Book Review: The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet ~ #TheHouseSwap #BookReview


house swap



The House Swap


Rebecca Fleet



When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap, they jump at the chance for a week away from home. After the difficulties of the past few years, they’ve worked hard to rebuild their marriage for their son’s sake; now they want to reconnect as a couple.

On arrival, they find a house that is stark and sinister in its emptiness – it’s hard to imagine what kind of person lives here. Then, gradually, Caroline begins to uncover some signs of life – signs of her life. The flowers in the bathroom or the music in the CD player might seem innocent to her husband but to her they are anything but. It seems the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know; someone she’s desperate to leave in her past.

But that person is now in her home – and they want to make sure she’ll never forget . . .










Francis and Caroline have been married for several years. With a nice apartment in Leeds and an adorable young son, Eddie, their lives together seem perfect. From a stranger’s perspective it is admirable, enviable. But the pretty picture is strewn with cracks. Perfection is just a wisp of a memory. Their reality is tinged with destruction. Francis is fighting his own battle with drug abuse. Caroline is having an affair with a work colleague called Carl. The distance between them seems irreparable. Then something terrible happens and everything once again shifts. Caroline leaves her lover and Francis gets clean. For two years they paper over the cracks. Hoping to reclaim that loving relationship they once had, they arrange a house swap. A short break to properly heal and overcome the past.



21 Everdeen Avenue is the mirror image of every other house on the street. But on the inside it is despairingly bare. Not a touch of character, nor a waft of its owner’s presence. Stark walls, bland rooms and an empty feeling dominate the house. It is anything but homely and welcoming. Francis and Caroline settle in but it isn’t long before things begin to go wrong. Old sins and devastating consequences can not be left behind. The cracks they thought they had concealed emerge once again, only this time the past will not be forgotten.



The characters in The House Swap aren’t particularly likeable yet there is something very compelling about them. Something that urges the reader to keep following their story. Rebecca Fleet explores the dark crevices of their minds and draws the reader’s attention to the nitty gritty of who they are and their hopes and convictions. It was very interesting seeing them evolve through the book and I really enjoyed the twist at the end because that’s when everything came into sharp focus.



The House Swap is a great read full of twists and tension. Fabulous writing and a gripping premise! Recommend!


Tense. Twisty. Great.






To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Rebecca Fleet



rebecca fleet



Rebecca Fleet’s brilliant page-turner The House Swap was published by Transworld in May 2018 and has sold in 16 territories. The novel combines psychological suspense with domestic drama. When a young couple organises a house swap to have a break away – a first step towards rebuilding their faltering marriage – the wife slowly begins to realise from clues left in the house that the person staying back in their home is someone she used to know and, for reasons that gradually become clear, was very much hoping to forget.






house swap pic


Huge thanks to Poppy and Doubleday for my review copy!


Blog Tour! Review of Her Last Move by John Marrs ~ #HerLastMove #BookReview #BlogTour


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of Her Last Move by John Marrs!



Her Last Move cover



Her Last Move


John Marrs




She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?








My Review




When a string of grisly murders take place around London, DC Becca Vincent is assigned the task of identifying the killer. She is determined to prove her worth to her superiors and climb the ranks. Now is her time and nothing is going to get in her way. With a little bit of determination, a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, the mother of one will succeed. Teaming up with Joe Russell, a super-recogniser in a small yet integral department of the police, Becca and he are faced with a tough road ahead finding the killer. The body count rises. And the risk to their own safety is mighty.




The antagonist in this book is quite something to behold. He is determined to take his revenge, not matter what. Throughout the book, you can really sense his ruthlessness – it leaps off the page. He is someone with no limits whatsoever. The author subtly hints at his past and and gradually we are given a clear portrait of what happened to him – how he came to be the way he is and how his plight for revenge first began.




