Book Review

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

#BookReview A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones @Darynda @smpromance @StMartinsPress #AHardDayForAHangover #DaryndaJones #SunshineVicram #StMartinsPress #smpinfluencer

#BookReview A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones @Darynda @smpromance @StMartinsPress #AHardDayForAHangover #DaryndaJones #SunshineVicram #StMartinsPress #smpinfluencer Title: A Hard Day for a Hangover

Author: Darynda Jones

Series: Sunshine Vicram #3

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Some people greet the day with open arms. Sheriff Sunshine Vicram would rather give it a hearty shove and get back into bed, because there’s just too much going on right now. There’s a series of women going missing, and Sunny feels powerless to stop it. There’s her persistent and awesomely-rebellious daughter Auri, who’s out to singlehandedly become Del Sol’s youngest and fiercest investigator. And then there’s drama with Levi Ravinder—the guy she’s loved and lusted after for years. The guy who might just be her one and only. The guy who comes from a family of disingenuous vipers looking to oust him—and Sunshine—for good.

Like we said, the new day can take a hike.


Review:

Lighthearted, quirky, and highly entertaining!

A Hard Day for a Hangover is a playful, engaging, suspenseful tale that takes us back to Del Sol, New Mexico, one last time and into the life of Sunshine Vicram, police chief extraordinaire, as she once again has her hands full with robberies, assaults, murders, an escaped convict, a town flasher, a pregnant racoon, a daughter indulging in first love, and a childhood sweetheart she may finally get to settle down with.

The writing is witty and sweet. The characters are sharp, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is an enticing mix of friendship, family, danger, drama, tension, attraction, community, intrigue, violence, spirited mishaps, romance, and a little heat.

Overall, A Hard Day for a Hangover is the third and final story in the Sunshine Vicram series, and even though it’s more than a little bittersweet to say goodbye to this amazing gang of characters I’ve come to know and love over these past three novels, it is nevertheless a superb ending to a fabulous series that I highly recommend and will undoubtedly miss.

This book is available now.

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

               

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Darynda Jones

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. She currently has two series with St. Martin's Press, the Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Underneath the Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #UnderneaththeSycamoreTree #AuthorBCeleste #SourcebooksCasa

#BookReview Underneath the Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #UnderneaththeSycamoreTree #AuthorBCeleste #SourcebooksCasa Title: Underneath the Sycamore Tree

Author: B. Celeste

Published by: Bloom Books on Jan. 3, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Rating: 9/10

Time is a luxury we don’t all have…

Emery Matterson’s life has been broken for a while. First, she lost her twin sister to an incurable autoimmune disease, then her father left, then her mother fell apart when Emery herself was diagnosed with the same disease that killed her sister. The only option for Emery seems to be to move in with the father she hasn’t seen in ten years, and start over.

Enter Kaiden Monroe, the brooding athlete who has baggage of his own. Kaiden makes Emery feel normal. Hated. Cared for. Loathed. And…loved. Somewhere along the way, Emery finds solace in the guy with the sad eyes.

But everything happens in stages. And nothing good ever lasts.

From fan-favorite author B. Celeste comes an raw, real, and unforgettable story of love and loss between two young people grappling with the harsh reality of invisible disease.


Review:

Poignant, pensive, and beautifully written!

Underneath the Sycamore Tree is an exceptionally moving, emotional novel that takes you into the life of teenager Emery Matterson as she tries to reap as much joy and pleasure out of each day, savouring the little things, doing the one thing in life that she thought she might never get to do, falling in love, all while dealing with a body in constant pain and a family shattered by grief over the loss of her twin.

The prose is eloquent and insightful. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are strong, compassionate, and endearing. And the plot is an absorbing, touching tale about life, love, family, friendship, kindness, honesty, fear, acceptance, generosity, romance, humour, introspection, loss, and the quiet savagery of lupus.

Overall, Underneath the Sycamore Tree is a reflective, heart-wrenching, bittersweet tearjerker by B. Celeste that does a remarkable job of reminding us of what’s truly important in life and highlighting the sheer power of love.

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

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

 

About B. Celeste

B. Celeste is a new adult and contemporary romance author that gives voices to raw, realistic characters with emotional storylines that tug on the heartstrings.

She was born and raised in upstate New York where she still resides with her four-legged feline sidekick, Oliver “Ollie” Queen. Her love for reading and writing began at an early age and only grew stronger after getting a BA in English and an MFA in English & creative writing. When she’s not writing, she’s working out, binge-watching reality game shows, and spending time with her friends and family.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Choice by Penny Hancock @Pennyhancock @PGCBooks @MantleBooks #TheChoice #PennyHancock #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Choice by Penny Hancock @Pennyhancock @PGCBooks @MantleBooks #TheChoice #PennyHancock #PGCBooks Title: The Choice

Author: Penny Hancock

Published by: Mantle Books on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Renee Gulliver appears to have it all: a beautiful house overlooking a scenic estuary on England’s East Coast; a successful career as a relationship therapist; three grown up children; and a beloved grandson, Xavier. But things aren’t always as they seem on the surface, as Renee is all too aware. And when Xavier vanishes after she fails to pick him up from school one day, the repercussions are manifold.

Renee is wracked with remorse; her daughter Mia can’t forgive her; the local community question her priorities; and her clients abandon her. But as long-held family secrets threaten to tear her world apart once and for all, those same secrets might also hold hope for the future — because it’s not always the secret itself that has the power to destroy; sometimes it’s the act of keeping of it . . .

For fans of Hannah Beckerman and Lucy Diamond, Penny Hancock’s The Choice is a beautiful, haunting novel about family secrets and silences — and the power of love.


Review:

Complex, thought-provoking, and engaging!

The Choice is a multilayered, emotional, domestic drama that delves into all the complexities, dynamics, and dysfunction that exist in the familial relationships of the Gulliver family, including the long-lasting effects of secrets and the art of forgiveness.

The prose is mysterious and smooth. The characters are hesitant, conflicted, and troubled. And the plot is a well-paced, pensive tale about life, loss, love, tragedy, resentment, regret, guilt, grief, familial drama, self-reflection, friendship, and absolution.

Overall, The Choice is a rich, immersive, absorbing tale by Hancock that reminds us that life is complicated and messy, and even the smallest choices we make often have far-reaching consequences.

 

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 Penny Hancock

Penny grew up in South East London and then did an English degree in Newcastle Upon Tyne. For several years she taught English as a foreign language in Italy, Greece and Morocco. She then took a PGCE, got a job as a Primary school teacher in an inner city London school, and moved into her partner Andy’s short-life house in East London, which is now part of the hardcore under the M11 that links their new home in Cambridge with her birth place in Greenwich!

While bringing up their three children, she continued to teach in primary schools, taught English to asylum seekers, and ran adult education classes in writing. She also wrote articles for various papers (The Independent, The Guardian, The Times Ed, The Sunday Express magazine, and Child Education, amongst others) specialising in family and education. Penny has also written readers for English language learners for Cambridge University Press, and a Primary English course for children published by Longmans. It was an Arvon writing course and an MA in creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University that encouraged her to complete her first novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Misfit by Elle Kennedy @ElleKennedy @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #MisfitBook #SandoverPrep #ElleKennedy #SourcebooksCasa

#BookReview Misfit by Elle Kennedy @ElleKennedy @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #MisfitBook #SandoverPrep #ElleKennedy #SourcebooksCasa Title: Misfit

Author: Elle Kennedy

Series: Prep #1

Published by: Bloom Books on Nov. 29, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Rating: 10/10

Finding out your mom is marrying some rich dude you’ve never met is enough to make any eighteen-year-old guy’s head spin. But for RJ SHAW, it only gets worse: he’s being sent to Sandover Prep for senior year. If there’s one place a misfit hacker like RJ doesn’t belong, it’s an ivy-covered all-boys boarding school for rich delinquents.

RJ knows his stay at Sandover will be temporary. Which means there’s no point making friends or trying to fit in. But the plan to remain antisocial goes awry when he meets a gorgeous girl in the woods on campus. SLOANE TRESSCOTT is pure temptation, with a sharp tongue and an ice princess attitude RJ’s determined to crack. Except there’s a catch. Sloane is the one girl he is forbidden from touching.

The headmaster’s daughter.

Good thing RJ doesn’t believe in rules. Sure, Sloane insists she’s swearing off guys this year, but their connection is impossible to deny. He wants her bad, and he’s going to win her over if it kills him.

Unless her ex-boyfriend kills him first.

DUKE, the ruling king of Sandover, will stop at nothing to get rid of his competition. Luckily, RJ’s unwittingly made some friends—his new stepbrother FENN, a pretty boy with a self-destructive streak; LAWSON, self-proclaimed agent of chaos; and SILAS, the All-American Good Guy who can’t actually be as nice as he seems.

If RJ wants to survive prep school and win Sloane’s heart, he’ll need to adapt—and fast.


Review:

Captivating, sexy, and outrageously entertaining!

Misfit is a seductive, engaging tale that transports you to Sandover Prep, an elite all-boys school for rich delinquent teens that has all the usual fare, entitled students, unrelenting bullies, sexual promiscuity, forbidden romance, naughty behaviour, and innumerably delicious scandals.

The writing is steamy and fun. The characters are rebellious, self-indulgent, and secretive. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, is a passionate, promiscuous, coming-of-age tale full of familial troubles, teenage angst, palpable attraction, witty banter, excessive indulgence, romance, friendship, and love.

Overall, Misfit is a wildly addictive, sinfully salacious, exceptionally absorbing novel by Kennedy that immersed me so thoroughly in the decadence, lifestyle, drama, luxuries, and scandalous behaviour of the characters I never wanted to put it down. It’s truly a guilty pleasure that undoubtedly not only left me craving for more but already counting down the days until I can get my hands on the second book in the series Rogue, publishing on March 7, 2023.

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

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

 

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

#BookReview The Villa by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheVillaNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Villa by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheVillaNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Villa

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 3, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set at an Italian villa with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.


Review:

Compelling, ominous, and unpredictable!

The Villa transports you into the life of cosy mystery writer Emily Sheridan who, after recently battling illness and a nasty divorce, heads to an Italian villa at the invitation of her childhood best friend and successful self-help author Chess Chandler, where the past will collide with the present, long-buried secrets will be unearthed, and the infamous murder that occurred on the property in 1974 and was the inspiration for the classic, celebrated horror novel, Lilith Rising may finally be solved.

The writing is taut and tight. The characters are self-indulgent, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth, past/present style, intertwines and unravels effortlessly into a machiavellian tale full of manipulation, deception, lies, drama, jealousy, secrets, revelations, mayhem, and murder.

Overall, The Villa is a twisty, intense, sinister tale by Hawkins that does an excellent job of delving into the complex dynamics that exist between friends and highlights just how toxic, parasitic, and dangerous some of those relationships can turn out to be.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, as well as multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama.

Photo by John Hawkins.

#BookReview The Secret Society of Salzburg by Renee Ryan @ReneeRyanBooks @Harlequinbooks #TheSecretSocietyOfSalzburg #ReneeRyan #LoveInspired

#BookReview The Secret Society of Salzburg by Renee Ryan @ReneeRyanBooks @Harlequinbooks #TheSecretSocietyOfSalzburg #ReneeRyan #LoveInspired Title: The Secret Society of Salzburg

Author: Renee Ryan

Published by: Love Inspired on Dec. 27, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 9/10

London, 1933. At first glance, Austrian opera singer Elsa Mayer-Braun has little in common with the young English typist she encounters on tour. Yet she and Hattie Featherstone forge an instant connection—and strike a dangerous alliance. Using their friendship as a cover, they form a secret society with a daring goal: to rescue as many Jews as possible from Nazi persecution.

Though the war’s outbreak threatens Elsa and Hattie’s network, their efforts attract the covert attention of the British government, offering more opportunities to thwart the Germans. But Elsa’s growing fame as Hitler’s favorite opera singer, coupled with her secret Jewish ancestry, make her both a weapon and a target—until her future, too, hangs in the balance.

From the glamorous stages of Covent Garden and Salzburg to the horrors of Bergen-Belsen, two ordinary women swept up by the tide of war discover an extraordinary friendship—and the courage to save countless lives.


Review:

Compelling, intense, and absorbing!

The Secret Society of Salzburg is a charged, intriguing tale set between the mid-1930s to the end of WWII that takes you into the lives of Hattie Fetherstone, a young British artist with a love for opera and a kind heart, and Elsa Mayer-Braun, an Austrian operatic singer, who after befriending a devoted fan and discovering just how dangerous the world is about to become, creates a network with the help of her new friends to transport as many Jewish people as possible out of Nazi-occupied Europe to the safety of the United Kingdom.

The prose is fluid and rich. The characters are resourceful, loyal, and trustworthy. And the plot is a captivating mix of life, love, loss, secrets, passion, heartbreak, betrayal, tragedy, survival, danger, friendship, art, opera, and war.

Overall, The Secret Society of Salzburg is an enticing, heart-tugging, atmospheric tale by Ryan that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and personalities of the characters you can’t help but be fully engrossed and completely invested throughout.

 

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 for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Renee Ryan

Renee Ryan grew up in a Florida beach town outside Jacksonville, FL. Armed with a degree in Economics and Religion from Florida State University, she explored various career opportunities, including stints at a Florida theme park and a modeling agency. She currently lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband and a large, fluffy cat many have mistaken for a small bear.

#BookReview The Lost Children by Shirley Dickson @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #ShirleyDickson #TheLostChildren

#BookReview The Lost Children by Shirley Dickson @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #ShirleyDickson #TheLostChildren Title: The Lost Children

Author: Shirley Dickson

Published by: Forever on Jul. 26, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

For readers of Natasha Lester and Pam Jenoff comes a poignant and heart-wrenching tale of two orphans in a world at war, with only each other to rely on—but can their bond survive the shocking truth of their past?
 
England, 1943: Home is no longer safe for eight-year-old twins Molly and Jacob. Night after night, wailing bombs and screeching planes skim the rooftops overhead. Their mother, Martha, has no choice but to evacuate them to the safety of the countryside, even if it means she might never see them again. At the train station, she gives Jacob a letter, telling him only to read it if they are in danger.

In the country, Molly and Jacob must adjust to life with strangers. But then the unimaginable happens. Martha is killed in an explosion, leaving the twins all alone in the world. Motherless and destitute, the siblings face the grim reality of life in an orphanage.

The time has finally come for Jacob to open the letter. What secret does it hold, and could it change the course of their tragic fate? Because if they are together, they can survive anything—but what if they are torn apart?


Review:

Immersive, heart-tugging, and sweet!

The Lost Children is a captivating, heartwrenching tale set in England during 1943 that takes you into the lives of eight-year-old twins Molly and Jacob who, after losing their grandmother and with their mother away working to make ends meet, are sent to the British countryside to live for the duration of the war, until tragedy strikes once again and more permanent lodgings, security, and love are required.

The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are resilient, brave, and endearing. And the plot is a poignant tale about life, loss, family, secrets, separation, desperation, tragedy, grief, friendship, physical disabilities, and the horrors and hardships of war.

Overall, The Lost Children is a hopeful, heartwarming, moving tale by Dickson that is a wonderful choice for anyone who would love to be swept away into a well-written historical fiction novel told uniquely from the children’s perspectives.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Shirley Dickson

Shirley Dickson lives under the big skies of Northumberland, United Kingdom with her husband, family, and lucky black cat. She wrote her first short story at the age of ten for a childrens’ magazine competition. She didn’t win but was hooked on writing for a lifetime. For many years she wrote poetry and short stories and got many rejection slips. Shirley decided to get serious about writing novels when she retired. The Orphan Sisters is her first published novel. Shirley says she is a prime example of “never give up on your dream.”

#BookReview Until We Meet by Camille Di Maio @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #UntilWeMeet #CamilleDiMaio

#BookReview Until We Meet by Camille Di Maio @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #UntilWeMeet #CamilleDiMaio Title: Until We Meet

Author: Camille Di Maio

Published by: Forever on Mar. 1, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A poignant and page-turning story of three women whose lives are forever changed by war.…

New York City, 1943

Can one small act change the course of a life? Margaret’s job at the Navy Yard brings her freedoms she never dared imagine, but she wants to do something more personal to help the war effort. Knitting socks for soldiers is a way to occupy her quiet nights and provide comfort to the boys abroad. But when a note she tucks inside one of her socks sparks a relationship with a long-distance pen pal, she finds herself drawn to a man she’s never even met.

Can a woman hold on to her independence if she gives away her heart? Gladys has been waiting her whole life for the kinds of opportunities available to her now that so many men are fighting overseas. She’s not going to waste a single one. And she’s not going to let her two best friends waste them either. Then she meets someone who values her opinions as much as she likes giving them, and suddenly she is questioning everything she once held dear.

Can an unwed mother survive on her own? Dottie is in a dire situation—she’s pregnant, her fiancé is off fighting the war, and if her parents find out about the baby, they’ll send her away and make her give up her child. Knitting helps take her mind off her uncertain future—until the worst happens and she must lean on her friends like never before.

With their worlds changing in unimaginable ways, Margaret, Gladys, and Dottie will learn that the unbreakable bond of friendship between them is what matters most of all.


Review:

Compelling, rich, and moving!

Until We Meet is an absorbing, touching tale set in NY during WWII that takes you into the lives of three main characters. Margaret, a practical young woman honoured to be working at the Brooklyn Shipyard on the USS Missouri, knitting socks for those overseas fighting, and corresponding back-and-forth with one of her brother’s fellow soldiers; Gladys, an independent gal determined to do whatever it takes to show that women are more than capable of doing anything that men can do; and Dottie, a sweet, pregnant young lady whose looking forward to her fiancé coming home from the war so they can finally get married and live the life they were meant to live.

The prose is fluid and expressive. The characters are spirited, hardworking, and brave. And the plot is an immersive tale of life, loss, love, hope, grief, family, sacrifices, war, new beginnings, friendship, and a touch of romance.

Overall, Until We Meet is a well-written, tender, lovely tale by Di Maio that does a wonderful job of reminding us just how much hope and joy can be reaped from the little things in life.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Forever & Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Camille Di Maio

Camille Di Maio left an award-winning real estate career to become a bestselling author. She has a bucket list that is never ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai‘i and Maine to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and hopes to get to all of them someday. Camille studied political science in college. She loves to spend Saturdays at farmers’ markets and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years in coastal Virginia, has two kiddos grown and flown, and two still at home. Rescue pets have been a long-term passion for her, the most recent addition being a German shepherd puppy.

Photo credit: Christina Orosco

#BookReview Not Without My Sister by Marion Kummerow @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #MarionKummerow #NotWithoutMySister

#BookReview Not Without My Sister by Marion Kummerow @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #MarionKummerow #NotWithoutMySister Title: Not Without My Sister

Author: Marion Kummerow

Published by: Forever on Dec. 27, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 9/10

In 1944, Germany, two sisters seek to overcome impossible odds in this unforgettable WWII novel about sisterhood, courage and survival.

All they had left was each other. Until the Nazis tore them apart.

After years of hiding from the Nazis, Rachel Epstein and her little sister Mindel are captured by the Gestapo and sent to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. The only ray of light for either girl is that they are together.

But on arrival they are separated. As she’s seventeen and deemed an adult, Rachel is sent to work in a brutal factory while four‑year‑old Mindel is sent into the so‑called “star” camp for Jewish prisoners. Rachel knows her sister will have no chance of survival all on her own.
 
Working in the windowless, airless factory—filling munitions casings with chemicals that burn her fingers and make her eyes sting—the only thing that keeps Rachel going is the thought of her little sister. Because if there’s even a chance Mindel is alive, Rachel knows she must try to save her.

But, separated by barbed wire, and treated brutally by SS guards who do not even see them as human beings, can either of the orphaned sisters dare to hope that they’ll ever find their way back to each other? And to freedom?


Review:

Pensive, heart-wrenching, and evocative!

Not Without My Sister is a beautifully written, moving tale set during WWII that takes you into the lives of the Epstein sisters, two young Jewish girls from Bavaria who, due to a long-held promise and exceptional perseverance, manage to survive hell on earth, Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and remarkably find each other and reunite upon liberation.

The prose is haunting and gritty. The characters are vulnerable, strong, and brave. And the plot is a poignant tale of life, loss, love, family, survival, sacrifice, courage, selflessness, the unimaginable horrors of war, and the special bond between sisters.

Overall, Not Without My Sister is a thought-provoking, immersive, touching tale by Kummerow that does a remarkable job of reminding us of the incredible ability of humanity to love and still be kind, compassionate, and resilient even in the face of unimaginable evil.

 

This novel is available December 27, 2022.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Marion Kummerow

Marion Kummerow is a USA Today Bestselling author of historical fiction. Her books are filled with raw emotions, fierce loyalty and perpetual resilience. She loves to put her characters through the mangle, making them reach deep within to find the strength to face moral dilemma, make difficult decisions or fight for what is right. And she never forgets to include humor and undying love in her books, because ultimately love is what makes the world go round. Marion was born and raised in Germany, before she set out to "discover the world" and lived in various countries. In 1999 she returned to Germany and settled down in Munich where she's now living with her family.

#BookReview London, With Love by Sarra Manning @sarramanning @Mobius_Books @HodderBooks #LondonWithLove #SarraManning #MobiusBooksUS

#BookReview London, With Love by Sarra Manning @sarramanning @Mobius_Books @HodderBooks #LondonWithLove #SarraManning #MobiusBooksUS Title: London, With Love

Author: Sarra Manning

Published by: Mobius on Nov. 15, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 432

Format: Hardcover

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 8.5/10

London. Nine million people. Two hundred and seventy tube stations. Every day, thousands of chance encounters, first dates, goodbyes and happy ever afters.

And for twenty years it’s been where one man and one woman can never get their timing right.

Jennifer and Nick meet as teenagers and over the next two decades, they fall in and out of love with each other. Sometimes they start kissing. Sometimes they’re just friends. Sometimes they stop speaking, but they always find their way back to each other.

But after all this time, are they destined to be together or have they finally reached the end of the line?


Review:

Romantic, thought-provoking, and heart-achingly beautiful!

London, With Love is a vivid, moving tale that takes us into the life of Jennifer, from her awkward teen years to her highly successful career in publishing as a mature woman, including the highs and lows of finding work, solid relationships that appear perfect but always seem to come to an end, a front row seat to some devastating tragedies, and her ongoing unrequited love for a boy, Nick Levene who somehow seems to continuously fall in and out of her life.

The writing is warm and sweet. The characters are multilayered, authentic, and flawed. And the plot is a charming rollercoaster ride of hope, heart, heartache, and humour.

Overall, London, With Love is a compelling, heartbreaking, pensive novel by Manning that is not only a love letter to the City of London but a delightfully absorbing tale that reminds us that life is complicated and messy, timing is everything, and sometimes, perhaps, things are just truly destined to happen.

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarra Manning

Sarra Manning has been a voracious reader for over forty years and a prolific author and journalist for twenty-five. Her seven novels, which have been translated into fifteen different languages include Unsticky, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, The House of Secrets and her latest, Rescue Me, published in 2021. Sarra has also written over fifteen YA novels, and light-hearted romantic comedies under a pseudonym. She started her writing career on Melody Maker and Just Seventeen, has been editor of ElleGirl and What to Wear and has also contributed to the Guardian, ELLE, Grazia, Stylist, Fabulous, Stella, You Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar. She is currently the Literary Editor of Red. Sarra has also been a Costa Book Awards judge and has been nominated for various writing awards herself. She lives in London surrounded by piles and piles of books.

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