#BookReview: LIZZIE BLAKE’S BEST MISTAKE by Mazey Eddings @foxygrandpa27 @eternal_books

Publication: 6th September 2022 – Headline Eternal

Chaotic, messy and madly in love.

Lizzie Blake has made endless mistakes. Kitchen fires, pyramid schemes, you name it, she’s done it . . . and made a mess of it too.

One mistake she never makes? Risking anything more serious than a one-off hook-up. But after losing yet another bakery job due to her uncontrolled ADHD, she breaks her cardinal rule and has a two-night stand.

Once burned, twice shy, Rake has given up on relationships. And feelings. And any form of intimacy for that matter. Two nights with charming, chaotic Lizzie might have him lowering his guard, but then he’s heading back to Australia, far away from the surprising feelings that she seems to inspire. But when Lizzie realises she’s pregnant, Rake knows he’ll do anything to be in his child’s life, but emotional vulnerability is off the table.

Except everyone makes mistakes, and Lizzie and Rake might have just stumbled upon the best mistake of their lives.



I don’t find it often in romantic comedies, but I love the trope boy-meets-girl, they have a one-night stand (with the intention of never seeing each other again), and suddenly they are expecting a baby and falling for each other. It’s entertaining and fun. Add the opposite-attract trope and you have an immersive, witty, and spicy novel that I enjoyed very much.

The two protagonists of this novel, Lizzie and Rake, are indeed different. She is chaotic, disorganized, and loud. He is quiet, neat, and tidy. They meet one night at a bar and they are instantly attracted to each other. After a weekend spent together, Lizzie goes back to her life and Rake goes home to Sidney, expecting never to meet again, until the lines on multiple pregnancy tests turn pink and Rake uproots his life to move to Philadelphia and be close to Lizzie and their future baby. Things will be far from easy as they adjust to living together, family and work drama, and, most importantly, trying to follow their rule of having a platonic, absolutely-no-sex, relationship.

What I love most about Mazey Eddings’s novels is her cast of fantastic characters that feel authentic and relatable. While Harper, from her debut novel A Brush with Love, remains my favorite of her characters, I loved Lizzie. Dealing with her ADHD, she feels too much, she says too much, and she uses baking (and sex) to filter her energy. She runs away from attachment and relationships (except for her three best friends), she changes jobs continuously, and she’s been told she is a disaster from a young age. And then she meets Rake, stable and workaholic, who didn’t expect to have his life completely changed by a woman he barely knows. Despite their differences, Rake and Lizzie are adorable as they get to know each other and pretend that they are not attracted to each other.

If you are looking for a fun, romantic, and well-written novel with fantastic characters and lots of spice then Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake is the one for you!

A huge thank you to Headline Eternal and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Mazey Eddings is a neurodiverse author, dentist, and (most importantly) stage mom to her cats, Yaya and Zadie. She can most often be found reading romance novels under her weighted blanket and asking her boyfriend to bring her snacks. She’s made it her personal mission in life to destigmatize mental health issues and write love stories for every brain. With roots in Ohio and North Carolina, she now calls Philadelphia home.

To learn more, visit: www.mazeyeddings.com
or follow Mazey on Instagram: @mazeyeddings.

#BookReview: THE BENEVOLENT SOCIETY OF ILL-MANNERED LADIES by Alison Goodman @AlisonGoodman @PiatkusBooks

Publication: 30th May 2023 – Piatkus

A high society amateur detective at the heart of Regency London uses her wits and invisibility as an ‘old maid’ to protect other women in a new and fiercely feminist historical mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Alison Goodman.

Lady Augusta Colebrook, ‘Gus’, is determinedly unmarried, bored by society life, and tired of being dismissed at the age of forty-two. She and her twin sister, Julia, who is grieving her dead betrothed, need a distraction. One soon presents itself: to rescue their friend’s goddaughter, Caroline, from her violent husband.

The sisters set out to Caroline’s country estate with a plan, but their carriage is accosted by a highwayman. In the scuffle, Gus accidentally shoots the ruffian, only to discover he is Lord Evan Belford, an acquaintance from their past who was charged with murder and exiled to Australia twenty years ago. With Lord Evan injured and unconscious, the sisters have no choice but to bring him on their mission to save Caroline. What follows is a high adventure full of danger, clever improvisation, heart-racing near misses, and a little help from a revived and rather charming Lord Evan.

Back in London, Gus can’t stop thinking about her unlikely (not to mention handsome) comrade-in-arms. She is convinced Lord Evan was falsely accused of murder, and she is going to prove it. She persuades Julia to join her in a quest to help Lord Evan, and others in need-society be damned! And so begins the beguiling secret life and adventures of the Colebrook twins.

A rollicking and joyous adventure, with a beautiful love story at its heart, about two rebellious sisters forging their own path in Regency London.



The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies is yet another historical novel that I enjoyed lately and one of my favourites. It is fun and witty, suspenseful and intriguing, and with a cast of interesting characters.

The protagonist of the novel is Augusta. In their forties, Augusta and her twin sister Julia are considered spinsters, women who should find a quiet occupation and behave as society – and their brother – tells them. However, Augusta has very little interest in staying idle and, in the hope of distracting her sister from the grief over her betrothed’s death, she accepts to help one of their friends retrieving a few incriminating letters from a former lover. This scary and yet exhilarating adventure leads Augusta and Julia to help another woman abused by her husband, but their rescue is first interrupted and then helped by a highway who Augusta recognizes as Lord Evan Belford, who should be in exile in Australia following a murder charge. After this other enterprise full of dangers and nearly escapes, Augusta and Julia promise each other that their detective days are over, but, when they hear of another woman in trouble, the thrill and excitement of the adventure, the desire of not feeling powerless and useless, and in Augusta’s case, the chance of seeing again Lord Evan (who she believes innocent of the murder charge) prevail.

I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the plot, which is full of twists and suspense as well quite a few entertaining and funny scenes. It’s full of historically accurate facts as well as historical figures, like the writer Frances Burney. It also addresses themes like the very poor state of asylums where powerful men confine women who don’t conform to society or the poor who are left in dreadful conditions.

I adored the characters. Augusta is a fantastic heroine. Because of her sex and her age, she is constantly underestimated by society. Her desire of independence and her sharp wit is usually frowned upon: “it was a fact that many men of our acquaintance did not think a woman capable of a genuine sense of humour, or if she did exhibit something of the kind, that it was a singular and unfeminine trait.”. But she doesn’t let society and powerful men dictate her life. She has a very close relationship with her twin sister Julia, so much so that they often communicate telepathically, and she is very protective towards her, while she has a strained relationship with her snobbish brother who thinks women should just do as they are told. In their adventures, Augusta and Julia are helped by their loyal butler Weatherly and by Lord Evan Belford. Accused of murder twenty years earlier, he was exiled to Australia. However, he’s back in England and he professes his innocence and Augusta has every intention to prove it as the two develop a romantic relationship.

The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies is a well-written, captivating, and superb novel with a fantastic ending that makes me eager for the sequel. Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to Piatkus and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Alison Goodman is the bestselling Australian author of several novels including the reknowned Eona and The Two Pearls of Wisdom.

#BlogTour: THE MISSING AMERICAN by Julie Highmore @JulieHighmore @thebookfolks

Publication: 10th April 2023 – The Book Folks

New to the private investigator game, Edie Fox is delighted when a handsome American client with disconcertingly dazzling teeth asks her to find his missing cousin, Isabella. Especially when he leaves her a bundle of cash to get started.

However, the case quickly gets complicated, and so does her life when a one-night stand from her Oxford university days gets in touch and asks if her 26-year-old daughter, Maeve, is also his child.

Juggling a chaotic home, a brimming wine glass, a daughter besotted with her new-found daddy, and a rekindled old flame, Edie must try to focus on the job.

But with unreliable witnesses, a less than trustworthy client, and an assistant with her mind on other things, Edie will be up against it and risks losing all.

THE MISSING AMERICAN is the first book in a series of hilarious cozy mysteries by bestselling author Julie Highmore. Look out for the next book in the series, THE RUNAWAY HUSBAND, coming soon!


Today, I am thrilled to take part in the blog tour for The Missing American, the first book in the Edie Fox Detective Agency series by Julie Highmore.

Edie Fox is a former teacher turned private investigator, but, so far, her cases have involved only a couple of cheating spouses, until an handsome man enters her small office. Mike Smith has arrived from the US in search of his cousin Isabella, a photographer who has moved to the UK a few months back, and he hasn’t heard from her in months. He is very worried and he is willing to pay Edie a lot of money to find her. Edie starts investigating, but when first a new PI enters the game and then Mike suddenly disappears, she starts to suspect that something more sinister is in place. To further complicate matters, someone from Edie’s past resurfaces, turning her quiet family life upside down.

