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#BookReview Not Quite Perfect by Catherine Bybee @catherinebybee

#BookReview Not Quite Perfect by Catherine Bybee @catherinebybee Title: Not Quite Perfect

Author: Catherine Bybee

Series: Not Quite #5

Published by: Montlake Romance on Sep. 20, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 330

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Montlake Romance, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee delivers the fifth heartwarming, flirty novel in the wildly popular Not Quite series.

Mary Kildare knows how to read people. It’s both why she makes a great therapist and why she refuses to trust the average bachelor. Staying fiercely independent has been her primary relationship strategy—until wealthy playboy pilot (and commitmentphobe) Glen Fairchild reappears in her life. After a yearlong teasing tug-of-war, Mary and Glen test the waters of attraction, only to find that their physical chemistry runs deeper than flirtation.

At first, a bicoastal romance suits them both—especially since Glen can swoop in and whisk Mary away on one of his company’s planes. But no matter how close they get, they’re still three thousand miles apart. And when Mary’s life is threatened, Glen realizes the one luxury he doesn’t have is time. Can he close the distance between them before it’s too late?


Review:

Sexy, sassy, and surprisingly suspenseful!

This is a satisfying contemporary romance story that has the right amount of everything; great characters, witty dialogue, steamy chemistry, and a touch of danger.

The writing is well done. The characters are charming, intelligent and likeable; complete with a charismatic playboy, and a reluctant therapist. And the plot has all the elements we love about rom coms, as well as a few extra twists that give it that little bit more.

This really is an engaging, easy read that is thoroughly enjoyable, and I highly recommend it.

This book is due to be published on September 20, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaChapters/Indigo

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Montlake Romance, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Catherine Bybee

Catherine Bybee is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five books that have collectively sold more than three million copies and have been translated into twelve languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite series, the Weekday Brides series, and the Most Likely To series.

#BookReview Mata Hari’s Last Dance by Michelle Moran

#BookReview Mata Hari’s Last Dance by Michelle Moran Title: Mata Hari's Last Dance

Author: Michelle Moran

Published by: Touchstone on Jul. 19, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the international bestselling author of Rebel Queen and Nefertiti comes a captivating novel about the infamous Mata Hari, exotic dancer, adored courtesan, and, possibly, relentless spy.

Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom…or death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she’s been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers.

As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father’s cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe’s most infamous dancer.

From exotic Indian temples and glamorous Parisian theatres to stark German barracks in war-torn Europe, international bestselling author Michelle Moran who “expertly balances fact and fiction” (Associated Press) brings to vibrant life the famed world of Mata Hari: dancer, courtesan, and possibly, spy.


Review:

This is a fascinating and engaging story about the life of Mata Hari, the famous dancer, courtesan, who was tried and convicted by the French for being a double agent during WWI, and was subsequently executed for treason by firing squad in 1917.

It is told in first-person narration, and it takes us through a life filled with abandonment, abuse, poverty, riches, love, loss, and wartime.

Mata Hari lived in a time when respectable woman were meant to be demure and obedient and she was certainly nothing of the sort. She appeared to be extremely independent and passionate, but one wonders if this was simply a facade for loneliness and naiveté.

I have to admit that I knew very little about Mata Hari when I started this book, and I found her story to be extremely captivating and intriguing.  It certainly leaves you questioning whether she was truly a spy or whether she merely got caught up in all the glitz and glamour and, ultimately, chose the wrong paramours.

The writing is poetic and the story flows effortlessly from page to page. 

I really enjoyed this story and I highly recommend it.

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaChapters/Indigo

 

 

About Michelle Moran

Michelle Moran is the international bestselling author of seven historical novels. A native of southern California, she attended Pomona College, then earned a Masters Degree from the Claremont Graduate University. During her six years as a public high school teacher she used her summers to travel around the world, and it was her experiences as a volunteer on archaeological digs that inspired her to write historical fiction.

In 2012 Michelle was married in India, inspiring her seventh book, Rebel Queen, which is set in the East. Her hobbies include hiking, traveling, and archaeology. She is also fascinated by archaeogenetics, particularly since her children's heritages are so mixed. But above all these things Michelle is passionate about reading and can often be found with her nose in a good book. A frequent traveler, she currently resides with her husband, son, and daughter in the US. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

#BookReview Recipe for Love by Katie Fforde @KatieFforde

#BookReview Recipe for Love by Katie Fforde @KatieFforde Title: Recipe for Love

Author: Katie Fforde

Published by: Bookouture on Sep. 14, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 300

Format: eBook

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

Take one aspiring cook, one judge, and a spoonful of romance…

When Zoe Harper wins a coveted place in a televised cookery competition she’s thrilled. It’s a chance to cook her way to fame and fortune and the little delicatessen she’s set her heart on.

