April has been a really strange month for a lot of us I think. With two young children to now home school alongside normal life, it’s been a juggle to say the least. One thing I’ve really tried to do though is keep reading.
Books have been a real escape for me and somewhere to get lost when I start to feel overwhelmed. In a world where we currently cannot roam free, books are allowing me to head outside and enjoy the world in their pages.
So, this is what I’ve been reading this month. It’s a real mixture of laugh out loud funny, chick lit Harlequin romances with a few really good thrillers thrown into to mix.
Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life by Kristen Bailey
This is an absolute gem of a book. Literally had me laughing out loud from start to finish. I usually try and summarise books in my own words but to be honest, the blurb on this one does it justice and sets the tone perfectly.
It’s normal for your washing machine to get more action than you, right?
I wake up, bleary-eyed. It’s been two years, six months and three hours since I last shaved my legs, and the llama-patterned knickers I’m wearing have seen better days.
We have seven minutes before the kids wake up, and my husband shuffles closer. ‘Ouch,’ he says, a piece of Lego sticking into his back.
Then, a light comes on in the landing. Small footsteps creep down the stairs. A little voice screams, ‘IS SOMEONE COMING TO MAKE BREAKFAST?!’
All hope of having some ‘alone time’ is replaced with wondering if we’ve run out of Cheerios, thinking about the overflowing laundry, and remembering that I forgot to take out the recycling. Again.
Just a typical Monday morning for the Morton family…
Except today, when I go downstairs in my dressing gown, I find something. Something belonging to my husband. Something that definitely wasn’t in the wedding vows. And it’s either going to make us… or break us.
I will give a little bit of a spoiler and tell you that “something” is a rather large blue dildo. As in MASSIVE. What follows is hilarious, heartfelt and so much fun. If you’re a mummy who is married to someone you love but you’ve just lost your mojo (or have been there at some point in your life), honestly so much of this book will ring true for you.
Easily the best £1.99 I’ve spent this year!
The TCD Harlequin mini-series – AD | eARC
The Tactical Crime Division (TCD) is a new addition to the Harlequin Intrigue family and I was invited to take a closer look at the brand new four book mini-series.
The mini-series follows the people who form part of the TCD – a specialized unit of the FBI. With a mix of tactical and technical expertise, the characters are the best of the best. Published across March, April, May and June – this month I’ve taken a look at the first two books of the series.
Although part of a mini-series, I like that each book can be read as a standalone novel.
48 Hour Lockdown by Carla Cassidy – AD | eARC
The first book of the series follows agent Even Duran – expert negotiator – as he heads out to a hostage negotiation at a school. A teacher is being held at gun point along with three students. What complicates matters for Duran though is that the teacher is Annalise Taylor, the woman who broke his heart three years ago.
With emotions running high, 48 Hour Lockdown is full of drama and conflict. With a strong story, this was a nice quick and easy read. The only thing that lets it down a little is their breakup in the first place. It feels rather sketchy on the details to say the least and more of a plot tool rather than a real part of their back story. That being said, this is a good start to this mini-series
Secret Investigation by Elizabeth Heiter – AD | eARC
The second book follows Davis Rogers – an ex-ranger is the US army as he looks to seek out who is behind the failure of military armoured vests which took the life of his friend. Going undercover inside Petrov Armor is risky and he wasn’t expecting CEO Leila Petrov to be quite as sassy and attractive as she is.
The story was a little bit of a stretch and I’m a little annoyed that we didn’t learn anything about Davis at all as a character, but this as good solid quick read, great for anyone who enjoys this genre. It has all the chemistry of a Harlequin novel, but with added action and drama. Secret Investigation will appeal to anyone who likes their romance to have plenty of action in the story as well as in relationships.
Also, I can’t wait to see what Melinda and Kane’s story will bring so I hope that one is coming down the line in this series. For me they added much more of an interesting pairing and I’m interested to see what Heiter has in store for them.
Ps. yes, I know these covers are awful, but these are quite good fun for anyone that loves a little Harlequin escapism!
Missing by C. L. Taylor
Fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson has been missing for 6 months and Missing follows his mother Claire as she tries to cope. She blames herself but then again, it seems that everyone in the Wilkinson family blames themselves. Billy’s father, his brother and even his uncle, the question is though who has the darkest secret of them all and is Billy still alive?
I really enjoyed this book. It gripped me right from the start and I devoured it in just 2 days. As a parent myself I couldn’t help but empathise with Claire. Not only does she need to come to terms with the fact that her son is missing, but the closer she comes to the truth, the more it seems that she didn’t know Billy at all. I also liked that the more you read, the more you release that Billy is more than just an innocent victim. There is a darkness to him that is more realistic than the usual “perfect missing schoolboy” that this kind of novel usually relies on which I thought gave the story a little more depth.
This is my first C. L. Taylor novel but there is no doubt that I will be reading more. With short snappy chapters that kept me turning page after page, I found myself reading “just one more quick chapter” all day. Brilliant novel and anyone who loves a good thriller will enjoy this.
This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf – AD | eARC
This was a brilliant book. 25 years ago, Eve Knox went missing, her body found by her sister Nola and best friend Maggie. Now a detective, Maggie has taken on the cold case after new evidence comes to light.
Told in the present from both Nola and Maggie’s perspective, as well as the past in Eve’s own voice, This Is How I Lied is a fast paced read that had revelations with every page. As Eve herself says, why do all the people who claim to love her, want to hurt her? The question is though, who hurt Eve enough to actually kill her? This Is How I Lied has it all: an abusive ex-boyfriend, an absent mother, a best friend with her own secrets, threatening vagrants and a sister who is clearly damaged.
There were a few twists that were expected, a massive one that shocked me and a final twist which uncovers the truth as to what happened that night.
If you enjoy a good thriller then this one is worth a read!
My Lies, Your Lies by Susan Lewis AD | eARC
This one was a real page turner.
Joely is a ghost writer who gets an assignment from a mysterious new client. Seeing as her husband has moved out to live with her best friend, it could not have come at a better time for her. Freda is an aging writer who has shut herself away from almost everyone, but she has a story to tell to right a wrong that happened a long time ago. A wrong that starts with a 15-year-old girl and her music teacher. A wrong that ends in tragedy.
As time passes though, Joely feels a connection to Freda’s story. Little does she know that this story comes closer to home than she could have ever imagined.
This is a great book from Lewis. filled with some great characters. Although it gets incredibly dark, I never stop liking pretty much all of the characters. If I was going to be picky – and I mean really picky! – then I would say that Joely’s own secret is a little anti-climactic when it finally comes to light. Other than that, this is a brilliant book with some fantastic characters from the mad old aunt to the teen who sees more and has more insight that people give her credit for. I loved it and would recommend this to people looking for a story to get lost in.
And that’s it! I’ve enjoyed some brilliant books this month, with Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life, Missing and This Is How I Lied all standing out for me as fantastic reads.
- Books read this month: 6
- Books read so far in 2020: 24
What about you? Have you read anything this month that you would recommend?
DISCLOSURE: some of these books have been gifted to me in return for my honest opinion which has been provided to the publishers via NetGalley. These books are clearly marked with AD and described as an Advance Readers Copy. I am not paid to do this, I do it because I love to read. The decision to include them on this blog is my own and I am under no obligation to do so.