The Missing American is an entertaining and suspenseful read. The mystery of the missing photographer and her deceitful cousin make for an intriguing read with quite a few unexpected twists and turns. Edie’s personal life is also under the spotlight. After a one-night stand at university, she found herself pregnant and she raised her daughter Maeve all on her own. Now, her daughter has also a child and they are raising him together. Smart, witty, and resourceful, Edie uses her love for crime novels as her PI training. She is helped by a cast of young side characters that are interesting, unusual, and well-developed.

The story is well-paced and I enjoyed the storylines both on the professional and personal side as they are quite full of drama. And when the lines blend, things become even more interesting!

A huge thank you to The Book Folks for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a proof of this entertaining novel.

The daughter of an RAF officer, Julie moved around a lot as a child, which meant many moves and many goodbyes, and fourteen schools to turn up to as a shy new girl. But eventually settled in Oxford in her twenties and, after having three children, studied first at Westminster College, then Oxford Brookes University, where she gained a first class degree in English. As part of the course, she studied creative writing with Philip Pullman, who encouraged her to continue with her writing after graduation. This she did, and her published work includes nine rom-com novels, and more recently, a crime fiction series for The Book Folks.

The first in the series – features the somewhat flawed, Oxford-based private investigator, Edie Fox; a single mother and very young grandmother who inadvertently gets her precious family caught up in her first big case. Although her recent novels have ventured into some dark places, Julie manages to inject humour into the stories without diminishing the seriousness of the situations Edie finds herself in.

Oxford is a city Julie knows well, but she has chosen to leave the beautiful and atmospheric colleges and cloisters to other authors, and her protagonist is based in the more edgy and diverse east of the city, full of small Victorian houses, students, cafes, delis and retired lecturers.When not writing, Julie enjoys music, binge-watching a good TV series, country strolls, doing the New York Times crossword and hanging out with her husband and ever-expanding family.

Author’s bio on website: https://thebookfolks.com/author/julie-highmore/

Social Media links
Website: https://thebookfolks.com
Instagram: @the_book_folks
Twitter: @thebookfolks
Facebook: http://facebook.com/thebookfolks
Blog: https://thebookfolks.com/blog/
Julie’s Twitter: @JulieHighmore

Purchasing links:
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0C23XYCKG/
US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C23XYCKG/
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0C23XYCKG/
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0C23XYCKG

#BookReview: A CURSE OF SALT by Sarah Street @sarahastreet @teambkmrk

Publication: 25th May 2023 – Hodder Children’s Books

A heartless beast
A sister’s sacrifice
And a love so strong it will drown the raging sea …

In a kingdom that fears the sea, Ria Lucroy longs to be brave.

Bodies are washing ashore and everyone knows who’s to blame. Legends of the Heartless King shroud the continent in fear; they call him a pirate, a monster, a god. When his mercenaries raid her father’s merchant ship, Ria’s family is faced with a horrifying demand. They will spare his life, in exchange for one of his daughters.

Determined to save her sisters, Ria launches herself into the world of pirates. Face-to-face with the Heartless King, she finds he is far more than the stories told. He is a man, with a human name and blood-stained hands, bound to the seas by a centuries-old curse. As their chemistry blooms into something more, Ria finds herself caught in an ancient web of secrets.

Battling creatures of the deep alongside those that reign its surface, Ria discovers how to love a heartless man and that some curses aren’t so easy to break.

Prepare for stormy seas and swoony romance in this addictive retelling of Beauty and the Beast … Perfect for fans of Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreakers series and Sarah J Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses.



A Curse of Salt is the debut novel by Sarah Street, an immersive YA fantasy and a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but with pirates and gods.

The protagonist of the novel is Aurelia “Ria” Lucroy, a young woman who dreams of being brave and see the world, but, instead, her place is at home, helping to take care of her ailing sister and their father. However, as the bodies of the local merchants start arriving ashore and her own father’s life is in danger, Ria decides to sacrifice herself and protect her family and her village, by offering herself as a sacrifice to the Heartless King and his crew of pirates. He is known for his ruthlessness and he is feared by everyone who travels by the sea, but Ria soon finds out that behind the Heartless King there is, in reality, a man, Sebastian, who, together with his crew, is bound to the sea by a centuries-old curse (like Davy Jones, but without tentacles!).

