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  1. Time's Convert

    Thank you, that's very kind of you to say so - and I think I kept it pretty sane sounding too!
  2. Time's Convert

    Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness I have just finished Time’s Convert and have to write a review about it, but hopefully this time I will stay within the realms of sanity and not end up sounding like a raving loon! Here goes… The latest offering from Deborah Harkness and a spin off story yet also a sort of follow on from the totally magnificent ‘All Souls Trilogy’. Most of the characters who appeared in the trilogy are featured here in this book and as a side plot we are given an update into the lives of Matthew and Diana who the All Souls stories revolved around, and with that update you get the feeling it has (hopefully) provided scope for further books down the line. This story focuses on the human life and ‘rebirth’ as a vampire of Marcus – who features in the trilogy as a vampire sired by Matthew, and it tells his experiences of that transformation from human to vampire alongside his ‘warmblood’ human girlfriend/mate Phoebe who has agreed to become a vampire and is sired by Marcus’s long time work colleague and centuries old associate of the De Clermont family, Miriam. The book highlights the stark differences on their experiences of becoming vampires, how Marcus was turned without knowing all the facts and ignorant of what being a vampire involved or even meant, and who was practically abandoned by his sire Matthew shortly after his rebirth as a vampire and who was left with and passed around various members of the De Clermont family who taught him what being a vampire was all about, and his struggles at being a vampire within the powerful patriarchal De Clermont family, compared to Phoebe whose experience was totally the opposite and who was totally informed and almost coddled and over protected throughout. This is very different from the All Souls Trilogy, that had various and many different threads and sub plots which all came together whereas this is primarily a story about a man’s search for a family to belong to, along with family loyalty, especially when there is conflict within the family when an individual’s values and beliefs collide with the rules and autocracy of the head of it. This appears to be an ongoing theme throughout the entire series of books as the long dead head of the De Clermont family still seems to manage to cast a very long shadow despite being dead for a number of years. The writing is first class and I soon fell into it and the words flowed over me and I was quickly consumed by it just as I was previously, once again I was struck by the attention to detail, and once again you are left in no doubt that the story is so obviously written by a historian as the facts of the time period covered are spot on and cleverly entwined with the fictional characters. The period of history covered in this book is the late 1700’s and the War of American Independence and there is nothing more I can say other than it is a complete joy to read. I was left with one minor question, Marcus took the name Whitmore, now a huge thing was made in the story about a vampires name and there is an ongoing theme throughout the story where Marcus went by different aliases through his human life and there was even a moment when he was officially named by the head of the De Clermont family, I can make an educated guess as to why he chose it, using it instead of the surname De Clermont which he was given but there was no mention of where and how he chose the surname Whitmore, whether this was an oversight or a point which will be answered in a later story remains to be seen. I will admit that I was a little concerned when I started this book, because I had been so totally enraptured by the trilogy I feared that it would fall short in some way as Marcus and Phoebe were really quite minor characters in the trilogy and I wondered how a sequel (as that is essentially what it is) could be centred around two relatively minor characters, but that is the beauty of it, as you see the story of becoming and being a vampire from the perspective of characters you don’t really hold too many preconceptions about. Plus it really is such a different story from the trilogy, as that was so complex and multi layered and had so much going on within it, by comparison this reads more like a novella, but it would be totally unfair and crass to even compare it to one considering it is over 400 pages long. In fact I feel ashamed at making that comparison but it is the only way I can think of to describe the content of the story but don’t get me wrong apart from the lingering question about Marcus’s name choice there is nothing whatsoever lacking in this book, it is comprehensive, intelligently written and very enjoyable story and one which I would thoroughly recommend.
  3. Driven to murder...?

    If this story is accurate, and you always have to bear that thought in mind, going on the 'facts' given in the report you can see quite easily how it happened, a relatively confined area, very little to do socially apart from read and if that relaxation and social time is then spoilt by someone - which it would be as nobody likes spoilers, and if the other guy was doing it deliberately, frustration at his actions coupled with the influence of alcohol, you can see how it quickly got out of hand. I'm not condoning what he did, but generally speaking society as a whole seems to be getting angrier and lashing out at others for no apparent reason these days and you hear in the media about people being murdered for seemingly petty, insignificant reasons, so it seems reasonable to assume that it could also happen within the confines of a remote Antarctic base.
  4. Currently Reading

    Just started Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness, Luna messaged me privately and pointed out that the ebook version was at that point in time just 99p and considering the last time I looked at it it was £9.99, I had decided (albeit reluctantly) to wait till it came out in paperback as if I was going to pay that kind of money I wanted something physical to show for it (plus I had the All Souls Trilogy in book book form), but with a deal like that I didn't think twice about getting it, it immediately leaped to the top of my TBR list and I started reading it on Tuesday and so far I am loving it.
  5. How do you choose your books?

