Monday, 31 August 2015

The Girl Who Broke The Rules 
by 
Marnie Riches 
Blog Tour
(Book 2 in the George McKenzie series)





The pulse-pounding new thriller from Marnie Riches. For anyone who loves Jo Nesbo and Stieg Larsson, this book is for you!

When the mutilated bodies of two sex-workers are found in Amsterdam, Chief Inspector van den Bergen must find a brutal murderer before the red-light-district erupts into panic.

Georgina McKenzie is conducting research into pornography among the UK’s most violent sex-offenders but once van den Bergen calls on her criminology expertise, she is only too happy to come running.

The rising death toll forces George and van den Bergen to navigate the labyrinthine worlds of Soho strip-club sleaze and trans-national human trafficking. And with the case growing ever more complicated, George must walk the halls of Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, seeking advice from the brilliant serial murderer, Dr. Silas Holm…



Review

I was very excited to receive the second book in this series as the first book (The Girl who Wouldn't Die) was the very first Blog Tour I did on Boon's Bookcase!!

This book starts with George back in the UK with Ad and doing a cleaning job at a club where her aunt Sharon works whilst trying to carry on with her Phd. We might have known that it wouldn't take long for George to get itchy feet and hot foot it back to Amsterdam to help Dutch Chief Inspector Paul Van Den Bergen in trying to catch the killer of illegal immigrants in and around Amsterdam.

Again the author talks about places in South East London, which I know of as I originally come from those parts such as Peckham, Deptford, Lewisham etc and even to the borders of Kent (Chislehurst!). 

Yes this book is quite graphic, but I must say, it is beautifully written and I must admit, I have always been extremely interested in anything to do with mortuaries (I am a Medical Secretary so do have a lot of knowledge of medical terminology) so found the part when the pathologist was explaining the victim's injuries very interesting!

Yes there was lots of swearing, yes it was saucy, yes it was gruesome, but I loved it and can only see this series getting better and better! If I had to say anything negative (if I may be so bold) then I personally didn't like the way George treated Ad, but I do understand that she is a feisty character with a lot of attitude and she finds it hard to show her true feelings, so it is inevitable that she keeps everyone at arms' length. We do get a bit more insight into George's family (especially her Mum) and when you read how dysfunctional her family is, you can't wonder why she treats people like she does!

This book finishes with another cliffhanger so hope we are not left too long to find out what happens!

Thank you Marnie for another corker and also thanks to Avon Books for sending me a review copy. Hope I can get to review book 3 - bring it on!!!



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Sunday, 30 August 2015

When a Spade isn't a Spade by Aprille Thomas


Karlie Washington is a smart, sexy, savvy copywriter, and she’s in line for the promotion of her dreams – Creative Director at NJH Communications, Barbados’s trendiest ad agency. Karlie’s been eyeing the job since moving back home five years ago, and when the old CD resigns, Karlie’s more than ready to accept the new title. But there’s just one problem – Hosea Young. She has to compete with the boss’s pet for the coveted spot. Oh, and everyone else in the office, too. Determined to come out on top, problems abound for Karlie as she tries to navigate her way up the career ladder. She struggles with a know-it-all coworker, a my-way-or-the-highway boss, and never-ending boyfriend drama. Her chances of success start looking slimmer at every turn, and she soon finds herself at her wits' end. So when she accidentally stumbles across the opportunity to secure her success, it seems like a simple decision. But an overactive conscience forces a torn Karlie to reconsider what’s more important, and she quickly realizes that things aren’t always what they seem. When a Spade isn’t a Spade, Aprille L. Thomas’s debut novella, brings a poetic flair to the complications of corporate life, complex love, and chasing your dreams.


Review

Karlie Washington is desperate to get the promotion her boss is dangling in from of her, but with colleagues getting in her way, things don't always go to plan! 

This was a very enjoyable novella, easy to read with some great characters. I must admit, I did forget that it was based in Barbados occasionally! It was easy to follow with some funny moments. I did like it when Karlie kept saying "I need this job"! every time an obstacle came up! 

I would read more from this author and would like to say thank you to Chick Lit Plus for sending me a copy to review.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Today, I am very pleased to host  the 
P.S. Olive You 
by
Lizzie Allen 
Blog Tour!!


I really wish I had the chance to read this a couple of weeks ago when I was by the pool in Turkey! so I have included an extract for you to read as a little teaser.............


Our Chelsea crowd lived the highlife.  Yachts, summers in Saint Tropez, winters in Cloisters.   The mandatory second home in Majorca, Ibiza, the Dordogne with six bedrooms furnished by Jasper Conran.  Andrew had been lamenting the second-home-shaped-hole in our lives for some time, but the playgrounds of the jet-set were simply beyond our reach.

That’s when he came upon the epiphany of an island house in the Cyclades. The Marlborough set might do sumptuous, extravagant, opulent - but we could do interesting, quirky, surprising. Greece was gong bankrupt and Andrew said a fire sale was imminent. In the spring of 2011 you could already buy a four bedroom house with a sea view for half a million euros in Naxos.

Unfortunately we didn’t have half a million euros so we had to look further afield.  Two stomach-churning ferry journeys later he came upon Iraklia a tiny island with a permanent population of a hundred and fifty that swelled to a few thousand during the summer.  He’d been there on a business trip and came back waxing lyrical about the balmy evenings, the delicious honey and the fragrant herb covered hills. After he found it described in the Lonely Planet Guide as  ‘a sleeping Aegean gem’ our fate was sealed.

Three months later I was stuck in Iraklia in temperatures of thirty degrees with my face falling off.  The only fragrance I could smell was goat. 

It’s the metalloproteinases that ruin the collagen in your skin.  Under normal conditions they’re there to assist and repair but excessive sun can make them spiral out of control. The UV also creates free radicals, which break the collagen down and leave it unable to regenerate itself. None of our Chelsea set went into the sun anymore after Nicole Kidman made it fashionable to go around looking like Nosferatu. The irony of this wasn’t lost on me.  We responded to our fear of aging (thus death) by going around looking like cadavers. I added luminosity to my corpselike appearance by applying a thick layer of Piz Buin factor fifty each morning on Iraklia and swaddling myself in scarves and shawls.  Locals frequently mistook me for the mummified body of Agios Ioannis and ran off screaming as I approached. 

Iraklia was an unusual little place.  A couple of dusty mountains poking out the Aegean with only two villages and three small beaches. 
One cash machine.

One doctor.

One extortionate supermarket. 

That was soon to change though because what most people didn’t know was that Iraklia was on its way to becoming to become a major tourist destination.  This privileged information came from the hallowed corridors of Brussels itself. As EU Commissioner for European Development, Andrew was responsible for doling out the pot of money set aside for promoting economic growth in underperforming areas of the union. Iraklia was a pet project of his and he knew exactly how much had been allocated for infrastructure schemes. As we drove around the island he proudly pointed out the manifestations of this benevolence – a school, a desalination turbine, a new road - as if he personally was the munificent St Nicholas that had bestowed such generosity upon the island.

 More irksome were the stock phrases he reserved for dignitaries like Ajax Galitsis, his local fixer.

‘Education is self perpetuating’ was for when we passed a half-built school on the way to Panagia.

‘Water’s the source of all life’ was reserved for sun-downer cruises past the desalination turbine.



About the Author


Writing is a third career for Lizzie as she previously worked as TV Producer and before that in PR.  She lives in London with her husband (who looks like James Bond!) and has a daughter at Edinburgh University studying history and history of art, and son who models for Elite International and is currently swanning around the world on a gap year.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Image Map

Cover reveal for Fall of Poppies........what a gorgeous cover! Hope I get the chance to read this book!



Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War

by Heather Webb, Hazel Gaynor, Beatriz Williams, Jennifer Robson, Jessica Brockmole, Kate Kerrigan, Evangeline Holland, Lauren Willig, Marci Jefferson

On Sale March 1st, 2016

Top voices in historical fiction deliver an intensely moving collection of short stories about loss, longing, and hope in the aftermath of World War I—featuring bestselling authors such as Hazel Gaynor, Jennifer Robson, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig and edited by Heather Webb.

A squadron commander searches for meaning in the tattered photo of a girl he’s never met…

A Belgian rebel hides from the world, only to find herself nursing the enemy…

A young airman marries a stranger to save her honor—and prays to survive long enough to love her…The peace treaty signed on November 11, 1918, may herald the end of the Great War but for its survivors, the smoke is only beginning to clear. Picking up the pieces of shattered lives will take courage, resilience, and trust.


Within crumbled city walls and scarred souls, war’s echoes linger. But when the fighting ceases, renewal begins…and hope takes root in a fall of poppies.

Excerpt from “Hour of the Bells”
A story included in Fall of Poppies

Beatrix whisked around the showroom, feather duster in hand. Not a speck of dirt could remain or Joseph would be disappointed. The hour struck noon. A chorus of clocks whirred, their birds popping out from hiding to announce midday. Maidens twirled in their frocks with braids down their backs, woodcutters clacked their axes against pine, and the odd sawmill wheel spun in tune to the melody of a nursery rhyme. Two dozen cuckoos warbled and dinged, each crafted with loving detail by the same pair of hands—those with thick fingers and a steady grip.
Beatrix paused in her cleaning. One clock chimed to its own rhythm, apart from the others.
She could turn them off—the tinkling melodies, the incessant clatter of pendulums, wheels, and cogs, with the levers located near the weights—just as their creator had done before bed each evening, but she could not bring herself to do the same. To silence their music was to silence him, her husband, Joseph. The Great War had already done that; ravaged his gentle nature, stolen his final breath, and silenced him forever.
In a rush, Beatrix scurried from one clock to the next, assessing which needed oiling. With the final stroke of twelve, she found the offending clock. Its walnut face, less ornate than the others, had been her favorite, always. A winter scene displayed a cluster of snow-topped evergreens; rabbits and fawns danced in the drifts when the music began, and a scarlet cardinal dipped its head and opened its beak to the beauty of the music. The animals’ simplicity appealed to her now more than ever. With care, she removed the weights and pendulum, and unscrewed the back of the clock. She was grateful she had watched her husband tend to them so often. She
could still see Joseph, blue eyes peering over his spectacles, focused on a figurine as he painted detailing on the linden wood. His patient hands had caressed the figures lovingly, as he had caressed her.
The memory of him sliced her open. She laid her head on the table as black pain stole over her body, pooling in every hidden pocket and filling her up until she could scarcely breathe.
“Give it time,” her friend Adelaide had said, as she set a basket of jam and dried sausages on the table; treasures in these times of rations, yet meager condolence for what Beatrix had lost.
“Time?” Beatrix had laughed, a hollow sound, and moved to the window overlooking the grassy patch of yard. The Vosges mountains rose in the distance, lording over the line between France and Germany along the battle front. Time’s passage never escaped her—not for a moment. The clocks made sure of it. There weren’t enough minutes, enough hours, to erase her loss.
As quickly as the grief came, it fled. Though always powerful, its timing perplexed her. Pain stole through the night, or erupted at unlikely moments, until she feared its onslaught the way others feared death. Death felt easier, somehow.
Beatrix raised her head and pushed herself up from the table to finish her task. Joseph would not want her to mourn, after two long years. He would want to see her strength, her resilience, especially for their son. She pretended Adrien was away at school, though he had enlisted, too. His enlistment had been her fault. A vision of her son cutting barbed wire, sleeping in trenches, and pointing a gun at another man reignited the pain and it began to pool again. She suppressed the horrid thoughts quickly, and locked them away in a corner of her mind.
With a light touch she cleaned the clock’s bellows and dials, and anointed its oil bath with a few glistening drops. Once satisfied with her work, she hung the clock in its rightful place
above the phonograph, where a disk waited patiently on the spool. She spun the disk once and watched the printed words on its center blur. Adrien had played Quand Madelon over and over, belting out the patriotic lyrics in time with the music. To him, it was a show of his support for his country. To Beatrix it had been a siren, a warning her only son would soon join the fight. His father’s death was the final push he had needed. The lure of patrimoine, of country, throbbed inside of him as it did in other men. They talked of war as women spoke of tea sets and linens, yearned for it as women yearned for children. Now, the war had seduced her Adrien. She stopped the spinning disk and plucked it from its wheel, the urge to destroy it pulsing in her hands.
She must try to be more optimistic. Surely God would not take all she had left.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Summer Moved On 
by 
Jo Lambert 
Blog Tour



After a long-buried secret tears her family apart, Jess Hayden moves to the South Devon village of Lynbrook to live with her uncle. Rufus owns the village pub, The Black Bull, and having visited before, Jess knows the villagers well…especially one of them. 

TalĂșn Hansen has a reputation, making him the kind of man no decent girl should get involved with. Jess, however, has been under his spell from the moment they first met. Although they always seem to bring out the worst in each other, there is no denying the attraction that simmers between them - an attraction Jess knows she needs to keep under control after repeated warnings from her uncle. 

As she settles into village life she begins to learn more about this wild, dark-haired gypsy with the compelling eyes, and realises their lives hold many similarities. Despite her uncle’s warnings, she begins to spend time with him. For Jess, the coming summer holds passion; for TalĂșn the hope that he has at last found someone who truly cares for him. 

But as autumn approaches, a dark shadow from Jess’s past returns, bringing far-reaching and unwanted changes for both of them. 



Review
This novel is set in the South West of England (my favourite place!) and is about a young woman called Jess, who is living with her Dad but they have a very awkward relationship. He works abroad a lot and does not show any interest in her. She gets on much better with her uncle, who has just bought a pub in a quaint Devon village. It's there that she meets lots of lovely villagers, but also meets Talum, the tall, dark haired, handsome stranger, who turns her summer upside down!

As the story unfolds, you get to know more about the secret Jess' mother kept from her and the reason why her "Dad" just can't seem to accept her. 

Talun is portrayed by the villagers as a womaniser, and to some extent, that is exactly what it is, but when Jess comes along, he tried to play the cool guy but it seems she has some kind of spell on him and falls for her.

I really enjoyed this story. The author describes the characters in detail and it was good that some characters were likeable and others weren't! Lily was particularly nasty, but then so was Jess' "Dad", but they got their comeuppance!

I must admit, when I got to the end of the story, I was a bit disappointed with the end...........until I realised there is a sequel coming!! so the story of Jess isn't finished - yippee! I hope I get the chance to read the next instalment!!

Thank you to Brook Cottage Books for letting me review this lovely book.


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About The Author


Born and raised in rural Wiltshire, Jo Lambert has always been a country girl at heart. Currently she lives on the eastern edge of Bath in a beautiful village set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Here she has the best of both worlds – there is Bath with its fabulous history and architecture, its cafes, restaurants, cinemas and theatre - and of course wonderful shopping! Then in complete contrast there is the village and open countryside with amazing views – a great inspiration for writing she says.


Jo is married, owns one small grey female feline called Mollie and shares her husband with Bridget - a 48 year old white MG Midget. ‘She keeps him occupied while I’m writing’ she tells us.



http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0139IXHZE

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


Fifty Shades Of Roxie Brown By Lynda Renham
Guest reviewed 
by
Julie Williams



Roxie Brown loves erotica and her friend, Sylvie, loves crime … novels of course. On a girls' night out they meet The Great Zehilda, the tea leaf reader, and suddenly Roxie’s Fifty Shades fantasies about her millionaire boss, Ark Morgan, look about to become a reality. But then she looks through the telescope and her life is turned upside down. Roxie and Sylvie, with help from Sylvie’s flatmate, Felix, set out to crack the case. Can Ark Morgan save her or is he the man she should be running from? Then enter Sam Lockwood and her heart is shot with another arrow. Come with Roxie Brown on her hilarious crime-busting romantic adventure and discover if the love of her life is the man of her dreams or if the man she loves is her worst nightmare.


Review:

When I was asked to review Lynda’s new book I was so excited as I knew I was in for a treat and this book did not disappoint.

This Rom-Com is about Roxie Brown a young woman with a pretty ordinary life who works as a cleaner for a large hotel group, but her life changes dramatically while out on a last night of freedom trip to the Fun Palace with her friends, as one is getting married the next day. A visit to a fortune teller ‘The Great Zehilda’ makes some obscure predictions which soon become reality with hilarious consequences.

Roxie’s sexual fantasies with her boss Ark Morgan, her sex crazed mother, wannabe crime fighter friend Sylvie and cheating boyfriend Darren are just a few of the colourful characters we are treated to in this book.

Having witnessed a murder through her boyfriend’s telescope, Roxie and her friends Sylvie & Felix set about being detectives to solve the case with ‘ laugh out loud’ moments that will stay with you long after you have finished the book. A lottery win of 75K and a few love interests along the way add to the shenanigans of this delightfully funny story.

Congratulations to Lynda for what I think is her best book yet and of course to Julie Boon for allowing me to guest review on her lovely blog.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Today I also host the Blog Tour for the second instalment in the Mishaps in Millrise series 
Just Like Rebecca 
by 
Tilly Tennant





About The Author


Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.




Review


In the second part of this series Phoebe is still working in the toy store and trying hard to impress the bosses in her new role and we also start delving a bit more into her boyfriend Jack's family. Jack is still behaving slightly oddly and keeping his cards very close to his chest regarding his brother, but they decide it is time for them to meet their respective families for the first time and poor Phoebe is knocked for six by "The Mother in Law" who just cannot accept that Jack's wife Rebecca is dead and won't let anyone else get close. 

I do love the characters in this series, especially Phoebe's friend and work colleague Midnight who just doesn't give a flying fig about anybody but seems to come up trumps when needed. 

Phoebe is also worried about her job as there are rumours that the toy store is in trouble and I expect we will hear more about her boss's son (who is destined to take over the business from his father) as he is a bit slimy to say the least!

I loved the cliffhanger at the end of part two and can't wait for the next instalment! 


The Piano Man Project by Kat French 
Blog Tour



About The Author




Romantic comedy author for Avon UK. Kat lives in England with her husband, two little boys and two crazy cats. She loves all things romance - reading it, watching it, and most of all, writing it. Mildly addicted to wine and fairy lights.


She also writes steamy erotic romance as her USA Today bestselling naughtier alter-ego Kitty French. 


Review

I read Kat French's first book Undertaking Love this time last year and it was one of my favourite books of 2014 - great characters, funny and a little bit saucy! So when I heard about this book I was over the moon to be asked to review and be a part of the blog tour!

Firstly I would just like to say what a great cover this is! Really eye catching and love the colours!

Honeysuckle Jones (Honey) is looking for someone to really "do it" for her! She has two best friends, Nell and Tash, who mean well, but interfere in her love life a bit too far and set out to find her a man - one who can play the piano (as apparently they are good with their hands!!). 

Obviously things don't always turn out as planned and when Honey gets a new neighbour called Hal, things aren't going to run smoothly with a man who is drunk most of the time and has the manners of an alley cat.......

Honey has enough problems without having to go on blind dates organised by Nell and Tash. She is at risk of losing her job in a charity shop which is attached to a Care Home and even that is up for closure. 

The characters in this book are brilliant. Hal reminds me of Russell Brand (but in a good way!) and however much he tries to be a badly behaved rock star type, I couldn't help but love him! Everyone loves a bad boy don't they?.........

This is a great summer read and I really didn't want to finish it. Well done Kat, you have done it again with a brilliant easy, funny, fruity read! I loved it!

Thank you to Avon Books for letting me review this great read.

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Also available by Kat French