#BookReview: A LADY’S RISK by Felicity George @ElizabethWelke @books_dash #ALadysRisk #FelicityGeorge

Publication: 29th September 2022 – Orion Dash

Never trust a rake…

Lady Margaret has devoted herself to taking care of her young siblings and the estate while her half-brother fritters away the family fortune. Upon Edwin’s death, she learns he has left them destitute and, worst of all, at the mercy of a notorious and cruel rake.

Lord Nicholas would much rather be pursing women for quick sport rather than taking care of a headstrong debutante without any prospects, as well as her siblings. But Edwin saved his life once, and now he owes him a debt. Fortunately, all he has to do is find Meggy a husband, and his debt will be paid.

There’s just one issue: Meggy is nothing like what he’d imagined. And the more time he spends in her company, the more he begins to wonder whether he’s met his match…

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I am currently on a historical romance binge read, so I was thrilled to receive a copy of A Lady’s Risk, the debut novel by Felicity George.

The story follows Lady Margaret and Lord Nicholas. Following the death of her parents, Margaret has been taking care of her younger siblings in the family estate while her older half-brother squandered away all the family money in London. On his deathbed, he asks Nicholas to be joint guardian of his siblings with Margaret and find her a suitable husband. Nicholas has no choice, but to accept, since the man has saved his life years before, but he can’t wait to find Margaret a husband and be free of the responsibility of her and her family and return to his lavish lifestyle. However, right from the start he is drawn to her, but Margaret, knowing all about his past, has no intention to be seduced by Nicholas, even though she is attracted to him.

I loved those two characters. Since their first meeting, the tension and attraction between Margaret and Nicholas is high and I loved how they flirt, argue, and exchange witty remarks. Both have trauma and ghosts from their past that define them and they have to overcome. Margaret has been taking care of her family since she was fourteen years old and she would do anything to protect them, even marry a man who she could never love. She is determined, smart, and feisty and I couldn’t help but like her from the very first page. Nicholas is not only a notorious rake, but there are layers to his character that unravel page after page. Especially, I liked how good he was with the children and his determination in showing Margaret that she can trust him.

A Lady’s Risk is the first novel in the Gentleman of London series and I am already looking forward to the sequel coming out next year. Funny, romantic, and immersive, it is a fantastic novel that I found difficult to put down.

A huge thank you to the author and Jessica Bull for sending me a copy of the book.

Felicity George is a writer and teacher from Toronto, where she lives with her husband, her two teenage children, a large cat, and a tiny dog. A lifelong devotee of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, Felicity adores a happily-ever-after. ‘A Lady’s Risk’, book one in the ‘Gentlemen of London’ series, is her debut novel.

Connect with Felicity:

On Twitter: Felicity George @ElizabethWelke

On Facebook: Felicity George, Author @FelicityGeorgeRegencyRomance

#BookReview: BLEEDING HEART YARD by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

Publication: 29th September 2022 – Quercus Books

A propulsive new thriller set in London featuring Detective Harbinder Kaur. A murderer hides in plain sight – in the police.

DS Cassie Fitzherbert has a secret – but it’s one she’s deleted from her memory. In the 1990s when she was at school, she and her friends killed a fellow pupil. Thirty years later, Cassie is happily married and loves her job as a police officer.

One day her husband persuades her to go to a school reunion and another ex-pupil, Garfield Rice, is found dead, supposedly from a drug overdose. As Garfield was an eminent MP and the investigation is high profile, it’s headed by Cassie’s new boss, DI Harbinder Kaur. The trouble is, Cassie can’t shake the feeling that one of her old friends has killed again.


Is Cassie right, or was Garfield murdered by one of his political cronies? It’s in Cassie’s interest to skew the investigation so that it looks like the latter and she seems to be succeeding.

Until someone else is killed…

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I am a huge fan of Elly Griffiths’s novels, especially the Dr. Ruth Galloway series, but in the last couple of years I have also been really enjoying the Harbinder Kaur series. Bleeding Heart Yard is the third novel in the series and it’s as much gripping and suspenseful as the previous ones.

