Reader, I Married Me – Sophie Tanner

Thanks to NetGalley, Orion Publishing Group and Trapeze Books for the ARC of Reader, I Married Me! by Sophie Tanner.

When Chloe finds herself newly single, she turns to internet dating. After a particular uncomfortable date, she announces that she is going to stop looking for another person to make her happy, and is instead going to look to herself for that – with the ultimate commitment of marrying herself. With only a handful of her friends supporting her, Chloe finds herself the centre of a media storm, the focus of a tv documentary, and in charge of a scheme at work that finds her working as part of a charity helping to befriend eldery people facing loneliness, all at the same time as trying to focus on finding her true self and accepting herself just as she is.

I found this book to be a bit of a slow starter, but once I got to around a quarter of the way through, the pace picked up. It was an overall enjoyable read, with some fun moments and a general feeling of positivity and acceptance.

The story did feel a bit disjointed at times; I really liked the sections focussed on Chloe’s work with the befriending charity, but somehow these didn’t always gel with the rest of the story for me, and I think this probably could have been fleshed out into a separate book. On the whole, I found the characters unlikeable – with only a couple of exceptions – and Chloe was very naïve.

I was interested to find that the author actually did ‘marry’ herself, and that this book has been based on her own experiences.

3 stars out of 5

Reader, I Married Me! is released on 1 January 2019 in ebook and 16 May 2019 in paperback.

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The Rumour – Lesley Kara

Thanks to NetGalley, Random House UK and Transworld Publishers for the ARC of The Rumour by Lesley Kara.

When Sally McGowan was convicted of killing Robbie Harris at the age of ten, she was forced to assume a new identity for her own protection. Joanna has heard a rumour that, forty-eight years on, Sally is living in her town. She has no intention of spreading this rumour, but she needs to make friends with the other mums at the school gate and so shares what she has heard. Once the rumour is out, there is no way to contain it, and before she knows it, everything she holds dear is under threat.

This is a fairly solid debut novel from Lesley Kara. Told mostly from Joanna’s perspective, occasional newspaper articles and thoughts from Sally McGowan add further layers to this story. It is easy to feel Joanna’s unease when she realises what she has unleashed, and these sections were pacey and well-written. I suspected almost every character at some point, and only right at the last minute were my suspicions correct.

I found the last section of the book a little absurd and slightly too far-fetched. I also am not a fan of books that cut out when the action is all happening and move to some time later as this one did, as I almost feel that the author has got me to this point and then deserted me at the final hurdle.

The conclusion of the book also didn’t sit well with me, although I can’t quite put my finger on why. I think the ending would have been better without the last couple of pages, though.

3 stars out of 5

The Rumour is released in ebook format on 10 December 2018 and in hardback on 27 December 2018.

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

Thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group for the ARC of The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.

Alicia Berenson, renowned artist, deeply loves her husband Gabriel. So it’s a surprise to everyone when, one night, she shoots him five times in the head. After this, she falls completely silent. She is moved to a psychiatric unit, The Grove, where she meets psychiatrist Theo Faber. Although all of Alicia’s treatment to date has failed, Theo is convinced he can get her to speak, becoming increasingly drawn in to the crime in his quest to discover the truth about what really happened.

This story is told mostly in first person narrative from Theo’s perspective, which allows the author to immerse you quite deeply into Theo’s world. Occasional diary entries from Alicia written in the weeks before Gabriel’s death give an insight into her world and her mindset, and allow the reader into parts of the story that Theo hasn’t discovered yet. Brilliant supporting characters also made this story come to life.

This story is fast-paced, and kept me guessing. I read a lot of psychological thrillers, and I honestly didn’t see the twist coming, until – WHAM! – there it was, and I was kicking myself for not spotting it earlier. I’m looking forward to reading this again after publication to collect all of the clues that I’m sure are there, but that I missed on the first read.

A brilliant debut from Alex Michaelides, and with the film rights to The Silent Patient already sold, I think the future is bright for this author.

5 stars out of 5

The Silent Patient will be published on 7 February 2019 (ebook and hardback).

The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley

Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for the ARC of The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley.

Each year, nine old friends get together to ring in the new year. This year, they have decided to visit a remote lodge in the Highlands. As they begin the celebrations, cracks start to appear in their relationships as they find they are maybe not as close as they once were. As the new year begins, one of the friends is murdered. They are completely cut-off from the outside world, meaning the murderer is one of them and, worse, they’re hiding in plain sight.

This story is told from multiple viewpoints and moves between the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, before the murder, and New Year’s Day, after the murder. It has been written in such a way that, as the reader, you don’t know who the victim is until very late in the book, nor – of course – who the killer is. This keeps the suspense level high, as many of the characters have potential reasons why they may have been killed, and why they could be the killer. The setting is so claustrophobic, which only serves to add to the creepiness.

I was hooked from the first page of this book, and only got drawn in more as it went on. I didn’t find any of the characters very likeable, but I think that was the point. I did work out the main twist quite early on, which was a little disappointing, and I also spotted a few other things coming before they were officially revealed, and that’s the only reason why I haven’t awarded the full 5 stars.

4 stars out of 5

The Hunting Game will be published on 3 December 2018 (ebook), 24 January 2019 (hardback) and 19 September 2019 (paperback).

Roam – C.H. Armstrong

Thanks to NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for the ARC of Roam by C.H. Armstrong.

When Abby’s mum makes a terrible mistake, the whole family leaves Omaha and moves to Rochester, hoping for a new start. However, money is tight, and Abby, her mum, step-dad, and little sister are homeless, having to resort to sleeping in their van and getting charity meals wherever they’re available. Abby starts a new school, and hopes this will be a clean slate, meeting new friends and a new love interest. But Abby lives in fear that her secret will be uncovered and that her new friends will desert her as her old ones did.

This book is a perfect read for teens and young adults. The characters are well-developed, and you can’t help falling in love with them (I had a particular soft spot for Abby’s little sister, Amber). I felt such sympathy for Abby and her family, and there were some sections where I just wanted to get in there and help to fix things for them. There are some lovely life lessons wrapped up in the storyline, and the overall theme of acceptance and forgiveness is one that I think is so important. Overall, a really heart-warming, uplifting tale.

4 stars out of 5

Roam will be published on 5 February 2019.

Ginger Snapped – Chloe Sunstone

GingerSnapped BB

Congrats to Chloe Sunstone on the release of her exciting Cybercrime Thriller, Ginger Snapped!

Read on for more details, an exclusive excerpt, and a fantastic giveaway!

Ginger Snapped - eBook small.jpgGinger Snapped: A Cybercrime Thriller with a Shocking Twist

Publication Date: 22nd October 2018

Genre: Thriller

How does an amazing professional opportunity descend into a living nightmare?

Carefree Ginger’s motto of “Work Hard, Play Harder” shapes her life. So when her husband, Jake, gets a job offer on the other side of the country, she is up for the adventure.

But after Jake accepts the promotion, nothing is as expected. While Ginger remains in Cleveland to sell their house, she is plagued by strange prank calls, premonition-like nightmares, and the feeling that she is being watched. Is Jake’s new job putting her in danger?

Unfortunately, she ignores her intuition and soon finds herself face to face with a ruthless killer. Trapped in a deadly world of corporate corruption and murderous greed, she must overcome her own fears and rely on her wits if she plans to survive.

Although the first in the Ginger Gibson series, this is a standalone book.

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Excerpt

Oh No! I’m back. I am surrounded by inky black nothingness. The air is musty…damp, my nostrils fill with the smell of dank basement. Like in a haunted house, filled with saws and chains and bloody hooks, this is the perfect place for any psycho to hide his tools of the crazy trade. I’m trembling, from the all-encompassing fear, eating at every cell in my body.Where am I? My fingers search out for clues. Beneath me is a thin mattress on a hard surface. My head rests on a concrete-like pillow. My breathing escalates as the panic rises in my chest. I open my mouth to scream, but only a muted croak escapes. Over the thunder of my pounding heart, I hear a booming crack, a gunshot. I recognize the sound from a trip to the range with Jake years earlier.

I swing my legs over the side of my perch, thinking in my blind panic to run even though I cannot see. I can’t ignore this intense urge to flee. But my impulse is thwarted by an unknown restraint trapping my left arm, a rope? Panic has me in its grip. I gasp for air to fill my lungs but produce only whimpers and muted pleas.

A loud screech reverberates through the darkness. Rats? Oh, please, no rats! Could this get any worse? Hysterical, I yank relentlessly on the rope tethering me. With each tug, the line cuts deeper into my skin. My arm warms as blood seeps from the gouges, coating my hand and fingers. Behind me, the pounding sound of footsteps startles me. Before I can turn to confront my visitor, I feel the rush of air preceding the impact to the back of my head. A blaze of bright stars then, a different blackness envelopes me.

Available in Paperback & Kindle

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

About the Author

Chloe_Sunstone

After over twenty years in Human Resources, Chloe decided to make a change. She returned to her first love of writing. She combined her corporate experience with her love for the written word to create engaging cyber-crime thrillers.

On a personal note, Chloe lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her loving husband, Mike. They spend their free time boating, scuba diving, and of course, reading. Her latest cybercrime mystery, Ginger Snapped, is available on Amazon.

Chloe Sunstone | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

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The Christmas Lights – Karen Swan

Thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for the review copy of The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan.

Bo and Zac, known collectively as the Wanderlusters, are Instagram-famous. With over 9 million followers watching their carefully curated online lives (run by their photographer/manager Lenny), they travel the world, aiming to live like locals rather than tourists. This is how they come to find themselves living on a shelf farm in Norway during off-season, a feat made possible only because 90-something-year-old Signy took a booking that she really shouldn’t have. When Signy’s grandson Anders agrees to act as tour guide, the Wanderlusters are guaranteed to get some spectacular shots for their Instagram followers, but everything is not quite as it seems.

Entwined with Bo and Zac’s story is that of 14-year-old Signy. Working on a farm with some other girls from her village, Signy can sense danger. But can she stop it before it’s too late?

I found the first 20% or so of this book quite slow, but once I got past that, I couldn’t put it down! This might seem like typical chick-lit, but there is more than a hint of thriller-esque suspense dotted throughout.

Instagram influencers are obviously quite a hot topic at the moment, and so this book feels very timely. The author showed the reality behind the glamour, which I feel is important. Zac and Lenny are portrayed as being particularly obsessed with ‘the brand’, and this made them very hard to like. Bo, on the other hand, I feel like I got to see a softer side of, and so I warmed to her. Signy and Anders, in contrast to the Wanderlusters, are so far removed from this lifestyle, and are both easy to like.

I didn’t enjoy the storyline concerning Signy’s childhood as much, and found myself looking forward to getting back to Bo and Zac while I was reading these sections. I would definitely have enjoyed the book the at least the same amount, maybe more, if those interludes hadn’t been there, as I felt like it slowed the whole thing down and didn’t add much. This is the only reason why I haven’t awarded the full 5 stars.

4 stars out of 5

The Christmas Lights is out now.