    Back in the day, I got the majority of my books from charity shops, so I would just go in and mooch around the books browsing what they had, initially it would be if the title jumped out at me or if the cover attracted my attention, then I would read the blurb and if that heightened my interest I would read the first page and if I wanted to continue then I would buy it, if it was a subject which interested me (in the case of non-fiction books) was another factor. Now I tend to browse Amazon instead, I get a number of emails offering deals and the like and I will always have a look at what's on offer and I pretty much go by the same plan, title and cover, then I read the blurb and at that point I make the decision, sometimes I will download a free sample of the book if I am not totally convinced before buying. Very occasionally I will seek out a book if I have enjoyed a TV adaptation of it but more often than not it is the other way around and I watch the TV adaption after reading the book. If I have read something else by a particular author and enjoyed it I will gravitate towards another book by them, and have a little look. Another interesting point - I have also bought books from recommendations and reviews on here, yet funnily enough I don't take any notice of Amazon/Goodreads reviews, partly as I'm never sure if they are genuine or not, and I will only read these reviews after I have read a book and made my own mind up about it.
  6. I just bought/borrowed/received...

    I have bought the ebook version of Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones which is the 13th and final installment in the fabulous long running Charley Davidson series, which I found and 'binge read' last year, I pre-ordered it to arrive as soon as it was released which it just has been, earlier this week. I am currently reading something else but this has immediately been bumped to the top of my TBR list. Also recently bought: (all ebooks) The Black Mile by Mark Dawson, Doll House by John Hunt, Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes, Marking Time by April White (This was actually a free ebook so not holding my breath as to how good it is)
  7. Book Lists 2019