The protagonist is former DS Harbinder Kaur, now a DI in London Met and sharing a flat with two other women. She is called to Manor Park School where a school reunion as turned into a murder. The victim is a Conservative MP, Garfield Rice, and the cast of suspects include a famous actress, a rockstar, another politician, an aspiring author, the headmaster of the school, and one of the DS in Harbinder’s own team. Why them? The suspects and the victim were all part of what was known as the Group back in school, the golden kids everyone envied. As the investigation progresses, Harbinder starts to suspect that Garfield’s death is somehow connected to the death of another Manor Park student twenty-one years earlier. Back then, the police thought that his death was a drug-related accident, but then why everyone keeps bringing it up? And when another member of the Group is found murdered, Harbinder needs to find the killer before he kills again.

As in the previous novels, the story is told from different perspectives, all intriguing and interesting, but my favorite was Harbinder’s point of view because I have come to really like this character. She is smart and witty and, even though most of the plot focuses on the investigation, the author also gives us a glimpse into her new life in London as she tries to adapt not only to her new job and her new colleagues, but also to co-habitation with two women.

The plot is so well-developed and so full of twists that you never know what’s coming next. I loved how it all wrapped-up, not only with the investigation and the solution of the case, but also in Harbinder’s personal life and I am already looking forward to reading more about it in the next book!

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

Elly Griffiths is the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries and the Brighton Mysteries. She has won the CWA Dagger in the Library, has been shortlisted five times for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for The Lantern Men. Her new series featuring Detective Harbinder Kaur began with The Stranger Diaries, which was a Richard and Judy book club pick and won the Edgar Award for Best Novel in the USA. The Postscript Murders followed and was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. Elly lives near Brighton with her archaeologist husband.

#BlogTour: MURDER MOST ROYAL by S. J. Bennett @sophiabennett @SJBennettbooks @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Publication: 10th November 2022 – Zaffre

December 2016.

A severed hand is found washed up on a beach next to the Queen’s estate at Sandringham.

Elizabeth has become quite accustomed to solving even the most complex of murders. And though she quickly identifies the 70-year-old victim, Edward St Cyr, from his signet ring, the search for his killer is not so straightforward.

St Cyr led an unconventional, often controversial life, making many enemies along the way in the quiet, rural world of North Norfolk, where everyone knows each other’s business.

But when a second man is found dead, and a prominent local woman is nearly killed in a hit-and-run, the mystery takes an even darker turn.

With the Christmas break coming to an end, the Queen and her trusted assistant Rozie must race to discover how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Or the next victim may be found even closer to home.

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Today, I am thrilled to take part in the blog tour for Murder Most Royal, the new novel by S. J. Bennett in the Her Majesty The Queen Investigates series.

It’s Christmas time and, as every year, the Queen and the royal family are planning to spend it at Sandringham. However, right before their arrival, a severed human hand is found on the beach by the Queen’s estate. The Queen recognizes the ring on the hand as belonging to an old family friend, Edward St. Cyr. But where is the rest of the body? And, who is the killer?

The Queen and her energetic assistant Rozie start their own investigation and, with the help of village gossip, they uncover family secrets, resentment, and also money laundering and drug dealings. 

Murder Most Royal is the third book in this fantastic series. I haven’t read the previous two novels, but I am excited to catch up soon, because I really enjoyed it. It is fun, gripping, and full of twists and, with the royal family often in my mind in the last couple of months, I loved reading about the Queen and her family, even if in a fictional world. Murder Most Royal is clearly well-researched and S. J. Bennett gives you a great insight into the royal family and their traditions:

“She had been dreaming of it for days. Sandringham was Christmas.”

We see the royal family away from the spotlight, trying to relax and enjoy their Christmas. The murder and the following uncovered crimes add suspense to the story making Murder Most Royal a wonderful and highly recommended novel!

A huge thank you to Tracy and Zaffre for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a proof of the novel.

