Wednesday, May 31, 2023

BLOG TOUR - Her Last Promise


‘Too many have suffered at my father’s hands. I won’t let it continue. I’ll stop him, I’ll build a world where we can finally be free, I swear it…’

Berlin, 1938.When Hanni’s beloved sister suddenly vanishes in the middle of the night, Hanni knows her high-ranking Nazi father, Reiner, is not telling her the whole truth and may hold the key to her disappearance.

Years later, after finally learning how to live with her troubled past, Hanni dedicates herself to raising her teenage son, 
Leo, but her sister is never far from her mind. But when Leo begins to share Reiner’s pro-Nazi views and runs away from home to meet his grandfather, Hanni’s world collapses in an instant. She is determined not to lose her son to her father’s cruelty, like she lost her darling sister all those years ago…

Hanni has tried to stop her father before and nearly lost her life. Now she is fighting for Leo too and the stakes are higher than ever. She can’t lose him to the Nazis. She won’t let her father take her son away from her. Hanni knows this is her last chance to bring her father to justice. With her son’s life hanging in the balance, Hanni knows this will be her toughest battle yet. But with Reiner’s popularity stronger than ever, will she succeed?

A heartbreaking and gripping historical novel about courage, redemption and the endurance of the human spirit. Fans of The Alice NetworkThe Nightingale and The Tattooist of Auschwitz will be inspired by this heart-wrenching story about the choices we make to honour the lives of those we lose.


You can sign up for all the best Bookouture deals you'll love at:

Title:   Her Last Promise
Author:  Catherine Hokin
Series:  Hanni Winter #4
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  360
Date of Publication:  May 30, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars

In this fourth book in the touching WWII historical fiction book by Catherine Hokin, the war is now over. However, this does not mean that Hanni and Freddy are living an idyllic life. In fact, they both have experienced so much during their war years and while the war itself is over, their relationship has taken a huge hit.

During the course of this series, Hanni has been desperate to have her father caught and punished for his war crimes. With a name change, he is still reigning well, but Hanni can never forget his despicable acts during the war. Meanwhile, Hanni and Freddy have a teen son who not only idolizes his grandfather, he starts taking on his grandfather's ideologies, even leaving home to join his grandfather's school.

Despite their troubled relationship, Hanni and Freddy join forces to bring their son back home. Hanni's father Reiner was despicable from book one and for every book in this series. He represents many former war criminals who got away with their cruel behavior during the war. I love Hanni's determination to bring her father to justice despite the many dangers facing her. Also, this story shows a mother's love for her son and trying to save him from becoming like his grandfather.

I was so very drawn to this and all of the previous books in the series. Not only was I powerfully affected about Hanni and how her father was, I was pulled into the drama that was Hanni and Freddy's relationship and kept rooting for them. One thing that I really learned while reading this book that was although the war was over it did not mean things were all that much easier for the Jews. Post-War Germany had more than its share of troubles, especially as the Nazi ideology still existed. Maybe I am telling on myself, but I thought - the war is over, life can start again.

Well, Hanni and Freddy's story proved otherwise and I applaud Catherine Hokin for crafting such a well-written series with compassionate characters that were very easy to care for.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


I seem to have followed a rather meandering career, including marketing and teaching and politics (don't try and join the dots), to get where I have always wanted to be, which is writing historical fiction. I am a story lover as well as a story writer and nothing fascinates me more than a strong female protagonist and a quest. Hopefully those are what you will encounter when you pick up my books.

I am from the North of England but now live very happily in Glasgow with my American husband. Both my children have left home (one to London and one to Berlin) which may explain why I am finally writing. If I'm not at my desk you'll most probably find me in the cinema, or just follow the sound of very loud music.