    Book List - Completed Books read in 2019, all first time reads, list does not include re-reads. Rating: *****5 stars - Brilliant, highly recommended, read it, read it now! ****4 stars - Very good, recommended, ***3 stars - A good enjoyable read, read it if you want to, **2 stars - It was ok, not totally sure about it so don't blame me if you think its rubbish *1 star - Not good, just about readable but not recommended No stars - Utter crap, don't bother - should never have been published! Fiction: The Liars Wife by Samantha Hayes*** Damien by J Kenner The Mitchells & O’Haras Trilogy by Kimberley Chambers - overall rating : ** (and that is being generous) The Feud by Kimberley Chambers**** The Traitor by Kimberley Chambers ** The Victim by Kimberley Chambers * Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness ****
  8. The Mitchells & O Hara’s Trilogy by Kimberley Chambers This is a trilogy of stories which follows the feud of two families and their mutual hatred for each other over a number of years and how that feud gets passed on from one generation to the next. The story is overflowing with sometimes over the top stereotypes and there aren’t many characters in this story who are particularly likeable in any way. In fact the whole story itself is a stereotype, and so as such, for me personally, on paper it should be rubbish… but to begin with it wasn’t, it was oddly compelling, at times very funny and others quite shocking. Some of the characters are so absurd you can’t help but be drawn in to discover what they are going to do next, but as the books progressed the quality of the writing deteriorated to such an extent that what was once compelling became just irritating and in some parts ridiculous. On one side you have the Mitchells an underworld gangland family ruled by Harry Mitchell and his three sons Ronnie, Paulie and Eddie, Harry has morals, slightly skewed morals as he thinks nothing of killing someone in cold blood but at the same time he looks after those around him. Paulie is a yes man he does as he is told but he's not the brightest spark and he follows orders, Ronnie is a complete moron and a loose canon. Eddie despite being the youngest of the three appears to be the one who Harry favours as being the smart one. Then on the other is the O’Hara family a family of English Travellers who arrive on the scene, led by their patriarch Butch O Hara. The bad blood centres around an incident between Butch’s middle son Jimmy O’Hara and Harry’s son Eddie Mitchell. Book 1 – The Feud The Feud starts in the summer of 1970 and The O Hara family have arrived in London and are muscling in on the Mitchells who run protection rackets and other less than legal businesses and during an altercation in the pub where the Mitchells are sending the O’Hara’s a warning to back off, Eddie Mitchell gets his face slashed by Jimmy O’Hara. After this, Butch and Harry come to an agreement that the O’Hara’s will leave the area to stop any further escalation of the violence but a year down the line Butch’s sons return and start to cause trouble once more on Mitchell turf, this culminates in Harry shooting and wounding Butch in the foot for breaking the deal that they made. Despite the fact he has been wounded Butch orders his family not to retaliate to avoid a bloodbath. They agree but tensions, resentment and anger simmer under the surface. The story then shifts to Eddie, Harry’s youngest son who at 30 takes up with Jessica a naive 17 year old. He falls in love with her and to keep her he purposely gets her pregnant and then marries her and she has his twins (a boy and a girl) and their story becomes entwined with the undercurrent of the feud between the two families and also the other less than legal aspects of the Mitchell family. As the years pass there are several meetings between Jimmy O Hara and Eddie Mitchell and Jimmy always seems keen to goad Eddie. Harry Mitchell is violently murdered and despite the O’Hara’s firm denials of involvement and cast iron alibi’s Eddie remains convinced they are involved somehow. Eddie and Jessica’s twins grow up and we move into the early 80’s and the feud is reignited once more when the girl – Frankie Mitchell falls in love with Jimmy O Hara’s son Jed and he gets her pregnant which has jaw dropping shocking consequences for the Mitchell family. As I previously said none of the characters are particularly likeable, Eddie Mitchell is a violent thug plain and simple, he professes that he adores his wife Jessica which you can see to some extent he does, but he also manipulates and tries to control her and he does have a very dark side when he has been drinking, and she is a complete drip who you want to shake but then you do have remember that this is set in the 1970s when attitudes to what was acceptable in family life were very different, but I will say the feel of it the attitudes and the whole gangland theme it feels as though the story is set much further back in the 60’s rather than the 70’s. Jessica’s parents are just absurd, her mother - Joyce is a shallow, materialistic, brainless woman who is trapped in a loveless marriage with Stanley a less than dynamic man, and through her resentment for being persuaded to marry a man she didn’t love by her own parents she totally dominates him and is quite cruel to him. She is also immediately taken in by Eddie and she is blinded by his charm, charisma and wealth and encourages the relationship with Jessica practically throwing her young daughter at him. Stanley is about the most likable person in the story, he can see Eddie for what he is and tries to warn Jessica but he is a weak man and years of being stamped on by his wife have taken its toll. The twins Frankie and Joey are completely self-centred brats, although you do have an element of sympathy for Joey who is gay and who spends his life in fear of his macho father Eddie finding this out. The story appears to be completely over the top, but when you compare it to real life stories of underworld London and gangland killings you think maybe it’s not so outlandish after all. It is complex as there are moments of humour which do make you laugh out loud but equally there are also moments where your jaw is literally hanging open and it riveted me enough to pull an all nighter to find out what happened. Book 2: The Traitor The Traitor