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Tag: book review

One Wish In Manhatten by Mandy Baggot Book Review

As Bookouture Christmas comes into an end, I have a great review to leave you with. This is a lovely, romantic story which is just the Christmas tonic I needed. This a great book if you want a piece of escapism set in the magical […]

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin Book Review #BookoutureXmas

   Holly says this is the perfect book to curl up by the fire with, and I totally agree! Christmas at Lilac Cottage is a snowy whirlwind of romance and full of Christmas charm. I was able to read this book by taking part in […]

Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson #BookoutureXmas



First of all let me say Welcome to Bookouture Xmas! 

I was thrilled to be able to read an advance copy of Bella’s Christmas  Bake Off from Bookouture via Netgalley as part of the #BookoutureXmas event. Check back each day until 27th October when I will be revealing more book reviews, interviews and guest posts from all the Bookouture Christmassy authors, with added Christmas magic! Check out some of the other blogs taking part and catch them all on twitter: 


Back to Bella’s Christmas Bake Off: This is such a lovely, heartwarming story that is just perfect for Christmas! 


Here’s the Blurb:

Two best friends. One big lie. The best bake off EVER.

Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials. 

But this year things are going to be different. 

For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever. 

Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off… 

After winning a competition to appear on Bella’s TV show, Amy is going to make sure that for Bella and her viewers, this will definitely be a Christmas to remember… 


The Review

When Amy’s husband leaves her just before Christmas, she feels like her world has ended. She packs up the Christmas Tree and all the trimmings. Watching her old school friend, Bella, on the television, now a famous celebrity baker, she reminisces about their friendship and what led to them to end their friendship 10 years ago. As Amy watches Bella’s show, she starts to realise the recipes are all her Mothers! Amy then sets the wheels in motion to finally meet with Bella and discuss the events of 10 years ago, with many hilarious events along the way!

I genuinely laughed out loud reading Bella’s Christmas Bake Off. It was a lovely, relaxing read, and one that really cheered me up. It has the perfect recipe of laughter, happiness and a little romance thrown in. It really gave me a Christmassy feel, and I would’ve loved a slice of Christmas Cake to eat along with it!

I liked the fact the book was about friendship, and that even when you haven’t seen a friend for a long time, even years, as soon as you meet them again, it’s like you pick up where you left off! I have so many friends I am not able to see regularly, and I definitely know it’s so easy to get back into the friendship again even after a long time apart. Christmas is a time when we  can meet up with old friends, and traditionally a time when we may try and put the past behind us.

The book talks about all different recipes for christmas, and baking with family at Christmas time. It reminded me that I used to love watching my Mum bake the Christmas cake, and all the exciting Christmas biscuits and mince pies I used to help with. I felt like getting in the kitchen and starting to make one myself.

The book has a few surprises within it, and the plot flowed nicely. I could definitely empathise with Amy, even though her character is a little older than me. The situation that Amy finds herself in, and the issues she faces, I think we can all associate with. Oh, and Cake. We can all empathise with Cake! 

I loved having a glimpse into the life of a TV star and how TV shows are made, we get a behind the scenes look at Bella’s Bake Off and it’s a real eye opener! Makes you wonder what they really get up to on The Great British Bake Off and other shows!

I absolutely loved this book, it is a fab Christmas read and I highly recommend it. I give Bella’s Christmas Bake Off 5 Stars.

Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson is published by Bookouture and is released TODAY! Available on Amazon

The Author


Sue Watson

Sue Watson was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before leaving it all behind for a career in TV. As a producer with the BBC she worked on garden makeovers, kitchen takeovers and daytime sofas – all the time making copious notes so that one day she might escape to the country and turn it all into a book.

After much deliberation and copious consumption of cake, Sue eventually left her life in TV to write. After a very successful debut novel, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes, Sue signed with Bookouture and has gone on to write four fabulous books.

Check back tomorrow for a fabulous Christmas recipe by Bella Herself! 

What I’ve Read: September

I have been a bad book blogger. In that, I haven’t blogged anything booky for a really long time. I suddenly hit a reading block, and I just couldn’t budge it for a while. I didn’t read anything for a long time. Life got in […]

Secrets of The River by Jess McGlynn Book Review

Secrets of The River is the debut novel of blogger Jess McGlynn. Jess very kindly sent me an ebook version of her book in order for me to undertake a review.    Here’s the Blurb: Some secrets simply can’t remain hidden…  When Isabelle moves to […]

Evil Games by Angela Marsons Book Review

A thrilling, tense page turner, this second book in the Kim Stone series doesn’t disappoint….

I received an eBook copy of Evil Games via NetGalley

Here’s the Blurb:

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work. 

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment. 

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time – it’s personal. 

The rising star of the British thriller scene returns with a novel that enthrall fans of Rachel Abbott, Val McDermid and Mark Billingham. 

The second book in the Kim Stone series, this book packs a punch from the word go. It’s gritty, realistic and at times uncomfortable reading. The crimes are evil indeed as we are taken on a journey through the mind of a sociopath who is intent on completing their experiment which play upon the emotions of vulnerable people. 

Kim Stone is still fighting her own demons as well as solving cases with her team. We meet her again as she is solving her latest crime,a child abuse case.  As well as tying up these loose ends, Kim starts to unravel the mystery around a spate of vengeful murders, meeting someone who is also going to challenge her very self in the process.

I loved this book, it gripped me from the very start and I just wanted to find out more. I liked the way I really couldn’t see how things were going to pan out initially, and this kept me reading. I have really warmed to Kim’s character and I also love her team. They are real characters as well as instruments within the plot, and it makes everything much more realistic. There are twists and turns within the plot and many times I was wrong and fell for red herrings. 

The previous book, Silent Scream was a heavy case, but this case was darker, and at times I felt like I had to take a breather as I wasn’t sure what was coming next! I really felt for some of the victims in this story, and by victims I do not only mean those who died. This story really stays with you and gets you thinking. 

This was an intense, psychological thriller which keeps the pace going and the ending is such an explosive finale. This case pushes Kim to the brink and for a moment you really do wonder how this will end. I think this story also pushes you as a reader and makes you confront some topics and ethical questions. The ending also added an extra twist which I didn’t see coming and really hits you. I can’t wait to hear more from Kim as this series is really building up to be something fantastic. 

I rated Evil Games by Angela Marsons 5 out of 5 stars. 

Evil Games by Angela Marsons is published by Bookouture and is out today,  29th May. 


Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton Book Review

A tense psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the end, this is great read… I received a copy of this book from Netgalley Here’s the Blurb: What’s the worst thing your best friend could do to you? Admittedly, it wasn’t murder. A moment’s […]

Secrets of the Tower by Debbie Rix Book Review

I love a historical fiction novel, I am a big fan of Kate Mosse so was really looking forward to this book, set in Pisa and spanning the centuries. I reviewed an ebook copy via Netgalley Here’s the Blurb: Two women, centuries apart, bound together […]

Normal by Graeme Cameron Book Review

A Very readable, original book and a great twist in the serial killer genre

I recieved a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Here’s the Blurb:

He lives on your street, in a nice house with a tidy garden.

He shops at your local supermarket. He drives beside you, waving to let you into the lane ahead of him.

He also has an elaborate cage in a secret basement under his garage.

The food he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will – one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her.

This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal…and it works. Perfectly.

But this time it’s different…

This is such a strange book. The first half of this book is chilling, you are reading a sort of fly on the wall. It is kind of voyeuristic, seeing what the life of this serial killer is. The pace is quick and at times I had to re-read pages as I couldn’t believe what I had read, or I had missed a vital word. Another weird thing – it is quite humourous, in a dark comedy kind of way. The narrator (we never find out his name or what he looks like) makes everything seem so….normal. You get to know and almost like this character, whilst there are flashes in between where you just feel pure horror and wonder at what he may do next.

Events twist and turn and we see this killer’s ‘normal’ start to spin out of control. He kidnaps a girl called Ericka, and what starts off as usual (for him) is anything but. The second half of the book he also starts to have a crisis of conscience, which also causes him many issues. It is hard to explain his book without giving away the whole plot, but the more you read, the less frightening this person becomes and the more intruiged you are. You are almost willing this guy to get away with murder.

You get some insight into his past, and this starts to paint a picture but you never find out enough to really answer many questions. I also felt very confused as to what exactly this guy did as a serial killer, his motive, his way of killing. He didn’t appear to be like the serial killers you read of in the news or in other papers. But hey, I’m no crimminologist! It was just what I thought as I read the book.

The characters in the book are all very strong. It is interesting that as a serial killer of women, there are four main female characters in the book and they are all very strong characters. In fact, he is surrounded by women. I liked the characters and their influence on the main character; Annie and Ericka in particular. I liked the way these characters develop, and are not quite what they seem, initially.

As I have said, the book twists and turns and the pace is quick, there is always something else happening and I felt like I had to keep up. It wasn’t a boring read, although I would say that it is one that I felt I had to put down at times, it really felt a bit warped and some descriptions made me feel a little queasy. However it is a really original read, a great twist on the serial killer genre, and very readable.

I give Normal by Graeme Cameron 4 out of 5 stars.

Normal by Graeme Cameron is published by Harlequin UK and is out to buy now.



Silent Scream by Angela Marsons Book Review

I recieved a copy of this book via Netgalley   I had heard a lot about this book online, and I was really interested. I hadn’t read a crime book for ages so was really looking forward to a great read, and I have to say […]

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