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#BookReview Friends Like Us by Sarah Mackenzie @readforeverpub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #SarahMackenzie #CranberryCove

#BookReview Friends Like Us by Sarah Mackenzie @readforeverpub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #SarahMackenzie #CranberryCove Title: Friends Like Us

Author: Sarah Mackenzie

Series: Cranberry Cove #2

Published by: Forever on Jan. 26, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 9/10

Fans of Jill Shalvis, Susan Mallery, and Robyn Carr will love this charming, relatable, laugh-out-loud women’s fiction read about letting go of the past, taking a chance on love, and embracing life under the summer sun.

Bree Rhodes and Jill Kelly have been best friends since kindergarten. When Bree survives a cancer scare, the knitting shop assistant takes it as a sign to step out of her comfort zone . . . or at least take a few tentative tiptoes. But in no time she’s in over her head with a hot architect, a new puppy and a shot at buying her dream inn. And the harder she tries to stay afloat in her new normal, the harder it is to hold onto her friendship with Jill who seems to be ebbing away.

While her best friend is living her best life, art boutique owner, Jill, is simply trying to live. Still struggling after a freak motorcycle accident took the life of her husband, Jill doesn’t know how to start over — or if she even wants to. Life isn’t easy as a young widow, especially when she’s hiding a painful secret. But when she learns that the fairytale Maine cottage she’d once dreamed of buying with her husband is on the market, she has to decide whether she’s ready to let go of the past and to write a new chapter. But the only way to do really heal is by revealing to Bree a truth that will either destroy their friendship forever or bring them closer together.


Review:

Tender, hopeful, and cosy!

Friends Like Us is a beautifully written, uplifting tale set in the small-town of Cranberry Cove that takes us into the lives of Bree Rhodes, a young woman who after recently having a cancer scare decides to create an anti-bucket list to help her step out of her mundane life and take some chances, and Jill Kelly, a young widow still struggling with the loss of her husband and the all-consuming grief that is preventing her from moving on.

The prose is light and witty. The characters are sweet, attentive, and sympathetic. And the plot is a delightful, heartfelt mix of friendship, family, introspection, support, forgiveness, love, loss, drama, community, new beginnings, and the power of friendship.

Overall, Friends Like Us is a funny, absorbing, compassionate tale by Mackenzie with an abundance of irresistible characters and a storyline I couldn’t get enough of. I really enjoyed the first novel in the Cranberry Cove series, Forever Friends, but I absolutely adored this one.

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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Mackenzie

Sarah Mackenzie lives and writes in New England.

#BookReview A Stranger at the Door (Rachel Marin #2) by Jason Pinter @jasonpinter @AmazonPub #AStrangerattheDoor #JasonPinter #Thomas&Mercer #RachelMarinSeries

#BookReview A Stranger at the Door (Rachel Marin #2) by Jason Pinter @jasonpinter @AmazonPub #AStrangerattheDoor #JasonPinter #Thomas&Mercer #RachelMarinSeries Title: A Stranger at the Door

Author: Jason Pinter

Series: Rachel Marin #2

Published by: Thomas & Mercer on Jan. 12, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 362

Format: Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Rachel Marin is in a good place. After years of struggle, the single mother has found both a stable, loving relationship and a new purpose: putting her investigative skills to work solving crimes for the local PD. But just as the pieces of her life are finally starting to fall into place, her teenaged son’s teacher is gruesomely murdered, starting a domino effect that shatters her peaceful existence.

When Rachel discovers an ominous email the teacher sent to her just before his death, she knows she must help bring his killer to justice. But soon a figure from her past reappears, threatening to expose Rachel’s darkest secrets if she doesn’t tread lightly. And when her son is recruited by a shadowy businessman who may be connected to the murder, Rachel knows this has just gotten very, very personal.

Someone out there is dead set on keeping this grisly cover-up good and buried, which means if Rachel’s not careful, it’s only a matter of time before her dream life becomes her worst nightmare.


Review:

Engrossing, propulsive, and twisty!

In this enthralling second instalment in the Rachel Marin series, A Stranger at the Door, Pinter has written a menacing thrill ride featuring the resilient Rachel Marin and the dependable Detectives Serrano and Tally as they join forces to hunt a sadistic killer who seems to have ties to a group of local high school boys and a wealthy entrepreneur.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are persistent, resourceful, and intelligent. And the plot is an eerie, electrifying whodunit full of twists, turns, manipulation, familial drama, lies, secrets, corruption, violence, and murder.

Overall, A Stranger at the Door is a fast-paced, intricate, tortuous tale that does an exceptional job of highlighting that money and greed are often the root of all evil and the wicked loves to prey on those more vulnerable and weak.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Jason Pinter

Jason Pinter is the bestselling author of HIDE AWAY, the first Rachel Marin novel, as well as six other novels: the acclaimed Henry Parker series (The Mark, The Guilty, The Stolen, The Fury, and The Darkness), the stand-alone thriller The Castle, as well as the middle-grade adventure novel Zeke Bartholomew: SuperSpy, and the children’s book Miracle. His books have over one million copies in print worldwide and have been optioned for film. He has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Thriller Award, Strand Critics Award, Barry Award, and Shamus Award, and more

Pinter is the founder of Polis Books, an independent press, and was honored by Publishers Weekly’s Star Watch, which “recognizes young publishing professionals who have distinguished themselves as future leaders of the industry.” He has written for the New Republic, Entrepreneur, the Daily Beast, Esquire, and more. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, with his wife and their two daughters.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Heart of a Texas Cowboy (2-in-1 Edition) by Katie Lane @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #KatieLane #DeepintheHeartofTexas

#BookReview The Heart of a Texas Cowboy (2-in-1 Edition) by Katie Lane @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #KatieLane #DeepintheHeartofTexas Title: The Heart of a Texas Cowboy

Author: Katie Lane

Series: Deep in the Heart of Texas

Published by: Forever on Jan. 12, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 704

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8/10

Fall in love in the Lone Star State with this 2-in-1 edition of USA Today bestselling author Katie Lane’s western contemporary romances Going Cowboy Crazy and Make Mine a Bad Boy.

A secret twin . . . A secret baby . . . Things are heating up in the Lone Star State!

Going Cowboy Crazy
Slate Calhoun is in a quandary. The woman in his truck may look like his long-time flame Hope Scroggs, yet the way she feels in his arms is altogether new. By the time he discovers that this equally beautiful woman is her identical twin sister, Faith, he’s head over spurs in love with her, and she’s got her own designs on Slate…

Make Mine a Bad Boy
Colt Lomax never gets attached, never looks back. Still, he can’t forget the night of passion he once shared with the local sweetheart, Hope Scroggs, a night he wouldn’t mind repeating. She tries her darnedest to resist his Texas charm but something unexpected is about to tie their fates together . . . and oh, baby, will it ever!


Review:

Sassy, lighthearted, and amusing!

The Heart of a Texas Cowboy is a compilation of two novels, Going Cowboy Crazy and Make Mine a Bad Boy.

Going Cowboy Crazy is a sweet, spirited tale that takes us into the life of the quiet, reserved, Faith Aldridge as she gets a little more than she bargained for when she heads west to find the twin sister she never knew she had in a town convinced she’s their homecoming queen finally returning home, and the local football hero turned coach, Slate Calhoun, is a little too sexy and hard to ignore.

Make Mine a Cowboy is a fun-loving, heartwarming tale that takes you back to Bramble, Texas and into the life of the feisty, Hope Scroggs as she struggles with the failure of her Hollywood career, a new twin sister who stole her high school sweetheart, and the realization that the annoying bad boy, biker turned custom motorcycle shop owner, Colt Lomax may actually own her heart.

The writing is playful and witty. The characters are quirky, spirited, and likeable. And the plots unfold nicely giving you a good dose of small-town West Texas charm, steamy tension, sizzling chemistry, humorous mishaps, tender moments, community, friendship, family, and love.

Overall, The Heart of a Texas Cowboy is a spicy, entertaining, enjoyable compilation by Lane that’s a great way to kick-start the Deep in the Heart of Texas series.

