Saturday, February 15, 2020

Blog Tour: All The Rage by Cara Hunter

ARC
Not Paid or Sponsored
Amazon UK link is an affiliate


Hi!

All The Rage is the fourth book in the D.I. Adam Fawley series by Cara Hunter, recently released at the end of January. The first three are linked below:

  

I hadn't read any of the previous books in the series, and I don't think that had a huge impact on my enjoyment of the book. Obviously when there are multiple books featuring the same police team, people get to know them and know their history, and while I did feel like I was slightly in the dark about some of the personal issues, the main story was a standalone and I was able to read it as one. 


A teenage girl is found wandering the outskirts of Oxford, dazed and distressed. The story she tells is terrifying. Grabbed off the street, a plastic bag pulled over her face, then driven to an isolated location where she was subjected to what sounds like an assault. Yet she refuses to press charges. 

DI Fawley investigates, but there's little he can do without the girl's co-operation. Is she hiding something, and if so, what? And why does Fawley keep getting the feeling he's seen a case like this before? 

And then another girl disappears, and Adam no longer has a choice: he has to face up to his past. Because unless he does, this victim may not be coming back...

Having never read anything by this author before, I wasn't sure what to expect from her writing style. I found it to be similar to Karin Slaughter in that she holds absolutely nothing back, which can sometimes be uncomfortable to read (as any good crime read should be!). In this book in particular, the reason why the girl refuses to press charges is something that could have easily been turned into a "GOTCHA!" and used as a shock tactic or punchline, but I felt like it was handled sensitively. 

I loved the way the book was presented - the little notes, tweets and screenshots really added another dimension to the story and made it feel like a real investigation. The book brought a lot of current issues to light, including the presence of incel forums (so gross). 


The story was very engaging, I feel like fans of Happy Valley will really enjoy this one and I'm definitely going to go and read the first three to find out a little more about DI Fawley and his team. I adored Faith and really felt that her situation was handled in a very respectful and tolerant way. 

If you'd like to keep up with more DI Adam Fawley news, you can sign up to Cara's newsletter HERE

All the Rage is available now from all good bookshops plus online.


And don't forget your local library!


Thank you to Viking Books & Penguin for having me on the blog tour! You can check out some of the other stops below:



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Do you enjoy crime novels?  Let me know below!



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Friday, February 14, 2020

Blog Tour: Her Homecoming Wish by Jo McNally (Harlequin Special Edition)

ARC
Not paid or sponsored
Amazon UK affiliate


Hi!

Firstly, Happy Valentines Day! If you can hear that in your head as anything other than Janice from Friends, you're a better person than I am. 

Secondly, whether you're spending today with a significant other or you're by yourself, I have just the treat for you. 

Harlequin Special Editions are slighty longer than some of the other imprints, and they promise "compelling, contemporary romance novels with happy endings."


Her Homecoming Wish is definitely contemporary and compelling, but does it have a happy ending? You'll have to read to find out! (No, honestly, it does, don't worry).



She's ready to shed her good-girl ways...
"You're all about following the rules now?
Pity."
Mackenzie Wallace hopes there's still some bad boy lurking beneath single father Danny Adams's upright exterior. Being the proverbial good girl left her brokenhearted and alone in the past. Now she's back in town and wants excitement with her high school crush - not love. Dan knows their connection runs deep, despite Mackenzie's protests. But will their new peronas work together - especially when Dan's secret is exposed?

This is a story about labels - or rather, what we do with them. In high school, Mackenzie was the "good girl" - the perfect student, the model child. Danny "Danger Dan" Adams was the bad boy - the tattooed biker always in trouble. Move on a decade or two and things have changed - Mack is newly divorced and back in her hometown, trying to shed her goody two-shoes image once and for all. Danny is the obvious choice - but it seems that he has already done some shedding, and left behind his danger days in favour of being a good Dad to his daughter Chloe and keeping his hometown safe in his capacity as Sheriff. 

I liked Mack instantly - I felt like I knew exactly who she was and where she was coming from right from the second we met her. I loved her spirit and how she wouldn't let people pigeonhole her. Dan took a little longer for me to warm to - I believe that he has appeared in other books in the Gallant Lake Series, so fans of that will no doubt be delighted to see him have his own storyline. I did find him slightly over-the-top at times but Mackenzie kept him in check, always correcting him when she felt he was overstepping or encouraging him to seek help when his work/life balance was all over the place. 

