Mini reviews: A mixed bag of 3* and 5*. This is going to hurt – Adam Kay 3*. Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance – MC Beaton 3*. SEAL Camp – Suzanne Brockmann 5*.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

Goodreads synopsis

Adam Kay was a junior doctor from 2004 until 2010, before a devastating experience on a ward caused him to reconsider his future. He kept a diary throughout his training, and This Is Going to Hurt intersperses tales from the front line of the NHS with reflections on the current crisis. The result is a first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacrifice and maddening bureaucracy, and a love letter to those who might at any moment be holding our lives in their hands.

Our review

I read this over a couple of days when I was home sick in bed. I flew through it, I think it is much shorter than you realise because it is written in diary entries rather than continuous prose.

It was an enjoyable read, it kept me entertained and had some funny bits in it. However, by about half way through I was finding that I was having to push myself to read further. It was getting a bit samey. Although the stories in each diary entry were different, they were becoming a bit repetitive – if that makes sense. 

It became a little bit boring, and I felt that the sarcastic tone Adam Kay was using was making me enjoy it less. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of sarcasm, love a bit of humour to get through the quite serious theme of this book. However, it got a bit much for me, and the inevitable eye roll started very soon into the second half of this book. 

There was a lot of gross out bits, which in the afterword Kay has mentioned are a slimmed down amount. He had to snip bits out because they were too gross! 

Overall, I wouldn’t read this again, but it was a good way to pass the time and had a serious message attached to it – summarised at the end, in an open letter to the health secretary about NHS funding and pay. I would recommend this to other readers, but go in knowing what you are going to get if possible! 🙂

Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance by MC Beaton

Goodreads Synopsis

After solving murders in her Cotswold village, pushy retired PR agent Agatha Raisin opens her own agency, but jealous secretary Emma 67 has romantic fantasies that rival her employer’s. Posh Catherine Laggat-Brown hires Agatha after death threats against announcing her daughter’s engagement at a dance. Only Agatha sees the glint of a gun in an upstairs window – and pulls the three targets into the swimming pool with herself.

Our review

Kate and I listened to the bulk of this audio book on a 5 hour drive back from Manchester. I’ve just finished the rest of it, and I’m quite glad it’s over actually!

Don’t get me wrong I love Agatha, but this book had so many characters to get your head around, and it felt like there were two completely separate stories going on, until the end.

Agatha has started her own private investigation firm and after getting the usual missing dogs, unfaithful husbands and cats up trees, she lands a threatened murder case!

As usual the police eventually warn her off helping and she gets herself into all kinds of mischief. Attempts are made on her life. People die. But in the end all is well in her sleepy little village again.

A sweet little story to listen to on a couple of drives, but I won’t be reading it again 🙂

Seal Camp by Suzanne Brockmann

Goodreads Synopsis

Navy SEAL Lieutenant Jim “Spaceman” Slade’s got a problem. A SEAL Team is only as fast as its slowest member—and right now, thanks to his battered knees—that’s Jim. He reluctantly takes medical leave, but he’s a SEAL, so he spends his “vacation” as an instructor, helping out a former Senior Chief who runs a camp for SEAL wannabes. But to Jim’s shock, he finds himself falling for the one woman attending the camp session—an obviously brilliant but seemingly timid lawyer who is determined to do everything her way, no matter how wrong. 

Ashley DeWitt’s got a problem, too. She’s a kickass lawyer, but when it comes to her personal life, she’s a total pushover. When she finds herself hiding behind her condo Dumpster to avoid a confrontation with an ex, she decides enough is enough and signs up for a session at a camp called SEAL World, in hopes she’ll discover how to be more assertive outside of the courtroom. And then she’s assigned to Jim’s team…

When an alpha male—smart, funny, strong, but terrified of a future trapped behind a desk—collides with a smart, funny, and quietly strong woman with a troubled past, sparks fly hot and fast. 

The tall, dark, and dangerous Navy SEALs of Team Ten are back, with reader favorites like Lucky, Joe Cat, Bobby Taylor and his wife Colleen, Thomas King, Rio Rosetti—and with Suzanne Brockmann’s signature blend of love, laughter, and a hint of danger in SEAL Camp.

Our review

The magic is still here!

It’s been 15 years since the last book in the Tall Dark and Dangerous series (Nightwatch) was released, and truth be told I had given up hope on ever reading a new instalment. However, I came across this on Amazon the other night and literally squealed with excitement.

Seal Camp focusses on Ashley DeWitt and Spaceman (Jim) who we have met before in book 10, Taylor’s Temptation, and it was great to be back with everyone, even Clark and Kenneth are back! 

Truthfully, I wasn’t that into Ashley and Spaceman as a couple, Spaceman is going through major life changes so probably not in the best head space and I couldn’t work out if I thought Ashley was wise for keeping quiet or a bit too passive for my own liking. 

However, what I was really interested in is the development of the other characters and I really really really want the next book to be Thomas King and Tasha, as come on – that started in book three!!!

The time jump is funny as instead of moving on with a whole new bunch of characters (which wouldn’t have worked) Brockmann has written the book as though it is in the present with iPads and the such but the story is set just over a year after the last one which did have me chuckling to start with. It’s like they have all been frozen in time for 15 years.

All in all, this won’t be my new favourite TDD book- Get Lucky or Prince Joe for sure- but it’s a very welcome addition to the family and I can’t wait for the next one. And I defy anyone not to laugh at it being called ‘Seal Camp’, I kept imagining they were at sea world! 🙂 


Happy reading!

Becca and Kate x

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