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Book Review: All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott

Title: All This Time

Author: Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott

Length: 322 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Synopsis: Kyle and Kimberly are the perfect couple. At least that’s what Kyle’s always thought. But when Kimberly breaks up with on the night of their graduation party, Kyle’s entire world is turned upside down – literally. Their car crashes, and when Kyle wakes up he has a brain injury. Kimberly is dead. No one in his life could possibly understand… Until Marley. Marley is suffering from her own loss, a loss she thinks was her fault. As Kyle’s and Marley’s feelings for each other grow stronger, Kyle can’t shake the sense that he’s headed for another crashing moment, just as soon as he’s started to put his life back together. And he was right…

Okay, so I might be one of the few people on this planet who hasn’t read Five Feet Apart, so I really didn’t know what I was getting myself in for.

In All This Time, we follow Kyle who after a tragic accident where his girlfriend is killed, has to find a way to move on with his life and maybe find love again.

Damn, I enjoyed this book. It was everything I wanted it to be. It was sweet, romantic, emotional shocking, there was twists and turns and ugh I just loved it.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Kyle was a great character to follow, you really see him grow and learn who he is. I also really loved his relationship with his mum. I also loved Marley, her story was really emotional. It full of great characters and they all added to the plot really well and created some good sub plots for Kyle.

The romance was so incredibly sweet. I thought for a while it might be too sweet but who am I kidding, I loved it! It was a slow burn and so romantic. It was also entwined with the Kyle and Marley finding themselves again while they find each other and I really enjoyed that aspect. They gave me all the feels, they were end goals. Loved, loved and loved.

Oh my gosh, that twist. I didn’t see it coming. At all. I was so unbelievably shocked. And I was devastated. Literally devastated. I had to put the book down and just gather my thoughts. And then I couldn’t sleep because of the twist. My gosh it was a good twist.

Then as the story continues and I managed to control my emotions again, there was another twist. I couldn’t believe it. It nearly finished me off guys. Mikki and Rachael, what are you trying to do to me?? I had to finish this book (like I wouldn’t?) but I had to see if there was a happy ending. No spoilers.

I loved this book, it really was an emotional rollercoaster as I’m sure you could tell by my review. It was just so heartfelt and beautiful. Now I’ve obviously got to read Five Feet Apart.

Thanks to Hashtag Reads for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH

#fantasy, #fiction, #literature, #yafantasy, author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, historical fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Interview with Tracy Deonn and Book Review: Legendborn

Title: Legendborn

Author: Tracy Deonn

Length: 490 pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Synopsis: After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family’s memories or childhood home. A residential programme for bright young high-schoolers at UNC- Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape – until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying Demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called ‘Legendbornstudents that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a ‘Merlin’ and who attempts- and fails- to wipe Beees memory of everything saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if it means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates. She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets – and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveals themselves as descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down – or join the fight.

For more stops on this blog tour, check out these other fantastic bloggers and see how much they love this book.

This is the kind of fantasy book I absolutely love. It had everything you could ever want. Fantastic characters, detailed magic, a brilliant plot and romance . Have I convinced you to read this yet?

We follow Bree, who joins a secret society to find out the truth about her mother’s death and gets so much more than she bargained for. It’s such a brilliant plot that I don’t want to go into too much detail and ruin it for you. I want you to be swept away like I was.

Bree is such a fantastic main character to follow. She’s smart, brave, gutsy. I loved her. You can’t help but root for her throughout. I even felt protective over her. I also have to give a shoutout to Sel. I also loved him. He had that classic arc of he’s a bad guy but is he really? I love him. Check out the answers below in the interview for some Sel information in book two!

There was a romance between Bree and Nick that was pretty inevitable but it was still fantastic. I totally believe it and was into it. But without saying too much, I wonder if there’s another character that could interrupt Bre and Nicks romance and i think I want it to be explored. It actually need it to be explored. I need it. It excites me.

The magic in this book is brilliant. It’s a real highlight. It’s incredibly detailed so pay attention. When Bree joins the secret order, it’s so interesting to learn about Shadowborns, Onceborns, Merlins. And I love how it all ties into King Arthur and the nights of the round table. It’s genius. I love the blend of modern and historical fiction. And just when you think it can’t get anyone detailed and intricate we learn about Rootcraft. Which celebrates black history and the power of your roots. Which I actually believe is genius and so powerful.

This book also has so many important messages. I love what Tracy has to say about grief. It was so powerful and poignant. It definitely made me tear up a few times. It’s just so honest and real. Such brilliant writing. It also makes you love Bree more. I’ve also lost my mum, like Bree and Tracy the author. So it really hit home for me. It also deals with race and it’s handled honestly and powerfully. It’s black girl magic. It’s what we need more of and this book is perfect at capturing it.

Ugh the ending. It was sooooo good. Tracy manages to build such momentum that I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Seriously. It felt like I was in the action. And there was a lot of action. With so many twists and turns. I didn’t guess the ending. It totally surprised me. It was so powerful. I absolutely loved it.

I guess all there’s left to say it, when is book twoout? I need it. Like yesterday.

There’s so much to enjoy about this book and I really want you all to read it. You won’t regret it. Also, it’s just become a New York Times Bestseller

Now it’s time for the interview.

Thank you so much to Tracy for agreeing to do this. Enjoy the answers!

1) What inspired you to write this story?

The first early kernel of Bree, the main character of Legendborn, was born when I lost my mother. At that time, I found out that she had also lost her mother when she was my age, and that the same was true of my grandmother. Being a writer, I immediately wondered how such a pattern could have happened in my family. Of course, there’s no real answer here – life is strange and sometimes the odd and sad things happen to us and that’s that. But as a writer, I decided to create an answer. I began writing from a place of grief and mystery, and in the book Bree begins from that same place, too. I wanted to explore the idea of legacy and whose lives and deaths are lost to history and whose become legendary. That naturally led me to Arthuriana, as I’ve been a fan of the legends for most of my life, and I felt as though I could contribute something new to the 1500 year old storytelling tradition of growing the Arthurian canon. That’s really the source of Bree’s story—a book-length, contemporary fantasy answer to an impossible real world question.

2) Was it always going to be a school setting?

Yes! Once I decided to work with Arthuriana to explore some of my favorite legends, I immediately thought of Susan Cooper and The Dark is Rising Sequence. In those books, part of her brilliance was allowing Arthur and the stories to be pulled forward into the future in a sense. I gave myself the same challenge – How could Arthur and the Table exist in the modern day? The answer seemed very clear here in the US; the Round Table would embed themselves into a secret society somehow! Secret societies are a great cover for very old generations of power. I was familiar with secret societies at UNC-Chapel Hill because I went to school there for both of my degrees, and the campus is very much embedded in my mind. There are a lot of mysterious and fascinating societies at that school, being the oldest public university in the country. I did a lot of primary source research within UNC’s own archives. Tying in UNC’s history was actually quite easy with my background and because I’d been thinking about how that history impacts students for a long time

4) The magic system is so intriguing, how did you come up with it?

In the book, the Legendborn are descendants of the knights of the round table and have inherited magic because of that legacy. I wanted to believably stretch Arthur and the knights and the Table forward in time, and needed magic to make that happen. I also knew I wanted a magic system that had nothing to do with the Order of the Legendborn, and that they needed to have different uses and origins but work within the same environment.

Since the magic systems in the book are very, very old and fairly strict; they needed to be functional and solid over dozens of generations in order to work as I needed them to! So, my first step was to write them out in prose form first, in mostly full sentences, to test whether I could actually verbalize them. Then each system was moved to whiteboards to play out examples or work out problems. I have three whiteboards in my house: one in my kitchen for brainstorming while cooking or doing other tasks, one in my office that I can write on and refer back to as I work at my desk, and another that is portable so I can use it while sitting on the ground.

I used more than a dozen spreadsheets over the course of drafting and revisions, and they kept growing or getting re-organized. Some sheets were just about keeping track of recurring details. For example, I have a sheet that is just about the Scions and their bloodlines, their rankings, their inheritances (powers and personality traits), preferred weapons and character traits. I also collaborated in Google Sheets with my Wales-based Welsh language and medievalist consultant for all of the Welsh vocabulary, both made up magical terms and real ones. I think the magic systems took about a year and a half to design and “test” in revisions.

3) Have you always been interested in history, did this influence the book?