The first task has hardly begun when she finds herself with rather too much on her plate. Not only has she got to contend with the fiercely competitive and downright devious Cher, but she’s fast developing an inconvenient crush on one of the judges – the truly delicious Gideon Irving.

All too soon there’s more than canapes, cupcakes and cordon bleu at stake. Will Zoe win the competition or is Gideon one temptation too far? And is Zoe really prepared to risk it all for love?


Review:

Sweet, warm and enchanting!

This is an uplifting story with lots of delicious food, familial dynamics, friendship, competitive rivalry, and love.

The writing is graceful and smooth. The characters are quirky, kind, and loveable. And the plot is interesting and engaging with a good dish of lighthearted drama, engaging wit, and lots of heart.

Overall, this is a lovely story that will have you daydreaming of the english countryside and a nice hot cuppa in no time.

 

This story is due to be published on September 14, 2016.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

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

 

About Katie Fforde

Katie lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England with her husband, some of her three children and many pets. Recently her old hobbies of ironing and housework have given way to singing, Flamenco dancing and husky racing. She claims this keeps her fit. The writers she likes herself is also in the romantic genre, like Kate Saunders.

#BookReview The Fortunate Brother by Donna Morrissey

#BookReview The Fortunate Brother by Donna Morrissey Title: The Fortunate Brother

Author: Donna Morrissey

Series: Sylvanus Now #3

Published by: Viking on Sep. 6, 2016

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 260

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

A powerful tale of a family reeling from the tragic loss of a son, while facing a mysterious murder on their doorstep–told by one of Canada’s most beloved voices. 

After being uprooted from their fishing outport, the Now family is further devastated by the tragic loss of their eldest son, Chris, who died working on an Alberta oil rig. Kyle Now is still mourning his older brother when the murder of a local bully changes everything. The victim’s blood is found on the family’s pier, and suspicion falls first on an alienated wife, and then finally on the troubled Now family.

But behind this new turmoil, Chris’s death continues to plague the family. Father Sylvanus Now drowns his sorrow in a bottle, while mother Addie is facing breast cancer. And the children fight their own battles as the tension persists between Kyle and his sister, Sylvie, over her role in their brother’s death.

A cast of vivid characters surrounds the Now family, some intriguing, others comical–all masterfully crafted. As the murder mystery unfolds, other deeper secrets are revealed. Wise in the ways of the heart, The Fortunate Brother is a moving family drama from beloved storyteller Donna Morrissey.


Review:

Intriguing, poignant, and deeply moving!

This story is steeped in the rugged history, hardships, landscape, dialogue, and culture that is unique to Newfoundland. 

The writing is smooth and flawless.  The characters are grounded, raw, hardy and loyal. And the plot has a nice mix of suspense, tragedy, and emotion.

It is, ultimately, a murder-mystery that takes us on a subtle journey through loss, love, grief, guilt, perseverance, community dynamics, and family relationships.

This is definitely a well written, character-driven novel, by a respected Canadian author, that shouldn’t be missed.

 

This book is due to be published on September 6, 2016.

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

Chapters/IndigoAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Penguin Random House Canada, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Donna Morrissey

Donna Morrissey has written six nationally bestselling novels. She has received awards in Canada, the U.S., and England. Her novel Sylvanus Now was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and she was nominated for a Gemini for best writing for the film Clothesline Patch. Her fiction has been translated into several different languages. Born and raised in Newfoundland, she now lives in Halifax.

Photo by Bridgette Morrissey

Some Noteworthy Book Releases in September!

 septembers-books-3

 

September 1

September 6

September 12

  • The 48-Hour Hookup – Sarah Ballance

September 13

  • You’re the One That I Want – Angela Britnell

September 14

September 20

September 23

September 27

  • Sparking the Fire – Kate Meader

#BlogTour #BookReview Good Girl Bad Girl by Ann Girdharry @GirdharryAnn

#BlogTour #BookReview Good Girl Bad Girl by Ann Girdharry @GirdharryAnn Title: Good Girl Bad Girl

Author: Ann Girdharry

Series: Kal Medi #1

Published by: Chassagnard Publishing on Jul. 7, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 338

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Ann Girdharry

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Mother missing, the discovery of a powerful and corrupt syndicate and dark secrets about her father revealed leaves 28-year old Kal determined to pursue her own investigations, no matter what sinister truths she uncovers, in this intense psychological thriller.

Kal is convinced her investigative journalist mother must have been working on a controversial, and top level, news story, it is the only explanation for her sudden and suspicious disappearance. Although mistrustful of the police, Kal allows Detective Inspector Spinks, the officer assigned to her mother’s case, to accompany her when she visits her grandmother to break the news. What they don’t expect is to uncover a file of shocking research cataloguing the deviant activities of seven members of London’s political and business elite. Back on the streets of London, the survival instincts and specialist expertise she learned from her late father, kick into overdrive, as Kal resolves to not only find her mother but continue her work and unveil the conspiracy hidden amongst those in power.


Review:

Incredibly dark, disturbingly clever, and exceptionally creepy!

This is a spine-chilling thriller that transports you into a gritty world full of secrets, lies, corruption, malfeasance, sadism, torture, psychological manipulation, and deviant ideologies.

The prose is precise, original, and exceptionally detailed. The characters are dynamic and complex, especially the heroine, Kal, who is tenacious, brave, strong, yet vulnerable. And although the plot seems to get a little bogged down at the beginning of the story, it quickly turns into a faced-paced, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that’s hard to put down.

This is the first novel in the Kal Medi series, and I look forward to reading about all the suspense-filled drama she gets mixed up in next.

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to Ann Girdharry, the author, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has been a pleasure.

 

About Ann Girdharry

Ann Girdharry is a British crime suspense thriller author.

A trained psychotherapist, she worked for many years as a manager in the not-for-profit sector, for agencies working with carers, vulnerable older people, survivors of abuse, and victims of racial attacks.

She currently lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel, GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL, is an ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARD Finalist 2017. Her second crime suspense thriller, LONDON NOIR, will be published October 2017. She is also author of Chilling Tales of the Unexpected Short Reads.

#BookReview Riding a Strong Wind by Robertson Tait

#BookReview Riding a Strong Wind by Robertson Tait Title: Riding A Strong Wind

Author: Robertson Tait

Published by: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on Jul. 4, 2014

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 208

Format: eBook

Source: Robertson Tait

Book Rating: 7/10

A collection of romantic short stories set in glamorous locations from Italy to the Caribbean, passing through Scotland and Santa Barbara. Nine fairy tales for grown-ups.

Villa d’Este: A handsome TV personality is bewitched by a mysterious young beauty.

Amsterdam: Walking home from his night-shift through the red light district, the last thing he expected was an offer of eggs and coffee.

Santa Barbara: “He landed in Tokyo, Japan with a great California tan, a lot of fitness and no shoes.”

Rain in Rome: The slippery slope of love in the Eternal City.

Barra: A remote Scottish island casts its spell on a troubled American movie star.

Florence – La Certosa: “In the distance a church bell peeled, perhaps from the Certosa itself, and the atmosphere seemed somewhat surreal … It looked so old, so ancient. It was not hard to imagine oneself to be back two or three hundred years, drinking wine and watching the dying sun burn the clouds into every kind of crimson.”

Montmartre: He pitched his song in Paris and found he made a hit.

Amalfi Coast: Poor but hopeful, two young lovers find joy and upset on the beaches of Southern Italy.

Tobago – Having Lost The Boy: Down and out on a tropical beach, there was one more thing he could salvage.


Review:

Light-hearted, sweet, and romantic.

This is a collection of short stories that takes you on a journey through life, love, and passion, and reminds us that sometimes things really do happen for a reason.

The prose is exquisitely descriptive. The characters are charming, appealing, and endearing. The plots are unique, although they share the standard contemporary romance, happy-ever-after ending. And the settings are magical, taking you to the luxurious beaches and vineyards of Italy, to the museums and landmarks of the City of Light, to the picturesque countryside of the Scottish Highlands.

This truly is a warm, easy read that is a nice way to spend an afternoon

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to Robertson Tait, the author, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

#BookReview All Fall Down by Tom Bale @t0mbale

#BookReview All Fall Down by Tom Bale @t0mbale Title: All Fall Down

Author: Tom Bale

Published by: Bookouture on Sep. 1, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 380

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

You tried to save a life. Now you’re fighting to save your own.  
It should have been an idyllic day for the Turner family – until a dying man, beaten beyond all recognition, arrives at their home, uttering the words, HELP ME. 

Rob and Wendy Turner and their children try to explain away the horrific scene as being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but in the days that follow their lives are threatened in ways they could never imagine. 

The family is unaware that they are being watched by someone with their own terrifying agenda, who will stop at nothing to fulfil their own twisted desires. 

But when hidden secrets come rushing to the surface, it’s clear not everything is as it seems in this happy family. Are the Turners a victim of circumstance – or does the key to their fate lie closer to home? 

Forced to fight for everything they hold dear, can they save themselves before time runs out – or will their act of compassion see them paying the ultimate price…?


Review:

Dark, gripping, chilling, and wicked!

This is an intelligent thriller that reminds us that evil has many faces and comes in many forms.

It is, ultimately, a story about familial relationships, deception, secrets, indoctrination, depravity, and murder.

The writing is exceptionally well done.  The characterization is spot on, with a great mix of complex, fascinating characters that will have you teetering between empathy for some and hatred for others. And the plot, along with the many subplots, will take you on a wild roller coaster ride, starting with an initial incline of subtle clues and information, before quickly racing through more twists, turns and loop-de loops of malevolence than you ever could have excepted. 

This really is a great, entertaining, suspenseful novel that will have you scared and riveted from start to finish.

This book is due to be published on September 1, 2016.

Pick up a copy 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 of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tom Bale

Tom Bale has had a variety of jobs including retail assistant, claims negotiator and project manager, but none was as exhausting as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children. Tom has been writing since the age of seven, and completed his first novel at fifteen. After twenty years and hundreds of rejection slips, his first novel SINS OF THE FATHER was published under his real name, David Harrison. With his next book, SKIN AND BONES, he acquired an agent, a pseudonym and a book deal that enabled him to write full-time. His latest novel is the thriller SEE HOW THEY RUN, published by Bookouture in May 2016.

#BookReview Now That It’s You by Tawna Fenske @tawnafenske

#BookReview Now That It’s You by Tawna Fenske @tawnafenske Title: Now That It's You

Author: Tawna Fenske

Published by: Montlake Romance on Sep. 6, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 314

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Montlake Romance, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Talented chef Meg Delaney hasn’t spoken to her cheating ex-fiancé, Matt Midland, for two years. Ditching him at the altar after blurting out “I can’t” instead of “I do” would sour any relationship. But now, just as Meg is finally ready to bury the hatchet, she learns closure is permanently off the menu. And the kicker? Matt’s brother, Kyle, is back in her life, stirring up feelings that are equal parts guilt and lust.

Meg was the best thing that never happened to Kyle. He couldn’t make a move on his brother’s girlfriend—even if Matt didn’t value her nearly enough. The situation is even more complicated now that Meg’s bestselling aphrodisiac cookbook has spawned a legal battle with the Midlands. Maybe he should stay away. But love, like family, plays by its own rules. And the one woman he shouldn’t want might be the only one who’s perfect for him.


Review:

Sweet, melancholic, and engaging!

This is an empathetic contemporary romance story that encompasses familial dynamics, love, loss, grief, guilt, and delicious food.

The writing is good. The characters are charming, troubled, and likeable. And although it gets a little bogged down with the constant focus on the unscrupulous behaviour and character of Matt, the rest of the plot flows nicely and is filled with a good mix of heartbreaking drama, character dialogue, and romantic liaisons.

Overall, this is a light, amusing, easy novel that is an enjoyable read.

 

This story is due to be published on September 6, 2016.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Montlake Romance, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tawna Fenske

When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA-nominated, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”

Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year.

#BookReview Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid @tjenkinsreid

#BookReview Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid @tjenkinsreid Title: Maybe in Another Life

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published by: Washington Square Press on Jul. 7, 2015

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 342

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Docomes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.


Review:

Intriguing, thought-provoking, and deeply moving!

This is a uniquely written story that delves into the concept of parallel universes, and takes the thought of “what if” to a whole other level. 

It is beautifully crafted. The characters are flawed, resilient, and real. And the plot is distinctive, emotional, powerful, and completely absorbing.

This is, ultimately, a story about life, love, destiny, friendship, familial relationships, and contentment.

I really enjoyed this story and I look forward to hearing all the differing opinions and interesting discussion I am confident it will create.

Thank you to the “Chick Lit Book Club” on Goodreads for nominating this as our August read. This has been in my “to read” pile for way too long and I’m glad you made me finally bump it to the top.

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

About Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Her novels have been named best books of summer by People, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, InStyle, PopSugar, Buzzfeed, Goodreads, and others. Her most recent novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, is an Indie Next Pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and has been featured in Entertainment Weekly’s Must List and Good Morning America’s Summer Reading Roundup. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their daughter, and their dog.

Photo by Scott Witter

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