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Almost Love By Louise O’Neill

Almost Love‘Almost Love’ is the latest book by Irish author, Louise O’Neill.

When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard. So it doesn’t matter that he’s twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she’s sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him. Sarah’s friends are worried. Her father can’t understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she’s on the verge of losing her job. But Sarah can’t help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew. And love is supposed to hurt. Isn’t it?

When it comes to books by Louise, you are guaranteed, an emotional rollercoaster of a story that will leave you exhausted at the end, so much so that I literally had to take a step back from the book and review my thoughts before typing them up

Her books delve into the dark worlds of toxic relationships, gas lighting and leading characters, that leave you feeling conflicted when you find yourself disliking them.

In ‘Almost Love’, we meet Sarah, a troubled young woman who has moved from one disastrous relationship to the next as she tries to put her life in order and sort out her head. The story is written in the past and present tense and is seen solely through the narrative of Sarah, as she reflects on her current relationship that is crumbling around her because of a previous relationship that she never got over.

Sarah meets Matthew, twenty years her senior she becomes infatuated with him and waits on his every beck and call. She craves for mere seconds of his attention and when he calls her, she drops everything for stolen moments in hotel rooms. She becomes obsessed with him, which causes trouble with friends and her father, who all want better for her. But for Sarah, Matthew is perfect for her, he introduces her to a world of arts and culture, a world that she longs to be part off. Now, in a new relationship with Oisin, a man her own age, she can’t seem to move on from Matthew and finds herself comparing the relationships and the men and takes all her inner turmoil out on Oisin.

This story is a dark and gritty read that really question relationships and where you stand in them. Sarah is a complex character and as much as I tried to, I couldn’t warm to her. She was horrible to all those close to her particularly her father, who she has a turbulent relationship with ever since the death of her mother. She’s quite self-absorbed and uses those around her, she belittles Oisin constantly and this can sometimes be unsettling reading as she battles her emotions around her.

This book is honest and that’s what makes it such an unique and compelling story, it doesn’t gloss on the fairy tale magic of relationships but focuses on the harsh reality of wanting to be loved and falling out of love, which also a sad and tender element to the tale. A frank and honest tale about love, self loathing, obsession and just how dark it can all become, ‘Almost Love’, is an agonisingly realistic story about the complexities of relationship and how sometimes in life, being you is never quite enough for someone to love you, this book is relatable to any person who has ever been in a relationship.

You can buy Almost Love from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Tasmina Perry Reveals New Pseudonym Called JL Butler

MineTasmina Perry has revealed exciting news that she’s released a new book under a new pseudonym called ‘Mine’ by JL Butler.

What the back cover says –

Francine Day is a high flying lawyer about to apply for silk, ambitious and brilliant. She just needs one headline grabbing client to seal her place as queen’s counsel … Martin Joy. The attraction is instant.

Obsessive.

They embark on a secret affair and Francine thinks she can hold it together. But then Martin’s wife goes missing. And Martin is the prime suspect. Francine is now his lawyer, lover and the last person to see Donna Joy alive.

As the case unravels so does Francine.

Described as ‘Fatal Attraction’ meets ‘Apple Tree Yard’, this debut novel will be your new obsession. Set in the Inns of Court in London, where justice and corruption have played out for centuries, J L Butler’s taut, gripping legal drama brims with suspense and obsession, and only you can solve the case.

You can pre-order from Amazon Mine from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 28th June 2018.

Alex Brown Reveals New Book – The Wish

The WishAlex Brown has revealed her new book for 2018 called ‘The Wish’.

What the back cover says –

Sam Morgan knows he messed up with his wife Chrissie and daughter Holly – he wasn’t there when they needed him most, but now he’ll do anything to put his family back together again. Until then, he’s back living in the picture-postcard village of Tindledale.

Jude Darling is coming home for good this time. She’s taking over the antique shop in Tindledale, the place where she grew up and she’s going to make sure she’s there for her friend, Chrissie, and Goddaughter, Holly. They certainly need her right now.

As for Holly, there’s only one thing she wants and it’s not the sort of thing you can buy in a shop. She might be thirteen years old, but Holly still believes in wishes, and perhaps if she wishes hard enough, this one might come true…

Sounds like a lovely story to look forward to this Summer.

You can pre-order The Wish from Amazon and will be available from good bookshops from 17th May 2018.

My Top Five Leading Ladies By Jaime Raven

The RebelToday on the book tour for Jaime Raven’s new book called ‘The Rebel’, Jaime talks about his top five leading ladies.

There are five very special women in my life – but they only exist on paper.

They’re the leading ladies in the four books I’ve written for Avon/Harper Collins, the latest of which, The Rebel, is published this month.

