The Silk Weaver – Liz Trenow

The Silk Weaver – Liz Trenow

With thanks to the publishers for sending us a copy of this book in exchange for review.  I was interested in the description of this book, which bought to mind the books of Dinah Jefferies that I’ve been enjoying recently and I was intrigued to take on another authors take on historical romance.

 

In the Silk Weaver Liz Trenow introduces us to Anna Butterfield, on the death of her mother she has given up the comforts of her peaceful life tending to her dad and sister and is thrown head first into London life with her aunt – her uncle a silk merchant has a social status which Anna finds she must also step into.  She must wear the right clothes and be seen with the right people for a young woman of her status.

However soon on arriving Anna meets French silk weaver Henri and soon through several twists of fates their lives become intertwined in a forbidden romance.

Trenow has managed to weave a wonderful story which immerses the reader in history, I did however find this book a bit slow going to start with and it takes a long time to get into the romance.  However once it began I was drawn into the relationship and the book was better for it.

 

The Silk Weaver Book Cover The Silk Weaver
Liz Trenow
Pan
Paperback
416

1760, Spitalfields. Anna Butterfield’s life is about to change forever, as she moves from her idyllic Suffolk home to be introduced into London society. A chance encounter with a French silk weaver, Henri, draws her in to the volatile world of the city’s burgeoning silk trade. Henri is working on his ‘master piece’, to become a master weaver and freeman; Anna longs to become an artist while struggling against pressure from her uncle’s family to marry a wealthy young lawyer.

As their lives become ever more intertwined, Henri realises that Anna’s designs could give them both an opportunity for freedom. But his world becomes more dangerous by the day, as riots threaten to tear them apart forever . . .

Inspired by real historical events and characters, The Silk Weaver is a captivating, unforgettable story of illicit romance in a time of enlightenment and social upheaval.

The Summer of Impossible Things – Rowan Coleman

The Summer of Impossible Things – Rowan Coleman

We were absolutely ecstatic to receive a very special bloggers copy of Rowan’s latest novel A Summer of Impossible Things and eager to get lost amongst it’s pages!

In a new turn for Rowan this story explores the possibility of time travel, but in a very clever way.  Luna and her sister have lost their mum and are visiting America to sell off her old family home, but the death of their mother has uncovered some major secrets about who Luna is and being back in her mum’s childhood home has some unsettling effects for Luna – she finds she is literally drawn back in time and it’s possible that it’s down to her to change the tragic events of the past and hopefully make a new brighter future for her family.

The plot was very cleverly put together for this story and despite the time travel it was never unclear where you were in time or the story and the plot unwound naturally.  I really enjoyed the relationship between Luna and her sister and how Luna supported her sister through her own issues.  Luna was selfless in her determination to resolve the issues from the past even though it was clear this could mean she lost herself and her own happiness in the process.

The subplot of Luna’s own love interest in the past was also well done – showing two people drawn together by fate and unexpected circumstance and how they can overcome barriers to find love.

There are very few time travelling novels that I’ve actually enjoyed but I can genuinely add this one to the list.  A beautiful book!

The Summer of Impossible Things Book Cover The Summer of Impossible Things
Rowan Coleman
Ebury Digital
29th June 2017
Paperback
400

This summer, get ready to believe in Impossible Things with the brand new book from international bestseller, Rowan Coleman. This is THE TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE for a new generation of readers. Available to pre-order now!

If you could change the past, would you?

Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death.

Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977.

At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?

A Twist of the Knife – Becky Masterman

A Twist of the Knife – Becky Masterman

With thanks to The Orion Publishing Group for allowing us an advance copy of this book in exchange for review – the third in a series by Becky Masterman, however we’ve not read any of the previous books and had no problem getting stuck into this story reading it as a standalone.

Here we meet Bridget Quinn reminiscing on her first time witnessing someone’s execution and flashing forwards to present day where she winds up travelling to her parents as her dad is gravely ill and reencountering an old colleague who is now desperate to save a man days away from execution on death row.  Marc Creighton is accused of the murder of his wife, thanks to some loose fingerprint evidence, and it’s also believed he murdered his children who disappeared the same night.

Marc however has always protested his innocence but can he convince those who want to put him to death in time?  Bridget is looking over the case and this turns into a gripping thriller with a race against the clock element – unfortunately at some point the clock runs out but the pace of the story doesn’t falter and there are many more puzzle pieces to fit together before the oh my god twist of an ending!

A fantastic crime narrative and I’m sure to return to this author!

