Review | The Girl In The Ice

Title | The Girl In The Ice 
Author | Robert Bryndza  

Publisher | Bookouture

Publication Date | 11th February 2016 

Purchase | Amazon

Source | Review Copy 

A Page of Love Rating | 5/5 

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one. 

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation. 

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London. 

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding? 

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika. 

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again? 

Oh my gosh! Bookouture have done it again! They've gone and brought us an amazing author with oodles of talent and gripping, grimey, hardcore thrilling crime stories to be told!

Robert Bryndza i'm excited to say has signed a three-book deal for a crime thriller series - the first - is this one; The Girl in the Ice, and I can't tell you how excited I am for book 2, and 3... and then more series' please! OK, i'll stop ... but seriously! Get this book, pre-order it, and clear your schedule because once you pick up this book, the only time you'll be putting it back down is when you reach the last page. Toilet & snack breaks won't even come to mind. I promise!

I was hesitant to start this book - the cover kept winking at me on my kindle and I thought - oh go on then! and then I was hooked!!!

I love the story line, bringing in a detective who's on leave following her failure at keeping her team safe on an operation, team members being killed - including her husband Mark. Naturally Erika Foster is raw, who can blame her, but you quickly learn that she is a detective that gets results, whether or not she plays by the powers that be's rules, or not. She is determined, no scratch that, Erika Foster is hungry for results. She doesn't judge one person she comes into contact with (well - hardly anyone), she has a heart and an understanding of civilians lives - especially when they are the innocent ones whose lifestyles are no fault of their own.

The storyline involves the daughter of a well known political figure, one who has the top dogs in the force on speed-dial, one who seems to be dictating the investigation and Erika's bosses seem to be bowing down to his demands. But not Erika, she KNOWS something is not right, and she risks her life (literally) to get answers. Her sheer love of her job, her ass-kicking determination reward her with the respect of her new team who know nothing of her past - until the press get hold of it that is. Still, they fight her corner (apart from one snivelling, jumped up, ....slimebag who thinks he's gods gift to the police force) and fight for her when she can't fight.

Oh my, I don't know how to write this - I don't want to give too much away. From experience, when I can't write a review it usually means the book is a MUST READ, and I have to say, this has to be the second book I've read this year that is in my top 10 reads of 2016! Yes I did just say this;

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza is a MUST READ for 2016, gripping it's way safely to a secure spot in my Top 10 MUST READS! ~ Dawn Brierley, A Page of Fictional Love 

If you loved reading Angela Marsons' books, then I Promise you, hand on heart, this book will have you frozen to the spot with an eagerness to read one more page until you reach the end and think; Wow! Bloody Hell! Erika HAS to come back with more! I read this book in an almost somewhat psychotic manner - it's grabs you that tightly you can't let go - because you don't want to!

I loved this book (not that you can tell hey? ;) ) and I would love to know more about Erika's past, but I am more than happy to just know more about her future. I feel her character has endured pain we can only imagine, so to see her feeling more secure in herself, and being trusted a little more from those higher up, it would be really satisfying. I'd also really swoon if she was able to find love again - someday (after all she's only just lost her husband), with someone who respects her past, and respects her husbands memory. Oh look, I'm getting gushy over a thriller! What can I say, it's like the book chews you up, spits you back out and still you want more!

Sp please; I apologise for my incoherent jumble of a review - it's just one of those books that gets you, really gets you and you have to say; You Have GOT To Read This! Which you have to, it's simply brilliant. Please read it, post a review on amazon, tweet Robert come back here and tell me your thoughts. But most of all - enjoy! Because that's what reading is supposed to be, enjoyable! and this book certainly ticks that box which is why I easily award it 5 out of 5 Page of Love Hearts

Review | Another Love

Title | Another Love

Author | Amanda Prowse 

Publisher | Head of Zeus

Publication Date | 11th February 2016

Purchase | Amazon             A Page of Love Rating | 5/5

In the early years, she was happy.
Romilly had worked hard for her stunning, modern house in one of Bristol's most fashionable suburbs. She adored her gorgeous, gap-toothed daughter and her kind and handsome husband. Sure, life was sometimes exhausting - but nothing that a large glass of wine at the end of the day couldn't fix.
But then, as deep-buried insecurities surfaced, everything started to unravel. A glass of wine became a bottle; one bottle became two. Once, Romilly's family were everything to her. Now, after years of hiding the drinking, she must finally admit that she has found another love...

