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Bring Me Back By BA Paris

Bring Me Back‘Bring Me Back’ is the latest book by BA Paris.

The Disappearance.
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.
The Suspicion.
He told the police the truth about that night. Just not quite the whole truth.
The Fear. Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

I first became aware of BA Paris, when she released her debut last year called ‘Behind Closed Doors’, a dark and gripping story about the complexities of a controlling relationship. I consumed that book in a day. I then read her next book called ‘The Breakdown’ at a hairdressers appointment where I spoke to no-one, as I was so absorbed in the story.

So. when I heard that she was back with a new book called ‘Bring Me Back’, I knew that it was going to be another great story that really hooked my attention, particularly with the hashtag #ForgetSleep.

I began to read this book late one evening and reluctantly put it down, as I had to go to work the following day. But with its short and snappy chapters and them all ending with an addictive hook, I found it impossible to put down.

The story is primarily seen through the eyes of Finn, a man who was hopelessly in love with Layla, a young woman he met on New Year’s Eve. They had an intense and passionate affair, until one day in France whilst on holiday, she disappeared. Now, twelve years later, Finn is about to marry her sister Ellen. When, suddenly he starts to find tiny Russian dolls dotted about his home and throughout his day and he begins to wonder has Layla returned, as she had a tiny Russian doll when he met her.

The tale is written in the past and present tense and gives us a great insight into Finn, his personality and how he became the man that is now. He’s a confident and successful man who’s content in his life, but never quite managed to get over the woman who suddenly left his life. As a controlling character, he has so many unanswered questions, he’s hoping that now they may finally be answered. Layla is quite an intriguing character, she’s mysterious, whilst her sister Ellen is quite boring in comparison, she’s settled in her ways and seems thankful that Finn loves her.

As well as Finn’s narrative, there’s also another unknown voice in the story adding an element of mystery to the tale.

I’ve come to the point, where I thoroughly adore BA’s writing, she’s the queen of psychological thrillers. She’s so skilled at writing psychological tales that really pull the reader in. Cleverly engaging their attention at every twist and turn and keeping them on their toes. Dark and compelling, with a bleak and atmospheric backdrop that made for bittersweet reading in parts, ‘Bring Me Back’ is a twisted tale of love and obsession and just how far we will go, to be with the one we love. You will most definitely #ForgetSleep when you start this book.

You can pre-order Bring Me Back from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 8th March 2018.

The Blind By A.F. Brady

The Blind‘The Blind’ is A.F. Brady’s debut novel.

Every morning, psychiatrist Sam James gets up at six forty-five. She has a shower, drinks a cup of coffee, then puts on her make-up. She ignores the empty bottles piling up by her door. On this particular morning, Sam is informed of a new patient’s arrival at Manhattan’s most notorious institution. Reputed to be deranged and dangerous, Richard is just the kind of impossible case Sam has built her reputation on. She is certain that she is the right doctor to treat such a difficult patient. But then Sam meets Richard. And Richard seems totally sane. Let the mind games begin.
The Blind is the first book by A.F. Brady and it’s a gripping story that made for a fascinating story.

Solely written in the first person, we meet psychologist, Sam. She works in a mental institution where she tries to get people to face their demons and struggles, but it seems that she has far more than she lets on. On the outside, she’s polished to perfection, reliable in her work but inside, she’s battling a drink addiction, an abusive boyfriend and a new patient that refuses to speak.

As she tries to get the new patient, Richard to face his problems, his issues are making her address her own and realise that she needs to get her life in order.

Sam, is an interesting character, she’s complicated, impulsive, troubled and addicted to troubled people. She’s also apologetic for them and constantly making excuses for their behaviour. Her fascination with Richard is really fascinating reading as she tries to piece together his life.

This story made for compulsive reading that really held my attention. Riddled with tension and suspense, this atmospheric book is cleverly written with a complex lead and an even darker plot, ‘The Blind’, is a chillingly good book that will make you look at people in a different light.

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

The One That Got Away By Annabel Kantaria

The One That Got Away‘The One That Got Away’ is the latest book by Annabel Kantaria.

Everyone has one. An ex you still think about. The one who makes you ask ‘what if’? Fifteen years have passed since Stella and George last saw each other. But something makes Stella click ‘yes’ to the invite to her school reunion. There’s still a spark between them, and although their relationship ended badly, they begin an affair. But once someone gets you back, sometimes they’re never going to let you go again…

This is the first book that I’ve read by Annabel and it was a great introduction to the author.

The story is about first love and first heartbreak as Stella never got over George Worsley when he left her at 18. Unknown to her, he always thought of her even though he married and in her eyes moved on. So when the invite arrives for the high school reunion, they both jump at the chance to see each other and immediately there’s an instant attraction and as much as Stella doesn’t want to, she falls for George and they begin a passionate affair which later becomes a marriage. The pair then decide to leave London and start a new life in the countryside with the intention of starting s family, but things don’t go to plan as George begins to suffer from memory loss as well as troubles with his work.

Cleverly, this story is written from both perspectives and gives us a great insight to the different personalities and their approaches to life. George is a cocky character, he’s used to women falling for him and being the centre of attention, but with Stella, he has to clamber for her attention as she plays aloof with him and doesn’t want to be too keen.

Unbeknown to George, Stella is delighted with George’s return and can finally move on with her life plan. But, she keeps it cool with him, not wanting to appear too keen and also aware that she’s having an affair with a married man.

I loved the dual narratives in the story, they gave great insights into the relationship.

But, as well as that, as George becomes unwell and with his memory loss, we see a once confident man become unsure and vulnerable whilst Stella seems to bloom in their new life. As the story progresses, we begin to see a darker side, as George begins to doubt his own sanity and begins to wonder if his new wife, is the person that he was led to believe.

