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book reviews Emma's Anticipated Treasures Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up – August 2021

August is over, and so is the summer. It was not the best summer in terms of weather here in the UK, and a difficult summer on a personal level for me, but it’s been a fantastic summer in terms of reading.

In August I read a total of sixteen books, three of which were audiobooks. Here’s a summary of those books with links to my reviews:

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

I’ve been wanting to read a book by Riley Sager for years. So when I got the blog tour invitation for Home Before Dark I jumped at the chance to take part. Chilling, nerve-shredding and twisty, it did not disappoint.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

Read my review here
Buy the book here*

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Sexy and seductive, The Idea of You is a sizzling debut that was perfect for summer. It follows the story of a May/December romance between a suburban mother and the lead singer of her tween daughter’s favourite group. A sharp, sassy and hilarious novel, this was a fun read that I highly recommend.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮.5

Read my review here
Buy the book here*

Patience by Victoria Scott

Normal doesn’t exist. We are all extraordinary. 
The above really is the perfect tagline for this remarkable debut. Patience is a thought-provoking look at what life is really like for people with severe disabilities and those who care for them. Patience Willow is a special and memorable character and I loved reading her story. It is one I will remember forever.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

Read my review here
Buy the book here*

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I listened to this on audiobook and enjoyed revisiting the start of this magical series.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰

Buy here*

The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan

Sumptuous, sensual and absorbing, this intoxicating blend of skullduggery, friendship, passion and empowerment transports you back to 1820s Edinburgh. The author reimagined real characters from history and brought them to life in this exquisite tale.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮.5

Read my review here
Buy the book here*

Cecily by Annie Garthwaite

Cecily was my 100th book this year. I read it as part of a readalong with The Squadpod and also took part in the blog tour. This atmospheric debut tells the story of the War of the Roses through the eyes of the women who fought from the shadows. Though I found it hard to get into at first, was slowly drawn in, and ultimately enjoyed this fascinating debut.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✫

Read my review
Buy the book here*

Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke

I’ve found that I particularly enjoy audiobooks that have a podcast element. So when a fellow blogger raved about Girl, 11, I knew it was one I had to download. Compelling, tense and twisty, this was a great listen and one I’d highly recommend.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮.5

Buy the book here*

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

I know it looks like I’m listening to the Harry Potter books out of order, but I actually started listening to them as I’d never finished reading the series and only got to the end of book four. I was near the end of listening to The Half Blood Prince when I paused and switched to The Philosopher’s Stone as I wanted something not quite so dark after the death of my Nan. I then finished book six once I’d finished listening to book one.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

Buy the book here*

I Let Him In by Jill Childs

I Let Him In was an entertaining thriller. Full of mystery and suspense, I enjoyed trying to figure out the twists and turns, the author keeping me on my toes right until the end.
Rating: ✮✮✮.5

Read my review here
Buy the book here

Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann

A steadily paced family saga, Olympus, Texas is a dramatic and emotional novel that follows the Briscoe family. Atmospheric and tense, this debut explores family, flaws and forgiveness in ways that really make you think.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰

Read my review here
Buy the book here*

She’s Mine by A.A. Chaudhuri

One of the best thrillers I’ve read this year, She’s Mine is a dark, devious and suspenseful read exploring every mother’s worst nightmare. But there is much more lurking beneath the surface that is slowly reveals. This is just the kind of twisted thriller that I love, keeping me on the edge of my seat from the start. And that ending: Wow! If you are a fan of this genre then this is an absolute must read.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

Read my review here
Buy the book here*

Mimic by Daniel Cole

A gritty and addictive thriller that has your heart racing, Mimic follows a brutal killer who is recreating famous works of art through his victims. It jumped straight into the action and took me on a terrifying rollercoaster ride.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰

Read my review here
Buy the book here*

No Honour by Awais Khan

Mesmerising, powerful and heart-rending, I flew through this book in just a few hours. A portrait of lives lived under the constant threat of prejudice, it follows Jamil and his sixteen-year-old daughter Abida. Beautifully written and full of compassion, this is one that will break your heart but also give you hope. An absolute must read.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

Read my review here
Buy the book here

The Wolf Mile (The Pantheon Series 1) by C.F. Barrington

The first in an addictive new series, I loved The Wolf Mile. It is out of my comfort zone so took a while to settle into. But once I did, I couldn’t put it down and I screamed in frustration when it ended. Thankfully it’s not long until book two.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰

Read my review here
Buy the book here*

Next of Kin by Kia Abdullah

Wow. Just, wow. Once again Kia Abdullah has crafted an additive, edge-of-your-seat thriller that leaves you breathless. My review will be posted later this week as part of the blog tour.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

Buy the book here*

The Last Library by Freya Sampson

The Last Library is a wonderful debut that feels like a warm hug for book lovers. It follows Librarian June and the patrons of Chalcot Library as they battle to keep their beloved library open. My review will be posted on publication day this Thursday.
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

Buy the book here*

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For a lot of this month it was hard to pick a favourite, with a couple of the month’s early reads vying for the position. Then I read No Honour, and it seemed I had a clear book of the month. Enter Next of Kin to show me I was wrong. The third book from Kia Abdullah stands out even amongst the other fantastic five star rated reads this month. Her books just get better and better.

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What did you read this month? Did we read any of the same books? Let me know in the comments.

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Thanks for reading this month’s wrap up. See you next month Emma xxx

Categories
Blog Tours book reviews

Blog Tour: She’s Mine by A. A. Chaudhuri

Published: August 18th, 2021
Publisher: Hera Books
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Domestic Fiction, Urban Fiction
Format: Paperback, Kindle

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this mind-blowing thriller. Thank you to Hera Books for the ARC.

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SYNOPSIS:

Her missing daughter was just the start of the nightmare

Twenty years ago, Christine Donovan took a call she should have ignored while shopping. In those few seconds while her back was turned, her toddler, Heidi, was kidnapped. She’s never been seen again.

Despite having two other children with husband Greg, Christine remains guilt-stricken that her neglect caused her child to be stolen, while haunted by a secret that consumes her.

Just as she takes measures to finally heal, a note is posted through her door, with the words she has always longed to hear: Heidi isn’t dead.

Christine might finally get the answers she craves – but what she doesn’t know is that finding her daughter will uncover dark secrets close to home.

In seeking the truth, Christine might destroy everything that she loves … so how far is she willing to go to find Heidi?

With a truly jaw-dropping end twist, She’s Mine is a dark, scandalous, and gripping read from a major new talent in psychological thriller writing. For fans of Harriet Tyce, C.L. Taylor and Apple Tree Yard.

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MY REVIEW:

Secrets. Lies. Deceit. Vengeance. A mother’s worst nightmare come true. These are the things at the heart of this twisty psychological thriller. Like an iceberg, there is much more to this story than at first appears; layers hidden beneath the surface that slowly reveal themselves to the reader. Intricately woven and expertly plotted, the author skillfully crafts a hall of smoke and mirrors where nothing is quite what it seems and each time you think you have it figured out, that things couldn’t get any more dark, sinister or shocking, Chaudhuri pulls the rug from under you and leaves your jaw on the floor. 

Utterly mind-blowing and addictive, this is exactly the kind of dark and twisted thriller that sings to me. A story oozing with atmosphere that has tension leaping from the pages. It takes you on a wild ride, your heart pounding as you immerse yourself in this convoluted game of revenge. My mind was full of so many theories and suspicions, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, unable to turn away as things spiraled more and more out of control. But would I be proven correct or be blindsided by the truth? I couldn’t wait to find out. 

The author tells the story from multiple points of view and various timelines, seamlessly shifting between them and creating a connection between the reader and each character. It offered us a glimpse of the fuller picture. An insight into the character’s true selves. What they really think and feel. The things they kept secret from those closest to them. It allows us to explore their deepest, darkest memories, dreams and fantasies in a way that wouldn’t have been possible if we’d only had one or two points of view. 

What I think I loved most about this story is the complex, fractured and unlikeable characters. No one is completely innocent. And no one is completely guilty. A miasma of despair surrounding them.  It is a hard feat to pull off writing so many unlikeable characters while also making them compelling, but Chaudhuri does so with finesse, managing to add sympathetic qualities to even the most detestable characters. A great example of this is Chrissy. As the mother of the missing child you would traditionally expect her to be a very likeable, sympathetic character. But she’s not. She repeatedly makes bad choices and is a selfish woman who made me frustrated and angry most of the time. 

She’s Mine is a dark, devious, warped and suspenseful psychological thriller that quite honestly blew my mind.  And that ending: Wow! It was impossible to predict, my jaw was on the floor when the kidnapper was unmasked and the truth was revealed. This is by far one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time. If you like this genre then READ THIS BOOK. 

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

A. A. Chaudhuri is a former City lawyer. After gaining a degree in History at University College London, she later trained as a solicitor and worked for several major London law firms before leaving law to pursue her passion for writing. She is the author of The Scribe and The Abduction, books 1 and 2 of her Kramer & Carver legal thriller series featuring the feisty Maddy Kramer, also published in audio. Her first psychological thriller with Hera Books, She’s Mine, will be published in 18th August 2021. Represented by Annette Crossland of A for Authors Literary Agency, she lives in Surrey with her family, and loves films, all things Italian and a good margarita!