First – thank you for asking this question, because history is such a big part of Legendborn. How we talk about history, how it gets recorded, who gets to record it and why. I’m not a historian by trade, but I have always been interested in those sorts of issues around history. I am deeply fascinated with human storytelling, which is really the most critical component of history in my eyes. History as a strictly official, academic study feels to me like the stories that got written down or that have artifacts; But the history of humanity is much broader than we can possibly conceive and includes stories and tales that were never written down, or that were recorded using different methods and not captured by historians. The interesting thing about legends is that they’re different from myths because there’s a historical component – usually legends are based on a small sliver of truth revolving around a real person, or based on a communally believed history that doesn’t require a documented truth to persist. Legendborn is my way of playing with all of these ideas while working within some of the enduring themes of Arthurian literature and my own storytelling style.

4) Can you tell us anything about book two?

I can’t share anything too juicy, but I will say that the sequel builds on what is exposed in the first book, all of the magic levels up, and we meet brand new characters. And if you enjoy Sel, just know that we don’t see nearly the full extent of his powers in book one! Now that the groundwork is laid for the universe, we’ve got tons to explore.

Thank you Tracy for answering the questions. Such brilliant answers! Obviously I had to ask about book two, I’m obsessed. And we get more Sel!!!

Thank you to Daniel at Simon and Schusters Kids for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review: An Inconvenient Woman by Stéphanie Buelens

Title: An Inconvenient Woman

Author: Stéphanie Buelens

Length: 302 pages

Publisher: Quercus

Synopsis: When Claire Fontaine learns that her ex-husband Simon is marrying again, to a woman with a teenage daughter, her blood runs cold. She is sure that years ago Simon molested her own daughter and was responsible for her mysterious death. She can’t let him get away with it a second time. Vandalism, harassment; whatever it takes, Claire will expose him. Simon doesn’t know where Claire got this delusion from; her daughter’s death was ruled a suicide. Why is she lashing out? Wanting to protect his new fiancée, he hires Sloane Wilson, an ex-cop turned ‘sin-eater’, whose job is to handle delicate cases without getting the police Involved. Simon gives her the task of getting Claire off his back. Sloane must navigate the wreckage of Claire and Simon’s marriage to discover the truth. Is she crazy, or is he manipulative? And can Sloane stay clear-headed enough to figure it out.

I’m also so excited to be on this social media blast for this fantastic book. Check out all these other reviews.

I don’t really read thrillers that often because I tend to find them a little disappointing, but I can gladly say I didn’t find this one disappointing at all. This is everything you want in a thriller. It was intense, suspenseful, intriguing, complex and just super enjoyable.

The question of An Inconvenient Woman is whether we believe Claire or her Ex-Husband Simon as to whether he abused his step daughter. This book definitely keeps you guessing as to who was telling the truth. I can say I believed Claire. There was just something about her character that made me. There’s another level to this book as Simon hires a ‘sineater’ to stop Claire trying to contact his future wife to warn her. This also made me feel like I believed Claire even more as Sloane the sineater was just ugh! But I’m not telling you the answer.

The plot goes to places I didn’t expect it to. It had many subplots and characters that all came together in ways I didn’t expect but it really made sense. The chapters were also short so it kept the pacing quick and fresh.

Here’s one of the (many) things I really enjoyed about this novel, it had so much heart. Claire had such a heartfelt, upsetting back story. It gave the novel and the characters another layer and so much depth. It really took this book to another level for me. Can we have more thrillers like this please?

The ending was so good. So, so good. I’m so glad it didn’t disappoint. It all came together in such a clever way and kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat until the end. It’s hard to write a review without giving it away. I’ll guess you’ll just have to read it. The ending felt very cinematic to me. It would make a fantastic mini-series.

I would definitely recommend this. It was engaging from the very first page to the end. I couldn’t put it down. It’s a novel I keep finding myself thinking about. It’s out now.

Thank you to Ella at Quercus for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review.

Until the next review

JTH

blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, historical fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: Ashes by Christopher De Vinck.

Title: Ashes

Author: Christopher De Vinck

Length: 325 pages

Publisher: Harper Inspire

Synopsis: Belgium, July 1939: Simone Lyon is the daughter of a Belgium national hero, the famous General Joseph Lyon. Her best friend Hava Daniels, is the eldest daughter of a devout Jewish family. Despite growing up in different worlds, they are inseparable. But when, in Spring of 1940, Nazi planes and tanks being bombing Brussels, their resilience and strength are tested. Hava and Simone find themselves caught in the advancing onslaught and are forced to flee. In an emotionally charged race for survival, even the most harrowing horrors cannot break their bonds of love and friendship. The two teenage girls will see their innocence fall, against the ugly backdrop of a war dictating that theirs was a friendship that should never have been.