Follow the rest of the blog tour:

S.J. Bennett holds a PhD in Italian Literature from the University of Cambridge and was a strategy consultant and startup manager before turning to writing. She has published ten books for teenagers, winning The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition in 2009 and the RoNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2017. The Windsor Knot is her first novel for adults. She lives in London.

You can find her at SJBennettBooks.com and on Twitter @sophiabennett and @SJBennettbooks

#BookReview: THE BRUTAL TIDE by Kate Rhodes @K_RhodesWriter @simonschusterUK

Publication: 27th October 2022 – Simon & Schuster UK

REVENGE
DI Ben Kitto made many enemies in his time working as an undercover officer for the Met police, none more ruthless and calculating than gang leader Craig Travis.

IS WORTH
Travis has longed to make Kitto pay for his role in getting him convicted – and that day has finally arrived. Now, a dark and twisted killer is heading for the Scilly Isles, one who has waited a long time for revenge.

WAITING FOR . . .
With Kitto busy investigating the discovery of a body on the islands and distracted by the imminent arrival of his first child, his defences are down. He has so much to lose.

And Travis will stop at nothing to take it all from him.

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I started reading the Ben Kitto series since the first book, Hell Bay, came out and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them, loving the small island setting, the small community vibe, and the well-developed characters.

The Brutal Tide is the sixth book in this series whose protagonist is DI Ben Kitto. Born and raised in Bryher, one of the smallest Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast, he returned to the island after a career in London. In this new novel, one of his old cases from London risks ruining the normal life he’s created for himself in Bryher. 

Craig Travis was one of the most dangerous gangsters in London and it was thanks to Ben’s undercover work that he was captured and sent to jail. Now, he’s dying of cancer, but he’s determined to take his enemies down with him, sending a dangerous killer after the people who betrayed him and sent him to jail, including Ben Kitto. 

In the meantime, on Bryher, bones are found buried in a building site and stolen before they can be properly examined. Searching for the identity of both the victim and the killer, Ben locks down the island, hoping to stop a killer from leaving and another from arriving. But can he stop a killer looking for revenge?

The Brutal Tide is another fantastic addiction to this series. I love the suspense and the twists. One would think that on an island with a couple of hundreds of people it would be easy to find the killer. But there are so many layers to the case and a series of possible suspects that it’s not at all easy to figure out the truth. I loved how the story is split between Ben’s investigation and the killer’s path of revenge for Craig Travis, making it difficult to put it down (I read it in one day!).

The character of Ben Kitto is wonderful. On the personal side, he is looking forward to fatherhood, although he and his girlfriend can’t seem to agree on baby names. On the professional side, he’s still haunted from his work in London, he often clashes with his arrogant superior, and he’s forced to suspect people he considers friends.

The Brutal Tide is a gripping and exciting read with a few twisty mysteries and rising suspense. I really enjoy this series and I am already looking forward to the next book!

A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster UK and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Kate Rhodes is an acclaimed crime novelist and an award-winning poet. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, the writer and film-maker, Dave Pescod. She visited the Scilly Isles every year as a child which gave her the idea for this new series. She is one of the founders of the Killer Women writing group.

#BlogTour: A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS by Claire Gradidge @ClaireGradidge @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Publication: 13th October 2022 – Zaffre Books

June 1944, Romsey, England.

Josephine ‘Jo’ Fox is at an impasse since the unwelcome return of her wayward husband Richard. So, when he disappears again, she is neither concerned nor surprised – until a burning car is discovered with a body inside. And there are signs that Richard is somehow involved.

Jo is determined to find both her husband and answers, yet with her friend Bram Nash in hospital suffering an infection of his old war wound, she must do so alone. When information comes to light that implicates Bram too, Jo finds herself on a dangerous path to the truth.

But what will be left for her when all is revealed?

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I am delighted to take part in the blog tour for A Conflict of Interests, the new engaging novel by Claire Gradidge.

The year is 1944 and, while in Europe the war goes on and D-day is fast approaching, in Romsey, a village in Hampshire, the remains of a burned out car are found with an unidentified body inside. While coroner Bram Nash is in hospital fighting an infection from an injury he sustained during WW1, his assistant Josephine Fox is investigating on her own. Clues found on the site make her think that her estranged husband Richard is somehow involved. But is he the killer, the victim, or just a witness?

The pace is easy and slow and there are a few unexpected surprises along the way. This is the third book in the Josephine Fox series, but it can be easily read as a stand-alone. Not having read the previous two novels of the series, I wasn’t familiar with the characters, especially Josephine and Bram’s complex relationship, but I quickly caught on and it made me eager to read the previous two books. Josephine is a smart, determined, and strong woman. Rejected by her family for being illegitimate, she’s been on her own since a young age. Her marriage with Richard has been over for a long time, even though he refuses to give her a divorce. Her feelings for Bram are strong and complicated as they won’t admit their strong attraction to each other as long as Richard is in the picture.

The story is told mostly from Josephine’s perspective as she juggles a murder investigation, her worry for Bram’s health, and the unwanted attentions of a friend of Richard. I started to have my suspicions on who the killer was halfway through the story, but I couldn’t figure out the motive. I was really engrossed in the story, excited to find out the truth and I loved how it all played out in the end.

Overall, A Conflict of Interests is a thrilling and enjoyable read with quite a few twists, a couple of intense moments, and a fantastic ending! Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre Books for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a proof of the novel.

Claire Gradidge was born and brought up in Romsey. After a career as, among other things, a nurse and a school librarian, she went to the University of Winchester, where she graduated in 2009 with a first class honours BA in Creative Writing. In January 2018, she was awarded a PhD in creative writing and The Unexpected Return of Josephine Fox was written as the creative element of her PhD study. An early version of the opening 3000 words was highly commended in the Good Housekeeping Magazine competition in 2012.

She has taught at the University of Winchester as an Associate Lecturer for six years and has also had some short fictions and poems published in SouthOrbis and Vortex. She has been married for 40 years and has two adult sons.

#BlogTour: A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION by Heidi Swain @Heidi_Swain @simonschusterUK @TeamBATC

Publication: 13th October 2022 – Simon & Schuster UK

When Paige turns up unannounced at Wynthorpe Hall, she discovers the place she knew when she was growing up has changed beyond all recognition. She’s only planning to stay for a short time, but is quickly pulled into local life.
 
One night while driving home after delivering library books and shopping to residents she stumbles across an isolated cottage and meets Albert, its elderly and rather grumpy owner. She quickly realises there’s more to Albert than meets the eye and the same can be said for the other man she can’t seem to help running into, handsome but brooding Brodie.
 
All three of them have a secret and a desire to hide away from the world, but with Christmas on the horizon, is that really the best way to celebrate the season?

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Happy Monday everyone! Today, it’s my turn on the blog tour for A Christmas Celebration, the charming brand new novel by Heidi Swain.

A Christmas Celebration is my first Christmas novel of the year and I couldn’t have chosen a better book. I adore Heidi Swain’s novels with their fantastic characters that you can’t help but love, with their heart-warming stories, the evocative Christmas atmosphere, and the mouth-watering food that is always present, and A Christmas Celebration has it all and much more.

With A Christmas Celebration we go back to Wynthorpe Hall and its fantastic residents. The preparations for the Winter Wonderland are in full swing, but they are short of a few family members so they are delighted when Paige, just back from her volunteering job in Jordan, suddenly turns up to help.

Paige loved Wynthorpe Hall when she was a child and since she had to leave Jordan earlier than expected, she decides to spend her Christmas with her godfather and his family to help out. She is quickly drawn into local life, assisting with deliveries to those in need. Everyone welcomes her warmly, except handsome but grumpy Brodie who, like her, seems to be escaping from something.