 

This book 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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Katie Lane

Katie Lane is a firm believer that love conquers all and laughter is the best medicine. Which is why you'll find plenty of humor and happily-ever-afters in her contemporary and western contemporary romance novels. A USA Today Bestselling Author, she has written numerous series, including Deep in the Heart of Texas, Hunk for the Holidays, Overnight Billionaires, Tender Heart Texas, and The Brides of Bliss Texas. Katie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and when she's not writing, she enjoys reading, eating chocolate (dark, please), and snuggling with her high school sweetheart and Cairn Terrior, Roo.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview A Mother’s Promise by K.D. Alden @KDAldenAuthor @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #KDAlden #AMothersPromise

#BookReview A Mother’s Promise by K.D. Alden @KDAldenAuthor @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #KDAlden #AMothersPromise Title: A Mother's Promise

Author: K.D. Alden

Published by: Forever on Jan. 19, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 10/10

Based on the true story behind a landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision, K.D. Alden’s debut is a rich and moving story of one woman’s courage and strength at a pivotal point in America’s history.

Virginia, 1927. A chance to have a family. That’s all Ruth Ann Riley wants. But because she was unwed and pregnant, she was sent away and her baby given to another woman. Now they’re trying to take Ruth Ann’s right to have another child. But she can’t stand the thought of never seeing little Annabel’s face again, never snuggling up to her warmth or watching her blue eyes crinkle with laughter. Good thing she has a plan.

All the rich and fancy folks may call her feeble-minded, but Ruth Ann is smarter than any of them have bargained for. Because no matter how high the odds are stacked against her, she is going to overcome the scandals in her past and get her child back—and along the way, she just may find unexpected friendships and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.


Review:

Heartwrenching, insightful, and incredibly absorbing!

A Mother’s Promise is a poignant, compelling tale that sweeps you away to the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded during 1927 and delves into the daily lives, anxiety and true horrors experienced by those young women and men deemed unfit to procreate and thus denied parental rights of any children they may already have had and in turn also forcibly sterilized.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are genuine, sympathetic, vulnerable, and lovable. And the plot is a beautifully written, poignant tale about life, loss, love, heartbreak, courage, hope, manipulation, power, corruption, ethics, morality, motherhood, and the unconscionable theory of eugenics.

Overall, A Mother’s Promise is an emotional, heartbreaking, masterfully woven tale by Alden that immerses you so thoroughly into the lives, feelings, and personalities of the characters you never want it to end. It is without a doubt going to be one of my favourite novels of the year and it really shouldn’t be missed.

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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About K.D. Alden

K.D. Alden is the pseudonym of an award-winning author who has written more than twenty novels in various genres. She has been the recipient of the Maggie Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A Mother’s Promise is her first historical novel.

K.D. is a graduate of Smith College, grew up in Austin, Texas, and resides in south Florida with her husband and two rescue greyhounds.

Photograph by Christhopher Hawke.

#BlogTour #BookReview Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner @LisaGarnderBks @arrowpublishing #BeforeSheDisappeared

#BlogTour #BookReview Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner @LisaGarnderBks @arrowpublishing #BeforeSheDisappeared Title: Before She Disappeared

Author: Lisa Gardner

Published by: Century on Jan. 21, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Arrow Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

Frankie Elkin has dedicated her life to doing what no one else will: searching for missing people the world has forgotten.

When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking. She has found fourteen victims to date, but none yet alive. Traveling from city to city with more regrets than belongings, Frankie is drawn to a new case in Boston, and to a neighbourhood with a rough reputation.

Angelique Badeau, a local teenager and Haitian immigrant, vanished eleven months ago in the middle of the day from her high school.  No scrap of surveillance footage, no cell phone tracking; 
Angelique simply disappeared.

Despite resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family, Frankie starts to unpick the truth of Angelique’s disappearance and starts to discover there are those that don’t want these questions answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to find Angelique and bring her home, even if it means the next person to go missing will be herself …


Review:

Charged, absorbing, and suspenseful!

Before She Disappeared is a well-paced, menacing thrill ride that takes us into the life of Frankie Elkin, a scarred, middle-aged woman who even while struggling with a past littered with grief, addiction, and heartbreak, travels from place to place identifying and pursuing new evidence in cold cases, but this latest investigation may have the highest odds yet with a missing teenage victim who may still be alive and the people who took her more than willing to kill to keep her.

