Stacking the Shelves #4 (30 January 2016)

Stacking the Shelves, is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is about sharing the books which have been acquired – whether paper books, e-books, ARC’s, books bought or borrowed.

I didn’t have time to prepare a post last week so this one covers two weeks and I have some lovely books to share.

Paper books purchased:

Pub. 28 Jan.  I love Lucy’s books anyway and this hardcover is just so gorgeous to look at with its shimmery cover, I just had to have it.

Rachel and Becca aren’t real sisters, or so they say. They are stepsisters, living far apart, with little in common. Rachel is the successful one: happily married with three children and a big house, plus an impressive career. Artistic Becca, meanwhile, lurches from one dead-end job to another, shares a titchy flat, and has given up on love.  The two of them have lost touch, but when Rachel doesn’t come home one night, Becca is called in to help.  Once there, she quickly realizes that her stepsister’s life is not so perfect after all: Rachel’s handsome husband has moved out, her children are rebelling, and her glamorous career has taken a nosedive. Worst of all, nobody seems to have a clue where she might be.  As Becca begins to untangle Rachel’s secrets, she is forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about her own life, and the future seems uncertain.  But sometimes happiness can be found in the most unexpected places . . .

Pub 28 Jan.  I’ve seen this mentioned on Twitter so much and have had my eye on it for ages.  Another I’m really looking forward to reading.

How do you escape what you can’t remember?  She can run. But can she hide?  Helen Graham is a new arrival in a tiny Yorkshire village, renting dilapidated Wildfell Hall. The villagers are intensely curious – what makes her so jumpy and why is she so evasive?  Their interest is Helen’s worst nightmare. Looking over her shoulder every day, she tries to piece together her past before it can catch up with her.  With everything she knows in fragments, from her marriage to her career as a war photographer, how can she work out who to trust and what to believe?  Most days she can barely remember who she is…

The hardback came out last year but this was published in paperback on 28 Jan. I was lucky enough to receive a proof copy last year of this lovely book and reviewed it here.  I was attending a book launch for Jill Mansell and knew that Rowan Coleman would be there and bought myself a paperback copy which Rowan kindly signed for me (she also signed my hardback of The Memory Book so I was a very happy bunny).

Stella Carey exists in a world of night. Married to an ex-soldier, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the scars and the secrets he carries.   During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones – some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret or pain – and promises to post these messages after their deaths.  Until one night Stella writes the letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time…

On holiday with family and her adoring fiance, Jed, Emily couldn’t be happier. But overnight, the idyllic trip turns into a waking nightmare when one of the group is found dead in what appears to be a terrible accident. The devastated party returns to London to cope with their loss while trying to resume their normal lives. But new revelations shed a shocking light on the holiday tragedy and set Emily on a perilous journey to discover the truth about what happened.  Soon a terrifying series of threats and lies bring her face to face with the dark truths at the heart of her family – and into life-threatening danger…

When Rosa and Bee get together in the run-up to Bee’s wedding, they reminisce about the holiday they took together as teenagers to the beautiful Greek island of Paros. They remember the sandy coves, the guest house in the converted windmill where they stayed with their friend Iona, and the gorgeous local men. As memories of that long-forgotten holiday resurface, they are forced to confront the turns their lives have taken – and the guilt they both feel about letting Iona slip away from them. When they learn that the windmill guest house is going bust they form a plan: why not go back to the island and take it over themselves? And so begins a life-changing journey – because it turns out that opening a guest house and reliving their teenage dreams isn’t that easy …Full of romance and friendship, love and life, laughter and tears, The Beachside Guest House is an uplifting novel about the magic of starting over with friends by your side.

This signed hardback is a recent ebay win from a charity auction set up to raise funds for #BooksforHebden. 

In the aftermath of the Great War, the de Witt family are struggling to piece together the shattered fragments of their lives.  Rudolf and his wife Verena, still reeling from the loss of their second son, don’t know how to function in the post-war world. Stoneythorpe Hall has become an empty shell with no servants to ensure its upkeep.  Celia, the de Witt’s youngest daughter, is still desperate to spread her wings and see more of the world. To escape Stoneythorpe and the painful secrets that lie there, she moves to London and embraces life and love in the Roaring Twenties.

Kindle books purchased:

Pub 28 Jan.  I’ve had this on pre-order for a few months. 
So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James.   When Leah Oliphant-Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad, humiliated and afraid: there is an online video of her, drunkenly performing a sex act in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.  Ruth Oliphant-Brotheridge, mother of the girls, successful court judge, is furious. How could this have happened? How can she bring justice to these men who took advantage of her dutiful, virginal daughter? What role has Leah played in all this? And can Ruth find Su and bring her back home when Su doesn’t want to be found?

Pub 28 Jan.  This is another that I’ve had on pre-order for some time.
If you lost everything in one night, what would you do?  Saffron is studying for a promising career in medicine until a horrific accident changes her life for ever. Needing to escape London, she moves to a small coastal town to live with her mother. Saffron hates the small town existence and feels trapped until she meets Joe, another outsider. Despite initial misgivings, they grow closer to each other as they realise they have a lot in common. Like Saffron, Joe has a complicated past … one that’s creeping up on his present. Can Joe escape his demons for long enough to live a normal life – and can Saffron reveal the truth about what really happened on that fateful night? Love is the one thing they need most, but will they – can they – risk it?  Redemption Song is a captivating, insightful look at what happens when everything goes wrong – and the process of putting the pieces back together again.

I’ve seen so many 5* reviews for this book recently that I eventually succumbed.  It’s written by a former Scotland Yard investigator who worked on, amongst other cases, the July 7 bombings. July 2005: in the midst of Operation Theseus, the largest police investigation that the UK has ever known, Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan begins to ask difficult questions that lead to the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend and his sudden suspension from the Metropolitan Police.  Who masterminded London’s summer of terror?   Why can’t Flannagan make headway in the sprawling investigation?  Is Jake’s absent girlfriend really who she claims to be? While hunting for the answers to the most complex case in British history, one man will uncover the greatest criminal deception of our time.  Terror, extremism and fear of the unknown, Sometimes the answer is much closer to home.

This was bought purely to replace a large hardback as I had to make some room on my shelves!  

Kendall Deaton pulls herself and her baby out of a wrecked car, and a mixture of courage and fear gets her to the top of a ravine, where she flags down help. But she doesn’t dare reveal her true identity or that of her amnesiac passenger to the authorities. Instead, she plans her immediate escape. Her perilous flight begins.  The best public defender in Prosper, South Carolina, Kendall had stumbled upon the town’s chilling secret–and her marriage to one of the town’s most powerful men became a living hell. Her only hope for survival is to flee. Now Kendall is a terrified mother trying to save her child’s life…a reluctant witness who knows too much about an insidious evil…and a woman who knows too little about her own heart. 

I saw this recommended by another book blogger and as it was free on Amazon (and still is as at 30/1/16), I had to click!

A relentless thriller that will grip you by the throat and refuse to let go.  You’ve never met anyone like Tuesday. She has suffered extreme cruelty at the hands of men, and so has taken it upon herself to seek vengeance. She wants to protect and help others like her, to ease their suffering. A force to be reckoned with, she lives beneath the streets of London in the hidden network of forgotten tunnels that honeycomb the city – and this is her preferred hunting ground.  When Tuesday is connected to a series of brutal attacks on gang members, DCI Loss takes on the investigation. A burned-out detective still suffering the devastating effects of the unsolved murder of his daughter three years earlier, the case starts to hit close to home. Because soon Loss will discover that Tuesday could hold the key to uncovering the truth about what happened to his daughter…

This was another book blogger recommendation and is currently only 99p to download. 

Kate Harris, a lecturer in her late thirties, is attacked in her home and left for dead. The assault and the hate letters she starts to receive bring to light the past she longs to leave behind, a past which includes the son she chose to give away.   What happens to Kate also affects the people she counts as friends and colleagues. She has loved her best friend, Nicky, for a long time but Nicky is happily married with two young children, and Kate is determined never to damage the lives of those she cares for.   However, when she makes the decision to contact the father of her son, Kate sets in motion a series of terrifying events she has no control over. Can she save herself and those she loves from the menacing enemy who stalks them?  Thorn in the Flesh was longlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Awards 2006. 

Paper books received:

I was lucky enough to win this in a recent Goodreads First Reads giveaway.  This is also one of the books in the Richard & Judy Spring Bookclub 2016.

When the mutilated body of a young woman is discovered, LAPD Detective Jessica Allen knows she’s seen this MO before.  A sadistic serial killer has been operating undetected for a decade, preying on lone female drivers who have broken down. The press dub the killer ‘the Samaritan’, but with no leads, the police investigation quickly grinds to a halt.  That’s when Carter Blake shows up to volunteer his services. He’s a skilled manhunter who shares some uncomfortable similarities to the man Allen and her team are tracking. As the slaughter intensifies, Blake must find a way to stop it . . . even if it means bringing his own past crashing down on top of him. 

I attended the launch party for Jill’s book on Thursday and a hardback was in the goody bag…and even better, I was able to get it signed!

On the morning of Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday, it’s time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.   Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum’s life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions.  Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again..

Books gifted:

A lovely fellow blogger kindly gave me her spare proof copy .   

Joan Seabrook, a fledgling archaeologist, has fulfilled a lifelong dream to visit Arabia by travelling from England to the ancient city of Muscat with her fiancé, Rory. Desperate to escape the pain of a personal tragedy, she longs to explore the desert fort of Jabrin, and unearth the treasures it is said to conceal.  But Oman is a land lost in time – hard, secretive, and in the midst of a violent upheaval – and gaining permission to explore Jabrin could prove impossible. Joan’s disappointment is only alleviated by the thrill of meeting her childhood heroine, pioneering explorer Maude Vickery, and hearing first-hand the stories that captured her imagination and fuelled her ambition as a child.  Joan’s encounter with the extraordinary and reclusive Maude will change everything. Both women have things that they want, and secrets they must keep. As their friendship grows, Joan is seduced by Maude’s stories, and the thrill of the adventure they hold, and only too late does she begin to question her actions – actions that will spark a wild, and potentially disastrous, chain of events.  Will the girl that left England for this beautiful but dangerous land ever find her way back?

That’s my latest haul of books, have you read any of these?


8 thoughts on “Stacking the Shelves #4 (30 January 2016)”

  • Great choices, have only read 3 of them which 2 were 5 star reads and one was a 4 and have the Jill Mansell one to read. Look forward to seeing what you think of them.

  • I don't know where time goes, I was sent a copy of the Jill Mansell a while ago and I thought I'd give it a go as there was months to get round to it…but nope, still sat on my shelves. I used to read a lot of her books but have't in ages, so interested to see how much they've changed.

    • I know that feeling well Ellie. I tend to prioritise by publishing date thinking I've got ages to review them but they end up getting left behind. I've loved most of Jill's books over the years but her latest ones in particular have 'grown up'. I hope you enjoy this one, I can recommend her previous one, Three Amazing Things About You.

  • Oh My! So many great looking choices, there isn't one on here that would be turned away from my bookshelf – I'm particularly looking forward to reading Viral – Helen Fitzgerald has wowed me so far and this one sounds just as good.

I do love to read any comments 😊

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