#BookReview Belle Greene by Alexandra Lapierre (translated by Tina Kover) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #BelleGreene #AlexandraLapierre #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions

#BookReview Belle Greene by Alexandra Lapierre (translated by Tina Kover) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #BelleGreene #AlexandraLapierre #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions Title: Belle Greene

Author: Alexandra Lapierre

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 23, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Based on the true story of Belle da Costa Greene, a woman who defied all odds to carve out a destiny of her own choosing, this is a richly imagined novel bursting with atmosphere, lush period detail, and many unforgettable characters.

New York in the 1900s. A young girl fascinated by rare books defies all odds and becomes the director of one of the country’s most prestigious private libraries. It belongs to the magnate J.P. Morgan, darling of the international aristocracy and one of the city’s richest men.

Flamboyant, brilliant, beautiful, Belle is among New York society’s most sought after intellectuals. She also hides a secret. Although she looks white, she is African American, the daughter of a famous black activist who sees her desire to hide her origins as the consummate betrayal. Torn between history’s ineluctable imperatives and the freedom to belong to the society of her choosing, Belle’s drama, which plays out in a violently racist America, is one that resonates forcefully, and illuminatingly even today.

The fruit of years of research and interviews, Alexandra Lapierre’s magnificent novel recounts the struggles, victories, and heartbreaks of a woman who is free, astonishingly determined, daring, and fully, exuberantly alive.


Review:

Rich, captivating, and immersive!

Belle Greene is a beautifully written, fascinating interpretation that sweeps you away to New York between 1898 and the mid-1900s and into the life of Belle Greene from the abandonment of the family by her father, the first African American to graduate from Harvard, the decision of the family due to their light skin tone to identify as white, befriending Junius Spencer Morgan while working at the Princeton library, to her illustrious career curating J. P. Morgan’s personal library.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are hardworking, independent, and determined. And the plot is an absorbing tale of life, loss, love, friendship, familial drama, support, passion, courage, racism, affluence, and the ins and outs of obtaining and cataloguing book collections in the early 1900s. 

Overall, Belle Greene is a well-written, compelling, exceptionally researched story by Lapierre that incorporates an engaging mix of real-life historical figures, insightful information, and plausible fiction into a comprehensive tale about the life and brilliant accomplishments of Belle de Costa Greene, one of the most famous librarians of all time.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Alexandra Lapierre

Alexandra Lapierre is a bestselling French novelist, short story writer and biographer. She graduated from Sorbonne University and the University of Southern California. Among her works that bring back to life great women and characters neglected by history, is the international bestseller Artemisia (Vintage, 2012). Her books have been published in more than twenty countries.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The London Girls by Soraya M. Lane @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #TheLondonGirls #SorayaMLane #LakeUnion

#BookReview The London Girls by Soraya M. Lane @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #TheLondonGirls #SorayaMLane #LakeUnion Title: The London Girls

Author: Soraya M. Lane

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Nov. 8, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 334

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 9/10

From the bestselling author of The Last Correspondent comes a remarkable story of three young women who defy the bombs to do their bit for Britain. Will they survive the dark streets of London to see the Allies win the war?

London, 1941. The Blitz. When a Royal Navy memo arrives at head office, requesting female recruits to sign up as motorcycle dispatch riders, delivering highly classified orders across the country, three women jump at the chance to sign up for the most dangerous jobs in London.

Olivia grew up riding motorcycles with her brothers, and with them fighting abroad she feels it is her duty to join up. The thrill of adventure draws Ava, but with more enthusiasm than skill, will she learn to navigate the treacherous London streets safely? Having lost her family during one of the first air attacks, Florence knows how important it is to have help arrive on the scene—fast—and so she steps up, out-manoeuvring the men behind the wheel of an ambulance. When Olivia, Ava and Florence meet for the first time they know they have found something all of them need—family.

As bombs fall, decimating the city they love, these three brave women build a sisterhood amid the rumble, facing down anyone—even their own families—who objects to their service. And while romances bloom and fade, their connection grows ever stronger. But none of them dare consider the terrifying reality that one night Florence’s ambulance may be rescuing someone she loves…


Review:

Hopeful, heart-wrenching, and memorable!

The London Girls is an immersive, poignant tale set in London during WWII that takes you into the lives of three main characters. Ava Williamson, a daring, somewhat reckless young woman driven by overconfidence and a desire for a little more time and freedom to spend with her married lover; Olivia Blakely, an independent gal determined to use the motorcycle skills she was taught by her older brother to support the war effort however she can while she patiently awaits the return of her dearly beloved fiancé; and Florence Hughes a scarred ambulance driver who after losing her family when a bomb exploded on their home spends as many nights as possible trying to save those she can.

The prose is expressive and rich. The characters are independent, supportive, and courageous. And the plot is an intriguing, tender tale of life, loss, love, family, despair, sacrifices, tragedy, bravery, new beginnings, and the importance of female friendships.

Overall, The London Girls is an absorbing, moving, rollercoaster ride of emotion by Lane that does a wonderful job of showcasing the hard work, bravery, and danger involved in being one of the chosen female dispatch riders involved in transporting top-secret invaluable military information around the UK during WWII, and even though it’s surprisingly the first novel I’ve read by Lane, I can guarantee it won’t be my last.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Soraya M. Lane

Soraya M. Lane graduated with a law degree before realizing that law wasn't the career for her and that her future was in writing. She is the author of historical and contemporary women's fiction, and her novel Wives of War was an Amazon Charts bestseller.

Soraya lives on a small farm in her native New Zealand with her husband, their two young sons and a collection of four legged friends. When she's not writing, she loves to be outside playing make-believe with her children or snuggled up inside reading.

Photo courtesy of Author's Amazon Page.

#BookReview A Delicate Game by Hana Walker-Brown @HWalker_Brown @Mobius_Books #ADelicateGame #HanaWalkerBrown #MobiusBooksUS

#BookReview A Delicate Game by Hana Walker-Brown @HWalker_Brown @Mobius_Books #ADelicateGame #HanaWalkerBrown #MobiusBooksUS Title: A Delicate Game

Author: Hana Walker-Brown

Published by: Hodder And Stoughton Ltd. on Jul. 5, 2022

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 9/10

A footballer dies of dementia, younger than he should
A 14-year old-rugby player is told to play on through multiple blows. He never wakes up from the last one
A scientist reveals endemic brain disease in NFL players and is discredited
A survivor of domestic abuse can’t remember details when standing up in court

This is the story of the degenerative brain disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). This is a story of power, of science and sport, and of the bodies that society deems worth sacrificing.


Review:

Comprehensive, eye-opening, and impactful!

A Delicate Game is the insightful, informative, candid examination into the preventable disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, that has tragically caused the premature deaths of both famous, beloved athletes and up-and-coming stars.

The writing is frank and descriptive. And the novel is an extremely well-researched tale of the apprehension and irresponsible resistance of professional sports to acknowledge the real and growing evidence that head trauma, whether one big catastrophic hit or multiple smaller hits over time, suffered by players during games or practices throughout their careers can lead to severe neurodegenerative disorders or CTE.

Overall, A Delicate Game is, ultimately, a clear, concise, exhaustive analysis and investigation into the dangerous, long-lasting, often fatal consequences of those gruesomely entertaining, enthralling hits, tackles, and headers we’ve come to know and expect in contact sports to the most important, fragile organ we often take for granted, the human brain.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Mobius Books US for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Hana Walker-Brown

Hana Walker-Brown is a multi-award-winning audio documentary maker, writer and the Creative Director for Broccoli Productions, a London based podcast production company founded in direct response to the lack of opportunities for minority talent both in front of and behind the mic. In 2019, Hana Walker-Brown created the Audible original, The Beautiful Brain, a multi-award-winning podcast docuseries about West Bromwich Albion hero Jeff Astle and CTE. Hana is a fearless and passionate advocate of multi-media storytelling and has covered an exceptional range of stories, taking the big world stuff and making it human. She is a guest lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London and has given talks and masterclasses around the world about her work and creative processes. Hana has created work for Audible, the BBC, the Guardian, National Geographic, Spotify and Warner Brothers among many others.

Photo courtesy of Hachette UK Website.

#BookReview The Tuscan Secret by Angela Petch @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #AngelaPetch #TheTuscanSecret

#BookReview The Tuscan Secret by Angela Petch @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #AngelaPetch #TheTuscanSecret Title: The Tuscan Secret

Author: Angela Petch

Published by: Forever on Apr. 5, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 9/10

This sweeping historical novel from a bestselling author follows the lives of two generations of women, the secrets they keep, their sacrifices for love, and the heartbreaking betrayals they encounter—perfect for fans of Kelly Rimmer and Natasha Lester.​

Il Mulino. An old crumbling mill, by a winding river, nestled in the Tuscan mountains. An empty home that holds memories of homemade pasta and Nonna’s stories by the fire, and later: the Nazi invasion, and a family torn apart by a heartbreaking betrayal.

Anna is distraught when her beloved mother, Ines, passes away. She inherits a box of papers, handwritten in Italian and yellowed with age, and a tantalizing promise that the truth about what happened during the war lies within. The diaries lead Anna to the small village of Rofelle, where she slowly starts to heal as she explores sun-kissed olive groves, and pieces together her mother’s past: memories of homemade pasta, Nonna’s stories by the fire, and happy days spent herding sheep across Tuscan meadows cruelly interrupted when World War II erupted and the Nazis arrived. Her mother fleeing her home to join the Resistenza and risking everything to protect an injured British soldier who captured her heart. But Anna is no closer to learning the truth . . . What sent Ines running from her adored homeland?

When she meets an elderly Italian gentleman living in a deserted hamlet, who flinches at her mother’s name and refuses to speak English, Anna is sure he knows more about the devastating secret that tore apart her mother’s family. But in this small Tuscan community, some wartime secrets were never meant to be uncovered . . .


Review:

Immersive, emotional, and vivid!

The Tuscan Secret is an absorbing, dual-timeline tale predominantly set in Tuscany during WWII, as well as the late 1990s that takes you into the life of Anna, a young woman who, after her own life seems to be in tatters, journeys to Italy after her mother’s death to unravel her family’s history and discovery the secrets of her mother’s past.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are feisty, brave, and determined. And the plot is an immersive, compelling tale about life, loss, family, secrets, desperation, tragedy, friendship, resistance, survival, first love, and the atrocities of war.

Overall, The Tuscan Secret is a moving, evocative, beautifully written tale by Petch inspired by real-familial events that I devoured from start to finish and is the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a well-researched WWII time-slip story with a fresh perspective and a dab of romance.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Forever and Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Angela Petch

Angela Petch is a USA Today bestselling author and an award-winning writer of fiction–and the occasional poem. Every summer she leaves her home in West Sussex, England to reside in the Tuscan Apennines for six months where she and her husband own a renovated watermill which they let out.

Photo Credit: Mairi Thomas

#BookReview Desperation in Death by J. D.Robb @StMartinsPress #ForgotteninDeath #JDRobb #InDeathSeries #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Desperation in Death by J. D.Robb @StMartinsPress #ForgotteninDeath #JDRobb #InDeathSeries #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Desperation in Death

Author: J. D. Robb

Series: In Death #55

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Sep. 6, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

The #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a gripping new thriller that pits homicide detective Eve Dallas against a conspiracy of exploitation and evil…

New York, 2061: The place called the Pleasure Academy is a living nightmare where abducted girls are trapped, trained for a life of abject service while their souls are slowly but surely destroyed. Dorian, a thirteen-year-old runaway who’d been imprisoned there, might never have made it out if not for her fellow inmate Mina, who’d hatched the escape plan. Mina was the more daring of the two—but they’d been equally desperate.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get away fast enough. Now Dorian is injured, terrified, and wandering the streets of New York, and Mina lies dead near the waterfront while Lt. Eve Dallas looks over the scene.

Mina’s expensive, elegant clothes and beauty products convince Dallas that she was being groomed, literally and figuratively, for sex trafficking—and that whoever is investing in this high-overhead operation expects windfall profits. Her billionaire husband, Roarke, may be able to help, considering his ties to the city’s ultra-rich. But Roarke is also worried about the effect this case is having on Dallas, as it brings a rage to the surface she can barely control. No matter what, she must keep her head clear–because above all, she is desperate for justice and to take down those who prey on and torment the innocent.


Review:

Deviant, gripping, and sophisticated!

In this latest novel by Robb, Desperation in Death, we head back to New York during 2061, where NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her partner Detective Peabody now find themselves on a gruesome case involving a dead teen elegantly groomed and a missing girl who knows more about what the well-funded “Academy” is really a school for.

The writing is absorbing and meticulous. The characters are multilayered, persistent, and intuitive. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine methodically into a sinister tale full of deception, deprivation, manipulation, abuse, corruption, mayhem, violence, murder, and the disturbing, depraved world of sex trafficking.

It’s hard to believe that this novel, Desperation in Death, is the fifty-fifth book in the In Death  series, and even though I have not read close to even half of the books in this obviously well-loved, remarkable series, I have to say I think this is the best one I’ve ever read and my new all-time favourite in the series.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About J. D. Robb

J.D. Robb is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling In Death series and the pseudonym for #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts. The futuristic suspense series stars Eve Dallas, a New York City police lieutenant with a dark past. Initially conceived as a trilogy, readers clamored for more of Eve and the mysterious Roarke. Forgotten in Death (St. Martin's Press, September 2021) is the 53rd entry in the series.

#BookReview Summer on Blackberry Beach by Belle Calhoune @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #BelleCalhoune #SummeronBlackberryBeach

#BookReview Summer on Blackberry Beach by Belle Calhoune @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #BelleCalhoune #SummeronBlackberryBeach Title: Summer on Blackberry Beach

Author: Belle Calhoune

Series: Mistletoe Maine #2

Published by: Forever on Jun. 28, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8/10

A faux summer fling seemed like the perfect solution . . .  until they start falling in love for real.
 
Teacher Stella Marshall’s summer break has just began, but the gossip is already sizzling: Luke Keegan’s back in town! Stella’s high school crush is all grown up and smolderingly sexy. She might even consider a fling with the former Navy SEAL, if she hadn’t already sworn off all romantic entanglements. But there isn’t a single thing she can do to stop the rumor mill whispering about her and Luke being together—unless . . .

A showmance! Luke never thought he’d propose a fake relationship, but it’s the only way to stop the runaway speculation about their love lives. Pretending to date a woman as stunning as Stella is easy. Not actually falling for her is the hard part. Luke isn’t sure he deserves a hometown happy ending, when members of his SEAL team never made it back at all. But there’s real attraction buzzing between him and Stella . . . and he knows she feels it too. Could their faux summer romance lead to true love?


Review:

Lighthearted, cosy, and cute!

Summer on Blackberry Beach is a tender, feel-good tale that mixes the kind, caring, second-grade teacher Stella, who’s determined to do whatever it takes, even if it means fake dating her high school crush, to prove to the town she’s finally moving on from being jilted by her fiancé, and the sexy, wounded, former Navy Seal Luke who may, at last, have found that special someone that can help him heal from his guilt, grief, and injuries and discover there’s a lot more life still to be had.

The prose is smooth and easy. The characters are friendly, lovable, and sweet. And the plot is an engaging, push-pull tale of family, friendship, tricky situations, playful banter, heartfelt moments, humorous hijinks, self-discovery, happiness, romance, and love.

Overall, Summer on Blackberry Beach is another charming, touching, delightful tale by Calhoune that I thoroughly enjoyed and which, in my opinion, is the perfect choice for anyone who loves a good romcom that has a whole lot of hope, heart, and humour.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to Forever & Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Belle Calhoune

Belle Calhoune grew up in a small town in Massachusetts as one of five children. Although both her parents worked in the medical field, Belle never considered science as the pathway to her future. Growing up across the street from a public library was a huge influence on her life. Married to her college sweetheart, she is raising two lovely daughters in Connecticut. A dog lover, she has one mini poodle named Copper and a black lab, Beau. She is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author as well as a member of RWA’s Honor Roll. In 2019 her book “An Alaskan Christmas” was made into a movie (Love, Alaska) by Brain Power Studios and aired on UPTV. She is the author of more than 40 novels and published by Harlequin Love Inspired and Grand Central Forever Publishing.

#BookReview The Betrayed by Reine Arcache Melvin @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #TheBetrayed #ReineArcacheMelvin #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions

#BookReview The Betrayed by Reine Arcache Melvin @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #TheBetrayed #ReineArcacheMelvin #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions Title: The Betrayed

Author: Reine Arcache Melvin

Published by: Europa Editions on Sep. 15, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Set during a time of political upheaval and civil unrest, The Betrayed tells a sensual and sprawling story about two sisters who love the same man. Passionately told, and portraying a Philippines rarely seen in fiction, Reine Archache Melvin’s American debut is a gripping, sensual story that readers will not soon forget.

Shy, idealistic Pilar is resolved to carry on her dead father’s fight against the dictatorial regime in control of their homeland, while her flamboyant older sister Lali reacts to their father’s death by marrying the enemy—Arturo, the dictator’s godson. Each sister is prey to her desires and ambitions as she tries to find her place in a rapidly changing world.

Taking in the Philippines’ troubled history from the Marcos dictatorship to the establishment of the current autocratic regime, and expertly layering into this timely story many aspects of the human condition, The Betrayed is a complex and luminous novel.


Review:

Intense, vivid, and timely!

The Betrayed is a riveting tale that sweeps you away to the Philippines. A country ravished and oppressed by war, rebellion, oppression, economic instability, social injustice, political upheaval, and a populace that is confused, disappointed, angry and struggling with self-identity, patriotism, and a lack of rights and freedoms.

The prose is gritty and raw. The characters are multi-layered, self-indulgent, and vulnerable. And the plot is a sophisticated tale about familial relationships, moral dilemmas, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, infidelity, manipulation, exploitation, violence, deception, and jealousy.

Overall, The Betrayed is an astute, tragic, propulsive tale that does a wonderful job of delving into all the messy emotional and psychological entanglements that exist between family members, friends, our histories and the places we call home and reminds us that the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Reine Arcache Melvin

Reine Arcache Melvin is a Filipino-American author whose works focus on the Philippines and the lives of Filipinos both at home and abroad. Arcache Melvin’s short-story collection A Normal Life and Other Stories won the Philippine National Book Award for Fiction in 1999. The Betrayed is her first novel.

#BookReview The Duke in Question by Amalie Howard @AmalieHoward @SourcebooksCasa #AmalieHoward #TheDukeinQuestion #DaringDukes #SourcebooksCasa #Sourcebooksfiction

#BookReview The Duke in Question by Amalie Howard @AmalieHoward @SourcebooksCasa #AmalieHoward #TheDukeinQuestion #DaringDukes #SourcebooksCasa #Sourcebooksfiction Title: The Duke in Question

Author: Amalie Howard

Series: Daring Dukes #3

Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca on Nov. 8, 2022

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Rating: 8/10

James Bond meets Bridgerton in this steamy enemies-to-lovers historical romance from USA Today bestselling author Amalie Howard:

  • This lady won’t let a savvy duke sway her from her mission.
  • The Duke of Thornbury, retired agent of the Crown, has never lost a target.
  • In a flirty game of cat and mouse, a spy must keep his enemy close to unravel the secrets that threaten to tear them apart.

Lady Bronwyn Chase is far from the paragon of society that her mother expects her to be. Which is why she’s on her brother’s passenger liner bound for America with a secret packet of letters that could get her into trouble. Serious trouble—the kind that a duke’s sister shouldn’t be in; the kind that puts spymaster Valentine Medford, the Duke of Thornbury, on her trail. But as the duke gets closer to Bronwyn and the secrets she’s keeping, he’ll have to decide between the mysterious woman who calls to him, or his allegiance to the Crown.


Review:

Mysterious, passionate, and entertaining!

The Duke in Question is an edgy, playful tale that sweeps you away to London, Philadelphia and Paris and into the life of Lady Bronwyn Chase, a clever undercover operative determined to do whatever it takes to deliver some sensitive documents to aid the Union’s cause in the American Civil War, even if it means dodging the handsome, former British Intelligence Officer, Lord Valentine Medford, the Duke of Thornbury, who is on a mission of his own to discover and identify the rogue operative known as “The Kestrel.”

The prose is witty and light. The characters are secretive, fearless, and resourceful. And the plot is an alluring, action-packed mix of family, friendship, societal expectations, scheming behaviour, tricky situations, danger, desire, and steamy romance.

Overall, The Duke in Question is an adventurous, compelling, highly amusing tale by Howard that’s a delightful indulgence and, in my opinion, a wonderful addition to the Daring Dukes series.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

           

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amalie Howard

AMALIE HOWARD is a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling novelist of “smart, sexy, deliciously feminist romance.” The Beast of Beswick was one of Oprah Daily’s Top 24 Best Historicals to Read. She is also the author of several critically acclaimed, award-winning young adult novels. An AAPI/Caribbean-born writer, her books, interviews, and articles have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, Oprah Daily, Seventeen, and Ravishly Magazine. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found reading, being the president of her one-woman Harley Davidson motorcycle club #WriteOrDie, or power-napping. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.

Photo by Kristoff Lutchman.

#BookReview The Deception by Kim Taylor Blakemore @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #TheDeception #KimTaylorBlakemore

#BookReview The Deception by Kim Taylor Blakemore @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #TheDeception #KimTaylorBlakemore Title: The Deception

Author: Kim Taylor Blakemore

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Sep. 27, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

A sleight of hand. A trick up the sleeve. A call for the dead. It’s all part of the game in this twisty tale by the bestselling author of After Alice Fell.

New Hampshire, 1877. Maud Price was once a celebrated child medium, a true believer in lifting the veil between the living and the dead. Now penniless, her guiding spirits gone, the so-called “Maid of Light” is desperate to regain her reputation—but doing so means putting her faith in deceiving others.

Clementine Watkins, known in spiritualist circles for her bag of tricks and utmost discretion, creates the sort of theatrics that can fill Maud’s parlor again, and with each misdirection, Maud’s fame is restored. But her guilt is a heavy burden. And the ruse has become a risk. Others are plotting to expose the fraud, and Clem can’t allow anyone—even Maud—to jeopardize the fortune the hoax has made her.

When the deception hints at a possible murder, Maud realizes how dangerous a game she’s playing. But to return to the light from which she’s strayed, she must first survive the darkness created by Clem’s smoke and mirrors.


Review:

Vivid, cunning, and mysterious!

The Deception is an eerie, sinister tale that transports you to New Hampshire during 1877 and into the lives of two main characters. Maud Price, a young woman who, after being a successful child medium, is struggling to make ends meet now that her connection to the afterlife has dwindled and her clientele are moving on, and Clementine Watkins, a selfish unscrupulous inventor driven by purely altruistic motives who finds the perfect partner to use, manipulate, and showcase her exceptional ability at creating illusions, theatrics, and misdirection.

The prose is tight and gritty. The characters are vulnerable, troubled, and resourceful. And the plot is a menacing tale about life, loss, tragedy, desperation, lies, manipulation, ruthless ambition, familial drama, secrets, and supernatural phenomena.

Overall, The Deception is a dark, gothic, intense novel by Blakemore that does a wonderful job of interweaving historical movements and compelling fiction into a suspenseful mystery that is deliciously atmospheric and highly entertaining.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Kim Taylor Blakemore for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kim Taylor Blakemore

Kim Taylor Blakemore is the author of the historical mysteries THE COMPANION and AFTER ALICE FELL (March 2021). Publishers Weekly calls The Companion a "captivating tale of psychological suspense."

Other novels include BOWERY GIRL a NYPL Best Reads for Teens; and CISSY FUNK, a Willa Literary Award winner for Best YA Novel.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and Historical Novel Society. She and her family reside in the Pacific Northwest, and she loves the rain. Truly.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

  

#BookReview The Christmas Postcards by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheChristmasPostcards #KarenSwan #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Christmas Postcards by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheChristmasPostcards #KarenSwan #PGCBooks Title: The Christmas Postcards

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Oct. 4, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Set in a chocolate-box village, a woman makes a surprising connection with a pen-pal that will change her life – and warm your heart – in the new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Swan.

It had been a make-or-break holiday for their marriage, but Natasha and Rob’s rekindled romance is short-lived when their daughter’s beloved soft toy disappears on the journey home.

As Natasha comforts the distraught child, she turns to social media for help. Miraculously, the toy is found, but it has become the lucky mascot of a man named Duffy, who is thousands of miles away.

When Duffy promises to keep Natasha updated with pictures, the pair begin a correspondence that soon becomes more meaningful to both of them. Sometimes, Natasha feels this stranger understands her more than the man lying next to her.

But as the weeks pass and Duffy heads deeper into the mountains, Natasha begins to notice a change in him. Then one day, the messages stop. Too late, Natasha wonders why he had ever needed a lucky mascot at all.

From the picture-perfect Cotswolds to the majesty of the Himalayan foothills, The Christmas Postcards is a novel about how the closest connections can be the furthest apart.


Review:

Atmospheric, heartfelt, and enchanting!

The Christmas Postcards is an alluring, compelling tale that sweeps you away into the life of Natasha, a young mother who, after her daughter loses her toy elephant she can’t possibly live without, begins a correspondence with the man who found it, Duffy, who seems to be on a soul-searching mission of his own and who may have actually spent a moment of time with Natasha once years before.

The prose is effortless and immersive. The characters are multilayered, troubled, and genuine. And the plot is a heartwarming tale about life, loss, love, friendship, relationship dynamics, hope, happiness, tragedy, fate, self-discovery, and romance.

I’m not sure if it’s ever truly winter unless I have a Karen Swan book to cosy up with in front of the fire, and this twenty-fourth outing is everything I could have wanted and more. The Christmas Postcards is a charming, emotional, irresistible tale by Swan that’s the perfect escapist read with its layered characters, idyllic settings, and beautifully entertaining storyline.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James

%d bloggers like this: