General Fiction

#BookReview
The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
@elinhilderbrand @littlebrown

#BookReview The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrownTitle: The Perfect Couple

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Published by Little Brown and Company on June 19, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Little Brown and Company, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, comes a novel about the many ways family can fill our lives with love…if they don’t kill us first.

It’s wedding season on Nantucket. The beautiful island is overrun with summer people–an annual source of aggravation for year-round residents. And that’s not the only tension brewing offshore. When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin–with the bride-to-be discovered dead in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony–everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash digs into the best man, the maid of honor, the groom’s famous mystery novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, the chief discovers that every wedding is a minefield–and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from THE CASTAWAYS and A SUMMER AFFAIR, THE PERFECT COUPLE proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read.


Review:

Compelling, mysterious, and deliciously entertaining!

The Perfect Couple takes us to the beautiful island of Nantucket and into the lives of the rich and famous Winburys as they gather to celebrate a family wedding. But like most families with privilege, power, and money everything is not always as it seems and it quickly becomes apparent that behind the beautiful mansion and designer clothes is an abundance of secrets, deception, betrayal, infidelity, substance abuse, lies, scandals, and murder.

The writing is effortless and fluid. The characterization is spot on with a cast of characters that are flawed, authentic, and fun. And the alluring plot is an intelligent, lighthearted mix of a breezy summer read, unpredictable whodunit, and domestic drama all rolled up in one.

Overall, The Perfect Couple is an enjoyable, scintillating treat by Hilderbrand that once again highlights her incredible ability to delve into all the complex dynamics between family members and friends and is without a doubt a must read for 2018!

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                           

 

 

Thank you to Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

#BookReview
Little Big Love by Katy Regan
@katyreganwrites @BerkleyPub

#BookReview Little Big Love by Katy Regan @katyreganwrites @BerkleyPubTitle: Little Big Love

Author: Katy Regan

Published by Berkley Publishing on June 12, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Berkley Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

About a Boy meets Parenthood in this smart, big-hearted love story about a family for whom everything changed one night, a decade ago, and the young boy who unites them all.

Ten-year-old Zac Hutchinson collects facts: octopuses have three hearts, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth. But no one will tell him the one thing he wants to know most: who his father is and where he went.

When Zac’s mother, Juliet, inadvertently admits that his dad is the only man she’s ever loved, Zac decides he is going to find him and deliver his mom the happily ever after she deserves.

But Liam Jones left for a reason, and as Zac searches for clues of his father, Juliet begins to rebuild what shattered on the day that was at once the happiest and most heartbreaking of her life.

Told through the eyes of Zac, Juliet, and grandfather Mick, Little Big Love is a layered, heartfelt, utterly satisfying story about family, love, and the secrets that can define who we are.


Review:

Beguiling, poignant, and incredibly uplifting!

Little Big Love is an exceptionally absorbing tale set in the small, economically declining, fishing town of Grimsby and told from three different perspectives. Zac, a sweet, innocent young boy contending with ongoing bullying from his peers and a relentless hunt for the father he’s never known. Juliet, a single mother with a big heart struggling to care and support those she loves as well as herself. And Mick, a loving grandfather who’s weighed down by the secrets he keeps and the feelings of loss and grief that constantly surround him.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are genuine, sorrowful, sympathetic, and lovable. And the story is a beautifully mesmerizing tale about life, loss, love, grief, long-hidden secrets, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, community, moving on, and happiness.

Little Big Love is a masterfully crafted, astute tale that immerses you so thoroughly into the lives, feelings, and personalities of the characters you never want it to end, and it is without a doubt one of my favourite novels of the year.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                  

 

 

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

 

About Katy Regan

Katy Regan was born and raised in the northern seaside town of Morecambe, England. She went on to study English and French at Leeds University where she became the features editor of the student newspaper before moving to London. She wrote for various magazines and newspapers before becoming Commissioning Editor at Marie Claire magazine. Katy's previous novels include One Thing Led to Another, The One Before the One, How We Met, and The Story of You. Little Big Man is her first for Mantle. Katy, who has one son, now lives in Hertfordshire.

 

#BookReview #20BooksofSummer
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
@Backmanland @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview #20BooksofSummer Beartown by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @SimonSchusterCATitle: Beartown

Author: Fredrik Backman

Series: Beartown #1

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada on April 25, 2017

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 415

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Overeturns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.


Review:

Gritty, insightful, and profoundly moving!

Beartown is an immersive, dark, riveting story that delves into the physical, psychological, and emotional effects of competitive sports on the youth that play them and highlights the ugliness and weaknesses of group mentality and the ease with which it allows one to turn the other way, ignore, overlook or cover-up even the most heinous of crimes.

