Book Review: The Missing Twin by Alex Day

The Missing Twin The Missing Twin by Alex Day

Publication: Ebook: 18th August 2017 Paperback: 5th October 2017
Publisher: Killer Reads
Format: Ebook
Pages: 400
ASIN: B072TYXKLB

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Description

A unique, exciting psychological thriller that will tug at your heartstrings, and keep you guessing until the very last page!

Can she find her sister before it’s too late?

A missing girl…a secret to be uncovered.

Edie and her identical twin Laura have always been best friends. So when Laura surprises Edie at the Mediterranean holiday resort where she’s working, Edie can’t wait for the partying to start! But then, Laura vanishes without a trace…

At the same time, in a country on the other side of the sea, Fatima and her twin daughters set out on a harrowing journey that only the strongest – and luckiest – survive.

Edie and Fatima’s lives are worlds apart, but now, their paths are set to collide, with devastating consequences. When Fatima hovers on the brink of survival, Edie must risk her own life to save her, and finally discover the truth about her missing sister.

Review

Thanks to the author for reaching out and giving me a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  The paperback is published the beginning of next month – look out for it!! I think you”ll be grateful for having this in your life.

I have only seen good reviews about this book. I didn’t see where it was going to begin with, I really struggled to get into it. After starting it like 3 times, something happened. Something gripped me, wrapped itself around my brain, and I just carried on reading it instead of putting it down like I had been doing.

Characters. I felt so much for Fatima. The struggles she went through, the strength she had to keep going for her children. She was an incredible character, my favourite character. I was wishing that she would get to where she wanted to be and that everything worked out for her and the girls. I could never imagine finding the strength or the determination to get through what she did, and it’s made me realise what these families do to get to safety. Edie, I didn’t really like. She was a bit whiney, demanding, naive maybe? She just didn’t work for me, something was off and I just didn’t really connect with her. Vuk I hated immediately, he was a cruel, horrible man. I had a strong feeling that he wasn’t as nice as she made him out to be straight away, and I’m glad I wasn’t wrong about it. I had a feeling that Zayn was going to have a connection to everything, the little hints were there about families and I took a liking to him.  He seemed innocent, free. I had my fingers crossed that he was not a bad person.

I loved how we would go from chapter to chapter changing between Edie and Fatima, and then bigger gaps between each of the women. It made me question what was happening to them, what was going to happen and if they would get their answers. The writing style was a bit jumpy but it added to the tense feeling throughout the whole book.  It made me question everyone who was involved. And as for that ending, that was a bombshell and a half!!!!! I was rooting for a happy(ish) ending but damn… That was not it, but looking at it and thinking about it, maybe it was a happy ending? Everyone got the answers they were looking for. It worked amazingly well. An eye opener if anything!

I have some questions that have been left unanswered, unless I didn’t register that they’d been answered. I can’t really ask them though without giving them away so I’d love to speak to someone about it!!! One of them include Laura, and messages, but without going into detail it’s a bit of a mystery to me.

After my struggles to start reading it, I cannot recommend this book enough. It kept me guessing how everyone was connected, who was the bad guy, what happened to Laura, everyone was under suspicion and I rarely get like that with books. I didn’t trust anyone.  For all of those reasons, this book gets 4/5

Advertisements

ARC Review: The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara
Published: July 2017
Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group UK)
Format: Ebook
Pages: 368
ISBN13: 9780751566215
ASIN: B01MQJVNBC

Goodreads
Amazon UK

Description

My Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for copy, in exchange for my honest review.  I’m so glad I got to read this, I’ve loved other books by Ali McNamara and this one does not disappoint.

I found this to be a magical story, full of folklore, history, mysteries and romance.  It was interesting to read the different legends.  I know it’s a fictional place, but it made me realise that everywhere has these little stories, legends, rumours, whatever you want to call it.  They all stem from somewhere don’t they?

Written well, as always for Ali McNamara. The characters all had feeling, depth, and a likeability that touches you.  There is a lot of eye-rolling though, and winking. What’s that all about? Anyway, I liked all of the characters.  The setting was beautiful, as is all of Ireland.

Ren is determined, stubborn, but a very likeable woman.  Kiki plays well against Ren. For Ren’s matureness, Kiki is the opposite. She’s ditzy, doesn’t get a lot of Ren’s references, but she’s still very likeable.  Finn.  I’ve been trying to find the right words for Finn but I’m struggling.  He’s likeable, you get to see a little of his history, his backstory but on the other hand I don’t know…  I felt like I didn’t get a lot from him.  I don’t know.  All the characters worked well together, there is chemistry between all the characters, a fondness between them.  Kiki and Ren found their home in Ballykiltara and it shows.

It makes a nice change that the loss that a character’s suffers is an animal.  Many stories centre around the loss of a person, not an animal.  People’s lives are affected by the loss of a pet or like Finn, a business.  it shows that it does change the way people are.

This book was just great.  I loved how it was written, I loved the majority of the characters, and I just really enjoyed it.  I give it 4/5.

 

Blog Tour: Q&A/Review: The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin

The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by [McLaughlin, Cressida]

The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 29th June 2017
Format: Ebook
Pages: 500
ISBN13: 9780008219284
ASIN: B01MY458DB

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Synopsis
Robin Brennan has come home to Campion Bay. Now her parents have retired, she’s set to become the new landlady of The Campion Bay Guesthouse.
Bookings have been as thin as the hand towels, and it doesn’t take long for Robin to realise that the place needs a serious makeover. Perhaps throwing herself into the task will help to heal her sadness at the tragic end to her dreams in London.
As she gives the guesthouse a new lease of life, Robin encounters old friends and new, including old flame Tim, who’d clearly like to reboot their romance. But what about Will, the new arrival at No. 4, who’s rocked up with the cutest dog ever?
Caught up in a flurry of full-English breakfasts and cream teas, Robin’s never sure what, or who, the next check-in will bring…

Q&A With Cressida McLaughlin

1. What does your writing day look like? And do you have a favourite place to write?

My brain is much better first thing, so I like to start early, 7.30 or 8am, and will try and work through until lunchtime on writing or editing, whatever stage I’m at. After lunch I’ll do other things, social media or blog posts or Q&As like this. The main hazard is Twitter, which can suck up hours of my time if I let it. I should put one of those ‘no internet’ thingies on my computer, but it would frustrate me not being able to look something up if I needed to. (Which is obviously a rubbish excuse from a Twitter addict.)

I have an office in one of our spare bedrooms at home, and I love it. I can have music playing, my sparkly lava lamp on, coffee and tea when I want, a candle burning. It’s very snug and colourful – it has lots of Poldark postcards on the walls – and it’s the ideal space for me to be creative.

2. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Can you tell us a bit about it?

I feel bad that I don’t remember the first story I ever wrote, but I do remember that whatever I did write, I always wanted it to look like a book. I folded sheets of A4 paper in half, stapled them at the fold and then drew a cover on the front, writing the words and adding pictures on the pages inside. My parents taught me about the magic of books from day one, and I loved the idea of my words being inside one – an ambition I feel very lucky to have realised. I remember very vividly a murder mystery my sister wrote for primary school. The story was brilliant, it was put together like a proper book, and I remember wishing that I’d written it. That has stayed with me much more than any of the stories I wrote when I was small – she was definitely an inspiration to me.

3. Do you have a favourite film adaptation of a book? What was it and why?

I thought the adaptation of Gone Girl was excellent, and very faithful to the book, but my favourite has to be the BBC adaptation of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, with Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret Hale and Richard Armitage as John Thornton. It’s bleak, dramatic and very romantic. The scenes in the mills, with the cotton falling like snow while John Thornton stalks about in his stark black suit and hat, are so powerful. It’s a classy adaptation that I never get bored of re-watching.

4. If you were forced to write a different genre, what would you chose?

Creepy ghost story, definitely. I may have the beginnings of one on the go at the moment, just to see if I can do it . . .

My Review:

Firstly, thank you to Netgalley, and the Publisher for my copy of this book in exchange for my review.  Also, for letting me take me part in the blog tour.

A light hearted story, revolving around Robin who is starting fresh in her home town of Campion Bay. Taking over her parents guesthouse, she starts from scratch after losing her friend and closing her events business.  A likeable character but a little predictable. She comes across as kind, caring, thoughtful, if not a little held back because of her time in London.  The whole story was a little predictable but then again that’s what we all need as a pick me up from time to time!! This book is definitely a pick me up book. It was heartwarming, friendly, a little amusing, and has some delicious recipes at the end.

Throughout the whole book we have likeable characters, from Molly, Will, Paige, the guesthouse guests and other people from the town. Of course, we have a villain (in a sense anyway) in the form of Robin’s childhood sweetheart, Tim. Not so much a likeable character but it works for this story.  He comes across as sleazy, a little too confident and thinks he’ll get his own way no matter what.

The writing style was easy to read, it kept me reading and was easy enough to keep track off. The book is separated into 4 parts (I think they were published individually before?), each part flows brilliantly into the next. The time frame is only over a couple of weeks but doesn’t feel like that as you read it.  But then on the other hand, it goes by so quickly you don’t really get a sense of the timeframe of everything.  Such a quick pace is always good for me, I love getting caught up in everyone’s stories.

I think it’s safe to say that I liked this book, a lot.  I loved the writing style, the quickness of it, the characters.  I can’t really pinpoint one thing that I didn’t really like about it.

I give this book 5/5

Mid-Year Freak-Out Book Tag

So, I read this over on Thrice Read and thought that as we in fact 6 months, nearly 7 months, into the year that I would do just a general post with this book-tag.
Just for an update: My Goodreads Reading Challenge is set at 100 again for this year, and currently I am reading book number 69.  I seem to have been flowing through this year, without struggles or what not.

On to the Book Tag questions I go….

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017

I can’t decide on just one book, so here is the top 5 so far.

The Little Café of Second Chances by J.D. Barrett    The Perfect Present by Karen Swan   Heartless by Marissa Meyer   The Rome Affair by Karen Swan   The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

I’ve picked (In no particular order):

  • The Little Cafe of Second Chances by J. D Barrett
  • The Perfect Present by Karen Swan
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • The Rome Affair by Karen Swan
  • The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

All of them have something special about them, all of them being exceptional books.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2017

 

Oh, god… I think I’ve only read 2 sequels this year.. If you can even call them sequels

Turn Towards the Sun by Emma   Davies   Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner by Helen Cox

The ones that I have read are:

  • Turn Towards the Sun by Emma Davies
  • Secrets & Fries at the Starlight Diner by Helen Cox

Again, both great books, I would not be able to pick my favourite one.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To

      

They are all very, very different books.  I’m excited to read Kat French’s The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach purely because I have loved all of her others.  One Hot Summer was one of my favourite reads on 2016.  Godblind has had so much hype, I see it everywhere on social media at the moment, it isn’t something I would probably pick up straight away but I’m really excited to eventually get to this one in a couple of weeks!! Flame in The Mist’s cover looks stunning, that’s what attracted me first but it does sound like a pretty amazing story.

Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year

   

These are the only 2 I have covers for, the third book would be an upcoming Lynsey James book, I believe it’s coming about October time (well, that’s when I’m booked in for a blog tour).  The above books are: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody and The Honey Farm on the Hill by Jo Thomas.  Why am I excited for theses? Ok, the first book includes a circus, I love books like this.  And the second? Jo Thomas. her books always make me feel warm, loved, happy. They are pretty special books.

Biggest Disappointment

Caraval (Caraval, #1)

This is easy for me. Caraval by Stephanie Garber.  I was expecting so, so much for this book. But.. I just didn’t particularly enjoy it. I got the story, the characters, I understood everything and the world of Caraval was certainly magical but I just didn’t enjoy it all. There were parts that just didn’t really fit the book, the magical setting.

Biggest Surprise

Seven Steps to Happiness by Stella Newman   Birthrights by J. Kyle McNeal

Seven Steps to Happiness by Stella Newman and Birthrights by J. Kyle Mcneal. Both completely different books but I was pleasantly surprised by both.

Favorite New Author

Without a doubt, Karen Swan.  I think I have read 3 of hers this year, and each book has giving me something amazing from it.   The ones I’ve read are The Rome Affair are The Perfect Present. I’ve got a couple more either on my kindle or my bookcase and I plan on reading both before the year is out.

Favorite New Crush

Hmmm…. Sam Carlton from Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks or Maverick from Lost Rider by Harper Sloan. Both very sexy, hot men.

Summer's Lease by Carrie Elks   Lost Rider by Harper Sloan

Favorite New Characters

I can’t pick, I honestly cannot pick.  There are characters that stand out at me while looking at me list of books read this year.  Like Dade from The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen, Cesca and Sam from Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks, Catherine from Heartless by Marissa Meyer, and Whym and Quint from Birthrights by J. Kyle McNeal.

Summer's Lease by Carrie Elks   The Breaking Light by Heather    Hansen   Heartless by Marissa Meyer   Birthrights by J. Kyle McNeal

Books That Made You Cry

I don’t think any have made me cry so far this year.  It’s been a close thing, but no definite tears which is highly unlike me.

A Book That Made You Happy

Can I just say all the ones I’ve rated 4 stars or higher? I don’t think I could even pick 5 of them to be honest.

Most Beautiful Books You’ve Bought So Far This Year

The Chalk Artist   The Waking Land (The Waking Land Series)   The Night Circus   Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

I haven’t read any of these yet.  I was sent The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman and The Waking Land by Callie Bates for review, and I was lucky enough to be given Waterstones vouchers as a gift so The Night Circus was a must buy, along with Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

What Books Do You Need to Read Before the End of the Year?

My whole Netgalley shelf? Impossible as that is though, I’ll select a few that I’m planning blog posts for in the future couple of months.

            Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1)      The Waking Land (The Waking Land Series)         The Stolen Marriage   Two By Two   Keep Me Safe (Seal Island #1)

So, there’s 12.  Hopefully I’ll get round to reading them all, and hopefully I’ll get to do a blog post on each of them.  The list is:

  • Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
  • The House of Secrets by Sarra Manning
  • The Inheritance by Angie Coleman
  • The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer
  • Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth
  • The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara
  • The Waking Land by Callie Bates
  • Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
  • From Rome With Love by Jules Wake
  • The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain
  • Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
  • Keep Me Safe by Daniela Sacerdoti

So, how has your first 6 months of reading in 2017 been? Have you got some disappointments? Or some big surprises? I’d love to hear if you have or not!!

 

Blog Tour: The Little Cafe of Second Chances by J. D. Barrett

The Little Café of Second Chances
The Little Cafe of Second Chances by J. D. Barrett
Publisher: Piatkus
Published: 2nd February 2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
ISBN13: 978-0349414362
Goodreads
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Synopsis:

Lucy Muir is leaving her husband. It’s complicated.
As joint owners and chefs at one of the best restaurants in town making a clean break is tough. But, let’s face it, a woman can only take so much cheating, recipe stealing and lack of good grace.
Then Lucy happens upon an old, empty terrace that was once the city’s hottest restaurant: Fortune. One minute she’s peering through grimy windows into an abandoned space, the next she’s planning a pop-up bistro.
When Lucy fires up Fortune’s old kitchen she discovers a little red recipe book that belonged to the former chef, the infamous Frankie Summers. As Lucy cooks her way through Frankie’s recipes, customers come flocking and slowly Lucy begins to regain her confidence. It turns out that courage, passion and just a tiny bit of magic might be the secret recipe for a better life . . .

A deliciously entertaining debut from an exciting new voice in women’s fiction, this is a smart, charming novel about food, the perfect recipes for romance and the courage it takes to find a second chance at happiness

My Review:

Firstly, Thank You to Beth Wright from Little Brown for contacting me and offering me the chance to review this delicious book, and to be a part of the blog tour.  The cover for this book is just amazingly pretty, I put it straight to the top of the never-ending TBR pile and had it finished within a day.  But whatever you do, do not judge this book by the cover.  I was expecting the normal woman goes through a crisis, turns to baking blah blah blah… How very, very, wrong was I?? This book is going to be a romance to remember.

This book, as I said above, is delicious.  God, it made me so blooming hungry reading it!!!! It also made me want to get into my teeny kitchen and cook up a storm!! I’ve been re-inspired by the recipes inserted throughout the book.  I will definitely be trying one or two, if not all of them!!

I can’t really go into the storyline without giving any spoilers out, which I really don’t want to do.  Lucy is a chef, who opens up a new pop-up restaurant with the help of her friends, her family, her employee and a retired sous chef. And… well, let’s just some somebody else.  Oh, and the homeless man from outside the building.  It seems as though it won’t go to plan, but it does.

There is a sort of “whodunit” plot line, which adds to the feel of the characters, it adds depth to one main character but again, I can’t really go into it.  You’ll have to trust me when I say that this book just works.  It works on so many levels, it’s just… Delicious. The chemistry  between Lucy and the others works well, and you get a feeling for their love for her.  She grows in strength, confidence and herself.

For a debut novel, this definitely deserves to be put on to every romance lovers bookcase, kindle, whatever format you want to read (or listen to) it in.  It’s witty, delicious (that word again!), loving, and feels like it will turn into one of my favourites this year.

This book will definitely be a favourite for many, being romantics or food lovers.  I give it a huge 5/5!!