Becca and Joe are two very interesting characters. They both harbour secrets, pasts that each of them are struggling with. Becca is a mother to a young girl, she is dedicated to the job and desperate to prove herself. When she meets Joe, a charming, intelligent man extraordinarily adept at recognising facial features, she is surprised that a department like his exists. But exist is does. He and his team succeed where others can’t, their talent enabling them to track down and capture criminals. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book as it’s something I haven’t come across before.




Her Last Move is a twisty, compulsive new read that will have you gasping come the last page! Another belter from John Marrs!!



Slick. Twisty. Smart.








Published in paperback, eBook and audio formats by Thomas & Mercer on 8th November 2018.


To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK:
Amazon US:




About John Marrs



John Marrs


John Marrs is the author of #1 bestsellers The One (soon to be made into a film with Urban Myth Films), The Good Samaritan (shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards 2018), When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are. After working as a journalist for 25-years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time writer.

Her Last Move is dedicated to John’s late father, Charlie, who was a police officer for 25 years.

Follow him on Twitter @johnmarrs1 Facebook: @johnmarrsauthor Instagram: website:


Social Media:
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Huge thanks to damppebbles and the publisher for my review copy and blog tour invite!

Blog Tour! Book Review of Sleeper: The Red Storm by J D Fennell ~ #TheRedStorm #Sleeper #WillStarling


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m so thrilled to share my review of the latest instalment in J D Fennell’s utterly brilliant Sleeper trilogy, as well as a fabulous Q&A with the author himself!!




the red storm



Sleeper: The Red Storm


J D Fennell




1943. Sleeper spy, Will Starling, has been drafted into the SOE, joining forces with the French Resistance in the fight against the Nazis; but Will’s memory is fractured and only occasional flashbacks reveal fragments of his past. Despite this, he has not forgotten his pledge to find and rescue his sister, Rose – if she is still alive. When his mission in France is compromised, Will suspects he’s been betrayed.

Back in London he hears that VIPER are developing a new and deadly weapon. As he and MI5 agent Anna Wilder set out to destroy it, their every move is anticipated by their enemies. Who is the mole in the British Secret Service? As they close in on VIPER’s Swiss headquarters it seems no one can be trusted. Are Will and Anna able to prevent the unleashing of the Red Storm that will bring mass destruction on a scale even the Nazis haven’t dreamt of?

While Will tries to save the world, Rose has become the key to VIPER’s future plans and is drugged to dull her kinetic powers. But Rose faces danger from an unexpected enemy and her time is running out.















Will Starling is back with a bang. In the previous book, Sleeper, sixteen-year-old Will was pulled from the depths of the sea with no memory of who he was before. The only clue he had to the remnants of his life was a notebook that carried secrets some were willing to kill for and others willing to die for. The story progressed and pieces of the past and of his family returned. As the Blitz tore everything apart, Will was followed by The Pastor, a vicious killer intent on getting his hands on the secrets in the notebook. Now, in this latest instalment, The Red Storm, Will is in the midst of fighting VIPER, a ruthless organisation who will destroy everything. When two of his friends are murdered, Will returns to London, where old allies await him, including agent Anne Wilder. With a sinking hope but a rising determination, Will must stop VIPER and fulfil the promise of finding his sister before time runs out.




Will Starling is a hero you just can’t help but root for. He is brave, courageous, intelligent and loyal. Within moments of reading the first chapter, you’re hooked into his story. I’m weary of saying too much about the book because I don’t want to give anything away. What I can say though is that ending blew me away. What a cliff-hanger!! I was flabbergasted for the rest of evening. Really looking forward to reading the next instalment.




Author J D Fennell depicts his characters’ losses, victories and battles with depth and atmosphere poured into the prose. Brilliant as ever, he grabbed me straight away with The Red Storm.  It’s brimming with emotion, adventure, excitement and so much more! Just perfection.



As each chapter carries the reader further into the twisting story, the more intense and suspenseful it becomes. You just couldn’t ask for more! A wonderful next instalment!!



Exciting. Suspenseful. Brilliant.




To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below

Amazon UK

Book Depository





Q&A with J D Fennell



Do you have a favourite Classic author?
Mmmm…without question, Emily Bronte. However, because she only wrote one book, I’ll add Ernest Hemingway for steering me through the latter years of my teens and early twenties.
Do you have a favourite book you have read more than once and if so what is it?
When I was a teenager I read Lord of the Rings three times over the years. Still a favourite.
What are you currently reading?
I am reading crime at the moment: Rupture by Simon Lelic and I’m listening, via Audible, to Bad Blood, by Brian McGilloway. Both are excellent!
What’s in your writing toolkit?
I have two notebooks and various pens. I also use Google docs because it is a simple and sophisticated word processor that I can use across all devices –  Mac, PC, tablet, iPhone. 
What’s your next writing project? 
I am working on a dark detective novel. New territory for me, but exciting too.


About J D Fennell



JD Fennell Headshot


J.D. was born in Belfast at the start of the Troubles, and began writing stories at a young age to help understand the madness unfolding around him. A lover of reading, he devoured a diverse range of books – his early influences include Fleming, Tolkien, Shakespeare and the Brontës.

He left Belfast at the age of nineteen and worked as a chef, bartender, waiter and later began a career in writing for the software industry.

These days he divides his time between Brighton and London, where he lives with his partner and their two dogs.

Facebook: JDFennellAuthor
Twitter: jd_fennell
Instagram: jdfennellauthor






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red storm



Huge thanks to J D Fennell, Emily Glenister and Dome Press for the Q&A, review copy and blog tour invite!!

Book Review: The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason ~ #TheWinterSoldier #BookReview


winter soldier



The Winter Soldier


Daniel Mason




Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War One explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives, at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains, he finds a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single, mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains.

But Lucius has never lifted a surgeon’s scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal, makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient and nurse forever.

From the gilded ballrooms of Imperial Vienna to the frozen forests of the Eastern Front; from hardscrabble operating rooms to battlefields thundering with Cossack cavalry, The Winter Soldier is the story of war and medicine, of family, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and, finally, of the mistakes we make, and the precious opportunities to atone.










My Review




Lucius Krzelewski is a young student with an immense passion for medicine. His knowledge is admired by the professors and is the source of much envy for fellow students. From a wealthy, well-known family in Vienna, Lucius lives a privileged life, if a slightly lonely one. Whilst his mother and father host grand parties and soak up the complements and attention from guests, Lucius feels withdrawn and distant, constantly struggling to fit into the same bracket as his parents. When World War One breaks out across Europe, his close friend suggests enlisting. Hoping he will finally be able to put all he has learned into practise, Lucius does just so and he is drafted to a small village called Lemnowice in the Carpathian Mountains.




There he finds a commandeered church in a dire state. It is teeming with soldiers desperately clinging to life, not a speck of hope in their eyes. With a bomb hole in the centre of the church, rats dodging between the beds and wolves hunting for a way to get in, it is only just holding up. Leading the men on a path of survival is nurse, Sister Margarete, a strict young women who works with kindness and determination. Lucius is daunted by the task ahead of him. But to heal the sick and curb death when it comes calling, he will have to be stalwart in his courage.




The characterisation is superb. Lucius, Margarete and the rest are so well developed, each with their own eccentricities that really draw the reader in. I came to really care about Lucius and was with him every step of the way. Over his time at the church caring for the soldiers, he mends wounds from every type of bullet, stitches and sews up lacerations, amputates all day every day and heals ailments that could turn your stomach. The descriptions are vivid and rich in detail which allows the reader to grow a good image of what Lucius’s working with.




Daniel Mason captures a broad scope of emotion in these pages. It is a masterful depiction of the atrocity of war and a bittersweet exploration of love grown amidst waves of torment and tragedy. Whatever it might be, you inevitably lift something from the words in this book and carry it with you past the final page. Achingly beautiful, heartbreaking and bittersweet, it is a hugely evocative, poignant novel. Highly recommend!



