Before He Was Gone by Becky Wicks

Before He Was Gone

I was lucky enough to get my paws on a pre-release copy ofBefore He Was Gone and it accompanied me on what should have been a long train journey. The journey flew by, in a wave of sand, sea and sunshine thanks to this great summer story.

Perfectly paced to keep me turning pages (or clicking Kindle buttons, ahem), Before He Was Gone developed the character of Alyssa from Before He Was Famous with the style and vivacity I have come to expect from the author.

Quick-witted and unassumingly beautiful, Alyssa chooses to leave behind heartbreak for a desert island adventure that promises a life changing sum of money for the winner – not to mention madcap challenges, new friendships and a whirlwind romance along the way!

The description of a reality TV series was right on the ball, with both the highs and lows framed perfectly as well as showing evidence of Becky Wicks great research into the industry.

I loved Alyssa and Joshua’s romance. Joshua’s emotional unavailability made for a great mystery to puzzle over during dark train tunnels and their relationship evolved at a good pace instead of the popular ‘insta-love’ situation.

With an extra bonus chapter on the author’s website, Before He Was Gone is a fantastically fun read and very much recommended.

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Splintered by Hope Christine

Splintered

Really interesting and original twist on the usual fantasy characters with great details to establish each culture / people as individual powers in the land.

Occasionally more gory than I necessarily want to deal with, especially when I’m reading in bed.

The story jumped straight into the thick of things with no build up and remained well-paced. The entire book felt more like a ‘snapshot’ of many political and historical issues coming to head at once, with flashbacks and memories to flesh out any details necessary to make sense of what was happening.

Very intriguing fantasy world, loved the descriptions of the tree spirits.

Read this review and others on Goodreads.

Promise You Won’t Tell? By John Locke

Promise You Won't Tell

I started this as a bit of light reading before bedtime, but thanks to it’s pace, well-written wit and fun storyline, it was 2am before I knew it and I had finished.

Dany was a fantastic main character, dropping in backstory to explain her reactions without it getting in the way of the main story. She had a great sense of timing and a seemingly fearless attitude to the crazy clients wandering into her office.

The twists and turns were brilliant, reminding me of a Veronica Mars episode. Absolutely loved it, perfect Summer read.

Read this review on Goodreads.

Ice by M.S.Watson

Ice

My first impressions of Ice were not particularly favourable. Having studied Classics, I found the characterisation of the Greek gods to be lacking, especially when the mighty Poseidon forgot to change his clothes and needed to hide in the bushes to avoid detection.

The storyline was interesting enough that I read on to see what would happen, but ultimately, the writing style had me less immersed in the story as bemused about the odd wording and inconsistencies (especially chronological ones). For example, at one point the MC went from worried that torrential rain will soak her to shaking off the light mist. Another phrase I found particularly strange: ‘Freedom so close I could taste its toxicity.’ This could be a poetic turn of phrase about the liberties of those who fate cannot control, but I doubt it.

Both the main characters had some serious temper issues that I just could not identify with, so that made it hard for me to get involved with them and their story. Characters I would have thought were important to earlier scenes suddenly turned up a third of the way through – like best friends who hadn’t been around for the previous week of turmoil or 18th birthday party’s.

Lastly, the characters seemed to switch temperaments at the end, the reasoning for which I didn’t understand or see explained.

Read this review on Goodreads.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Stolen Songbird

loved this story.

The characters pulled me in immediately. I foolishly started reading at about 10pm on a Sunday, knowing I would have to get up early for work the following morning. See me today, bleary eyed, finished and desperate to share the love!

The story was fantastic – familiar enough to give comfort and different enough to hold my interest. The twists and turns kept me guessing as to what would happen – unusual for me, as I very often find myself picking up on the story’s ending long before I am close to finishing the book.

The characters remained consistent in their ways, gaining depth and wisdom as their tale progressed. This was not an ‘insta-love’ scenario, but a rather more realistic romance, growing in feeling despite tricky conditions.

I now see that this is the first of three and I’m off straight away to see if the second book is out yet, because I could very well do without another night’s sleep!

See this review on Goodreads.

Quick Lunch: Egg, Smashed Avocado & Toast

Oh man. This was good. So good I ate it all and licked the plate before I could snap a photo. That is one of the major reasons I could never be a food blogger. I need to eat my creation, immediately.

Impatience. It’s a curse.

Anyway, so I shall paint you a picture with words, which is more my forte anyway.

So:

Fresh, dense, savoury walnut bread sliced thinly and slathered in salted butter and mashed up garlic. Fried in a hot, hot pan while I smashed up a beautifully ripe avocado with lemon juice. I smeared the chunky avocado over the toast, then topped it with a lightly fried egg, sprinkled all over with herbs de Provence. Slash that yolk and let it run, everywhere! Glorious, garlicky, creamy, crunchy toasty goodness!

Lunchtime rocks.