May 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!

May Wrap-Up

Hi All!

Welcome to my May Wrap-Up and apologies for it being so late! May was another good month for reading with a total of 10 books read and I’m happy that I’m managing to keep up my reading! The 10 books amounted to 2765 pages and my current average star rating is still 3.9 which is pretty good! I definitely feel like I’ve been reading some fantastic books this year and I’m glad it reflects in my average rating! As for my goodreads reading goal, I’m currently 7 books ahead which is fantastic 😀

I read 7 ARC’S this month and I’m finally caught up with NetGalley backlog which is great news. I read 4 Romance books, 2 Sci-Fi, 3 Thrillers and a Cosy Mystery so a very nice spread of genre’s! The reviews are below;

Everything About You – Heather Child

Provocation – Jessica Hawkins

Engagement Rate – Annie Dyer

The Dating Experiment – Emma Hart

Obsession – Jessica Hawkins

Catfished – Stella Bixby

Our Kind of Cruelty – Araminta Hall

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

The Other Mother – Carol Goodman

The Adulterer’s Wife – Leigh Russell

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The Adulterer’s Wife – Leigh Russell Review

The Adulterer's Wife.jpg

I’ve had the first three book in Leigh Russell’s Geraldine Steel series forever but I’ve yet to pick them up despite hearing fantastic things about them so when I saw that she had come out with a crime thriller book, I knew I’d have to pick it up! When Julies husband leaves his phone at home one morning, Julie catches a text and ends up finding that he’s possibly being cheating on her. She thinks that things can’t get worse until she comes home and finds her husband dead in bed and it’s a downwards spiral from there onwards for Julie.

I have to say I’m really really disappointed by this as I’d had such high hopes for it. I read Book Addict Shauns review when I was thinking about requesting this on NetGalley and he pointed out that there is a glaringly obvious scene that highlights who the killer is very early on in the book and he was right! There is a scene that highlighted something, and I just knew then who the killer was. I was hoping, through the whole book, that there was going to be some great twist that proved me wrong but unfortunately.

The other thing that really grated on me and annoyed me was Julie herself. I really didn’t like her, yet I had a such a great case for feeling sorry for her; her husband was cheating on her and she’d had absolutely no idea plus she was trying to manage her son as he went through his GCSE’s. But wow I really couldn’t like her! I mean she found her husband, dead, in bed next to her and she had zero empathy for his death. She was just full of hatred for him and actually seemed glad that he was dead. Like wow, he was still the father of their son and she spent a large portion of her life with him but apparently none of that even mattered! She made some incredibly stupid decisions throughout the book. I have no idea why anyone would make the decision that Julie did when there were other much saner options that she could have picked. The whole private investigator story was just ridiculous and un-necessary, and it really didn’t add anything to the story except to try and bulk out Julie’s story a bit because the mystery was just not adequate on its own.

I’m not really sure if I would recommend this, even for people who pick up the odd thriller here and there. I think there are so many better thrillers that could be picked up instead. This could have been a great crime/thriller but it had so many missed opportunities. I’m definitely still going to be picking up the Geraldine Steel Crime books as I’ve heard fantastic thing about them and I own the first 3 books.

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Our Kind Of Cruelty – Araminta Hall Review

Our Kind of CrueltyThank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for providing me with this digital ARC. As always, al opinions are honest and my own.

Mike met Verity when they were at university together and were together for 8 years. They had to part ways when Mike moved to New York for a job and Verity got a fantastic job in her field. Mike ahs recently moved back to London and bought a fantastic sounding house that he is currently getting ready for Verity. Mike then receives a wedding invitation for Verity’s wedding which he believes is just a bigger game of Crave; a game Verity and Mike used to play.

That’s all I want to say about this plot and this was an absolutely brilliant psychological thriller. This book was all told from Mike’s point of view which I really enjoyed. I’ve seen a few comments saying that it would have been good to hear from Verity’s point of view, but I actually liked that we only got to hear from Mike’s point of view. Only hearing about his side definitely made the story more compelling I think that having Verity’s side of the story would ruined the mystery of what was actually going on.

This was one of the best dysfunctional relationship thrillers I’ve read in a while and the backstory was fantastic and did well to back up the twistiness of the main plot. The twists themselves had me gasping out loud; there’s one particular one that was just fabulous, and I had to pause for a few minutes to get over the twist shock! It was so well done and paced into the plot in a great place. I had a hard time figuring out what was part of the crave and what was actually ‘real’ or not which was good as it kept you wondering and guessing the whole way through. I also enjoyed how this carried through to the court case part of the story as I didn’t know how the court case was going to go. I really liked Mike’s stream of consciousness all through the court case as we got to see his reasoning behind his testaments and it added to the theory of this all being a crave.

I would definitely recommend picking this up! It’s a fantastic dysfunctional relationship ‘thriller’ with great twists and a satisfactory ending. You can pick this up on Amazon UK in hardcover and kindle.

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Catfished – Stella Bixby Review

CatfishedCatfished follows Rylie Cooper, a twenty-something year old woman who has had to move back in with her parents and leave her job because her relationship went south. Since then she’s been applying for jobs to try and get herself back on her feet and manages to get a job as an urban park-ranger, but things don’t go smoothly.

I think this is what is called a cosy mystery, and this was my first book that I’ve read in the Cosy Mystery genre. It was a nice read but not really anything special. This was quite fast paced and, in all honesty, just a simple and easy read. This had a little bit of romance with Rylie meeting her ex-boyfriend from when she was back in high school and we get to see them catching up after being away for so long. The mystery was ok, it wasn’t too complicated and didn’t take up the whole plot line but was a still a major storyline. I did guess the murderer correctly, but I was expecting too, especially since I am a crime and thriller fan, and this wasn’t a full-on crime book so as said before, the mystery and crime elements were the whole plot.

I’m struggling to find much else to say for this! It was an enjoyable read but not really anything special. I’d definitely pick up the next one just because I know that it’s probably going to be a quick fun read that I can read within the day to refresh myself in between all my thriller and crime books. You can pick this up on Amazon UK in paperback and kindle.

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Engagement Rate – Annie Dyer Review

Engagement RateThank you to the author for providing me with a review copy of this book; as always, reviews are my own and honest.

I jumped at the chance to receive an ARC for engagement rate when Annie contacted me. I’ve really been neglecting my romance and new adult reads this year because I’ve been on such a thriller and mystery binging spree but I’m so glad that I chose to read this! This follows Vanessa who runs her own marketing company, unfortunately with her ex, and who is also going through a messy divorce. She’s currently working to rebrand Callaghan Green whilst also trying to not end up in Jackson Callaghan’s bed! Jackson Callaghan is a hard worker and is currently trying to run the London Branch of his Father’s Law Firm. He thought he was more than happy to work long hours and then hang out with his siblings throughout the week until of course, he meets Vanessa where everything could possibly change.

This book is the first in a series of books that can all be read as standalones which is something I’ve grown to really enjoy in romance books. It’s nice knowing that you can pick up any book in the series and not have to worry about reading the rest. One of the best things about engagement rate for me, was that the main Characters {Vanessa and Jackson} were flawed and not perfect people. Vanessa is currently going through a divorce which her ex-husband which is very messy and obviously is making things very difficult to work and sort out her love life, especially since she owns her current PR business with the ex. Jack also had the general personality of the big businessman and was quite dominating and headstrong BUT in this book, he realised it. He’d say things to Vanessa like about how she was ‘his’ and owning her and she’d obviously be a bit like, ‘wtf you don’t own me’ as you would. But then, he’d apologise for saying t and acting like it! Like Wow! Yes, I loved it, they seemed so much more human.

I also thought the other family members were very well done; I’ve read book series which are written in the same style as this series, {Standalone books in a series about a friend group or siblings} and you can lose a lot of the main plot and character development by trying to introduce all the characters you’re going to meet in the upcoming books, but I really didn’t feel like that happened in this book. The other siblings were all introduced but it felt very organic and didn’t take anything away from the main plot or what was actually going on between Vanessa Jackson. There were also a large number of siblings introduced in this book yet as said above, they were all incorporated and introduced so well that I actually managed to remember names and who people were!

I would 100% recommend this book if you’re into romance! It’s a very well written book with such great characters and good plot. It does have a few sexy-time scenes but they’re not over the top and they are well spaced throughout the book so if sexy-time books aren’t your scene then you could still pick this up and give it a go. You can find this on Amazon UK in paperback and for kindle.

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Everything About You – Heather Child Review

everything about you

Thank You to Little Brown Bookgroup and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.

This was such an intriguing book; both a blend of science fiction futuristic technology with a mystery. We follow Freya, who’s foster sister Ruby vanished many years ago and was never found. She’s currently living with her ex-boyfriend whilst working at store pretty like Ikea. She ends-up getting to try a new virtual assistant that forms a character and [personality based off information taken from the database for that person and can also supply you with knowledge and tailor adverts based off what you like based on your stored information. Creepy yet slightly cool!

Unfortunately, Freya’s virtual assistant starts taking on the personality of her missing sister and Freya starts to think that maybe there’s more to the assistant’s personality than just taking old, stored information from the cloud and that it could possibly be taking new information from Ruby’s current life as she could still be alive just unwilling to be found.

I loved the whole concept of the science fiction part of this book; it was very well done, and I can actually see our present-day world heading in that direct especially since we already receive tailored online adverts! The world building of this world really was brilliant, and I actually want to see more stories that are set in this world! I liked the idea of the whole virtual reality gaming and the suit that allows you to feel the world you’re in and I loved that there was the ‘technology free’ part where you could go and it was like stepping back in time.

The mystery element of this novel was well interwoven with the science fiction element of the novel. I would have liked to maybe see a bit more, but I think that’s only because Crime and Thriller novels are my favourite! There were twists through the book which kept you guessing and! I also enjoyed the outcome of the mystery and I didn’t see it coming.

I really enjoyed this and like I said, I’d love to see more stories that are set in this world and also more stories in this mystery/science fiction genre! I did feel like there was a little something missing which is why it’s jus 4-Stars, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it was that was missing.

You can pick this up on Amazon UK in Hardback and Kindle!

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Never Let You Go – Chevy Stevens Review

never let you goYet another book that I’ve been meaning to pick up because of all the hype and fantastic reviews I’ve been hearing! This is a domestic thriller that follows the story of Lindsey, her daughter Sophie and her husband Andrew who we find out is now in prison. This story begins being told both in the present with Lindsey and Sophie who are dealing with hearing about the release of Andrew from prison. They’ve created a new life whilst he has been away and when strange things start happening to them, they start to question whether they’ll be able to live a life free from Andrews grip. We also get chapters which are told in the past tense which follow the start of Lindsey and Andrews relationship and the ultimate downfall of it all.

I enjoyed that we got to see the past told as point of view instead of being told as part of the present story; it really allowed for a full backstory of what happened previously in Lindsey and Andrews marriage and how it all ultimately led to Andrews arrest. The chapters were clearly labelled for which was past and present so there wasn’t any confusion over which tense we were reading.

This was yet another ‘thriller’ that I felt just lacked the creepy factor. There were twists and turns but they just didn’t pack a punch and I just didn’t feel like they creeped me out or had that much ‘wow, that’s freaky’ factor. I didn’t see all the twists coming, but I still wasn’t all that shocked or surprised by them when they actually happened. It was obvious throughout the story that there was something else that happened on the fateful night that Andrew was arrested so it really wasn’t a big surprise when the twist was revealed, and it was quite obvious {to me at least} what the big twist was.

The characters were all well developed, and we get to see a lot of both Lindsey and Sophie’s lives which was nice. I felt like we were being steered in a certain direction in the plot to believe that it was one person who doing the stalking, but I thought that it was way too obvious. I didn’t see the plot twist coming but I still felt underwhelmed by it and if I’m being honest, I felt underwhelmed by the whole book. I think this may have been because I went into this with high hopes after hearing all the fantastic reviews and it just didn’t live up to the hype that I created around this.

I have seen so many fantastic and glowing reviews for this on Amazon and Goodreads so if you’re not sure if you’ll like this book then it might be worth having a read of those other reviews!

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