Emotional. Evocative. Bittersweet.




To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About Daniel Mason



daniel mason




Daniel Mason is a physician and author of the novels The Piano Tuner and A Far Country. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages, and adapted for opera and theatre. A recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, he is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, where he teaches courses in the humanities and medicine. He lives in the Bay Area with his family. The Winter Soldier is his third novel.







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Huge thanks to Camilla Elworthy and Mantle for my review copy!


Book Review: I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake ~ #ILoveYouTooMuch #BookReview


i love you too much





I  Love You Too Much


Alicia Drake



In the sixth arrondissement, thirteen-year-old Paul is adrift in a sea of wealth, pretence and an obsession with status. Struggling with a self-absorbed mother who doesn’t pay him any attention and her new boyfriend Gabriel who is chasing his dream of becoming a rockstar, all while trying to form a connection with his own narcissistic father, Paul is desperate to be loved. Always overlooked, it is only a matter of time before he sees something he isn’t supposed to see . . .

Longing for connection, Paul comforts himself with the beauty of Paris – gorging on its sweet confections and elegant patisseries – and in an unlikely friendship with his rebellious classmate, Scarlett.

A moving story set in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake is told with humour, grace and unflinching honesty.








My Review




I Love You Too Much is an emotional tale of love, loss and discovery. I adored Alicia Drake’s writing; such a beautiful, melodic voice that brings her descriptions of Paris to life. With exquisite detail, unflinching emotion in her characters and a portrait of what trouble truly lies beneath perfection, this is a riveting book that I highly recommend.



Paul is a young boy living with his mother in the sixth arrondissement in Paris. His life is lonely and his world is small. With no friends to assuage his concerns, lend a listening ear or fill the seat beside him at school, he trudges through the days with no love or friendship forthcoming and no imminent change awaiting him. That is until his mother and father separate, then his own fragile existence is heaped with fear and guilt of it all being his fault.



Soon Severińe finds a new partner, an aspiring rock star intent on having his time in the spotlight, and falls pregnant. Baby Lou is born and suddenly Paul feels jousted from his mother’s gaze, what little time she has now is for the baby, not for him. And there is no comfort to be found from his father, Philippe, who monitors the time they share and who is more interested in improving his fitness regime and toned physique. Both parents strive for beauty and perfection in the face of theirs son’s yearning for love. But nothing awaits him. The only comfort he can cling to is from his mother’s helper, Cindy.




Soon a change comes again for Paul. On a relaxing break with his family, he meets Scarlet, a wild, rebellious girl from his school. Seen but never spoken, they strike an unlikely bond over their stay. They find in each other something both have always wanted and always missed. Friendship. Finally Paul is no longer alone. But when he returns home and witnesses something life-changing, even Scarlet might not be able to help him. To heal him.



Brimming with intelligence, raw emotion and insight, I Love You Too Much is a gloriously powerful tale that follows a young boy’s coming of age and a lonely march into manhood.


Raw. Emotional. Powerful.





To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About Alicia Drake



alicia drake


Alicia Drake is a writer. She studied at Cambridge, and she recently returned to the United Kingdom after residing and working in Paris for the past eighteen years. I Love You Too Much is her first novel.




i love you too much pic



Huge thanks to Anna Pallai and Picador for my review copy!

Book Review: Lullaby by Leila Slimani ~ #Lullaby #ThePerfectNanny #BookReview







Leila Slimani



The baby is dead. It took only a few seconds.

When Myriam, a brilliant lawyer, decides to return to work, she and her husband look for a nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, cleans the family’s chic Paris apartment, stays late without complaint and hosts enviable birthday parties. But as the couple and their nanny become more and more dependent on each other, jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, until Myriam and Paul’s idyllic domesticity is shattered . . . 








