The Friend by Teresa Driscoll

thefriend

Length: 293 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

The chilling new psychological thriller from the #1 bestselling author of I Am Watching You.

On a train with her husband, miles from home and their four-year-old son, Ben, Sophie receives a chilling phone call. Two boys are in hospital after a tragic accident. One of them is Ben.

She thought she could trust Emma, her new friend, to look after her little boy. After all, Emma’s a kindred spirit—someone Sophie was sure she could bare her soul to, despite the village rumours. But Sophie can’t shake the feeling that she’s made an unforgivable mistake and now her whole family is in danger.

Because how well does she know Emma, really? Should she have trusted her at all?

Time is running out. Powerless to help her child, still hours from home, Sophie is about to discover the truth. And her life will never be the same.

 

The review: Following my  gush about I am Watching You , I quickly turned to this ‘The Friend,’ which was again being lauded all over the place. Unfortunately it didn’t make the same impression, although I most definitely will look out the author again. This is the story of Sophie, who has moved to Tedbury with her husband and her son. Sophie has befriended Emma and her son and Emma’s son are close in age. We meet Sophie on a train, inconsolable after hearing that the two boys are in hospital, with one in a very serious condition, except they can’t tell Sophie which is hers and which is Emma’s. From the start I was excited and thrilled. We were brought back to how Sophie and Emma met and walked through their friendship, with some mysteries appearing that made us see that maybe Emma wasn’t the trustworthy friend Sophie thought she was. While I enjoyed the narration of the story, I’m afraid  the I found the ‘aha’ moments to be slightly over dramatic and not quite as worthy of mistrust as the reader was told to believe. There were a few parts where I thought we were being led to something and then not enough materialised. All in all it was enjoyable but didn’t quite live up to either the description or the previous book. Saying that as I said before I would look out the author’s next offering. Thanks so much to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for the book in return for an honest review

Rating: Unfortunatley a 3/5

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The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

thewife

Length: 353 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement.

It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves.

The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

You will be wrong.

The Wife Between Us is the first collaboration between Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen; a gripping thriller with film rights sold to the creators of The Girl On the Train.

The Review: With a blurb like that there’s every reason for this book to have gripped a lot of bloggers and readers, unfortunately it wasn’t for me. I suppose another thing about the blurb is that it means I can’t really tell you much about the book, except it is the story of a wife and her husband and a replacement for the wife.

In the book we are watching as Richard, the perfect husband, makes a new life with another woman. We are led to believe that his ex wife is a mess that he could not in the end, cope with, hence they are no longer together. This book is a roller coaster ride. At times you do not know who is speaking as you find out more and more about a marriage that was the definition of toxic. You do not know who is telling the truth or what happens, but that is slowly drip fed to you. I honestly see why it has so many fans. There are twists and turns and then you go back to an event, but, as I said, you are given more information that makes you formulate a new opinion. It is very well done, and I most definitely appreciated the twists when they happened, but to be honest, I couldn’t take the fact that another ‘oh by the way this also happened’ moment would be thrown in. The book felt too long and although I had a lot of ‘didn’t see that coming’ moments that impressed me, ultimately I found it way too drawn out and was relieved when I finished (sorry but it’s true). Thanks to Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 2/5

#BlogTour #BookReview #GIVEAWAY Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green

Cover

Length: 127 pages

Purchase from Amazon UK

Purchase from Amazon.com

What they say: Fleeing from a romance gone wrong, Ellie Farmer arrives in the pretty little village of Sunnybrook, hoping for a brand new start that most definitely does not include love! Following an unscheduled soak in the village duck pond, she meets Sylvia, who runs the nearby Duck Pond Café. Renting the little flat above the café seems like the answer to Ellie’s prayers. It’s only for six months, which will give her time to sort out her life, far away from cheating boyfriend Richard. But is running away from your past ever really the answer? Clashing with the mysterious and brooding Zack Chamberlain, an author with a bad case of writer’s block, is definitely not what Ellie needs right now. And then there’s Sylvia, who’s clinging so hard to her past, she’s in danger of losing the quaint but run-down Duck Pond Café altogether. Can Ellie find the answers she desperately needs in Sunnybrook? And will she be able to help save Sylvia’s little Duck Pond Café from closure?

Review: This is the story of the Ellie Farmer  who is visiting the village of Sunnybrook for personal reasons and realises that she has fallen in love with the place. And I have to say, I fell in love with it too!

From the quirky cafe (renovation alert-you know I love big renovation projects!), to the ‘artisan’ bakery, to the gorgeous little duck pond itself, to the great cast of characters, I was so taken with this book and thrilled to  a) be part of the blog tour that promotes it and b) see it was part of a series and so I’d get to visit again!! The instant we met Ellie, I was in. In, in, in! With sparkliness and comedy from the off, it was totally up my street.

As well as all of that I’m always a fan of cliches done well and there’s a few in this book that made me nod along and smile. Ellie has a romantic history that has made her decide that men are off the cards, and I welcomed the unexpected romance, which I thought was both well done and nicely explained! I was a bit worried about her mum, and to be honest I’m not the biggest fan of such serious issues (dementia) being introduced to light-hearted books, but that’s just because I’d rather a book like this to have pure escapism form serious issues. Saying that it was well done and added to the general warmth of the book.

A lovely, lovely book that has made me decide to go back to my roots for Chick Lit May so many thanks to both the author and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review. Roll on the next book!

Rating: 4.5/5

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!

Win wooden Duck ornament and chocolates (Open to UK Only). 

During each day of this blog tour, each clues will be revealed to the true identity of Rosie Green.
Today’s Clue is:

‘Among the Treetops’ is the place to find love in my latest book!

In order to enter, you need to follow Rosie Green on Twitter, RT this tweet (here) and then take a guess using the hashtag #WhoisRosieGreen 

You may guess more than once.
All entries using the hash tag will be entered, and the giveaway closes 23:00 BST 12th April
The identity of Rosie Green will be revealed on twitter after 12th April as will the giveaway winner.
Good luck and don’t forget to look at posts on other days of this tour, for more clues.

About the author

Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all, unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Twitter

 

Fitful Head by C J Harter

fitful

Length: 432 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal buy link for the book

What they say: Imagine you lose your mind… and something’s waiting to take its place.
Isobel Hickey’s husband, Richard, was intense, exciting and crazy, and she wants him back. The problem is she can’t have him: he died two years ago in circumstances too painful to remember. Now, she must keep going on for teenage children, Ben and Melissa, and her dog, Brodie. But how can she when nothing makes sense anymore? When she’s haunted by ghostly footprints in the snow, and a sinister stranger who knows too much about her?
When a mute old woman speaks from her death-bed, she plunges Isobel into terrifying danger, a nightmare chain of frightening events where Richard’s secrets lurk and threaten Isobel’s sanity. Now she has to fight to save her children from an insidious evil she doesn’t understand. She must uncover who, or what, is haunting her. But is she strong enough or will she succumb to its malevolent desire?

The Review: If you remember I reviewed Rowan’s well on this blog , and adored it (see review here ), and so when I was offered this for review I jumped! You can read from the above blurb that this is a book designed to absolutely freak the frig out of you and yes, it did just that!

This is the story of Isobel, who is sleep walking through life following the death of her husband, Richard in the way only way a mum can, pushing through, marching forward, while having dreams that are disturbing, vivid and frequent. From the off of this book I was unsettled, but in that brilliant, “what the frig is going on” and “what’s going to happen,” way. Her dreams were the type that you had to try to figure out, was the person in them a friend or foe, were the remembrances or even related to whatever had happened to her husband? The settings were perfection, the writing exquisite, with passages that made me read twice, all the while nodding along.

The everyday in this book was done so well that I had that recurring thought I have with most thrillers/ horrors, which is, ‘God I wish she’d write a rom com!’ because while you’re enjoying it you know that soon things are going to get out of hand, and it’s not like a movie where you can hide and listen, you have to experience every-single-moment. And my gosh when things got out of hand, did they! An old dying lady suddenly speaking words that are relevant to Isobel, a doctor caller that Isobel can’t see, a cuckoo clock spinning out of control-nb NOT a spoiler as you have to experience every single one to get the full impact!) I loved that she had someone on her side to confide in, and that they in turn wanted to figure out the entity, as too often when stacking up the odds authors try to isolate their characters too, and it never grabs me as much.

There were times I forgot that there were paranormal, although those times became more and more fleeting, and that was when I was smacked with something that gave me a shock. At one stage I had to switch books at night because there was the image of someone in my head and I couldn’t sleep! So so creepy, gripping and all in between in the run up to an ending that was brave and excellent. This book took me a few days to read on account of the creep out factor but my gosh it was worth it. Thanks so much to the author for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Where The Missing Go by Emma Rowley

wherethemissing

What they say: MY NAME IS KATE.

I volunteer at a missing persons helpline – young people who have run away from home call me and I pass on messages to their loved ones, no questions asked.

I don’t get many phone calls, and those I do are usually short and vague, or pranks.

But today a girl named Sophie called.

I’m supposed to contact her parents to let them know their child is safe.

The problem is, Sophie isn’t safe.

AND SOPHIE IS MY DAUGHTER.

*****************

If you like Clare Mackintosh, Katie Marsh, Kerry Fisher, Jenny Blackhurst, Rachel Abbott, Laura Marshall, Elle Croft, Cara Hunter or Lisa Jewell then you will be utterly gripped by this psychological thriller with a massive twist you won’t see coming.

The Review: There are times you sit to write a review and you look through your notes and highlightings and struggle to piece together exactly how you felt when you read a particular book. This is not the case here. Instead as I opened the book I had a blast of the things I adored as they pelted me full force from the beautiful, simple descriptions that left you under no illusions as to the love  of Kate Harlow for her daughter Sophie, who disappeared from her home, to the insights into what happens when somebody goes missing.

You know I very rarely play the ‘I won’t tell you too much in case I spoil it for you’ card, but honestly here, I think it’s the way to go. I will tell you that this book is a little bit different to most I’ve read in that you have some clue as to what happened to Sophie when she went missing (holds breath trying to stop from saying it) and also that the moment her mother, who works at a helpline for missing people, gets the call is set up perfectly!

If I could have read this in one sitting I most definitely would have but, as it was I flew through it, absolutely invested in every single word leading to a conclusion that I had set up in my head totally wrong and that was brilliant. Most definitely a favourite book of mine for this year and one I’ll be recommending to anyone who wants a thriller! I hope hope hope there’ll be plenty more from this author. Thanks so much to Orion and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

The Reunion by Samantha Hayes

thereunion

What they say:

They were all there the day your sister went missing… Who is lying? Who is next?

THEN – In charge of her little sister at the beach, Claire allowed Eleanor to walk to the shop alone to buy an ice cream. Placing a coin into her hand, Claire told her to be quick, knowing how much she wanted the freedom.

Eleanor never came back.

NOW – The time has finally come to sell the family farm and Claire is organising a reunion of her dearest friends, the same friends who were present the day her sister went missing.

When another girl disappears, long-buried secrets begin to surface. One of the group hides the darkest secret of them all…

If you love Sue Fortin, Gillian Flynn and The Girl on the Train, this psychological thriller packed full of twists and turns will be impossible to put down.

The Review: I had heard so much about this book and so was absolutely thrilled when I was approved. This is the story of Claire, who has decided to help her dad, who is struggling, by having a  reunion of her friends and family. I loved the coming together of everyone and the everyday, which was as readable as the suspense. There are many voices in the book, one in particular, which, even now, I found to be eloquently and stand outishly done, with an innocence and fragility that was mind blowing.

As you are meeting everyone you have in the back of your mind that someone possibly had something to do with the disappearance of Eleanor, and the author most definitely lays a number of foundations so that you’re patting yourself on figure out what happened to poor Lenny, before you’re sent off in another direction. Actually I feel I have to add at this stage that I think some of the traps laid were never explained, that or I missed them, but I was gripped enough by the book that I don’t think I missed anything. There were a lot of characters, although for the most part you had them clearly enough drawn in your mind that that didn’t matter.

A lot of reviews have said they worked out what happened early on and I have to say fair you-know-whats to them, because I most definitely didn’t! I read this over two nights and was absolutely loathe to put it down. Thanks so much to Bookouture and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

#CoverReveal Watching You by Lynda Renham

And now for my second reveal of the day! I’m always quick to jump for a Lynda Renham book- from chick lit to thrillers, you’re always guaranteed a book you’ll be sucked straight into (see here for all my Lynda Renham reviews and guest posts)! This, Watching You, will be available to pre-order from Friday and is out April 5th!

What they say:

Ewan Galbreith is out of prison.

Libby Owen is scared.

Fifteen years ago she saw him shoot her aunt and uncle with their own shotgun.

Now, he’s coming for her.

watching

About the author

thumbnail_pKTCLgh8_400x400LyndaRenham

Lynda’s books on Amazon

Lynda’s website

Lynda on Facebook

Lynda on Twitter   (@Lyndarenham)

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