I do love Heidi Swain’s novels, they always cheer me up with their sense of community, their feel good atmosphere, and the romance. Paige is a relatable and altruistic character. I loved her developing romance with Brodie, full of interruptions and misunderstandings, but, most of all, I loved her relationship with another grumpy, although older, character, Albert, who she accidentally meets when she gets lost during one of her deliveries. Despite his objections, Paige is determined to help him and she slowly manages to lower his defences and helps him open up to her and the village life.

Thanks to A Christmas Celebration, its wonderful vivid descriptions, and its festive story I am already feeling in a Christmas mood! If you are looking for novel full of joy and with a happy ending and lots of food, then I can highly recommend A Christmas Celebration.

A huge thank you to SJV and Simon & Schuster for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a proof of the novel.

Heidi Swain lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her TBR pile is always out of control! To find out more, follow Heidi on twitter @Heidi_Swain or visit her website: heidiswain.co.uk.

BookReview: BELLADONNA by Adalyn Grace @AdalynGrace_ @hodderscape

Publication: 30th August 2022 – Hodder & Stoughton

For as long as Signa Farrow has been alive, the people in her life have fallen like stars…

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her wellbeing – and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy.

Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger, and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.

Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer, though, is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful – and more irresistible – than she ever dared imagine.

From New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace, Belladonna brings to life a highly romantic, gothic-infused world of wealth, desire, and betrayal.

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​​I really enjoyed Adalyn Grace’s previous novels, so there never was a doubt in my mind that I was going to read her latest one. Also, Belladonna was presented as Bridgerton meets Knives Out so I was entirely sold on it and I wasn’t disappointed because I LOVED it!!! I loved the characters, the story, the writing, and the brilliant ending that left me hanging for more and I already can’t wait for the sequel to come out next year!

The protagonist of the story is Signa Farrow. Signa has what it may be called either a gift or a curse… it depends on the perspective. For Signa her ability to see Death and evade it is a curse. No matter how many belladonnas she eats, she can always see him and not die, but those close to her do. First her parents died when she was a baby and then the long series of guardians who raised her. After her latest guardian dies, she is invited to Thorns Grove by the Hawthornes, her last living relatives.

When Signa arrives at Thorns Grove she finds a party going on. Since his wife Lilian died, Elijah Hawthorne has been drowning his sorrow in alcoholism and wild parties while his son Percy tries to take the reins of the family business and his daughter Blythe is suffering from the same illness that killed her mother. And when Lilian’s spirit tells Signa that she was poisoned, she knows she needs to hurry and find the killer before even Blythe succumbs to it, even if that means asking for the help of a mysterious and charming stable boy, but, above all, for the help of Death himself.

Belladonna is truly an addictive and compelling story. I loved the gothic and haunting atmosphere and the unexpected twists and the suspense. Most of all, I loved the characters. Signa and Death are fascinating characters with a complex relationship. Only seventeen years old, Signa has seen enough people dying around her. The guardians who raised her were only interested in her family’s money, so she craves affection and acceptance. She hates Death because he took her family away from her, but, as the story develops, she comes to accept her gift and her relationship with Death turns romantic.

There is romance, murder, spirits, secrets, and much more. Belladonna is a fantastic and gripping story that kept me glued to the pages and with a stunning cover I can’t stop stare at!!! 

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

Adalyn Grace is the New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth, which was named ‘2020’s biggest YA fantasy’ by Entertainment Weekly. Prior to becoming an author, Adalyn worked in live theatre, acted as the managing editor of a non-profit newspaper, and studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular series The Legend of Korra. Local to San Diego, Adalyn spends her non-writing days by watching too much anime, and playing video games with her two dogs.

#BlogTour: THE BUTCHER AND THE WREN by Alaina Urquhart @AlainaToTheMax @MichaelJBooks

Publication: 13th September 2022 – Michael Joseph

From the host of chart-topping true crime podcast MORBID and autopsy technician Alaina Urquhart, THE BUTCHER AND THE WREN is dark,  twisted, and not for the faint-harted: perfect for fans of The Silence of the Lambs, Dexter, and Patricia Cornwell.

