Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Book review: Heat Wave - Richard Castle (Nikki Heat #1)


A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light.

Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly best-selling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City's top homicide squads. She's hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York's Finest. PulitzerPrize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren't her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them. The one called heat. 

My opinion.
Although it was a slow start, I really enjoyed reading this book. I do love a good crime novel, and Heat Wave was far from predictable. Murder, robbery, forgery and passion all mixed into one. For the first part of the book I really had no idea where this 'murder mystery' was going. At one point - with all the blackout madness - it almost felt like the murder investigation was bumped to the backseat. When things started 'heating up' (wink wink), however, I had a hard time keeping track of the investigation and Nikki Heat's detective work. The entire scheme proved to be much more complicated and very well thought-out. 
The one thing that was missing though, was the chemistry between the characters. I felt there was an attempt at some funny "office banter", but it didn't really work for me. I didn't 'feel' their connection and I don't think there went enough energy in introducing the readers to the characters. They sort of just "turned up".
I am tempted though to read the other books in the series.
To find out what I thought of the book, compared to the tv series it is based on, click here.


TV-show: Heat Wave - Richard Castle


Castle is one of my favourite tv-shows so I was really excited to finally read all about Nikki Heat. From the very beginning of the book it was clear the four main characters, Kate, Castle, Ryan and Espo, were there, just under a different name. Although this got me really excited at first - since it felt like the start of an "all new Castle episode", I was disappointed , pretty early on, by the lack of chemistry. The Castle-Beckett magic just wasn't there, nor was the Ryan-Espo bromance. The banter wasn't as funny and the characters in the novel felt flat and impersonal. I didn't feel like I was reading Richard Castle's words, more like (good) fan fiction.
Read my book review for Heat Wave here.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Book review: A Very Coco Christmas - Robert Bryndza + GIVEAWAY


A Christmas Novella

It’s 1985, and eighteen-year-old Coco is home in London for Christmas after her first term at Aberystwyth University. She has started to write, and fallen hopelessly in love with Daniel Pinchard, a devilishly handsome musician from the wrong side of the river.

But Coco’s overbearing mother has other plans and resumes her campaign for Coco to meet and marry the ‘right sort of man’, preferably Kenneth, son of her best friends Adrian and Yvonne Rosebury, who will be joining them for Christmas. 

As snow falls softly over the city, and Coco tries to juggle a series of hilarious events, the stage is set for a Christmas lunch like no other. 

A Very Coco Christmas is a delicious, stand-alone ‘prequella’ to the smash-hit Coco Pinchard series, with a glorious cast of characters including Daniel’s mother Ethel, sister Meryl – and a turkey called Jean Paul Belmondo...

My opinion. I was delighted when Robert told me about A Very Coco Christmas. I'm a big Coco fan since reading The Consequences of Love and Sex, so I couldn't wait to join in on one of Coco's Christmases. And as to be expected from our beloved Coco, it was an... eventful Christmas. In this 'prequella' we see the start of 'Coco Pinchard' and I loved (re-?)meeting some key-characters, people who will stay in Coco's life long after this Christmas Lunch from Hell.
A runaway turkey, a horrible (and I mean HORRIBLE) mother, social hierarchy and snobs, snow and 80's London. Sit back and enjoy this charming and entertaining Christmas novella.



clip_image004About the Author
Robert Bryndza was born in the UK and lived in America and Canada before settling in Slovakia with his Slovak husband Ján. His debut novel The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard became an Amazon bestseller and two sequels have followedCoco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding and Coco PinchardThe Consequences of Love and Sex. A Very Coco Christmas, is a delightful introductory novella to the Coco Pinchard series.  When he’s not writing Rob is learning Slovak, trying to train two crazy dogs, or watching Grand Designs – all in the hope that he’ll be able to understand his mother-in-law, build his dream house, and get the dogs to listen.

Author Links

Robert Bryndza on Goodreads
Robert Bryndza on  Twitter @robertbryndza
Coco Pinchard on Twitter @CocoPinchard

The Very Coco Christmas Giveaway

Enter at the widget below to win a signed copy of A Very Coco Christmas, a limited edition Coco Christmas mug filled with chocolate sprouts, and a £25/$25 Amazon gift voucher

Big thank you to Rob, for asking me to read and review
A Very Coco Christmas and sending me a copy. I really enjoyed reading this festive 'prequella'.
Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Book review: The Vintage Girl - Hester Browne


When Evie Nicholson is asked to visit Kettlesheer Castle in Scotland to archive the family heirlooms, she jumps at the chance. Evie's passion for antiques means that, for her, the castle is a treasure trove of mysteries just waiting to be uncovered.

But in each heirloom lies a story, and in the course of her investigations Evie stumbles upon some long-buried family secrets. Add handsome, gloomy heir Robert McAndrew and a traditional candlelit gala to the mix, and Evie's heart is sent reeling with an enthusiasm that may just extend beyond the Kettlesheer silver... 

My opinion.
What a wonderful book. Everything from the blurb to the title and cover screamed "read me", and I loved every page of it. Evie is a wonderful, hopeless romantic who dreams her way through life. Until she ends up in this gorgeous Scottish castle where all her dreams and fantasies come to life.
I liked Evie from the very beginning. Hester Browne sketched some beautiful characters and I really enjoyed that she gave her readers the time to get to know all of them, and most importantly, to get to know Kettlesheer; I loved how nothing in the story-line or descriptions felt rushed.
The Vintage Girl is a charmingly romantic novel I couldn't recommend more! I'm already looking forward to reading more books by Hester Browne!


Book review: One Hundred Christmas Proposals - Holly Martin

The eagerly anticipated follow-up to One Hundred Proposals.

If you thought Harry & Suzie’s life couldn't get anymore sweepingly romantic than Harry asking her to marry him at the end of One Hundred Proposals – think again!

It’s Christmas in a snow-kissed London, and have vowed to carry out one hundred proposals in December. No easy task at the best of times - made even more complicated by Harry & Suzie trying to plan their first Christmas and a visit from the dreaded in-laws. But one hundred deliciously Christmassy proposals later they find themselves asking if everything is still perfect in their own relationship….

Welcome back to the divinely warm world of One Hundred Proposals – with a sprinkling of pure, joyful, festive magic.

Have yourself a very merry Christmas indeed with Holly Martin’s Christmas novella.

My opinion.
I fell head over heals in love with Harry, Suzie and their creative and romantic proposal ideas when I first read One Hundred Proposals. I was ecstatic when Holly contacted me about a CHRISTMAS novella! As if this wasn't romantic enough you had to throw in Christmas, did you?
One Hundred Christmas Proposals was just as magical, emotional and romantic as you'd expect it to be. Harry still found ways to surprise both us and Suzie and made all of us fall in love with him... all over again.
Holly Martin has just given every romantic out there the perfect Christmas read.


Thank you so much, Holly, for asking me to be a part of this tour.
I'm so in love with this perfect novella.
Happy Holidays!!! Love you.