I’m super thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour for Harper Inspire. You can check out all these fantastic blogs for this book here. You can also check my Instagram, Instagram.com/jthbooks and you can have a chance to win a copy of this book.

We follow Simone, who begins a friendship with Hava and as the war begins we see the two girls fight for each other and the bond they have.

I really did enjoy it. Its one of the finest historical fiction books I’ve read recently, it’s evocative and atmospheric. Everything we want from a good book.

I loved the friendship between Hava and Simone. It was the highlight of the novel. I totally believed in it. I could see why they would fight for each. It was heartbreaking when they got separated. Their friendship was the best thing about this novel, it gave it a centre which it desperately needed because some of the other parts felt a little misplaced for me.

I loved learning about the traditions of the Jewish and religion. It’s not something I’ve come across a lot in these types of historical fiction books and I absolutely loved it. It gave the novel real depth in this area. And also it made me believe in family more and their love for each other more.

But I really did like the ending. It was heartbreaking. Made me realise how much I was involved in the friend mashup. It also get the book true for me, but there’s was part of it that was really sweet. I won’t spoil the ending for you. But it doesn’t disappoint.

I would recommend this book. I’m it was a quick read. I wanted to see how it would conclude. It was good.

Thanks to Harper Insider for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out August 20th.

Until the next review

JTH

author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, historical fiction, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review Blog Tour: The Tuscan Contessa by Dinah Jeffries

Title: The Tuscan Contessa

Author: Dinah Jeffries

Length: 350 pages

Publisher: Penguin

Synopsis: Contessa Sofia de’ Corsi’s peaceful Tuscan home has been upturned by the arrival of German soldiers. Desperate to fight back, she provides shelter, medical aid and any help she can, keeping her efforts secret from husband Lorenzo – who is also passing information to the Allies. When Maxine, an Italian-American working for the resistance, arrives on Sofia’s doorstep, the pair forge an uneasy alliance. Practical, no-nonsense Maxine promised herself never to fall in love. But when she meets a young partisan named Marco, she realises it’s a promise she can’t keep. Before long, the two women find themselves entangled in a dangerous game with the Nazis. Will they be discovered? And will they both be able to save the ones they love?

I’m super thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for this book, here’s the other book bloggers for you to check out there posts.

Dinah Jeffries has done it again. How does she manage to do it? Another fantastic novel. I was hooked from start to finish.

The Tuscan Contessa has a riveting story, following Sofia and Maxine as they both help in the effort to defeat the Nazis in World War Two. The story is full of twist and turns that will keep you turning the pages. It’s a well paced plot that is full of mystery, intrigue and romance.

Here’s what amazes me about Dinahs writing, she always makes me want to go visit these beautiful places. She describes them so wonderfully and richly that just makes me want to visit. But obviously with this book being set during World War Two, things happen and Dinah manages the two beautifully. She really captures the beauty and the brutality.

Sofia and Maxine are two fantastic characters to follow. Dinah has written two strong female characters, who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and it’s fantastic to read. There’s also a romance that runs throughout the book, that is lovely to read, but filled with tension because of the time the book is set in. It’s such an atmospheric book.

I won’t ruin the ending for you, but it was intense, heartbreaking and so satisfying. It’s built up throughout the whole novel and certainly isn’t a let down. But I’ll let you discover what happens when you read it.

I definitely recommend this book. It’s the perfect book to get lost in, you’ll travel to a different time and place and get totally lost in the story. It’s out now.

Thank you to Penguin for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review.

Until the next review

JTH

#literature, author, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, historical fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review + Blog Tour: The Forgotten Sister by Nicola Cornick

Title: The Forgotten Sister

Author: Nicola Cornick

Length: 400 pages

Publisher: HQ

Synopsis: 1560: Amy Robsart is trapped in a loveless marriage to Robert Dudley, a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Surrounded by enemies and with nowhere left to turn. Amy hatches a desperate scheme to escape- one with devastating consequences that will echo through the centuries. Present day: When Lizzie Kingdom is forced to withdraw from the public eye in a blaze of scandal, it seems her life is over. But she’s about to encounter a young man, Johnny Robsart, whose fate will interlace with hers in the most unexpected of ways. For Johnny is certain that Lizzie is linked to a terrible secret dating back to Tudor times. If Lizzie is brave enough to go in search of the truth, then what she discovers will change the course of their lives forever.

I am super excited to be on the Blog Tour for this book with HQ and all these other wonderful bloggers, so make sure you check them out.

Told in two different periods of History, we follow Issey (present day) and Amy (1545) as one tries to clear her name, and the other fights to get her life back.

I love historical fiction and the premise for this book sounded so good, and very intriguing. It certainly didn’t disappoint.

I definitely connected, and was much more interested in the present day storyline than the 1945 storyline at the beginning. The present day was really gripping and it had so many twists and turns that I just never knew what was going to happen. I loved it. Throughout the novel I was interested to see how they would connect. I was a little unsure at first about the ‘psychic’ element to the book, but it was done really well and I ended up enjoying it. It added another level to this book.

Both Issey and Amy were both fantastic to follow. They were both so different, yet fighting for the same thing, the life they both actually want. They were both so strong, and I love the character development of Issey. I love to read about a character that really gets to know themselves and it was done really well in this book.

I loved also that Amy was a real life person (as are most of the characters in the historical fiction part of the book) but no one knows what happened to Amy and I love that Nicola decided to give her a voice, it makes my history loving heart very happy.

I don’t want to give too much away and spoil it for you, you’ll find out what happens when you read it but I really enjoyed the ending. I definitely didn’t see it coming, but it made total sense. Then it wrapped it up really nicely and sweetly. I also love that the same names were you used in both periods in the book. I thought that was really clever.

I would definitely recommend this book. It’s perfect for fans of historical fiction, who love some mystery and romance.

Thanks for HQ for the copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH

blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: ‘The Pharmacist’ by Justin David

Title: The Pharmacist

Author: Justin David

Length: 128 pages

Publisher: Inkandescent

I got invited to be part of the blog tour for ‘The Pharmacist’ and the book sounded so wonderful, I couldn’t wait.

Synopsis: Twenty-four-year-old Billy is beautiful and sexy. Albert – The Pharmacist- is a compelling but damaged older man, and a veteran of London’s late ’90s club scene. After a chance meeting in the heart of the London’s East End. Billy is seduced into the sphere of Albert. An unconventional friendship develops. Alive with the twilight times between day and night, consciousness and unconsciousness, the foundations of Billy’s life being to irrevocably shift and crack, as he fast-tracks toward manhood. This story of lust, love and loss is homoerotic Bildungsroman at it’s finest.

The Pharmacist is only about 130 pages but boy does it pack a lot in. It manages to achieve things that books that are over 300 pages can’t do. It’s creates atmosphere, chemistry and intrigue.

It’s full of fantastic characters, with Justin creating such depth in them. We follow the story of Billy who begins a relationship with his older neighbour upstairs. You can feel Billys curiosity. Albert is a character I don’t think I’ll forget for a long time. He showed Billy a whole new world and excited him, yet there was a sense of sadness and melancholy about him. I just loved him.

The highlight of this book for me was the relationship between Albert and Billy. There was such sincerity to it. I could feel the chemistry and connection between them. It’s so intense and real. The sex scenes between them only confirm that connection more. They had real meaning and intensity to them.

Can we talk about that ending? Can we? Oh it broke my heart. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a little tear. It was just crafted so beautifully and delicately. After I finished the book (and stopped crying) I had to go back and read a certain couple of lines in this book that I felt just made the ending make total sense. It was wonderful, yet heartbreaking. Also, I totally didn’t see it coming.

This was just a beautifully written book. Tender, yet sexy. Intimate and wide open. It amazes me how Justin David has crafted such a wonderful, touching story with real heart to it in 130 pages. Also, it’s always wonderful to read LGBTQ+ books written an LGBTQ+ author. Representation matters.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s evocative and heartbreaking. It’s out now!

Thank you to Nathan over at Inkandescent for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. And thank you for letting be a part of the blog tour.

The Pharmacist is available from Amazon, Gay’s the word & www.Inkandescent.co.uk

Until the next review

JTH

blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, historical fiction, review, Uncategorised

ARC Book Review and Blog Tour: ‘A View Across The Rooftops’ by Suzanne Kelman

Title: A View Across The Rooftops

Author: Suzanne Kelman

Length: Ebook

Publisher: Bookouture

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was absolutely thrilled to join the Blog Tour for this book. I love Historical Fiction so I couldn’t wait to get started.

1941 Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. An unforgettable story of love, hope and betrayal, and a testament to the courage of humanity in history’s darkest days.

University professor Josef Held has never recovered from the loss of his beloved wife – and has no intention of ever letting anyone new into his quiet, safe world. It is a world where the clock ticks steadily in his mathematics classroom, even as the sinister beat of Nazi soldiers’ boots threaten to drown it out. Terrified, Josef tries to keep his eyes on the ground as Jews across the city are forced into ghettos. But then, Michael Blum, his most reluctant, infuriating pupil, tell Josef Jews like him will no longer allowed to study at all. Josef can no longer ignore the situation. And, after the shock of seeing his own neighbour killed on his doorstep, he offer Michael a place to hide in an impulsive act of courage. Michael is everything Josef is not: spontaneous, poetic and unafraid of love. Even though his passionate relationship with a Dutch girl is strictly forbidden- for he is Jewish, she is not. Somehow- in the quiet gloom of the attic, Josef doesn’t mind things about Michael that annoyed him in the classroom, and a bond begins to grow. Remembering the pain of his own heartbreak, Josef is desperate to give Michael and his girlfriend a chance. He must go on as if nothing has changed: teaching his classes, bowing to the Nazis. Beneath the fear, a thrill of defiance begins to bloom. But then Michael becomes perilously ill, and there is no way to get him the help he desperately needs. As the dark days of war continue, with danger and betrayal at every turn, no-one can be trusted. If Michael is to survive and get back to the women he loves, it will be down to Josef – to find the hero inside himself, and do whatever it takes to keep Michael alive. Even if it means putting his own life on the line.

I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. I’m trying to think of a better historical fiction novel I’ve read of this kind this year, and I can’t. It really was historical fiction at its finest.

I liked the fact that this book had a different perspective on the war. It’s the first book I’ve read, of the Nazi occupation in set in Amsterdam, so that added a different element to the book and kept it fresh. I was immediately immersed in the story. And I didn’t leave it until the last page.

This book had fantastic characters. They’re all so beautiful written. Josef, who is the main character, is so complex. You can really feel his internal struggle, with wanting to help and wanting to be safe. It was one of the joys of the book to watch his character open up. To see him help Michael is wonderful. For me, it’s the foundation of this book. The bond they form is so special and heartwarming, in this brutal time in history, is probably my favourite thing about this book.

This book also has some wonderful secondary characters, who have some great storylines. Hannah, who joins the resistance and helps fight. Michaels girlfriend, who never gives up on him. And Ingrid, who is a Nazi sympathiser. A have to give a special shoutout to the arc of Ingrid’s story because it had a twist I didn’t see coming and I end up caring for her. It’s brilliant writing. With all these perspectives, you’d think I’d hate one, but no.

The romance between Michael and his girlfriend is so lovely. I couldn’t read this book fast enough to see if they became reunited. The ending! Oh my god the ending of their story. I’m not ashamed to say I cried. I’m not going to spoil anything for you, but I wept like a baby. I just didn’t see it coming. It was one of those moments in a book where you just pause. I was so shocked. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

It’s abundantly clear this book has been meticulously researched. It had to be, with so many perspectives being told. It was filled with just the right amount of detail to make it accurate, but never to get bogged down and lose the story.

This is just one of those books that has a tremendous amount of heart. It’s all down the brilliant writing of Suzanne Kelman, who’s managed to create wonderful, real characters and put them in a harrowing time in history. When I finished this book I was hopeful and my heart was full. It’s such a fantastic story.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It comes out 25th October. Check it out.

Until the next review

JTH

blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book review, books, historical fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review + Blog Tour: ‘Sword of Kings’ by Bernard Cornwell

Title: King of Scars

Author: Bernard Cornwell

Length: 331 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the 12th book in the ‘Last Kingdom’ series by Bernard Cornwell and I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour.

Uhtred of Bebbanburg is a man of his word. An oath bound him to King Alfred. An oath bound him to Æthelflaed. And now an oath will wrench him away from the ancestral home he fought so hard to regain. For Uhtred has sworn that on King Edward’s death, he will kill two men. And now Edward is dying. A violent attack drives Uhtred south with a small band of warriors, and headlong into the battle for kingship. Plunged into a world of shifting and alliances and uncertain loyalties, he will need all his strength and guile to overcome the fiercest warrior of them all. As two opposing Kings gather their armies, fate drags Uhtred to London, and a struggle for control that must leave one King victorious, and one dead. But fate – as Uhtred has learned to his cost – is inexorable. Wyrd bid ful ãræd. And Uhtred’s destiny is to stand at the heart of the shield wall once again…

As I said before, this is the 12th book in the series and I have to be honest and say I haven’t read the previous eleven. But I can gladly say it doesn’t matter, as I was able to get into the book and more importantly I didn’t feel like I was missing anything and I throughly enjoyed it.

This really was a fantastic historical fiction. It was full of little, intricate details that really made the novel really shine. I loved the period of history the story took place in, with all the different names for places in England, and the different armies and the conflict it created. It made it so interesting and you knew exactly when the book was set.

Uhtred was a great character to follow. He was loyal, strong and fierce and I was so intrigued throughout to see if he would complete his mission and keep his oath. He was a brilliant anchor to have throughout the book and the series. You just wanted Uhtred to succeed. Even when he was captured he still had a dignity about him and the I couldn’t wait to see if he got his revenge. Bernard Cornwell really knows how to craft great characters.

The story was brilliant. It was well paced yet different lose its finer details. I even especially enjoyed the minor plot of Bernadette seeking revenge over her old slaver, it was fantastic. A times it even felt a tad like a spy novel to me, with the some of story. It was filled with some great action sequences, especially those ones on the ocean, you don’t read them often in books and these ones were so well written.The action begins quite early on in the book and the story takes off from there and doesn’t settle down till the end of the book. Fantastic.

I highly recommend this well written, action packed historical fiction book, that has been researched meticulously. Read it regardless of wether you’ve read the previous books or not. Do not miss this one.

Thank you to HarperCollins for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. This book is out now.

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review and Blog Tour: ‘Overdrawn’ by N.J.Crosskey

Title: Overdrawn

Author: N.J.Crosskey

Length: 334 pages

Publisher: Legend Press

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m super excited to be on the blog tour for this book. This is N.J.Crookey’s second book, her first being ‘Poster Boy’

Henry Morris is watching his wife slip away from him. In an ageist society, where euthanasia is encouraged as a patriotic act, dementia is no longer tolerated. Kaitlyn, a young waitress, is desperate for the funds to keep her brother’s life support machine switched on. When a chance encounter brings the two together, they embark on an unconventional business arrangement that will force them to confront their prejudices, as well as their deepest, darkest secrets.

Set in a dystopian world, this book is told through the perspectives of Henry and Kaitlyn and I enjoyed both. Probably Henry’s a little more than Kaitlyn’s, as it for me was a little bit more emotionally charged and I liked that. Kaitlyn was maybe a tad cliched, and you knew how it was going to end up. But both are still enjoyable. They both became much more appealing as the characters began to forge a connection.

There some things in this novel that I wasn’t to keen on, like the situation Henry and Kaitlyn find themselves in. It was a little strange and a bit uncomfortable to read at times. Also the dystopian world has some aspects to it that didn’t need mentioning and some more that did. The whole euthanasia aspect to it was so interesting and I think it could’ve been explored a bit more.

Where this book was really at its best was when the character Chloe became coherent again after getting her dementia medication. She was the heart and soul of this book. The ending Chloe and Henry come to was really heartbreaking. I have to be honest and say I shed a tear. This book felt like it was building towards its ending and it’s lovely that it didn’t disappoint. It probably surpassed my expectations. Kaitlyn’s ending was good, if not a bit predictable, but it was Henry’s and Chloe’s that truly stood out for me. It couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

What this book does well is it makes you think, makes you ask yourself questions like ‘what would I do in this situation?’ And ‘is this where the future is headed? I also was on Henrys side as he tried to get Chloe her medication, but then I began to think is this really a good life for her. I think that’s the biggest impact this book has, its ability to make you question your own ideas.

I would recommend this book, especially if your a fan of dystopian fiction. Or books with an emotionally charged ending.

Thank to Legend Press for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It came out September 1st! Be sure to check it out.

Until the next review

JTH