As you may have noticed, I'm sharing a lot more book-related posts this year and it's something I hope to continue each month. In (another) new monthly feature, I'll be sharing my thoughts on the books I've finished each month. I'm currently making my way through my 5th book of the month, but here's my thoughts on the four I've already finished!
Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley - £1.99 Kindle, £6.99 Paperback
This is one I actually started reading over Christmas and finished early into January. In fact, it's a book I actually downloaded on my Kindle around Christmas 2013, but didn't get around to reading it. I am a sucker for Christmas themed books over the Christmas period, and I think this one is officially my favourite yet.
"Christmas has always been a sad time for young widow Holly Brown, so being asked to look after a remote house on the Lancashire moors is the perfect excuse to forget about the festivities. Sculptor Jude Martland is determined that this year there will be no Christmas after his brother ran off with his fiancée. He’s keen to avoid the family home. However, he will have to return by the twelfth night of the festivities, when the hamlet of Little Mumming hold their historic festivities and all of his family are required to attend. Meanwhile, Holly is finding that if she wants to avoid Christmas, she has come to the wrong place. When Jude unexpectedly returns on Christmas Eve he is far from delighted to discover that Holly seems to be holding the very family party he had hoped to avoid. Suddenly, the blizzards come out of nowhere and the whole village is snowed in. With no escape, Holly and Jude get much more than they bargained for – it looks like the twelve days of Christmas are going to be very interesting indeed!"My first read from Trisha Ashley, I absolutely fell in love with her style of writing which perfectly encapsulates the scene. You could picture every last detail, of both the settings and the characters, all of which I fell in love with. I adored the character of Holly Brown, and her love for cooking was more than a little bit addictive (even better, the back of the book features recipes!). As for Jude Martland? An unusual pick for a romantic lead, yet by the end of finishing Twelve Days of Christmas, Jude Martland was the most perfect guy ever. There is nothing I didn't adore about this book, and I can't wait to read more from Trisha Ashley.
The Winter Garden Mystery (A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery) by Carola Dunn - £2.81 Paperback
I'm a big fan of murder mysteries and Carola Dunn is my go-to author for a great murder mystery that'll keep you guessing until the end. The second book in the Daisy Dalrymple series, it kept me guessing throughout, and as always with Carola Dunn, the scene was set perfectly. If you love a good murder mystery like me, I cannot recommend this series enough!
"While on assignment at gloomy Occles Hall, which is under the charge of the autocratic Lady Valeria, Daisy Dalrymple discovers the body of a missing parlour maid buried in the garden and must unearth a killer before she meets the same fate."The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton - £1.80 Kindle, £3.99 Paperback
As one of the most talked about books of 2014 - as well as being voted the Sunday Times Number One Bestseller - I couldn't resist giving The Miniaturist a read for myself to see what the fuss is all about.
"On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways . . . Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?"You really find yourself fighting Nella's corner in this one, and at every twist and turn you hope for a happy ending for her. You feel her frustration as if it is your own, and her bright young mind is forever endearing; you want the same answers she does. Without a shadow of a doubt, The Miniaturist has made it's way into my ever-growing pile of favourite books ever. I devoured this one so quickly, an insanely hard book to put down and one I was gutted to finish when I reached the very last page. Beautifully written, with twists and turns that often left me shocked and in awe of how Burton manages to reel you in completely, I cannot recommend enough giving this best-seller a read for yourself! If this is Burton's debut novel, I can only imagine how amazing her future reads will be!
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Heaven by Corey Taylor - £4.35 Kindle, £7.19 Paperback
I love Corey Taylor, and his first book Seven Deadly Sins is one of my favourites. I was hoping for big things from Corey's second book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven, but I have to admit I wasn't as impressed with this one as I was Seven Deadly Sins.
"His second book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven, compiles Corey’s most intimate, incredible, and insane moments with the supernatural. His memories are as vivid as they are vicious. As he recounts these stories, he questions the validity of religious belief systems and two-thousand-year-old dogma. As always his rapid-fire writing, razor sharp sense of humour, unbridled honesty, and cosy anecdotes make quite the case for his point. You might end up believing him or not. That’s up to you, of course. Either way, you’re in for a hell of ride."Don't get me wrong - it's a good book and one which I looked forward to reading more of each night. But it's just not my favourite - Corey rambles a lot in Seven Deadly Sins, but his rambling is over the top in this one and I felt it distracted from the well-written non-rambly bits of the rest of the book. A good read regardless, if you're into the supernatural it's worth a read!
Have you finished reading any books this January? Don't forget you can follow my reading progress, check out what I'm currently reading and what I plan on reading in the future by adding me as a friend on Goodreads.
All books available at www.amazon.co.uk.