Another stunning debut with this paranormal romantic suspense novel

36480253The Wolf at the Door by Charlie Adhara

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. That about sums up my thoughts on this debut novel from Charlie Adhara. It’s simply brilliant. A complex plot embracing the paranormal in combination with a police procedural, murder mystery and a romantic suspense element, could have been a hot mess.

But this narrative sparkles, it shoots along at a pace, carefully pulling all the threads together into an epic denouement which, while I saw the protagonists coming for a while, is still fraught with the necessary tension to make you try and read faster to get to the conclusion.

It’s also, whether deliberate or not on the part of the author, quietly political allegory, dealing as it does with the distrust of something different, something powerful that can’t be easily controlled or pigeonholed, and it reminded me a lot of the unrest happening across the world with minorities of race, sexuality, ethnicity, gender and so much more.

Ultimately, it’s also a quiet love story, between two radically different people coming from poles apart and having no middle ground other than, at first, physical attraction to anchor them.

That it becomes so much more is testament to the skilful handling of the relationship by the author. I loved these two so much, with their stumbling attraction and inability to articulate their thoughts and feelings.

The paranormal is handled well, along the same vein as in the Twilight saga for me, where a whole world of other inhabitants has comfortably existed without anyone being the wiser.

I like this approach, it’s always fascinated me how each of the disparate cultures across the world have ‘monsters’ in common which mirror werewolves and vampires, although there’s none of the later in this book.

It’s part one of a series, with the second due out in September this year, and I cannot wait to see where the author takes Cooper and Oliver and the The Trust/Bureau of Special Investigation’s new team up partnership as they solve more werewolf crimes.

#ARC kindly provided by Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Cover Reveal: Undercover Star by Jackie Keswick

 Release Date: November 22 2017

PreOrder: Amazon US | Amazon UK
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Cover Design: Emma Griffin
Length: 41,000 words approx.
Copy of undercover star v2

 Blurb

It sounds like the stupidest idea in the history of stupid ideas. Detective Inspector Josh Ingram wants to find a deadly medieval locket and through it, a murderer. So why does his boss decide to team him up with Matisse Vervein, a pop idol many consider just a pretty face… and expect the two of them to hunt down an art thief?


Marissa Godwin, Matisse’s no-nonsense manager, isn’t stupid. Neither is her brother-in-law, Detective Superintendent Tim Montgomery. Each is looking out for a lonely man on the verge of quitting what he does best, and both believe that their charges would make a great team.

The attraction sizzling between Josh and Matisse is hard to miss, but there’s plenty of resentment, too. Focussed on pushing Josh and Matisse towards each other, Marissa and Tim haven’t imagined the kind of trouble a music star and a detective can find when they ditch their prejudices and accept that the attraction between them is mutual. Or how far each is prepared to go to prove it to the other.


A standalone, feel-good, action adventure romance set in England and Scotland, featuring a reluctant pop star who’s not out, a detective trying his hand at being a bodyguard, plenty of adventure, and a happy ending.

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Author Bio
 

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves stories about unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don’t follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She has a thing for green eyes, blogs about English history and food, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places:

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Second Scarlet Cove mystery is as good as the first

Castle on the Hill (Scarlet Cove #2)Castle on the Hill by Agatha Frost

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love a good murder mystery and Agatha Frost is rapidly turning into a have to read favourite. This series with Evelyn Amber is a little more brutal than the Peridale Cafe series also penned by Frost but they’re no less compelling.

These ones are a little easier to spot the dastardly villain in though and this one I’d had an incline fairly early on as to who did the crime, although the big reveal was also done well.

I’m liking this new setting which is still very British, with its gossip and small town feel and I’m glad Liz and Simon’s romance isn’t being dragged out unnecessarily.

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Barker’s birthday goes horribly wrong

Birthday Cake and Bodies (Peridale Cafe Mystery #9)Birthday Cake and Bodies by Agatha Frost

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Julia’s at it again only this time things are much closer to home as Barker’s nephew Luke is strangled during the preparations for his surprise birthday party.

There’s all kinds of secrets coming to light and the twists and turns take the story off into some unexpected directions. As usual, I didn’t guess what had happened until almost at the big reveal and it was done with the usual Peridale flair.

These books are just straight up enjoyable, for all that they involve murders, and have a real lightness to them to stop all the death from becoming too oppressive.

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Great start to this new English set mystery series

Dead in the Water (Scarlet Cove #1)Dead in the Water by Agatha Frost

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5*
Very different in feeling than the Peridale Cafe mysteries but still a cracking good tale with enough of a little twist and a couple of red herrings thrown in.

I liked Liz, she’s a believable heroine and didn’t feel like she was omnipotent, I liked the background created for her and the extra instincts she had from being a former police officer.

I did have a little chuckle that the occupations of what I suspect will be Liz’s potential new love interest and her own are the opposite way round from Julia and Barker in Agatha’s other mystery series.

I liked the seaside setting, although for me it felt very Robin Hood’s Bay with the twisty streets than a South Coast village. I liked meeting the people and hope to see more of Nancy and I felt really sorry for Christopher, so I hope he gets a happier fate along the way.

#ARC received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Another brilliant mystery from the pen of Agatha Frost

Fruit Cake and Fear (Peridale Cafe Mystery #8)Fruit Cake and Fear by Agatha Frost

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s another brilliant murder mystery from Agatha Frost and another unique premise with all the twists I’ve come to expect from this author.

Now, while I didn’t fully guess this one, I did have a bit of a clue about the baby aspect of it all but not in the way it all finally turned out. There’s also the usual family side plot with Julia and Barker, only this time Jessie gets herself a bit too involved in the mystery as well and it prompts a big decision which will have lasting changes to their dynamic.

One things for sure though, I’m glad I don’t live in Peridale!

#ARC received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review, which I’m a bit late in doing sorry Agatha!

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