Friday 22 April 2022

Sea Change by J. M. Simpson | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received an ebook copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Sea Change by J. M. Simpson
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Independently published
Publication date: 1st March 2022

Sinister undercurrents at are work in the seaside town Castleby. A young boy goes missing and another dies in suspicious circumstances.

Jesse Stevens believes she is safe after escaping from a madwoman who tried to kill her. But soon her worst nightmare returns. Her ex-partner has escaped from prison and is hunting her. She believes he will find her and kill her this time.

Ex-special forces soldier Rob Fox (Foxy) moves to Castleby to live a quiet life, cope with his grief and forget his past. He becomes friends with Sophie Jones who has returned to Castleby to look after her father, while she desperately waits for news about her soldier husband, who is missing in action. Sophie is unexpectedly attacked, unearthing a twenty-year-old unsolved murder.

Two local thieves steal from the local mafioso and pay the ultimate price, leaving the police with a rising body count and a missing boy to find.

I was so excited to be back in Castleby for the next installment in the series. This book can be read as a standalone as a lot of the main information about book one is included as a backstory but I would definitely recommend reading Sea State first as it is great!

I loved going back to old characters that I loved, namely Jesse and Doug and seeing how their relationship developed from the first book. As well as being reintroduced to our characters from Sea State, we also have some newcomers.

Rob "Foxy" Fox is ex-special forces and buys a closed climbing place in Castleby. Sophie Jones' husband Sam has been missing in action for two years and she holds out hope that he is still alive, despite all odds. She moves back to Castleby to look after her father who is ill.

J.M. Simpson is a fantastic writer and what I love most about the Castleby series is the sense of camaraderie with the residents there and the stories of what the RNLI do. Just like in our first book, we have a unknown narrator too who is watching one of our characters - but why? We have that twisty storyline too with a sense of chase. Very gripping and I can't wait for book three! 

A massive thank you to Literally PR for having me on the blog tour. You can find out more information about the other bloggers taking part in this tour in the graphic below.
Wednesday 20 April 2022

Six Days by Dani Atkins | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Six Days by Dani Atkins
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Publication date: 14th April 2022

Gemma knows that she and Finn are destined to be together. They are soulmates. But then, on their wedding day, he never arrives at the church.

Gemma is convinced Finn wouldn't abandon her like this, even though he has disappeared once before. But back then he had a reason. She feels sure something terrible has happened, but no one else is convinced. Even the police aren't concerned, telling Gemma most people who disappear usually turn up in a week... assuming they want to be found, that is.

For the next six days Gemma frantically searches for Finn, even though every shocking revelation is telling her to give up on him. Before long, even she begins to doubt her own memories of their love.

How long can she hold on to her faith in Finn if everyone is telling her to let him go?

My heart!

Six Days follows the story of Gemma Fletcher and Finn Douglas. It is their wedding day and Finn doesn't show up at the church. All of the guests and even her dad and best friend Hannah think he has just done a runner. Gemma knows something bad must have happened to him because he would never leave her. The police aren't convinced either when Gemma presents it to them, Finn doesn't qualify as a missing person. All signs lead to the fact that he's just jilted her.

The narrative switches between Finn and Gemma's first encounters, which are definitely not your typical love story but it also shows Finn as a little unreliable. Part of me really loved Finn's character but at other times I thought, "Did he just leave her?!" It also follows the six days after Finn's no-show and what really happened.

I genuinely cannot fault this book at all. I read it cover to cover in about 20 hours and it made me feel giddy, it broke my heart, it made me excited, it made me want to cry. I just absolutely loved it.


A massive thank you to Aria Fiction for having me on the blog tour. You can find information about the other bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphics below.

Sunday 17 April 2022

Scorpion by Christian Cantrell | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Scorpion by Christian Cantrell
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Penguin Michael Joseph
Publication date: 14th April 2022

All over the world, random people are being brutally assassinated.

Each death is unique, but they all have one thing in common: four numbers branded or carved into the victims' flesh.

What does it mean?

For the brilliant and haunted CIA analyst Quinn Mitchell, it means leaving a safe and predictable desk job as she tries to track down a global serial killer.

What she doesn't know is that nothing about this mission - her handlers, the intelligence, even the laws of cause and effect - can be trusted.

And her target has saved his most shocking murder for last..

Scorpion is one of those books that you need to read with no distractions. It is a sci-fi thriller which is set in the near future with a lot of focus on technology and things like cryptocurrency. There is a lot of jargon which was clearly very well researched.

The story itself focuses mainly on three characters; Quinn, Ranveer and Henrietta. Bodies are piling up with the killer, or killers, branding each with a four digit code. There is seemingly no link to the victims and the CIA task Quinn Mitchell to try and work out the pattern and find out who is doing it.

It is a fantastic cat and mouse type chase with massive twists thrown in. I was on the edge of my seat for most of it and really enjoyed being in this world and following along for the ride. I really liked the depth that each character had which really made me understand them more before they came together for the main plot. It is clear that it was very well planned and well executed. 


A massive thank you to Penguin Michael Joseph for having me on the tour. You can find more information about the other tour participants in the graphic below.

Friday 15 April 2022

The Girls by Bella Osborne | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

The Girls by Bella Osborne
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Publication date: 14th April 2022

Four old friends. Thrown back together after forty years apart. What could possibly go wrong?
In the 1970s, The Girls were best friends sharing a house and good times: Zara the famous diva actor, Val the uptight solicitor, Jackie the wild child and Pauline the quirky introvert. Now they're in their twilight years, and Zara suggests that they live with her to support each other through old age.

Initially, being housemates again is just as much fun as in their heyday. But then Zara reveals the real reason she asked them to move in with her, and suddenly things take a sinister turn.

As the women confront their demons they come under the spotlight of the press, the police and an angry parrot. With their lives spiralling out of control can they save their friendships and each other?

The Girls opens with the line "Pauline didn’t usually drink vodka at lunchtime. But then it wasn’t every day you committed suicide." Very strong and emotional to draw us in. We learn that Pauline is a 68 year old woman with no family or friends around. She receives a fancy letter from an old friend called Zara, an invitation to her birthday party.

Jackie, a carer and Val, a solicitor also receives the same letter from Zara who is now a famous actress. The four ladies previously lived together in the 70s but have since drifted apart. 

At the party, Zara is delighted that they are all together again and suggests that they all move in together again. The majority of the ladies laugh off the idea but personal circumstances mean that it ends up happening. Coincidence or the force of someone else?

All four ladies have very different lives and problems, my heart especially went out to Pauline. Reading about their lives being back together was interesting, in this different stage of their lives.

I don't want to give too much away regarding the plot or ending but I ended up loving this group of characters together and seeing their development.


A massive thank you to Aria Fiction for having me on the blog tour. You can find information about the other bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphics below.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

Mad About You by Mhairi McFarlane | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

Mad About You by Mhairi McFarlane
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 14th April 2022

Two strangers.
One big coincidence.
Driving each other crazy is just the beginning…

Harriet Hatley is running away from everything.

Getting married.
Her boyfriend’s family.
Her past.

A dream house-share seems like the perfect place to hide, but her unlikely housemate Cal is no stranger to running away himself. And he's also hiding secrets of his own . . .

Can these two take a crazy risk, face the past and finally find a reason to stay?

I know that every time I read a Mhairi McFarlane book I will love it.

Harriet is a 34 year old wedding photographer who in our prologue, is working at a wedding where the groom has run out on the bride at the altar.

Harriet, after working at weddings for her day job, is adamant that she does not want to get married. When boyfriend of two years Jon proposes to her in front of his entire posh family (who she already feels like an outsider to), she feels obliged to say yes before breaking up with him completely shortly afterwards.

Following her break up she must find somewhere new to live and ends up being a lodger for Cal, the groom that ran out on his bride a year before! Cal shares his story on why he didn't marry his fiancée that day and the two strike up a friendship. We learn that Harriet's past relationship before Jon was a coercive and manipulative one which in turn shaped her relationship with Jon. 

When Harriet finds out that the ex-partner who made her feel that way is getting married, she feels obliged to warn his fiancée. 

Yes, there is a bit of romance in there which I love but the main focus here is female solidarity, sticking up for each other and supporting each other.

Tuesday 12 April 2022

The First Day Of Spring by Nancy Tucker | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

The First Day Of Spring by Nancy Tucker
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: 18th May 2021

'So that was all it took,' I thought. 'That was all it took for me to feel like I had all the power in the world. One morning, one moment, one yellow-haired boy. It wasn't so much after all.'

Chrissie knows how to steal sweets from the shop without getting caught, the best hiding place for hide-and-seek, the perfect wall for handstands.

Now she has a new secret. It gives her a fizzing, sherbet feeling in her belly. She doesn't get to feel power like this at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer.

Fifteen years later, Julia is trying to mother her five-year-old daughter, Molly. She is always worried - about affording food and school shoes, about what the other mothers think of her. Most of all she worries that the social services are about to take Molly away.

That's when the phone calls begin, which Julia is too afraid to answer, because it's clear the caller knows the truth about what happened all those years ago.

And it's time to face the truth: is forgiveness and redemption ever possible for someone who has killed?

This book is just all kinds of heartbreaking. It opens with the line "I killed a little boy today," then when you discover that the narrator is an eight year old girl, you are drawn in.

The story follows the life of the aforementioned eight year old, Chrissie. She chokes a toddler to death and everyone is shocked at the thought of a child killer being amongst them.

We learn that Chrissie's home life isn't the best. It is clear that she is very neglected by her mother. She is left to fend for herself most of the time which has obviously affected her. She just wants to be loved.

These chapters of Chrissie's childhood are interspersed with chapters from Julia's point of view, Chrissie's new identity. She is a mother herself now but how can she be the perfect mother to her daughter given her childhood?

The First Day of Spring is shocking and I went from feeling angry and disgusted at Chrissie's to genuinely feeling sorry for her. It's an emotional one! 

Friday 1 April 2022

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a proof copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
Star rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Penguin Viking
Publication date: 31st March 2022

Yinka wants to find love. Her mum wants to find it for her.

She also has too many aunties who frequently pray for her delivery from singledom, a preference for chicken and chips over traditional Nigerian food, and a bum she's sure is far too small as a result. Oh, and the fact that she's a thirty-one-year-old South-Londoner who doesn't believe in sex before marriage is a bit of an obstacle too...

When her cousin gets engaged, Yinka commences 'Operation Find A Date for Rachel's Wedding'. Armed with a totally flawless, incredibly specific plan, will Yinka find herself a huzband?

What if the thing she really needs to find is herself?

Yinka is in her early thirties with no boyfriend. At her younger sisters baby shower, she is called out in front of all the guests, with her big Nigerian family praying that she will find a husband. This is a very funny book from the outset.

With her cousin Rachel's wedding day coming up in six months time, she makes a plan to have a date for the wedding. We discover that her ex-partner, and only boyfriend, left for New York which broke her heart. 

Yinka tries desperately to find a man that she connects with but she thinks that parts of herself aren't appealing and tries to change herself for men. What she really needs to do is be happy with who she is.

I loved Yinka and her family and friends and it was really interesting for me to read a book with this family dynamic. It all felt very real and some of the issues that Yinka felt about herself made me feel sad for her. I have heard about colourism and thoughts of skin lightening and it breaks my heart a little bit. All in all, a wonderful debut and I am excited for more by this author.


A massive thank you to Penguin Viking for having me on the blog tour. You can find the information about the other bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphic below.