The Boy with the Blue Trousers by Carol Jones

Welcome to my stop on the #blogtour for The Boy with the Blue Trousers by Carol Jones.  Apologies for my belated posting – I was recently struck down by a nasty virus and am only just beginning to feel vaguely human again!

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Synopsis

On the goldfields of 19th-century Australia, two very different girls are trying to escape their past.

1856, China.

In the mulberry groves of the Pearl River Delta, eighteen-year-old Little Catcarries a terrible secret. And so, in disguise as a boy in blue trousers, she makes the long and difficult passage to Australia, a faraway land of untold riches where it is said the rivers run with gold.

1857, Australia.

Violet Hartley has arrived off the boat from England, fleeing scandal back home. Like the Chinese immigrants seeking their fortunes on the goldfields, Violet is seduced by the promise of a new frontier. Then she meets Little Cat, a woman who, like her, is trying to escape her past.

As their fates inextricably, devastatingly entwine, their story becomes one of freedom, violence, love and vengeance, echoing across the landscapes of two great continents.

My Thoughts

Firstly, I have to mention the cover of this novel because it is simply stunning!  A gorgeous mix of blues and greens and exotic wildlife; it’s quite something!

I jumped at the chance to read and review The Boy in the Blue Trousers purely because the premise sounded so wonderful.  Happily I was not disappointed and raced through it in record time.

Jones’ meticulous research shines though in the details of this story; I found myself fully transported to both China and Australia and completely captivated by the decadent descriptions of both landscapes.

An inspiring tale of courage and hope; this was a throughly enjoyable and engrossing read, which will stay with me for some time.

A delightful blend of exquisite writing and a mesmerising story, The Boy in the Blue Trousers is a wonderful piece of historical fiction and I look forward to reading whatever Jones offers up next.

The Boy with the Blue Trousers is out now in paperback and you can buy it here

My thanks go to Lauren Tavella and Head of Zeus for my invitation to the #blogtour and also for my gorgeous finished copy of the book.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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Stay Mad, Sweetheart by Heleen Kist

Welcome to my stop on the #blogtour for Stay Mad, Sweetheart by Heleen Kist.  I was intrigued by the premise of this book and was delighted to be invited to review it!

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Synopsis

THERE’S A FINE LINE BETWEEN INNOCENCE AND GUILT. AN EVEN FINER LINE BETWEEN JUSTICE AND REVENGE.

Data scientist Laura prefers the company of her books to the real world – let alone that cesspit online. But when her best friend Emily becomes the victim of horrific cyberbullying, she makes it her all-engulfing mission to track down the worst culprits.

Petite corporate financier Suki is about to outshine the stupid boys at her firm: she’s leading the acquisition of Edinburgh’s most exciting start-up. If only she could get its brilliant, but distracted, co-founder Laura to engage.
Event planner Claire is left to salvage the start-up’s annual conference after her colleague Emily fails to return to work. She’s determined to get a promotion out of it, but her boss isn’t playing ball.

As the women’s paths intertwine, the insidious discrimination they each face comes to light. Emboldened by Emily’s tragic experience, they join forces to plot the downfall of all those who’ve wronged them.
But with emotions running high, will the punishments fit the crimes?

My Thoughts

Hot off the heels of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Kist cleverly creates a smart tale of everyday sexism, discrimination and harassment, which is thought provoking yet remarkably easy to devour.

Pacy and well plotted; I was totally gripped by this book and Kist’s powerful and empowering prose coursed right through my veins; making for an emotional rollercoaster of a read.

The cast of likeable yet believable characters really adds to the appeal of this book; I found myself captivated by Laura, Suki, Claire (and Emily) and utterly consumed by Edinburgh’s techie world.  With twists and turns galore, I defy anyone not to become addicted to this devastatingly topical story.

Kist is a new author (to me) and until I read Stay Mad, Sweetheart, I had heard very little about her and her work.  Well if this gem of a book is anything to go by, I’ll definitely be reading her first and eagerly anticipating her next!

This is an exhilarating story which really slaps you in the face and wakes you up to the reality so many women face on a daily basis.

Stay Mad, Sweetheart is a dizzyingly relevant read; if you only read one #MeToo book then make sure it’s this one.

Stay Mad, Sweetheart is out now in paperback and you can buy it here

My thanks go to Dylan Thomson of Red Dog Press for my invitation to the #blogtour and also for my stunning finished copy in exchange for my honest review.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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I Will Miss You Tomorrow by Heine Bakkeid

Here’s my late #blogtour stop for I Will Miss You Tomorrow by Heine Bakkeid.  I was rather inconveniently struck down with a head cold a few days ago and normal service is only just resuming!  I loved this Scandi-Noir and I hope you do too!

