Series Review – Catherine Brodie Chronicles – Grace Harper

26814807Book One:

Summary:

Catherine Brodie has a happy life in Brighton, she has friends, a secret boyfriend and almost at the end of her law degree.

However, everything changes when she reaches her twentieth birthday.

She tells a white lie to get out of a family dinner to celebrate her birthday and sneaks off to a party. The repercussions upend her secure and stable life. Two weeks later, she attends the funeral of her brother and parents. Each birthday following sends Catherine into turmoil with more heartache and misery. There are those that wish her harm.

Alexander Devlin was there the night of her birthday and by coincidence, he crosses paths with her every year. Catherine dismisses the coincidence, but her best friend Tara Adkins is convinced fate is throwing them together.

The first novel of a new quartet that tells the story of Catherine Brodie and her struggle to come to terms with what she did that had far-reaching consequences. It is an epic tale of love, passion, and revenge.

Devastated with her loss, Catherine carves out a new life and starting her own business. The group of friends she picks up along the way helps her hide from those who wish her harm. It doesn’t take long for her harasser to find her and make her life a misery once more.

The question is, will Alexander Devlin be there in time to save her?

Review:

Red Stars 4

The prologue… sucked me right in. I wanted, no needed to know what brought on those feelings.

We’re introduced to Catherine Brodie, a 20 year old girl who, while she loves her parents, is a little smothered by them. She’s not allowed to have a boyfriend or go to parties where there are going to be boys and not adult supervision. It’s these rules that set the tone of the story. If Catherine hadn’t lied to her parents, she wouldn’t have suffered immeasurable grief and completely withdrawn into herself.

Moving across the country and reinventing herself is the only way she is able to move forward with her life and survive – this is her ‘disappearance’ of the title and completely not what I was expecting (in a good way).

I loved the way Harper interweaves not only Catherine’s story told from her point of view, but also the story of Alex (and Seb) who pop up on occasion and we are given the odd chapter from Alex’s point of view, rounding off the connection between him and Catherine.

I read this book in one sitting as it kept me turning the pages because I needed to know what was going to happen next.

Harper has given us a solid story and the group of characters she has created in this world are well rounded and likeable (mostly – I’m looking at you Patrick). Each of the characters has a purpose in Catherine’s life and keep you rooting for her and them.

I will warn people as I know many don’t like them, but this book ends on a cliffhanger. I LOVE a cliffhanger in a series as it leaves me wanting more, more, more.

26814816Book Two:

“…’Do you love me yet?’ Alex said, hoping the answer was yes…”

The Recovery of Catherine Brodie starts four years after Erin’s confrontation in the cellar of Green’s. Alexander Devlin wants his band to perform at Green’s and writes a begging email. Erin relents and says yes, even though it goes against all her rules.

Erin continues to put her past behind her, but like every bad penny, they always turn up.

Erin Brodie has made a success of her music venue and it’s the most sought after place in the country for non-signed artists to perform. Alexander Devlin is the guitarist from the rock band Fragile, they are at the top of their game and are just about to release their final album.

Erin drops her guard and so her courtship with Alex begins, but it comes at a price. Erin has enemies and, this time, they have upped their game. This time, her life is in jeopardy and it takes all of her friends to race to find her.

This time, they might just be too late…

Review:

Silver Stars 4

What I liked about this, the second instalment is that is doesn’t continue on exactly where book one left off. While that works in many series, it wouldn’t have in this one. It would have made this book too much filler. The way Harper has continued this gets us straight to the nitty gritty of the continuing story of Erin and her friends and how they’ve coped with everything that happens.

While book one covers a much larger expanse of time, book two doesn’t, yet it never feels slower in pace. Rather than bombard us with detail and unimportant acts, Recovery takes us on a journey with Erin and her friends as she begins to work with them to deal with the problems life keeps throwing at her rather than insulate herself.

Once again, the characters feel like they could be anyone’s close circle of friends despite the fact that many of them are famous and under the scrutiny of fans and the media. They make mistakes, have flaws, and blunder through life until they’re able to find the place they need to be. Yes, a lot of them are extremely successful in their professional lives, but let’s be real. Their personal lives are a bit of a mess – Harper does quite enjoy torturing her characters.

There’s a lot more romance in this book which  makes the series shift gears slightly, but the suspense doesn’t take a back seat. The two plotlines run alongside one another and mesh really well due to the excellent backstory that Harper has built.

Once again, this book ends on a cliffhanger which made me go straight to Amazon and buy the next one. I just had to know how this series could continue and how Erin was going to deal with everything.

26814820Book Three:

“Ask me the question,” she whispered.

Erin Brodie is in hospital after her ordeal with Stacey Chambers. From the moment Alexander Devlin met Erin he knew she was the woman for him. His love for her that started a decade before is finally reciprocated. He heard Erin’s declaration loud and clear.

All Erin has to do is survive.

Tara, Tom, and Casey are moving on with their lives, leaving Erin behind. Alex and Seb start their record label after their final concert. But, it’s not until Erin feels the sting of betrayal that she decides to live. It means that Erin has to give up the one thing she has loved for a long time. Will she have the courage?

Just when Erin thinks she has a new plan, her past catches up with her. Quinn and Louise return and so does Erin’s birthday.

Will she escape this time around?

Review:

Red Stars 4

Unlike book two, this book picks up almost exactly where the last book left off. Once again, this works very well in keeping the story going.

The romance from book one is much more prevalent in this book, and steers the plot and the characters in new directions that I don’t think they expected because of it. That in itself causes some of the problems in their lives. After all, the course of true love never did run smooth (not sure if I got the wording right there, but I’m not a Romeo and Juliet fan).

A lot of series suffer from the third book being weaker than the rest, but this isn’t the case with Survival. It’s just as strong as the previous two and just as well paced.

Erin’s birthday is fast approaching once more, and people from her past are turning up uninvited causing more and more problems. But she has Alex at her side now and has the support of her friends even more so, yet she still suffers knock backs that make her reassess the life she has. Is it enough or is it finally time to move on?

Yep, another cliffhanger. Harper certainly has these down to a tee!

26814830Book Four:

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today . . .”

Erin Brodie is engaged to record label owner, Alexander Devlin and they are to be married in one week’s time. They have to get through seven days of wedding preparation and then their happily ever after is sealed.

However, Stacey Chambers has been given a day pass for the nuptials. Jude North is contemplating defecting from Red&Black’s to Quinn’s record label. Then there’s Quinn, who manages to smash apart Erin’s legacy in one day.

Everyone returns to gather for the wedding. Tom and Mickey come back to protect the happy couple. Tara, Seb and Louise are determined to get them down the aisle.

It’s time Catherine Brodie became Mrs Devlin, will she make it?

The final book in the Brodie Saga

Review:

Silver Stars 4

Considering the timeline of this book is about a week, it never once feels rushed. The pacing is absolutely perfect and kept me wanting to know how the series ends.

Quinn – I’ll say it now – is an utter bastard and is definitely one of those characters that you love to hate, and his nasty/petty side really comes to the fore in Absolution. He does something that could potentially set Catherine back years in her recovery and doesn’t care about the repercussions. Thankfully, Catherine has her friends and her fiancee around to prevent that happening.

This book is the prefect ending to this series, yet not everything is tied up in neat little bows. The reader is still left with questions which is the most frustrating this, but I also understand why Harper has done it. She leaves us with just enough to satisfy us that Catherine’s story has finished in the best way possible.

I’ll definitely reread this story, I want to see if I pick certain things up that I missed. The hints that are dotted throughout the books and finally revealed in this last book. It’s a great series and I will recommend it to anyone.

Overall:

The main reason I’ve not given these books five star ratings is that there were a few areas where I would have liked more information and detail. Patrick – I would have loved more information about him. His story felt a little… rushed and conveniently tied up towards the end. Considering everything he went through, I would have expected a little more to his plotline.

Jude… I kind of didn’t see the point to her other than to cause grief between Catherine and Quinn. More than once I wanted either Tara or Catherine to slap her.

Casey. By the fourth book, I felt he was a little abandoned (and so did he from the little snippets Grace gave us). I would have loved to see his story explored more – I’m hoping he’s the subject of his own book… Harper already knows I want Seb and Tara’s story, so I’m officially requesting Casey’s book. (Oh, don’t forget Tom too).

If you enjoy romantic suspense, this series is ideal for you.

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Filed under British, contemporary, Favourites, Promo, Review, Rockstar, Romance, Series, Suspense

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