starts off where the first book ended and from the start it has a totally different feel to it, it is written in a different way. The first book felt solid and although you moved from character to character significant parts were dedicated to that particular character, this is different, it flits about offering only a paragraph to each character what they are all doing at a particular time, it doesn’t flow and it feels disjointed and you are on edge all the while not totally able to get into it as the character being talked about keeps changing and moving on to someone else and what they are doing and whilst that makes it quite hard to read I think that was the authors intention, you see, at the end of the first book the Mitchell family which was a solid force and dependable throughout becomes broken and disjointed after Eddie Mitchell does something horrifyingly bad, and all its members scatter and they are left confused and on edge as they have no idea what their future holds or what is going to happen next. I was hoping the third book would go back to how the first book was written as I wasn’t as enraptured by this book as I was the first, that one completely blew me away, but this one felt a little forced at times and the big incident felt a bit contrived and towards the end I found myself skimming pages rather than reading them just to finish it. Book 3: The Victim The Victim starts where The Traitor ended and once again it had that same disjointed feel to it, and I was now at the point where certain characters were annoying me as they are so caricatured and stereotypical and when I was reading parts about them I found myself skipping and skimming to move on to the bits I did want to read about which were essential to the main story. I don’t know whether it is me or not but the strong writing, and the depth and the humour of the first book had totally gone now and I found it to be quite flat and uninspiring and quite frankly a chore to read for the most part. It was only my stubbornness at never giving up on a book that kept me going. About ¾ of the way through the book there is another time jump and then the story just ended, there was no conclusion it just stopped as there was this final massive showdown between Eddie Mitchell (now in his late 50’s/early 60’s) and his family and Jimmy and Jed O’ Hara and then the story just finished with no real conclusion to the multitude of questions that showdown had produced and believe me there were many so that was a massive let down and I was really disappointed how it all turned out considering how much potential that this story had to be totally sensational after how good the first book was. So, in conclusion would I recommend it, well probably not as the disappointment increased with each installment and in the end you are left with questions as to how the story did finally conclude but equally you don't really care and considering how good the first book was I think that was a real shame.
  9. I have, in recent times become a convert to the ebook thing, and as a result of this I have been having questions about the length of books. Just that some ebooks I have read don't seem to be that long. When you have a physical book in your hand you know what you're getting, you know if its going to be a quick read or something which is going to take days or even weeks to finish. Now I don't expect every book to be War & Peace length but I have recently read the All Souls Trilogy and to me they are a decent length book, Weirdo by Cathy Unsworth is another, a nice chunky book which keeps you entertained for a period of time. Now, I have been reading some books, which seem to be over before I've finished my cup of tea, ok, so that might be a slight exaggeration but when I set time aside to read a book I don't intend to actually finish the book in one sitting and yet on many occasions recently that has happened, I have been reading and suddenly I glance at the percentage at the bottom and I'm in the 80/90% area and the book is nearly done and I feel a bit shortchanged. A prime example of this was Girl from the Sea I started it mid afternoon one day and it was complete by about 8pm that night. Has anyone else noticed this or am I just being picky and reading quicker than I previously did?
  10. Ok... so now I am more confused than ever, I just looked up the All Souls Trilogy on Amazon and it said The Discovery of Witches was 610 pages long, you have just said it was 656 pages long I have picked up my book book copy and the story ends on page 688??? So that led me to look at the other two Shadow of Night - Amazon says it is 592 pages long, you say its 656, my book book copy the story ends on page 630 The Book of Life - Amazon says it is 594 pages long, you say 656, my book book copy the story ends on page 637 Now having taken all that into consideration here is something else quite interesting... We have established that Amazon says Discovery of Witches is 610 pages long - but that is for the kindle version they say the paperback version is 704 pages long Shadow of Night Amazon kindle version 592 yet they say paperback version is 656 pages long Book of Life Amazon kindle version 594 pages long yet they say paperback version is 656 pages long So I picked a few books at random which I have read: Amazon says Weirdo - 417 pages long my book book the story ends on page 404 Amazon says The Good Liar is 277 pages long my book book the story ends on page 360 Amazon says American Gods is 674 pages long by book book copy the story ends on page 635 BUT Deliver Me kindle version Amazon says it is 400 pages long in kindle version I have kindle version and it is indeed 400 pages long The Girl from the sea Amazon says it is 306 pages long in kindle version I have the kindle version and it is indeed 306 pages long Into the Darkest corner Amazon says 417 pages long in kindle version I have the kindle version and ... yep it is indeed 417 pages long So not sure what to think, I am obviously missing something here as there really can't be this much variation? (Also apologies for sounding a bit anal about it all)
  11. I might go and research some of my average reads see if my hunch was correct or the fact I am reading more on kindle and therefore reading quicker is the reason - or it could be a combination of both!
  12. Time's Convert

