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review 2019-02-22 01:49
Review: The Secret Child (D. I. Amy Winter #2) by Caroline Mitchell
The Secret Child - Caroline Mitchell

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (7th March 2019)


ISBN: 978-1503905023


Source: Netgalley 


Rating: 5*




Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years.


According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.


DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget?



In the first novel in the D.I. Amy Winter series, Amy learns that she has a notorious serial killer for a mother. If you've not yet read Truth and Lies I urge you to pick up a copy. Although The Secret Child reads well as a stand alone, there are references to events that happened in first book, (though they are well explained) plus it's the perfect introduction to the character! 


In this second outing for Amy, we are plunged into tension immediately as the kidnapper strikes, spiriting little Ellen away. I was on the edge of my seat straight away, not knowing what was about to happen. Caroline Mitchell is fantastic at conjuring up an air of menace and keeping it palpable throughout, whilst simultaneously juggling several other interwoven storylines.  Her finger never wavering off the pulse for a second as she seamlessly ties all the invisible ends together in one fell swoop that just made me gasp and shout 'Nooooo!' very loudly at my kindle! I will never tire of reading Caroline's books because they are simply unputdownable and I can never forsee what is going to happen. 


Special thanks to Caroline Mitchell, Thomas & Mercer for providing a review copy via Netgalley. This is my unbiased review. 


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review 2016-10-04 22:10
Quick and Fun
Winter's Gift (Bistro La Bohème Series) - Alix Nichols

Winter's Gift by Alix Nichols is a short read, perfect for those with limited time for reading. This is a fast paced, well written book.  Anna and Anton's story is full of drama, humor and sexy bits.  The characters are spot on for this book.  I enjoyed this quick read and would happily read more from Alix Nichols in the future.  Winter's Gift is book 1 of the La Boheme Series and can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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url 2016-02-27 03:10
New Romance from Needa Warrant
The Winter of Regrets (Bound for Hell MC series Book 4) - Needa Warrant,Daryl Banner
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review 2015-10-22 15:51
Floor: the world’s biggest shelf
Winter (Four Seasons Series Book 1) - Frankie Rose

I don’t actually remember where I discovered Winter. I think it was highly rated on a trusted friends Goodreads page and the first line of their review was to tell everyone that the book was free on Amazon. I clicked into the book’s Goodreads page and read the first part of the synopsis, how the story was about a girl who’s father was a serial killer and how she changed her name in an effort to start a new life, and thought the cover looked intriguing so I downloaded it.

I never finished reading the synopsis. I had no idea that this was considered NA. I didn’t realize it was actually Callie Hart. I’ve never read Callie Hart before. I usually try to steer clear of the genre that she writes unless I get really pressured into reading one, or I get tricked… Kinda like what happened here with Winter. I was definitely tricked. I put this read on our Badass calendar without really knowing what I was getting into. It was an impulse review in the very literal sense of the word.

It wasn’t until after I began reading that I went back to Goodreads and actually read the whole synopsis. I was thisclose to quitting. I had my finger on the computer ready to remove this from the schedule and chalk it up to me not thinking things through. It was in that moment that I realized that deleting the book and removing it’s existence from my reading-sphere was just perpetuating the rash decisions I make. I rashly decided to read it, then I rashly decided I wasn’t. At least my impulse download had a rationale behind it. Choosing not to read was just me being spiteful.

In the end, I read it, and I liked it.

Despite a few author choices about how everything played out, and where the characters were in the end, I thought that the premise of the story was decently thought out and developed. The main character Avery/Iris was a bit volatile and awful but I think that it actually made sense with the history of her father and the way she was treated by the town afterwards. It’s not a surprise that she would lock her soul away from everyone and not fully trust many people. What usually makes me angry was understandable this time around.

Luke was really gentle and patient. Probably more gentle and patient than most people would have been in his shoes. The amount of times he was pushed away, or lashed out at, would have tried anyone’s tolerance level. He never gave up on Avery/Iris, and it really made him an endearing character. Not to mention, he was so level headed despite the horror of his own childhood which in my opinion actually outweighed Avery/Iris’s slightly.

There were a few plot-lines that felt like they were unnecessary but I can’t tell if the second book in the series will follow Avery/Iris and Luke again or not. Hopefully they storylines actually have a purpose, because lose threads in a plot really drive me insane.

Still, considering Winter is completely free, it more than measured up. It exceeded my expectations. Not saying that it wouldn’t be worth it if it had a 4.99 price tag. It would be worth it. I’m just saying, extra bonus, this good book doesn’t cost you a cent!

For this and other reviews, please visit us over at Badass Book Reviews!

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review 2015-02-22 16:49
Summerset Abbey series by T.J. Brown
Summerset Abbey - T.J. Brown
A Bloom in Winter (Summerset Abbey Series #2) - T. J. Brown
Summerset Abbey: Spring Awakening - T.J. Brown

Summerset Abbey is a series of three full length novels, with one novella (which I have not read) that was published as an after thought to take care of the future of a fourth female character.


I'll just start the review by answering the question: was the series worth reading? The series is set during the Edwardian Era and WWI, and there are a lot of books that compete for space on this bookshelf. It is entertaining, but light weight.


Books that are better than these include, in my opinion, Judith Kinghorn's The Last Summer, Philip Rock's The Passing Bells, Kate Morton's The House at Riverton, Somewhere in France by Jennifer Roberson, and the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspeare, all of which are slightly more weighty than these bits of fluff.


The main issue that I have with the books is that they really don't do a very convincing job of conveying the horror of WWI. The characters seem nearly emotionally untouched by it. I don't know if this is because Ms. Brown just isn't capable of writing scenes that are emotionally resonant, because the characters certainly suffer as a result of the war (one character ends up as an amputee), or if it is because she didn't include any scenes from the war itself.


The books follow the romantic fortunes of three young women: Rowena and Victoria, who are siblings, and their adopted (but not legally adopted) "sister," Prudence, who was the daughter of the maid but was raised like a member of the family by their unconventional father. The series begins with the death of their father, and they are thrown out of their comfort zone to live with their uncle - their father's brother. That side of the family fails to treat Prudence like a member of the family and relegates her to the servant's quarters, separating her from Rowena and Victoria.


On the whole, the books are well-written and enjoyable, if occasionally frustrating. They aren't great literature, but they are a nice historical read that doesn't offend for readers who are looking for something to occupy their time while they wait for the next episode of Downton Abbey.

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