The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan

The Last Days of Summer [review]

The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan

[Synopsis]

 

She can forgive. They can’t forget.

After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she’s letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.

Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by her new uncle.

Jasper says he’s all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door.

The Last Days of Summer

[My Review]

The Last Days of Summer was completely different to what I was expecting. I thought it would be a tale about family and the town learning to forgive a man who seems to have truly sinned in the past. It is sort of about this, but it’s darker than I expected, and there isn’t much forgiving going on!Set in a rural town in America, Jasper returns from a long stint in prison for committing what seems to be a pretty terrible crime, something no one in the town will forgive him for   (though at this point we’re not sure what), apart from, it seems, his sister, who takes him in on his release to live with her and her two daughters, teenager Katie and younger sister Joanne. The story unwinds what happened all those years ago, giving little clues here and there so the reader begins to see what their uncle has done. I enjoyed this element of suspense and mystery, and read on mainly because I wanted to find out what exactly had happened.I have to say, I absolutely hated Jasper. I know the author probably didn’t expect readers to like him but I truly, madly (& deeply!) hated him. He was a horrible, horrible man, one that I expected would be revealed as not as awful as we thought the more the novel went on. This was definitely not the case, or not for me at least. Not only did he viciously attack a woman he was seeing (you get the gist of what he did pretty early on so I’m not really spoiling anything, but nevertheless I won’t go into specifics in case I ruin the mystery element of the novel), but he seems completely unrepentant and seems to see every woman, including this in his own family, as potential targets. “His eyes go over her [Katie] for what feels like too long, and she doesn’t like it.”

In fact, there’s a whole medley of nasty characters in The Last Days of Summer. To start with I felt that the townspeople had the right idea: why would they want to forgive someone as awful as Jasper? Their actions later on dissolved any agreeable feelings I may have had towards them, though.

I often found myself frustrated with Lizzie- how could she not see what Jasper was really like? I suppose it demonstrates human’s willingness to forgive, to want to believe that someone has changed, if they’re family and therefore someone meaningful to them. Lizzie risked having him in her house with her daughters because he was family- if he was anyone else’s brother, no doubt she’d never have considered it.

I felt desperately sorry for Jasper’s nieces, Katie and Joanne. Though Katie makes some stupid teenage decisions based on a misguided attempt to impress her controlling boyfriend, she is a good person – and Joanne is far too young to realise how truly horrible people can be. This book really puts them, and their mother Lizzie (who is Jasper’s sister) through it, and I almost felt it was too much- too gritty and horrible- at times.

The story is fairly slow paced really, which suits their seemingly provincial, small town lives, though picks up a bit towards the end. It’s not at any point boring, but at times I felt my concentration waning a little. The writing is definitely skilled, but in this instance the story didn’t hugely grip me.

[Rating: 3/5]

The Last Days of Summer will be published in the UK by Penguin UK on the 5th May.

Many thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy of this novel in return for an honest review

Scarlet Widow by Graham Masterton

Scarlet Widow [review]

Scarlet Widow by Graham Masterton[Synopsis]

London, 1750: Beatrice Scarlet is the apothecary’s daughter. She can mix medicines and herbs to save the lives of her neighbours – but, try as she might, she can’t save the lives of her parents. An orphan at just sixteen, Beatrice marries a preacher and emigrates to America.

New Hampshire, 1756: In the farming community where Beatrice now lives, six pigs are found viciously slaughtered; slices of looking-glass embedded in their mouths. According to scripture, this is the work of Satan – but Beatrice Scarlet suspects the hands of men. As she closes in on the killer, she must act quickly to unmask him – or become the next victim herself…

Scarlet Widow

[My Review]

I have mixed feelings about this book. I had no idea what to expect, with it being the first in a new Beatrice Scarlet series, which seems to be completely different to Graham Masterton’s other work.

It’s certainly an entertaining, very well-written historical mystery, but something about the storyline stopped me from getting completely lost in Beatrice’s world.

The characters are very well crafted, with Beatrice emerging as a fantastic new female protagonist. She’s smart, strong and independent and I really liked her throughout the novel. The characters around her are suitably idiotic or naive, particularly her husband Francis, though at heart he is a good person. The book makes you think about what a tricky era the late 18th century was to be a woman, or slightly different, in that society- people accused you of witchery at the drop of a hat or blamed you for everything that could possibly go wrong. I really despised some of the village people for their narrow minded views, and had to often remind myself that this is a novel set in the 18th century. It’s lucky there were level-headed members of the community as Beatrice to (attempt to) stop everyone sliding into complete hysteria!

The storyline is, overall, quite entertaining. I felt that it ebbed and flowed, with some chapters really draw me in and make me want to find out more, whilst other parts seem a little superfluous and uninteresting. At these points I felt my interest waning. However I love any element of a ‘whodunnit’ and there was enough of this, mixed with plenty of twists and turns, to keep me suitably intrigued!

Certain parts of the story made me feel so angry I could happily have stopped reading, but this is more of a testament to Graham Masterton’s writing. There are certainly parts which are very uncomfortable to read, but no more so than a particularly gritty crime novel, which I devour in droves! I think what makes some parts of this novel so shocking is the details behind some of the scenes; they really got to me.

Overall I did enjoy Scarlet Widow, feeling that it’s very well written with a fantastic female lead and a good dose of mystery. Though in my opinion some parts could be cut down, this is still a promising new series and well worth a read.

[Rating: 3.5/5]

Many thanks to Nudge Books and Head of Zeus for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review

Repurposed headboard made out of books

Reading Habits [tag]

Love BooksThis tag was created by TheBookJazz, originally a video (which you can watch here) and put as a written blog post on Dreamland Book Blog!

Reading Habits

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?
4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?
6. One book at a time or several at once?
7. Reading at home or everywhere?
8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
11. Do you write in your books?

 

Repurposed headboard made out of books

Sadly not mine, but I’d love to have somewhere like this to read!

Readabits

1. When do you find yourself reading? Morning, afternoon, evening, whenever you get the chance or all the time?
2. What is your best setting to read in?
3. What do you do first – Read or Watch?
4. What form do you prefer? Audiobook, E-book or physical book?
5. Do you have a unique habit when you read?
6. Do book series have to match?

 

My Answers

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
Not really, I tend to switch between my sofa downstairs as long as there are no distractions, or in bed – sometimes it’s worth going to be mega early so I can sit and read a good book!

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
I have a Norwich, the City of Stories bookmark that I usually use- if that’s not on me then I’ll grab a postcard, bit of paper or sometimes a receipt!

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?
I can stop halfway through a chapter but I have to read to the end of the page. Ideally I finish the chapter too, but if it’s a really long one and I have to urgently go do something then I will stop at the end of any page!

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
I don’t tend to eat whilst reading because it’s hard to turn the pages/ touch the screen whilst I’ve got cutlery in my hands! However drinking wise I LOVE to read with a cup of tea or, sometimes, a gin & tonic!

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?
I sometimes have music or the TV on if I’m reading and someone else is in the room and wants to watch TV, but if I’m on my own I’ll read when it’s completely quiet- I find it easier to concentrate that way!

6. One book at a time or several at once?
I rarely have more than one book on the go; I don’t know why but I just love completely finishing a book, and that feeling of satisfaction, before starting another one. I know lots of people that have tonnes on the go at a time, but I like just the one, mostly.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?
I’ll read anywhere and everywhere! I HATE sitting and doing nothing when I could be reading so I take my book/ ipad (using the Kindle app) pretty much everywhere so I’m never at a loss of what to do. I read whenever I’m on a journey (I look forward to long, could-be-boring journeys on buses or trains because then I can get through loads of my book and it’s lovely because there’s nothing else I feel I should be doing!), on my lunch break at work, waiting for something to cook, waiting for someone to arrive- any opportunity! But I do also read at home as well.

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
Definitely silently, in my head. I don’t ever really read out loud. I don’t have kids to read to and most of my friends like reading themselves so there’s no need to read out loud really!

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
Never! I have a friend who always reads the last page of every book as she doesn’t like surprises (I’m looking at you Jumara!) and I cannot believe it! I never do myself, but each to their own I guess! 😉

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I try not to break the spine with new books but not too precious about it. I do like keeping brand new books looking nice though- if I lend a book to someone I really hope they’ll keep it nice, especially if I haven’t yet read it myself!

11. Do you write in your books?
Very, very rarely! If I need to mark stuff in there to put in a review I’ll use a post it note or similar. If it’s on my Kindle then I can highlight stuff on there.

Readabits

1. When do you find yourself reading? Morning, afternoon, evening, whenever you get the chance or all the time?
Whenever I get the chance! As mentioned above, I’ll read at any free moment when I’ve got my book with me (and I try to have it with me in my bag most of the time!). I sometimes have trouble sleeping too so I’ll read a book then too.

2. What is your best setting to read in?
Somewhere quiet ideally, but I can read in most situations. My favourite time is when I’ve got back from work, or have a day off, and have nothing at all to do! Then I can just sit and read all evening and get completely lost in a book without having to worry that I’ll lose track of time and forget to do something or the other!

Book Club bag

Not really related to these Q’s, but how cool is this bag? I got it from Lisa Angel in Norwich 🙂

3. What do you do first – Read or Watch?
I always try and read first, as I do find books are 99% of the time better than the films. If I know a film is being made from a book soon I’ll try and read it before then, though if I don’t get around to it I’ll just watch the film and make a mental note to try and read the book at a later date, just to compare how it’s been adapted!

4. What form do you prefer? Audiobook, E-book or physical book?
I always prefer actually reading a physical book, every time. However they can be pretty bulky to carry around depending on size (and whether it’s a hardback or not), and sometimes it’s a struggle to fit in my handbag, so in those instances E-books are ideal. Either is great really!
I don’t really tend to listen to audiobooks; I have tried in the past but found it takes so much longer than it does for me to read, and I get a bit impatient. I also find with audiobooks I’m really bad at my mind wandering and I’ll realise I haven’t listened/ properly took in the last 10 minutes of the book!

5. Do you have a unique habit when you read?
I have a horrible habit of biting my fingers- not the nails, the actual skin on around my nails, on my fingers. I know, disgusting! It’s a horrible habit I have that I’m trying to break but I do tend to do it more when I’m really concentrating or racing through a book! Yuck.

6. Do book series have to match?
Yes… I don’t buy that many books as I get so many for review or out of the library, but if I do I would make sure that they all matched. I recently re-bought all the Harry Potters books that I’ll probably not get a chance to re-read for a while, but so that they were all matching covers.

So those are my answers! If you do it too, please let me know by leaving a comment or tweeting me @lauranazmdeh– I’d love to see your answers!

WWW Wednesday [20 April 2016]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself- as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments- and I’d love to see your answers too!

The three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

 

What have you finished reading?

The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan – really enjoyed this novel, but then I am a sucker for historical time-slip novels! Read my review here.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner: i absolutely LOVED this novel, and looking forward to reading future books in this new series. “Fans of well written, authentic crime/ police novels: this is definitely for you” – read my review here.

The Son in Law by Charity Norman – this was a book club choice (mine this month!) and one we all hugely enjoyed. It’s introduced me to Charity Norman’s books, as I hadn’t read any others by her before, and now I hope to read more of them! Read my review here.

What are you currently reading?

The People VS O.J Simpson by T.H. Johnson – due to other review copies taking precedence I still haven’t got too far with this – but hope to soon!

Scarlet Widow by Graham Masterton – I’m not too far into this yet but really enjoying it. It’s the first novel set in the 18th century that I’ve read in quite some time, and I’m finding the writing really engaging. I know he’s written other series which are quite different to this one, but haven’t read any of them myself.

 

The Weekend Wives by Christina HopkinsonWhat will you read next?

The Weekend Wives by Christina Hopkinson – this looks like a light-hearted, funny read that’s proibably just what I’ll need after some heavier reads. It looks like it’s had mixed reviews so I’m interested to see how it is!

What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

Why not add me as a friend on Goodreads!

The Shadow Hour [review]

The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan

[Synopsis]

Nineteen twenty-two. Grace has been sent to the stately and crumbling Fenix House to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps as a governess. But when she meets the house’s inhabitants, people who she had only previously heard of in stories, the cracks in her grandmother’s tale begin to show. Secrets appear to live in the house’s very walls and everybody is resolutely protecting their own.

Why has she been sent here? Why did her grandmother leave after just one summer? And as the past collides with the present, can Grace unravel these secrets and discover who her grandmother, and who she, really is?

The Shadow Hour

[My Review]

I’m a bit of a sucker for a good historical novel with dual storylines; I’m a huge fan of Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley, Susannah Kearsley and Rachel Hore (among others) and know that, whenever I fancy reading something fairly easy but enjoyable, with secrets and family dynamics thrown in, one of these authors will more than satisfy! I really enjoyed The Girl In The Photograph, the only other book (so far!) that I’ve read by Kate Morton, and so was very excited to give her new novel, The Shadow Hour, a go!

Both Grace and Harriet’s storylines have their own intriguing elements and, as always, it’s quite interesting to try and work out how they are connected (apart from being grandmother and grandaughter, obviously!) The two narratives reveal a lot about each character and their thoughts and feelings, and Kate Riordan’s descriptions are very vivid and descriptive, meaning you often feel like you’re right there with them! There are lots of possibilities and ‘could-have-beens’ throughout the novel, and you wonder what actually happened and what the outcome for Harriet was all those years ago. There’s elements of revenge, family rivalries and some threatening undertones, all of which add to the novel’s slightly dark (at times) atmosphere. It still manages to retain a largely compelling and captivating novel which is perfect for a lazy afternoon read in the English sunshine (if only!)

The Shadow Hour is quite a long novel, at over 500 pages, and at times it did feel like it could have been cut down slightly, but I still really enjoyed reading it. I’d definitely recommend for anyone who fancies reading some well-written, historical fiction.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review

The Son In Law by Charity Norman

The Son-in-Law [book club]

The Son In Law by Charity Norman

[Synopsis]

For three years Joseph Scott has been haunted by one moment-the moment that changed his life forever. Now he is starting over, and he wants his family back more than anything.
This is the story of Joseph and his wife, Zoe; of their children, Scarlet, Theo and Ben, for whom nothing will be the same; and of Zoe’s parents, who can’t forgive or understand.
A compelling, moving and ultimately optimistic story of one man who will do almost anything to be reunited with his children. And of the grandparents who are determined to stop him.

[My Review]

This month’s book club choice was mine! I picked The Son-in-Law by Charity Norman. I hadn’t read anything by this author before but heard lots of good things, particularly by my mum who recommended this novel! I thought it would also be a good change from the usual thrillers/crime novels I tend to pick. It’s always nice to try something a little different!

This was a resoundingly popular choice! Everyone reported that they really enjoyed it, with one of my friends saying it was one of her new favourite books because she really enjoys novels about real life, that are realistic and revolve around every day situations with a dash of added drama! I believe it’s part of the ‘domestic noir’ genre that is seems to be gaining more and more popularity in recent years- for those who haven’t encountered this term before, the definition from novelist Julia Crouch, who originally started applying the term to novels, is:

“In a nutshell, Domestic Noir takes place primarily in homes and workplaces, concerns itself largely (but not exclusively) with the female experience, is based around relationships and takes as its base a broadly feminist view that the domestic sphere is a challenging and sometimes dangerous prospect for its inhabitants.”

The characters are so well crafted in The Son-in-Law, and that’s what really draws you in. You care about what happens to them, and the sides you think you’ll take at the beginning are really challenged as you find out more and more about what really happened that fateful night. It resulted in a lot to talk about because it’s all quite controversial situations and outcomes! Charity Norman’s skilful writing is both easy to read whilst encouraging the reader to think about how they’d feel if they were in any of the character’s situations.

The story has drama but is never overe the top, and the pace is just right- giving enough detail to create a beautifully crafted story without being too much. This is just a brilliant slow burner of a read, and I would really recommend it.

[Rating: 4/5]

Have you read any novels by Charity Norman? If so, what did you think?

a trip to the beach[Next Month]
A Trip To The Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda Blanchard

This is the true story of a trip to the beach that never ends. It’s about a husband and wife who escape civilization to build a small restaurant on an island paradise — and discover that even paradise has its pitfalls. It’s a story filled with calamities and comedy, culinary disasters and triumphs, and indelible portraits of people who live and work on a sliver of beauty set in the Caribbean Sea. It’s about the maddening, exhausting, outlandish complications of trying to live the simple life — and the joy that comes when you somehow pull it off.

The story begins when Bob and Melinda Blanchard sell their successful Vermont food business and decide, perhaps impulsively, to get away from it all. Why not open a beach bar and grill on Anguilla, their favorite Caribbean island? One thing leads to another and the little grill turns into an enchanting restaurant that quickly draws four-star reviews and a celebrity-studded clientele eager for Melinda’s delectable cooking. Amid the frenetic pace of the Christmas “high season,” the Blanchards and their kitchen staff — Clinton and Ozzie, the dancing sous-chefs; Shabby, the master lobster-wrangler; Bug, the dish-washing comedian — come together like a crack drill team. And even in the midst of hilarious pandemonium, there are moments of bliss.

As the Blanchards learn to adapt to island time, they become ever more deeply attached to the quirky rhythms and customs of their new home. Until disaster strikes: Hurricane Luis, a category-4 storm with two-hundred-mile-an-hour gusts, devastates Anguilla. Bob and Melinda survey the wreckage of their beloved restaurant and wonder whether leaving Anguilla, with its innumerable challenges, would be any easier than walking out on each other. Affectionate, seductive, and very funny, A Trip to the Beach is a love letter to a place that becomes both home and escape.

A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean

Missing, Presumed [review]

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
[Synopsis]

Edith Hind, the beautiful, earnest Cambridge post-grad living on the outskirts of the city has left nothing behind but a streak of blood and her coat hanging up for her boyfriend, Will, to find. The news spreads fast: to her parents, prestigious doctor Sir Ian and Lady Hind, and straight on to the police. And then the hours start to dissolve and reality sets in.

Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw soothes her insomnia with the din of the police radio she keeps by her bed. After another bad date, it takes the crackling voices to lull her to sleep. But one night she hears something. Something deserving of her attention. A girl is missing. For Manon the hunt for Edith Hind might be the career-defining case she has been waiting for. For the family this is the beginning of their nightmare.

As Manon sinks her teeth into the investigation and lines up those closest to Edith she starts to feel out the kinks in their stories and catch the eyes that won’t meet hers. But when disturbing facts come to light, the stakes jolt up and Manon has to manage the wave of terror that erupts from the family.

A stunning literary thriller that shows the emotional fallout from the anxious search for a young woman and lets you inside the mind of the detective hell-bent on finding her.

 

Missing, Presumed

[My Review]

It’s been a while since I’ve become so gloriously engrossed in a novel all the way through; Susie Steiner’s writing is brilliant and she has created the first in what is bound to be a brilliant new police procedural series, akin to other series I love such as Susan Hill (Simon Serrailer), Kate Atkinson (Jackson Brodie), Peter James (DI Roy Grace) or Peter Robinson (Inspector Banks) series.

The main allure of this novel is the fantastic characterisation. Most of the officers and detectives that are working on the main case are all so well-crafted and convincing that you never for a minute doubt that they could exist in ‘real life’! Manon is really likeable despite being a bit cold towards others at times, and I really felt for her towards the end of the novel. Various other characters really grew on me as I read on, and by the end I wanted to adopt Davy and take him home!

Steiner also includes so many little details that you might assume would be too much, but actually just make you feel like you’re there with the characters and really relish what’s happening. Part of the novel is actually set in Huntingdon, which is very near to where I grew up, so I enjoyed reading about an area that I had some knowledge of- though Missing, Presumed perhaps doesn’t paint it in the most positive light! Still, it is a crime novel… despite its genre, there didn’t feel to be any unnecessary dramatics or over-exaggerations. Obviously the fact that Edith has disappeared and her family are devastated about it is, in itself, rather dramatic but this does happen and the way the investigation is laid out for the reader manages to be both convincing (or as far as I would assume it to be!) and interesting. It’s not so realistic that it takes out the gripping element to the story, which is definitely there in full force, but the pacing is slower than many police procedurals move along at- to me, it’s just right. I didn’t want this to end so really took my time with it, but still ended up racing through it as I didn’t want to put it down!

Fans of well written, authentic crime/ police novels: this is definitely for you! Highly recommended, and I’m now hugely looking forward to the second in the ‘DS Manon Bradshaw’ series!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to Mumsnet Bloggers Network and Harper Collins for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday [6 April 2016]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself- as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments- and I’d love to see your answers too!

Sorry- it’s been a while since I last posted one of these! Time’s been flying by and I’ve been super busy with sorting out a new housemate and with work. Will try to post more of them in the future though!

The three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

 

What have you finished reading?

Find Her by Lisa Gardner- I really enjoyed this novel and raced through it! Will definitely read more from Lisa Gardner in the future. My review here.

Eaternity by Jason Wrobel- Now that I’m trying to go vegan (well, realistically just veggie, but still!) this book is great! Not only has it got lots of tasty-looking recipes but it also has a plethora of information about vegan diets and eating healthily. My review here.

Beautiful Losers by Eve Seymour- I was pretty disappointed with this novel, I have to say. Maybe it’s because I’ve read so many excellent novels of a similar ilk recently, but this just didn’t impress. My review here.


What are you currently reading?


The Shadow Hour
by Kate Riordan – she’s one of my favourite authors so I was excited to get a copy of her new novel to read & review. I’m a sucker for good ‘time-hopping’ historical fiction and this looks set to be a good ‘un! I’m about 20% of the way through so far and really enjoying it!

Keep you Close by Lucie Whitehouse – this looks like a really interesting mystery that’s had lots of great reviews. I’ve just started it and it’s pulled me in already!

What will you read next?

The People VS O.J Simpson by T.H. Johnson – I’m holding off watching the TV show everyone’s been raving about until I’ve read this – hoping it’s good!

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner – I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of this as I’m reviewing it for the Mumsnet blog. It looks very interesting!

What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

Why not add me as a friend on Goodreads!

Beautiful Losers - Eve Seymour

Beautiful Losers [review]

Beautiful Losers - Eve Seymour

[Synopsis]

Kim Slade has many admirers, but only one wants her dead.

Kim Slade is a clinical psychologist specializing in young women with eating disorders. She also has someone who specializes in her: an anonymous stalker.

When Kyle Stannard, a former male model with a facial disfigurement steps suddenly into her life, Kim assumes he’s her stalker. Partially scarred after a childhood accident, Kim believes this the reason for Stannard’s obsession and reports him to the police. But smart-mouthed Stannard denies the accusation and has a plausible explanation for every twisted move he makes.

Can Kim nail him?

Or is the person who wants to destroy her closer to home…

Beautiful Losers (Kim Slade, #1)

[My Review]
Beautiful Losers is the first novel in the new Kim Slade series and it’s not bad, but really nothing special.

It’s a busy book with a lot happening- apart from the main storyline in which Kim is being stalked, there’s infidelity, relationship problems, psychology, missing person cases and more. Though there’s a few twists and turns, the story just didn’t hugely grab me.

I didn’t feel that the characters were very engaging, though Kim herself was quite likable and interesting, and seemed intelligent and fast-thinking. There were parts where I think the storyline moved along a little too slowly to be what I’d deem a thriller, and though I often really enjoy a slow burner of a novel, Beautiful Losers didn’t really keep me wanting to read on. The stalking situation did add some much needed tension to the novel, however.

On the whole I feel like this is an OK debut for this series, but nothing too exciting, and sadly it really doesn’t compare to some of the other brilliant novels from this genre I’ve read.

[Rating: 2/5]

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review