noelle had met each one in person, we were all there with a few kind words or just to tell her that we were thinking about her. 

    Noelle sweetie, I am so sad for you but I'm sure that Pebs is stalking around with attitude wherever she is. I hope that the outpouring of support and kind words made it feel like you had people behind you at a horrible time. No matter what anybody else says, I will always count you as a very good friend. I thought it only fitting that I use my blog as a way of saying thank you for being my friend and being so supportive of me. 

    I also wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks to all my other Facebook pals. No I may never have met you, and yes I know I'm a potty mouth etc etc, but sometimes it's a great feeling to know that people are willing to put themselves out there with funny posts or a nice comment just to cheer you up. It also helps that 99% of you are as book crazy as I am, It may seem strange to others that don't use social networking, but for me this is just an addition to my friends I see regularly. I am always grateful for each and every comment, like, or just the general chit chat that goes on. 

    I can only hope that I get to meet as many of the Book Crew as possible next year as it's always nice to put a face to the name, but if not... he constant banter and book related chat will hopefully continue. Noelle, I also wanted to say I am SO chuffed you finally went out and did your own blog, as it's awesome (now we have to work on Amanda:-)). For the people that bother to read this post, if you are at all book crazy like we are, then check out the Crews Book Blogs in the links to the side of my Blog.'re a star!

  3. Synopsis: Sarah is doing just fine. Sure she's been single for the last five years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend, his perfect new girlfriend and all their mutual friends. And yes, her job as a PA to one of the most disgusting men in London is mind-numbingly tedious and her career is a constant disappointment to her mother. But it's really okay. She's happy (ish).

    So it's not surprising that when Sarah starts dreaming about a handsome stranger, she begins to look forward to falling asleep every night. Reality isn't nearly as exciting. That is until her dream-stranger makes an unexpected real-life appearance, leaving Sarah questioning everything she thought she wanted.

    Because no one ever really finds the person of their dreams... do they?

    Kat’s Rating: 5/5

  4. Synopsis: Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be?

    Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas.

    When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble…

    With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5

  5. Synopsis: Don’t ever cross his palm with silver. 

    He will reveal your most shameful secrets. 

    He will predict your death. 

    He is hiding a secret. 

    He is hiding a monster. 

    And all his predictions come true. 

    Investigating a series of chilling murders, Detective Jennifer Knight finds herself tracking a mysterious tarot card reader known only as The Raven. 

    As the death toll rises, Jennifer and her team build a picture of a serial killer on the edge of sanity, driven by dark forces. But these are not random killings. And the method behind the madness could be the most terrifying thing of all … Especially when it seems the death of one of their own is on the cards. 

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5

  6. Synopsis: As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked at what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave.

    When more bodies are found, Jennifer is convinced the killings are somehow linked. What she discovers is more chilling than she could possibly imagine. The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict.

    Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play …

    With her mother’s terrifying legacy spiralling out of control, Jennifer must look into her own dark past in a fight not only to stop a killer – but to save herself and those she loves.

    My Rating: 4/5

  7. Synopsis: The Wilde family have always had a roast dinner on Sundays. Greg Wilde made sure of it. Him, his wife, Lizzy, and their three children around the table; for years it was the glue that held them together. 

    But now with the children all grown up and moving out, and Greg and Lizzy’s marriage facing an uncertain future, their lives are becoming increasingly unstuck. Greg soon begins to realise that creating a happy family is one thing, but staying that way is an entirely different story. 

    Told from each of the family's perspectives at their monthly Sunday roast dinners, this is a bittersweet comedy about parenthood, marriage, love, life and roast dinners. 

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5

    Kat’s Review: Having never read a Jon Rance book I had no pre-conceived ideas about whether I would like it. I certainly liked the sound of the synopsis and even better was that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The book is laid out by the month in which the Wilde Family Roast Dinner is taking place. The great British Institute that is a Sunday Roast it is an all too familiar setting, but one which you slim into seamlessly. The family consists of Greg and Lizzy, the husband and wife along with the three children Holly, Lucy and Matt. There is a prologue which gives you enough background from 1995, so that when the book then starts 13 years later you have a broad understanding of the characters.

    I have to hold my hands up here and admit that when I realised each chapter represented a family member along with the consecutive months, I wondered if my attention would stray. Thankfully it was the exact opposite that happened and I quickly became embroiled to the point I may as well have been another member sitting around the table. The characters are all very readable but in all honesty I found it the hardest to like the Mum Lizzy. Having said that, although she may not have been my favourite she sure made up for that in the humorous situations she put herself in (you will understand when you read the book, especially the ‘retreat’ she visits).

    Each family member is going through some sort of trauma or drama and as each month unfolds you see the impact it has on the family and their take on it. The book is light-hearted, and very funny in parts, however still manages to maintain that family bond. The way this book was written was pretty unique and I haven’t read a book laid out like that with a month by month for each chapter. I have to say it really did work and made the book so much easier to read. I must say that although I haven’t read any other Jon Rance books, I will certainly be reading his other stuff as well as looking out for new releases too. This was a fantastic read for both men and women that I would definitely recommend.

  8. Synopsis: Housing office Josie Mellor loves the community spirit of the notorious Mitchell Estate – when it doesn’t involve benefit cheats, aggression, or murder and mayhem, that is. 

    But it isn’t exactly a party for some of her tenants. Kelly Winterton thinks Josie is sticking her nose in where it’s not wanted. Her partner’s just been packed off to prison and she’s left worrying how to fend for herself and her young daughter. Charlotte Hatfield has fled from her violent partner. With four children in tow, she lives in fear of him finding her again. Amy Cartwright has learning difficulties. She finds it hard enough looking out for herself and her six-month-old baby without being taken advantage of. 

    In the midst of it all, Josie has secrets of her own. Trapped in a loveless marriage, she struggles to escape her controlling husband and, as her home life deteriorates, she realises only a thin line separates her from the people she’s trying to help. Can Josie save herself and return the estate to relative normality when a spate of burglaries causes havoc and deadly violence erupts? Or will both she and her tenants become victims of violence that no one will see?

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5