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The Fear By C.L Taylor

The Fear‘The Fear’ is by C.L Taylor.

Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes. Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become changed, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itsee his prey.

The Fear is the latest book by CL Taylor and it’s another cracking story, filled with strong female characters and an extremely dislikable male lead, this story was thrilling from the very start.

The story is primarily seen through the eyes of Lou, a young woman who never really fully got over her first love. It left with her a deep, rooted fear that the man who groomed her when she was just 13 would return to her life. But, when she returns to her childhood home, she sees Mike, the man who tried to kidnap her with a young girl. Terrified, that history is going to repeat itself, Lou tries to reach out to Chloe, but it all ends disastrously, especially with Wendy after the pair of them seeking revenge.

The story is written in the past and present tense which gives a great insight into the characters. The sequences written in the past present are seen through Lou’s diary entries and I find these particularly interesting as they set the scenes perfectly, from Lou’s innocent eyes as they slowly widened to the world around her. Now, as a woman, she’s insecure and hesitant to relationships and tends to keep people at distance.

Meanwhile, Chloe is Mike’s latest victim, a typical teenager, who’s uncomfortable in her skin, he latches onto her insecurity and unhappiness and uses it to his advantage. Whilst Wendy, is angry woman with revenge on her mind, she’s vindictive and surprisingly quite witty, which adds unexpected sprinkling of humour to the story.

A chilling and powerful story that regularly made for unsettling reading. ‘The Fear’ is a smartly written tale, that focuses on grooming and the naive and innocent victims and how easy it is to fall into the wrong hands.

You can pre-order The Fear from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 22nd March 2018.

Perfect Death By Helen Fields

Perfect Death‘Perfect Death’ is the third book in Detective Callanach series by Helen Fields.

Unknown to DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible – engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late. But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task…

‘Perfect Death’ is the latest book by Helen Fields and for me, has been the most unsettling from all her books. Right from the book, we are drawn into a dark and creepy, where a young man likes to befriend people, people who have suffered a bereavement, to offer comfort from their pain unaware that he is actually the creator of their pain.

Like the previous Detective Callanach novels, the perspective is seen from the eyes of the French Detective, his colleague Ava Turner as she has to deal with the sudden death of her old boss who was found dead in his car. She’s convinced that there’s more to his death than suicide and begins her own investigation, putting her own life in jeopardy. Both Detectives find themselves racing against time, trying to stop the killer from claiming his next victim and always trying to be one step ahead.

The different perspectives to the story, give the thriller a fast paced edge as the killer befriends his victims and the police try to get one step closer to him. The killer is a strange character and the insight into their mind, does make for uncomfortable reading as times, as well as the exploration into the dark underworld of Scotland’s crime scene.

A strange and haunting story that is very cleverly written, ‘Perfect Death’ is a nail-biting thriller that keeps the reader on their toes.

You can buy Perfect Death from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman By Milly Johnson

The Perfectly Imperfect WomanOne of my favourite authors Milly Johnson is back with a new book, called ‘The Perfectly Imperfect Woman’.

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change. Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.
But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

Milly is back with another sparkly, magic story that will grip your heart and attention from the very first page.

In this story we meet Marnie Salt, a young woman that bad luck seems to follow at every opportunity. Her adopted mother hates her and her sister doesn’t speak to her so when Justin Fox appears in her life, she thinks that’s she’s found happiness but she’s sadly wrong and find herself licking her wounds in Wychwell.

After befriending a wise, outspoken old dear called Lilian on the internet, they become friends and Lillian takes Marnie under her wing and introduces her to all her friends in the small magical village of Wychwell.

Even though the village is small, there are plenty of big personalities, some are delighted to see Marnie whilst others feel threatened by her, particularly when there men involved.

I adored this book, it’s such a poignant tale filled with charming characters. I loved Marnie, she was such an underdog that I really felt an empathy for her. She was regularly let down by people and I longed for her to find her happy ever after. Lillian was wonderful, boisterous, outspoken, she felt a connection with Marnie and wanted the young woman with her. The main male was a delightful man called Herv, a kind and gentle soul that many woman lust after. The story is cleverly written and filled with Milly’s quick wit and warm heart. The only downside was that Marnie was a cheesecake maker and all the inclusion of delicious recipes made me so peckish throughout.

