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Friday, 31 March 2017

Vengeance by Roger A Price book review tour

*AD - GIFTED* Today is my stop on the Vengeance by Roger A Price book tour.

Vengeance by Roger A Price

Vengeance by Roger A Price - The blurb

Jack Quintel is a hit man. When a job comes in to kill the Deputy Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police Jim Reedly, he contracts it out to a new guy, Charlie Parker. Watching in the shadows, Quintel sees Parker shoot out Reedly’s windscreen, then drag him into the woods and thinks the job’s been done. But when Parker tries to pass off a pig’s heart as Reedly’s, things start to go very wrong. Jack’s right hand man Jason kills Charlie, who it turns out is an undercover police officer. 

Detective Vinnie Palmer is with the Preston police. He was called in when they received the information about the impending hit. Now he has to figure out how to clean up the mess. And he wants whoever killed Parker bad. He finds the man who put Parker in touch with Quintel, a low life hood named Dempter, living in an estate in Preston. He doesn’t know much, but motivated by money, agrees to be an informant for the police. 

Christine Jones is a TV reporter. She and Vinnie had worked together before, chasing a serial killer. They meet again at the warehouse where Charlie was killed, and realise their relationship could be more than professional. But first, Christine wants to know what’s happening. Vinnie agrees to keep her in the loop.

Meanwhile, Christine is working on a documentary about positive discrimination against non-Catholic officers in Northern Ireland since the peace process. She makes contact with a former police officer in Northern Belfast named Paul Bury, who feeds her some of the information she needs. 

Meanwhile, as the bodies start to pile up in Preston, there’s another attempt on Reedly’s life, when a grenade is thrown at him at his brother in law’s funeral. As Vinnie fights to keep Reedly alive, suddenly Christine’s life is in danger. And they both start to wonder if the contract against Reedly has anything to do with her documentary on Northern Ireland. But how could it?

Filled with twists and turns and gritty detail, this is must read for crime fans everywhere.

Vengeance by Roger A Price - My review

Vengeance by Roger A Price is a gritty crime novel set in the North of England. The story follows Vinnie a Detective, Christine a reporter and Quintel a hit man. The three characters stories all eventually culminate into one ending.

I love that throughout the story you are following the different characters and reading their point of view. (The point of view of a hitman is as disturbing as you imagine!) All three characters journeys are full of plot twists and shocking revelations. It makes for a great read and keeps you guessing right until the end. I found the book really easy to get into and it keeps you wanting more. Vengeance is a gritty crime with some violence but it wasn't too graphic or violent for the sake of being violent.

It is definitely a must read for any crime fans.

I'm giving Vengeance by Roger A Price 4 out of 5 stars.


You can buy Vengeance by Roger A Price from Amazon and read more about it on Goodreads


Saturday, 25 March 2017

My Dublin city break weekend diary

Dublin city break / Ha Penny Bridge / Liffey Bridge River Liffey

My Dublin city break - day one

My Dublin city break got off to a very early start when the taxi came at 4.30am Saturday morning. After picking everyone up we were soon at the airport, through security and on the plane. The flight to Dublin from Leeds is very quick, about 1 hour. By 9am we were checking in at the hotel, The Croke Park Hotel. Our rooms weren't ready but the hotel concierge was happy to look after the suitcases and take them up to the rooms. The Croke Park Hotel reception area is gorgeous with stunning flower displays around it. 

Croke Park Hotel, Dublin flower display

After such an early start we spent half an hour or so freshening up and putting our make-up on. (Because who has time for make up at 4am?!) The first thing on all of our lists was food. So after a 10 minute or so walk in to Dublin centre we found a cafe that we all agreed on.

Anns Bakery has set breakfast menus where you can choose 2, 4, 6 or 8 hot breakfast items for €4.95 - €8.95. All come with tea or coffee and toast (they were happy to let me use my decaf tea bags for my teapot). The food in Anns Bakery is delicious, really hot and it a great start to a day.

Dublin city break, Temple Bar

A short walk leads you to the Temple Bar area. If you don't already know Temple Bar is a large area known as the cultural quarter that is full of pubs. You quite literally walk out of one pub and straight in to the next. The narrow streets through it are all cobbled and it reminds me of The Shambles in York. The pubs are all very lively, very busy and all have live music all day and all night.

Dublin city break - Temple Bar live music

Obviously you have to have a drink of Guinness whilst on a Dublin weekend break. Apparently it tastes better in Ireland...I still can't say that I like it though. 

Dublin city break, Temple Bar guinness

Now I would like to tell you that after a few late morning / lunch time drinks we were on our way exploring more of Dublin. Unfortunately I just can't say that! I don't know if it was the early morning, the starting drinking at 11am or the lure of Temple Bar but the day pretty quickly descended into carnage with dancing on tables, shots of jagermeister and staggering out of Temple Bar at midnight with a chicken kebab. I am suitably ashamed of myself. 

