Book Review

A book review is a summary of my thoughts, feelings, and impression of a book.

#BookReview The School Teacher of Saint-Michel @sarah_l_steele @Mobius_Books @headlinepg #TheSchoolTeacherofSaintMichel #SarahSteele #MobiusBooksUS

#BookReview The School Teacher of Saint-Michel @sarah_l_steele @Mobius_Books @headlinepg #TheSchoolTeacherofSaintMichel #SarahSteele #MobiusBooksUS Title: The School Teacher of Saint-Michel

Author: Sarah Steele

Published by: Headline Books on Jun. 14, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 405

Format: Paperback

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 10/10

My darling girl, I need you to find someone for me . . .’

France, 1942. At the end of the day, the schoolteacher releases her pupils. She checks they have their identity passes, and warns them not to stop until the German guards have let them through the barrier that separates occupied France from Free France. As the little ones fly across the border and into their mothers’ arms, she breathes a sigh of relief. No one is safe now. Not even the children.

Berkshire, present day. A letter left to her by her beloved late grandmother Gigi takes Hannah Stone on a journey deep into the heart of the Dordogne landscape. As she begins to unravel a forgotten history of wartime bravery and sacrifice, she discovers the heartrending secret that binds her grandmother to a village schoolteacher, the remarkable Lucie Laval…


Beautiful, captivating, and heart-tugging!

The School Teacher of Saint-Michel is predominantly set in France during 1942, as well as present day, and is told from two different perspectives; Hannah, a young woman who journeys to France after her grandmother’s death to unravel the secrets of her past, and Lucie, a school teacher who even at the detriment to her own safety does whatever she needs to in order to smuggle as many Jewish children as possible over the demarcation line and out of Nazi-occupied territory and into free France.

The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are multi-layered, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is a moving tale about life, love, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, desperation, courage, hope, war, survival, suffering, romance, familial relationships, and regret.

Overall, The School Teacher of Saint-Michel is the perfect blend of historical facts, evocative fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a bittersweet, affecting, tender tale that will make you smile, make you cry, and resonate with you long after you finish the final page.

This novel is available now.

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




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


About Sarah Steele


After training in London as a classical pianist and violinist, Sarah joined the world of publishing as an editorial assistant at Hodder and Stoughton. She was for many years a freelance editor, and now lives in the vibrant Gloucestershire town of Stroud.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Dark King by Gina L. Maxwell @Gina_L_Maxwell @entangledpub @angelamelamud #TheDarkKing #GinaLMaxwell #DeviantKingsSeries

#BookReview The Dark King by Gina L. Maxwell @Gina_L_Maxwell @entangledpub @angelamelamud #TheDarkKing #GinaLMaxwell #DeviantKingsSeries Title: The Dark King

Author: Gina L. Maxwell

Series: Deviant Kings #1

Published by: Entangled Publishing on Sep. 27, 2022

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Angela Melamud, Entangled Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

For Bryn Meara, a free trip to the exclusive and ultra-luxe Nightfall hotel and casino in Vegas should’ve been the perfect way to escape the debris of her crumbling career. But waking up from a martini-and-lust-fueled night to find herself married to Caiden Verran, the reclusive billionaire who owns the hotel and most of the city, isn’t the jackpot one would think. It seems her dark and sexy new husband is actual royalty—the fae king of the Night Court—and there’s an entire world beneath the veil of Vegas.

Whether light or shadow, the fae are a far cry from fairy tales, and now they’ve made Bryn a pawn in their dark games for power. And Caiden is the most dangerous of all—an intoxicating cocktail of sin and raw, insatiable hunger. She should run. But every night of passion pulls Bryn deeper into his strange and sinister world, until she’s no longer certain she wants to leave…even if she could.


Dark, edgy, and sinful!

The Dark King is a seductive, consuming, highly entertaining paranormal romance that takes you on a journey into the life of Bryn Meara, an intelligent young woman who, after losing her job and accepting a free trip to Vegas, inadvertently finds herself swept off her feet by the handsome, successful Caiden Verran who is not only the king of sin city with a proclivity for BDSM but also, unknown to most, the true fae king of the Night Court.

The writing is sensual and fluid. The characters are consumed, impulsive, and intense. And the plot is a fast-paced, delightfully salacious tale of desire, temptation, mystique, attraction, chemistry, danger, deception, sizzling romance, and the supernatural.

Overall, The Dark King is an intriguing, alluring, sultry tale by Maxwell that has just the right amount of mystery, sex, unique characters, and bad boy vibes to keep you engaged from start to finish. As most of you know, I never used to read a lot of paranormal romance, but recently I seem to be reading more and more and loving it, and The Dark King is no exception. It’s the perfect standalone to kick off this Deviant Kings series, and I can’t wait to read what this extraordinary team of otherworldly beings manage to get up to next in The Rebel King, publishing next summer.


This novel is available now!

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




Thank you to Entangled Publishing and Angela Melamud for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Gina L. Maxwell

Gina L. Maxwell is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 International bestselling author living in the upper Midwest, despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. As a lifelong romance novel addict, she began writing as another way of enjoying the Happily Ever After stories she's always loved. Her debut novel in 2012, SEDUCING CINDERELLA, hit the bestseller lists within the first month of its release and continues to be a favorite with readers a full decade later. When she’s not reading, writing, or spending way too much money on planners and office supplies, she enjoys hanging out with her son and daughter who’ve left the nest, snuggling with her fur babies, and dreaming of her someday-move to someplace tropical.

Photo courtesy of Entangled Publishing Website.

#BookReview The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings by Joanna Nadin @joannanadin @PGCBooks @MantleBooks #TheDoubleLifeofDaisyHemmings #JoannaNadin #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings by Joanna Nadin @joannanadin @PGCBooks @MantleBooks #TheDoubleLifeofDaisyHemmings #JoannaNadin #PGCBooks Title: The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings

Author: Joanna Nadin

Published by: Mantle Books on Sep. 5, 2022

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

The characters in this book are works of fiction. But, then, isn’t everyone . . . ?

1988, Pencalenick, Cornwall.
At seventeen, Jason wants much more from life than working at his father’s pub and when fate, in the form of twins Daisy and Bea and their small circle of friends, offers him a glimpse of another, more glamorous, world, he’s determined to become a part of it. It’s Daisy who Jason is most entranced by, though. Everyone is: she’s the sun around which others orbit.
The trouble with the sun, of course, is that those who get too close risk getting burned – and by the end of the summer, one of the group will be dead.

2018, Camberwell, London.
When famous actress Daisy Hemmings decides it’s time to publish her autobiography, she chooses James Tate to write it. James is a ghost writer: it’s his job to step into other people’s shoes; to tell their stories for them. And he’s good at it. Very good. After all, he’s had years of practice at pretending to be someone he’s not.
But what happens when past and present – and truth and lies – collide?

Joanna Nadin’s The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings is an unflinching, unforgettable novel about the people we are, the people we’d like to be, and the price we pay for getting what we want . . .


Intricate, intriguing and twisty!

The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings is an intense, complex tale set in Cornwall during 1988, as well as 2018, that takes you into the life of Jason Pengelly, a.k.a. James Tate, a working-class teen who, after getting swept up with a group of wealthy visitors, including twins Daisy and Bea Hicks, has his life irrevocably changed one night when an accident leaves one twin dead and Jason himself presumed dead.

The writing is tense and tight. The characters are secretive, self-involved, and troubled. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style, unfolds slowly into a simmering tale full of emotion, manipulation, deception, desperation, jealousy, obsession, overindulgence, social status, and competition.

Overall, The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings is a captivating, eerie, bewildering tale by Nadin that does a wonderful job of delving into the dynamic relationship between sisters, especially twins, and reminds us that we only see what people want us to see, and even then we only see what we want to see.