    I'll try to keep it within the realms of sanity!
  13. Currently Reading

    2019 has started fairly inauspiciously for me, I started the year with The Liars Wife (review in 21st century literature) which i liked but wasn't totally bowled over with, then I read the completely dire and dreadful Damien by J Kenner (review available in the Stark Series review I posted). So now I am reading a trilogy of books which I picked up dirt cheap as a deal of the day thingy off of Amazon and it is something I have never really read before, organised crime and underworld series by Kimberly Chambers which follows the lives of two London families who despise each other. The Series begins with The Feud (which I have just completed) and I am now on book 2 The Traitor and the trilogy ends with The Victim. So far I have been pretty blown away by it and The Feud was the first book of 2019 which inspired me to pull an 'all nighter', I will of course post a full review when I have completed the series.
  14. Time's Convert

    This is going to be my next read after the series of books I am currently reading, trying not to get too excited about it if I'm honest as it does have a lot to live up considering how I felt about The All Souls Trilogy.
  15. Damien by J Kenner After the last installment in this series which I was totally underwhelmed with, I had decided enough was enough and I wasn’t going to read any more offerings in this long running series of novels and novellas. BUT, this showed up in my recommended bit on Amazon and I clicked on it - just to see what angle Ms Kenner was going with this time, I would like to stress at this point I had no intention of getting it as, as I previously said in my lengthy review about this series, I believe this story has run its course and is now just being over milked to squeeze a bit more cash out of it. The first thing I noticed that was different though, was that this story is written from Damien’s point of view, you allegedly get an insight into the mind of Damien Stark. My reaction to this, Pff – still not interested, already been done with Grey, but then I stopped and thought about it, hang on, what did I love about this story at the beginning? I loved the fact both characters were different, it was darker and far better written than FSOG and The Crossfire series (in the beginning) and I wondered, maybe…??? I have no willpower (or sense!) it seems, as curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on it… and I read it… and to cut a long story short and to put it politely I was disappointed! I actually started to question about half way through if this was even written by the same author who wrote those initial stories as it was truly appalling, it was repetitive in the extreme, the same phrases used over and over, and the storyline (what little there was) literally just going round in circles and going nowhere. The sex scenes were crass and unnecessary, everything about it was just wrong, even the bit of jeopardy thrown in towards the end felt forced and contrived almost as though the writer thought I'd better put in a bit of peril, it was bad, really, really bad, and in an odd way that upset me a little as I did genuinely like these stories back at the beginning and they offered a flicker of hope that books of this type weren’t all just unadulterated drivel, but all this story has done is kill any lasting affection I had for this series.
  16. I thought long and hard before posting this rather extensive review, mainly because the genre of book isn't universally well liked on the site, and I personally have contributed to less than favourable reviews on similar books in this genre. But something about these attracted me. I was practically forced to read FSOG and the first three Crossfire books by a well meaning friend who thought I would really like them and generally speaking I didn’t so right back when these first appeared I didn’t bother with them, initially dismissing them as just more cringeworthy drivel and not worth bothering with. Despite that original assessment and decision I would like to say at this point that I picked the first three books in this series up of my own free will, (no I hadn't completely lost my mind - although that thought did cross my mind when I first bought them!) A couple of years or so later I came across them whilst browsing and partly because they had attracted some decent reviews with favourable comments and many of the reviews had commented how they were head and shoulders above FSOG – which lets face it wouldn’t be hard to achieve but nevertheless that sparked my interest plus I was kind of curious to see just how many variations of rip off could be achieved but the deciding factor was the fact they were ridiculously cheap, at that point I had acquired a kindle and the initial trilogy was stupidly cheap at that time in kindle version so I didn’t feel as though I had lost anything if they were crap. My reason for finally deciding to post it now is I recently re-read a couple of the better novellas, you see after reading the totally outstanding All Souls Trilogy, I wanted to read something but to put it bluntly nothing could follow those books and I felt anything new wouldn't get a fair unbiased reaction after those books. So I took the decision to do a quick re-read and the novellas fit the bill nicely, which led me back to the fact I had never written a full review for this extensive series of novels and novellas, I remembered the stories reasonably well and so this what I've came up with. So first of all here is a review of those original three books: The first three books were: 1. Release Me 2. Claim Me 3. Complete Me When the first three books in this series came out around the time of Fifty Shades of Grey (E L James) & the Crossfire series (Sylvia Day) I thought - oh god here we go again!. Another erotic romance trilogy about a gorgeous too hot for his own good billionaire businessman and the girl he sets his sights on. The titles didn’t strike me as too promising as they were very similar names to other stories in this sector. This time the story is set in Los Angeles and the surrounding area and the obscenely rich entrepreneur is Damien Stark, a former top of his game child tennis prodigy and now wealthy business man. Damien is handsome, magnificent you know the usual thing and like the other exceptionally rich leading men in similar stories he has a dark side. The first thing which was different though was the fact he had one physical flaw, a damaged eye, a blown pupil which gives his eye the impression of being completely black. I have to say though I did like Damien’s love interest Nikki Fairchild. She was a refreshingly original character who is well educated with degrees in both electrical engineering and computer science – to me this was a really refreshing difference. Nikki was a former child beauty pageant participant, forced to compete by her overbearing selfish mother. Nikki is a straight A student who has plans for her future and those plans involve launching her own company, but despite that ambition and strength there is a vulnerability to her and it’s that vulnerability which manifests itself in some very dark and distressing behaviour. I really wish this story had been written before Fifty Shades of Grey, because it was actually reasonably well written and had a degree of intelligence to it and it had a much deeper and darker feel to it. Both characters are strong and likeable, the back story is that they both endured hideous childhoods of varying degrees and were forced to do things which neither of them really wanted to do, leaving them both with scars (mental and physical). I would agree that it is undeniably head and shoulders above FSOG and the equally nauseating Crossfire series. There was a significant difference in the story as there was a slightly controversial aspect involved where Damien offers Nikki a substantial amount of money to pose for a commissioned painting, a portait - a naked portrait, now this could easily have been portrayed as sleazy and dirty but it was actually very well written and tastefully done. The sexy scenes were not too cringeworthy and the characters had chemistry together and the sex wasn’t totally overdone, BUT despite all that it feels formulaic, this premise has been done and done to death with the market being saturated by similar books jumping on the now overcrowded bandwagon. Obscenely rich but dark billionaire with secretive and troubled past (are there any other kinds?) meets young college graduate with equally troubled past and her own raft of mental health issues, some hot and steamy moments ensue, a little kink is thrown in for good measure, there is the inevitable appearance of a bad person who causes trouble for the couple not to mention a misunderstanding that causes a temporary break up, they get back together, even more steamier sex scenes, and a happily ever after. If you loved the Fifty Shades trilogy (yes there are people out there who did, and even I admitted that by the time I got to the last book there was something there which got into my head about the characters and their story) and are looking for something similar, then Release Me and its sequels are books you will most likely enjoy. If you are looking for a nice, reasonably well written romance with a touch of kink, and a few dark moments, you may also like these books. However, there is a but, although this was a very good readable story and you find yourself rooting for the couple, it inevitably had a sense of déjà vous surrounding it and that is a real shame. After I had completed the trilogy I noticed that a number of short novella’s were written continuing the story as the original trilogy was now complete and curiosity got the better of me once more as these novella’s were all eBooks and some were free or only a matter of pence when I got them, I wasn’t expecting anything from them as I generally go by the saying – you get what you pay for. The novellas after the main trilogy were: 1. Take Me 2. Have Me 3. Play my Game 4. Deepest Kiss 5. Seduce Me 6. Unwrap Me 7. Entice Me 8. Hold Me Some were stand alone stories which didn’t have any link to the main story line which had been built, some were blatantly introducing new characters which would go on to get their own spin off series of books (which I haven’t read) but the majority had snippets which and when put together answered many questions but also raised many more some were good, some were ok and some were bloody dire. In my opinion the majority could have been put together and produced as maybe two decent sized novels, but obviously that wouldn’t have been as lucrative and I felt these small stories were leading to another full novel at some point. It was! Anchor Me came along and after enjoying some of the short stories I decided to buy it. It was good but not as good as the original trilogy, I don’t know if I was bored with the characters or if the entire story had just run its course or it was like my reaction to the original trilogy, that although good it had a sense of déjà vous. The series didn’t end there, yet another novella and another full novel has since been released, the Novella – Please Me and the full novel Lost with Me are in my opinion the weakest of all the stories, they meander along and don’t have the depth to them and unlike the other stories these feel just like a money making exercise to milk this series that has now been done to death and that is quite sad considering how much better it was at the beginning. So, in conclusion – the original trilogy is worth a read if you like that sort of thing, and maybe the first couple of novella’s, after that it definitely becomes a manipulative attempt at marketing other series’ of books and just milking the original story.
  17. The Liars Wife

    The Liars Wife by Samantha Hayes Well now, where do I start! After a fairly dodgy start with this book I finally got into it and then it was over before I realised where I was. This book has a claustrophobic feel to it, you feel for the woman who has essentially been kidnapped and taken prisoner by this weirdo who is posing as her husband and the way it reads you are right there with her in her living nightmare . The jist of the story is, there is a young woman who obsessively keeps herself to herself avoiding all social interaction with anyone, she has an accident on her way home from work – she is involved in a hit and run and ends up waking up in hospital with a broken leg and the nurse tells her that her husband has not left her side while she was unconscious, now that’s all very nice except she isn’t married and never has been. The ‘husband’ shows up and she recognises him immediately and is shocked because she assumed he was dead but the reader isn’t let into the knowledge of who he really is. He produces a video tape which stops her from raising the alarm so the scene is set and you know that she knows what is on that tape and it is clearly something incriminating her in some way. The story then starts skipping backwards and forwards through time explaining the reasons why the woman is such a hermit and what happened to her when she was at university and eventually what is on that video tape. The ‘husband’ literally takes her over, he takes her from the hospital to house which he has turned into a fortress and essentially holds her hostage. He becomes more and more unhinged when he steals a baby to build his ideal vision of a family. He makes her call her work and tell them that she is resigning. When she calls she speaks to a person who she has worked on projects with and who unbeknown to her has been trying to track her down after her accident. It all slowly comes together and there is a big reveal and twist at the end as to who the husband really is. Who he really is, is quite shocking but as I had actually figured it out about half way through, not such a huge twist for me. It is very twisted and very disturbing especially when you realise who the ‘husband’ is and what he has previously done. I enjoyed it as I do like sick and twisted psychological thrillers, but I also feel slightly disappointed as I managed to figure out the plot before the end, as I do prefer to be bowled over by the big twist and reveal, but sadly this isn’t the first time I have worked out the plot before the reveal in a book.
  18. That is actually a good point, I do tend to get engrossed when I start reading and shut myself off and I have been known to get a bit obsessive when it is something which has captured my attention and I am reluctant to put it down, but with a physical book I'll look and think, come on stop being obsessive your're nearly half way through it time for a break, but there is no physical marker of your progress with an ebook apart from the little percentage number at the bottom (which you can ignore) and you do just keep going. Plus ebooks are easier to read, as with a print book you are stuck with whatever print size the publisher chose and in some instances that can be quite small and takes some effort to read if your eyesight is a bit dodgy (like mine) whereas an ebook you can change the font size, and make the book easier to read.
  19. What's next on Mt TBR

