10/10

#BookReview Love Next Door (Lakeside #1) by Helena Hunting @helenahunting @AmazonPub @ThomasAllenLTD #LoveNextDoor #HelenaHunting #LakesideSeries

#BookReview Love Next Door (Lakeside #1) by Helena Hunting @helenahunting @AmazonPub @ThomasAllenLTD #LoveNextDoor #HelenaHunting #LakesideSeries Title: Love Next Door

Author: Helena Hunting

Series: Lakeside #1

Published by: Montlake Romance on Jul. 27, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 10/10

When Dillion Stitch left her hometown, she had no intention of going back. But when her brother gets into trouble, Dillion reluctantly agrees to return home to take her place at the family business.

Being back in Pearl Lake after all these years feels familiar, but also brings a few surprises. She’s quick to notice that someone new has shown up at the cottage next door. Dillion gets more than an eyeful when she goes to check out the newcomer and meets Donovan “Van” Firestone—her beloved neighbor’s grandson—in all his unclothed glory.

Having gotten off to a rocky start, it’s not long before they begin bickering with each other all over town. All that back and forth inevitably sparks an undeniable attraction. But Dillion’s family has issues, Van’s family resents him, and neither Dillion nor Van feels truly at ease in the small town. For these Pearl Lake exiles, home isn’t just where the heart is—it’s where things get complicated.


Review:

Sincere, sexy, and sophisticated!

Love Next Door is a heartfelt, adorable tale that features the sweet, spirited Dillion and the handsome, dependable Van as they navigate a relationship that includes undeniable attraction, smouldering tension, a legacy bursting with memories and mementoes, families mired in drama and troubles, and one unforgettable kiss from a long time ago.

The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters are generous, charismatic, and kind. And the plot is an irresistible mix of family, friendship, introspection, tender moments, witty dialogue, passion, emotion, and swoon-worthy romance.

Overall, Love Next Door is another emotional, playful, charming read by Hunting that has without a doubt become one of my new all-time favourites and is an absolutely brilliant start for this new Lakeside series.

This book is available now.

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

             

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Helena Hunting

Helena Hunting is the author of The USA Today and NYT bestselling PUCKED Series. She lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes everything from romantic sports comedy to new adult angst.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Only for You by Barb Curtis @barb_curtis @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #BarbCurtis #OnlyForYou #SapphireSprings

#BookReview Only for You by Barb Curtis @barb_curtis @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #BarbCurtis #OnlyForYou #SapphireSprings Title: Only For You

Author: Barb Curtis

Series: Sapphire Springs #2

Published by: Forever on Jul. 27, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 319

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 10/10

Barb Curtis returns to Sapphire Springs with this heartwarming romance where a small-town bakery owner finds herself in a fake relationship with the man she’s always pined after.

Will a fake relationship between two friends lead to true love?

After having his heart broken on national television, Tim Fraser knows only one way to stop the gossip about his love life-a new girlfriend. The problem is, he’s done with romance forever. A fake relationship with his friend and Sapphire Spring’s sweetest baker, Emily Holland, seems the perfect solution to getting rid of his newfound fame, but their fleeting fauxmance is stirring up the kinds of feelings Tim has sworn off for good.

Emily has secretly lusted after Tim for years, but pretending her feelings are all for show never factored into her fantasy. Still, her decades-long crush makes it impossible to say no to Tim’s proposal. But with each date, the lines between pretend and reality blur, giving Tim and Emily a tantalizing taste of life outside the friend zone . . . if they can find the courage to give real love a chance.


Review:

Cute, romantic, and utterly beguiling!

Only For You is an uplifting, highly entertaining tale that takes you on a journey into the life of Emily Holland, a kind, considerate, young baker who finds herself inadvertently faking her true feelings for the one man, Tim Fraser, who she’s always secretly adored when he requires a temporary, pretend girlfriend to ward off his newly acquired, unwarranted stardom.