The prose is dark and immersive. The exceptionally memorable, timely plot is a journey of life, loss, coming-of-age, familial drama, friendship, courage, morality, loyalty, sexuality, community, politics, and the culture of hockey. The characters are familiar, consumed, and raw. And the setting, Beartown is a character itself with its isolation, social strife, class division, and depressing economics.

Backman has an uncanny ability to write powerful, perfectly crafted, atmospheric novels that remind us that to be human is to be flawed and that even though we often forget strength, compassion, and kindness is the base of humanity and Beartown is no exception. It will make you think, it will make you cry, and it will resonate with you long after the final page. 

 

🏒 And get ready to head back to Beartown in Us Against You publishing September 4, 2018. 🏒

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

#BookReview
Little Big Man by Katy Regan
@katyreganwrites @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Little Big Man by Katy Regan @katyreganwrites @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: Little Big Man

Author: Katy Regan

Published by Pan Macmillan on June 5, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes it takes a little boy to see the big things in life.

Ten-year-old Zac has never met his father, who allegedly took off before he was born. But when his mum lets slip that he’s the only man she’s ever loved, Zac turns detective and, roping in his best friend, hatches a plan to find his dad and give his mum the happy-ever-after she deserves. What he doesn’t realize, though, is that sometimes people have good reasons for disappearing.

Little Big Man is a compelling story about family secrets and fierce, familial love. It’s about growing up and being accepted; grief and lies, and the damage they can do. But, most of all, it’s about a determined little boy determined who wants to give the man he’s never met a second chance to be a father—and his mum a second chance at love.


Review:

Beguiling, poignant, and incredibly uplifting!

Little Big Man is an exceptionally absorbing tale set in the small, economically declining, fishing town of Grimsby and told from three different perspectives. Zac, a sweet, innocent young boy contending with ongoing bullying from his peers and a relentless hunt for the father he’s never known. Juliet, a single mother with a big heart struggling to care and support those she loves as well as herself. And Mick, a loving grandfather who’s weighed down by the secrets he keeps and the feelings of loss and grief that constantly surround him.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are genuine, sorrowful, sympathetic, and lovable. And the story is a beautifully mesmerizing tale about life, loss, love, grief, long-hidden secrets, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, community, moving on, and happiness.

Little Big Man is a masterfully crafted, astute tale that immerses you so thoroughly into the lives, feelings, and personalities of the characters you never want it to end, and it is without a doubt one of my favourite novels of the year.

 

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

 

About Katy Regan

Katy Regan was born and raised in the northern seaside town of Morecambe, England. She went on to study English and French at Leeds University where she became the features editor of the student newspaper before moving to London. She wrote for various magazines and newspapers before becoming Commissioning Editor at Marie Claire magazine. Katy's previous novels include One Thing Led to Another, The One Before the One, How We Met, and The Story of You. Little Big Man is her first for Mantle. Katy, who has one son, now lives in Hertfordshire.

 

#BookReview
Bluethroat Morning by Jacqui Lofthouse
@jacquilofthouse @Blackbird_Bks

#BookReview Bluethroat Morning by Jacqui Lofthouse @jacquilofthouse @Blackbird_BksTitle: Bluethroat Morning

Author: Jacqui Lofthouse

Published by Blackbird Digital Books on May 22nd

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 551

Format: eBook

Source: Blackbird Digital Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Alison Bliss, celebrity model and critically acclaimed writer, walks into the sea one ‘bluethroat morning’. In death she becomes a greater icon than in life, and the Norfolk village where she lived is soon a place of pilgrimage. Six years later her husband Harry, a schoolteacher, is still haunted by her suicide and faithful to her memory. Until he meets Helen and they fall in love.

Harry and Helen’s relationship initiates a return to the scene of Alison’s death where they meet ninety-eight year old Ern Higham, and a tale is revealed that has been generations in the making. As Harry pieces together a tragic history and finally confronts his own pain, he discovers that to truly move forward, first he must understand the past …


Review:

Intense, somber, and contemplative!

Bluethroat Morning is a hauntingly perceptive novel that takes us into the life of Harry Bliss, a middle-aged man struggling to come to grips with the incredible grief, guilt, and emptiness he still feels over the loss of his wife to suicide.

The prose is poetic and sophisticated. The imagery is vivid. The characters are complex, self-indulgent, and tortured by the past. And the well-crafted plot written in a reflective past/present style does a remarkable job of unraveling all the secrets, mysteries, motivations, actions, personalities, and relationships within it.

Bluethroat Morning is ultimately a novel about marriage, life, loss, friendship, ambition, despair, solitude, secrets, manipulation, desire, acceptance, and forgiveness. And it becomes abundantly clear from the outset that Lofthouse is an exquisite literary writer with an uncanny ability to lay bare humanities weaknesses and emotional fragility and remind us that everyone that enters our lives, no matter the length of time, shapes, defines and influences us.

 

This book is available now.

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

              

 

 

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

 

About Jacqui Lofthouse

Jacqui Lofthouse is the author of four novels ‘The Temple of Hymen’, ‘Bluethroat Morning’ ‘Een Stille Verdwijning’ and ‘The Modigliani Girl’. Her novels have sold over 100,000 copies in the UK, the USA and Europe and have been widely reviewed.

Jacqui began her career as an actor touring India as Sheila in J.B. Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’. She went on to study Drama and English at the University of Bristol and subsequently worked in radio production and media training. In 1992 she studied for her MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia under Sir Malcolm Bradbury and Rose Tremain.

Jacqui has taught creative writing in a broad variety of settings including from City University to Feltham Young Offenders Institution. She has also taught English and Drama in London secondary schools.

In 2005, Jacqui founded The Writing Coach, a coaching and mentoring organisation for writers (www.thewritingcoach.co.uk). She is currently working on her first YA novel and returning to actor training at Identity School of Acting. She has recently been cast in four short films. Jacqui is delighted that Blackbird Digital Books are publishing the first digital edition of ‘Bluethroat Morning’ in May 2018.

#BookReview
Sal by Mick Kitson
@PGCBooks @canongatebooks

#BookReview Sal by Mick Kitson @PGCBooks @canongatebooksTitle: Sal

Author: Mick Kitson

Published by Canongate Books Ltd on March 1, 2018

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 234

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Sal planned it for almost a year before they ran. She nicked an Ordnance Survey map from the school library. She bought a compass, a Bear Grylls knife, waterproofs, and a first aid kit from Amazon using stolen credit cards. She read the SAS Survival Handbook and watched loads of YouTube videos. And now Sal knows a lot of stuff. Like how to build a shelter and start a fire; how to estimate distances, snare rabbits, and shoot an air gun; and how to protect her sister, Peppa–because Peppa is ten, which is how old Sal was when Robert started on her.

Told in Sal’s distinctive voice, and filled with the silent, dizzying beauty of rural Scotland, Sal is a disturbing, uplifting story of survival, of the kindness of strangers, and the irrepressible power of sisterly love, a love that can lead us to do extraordinary and unimaginable things.


Review:

Pensive, adventurous, and moving!

Sal is a compelling tale that takes us on a journey into the lives of two young sisters as they learn to escape and survive both the predators and dangers found in the Scottish wilderness as well as those within their own home.

The prose is astute and vividly descriptive. The characters are witty, vulnerable, loyal, resourceful, and endearing. And the plot is a heart-wrenching story about alcoholism, sexual abuse, poverty, self-preservation, coming-of-age, innocence, morality, and selfless love.

Overall, Sal is a profound, sophisticated, inspiring novel that highlights the complex dynamics of sister relationships and does an exquisite job of reminding us just how indomitable the human spirit can truly be.

 

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

 

About Mick Kitson

Mick Kitson was born in South Wales and grew up in London. He studied English at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne before a brief spell as one half of 80s pop duo The Senators. He went on to work as a newspaper reporter before switching career again at the age of 40 to become an English Teacher.

He lives in Fife, Scotland with his wife Jill and bad tempered dog Lucy. He has three grown up children: Molly, Susie and Jimmy and spends more time than is good for a person fly fishing for sea trout, reading, playing the banjo and growing
Strawberries. He also builds boats.

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton
@bookish_yogi @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton @bookish_yogi @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton @bookish_yogi @rararesources @HQDigitalUKTitle: The Things We Need to Say

Author: Rachel Burton

Published by HQ Digital on May 11, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley, Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the ways things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

 Perfect for fans of Katie Marsh, Amanda Prowse and Sheila O’Flanagan


Review:

Heartwrenching, touching, and undeniably affecting!

The Things We Need to Say is an absorbing, character-driven novel that highlights the emotional, physical and mental strain infertility and the loss of a child can have on a marriage.

The writing is vivid and eloquent. The characters are raw, consumed, traumatized, and real. And the plot told from dual perspectives is a beautifully written tale about life, loss, heartache, infidelity, friendship, yoga, introspection, and second-chance love.