Fun and entertaining from the very beginning, ‘The Perfectly Imperfect Woman’ was the perfect book to curl up with when the snow was ats worst, as this sweet tale warmed the cockles of my heart.

You can buy The Perfectly Imperfect Woman from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Sunday Lunch Club By Juliet Ashton

The Sunday Lunch Club‘The Sunday Lunch Club’ is the latest book by Juliet Ashton.

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it’s said in the wrong way. Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate. Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Juliet Ashton, so when I received a copy of her latest story called ‘The Sunday Lunch Club’ I was eager to delve into foodie story of new love and family drama.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Anna, the eldest sibling of a family of four, who had become accustomed to being the parent of the family, along with her outspoken and flamboyant brother Neil. On Sunday’s, they gather at each other’s houses, with their families and catch up on each other.

It’s at her youngest brother’s Josh soiree, one Sunday that Anna discovers she is pregnant after a quick one stand and that she meets Josh’s friend Luca, who she rapidly falls for. Now suddenly pregnant at 40, Anna wonders what to do and finds it only natural to continue with her pregnancy and her new love affair with Luca, who openly supports her decision. As the pair of them embark on their new relationship, Anna takes the next nine months to take stock of her family and the issues that they face. Neil is struggling to adapt to fatherhood now that he and his partner have adopted and longs for the crazy days of long nights out, whilst Maeve, her other sister longs for a proper relationship and seems to attract men that have no genuine interest in her and finally her brother Josh, who is quiet and timid and the main reason Anna worries so much. Meanwhile Dinkie, the Irish grandmother of the finally has finally gone into full time care, much to the discomfort of the rest of the family.

I loved this story, it’s filled to the brim with drama and humour and had such an eclectic mix of characters that it was hard not to get absorbed in all their tales. Anna, was a lovely lead character, kind with a heart of gold, she was always putting others before herself. She’s extremely hard on herself for the person she has become and carries a guilty secret that no-one else knows and this makes life hard for her but for the reader, makes for compelling reading.

The story is very current as it touches on so many topics, same-sex relationships, transgender and there are so many unexpected surprises along the way keeps the reader on their toes.

With a stunningly vibrant cover and a clever plot line, ‘The Sunday Lunch Club’ is a delicious story, with fascinating characters and a dose of humour and good food scattered throughout, this book will wet any readers appetite with it’s feel good drama.

You can pre-order The Sunday Lunch Club from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 19th April 2018.

The Bad Daughter By Joy Fielding

The Bad Daughter‘The Bad Daughter’ is the latest book by ‘New York Times’ bestselling author.

Robin Davis hasn’t spoken to her family in six years. Not since it happened. Then they’re attacked; left fighting for their lives. And Robin is back. All families have their secrets. And one of theirs may have put them all in terrible danger.

I was waiting on a friend when I started reading this book and eventually when they turned up more than a hour later, I was disappointed to have to put the book down.

The story is written in third person and is seen through the eyes of Robin, a psychotherapist, who has trouble dealing with her own troubles and emotions as well as advising others. When her estranged sister calls her to tell her that her father, step mother and step-sister have been shot, the last thing she wants to do is return to her childhood home, but feels she has to.

Robin has always had a turbulent relationship with her older sister, Melanie. Robin is a meek and quiet character and Melanie regularly picks on her, belittling her at every opportunity. She’s a bully and straight to the point and sometimes this makes for entertaining but uncomfortable reading.

As Robin settles back into her small town life, she reflects on her old life back in LA, -the demons that she battles, her self confidence as well as doubting her fiancée.

The story flows at a fast pace with a mix of unpleasant and fascinating characters, particularly Melanie, Robin’s older sister who has a dark and cutting sense of humour and Cassidy, the little girl who was caught in the cross fire when her parents were shot. Bubbly and fun, she seems far from troubled and upset and makes for intriguing reading.

I absolutely loved this story, from the very start I was completely drawn in. With short chapters, it was easy to get absorbed in the dark and twisted tale which was so cleverly written that everyone was a suspect.

With twists and drama and with the added injection of humour and mystery throughout, ‘The Bad Daughter’ is a wonderfully gripping read.

You can buy The Bad Daughter from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.