Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Blog Tour || Entrapped by Claire Ayers - Book Review.

Today I'm reviewing Entrapped by Claire Ayers - the first in her Musicians Hope series. There's also an international giveaway to win a signed copy of the book and a copy of 7th Symphony by Apocalypta - what are you waiting for?!


Cellist, Luka, has moved to Bristol to start a new job and recover from the betrayal of finding his best friend and his girlfriend in bed together. He doesn't plan on the emotional thunderstorm that meeting his next-door neighbour Jess causes.

Jess had everything, a man she loved, friends she adored and then the world crashed around her. Depression came from nowhere and slowly started ripping her life away. Now she lives a lonely, sad life but the music which she keeps hearing next door is waking her up and she doesn't know why.

Join Luka and Jess as they discover life after heartache, how to forgive and how to live and love again.

*Entrapped is an 18+ Contemporary Romance with several graphic sex scenes*

About The Author

Claire lives in Bristol, UK and has taken her inspiration from the people and the places she has seen over the years. She always has a book close at hand and devours Fantasy and Romance like some devour chocolate! Claire loves a happily ever after followed by lots of bloody sword-fighting and dangerous dragons! But when writing her debut novel Entrapped drew on her childhood ambition to be a musician and one of the instruments she played and still loves as a centre-point. 

Claire is also a passionate mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder and has done regular radio interviews and even some TV. She is also a huge heavy metal fan and can regularly be found banging her head at a concert or festival.

My Review

Jess is recovering from a brutal break up with her ex and is dealing with her diagnosis of depression when she meets her new neighbour, the handsome and mysterious Luka. A professional cellist, she is almost magnetically drawn to him - and to the sound of him practising his instrument. But Luka has a complicated past too, one that is stopping him from getting close to Jess - despite his growing attraction to her. Will the two learn to leave their past behind them and be able to find solace in each other?

This novel felt bursting with hope, which I really loved. There is a real sense that things can get better, which particularly applied to Jess and her struggle with mental illness. I am always wary about the portrayal of mental illness as a plot device, but I think Ayers absolutely nailed this. Jess' struggle is written very well, giving an eye-opening insight into how the illness can isolate you, and to the negative reactions that are unfortunately still prevalent. It gave the whole book a bit more intensity.

That's not to say that this is a heavy, hard slog of a book - far from it. This deals with some complex issues but still manages to maintain a light-heart, and is what I'd class as an easy read. It's fun and will keep you entertained. It's also pretty easy to relate to the characters - I'm sure we have all felt the same feelings of vulnerability and pain, alongside the excitement and nerves of a new relationship.

This gets pretty steamy in parts but there is nothing gratuitous or over the top. I'll be honest and tell you that romance novels are not usually my thing, so I was probably more interested in the backstories - but if you love love, this will be right up your alley. For me, the second half of the novel was most interesting. Seeing Jess confront her past and her conflicted emotions was very intriguing. There was an added element of danger and I really enjoyed her scenes within the workplace.

There were also some pretty interesting secondary characters, including Jess' friends Katie and Jay. Can I please get some friends like that?! They are funny, supportive and very protective of Jess, and I really loved reading about them. I'm also intrigued by Luka's old friend Mark, and hope that these three will make further appearances in the series.

Having visited Bristol for the first time this year, I really loved this being set there! The descriptions of the city were lovely, and I feel like it is the perfect place for a romance based around a classical musician - another interesting and unusual choice that I loved!

There were a couple of areas I wasn't super keen on if I'm being picky. Firstly, it really felt like the first 'appearance' of the cello was building up to something almost supernatural, but there wasn't really any explanation for Jess' reaction to it. Perhaps I'm totally jumping the gun and this will be explained later in the series, but it just felt slightly out of place when considered in the whole novel.

Secondly, and I feel really awful saying this, but this book could really do with a bit more editing. I noticed quite a few grammar and spelling mistakes, which I'm not usually one to complain about because, hello, who am I to talk?! But it just felt like perhaps it could do with a final overall polish too - there were areas where it became slightly repetitive and a tiny bit like going in circles. I think with a little bit of refinement this could be a great book, but considering it was a little sparse on the 'action' as opposed to the dialogue, there are only so many times you can read the same conversations. I would have preferred the resolution to Luka's backstory to have been spun out a little longer and not quite so abrupt, instead of Jess' becoming slightly samey.

Overall though, I enjoyed this book. The topic of mental health is never an easy one to approach, so I really appreciated it being included. The sex scenes are fun without being over the top, and the character arcs are satisfying and redemptive. I'm sure there are only more good things to come from this series and I can't wait to see what happens to Jess and Luka next!

Enter the giveaway below to win a signed copy of Entrapped and a copy of 7th Symphony by Apocalypta!

Be sure to check out the other blogs hosting Entrapped on this Blog Tour!

Huge thanks to Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours for providing me with this copy.

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