Title: The Hawthorne Legacy

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s UK

The Blurb

Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Inheritance Games perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary. 

With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, family intrigue, swoonworthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy will thrill Jennifer Lynn Barnes fans and new readers alike.

The Review

When I read The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes I knew I had read something special. So much so that I was willing to forgo my avoidance of book series and fully invest in Avery Grambs story. As soon as I had finished The Inheritance Games I pre-ordered the sequel – The Hawthorne Legacy. I hoped that I would enjoy it just as much as the first in the series. I was not disappointed.

The story follows on from The Inheritance Games. We follow Avery and the four Hawthorne brothers as they try to solve the puzzle as to why they had been disinherited and Avery – a stranger – was left it all.

With more danger and drama than The Inheritance Games, Jennifer Lynn Barnes has cleverly begun to slowly peel away at the clues from the original and woven them seamlessly into The Hawthorne Legacy. There are jaw-dropping moments when you realise this. Your brain starts to hurt with just how clever Jennifer Lynn Barnes is at creating mystery and thriller.

Needless to say I loved The Hawthorne Legacy and hope beyond hope that there is a third in the series.

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is available now.

For more information regarding Jennifer Lynn Barnes (@jenlynnbarnes) please visit www.jenniferlynnbarnes.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Random House Children’s UK (@penguinrandom) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.com.

Title: Dead Head

Author: CJ Skuse

Pages: 480 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Victim. Murderer. Serial Killer. What next?

The third darkly comic thriller in the highly addictive Sweetpea series featuring serial killer Rhiannon Lewis.

‘Think Bridget Jones meets Killing Eve – only with better jokes’ Daily Mail

Can a serial killer ever lose their taste for murder?

Since confessing to her bloody murder spree Rhiannon Lewis, the now-notorious Sweetpea killer, has been feeling out-of-sorts.

Having fled the UK on a cruise ship to start her new life, Rhiannon should be feeling happy. But it’s hard to turn over a new leaf when she’s stuck in an oversized floating tin can with the Gammonati and screaming kids. Especially when they remind her of Ivy – the baby she gave up for a life carrying on killing.

Rhiannon is all at sea. She’s lost her taste for blood but is it really gone for good? Maybe Rhiannon is realising that there’s more to life than death…

The third book in the critically-acclaimed series following Sweetpea and In Bloom featuring everyone’s favourite truly original girl-next-door serial killer Rhiannon Lewis.

The Review

I’m not one for reading book series. I find that they can be too much of a commitment however the Sweetpea series by CJ Skuse is one exception to this rule.

In Dead Head, the third installment, we find our psycho-protagonist Rhiannon Lewis on the lam. Running away from her old life and the chaos that she has caused whilst also dealing with the yearning ache for her child Ivy. We see her travel across the world to escape the storm of drama she has left and the debris of her crimes in the UK but we also know that Rhiannon cannot truly leave herself – her true self – behind. Will she kill again? Probably.

The third installment in this series is different from the first two in that we see a more introspective Rhiannon. This could be that it is told in the past/present tense. So looking back but told in the present tense. It is as though this gives us chance – and indeed Rhiannon – to consider her actions and gives us time to process them alongside her rather than seeing the red mist descend and then the chaos. This doesn’t make them any less bat crap crazy but it does give us time to think.

Rhiannon Lewis will probably be one of my most remembered protagonists in fiction. Her actions and her unshakable belief in vigilante justice has left a lasting impression and I am hoping that there will be more in this series.

Dead Head by CJ Skuse is available now.

For more information regarding CJ Skuse (@CJSkuse) please visit www.cjskuse.com.

For more information regarding (@HQStories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.

Title: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Author: Ian Fleming

Pages: 326 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

The eleventh novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.

In the aftermath of Operation Thunderball, Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s trail has gone cold-and so has 007’s love for his job. The only thing that can rekindle his passion is Contessa Teresa ‘Tracy’ di Vicenzo, a troubled young woman who shares his taste for fast cars and danger.

She’s the daughter of a powerful crime boss, and he thinks Bond’s hand in marriage may be the solution to all her problems. Bond’s not ready to settle down-yet-but if Tracy’s father can lead him to Blofeld, he’ll consider it.

After tracking the SPECTRE chief to a stronghold in the Swiss Alps, Bond uncovers the details of Blofeld’s latest plot: a biological warfare scheme more audacious than anything the fiend has tried before. Now Bond must save the world once again-and survive Blofeld’s last, very personal, act of vengeance. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

I’m not a fan of the James Bond movies. Actually, if I am really honest, I have never watched one in its entirety but I get the feeling that they are not for me. However, I decided to give one of the books a try because I didn’t want to be too judgemental without cause to back it up. Maybe I just prefer books to movies.

What I found was this: the books haven’t aged aged well. They are quite mysogenistic and I really don’t think glib conversations about rape really endear a reader to the characters.

However, taken as an action thriller and removing sexual abuse I can see why the books (and I guess the movies) have such a following. They are fast paced, have clear discernible villains and heroes and as a reader you have the clear knowledge that you know the hero will win.  It is is the knowledge that you know that the story will end well that makes readers (and viewers) enjoy the stories. The knowledge that they good guy will win that makes it quite satisfying.

I have surprised myself by acknowledging that I would be willing to read more of the Bond, James Bond series.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming is available now.

For more information regarding Ian Fleming (@TheIanFleming) please visit www.ianfleming.com.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit wwww.penguin.co.uk.

Title: American Dirt

Author: Jeanine Cummins

Pages: 480 Pages

Publisher: Tinder Press

The Blurb

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.

Already being hailed as “a Grapes of Wrath for our times” and “a new American classic,” Jeanine Cummins’s American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

The Review

Wow.

It has been a good few years since I have read a book that has opened my eyes to a completely different way of life but man oh man American Dirt did that for me.

Whilst I am aware of the controversy that has surrounded the release of this title I am also aware that books of this ilk need to be written. And yes, author Jeanine Cummins may not get everything right and may have ruffled some feathers with her creation the alternative is that we never get a glimpse into other worlds.

I mean, isn’t that the point of literature? To make us more empathetic?

With American Dirt I felt the desperation of a situation that I couldn’t even begin to contemplate. A mother’s love, a journey across borders, chance encounters. It is a book of an epic journey.

I cannot recommend American Dirt enough. It is one of the strongest narratives that I have read in2020 so far.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins is available now.

For more information regarding Jeanine Cummins (@jeaninecummins) please visit www.jeaninecummins.com.

For more information regarding Tinder Press (@TinderPress) please visit www.headline.co.uk.

Title: The Dilemma

Author: B A Paris

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: HQ Stories

The Blurb

It’s Livia’s 40th birthday and she’s having the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding she never had. Everyone she loves will be there except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But although Livia loves Marnie, she’s secretly glad she won’t be at the party. She needs to tell Adam something about their daughter but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.

Adam wants everything to be perfect for Livia so he’s secretly arranged for Marnie to come home and surprise her on her birthday. During the day, he hears some terrible news. He needs to tell Livia, because how can the party go on? But she’s so happy, so excited – and the guests are about to arrive.

The Dilemma – how far would you go to give someone you love a last few hours of happiness?

One day that will change a family forever, The Dilemma is the breath-taking, heart-breaking new novel from the million-copy-selling, Sunday Times bestseller, B A Paris

The Review

Ooh this was a book with a difference. The Dilemma by BA Paris is a fascinating look at the responsibility of secrets and the duty that we have to those around us. It focuses on one family. Mum, Livia is about to turn 40; daughter, Marnie, is living abroad but is returning to surprise her mum; dad, Adam, is in cahoots with Marnie but is also finding his relationship with his son difficult. Alongside these characters lies the extended family who are also impacted by the secrets and lies.

In a weird sense nothing really happens in this book but equally lots of things happen. I think with the mix of one day of real time events with the series of flashbacks we get a fuller picture but nothing big or explosive happens throughout the majority of it which given that it is a thriller is something that we are expecting. It is exciting and keeps you on the edge of your seat but it is not a thriller in the sense of high speed and guns. However, it is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

The Dilemma by BA Paris is available now.

For more information regarding BA Paris (@BAParisAuthor) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ Stories (@HQStories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.