Saturday, 20 January 2018

Aphrodite's Tears by Hannah Fielding Blog Tour review


From Goodreads

In Hannah Fielding’s latest novel a young archaeologist who travels to the remote island of Helios to investigate an ancient shipwreck, becomes caught in a web of dark obsession, mystery and seduction.

In ancient Greece, one of the twelve labours of Hercules was to bring back a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides. To archaeologist Oriel Anderson, joining a team of Greek divers on the island of Helios seems like the golden apple of her dreams.

Yet the dream becomes a nightmare when she meets the devilish owner of the island, Damian Lekkas. In shocked recognition, she is flooded with the memory of a romantic night in a stranger’s arms, six summers ago. A very different man stands before her now, and Oriel senses that the sardonic Greek autocrat is hell-bent on playing a cat and mouse game with her.

As they cross swords and passions mount, Oriel is aware that malevolent eyes watch her from the shadows. Dark rumours are whispered about the Lekkas family. What dangers lie in Helios: a bewitching land where ancient rituals are still enacted to appease the gods, young men risk their lives in the treacherous depths of the Ionian Sea, and the volatile earth can erupt at any moment?

Will Oriel find the hidden treasures she seeks? Or will Damian’s tragic past catch up with them, threatening to engulf them both? 
(Name change from Goodreads Damian Theodorakis, is now Lekkas)
My thoughts
Hannah Fielding has written an epic style love story set around the Greek Island of Helios. It's apparent to see that Hannah Fielding has an affinity with the Island as she writes about the surroundings with a passion for description and while reading the story you feel that you have been transported there. It's a great way to escape from the dreary wintery weather that we are experiencing at the moment.
Oriel Anderson has been employed by Damian Lekkas a wealthy Greek businessman, to head up a team of divers, as they search an old submerged wreck looking for any historical artefacts that may be lurking there. 
What Oriel doesn't realise is that she has met Damian in the past, albeit very briefly. As Oriel takes up residence in the Lekkas property, she begins to realise that not everyone is happy with her being there. The tensions bubbling under the surface can be felt when certain family members are around, making Oriel feel uncomfortable.
As Damian is keen to pursue Oriel romantically, will she surrender to his charms over time or will other people stand in his way? Like a Greek tragedy will Oriel and Damian have a happy ever after or will fate have other plans for them.
I really enjoyed the writing style of this story and found it to be very reminiscent of how love stories used to be written, it felt quite nostalgic in a good way to read it. The descriptions of what the characters were wearing and how the encounters between the characters were handled, feeding you enough description without the graphic at times gratuitous style that we as readers have got used to now was a joy to read. What a lot of Authors forget is that as readers we have got an imagination and we don't always need all the details written on the page to make us see in our heads what is actually happening between the characters. Sometimes less is more and that is certainly the case in this story. I will be reading more books by this Author in due course as this one was a refreshing change.

I was sent an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review. The above opinions are my own. 

The book will be available in e-book, hardback and paperback on 25th January and is published by London Wall Publishing. The paperback will be available at £7.99 on 25th January.

Hannah Fielding has written other books which are all readily available now. If you enjoy Aphrodite's Tears then why not check out one of her others.

Hannah Fielding can be followed on the following social media sites.

Twitter: @fieldinghannah

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Tall Chimneys by Allie Cresswell


From Goodreads

Winner of the prestigious One Stop Fiction Five Star Book Award, Tall Chimneys is the new novel by Amazon #1 best-selling author Allie Cresswell.

Considered a troublesome burden, Evelyn Talbot is banished by her family to their remote country house. Tall Chimneys is hidden in a damp and gloomy hollow. It is outmoded and inconvenient but Evelyn is determined to save it from the fate of so many stately homes at the time - abandonment or demolition.

Occasional echoes of tumult in the wider world reach their sequestered backwater - the strident cries of political extremists, a furore of royal scandal, rumblings of the European war machine. But their isolated spot seems largely untouched. At times life is hard - little more than survival. At times it feels enchanted, almost outside of time itself. The woman and the house shore each other up - until love comes calling, threatening to pull them asunder.

Her desertion will spell its demise, but saving Tall Chimneys could mean sacrificing her hope for happiness, even sacrificing herself.

A century later, a distant relative crosses the globe to find the house of his ancestors. What he finds in the strange depression of the moor could change the course of his life forever.

One woman, one house, one hundred years.  
My thoughts
Spanning a 100 years this book tells the story of Evelyn Talbot, her family and the remote country family home known as Tall Chimneys.
Evelyn has several siblings and to the family she appears to be somewhat of a burden, it's felt that one way of dealing with her is to send her to Tall Chimneys and so belongs a long and at times frustrating love affair with the house.
The Author has given the house life, it's got a character all of it's own. As Evelyn gets older, she appears to become more and more attached to the house, not wanting to leave the safety that the house gives her. Despite several opportunities along the way, some which she'd rather forget about and put to the back of her mind.
The Author has a way with words and can paint a picture in the readers mind of what the house looks like and the state of repair of it as the years take their toll on it. This is a very well written story that offers the reader so much. The characters are well developed and some you will learn to love, while others you will hate with a passion.
I gave this a very well deserved 5 stars or 10/10 and I am sure this story will make it in to my Best of 2018 reads. I look forward to reading more books by this Author in due course. Thanks to the Author via The Book Club on Facebook for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

A Hidden Affair (Jordan Weiss #2) by Pam Jenoff


From Goodreads

PAST WARS, PAST LIVES, PAST LOVES . . . CAN WE EVER REALLY LET THEM GO . . . AND SHOULD WE? Ten years ago, U.S. State Department intelligence officer Jordan Weiss's life was turned upside down when she was told her college boyfriend, Jared, drowned in the River Cam. In a shocking discovery, though, she realizes that things weren't as they seemed and that she had been lied to and betrayed by those closest to her. Reeling from the shock-- and the knowledge that Jared is still alive--Jordan resigns her State Department post and sets off in search of answers. Traveling to Jared's last known whereabouts on the French Riviera, she encounters Nicole, a mysterious woman who flees after refusing to disclose what she knows about Jared.

Following Nicole across Europe, Jordan soon discovers that she is not alone in her pursuit-- Aaron, a handsome and enigmatic Israeli, is chasing Nicole for his own cryptic reasons. Though distrustful of each other, Jordan and Aaron join forces on a journey that takes them half a world away, and only steps ahead of grave peril.

As Jordan draws closer to finding the answers that have eluded her for a decade, larger questions remain: Can she reconcile her attraction to Aaron with her unresolved feelings for Jared, the only man she ever loved? Will the truth be too devastating to handle or finally set her free?

Will she have a chance at happiness at last? Thrilling, romantic, and impossible to put down, "A Hidden Affair "gives us a brave and relentless heroine who never gives up on her search for the truth.  

My thoughts

I enjoy reading books by Pam Jenoff, she has the ability to tell a good yarn whether it's one of her more historically based books or one of the more contemporary ones set in slightly more modern times.

This book follows on from The Officer's Lover (aka Almost Home) and continues on with the story of Jordan Weiss following the disclosure of certain secrets from her past, that she was unaware of at the time.

As Jordan goes on a journey to try and make some sense of the information that she now has, she is once again thrown into a world of secrets and lies that could lead her towards a discovery that she needs to make in order to move on with her life and put behind her once and for all her past.

As Jordan tries to unearth the reasons why someone in her past faked their own death, she is thrown together with Aaron (Ari) a seductive Israeli private investigator, who has a mission of his own to fulfil that could see them on the same course.

I gave this a 3 stars or 6/10 and feel that whilst the story was enjoyable, that it didn't quite deliver to it's full potential. It did bring to a conclusion the story of Jordan and Jared her past, giving some hope for Jordan and her future happiness.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Tabula Rasa (A Lambeth Group Thriller #5) by Gordon Bickerstaff


From Goodreads

A hundred years ago, a wealthy family of visionaries prophesied the devastation that global warming would bring to world food supplies in the 21st century. They decided to prepare for the worst, and embark on an ambitious plan of revolution.

Lambeth Group agents, Zoe Tampsin and Gavin Shawlens, prepare to investigate the unusual death of a government defence scientist. Someone is determined to stop them before they get started. Zoe uncovers two unfamiliar words, Tabula Rasa. The only other clue is the curious behaviour of the dead scientist's son, Ramsay.

Posing as a couple, Gavin and Zoe enter the secret and dangerous world of Ramsay's aristocratic guardians, headed by philanthropist billionaire, Lord Zacchary Silsden.