The writing is smooth and sweet. The characters are charismatic, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is a delightfully irresistible mix of friendship, family, fame, life, community, introspection, misunderstandings, secrets, and ultimately true love.

Overall, Only For You is another lighthearted, cosy, lovely addition to the Sapphire Springs series that I absolutely devoured and which I can confidently say has quickly solidified Curtis on my must-read authors list.

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 Barb Curtis

A happily-ever-after-crafter at heart, Barb Curtis’ love for writing began with a quick-witted style column, and her background in marketing led to stints writing print and web copy, newsletters, and grant proposals. The switch to fiction came with the decision to pair her creativity with her love for words, and crafting characters and settings she could truly get lost in. Barb happily lives in a bubble in rural New Brunswick with her husband, daughter, and dog. You’ll find her restoring the century-old family homestead, weeding the garden, and no doubt whistling the same song all day long.

Photograph courtesy of read-forever.com.

#BookReview How Sweet It Is by Dylan Newton @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #DylanNewton #HowSweetItIs

#BookReview How Sweet It Is by Dylan Newton @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #DylanNewton #HowSweetItIs Title: How Sweet It Is

Author: Dylan Newton

Published by: Forever on Jul. 13, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 10/10

Event planner Kate Sweet is famous for creating the perfect happily-ever-after moment for her clients’ dream weddings. So how is it that her best friend has roped her into planning a bestselling horror writer’s book launch extravaganza? But the second Kate meets—or rather, accidentally maims—the drop-dead-hot Drake Matthews, her well-ordered life quickly transforms into an absolute nightmare.

Drake Matthews is tired of the spotlight and tired of his reputation as the Knight of Nightmares. He’s really a nice guy! But he’s not prepared for Kate, a fearless agent of chaos in steel-tipped stilettos, or for that sweet sting of attraction he feels for her. She’s inspiring him to take his writing in a whole new direction—one that no one expects. Because now Kate and Drake are changing up the rules, and this plot twist might just surprise everyone . . . including themselves.


Review:

Witty, engaging, and sweetly romantic!

How Sweet It Is is an enchanting, whimsical tale featuring the kindhearted, affable, event planner, Kate and the private, thoughtful, horror writer, Drake as they discover that even though they got off to a rocky start, in the end, they might just be perfect for each other.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are endearing, supportive, and dependable. And the plot is an irresistible, charming blend of tension, humour, chemistry, familial drama, friendship, awkward mishaps, tender moments, self-reflection, tricky situations, taking chances, and unconditional love.

Overall, How Sweet It Is is a delightfully amusing tale by Newton that had everything I look for in a lighthearted rom-com and more. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, and I loved the happy-ever-after ending. It is undoubtedly one of my favourite contemporary romance reads of the year, with my only complaint being that I now have to wait a whole year, until the summer of 2022, to read the next novel in the series.

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 Dylan Newton

Dylan Newton was born and raised in a small town where the library was her favorite hang-out. After over a decade working in corporate America, Dylan quit to pursue her passion: writing books. When she isn't writing, Dylan is pursuing her own happily ever after with her high school sweetheart as they split time between Florida and Upstate New York with their two much cooler daughters and a tone-deaf cockatiel.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Summer Sisters by Sara Richardson @SaraR_Books @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #SaraRichardson #TheSummerSisters #JuniperSprings

#BookReview The Summer Sisters by Sara Richardson @SaraR_Books @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #Forever2021 #SaraRichardson #TheSummerSisters #JuniperSprings Title: The Summer Sisters

Author: Sara Richardson

Series: Juniper Springs #2

Published by: Forever on Jul. 6, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 10/10

Fans of Lori Foster and Maisey Yates won’t be able to put down this heartwarming, multi-generational story about three sisters’ search to reunite their family and the love they find along the way.

The Buchanan sisters share everything—including their inherited Juniper Inn. But when their mother won’t let go of a decades-long feud with their Aunt Sassy to attend the inn’s grands re-opening, the sisters decide a family reunion is long overdue.

Youngest sister Rose is determined to put together an extravagant celebration. Only she needs to convince a certain surly hardware store owner to help finish the inn’s renovations.

After a heartbreaking end to her marriage, Dahlia and her kids are just starting to rebuild their lives. Dahlia’s even considering opening herself up to love again, but will that upset the stability she’s worked so hard to give her children?

Sassy McGrath has never stopped missing her sister, Lillian, and though they’ve both been too stubborn to reconcile, some shocking news might finally change everything. As family bonds are tested, will these two very different generations of women find the strength to believe in themselves and each other?


Review:

Quaint, uplifting, and delightfully addictive!

In this second novel in the Juniper Springs series, The Summer Sisters, we head back to the idyllic Colorado mountains and into the lives of the Buchanan sisters as they navigate the ups and downs of relocating, renovating their beloved Juniper Inn, smoothing old familial grudges, fresh opportunities, and blossoming new love interests.

The writing is expressive and fluid. The characters are genuine, reliable, and compassionate. And the plot, including all the subplots, is an immersive, enchanting tale about life, love, family, determination, kindness, forgiveness, self-discovery, contentment, friendship, and romance.

As some of you may remember, Home for the Holidays was one of my top reads for 2020, so when I heard Richardson would be writing a second book for the wonderful characters in Juniper Springs, I was beyond ecstatic, and she didn’t disappoint. The Summer Sisters is another thoughtful, emotive, beautiful tale with a lot of heart, hope, humour, and happiness that I am happy to say I absolutely devoured and is certainly one of my top reads of 2021.

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 Sara Richardson

Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. She’s climbed to the top of a 14,000 foot peak at midnight, swum through Class IV rapids, completed her wilderness first-aid certification, and spent seven days at a time tromping through the wilderness with a thirty-pound backpack strapped to her shoulders.

Eventually Sara did the responsible thing and got an education in writing and journalism. After a brief stint in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Sara lives and plays in Colorado, still indulging her adventurous spirit, with her saint of a husband and two young sons.

#BookReview The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheSweetnessofWater #NathanHarris

#BookReview The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheSweetnessofWater #NathanHarris Title: The Sweetness of Water

Author: Nathan Harris

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jun. 15, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, a profound debut about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever.

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.


Review:

Evocative, tragic, and incredibly affecting!

The Sweetness of Water is a powerful, riveting, emotionally-charged tale that sweeps you away to Georgia at the end of the civil war and takes you into the lives of a handful of people, including a lost father, a grieving mother, a returned soldier with a lot of aggression and a secret he will protect at any cost, two brothers recently enslaved who are slowly adapting to their newfound freedom, and a myriad of other southern people struggling to survive and accept the repercussions, fallout, and new way of life caused by their recent defeat by the Union Army.

The prose is sensitive and expressive. The characters are multi-layered, resilient, and vulnerable. And the plot, set during the mid-1860s, is a profoundly moving tale about war, familial relationships, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, shame, suspicion, secrets, desperation, resilience, hope, courage, resentment, emancipation, unlikely friendships, and forbidden love.

Overall, The Sweetness of Water is the perfect blend of historical facts, compelling fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a beautifully written, impactful, stunning debut by Harris that does a remarkable job of highlighting the indomitable spirit of humanity to endure, survive, conquer, forgive, and even love under even the harshest of circumstances.

This book is available now. 

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Nathan Harris

Nathan Harris, a native of Oregon, is a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas. He was awarded the Kidd Prize, as judged by Anthony Doerr, and was also a finalist for the Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Evil Games by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @GrandCentralPub #AngelaMarsons #Evil Games #DIKimStoneSeries

#BookReview Evil Games by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @GrandCentralPub #AngelaMarsons #Evil Games #DIKimStoneSeries Title: Evil Games

Author: Angela Marsons

Series: DI Kim Stone #2

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Apr. 13, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

Detective Kim Stone learns the heard way that the greater the evil, the more deadly the game in this gripping psychological thriller from USA Today bestselling author Angela Marsons.
 
