Friday 30 July 2021

Book Review | Life Sucks After You Die by Crystal-Rain Love | prettylittlewriter

'All Danni Keller wanted to do was go to a bar and drown her sorrows in some alcohol, but she managed to get attacked by an incubus. Now she's being guarded by a hunky but oh so irritating vampire (who bit her too) while the incubus stalks her.

Being guarded by the sexy vampire probably wouldn't be that bad if not for the fact her perfect boss has finally noticed her. Try dating while a vampire guards you way too closely and an incubus tracks your every move, waiting to pounce.

Then there's some creepy hunter guy who also wants to kill Danni.

The sun wants to kill her. 
Human food wants to kill her.
Don't even get her started on her family.

Life sucks after you die.

Now this is a novel I really sank my teeth into (pun intended!).

Crystal-Rain grabbed my attention straight away with the gorgeous and charming character of Rider, a man that I wish existed in real life. I normally like a bit of a bad boy in my books, however, Rider truly was a gentleman towards every single woman he met (unless they betrayed him), and he was a badass when it came to protected our main character.


Danni is a difficult character to grasp. Sometimes, she can seem like a spoilt and selfish person, but then you meet her family, and you understand why she might act this way, since her family treat her like absolute shit and make her feel small and incomparable to them.

She also acts incredibly ungrateful, as although she was turned into a Vampire by Rider without her full consent (she had no idea what he meant when he asked if she wanted to die or to live), he did save her life, and gave her a second chance, which she never really thanked him for.


Danni is also extremely self-conscious and self-deprecating. She constantly belittles herself and doesn’t see why anyone, especially someone as handsome as Rider or Selander Ryan, would be interested in her. It was frustrating to me that every single time Rider complimented her or said how much he cared for her, she batted it off with an insult.


The character of Selander Ryan was interesting. I could picture both him and Rider incredibly well (definitely fancied Rider more as I prefer dark haired men) and their rivalry led to some very intriguing and clever scenes.


The only issue I really had with this novel is that the final few chapters, where the ‘epic battle’ and resolutions happened, were a little anti-climactic.

I felt like it ended way too easily.


Overall, it’s a brilliant take on Vampires, and incorporating Succubus/Incubus was something I have yet to read elsewhere.

I would highly recommend this book, and I’m super excited to continue reading the series!


(The series is free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited, which you can currently get a 3 month free trial of).


4.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday 24 July 2021

Book Review | Girl One by Sara Flannery Murphy | prettylittlewriter

 I was kindly gifted this ARC by Raven Books.

'Josephine Morrow is Girl One; The first of nine miracle babies conceived without male DNA. When the commune they were raised on is burned down in a suspicious fire, taking the life of their creator Dr. Bellanger and the youngest miracle daughter, the remaining Mothers and Girls scatter across the country in an attempt to build new lives for themselves. Years later, Josie’s Mom disappears, so she sets off on a trip across America, tracking down her estranged sisters in a desperate search for her mother, making friends, and enemies, along the way.'

This novel was incredibly thought-provoking and unique. How incredible would it be if there was a way for women to have children without a sperm donor? So many single women (and lesbian couples) would probably jump at the chance to create a child all on their own.

Josie is a brilliant protagonist, giving us insight into life on the homestead as a child; she is brave, charming and relatable.

We follow her journey of discovery through her own eyes, learning things about her past, and the present, as she does.

I also absolutely adored the character of Cate, another of the miracle babies that Josie recoups with along the way.


There were some difficult and heart wrenching moments; Sara really knows how to pull on the readers heartstrings.


As we all know, I don’t like to give spoilers,  but I will say that there are so many twists in this novel, that you are kept on your toes throughout, and I certainly didn’t expect some of them!

I did feel a little cheated after one of the big surprises surrounding the character of Tom, mainly because it was revealed to us, and then just fell on the back burner with everything else that was going on. I do think there could have been a few more chapters to delve into it, but I understand why Sara didn’t, as the book is fairly fleshy as it is!


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would highly recommend to anyone that likes a thriller, combined with a bit of sci-fi!


The novel will be published in the UK on August 5th in hardback.


4.5/5 stars

Friday 16 July 2021

Book Review | Sleeping with a Psychopath by Carolyn Woods | prettylittlewriter

 Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the eARC.

'Carolyn Woods was living happily in a quiet Cotswolds village when an attractive stranger abruptly arrived in her life.

Introducing himself as Mark Conway, he exuded confidence, and to her surprise, Carolyn quickly became captivated by this mysterious man. A rich Swiss banker (who later confessed to being a spy), he offered Carolyn companionship and introduced her to an exciting, glamorous world.

In fact, some things were so astonishing she began to question her new lover. Was all as it seemed?

The truth was even harder to believe. For a start, his real name was Mark Acklom, he was wanted by Interpol, and he was rich but for one reason only....'

This is an unbelievable true story that shook me to the core. I honestly couldn't understand how this poor woman was taken in so easily by Mark, who's real name is Mark Acklom (honestly, google him, he's despicable).

When I first requested this novel via Netgalley, I actually didn't realise that it was a true story. So going into it, and hearing Carolyn telling us that she slept with this man after a day of knowing him, and fell madly in love, giving him all her money and trusting him blindly, I was outraged and genuinely thought she was an absolute idiot.

When I realised that she had actually been through all of this in real life, I was shocked and heartbroken for her. In some ways, I still can't actually believe she was taking in by him (he's an arrogant and disgusting racist, and personally I would have wanted NOTHING to do with him), however, the amount of people throughout the book that we learn he has convinced with his lies, makes you wonder just how good he must be to have all these people doing his bidding.

I also felt like the 'character' of Carolyn throughout the book, specifically during her relationship with Mark, was quite an arrogant, vain and snobbish woman. I struggled to feel any sympathy for her during this part of the novel, and it was only when she finally realised what had been happening to her, and she decided to go to the police, that I actually felt sorry for her and what she had been put through.

It must have been incredibly hard for her, especially with how shockingly rubbish the authorities were and how little help she received to start with. The justice system really did fail her.

The novel itself has been written well, especially the first half where it sounds more fictional with her telling the story of their relationship and the ridiculously wild things they did; the second half felt much more like an autobiography rather than a novel, as it was very factual and to the point with the court cases and police proceedings. 

I didn't enjoy the read as much as I thought I would from the synopsis, but it's worth reading to understand Carolyn's side of the story.

3/5 stars

Thursday 8 July 2021

Book Review | The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jonasson | prettylittlewriter

Today's review is a mixed one. There were many aspects of this novel that I enjoyed; it was well written, there were some interesting characters and the ghost story was a spooky surprise. 


'Una knows she is struggling to deal with her father's sudden, tragic suicide. She spends her nights drinking alone in Reykjavik, stricken with thoughts that she might one day follow in his footsteps.

So when she sees an advert seeking a teacher for two girls in the tiny village of Skálar - population of 10 - on the storm-battered north coast of the island, she sees it as a chance to escape.

But once she arrives, Una quickly realises nothing in city life has prepared her for this. The villagers are unfriendly. The weather is bleak. And, from the creaky attic bedroom of the old house where she's living, she's convinced she hears the ghostly sound of singing.

Una worries that she's losing her mind.

And then, just before Christmas, there's an unexplained death, and Una's life going from bad to worse....'

Within this novel, there were numerous things that I found disappointing, and the ending fell a bit flat for me. 

Throughout this novel, there were several subplots that could have created drama or some interesting scenarios for our the main character, Una, but they were either short-lived, or just didn't go anywhere at all.
There is one character that, although married, tries it on with Una, and we also find out she's not the only one he's done it to, but instead of it turning into an issue for Una with the wife, or the possibility of creating a bad guy out of that character, the subplot just ends. 
It almost feels like there were numerous different things like this that were mentioned, and they were all just null and void to the actual story. 

I also felt like I didn't connect with any of the characters, I didn't particularly care about what happened to the residents of Skalar, or even Una herself. The only character I found myself liking was Thor, a potential love interest for Una.

I will say however, that the writing itself is very good, and I can see why a lot of people do love the book, but for me personally, I just felt let down by all the wasted potential within it.

I could see this novel working as an Icelandic TV show adaptation, but I think the character development would need to be worked on, and I would like to see the smaller subplots be fleshed out and actually turned into something.

All in all, I enjoyed the read up to a point, but it certainly isn't going to be one of my favourite books that I've read this year.

3/5 stars

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Book Review | Near The Bone by Christina Henry | prettylittlewriter

A chilling, suspenseful novel, full of grit, horror and supernatural elements.

'Mattie can't remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes that they're not alone after all.

There's something in the woods that wasn't there before, something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws.

When three strangers appear on the mountaintop looking for the creature in the woods, Mattie knows their presence will anger William. Terrible things happen when William is angry.'
This is the first novel by Christina Henry I have read, but I now want to read every single one of her other books.

Near The Bone is the perfect horror novel, full of terror and horrific surprises.

The character of Mattie is a shy, downtrodden girl, who's life has been a living hell thanks to William, her husband. The abuse she goes through at the hands of this man is horrendous, I truly have never hated a character more than I hate William.

So when Mattie discovers there's another monster on the mountain with them, I was rooting for it to rip William to shreds. 

The monster on the mountain has a lot of mystery surrounding it, the characters only ever see footprints or a huge claw, and we as the reader see it as they do. In some ways, I wanted to know what it was, but the unknown added to the already creepy atmosphere, so it didn't take away from the story at all. 

Mattie ends up meeting some strangers on the mountain, after William takes her out hunting for the monster, and one of them recognises her, but we don't find out why until nearer the end of the novel. 

The monster slowly starts picking them off, and Mattie starts realising that she not only needs to get off the mountain to escape the possibly supernatural monster, but also, the monster that is her husband.
Every single page kept me hooked, Henry has some seriously good writing skills. I genuinely felt like I was there on that mountain; I felt completely immersed within the story, and I really wanted to see Mattie have a happy ending.

I really enjoyed the internal monologue of Mattie as she battled her demons and the submissive part of herself that told her William would not be happy with the things she was doing.

As always, I'll be sharing no spoilers, but I was pleased with the way this novel ended.

I highly recommend this book, and I cannot wait to read more from Christina. 

I am also super happy that I purchased this special edition from Forbidden Planet, signed by the author and with stunning blue sprayed edges.

5/5 stars

Thursday 1 July 2021

Book Review | We Are Broken by Paul Coffey | prettylittlewriter

 I was lucky enough to receive We Are Broken by independent author Paul Coffey after winning a giveaway he held on Instagram.

He is such a lovely man, and I was thrilled to receive my signed copy a couple of months back! 

My partner decided to read it first, as he's a big war era fan, he loves to watch all the movies but has never read any books with reference to it.


'Charlie Hobbs survived the Great War, but not without a price. Severely wounded, he's left with a terrible facial disfigurement, which makes him feel embarrassed to go out. Hobbs has a tin mask created as a replica of his previous face, to wear to hide his disfigurement, so he can go through life without feeling like a sideshow. 
But he soon finds out that it isn't just the war that creates monsters, there are some that were already that way; those that can't escape their demons.'

My partner devoured this book in a couple of days at the beginning of this month, and now I have also squeezed it in as my very last book of June!

Paul has a brilliant way with words. The description of the wounds these men have, along with some terrifying dreams that the character of Freddy suffers from, really create a sense of fragility and torment.  

Hobbs is a very likable character, you feel so incredibly sorry for him and what he has suffered through, and the trauma that he ends up dealing with throughout this book due to other characters, it really pulls on your heartstrings. 
I also loved the characters of Thirza, Mary and Solomon, and was very surprised with THAT twist. 

Being someone that doesn't really enjoy war films that much, or documentaries about it as they are very harrowing to watch, I was very happy with just how much I enjoyed this novel.

Without giving anything else away as you would just have to read the book, I would highly recommend, and it was a heart-breaking, lovely novel about friendship, family and getting through trauma. 

4/5 stars

(Thank you again Paul for sending me a copy!)