Category Archives: Book Reviews

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots: The Life of King Henry VIII’s Sister by Sarah-Beth Watkins – Review

Title – Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots: The Life of King Henry VIII’s Sister
Author – Sarah-Beth Watkins
Genre – History, Biography
Length – 169 Pages
Publication – 8th December 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


Margaret Tudor was Henry VIII’s older sister and became the Queen of Scotland after her marriage to James IV in 1503. Her life was troubled and fraught with tension. She was continually caught between her country of birth and the country she ruled. After James IV’s death, she made the disastrous decision to marry the Earl of Angus, threatening her regency and forcing the Scottish council to send for the Duke of Albany to rule in her stead. Over the years, Margaret’s allegiance swung between England and Scotland, making her brother Henry VIII both her ally and her enemy at times. Although Margaret wished for peace between the two countries, these were tumultuous years and she didn’t always make the wisest choices. Yet, all she did she did for her son James V, and her absolute conviction he would rule Scotland as its rightful king.


Ever since I caught the reading bug I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction but while the tales are always exciting a fun for me once in a while I quite like learning some cold hard truths and that’s where Sarah-Beth Watkins fits in perfectly.

Watkins writes in a very clear manner, setting out the details as they are known in the life of Margaret Tudor. You might think a biography might be a little dry but I find Watkins’s books so refreshing and easy to read.

This book is packed full of detail and really shows you how a woman of royal birth was treated at the time. They are little more than bargaining chips.

It’s a short read but packed full of info so you feel you get your money’s worth.

The story itself is fascinating. Margaret Tudor suffers so much in her life and at times it’s rather emotional as the story comes to life and the relationship she had with her brother made this book a real page turner.

What Watkins does time and time again is she makes her books more than just a fact based text-book for history students..she gives it life and makes it rather more mainstream and interesting for the everyday reader.

Highly recommend for history fans.

My thanks go to the publishers and the author for the chance to read and review the book in exchange for an honest review.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.


Eagles of Dacia (Praetorian #3) by S.J.A. Turney – Review

Title – Eagles of Dacia (Praetorian #3)
Author – S.J.A. Turney
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 412 Pages
Publication – 16th November 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


At the mercy of the scheming Imperial Chamberlain, Cleander, Rufinus is dispatched to Dacia, a land of untamed beauty at the edge of the Roman world, with orders to investigate the two legionary commanders there for signs of treason.

Uncertain what to expect from his mission, the two generals, or the land itself, Rufinus travels east with Senova and his faithful hound, Acheron. But machinations and skullduggery are afoot in Dacia, and the young praetorian is walking into the heart of empire-changing events.

As the generals Clodius Albinus and Pescennius Niger work to put the province right following recent invasions and revolts, Rufinus begins his investigation, suffering insubordinate soldiers, unseen attackers and dangerous locals.

At the edge of the world, Rufinus is about to stumble across a web that will put him in direct danger and threaten the empire to its core.

Welcome to Dacia.


It’s a welcome return to the world of Rufinus. He’s had quite a wild ride hasn’t he so far. Well the great game continues and Rufinus is in for the toughest trial yet.

Cleander is powerful man and Rufinus just so happened to get on his bad side.. because of this he’s charges with a mission..the mission is basically just a way to keep Rufinus as far away from Rome as possible.

One lucky thing for our hero is he’s sent away with Senova his lover and Acheron his ever faithful hound. I still love Acheron..I always get excited when I see the name pop up as those scenes are the highlights of the story for me. Acheron steals the limelight at every turn.

Senova develops well in the book.. even Rufinus see changes in her and not all of them he likes. Being a freed slave there’s a stigma attached and Rufinus tries to shield her from this as much as he can but Senova only see’s this as Rufinus being embarrassed about her past.

Cleander sends Rufinus to Darcia to test the loyalties of the border legions and what is uncovered could blow the empire apart.

Enemies are everywhere and Rufinus finds himself stuck. Never quite sure who to trust and If you’ve read any of the authors work before you’ll already know Rufinus won’t get out of this without at least a few scars.

Along the way Senova is given a slave boy Luca who becomes much more to her than that and he was a great addition to the tale although it just gives Rufinus one more thing to worry about.

It’s difficult to put into word the epic life or death struggle Rufinus finds himself in as it would give too much away but some things I really enjoyed about the plot were the never-ending twists..nothing is ever simple and you really do get sucked in wondering if Rufinus will ever be able to get out of this with his head intact.

The Praetorian series is a brilliant adventure, each book links so well with the last but at the same time is completely new and grows each time into a bigger adventure and I’m excited for more.

Overall I love the series, the plots are interesting and gripping. The writing flows well with a decent amount of time given to descriptive elements without it becoming boring or repetitive. The characters grow each time and I feel we see real changes in them as they develop as you would growing up naturally.

A great little series to get stuck into.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

Burn the Evidence: (The Detective Solomon Gray Series Book 2) by Keith Nixon – Review

Title – Burn the Evidence: (The Detective Solomon Gray Series Book 2)
Author – Keith Nixon
Genre – Crime Fiction
Length – 229 Pages
Publication – 12th December 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


Keith Nixon’s latest Solomon Gray murder mystery pushes all the hot button issues of a traumatised post-Brexit UK in this dark tale of loss, revenge and redemption. Flawed and floored by personal tragedy, DS Solomon Gray is ready to take his place alongside DS Logan McRae, DS Roy Grace and DCI John Luther. Modern jet-black Brit Noir at its best.”
– Tim Baker, CWA shortlisted author of Fever City

Mixing business with family can be a murderous affair …

A body washes up on the beach near Ramsgate in the South of England. For DS Solomon Gray, the case appears cut and dried-a drowning. An immigrant. Another victim to the sea in his desperate attempt to reach the UK.

As the tidewaters recede, two more corpses surface. One appears to be a refugee, stabbed to death. The other, Gray recognises immediately. Regan Armitage: son of business tycoon Jake Armitage. Gray knows this means trouble.

A post mortem reveals ligature marks on Regan’s wrists. Drugs in his bloodstream. All signs indicate murder. Armitage swears to track down his son’s killer and avenge his death.

Gray’s investigation points to a deadly fire ten years prior, and soon Armitage comes under suspicion. But DS Gray knows what it’s like to lose a child and puts aside his distrust of Armitage to help.

How are the dead men connected to each other-and to the infamous fire?

It’s then that Gray gets another tip on the whereabouts of his own missing son, Tom …

BURN THE EVIDENCE is the second book in a series featuring Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray. The crime series is perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James.

About the Author
Keith Nixon is a British born writer of crime and historical fiction novels. Originally he trained as a chemist, but Keith is now in a senior sales role for a high-tech business. Keith currently lives with his family in the North West of England.



Burn the evidence is the followup to Dig Two Graves. We are back with DS Gray.. he’s flawed to the max but he’s good at what he does.

Gray has one hell of a back story which continues to unravel during this book. He can’t let go of the past, his son went missing years ago and when potential new information surfaces he can’t focus on the job at hand. That job being a triple murder.

When 3 bodies are given up by the sea Gray is trust into the case but are the bodies connected and if so how?

Something I really enjoy about the book is the back and forth from past to present..slowly giving the reader the full picture. If I’m honest it’s this type of writing that really grips me with a crime fiction book..the suspense, I want to put the pieces together just like Gray does.

Keith Nixon has written a brilliant follow-up book which combines multiple plots and twists that converge to keep you hooked. The author even dropped a bombshell which will no doubt be explored during the next instalment… it’s endings like this that keep me coming back to an author. I’m left with a  thirst that can only be quenched by reading the next installment as soon as it is released…other books can be put on hold but after an ending like that how could the next installment not be put on my most anticipated releases list!

This is what crime fiction should be for me. We have a flawed lead, (let’s face it no one is perfect, we just do the best we can) with a mix of personal and work issues to deal with. The cases develop at a good pace which keep me engaged and I must certainly want more. Chapter length was perfect, development felt natural rather than forced and there’s plenty of twists and turns to keep a real crime junkie happy also.