Other things I loved about this story - the relationship between Dan and his ex-wife was so lovely, they were so respectful of each other and were great co-parents to Chloe. 
I loved that there was a small business ran by a gay couple, and there wasn't a big deal made about it. They were just two husbands running a business. LGBTQ+ relationships need to be as normalized as much as possible, especially in the current climate, and it was great to see that they were treated the same as every other couple. 
I also loved that the sex scenes were safe, with particular emphasis on consent and contraception. Consent is sexy! 

This was my first time reading anything by Jo McNally, but I really don't want to leave Gallant Lake behind, so I'll be catching up on the rest in that series. This can be read as a standalone, I didn't feel like I had missed out on anything by not having read any others. 

Thank you to Harlequin & Carina for allowing me to be a part of the blog tour. 


Her Homecoming Wish is available now.








Monday, February 3, 2020

Blog Tour: Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

ARC

Hi!

Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for one of the most anticipated books of 2020, Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano. 



One summer morning, twelve-year old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them is a Wall Street  wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured vet returning from Afghanistan, a septuagenarian business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. And then, tragically, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.

People-watching is one of my favourite things. Ask anyone who has ever been in an airport or train station with me - I can happily spend hours just watching people (non-creepily) and making up stories for them in my head. This type of book was a dream come true for me - a whole plane full of people, all with incredibly different lives, experiences, stories and expectations. We follow the stories of a handful of them - the injured war vet, the wall street tycoon, the quirky free spirit, the young woman hoping for a proposal, the air hostess, the family moving cross-country. The story jumps back and forth before and after the tragic crash. 

Whenever I watch a film or read a book about a disaster, I know it has reeled me in when I watch/read it again hoping the outcome is different. This is how I felt with Dear Edward from the beginning. Clearly, we know what happens, but I found myself hoping beyond hope that the plane wouldn't crash, that someone else would survive, that it would all be okay. I became completely attached to almost all the characters from the start and really didn't want to let go of any of them.

How often do we get to see the long-term aftermath of something like this? We hear the breaking news stories, we see the media coverage, then nothing. What happens next? In this story, we stay with Edward as he tries to adjust to his new life post-accident with his Aunt and Uncle. How did the tragedy affect them? How can they help Edward while they're dealing with their own loss? And how can Edward deal with his grief when he is struggling with survivor's guilt? 

This is a stunning novel about heartbreak, loss, grief and guilt - but also survival, hope, following your heart and forgiveness. 

Dear Edward is available now on Kindle and will be released by Penguin Books on February 20th 2020.

Amazon US

Many thanks to Hannah at Penguin for allowing me to take part in the blog tour.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR








Friday, January 31, 2020

Blog Tour - Temporary Wife Temptation by Jayci Lee (Harlequin Desire)

ARC
Not paid/sponsored
Amazon UK link is an Affiliate

Hi!

I have some wonderful blog tours coming in 2020, this being the first of them - I'm delighted to be a part of the February 2020 Harlequin Carina Press blog tour.


Romance novels can sometimes be dismissed as old-fashioned, or all the same - if you have never read one, or it's been a while since you have, then I'm here to tell you that things have changed. There are a plethora of authors out there all writing smart, witty, diverse, funny, sexy romance novels that cover all sorts of themes, relationship types and issues. Billionaires? Covered. Gaymers? You got it. Rangers? Bikers? Hot Italian Navy SEALs? Yep, they're there too. You name it, Harlequin have a romance novel about it.

Harlequin have different categories for different types of stories. This falls under the "Desire" imprint, which means:

"..an emotional ride that moves quickly and sizzles with every twist and turn! Harlequin Desire stories are set in a world of luxury and drama. Our sexy heroes and dynamic heroines are surrounded by scandals and secrets that can span generations. But in the end, they'll find wealth and privilege are nothing without love..."


This is the category to watch out for if you like to read sexy, chemistry-filled stories with a lil' business drama included - which is exactly what this book is.


Much more than he bargained for...
"You want me to find you a wife?"
"No. I want you to be my wife."

Garrett Song is *this* close to taking the reins of his family's LA fashion empire...until the Song matriarch insists he marry her handpicked bride first. To block her matchmaking, he recruits Natalie Sobol to pose as his wife. She needs a fake spouse as badly as he does. But when passion burns down their chaste agreement, the flames could destroy them all...

