Paris Adrift by E.J. Swift

Paris Adrift by E.J. Swift

Determined to escape her old life, misfit and student geologist Hallie packs up her life in England and heads to Paris. She falls in with the eclectic expat community as a bartender at the notorious Millie’s, located next to the Moulin Rouge.

Here she meets Gabriela, a bartender who guides her through this strange nocturnal world, and begins to find a new family. But Millie’s is not all that it seems: a bird warns Hallie to get her feathers in order, a mysterious woman shows up claiming to be a chronometrist, and Gabriela is inexplicably unable to leave Paris.

Then Hallie discovers a time portal located in the keg room. Over the next nine months, irate customers will be the least of her concerns, as she navigates time-faring through the city’s turbulent past and future, falling in love, and coming to terms with her own precarious sense of self.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.

Paris Adrift is an interesting story following the excitement Hallie experiences in her break from university while she stays in Paris. She finds herself working at well-known bar, Millies, right next to the world-famous Moulin Rouge. Here she meets an interesting mix of bar staff from all over the world as she enjoys all Clichy, and Paris has to offer. A series of strange happenings pose the idea that there may be more to the bar and its staff than meets the eye.
Paris AdriftA meeting with a bizarre woman enlightens her to the prospect of time travel through something called an anomaly, something only Hallie will be able to travel through. Focussing on a given date or time will send her forward or back throughout the turbulent history of the French city. In her travels, she sees many things, meets a host of characters and alters the path of the city forever.

The time travel plays an integral role in the narrative, something clearly set out in the opening stages of the book. This all ties together the need for Hallie to find her anomaly and travel through it. Unfortunately I found this element of the narrative a bit disjointed. It seemed so important yet little to no reference to it is made as the book goes on. And worse still, at the conclusion there is no return to the original purpose to clarify fully whether things had been a success.

That said, the time travelling elements were really well written. The locales at different times in history felt really well written, filled with life and energy. The characters in these parts of the story are fantastic and vibrant. It’s these parts of the book that for me rescued it.

My rating:
okaybook

Friday Face-Off – 27th March 2020

Friday Face-Off – 27th March 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week is a free pick – a chance to choose a personal favourite book. For this I have gone with the book that started it all – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.

Cover A:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone1

Cover B:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone2

Cover C:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone3

Cover D:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone4

Cover E:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone5

Cover F:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone6

Cover G:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone7

Cover H:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone8

 

And the winner is… IT’S A DRAW!

Covers F and H stole it for me. Cover F for me is iconic, it’s the cover I remember from back when the book first came out almost 23 years ago. For me this cover is synonimous with the series. Cover H is really eye catching, and as a Gryffindor myself, this one is another winner for me!

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover for April Fool’s – a trick of the eye.

Friday Face-Off – 20th March 2020

Friday Face-Off – 20th March 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover that is brown. This one was a tough one, so I twisted it a bit. Rather than the cover being brown, the cover comes from a book written by Brown. Dan Brown, specifically, and his novel Inferno.

Cover A:

brown1

Cover B:

brown2

Cover C:

brown3

Cover D:

brown4

Cover E:

brown5

 

And the winner is… COVER B!

Maybe Dan Brown was a controversial shout. I know many people hate his work, but I am personally a big fan. And I also love Florence as a city, so this was a great read for me. A simple cover with that icon of Florentine architecture, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore with the imposing visage of Dante Alighieri’s death mask. A great cover.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover of my choosing.

Friday Face-Off – 13th March 2020

Friday Face-Off – 13th March 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover that is exotic: “He can come up with the most exotic things I’ve ever seen or heard of every time he blinks his eyes.” For this theme I’ve gone for Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Cover A:

exotic1

Cover B:

exotic2

Cover C:

exotic3

Cover D:

exotic4

Cover E:

exotic5

Cover F:

exotic6

Cover G:

exotic7

Cover H:

exotic8

Cover I:

exotic9

 

And the winner is… COVER E!

This week I found the choice a little tougher. The options gave me some real thinking to do. E stole it for me this week, I loved the old style map vibe it exudes, and the way the characters are imposed within it. There are some special mentions though this week – covers A, C and F are very close runners for me.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that is brown.

Friday Face-Off – 6th March 2020

Friday Face-Off – 6th March 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

And just like that, we’re into March! This week’s theme is a cover featuring a skeleton: “them bones, them bones, them dry bones…”. For this theme I’ve gone for Skeleton Crew by Stephen King.

Cover A:

skeleton1

Cover B:

skeleton2

Cover C:

skeleton3

Cover D:

skeleton4

Cover E:

skeleton5

Cover F:

skeleton6

Cover G:

skeleton7

Cover H:

skeleton8

Cover I:

skeleton9

 

And the winner is… COVER H!

Yet another Stephen King book I’ve yet to read. For such a huge fan of his work, this is something I really need to remedy! I like most of these covers this week, a lot. But H shades it for me – the figure of Death lifted off of the tarot card swinging his scythe – very eye catching.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that is exotic: “He can come up with the most exotic things I’ve ever seen or heard of every time he blinks his eyes.”

The Blame Game by Terri Reynolds

The Blame Game by Terri Reynolds

Best friends they may be, but Molly and Kate are very different individuals. Molly, a spoilt child and then an indulged wife, not only gets whatever she wants, she takes things that don’t belong to her, including other women’s husbands. Kate, fiercely loyal, has, until now, always defended and protected her friend, at the same time offering refuge to Molly’s traumatised son. Against her better judgement, Kate is forced to revisit the deaths of two men; men who had affairs with Molly. Considered tragic and accidental at the time, fresh scrutiny and new revelations trigger a disturbing chain of events that have sickening consequences.

Molly either can’t or won’t mend her ways, and Kate, caught up in her own personal tragedy, is forced to draw a line in the sand. Their friendship is at breaking point; Molly has gone too far this time. All is not as it seems.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

The Blame Game is a rollercoaster of a read, and something I was really able to sink my teeth into. Filled with menace, treachery, lies, deceit and a heaped serving of threat. It was a pacy book with so many twists and turns it had me gripped from cover to cover. The story plays out against a backdrop of adultery, broken marriages, death, grief and obsession. Molly is vilified in the small town in which she lives, having had two affairs, one with a married man. The apparent suicide of the married father of one only compounds her problems. The other man died in a car accident.image1As her marriage broke down, things worsened with verbal and physical violence in front of their young son, Seth. As the years rolled by, Seth became a troubled individual suffering from the trauma of what he has seen and heard over the years. He becomes estranged from both of his parents. Molly, having filed for divorce from her husband James, suffers torment and game playing from him, making the process as painful as possible. The widow of the man she was seeing has turned large parts of the community against her.

Things spiralled as Molly suffers more and more at the hands of the scorned widow and her estranged husband. Though no matter what happens some habits are harder to kick. Her friends, few in number though they may be, seek answers to what is going on and reflecting on the seemingly tragic deaths of her two lovers. Can there be a killer involved? Is Molly responsible? Or the estranged husband? The scorned widow? The traumatised child? Or were these events really just a series of tragic events.

Terri Reynolds presents a cast of credible suspects throughout the book. Any one of them could be the culprit, and I found as the story progressed that I was continually see-sawing from one to the other, never totally sure as to who was the true culprit. Not until, quite literally, the last line of the book. The narrative was fast paced, moving from one element to the next keeping me guessing, and wanting to unravel the next part that might help me uncover the truth. The Blame Game is an impressive read from start to finish.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 28th February 2020

Friday Face-Off – 28th February 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a ring for the leap year: “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

Cover A:

ring1

Cover B:

ring2

Cover C:

ring3

Cover D:

ring4

Cover E:

ring5

Cover F:

ring6

Cover G:

ring7

And the winner is… COVER B!

A nice and simple design, with the beautiful and iconic elvish text on a stark black background. I wanted to steer clear of the movie covers so was very pleased to find a host of alternatives.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a skeleton: “them bones, them bones, them dry bones…”