Book review: Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

This book made me so hungry!
Reena loves to bake. She doesn’t particularly love being out of work though, or the fact that her parents are trying to set her up with a husband. Again. Only this time, he lives across the landing from her and the first time she met him (before she knew her parents were intending for her to marry him), she liked him.
Nadim likes a lot of things. Reena, for one. Also, bread. He really likes food.
When Reena’s career hits a snag, she spots a cooking competition that would let her fulfill her dream of becoming a baker. But you need to be a couple to do it. After a night with too much beer, she and Nadim film an entry and send it in. When they get through to the next round, they agree to pretend to be engaged for the duration of competition.

There’s so much food in this book. I kept having to get up to have a snack.
I liked that they discussed the Afro-Indian diaspora and Afro-Indian food in particular. I also liked that, during the course of the book, Reena healed her relationships with her family too.

Overall, this was a tremendously fun book to read. Just expect to need to eat while reading.

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Book review: Killers of a certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

This book was a hoot! I kept reading well past my bedtime to find out what happened.

Four elite assassins – all part of the all-female team Project Sphinx – are on a cruise to celebrate their retirement, when they realise they are now the target of the same company they used to work for. They can run and hide, for a while, but there’s only one way to really get the target off their backs. Kill or be killed.

I love how the four women are so different to each other. They are all super competent at what they do, despite their bodies being slower than they were when they were young. The men consistently underestimate them – which they often use to their advantage.

I really enjoyed this book. I got a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley (thank you!)

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Book Review: The Practice Kiss by Sara Martin (My K-Drama Life Book 1)

I picked this up after reading an article about books influenced by K-Drama. I love K-dramas, but when I watch one, it takes up all my concentration. I’m a bit busy right now, so I figured I’d get a quick K-drama hit by reading this book.
Chloe goes to Korea for a job – which turns out to be a scam. Penniless and drunk, in the rain, she gets spotted by a talent scout and offered a job. She’s cast in a K-drama alongside a handsome actor … who knew her when she was a teenager.
I wanted a quick K-drama hit and that was exactly what I got. I enjoyed reading this book and zipped through it. The only downside was that it didn’t fully end. I think you need to read all three books to get the full story with the happy ending.

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Book review: Last Victim of the Monsoon Express by Vaseem Khan


This book is described as ‘charming’ and it really is!
Inspector Chopra is on a revived steam train and his ward, the baby elephant Ganesha is travelling with him. An Indian politician is murdered and Chopra has to solve the mystery before the train stops or risk there being a major international incident.
I liked how the history of partition was woven into the story (only where it was relevant). I really appreciated the Poirot-esque murder mystery.
This was a fun short read. I liked the gentle humour in the story, even though Inspector Chopra is a very serious man, his observations are sometimes funny.
I will be checking out the other books in the series.

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Book review: The Forgotten House on The Moors by Jane Lovering


Another corker!
Alice is woken up by the police coming to tell her that her ex husband, Grant, has died in an explosion. When she goes up to the site where it happened, she meets his current girlfriend, Jenna and her brother Max. She ends up seeing more of them because Jenna needs someone to talk to about Grant, Alice is curious as to why Grant was out there in a deserted house in the first place and well, seeing Max again wouldn’t be all that terrible either.

It’s nice to see a heroine who is ‘big and plain and sensible’ be loved for who she is. The book is broody an atmospheric in places, as befits a book about the existence (or not) of ghosts.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for the review copy.

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The Change by Kirsten Miller

When I spotted The Change on Netgalley, I requested it straight away.
Three women in a Long Island seaside community realise that they have powers. Nessa, who sees the dead; Harriet who is the punishment that fits the crime and Jo who will destroy it all at the end.
Nessa sees dead girls (not women, teenaged girls) who have been murdered by men. She knows there’s a serial killer on the loose, but it’s hard to prove it when the bodies haven’t actually been found. As the three women seek to get justice for these dead girls, they uncover a web of corruption that is terrifying.
With heart and anger but also with humour, the book captures the everyday sexism that women face and the double standards the world imposes on people based on their sex and social class.
It’s a fast paced read that sits where thriller meets women’s fiction. I raced through it in a day.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC. This is my honest review.

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Book Review: Lessons in Chemistry

Book cover of Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

A friend of mine sent me a copy of this book because she was so sure I’d love it. She was right.
Elizabeth Zott is a scientist – a chemist- and a good one. But sexism in the science community and general nastiness towards her because of her beauty force her out of science and she ends up bringing up her daughter alone. Then she is offered a job as host for a TV cooking show…

Zott is awesome! She’s clever and practical and strong. Her life isn’t easy, but she handles it in her own unique way. I loved the writing style. This book is interesting, poignant and funny in turns. I zoomed through it in a day.

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Book review: My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa

I picked this up because it was written by a Sri Lankan author and I was told had a lot about Sri Lanka in it. What I was not expecting the Sri Lankan parts to be set in what Ratmalana, which is an area I know well. And I wasn’t expecting there to be the little references which felt like a little zing of recognition each time I saw one. I really enjoyed that.

It’s been a long time since I read a thriller. And this is an excellent thriller. It has a properly unreliable narrator, where neither you nor the narrator herself is entirely sure what’s real and what’s not. The story is told with a dual timeline, which works very well. It’s got a nice twist at the end, and really good ending. That’s all I can say without giving away anything – suffice to say, I really liked the ending. I really enjoyed this book. I totally recommend it if you like your thrillers to be twisty.

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The Grooms Wore White by Charlie Lyndhurst

This story is women’s fiction/ general fiction rather than romance and it centres around Jason who is a wedding planner, nearing his 40s and who has a long term partner in Pete; Mel who is in her 40s, suddenly single and grappling with being a single mum after all these years; and Harriet, who is another wedding planner, slightly younger than Jason, who is actively homophobic at the start of the book. Harriet is definitely not the most likeable, but she does go through a huge character change which is quite nice to see.
I really enjoyed reading this book, it was nice to see older characters looking for and finding romance or cementing existing romances because we quite often see only the point of view of the young. It was good to see Mel coming out of her shell. I loved the details about the weddings that Jason was working on. I especially liked how ‘Extra’ the Extra Weddings were.
This is a fun book to read. Thank you to the publisher for the ARC.

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