The Last First Time
When Gina Temple decides to go Christmas shopping for her girlfriend, Detective Sergeant Kate Brannon, in the Norfolk town of King’s Lynn, it seems like an easy enough task.If only life were that simple.A split-second event, months in the planning, tips their safe world upside-down.In this twisting lesbian thriller, Kate’s subsequent investigation leads her down the rabbit hole, where innocent people are targets, and has repercussions that will reverberate for a long, long time.Meanwhile, as the two women grow closer, things get even more complicated. Life seems determined to throw obstacles in their path.Will things ever feel normal again?

The Last First Time Details

TitleThe Last First Time
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 4th, 2017
PublisherYlva Publishing
ISBN-139783955339463
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Romance, Glbt, Lesbian, Thriller

Readers also enjoyed


The Last First Time Review

  • Lex Kent
    January 1, 1970
    This is the 3rd book in the Norfolk Coast Investigations series, and it was just as good as the others. After 3 books I have become really attached to Kate and Gina, and I am always excited to see another book come out in this series. If you are new to this series, I highly recommend starting at book 1. There are storylines that continue throughout all the books that you would be missing out on if you didn’t start from the beginning.The blurb does not give away much, so I want to be very careful This is the 3rd book in the Norfolk Coast Investigations series, and it was just as good as the others. After 3 books I have become really attached to Kate and Gina, and I am always excited to see another book come out in this series. If you are new to this series, I highly recommend starting at book 1. There are storylines that continue throughout all the books that you would be missing out on if you didn’t start from the beginning.The blurb does not give away much, so I want to be very careful what I say. The beginning starts off shortly after book 2 ended. The normally close-knit town of King’s Lynn is attacked, and it is up to Kate to figure out how who’s behind it.The beginning of the book starts with a bang that was well written and exciting. Kate really shines as she runs head first into the investigation. Kate has been growing in front of our eyes as a Sergeant, and it was fun watching her at her best. The investigation was exciting, but the ending was bittersweet. One thing about this series is the romance is very slow going. In this book it was nice to see the romance actually take steps forward. It’s still not to the level I wish, but there was definitely more attention to the romance than in previous books.My only real complaint, one of Gina’s new main storylines, wrapped up a bit unrealistic for me. It’s just seemed a little “oh come on now.” The chances of that happening must be as good as winning the lottery. So I honestly was not crazy about it. On the other hand there is one storyline, with Gina, from the last book that is still not resolved. If you read book 2, you will know what I mean. By Bramhall doing this it is clear a book 4 will be coming. I’m happy about that, but I hope this storyline is resolved in the next book. It does not need to be stretched out so long. I already am forgetting things from book to book, an ending to that storyline soon would be welcome.If you are a fan of this series, don’t hesitate to read this, you will enjoy this one. If you are new to the series, start with Collide-O-Scope. I hope we don’t have to wait long for book 4. An ARC was given to me by YLVA, for a honest review.
    more
  • Lexxi Kitty
    January 1, 1970
    Book received from Ylva Publishing for an honest reviewThe Last First Time is the third book in the Norfolk Coast Investigation series.POVBoth Gina and Kate have point of views on this book, and there’s a third point of view in the prologue.CharactersIn a book like this characters both matter more and matter less than in a pure romance. There is a romance-plot-line here, but it’s subservient to the thriller/mystery plot-line. On the Romance side of things, the main characters of importance are G Book received from Ylva Publishing for an honest reviewThe Last First Time is the third book in the Norfolk Coast Investigation series.POVBoth Gina and Kate have point of views on this book, and there’s a third point of view in the prologue.CharactersIn a book like this characters both matter more and matter less than in a pure romance. There is a romance-plot-line here, but it’s subservient to the thriller/mystery plot-line. On the Romance side of things, the main characters of importance are Gina Temple and Kate Brannon.On the Mystery/Thriller side of things, the main characters are Kate Brannon, Stella, Clare, Jimmy, Tom, Timmons, Gareth and the rest of the police force. Plus the victims and near victims, like Gina & Stella, Pat O’Shea, and others, like the baby in the baby carriage, in the first explosion; police and innocent bystanders in the second explosion.On the family side of things we include the growing closer to being a single whole family of Gina, Kate, and Sammy (Gina’s kid); plus Gina’s mum Alison.SettingKing’s Lynn, Norfolk, England. 