In the Louisiana bayou, a methodical killer with a taste for medical experimentation is hard at work completing his most harrowing crime yet,  taunting the authorities who desperately try to catch up.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Wren Muller is the best there is. Armed with an  encyclopaedic knowledge of historical crimes and years of experience, she’s never encountered a case she couldn’t solve.

Until now.

As case after case lands on Wren’s examination table, she is sucked into an all-consuming cat-and-mouse chase – all too aware she is on the tail of a brutal murderer, getting more brazen by the day…

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Good morning and happy Monday everyone! Today, it’s my turn on the blog tour for The Butcher and The Wren, the thrilling debut novel by Alaina Urquhart.

Spooky season is here so if you are looking for a chilling and dark read to get you in the right mood, The Butcher and The Wren is what you are looking for. A serial killer who likes to torture and play with his victims before killing them and the forensic pathologist who hunts him, all set in the bayous of New Orleans.

The story is told from two different perspectives. On one side, the author takes us right into the killer’s mind. He is a complex, highly intelligent character who loves terrorizing and killing his victims in the most gruesome and agonising way. Because of him, the streets of New Orleans are no longer safe. Young people, especially women, disappear and their bodies are found a few days later, showing signs of torture. The press has renamed him “the Butcher”. Who is he? And can he be stopped?

“The thoughts of the depraved fascinated Wren. But the last thoughts of the dead fascinated her even more.” 

The other point of view is Dr Wren Muller. A renowned forensic pathologist with knowledge of criminology, Wren knows death. She often collaborates with the police in solving cases and she is determined to find this serial killer before he kills again, and, as the body count rises, the search becomes an obsession for her.

I loved the dual narrative as I was absorbed both in the killer and Wren’s gripping stories. The pace is right and fast, the suspense kept me on the edge from the first to the last pages, and the twists took me completely by surprise. The story is well-written, the story is intense and compelling, the characters are fascinating and well-developed and I am really hoping for a sequel, because I want more!

A huge thank you to Sriya and Michael Joseph for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a proof of this fantastic novel.

Please, follow the rest of the blog tour:

Alaina Urquhart is the science-loving co-host of the chart-topping show Morbid: A True Crime Podcast, with over 1m listeners and 3m views on TikTok. As an autopsy technician by trade, she offers a unique perspective from deep inside the morgue, putting victims at the heart of every story she tells.

Before writing her first psychological horror novel, she received degrees in criminal justice, psychology, and biology. Her days are usually spent either recording or eviscerating. The way she sees it, when she hangs up her microphone for the day, it’s time to let the dead speak.

#BookReview: THE DEAD ROMANTICS by Ashley Poston @ashposton @HQstories

Publication: 29th September 2022 – HQ

Florence Day is a ghost-writer with one big problem. She’s supposed to be penning swoon-worthy novels for a famous romance author but, after a bad break-up, Florence no longer believes in love. And when her strict (but undeniably hot) new editor, Benji Andor, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye.

Although when tragedy strikes and Florence has to head home, the last thing she expects to see is a ghost at her front door. Not just any ghost, however, but the stern form of her still very hot – yet now unquestionably dead – new editor.

As sparks start to fly between them, Florence tells herself she can’t be falling for a ghost – even an infuriatingly sexy one. But can Benji help Florence to realise love isn’t dead, after all?

If you fell in love with Beach Read, The Love Hypothesis and The Hating Game, this laugh-out-loud romance packed with sizzling chemistry will give you all the feels!

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If you are looking for a paranormal romance with relatable and lovable characters, a beautiful storyline, and witty writing, then I can’t recommend The Dead Romantics enough!

I loved everything about this novel. The story, the setting, the writing style… and especially the eccentric, entertaining, and well-developed characters who are often found reading romance books (including some of my favourite authors and others that I have just added to my TBR list)!

Florence Day doesn’t believe in love. Not after her latest heartbreak. But, she works as a ghost-writer for a famous romance author and she’s on an absolutely-not-extendable deadline to finish her latest book. However, her job is the last thing on her mind when she gets a call that her father has died of a heart attack and she needs to return home, to the same town that chased her away when she was a teenager. 

