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Blog Tour – Girls’ Night Out – Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Published July 24, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

What did I think?:

First of all, thank you so much to Sian, Annabelle and Lake Union Publishing for getting in contact and asking if I’d like to participate in the blog tour for this thrilling novel and for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Well, where do I start? You know when a book comes along at exactly the right time in your life and for some reason or another, something either about the characters or content moves you? Step right up, Girls’ Night Out. I happen to have returned this year from a once in a lifetime holiday to Mexico which was a necessary process of healing for me after a traumatic eighteen months in my life. Our girls in the novel go on such a holiday themselves and it was wonderful to read about a country, and indeed specific places that I knew so well from my own experience, it only made the novel and the difficult situation experienced by our female leads all the more endearing and exciting.

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, authors of Girls’ Night Out.

I’ll just pop off a very basic synopsis here but to be perfectly honest, you really need to go into this novel without knowing very much at all. It’s the story of three friends: Natalie, Ashley and Lauren. Natalie and Ashley have a very successful business together but are at loggerheads at the moment after Revlon make them an offer to buy their company. Ashley and Lauren also have a very tense and fragile relationship which stems from a resentful argument that happened just after Lauren’s husbands death. Ashley has arranged the trip to Mexico to try and re-connect with both Natalie and Lauren and repair the cracks in their friendships. However, things don’t go exactly to plan and when Ashley mysteriously disappears without a trace, Natalie and Lauren must confront more things in their past than they were ever prepared to challenge.

The Gran Cenote, Tulum, Mexico. I’m lucky enough to have actually been here!

So, as I mentioned, I immediately leapt at the chance to read this book, particularly as I had just spent time in that exact area but even better besides, this book actually exceeded my expectations. It’s easy to read, obviously exciting and action-packed, has an air of mystery and intrigue that is undeniable and instantly captivating and I was simply a willing participant in the mysterious ride of what exactly happened to Ashley. The narrative jumps across time-lines and narrators from each female lead, to the days leading up to Ashley’s disappearance then fast forwards to the present time where the girls are desperately trying to piece together what went on and then finally, to that fateful night itself. Page by page, the tension continues to creep up notch by notch and by the end, it becomes a furiously page-turning journey where I just HAD to have all the answers to all my (many!) questions.

I wouldn’t necessarily say the authors throw multiple red herrings the readers way, it’s not a twisty kind of book in my opinion. It’s more about the mystery behind what happened, focusing heavily on the friendships between the girls, their marriages, their business relationships and a rogue factor that may or may not have had bearing on the precarious situation that Ashley finds herself in. For me, I just enjoyed this book for what it was – a fun and fascinating musing on the nature of relationships and how much of a devastating effect a sour element can create between previously intimate friends.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been best friends for over 25 years and survived high school and college together. They’ve co-authored four novels, including the bestseller THE GOOD WIDOW. Liz lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and five rescue dogs. Their next suspense novel, Girls’ Night Out, is out July 24th, 2018.

Connect with Liz and Lisa:

www.lizandlisa.com
Instagram: @lisaandliz
Twitter: @lizandlisa
FB: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Thank you once again to Sian, Annabelle and Lake Union Publishing for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, I’ve had a wonderful time doing it. Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke is published in paperback and eBook on 24th July by Lake Union Publishing. If you fancy some more information don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour for some amazing reviews!

Link to Girls’ Night Out on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37759098-girls-night-out?ac=1&from_search=true

Link to Girls’ Night Out on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girls-Night-Out-Liz-Fenton/dp/1503902560/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532272808&sr=8-1&keywords=girls+night+out+book

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The Art Of Hiding – Amanda Prowse

Published November 20, 2017 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

What would you do if you learned that the life you lived was a lie?

Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

What did I think?:

First of all, thank you so much to Lake Union Publishing for auto-approving me on NetGalley for this contemporary novel, my first by Amanda Prowse and I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis and the fact that some of it was set in Southampton, a city I know very well through living there for about ten years, going to college and university and getting my first “proper” job out of university there and making some of the best friends I’ve had in my life. By and large I found this to be an enjoyable novel however I’m sorry to say I wasn’t blown away by the narrative. There is nothing wrong with the writing, it’s merely a case of personal preference and I know this book has some fantastic ratings on Goodreads from reviewers who have loved it so please don’t take my word as gold.

It’s the story of Nina, who lives a charmed and privileged life in a huge, luxurious house in an area where places to lives are much sought after and the quality of life is excellent. Her two boys, Connor and Declan attend private school, are doing well academically and have vast numbers of friends. Basically, they are all deliriously happy in their lives and you can almost smell the imminent tragedy just waiting in the wings. Tragedy it certainly is, in the form of Nina’s husband Finn being killed in a car accident. He was the sole bread-winner in the house and took charge of all the finances but Nina isn’t too worried until she is given the devastating news that the family is actually millions of pounds in debt and almost everything they own, including their gorgeous house, has to be taken away from them in lieu of payment.

Nina and her sons are forced to leave their beautiful surroundings and exclusive school and move back to her childhood home, a council estate in one of the less affluent areas of Southampton. The rest of the story follows Nina and her boys as they struggle with their grief for their father, adjust to a completely new way of life where their next meal may not necessarily be the most opulent of offerings and learn to pull together as a family and embrace this horribly difficult period of their lives. Nina herself must come to terms with the fact that she might not ever have really known her husband and learn how to be independent and stand on her own two feet, finding a job, loving and protecting her sons and learning how to make them all a happy family once more.

Let me assure everyone who might be dumbfounded that I didn’t enjoy this book that there are actually a lot of positive things about it and many reasons why other people will love it. Whilst I didn’t particularly warm to the character of Nina, I appreciated the horrific situation she found herself in and the strong moves that she made in order to protect her children, which obviously was going to be her number one priority. Also, there is a moment in the story where you think the author is going to take it a perhaps more obvious, clichéd way in terms of Nina meeting someone. I fully admit, I was all ready to roll my eyes and put the book down in disgust but she really surprised me. She didn’t make it an ultimate cheese-fest, she didn’t make it all about Nina finding another man and instead, deliberately made it much more about Nina looking out for her children, becoming a woman that doesn’t necessarily need to fall conveniently into another relationship. God, I appreciated that!

To be perfectly honest, I can’t say too many negative things about this book. I disliked Finn as a character intensely – I found him controlling and manipulative but my heart still broke a little bit for Nina as she began to see his true colours after his death and realise how much she had been missing out on as she stayed at home where she had little input in many situations. Personally, the mystery behind the huge debt that Finn accrued through the business and his death (which could have been seen as mysterious) wasn’t explored as much as I might have liked and I didn’t feel I connected with many of the characters. Mostly, I think this story was just missing a little something for me, a certain “oomph,” something I can’t quite put my finger on but it just meant that as I read it, I never felt particularly excited. I’d love to know what you think if you’ve read it, please feel free to disagree with everything I’ve said, after all we all get something different out of every book we read, right?

Would I recommend it?:

Maybe!

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

October 2017 – Book Bridgr/NetGalley/ARC month

Published October 1, 2017 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone! Every other month I alternate what I’m reading quite specifically between three things. It’s either Chrissi Cupboard Month where I try my best to get through all the books my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads lends me (and that’s a lot!). Then there’s Real Book Month where I try and read all the physical books just waiting to be devoured on my bookshelves (also a LOT!) Finally, there’s Book Bridgr/NetGalley/ARC Month where I try and catch up on all those ARC/review copies sent to me by authors, publishers, NetGalley and Book Bridgr. (A LOT!) October is going to be one of the latter months and here’s what I’m looking forward to getting to this month:

Stranger – David Bergen

(courtesy of Duckworth Overlook Publishers)

What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky – Lesley Nneka Arimah

(courtesy of Tinder Press via NetGalley)

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead – Charlie Laidlaw

(courtesy of author)

Rivals Of The Republic – Annelise Freisenbruch

(courtesy of Duckworth Overlook Publishers)

The Art Of Hiding – Amanda Prowse

(courtesy of Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley)

Is Monogamy Dead? – Rosie Wilby

(courtesy of author)