I had a bit of a slow start, but then I really started to enjoy A Curse of Salt. The romance is well-developed: an impossible love and the enemies-to-lovers trope worked really well between Ria and Sebastian. I liked how their relationship developed, slowly and naturally, with easy banter and witty exchanges.

The world-building is intriguing and it blends well with the narrative, while the setting is evocative and the writing is beautiful. A fantastic and complex cast of characters kept me immersed in the novel, each with its own story and secret to tell. The ending was well-thought and satisfying and it leaves open for, hopefully, a sequel that I would certainly read! 

A huge thank you to Hachette Children’s Books and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this fantastic novel.

Sarah Street is a YA fantasy author, born and raised on Gadigal land in Sydney, Australia. She has a BA in English and Criminology and spends her days amid a hoard of books, playing Hozier songs to her houseplants and deciding what great body of water to write about next.

#BookReview: UNLADYLIKE LESSONS IN LOVE by Amita Murray @AmitaMurray @HarperFiction

Publication: 30th May 2023 (eBook), 20th July 2023 (paperback) – HarperCollins

Not every Regency lady is looking for a husband…

As the daughter of an English earl and his Indian mistress, impulsive Lila Marleigh has already broken the rules of society into tiny pieces.

When a face she never thought she would see again appears and begs for help, Lila must court notoriety once more and pit her wits against the annoyingly handsome aristocrat, Ivor Tristram. But does she risk opening her heart to the one person who can break it…?



Unladylike Lessons in Love is an intriguing and entertaining historical romance told from the point of view of the two protagonists, the daughter of an English Earl and his Indian mistress who tries to fit into the London society and the handsome aristocrat who believes her to be his father’s mistress.

As the bastard daughter of the Earl of Beddington, Lila Marleigh’s reputation was never going to be good and, being the owner of London’s most fashionable salon and surrounded by a string of suitors every night hasn’t improved her expectations. Not that she cares. After all, she earns enough to live comfortably while cherishing her freedom and independence. Ivor Tristram is as handsome as he is annoying and he’s convinced that Lila is her father’s mistress. When someone from her past asks for her help, Lila and Ivor leave aside their difference and team up to prove someone’s innocence.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. At times the narrative is a bit repetitive and there are themes of abuse, children’s neglect, and racism that aren’t easy to read, but there is also spicy romance, witty banter, suspense, and a cast of characters that I really liked. Especially the female characters who come out all strong, smart, and determined, who won’t stop until they get what they want and I admire them, especially as they lived in a sexist society that looked down on them. The male protagonist, Ivor, is a bit broody, flawed, and stubborn, and the perfect hero to our heroine.

The first book in a series, Unladylike Lessons in Love is the perfect read for those who enjoy a swoony romance with a mystery to unravel!

A huge thank you HarperCollins and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Amita Murray lives in London. Just to keep things interesting, she writes in two genres: Regency romance and contemporary mystery. Her Arya Winters mysteries are published by Agora and are under a TV option. Her mystery novel Thirteenth Night won the Exeter Novel Prize in 2022. A collection called Marmite and Mango Chutney won the SI Leeds Prize in 2016 and her short story “A Heist in Three Acts” comes out in Ellery Queen Magazine in 2022.

#BookReview: THE GOLDEN SPOON by Jessa Maxwell @MaxwellJessa @AtriaBooks

Publication: 7th March 2023 – Atria Books

Only Murders in the Building meets The Maid in this darkly beguiling locked-room mystery where someone turns up dead on the set of TV’s hottest baking competition—perfect for fans of Nita Prose, Richard Osman, and Anthony Horowitz.

Every summer for the past ten years, six awe-struck bakers have descended on the grounds of Grafton, the leafy and imposing Vermont estate that is not only the filming site for “Bake Week” but also the childhood home of the show’s famous host, celebrated baker Betsy Martin.

The author of numerous bestselling cookbooks and hailed as “America’s Grandmother,” Betsy Martin isn’t as warm off-screen as on, though no one needs to know that but her. She has always demanded perfection, and gotten it with a smile, but this year something is off. As the baking competition commences, things begin to go awry. At first, it’s merely sabotage—sugar replaced with salt, a burner turned to high—but when a body is discovered, everyone is a suspect.

A sharp and suspenseful thriller for mystery buffs and avid bakers alike, The Golden Spoon is a brilliant puzzle filled with shocking twists and turns that will keep you reading late into the night until you turn the very last page of this incredible debut.


The Golden Spoon is described as “Only Murders in the Building meets The Great British Bake Off”, so how could I resist? This is a satisfying, atmospheric debut, set in a big house, during a competitive reality show, with two hosts who hate each other, six competitors, and a killer on the loose.

Betsy Martin is a famous baker whose reality show has had huge success in the last ten years. Held in Grafton Manor, her family estate in the mountains of northern Vermont, each year, Bake Week has seen six home bakers coming together for a week and competing for the title of America’s best baker. This year, things are a bit different. For starters, Betsy is no longer the only host of the show, but she has a new partner, Archie Morris, who will judge the show with her, not that she had any choice in the matter. Also, someone seems to be sabotaging the competitors. And when, during a storm, someone is found murdered, the list of suspects is narrow.

I liked the setting of the novel: a remote big house in the mountains with its skeletons in the closet, no phones, a group of strangers with secrets, and a sense of dread that makes it clear that something bad is about to happen. I was hooked, even though sometimes the pace was a bit too slow. The story is told from the point of view of the seven protagonists (the six contenders and Betsy). These characters are complex and eccentric, some more disturbed and haunted than others, and I must admit that I didn’t like a few of them for most of the novel, but I really appreciated how they developed. 

Overall, I enjoyed The Golden Spoon and I read it in a couple of sittings. Claustrophobic, suspenseful, and dark, it kept me guessing until the end!

A huge thank you to Atria and Edelweiss for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Jessa Maxwell lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island, with her husband, two cats, and three-legged dog. The Golden Spoon is her first novel.

#BookReview: PAINTED DEVILS by Margaret Owen @what_eats_owls @hodderscape

Publication: 16th May 2023 – Hodderscape

Let’s get one thing straight – Vanja Schmidt wasn’t trying to start a cult.

A scrappy former maid and jewel thief must outwit gods, injustice, and her own past in this sequel to Little Thieves by Margaret Owen.

After taking down a corrupt margrave, breaking a deadly curse, and finding romance with the vexingly scrupulous junior prefect Emeric Conrad, Vanja had one great mystery left: her long-lost birth family . . . and whether they would welcome a thief. But in her search for an honest trade, she hit trouble and invented a god, the Scarlet Maiden, to scam her way out. Now that lie is growing out of control – especially when Emeric arrives to investigate and the Scarlet Maiden manifests to claim him as a virgin sacrifice.

For his final test to become a prefect, Emeric must determine whether Vanja is guilty of serious fraud or if the Scarlet Maiden – and her claim to him – is genuine. Meanwhile, Vanja is chasing an alternative sacrifice that could be their way out. The hunt leads her not only into the lairs of monsters and the paths of gods, but the ties of her past.

And with what should be the simplest way to save Emeric hanging over their heads, he and Vanja must face a more dangerous question: Is there a future for a thief and a prefect, and at what price?



It’s here! I’ve been a long wait for the sequel of Little Thieves (almost two years!!!), but, after reading Painted Devils, it was worth it! I forgot how much fun Vanja and Emeric can be and how good the author is in keeping you immersed in the story. I loved every single page of this novel, I laughed for at least half of it, and I didn’t want it to end.

Following the events of Little Thieves, Vanja is determined to find her family, who she hasn’t seen in thirteen years, while her love for Emeric is still going strong, but can a thief and a prefect really be together? She wants to be honest and be worthy of both her family and Emeric, but she “accidentally” invents a god, the Scarlet Maiden, and starts a cult that quickly takes hold of an entire village. And when it turns out that the Scarlet Maiden is indeed real and she wants Emeric as her virgin sacrifice, Vanja needs to find a way out of it, while also trying to prove to Emeric’s stubborn supervisor that she is not guilty of fraud. 

The romance between Vanja and Emeric is perfect. These two characters together are incredible, hilarious and so adorable. Emeric needs to pass his prefect exam and is supervisioned by a retired prefect who is determined to accuse Vanja of fraud and he is cursed by a god (and his virgin status made a common knowledge). Vanja is determined to find a way to protect both Emeric and the village that she has come to love, but she is haunted by her mother’s prediction that she would be the ruin of everyone she loves. 

