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Helen Fields Reveals New Book – The Shadow Man

The Shadow ManIf you’re a fan of Helen Fields, then exciting news as she has revealed her new book for 2021 called ‘The Shadow Man’, which is a standalone novel and not part of the ‘DI Callanach’ series.

What the back cover says –

He collects his victims. But he doesn’t keep them safe.

Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.

Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.

Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.

And he’s watching.

I’m a huge fan of Helen Fields’ books and I look forward to curling up with this thriller.

You can pre-order ‘The Shadow Man’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 4th February 2021.

Very Nearly Normal By Hannah Sunderland

Very Nearly Normal‘Very Nearly Normal’ is the debut novel by Hannah Sunderland.

Matilda ‘Effie’ Heaton has always felt like she’s swimming against the tide. Everyone around her has life sorted, but Effie’s living with her parents and crying into a wine bottle at night. The only thing she loves is her job at a bookshop, where she can lose herself in other people’s stories. But then she meets Theo, who knows only too well that life isn’t something to take for granted. Because Theo has a life-changing secret, and as Effie starts to realise that she’s falling in love instead of falling apart, fate steps in and deals her a new hand. And this time, the stakes are high.

If you’re looking for a warm and funny story then I would wholeheartedly recommend this story.

Seen from the perspective of Effie, a sarcastic and moody woman, who’s upset that she’s not the successful writer she aspired to be. Instead she lives with her parents, working in a bookshop and she begrudges everyone else’s happiness. When a Tinder date ends in disaster with a handsome stranger coming to her rescue called Theo and helps her end life through a different lens only to disappear.

I loved this story, the characters are great. Effie is outspoken, fun and completely relatable. She’s tried of the falseness of social media and the filters that people put on their lives and wishes she didn’t envy everyone else’s happiness. She works in a bookshop with with a manager called Arthur and I loved the scenes and banter between the two of them. When Theo comes into Effie, we see a softer side to her, she becomes gentler, more open minded and it’s lovely to see her progress as well as the relationship and Theo makes her value and understand the important things in life.

I also loved Theo, handsome and funny, he helps Effie realise her worth and when he disappeared I did find myself longing for his return.

A quirky and uplifting love story that is filled with funny and relatable characters, with a plot that travels at a lovely pace. ‘Very Nearly Normal’ is by a new voice in female fiction, a voice that made me giggle at witty dialogue, fun situations and makes you appreciate the smaller things in life.

You can buy ‘Very Nearly Normal’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshop.

Strangers By CL Taylor

Strangers‘Strangers’ is the latest book by CL Taylor.

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before. Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life. Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards. And Alice is being stalked. None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die. Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

I spent two evenings curled up with ‘Strangers’ , a gripping story of three people who have never met before but end up having their lives interweaved in a way that they never imagined.

Alice is a single mother and manager of a clothes shop who reluctantly decides to look for love, when a date goes disastrously wrong, she ends up being rescued by the charismatic Simon, a man that could certainly change her life for the better. But just as Alice imagines a relationship with Simon, threatening things start to happen and Simon disappears from her life. After the death of her partner, Ursula’s life fell apart and after being caught stealing, she ends up living in a house with a strange man with locked doors and strange smells and finally, Gareth’s father disappear 20 years ago but now someone is sending postcards to his mother, pretending to be him and then his Dementia ridden mother disappears.

Cally has done it again with this impressive thriller, combining suspense, drama page after page that hooks the reader right in. It’s obvious that the story was meticulously planned and structured with an ending that made me gasp in shock. All the characters are interesting with their issues and complexities, but I found myself particularly warming to Ursula, a damaged soul that never recovered from a bereavement. She’s a large woman in stature and personality and she seems to leap off the pages with the scenes that she’s in, I felt an empathy for Gareth, who’s a security guard who never really got a proper chance at life after his father disappeared and he became his mother’s carer. Cally has a great knack for creating characters that the reader has a connection and empathy for.

The story is seen from the perspective of the characters and each time new person was introduced into their lives, I found myself convinced that they were the villain, but in Cally’s style it was never obvious! As the story progresses, we see that they are strangers they may have passed each other in the streets but we see them being brought together in the most extreme and unexpected way in a cleverly written way.