I’ve read a lot of Keith’s books and this is certainly a credit to his increasing collection of works and I hope there’s plenty more to follow.

Top notch work.

I would be lying if I didn’t say admit I received a copy of the book from NetGalley but I only did that so I could have a review up quickly, which I’m very grateful for, but if you take a look at Amazon you’ll now see that “verified purchase” next to my name 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

Parsnips, Buttered: How to win at modern life, one email at a time by  Joe Lycett – Review

Title – Parsnips, Buttered: How to win at modern life, one email at a time
Author – Joe Lycett
Genre – Comedy & Stand-up
Length – 304 Pages
Publication – September 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


Dear Reader,

Life is hard. We are a bombarded generation: Facebook, billboards, Twitter, Instagram, taxes, newspapers, watches monitoring our sleep, apps that read our pulse, terrorism. There’s such an onslaught to the senses these days it’s a marvel any of us manage to get out of bed. I love bed.

While we are overwhelmed and confused by the miasmic cloud of information, there are those that seek to take advantage: there are parking fines, hate Tweets, Nigerian email scams and Christmas newsletters from old school friends about their ugly kids. And just as we’re getting round to doing something about it, we’re distracted again.

I, Joe Lycett, comedian, wordsmith, and professional complainer, am here to help. During my short life of doing largely nothing I’ve discovered solutions to many of life’s problems, which I impart to you, dear Reader. Containing a centurion of complaint letters to unsuspecting celebrities, companies and anyone brave enough to clog up my phone, as well as illustrations, one-liners , jokes and life hacks, this little gem offers you a collection of tips and advice* for all manner of modern woe. By the time you have finished reading this book you will have learnt how to:

– Reverse a parking fine
– Manipulate the tabloid press
– Navigate social media
– Respond to hate mail
– Out-weird internet trolls
– Contest a so-called ripe avocado
– Send the perfect Christmas newsletter
– Defeat ISIS
– Take down multi-national companies

Joe Lycett x

* If you are looking for guidance with taxes, quitting smoking, moving house, love, divorce, education, healthcare or anything actually important may I recommend speaking to friends or family members and not consulting a book by a comedian who eats halloumi at least twice a day.



Ah Joe.. I love Joe.

I bought this book as I just needed a release from the stresses of day-to-day life..Sometimes you just need to laugh at the things that get other people worked up and Joe has his own unique way of dealing with situations he’s unhappy with.

Joe has a number of aliases he uses when writing his emails, he doesn’t take the things thrown at him In life to seriously and puts a fun twist on the idea of a rant via email.

Joe is very funny man and I just loved how he takes things little further than most people do.. he does exactly what we all wish we could do but we get too hung up over being angry most times. He likes to joke a bit and take the piss a lot..

It’s an easy read, nice short funny chapters which means you can easily fly through it but enjoy every bit of it.

One thing Joe gets spot on is his comedic timing, just like his shows he’s planned the book out nicely.. just when you think we’ve seen the last of Samantha Peterson..bam she’s back to make you laugh again

Christmas is coming up fast so if you know someone who likes a bit of comedy I’d say you can’t go wrong with this one.

One thing I will say in case Joe ever reads this.. Crisp sandwiches are a thing!! I’m 32 and still enjoy eating them 🙂

 To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

The Hidden Face by S.C. Flynn – Review

Title – The Hidden Face
Author – S.C. Flynn
Genre – Fantasy
Length –  403 Pages
Publication – 25th Nov 2017
My Rating – 4/5 Stars


A face without a face – an unmasking that leaves the mask.

Once every few hundred years, the sun god, the Akhen takes on human form and descends to earth. Each Unmasking of the Face of the Akhen ends one era and begins another; the last one created the Faustian Empire. Where and when will the Face next appear, and who will he – or she – be?

Dayraven, son of a great hero, returns to Faustia after years as a hostage of their rivals, the Magians. Those years have changed him, but Faustia has changed as well; the emperor Calvo now seems eccentric and is controlled by one of Dayraven’s old enemies. Following the brutal death of his old teacher, Dayraven is drawn, together with a warrior woman named Sunniva, into the search for an ancient secret that would change the fate of empires.

Powerful enemies want the secret as well, including a dynasty of magician-kings who were thought to have died out long before, a mad, murderous hunchback and a beautiful, deadly woman who is never seen. Sunniva and Dayraven fight to survive and to solve the mystery while their own pasts come back to life and the attraction between them deepens.

The Hidden Face is a fantasy mystery drenched in the atmosphere of the Early Middle Ages and in Kabbalistic riddles, and is the first book in the Fifth Unmasking series.


The Hidden Face by S.C. Flynn is a super-fast paced fantasy adventure.

There’s quite a nice build-up to start with as we learn about the main character Dayraven and his family history. Dayraven has been kept away from his homeland for many years and on his return he is quickly thrust into a quest to protect The Hidden Face.

Little does Dayraven know but those close to him have helped keep a secret safe for many years and after the murder of his old teacher things quickly start to unravel.

Sunniva quickly enters the plot, her family have connections to The Hidden Face also and she and Dayraven are thrust together to solve the clues left for them.

This is the fun part of the story as we find clues have been left.. but the answer are only something Dayraven and Sunniva would be able to figure out..and they need to work together to ensure it’s done quickly so they can keep ahead of those who wish to find The Hidden Face of themselves.

Who is The Hidden Face you might ask. A god turned human.. who  heralds the rise of one nation and the fall of another. Dayraven must stop the power of The Hidden Face falling into the wrong hands.

A major plus for this book is that I loved the vast and varied characters within the tale. To be honest I actually preferred the supporting cast over the main duo.

The only thing I can say I didn’t really enjoy was the love angle between Dayraven and Sunniva..the emotional connection wasn’t there for me so it just didn’t feel right…saying that if you read my reviews you’ll know I’m never a big romance fan.

Overall a decent plot with a fun ensemble of characters, there’s more to come and I’m interested to see what happens next.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

BLOG TOUR – The Silver Wolf by Rob Sinclair – Review


Today is my stop of the blog tour for Rob Sinclair’s latest release The Silver Wolf, book 3 in the Jame Ryker series. Here’s the blurb –
Genre – Thriller
Length – 371 Pages
Publication – 17th Nov 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


Still tormented by the disappearance of his wife, ex-intelligence agent James Ryker sets out on a personal mission of revenge, prepared to go to any lengths in search of the truth.

The trail takes him from the crystal waters of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, back to a place he thought he would never set foot again – his country of birth, England. But there he discovers more than even he bargained for. Stumbling across a terrorist attack targeted against his old employers – the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency -the faint clues to many events in his recent past are all seemingly linked to one mysterious character; The Silver Wolf.

But just who is the Silver Wolf, and why is he hell bent on punishing not just Ryker, but his closest allies at the JIA too?

Has Ryker finally met his match?


We are back with Ryker, he now knows the fate of Lisa and he’s even more determined than ever to make those involved pay no matter the cost.

Ryker used to work for the JIA but not anymore..he’s happy to be a lone wolf on this one but will take any assistance offered if it helps him track down his targets.

While on his personal mission he ends up stumbling upon a much bigger issue and can’t help but be sucked in. His personal mission might not be the same as the JIA’s but while they are of use to him he will continue to do what he does best..cause trouble.

There are some amazing twists to this explosive and gruesome tale..Ryker definitely has a darker edge to him. I must admit this story plays out like a Jason Bourne kind of tale but it’s much more exciting.

The author takes no prisoners.. I’m not going to spoil it but there’s one scene that left speechless and I read it over again a few times thinking – “Oh MY GOD did he really just do that”. Damn it’s good.

The Silver Wolf offers everything you could need in a thriller, it’s dark and heavy hitting which gives it an edge, there’s suspense but plenty of action for the adrenaline junkies, twists all over and I can’t stress enough how amazing the overall plot is.

It was a true pleasure to read, seeing the big picture come together as Ryker but’s the pieces together. The author continues to knocking cracking tales time and time again and delivers every time.

It’s a must read series.

My thanks go to the auhtor and Bloodhound Books for the chance to read/review the book! I sense a paperback copy being ordered for my collection 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.


Author Bio:
Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series and James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. His books have sold over half a million copies to date with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons

The Rescue And Other Tales: includes The Escape and The Prisoner by Steven A. McKay – Review

Title – The Rescue And Other Tales: includes The Escape and The Prisoner
Author – Steven A. McKay
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 80 Pages
Publication – Sept 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


Three short tales from the bestselling Forest Lord series, two of which are in the exclusive Kindle Singles Program, published in paperback for the first time.


All he wanted was a quiet drink…

It’s spring, 1323 AD, and John Little, notorious outlaw, seeks to forget his troubles in a Barnsley alehouse. He didn’t count on the place being packed to the rafters with drunk, belligerent Scottish mercenaries though. This stand-alone Forest Lord tale sees one of England’s favourite sons in a battle for his very life that will hugely entertain all lovers of action and adventure.

“A short tale of Little John that packs a wallop as vicious as his quarterstaff!” – Parmenion Book Reviews


When two lawmen – fabled former outlaws themselves – are sent to a snowy English village to arrest a rapist it seems a straightforward task, but is all as it first appears?

Can Robin Hood and John Little complete the mission they’ve been given, or will their own innate sense of justice lead them down an unexpected path?

“A delightfully crafted, deceptively simple little glimpse of life in early 14th Century England.” – 5 Stars, Steve Denton of Speesh Reads


When a faithful friend goes missing from an English village it’s up to an unlikely hero to find out what’s happened in this action-packed tale.

“Once again Steven A. McKay delivers a story that, although short, hits like an arrow in the guts.” – Stuart S. Laing, author of Jezebel’s Chains


I’m a big fan of Steven’s work and I’ve read each of the stories included in this bundle in kindle format previously. Why I’m I reviewing this bundle? Well I purchased 2 signed copies from the author, 1 for me and 1 for my dad (he loves the books too and Christmas is fast approaching). I can honestly say I’ve got all Steven’s books as paperback and always felt the collection wasn’t complete..This was a collection of tales I’ve been hoping would be released.

I’m going to try hard not to cover old ground..instead I’m going to focus on this version of the tales rather than the single editions and give an overall option.

What we get is a very neat and tidy looking book packed full of adventure. These are the kind of tales that really get me pumped up, short and full of action.

The tales themselves go side by side with the authors Forrest Lord series and are a perfect introduction to the author if you’ve never read his work and want to have a taster first.

One thing I particularly liked is the author included a suggested reading order, perfect for a long series if you are just starting out.

As much as I loved the main novels from McKay I think the shorts really show his talent. Providing such good stories in very few pages that really suck you in.

The Escape features our big friend Little John as the main character, it was a tale I’ve been bloody well waiting for but it was so worth it. 19 pages.. but that’s 19 pages of action and adventure. Little John has such a pleasing personality and the plot was perfect for the character.

The Prisoner again features Little John but this time Robin is here too 27 pages but you get a wallop of an ending!

The Rescue is the author’s way to let others have the limelight again as the focus shifts away from Robin once again, this time the girls play their part in an action packed, gory tale. I’m not going to spoil if for you but this tale shows the girls are just as tough as the boys.

The main thing a like about these tales is the author doesn’t lose any of the humour I’ve become used to from his longer works, if anything these books give a bit more dimension to the characters as the author focuses on individuals rather than Robin and his whole band of outlaws.

Short stories can easily go wrong, not enough plot, no real development and sometime you just find yourself thinking did this story really need written? Well that’s not this book. This collection hits the mark just as Robin’s arrow do!

Fantastic little collection that can be yours in time for Christmas, it’s the perfect quick read..let’s hope my dad agrees, he’s not tech savvy so I’m not worried this review will spoil the surprise on Christmas day ha.

Let’s hope we see some more shorts from the author..I want to see The Abbey of Death in paperback too 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.