The A to Z of Us by Hannah Doyle @byHannahDoyle @HQstories #NetGalley #TheAtoZofUs #BookReview #RomanticComedy

The A to Z of Us: The new funny and feel-good romantic comedy novel of summer 2021 by [Hannah Doyle]


Can love ever be as easy as ABC?

If you want to know the A-Z of love then it starts with Alice and ends with Zach.

Alice is a self-confessed cynic when it comes to love. She’s never had a serious relationship herself and after supporting her best friend through a devastating break-up, she’s not about to let down her barriers anytime soon. Relationships always end badly.

Zach is a romantic. Even after his parents got divorced, he still believed in love and is eager to settle down and have a family of his own. He just hasn’t met The One yet.

After a chance meet-cute at an art gallery, Zach is immediately intrigued by Alice and realising their names bookend the alphabet suggests that their next date needs to begin with a B. Alice agrees to one date while Zach is determined to make her believe in love. But can love ever be as easy as ABC?

A fun and feel-good romantic comedy with dating as you’ve never seen it before, for anyone who’s missed Happy Hour drink dates and meet-cutes in real life. Fans of Sophie Cousens, Mhairi McFarlane and Sophie Ranald won’t be able to put down this heart-warming page-turner.


The A to Z of Us: The new funny and feel-good romantic comedy novel of summer 2021


I love a book that makes me snort, and it was like I had my own personal farm when I was reading this. Alice has no intention of ever getting hurt from a relationship, so she has a three-date rule, then she ends it. Or she did until she met Zach, who is quite a romantic guy. After managing to insult Zach, they end up going for a coffee. He persuades her to begin an alphabet date night as her name begins with A and his Z. Each, in turn, takes the following alphabet letter and arranges a date with it. And so it begins.

It is brilliant any time of the year read that I thoroughly enjoyed. The pair are very different and yet perfect for each other too. Alice and Zach’s banter had me in stitches, and I loved how unusual some of the dates were. From rock climbing to digging in her allotment, it was well thought out and fun.

I enjoyed how inventive the author was with the places they went to, and how each date played out. Friends and family play a big part in the story too. I liked too that not every date was a success and that they didn’t always see eye to eye. It is about taking chances and loving what you have had and could have in the future. A great pick me up story.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly.


Hannah Doyle

Hannah’s third book, THE A TO Z OF US, is out now! From the bestselling author of THE YEAR OF SAYING YES and JUST MY TYPE.

Former Hearst magazine celebrity journalist.

Twitter: @byHannahDoyle

The A to Z of Us: The new funny and feel-good romantic comedy novel of summer 2021 by [Hannah Doyle]

Uncertainty of Reason (The Harrogate Crime Series Book 11) by Malcolm Hollingdrake @MHollingdrake #BookReview #UncertaintyOfReason

Uncertainty of Reason: Book Eleven in the Harrogate Crime Series by [Malcolm Hollingdrake]


Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man. – Aristotle

A murderer is loose on the streets of Harrogate. His initial purpose is to inflict damage, not to cause death. Repercussions of a serious road accident and an abusive childhood haunt the perpetrator. The balance of his mind is disturbed and he experiences moments of intense, irrational anger which override his sanity. The colour red seems to trigger his psychosis.
The case is a disturbing one for DCI Bennett and his team. Welcome to Harrogate.


Uncertainty of Reason


The story begins in the past with a father and his young son out for a drive. Then a glimpse into the rage of a little boy who will change both their lives.

It was brilliant to get back to Harrogate, DCI Bennett and his team as they were about to be thrown into investigating a vicious attack on a young man. The man’s face had been repeatedly battered so that every bone was crushed and splintered. The man was unrecognisable and impossible to save. It wasn’t long before a grievous bodily harm investigation became a murder case for the team. The team didn’t have a great deal to go on, but the killer would not be long before he literally struck again and again.