My Review




When loving  Myrian Massè returns to work, she and husband Paul decide to hire a nanny for their two young children. It is a hard decision to make; she has been with them every day of their short lives. Every step, every bath time, every breakfast, lunch and dinner. For Myrian it will be strange to leave them behind and put them in the care of someone else. But it will open up the doors which for a while seemed tightly shut. It will restore the energy so rolled up in caring for her children’s every need. It will deliver back to her a small portion of the woman she used to be. After a long succession of arrogant, rude and lazy nannies they find the perfect one. Louise.




Louise is a miracle. Their miracle. The house is cleaner than it has ever been before. The children are calmer. The sheets are washed, shirts mended, pots scrubbed and every tantrum and temper soothed. Myrian and Paul at first can’t believe their own fortune. They proudly tell their friends how wonderful Louise is, how the children already adore her, how she goes way beyond the call of duty. Their lives all of a sudden are easier, quieter. They have more time for themselves, for their work and passions. In the beginning they are grateful. In the end they are broken.




As Summer tumbles into Winter, Louise becomes a staple part of their existence. Things, small at first then growing with time, begin to change. Louise manipulates as swiftly as she turns down the bed. Arrogance and cruelty lie where once there would have only been kindness. Malice simmers beneath the cracks in Louise’s facade.



From the first sentence, I was hooked. Leïla Slimani portrays a complex cluster of characters with sharp, punchy prose which instantly captures the reader to the point of breathlessness. Each page was an exciting discovery. I was fascinated by Louise and what made her tick, what belied her actions. She’s a very cold character, vacant almost but if you keep reading, her past and all its troubles come into focus. From the beginning, the reader is privy to the fact that she has commit murder. But why, we don’t know. And only come the end, do we find the answers.



Highly recommend.



Startling. Compelling. Gripping.







To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository






About Leila Slimani



leila slimani




Leila Slimani is the first Moroccan woman to win France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt. Her first novel, The Ogre’s Garden – forthcoming from Faber & Faber in 2019 – won the Prix La Mamounia. Slimani is a journalist and frequent commentator on women’s and human rights. She lives in Paris with her husband and two children.

Sam Taylor is the translator of HHhH by Laurent Binet and You Will Not Have my Hatred by Antoine Leiris.







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Huge thanks to Sophie Portas and Faber & faber for my review copy!

Book Review: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty ~ #BookReview #NinePerfectStrangers


nine perfect strangers




Nine Perfect Strangers


Liane Moriarty




The retreat at health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation.

Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage, and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages.

Miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, they have no way to reach the outside world. Just time to think about themselves, and get to know each other.

Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined.

For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda.

These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them . . .









My Review



Liane Moriarty’s new book follows nine strangers over the course of their stay at Tranquillum House, a luxurious health and wellness resort in the beautiful, rugged bush of Australia. Each with their own struggles and concerns, the nine strangers seek a way of transforming their lives and when they stumble upon Tranquillum House, they instantly book their stay. Confidence is slipping, faith is broken and hope is all but gone. This ten-day break is the last chance for reinvention, for change and for a new life. But at this health resort a strange sense of foreboding permeates the tranquility.



Frances is a frank, flirtatious and hilarious novelist whose career is going down the drain and whose heart has been broken following a romance scam that robbed her of her savings. On top of this she has received a scathing review of her latest book and no one now wants to publish her. The life she had planned with Paul was going to be exceptional but then he vanished and Frances was left ashamed and embarrassed in the wake of the con man’s betrayal.

Ben and Jessica are a young couple who have recently won millions on the lottery but on the tail of their success is sadness and desperation. A seed of doubt has crept into their marriage and they no longer know how they feel about one another. She is more concerned with her looks and Instagram account and he is more interested in his old life and his Lamborghini. Taking a chance, the couple book a stay at Tranquillum House but if it can help them and restore their marriage, they don’t know.

