New Monthly 5 Book Review

Good Evening (or I should say Good Night since it is 23:03 here in the UK) everyone! Welcome back to my reviews. Here's Audiobook Review #2. 

"Rock Hard" by Nalini Singh.

Yes it is very late at night here in the UK and yes there is a theme to the first few Audiobook reviews I am doing, and the theme is Nalini Singh - but the types of books are very different, so don't judge a book by its cover, or in this case, don't judge a book by its author. 

What I'm showing you here is that not only is Nalini Singh a great author, but that the various types of books that she has written are exactly the kinds of books that you can easily find yourself drawn to, time and again. So, here I am, sitting in front of my screen at silly o'clock at night with a late cup of decaff coffee to hand (because who on earth drinks regular coffee at this time of night?) typing up my thoughts on "Rock Hard".

This was the first of a new, or I should say different series I'd heard by Nalini Singh so I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew it would be good as I already knew of Nalini's other work, but still a different kind of series can always make things awkward. 

There's huge differences between the series, so if you choose to get hold of "Rock Hard" expecting it to be like the 'Psy-Changeling' series, you'd be wrong. This book features a hunky hulk of a rugby player (now there's a sport I could get behind watching) who has retired from the sport due to injury, but has found his niche in business and in that role meets Charlie, the woman who wins his heart. 

What makes me laugh from the start is the introduction that the characters first have to each other. In the movies, this is referred to as a 'meet-cute'. This one is one of the funniest character meets I've had for a long time and even typing this out has made me chuckle as I hear the scene in my head again. 

Spoiler alert - Charlie's worked late in the office to get things done as there is a new boss and things need to be done. What she doesn't know is that the new boss has also worked late, and on the phone to her friend, panics when she hears a noise coming from the filing room. She arms herself with what she deems to be a suitable (ok, available, if not suitable) weapon and creeps over to see what the noise was. As is, she sees a person coming out of the filing room and promptly throws said weapon at them! (Weapon of choice was a stapler). Not too funny yet? Maybe it is the way I'm telling it. Turns out the person she threw the stapler at was the new boss (cue hunky rugby player) who tells her that next time she ought to throw a hole punch as it is heavier and likely to hurt more when it hits the person it is aimed at! (cue me laughing till I cry at the dry tone the line is delivered in) - you'll get used to my sense of very dry humor. 

Needless to say, the tone of the book is set. While yes, the book is primarily aimed at the ladies (Chick-lit is a really derogatory term), the plot of the book is a good mixture of the blossoming relationship between Charlie and the new boss as well as Charlie's back story which is weaved in to help explain certain traits of Charlie's that you might otherwise dismiss. Add in the fact that Charlie refers to the boss as "T-Rex" and the funny chapter headings and the book is a treat. 

"Rock Hard" is a part of a series of books and I have 3 of them. I honestly enjoy listening to them and I think you will too. 

A 4 book score from me for this one. 

Stay Safe, look after each other and I'll see you on the next one!

Keep Reading! x

Happy Sunday! Welcome back to my review section. 

This morning I'm going to be starting my new Audiobook reviews for you, so let's begin.

Today I'm looking at the "Psy-Changeling" series of books by Nalini Singh. You may remember I have read the actual books a dozen times over and love them! Well, to pass some time while I've been working from home due to the pandemic, I've taken to listening to Audiobooks - it breaks the silence of working at home and I get to listen to something that I enjoy. 

The series is narrated by Angela Dawe. Angela has a really nice voice, calming and yet engaging at the same time, and doesn't detract from the books that she is reading. There's some very dry comments made by the characters that in the books had made me laugh, and in the Audiobook format didn't disappoint, in fact, I think I may have laughed even harder. There is something to be said about having an idea in your mind as to what a character sounds like and then hearing that voice while listening to the Audiobook and hearing the conversations between the characters is just brilliant, and brings the whole thing to life. 

The first book of the series, "Slave to Sensation" is still one of my favourites, even now. It is the first introduction you get to the series itself, to a lot of the regular characters and the world that Nalini is creating. The fact that the series is set around 100 years in the future give credence to the idea that this could all be a reality and who is to say that it isn't? 

While the cost of the Audiobooks can be a downside, as with anything else, shop around, you may find them at a good price, depending on the platform you use. 

A clear 5 book score from me (or should that be 5 headphones?), I find it just as easy to become immersed into the books and I can while away the hours listening to the books, pausing them for meetings and the like. 

As always, the reviews aren't sponsored, they are purely my personal opinions and thoughts. I hope that these reviews, like those for the paperbacks/hardbacks inspire you to try something new, listen to something different, read something you haven't tried before. 

See you in the next one! Stay safe, look after each other and as always, Keep Reading! x

Good Morning everyone! Happy Sunday!

As you may have guessed by the heading of this post, I am going to be completing a series of Audio Book reviews. 

I took to listening to Audio Books during the pandemic, in particular when working alone at home to stave off the quiet - I'm used to working in an office for my day job - and having an Audio Book playing in the background became quite theraputic for me. It also meant I could listen to books that I may have read a dozen times over (as you'll see by the titles), but in hearing the books rather than reading the words, getting a better idea of the characters portrayed and the stories being told. 

I don't need to say that some of the lines spoken by some of the characters that I thought were funny when I read them turned out to be even better when heard in the audio version of the book. 

I also discovered something else when listening to the books - the narrator makes all the difference. I have found myself drawn to the books read by certain people, not because I don't like the other books, but because I like how a certain narrator sounds. Trust me, I have outright deleted from my existence 3 Audio Books that were good on paper, but in reality were absolutely terrible because hearing the books read by the particular narrators just ruined it. Either the narrator sounded like they were trying too hard, or not hard enough to sound like they were enjoying the book they were reading and if the narrator sounds bored reading the book, how are you meant to enjoy hearing the book?

I know, that sounds like I'm being harsh, but I am purely being honest. In that vein, I will also say that some of the narrators I have listened to have made me laugh because of the accents that they have given the characters. In fact I have just finished listening to a Jessie Donovan book with a Welsh main character (I will do a review soon, I promise) and the way the narrator gave the character his voice made him sound exactly like a late great welsh actor who happened to star in one of the "Carry On" movies (one of my faves, 'Carry on England'.) I'll let you guess who I mean. The voice was brilliant and made me smile every time I heard it, though I did laugh at some of the lines delivered though they weren't meant to be funny because of the voice also. 

Right now I am happily 67% of the way through the 46th of 48 Audio Books that I have on my files and enjoying it to no end. As you will see from the reiews when I begin to post them is that I have a real theme to the books that I have been listening to. With the exception of 3 or 4 of the books, I have already read the books, either in paperback or e-book format and therefore have a knowledge of the book and characters/plot etc. This hasn't reduced my enjoyment of the books, in fact I have listened to one or more of the them more than once because I've enjoyed it so much. 

If you feel you don't have time to pick up and read it - we're all busy, right? Maybe Audio Books are for you. I get mine through the store on my machine, but online retailers will have them also, or you can by Audio Books on disc from good bookshops too. 

A downside? The cost involved. I am not going to sugar coat it - the audio versions of the books can cost almost double the cost of the paperback or e-book version, but this will depend where you get it from so shop around. There are bargains to be had and in fact on the books I listened to was actually a free book I was able to download from the store. 

So yes, while I do normally review the actual paperback/hardback books that I have my happy little hands on, I am going to review the ones I have been listening too and give you a little change from the norm. Of course, if there's any you think I would like to listen to, or you'd like me to review then please let me know using the contact me page on this site and I'll be sure to check it out. 

In the meantime, this is me signing off. Have a great Sunday, enjoy the rest of your weekend and I'll see you next time. 

Stay safe, look after each other and as always, Keep Reading! x

Hello everyone, welcome back.

Tonight's review is for "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" by Heather Morris. 

First I have 2 questions for you; firstly, have you read it? secondly, if not, why the heck not? 

The book is based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, the Tattooist of Auschwitz. I'll be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect from the book, I've heard of the horrors of the camps in much the same way as millions of people around the world heard of the horrors in the camps, but did I want to read what was, in essence, a first hand account? Turns out I did. 

This was a recommended book by a member of my book club (Emma James Book Club) who insisted that I read it. As it happens, I'm glad I did, finishing the book in just a couple of evenings. 

The horror of the camp is there in the background, but this story is much more about the people Lale encounters, how he came to be the Tattooist, hw he met his wife, the love of his life and moreover, how they came to survive the camp. I have been saddened reading the book and wanted nothing more than to sit and have a cry, but I wouldn't be helping those in the book. More than anything, I wanted to read what happened next, was there a happy ending? What happended when the camp was closed?

The book didn't disappoint and I would urge all of you to read it, however much you think you know about the Holocaust. To read the book is to hear Mr Sokolov's memories of his time spent in Auschwitz, to read the descriptions of the camp and daily life in there, to understand. 

To read this is to truly feel something about the strength of the human spirit, especially when all seems lost but you have that 1 thing you want to live for, that 1 thing that keeps you trying everyday to get through and come out the other side. 

I'm giving "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" a 3 book score, not because I didn't enjoy the book, I truly did. My score is more around whether I could bear to read the heartaching story again. I'm sure I will, but not just yet. Either way, I encourage you all to read it.

Enjoy, and as always, Keep Reading! x

Welcome back, my second review of the day is for "The Broken Window" by Jeffrey Deaver.

If you think Mr Deaver's name sounds familiar, it should, he is the author behind the character of Lincoln Rhyme, first seen in 1997's "The Bone Collector".

I really like the Lincoln Rhyme character, so I settled down and got stuck into this book. I'll be honest, this one freaked me a little more than just gruesome murders and so on would do, but for a reason not many would expect. This one gave me a real sense of 'big brother is watching you', an understanding of how the adverts received, perceived as junk mail but somehow tailored to you are sent out. 

I also now feel like I have to go and live off the grid as it were in a lovely log cabin somewhere pretty, go back to writing on my typewriter, and the only things around to be annoyed by the clack, clack, clack of the keys would be woodland animals. 

So I can safely say I have found something that scares me more than anything - the frightening amount of information that seems available to anyone and their aunty about yours truly. Makes me shudder even thinking about it. 

Back to the book, this is a hallmark Lincoln Rhyme, if you've read any of the Lincoln Rhyme series you will understand where I'm coming from. I love how the character is working hard to overcome his own personal issues with his mobility, as well as his relationship with Amelia Sachs, the positive affect she appears to have on Rhyme, who is an otherwise gruff and terse person to behold. 

This one is another example of how clever the plot lines are in Mr Deaver's books. Just when you think you have an idea as to who the bad guy is, you find yourself off down a different route, and I'll be honest, I did wonder on this one if a certain incident was too good to be true, but even I was pulled in the same directions as the characters as they were working the case for themselves. 

I loved it, and plan to complete my collection of Lincoln Rhyme novels as soon as I can find the space on my bookcase!

A 4 book score from me once again, a great book and I'd urge you to read if you like a good crime thriller. 

Enjoy, and as always, Keep Reading x