Oh my. It has been a while since the last book in this series, but whoa, this was well worth waiting for. The main character got under my skin, especially dressed as he does. When I am coming home from work in the early hours, I still feel like I can see him from the corner of my eye and want to wave, just in case. I believe that this is one of the hardest cases that the team has come up against. Especially with the unpredictability of it all because of triggers. I was edgy throughout every chapter. The murderer is a fascinating character that has a charismatic charm that is mesmerising.

I like how that author lets me into his characters personal lives and how they deal with the horrors they see. For Bennett, of course, it is his love of fine art and the anticipation of the auctions. I liked how he crossed the line, more than usual in this book, with Owen. I quite welled up. It is another fabulous addition to this top series.

I wish to thank the author for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


An image posted by the author.

ou could say that the writing was clearly on the wall for someone born in a library that they might aspire to be an author, but to get to that point Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route.

Malcolm worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember.

He has written a number of successful short stories, has ten books now available and is presently writing the tenth crime novel set in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Born in Bradford and spending three years at Ripon College, Malcolm has never lost his love for his home county, a passion that is reflected in the settings for all the DCI Bennett novels However, as well as the Bennett series he is writing a new series set in Merseyside.

Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It is a hobby he has bestowed upon DCI Cyril Bennett, the main character in his successful Bennett series.



Uncertainty of Reason: Book Eleven in the Harrogate Crime Series by [Malcolm Hollingdrake]

Lily by Rose Tremain @randomhouse #HistoricalFiction #NewRelease #NetGalley

Lily: A Tale of Revenge from the Sunday Times bestselling author by [Rose Tremain]


Nobody knows yet that she is a murderer…

Abandoned at the gates of a London park one winter’s night in 1850, baby Lily Mortimer is saved by a young police constable and taken to the London Foundling Hospital. Lily is fostered by an affectionate farming family in rural Suffolk, enjoying a brief childhood idyll before she is returned to the Hospital, where she is punished for her rebellious spirit. Released into the harsh world of Victorian London, Lily becomes a favoured employee at Belle Prettywood’s Wig Emporium, but all the while she is hiding a dreadful secret…

Across the years, policeman Sam Trench keeps watch over the young woman he once saved. When Sam meets Lily again, there is an instant attraction between them and Lily is convinced that Sam holds the key to her happiness – but might he also be the one to uncover her crime and so condemn her to death?




A young policeman Sam Trench finds a baby at the gates of a London park in the winter of 1850. He takes her to The London Foundling Hospital, but she is never far from his thoughts. She is named Lily Mortimer, after the Lady who sponsored her. Lily is fostered out to a loving farming family, in Suffolk, where she knows, what it is to be loved. She is treated well and cared for. She gets lots of fresh air and fresh foods to eat.

But at six years old, it is the law that the child is returned to the Foundling Hospital. She is heartbroken to be left there and constantly gets into trouble for being outspoken. Life in the orphanage is cruel as the children are disgracefully punished for simply being children born out of wedlock or to poor families.

The story follows Lily through her time at the hospital and beyond, as it drops back and jumps forward in perfect harmony. From her early years, Lily had been taught skills that would give her a step up in life, nothing is easy but, she has the spirit to do what she wants in life. I liked Lily, who was strong on the outside but seemed like she had a hole in her that would always stay empty.

Lily does not have a lot of friends and only lets people in when she feels a connection. Lily is a fabulous character that I wanted to protect on every page. Sam Trench is never far away from Lily but, she has a secret that could be the end of her. This is a stunning story of love, betrayal and true grit. A heartbreaking historical story, that is unforgettable

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain’s novels have won many prizes including: the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music and Silence); the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger (Sacred Country); the Sunday Express Book of the Year, the Angel Literary Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize (Restoration) and a Giles Cooper Award (for her radio play, Temporary Shelter). Her novel The Colour, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and selected for the Daily Mail Reading Club promotion. In June 2007 Rose was made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.


Lily: A Tale of Revenge from the Sunday Times bestselling author by [Rose Tremain]

We’ll Meet Again by Anton Du Beke @TheAntonDuBeke @ZaffreBooks #NetGalley #We’llMeetAgain #BookReview #NewRelease

We'll Meet Again: The romantic new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Anton Du Beke by [Anton Du  Beke, Anton Du Beke]


London, 1939.

