Down to the Sea by Sue Lawrence ♥ | #LoveBooksGroupTours

Hello, bookworms! Another book review for your today – I missed the original date then I was supposed to publish for the tour, I’ve not been around this weekend and all those alerts on my phone that I snoozed, didn’t help either.

Genre: Historical fiction
Year Of Publication: Feb 2019
Publisher: Contraband
Pages: 256
My rating: 3.5 ⭐⭐⭐

“Historical mystery set in Newhaven, Edinburgh with a dual timeline. One strand is set in the present day and the other in the 1890s, when superstitious fishwives blame a young girl for the deaths of their menfolk at sea, and she is forced into the Newhaven Poorhouse.”

In historical Newhaven, we follow Jessie who is sent to the poorhouse because of the mark she has on her cheek which branded her as a witch during those superstitious times. I could tell that there was a lot of research that went into this book and really appreciated how Jessie’s world came alive under my eyes. I am not going to say too much about it because I do not want to spoil anything.

The novel is told in dual narration/perspectives in two different time periods in Newhaven; one in the present day, one in the past. The novel is extremely atmospheric and I felt transported in the book, feeling what the characters were feeling. I am easily scared so I was concerned that I would be spooked by the contents, but rest assured that it’s nothing nightmare-inducing.

In the present day, during the 80’s, we follow a married couple who just purchased Wardie House with the intent to transform it into a high end caring facility for the elderly and I really enjoyed exploring these characters. I felt a lot more of a connection with them, maybe because it is more “present” day than Jessie’s.

All I will say about this book, as I do not want to spoil anything, is that it left me with a good feeling at the end. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t the best read of the year, however there was dedication for the story and characters within the pages, subjects that mattered to the author. The plot twists were quite predictable, especially for a more seasoned reader, but I still really enjoyed it and recommend it!

Xoxo
Jane

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#BookReview: Toffee by Sarah Crossan | 𝘎𝘳𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘢𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘥. @KidsBloomsbury

I am not who I say I am.
Marla isn’t who she thinks she is.

I am a girl trying to forget.
Marla is a woman trying to remember.

Genre: Poetry
Year Of Publication: 2 May 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 416
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Bloomsbury for gifting me this copy! Opinions my own, as always!

Alison ran away from home and takes shelter in the shed of an abandoned house, but the house isn’t empty. In this house is where Marla lives, and elderly woman suffering with dementia and then they meet she confuses Alison with her friend Toffee. So Alison becomes Toffee, but who is Alison anymore…?

@Jane_Kelsey

The only way I can describe Toffee is to compare it with a piece of classical music, the pacing slowly building up to a crescendo of emotions, not letting the reader go until the last page. A riveting story about the dark aspects of being human and the power of friendship.

𝘎𝘳𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘢𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘥.

What Sarah has achieved is more than mere good poetry or making the reader cry, she opened up a difficult conversation about loneliness, domestic abuse, but also of the hope that one can find strength in the most unexpected places.

Toffee is one the most empowering pieces of literature that I have read in the recent years and hands down on my top 10 books of 2019.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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#BookReview: A beautiful corpse by Christi Daugherty | @fictionpubteam

When I saw this gorgeoussss book cover on twitter a few months ago I knew I had to have it! Shallow, I know, but I love good covers and the title hooked me in and then I read the blurb so kept my eye out for it so when it came up on Netgalley – Thanks Netgalley –  I requested it ASAP. Thanks Harper Fiction for granting the request!

Genre: Mystery/Fiction/Thriller
Year Of Publication: 04.04.2019
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 384
My rating: 4 stars

Blurb:
It’s a thin line between love and murder… A murder that shocks a city…
Shots ring out on one of Savannah’s most famous streets. A beautiful law student lies dead. A case full of secrets and lies… Three men close to the victim are questioned. All of them claim to love her. All of them say they are innocent of her murder. An investigation that could prove deadly…
As crime reporter Harper McClain unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy, the killer focuses on her. He’s already killed one woman. Will he kill another?

cover150386-mediumHarper is one hell of a woman and I loved her balls! She is the centre of this novel and she was perfect for it. It’s a shame I did not realise when I picked it up that it was a sequel to another novel and now I’m too spoilt to read it because I adored Harper as a character, she was strong and fierce and vulnerable. Although the novel was a sequel, I didn’t realise it until there was mention of previous events which did not deter from my understanding of this novel at all – I really appreciated that, and there was enoughhss-LEtrench-34 information there to understand what had happened in the past. The scenes with the hot detective were all that I lived for: angsty as hell. There was a lot of emotional baggage and mystery in that relationship alone so I am subscribed to this series because I need to know what happens on this hot front.

This is a mystery/crime/thriller so there is enough murder to satisfy me, with plenty of suspects to choose from and added plot twists. I did feel like I was ahead a lot of the time and could see these twists just before they came into view so they weren’t really a shock to me and I kinda knew at some point kinda who it was and how it could’ve been done. Maybe I am just that good, or maybe that was the weak point of the novel. However, the writing was beautiful and the pacing was good, keeping me glued to the screen.

