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shaunok

ShaunOK 'Book Addict'

Avid reader reading a mixture of crime fiction, chick lit, young adult, autobiographies and true crime. Looking to follow readers who actively read and review books I enjoy to read.

Love this video. Just look at Jackie and Oprah! Amazing.

Hollywood Husbands - Jackie Collins I thought with having read over 130 books this year and with the release of GTA V that I wouldn't get much reading done during my week off, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of words and books I have read this year. But with my target of 150 books in 2013 so close I decided to continue reading the books of my favourite author, Jackie Collins. I read Hollywood Wives: The New Generation a few days ago within 24 hours and when I started this, Hollywood Husbands I expected it to take a few days. 648 pages read in less than 24 hours. Readers block evidently doesn't exist, you just need to find the right book.

It did take me a while to get into the story, and I find this happens a lot with Jackie's books. Apart from the fantastic Lucky Santangelo books which all had me gripped from the first word. The introduction of a whole new set of characters can be a bit overwhelming especially as her books feature so many. But after 100 pages or so I couldn't stop reading, which resulted in me spending the whole day reading this book. Again the characters and the situations they find themselves in are pretty similar to Jackie's other books but it was still a fantastic read nonetheless. It was a long read but it didn't drag on. There was enough action to keep me reading and a fantastic and outrageous cast of characters. What I like about Jackie's books is you could read the opening chapters and the Epilogue and know the whole story. I love the Epilogues at the end of her books telling us what happened to each of the characters.

With the release of Jackie's latest book in a few days I am contemplating trying to fit another books of hers in over the next 24 hours... Once again she has proven why she is my favourite author. The Lucky books however are in a league of their own and will always remain my favourites. Also her books don't seem to age. Apart from a few things this book could easily have been set in the present day, rather than have been written many years before I was born. Which is more than you can say for some authors. However I can't elaborate further as I don't want my review to be deleted...
Hollywood Wives: The New Generation - Jackie Collins Jackie proves once again why she is my favourite author. Got through this in just under a day and it had me reading until the early hours as her books never fail to do. Full of outrageous storylines and even more outrageous characters it was a fantastic read.

It wasn't a patch on her earlier stuff however. It felt quite tame and certain stories and characters could have been borrowed from other Jackie books but overall a very enjoyable read.
The Executioner - Chris Carter After reading hundreds of crime fiction books over the years I am now at the point where a book has to be pretty good for me to even finish it, let alone love it and rate it five stars. It also has to have characters I enjoy reading about and a story that grips me until the very end. This is my third Chris Carter book and all three have fulfilled those requirements. Crime fiction fans who are yet to read a Chris Carter book should stop what they are doing and do so ASAP.

Robert Hunter is a fantastic character. Willing to disobey his superiors but always for the good of the case rather than just because he's an egotistical idiot like so many fictional detectives. His knowledge of pretty much everything however can wear thin. I do like his friendship with Garcia though and after reading One By One (Chris's latest book) it has been enjoyable to go back to the start and read more about these two characters.

The best thing about these books for me however is the killers in them. They certainly are not for the faint hearted. Chris Carter does not fail to come up with the absolutely worst, most gruesome ways to kill people and for me it is just fantastic to read. The book was full of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. The short chapters as well make for a quicker read and often end on a cliffhanger meaning you will be awake long into the night trying to finish the book as quickly as possible.

Overall Chris Carter has fast become one of my favourite authors in this genre over the past few weeks and after buying the other two books in the series I cannot wait to get started with them. Crime fiction fans should move Carter's books to the top of their to read list.
Stalkers - Paul Finch After 10 hours of GTA V I decided to switch it off and finish this book. Ordinarily I would've finished it days ago but I started it before a trip to London and the release of GTA V and reading it wasn't near the top of my priority list. That said it was an enjoyable read and one that I wish I'd read sooner as it has been on my to read list since its release.

Mark Heckenburg was a fantastic character. Police officers who ignore their superiors and often break the law themselves are always the most fun to read about. The scrapes that Heck got himself into in this book reminded me of any of the characters from Simon Kernick's books and certainly, this could've been a Kernick book. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed it so much. The setting of London never gets old or boring for me and throw in a few mentions of the London Underground and already you've got me hooked.

