Book Review

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

#BookReview #BlogTour
Four Christmases and a Secret
by Zara Stoneley @ZaraStoneley @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley @ZaraStoneley @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley @ZaraStoneley @rararesourcesTitle: Four Christmases and a Secret

Author: Zara Stoneley

Published by: HarperImpulse on September 27, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HarperImpulse, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers.  And Oliver Cartwright.  Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.

Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is.  Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.

This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different.  There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers.  No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.
 
But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy’s life forever…


Review:

Charming, touching, and romantic!

Four Christmases and a Secret is a cute, heartwarming read that takes you into the life of Daisy Dunkerly as she meanders through all sorts of highs and lows, from losing her boyfriend, enduring an unsatisfying career, fostering dogs with sweet personalities, surviving the annual Christmas parties, ugly sweaters and all, and reconnecting with a successful, handsome friend from the past.

The writing is sentimental and light. The characters are charismatic, unique, and endearing. And the plot is an engaging blend of heart, humour, family, friendship, nostalgic moments, attraction, chemistry, spirited shenanigans, awkward moments, tricky situations, painful secrets, and a little Christmas cheer.

Overall, Four Christmases and a Secret is another refreshing, enjoyable, emotive treat by Stoneley that reminds us that life is an adventure and mistletoe can sometimes be magical.

 

This book is available now. 

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

 

 

About Zara Stoneley

Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of The Wedding Date.

Born in a small village in the UK, she wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true.

She writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say 'ahhh'.

Zara now lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Zara’s bestselling novels include 'No One Cancels Christmas', 'The Wedding Date', 'The Holiday Swap', 'Summer with the Country Village Vet', 'Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage' and the popular Tippermere series - 'Stable Mates', 'Country Affairs' and 'Country Rivals'.

 

Thank you to Zara Stoneley and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

#BookReview
A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan
@SarahMorgan_ @HarlequinBooks @HarperCollinsCa

#BookReview A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan @SarahMorgan_ @HarlequinBooks @HarperCollinsCaTitle: A Wedding in December

Author: Sarah Morgan

Published by: Hqn on September 24, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Harlequin Books, HarperCollins Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

This funny, charming and heartwarming new Christmas novel is USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan at her festive best!

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding. First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret of their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister, Katie, is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself! If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiancé but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived—how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget!


Review:

Quaint, alluring, and evocative!

A Wedding in December is a delightfully amusing, heartfelt tale that sweeps you away to the beautiful winter wonderland of Aspen, Colorado and immerses you into the lives of the White family, especially three strong women, as they gather to celebrate, interrogate, support, heal, grow, communicate, repair relationships, take chances, and start anew.

The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are genuine, reliable, and compassionate. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel effortlessly into a mesmerizing tale of life, love, friendship, self-reflection, determination, independence, happiness, humorous mishaps, romantic moments, and the special bonds between sisters.

Overall, A Wedding in December is another absorbing, uplifting, magical tale by Morgan that does a brilliant job of highlighting her exceptional ability to create relatable characters, idyllic places, and memorable storylines that thoroughly enchant 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 Harlequin Books & HarperCollins Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Morgan

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She is a 3 time winner of the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and has been nominated five times. Sarah lives near London, England, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors.

#BlogTour #BookReview
All the Way by Kendall Ryan
@KendallRyan1

#BlogTour #BookReview All the Way by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1

#BlogTour #BookReview All the Way by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1Title: All the Way

Author: Kendall Ryan

Series: Hot Jocks #2

Published by: Dream Press on Setptember 24, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 344

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Kendall Ryan

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

I know it’s time to move on from my rocky past and get back out there and start dating again.

It’s just that every time I think about it, I get all nervous and sweaty.

Good thing I have a secret weapon to help me—my best friend, professional hockey stud Owen Parrish.

He’s the king of hookups, and promises he’ll be my guide through the world of online dating. With his help, I know this won’t be as hard.

  • • •

I’ve never been this hard in my entire life.

My friend Becca wants my help hooking her up with some douchey guy from a dating app.

I said I’d help her—but now I’m noticing all kinds of things I can’t ignore, like how pretty she is behind those baggy clothes and messy buns.

I want to be the one to help her, to show her the ropes in the bedroom, and it turns out, Becca’s game to let me take a more hands-on approach.

But what happens when she’s ready to take her newfound confidence and move on? I’ve never been boyfriend material, but for her, I want to try.

Your favorite hot jocks are back with an all new standalone novel. If you like sexy, confident men who know how to handle a stick (on and off the ice), and smart women who are strong enough to keep all those big egos in check, this series is for you!


Review:

Angsty, hopeful, and passionate!

All the Way, the latest novel in the Hot Jocks series, is a slightly more emotive tale about the scarred, hesitant Becca who after suffering an assault in the past is having a hard time moving forward, and the handsome, hockey stud Owen who is more than happy to help his best friend find her mojo again.

The writing style is seamless and sincere. The characters are patient, supportive, committed, and lovable. And the plot is a delightful mix of life, love, friendship, family, self-discovery, empowerment, scorching chemistry, and steamy romance.

Once again with All the Way, Ryan has proven that not only is she one of the best at writing contemporary romance stories that are humorous, light, bursting with sexual tension, and full of characters we can’t help but root for, but also emotionally compelling ones.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                       

 

 

 

About Kendall Ryan

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

 

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

 

#BookReview
An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow
@JenniferSnow18 @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow @JenniferSnow18 @HarlequinBooksTitle: An Alaskan Christmas

Author: Jennifer Snow

Series: Wild River #1

Published by: HQN Books on September 24, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

In Alaska, it’s always a white Christmas—but the sparks flying between two reunited friends could turn it red-hot…

If there’s one gift Erika Sheraton does not want for Christmas, it’s a vacation. Ordered to take time off, the workaholic surgeon reluctantly trades in her scrubs for a ski suit and heads to Wild River, Alaska. Her friend Cassie owns a tour company that offers adventures to fit every visitor. But nothing compares to the adrenaline rush Erika feels on being reunited with Cassie’s brother, Reed Reynolds.

Gone is the buttoned-up girl Reed remembers. His sister’s best friend has blossomed into a strong, skilled, confident woman. She’s exactly what his search-and-rescue team needs—and everything he didn’t know he craved. The gulf between his life in Wild River and her big-city career is wide. But it’s no match for a desire powerful enough to melt two stubborn hearts…


Review:

Sweet, sexy, and heartwarming!

An Alaskan Christmas is an enchanting, passionate tale that features the dependable, handsome Reed who may finally discover his little sister’s best friend has become more than he ever could have imagined, and the driven, hardworking Erika who may finally learn there’s a lot more to life than just work.

The prose is effortless and smooth. The characters are spirited, kindhearted, and amusing. And the plot is an entertaining combination of family, friendship, instant attraction, steamy chemistry, convivial banter, light drama, swoon-worthy romance, and the ins-and-outs of search-and-rescue missions.

Overall, I found An Alaskan Christmas to be a smart, romantic, true wintery treat by Snow that’s a wonderful start to the Wild River series with its unique setting, affable characters, and sliver of danger.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

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

 

About Jennifer Snow

Jennifer Snow is an award-winning author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and five year old son. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta, the Romance Writers of America, the Canadian Author Association, and SheWrites.org. She is a contributing author to Mslexia Magazine, WestWord Magazine and RWR. She has also taught RWA Chapters courses online.

Her publishing credits include two holiday novellas, previously published by The Wild Rose Press, now re-released as self-published editions through Amazon. The Mistletoe Fever was an Amazon bestseller for two weeks in the category of Kindle Short Reads. Her six book small town, Brookhollow series is published through Harlequin Heartwarming and her MMA sports romance series Beyond the Cage is published through Berkley/NAL Intermix.

She also hosts an annual SnowGlobe Award contest in recognition of holiday themed romance stories, with over forty entries each year. More information about the contest can be found at www.snowglobeawardcontest.vpweb.ca
She is active on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and various blog sites and has a monthly author newsletter.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Instagram Page.

#BookReview
Clear My Name by Paula Daly
@PaulaDalyAuthor @PGCBooks @groveatlantic

#BookReview Clear My Name by Paula Daly @PaulaDalyAuthor @PGCBooks @groveatlanticTitle: Clear My Name

Author: Paula Daly

Published by: Grove Press on September 20, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A rising star in domestic suspense broadens her canvas in a brilliant new thriller in which a woman convicted of murdering her husband’s lover waits to be exonerated by a female investigator battling her own dark past Paula Daly is widely acclaimed for her masterful plotting and thrilling page-turners. Now she delivers Clear My Name, a page-turning new thriller about an investigator, who in order to free her client, must confront secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide.

When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it again when they found her blood inside his house, again when they put her in front of a jury, and again when they sent her to prison. Now she’s three years into her fifteen-year sentence, gradually losing hope and separated from her pregnant daughter, but she is still maintaining her innocence. Tess is the only paid employee of Innocence UK, a charity that helps clear people wrongfully convicted of crimes, and which accepts Carrie’s case. But can she trust Carrie? Tess is no starry-eyed recent grad – her assumption is that they’re all lying.”

Meanwhile, Tess is also paired with Avril, a naive young investigator-in-training, with the hope that by mentoring her, she can eventually double the group’s investigative workload. But Tess unexpectedly bolts when she’s tipped off to a witness that could possibly prove Carrie didn’t commit the crime. While Tess and Avril work the case, re-interviewing witnesses and testing assumptions made at the time of the arrest, the tension ratchets up in both the case and Tess’s personal life.


Review:

Gripping, intense, and tricky!

In this latest novel by Daly, Clear My Name, Tess Gilroy chief investigator for Innocence UK heads back to her hometown of Morecambe, England where she finds herself not only investigating the possible wrongful conviction of Carrie Kamara in the stabbing of her husband’s mistress but also having to confront her own past that’s littered with secrets and heartbreak.

The prose is tight and direct. The characters are meticulous, troubled, and multilayered. And the plot is a compelling tale full of deduction, duplicity, manipulation, infidelity, obsession, anger, hatred, injustice, violence, and murder.

Overall, Clear My Name is a sophisticated, unnerving, gritty read that has just enough twists, suspense, in-depth character development, and forensic analysis to keep you intrigued from start to finish.

 

This book 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 Paula Daly

Paula Daly is the acclaimed author of five novels. Her work has been sold in fifteen countries, shortlisted for CWA Gold Dagger Crime Novel of the Year award, and her books are currently being developed into the ITV drama - Deep Water - set to air in 2019. She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children, and whippet Skippy.

#BlogTour #BookReview
A Question of Us by Mary Jayne Baker
@MaryJayneBaker @aria_fiction

#BlogTour #BookReview A Question of Us by Mary Jayne Baker @MaryJayneBaker @aria_fictionTitle: A Question of Us

Author: Mary Jayne Baker

Published by: Aria on September 5, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 310

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Two best friends. Eight pub quizzes. One shot at love…

There are some people who seem like they have all the answers in life. Clarrie Midwinter isn’t one of them.

At the age of 26, tomboy Clarrie is still struggling to become a ‘proper’ grown-up. She’s eternally strapped for cash, she hasn’t had a date in nearly a year and her attempts to quit smoking tend to take a nosedive after the second pint. Most annoyingly of all, her ladykiller best friend Simon just won’t stop asking her out. The only thing keeping her sane is her pub quiz team, the Mighty Morphin Flower Arrangers.

But when Simon bets her a date their team will win the quiz league, Clarrie is forced to confront what she really wants out of life – and love. Is it finally time for her to grow up?

Gloriously irreverent, badly behaved romantic comedy from the author of Meet Me at the Lighthouse.


Review:

Cheeky, hilarious, and authentically British!

A Question of Us is an engaging, humorous, friends-to-more romance that features the determined, fun-loving Simon who finally wants something more than friendship with his best mate, and the hesitant, stubborn Clarrie who may finally have to take the risk and acknowledge her true feelings for her best friend.

The writing is amusing and witty. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are gregarious, lovable, and well developed. And the plot is a delightful blend of heart, humour, spirited dialogue, pub trivia, competitive rivalry, romantic gestures, and the complex dynamics between friends.

Overall, A Question of Us is a quirky, sweet, entertaining tale by Baker that’s full of laughs, creative characters, and touching moments.

 

This book is available now. 

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

                                     

 

 

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

 

About Mary Jayne Baker

Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country... and she's still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature, she dallied with living in cities including London, Nottingham and Cambridge, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales, where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them.

 

For more information on Aria Fiction visit them at:

Website | Twitter | FacebookInstagram | NetGalley | Newsletter

 


#BookReview
So Steady by Eve Dangerfield
@Eve_Dangerfield

#BookReview So Steady by Eve Dangerfield @Eve_DangerfieldTitle: So Steady

Author: Eve Dangerfield

Series: Silver Daughters Ink #2

Published by: Eve Dangerfield Books on August 14, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 306

Format: eBook

Source: Eve Dangerfield

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Nicole DaSilva keeps her mind on the future. That’s where her perfect life is. At least it will be if she can sort out her broken engagement, get her tattoo removed, control her wayward sisters and catch the person stealing from their business…but that’s easier said than done. Especially when there’s a huge, strangely attractive tattooist in her way…

Noah Newcomb keeps his mind on the past. It’s where the demons come loose. He trusts no one and his only plans are for a vasectomy. He and Nicole make as much sense together as, well, an ex-con and a former school captain, but he’s never been one to turn down a rebound thing. Especially not with a girl as Type A hot as her.

It’s your standard ‘say anything to my sisters and I’ll call the Australian Tax Office and tell them there’s $500,000 in cash under your bed’ affair, but as Nicole and Noah hook up it’s clear they’re falling for each other. Can they meet in the present? Do they have a shot at something steady?


Review:

Gritty, tantalizing, and risqué!

So Steady is an alluring, fervid tale that takes you on a journey into the life of Nicole DaSilva, a successful accountant who inadvertently finds her life turned upside down after her fiance calls off their engagement, her father goes missing, the family tattoo shop is close to financial ruin, and she finds herself unexpectedly attracted to the tall, broody, tattoo artist Noah.

The prose is steamy and intense. The characters are supportive, dependable, and secretive. And the plot is a passionate tale of life, love, emotion, instant attraction, smouldering chemistry, familial drama, sexual tension, dirty talk, and a dab of mystery.

Overall, I found So Steady to be a sultry, dramatic, erotic treat by Dangerfield with a multilayered storyline, quirky characters, and a whole lot of heat.

 

This book is available now. 

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

 

 

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

 

About Eve Dangerfield

Eve Dangerfield has loved romance novels since she first started swiping her grandmother’s paperbacks. Now she writes her own sexy tales about complex women and gorgeous-but-slightly-tortured men. Her work has been described as ‘the defibrillator contemporary romance needs right now,’ and not by herself, or even her mum, but OTHER PEOPLE.
Eve currently lives in Melbourne with her boy, a bunch of semi-dead plants and a rabbit named Billy. When she's not writing she can be found making a mess.

#BookReview #AudioBook
Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words
by Tara Sivec & Andi Arndt
@tarasivec @voandi @audible_com

#BookReview #AudioBook Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec & Andi Arndt @tarasivec @voandi @audible_comTitle: Heidi's Guide to Four Letter Words

Author: Tara Sivec, Andi Arndt

Published by: Audible Studios on September 3, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins

Format: Audiobook

Source: Audible

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Cowritten by USA Today best-selling author Tara Sivec and award-winning narrator Andi Arndt, a hysterically funny, heartfelt romance about starting over and taking chances.

Nothing good ever comes from drinking a box of wine alone. So when I decided to entertain my drunken self by setting up some hand-me-down podcasting equipment and reading the steamy parts from romance novels, I never thought anyone would actually listen. The fact that I admitted my huge crush on my sexy next door neighbor made the whole thing even more mortifying. But sometimes life surprises you, and that’s how my podcast, Heidi’s Discount Erotica, was born.

Now I, Heidi Larsen, a sweet former kindergarten teacher in Waconia, Minnesota, lead a scandalous double life reading erotic novels to the listening world. And with each episode, I find myself embracing my new alter ego more and more. Now I’m starting to feel more comfortable in my own skin and do things I never would have dreamed of – like kissing my neighbor.

Look out, Waconia, because Heidi’s on the loose! She’s in your ears, in your hearts, and down your pants…wait, that didn’t sound as good as it did in my head. Well, you get the picture, don’tcha know!


Review:

Hilarious, quirky, and adorable!

Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words is a sweet, sassy rom-com about the charmingly shy Heidi Larsen who after losing her job as a kindergarten teacher juggles a new career, a sexy neighbour, and an increasingly popular podcast that involves lots of wine, erotic readings, and a naughty side she never knew she had.

The writing is lighthearted and fun. The characters are charismatic, amusing, and endearing. And the plot is a delightfully entertaining tale full of witty banter, awkward situations, tricky mishaps, spirited hijinks, family, friendship, and steamy romance.

Overall, Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words is an enjoyable, cheeky, amorous Audible Original title with a humorous plot, lovable characters and an ending that will leave you smitten.

 

This audiobook is available now.

Pick up a copy from the following audible link.

 

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

 

About Tara Sivec

Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when all three of them become adults and move out.

After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. She writes in a wide range of genres including Romantic Comedy, Romantic Comedy/Mystery, Romantic Suspense, New Adult Drama, Contemporary Romance and Psychological Thriller. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader's Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book and she was voted Best Indie Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader's Choice Awards 2014.

In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she'll do and naps she'll take when she ever gets spare time.

Photograph courtesy of Author Goodreads Page.

About Andi Arndt

Andi Arndt is an audiobook narrator and producer with a growing catalog of titles in a variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview
Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati
@akaSaraDonati @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati @akaSaraDonati @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCATitle: Where the Light Enters

Author: Sara Donati

Series: The Gilded Hour #2

Published by: Berkley Books on September 10, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 672

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

From the international bestselling author of The Gilded Hourcomes Sara Donati’s enthralling epic about two trailblazing female doctors in nineteenth-century New York

Obstetrician Dr. Sophie Savard returns home to the achingly familiar rhythms of Manhattan in the early spring of 1884 to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. With the help of Dr. Anna Savard, her dearest friend, cousin, and fellow physician she plans to continue her work aiding the disadvantaged women society would rather forget.

As Sophie sets out to construct a new life for herself, Anna’s husband, Detective-Sergeant Jack Mezzanotte calls on them both to consult on two new cases: the wife of a prominent banker has disappeared into thin air, and the corpse of a young woman is found with baffling wounds that suggest a killer is on the loose. In New York it seems that the advancement of women has brought out the worst in some men. Unable to ignore the plight of New York’s less fortunate, these intrepid cousins draw on all resources to protect their patients.


Review:

Multilayered, fascinating, and incredibly absorbing!

Where the Light Enters is a gritty, compelling tale set in New York City in the mid-1880s at a time when the island was bustling, female doctors were still discounted and frowned upon, reproduction and childbirth still had high mortality rates, and women looking for help with unwanted pregnancies had little or nowhere to go.

There are two main memorable characters in this novel; Dr. Sophie Savard, a young multi-ethnic obstetrician who returns to the United States to open a scholarship program and home for girls looking to study medicine after her husband succumbs to Consumption; and Dr. Anna Mezzanotte, a young surgeon who spends her days operating on those less fortunate and helping her detective husband Jack as he hunts for a serial killer who preys on women seeking an abortion.

The prose is eloquent and rich. The characters are strong, independent, intelligent, and genuine. And the plot using an intriguing mixture of narration, letters, newspaper articles, and reports immerses you in a riveting, suspenseful tale of familial dynamics, duty, friendship, passion, loss, love, sexism, violence, murder, and the roles and struggles faced by female physicians in early medicine.

Where the Light Enters is once again another hefty novel by Donati, with just under 700 pages, but it is so remarkably atmospheric and beautifully written that before you know it the story is finished and you’re yearning 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 Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sara Donati

Sara Donati is the pen name of Rosina Lippi, a former academic and tenured university professor. Since 2000 she has been writing fiction full-time, haunting the intersection where history and storytelling meet, wallowing in nineteenth-century newspapers, magazines, street maps, and academic historical research. She is the internationally bestselling author of the Wilderness series (Into the Wilderness, Dawn on a Distant Shore, Lake in the Clouds, Fire Along the Sky, Queen of Swords, and The Endless Forest) as well as The Gilded Hour, the first in a new series following the descendants of characters from the Wilderness series. She lives between the Cascades and Puget Sound with her husband, daughter, Jimmy Dean (a Havanese), and Max and Bella (the cats).

Photograph courtesy of penguinrandomhouse.com

#BookReview
The Last Train to London
by Meg Waite Clayton @megwclayton @HarperCollinsCa

#BookReview The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton @megwclayton @HarperCollinsCaTitle: The Last Train to London

Author: Meg Waite Clayton

Published by: Harper on September 10, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HarperCollins Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Exilesconjures her best novel yet, a pre-World War II-era story with the emotional resonance of Orphan Train and All the Light We Cannot See, centering on the Kindertransports that carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe—and one brave woman who helped them escape to safety.

In 1936, the Nazi are little more than loud, brutish bores to fifteen-year old Stephan Neuman, the son of a wealthy and influential Jewish family and budding playwright whose playground extends from Vienna’s streets to its intricate underground tunnels. Stephan’s best friend and companion is the brilliant Žofie-Helene, a Christian girl whose mother edits a progressive, anti-Nazi newspaper. But the two adolescents’ carefree innocence is shattered when the Nazis’ take control.

There is hope in the darkness, though. Truus Wijsmuller, a member of the Dutch resistance, risks her life smuggling Jewish children out of Nazi Germany to the nations that will take them. It is a mission that becomes even more dangerous after the Anschluss—Hitler’s annexation of Austria—as, across Europe, countries close their borders to the growing number of refugees desperate to escape.

Tante Truus, as she is known, is determined to save as many children as she can. After Britain passes a measure to take in at-risk child refugees from the German Reich, she dares to approach Adolf Eichmann, the man who would later help devise the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” in a race against time to bring children like Stephan, his young brother Walter, and Žofie-Helene on a perilous journey to an uncertain future abroad.


Review:

Haunting, heartwrenching, and heroic!

The Last Train to London is a compelling, emotional interpretation of the life of Geertruida Wijsmuller, a Dutch Christian who as part of the Kindertransport rescue efforts helped transport close to 10,000 predominantly Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied European cities to the UK for safety just prior to the breakout of WWII.

The prose is tense and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, innocent, and courageous. And the plot, set in Austria during the late 1930s, is an exceptionally moving tale about life, love, strength, bravery, familial relationships, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, injustice, malice, hope, and survival.

Overall, The Last Train to London is a beautiful blend of harrowing facts and evocative fiction. It’s a powerful, pensive, affecting tale that highlights humanities ability to not only be excessively evil but incredibly selfless.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Meg Waite Clayton

Meg Waite Clayton is a New York Times bestselling author of the forthcoming THE LAST TRAIN TO LONDON (HarperCollins, Sept 10, 2019), the #1 Amazon fiction bestseller BEAUTIFUL EXILES, the Langum-Prize honored national bestseller THE RACE FOR PARIS -- recommended reading by Glamour Magazine and the BBC, and an Indie Next Booksellers' pick -- and THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, one of Entertainment Weekly's "25 Essential Best Friend Novels" of all time. Her THE LANGUAGE OF LIGHT was a finalist for the Bellwether Prize (now PEN/Bellwether Prize), and she's written essays for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Runner's World, Writer's Digest and lots of other swanky publications she never imagined she might!

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

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