Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie had me laughing from the opening scene. She’s a wonderfully complex character who wears her heart on her sleeve and says exactly what she thinks. Queenie is coming to terms with a break-up she doesn’t quite understand. She puts herself out there but nothing feels quite right. Whilst her antics seem a little wayward on the surface, her upbeat nature makes us think she’s coping but it isn’t long before a darker side to her lifestyle and the reasons behind it emerges.

This is a story of self-love, growth and friendship more than anything else. Whilst there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, there are some really important themes and messages. It’s well put together and enjoyable.

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5

Fighting for the Trauma Doc’s Heart – Rachel Dove

Rachel Dove’s versatility as a writer never fails to amaze me. I adore her lighter comedy and I’ve enjoyed her more heartfelt works too. This is her first release under the Mills & Boon medical line and despite this line of books being quicker / shorter reads there was no compromises on the rich storytelling. The main characters, Michelle and Jacob, won my heart with their complex backgrounds. They were characters I really rooted for even when their interests were in conflict of one another’s. Mixing work and pleasure is a taboo I love, made all the more exciting by the life or death nature of the work. If you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy (or not) you’re sure to fall in love with this book.

Genre: Romance (medical)
Rating: 5/5⭐️

Dry Hard – Nick Spalding

Dry Hard is a laugh-out-loud comedy that’s often a little over the top. At times the humour is witty and clever and perhaps a bit crass at others. The premise of two alcoholics giving up drinking was interesting but taken quite lightly and whilst the book did have me laughing, the story wasn’t quite enough for me to sink my teeth into. Great if you need cheering up.

Genre: Comedy fiction

Rating: 3.75/5⭐️

His & Hers – Alice Feeney

His & Hers

The story is told from two points of view; ‘his’ and ‘hers’. After a tragic event, the couple parted ways but a murder brings them back together when they realise they’re both connected to the victim.

The narrations on the audiobook are really good and really being the characters to life. The voice changer used for the ‘killer’ took me a little while to get used to but was certainly atmospheric.

The story was well paced and hooked me in straight away – I was desperately listening in every free moment I had. It unfolds really well and there are plenty of twists and turns.

Whatever format you choose – you’ll enjoy this book.

Genre: thriller

Rating: 4/5⭐️

The Craftsman – Sharon Bolton

This book came highly recommended by a friend. With a strong female lead, a chilling case to crack and a witchy theme I couldn’t resist bumping it up my TBR.

The opening scene grabbed my attention straight away. Sharon Bolton is a fantastic writer and her plot, characters and descriptions are very well crafted. The richness to her writing invoked a creepy atmosphere and set the tone for the book from the outset and was maintained right through.

The ‘mystery’ element kept me on my toes. Whilst I did twig ‘who’ was going to be a perpetrator before the halfway point I didn’t know the ‘how’ or ‘why’ so there was plenty to get my teeth into and I really enjoyed the twisty ride.

The ending did feel a little rushed, especially in comparison to the rest of the book but it was all wrapped up nicely with a little teaser for a next-in-series which I’ll be sure to read. Having said that, this was a spine-tingling, atmospheric book that was well developed and gripped me from page one.

Genre: crime / thriller with a supernatural element.

Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️

The Tea Room on the Bay – Rachel Burton

This was a change of direction for Rachel Burton and as I’d enjoyed all of her other books, I was definitely intrigued by this new style cover. The Teashop on the Bay does feel different and whilst lighter in tone, maintains the same warm depth, loveable characters and wonderful descriptions that I’d expect.

I loved Ellie and Ben’s story. At times I was second-guessing and I wasn’t sure where it would end. Whilst this book is set at Christmas, I read it on a hot beach in Greece and still managed to be transported to the gorgeous, snowy Sanderson Bay. Overall, I loved the story, the characters and setting. I raced through this one and I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. It’s guaranteed to leave you feeling warm and content.

Rating: 5/5

Genre: contemporary romance

Divergent – Veronica Roth

I really liked the movie and had heard so much about the book, I had to give it a go. I’ll be honest and say it started a little slow for me. Perhaps it just lacked a bit of depth and I didn’t feel connected to the characters or world, but I found it so hard to engage with, I almost gave up.

Once the story got going in the second half of the book, I was gripped – it became quite fast-paced and dramatic.

Genre: Dystopian YA

Rating: 4/5⭐️

A Wish For Jinnie – Audrey Davis

I’ll never fail to enjoy Audrey Davis’ brand of romantic comedy. A Wish for Jinnie is a fun read packed with a comedic rhythm that keeps the story well-paced and entertaining throughout. I loved Jinnie, and Jeanie Dhassim as much as I enjoyed Sam’s character and the blossoming romance. Audrey Davis always developed does develop fantastic characters though and Jinnie’s gran just leapt off the page – she was fab. The story itself is well developed and believable because despite the element of magic and fantasy the characters’ lives are a reflection of our own.

If you want to lose yourself for a few hours of heartfelt fun, this is definitely the perfect book for you.

Genre: romantic comedy

Rating: 5/5⭐️

The Stones Thieves – Eddy Telviot

The Stone Thieves is a traditional childrens’ adventure story with a futuristic twist that I feel will be enjoyed by teenagers and adults alike. There are flavours of Lord of The Rings, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, The Night Circus and Harry Potter but make no mistake; this is a unique book in its own right.

The world building really drew me in. It was imaginative and vivid with lots of recognisable ‘real world elements’ which helped me as a reader connect to the story. You can tell the author has a keen interest in science as the inventions and creations are plentiful and beyond the realms of most humble imaginations. Saying that, I did like how many of the inventions were based on technology that we’ve almost developed because this gave the story an element of believability. I won’t give anything away because I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone but I will say this: Pass me the anti-ageing stuff now!

The characters are well drawn and the fact the main group are teens, shone through brilliantly. Their nativity at times, and curiosity at others gave them added dimensions, as did the banter between Sam and friends.

Overall, fans of science fiction and fantasy will love this book – I’m pleased to see the author has more novels planned (I for one can’t imagine where he’ll take us next).

Genre: Sci-fi/ fantasy

Rating: 5/5⭐️