Downton with dance, perfect’ Santa Montefiore

As war is declared once more, a shadow falls over Britain. The staff at the luxurious Buckingham hotel must do all that they can to keep their important guests happy, but behind the scenes they are scared. Away from the glitz and the glamour of the ballroom they must face this new reality.

Newlywed Nancy knows that her brave husband, debonair dancer Raymond de Guise will want to fight for his country and enlist. She loves and supports him but is heartbroken at the thought of them being apart, and the dangers he will face.

With a new hotel manager at the helm, no one knows what the future holds but as fashionable society retreats from London and staff depart to sign up for service, one thing is for certain; life at the Buckingham will never be the same again . . .


We’ll Meet Again


What a lovely series this is. I easily waltzed back into the lives of the people who worked at the Buckingham Hotel in Mayfair. But for the chambermaids to the dancers that entertained the guests, everything was about to change as the country needed its able-bodied men to take up arms and fight in the war against Germany. The Buckingham would say goodbye to some of them, as they wouldn’t all be coming home.

Because so many men had gone to war, the women had to do more than they had ever before. Courage takes on my disguises when the reputation of the Buckingham is compromised.

The characters have never felt more real than they do in this story. It is in the latter part of the book that a glimpse of the war takes place. The evacuation of British troops at Dunkirk and heartbreaking scenes made for tearful reading as some of the stories are told.

The war affected so many people in different ways. It at times caused problems among the staff, because they did not know how to deal with loved ones being away. Like most families, and they were a family, when it came down to it, they would be there for each other always. A beautifully written story of characters that I have grown to know and love.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly.


Anton Du Beke

ANTON DU BEKE, household name and all-round entertainer, brings the charm and style he’s famous for to his writing.

Anton is one of the most instantly recognisable TV personalities today, best known for his role on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, which he has featured on since its inception in 2004. His debut album reached the Top 20, and his annual sell-out tours have been thrilling dance fans in theatres nationwide for over a decade.

Twitter: @TheAntonDuBeke

We'll Meet Again: The romantic new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Anton Du Beke by [Anton Du  Beke, Anton Du Beke]

Call of the Penguins’ by Hazel Prior #CallOfThePenguins @HazelPriorBooks @TransworldBooks #NetGalley

Call of the Penguins: From the No.1 bestselling author of Away with the Penguins by [Hazel Prior]


Meet the heroine everyone’s talking about . . .

Fiercely resilient and impeccably dressed, Veronica McCreedy has lived an incredible 87 years. Most of them alone, in her huge house by the sea.

But Veronica has recently discovered a late-life love for family and friendship, adventure and wildlife.

More specifically, a love for penguins!

And so when she’s invited to co-present a wildlife documentary, far away in the southern hemisphere, she jumps at the chance.

Even though it will put her in the spotlight, just when she thought she would soon fade into the wings.

Perhaps it’s never too late to shine?

BUY LINK: Call of the Penguins: From the No.1 bestselling author of Away with the Penguins


The Call of the Penguins was one of my favourite books when it was released, so I was more than excited to see this follow-on story, ‘Call of the Penguins’ was being released. It did not disappoint. I would advise that you read the books in order. I feel that you need the background of why things are happening like they do in this story.

When I finished the first book, everything was tickety-boo. Patrick had seemed to find his niche in life, the penguin station had funds from Veronica so, Veronica could relax knowing that she had ‘lived the dream’. Life was looking up. But people change, situations change, and at times what we have is not enough.

Veronica, now at 87, is quite a lady in this story as she gets the chance once more to venture into the wilds, this time with a dashing gentleman, a camera crew and a little girl called Daisy, who will steal your heart. Patrick is on a mission to find some more missing pieces that connect Veronica and him. While Terry has her own predicament to consider. It is a busy story with different themes.

There is a constant thread about the environment. and how what we do is like the butterfly effect that affects the lives of the birds, penguins and other sea creatures thousands of miles away. It does make you think about the choices we make and hopefully some will change the little things they do to make a big difference.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book that I have reviewed honestly.


