Month: May 2021

#BookReview An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch @CharlesFinch @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AnExtravagantDeath #CharlesFinch

#BookReview An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch @CharlesFinch @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AnExtravagantDeath #CharlesFinch Title: An Extravagant Death

Author: Charles Finch

Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries #11

Published by: Minotaur Books on Feb. 16, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In what promises to be a breakout in Charles Finch’s bestselling series, An Extravagant Death finds Sir Charles Lenox traveling to Gilded Age Newport and New York to investigate the death of a beautiful socialite.

London, 1878. With faith in Scotland Yard shattered after a damning corruption investigation, Charles Lenox’s detective agency is rapidly expanding. The gentleman sleuth has all the work he can handle, two children, and an intriguing new murder case.

But when a letter arrives with an unexpected invitation, he’s unable to resist the call of an old, unfulfilled yearning: to travel to America. Arriving in New York, he begins to receive introductions into both its old Knickerbocker society and its new robber baron splendor. Then, a shock: the suicide of the season’s most beautiful debutante, who has thrown herself from a cliff. Or was it a suicide? Her closest friend doesn’t think so, and Lenox, sacrificing his plans, travels to the family’s magnificent Newport mansion in the guise of an idle English gentleman. What ensues is a fiendsh game of cat and mouse.

Witty, complex, and tender, An Extravagant Death is Charles Finch’s triumphant return to the main storyline of his beloved Charles Lenox series–a devilish mystery, a social drama, and an unforgettable first trip for an Englishman coming to America.


Review:

Dramatic, devious, and engaging!

In this latest novel by Finch, An Extravagant Death, we head back to 1878 and into the life of detective Charles Lenox as he reluctantly heads to America and finds himself acquiring an unforeseen sidekick, Theodore Blaine, and helping in the investigation of a murdered woman found on the beaches of Newport that has a list of suspects that reads like the who’s who of Manhattan royalty.

The prose is intricate and tight. The characters are intelligent, resourceful, and witty. And the plot is a methodical, compelling whodunit full of red herrings, suspects, deduction, deception, corruption, power, secrets, violence, and murder.

An Extravagant Death is the eleventh book in the Charles Lenox Mysteries, and if you enjoy historical mysteries, this novel won’t disappoint. It’s a compelling, intriguing, delightfully entertaining tale by Finch that’s another fantastic addition to this USA Today bestselling series and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

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 – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Charles Finch

Charles Finch is the USA Today bestselling author of the Charles Lenox mysteries, including The Vanishing Man. His first contemporary novel, The Last Enchantments, is also available from St. Martin's Press. Finch received the 2017 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. His essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Washington Post, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles.

Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

#BookReview Dream Spinner (Dream Team #3) by Kristen Ashley @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub @HachetteAudio #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2021 #DreamSpinner #KristenAshley #DreamTeamSeries

#BookReview Dream Spinner (Dream Team #3) by Kristen Ashley @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub @HachetteAudio #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2021 #DreamSpinner #KristenAshley #DreamTeamSeries Title: Dream Spinner

Author: Kristen Ashley

Narrator: Susannah Jones

Series: Dream Team #3

Published by: Forever, Hachette Audio on May 25, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 480

Length: 12 hrs 45 mins

Format: Audiobook, Paperback

Source: Forever, Hachette Audio

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In this steamy and emotional contemporary romance from a New York Times best-selling author, two damaged souls must overcome the pain of their pasts to have the love they’ve always dreamed of.

Hattie Yates has finally met the man of her dreams. Yet years of abuse from her demanding father have left her petrified of disappointment. She’s already failed to reach her goal of becoming a professional ballerina – she can’t handle the terrible consequences of another dream becoming a nightmare. But when a stalker sets their sights on Hattie, there’s only one man she dares to hope can help….

Axl Pantera knows Hattie is the only woman for him. Yet despite the attraction burning between them, Hattie refuses to let him in. The former soldier is determined to woo her into letting down her walls. And when danger comes calling, he’s up against more than her wary and bruised heart. Axl will do anything to prove to Hattie that they’re meant to be, but first, he’ll need to keep her safe.


Review:

Colourful, spicy, and alluring!

Dream Spinner is a seductive, angsty tale that features the timid Hattie Yates who, with a past laced with disappointments and verbal abuse, is more than hesitant to fall for the sexy, alpha Axl Pantera who she is sure will not only protect her life but also severely break her heart.

The writing is steamy and intense. The characters are scarred, reliable, and kind. And the plot is a sultry push-pull tale of life, love, emotion, undeniable attraction, sizzling chemistry, familial responsibilities, tender moments, dirty talk, and a dab of mystery.

There’s something about Kristen Ashley’s novels that draw you in from the very first page and sweep you away into a rompingly good time, and Dream Spinner is no exception. It’s charged, passionate, and delightfully dangerous, and after listening to Susannah Jones do a wonderful job of bringing this gritty, tantalizing tale to life, I am confident that KA fans and romantic suspense fans everywhere will be satisfied with this outing regardless of how they choose to enjoy it.

 

This novel 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, and Hachette Audio for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

#BookReview The Mysteries by Marisa Silver @RaincoastBooks @BloomsburyPub #TheMysteries #MarisaSilver

#BookReview The Mysteries by Marisa Silver @RaincoastBooks @BloomsburyPub #TheMysteries #MarisaSilver Title: The Mysteries

Author: Marisa Silver

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing on May 4, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 256

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mary Coin, a masterful, intimate story of two young girls, joined in an unlikely friendship, whose lives are shattered in a single, unthinkable moment.

Miggy Brenneman is a wild and reckless seven-year-old with a fierce imagination, hellbent on pushing against the limits of childhood. Ellen is polite, cautious, and drawn to her friend’s bright flame. While the adults around them adjust to unstable times and fractured relationships, the girls respond with increasingly dangerous play. When tragedy strikes, all the novel’s characters grapple with questions of fate and individual responsibility, none more so than Miggy, who must make sense of a swiftly disappearing past and a radically transformed future.

Written with searing clarity and surpassing tenderness, The Mysteries limns the painful ambiguities of adulthood and the intense perceptions of an indelibly drawn child to offer a profound exploration of how all of us, at every stage, must reckon with life’s abundant and unsolvable mysteries.


Review:

Emotive, sobering, and nostalgic!

The Mysteries is a pensive, tragic novel that takes you back to 1973 and into the lives of two families, specifically two seven-year-old friends, Miggy and Ellen, whose worlds will be irrevocably changed and shattered one summer day when a fatal accident leaves one family devastated by loss and the other overwhelmingly consumed with guilt.

The prose is clear and precise. The characters are genuine, lonely, and flawed. And the plot is a simmering, emotional tale of life, loss, heartache, depression, grief, guilt, friendship, family, acceptance, introspection, and forgiveness.

Overall, The Mysteries is an intense, touching, compelling tale by Silver that does a lovely job of reminding us to savour every moment because life can often change in a heartbeat.

 

This book is available now.

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

             

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Marisa Silver

Marisa Silver is the author of The Mysteries (2021), Little Nothing (2016), a New York Times Editor's Choice, and winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Fiction, Mary Coin (2013), a New York Times Bestseller and winner of the Southern California Independent Bookseller's Award, and an NPR and BBC Best Book of the Year, Alone With You (2010), The God of War (2008), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction, No Direction Home (2005), and Babe in Paradise (2001), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Her short fiction has won the O. Henry Prize and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic.com and many other publications, and has been included in The Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize Stories, as well as other anthologies.

In 2018, Silver was awarded the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library. In 2017, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for the Creative Arts. She teaches at The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Silenced Women by Frederick Weisel @PPPress #TheSilencedWomen #ViolentCrimeInvestigationsTeamSeries #FrederickWeisel #inkedinpoison

#BookReview The Silenced Women by Frederick Weisel @PPPress #TheSilencedWomen #ViolentCrimeInvestigationsTeamSeries #FrederickWeisel #inkedinpoison Title: The Silenced Women

Author: Frederick Weisel

Series: Violent Crime Investigations Team #1

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Feb. 2, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Who will speak for those who no longer can?

When a young woman is found strangled to death and left on a park bench in Santa Rosa, California, Detective Eddie Mahler and his Violent Crime Investigations (VCI) Team are called to the scene. The crime immediately thrusts Mahler back to two unsolved homicides–young women who were also strangled–at this same location a couple of years earlier. His inability to find evidence against the man he knows was responsible for their deaths has haunted him since.

Now suffering from chronic migraines that affect his vision, Mahler has secretly lost faith in the investigation process, and must rely more than ever on his team. Its newest member, Eden Somers, is a former FBI analyst whose ability to completely immerse herself in the evidence of a case proves both a gift and a curse. While Eden dives deep into the cold case evidence, the rest of the team chase leads to identify the latest victim, and discover that her death might be the work of a different killer altogether. Now Mahler and his team are fighting on two fronts to discover who stole the very breath from these women, and to stop the killer before he silences another victim.


Review:

Gritty, sinister, and meticulous!

The Silenced Women is a complex, ominous police procedural that takes us to Santa Rosa, California, where Detective Eddie Mahler and the VCI team find themselves immersed in the investigation of a potential serial killer when a new case involving a murdered young woman left dumped in a park holds an eerie similarity to two unsolved cold cases.

The writing is sharp and intense. The characters are ruthless, flawed, and troubled. And the plot unfolds and unravels quickly into a suspenseful tale full of twists, turns, manipulation, deception, desperation, police politics, arrogance, violence, murder, and a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, The Silenced Women is a complex, tense, solid first novel in this VCI Team series by Weisel with its intriguing characters, nice sense of urgency, and satisfying conclusion.

 

This book is available now.

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

          

 

 

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Frederick Weisel

Frederick Weisel has been a writer and editor for more than 30 years. He graduated from Antioch College and has an MA in Victorian Literature and History from the University of Leicester in England. His short stories were awarded an Artists Fellowship from the Massachusetts Arts and Humanities Foundation, and his articles have appeared in the Boston Globe, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor.

The Silenced Women is his debut novel. He is currently at work on the third novel in the VCI series. He lives with his wife in Santa Rosa, California, and shares a birthday with his favorite author, Raymond Chandler.

Photo by Rob Martel.

#BookReview A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #APeculiarCombination #AshleyWeaver #ElectraMcDonnellSeries

#BookReview A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #APeculiarCombination #AshleyWeaver #ElectraMcDonnellSeries Title: A Peculiar Combination

Author: Ashley Weaver

Series: Electra McDonnell #1

Published by: Minotaur Books, Montlake Romance on May 25, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

Electra McDonnell has always known that the way she and her family earn their living is slightly outside of the law. Breaking into the homes of the rich and picking the locks on their safes may not be condoned by British law enforcement, but World War II is in full swing, Ellie’s cousins Colm and Toby are off fighting against Hitler, and Uncle Mick’s more honorable business as a locksmith can’t pay the bills any more.

So when Uncle Mick receives a tip about a safe full of jewels in the empty house of a wealthy family, he and Ellie can’t resist. All goes as planned–until the pair are caught redhanded. Ellie expects them to be taken straight to prison, but instead they are delivered to a large townhouse, where government official Major Ramsey is waiting with an offer: either Ellie agrees to help him break into a safe and retrieve blueprints that will be critical to the British war effort, before they can be delivered to a German spy, or he turns her over to the police.

Ellie doesn’t care for the Major’s imperious manner, but she has no choice, and besides, she’s eager to do her bit for king and country. She may be a thief, but she’s no coward. When she and the Major break into the house in question, they find instead the purported German spy dead on the floor, the safe already open and empty. Soon, Ellie and Major Ramsey are forced to put aside their differences to unmask the double-agent, as they try to stop allied plans falling into German hands.


Review:

Clever, mysterious, and witty!

A Peculiar Combination is an immersive, suspenseful tale set in London during WWII that takes you into the life of Electra McDonnell, a part-time, talented safecracker who is recruited by the broodily handsome Major Ramsey to use her exceptional skills to help king and country retrieve some documents of a fragile nature before they can possibly be passed into enemy hands.

The prose is rich and polished. The characters are plucky, resourceful, and intriguing. And the plot is a well-paced, intriguing mystery full of suspects, deduction, red herrings, familial dynamics, espionage, duty, friendship, flirtation, secrets, and duplicity.

Overall, A Peculiar Combination is a vivid, atmospheric, highly entertaining tale by Weaver that is not only a fantastic start to the Electra McDonnell series but, in my opinion, the perfect choice for anyone who loves a lighthearted, amusing, historical mystery.

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 – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ashley Weaver

ASHLEY WEAVER is the Technical Services Coordinator for the Allen Parish Libraries in Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She lives in Oakdale, Louisiana.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Tears of Amber by Sofia Segovia (translated by Simon Bruni) @MSofiaSegovia @SimonBruni @OverTheRiverPr @AmazonPub #TearsOfAmber #womenintranslation #Mexicanauthor #internationalreads #TranslatedFiction #AmazonCrossing

#BookReview Tears of Amber by Sofia Segovia (translated by Simon Bruni) @MSofiaSegovia @SimonBruni @OverTheRiverPr @AmazonPub #TearsOfAmber #womenintranslation #Mexicanauthor #internationalreads #TranslatedFiction #AmazonCrossing Title: Tears of Amber

Author: Sofía Segovia, Simon Bruni

Published by: Amazon Crossing on May 1, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 494

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing, OTRPR

Book Rating: 10/10

From the bestselling author of The Murmur of Bees comes a transportive novel of two families uprooted by war and united by the bonds of love and courage.

With war looming dangerously close, Ilse’s school days soon turn to lessons of survival. In the harshness of winter, her family must join the largest exodus in human history to survive. As battle lines are drawn and East Prussia’s borders vanish beneath them, they leave their farm and all they know behind for an uncertain future.

But Ilse also has Janusz, her family’s young Polish laborer, by her side. As they flee from the Soviet army, his enchanting folktales keep her mind off the cold, the hunger, and the horrors unfolding around them. He tells her of a besieged kingdom in the Baltic Sea from which spill the amber tears of a heartbroken queen.

Neither of them realizes his stories will prove crucial and prophetic.

Not far away, trying and failing to flee from a vengeful army, Arno and his mother hide in the ruins of a Königsberg mansion, hoping that once the war ends they can reunite their dispersed family. But their stay in the walled city proves untenable when they find themselves dodging bombs and scavenging in the rubble. Soon they’ll become pawns caught between two powerful enemies, on a journey with an unknown destination.

Hope carries these children caught in the crosshairs of war on an extraordinary pilgrimage in which the gift of an amber teardrop is at once a valuable form of currency and a symbol of resilience, one that draws them together against insurmountable odds.


Review:

Poignant, thought-provoking, and profoundly moving!

Tears of Amber is a powerful, impactful tale that sweeps you away to the late 1930s, early 1940s and into the lives of the Prussian people, specifically two children, Ilse and Arno, as they endure hardship, displacement, atrocities, and the loss of their innocence and childhood as their families try to escape and survive the advancing, barbaric Red Army.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are courageous, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is a heart-wrenching, utterly absorbing tale about life, love, loneliness, familial relationships, heartbreak, war, loss, grief, guilt, hope, loyalty, and survival.

Overall, Tears of Amber is an exceptionally atmospheric, beautifully written novel that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the personalities, feelings, and lives of the characters you can’t help but be affected. It is without a doubt one of my favourite novels of the year that does an incredible job of highlighting the indomitable spirit of humanity to survive, endure, conquer, and love in even the harshest environments and situations.

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to OTRPR and Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Simon Bruni

Simon Bruni is an award-winning literary translator with a focus on contemporary Spanish and Latin American fiction and a wealth of experience translating books and articles within the humanities and social sciences.

Simon combines his profound knowledge of the Spanish language with a supple command of written English, working creatively to bring Spanish voices to life in their new host language. His translations of Paul Pen’s The Light of the Fireflies and Sofía Segovia’s The Murmur of Bees have both become international bestsellers.

About Sofía Segovia

Sofía Segovia was born in Monterrey, Mexico. She studied communications at Universidad de Monterrey, thinking mistakenly that she would be a journalist. But fiction is her first love. A creative writing teacher, she has also been a ghostwriter and communications director for local political campaigns and has written several plays for local theater. Her novels include Noche de huracán (Night of the Hurricane), El murmullo de las abejas (The Murmur of Bees)--which was called the literary discovery of the year by Penguin Random House and named Novel of the Year by iTunes--and Huracán. Sofía likes to travel the world, but she loves coming home to her husband, three children, two dogs, and cat. She writes her best surrounded and inspired by their joyous chaos.

Photo by Juan Rod rigo Llaguno.

 

#BookReview Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley @HTPBooks @Bookclubbish #HTPBooks #TalkBookishtoMe #KateBromley #Bookclubbish

#BookReview Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley @HTPBooks @Bookclubbish #HTPBooks #TalkBookishtoMe #KateBromley #Bookclubbish Title: Talk Bookish to Me

Author: Kate Bromley

Published by: Graydon House on May 25, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Harlequin Trade Publishing, Kate Bromley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely—and inconvenient—sources.

Kara Sullivan’s life is full of love—albeit fictional. As a bestselling romance novelist and influential bookstagrammer, she’s fine with getting her happily-ever-after fix between the covers of a book.

But right now? Not only is Kara’s best friend getting married next week—which means big wedding stress—but the deadline for her next novel is looming, and she hasn’t written a single word. The last thing she needs is for her infuriating first love, Ryan Thompson, to suddenly appear in the wedding party. But Ryan’s unexpected arrival sparks a creative awakening in Kara that inspires the steamy historical romance she desperately needs to deliver.

With her wedding duties intensifying, her deadline getting closer by the second and her bills not paying themselves, Kara knows there’s only one way for her to finish her book and to give her characters the ever-after they deserve. But can she embrace the unlikely, ruggedly handsome muse—who pushes every one of her buttons—to save the wedding, her career and, just maybe, write her own happy ending?


Review:

Comical, refreshing, and delightfully entertaining!

Talk Bookish to Me is a heartwarming, witty tale that takes you into the life of the hardworking Kara Sullivan as she juggles her best friend’s wedding, a looming deadline, a mother with high expectations, and an unexpected visit from the one man whom she’s never quite forgotten.

The prose is smooth and crisp. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are multilayered, endearing, and amusing. And the plot is a tender, engaging mix of life, love, loss, family, awkward situations, delicious chemistry, romantic drama, tension, introspection, and an adorable bulldog with a penchant for bathrooms, and surprisingly Celine Dion.

Overall, Talk Bookish to Me is a charming, smart, uplifting debut by Bromley that I thoroughly enjoyed and is the perfect choice for anyone who loves their romcoms with a lot of heart, hope, humour and heat.

 

This book is available now. 

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

              

 

 

Thank you to Kate Bromley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kate Bromley

Kate Bromley lives in New York City with her husband, son, and her somewhat excessive collection of romance novels. (It’s not hoarding if it’s books, right?) She was a preschool teacher for seven years and is now focusing full-time on combining her two great passions -– writing swoon-worthy love stories and making people laugh.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ThePhotographer #MaryDixieCarter

#BookReview The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ThePhotographer #MaryDixieCarter Title: The Photographer

Author: Mary Dixie Carter

Published by: Minotaur Books on May 25, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

WHEN PERFECT IMAGES

As a photographer, Delta Dawn observes the seemingly perfect lives of New York City’s elite: snapping photos of their children’s birthday parties, transforming images of stiff hugs and tearstained faces into visions of pure joy, and creating moments these parents long for.

ARE MADE OF BEAUTIFUL LIES

But when Delta is hired for Natalie Straub’s eleventh birthday, she finds herself wishing she wasn’t behind the lens but a part of the scene―in the Straub family’s gorgeous home and elegant life.

THE TRUTH WILL BE EXPOSED

That’s when Delta puts her plan in place, by babysitting for Natalie; befriending her mother, Amelia; finding chances to listen to her father, Fritz. Soon she’s bathing in the master bathtub, drinking their expensive wine, and eyeing the beautifully finished garden apartment in their townhouse. It seems she can never get close enough, until she discovers that photos aren’t all she can manipulate.


Review:

Ominous, crafty, and compelling!

The Photographer is a cunning, intense thrill ride that highlights just how quickly life can spin out of control when you are lonely and starved for affection, tend to engage in destructive behaviour, are driven by uncontrollable, obsessive tendencies, share in other people’s special moments, and often have easy access to their personal property.

The prose is eerie and dark. The characters are manipulative, deceitful, and consumed. And the plot is a simmering, engrossing tale of power, betrayal, control, obsession, malice, seduction, desire, and jealousy.

Overall, The Photographer is a taut, sinister, solid debut for Carter, and with this kind of imagination, I’m extremely excited to read whatever utterly disturbing tale she manages to come up with next.

 

This book 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 – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mary Dixie Carter

MARY DIXIE CARTER’s writing has appeared in TIME, The Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Sun, The New York Observer and other print and online publications. She worked at The Observer for five years, where she served as the publishing director. In addition to writing, she also has a background as a professional actor. Mary Dixie graduated from Harvard College with an honors degree in English Literature and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young children. The Photographer is her first novel.

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

#BookReview Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola @WmMorrowBooks #LoveinColor #BoluBabalola

#BookReview Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola @WmMorrowBooks #LoveinColor #BoluBabalola Title: Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold

Author: Bolu Babalola

Published by: William Morrow on Apr. 13, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: William Morrow

Book Rating: 8/10

A high-born Nigerian goddess, who has been beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover, longs to be truly seen.

A young businesswoman attempts a great leap in her company, and an even greater one in her love life.

A powerful Ghanaian spokeswoman is forced to decide whether she should uphold her family’s politics or be true to her heart.

In her debut collection, internationally acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola retells the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology with incredible new detail and vivacity. Focusing on the magical folktales of West Africa, Babalola also reimagines Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East, and stories from long-erased places.

With an eye towards decolonizing tropes inherent in our favorite tales of love, Babalola has created captivating stories that traverse across perspectives, continents, and genres.


Review:

Uplifting, thought-provoking, and empowering!

Love in Color is an astute, beautiful collection of short stories that takes a variety of ancient folklore and tales and creatively reinvents them into contemporary love stories.

The writing is bold and colourful. The stories are imaginative, well written and romantic. And the plots, although slightly different, all feature strong, independent women and highlight the incredible power of love in all its forms.

Overall, Love in Color is a thoughtful, inspirational, perceptive anthology by Babalola that ultimately reminds us that to love and be loved is one of humanity’s most fundamental needs, or to quote Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic words, “Where there is love there is life.” 

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to William Morrow for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bolu Babalola

Bolu Babalola is a British-Nigerian woman with a misleading bachelor's degree in law and a masters degree in American Politics & History from UCL. She feels it is important to state that her thesis was on Beyoncé's "Lemonade" and she was awarded a distinction for it. So essentially she has a masters degree in Beyoncé. A writer of books, scripts and retorts, a lover of love and self-coined "romcomoisseur", Bolu Babalola writes stories of dynamic women with distinct voices who love and are loved audaciously. She is a big believer in women being both "Beauty and the beast". She is not a fan of writing her own bios.

Photo by Folaju Oyegbesan.

#BookReview Once Upon a Puppy (Pine Hollow #2) by Lizzie Shane @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2021 #OnceUponaPuppy #LizzieShane #PineHollowSeries

#BookReview Once Upon a Puppy (Pine Hollow #2) by Lizzie Shane @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2021 #OnceUponaPuppy #LizzieShane #PineHollowSeries Title: Once Upon a Puppy

Author: Lizzie Shane

Series: Pine Hollow #2

Published by: Forever on May 25, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 335

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 9/10

Opposites attract when a straitlaced lawyer and whimsical party planner must fake-date as co-parents of a rambunctious Irish wolfhound in the second book of this im-paw-ssibly charming small-town romance series.

Connor Wyeth has a plan for everything. But when he adopts Maximus, an unruly Irish wolfhound mix, he gets more than he bargained for. If he doesn’t act fast, the big dopey mutt is going to destroy his house. The only person Max ever listens to is the volunteer who used to walk him at the shelter—a perennially upbeat woman whose day job is planning princess parties for little kids. Connor couldn’t ever imagine that she’d be able to tame such a beast as Max, but he’s desperate enough to try anything.

Deenie Mitchell isn’t looking forward to spending more time with uptight, rules-oriented Connor—no matter how attractive he is. But when her sister announces her engagement, Deenie realizes he’s the perfect person to impress her type-A family. When she learns he needs a plus-one for his law firm’s work events, an unlikely alliance is formed. But as they play the perfect couple, the friendship—and the feelings—that are forming start to feel all too real. Opposites may attract, but can the man with a plan for everything and the misfit who makes her own rules ever find common ground?


Review:

Enchanting, sassy, and sweet!

Once Upon a Puppy is a lovely, character-driven rom-com that sweeps you away to Pine Hollow and into the lives of the easy-going, feisty Deenie and the intense, broody Connor as they discover that opposites do attract and there may be more to their relationship than just dog training, pretend feelings, and fake dating.

The prose is fluid and smooth. The characters are hardworking, engaging, and charismatic. And the plot is a delightful mix of friendship, family, light drama, tricky moments, hilarious hijinks, snappy dialogue, shameless flirting, sizzling romance, and a mischievous, adorable Irish Wolfhound mix.

Overall, Once Upon a Puppy is an amusing, captivating, charming novel by Shane that’s another wonderful addition to the Pine Hollow series that, with its irresistible characters and heartwarming storylines, is quickly becoming one of my all-time favourites.

 

This book is available on May 25, 2021. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

       

 

 

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

 

About Lizzie Shane

Contemporary romance author Lizzie Shane was born in Alaska and still calls the frozen north home, though she can frequently be found indulging her travel addiction. Thankfully, her laptop travels with her and she has written her way through all fifty states and over fifty countries.

Lizzie has been honored to win the Golden Heart Award and HOLT Medallion, and has been named a finalist three times for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award®, but her main claim to fame is that she lost on Jeopardy!

%d bloggers like this: