Thursday 26 May 2022

Tell Me Everything by Laura Kay | Book Review

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

Tell Me Everything by Laura Kay
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Quercus
Publication date: 26th May 2022

Would you entrust your life choices to someone hell-bent on avoiding theirs?

Natasha has everything under control, at least that's what her clients think. As a therapist, she has all the answers but when it comes to her personal life, she seriously needs to start taking her own advice.

Still living with her ex-girlfriend, Natasha's messy love life is made up of dates and one-night stands. After all, why would you commit to one person, when there is an endless stream of people waiting for you to swipe right? Besides, people always leave.

But when Margot arrives on the scene, everything changes. Flailing between mending long broken relationships and starting new ones, Natasha's walking the line between self-actualisation and self-destruction... With denial no longer an option, it is time for Natasha to take control of her own happiness.

I absolutely loved The Split by Laura Kay so I was eager to get my hands on a copy of Kay's next novel - Tell Me Everything.

I want to say that Laura Kay is the queen of the lesbian romcom but the books are so much more than that.

Our main character Natasha is a therapist and continues to live with her ex-girlfriend Georgia until Georgia wants to move her new girlfriend Zara in. Natasha, although she is a therapist, doesn't seem to be able to suss herself out. She is meeting up with people she has connections with on dating sites, nothing meaningful and the book focuses on her reflecting on herself.

Kay writes very well when it comes to relationships, not just romantic but between Natasha and her mother, sister, friends too. There is fantastic representation in this book with the introduction of a non-binary character too and the humour and wit is just perfect.

A really strong follow up to The Split.


Thanks to Quercus for having me on the blog blast for Tell Me Everything's publication day. You can find information about the other bloggers who will be sharing reviews in the graphic below.

Tuesday 24 May 2022

The Island by Adrian McKinty | Blog Tour Book Review

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

The Island by Adrian McKinty
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Orion
Publication date: 17th May 2022

After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they're deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover a remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare.

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it's up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don't trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.

Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

I really enjoyed The Chain by Adrian McKinty so I was very excited to read The Island. One thing that McKinty does well is write stories with a bit of a chase.

Heather is a 24 year old massage therapist who marries Tom, a doctor who is in his forties with two teenage children - Olivia and Owen. Their mother passed away a year previously.

The family visit Australia as Tom is giving a keynote speech at a conference. The children are a bit bored as they aren't seeing the beauty of Australia. They are invited over to a remote island with only around 27 inhabitants and all the one family, under the premise that they will be able to see native Australian animals in the wild.

Whilst there, an accident causes them to be held hostage and thus insues the chase to free themselves.

I will be honest and say that I did feel a little like it was very easy for the hostage takers to agree with Heather's demands or attempts to talk them out of harming them but I appreciate that the story would be very different were that not the case.

The vivid descriptions really put you in the scenes and you can feel the urgency from the family as they try to escape and get back over to the mainland. I really enjoyed Owen as a character and his diagnoses, I felt, were written very well.

Heather's character arc throughout the novel was definitely one of my favourite parts though!

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

Friday 20 May 2022

Friends Top Trumps from Winning Moves | Review

[ad/gifted - I received this item for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love the TV show Friends. It's up there as one of my absolute favourites and I remember watching The Last One live on Channel 4 when it aired. I own a plethora of merchandise and games from the show. One thing I have never played though, of any sort, is Top Trumps.

I obviously knew about Top Trumps and the fact that you could get it for so many different topics but I never looked into how the game was played until now.

If, like me, you have never played, the premise is simple. Deal the deck out evenly between all players and each player holds their cards in a pile, face up. You then go around the players, each choosing a stat. The card with the highest stat wins that round and the player gets all the cards from that round. The winner is the last person with all the cards in their hands.

What I love about the Friends Top Trumps is that they include little facts and quotes from the show alongside stills. I think I read every single quote in the way that it is spoken in the show! A definite fun game for any Friends fan and the deck is super handy to carry about in its little case.

I honestly can't believe I've never played Top Trumps before and due to the fact that it is so easy to play, I will definitely get a few more games to play with the children!

The Friends Top Trumps is one of the Limited Edition adult versions of the UK's number 1 card game. Other versions include Spitting Image, Only Fools And Horses, James Bond and many more. You can view the range and purchase from Winning Moves.

Thursday 19 May 2022

Deadly Cure by Mahi Cheshire | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

Deadly Cure by Mahi Cheshire
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Vintage
Publication date: 14th April 2022

Dr Rea Dharmasena is devastated when she loses out on her dream research job to her med-school rival and best friend, Dr Julia Stone.

To add insult to injury, Julia used Rea's own cutting-edge research to get it.

But just as Rea finds it in her to forgive the betrayal, Julia, after a life-changing medical discovery, is found murdered.

Now Rea has the dream job she's always wanted.

But at what cost?

This book took me by surprise. I hopped in to read it because I saw that Adventures With Words were doing a readalong over on Instagram and went in basically blind and I was pleasantly surprised!

Rea Dharmasena and Julia Stone have been best friends since they were young. Both are doctors and going for the same research job. The book draws you in with a traumatic accident in A&E that Rea attends and discovers that it's her best friend and roommate, Feng Tanaka. Rea had recently received a voicemail from him saying that he needed to talk to her about Julia. At this point I am hooked already.

Julia and Rea are both flawed characters in their own ways. Julia is desperate for this research job and will stop at nothing to get it. Rea thinks Julia has stolen her work in order to get it and the two have a falling out. Julia thrives in the job and is convinced she has found a cure for cancer. This is where it gets interesting.

Julia is murdered but who did it? Who has motive? What really happened? I cannot give too much away about the plot because there are just so many twists and turns. The writing is totally gripping.

Rea ends up taking over Julia's job as she is the best person to carry on her research but she discovers a lot more than she intends to. I really enjoyed this one!

Friday 13 May 2022

The Secret Lives Of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw | Blog Tour Book Review

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

The Secret Lives Of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication date: 5th May 2022

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church's double standards and their own needs and passions.

There is fourteen-year-old Jael, who has a crush on the preacher's wife. At forty-two, Lyra realizes that her discomfort with her own body stands between her and a new love. As Y2K looms, Caroletta's "same time next year" arrangement with her childhood best friend is tenuous. A serial mistress lays down the ground rules for her married lovers. In the dark shadows of a hospice parking lot, grieving strangers find comfort in each other.

With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.

The Secret Lives Of Church Ladies is a collection of nine stories.All of them feature Black women and their lives and relationships from romantic to familial. They each have their own challenges and desires.

Each story is told in a distinct way and I love the writing style. They all felt so real. We hear stories about infidelity, religion, sexism and everything in between. 

Society and the Church play a huge part in most of these women's lives and they are made to hide their inner feelings but display different ones on the outside. Some watch their mothers cheat, some sleep with married men, some are in same sex relationships with their mother not approving. It is a beautiful and emotive look at relationships and how we perceive ourselves inside but also how we want others to perceive us outside.

A wonderful collection. 


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

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Six Days In Rome by Francesca Giacco | 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.]

Six Days In Rome by Francesca Giacco
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Headline 
Publication date: 3rd May 2022

Emilia, an artist, arrives in Rome alone. What was supposed to be a romantic trip has, with the sudden end of her relationship, become a solitary one.

Six days lie ahead. She wanders the streets, surrendering herself to the music, food and beauty of the city.

But when she meets John, an American living out a seemingly idyllic existence in Rome, their instant connection challenges how she sees her past, her family and herself. As their intimacy deepens, can Emilia begin to imagine life anew?

This book is stunning and I cannot believe that it is a debut novel for this author.

Emilia has broken up with her boyfriend of two years, Michael, and travels alone to Rome which was the trip that the two of them had planned for his birthday. The chapters are split into days, meaning that they are very long, I much prefer shorter chapters but I still found times that I could naturally stop at if I had something else to do.

Emilia is an artist and is very observant. Being alone in this country causes her to notice what is around her, and reflect on her own life. Her relationship with Michael, her family life with her parents and brother Jack, and evaluate that. I was very surprised by the reason that Emilia and Michael split up and felt heartbroken for her.

Whilst on this trip, Emilia meets John, an American expat. He challenges her to face her relationships and memories in a different way.

The chapters won't be for everyone, they weave very easily between past and present but I thought this was beautiful. Seeing Rome through our narrators eyes was wonderful and I honestly felt like booking a flight there whilst reading. 

An absolutely gorgeous read and proof that novels don't need a massive plot or twists and turns. This book is full of emotion which carries it.


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

Monday 2 May 2022

See No Evil by David Fennell | Blog Tour Book Review

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

See No Evil by David Fennell
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publication date: 28th April 2022
Publisher: Zaffre

"Two men are found dead in London's Battersea Park. One of the bodies has been laid out like a crucifix - with his eyes removed and placed on his open palms.

Detective Inspector Grace Archer and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, lead the investigation. But when more bodies turn up in a similar fashion, they find themselves in a race against time to find the sadistic killer.

The hunt leads them to Ladywell Playtower in Southeast London, the home to a religious commune lead by the enigmatic Aaron Cronin. Archer and Quinn suspect Cronin's involvement but his alibis are watertight, and the truth seemingly buried. If Archer is to find the killer, she must first battle her way through religious fanatics, London gangsters - and her own demons..."

David Fennell is very quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. 

See No Evil is the second book in the DI Grace Archer series. I rated the first book, The Art Of Death five stars so I was excited to get back to the series. This book can be read as a standalone enough of a recap about the last book is covered by the first few chapters but The Art Of Death is so good that I still recommend reading it.

Two men are murdered by our unknown killer. This killer is carving their eyes out, placing them in the victims hands so they are looking back at themselves and carving a cross into them. DI Grace Archer and her partner DS Harry Quinn are tasked to find out who is causing the murders and why.

At the same time, the drug dealer who killed Grace's dad is being released from prison.

What I love about David Fennell's books is the writing style, just enough twists and turns and the story keeps you hooked. I love the chase of finding the killers but also the aspects of Grace's personal life too. Thriller readers will love Fennell's books and I honestly think they are close to flawless.


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