April 2022 Books #AmReading

April sees me with more time on my hands as two weeks are the Easter holiday. Now, much as I’d like to block that whole two weeks to reading, I still have to be mum and wife and deal with other appointments, etc., and I must ensure I get some writing done, too.

I’m also going to add a mini diary of a bookaholic here, you get an understanding of why my TBR will NEVER be empty!

So, book-wise, I’ll just carry on and hope I get a good even amount of everything done! (Quick note to say by the 4th of April, I had cleared all my ARCs and am on my TBR list. Unless I get approved for any more ARCs!)

Second note: On 8th April, I was sent two more ARCS to read and got approved for one more on NetGalley… You can see I’m not great at saying no!

Third note: April 11th, and my ARC list was empty. I read two more TBR books, and then got another ARC approval. But I finished it on the same day, so back to that TBR!

Fourth note: April 15th, yup, you guessed it: More ARCS! So I read one more TBR book, and now I have two more approved arcs. I promise I haven’t requested any more…yet!

Fifth note: April 16th, I have finished one ARC, and also requested another two, because they are by authors whose writing I love! And I bought another 3 physical books on a little shopping trip yesterday, and picked a fourth up at the supermarket today… I cannot stop myself.

Sixth note: April 18th, I am ARC free… for now! Back to that TBR…!

Seventh note: April 24th, one TBR book done, two more ARCs came. One read, one to go, and it’s term time, now!

Eighth note: 28th April, I got asked to join two more book tours and another two arcs arrived!

Anyway, what did I read this month?

Now here is another ARC I was gifted, by my all-time favourite author, and I shall be sharing my review on the blog, properly, very soon!

Releasing 6th September, 2022

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading The Rose Code, I was offered the chance to read The Diamond Eye and I am so glad that I chose to accept because it was amazing!
This time we are treated to a partial fictional, partial true retelling of the story of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a woman sniper who fought for Russia during the 2nd World War.
In her early 20s, Mila is a single mother, or more or less, waiting for the finalisation of divorce from a man to whom she should never have really married. Finally chasing her dream of studying history, she is dragged into war when the ‘Hitlerites’ invade Russia.
She wants to make a change for her little son back home with his grandparents, and the way she does it is tremendous, as she uses her gun skills to become one of the most famed women snipers of her time.
The rawness of the scenes when she and her partner, and platoon, are in combat made me feel Iw as there, quiet, hesitant to move, lest I cracked a twig, and gave their location away!
The scenes based in the US with Eleanor Roosevelt and the whole trip were brilliantly intertwined with the war scenes, and even though the ending was more fictional than not, it tied everything up so well.
I was blown away by the whole story, and I appreciated the Author’s Notes at the end, where Quinn separated the truth from fiction.
Either way, the way she has interwoven reality with imagination makes for a fantastic read. I read it within 24 hours, and it isn’t a short book!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, Emily Henry, you have outdone yourself here!
Having read Henry’s first two releases and thoroughly enjoyed them, I was sure I would like Book Lovers, but I didn’t.
I LOVED it!
Let’s face it, we’re all book lovers over here, and just the title gave me goosebumps. But the whole concept of taking a common trope within the romance genre and having a sceptical literary agent actually living the whole thing out (fictionally, of course!) was sheer brilliance!
So, we have Nora, a hard-working NYC Literary agent with a heap of responsibility on her shoulders, yet she can never find that someone special.
Then there’s Charlie, the hotshot editor with a chip on his shoulder and a dislike for a manuscript Nora is presenting to him.
And a best selling book.
Set in a sleepy town,
We also have Libby, Nora’s pregnant younger sister, yearning for a little sisterly adventure.
So Nora finds herself in a sleepy little backwater, Sunshine Falls, which also happens to be where the aforementioned best seller is set, with her sister, and a checklist of things to achieve before their month-long vacation is up.
Of course, the checklist involves a little romance and plenty of other things that you might encounter in small-town romances, such as skinny dipping and saving a local business from going under…
Then enter Charlie. Again.
Right. Where do I start?
I was hooked from the off, that’s for sure. And when Emily Henry wants to write a little sizzle, boy does she turn up the heat! Subtle but scorching!
All the relationships were written in a way that had me invested in them, from the off, from Nora and Libby to their bond with their mother, and absolutely the chemistry between Nora and Charlie was a slowly simmering pot of emotions that came to a boil in a fantastic manner!
I honestly didn’t want it to end!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion,

Releasing 5th May, 2022

How (Not) to Date a Prince by Zoe May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve already read a couple of Zoe May’s books and enjoyed them, so I knew I’d like this, too.
We have a high flying, love-jaded journalist, Sam, used to reporting on political matters, who is flung into the melee of the soon-to-occur royal wedding of the century between a homegrown ordinary girl done good to a Norwegian Prince.
This is so not her, but slowly, she ends up being pulled into the excitement of the build-up, as the gifts and freebies begin arriving, and especially because she has met one of the other paper’s wedding reporters, Anders, and his Norwegian self has created flutters in places that she hasn’t felt in a long while.
It was gigglesome to step into the world of journalists who cover these occasions instead of the serious world matters that Sam is used to.
Sam has lost her faith in love, after being jilted at the altar three years ago.
Anders is a tall, blonde Norwegian Adonis with an interest in weddings, and he seems to have some inside knowledge, too. But he’s a genuinely lovely guy.
You know what the ending will be, but sometimes it is good to have a story that you can read, enjoy and smile through, knowing you’ll get your HEA!

The Good Guy’s Guide to Getting the Girl by Peter Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jason is one of the good guys.
He wants to find his own ‘Kylie’. But needs to get out of a relationship that is going nowhere.
Once that hurdle is crossed, he loses his job, too.
Then decides to pursue a glamour photographer career, hoping that he finds someone special…
A funny lad lit kinda read.

The Truth About This Charming Man by Peter Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What do you get when you cross a struggling actor with an Eastern European agent and add in some. ‘acting jobs’ that are more roleplaying than proper acting. Sprinkle in some dodgy businessman, a handful of wannabee actors, and some fraud? Oh, and don’t forget a dash of good looking woman, too.
This.
You get this book!
An entertaining read.

The review for this will follow as I shall be on the blog tour!

Another one which will feature in May when I am on a blog tour!

Reasons To Go Outside by Esme King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where do I start? What a beautiful book!
Three main characters and a story that spans over 40 years.
Pearl is a woman in her late 50s, gripped by the hands of aggressive agoraphobia, with not a soul to reach out to or the ability to help herself.
Connor is an 18-year-old with a big life change ahead of him. Something he is not entirely sure he should be doing. and his own dreams which are being squashed to fulfil those of another.
Nate is a 60 something man with not much but memories to keep him going after being made redundant.
All three have a story that ties them together.
It is a story that has its roots in an awful tragedy, but as it grows, and with love and nurture, it bears the fruit of love, friendship, and reconciliation.
I truly loved all three of these characters, and I feel they will stay with me for a long while. And the cast who support them is equally memorable. There is a lot of goodness in this book, which I think the world needs right now.
A story filled with loss, hope, determination and, above all, friendship in the most unlikely of places.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 26th May, 2022

When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow.
Just Wow.
Seriously.
I knew I would like the book. I’ve read Jawando’s first and was hit hard by her writing and subject matter.
And this was no different. Well, actually, it blew my mind.
Three young, unassuming black teens getting caught up in the aftermath of a fatal stabbing. They had nothing to do with the attack or events leading up to it but were the only people out of hundreds teeming through the Arndale Centre with enough compassion to go and help wounded 14-year-old Shaq lying, bleeding, on the ground.
All three are at a pivotal educational point, too. About to sit their GCSEs and still figuring out what they want to do with their lives when this horrific stabbing takes place.
Jawando really explores the reality of being young and Black and the preconceived notions so many people have out there.
A young girl, Chantelle, with a younger sister, living with her gran who just wants her to make the best of her education and life, and with a heart so big, and a thirst to show herself for the intelligent young woman she is, despite being held back by so many.
A young lad, Marc, moving through the care system with no one behind him, except his most recent carer, who might not be as bad as he thinks, and also hiding more about his identity than just his living circumstances.
Jackson, another young guy, who’s been afforded many opportunities by the aspirations and wealth of his parents, cushioned from the reality of prejudice to an extent until he finds himself at the scene of the stabbing.
I feel I know these issues, but even then, as I read, different things kept on being lit like little flares of SOS or distress.
Man, is that how bad it can get?
Just the colour of your skin can make others assume you would naturally live a life of violence? That you would have to just get used to the taunts, unprovoked checks by both the police and even school staff, just because your hue isn’t lily-white? That just because you are black, you haven’t got the brains to do well at anything other than being attitude-filled or being in a gang?
All the themes in the book are covered with sensitivity and care from witnessing an attack to dealing with the attitudes of others, relationships and sexuality.
Brilliantly written, and something more people should read. I’ve already passed the copy on to my daughter.
Honestly, I can’t wait for the next book!

Acid Track by Julie Hiner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been sitting on this book for a little while now, just because I have a had a lot on, but I was quite excited to get back to see what was happening with Mahoney and the gang.
Firstly, I have to acknowledge the amount of research Hiner would have done, to be so explicit with the level of detail within the book.
Yup, a little gruesome, but then the mind of a serial killer was never going to be a walk in the park, was it? Even though this particular one loves a garden…
I love how we know exactly who the killer is from the off, but the way the stories and scenes entwine, between Mahoney and the killer, you see how they are getting closer and closer to him, but also how there are times when they might hitting way off mark.
Cleverly done!
If you love a crime read, with some 80s rock thrown in, you’ll love this, and the first book, too!

Good Sam by Dete Meserve
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I must admit to having this one on my kindle for a while. I downloaded it when it was announced that it would be a NetFlix film. There was every intention of reading it before watching, but I did the opposite!
A cute story about a set of anonymous money gifts to random people, amounting to over $500,000. Reporter Kate Bradley is put on the story, despite wanting to be seen as a serious journalist rather than the one who gets the fluffy stories.
She is slowly pulled into the hype as she gets to know the different recipients.
On the way, she meets hunky firefighter Eric, who begins to steal her thoughts.
As the gift total tops $1m, a connection is made between Good Sam, the nickname for this anonymous saint, and someone Kate would have never thought of.
But will this discovery drive a wedge between her and her blossoming friendship with Eric?
As I said before, cute story. 🙂

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis had been hovering in my TBR sights for a while, and I hadn’t got around to reading it yet, but then Love On THe Brain appeared, and I read it in literally six hours, and I believe I shall have to remedy the not reading her first book, ASAP!
Whilst I am not up on STEM and all it entails, I love a bit of girl power, and this definitely had some strong females in the book!
Bee is the main protagonist in this, a woman in a man’s world who is fiercely pro-Marie Curie and all she endured and succeeded in, in that scientific male-dominated world.
She gets the chance of a lifetime to work alongside another team at NASA on a massive Neoruengineering project which could really get her name out there. However, she has to co-lead with Levi, her arch-nemesis from Post-Grad days. Her extremely tall, built, good looking arch-nemesis.
Enemies to lovers, kinda.
Extremely saucy when the heat factor gets notched up, too, I’ll have you know!
Then there is a cat. And who doesn’t love a cat? Well, actually, there are two.
Right, let me go and get that first book…
Thanks to NetGalley and The Little Brown Book Club for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 23rd August, 2022

A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finally got around to reading this book, the fourth in the Bollywood series by Sonali Dev.
Though I could read it as a standalone, it was good that I had read A Change Of Heart, as there are huge connections between the two stories.
The whole book has an element of Rapunzel, though there is no evil witch kidnapping a princess, with much darker underlying themes.
Kimi is a young woman in her prime, but she hasn’t been able to live her life the way she wants, because of extreme health problems, despite being the daughter of a once huge Bollywood star turned politician.
She has a most unlikely friendship with Rahul, a ‘chawl’ born lad to whom Kimi’s father owes a huge debt.
The story jumps from the present to the past as we slowly unravel a tale about different forms of love and the extremes we would go to to keep our loved ones safe.
Parental love, sibling love, romantic love, forbidden love… All there.
Wrapped up with the horrors of organ trafficking and gangsters, huge lies that threaten to destroy many relationships.
It took me a while to get into the swing of the story, but once I was it, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I had guessed what the conclusion would be early on, but it was more the way it unfolded that captivated my attention.
That and the seesawing relationship between Kimi and Rahul, from childhood to the present day.
Read it! But read the other books, too, to go really deep into the story!

All the Wicked Games by Lauren North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG.
Right, so I am not sure where to start with this review, but I guess the first thing I will say is it is BRILLIANT!
I have read previous books by Lauren North, and they have kept me transfixed. This was no different, with the added twists and turns that kept me second-guessing at every turn!
Cleo’s best friend is reported missing, just as she is due to leave for her next job on a cruise ship.
A best friend she hasn’t spoken to for five years.
Still, Rachel was her best friend, and since her sister is so worried and there is some pretty grim backstory to their severed friendship, she heads off to London to see what she can find out.
Honestly, I thought I knew what was going on, then something else would get thrown into the mix, making me double myself, then I’d be sure again, and the same thing would happen again.
But, put it this way, it wasn’t until right near the end when I worked it out, a few sentences before it was spelt out to me!
There are several disturbed characters in this book, including our main ones, too. Hence the difficulty in guessing. But that is exactly what you want from a psychological thriller and I got that in spadefuls!
As I said before, BRILLIANT!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, and Penguin for an Arc in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 1st September, 2022

The Man I Never Met by Elle Cook
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cute but heartwrenching story of two strangers who become acquainted due to a misdialled phone call.
Hannah is a twenty-something woman living in London, drifting through her life.
Until she answers a call from an unknown international number.
Davey. A twenty-something Texan who is making some change in his life.
The first quarter of the story sets you up for the romance of the century before a twist – a horrible twist – puts paid to any romantic notions they may have had.
As the title suggests, love was never going to be an easy destination for these two to reach.
I really loved the two main characters, Hannah and Davey.
They are supported by a wonderful set of sie characters; Joan, Hannah’s coffee-loving neighbour who features in her life as what she describes as her ‘London Mum’, Miranda and Paul, Hannah’s best friend and her boyfriend. Grant, Davey’s best friend, and we can’t forget George, Hannah’s gym buddy, turned something else.
The story is told mainly from the viewpoint of Hannah, but with some POV scenes from Davey’s side.
Moral of the story: You never know what is going to happen next in life, so you should just grab happiness when it is staring you in the face!
Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone and Penguin for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 24th November, 2022

Take It from Me by Jamie Beck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Firstly, can I admit that this was my first Jamie Beck book? I have been aware of her as a good author for a while, but you know what it’s like with TBRs being the size of houses and never getting round to reading.
What I can say is that it definitely won’t be my last!
Harper is an author at a low point in her career who moves to a small suburb outside of the city to gain fresh inspiration and perspective, in the hope that the next book she writes will be more favourably received than her last. She’s up against it since the last one tanked and fears losing everything she has worked for, including her home. This move could be her saving grace.
Wendy is a middle-aged empty-nester who finds herself drawn to the new young neighbour in a way she can’t quite explain. Harper tests her own beliefs and thoughts, and she imparts her own words of wisdom to this young woman who doesn’t seem to have an anchor to keep her grounded for long.
But both women are hiding their own secrets that threaten to put an end to this fledgeling relationship. One, is rooted in a mental health issue that she has been trying hard to fight, and hide for years. The other finds she is developing more and more feelings for a place and its people when she should be using them and it as a base for her career, not for her life.
Beck has created two fantastic characters in Wendy and Harper, and also, with it, she has touched upon mental health and work-related dilemmas in an extremely sensitive way.
Light-hearted, but not something to laugh at.
It certainly puts a new spin on that thought that you should be careful what you say in front of a writer, or you could end up in their next book!
Really enjoyed it!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Montlake for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 20th September, 2022

Easily Amused by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cute story about a woman thrown into a community she wants no part of, when age inherits a house from a great aunt.
Lola moves in, intending to keep herself to herself, but things are never that simple.
Well-meaning neighbours, coupled with an unexpected house guest, a meddling best friend and a sister hell-bent on always one upmanship, make for an easy read about how sometimes you don’t realise that what you need has always been right in front of you.

A Wedding in Tuscany by Sandy Barker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have thoroughly enjoyed the previous books in the Holiday Romance Series, and this was no different. In fact, it was the icing on the cake! (Aside: However, I am gutted it is the last in the series! I can see so many more stories sprouting from this, but I digress!)
In this final instalment in the series, we view the story through the lenses of Aussie sisters Sarah and Cat. Both are now settled in steady relationships, and life is ready to take them on the next step of their journey.
For one, it is coming to terms with reaching the age of forty, and for the other, a marriage proposal which is a dream come true but with which comes plenty of other dilemmas.
Sarah’s looming fortieth is making her anxious, but she doesn’t know how to explain it to her partner Josh.
Cat is over the moon when she has a proposal from Jean Luc, estranged childhood best friend, then found again, and now her boyfriend. But, where will they live after? Paris, or London, where she calls home?
A joint celebration in Tuscany, marking the wedding, and the special birthday, in a beautiful Tuscan castle give many chances for new memories to be made, along with reunions with the cast of the previous books.
I loved getting to know their mum and dad more too, what a gorgeous set of parents!
Now, I have to add Tuscany to the list of places I need to visit!
It was a pleasure to go on this journey of discovery for all the characters throughout the whole series, and this was a wonderfully sweet ending to the series, sprinkled with plenty of Sandy Barker steaminess to raise the temperatures a little!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins, One More Chapter for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 17th June, 2022

Dele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love reading books from different cultural backgrounds to myself and they feel like an education to me.
Dele Weds Destiny is set in Nigeria and the story is told through the eyes of three different protagonists; old friends from university.
The story jumps over there different eras, their childhood background, their university years and 2015, when one of them has a daughter getting married, and they are finally together after many years.
All three characters, though Nigerian, come from very different backgrounds and the book explores the familial expectations, the friendship these three young women forge, disappointments, and sacrifices, as well as how fortunes can turn.
A rich, cultural explosion.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 28th June, 2022

You can tell there was a two week holiday in this month’s reading, can’t you! Anything there you would read?

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennie
    May 01, 2022 @ 13:20:02

    Your reading inspires me!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. www.thehempnurse.com
    May 01, 2022 @ 06:35:12

    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more
    Apr 30, 2022 @ 15:16:51

    Siiiiiis, i counted twenty books!!! Really???? For me this looks like more a library or a bookstore itself. Lol Thanks for your recommendations, i wil pick some and beeing happy to have them on the shelves, for instant reading. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more
    Apr 30, 2022 @ 15:14:52

    Reply

  5. beth
    Apr 30, 2022 @ 10:45:51

    wow, you are not only busy in other parts of your life, but you are a prolific reader! thanks for sharing

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

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