Review: In Bloom by C. J. Skuse @CJSkuse @HQStories


The below review has spoilers for Sweetpea!

Even the In Bloom synopsis spoils Sweetpea, so continue with care!

In Bloom Paperback  by



Rhiannon Lewis has successfully fooled the world and framed her cheating fiancé Craig for the depraved and bloody killing spree she committed. She should be ecstatic that she’s free.

Except for one small problem. She’s pregnant with her ex-lover’s child. The ex-lover she only recently chopped up and buried in her in-laws’ garden. And as much as Rhiannon wants to continue making her way through her kill lists, a small voice inside is trying to make her stop.

But can a killer’s urges ever really be curbed?


I’m so happy to be bringing you a review for the second book in the Sweetpea series, In Bloom! As many as you saw, a couple of weeks ago I posted my big fat 5-star review for Sweetpea and was so excited to dig in to In Bloom… and I wasn’t disappointed!

Rhiannon is the best character I’ve met in a long, long time and she was just as funny, rude and psycho in this novel as she was the first. I’m so glad. She is also pregnant! She even takes a bit of an emotional turn in this book, recognising her role as a mother and the effects it will have on her child, and making her best efforts to help a friend out of trouble.

With the story in this book, it didn’t excite me as much as the first book did, but I think that’s only down to the fact this is the second book in such a unique series. Sweetpea stood out from the crowd in the book world for being so funny, offensive, and dark. And while In Bloom is very much the same, it’s suddenly less unique because of the first book. That’s not to say this doesn’t have a good storyline. We’re following the life of deranged Rhiannon… I mean of course the storyline is good! But, it wasn’t as fast paced and intense as the first novel. There is of course the violence and darkness that appears in Sweetpea but not nearly as much.

However, the ending of this one I found far more satisfying and sinister than the last book. I’m hoping, with all my fingers and toes crossed, that the ending has left an opening for book #3.

One thing I did love about this story was the links it pulled in from Sweetpea. You definitely couldn’t go into In Bloom without having read book #1. Firstly, there are spoilers for the entire first book, and secondly, there are loads of little inside jokes and mentions that would go straight over your head. So, if you want to read this, you need to read Sweetpea first – it’s not a standalone!

I felt like Skuse focused far more on developing the characters in this book and we got to see a little more into Rhiannon’s mind and mental state. We also got to know some secondary characters really well too, I’m worried we won’t get to see them again (if there is a book #3)… and just when I got a bit attached to them!

Overall, I loved this book! It’s a 5 star review still, but I probably preferred Sweetpea that little bit more. However, I keep finding my mind coming back to the end of this book – if we don’t get a book #3 I’ll be thinking about where Rhiannon’s story is going forever!

Thank you SO much to HQ for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!

*Buy it here: Amazon UK | Book Depository | Wordery (cheapest here!)

*affiliate links

13 Replies to “Review: In Bloom by C. J. Skuse @CJSkuse @HQStories”

  1. Squeee!!! I can’t wait to read this!
    Loved Sweetpea and i agree: she’s an awesome character. Wouldn’t want to cross her or anything, but still… very cool.
    Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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