March/April Book Haul

Wednesday 30 April 2014 0 comments
So I didn't actually realise it'd been a month on the blog until yesterday and thought it might be a good idea to show what books I received this month, alongside a recap of what books I've reviewed on the blog in case you missed them. 

Review: Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinéad Crowley (5/5)

It was crazy really, she had never met the woman, had no idea of her real name but she thought of her as a friend. Or, at least, the closest thing she had to a friend in Dublin.

Struggling with a new baby, Yvonne turns to netmammy, an online forum for mothers, for support. Drawn into a world of new friends, she spends increasing amounts of time online and volunteers more and more information about herself.

When one of her new friends goes offline, Yvonne thinks something is wrong, but dismisses her fears. After all, does she really know this woman?

But when the body of a young woman with striking similarities to Yvonne’s missing friend is found, Yvonne realises that they’re all in terrifying danger. Can she persuade Sergeant Claire Boyle, herself about to go on maternity leave, to take her fears seriously?

From the Archive: One By One by Chris Carter (5/5)

Tuesday 29 April 2014 0 comments
Today's From the Archive is for readers who are yet to discover who I think is one of the best crime fiction authors out there, Chris Carter. Chris writes the sort of crime fiction that I just love the read. It's certainly not for the faint hearted or squeamish. The ways he finds for his victims to be killed are certainly unique and, dare I say it, fantastic. I just love reading his books and he has also created one of the best fictional detectives in Robert Hunter. Book 6 is out soon but until then crime fans new to this author have five books to read and enjoy!

Book read and reviewed August 2013

From the Archive: Gone by Michael Grant (5/5)

Monday 28 April 2014 2 comments
Okay so I read about this book on Goodreads one day and just loved the sound of it. Then when I saw the coloured page edges I had to have it! I immediately reserved at Waterstone's (as that's cheaper if you didn't know) and bought it the next day. I couldn't stop looking at it but eventually started reading it and I loved it! Michael Grant's Gone series/The Fayz whatever you want to call it is one of the best YA series out there and I don't see a lot of other blogs or Twitter friends talking about it so hopefully some of you will pick it up soon because I love it!

Read and reviewed in April 2013.

From the Archive: My James: The Heartrending Story of James Bulger by His Father by Ralph Bulger

Another book I reviewed before setting up the blog which I would like to share with people, strongly reccommend this book.

Book read and reviewed March 2013.

A powerful, heartfelt and moving account of his son's murder and his fight for justice by Ralph Bulger

James Bulger was just a few weeks shy of his third birthday when, on 12 February 1993, he wandered away from his mum Denise in a shopping mall in Bootle. Grainy images from a security camera showed him trustingly holding the hand of ten-year-old Jon Venables as they walked away. Venables and his friend Robert Thompson murdered James, in a crime that shocked the world.

In this haunting book, James' father Ralph describes how his world fell apart in the days that followed. In his darkest hours he drank to numb the pain, and the stress tore his marriage apart. He tells how he learned to cope with his grief, but the sorrow of James' death has never left him. He discusses the long legal battle to see justice for his son, as he tried to prevent his killers being released early, and his continuing fight to see them behind bars where they can't hurt anyone else. Above all, he pays tribute to his son, an adorable, cheeky boy whose bright smile brought joy to his family's lives.

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 8: Favourite Quote From A Favourite Book

So I changed this from a favourite quote from your favourite book to one from a favourite book as I wanted to use what is probably my favourite quote about reading, ever. And it's one that I have on the Quotes list on the right hand side of the blog:

From the Archive: The Trap by Kimberley Chambers (5/5)

Sunday 27 April 2014 0 comments
From the Archive is going to be me adding some of my favourite reviews I've posted to Goodreads onto the blog each day. Seemed like a good way to add my reviews from before the blog was started onto the blog and hopefully get them read at the same time rather than quietly adding them where nobody will see! Hope you enjoy and perhaps discover a book you haven't yet read!

Day 1 goes to one of my favourite authors and my favourite book of 2013, The Trap by Kimberley Chambers.

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 7: Favourite Classic Book

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 6: Favourite Book From My Favourite Author

Saturday 26 April 2014 0 comments
So in case you missed it yesterday my favourite author is the amazing Jackie Collins. My absolute favourite book of hers is without a doubt, Chances. 

If you haven't read this book then I highly, highly reccommend that you do. It's just fantastic. It also features my favourite fictional female of all time the incomparable Lucky Santangelo. From start to finish I was hooked on this book and have read it countless times over the years. It also has the amazing Gino Santangelo (who must be about 150 by now?!)

This book is loooooong, probably one of the longest I've read. It's almost like five books in one because there's just that much going on. I remember the first time I read it and how amazing I thought it was. People describe books as unputdownable but this literally is, it's annoying when you have to stop reading and the hours fly by like minutes when reading it. I don't know how many times I've read it but each time is just as good as the first and I'm not bored yet. Chances has a fantastic cast of characters, all of whom are believable. Carrie's story is so horrible to read about but not all that hard to imagine. Reading about America in the 20s, 30s etc was so enjoyable and fascinating and I loved feeling like I was there myself.

Chances doesn't read like a book, you forget that you're reading a book and instead get lost in the world that Jackie Collins has created. This book, and indeed many of her other novels, has everything. Sex, glamour, love, comedy, murder, treachery, tragedy, money, literally everything you could possibly want from a book. I always thought The Godfather was one of my favourite books but this trumps it by miles (they are similar books so I think it's fair to compare them).  

The only bad thing I could possibly say about this amazing book is that Jackie has not beat it so far. Lucky comes a close second but I think Chances is her best book and always will be. I enjoyed Goddess of Vengeance and gave it five stars simply because of Lucky Santangelo, I could never tire reading about her. Love this book. 

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 5: My Favourite Author

Friday 25 April 2014 1 comments
Okay so as I'm changing the days/picking new challenges for the 30 Day Book Challenge today I chose My Favourite Author.

Of all time? Jackie Collins without a doubt. And well, she needs no introduction... 500+ million copies of her books sold, they have never been out of print, 30 New York Times bestsellers sold in over 40 counties etc...

A few years ago I bought the book CHANCES from Waterstone's and the rest, as they say, is history. Chances is quite simply, amazing and the best book I've ever read. It's also one of the longest books I've read. It's almost like 4 or 5 books in one because there is that much going on. It also features my favourite female fictional character of all time, Lucky Santangelo. But more about her on when Favourite Female comes up on the 30 Day Challenge.

Jackie's books are often looked down upon by the sorts of readers that like to think they are intellectual and only read books to make them look good but in actual fact Jackie's books are about so much more than the sex. The storylines she comes up with never fail to shock and amuse, and are based on real people so even better! She also writes about strong, independent women which is a positive for female readers surely. Also unlike some female authors who just write about how amazing women are and create weak male characters, Jackie also writes about powerful, successful men, Gino Santangelo anyone? That's not to say there aren't weak men in her books, but they aren't written in a way which portrays women as perfect and men as inferior. 

My favourite books from Jackie are Chances, Lucky, Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge and American Star. The first three are the first books in the Santangelo series and American Star is a standalone which is amazing. Jackie's books are glamorous and the perfect escapism read but what I particularly like about them is they often have a mystery element and they take you all around the world. 

I eagerly await Jackie's latest release every year but the book I wish she would write the most is her life story. We've heard plenty about her life from interviews over the years but it would be fantastic to read all about it in a book. It would certainly be one hell of a read that's for sure. But 2014 is about continuing the Santangelo story and I personally cannot wait, it's one of my most anticipated books of the year and can't come quick enough!

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 4: A Book I've Read More Than 3 Times

Thursday 24 April 2014 0 comments

Okay so I'm going to guess that most people reading this will have never heard of this book but it's Tunnel Vision by Keith Lowe. I probably shouldn't admit it but I'm a huge Tube nerd and there just isn't enough decent fiction set on the London Underground. 

Review: Betrayed by Anna Smith (5/5)

You don't mess with Rosie Gilmour and get away with it.

Crime reporter Rosie Gilmour is back at The Post, bruised and battered from her last investigation but determined to find missing barmaid Wendy Graham.

