Friday, 30 December 2016

December Books

Here's what I've been reading in December:

While you were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft - Tara Logan's husband is out of town and she has an innocent glass of wine or two with her neighbour, Lee. She wakes up naked in bed next to Lee who has been stabbed. She cant remember what happened the night before and dashes away from the house..

She decides not to tell anyone - her husband and family or the police. As they investigate her daughter Rosie is accused of the crime... I wanted to like this book as I've loved Kathryn's other books but I found it fairly far fetched and wasn't keen on a lot of the characters.

House of Secrets by Lynda Stacey - Madeleine Frost's relationship with controlling and creepy partner Liam is wearing her and her daughter Poppy down. She has to leave him and she ends up going to her estranged father who runs a hotel at beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire. 

She meets an ex-marine, Bandit who works at the Hall and they slowly become friends. Maddie discovers a diary and they immerse themselves in the history of the house and it's inhabitants.

Liam however refuses to let her go and tragedies unfold which could only be his doing..  I loved the characters and storylines. A great read.

Slade House by David Mitchell - Slade House is down the road from a pub, down an alley and if "conditions are exactly right you'll find the entrance. A stranger will greet you by your name and invite you inside". "At first you won't want to leave, later you'll find you can't".

Every nine years the house's residents - a brother and sister invite specific people to join them for a party, a dinner or some other reason. The short stories in the book span five decades starting in 1979 and ending in October 2015. The stories are creepy and compelling and the characters interesting. I did enjoy this short read.

The Nature of Beauty by Imelda Burke - long awaited and brilliant read. It takes you through everything you need to know about caring for your skin and organic beauty with what ingredients to avoid, homemade skin treats, product to try, perfumes, essential oils, hair, skin and rituals. I know it's a book I'll dip in and out to. Highly recommend.

Three Men and a Maybe by Katey Lovell - which is a lighthearted short story when on New Year's Eve Cerys finds herself being proposed to by three men in her life. A short read which I found enjoyable.

You will not have my Hate by Antoine Leiris* - After the terrorist attacks in Paris which claimed many innocent lives I read about Helene Leiris (in the Sunday Times) and her death at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris on 13 November 2015. This is her husband's story of the aftermath of finding that his beloved wife and mama to their young son had died in the attacks. He posted a message on Facebook which resonated with many people around the world. His memoir tells of his deep despair and heartbreak and the need to keep going for their son, Melvil. Such as sad and poignant read.

Sand in my Shoes by Jenny Harper - this is my first read by this author and I loved the story. Will definitely search out more books by Jenny. 

Nicola Arnott has been through difficult times. She's brought up her daughter since her husband's death as well as built up a successful teaching career.

She has a health scare and decides to get away for a holiday choosing to return to the small French holiday town she stayed in as a teen. She remembers her first love Medical student, Luc and long summer days. She's surprised when she meets him and returns to an easy friendship. She does have to go back to her life and reality when the holiday is over but wouldn't have missed meeting up with Luc again for the world. A great little read with interesting characters and storylines.

The Little Pieces of You and Me by Vanessa Greene - the story follows friends Isla and Sophie. They don't see other often as Isla is pursuing her dreams abroad while Sophie is married to her ex-tutor Liam.

Isla's life changes with a medical diagnosis and Sophie is there for her. Isla wants her friend to complete the items on her bucket list.  Isla chooses not to tell her boyfriend that she's ill and breaks off their romance. Returning home to England she can see cracks appear in her friend's life. An amazing read which I loved. Highly recommend.

Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes - oh how I love this book!  It took me on a huge trip down memory lane - remember bath cubes, Hawaiian Tropic, hair scrunchies, large tubs of hair gel, Rimmel hide the blemish, Body Shop Rasberry Ripple Bathing Bubbles, Sun-In, Shaders & Toners... The book also contains lots of tips. I know I now need a new hairdryer and tweezers and have a sizeable list of wants. Great read.

The Girls Next Door by Mel Sheratt** - this is a new series featuring Detective Eden Berrisford. Sixteen year old Deanna Barker is stabbed to death. Four teenagers including Katie Trent are remanded awaiting trial.

Eden's niece Jess is kidnapped and the race is on to find her. Her teenage friends are warned not to speak out before the trial. A fast paced read which I loved. Eden is a strong likeable character. Looking forward to the second book in the series. Thanks to Mel for the copy.

Single End - A DC Daley Short Story by Denzil Meyrick - it's 1989 and DC Jim Daley and his friend and sidekick DC Brian Scott find James Machie's accountant, The Magician dead in a multi-storey car park in the City.

DC Scott is persuaded to go undercover and befriend old mates Machie and McDougall. Daley is uneasy with this and tries to help. He meets old mentor, Ian Burns and asks him to call in a few favours.  A great wee read and another slice of the history of Daley and Scott's long friendship. Roll on the next in the series.

What have you been reading this month?

*copy from Netgalley
**copy from the Author


  1. House of Secrets sounds like such a great read! It's a shame the first book wasn't amazing, it sounds like it could've been a great story! Thanks for sharing your reads with us! XO -Kim

    1. It's really fab! Thanks for your comment x