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 Joanna Nadin

A former broadcast journalist, Downing Street political adviser and government speechwriter, Joanna Nadin is the author of more than eighty books for children and teenagers, including the Flying Fergus series with Sir Chris Hoy, the bestselling Rachel Riley diaries, based on the author’s teenage years, and the Carnegie Medal-nominated Joe All Alone, which is now a BAFTA-winning BBC drama. She is also a lecturer on the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

The Talk of Pram Town is her second novel for adults; her first was The Queen of Bloody Everything.

Photo courtesy of Pan Macmillan's Website.

#BookReview Pride & Puppies (Pine Hollow #4) by Lizzie Shane @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #LizzieShane #Pride&Puppies #PineHollowSeries

#BookReview Pride & Puppies (Pine Hollow #4) by Lizzie Shane @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #LizzieShane #Pride&Puppies #PineHollowSeries Title: Pride & Puppies

Author: Lizzie Shane

Series: Pine Hollow #4

Published by: Forever on Nov. 22, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Struggling to find her modern-day Mr. Darcy, a Jane Austen fan gets more than she bargained for when she swears off men and adopts an adorable puppy. 

Dr. Charlotte Rodriguez is single—again—and she blames Jane Austen. She made brooding, aloof men sound oh sodreamy. But after years of failing to find her own Mr. Darcy, Charlotte decides it’s time to swear off dating. She’s going to lavish all her love and affection on someone who actually deserves it: her new puppy, Bingley.

And there’s no one better to give her pet advice than her neighbor and coworker George Leneghan. He’s quiet and patient and, best of all, way too sweet to ever be her type. But as their friendly banter turns flirty, the unimaginable happens—Charlotte starts catching feelings.

Just as Charlotte is trying to untangle what it is she truly wants, George announces he’s contemplating a cross-country move. Suddenly, Charlotte wonders if she’s kept her soulmate in the friend zone so long that she’s entirely missed her chance at a happily ever after. Dear Reader, could it be possible she’s had it wrong all this time?


Heartfelt, light, and fun!

Pride & Puppies is a sweet, engaging tale that transports you to the idyllic Pine Hollow and into the lives of the intelligent, hardworking Charlotte who has finally decided to give up her quest for Mr. Darcy, swear off men completely, and adopt a puppy for companionship instead, and the patient, considerate George who may finally take the risk and act on his feelings for his friend and coworker before his contract is up and it seems more than likely he’ll have to head back across the country to his home state of Colorado.

The writing is cute and playful. The characters are genuine, kind, and supportive. And the plot is an amusing, entertaining mix of friendship, family, community, insecurities, tricky moments, undeniable chemistry, small-town living, and unconditional love.

Pride & Puppies is the charming, spirited, heartwarming fourth title in the Pine Hollow series by Shane, and as a huge fan of all things Jane Austen, especially the Pride and Prejudice BBC TV series (I mean who isn’t smitten with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy), I couldn’t help but adore this novel.


This book is available November 22, 2022. 

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




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


About Lizzie Shane

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

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

#BookReview Standing Alone by Stephen Leather @Mobius_Books @HodderBooks #StandingAlone #StephenLeather #MattStanding #MobiusBooksUS

#BookReview Standing Alone by Stephen Leather @Mobius_Books @HodderBooks #StandingAlone #StephenLeather #MattStanding #MobiusBooksUS Title: Standing Alone

Author: Stephen Leather

Series: Matt Standing #2

Published by: Hodder And Stoughton Ltd. on Apr. 4, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 8/10

How can you follow orders if those orders are to kill a friend?

A Navy SEAL has gone rogue, selling his skills to the highest bidder as a professional assassin.

Ryan French no longer cares who he kills so long as the price is right.

His former bosses want him taken down, but they’re not prepared to get their hands dirty so they need a Brit to do the job.