Convinced that Wendy is the key to an explosive new story, Rosie's search leads her deep into the dangerous world of Glasgow's Ulster Volunteer Force.

This time, Rosie will find herself at the mercy of the most vicious gangsters she's ever encountered.

Has she met her match? 

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 3: Favourite Book of my Favourite Series

Wednesday 23 April 2014 0 comments

This is my favourite Harry Potter book and probably one of my favourite books of all time. The final few chapters, as with all Harry Potter books (barring The Epilogue I Pretend Doesn't Exist in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) are some of the best chapters in any book, ever.

Despite all that's going on in the story Goblet of Fire is the book where I love Hogwarts the most and the time when I really wish it was real and that I was a student there. I LOVE Harry, Ron and Hermione. The one thing about this book I used to hate is when Harry and Ron fall out, I just never liked those parts of the book! Other than that though if ever there was a perfect book it's this one. The Quidditch World Cup, the Tri-Wizard tournament, the students from other schools! It's just a fantastic book. It was the book I just loved to escape into when I was younger.

I could easily read this book again the minute I finish it. Every single page should be ingrained in my memory by now I've read it so many times, and I can still remember the day I bought it and the very first time I sat down to read it. The very first copy I have of this is yellowed and battered due to the amount of times it has been read, luckily now with Kindle, damage to books because of overuse isn't noticeable. It disappoints me when I read one star reviews for Harry Potter but especially when I read them for this book, say what you want about HP but this book is not a one star book. I just hope the enjoyment I get out of reading it never fades.

Review: The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris (5/5)

Tuesday 22 April 2014 0 comments
Detective Nick Belsey needs help.

Something happened last night - something with the boss's wife - and Belsey needs to get out of London, and away from the debt and the drink and the deceit.

Collecting his belongings back at Hampstead CID on what should be the last day of his career, Belsey sees a missing person's report. But this one's different; this is on The Bishop's Avenue, one of the most expensive streets in the city. Belsey sees a chance for a new life.

But someone else got there first.

Reading Habits Tag

I have been wishing someone would tag me for this since I first read about it on Twitter so I was very happy when the lovely Megan from Reading In The Sunshine tagged me! So go and check out her amazing answers!

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 2: My Favourite Series of Books

I didn't even have to think about this one. My favourite series of books is without a doubt J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. These books brought me so much pleasure as a kid it's unreal. I would wish for hours on end a Hogwarts letter would arrive (still waiting...). I remember when the series of books got delivered to my junior school classroom and there was literally a fight over who would get to read them first. (Don't remember my classmates being massive readers...)

I then became obsessed with Harry Potter to the point where one Christmas pretty much every other present I got was Harry Potter related. When I was younger I'd have presents downstairs and a sack of presents at the end of my bed. In the sack were the first three books, Philosopher's Stone for the PS1, a Harry Potter torch and a book reading light within a snitch. I remember this Christmas as if it was yesterday, I woke up at 2am, opened the presents and played Philosopher's Stone until 6am when my mum caught me and we all went down to open the rest of the presents. 

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 1: Best Book I Read Last Year

Monday 21 April 2014 0 comments

In 2013 I read 170 books. It's a difficult choice to make but I'll choose The Trap by Kimberley Chambers. It was released in January 2013 and when I read it I was pretty confident it would be one of my most enjoyed books of the year.

Kimberley has became one of my favourite authors of all time after reading all of her books over the last couple of years. She is yet to write a bad one (and personally I don't think she ever will). Kimberley is probably sick of seeing me on her Twitter timeline but I honestly can't reccommend her books highly enough and talk about them to anybody who will listen. 

Blog Tour: Q&A with Nicola Doherty for If I Could Turn Back Time

Today I am very excited to be part of my first ever blog tour for Nicola Doherty's fantastic book, If I Could Turn Back Time. It's in the form of a Q&A and is my first ever Q&A with an author and I was incredibly nervous but Nicola has given some great answers so I hope you enjoy reading them!

Also check out my 5 star review for If I Could Turn Back Time which is definitely one of the best chick lit books I've read so far this year. I highly reccommend it.