These women mean a lot to me because I created them and then spent months getting to know them. I decided what they looked like, how they behaved, what they said, and whether they were single or in a relationship. And I’m really pleased with the way they turned out.

They have their faults, of course, but then nobody’s perfect – not even those people who are figments of our imaginations.

My leading ladies all have distinctive personalities and characteristics. Four of them are ‘goodies’ and one of them is very, very bad. Her name is Rosa Lopez and she features in ‘The Rebel’. But more on her later.

First let me introduce you to the leading ladies in order of appearance and tell you a bit about them.

LIZZIE WELLS (THE MADAM)
‘The Madam’ was my first book for Avon and the main protagonist is a prostitute named Lizzie Wells who is jailed for a crime she didn’t commit. Tragically her son died while she was in prison so on her release she seeks revenge against the people who framed her. Here’s what I like about Lizzie. She’s tough, tenacious and down-to-earth. I also think that as a character she’s original, engaging and plausible.

BETH CHAMBERS (THE ALIBI)
Beth is a crime reporter and single mother who risks her life by going up against one of London’s most ruthless gangsters. This particular character is very close to my heart because I loosely based her on myself. Before becoming a full time writer I was a journalist and spent much of my career reporting crime stories across London for national newspapers. Fortunately I didn’t get into as much trouble as Beth does.

SARAH MASON (THE MOTHER)
Sarah is a detective inspector with the Met police. She’s divorced and has a 15-month-old daughter named Molly. But Molly is abducted and the kidnapper sends Sarah sick text messages and video clips that pile on the agony. What I admire about Sarah is the way she overcomes her fear and panic to go in search of Molly by herself. A true heroine.

LAURA JEFFERSON AND ROSA LOPEZ (THE REBEL)
Laura Jefferson is another Met detective and she’s married to a teacher. She’s one of two leading ladies in ‘The Rebel’. The other is 28-year-old Rosa Lopez, a contract killer from Mexico who flies into London to murder police officers on behalf of a notorious criminal.

The two come up against each other in a momentous battle between good and evil. At the same time they each have to deal with their own personal demons.

I like to think I’ve created two memorable characters in Laura and Rosa. Laura is smart, pragmatic and honourable. Rosa, on the other hand, is brutal, wicked and sly. But she also becomes vulnerable when she suddenly finds herself on an emotional roller coaster.

There was a time when women in crime fiction novels seemed to feature only as victims or damsels-in-distress. But not anymore.

They’re now among the best fictional crime-fighters and most outrageous villains. And I firmly believe that’s exactly how it should be.

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

Things Bright And Beautiful By Anbara Salam

Things Bright And Beautiful‘Things Bright And Beautiful’ is Anbara Salam’s debut novel.

Advent Island is a place beyond the reaches of Bea’s most fitful imaginings. It’s not just the rats and the hordes of mosquitos and the weevils in the powdered milk. Past the confines of their stuffy little house, amidst the damp and the dust and the sweltering heat, rumours are spreading of devil chasers who roam the island on the hunt for evil spirits. And then there are the noises from the church at night. Yet, to the amusement of the locals and the bafflement of her husband, Bea gradually adapts to life on the island. But with the dreadful events heralded by the arrival of an unexpected, wildly irritating and always-humming house guest, Advent Island becomes a hostile place once again. And before long, trapped in the jungle and in the growing fever of her husband’s insanity, Bea finds herself fighting for her freedom, and for her life.

As a debut, this book was certainly a strong and interesting one, but it was also a book that I sometimes struggled with. I initially found it difficult to get into, only because I wasn’t sure of the location or the time era that the book was set in but once I did, I found it to a compellingly claustrophobic and eerie story where nothing is what it seems.

Set against the backdrop of Advent Island, a remote island in the Pacific, the story is seen from the perspective from different characters, but primarily seen from Max and Bea, two newcomers to the island, where Max has taken up the position of Pastor and Bea, is his wife as they adjust to their new lives.

I really liked Bea, she was a strong woman, who gave up her life in America to follow her husband, she adapted to her new life with no complaint, living in dirt, little food and spent most of her time alone whilst Max was delivering his religious messages. Max, I found less interesting, as he struggled to fit into the small village and be respected, especially with Marietta, a woman who was always questioning his beliefs and thoughts.

The story is beautifully written and written in such descriptive detail, that you almost felt you were in the forests with the characters. Riddled with mystery and intrigue throughout, this story deals with the complexities of relationships, religion and culture, ‘Things Bright And Beautiful’ is an atmospheric story that transports the reader into another world.

You can buy Things Bright and Beautiful from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.