Another Love by Amanda Prowse is a book that will be etched in my memory forever. It rendered me speechless from start to finish with the superior talent of Amanda Prowse's writing as she documented a very realistic story involving alcoholism.

I have never read any of Amanda's previous books I admit rather shamefully, but I do have a couple on my shelves - which I will undoubtedly read now that I have been touched soul deep by her work. I looked forward to sitting down and turning another e-Page on my Kindle each night to read more and more of Another Love. 

The book shares the story of how alcoholism impacts family from two perspectives; Romilly and her daughter Celeste. We also catch the impact and raw emotion of her husband David, which at times left me wanting to reach out to him and just let him know that I understand - I can see what he sees - but due to Amanda's brilliant writing, I could also see it from Romilly's perspective. Alcoholism, really brought out the worst in Romilly, and the heartbreaking scenes left me wondering if I could bare to discover their fate as a family.

Romilly, a successful graduate with a fascination for the May Fly, just found that by having a drink it helped her open up, lighten up, relax a little more in social situations. Slowly, as the years passed Romilly became more dependant on alcohol and as one love grew, one love had to fade.

The situations which Romilly finds herself in are raw, emotive, gut wrenching, even nauseating at times. There's a few points where you simply want to grab Romilly, and shake her until she sees sense, sees what she's doing to her family, her beautiful girl, and even herself. It really is vile. The disease of alcoholism, and the acts involved. But, sadly, they are the situations that SO many people find themselves in as alcoholics.

I loved how the book ended, it didn't end how I expected it to, or how I wanted it to - but in all honesty, it ended the best way possible considering that the book is so on par with reality rather than escapism fiction. This book is raw, it touches you in ways you never knew a book could, it stays with you, the characters pop into your head and you want to say, "hey, how are you doing now?".

Another Love is an on point novel of the destruction and havoc alcohol can cause, it documents the journey so intrinsically well, that I simply cannot fault it. I want to walk into shops when this hits the shelf, and place these books in the wine aisle with a placard saying - "This is what having that one drink to relax followed by another, and another, and another - until you depend on it can do to you!"

I can't praise this book highly enough, and right now it is DEFINITELY going to be in my top 10 (Top 5!) books of 2016. This book deserves to win awards, and if it was made into a TV drama series, and followed the exact book to perfection, it would make award winning, phenomenal viewing. Which is why, I absolutely, without a doubt, award Another Love 5 out of 5 Page of Love Hearts.

Review | The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Title | The Twelve Dates of Christmas 

Author | Lisa Dickenson 

Publisher | Little Brown UK

Purchase | Amazon UK 

A Page of Love Rating | 5/5 

At thirty, Claudia's life is stale and the romance with long-term boyfriend, Seth, has disappeared. Determined to inject some festive spark back into their love life, Claudia and Seth go on their first date in a very long time. But when the night ends in disaster, Claudia suddenly finds herself facing life - and Christmas - alone.
Life alone is exciting, scary and full of soon-forgotten exercise regimes and ill-advised attempts at crafting sexy underwear. It's also filling up with dates, surprisingly. With best friends Penny and Nick at her side, a surplus of festive markets, mulled wine and Christmas tunes, Claudia attempts to face all this change with gusto. One thing's for certain: this year, Christmas is going to be very different . . .
This is the story of Claudia and her twelve dates of Christmas. Hilarious, uplifting and romantic, it's a story about losing love, finding love, and discovering what's been there all along. Expect Christmas sparkle, butterflies-in-your-stomach romance and a lot of very funny moments in The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

I adored this book and even now in January it is still the side of my bed because it makes me smile! The story is funny, and I lost count of the amount of times that I ended up smiling or having a little giggle. The characters are so lovely, I warmed to them instantly. 

Claudia is hilarious, and she is so bloody lovely, you can't help but root for her. You can kind of see where it might be going and it's so enjoyable watching a love story play out. It's not overly christmassy, it's just set around that time of year. The opening "date" is so heart wrenchingly funny that you really don't know whether to laugh, cry or join in with her reaction to Seth!

I loved the scene where she threw up on the Big Wheel and ended up being attended to by the St John Ambulance people in the pop up tents. They call her next of kin and Seth & Nick (her best friend) appear... which one does she depend on in her moment of need? 

I remember reading the book and each day my beau would text me and say "So what's the date all about today" and it was at a time where we were thinking up date ideas for ourselves. I'm not going to divulge what we got up to, but Claudia gave us some hilarious moments. 

I'd read this book again and I know I will be. It's too good not to! 

Review | Dashing Through The Snow

Title | Dashing Through The Snow

Author | Debbie Macomber 

Publisher | Random House, Cornerstone 

Publication Date | 19th November 2015

Purchase | Amazon

Source | Review Copy 

A Page of Fictional Love Rating | 4/5 

The new romantic Christmas story from New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.
Ashley Davison is desperate to spend the holidays with her mother in Seattle. Dash Sutherland has an interview for the job of a lifetime in Seattle and must arrive by 23 December. Both frantic to book a last-minute flight out of California, Ashley and Dash collide at the airport to learn that there are no flights and only one rental car available. After a rocky start, the two reluctantly agree to drive to Washington together. But their journey isn't without obstacles, and a misunderstanding with the law threatens to ruin their holiday plans altogether.
Will Ashley make it home in time to surprise her mother? Will Kevin report to duty as expected? And most importantly, will they both have the opportunity to discover the greatest gift of all?

If you're a regular reader then you will know by now that I am such a HUGE fan of Debbie Macomber and would (if I could) rate all her books 5/5 by just looking at them. But we're here to be truthful in our own opinion, and we're here to read and share the love of the books we read, and sometimes we spread a little love of our favourite authors.

So when I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Debbie's latest book Dashing Through The Snow, I was beyond thrilled. I even went and bought a paperback copy when it hit the shelves on publication day. I read Debbie's last festive novel in August so I savoured this one during December (hence the late posting). 

I'm going to address a couple of things that shocked me with this book first and then I'll share the good stuff. Firstly, a christmas book that brings up topics such as terrorism, and more FBI car chase than carol singing really struck me as odd. But then I had to remind myself, it's a sad aspect of our lives now that we actually do have to bring up topics such as terrorism now, we shouldn't have to, but we do. And moreover, we need to take back control of the situation, and the one way we can do that? Talk about it more, don't treat it as the forbidden 'Voldemort' of today's society. I'm actually glad Debbie included terrorism into her story, it was a brave move, but it was a wise one. 
Secondly, I think it could have done with a tad more romance, but then again i'm a huge fan of romance and maybe it was just what I needed to read at the time in my life.

So now we get onto what I really loved about it. I loved how the characters worked together, they melded and blended so well. As with all of Debbie's books, they are believable and they suck you right into the plot and you become so gripped that you want to reach the end, but you also want to linger in the presence.

I also have to mention a particular scene where Dash and Ashley are at a services station and there are the cute puppies the war veteran is trying to find good homes to. The whole symbolism here of tying in with the terrorism theme is spectacular. I love the nod to all the war veterans and what they symbolise and the innocent act of finding good homes for abandoned puppies, vs the FBI chasing Ashley & Dash as they believe that Ashley is in fact one of their MOST WANTED terrorists, is just ... well I am speechless. It is pure art in words. 

The blossoming romance between Dash & Ashley is beautiful, especially the camaraderie between them during the shared car journey. It really was a beautiful read, and one that I highly recommend. I haven't gone into much detail on the plot because it's one that needs to be read by you and you alone. You are more than welcome to pop back and share your thoughts on it if you've read it as I love to read your thoughts and comments. It's one of those books that needs to touch you without too much of my opinion affecting your experience with it.