Florence, like her father, has a gift: she can see ghosts. Of course, no one in the small Southern town ever believed her and she was considered weird and bullied, especially after she solved a murder with the help of a ghost. She hasn’t been back in ten years and she feels an outsider not only to the town people, but also to her own family. While trying to reconnect with her family and busy following her father’s peculiar requests for his own funeral – where is she supposed to find one thousand daffodils? – she also faces her first sighting of a ghost in ten years. Things get even more complicated when that ghost turns out to be her charming and handsome new editor, Benji Andor.

The Dead Romantics is an incredible and unique story. I loved the character of Florence and I was engrossed in her journey and development as she tries to reconnect with her family and to overcome her writer’s block and her disbelief in happy endings, while also dealing with her feelings for a ghost. It is romantic (I loved the chemistry between Florence and Ben), emotional, at times funny, at times heartbreaking. It is one of these stories you don’t forget easily and you’re still thinking about weeks and weeks later!

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

Ashley Poston writes stories about love and friendship and ever afters. A native to South Carolina, she now lives in a small grey house with her sassy cat and too many books. You can find her on the internet, somewhere, watching cat videos and reading fan-fiction.

Tweet her at @ashposton and find out more about her at www.ashposton.com.

#BookReview: SPELLS FOR FORGETTING by Adrienne Young @adriennebooks @QuercusBooks

Publication: 27th September 2022 – Quercus

From the New York Times bestselling author comes an evocative, compelling novel of ancestral magic, an unsolved murder, and a second chance at true love.

‘There were tales that only the island knew. Ones that had never been told. I knew, because I was one of them.’

Emery Blackwood’s life was forever changed on the eve of her high school graduation, when the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her best friend, Lily. She’d once dreamt of running away with August, eager to escape the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and chase new dreams together. Now, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence among this tight-knit community steeped in folklore and tradition, ruled by the seasons and ancient superstitions.

But when August returns after fourteen years to bury his mother’s ashes, Emery must confront her first love and the reason he left so abruptly. But the town wants August gone again. And as the island begins to show signs of strange happenings, the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises threatens to reveal the truth behind Lily’s death once and for all.

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WATERSTONES

I am a huge fan of Adrienne Young’s novels. I love her writing style and she always manages to create incredible characters and fantastic worlds, but Spells for Forgetting is completely different from her previous novels. For starters, this is more of an adult novel instead of a young adult and it is contemporary. It’s a mystery story with a pinch of magic and folklore.

Spells for Forgetting is set on the island of Saoirse, in the state of Washington, where people take care of each other and secrets can turn deadly. Atmospheric and misty, the island is itself one of the protagonists of the story, always surrounded by an aura of mystery and magic. The other protagonists are Emery Blackwood and August Salt. Theirs isn’t a simple teenage first love, it’s the kind of love that lasts forever and that could reignite even after fourteen years apart.

When they were eighteen, Emery and August had a plan: leave Saoirse together. But then there was the fire and Emery’s best friend was found dead, murdered. August was suspected, even though his guilt was never proven. And then he and his mother left, without saying goodbye to anyone, leaving Emery heart-broken.

Fourteen years later, August returns to Saoirse to bury his mother and to cut his ties to the island once and for all. Emery still lives there, running her mother’s teashop. They haven’t seen each other in fourteen years, but they finally have the chance to deal with the feelings they both still have for each other, their history, and Lily’s death. However, the close-knitted community of Saoirse is not at all happy to see August back, especially as his presence risks bringing to light secrets and truths best left buried. 

I loved Spells for Forgetting. It is a dark, haunting, intense story about secrets, lies, jealousies, betrayals, magic, and tradition and I never wanted it to end, even though I wanted to know the truth: who killed Lily? What is August hiding? What is Emery hiding? What is everyone on the island hiding? I couldn’t put it down until I found out!!!

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

Adrienne Young is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Fable duology and the Sky in the Deep duology. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.