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#BookReview What Passes as Love by Trisha R. Thomas @_TrishaRThomas @OverTheRiverPr @AmazonPub #WhatPassesasLove #TrishaRThomas #LakeUnion

#BookReview What Passes as Love by Trisha R. Thomas @_TrishaRThomas @OverTheRiverPr @AmazonPub #WhatPassesasLove #TrishaRThomas #LakeUnion Title: What Passes as Love

Author: Trisha R. Thomas

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Sep. 1, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing, OTRPR

Book Rating: 8/10

A young woman pays a devastating price for freedom in this heartrending and breathtaking novel of the nineteenth-century South.

1850. I was six years old the day Lewis Holt came to take me away.

Born into slavery, Dahlia never knew her mother—or what happened to her. When Dahlia’s father, the owner of Vesterville plantation, takes her to work in his home as a servant, she’s desperately lonely. Forced to leave behind her best friend, Bo, she lives in a world between black and white, belonging to neither.

Ten years later, Dahlia meets Timothy Ross, an Englishman in need of a wife. Reinventing herself as Lily Dove, Dahlia allows Timothy to believe she’s white, with no family to speak of, and agrees to marry him. She knows the danger of being found out. She also knows she’ll never have this chance at freedom again.

Ensconced in the Ross mansion, Dahlia soon finds herself held captive in a different way—as the dutiful wife of a young man who has set his sights on a political future. But when Bo arrives on the estate in shackles, Dahlia decides to risk everything to save his life. With suspicions of her true identity growing and a bounty hunter not far behind, Dahlia must act fast or pay a devastating price.


Review:

Multilayered, atmospheric, and alluring!

What Passes as Love is a vivid, captivating tale that sweeps you away to Virginia during the 1850s and into the life of Dahlia Holt, a young woman of mixed race who struggles to find her true place in a world where her skin is too light to be comfortable amongst her fellow slaves and a little too dark to be confident in her own home with a husband who mistakenly believes she is white.

The prose is clear and precise. The characters are determined, impulsive, and lonely. And the plot told from dual POVs unravels quickly into an intriguing tale of life, loss, love, friendship, injustice, jealousy, guilt, self-identity, loneliness, family drama, and survival.

Overall, What Passes as Love is an immersive, tender, engaging story by Thomas that doesn’t pack quite the emotional punch of some of the other Antebellum-era novels I’ve read recently but is still nevertheless an absorbing, satisfying tale.

 

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Trisha R. Thomas

Trisha R. Thomas has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine’s Books That Made a Difference. Her work has been featured and reviewed in Cosmopolitan, the Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Essence, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Her debut novel, Nappily Ever After, is now a popular Netflix original film. She is also a reviewer for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Trisha is a recipient of the Literary Lion Award from the King County Library System Foundation, was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, and was voted Best New Writer by the Black Writers Collective.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com.

#BookReview Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty @HenryHolt #ApplesNeverFall #LianeMoriarty

#BookReview Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty @HenryHolt #ApplesNeverFall #LianeMoriarty Title: Apples Never Fall

Author: Liane Moriarty

Published by: Henry Holt and Co. on Sep. 14, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 480

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Henry Holt and Co.

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Liane Moriarty comes a novel that looks at marriage, siblings, and how the people we love the most can hurt us the deepest

The Delaney family love one another dearly—it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .

If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?

This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.

The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The parents, Stan and Joy, are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killers on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are Stan and Joy so miserable?

The four Delaney children—Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke—were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups and there is the wonderful possibility of grandchildren on the horizon.

One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. The Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.

Later, when Joy goes missing, and Savannah is nowhere to be found, the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure—but as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light.


Review:

Simmering, cunning, and cleverly intricate!

Apples Never Fall is a compelling, character-driven, domestic thriller that takes you into the lives of the Delaney family as they each grapple with sibling rivalry, enduring jealousy, resentments, and long-buried secrets when their matriarch disappears one day leaving behind only a garbled text message and a husband who seems suspiciously guilty of her murder.