A Twist of the knife Book Cover A Twist of the knife
Becky Masterman
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
8th June 2017
Kindle
320

It takes a strong woman to be able to watch someone die.

Brigid Quinn is tough, determined, steely and sharper than sharp. As an ex-agent of the FBI she has seen it all, and survived. But nothing can cut her closer to the bone than family...

When Brigid gets a call from her mother saying her father is in hospital with pneumonia, she decides to check on her former colleague Laura Coleman who is living nearby. Having saved Brigid's life, Laura is now working on an 'innocence project', investigating cold cases. And one in particular seems to have caught her attention. Fifteen years before, Marcus Creighton was accused of killing his wife and three children. Now the state governor has signed the warrant for his execution.

Worried that her friend is getting in too deep, Brigid promises to help. But what if her instincts are betraying her? If she can't even trust her memories of her own childhood, how can she make a call on some stranger's story that took place over fifteen years before?

Blog Tour – Before the Rains – Dinah Jefferies

Blog Tour – Before the Rains – Dinah Jefferies

We’re really enjoying reading Dinah Jefferies at Compelling reads so were thrilled to be asked again to take part in the Blog Tour for her latest novel Before The Rains.

This time Dinah takes us on a journey to India – Eliza is an aspiring photographer, who is widowed but determined to forge ahead in her career.  She has connections with India from her childhood, where she tragically witnessed the death of her father, murdered by a bomb from a freedom group.  This sets up the political undercurrent of the story, as old traditions struggle against British rule and the fight for freedom from it.

Eliza has returned to photograph the royal family of Rajputana where she meets and is attracted to Prince Jay, second in line to the throne, while he teaches Eliza about Indian culture she shows him the true poverty of his country and inspires him to take up a project of water irrigation. As Eliza grows closer to Jay it isn’t unnoticed by those around and she is discouraged from getting close to him as he is destined to marry well.  British diplomat Clifford also has designs on her and in using her to spy on the Royal family.

It’s a complex love story which is cleverly played out to highlight the politics of the time – both sides end up making sacrifices for love and in Eliza’s case she makes a few discoveries about her own identity, as a woman post widowhood and her family history.

It’s a novel which again blends history, romance and the exotic Indian landscape into a captivating story, it’s Dinah’s signature style which works so well and keeps us returning to her stories.

See our other Dinah Jefferies reviews and posts here: http://compellingreads.co.uk/?s=dinah+jefferies

Before The Rains Book Cover Before The Rains
Dinah Jefferies
Penguin
23rd February 2017
Paperback
400

1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband's death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza's only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she's determined to make a name for herself.

But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince's handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families - and society - think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what's expected, or following their hearts. . .

Blog Tour: BLINK by KL Slater

Blog Tour: BLINK by KL Slater

BLINK by KL Slater – 

What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace.

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter.

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the TrainBehind Closed Doors and The Sister.

Blink is one of those rare books that has you gripped from page one. We meet Toni, devastated after the loss of her husband, she moves across the country with her 5 year old daughter Evie to start again. One day Toni is late getting to school to pick up her daughter, she arrives to find her daughter has vanished in to thin air. Toni remains adamant her daughter is still alive.

I loved Blink, I was immediately captivated by Toni’s story and was desperate to keep reading. Slater’s writing style is very clever and really managed to draw me in to the story. Slater manages to flit effortlessly between the past and the present, weaving an intricate tale that builds tension throughout with some exciting plot twists and red herrings to keep you guessing the whole way through. I loved discovering more about Toni’s past and how everything tied together to come to the point in her life she has reached. While she isn’t the easiest of characters to like at first, I admired Toni’s strength and her determination to carry on and raise her daughter the best she can and her unwavering belief in her daughter still being alive.

Blink was an exciting and compelling read. I never suspected where the plot would take me and I was eager to read on to learn more and uncover the secrets surrounding the disappearance of Evie. Slater manages to tackle some difficult topics and I was intrigued and fascinated with the way she tackled Toni and the parents role and position in society when their child goes missing and the blame often attributed to them.

This is a different but clever crime thriller and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. I could say so much more about this book but I don’t want to spoil this incredible story for anyone. Blink is a book to be read and enjoyed, a story to be immersed in and to live.

