My 5* reads of 2017! #BestBooksOf2017

Just in time for Christmas, here’s a round up of all the books I read in 2017 which I gave 5 stars to – the ‘best of’ list!

There’s a good number of books here because, after all, I only pick books to read which I think I’ll enjoy to start with, but I also gave a lot of 4 stars, not necessarily 5, last year… so you know these are good ‘uns!

I’ve linked to Goodreads in the title and added my reviews there  (where applicable) as well, so hopefully you’ll find some new books for your TBR list!

So, in no particular order, here we go…

    1. Everything But The Truth – Gillian McAllister [my review]
    2. The House – Simon Lelic [my review]
    3. The Secrets She Keeps – Michael Robotham [my review]
    4. Close Enough to Touch – Colleen Oakley [my review]
    5. Ragdoll – Daniel Cole [my review]
    6. We Were the Lucky Ones – Georgia Hunter [my review]
    7. The Breakdown – B.A. Paris [my review]
    8. How to Stop Time – Matt Haig [my review]
    9. The Child – Fiona Barton [my review]
    10. The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway, #9) – Elly Griffiths [my review]
    11. The Summer of Impossible Things – Rowan Coleman [my review]
    12. The House of Secrets – Sarra Manning [my review]
    13. Cold Blood (Detective Erika Foster, #5) – Robert Bryndza [my review]
    14. The Fourth Monkey – J.D. Barker [my review]
    15. Mad (Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know Trilogy, #1) – Chloé Esposito [my review]
    16. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman [my review]
    17. The Red Ribbon – Lucy Adlington [my review]
    18. All the Good Things – Clare Fisher [my review]
    19. The Word Is Murder – Anthony Horowitz [my review]
    20. Yellow Room – Shelan Rodger [my review]
    21. Standard Deviation – Katherine Heiny [my review]
    22. The Honeymoon – Tina Seskis [my review]
    23. Anatomy of a Scandal –  Sarah Vaughan [review coming very soon!]
    24. Exquisite – Sarah Stovell [my review]
    25. Crimson Lake – Candice Fox [my review]
    26. The Doll House – Phoebe Morgan [my review]
    27. He Said She Said – Erin Kelly [my review]
    28. Yesterday – Felicia Yap [my review]
    29. Last Breath – Robert Bryndza [my review]
    30. The Two O’ Clock Boy – Mark Hill [my review]
    31. Best Day Ever – Kaira Roud [my review]
    32. The Stolen Child – Sanjida Kay [my review]
    33. Before This Is Over  – Amanda Hickie [my review]
    34. Seven Days of Us – Francesca Hornak [my review]
    35. This Love – Dani Atkins [my review]
    36. The Perfect Victim – Corrie Jackson [my review]
    37. Let the Dead Speak – Jane Casey [my review]
    38. Burned and Broken – Mark Hardie [my review]
    39. Black Widow – Christopher Brookmyre [my review]
    40. Where I Lost Her – T. Greenwood [my review]
    41. The Chalk Pit – Elly Griffiths [my review]
    42. We Were the Lucky Ones – Georgia Hunter [my review]
    43. Close To Home – Cara Hunter [my review]

What were your 5 star reads of 2017?




A Few Of My Favourite Things… [October]

So here’s another post showcasing some of my favourite things – some bookish, some not!

‘Have It, Haven’t Read It Yet’ Tote Bag

Girl is holding blank cotton eco bag, design mockup.Love the design of these cool bags! If you fancy getting your hands on one, or buying for a gift or Christmas present, you need to do so before 29 October as these are sort of crowd funding to be made. So if the minimum number is pre-sold, they’ll be made, otherwise they won’t! 😦 They’re only £10 (£8 for the bag, £2 for P&P) so are a real bargain!

Find out more about the bags here.

The Doll House Phoebe Morgan

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

I hugely enjoyed this book, and feel like it definitely deserves a place in my favourites list! I mean, I’ve been lucky enough to read lots of great novels recently, but the fact that The Doll House is the first release from Phoebe Morgan really surprised me; it’s a brilliant debut which ticked all the boxes of a psychological thriller for me. Give it a go – and here’s my review if you fancy reading more about it!

LookFantastic Advent Calendar 2017

LF calendar

I wanted to get this last year and saw so many rave reviews but unfortunately I didn’t pre-order and then it sold out really quickly. This year I had a gift voucher for the site that I couyld put towards it, so I didn’t hesitate in pre-ordering the calendar and it arrived the other day! Exciting…

Great books for the rest of 2017…

I recently published a post with some of the books (10 in total) that I’m most excited about reading over the next few months. Some are released in the second half of 2017, some have already been published but I haven’t yet read them yet, so here’s the post if you fancy checking it out!

How to Instant Pot – Daniel Shumski

How to instant pot - Daniel Shumski

I’m a big fan of my Instant Pot (a brand of pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yoghurt maker and more, all in one!), but find I need some good inspiration to think to use it regularly, and not just for perfect rice (which it also does, easily!). This is definitely my favourite Instant Pot recipe book – it’s got some great ideas, not just for meat eaters, and is really well designed. If you have an instant pot or any type of pressure cooker then why not give it a go?! Here’s my review.



My Goodreads Challenge – update: 6 months in

Here’s a 6 month update on how I’m doing with my Goodreads Reading Challenge!

I have read 54 of 90 books in 2017, and apparently I’m 16 books ahead of schedule!

Books I’ve Read So Far This Year: (click the cover to go to view the book on Goodreads)

Fierce Kingdom by Gin PhillipsAll the Good Things by Clare  FisherStandard Deviation by Katherine HeinyThe Honeymoon by Tina SeskisThe Second Sister - Claire KendallExquisite by Sarah StovellOne of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManusPersons Unknown by Susie SteinerSweetpea by C.J. SkuseDeadly Alibi by Leigh RussellBlood Sisters by Jane  CorryThe Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon

The Light We Lost by Jill SantopoloThe Sense of an Ending by Julian BarnesCrimson Lake by Candice FoxDead Letters by Caite Dolan-LeachThe Stars are Fire by Anita ShreveHe Said/She Said by Erin Kelly
Spoils by Brian Van ReetAbout Last Night - Catherine AlliottLie to Me by Jess RyderThe Loving Husband by Christobel KentLast Breath by Robert BryndzaThe Two O'Clock Boy by Mark  Hill
The Stolen Child by Sanjida KayMy Husband the Stranger by Rebecca DoneThe Escape by C.L. TaylorThe Trophy Taker by Sarah FlintFire Damage by Kate MedinaThis Love by Dani Atkins
The Idea of You by Amanda ProwseThe Missing Ones by Patricia GibneyCommonwealth by Ann PatchettLet the Dead Speak by Jane CaseyDead Embers by Matt BrollyEverything but the Truth by Gillian McAllister
Black Widow by Chris BrookmyreThe Last Act of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy MejiaWhere I Lost Her by T. GreenwoodThe Witchfinder's  Sister by Beth UnderdownThe One That Got Away by Melissa PimentelThe Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
The Chalk Pit by Elly GriffithsThe English Agent by Clare HarveyRagdoll by Daniel ColeWe Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia HunterThe Breakdown by B.A. ParisThe Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolás ObregónThe Girl Before by J.P. DelaneyBridget Jones’s Baby by Helen FieldingBurned and Broken by Mark HardieWatch Her Disappear by Eva DolanThe Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici

Are you doing a Goodreads challenge this year? If so, how is yours going?


My top 20 books of 2016!

I found this really difficult to narrow it down to  ‘just’ 20, as I’ve had a great reading year and found some amazing new books that I’ve recommended to many people! But, narrow it down I did – so here are my top 20 of 2016 (though a few are actually out in early 2017, but I read them this year and I want to include them sooo….)

In no particular order:

The Girls Next Door (Detective Eden Berrisford #1) by Mel Sherratt // See my review here.
Dead Secret by Ava McCarthy //  See my review here.
No Longer Safe by A.J. Waines // See my review here.
The Girl In The Ice (DCI Erika Foster #1) by Robert Bryndza (and I’m going to be sneaky and include the second in the series, too – The Night Stalker!) // See my reviews here and here.
Missing, Presumed (DS Manon #1) by Susie Steiner // See my review here.

The Primrose Path by Rebecca Griffiths // See my review here.
The Narrow Bed (Spilling CID #10) by Sophie Hannah // See my review here.
The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh // See my review here.
My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal // See my review here.
The Girls by Emma Cline // See my review here.

The Empathy Problem by Gavin Extence // See my review here.
My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood // See my review here.
A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart // See my review here.
Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land // Review to follow shortly!
Relativity by Antonia Hayes (I’m excited to be part of the book tour, look out for my review on January 19th!)

The Food of Love by Amanda Prowse // See my review here.
All I Ever Wanted by Lucy Dillon // See my review here.
The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer // See my review here.
After You Die (DI Zigic and DS Ferreira #3) by Eva Dolan // See my review here.
The Widow by Fiona Barton // See my review here.

Here’s to another great reading year in 2017! Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

What have you read and loved this year?

A Few Of My Favourite Things!

Here’s a roundup of some of my favourite things from the last few months – lots of books, but also some beauty, fitness – whatever I’ve been loving, basically! I don’t do these posts very often but I LOVE reading other people’s, so I feel like I should post them a bit more regularly.

[BOOK] The Empathy Problem* by Gavin Extence was a great read – emotional but humorous and never cheesy. My review is here.

[BOOK] The Night Stalker* by Robert Bryndza is the second in a series that I really love, and I’m already hugely excited to read book 3! Here’s my review of the first book, The Girl in the Ice, and my review of The Night Stalker.

[BOOK] Again, a second book of a series that’s become one of my favourites: The Killing Files* by Nikki Owen. I loved The Spider in the Corner of the Room (renamed Subject 375) – read my review here – and this novel was just as good! Check out my review of The Killing Files.


[FITNESS] I’ve been going to the gym a lot but at home I find using resistance bands to exercise with really enhance any workout. I have the 50-125 pounds (green) band from Almondcy which is REALLY strong and great for assisting pull ups – though I need a less strong one now, yay! – and this green one from RISING*, which is 15-25 pounds, and ideal for exercises like face pulls etc.


[BOOK] I am really into spiralising things at the moment and love trying out new recipes using spiralised veg. Inspiralized & Inspiralize Everything by Ali Maffucci are just brilliant! I have tried out lots of the recipes and really enjoyed them all so far!


Liquid Lipsticks

[BEAUTY] I have become a little obsessed with buying liquid listicks, and can’t seem to stop! I really wanted to find a cheaper (and actually available) dupe for some of the Kylie Lip Kits, and just wanted some more colours in general. I’ve kind of ended up with 4 different lipsticks that kinda look similar though…oh well! Here we have (from L-R): NYX Lingerie in 03 Lace Detail, Ofra liquid lipstick in Laguna Beach, NYX Liquid Suede in Sandstorm, and LA Splash velvet matte liquid lipstick in Romance (seems to be a pretty good dupe for Kylie Lip Kit in Maliboo – it’s pretty cool-toned).


[SHOP] I swear that the majority of my wages this month have gone on eBay finds! There are just so many cool things to buy on there, and some things are so CHEAP if you don’t mind waiting ages for them to arrive from overseas. Yes, there’s plenty of crap, but I feel like I’ve become a bit better at sifting through the rubbish! Need to stop buying any more bits and pieces I don’t really need though…


NutrientWise Detox Tea

[FOOD] This Detox Tea*, from Nutrient Wise, are very detoxifying and have helped me feel less bloated. There’s a tea for morning and a tea for evening, each with different ingredients in. They have lots of great review on Amazon and they taste really good, too, which is an added bonus!


Cookbooks by The Happy Pear

[BOOK] Continuing my ever-increasing love for cookbooks, these were another winner (again, two recipe books by the same author!): The Happy Pear: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Food to Change Your Life & The World of the Happy Pear, both by David Flynn and Stephen Flynn. These recipes are so tasty, vegan simple recipes that don’t require a million ridiculous ingredients for each meal. I reviewed both of these here.

What have you been loving this month?

Products marked with a * have been received at a discount or for free from publishers or other companies.

My Current Favourites [books & more!]

Here are my favourites from this month- that includes books and other stuff too!

If I received any of the below products in exchange for an honest review I’ll mark it with a *- but rest assured everything here is a firm favourite, however I got it!

Favourite Books:
Bone By Bone – Sanjida Kay*: I loved this book! So full of suspense but also so relatable- I could imagine how I’d feel in both Laura and Autumn’s positions (well, try to imagine anyway!) and it really sucked me in. I couldn’t put it down! My review here.

The Girl in the Ice – Robert Bryndza*: this had the perfect blend of police procedures, ‘whodunnit’ and action. The characters made me want to read more and the police investigation was interesting to read about- overall, I just felt that this was a fantastic start to a great new series that I’d like to read more of. Here’s my review.

No Longer Safe – A.J. Waines*: I really enjoyed Dark Place to Hide, by the same author, and this was another great read- action-packed, riveting and entertaining! Read my review.

Favourite Beauty:
Bourjois Poudre de Riz
– this is a really nice, very finely milled face powder. It’s got a nice pale pinky colour and leaves an irridescent glow on the skin. I use it all over my face and in spots where I’d like to set my makeup (ie. on my under-eye concealer)

Topshop Cream Blush in Afternoon Tea – this leaves my cheeks with a rosy glow and looks really flattering. I dab it on with my fingers and blend it in, and sometimes use a brush to give it a bit of extra blending, if necessary!

Avon Make Up Setting Spray this is a great alternative to the more expensive setting sprays; giving my face a good mist of this means my makeup stays on a lot longer!

Gucci Bamboo
– my favourite fragrance ever. It’s not the cheapest but it’s so worth it for this smell. It’s one of those scents that anyone who has tried it has really loved it, man or woman, whatever age! It’s a soft, floral and woody scent that’s just lovely 🙂

Favourite Films & TV:
I haven’t seen a huge number of films in the last month or so, sadly; I did however watch Birdman starring Michael Keaton. It might not be a film everyone will enjoy as it’s quite strange and quirky, but I really enjoyed it.

I’m also watching and really enjoying the second series of Happy Valley– a great British drama- and re-watching episodes of Modern Family, my favourite US sitcom in years!

Fashion Favourites: 
Picked up this purse, card holder and earrings from River Island recently and I LOVE them, particularly the purse! I love all the clashing colours 🙂 I also went to a vintage fair a few weeks ago and picked up this amazing necklace, by Electric Eccentricity Jewellery!

Iphone Screen ProtectorRandom Favourites:
Iphone 5S tempered glass screen protector*: this is by far the best screen protector for my phone I’ve ever tried. I’ve had loads in the past which were cheap and rubbish but this one makes my phone look like a brand new device. The screen looks SO shiny and glossy but it does such a great job of protecting it from scratches and dirty. I am so impressed.

Kit Kat Cookies and Cream– my friend bought someof this which was the first time I’d tried it- it’s so tasty! It’s super sweet and sugary, of course, and no doubt really bad for you but I am addicted to it!


What are your current favourites (books and other bits)?