Girl 99 – Andy Jones

Girl 99 – Andy Jones

Having read an earlier book by Andy Jones I’ve had Girl 99 on my kindle a while waiting for the ideal space in my to read pile to jump in.

Girl 99 features Tom who has just broken up with his girlfriend having kissed a colleague and then admitting the indiscretion to his girlfriend by email (perhaps not the best way about things). Following the breakup in a moment of reminiscing Tom works out that he has slept with 85 women – admitting this to his best friend El a bet ensues. El agrees to give Tom £1000 if he can sleep with 100 women by a certain date. So Tom indeed sets out to accomplish the challenge.

The book is not explicit and actually features a lot on Tom’s work particularly in the creation of a skittles advert and his relationship with his dad and sister. However the challenge does lead to the introduction of some other great characters – I especially liked the bunny boiler Estate Agent! The challenge of course as the title suggest hits a stumbling block at girl 99 who Tom actually realises he really likes.

A great fun story that gives an insight into how men think and feel and showed Tom looking at how he was behaving and opening up to girl 99 in the end.

Definitely a hit with me

Girl 99 Book Cover Girl 99
Andy Jones
Lake Union Publishing
14th Februry 2017
Kindle
318

When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.

Tom’s first mistake is sharing this information with his best friend El. His next mistake is listening when El suggests that he bring his eighty-five up to a nice, neat one hundred.

It was never going to be a good idea, not least because everything else in Tom’s life is in complete chaos. His best friend is dying of a slow and cruel disease, his teenage sister is at war with his well-meaning but dogmatic father, his elderly neighbour is having romantic problems (and makes a dreadful cup of tea), and he has to shoot four commercials with four children and a bad-tempered producer.

And then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.

Five Years From Now – Paige Toon

Five Years From Now – Paige Toon

I was absolutely thrilled to be able to get a copy of Paige Toon’s latest book when we attended the most recent Books In the City Spring Blogger Event. As many of our old followers will now we love Paige at Compelling Reads and always eagerly anticipate any new release.

Five Years From Now was inspired by something Paige’s own father said to her once, i.e. that in Five Years’ time you’ll look back at a situation and understand why it happened the way it did. In this book we are introduced to Nell and Van who are just young children when Nell’s father falls in love with Van’s mother. Sadly as young children a tragic event separates them but through the book we see them both grow up and reconnect every five years.

In their second meeting as they grow into teenagers we see the relationship between the two develop from friendship into something more, but as is the way with teenage love it’s strong and all-consuming and over just as quickly due to other circumstances. Throughout the book their relationship grows, is tested, pulled apart, pulled back together and there are many twists and turns and complications of life that both Nell & Van have to overcome.

I really enjoyed how the passage of time was treated in the story and moved the plot on, and it helped in showing the different relationships style and responsibilities had at different ages. I sided more with Nell, I guess because she was the more present of the couple (with Van being the other side of the world), but really rooted for the couple.

There were highs and lows for each character and I was easily drawn in to the drama – I liked the way this wasn’t a simple love story – and grew into more of an adult relationship theme! Paige Toon really does it right every time – it’s a thumbs up 5 stars from me

Five Years From Now Book Cover Five Years From Now
Paige Toon
Simon & Schuster UK
17 May 2018
Paperback
368

What happens if you meet the RIGHT person at the WRONG time?

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they have to separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

The Good Daughter – Alexandra Burt

The Good Daughter – Alexandra Burt

This book had been sitting on my shelf looking at me to sometime waiting to be read and finally back from maternity leave I’m making my way through that ever-growing “To Be Read” pile on my journey into work.

The Good Daughter is written by Alexander Burt author of Little Girl Lost. In this novel we met Dahlia Waller and her mother Memphis, Dahlia it transpires hasn’t had a normal childhood, she’s moved from trailer park to motel with her mother, often leaving in the middle of the night with just what they can fit in the car. Until they settle in the little town of Aurora Texas she has never been to school.

As an adult she quickly moves away but she is still living in the shadow of her childhood, only able to take low paid jobs no questions asked because she is missing the elusive “paperwork”.
When she returns to the town to question her mother she unexpectedly ends up discovering a body and this is a good foreshadowing of the rest of the novel as Dahlia makes more discoveries uncovering the secrets of her past, and learning how she was possibly the biggest crime her mum committed.

I struggled with the book to start with, but this is a slow burn and I’m glad I stayed invested as once I’d got further into the book I was gripped to the last page. There was one concept (that of Dahlia’s fits) that I’m not sure was needed in the book, it didn’t appear to move the book along, but it kind of worked as a plot device initially in triggering memory – but maybe this could have been used more.

I did enjoy how Alexander Burt manages to conjure up an oppressive feeling in the way she writes that perfectly matches the characters surroundings and feelings. I was pulled into Dahlia’s story and determined with her to get to the end and all the answers.

The Good Daughter Book Cover The Good Daughter
Alexandra Burt
Avon
23rd February 2017
Paperback
528

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighbouring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…

The Good Daughter is a compelling take on a genre that shows no sign of slowing down. The perfect read for fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins.

Blood Sisters – Jane Corry

Blood Sisters – Jane Corry

Blood Sisters is a book full of secrets and more twists and turns then a race track!

Ali is an artist, a bit of a loner who seems to be hiding from something or someone – when an opportunity arises for an inhouse artist an a local prison Ali is strangely drawn to the role, however it soon becomes clear that someone is after Ali, sending her letters at the prison and to her home.