Overall I would have to say that The Things We Need to Say is an immersive, warm, thought-provoking novel that reminds us just how important trust, communication, honesty, forgiveness, and love are to the success of a relationship and thus ultimately our own happiness.

 

This book is available now.

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

    

 

 

Thank you to Rachel Burton, HQ Digital, and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rachel Burton

Rachel Burton has been making up stories since she first learned to talk. After many false starts she finally made one up that was worth writing down.

After graduating with a degree in Classics and another in English, she didn’t really know what to do when she grew up. She has worked as a waitress, a paralegal and a yoga teacher.

She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Leeds with her boyfriend and three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Her debut, The Many Colours of Us, was an Amazon Kindle bestseller. Her second novel, The Things We Need to Say, is released on 11 May 2018. She is currently working on her third novel in which the heroine follows the love of her life to live in a city in northern England. It has no autobiographical elements at all…..maybe.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or search Facebook for Rachel Burton Author. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….

#BookReview
The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
@mkayandrews @StMartinsPress

#BookReviewThe High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrews @StMartinsPressTitle: The High Tide Club

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Published by St. Martin's Press on May 8, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.


Review:

Mysterious, sentimental, and uplifting!

The High Tide Club is an alluring tale that delves into the life of ninety-nine-year Josephine Bettendorf Warrick and all the friendships, lies, secrets, and promises she made, told, and broke over her lifetime.

The prose is clear and fluid. The characters are well-developed, unique, and inquisitive. And the plot, alternating between past and present, is a nostalgic, twisty tale full of familial drama, loss, grief, war, forgiveness, deception, happiness, love, skinny dipping, southern life, and murder.

Overall, The High Tide Club is a humorous, emotional, heartbreaking, suspenseful story that highlights the intricate and dynamic bonds between friends, both old and new, that gets better and better as it goes along and is an excellent choice for a summer read!

 

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

 

About Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the pen name of American writer Kathy Hogan Trocheck, based in Atlanta, who has authored a number of best-selling books under the Andrews pen name since 2002.

Trochek graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree in 1976. She worked as a reporter at a number of papers, and spent 11 years as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before leaving to write fiction full-time in 1991. She published ten mystery novels under her own name between 1992 and 2000, and switched to the Andrews pen name in 2002 to author Savannah Blues, which marked a change in her style to more Southern-flavored themes.

#BlogTour #Excerpt
East of India by Erica Brown
@baywriterallat1 @canelo_co

  

 

Synopsis:

India, 1940. When Nadine learns that the Indian woman she thought her nanny is, in fact, her mother, she rebels against her English father and he arranges for Nadine to be wed to an Australian merchant many years older. She whisked off to his plantation in Malaya but as the Second World War rages throughout the East, Nadine is taken captive by the Japanese. She is held at a camp in Sumatra with other women and forced to provide sexual favours for the soldiers. In the most unlikely circumstances, Nadine finds an ally and protector in a Japanese-American general, caught up in the war. The two bond over the conflicted identities and gradually fall in love. But can Nadine survive long enough to find happiness?

Don’t miss this emotional and powerful saga about a women’s determination to beat the odds, perfect for fans of Renita D’Silva, Dinah Jefferies and Julia Gregson.

 

Excerpt:

Schooldays were coming to a close and Nadine was glad that they were. She’d never fitted in, viewed as slightly odd by fresh-faced girls who knew the far-off Mother Country far better than they did the one they lived in. Her dark hair and skin had set her apart. Only the odd contrast of her grey eyes had halted their insinuations of mixed blood, until Cecilia Renfrew had thrown comments around that she’d overheard from gossiping memsahibs. Some of the girls now went out of their way to avoid her, though not all.

Girls in brown uniforms had filed in and out of the Benares Academy for Young Ladies for over forty years. Most were destined to be wives either in this country or back home. Only a very few intended furthering their education and contemplating a career in ‘something useful’, such as becoming a secretary or doing a little nursing, though nothing too strenuous.

Someone asked Nadine whether she was going to England to continue studying. ‘Seeing as Cecilia may have scotched your chances on the marriage market.’

Nadine had bristled. ‘No. I’m going to study India – and the rest of the world if I get the chance.’

‘Oh! How odd,’ said the person who had asked. ‘Still, as long as you can afford it. Anyway, not everyone needs a man, do they?’

‘Will you get a job?’ someone else asked.

‘As what?’

Jennifer, a softly spoken girl who was as near to being her best friend as anyone, shrugged her narrow shoulders.

‘Nurse, secretary, teacher…’

Nadine shuddered. ‘Certainly not. What will you do?’

‘Marry an eligible man as quickly as possible. That’s what my parents hope for too. Have you considered marrying? I mean, I know some of the others think you’ve got no chance because of your pedigree, but let’s face it, you’re jolly pretty. Actually, the prettiest girl in the school.’

Nadine glanced at the slight sixteen-year-old. She had hips like a boy and the curve of her breasts barely disturbed the front of her blouse.

‘No. I won’t marry.’

‘I see. Of course, now there’s a war on you could do something in the military, I suppose – once you’re old enough, that is.’

‘I don’t think so.’

‘So what will you do?’ persisted the girl, peering from beneath a floppy brown fringe as she awaited an answer.

Nadine eyed the sandstone yellow of the school building, the locked gates that kept the girls in and the world – an India viewed as decadent but tempting – firmly shut out.

Remember it was here that made you respectable young ladies, truly representative of all the British Empire stands for.

The school’s mantra, dogged and basically unthinking: Nadine grinned as a deliciously naughty thought crossed her mind.

‘I think I shall be a dancer.’

Jennifer gasped and clapped a hand across her mouth. ‘You wouldn’t!’

‘Why not?’ Nadine spoke deliberately loudly. ‘I’m going to be a dancer in the Hindu fashion. I’m going to twirl and twitch my hands and arms around all those exquisite temples – you know the ones I mean – those decorated with intertwining, naked bodies.’

Jennifer’s shocked expression fuelled Nadine’s urge to shock and unsettle. She raised her voice, determined everyone would hear.

‘You know what they’re doing of course, don’t you? They’re having sex in every position possible. Some of the female carvings are sucking on the men’s…’

Nadine’s descriptions of the lewd statuary spread from girl to giggling girl.

‘MISS BURTON.’

Judging by her flame-coloured expression, Miss Clark looked about to explode.

Nadine didn’t care. Satchel tucked beneath her arm, she sauntered off, her hat swinging on a ribbon around her neck.

She half-turned, smiled and waved back to those gathered at the school gates. ‘Goodbye, Miss Clark. I’m off to dance seductively in a Hindu temple.’

 

About the Author:

Erica Brown is the pseudonym of a very successful author of women’s fiction and crime. She lives in Bath and has one daughter and twin grandchildren one of whom is dead set on becoming a writer.

 

Thank you to Erica Brown and Canelo for providing me with an excerpt for my blog today!

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                  

 

For more information on Erica Brown follow her on Twitter at: @baywriterallat1

 

 

#BookReview
The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner
@JamieLBrenner @littlebrown

#BookReview The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner @JamieLBrenner @littlebrownTitle: The Husband Hour

Author: Jamie Brenner

Published by Little Brown and Company on April 24, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Little Brown and Company, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When a young widow’s reclusive life in a charming beach town is interrupted by a surprise visitor, she is forced to reckon with dark secrets about her family, her late husband, and the past she tried to leave behind.

Lauren Adelman and her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid, are a golden couple. They marry just out of college as Rory, a star hockey player, earns a spot in the NHL. Their future could not look brighter when Rory shocks everyone-Lauren most of all-by enlisting in the U.S. Army. When Rory dies in combat, Lauren is left devastated, alone, and under unbearable public scrutiny.

Seeking peace and solitude, Lauren retreats to her family’s old beach house on the Jersey Shore. But this summer she’s forced to share the house with her overbearing mother and competitive sister. Worse, a stranger making a documentary about Rory tracks her down and persuades her to give him just an hour of her time.

One hour with filmmaker Matt Brio turns into a summer of revelations, surprises, and upheaval. As the days grow shorter and her grief changes shape, Lauren begins to understand the past-and to welcome the future.


Review:

Absorbing, poignant, and incredibly moving!

The Husband Hour is a beautifully written story that delves into the complexities and dynamics of relationships between partners, siblings, and the nuclear family as a whole and reminds us that there’s no perfection in humanity, we are all wonderfully flawed.

The prose is fluid and well turned. The characters are authentic, scarred and lovable. And the story is an exceptionally mesmerizing tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, community, moving on, happiness, and the enduring physical and psychological effects of sports injuries on professional athletes.

Overall, The Husband Hour is the perfect blend of heart-wrenching emotion, grit, hope, and humour. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it left me smiling, and I absolutely loved it!

 

This book is available now.

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

                                             

 

 

Thank you to Little, Brown and Company and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jamie Brenner

Jamie Brenner was born and raised in suburban Philadelphia but has called New York City her home for the past twenty years. She graduated from George Washington University with a degree in literature and spent her career in publishing before becoming an author herself. Her books include The Gin Lovers, The Wedding Sisters. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.

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