    A few years ago I set myself a reading challenge when I turned 40 years old 40 for 40 challenge, my aim was to read 40 books in the year I turned 40. in that year I managed to clear my TBR pile as I was frankly a bit of an amateur and didn't have a very extensive one, and since then I have tried hard not to rebuild another one, however since then with the advent of ebooks which I initially shied away from but have now embraced I seem to have a number of books sitting on there waiting to be read, as I seem to have no self control when Amazon send me special offer notifications on my phone (I have a kindle app on my phone) also since my daughter finished uni and moved away she seemed to offload all her extensive book collection back here and there are a number of her books which have taken my interest and I intend to read at some point, before she returns and reclaims them. But my books waiting to be read at this point in time are (in no particular order): 1. Perfect Family by Shalini Boland 2. Love You Gone by Rona Halsall 3. The Diary by Vikki Patis 4. The Other Woman by Sandie Jones 5. The Memory by Lucy Dawson 6. What She Left by T R Richmond 7. Witness by Caroline Mitchell 8. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins 9. The Letter by Katheryn Hughes 10 In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards 11. While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt 12, 13 and 14 The Feud, The Victim & The Traitor A trilogy by Kimberly Chambers Fourteen books in total isn't totally outrageous, in fact its probably quite pathetic when compared to other peoples TBR lists/piles bearing in mind I also have another book on pre-order which is due to be released some time in January - that is the final book in the Charley Davidson series of books.
  20. I think there has to be an element of excitement, as something has drawn you to that particular book enough to make you want to part with your money and get it, whether it be in a trip to a bookstore or online. I think with the advent of ebooks that excitement has dwindled a bit as the building anticipation of waiting for it to arrive is not there, you see a book you like, it grabs your attention, you press a button and bingo there it is instantly with minimal effort, yes admittedly you have the book instantly if you go to a bookshop but you have to make the effort to go out and visit one in the first place, which builds a sense of anticipation (it does for me!) I don't know about anyone else though, I have certain books which i don't mind reading as ebooks but wouldn't dream of buying them as an actual book, but then there are others where I like to have the physical book in my hand and that almost adds to the excitement as I know i will have to wait for it to arrive.
  21. Review of 2018

    Favourite Book: The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness was the stand out for me, and of that trilogy Book 3 - 'The Book of Life' was my favourite. Favourite TV Series: Drama: Patrick Melrose on Sky Documentary: Making a Murderer on Netflix but I also enjoyed Bodyguard, and A Very English Scandal, both on terrestrial telly and The Staircase on Netflix Favourite Film: Hmm... this is hard as I don't really watch that many films nowadays (because all they seem to make are remakes of what has already been done) and of those I have seen many were released in previous years and I have only just got around to seeing them when they are released on DVD but for me the two standout films I have seen this year (as I really can't choose between them) are: Darkest Hour with Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill and They Shall Not Grow Old, the film made of the old First World War footage and digitally colourised and restored and sound put to it and interviews with WW1 veterans added, that has to be the most mesmerising things I have ever seen. Favourite Album: Firepower by Judas Priest Favourite Song: Will the Sun Ever Rise by Five Finger Death Punch from their 2018 album And Justice for None
  22. Deliver Me

    Deliver Me by Karen Cole Well so much for first book of 2019! I started this book mid afternoon of New Years Eve and as I was having a lazy day I stayed with it and I’d finished it by about 8pm so needless to say it’s not very long. The general premise of the story is young girl goes to the doc and is told she is pregnant she is shocked as she hasn’t had sex for over a year but then she starts to remember a New Years Eve party and gaps in her memory, the story is basically her trying to find out who she had sex with and who therefore is the father of her baby. Things get more complicated as the person who did this is clearly stalking her as she starts getting texts, letters and gifts. It was quite an easy read, not a lot of depth considering the subject matter and it all felt pretty superficial but I have to say despite that I enjoyed it and I didn’t see the ending coming, and when it became clear who it was, it was a surprise. So all in all it kept me occupied me for a few hours it was entertaining but nothing special.
  23. Book Lists 2018

    Blimey I did well this year with the list of books I've read. I have read more this year than any other year previously not sure why but I have just been really 'into' reading and devouring one book after another, I think the Prime Reading option I have now has helped as reading for free is always a good thing, but on the flip side you can find some real crap out there, but if its free it doesn't really matter. I am not including the re-reads I have read just the first time reads. Rating: 5 stars - Brilliant, highly recommended, read it, read it now! 4 stars - Very good, recommended 3 stars - good, read it if you want 2 stars - Ok, but really not sure about this one don't blame me if you think its rubbish 1 star - Not good, just about readable but not recommended no stars - Utter crap, don't bother - should never have been published! Anyway I'll shut up now, here in no particular order are what I have read this year: Fiction: The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost - overall rating: **** Halfway to the Grave, ***** One Foot in the Grave,**** At Graves End,**** Destined for an Early Grave,**** This side of the Grave,**** One Grave at a Time,**** Up from the Grave,**** Home for the Holidays (Novella)**** Night Prince Series by Jeaniene Frost overall rating: **** Once Burned,**** Twice Tempted,**** Bound by Flames,**** Into the Fire,*** Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost (Novella), **** First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost (Novella), ** Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost, **** Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones overall rating: **** First Grave on the Right, ***** Second Grave on the Left,***** Third Grave Dead Ahead,**** Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, **** Fifth Grave Past The Light, **** Sixth Grave on the Edge, **** Seventh Grave and No Body, **** Eighth Grave after Dark, **** The Dirt on Ninth Grave, **** The Curse of Tenth Grave, **** Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, **** The Trouble with Twelfth Grave **** The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness - Overall rating ***** Discovery of Witches ***** Shadow of Night ***** The Book of Life***** Four Psychos by Kristy Cunning, ** Three Trials by Kristy Cunning ,** Two Kingdoms by Kristy Cunning, ** One Apocalypse by Kristy Cunning, * Bloodlust by Aureyn Hadley *** Instinctual by Aureyn Hadley ** Defiance by Aureyn Hadley ** Kiss of Death by Aureyn Hadley **** For Love of Evil by Aureyn Hadley *** Hardwired by Meredith Wild * Hard Pressed by Meredith Wild Relentless by Karen Lynch *** Refuge by Karen Lynch*** Rogue by Karen Lynch*** Please Me by J Kenner* Lost with Me by J Kenner You Don't Know Me by Mandy Lee** True Colours by Mandy Lee** Shut your Eyes by Mandy Lee** The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle*** Wethering the Storm by Samantha Towle**** The Storm by Samantha Towle (Novella)*** Abandoned Heart by Skye MacInnon* American Gods by Neil Gaiman**** Scarred by Kylie Walker**** Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes**** Degrees of Darkness by Tony J Forder**** Sister Psychopath by Maggie James**** Grave Witch by Kalayna Price**** After You Left by Carol Mason When You Disappeared by John Marrs*** The Girl from the Sea by Shalini Boland** I am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll**** The Retreat by Mark Edwards*** The Contract by Melanie Moreland Deliver Me by Karen Cole** Non-Fiction: Death Punch'd Surviving Five Finger Death Punch by Jeremy Spencer**** ***OVERALL FAVOURITE BOOK OF 2018*** The Book of Life (third book in the All Souls Trilogy)
  24. A Discovery of Witches

    Short and to the point! Unlike my long winded assessment of them, I'm glad you enjoyed them and I look forward to hearing what you think of Time Convert
  25. I Am Watching You

    I was very impressed with it, I have to say none of the characters are a particularly likeable (perhaps with the exception of the Private Investigator) and the witness is particularly irritating to the point, you want to give her a good shake sometimes, but despite that it is a totally compelling story.
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