#BookReview “Her Previous Self” by Anne Allen

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5/5 Stars!

After the loss of a child and the end of her marriage, Lucy Stewart doesn’t believe life could get any worse.

Of course, she’s wrong.

Just two weeks after returning to live with her parents on the Island of Guernsey, they inform her they’re taking a “much needed” three month vacation… and she is charged with looking after the ninety-year-old grandfather she barely knows and fears a little.

Surprised but not shocked by her selfish parents, Lucy feels she’ll never be free of her dark depression. However, life begins to brighten for her as she reconnects with old friends, makes new friends, and finds a loving relationship with her grandfather.

Now if she could just make sense of her connection to the woman in the two-hundred-year-old portrait that hangs in her bedroom.

Lucy learns the woman, Mary Carre, is a distant relative who not only lived in the same house, but Lucy now occupies her bedroom. As Lucy gets more and more glimpses into Mary’s sad and tragic life, she doesn’t know if she’s having visions, actually going back in time, or living a past life. But it doesn’t matter. She feels Mary is leading her to something and she’s determined to find out what.

One of the things I admired most in the story was as Lucy shared her experiences with others, no one called her crazy or bonkers even if they were skeptical. Perhaps it was owing to the lore of Guernsey, but people pulled together to support her instead of shunning her.

A compelling read, Her Previous Self has a great sense of balance with Lucy/Mary. While both women suffered through loss and tragedy, and Lucy’s glimpses into Mary’s life were heartbreaking, I believe Lucy became stronger for it, “seeing” Mary live in a time where having no agency over her life only deepened her misery. But, knowing recovery didn’t happen overnight, Lucy knew she could/would recover and make her own choices and decisions.

Excellent writing and pacing made this a one-sitting read that I do recommend!

Enjoy!

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SYNOPSIS

Two women, living two hundred years apart but closer than sisters.

Mary, miserable in her marriage to Thomas Carre, a merchant and privateer and living in the newly built family mansion in Georgian Guernsey.

Lucy, separated from her husband after a tragic loss and now acting as an unwilling sitter for her elderly grandfather, Gregory Carre, who has inherited the same mansion.

Lucy is haunted by Mary’s continued presence in the house and finds herself being pulled more and more back in time. How is it possible for her to live as Mary? To experience scenes from her tragic life? I forced Lucy to come to terms with Mary’s grief as well as her own.

The more enmeshed she becomes the more anxious Lucy is to discover the truth. Why is Mary still restless? What caused her mysterious disappearance two hundred years ago?

And can Lucy move on from her own loss to find happiness again?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  

Amazon US

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Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Her Previous Self (UK winner) or an e-copy for an international winner.

E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for the fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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#BlogTour “Her Previous Self” by Anne Allen

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Two women, living two hundred years apart but closer than sisters.

Mary, miserable in her marriage to Thomas Carre, a merchant and privateer and living in the newly built family mansion in Georgian Guernsey.

Lucy, separated from her husband after a tragic loss and now acting as an unwilling sitter for her elderly grandfather, Gregory Carre, who has inherited the same mansion.

Lucy is haunted by Mary’s continued presence in the house and finds herself being pulled more and more back in time. How is it possible for her to live as Mary? To experience scenes from her tragic life? I forced Lucy to come to terms with Mary’s grief as well as her own.

The more enmeshed she becomes the more anxious Lucy is to discover the truth. Why is Mary still restless? What caused her mysterious disappearance two hundred years ago?

And can Lucy move on from her own loss to find happiness again?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  

Amazon US

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Author Bio  Anne Allen

Anne Allen lives in Devon but originates from Rugby. Finding early on in life that she loved the sea she spent most of her adult years moving from one coast to another. Her happiest time was spent in Guernsey where she lived for nearly 14 years and her books are all set on that beautiful island. Until recently Anne was a psychotherapist but has now retired to write full time. So far she has published Dangerous Waters, Finding Mother, Guernsey Retreat, The Family Divided, Echoes of Time, The Betrayal, The Inheritance, and Her Previous Self, forming the Guernsey Novels series. The books focus on love, mystery, drama, and relationships. In her spare time, she dabbles in art and very occasionally housework.

 Social Media Links

Twitter  

Facebook: Personal

Author Page

Instagram

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Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Her Previous Self (UK winner) or an e-copy for an international winner.

E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for the fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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#BookReview “Love Me Tender” by Lorraine Mace

 

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5/5 Stars!

Always a pleasure to sit down with my guy, Paolo Sterling, even when he’s off his game.

The former DI is now Detective Chief Inspector but doesn’t feel any of the pride and sense of accomplishment such promotions usually bring. It’s been six months since his protegee and good friend, DS Dave Johnson was murdered, and Paolo’s grief is as painful as the day it happened. And it doesn’t help that the man he holds most responsible for bullying and goading Dave, DC Jack Cummings, has a target on Paolo’s back.

However, what I love most about the DCI is he trudges on.

The drug overdose of one young woman and the murder of another who believed she was being stalked appear unconnected. But when another woman goes missing, Sterling and his team find links to all three women, a local nightclub, a popular gym… and far too many shady, drug-dealing characters who could all be killers.

When Jack is brutally attacked while on a voluntary stakeout of the nightclub, Paolo’s stress and guilt are only deepened. He detested the man but he didn’t wish that kind of harm on him.

The assault on Jack—and the misguided rantings of his boss—are gut punches to the DCI that serve to spur him on to resolve the investigations… and find the missing woman alive.

Lorraine Mace does a superb job of taking us inside the mind of a sociopath twisted by his upbringing.  Raised by his equally psychotic and abusive grandfather whom he hates and the submissive grandmother he adores, this murderer never stood a chance. He’s almost a sympathetic character, except for the kidnapping and killing part.

CC—DS Cathy Connors—is a standout as Paolo’s new “partner.” She knows Dave’s death is with her boss daily, and she knows when to push and when to give him space while still being a stellar investigator.

Lydia, the ex-wife is still around. Grrr.  She was a coworker of the murdered woman and the reason Paolo got involved even before they knew she’d been killed. The murder heightens their concern for their daughter, Katy, off volunteering in remote villages in Africa and out of touch for weeks at a time. However, even without all the arguing and blame-placing, I’m still not a Lydia-fan. Meh.

Rebounding from his assault, Jack’s continued lies and machinations only serve to tighten the noose around Sterling’s neck and threaten his job. But the pragmatic detective has grown weary of being the whipping boy and does what he does best… solve cases. As I said, he trudges on, but with a lighter step and his confidence back in place.

This is another great installment in the Sterling series that delivers!

Enjoy!

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IF HE WANTS YOU . . . THERE’S NO ESCAPE.

A brutal murder . . .

Responding to a tip-off, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Paolo Sterling arrives at an apartment block to find the dismembered body of a young woman. And with no indication of a break-in, all signs suggest the killer was known to her.

An abduction in plain sight . . .
Then the victim’s friend is snatched with no witnesses and the unanswered questions mount up.

At the same time, Sterling’s team are leading the surveillance of a local club, thought to be involved in a drug operation. But when one of his colleagues ends up in hospital close to death, Paolo begins to lose his grip.

A detective on the edge . . .
With the odds stacked against him, and time running out, can DCI Sterling uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will this case finally tip him over the edge?

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3vHyDxT

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/36WOjDg

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#BlogTour “Love Me Tender” by Lorraine Mace

Love Me Tender

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Love Me Tender Cover

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IF HE WANTS YOU . . . THERE’S NO ESCAPE.

A brutal murder . . .

Responding to a tip-off, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Paolo Sterling arrives at an apartment block to find the dismembered body of a young woman. And with no indication of a break-in, all signs suggest the killer was known to her.

An abduction in plain sight . . .
Then the victim’s friend is snatched with no witnesses and the unanswered questions mount up.

At the same time, Sterling’s team are leading the surveillance of a local club, thought to be involved in a drug operation. But when one of his colleagues ends up in hospital close to death, Paolo begins to lose his grip.

A detective on the edge . . .
With the odds stacked against him, and time running out, can DCI Sterling uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will this case finally tip him over the edge?

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3vHyDxT

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/36WOjDg

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Author Bio

Love Lorraine Mace

Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.

Author of the D.I. Sterling series of novels, Lorraine has been engaged in many writing-related activities. A columnist for Writing Magazine, she has recently stepped down from writing two columns for Writers’ Forum and also her role as head judge of the magazine’s monthly fiction competitions in order to concentrate on her own writing. She is currently writing two standalone psychological thrillers for Headline Accent.

She also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

Social Media Links

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

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#BookReview “Coldharbour” by John Mead

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5/5 Stars!

Matthew Merry is not a man to be envied. There are never enough hours in a day for a law enforcement officer to investigate crimes and bring in those responsible for a date with justice.

However, Merry’s life is not that simple.

As Chief Inspector of the Met Police’s Major Investigation Team, an uptick in crime has Merry buried in victims and bodies and very few answers. Only a few months in his new position, his pragmatic style does little to advance investigations into gang-related stabbings and a murdered housewife.

It also does little to comfort his wife, Kathy. The school administrator was drugged and raped by a coworker. Her trauma is exacerbated by the ensuing investigation and trial as another of her attacker’s victims severs all ties with the trial.

As with his job, Matthew’s efforts to support his wife fall short, and at times, seem halfhearted.

This is not to say Matthew Merry is cold, detached, or even a bad person.

He’s simply a deeply flawed man in over his head while fighting his demons and guilt.

Matthew does have flashes of clarity—and brilliance—as crimes become linked by victims and perpetrators. Those links will take the investigation outside the UK and find international connections to crimes Merry and his team never saw coming.

The strong writing of this slow build read kept me engaged and turning pages, and I appreciated how well-developed the characters were throughout the story. For me, it was as much a character analysis of Merry as it was excellent crime fiction. Though unexpected, the ending is satisfying… or is it a new beginning?

Enjoy!

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Synopsis

The Met Police’s Major Investigation Team East has its hands full: a rash of tit for tat gang related stabbings, a strangled housewife, the decomposed remains of a woman found in a ditch and more to come. Adding to their woes is their boss, Chief Inspector Matthew Merry, being distracted by his problems at home.

For Matthew’s wife, Kathy, her only concern is dealing with the aftermath of being drugged and raped by a co-worker. Will the trial of the man responsible be enough to give her the justice she demands. Or, as her therapist states, is it revenge she really desires. She doesn’t know. As her emotions see-saw from elation to depression, her only certainty is that her husband seems more concerned about his work than her.

And Matthew is only too aware of his failings both at home and work. But the police machine grinds on, seeking information and sifting evidence — justice is not their concern.

Purchase Links  

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Amazon US  

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#5DayMiniBlogBlitz “Coldharbour” by John Mead

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The Met Police’s Major Investigation Team East has its hands full: a rash of tit for tat gang related stabbings, a strangled housewife, the decomposed remains of a woman found in a ditch and more to come. Adding to their woes is their boss, Chief Inspector Matthew Merry, being distracted by his problems at home.

For Matthew’s wife, Kathy, her only concern is dealing with the aftermath of being drugged and raped by a co-worker. Will the trial of the man responsible be enough to give her the justice she demands. Or, as her therapist states, is it revenge she really desires. She doesn’t know. As her emotions see-saw from elation to depression, her only certainty is that her husband seems more concerned about his work than her.

And Matthew is only too aware of his failings both at home and work. But the police machine grinds on, seeking information and sifting evidence — justice is not their concern.

Purchase Links  

Amazon UK   

Amazon US  

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About John Mead

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John was born in the mid-fifties in Dagenham, London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub, he writes.

John is currently working on a series of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city

Amazon author profile

Goodreads Profile

Twitter

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#PublicationDayEvePromoPush “Midsummer Man” by Zelah Roberts

Midsummer Man

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Hostages of fate…rescued by love.

Holly Mason’s past has left her with many things—a powerful need for independence and self-reliance, enduring memories of pain and fear…and an intense dislike of alpha males.

Billionaire Sir Mac Sinclair has been wounded by the betrayal of his fiancée and overpowered by his own ultra-protective alpha-male instincts after his sister is kidnapped. He has no time for romance.

But when Mac meets Holly at the beautiful Midsummer Ball, fate intervenes. The irresistible, timeless magic of midsummer seduces them into stealing one stunning, secret night of passion together.

But one night is not enough… When danger threatens, Mac and Holly are forced back together. Can they confront the traumas of the past and learn to trust each other to overcome the dangers of the present?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  

Amazon US  

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Author Bio  

Zelah Roberts can usually be found with her head in a book, and more often than not, that book will be a romance. Writing a novel was always her number 1 ambition, and eventually, with Midsummer Man (released on 15 June 2021) it became a reality.

When not absorbed in the latest enthralling page-turner, Zelah enjoys cooking for family and friends and taking long walks in the beautiful English countryside. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and is working towards an MA in Creative Writing.

Zelah lives in Durham, UK, with her partner and son.

Social Media Links  

Website

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Instagram

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#BookReview “The Web They Wove (Tangled Web, Book 2)” by Catherine Yaffe


5/5 Stars!

Book two of the Tangled Web Series focuses not only on the brutal kidnappings and murders of young women but also on DI Andrew “Ziggy” Thorne and his Major Investigations team.

The team is barely finished with one case when they start the next one… the body of a murdered young woman found in the park. Evidence proves the woman was killed in the park and her body left in a spot where it would be found quickly.

Progress is slow as leads are few. Ziggy is frustrated. Though his team is held in high regard in the department, it doesn’t stop his micromanaging boss from breathing down his neck, threatening to bring in another homicide team.

However, the stakes rise when another woman goes missing and she’s the best friend of the first victim.

Ziggy’s personal life isn’t ideal and his commitment to his job often gets in the way of spending time with his seven-year-old son. His ex-wife, Rachel, has no problem telling him what an awful father he is.

Deftly written, this read is written in multiple POVs, including the killer’s, who could not only be the poster child for mental illness but is just plain evil.

I enjoyed the satisfying ending until I was gobsmacked by the lead-in to book three. Are you kidding me? I need that book now! HA!

Great addition to the series! I’m definitely Team Ziggy!

Enjoy!

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Not all killers are who they first seem…

The mutilated body of a young female is found in a popular recreation ground in Leeds city centre. DI Ziggy Thornes and his team are at once assigned to close the case.

With little to no forensic evidence left at the scene at first Ziggy struggles to put the pieces together. When a second body turns up in the same place, Ziggy starts to feel the pressure from his bosses and the media as fear spreads through the city.

Realising that victims have been held captive prior to their deaths, Ziggy delves deeper and relentlessly chases down every lead, taking him close to breaking point.

When the investigation leads him dangerously close to home, will time run out before the tangled web of evil he’s uncovered destroys everything he holds dear?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  

Amazon US  




#BlogTour “The Web They Wove” by Catherine Yaffe


Not all killers are who they first seem..

The mutilated body of a young female is found in a popular recreation ground in Leeds city centre. DI Ziggy Thornes and his team are at once assigned to close the case.

With little to no forensic evidence left at the scene at first Ziggy struggles to put the pieces together. When a second body turns up in the same place, Ziggy starts to feel the pressure from his bosses and the media as fear spreads through the city.

Realising that victims have been held captive prior to their deaths, Ziggy delves deeper and relentlessly chases down every lead, taking him close to breaking point.

When the investigation leads him dangerously close to home, will time run out before the tangled web of evil he’s uncovered destroys everything he holds dear?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  

Amazon US  


Author Bio

Catherine Yaffe is a full-time writer of crime novels, based in the North of England. The Web They Wove is Catherine’s second novel and continues the theme of questioning how well we know those around us. Her debut novel The Lie She Told in October ‘20 was received with widespread acclaim, and so far, has gained over 50 five star reviews across Goodreads and Amazon.

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#BookReview “Dr. Glass: A psychologically layered story of revenge and grief (Glass Minds Series Book 1)” by Louise Worthington

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4/5 Stars!

This quirky, psychological read kept me turning pages as I tried to decide who was more broken, doctor or patient.

Emma-Jane Glass is a by-the-book psychologist. She has a true desire to help others deal with trauma and loss, but her determination to always maintain a disconnected, professional distance from her patients is over-the-top and she comes off as cold and clinical.

However, when she feels a mother who kills her young son and herself is being villainized, she pens an article sympathetic to the mother she feels is misunderstood. While she means well, I believe it shows Emma-Jane possesses her own streak of narcissism… or arrogance at the very least. Unfortunately, the doctor has no moderate switch, so when she goes in the other direction, it doesn’t end well.

After losing his wife and son in a similar fashion, Drew Rogers sees the article and plots to become Emma-Jane’s patient to kidnap and fix her backward thinking.

I felt bad for Drew… at first but then realized if I looked up narcissist in the dictionary, he’d be there. Nothing is his fault. Ever. He’s always the victim. Even the deaths of his wife and child are something that was done to him. When he takes Emma-Jane hostage, these two are an accident looking for a place to happen.

I was also sympathetic to AJ, one of Drew’s handymen, until I wasn’t. He and Kat, a young woman Drew has a fling with, and another narcissist, got off much too easily.

The story’s bright spot for me is Lucy, a longtime friend of Emma-Jane’s who sets up her first office as a nutritionist in Emma-Jane’s building.

While the young woman needs to work on her self-confidence, especially after she’s shaken by the death of a patient’s boyfriend, she’s still the only one in the story with a clue.

For a story that does not include a serial killer, Dr. Glass has a high body count. I’m looking forward to book 2. What else could happen?

An excellent start to a new series!

Enjoy!

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Clinical psychologist Dr Emma-Jane Glass falls for her captor when the roles of client and therapist are reversed in a psychologically layered story of revenge and grief. Is it a case of Stockholm Syndrome, or something else?

When Dr Emma-Jane Glass’ interview on local radio is deemed to be sympathetic towards a mother’s actions to kill herself and young child, Drew Rogers hatches a plan to teach the psychologist a thing or two about being left behind as a spouse. Abducted and held captive in an empty property, Dr Glass swaps places in the psychologist’s chair.

Drew puts the motivation of his wife’s actions down to his extra-marital affairs, but then the sordid truth behind his family’s disappearance is revealed.

Hard-hitting and emotional, Dr Glass is the first novel in the Glass Minds Series from the author of Rachel’s Garden, The Entrepreneur, Willow Weeps and Rosie Shadow.

Kindle Unlimited

Purchase Links

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