My Dublin city break - day two

The second day of our Dublin city break saw us all awake surprisingly early. So we got ready for the day and packed up. Check out was 11am so once ready we left our suitcases with the concierge again and set off out for the day. As breakfast at Anns Bakery is so nice we were soon in there eating.

Sunday was a much quieter day for us. There are some amazing shops in Dublin centre which we spent some time exploring.

To do something a bit different we chose The National Leprechaun Museum. It costs €10 each and is a guided tour so you have to book a time slot. I will be honest and say The National Leprechaun Museum isn't really a museum at all and is quite strange. It is more teaching the history and folk tales of Ireland. There is a really fun room full of oversized furniture, so you can feel like a tiny leprechaun sat on a 10 foot chair! The tour takes about an hour-ish. It is interesting, a bit of fun and for the price is a great way to pass an hour.

The National Leprechaun Museum Dublin

A Dublin city break has to include a walk over the famous Ha Penny Bridge / Liffey Bridge. It is full of love locks (padlocks) that couples have put on and is a real tourist hot spot.

Dublin city break / Ha Penny Bridge / Liffey Bridge

Dublin city break / Ha Penny Bridge / Liffey Bridge padlocks / love locks

Spending a day walking around Dublin you can see some gorgeous buildings.

Dublin city break - The Church Bar and Restaurant

Dublin city break

Dublin city break - The Gate Theatre

One of my favourite sights to see is the Gogarty and Joyce statues in Temple Bar. 

Dublin city break - The Gogarty and Joyce statues

To finish off our Dublin city break the perfect way was another trip to Anns Bakery for cream cakes. We had all spent the last two mornings eyeing them up as we ate breakfast. The cream cakes are huge and taste amazing.

Dublin city break, Anns Bakery cream cakes

Before we knew it it was time to head back to the hotel then on to the airport again. We caught the last flight back to Leeds and I was climbing into my own bed just before midnight.

My Dublin city break weekend diary round up

A Dublin city break is an amazing weekend. I would definitely recommend a girly holiday there. Dublin is known for being expensive but shopping around (and coming out of the Temple Bar area) it is easy to find reasonable prices. Flying on the first plane out one day then the last plane home the next is very tiring. If I went again I would like to have a bit longer as there are so many sights I still want to see.


Have you ever been to Dublin? I'd love to know what you think of it if you have.


Monday, 20 March 2017

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit full collection review

As the Kylie Jenner lip kits still seem to be ever popular, other brands are jumping on the bandwagon. I was really pleased to see Barry M were releasing their own version and had to buy as soon as they came out. There are three Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit and I have been testing them all out. 

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit review

All three lip kits come in identical packaging, a box with a lip liner and liquid lipstick inside. I really like the boxes as they are quite retro looking, eye catching and look great on my dressing table.

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit swatches

First up is Go To, a brown tone nude. From the packaging I did think this would be pale but was quite surprised at how dark it is. Even though it is darker than I was expecting it is a gorgeous nude shade.

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit review Go To

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit review Go To

The second Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit is Pose, a pink tone nude. Again the packaging is a bit misleading as I did think this would be a darker shade than it is. This pale nude is a really pretty colour that is great for day or night looks. Again it dries down to a super matte finish really quickly.

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit review - Pose

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit review - Pose swatch

The final Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit is Runway, a berry matte liquid lipstick. I knew I would love this is the one I knew I would love before it was even out of the packaging. No matter what the season I wear a berry lip as often as possible. Like the previous two it dries down to a matte finish quickly and it is a gorgeous colour. 

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit review - Runway

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit review - Runway

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit review

I really love all three shades of the lip kits. They are all easy to apply with pretty standard shape doe foot applicators. All three dry to a super matte finish really quickly. As liquid matte lipsticks they do feel slightly drying whilst on the lips but they aren't too uncomfortable to wear all day....and they do all last all day with minimal touch ups needed. If I am being picky the lip liners aren't as creamy as I would like them to be but they are not so dry they drag whilst applying either though. I would love to see Barry M adding more shades to this collection and I would definitely buy more.

You can pick the Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit up from Superdrug, they are £6.99 each and currently on 3 for 2 offer.

Have you tried any of the Barry M Lip Kits yet? Which is your favourite shade?


Saturday, 18 March 2017

Dead Embers by Matt Brolly book review

*AD - GIFTED* I have another book review for you today, Dead Embers by Matt Brolly, the third DCI Michael Lambert crime novel.

Dead Embers by Matt Brolly review

Dead Embers by Matt Brolly - blurb

When DCI Michael Lambert is called out to an apparent house fire, he knows it can’t be routine. Instead he finds the remains of a burnt house, a traumatised child and two corpses - one of whom is a senior police officer. 

Lambert’s got other problems. Anti-corruption are onto his boss. His relationships is on the rocks. He can’t get over his ex-wife and he keeps blacking out. 

But when a detective has been murdered the stakes are too high to get distracted. All is not as it seems. As the investigation continues Lambert realises he is getting drawn into something altogether bigger and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined…

Trust no one.

Dead Embers by Matt Brolly - review

Dead Embers is a gritty, crime novel that follows DCI Michael Lambert as he investigates an arson / murder. The plot instantly pulls you in and is easy to follow. Like a good crime mystery should it twists and turns and keeps you guessing right until the end. As this is the third book in the series and I haven't read the previous two I wasn't sure if that would affect my review. But it really doesn't! Whilst there are things I probably don't know about DCI Lambert and his past this book can definitely be read as a standalone. Although now I have read Dead Embers I will definitely read the first two books next.

I'm giving Dead Embers by Matt Brolly 4/5 stars. 

You can get Dead Embers from Amazon and you can read more about it on Goodreads here.


Friday, 17 March 2017

The Place That Never Existed by Jim Ody book review

*AD - GIFTED* Today is my stop on the The Place That Never Existed by Jim Ody book tour.

The Place That Never Existed Jim Ody review

The Place That Never Existed by Jim Ody blurb

For Paul and Debbie it was meant to be the happiest time of their lives – a small village wedding in front of their family and friends, followed by a quiet honeymoon in Devon. Not everyone was happy to see them together. Someone from the past was intent on ending their marriage before it had really started. Now, supposedly away from it all in a picturesque log cabin, Paul and Debbie find themselves in the midst of mysterious happenings. Unexplained disappearances with people turning up dead, and all of it centred on the site of an horrific murder. A place the locals wish was a place that never existed.

The Place That Never Existed by Jim Ody review

The Place That Never Existed is a thriller that  follows Paul and Debbie on their wedding and honeymoon. Which happens to be in a strange town full of mysterious people and goings on. The story is really well written and sets the scenes perfectly. Paul and Debbie are really likeable characters that you will be rooting for as the story unfolds. The book is very tense in places and kept me turning the pages right up until the end. The ending has a massive plot twist that I never saw coming at all! Although thrillers are not my usual genre of book (I've said before I'm a bit of wimp) I really enjoyed reading this.

I'm giving The Place That Never Existed by Jim Ody 4/5 stars.

You can find The Place That Never Existed on Amazon and you can read more about it on Goodreads here.


Monday, 13 March 2017

My favourite place in the North

*AD - SPONSORED* The Car People have challenged me to turn the phrase "It's Grim Up North" around and celebrate the beauty of the North of the UK. Being from Leeds I am definitely a Northern girl through and through. I enjoy visiting London to see family and the sights but always love coming home again. Whilst the shopping, sights and events are better down south there are some equally amazing sights and things to do up here. My absolute favourite place in the North is Whitby. At just over an hours drive away it is somewhere we can visit often and just for the day. 

Whitby, if you don't already know, is a seaside town on the east coast that is made all the more unique by being surrounded by moors. The drive to it is really quite breathtaking.

Favourite place in the North - Whitby moor views

Overlooking the town, set at the top of the cliff is Whitby Abbey. This is probably why Whitby is my favourite place in the North! The Abbey is a haunting, gothic ruin and is the inspiration for Bram Stokers Dracula. Once you see it for yourself it is easy to see why it was such an inspiration. I especially love seeing the Abbey in the winter months, the grey skies and mist really add to the atmosphere of it.

Favourite place in the North Whitby Abbey

No trip to Whitby is complete without seeing the famous whale bones at the entrance to the beach. At 15 foot high they are impossible to miss. I think they provide a perfect frame for Whitby Abbey too. 

Favourite place in the North whalebones framing Whitby Abbey

To get from Whitby Abbey to the town you can walk the famous 199 steps or there is a gentler route between them. Both show off the incredible views of Whitby and both are worth the walk.

Favourite place in the North Whitby

The town in Whitby is a typical seaside / fishing resort with a mix of tourist shops, pubs, restaurants and a working harbour.

Favourite place in the North Whitby harbour

Personally one of my favourite things to eat in my favourite place in the North is fish and chips. There is nothing nicer than freshly caught fish and chips at the seaside! And there are no better fish and chips than in the North!

Favourite place in the North Whitby fish and chips

As well as the traditional sights in Whitby there are some more unique things to do. You can visit the Captain Cook museum, which is in James Cooks house. Whitby also has many "themed" weekends, the Goth weekend and 60's weekend are incredibly popular. There are different walks you can join, ghost walks, Dracula walks and history walks.

Like in all seaside towns you can't go far without seeing seagulls and in Whitby with the working harbour they are very well fed! Credit for these photos goes to my wonderful friend Thomas at ThomasJPitts.

Favourite place in the North, Whitby seagulls

Favourite place in the North, Whitby lobster pots

I would love to know where your favourite place in the North is? Do you agree with Whitby or would you pick somewhere else?

Make sure you check out what other places people have chosen as their favourite place in the North here.


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