The writing is sharp and meticulous. The characters are determined, ruthless, and resourceful. And the plot is a mysterious, compelling web of deduction, lies, exploitation, corruption, greed, violence, manipulation, and murder.

Before She Disappeared is another sophisticated, gritty, unnerving read by Gardner that may be the first standalone novel she’s written in a while but still has all the twists, turns, suspense, in-depth character development, and forensic analysis we’ve come to expect and love from all her previous novels.

This book is available on Jan. 21, 2021.

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

               

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House UK – Arrow Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Gardner

New York Times bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of eleven bestselling suspense novels.

Lisa lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs and one extremely neurotic three-legged cat. Lisa graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in international relations.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview The Stud Next Door by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1 #TheStudNextDoor #FriskyBusiness #KendallRyan

#BlogTour #BookReview The Stud Next Door by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1 #TheStudNextDoor #FriskyBusiness #KendallRyan Title: The Stud Next Door

Author: Kendall Ryan

Series: Frisky Business #3

Published by: Kendall Ryan Books on Jan. 19, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 201

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Kendall Ryan

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Life threw me a curveball. An adorable eight-pound, four-ounce curveball with her mother’s eyes and my dark hair. I’d like to think my single-dad game is strong, but honestly? I’ve been struggling a little.

When a beautiful young woman moves in next door and offers to give me a hand, I jump at the chance to hire her as a nanny. Jessa is amazing with my daughter. She’s also patient, kind, and way too pretty.

The number one rule of hiring a nanny? Don’t bed the nanny.

It’s a rule I intend to keep.

But as the days pass, I begin to realize how much my life is missing. Companionship. Romance. Intimacy. When I discover my heart has space for one more female, it’s a lost cause, another curveball. The hot-as-hell nanny is leaving soon for a mission trip to Central America. No sense in letting myself fantasize about Jessa being a permanent part of my life.

The closer we get, the more difficult it becomes to keep my feelings in check, because my heart won’t listen. And neither will my libido.

Well, you know what they say. Rules are meant to be broken . . .


Review:

Seductive, satisfying, and delightfully dreamy!

The Stud Next Door is a steamy, adorable romance that takes you into the lives of two main characters, Connor, the exhausted single father of an infant who is desperately in need of some help, and Jessa, the new, temporary neighbour who’s more than willing to work as a nanny until she relocates to South America in a few months time.

The writing is light and sweet. The characters are kind, genuine, and considerate. And the plot is a witty, engaging mix of tender moments, self-discovery, temptation, friendship, family, happiness, chemistry, love, and sexy times.

The Stud Next Door is another quick, charming, smoking addition to the Frisky Business series by Ryan, and as always I’m really looking forward to reading whatever she publishes next.

 

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Kendall Ryan

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

 

#BookReview Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler @SEmorgenthaler @SourcebooksCasa #EnjoytheView #MooseSprings #SourcebooksCasa

#BookReview Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler @SEmorgenthaler @SourcebooksCasa #EnjoytheView #MooseSprings #SourcebooksCasa Title: Enjoy the View

Author: Sarah Morgenthaler

Series: Moose Springs Alaska #3

Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca on Jan. 19, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Rating: 9/10

A grouchy mountaineer, a Hollywood starlet
And miles of untamed wilderness…
What could possibly go wrong?

Former Hollywood darling River Lane’s acting career is tanking fast. Determined to start fresh behind the camera, she agrees to film a documentary about the picturesque small town of Moose Springs, Alaska. The assignment should have been easy, but the quirky locals want nothing to do with River. Well, too bad: River’s going to make this film and prove herself, no matter what it takes.

Or what (literal) mountain she has to climb.

Easton Lockett may be a gentle giant, but he knows a thing or two about survival. If he can keep everyone in line, he should be able to get River and her crew up and down Mount Veil in one piece. Turns out that’s a big if. The wildlife’s wilder than usual, the camera crew’s determined to wander off a cliff, and the gorgeous actress is fearless. Falling for River only makes Easton’s job tougher, but there’s only so long he can hold out against her brilliant smile. When bad weather strikes, putting everyone at risk, it’ll take all of Easton’s skill to get them back home safely…and convince River she should stay in his arms for good.


Review:

Charming, refreshing, and light!

Enjoy the View is a tender, amusing tale that takes us back to Moose Springs, Alaska and into the lives of documentary filmmaker River Lane and broody mountaineer Easton Lockett as they navigate a treacherous mountain climb, a potentially tragic accident, a four-legged, furry friend with a serious crush, and an underlying simmering attraction that may be the only thing that keeps them warm on a few cold, blustery nights.

The writing is cute and funny. The characters are stubborn, impulsive, and dependable. And the plot is a heartwarming, humorous mix of life, love, family, friendship, small-town living, adventurous endeavours, dangerous mishaps, romance, and a lovelorn, adorable marmot.

Enjoy the View is the third title in a series that, for me, just keeps getting better and better. It’s a sweet, sincere, steamy tale by Morgenthaler that in my opinion shouldn’t be missed.

 

This book is available now.

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

     

 

 

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

 

About Sarah Morgenthaler

They say if you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life. Well, I LOVE my job. Even when it’s hard work!

I write sweet contemporary romance and romantic comedy set in Alaska, with quirky, fun-loving characters who fall in love despite their best efforts not to! I’ve even been known to write a moose or two! I’m a 2017 and 2018 RWA® Golden Heart® finalist. When I’m not writing, I can be found playing with the sweetest little rescue pit bull, Sammy, hiking with my husband, or nose deep in a great book. I love God, my family, old pickup trucks, and red wine. All the best things in life!

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Girl From Nowhere by Tiffany Rosenhan @tiffanyrosenhan @uplitreads @bloomsburykids #GirlFromNowhere #TiffanyRosenhan #UplitReads

#BookReview Girl From Nowhere by Tiffany Rosenhan @tiffanyrosenhan @uplitreads @bloomsburykids #GirlFromNowhere #TiffanyRosenhan #UplitReads Title: Girl From Nowhere

Author: Tiffany Rosenhan

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing on Jul. 21, 2020

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Red Sparrow meets One of Us Is Lying in this action-packed, romance-filled YA debut about a girl trying to outrun her past.

Ninety-four countries. Thirty-one schools. Two bullets.
Now it’s over…or so she thinks.

Sophia arrives in Montana with the promise of a normal high school experience. But after a turbulent few years abroad with her diplomat parents, forgetting the past is easier said than done. After all, “normal” high schoolers aren’t trained in several forms of combat.

Then Sophia meets Aksel and finds herself opening up in ways she never thought she could. Except Sophia’s past is about to catch up with her, and she must confront who she really is, why she was betrayed, and what she is capable of in the name of love and survival.

Full of heart-stopping action and breathtaking romance, this cinematic debut features a girl willing to risk everything to save the life she built for herself.


Review:

Fierce, thrilling, and action-packed!

Girl From Nowhere is a gripping, suspenseful tale that takes us into the life of Sophia Hepworth, a sixteen-year-old girl who after suffering a distressing event in an overseas safe house eighteen hours previously, arrives with her diplomat parents in Waterford, Montana to finally settle down. But running from the past is never that easy and even though she’s making new friends, enjoying high school, and experiencing an unexplainable attraction with the green-eyed, mysterious, Aksel Fredricksen trouble is, unfortunately, brewing just around the corner.

The prose is taut and intense. The characters are complex, intelligent, and resourceful. And the plot is a riveting tale of twists, turns, espionage, passion, angst, intrigue, loyalty, tension, terrorism, violence, corruption, and murder.

Overall, Girl From Nowhere is an epic debut by Rosenhan that features lots of exotic locales, sexual chemistry, battles, adventure, and action. It keeps you invested, engaged, and on the edge of your seat from the very first page, and if you can suspend disbelief for a little while, you will certainly be satisfied and highly entertained.

 

This book is available now.

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

          

 

 

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

 

About Tiffany Rosenhan

TIFFANY ROSENHAN is the mother of four young daughters. She has a degree in political science and loves to travel the world with her family and husband, who is a critical care physician. She lives in Millcreek, Utah.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly @The_Julia_Kelly @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheLastGardeninEngland #JuliaKelly

#BookReview The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly @The_Julia_Kelly @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheLastGardeninEngland #JuliaKelly Title: The Last Garden in England

Author: Julia Kelly

Published by: Gallery Books on Jan. 12, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.


Review:

Absorbing, romantic, and beautifully written!

The Last Garden in London is an engaging, moving tale that sweeps you away to the Highbury House Estate in Warwickshire, England from the original commission of the estate’s gardens, through WWII and its requisition as a convalescent hospital, to the current day garden restoration efforts and the discovery of some long-buried secrets hidden beneath its soil.

The prose is rich and eloquent. The characters are resilient, brave, and authentic. And the plot is a delightful tale set in 1907 to the present day that moves seamlessly between multiple perspectives and the past and present as it unravels all the personalities, behaviours, motivations, secrets, and complex relationships within it.

Overall, The Last Garden in London is ultimately a tale about life, loss, tragedy, grief, hope, history, family, sisterhood, and friendship. It’s a captivating, heartwarming, uplifting novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and am certain will please all those who love to read historical fiction that has alluring characters, an evocative, timeslip storyline, and a sliver of romance.

 

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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Julia Kelly

Julia Kelly is the award-winning author of women's fiction and historical romance books about the extraordinary stories of the past. She also writes fast-paced contemporary sports romance as Julia Blake. In addition to writing, she’s been an Emmy-nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London.

Photograph by Scott Bottles.

#BookReview Laying Bones by Reavis Z. Wortham @ReavisZWortham @PPPress #LayingBones #ReavisZWortham #TexasRedRiverMysteries #inkedinpoison

#BookReview Laying Bones by Reavis Z. Wortham @ReavisZWortham @PPPress #LayingBones #ReavisZWortham #TexasRedRiverMysteries #inkedinpoison Title: Laying Bones

Author: Reavis Z. Wortham

Series: Texas Red River Mysteries #8

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Jan. 12, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The stakes don’t get much higher than murder…

It’s January 1969 in the small rural community of Center Springs, Texas. Constable Ned Parker is looking into the seemingly accidental death of his nephew, R. B., who was found in his overturned pickup near Sanders Creek Bridge.

Eventually, the investigation leads Parker back to the Starlite Club, a dangerous honky-tonk recently constructed in a no-man’s-land on the Lone Star side of the Red River. Although Ned’s investigation uncovers suspicious characters, drugs, and gambling, the series of murders that eliminated any potential witnesses to what happened to R. B. on that cold January night is the most troubling. As he works his way to the coroner’s office, Constable Parker finds himself involved in a high-stakes game of consequences with no good end in sight.


Review:

Suspenseful, pacey, and unpredictable!

Laying Bones is an engrossing, gritty novel that takes us to Center Springs, Texas in 1969, where Constable Ned Parker suddenly finds himself mixed up in a complex investigation involving drug smuggling, illegal gambling, corruption, and multiple murder when the suspicious death of his cousin leads back to the honky-tonk club recently built on the banks of the Red River.

The prose is authentic and rich. The characters are sensible, intelligent, and tenacious. And the plot unfolds and unravels quickly into a compelling tale full of family, community, intrigue, drama, greed, deception, power, manipulation, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, Laying Bones is an ominous, pacey, immersive thriller by Wortham that may be the first time I’ve visited Lamar County but certainly won’t be my last.

 

This novel is available now.

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

       

 

 

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Reavis Z. Wortham

Spur Award winner Reavis Z. Wortham retired in 2011 and now works harder than before as the author of the critically acclaimed Red River historical mystery series. Kirkus Reviews listed his first novel, The Rock Hole, as one of their Top 12 Mysteries of 2011. True West Magazine included Dark Places as one of 2015’s Top 12 Modern Westerns. The Providence Journal writes, “This year’s Unraveled is a hidden gem of a book that reads like Craig Johnson’s Longmire on steroids.” Wortham’s new high octane contemporary western series from Kensington Publishing featuring Texas Ranger Sonny Hawke kicked off in 2017 with the publication of Hawke’s Prey. The fourth Sonny Hawke thriller, Hawke’s Fury, was published in June 2020. In 2019, the Western Writers Association presented Hawke’s War with the Spur Award in the WWA Best Mass Market Paperback category. The next Red River Mystery, Laying Bones, will be published in January 2021.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

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