Sunday, 16 January 2022

Unfaithful by J. L. Butler | Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a proof copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links.]

Unfaithful by J. L. Butler 
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 6th January 2022

Blurb:
A FATAL attraction…
Rachel Reeves has it all. The perfect family, a rich husband, and a gorgeous home. But when her only child flies the nest, Rachel feels lost – and succumbs to a mind-blowing one-night stand.

With a DEADLY twist…
Instantly regretting her infidelity, Rachel cuts ties with Chris. But he won’t let her go that easily. She erases him from her life – until a text changes everything.

And an UNFORGETTABLE end…

Someone knows what she did.
And they’re ready to destroy her entire life because of it.

Review:
Rachel Reeves is a stay at home mum, married to Robert who is the CEO of a property firm and they have a daughter called Dylan who is heading off to university. Having an empty nest prompts Rachel to ask her old friend Serena about the possibility of a job opportunity in book publishing, where she worked all those years ago, before becoming a mother.

After securing a job and attending a party, Rachel bumps into Chris, her old flame from her university days. They spend the night together and even though Rachel says she doesn't want to see Chris again, her whole life begins to unravel. Someone knows what she's done and they are following her and sending her messages. 

This book started really strongly and I was intrigued by where it was going to go, but it sort of just missed the mark for me. Maybe I've just read too many thrillers! 

The story was very fleshed out and there was a lot of background to characters that could have been reduced down a bit. I love a twist but for me there were probably too many red herrings. It is a slow paced book which I struggle with too. I have given it an extra star solely for the ending because I was genuinely surprised by it.

Not my favourite, but not the worst either!




Thursday, 13 January 2022

Seven Days In June by Tia Williams | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

Seven Days In June by Tia Williams 
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 1st June 2021

Blurb:
Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget, and seven days to get it all back again...

Eva Mercy is a single mother and bestselling erotica writer who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning novelist, who, to everyone's surprise, shows up unexpectedly in New York.

When Shane and Eva meet at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but also the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can't deny their chemistry - or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years.

Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect - but Eva's wary of the man who broke her heart, and wants him out of the city so her life can return to normal. Before Shane disappears though, she needs a few questions answered...

Review:
What a book to start the year with and thank you Tia Williams for making me feel every emotion.

Firstly, the hilarious prologue drew me in. I just knew this writing style would be for me. 

32-year-old Eva Mercy, previously known as Genevieve Mercier, is a best-selling erotica writer famous for her Cursed series. She is also mother to her 12-year-old daughter Audre who she shares with ex-husband, Troy. 

Shane Hall is a now sober author who is struggling to write after giving up his vices. He keeps himself to himself in the author world and spends his time teaching English and mentoring young teens at schools in "bad" (for want of a better word!) areas.  

Seven Days In June delves into their backgrounds both together and apart. As seventeen year olds they spent a week together but they were both very troubled. They were bad for each other. Meeting now is the first time they have seen each other in fifteen years and their lives have changed drastically. 

Believe me when I say that this book had a grip on my heart. I read the entire thing in a day as I was so invested in their relationship.

There is a wonderful focus on Black authors and stories in the publishing industry and I enjoyed reading about Eva's struggles with her illness. It was new to have a main character like this.

I must add trigger warnings for self-harm and drug abuse. 

Seven Days In June is a beauty and my heart both aches and is full at the same time. 




Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult - Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book to take part in a readalong with Tandem Collective UK. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult - 4/5
Blurb:
"Diana O'Toole's life is going perfectly to plan. At twenty-nine, she's up for promotion to her dream job as an art specialist at Sotheby's and she's about to fly to the Galápagos where she's convinced her surgeon boyfriend, Finn, is going to propose.

But then the virus hits New York City and Finn breaks the news: the hospital needs him, he has to stay. But you should still go, he insists. And reluctantly, she agrees. Once she's in the Galápagos, the world shuts down around her, leaving Diana stranded - albeit in paradise. Completely isolated, with only intermittent news from the outside world, Diana finds herself examining everything that has brought her to this point and wondering if there's a better way to live.

But not everything is as it seems..."

Review:
Wish You Were Here is a book of two halves. I have read a few books now that incorporate the coronavirus pandemic into them but it isn't the main focus. This book is mostly about the pandemic and virus. It is clear that a hell of a lot of research has gone into it, both from a Galápagos point of view and covid one.

Diana is a 29 year old art assistant who works at Sotheby's in NYC and her boyfriend Finn is a surgical resident. The coronavirus pandemic has just hit but Diana doesn't expect it to be a serious thing (much like how we all felt back in early March 2020!). 

The two had planned a trip to the Galápagos but Finn chooses to stay, anticipating a surge in hospital cases and urges Diana to go on without him. This first half is absolutely beautiful. Picoult writes Isabela Island so well that I could imagine myself being there and, although isolated as the island is in lockdown, it still sounds blissful.

We go into the second half and it is very covid-heavy. At the time of reading I actually ended up having to go for a covid test and England's restrictions got tighter. It feels like a very hard read even almost two years on because it's still all so real life. Finn's experiences working in a hospital at the peak of the pandemic are brilliantly written.

Despite my thoughts on it being hard to read, it is a beautiful story about self-discovery after a difficult time. One I would definitely recommend, but avoid if reading about covid or self-harm are triggering for you.




Sunday, 14 November 2021

The Lost by Simon Beckett | Blog Tour Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

The Lost by Simon Beckett - 4/5
Blurb:
A MISSING CHILD

Ten years ago, the disappearance of firearms police officer Jonah Colley's young son almost destroyed him.

A GRUESOME DISCOVERY

A plea for help from an old friend leads Jonah to Slaughter Quay, and the discovery of four bodies. Brutally attacked and left for dead, he is the only survivor.

A SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH

Under suspicion himself, he uncovers a network of secrets and lies about the people he thought he knew - forcing him to question what really happened all those years ago...

Review:
I can't believe I've never read any of Simon Beckett's books before. This is just brilliant!

Firearms officer Jonah Colley receives a call from old friend and colleague Gavin McKinney, who says that he is in trouble and needs his help. Gavin and Jonah haven't spoken in ten years but Jonah decides to go because he realises it must be serious if Gavin chose him to call.

He goes to the, aptly named, Slaughter Quay to find Gavin dead alongside other people who have been suffocated in plastic bags. Jonah manages to overpower the assailant and escape.

After waking up in hospital injured, DI Fletcher and DS Bennet question Jonah and it becomes apparent that they believe that Jonah has something to hide.

We learn that ten years earlier, Jonah's four-year-old son Theo goes missing from a park. Jonah suspects a "down and out", who he later learns is named Owen Stokes, has taken him. 

Whilst trying to clear his own name, Jonah looks into why Gavin called him that night and is surprised to discover that Owen Stokes may be something to do with it. At the same time, Fletcher and Bennet are investigating Jonah and he seems to just make things worse for himself.  

I was completely engrossed in this story from the beginning and I could not guess where it was going. You can feel Jonah's frustration when everything he is finding out is being turned against him by the investigating officers.

I love a fast-paced thriller and I cannot wait to read more from Simon Beckett.



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A massive thank you to Compulsive Readers for having me on the blog tour and to Orion Books for providing me with a copy of the book. You can find information on where to find reviews by the other bloggers taking part in the graphic below.