Book Review: Hold My Hand by M.J. Ford (Spoiler-Free!)



How long do you hunt for the missing?

A horrible vanishing act…

When a young Josie Masters sees a boy wearing a red football shirt, Dylan Jones, being taken by a clown at a carnival, she tries to alert the crowds. But it’s too late. Dylan has disappeared…

Thirty years later, Josie is working as a police officer in Bath. The remains of the body of a child have been found – complete with tatters of a torn red football shirt. Is it the boy she saw vanish in the clutches of the clown? Or is it someone else altogether?

And then another child disappears…


I love a crime novel, and this one was great. I read it in several sittings over the space of a few says, and I really enjoyed it. It had all my favourite aspects of a crime novel, Mystery, great characters, interesting plot, and a good writing style.

Josie, or Jo as she likes to be called, was the protagonist. I really liked her. She seemed good at her job, didn’t take anyone’s cr*p, and follows her gut, even if everyone else is telling her to just let go. She was a really well-written character, and I found it very easy to connect with her. There were also some characters that I didn’t like so much. I won’t go into it too much as I don’t want to spoil anything, but they weren’t the best.

I found the plot to be really realistic and had no trouble believing that it was something that genuinely could happen. It was written at a nice pace, and definitely kept me interested throughout the whole book. Now. The Plot Twist. I was so so so shocked, and I really want to go into more detail but I can’t because this is spoiler-free, so all I am going to say is you will not be disappointed. With Thrillers, I do this thing where I try and predict the ending. Did not see this one coming, at all.

Ford is a talented writer, and I will definitely be looking out for any future work. Overall, I give this book 4.5 stars.

gold star

I was on the Instagram Tour for this book, so make sure you check that out! 

-Books&Belle xx

I’d like to thank Harper Collins for sending me a copy of Hold My Hand in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Blog Tours · Reviews

Blog Tour: A Review of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Spoiler-Free!) #NowWeRise



Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.


“You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasnt keeping us alive. It was thinking we’d never fight back!”

This book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, so I was so happy when I got the email saying that a proof was on its way to me! The first thing that I want to say is that it did not disappoint. There was so much that I loved about it, that it is honestly difficult to put it into words. The world that Adeyemi has created is wonderful, and I thank the heavens for her brilliant, creative mind.

There has been so much hype surrounding this book, and I can say that, without a doubt, it deserves it. The switches in point of views of the different characters allows the reader to know whats going on inside the characters heads, making it even more interesting. Adeyemi’s writing style is another thing I liked about Children of Blood and Bone. It was sophisticated, and the pace of the plot was just perfect. By the time it got to the action-packed parts, I had connected with certain characters, and couldn’t stop reading as I had to know what happened next!

My favourite character was Zélie. I’m sure plenty of other people will share this opinion! She was strong, selfless, protective, loyal, and my favourite thing, flawed. No person is flawless, so I always find it hard to connect with a character who is written as a perfect person. Zélie was stubborn, reckless and a few times she spoke up when it would’ve been in her best interests to stay quiet. Her inability to stay quiet, however, was what makes her my favourite character. She knows that there might be unfortunate consequences to some of the things she does and says, but she still speaks out against what she thinks is wrong, because she knows that it is the right thing to do.

Amari was also a great character. Her character development is really something. She truly earns her nickname, The Leoponaire. The situation that she was in was truly difficult, and the choices she makes in the book really show the type of person that she is. I thought all of the characters were written really well, but Zélie and Amari in particular, were outstanding.

The plot! Gosh, what can I say about the plot? There is so much that I want to write about, but I can’t, because this is a spoiler-free review. I’m just going to say that the storyline does not disappoint at all, and leave it at that.

I grew up having so many amazing fictional characters to look up to. Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, most of the Disney Princesses, Katniss Everdeen. The fact that little girls are going to have characters like Zélie and Amari added to this list makes me so happy, as does knowing that young black girls are going to have better representation in literature.