I really hope that the third book in the series will come out soon, because I can’t wait another two years to see what happens, especially after that surprising and heartbreaking ending. 

I still haven’t read the author’s previous series, The Merciful Crow, but I can’t recommend her (and this series) enough. She knows how to hold the reader’s attention with an addictive writing style, an entertaining story full of twists and adventures, and a cast of characters that you can’t help but fall in love with! 

A huge thank you to Hodderscape and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this fantastic novel.

Margaret Owen was born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, and now lives and writes in Seattle while negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her two monstrous cats. In her free time, she enjoys exploring ill-advised travel destinations, drawing a lot of nonsense, and raising money for social justice nonprofits.

#BookReview: SILVER IN THE BONE by Alexandra Bracken @alexbracken @teambkmrk

Publication: 4th April 2023 – Quercus Children’s Books

From underground Boston to the cursed ruins of Avalon, join a deadly hunt fuelled by love, revenge and pure adrenaline to find a legendary ring and break the curse.

Tamsin Lark is a Hollower. In search of treasure, she breaks into the ancient crypts of dark sorceresses.

Now, rumours are swirling about a powerful ring from Arthurian legend, a ring that could free her brother, Cabell from a curse. But they aren’t the only ones who covet it . . .

As word spreads, greedy Hollowers start circling, and many would kill to have the ring for themselves. Tamsin is forced into an alliance with her rival Emrys, the last person she wants to rely on. Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, and expose a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother . . .

This is the stunning new dark fantasy romance from one of the top fantasy authors writing today.



After reading many raving reviews about Silver in the Bone, I was really looking forward to reading it myself and it didn’t disappoint! A contemporary fantasy that features the legend of King Arthur and the mythical Isle of Avalon, together with curses, revenge, magic rings, a bit of romance, and tropes of enemies-to-lovers and found family.

There is only one person in the world who seventeen-year-old Tasmin Lark loves and cares about and it’s her brother Cabell. For the last seven years, they have been on their own, following the disappearance of their foster father, surviving on tarot card readings and working as Hollowers, hunting for magic treasures. Now, they are looking for a powerful ring that could break Cabell’s curse, but they are not the only ones.

I really enjoyed Silver in the Bone. I liked the magic system (initially I was slightly confused by it, but then I caught on) and I loved the unique and strong characters, especially Tasmin and Emrys, her former rival and now temporary ally. I loved their easy and witty banter and how their relationship develops throughout the story and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them in the sequel. The side characters are also interesting and entertaining, especially Neve whose cheerfulness managed to light up some of the sinister scenes.

The novel is very well-written, with tales of legends and myths that kept me immersed in the story and a fascinating world-building. There are many twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat and a final unexpected surprise that made me wish that the second book was already out and in my hands. Dark, suspenseful, and full of surprises, Silver in the Bone is surely on the list of my favorite books of the year!

A huge thank you to Quercus Children’s Books and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this fantastic novel.

Alexandra Bracken is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of LorePassengerWayfarer, The Darkest Minds series and the Prosper Redding series. After selling her debut novel in college, Alex worked in children’s publishing for several years before leaving to write full time. She now lives in Arizona, where she was born and raised. Visit her online at www.alexandrabracken.com and on Twitter and Instagram @alexbracken

#BookReview: THE LOST DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS by Jack Jewers @jackjewers @moonflowerbooks #paperback

Today I am delighted to share again my review of THE LOST DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS by Jack Jewers, out today in paperback!!!

Publication: 11th May 2023 – Moonflower Books

It is the summer of 1669 and England is in dire straits. The treasury’s coffers are bare and tensions with the powerful Dutch Republic are boiling over. And now, an investigator sent by the King to look into corruption at the Royal Navy has been brutally murdered.

Loathe to leave the pleasures of London, Samuel Pepys is sent dragging his feet to Portsmouth to find the truth about what happened. Aided by his faithful assistant, Will Hewer, he soon exposes the plot as the work of a Dutch spy. But has he got the right man? The truth may be much more sinister. And if the real killer isn’t found in time, then England could be thrown into a war that would have devastating consequences…



Although the name Samuel Pepys sounded familiar, I didn’t know much about him or his role in history, but then I read the blurb for The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys and I was drawn to this intriguing character and this historical thriller described as “Bridgerton meets Sherlock”.