The Marconi family are grieving the loss of their beloved son and brother. In a bid to celebrate his life and remember him as he should be remembered, they leave their home and the disaster that occurred there, hoping that the resort will give them some peace from the constant torment of their loss.

Lars is a wealthy, successful lawyer running from further commitment with his long-term partner. A health resort addict, he is all for embracing the slightly peculiar ways of Tranquillum House, especially as it gives him time to ponder his life choices.

Carmel is an exhausted mother of four young girls. Feeling the ache of her husband leaving her for a newer model, Carmel, like her fellow guest Tony hopes to lose some weight over the course of her stay. Afflicted with self-doubt, they both are determined to change their lives for the better.



Nine Perfect Strangers did not go the way I thought it would. Liane Moriarty really surprised me with this one. She delves deep into the nitty gritty of her characters and their histories, which enables the reader to completely understand them and their actions. Frances is by far my favourite character. Her wit and cheeky remarks had me grinning to myself. What a character! Slowly a dynamic evolves in the group of guests and it was interesting to see them grow and interact as they all have such differing personalities.



Tension and suspense ripple through the pages. I really enjoyed this book, it has a perfect measure of darkness and humour, intrigue and obsession. Brilliant!



Tense. Compelling. Fabulous.





To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below

Amazon UK

Book Depository






About Liane Moriarty



liane moriarty


Liane Moriarty is the bestselling author of eight novels: Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, Truly Madly Guilty and Nine Perfect Strangers. The Husband’s Secret is a worldwide bestseller which has sold more than two million copies and been translated into over forty languages. Big Little Lies is now an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning HBO series, produced by and starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter.





9 perfect strangers



Huge thanks to Gaby and Michael Joseph for my review copy!

Blog Blitz! The Righteous Spy by Merle Nygate ~ #BlogBlitz #Quiz #TheRighteousSpy


Welcome to my stop on the Blog Blitz! I’m so delighted to share a fabulous guest post today! Big thanks to Verve Books (an incredible new dynamic digital publisher) for including me!




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The Righteous Spy


Merle Nygate




Innocent lives are at risk. But who is the real enemy…?

Eli Amiran is Mossad’s star spy runner and the man responsible for bringing unparalleled intelligence to the Israeli agency. Now, he’s leading an audacious operation in the UK that feeds his ambition but threatens his conscience.
The British and the Americans have intel Mossad desperately need. To force MI6 and the CIA into sharing their priceless information, Eli and his maverick colleague Rafi undertake a risky mission to trick their allies: faking a terrorist plot on British soil.
But in the world of espionage, the game is treacherous, opaque and deadly…

A twisting international spy thriller, A Righteous Spy is a shocking page turner that portrays a clandestine world in which moral transgressions serve higher causes. A must-read for fans of Homeland, Fauda, The Americans and NCIS, it will also appeal to readers of Daniel Silva and John le Carré.







The very fabulous Verve Books have a great quiz for you today! I’m so thrilled to share it here!



Which of the following acronyms has nothing to do with intelligence? There are five.




Please post your thoughts on what the five are in the comments section below. Verve Books will post the answers tomorrow on Twitter (@Verve_Books)!









merle nygate


Merle Nygate is a screenwriter, script editor, screenwriting lecturer and novelist; she’s worked on BAFTA winning TV, New York Festival audio drama and written original sitcoms; previously she worked for BBC Comedy Commissioning as well as writing and script editing across multiple genres. Most recently, Merle completed her first espionage novel which won the Little Brown/UEA Crime Fiction Award. It was described by the judge as ‘outstanding’.




Follow the bloggers on #TheRighteousSpy blog blitz!



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Verve Books is a dynamic digital publisher, inspired by a love of great, original, page-turning fiction led by a team of passionate book lovers.
In a swiftly changing world where great ideas don’t wait for long lead times, we understand that readers want the best books now and that’s why we’re focused on delivering high quality eBooks around the world.
With many years’ experience in traditional publishing, our team has editorial and marketing expertise which is second-to-none.
Verve is open to submissions from published and unpublished authors of commercial fiction across all genres. As the company name suggests, each book project will be approached with ‘vigour, spirit and enthusiasm’.