With short and engaging chapters that really keeps the reader on their toes, ‘The One That Got Away’ is an intriguing tale of love and deceit, that shows that the first love is not always the right love.

You can pre-order The One That Got Away from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 21st September 2017.

The Doll House Book Tour

The Doll House‘The Doll House’ is Phoebe Morgan’s debut novel. Today on the book tour, she answers the question, if her book was adapted for screen, who would play the characters.

This is such a tricky one as anyone who knows me will tell you how bad I am at knowing the names of celebrities! Still, I do have some favourites who I would love to see taking on my characters.

My main protagonist is Corinne, a thirty-something year old woman who is trying to have a baby with her partner Dominic. She’s quite fragile emotionally, reeling from the death of her father, and struggling to cope with life without the one thing she wants – a child of her own. I think the beautiful Felicity Jones would do a great job of capturing Corinne’s emotions – she’s such a captivating actress who has that delicate look which is how I imagine Corinne. I can just see her floating around the art gallery where Corinne works, thinking about her father and wondering how many more rounds of IVF she can go through.
Ashley is Corinne’s sister, a couple of years older than her and very much the older sibling. She lives with her husband James and their two children, Lucy and Benji. First and foremost she’s a mother, but although she loves family life she’s starting to wonder if there’s more for her out there – and she’s worried about where her husband is when he says he’s working late. I can see somebody like Rachel Weisz stepping into this role brilliantly – she was a perfect young Mum in About A Boy (a classic!)

Dominic is Corinne’s boyfriend, a newspaper journalist in London who is incredibly supportive of her but sometimes craves an easier life. He’d be played by someone with a kind face like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who always manages to capture that unassuming look really nicely and convey how much he loves the girl.

I can’t give away too many spoilers here, but I’d like to see Ms de Bonnier played by someone amazing like Helena Bonham Carter – an older character who completely commands the stage and is incredibly versatile. Erin, meanwhile, would be played in an ideal world by a blonde actress, somebody with a vulnerable side such as Carey Mulligan, who has had some wonderful performances that really blew me away.

I feel we need another attractive man in the midst (it’s my imagination, after all) so I’d give Henry Cavill the part of James, Ashely’s husband who may or may not be hiding something from his family…

Now to find a Hollywood budget!

You can buy The Doll House from Amazon.

Keep You Safe By Melissa Hill

Keep You Safe‘Keep You Safe’ is the latest book by Melissa Hill.

Every mother faces impossible choices. Vaccination is one of the hardest. For single mum Kate O’Hara, there was no decision to make. Her daughter Rosie is one of a small percentage of Irish children who can’t be vaccinated against measles. All Kate can do is hope that her little girl is safe. For mummy blogger Madeleine Cooper, it was a leap of faith she wasn’t prepared to take when she and her husband declined controversial measles jabs for their daughter Clara. All she can do is pray that it’s the right decision. But when classmates Clara and Rosie both become sick will Kate pay for Madeleine’s choice?

For those who know Melissa Hill, they would have enjoyed her romantic and fun stories of love and friendship. But, with her first book with HQ, Melissa has gone a little bit darker with her writing and writes about most parents fears, when their child becomes seriously ill.

The story is seen through the eyes of mothers Kate O’Hara and Madeleine Cooper, who’s daughters become ill with measles. The possible consequences that both girls were never given the MMR Booster, a vaccination against various illnesses including measles. As Madeleine’s daughter recovers from the illness, Kate’s becomes worse and it suddenly becomes a situation where her daughter is fighting for her life.

The two women are complete polar opposites. Kate is a single mother after her husband suddenly died. She’s struggling to make ends meet as a single parent, but her daughter Rosie is her priority. Unfortunately, Rosie wasn’t able to get the MMR vaccination as she was allergic to it, so Kate lives in constant fear that her daughter will become ill. Meanwhile, Madeleine is the ultimate yummy mummy, with her outspoken views and popular blogs, she voices her views on parenting, which others may not always agree with, but that doesn’t bother Madeleine. She’s confident and occasionally unorthodox. Like Kate, her daughter Clara was also not vaccinated, but that was because, Madeleine and her husband Greg were worried about the side effects, as some people believed that the vaccine could cause Autism.

Essentially the story is a battle of morals and ethnics. As Clara becomes better, Rosie gets considerably worse and all fingers of blame point towards outspoken Madeleine as they decided not to get their children vaccinated.

It’s heartbreaking to read both mothers sides of the story as they are both in their own types of hell. Kate is praying that her daughter gets better whilst also reluctantly disliking Madeleine for having a healthy daughter. But she is also tortured, that her daughter may possibly never fully recover and the only way, she can pay for her treatment is to take Madeleine and her husband to court.

Whilst, the tables have turned for Madeleine, she is delighted that Clara is safe and well but she is also guilt ridden at the thought of poor Rosie. As well as that she has become a public hate figure for her outspoken opinions on not vaccinating her daughter.

This story is realistically and cleverly written and really does tug at heartstrings. With having both sides of the story with two hugely different personalities, where Kate shies away, Madeleine embraces the spotlight. The story is so vivid in parts, that you really get a clear understanding of the torture that both mothers are going through and at the end of the day, the both share a common ground of just wanting to keep their children safe.

Riveting from the very start, ‘Keep You Safe’ is a completely different story from Melissa. Tackling issues and dilemmas that all parents face and face, this book was an emotional roller coaster I kept me gripped and will most definitely raise a lot of questions in book clubs.

You can pre-order Keep You Safe from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops 21st September 2017.