Sunday, February 27, 2022

Forget Me Not by Claire Allan

I disappeared on a Tuesday afternoon. I was there one minute and the next I was gone. They've never found my body...


It's six in the morning during the hottest summer on record when Elizabeth O'Loughlin, out walking her dog, comes across Clare, a victim of a horrific knife attack, clinging onto life at the side of the road.


Clare dies minutes later, but not before whispering her haunting last words to Elizabeth.


When it becomes clear that Clare's killer has more than one murder on his mind, Elizabeth has to take drastic action or face losing everything.


But what if she can't stop a killer determined never to be forgotten?



This was Tsundoku Squad’s February read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that instead of stopping at the end of week 3’s part, I missed the stopping point and finished the book!


I do love a good thriller, and this one was a good one. The amount of twists, and moments I shouted out and gasped! Elizabeth was a great character, and I think my favourite throughout. The main character really is a lady named Rachel. She, Clare and Julie have been best friends for years, since school. They are wrapped into this murder in ways they can’t imagine, and it was so fun trying to figure out what was happening!


Claire Allan knows how to confuse you and surprise you, and I’ll gladly read another of her books.


I gave this book a big 5 stars, Tsundoku Squad gave it. Check out Em’s collective group review over on emandherbooks.com

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Meet Me At The Wedding by Georgia Toffolo

Lily loves living in Hawke’s Cove, and planning her best friend’s wedding at the Hawkesbury estate is the icing on the cake. But when the estate’s owner dies, and his son cancels the wedding, Lily must face Henry Hawkesbury – a man she hasn’t seen since that fateful night ten years ago…


Henry wants nothing more than to return to Hawke’s Cove, sell his estranged late father’s estate and leave. He certainly does not want to host a wedding, or face Lily, who gets on with everyone – except him!


But when Henry needs Lily’s help, she will only provide it if the wedding can go ahead. Working together means both must face their pasts, and, in doing so embrace their future. But can two people afraid of love acknowledge what they have always wanted…?



I received a copy of this from the publisher Mills and boon, and Netgalley in return for an honest review. 


I love Georgia’s ‘Meet Me…’ series, and was so excited to get the last one, although also a bit gutted it’s the last one. This one was just as good as the others, and it wraps the story of the four girls up nicely.


The girls are all amazing in their own way, but I’ve been waiting for Lily’s story. And it did not disappoint. Lily sounds like an amazing woman, and Henry started off a bit of an ass, but redeemed himself after not too long.


I love the way the Estate is described, but the surrounding areas too like the waterfront. I pictured it all beautifully in my head, and it feels like the type of place a week away would be lovely. It was so good to see all of the girls and other characters from the other 3 books, all together again, and to hear more about what happened on that fateful prom night.


If you haven’t read these books I suggest you go buy them as they’re such good, romantic, happy books. I hope Georgia writes something else as I have fallen in love with her writing.


Thanks again to Mills and Boon, and Netgalley for my arc. 




Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Will by Will Smith

One of the most dynamic  and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had

Will Smith's transformation from a fearful child in a tense West Philadelphia home to one of the biggest pop stars of his era and then one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood history, with a string of box office successes that will likely never be broken, is an epic tale of inner transformation and outer triumph, and Will tells it astonishingly well. But it's only half the story.


Will Smith thought, with good reason, that he had won at life: not only was his own success unparalleled, his whole family was at the pinnacle of the entertainment world. Only they didn't see it that way: they felt more like star performers in his circus, a seven-days-a-week job they hadn't signed up for. It turned out Will Smith's education wasn't nearly over.


This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Written with the help of Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Will is the story of how one exceptional man mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world's biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home. The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts Will the book, like its author, in a category by itself.


I love Will Smith, and have done since I was a kid listening to his awesome tunes, and diving in front of the TV to watch The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. So I was really excited to start this book. I gave it 4 stars.


I really did love learning about Will’s early life. There were so many things in the book that I had no idea about. I never knew how him and Jazzy Jeff became friends. But they made an incredible duo, and the story of their friendship was a lovely thing to read. 


One thing I noticed about Will, and this is not a criticism, is he seems rather big headed in the book! But, he is Will Smith, one of the biggest movie stars/tv stars/rappers, so he is allowed to blow his own trumpet once in a while. But yeah, he came across a little big headed sometimes, but it took nothing away from how much I love this dude. It was really interesting to read about how life turned out for him and very quickly too, and how easy it is for money and fame to go to your head. A basketball court in his living room? There were so many fun stories, like Jeff’s broken leg and the removal of his casts! I bet these guys have so many more stories to tell.


All fun aside, there were some really poignant moments, and I cried quite a bit towards the end. It was the chapters about his Dad, and even though their relationship wasn’t always the best, god do it break my heart reading through those last moments. His and Jada’s love is another thing completely. If you read it you’ll know what I mean. I think they seem like such an amazing strong couple, and they could take on the world together.


If you like biographies, I’m sure you’d like this one. Will is funny, loving and caring, and honestly a loving memory of my childhood. Thanks Mr Smith, I really enjoyed reading about your life.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

What is wrong with you?’

Laura has spent most of her life being judged. She’s seen as hot-tempered, troubled, a loner. Some even call her dangerous.


Miriam knows that just because Laura is witnessed leaving the scene of a horrific murder with blood on her clothes, that doesn’t mean she’s a killer. Bitter experience has taught her how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Carla is reeling from the brutal murder of her nephew. She trusts no one: good people are capable of terrible deeds. But how far will she go to find peace?


Innocent or guilty, everyone is damaged. Some are damaged enough to kill.


Look what you started.




I read this book as a buddy read with my good pal Kath. It was also on my 22 in 2022 list so that’s another one crossed off! 


I really enjoyed this one. I loved Paula’s last book Girl on The Train, so I was really eager to buy this when it came out. The story is a fab thriller type book full of twists and turns. There were a few times I thought I knew what was going on, who done what, but turned out to be wrong. I loved the character Irene, I think she was my favourite. She was a very sweet little old lady and I would have loved to have been her friend. I also really liked Laura, a down on her luck girl who has an awful past bless her. The more you find out about her, the more I just wanted to hug her. But she has her faults and has gotten herself into a bit of trouble a few times. 


I also really liked the ‘novel’ elements in the book, the pages in between chapters which are part of a novel from within the book.


If you like thrillers and whodunnits, I think you’ll like this one. I gave it 5 stars in the end. I was going to go 4 as personally I did find a couple of things a bit cliche, but honestly I don’t care, the story pulled me in and I couldn’t put it down, so 5 big stars from me!

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary

 

Three women. Three dates. One missing man...


8.52 a.m. Siobhan's been looking forward to her breakfast date with Joseph. She was surprised when he suggested it - she normally sees him late at night in her hotel room. Breakfast with Joseph on Valentine's Day surely means something... so where is he?


2.43 p.m. Miranda's hoping that a Valentine's Day lunch with Carter will be the perfect way to celebrate her new job. It's a fresh start and a sign that her grown-up life is finally falling into place: she's been dating Carter for five months now and things are getting serious. But why hasn't he shown up?


6.30 p.m. Joseph Carter agreed to be Jane's fake boyfriend at a colleague's engagement party. They've not known each other long but their friendship is fast becoming the brightest part of her new life in Winchester. Joseph promised to save Jane tonight. But he's not here... 


Meet Joseph Carter. That is, if you can find him.



I received a copy of this book from the publisher Quercus Books, and Netgalley in return for an honest review.


We read this as Tsundoku Squads January book, our first book club pick of 2022. 


I found the book started off quite slow. I wasn’t sure how much I was enjoying it really, until it came to week 3, and boy did week 3 end on a corker!! It was an unreal place for us to end that weeks sections dn i know a few of us were eager to get onto the last part, so I think a few of us finished it quick after week 3 discussion. I know I did, and in the end I really did enjoy it.


The timelines changing in the book did confuse me a little, which doesn’t usually happen, but by the end you know where you are, what’s going on,and who is where etc. One good thing I’d like to mention about the book is that Beth has written it so well, you really don’t know where it’s going, and it throws you once you figure it all out.


Did I tear up? Yes. Did I smile though? Yes. I’d recommend giving this one a go, and I’m looking forward to reading more of Beth’s books!


I gave it 4 stars, and the group gave it 4 stars too!


Thanks again to Quercus books and Netgalley for my e-arc.


Make sure to check our Em’s collective group thoughts over on her blog emandherbooks.com







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