‘The opportunity to be published by Verve, a digital publisher, is absolutely brilliant. Espionage is politics and politics is currently moving like a runaway train, so digital, with its short lead times, is the perfect fit. Researching and writing The Righteous Spy has been the most intense creative experience I’ve had. Inhabiting the minds of diverse characters who are doing bad but think they’re doing good has been fascinating and, I think, timely’ – Merle Nygate





Huge thanks to Katherine and Verve Books for including me in the Blog Blitz!!

Book Review: The Necessary Marriage by Elisa Lodato ~ #TheNecessaryMarriage #BookReview


the necessary marriage



The Necessary Marriage


Elisa Lodato




Jane is sixteen when she falls in love with her teacher. Leonard Campbell is everything she has ever wanted: handsome, intelligent and attentive. He singles Jane out, giving her novels to read and discuss over long walks and cosy dinners. It is only once married, tied down and tied down with two children in 1980s suburbia that Jane realises she might have settled too early, losing much of herself in the process.

Then Marion and Andrew, a couple whose passion frequently tips into violence, move in next door, forcing Jane to confront feelings she didn’t know she could have. And when Marion abandons her family, Jane steps in to help with the couple’s two boys, setting in motion a series of events, all of which expose the push and pull within every relationship. As desire and loyalty are blurred, it becomes clear that nobody can escape the devastating impact of a family falling apart.

The Necessary Marriage is an intense, intimate portrait of how couples come together and grow apart, and the passions that drive us to do crazy things.














The Necessary Marriage is Elisa Lodato’s second book, following on from the brilliant An Unremarkable Body. As a huge fan of her first book, I was so excited to dive into this one and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Split into three parts and following the lives of six different characters, this book will grip you from the first page with its distinctive characters, dazzling plot and exquisite writing!



Sixteen-year-old Jane is an ordinary girl with a sweet disposition and a fondness for literature. She studies hard and excels at school. She has loving parents and good friends. When a handsome, intelligent new teacher arrives at her school, she is instantly taken with him. And her feelings are reciprocated. Their relationship moves fast and within a short period of time, they are married and she is expecting her first child. At first Jane feels burdened with the constant needs of her newborn and the dragging upkeep of her own house. Loneliness seeps into the corners of her life. It is an extra pull on her strength and spirit, Leonard’s absence at home only cultivating it. Soon Jane begins to wonder if there is more out there for her.



Marion is a young girl mourning the deaths of her parents in Ireland. When she is forced to move to London with brother Jonny, she feels as if she has left behind her home and everything that meant so much to her. In London she meets Andrew, who is starting a removals business. He is charming and sweet and they begin a relationship but it is pitted with disappointment and loneliness. When two sons come along, Marion feels that their estate is no longer safe. It is then that she and her family move in next to the Campbell’s.



This book explores the way families can both grow and crumble, how close bonds can last and others wither and how love and loss can truly shape people. The author captures emotion on the page with dazzling skill and astounding acuity. Vulnerability, loneliness, grief and love are themes which she bravely explores, maintaining a sensitivity throughout. Jane’s character stood out for me in this book. She marries an older man and starts a family very young and as she grows she comes to realise how deeply those choices have affected her but she stands by them and carries on, loving her daughters and giving them the best life she can possibly give. The pages of this book will tear at your heart, then slowly, almost imperceptibly, they will fill you with warmth and hope. It must be over a year ago now but I remember very clearly how overcome I was with emotion after reading An Unremarkable Body. It was so powerful! I had the exact same experience with this. Absolutely incredible! I really cannot wait to read Eliza’s third book!!



Emotional. Compelling. Dazzling.





To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Elisa Lodato



elisa lodato



Elisa Lodato grew up in London and read English at Pembroke College, Cambridge. After graduating she went to live in Japan where she spent a year teaching, travelling and learning to speak the language. On returning to the UK she spent many happy years working for Google before training to become an English teacher. Helping pupils to search for meaning in a text inspired Elisa to take up the pen and write her own. Her first novel, An Unremarkable Body, was longlisted for the Bath Novel Award 2016. Elisa lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and two children.





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Huge thanks to Jennifer Kerslake and W&N for my review copy!

Blog Tour! Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt ~ #HushHush #BlogTour #Bookreview


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m delighted to share my review of Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt!



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Hush Hush


Mel Sherratt



A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?






My Review:



When DS Grace Allendale is promoted and transferred to Stoke-On-Trent, she is faced with not only her toughest case yet but also one that harbours deep personal ties. Someone is brutally attacking people, leaving their lifeless bodies unrecognisable. No one is safe. The only connection between the murders are the Steele’s. Ruthless, manipulative and dangerous, they are Stoke’s notorious criminal family. A united front intent on having things their way. No matter what.




As the body count rises, Grace’s task to find the killer and untangle the sinister web surrounding the Steeles grows more and more difficult. She is hiding something from her team, something that could ruin her career and all her hard work. The Steeles are more to her than suspects in an ongoing investigation. They are her family. Her flesh and blood. Part of the terrible past she is running from and part of a future that could very well put her in danger.




Grace is tormented by her past. She had an abusive father and regularly was on the receiving end of his vile moods and flying fists. And if it wasn’t her, it was her mother. For years, Grace’s entire world consisted of nothing but solid fear and no way of remedying it. When her mother managed to get them away and they started a new life, the fear remained, memories of what her father did at the very forefront of her mind. Now, after the death of her beloved husband, Grace is determined to have a fresh start and work hard in her new role.




Mel Sherratt beautifully depicts her characters. They jump off the page. I was so excited to learn that Mel not only a new book coming out but that it was the first in a brand new series. DS Grace Allendale is a fantastic character that will have readers everywhere hooked. I certainly was. Mel Sharrat concocts a whip-smart read with a genius plot and dazzling prose. I can’t wait to read the next instalment!!



Clever. Brilliant. Twisty.





To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Mel Sherratt



mel sharratt



My novels take you to the heart of the crime. I write police procedurals, psychological suspense and crime dramas – fiction with a punch. Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

Since 2012, I’ve sold over one million books. All eleven of my crime novels have been bestsellers, each one climbing into the Kindle UK top 10 and I’ve had several number ones. I’ve also had numerous Kindle All-star awards, for best read author and best titles.

SHE DID IT is a standalone psychological thriller, and my first novel set in London. I wanted to write about a character who was nice to everyone using one persona but out for revenge with another side to her that she tries to keep hidden away. The reader knows exactly what she is up to – but not the reason why.

TAUNTING THE DEAD is my best selling book. It’s part police procedural/part psychological thriller. It was standalone for two years but I have now written two more books with Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton as the main character to create a trilogy. FOLLOW THE LEADER is book two and ONLY THE BRAVE is book three.

THE ESTATE SERIES is a mix of psychological suspense and family life with a sprinkling of grit and a dash of menace – where drama meets crime. There are four books, available individually or you can read the first three as a box set.

DETECTIVE EDEN BERRISFORD works in a community intelligence team and helps to gather information and intel for investigations. THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR is the first book, followed by DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU.

WATCHING OVER YOU is another standalone psychological thriller. It’s dark in places, light in places, disturbing in places too – where obsession and friendship turn into murder.

I also write women’s fiction under the pen name of Marcie Steele. Stirred with Love, The Little Market Stall of Hope and Heartbreak and The Second Chance Shoe Shop are out now.

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and make liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books. You can find out more at my website or I’m on Twitter at @writermels





Follow the bloggers on the #HushHush blog tour!


Hush Hush Blog Tour - October






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Huge thanks to Sabah at Avon Books for my review copy and blog tour invite!