And Then She Fell by Dreena Collins – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

And Then She FellAnd Then She Fell by Dreena Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And Then She Fell is an emotional and captivating story. A year on from her daughter’s tragic death, Catherine is convinced there’s more to the story. As she probes, following in her daughter’s footsteps and talking to the people she knew, Catherine learns a lot about Susie, with plenty of surprises.

This book is a real page-turner. At the start, you think you’ve got a good idea what happened. But like Catherine, everything you learn unravels the story more. Is Catherine merely overanalysing a simple, tragic accident? Is she being protected from things Susie didn’t want her to know, or are people hiding the truth from her?

The first person narration is effective here – the story is told as Catherine talking to Susie, so we already know she is shaping the narrative to what she would want Susie to know and think. And interspersed are retellings of the moments leading up to Susie’s death, each presented in third person and as if this one must be the truth, but each undermined by the next.

This is a five star book for me! I couldn’t put it down, I was squeezing in a chapter on the bus to try and find out what would happen next. I’d recommend it to fans of mysteries and psychological thrillers!

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Soliloquy by Janet Fogg – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

SoliloquySoliloquy by Janet Fogg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Soliloquy is a moving time travel story with a musical thread running through it. After inheriting a mysterious box from her grandmother, Erin is transported through time and space to France in WWII. She has to balance surviving the time she’s in, finding a way to get back to her own time and keeping those around her safe.
It’s a great read! The historical setting is vivid and well-researched, and it’s interesting experiencing it through Erin’s modern perspective. There are plenty of mysteries to unravel, as Erin learns more about her grandmother and great aunt and comes to understand the situation she’s in.
I particularly loved the descriptions of music, as well as the focus on the experiences of musicians in WWII. Erin is valued for her musical abilities and can use them to her advantage, but this is also a source of pressure and puts her in danger.
I would recommend this book to fans of time travel romance, particularly those with an interest in music or WWII. This book gets five stars from me!

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Borrowed Time by Lane Cohen – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Borrowed TimeBorrowed Time by Lane Cohen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Borrowed Time is a creative science fiction story packed with details from science, classic sci-fi, history – you name it! And with interesting characters whose pasts and concerns drive the plot. As with many time travel stories it asks the big question – if you could change the past, what would you change? And would that be the right thing to do?
Physics professor Andy Case and his student Samoset Brown are both interested in time travel from an academic perspective, and for Case it provides an engaging discussion topic for his otherwise unenthusiastic class. But as their theoretical concept becomes an increasingly achievable reality their other motivations come to the fore.
This is a great read for time travel fans, and gets five stars from me! There are plenty of familiar tropes as well as thought-provoking scenarios and great characters to get to know.

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Petty’s Crime (Satan’s Devils MC Las Vegas Book 3) by Manda Mellett – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Petty's Crime (Satan's Devils MC Las Vegas #3)Petty’s Crime by Manda Mellett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Petty’s Crime is the third installment of the Satan’s Devils MC Las Vegas Chapter series, part of the broader Satan’s Devils MC collection. I love these books – I know with each one I’m in for some reliably good storytelling and familiar characters I’ve grown fond of, but also something completely new and unexpected.
I could not put this book down. The narrative switches between perspectives meaning you have to keep reading to get to the stage where you find out what happens next. There are plenty of twists along the way, and clues that will keep you guessing about what’s really going on.
There are some fantastic characters in this series! It was great to see more of Petty, and also get to know other members of the MC who I’m sure will have their own stories in due course. And of course to check up on Red, Cher and Zeke.
Like many of the books in this series, there is content that may be triggering for some – in this case most notably descriptions of domestic violence and sexual abuse. It’s approached sensitively, with a focus on characters coming to terms with and starting to heal from their experiences.
This book gets another five stars from me! You could dive into the series here but I think a better entry point would be Red’s Peril, or even going back to the beginning with Turning Wheels. It’s a great series – every book is a joy to read and will leave you wanting more (and, thankfully, there is plenty more!).

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Defiant Princess (Mafia Elite Series Prequel) by Amy McKinley – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Defiant Princess (Mafia Elite Prequel)Defiant Princess by Amy McKinley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the Mafia Elite series, so this prequel seemed like a great chance to get more of the characters and writing that I enjoy so much! I feel like Defiant Princess is more intended as an entry point into the series for new readers than an extension of the story for those who have already read the series. Most of the backstory won’t be new if you’re caught up on the series, and there won’t be many surprises. But it’s still fun to get to see the characters when they’re a bit younger!
So I’d say this is for readers who think you might enjoy the series and would like a taster before you commit. It’s a chance to get to know loads of the main characters and some of their key motivators in a shorter novella before you jump into the series. With the Mafia Elite series now available in two convenient box sets, this could be a great way to sample the series before getting the first set.
This book gets four stars from me. I’d recommend it to newcomers to the series who want to see if it’s for them – if you like romance, action and intrigue I’m sure you’ll love Mafia Elite!

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Elemental Fire (The Hidden Realms Book 1) by EG Manetti – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Elemental Fire (The Hidden Realms #1)Elemental Fire by E.G. Manetti
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elemental Fire is the first book in the Hidden Realms series. It’s an exciting fantasy romance with an urban setting and plenty of twists to keep you turning the pages.
A treaty between humans and the Hidden was supposed to keep everyone safe and happy. But of course that’s not always the case. There are humans who see the Hidden as a threat and discriminate against them. There are Hidden who use their glamours to do more than simply blend in with the crowd. This is where Sin comes in – she can see through glamours and spot different magical creatures whether or not they want to be seen. She offers her services to both sides, helping where she can (especially if the pay is good!).
There is some beautiful world building in this book, which encourages readers to see the magic in everything! And the story is fantastic, with the romance not overwhelming the action and mystery.
This book gets five stars from me! I’d recommend it to fans of urban fantasies looking for something full of romance and adventure.

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Musical Murder Mystery Boxed Set #1 Books 1-3 by K.L. Montgomery – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Musical Murder Mystery Boxed Set #1Musical Murder Mystery Boxed Set #1 by K.L. Montgomery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Musical Murder Mystery Box Set #1 is a collection of fun cosy mysteries set around a travelling theatre troupe. I really enjoyed the first book, The Sound of Murder, so it was great to be able to read the next two as part of a box set!
This is a great series for theatre fans, particularly anyone who’s been involved in performances or dreams of going on the stage. You will most likely end up with songs from the shows stuck in your head for days after you’ve finished. Protagonist Ruby, a chorus girl with a knack for solving mysteries, likes to rewrite the lyrics of a song from the show she’s working on to help her get her head around the details of a case.
The titles of the books make it clear which musical each one is about – The Sound of Murder (The Sound of Music), West Side Murder (West Side Story) and Little Shop of Murder (Little Shope of Horrors). I like how the stories tie in with the musicals the troupe is performing – my favourite is West Side Murder where there’s a longstanding feud between different sections of a retirement community.
This box set gets five stars from me! It would be a great collection to bring on holiday, or read backstage while you’re waiting for your next scene…

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Grave Digger Academy II (Grave Digger Academy Book 2) by C.A. King – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Grave Digger Academy IIGrave Digger Academy II by C.A. King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grave Digger Academy II is the second book in the series, and sees Makayla return to the school no one really wants to be at for another year. This series is best enjoyed in order, so do start with the first book! It’s perfect for YA and teen readers who enjoy the magic school trope.
In this book, Makayla and her classmates have to dig deep for whatever enthusiasm and affection they can summon for their school in order to succeed in the Inter-Academy Games. They had all hoped that by the start of their second year they would have transferred to pretty much any other school and now they have to prove themselves against the students who got into those schools in the first place.
This is an exiting continuation of the series! Makayla has a lot to learn, and there are plenty of mysteries to unravel. Makayla is still coming to terms with what she’s learnt about her family history, and trying to get more information to help her understand this past and how it impacts her.
It was good to see some more of Makayla’s brothers in this book! Caz and Tye are interesting characters, and it’s fun to get more family moments.
This book gets five stars from me. It’s an enjoyable series, I’d definitely recommend it!

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Lab Spill (The Cool Thing Series Book 2) by Robert Rife – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

LAB SPILL: A Dark Comedy. Maybe. (THE COOL THING SERIES)LAB SPILL: A Dark Comedy. Maybe. by Robert Rife
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lab Spill is the second book in The Cool Thing Series. It’s definitely worth reading the books in order, starting with The Cool Thing. Things might or might not make more sense that way, but at least you’ll not be spoilering yourself for when you realise that you need to read more and The Cool Thing is right there.
If you enjoy dark humour and weird stuff, this is the book for you! Lab Spill brings us a world of failed experiments, many of whom are still alive and some even thriving in the supposedly secure world they’ve been locked away in. You’ve got everything from somewhat mutated humans to full on evil slime. It’s fabulous.
The characters in this are great. Messy, often selfish and mostly fairly unlucky. Plenty of favourites from The Cool Thing are back, and there are new characters to get to know as well!
Like the first book, definitely not for younger or sensitive readers. You might not want to read it whilst eating, although I managed that fine because I couldn’t put it down and didn’t want to risk starvation!
This book gets five stars from me! It’s original, imaginative and incredibly entertaining! If you loved the first book, The Cool Thing, Lab Spill will not disappoint! And if you haven’t read The Cool Thing yet, go read it now!

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Mafia Elite Series Box Set Volume 2 by Amy McKinley – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Mafia Elite Box Set: Volume TwoMafia Elite Box Set: Volume Two by Amy McKinley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mafia Elite Box Set: Volume Two collects books four to seven of this fantastic series! I would recommend reading the series in order, so if you haven’t already read the first three you’ll want to start with the Volume One box set!
These are fantastic books – I gave them each five stars when I read them separately and it’s so handy to have them together in one volume! Whenever I got to the end of one book I couldn’t wait to start on the next one – with this collection you can simply turn the page and keep going!
In Savage Secrets we finally catch up with Elena, who most characters have believed to be dead. There’s some mysteries to solve about her birth mother, as well as the usual action and romance! Ruthless Heir brings Luc, who was previously unaware of the Chicago Mafia’s existence, into the picture to fill his rightful place. And he drags Summer into it, who knows plenty about the Mafia and has good reason for wanting nothing to do with them. Next is Collateral Damage, which gave me the Trey-focused story I’d been impatiently waiting for! It was great to see the mafia surgeon finally in the limelight. Rounding off this collection is Rivals, where New York Mafia princess Mia turns to Nico for protection. This of course ramps up tension between the families, and I really enjoy the warmth as Mia discovers that not all families are like hers.
This box set gets five stars from me (or twenty, if you add up each book!). I’d recommend the series to fans of action and romance with interesting, complex characters. And you should definitely start with Volume One before getting into this second collection!

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