Book Review: Blackened Cottage by A.E Richards

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
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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.

Book Review: Exposure by Helen Dunmore

Well it’s Monday again so time for #BookReviewMondays. I aim to provide you all with a book review each Monday, of a book I have been reading the previous week and finished over the weekend. I seem to have the most time to finish a book on Sunday afternoons. I find it a very relaxing way to end the weekend.
Today’s book review is a book called Exposure by Helen Dunmore. I am a huge fan of Helen Dunmore’s books and this one looked really intriguing, full of mystery, suspense – the perfect spy story.

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Book Review: Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

I was approved to read and review Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller from Netgalley ( a place where bookbloggers can request books to feed their readers!). 
What drew me to the book was the mystical type of cover and that it was about a little girl living in the woods. This reminded me of old fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel. So I was eager to make a start reading the book on my Kindle.

Book Description:

1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother’s grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change. Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared. Her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.
                 
My Review:
The book started off a bit slow for me. The first chapter was set in London 1985 and tells us about someone which I assumed to be Peggy telling her story about a photograph which showed us the last photo of her father before everything happened. 
The next chapter goes on to say about her survivalist father ordering stock piles of food and necessities for the basement. Peggy’s mother Ute is a well known German piano player who travels around playing concerts. She is gone when Peggy’s father takes it in his head to take Peggy to die Hutte in 1976, ‘a magical secret place in the forest, our very own little cabin with wooden walls, and wooden floors and wooden shutters at the windows’ is the way her father describes it.  When they finally get there it’s not quite what they hoped for. 
The story is well written and describes the area in the woods beautifully. It is a bit slow paced at times which is the only negative for me. Peggy’s father comes cross as a cruel man for bringing her to live in these woods with no other human interaction for 9 years and making her believe that her mother and all other humans are dead.
It is a great debut novel from Claire Fuller and I will keep and eye out for any future books.
I have given Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller 4 out of 5 stars.
Kindle Edition 304 pages
Published 26th February 2015 by Fig Tree (Penguin)

MamaMummyMum


Disclaimer: All the views and opinions expressed are my own. eBook supplied by Netgalley for purpose of this review only. Book cover and description taken from Netgalley for purpose of this review only. 

New Book Arrivals and My Goodreads Challenge

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! 

Book Review: Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

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.

Book Review: Bairdston by Robert Cook

Bairdston

I requested to read this book through Netgalley as I thought the cover looked interesting and I love to read young adult novels from time to time.

Book Description:
Karim and Salima Kufdani have survived the streets of Tangier on their own. Orphaned and alone they’ve found their own way, until a fateful night and a cafe brawl see them shipped away from everything they’ve ever known. Now in the cold, barren expanse of Scotland, Karim and Salima must learn to navigate the waters of the exclusive Bairdston School and cross a cultural divide neither ever expected to face.

Can Karim overcome the vendetta of a coach who doesn’t want him on the team? Will anyone ever accept uneducated Salima for the prodigy she really is?

A story of love, acceptance and perseverance, Bairdston asks if the principles of peace and the virtues of intelligence can ever truly light the darkest of all places.

Award-winning novelist, Robert Cook paints an irresistible portrait of teen life in a Muslim meets Western world. Bairdston is a triumphant tale that will capture readers and leave them breathless with every exhilarating page. 

My Review:
I’m not sure where to start with this book. It is rather strange!
Two Muslim teens, brother and sister Karim and Salima Kufdani are saved from the rough and dangerous streets of Morocco by Cooch and his team. They want to educate the siblings in subjects such as Martial Arts and Maths. After they have learned the basics they are shipped off to a boarding school in Scotland called Bairdston, where Cooch wants them to learn to live in a Westernised world. Learn to live, eat and play with others.
I think the book lacked a plot and all the way through I wasn’t quite sure where it was leading. I would have loved to have heard more about the siblings background, but this seemed to have been missed out.
I did however like the way the story was told from each of the brother’s and sister’s eyes and how they saw the Western world and people around them.

I have given Bairdston by Robert Cook 3 out of 5 stars

Kindle Edition
Published 7th December 2015 by Royal Wulff Publishing

MamaMummyMum


Disclaimer:  All the views and opinions expressed are my own. Book description taken from Netgalley for purpose of this review only. Netgalley kindly supplied a Kindle edition for this review free of charge.

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