7.5/10

#BookReview The Sanctuary by Charlotte Duckworth @charduck @Mobius_Books @QuercusBooks #TheSanctuary #CharlotteDuckworth #MobiusBooksUS

#BookReview The Sanctuary by Charlotte Duckworth @charduck @Mobius_Books @QuercusBooks #TheSanctuary #CharlotteDuckworth #MobiusBooksUS Title: The Sanctuary

Author: Charlotte Duckworth

Published by: Quercus on Jun. 7, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 7.5/10

The jawdropping and twisty new thriller from the author of The Perfect Father

Four pregnant women. Three nights of pampering at an exclusive yoga retreat. One too many deadly secrets…

On a remote farm in the deepest Devonshire countryside, four pregnant women arrive at an exclusive yoga retreat for a five-star weekend of prenatal pampering. The location is idyllic.

Their host, Selina, is eager to teach them all she knows about pregnancy and motherhood.  But, like Selina, each of the women has a secret.

And secrets can be deadly . . .


Review:

Taut, pacey, and suspenseful!

The Sanctuary is a compelling, ominous mystery that sweeps you away to a secluded farm in the woods of Devon and into the lives of four pregnant women on a weekend retreat of relaxation, yoga, nature, and nutrition, and four residents/employees as they grapple from the very beginning with creepy pranks, dangerous mishaps, strange personalities, powerful emotions, and long-buried skeletons and secrets that seem to be in abundance.

The prose is clear and precise. The characters are multilayered, secretive, and self-absorbed. And the plot told from multiple perspectives unfolds and unravels quickly into a menacing tale full of jealousy, hatred, deception, manipulation, desperation, obsession, revenge, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Sanctuary is an intense, atmospheric, quick read by Duckworth that I wish had a little tighter ending but was nevertheless intriguing from start to finish.

 

This book is available June 7, 2022!

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Charlotte Duckworth

Charlotte Duckworth is the USA Today bestselling author of The Rival, Unfollow Me, The Perfect Father and The Sanctuary. Her fifth psychological suspense, The Wrong Mother, will be published by Quercus in early 2023.

She started her career working as an interiors and lifestyle journalist, writing for a wide range of consumer magazines and websites.

She also writes contemporary bookclub fiction under the pen name Charlotte Rixon.

Charlotte lives in Surrey with her partner and their daughter.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Welcome to the Neighborhood by Lisa Roe @lisaroewrites @SourcebooksCasa #WelcometotheNeighborhood #LisaRoe #SourcebooksCasa

#BookReview Welcome to the Neighborhood by Lisa Roe @lisaroewrites @SourcebooksCasa #WelcometotheNeighborhood #LisaRoe #SourcebooksCasa Title: Welcome to the Neighborhood

Author: Lisa Roe

Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca on Apr. 5, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Rating: 7.5/10

After years of struggling to make ends meet, Queens single mom Ginny falls for sweet, divorced Jeff, and relishes the idea of moving with her quirky eleven-year-old daughter Harri to his home in an upscale New Jersey suburb. Though she’s never been impressed by material things, she is thrilled that getting a second chance at love comes with the added bonus of finally giving Harri everything she never could before.

And then she meets the neighbors.

Ginny is quickly thrust into the complicated realities of a neighborhood defined by the ever-shifting alliances of PTA moms, Real Housewife contenders, and their mean-girl daughters. When the neighbors’ secrets, back-stabbing, and bad behavior take a devastating toll on her daughter and new marriage, Ginny must decide what really matters—and protect it at all costs.


Review:

Spirited, uplifting, and sweet!

Welcome to the Neighborhood is a heartwarming, playful tale that takes you into the life of painter and single mother Ginny Miller as she juggles a new marriage, a relocation to the snooty suburbs, a husband away on contract in another country, and a daughter taking extreme measures to try and fit in.

The writing is genuine and tender. The characters are insecure, easygoing, and multilayered. And the plot is a delightful blend of life, love, family, friendship, motherhood, self-reflection, tricky situations, and touching moments. 

Overall, I found Welcome to the Neighborhood to be a charming, heartfelt, effortless read by Roe that did a lovely job of mixing heavier issues with some lighthearted fun.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Lisa Roe

After graduating from the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and spending many years as an advertising creative director and copywriter in New York City, Lisa Roe accepted the tougher job of stay-at-home mom and turned to writing fiction — mostly to entertain her kids, but then to tell her own stories. A classic first born, a reluctant empty nester, and a Dr. Doolittle wannabe, Lisa lives in New Jersey with her husband and three incorrigible dogs. WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD is her debut novel.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Beloved Girls by Harriet Evans @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #TheBelovedGirls #HarrietEvans #GrandCentralPub #HBGCanada

#BookReview The Beloved Girls by Harriet Evans @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #TheBelovedGirls #HarrietEvans #GrandCentralPub #HBGCanada Title: The Beloved Girls

Author: Harriet Evans

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on May 10, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Catherine, a successful barrister, vanishes from a train station on the eve of her anniversary. Is it because she saw a figure – someone she believed long dead? Or was it a shadow cast by her troubled, fractured mind?

The answer lies buried in the past. It lies in the events of the hot, seismic summer of 1989, at Vanes – a mysterious West Country manor house – where a young girl, Jane Lestrange, arrives to stay with the gilded, grand Hunter family, and where a devastating tragedy will unfold. Over the summer, as an ancient family ritual looms closer, Janey falls for each member of the family in turn. She and Kitty, the eldest daughter of the house, will forge a bond that decades later, is still shaping the present . . .


Review:

Complex, mysterious, and dark!

The Beloved Girls transports you to England between 1959 and 2018 and immerses you into the ongoing, entangled, multi-generational relationships between the entitled, dysfunctional Hunter family and the sweet, reliable Lestrange family, complete with all the powerful emotions, unnerving traditions, long-buried secrets, abusive behaviours, and unimaginable tragedy that has tied them together for almost sixty years.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are damaged, eccentric, and conflicted with the setting, Vanes Manor, being a character itself with its history, rituals, abundance of bees, and multitude of secrets. And the plot told in a back-and-forth style is an unsettling tale about life, loss, family, friendship, identity, betrayal, social division, ambition, exploitation, manipulation, and heartbreak.

Overall, The Beloved Girls is a menacing, sinuous, somewhat disturbing tale that is beautifully written and incredibly atmospheric but a little too long and perplexing to really keep me engaged and invested from start to finish and thus will unfortunately not, as I highly expected, be taking the spot of one of my favourite reads of all time, to which Evans definitely has one or two.

 

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 & Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Harriet Evans

Harriet Evans is the author of several top ten bestsellers including the Sunday Times bestselling The Garden of Lost and Found and Richard and Judy bookclub selection The Wildflowers. She used to work in publishing and now writes full time, when she is not being distracted by her children, other books, sewing projects, puzzles, gardening, and her much-loved collection of jumpsuits. Last year, she and her family moved from London to Bath.

#BookReview Murder on Mustique by Anne Glenconner @Mobius_Books @HodderBooks #MurderonMustique #AnneGlenconner #MobiusBooksUS

#BookReview Murder on Mustique by Anne Glenconner @Mobius_Books @HodderBooks #MurderonMustique #AnneGlenconner #MobiusBooksUS Title: Murder on Mustique

Author: Anne Glenconner

Published by: Hodder And Stoughton Ltd. on May 18, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 7.5/10

A storm. A disappearance. A race against time . . .

Mustique is in a state of breathless calm as tropical storm Cristobal edges towards it across the Atlantic. Most villa owners have escaped the island but a few young socialites remain, unwilling to let summer’s partying end. American heiress Amanda Fortini is one such thrill-seeker – until she heads out for a morning swim and doesn’t return.

Detective Sergeant Solomon Nile is just 28 years old and the island’s only fully trained police officer. He quickly realises he needs to contact Lord and Lady Blake, who bought the island decades ago and have invested time, money and love creating a paradise. Jasper is in St Lucia designing a new village of luxury villas but Lady Veronica (Vee to her friends) catches a plane immediately. Her beloved god-daughter, Lily, is on the island and this disappearance has alarming echoes of what happened to Lily’s mother many years ago. Lady Vee would never desert a friend in need, and she can keep a cool head in a crisis.

When Amanda’s body is found, a murder investigation begins. Nile knows the killer must be an islander because flights and ferry crossings have stopped due to the storm warning, but the local community isn’t co-operating. And then the storm hits, and someone else disappears . . .


Review:

Sinister, atmospheric, and engaging!

Murder on Mustique is a menacing tale that sweeps you away to the Caribbean and into the life of Lady Vee who, after heading to the idyllic island of Mustique to prepare an extravagant twenty-first birthday party for her goddaughter, Lily, becomes embroiled and a little sidetracked in an investigation with the islands only trained police office Detective Sergeant Solomon Nile, when Lily’s childhood friend, socialite Amanda Fortini goes missing and other rich, young residents suddenly start turning up dead.

The prose is tense and fluid. The characters are resourceful, impulsive, and vulnerable. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into a mysterious tale of mischief, mayhem, coercion, corruption, criminal behaviours, dangerous endeavours, deduction, lies, and murder.

Overall, Murder on Mustique is a solid, entertaining, quick read by Glenconner that was better than I ever expected with its front-row seat into some of the decadence, lifestyle, luxuries, and scandalous behaviour the rich and famous can often get up to.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Mobius Books US for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Anne Glenconner

Lady Glenconner was born Lady Anne Coke in 1932, the eldest daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester, and growing up in their ancestral estate at Holkham Hall in Norfolk. A Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation, she married Lord Glenconner in 1956. They had 5 children together of whom 3 survive. In 1958 she and her husband began to transform the island of Mustique into a paradise for the rich and famous. They granted a plot of land to Princess Margaret who built her favourite home there. She was appointed Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret in 1971 and kept this role - accompanying her on many state occasions and foreign tours - until her death in 2002. Lord Glenconner died in 2010, leaving everything in his will to his former employee.

She now lives in Norfolk, England.

#BookReview Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch @AmandaPanitch @simonteen #GoneDark #AmandaPanitch #SimonTeen

#BookReview Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch @AmandaPanitch @simonteen #GoneDark #AmandaPanitch #SimonTeen Title: Gone Dark

Author: Amanda Panitch

Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books on Apr. 12, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult

Pages: 448

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Dry meets Hatchet in this thrilling tale of survival following a teen girl who must lead her friends across country to the safety of her estranged father’s survivalist compound after a mass power failure leaves the country in chaos.

When seventeen-year-old Zara escaped her father’s backwoods survivalist compound five years ago, she traded crossbows and skinning hides for electricity and video games…and tried to forget the tragedy that drove her away.

Until a malware attack on the United States electrical grids cuts off the entire country’s power.

In the wake of the disaster and the chaos that ensues, Zara is forced to call upon skills she thought she’d never use again—and her best bet to survive is to go back to the home she left behind. Drawing upon a resilience she didn’t know she had, Zara leads a growing group of friends on an epic journey across a crumbling country back to her father’s compound, where their only hope for salvation lies.

But with every step she takes, Zara wonders if she truly has what it takes to face her father and the secrets of her past, or if she’d be better off hiding in the dark.


Review:

Dark, eerie and compelling!

Gone Dark is a unique, intriguing tale that sweeps you away to California and into the life of Zara Ross, a teenage girl who, after being raised by her father to shoot, hunt, and survive any disaster, heads across the country encountering obstacles, danger, injuries, and limited resources in the hope of seeking refuge on her father’s wooded compound, for herself and a small group of friends, when a malware attack on some of the largest power grids leaves the country reeling and in complete and utter chaos.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are complex, tormented, and resourceful. And the plot is a riveting tale full of suspicious personalities, unreliable characters, unexpected twists, nefarious motivations, terrorism, upheaval, angst, survival, violence, and murder.

Overall, Gone Dark is a gritty, engrossing, creative novel by Panitch that is entertaining, a wee bit disturbing, and the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a good YA survivalist tale.

 

This book is available now.

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

              

 

 

Thank you to Simon Teen for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amanda Panitch

Amanda Panitch spent most of her childhood telling stories to her four younger siblings, trying both to make them laugh and scare them too much to sleep. Now she lives in New York City, where she writes dark, funny stories for teens, kids, and the pigeons that nest on her apartment balcony.

Photo by Cassie Gonzales.

#BookReview The Dead Husband by Carter Wilson @PPPress #TheDeadHusband #CarterWilson #inkedinpoison

#BookReview The Dead Husband by Carter Wilson @PPPress #TheDeadHusband #CarterWilson #inkedinpoison Title: The Dead Husband

Author: Carter Wilson

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on May 4, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

A murderer, a victim, and a witness… but no one in this house is innocent

Twenty years ago an unspeakable tragedy rocked Rose Yates’s small, affluent hometown… and only Rose and her family know the truth about what happened.

Haunted by guilt, Rose escaped into a new life. Now she seems to have it all: a marriage, a son, a career. And then her husband is found dead.

As far as Detective Colin Pearson is concerned, Rose is guilty. Her marriage wasn’t as happy as she’d led everyone to believe, and worse, she’s connected to a twenty-year-old cold case. She can play the part of the victim, but he won’t let her or her family escape justice this time around.

Grieving her husband and struggling to make ends meet, Rose returns home, hoping to finally confront her domineering father and unstable sister. But memories of a horrific crime echo through the house, and Rose soon learns that she can’t trust anyone, especially not the people closest to her.

From USA Today bestselling author Carter Wilson comes a story of deception, hereditary sin, and what we’ll do to protect our own.


Review:

Complex, sly, and ominous!

The Dead Husband is an unnerving, menacing, domestic thriller that takes us into the life of Rose Yates, a mystery writer and mother who, after the recent death of her husband, reluctantly moves back to her childhood home where tragic memories reside, powerful emotions swirl, and long-buried skeletons and secrets are in abundance.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are secretive, unstable, and troubled. And the plot builds and unravels quickly into a suspenseful tale filled with familial drama, heartache, tension, obsession, death, cruelty, desperation, tragedy, and violence.

Overall, The Dead Husband is a tortuous, cunning, sinister tale by Carter that is intense, creepy, and eerily entertaining.

 

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 Carter Wilson

USA Today and #1 Denver Post bestselling author Carter Wilson explores the depths of psychological tension and paranoia in his dark, domestic thrillers. Carter is a two-time winner of the Colorado Book Award and his novels have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. He lives outside Boulder, Colorado.

Photo by Eldeen Annette Headshots.

#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 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.

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