Overall, I LOVED Children of Blood and Bone, and I am so extremely excited for the sequel. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!


I’d like to thank My Kinda Book for sending me a copy of Children of Blood and Bone in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Also, there is a quiz to find out which clan you belong to! Take it, and let me know which you are. I’m a Tider!


Blog Tours · Reviews

Blog Tour: A Review of Mask Beneath Her Face by Rafael Chandler (Spoiler Free!)



During the 1980s, slashers terrorized America. With machetes and masks, these unstoppable killers stalked college campuses, quiet suburbs, and lakeside cabins.

Thirty years ago, Bobbi Metzger survived a massacre at her 16th birthday party. She spent decades putting her life back together.

Tonight, Bobbi will face a new killer: a high-tech slasher hell-bent on opening the doorway to an abyss of unimaginable horror.

How long can Bobbi survive this nightmare? What will she do to protect the people she loves? How much blood is she willing to spill?

If you love 80’s slasher flicks like Friday the 13 th or Sleepaway Camp, this book’s for you!

Warning: This book contains extreme gore and violence. Not for the faint of heart!

Add to Goodreads


It has been so long since I’ve read a Horror. I genuinely can not recall what the last one was! Mask Beneath Her Face has certainly been the book to get me back into them. It had me on the edge of my seat at times, wondering what the hell was going to happen.

Chandler’s writing was good. It kept me interested throughout the whole book, and the characters are well written and unique. I think that the pace was a little slow at times, but other than this, the writing and the plot was very enjoyable.

Like the warning said, there is a lot of violence in this book, so if thats something that you don’t cope with well, I’d give it a miss. However, if that sort of thing doesn’t bother you, I definitely recommend it! If you’re also a fan of Horror/Slasher films, you’ll love this. It’s gory and descriptive, but not overly so, in my opinion.

Although the characters were well written, and there were some very interesting back stories, I didn’t find myself connecting with any of them as much as I had hoped that I would. Obviously I cared what happened to them, but not to the extent that I had to keep reading to know what happens.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It has definitely got me back into reading Horror. I give it 4 stars.

gold star

About The Author


Rafael Chandler writes novels (Hexcommunicated, The Astounding Antagonists), video games (SOCOM 4, Rainbow Six: Lockdown, MAG), and tabletop role-playing games (Teratic Tome, Lusus Naturae). He’s a metalhead, a kaijuphile, and a gorehound.

Purchase link

Author site




Giveaway: Enter for your chance to win a print copy of Mask Beneath Her Face or 1 of 5 digital copies

Tour organised by:


-Books&Belle xx


Blog Tour: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (Spoiler-Free!)



When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…


I’m one of the stops on the blog tour for The Duchess Deal, which I’m really happy about! The synopsis really intrigued me, so I couldn’t wait to start reading. It took me roughly two days to get through this book, and I found it to be a really enjoyable read.

The two main characters, Emma and the Duke, were wonderful. Emma was my favourite, though. She was nearly everything I love in a character, selfless, strong, caring and loyal. The only thing that I didn’t like too much about her was her naivety when it came to men. But the reasoning behind her being this way is revealed later in the book, so I was able to overlook it. The Duke was… a bit of a grey area for me. He was injured at war, and was left scarred, and very bitter at the world.  But by the end of the book, the parts of him I wasn’t keen on at the start, I ended up finding endearing, and I understood why he felt and acted in certain ways a lot better.

The plot was very fast paced, which is good if you’re looking for a fast read. I felt it was lacking a bit in terms of excitement, but it was still a good read. There are a few erotic scenes, but they’re not overdone, and I didn’t have to skip them like I have with previous books due to them being too cringey. In fact, I felt that they helped show the audience why Ash was the way he was.

Overall, I enjoyed The Duchess Deal, and I’d recommend it if you like period romances, and a fast paced plot. I give it four stars.

gold star

I’d like to thank Mills & Boon for sending me a copy of The Duchess Deal in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

-Books&Belle xx


Book Review: Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Spoiler-Free!)



A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape–perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.


As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it was one I wanted to read. With a Muslim teenage girl who faces Islamophobia as the main character, I thought it was really relevant to todays society.

I thought Ahmed’s writing style was really good, she kept me hooked, and I thought the little snippets from the mystery person at the end of each chapter were really intriguing. The Islamophobia was also well written. It made me so angry to read, I genuinely couldn’t comprehend how some of the characters could think that way about someone they’d known their whole lives. The fact that it made me, the reader, feel this way shows just how well represented it is.

Maya was such a sweet character. Most of the time! I really felt for her with her struggle between doing what she wanted with her life, and doing what her parents had plannedfor her. Her determination was admirable. I think any person who has to deal with bigoted, racist, ignorant a**holes in their everyday life is a very strong person, and to see Muslims and their struggles being represented in YA books is wonderful.

The only downside to this book, for me, was the romance. It was about 50/50 romance and then Maya’s problems with her parents. The balance was good, but I didn’t like how she didn’t have any problems with having secret meetings with a guy who has a girlfriend. It was just a bit of a no-go area for me. Other than that, I really enjoyed the romance.

Overall, I liked this book a lot. It’s the second book I’ve read that has a teenage Muslim as the protagonist, and I can’t wait to read more. (If you know of any, feel free to comment!) I think that the issues this book covers are so important, as is the representation. I give this book 4 stars.

gold star

I’d like to thank Readers First for sending me a copy of Love, Hate & Other Filters in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Book Review: Aaru by David Meredith (Spoiler-Free!)



“…Death and the stillness of death are the only things certain and common to all in this future…”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.

She is sixteen years old.

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.

Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale.
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.


Warning: there are mentions of sexual assault and pedophilia in this book.

I’m going to start off by saying this was an interesting read. When I first read the synopsis, I was certainly intrigued by the concept. Living forever in a paradise free from disease, death and despair? Definitely sounds like the place to be. So, whilst I didn’t fly through this book, needing to read just one more chapter, it was a good read.

The plot was a good pace. It didn’t jump straight into it, but it also didn’t long it out more than was necessary. I also liked the switching of the point of views from Koren’s perspective in real life, to Rose’s perspective in Aaru, and the mysterious ‘Magic Mans.’ It was interesting to know what each of them were thinking and feeling, and the mystery surrounding the Magic Man’s identity and intentions was really well written.

The plot, whilst a little predictable at some points, was also great. It’s certainly unique, and I, personally, haven’t read anything like it before. The only thing that did catch me off guard and make me a bit uncomfortable was the way Koren Johnson, a thirteen year old girl, was described by certain characters. I know there is a major problem with the sexualising of young celebrities, so I suppose highlighting that issue was necessary to make the plot more realistic. However, it went further than that, and I do wish I had known beforehand. If this is something that might be triggering to you, I’d give this one a miss. However, there is a lot more to the story line, and if mystery, fantasy and technology is your thing, you might like this one.

Before ending my review, I want to applaud David Meredith on creating such an interesting concept with Aaru. I think writing a character like the Magic Man would’ve been incredibly challenging, so the fact that he was able to create a character like him that inspires so many emotions (hatred, for me) is brilliant. Whilst Aaru wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, it was certainly a memorable one.

Overall, I give this book 3 stars.


-Books&Belle xx

I’d like to thank David Meredith for sending me a copy of Aaru in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.



Blog Tour: A Week To Be Wild by JC Harroway (Spoiler-Free!)



A daring game of temptation

She’ll play his game-but only by her rules!

Alex Lancaster is an adrenaline junkie. He’s also a sexy British billionaire who should come with his own warning signs. When Libby insists she is done with men who live on the edge, Alex coaxes her out of her comfort zone-professionally and very, very personally. Libby’s taking a high-stakes gamble, but the pay-off could win her everything…



So, I’m one of the stops on the blog tour for A Week To Be Wild! I’ll start by saying that there are both things I liked and disliked about this book. I read it over the course of a week or so, so it definitely wasn’t a page turner, but it was an overall enjoyable read. There is quite a bit of sexually explicit writing, so if that bothers you, I’d give it a miss. Going into this book, I knew that there would be some. But if I’m honest, I found it was a bit rushed and I actually had to skip those parts the majority of the time as I found it a bit too much and it made me cringe a bit. That’s just me though, if erotica is your thing, then this is the book for you!

I did like the characters, Libby especially. I liked how she was powerful without a man, she was successful and I think that’s great. However, it seemed like her professionalism just went out of the window after taking one glance at Alex Lancaster. Just didn’t seem very realistic in my opinion. Other than that, though, I really liked her and thought she was an interesting, well-written character. Alex was intriguing too. Not the stereotypical English billionaires you get in books at all. I usually get bored of them, and he’s certainly not a character that inspires boredom.

I found the plot a bit slow, but it was pretty interesting once the pace picked up a bit. I do wish that we had been able to get to know the characters a bit more, however.

Overall, A Week To Be Wild is the type of book I’d recommend if you like the billionaire trope, erotica, or just want a quick read. I give it three stars.


-Books&Belle xx


I’d like to thank Mills & Boon for sending me a copy of A Week To Be Wild in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Book Review: Evalene’s Number by Bethany Atazadeh (Spoiler-Free!)



Everyone in Eden is assigned a Number, tattooed on their neck, which determines their value and place in the world.

On her Numbering Day, Evalene Vandereth anticipates joining the élite. Born in an upper-class family, she knows exactly who she is and what she is worth. Even as the needle breaks her skin, she is blissfully happy. She never considers another outcome, until it’s too late.

Now 18-year-old Evalene lives in fear, struggling with her new identity, stripped of her freedom and basic human rights. Can she escape her Number? Is anyone else asking the same question?

Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent will love Evalene’s Number and its incredible dystopian tale.


I was sent this book to review a while ago now, and I wish I had read it sooner, because I loved it. I read it in only three sittings. There were definitely similarities to The Hunger Games, however, Evalene’s Number is without a doubt unique. The plot and characters were both written really well, and I loved Atazadeh’s writing style.

The point of view switched between Evalene and Jeremiah, which I liked, as it allows the reader to see the dystopian world that they live in through the eyes of more than just one character. Evalene was definitely my favourite character in the book. You can see clear character development from when she was the child of a high Number before the age of 13, to being the 18 year old she is now. What made her so likeable to me is her strength. It must take incredible willpower to keep going after everything she has faced. The mistreatment, neglect, and betrayals would have, in my opinion, brought most people raised the way that she was down. Jeremiah, I liked for the same reasons, his strength and bravery. He was still kind, despite everything that he had endured, which I know can be rare, seeing as hurt people, hurt people. The relationship between these two characters is promising too, and I’m hoping to see more of it (desperately, desperately hoping) in the next book. I also want to mention Olive, she is the type of friend that I want. She’s lovely!

The plot kept me hooked, too. The suspense at certain points was almost unbearable. I had to actually put the book down and take a break as I was so worried at one point! I came back to it pretty quickly, however. I needed to know what happened. I think the way that inequalities between the Numbers is written is so relevant to inequalities in our own society, too. Oh, and the ending! I’ve been left on a massive cliffhanger, and honestly? I just want to jump off if it’ll mean finding out what happens next. It’s safe to say I am very eager to read the next book, Pearl’s Number.

I give this book 5 stars. This is the second book this year I’ve given five stars to, I think that might mean 2018 is going to be a good reading year for me!


Bethany also signed my copy of Evalene’s Number, which I was really happy about!


-Books&Belle xx


Book Review: A Cactus In The Valley by Olivia J. Bennett (Spoiler-Free!)



When withdrawn Terra Lombardi wakes up in a smoking airplane in the middle of the remote Arizona desert, she realizes the only other survivor is the arrogant Wyatt Hartman. Clouded with the uncertainty of how they crashed, the two strangers head west, in pursuit of civilisation  Amidst the environment and dangerous animals against them, they must band together to survive, and even thrive in the rocky, sun-drenched Southwest. However, the elements force them to confront their inner demons.

Told through dual points-of-view and intermittent flashbacks, teenagers Wyatt and Terra brave the sun and sand alone. But it is through the hardest times in which we grow the most.


Warning: there are mentions of sexual assault and pedophilia in this book.

So, last night I sat down with a cup of tea and this book, intending to spend half hour or so reading the first few chapters of A Cactus In The Valley. This, however, did not happen. Instead, I plowed through the whole book in the space of four hours, only taking breaks to use the loo and make myself more tea. I can say with the utmost certainty that I enjoyed this book.

If I had to use one word to sum up A Cactus In The Valley, it would be intense. From the first page, I couldn’t stop reading, having to know what happens. This is definitely no slow-burn book, it jumps straight in to the plot. It switches point of view between the two main characters, Terra and Wyatt, allowing the reader to know what the both of them are feeling and thinking. I couldn’t help but put myself in their situation. Stranded in the middle of nowhere with someone you’ve never met before? No thanks! Doing this definitely helped me connect with both Terra and Wyatt though, and I was preying that they’d make it home alive.

While both characters inspired a lot of feelings in me, Terra was the one I felt for the most. She’s hasn’t had an easy go of life so far, and now a plane crash? I was wondering what she had done in her previous life to deserve what she had dished out to her. Despite this, she is still so hopeful and optimistic and I just love her character so much. I think with Wyatt, if I hadn’t read from his perspective, I wouldn’t have found him so likeable. However, knowing what he was thinking and feeling makes it very easy to end up rooting for him. He’s definitely a little damaged, but he still manages to be selfless and protective, so I admire him for that.

The things these characters had to overcome in terms of the plot were astonishing. They’re both broken yet still brave and determined to make it home to their loved ones. This book had me feeling so much! Hope, fear for the characters, pity, happiness, sadness and about a thousand other things. Bennett truly has a gift for story telling and I can’t wait to read any work of hers in the future.

Overall, I give this book 5 stars. I’d give it 6 if that was a thing.


I’d like to thank Olivia J. Bennett for sending me a copy of A Cactus In The Valley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.




Book Review: Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton (Spoiler-Free!)

Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 18.05.37


Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . .


I read this book a while ago now, and I’ve just been so behind with writing up reviews! Despite some time having passed since I read this book, I can still remember vividly how much I loved it. I read through it so quickly because it was one of those that I just could not bring myself to put down!

The characters are really interesting. Both the protagonist and the antagonist were brilliantly written, and I constantly found myself wanting to know more about them. Isabel, Jessica’s sister, was also an intriguing character. Without spoiling anything, there were things that she had done throughout her life that I needed to know more about. Bolton wrote several characters in Dead Woman Walking that were mysterious and left me needing to keep reading. The way the antagonist is written is also great, he’s dark, yet there are things about him that really surprised me.

The plot was the perfect speed for me. Sometimes with Thrillers I’ll find the author either dives into it too quickly, or it’s too much of a slowburn for me. This was not the case at all with Dead Woman Walking. There were twists that left me shocked, and I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. This book was without a doubt one of my favourite reads of 2017!

Overall, Dead Woman Walking was a very enjoyable read, and has definitely made me want to check out some of Sharon Barton’s other books. I give it 5 stars.


I’d like to thank Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of Dead Woman Walking in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

-Books&Belle xx