In the 17th century, Samuel Pepys was an administrator of the Royal Navy and a member of Parliament, but he is most famous for the diaries he kept from 1660 to 1669 which have become an important historical source as he witnessed and recounted great historical events such as the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire of London. In The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys, Jack Jewers reimagines the diarist as he is asked to find out what happened to an investigator looking into the administration of Portsmouth who made claims about a conspiracy to defraud the Crown. His loyal assistant and friend, Will Hewers, accompanies him, and as the threat of the Dutch war looms, they find out that the truth is much more complicated than they thought.

I really enjoyed reading The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys. The characters are well-drawn and I really liked the female characters that the author depicts as strong and feisty. Samuel Pepys is a fascinating protagonist. In his diary, he recounts the historical and political events of the time, but we also get a glimpse into his personal life as he reports his infidelities and his worries about his health. He is really a diligent diarist and a scrupulous detective.

The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys is a fast-paced, suspenseful, and riveting historical thriller full of political intrigue, suspense, and fantastic characters, the perfect read for all fans of historical mysteries!

Jack Jewers is a filmmaker and writer, passionate about history. His career has been spent telling stories across every form of media, and his body of work includes film, TV, and digital media. His films have been shown at dozens of international film festivals, including Cannes, New York, Marseille, Dublin, and London’s FrightFest, garnering multiple accolades, including an award from the Royal Television Society and a nomination from BAFTA Wales for Best Short Film. The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys is his first novel.

#BookReview: THE CURSE OF SAINTS by Kate Dramis @MichaelJBooks

Publication: 11th May 2023 – Michael Joseph

Has she been sent to save the realm or destroy it?

As Spymaster to the Queen, Aya’s blood oath ensures she protects those she fights alongside – including Will, the Queen’s Enforcer and Aya’s bitter rival.

When rumours of dark magic rise in a nearby kingdom, both are sent to investigate.

But when Aya’s power acts beyond her gods-given affinity, she risks being turned into a weapon in a war she doesn’t know how to win.

And when her relationship with Will unexpectedly shifts, neither knows the danger that will follow …



I LOVED The Curse of Saints!!! I wish I could reread it for the first time and, at the same time, I can’t wait for the sequel to come out, because I really need to know what happens next. There is political and religious intrigue, a perfect slow-burn romance, there is magic, gods, and spies, a cast of fantastic morally gray characters that come to life under the author’s addictive writing style.

The story is told from the point of view of the two protagonists (with a third added in the middle of the narrative). Aya has the affinity of persuasion and she is the Spymaster of the Queen, one of the three members of her inner circle. One of the other members is Will, the Queen’s Enforcer, and Aya’s rival, ever since their training days together. They have both taken a blood oath to protect the Queen and the kingdom and, when rumours of dark magic arise and the threat of a war looms near, the two of them have no choice but to team up and investigate. And when Aya unleashes a power predicted in ancient times, Will may be the only one who can help her figure out the truth.

My favourite parts of the story were every time Aya and Will interacted with each other (which, thankfully, were most of the book). Seriously, these two characters together were incredible! The tension, the attraction to each other, their witty exchanges were too much to handle sometimes (I mean, “I would’ve let the entire world burn for you”). Because of their past, she doesn’t trust him and his broody mood doesn’t make things any easier, but sparkle flies and their chemistry is off the charts.

The Curse of Saints is an incredible debut and the first book in a fantasy trilogy. If the romance is not enough to entice you to read it, there is an intriguing world building of magic and gods, a cast of well-developed and authentic characters, a badass heroine, a complex hero with a few secrets, a few unexpected twists, and an ending that leaves you wanting for more!

A huge thank you to MichaelJoseph and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this wonderful novel.

Kate Dramis is an Atlanta-based writer whose obsession with fantasy worlds and escaping into a good love story eventually drove her to chase her dreams of being an author.

Inspired by a dream about a woman calling down lightning to save a friend, The Curse of Saints is Kate’s debut fantasy novel and the first in the trilogy.

When she’s not busy writing banter that makes her laugh in an embarrassingly loud fashion, you can find her impulse-booking her latest travel adventure, snuggling with her three dogs and cat, or tormenting her growing legion of readers on TikTok and Instagram with vague book teasers.

You can connect with Kate on her social media sites, and visit https://www.katedramis.com/