I'd love to hear from you and there are lots of ways you can find me, so jump in via my website or on my Cat Hokin FB page or on twitter @cathokin

Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Catherine Hokin here:

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Review - The Last Holiday

Title:   The Last Holiday
Author:   Amy Sheppard
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Psychological Thriller 
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   345
Date of Publication:   May 30, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars 


One last holiday together. One of us wouldn’t come home…

Saturday night: It starts as an innocent holiday game amongst old friends. As we sit around our campfire, the evening sky streaked with peach, my little boy sleeping peacefully in our tent, the wine flows and secrets are spilled.

It should be harmless fun, but Annie ’s questions worry me. She’s always been the keeper of our secrets. She knows all the infidelities, the indiscretions, the stolen kisses…

I just hope she knows when to stop. Because there’s something I can’t let her bring to the surface…

Wednesday morning: It’s the little things that stay with you. The hurried rip of zips being opened. Figures stumbling into the cold night air. The screams echoing across the campsite as flashlights scour the ground. That’s what happens when someone you love is murdered.

One of us is responsible for Annie’s death. One of us will stop at nothing to keep our secrets hidden…

A totally gripping psychological thriller that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and have you gasping at the twists. Fans of The Housemaid , Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will be turning pages all night long!


Several college friends gather together on a camping trip for the eighteenth birthday celebration of Rose. Although all of them were friends at one time, their relationships are quite strained. In fact, their friendships are questionable. Secrets and lies are stronger bonds than that of friendship.

One of them dies on that camping trip, indeed making this the last holiday, at least for her, and now the fragile threads that were holding the friendships together has finally snapped. 

Quite naturally, the list of suspects involves the group of friends. With various points of view in this intriguing novel by Amy Sheppard, it proved to be quite interesting to see who the killer was, and what the actual motive was.  

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion. 

Amy Sheppard is a busy mum of two boys, living in Cornwall. Her obsession with making budget friendly family dinners, led her to writing two cookbooks. Amy creates recipes for her followers and for brands @amysheppardfood

Her debut novel is out in August 2022. A psychological thriller set in Cornwall called 'The Beach Party'

Monday, May 29, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Late Mrs. Willoughby

Title:   The Murder of Mr. Wickham
Author:  Claudia Gray
Series:  Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney #1
Publisher:  Vintage Books
Genre:   Historical Fiction/Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:   386
Date of Publication:   May 3, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars


A summer house party turns into a whodunit when Mr. Wickham, one of literature’s most notorious villains, meets a sudden and suspicious end in this mystery featuring Jane Austen’s leading literary characters.

The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a house party, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst.

Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. The unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang.


George Wickham is a fictional character created by Jane Austen and features in Pride and Prejudice. One of these days I will read Jane Austen, but since I have not, Mr. Wickham was a new character to me. With the aid of Google, I was quickly able to ascertain that he was not well liked.

So, what about this book, The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray? I am pleased to say that despite this lack of prior knowledge of this character I was able to truly enjoy reading the first book in her new series. 

The setting of this book is a house party and the hosts are the newly married Mr. Knightley and Emma, and the guests are those who are familiar to Jane Austen's novels. Although uninvited, Mr. Wickham joins the house party, and he is among his enemies. It should not come to any surprise that he turns up murdered. Since it is a house party, everyone indeed is a suspect, So two of the guests, young Juliet Tilney and Jonathan Darcy take it upon themselves to solve the mystery of Mr. Wickham's murder. What a great start to a new series - new characters to me, familiar characters to Jane Austen fans.

The story was intriguing, but especially the epilogue. I love that each of the guests/characters had their brief assessment of everything that went on. Although I went right on to the second book in this series, The Late Mrs. Willoughby, I definitely plan on reading Ms. Austen's novels before the third book in Gray's series is released.

Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

***Featured Blog Tour Review***

Title:   The Late Mrs. Willoughby
Author:  Claudia Gray
Series:  Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney #2
Vintage Books
Genre:   Historical Fiction/Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:   400
Date of Publication:   May 16, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars   


The suspenseful sequel to The Murder of Mr. Wickham, which sees Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney reunited, and with another mystery to solve: the dreadful poisoning of the scoundrel Willoughby's new wife.

Catherine and Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey are not entirely pleased to be sending their eligible young daughter Juliet out into the world again: the last house party she attended, at the home of the Knightleys, involved a murder—which Juliet helped solve. Particularly concerning is that she intends to visit her new friend Marianne Brandon, who's returned home to Devonshire shrouded in fresh scandal—made more potent by the news that her former suitor, the rakish Mr. Willoughby, intends to take up residence at his local estate with his new bride.

Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley are thrilled that their eldest son, Jonathan—who, like his father, has not always been the most socially adept—has been invited to stay with his former schoolmate, John Willoughby. Jonathan himself is decidedly less taken with the notion of having to spend extended time under the roof of his old bully, but that all changes when he finds himself reunited with his fellow amateur sleuth, the radiant Miss Tilney. And when shortly thereafter, Willoughby's new wife—whom he married for her fortune—dies horribly at the party meant to welcome her to town.

With rumors flying and Marianne—known to be both unstable and previously jilted by the dead woman's newly made widower—under increased suspicion, Jonathan and Juliet must team up once more to uncover the murderer. But as they collect clues and close in on suspects, eerie incidents suggest that the killer may strike again, and that the pair are in far graver danger than they or their families could imagine.


  • “An absolute page-turner full of well-plotted mystery and hints of simmering romance.... More of the Jane Austen characters we love (as well as those we love to hate).” —Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo

  • ”Gray makes her endearing leads’ sleuthing both plausible and entertaining while evoking the wit and feel of Austen’s classic novels. Admirers of P.D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley will be delighted.” Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

  • ”Absolutely delightful! Fans of Jane Austen and historical mysteries will fall in love with this series. Gray remains true to Austen’s style and intent for her beloved characters while still adding her own spin on them and their progeny—one that is both refreshing and absorbing. I’m already looking forward to the next installment.” —Anna Lee Huber, USA Today bestselling author of the Lady Darby series





I was pleasantly introduced to Jane Austen's characters by reading The Murder or Mr. Wickham prior to reading this second book in Claudia Gray's series. As stated in my review of the first title, I definitely plan on taking the time to finally getting around to reading Austen's novels - definitely long overdue.

After successful solving the murder of the despicable Mr. Wickham at a house party, Miss Juliet Tilney and Mr. Jonathan Darcy had no idea if they would be able to continue their acquaintance and see one another again. No worries, because they are again in attendance together as guests at another party, and before long a guest, Mrs. Willoughby, is poisoned, and the young pair do their best to find the person responsible.

I love this pair of young people. It is Regency England and propriety must be honored, but they are rather ingenious at finding time to put their heads together to solve the mysteries they encounter. 

This second book in Claudia Gray's series was a true delight. I love the misdirection when it came to trying to find out how and why Mrs. Willoughby was poisoned. It was great to see Juliet and Jonathan continue their friendship while also honing their investigative skills. I cannot wait to see what else this young pair will get into in the future. 
Many thanks to Vintage, AustenProse PR and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline, and Jane Austen-inspired series, A Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mysteries. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs. 


Sunday, May 28, 2023

Review - Murder at Haven's Rock

:    Murder at Haven's Rock
Author:  Kelley Armstrong
Series:  Haven's Rock #1
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:      Macmillan Audio andMinotaur Books
Format:  Audiobook and Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  384
Length:  11 Hr
Narrator:  Thérèse Plummer
Date of Publication:  February 21, 2023
My Rating:  5 Stars


New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton Novels had one of the most unique towns in crime fiction. Murder at Haven's Rock is a spinoff, a fresh start... with a few new dangers that threaten everything before it even begins.

Haven’s Rock, Yukon. Population: 0

Deep in the Yukon wilderness, a town is being built. A place for people to disappear, a fresh start from a life on the run. Haven’s Rock isn’t the first town of this kind, something detective Casey Duncan and her husband, Sheriff Eric Dalton, know first-hand. They met in the original town of Rockton. But greed and deception led the couple to financing a new refuge for those in need. This time around, they get to decide which applicants are approved for residency.

There’s only one rule in Haven’s Rock: stay out of the forest. When two of the town's construction crew members break it and go missing, Casey and Eric are called in ahead of schedule to track them down. When a body is discovered, well-hidden with evidence of foul play, Casey and Eric must find out what happened to the dead woman, and locate those still missing. The longer Casey and Eric don’t know what happened, the more danger everyone is in.


Rockton in Alaska had been a haven to countless people for years, but Rockton is no more. The powers that be have destructed the town and everyone is scattered. Haven's Rock is taking its place, sort of. How did Sheriff Eric Dalton and his wife Casey Duncan come up with the name of their new town? The town will still be a HAVEN and it is former ROCKton, thus HAVEN'S ROCK.

Will the newest residents of the town make it a success? From day one with Eric and Casey bringing the population from 0 to 2, they have a firm idea as to how things will be done. The first change is, instead of a committee deciding on the residents, it is up to Eric and Casey who to let in. The main rule is that residents must stay out of the forest. As the town is being built, one of the crew members apparently wanders into the forest and immediately goes missing. Casey and Eric are desperate to locate her, and eliminate any danger that might be facing their new town.

As a fan of the Rockton series, I hated for it to end. No worries at all because Kelley Armstrong has literally come in strong with Haven's Rock. I was curious as to what members from Rockton would reside in Haven's Rock, and I definitely can say that I was not disappointed. Then, factor in suspense from the very beginning and this first book got off to a great start. I am excited, with what will be a bit of an anxious wait, for The Boy Who Cried Bear, set for release February, 2024. 

For most of the Rockton books, I had the pleasure of listening to them being narrated by Thérèse Plummer, and I absolutely love the job she did with Haven's Rock, and I hope she will be narrating the second book in the new series as well.

Many thanks to Minotaur Books and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets. 

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Title:   Soulmate
Author:  Sally Hepworth
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press; Macmillan Audio
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Format:  Audiobook and Kindle ARC
Narrators:  Barrie Keinik; Jessica Douglas-Henry
Audiobook Length:  11 hr 30 min
No. of Pages:   352
Date of Publication:   April 4, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars


Get ready for a thrilling, addictive novel about marriage, betrayal, and the secrets that push us to the edge.

There’s a cottage on a cliff. Gabe and Pippa’s dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Night after night Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge. Until he doesn’t.

When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral... Did the victim jump? Was she pushed? And would Gabe, the love of Pippa’s life, her soulmate . . . lie? As the perfect facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel.


Imagine everyone knowing about the "perfect spot" to end it all. This location is in a small town on an obscure cliff. Gabe has a sixth sense when someone has made this decision and has saved more than one life. However, this time he failed in his objective. More than that, Gabe knew the person who died. Gabe's soulmate Pippa starts to be more than curious about any role he might have had in the victim's death. Thus, the next thrilling ride by Sally Hepworth begins.

Who are Gabe and Pippa. They are married and have two daughters and have just moved into a cottage in a small coastal town. Gabe gains notoriety very quickly as he has been successful when helping people on that cliff. This time, however, Pippa is standing at the window and sees what happens, and it rather makes Gabe look more than a bit guilty. Doubt sets in with regard to Pippa and she questions Gabe over and over again as to what actually happened, especially when she learns that he once knew the victim.

I loved the narration of this book, especially with two narrators. The setting was already tense, and the wonderful narration made it all that much better. If you like great domestic thrillers with more than a few twists, then be sure to pick up The Soulmate. You won't be disappointed

Many thanks to Macmillan Audio, St. Martin's Press and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives (2015), The Things We Keep (2016) and The Mother's Promise (2017), and The Family Next Door (Feb 2018). Sally's books have been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally's novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 15 languages.

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

Review - Good Dog, Bad Cop

Title:   Good Dog, Bad Cop
Author:  David Rosenfelt
Series:  K Team Book #4
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   298
Date of Publication:    March 14, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars


For the K Team, playing "good dog", "bad cop" is all fun and games... until there's a body on the scene, in the next K Team Novel by bestselling author David Rosenfelt.

The K Team enjoys investigating cold cases for the Paterson Police Department. Corey Douglas, his K-9 partner Simon Garfunkel, Laurie Collins, and Marcus Clark even get to choose which cases they’d like to pursue. When Corey sees the latest list of possibilities, there’s no question which one to look into next.

Corey’s former mentor, Jimmy Dietrich, had his whole identity wrapped up in being a cop. When Jimmy retired three years ago, his marriage quickly deteriorated and he tried–and failed―to get back on the force. Jimmy was left to try to adjust to life as a civilian.

Not long after, two bodies were pulled from the Passaic River. A local woman, Susan Avery, and Jimmy Dietrich. With no true evidence available, the deaths went unsolved and the case declared cold. This didn’t stop the an affair gone wrong... a murder-suicide committed by Jimmy.

Corey never believed it. With this case, the K Team has the opportunity to find the real murderer, and clear Jimmy’s name. Bestselling author David Rosenfelt returns in Good Dog, Bad Cop, where there’s little to go on, but that won’t stop Paterson, New Jersey’s favorite private investigators from sniffing out the truth.

Good Dog, Bad Cop is the enjoyable fourth book in the K Team series by David Rosenfelt. He also is writing the Andy Carpenter series, so this is a spinoff series and is just as enjoyable. In this series we have Corey, Laurie and Marcus working together as private investigators. Quite naturally, Andy appears in this books as well.

Just like the Andy Carpenter series, and the author himself, David Rosenfelt, are full with dogs, these former K-9 dogs in this second series are featured in each book. Although there is serious subject matter at times, these books give me a cozy mystery vibe. Maybe it is because I am a diehard series fanatic and enjoy any connected books as I truly enjoy continuity.

What is great about this book - or any Rosenfelt book - is that you can read any of them as standalones, but why would you want to? Always containing a fabulous mystery to be solved, as well as humor interjected throughout, I loved all four books in this series so far and can't wait to read the next one. 

Many thanks to Minotaur Books and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


I am a novelist with 27 dogs.

I have gotten to this dubious position with absolutely no planning, and at no stage in my life could I have predicted it. But here I am.

My childhood was relentlessly normal. The middle of three brothers, loving parents, a middle-class home in Paterson, New Jersey. We played sports, studied sporadically. laughed around the dinner table, and generally had a good time. By comparison, “Ozzie and Harriet’s” clan seemed bizarre.

I graduated NYU, then decided to go into the movie business. I was stunningly brilliant at a job interview with my uncle, who was President of United Artists, and was immediately hired. It set me off on a climb up the executive ladder, culminating in my becoming President of Marketing for Tri-Star Pictures. The movie landscape is filled with the movies I buried; for every “Rambo”, “The Natural” and “Rocky”, there are countless disasters.

I did manage to find the time to marry and have two children, both of whom are doing very well, and fortunately neither have inherited my eccentricities.

A number of years ago, I left the movie marketing business, to the sustained applause of hundreds of disgruntled producers and directors. I decided to try my hand at writing. I wrote and sold a bunch of feature films, none of which ever came close to being actually filmed, and then a bunch of TV movies, some of which actually made it to the small screen. It’s safe to say that their impact on the American cultural scene has been minimal.

About fourteen years ago, my wife and I started the Tara Foundation, named in honor of the greatest Golden Retriever the world has ever known. We rescued almost 4,000 dogs, many of them Goldens, and found them loving homes. Our own home quickly became a sanctuary for those dogs that we rescued that were too old or sickly to be wanted by others. They surround me as I write this. It’s total lunacy, but it works, and they are a happy, safe group.