What Gavin uncovers, shocks him to the bottom of his soul. Does he have the courage and the conviction to stop the greatest revolution in human history? What Zoe discovers about Gavin—words can't describe. Zoe is faced with an impossible choice, but one thing is certain, she will not hesitate to do her duty, no matter the cost. 

My thoughts
My thanks to the Author via TBConFB for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. I gave this an 8/10 or 4 stars.
This is the first book that I've read by this Author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found Zoe Tampsin to be a modern day agent in the tradition of a female James Bond. I could see this playing out like a Bond film. With a great mix of goodies and baddies with an interesting thought provoking premise to boot.

This book is a roller coaster of a ride that will take you along with it, it's well worth grabbing a copy and catching up with the Lambeth Group if you've already read other books in the series or take the opportunity to meet them for the first time.

This book is part of a series, that could be read as a standalone. However, if you read the series in order then you'll have the back story of some of the returning main characters that have appeared in other books in the series.

Since reading the book I spotted that the Author mentions Ian Fleming amongst his influences, this is of no surprise at all.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by Jojo Moyes


From Goodreads

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.      

My thoughts

I gave this an 8/10 or 4 stars. I enjoyed the story, sadly I saw the film before I actually got round to reading the book. So I knew the story well, if I'd not seen the film first the story might have scored higher. Note to self read the story first, then watch the film adaptation.

Lou was a breath of fresh air to the Traynor household, that appeared to have had life sucked out of it after Will's accident. The previously independent Will had returned to live with his parents in an annex, so that they could help care for him.

Lou was employed by Will's parents as a companion for him. Her colourful; clothing and outgoing personality it was hoped, would possibly help Will change his mind about his future.

As Lou gets to know Will it takes time for her to break down the barriers that he had erected around himself. As the two become better acquainted it's apparent that a battle of wills will ensue as both are determined individuals.

I enjoy Jojo Moyes's books and she has a knack of telling a darn good yarn. I can see why this was made into a film and I feel that the actress playing Lou was very well cast, I don't remember too much about the actor who played Will, what I do remember though is that he was very easy on the eye.

I am looking forward to finding the second in this series as it's hiding from me at the moment, and once found I will immerse myself in the continuing story.  This could be read as a standalone should you wish.

One Love, Two Stories new books by Amanda Prowse

Anna: One Love, Two Stories by [Prowse, Amanda]

Today was the day that bestselling writer Amanda Prowse decided to do a cover reveal for two new books.

In a Twitter, Facebook and media storm. Avid readers, reviewers and bloggers were asked to take part in a media frenzy.

Tweeting the following on her behalf.

Bestseller @MrsAmandaProwse presents One Love. Two Stories. First read #Anna a girl you’ll fall in love with then read #Theo a boy looking for someone to love. Two worlds, two lives, two novels that collide to create a masterpiece.

This sounds a fab premise and I for one am looking forward to reading the books when they become available next year in March.

They are available to pre-order now.,p_82:B0086DTS7Y

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Always Golden by Gina Dickerson


From Goodreads

Being a princess is both a blessing and a curse…

Growing up in a castle, Oriana was accustomed to the security of living within its walls…until the day an evil tore through the fortifications and shattered her perfect world.

Wanted by a ruler known as “The Collector” Oriana now has a battle on her hands to escape his clutches. With The Collector’s best tracker hot on her heels, Oriana is forced to fight for her freedom while trying to work out why she is so desirable to The Collector.

One problem is that Oriana didn’t expect her heart and head to also be at war. Will she do what’s right for the kingdom, or is she at risk of losing not only the realm but also her heart?

Oriana is about to discover life as a princess is most definitely not always golden…

'Always Golden' is a dark retelling of the French fairy tale, 'The Story of Pretty Goldilocks'.

My thoughts

Thanks to the Author via TBConFB for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review.

I gave this a 4 star or 8/10. I enjoyed this rather dark retelling of an original French fairy tale, known as The Story of Pretty Goldilocks.

Oriana is the central lead character, she is a princess with a mane of long golden hair. Her hair is her crowning glory. She has had all the privileges that someone of noble birth is born into, all that is about to change as someone has her in his sights.

As The Collector tries his best to get his hands on Oriana, the story takes us on a journey of adventure and magical happenings the outcome of which, you will have to read this for yourself to find out.

Well written I found this an enjoyable yet dark tale which kept me guessing and engrossed from start to finish.