Thursday, 26 January 2017

Review: Paper Princess / Broken Prince / Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

This review is for all three books in The Royals series - because I binge read them this week and they're now all one big crazy mess in my head.



These Royals will ruin you…
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PAPER PRINCESS
Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone. 

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees. 
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BROKEN PRINCE
Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

She might be right.

Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.
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TWISTED PALACE
Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.

They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.
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REVIEW
'These Royals will ruin you' - YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN!

Yes these books are trashy and far fetched but they are beyond addictive and I literally could not put them down! I read the trilogy every spare minute that I found for five days straight and now that it's over I don't know what to do with my life!

Enter Ella Harper. Stereotypically down on her luck, headstrong and fiercely independent heroine who finds herself plucked from a life in the gutter by her fairy godfather of sorts Callum Royal. Only she has to share his fairytale palace with his five sons, none of whom want her there and all of whom have dark secrets to bear. I hated all five of them at first, and by the end of the trilogy I was in varying states of love with them all. Reed, obviously, is my new book boyfriend, but Easton turned out to be all kinds of adorable and possibly my favourite character of them all. The twins Sawyer and Sebastian were hilarious, and Gideon was so absent and mysterious that I'd love to know more about him. In fact I'm hoping and praying that all of the brothers (but especially Easton) get their own spin off stories!

The plot gets more and more ridiculous and unbelievable as it goes along, but suspend your disbelief and just go with it. I'm thanking my lucky stars that I found Paper Princess once the whole trilogy was out - I don't know how I'd have coped if I'd had to wait for the next installment!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Review: Pengelly's Daughter by Nicola Pryce

 
Cornwall, 1793: Rose Pengelly's father has been ruined—he has lost his boat yard and his fortune, plunging Rose and her mother into poverty and debt. There appears to be only one way out of their terrible circumstances; for Rose to marry Mr Tregellas, a powerful timber merchant and the man Rose believes is responsible for her father's downfall. He has made his terms clear; either she marries him or faces homelessness and destitution. Desperate, Rose sets out to find evidence of Mr Tregellas's wrongdoing. In her search, she encounters a mysterious young sailor called Jim, who refuses to disclose his identity. Even as she falls in love with him, she questions who he really is. He may help her restore her fortune and her good name, but does he ever tell her the truth?

Review

From the cover of this novel I got a Catherine Cookson/family saga vibe that I have to admit almost put me off. But the blurb and the comparisons with Poldark had me sold. For a debut novel this has all the makings of a great historical adventure. I actually looked up the author expecting a back catalogue of similar novels so well established was her style, characterisation, and vivid descriptions of the sights and smells of Cornwall.

Rose, true to form in this genre of novel, was a feisty and headstrong heroine, fighting to make her own way in what was very much a man's world.She was ahead of her time in her thinking, with ideas that many of the other characters found shocking. As for Jim, well... I only wish that we saw more of him. The relationship he had with Rose was my favourite part of the novel and I would have loved more of an ending to their story. Hopefully this is just the beginning for them and a sequel of some kind is in the works - there are so many brilliant characters that there is easily scope for more stories set in this particular fictional community.

4/5 stars: With a hero who is more than a match for Ross Poldark, this is a fast paced and fun historical romp through Cornwall.

Review: Everything You Told Me by Lucy Dawson

 
You went to bed at home, just like every other night.
You woke up in the back of a taxi, over 250 miles away.
You have no idea how you got there and no memory of the last ten hours.
You have no phone, no money; just a suicide note in your coat pocket, in your own writing.
You know you weren’t planning to kill yourself.
Your family and friends think you are lying.

Someone knows exactly what happened to you.
But they’re not telling…


Review 
Thanks to Corvus Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a review. Thanks also to them for sending me an anonymous fake taxi receipt - a cheeky nod to the plot of this novel that left me massivey confused and accusing my long suffering boyfriend of pranking me! As to the book itself, it has all the ingredients for a good psychological thriller , and the opening was really strong. The central character I found really annoying and difficult to like -  but that really isn't uncommon for me in novels of this genre! It is a little drawn out in places, but it contains enough drama to keep you interested . No-one is entirely trustworthy, and I was kept guessing until the very end as to what actually happened to Sally that night. A twisty and unpredictable read that's sure to satisfy thriller fans.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Review: The Book of Mirrors by E.O Chirovici


I was lucky enough to snag one of the gorgeous proof copies of this book. Massive thanks to Francesca Russell at Cornerstone!

When big-shot literary agent Peter Katz receives an unfinished manuscript entitled The Book of Mirrors, he is intrigued.

The author, Richard Flynn is writing a memoir about his time at Princeton in the late 80s, documenting his relationship with the famous Professor Joseph Wieder.

One night in 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home and the case was never solved.

Peter Katz is hell-bent on getting to the bottom of what happened that night twenty-five years ago and is convinced the full manuscript will reveal who committed the violent crime.

But other people's recollections are dangerous weapons to play with, and this might be one memory that is best kept buried.


Review

There is a lot of hype surrounding this book-although I have to admit that I hadn't heard of it or the author before-so I was eager to see what all the fuss was about. On the face of it we have a 25 year old cold case, a murder brought back to light by a mysterious manuscript. As the literary agent begins to dig, the case gets passed on to a local reporter, then on to an ex-cop who was involved with the original case. It is from the perspective of these three men that we as readers try and piece together what happened on the night of the crime. The ending actually isn't that surprising, but it's the getting there with this case that's interesting. What makes this whodunit different is its focus on psychology and the power of the mind - how it can be manipulated but also how it can manipulate itself. The tag line - 'one man's truth is another man's lie' - is entirely apt at summing up this novel. Is memory fact or fiction? Is a wrongly recollected truth a lie? How reliable exactly is the human mind? As all the witness statements begin to contradict each other, are any of the suspects actually telling the truth? The plot of the murder case is relatively straightforward when the truth is revealed, but it throws up a lot of questions that leave you questioning even your own mind. The Book of Mirrors is a very clever and well written novel (very well written considering that English is not the author's first language). I'm interested to read the inevitable translations of Chiovici's other works.