What readers are saying about Blink:

‘I was excited to start reading this one and once I started I couldn’t stop. I devoured it. Chomped away chapter by chapter until I have hoofed the whole damned lot and you know what? It left me hungry for more …An absolutely stonking 5 stars from me. Jen Med’s Book Reviews

‘This is a novel that those who liked The Girl on The Train and Behind Closed Doors won’t want to miss’ My Little Book Corner

‘I finished this book in nearly one day. I was completely unable to put this book down. Everything about this book sucks you in and doesn’t let go.’ Bombshell Reads

Blink was just BRILLIANT’ It’s All About Books

‘A thrilling roller coaster of a read that will have you gripping on for dear life to see how it will all end’ By the Letter Book Reviews

‘The book had me from the very first sentence and kept hold of me until I finished it…. There are twists galore but on one occasion my jaw actually dropped open as I realised that all was not as it seemed. Fantastic writing, excellent characterisation that has left me salivating for book number three! Five stars.’ Angela Marsons

‘Five stars! This book had me hook line and sinker … this author’s mind is very very clever …’ Sue and her Books

‘WOW,What a corker of a book, gripping story, believable untrustworthy characters and not just one but two totally jaw dropping unexpected twists.’ Nicki’s Life of Crime

‘What a read …The ending took me completely by surprise! In most books, I end up guessing the ending, but this book was spectacular. The book had me gripped from word ‘go’. I couldn’t stop reading …a brilliant brilliant book’Any Excuse to Read

‘a fantastic psychological thriller and I was kept hooked throughout. Lots of twists and turns, an excellent pace and so much suspense and surprise, I didn’t quite know where the book was going at times …couldn’t be anything other than five stars!’ Donna’s Book Blog

‘With bucketfuls of suspense and intrigue Blink is guaranteed to keep the most hardened psychological thriller love on the edge of their seats. Five Stars. ‘ The Book Review Cafe

‘Pure genius!! Blink is everything a psychological thriller should be! K L Slater is in a class of her own …Just when you think you have it figured out, you are knocked out of the park! One of the most mind-bending twists ever, just simply stunning!’ What Rachel Read Next

‘The twist towards the end took me completely by surprise. I actually had to put the book down for a moment and stop before I could carry on. It really took my breath away. K. L. Slater pulled this off brilliantly!’ Hooked from Page One

‘K.L. Slater has done it again with her latest book, Blink. From a creepy beginning to the twisty end, this book keeps the reader on the edge of his or her seat. Hang on for the ride’ Shelf Knowledge

 

About KL Slater

For many years, psychological thriller author KL Slater sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

www.KLSlaterAuthor.com

www.facebook.com/KimLSlaterAuthor

BLINK Book Cover BLINK
KL Slater
Bookouture
15/02/2017
326

What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace.

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter.

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the TrainBehind Closed Doors and The Sister.

Watching Edie – Camilla Way

Watching Edie – Camilla Way

With thanks to the publishers for allowing us an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley.

 

Intrigued by the blurb billing this as “The most unsettling psychological thriller you’ll read this year“, we couldn’t not check this book out.  Watching Edie brings us Edie, living what can be described as a dead end life in a cheap flat, working a dead end job, she is haunted by something from her past.  When an old friend Heather turns up out of the blue it’s clear there is a history between the two women and one which Edie may want to forgot.

Edie it soon turns out is pregnant following a brief encounter with a co-worker who has since left never knowing about the baby, when the baby is born thoughts of her past stop Edie from bonding with the child and somehow Heather steps in, but in turn further pushes Edie away from her friends and remaining family, but also closer to her new neighbour.

Edie and Heather’s history is told in a second narrative of flashbacks, which slowly reveals a story of teenage drama, of a friendship which is challenged by a poisonous relationship which Edie is blinded by.

You’ll find yourself gripped by this plot and desperate to find out the truth of what happened between Edie and Heather.  It’s clear that Heather has an unhealthy obsession with Edie, but the twist the end will leave you shocked and stunned!

I was rooting for Edie through most of the book and somewhat wary of Heather who comes across as a strange obsessed figure, but the truth behind the plot really makes you rethink at the conclusion and will stay with you a long time.

Definitely one of the best psychological thrillers this year to date!

Watching Edie Book Cover Watching Edie
Camilla Way
HarperCollins
7th April 2017
Kindle

THERE ARE SOME FRIENDS YOU’LL NEVER FORGET…
NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY

BEFORE
Edie is the friend that Heather has always craved. But one night, it goes terrifyingly wrong. And what started as an innocent friendship ends in two lives being destroyed.

AFTER
Sixteen years later, Edie is still rebuilding her life. But Heather isn’t ready to let her forget so easily. It’s no coincidence that she shows up when Edie needs her most.

NOW
Edie or Heather?
Heather or Edie?

Someone has to pay for what happened, but who will it be?

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