Book Review

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

#BookReview The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheHeiressNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheHeiressNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Heiress

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 9, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

When Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore dies, she’s not only North Carolina’s richest woman, she’s also its most notorious. The victim of a famous kidnapping as a child and a widow four times over, Ruby ruled the tiny town of Tavistock from Ashby House, her family’s estate high in the Blue Ridge mountains. In the aftermath of her death, that estate—along with a nine-figure fortune and the complicated legacy of being a McTavish—pass to her adopted son, Camden.

But to everyone’s surprise, Cam wants little to do with the house or the money—and even less to do with the surviving McTavishes. Instead, he rejects his inheritance, settling into a normal life as an English teacher in Colorado and marrying Jules, a woman just as eager to escape her own messy past.

Ten years later, Camden is a McTavish in name only, but a summons in the wake of his uncle’s death brings him and Jules back into the family fold at Ashby House. Its views are just as stunning as ever, its rooms just as elegant, but coming home reminds Cam why he was so quick to leave in the first place.

Jules, however, has other ideas, and the more she learns about Cam’s estranged family—and the twisted secrets they keep—the more determined she is for her husband to claim everything Ruby once intended for him to have.

But Ruby’s plans were always more complicated than they appeared. As Ashby House tightens its grip on Jules and Camden, questions about the infamous heiress come to light. Was there any truth to the persistent rumors following her disappearance as a girl? What really happened to those four husbands, who all died under mysterious circumstances? And why did she adopt Cam in the first place? Soon, Jules and Cam realize that an inheritance can entail far more than what’s written in a will––and that the bonds of family stretch far beyond the grave.


Review:

Complex, intense, and gripping!

The Heiress is a charged, unpredictable mystery that sweeps you away to North Carolina and into the life of Camden McTavish, who are receiving an email from an estranged cousin, reluctantly heads home after ten years away to deal with the inheritance he never wanted, introduce his wife to the dysfunctional, multigenerational McTavish family he willingly disowned, and finally discover all the long-buried secrets that his adopted mother, the infamous Ruby McTavish tried for a long time to keep hidden and buried for good.

The prose is powerful and polished. The characters are flawed, self-absorbed, and ruthless. And the plot, using a mixture of letters, news articles, and dual perspective narration, is a captivating, menacing tale of life, loss, secrets, deception, privilege, resentments, greed, corruption, violence, familial drama, surprises, and despicable truths.

Overall, The Heiress is a gritty, provocative, twisty novel by Hawkins that’s a must-read for anyone who loves a well-written mystery interlaced with a dramatic family saga all mired in the dark, toxic history of the past.

 

This book is available now.

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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me 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 Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan @vanjchan @SimonSchusterCA #VanessaChan #TheStormWeMade #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan @vanjchan @SimonSchusterCA #VanessaChan #TheStormWeMade #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Storm We Made

Author: Vanessa Chan

Published by: Marysue Rucci Books on Jan. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A spellbinding, sweeping novel about a Malayan mother who becomes an unlikely spy for the invading Japanese forces during WWII—and the shocking consequences that rain upon her community and family.

Malaya, 1945. Cecily Alcantara’s family is in terrible danger: her fifteen-year-old son, Abel, has disappeared, and her youngest daughter, Jasmin, is confined in a basement to prevent being pressed into service at the comfort stations. Her eldest daughter Jujube, who works at a tea house frequented by drunk Japanese soldiers, becomes angrier by the day.

Cecily knows two things: that this is all her fault; and that her family must never learn the truth.

A decade prior, Cecily had been desperate to be more than a housewife to a low-level bureaucrat in British-colonized Malaya. A chance meeting with the charismatic General Fuijwara lured her into a life of espionage, pursuing dreams of an “Asia for Asians.” Instead, Cecily helped usher in an even more brutal occupation by the Japanese. Ten years later as the war reaches its apex, her actions have caught up with her. Now her family is on the brink of destruction—and she will do anything to save them.

Spanning years of pain and triumph, told from the perspectives of four unforgettable characters, The Storm We Made is a dazzling saga about the horrors of war; the fraught relationships between the colonized and their oppressors, and the ambiguity of right and wrong when survival is at stake.


Review:

Absorbing, harrowing, and impactful!

The Storm We Made is a poignant, immersive tale set in British-occupied Malaya that takes you into the lives of the Alcantara family, especially the matriarch, Cecily, a middle-aged mother suffering from extreme guilt over the decisions she made ten years ago, and her three children, Jujube, Abel, and Jasmin whose lives are irrevocably changed forever when their homeland is invaded and occupied by the Japanese during WWII.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are brave, tormented, and determined. And the plot is an exceptionally touching tale about life, loss, family, secrets, separation, desperation, infidelity, tragedy, and the horrors of war.

Overall, The Storm We Made is a gritty, emotional, beautifully written tale by Chan inspired by real-life familial events that reminds us that survival of any kind often involves heartbreaking choices, moral dilemmas, action, spirit, extreme loss, and beyond all else, unimaginable sacrifice and courage.

 

This novel is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Vanessa Chan

Vanessa Chan Author Photo

Vanessa Chan was born and raised in Malaysia. Her short stories have been published in Electric Lit, Kenyon Review, Ecotone, and more. She was the 2021 Stanley Elkin scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference and has also received scholar awards to attend the Bread Loaf and Tin House writers’ conferences. The Storm We Made is her first novel.

Photograph by Mary Inhea Kang.

#BookReview Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally @CConnallyAuthor @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ActLikeALadyThinkLikeALord #LadyPetraInquires #CelesteConnally #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally @CConnallyAuthor @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ActLikeALadyThinkLikeALord #LadyPetraInquires #CelesteConnally #SMPInfluencers Title: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord

Author: Celeste Connally

Series: Lady Petra Inquires #1

Published by: Minotaur Books on Nov. 14, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

Bridgerton meets Agatha Christie in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord, a dazzling first entry in a terrific new Regency-era mystery series with a feminist spin.

When Lady Petra Forsyth’s fiancé and soulmate dies just weeks ahead of their wedding, she makes the shocking proclamation—in front of London’s loosest lips—that she will never remarry. A woman of independent means, Petra sees no reason to cede her wealth and freedom to any man now that the love of her life has passed, nor does she intend to become confined to her country home. Instead, she uses her title to gain access to elite spaces and enjoy the best of society without expectations.

But when ballroom gossip suggests that a longtime friend has died of “melancholia” while in the care of a questionable physician, Petra vows to use her status to dig deeper—uncovering a private asylum where men pay to have their wives and daughters locked away, or worse. Just as Lady Petra has reason to believe her friend is not dead, but a prisoner, her own headstrong actions and thirst for independence are used to put her own freedom in jeopardy.


Review:

Atmospheric, witty, and mysterious!

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord is an engaging, amusing tale set in London during 1815 that features Lady Petra Forsyth, a young, independent woman who, after losing her fiancé and declaring she will never marry, finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery when she begins to notice an unusual amount of high society wives disappearing and a servant who knows too much turns up dead.

The writing style is rich and light. The characters are adventurous, plucky and resourceful. And the plot is a well-paced, immersive tale full of red herrings, tricky situations, amateur sleuthing, awkward moments, danger, deduction, duplicity, attraction, and friendship.

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord is a compelling, suspenseful, highly entertaining tale by Connally that is not only a wonderful start to the Lady Petra Inquires series but, in my opinion, a great choice for anyone who’s looking for a historical mystery that’s not only lighthearted but playful.

 

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 – Minotaur Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Celeste Connally

CELESTE CONNALLY is an Agatha Award nominee, and a former freelance writer and editor. A lifelong devotee of historical novels and adaptations fueled by her passion for history—plus weekly doses of PBS Masterpiece—Celeste loves reading and writing about women from the past who didn’t always do as they were told.

#BookReview The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell @MaxwellJessa @SimonSchusterCA #TheGoldenSpoon #JessaMaxwell #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell @MaxwellJessa @SimonSchusterCA #TheGoldenSpoon #JessaMaxwell #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Golden Spoon

Author: Jessa Maxwell

Published by: Atria Books on Mar. 7, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

For six amateur bakers, competing in Bake Week is a dream come true.

When they arrive at Grafton Manor to compete, they’re ready to do whatever it takes to win the ultimate The Golden Spoon.

But for the show’s famous host, Betsy Martin, Bake Week is more than just a competition. Grafton Manor is her family’s home and legacy – and Bake Week is her life’s work. It’s imperative that both continue to succeed.

But as the competition commences, things begin to go awry. At first, it’s small acts of sabotage. Someone switching sugar for salt. A hob turned far too high.

But when a body is discovered, it’s clear that for someone in the competition, The Golden Spoon is a prize worth killing for…


Review:

Fast-paced, atmospheric, and cosy!

The Golden Spoon is a crafty, ominous tale that sweeps you away to a dilapidated manor in Vermont where six contestants from all walks of life have gathered to film and compete in the reality TV show “Bake Week,” but in a group like this, where tensions are high, secrets are rife, winning is everything, and everyone has a hidden agenda, death is definitely not out of the question.

The prose is crafty and light. The characters are self-obsessed, quirky, and secretive. And the plot is an enticing, suspenseful mix of twists, turns, secrets, manipulation, sabotage, revelations, revenge, confessions, malicious intentions, and murder.

Overall, The Golden Spoon is a mysterious, amusing, satisfying treat by Maxwell that had just the right amount of suspicious personalities, zany antics, and abundance of drama to keep me engaged and entertained 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 Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jessa Maxwell

Jessa Maxwell is the author of The Golden Spoon and I Need You to Read This. She is also the author and illustrator of five picture books for children. Her comics and cartoons have been published in The New Yorker and The New York Times and her writing has been published in Slate, Marie Claire, and many others. She now lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island with her husband, two cats and three-legged dog.

Photo by Stephanie Ewens.

#BookReview The Wedding Ranch by Nancy Naigle @smpromance @nancynaigle @StMartinsPress #TheWeddingRanch #NancyNaigle #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Wedding Ranch by Nancy Naigle @smpromance @nancynaigle @StMartinsPress #TheWeddingRanch #NancyNaigle #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers Title: The Wedding Ranch

Author: Nancy Naigle

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

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Two people get a second chance at love in this heartwarming story by author Nancy Naigle, The Wedding Ranch

When Lorri Walker’s husband gifted her with a mastiff puppy on Valentine’s Day, she believed he was recommitting himself to their marriage after going astray. Six months later, he left both her and their dog for someone else. Since her recent move to Dalton Mill to unbraid herself from the past, Lorri’s graphic design business is now flourishing, her growing mastiff, Mister, has plenty of space to romp, and her ex in Raleigh can fade to a distant memory.

Ryder Bolt is haunted by the tragic loss of his wife and young son seven years ago. Thankfully, ranching keeps Ryder busy, and spending time with his niece and nephew—whose venue, The Wedding Ranch, has become a popular tourist destination—keeps him from getting lonely.

When Lorri and Ryder met, love was the last thing they were looking for. When they’re together, smiles come easier and burdens feel lighter, and both are embracing the possibility of something deeper.

But when a long-buried revelation surfaces, the fate that brought them together threatens to tear them apart.


Review:

Quaint, absorbing, and sweet!

The Wedding Ranch is a heartfelt, uplifting tale set in the small town of Dalton Mill that takes you into the lives of Ryder Bolt, a young widower still grappling with the loss of his wife and young son and the all-consuming grief that is preventing him from moving on, and Lorri Walker, a newly divorced woman looking forward to starting a new life in a new home with her beloved mastiff, Mister.

The prose is genuine and smooth. The characters are relatable, hesitant, and kind. And the plot is an addictive, alluring mix of friendship, family, life, loss, grief, introspection, support, forgiveness, community, new beginnings, furry friends, and the power of love.

Overall, The Wedding Ranch is another cosy, heartwarming, delightfully enchanting story by Naigle that reminds us to surround ourselves with those we love and to always live life to the fullest.

 

This book is available now.

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

       

 

 

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

 

About Nancy Naigle

USA Today bestselling author NANCY NAIGLE whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart. Now happily retired, she devotes her time to writing, antiquing, and the occasional spa day with friends. A native of Virginia Beach, she currently calls North Carolina home. Nancy is the author of Christmas Joy and Hope at Christmas, both of which have been turned into film for Hallmark Channel.

Photograph by Adam Sanner.

#BookReview My Darling Bride by Ilsa Madden-Mills @ilsamaddenmills @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #MyDarlingBride #IlsaMaddenMills #Montlake #FireflyDist

#BookReview My Darling Bride by Ilsa Madden-Mills @ilsamaddenmills @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #MyDarlingBride #IlsaMaddenMills #Montlake #FireflyDist Title: My Darling Bride

Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

Published by: Montlake Romance on Dec. 5, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 331

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 9/10

In a sizzling romance that sparkles with wit and depth, two wounded souls meet by chance in the desert and agree to get married, and their lives will never be the same.

On a normal day, Emmaline Darling isn’t a car thief. She’s just a simple girl who runs a bookstore and adores cats. But when she’s stranded in the desert and needs to get away from her dangerous ex-boyfriend, she picks her only option: swiping the keys to a famous football player’s Lamborghini and speeding away.

Football star Graham Harlan is in chaos. First he took a hit on the field that left him with a near-death experience, and now he’s promised his brother he’ll get married to secure the family inheritance. Trouble is he isn’t even seeing anyone.

Then a mystery woman steals his car. With his usual stubbornness, he tracks her all the way to Manhattan and gives her an ultimatum: marry me or I’ll press charges.

Her choice is obvious, only neither of them expect the sparks that ignite between them.

As the end of their arrangement looms, will Graham take a chance on love or let his darling walk away forever?


Review:

Romantic, hopeful, and sweet!

My Darling Bride is a heartwarming, sassy tale that takes you on a journey into the life of Emmaline Darling, a young woman who, after an embarrassing first meeting and an unfortunate event involving a stolen car, finds herself agreeing to a fake marriage with the one man, football player Graham Harlan who although struggling with health issues of his own might actually be able to heal and steal her heart.

The prose is smooth and light. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are fun-loving, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is a heartfelt, flirty blend of tricky situations, tender moments, humorous hijinks, introspection, new beginnings, friendship, family, health, happiness, romance, and love.

Overall, My Darling Bride is another charming, witty, delightful tale by Madden-Mills that has all the elements I’ve come to know and love in her novels, including a fierce heroine, an attentive alpha male, and a fast-paced, swoony storyline.

 

This novel is available now.

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

     

 

 

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

 

About Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Fourteen of her Eighteen novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Not My Romeo #1; The Revenge Pact #1; Dear Ava, Fake Fiancée, I Dare You, and I Promise You #2; I Hate You #5; Not My Match, I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She's addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females.

#BookReview Inheritance by Nora Roberts @StMartinsPress #InheritanceNovel #TheLostBrideTrilogy #NoraRoberts #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Inheritance by Nora Roberts @StMartinsPress #InheritanceNovel #TheLostBrideTrilogy #NoraRoberts #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Inheritance

Author: Nora Roberts

Series: The Lost Bride Trilogy #1

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Nov. 21, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Pages: 419

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Inheritance is the first in The Lost Bride Trilogy by #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts―a tale of tragedies, loves found and lost, and a family haunted for generations.

1806: Astrid Poole sits in her bridal clothes, overwhelmed with happiness. But before her marriage can be consummated, she is murdered, and the circle of gold torn from her finger. Her last words are a promise to Collin never to leave him…

Graphic designer Sonya MacTavish is stunned to learn that her late father had a twin he never knew about―and that her newly discovered uncle, Collin Poole, has left her almost everything he owned, including a majestic Victorian house on the Maine coast, which the will stipulates she must live in it for at least three years. Her engagement recently broken, she sets off to find out why the boys were separated at birth―and why it was all kept secret until a genealogy website brought it to light.

Trey, the young lawyer who greets her at the sprawling clifftop manor, notes Sonya’s unease―and acknowledges that yes, the place is haunted…but just a little. Sure enough, Sonya finds objects moved and music playing out of nowhere. She sees a painting by her father inexplicably hanging in her deceased uncle’s office, and a portrait of a woman named Astrid, whom the lawyer refers to as “the first lost bride.” It’s becoming clear that Sonya has inherited far more than a house. She has inherited a centuries-old curse, and a puzzle to be solved if there is any hope of breaking it…


Review:

Unique, captivating, and romantic!

Inheritance is a dramatic, mysterious tale that takes you into the life of Sonya MacTavish, a hardworking graphic designer who, after finding her fiancé cheating and learning she has inherited a mansion from her father’s twin brother no one even knew existed, moves into the stately home in Maine only to discover that it is haunted by a generational curse cast in 1806 that will take not only the help of the dashingly handsome Trey to break but also all the friends she can muster.

The writing is smooth and effortless. The characters are kind, tolerant, and endearing. And the plot is a captivating tale of life, love, friendship, family, intrigue, desire, temptation, attraction, supernatural phenomenon, romance, and danger.

Overall, Inheritance is a creative, atmospheric, brilliant start to the new Lost Bride Trilogy by Roberts that I absolutely devoured and highly recommend.

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Come Sundown, The Obsession, The Liar, and coming in December 2017, Year One -- the first book in The Chronicles of The One. She is also the author of the futuristic suspense In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Lose You to Find Me by B. Celeste @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #LoseYoutoFindMe #AuthorBCeleste #LindonUSeries #BloomBooks

#BookReview Lose You to Find Me by B. Celeste @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #LoseYoutoFindMe #AuthorBCeleste #LindonUSeries #BloomBooks Title: Lose You to Find Me

Author: B. Celeste

Series: Lindon U #3

Published by: Bloom Books on Dec. 12, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Bloom Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

After Raine Copelin turns down her long-time boyfriend Caleb Anders’s marriage proposal, the two are barely speaking, barely coping as they enter graduate school at Lindon University. Caleb doesn’t understand what happened—their relationship has been picture-perfect since high school. He always imagined starting a family together, the same happily ever after his parents had. Until the day she broke his heart, he thought Raine wanted that, too.

But Raine has her reasons. Her secrets. She knows she can’t give Caleb the future he wants, so she decides to let him go, no matter the price she has to pay. But when fresh tragedy sends Caleb spiraling back into Raine’s arms, the unanswered questions between them bring old feelings and new wounds to the surface. Fighting grief, lies, and fear, the two must figure out if their love ever truly ended, or if their uncertain futures might still include each other.


Review:

Uplifting, angsty, and sweet!

Lose You to Find Me is an emotive, second-chance romance between the overwhelmed, kind Caleb and the troubled, regretful Raine as they discover that beneath all the hurt, guilt, miscommunication, and past secrets is a deeply rooted friendship, sizzling attraction, and unconditional love that is still smouldering and certainly worth fighting for.

The writing is effortless and smooth. The characters are caring, distressed, and endearing. And the plot is a tender tale of life, love, loss, family, expectations, forgiveness, introspection, acceptance, secrets, friendship, the importance of communication, and new beginnings.

Overall, Lose You to Find Me is the third title in a series that, for me, just keeps getting better and better. It’s a dramatic, romantic, passionate read by Celeste with characters I couldn’t help but root for and a heartwarming ending that left me smitten, satisfied, and ecstatic that there’s still more to come!

 

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 Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane @GrandCentralPub #TheItalianDaughter #TheLostDaughtersSeries #SorayaLane #GCPInsider

#BookReview The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane @GrandCentralPub #TheItalianDaughter #TheLostDaughtersSeries #SorayaLane #GCPInsider Title: The Italian Daughter

Author: Soraya M. Lane

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Dec. 5, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

This utterly enchanting and heartbreaking novel tells the story of lost loves, family secrets and enduring hope—perfect for fans of Rebecca Serle, Sophie Kinsella, and Alys Murray.

Italy, 1946. “Estee, I bought this ring years ago and have kept it safe ever since. You’re the only woman I’ve ever loved.” She reached for Felix’s hand and gently closed it over the box. “No,” she whispered. “I want you to propose only when you’re truly free.”

London, present day: Lily clutches a faded piece of paper in her hands, knowing that her life will never be the same again. Whilst grieving for her late father, she is told that her grandmother was born at Hope’s House, a home for unmarried mothers, the only clues to her past contained on a handwritten Italian recipe and an old theatre program.

Desperate for answers, Lily accepts a job on an Italian vineyard in the heart of picturesque Como – a dream her father once shared. Arriving at the palatial home of the Martinelli family, Lily is captivated by the acres of vines that surround her and instantly feels at home. She is also struck by their charming son Antonio and as they chat long into the night over a candlelit dinner, he offers to help Lily discover her family’s heritage.

As Lily unravels the truth of her own legacy, she begins to fall more in love with Italy and with Antonio. And tracing the recipe back to a bakery in a hilltop village, she soon unearths a tragic love story that changes everything…

But when Lily discovers who her grandmother really was, can she too have the courage to follow her heart and leave her old life behind? Or will her family’s heart-wrenching story force her home?


Review:

Captivating, heartwarming, and absorbing!

The Italian Daughter is predominantly set in Italy during the late 1930s, as well as present day, and is told from two different perspectives. Lily, a young woman who journeys to Italy to honour her father and work at a renowned vineyard while also unravelling the secrets surrounding her grandmother’s parentage and conception, and Estee, a beautiful ballerina whose love for the son of a bakery owner promised to another will ultimately change her destiny and life forever.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are troubled, determined, and endearing. And the plot is a moving tale about life, love, loss, emotion, betrayal, family, friendship, heartbreak, guilt, grief, hope, and regret.

Overall, The Italian Daughter is a rich, alluring, compelling tale by Lane that highlights the enduring passion, loyalty and power of love and is a wonderful choice for anyone who enjoys a dual timeline story with both a sliver of romance and mystique.

 

This book is available now.

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

     

 

 

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

 

About Soraya M. Lane

Soraya M. Lane graduated with a law degree before realizing that law wasn't the career for her and that her future was in writing. She is the author of historical and contemporary women's fiction, and her novel Wives of War was an Amazon Charts bestseller.

Soraya lives on a small farm in her native New Zealand with her husband, their two young sons and a collection of four legged friends. When she's not writing, she loves to be outside playing make-believe with her children or snuggled up inside reading.

Photo courtesy of Author's Amazon Page.

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

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

Author: Olivia Miles

Published by: Montlake Romance on Nov. 21, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 334

Format: Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 8.5/10

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

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

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

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


Review:

Heartwarming, alluring, and optimistic!

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

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

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

 

This novel is available now.

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

     

 

 

 

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

 

About Olivia Miles

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