Hazel Prior

HAZEL PRIOR lives on Exmoor with her husband and a huge ginger cat. As well as writing, she works as a freelance harpist. Hazel is the author of Ellie and the Harp-Maker and Away with the Penguins, which was a #1 bestseller in ebook and audiobook. Call of the Penguins is her third novel. –This text refers to the paperback edition.

Twitter: @HazelPriorBooks

Call of the Penguins: From the No.1 bestselling author of Away with the Penguins by [Hazel Prior]

Midnight in Everwood by M. A. Kuzniar @thecosyreader @HQstories #NetGalley #NewRelease #BookReview #MidnightInEverwood

Midnight in Everwood: The debut historical novel and new magical fairy tale retelling of The Nutcracker to curl up with in Christmas 2021 by [M.A. Kuzniar]


In the darkness of night, magic awaits…

Nottingham, 1906

Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but, as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered – she must marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But, when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in Marietta’s life.

After Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance on Christmas Eve, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own – a magic darker than anyone could imagine. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself transported from her family’s ballroom to a frozen sugar palace, silent with secrets, in a forest of snow-topped fir trees. She must find a way to return home before she’s trapped in Everwood’s enchanting grip forever.

In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here…


Midnight in Everwood: The debut historical novel and new magical fairy tale retelling of The Nutcracker to curl up with in Christmas 2021 


Marietta, at 20, has turned down suitor after suitor, preferring ballet and living with her parents to marriage. But her father has warned her that when she turns 21, she will stop dancing and marry. When the mysterious and charismatic Dr Drosselmeier moves into a nearby townhouse, Marietta’s parents think he will be the answer to their prayers. The toymaker seems to have an eye for Marietta and tries to charm her with snow domes that change and seem to come alive. There is something very dark about her admirer.

Her final performance will be at home, where Drosselmeier creates the setting for her last performance on Christmas eve. But when the performance ends and the clock strikes twelve, she finds that she is in a snowy, frozen world. Time and time again, she is asked if she would like to leave, but she chooses to go to the Sugar Palace.

The sugar palace is a far cry from Nottingham in 1906. King Gelum gives her the option to leave, but she refuses. There is so much to indulge in, but everything has a price. The sweet, sugar-coated palace is not what it first appears to be, as Marietta is soon to discover.

The king is like a two-year-old in a tantrum if he doesn’t get what he wants, but he has terrible ways to make sure that all his demands are met. If she is to survive living there, she must trust others around her that are prisoners too.

I liked that the characters were of different worlds and had some unusual talents themselves. There are new friendships to be made and plans to be forged if she is to escape her fate at the palace. It is a brilliant story perfect for Christmas.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly.



M.A. Kuzniar spent six years living in Spain, teaching English and travelling the world which inspired her children’s series The Ship of Shadows. Her adult debut novel Midnight in Everwood was inspired by her love of ballet and love of The Nuctracker. She lives in Nottingham with her husband, where she reads and writes as much as can and bookstagrams @cosyreads. Twitter @thecosyreader

Midnight in Everwood: The debut historical novel and new magical fairy tale retelling of The Nutcracker to curl up with in Christmas 2021 by [M.A. Kuzniar]

Without a Trace by Jane Bettany @JaneBettany @HQstories #NewRelease #NetGalley #WithoutATrace

Without a Trace: An unputdownable murder mystery novel for 2021, perfect for all crime thriller fans! by [Jane Bettany]


You can cover up the truth, but every murder leaves a trail…

The rain was relentless. It stung Ruth Prendergast’s face as she dashed towards her house, desperate to escape the cold and settle down for an early night. But upon entering her bedroom, she finds a man, lying on her bed – a knife buried in his chest.

When Detective Isabel Blood and her sergeant arrive on the scene, Ruth claims she’s never laid eyes on the victim before. But with no sign of a break-in, how did the killer gain access to the house?

Then Ruth disappears, leaving Isabel and her team to fear the worst. Has their lead suspect escaped, or is Ruth in danger herself?

