Book Review – Three Christmases

You know when you’ve read a good book and then have that desire for “a little bit more”  – the need to have a little peak into the future of the characters you’ve grown to love… well once in a while an author kindly pens us this little look and today’s review is one such book.

I reviewed the original book Things We Never Said by Nick Alexander and was thrilled when he released the sequel short Three Christmases at Christmas and I eagerly downloaded it, although I am sorry to say I actually forgot to read it until this weekend!

ThreeBlurb: This is a sequel to Things We Never Said, a feel-good, short-story-length (52 printed pages) glimpse into the future for all those readers who have been begging to know what happens next.

Following the death of Catherine, husband Sean, daughter April, and best friend Maggie start to move on with their lives.
Discover what the next three years hold in store for all the characters you came to love in Things We Never Said.

Rating:  5/5

My thoughts:  This is a satisfying short glimpse into the lives of the characters we loved in the original novel and, as the title suggests, it takes place over three separate Christmases. So what happened next? Did Sean and Maggie finally get together, how has life turned out for April… well, of course, I’m not going to tell you as that would be an ultimate spoiler – all I can say is, read it for yourself – you wont be disappointed!

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Book Review – World Circus

Another sunny weekend means only one thing – time to relax and read. Which now means time to share with you all my thoughts on the book I have just finished.

World Circus by Charles W Jones

This is the third, and final, instalment of the Circus World Trilogy and I have reviewed the first two parts: Book one Circus Tarot and Book Two Page of Buckets

WorldCircBlurb: For the final installment of the Circus Tarot Trilogy as well a tie in with Hydrangeas on the Lanai (Charles W. Jones), inspired by Clive Barker’s Weaveworld, Charles brings World Circus. Bizarre events won’t allow Susie to return to World Circus, and she discovers at the same time, she is no longer Page of Buckets, leaving her with the question of “who am I?” Each time she closes her eyes to sleep, she learns more and more of how the strange world and its inhabitants were created. An unsettling vision of a massacre leaves her shaken, leading her to the woman who created the Circus Tarot.

 

Rating:  4/5

My thoughts:  So at last the trilogy draws to a close and piece by piece we learn the origins of this strange world.

Time has passed and Susie learns that her role in the circus is about to change, she just doesn’t know who she is to become and the truth is revealed slowly through a series of strange, and often disturbing dreams.

I must admit that I didn’t quite enjoy this book as much the previous two but that said it was still a well crafted tale and it was satisfying to discover where this strange world originated. The flipping between the different times took a little getting used to but that became easier the more you read.

All in all a pleasing ending to a strange and imaginative series that might make you look at clowns a little differently – unless, that is, you are already afraid of them 🙂

Book Review – Mannethorn’s Key

There is something about a nice sunny Sunday afternoon that just demands sitting out and enjoying a good book. The last few lovely weekends have been spent reading and enjoying Mannethorn’s Key by Simon Lindley

ManneBlurb: Slumped over the toilet bowl in his slum apartment, Bart’s high-rolling lifestyle isn’t exactly coming up roses. Alcohol, affairs, and a skill exploited for short-term gain have rewarded him with divorce, bankruptcy, and unemployment.

A world away, a wizard-apprentice confronts a foe as threatening as the once-dominant age of Dragon’s Rule. But to triumph, he will need Bart – a washed-up derivatives broker – plucked from a last-ditch job interview and thrust into a testing ground, where a knight with a penchant for lopping off heads will either groom him for the world beyond or murder him in the process.

Exiled dragon-lords, grass-eating giants, impetuous warriors, troll assassins, ribald dwarfs, evil men, and vengeful women seek to save themselves from a flawed world of failing magic. With hungover Bart at its epicenter, what can possibly go wrong?

Trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykKjOoLmqOE

Rating:  6/5 (I know that’s not really allowed but some books just deserve the extra point!)

My thoughts: Bart’s life is a mess, unemployed and living in a run down apartment the only relationship he has is with the bottle – not exactly what a hero is made of. A hero is exactly what he needs to become if he’s going to help battle the evil growing in another world.

It took me a couple of chapters to properly settle into this book. I think with fantasy novels set in other worlds you need a bit of time to get to grips with who (or what) the characters are but as I read further I became completely immersed in this fantastical world. There are several story lines running, all of which slowly begin to entwine each one adding to the others.

The characters are a varied bunch, human like and not, good and evil or often a little bit of both, and Bart is our touchstone. The “normal” man trying to understand exactly what is going on while hoping he can find his way back home.

If you’re a fan of fantasy then you will love this book. If you’re not a fan of fantasy just try it anyway, you might well become a fan!

The only thing about this book that was disappointing was getting to the end and realising the next instalment is not yet out!

*Sits waiting patiently for part two*

Book Review – Kai by Michelle Abbott

It is once again time for me to share with you a review of my latest read – and this time it’s “Kai” by Michelle Abbott

KaiBlurbMy name is Kai Okamoto. I deal drugs. Trade escapism for cold, hard cash.
Born to a British mother and a Japanese father, I grew up poor, hungry, and alone. Hiding from the monsters at our door. The debt collectors.

I’ve worked hard to escape my past. I’m not that frightened little boy anymore. I’m wealthy, secure, and sure of myself. At least I was, until I met Lily.

Lily is a good girl. The kind of girl I should stay away from. I should, but I can’t.

I hate lying to her, but if she finds out who I am, what I do. I won’t see her for dust.

A standalone, bad boy romance, set in England.

Rating:  4/5

My thoughts:  Lily is a nice “ordinary” girl. When she gets her bag snatched, taking the last of her money, she thinks life has hit rock bottom. Then she meets Kai, the handsome, mysterious stranger who returns her bag and quickly charms her. Instead of a stolen handbag Lily quickly becomes the victim of a stolen heart.

Kai seems to be the perfect man, handsome, charming, kind and generous. Unfortunately he has a secret that could tear their relationship apart.

I enjoyed how this story unfolded, the narrative alternating between the two characters view points so we had a full picture, even if they didn’t.  It was well written and an easy read which kept me turning the pages to see how things would unfold with realistic relatable characters.  Well worth a read!

 

Book Review – Deception by Bill Ward

Here I am again with the latest of my book reviews and today I have the third book in a series by Bill Ward – this time the book is Deception (Powell Book 3)

Blurb:  POWELL IS BACK IN A HEART POUNDING STORY THAT WILL LEAVE YOU BREATHLESS.
DeceptionThe Americans aren’t happy with the changing political climate in Britain. Elements of the CIA and MI6 enter into a conspiracy to help shape the thinking of the British public.
Meanwhile ISIS has a plan to bring terror to the streets of Britain.
Powell is caught in the middle when he offers help to a former lover, whose life is in danger. Soon it becomes evident, someone will stop at nothing to see them both silenced.
Unsure who can be trusted, Powell must act to save the lives of his friends and right a terrible wrong.

Rating:  5/5

My thoughts: After having read the first two of the Powell books I had no hesitation in reading this third instalment, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The writing is as strong as ever and the story holds your attention from the very first page. Powell’s life is thrown into chaos when an old lover comes to him for help, little does he realise just how dangerous things are going to become.

The threat of terrorism is growing steadily but the culprits might not always be as obvious as suspected.

This is a brilliant read and I am already looking forward to what dangers Powell finds himself in next.

Book Review – No Fairy Tale by DL Finn

And so, as 2017 draws to a close I can share with you my last book review of the year. I am happy to tell you about “No Fairy Tale: The reality of a girl who wasn’t a princess and her poetry” by D.L. Finn

NoFairyTaleBlurb: You are invited into D.L. Finn’s life, written through a princess’s viewpoint. While it’s usually assumed in fairy tales that the princess is beloved by all, this is one princess who doesn’t feel loved. She dreams of a moment when her father will walk through the castle door, sweep her up in his arms and proclaim how much he misses her. That never happens. Instead, she is introduced to a new step family. Just like in the fairy tales, this is where the story takes a dark twist; where addiction, abuse and adolescence thrive together in retched misery. From her lowest point as a hopeless fourteen-year-old girl who gives up all hope– comes a spark of faith. This is where she begins her quest for a happy ending.

Although the princess ends her very real fairy tale, D.L. Finn steps in and shares her thoughts, poetry and photographs. This entire narrative is the author’s reality from childhood through adulthood. She maintains the privacy of those involved while hanging on to her truth.

Trailerhttps://youtu.be/6AFDkwDWP4Y

Rating: 4/5

My thoughts: This is an unusual style book – the first half being a memoir while the second is a collection of poetry and photography.

The memoir section of the book is told in an imaginative way by giving it a fairy tale setting – the lead character (and author of the book) is played as a princess, but sadly her castle is not the happy home of many fairy tale princesses and she struggles through many difficulties before we can claim that ‘happy ending’ we do so desire.

As with most memoirs, particularly those written by “ordinary” people, I find it a brave step to share your innermost secrets and to allow strangers into the darkest corners of your world. This poor princess certainly has a difficult start in life, faced with issues such as abuse, alcoholism, teenage rebellion, combined with medical issues as she becomes an adult but we are left feeling that she comes out of the other side of it stronger for each experience. It might not be the best written memoir but it has a grittiness that really speaks to you.

The second half of the book is a collection of differently styled poems, scattered with several photographs. Some of the poems have a real connection back to the memoir, while others are less specifically reflective. A couple I really enjoyed were The Bearded Old Man and Reader (I’m sure all authors will recognise the sentiments in the latter of those!)

This book is certainly worth reading and deserves my four stars

If you want to get a copy then clicky here:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Fairy-Tale-reality-princess-ebook/dp/B01JP3TP1C/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

If you want to know more about the author then your click needs to go here:  https://dlfinnauthor.com/

 

And as this is my last post of 2017 it seems a good time to wish you all the best for 2018 – may it bring you all of those things you wish for yourself 🙂

Book Review – Things We Never Said

 

Time has come again to share my thoughts on a recent read… so let me tell you about Things We Never Said: An unputdownable story of love, loss, and hope” by Nick Alexander

SaidBlurb:  “One day, we’ll be dead, and we still won’t have known each other. Not properly. Because no one ever does.”

When Catherine learns that she is dying, she remembers the words her husband once jokingly uttered and decides to leave him the ultimate, posthumous gift: a time capsule containing photographs of their life together along with tape recordings in which she recounts every secret she ever kept, every unspoken thought whether loving or treacherous; the things they never said.

Catherine’s recordings shake up many of Sean’s beliefs, sometimes enraging him and other times soothing with memories of the many joys that make up a life together.

But even as the tapes provide an emotional roller coaster of surprises, Sean prays that they’ll confirm the one thing he always secretly believed but never dared say out loud: that destiny exists; that their life together was not the result of mere chance.

Rating: 5/5

My Thoughts:  I have yet to read a book by Nick Alexander that I haven’t loved – and this is another one to add to that list.

The loss of his wife is obviously a terrible time for Sean and he clings onto the series of photographs and recorded messages Catherine left for him, recalling their life together from the very day the met.  We also get to see how Sean slowly begins to pick up the pieces and rebuild his life, and how he feels about the wonderful memories and sometimes shocking or surprising revelations that Catherine shares.

I found this a wonderful, gentle read, with characters who really speak to you and a situation that pulls at the heart.

I really enjoyed this book and I think you will too! So why not grab yourself a copy now: