October 2020 Books #AmReading

The nights are drawing in, we are drifting closer to winter. Will my reading pick up this month?

My Sister's Husband

My Sister’s Husband by Nicola Marsh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ooooh, what a wicked web of secrets and lies Nicola Marsh weaves in her latest suspense-filled book, My Sister’s Husband!
From the off, I was pulled in to the story of two pairs of sisters, with lives and experiences that mirror one another, in an uncanny way.
Brooke arrives home, to celebrate the wedding of her sister, Freya, to Ryker, after a lengthy absence, and finds herself reuniting with family, and finding out way more about her own history than she ever imagined,
Just how twisted can a person can be? I was on the edge of my seat, as I read this book, and though I spent most of the time trying to second guess the outcome, I was so off the mark when all was revealed.
Definitely a recommended read!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Released on 27th October

Christmas for Beginners

Christmas for Beginners by Carole Matthew
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Carole Matthews has done it again!
I was so happy to be able to visit the gang at Hope Farm again, having truly enjoyed Happiness For Beginners, and Christmas For Beginners did not disappoint.
Molly is settled into Hope Farm’s new home, complete with a state of the art mobile home for herself, her trusted friends Bev and Alan, a surrogate son, Lucas, living with her, and not forgetting the crazy animals who help to create the education she offers to the children who. come to visit the farm.
All that’s missing is a more regular appearance from Shelby, her partner, who also happens to be Lucas’s father, and a famous soap star.
From the off, I was feeling a sense of ‘things aren’t quite right’ between Molly and Shelby, and I rooted for her to make the right decisions, on several occasions. (Which she does, eventually.)
There is laughter in this. book, thanks to unruly animal, heartache, loss, but also, an overwhelming amount of love, both romantic, and otherwise, and above all, hope.
Such a lovely read.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Released on 29th October, 2020

Forgive Me

Forgive Me by Susan Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, Susan Lewis, I do love your books!
A woman stifled by her overpowering husband finally finds a chance to escape a life of misery, with her daughter, and sets herself up with a new identity and life far away.
New names, new looks, new home, new friends.
But that fear never leaves…
I loved the way this book was written with the chapters of the story interspersed with letters from someone who obviously wronged one of the main characters.
I don’t want to say too much for fear of giving away too much of the plot, but I was totally drawn into the whole plot, and there were twists. Oh, were there twists!
I was left guessing for most of the book, on a lot of points, and all the guessing ensured I continued reading.
Definitely a recommended read!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Released on 12th November, 2020

Finding Henry Applebee

Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a delight of a story!
Finding Henry Applebee is a story about several characters, of which Henry is the main one,
An eighty-five-year-old man on a mission heads to Edinburgh to fulfil his heart’s desire, except it was never going to be that simple, was it?
A young woman is also heading to Edinburgh to act out the last of her mother’s wishes.
A twenty-something American Jazz musician is on his way to watch a much longed-for performance.
A chance meeting on a train. changes the lives of all three of these characters in a wonderful way.
I enjoyed reading this story, interspersed with flashbacks from the past featuring each of the main characters, adding layer upon layer to the plot.
I wanted to keep Henry Applebee, and look after him in my own home – what a sweetheart!
The story is filled with romance, of a deeper nature. What people do for love…

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Impulse and Killer Reads for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate isn’t really looking for love, but her best friend, Laura, seems to think she should be. So strongly, that she coerces Kate into signing up for a course of twelve dates, leading up to Christmas.
Forced into a situation she really didn’t want to be in, Kate embarks upon her dates and ends up with a mixture of disappointment, surprise, passion, fear… but does love make an appearance?
I enjoyed this easy read of a Christmas romance, where love showed up in an unlikely place.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Pan MacMillan for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 12th November, 2020

Blue String (Blue Mountain #4)

Blue String by Tess Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I adore reading about the character sets that Tess Thompson creates, and I was lucky enough to have won copies of the first three in the Blue Mountain Series, a couple of years ago.
When I heard that the fourth was coming out, I didn’t hesitate to pre-order.
This fourth book follows the Lannigan sister, Teagan, as she settles back into life in her childhood town. The death of her father and one of her brothers, has in some way or another, brought all the siblings back to the family land that holds such memories, and she has her own home build, to house her and Cris, her child.
Teagan is a prickly character. She’s not open to trusting people too easily, but when a certain person walks back into her life, after an intensive fling a while back, she is torn. Does she give her heart to the guy who may just swan off after he gets bored, or does she protect herself and her little boy, who is crying out for a father figure?
Wyatt Black is a country music star with a block. After suffering PTSD when a shooter killed tens of people at one of his concerts, he is stuck in an emotional rut. The only thing that he wants is to anchor himself near the one person he can’t get out of his mind.
Teagan Lannigan.
What follows is the tale of how they come together, once again, but not without plenty of bumps in the road, and even murder!
One thing I love about Tess Thompson’s books is how characters jump from one series to another, so there is already a familiarity to the story because you feel like you already know something,
Wyatt Black features in the Cliffside Bay series, briefly, too.

Only One Woman by [Christina Jones, Jane  Risdon]

Only One Woman by Jane Risdon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve had this pon my kindle for a long while now and finally got a chance to read it.
Imagine being a 16-year-old, living your normal, boring life, then finding it turned upside down by a prospective Rock God moving in next door? And falling head over heels with him?
What about being at Death’s door, then being given a second chance at life, and grabbing all opportunities life throws at you, even if it casts you in the light of ‘the Other Woman’?
This book follows the diary entries of two very different girls, Renza, and Stella, and how, in the height of the Swinging Sixties, they fall for the same guy.
And even though he’s stringing along two women, you can’t help but feel for Scott, too…
I enjoyed this story, Kinky Boots, and all!
I always wonder how two authors write a book together, and this novel shows how a good collaboration works!

Sorry I Missed You

Sorry I Missed You by Suzy Krause
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting when I started reading this book, but, I have to say that once it got going, I was pretty much hooked.
One man finds himself the owner of a large house, but with conditions attached.
Strange conditions.
Three very different women end up renting apartments in that same quirky, old house.
Three women who have experienced very different losses.
Inexplainable happenings, and a letter partially destroyed, bring them all together, and mysteries get solved in an extremely twisted manner.
It was strange, but I really enjoyed reading it!

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What’s not to love about this book!
Grace is a single mother, trying her hardest to give the best of everything to her son Archie, with the help of their dog, Becks.
Working in a small estate agent, she bumbles along with her life, still silently grieving the loss of her mother, and harbouring guilt at her failed marriage.
Thankfully, Grace has people in her life who care, like a best friend who wants to get her back on her own two feet, not just as Archie’s mum, but as a woman, too, with makeovers and online dating set up.
And a rather dishy gardener happens to show up on her doorstep one day, and who just keeps on appearing…
Add in an ex-husband who wants the best of both worlds, and you have a recipe for an interesting tale.
But how can I forget one of my favourite parts of the book, the silent letters of support from Grace’s mum from beyond the grave?
I have to admit that my eyes teared up when reading them. It made me feel warm inside, to imagine that those we love and lose, are actually still there, watching what we are doing, cheering us on, sending us signals…
Archie’s a dream of a boy, at that awkward age when it’s far too hard to show your feelings when you are still a little boy, but a the cusp of growing up, needing your mummy but wanting to appear too old for ‘all that’.
I felt for Grace. I wanted to go and slap her ex in the face, myself.
I giggled and cringed through the stories of online dating, and warmed so much to Vinnie, the gardener, that I rooted for romance from the off.
Kim Nash has created a whole cast of characters that are likeable (or not, if you could the ex) and ones you want to get to know yourself.
A feel-good book, with plenty of ups and downs, moments of joy and laughter, and times where you feel truly choked up with emotion. Well, I did.
Fabulous read!

Predator

Predator by Zoe Caldwell

It’s a five star, but you’ll have to wait until the 2nd November for my review, as I’ll be posting about it separately, but if you are up for a dark, kinky thriller, then this one is for you!

Networking for writers.

Networking for writers. by Lizzie Chantree
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this day and age, networking is key for both traditionally published, as well as self-published authors.
But where to start?
The amount of different social media platforms out there can boggle the best of minds, so it is always to great to have a thorough guide, and who better than a successful author and entrepreneur, to step up and share her tips and ideas?
Lizzie Chantree has put together a wonderful resource, that is a quick read, but filled with so many gems to help you get started, and continue growing your social media presence, and work with other writers, your readers and businesses to benefit not only yourself but the wider community, too.
Definitely worth the read.
Now, I’m off to schedule some posts… everywhere!

No Sex Please, I'm Menopausal!

No Sex Please, I’m Menopausal! by Stevie Turner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hitting that era of life where menopause may become more of a reality than one of those things that might happen in the distant future, I began to read this book with a little more curiosity than usual.
Lyn is in the throes of the beginning of menopause. She’s all hot flushes and had a No Entry sign firmly placed ‘down there’, much to the frustration of her husband, Neil.
Things come to a head when she discovers he’s found ways to lubricate himself, without her assistance.
Armed with the keys to what was their holiday home, Lyn ups sticks and moves to Cornwall, to start up her new life.
She signs up to a matchmaking site, with ‘companionship only – NO SEX’ firmly ticked on her profile and proceeds to meet some characters, some of which become longstanding friends, and some, she’d rather not see again.
An easy to read book, and I really liked some of the characters, especially gentleman Peter and transexual, Jamie!
But, though the ending was very ‘happily ever after’, part of me wanted her to make a different choice.
Still, an enjoyable read.

The Scavenger's Daughters (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters #1)

The Scavenger’s Daughters by Kay Bratt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve read some of Kay Bratt’s more recent reads before, and had the Scavenger’s Daughters on my kindle for a while now, so decided to read.
A different type of story, with some heart-wrenching scenes within the tale.
I have no real knowledge of the situation in China, especially during the times of the revolution and after, so this was eye-opening.
I truly hope there were men and women like Benfu and Calla, willing to give love and homes to the thousands of abandoned girls.
A touching story.
I look forward to reading the next one.

Tangled Vines (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters #2)

Tangled Vines by Kay Bratt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After learning of all the good, Benfu and his wife Calli have done for abandoned daughters of the country, we get to follow the story further this time from Calli’s viewpoint, and the eldest of the adopted girls living with them now, as well as a new character, Li Jin, who is another woman, passed from pillar to post within the system, before suffering beyond what any girl should have to suffer.
All before a secret is unearthed.
Another tumultuous ride in the life of girls in post-revolution China.

Bitter Winds (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters, #3)

Bitter Winds by Kay Bratt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third book in the Scavenger’s Daughters series focussed on the twin girls Benfu and Calla look after, Ivy, and her blind sister, Lily, along with a little more about Sami, the girl who Li Jin, the blood daughter of Benfu and Calla, brought with her to live.
They now have a bigger home, but still, it is filled with folk who they want to help and is run by love and the goodness that runs through the veins of its inhabitants.
Until that is, misunderstandings occur, and one of the twins ends up incarcerated, and Sami stirs up her own trouble.
I’m sure that much of what is written has an element of truth in it. Quite possibly, not all this would happen to just one family, in reality, but it makes for interesting reading, and, as I have mentioned in reviews for the previous books, I feel more educated with each book I read.

Red Skies (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters #4)

Red Skies by Kay Bratt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Red Skies, the fourth in the Tales of the Scavenger’s Daughters, was another heart-rending read.
This time, we concentrated on Mari, one of Benfu and Calla’s eldest ‘daughters’, who lives away from her family, with her husband, near Beijing.
Having been rescued from the streets as a child doesn’t mean that she’s spared any difficulties as she enters adulthood, and these are what Kay Bratt has explored in this book.
Mari is a ‘good wife’. She’s nursing her husband back to health after a serious fall, and juggling trying to work, to cover costs of living, with caring for a man, who is a mere shell of himself, and slowly turning to his medication for support, rather than his wife.
An Ni is a young girl, forced into the begging cycle by a gang who found her as a babe. Her path crosses with Mari’s one day, and little do they know how intertwined their lives will become.
Max is an American in Beijing on work duty, with a very personal mission he’s trying to complete as well.
There are so many layers to this story, from the begging gangs to adoption, to loss, in many forms. But there is always hope.

The Palest Ink (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters #0)

The Palest Ink by Kay Bratt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This prequel to the Tales of the Scavenger’s Daughters series was truly heart-rending.
In The Palest Ink, we learned much more of Benfu, the Scavenger’s, history, and how he came to be where he ended up, in Wuxi, with his beloved Calli. It also follows the story of his best friend, Pony-Boy, and the ending truly had me in tears…
The horrors that were experienced by some in China during those times, were unknown to me, so it was eye-opening.
Thank you, Kay Bratt, for educating me in an era I had no knowledge of.

Phew! Seventeen books. That’s not a bad run, is it? There are a mix of new releases, as well as older ones, there, that I wanted to read, from my never-decreasing TBR pile. Which ones tickle your fancy?


21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. robbiesinspiration
    Nov 08, 2020 @ 14:38:30

    Wow, you have certainly had a good reading month, Ritu. I have read No Sex Please, I’m Menopausal and found it very amusing. I really enjoy Stevie’s writing. The other books all sound great too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. OIKOS™-Editorial
    Nov 01, 2020 @ 21:39:20

    You are too fast, Sis! 🙂 But thank you for the recommendations. Some are on my list, but i need some time more to read. All at once a wonderful selection. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Doug Thomas
    Nov 01, 2020 @ 13:41:43

    If nothing better comes of COVID-19, time to read has to be it!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. LucciaGray
    Nov 01, 2020 @ 10:57:52

    Fabulous books and reviews! I want to read them all! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. barbtaub
    Nov 01, 2020 @ 04:21:33

    Whew! An epic readathon. Thanks for this collection of excellent reviews and some irresistible reading suggestions.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Nov 01, 2020 @ 09:13:55

      Thank you Barb. Recently my safe space has been within the pages of a book. And it feels like I’ve needed lots of down time! Hope you are well 🥰

      Like

      Reply

  6. Leanne
    Nov 01, 2020 @ 02:38:25

    Wow, you’ve read a lot of books! Where do you find the time?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Book Club Mom
    Oct 31, 2020 @ 23:58:26

    Wow Ritu you are a reading machine! Thanks for sharing your reviews. I think I’d like Predator and My Sister’s Husband. Hope you are doing well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Nov 01, 2020 @ 00:09:48

      I have made the most of this week off. I think I read about 7 books in the last week! My brain isn’t ready to write, so reading is the next best thing. Both of those are great reads!! My special review of Predator will be on the blog on November 2nd!

      Like

      Reply

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