I will have to keep my eyes peeled for whatever Christi Daugherty will do next and this is one of those series that I need to follow. I am definitely hooked. Maybe I will even go and read the first book later this year once I will forget the details of this one.

Xoxo
Jane

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#BookReview: The Never Dawn by R.E. Palmer


“All his young life, Noah has longed to see the sky he’s only heard about in stories. For over one hundred years, Noah’s people have toiled deep beneath the Earth preparing for The New Dawn – the historic day when they will emerge to reclaim the land stolen by a ruthless enemy. 

But when Rebekah, the girl of his forbidden desire, discovers a secret their leader has been so desperate to keep, Noah suspects something is wrong. Together, they escape and begin the long climb to the surface. But nothing could prepare them for what awaits outside. 

Goodreads blurb
Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy for review

Genre: Dystopian
Year Of Publication: 05.08.2016
Publisher: FrontRunner
Pages: 352
My rating: 3 stars

In this story, we follow Noah who works in the underground hoping that one day they will be able to leave and see the sky that’s been promised again so we see Noah going about his day to day life until he finds out a secret he was not supposed to and meets Rebekah. I was slightly disappointed because I didn’t get to know Noah as much as I would’ve liked or any of the other characters, especially in terms of physical descriptions.

However, it was interesting to see Noah as he was trying to figure out what he wanted and go against the beliefs and doctrine of this world. Unfortunately, we do not seem to get to know Rebekah that much as we only get to see what Noah wants to see and he is smitten with her. I did like the role that she played in opening his eyes and pushing him to ask himself some questions and she becomes the catalyst of this story.

In this world, the workers are divided into different groups by sex and have to work and meet a certain quota for the parts they are meant to build for these machines that will help them get back on the surface of the world once the time is auspicious. It was strong 1984 vibes with the Mother as a figure of authority, control and hope in this society filled with rules and regulations and this were accomplished well as more often than not I would feel angry at this society and its limitations. I did like the Mother character for what it represented and how it sparked an internal conversation within the reader, however, I think that at times she showed some emotions that were too out of the character that she should’ve portrayed.

I had some issues with the pacing because it felt reaaaaally slow at times with events that seemed repetitive and could’ve done without, but overall I enjoyed it. I did not expect that ending so I was really impressed and I am curious about the sequel and how that’s going to look like.

Overall I enjoyed this book even if I had issues with things here and there and I would recommend it if you like slow-paced ya dystopian books reminiscent of 1984, but with a twist.

Do you have any Dystopian recommendations?

Xoxo
Jane

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#BookReview: One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence | Impossible times #1

By now, it must be well known that fact that I am in love with Mark Lawrence’s writing [if you haven’t read the Book of the ancestor series, what are you waiting for?!] so imagine my happiness when I received an ARC copy of One Work Kill; over the moon doesn’t even cover it.

Genre: Fantasy/Science-fiction
Year Of Publication: 1st May 2019
Publisher: 47North
Pages: 260
My rating: 5 stars +

Thank you Mark Lawrence for the ARC

In the winter of 1986, Nick Hayes is 15 years old and find out he has cancer, but things don’t end here because stranger things are happening. Not only having to cope with the reality of his diagnosis, but Nick and his D&D friends have to find a way to solve an impossible mystery and save the girl.

I honestly don’t even know where to start from because this book is so wholesome and sweet and funny. I had a fabulous time reading this and have felt sadness, anger, happiness, laughter all whilst reading One word kill.

Nick has a lot to deal with giving his cancer diagnosis, but what I liked about him that he has the resilience and the capacity to continue to laugh and enjoy life. John, Simon, Elton and Nick’s friendship is was so pure, and when Mia joins their little D&D group things do chance, but the direction in which it went it was so adorable and sweet; needless to say, made me think that I missed out on D&D and maybe I should rectify that.

The plot was entertaining and kept me on my toes the whole time. The writing is recognisable as Mark Lawrence… dark, gritty and full of dark humour. The storyline although easy to follow, it had complex elements of physics and mathematics that should’ve confused my brain, but it was very easy to follow and understand even for the uninitiated like me.

I absolutely loved the blend of fantastical and SF elements in this novel and I cannot wait for the sequel: Limited wish due for release on the 6th of June 2019. This year sounds like an amazing year to me already!

One word kill is described as Ready Player One meets Stranger things and I totally agree but do not let that fool you – it’s mainly a guide because One word kill is it’s own beast. There have been many years since I felt so many emotions when reading a book and I devoured this in a few days.

Are you excited for this release? Let me know on the comments down below.

If you want to find out more about it check Goodreads here.
You can follow Mark Lawrence on Twitter, Instagram, & website.

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#BookReview:Her brooding Scottish heir by Ella Hayes

Her brooding Scottish heir was a fun, light read and I did enjoy reading it, although I did have some issues with it, mainly stemming from the plot, lack of character development and pacing issues.

Genre: romance
Year Of Publication: 27.12.2018
Publisher: Mills&Boons True Love
My rating: 2.5 stars


A kiss under the Northern Lights…
Running from her broken engagement artist Milla O’Brien retreats to the Scottish Highlands. Only to arrive during a lavish wedding on the estate!
She finds the bride’s brother and brooding heir, Cormac Buchanan. Could they heal each other’s hearts?