The storyline itself however perhaps bordered on the unbelievable. Okay I see how a man can become obsessed with a woman, I just couldn't see a man paying a six-figure sum for an organised gang to kidnap her so that the man could rape her. Perhaps this Nice Guys club could have existed with a more believable storyline rather than this one. That said however the book did keep me guessing for the most part however for readers that have read this book I do share the belief of Heck of who the Nice Guys' insider is and hope to see this resolved in the next Heckenburg book.

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable read that fans of Simon Kernick and Mark Billingham will love.

Untitled Jacqui Rose 1 Pb

Dishonour - Jacqui Rose Another absolutely fantastic book from Jacqui Rose. Fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Jessie Keane who are yet to read one of Jacqui's books need to do so ASAP! Admittedly the blurb for this book didn't sound as exciting to me as her previous books but once I started I couldn't put it down and was gripped!

Laila is taken to Pakistan by her uncle after bringing shame on the family by falling in love with an English boy. The way he uncle treated Laila was nothing short of despicable, the story was even worse as things like this happen to women like Laila every day of the week. You could really feel Laila's anguish and pain when she was being dragged out of the country by her uncle and unwilling brother. The scenes in Pakistan especially had me on the edge of my seat.

Ray Ray is the English boy Laila has fallen in love with and he is the son of London gangster Freddie Thompson who is serving a life sentence but has other ideas... Tasha is Ray Ray's mother and she also plays quite a big part in the book. Throw in a psychotic man named Arnold and you have one hell of a read, and then some. I did feel the book ended rather abruptly though, around 92% on Kindle with the remaining 8% a preview of her next book. I feel like the book could've been longer.

What I enjoyed most about the book was all the little twists and turns and how most of the characters were all linked to each other as the book went on. You really root for Laila as she tries to make her way in the world she is being forced to live in. Most of the book was set in Pakistan and Bradford, whereas Jacqui's books are usually set in London. Rest assured though that Jacqui returns the characters to Soho near the end of the book and there was I think just the one mention of a previous character who Jacqui fans will be familiar with by now.

Fans of Martina, Jessie and Kimberley buy this book now!
The Crucifix Killer - Chris Carter After reading Chris Carter's latest book, One By One I couldn't wait to get started on this book, the first in the series. It was enjoyable to get to know Hunter better and also read about Garcia on his first case. I loved the banter between him and Hunter.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the killer in it was one of the most gruesome I've read and for me the more gruesome the better when it comes to books like this. I was kept guessing throughout the book and did not work out who the killer was. The only thing that annoyed me was the ending for this book, in terms of why the killer killed was incredibly similar to One By One, his latest book. Still a fantastic ending and the little twist at the end left me cold.

Can't wait to read more of the Hunter books and recommend that crime fiction fans check out Chris Carter's books ASAP!
One By One - Chris Carter This is without a doubt one of the best crime fiction books I have ever read. And, dare I say it, one of the most enjoyable. From the opening to closing chapter I could not stop reading. I love short chapters, they end so abruptly and usually on a cliffhanger that you really have no choice but to continue reading. Some authors aren't that good with the short chapters, but Chris Carter isn't one of them. He is a fantastic writer and tells one hell of a story.

I read The Hunter a few days ago which is a short story, but it was basically a glorified advert for his books. I didn't need any advert as Carter's books have been on my radar for a few years, I just never got round to reading them. The plot for One By One however convinced me that I needed to start his books ASAP and I started with this book. I was a bit wary at first having not read the previous books but, unlike other books which are part of a series, Carter only mentions a previous book once - he doesn't use whole chapters to tell the reader everything that has happened to the character up till now - and doesn't give away that much of the plot meaning previous books can be read without them being spoilt for the reader here first.

I did love the idea for the book. Hunter is contacted personally and asked to log on to a website where the caller asks Hunter which method he wants the person on the screen to die by. More deaths occur only this time on a website that the people of California can access and vote for their preferred kill method. In the age of reality TV and being able to vote for all kinds of things this was certainly an enjoyable read. A website like this being posted on Twitter and Facebook today would certainly attract thousands of hits and would people vote? I certainly didn't work out who the killer was and I very much enjoyed the ending because it was a surprise. So often in crime fiction the killer is obvious, or is known to the reader early on in the book but books like these are more enjoyable when you don't see twists coming.

Unfortunately however I have just read a review elsewhere which compares this book to the film 'Untraceable'. I haven't watched that film but I have just read about it online and read pretty much the whole plot. It is incredibly similar to the plot here, perhaps too similar for the author to not be aware of it? That said it is also similar to the Saw films and the killer in this book was very much a Jigsaw type character. In fact the killer of this book is probably one of my favourite killers in a crime fiction book.

Overall I reccommend that you read this book. Previous books do not need to have been read in advance although I feel certain parts of the book would invoke more of a reaction from the reader had they established a connection with the characters by knowing more about them. It certainly doesn't take away any enjoyment from the book however if it is your first Carter book.
The Knowledge - Martina Cole I can't imagine there are many crime readers who haven't heard of Martina Cole. In recent years her work has declined, but her earlier stuff is simply fantastic. In fact I would say that her earlier work (The Ladykiller, Two Women, Dangerous Lady, The Runaway) remains unbeaten by any of the authors who have the Martina comparison on their front covers: 'Like Martina, you'll LOVE so and so...'.

Two authors who remind me of early Cole are Jessie Keane and Kimberley Chambers. Jessie is a fantastic author and deserves the right to be compared to Cole. Another good author is Jacqui Rose. Other authors got their publishing deals through marriage, and aren't so good. It's a shame that Martina's newer stuff isn't a patch on her earlier work but I still read her new books in the hope of a return to form. However with the likes of Kimberley and Jessie there is a lot more choice around these days for similar stuff. Martina however still remains as the Queen of these sorts of books and is one of the UK's best selling and most popular authors.

This 'free digital compendium' is fantastic for new fans to learn more about Martina, what makes her tick and what made her decide to be a writer. It also contains the first chapter(s) from all of Martina's books which is great for new readers who are yet to read those books. But for older readers, and people who have been there since the start then there isn't anything new to be seen here.

Apart from the opening chapters of her previous work, the book contains the chapters: 'The Road to Success', 'The Facts', 'What Makes Me Angry', 'An Interview with Martina Cole' and two short stories: 'Tammy's Story' and 'Tania's Life'. All of these pieces have been published before in her previous books, with the exception of 'What Makes Me Angry' which was aired on BBC Radio 4 in 2008. Martina fans may have missed these pieces in the past and as this book is free, then it may be worth a download to read them again or for the first time if they were missed first time round.

The one new thing however is a sneak preview of Martina's upcoming book 'Revenge' so it is worth the free download from Amazon to skip straight to that chapter.
Me Before You - Jojo Moyes OH. MY. GOD. I am in no fit state to write a review for this book at the minute.
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Okay. I feel ready enough to write some words about this book. I started it a few days ago after reading Jojo Moyes's newest (and unreleased book) The One Plus One. I first heard about Me Before You back when it was the latest must read book that everybody was raving about. I always find that books like these tend to be overrated and the fact that everyone else is reading them often puts me off. But, with over 2,500 5 star ratings on Amazon I had a fair idea that this book would be good. Good? It is one of the best books I have ever read.

Unfortunately I started it on Friday, I was in work on Saturday at 6 and Sunday at 7 so I had hardly any time to read it due to work and sleep. I ran a bath around 9.30, took my Kindle with me and emerged at 11.00 from a freezing cold bath and family members asking if I was still alive. I was lost in this story and had no awareness of time or the things going on around me the only thing that mattered to me was reaching the end of this book and finding out what happened to the characters. I couldn't even read the book near the end chapters because of the tears clouding my eyes and running down my face.

I would say that the cover and perhaps the blurb don't really do this book justice. They don't really give away the fact that this is one of those special books. A book that will stay with you for a long time. A book which doesn't really feel like fiction, and which actually isn't when you consider that there are people around the world in the situations described here. Books like this always make me think of those people who don't read and give the reason of 'well why would I read fiction, it isn't real'. That has to be the most stupidest thing anybody has ever said but I have heard it from people so many times. I would tell them to read books like this but it would just go over their heads. Then again if it was a film with some amazing man in the lead then who cares if it's fiction...

I loved this book. I experienced so many emotions whilst reading it. The characters were so well written. Especially Will. I loved some of his scenes with Lou and the way he called her by her surname. I also thought the mum was well-written, at first coming across as a bit cold and nasty it becomes clear that she just loves her son and would do anything for him. I laughed, I cried and I had no idea whatsoever of where I wanted the story to go. The last few chapters of the book especially were just heartbreaking. You think something is going to happen and then it doesn't and the last few paragraphs especially had me reeling. It was wonderfully written and either Moyes carried out some great research or is just a fantastic storyteller. The scenes with Lou speaking with other quadriplegics trying to find things to do with Will certainly spoke of someone who knows their stuff but then I can't tell as I don't know much about it.

And that is where this review ends and I will put the rest in spoilers for the people who have read the book just to put my thoughts down, not to debate or discuss reasonings for my opinions.

I have always said that I am for euthanasia. And I would say that this book hasn't changed my mind. However I am not sure how fairly this book represents quadriplegics and whether it sets a good example or not. When Emmerdale carried out an assisted-suicide storyline, there was outrage from within that community saying how it was an unfair representation and made out that quadriplegics were being shown as having no chance of a happy life. All I can say is it depends on the person. I don't believe those people who say that God chooses when you die. And that God cripples people for a reason. What the actual fuck is the reason for this? Sorry but there isn't one. And it's the actions of the people that didn't know Will, and the reporters trying to get their story. Yes it is terrible but these people aren't in that situation and it is so easy to be against it when you are fit and healthy. It's a nasty way to think but I always wonder how these people who are against euthanasia would feel if they were in this situation, or worse a situation where you were in immense pain. Anyway I'm rambling and talking about things I have no knowledge of except how I would feel in this situation.

It's odd to read a book which is essentially a love story but doesn't have a happy ending. But then it sort of does in the sense that Lou can build a happy life for herself. I didn't have a preferred ending to this book but felt that Will's letter could've been written to the reader themselves to remind them to live a happy life and stop taking the things for granted that people like Will would do anything to have. Anyway this book has left me in a state of shock and experiencing 101 emotions.
Tampa - Alissa Nutting Keep seeing this on the shelf in work. Had no idea what it was about till today. :|
Tampa - Alissa Nutting Keep seeing this on the shelf in work. Had no idea what it was about till today. :|
Blood Work - Mark Pearson After starting and finishing Pearson's first book in just over a day I started this one yesterday and have just finished it. Another enjoyable read featuring Jack Delaney who I think is a fantastic character. After finishing this I am even more confused about the abandoned publication of Pearson's latest book. Do his books just not sell or did he leave his publisher? I can't seem to find out.

Anyway, as I said in my review for Hard Evidence it is very clear that Pearson was once a television scriptwriter. His books do read like an exaggerated episode of The Bill. There are also multiple stories taking place at the same time rather than just 'policeman tries to catch the killer'. What annoyed me about the book however was that there weren't any chapters, just 'Day One', 'Day Two' and 'Epilogue'. I hate putting a book down mid-chapter but I had to here as I didn't have the time to read 50% of the book in one sitting!

In this book we find out more about Delaney and certainly a lot more about how his wife died which we first read about in book one. His relationship with Kate is explored more in this book and I have to say that I really enjoy reading about these characters. I have another book queued up to read but Pearson's third Delaney book is near the top of my to read list and I am off to search some more about why Pearson's latest book was abandoned as I want to read more from this author! Highly recommended to fans of Mark Billingham and once again the city of London was just as much a character in this book as the actual characters.
The Hunter - Chris Carter Well this was the shortest short story I have ever read. It was more of a teaser for Chris Carter's other books and a short introduction to the character of Robert Hunter from said books. The advent of Kindle brought with it an influx of these sorts of books, usually free or up to 99p the short stories do often just serve as advertisements for books but sometimes you can find a gem or two, not so this time. In fact this short story should be free on Kindle considering the 'story' only makes up 70% of the book and the remaining 30% is an excerpt from the first Hunter story. So it took about 15/20 minutes to read. A cheeseburger from McDonald's would take 2 minutes to eat but may be marginally more enjoyable and the same price.

Chris Carter's books have been on my radar for a while, but as usual it has been a case of there being too many books and not enough time so I wanted to read this story to introduce myself to Hunter and see whether I liked Carter's writing style. I did, very much and will be looking to read Carter's first book ASAP. The covers and blurbs are certainly exciting and the reviews very promising (though I tend to ignore reviews to form my own opinion). The story itself wasn't great, a woman is found inside a locked room with no exit other than the locked door. Hunter's superiors see it as open and shut, clearly a suicide. But Hunter thinks differently and sets out to prove it. Overall an incredibly short book which as I said serves mostly as an advertisement for Carter's other work which is fair enough but I can understand why some readers feel a bit cheated.
Hard Evidence - Mark Pearson I Googled Mark Pearson a few years ago when I read James Patterson's Private London and he remained on my to read list until a few days ago when I decided to read Hard Evidence. I'm so glad that I did. I love crime fiction, it is the genre that I have read the most over the years but in particular I love crime fiction set in London. The problem however is that some authors set their book in London but end up writing a book that could be taking place anywhere in the UK because of the lack of description and/or mention of places. I like London to be as much of a character as a books actual characters and I'm glad to say that in this book London was a character.

Mark Pearson is/was a scriptwriter and that was very evident whilst reading this book, particularly as he wrote for The Bill and at times this book was like an episode of The Bill, albeit an exaggerated one as up until the last few chapters of the book it felt very realistic and authentic. Delaney was a great character. As always it is the characters that refuse to play by the book that make the best characters and Delaney is certainly a character that plays by his own rules and nobody elses.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot. In terms of location it was probably one of the best London based crime stories I have read. In terms of character Delaney has a lot of potential and I can't wait to read more about him and in terms of story I was kept guessing until the end and it was an enjoyable read. Unfortunately it appears that Pearson's latest book has had its publication abandoned but I can't seem to find out why. There are still three more books to read following this one but I am a bit disappointed that that seems to be it because Pearson is a fantastic writer and storyteller going only by this book.
The One Plus One - Jojo Moyes One single mum.
One chaotic family.
One handsome stranger.
One unexpected love story.

The One Plus One is the beautiful, poignant and utterly compelling new novel from international bestselling author Jojo Moyes.

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Jojo Moyes has been on my to read list for ages now, I have just never got round to reading her books. This is a mistake I will soon be rectifying after finishing this fantastic, amazing story - The One Plus One. When I started reading it I found a bit slow going and was wondering when the action was going to start, but then I realised it isn't that sort of book. What it actually is is a wonderful story about four people and a dog and the hurdles they are facing in their lives. The whole thing felt very true to life and incredibly realistic. This wasn't a book that relied on silly or over the top storylines and scenes or characters that clearly wouldn't exist in real life. Everything in the book could and probably is happening to families all across the UK.

The characters are Jess, a single mum holding down multiple jobs to look after her two kids and dog, Norman. Tanzie is her daughter with Marty and Nicky is Marty's son with another woman. Straight away this shows the kind of person Jess is as she sees Nicky as her own and is looking after these two kids with no monetary help from Marty. Well, no help at all actually. Nicky is a misunderstood teenager trying to find his way in life and I think Moyes wrote him very well. Tanzie is a geeky sort of character who is very good at Maths. The family live on an estate which is also the home of the Fisher family who are terrorising the local residents. Even at the start of this book I could tell this wasn't a typical Moyes story going by what I know about her previous work. Ed is our other main character and we learn about his life and the troubles that he is facing due to mistakes he made in his job. And that is all I can say for now as it is incredibly difficult to write a review of a book as you are hesitant about how much to reveal.

The book is split up into chapters and each of them are either about Jess, Nicky, Tanzie or Ed and are clearly marked so you know who is who. The chapters aren't however written in the first person which I felt would have been a good idea as I always enjoy books in first person more and relate to the characters more. This isn't a book with a spectacular scene on every other page, you won't be on the end of your seat throughout it (just near the end!) however the story told here is simply beautiful. I absolutely loved following these characters and reading their story. You will however laugh, cry, smile, find your eyes popping out of your head etc throughout this book and like me, will be gutted when you reach the end of the book. Overall I absolutely loved this book and it certainly will not be last read from the author. I reccommend this book to everybody!

Follow the author on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jojomoyes
And thank you to the publisher for the ARC via Net Galley