A gripping story of lies and drama, ‘Strangers’ is another superb book from C.L Taylor, with a great premise, suspicious and relatable characters that grip the reader’s attention from the first page, this shocking and witty story is definitely one of my favourite books of 2020.

You can buy ‘Strangers’ from Amazon

Never Saw You Coming By Hayley Doyle

Never Saw You Coming‘Never Saw You Coming’ is the latest book by Hayley Doyle.

Zara Khoury believes in love – so much so that she flies from Dubai to Liverpool to be with a man she barely knows. It’s a risk, but she’s certain that uprooting her life for Nick is the new start she needs.Jim Glover is stuck. Since his Dad died, he’s put his dreams aside and stayed at home in Liverpool to care for his mum. Trapped in a dead-end job, he’s going nowhere – that is, until he gets a phone call that just might change his life. Zara and Jim aren’t supposed to meet. But then fate steps in, and when their worlds – and cars! – collide, the real journey begins.

When Zara packs up her bags for Liverpool to declare her love for the man who rescued her one night in Dubai, the last thing she expected was to find it was all the lie. Heartbroken, she heads for the next flight home with her tail between her legs only to crash into the BMW that Jim had just won and was planning to sell it to buy tickets to Florida for his mother to see her grandchildren. Now with a broken heart and car, Jim offers to take Zara for her flights with some unexpected drama along the way.

This is the perfect story to read if you’re a fan of romantic comedies, it’s quirky and fun and makes for light hearted reading during this dark time.

Both characters are lovely, but I particularly liked Jim, he’s sensitive, kind and has a lovely relationship with his mother. I felt genuine pain when his plan fell apart and was almost angry with Zara for being oblivious to what she had done. Zara’s an interesting character, she’s confident and quite self absorbed, unaware of the chaos the she leaves behind. Off the pair of them, I would wholeheartedly prefer to be stuck in a car with Jim than Zara.

The book is written wittily as the pair of them bounce of each other and their banter is quite to witness, as they discover things about each other along the way.

The story is written from the perspective of both characters giving an insight into each other’s thoughts and opinions of each other, which was a nice addition to the story.

A story about a chance and when two lives collide, ‘Never Saw You Coming’ is a fun and easy debut about love, friendship and how some things are meant to be.

You can buy ‘Never Saw You Coming’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

The Forbidden Promise By Lorna Cook

The Forbidden Promise‘The Forbidden Promise’ is the latest book by Lorna Cook.

Scotland, 1940 – War rages across Europe, but Invermoray House is at peace – until the night of Constance’s 21st birthday, when she’s the only person to see a Spitfire crash into the loch. Rescuing the pilot and vowing to keep him hidden, Constance finds herself torn between duty to her family and keeping a promise that could cost her everything. 2020 – Kate arrives in the Highlands to turn Invermoray into a luxury B&B, only to find that the estate is more troubled than she’d imagined. But when Kate discovers the house has a dark history, with Constance’s name struck from its records, she knows she can’t leave until the mystery is solved.

Set during the Second World War and the present, ‘The Forbidden Promise’ is a story of forbidden love and secrets.

The past tense is written from the perspective of Constance on the night of her 21st birthday, after managing to escape the grips of her older brothers friend, she manages to save the life of pilot Matthew when his plane crushes into the lough beside her family home. Desperate to escape he hides from the war whilst recovering. As the war rages around Europe, Constance’s family has to give up their Invermoray House, the family estate to house injured soldiers. Fast forward many years and Kate has been called into help fix the ruined Invermoray House and help bring it into the future. But this isn’t an easy task as Kate has to compete with the son of the estate who battles against her ideas for the redesign.

This is a heartwarming love story and with the different perspective gives an interesting slant to the story. I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the chapters from Constance’s perspective. In a time where women were women to be seen and not heard, Constance is a breath of fresh air, wanting to be independent and have an active part in helping with the ongoing war, much to her mother’s despair who wishes her daughter was more restrained. The relationship between Matthew and Constance is a lovely one to read, as they banter with each other before growing closer and having to hide their forbidden love. Kate is also a great character as she tackles with new characters, emotions as well as unravel the many mysteries of Invermoray House.

Beautifully written and well researched, ‘The Forbidden Promise’ is a stunning story of love through the ages. This book has fascinating characters, suspense and an eerie house riddled with secrets that was captivating from the first page.

You can buy ‘The Forbidden Promise’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.