98 miles north of London, 36 miles north-east of Peterborough, 44 miles north north-east of Cambridge and 44 miles west of Norwich.The story takes place around Christmas time.StoryGina and Stella are in a sex shop buying a present for Kate. Stella’s there to help Gina, though Stella isn’t really sure why. While in that shop, two teenagers wearing explosives explode.The story proceeds from there, following several plot-lines:Plot-line 1: Police investigate terrorists.Plot-line 2: Gina and Kate’s relationship advances.Plot-line 3: Gina meets a woman in that sex shop and makes a specific promise, to track down a lost love of that woman.Plot-line 4: Two police officers from Kate’s past turn up – one an older mentor type, someone Kate thought of in a ‘sister’ type way; other ex-girlfriend of Kate’s. Both betrayed Kate.Plot-Line 5: Someone is stalking Gina – sending her flowers, cards, letters, indicating that Gina is theirs and that Gina just doesn’t see them. ReviewBefore I jump to ‘one specific problem’ (which is what I actually wrote first), I insert this part here: I realized, suddenly, what type of book I got myself into when I started to read from the beginning – the pre-beginning. When the author started to list all the terror attacks that had happened in the UK in the preceding year. Then turned to a prologue that show-cased two women getting ready to explode themselves. This is the third book in the series, I didn’t expect that this was what would pop-up, a terror plot-line. I don’t know what the book’s description says, as I said, this is the third in a series, of course I was going to read this book, no questions asked, no desire to look at the book description in that situation as it might reveal stuff I don’t want to have revealed. It’s like when you are about to watch a show, and three seconds before it starts there’s a preview . . . for that show. Pfft, no want to watch that preview (or read book description)!I’ve one specific problem right at the start of the book, something immediately let me know that this was not going to be a five star book (or, at least, not a 5+ star book). And that’s the way the prologue and opening chapter merged – no no, not the prologue itself. It was neat that the prologue showed two young women outside a particular shop, showed them entering a shop . . . moved to chapter one, with Gina and Stella both noticing the young women right as the two older women enter the shop. That’s neat and thrilling. It’s the part where the reader knows that the two young women are wearing explosives, and that they are seconds away from detonating them. And that two people who have been in the series from the beginning are, seemingly, inches from them. And then . . . . paragraph after paragraph, word after word . . . way too much in between that, forgive me the use of this phrase, that ‘oh my god’ moment and . . . the actual explosion. I, even though I really really didn’t want to do so – found myself starting to skim. I knew an explosion was just about to happen, I couldn’t read all that crap right then and there. I needed to know what happened next! Yes yes, it builds things up to have these two women acting all human like but . . .. That happens more than I’d like in this book – not really padding, the ‘stuff’ had its use, but it wasn’t ‘stuff’ I really wanted to read right then and there. Elongated the book beyond what it could have been. But, bah. Choices and stuff.Beyond that specific ‘problematic’ issue, the book was quite riveting, exciting, interesting to read. All aspects of the story. The horror of terrorism, of being in a blast; the bone-wearying investigations; the constant bumping up against ‘need to know’ issues that hamper investigations; the further joining together of two families; the further lives of three women (Kate, Gina, Sammy). Rating: 4.68December 13 2017
    more
  • Ted
    January 1, 1970
    So book 3 in the Norfolk coast series has a lot of bumps and bruises for Gina and Kate. Their relationship arc is done very well and is understandable in it's progression. The criminal mystery arc is a bit frustrating but is well done.Andrea really hits her stride when there's bullets flying, a bomb about to go off or a dead body that needs investigating. You can just imagine her cricking her neck, putting her hands together and working out the kinks as she looks down and realizes her tea's gone So book 3 in the Norfolk coast series has a lot of bumps and bruises for Gina and Kate. Their relationship arc is done very well and is understandable in it's progression. The criminal mystery arc is a bit frustrating but is well done.Andrea really hits her stride when there's bullets flying, a bomb about to go off or a dead body that needs investigating. You can just imagine her cricking her neck, putting her hands together and working out the kinks as she looks down and realizes her tea's gone cold as she finishes writing a Kate interrogation scene. Then there's several sub arcs, Gina's mom, the mystery woman at the first crime scene, and the origins of the roses given to Gina from book 2. This is an intensely satisfying novel that really has so much going on, in typical Bramhall fashion, that many times you're asking yourself, what about that, or this, aaaargh... lol. But in a good way. Zero question in my mind there *will* be a book 4 :)Loved it to bits.
    more
  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    This is the 3rd book in a series. It can be read as a stand alone, in fact I have not read book one. But in hindsight better read in order as the stories do follow on. I really enjoyed this and book 2. The romance is very slow burn, which I prefer to wham bang scenes of most romances. I really enjoyed the story, even more chilling as in UK (and other countries) the scenes described as becoming a frequent report on the news. The writing is excellent, and for me this author excels in this type of This is the 3rd book in a series. It can be read as a stand alone, in fact I have not read book one. But in hindsight better read in order as the stories do follow on. I really enjoyed this and book 2. The romance is very slow burn, which I prefer to wham bang scenes of most romances. I really enjoyed the story, even more chilling as in UK (and other countries) the scenes described as becoming a frequent report on the news. The writing is excellent, and for me this author excels in this type of genre rather than standard romance books. My only slight gripe is that the side storyline in book 2 was not resolved in book 3, but left a book 4. I hope book 4 is not too far away as I had series that end without resolution. I would prefer a complete story in a book.Would recommend. Certainly lifted me out of lesfic reading slump.Arc supplied by YLVA for honest review.
    more
  • Jane Clements
    January 1, 1970
    This is a great title for a book. The conviction that that you will be with this person for the rest of your life means that this will be the last time you have sex for the first time with someone. Sweet.This is the third instalment of the Inspector Kate Brannon series Norfolk Coast Investigations, following Collide-O-Scope and Under Parr. I was eager to find out (view spoiler)[ who was sending Gina flowers and stalking her. (hide spoiler)] Alas, this book does not solve that mystery so I'll hav This is a great title for a book. The conviction that that you will be with this person for the rest of your life means that this will be the last time you have sex for the first time with someone. Sweet.This is the third instalment of the Inspector Kate Brannon series Norfolk Coast Investigations, following Collide-O-Scope and Under Parr. I was eager to find out (view spoiler)[ who was sending Gina flowers and stalking her. (hide spoiler)] Alas, this book does not solve that mystery so I'll have to wait for a future publication.The story opens with the suicide bombing of King's Lynn's Ann Summers store. It's a risky move to have the villains of the story be Islamic fundamentalists and to presume that you can get inside their heads to understand their motivations. It invites accusations of racism and stereotyping. I'm not sure Bramhall succeeds in overcoming this problem. Bramhall does redeem herself somewhat though, in focusing on the British intelligence response to Islamic terrorism, questioning whether (view spoiler)[ the ends justify their (murderous) means. (hide spoiler)]In addition to the main plot line there is a secondary storyline about one of the bombing victims that also affects Gina, Kate's love interest. (view spoiler)[Frankly, this was a bit too much of a coincidence for me. (hide spoiler)]In spite of a couple of reservations I have about this book, I really enjoyed it and consider it to be a worthy addition to what has become one of my favourite lesbian detective series.Note: I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Jasmine
    January 1, 1970
    There's an attack in King's Lynn, which has Kate and her team working fearlessly to find out who's behind it. Kate is working night and day, but still finds time for special moments with Gina and Sammy.This is book three in the Norfolk Coast Investigation series, while I think you could pick it up in the 3rd book, I highly recommend reading the first two. The romance is slow paced, but happens in real time, only two months has passed from the beginning of the 1st book until the 3rd one. These bo There's an attack in King's Lynn, which has Kate and her team working fearlessly to find out who's behind it. Kate is working night and day, but still finds time for special moments with Gina and Sammy.This is book three in the Norfolk Coast Investigation series, while I think you could pick it up in the 3rd book, I highly recommend reading the first two. The romance is slow paced, but happens in real time, only two months has passed from the beginning of the 1st book until the 3rd one. These books are truly excellent crime novels, well plotted, well paced, giving away just the right amount of details. This series is really solid. I love all the secondary characters too, rough around the edges sometimes, but I've come to care for for them as well throughout the books.Once again, Andrea Bramhall reminds me why she's solidly on my list of favourite authors. This was tough to read because of the subject matter, because it was very realistic. Kudos to the author for excellent writing. There was a side plot from Gina's that was frustrating in that it was really obvious, I spotted it a mile away. I didn't find that it added anything to the story, and more took away from it if anything. I'll be looking forward to book 4!I received an ARC from YLVA in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Aj Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Andrea Bramhall is a writer who frequently frustrates me; this book and the two previous instalments in the Norfolk Coast Investigation series (Collide-O-Scope & Under Parr), are truly excellent novels. All three are tight, well plotted crime novels without being overly technical, are realistic and deal with real life issues (drugs, terror threats) without being overly obvious and have a decent romantic sub-plot. Her other novels, however, well the less said the better. Anyway, back to this Andrea Bramhall is a writer who frequently frustrates me; this book and the two previous instalments in the Norfolk Coast Investigation series (Collide-O-Scope & Under Parr), are truly excellent novels. All three are tight, well plotted crime novels without being overly technical, are realistic and deal with real life issues (drugs, terror threats) without being overly obvious and have a decent romantic sub-plot. Her other novels, however, well the less said the better. Anyway, back to this book! Those of you who were slightly frustrated (just like poor Kate) by how things stalled in Under Parr will glad to hear that the opening scenes here see Gina out shopping for some racy underwear to wear on a big date with her lady love. She selects the ideal wisps of fabric only to have disaster strike before she can splash the cash and get on home to the still wonderfully entertaining Sammy. All of the usual bits are excellent; Kate investigates and through a combination of boring paperwork, heroism/foolishness and just being very clever discovers some useful things. Sammy is cheeky and entertains everyone but also shows some utterly adorable vulnerability and Gina does her best to glue everyone together. All brilliant and other stuff happens that I won't mention but it's really good and you'll love it!Then there's the utterly stupid and unnecessary sub-plot...seriously...wt actual f? I saw it coming a mile off a spent a while thinking "No, it can't be. No, that's far too obvious, that would be silly." It really is that obvious and that's why an otherwise brilliant book that I read in one evening is only getting 4/5 stars.
    more
  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    A great thrift novel in the series about Gina Temple and Kate Brannon. It is a well plotted crime novel with a thight mystery that seems hard to solve at the beginning but everything comes together at the end with a reasonable solution. All of the books in the series deal with real life issues like drugs, terror threats and family issues. I like that the crime plot is the main plot and the romance plot is a sub plot. For anybody who is looking for a romance novel - this is probably not it. If I A great thrift novel in the series about Gina Temple and Kate Brannon. It is a well plotted crime novel with a thight mystery that seems hard to solve at the beginning but everything comes together at the end with a reasonable solution. All of the books in the series deal with real life issues like drugs, terror threats and family issues. I like that the crime plot is the main plot and the romance plot is a sub plot. For anybody who is looking for a romance novel - this is probably not it. If I needed to rate all three books and which one I liked best I would rate them in the order they were published - the first as the least (even though I really liked it and it is great) then the second one and this one as my favorite. The characters got more and more developed with each book and their relationship is what is the common part in the series. - the crime part is separated and each one is solved in the book. This makes it possible to read them out of order in my opinion.
    more
  • Della
    January 1, 1970
    This is the third novel in the Norfolk Coast series and I am so glad it has finally been published. I want to start with the title. Normally I run to the first sentence of a novel and skim right past the title. This title stopped me in my tracks. My imagination was going wild trying to decipher the meaning. I give one star alone to the title.Andrea Bramhall has written another great novel. This one is not for the feint of heart though. The story brings world events into the lives of Gina and Kat This is the third novel in the Norfolk Coast series and I am so glad it has finally been published. I want to start with the title. Normally I run to the first sentence of a novel and skim right past the title. This title stopped me in my tracks. My imagination was going wild trying to decipher the meaning. I give one star alone to the title.Andrea Bramhall has written another great novel. This one is not for the feint of heart though. The story brings world events into the lives of Gina and Kate and the world is not a pretty place at times.Ms Bramhall’s descriptions of life in the Norfolk area sweep you into the story. Her words and phrasing flow easily and keep you turning the pages. The characters have become old friends by this third novel. I await their return.5 stars.
    more
  • susan
    January 1, 1970
    Another great mystery/thrillerI thought I loved the first two books of this series well add this book to the love. I thought the storyline line was well done. And seeing characters from the other books added to the storyline. The ending left a hope for another so please see....I would definitely recommend this book and the series.
    more
  • Tiff
    January 1, 1970
    The third installment of the Norfolk Coast Investigation Story series is gruesome, gory, violent, enchanting and heartfelt. So many feelings all rolled into one magnetic story. Kate and Gina are back and life keeps throwing them into chaos and danger. It also brings them closer than ever before. The book starts with a bang. Literally, unfortunately. Gina and Kate’s co-worker Stella are shopping for Christmas presents at the local mall. While deciding on presents and Stella notices something off The third installment of the Norfolk Coast Investigation Story series is gruesome, gory, violent, enchanting and heartfelt. So many feelings all rolled into one magnetic story. Kate and Gina are back and life keeps throwing them into chaos and danger. It also brings them closer than ever before. The book starts with a bang. Literally, unfortunately. Gina and Kate’s co-worker Stella are shopping for Christmas presents at the local mall. While deciding on presents and Stella notices something off about two of the other shoppers. By the time she relays the message to Gina, the bombers have set off a massive explosion that takes the lives of many. Terrifying, gut-churning fear jumps right off the page and lands in the pit of your stomach. You feel and see the horror of the crime scene. Kate joins the scene quickly, only to find out in the midst of the rubble that Gina and Stella were in the very store where the bomb was detonated. These ladies cannot catch a break! This is where the story begins to weave one of the many subplots into the story. Bramhall brings the past and present to life. History is weaved throughout the story while Kate and Gina conquer the demons of both their past and present. While emotions rocket all over the place there is still time for that beautiful romance between the two leading ladies amidst the craziness and danger. Everything about this book is done very well. Even when it was hard to read, I wanted more. Kate and Gina’s softness was the perfect anecdote to the scary heart-wrenching crime portion of the book. I cannot wait till the next book. 4.25 stars
    more
  • Kitty Kat
    January 1, 1970
    I certainly hope this isn’t the last time we get to read about Gina and Kate. This third instalment is a highly topical story revolving around terrorism in the U.K. and the Norfolk Police force trying to deal with it on their patch. Both women get caught up in different ways and the heightened emotions as a result are raw, real and strengthen their relationship. Andrea Bramhall manages to weave a few different threads through the story. Gina becomes involved in an issue from the past that intrig I certainly hope this isn’t the last time we get to read about Gina and Kate. This third instalment is a highly topical story revolving around terrorism in the U.K. and the Norfolk Police force trying to deal with it on their patch. Both women get caught up in different ways and the heightened emotions as a result are raw, real and strengthen their relationship. Andrea Bramhall manages to weave a few different threads through the story. Gina becomes involved in an issue from the past that intrigued me. We also find out about Kate’s past when her ex comes back on the scene. There were also some surprises that I didn’t see coming. The writing was immersive and perfectly pitched and I just hope there is more to come. The story development was such that I can see the series running and running. An excellent book.I was given this ARC by Ylva in return for an honest review.
    more
  • M the avid reader
    January 1, 1970
    Horrific terrorizing crimesIt’s important to know this book is part of a series and reading it a standalone is not recommended; I highly recommend the entire series be read in order because of the plotlines that carry over between books. The Last First Time has familiar faces returning in the cast and some new ones introduced; the camaraderie between those on the police force is here again with the witty banter and tight knit feel to their bonds. The crimes and descriptions of the crimes scenes/ Horrific terrorizing crimesIt’s important to know this book is part of a series and reading it a standalone is not recommended; I highly recommend the entire series be read in order because of the plotlines that carry over between books. The Last First Time has familiar faces returning in the cast and some new ones introduced; the camaraderie between those on the police force is here again with the witty banter and tight knit feel to their bonds. The crimes and descriptions of the crimes scenes/photos are graphic and explicit so this is not a book to be read while eating. As with the other books in the series, the investigations of the crimes here are tracked along with the aftermath of the characters involved and take place in a fairly short amount of time. Returning characters have these traumas and tragedies to add to the pile of those they’re already dealing with from previous events in the other books.In this book the emphasis was more on the female characters and their relationships: Kate and her police partner Stella, Kate and Gina, Sammy and pretty much everyone who crosses her path. All are a pleasure to read and witness with their friendship, humor and care for each other. The intimacy between Kate and Gina is wonderful, on one level fast moving but on another, a slow burn that is delicious to read and savor. It’s not exclusively female characters in the book but I got the sense that the spotlight fell more often on the ladies than the men they interact with.There is a fair amount of darkness in the book given the horrific nature of the crimes; even the humor the police force uses to diffuse tension during the investigation is dark gallows type humor that an outside would seriously question. It does add a layer of realism to their profession and humanizes them in that the crimes affect them all no matter their level of training or life experience. The politics at play between investigative bodies is infuriating and unnerving, as are the perspectives and justification encountered in the course of the investigation. This is a book that is bound to stir controversy for its content as well as provoking emotional responses and thoughtful reflection on the part of the reader; the story will get under your skin and linger long after you’ve finished reading.The ending is such that a sequel is necessary (hurray for another book in this series!) to wrap up at least one long running mystery that spans this book and part of its predecessor, and to track the characters further in their developing relationships and careers.It’s a superb crime story with romance and intrigue/mystery sprinkled in; its many plot threads running thru and intersecting, their resolution(s) or lack of them surprising or shocking and not at all predictable. If you’re looking for a story to get under your skin and put you on edge I recommend this one highly. It’s part of a series and one that looks to have at least one more book after this, hopefully more because the characters have room to grow and develop further and the groundwork for more stories is there for mining in future books. If you’ve read the other books in the series, know that the crimes in this book are more explicit and gut wrenching than the others (which is saying a lot) while also being all too common around the world in recent history. I received an advance reading copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    I was at a disadvantage reading this book, as I had not read the previous ones in the series. If I had, it is entirely possible that I would have been more invested in the characters and story, and enjoyed it more.Kate, a police detective in a small town in England, is pursuing a relationship with single-mother Gina. Gina is in the midst of recovering from a series of traumatic events, but unfortunately, the violence and mayhem continues.A LOT happens in this book. Terrorism, injuries and violen I was at a disadvantage reading this book, as I had not read the previous ones in the series. If I had, it is entirely possible that I would have been more invested in the characters and story, and enjoyed it more.Kate, a police detective in a small town in England, is pursuing a relationship with single-mother Gina. Gina is in the midst of recovering from a series of traumatic events, but unfortunately, the violence and mayhem continues.A LOT happens in this book. Terrorism, injuries and violent deaths, conspiracies, a creepy stalker, soap-opera style family drama....rather than add excitement, after a while, the endless series of metaphorical and literal explosions began to strain credulity. ALL of these life-shaking events happened to this couple in the span of a few weeks? And this is in addition to the events of the previous books? It made me wonder if the author knows who these characters are when they are not in the midst of a crisis, or if she has confidence that they are be interesting and their story can be compelling absent the heightened emotions produced by a crisis.It was also disappointing that the treatment of Terrorism By Muslims was treated without a lot of sensitivity or nuance. All of the villains in this book are dark-skinned Muslim types, and all of the dark-skinned Muslim types are either villains or (much less frequently) women under the thumbs of the villains. The protagonists are white, and so it seems are most of the heroes. This is not a good look. There was an unpleasant us (white/British people) vs them (Muslims/Arabs/terrorists) feeling to the book. Although the violence of the British state is briefly problematized when it provokes a crisis of conscience for Kate, it is ultimately accepted as necessary and swept up in the valourization of the police force. I wasn't a fan.I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    This is really good. As a standalone this would be good but the series this has been getting better with each instalment. Each crime investigated has become more nuanced as we get to know the King's Lynn detectives, but it's the careful layering of the broader narrative arc that draws you in and adds depth to each individual story. I made the mistake of starting this whilst travelling home for Christmas and found myself totally hooked by a topical story that despite being set in the days leading This is really good. As a standalone this would be good but the series this has been getting better with each instalment. Each crime investigated has become more nuanced as we get to know the King's Lynn detectives, but it's the careful layering of the broader narrative arc that draws you in and adds depth to each individual story. I made the mistake of starting this whilst travelling home for Christmas and found myself totally hooked by a topical story that despite being set in the days leading up to Christmas was about it as unfestive as you can get. It was brutal at times and unflinching in its attempt to peel back the decisions and mindset behind the tragic crimes that have blotted not just this year but too many places for too many years. You wanted to put it down and out of your mind yet at the same time I found myself caught up in the desire of the team to ... know, explain, understand things that prove to be unfathomable.The clever narrative joins up the personal and historical as the Troubles and present day terrorism are linked in a tale weaving its way to the heart of Gina's family. Saying any more would give away too much of a well constructed plot, but if you want to see how Kate and Gina's romance progresses you have to be prepared to traverse some gruesome terrain along the way.Like Cari Hunter's Dark Peak series, the Norfolk Coast Investigations have made a success of combining criminal investigations anchored in some of the most troubling ethical dilemmas of our age, some wonderful characters radiating out from a rock solid and warm hearted central couple and set in some of the more beautiful parts of provincial England that are well worth a visit. I love the settings, I love the stories, and I love the familial love and humour that flows through them. Someone could really do with picking them up for TV.
    more
  • Mazzie
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is book 3 of Norfolk Coast Investigation series, and the best one in my opinion. Andrea Bramhall definitely has grown as a writer through this series. Both of first two novels were great, don't get me wrong, but there were some minor details I felt could've been improved. This one has even less area of improvement necessary. The balance of several plotlines: The bomb investigation, the stalker mystery, and the relationship between Kate and I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is book 3 of Norfolk Coast Investigation series, and the best one in my opinion. Andrea Bramhall definitely has grown as a writer through this series. Both of first two novels were great, don't get me wrong, but there were some minor details I felt could've been improved. This one has even less area of improvement necessary. The balance of several plotlines: The bomb investigation, the stalker mystery, and the relationship between Kate and Gina, among others; was nearly perfect. That was the issue I had with previous novel and I think Bramhall has greatly improved with this novel. There was a lot going on but I didn't feel overwhelmed nor did I feel like some plotlines were lacking. The twists in the novel were very well done! IT's rare nowadays for me to be surprised by plot twists, but Bramhall pulled it off very well in this novel. I won't mention any because I don't want to give away anything. Only negative thing I can think of is that I was hesitant to continue reading when I found out the bomb were done by Muslim characters. There's so much negative representation of Muslim people in media, and I felt like that wasn't necessary to include in the novel. However, I think Bramhall did a good job to write about the reality without being Islamophobic. I still have mixed feelings about this. Overall, a great mystery novel with healthy dose of romance. Highly recommend for anyone who enjoys these type of novels. Just start from the beginning of this series if you haven't!
    more
  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    This installment of the wonderful Norfolk Coast series has many facets to it: violence, Kate and Gina’s relationship, coming to terms with old relationships, family, and Gina’s predicament from the previous book. The novel starts with Gina and Stella looking for a gift when the shop is attacked. They survive but not unscathed. Gina is troubled by the death of one of the victims – which is one of the strands woven together in this story. Family intertwines with this one.Kate is part of the invest This installment of the wonderful Norfolk Coast series has many facets to it: violence, Kate and Gina’s relationship, coming to terms with old relationships, family, and Gina’s predicament from the previous book. The novel starts with Gina and Stella looking for a gift when the shop is attacked. They survive but not unscathed. Gina is troubled by the death of one of the victims – which is one of the strands woven together in this story. Family intertwines with this one.Kate is part of the investigative team. Outsiders are called in to work with them. These include her old mentor and her ex, so there will certainly be some issues, but although significant to Kate’s personal growth, that’s a small part of the plot. Questions are raised about why people do what they do. There are multiple layers to every action, just like in real life.Bramhall draws parallels between current and past incidents. How are they different or are they? She also asks why people do what they do. Kate wrestles with many of these issues throughout the book. While that is going on, Gina deals with her own problems. What should or can she do about her own life?This novel is about consequences but also about acceptance. I will have to read it again to fully comprehend all the strands the author has woven together in this complex novel. This is a must read. I hope Ms. Bramhall is working on the next volume already.I received an ARC for an honest review.
    more
  • Danie
    January 1, 1970
    I was given this ARC by the publisher in exchange for an Honest Review.Crap, that beginning. Kicked me right in the feels. That was... I had to stop reading it because it just hit me as real, and at different times throughout the book I had to do the same, take a break and come back a little later.It's the third book with Kate, Gina, and Sammy in the Norfolk Coast Investigations series. In this one, as I said, it starts with a big event, a bombing in King Lynn in a store where Gina happens to be I was given this ARC by the publisher in exchange for an Honest Review.Crap, that beginning. Kicked me right in the feels. That was... I had to stop reading it because it just hit me as real, and at different times throughout the book I had to do the same, take a break and come back a little later.It's the third book with Kate, Gina, and Sammy in the Norfolk Coast Investigations series. In this one, as I said, it starts with a big event, a bombing in King Lynn in a store where Gina happens to be, and then from there, somehow the novel gets even more intense.Here I'd usually put a little more of the plots and such, there were two other plots, a subplot and a plot that has been running through the series and they were in this, but, I don't want to spoil too much.Most of the plot revolves around how Gina, Kate, Stella, and the rest of the characters deal with the bombing and investigation that comes after it. And, of course, Kate and the police are trying to see if there's more to it as well.As I said, it was intense story-wise, intense character-wise, and very intense emotions wise. The story itself had twists that I didn't see coming as well, and the subplots kept me interested too.It was an amazing book, and I definitely can't wait for the next book in the series. (I hope).
    more
  • R
    January 1, 1970
    The Last First Time is an intriguing novel. It is a fast read because it is so engaging that you don’t want to put the book down until it reached its completion. The main plot deals with a terrorist bombing and the aftermath of such a horrific event: the lives loss and the people affected by it. The characters and dialogue are handled in a realistic manner including emotional angst by the police whose job is to protect the public while facing unknown threats on a daily basis. The emotions of the The Last First Time is an intriguing novel. It is a fast read because it is so engaging that you don’t want to put the book down until it reached its completion. The main plot deals with a terrorist bombing and the aftermath of such a horrific event: the lives loss and the people affected by it. The characters and dialogue are handled in a realistic manner including emotional angst by the police whose job is to protect the public while facing unknown threats on a daily basis. The emotions of the characters seesaw throughout the story in a very realistic fashion. The romance between Kate and Gina continues to blossom amidst the chaos and danger that surrounds their world. With the realization that life is short and to seize every moment, relationships are taken to another level of intimacy. There are also some humorous dialogue, especially when Sammy want to know about her mom’s “sexy-times” with Kate. It’s definitely laugh out loud moments and a good distraction from the serious and tenser moments that occur throughout the story. This is a well written novel and the title couldn’t be anymore on target. I look forward to this author’s next work.
    more
  • Colleen Corgel
    January 1, 1970
    The Last First Time is my favorite Bramhall book and my favorite of the Norfolk Coast Investigation Series. It brings back all of the characters from the previous two books, and closes up more of the minor sub plots in within the overall story.Kate and Gina are back again and having to navigate the complexities of their relationship. They are also right in the middle of a horrific bombing, where Gina is one of the victims. What follows is an emotional journey that blurs the lines between right a The Last First Time is my favorite Bramhall book and my favorite of the Norfolk Coast Investigation Series. It brings back all of the characters from the previous two books, and closes up more of the minor sub plots in within the overall story.Kate and Gina are back again and having to navigate the complexities of their relationship. They are also right in the middle of a horrific bombing, where Gina is one of the victims. What follows is an emotional journey that blurs the lines between right and wrong. Bramhall is fairly good at juggling the multiple plot lines and weaving them through the main arch. Some of the smaller arches were even more compelling than the main find-the-bad guy plot. For instance, Gina's quest to find a victim's long lost lover was endearing, if slightly predictable. I had hoped that a mystery that started in the previous book was going to be resolved, but that seems to be Bramhall's endgame. It certainly has kept me wondering. *I received this ARC from Ylva in exchange for my honest opinion.*
    more
  • B
    January 1, 1970
    *Note: I was provided with a free copy of the book by Ylva Publishing in exchange for a fair reviewOne of the things I love about Bramhall’s Norfolk Coast Investigation series is that she nails the nuance and complexity of criminals. When I read the prologue, I worried for a split second that all that nuance would be thrown out the window. I didn’t need to worry though. Bramhall handled it with characteristic sensitivity. You can tell that she’s done her research. It doesn’t tie up as cleanly as *Note: I was provided with a free copy of the book by Ylva Publishing in exchange for a fair reviewOne of the things I love about Bramhall’s Norfolk Coast Investigation series is that she nails the nuance and complexity of criminals. When I read the prologue, I worried for a split second that all that nuance would be thrown out the window. I didn’t need to worry though. Bramhall handled it with characteristic sensitivity. You can tell that she’s done her research. It doesn’t tie up as cleanly as the first two books, but that just makes it more real to life.Both Kate and Gina grow in this story as well, as individuals and as a couple. There was tension without it being about cheating, which is always appreciated (especially in a wlw book). I won’t say much more because I don’t want to ruin the enjoyment, but it’s a delight! Also Sammy is fantastic.I’d definitely recommend to fans of the series, as well as fans of murder mysteries and healthy wlw relationships (although I’d recommend going back and reading the first two more strongly to the latter group).
    more
  • Rocío
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, I haven't read the previous two books of this series but after reading this one, I already ordered them. Some details are given here that makes you want to read the whole story.Gina Temple decides to go Christmas shopping for her girlfriend when a terrible incident happens. Gina promises a dying old lady to deliver a letter to her long lost love. This incident will bring Gina and Kate closer. Not only fot the incident itself but for the subsequent consecuences. Gina is determined t First of all, I haven't read the previous two books of this series but after reading this one, I already ordered them. Some details are given here that makes you want to read the whole story.Gina Temple decides to go Christmas shopping for her girlfriend when a terrible incident happens. Gina promises a dying old lady to deliver a letter to her long lost love. This incident will bring Gina and Kate closer. Not only fot the incident itself but for the subsequent consecuences. Gina is determined to find this man and fulfill her mission and she gets her girlfriend's help. And while they grow closer, they will be finding new obstacles in their way. This twisting thriller leads to an end that, in some way, leaves with a cliffhanger that we, I guess, will have to wait to see in a new book.It is a hard book to read because it is very close to reality, to the days we are living and suffering every other day and everywhere.I received an ARC from Ylva Publishing, in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Virginia
    January 1, 1970
    Bramhall at her best. This is the third book in the Norfolk Coast Investigation series. You don't necessarily have to read the other two first but if this is your first Bramall read you are going to want to catch up in time for the next installment.From a mystery standpoint the storyline is tight and the action fierce. Life changes in seconds and it is fast and brutal. The police investigation is realistic and believable. Plodding investigative details interspersed with flashes of inspiration. T Bramhall at her best. This is the third book in the Norfolk Coast Investigation series. You don't necessarily have to read the other two first but if this is your first Bramall read you are going to want to catch up in time for the next installment.From a mystery standpoint the storyline is tight and the action fierce. Life changes in seconds and it is fast and brutal. The police investigation is realistic and believable. Plodding investigative details interspersed with flashes of inspiration. Things aren't wrapped up in a nice little bow but it feels gritty and true.Right alongside the mystery story is the continued development of main characters Kate and Gina and their supporting cast. I like these characters and am looking forward to what happens next.Bramhall usually has a lot going on in her stories and this book is no exception. It is a white knuckle read at times so hang on and enjoy.ARC received from Ylva Publishing for an honest review
    more
  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely Loved It!I might recommend not rewatching the first season of Homeland with Claire Danes, at the same time as reading this book. A little too much terrorism going on between the two. But, I was so happy when I saw the third book in the Norfolk Coast Investigation Story came out, I couldn’t put it down as soon as I started reading. I love Bramhall’s books because there is a more complex story around the relationship of the two main characters. The suspense of the environment around the Absolutely Loved It!I might recommend not rewatching the first season of Homeland with Claire Danes, at the same time as reading this book. A little too much terrorism going on between the two. But, I was so happy when I saw the third book in the Norfolk Coast Investigation Story came out, I couldn’t put it down as soon as I started reading. I love Bramhall’s books because there is a more complex story around the relationship of the two main characters. The suspense of the environment around the them makes you want to put the pieces together of the mystery right along with them. Can’t wait for the next in the series, as this too ended in another cliffhanger. (I don’t mind that part though. Keeps the anticipation up!)
    more
  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    This is the 3rd book in the series and we are shown the couple moving further in their relationship but also having to deal with terrorist bombings, honoring a dying womans request-just to name a few. There is always so much going on that I wonder how they can deal with it all. Really good mystery that is exploring what is going on in the world today. It is a roller coaster ride of emotions but it is well worth the read. I would recommend that you read the other books in the series or you will n This is the 3rd book in the series and we are shown the couple moving further in their relationship but also having to deal with terrorist bombings, honoring a dying womans request-just to name a few. There is always so much going on that I wonder how they can deal with it all. Really good mystery that is exploring what is going on in the world today. It is a roller coaster ride of emotions but it is well worth the read. I would recommend that you read the other books in the series or you will not understand what is going on with everyone. It needs the context of the other books. I will continue to enjoy this series and you should as well.I received this free copy for an unbiased review.
    more
  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    This is a complex book that is not an easy read, but it is a must read! You'll be cursing both the terrorists and some of the good guys before the end of the story. I was caught into the web at the beginning of the tale and ensnared right up until the end of the story. This is the third in a series about these characters.You can read this book without reading the first two, but you might want to consider reading the others first.I gave this story four stars because I felt it could have benefited This is a complex book that is not an easy read, but it is a must read! You'll be cursing both the terrorists and some of the good guys before the end of the story. I was caught into the web at the beginning of the tale and ensnared right up until the end of the story. This is the third in a series about these characters.You can read this book without reading the first two, but you might want to consider reading the others first.I gave this story four stars because I felt it could have benefited from another editorial pass, but the story itself is definitely worth five stars.I cannot wait for the sequel!
    more
  • Lisa B
    January 1, 1970
    Third in the great Norfolk Coast Investigation series. It could be possibly be read as a standalone, but there is a story arc running through the series and references to events from previous books. You will also miss the building relationship between Kate and Gina from its infancy up to the present time, so I do recommend that you start with book one. Not a romance novel, so if you’re looking for that look elsewhere, more a light police investigation novel with a bit of romance on the side. A g Third in the great Norfolk Coast Investigation series. It could be possibly be read as a standalone, but there is a story arc running through the series and references to events from previous books. You will also miss the building relationship between Kate and Gina from its infancy up to the present time, so I do recommend that you start with book one. Not a romance novel, so if you’re looking for that look elsewhere, more a light police investigation novel with a bit of romance on the side. A great addition to the series and I can’t wait for the next instalment.I was given an advance review copy by Ylva in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Fran Ringland
    January 1, 1970
    Not sure the balance was totally right on this one. Some paragraphs I had to re-read to get, others I wanted to skip as I felt points were laboured. However the dedication made me believe some real research had been done and this would account for some, I believe, authentic aftermath scenes. The book at the beginning absolutely pulled me in, I just felt some bits were a bit imbalanced. However I enjoyed the romance and felt the red herring from the last book was resolved. Interesting and difficu Not sure the balance was totally right on this one. Some paragraphs I had to re-read to get, others I wanted to skip as I felt points were laboured. However the dedication made me believe some real research had been done and this would account for some, I believe, authentic aftermath scenes. The book at the beginning absolutely pulled me in, I just felt some bits were a bit imbalanced. However I enjoyed the romance and felt the red herring from the last book was resolved. Interesting and difficult ethics questions were raised. So personally a good book as I enjoy my thoughts having to be re-evaluated. An honest review in exchange for an ARC copy.
    more
  • Denise Kyte
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.This is the 3rd book in the series. I've read and enjoyed the first two books.Detective/thriller set in Norfolk England. Secondary romance.Likeable and interesting primary characters with a good ensemble cast. Good character development throughout the series. Mostly told from alternating POV of the two main characters.Tackles issues related to terrorism, stalking and the psycholigical after effects of trauma.Overall an interesting a I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.This is the 3rd book in the series. I've read and enjoyed the first two books.Detective/thriller set in Norfolk England. Secondary romance.Likeable and interesting primary characters with a good ensemble cast. Good character development throughout the series. Mostly told from alternating POV of the two main characters.Tackles issues related to terrorism, stalking and the psycholigical after effects of trauma.Overall an interesting and enjoyable read with a lot of focus on character development.
    more
  • Sandra Golz
    January 1, 1970
    This is the third book in Andrea Bramhall's series about Norfolk Coast Investigations. Along the path of the other books we really became attached to Kate and Gina and this book is as good as the others.I love Bramhall's writing and was soon head over heals drawn into the book. It was great to follow Kate again and it was great to see more of Kate and Gina together, to see how they're going step by step closer to each other. Though the romance is slow paced, the crime plot is well paced and exci This is the third book in Andrea Bramhall's series about Norfolk Coast Investigations. Along the path of the other books we really became attached to Kate and Gina and this book is as good as the others.I love Bramhall's writing and was soon head over heals drawn into the book. It was great to follow Kate again and it was great to see more of Kate and Gina together, to see how they're going step by step closer to each other. Though the romance is slow paced, the crime plot is well paced and exciting.
    more
Write a review