The Die of Death by Kenneth B Andersen Blogtour Review

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life.
But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe.
Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.
The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series and winner of the ORLA-Award.
The Great Devil War-series is a humorous and gripping tale about good and evil, filled with biblical and historical characters, such as Judas, Goliath, and Pontius Pilate, as well as modern figures such as Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and many more.
The Great Devil War-series is a Danish bestseller, topping library and school reading lists among teens and young adults. The books have been published in more than ten countries and have won numerous awards.

I read the first book in this series for a previous blogtour and really enjoyed it. It was a very promising start and I was looking forward to seeing more of what was in store. Luckily the second instalment didn’t disappoint.

Continuing with the positives I outlined in my previous review, this was an interesting and fast paced story without being too complicated. I found it very easy to follow what was happening without the story being patronising in any way.

This book plays right into my personal tastes, including the dark humour, the fear it invokes (not mentioning the “C” word, but saying that in this current climate really is saying something) and the twisted nature of the narrative is right up my street. I am really looking forward to the third instalment!

 

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Venators by Devri Walls Ultimate Blog Tour

The dark unknown beckons.

Rune Jenkins has a long-standing infatuation with anything from the supernatural world, and she’s trying to hide it. If she doesn’t, she angers her reckless twin brother Ryker, and starts feeling like her own sanity is slipping. But the closer she gets to Grey Malteer – an old friend who waves his fascination with fantasy like a flag – the harder it becomes to stifle her own interest.

The supernatural suddenly invades their reality when other-worldly creatures come hunting for the three college students. With help from a mysterious savior Rune and Grey escape, but must follow Ryker’s abductors into an alternate dimension, Eon, and discover their true identities. They are Venators, descendants of genetically enhanced protectors and sentries between Eon and Earth. In this world of fae, vampires, werewolves, and wizards, power is abundant and always in flux. Ryker is missing, and Rune and Grey are being set up as pawns in a very dangerous game. The three must find their way through – and out of – Eon, before it consumes them.

I’m sure a lot of readers can relate to the act of trying not to bore their friends and families with their latest obsession, and no time is that more apparent when that obsession happens to be supernatural things – this is something which seems to divide more people than Marmite (hater, if case you’re wondering…sorry Marmite).

This was nicely written and was easy to follow without being too boring. It has a good pace and explains things well without bordering on patronising the reader. There was a lot of mystery and a relatively complicated plot woven in a way which makes it accessible to even the most novice of fantasy readers.

I would like to see more from this author in the future, as I feel this was a very nice introduction to Devri’s work. I would definitely like to follow these characters again too, as I found them very likeable and easy to understand.

The Duke’s Embrace by Erica Ridley

Unpaid and under-appreciated journalist Miss Eve Shelling never goes anywhere without a trusty notebook and her overprotective Duenna—who happens to be a bullmastiff. Eve learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted. She’s definitely not falling head-over-heels for the deceptively charming subject of her front-page column.

Local blacksmith Monsieur Sébastien le Duc is the pillar of his community—when he’s not pillaging elsewhere. He’s a rakish dandy with a heart of stolen gold and two teeny tiny secrets. One happens to be a wee international smuggling operation. The other involves losing his heart to an ambitious journalist determined to expose the truth at any cost…

Another Christmassy book which I read just after Christmas, so it felt a little strange reading this, but never mind!

I loved the chemistry between the two main characters Eve and Sebastien. I felt it was perhaps a little predictable but sometimes it’s nice to have that! There was a it of mystery behind the characters which I really enjoyed.

As this was only a novella, I felt there may have been parts of the story which could have been expanded a little, but the majority of it was explored and described appropriately.

This is part of a 12 part series of stories 12 Dukes of Christmas, which I have made a note to explore at a later date.

This is another story which I’ve added to my “read this next Christmas” list, because I really believe this would be a lot better at the appropriate time of year!

 

Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie

Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect mums in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. Turns out wearing pink piggy pyjama bottoms while dropping off her kindergartener late to the first day of school wasn’t her best look.

Not to mention Holly’s worried her husband may be having an affair, she can’t get her daughter to stop sucking her thumb, her hard-won film degree is collecting dust, and to top it all off, the power-hungry PTA president clearly has it in for her…

To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighbourhood mystery—right as her own crazy mother shows up in Primm “to help.” Through it all, Holly begins to realise her neighbours may be just as flawed as—and even wackier than—she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mum?

I don’t often read American based novels, not for any reason other than I don’t really think to read them, so I was intrigued to read this one.

I found it a little difficult to relate to this sometimes due to the location and also as I’m not yet a mother, I can’t really relate to the mother side of the story. I also found it a little difficult to connect to the characters as I didn’t really like any of them that much. Having said that, I enjoyed it and managed to finish the book. I’ve never seen Desperate Housewives, but the story was exactly how I imagine the show is. Please correct me if I’m wrong if anyone has both read this and watched Desperate Housewives!

This was well paced and held my attention. It wasn’t exactly a minute by minute thriller, but that’s not really what you want with this genre.

Generally I found this uplifting and amusing, and even when I felt a little frustrated with the characters, I still wanted to see what happened to them all in the end. Overall, I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in the genre, but don’t read this if you don’t like feeling angry with characters. I mean, the word angst is even in the title of this book!

 

Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

Last winter she had a plan.

Lucy fell in love with tumbledown Rosemary Cottage as a child. So thirty years on, when she loses her city job and discovers the cottage is for sale, it feels like fate. She’ll raise her children in Burley Bridge and transform the cottage into a B&B with her husband.

But a year can change everything . . .

Now Lucy is juggling two children and a B&B, but on her own. Christmas looks set to be their last on Rosemary Lane – until she meets James, a face from her past and someone who might offer a different kind of future . . .

Should Lucy leave the cottage behind? Or could this winter on Rosemary Lane be the start of something new?

Curl up with a cosy winter read that fans of Trisha Ashley and Carole Matthews will love.

I would say Christmas 2019 is now well and truly over, but that hasn’t stopped me from reading a lovely festive read over the last few days.

This story focuses on the side of Christmas people often forget – the love and affection of families, friends and lovers. The characters are likeable and relatable and I found it easy to envisage them as real people.

I do wish I had read this on the build up to Christmas as I imagine this to be very cosy in front of the Christmas tree. However I still enjoyed this after the season was over. I would definitely recommend reading this in December but I also think it was good any time of the year – okay maybe a little strange in August, but you know what I mean.

I have never read anything  from this author before, but after reading this I would like to see more. I have also already reserved this for next year in my Christmas reading list to ensure I read this at the right time of year! It was delightfully heart warming and I am already looking forward to Christmas 2020 to read it again!

The Perfect Couple by Jackie Kabler

The perfect couple…or the perfect lie?

A year and a half ago, Gemma met the love of her life, Danny. Since then, their relationship has been like something out of a dream. But one Friday evening, Gemma returns home to find Danny is nowhere to be seen.

After two days with no word from her husband, Gemma turns to the police. She is horrified by what she discovers – a serial killer is on the loose in Bristol. When she sees the photos of the victims she is even more stunned…they all look just like Danny.

But, the police aren’t convinced by Gemma’s story. Why has no one apart from Gemma seen or heard from Danny in weeks? Why is there barely a trace of him in their flat? Is she telling them the truth, or are there more secrets and lies in this marriage than meets the eye?

Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Shari Lapena and Lisa Jewell

I haven’t read anything from this author before, but I feel after reading this I need to investigate more!

The characters were very well thought out and realistic, and they all had their own flaws and story-lines which is always something I’ve enjoyed in the books I’ve read previously.

The whole story was very exciting and held my interest very well. I was intrigued to see what would happen next and found it only took me a couple of sittings to complete.

This story has made me very keen to find more psychological thrillers and I definitely think this is a great example of one.

One other thing of note is that the story is based in Bristol, which is a city I know well. It was nice to see a story based there, rather than in London or Cornwall (nothing against stories based there, but I see there are an awful lot based there!)

Publication date : 17th April 2020

Publisher: Harper Impulse and Killer Reads

Book Blast – Make Do and Mend a Broken Heart by Katey Lovell

When you know how, you can make anything from scratch, including a new life after love…

When Leanne and Richard bought a dilapidated old seaside cottage to renovate together as their forever home, their future was full of hope and promise.

But heartbreak was just around the corner: fast forward a few months and Richard is gone. With his death, Leanne finds herself stony broke, faced with an unhabitable home and lacking even the basic skills to do it up herself.

With the help of the friendly woman who runs the library and the reluctant assistance of the mane who works in the local hardware shop, the cottage is lovingly restored. But broken hearts aren’t easy to fix…are they?

This is a lovely book which made me feel all fuzzy despite the winter weather. Although this was perhaps a tiny bit predictable or unbelievable in places, it was nice to have a little predictability and unbelief in my life.

I love easy to read novels which are based in places that are different to what I’m used to, and this fits that bill. I’ve never lived by the sea but always sort of wanted to, so this was the perfect way for me to fantasise about that. There is a strong sense of community within the characters of the book and I really felt I was one of the team. I know it’s not quite the same, but it did remind me a little of the BBC programme DIY SOS! A large community of people gathering together for each other to make life just that little happier and easier to deal with.

There is a lot of sadness throughout, but generally this is a very uplifting, life affirming story and I would recommend this if you need a pick me up and you’re feeling low.

Publication Date: 9th January

Publisher: Quercus Books

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