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This Shining Life Giveaway

This Shining LifeI’m delighted to have two copies of ‘This Shining Life’ by Harriet Kline to giveaway to two lucky people.

When Rich dies, he leaves behind a family without a father, a husband, a son and a best friend. His wife, Ruth, can’t imagine living without him and finds herself faced with a grief she’s not sure she can find her way through. At the same time, their young son Ollie becomes intent on working out the meaning of life. Because everything happens for a reason. Doesn’t it? But when they discover a mismatched collection of presents left by Rich for his loved ones, it provides a puzzle for them to solve, one that will help Ruth navigate her sorrow and help Ollie come to terms with what’s happened. Together, they will learn to lay the ghosts of the past to rest, and treasure the true gift that Rich has left them: the ability to embrace life and love every moment.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave your answer to the question in the comment box below.

When Rich dies, what does he leave his family behind?

Winners will be revealed on Monday 23rd May and the giveaway is limited to UK and Ireland only. Good luck!

Allured By You By A.D Graves

Allured By You‘Allured By You’ is the latest book by A.D. Graves.

In the quiet town of Cherry Hills, Colorado, life gets stirred up for sixteen-year-old Bridget Bulgari. When the tranquil community gains new residents Bridget quickly develops an addictive interest in the girl next door. Seventeen-year-old Veronica Delacroix is uprooted from her life and thrown into a whole new world. She has the opportunity to reinvent herself, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. Bridget, fascinated by Veronica, monitors her at all times. However, when her obsession begins to spiral out of control and Veronica’s life is put in danger, Bridget discovers if she has the strength to do what needs to be done.

I hate writing reviews about books that I didn’t particularly and sadly this was the case with ‘Allured By You’.

Initially I was excited about this story, as I really enjoy Young Adult books and thought the premise was great but I really struggled with the story.

The story is seen through the narrative of Bridget who develops an obsession with her new neighbour Veronica. Veronica begins an emotional and physically abusive relationship with Jamie which Veronica watches from her bedroom window. It’s whilst obsessing over Veronica that Bridget starts a new relationship with Danny, the son of her family’s maid and they rapidly fall in love and he also takes part in watching Veronica. And whilst Veronica’s parents are away working in Syria, Bridget volunteers to tidy the house whilst they’re away, using this as an opportunity to get closer to Veronica.

The main struggle I had with this book was Bridget, I disliked her immensely. Her obsession with Veronica was intense and as much as she wanted to be Veronica’s friend, she stood by and watched her be repeatedly beat up, never intervened or behaved like the friend she aspired to be. Her obsession verged on voyeurism and the graphic details of the fights as well as Veronica’s substance abuse as well as self harm make for unsettling reading. I also found Bridget’s relationship with Danny, quite condescending as she brought him to the fanciest restaurants and expected his life to fit seamlessly into hers.

‘Allured By You’ is a dark, twisted story of obsession that the potential to be a gripping story but unfortunately that wasn’t the case for me.

You can buy ‘Allured By You’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Who’s Lying Now? By Susan Lewis

Songs In Ursa Major‘Who’s Lying Now?’ is the latest book by Susan Lewis.

Jeannie Symonds is a force to be reckoned with – an eccentric, award-winning publisher, spending lockdown with her husband in a house near Kesterly-on-Sea. She seems to have it all: a high-flying career, a happy marriage, a niece she adores. And then one day, she vanishes. Cara Jakes is a new trainee investigator – young, intelligent and eager to prove herself. When she teams up with detective Andee Lawrence to look into the disappearance, she is determined to find out what has really happened to Jeannie. Cara begins to question the residents of this close-knit community, sure that someone has a secret to hide.

The latest book by Susan is another thriller packed with dislikable and suspicious characters that really held my attention throughout.

The story is written in the past and present tense leading up to successful publisher, Jeannie Symonds disappearance as police try to piece together her last movements. As trainee investigator Cara begins to look into the disappearance, she realises that Jeannie had wasn’t quite the popular person and had some enemies, namely Estelle. A published author who’s struggling to write her second book who’s attention has now been deflected to finding her biological mother.

The past and present tenses to the story really set the scene leading up to Jeannie’s disappearance and give an interesting insight into the character. The story flows at a fast pace with the multiple narratives that I really enjoyed. The story is also set during the pandemic which adds to the claustrophobic and suspense to the story, with the lockdown and restrictions in place.

Susan is a new author for me and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed her books, they flow at a pace that engages with the reader with revelations and drama throughout that made ‘Who’s Lying Now?’ a thrilling story.

The High House By Jessie Greengrass

The High House By‘The High House’ is the latest book by Jessie Greengrass.

Perched on a hill above a village by the sea, the high house has a mill, a vegetable garden and a barn full of supplies.Caro and her younger half-brother, Pauly, arrive there one day to find it cared for by Grandy and his granddaughter, Sally. Not quite a family, they learn to live together, and care for one another. But there are limits even to what the ailing Grandy knows about how to survive, and, if the storm comes, it might not be enough.

When I initially started this book, I found it a bit hard to get into due to the multiple narratives and found the female characters to be quite similar in personality traits. But, as the story progressed, I found myself intrigued by the book.

The story is seen through the narrative of Caro and Sally. Caro and her little brother Pauly have been sent to live with their grandfather and his grand daughter Sally, whilst their mother Francesca is frantically trying to get more awareness of climate change, as torrential storms batter the towns. They live in a high house, away from the floods and in their own little world packed with necessities for their survival.

The book is essentially a war cry about the state of the world and if we don’t do something about it soon then it will be too late. It’s also a deep exploitation into dysfunctional families and how dynamics can clash when under pressure.

The characters are an interesting bunch of people and although the story is primarily seen through Caro’s and Sally’s narrative, it was the grandfather and Pauly that I warned to most. Pauly had a sweet innocence around him as the world flooded below, whilst the grandfather was the protector of the family.

The book is relatively short and can be consumed in one sitting and has been shortlisted for a Costa award for Best Novel. ‘The High House’ is a sad and powerfully written book about climate change and how our world is spiralling out of control.

You can buy ‘The High House’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Paris Apartment By Lucy Foley

The Paris Apartment‘The Paris Apartment’ is the latest book by ‘Sunday Times’ best selling author, Lucy Foley.

Welcome to No.12 rue des Amants
A beautiful old apartment block, far from the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the bustling banks of the Seine. Where nothing goes unseen, and everyone has a story to unlock.

The watchful concierge
The scorned lover
The prying journalist
The naïve student
The unwanted guest

There was a murder here last night.
A mystery lies behind the door of apartment three.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Lucy and it was an absolute treat of a thriller, with a fantastic start that hooked me.

The story is seen primarily seen through the narrative of Jess, who’s travelled to Paris to visit her stepbrother Ben. But when she arrives, he disappears and she’s left with voicemail of him possibly in danger. The story is also seen through the narrative of all the other occupants of the apartment building that Ben lives in and they all seem to have secrets that they don’t want to be revealed.

I loved, loved loved this book. The chapters are short so it’s so easy to get consumed in the story. I found myself reading much later than I intended as the various narratives made for fascinating reading with such an eclectic range of personalities as well the mysterious identity of the Concierge, who Ben befriends.

Set against the backdrop of Paris, gave the story a sophisticated atmosphere, which was lovely, from the French food to the sharp French mannerisms.

A story that is brimming with suspense and suspicious characters that keeps you on your toes, ‘The Paris Apartment’ is a cleverly written story that is the perfect guessing game of a thriller!

You can buy ‘The Paris Apartment’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.