Hello and welcome back to #BookReviewMondays, this week I haven’t had as much time as I wanted to keep on top of my reading. What with midwife appointments, scans and getting the last bits in order for when the baby comes, time has just disappeared. My due date is actually today, but still no sign of her arriving yet!
This weeks book review is on a novel called Blackened Cottage by A.E Richards that I read a few weeks back. It has been on my Kindle for a while but was one I just didn’t get round to when I downloaded it. 
book review

Book Description:

Victorian England, 1875. When her mother leaves Blackened Cottage, Lisbeth grows increasingly terrified for herself and her little brother Eddie. Desperate, she befriends a disfigured girl, but when her father finds out he imprisons her in the cottage and invites his lecherous friend to court her. Lisbeth discovers that her father has sent Eddie away and escapes to find him. Pursued by the two men, she embarks on a dangerous journey and captures the eye of a psychopath who seeks to possess her body, mind and soul. As Lisbeth flees, she is shocked to discover how little she remembers about her life, and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must face.

                               

My Review:

What drew me to this book was the format that it is was written in. The story is told in a series of diary entries, letters and narrative. Sometimes I like to read this style of novel as its breaks up the book in different ways, and gives you different perspectives.
Blackened Cottage is a type of psychological thriller, suspense/horror set in Victorian times with a Gothic feel. It’s main character Lisbeth is a young woman who seems to be haunted by her past in which she cannot really remember. Lisbeth lives with her father and brother who she looks after. All is not what it seems in their little Blackened Cottage, Lisbeth is being kept captive by her deranged father. 
When her brother is sent away to a school in London, Lisbeth is determined to go and find him. This means escaping and going on the run. She is chased by her father and his strange friend all the way to London. There are many twists and turns along the way with a great ending I never expected!
Blackened Cottage is beautifully written in a dark, grim, and Gothic way. Perfect for thriller fans who like that slightly different creepy feel in a book.
I have given Blackened Cottage by A.E. Richards 4 out of 5 stars.
Kindle Edition 212 pages
Published 13th August 2012 by A.E. Richards
Weekend Book Club
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

MamaMummyMum


Disclaimer: All the views and opinions expressed are my own. Book cover image and book description from Goodreads for purpose of this review only.

Last year I won some great books through Twitter and Goodreads and here are some of them. They will keep me busy for a while!. I have so many books on my To-Read list that I think I am going to have to up my Goodreads book challenge. It’s currently set at 30 books which I thought was about right for me considering I have a new baby on the way, but I have currently read 4 Books this year so far! 
                               
After a lot of thinking I have decided to up my reading to challenge to 50 books for 2016. This gives me about  week to read one book. I think that’s about fair. I love the Goodreads website as it gives me encouragement to look back over what books I have read so far and also inspiration for trying new authors and books I might not have considered.
I would love to hear about your Goodreads challenges. How many books would you like to read in 2016? How do you discover new books to put on your To-Read list?
Happy Reading! 

I have been doing my usual browsing through Bookbridgr (a resource for book-loving bloggers) again and found Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline waiting to be requested for review. 
My first impressions of the cover before I read the blurb was that it must be set in some kind of hospital setting and that it looks like a dark, tense psychological thriller. I love the little phrases placed cleverly on the front cover ‘Would you know a sociopath if you met one?’  The answer I would give would be no. From my limited knowledge sociopaths can live all around us like everyday people. This made the book even more intriguing to me and one I couldn’t wait to start reading.                         
               

Book Description:

I plan everything. I set everyone in motion, and when the moment comes, I strike.
Psychologist Dr Eric Parrish is unwittingly under threat.
Recently separated from his wife, Eric is learning to become a single parent to his seven-year-old daughter, and life is far from straightforward.
Now Eric has a new patient who could be a severe danger to others. And he must make a decision that will leave deadly consequences in its wake.
The clock is ticking, and someone is hell bent on destroying Eric’s practice, his family, his life.
But how can you defend yourself against an enemy you don’t know?
And can you ever win a game you don’t even know you are playing?

My Review:

I loved the way this book started. The first chapter is told through the eyes of a sociopath. It’s dark, tense and gives you the feeling that this book is going to be a ride of twists and turns you don’t expect. The author does not let you down at all. It was so hard to put down.
The main character in the book is Dr Eric Parrish, he is the Chief of a Psychiatric Unit at a hospital, and also has his own private practice at his house. Eric just wants to help people and his patients mean a lot to him. He is currently fighting for custody of his 7 year old daughter with his ex wife, so has lots going on in his private life. This doesn’t stop him from being there 24/7 for his new patient Max, who is needing lots of help. 
Throughout the book, Eric finds himself caught up in lots of predicaments, while he is only just trying to help those around him. As the book went on I felt a bit sorry for Eric and how nothing seems to go right for him, in his personal and professional life. From a reader’s point of view he seemed slightly clueless at times of what was happening around him, and I really felt the need to scream at him!
Overall the book was well written, gave me the chills and has the best unexpected ending of a book I have read in a long time. It’s the type of novel that left me thinking and stayed with me for a while afterwards.
I have given Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline 4 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 496 pages
Published 19th November 2015 by Headline

Disclaimer: All the views and opinion’s expressed are my own. Book supplied by Bookbridgr for purpose of this review only. Book description taken from Bookbridgr for purpose of this review only.

Every so often I love to browse through all the books on bookbridgr to see what new books are out and what I like the look of. Sometimes its very hard not to request to read more than I can handle! It’s always so tempting!
What caught my eye about Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden was not only the cover which contains a weird creepy house (my favourite type of horror books) but also the authors name Christopher Golden, as I have read one of his other novels Snowblind. I was so pleased when Dead Ringers arrived in the post from bookbridgr knowing that I had been approved to read and review it.
                     

Book Description

When Tess Devlin bumps into her ex-husband, she’s furious that he seems not to know her.

And then Frank Lindbergh is attacked by an intruder in his home … an intruder who wears Frank’s face.

In the heart of the city, a mansion stands on a hill and behind its wrought-iron fence an evil force is at work, leaving everyone who comes near it hysterical with fear.

But the real terror lies inside the house. Tess and Frank have no choice but to confront a mistake made years ago. A mistake that summoned an ancient evil … and means even their own reflections could kill them. 



My Review

The book starts off with a really strange prologue with someone breaking into Frank Lindbergh’s house who looks like a mirror image of him. By the end of the creepy prologue I was hooked. Chapter one introduces you to the main character of the book – Tess Devlin and her encounter on the street with a man who happens to look exactly like her ex-husband Nick. From here on Tess’s best friend Lili also sees someone who could be her twin, and Tess herself comes face to face with her doppelganger. At this point I had more questions than answers and this is what I love about a great book!
My first thoughts were, is this book about long lost identical twins being brought together by some mystical force somehow?
I was eager to carry on with the story and find out what was going on and why everyone seemed afraid of the massive house in the middle of the city. How were Tess and Frank connected to it? and how/if they were able to put everything right.
One of the scary things about this book is identity theft, and how is easy it seemed for others to actually think they were talking to ‘Frank or Tess’ and how hard it was to tell them apart from the real people. To me this rings easily with today’s world in how easily innocent people’s identity can be stolen by identity fraud.
Overall Dead Ringers is one creepy, mystical scary story and I really enjoyed the ride. My only negative about the book is that some of the characters were not necessarily needed and we didn’t get to hear all of their background stories. The book is well written and the locations described perfectly. 
I have given Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden 4 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 320 pages
Published 3rd November by Headline
MamaMummyMum


Disclaimer: All the views and opinons expressed are my own. Book supplied by Bookbridgr for purpose of this review only. Book description taken from bookbridgr for purpose of this review only.

I was browsing through the Goodreads giveaways and came across this chilling supernatural novella so I entered and was lucky to have won a copy. Here is my honest review.
I am a huge fan of novellas and short stories. I think it takes a very special writer to get their story across in a limited number of words. Novellas are too long to be a short story but too short to be a novel. So perfect for reading in a day when you have a few spare hours. Unlike short stories novellas have more room to develop the characters and plot slightly more. 
What fascinated me about The Other Boy by Ian and Rosi Taylor was at first the mysterious yet also chilling and scary cover, then I read the blurb and thought, wow this looks like a great little read! So when I was lucky enough to win a copy I was over the moon!
                     

Book Description

Desperate to save their crumbling marriage, Will and Alice Harding retreat to an isolated cottage in the English countryside.

A landscape of standing stones and holy wells provides perfect fodder for the fertile imagination of their seven-year-old son, Toby. Toby vanishes before his father’s astonished eyes only to reappear, with an impossible explanation for his disappearance. 
Soon, Alice notices that her son is different, changing into a monstrous stranger. Her fears are compounded when a hooded figure is seen skulking around their troubled new home. Over the days that follow, Alice fears for her own sanity, as local tales of dark magic and sacrifice appear to be true. 
Will suspects that his wife is mentally collapsing as a result of his past infidelity. With their marriage stretched to breaking point, the Hardings stand to lose more than just each other, as Toby deteriorates further with every passing hour, feeding the vengeful spirit of… The Other Boy 
My Review

Husband and wife Alice and Will have moved with their 7 year old son Toby to a remote part of the countryside to have a new start and hopefully save their marriage. Creepy things start to happen when Toby goes missing in front of his fathers eyes in an empty field while they are out exploring. This is when the novella really starts kicking up a gear and gets more frightening by the minute. Folklore, magic, paganism and local tales all play a part in this novella. 
For the limited amount of words available I believe that the plot doesn’t suffer at all, although the character of Simon who is the families neighbour could have been developed more. I would have loved to have found out his background and how he came to live at Boggarts Hall by himself.
The Other Boy is a well written novella and one myself I couldn’t put down until the end. Highly recommended for that quick fix of horror, magic and the supernatural.

I have given The Other Boy by Ian and Rosi Taylor 5 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 126 pages
Published 10th November 2015 by Dark Chapter Press
Rachel xx

Disclaimer:  All the views and opinion’s expressed are my own. Book Description taken from Goodreads for the purpose of this review only.

MamaMummyMum