Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber #BookReview #BlogTour

An uplifting tale of finding unexpected love in the Alaskan wilderness from bestselling author, Debbie Macomber.

Before beginning her new job as sous chef at one of Seattle's finest restaurants, Josie Stewart takes on a six-month position cooking at a lodge in an Alaskan lake town. It's only temporary--or so she thinks, as she becomes a valued part of the local community, falling in love with the people who call the Klutina Lake home.

But one man, in particular, stands out among the rest of Josie's new friends: an intriguing swordsmith whose very existence forces her to question whether her heart wants to return to Washington at all.

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber today. Many thanks to the author and Rachel Kennedy from Arrow for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel.

I don't tend to read much romantic fiction but as Christmas approaches, there is something about the season that means I'm drawn to books…

Pull & Pray by Angel Luis Colón #BookReview #BlogTour


An estranged family member! A score to end all scores! Continued gastrointestinal issues! Five years after surviving the most harrowing heist of her life, Fantine Park is lured back to the United States by her aunt. The bait: a lead on the identity of her mother’s killer and a score known as the ‘pension plan’, a piece of software that can literally pay out in perpetuity if they can get their hands on it in time. 

Working with a team of actual professionals with their own motivations; Fan’s loyalties and beliefs will be tested as nothing is as it seems; especially when one of the members of this crew may have been the last person to see her mother alive. 

It’s going to be lies, murder, and gas station hot dogs all the way down as Fan races to get the answers about the day her mother died and maybe, just maybe, the kind of cash that will pull her away from a continued life of crime. 

It's my pleasure to be closing the blog tour for Pull & Pray by Angel Luis Colón today. Many thanks to the author, publishers and Emma Welton from damppebbles blog tours for inviting me and for my ecopy of the novel.

The characters in Pull & Pray are not people I would choose to be friends with and actually they don't even want each other as friends. Brought together for 'one last heist'  there isn't much camaraderie between them but instead plenty of mistrust and in-fighting, not least between Fantine and her Aunt Matty. Following events in previous book, Happy Endings, Fan has tried to go straight but is reluctantly lured back by the suggestion that she may also discover more about her mother's killer. It is often said that blood is thicker than water but Fan's relationship with her aunt is a complicated one - Matty knowing exactly how to manipulate her niece.
Fantine is no pushover, however and certainly knows how to pack a punch! She is a likeable character despite her spikiness and I still found myself rooting for her. There are plenty of books where previously innocent people find themselves breaking the law but to feature career criminals and to make them believable yet still sympathetic enough is a tricky balance to reach and Angel Luis Colón achieves it well here. There is perhaps little real choice available to those whose families are involved in crime and it is inevitable that they will be sucked into that world. Both Fan and her cousin, Belén's lives have been shaped by their unconventional upbringing and particularly by the actions of their mothers. Even though Fan wants out there are limited opportunities for her when this is the only life she really knows. She considers herself an average lock picker, safecracker and hacker but her mother was gifted with a real talent for their profession and though the financial temptation is there, Fan is also driven by a need to discover more about her murder even if she risks jail again.
The heist itself is described as the ultimate pension package and involves obtaining the software code from slot machines that determines how often jackpots are awarded. Though this is their endgame, much of Pull & Pray is really about the planning and I really enjoyed the attention to detail that is paid to them working out their best chance of success. This is a very contemporary heist thriller; the gang hope to benefit from technology but they are also at risk of being exposed by it. Their scheme must be meticulously devised but just how fail-safe is it when they don't even know where their loyalties really lie?
Pull & Pray has a complex, fast moving plot and an engaging anti-hero in Fan. I haven't yet read Happy Endings but didn't feel it impacted any way on my enjoyment of this sequel. The snappy dialogue, palpable sense of threat and difficult relationships mean this gritty crime novel is entertaining throughout. I hope this isn't the last we see of Fantine and look forward to reading more from Luis Angel Colón in the future.

Pull & Pray is published by Down & Out Books and can be purchased from the following sites;
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository
Waterstones

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.


About the Author
Angel Luis Colón is a Derringer and Anthony Award shortlisted author. His published works include the titles: PULL & PRAY, NO HAPPY ENDINGS, the BLACKY JAGUAR series of novellas, the short story anthology; MEAT CITY ON FIRE (AND OTHER ASSORTED DEBACLES), and the upcoming HELL CHOSE ME (2019).
His short fiction has appeared in multiple web and print publications including Thuglit, Literary Orphans, and Great Jones Street. He also hosts the podcast, the bastard title.
Twitter  Facebook  Website  Amazon Author Page


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