#BlogTour | #BookReview: Kiss Me Kill Me by J.S. Carol (@JamesCarolBooks) @BonnierZaffre #KissMeKillMe

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How far would you go to escape the one you love?

When Zoe meets Dan, he’s everything she is looking for in a man – intelligent, charming, supportive.
It’s only after they’re married that she realises that he’s controlling, aggressive, paranoid.
And there’s no way out.

Or is there?

Zoe knows she has to escape, but Dan’s found her once before, and she knows he can find her again.
But Dan has plans of his own. Plans that don’t necessarily include Zoe.

Be careful who you trust . . .”

I am SUCH a fan of J.S. Carol’s writing. He’s one of my very favourite authors so when an unexpected delivery of book post arrived and his name was on the cover, I have to confess, I whooped for joy! And maybe did a little jig around the kitchen, but unless you have photographic evidence of that it’s not something I’m going to confess to anytime soon.

J. S. Carol is the author of the incredible Jefferson Winter series (click HERE for my review of the fourth book in the Jefferson Winter series, The Quiet Man) plus the awesome standalone thriller The Killing Game). As authors go, I think it’s safe to say that J. S. (or James) Carol is one of my all-time favourites. So I was a little giddy to have his latest release in my paws. So giddy I made a start on it almost straight away (which is kind of unheard of at damppebbles HQ. I regularly leave books on the shelf for large periods of time; some glaring at me, some giving me the eye!) Anyway, to cut to the chase, Kiss Me, Kill Me is published in eBook by Bonnier Zaffre on 22nd February (happy eBook publication day!) and in paperback towards the end of May 2018.

Zoe believes she has met the perfect man in Daniel. He’s everything she has always wanted in a partner. Life is pretty much perfect; Daniel is at her beck and call, he lavishes her with expensive and ornate gifts, and treats her as though she is the centre of his world. So when Daniel proposes, Zoe gleefully accepts. Life is good. They’re married, they’re in love and it’s everything Zoe has always wanted (plus he gives her time and space to write the novel she has wanted to pen for years). But a few weeks into married life things take an unexpected turn and Daniel suddenly starts to show his true colours. He becomes domineering, controlling and threatening. Zoe has no say, no control and no way out. Who can she trust? Who can she turn to, to escape the man she loves?

So, this book made me angry (in a ‘provoking a reaction or an emotion’ way). Reading the chapters set in the present day I was aghast at the way Daniel treated Zoe and in all honesty, it was making my blood boil. To the point where I had to put down Kiss Me, Kill Me on a couple of occasions and just walk away. Regular visitors to my blog will know that I read a lot of crime, which translates to a lot of bad people doing a lot of bad stuff, but this…! This despicable, deviant character with his callous, intimidating behaviour towards this poor woman who had been totally duped into marrying him. Well, this sort of plotline is obviously my breaking point. I felt sick to my stomach for Zoe, I wanted to reach into the pages and rescue her from her nightmare. Hats off to the author for provoking such a strong emotional response in me. Brilliantly written but oh my gosh, hard to read at times.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part is told from Zoe’s point of view; her day to day incarceration, her carefully measured and balanced diet, the way her clothes are laid out for her each and every day. The second part is told from Daniel’s perspective and drops a bombshell on the reader that you really don’t expect. I loved both of these sections. By this time, both Zoe and Daniel had gotten under my skin and I was pretty much obsessed with the pair of them. The third part lost a little of the ‘pull’ that the first two parts had, for me. It was still gripping and I was completely hooked but not in the same way as before.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. It’s superb, incredibly entertaining and really quite disturbing in places. I was completely smitten with Carol’s characters in this novel but in quite different ways. There was one section where I could see what was coming but everything else took me completely by surprise. The ending was missing a few undotted i’s and a couple of uncrossed t’s, so it makes me wonder if we will see some of these characters again in a future novel. I certainly hope that is the case! I loved this book. Love, love, loved it!

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of Kiss Me, Kill Me. The above review is my own unbiased opinion. My thanks to Imogen at Bonnier Zaffre for inviting me to join the blog tour. Keep your eye on the blog next week when I will be featuring a Q&A from the man himself, J.S. Carol!

Kiss Me, Kill Me by J. S. Carol was published in the UK by Bonnier Zaffre on 22nd February 2018 in eBook format with the paperback to follow in May 2018 (please note, the following Amazon and Waterstones links are affiliate links) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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about the author3

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J. S. Carol is the author of The Killing Game, which has been shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. As James Carol, he has also written the bestselling Jefferson Winter series. Broken Dolls, the first of these, was published in 2014 to rave reviews and reached #1 on the Amazon fiction and thriller charts. In addition James is writing a series of eBooks set during Winter’s FBI days. Presumed Guilty is the first of these.

James lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two children. When he’s not writing he can usually be found in a pair of headphones, recording and producing music.

Author Links: | Website | Twitter | Facebook |

#BookReview: The Killing Game by J.S. Carol (@JamesCarolBooks) @bookouture

51hsfmseivl-_sy346_“A woman walks into a restaurant. Will she come out alive?

JJ Johnson is Hollywood’s favourite publicist. Her word can launch careers – and break them.

But when lunch at exclusive restaurant Alfie’s turns into a fight for her life against a terrifying stranger, she quickly learns this is one situation she can’t talk her way out of.

The twisted individual knows everything about each of the wealthy diners. And soon, it becomes clear that he wants something more than money.

Can JJ find a way out, or risk becoming a victim to a man with nothing left to lose…?”

Oh wow, oh gosh and another whopping ‘oh wow’!  What a book…..heart stopping, edge of your seat, can’t put it down stuff.  Absolutely brilliant!  Blimey…

Hollywood publicist JJ Johnson wines, dines and spins for a living.  And she’s good at it, really good.  So much so that the high and mighty of Hollywood knock on her door on a daily basis.  Whilst out for one of her many business lunches at an exclusive LA restaurant, JJ is caught up in a terrifying  hostage situation.  A heavily armoured terrorist wearing a bomb holds the diners and staff prisoner.  He’s not particularly forthcoming with his reasons for holding Hollywood’s elite captive and he’s not all that bothered who he kills either.  Any excuse will do.  And if you try to kill him, the bomb goes off.  It’s connected to a heart rate monitor so if he dies, they all die.  Can terrified JJ work out what is going on before the terrorists sights land on her….?

This is a seriously exciting, pulse racing read and I LOVED it!  One for my top reads of 2016 list I do believe.  I can’t remember that last time I read a book that was this captivating, this enthralling that I had to put normal life on hold.  I should say that I am a huge fan of James Carol’s Jefferson Winter books so I had high expectations.  Also, a number of my blogger friends read this book earlier in the year and told me how good it was.  They also told me that I would love it so when I say expectations were high, they were really high.  It went so far beyond what I expected.  A sublime piece of storytelling!

The story is told from several perspectives; from JJ’s, from movie action hero Alex King’s and from the TV journalists reporting on the hostage situation from outside.  I loved JJ.  She’s a bottom kicking business woman with somewhat dubious morals  (I guess you have to be being a publicist!) but a lot of heart too.  Her back story was fascinating and provided me with all I needed to understand her character a little more.  Alex King was the perfect anti-hero; completely different to his screen persona and I loved the contrast that real vs. fiction brought.  And then you have the tv news teams to whom it doesn’t matter if people die, providing they get it on film.  They don’t care, they just want to make thrilling television so their ratings go through the roof.  Brilliant!  Each individual account builds the story into a nail biting tale that I couldn’t put down.

Would I recommend this book?  You bet I would.  I don’t need to go to the gym, this book gave me the best cardiac workout I’ve had in a while!  A completely  absorbing read that kept me on the edge from the very start to the very end.  I loved the unexpected violence, the callousness of the characters and their ability to stab others in the back to save their own.  Loved it!

Five out of five stars.

Many thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and J.S. Carol.  I chose to read and review an ARC copy of The Killing Game.

The Killing Game by J.S. Carol was published in the UK by Bookouture on 13th October 2016 and is available is paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads | Bookouture |

Smith & Sons (11)

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James Carol is the bestselling author of BROKEN DOLLS, the first in a series featuring former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter. The novel was released in the UK in January 2014 to rave reviews and reached number 1 on the Amazon fiction and thriller charts. In addition James is writing a series of eBooks set during Winter’s FBI days. PRESUMED GUILTY is the first of these. Under the pseudonym J.S. Carol, he has also written THE KILLING GAME.

Author Links: | amazon.co.uk | Twitter | Facebook | Website |