Firstly, as anyone who has ever read one of my romance reviews before knows, the "fake relationship" trope is one of my absolute favourites, and the reason I signed up to read this book. Both characters have legitimate reasons for needing a fake spouse - Garret to avoid an arranged marriage, Natalie to successfully adopt her recently orphaned baby niece, Sophie. The chemistry between the lead characters was intense, and the story had a decent plot. Both leads were likeable, Natalie especially. She was a strong, independent woman who knew exactly what she wanted and she wasn't afraid to get it. The story was clever, the sex was safe, consentual & fun, and the side characters were also really good (I loved the Grandmother and I can't wait to hear more from Adelaide!). 

Temporary Wife Temptation was the perfect book to sit down with after a stressful day and just escape for a few hours into the world of this really likeable couple. 

It's available now on Kindle, and will be released on February 4th in paperback. 








Sunday, November 10, 2019

Blog Tour: The Ex Girlfriend by Nicola Moriarty

Links to buy are affiliate links.
Not paid or sponsored.

Hi!

To quote our Lord and Saviour Britney Spears - it's been a while, I know I shouldn't have kept you waiting, but I'm here now. 

I'm going to jump straight into this post, because today I'm thrilled to bring to your attention the new novel by Nicola Moriarty. 


Luke is the one. After everything she's been through, Georgia knows she deserves someone like him, to make her feel loved. Safe.

The only problem is his ex-girlfriend. Luke says Cadence is having trouble accepting their break-up, but Georgia thinks there's more to the story. She also has the feeling someone is watching her.

When everything starts to go wrong at work, at home, in her old friendships and her happy new relationship with Luke, Georgia starts to feel truly afraid.

Cadence wants what she has. What would she do to get it?

And can Georgia trust anyone at all? 

In all honesty, I don't even think I need to tell you much more about this book than what's on the blurb - if you're a fan of good psychological thrillers, you'll like it. It's hard sometimes to look at a popular genre like this, see so many dark blue/black covers and know which one to pick out. This is very well written, does a great job of establishing characters, and the story flows well despite the 400 pages which is on the longer end of things when it comes to similar books. What made this stand out for me was that it was set in Australia, which I really love, and the plot was fresh despite the "crazy ex-girlfriend" trope that we've seen more than once before.

I'll also credit this book with getting me out of a reading rut - if you're in a bit of a slump and find yourself unable to commit to anything at the minute, give this a go - I had intended to break it up into ten 40-page chunks to make it more manageable but instead ended up reading it for hours at a time because I was hooked on the story. 

I liked Georgia, even though I found myself screaming at her sometimes (I wanted to shake her). I just wanted her to get her happy ending after all she had been through. I liked the twists and turns, and liked that they weren't too "BOO!" This is definitely a slow burn, it's not one that's going to take off at 100mph right from the start (and IMHO it's all the better for it). 

My favourite thing about reading thrillers is that ominous feeling of knowing something is going to happen before the character does - I love when it makes my heart race and almost makes me want to stop reading. Why choose a thriller otherwise?!

Although I had read several of her sister Liane's books, I'd never read anything by Nicola Moriarty before. I'll definitely keep her on my radar (two Britney references in one post, I'm spoiling you) - I highly recommend that you check this out if you enjoy psychological thrillers. 

Thank you to Sriya at Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of the book and for asking me to be a part of the tour. You can check out the other stops below:


The Ex-Girlfriend is available from all good bookshops now plus:



And for request at your Local Library.


Read anything good lately? What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments!




Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Blog Tour: Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

ARC clearly defined in accordance with review policy here
Links to Amazon & Book Depository are Affiliates. 

Hi!

Today I want to talk about Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. Released in the UK and Ireland on August 8th, this is a powerful, touching story about family and relationships. 

Here's my summary and review:

Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope have a lot in common. Their fathers are NYPD cops, even working together for a time in the 1970s. Their mothers are both immigrants. They grow up next door to each other and form a strong friendship, each assuming they have each other's back for life. One night, a shocking incident changes the dynamic of the two families forever - leading to decades of upheaval. This is a look at how that incident, and the events before and after it, affect the two families. Can they ever heal? 


