Women’s Fiction

#BookReview A Wedding in Driftwood Cove by Olivia Miles @OMilesBooks @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #AWeddinginDriftwoodCove #OliviaMiles #Montlake #FireflyDist

#BookReview A Wedding in Driftwood Cove by Olivia Miles @OMilesBooks @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #AWeddinginDriftwoodCove #OliviaMiles #Montlake #FireflyDist Title: A Wedding in Driftwood Cove

Author: Olivia Miles

Published by: Montlake Romance on Nov. 21, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 334

Format: Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A wedding brings together three sisters—and an undercurrent of secrets threatens to tear them apart in this seaside romance from author Olivia Miles.

With youngest sister Hallie getting married, the three Walsh sisters reunite at their family’s beach house for the big event. It’s a celebratory affair, rife with cherished traditions.

But families are complicated, and these sisters are no exception. Claire, the eldest, no longer believes in love after years working as a divorce attorney, and she resorts to taking her “work husband” as her date to convince her family otherwise. Middle sister, Amy, fears a confrontation with the man who broke her heart by announcing he was marrying someone else. And although Hallie has always lived a charmed life, she’s getting cold feet about marrying her childhood sweetheart.

As the Walsh sisters grapple with the secrets they’ve kept from one another, they must decide if Hallie’s wedding is a chance to mend mistakes of the past…even if it means confronting their feelings about love, life, and one another.


Review:

Heartwarming, alluring, and optimistic!

A Wedding in Driftwood Cove is an amusing, heartfelt tale that immerses you into the lives of the Walsh family, especially three sisters, as they gather to celebrate, interrogate, support, heal, grow, communicate, repair relationships, take chances, and start anew.

The prose is rich and sweet. The characters are genuine, reliable, and compassionate. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel effortlessly into a delightful tale of life, loss, love, family, friendship, self-reflection, determination, independence, happiness, revelations, awkward situations, romantic moments, and the special bonds between sisters.

Overall, A Wedding in Driftwood Cove is an absorbing, uplifting, nostalgic tale by Miles that does a lovely job of highlighting her ability to create relatable characters, idyllic places, and captivating storylines that enchant and engage from start to finish.

 

This novel is available now.

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

     

 

 

 

Thank you to Firefly Distributed Lines for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Olivia Miles

Olivia Miles is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming women’s fiction and small-town contemporary romance. She has frequently been ranked as an Amazon Top 100 author, and her books have appeared on several bestseller lists, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookScan, and USA Today. After growing up in New England and later living in Montreal, Olivia traded salt water for fresh water, and now lives on the shore of Lake Michigan with her family and an adorable pair of dogs.

#BookReview Before I’m Gone by Heidi McLaughlin @HeidiJoVT @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #BeforeImGone #HeidiMcLaughlin #Montlake #FireflyDist

#BookReview Before I’m Gone by Heidi McLaughlin @HeidiJoVT @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #BeforeImGone #HeidiMcLaughlin #Montlake #FireflyDist Title: Before I'm Gone

Author: Heidi McLaughlin

Published by: Montlake Romance on Nov. 7, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 367

Format: Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 10/10

New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin tells a poignant story about living life to the fullest—and savoring the small moments along the way.

Palmer Sinclair has never needed anyone’s help. A successful loan officer, she’s all work and no play. But when splitting headaches and blurred vision begin to affect her job, she begrudgingly sees a doctor and receives a diagnosis that leaves her shaken to her core and with little time left. Facing an uncertain future, Palmer makes a bucket list, determined to do the things she’d only dreamed of before she goes.

Kent Wagner has dedicated his life to helping others. An army medic turned paramedic, he’s a regular at Palmer’s bank who makes his monthly car loan payments in person just to see her radiant smile. After responding to not one but two 911 calls involving Palmer, he learns about her bucket list. Touched by her circumstances—and needing a distraction from his own—Kent offers to take Palmer to the places on her list.

Neither is prepared for the emotional journey ahead…or how little time they have left together, but the friendship they find in that brief time might be the most lasting legacy of all.


Review:

Emotional, pensive, and profoundly moving!

Before I’m Gone is a beautifully written, poignant novel that takes you into the life of the young, thirty-seven-year-old Palmer Sinclair who, with the help of a new friend, Kent Wagner, spends her last weeks of life reaping as much joy and pleasure out of each day, savouring all the little things, creating memories, doing the things in life that she’s always wanted to do, and falling in love for the first time.

The prose is eloquent and insightful. The characters are strong, compassionate, and endearing. And the plot is a heart-wrenching, absorbing tale of life, love, friendship, kindness, honesty, acceptance, generosity, romance, humour, introspection, and loss.

Overall, Before I’m Gone is a reflective, touching, bittersweet tearjerker by McLaughlin that does a remarkable job of reminding us of what’s truly important in life and highlighting the sheer power of love.

 

This book is available now.

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

      

 

 

Thank you to Firefly Distributed Lines for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Heidi McLaughlin

Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.

Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband, two daughters, and their three dogs.

In 2012, Heidi turned her passion for reading into a full-fledged literary career, writing over twenty novels, including the acclaimed Forever My Girl.

When writing isn’t occupying her time, you can find her sitting courtside at either of her daughters’ basketball games.

Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe, and opened in theaters on January 19, 2018.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Christmas by Candlelight by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #ChristmasbyCandlelight #KarenSwan #PGCBooks

#BookReview Christmas by Candlelight by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #ChristmasbyCandlelight #KarenSwan #PGCBooks Title: Christmas by Candlelight

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Oct. 17, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Snowed in for the holidays…

It’s three days before Christmas and just starting to snow… Against her better judgement, Libby Pugh has been persuaded by her best friend to stop in on their university reunion on her way back from a wedding in North Yorkshire with her boyfriend, Max.

The host is Archie Templeton, the playboy of their group, who has finally inherited his father’s title and estate – even if the latter is more stately heap than palace. Libby is surprised at how good it feels to catch up with old. The night is a great success but when they come to leave, the road is now impassable and she and Max are given a bed for the night.

At first being snowed in with old friends is rather lovely – they spend he next day is spent in high spirits as they wait for the local farmer to clear the snow. But as the hours pass and he doesn’t come, everyone grows restless. Christmas is two days away and everyone has plans, other places to be. Then the power goes out . . .

By the fireside and by candlelight, the old friends must hunker down together as they await help. They reminisce about times past, good and bad. But as the cracks in their relationships, old and new, start to show, Libby is confronted with a truth she has long tried to deny . . .


Review:

Quaint, mysterious, and heartfelt!

Christmas by Candlelight is an alluring, compelling tale that takes you into the life of Libby Pugh, a young, successful lawyer who, after keeping a distance from her university roommates for the past nine years, excepts an invitation for a brief reunion-like dinner at Archie’s isolated country estate only to find herself snowed in shortly after she arrives with no power, no connection with the outside world, and a few days with nothing to do but confront secrets and hurts from the past, and finally acknowledge and accept the feelings that have been brewing for years.

The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are flawed, witty, and intelligent. And the plot, using flashbacks and a back-and-forth style, is an enticingly nostalgic tale full of secrets, lies, friendship, tension, chemistry, attraction, tender moments, strong emotions, self-reflection, relationship dynamics, and love.

Overall, Christmas by Candlelight is another absorbing, uplifting, festive tale by Swan that does a brilliant job of highlighting her exceptional ability to create endearing, multilayered characters, idyllic wintery settings, and engaging storylines that thoroughly captivate from start to finish.

 

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

#BookReview A Storm of Infinite Beauty by Julianne MacLean @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #AStormofInfiniteBeauty #JulianneMacLean #LakeUnion #FireflyDist

#BookReview A Storm of Infinite Beauty by Julianne MacLean @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #AStormofInfiniteBeauty #JulianneMacLean #LakeUnion #FireflyDist Title: A Storm of Infinite Beauty

Author: Julianne MacLean

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Sep. 12, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 300

Format: Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 9/10

From the bestselling author of Beyond the Moonlit Sea comes an atmospheric tale of how one woman’s search for the truth uncovers long-hidden secrets and rocks the very foundation of her world.

Scarlett Fontaine is a true Hollywood legend—a singer, actress, and beloved fashion icon. But Scarlett dies tragically at just thirty-six years old, leaving behind no children. Or so the story goes…

Gwen Hollingsworth is the curator at a museum dedicated to Scarlett’s life. She’s also sole heir to Scarlett’s fortune as a descendant of the star. But all is not well in Gwen’s world. She’s dealing with a messy marital separation and is struggling to move forward. So when Peter Miller, a biographer and photojournalist, comes to the museum with shocking claims about Scarlett—a life of exile in Alaska, a baby born in secret—Gwen’s whole world is turned upside down.Again.

Determined to uncover the truth, Gwen and Peter set out for Alaska together but soon find themselves on a path toward something far deeper and more meaningful than either of them ever expected.

A Storm of Infinite Beauty takes readers on a breathtaking journey from a lush vineyard in Nova Scotia to a rustic lodge in Alaska where old family secrets are revealed and the quest for true happiness begins.


Review:

Immersive, emotional, and vivid!

A Storm of Infinite Beauty is set in Valdez, Alaska and Wolfville, Nova Scotia, in both 1964 and 2017, and is told from two different perspectives; Gwen, a young woman who spends her days running a museum dedicated to Scarlett Fontaine until a biographer shares some intriguing information that sees her travelling to Alaska to unravel the secrets surrounding one year of her late, legendary family member’s life, and Valerie/Scarlet, a young girl whose life is changed forever after she spends a year of heartache, loss, and tragedy in Valdez before heading to LA to follow her dream of becoming an actress/songwriter.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are resilient, brave, and scarred. And the plot is a moving tale about life, loss, family, secrets, desperation, friendship, survival, grief, marital discord, and the devastation of the Great Alaskan earthquake.

Overall, A Storm of Infinite Beauty is a heartfelt, sentimental, affecting read by MacLean that does a lovely job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into an insightful, heart-tugging tale that is atmospheric and highly absorbing.

 

This novel is available now.

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

      

 

 

Thank you to Firefly Distributed Lines for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Julianne MacLean

Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the contemporary women’s fiction Color of Heaven Series. Readers have described her books as “breathtaking,” “soulful” and “uplifting.” MacLean is a four-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and has won numerous awards, including the Booksellers’ Best Award and a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic Times. Her novels have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been published in over a dozen languages.

MacLean has a degree in English literature from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a degree in business administration from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She loves to travel and has lived in New Zealand, Canada, and England. MacLean currently resides on the east coast of Canada in a lakeside home with her husband and daughter.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Beauty of Rain by Jamie Beck @writerjamiebeck @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #TheBeautyofRain #JamieBeck #Montlake #FireflyDist

#BookReview The Beauty of Rain by Jamie Beck @writerjamiebeck @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #TheBeautyofRain #JamieBeck #Montlake #FireflyDist Title: The Beauty of Rain

Author: Jamie Beck

Published by: Montlake Romance on Jul. 18, 2023

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 332

Format: Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 9/10

Two devoted sisters at a tragic breaking point discover the beautiful and painful truths of being alive in a powerful novel by Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Jamie Beck.

Winning the lottery changed Amy Walsh’s life, but the cost was greater than she could bear. In the aftermath, she struggles to find joy and purpose. Only one thing feels certain now—she will never spend one cent of the prize money on herself.

Worried, her older sister, Kristin DeMarco, invites Amy to live with her family while she heals. Unfortunately, this arrangement leads to trouble for Kristin: Divided focus affects her career. Her daughter prefers Amy to her. And Amy’s unsolicited opinions provoke tension between Kristin and her husband.

Meanwhile, Amy is making drastic plans of her own, which include giving away all her money. But first she must convince Kristin not to squander her most valuable asset—time with her family.

As the sisters help each other reimagine their futures, life’s unpredictability sends them to surprising places that test their love and resilience. Will they learn to live in the now, before it’s too late?


Review:

Memorable, sincere, and heartbreaking!

The Beauty of Rain is an intimate, pensive, emotionally-charged novel that sweeps you away to Old Greenwich, Connecticut and immerses you into the lives of two sisters. Amy Walsh, a young woman who is struggling to find a reason to go on after winning the lottery and subsequently losing her husband and son in a tragic accident, and Kristin DeMarco, a mother of two who is finding it harder and harder to juggle her sister’s mental health, a demanding career, and a family she doesn’t see as much as she should would like to without the constant help of a little white pill.

The writing is effortless and polished. The characters are multi-layered, genuine, anxious, and supportive. And the plot, including all the subplots, skillfully intertwines and unravels into a touching tale about life, love, guilt, grief, family drama, secrets, friendship, happiness, self-discovery, marriage, overwhelming responsibilities, the day-to-day struggles of experiencing extreme loss, and the special bonds that exist between sisters.

Overall, The Beauty of Rain is a beautiful mix of hope, heart, tragedy, and healing that is not only a heart-wrenching, emotive, lovely novel by Beck but one which I don’t think anyone could possibly read and not be thoroughly absorbed and utterly moved.

 

This novel is available now.

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

     

 

 

 

Thank you to Firefly Distributed Lines for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jamie Beck

Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than three million copies. She is a two-time Booksellers’ Best Award finalist, a National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing novels, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner @jenniferweiner @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #JenniferWeiner #TheBreakaway #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner @jenniferweiner @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #JenniferWeiner #TheBreakaway #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Breakaway

Author: Jennifer Weiner

Published by: Atria Books on Aug. 29, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a warmhearted and empowering new novel about love, family, friendship, secrets, and a life-changing journey.

Thirty-three-year-old Abby Stern has made it to a happy place. True, she still has gig jobs instead of a career, and the apartment where she’s lived since college still looks like she’s just moved in. But she’s got good friends, her bike, and her bicycling club in Philadelphia. She’s at peace with her plus-size body—at least, most of the time—and she’s on track to marry Mark Medoff, her childhood summer sweetheart, a man she met at the weight-loss camp that her perpetually dieting mother forced her to attend. Fifteen years after her final summer at Camp Golden Hills, when Abby reconnects with a half-his-size Mark, it feels like the happy ending she’s always wanted.

Yet Abby can’t escape the feeling that some­thing isn’t right…or the memories of one thrilling night she spent with a man named Sebastian two years previously. When Abby gets a last-minute invi­tation to lead a cycling trip from NYC to Niagara Falls, she’s happy to have time away from Mark, a chance to reflect and make up her mind.

But things get complicated fast. First, Abby spots a familiar face in the group—Sebastian, the one-night stand she thought she’d never see again. Sebastian is a serial dater who lives a hundred miles away. In spite of their undeniable chemistry, Abby is determined to keep her distance. Then there’s a surprise last-minute addition to the her mother, Eileen, the woman Abby blames for a lifetime of body shaming and insecurities she’s still trying to undo.

Over two weeks and more than seven hundred miles, strangers become friends, hidden truths come to light, a teenage girl with a secret unites the riders in unexpected ways…and Abby is forced to reconsider everything she believes about herself, her mother, and the nature of love.


Review:

Humorous, heartwarming, and uplifting!

The Breakaway is a sweet, slow-burning romance that takes us into the life of the hardworking, kind Abby Stern who, after needing a little space before taking the next step with her current boyfriend, Mark, decides to lead a twelve-day bike tour from NYC to Niagara Falls with two unexpected participants among the pack. One a former one-night stand notorious for his playboy lifestyle whom she’s never been able to completely forget, and the other her mother, whom she’s always had a strained complex relationship with due to her lifelong criticism of Abby’s above-average weight.

The writing is sentimental and engaging. The characters are layered, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is a touching tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, happiness, healing, taking chances, growth, revelations, tender moments, light drama, misunderstandings, romance, passion, new beginnings, the importance of body autonomy, and the joy of cycling.

Overall, The Breakaway is another charming, timely, thought-provoking tale by Weiner that has everything I’ve come to know and love about her novels, including a good dose of hope, heart, healing, and humour that always keeps me coming back for more.

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and, most recently, Mrs. Everything. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, she lives with her family in Philadelphia.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Through the Snow Globe by Annie Rains @AnnieRainsBooks @KayePublicity #KayePublicity #AnnieRains #ThroughTheSnowGlobe #HolidayReads #WomensFiction

#BookReview Through the Snow Globe by Annie Rains @AnnieRainsBooks @KayePublicity #KayePublicity #AnnieRains #ThroughTheSnowGlobe #HolidayReads #WomensFiction Title: Through the Snow Globe

Author: Annie Rains

Published by: Kensington on Aug. 22, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Kaye Publicity

Book Rating: 8.5/10

It’s a Wonderful Life meets Groundhog Day, as a woman dangerously close to losing it all receives an unexpected Christmas gift that prompts a surprising journey of self-discovery… and another chance at happiness.

What if you could have one more day with someone you lost?

Diana Merriman, a physical therapist, is probably the only person in the small town of Snow Haven, North Carolina, who isn’t looking forward to Christmas. It’s been three weeks since her fiancé Linus was critically injured when a car hit him as he biked home from the toy store he owns and manages. Watching him open his eyes is the only gift she wants, but she can’t help losing a little more hope every day.

But an unexpected visit from a friendly neighbor and finding a snow globe of Snow Haven—a gift Linus had hidden in the closet—the night before Christmas Eve changes things in ways Diana never would have imagined. Because on Christmas Eve Diana wakes up to find that it’s not—Christmas Eve, that is. Instead, it’s somehow December 4 all over again, the day Linus got hurt, and as mystified as Diana is, she immediately starts a plan to save her partner from his fate.

Nothing is that simple, of course. Instead of a single repeat of that day, Diana finds herself in an endless loop of December 4, experiencing every possible variation of events. Along the way, she uncovers startling truths about herself, her relationship, and even her career that illustrate the ways she’s retreated from her life—and in the face of life’s slights and outright blows, from her deepest feelings. Suddenly hope is second only to joy as Diana opens her heart to the people she loves in every way she can.


Review:

Thought-provoking, optimistic, and creative!

Through the Snow Globe is a moving, time-loop tale that takes you into the life of Diana, as after a tragic day when everything seems to go wrong, patients get injured, feelings are hurt, dreams of a promotion are shattered, and her beloved fiancé is involved in an accident that leaves him fighting for his life, fate magically intervenes twenty-one days later on Christmas Eve when she discovers a present hidden by Linus that once enchanted allows her to relive December 4 over and over again to try and change, grow, reshape relationships, strengthen friendships, and recognize what’s truly important.

The writing is sensitive and sincere. The characters are flawed, genuine, and weary. And the multi-layered plot is a heartfelt, absorbing tale about life, love, family, friendship, trust, compassion, romance, happiness, destiny, self-reflection, and second chances.

Overall, Through the Snow Globe is an emotional, pensive, heartwarming tale by Rains that reminds us that life is complicated, things happen for a reason, often the choices we make have consequences, letting people in is never a bad thing, and love is, ultimately, always worth fighting for.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Kaye Publicity for gifting me a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Annie Rains

Annie Rains is a USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional places in her home state of North Carolina. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s living out her own happily ever after with her husband and three children.Annie Rains is a USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional places in her home state of North Carolina. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s living out her own happily ever after with her husband and three children.

Photograph courtesy of Read-Forever Website.

#BookReview Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley & Harry Whittaker @lucindariley @HarryTwittaker @PGCBooks #AtlasTheStoryofPaSalt #LucindaRiley #HarryWhittaker #TheSevenSistersSeries #PGCBooks

#BookReview Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley & Harry Whittaker @lucindariley @HarryTwittaker @PGCBooks #AtlasTheStoryofPaSalt #LucindaRiley #HarryWhittaker #TheSevenSistersSeries #PGCBooks Title: Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt

Author: Lucinda Riley, Harry Whittaker

Series: The Seven Sisters #8

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 11, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 784

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Spanning a lifetime of love and loss, crossing borders and oceans, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt, co-authored by her son Harry Whittaker, draws Lucinda Riley’s saga to its stunning, unforgettable conclusion.

1928, Paris. A boy is found, moments from death, and taken in by a kindly family. Gentle, precocious, talented, he flourishes in his new home, and the family show him a life he hadn’t dreamed possible. But he refuses to speak a word about who he really is.

As he grows into a young man, falling in love and taking classes at the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris, he can almost forget the terrors of his past, or the promise he has vowed to keep. But across Europe an evil is rising, and no-one’s safety is certain. In his heart, he knows the time will come when he must flee once more.

2008, the Aegean. The seven sisters are gathered together for the first time, on board the Titan, to say a final goodbye to the enigmatic father they loved so dearly.

To the surprise of everyone, it is the missing sister who Pa Salt has chosen to entrust with the clue to their pasts. But for every truth revealed, another question emerges. The sisters must confront the idea that their adored father was someone they barely knew. And even more shockingly: that these long-buried secrets may still have consequences for them today.

In this epic conclusion to the Seven Sisters series, everything will be revealed.


Review:

Fascinating, heartfelt, and absorbing!

Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt is the eighth instalment in The Seven Sisters series, set from 1928 to 2008, that sweeps you away into the life of Pa Salt, the loving father of seven girls who, after gathering together for the first time in a long time to celebrate his life, finally have the opportunity with the journal he left behind to unravel the secrets of his past and discover how they all came together to become one big family.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are considerate, caring, and troubled. And the plot is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching tale of life, loss, familial drama, self-discovery, grief, friendship, forgiveness, unconditional love, courage, hope, selflessness, revenge, and survival.

Overall, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt is the brilliant conclusion to an extraordinary saga that is a testament to the amazing storytelling abilities of the late Lucinda Riley, as well as what must have been an incredibly difficult yet unbelievable literary achievement by her son Harry Whittaker. It is hard to believe that this fascinating, mysterious, exceptionally absorbing series has come to an end, but what a way to end. It doesn’t get much better than this. And even though it’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye to these characters I’ve come to know and love over these past eight books, it’s been a true pleasure and sheer delight to have been able to immerse myself in the histories, lives, loves and losses of them all.

 

 

This novel 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 Harry Whittaker

Harry Whittaker grew up in the 1990s and spent the first few years of his life on the rural west coast of Ireland. The son of the author Lucinda Riley, Harry became a storyteller himself, as an award-winning radio presenter for the BBC and a member of one of the UK’s most renowned improv troupes. In 2019, Harry and Lucinda co-authored the Guardian Angels series for children – four reassuring, timeless stories addressing worries that a small child may have.

After Lucinda’s death in 2021, it was announced that Harry would complete the Seven Sisters series on behalf of his late mother. Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt publishes globally in May 2023.

Harry lives in Yorkshire, England.

About Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland and, after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four.

Her books have been translated into thirty-seven languages and sold thirty million copies worldwide. She is a New York Times and Sunday Times number one bestseller.Lucinda's Seven Sisters series, which tells the story of adopted sisters and is inspired by the mythology of the famous star cluster, has become a global phenomenon. The series is a number one bestseller across the world and is currently in development with a major TV production company.

Though she brought up her four children mostly in Norfolk in England, in 2015 Lucinda fulfilled her dream of buying a remote farmhouse in West Cork, Ireland, which she always felt was her spiritual home, and indeed this was where her last five books were written. Lucinda was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and died in June 2021

#BookReview Hotel Laguna by Nicola Harrison @NicolaHAuthor @StMartinsPress #HotelLaguna #NicolaHarrison #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Hotel Laguna by Nicola Harrison @NicolaHAuthor @StMartinsPress #HotelLaguna #NicolaHarrison #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Hotel Laguna

Author: Nicola Harrison

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 20, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In 1942, Hazel Francis left Wichita, Kansas for California, determined to do her part for the war effort. At Douglas Aircraft, she became one of many “Rosie the Riveters,” helping construct bombers for the U. S. military. But now the war is over, men have returned to their factory jobs, and women like Hazel have been dismissed, expected to return home to become wives and mothers.

Unwilling to be forced into a traditional woman’s role in the Midwest, Hazel remains on the west coast, and finds herself in the bohemian town of Laguna Beach. Desperate for work, she accepts a job as an assistant to famous artist Hanson Radcliff. Beloved by the locals for his contributions to the art scene and respected by the critics, Radcliff lives under the shadow of a decades old scandal that haunts him.

Working hard to stay on her cantankerous employer’s good side, Hazel becomes a valued member of the community. She never expected to fall in love with the rhythms of life in Laguna, nor did she expect to find a kindred spirit in Jimmy, the hotel bartender whose friendship promises something more. But Hazel still wants to work with airplanes—maybe even learn to fly one someday. Torn between pursuing her dream and the dream life she has been granted, she is unsure if giving herself over to Laguna is what her heart truly wants.


Review:

Nostalgic, romantic, and intriguing!

Hotel Laguna is a vivid, compelling tale that takes you into the life of Hazel Francis, an independent young woman who, after moving from Kansas to California to help in the war effort, finds herself settling in the artsy city of Laguna Beach after the war ends working as a girl Friday for the temperamental, eccentric Hanson Radcliff and developing a budding attraction for Jimmy, the handsome, helpful bartender at the Hotel Laguna.

The prose is rich and sentimental. The characters are complex, talented, and kind. And the plot is an engaging tale about life, loss, friendship, determination, kindness, romance, happiness, self-discovery, and community.

Overall, Hotel Laguna is a sweet, tender, delightful summer read by Harrison, complete with strong, endearing characters, a touching storyline, and an insightful look into life in 1940s California.

 

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 Nicola Harrison

Born in England, Nicola Harrison moved to CA where she received a BA in Literature at UCLA before moving to NYC and earning an MFA in creative writing at Stony Brook. She is a member of The Writers Room, has short stories published in The Southampton Review and Glimmer Train and articles in Los Angeles Magazine and Orange Coast Magazine. She was the fashion and style staff writer for Forbes, had a weekly column at Lucky Magazine and is the founder of a personal styling business, Harrison Style.

Photo by Erwin List.

#BookReview Our Place on the Island by Erika Montgomery @erikamwriter @StMartinsPress #OurPlaceOnTheIsland #ErikaMontgomery #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Our Place on the Island by Erika Montgomery @erikamwriter @StMartinsPress #OurPlaceOnTheIsland #ErikaMontgomery #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Our Place on the Island

Author: Erika Montgomery

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 13, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

For decades, the Campbell women have reunited at the family’s rambling seaside cottage known as Beech House to celebrate life’s many occasions. But this year, they will be called back to Martha’s Vineyard for a celebration of a different their beloved matriarch Cora is getting remarried. And all the town gossips are calling him the one who got away, years ago…

For renowned chef Mickey Campbell, this wedding isn’t just a welcome excuse to return to the place she first learned to cook at her grandmother’s side. It’s also a chance to regroup while she figures out a way to tell her smoldering head chef boyfriend that she’s mismanaged their restaurant into the red.

Mickey’s mother, Hedy, is still mourning the passing of her adored father three years earlier, and she isn’t sure she’s ready to welcome a new man into the fold―and she’s not certain her own thorny relationship with her mother will weather the storm of her upcoming marriage.

But everyone knows a woman’s heart holds more than meets the eye. For Cora, drawing her daughter and granddaughter back to Beech House isn’t just about a ceremony, but a chance to reveal a history she has kept close to her heart for decades. As the days leading up to the wedding unfold, secrets of Cora’s past come to light– a secret that will cause three generations of Campbell women to question marriage, motherhood, and ultimately learn to savor the delicious joy of following your own heart.

Told in dual timelines on the sumptuous beaches of Martha’s Vineyard, OUR PLACE ON THE ISLAND is the sparkling, romantic read of the season.


Review:

Captivating, heartfelt, and sentimental!

Our Place on the Island is an enchanting, tender tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic Martha’s Vineyard and immerses you into the lives of three generations of women from the Campbell family and all the wounds, secrets, smiles, tears, hurt, compassion, strength, and loyalty that surround them.

The prose is reflective and sweet. The characters are kind, considerate, and concerned. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style, intertwines and unravels into a charming tale of familial dynamics, drama, emotion, secrets, love, loss, duty, heartbreak, introspection, passion, tradition, and new beginnings.

Overall, Our Place on the Island is a nostalgic, absorbing, uplifting tale by Montgomery that highlights the complex ties that bind us as family and reminds us that happy-ever-afters come in all different forms but rarely resemble those we read about in fairytales.

 

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 Erika Montgomery

A card-carrying cinephile and native New Englander, novelist Erika Montgomery lives with her family in the Mid-Atlantic where she teaches creative writing and watches an unspeakable amount of old movies. A Summer to Remember is her debut novel.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.