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#BookReview
What We Didn’t Say by Rory Dunlop
@roryjamesdunlop

#BookReview What We Didn’t Say by Rory Dunlop @roryjamesdunlopTitle: What We Didn't Say

Author: Rory Dunlop

Published by: Bonnier Zaffre on June 30, 2016

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bonnier Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A darkly funny story of a marriage in crisis, perfect for readers who loved Us by David Nicholls and The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

Jack and Laura have separated. Jack thinks it’s all Laura’s fault.

Laura disagrees.

Jack writes to Laura, desperate to put across his side of the story.

Laura interrupts.

Wryly sarcastic and intensely well-observed, What We Didn’t Say is about that gap between words and feelings where relationships live – and die.


Review:

Deeply moving, insightful, and captivating.

This is a poignant novel that reminds us that life is short and precious, and that fundamentally we all need to love and be loved.

It touches on familial dynamics, marriage, secrets, jealousy, love, trust, and the importance of communication.

The story is written using a two-person narration, in a creative and unique style, which allows readers to flow both effortlessly between past and present, as well as hear both perspectives seamlessly.

It is well written. The prose is simple, precise, and darkly witty.  And the characters are complex and real.

This is engaging story with a powerful impact, and I highly recommend it.

 

This book is due to be published on June 30, 2016.

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

Amazon UK

 

For more information on Rory Dunlop, follow him on Twitter at: @roryjamesdunlop

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bonnier Publishing, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview
Summer at Oyster Bay by Jenny Hale

#BookReview Summer at Oyster Bay by Jenny HaleTitle: Summer at Oyster Bay

Author: Jenny Hale

Published by: Bookouture on June 9, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 278

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Summer at Oyster Bay is the perfect, feel-good summer romance, about the importance of home and family, learning what love is, and living for the moment.

They say falling in love is easy. But what if you know it’ll break your heart?

For Emily Tate, returning to her charming childhood home Oyster Bay is like coming up for air after the fast pace of her city life. At the farm her grandfather built, surrounded by sister Rachel’s chatter, Gram’s buttermilk biscuits, and the soft, white sand, Emily is reminded of exactly who she is and what she holds most dear.

When Emily starts work at elegant Water’s Edge Inn, Charles Peterson, the handsome new owner, asks for her help. He wants to expand and needs Emily to teach him the local ways, so he can convince the planning commission. Emily vows to make him fall in love with her hometown, just the way it is.

At work, Charles is reserved and serious, yet once Emily has him kicking off his shoes in the sand and sailing across the glistening Chesapeake Bay, she sees another side to him, and their easy rapport feels like the start of something big.

But when it becomes clear Charles’s plans for the inn involve bulldozing Oyster Bay, Emily is heartbroken. Will she lose her home and Charles all at once, or can she save Oyster Bay, and give true love a chance?


Review:

Sweet, amusing, and engaging!

This is a classic contemporary romance story. It has friendship, heartbreak, grief, family, food, and romance.

The characters are lovable, dependable, and real. The plot is captivating and interesting. The prose is well done and exceptionally descriptive. And the setting, is the beautiful East Coast, complete with melt-in-your-mouth seafood, campfires, and endless summer days.

I really enjoyed this book. It was like being wrapped up in a cozy blanket, warm and comfortable.

 

This book is due to be published on June 9, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bookouture, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview
The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
@robertbryndza @bookouture

#BookReview The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza @robertbryndza @bookoutureTitle: The Night Stalker

Author: Robert Bryndza

Series: Detective Erika Foster #2

Published by: Bookouture on June 2, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead… 

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head. 

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike. 

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer? 

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line. 


Review:

Intense, suspenseful, and clever!

This is a compelling thriller that delves into the depth and despair associated with psychological and physical torment, and reminds us that you never really know what happens behind closed doors.

The characters are multi-layered, complex and creative. The story is well written, with multiple plots and great twists and turns that will keep you enthralled for hours.

This is a gripping page turner that is disturbingly real, and I highly recommend it.

 

This book is due to be published on June 2, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

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

 

About Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, Dark Water and Last Breath are the second, third, and fourth books in the series, and the fifth book, Cold Blood is available now.

Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into 27 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

#BookReview
The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver

#BookReview The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny OliverTitle: The Sunshine And Biscotti Club

Author: Jenny Oliver

Published by: Carina UK on May 19, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Carina UK, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Moving to Italy to set up a baking club is a dream come true…

…until Libby catches her husband cheating just weeks before The Sunshine and Biscotti Club opens its doors.

With the first wave of guests set to arrive any day, Libby has no choice but to tie on her apron and get set to bake. But with a dash of sunshine and a sprinkling of old friends, Libby’s kitchen nightmare might just become the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

After all, you can’t bake biscotti without breaking a few eggs…

For guaranteed sunshine all holiday long, pack your bags and escape to The Sunshine and Biscotti Club – the irresistible new book from Jenny Oliver!


Review:

Intelligent, delightful, and charming!

This is a story about friendship, heartbreak, acceptance, forgiveness, love, and food.

The characters are fun-loving, dependable, flawed, and real. The plot is interesting and engaging. The writing is exquisite. And the prose is descriptive and witty. 

To me, it was like sitting down to watch a reunion episode of Friends, but instead of the usual gang sitting around the Central Perk, this one had a new light-hearted bunch gathering in the lush countryside of Italy instead.

I loved this book. It is a perfect summer read. 

 

This book is due to be published on May 19, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Carina UK, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview
Finding You by Danielle Ryan

#BookReview Finding You by Danielle RyanTitle: Finding You

Author: Danielle Ryan

Published by: Aria on May 1, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 190

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A feel good love story where sometimes first impressions can be very wrong..

Valentina Harrison is a PA at an international advertising agency but when her boss disappears, James Spencer is flown in from the New York office to take over the helm.

James is handsome, successful and arrogant, Valentina is intelligent but, compared to the other fashionistas in her Milan office, rather plain and different. Because of this James treats her with contempt; needless to say Valentina can’t stand him.

As their work brings them closer together, James and Valentina discover that first impressions can be wrong, so very wrong…


Review:

This is a fun, sweet contemporary romance.

The story takes us into the world of advertising in both Milan and New York. The characters are interesting, quirky, and likeable. And the plot has some mystery, drama, and of course romance.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted, easy, boss-to-more read, this one’s for you.

 

 

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

#BookReview
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave @chriscleave

#BookReview Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave @chriscleaveTitle: Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Author: Chris Cleave

Published by: Simon & Schuster on May 3, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 418

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Little Bee, a spellbinding novel about three unforgettable individuals thrown together by war, love, and their search for belonging in the ever-changing landscape of WWII London.

It’s 1939 and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin.

Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known.

A sweeping epic with the kind of unforgettable characters, cultural insights, and indelible scenes that made Little Bee so incredible, Chris Cleave’s latest novel explores the disenfranchised, the bereaved, the elite, the embattled. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, and incredible courage.


Review:

This is a remarkable story that is incredibly insightful, and deeply moving.

The story is set in wartime London, and is told from two perspectives. Mary, a young woman of privilege and class, who decides to help and continues to help with war efforts, even when it seems like she is battling societal ideologies as much as the enemy itself.  And Alastair, an art restorer turned officer, who continues to fight for his country, even when all seems bleak and his resilience, strength, and memories of home are all that keep him moving forward.

This is story about war, loss, injustice, love, courage, and survival.

The writing is precise and poetic. The characters are sympathetic, valiant and real. The descriptive prose is stunning. And the dry wit of the dialogue keeps the story buoyant, above the darkness, and allows you to be impacted but not sunk.

Perhaps Kipling’s iconic words say it best, “lest we forget.” 

This story will resonate with you long after the final page has been turned. And I have a feeling it won’t be long before it is on book club lists everywhere. 

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Chris Cleave, visit his website at: chriscleave.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @chriscleave

 

#BookReview
Those Summer Nights by Mandy Baggot
@mandybaggot

#BookReview Those Summer Nights by Mandy Baggot @mandybaggotTitle: Those Summer Nights

Author: Mandy Baggot

Published by: Bookouture on May 27, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 406

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Sunshine, soft white sand and a sizzling hot millionaire – you don’t get trouble in paradise, right? 

Imogen Charlton is sorted. Dead-beat husband? History. Dream job? Application sent. But then her impulsive brother, Harry, spends every last penny on a Greek restaurant in Corfu, and is determined to run it himself. It’s up to Imogen to bring him to his senses. 

When sexy millionaire Panos Dimitriou offers to buy back his family taverna, Imogen wonders if all her prayers have been answered (and all her fantasies about to come true). But Harry won’t budge, and his enthusiasm is infectious. 

Bright pink bougainvillea tumbling over whitewashed walls, endless blue skies, the sparkling Mediterranean; it’s hard not to fall for Corfu. And that’s not all Imogen is falling for… 

As the sparks of passion fly between Imogen and Panos, is Imogen having second thoughts on selling the restaurant? And will she have to choose between love and a new dream? 

This summer, spend long sunny days on the beach, and balmy nights in Greek tavernas on the gorgeous island of Corfu. 


Review:

This is a sweet, charming, and romantic novel.

It is a story about family, tradition, food, community, happiness, fulfillment, and love.

It is full of colourful characters, including not only the warm, adorable Imogen, and the sexy, flawed, Panos, but a whole slew of supporting characters that are witty, quirky, and lovable. 

It is very well written. The prose is precise, funny and descriptive. And the plot is intelligent, engaging, and delightful.

This is a great summer read that will put a smile on your face and have you daydreaming about the Greek Islands in no time. It was a pleasure to read and I highly recommend it.

 

This book is due to be published on May 27, 2016. 

Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bookouture, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mandy Baggot

Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer. In 2017 she was signed by Ebury Publishing (Penguin Random House).

The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016.

Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1's Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor.

Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

#BookReview
Lost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian

#BookReview Lost and Gone Forever by Alex GrecianTitle: Lost and Gone Forever

Author: Alex Grecian

Series: Scotland Yard's Murder Squad #5

Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons on May 17, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 375

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Many changes have happened to the Murder Squad. Rash actions have cost Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith his job, and in response he has set up his own private detective agency. Inspector Walter Day has been missing for a year, and no one knows where he is—though there is a strong suspicion that Saucy Jack has him. Hammersmith has made finding Day his primary case, and he has company—a pair of bounty hunters, a man and a woman. It is only gradually that he has come to realize that they are not what they seem . . .


Review:

This novel is thrilling and suspenseful.

Once again, Alex Grecian has created a gripping historical mystery in the dark, gritty streets of Victorian London in this fifth book in the Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad series.

The plot is interesting. The depiction of nineteenth century London is spot on. And all the usual cast of characters are back, flaws and all, for another round against the evils that humanity can spawn.

It is, truly, a great page turner and you don’t want to miss it.

If you haven’t read the other books in the series, I would suggest you read at least books #1, 3, and 4, although it’s not necessary, to truly appreciate the continuing storyline and character development.

 

#BookReview
For the Win by Sara Rider

#BookReview For the Win by Sara RiderTitle: For the Win

Author: Sara Rider

Series: The Perfect Play #1

Published by: Pocket Star on June 6, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 336

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Pocket Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

What happens when you fall for your biggest competition? Sara Rider scores with this charming romance about soccer stars battling their tough opponents and playing the field of love.

Lainey Lukas has sacrificed everything—sleep, family, carbs, a life—to earn her spot as the top player and captain of the Seattle Falcons women’s soccer team. She’s determined to lead her team to a national championship and finally earn the sport the respect it deserves—and nothing will throw her off her game. When Lainey’s hero Gabe Havelak, star of the Seattle Surge, crashes her team’s first press conference—making the Falcons look like a joke to the local media and humiliating Lainey in the process—she’s hell-bent on revenge.

Charming, confident Gabe is practically a god to Seattle soccer fans, but he doesn’t mind a little friendly competition from tough-as-nails Lainey, with her top-notch athletic skills, her mile-long legs, and her girl-next-door freckles. But when he learns the Falcons are booting the Surge from their coveted practice space to the notoriously cursed Cricket Field, those warm feelings give way to crippling superstition. With his contract up for renewal and his thirty-fourth birthday just weeks away, Gabe will risk anything to protect his position with the Surge.

The rivals agree to settle their differences in a Battle of the Sexes competition—a test of skills, fitness, and willpower. At first the situation seems win-win: Gabe gets the chance to earn back the Surge’s practice space, and Lainey’s team will finally get some much-deserved media attention. But as the friction between them becomes hot enough to spark and smolder, Lainey and Gabe are entering new territory—and with both of their careers on the line, love might just be the toughest opponent of all.


Review:

This is an amusing, sporty, contemporary romance story.

The story is about work ethic, finding balance, competition, romance, and team work, with a side order of soccer.

The characters are dynamic, flirty, and interesting. The prose is funny and precise. And the plot is charming, humorous and sweet.

This was a really fun, sexy, easy read.

I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series, The Perfect Play, Jaime and Alex’s story due out in the fall.

 

This book is due to be published June 6, 2016

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Pocket Books, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview
The Reflections of Queen Snow White
by David Meredith

#BookReview The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David MeredithTitle: The Reflections of Queen Snow White

Author: David Meredith

Published by: David Meredith on October 2, 2013

Genres: Fantasy

Pages: 155

Format: eBook

Source: David Meredith

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone? 

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing: 

The king is dead. 

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old. 

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means? 

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.


Review:

Thank you to David Meredith, the author, for sending me a copy of his book for an honest review.

This is a unique and interesting story that starts approximately thirty years after the original fairy tale ended.

It delves into the psychological and physical damage suffered by Snow White through the years, as well as the love and comfort she found with Charming.

It is a story about abuse, loss, depression, strength, courage, love, and ultimately the power of discovery and introspection.

The writing is well done. The plot uses a past-present style that allows the story to flow nicely. And the characters are complex and creative, especially the magic mirror who once again has a starring role.

If you love fantasy and dark, macabre tales, you will definitely enjoy this book.

 

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