Welcome to the book club!

It was a New Year’s resolution of mine to read a book a month as I'm definitely the type of person who needs a routine {especially during lockdown} in order to keep sane and maintain productivity! It’s become my non-negotiable. A brief insight into my bedtime routine {serious Grandma vibes here} 30 minutes before crawling into bed, I pop a few drops of lavender oil onto my pillow to work it's magic {could be a psychological thing but I truly believe the soothing and calming benefits lavender contain are the reasons behind my blissful eight-hours sleep...}. I open up my windows for about 5-10 minutes whilst I'm cleaning my face, to make my room at a comfortable temperature for winding down. I leave my phone and laptop downstairs on charge so I'm not tempted to scroll aimlessly through social media. By this time, I am ready to dive into bed with my book! Historically, I've always been one for a self-help, self-care and basically anything within the category of 'self...', as I'm just that kind of girl. However, what I was finding was that if I read these types of books before bed, my brain would be spinning around thinking of ways to apply {said self help tip} to my life and, the whole point of reading before bed is to completely switch off and help your body relax before sleep. Early Jan, I scanned through Amazon, trying to work out what sort of genre I thought I would enjoy. I stumbled across these three books, all within the thriller/suspense genre and all I can say is, DIOS MIO! I completed {'The secret hours' by Santa Montefiore £7.49 from Waterstones online} first, within about two weeks! I could not put this book down. With every page turned, brought a whole new twist to the tale. I felt a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the story; Montefiore captured the essence of the characters so well, you felt like you were living their journey alongside them. Set primarily in the 1960's, it follows the story of main character, Faye, a woman in her late fifties who defines her life by her husband and four grown up children, living in America. After her mother passes away, she finds herself drawn into her mothers past and her life in Ireland, prompting her to visit the Emerald Isle herself to gain an understanding of who her was mother was, and what caused her to silently flee to America. And... that's all I'm going to say without giving the epic story line away! Next up... {'A stranger on the beach' by Michele Campbell £6.55 from Amazon UK} quite possibly the most gripping, and 'master of suspense' book I've ever read. I was quite literally on the edge of my seat during the second half of the book and just when I thought I'd had it all figured out, Campbell, throws another spanner in the works. Caroline Stark is a fourty something, glamorous, rich-as-you-like, married woman, living in America. Their beach house was her biggest achievement yet with lavish decor and expensive space to show off her 'perfect' family life. After a very public fight with her husband, she soon realised her husband wasn't who he said he was. He shows up to their own party with another woman, he's cleared their accounts leaving her bankrupt, and there's a stranger on the beach outside their house. This phycological thriller kept me questioning what I thought to be true and, was very cleverly twisted in the story line. A brilliant mixture of glamour, intrigue and grit. You will not be disappointed! If you're still here reading this review then I salute you, I'm on a roll today! Last but certainly not least, is this gripping read. {'The escape artist' by Diane Chamberlain £8.19 from WHSmith} We experience a love story, thriller and family drama - the perfect concoction for a fantastic story line. Susanna Miller loses custody over her eleven-month old son but, rather than turning her son over to her ex-husband {and his new wife} she goes on the run. She creates a new identity for herself; changes her name, her appearance and escapes to the other side of America. Her cover seemed to be working, until she bumps into someone from her past who puts her in danger. You were left in suspense from start to finish not knowing who to believe. One woman's truly heart-breaking story that was captured so beautifully by Chamberlain.

So, there we go! I'm going to continue enjoying my 1.5 hours of reading before bed and hope to bring you more reviews in the coming months! Happy reading, G x

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