The writing is crisp and tight. The characters are envious, secretive, and troubled. And the plot told using a mixture of narrative, police interviews, and alternating timelines, before-and-after the incident is a mysterious tale full of well-timed twists, unforeseen surprises, red herrings, deception, insecurities, and a whole slew of quirky, eccentric personalities.

Overall, Apples Never Fall is another addictive, astute, tragically comedic tale by Moriarty that highlights once again her innate ability to delve into all the messy psychological and emotional entanglements that exist between family members and is definitely worthy of its spot on everyone’s must-read list this fall.

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

 

Thank you to Henry Holt and Company for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Big Little Lies, The Husband’s Secret, and Truly Madly Guilty; the New York Times bestsellers Nine Perfect Strangers, What Alice Forgot, and The Last Anniversary; The Hypnotist’s Love Story; and Three Wishes. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two children.

Photo by über photography

 

#BookReview The Living and the Lost by Ellen Feldman @StMartinsPress #TheLivingAndTheLost #EllenFeldman #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Living and the Lost by Ellen Feldman @StMartinsPress #TheLivingAndTheLost #EllenFeldman #SMPInfluencers Title: The Living and the Lost

Author: Ellen Feldman

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Sep. 7, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

From the author of Paris Never Leaves You, a gripping story of a young German Jewish woman who returns to Allied Occupied Berlin from America to face the past and unexpected future

Millie Mosbach and her brother David escaped to the United States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, the siblings suffer from rage at Germany and guilt at their own good fortune. Only Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, seems strangely eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a past decision made in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons. Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of survival, love, and forgiveness, of others and of self.


Review:

Thoughtful, moving, and immersive!

The Living and the Lost is an intriguing, poignant tale that sweeps you away to Berlin, post-WWII and into the life of Millie Mosbach, a young Jewish woman who, after escaping to America with her brother in 1938 and graduating from Bryn Mawr College, returns to war-torn Germany in 1945 to work for the de-Nazification program, removing Nazis from the publishing industry, and to hopefully find her missing parents and little sister who were taken as prisoners before they were able to get away.

The prose is nuanced and attentive. The characters are scarred, strong, and brave. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth style is an enthralling tale about life, love, strength, deception, bravery, injustice, hope, guilt, grief, loss, shame, survival, and the aftermath of war.

Overall, The Living and the Lost is an intriguing, heart-tugging, pensive tale by Feldman that does a lovely job of reminding us that nothing is as ever clear cut or as black and white as it may, on the surface, appear to be.

 

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

 

About Ellen Feldman

Ellen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow in fiction, is the author of Scottsboro, which was shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious Orange Prize, Next to Love, The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, which was translated into nine languages, Terrible Virtue, The Unwitting, and Lucy.

In addition to her novels, she writes articles on social history and has published numerous book reviews and blogs. She has lectured extensively around the country and in Germany and England.

She grew up in northern New Jersey and attended Bryn Mawr College, from which she holds a B.A. and an M.A. in modern history. After further graduate studies at Columbia University, she worked for a New York publishing house.

She lives in New York City and Amagansett, New York, with her husband and rescue terrier Charlie.

Photograph by Laura Mozes.

#BookReview The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl @juliadahl @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #JuliaDahl #TheMissingHours #iykyk #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl @juliadahl @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #JuliaDahl #TheMissingHours #iykyk #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: The Missing Hours

Author: Julia Dahl

Published by: Minotaur Books on Sep. 14, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

From a distance, Claudia Castro has it all: a famous family, a trust fund, thousands of Instagram followers, and a spot in NYU’s freshman class. But look closer, and things are messier: her parents are separating, she’s just been humiliated by a sleazy documentary, and her sister is about to have a baby with a man she barely knows.

Claudia starts the school year resolved to find a path toward something positive, maybe even meaningful – and then one drunken night everything changes. Reeling, her memory hazy, Claudia cuts herself off from her family, seeking solace in a new friendship. But when the rest of school comes back from spring break, Claudia is missing.

Suddenly, the whole city is trying to piece together the hours of that terrible night.

From the critically acclaimed author of Invisible City and Conviction, The Missing Hours is a novel about obsession, privilege, and the explosive consequences of one violent act.


Review:

Intricate, dark, and disturbing!

The Missing Hours is a provocative, compelling thriller that takes us into the life of Claudia Castro, an NYU freshman who, after waking up one morning beaten and raw with no recollection of the night before, heads out on a mission of vengeance and justice after she receives a video depicting the harrowing event that clearly identifies the two men who assaulted her.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are scarred, self-obsessed, and impulsive. And the plot, including all the sub-plots, builds nicely to create tension and suspense as it unravels all the violent actions, manipulative personalities, despicable behaviours, and parasitic relationships within it.

The Missing Hours is ultimately a novel about consent, violation, obsession, overindulgence, scandal, revenge, corruption, deception, social status, and rape, and even though it had me a little more riveted in the first half of the novel than the second, it is still overall a taut, gritty, compelling thriller by Dahl.

 

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

 

About Julia Dahl

Julia Dahl is the author of Conviction, Run You Down, and Invisible City, which was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, one of the Boston Globe’s Best Books of 2014, and has been translated into eight languages. A former reporter for CBS News and the New York Post, she now teaches journalism at NYU.

Photo by Chasi Annexy.

 

#BookReview One Summer in Crete by Nadia Marks @Nadia_Marks @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #OneSummerinCrete #NadiaMarks

#BookReview One Summer in Crete by Nadia Marks @Nadia_Marks @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #OneSummerinCrete #NadiaMarks Title: One Summer in Crete

Author: Nadia Marks

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Sep. 1, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

From the author of Among the Lemon Trees comes another gloriously sunny and deeply moving read, a must for any beach bag.

On the run from heartbreak, she might just end up finding happiness.

Calli’s world has fallen apart – her relationship is suddenly over and her chances of starting a family are gone. So when she’s sent to write a magazine article about the Greek island of Ikaria, it seems the perfect escape.

Travelling to Crete, where her family is from, Calli soon realises there is more to discover than paradise beaches and friendly locals. When her aunt Froso begins to share the story of her own teenage heartache, will the love, betrayal and revenge she reveals change Calli’s life forever?

One Summer in Crete is a gloriously sunny book of family secrets, lost loves, and self-discovery.

“If you don’t think you’re about to get to Crete this is the next best thing we’ve never needed books of this kind more.” -Vanessa Feltz


Review:

Compelling, nostalgic and heartwarming!

One Summer in Crete is an atmospheric, uplifting tale that sweeps you away to the picturesque Greek Islands and into the life of Calli, a magazine writer who, after heading to the Mediterranean to complete an article for work and mend a broken heart, discovers a new place to call home that’s filled with family, food, culture, long-buried secrets, kindness, support, and love.

The prose is sweet and descriptive. The characters are complex, passionate, and sympathetic. And the plot, using a back and forth, past/present style, is a touching mix of life, loss, deception, betrayal, friendship, compassion, self-discovery, and new beginnings.

Overall, One Summer in Crete is a light, charming, escapist tale by Marks that reminds us that life is comprised of all the messy, complicated, challenging, heartbreaking moments, as well as all the special, lovely times that happen in-between.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nadia Marks

Nadia Marks (ne Kitromilides,) was born in Cyprus, but grew up in London. An ex creative director and associate editor on a number of leading British women’s magazines, she is now a novelist and works as a freelance writer for several national and international publications. She has written for the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Express, the Independent, the Royal Photographic Society Journal, Psychologies, In Style magazine and others. For Europe and abroad she has contributed to Italian Vanity Fair, Brazilian Vogue, Greek and Australian Marie Claire, to the biggest Greek Sunday newspaper Vima, and the glossy Greek Cypriot lifestyle magazines Omikron and Must.

#BookReview The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheNightSheDisappeared #LisaJewell

#BookReview The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheNightSheDisappeared #LisaJewell Title: The Night She Disappeared

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published by: Atria Books on Sep. 7, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

2017: 19-year-old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah’s friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place.

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree.

‘DIG HERE’ . . .

A cold case, an abandoned mansion, family trauma and dark secrets lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s remarkable new novel.


Review:

Well-crafted, addictive, and sinister!

The Night She Disappeared is a creepy, clever, compulsive mystery that takes you into the life of Kim Knox as her world suddenly gets turned upside down when her teenage daughter, Tallulah, goes out one night to the pub and vanishes without a trace, and suspiciously no one present at the ”Dark Place” afterparty seems to have heard or seen anything.

The writing is intricate and twisty. The characters are distraught, troubled, and vulnerable. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and alternating between timelines quickly unravels into a menacing tale of manipulation, obsession, jealousy, secrets, unforeseen twists, well-timed surprises, violence, and complex relationships.

Overall, when I think about all the thrillers I’ve loved, at least one or two of Lisa Jewell’s books always come to mind, and this latest title, The Night She Disappeared, will certainly now be included on that list. It has everything I look for in a good thriller, nice intensity, great drama, and a storyline that not only keeps me guessing and on edge from start to finish but steadily makes me more and more unnerved as the story unfolds.

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 Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

Photograph by Andrew Whitton.

#BookReview The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #FarrahRochon #TheDatingPlaybook #TheBoyfriendProject

#BookReview The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #FarrahRochon #TheDatingPlaybook #TheBoyfriendProject Title: The Dating Playbook

Author: Farrah Rochon

Series: The Boyfriend Project #2

Published by: Forever on Aug. 17, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

When a personal trainer agrees to fake date her client, all rules are out the window in this delightful romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Boyfriend Project!

When it comes to personal training, Taylor Powell kicks serious butt. Unfortunately, her bills are piling up, rent is due, and the money situation is dire. Taylor needs more than the support of her new best friends, Samiah and London. She needs a miracle.

And Jamar Dixon might just be it. The oh-so-fine former footballer wants back into the NFL, and he wants Taylor to train him. There’s just one catch — no one can know what they’re doing. But when they’re accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor’s game plan is turned completely upside down. Is Jamar just playing to win . . . or is he playing for keeps?


Review:

Lighthearted, spirited, and fun!

The Dating Playbook is a passionate, cheeky tale that mixes the feisty, driven Taylor, who’s determined to do whatever it takes, even if it means fake dating a sexy, former NFL star, to prove she’s a formidable trainer with or without a degree, and the hardworking, motivated Jamar, who may finally discover there’s more to life than football.

The writing is smooth and sweet. The supporting characters are engaging, fun-loving, and endearing. And the plot is a charming tale filled with witty banter, shameless flirting, red-hot chemistry, emotional moments, self-discovery, family, friendship, light drama, and strong female friendships.

Overall, The Dating Playbook is a humorous, entertaining, uplifting read by Rochon that is another fantastic addition to what is ultimately turning out to be a wonderful Boyfriend Project 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 and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Farrah Rochon

USA Today bestselling author Farrah Rochon hails from a small town just west of New Orleans. She has garnered much acclaim for her Holmes Brothers, New York Sabers, Bayou Dreams and Moments in Maplesville series. When she is not writing in her favorite coffee shop, Farrah spends most of her time reading, cooking, traveling the world, visiting Walt Disney World, and catching her favorite Broadway shows. An admitted sports fanatic, Farrah feeds her addiction to football by watching New Orleans Saints games on Sunday afternoons.

Photography by Tamara Roybiskie.

#BookReview The Siren by Katherine St. John @thekatstjohn @GrandCentralPub #TheSiren #KatherineStJohn #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview The Siren by Katherine St. John @thekatstjohn @GrandCentralPub #TheSiren #KatherineStJohn #GrandCentralPub Title: The Siren

Author: Katherine St. John

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on May 4, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

From Katherine St. John, author of The Lion’s Den, comes another sublimely escapist thriller: When dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power hires his ex-wife, Stella Rivers, to act in his son’s film, he sparks a firestorm on an isolated island that will unearth long-buried secrets and unravel years of lies.

In the midst of a sizzling hot summer, some of Hollywood’s most notorious faces are assembled on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, starring dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power playing opposite his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. The surefire blockbuster promises to entice audiences with its sultry storyline and intimately connected cast.

Three very different women arrive on set, each with her own motive. Stella, an infamously unstable actress, is struggling to reclaim the career she lost in the wake of multiple, very public breakdowns. Taylor, a fledgling producer, is anxious to work on a film she hopes will turn her career around after her last job ended in scandal. And Felicity, Stella’s mysterious new assistant, harbors designs of her own that threaten to upend everyone’s plans.

With a hurricane brewing offshore, each woman finds herself trapped on the island, united against a common enemy. But as deceptions come to light, misplaced trust may prove more perilous than the storm itself.


Review:

Captivating, seductive, and sinister!

The Siren is a scheming, scintillating tale that sweeps you away to the Caribbean and onto the movie set of Cole Power’s latest film where a varied cast of characters have gathered, tensions are running high, money is low, deception is rife, everyone has a hidden agenda, and sex, violence, despicable behaviour, and murder are definitely not out of the question.

The writing is crisp and edgy. The characters are self-obsessed, ambitious, and secretive. And the plot is an enticing, addictive mix of domestic drama, unpredictable mystery, and breezy summer read all rolled up in one.

Overall, The Siren is another entertaining, enjoyable, satisfying read by St. John that does a wonderful job of reminding us that revenge is best served cold.

 

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

 

About Katherine St. John

Katherine St. John is a native of Mississippi and graduate of the University of Southern California. Over the years she has worked as an actress, screenwriter, director, photographer, producer, singer/songwriter, legal assistant, bartender/waitress, yoga instructor, real estate agent, and travel coordinator… but finds she likes writing novels best. Katherine currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer @jsantlofer @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLastMonaLisa #JonathanSantlofer #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer @jsantlofer @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLastMonaLisa #JonathanSantlofer #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Last Mona Lisa

Author: Jonathan Santlofer

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Aug. 17, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

August, 1911: The Mona Lisa is stolen by Vincent Peruggia. Exactly what happens in the two years before its recovery is a mystery. Many replicas of the Mona Lisa exist, and more than one historian has wondered if the painting now in the Louvre is a fake, switched in 1911.

Present day: art professor Luke Perrone digs for the truth behind his most famous ancestor: Peruggia. His search attracts an Interpol detective with something to prove and an unfamiliar but curiously helpful woman. Soon, Luke tumbles deep into the world of art and forgery, a land of obsession and danger.

A gripping novel exploring the 1911 theft and the present underbelly of the art world, The Last Mona Lisa is a suspenseful tale, tapping into our universal fascination with da Vinci’s enigma, why people are driven to possess certain works of art, and our fascination with the authentic and the fake.


Review:

Rich, absorbing, and remarkably atmospheric!

The Last Mona Lisa is an alluring, fascinating tale predominantly set in Paris during 1911, as well as present-day Florence, that takes us into the lives of Vincent Peruggia, a young man who, after losing his wife suddenly to illness, will do whatever it takes to earn enough money to be reunited with his son, as well as his great-grandson Luke Perrone, an art historian who is consumed with all things Mona Lisa who heads to Italy to find his great grandfather’s long-lost journal to discover once and for all why he stole the painting, where it was kept for the two years before it was returned, and ultimately, before everyone who knows about the journal, including himself, ends up dead, finally discover whether the original or merely a fake is now actually hanging in the infamous museum.

The writing is polished and descriptive. The characters are flawed, vulnerable, and driven. And the plot, alternating between timelines, unravels and intertwines quickly into an ominous tale of life, loss, family, self-discovery, secrets, lies, deception, greed, friendship, heartbreak, addiction, obsession, murder, as well as the beautiful, intricate details involved in creating, forging, and restoring artwork.

Overall, The Last Mona Lisa is an evocative, immersive, thrilling novel by Santlofer that’s not only a love letter to Renaissance art and the cities of Florence and Paris but a suspenseful tale steeped in historical fact and compelling fiction 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 Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jonathan Santlofer

Jonathan Santlofer is a writer and artist. His debut novel, THE DEATH ARTIST, was an international bestseller translated into 17 languages, a People Magazine "Page-Turner of the Week" and is currently in development at Fox, along with his second and third novels. His fourth novel, ANATOMY OF FEAR, won the Nero Award for best crime novel of 2009. Jonathan created the Crime Fiction Academy as The Center for Fiction. As an artist, Jonathan has been making replications of famous paintings for wealthy clients for more than 20 years.

Photo by Clarke Tolton.

#BookReview My Amy: The Life We Shared by Tyler James @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TylerJames #MyAmy

#BookReview My Amy: The Life We Shared by Tyler James @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TylerJames #MyAmy Title: My Amy: The Life We Shared

Author: Tyler James

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Aug. 17, 2021

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Written with a searing honesty and published for the tenth anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s death, My Amy is an evocative portrait of unbreakable lifelong friendship – and a devastating study into fame, addiction and self-sabotage.

Only one person knows what really happened to Amy, other than Amy herself. He is Tyler James, Amy’s best friend from the age of thirteen. They met at stage school as two insecure outsiders, formed an instant connection and lived together from their late teenage years right up until the day she died, aged just twenty-seven.

Tyler was there by her side through it all. From their carefree early years touring together to the creation of the multiple Grammy-winning Back To Black, which she wrote on their kitchen floor. From her volatile marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil through her escalating addictions, self-harm and eating disorders as the toxic nature of fame warped Amy’s reality. For the last three years of her life, Tyler was with her every day when she’d beaten drugs and was close to beating alcoholism too. He also knew better than anyone the real Amy Winehouse who the tabloid-reading public rarely saw – the hilarious, uncompromising force-of-nature busy taking care of everyone else.

We all think we know what happened to Amy Winehouse, but we don’t. This definitive insider’s story tells us all, finally, the truth.


Review:

Raw, genuine, and affecting!

My Amy: The Life We Shared is a heart-wrenching, touching memoir that takes you into the life of Tyler James and the special, somewhat dependent relationship between his best friend, famous jazz singer, Amy Winehouse and himself from the moment they met in their early teens at the Sylvia Young Theatre School until her tragic death in 2011.

The prose is emotional and sincere. And the novel is a poignant tale of one men’s personal struggles and experiences loving, supporting, and caring for an extremely talented friend tortured by demons and lost in a demanding world that took her soul and freedom, and left her struggling to cope in a toxic environment rife with drugs, addiction, eating disorders, public scrutiny, alcohol abuse, and parasitic relationships.

Overall, My Amy: The Life We Shared is a candid, heartfelt, informative tale by James that reminds us that loving someone means loving them for the good, the bad, and the ugly, and highlights that fame is not always fortunate, and sometimes being surrounded by many can actually be the loneliest existence of all.

 

This novel is available now.

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

        

 

 
 

 

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

 

About Tyler James

Tyler James grew up in the East End of London and met Amy Winehouse at the Sylvia Young Theatre School. He became a singer/songwriter and was signed to Island Records in 2003. By early 2009, after many chaotic years for both himself and Amy, he successfully overcame severe addiction problems of his own. Today, he lives and farms in Ireland, having swapped gigging for lambing. My Amy is his first book.

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