Kitty is in a care home, she has suffered a head injury and cannot speak in a way that makes sense to those around her – although she makes perfect sense to herself and she wants to know why she is like she is. A new resident at the home results in some unexpected changes to her life and brings up some hidden memories.

It was interesting to connect the dots between the two characters before it was revealed Ali & Kitty were sisters and as the book went on we learnt more about their difficult history and the accident that caused Kitty’s injuries.

I was gripped by this book from the very beginning and although some of the plot was a little far-fetched taking into context that it is a work of fiction everything worked well to bring the book to its surprising conclusion. It’s definitely worth checking this out!

Blood Sisters Book Cover Blood Sisters
Jane Corry
Penguin
29th June 2017
Paperback
464

Kitty lives in a care home. She can't speak properly, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here. At least that's the story she's sticking to.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it - this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that sunny morning in May.
And only another life will do...

BLOG TOUR: The Fear – CL Taylor

BLOG TOUR: The Fear – CL Taylor

I am delighted to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for The Fear by the fabulous CL Taylor.

The Blurb:

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes.

Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.

Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

About the author:

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and have been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines.

In 2014, The Bookseller named C.L. Taylor as one of the year’s Bestselling Adult Fiction Debut Authors forThe Accident. The Lie and The Missing were Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers in paperback, and both books hit the #1 spot on the Kindle bestseller list. She has sold 1 million books to date.

My Thoughts:

I am a massive fan of psychological thrillers and CL Taylor’s books always have me on the edge of my seat, so I was especially excited to read The Fear.

And what can I say except wow! CL Taylor is back with a bang and he mother of all plots.

We meet Lou a young woman, haunted by her past. As a teenager she was groomed by her teacher, Mike, and ran away with him. Now as an adult, Lou is determined to stop Mike from striking again and ruining the life of another young girl.

The Fear was a book which literally got under my skin from page one. While quite different from CL Taylor’s previous books, I feel this takes an already incredible author to new heights.

This is a very complex and difficult story but one I felt Taylor tackled well. The story builds nicely and I loved uncovering different a parts of the story as we see back to Lou’s past. The descriptions of Mike and their relationship really made the novel take on a whole other dimension. It was real, it was shocking and had me on the edge of my seat.

I loved the complexity of the characters and their personalities. The story being told from the different narratives really added to the Depths of the plot and really brought the characters alive. The more I uncovered about Lou’s past and her relationship with Mike, the more shocked I became.

The Fear is a truly heart in the mouth book, it is thrilling from start to finish. I literally couldn’t get enough, I was desperate to learn more about each of the characters and to find out how Lou would get her life back. This is one of those rare overs which will stay with me. It is beautifully thought out and the story is told in such a descriptive and compelling way, that as a reDer I just couldn’t put it down.

Well done CL Taylor, this is a reaL masterpiece!

And so you can see what it’s all about, included is an extract 🙂 enjoy!

Extract:

Hello! You at the door of number fifty-nine!’

I turn slowly. There’s a man in his mid to late fifties, hanging out of the first-floor window of the house next to Mike’s. The upper half of his body is naked and his hair is slicked back, like he just stepped out of the shower. I try to erase the image of Mike’s face from my mind, to mentally shake myself forward in time, but the memory’s still holding me tightly, like the last vestiges of a dream. Or a nightmare.

‘Were you after Mike?’ the man asks.

Do I say yes or no? I have no idea who this person is.

‘I was, yes.’

‘Friend are you?’

I smile tightly. ‘Old friend.’

His eyes flick the length of my body and he smiles lasciviously. ‘Lucky Mike.’

I ignore him and head back down the path to my car.

‘He’s at work,’ the man shouts, making me pause as I touch a hand to the driver side door. ‘Greensleeves, the garden centre. He does their pick-ups on a Saturday.’ No mention of Mike’s wife, but I’m not about to ask.

‘Fancy going for a drink sometime?’ he adds as I get into my car. ‘Thank me properly?’

I consider shouting something abusive but I haven’t got time to explain why no sane woman would date a prick who slathers at women out of a window. It’s half past five.

The Fear Book Cover The Fear
CL Taylor
Avon
22/03/2018

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes.

Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.

Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

Still Me – Jojo Moyes

Still Me – Jojo Moyes

Lou Clarke, how we missed you and your stripy tights! Now starting a job in New York and separated from her new love Sam, Lou finds herself alone in a big City where she is surrounded by new sights, sounds and experiences. Now assisting a very wealthy family she is drawn into the bitchiness and secrecy of high society – but keeping secrets in this case lead to some unexpected problems and some even more unexpected friendships.

I loved seeing Lou develop through the course of this book, her fun personality is still there along with her quirky sense of style and New York just seems the ideal place to find her as she “finds herself”. Of course the plot is not without his twists and troubles for Lou – separation from Sam – trying to make long distance love work, handling jealousy, and the appearance of a man who looks just like Will.

The unlikely friendship with Mrs DeWitt and her Pug Dean Martin was wonderful as it grew and I was drawn into Mrs DeWitt’s fabulous wardrobe of treasures for someone like Lou!

This book felt like the right ending for Lou Clarke, she has learnt from Will, taken on his advice and lived her life and finally it feels like she has found herself!

Still Me Book Cover Still Me
Jojo Moyes
Michael Joseph
25th January 2018
Hardback
480

LOU CLARK IS BACK in the BRAND NEW Jojo Moyes novel Still Me, follow-up to the Number One international bestsellers Me Before You and After You.

Lou Clark knows too many things . . .

She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London.

She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to meet someone who's going to turn her whole life upside down.

Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it'll hurt.

Lou won't know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.

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