Book Review: The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

About the Book:

59447780Avery’s fortune, life, and loves are on the line in the game that everyone will be talking about.

To inherit billions, all Avery Kylie Grambs has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House. The paparazzi are dogging her every step. Financial pressures are building. Danger is a fact of life. And the only thing getting Avery through it all is the Hawthorne brothers. Her life is intertwined with theirs. She knows their secrets, and they know her.

But as the clock ticks down to the moment when Avery will become the richest teenager on the planet, trouble arrives in the form of a visitor who needs her help—and whose presence in Hawthorne House could change everything. It soon becomes clear that there is one last puzzle to solve, and Avery and the Hawthorne brothers are drawn into a dangerous game against an unknown and powerful player.

Secrets upon secrets. Riddles upon riddles. In this game, there are hearts and lives at stake—and there is nothing more Hawthorne than winning.

My Thoughts:

The Final Gambit is the final book in the Inheritance Games trilogy. I devoured this series, reading each book successively and when the third released, I was sure that I had to read it. In short, I absolutely loved the premise of the series, the characters and the entire plot.

This book picks up right where the second one ended. Avery is on the verge of inheriting a fortune and she still has a few more weeks of living with the Hawthorne brothers left. I love how the characters have grown over the books and the sense of belonging Avery feels among the brothers. Their acceptance of her and the bonds they share with her are also wonderful to read about and to be honest, it did not happen instantly. In this book, the author throws us a curve ball, because why not? 😀

There are a few new characters introduced and a plot twist that the readers just don’t see coming. It is definitely not that easy for Avery and it has not been since day 1. However, a lot of secrets come to light and many questions are clarified in this amazing conclusion to this series! The book draws you in just like the previous ones and it is UNPUTDOWNABLE!

It is worth the time spent reading and trust me, you will love getting to know the characters whether they are good, bad or fall into the grey area. It just doesn’t matter as they all play an important role in driving the plot forward as well as shaping each other. To understand one is to understand all of them! I highly recommend this series to everyone!

Book Review: The Karachi Deception by Shatrujeet Nath

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My Thoughts:
I am a huge huge huge fan of Shatrujeet Nath’s books and writing. Having read all his books based on Indian Mythology, I knew I had to read this book which was the first book he had written. A huge thank you to the Writersmelon team as well for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The Karachi Deception is an international espionage thriller filled with mystery and intrigue and a plot that is full of twists and turns. I loved reading this book and was hooked right from the beginning. In short, the story follows three commandos as they enter Pakistan to eliminate one of the most dreaded underworld dons. As they navigate their way, follow the plan established, they seem to meet roadblocks at every stage. With secrets being kept among the superiors, no clarity on whom to trust and too many parties in play, the reader is in for a roller coaster ride.

The story is fast paced and the characters are well thought out. I really appreciate how the author has handled all the various characters, there are so many of them and each one has an important role to play whether it is big or small. Every one of the characters contributes something which makes the plot stronger and the storyline believable. As our main protagonists set out to do the impossible task set out in front of them, we are giving a glimpse into the minds of the characters and how each one thinks. The reasons behind the decisions taken and how every web of lies has some ounce of truth in it is intriguing.

Overall I loved this book and am happy that my first read of 2023 was a 5 star read! I highly recommend this book to all!

New Year greetings and a look back at Year 2022!

I would like to start off this post by first wishing you all a very happy and prosperous New Year 2023!

I would also like to thank the entire reading community, friends and everyone who has supported me and my blog. A big shoutout to the Instagram community of readers and bloggers. It is a wonderful place to talk about books and get to know fellow bibliophiles.

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Wrap Up 2022 – Top 6 favourites!

Here I’m including the images (from goodreads) of my top 6 favourite books read in 2022 in no particular order. For some of them, the review is posted already and for some the complete review will be put up soon (I am quite late on this and I have a huge backlog 😦 )

I have to say though that I enjoyed every one of the books I read in 2022 and some just stuck with me more than the others. It’s all a relative comparison for me. As you can see, the books range across many genres and I am so happy to have gotten the chance to discover so many new authors who have fast become favourites!

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Book Review: The Engagement by Samantha Hayes

About the Book:

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You thought you had escaped him. Until he proposed to your daughter.

‘There’s someone I want you to meet,’ Belle says, as a man draws up to her side. He’s tall with dark hair and stubble on his square jaw. He’s dressed in expensive-looking clothes – tan trousers and a fitted navy shirt. He’s not exactly smiling, but the corner of his mouth curls upwards as he slides his hand around my eighteen-year-old daughter’s waist.

I grab my husband’s arm to steady myself as my heart kicks into a thunderous gallop.

I’m frozen.

It’s as though I’m under water. The room spins around me.

I stare into his eyes – jet black. Nothing and everything hidden behind them.

Fear prickles my skin as I remember what he did.

How I only just escaped.

All the lies I’ve had to tell since.

‘I want you to meet Jack,’ Belle says, bouncing up and down with excitement. ‘He’s my fiancé.’ She rests her head on his shoulder. ‘Isn’t it exciting? We’re engaged!’

I have to stop this.

If I don’t, I’ll lose everything…

My Thoughts:

Note: I received a copy of the book from NetGalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.

The Engagement is a fast paced thriller that will have the reader on the edge of their seat. The story is told from 3 different points of view, one of Hannah in the present day, one of her daughter Belle and the last in Molly’s view in the past. As we read each chapter, the story unfolds from each character’s perspective giving us a sense of how the past shapes the current events.

Belle returns home from a language learning trip abroad with a shocking announcement. Not only did she not go ahead with the purpose of her trip, she spent time with a much older man to whom she is now engaged in the short span of two months of knowing each other. However, when Hannah meets this person, it is as though her past is coming back to haunt her. The story then follows her as she tries to make sense of the situation, protect her daughter and prevent some of her darkest secrets from coming to light.

The story is well-written with a lot of twists and some of them are so unexpected, you just do not see them coming. Each person has some kind of agenda and so many deeply buried secrets that it is a revelation to the reader. Some parts of the story are horrifying to read about but the author handles it all rather delicately. I truly enjoyed reading this book and was left shocked right until the very end. Even the last few pages had a twist that the reader just doesn’t see coming.

This book is a must read for all those who enjoy a good thriller.

Book Review: Fall of the Harvest Moon by Nina Walker and Kimberly Loth

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My Thoughts:
Fall of the Harvest Moon is the final book in the New World Shifters series by authors Nina Walker and Kimberly Loth. This book picks up where the last one left off and takes us on a fast paced journey towards the conclusion.

We follow Poppy as she navigates becoming a Lycan and deals with the after effects of having killed The King and biting Rhys. So many questions were left unanswered at the end of Book 3 with the clarification and conclusion coming to light in this book. Poppy starts to take control and stand up for herself and the other girls. Rhys is confused and trying to come to terms with a lot of things as well as handle being the alpha. There is also a bigger focus on the romance between the characters and an interesting twist to this equation.

The authors have done a great job in bringing the story together and tying up all loose ends. As a reader, we come away satisfied with the story and the characters and how they end up. This story is fast paced and we see much more action than in the others. In addition to this, we also see a lot of the characters grow into their own and take control of their lives. It is indeed a beautiful journey of four books that the readers will take with these characters whom they will grow to love or hate. But, it is all worth it in the end.

This is a world where werewolves, lycans and other shapeshifters come together and hopefully, eventually live in harmony with the humans. A truly wonderful conclusion to the series, I highly recommend this series and of course this book (if you have read the rest) to all fans of  books in the genres of paranormal romance.

Book Review: The New Wife by Amanda Brittany and Karen Clarke

About the Book:

The people you trust are the people who hurt you the most.

Nell Cosgrove is the new wife who got it all. She married her handsome, wealthy boss within six months of meeting him. They live in a beautiful riverside home. She has a flourishing career.

The only problem is her two stepdaughters, Ruby and Poppy, who are fiercely loyal to their mother, and reject all her overtures.

But now everything is falling apart. Nell’s marriage is starting to crack. Her husband spends more and more time away on business.

She gets creepy text messages from an unknown admirer. He sends mysterious bouquets of flowers to her office. She starts making mistakes at work.

Everything Nell thought she knew about her marriage and her new life is about to be turned upside down.

Book Links:
Buy Links – https://geni.us/dtHHa2
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63045634-the-new-wife

About the Authors:

Author Bio – Amanda Brittany


Amanda lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and cute dog. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family and friends, walking her dog, reading (her go-to is fictional crime and psychological thrillers) and she is far too keen on red velvet cake. She loves sunny days by the sea, and snowy days through the window of a cozy room. Amanda has raised over £8700 in eBook royalties for Cancer Research UK in memory of her sister. She is the author of six psychological crime thrillers, and co-writer of psychological suspense novels with author Karen Clarke.

Follow her at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandajbrittany
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mandy.brittany
Instagram : http://www.instagram.com/amanda_brittany_author

Author Bio – Karen Clarke


Karen is a multi-published author of romantic comedies and psychological suspense novels, as well as co-writing thrillers with Amanda Brittany. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children and when she’s not writing, she reads (a lot), loves walking and taking pictures — the birds in her garden are probably the most photographed in the country.

Follow her at:
Website: https://www.karenclarkewriter.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenclarke123
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karen.clarke.5682
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenanne37/

My Thoughts:

It’s my stop on the Book Tour for The New Wife today! I am grateful to be on this tour with so many wonderful bloggers and reviewers.

The New Wife is a suspense filled psychological thriller that will have the reader on the edge of their seat. The story is narrated from two points of view. One is of Nell, “the new wife” as she is called and the second is of one of her step-daughter’s, Ruby. Nell has a very unsteady relationship with her two step-daughters as they blame her for their parents break-up and divorce. They are rude to her and make life difficult for her in the hope that their father will leave her and reconcile with their mother.

All the characters in the story are portrayed in grey shades. As cracks start to appear in Nell’s marriage, she decides that perhaps couples counselling is the best way to save them. A fiercely independent woman, Nell hoped that marriage would bring stability and happiness to her life. However, she did not expect her husband to change as he did, or perhaps this was how he always was and she did not see it from the beginning.

A lot of things start to go wrong and Nell doesn’t know whom to trust. The authors have done a great job in throwing the reader off track while always focusing on Nell’s and Ruby’s thoughts and feelings. Little do we know that there are other forces and people at play and soon everything will come crashing down. I truly enjoyed the story and the twists and turns. Though some parts of it were predictable, I definitely did not see the ending and the events of the epilogue coming. That was a major curve ball which made me realize that I could not guess the complete story after all.

The story focuses on mental health issues and how the characters deal with it. It also shows us how the decision of each person affects them and the others around them. Overall this was a gripping read and I recommend this for all fans of psychological thrillers. It is definitely worth reading!

Book Review: Third Spell’s the Charm by Susanna Shore

About the Book:

“Fire wasn’t exactly the intended outcome of a water spell, but with me, sadly inevitable.”

Phoebe’s new life as a mage hasn’t had an auspicious start. No matter how hard she tries, her spells fail spectacularly. How is she to impress her boss, Archibald Kane, if she keeps setting her hair on fire?

Her problems with magic become trivial when a night out ends with a dead body. The victim has clearly been killed by a vampire, and the evidence points at Phoebe’s housemate Luca.

The leader of London vampires, Morgan Hunt, is convinced Luca is guilty. To prove his innocence, Phoebe and Luca set out to solve the death. Was the victim random, or has an old enemy of Hunt’s returned? And how are they to find the killer when Hunt has done his best to hide his past?

Phoebe is an expert in unearthing old things, but facing a powerful foe would be easier, if she had a hang of her spellcasting too. Luckily she has magical friends she can count on. And maybe the third spell turns out to be the charm after all.

My Thoughts:

Third Spell’s the Charm is the third book in the series which follows Phoebe and her friends on another magic filled adventure. Following the end of the previous book, Phoebe has now discovered her powers and is trying to learn how to perform some basic spells. However her luck is not so great and things go horribly wrong to the extent that a water spell gives out fire instead. This just adds to the hilarity of the situation making it light hearted and fun to read. With a focus on learning to be a spell caster at a much later age than most, Phoebe is having a difficult time keeping up.

As the story progresses, the focus shifts towards the vampires and Phoebe’s attempt to help her friend and housemate Luca who is accused of killing someone. As Phoebe and her friends come together to solve the mystery, they end up in the most unexpected situations. The main recurring theme of the story is on the strength of the friendship the characters share and the faith they have in one another. There is also the element of mystery and anticipation of things to come that are hidden behind the comedy. Since this is a continuation of the series, it was a pleasure to read about the characters and how they grow through each of the books. Though the plot is a predictable in some places, the story overall is well written and makes for a good read!

This is a quick fun filled read which will have the reader in splits half the time even while there is a mystery to solve! This book and the series is definitely worth a try!

Book Review: Once Upon A [Hidden] Time by Samreen Ahsan

About the Book:

This is book 4 of [STOLEN] SERIES
2015…
All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castle-and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. When Steve Bernard, a wealthy videogame designer offers her to model for a princess character in his new game, Myra can’t resist his offer to enter the mysterious, colorless, and cursed Hue Castle. But unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to it by blood and sorcery. When she enters the castle’s doors, she awakens dark powers, time travelling through a cursed mirror, torturing her present, and rewriting her future, leaving Steve Bernard with millions of questions.

1415…
Edward Hue, the last of the Hue royal bloodline, has never stood in the sunshine, nor felt the rain, or held a living flower. Cursed from birth to live in darkness and bring death to all he touches, he is at the mercy of his cruel, tyrannical father King Stefan, who will not rest until he shatters Edward’s soul and makes his son into a diabolical copy of himself. Edward’s one hope is the mysterious woman, who walks into his life through a cursed mirror, out of his dreams, and introduces him: love.

Will Myra break Edward’s curse and bring him out of the darkness, or destroy him utterly? Will Steve ever be able to finish his game without Myra? Past and future collide in a tale of love, obsession, betrayal, and the hope for redemption.

My Thoughts:

I have been a fan of Samreen Ahsan’s writing and this series since the beginning. There is something magical about the setting and the story that draws the reader in. This series is a modern day retelling of the Beauty and the Beast. The story jumps between two times, one set in 1415 and the other in modern day 2015. I absolutely love how Samreen has chosen to name each book in the series giving us a hint of what is to come. There is so much meaning behind each title which becomes clear as you read the book.

This book is the fourth in the series picking up where the third book ends. In this book we follow Myra as she navigates the court and her life with Edward. She has brought some light into his life and some parts of the curse seems to be broken. On the other hand we follow her as she deals with the king and his attentions. In parallel to this, we follow Steve as he finds a way to explain Myra’s disappearance and his budding relationship with childhood friend who is also a police officer and involved in the investigation into Myra’s disappearance.

At some parts, it feels as though this book is just building on the existing feelings and settings. The rebuilding of the relationship between Edward and his niece is beautiful to read about. Myra is like a breath of fresh air and brings joy to everyone she is around. She is also a strong independent woman whose opinions stand out and thus she has to be careful in front of whom she expresses this. In a time when women are meant to be quiet, seen and not heard and definitely not stand up for themselves, she is unique and out of place. As she reads more about the Hue dynasty and the past, it’s origins, she is worried that history might repeat itself thus setting her and Edward apart.

What remains to be seen is whether Edward will stand up for what he wants and believes in. Will he stand up for love? Will the king force Myra to marry him? With so many questions arising from the ending where the author threw us a curve ball, I am looking forward to the next book which will conclude the story and the series! This is a wonderful read and I recommend it for fans of romance, retellings, time travel and fantasy fiction.

Book Review: The Perfect Home by Kevin Lynch

Book Blurb:

The Perfect Home Book Cover
It’s a beautiful place to live. Or die.

June is very happy in her home. It’s where she raised her two kids – now college age – and every room is filled with memories, some beautiful, some painful. She loves the garden she has worked so hard to create. She likes her neighbours in this pleasant, leafy suburb.

But lately, something has changed.

There’s the new guy across the street. He seems rough, possibly criminal. And he’s been taking a definite interest in June’s rebellious daughter, Cathy.

And there’s June’s son, Sam. He’s always been open and friendly but recently he’s been sullen and secretive.

Even more disturbing, June’s cheating ex-husband suddenly seems to be everywhere. It’s almost as if he’s stalking her.

Then, when someone she knows is murdered, June begins to understand that all these different things are connected. And as she investigates further, she realises that she herself is in terrible danger.

Because someone out there wants June gone. Permanently.

Author Bio:

Kevin Lynch Author Photo

Kevin is a Guidance Counselor by day and a psychological thriller author during his off hours. He puts an original slant on some common experiences and creates engaging stories with a personal twist. Kevin lives in Dublin, Ireland with three great kids, a frenetic Westie, Alfie, and a wife who makes him laugh, which is really all he could ask for.
Kevin writes psychological thrillers. The Perfect Home will be his second novel published with Inkubator Books.

Buy Links:
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfect-Home-gripping-psychological-heart-stopping-ebook/dp/B09QT37GYK
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Home-gripping-psychological-heart-stopping-ebook/dp/B09QT37GYK

My Thoughts:

It’s my stop on the Book Tour for The Perfect Home today! Thanks to Zooloo’s Book Tour for this opportunity.

The Perfect Home is a psychological thriller that follows June as she tries to unmask a killer and find out who is after her. June lives a perfectly good life. She has a good job, her two children who live with her in a wonderfully quiet neighborhood. All this changes with the arrival of a new neighbour, her ex-husband popping up more than expected and her children pulling away.

As time passes, we follow June as she goes about her normal routine while trying to figure out the new people on the block and their motives. The author does a good job in portraying her feelings and fear in many of the situations. I also liked how the plot line developed. It was easy to like some of the characters and dislike some of them. This is a kudos to the style of writing.

There were a few things that did not work for me. Firstly, I was not able to fully connect with June. I found her routine to be mundane and the narration was a little repetitive. Secondly, I was a little confused as to the location of the book which I figured out later. Finally, I found it hard to understand Cathy and her behaviour. It was not something that I could easily relate to.

However, putting this aside, I think the book was interesting and there was a plot twist that I did not see coming. Thus, I admit, despite the mixed feelings, I enjoyed the book and hope to read more by the author! I do recommend this for those who enjoy the genre!

The Perfect Home Book Tour Poster

Zooloos Book Tours

Redpillows turns 8!

Hello to my fellow book lovers!

This is a short post and definitely a non book related one (well it is indirectly related to books! 🙂 )

WordPress was kind enough to remind me that this blog was started 8 years ago! It’s my blog’s birthday today! This is indeed a great milestone for me as I recently also reached 500 WordPress followers.

It’s been a long journey and I hope to keep at it. Reading has always been a hobby, one that I pursue with determination and passion. I don’t think I’ve ever put as much effort into anything as I do in reading. It is my every-time all time favorite activity, a feeling I am sure many of you will relate to.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for all the support you have shown me by following my posts, liking them, sharing them and leaving comments.

Happy Blogging and Happy Birthday to my blog!

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