Women’s Fiction

#BookReview
The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain
@D_Chamberlain @StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

From perennial bestseller Diane Chamberlain, a compelling new novel

In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina, a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her, a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?


Book Rating: 10/10

Poignant, candid, and insightful!

The Stolen Marriage is predominantly set in North Carolina during WWII and is the story of Tess, a young woman who finds her life unexpectedly turned upside down after one night of irresponsibility and the choices and sacrifices she must then make to survive and ultimately find fulfillment, happiness, and unconditional love.

The writing is precise, captivating and fluid. The characters are multi-faceted, genuine, and endearing. And the plot is a sweeping saga filed with family, loss, secrets, determination, self-discovery, faith, discrimination, racial segregation, as well as an in-depth look at the devastating polio epidemic of the 1940s.

The Stolen Marriage is a wonderfully written novel by Chamberlain that grabs you from the very start and does an exceptional job of blending historical facts, suspense, and a little paranormal into an incredibly fascinating story.

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

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

For more information on Diane Chamberlain, visit her website at: dianechamberlain.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @D_Chamberlain


#BookReview
Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree
@jamieraintree @HarlequinBooks

Synopsis:

Yes is such a little word…

Dr. Dylan Michels has worked hard for a perfect life, so when her longtime boyfriend, Cooper, gets down on one knee, it should be the most perfect moment of all. Then why does she say no?

For too many years, Dylan’s been living for her sister, who never got the chance to grow up. But her attempt to be the perfect daughter, perfect partner and perfect doctor hasn’t been enough to silence the haunting guilt Dylan feels over her sister’s death—and the role no one knows she played in it.

Now Dylan must face her past if she and Cooper stand a chance at a future together. But when Cooper makes a startling confession of his own, can Dylan find the courage to define her own happiness before her life becomes perfectly undone?

Set among the breezy days of a sultry Portland summer, Perfectly Undone is a deeply moving novel of family secrets, forgiveness and finding yourself in the most surprising of places.


Book Rating: 8/10

Emotional, vivid, and relatable!

Perfectly Undone is an engaging tale that takes us into the life of Dr. Dylan Michels, a woman who finds herself quickly unraveling as she tries to not only live with the responsibility and guilt she secretly harbours, but also balance a successful career, intimate relationship, and familial obligations.

The writing is descriptive and genuine. The characters are diligent, compulsive, and tenacious. And the plot is an intriguing tale full of heartache, loss, grief, betrayal, infidelity, relationship dynamics, family, romance, and love.

Overall, I think, Perfectly Undone is a fantastic debut for Raintree that does an excellent job of highlighting the importance of forgiving one’s self, moving on, and living life to the fullest.

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

This book is available now.

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

                                            

For more information on Jamie Raintree visit her website at: jamieraintree.com/for-writers/

or follow her on Twitter at: @jamieraintree

#BookReview
Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand
@elinhilderbrand @littlebrown

The Official Synopsis:

Raise one last glass with the Quinn Family at the Winter Street Inn.

It’s been too long since the entire Quinn family has been able to celebrate the holidays under the same roof, but that’s about to change. With Bart back safe and sound from Afghanistan, the Quinns are preparing for a holiday more joyous than any they’ve experienced in years. And Bart’s safe return isn’t the family’s only good news: Kevin is enjoying married life with Isabelle; Patrick is getting back on his feet after paying his debt to society; Ava thinks she’s finally found the love of her life; and Kelly is thrilled to see his family reunited at last. But it just wouldn’t be a Quinn family gathering if things went smoothly. A celebration of everything we love–and some of the things we endure–about the holidays, WINTER SOLSTICE is Elin Hilderbrand at her festive best.


Book Rating: 8/10

Affecting, heartwarming, and romantic!

Winter Solstice is a sweet, unexpected surprise that gives us one last chance to check in with the Quinns and savour their special moments, new loves, old loves, and heartbreaking losses.

The prose is clean and crisp. The characters are lovable, engaging, and genuine. And the plot is a compelling tale about life, love, family, acceptance, loss, sorrow, friendship, growing up, growing old, and moving on.

Winter Solstice is ultimately an emotional ending to a charming series that will make you laugh, make you smile, and at times even make you cry. A true wintry delight!

If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for some of the other novels in the Winter Street Series, be sure to check them out here:

 

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

This book is available now.

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

                                        

For more information on Elin Hilderbrand, visit her website at: elinhilderbrand.net

or follow her on twitter at: @elinhilderbrand

#BookReview
Killer Affair by Rebecca Chance
@MsRebeccaChance @PGCBooks

Synopsis:

A shocking betrayal deserves a wicked revenge . . .

Stunning, charismatic Lexy O’Brien is the reigning queen of British reality TV. Her life in front of the camera is planned and manipulated as successfully as any military assault.

But success breeds jealousy. When you’re on top, the only way is down and there’s always someone standing by to give you a shove . . .

Dowdy Caroline Evans, a part-time blogger and writer of erotic fiction, is brought in to chronicle Lexy’s life. Being taken under Lexy’s wing is a dream come true for Caroline. But sampling the star’s lifestyle is like tasting the most addictive of drugs, and it’s not long before she is craving what she can’t possibly have – or can she?

And as Caroline and Lexy’s lives and loves become increasingly entwined, it’s only a matter of time before the hidden rivalry becomes a powder keg waiting to explode . . .


Book Rating: 8/10

Scandalous, salacious, and outrageously entertaining!

Killer Affair is an alluring novel that takes us into the lives of the rich and famous and reminds us that everything that glitters is not gold and often behind the shiny facade and quintessential social media postings is an abundance of power, obsession, envy, deception, betrayal, infidelity, and revenge.

The writing is well done. The characters are ambitious, self-indulgent, and vain. And the plot is a clever, captivating mix of humour, drama, action, and sex.

Overall, I have to say Killer Affair is truly a scintillating, enjoyable treat that’s perfect for anyone who loves all the backstabbing, glamour, gossip, and sexual hijinks of reality TV. It will make you smile, laugh, and at times even leave you at a loss for words.

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

This book is available now.

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

                                  

For more information on Rebecca Chance, visit her website at: rebeccachanceauthor.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @MsRebeccaChance

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
One Day in December by Shari Low
@sharilow @Aria_Fiction

Synopsis:

By the stroke of midnight, a heart would be broken, a cruel truth revealed, a devastating secret shared, and a love betrayed. Four lives would be changed forever, One Day in December.

One morning in December…

Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a lifetime of lies.

Lila decided today would be the day that she told her lover’s wife of their secret affair.

Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he loved.

And Bernadette vowed that this was the day she would walk away from her controlling husband of 30 years and never look back.

One day, four lives on a collision course with destiny…


Book Rating: 10/10

Positively addictive, delightfully mesmerizing, and absolutely brilliant!

This novel takes us on a moving journey into the lives of four strangers for one day and introduces us to their thoughts, feelings, motivations, fears, and dreams and highlights just how small the world truly is and how quickly strangers can become friends and friends can become strangers.

The writing is expressive, amusing, and effortless. The characterization is spot on with a whole slew of characters that are genuine, multi-layered, intriguing and unique. And the plot is a series of compelling subplots that are skillfully unravelled and intertwined to create an unforgettable, heartfelt, humorous story about life, love, loss, family, adultery, deception, lies, friendship, romance, and happiness.

I have to admit that Shari Low has the amazing ability to sweep me away to a place I don’t want to leave and immerses me into the lives of characters I can’t get enough of and this novel is no exception and Shari Low one day is definitely not enough. I can’t tell you how excited and honoured I was to be asked to read, review, and kick off this blog tour, and as most of you may already know there are a few authors I love, Karen Swan, Lucinda Riley and Shari Low you’re one of them.

If you haven’t already had a chance to read my review for some of Shari Low’s other novels be sure to check them out here:

About the Author:

 

Shari lives in Glasgow and writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for a well-known newspaper. She is married to a very laid-back guy and has two athletic teenage sons, who think she’s fairly embarrassing, except when they need a lift.

 

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

This book is available now.

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

                                            

For more information on Shari Low, visit her website at: sharilow.com 

or follow her on Twitter at@sharilow

For more information on Aria Fiction, visit their website at: ariafiction.com 

or follow them on Twitter at: @Aria_Fiction

#BookReview
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
@gabriellezevin @PenguinCanada

Synopsis:

From the author of the international bestseller The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes another novel that will have everyone talking.

Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida, makes the mistake of having an affair with her boss–and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the beloved congressman doesn’t take the fall. But Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins: slut-shamed, she becomes a late-night talk show punch line, anathema to politics.

She sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. This time, she tries to be smarter about her life and strives to raise her daughter, Ruby, to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, Aviva decides to run for public office herself, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet and catches up–an inescapable scarlet A. In the digital age, the past is never, ever, truly past. And it’s only a matter of time until Ruby finds out who her mother was and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she knows.

Young Jane Young is a smart, funny, and moving novel about what it means to be a woman of any age, and captures not just the mood of our recent highly charged political season, but also the double standards alive and well in every aspect of life for women.


Book Rating: 8/10

Clever, humorous, and highly entertaining!

Young Jane Young is an engaging, satisfying tale that reminds us that the internet although an invaluable source of information and a blessing is also often a curse where mistakes are never forgotten.

The story is divided into multiple sections and told from various perspectives; Rachel, Aviva’s mother whose attempts at online dating is dismal at best; Jane/Aviva, a young events planner who has successfully carved out a new life and identity after falling in love with the wrong man; Ruby, Jane’s inquisitive and direct teenage daughter; and Embeth, the congressman’s forgiving and supportive wife.

The characters are strong, female, and resilient. The prose is smooth, fresh, and exceptionally witty. And the plot interweaves and unfolds effortlessly using unconventional, unique writing styles, such as emails and “choose your own adventure” to keep you intrigued and absorbed from start to finish.

Young Jane Young is ultimately a lighthearted, warm, enjoyable story about empowerment, survival, feminism, shame, acceptance, adultery, politics, scandals, and the unfair sexist stigma that still surrounds women and their sexual behaviour today.

If you haven’t already checked out my review for The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, one of my favourite books from last year,  be sure to check it out here:

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

For more information on Gabrielle Zevin, follow her on Facebook at: gabriellezevin.com

or on Twitter at: @gabriellezevin

#BookReview
The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley
@lucindariley @PGCBooks

 

Synopsis:

It has been 24 years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now-crumbling house, “Pandora,” is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family. Yet, as soon as Helena arrives at Pandora, she knows that its idyllic beauty masks a web of secrets that she has kept from William, her husband, and Alex, her son. At the difficult age of 13, Alex is torn between protecting his beloved mother, and growing up. And equally, desperate to learn the truth about his real father. When, by chance, Helena meets her childhood sweetheart, a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make her past and present collide. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same, once Pandora’s secrets have been revealed . . .


Book Rating: 10/10

Lighthearted, mesmerizing, and genuinely heartfelt!

The Olive Tree is an engrossing tale that reminds us that life is often a messy journey complete with smiles, tears, happiness, and heartbreak.

It is set on the idyllic island of Cyprus and takes us into the lives of two main families who on the surface seem to have it all, great relationships, beautiful houses, and good kids, but over the course of one hot summer marriages will be tested, secrets will be revealed, love will be found, love will be lost, and lives will be changed forever.

The prose is expressive, sincere, and smooth. The characters are charming, multi-layered, and alluring. And the plot is a wonderful, contemporary mix of life, love, coming-of-age, humour, family dynamics, deception, and mystery that starts in the present, takes you back 10-years in the past, and finishes when the past and present collides.

There are only a few authors that no matter the theme or size of the book their stories are always filled with magical characters I can’t get enough of and stories that are so atmospheric and vivid I’m entertained, enthralled and swept away and Lucinda Riley is one of them. She has the incredible ability to take her innate knowledge of all the psychological and emotional entanglements found in nuclear families and weave them into a story you can’t put down. I absolutely loved this book and will now try my hardest to patiently await her next release, The Pearl Sister, book #4 in The Seven Sisters series due out late 2017/early 2018.

If you haven’t checked out my reviews for some of Lucinda Riley’s other novels be sure to check them out here:

 

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

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

For more information on Lucinda Riley, visit her website at: lucindariley.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @lucindariley

 

#BookReview
Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes
@hughesanita @StMartinsPress

 

Synopsis:

Lily Bristol arrives at a luxurious resort in Sardinia for the grand opening of her newest home furnishing store on the Emerald Coast. Thirty-two and newly divorced, she’s ready to handle things on her own. At least until her private butler, Hector, escorts her to a beautiful suite where she notices a suspiciously familiar pair of men’s slippers and shaving kit. Lily is horrified. Her ex-husband Oliver moved out of their restored Connecticut farmhouse six months ago, but they booked this trip when they were trying to save their marriage and never cancelled the reservation. Oliver, a food critic for the New York Times, is here covering Sardinia’s hottest new restaurant. The only other available room is the adjoining suite; and worse, Oliver isn’t alone. He’s brought a twenty-something named Angela with him.

Lily is determined to make do and enlists Hector to find her a suitable man. But it’s not as easy to find new love as they both expected. When Lily and Oliver find themselves alone on a very important night, they turn to each other. Sparks begin to fly, but can they be together without breaking each other’s hearts?

Set on the glamorous Italian island, EMERALD COAST is a touching and humorous story about marriage and the difficulty of finding love and happiness at the same time. With the summer season winding down, Hughes’ latest will have you soaking in the last rays of summer sun and dreaming of endlessly warm days.


Book Rating: 7/10

Sweet, uplifting, and romantic!

Emerald Coast, the latest novel by Hughes, takes us into the lives of the recently divorced Lily and Oliver and reminds us of the complicated ups and downs of marriage, the importance of appreciating what we have, accepting the things we can’t change, and understanding that honesty and trust truly are the backbone of love and happiness.

The prose is exceptionally descriptive. The characters are successful, driven, and quirky. And the plot is a charming mix of life, friendship, family, introspection, jealousy, forgiveness, drama, courage, new love, old love, sex, and mouth-watering cuisine. 

Emerald Coast is the second novel I’ve read by Hughes and even though I would have liked to connect with the characters a little bit more when it comes to writing a lighthearted, easy read set in a tropical paradise and full of all the glitz and glamour of the rich and famous she nails it.

If you haven’t already had a chance to read my review of White Sand, Blue Sea be sure to check it out here:

About the Author:

ANITA HUGHES is the author of Monarch Beach, Market Street, Lake Como, French Coast, Rome in Love, Island in the Sea, Santorini Sunsets, and Christmas in Paris. She attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program, and lives in Dana Point, California where she is at work on her next novel.

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

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

                                          

For more information on Anita Hughes, visit her website at: anitahughesbooks.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @hughesanita

#BlogTour & #BookReview
It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan
@katekerrigan @HoZ_Books

Synopsis:

Set in late 1950s Ireland and New York, the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.

Set, like Maeve Binchy’s early bestsellers, in late 1950s Ireland and New York, this is the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.

Patrick Murphy has charm to burn and a singing voice to die for. Many people will recognise his talent. Many women will love him. Rose, the sweetheart he leaves behind in Ireland, can never forget him and will move heaven and earth to find him again, long after he has married another woman. Ava, the heiress with no self-confidence except on the dance floor, falls under his spell. And tough Sheila Klein, orphaned by the Holocaust and hungry for success as a music manager, she will be ruthless in her determination to unlock his extraordinary star quality.

But in the end, Patrick Murphy’s heart belongs to only one of them. Which one will it be?


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Heartwarming, impassioned, and alluring!

This is a compelling story about first loves, friendship, community, goals, dreams, family and music that is set during the late 1950s when New York was a melting pot of immigrants and Manhattan was the hub of the American music industry.

There are four main memorable characters in this novel; Rose, a young Irish lass who leaves comfort and security behind in hopes of finding her first love; Ava, a woman with insecurities but a lot of heart; Sheila a Jewish orphan who has lots of spunk, tenacity and grit; and Danny, the dark-haired, blue-eyed small-town lad who turns all their heads with his angelic voice.

The writing is vivid and sincere. The supporting characters are multi-layered, unique, and true to character. And the plot is a wonderful mix of passion, drama, character development and emotion.

Overall this is an extremely engaging, memorable, enjoyable read that does a remarkable job of interweaving historical facts, fiction, and romance.

About the Author:

 

 

Kate Kerrigan lives in County Mayo, Eire, with her husband and children. Her novels include Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, shortlisted for the 2006 Romantic Novel of the Year Award and Ellis Island, which was a TV Book Club Summer Read.

 

 

Thank you to Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

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

                                            

For more information on Kate Kerrigan, visit her website at: http://katekerrigan.ie

or follow her on Twitter at: @katekerrigan

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Every Secret Thing By Rachel Crowther
@bookollective

Synopsis:

Can you ever bury the past?

She’d recognised in him something of herself: that sense of not belonging, of secrets fiercely kept . . .

Five friends, newly graduated, travel together to the Lake District. Young and ambitious, they little imagine the events that will overtake them that fateful summer, tearing their fragile group apart.

Twenty years later, they return to the same spot, summoned by a mysterious bequest. It’s not long before old friendships – and old romances – are re-kindled. But soon, too, rivalries begin to re-emerge and wounds are painfully reopened . . .

How long does it take for past sins to be forgiven? And can the things they destroy ever really be recovered?


Book Rating: 7/10

Intense, sobering, and perceptive!

This is a character-driven novel that reminds us that life is precious and short and that everyone and everything that enters it shapes, defines, and influences us.

The writing is intelligent and descriptive. The characters are complex, secretive, and selfish. And the plot, although a little slow at times, is narrated from multiple perspectives and written in a past/present style that does a remarkable job of revealing all the personalities, motivations, and actions within it and finishes with a nice little twist.

This is ultimately a novel about life, friendship, secrets, manipulation, desire, jealousy, acceptance and forgiveness and has a very contemplative, moody feel. And although it is very clear from the onset that Crowther is a strong, literary writer I would have preferred the characters to have a few more redeeming qualities and be a little more likable.

About the Author:

Rachel Crowther qualified as a doctor and worked in the NHS for twenty years before succumbing to a lifelong yearning to write fiction, previously indulged during successive bouts of maternity leave. She has an MA in Creative Writing with distinction from Oxford Brookes, and a string of prizes for her short fiction.

Her first novel, THE PARTRIDGE AND THE PELICAN, was published in 2011 and was a Tatler ‘sizzling summer read’. THE THINGS YOU DO FOR LOVE is published in August 2016 and has been called ‘a delight of a read’ by Fay Weldon, ‘the very best sort of fiction’ by Juliet Nicolson (A House Full of Daughters) and ‘a richly textured tale of life and love’ by Richard Mason (The Drowning People).

Rachel has five children, two mad dogs and an abiding passion for music, art, cooking and travel, both in Britain and further afield. She currently lives in Surrey.

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

This book is available now.

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

                                            

For more information on Rachel Crowther, visit her website at: rachelcrowther.co.uk

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