Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

#BookReview Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Series: Circle of Shadows 1

Pages: 400

Publisher: Balzer and Bray

Available: 22 January 2019

Copy from: Fairyloot

Genre: Young Adult / Fiction / Fantasy

Blurb:

A thrilling new fantasy series full of magic and betrayal—from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.

My Thoughts:

Having received a copy from Fairyloot in the January box, with gorgeous sprayed edges I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. This isn’t an author that I had previously heard of, so I was happy to find a potential new favourite to add to my shelf.

The blurb sounded very promising, and the hints from fairyloot had me so excited to get going with this book! I mean really, Ninjas and Fantasy in one book? What’s not to love!

Sora and her Gemina Daemon had great Chemistry and were both intriguing Characters from the very start. I love the friendships and complexities in the relationship that we see throughout the story, both within each of the Taiga pairs and with the Teachers around them.

As Sora aka Spirit says, ‘Work hard, Mischief Harder’. Having a Ninja in training who says that, you just know that they’re going to get into some sort of trouble with the tutors, but the way the story went wasn’t what I expected!

There is plenty of action, mischief and humour galore, with a wonderful forbidden romantic thread throughout. Of course, when you’re the type of person who engages in Mischief regularly, it can be difficult then to convince the people around you that the things you say you have seen and heard, are in fact true.

I think that concept is something regularly seen within YA types of stories, however, there were so many elements of this story that were new and exciting that I not only didn’t mind it, I actually enjoyed the one thread of familiarity. From Gods and magic, Ninjas and Betrayals, friendships, mistakes and heroics… there’s so MUCH going on with this book!

Yet the Chapters are brilliantly handled, relatively short and punchy with each one bringing something new to the plot, this story isn’t a slow build, rather it gets going the second you open the cover to the first page.

The ending wasn’t at all what I was expecting, and I can’t wait to see where this story goes in the next book! the only thing that is a bit of a let down? I know it’s going to be a long wait for book 2 😫😫 but I imagine it will very much be worth the wait, if this book is anything to go by! And I will certainly be looking into the Authors other books ASAP.

About The Author:

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the CIA, she not-so-secretly wishes she was on So You Think You Can Dance, and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Crown’s Game and its sequel, The Crown’s Fate. Evelyn can be found online at http://www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab

#BookReview A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab

My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Series: Shades of Magic 1

Pages: 384

Publisher: Titan Books

Available: February 2015

Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult / Fiction

Blurb:

Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There’s Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London…

My Thoughts:

Having heard so much about this series for so long, a couple of years back I bought the first book. And there it sat, because for whatever reason, I never seemed to get around to it. Then a few friends told me they had read it,, and loved it, so I thought, why not, but bearing in mind their advice I decided to buy the other two books before starting. From other reviews, I was certain that I would want to dive into book two as fast as I could.

So, I finally start reading this, and within the first chapter I was glued. I adore Kell, he’s lovely, and he’s hilarious! So much attitude in one person, I absolutely adore him. I have laughed at various points through this book, either from the situations he ends up in, or his general attitude towards things.

He is far from a simple Character, he has many different elements and aspects, and learning about how he came to be where he is, uncovering bits and pieces about how he thinks of himself and his place in the world, it is clear to see precisely why he had the attitudes he does. At times I felt sorry for him, at others I laughed, and a few times I wanted to give him a kick. He’s loveable, frustrating, funny… in short, he’s a very REAL feeling Character.

Then we enter Lila. Wow. Just wow. Shes funny, sassy, kick-ass. I adore her, and she is the perfect compliment to Kell! What a power duo there, I can see them kicking some serious ass in the next books! She knows what she wants from life, and although she has clearly been through a lot, she is determined to keep going and keep improving her situation. She doesn’t let things pull her down for long, she brushes herself off and deals with the situations as she is given them. That seems like the perfect way to live life to me.

Between the two of them, it’s easy to see why they work. One is too serious in some ways and seems to dwell on things, the other seems more flippant in attitude and doesn’t dwell on anything. They’ve fast become some of my favourite Characters!

Now the storyline. Well! At no point did I know what to expect, and at every situation change I was shocked by outcomes and responses. This has certainly kept me on my toes from cover to cover! I adore the magical element the Author has created; so different to any other that I have come across, and I loved the consideration of the parallel Londons. It was exciting, intriguing and I have loved learning about them!

Take all of that, add a tonne of intrigue, suspense, action and humour, and you’re about there for picturing the scope of this book! The ending was perfectly done, I wanted to dive into book two instantly! I will be reading it as soon as I possibly can between booked reviews, because I NEED to know where this is going next. I was completely surprised by the ending!

If you enjoy Fantasy Fiction with astounding world building, and an astonishing flair for new magical ideas, you NEED to get your hands on a copy of this!

About The Author:

VICTORIA “V.E.” SCHWAB is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including the acclaimed Shades of Magic series, This Savage Song, Our Dark Duet and Vicious. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured in the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post and more, translated into more than a dozen languages, and has been optioned for television and film. When she’s not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she splits her time between Nashville, TN and Edinburgh, Scotland and is usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.

I Give You My Heart by Sarah Jane Ford

#BookReview I Give You My Heart by Sarah Jane Ford

My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Pages: 314

Publisher: Hearts and Mind Publishing Limited

Available: 1 September 2018

Genre: Romance / Drama / Fiction

Blurb:

A terminal diagnosis. A life-saving sacrifice. A love letter written on the walls of her heart. 

Alice Richards looked forward to watching the seeds of love she and her husband planted bloom and grow well into their old age. But her plans for the future shrivel up and die when she learns she has an inoperable brain tumour. 

Determined that she won’t die in vain, she decides to become an organ donor. With a few precious months left, Alice begins documenting her fairytale romance—from their first meeting to the children they dreamed of having. She’ll pass on every detail to her heart’s next owner… along with careful instructions to send her husband reminders of her undying love. Before her time runs out, Alice must find the perfect candidate to guide her husband through unimaginable grief and hold the memory of their love in her heart. 

My Thoughts:

When I first read the Blurb, I was expecting this to be an emotional rollercoaster, perhaps with the Main Character Alice fulfilling a wish list. What I got, was so much more than that.

This story is told from two perspectives, and although they are both from Alice, they are for very different reasons and of very different types.

We have the story that follows Alice from finding out she has terminal Cancer, through her actions and decisions for her remaining time with loved ones. We come to see just how close she is with her family, how much they mean to one another, and we see just how deeply her and her husband truly do love one another. It is wonderfully done, full of emotion, heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure.

The moments are bittersweet to share, because we know from the opening scene where this is going to go… or at least, we know some of it.

The other element to this story is through letters. Letters that Alice wrote to be given to people for specific reasons after she has died. And these are beautiful, and heart-wrenching every bit as much as the scenes following her Diagnosis.

I don’t want to give too much away, but although Alice is dying, and we know this from the start, there is a beautifully done romantic theme throughout. The story is bittersweet, beautiful and devastating by equal turns.

I devoured this story in one day, I couldn’t tear my eyes away no matter how it made my eyes stream with tears. It is beautifully written, thoroughly engaging. Emotions are evident in the story, pulling you in page after page.

If you have enjoyed films/books such as My Sisters Keeper, or PS I Love You, then this is the perfect read for you.

About The Author:

SarahJane is the debut writer of ‘I Give You My Heart’. SarahJane was born in Scotland but grew up in the Cheshire countryside, which is home to her.

After a few years living in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, where she went to secondary school, she has now settled back in Cheshire in a quirky flat surrounded by trees, birds and rolling fields.

A marketing professional since finishing her formal education SarahJane is delighted to be following her writing dream. She still works part-time as a Marketing Manager, whilst furiously penning her next novel. SarahJane loves to read (ideally by the sea!).

Her favourite writers include author Mitch Albom and poet Beau Taplin. Harbouring an adventurous spirit, she loves to travel and be surrounded by the wilderness, or riding Cornish waves, when she’s not cosied up at home spending time with her family, friends and books.

The 13th Witch by Mark Hayden

#BlogTour #BookReview The 13th Witch by Mark Hayden

My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Series: The Kings Watch 1

Pages: 253

Publisher: Paw Press

Available: 25th October 2017

Genre: Fantasy / Fiction

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/13th-Witch-Kings-Watch-Book/dp/1999821211/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1544458871&sr=1-1

 

Thankyou to Anne Cater of #RandomThingsTours and the Author #MarkHayden for my copy of #The13thWitch I really loved it, and this has easily proven to me once again why #FantasyFiction is my all time favourite Genre!

 

BLURB:

Did you know that the gods can use mobile phones?

They can, and Odin has a message for Conrad…Conrad Clarke, former RAF pilot and alleged gangster gets a text – and a visit – from The Allfather. Odin has a challenge for Conrad: sign up to protect England from wild magick and get a commission in the King’s Watch. All he has to do is find a missing witch.

Simple.

Conrad never could resist a challenge. Before you can say “Ragnarok”, he’s plunged into a world of gods, mages, witches, dwarves and one very aggressive giant mole. But the witch doesn’t want to be found, and powerful mages will kill to keep her hidden. Going back isn’t an option. Going forward looks a lot like death. Armed with nothing but a sense of humour and a willingness to cheat, Conrad has to find the Witch and save his life. Treat yourself to a copy now and experience a whole new universe of magick. And moles…

My Thoughts:

If you enjoy Fantasy worlds with lots of intriguing characters and a fun and quick paced plot, you’ll adore this! Harry Potter fans will adore this story, and with a gorgeous cover over it, it’s the perfect addition to any Fantasy and/or YA fans bookshelf!

I loved the variety of characters and personalities that the Author brought into play. Each had their own distinct person, not two were alike in their attitudes and approaches, and each was memorable for a different reason. An impressive feat at the best of times, more especially so with a book that isn’t particularly long.

Conrad is funny, and the premise is just so much different from any other Fantasy that I have come across! If you picture Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings mixing together, with a clever dash of Thriller, you’re about there for what to expect. I enjoyed seeing how he persevered no matter what was thrown at him, and despite the fact that no matter what he did, or what happened, he still tried to laugh about things!

I love the idea of Conrad getting a text from God, that did make me chuckle a bit. Lots of wit, and clever use of modern times mixed in with traditional ideas for stories within the Fantasy Genre, I absolutely adored that mixture.

I loved the way the story progressed, the pace was quick with many exciting and intriguing elements throughout, without feeling rushed or as though things had been missed out. The picture of the world is brilliant painted into the readers mind, so that you can follow the situations without difficulty, although I would recommend checking into the Authors website if you want to learn a bit more about the Characters. I personally did fine with the who was who and didn’t struggle, but I did go and have a nosey for curiosities sake, and I’m glad I did!

The seeming ease with which the Author has brought this place and people to life makes it fun, exciting and yet relaxing to read all at the same time. It’s the perfect sort of story that suits any kind of mood, whether you want a bit of an adventure to take you away from the real world, or you want something to relax and wind down with.

This was actually the third time I had read the book, I enjoyed it so much that after reading it the first time in early December I started it again instantly! And couldn’t resist starting my new year by revisiting again.

The story comes to a wonderful close that left me desperate to get stuck into the next in the series, and will be buying them as soon as I possibly can! I can’t wait to see where this goes, and what situations and decisions our characters are faced with!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Hayden is the pen name of Adrian Attwood. He lives in Westmorland with his wife, Anne.

He has had a varied career: working for a brewery, teaching English and being the Town Clerk in Carnforth. He is now a part-time writer and part-time house-husband.

You can find Mark on Goodreads and on the Paw Press website.

Into The Silent Sea by Claire Stibbe

#BlogTour #BookReview Into the Silent Sea by Claire Stibbe

My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Pages: 348

Publisher: Noble Lizard Publishing

Available: 24th October 2018

Genre: Psychological Thriller / Crime / Mystery / Fiction

ISBN-10: 0998202746

ISBN-13: 978-0998202747

Thankyou to the Author Claire Stibbe for another brilliant Psychological Thriller, I loved every page! With thanks to Anne Cater of #RandomThingsTours for organising the Tour and my spot on it! Keep reading for buy link, blurb, my review and Author info!

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Into-Silent-Sea-Psychological-Thriller/dp/0998202746/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1544459997&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=into+the+silent+see+claire+stibbe

Blurb:

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else. When Clodagh Shepherd’s curiosity gives way to obsession, her thoughts turn to revenge. In the wake of her husband’s affair and subsequent disappearance, Clo makes an impulsive decision to befriend the beautiful stranger who has stolen her life. Answering an ad for a home help, she moves into the home of her husband’s mistress and is immediately drawn into the chilling reality behind the idyllic façade of Hamptons life. Central to her terrifying nightmare is a deadly secret–a secret someone will kill to keep. In this dark and twisting thriller, Clo proves the adage ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ with shocking consequences.

My Thoughts:

Wow!! Another brilliantly written Psychological Thriller from Author Claire Stibbe! I couldn’t put it down, devouring every page of this unique and wholly feasible story. Eerily plausible, this is one that will have you happily reading late into the night, desperate to see just where the Characters will be taken.

The storyline is just that bit different to other Psychological Thrillers that are available, and with a Genre that has rapidly grown and taken over in many ways, that is no small feat! I adore the Genre, and read them so often that sometimes I am struck by huge similarities, and I NEED an epic twist to make one stand out.

With ‘Into The Silent Sea’ it’s as you expect from the genre, twisty in places, surprising in it’s conclusions, but what truly makes this gem of a book shine that bit brighter, is just how possible the storyline is, how real the Characters and situations, and how scarily believable the scenarios are.

The well used phrase “Hell Hath no Fury Like a Woman Scorned’ is the perfect one for this story, a situation that builds from common situations, growing teeth and gripping you with claws as you’re taken for a surprising ride through the Characters lives.

A woman who has found that her husband was having an affair, decides to take a job his Mistresses house to see what’s happening, to see just who this woman is and try and understand why. Then things go further.. and further… mysteries, questions, lies… all mixing together wonderfully to create plot-line that gets more tense with each chapter.

I’m sure that the questions this Character wants answers for are ones many can understand and sympathise, her choices and actions eerily logical. For myself, this story grabs the attention and holds it long after the pages are done, because it’s just so easy to picture this being a reality.

Once again, a brilliantly written and wonderfully surprising story from Claire Stibbe. If you enjoy Crime and Psychological Thrillers, this Author will never disappoint!

About The Author:

Claire Stibbe is the author of the Detective Temeke Crime series – The 9th Hour, Night Eyes, Past Rites, Dead Cold, Easy Prey. Winner of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards for crime mystery, silver medal winner of The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, her books have also been Amazon bestsellers, reaching the #1 spot in the top 100.

She is also a reporter for Stand True 4 Blue, which features a Nationwide Newsletter dedicated to law enforcement, a member and graduate of the Citizen Police & BSCO Sheriff’s Academy. A former journalist and magazine editor, she now lives in Utah with her husband and son.

These books provide donations towards the counseling of single mothers after suffering from domestic violence and post-traumatic stress.

Find out more about Claire at http://www.clairestibbe.com/

 

Twitter @CMTStibbe

Sign up to Claire Stibbe’s New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/bqCQhv

Mask Of The Gods by Karen Furk

#BlogTour #BookReview Mask of the Gods by Karen Furk

My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Series: The Mask Chronicles 1

Pages: 566

Publisher: Storm Rider Publishing

Available: 7 January 2019

Genre: Young Adult / Fiction / Fantasy

Thankyou to Author Karen and Rachel of #RachelsRandomResources for my chance to read #MaskofTheGods I absolutely loved it, and I know that if you enjoy YA Fantasy, you will too!

Blurb:

Soul Demons live off the souls of the living. 

 

When Haydan’s home world is invaded by a soul demon seeking an item shrouded in myth and legend, his father evicts him and sends him to safety. His chosen one and warrior should provide reassurance and sanctuary, but neither appears to be working very well. Just when he thinks matters cannot get any worse his scheming grandmother arrives. She has her own plans that appear to involve him, none of which bodes well.

 

Diego feels confident he has the soul demon under control. Overlooking his devious mother’s involvement, he fails to appreciate that he is not only storm rider elder, but also an elven prince and certain debts are about to become due.

 

Lavinia worries about her grandson, but also who she left behind in the elven realm a long time ago. Tallin thinks she abandoned him and he is livid. She has everything under control, including Tallin…at least that is what she thinks.

 

They all need to learn afresh who to trust. With a soul demon on the rampage, an unleashed, angry and betrayed elven king and a long-forgotten mask surfacing, what could possibly go wrong? 

 

The past is about to catch up with all of them. Nothing is going to go as planned because the mask and the gods have other ideas. 

 

Purchase Link

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M6L45Y8

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07M6L45Y8

My Thoughts:

If you enjoy Young Adult Fantasy with some epic world building then you really need to give this a go, you won’t be disappointed!

That being said, make sure to give it a few chapters, there is so much to learn about this world, and the Author begins by introducing us to the various elements of the world she has created. I loved this, as It gave me the chance to really set the scene in my mind, and come to grips with the unique place and customs she has crafted.

The Characters were fun to read about, and I loved the different cultural elements that had been woven into the story. This isn’t just a different geographical place, this is an entire world. The places are different yes, but no less amazing is the creation of the people, their beliefs and customs, and how these are so well put together to make you feel a part of the society.

I loved seeing the relationships in the story building, and I can’t wait to see where they go next! There is a lot that happens in this first book, and I have to say here that I adore Hayden. I love that our main Characters both have very different personalities, but compliment one another.

I have seen some comment upon the nature of the coming ceremony that is explained within the story, and I would urge anyone to go to the Authors website where she explains this perfectly. Personally, I saw nothing sexual in the explanations, I assumed a type of hand fasting Ceremony.

This is not an Author that I hd previously heard about. But I’m so glad that I have now! I love Young Adult Fantasy, and this has been the perfect addition to my growing collection, and I will certainly be jumping at a chance to read the next instalment! I need to know where this story goes next 😍

About The Author:

Karen Furk loves fantasy stories. She has done ever since she was a small, lonely child with an over active imagination. She’s particularly fond of stories that are crammed full of magic, mayhem and magical creatures. Karen’s background in marketing laid the foundations for her writing career which began after a serious bout of depression. No longer able to contain her over active imagination, the stories finally flowed onto a page. She aims to surprise and delight with the characters and worlds she creates. She lives in the North West of the UK with her husband, two boys and a hamster called Rufus (Yes, a girl hamster with a boy’s name. Don’t ask, she just embraces the crazy!). Visit her at karenfurk.co.uk or find her on social media and say hello – she’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest under the user name karenfurkauthor.

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/KarenFurkAuthor/

https://twitter.com/karenfurkauthor/

https://www.instagram.com/karenfurkauthor/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/karenfurkauthor/

Severed by Peter Laws

#BlogTour #BookReview Severed by Peter Laws

My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Series: Matt Hunter #3

Pages: 380

Publisher: Allison and Busby

Available: 24 January 2019

Genre: Mystery / Horror / Crime / Fiction

A huge thankyou to Anne of #RandomThingsTours and the Author Peter for my copy of this book! Although outside of my usual Genre preferences, I am so glad I read this when the opportunity arose! I adored it, Nd will be reading the prior books very soon, as well as having a look at reading more Horror.

Blurb:

During a communion service at a village church, the teenage son of a vicar brutally attacks his father with an axe. The horrified congregation watch the son escape and during a frantic police search rumours arise that the boy was involved in devil worship. Professor Matt Hunter, an atheist ex-minister and expert on religion, is brought in to advise, yet he quickly suspects the church attack may have a far more complex cause.

Meanwhile, a ten-year-old boy called Ever grows up in a small Christian cult. The group believe they are the only true humans left and that the world is filled with demons called Hollows, but they’re working on a bizarre ritual that will bring peace and paradise to the world. Soon, the worlds of Matt and Ever will collide in one awful, terrifying night where Matt is thrown into the frightening and murderous world of religious mania.

My Thoughts:

Wow!! This was not what I was expecting at all! Having read up on the Author, I am sorry to say that I was expecting this to be less than it was, and it is a very rare thing for me to form such a thought prior to reading.

Why? My brain just seemed to automatically assume that being a Reverend would result in a particular type of story, and I am sure everyone has some of these thoughts at various points in their life, but for myself I try very hard not to let such preconceptions effect me, and the Blurb is certainly intriguing!

So I dived in. And WOW! Following the diving metaphor, I couldn’t believe how Deep and clear the water!! Imagine dropping into a pool that goes for miles, but you can see everything with perfect clarity, and that is what this book feels like.

The details are rich and well done, creepy and very very eerie at times, and yet you need to keep reading because you need to see how deep the pool gets, or in the Story’s case, where this tale will take you.

The situations are plausible, and thoroughly entertaining, thought perhaps don’t make the mistake I did of starting this late in the evening!! I struggled to make myself put this down, then struggled even harder to sleep.

The tale woven creates a cult, the details rich and wonderfully descriptive, showing the shocking clarity just how easy it can be to fall into such a thing, and how all encompassing they can be.

This is the Third in the series, but I will certainly be going and grabbing the first two as soon as I can! I can’t wait to see what else this Author has done, and will be eagerly awaiting the next instalment. This was easily readable as a standalone, though I am sure that, as with any series, there will be benefits within Character relatability and hidden nuances should you read from book 1, although starting here didn’t in anyway prevent my enjoyment.

Although this was my first endeavour into this Authors work, it absolutely will not be my last! I am well and truly in awe at that talent of this Author, both for the cleverly crafted plot line, and the variety of believable situations within it.

If you enjoy something that will make you twitch at sounds, whilst unable to stop turning the pages, then you need to read this!

About The Author:

Peter Laws is an ordained Baptist minister with a taste for the macabre. He regularly speaks and preaches at churches and events. He lives with his family in Bedfordshire.

peterlaws.co.uk @revpeterlaws