Synopsis: Special forces veteran Byron Tibor is back in Winter’s Rage, the latest book from acclaimed thriller writer, Sean Black, author of the bestselling Ryan Lock series.
After years as a government trouble-shooter, working in the most dangerous places in the world, Byron suffered a breakdown. Enrolled in a special DARPA experiment known as the ‘guilt-free soldier’ program, Byron’s PTSD is cured, and he is given augmented powers. But his newfound abilities leave him isolated and prone to unpredictable rages.
Now, hunted by the government, Byron has taken refuge in the remote Appalachian town of Winter’s Rage. But Byron’s peaceful existence is about to be shattered by the arrival of a troubled young woman on the run from a violent drug cartel.
Synopsis: Winter in Manhattan…and someone’s keeping a secret.
The day her husband Alex picks up a backpack and goes travelling, Angela Clark promises to stay out of trouble and keep both Louboutins on the ground.
So when her best friend’s boyfriend confides in her, it can’t hurt to help him pick out a ring at Tiffany’s surely?
And when her fashion magazine announces major changes, being terminally late and arguing with your boss isn’t that bad, is it?
Then suddenly there’s another big secret Angela’s got to keep – and the man she loves is still thousands of miles away. As the wedding of the year looms, and Manhattan switches on its Christmas lights, Angela is going to need her friends by her side as her old life looks set to change forever.
Synopsis: As a female cop walking the mean streets of Manchester, life can be tough for PC Lucy Clayburn. But when one of the North West’s toughest gangsters is your father, things can be particularly difficult.
When Lucy's patch is gripped by a spate of murder-robberies, the police are quick to action. Yet when it transpires that the targets are Manchester’s criminal underworld, attitudes change.
Lucy is soon faced with one of the toughest cases of her life – and one which will prove once and for all whether blood really is thicker than water…
Kat's Rating: 4/5
Kat's Review: I was looking forward to the second installment in this series as I loved the first book. This second book was I thought very different to the first. For a start the beginning was a little...sludgy? Is that even a word? I absolutely loved Lucy but couldn't help but feel like she was stuck in a rut? When a spate of Robberies start occurring Lucy of course has to get involved and it seems like there could be crossover with other cases. A few characters in this book I didn't warm to and by the end of the book I discovered why. However I still felt like the beginning was like she was wading in deep mud.
Skip forward to maybe the halfway point and it turns into a full on action packed 5 star read. It was literally like reading about a different woman. With Manchester's Underworld leading figures now being targeted it felt like the book ratcheted up the ante and it was every man for themselves. Lucy finds herself in literally more and more hot water as the book continues which just makes it all the more engaging and the second half of the book I read in one sitting, it was absolutely first class.
As for the 'Daddy Issue' let's not spoil for others but suffice to say this is a cracking element to the series made all the more interesting with this book. I was almost smiling 'gleefully' at the events that transpired for Lucy on this front. I think for me there was only one element missing and that's a senior figure that is there for Lucy. normally in books like this there is a chain of command but it seems Lucy is almost on her own for most of the time and think that doesn't sit quite right with me. I am a HUGE fan of this series and would highly recommend reading both this and the earlier books in order, another cracker by Finch!
Kat's Review: So the follow up from the Short Story Here Come The Boys is this one and it's a perfect continuation and wrap up of both Angie and Selina's story. Angie and Selina are now firm friends following their years of not speaking after their school days. Their last trip resulted in Seina making the brave decision to leave her husband and it made Angie see what she had waiting for her at home!
This book seemed a little shorter than the last and I literaly read it in about 10 minutes. I think this would have been better being added on to the last short story. Unfortunately about 40% of this was the short story and the rest is extracts from another MJ book. Couldn't helpp being a little bit dissapointed but am hoping we return with a full length book at some point to see how Angie and Selina are getting on.
Synopsis: Angie Silverton and her husband are taking a much-needed holiday on the cruise ship Mermaidia, so the last person she hopes to bump into is her one-time best friend Selina who stole the love of her life and married him twenty years ago.
And what she needs even less is to be marooned in Malaga with Selina when both of them manage to miss boarding the ship in port.
It will take three days for them to travel across Europe to catch up with the ship again in Croatia. And in the company of each other twenty-four/seven, a lot of old baggage is going to be unloaded.
Kat's Rating: 4/5
Kat's Review: Considering I don't read short stories this is the second of Milly Johnson's I've read in the same amount of weeks:-) Angie and her very loveable husband Gil are taking their very first trip aboard a cruise ship. From the moment they start their journey on the coach they realise this will be very different to what they are used to. No sooner have they arrived do they start to meet some onboard friends all of whom had their own part to play in this story.
Both Angie and Gil are such likeable charaters however when Gill is suffering from sea sickness when they dock in Malaga, Angie decides to do some shopping on her own. What she didn't bank of was not making the ship in time and being stranded. Not only that she ends up being stranded with her ex-best friend who went off and married the man she was supposed to end up with.
This story was a delight to read and as soon as I had finished I checked out whether there was a continuation of sorts andd sure enough the short story named 'Ladies Who Launch' appeared and hey Presto, my next Milly Johnson arrived on my Kindle. It's been far too long since I read this lady's books it certainly put me back in that zone! A great short read...
Synopsis: It’s the week before Christmas and Isla McCoy has just received an unexpected gift: a letter announcing she is due a life-changing inheritance, but only if she’s willing to make amends with the father who abandoned her.
She has absolutely no intention of forgiving him, but who could resist an all-expenses-paid trip to the French resort of St Martin-de-Belleville?
There she meets smooth-talking Justin and nerdy glaciologist Sebastian; two very different men, with two very different agendas. Torn between her head and her heart, Isla finds herself utterly lost in a winter wonderland of her own feelings.
Surrounded by twinkling candles and roaring log-fires, Isla’s resolve finally begins to melt. But will she learn how to reconnect, not only with a whole new family, but with herself and her heart?
Kat's Rating: 5/5
Kat's Review: I really enjoyed the last book by Tilly featuring Isla's friend Dodie. However I wanted to get stuck in with this book as I was curious about her best friend Isla. This book moves on to the same time period as Dodie, but we get to catch up with what Isla has done. Isla has had a strange phone call saying that her Grandmother she never knew has left her something in her will. However, that means visiting the French resort of St Martin-de-Belleville and seeing the Father who walked out on her and her Mum when she was a girl. <blog_break>
As Isla arrives in the resort she has no idea but upon meeting Dahlia the owner of the place she is staying, and geeky but loveable Glaciologist Sebastian things seem to take a turn for the better. I absolutely adored Sebastian and although Isla is quite prickly and defensive you could tell that she was thawing to both him and the lovely Dahlia that owns the hotel. Tilly does a cracking job describing this beautiful place and it was easy to fall in love with it all as you read.
There are certainly some hairy moments as Isla faces her fears and meets not only the Father she doesn't know but the new step mother and half siblings. There are a couple of curveballs going on and you get the feeling that all is not as it seems on the surface. However, Isla doesn't suffer fools gladly and you can see her battling to do the right thing. What I did love was that the process wasn't shown to be easy. If she would have met her Dad and everything was instantly wonderful it wouldn't have had the same impact.
I read this book in just two sittings and absolutely loved it. As much as I enjoyed reading about Dodie in book 1, geeky Seb and stern Isla stole the show and this book was definitely my favourite of the 2. A wonderful book and a perfect Christmas present!
Synopsis: Mia Hamilton lived the perfect life with her husband, university teacher Zach, and their two-year-old daughter, Freya. But everything changed when Zach committed suicide on the same night one of his students, Josie Carpenter, vanished.
Five years later, and Josie is still missing but Mia has finally found some happiness with new boyfriend Will.
Until one day when stranger Alison walks into her life and tells Mia that her husband didn’t kill himself.
Desperate to find out what really happened to Zach, Mia is forced to put her trust in Alison. But she soon discovers that Alison has her own agenda behind exposing the details of Zach’s death. Can Mia really believe anything Alison says?
Mia must decide how far she is willing to go to uncover the truth – even if she risks losing everything she loves.
Kat's Rating: 4/5
Kat's Review: This book starts off fantastically and alternates between present day with Mia and five years ago with the student Josie. It seems like Mia has moved on after the tragic suicide of her then husband Zach, and subsequent disappearance of student Josie Carpenter on the same night. Mia has her new life with boyfriend Will and it's all going well until Alison appears in Mia's life and tells her that Zach didn't commit suicide.
This certainly has the traditional feel of a psychological thriller and I certainly enjoyed the writing but I admit I initially struggled to connect with Mia. That aside the story had me gripped and the tension was ratcheted up to the maximum from very early on. As a reader I was questioning everything and it felt like Mia was on a knife-edge as she tries to discover what really happened to Zach and how he came to be dead on that fateful night.
I certainly didn't see the outcome as it actually happened and that was a hugely pleasant surprise. I also felt like that last quarter of the book was the best and I read that part of the book in one sitting. I think not connecting with a character was a minor flaw for me because by the halfway mark it didn't even enter my head as I was swept along with the story. Certainly a gripping read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed!