7.5/10

#BookReview Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #CatchtheRabbit #LanaBastasic

#BookReview Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #CatchtheRabbit #LanaBastasic Title: Catch the Rabbit

Author: Lana Bastašić

Published by: Picador on May 27, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

A moving story about loss, forgetting and female friendship: two women on a road trip across Bosnia head towards a lost brother and a collision with the lies they’ve told themselves about where they’re from.

Sara hasn’t seen or heard from Lejla in years. She’s comfortable with her life in Dublin, with her partner, their avocado plant, and their naturist neighbour. But when Lejla calls and demands she come home to Bosnia, Sara finds that she can’t say no.

What begins as a road trip becomes a journey through the past, as the two women set off to find Armin, Lejla’s brother who disappeared towards the end of the Bosnian War. Presumed dead by everyone else, only Lejla and Sara believed Armin was still alive.

Confronted with the limits of memory, Sara is forced to reconsider the things she thought she understood as a girl: the best friend she loved, the first experiences they shared, but also the social and religious lines that separated them, that brought them such different lives.

In Catch the Rabbit, Lana Bastašic tells the story of how we place the ones we love on pedestals, and then wait for them to fall off, how loss marks us indelibly, and how the traumas of war echo down the years.


Review:

Frank, pensive, and melancholic!

Catch the Rabbit is a dark, gritty, nostalgic novel that takes us into the life of Sara, a young woman who is more than content with her current life in Dublin and how she’s managed to reinvent herself after growing up in Bosnia during the 1990s, until her childhood best friend, Lejla contacts her out of the blue after more than a decade to ask her to drive from Mostar to Vienna in order to find her brother who has been missing for more than twenty years, and whose disappearance has had a lasting impact on both of their lives.

The prose is perceptive and expressive. The characters are scarred, multilayered, and self-absorbed. And the plot, using a past-present style, is a reflective tale about life, loss, tragedy, family, friendship, coming-of-age, shared experiences, differing perspectives, and elusive memories, all interwoven with an undercurrent of the ongoing dread and tension experienced by those who must live and grow up in war zones.

Overall, Catch the Rabbit is a poignant, weighty, toxic tale by Bastašić that delves into all the messiness of life and highlights all the enduring psychological and emotional ties that exist between friends.

 

This novel 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 Lana Bastašić

Lana Bastašic is a Yugoslavborn writer. She has published two collections of short stories and one of poetry. Catch the Rabbit, her debut novel, was published in 2018 in Belgrade and was shortlisted for the NIN Award. Her short stories have been included in major regional anthologies and have won numerous awards throughout former Yugoslavia. She lives and works in Barcelona.

#BookReview Too Good to Be Real by Melonie Johnson @smpromance @MelonieJohnson @StMartinsPress #TooGoodToBeReal #MelonieJohnson #smpromance #smpinfluencers

#BookReview Too Good to Be Real by Melonie Johnson @smpromance @MelonieJohnson @StMartinsPress #TooGoodToBeReal #MelonieJohnson #smpromance #smpinfluencers Title: Too Good to Be Real

Author: Melonie Johnson

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Jul. 6, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

She plans to prove there’s a dozen reasons why life isn’t like a romantic comedy, only to discover the one reason it is…

While her friends wish for meet cutes worthy of their favorite rom-coms, Julia is ready to give up on love. Swiping right has replaced getting swept off your feet and good old-fashioned romance has become, well, old-fashioned.

A writer for a popular website, love becomes the last thing on her mind when impending layoffs threaten her job. As Julia searches for the ultimate pitch to impress her boss, she stumbles upon a resort offering guests a chance to live out their romantic comedy dreams. Real life dating is so bleak, who wouldn’t want to spend a week in a fantasy rom-com world with your best friends?

At the resort, Julia literally falls into a not-quite-meet-cute involving an aggressive seagull and an adorably awkward guy named Luke who is also participating in the rom-com experience. Julia hides the fact she is there to do a story, but Luke harbors a few secrets of his own. Among further encounters with thieving seagulls, a gaggle of corgis, kisses in the rain, and even a karaoke serenade, their feelings deepen quickly. But could their love be real when they haven’t been honest about their true identities? Once the fantasy is over, can they have a relationship in the real world?


Review:

Cute, charming, and quirky!

Too Good to Be Real is a heartwarming, comical tale that takes you into the life of website writer Julia Carpenter as she sets off with her two best friends to the Notting Hill Resort to immerse herself in a world of romcoms, forget her lacklustre, somewhat negligible dating life, write a kickass article that will ultimately save her career, and perhaps even experience a perfect meet-cute of her own.

The writing is witty and light. The characters are friendly, sweet, and endearing. And the plot is an amusing blend of life, love, introspection, friendship, family, embarrassing moments, awkward situations, misunderstandings, taking chances, and the ups-and-downs of finding the one.

Overall, Too Good to Be Real is a dreamy, humorous, engaging read by Johnson that will not only make you laugh and smile but also have you hunkering down to indulge in all those old romcoms, like Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, you can never get enough of.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to SMP Romance – St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Melonie Johnson

USA Today bestselling author Melonie Johnson—aka #thewritinglush—enjoys sipping cocktails that start with the letter m. Declared a “writer to watch” by Kirkus and a “fizzy, engrossing new voice” by Entertainment Weekly, her smart funny contemporary romances include Too Good to Be Real and her award-winning Sometimes in Love debut series: Getting Hot with the Scot, Smitten by the Brit, and Once Upon a Bad Boy. A former high school English and Theatre teacher, she spends her days in her Star Wars office, dreaming up meet cutes. She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, their two redhead daughters, and one very large dog.

Photo by Heather Stumpf.

#BookReview The Silenced Women by Frederick Weisel @PPPress #TheSilencedWomen #ViolentCrimeInvestigationsTeamSeries #FrederickWeisel #inkedinpoison

#BookReview The Silenced Women by Frederick Weisel @PPPress #TheSilencedWomen #ViolentCrimeInvestigationsTeamSeries #FrederickWeisel #inkedinpoison Title: The Silenced Women

Author: Frederick Weisel

Series: Violent Crime Investigations Team #1

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Feb. 2, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Who will speak for those who no longer can?

When a young woman is found strangled to death and left on a park bench in Santa Rosa, California, Detective Eddie Mahler and his Violent Crime Investigations (VCI) Team are called to the scene. The crime immediately thrusts Mahler back to two unsolved homicides–young women who were also strangled–at this same location a couple of years earlier. His inability to find evidence against the man he knows was responsible for their deaths has haunted him since.

Now suffering from chronic migraines that affect his vision, Mahler has secretly lost faith in the investigation process, and must rely more than ever on his team. Its newest member, Eden Somers, is a former FBI analyst whose ability to completely immerse herself in the evidence of a case proves both a gift and a curse. While Eden dives deep into the cold case evidence, the rest of the team chase leads to identify the latest victim, and discover that her death might be the work of a different killer altogether. Now Mahler and his team are fighting on two fronts to discover who stole the very breath from these women, and to stop the killer before he silences another victim.


Review:

Gritty, sinister, and meticulous!

The Silenced Women is a complex, ominous police procedural that takes us to Santa Rosa, California, where Detective Eddie Mahler and the VCI team find themselves immersed in the investigation of a potential serial killer when a new case involving a murdered young woman left dumped in a park holds an eerie similarity to two unsolved cold cases.

The writing is sharp and intense. The characters are ruthless, flawed, and troubled. And the plot unfolds and unravels quickly into a suspenseful tale full of twists, turns, manipulation, deception, desperation, police politics, arrogance, violence, murder, and a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, The Silenced Women is a complex, tense, solid first novel in this VCI Team series by Weisel with its intriguing characters, nice sense of urgency, and satisfying conclusion.

 

This book 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 Frederick Weisel

Frederick Weisel has been a writer and editor for more than 30 years. He graduated from Antioch College and has an MA in Victorian Literature and History from the University of Leicester in England. His short stories were awarded an Artists Fellowship from the Massachusetts Arts and Humanities Foundation, and his articles have appeared in the Boston Globe, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor.

The Silenced Women is his debut novel. He is currently at work on the third novel in the VCI series. He lives with his wife in Santa Rosa, California, and shares a birthday with his favorite author, Raymond Chandler.

Photo by Rob Martel.

#BookReview The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ThePhotographer #MaryDixieCarter

#BookReview The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ThePhotographer #MaryDixieCarter Title: The Photographer

Author: Mary Dixie Carter

Published by: Minotaur Books on May 25, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

WHEN PERFECT IMAGES

As a photographer, Delta Dawn observes the seemingly perfect lives of New York City’s elite: snapping photos of their children’s birthday parties, transforming images of stiff hugs and tearstained faces into visions of pure joy, and creating moments these parents long for.

ARE MADE OF BEAUTIFUL LIES

But when Delta is hired for Natalie Straub’s eleventh birthday, she finds herself wishing she wasn’t behind the lens but a part of the scene―in the Straub family’s gorgeous home and elegant life.

THE TRUTH WILL BE EXPOSED

That’s when Delta puts her plan in place, by babysitting for Natalie; befriending her mother, Amelia; finding chances to listen to her father, Fritz. Soon she’s bathing in the master bathtub, drinking their expensive wine, and eyeing the beautifully finished garden apartment in their townhouse. It seems she can never get close enough, until she discovers that photos aren’t all she can manipulate.


Review:

Ominous, crafty, and compelling!

The Photographer is a cunning, intense thrill ride that highlights just how quickly life can spin out of control when you are lonely and starved for affection, tend to engage in destructive behaviour, are driven by uncontrollable, obsessive tendencies, share in other people’s special moments, and often have easy access to their personal property.

The prose is eerie and dark. The characters are manipulative, deceitful, and consumed. And the plot is a simmering, engrossing tale of power, betrayal, control, obsession, malice, seduction, desire, and jealousy.

Overall, The Photographer is a taut, sinister, solid debut for Carter, and with this kind of imagination, I’m extremely excited to read whatever utterly disturbing tale she manages to come up with next.

 

This book 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 in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mary Dixie Carter

MARY DIXIE CARTER’s writing has appeared in TIME, The Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Sun, The New York Observer and other print and online publications. She worked at The Observer for five years, where she served as the publishing director. In addition to writing, she also has a background as a professional actor. Mary Dixie graduated from Harvard College with an honors degree in English Literature and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young children. The Photographer is her first novel.

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

#BookReview The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #TheGirlWhoDied #RagnarJonasson

#BookReview The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #TheGirlWhoDied #RagnarJonasson Title: The Girl Who Died

Author: Ragnar Jónasson

Published by: Minotaur Books on May 4, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Teacher Wanted At the Edge of the World

Una wants nothing more than to teach, but she has been unable to secure steady employment in Reykjavík. Her savings are depleted, her love life is nonexistent, and she cannot face another winter staring at the four walls of her shabby apartment. Celebrating Christmas and ringing in 1986 in the remote fishing hamlet of Skálar seems like a small price to pay for a chance to earn some teaching credentials and get her life back on track.

But Skálar isn’t just one of Iceland’s most isolated villages, it is home to less than a dozen people. Una’s only students are two girls aged seven and nine. Teaching them only occupies so many hours in a day and the few adults she interacts with are civil but distant. She only seems to connect with Thór, a man she shares an attraction with but who is determined to keep her at arm’s length.

As darkness descends throughout the bleak winter, Una finds herself more often than not in her rented attic space – the site of a local legendary haunting – drinking her loneliness away. She is plagued by nightmares of a little girl in a white dress singing a lullaby. And when a sudden tragedy echoes an event long-buried in Skálar’s past, the villagers become even more guarded, leaving a suspicious Una seeking to uncover a shocking truth that’s been kept secret for generations.


Review:

Dark, intense, and creepy!

The Girl Who Died is a menacing, haunted thriller that sweeps you away to the secluded hamlet of Skálar and into the life of Una, a young teacher who after recently relocating from Reykjavík, struggles to feel comfortable, safe, and able to integrate herself into this community of ten residents that seem to be extremely insular and have something they’re determined to protect and hide at all costs.

The prose is eerie and tight. The characters are multilayered, aloof, and secretive, with the setting being a character itself with its desolation, claustrophobic environment, and isolation. And the plot is a simmering, ominous tale of familial drama, tension, desperation, violence, and death, all interwoven with a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, The Girl Who Died is a taut, unsettling, atmospheric mystery by Jónasson that has all the qualities you typically look for in a Nordic Noir tale, and even though I thought it could have had a slighter quicker pace, it was nevertheless still an entertaining read from start to finish.

 

This book 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 in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ragnar Jónasson

RAGNAR JONASSON is an international number one bestselling author who has sold over two million books in thirty-two countries worldwide. His books include the Dark Iceland series and the Hulda series. Jonasson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he also works as an investment banker and teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University. He has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, and, since the age of seventeen, has translated fourteen of Agatha Christie's novels. Ragnar is the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir. His critically acclaimed international bestseller The Darkness is soon to be a major TV series. Jonasson lives in Reykjavik with his wife and two daughters.

Photo by Bill Waters

#BookReview One by One by Ruth Ware @RuthWareWriter @ScoutPressBooks @SimonSchusterCA #OnebyOne #RuthWare

#BookReview One by One by Ruth Ware @RuthWareWriter @ScoutPressBooks @SimonSchusterCA #OnebyOne #RuthWare Title: One by One

Author: Ruth Ware

Published by: Scout Press on Sep. 8, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?


Review:

Intense, pacey, and suspenseful!

One by One is a menacing, locked-door thriller that sweeps you away to a secluded chalet in the French Alps and into the lives of nine people employed or formerly employed by the social media company, Swoop, and two chalet employees as they grapple to survive an avalanche that leaves them stranded without power or cell service and a killer amongst them who seems determined to wreak revenge at any cost.

The prose is precise and clear. The characters are multilayered, self-absorbed, and secretive. The setting is a character in itself with its claustrophobic environment and isolation. And the plot told from dual perspectives unfolds and unravels quickly into an ominous tale full of jealousy, hatred, deception, greed, manipulation, desperation, obsession, violence, and murder.

Overall, One by One is a taut, atmospheric, action-packed whodunit that could have had a few more twists and a little less predictability but was nevertheless intriguing from start to finish.

 

This book 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 Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer, and is The New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark WoodThe Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game. Her latest book, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, will be available in May 2018. She is married with two small children.

#BookReview The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #TheHollowOnes

#BookReview The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #TheHollowOnes Title: The Hollow Ones

Author: Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan

Series: Blackwood Tapes #1

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Aug. 4, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Horror

Pages: 326

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

A horrific crime that defies ordinary explanation. A rookie FBI agent in dangerous, uncharted territory. An extraordinary hero for the ages. Odessa Hardwicke’s life is derailed when she’s forced to turn her gun on her partner, Walt Leppo, a decorated FBI agent who turns suddenly, inexplicably violent while apprehending a rampaging murderer. The shooting, justified by self-defense, shakes the young FBI agent to her core. Devasted, Odessa is placed on desk leave pending a full investigation. But what most troubles Odessa isn’t the tragedy itself-it’s the shadowy presence she thought she saw fleeing the deceased agent’s body after his death. Questioning her future with the FBI and her sanity, Hardwicke accepts a low-level assignment to clear out the belongings of a retired agent in the New York office. What she finds there will put her on the trail of a mysterious figure named John Silence, a man of enormous means who claims to have been alive for centuries, and who is either an unhinged lunatic, or humanity’s best and only defense against unspeakable evil.


Review:

Dark, creepy, and mystifying!

The Hollow Ones is an intense, supernatural thriller that takes you into the lives of three main characters, Odessa Hardwicke, Earl Solomon, and John Blackwood as their paths connect and intertwine on the hunt for the most unexplainable, wicked souls who have decided to terrorize and rack up body counts in the New York area.

The prose is calculated and gritty. The characters are unique, determined, and mysterious. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style unravels quickly into a horrifying tale of gruesome violence, senseless murder, immortal beings, a mysterious mailbox, and the shadowy corners of the unknown.

