• Book review: Forget Me Not by Claire Allan

    Monday, May 20, 2019 Permalink

    I’d had a bit of a reading break when I picked up my iPad to read an advance copy of Forget Me Not by Claire Allan. And of course, instinct kicked in and I had to keep turning page after page (well, electronic page after page) until I’d finished the book.

    It was the kind of read that – at about three-quarters of the way through – I thought an earlier prediction re the whodunit had been right – but then Allan introduces a twist I didn’t see coming.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

    Monday, May 13, 2019 Permalink

    I have to admit to being kinda vexed by this book. I’d normally shy away from a book set in the mid 1800s… not being a fan of historical fiction ‘n’ all. But something about the book must have appealed for me to have requested it and the blurb does set the scene for a creepy but intriguing tale.

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    three-stars
  • Book review: Hush Hush by James Patterson and Candice Fox

    Monday, May 6, 2019 Permalink

    I missed the first book in this series (Never Never) but have adored both Fifty Fifty (2017) and Liar Liar (2018). In those reviews I comment on what I think is Candice Fox’s influence or role in the creation of the lead character as I really (really) like Harriet Blue, our enigmatic but troubled lead.

    Fox excels in creating amazingly complex (not to mention annoying but likeable) characters and has done the same in her Crimson Lake  and Eden Archer series. Of course the short chapters and pace of the novel reflect the style for which James Patterson is known.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: Life Before by Carmel Reilly

    Saturday, May 4, 2019 Permalink

    This was one of those “I have no idea what I’m about to read” type books. I mean I’d read the backcover blurb and it sounded like something I’d enjoy but wasn’t quite sure what direction the book itself would take. Would it be creepy? Would there be some horrible family secret involving the main character’s desperately evil brother? Or, is there some other reason the pair are estranged: did the SHE perhaps do something; and is riddled with guilt as a result?

    And I have to admit I don’t mind going into a book without knowing where I’ll be led.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: A Dream of Italy by Nicky Pellegrino

    Monday, April 29, 2019 Permalink

    I’ve read a couple of Nicky Pellegrino’s books, One Summer in Venice and Under Italian Skies, and I enjoyed both. Of course it had long been my dream to travel to Italy. It was my big bucket list item and since reading those books I’ve been able to tick it off my list as I spent just over 3wks in Italy last September / October including a fabulous week at a Tuscan villa.

    Pellegrino lived in Italy (and England) before settling in New Zealand and her passion for Italy – its culture and cuisine in particular – shines through in each of her novels.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Gift of Life by Josephine Moon

    Sunday, April 28, 2019 Permalink

    I hadn’t requested this book when it was first offered as I think I assumed it was a romance novel or about babies / childbirth. Both of which are kinda sore points for me much of the time.

    It wasn’t until later I discovered it was about the recipient of a heart transplant and the wife of her possible donor. It’s a subject I know a little about as my father had a heart transplant (in December 2000) when he was 61, and it gave him 11 additional years with us until he passed away in late October 2011.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

    Thursday, April 25, 2019 Permalink

    Oh my goodness oh my goodness. Well usually I’d say something far more blasphemous but I’m trying to start this review in a vaguely professional manner so too many ‘f’ words first-up might be a bad thing.

    I broke my ‘no reading during the day’ rule for this book. I’d been doing chores and got sweaty, so decided to pop into the bath for a soak and a very short half-hour read before getting into my afternoon plans.

    Three hours later I closed this book.

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    four-half-stars
  • Book review: The French Photographer by Natasha Lester

    Tuesday, April 23, 2019 Permalink

    I’d had this book for a while before I read it as I’m participating in a blog tour for this latest release by Natasha Lester, The French Photographer. It means I’ve seen a few reviews around, including a negative one in mainstream media which Lester shared just after the book’s publication.

    I was surprised by that as this is possibly my favourite book by Lester; although it might be a toss-up between this and A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald, and I think that is because the subject matter is ‘meatier’ than her two more recent novels. (If that makes sense!)

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    four-half-stars