#Review by Lou – What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson @coryanderwrites @penguinrandom @WriteReadsTours @WriteReads #BookReview #YA #Thriller

What Beauty There Is
By Cory Anderson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I have a dark thriller for young adults/older teenagers that has characters to root for twists and turns that grip on the backdrop of a harsh environment. 

I thank The Write Reads for inviting me to review and for Penguin for gifting me a copy of the book.

Read further for the blurb and full review of the book.

What Beauty There Is banner


Winter. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.

What Beauty There IsJack Morton has nothing left. Except for his younger brother, Matty, who he’d do anything for. Even die for. Now with their mother gone, and their funds quickly dwindling, Jack needs to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison. He chooses the money.

Ava Bardem lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one. Trust no one. Now Victor Bardem is stalking the same money as Jack. When he picks up Jack’s trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or help the brothers survive.

Choices. They come at a price.


Set to be a big thriller for YA/teenage readers, What Beauty Is, is dark and full of twists that would capture and engage older teens. It’s subject matters of loss and hard times growing up are stark. Jack’s mother had committed suicide when he was younger and his father is in prison. This book shows his and Atlas’s resilience.Later Jack meets Ava, who is another main character and she too has had a hard life, witnessing her mother having to leave the family home and Barden being central to this.

There’s also drugs involved as that’s why their father is in prison, and the money has to be found. There is also a real concern as social care services are contacted and Jack is worried about being separated from his brother and put into foster care. There’s quite an intensity to the book that is sure to grip and readers may well be rooting for the young characters as they try and find their way through their tough upbringing, with the hope they can and will survive. It shows cause and effect of this type of life and the emotions and how the teens react to it all.

So, as you can see, there’s a lot going on, much of which will grip the teenage population and have them talking as the subject matters are huge and also not unknown by them. It is also written in a way that makes it entirely suitable for teens, there isn’t anything that is too adult within them, it is written well with them in mind and is sure to engage.

What Beauty There Is

The Backstories Challenge Giveaway @SimonVdVwriter #Backstories #Giveaway Enter this blog post to find out more


On be-half of Simon Van Der Velde – author of Backstories, I am hosting his Backstories Challenge. There’s a brilliant prize to be won…. Read on to find out more and why not give it a try, you may just win…

Find the lost little boy in this story for your chance to win one of three signed, limited edition review copies of the Amazon bestseller, Backstories.

Read through the short story – The Guitar and then sign up for free in the link below in the How To Enter section

The first three correct entrants out of the hat will receive a signed, original review copy of Backstories and a chocolate treat.
Entries Close 11:59pm Saturday 24th April, 2021.

BackstoriesThe Guitar: No doubt about it, he was a bright kid, talented even.
He was quick on his feet and with his mouth too, and he could smack a baseball out of the park. But he was a Jew, and he was short. I mean like really short. The kid was the size of your average third grader when he was twelve years old. When he was taking those first steps towards manhood. When it mattered most.
And this was back in the fifties, with Sinatra top of the charts, John Wayne High and Mighty on the big screen and New York thrusting itself into the heavens, one skyscraper taller than the next. It was a one-size-fits-all sort of time, but it didn’t fit him.
If a girl laughed away down the street, he felt the heat in his cheeks. Even a simple smile was met with squinty-eyed suspicion.
He felt like the whole world was laughing at him, and there was truth enough in that.
The other kids couldn’t resist. Let loose from class they could forget about their failures and rejections, their overbearing fathers and screaming mothers, their secret fears and pigeon chests. For that hour at lunchtime they could be free of themselves, laughing fearlessly while they pushed the little guy around the yard and asked him what he was doing out of kindergarten, or where he’d left Snow White. That was the best one. They banged away at it for months, with raucous
renditions of ‘Hi-ho, hi-ho,’ booming across the yard, reprised with
hums and whistles in the classroom.


Sign up HERE to post your answer and get the full story for free.
The first three correct entrants out of the hat will receive a signed, original review copy of Backstories and a chocolate treat.
Entries Close 11:59pm Saturday 24th April, 2021.



‘Ingenious idea, brilliantly executed’
The Daily Mirror
‘Oh how I enjoyed these stories. A highly original and beautifully crafted collection that
explodes into the reader’s consciousness like fireworks’
Kate Horsley, award winning author of The American Girl
‘Tightly written, technically accomplished, light-footed, wryly ironic and genuinely affecting.
Excellent stuff’
Professor Graham Mort, Director of Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research,
and winner of both the Bridport Prize and The Edge Hill Prize.
‘Backstories opens the door to a world of possibilities behind some of history’s most celebrated
and notorious characters’
Claire Knight, A Knight’s Reads
‘A sparkling collection of stories… each one a uniquely crafted gem’
John Hickman, BAFTA Rocliffe award winning writer
‘A thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking read. The theme is original, the writing
intelligent and every story keeps you on the edge of your seat until the final line. If you want to
know how to write short stories, then read Backstories’
Graham Jennings, Henshaw Press

#BookReview by Lou – The Lost Hours @susanlewisbooks @fictionpubteam @LizDawsonPR @HarperCollinsUK #TheLostHours #Thriller

The Lost Hours
By Susan Lewis

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Immersive and page-turning, The Lost Hours, with its fabulous cover is such a page-turner and quite unputdownable as a family goes through such a hard ordeal. It is a brilliant plot in the way it is written, that grips all the way through…

I thank Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and for her and Elizabeth Dawson for gifting me a book.

Follow down for the blurb and my review and to find out a bit more about the author.

The Lost Hours Graphic 2


A perfect marriage…

Golden couple Annie and David Crayce have it all. A loving marriage, three beautiful children and a thriving family business. Life couldn’t be better. Until the unthinkable happens…

A perfect crime?

A piece of damning DNA evidence has arisen, placing David as the prime suspect of a murder committed twenty-years ago. Annie is sure her David is innocent. But if he isn’t guilty, then either his father or brother must be.

As the police investigate the cold case, so does Annie. Trawling through her old diaries, she begins desperately looking for answers. But it all comes down to a few lost hours she can’t solve.

And Annie begins to doubt the one person she thought she knew best… Her husband.

The Lost Hours Cover


Lots of us I am sure have blown a dandilion clock to “tell the time” or play a game that shows the “hours pass-by” and watched each fragment, artistically blow away in the wind. The cover is evocative in the way it shows time passing by.

Annie and David Crayce have 3 children, a thriving business, a loving marriage. It is the absolute perfect life. In 1999, however, the book begins with a short-sharp jolt from this knowledge, with a body being found and a thought of Karen Lomax being missing, DCI Underwood was the investigating officer and Timbo Jaks was a suspect, but nothing more and the case remained unsolved.
Fast-forwarding to 2019 and DCI Gould and DS. Natalie Rundle is on the case as she starts out her new posting in Dean Valley Force in the CID Department in Kesterly, when readers really get to know more about what happened and things really get interesting with familial DNA…

There are secrets abound and all isn’t all it seems in this supposedly almost perfect family. The family are faced with so much turmoil when the investigation is re-opened.  As time moves on, there are doubts and aspertions cast upon the family. Things hot up and suspense heightens with the familial DNA discovery. The “perfect” family face not just the nightmare of the disappearance of Karen, but then face the scruitny into their lives, especially that of David’s, including his mental health and how he can be, since leaving the army, and harks back occassionally in his nightmarish flashbacks to what happened during his time of service.

It’s an involving, provocative book that has plenty of suspense and keeps you suspicious about who committed the crime all those years ago…

About the Author

Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home. Friday 5th of December 2014
Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later, My Lies, Your Lies and Forgive Me. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s.

Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.


#BookReview by Lou- Happy Publication Day for At First Sight by Hannah Sunderland @hjsunderland143 @ElliePilcher95 @AvonBooks #RomanticFiction #Fiction

At First Sight
By Hannah Sunderland

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Beautifully written and heartwarming – At First Sight is a romance with great drama, to really sink into and lose yourself in an uplifting, yet emotional rollercoaster of a read. It is entrancing and hard to put down. So it’s very worth getting a lovely cup of tea/coffee/glass of wine etc and getting comfortable for this wonderful book.
Thanks to publisher Avon Books for inviting me to the cover reveal months ago and then to invite me to review.

At First Sight


Two strangers. Two chance meetings. One extraordinary love story…

Nell and Charlie feel a spark when they meet by chance in a cafe. But they don’t trade numbers, or surnames, so there’s no way they’ll meet again.

But the next day, Nell’s phone rings at work. Somehow, impossibly, Charlie is on the other end. And he needs her help.

Nell is about to save a life, fall in love … and risk everything for a perfect stranger.

Tender, thought-provoking and joyful, Charlie and Nell’s unique love story will capture your heart and give you hope. Perfect for fans of The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh and The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver.

At First Sight (2)


Charlie and Nell catch that first sight of each other. The connection oozes off the page!
Life however, hadn’t been easy for Nell when she was with Joel as events swept through their lives, tearing them apart, but love isn’t that simple as he complicates matters and the water had been muddied, when she was trying to move on. Charlie is also quite the mysterious man to unravel. He is, in contrast, very lovely, but has a secret surrounding him. It adds to the intrigue as the “will they, won’t they?” question mounts. It’s written all very compellingly and more than I expected as romance simmers and boils over, but with emotional times in Charlie’s life, it just gets deeper and complicated goes up another notch with his reactions to anything about his family start to show. All this and Charlie’s sudden disappearances make for an tension to build, that hooks and reels you in further and further to the end as curiosity builds and an absolute need to know how it all ends as it twists and turns and keeps you guessing. These are lives that are easy to get caught up in.

With powerful romance, some mentions of loss, grief and suicide, fabulous characters this is an absolutely terrific read to settle into and be whisked away for awhile in a wonderfully written romantic story that has so much hope attached to it.

Social Media and Buy Links

Twitter – @hjsunderland143   Buy Links: Waterstones          Amazon

#BookReview by Lou – The Imposter by Anna Wharton @whartonswords @MantleBooks @panmacmillan @RKbookpublicist @RandomTTours #TheImposter #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller

The Imposter
By Anna Wharton

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Highly emotional, either experienced in at least part or very well-researched, The Imposter tells the story of Chloe and how she handles her nan who has Alzheimers and her job of newspaper archivist and the newsprint cuttings she discovers of a missing girl from years ago and how involved she gets with her parents. It’s compelling to the end with secrets to unravel… Please find more in the blurb and my full review below…
Published 1st April.

About the Author

Anna Wharton Author PicANNA WHARTON has been a print and broadcast journalist for more than twenty years, writing for newspapers including The Times, Guardian, Sunday Times Magazine, Grazia and Red. She was formally an executive editor at The Daily Mail. Anna has ghostwritten four memoirs including the Sunday Times bestseller Somebody I Used To Know and
Orwell Prize longlisted CUT: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today. The Imposter is her first novel.


The Imposter Cover Image


A girl who went missing. A family who never gave up. A lonely young woman who only wanted to help . . .
Anna Wharton’s fiction debut, The Imposter, is a gripping story of obsession, loneliness and the lies we tell ourselves in order to live with ourselves . . .
Chloe lives a quiet life. Working as a newspaper archivist in the day and taking care of her Nan in the evening, she’s happy simply to read about the lives of others as she files away the news clippings from the safety of her desk.
But there’s one story that she can’t stop thinking about. The case of Angie Kyle – a girl, Chloe’s age, who went missing as a child. A girl whose parents never gave up hope.
When Chloe’s Nan gets moved into a nursing home, leaving Chloe on the brink of homelessness, she
takes a desperate step: answering an ad to be a lodger in the missing girl’s family home. It could be the
perfect opportunity to get closer to the story she’s read so much about. But it’s not long until she
realizes this couple aren’t all they seem from the outside . . .
But with everyone in the house hiding something, the question is – whose secrets are the most


The Imposter Cover ImageChloe has work at the newspaper and her nan who has Alzheimers on her mind. It’s a tough gig as her nan’s care needs to move on a pace and the house to be sold. Having been there, done that, I can relate to this part of what Chloe is going through and I am sure many other readers will be able to as well.

Everyone’s worst nightmare would for their nan to disappear. Chloe’s nan, Grace Hudson goes missing in a cemetery, creating the upmost heart-rendering scenes and at work, to try and keep herself busy as the police investigate, but to compound matters further, her nan  is brought even more to the forefront of her mind as she finds a newspaper cutting about a woman called Angie who had gone missing; but her friend, Hollie tries to provide some comfort, until she is found. It signals a real need for extra care and Park House Care Home appears to be the chosen place to do it. These scenes, the emotions, the environment, the behaviours from her nan of her drifting off and back again as photos are shows, and the things that she doesn’t often wear, are keenly observed and accurate, either by  experiencing it all to some degree or another, or incredibly well-researched.

Chloe then gives herself time to work on the intriguing newspaper cutting in the archives, of the mysterious disappearance of Angel and how heartbroken her parents – Patrick and Maureen Kyle were and discovers more newspaper cuttings about a vigil and more and ends up plunging into investigative work herself as she reads how she wasn’t found. It observes grief and how everyone grieves differently, but also how hard and isn’t always understood compassionately by another who is different from you. I think there’s a lot that readers will be able to relate to in terms of loss and a sense of wanting to belong and a desire to reach the truth by character and reader really pierces through in the book as the secrets start to emerge.

It’s an all involving read that goes a quite a pace with some spine-chilling, evocative parts within it, especially in those final chapters, but ultimately it’s a story of one of the saddest books I’ve ever read, but a book that is a page-turner and one that I do think people will really like for all that is within it that compells the story always onwards.

The Imposter BT Poster



#BookReview by Lou of You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes @CarolineKepnes @jessbarratt88 @simonschusterUK #YouLoveMe #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #EasterReading

You Love Me
By Caroline Kepnes

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You Love Me is the third in the series that began with “You”, which many may be familiar with in book or Netflix form or both. It’s an incredibly spine-chilling, intense psychological thriller series and this latest book is just as amazing! Just remember to breath as it sucks you into the twisted world of Joe Goldberg… Find out more in the blurb and my review. Hello You is available now!

Thanks to Jess Barratt at Simon Schuster for gifting me a copy of Hello You.

You Love Me


The highly anticipated new thriller in Caroline Kepnes’s hit You series, now a blockbuster Netflix show . . .

Joe Goldberg is back. And he’s going to start a family – even if it kills him.

Joe Goldberg is done with cities, done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cosy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

He gets a job at the local library – he does know a thing or two about books – and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old fashioned way . . . by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

The trouble is . . . Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s . . . busy.

True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.

You Love Me


High suspense, You Love Me is the third in the “You” series. Joe Goldberg is back!!! Librarians beware, he is lusting after one and wants real love and a family… Many people will be familiar with either the books or the Netflix series or both and this book does not disappoint! It still has intensity and Joe Goldberg still gives me the creeps and yet, still, I cannot take my eyes off the pages. No wonder he reels all these women in, with his odd charm, that both Guinivere Beck and Peach Salinger saw in him, who get a mention in this third installment. This time he has his sights set on Mary Kay, the librarian he works for, as he is on a quest to figure out some sort of “normal” lovelife and do things in a more normal manner than before…
There is however a whole mix of tension and egotism, paranoia and jealousy that still clutches to Joe as tries to frame himself as now being a good guy as old traits become apparent and pierce through.

I absolutely love the cleverness in style of writing. The way that simple small word – “You”, is written, is spine-chillingly evocative. “You” is completely full-on loaded with intensity as it punctuates the sentences stronger than any other word. Those familiar with the series won’t be disappointed how this continues within this book.

There are twists and turns that made me clutch the book a little tighter, in amongst the cleverly placed music and author references.

The book, in its plot and characters are multi-layered and complex in their actions and behaviours, especially Joe and it makes him to continuously be intriguing, even though he is not the type of guy who anyone would want to meet, but he is a type of dark, sinister, pretty dangerous guy who exists and who embodies many aspects that are within some guys, either singularly or multiple.

Mary Kay’s friends also get involved and it gets even twistier, as if that were possible, but Caroline Kepnes is a master at her craft, within her style of writing for a psychological thriller, such as this series.

Buy Links



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