Synopsis

The first in a new Norwegian crime series featuring disgraced ex-Chief Inspector Thorkild Aske, a damaged man with a complicated past

Fresh out of prison and a stint in a psychiatric hospital, disgraced ex-policeman Thorkild Aske only wants to lose himself in drugged dreams of his beloved Frei. Wild, unknowable Frei. The woman he loved. The woman he has lost forever.

Yet when Frei’s young cousin goes missing off the Norwegian coast and Thorkild is called in by the family to help find him, dead or alive, Thorkild cannot refuse. He owes them this.

Tormented by his past, Thorkild soon finds himself deep in treacherous waters. He’s lost his reputation – will he now lose his life?

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My Thoughts

What a surprise this book has turned out to be!  I knew nothing about it other than that the premise sounded intriguing and BOY did this book deliver!

I was totally captivated by this dark, atmospheric and creepy book from the first chapter.  I read it in less than four sittings and was so engrossed in the haunting prose that I lost track of time on a number of those occasions!

I Will Miss You Tomorrow is a fantastic piece of crime fiction; an absolutely mesmerising debut.  Complex, and at times gruesome, this tense Nordic Noir made me thoroughly uncomfortable and I felt totally on edge throughout it.  I am genuinely astounded at how brilliant this debut is.

Dark, powerful and at times, twisted; I found I Will Miss You Tomorrow to be a fascinating read and I can’t wait for the next installment of this brand new series.  If you like your crime fiction darker than dark, then this book is for you!

I Will Miss You Tomorrow is our now in paperback and you can order it here

My thanks go to Ella Harold of Bloomsbury Publishing for my invitation to the #blogtour and also for my proof copy in exchange for my honest review.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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There’s Something About Darcy by Gabrielle Malcolm

Welcome to my stop on the #blogtour for There’s Something About Darcy by Gabrielle Malcolm.  I’m reading and reviewing this wonderful study as part of #NonfictionNovember, check out my thoughts below!

Synopsis

For some, Colin Firth emerging from a lake in that clinging wet shirt is one of the most iconic moments in television. What is it about the two-hundred-year-old hero that we so ardently admire and love?

Dr Malcolm examines Jane Austen’s influences in creating Darcy’s potent mix of brooding Gothic hero, aristocratic elitist and romantic Regency man of action. She investigates how he paved the way for later characters like Heathcliff, Rochester and even Dracula, and what his impact has been on popular culture over the past two centuries. For twenty-first century readers the world over have their idea of the ‘perfect’ Darcy in mind when they read the novel and will defend their choice passionately.

In this insightful and entertaining study, every variety of Darcy jostles for attention: vampire Darcy, digital Darcy, Mormon Darcy and gay Darcy. Who does it best and how did a clergyman’s daughter from Hampshire create such an enduring character?

A must-read for every Darcy and Jane Austen fan.

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My Thoughts

To my shame, I don’t read nearly enough nonfiction, so when the opportunity to read this book arose – I jumped at the chance.  I am one of those people who loves (and wants to marry) all things Austen and Mr. Darcy, in my eyes is Mr. Perfect *.

I thoroughly enjoyed Malcom’s clever and persuasive arguments and analysis of the various incarnations of Mr. Darcy together with her later discussions of how he influenced other famous literary heroes.  This book serves as a wonderful reminder of just how enduring Darcy’s character has been and delves into the longevity of his appeal.

This was a truly engrossing examination of my favourite fictional hero;  and I shall be purchasing multiple copies as Christmas gifts for a few fellow Darcy-lovers!

There’s Something About Darcy is a fascinating, richly detailed, and thought provoking study of one of my favourite fictional heroes.

One to be consumed slowly so as to savour all of the minutiae; this beautiful exploration of one of literature’s best loved characters is an absolute must read for any self-confessed Austenite!  I’ll certainly be dipping back into it in the future.

There’s Something About Darcy is out now in paperback and you can order it here

My thanks go to Hannah Groves of Endeavour Media for my invitation to the #blogtour and also for my proof copy and additional goodies in exchange for my honest review.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

*Please do not tell Mr. Cooke that I said this.

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Violet by SJI Holliday

Today it’s my stop on the #blogtour for Violet by SJI Holiday  and I’m delighted to share my thoughts with you on this creepy read!

Synopsis

When two strangers end up sharing a cabin on the Trans-Siberian Express, an intense friendship develops, one that can only have one ending … a nerve-shattering psychological thriller from bestselling author SJI Holliday

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is also desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

A tense and twisted psychological thriller about obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships, Violet also reminds us that there’s a reason why mother told us not to talk to strangers…

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My Thoughts

Well, where to start with this book?  If you’re looking for a read that takes you right out of your comfort zone, then look no further than Violet!

Engrossing from the very first page; I lost count of the number of times I wanted to shake the book to stop the two women from making questionable decisions re: lifts etc.  I was also captivated by the characters from very early on; an unreliable narrator is always a firm favourite with me and the creepy undertones in this book made for a very unsettling read.

I thoroughly enjoyed the clever inclusion of social media and emails; it added to the drama and gave the story a “real-time’ edge.

Cryptic, toxic and seriously sinister; I found Violet to be so compelling that I read it in just two sittings.  This is a book that genuinely left me reeling.

Violet is a tense, claustrophobic, hold-your-breath-and-and-forget-to breath book.  An absolute must read psychological thriller that will test your nerves and twist your gut with anxiety!

Violet is our now in paperback and you can order it here

My thanks go to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my invitation to the #blogtour and also to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books for my proof copy in exchange for my honest review.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis

It’s my stop on the #blogtour for The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis and I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on this beautiful book.

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Synopsis

Yorkshire 1845

A young woman has gone missing from her home, Chester Grange, leaving no trace, save a large pool of blood in her bedroom and a slew of dark rumours about her marriage. A few miles away across the moors, the daughters of a humble parson, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified, yet intrigued.

Desperate to find out more, the sisters visit Chester Grange, where they notice several unsettling details about the crime scene: not least the absence of an investigation. Together, the young women realise that their resourcefulness, energy and boundless imaginations could help solve the mystery – and that if they don’t attempt to find out what happened to Elizabeth Chester, no one else will.

The path to the truth is not an easy one, especially in a society which believes a woman’s place to be in the home, not wandering the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril…

My Thoughts

I jumped at the chance to read this book early; I am a great lover of historical fiction and I adore anything to do with the Bronte sisters – with the added whodunit thrown in, this was the perfect read for me!

The Vanished Bride is a wonderfully immersive read and with beautifully crafted characters; Charlotte, Emily and Anne were so vivid and vivacious; they almost felt like friends.  Breaking down boundaries and overcoming obstacles in every chapter, the three sisters slung aside all expectations placed on them as women of their time and it felt so liberating!

Whilst this is a fictional tale, the amount of research that the author has conducted is satisfyingly evident, as is her love of the Bronte sisters; making the book all the more enjoyable.

I love slowly immersing myself and savouring historical fiction, but here the added crime and mystery elements made for a gripping read indeed!  I was itching to pick up and continue this book at every opportunity.

The Vanished Bride is a charming, cozy, and beautifully written piece of historical fiction; the perfect autumnal read!  I can’t wait to revisit the Bronte sisters in the next instalment of this delightful series.

The Vanished Bride is out now in gorgeous hardcover you can buy it here

My thanks go to Steven Cooper and Hodder & Stoughton for my invitation to the #blogtour and also for my gorgeous copy of the book (plus the subsequent finished copy – which I’ll be giving away on my instagram account at some point – @mrscookesbooks).

If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

It’s my stop on the #blogtour for So Lucky today and I am thrilled to be sharing my thoughts with you!

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Synopsis

Fearless, frank and for anyone who’s ever doubted themselves, So Lucky is the straight-talking new novel from the Sunday Timesbestseller.

IS ANYONE’S LIFE . . .

Beth shows that women really can have it all.
Ruby lives life by her own rules.
And then there’s Lauren, living the dream.

AS PERFECT AS IT LOOKS?

Beth hasn’t had sex in a year.
Ruby feels like she’s failing.
Lauren’s happiness is fake news.

And it just takes one shocking event to make the truth come tumbling out…

The bold and brilliant new novel from Dawn O’Porter, the bestselling author of The Cows.

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My Thoughts

What a book! I’ve been looking forward to reading So Lucky for a while and I haven’t been disappointed; I lost count of the number of times I snorted out loud with laughter whilst turning the pages!

Accurate to a tee; So Lucky is a searingly relevant read.  I found myself continually nodding in agreement as I read about Beth, Ruby and Lauren.  It’s fiendishly funny yet thought provoking in terms of the perception we have of ourselves, and SO full of sass!

This book oozes power with its cast of three fantastic women, and their stories were both honest and touching, producing a compelling tale which is absolutely made for binge reading.

I found So Lucky to be hilariously addictive and scintillatingly smutty! Bravely bearing filth on almost every page  – this book is not for the prudish!

So Lucky is wickedly witty, side-splittingly funny and deliciously dirty; a joyous romp of a book which will be enjoyed by many.

So Lucky is out now in hardcover and you can buy it here

My thanks go to Elizabeth Dawson of Harper Collins UK for my stunning finished copy and also for the invitation to the tour.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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