#1 Amazon Australia Amateur Sleuth Mysteries (Aug ’19); #1 Amazon Canada Women Sleuth Mysteries; (Aug ’19) top 10 Amazon UK Legal crime thrillers (Aug ’19); #1 Amazon Australia Legal Thrillers (November ’19)

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BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones* | Amazon | Apple Books | Kobo
*This is an affiliate link

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Please check out the reviews from other bloggers taking part in the tour.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles😊 Emma xxx

Categories
Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up – March 2021

March has come to an end and it’s time for another monthly wrap up. I had a great month and managed to read a total of thirteen books.

Out of these thirteen book, seven were are debuts and ten are by new to me authors. I enjoyed revisiting characters I loved with A Court of Silver Flames and Nighthawking, and finding new series’ to enjoy with The Abduction and Mystery by the Sea. I also enjoyed taking part in my first audio book tour with The Abduction and hope to do more in the future.

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With so many great books, as you can imagine choosing a favourite wasn’t simple. There were five that particularly stood out: The Lost Apothecary, Body of Stars, Dangerous Women, The Asylum and Nighthawking. But after some deliberation, I managed to get my book of the month down to two: Body of Stars and The Asylum.

Did we read any of the same books in March? Let me know in the comments.

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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxx

Categories
Audio Books Blog Tours book reviews

Audio Blog Tour: The Abduction (Kramer & Carver #2) by A. A. Chaudhuri

Published: March 1st, 2021
Publisher: Lume Books
Format: Audio, Kindle, Paperback
Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Today I’m thrilled to be closing the audiobook blog tour for The Abduction. Thank you to Lume Books and A. A. Chaudhuri for the gifted copy of the book.

SYNOPSIS:

The gripping sequel to Amazon bestselling thriller, The Scribe.

Kramer and Carver are back…

Madeline Kramer has finally got her life back on track at top City law firm Sullivan, Blake, Monroe. But when two armed, masked men burst into a conference room one lunchtime, kidnapping a trainee and a partner, Maddy’s life is plunged into disarray once more—particularly when charismatic DCI Jake Carver, who caught a heartless killer when they last met and with whom Maddy shared a mutual chemistry, is called to the scene.

Things become more complicated when a disturbing video reveals two more trainees have been taken. What initially appears as a random kidnapping for mercenary gain soon evolves into something far more complex, the horrifying events of thirty years ago motivating the abductors and having colossal implications for those in the present…

Against a backdrop of sleaze, sex, lies and murder in The Abduction, Maddy and Carver must work together to unravel the truth, and ensure that no crimes—past or present—are left unpunished.

MY REVIEW:

The Abduction is the thrilling second installment in the Kramer & Carver series. I was delighted to be asked to review this book for an audiobook tour, something I’ve never done before.

The series follows lawyer Madeline Kramer and DCI Jake Carver. In this installment, the story opens with kidnappers storming the offices of Sullivan, Blake, Monroe, the top City law firm where Madeline now works, and abducting three trainees and a senior partner. As DCI Carver investigates, he discovers that the kidnappings are linked to dark, terrifying events thirty years ago and that this is a fight for justice both in the past and present.

I’ve not yet read the first book in this series but the author succinctly catches you up and never leaves you feeling out of the loop. The protagonists and supporting cast of characters are fascinating and richly drawn with compelling, intricate backstories that entwine them far deeper than we first imagine. The combination of the great writing and narration made it feel like they were in the room with you, transporting you into their world and the dark, twisted secrets of the staff at Sullivan, Blake, Monroe.

I liked Kramer and Carver and found them to be interesting and compelling protagonists. They were a great investigative team and I enjoyed the chemistry that sizzled between them. Though they tried to fight it, I was rooting for them to give in to how they felt for each other.

I enjoyed listening to this gripping, action-packed thriller. While it did take me a little while to warm to the narrator, I soon found myself hooked by the story and enjoying his riveting narration.

The Abduction is a multilayered, pacy and twisty story of decades old secrets, sex, lies, power, greed and vengeance that will have you on the edge of your seat. I will be reading the first book in this series and am looking forward to book three.

Rating: ✯✯✯✯✰

MEET THE AUTHOR:

A. A. Chaudhuri is a former City lawyer. Once a highly ranked British junior tennis player, she went on to gain a degree in History at University College London, then trained as a solicitor and worked for several major London law firms before leaving law to pursue her passion for writing. In addition to books featuring the feisty Maddy Kramer, she has written four stand-alone novels, including racy thriller, Illicit Retainers, and political thriller, The Darker Side of White, yet to be published. She lives in Surrey with her family.

Amazon bestselling crime writer pub’d by Endeavour Media, rep’d A for Authors Literary Agency: #1 Amazon Australia Amateur Sleuth Mysteries (Aug ’19); #1 Amazon Canada Women Sleuth Mysteries; (Aug ’19) top 10 Amazon UK Legal crime thrillers (Aug ’19); #1 Amazon Australia Legal Thrillers (November ’19)

Website |Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon*| Waterstones*
*These are affiliate links

Please check out the reviews from other bloggers on the tour.

Thank you for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxx