Book Review: Strictly on Ice by Helen Buckley @HelenCBuckley @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review Strictly on Ice by Helen Buckley

Blurb

When falling in love comes with the risk of falling flat on your face …Former Olympic skating champion Katie Saunders is well known for her ‘ice queen’ persona in the press. On the face of it, perhaps Katie should have forgiven her former skating partner and ex-boyfriend, Alex Michaelson, for the accident that shattered both her ankle and their Olympic dreams – but she just can’t seem to let it go.When Katie reluctantly agrees to take part in a new TV skating show, it’s only because she’s desperate for cash. What she didn’t count on is the drama – not only is she partnered up with infamous love rat rugby player Jamie Welsh, but one of the judges is none other than Alex Michaelson himself.As the show progresses, will Katie be shown the hard way, once again, that romance on the ice should remain strictly off-limits?

Review

What a wonderful read Strictly on Ice was. The characters were so well written that I felt as though I knew them personally. I loved them all. The plot was fantastic, it really drew me in.

It was a wonderful read that I couldn’t put down.

5/5

Purchase here

Authors Bio

Ever since I was little I wanted to be a writer, to turn daydreams into books. I’m fascinated by fame, in love with Happy Ever Afters, and enthralled by slow-burn romances. I squeeze in time to write around looking after my two sons. Find out more about me on my website http://www.buckleybooks.org

Book Review: The Ticklemore Tattler by Liz Davies @lizdaviesauthor @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review The Ticklemore Tattler by Liz Davies

Blurb

Sometimes you have to write your own future…

The life of former journalist Juliette Seymour has been quiet and unassuming. Up until now, she’s been concentrating on running the local newspaper and raising her daughter.

But all that is about to change when Juliette is informed that the Ticklemore Tattler is to fold and that she’ll be out of a job. She begins to wonder whether she can buy the newspaper and try to make a go of it herself.

Aware that she needs some advice she contacts Oliver Pascoe, little knowing that when her old colleague re-enters her life, his help isn’t the only thing she wants him for!

As she begins to fall in love, however, what she doesn’t realise is that Oliver has something he’s keeping from her.

Review

It’s so nice to be back at Ticklemore. Despite being part of a series it can easily be read as a standalone. It was nice to see so many familiar faces.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Ticklemore Tattler, it had me hooked from the start. It was a wonderfully light hearted read. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Purchase Here

Authors Bio

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper van and travel the world in it.

Book Review: A Little Birdie Told Me by Sharley Scott @SharleyScott @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review A Little Birdie Told Me by Sharley Scott

Blurb

It’s 1988. The era of young love, with Scott and Charlene melting hearts in Neighbours, and a new princess for the Royal Family. With Bros, Madonna and Wet Wet Wet in the charts, and children hoping for Ghostbusters’ toys in their stockings.

But it’s not all fun for Belinda. If her life was a board game, she’s losing at snakes and ladders. Once she’d been working her way up one of those ladders but, thanks to her snake-like polytechnic lecturer, she’s toppled from the rungs. Now she works in an old people’s home.

At least her lovely colleague, Joe, offers excitement in her otherwise dreary life. But Belinda can’t believe he’d be interested in someone like her. Not when her pretty friend, Tracey, only has to glance at a man to have him fall for her.

But just when it seems things are looking up for Belinda, the residents’ precious possessions start to go missing. Then she witnesses a disturbing incident and doesn’t know what to do. Luckily, Belinda has Joe to guide her – until she discovers that he’s hiding a secret, one that forces her to make an agonising decision.

Will she continue to hide in the shadows, never speaking out – or will she put her job, friends and love on the line to stand up for what is right? After all, she’s caring for a generation that’s lived through two wars. Now it’s time to fight for them.

Review

I fell in love with Sharley’s writing from the moment I read her debut a few years ago and it is no different now.

I’m obsessed with the 1980s so it was lovely to read a book based in that era. The story itself is very descriptive and it made me feel as though I was there. It’s a captivating read that keeps you engrossed throughout.

There were moments in the book that were a little sad, especially surrounding the nursing home but I think that’s what made it all the more real, it dealt with issues that were very real then and even possibly now. A lot of people can relate to this book.

I really enjoyed reading this book as I have done reading all the authors other books.

5/5

Purchase here

Authors bio

Sharley Scott is the author of the Devon Seaside Guesthouse novels – Bedlam & Breakfast and B&Bers Behaving Madly – and the Maddie Meadows series.Sharley is a guesthouse owner in South Devon. She is thankful to have been blessed with lots of amazing and kind-hearted guests, who are nothing like some of the fictional characters featured in the Devon Seaside Guesthouse series.

The Two Lives of Maddie Meadows – and its sequel The Gift of a Rose – portrays the life of a working single mum. Some of the mischief Maddie’s little one, Josh, gets up to will be familiar to all parents. In real life, Sharley has carried out the threats she made to her son decades ago and now gets her own back him by telling tales to his girlfriend (some of the incidents in the books are inspired by him), although he returns the favour by recounting utterly embarrassing stories about his mum.

Sharley’s latest novel ‘A Little Birdie Told Me…’ is now available as an ebook and paperback on Amazon. This book goes back in time to the late eighties: a time of fun music, interesting fashion, strange hairstyles and no internet or mobile phones. Fancy having to talk to each other! (Says the author who frequents Facebook too often).With that in mind, Sharley can be found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SharleyScott3/Or follow Sharley on Twitter: @SharleyScott

Book Review: The Devil’s Mark by WD Jackson Smart @wdejackson @pantherpubs @damppebbles

Thank you to Emma for giving me the chance to review The Devils Mark by WD Jackson Smart

Blurb

Bloody remains. Multiple victims. Ritual sacrifice?

When a blood-stained effigy of body parts is found in a central London park, D.I Daniel Graves must set about trying to discover what it could mean and find the person responsible. Symbols at the crime scene suggest the occult. Who would leave a murder victim in such a way, and why?

As Graves and partner DI Charlie Palmer begin to investigate the ritual and the act of human sacrifice, they enlist the help of Charlotte Gooding, a talented professor specialising in the subject. They hope to narrow down on a motive. Could the killer believe in the supernatural? Witchcraft even?

Then the next crime scene is found. More blood, more symbols, and out in the open. It seems the killer wants the world to pay attention, but why? How are they choosing their victims?

The pressure is on for Graves to put an end to the murders before more remains show up in brutal tableaus. One thing is for sure, this killer is out for blood and is not afraid to make it a very public display.

There’s just one problem. Grave’s past is still not behind him. Someone is eager to make sure he doesn’t forget, cannot move on. And they’re not playing games anymore. There may be an occult killer out there, but now there’s another out for blood, Daniel Grave’s blood

Review

What an excellent crime read this was, it is third in the series and I do recommend you read the other two simply because I think it would give you the familiarity of some of the characters.

It was another well written and gripping read. It was rather violent and fast paced at times but it never went away from the underlying story.

This was an excellent read. I look forward to reading more from this author.

5/5

Purchase here

About WD Jackson-Smart:

WD Jackson-Smart, 35, is a London-based horror and crime fiction author who has been writing crime and horror fiction since 2011. His novel Red Light was self published on Amazon and charted in the top twenty best selling Suspense / Thriller Kindle books on release. 

His horror short story, What’s Yours Is Mine, was shortlisted for the Horror For Good anthology.

His first crime thriller Slasher, about a serial killer targeting slasher movie actresses in Hollywood, is out now, and he has launched a brand new crime series set in London and starring D.I. Graves. The Demons Beneath is the first in the series, and the sequel From Inside The House was published on July 1st 2019.

As well as his passion for horror and crime thrillers in all forms, WD Jackson-Smart also loves art and design, having studied Fine Art and Art History in Leeds and Toronto and working as a graphic designer for the majority of his career.

Book Review: A Disappointment of Owls by S.E. Smith @SymingtonByrd @lovebooksgroup @PublishingShip

Thank you to Love Books Tours for giving me the chance to review A Disappointment of Owls by S E Smith

Blurb

When the mutilated body of Albert Shawcross is found in the East End, the police head straight to Fournier street to the last person who saw him alive – Symington, Earl ByrdHorrified at the presumption of guilt, Symington vows to track down the real killer. With the help of the pawnbroker’s niece, Emily, he’s drawn into an increasing dangerous world, where not everyone wants him to succeed.With enemies using violent tactics to persuade him to drop the case, the earl must make a difficult decision. Does the shady solicitor deserve justice, or did he deserve to die?

Review

This is the third installment in what is turning out to be a fantastic series.

It was another book with some wonderful characters, Sym and Emily are just perfect and I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop. There were plenty of twists and turns that left you wondering who the killer was.

I have absolutely loved reading these books and can’t wait to see what else S E Smith brings out.

5/5

Purchase here

Book Review: Flying Duo by Zoe May @zoe_writes @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review Flying Duo by Zoe May

Blurb

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy chick lit novel about love, dreams and adventure by bestselling author, Zoe May

London lawyer Rachel Watson has wound up in an Indian ashram with hippy heartthrob lover, Seb.

A high-achiever, Rachel has always lived life according to her Life List, ticking off goals along the way. But now that she’s in India, Rachel is going with the flow, or at least trying to…

Rachel’s visa is running out and it’s time to decide whether her relationship with Seb is a holiday romance or built to last.

The pair embark on a trip to Nepal for an Everest base camp trek, but will their relationship survive this gruelling expedition or is it time to part ways?

Review

The long awaited sequel to the excellent Flying Solo. I was so excited to read this and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

I absolutely loved reading this book and seeing what Rachel and Paul got up to. I really like these characters and think they are well portrayed.

This was another brilliant read from Zoe May

5/5

Purchase here

February 2021 Books

Here is what I read during February

Digital

The Lazarus Child by Jay Raven

Review here

Murder on the menu by Fiona Leitch

Review here

Preserved by Fiona Sherlock

Review here

A Brush with Death by Fiona Leitch

Review here

The Dog Sitter by Zara Stoneley

Review here

The Scarlet Dress by Louise Douglas

Review here

The Big ol’ Bike by Rachael Clarke

Review here

Physical

A Cowardice of Crows by S E Smith

Review here

An Unkindness of Ravens by S E Smith

Review here

The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves

What a wonderfully sweet but heartbreaking book this was about love and lose. While it did take a while to get into I thoroughly enjoyed it.

4/5

Audiobook

The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

I loved this book, it was gripping from the start. This was another excellent read from Tarryn Fisher

Book Review: The Big ol’ Bike by Rachael Clarke @raclarkewrites @damppebbles. #damppebblesblogtours

Thank you to Emma at Damppebbles for giving me the chance to review The Big ol’ Bike by Rachael Clarke

Blurb

Big things are happening in Little Springs…

Everything about Oliver is small, from his footprint to his glasses-and a trio of bullies never let him forget it. When Oliver receives his grandfather’s old bike for his birthday, he rides tall for the first time. But the meanest bully in school doesn’t like that at all. Oliver quickly finds himself challenged to a race. Now, he’ll have to be bigger than he ever imagined in order to prove heroes come in small packages too.

The Big Ol’ Bike is a contemporary slice of life for ages 7-10. It’s filled with characters who could live down the street from you, or have a locker beside yours at school. Come hang out with Oliver, Austin, and Sue, as they experience excitement, setbacks, and adventure together. Themes of bullying, family, friendship, confidence, and community are all explored.

Review

This is a wonderful book aimed primarily at children but can easily be enjoyed by adults and everyone else.

The characters are loveable and the story itself is rather enjoyable. It features many life lessons and a particular one that’s of importance is always being proud of who you are.

I really enjoyed reading this book and think it will speak volumes to many.

5/5

Purchase here

About Rachael Clarke:

Rachael Clarke is a former police officer turned stay-at-home mom living in Portage la Prairie, MB. She rides the twisty rollercoaster of life alongside her sport-obsessed husband, adorably mischievous boys, and two quirky dogs. Rachael likes to stay busy, constantly juggling writing projects from children’s books to novels. Besides writing and illustrating, she enjoys photography, the outdoors, acting, and sipping steaming cups of coffee. Oh, and cake—can’t forget cake. Rachael also writes multi-genre short fiction under the pen name R.A. Clarke. Her work has been featured in various publications, and has won both Writer’s Weekly and Writer’s Games

Book Review: The Scarlett Dress by Louise Douglas @Louisedouglas3 @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review The Scarlett Dress by Louise Douglas

Blurb

Alice Lang was wearing her favourite scarlet dress when she disappeared twenty-five years ago, and her memory still casts a long shadow.

‘The past was like water. Once the tide turned, you couldn’t hold it back.’

In the long, hot summer of 1995, twenty-two-year-old Alice Lang rents a caravan on a holiday park on the outskirts of the lively holiday resort of Severn Sands. She befriends Marnie, a shy, damaged little girl whose father is the park’s caretaker and whose mother died a few months earlier. Will, whose mother runs the bar, falls in love with Alice, and is unbearably jealous of anyone else she sees. Tensions rise until one evening Alice disappears from her caravan. She’s never seen again, and only her scarlet dress is found washed up on the shore.

A quarter of a century later, the town is run down and nobody comes there anymore. Mr and Mrs deVillars, former owners of the holiday park, have passed the failing business onto their son Guy, who promptly sells the land for development. Builders clearing the land to create an expanse of executive homes uncover human bones. It has to be Alice.

Will and Marnie’s lives were entirely shaped by what happened that summer, and now Alice has been found, they must struggle to pin down their memories, to escape the secrets of the past, the lies they told and the unbearable guilt they’re both carrying.

They need to find out what happened to Alice. Who killed her? And why?

Review

What I enjoyed about Louise’s writing was how she made the setting creepy without it actually being a creepy place. It was a wonderfully paced story that drew me in instantly and kept me intrigued until the very end.

This was my first Louise Douglas book and it certainly won’t be the last.

5/5

Purchase here

Book Review: An Unkindess of Ravens by S.E. Smith @SymingtonByrd @lovebooksgroup @PublishingShip

Thank you to Love Books Tours for giving me the chance to review An Unkindess of Ravens by S.E. Smith

Blurb

“Move over Sherlock Holmes…”**
When Symington, Earl Byrd is called into investigate the murder of Robert Langley, he’s confused. Why shoot a man when you’ve already poisoned him?
Much to the prime minister’s disgust, a trip to Wales complicates matters further. But the prime minister is the least of Byrd’s worries. Rumour has it, Jack the Ripper’s back – tying up loose ends.
But when did Jack start using poison?

* Previously published, this edition contains new material and a change of author name from Sarah E Smith to S.E. Smith

Review

It’s so good to be back with Symington in this second installment of the serious. The characters are fantastic and the story really does make you see the similarities with Sherlock Holmes.

The story was set with diary entries and reports, which to me, made it all the more interesting to read as you feel as though you are trying to figure out what has happened alongside Symington.

I was completely hooked from the start and enjoyed it right until the end, now I’m supper excited for the third installment.

5/5

Purchase here

Authors Bio

S.E. Smith, known as Sarah to her friends, and ‘Miss’ to her students, was born into a naval family and now lives on a 65-foot broad-beam boat with her husband, Steve, and her two rescue dogs – Ben and Eva. Crediting her Nana May for instilling in her a love of history, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the East End of London at the turn of the 20th Century, Sarah took on board the adage ‘write about what you know’ and created Symington Byrd: a gentleman detective whose foray into the East End leads him into all kinds of danger. A great fan of the West Wing, Pokemon Go, and Doctor Who, Sarah’s biggest claim to fame is the day spent with the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, chasing Daleks down The Strand