SAS trooper Matt “Lastman” Standing is a lethal killing machine with experience in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Plus he’s worked with French in the past. It’s not a mission he wants, but Standing made a bad choice in his past and it has come back to haunt him.

Now he’s hunting French in the lawless Wild West forests of Humboldt County, where the US produces most of its legal – and illegal – cannabis.

But French isn’t the only predator in the wilderness – there are Mexican cartels, Russian Mafia and Hungarian gangsters – and Standing has to overcome them all to get to his target.


Adrenaline-pumping, suspenseful, and fast-paced!

In this second instalment in the Matt Standing series, Standing Alone, Leather has written an action-packed thrill ride that sees the cocky, talented SAS trooper Standing being blackmailed into taking a side mission for “The Pool, a shady organization headed by Charlotte Button that sees him hunting down ex-Navy Seal Ryan French in rural California where organized crime is rife, people live wild and free, and cannabis grows in abundance.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are ruthless, persistent, and experienced. And the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat as it submerges you in a menacing tale full of violence, deception, mayhem, danger, control, power, and murder.

Overall, Standing Alone is another tortuous, pacey, exciting tale by Leather that, with its well-drawn characterization, creative storyline, and thrilling conclusion, is sure to be a big hit with longtime fans of this author’s previous novels.


This book is available now.

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




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


About Stephen Leather

Stephen Leather was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. His bestsellers have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also written for television shows such as London's Burning, The Knock and the BBC's Murder in Mind series. For much of 2011 his self-published eBooks - including The Bestseller, The Basement, Once Bitten and Dreamer's Cat - dominated the UK eBook bestseller lists and sold more than half a million copies. The Basement topped the Kindle charts in the UK and the US, and in total he has sold more than two million eBooks. His bestselling book The Chinaman was filmed as The Foreigner, starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan and grossing more than $100 million.

#BookReview A Very Typical Family by Sierra Godfrey @sierragodfrey @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #AVeryTypicalFamily #SierraGodfrey #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview A Very Typical Family by Sierra Godfrey @sierragodfrey @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #AVeryTypicalFamily #SierraGodfrey #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: A Very Typical Family

Author: Sierra Godfrey

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Sep. 13, 2022

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

For fans of Emma Straub and Jennifer Weiner, comes a heartfelt, darkly funny novel about learning to love (and forgive) your family…even when they accidentally put you behind bars.

All families are messy. Some are disasters.

Natalie Walker is the reason her older brother and sister went to prison more than fifteen years ago. She fled California shortly after that fateful night and hasn’t spoken to anyone in her family since. Ten years later, Natalie receives a letter from a lawyer saying her estranged mother has died and left the family’s historic Santa Cruz house to her–sort of. To inherit it, Natalie and her siblings must claim it together.

Natalie drives cross-country to Santa Cruz with her willful cat in tow expecting to sign some papers, see siblings Lynn and Jake briefly, and get back to sorting out her life in Boston. But Jake, now an award-winning ornithologist, is missing, and Lynn, working as an undertaker in New York City, shows up with a teenage son. While Natalie and her nephew look for Jake–and meeting a very handsome marine biologist along the way–she unpacks the guilt she has held on to for so many years, wondering how, or if, she can salvage a relationship with her siblings after all this time.


Sincere, immersive, and nuanced!

A Very Typical Family is a tender, compelling tale that delves into the complex bonds and emotional scars that can exist between family members and immerses you in a tale about rediscovering one’s self, confronting the past, accepting the things you cannot change, learning to heal, and moving on.

The prose is smooth and fluid. The characters are hesitant, conflicted, and damaged. And the plot is an exceptionally absorbing tale about life, loss, love, tragedy, resentment, regret, guilt, grief, familial drama, self reflection, friendship, and forgiveness.

Overall, A Very Typical Family is a beautiful mix of heart, hope, and healing that is not only a moving, emotive, lovely debut by Godfrey but a must-read novel for anyone who loves a meaty, well-written family saga.


This book is available now.

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




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


About Sierra Godfrey

Sierra Godfrey is a technical writer, graphic designer, and a former credentialed sportswriter covering Spanish soccer. When she’s not writing about messy families, she’s taking long walks, reading, and being cozy. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, she has lived all over the world including Santorini, Greece, but now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family, which includes a dog, two cats, and a turtle, all of which seemed like a good idea at the time.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Forsaken Country by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada #ForsakenCountry #AllenEskens #DetectiveMaxRupert #MulhollandBooks

#BookReview Forsaken Country by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada #ForsakenCountry #AllenEskens #DetectiveMaxRupert #MulhollandBooks Title: Forsaken Country

Author: Allen Eskens

Series: Detective Max Rupert #6

Published by: Mulholland Books on Sep 20, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Max Rupert has left his position as a Minneapolis homicide detective to live in solitude. Mourning the tragic death of his wife, he’s also racked by guilt—he alone knows what happened to her killer. But then the former local sheriff, Lyle Voight, arrives with a desperate plea: Lyle’s daughter Sandy and his six-year-old grandson Pip have disappeared. Lyle’s certain Sandy’s ex-husband Reed is behind it, but the new sheriff is refusing to investigate. 

When Max reluctantly looks into their disappearance, he too becomes convinced something has gone very wrong. But the closer Max and Lyle get to finding proof, the more slippery Reed becomes, until he makes a break for the beautiful but formidable Boundary Waters wilderness with vulnerable Pip in tow.

Racing after the most dangerous kind of criminal—a desperate father—and with the ghosts of their own pasts never far behind, Max and Lyle go on the hunt within a treacherous landscape, determined to bring an evil man to justice, and to bring a terrified child home alive.


Twisty, intricate, and unsettling!

Forsaken Country is an addictive, sinister tale that takes you to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, where Max Rupert has been living a reclusive existence since he exacted revenge on his late wife’s killer and handed in his badge for good, but when the daughter and young grandson of one of the only men to know his name in this sleepy town, former sheriff Lyle Voight needs his help he uses his intuition and skills to help hunt down some ruthless predators while also finding a little bit of lightness within himself.

The prose is crisp and intense. The characters are tormented, vulnerable, and scarred. And the plot is a suspenseful, engrossing tale full of twists, turns, lies, deception, familial drama, obsession, depravity, violence, and murder.

I’ve been a huge fan of Allen Eskens since I read The Life We Bury almost ten years ago, and whether it’s one of his standalone novels or another saga in the Detective Max Rupert series, such as this latest release Forsaken Country, I am always riveted, entertained, satisfied and incredibly impressed by his brilliantly-executed plots and exceptional character depth.

This book is available now.

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




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


About Allen Eskens

Allen Eskens is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, the Deep Dark Descending and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Rosebud Award, Minnesota Book Award, and the Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His work had been published in 21 languages and his debut novel, The Life We Bury is being developed for a feature film.

Allen lives with his wife, Joely, in greater Minnesota and is represented by Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron and Associates, and is published by both Seventh Street Books and Mulholland/Little Brown.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Sister Returns by Joanna Rees @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheSisterReturns #JoannaRees #AStitchinTiime #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Sister Returns by Joanna Rees @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheSisterReturns #JoannaRees #AStitchinTiime #PGCBooks Title: The Sister Returns

Author: Joanna Rees

Series: A Stitch in Time #3

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Sep. 20, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The Sister Returns by Joanna Rees is the third novel in A Stitch in Time – a sweeping historical trilogy.

To have a future, she must confront her past . . .

It’s 1929 and after running away from her family in Lancashire, becoming a dancer in London and having had a riotous time in Paris with her best friend Nancy, would-be fashion designer Vita Casey is living a much more sedate life in New York with her baby son, Bertie, far away from her evil brother, Clement and her nemesis, Edith.

When the disastrous events of the Wall Street crash change their destinies, Vita and Nancy flee to Los Angeles, where Nancy is determined to make it in the talkies. Schmoozing their way into the Hollywood elite, Vita is starting to think that can begin to fulfil her fashion ambitions. But when the love of her life, Archie is hired as a writer on Nancy’s new movie, The Sister Returns and Clement exacts his ultimate revenge, Vita’s past and present collide.

She has no choice but to tell the truth and try and reclaim what is rightfully hers before it’s too late.


Dramatic, exciting, and vivid!

The Sister Returns is an absorbing, pacey tale that picks up right where The Hidden Wife left off, taking us back to 1929 and into the life of Anna Darton, aka Vita Casey, as she now heads to America to be part of her best friend’s wedding until the crash of the stock market sends all their plans upside down and they travel from New York to Hollywood where Nancy is determined to become an actress and where Vita’s past catches up to her finally sending this “runaway daughter” back home to Lancashire where she truly belongs.

The prose is rich and atmospheric. The characters are ambitious, capable, and resistant. And the plot is a compelling tale about life, loss, family, friendship, emotion, secrets, heartbreak, passion, danger, determination, glitz, glamour, old Hollywood, self-discovery, and love.

Overall, The Sister Returns is the third and final story in the A Stitch in Time trilogy and even though it’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye to the characters I’ve come to know and enjoy over these past three novels, it is nevertheless the perfect ending to a wonderful series that I highly recommend and will undoubtedly miss.


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 Joanna Rees

Joanna Rees, aka Josie Lloyd and Jo Rees, is a bestselling writer of twelve novels, including rom-coms, blockbusters and big- hearted adventures such as Come Together, Platinum and A Twist of Fate.The Runaway Daughter, published in August 2019, is the first in The Stitch in Time trilogy set in the 1920s and following the fortune of budding fashion designer and girl-about-town, Vita Casey. The second part, The Hidden Wife is out in 2020.Based in Brighton, Joanna is married to the author Emlyn Rees with whom she has three daughters. They have co-written seven novels, including the Sunday Times number one bestseller Come Together, which was translated into twenty-seven languages and made into a film. They have written three bestselling parodies of their favourite children’s books, including We’re Going On A Bar Hunt and The Teenager Who Came To Tea as well as a light-hearted activity book encouraging people to stop being addicted to their technology called Switch It Off.

Photograph from

#BookReview Big Red: A Novel Starring Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles by Jerome Charyn @jeromecharyn @LiverightPub @OverTheRiverPR #BigRed #JeromeCharyn #LiveRightPub #OTRPR

#BookReview Big Red: A Novel Starring Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles by Jerome Charyn @jeromecharyn @LiverightPub @OverTheRiverPR #BigRed #JeromeCharyn #LiveRightPub #OTRPR Title: Big Red: A Novel Starring Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles

Author: Jerome Charyn

Published by: Liveright Publishing on Aug. 23, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: OTRPR

Book Rating: 8/10

It’s 1943. The Germans rule Europe, and the moguls rule Hollywood. Attendance is better than ever. Not even radio can compete with the Saturday matinee. The heart of America has become Hollywood Boulevard. And Rusty Redburn, a feisty lesbian visionary who works as a lowly servant to Harry Cohn at Columbia’s publicity department, lives right on the boulevard at the Hollywood Hotel.

Harry is worried about his biggest star, Rita Hayworth, who has moved in with the “Boy Genius” Orson Welles. He’s never had a star before Rita arrived. He schemes to have Rusty pretend to work as Rita’s private secretary while spying on her. Rusty is far more clever than Harry Cohn. She worships Orson and Citizen Kane. And thus the story begins.

Nothing will last, neither the war, nor Harry Cohn, nor the marriage of Rita and Orson. And it’s Rusty who tells their tale.

BIG RED is Jerome Charyn at his very best and promises to consume both Hollywood cinephiles and neophytes alike. 


Scandalous, nostalgic, and entertaining!

Big Red is the intriguing, dramatic tale of two of the most famous actors of the 20th century, Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles and their on-again, off-again relationship with each other and Hollywood, told from the perspective of Rusty Redburn, a young woman working in Columbia Pictures’ publicity department who is hired by top executive Harry Cohn to take on the role of Rita’s PA in order to spy on the couple and let him know what goes on behind closed doors.

The writing is informative and light. The characters are talented, driven, and unique. And the novel is a compelling tale of one couple’s personal and professional successes and heartaches both on and off the screen, including a past littered with childhood abuse and a tumultuous marriage grounded in love but consistently strained by infidelity, differing visions, and crippling insecurities.

Overall, Big Red is a captivating, descriptive, fascinating tale by Charyn that highlights his considerable knowledge and impressive research into these renowned historical figures whose lives and work have had a tremendous impact on the motion picture industry.


This book is available now.

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




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


About Jerome Charyn

Jerome Charyn is the award-winning author of more than fifty works, including The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson. A renowned scholar of twentieth-century Hollywood, he lives in Manhattan.

#BookReview Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen @SarahAddisonAll @StMartinsPress #OtherBirdsNovel #SarahAddisonAllen #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencer

#BookReview Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen @SarahAddisonAll @StMartinsPress #OtherBirdsNovel #SarahAddisonAllen #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencer Title: Other Birds

Author: Sarah Addison Allen

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 30, 2022

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 10/10

From the acclaimed author of Garden Spells comes an enchanting tale of lost souls, lonely strangers, secrets that shape us, and how the right flock can guide you home.

Down a narrow alley in the small coastal town of Mallow Island, South Carolina, lies a stunning cobblestone building comprised of five apartments. It’s called The Dellawisp and it is named after the tiny turquoise birds who, alongside its human tenants, inhabit an air of magical secrecy.

When Zoey Hennessey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment at The Dellawisp, she meets her quirky, enigmatic neighbors including a girl on the run, a grieving chef whose comfort food does not comfort him, two estranged middle-aged sisters, and three ghosts. Each with their own story. Each with their own longings. Each whose ending isn’t yet written.

When one of her new neighbors dies under odd circumstances the night Zoey arrives, she is thrust into the mystery of The Dellawisp, which involves missing pages from a legendary writer whose work might be hidden there. She soon discovers that many unfinished stories permeate the place, and the people around her are in as much need of healing from wrongs of the past as she is. To find their way they have to learn how to trust each other, confront their deepest fears, and let go of what haunts them.

Delightful and atmospheric, Other Birds is filled with magical realism and moments of pure love that won’t let you go. Sarah Addison Allen shows us that between the real and the imaginary, there are stories that take flight in the most extraordinary ways.


Charming, poignant, and beautifully written!

Other Birds is an emotionally-charged, moving tale that takes you into the lives of a handful of people, including the kind, independent Zoey Hennessey, as their worlds are irrevocably changed when the sudden death of a long-term resident has them finally sharing their time, secrets, and heartbreaking pasts.

The prose is lyrical and expressive. The characters are complex, scarred, and conflicted. And the plot is a compelling, sobering tale of life, loss, family, friendship, grief, guilt, denial, secrets, abuse, neglect, self-preservation, loneliness, and the importance of learning to love and be loved.

Overall, Other Birds made me think, made me cry, and resonated with me long after the final page. It’s an immersive, impactful, hopeful tale by Allen that combines exceptional character development with the magic of the supernatural to weave a heart-tugging, bittersweet story steeped in an abundance of loneliness, optimism, tenderness, and pain.


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 Sarah Addison Allen

SARAH ADDISON ALLEN is the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, The Peach Keeper, and Lost Lake. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina.

Photo Credit: Katie Linsky Shaw

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