Sunday, 16 July 2017

Review | Little Boy Found by LK Fox

Published by Quercus on July 6, 2017

Little Boy Found is an ebook-only publication written by LK Fox, which is the pseudonym for Christopher Fowler, author of the Bryant and May series. I must say I loved the look and sound of this novel from the moment I first heard about it, and I was dying to get my hands on a copy. This is one of the most intriguing books I have read in ages.

The book is told with two main characters. First there is Nick. Nick’s relationship with Ben has gone sour, but he still keeps a much better relationship with Ben’s son Gabriel. When Nick wakes up with a heavy hangover one morning, he rushes to do the school run but after dropping Gabriel off at school another car collides with his. The driver refuses to swap insurance details so Nick takes a photo of the licence plate only later to discover that there is a boy in the back of the car – and that boy is Gabriel.

The other main character is Ella. Ella is a teenage girl who has an obsession with a band and a particular person in that band, the lead singer, of course. A lot of teenage girls could probably relate to how desperate she is to meet her favourite band and how they consume her life. I know that when I was a teenager, music was a massive part of my life, and meeting bands was a highlight of my teenage years. But for Ella, things take a huge turn with massive consequences…

There’s no denying that both Nick and Ella are incredibly interesting characters with big stories to tell. Early on in the book it did feel like I was reading two different books at the same time because their stories felt alien to each other. I couldn’t see the connection. But things become clearer later on and the author well connects their stories together.

Character development is something I thought the author did really well. It is also something hard to talk about for spoilers sake, but I will say this was probably my favourite thing about the book – seeing how the characters change and are impacted by certain circumstances. I was definitely drawn, at first, to Nick’s side of the story a lot more than Ella’s, but soon the author had me obsessing over them both.

There were parts of this book I struggled with though. This book is billed to be unpredictable but yet once I worked out the connection between Nick and Ella, I found it anything but. I don’t necessarily mind when a book isn’t predictable but Little Boy Found was lacking in other things for me too. One thing I loved about the sound of this book was how it was a different take on a missing child story. This was a big reason why the book appealed to me so much, but despite this being a big mystery novel, it lacked believability, something which is a big thing to me when reading psychological novels. Why that genre appeals to me is because the books tend to mess with my mind a lot and leave me unable to think about anything else as the situations within are so plausible. Whilst this book did mess with my mind, it was in a completely different way as I spent a lot of time either trying to work out what was happening or trying to imagine any of it happening and I didn’t manage well at doing either of them.

Despite how I felt about many aspects of this book, I was still drawn to it and never even considered stopping until I had reached the end and found out what was going to happen to these characters. I found so many parts of this book fascinating and it is 100% a book you will feel the need to discuss with other readers as there are so many talking points. Sadly, though, I didn’t love this book like I wanted to.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Giveaway | When We Were Friends by Tina Seskis

Good morning. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Last night I annouced the winner of last weekend's giveaway for He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly, so do check Twitter if you entered it.

Today's giveaway is for a book I read a couple of years ago and couldn't stop thinking about - When We Were Friends by Tina Seskis.

This week's prize includes: 
Proof copy of When We Were Friends by Tina Seskis
Kikki K notebook

Giveaway begins on the 15/07/2017 and ends at 23:59 on the 21/07/2017. 
Prize is as pictured above. 
Open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Guest Post | Top Three Spy Films That Influenced My Writing by Matthew Richardson (My Name is Nobody)

Published by Penguin on July 13, 2017

Top Three Spy Films That Influenced My Writing


Richard Burton is the perfect fit for Alec Leamas, a crumpled MI6 agent-runner sent out on one final operation. Probably the most famous spy thriller of all time and certainly the most stylishly written. Set to be revived with a new BBC adaptation, but don’t miss the original.


One of the most iconic spy films ever made, based on the original novel by Frederick Forsyth. Edward Fox is unmissable as the elusive Jackal, an assassin preparing to take out President Charles de Gaulle. An eerie and compelling conspiracy thriller that more than stands the test of time.

SKYFALL (2012)

The first Bond film directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall combines Daniel Craig’s rugged interpretation of Bond with a new and beguiling visual style. The result is an adaptation that, despite not being taken from a Fleming novel, feels closer to the spirit of the original source material than any other onscreen incarnation.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Review | Summer's Lease by Carrie Elks

Published by Piatkus on July 13, 2017

Summer’s Lease is book one in Carrie Elks’ Shakespeare Sisters series. With its stunning Lake Como setting, this is an ideal, sizzling summer read, but be sure to pick up a copy after booking your summer holiday as once I started this book, I wanted nothing more but to be basking in the Italian sun.

Cesca Shakespeare has finally hit rock bottom. Since her first play failed, partly due to a guy called Sam Carlton who she resents, she has been sacked from a series of jobs. Jobs such as waitressing in a cat cafĂ©. This is not the life Cesca wants to live. Having barely enough to pay the rent, and no money whatsoever to afford any food to eat, Cesca doesn’t believe things can get any worse, but she also doesn’t know how things can get any better. That is until a member of her family comes to the rescue with a family in Italy who need their house looking after over the summer. This opportunity would put money into Cesca’s pockets and also provide her with the peace and quiet to finally put pen to paper and write another play. Sounds simple, right?

Of course you don’t need to read the blurb to know what’s coming. Who better to turn up at the Italian villa than a certain Sam Carlton? From the moment he arrived back on the scene, I was really excited to see how things were going to play out. I love a good enemies to lovers style romance novel and this one was perfectly enjoyable. There was evident chemistry between Cesca and Sam right from the moment they meet again, although I did think it could have been raised even more. It was still sizzling and full of angst and drama, but I would have loved even more of that. With that being said, though, I found myself fully engrossed in their lives.

Cesca I found to be a likeable character. I think the author began the novel really well as the way Cesca is described, along with her failed jobs and wasted opportunities, really made me feel for the character. Being a playwright gave her character a different edge and though, just as I expected and wanted, a lot of the drama between her and Sam has been done before in many other books, her character still stands out for her different job role and that fact that she was incredibly feisty and she does quite a lot of speaking before thinking, which made her even more entertaining. She’s a character I definitely wanted to succeed, and I enjoyed following her story.

Sam has returned to Lake Como after being portrayed badly in the press again. He needs to step away from Google, stop reading what others think of him, and sort out his own issues. I liked Sam but I didn’t love him. I did love reading about him though. His dialogue and interactions with Cesca made me smile throughout and I loved the softer edge to their friendship and how that could turn into something steamier just like that.

One of my favourite parts of this book was how evocatively Carrie Elks described everything. From the location to the food, to the culture and the chemistry between Sam and Cesca, Summer’s Lease was entirely dreamy and perfect beach-reading escapism. I also loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter which set them up nicely and teased a little bit of what might be to come. These were just little touches but they added to the entire reading experience. Overall I raced through this book in less than a day as I was fully wrapped up in the will they-won’t they romance between Cesca and Sam.

From the bits we got to read about Cesca’s sisters, I am looking forward to reading future books in the Shakespeare Sisters series too.

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