Review: The Innocent by Sean Black (5/5)

Thursday 17 April 2014 0 comments

When college basketball coach Malik Shaw goes missing after a family tragedy, it looks like just another retired athlete gone off the rails. But Malik's childhood friend, private security specialist Ty Johnson quickly begins to suspect that there is more to it.

Chasing the truth, Ty and his business partner, Ryan Lock, begin to uncover a sinister conspiracy of silence in a sleepy Minnesota college town.

It's not the crime that kills you - it's the cover-up. 

Review: Never Look Back by Clare Donoghue (5/5)

Wednesday 16 April 2014 0 comments
He's watching. He's waiting. He knows.

A chilling and compelling debut crime thriller set in South East London. For all those who enjoy Peter James, Mark Billingham and Peter Robinson.

Three women have been found brutally murdered in south London, the victims only feet away from help during each sadistic attack. And the killer is getting braver . . .

Sarah Grainger is rapidly becoming too afraid to leave her house. Once an outgoing photographer, she knows that someone is watching her. A cryptic note brings everything into terrifying focus, but it's the chilling phone calls that take the case to another level.

DI Mike Lockyer heads up the regional murder squad. With three bodies on his watch, and a killer growing in confidence, he frantically tries to find the link between these seemingly isolated incidents. What he discovers will not only test him professionally but will throw his personal life into turmoil too.

Review: If I Could Turn Back Time by Nicola Doherty (5/5)

Friday 11 April 2014 0 comments
If you love Lindsey Kelk and Mhairi McFarlane’s YOU HAD ME AT HELLO, you’ll love this book…

What if you found The One, then lost him again? 

Or not so much lost him as became the neurotic, needy girlfriend from hell. The girl who tried to make him choose between her and his job, and got seriously paranoid about his relationship with his female best friend… 

Zoë Kennedy knows she doesn’t deserve another chance with David Fitzgerald. But if there’s the tiniest possibility of making things right, she’ll snatch it. Even if it means breaking the laws of physics to do so…

Review: Chasing the Game by Paul Gadsby (4/5)

Thursday 10 April 2014 0 comments
London, spring 1966. England’s Football Association is preparing to host the World Cup, unaware of the shock – and shame – they are about to encounter as the audacious daylight robbery of the Jules Rimet Trophy takes place. The Football Association members have their reputations endangered as the robbery threatens to tear their lives apart...

Dale Blake, the recently promoted head of a west London racketeering firm, is struggling to deal with his unstable wife, Sheryl. Aside from his personal issues, he’s desperate to boost the firm’s income and prove his leadership in front of his troops, particularly second-in-command, Jimmy Parkes. Their plan is simple: snatch the Jules Rimet Trophy from its display case at Westminster Central Hall and cash in on the ransom.

Clement Spears, the ageing chairman of the FA, is outraged at the global embarrassment the theft has caused. He refuses to be bullied by violent gangsters and plans to rescue the trophy and reaffirm the association’s good name.

As the pressure mounts, Dale’s personal and professional life spirals out of control while an erratic Sheryl, a volatile Jimmy and a steely Spears are all determined to have their say in the turbulent aftermath of this notorious crime. Throw into the mix a secret replica of the trophy and a curious dog named Pickles, and the complex mystery deepens into something far worse than any of the characters anticipated...

Review: Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad (5/5)

 Authors: Ensley F. Guffey and K. Dale Koontz 
“I am not in danger . . . I am the danger.” 

With those words, Breaking Bad’s Walter White solidified himself as TV’s greatest antihero. Wanna Cook? explores the most critically lauded series on television with analyses of the individual episodes and ongoing storylines. From details like stark settings, intricate camerawork, and jarring music to the larger themes, including the roles of violence, place, self-change, legal ethics, and fan reactions, this companion book is perfect for those diehards who have watched the Emmy Award–winning series multiple times as well as for new viewers. Wanna Cook? elucidates without spoiling, and illuminates without nit-picking. 

A must-have for any fan’s collection. 

