The Carer by Deborah Moggach


James, a once eminent professor, needs full time help. So Phoebe and Robert, his distracted middle-aged offspring, employ Mandy, a veritable treasure who seems happy to relieve them of their responsibilities. 

‘Our marriage was one long conversation that was only interrupted by her death’.

The Carer connected with me on a very personal level. A story I initially thought to be predictable, turned out to be a very powerful and surprising book, with numerous unexpected twists. 

I continually nodded my head throughout reading, raising my eyebrows on numerous occasions and thinking gosh, I totally get this. 

This is a cracking read, and it’s reinforced the fact that as you get older, life just gets more and more complicated. Fortunately, we do become wiser, so dealing with complex matters of the heart can be taken with a pinch or ten of salt. 

I think readers of a certain age would take a lot from this, particularly if they have/had elderly parents and middle aged siblings. 

I haven’t read anything before by Deborah Moggach, and unbeknown to me, she wrote The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and have added the book to my shelf. Her writing style is simple, yet magical. She designs her stories in a way that hooks gently. 

A solid 5 star read. It was faultless. 

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Twitter #Book #Giveaway

Well, good morning/afternoon/evening/night, (another day gone) it’s only me! 😁

Over on my Twitter @owlbesatreading I’m currently hosting a giveaway!

I’m nearly at the 1k followers milestone and I actually can’t quite believe it.

Just a couple of years ago Twitter was somewhere for me to see what Holly and Phil were up to (don’t judge me 😮😂). Then I started to grasp what the platform could actually do for my reading hobby (addiction) as I started following Goodreads. And it’s just totally snowballed!

I’ve discovered some great bookish people, some super duper book blogs and hours of cracking cat videos where they knock things on the floor.

Now, a few weeks ago I was having a book organising session as I purchased this absolute beauty:

A BOOK TROLLEY! ❤️📚❤️

And I ended up with two bags of charity donations as a result. I’d even come across bloody duplicates! I cannot believe I owned more than one copy of the same books and didn’t realise! (I’m looking at you Elly Griffiths and Kate Mosse, oops!)

Anyway, the whole point of this blog post is to connect with anyone here on WordPress over on my Twitter. (And it’s also an excuse to show off my TBR book trolley which I look at lovingly on a daily basis).

So what better way is there to tempt the book addicted than to just send them some FREE BOOKS and CHOCOLATE in exchange for a teeny weeny follow and some cool book interaction?! Plus it gives me space to BUY MORE BOOKS if I give some away. I know they’d be appreciated. At least the chocolate would be, that’s for sure! 😏🍫

I’d say it was great…

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Ok, let’s cut to the chase.

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Not THAT Chase! Although I do love Anne Hegerty.

Click on ol’ matey from Lock Stock up there, and he’ll head you on over to my pinned tweet. Do the stuff to be eligible to win, and finally,

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I look forward to seeing you over there in Twitterland. The land of bookish wonder and argumentative bastards who just love getting their knickers in a twist over stupid trivial stuff. I’m only there for the books. AND CATS.

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T’s & C’s to enter:

🌟Head over to my Twitter pinned tweet

🌟Like my tweet

🌟Follow me

🌟Retweet

🌟UK Book Lovers Only (Sorry, just because of postage costs)

🌟Ends 8pm on Saturday 17th August

🌟Strictly NO GIVEAWAY TWITTER ACCOUNTS (have you seen those people?!! They’re vultures, honestly 😳)

 

 

Kiss Me, Kill Me by James Carol

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Kiss Me, Kill Me by James Carol

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I tend to read a lot from the psychological thriller genre, I enjoy books that get right into my head and mess it up a bit with twists and turns and WTF’s.

Kiss Me, Kill Me was an enjoyable read, the first half being it’s better half. As the story progressed, I felt that it went off on an unexpected tangent, which kept my interest piqued all the way through to the conclusion, but at times, it did get a bit far-fetched for my liking.

The characters behaviour and reasonings were just bordering on unbelievable. Putting myself in Zoe’s shoes, the main protagonist, I felt that her thought processes and decisions didn’t properly reflect the sheer seriousness and intensity of the situation. She was a bit wet behind the ears, shall we say.

I also found that the dialogue didn’t have a huge amount of depth, making the characters undeveloped and slightly uninteresting. The repetitive use of ‘keep you safe’ started to get on my nerves after I’d read it for the tenth time.

Now, it sounds like I’m properly dissing this book, but rest assured, I most definitely am not. As I said at the start of my review, I enjoyed reading this. I REALLY enjoyed reading this. These kinds of thrillers are pouring out all over the show lately, and I’m a tough reader to please in this genre, because I feel like I’ve read it all before.

Kiss Me, Kill Me was different in that it’s unusual spiral of events were unexpected and never have I come across a psycho-thrill that went off on such a crazy-assed tangent! For that reason alone, my brain was getting a good old mashing that was keeping me turning those pages.

I’d like to thank the publishers Bonnier Zaffre for sending me an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

OwlBeSatReading & The Order of the Books

Aka The Bookshelves of Order & Chaos

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Like all you bookworms, bloggers and reviewers, I often have this loose plan of what to read next. I’m usually thinking about my yearned for NetGalley 80% badge, my R2R’s direct from authors and publishers as a priority, and most importantly, what I actually WANT to read next.

So, we’re in the second week of January and my reading plan has become a bit chaotic to say the least. There’s books and e-books dotted here, there and everywhere, it’s making me feel annoyed and disorganised. I’m starting to feel in a right ol’ quandary as to what to pick up next. So, I’m going to get a bit more focused and organised, take full advantage of my lovely new diary, pens and stencils, and MAKE A PLAN.

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Time to regain some ORDER! ORDER AMONGST THE SHELVES!!

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To start with, I’ve put a note on my contact page so authors can see that I am currently not receiving review copies. I need to catch up! I have a NetGalley request ban put in place, I have a feedback ratio of 76% and that 80% badge is within spittin’ distance, and maaaan I want it.

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So, without further ado, here is my January/February reading plan. And this time, no off-piste moments, I’m sticking to it like llama saliva to a blanket.

(Click on the covers to be taken to the Goodreads page.)

Currently Reading:

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Next in Line:

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And finally:

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This is my action plan, I’m smashing through this lot during Jan/Feb like a madman and his melon.

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Have you a disorganised backlog? Does your TBR shelf need a talking to? Let me know what your plans are and I’ll lend you my enormous flaming hammer. Or something.

 

 

 

 

 

Down the TBR Hole #1

 

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I get a lot of satisfaction from organising my book shelves, whether it’s my virtual ones on Goodreads or my jam-packed ones at home. I see this post LOTS and always read Zuky the Bookbum‘s regular post so her decluttering has inspired me to do the same. I think this tag was first started by Lost in a Story a year or so ago, and what a fab idea it is! Both these bloggers always have great posts, so go check them out 😁

There’s a few simple guidelines:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide should it stay or go.

If I was realistic and sensible in my TBR disposal, I’d probably need a hole like this:

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However, me being me, and my clingy attachments to my books, I think a more suitable sized hole would be something like this:

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Anyway, after much deliberation, I have removed 5 books. I will definitely do this ‘shelf spruce up’ on a regular basis. I now have 667 on my TBR! 😮

 

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The Resurrectionist:The Lost Work of Dr Spencer Black

There’s a few mixed reviews on this one, but on re-reading the blurb, I’ve decided I’ll give it a miss. I have a LOT of historical reads to get through and this has a fantasy element that doesn’t quite do it for me.

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Beneath a Buried House

This is just one of those freebies that I seem to add  without properly reading the synopsis. I notice the word  ‘free’ and that’s good enough for me. I have stopped that  habit lately, this was an early addition to my TBR, but it   doesn’t sound that good to warrant keeping it.

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Alice (The Chronicles of Alice #1)

How very fitting, having an Alice in Wonderland retelling going down the hole! I absolutely love the original, it has such fond memories for me because my mum helped me learn to read with Alice and her Wonderland and Looking Glass adventures. I want to keep my thoughts of Alice traditional, I don’t want to read a darker version of this story. The original was dark enough!

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The Library of Shadows

The reviews of this have put me off reading it a little. Some are saying it’s trying too hard to be like The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I saw the word ‘Library’ in the title and didn’t read the blurb, when will I learn?! Disposed of.

25059492  Regarding Anna

Yet another freebie Kindle from yesteryear! I would never get around to reading this, there is simply far too many better options in the mystery genre. So, Anna, sorry love, but I’m gonna have to let you go.

 

So, there you have it, my first Down the TBR Hole post, a measly 5, but I won’t be adding to my TBR any more this year, (promise!) so it’s a job well done.

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My Five Star Top Ten of 2017

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It’s been a bumper year for fantastic reads, I’ve been to wonderful places, and experienced all the feels with this bunch of lovelies! It wasn’t the easiest of decisions to pick just ten, but here are my unforgettable books of the year, in no particular order:

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I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the authors of these books, all of which I was lucky enough to receive in exchange for review. Perhaps next year I might actually buy a book, but, you know, perks of being a book blogger/reviewer and all that! 😉

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Shadowland by Radclyffe

Shadowland by Radclyffe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quite a few years ago now, when I got my hands on my first Kindle, I went on a free-book rampage. I’d not long been a member of GR, but I was loving my newly found access to loads of free books and adding them to my (very small at the time!) TBR shelf. Now, I’ll own up, a LOT of them were Kindle-smut! I’d discovered that a lot of freebies, ironically, came at a price, being that 80%+ of them were utter rubbish!! But, occasionally, there was a diamond in the rough, and Shadowland by Radclyffe was one of them.

After recently reading many thrillers, horrors, historical fic, etc, etc, I wanted to read something completely different. So I hunted through my Kindle and decided to read this, and it hooked me in, handcuffed my attention to the bed, and promptly impressed the hell out of me!

Shadowland, in a nutshell, is a complex story about a group of gay women who have more baggage, secrets, flaws, and attitude than ANY bunch of characters I’ve ever read about. Radclyffe has written the most brilliant character-focused story I’ve come across in a long, long time. I don’t read much at all in the LGBT fiction genre, but the character dynamics are first class. Having no men around makes for an absolute knock-out read! Even the women don’t understand the women, so I don’t think men have much hope, that’s for sure!

Now, onto the more gritty side of things.

Trigger warning, a BIG part of this story evolves around, some might say, unconventional lifestyles. In that there’s BDSM, total power exchange (TPE), D/s (Domme/sub) relationships and leather, lots of leather 😉 There is also mind-games, occasional drug use, edge play and a variety of sex toys that inflict both pleasure and pain. So if you’re after a cute lesbian romance, this book isn’t for you. However, if you’ve got an open mind and just fancy reading something a little darker, without that typical ‘alpha male’ throwing his weight around, choose this, there’s ‘alpha females’ instead. How refreshing!

So, going back to the smut side of things, this one stands right out from the crowd. The author didn’t feel the need to use profanity hardly at all. The sex scenes are erotic and loving, with very little essence of titillation for titillations sake, just the right amount of description to set the scene and paint the picture bold enough for the reader to capture the imagery perfectly.

When a plot is this good, when the characters are this strong and when the writing has such flow, I’m completely sold. This is NOT smut. Or pointless, crass sexploits purely written to get the reader ‘off’! This is a great character driven story by a brilliant author.

I really can’t fault it. My only disappointment is that none of Radclyffes other books are free!!

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