Compelling thriller to read in one sitting: Ask No Questions by Claire Allan #Thriller #BookLovers #BookBloggers @AvonBooksUK

Ask No Questions by Claire Allan book cover UK edition 2021

GIFTED / Today I want to talk about a book I read in 5 days when I was extremly busy, and I honestly think that, if I had more free time, I would finish it in a day. It was just that compelling and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Ask No Questions was published on January 21st 2021 and it has 336 pages. I want to thank Ellie Pilcher from Avon for sending me an invitation to read and review this book via Netgalley.


About the book:


The new crime thriller from the bestselling author of Her Name Was Rose

Twenty-five years ago, on Halloween night, eight-year-old Kelly Doherty went missing while out trick or treating with friends.
Her body was found three days later, floating face down, on the banks of the Creggan Reservoir by two of her young classmates.
It was a crime that rocked Derry to the core. Journalist Ingrid Devlin is investigating – but someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. As she digs further, Ingrid starts to realise that the Doherty family are not as they seem. But will she expose what really happened that night before it’s too late?

A twisty psychological thriller from bestselling author Claire Allan.



I just finished this novel, and I still need to comprehend everything that’s been going on in the story, but I couldn’t resist and I had to write my review right away, while the story is still fresh in my mind.

Last year I read (and enjoyed) Allan’s novel The Liar’s Daughter. What I liked the most in that book was the small town atmosphere the author created.

This time, it was the characters.
I applause the writer for creating so interesting and believable characters that made me feel like I do know them, do see them and pay attention to everyone.
Often in books, especially in thrillers/crimes, there are often characters that just show themselves few times and we don’t pay attention to them, but in this story everyone was under spotlight for at least some time.
It was similar like watching a tv show, where you do get to see characters and remember them, connect with them on a different level.

As for the story itself, it had a good plot.
It was hard for me to predict where the story would go, and who’d be the bad guy, as I really didn’t have anyone to suspect more than others.

The writing style is good. The book is written in first person following Ingrid’s POV (who is a reporter, investing the story) and in third person following twins that are side characters of the story.

As a readers who’s English is not the first language, I thought that the book is written in Scottish English, but I guess the author is Irish.
Anyway, there were words that were new to me and I was so happy to expanse my vocabulary thanks to this book.

The end was pretty satisfying and I think I would read this book in only 2 days if I had more time to read, bc I finished it in only three sittings (keep in mind that I am a slow reader).

If you’re looking for a quick thriller to read, look no further!

rating 4,5 hearts

Christmas in March: A Surprise Christmas Wedding by Phillipa Ashley #booklovers #BookBloggers #Christmas

A Surprise Christmas Wedding by Phillipa Ashley book cover

GIFTED / I know, I know. It’s March and I am reviewing a Christmas book. Well, it is a book that I have recently read, and since I am two years behind with my reviews, there will be Christmas stories reviewed on Book Dust Magic during whole year. I don’t mind it really (because Christmas stories are my favourite), and I hope neither are you.

I received this book via Netgalley, and I want to say thank you to the publisher, Avon Books UK.
A Surprise Christmas Wedding was published on November 26th 2020 and it has 400 pages.


About the book:

FROM GOODREADS / It’s been a year since Lottie’s fiancé walked out, leaving her heartbroken. But things start to look up when she lands her dream job at a beautiful Lake District estate, with a handsome groundskeeper for a neighbour.
So when Lottie is asked to organise a last minute Christmas wedding at Firholme, she can’t wait to get started. Until she meets the couple, and discovers that Connor, the man who broke her heart, is the groom-to-be.
As snow falls on the hills, can Lottie put aside her past to organise the perfect winter wedding? And will there be any festive magic left to bring Lottie the perfect Christmas she deserves?



Guys… This book was such a ride! The author didn’t shy away when it comes to put our main character, Lottie, in a difficult situation.

Just imagine working in a wedding residency, having to organize the wedding of an ex who’s cuts still hurt? Yeah, that is the fire Phillipa Ashley had put our Lottie in.

Apart from having to suffer along with her, I also had a lovely time reading about the place and of course, all the other characters, and witnessing love development between her and her (new) love interest, in this heartwarming story.

However, this is not just a light read, because it makes you think. It challenges you to consider how would you act, what would you say, what could you forgive, and what would you choose to forget, if you were in the character’s shoes.

The writing style was good and easy to follow, and it is obvious how the character has numeorus number of books written previously.

All the Christmas elements present in the story make it appropriate festive read (but if you’re like me, you can enyoj it any time of the year).

