The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Zoey doesn’t remember anything about last night. But she knows something went badly wrong. For she is no longer in New York. She’s woken up in the desert, in a white building she doesn’t recognise, and she’s alone.

When she discovers she’s been admitted to The Sanctuary, a discreet, mysterious, isolated refuge from normal life, to avoid jail, she is stunned. She knows she has secrets, troubles, but she thought she had everything under control. But as she spends more time with other residents, she begins to open up about what she’s running from. Until she realises that not everyone in The Sanctuary has her best interests at heart, and someone might even be a killer . . .

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I enjoyed the author’s previous book The Dark but this one had a lot more of an impact on me. I had more liking for the characters and could see the pain and anxiety that they tried to hide. 

Anybody would be a little concerned and scared if they woke up in unfamiliar house

and then finding out that they were in a desert many miles from where they had been living. No belongings, no way of contacting friends, everyone a stranger and also extremely hungover. I had a lot of sympathy for Zoey.

When she first arrived at The Sanctuary she was resistant to any help it could give her, but gradually you could see a change, and even though you still didn’t know who had arranged for her to be sent there you could see the positive impact it had on her health and attitude, especially being able to admit that she might have a problem with addiction.

The more I read the more I liked her. It was obvious that her way of life was a coping mechanism and the full reason was slowly revealed. But the author showed that all of the people who were there had similar stories. Some were more likeable than others, in honesty there were none I detested. Probably because all of them I had a lot of sympathy for. She also showed that there was more than one type of addiction, not just alcohol or drugs. 

It’s surprising that a huge area could create a claustrophobic atmosphere, the only reason I could come up with was because it would be so easy to be in danger. Not just from someone within the sanctuary but also the environment. This became more evident towards the end when the small group of people realised what danger they were in.

A fantastic novel that I struggled to put down.

The Prisoner by B. A. Paris – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book


Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne.


Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I knew that I would be in for an edge of my seat read, having read books by this author before. After having nothing, including somewhere to live, Amelie was given a chance after meeting Carolyn in a coffee shop. She formed a close friendship with Carolyn and two other friends and had a job she enjoyed. But a trip to Las Vegas with her boss changed everything and she regretted almost immediately agreeing to his offer of helping her with her career.

There are two parts to the novel, part one shows Amelie recalling what happened in her past and how she was dealing with being locked in a dark room in the present. You could appreciate her character and how strong she was. Unlike Ned, also imprisoned, who resorted to tantrums, threats and betrayal. The second part shows what  led to the kidnapping, who was genuine and Amelie’s  attempts to rebuild her life.

The storyline in part one was the one I liked much more. I really liked Amelie, the way she adapted to the situation that she was in and her attempts to escape. She didn’t let the realisation that Ned was prepared to put her at more risk affect her, just used it to her advantage the best way she could. But parts of part one were also present in part two. In particular the way she only felt safe in the dark, her sense of smell and knowing that the only person she could really depend on was herself. 

I felt that despite the book having quite a few characters the only one I got to know was Amelie. Nearly all of the others were just in the background. This isn’t a criticism, I just felt that it showed her determination to survive on her own. I loved everything about her.

I found this novel entertaining and quick to read

Love And Other Human Errors by Bethany Clift – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

An unforgettable story about love in all its chaotic glory from the author of Last One At The Party

A book synopsis is fundamentally ridiculous. How can I possibly convey, in only 100 words, the events of the past year and their impact on my perfectly ordered existence?

It is insufficient space to accurately detail how I was blackmailed into demonstrating my flawless algorithm to find a soulmate, despite having no desire for one. 

In my former life I avoided trivial human connections. I was alone, accomplished and brilliant.

Unfortunately, that solitary and driven woman no longer exists.

My name is Indiana Dylan and this is the extraordinary account of how I fell in love.

There: 100 words exactly.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have confession to make, I can’t remember the last time I read a romance novel. But having thoroughly enjoying Bethany Cliff’s debut novel Last One At The Party I knew I had to read this. And I am so glad I did, I loved meeting Indiana, Lina and Jack. And off course the slightly different characters Peggy and Spider.

It’s easy to see that Indiana, Jack and Lina had something missing in their lives, but  none of them could see it themselves. Indiana hid behind technology, convinced she would find her soulmate through her invention. Lina was struggling to balance her family life and her career and the real Jack was nothing like the Jack that he was in the office, the smiles and interest in his colleagues personal life were all fake. It made me wonder, how many people were like these three. Struggling and isolated and either not realising it or not knowing a way out.

I had a lot of sympathy for all three main characters. All of them lonely, slightly brittle and all coping differently. Indiana’s methods were a little unusual, her ‘colleague’ Peggy was a friend who not many would have, nor would they have Spider as an employee but these two made me smile a lot. Peggy showed her how to be a friend to others, especially those who needed it. Lina and Jack’s methods felt more real, and I think many will identify with both.

Set in the future, the novel concerned a slightly worrying advancement in technology. Much of this didn’t mean a thing to me but there were times, when reading, that I was wondering what my fitness watch could sense. And whether it was responsible for the many adverts that would appear across social media hours after anything was discussed!

A wonderful second novel by an author who is now one of my favourites. I’m looking forward to what she does next.

The Museum Of Ordinary People by Mike Gayle – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, Jess is about to do the hardest thing she’s ever done: empty her childhood home so that it can be sold.

But when in the process Jess stumbles across the mysterious Alex, together they become custodians of a strange archive of letters, photographs, curios and collections known as The Museum of Ordinary People.

As they begin to delve into the history of the objects in their care, Alex and Jess not only unravel heartbreaking stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long buried secrets that lie much closer to home.

Inspired by a box of mementos found abandoned in a skip following a house clearance, The Museum of Ordinary Peopleis a thought-provoking and poignant story of memory, grief, loss and the things we leave behind.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have never read a novel by Mike Gayle before and the first thing I did after finishing this lovely novel was look for his back catalogue. He is an author I had heard of via other readers but with being in a genre I never usually read I never looked at closely. More fool me!

When Jess has to deal with the heartbreak of losing her mother and followed very closely by the necessary task of house clearance she is overwhelmed by the memories that it brings. It is something that I have never had to do, thankfully, but know many who have and many of them have said how it feels.

There are items she reluctantly has to let go, but there are a few that she can’t bear to part with, even though she has no room for them in the home she shares with her boyfriend Guy. And that is where the museum comes in, who agree to take in her encyclopaedias and which consequently takes over her life. Jess, Alex and the small group of people who all work closely together never see the items as junk. They appreciate that everything they are looking after meant something to someone during their lives. But not all of them have happy memories for their former owners, which at first Jess and Alex hadn’t considered.

I loved everything about this novel. The lifelong friendships, the new friends met through the museum and the way that the stories connected to the items were revealed. The realisation that not everybody wants the same thing from a relationship, and the dignity in the way that was handled. I also liked the way that Jess was towards Alex, seeing his personality rather than his scars.

I feel that this is one of those novels that everyone will enjoy, it is one of those where everybody will feel differing emotions whilst reading it. Some may have regrets, some may remember events from their own family life that had long been forgotten and I would hope that every reader will realise that all of us can give a loved one something to reflect on in throughout their own life.

I thought this was a wonderful novel.

Return To Blackwater House by Vikki Patis – Review.

About The Book

You can run from your past, but you can’t hide forever…

Rebecca Bray has moved on from a childhood she desperately wants to forget.

She has everything she’s ever wanted – the perfect fiancé, a loving stepdaughter, a career she’s proud of, and now the house of her dreams.

But when the family move to the Cornish village where Rebecca grew up, everything she wanted to bury from those years starts to claw at the surface.

Then, when her stepdaughter goes missing at a New Year’s Eve party, Rebecca must finally face the ghosts of her past – or Ava might never come home safely…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. When Rebecca returns to the area she lived in as a child as new owner of Blackwater House she has mixed feelings. Her childhood was difficult, neglected because of drug and alcohol abuse and the only one who was willing to help was Gwen who had left the house to her. She is determined to make the best of it for herself, partner Daniel and his daughter Ava. But when Ava disappears she has to face her demons to try and get her home.

With flashbacks to her childhood, her anxiety over Ava’s disappearance and the noticeable lack of support from Daniel you get to see how strong a character Rebecca was. Even though she couldn’t see it herself. The people she meets, from her childhood, who also show that they have changed since their teens. One of them is her family liaison officer, who features quite strongly in both a professional and personal capacity. I found this really interesting because all too often you only see the job. Another was Ashleigh, whose storyline was unexpectedly more devastating than I expected it to be 

But it was Rebecca who touched me most. I loved her relationship with Ava, her need to keep Ava’s mother’s family in their lives despite the increasingly obnoxious Daniel’s wishes. I also had a lot of respect for her determination to escape her past, seek vengeance and protect Ava. All I could do was admire her. Admittedly, I didn’t see any of twists as I was reading but this increased my enjoyment. 

I will definitely be looking at this author’s back catalogue, this was a book I liked a lot.