When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal stabbing, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But as further disturbing events come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone even more sinister at work.

With the investigation gathering momentum, while also trying to expose the secrets of a sick pedophile ring, Kim finds herself in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.

Pitted against a dangerous sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time–it’s personal.


Review:

Captivating, dark, and incredibly chilling!

Evil Games is a skillfully crafted, perfectly executed police procedural that highlights just how easily vulnerable people can be swayed and manipulated into doing some of the most horrific things and reminds us that the most heinous of evil often lives comfortably amongst us merely concealed behind masks of normality.

The writing style is edgy and brisk. The characters, including the scarred, tormented, intelligent heroine, are genuine, driven, and persistent. And the plot is a sinister rollercoaster ride of twists, turns, secrets, deception, violence, manipulation, deviance, child abuse, rape, violence, revenge, and murder.

I have to admit that over the past six years that I’ve been reviewing novels, I’ve seen a lot of Angela Marsons books floating around and am shocked that it has taken me this long to finally pick one up. Evil Games is a disturbing, sinister, enthralling tale that has everything you look for in a riveting thriller, including multilayered characters and juicy, complex storylines, and even though it does have a lot of triggers that will prevent some people from being able to read it, I for one loved it and am eagerly looking forward to getting my hands on some of the other DI Kim Stone novels in the series as soon as possible.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Angela Marsons

Angela Marsons is the USA Today bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone series, and her books have sold more than four million copies and have been translated into twenty-seven languages. She lives in the Black Country, in the West Midlands of England, with her partner and their two Golden Retrievers. She first discovered her love of writing at junior school when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s.” After writing women’s fiction, Angela turned to crime — fictionally speaking, of course — and developed a character that refused to go away.

#BookReview Ridgeline by Michael Punke @HenryHolt #Ridgeline #MichaelPunke

#BookReview Ridgeline by Michael Punke @HenryHolt #Ridgeline #MichaelPunke Title: Ridgeline

Author: Michael Punke

Published by: Henry Holt and Co. on Jun. 1, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Henry Holt and Co.

Book Rating: 10/10

In 1866, with the country barely recovered from the Civil War, new war breaks out on the western frontier–a clash of cultures between a young, ambitious nation and the Native tribes who have lived on the land for centuries. Colonel Henry Carrington arrives in Wyoming’s Powder River Valley to lead the US Army in defending the opening of a new road for gold miners and settlers. Carrington intends to build a fort in the middle of critical hunting grounds, the home of the Lakota. Red Cloud, one of the Lakota’s most respected chiefs, and Crazy Horse, a young but visionary warrior, understand full well the implications of this invasion. For the Lakota, the stakes are their home, their culture, their lives.

As fall bleeds into winter, Crazy Horse leads a small war party that confronts Colonel Carrington’s soldiers with near constant attacks. Red Cloud, meanwhile, seeks to build the tribal alliances that he knows will be necessary to defeat the soldiers. Colonel Carrington seeks to hold together a US Army beset with internal discord. Carrington’s officers are skeptical of their commander’s strategy, none more so than Lieutenant George Washington Grummond, who longs to fight a foe he dismisses as inferior in all ways. The rank-and-file soldiers, meanwhile, are still divided by the residue of civil war, and tempted to desertion by the nearby goldfields.

Throughout this taut saga–based on real people and events–Michael Punke brings the same immersive, vivid storytelling and historical insight that made his breakthrough debut so memorable. As Ridgeline builds to its epic conclusion, it grapples with essential questions of conquest and justice that still echo today.


Review:

Vivid, moving, and exceptionally enthralling!

Ridgeline is an intricate, insightful tale that sweeps you away to the plains of Wyoming in the fall of 1866 when tensions between the soldiers and settlers of the newly formed Fort Phil Kearney and the Sioux people simmers and builds until it finally comes to a head on December 21, 1866, when infamous Lakota leader, Crazy Horse leads a band of multiple tribes in an artfully strategized assault and slaughter of 81 men on Lodge Trail Ridge that not only left this US Army outpost decimated but ultimately foreshadowed the bloodbath yet to come in the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn.

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are determined, troubled, and strategic. And the plot using a mix of narration, diary entries, and told from multiple POVs, intertwines and unravels seamlessly into a harrowing tale of life, loss, hardship, culture, dissension, hostility, violence, survival, war, and murder.

Overall, Ridgeline is an exceptionally atmospheric, nuanced, beautifully written novel by Punke that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, personalities, and lives of the characters you can’t help but be affected. It is undoubtedly one of my favourite novels of the year that does a wonderful job of reminding us of the extreme conflict and savagery that once graced these vast, rugged, prairie lands that some of us now call home.

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 in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Michael Punke

Michael Punke is the author of several books including The Revenant, a #1 New York Times bestseller and basis for the Academy Award–winning film. In his diverse professional career, Punke has served as the US ambassador to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, history correspondent for the Montana Quarterly, and an adjunct professor at the University of Montana. As a high school and college student, he worked summers as a living history interpreter at Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Wyoming. He lives with his family in Montana and is an avid outdoorsman.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanada #GoldenGirl #ElinHilderbrand

#BookReview Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanada #GoldenGirl #ElinHilderbrand Title: Golden Girl

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jun. 1, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she’s assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.

With all of Elin’s trademark beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and picture-perfect homes, plus a heartfelt message—the people we lose never really leave us—Golden Girl is a beach book unlike any other.


Review:

Thought-provoking, sentimental, and a touch mysterious!

Golden Girl is a heartfelt, compelling tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic Nantucket Island and into the life of novelist Vivian Howe, a mother of three, who after being killed in a hit-and-run accident is given one last summer to watch over those she loves and granted three small nudges to alter events on earth before she must finally accept her fate and pass over to the other side.

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are complex, authentic, and troubled. And the plot is an irresistible, touching tale of relationship dynamics, familial drama, life, loss, acceptance, moral dilemmas, secrets, forgiveness, friendship, and the intricacies of small-island living.

Overall, Golden Girl is another absorbing, nostalgic, poignant tale by Hilderbrand that does a beautiful job of reminding us that to be human is to be flawed, and everyone should love and deserves to be loved for who they are, flaws and all.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is a mother of three, an avid runner, reader, and traveler, and the author of twenty-three novels. She grew up outside Philadelphia, and has lived on Nantucket for more than twenty years.

#BookReview Tears of Amber by Sofia Segovia (translated by Simon Bruni) @MSofiaSegovia @SimonBruni @OverTheRiverPr @AmazonPub #TearsOfAmber #womenintranslation #Mexicanauthor #internationalreads #TranslatedFiction #AmazonCrossing

#BookReview Tears of Amber by Sofia Segovia (translated by Simon Bruni) @MSofiaSegovia @SimonBruni @OverTheRiverPr @AmazonPub #TearsOfAmber #womenintranslation #Mexicanauthor #internationalreads #TranslatedFiction #AmazonCrossing Title: Tears of Amber

Author: Sofía Segovia, Simon Bruni

Published by: Amazon Crossing on May 1, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 494

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing, OTRPR

Book Rating: 10/10

From the bestselling author of The Murmur of Bees comes a transportive novel of two families uprooted by war and united by the bonds of love and courage.

With war looming dangerously close, Ilse’s school days soon turn to lessons of survival. In the harshness of winter, her family must join the largest exodus in human history to survive. As battle lines are drawn and East Prussia’s borders vanish beneath them, they leave their farm and all they know behind for an uncertain future.

But Ilse also has Janusz, her family’s young Polish laborer, by her side. As they flee from the Soviet army, his enchanting folktales keep her mind off the cold, the hunger, and the horrors unfolding around them. He tells her of a besieged kingdom in the Baltic Sea from which spill the amber tears of a heartbroken queen.

Neither of them realizes his stories will prove crucial and prophetic.

Not far away, trying and failing to flee from a vengeful army, Arno and his mother hide in the ruins of a Königsberg mansion, hoping that once the war ends they can reunite their dispersed family. But their stay in the walled city proves untenable when they find themselves dodging bombs and scavenging in the rubble. Soon they’ll become pawns caught between two powerful enemies, on a journey with an unknown destination.

Hope carries these children caught in the crosshairs of war on an extraordinary pilgrimage in which the gift of an amber teardrop is at once a valuable form of currency and a symbol of resilience, one that draws them together against insurmountable odds.


Review:

Poignant, thought-provoking, and profoundly moving!

Tears of Amber is a powerful, impactful tale that sweeps you away to the late 1930s, early 1940s and into the lives of the Prussian people, specifically two children, Ilse and Arno, as they endure hardship, displacement, atrocities, and the loss of their innocence and childhood as their families try to escape and survive the advancing, barbaric Red Army.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are courageous, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is a heart-wrenching, utterly absorbing tale about life, love, loneliness, familial relationships, heartbreak, war, loss, grief, guilt, hope, loyalty, and survival.

Overall, Tears of Amber is an exceptionally atmospheric, beautifully written novel that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the personalities, feelings, and lives of the characters you can’t help but be affected. It is without a doubt one of my favourite novels of the year that does an incredible job of highlighting the indomitable spirit of humanity to survive, endure, conquer, and love in even the harshest environments and situations.

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 Simon Bruni

Simon Bruni is an award-winning literary translator with a focus on contemporary Spanish and Latin American fiction and a wealth of experience translating books and articles within the humanities and social sciences.

Simon combines his profound knowledge of the Spanish language with a supple command of written English, working creatively to bring Spanish voices to life in their new host language. His translations of Paul Pen’s The Light of the Fireflies and Sofía Segovia’s The Murmur of Bees have both become international bestsellers.

About Sofía Segovia

Sofía Segovia was born in Monterrey, Mexico. She studied communications at Universidad de Monterrey, thinking mistakenly that she would be a journalist. But fiction is her first love. A creative writing teacher, she has also been a ghostwriter and communications director for local political campaigns and has written several plays for local theater. Her novels include Noche de huracán (Night of the Hurricane), El murmullo de las abejas (The Murmur of Bees)--which was called the literary discovery of the year by Penguin Random House and named Novel of the Year by iTunes--and Huracán. Sofía likes to travel the world, but she loves coming home to her husband, three children, two dogs, and cat. She writes her best surrounded and inspired by their joyous chaos.

Photo by Juan Rod rigo Llaguno.

 

#BookReview The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks #TheSoulmateEquation #ChristinaLauren

#BookReview The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks #TheSoulmateEquation #ChristinaLauren Title: The Soulmate Equation

Author: Christina Lauren

Published by: Gallery Books on May 18, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate.

But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River.

As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.


Review:

Witty, clever, and sweetly romantic!

The Soulmate Equation is a delightfully charming tale featuring the affable, kindhearted, single mother, Jess and the intense, thoughtful, geneticist River as they discover that it may be as easy as just comparing DNA to find “the one” or maybe numbers and algorithms really don’t mean a thing.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are dreamy, engaging, and dependable. And the plot is an enchanting, irresistible blend of tension, humour, chemistry, familial drama, friendship, parenthood, awkward mishaps, tender moments, introspection, tricky situations, and unconditional love.

Overall, The Soulmate Equation is another amusing, swoony, brilliant tale by Lauren that had everything I look for in a lighthearted rom-com and more. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, and I loved the happy-ever-after ending. It is without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year and should definitely be high on everyone’s must-read list for summer 2021. 

This novel is available on May 18, 2021.

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 Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined penname of longtime writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 International bestselling authors of The Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Dating You/Hating You, Roomies, Love and Other Words, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, and the critically acclaimed Autoboyography.

Photograph by Alyssa Michelle.

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