Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can't afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied - by a man and a teenage girl.
A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist - but Cara's fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can't possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.
Cara doesn't know what to trust: everything she's read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?
I was ecstatic to receive a proof of Did You See Melody, as the cover is really pretty and combined with the synopsis, it sounded like my ideal summer read! From the very first page, I was completely gripped and I knew that I was in for a great story. It had me up way past my bedtime and I just couldn't put it down!
This standalone from Sophie Hannah is truly chilling and suspenseful and I can't believe I've never read anything by her before!
The characters are original and Cara is funny and relatable. I really enjoyed her narration and her inner thoughts about 'typical britishness' particularly made me smile.
The dialogue between her and the other characters felt realistic and kept up the pace of the novel which moved along smoothly.
I liked learning about the Melody Chapa case at the same time as Cara did through the articles and interviews, and I think it added an extra element of suspense.
I was kept on edge for the whole of the book and I'd never have guessed the ending.
Overall I'd give Did You See Melody 4.5 out of 5. It was chilling, gripping and packed with suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end and I'd definitely recommend adding it to your summer reading list.
Did You See Melody? published by Hodder and Stoughton on 24th August
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of crime fiction, published in 32 languages and 51 territories. In 2014, at the request of Agatha Christie’s family and estate, Sophie published a new Hercule Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders, which was a bestseller in more than 15 countries. In September 2016 her second Poirot novel, Closed Casket, was published and became an instant Sunday Times top ten bestseller.
She lives with her husband, children and dog in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner of Lucy Cavendish College.
She always trusted her husband.
Until he died.
Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed.
But when Maisie starts having nightmares, Clara becomes obsessed that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident.
Who wanted Nick dead? And, more importantly, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out the truth even if it makes her question whether her entire marriage has been a lie.
I was drawn into the book from the outset and while I didn't particularly like Clara, I felt her grief come through very strongly and experienced a wide range of emotions alongside her.
The chapters alternated between the perspectives of Clara and Nick which really engaged me and each time the point of view changed, I wanted to know more and more.
The book was quite slow-paced and while I don't usually enjoy this, I think in this case, it really built up the tension and made me even more determined to get to the bottom of the crash. Talking of the crash, I'm completely split about the ending. It's difficult to discuss without giving away any spoilers, but I'm totally in two minds about it. On one hand, I felt a little disappointed as so much tension had built up and I was hoping to be left open mouthed. Yet on the other, it was completely unexpected and I was left open mouthed, just in a different way than I had expected. The ending differs from others in the genre as there isn't really a massive finale, and because of the way it ends, the book feels more focused on the psychological effects of Nick's death on Clara, the struggles she and her family face and how she deals with it, than 'who wanted her husband dead? And, more importantly, why?'
So I'm certainly still on the fence about the ending, I can't decide whether I liked it or not, but for this reason it will definitely be memorable.
Overall, I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was a tense and gripping read which I'd recommend for those who want a psychological suspense with a bit of a difference.
This book is published by HQ and is out tomorrow!
I won a copy of the book and this is my honest review.
About the Author
Mary Kubica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter. THE GOOD GIRL is her first novel.
A special mini review and a celebratory giveaway below!
I can't really believe I've been blogging for a year! It's gone so quickly and I've learnt so much in such a short space of time! Starting this blog is definitely one of the best decisions I've made. The bookish community is so supportive and I've made so many new friends through my little blog, people that I'd never usually get a chance to meet and talk to, people from all over the world united by books.
Every time someone asks me if I'd like to review a book, sends me surprise book post, or I'm approved for a book on NetGalley, I'm still shocked that someone actually wants me to review their book, it doesn't feel real. I'm so grateful every time I get to share my love of books, it's a dream come true for me to have my own little corner of the internet completely dedicated to what I love!
Thank you to all the people who have commented, followed my blog or shared my posts, thank you to the publishers and PRs who trusted me in the earlier days and took a chance on my blog and who introduce me to the most amazing books and finally, thank you to the authors, for writing fabulous books which constantly inspire me.
Mini Review - Nadiya's British Food Adventure
I downloaded a sample from NetGalley of the new cookbook by Nadiya Hussain, Nadiya's British Food Adventure and decided that the perfect way to celebrate the one year anniversary of my blog was to post something completely different than usual and do a mini review of the book as well as trying one of the recipes! Now, there's a reason that I'm a book blogger and not a baker, so you'll have to excuse my attempt as it's definitely not Great British Bake Off standard!
Although the sampler is only a few pages, it manages to really get across the essence of Nadiya and also the food in the recipe book. It's full of beautiful smiley photographs and mouth watering food and the layout is extremely aesthetically pleasing. The introduction from Nadiya is lovely, as are the notes at the top of the recipes which tell the story behind them. I really felt Nadiya's motivation of 'family and food, flavour and fun' coming through.
Now for my attempt at the recipe! There were two to choose from in the sampler, but I know my limits, so I decided on the Cheese Scones with Chive Butter. The recipe was easy to follow and I was pleasantly surprised with how my attempt turned out! While they don't look as beautiful as Nadiya's, they tasted absolutely delicious and were really easy to make! So here's my attempt:
From the sampler, I'd give Nadiya's British Food Adventure 5 out of 5! I'm definitely going to buy the complete book because I loved it!
Nadiya's British Food Adventure is published by Penguin
Now for the giveaway! What's a celebration without a giveaway, right? Plus, it's a small way for me to thank you for reading my blog, sharing my content on twitter and welcoming me into the book blogger community.
So, you've probably noticed a couple of affiliate links from Bureau Direct. I decided to feature them on my site because I always use them to order my stationery (which I buy a lot of!), I love their diaries for planning my posts and they have beautiful notebooks and pens too. I love stationery almost as much as I love books, so I was delighted to be able to partner with them! Therefore, the prize for this giveaway is very fitting, it's a £15 gift voucher for Bureau Direct! The voucher is valid for anything on the website, valid indefinitely and can be redeemed in full or part as you wish.
To enter, simply follow me on twitter @mistimoobooks, and retweet the tweet announcing the giveaway. It's open from today (August 4th) until August 19th and international entries are welcome, although please note that there's a small charge for international delivery, whereas delivery to the UK is free with a £10 spend.
Below are just a few products which I love (each under £15) but there are hundreds of other beautiful products on the website.
The above photos are affiliate links.
Natural causes or foul play? That's the question deputy coroner Clay Edison must answer each time he examines a body. Figuring out motives and chasing down suspects aren't part of his beat - until a seemingly open-and-shut case proves to be more than meets his highly trained eye.
Eccentric, reclusive Walter Rennert lies cold at the bottom of his stairs. At first glance the scene looks straightforward: a once-respected psychology professor done in by booze and a bad heart. But his daughter Tatiana insists that he has been murdered, and she persuades Clay to take a closer look at the grim facts of Rennert's life.
When Clay learns that Rennert's colleague died in a nearly identical manner, he becomes even more determined to discover the truth behind the man's death. The twisting trail Clay follows will lead him into the darkest corners of the human soul.
It's his job to listen to the tales told by the dead. But this time, he's part of a story that makes his blood run cold.
I really liked the twist on the classic police procedural whereby the story was told through the deputy coroner. This made for a great plot and once I got about halfway into the book, I found that I was able to really get into the storyline and I became a lot more hooked. The characters were easier to connect with and I was more involved in the mystery.
Clay was an interesting and well-developed character and by the end, I was very invested in what his future would hold, both in his work life and in the romantic aspect of his life.
I think there were some references to previous books by the authors which I missed as I had never read any books by Jonathan or Jesse Kellerman before. While this wasn't necessarily a negative, I think I would've enjoyed the book a bit more if I'd been able to understand the references to the other work by the authors.
I felt that the ending left me with unanswered questions which I would've liked to have had wrapped up. Although it was to be expected due to it being part of a series, I do prefer things to be neatly tied up. I always get impatient waiting for the next book to come out!
Overall, I'd give Crime Scene 4 out of 5. It was a twisty and intriguing take on the classic police procedural and I'll certainly read the rest of the books in the Clay Edison series once they're published.
This book is published by Headline
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review
About the Authors
Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world's most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to three dozen bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series. With his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, he also co-authored the bestsellers DOUBLE HOMICIDE and CAPITAL CRIMES. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar and Anthony Awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award.
Jesse Kellerman is the author of five novels. He has won several awards for his writing, including the 2003 Princess Grace Award, given to America's most promising young playwright, and the 2010 Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle for THE GENIUS. POTBOILER was also nominated for a best novel Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. He lives with his wife and son in California.
At the age of twenty-four, Chantelle Rose has all a city girl can expect: a tiny bed-sit in South London, a lousy poorly-paid job, a tyrannical boss, and quite a few exes added to an ever-growing list.
Desperate for change, she becomes an extra in a seedy crime film. When that leads to the opportunity of a lifetime – a role to play with a million dollars to win and seemingly nothing to lose – she accepts without thinking twice. After all, what could possibly go wrong? In any event, she´ll earn enough to buy her dream home, set up her own business and never worry about money again.
And what about love? Two men have won her heart: Robbie – sultry, silent, mysterious; and Lionel – Hollywood heart-throb, charm, wealth, adventure.
But who can she trust? Who is bent on scaring her away, and why?
There seems to be more at stake than just her heart. Will a million dollars be worth it?
While this isn't my usual genre, I decided to give it a read as I thought the synopsis sounded great and I was intrigued to find out the answer to the question, 'who is bent on scaring her away, and why?' I'm so glad I did because the book was thoroughly enjoyable.
Chantelle is funny and a likeable character who made me giggle at the beginning and who later on in the book, helped me to become involved in the mystery aspect.
The story advanced at a good pace and I found myself happily turning the pages until I realised that I had ended up finishing it in a day!
The fate of Chantelle is left on a bit of a cliffhanger and I'd love there to be a sequel so I can find out what will happen next in her life!
Overall, I'd give A little of Chantelle Rose 4 out of 5. Even though it's a romance book and I don't have too much to compare it to, it was an enjoyable read and definitely deserving of four stars.
I can imagine it being perfect to read on a sunny day in the garden or at the beach. It's funny and entertaining with a twisty mystery to boot.
A Little of Chantelle Rose is published by Crooked Cat Books
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Cristina Hodgson, mother of two, born in Wimbledon, London, currently lives in southern Spain. Cristina had a long career in sport, reaching national and international level and still actively participates in Triathlon races and enjoys outdoor activities. In her spare time she also enjoys reading and writing. She won a sports scholarship to Boston College. After a period in Boston, she returned to the UK and graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sports Science.
A Little of Chantelle Rose is her debut novel.