Overall, a really good book that I would deffinitely recommend.

four hearts

The one about family… and love: A Perfect Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley #Christmas #WomensFiction #BookLovers #Cornwall

A Perfect Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley book cover

GIFTED / Today I want to talk about one beautiful Christmas novel that I have read some time ago. It was actually my first Christmas read of the year, but I had to wait with my review so I could post it around it’s release day.
A Perfect Cornish Christmas was published yesterday (October 31st 2019) by Avon, and it has 400 pages.
I  I have read an eARC I received via Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review.


About the book:

FROM GOODREADS / Christmas in Cornwall is just around the corner…

But after last Christmas revealed a shocking family secret, Scarlett’s hardly feeling merry and bright. All she wants this Christmas is to know who her real father is.
So Scarlett heads to the little Cornish town of Porthmellow, where she believes the truth of her birth is hidden. She just didn’t bargain on being drawn into the Christmas festival preparations – or meeting Jude Penberth, whose charm threatens to complicate life further.
Everything will come to a head at Porthmellow’s Christmas Festival … But can Scarlett have the perfect Christmas this year, or are there more surprises on the way?



Phillipa Ashley was on my to-be-read list of authors for some time, so I am so glad that A Perfect Cornish Christmas was the first novel by her that I have read, because I really enjoyed it.

If you know me, you know Christmas stories are my absolutely favourite, and I can proudly say that I am happy that I have opened the season with this one.

Going into A Perfect Cornish Christmas I had no idea if it was a standalone or part of the series. It definitely read as a standalone, but then again, I know that Ashley has another book called A Perfect Cornish Summer so I believe they are companion novels (someone should update it to Goodreads, so we’d know!).

This story follows two sisters; Scarlett and Ellie. Since the story centres mostly around Scarlett, I would say she is our main character, but because we do get to follow the story from Ellie’s perspective as well, I’d say she is our second main character.
The story is written in third person.

When it comes to genres, I’d say that A Perfect Cornish Christmas is women’s fiction, or even general fiction with romance in it.
In the first place the story talks about family, and complicated relationships between people. It covers some serious topics that are result of people choices, and how they effect other’s lives.
It also talks about belonging and how it impacts us as beings, how it defines who we really are.

Romance is also part of this book and we get to follow two romance developments, one for each sister.

The third important part of the story, in my opinion, is Christmas itself. The setting, food, snow… basically everything that happens around Christmas time, and in this novel, there is a Christmas festival that takes place and is also nice addition to the fable.

I liked most of the characters, and disliked some that were negative ones.
The only character I simply couldn’t understand was Scarlett and Ellie’s mother. I don’t understand how could she kept quiet about everything even after the truth came to light.
I also had hard time understanding their father and his choice to stay with her in the same house while she was acting that way.

The only downside of the novel is that there are lots of repetitions and I felt like I was reading a 500 pages long book, when in reality it has 400 pages.

Overall, I think A Perfect Cornish Christmas is the one to curl up with during winter, so I recommend it to women’s fiction lovers.

four hearts

My new favourite romance: We Met in December by Rosie Curtis #WeMetInDecember #Romance #BookLovers #London

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis book cover UK edition

GIFTED / Today I want to talk about the book I fell in love with, in hope you will fall in love with it too.
We Met in December was published on September 5th 2019 by Avon Books UK and it has 400 pages.
I got my copy via Netgalley, in an exchange for an honest review.


About the book:

FROM GOODREADS / What if you couldn’t get away from the one who got away?

This December, unlucky-in-love Jess is following her dream and moving to Notting Hill. On the first night in her new house-share she meets Alex, the guy in the room next door. They don’t kiss under the mistletoe, but there’s still a spark that leaves Jess imagining how they might spend the year together — never mind the house rule against dating…

But when Jess returns from her Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started seeing Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into the man of her dreams — and, apparently, the woman of his.

Jess is determined to move on and spend the year falling in love with London, not Alex — but what if her heart has other ideas?



Every time I start a new book I hope it will take me on an adventure that will stay with me long after I finish that last page.
Books that usually do stay are the ones that shake my emotions and have scenes that I remember long time after.
This is why I tend to read women’s fiction and romance so often. There is something about finding a character we, as readers, can emphatize with and root for her/his happy ending.

We Met in December is one of those books that will stay with me, maybe forever.

It was lovely and sweet, but also very realistic.
Without lying, after I turned the last page, I thought to myself “This book is perfection”.

It contains my favourite trope: two people who were meant for each other, finding their way to be with each other.

There are several characters in the book, and I have to admit I liked all of them. Not most of them, but all of them.
The main characters Jess and Alex are narrators of the story, which is written in first person, following their POV.

Side characters were also very realistic and likeable, and even though this is Jess and Alex’ story, I would love to be able to read more about others, maybe in some other books, if Rosie Curtis ever decides to write them.
I would especially like to know more about Rob.

I have read many books that place in London, but I do not remember that any of them captured the beauty of this magnificent city so wonderfully.
It was like London was another character in the book, and it was so easy to imagine all the places Jess and Alex visited while he was showing her around.

To some point, We Met in December reminds me of my favourite book Anna and the French Kiss, only for adults, set in London and without (emotional) cheating part.

This book talks about love, but it also talks about finding your place, embracing adulthood  and doing what your heart is telling you to do with your life.

In the end, I just want to praise book cover designs. The UK is simple and beautiful (and it kind of reminds me of the cover of One Day in December) and the US is really cute and heartwarming (I like the US one a bit better).

Rosie Curtis wrote We Met in December for the first time under this pen name, but she has already published several novels under name Rachael Lucas.
I haven’t read anything she has written before, but now I want to.

We Met in December is one of the sweetest, cutest, loveliest romances that I have read and a new favourite of mine, so I highly recommend it to everyone!

5 hearts rating

Book Review: All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll

all she ever wished for

Title: All She Ever Wished For
Author: Claudia Carroll
Publisher: HarperCollins UK, Avon
Date: October 6th, 2016
Pages: 496
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review


Synopsis (from Goodreads): A gorgeous story of chance meetings and unexpected friendships. Because sometimes what you’ve always wished for isn’t necessarily what life has in store . . .

Marriage. It’s a dream come true. Isn’t it?

One wet winter night, two women meet on a bridge. One is Tess Taylor, a personal trainer on the way to meet her boyfriend for date night. The other is Kate King, a celebrity married to a handsome billionaire who just happens to make her cry. In the cold dark evening, there is nothing to link them together but the bridge they shiver on. Little do they know they’ll both hold the key to each other’s future marriage…

All She Ever Wished For tells the story of what happens when your dream is about to come true. And what happens when that dream turns into a bit of a nightmare…

Claudia Carroll brings you a Christmas gift filled with second chances, fateful encounters and a lesson in what true love means.



I will start my review with a warning: Don’t let the cover full you! This is not a festive read. I repeat: THIS IS NOT A FESTIVE READ.
Judging by it’s releasing day and the cover, you probably think this is a beautiful Christmas story, but, unfortunately, it’s not.
Whoever designed this cover did an amazing job when it comes to appearance, but it’s so misleading. I mean, they even put snowflakes on the cover!
Why would you do that, when there’s no winter, no Christmas in the story whatsoever?

This year I read Carroll’s short story In A New York Minute and complitely fell in love with her writing style. That short story was the best read I had in July and I knew I wanted to read more of her work.
When I saw All She Ever Wished For on Netgally and my reading request was approved, I was beyond happy.

I would lie if I told you my expectations for this novel weren’t high.
However, I don’t think that my expectations have much to do with my impressions.
The story was just not interesting enough for me to like it more.
I was bored many times while reading and characters didn’t help the case either.

All She Ever Wished For follows stories of two women who’s lives intertwine.
Kate had some hard time. She had an ugly divorce and now she’s proving her right ownershinp of the painting her ex husband bought her as a birthday present while they were still together.
She’s being called gold-digger by media but we get to see her side of the story.

Tess is getting married, but she also has to attend the court as a juror. While she has so much things to do to make sure everything goes right on her big day, with their families not on good therms, time spent on court at first comes as burden, but after some time, being in court jury makes her forget about all the obligations for a while and she starts to rethink her decision…

Kate’s story was so much more interesting then Tess’.
After all, Kate was the one who was fighting for her rights.

This is the story that describes many happenings at court.
And in whole honesty, those parts were simply boring.

There is also one side character who has a big role in the story: Will. I just couldn’t like him, no matter how hard I tried. I thought he was too nosy, asking questions and saying things that weren’t his business and it was all okay because he’s a writer. I get that writers are curious, and I get that there are people like him all over the world, but telling someone you only just met (wait, not even met properly, but only just saw because you are in the same room together) that the song she chose to have for her first dance on her own wedding is stupid, and suggesting her to go with another one is just plain rude. Oh and mind you, he knew what song she chose because he was listening to her phone call, which is also rude.
This is just one of the situations that made me came to conclusion that Will is simply rude.

The writing style was really good, it was the best part of the book.
Nevertheless, not even a good writing style can help the boring story make more interesting.
As I already said, it was pretty boring at times and in my opinion, too long.
I couldn’t connect with characters, especially with Tess. With Kate I couldn’t help but emphatize and feel for her as a woman.

The ending was good and satisfying.

Overall, I think this book just wasn’t my cup of tea, but I’m looking forward to read more books by Claudia Carroll because I really like her writing style.
I already bought Meet Me In Manhattan and I plan to read it soon.