Review: The Dead Ground by Claire McGowan (5/5)

Wednesday 9 April 2014 0 comments
"A stolen baby. A murdered woman. A decades-old atrocity. Something connects them all...

A month before Christmas, and Ballyterrin on the Irish border lies under a thick pall of snow. When a newborn baby goes missing from hospital, it's all too close to home for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, who's wrestling with the hardest decision of her life.

Then a woman is found in a stone circle with her stomach cut open and it's clear a brutal killer is on the loose.

As another child is taken and a pregnant woman goes missing, Paula is caught up in the hunt for a killer no one can trace, who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

The Dead Ground will leave you gasping for breath as Paula discovers every decision she makes really is a matter of life and death..."

Review: The Lost by Claire McGowan (5/5)

Tuesday 8 April 2014 0 comments
"Not everyone who's missing is lost...

When two teenage girls go missing along the Irish border, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire has to return to the hometown she left years before. Swirling with rumour and secrets, the town is gripped by fear of a serial killer. But the truth could be even darker.

Not everyone who's lost wants to be found...

Surrounded by people and places she tried to forget, Paula digs into the cases as the truth twists further away. What's the link with two other disappearances from 1985? And why does everything lead back to the town's dark past- including the reasons her own mother went missing years before?

Nothing is what it seems...

As the shocking truth is revealed, Paula learns that sometimes, it's better not to find what you've lost."

Review: Dark Vision by Debbie Johnson (4/5)

Monday 7 April 2014 0 comments
Lily McCain is cursed.

With just one touch she can see a person’s future, whether it’s a good fortune or a terrible fate. Afraid of the potent visions she foresees, she distances herself from the world, succumbing to a life of solitude.

But at the touch of a mysterious stranger – who has powers of his own – Lily sees a new, chilling future for herself: one where she is fated to make a terrible choice...

Review: The Accident by C.L. Taylor (4/5)

Sunday 6 April 2014 1 comments
"The person you trust most may only be telling you half the story …

Fast-paced, suspenseful, this is a book with more twists than a helter-skelter that will keep you reading late into the night. Perfect for fans of Before I Go to Sleep and Gone Girl.

Sue Jackson has the perfect family but when her teenage daughter Charlotte deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma she is forced to face a very dark reality.

Retracing her daughter’s steps she finds a horrifying entry in Charlotte’s diary and is forced to head deep into Charlotte’s private world. In her hunt for evidence, Sue begins to mistrust everyone close to her daughter and she’s forced to look further, into the depths of her own past.

There is a lot that Sue doesn’t know about Charlotte’s life. But then there’s a lot that Charlotte doesn’t know about Sue’s …"

First Ever Giveaway (UK only)

Saturday 5 April 2014 7 comments
I have decided to run my first ever giveaway as a thank you to everyone who has welcomed me to the blogging world over the past week. I have a load of books that I've read taking up much needed space so giving them away seemed like a good idea. 

The books are used but have only been read once and are pretty much like new.

I have chosen 6 books and tried to mix them up so that there's something for everybody. 

Review: Someone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary (5/5)

Devastating, brilliant and heralding an outstanding new talent in crime fiction, SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN is the crime debut of the year.

Some secrets keep you safe, others will destroy you…

Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. Dependable; fierce; brilliant at her job; a rising star in the ranks. Everyone knows how Marnie fought to come back from the murder of her parents, but very few know what is going on below the surface. Because Marnie has secrets she won’t share with anyone.

But then so does everyone. Certainly those in the women’s shelter Marnie and Detective Sergeant Noah Jake visit on that fateful day. The day when they arrive to interview a resident, only to find one of the women’s husbands, who shouldn’t have been there, lying stabbed on the floor.

As Marnie and Noah investigate the crime further, events begin to spiral and the violence escalates. Everyone is keeping secrets, some for survival and some, they suspect, to disguise who they really are under their skin.

Now, if Marnie is going to find the truth she will have to face her own demons head on. Because the time has come for secrets to be revealed…

Review: Queen of the Court by Melanie Howard and Andrea Leidolf (4/5)

"Members are fond of saying that nothing ever changes at Belle Vista Country Club, where for nearly a century, the socially prominent and politically connected have played tennis and golf together, met and married each other, and kept aloof from the general public, all while consuming copious amounts of alcohol.
But with one swipe of a wrecking ball, down tumbles the club’s hand-carved stone sign, and with it, life as Belle Vista has known it comes to a shattering end.

Scandal arrives in the form of ex- stripper Shana Lee Jones and her television crew, who turn the century-old haven for the rich and powerful into the stage for Queen of the Court, a reality show that, in the hands of failed producer Rex Range, promises to be anything but tasteful. The Belle Vista board has sold a majority interest in the nearly bankrupt club to Shana’s husband, strip club owner and reformed outlaw biker Wayne Jones, to the distress of the elite membership, especially socialite Allie Beech and her domineering mother, Lavinia Winter.

Review: A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton (5/5)

Thursday 3 April 2014 0 comments
"Something’s in the water... The twisty, chilling new thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Like This, For Ever.

Former detective Lacey Flint quit the force for a safer, quieter life. Or that’s what she thought.

Now living alone on her houseboat, she is trying to get over the man she loves, undercover detective Mark Joesbury. But Mark is missing in action and impossible to forget. And danger won’t leave Lacey alone.

When she finds a body floating in the river near her home, wrapped in burial cloths, she can’t resist asking questions. Who is this woman, and why was she hidden in the fast-flowing depths? And who has been delivering unwanted gifts to Lacey?

Someone is watching Lacey Flint closely.

Someone who knows exactly what makes her tick . . ."

First Week As A Blogger

So it's been about a week since I set up this blog (and Twitter @bookaddictshaun) and I am loving it. I have wanted to set up a blog for a while but always felt a bit intimidated by how many of them are out there. However not long after setting up my Twitter account I had so many Tweets from fellow bloggers and publishers welcoming me to the community and it was absolutely fantastic. It left me wishing I'd set up a blog sooner!

I recently hit over 100 followers (not a huge amount I know but I never expected one follower never mind 100!) and over a 1000 hits on the blog. What made me want to be a blogger was two things. 1. Nobody in real life 'gets' my love of books, and most people I try and talk about them to often yawn or laugh! It's nice to discuss books with other readers without fear of being laughed at! And 2. one morning I woke up to a friend request on Goodreads from one my of favourite authors, I was gobsmacked and overjoyed that an author had read and enjoyed one of my reviews. 

And since joining Twitter it's been the same. I get so excited when an author Tweets me or favourites one of my Tweets (especially when those authors are Sophie Kinsella, Jackie Collins and Lindsey Kelk, three of my all-time favourites!). It's also nice to follow and talk to some of the bloggers I have followed for a long time. For now I've just concentrated on posting reviews and settling into the blogging world but am thinking of things to add to the blog all the time and I am hoping to do a giveaway soon which will be a sort of thank you to everyone that has welcomed me into the blogging world. So, thank you!

Review: Spree by Michael Morley (5/5)

Wednesday 2 April 2014 0 comments
"A serial killer thriller for fans of James Patterson, Chris Carter, Richard Montanari and Karen Rose.

A madman is on the rampage in the Los Angeles streets.

The City of Angels has become The City of Fear.

And everyone from the Oval Office down wants a quick result.

The heat is on Jake Mottram, head of the FBI’s new Spree Killer Unit,
and psychological profiler Angie Holmes to find the madman responsible. 

Until now, they’ve been great together.

Both at work and in bed.

But a killer is about to come between them, in ways that could cost them far more than their careers. Will they survive the spree about to come?

Life and death in LA – like you’ve never seen it before."

Review: Sorrow Bound by David Mark (5/5)

Tuesday 1 April 2014 0 comments
"Philippa Longman will do anything for her family.

Roisin McAvoy will do anything for her friends.

DS Aector McAvoy will do anything for his wife.

Yet each has an unknown enemy – one that will do anything to destroy them.

Sorrow Bound is a powerful police procedural thriller about how those with the biggest hearts make the easiest targets; and how the corrosive venom of evil can dissolve the bonds between good people, until all they are bound by is grief."

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