I have to admit I have been somewhat spoilt in the world of books. Since I was a child my sister, Sarah, assessed my tastes and preferences for storytelling. Unlike most people I never had to sift through piles of books, studying blurbs and flicking through the pages, reading numerous duds on the hunt for my next favourite novel. I was pretty lucky, she read the duds for me and every book she handed to me was perfectly matched to my needs. My own personal book shopper. I have to take a moment to say a giant THANK YOU to her, her influence in those early days has played a huge part in the life I now live.
Now I’m all grown up, I’m out there on my own—just like everyone else—scanning the libraries, looking for the next story to keep me reading past midnight. Goodreads has been a great tool, if you love books I would strongly encourage you to join. It is basically an online book club but you can choose how much you want to participate. If you want a more personal experience you can add friends and join reading groups, if that doesn’t take your fancy you can just use it to check out ratings and read reviews. Goodreads has directed me to a lot of great books and when my personal book shopper made a recommendation that also rated highly on Goodreads I thought I couldn’t go too far wrong.
The Restorer by Amanda Stevens has been on my reading pile for a long time. I finally downloaded it on my Kindle and to my horror it said, ‘Thank you for purchasing Mills and Boon.’ I had never read a Mills and Boon book before and I didn’t plan to start now. In protest I downloaded another book and proceeded to tell everyone how I was tricked into buying Mills and Boon. Then someone said to me, ‘You know what, you’re being a book snob. What if it’s really good?’
So I’m 80% through The Restorer and I have to say it’s the best book I’ve read in a long time! Before you laugh at me you must know, there hasn’t been any romance thus far. Mills and Boon you shock me! I did a bit of research trying to figure out exactly how this book came to be published by M & B but so far I haven’t found any answers. Maybe they’ve decided to branch out and publish in different genres or perhaps they’ve realised a lot of people want more than a cheesy romance, they want a compelling plot.
If you don’t like ghost stories The Restorer probably isn’t for you. It’s about a graveyard restorer who can see ghosts and I have to say it’s pretty creepy. For me that’s perfect, I enjoy getting scared in books and the vividly described hauntings in this story are absolutely spine tingling. I found myself tucked under the blanket with the light left on all night. To me that’s a good sign, the author reached me, she freaked me out—her writing skills and intriguing plot far exceeded my expectations of a M & B novel.
It turns out I was a book snob—so you should never judge a book by its publisher.