Forensic evidence at the crime scene is sparse, and it’s proving impossible for Isabel to make a breakthrough. With Ruth still missing, time is running out.

But how can you catch a killer that doesn’t leave a trace?

Uncover the mystery and solve the crime alongside Derbyshire’s best detective. This utterly gripping, unputdownable whodunit will have you hooked and reading long into the night! Fans Val McDermid, Elly Griffiths and ITV’s Vera will love Without a Trace!


Without a Trace: An unputdownable murder mystery novel for 2021, perfect for all crime thriller fans!


Without a Trace is the second book in this series, but it can be read as a standalone. I was initially drawn to it as I don’t live very far from Derby, although the town it is fictional.

I can’t think of anything worse than finding a dead body in my house, although, Ruth had just done that. The poor woman had not long moved into the area and had not got a clue who this man was. It was a quiet area that she lived in with a couple of the houses empty and people that were out at work through the day in the others. The police were not going to have a lot to go on.

I liked Detective Isabel Blood straight away, who had taken time off work to enjoy family time. To say that her family was complicated would be like saying that ice wasn’t cold. The added stress of being called in to support the murder investigation did not make life easy.

I enjoyed this book, which had a good balance of work and home for Isobel. It wasn’t gruesome either, with over the top details of the crime. I liked working out the clues as they came up too. A very unusual story. I am looking forward to more books from this author.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly.


Jane Bettany

JANE BETTANY is a writer of short stories and non-fiction books and articles. Her work has been published in women’s magazines in the UK (such as My Weekly, People’s Friend, Yours and Woman’s Weekly), as well as in literary magazines and newspapers.

She has an MA in Creative Writing and has been a teacher of creative writing since 2007. As well as writing and teaching, she also runs a publishing and communications company and loves helping people to share their stories and find their writing voice.–This text refers to the paperback edition.

Twitter @JaneBettany

Without a Trace: An unputdownable murder mystery novel for 2021, perfect for all crime thriller fans! by [Jane Bettany]

Way beyond a lie by Harry Fisher @HFwritesCrime @HobeckBooks #NewRelease #ScottishCrime #WayBeyondALie

Way Beyond A Lie by [Harry Fisher]


Your wife goes missing. She leaves no trace.

You have no idea where she’s gone.

How would you try to find her?

When Ross McKinlay’s wife, Carla, vanishes during an afternoon shopping trip he’s left bewildered and grief stricken. As Ross uncovers the reasons for his wife’s disappearance, his life begins to unravel. He’s determined to find her. He needs answers. But the deeper he delves, the more confused he becomes and the closer he edges towards danger.

As Ross is soon to discover, he isn’t the only person looking for his wife.

One man wants the truth.

Another wants blood.

Who will find her first?

The prequel to the DS Mel Cooper Series, Harry Fisher’s fast-paced story of love, friendship, fraud, intrigue and murder will keep you guessing until the last page.


Way Beyond A Lie


This is the second book that I have read from this author, and it is a little beauty. The opening chapters had me immediately connecting with the main character, Ross McKinlay, probably a gentleman that I would not have been aware of in normal circumstances. He wasn’t anything special, in the way that he would get on with things unintrusively, but this particular day he needed to be heard.

I felt his frustrations taking over this usually rational man as people looked at him as if he must have just misplaced his now absent wife. They had gone shopping and one minute she was there then she was gone. But how can you lose a grown woman in the supermarket? When he has exhausted every possibility, he has no choice but to phone the police.

It is a thrilling and exciting read from the start, but the mystery was only just beginning. The writing is fantastic as the author, time and time again, re-shapes Ross into sides of him that he didn’t know even existed. Nurture was overtaking what nature had made him, as huge life-changing events were crashing around him, pushing him into dangerous situations.

What you find out early on is Ross is very well-liked and has a brilliant relationship with his boss, Martin. It is a rollercoaster trip they take, with this is it moments, and the anticipation of success just before your stomach drops back down with another dead end. When you feel like you can nearly taste success, another spanner will fly your way.

A brilliant story that feels fresh, and new, with an unpredictable ending. Highly recommended.


I’m Harry Fisher, I write crime thrillers. They are:

Be Sure Your Sins – published Oct 2021

Way Beyond A Lie – self-published 2019 (republishing Nov 2021)

Yes, I Killed Her – due Spring 2022.

I live in Aberdeen with my wife, Shiona and our dog, Harry. And there it is – the lie exposed. Harry Fisher (the writer) is a pseudonym and here’s why. Despite the fact that in my entire life I’ve never met anyone with the same name as me, when I came to self-publish Way Beyond A Lie I discovered a namesake down south who writes crime thrillers. Honestly, what are the chances? (Mutter mutter.)

I’m a native of Edinburgh and that’s where Way Beyond A Lie is (partly) set. Write about what you know, and all that. It’s also set in Prague. We went there for a long weekend in 2000 so you can see a theme developing. We’ve been to Ballachulish a couple of times too but I couldn’t fit it into the story. Sorry about that, folks.

My second book – Be Sure Your Sins – involves six events, suffered by six people, leaving six lives destroyed. It’s not a sequel but Way Beyond A Lie readers said two of the police characters were strong enough to lead in their own series. So DS Mel Cooper is the central character in Be Sure Your Sins, and DC Andrew Young is her sidekick.  It was published in Oct 2021. Here’s the first sentence:

“When Celia Fraser, who only had one arm, had left her Edinburgh home that morning with her granddaughter and her dog, she could never have imagined that only one of the three would return home safely.”

I’m now writing my third book, Yes, I Killed Her, continuing the DS Mel Cooper series. Here’s the first sentence:

“Philip Walker reckoned he had less than twenty-four hours before the police came to tell him they’d discovered his wife’s body hanging upside down in a dense tangle of undergrowth: better get a move on, he thought.”

Things I’m into apart from walking the canine Harry every day: travel, outdoor stuff, wine and food, and if all four can be combined then so much the better.

Twitter: @HFwritesCrime

Way Beyond A Lie by [Harry Fisher]

One More Christmas at the Castle by Trisha Ashley @trishaashley @TransworldBooks #BookReview #OneMoreChristmasAtTheCastle #NetGalley

One More Christmas at the Castle: An uplifting new festive read from the Sunday Times bestseller by [Trisha Ashley]


his Christmas will be the most special of them all…

Elderly widow Sabine knows this will be her last Christmas in her beloved home, Mitras Castle. Determined to make it just like the ones she remembers from her childhood, she employs Dido Jones of Heavenly Houseparties to help with the big day.

Dido is enchanted by the castle as soon as she steps through the imposing front door. And as Christmas day approaches, her feeling of connection to the old house runs deeper than she first thought.

But when the snow begins to fall and Sabine’s family arrive at the house – including Dido’s teenage crush Xan – tensions rise around the castle’s future and long-buried mysteries begin to unravel…

As past secrets come to light, can this still be a magical Christmas to remember?


One More Christmas at the Castle


A lovely Christmas read as the nights get longer and the weather gets colder because this story will warm you from the inside.

Sabine has had a long life and knows that this will be her last Christmas, she lives in Mitras Castle, which has been in her family for generations, but she doesn’t have a close direct descendent to leave it in their hands. She has a couple of front runners to take over from her extended family, but she still needs to choose the one. So she invites them all to the Castle for Christmas before announcing who shall inherit it when Christmas is over.

Sabine employs Dido and Henry to take care of the running of the Castle and food preparation. Their business, Heavenly Houseparties, had luckily had a festive cancellation. There are some delicious dishes whipped up by Dido and Henry, that will make your mouth water. Dido recognises a couple of the guests from her past that she hopes have forgotten her. But time will tell.

The author conjures a cosy setting with a couple of frosty moments from the guests and Sabine. The snow comes at the right time to make it a perfect picture postcard setting in Northumberland. The family discover that they have a few skeletons in the cupboards that come to light, and romance blossoms among the Christmas residents, from the past and present.

It is quite the perfect Christmas with family traditions brought back to life and a future well and truly sealed. A lovely story.


An image posted by the author.

Trisha Ashley’s Sunday Times bestselling novels have sold over one million copies in the UK and have twice been shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan award for Romantic Comedy. Every Woman for Herself was nominated by magazine readers as one of the top three romantic novels in the last fifty years.

Twitter: @trishaashley

One More Christmas at the Castle: An uplifting new festive read from the Sunday Times bestseller by [Trisha Ashley]

The Blood Isles (The Pantheon #2) by C. F. Barrington @barrington_cf @AriesFiction @HoZ_Books #NetGalley #TheBloodIsles #NewRelease

The Blood Isles: An action-packed adventure set in Edinburgh (The Pantheon Series Book 2) by [C.F. Barrington]


The second in an action-packed adventure thriller series, where modern-day recruits compete in an ancient fight to the death in the streets of Edinburgh.

New Season. New Rules. Same deadly game…

The Pantheon Games are the biggest underground event in the world, followed by millions online. New recruits must leave behind their twenty-first century lives and vie for dominance in a gruelling battle to the death armed only with ancient weapons – and their wits.

Last season’s new recruits Tyler and Lana have lived to fight another day, but now they face a series of even more lethal clashes before the Grand Battle that will end the Season.

It’s survival of the fittest, in the most brutal fashion imaginable. Lana must face the demons of her past, and Tyler has the mother of all targets on his back.

This action-packed adventure thriller is perfect for fans of Pierce Brown’s Red RisingBattle Royale and The Running Man.


The Blood Isles: An action-packed adventure set in Edinburgh (The Pantheon Series Book 2)


The story carries on seamlessly from where it left off in book one of this series. You do need to read these in order. So if you like Vikings and Romans, you will be in your element as the two constantly clash in battle. The setting as there are others all over the world takes place primarily through the streets of Edinburgh. Money doesn’t only talk money makes the authorities turn a blind eye as life and death skirmishers and battles play out.

In their own time, these soldiers lead ordinary lives, go to work each day, have families and go out with friends but, when the call comes, they are picked up and whisked away to secret locations to prepare for battle. For this, they are paid large sums of money and trained brutally to fight with authentic weapons in hand to hand combat. Huge bets are placed on who will be the victors.

The story follows Tyler and Lana, who met on their first day of training after they had both been abducted and offered the chance to become part of the Pantheon, if they had said no, they could have walked away, but they both had reasons to stay. Tyler had been sure that his sister had been recruited a while ago, and had not seen her since, but it was forbidden for family members to join as it would affect their performance in battles. No one knew about his sister. I liked the new character in Tyler’s day to day life, a bit of a whizz kid and hero worshiper.

Tyler has more brains than brawn and had not only survived through the first book but had got himself into a dangerous position for the start of this. He may as well have put an aim here target on his chest. In the first book, there had been a lot of training and survival tactics. But wow, this book has superbly detailed battles, defence strategies and relationships. The key players are like superheroes to the ones that watch online.

Lana plays a leading role in this story as her past is about to catch up with her. This new character made my skin crawl as I curled into a much smaller form on my sofa. This person is terrifying. I don’t want to go too much into the battles, which blew me away as it builds to the finale for the year. I need the final book in this, as it does leave you with a thirst for more.

I wish to thank the author for an e-copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly.


C.F. Barrington

C F Barrington spent twenty years intending to write a novel, but found life kept getting in the way. Instead, his career took him into major gift fundraising, leading teams in organisations as varied as Oxford University, the National Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

When his role as Head of Communications at Edinburgh Zoo meant a third year of fielding endless media enquiries about the possible birth of a baby panda, he finally retreated to a quiet desk beside the sea and discovered the inspiration for the Pantheon saga.

Raised in Hertfordshire and educated at Oxford, he now divides his time between running over the hills of the Lake District and dog walking on the beaches of Fife.



The Blood Isles: An action-packed adventure set in Edinburgh (The Pantheon Series Book 2) by [C.F. Barrington]