Overall, The Hollow Ones is an intricate, eerie, creative tale by del Toro and Hogan that gets more enigmatic with every page you turn and is definitely a good choice for occult fiction fans everywhere.

 

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 Chuck Hogan

Chuck Hogan is an American author. His story "Two Thousand Volts" appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories 2009. He is the co-author of The Strain Trilogy with Guillermo del Toro. His 2004 novel Prince of Thieves was adapted to film as the Ben Affleck directed The Town in 2010.

About Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican director mostly known for his acclaimed films Pan's Labyrinth, The Devils Backbone, Crimson Peak and the Hellboy film franchise. His films draw heavily on sources as diverse as weird fiction, fantasy, horror, and war. In 2009, Del Toro released his debut novel, The Strain, co-authored with Chuck Hogan, as the first part of The Strain Trilogy, an apocalyptic horror series featuring vampires. The series continued with The Fall in 2010 and concluded with The Night Eternal in 2011.

#BookReview Gone With the Rogue (First Comes Love #2) by Amelia Grey @smpromance #FirstComesLove #smpromance

#BookReview Gone With the Rogue (First Comes Love #2) by Amelia Grey @smpromance #FirstComesLove #smpromance Title: Gone With the Rogue

Author: Amelia Grey

Series: First Comes Love #2

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Apr. 28, 2020

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

She had an acceptable marriage of convenience. Now widowed, can this determined and beautiful mother find true and forever love?

The sinking of the Salty Dove took her husband’s life―but it didn’t drown Julia Fairbright’s courage to endure. She creates a proper life for herself and her young son. But now, the ton’s most notorious rogue is back in London, and how he makes Julia feel is anything but proper. She can’t deny the desires he awakens in her, even though she knows that the handsome devil will surely break her heart.

Garrett Stockton owns a successful shipping company and is rumored to have a woman on every continent and half-a-dozen in England. The truth, however, is that Garrett has but one mistress: the wide open sea. That is, until he meets Julia, whose spirit of independence matches his own. What begins as a flirtatious battle of wits turns far more passionate than either of them could have imagined. Suddenly, Garrett’s only desire is to sail into the sunset with Julia as his wife and young Chatwyn his son. But she won’t take his hand―how can he convince her that his love is real and his heart is hers?


Review:

Enticing, witty, and seductive!

Gone With the Rogue is set in London during the early 1800s and features the independent, spirited widow, Julia Fairbright and the dashingly handsome, womanizer, Garrett Stockton as they navigate undeniable attraction, a mystery involving scandalous businesses and encrypted documents, and an overbearing, controlling, powerful father-in-law.

The prose is engaging and light. The characters are resolute, focused, and passionate. And the plot is a push-pull tale of familial drama, scoundrel behaviour, mystique, admiration, chemistry, friendship, tricky mishaps, danger, and steamy romance.

Overall, Gone With the Rogue is a fervent, amusing, alluring read by Grey that is an enjoyable, solid addition to the First Comes Love series.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                 

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amelia Grey

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she's been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter, and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Amelia is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the Heirs' Club trilogy and the Rakes of St. James series. She's been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.

Photograph by Marcia Reynolds.

#BookReview Donna Has Left the Building by Susan Jane Gilman @SusanJGilman @GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Donna Has Left the Building by Susan Jane Gilman @SusanJGilman @GrandCentralPub Title: Donna Has Left the Building

Author: Susan Jane Gilman

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jun. 23, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 7.5/10

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress comes a hilarious, timely, and big-hearted novel about rebuilding life in the face of disaster.
 
Forty-five-year-old Donna Koczynski is an ex-punk rocker, a recovering alcoholic, and the mother of two teenagers whose suburban existence detonates when she comes home early from a sales conference in Las Vegas to the surprise of a lifetime. As her world implodes, she sets off on an epic road trip to reclaim everything she believes she’s sacrificed since her wild youth: Great friendship, passionate love, and her art. But as she careens across the U.S. from Detroit to New York to Memphis to Nashville, nothing turns out as she imagines. Ultimately, she finds herself resurrected on the other side of the globe, on a remote island embroiled in a crisis far bigger than her own.
 
Irresistibly funny, whip-smart, and surprisingly moving, Donna Has Left the Building spins an unforgettable tale about what it means to be brave — and to truly love — in a tumultuous world.

Review:

Direct, humorous, and edgy!

Donna Has Left the Building is a gritty, honest, bawdy novel that takes us into the life of Donna Koczynski, a middle-aged, married, recovering alcoholic, mother of two who embarks on a spontaneous, somewhat destructive road trip after returning home early from a conference to find her husband in a compromising position with a dominatrix.

The prose is witty and perceptive. The characters are unhappy, confused, and disappointed. And the plot is a reflective, brash, reality check about marriage, friendship, family, first loves, missed opportunities, regrets, mistakes, poor choices, bad decisions, and what’s truly important.

Overall, Donna Has Left the Building is a rollicking, bold, candid tale by Gilman that delves into all the messiness of life and highlights just how quickly life can spin out of control. It’s not for everyone though, as some readers would definitely find it a little too offensive and crude.

 

This novel is available in paperback 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 Susan Jane Gilman

Susan Jane Gilman is the bestselling author of the nonfiction books Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, Kiss My Tiara, and Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven as well as the novels, The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street and the forthcoming Donna Has Left the Building. She has provided commentary for NPR, hosted a literary radio show, and written for the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Real Simple, and Ms., among many others. She has won several literary awards, and her books have been published in a dozen languages. She teaches writing and speaks to audiences worldwide.

Photograph by Guillaume Megevand.

#BookReview #Giveaway The Persuasion (Eve Duncan #26) by Iris Johansen @Iris_Johansen @GrandCentralPub #ThePersuasion #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview #Giveaway The Persuasion (Eve Duncan #26) by Iris Johansen @Iris_Johansen @GrandCentralPub #ThePersuasion #GrandCentralPub Title: The Persuasion

Author: Iris Johansen

Series: Eve Duncan #26

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jun. 2, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 7.5/10

When Eve Duncan’s daughter, Jane MacGuire, becomes a madman’s target, Jane must team up with longtime love interest Seth Caleb in this suspense novel from the #1 bestselling author of Smokescreen.
Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan and ex-Navy Seal Joe Quinn are about to give Seth Caleb their trust for the most important duty of his life: keeping their daughter, Jane MacGuire, safe at any cost. Because Jane’s talent as an artist has brought her to the attention of a madman.
Seth, Jane’s longtime ally and fierce protector, is determined to keep her out of danger, but that becomes nearly impossible when Jane is forced to take matters into her own hands and confronts the man who wants her for himself…and wants Seth Caleb dead.
As Jane and Seth chase down their blood-thirsty adversary, they finally commit to one another — in the culmination of the love story that fans have been waiting for. As the two come face-to-face with danger, one thing is made clear: it will take both of them working together to confront and defeat this evil.


Review:

Fast-paced, sinister, and intense!

In this latest novel by Johansen, The Persuasion, Eve and Joe’s daughter, Jane MacGuire finds herself the target of a ruthless killer obsessed with owning the priceless Cira’s treasure, and begrudgingly in need of some assistance from her ex-lover Seth Caleb, a man of many special talents and a secretive past of his own.

The prose is ominous and tight. The characters are multilayered, unique, and resourceful. And the plot is a suspenseful tale full of familial drama, tension, obsession, death, kidnapping, cruelty, desperation, violence, and murder, all interwoven with a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, The Persuasion won’t disappoint fans of Johansen and the Eve Duncan series who’ve come to expect and love her menacing tales, action-packed plots, and smidges of heat.

 

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.

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

I’m giving two people a chance to win a copy of The Persuasion. To enter please visit my Instagram page HERE

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for sponsoring the giveaway! All giveaway information can be found in the Instagram Giveaway Post. Books will be mailed by the publisher to the randomly chosen winners. Good luck!

 

About Iris Johansen

Iris Johansen is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success.

She lives in Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.

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