Mini Book Reviews: Short & Not All Sweet But Definitely Worth a Mention.

I didn’t begin posting on the blog again until mid-January, but over the New Year I had my first major book binge for a while and flew through these in a few days before going back to work. Unfortunately, I’m one of those reviewers who HAS to write a review pretty much immediately after finishing a book and moving onto the next one, so while these four books didn’t get a full review, they are most definitely worth a mention.

What would YOU do if your child wasn’t yours?

Alison is lucky and she knows it. She has the life she always craved, including a happy home with Jeff and their brilliant, vivacious teenage daughter, Katherine – the absolute centre of Alison’s world. Then a knock at the door ends life as they know it. Fifteen years ago, someone else took Alison’s baby from the hospital. And now Alison is facing the unthinkable.

The daughter she brought home doesn’t belong to her.

When you have everything you dreamed of, there is everything to lose. (From

Published by Headline in ebook Septemeber 2016 /paperback February 2017

There’s something fascinating about swapped at birth stories…I can’t even begin to imagine the horror. Adele Parks’ The Stranger In My Home tackles this subject in a compelling and unputdownable style with a twist I didn’t see coming AT ALL.  


Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to one hundred during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter Ella is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa’s family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn’t a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa’s little girl is in danger of disappearing forever? (From

Published by Quercus May 2016

I don’t think there’s a mother or father among us who hasn’t been terrified at the thought of our children disappearing in the blink of eye. Linda Green captures Lisa’s panic, terror and guilt perfectly and realistically conveys the heartbreaking and devasting affect on the whole family. Yet, the villain in this book isn’t as straight forward as you might expect, and the book drives home that sometimes good people do bad things when they’re pushed to their own mental limits.


On her fiftieth birthday, Dorrit Weger is checked into the Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material: a state-of-the-art facility in Sweden where she will make new friends, enjoy generous recreational activities and live out her remaining days in comfort with people who are just like her. Here, women over the age of fifty and men over the age of sixty who are single and childless are saved from a life devoid of value and converted into productive members of society. The price? Their bodies, harvested piece by piece for the ‘necessary’ ones (those on whom children depend) and sometimes their minds, as they take part in social and psychological experiments, until the day comes when they make their Final Donation and complete their purpose in life. Despite the ruthless nature of this practice, the ethos of this near-future society and the Unit is to take care of others. Resigned to her fate as a ‘dispensable’, Dorrit finds her days there to be peaceful and consoling. For the first time in her life she no longer feels like an outsider – a single woman in a world of married couples with children. But when she meets a man inside the Unit and falls in love, everything changes… (From Amazon)
Published 2009 by One World Publications  
I’ve owned this book since early 2010, after reading an amazing review by a fellow blogger (who no longer blogs and sadly can’t be linked to) and rushing straight over to Amazon to buy it. Seven years later, I picked it up. And Damn, why I didn’t sooner … it was gripping and I read it in one sitting.  Haunting, plausible and spirited, this was a thought provoking read of a future that isn’t altogether unimaginable.  

Evie Taylor, a girl with a big heart, gets lost in the big city. For the past two years, Evie has lived an invisible life in London. Her neighbours think she’s just moved in, her sister mistakes her for a live-in nanny, and even Evie’s manager at work can’t remember her name. But all that is about to change …this Christmas has brought a flurry of snow and unimaginable possibilities into town. Evie works in the stockroom of an old-fashioned, family-run, London fashion department store. Hardy’s is a beautiful, wood-panelled jewellery box of a building, but it’s in dire need of a makeover. One day Evie overhears that if the entire store’s takings don’t turn round by Dec 26th – 3 weeks’ time – the family who own it will be forced to sell to one of the big chains. Hardy’s is in need of a Christmas miracle. Determined to save her beloved store, Evie hatches a plan to secretly transform it into a magical place to shop again. But has the time come for her to be noticed too? When an accidental romantic encounter with handsome, enigmatic Joel gives her the chance of a whole new identity, she takes it. (From

Published by Simon & Schuster 2011 

This year I got pretty ill over Christmas, a cold virus that lead to severe sinusitis and chest infection. Lovely. Anyway, I missed the last week of work and all the pre-Christmas fun of panto’s, meals out, parties. My youngest child also started secondary school this year so there were no angelic carol services to go to or visits to Santa. Seriously, it was so unfestive and depressing. So, I picked up this book which I’d had on the shelf since 2011 and for a few hours it relieved me of my misery. Heartwarming, fun, shopping = A great Christmas pick me up indeed.  


Have you read any of these books? Writing this actually makes me more determined to read some of the books I’ve had for years and never got around to, how many other hidden gems lurk on my shelves? 

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