(Goodreads blurb)

At the heart of a romance novel (for me) are the two main characters so it’s very important for me to get to know them, love them and understand their motivations, goals and background story. In this novel, I felt that I did not get to know the main characters as much as I would’ve wanted to, we get to know why they are the way they are, but everything seems to be linked only in terms of the romance, rather than them as a person on their own right. Milla was slightly annoying on a lot of occasions when she was offered help, but for the sake of the plot, she was being more difficult than it was called for. I do not like it when I can see the plot creeping into what the characters say or do as it has to serve a purpose – hate that. Cormac had his own moments, especially towards the end when he falls into the usual tropes!

The plot was convenient and simplistic, “forcing” the romance the romance between the two main characters most of the time. There were also some pacing issues in there as well; for example, the “dark moment” when all is lost and no turning back was resolved in 2 pages and rushed to a happy ending that felt so unrealistic I wanted to scream. I could forgive a lot more, but I was very disappointed with the climax and resolution of this story. 2.5 stars.

I think that with some more editing and solving those plot and pacing issues, it would be a good novel because the writing was not bad at all, actually. I enjoyed the dialogue between the characters and the descriptive parts of it.

What’s your favourite romance novel?

XOXO
Jane

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#BookReview: Cinderella’s New York Christmas | Romance – Retelling

Hi guys! I am super excited to share my thoughts on my latest read: Cinderella’s New York Christmas by Scarlet Wilson. I love reading romance and Mills & Boons/Harlequin are my favourites when it comes to reading choices, but I WAS NOT expecting to love this book as much as I did. Are you ready?

Genre: Romance, Retelling
Publication date: Oct 2018
Publisher: Mills & Boon / Harlequin
Pages: 256
My rating: 5 stars

cover144343-medium“Anissa Lang was going for gold when an accident ended her skiing dream. Now she’s cleaning mountain chalets–until she meets brooding millionaire Leo Baxter. He can’t resist whisking her to New York for a date, and under the twinkling Manhattan lights, these kindred spirits glimpse a new future. But they must confront their pasts before their Christmas wishes can come true!”

I honestly did not think that I would love this book as much as I did and I am super happy that I received an e-copy from the publishers to read & review it, and as always, my honest opinion! I know what I want from a romance novel and I rarely go wrong with my choices, but rarely comes a book so good that I know it’ll be a 5 start read immediately. I am so happy this book was written, is unreal! The blurb sounds really cheesy, but the book is sooo much more than that!

THE CHARACTERS….
MV5BMTk4OTIzNTc2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTUwNzg0MDI@._V1_UY268_CR9,0,182,268_AL_Anissa and Leo are so pure, I cannot even begin to describe… Anissa is a chalet maid and sky instructor after a terrible accident whilst competing left her with long-lasting damage. She meets Leo on the slopes and they have this instant chemistry that translated so perfectly to the reader – I felt it in my heart! Leo is a powerful billionaire who just met his new family and is shook after hearing what his parents left in the will and just wants to forget about everything when he meets Anissa.

I love Leo so much! He is the walking trope of tall, dark and handsome – and filthy rich!, however, he has so much character depth. From the beginning, he is as honest as he can with Anissa and they are very clear on what the expectations are. He is never malicious in his thoughts and is genuinely interested to get to know her better, to go things that would make her happy just because he is that kind of guy. He has a lot of emotional baggage, but that doesn’t stop him from being a decent human being with her.

Anissa, on the other hand, is still suffering from the aftermath of her accident and her 2x_e73b2495-e6df-4add-9db4-25a033971abf_1024x1024inability to ski at the levels she used to and this creates a lot of physical and emotional pain for her. She is very mature and reacts like an actual human being to the events around her, always keeping in mind the feelings of others and how her actions could affect those around her. As the story progresses we get a lot more insight into who she is as a person and how she has to re-adjust and re-evaluate everything which ain’t bloody easy, let’s face it!

Anissa and Leo are so cute and good for each other. I really appreciated the portrayal of their relationship and how healthily they reacted to each other’s feelings. It was pure, and I was there for it!

THE PLOT…
The plot is really simple and straightforward as this is a modern retelling of Cinderella, so we kind of know where this is generally going, however, it had the best characters to pull this story forward and make the reader empathise and feel what the characters are feeling.

THE WRITING…
I really enjoyed the writing style of this novel, it read so different than the kind of romance I am used to reading. There are romantic tropes in this novel [duh! It’s a romance] but somehow it felt refreshing and new and pure.

THE ENJOYMENT…
If you haven’t realised by now how much I love this book, then I failed!
I recommend this novel from the bottom of my heart, this is by far my top favourite romance of the year and possibly of all times. I will be looking up Scarlet Wilson’s other works as well in the hope that I will find something as good as this one. As soon as this novel comes out, I am going to buy myself a paperback copy because I need to have this on my shelf!

Xoxo
Jane

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