The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen
The Surrogate
by Louise Jensen (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘Is it really a coincidence she is here, or has she purposely tracked me down? And if so, why?

‘Revenge’ whispers the voice inside my head.’

THE BLURB: ‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

MY THOUGHTS: Twisted, twisty and oh so nerve wracking! I almost tore my fingernails out of their beds reading The Surrogate by Louise Jensen, and I do not bite my nails!

Full marks to Louise Jensen. She has demonstrated that she is mistress of her art. I thought I knew where she was going with this. She reinforced my beliefs. But she took me for a ride – up the wrong road. More than that, I am not going to say. I don’t want to give anything away. I don’t want to spoil any surprises. And they come thick and fast.

I am going to liken reading this book to riding a roller coaster in one of those spinning teacups with no seat belts. Thrilling, scary. Yes, you may have to suspend belief occasionally, but believe me, by then, you won’t care.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Surrogate for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2123237779

And So It Began (Delaney #1) by Owen Mullen

And So It Began by Owen Mullen
And So It Began (Delaney #1)
by Owen Mullen (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘It was good to feel apart from the herd. Different from the masses. What could be worse than being just another walking number on the earth? Thank God that wasn’t the way of it. Society saw it otherwise of course, that was to be expected. Closed minds.

A woman passed with a child dressed in top hat and tails. Fred Astaire? The kid was bawling something impossible to make out, its small face distorted in an anguish that would cease the second the mother relented and let it have its way. When children acted like that they were almost as unattractive as the adults who spawned them. Well, the mother could relax, her whining offspring was safe; repulsively secure.

No matter, there were plenty more.

Lots and lots and lots more.

Where to begin? The biggest question. The answer would dictate how the rest of the day would go. The trick was not to wait too long. That was dangerous. Anxiety about missing out produced poor-quality decisions. Risk was all very well so long as the thrill allowed for escape.

It was all about timing.

A lost looking girl came close. Pretty, but pretty wasn’t enough. There were many here who outscored her on that, boys as well as girls, it didn’t matter.

Cute. Cute. Cute. Nothing but cute.

‘Darlene! Darlene, honey!’

A woman bent to scoop up her daughter.

Mother and child reunion.

Time to make a move. But what was the rush? There was a whole day ahead.

All day. All day, every day if need be.

THE BLURB: PI Vincent Delaney thought he was done with the NOPD until a string of seemingly unrelated child murders brings an unexpected invitation from the FBI, and his old boss.

A serial killer is roaming the South, preying on children appearing in pageants, and the police want him to go undercover using his own family. Accepting would mean lying to people he loves and maybe even putting them in harm’s way.

In Baton Rouge, a violent criminal has escaped and is seeking revenge for the brother Delaney shot dead. But Delaney isn’t going anywhere. He has unfinished business.

Meanwhile, north of the French Quarter, shopkeepers are being extorted and ask for Delaney’s help. Extortion is a matter for the police.

But what do you do when those responsible are the police?

Delaney has his work cut out and he’ll be lucky if he makes it out of this alive…

MY THOUGHTS: Owen Mullen knows how to write.

I rank him right up there with Mr King. Different genres, but there is something in the writing style that just sucks me right in. Cocoons me from the outside world. Has me snarling at anyone that would dare try interrupt my reading.

I fell in love with Charlie Cameron, Mullen’s Glaswegian PI in his first series. Now we have Delaney in New Orleans. And I’m in love all over again.

Delaney has a past. But that doesn’t guarantee he has a future. Delaney is dedicated. When he is on a case, all else is pushed to the side. I would hate to be in a relationship with this man. He is unfailingly loyal. He is stubborn. And tenacious. He reminds me of my very favorite chocolates, strong and hard on the outside, liquid inside. This is a man who will go to any lengths to protect those he loves.

And he is a man with old scores to settle.

And So It Began by Owen Mullen is a breathtaking read. There is nothing ordinary or mediocre about this book. It grips from page one and never lets go.

Crime fiction has a new master.

Thank you to author Owen Mullen for providing an ARC of And So It Began. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2143545068?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

The Coven by Graham Masterton

The Coven by Graham Masterton
The Coven
by Graham Masterton

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘Some of these girls are veritable savages when we first take them in. They are used to drinking gin and smoking and their everyday language would make Satan shrivel. They have been used by men ever since they can remember, sometimes by their own fathers and brothers, so they think nothing of virtue or virginity. In some cases, their own mothers have sold their maidenheads to the highest bidder to make ends meet…..A fair number learn to be thankful, I’ll grant you. But some regard us as pious busy bodies and cannot wait to return to their life on the streets. They relish the flattery they are given by licentious men, and the money. They enjoy the orgies, and the drink. They have never been used to discipline or decorum, and they cannot understand that they are not only destroying themselves here on earth but abnegating any chance they might have had of going to heaven. ‘

THE BLURB: London, 1758. Beatrice Scarlet has returned to London and found work at St. Mary Magdalene’s Refuse for fallen women. Beatrice enjoys the work and her apothecary skills are much needed. The home cooperates with a network of wealthy factory owners across London, finding their charges steady work and hopes of rehabilitation. But when 12 girls sent to a factory in Clerkenwell disappear, Beatrice is uneasy. Their would-be benefactor claims they were witches, sacrificed by Satan for his demonic misdeeds. But Beatrice is sure something much darker than witchcraft is at play.

MY THOUGHTS: I have to admit that I almost dnf’d this a couple of times in the earlier part of the book. I really only kept reading because I wanted to know if Noah was ever going to be found. I got the answer to my question, but if you want to know you can read the book for yourself.

The Coven is definitely not my favourite Masterton book. It is the second book in a series of, so far, two. I had not read the first, but The Coven can stand on its own. There is enough background information given so that the relevant events of the first in the series are explained.

My first quibble is with the title, The Coven. If you read this book you will see the relevance, which I still feel is rather tenuous anyway. The Coven gives the impression that the book is about witchcraft. It isn’t. Not even remotely. Which is not why I chose to read it anyway, but people with reading interests which lie in that field would be disappointed. This book could definitely have been better titled.

Masterton’s writing does get, somewhat uncharacteristically, laborious in parts. Although just occasionally his quirky sense of humour shines through, and again,occasionally, there are passages of his trademark beautiful prose.

Overall, I am glad I read The Coven. I liked it more than not, but only just. But probably not enough to bother with reading any more of the series, although Beatrice’s future does look rather more interesting. I will leave the jury out on that decision.

WARNING: The Coven contains graphic violence and sexual content.

Thank you to Head of Zeus via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Coven for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2143005304?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
by Julie Andrews Edwards

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘I assure you that the Wangdoodle exists,’ said the man. ‘Look it up in your dictionary when you get home. ‘
‘What does it look like?’ asked Lindy.
‘That’s rather hard to describe. It’s a little like a moose – or a horse, perhaps. But with fantastic horns. And I believe it has rather short legs.’
‘Where does it live?’ enquired Tom.
‘Oh,far, far away……’

THE BLURB: The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles was the second children’s novel ever written by Julie Andrews, the beloved star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Perfect for young readers who love whimsical stories about magic!

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals—the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, “oily” Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with “peace, love and a sense of fun”—apart from and forgotten by people.

But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland.

With the Professor’s help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart’s desire.

MY THOUGHTS: All the times I read The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles by Julie Edwards to and with my sons, and I never realized that the author was Julie Andrews!

She must have had an enormous amount of fun writing this book, because it is a fun read, but with a more serious undertone – genetics and cloning.

But the greatest thing about the book is that it is magical, not in a Harry Potter kind of way, but in its innocence. This book would never get written or published today. A group of children going off with a strange man they met at the zoo and doing things in his house that they can’t tell their parents about?!

And it is a pity. Because this is a wonderful book. And I was so glad to find it, prized and loved on my son’s bookshelves to be read to and with his boys.

Truly a book for all ages. If you never got to read it as a child, read it as an adult. We all need a little magic and wonder in our lives.

A big Thank You to Brenda, who worked for me many moons ago when my now adult sons were small, and who bought this book for them. It has been treasured and always will be.

Lay Me To Rest by E.A. Clark

Lay Me to Rest by E.A. Clark
Lay Me to Rest
by E.A. Clark (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘After pulling the door to, we walked down the slope and across to the farm, the sun a huge blood orange sphere at our backs, sinking behind the distant mountains.
If I had turned then I might have seen. Might have seen that the shadow that I had mistaken for mere imagination was standing, looking down at us, from my bedroom window. And that the glowing dark eyes that bore into the back of our unwitting heads exuded what could only be described as resentment and malevolence. I might have had some premonitory sense of what was in store for me and how I ought to flee before becoming irrevocably changed forever by the terror and intensity of my experience.
But for the time being I would remain in ignorance of the depth of hostility cast in our direction. And that was how it would all begin.’

THE BLURB: Some secrets never stay buried for long…
Devastated by the death of her husband, Annie Philips is shocked to discover she is pregnant with his unborn child. Hoping for a fresh start, she travels to a remote stone cottage in Anglesey, amidst the white-capped mountains of North Wales.

She settles in quickly, helped by her mysterious new neighbour, Peter. But everything changes when Annie discovers a small wooden box, inlaid with brass and mother-of-pearl. A box she was never supposed to find…

Annie soon realises that she isn’t alone in the cottage. And now she’s trapped. Can she escape the nightmare that she has awoken, or will the dark forces surrounding the house claim her life – and that of her baby?

A gripping thriller from E. A. Clark, perfect for fans of Kerri Wilkinson, Sarah Wray and Stella Duffy. You won’t be able to put it down!

MY THOUGHTS: Lay Me To Rest is E. A. Clark’s first adult novel after having written short stories and poetry for many years. Although her prose is a little overblown in places, this is a credible effort. It is an easy and quick read, ideal for reading in front of the fire on a cold and stormy night, as I did.

I have to admit to not having picked up on the paranormal reference in the blurb. Had I done, I probably wouldn’t have requested it, and I would have missed out on a read that became more interesting the further I read on. It was a little predictable in places, and it seems obvious from the way the ending was crafted that there is going to be at least one more book featuring Annie Philips and her newly discovered psychic ability to come. But if you are a fan of paranormal romantic suspense, Lay Me To Rest is a book that you will, in all probability, enjoy, and E.A. Clark is an author you will need to watch.

Thank you to HQ Digital via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Lay Me To Rest by E.A. Clark for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or my ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com pages https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2138842672

This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber

This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber
This Side of Murder (Verity Kent, #1)
by Anna Lee Huber (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


AN EXCERPT: ‘You might question whether this is all a ruse, whether I truly have anything to reveal. But I know what kind of work you really did during the war. I know the secrets you hide. Why shouldn’t I also know your husband’s?’

THE BLURB: The Great War is over, but in this captivating new series from award-winning author Anna Lee Huber, one young widow discovers the real intrigue has only just begun . . .

An Unpardonable Sin?

England, 1919. Verity Kent’s grief over the loss of her husband pierces anew when she receives a cryptic letter, suggesting her beloved Sidney may have committed treason before his untimely death. Determined to dull her pain with revelry, Verity’s first impulse is to dismiss the derogatory claim. But the mystery sender knows too much—including the fact that during the war, Verity worked for the Secret Service, something not even Sidney knew.

Lured to Umbersea Island to attend the engagement party of one of Sidney’s fellow officers, Verity mingles among the men her husband once fought beside, and discovers dark secrets—along with a murder clearly meant to conceal them. Relying on little more than a coded letter, the help of a dashing stranger, and her own sharp instincts, Verity is forced down a path she never imagined—and comes face to face with the shattering possibility that her husband may not have been the man she thought he was. It’s a truth that could set her free—or draw her ever deeper into his deception . . .

MY THOUGHTS: ‘Who of us really knows what’s coming? Or what secrets will come back to haunt us in the end? The war might be over, but it still echoed through our lives like an endless roll of thunder. ‘
This Side of Murder is an excellent beginning to a new series, Verity Kent, by Daphne Award winning author Anna Lee Huber. I must rather shamefully admit that I had never heard of her prior to reading this book. I intend to remedy that, and sooner rather than later. She has two other series available, The Lady Darby Mysteries and Gothic Myths. Both sound equally appealing.

Huber had me hooked from the beginning. Set in post WWI England, Huber has written an absorbing and thrilling tale of spies, murder, treason and a little romance with a strong young female lead. The plot is complex, but not confusing, and the characters are magnificently portrayed. Like Verity, I never even came close to suspecting who was pulling the strings until all was finally revealed.

Full of action and suspense, This Side of Murder is an excellent read on many levels. It is both humorous and poignantly sad in places. It reveals the toll of the war from both sides; those left at home – ‘..how I had dreaded those letters. Each one seemed to relay news of another death, another tragedy. ‘; and those away fighting for their country – ‘they’d had no clue how dreadful the conditions were at the front, or the horrors their men had faced almost daily. The press never told the truth; propaganda at its finest. And the men didn’t want their loved ones back home to know it anyway, even though it caused countless divides and misunderstandings. They didn’t want the terrors they’d confronted to touch those they’d loved and gone to war to protect and preserve. ‘

This Side of Murder is both a touching and thrilling read.

Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page.

The Great Bird Poo War by Coral Vass and illustrated by Lee Wildish

The Great Bird Poo War by Coral Vass
The Great Bird Poo War
by Coral Vass (Goodreads Author), Lee Wildish (Illustrator)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘Strutting his feathers down Cherry Tree Way,
Little Pukeko went walking one day
When all of a sudden, something went PLOP!
SPLAT on his head! He was covered in slop!’

THE BLURB: When a bird plops on Little Pukeko’s head he declares war – the ground-dwelling brids against the flying birds. Soon all the birds are covered in SPLAT! Who will bring peace back to Cherry-tree way?

MY THOUGHTS: A delightful story with equally delightful illustrations, although around the middle of the story I had to check to see if I had turned two pages at once – there seemed to be a gap in the narrative. If not for this one anomaly, this lovely little book would have received 5 stars.

It will appeal to the littlies because of the subject matter, poo! But it also provides a good lesson on the futility of war and the value of cooperation.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my ratings. This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com.

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti
The Blackbird Season
by Kate Moretti (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘He felt sick. No matter what happened now, everything had just gotten worse. All the pieces he’d been clinging to had flown apart, scattering what was left of his life in a million directions. He was in trouble, he’d been in trouble, but now he was more than in trouble, he was as dead as a person could be while still being alive. In one heartbeat, he envisioned Alecia and Gabe huddled together on the couch, himself in prison, a 20/20 special. ….He had no way of knowing that this moment would become the linchpin, the moment that all the moments after would hinge upon. The papers would call him a murderer; the police would come to him; his ex-friends, his gym buddies, the guys who knew him for God’s sake; and say, Nate was the last one to see her alive, right? The last one is always the guilty one.’

THE BLURB: “Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

MY COMMENTS: I struggled somewhat to become involved with this book. I didn’t particularly relate to any of the characters, which is not necessarily a problem. But I was just over 40% into the story before I began to feel any kind of real interest, a spark, and that didn’t last long.

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti is told from four points of view, that of Alecia, Nate, Lucia and Bridget, which also  wasn’t a problem.

The characters are well portrayed and rounded out. Nate’s life revolves around his baseball team and his students, with his wife Alecia and autistic son Gabe trailing somewhere behind in his priorities. He is not a bad man. He is very involved in the lives of his students, who both like and trust him. As do their parents. If he has a fault, it is that he is naive and can be arrogant.

Alecia’s life is consumed by Gabe, their five year old autistic son. She is totally focused on finding a ‘cure’ for him, so that he can live a ‘normal’ life; so that she can live a normal life, so that she can be a soccer mum and one of the mums in the cliques at the school gate. She resents that she is stuck in the house every day while Nate is out there ‘cavorting with his students’ and monitoring their every move on social media. She resents that he seems to care more for them, than for his own wife and child.

There is a recipe for trouble to start with. Add in Bridget Harris, Nate’s coworker and colleague, who is still depressed following the death of her husband, struggling with her job and who has always had a bit of a thing for Nate. And Lucia, trashy, blonde, abused and considered wierd Lucia who is randomly accepted and discarded by her classmates on a whim, and who has only ever had one true friend, Taylor. But even that is changing.

I so wanted to be captivated by the ‘haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns’, but I wasn’t. I regret to say that I didn’t find it any of these things. Instead of suspense filled, I got angst filled. Disappointing? Yes, but if the book had been depicted more accurately, my expectations may not have been so high.

Thank you to Atria Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Therefore if you enjoyed the excerpt above, please go ahead and read this book. For an explanation of my ratings, please visit my profile page on Goodreads.com or my ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com.

This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson

EXCERPT:”On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual.

For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways.”

THE BLURB: What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can – will she?

Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original – this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.


MY COMMENTS:  I love Kate Atkinson. But I had put off reading Life After Life as I really couldn’t get my head around the concept of reading about a person living their life over and over again. I thought, at best, it might be monotonous and repetitive. Kate Atkinson – forgive me! I was so, so wrong…..

Does anyone remember the George Michael song “Turn a Different Corner’?
“Take me back in time
Maybe I can forget
Turn a different corner
And we never would have met”

As a child Ursula lives with a constant sense of fear and deja vu. “I have been here before” she will say, and her mother will look at her and reply “You most certainly have not!” For Sylvie is upset by Ursula’s “feyness” and will take her to a psychologist in an effort to effect a cure for the “strangeness” of her second daughter; so unlike her elder sister, the steady and predictable Pamela.

Hilary Mantel calls Life After Life ‘a box of delights’. It certainly is that. It is also wildly inventive, quirky, absorbing and thought provoking.

I have already been out and bought “A God in Ruins”, Atkinson’s following book which is written from the point of View of Teddy, Ursula’s younger brother.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or to ‘about me’ here on my blog for an explanation of my ratings. This review is also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/953252217?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez

Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez
Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul (The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul #2)
by Deborah Rodriguez (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘Layla had never been able to shed the nightmares about the men who had taken her as revenge for her sister’s escape, the memories of those days before Jack had come to rescue her. She had been only twelve years old then, but sometimes it seemed like yesterday. Yasmina had been gone for four months when the same big black SUV that had snatched her away from their uncle’s home had returned, this time for Layla. The snows had melted, the roads were clear, and the men were determined to get what they came for. But before they got far with her, long before they could reach Kabul, where she would have been sold to the highest bidder to be his third or fourth wife, or forced into a life of slavery or prostitution, this strange western man dressed in a shalwaar kameez, with eyes that sparkled like blue ice and a voice that spoke with calm authority, appeared like a hero in a Bollywood movie and whisked her away and into the arms of her beloved sister. ‘

THE BLURB: ‘In a little coffee shop in war-torn Kabul, five very different women unite for one important cause: to protect the women in Afghanistan.

Now back home in the US, SUNNY, the founder, is finding it difficult to settle and dreams of returning to her beloved coffee shop.

SHEA is haunted by a traumatic event that makes her renounce her Afghan heritage.

YAZMINA, the coffee shop’s new owner, wants to use her newfound security to help other women avoid the fate she narrowly escaped.

ZARA, promised in marriage to a violent man she’s never met, arrives at the coffee shop seeking sanctuary.

And HALAJAN, the grandmother still breaking all the rules, is secretly learning to drive . . .

Together, these five women set out to change their lives, and the lives of women in Afghanistan, for ever.’

MY COMMENTS: I struggled somewhat with The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul when I read it some months ago. My review – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show… but I had hoped for the answers to some of my questions in the follow up book. Sadly, it was not to be. The author tends to gloss over things, important things, like Layla’s abduction.

If I found the first book lacking in depth, I found this one to be even more superficial and called it quits 1/3 of the way into it after dipping into random pages further in to see if there was anything there that would entice me to keep reading. The answer is obvious.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page for an explanation of my ratings. This review is also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2126721360

If you have enjoyed the excerpt above, you may enjoy these two books, a lot of people have. I am just not one of them.