Latest Reviews

karen byrom book reviewer headshot

Karen Byrom

I love to write and I love to read, so writing book reviews is the best job in the world for me!


What got me into journalism? After studying Latin and history at St Andrews university, I returned to my home town of Dundee, where DCT Media has been a proud presence for over 100 years.


I worked there in magazine journalism for over 30 years, honing my skills at My Weekly and The People’s Friend. I’ve now retired from the 9-5, but still write book reviews for My Weekly and for NFOP’s in-house magazine, along with all the reviews you’ll find here.


My tastes are eclectic – I love all genres from romance to detective, fantasy to thriller noir, young adult to literary fiction. Hilary Mantel, Neil Gaiman, Lisa Gardner, Milly Johnson – I’ve too many favourite authors to mention … just check out my reviews to discover more!

Bookish Blog

It's the time of years for festive reading with so many seasonal stories to choose from! Check out my recommendations for four of the best, from Anne Booth, Sue Moorcroft, Emma Heatherington and Sarah Morgan, and do keep checking my blog as I add to it over November and December.

A follow-up to #TheSpaceBetweenUs by @writerdougj, #TheCollapsingWave picks up on the continuing fortunes of the #Enceladons that have arrived on Earth from one of Saturn’s many moons, forced to leave their homeland by aggressive invaders. The strange octopus-like creatures that are both individual and a cohesive group (you need a physics degree to understand this – just go with the flow) are still in grave danger. 
But really it is humanity that is on the brink as the authorities show their inhumanity to our alien visitors and the people who want to protect them. The Enceladons are so peaceful that they do not understand aggression, and their ability to allow their sympathisers into their collective consciousness doesn’t always work to their advantage, as the authorities have a powerful weapon up their sleeve …
What follows is a cruel, almost vicious read at times, with distressing scenes of psychological torture, but is balanced by the kindness and warmth of Lennox, Heather and Ava from the first book, and the new champions they find in their battle to save the Enceladons.
This tense exciting story works on a deeper level as moral questions are raised about how we react to creatures that are different to us. Creature who look to us for help and support and don’t always get it.
It’s sci-fi on one level, but also an allegory for our times, and I can see this trilogy (there’s one still to come) becoming a modern classic. @orendabooks #sciencefictionbooks #sciencefiction #enceladontrilogy #alienlife #humanity #modernclassic #bookrecommendations #booklovers #scifibooks #telepathy #immigration
As usual with @janecorry books, the author of #idiedonatuesday takes us into the world of courtrooms and prisons, where ordinary people are caught up in extraordinary events, victims of circumstances that are usually beyond their control.
In this story, a musical celebrity, Robbie, is arrested for a hit and run committed twenty years ago, which left a young girl Janey for dead. Involved in the case are Judge - his nickname and his job title - and Vanessa, an older woman who volunteers as a witness support worker. All three have a back story, all three have heartbreak to hide and secrets yet to be revealed.
I normally see the twist coming in Jane Corry books, but the twists in this multi-layered plot eluded me, making this a particularly enthralling read. The characters are good, the plot threads all come together very satisfactorily and the story holds surprises right up to the end.
I like Jane Corry's narrative style. It's simple but very effective in making her characters credible, and she uses it to great effect here as Vanessa in particular comes to grips with what life his throwing at her now, that dramatically alters her perception of the past.
Perception of the past is a theme here for the other characters, too. But can we trust Robbie, the judge, or even victim Janey, as they share their recollections of past tragedies? And can any of them truly trust the legal system to deliver justice, and keep them safe from the evil that still stalks their lives?
I've always been a fan, but I thought this was a particularly good thriller domestic noir from Jane Corry. @penguinrandomhouse @netgalley #domesticthrillernoir #thriller #courtroomdrama #summerreading #bookrecommendations #newbooks #bookworms #bookwormsofinstagram🐛 #lovereading #lovebooks
New book #UnderYourSpell by @lauracwood is guaranteed to brighten up summer.
When 30-something Clemmie is left loveless, jobless and homeless, she and her half-sisters, Lil and Serena, recast a teenage spell to turn her fortunes around. 
It looks like it has worked when she meets Teddy - but his career means he is the type of man Clemmie has spent her life avoiding.
But in a twist of fate she ends up working for him. Can they put their one-night stand behind them? Can Clemmie forgive his rockstar lifestyle, so redolent of her absent father. Will things ever work out for them?
This was funny, upbeat and emotional, with good characters and a well-paced plot. A really enjoyable summer romance. Thanks to @simonschusteruk and @netgalley for the ARC. #summerromance #rockstarromance #holidayreading #holidayreadingrecommendations #popularfiction #womensfiction #readingrecommendations #lovereading #lovebooks
Another gorgeous story from @jothomasauthor revisits the characters in #EscapeToTheFrenchFarmhouse and introduces us to a whole set of new ones in the pickers who come from the UK and Australia to Provence, to help UK-born Del harvest the lavender. But can they also help Del face the challenges of losing a beloved friend, the demise of her livelihood, and the possible end of her relationship with sexy French musician Fabien? Not to mention face and overcome their own challenges.
This can be read as a stand-alone novel, and I really enjoyed the characters, the atmosphere and the suspenseful plot. 
As always, Jo Thomas makes me laugh and cry with the mix of human emotions she brings to all her stories. Not to mention all the delicious food content, that has me reaching for my own recipe books, and wondering how I can incorporate lavender into fish finger sandwiches ...
Another winner for me. #romance #romanticnovels #bookrecommendations #bookstagrammer #bookworm #bookwormsofinstagram🐛 @netgalley @penguinrandomhouse #lovelavender 
As a one-time classicist, I love this genre, and I have to say this is one of the best stories of reimagined Greek mythology that I have read. Told through the eyes of Hera, it explores all the stories of the gods and goddesses that I grew up loving, drawing on the tales of Homer, Hesiod, Ovid and Aristophanes, amongst others, to give us an insight into the world of the immortals, and the mortals that they created. 
As the millennia move on, Hera and her fellow gods and goddessess remain timeless. But gods and goddesses are not infallible - will their pride, greed and lust be their downfall? Can an immortal cease to exist? Or can they learn to grow, develop and adapt to changing times?
This had everything! Fascinating characters, fabulous stories, passion, rage, envy, joy, love and tragedy, but most of all empathy, for Hera, goddess of marriage trapped for eternity in her own unhappy marriage.
I raced through this book, savouring every second of the gorgeous prose, beautifully researched stories and the opportunity to get to know the gods and goddesses of Olympus, warts and all! @headlinebooks #greekmythology #hera #greekgoddess #greekgods #classicalmythology #mountolympus #bookrecommendations #booksbooksbooks #bookstagram #bookworms
Fabulous! A new @staceyhallsauthor book is out now. #TheHousehold is a beautifully researched story, set in the nineteenth century, following the fortunes of several young girls fallen on hard times, who live in a community house founded by Charles Dickens, with a view to educating and bettering them for life in the colonies. Their rich patron Angela Coutts may have money and power, but she has her own challenges in an unrequited love for an older man, and the persistent attentions of a stalker. 
I found the first few chapeters slow, but I was finally drawn in by the richness of the description and getting to know each of the young women, who are all sympathetic in their various ways. As the narratives unfolds, the threads of each woman's story draw together, with pivotal plot points that are by turn tender, dramatic, exciting and even dangerous. 
The book comes to a satisfactory resolution, and establishes Stacey Halls even more firmly as one of the best twenty-first century writers of historical fiction. @manilla_press @bonnierbooks_uk @netgalley #historicalfiction #hardtimes #charlesdickens
Author @flaming_nora has already established herself as a serious writer of historical sagas, with eight previous novels featuring feisty heroines in impoverished circumstances, rising to daily challenge. 
Now, as the proposed first in a trilogy, The Toffee Factory Girls is taking this author into the realms of Dilly Court territory – and she definitely deserves her place!
Loosely based on real-life Horner’s toffee factory, the story takes us back to 1915, and to Chester-le-Street, where the men have gone off to war, and the women are picking up their jobs. New to the factory floor are Elsie and Hetty, who soon become firm friends. For Hetty, the factory is a welcome escape from the brutal reality of her home life with a discontented mother, ne-er-do-well brother, and the loan shark breathing down their necks. For Elsie, it’s a chance to flirt with the men who haven’t yet signed up to war, eat purloined toffee, and have some fun.
Also new to the factory is Anne Wright, owner Mr Jack’s factotum, who instinctively sees just what the factory needs to survive the war and build up its reputation for sweet treats par excellence. She moves amongst the girls with compassion and resolve. But she is hiding her own heartache, and needs a friend, too.
The scene is set for adventure and romance, and the story delivers both, as Anne, Hetty and Elsie navigate the pitfalls of life and love.
Along with the characters, I love the background of this story – who wouldn’t want to spend time in a toffee factory? Glenda Young recreates the scene perfectly, with great historical flair and accuracy. You can almost smell the sugar burning and hear the crinkle of sweetie wrapping paper as Elsie tries, and fails again, to get Mr Jack’s logo perfectly placed.
The story doesn’t shrink from harsh reality.There’s drama here, and tragedy, too, with at least one scene that will make you cry.
But overall, Anne, Hetty and Elsie’s stories are ones of triumph over circumstances. This story comes to a natural resolution for them all, while leaving the door open for plenty challenges, excitement and romance to come. @headlinebooks @bookywookydooda #bookrecommendations #historicalromance #saga
Please join me on the blogtour for #MeetMeWhenMyHeartStops by @beckyhunterbooks, a page-turner, impossible to put down, with laughter, tears and heartache along the way.
Like the author's debut novel #OneMoment, the story explores the premise that love and friendship continue after we have passed on.
Heroine Emery has encountered death many times. She has a condition that causes her heart to stop suddenly at unexpected moments, when she passes over into a twilight place of her own memories, where the enigmatic Nick is always waiting to help her.
As the years pass, and their occasional meetings become longer, living Emery and not-quite-dead Nick form a close bond that begins to interfere with her earthly relationships.
I loved this story so much. The narrative is linear so we follow Emery through all the ups and downs of childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, as she deals with family conflict, romance and friendships that are sometimes be tricky.
The story of her life is interesting in itself, and peopled with lovely characters like her friends, Bonnie and Colin, her sister Amber and her aunt Helen. Emery refuses to let her heart condition hold her back and has plenty adventures, so the pace never stalls between her visits to the afterlife. There’s plenty conflict going on amongst the living as well as the dead, to keep you wholly engrossed.
But for me the very best part of the book was the element of suspense each time Emery met Nick. Would this be the time she stayed? Why is he stuck in Emery’s twilight world?
As his story gradually unwraps itself, the reader’s longing for them both to have a happy ending becomes more and more intense.
A beautiful written romance, unpredictable, heart-breaking and intense – it looks like the exploration of life and love after death may become Becky Hunter’s trademark.
Thankfully, she deals with it with sensitivity and passion, drawing the reader into a world that is real and hope-filled. #corvusbooks @atlanticbooks @randomthingstours #bookrecommendations #lovereading #lovebooks
What a powerful story! The aftermath of a school massacre in which 10 children and their teacher are killed is explored in #DayOne by @abigailsdean Told mostly through the eyes of Marty, the young adult daughter of teacher Ava Ward, and Trent, a young man sucked into the spiral of conspiracy theories surrounding the event, the narrative challenges us to question our perceptions of guilt, grief and culpability.
Obviously inspired by the true-life horror of Dunblane, which no-one can ever forget, the story wisely leaves much of the horror to the imagination, concentrating instead on the effects of the massacre on its survivors. The victims have their voice, of course, but it is Marty and Trent who grab and hold out attention,.
Both are characters, carrying burdens almost too hard to bear. But their reactions to tragedy mark out their differences, their strengths and their weaknesses.
The narrative toggles back and forwards in time, and secrets are gradually revealed, adding tension and suspense to a story that is already gripping.
Like #GirlA, Abigail Dean's debut novel, the book deals with strong, emotive issues, and may be triggering for many readers, but it is a story well worth reading for its sensitivity, its sure understanding of grief in all its forms, and its message of resolution and maybe, just maybe, forgiveness ... @netgalley @harpercollinsuk @harperfiction #schoolmassacre #forgivenessandhealing #survivorsguilt #bookrecommendations #lovereading #lovebooks #bookworm
Meet #Medea, the infamous sorceress of ancinet times. Medea is known in Greek mythology as a sorceress and a murderer of her own sons, but this wonderful retelling of her story by takes her life from her own point of view, showing how a lonely, unloved young girl became a young woman willing to harness dark forces in her pursuit of happiness. She's egged on by Jason, of Argonaut fame, but as the two sail away from Medea's homeland of Colchis, has she found her happy-ever-after? I really enjoyed this book - it stuck closely to the myths and legends that surround Medea and Jason, keeping the gods and goddesses firmly in the frame, yet never losing sighht of Medea's frail humanity. A couple of bits jarred with the use of modern slang, and where modern values were imposed on Jason - would a Greek hero really stop to ensure consent before ravishing a beautiful woman? Especially as he turns out to be a bit of a gaslighter! But overall, this retelling gave us an exciting, dark and passionate tale of mortals, gods and demigods, dragons and sirens, good and evil, all set in the volatile ancient world. A definite winner for me. @bantambooksuk @penguinukbooks @netgalley #greekmythology #mythretellingbook #mythsandlegends #historicalfiction #bookrecommendations #lovebooks #lovetoread
Thirty-nine year old Roz can’t help comparing her life to her more successful friends with their high-powered jobs and successful love lives. 
The single mum struggles on, bringing up 10-year-old Chloe in their small terraced house and working at her humdrum job at a local hotel. When her new casual love interest, Daniel, dies suddenly, can she even really count herself as bereaved?
Things start to look up when she meets Mark Glaiser, a successful doctor, rich, charming and great with Chloe.Finally, Roz has something she can boast about to her friends and family. 
But as flaws apear in their relationship. Roz needs to make strong choices, before matters are taken out of her hands …
This was a gripping story exploring the reality of the drip-drip feed of toxic relationships.
Roz is a strong and sympathetic character – maybe a bit too wrapped up in her own perceived misery as a “failure” amidst others’ glowing successes, but her perceptions of herself make it easier to understand why she puts her trust in the first man who comes along after Daniel’s death.
Mark is a far more complex character and the gradual disclosing of his true nature adds a whole new level of suspense to the narrative.
The title of the book refers to the malign influence of comparison, of believing the grass is always greener for other people, and it certainly looks as if Roz has let the “thief” into her life, along with Mark.
But maybe, along with the loss of his wife and daughter, he has had things stolen from him too. As you race your way towards the end, be prepared for some shocking twists and turns! #thethiefofjoy #StaceyMurray @hobeckbooks #bookrecommendations #lovereading #lovebooks
After reading and loving #HopeNicelysLessonsForLife by @carolinedaywriter I was expecting great things from #SmallActsOfKindness and I was not disappointed. The first few pages were hard to get into it, as we plunge into the stream of consciousness of main characters, Kiki, Mrs M and Ned, but the pace soon settles down to give a beautiful and moving story of three people brought together by chance and challenges, who are able to help each other no small way. Kiki is a wonderful character - perhaps a little on the spectrum, which complements her relationship with Ned, who has locked-in syndrome, and Mrs M, an old irascible lady who also has difficulty communicating, before and after her stroke. As Mrs M and Ned strive for some sort of recovery, Kiki is there for them both, even as she follows her own dream of finding out the truth about her long-dead mum. As a bonus, there's a gorgeous basset hound called Wordsworth and a lovely older man, Maxwell, whose sensible outlook is the perfect foil for Kiki's kookiness.
The narrative is well-paced, with plenty humour but also pathos as we are swept along with Ned, Mrs M and Kiki on their journey to a different sort of life to the one they envisaged. Sometimes heartbreaking, but also heartwarming, this is a wonderful follow-up to Caroline Day's debut novel @bonnierbooks_uk @netgalley #bookrecommendations #bookbloggers #heartwarmingreads #heartwarmingbooks #lockedinsyndrome #friendship #lovereading #lovebooks #booklovers #bookloversofinstagram📚
Thugh it's a stand-alone story, #TheHunter (a follow-on book to #TheSearcher) takes us back to the small Irish community of Ardnakelty where retired US cop Cal Hooper has made his home, and befriended Trey, a near feral teenager with great potential. Now just as he's getting somewhere with her, her worthless father Johnny returns with a no-good scheme to rook the townsfolk. Both Cal and Trey get caught up in his machinations - but each has their own agenda. It could all end in tragedy, as the folks of Ardnakelty once again prove they won't tolerate outsiders interfering with their business, nor their own folk trying to betray them.
This was another superb story from #tanafrench. The familiar characters continue to grow and develop, while new ones are introduced, all wholly authentic. The rich atmosphere of an Irish community shines through in the description and dialogue, without ever making the folk look like country bumpkins. They stay sharp, and dangerous, and there tension on every page, along with dry humour and an unfolding story plotted with depth and precision.
French doesn't need murder and mystery to make her stories irrestistible, but their introduction adds to the suspense and drama of a book that is already rich in both. I loved it. @netgalley @penguinrandomhouse @vikingbooksuk #tanafrenchbooks #tanafrenchfanclub #irishcrimewriting #irishcrimenovels #bookrecommendations #bookstagrammer #bookworms #thrillerbooks #thrillerfiction
Having read #MoonlightandthePearlersDaughter by @lizziepook I was looking forward to #MaudeHortonsGloriousRevenge. And glorious it is! It's 1850 and Constance and Maude Horton are sisters, as unalike as could be. While Maude is happy at home with her apothecary grandfather, Constance craves excitement and runs away to sea disguised as a cabin boy, Jack, to join the hunt for Franklin's ship and crew, lost five years before in the Arctic. Constance never returns - instead Maude is handed her possessions and informed she died in a tragic accident. But then she receives "Jack's" logbook, discovers the truth, and lays plans to avenge her sister.
This was a very atmospheric and exciting read, quite gruesome and grim in places, as Constance's adventures and Maude's subsequent thirst for revenge take us into the world of dark men, murderers and the underbelly of society - both on board ship and back in the UK. There are beatings and hangings and near-murderous accidents.
But there is love, too, in Maude's affection for her sibling, lost to her forever.
A plot-driven narrative on its top level, this story also has multi-layers in its exploration of grief, revenge, justice and redemption, and two really cracking characters in Maude and Constance. Historical fiction at its best. #bookrecommendations #bookstagram #bookworm #lovereading #lovebooks #historicalfiction #historicalfictionfan #hangings #franklinexpedition #vengeance @picadorbooks
My heart is full and breaking. What a brilliant novel #TheListOfSuspiciousThings by @jennie.godfrey is.
Twelve-year-old Miv and her story of growing up in times of trouble, when the Yorkshire Ripper was at large, terrorising the area, while her home life was imploding under the weight of her mum's nervous breakdown, will stay with me for ever. It's a story of growing up, of falling in love, of family and of friendship - Miv's friend Sharon is a glorious study of character and strength.
As the narrative progesses, and Miv makes her list of suspicious things which she hopes will help her and Sharon track down the Ripper, the story shows how life goes on for people in a community where awful things are happening, as they tackle their own life issues of loneliness, racism domestic violence and sorrow and in their various ways.
Problems big and small - twelve year old Miv can't sort them all, but she does her best in a scary world.
This book is peopled with honest-to-goodness true to life characters, whose lives will resonate with you. You'll laugh and cry for them all, but it's Miv who will steal the lion's share of your heart.
A superb plot, a cracking narrative and people you'll grow to love makes for a book that is difficult to put down, and a story that will stay with you forever. @penguinrandomhouse #bookrecommendations #familystory #youngheroine #laughterandtears #lovereading #lovebooks #debutnovel #masterstoryteller
The Happiest Ever After by @themillyjohnson is a five-star read for me. You’ve got to love this author for the exuberance of her writing, her humour, her strong female characters, her unfailing grasp of life with all its joys and challenge, and the sheer entertainment of her books. Her latest novel falls in Milly's finest tradition, introducing us to 35-year-old Polly, who escapes her unhappy relationship and awful bosses by creating a fictional world with a feisty heroine. But what happens when fantasy meets reality? Will Polly find the courage and strength of her alter-ego Sabrina to change her life? Maybe with the help of new friends, the wonderfully named Mad Cows group of old ladies, fiery restaurateur Teddy and his cousin Flick, she can become the person she longs to be - and help them with their problems in the process. With Milly's trademark excerpts from the hapless #DailyTrumpet, this is a laugh-out-loud read - Polly's family are a on the whole a villanous bunch you'll love to hate, while her new friends will capture your heart with their kindness and humour. But of course, there is lots of emotion here, too, and the very real message that with belief in yourself and support from your friends, you can become what you want to be. A wonderful and uplifting page-turner. #respectromfic @simonschusteruk @netgalley #bookrecommendations #lovereading #lovebooks #bookwormsofinstagram🐛 #bookworms
I'm still thrilled at having recently discovered the joy of #audiobooks! #TellingTales by #AnnCleeves (narrated by Janine Birkett) was great!
Though I'm a #verastanhope fan, I came late to the party and hadn't read the early books. So I was pleased to get the chance to listen to this one via @netgalley
 An excellent story, as usual, though I felt it took some time to get going with the introductory narrative concentrating on the background information on the cold-case murder enquiry of a young girl, and the various parties involved, before Vera put in an appearance and came to the fore in her usual brusque yet kindly way. 
Then, the story came to life as she probed and explored each and everyone's version of events. The excitement ratcheted up with the discovery of another body, and I was fully engrossed.
All the characters were believable, some more sympathetic than others, and there was plenty about all of them to keep you guessing about the murderer.
I felt the two victims didn't quite get the attention they deserved, but I suppose this story is about the living, not the dead.
At first I wasn't keen on the narrator's voice, but when she introduced Vera, and took on the expected Geordie tones, I found myself believing that Vera was speaking to me, revealing her thoughts on the crime, and her own insecurities.
A good solid murder mystery with Vera at its centre - what more could I want? #murderymystery #audiobooks #sundaytimesbestseller #anncleevesnovels #anncleevesfans
Please join the #blogtour and travel with me to the small Greek island of Lefkada and the fictional bay of Apokeri, where recent graduate Anna Jenkinson has finished her island hopping tour. She wants time to reflect on what to do next in her life. Should she move with her partner John to London, return to her home town of Newcastle, or spread her wings further in the world? As Anna settles into island life, under the benign patronage of artist Kristina Nilssen, she finds her place in the community, making friends with locals and expats alike. Only Daniel, a local business owner with ties to Kristina, is immune to her charms. But his employee Filip is smitten – and it seems Anna returns the favour. The pair are soon in a relationship, as Daniel glowers on.
But how will it all end?
This is not a typical holiday romance. While you can enjoy exploring Apokeri bay in all its Greek beauty and getting to know the mostly charming residents of the small but vibrant community, and thrilling to the will they/won’t they excitement of the Anna/Filip/Daniel triangle, you’re also challenged by some of the themes in the book.
For even the brightest Greek island has its dark side, and this is explored in the story of Filip’s family, especially his sister, Stefania. Family tensions are also to the fore in Anna’s own fractured relationship with her family back in England’s north-east.
There’s plenty drama, some danger and many dilemmas for Anna as the narrative progresses. At times she seems to act out of character, and not at all as a romantic heroine should, but the narrative allows the reader to see her grow.
Tantalisingly this book is the first of a proposed trilogy and though it wraps up with a strong resolution, there is more to come – for Anna, and for the reader. I await the next chapter with interest. #apokeribay #jackiewatson @randomthingtours #greekescape #bookrecommendations
Please join me on the #blogtour for#DeadlyAnimals by #MarieTierney. Ava is no ordinary teenage girl. Growing up in Rubery, a deprived area of Birmingham, she has a keen interest in anatomy and collects the corpses of roadkill to study their decomposition. Then she stumbles across the gruesome remains of one of her classmates, Mickey.
Her anonymous call to the police gets DSI Seth Delahaye involved. As he conducts his own investigation, Ava and her faithful sidekick John work in the shadows to help him.
But as another body of a young boy is discovered, and reports of a strange creature roaming the area come in, it becomes clear they are dealing with a monster. A monster who may or may not be human.
With its many-layered plotline, this story worked on every single level for me. The plot of a police investigation into a serial killer was well-executed, convincing, chilling and thrilling. The suggestion of a non-human monster lurking in the shadows added to the already tense atmosphere. Delahaye is a warm and sympathetic character.
But it was Ava who made the story really shine. She is a beautifully drawn character – young, clever, vulnerable, a good daughter despite her mother’s failings, a stalwart big sister, and a faithful friend. Her keen sense of justice won’t allow her to avoid danger. 
In many ways the story reminds me of Stephen King’s writing. He too, has an affinity with children, making them the heroes of very adult stories, exploiting their fearlessness and strong sense of right and wrong to bring villains and monsters to justice.
I finished this book with my heart racing, and so many questions about the nature of monsters in human form. At one point Ava says, “We are our bones.” But we are also our emotions, our fears, our hopes and dreams, and Marie Tierney skilfully explores all this in a story that works on every single level. @bonnierbooks_uk @zaffrebooks #bookrecommendations #thrillerfiction #serialkillerfiction #crimefiction #comingofage #monstersinhumanform #booklovers #lovebooks #loverreading
Brilliant luck landing the #blogtour date of #ValentinesDay for #Token by #BeverleyKendall. An explosive romance set against themes of racism, classicism, white privilege and misogyny, this story is an enthralling and page-turning read.
Main character Kennedy is a great character, and empathetic, I think, to women of all ages and colour. White readers may never have experienced the covert and overt racism she encounters in the workplace, but her strong refusal to be a victim can resonate with all of us.
The title Token works on so many levels. Kennedy is a “token” black woman. Her relationship with ex-boyfriend Nate could be seen as “token” to a cynical outside world.
But Kennedy is also a token of hope that the world is changing thanks to people like her proving that “you’re no better than anyone else and no-one is better than you”.
She’s that rare find – a heroine with confidence, who owns her talent, owns her sexuality and owns her own place in the world, while retaining a vulnerability that makes her instantly sympathetic to the reader. 
As the story progresses and tensions rise, she becomes ever more her own woman, until a shocking revelation sees her questioning all her achievements.
Well-paced, beautifully-plotted, written with humour and passion and strength, this story works as a romance and as a social commentary on the prides and prejudices of our modern world. @simonschusteruk @bookminxsjv #bookrecommendations #respectromfic #romanticfiction #racism #misogyny #classism #aspiration #ambition #bookblogger #lovereading #lovebooks #bookworms