I'm going to admit something, when I started this and saw that it began with cops in the 1970s, I thought it was going to be just a standard Irish-immigrant-in-America story. I had seen it compared to Brooklyn more than once, and while I was happy to read it, I wasn't overly excited. Having finished it, I think comparisons to any other novel should be avoided (especially ones with dull main characters - looking at you, Eilish Lacey). This is a sweeping, touching, heartfelt novel about two families and how their lives intertwine. How one single night can change all of their lives forever - but in reality, was it just one single night? Or were there several days and nights, even fleeting moments, that built up, clung to each other, and simmered until they swelled into one giant crashing wave? 

This has been described as "boy meets girl" or "a touching romance" - for me, personally, the romance was the least interesting part. I didn't really feel a huge romantic connection between the two, because the timeline advanced quite quickly in parts. For me, reading a romance, there has to be a little bit of tension, a build-up - and I didn't feel that here. I wasn't very interested in the romantic element but I was very, very invested in the male partner and how the events of his childhood would shape him as a man.  

The real gem of this story, and the character I became completely enthralled by, was Anne Stanhope. She's a fascinating woman - flawed, troubled, human. The development of her character was so engaging, she felt so real to me. Ditto Francis Gleeson - these two characters have so much backstory, so much heart, and the writer really took the time to flesh them out so that we had some sort of understanding as to why they behaved the way they did, and why they made the choices they made.

I would have loved a little more insight into George, I was shocked when his age was revealed because I assumed he was so much older. I wanted to go back and re-read his parts again with this fresh information, just to try and get more of a feel for him and how so much had happened to him in his early years. I thought he was a wonderful addition to the story. 

This isn't always an easy read - the more serious incidents aside, the thing that was most unsettling for me was the tiny hints that history was possibly about to repeat itself and that I, as a reader, was completely powerless to do anything about it. All I could do was observe. 

This book has already gained huge popularity after being chosen as one of Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show Summer Reads, a BBC Radio 2 Book Club choice for Autumn, and no doubt will be popular with book clubs the world over. 

Thank you to Sriya at Penguin Random House for asking me to take part in the blog tour and for sending me an early copy. You can check out what others have to say about Ask Again, Yes by having a look at the blogs below:


You can request the book at your local library, or it can be purchased at any book retailer including




If you've read it, drop me a line in the comments or on Twitter/Instagram (I'm @sharonleavy1 on both) where I'm always happy to talk books!






Sunday, July 14, 2019

Blog Tour: The Nanny at Number 43 by Nicola Cassidy

ARC clearly defined in accordance with review  policy here

Hi!

Last year, I reviewed (and loved) Nicola Cassidy's debut novel December Girl on this blog. When Nicola asked me if I'd be interested in taking part in the blog tour for book baby #2, I was delighted.


The Nanny at Number 43 is set in Ireland (Drogheda to be specific) in the late 1800s. A young woman answers an ad: Wanted, a respectable woman to care for a motherless child.

Anna Winchester died soon after childbirth. Her husband and his housekeeper are struggling to cope, so they place an ad for a Nanny. The young woman who takes up the post, Ms. Murphy, is seemingly perfect - but not for long. The housekeeper, Mrs. McHugh, is suspicious of her, and believes that she has some kind of hidden agenda in coming to No. 43 Laurence Street. It's up to Mrs McHugh and her invalid neighbour Betty to find out what's really going on - but will they be able to figure the mystery out before the Nanny does some real harm?

Interwoven with the main story is the tale of a man who has just been released from prison. What crime did he commit? And how is he linked to our mysterious Ms. Murphy? 

Once again, Nicola Cassidy has managed to transport the reader straight back to Ireland in the late 1800s. The atmosphere is heavy and the tension builds slowly - it only took a couple of chapters to completely hook me in. Short chapters combined with an addictive writing style meant that I fell prey to the "just one more" habit that so often purloins my sleep, but it was entirely worth it in this case. This is no Mary Poppins. 


This is a wonderful example of good historical fiction, but it also has an engaging cast of characters that wouldn't be out of place in Rebecca. Start it at your peril - because you won't want to put it down. 

The Nanny at Number 43 is available at all good bookshops, and for request at your local library.

Thanks so much to Nicola and to Poolbeg for allowing me to read an early copy!

If you'd like to hear some more about the book, please check out the other stops on the blog tour below: