My Husband’s Lies by Caroline England

herhusbands

Length: 384 pages

Please note that the cover leads to an Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

On the afternoon of Nick and Lisa’s wedding, their close friend is found poised on a hotel window ledge, ready to jump.

As the shock hits their friendship group, they soon realise that none of them are being as honest with themselves – or with each other – as they think.

And there are secrets lurking that could destroy everything.
Tense, disturbing and clever, My Husband’s Lies is a breath-taking read, perfect for fans of Lucy Clarke and Erin Kelly.

The Review: There are times I loathe being a book blogger. It means you have to piece together your feelings for a book and how you like it and what you think other people will think of it and sometimes these things aren’t the same. I’m a cover girl. Covers play a HUGE part for me in picking a book, even though I read on a Kindle so the colour and sometimes the graphics are null and void. And so I leapt for this, what looked like a psychological thriller with some form of a murder/ suicide involved. It turned out to be more drama than thriller and left me a little disappointed. I have to admit the telling in present tense third person (as in ‘holding her breath, she crouches down’) put me off a little. It suited the start but then when I read on, I found it off putting, distancing me from what was going on, a group of people enjoying themselves at a wedding until it becomes clear that one of them is about to jump out of a hotel window.

The story itself is seemingly about Penny, who is having doubts about her husband. Given how I thought it would go from the blurb, I would have been happy had it continued with Penny’s story but from here on we are bombarded with characters. I’m a huge fan of character heavy books, but here there were so many and both in terms of voices (as in POV) and the actual dialogue there was just too much and I was confused pretty quickly. I had no descriptions to grab on to and so chose to go with ‘the pregnant one, the one having an affair’ etc. The characters were nearly all unlikable, and again I found myself very distanced from them. Reading may be about moving into another world but having so many people who showed no remorse for the pretentious way they acted just made me sigh. Every character had issues/a backstory which were sometimes sprang on you  and I have to admit at times I rolled my eyes with the introduction both of bad language (use of the ‘c’ word and people using the word piss and sh*t), abuse and drama that hadn’t been alluded to, though in hindsight for example with the mention of the church I should have known. The biggest issue was how well the author wrote, which I know sounds so weird after such an awful review (I honestly do feel bad), but the settings and the vocabulary used were fantastic and made me regret that it was a book I just didn’t warm to and I have to reiterate that others will love it.

Thanks so much to Netgalley and Avon for this book in return for an honest review

Rating: Unfortunately 2.5/5

Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly

openyoureyes

Length: 356 pages

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

What they say:

Haven’t we all wanted to pretend everything is fine?

Jane doesn’t like confrontation. Given the choice, she’d prefer to focus on what’s going well, the good things in life.

But when her husband, Leon, is brutally attacked in the driveway of their home, in front of their two young children, Jane has to face reality. As he lies in a coma, Jane must open her eyes to the problems in her life, and the secrets that have been kept from her, if she’s to find out who hurt her husband – and why.

Maybe it’s time to face up to it all. Who knows what you might find . . .

The Review: I opened this book, on the day of receiving a rejection letter to see, guess what? A rejection letter! This was the start of our insight into the world of Jane Campbell, who is an author looking for representation for her latest book. She has received none for any of her books to date and it smarts. She’s wondering if this is it for her as she considers a talk she once heard by the great Nick Hornby, who told a lady struggling with rejection (and obviously looking for a ‘keep trying’ comment) that maybe she should just find something different to occupy her time.

Actually if I had one thing that stood out for me with this book, it was that, as a writer, it is not very inspirational. It looks at the struggles of getting published, then the struggles of being published, as her husband Leon is, and all in all paints a very dismal picture, at no time providing the positivity we generally need to keep writing.

Now, as a reader, gosh what a book!(;)) So we are given a shocking start where Jane nips into the house, leaving her husband arguing with a neighbour and returns to find he’s been attacked, with the two children sitting in the back of the car unaware. The book is about Leon’s fight for survival, Jane’s dealing with knowing there’s someone out there who wants to hurt her husband and why, and also coming to turns with a new Leon, who isn’t the loveable bear he was before, while finding out some home truths about their life. I flew through this book, gobbling up every word, being thrown a number of times as I tried to figure out what had happened and jumping when Leon’s demeanor changed. Jane wasn’t the strongest or most likeable character I’ve ever met, and I found the ending wasn’t quite my cup of tea but all in all I really enjoyed and look forward to reading more from the author. Thanks so much to Transworld Digital and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

 

 

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

themarraige

What they say:

THE NEW RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB THRILLER AND SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER.

THE PERFECT HEART-STOPPING THRILLER . . .

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes your first big mistake.

How far are you willing to go for the perfect relationship?

Newlyweds Jake and Alice are offered a mysterious wedding gift – membership of a club which promises its couples will never divorce.

Signing The Pact seems the start to a perfect marriage.

Until one of them breaks the rules.

The marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Because The Pact is for life.

And its members will do anything to make sure no one leaves . . .

The Review: So this is the story of Jake and Alice, who invite Liam Finnegan and his wife, on a whim, to their wedding, and get a wedding present that they hadn’t bargained for, membership to an exclusive club built to allow members to reach a higher state of marriage, to avoid the pitfalls that all other marriages are destined to fall into. They, of course, accept, not realising that it’s not just a fun little club that tells you to remember to buy your spouse a gift regularly and to keep those marital relations going in the bedroom, but actually something more akin to a cult, where infringements can be deadly.

I’ll admit I started this book three times. The first time was my own fault, I was trying to read too many books at the same time and was starting to skim as opposed to taking in what was going on. The second it just didn’t take me and so, some months later, I tried again (I cannot stand dnfing!) and suddenly I was drawn in. This time I found myself invested in Alice and Jake’s story as they found out exactly what happens when you don’t follow the rules.

This book can be tough at times (in particular I balked when a straight jacket was pulled out), and I found Jake hard to take at times as you realised he was obsessed with his wife and wasn’t always against the way the Pact worked as he felt it was her showing her love (and duty?) to him to comply. He is a therapist and I adored the psychological aspect and ponderings in the book. I found it very enjoyable bar for Jake sometimes and to be hand also I  worried about what was going to happen and what lines might be crossed (there were some, it might be tough for some). Forgive me as this is an odd review but basically for people who like their psychology to head into science fiction/ culty territory, I think this may be for you. Thanks to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest (if somewhat wandering and odd;)) review.

Rating: 3.5/5

Our House by Louise Candlish

ourhouse

Length: 449 pages

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

What they say: FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE.
When Fi Lawson arrives home to find strangers moving into her house, she is plunged into terror and confusion. She and her husband Bram have owned their home on Trinity Avenue for years and have no intention of selling. How can this other family possibly think the house is theirs? And why has Bram disappeared when she needs him most?

FOR RICHER, FOR POORER.
Bram has made a catastrophic mistake and now he is paying. Unable to see his wife, his children or his home, he has nothing left but to settle scores. As the nightmare takes grip, both Bram and Fi try to make sense of the events that led to a devastating crime. What has he hidden from her – and what has she hidden from him? And will either survive the chilling truth – that there are far worse things you can lose than your house? 

TILL DEATH US DO PART.

The Review: Okay, first, read the blurb. Now. What in the actual frig? Do premises for books get better than this? Surely not! This is the story of Fi Lawson, who, yes, returns home after a few days away to find that there is somebody else LIVING IN HER HOUSE. It’s her house, yes, but someone else now owns it. They’ve moved their stuff in already and are ready to start their lives.

I settled into this book sooo quickly. I was indignant for Fi-who ARE these people and why are they here and what? They’ve decorated? What? Yes, I sound nuts but this was my thought process as I ranted with Fi, then went through all the possible scenarios-they’ve made a mistake with the house, they’re fake. I tried them all. I then nearly wept with poor Fi as what had really happened came to light.

Fi’s a character that you feel sorry for, she’s kind of  likeable, which sounds funny, but it’s true. Anytime you think her entitled, she reminds you of some of the stuff she’s gone through and sets you straight, which I loved. Her story is told through a pod cast and you also get to hear the opinions of the people listening.

Bram’s story didn’t always hold my attention, which was a pity, it was  just because I think at times there was a bit too much of the nitty gritty of how everything was done, but other than that I liked that you could empathise with him, even though you knew what he’d done. The fact that at the same time you were hearing Fi’s pov was brilliantly done, with both stories making  you wonder what’s going to happen until an ending you reach an ending that made me go ‘whoah!’ Out loud. Actually as an aside I think this would be amazing on audio, if done well, of course, and am actually considering it for pressies for people!

Thanks so much to Simon & Schuster UK and Netgalley for this book inreturn for an honest review

Rating: 4.5/5

The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin

thebirthday

Length: 417 pages

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

What they say:

USA Today bestselling author of The Girl Who Lied and Sister Sister

Dear Carys, Zoe and Andrea
Come and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises
the like of which you can’t imagine.

When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting.
One of them is hiding a secret.
And Joanne is planning to reveal it…

A weekend away in a cottage in the woods sounds like fun – until no one can hear your cries for help.

Four friends.
A party to die for.
Who will survive?

 

The Review: I had seen this book EVERYWHERE in bloggersville (a lovely place to visit!), and everyone there was gushing away and yet, I kept leaving it to the side. For whatever reason, I kept skipping over it. How much was I missing out?! (It’s okay, you don’t have to answer this question, the answer is loads!)

This is the story of a group of friends who aren’t really friends anymore, something has happened to separate them from Joanne, whose birthday it is. When they receive an invitation to her birthday, they’re a bit wary about going, but go anyway and it’s only when they get there that they realise it’s not exactly a spa weekend that they’re going on! With their phones taken to add to the adventure, we soon realise that someone has something planned for them, but with twists and turns that suddenly turn you from obvious culprits and lead you all over the place, including back to the obvious! This book never let up. When I realised that not only were they in a secluded location with no access to transport or communication, but also they had an expanse of wilderness to traverse, I was fully in! Excellent settings, brilliant characters that bounced off each other, creepy game playing … I loved this book! Thanks so much to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for this 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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#BlogTour #Review Behind a Closed Door by Adele O’Neill

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for Behind A Closed Door by Adele O Neill!

behindacloseddoor

Length: 454 pages

Links to buy

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ocWAgk

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2EMCq7n

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2HvfxD1

iBooks: https://apple.co/2EZ1Cqs

What they say: What if everything in your life was a lie? An emotionally tense story of love, loyalty,

betrayal and revenge. Perfect for the fans of Louise Jenson.

DUBLIN – For the past two years Jill Ryan has tried to keep her darkest secrets deeply

buried and remain relatively anonymous. Haunted by her tragic past and struggling

to keep her life together, Jill soon realises that the last person she can trust is

herself.

KILKENNY – Only Heather Martin knows the lengths her husband will go to teach her a lesson and Heather has had enough. Faced with the impossible choice of saving herself or staying to care for her ailing father, Heather has a choice to make. But does she have what it takes to survive?

When Detectives Louise Kennedy in Dublin and Tony Kelly in Kilkenny begin to

investigate, their dark discoveries collide unravelling a complex web of secrets that

stretch far and wide.

The Review: If you move in the same circles as me in terms of book blogs, Twitter and Amazon you’ll probably remember Brothers and Sisters , Adele O Neill’s first book which horrendously I still haven’t got to (I’m onto fixing that!). When I saw that her second book was up for request, saw it was with Aria and then found out there was a blog tour open, I jumped and most definitely wasn’t disappointed.

This is the story of Heather Martin, whose husband, Detective Mike Martin (I loved that he was a detective!) has terrorised her throughout their marriage. Mike is a baddy through and through, one of the bad apples on the force, who wants complete control over his wife and regularly uses brute force to get it. At the same time we see her relationship with her father Detective Inspector Edward Clarke, who is in a care home with Alzheimers. My heart (and my stomach) turned and twisted as I watched a one sided relationship, praying that her dad would respond in some way and see what his daughter was going through. I adored Heather’s dad so much.

The issue of domestic violence is at the heart of the book as we follow a dual timeline to see Heather in the past and then meet Jill Ryan in the present. Jill has been having nightmares and people are wondering if her boyfriend, Ben, is at fault. I loved meeting Jill and getting to know her whilst simultaneously watching Detectives Louise Kennedy and Tony Kelly try to solve Heather’s case (I’d definitely be up for meeting them again, I loved their relationship and Kelly’s wise approach to everything). The book really got me thinking as there’s a lot of times you think ‘this would all be cleared up if you just tell people the truth’ in it, and that was true, and it made you think of the character as being a little weak (and it did get tome a little that everyone constantly told her she was so strong), but then you hated yourself for thinking that as you considered what the character is dealing with.

The story was told in alternating third and first person, obviously as I said within two timelines, and I loved the dash to the end to see where they’d collide although personally I wouldn’t put this as an extremely fast paced read. The emotional side to this book took my breath away, and I loved the author’s voice and the way we got every characters take on things as they happened and so the book beyond flew for me.

The description above says this is perfect for fans of Louise Jensen, and while I see the comparison, I would say that this is more for fans of fiction that want to dip their toe into crime and thrillers as opposed to fans of thrillers, you know, the people who say they’d love to start reading a different genre. This book is perfect for them. Very much recommended. Thanks so much to Aria for this book in return for an honest review and for allowing me to be part of the blog tour.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

adeleoneill

Having lived and worked in the UK and Dublin since college, Adele now lives in her

home town in Co. Wicklow with her husband and two teenage daughters. She writes

overlooking the Irish Sea and is an active member of the Wexford Literary Festival

committee.

 Twitter: @Adelesbooks

Facebook: AdeleONeillBooks

Follow Aria (and do, because they are great!)

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Facebook: @ariafiction

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

NetGalley: http://bit.ly/2lkKB0e

Sign up to the Aria newsletter: http://bit.ly/2jQxVtV

And now, how about you follow the blog tour?

behindablogtour