#BookReview The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose @NitaProse @PenguinCanada #TheMysteryGuest #NitaProse #PenguinReads #PenguinCanada

#BookReview The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose @NitaProse @PenguinCanada #TheMysteryGuest #NitaProse #PenguinReads #PenguinCanada Title: The Mystery Guest

Author: Nita Prose

Series: Molly the Maid #2

Published by: Viking on Nov. 28, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

When an acclaimed author dies at the Regency Grand Hotel, it’s up to a fastidious maid to uncover the truth, no matter how dirty—in a standalone novel featuring Molly Gray, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid, a Good Morning America Book Club Pick.

Molly Gray is not like anyone else. With her flair for cleaning and proper etiquette, she has risen through the ranks of the glorious five-star Regency Grand Hotel to become the esteemed Head Maid. But just as her life reaches a pinnacle state of perfection, her world is turned upside down when J.D. Grimthorpe, the world-renowned mystery author, drops dead—very dead—on the hotel’s tea room floor.

When Detective Stark, Molly’s old foe, investigates the author’s unexpected demise, it becomes clear that this death was murder most foul. Suspects abound, and everyone wants to who killed J.D. Grimthorpe? Was it Lily, the new Maid-in-Training? Or was it Serena, the author’s secretary? Could Mr. Preston, the hotel’s beloved doorman, be hiding something? And is Molly really as innocent as she seems?

As the case threatens the hotel’s pristine reputation, Molly knows she alone holds the key to unlocking the killer’s identity. But that key is buried deep in her past—because long ago, she knew J.D. Grimthorpe. Molly begins to comb her memory for clues, revisiting her childhood and the mysterious Grimthorpe mansion where she and her dearly departed Gran once worked side by side. With the entire hotel under investigation, Molly must solve the mystery post-haste. If there’s one thing Molly knows for sure, it’s that dirty secrets don’t stay buried forever…


Lighthearted, quirky, and mysterious!

In this latest novel in the Molly the Maid series, The Mystery Guest, we head back to the prestigious Regency Hotel and into the life of maid extraordinaire Molly Gray as she once again finds herself unexpectedly tied up in a murder investigation when the famed author J.D. Granthorpe collapses dead in the Grand Tearoom while making a surprising announcement, and it quickly comes to light he had ties to her past.

The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters are playful, unique, and clever. And the plot is a well-paced, suspenseful tale full of misdirection, deduction, clues, secrets, mishaps, friendship, nostalgia, neurodivergence, amateur sleuthing, and red herrings.

Overall, The Mystery Guest is another captivating, amusing, enjoyable treat by Prose that had just the right amount of suspicious personalities, appealing characters, and abundance of drama to not only keep me engaged and entertained from start to finish but excited to read whatever escapes Molly manages to get mixed up in next.


This novel is available now.

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





Thank you to Penguin Canada for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.


About Nita Prose

NITA PROSE is a longtime editor, serving many bestselling authors and their books. She lives in Toronto, Canada, in a house that is only moderately clean.…

Photo by Dahlia Katz Photography.

#BookReview The Jazz Club Spy by Roberta Rich @SimonSchusterCA #RobertaRich #TheJazzClubSpy #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Jazz Club Spy by Roberta Rich @SimonSchusterCA #RobertaRich #TheJazzClubSpy #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Jazz Club Spy

Author: Roberta Rich

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Nov. 21, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A riveting historical thriller about a Jewish cigarette girl in 1930s New York who finds the soldier who burned down her Russian village years earlier only to be swept up in a political conspiracy on the eve of World War II—from the #1 bestselling author of The Midwife of Venice .

New York, 1939

Giddy Brodsky knows she’s lucky to have a job as a cigarette girl at a Manhattan jazz club, but she dreams of opening her own beauty shop and lifting her family out of poverty. The Brodskys have lived cheek to jowl in the Lower East Side tenements since they came to America nineteen years ago, fleeing a deadly pogrom in their Russian village. But they continue to face prejudice, especially with the rise of the fascist organization the American Bund.

Yet Giddy is focused on the future—until she recognizes one of the Cossacks who irrevocably changed her life and the past comes flooding back. Determined to get justice, she enlists the help of Carter van der Zalm, a regular at the jazz club who also happens to be the director with the Department of Immigration at Ellis Island. When Carter discloses that the Cossack is an “undesirable” and may be of interest to the government, Giddy agrees to moonlight as a spy for him.

Not everyone is who they appear to be, and after a shocking betrayal, Giddy finds herself embroiled in a political conspiracy that could bring America into the war in Europe.

From the gritty tenements to the glittering jazz clubs of 1930s New York, The Jazz Club Spy is a thrilling historical novel about a brash young woman who must use all her wits to save the ones she loves.


Compelling, vivid, and absorbing!

The Jazz Club Spy is a rich, engaging tale set in NYC during 1939 that takes you into the life of Giddy Brodsky, a young woman who, after immigrating to America with her family after surviving a pogrom in her Russian village, finds herself dreaming of opening a cosmetics store, working as a cigarette girl at a jazz club, and suddenly moonlighting as a spy when she accidentally bumps into the cossack who brutalized her family, and she gets mixed up with the Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island whom she goes to for help.

The prose is evocative and expressive. The characters are independent, spirited, and brave. And the plot is a mysterious tale of life, loss, love, self-discovery, war, politics, secrets, friendship, determination, poverty, family, betrayal, and espionage.

Overall, I found The Jazz Club Spy to be an intriguing, absorbing, atmospheric tale by Rich that did a lovely job of blending historical events, intense emotion, and thought-provoking suspense.


This novel is available now.

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




Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Roberta Rich

Roberta Rich is the #1 bestselling author of The Midwife of Venice, which was published in thirteen countries, The Harem Midwife, and A Trial in Venice. She divides her time between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Colima, Mexico.

Photograph by Guy Immega.

#BookReview Consider Me by Becka Mack @SimonSchusterCA #ConsiderMe #BeckaMack #PlayingforKeepsSeries #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Consider Me by Becka Mack @SimonSchusterCA #ConsiderMe #BeckaMack #PlayingforKeepsSeries #SimonSchusterCA Title: Consider Me

Author: Becka Mack

Series: Playing for Keeps #1

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Nov. 21, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 544

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In the sizzling hockey romance that has taken TikTok by storm, the ultimate player turns romantic to charm the woman he is desperate to win over.

The first book in the globally popular Playing for Keeps series.

For a shot at love, he’ll do whatever it takes…

Carter Beckett is the NHL’s best player—both on and off the ice. His career is at its peak, his friends are performing better than ever, and there’s no shortage of women to spend the night with. What more could he want?

Olivia Parker isn’t new to professional hockey players, thanks to her best friend’s boyfriend, but she has no interest in dating one herself—no matter how hot he is. And anyway, she loves working as a teacher and hanging out with her best friend, drama-free. Why would she want to spend her time stroking the ego of an arrogant athlete?

But once Carter meets Olivia, he can’t think of anything else. Too bad for him, Olivia is hellbent on keeping him at arm’s length, with no intention of giving into his charms. Perhaps it’s time for Carter to up his game…after all, nobody said he had to play fair.

Sparks will fly as Carter does whatever it takes for Olivia to consider him.


Sassy, tender, and romantic!

Consider Me is a passionate, lighthearted tale about the fun-loving, feisty Olivia, who is not a one-night kind of a gal even when it comes to a hunky athlete and the hard-bodied, delicious Carter, who is more than happy being a bachelor and is confident that casual hookups are all he’ll ever need.

The writing is smooth and sweet. The characters are charismatic, hesitant, and endearing. And the plot is a playful, spicy tale filled with friendship, family, insecurity, temptation, desire, palpable chemistry, sizzling attraction, tender moments, sexy times, light drama, and hockey.

Overall, I found Consider Me to be a charming, steamy, entertaining start to this new Playing for Keeps series by Mack that I am positive will be a big hit with fans of the sports romance genre and lovers of contemporary romance that has a nice amount of heart and heat.


This novel is available now.

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





Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Becka Mack

Becka Mack is an avid romance reader, writer, and kindergarten teacher. Becka enjoys writing swoon-worthy romances with lovable and relatable characters, loads of humor, and a healthy dose of drama on the way to a happily ever after. She lives with her husband, children, and four-legged babies in Ontario, Canada.

#BookReview My Darling Girl by Jennifer McMahon @ScoutPressBooks @SimonSchusterCA #MyDarlingGirl #JenniferMcMahon #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview My Darling Girl by Jennifer McMahon @ScoutPressBooks @SimonSchusterCA #MyDarlingGirl #JenniferMcMahon #SimonSchusterCA Title: My Darling Girl

Author: Jennifer McMahon

Published by: Scout Press on Oct. 3, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A spine-tingling psychological thriller about a woman who, after taking in her dying, alcoholic mother, begins to suspect demonic possession is haunting her family.

Alison has never been a fan of Christmas. But with it right around the corner and her husband busily decorating their cozy Vermont home, she has no choice but to face it. Then she gets the call.

Mavis, Alison’s estranged mother, has been diagnosed with cancer and has only weeks to live. She wants to spend her remaining days with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. But Alison grew up with her mother’s alcoholism and violent abuse and is reluctant to unearth these traumatic memories. Still, she eventually agrees to take in Mavis, hoping that she and her mother could finally heal and have the relationship she’s always dreamed of.

But when mysterious and otherworldly things start happening upon Mavis’s arrival, Alison begins to suspect her mother is not quite who she seems. And as the holiday festivities turn into a nightmare, she must confront just how far she is willing to go to protect her family.


Atmospheric, menacing, and dark!

My Darling Girl is an eerie, gripping, multi-generational story that transports you to Vermont and into the life of Alison O’Connor, who after surviving a traumatic childhood littered with unpredictability and abuse, is wary of having her terminally ill mother come home to die but is determined to do whatever it takes to protect those she loves from the charming yet pure evil that seems to be lingering nearby while she’s living under their roof.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are multilayered, vulnerable, and troubled. And the plot, told in a back-and-forth style, is an unsettling tale of life, loss, tragedy, desperation, familial drama, secrets, tortured souls, supernatural phenomena, and the complex relationships that exist between mothers and daughters.

Overall, My Darling Girl is a haunting, ominous, chilling tale that kept me engaged and intrigued from start to finish and is undoubtedly once again another unique, creative, frightening tale by McMahon.


This novel is available now.

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




Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Jennifer McMahon

Jennifer McMahon is the author of nine novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Promise Not to Tell and The Winter People. She lives in Vermont with her partner, Drea, and their daughter, Zella.

Photograph by Zella McMahon.

#BookReview The Temple of Fortuna by Elodie Harper @ElodieITV @UnionSqandCo #TheWolfDenTrilogy #TheTempleofFortuna #ElodieHarper #UnionSqandCo

#BookReview The Temple of Fortuna by Elodie Harper @ElodieITV @UnionSqandCo #TheWolfDenTrilogy #TheTempleofFortuna #ElodieHarper #UnionSqandCo Title: The Temple of Fortuna

Author: Elodie Harper

Series: Wolf Den Trilogy #3

Published by: Union Square & Co. on Nov. 14, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Union Square & Co.

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Amara’s journey has taken her far; from a slave in Pompeii’s wolf den to a high-powered courtesan in Rome… though her story is not over yet.

While Amara plays for power in Rome’s imperial palace, those dearest to her remain in Pompeii. But it is AD 79, and mighty Mount Vesuvius is about to make itself known…


Atmospheric, thrilling, and intense!

The Temple of Fortuna is a fascinating, enticing tale that picks up where The House with the Golden Door left off, taking us back into the life of Amara, a young slave who, now living a free, somewhat powerful existence under the protection of her new wealthy patron in Rome, faces her most challenging battle of all when after being drawn back to Pompeii by her family, friends and the daughter she left behind has to find a way to survive the devastation and destruction wreaked by Mount Vesuvius when it’s eruption turns this once vibrant city she once called home into nothing more than a graveyard covered by ash.

The prose is expressive and tight. The characters are selfish, determined, and resilient. And the plot is a riveting tale of life, loss, family, duty, secrets, lies, manipulation, survival, perseverance, hope, love, natural disasters, and female friendships.

Overall, The Temple of Fortuna is a unique, passionate, epic, historical fiction novel by Harper that is full of soul-searching dilemmas, dangerous situations, and complex, intriguing characters, all set during a catastrophic time in history. And while it’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye to this amazing cast of characters I’ve come to be invested in over these last three novels, it is nevertheless a superb ending to a fabulous series that I highly recommend and will undoubtedly miss.


This novel is available now.

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




Thank you to Union Square & Co. for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Elodie Harper

Elodie Harper is a journalist and prize-winning short story writer. Her story 'Wild Swimming' won the 2016 Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story competition, which was judged by Stephen King.

She is currently a reporter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News. Her job as a journalist has seen her join one of the most secretive wings of the Church of Scientology and cover the far right hip hop scene in Berlin, as well as crime reporting in Norfolk where her first two novels were set – The Binding Song and The Death Knock.

Elodie studied Latin poetry both in the original and in translation as part of her English Literature degree at Oxford, instilling a lifelong interest in the ancient world. The Wolf Den is the first in a trilogy of novels about the lives of women in ancient Pompeii.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Whole Time by Catherine Bybee @catherinebybee @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #TheWholeTime #CatherineBybee #TheDAngelos #Montlake #FireflyDist

#BookReview The Whole Time by Catherine Bybee @catherinebybee @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #TheWholeTime #CatherineBybee #TheDAngelos #Montlake #FireflyDist Title: The Whole Time

Author: Catherine Bybee

Series: The D'Angelos #4

Published by: Montlake Romance on Nov. 14, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 363

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee comes a tale of a strong-willed dancer exercising her independence and the rich biker she can’t let go.

Salena Barone has broken free of her family and moved into an apartment above the D’Angelos’ restaurant, where she works as a manager—without a husband, thank you very much. But even on a restaurant salary, she soon finds herself strapped for cash. Salena’s never been afraid of living on the wild side, though, so she takes on a side hustle that’ll raise big bucks…and eyebrows, if anyone finds out.

Tattooed biker Ryan is the youngest of the wealthy Rutledge wine family and has never dreamed of rings, forever, or continuing the family business. He’s perfectly happy living his own life and helping out hardworking folks in his own way.

When these two independent singles spot each other at a Rutledge-D’Angelo wedding, the attraction is instant. But as their friendship with benefits evolves into something more, the secrets Salena’s keeping—from family, friends, and Ryan—threaten the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.


Steamy, delightful, and romantic!

The Whole Time is a passionate, hopeful tale that transports you to San Diego and into the lives of both the hardworking Salena Barone, who is determined to do whatever it takes to make ends meet and live on her own, even if it means doing a side gig that not everyone would understand or approve of, and the successful bad boy Ryan Rutledge who is more than content with casual dating and never actually falling in love.

The writing is smooth and light. The characters are charming, independent, and supportive. And the plot is a heartfelt, flirty blend of tricky situations, tender moments, new beginnings, self-discovery, friendship, family, happiness, romance, and love.

Overall, The Whole Time is a sweet, heartwarming, fantastic addition to the D’Angelos series by Bybee, complete with characters I couldn’t help but root for and a swoon-worthy ending that left me smitten, satisfied and hopeful that there’s still more to come!


This novel is available now.

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




Thank you to Firefly Distributed Lines for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Catherine Bybee

Catherine Bybee is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five books that have collectively sold more than three million copies and have been translated into twelve languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite series, the Weekday Brides series, and the Most Likely To series.

#BookReview The Strangers We Know by Pip Drysdale @SimonSchusterCA #TheStrangersWeKnow #PipDrysdale #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Strangers We Know by Pip Drysdale @SimonSchusterCA #TheStrangersWeKnow #PipDrysdale #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Strangers We Know

Author: Pip Drysdale

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Nov. 7, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Imagine seeing your loving husband pop up on your best friend’s dating app. Now imagine that’s the best thing that happens to you all week…

When Charlie sees a man who is the spitting image of her husband, Oliver, on a dating app, her heart stops. Her first desperate instinct is to tell herself she must be mistaken—after all, she only caught a glimpse from a distance as her friends laughingly swiped through the men on offer. But no matter how much she tries to push her fears aside, she can’t let it go. Because she took that photo. On their honeymoon.

When other signs of betrayal begin to surface, Charlie does the only thing she can think of to defend herself—she signs up for the app to catch Oliver in the act.

But Charlie soon discovers that infidelity is the least of her problems. Nothing is as it seems, and nobody is who she thinks they are…


Ominous, engrossing, and suspenseful!

The Strangers We Know is a captivating, sinister tale that takes you into the life of Charlie Buchanan, a young wife who, after finding her husband’s profile on a dating app and becoming increasingly sceptical of his recent unexplainable behaviour, suddenly finds herself on the run from the police when his body is discovered inside their home and it becomes abundantly clear that they believe she’s the murderer.

The writing is taut and brisk. The characters are resourceful, confused, and persistent. And the plot is an intricate, action-packed tale full of twists, turns, secrets, surprises, questionable personalities, duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, parasitic relationships, violence, and ruthless murder.

Overall, The Strangers We Know is a fast-paced, tortuous, complex tale by Drysdale that does an exceptional job of reminding us that money and greed can easily sway perspective and are, in fact, often the root of all evil.


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 Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Pip Drysdale

Pip Drysdale is a writer, musician and actor who grew up in Africa and Australia. At 20 she moved to New York to study acting, worked in indie films and off-off Broadway theatre, started writing songs and made four records. After graduating with a BA in English, Pip moved to London where she played shows across Europe and started writing books. Her debut novel, The Sunday Girl, was a bestseller and has been published in the United States, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Strangers We Know was also a bestseller and is being developed for television. The Paris Affair is her third book.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Maybe Once, Maybe Twice by Alison Rose Greenberg @alisongreenberg @smpromance #MaybeOnceMaybeTwice #AlisonRoseGreenberg #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Maybe Once, Maybe Twice by Alison Rose Greenberg @alisongreenberg @smpromance #MaybeOnceMaybeTwice #AlisonRoseGreenberg #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers Title: Maybe Once, Maybe Twice

Author: Alison Rose Greenberg

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Oct. 3, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Filled with the romance and angst that defines the years you come to know yourself, with a shifting timeline covering two decades and ratcheting up the tension, Maybe Once, Maybe Twice is a novel of second chances and finding your own way.

You know that old saying, “if we are still single when we’re 35, we should get married?” Well, Maggie Vine made that vow with two different people, at two very different stages of her life.

And they both showed up.

Maggie Vine’s life is going extra-medium. At 35 she’s pursuing her dreams of being a singer and being a mother—though neither is successfully panning out. So when Garrett Scholl—stifled hedge fund manager by day but electrifying aspiring rock singer by night—comes to her 35th birthday party with the intention to kiss Maggie senseless, it feels like one piece might click into place. Except he’s engaged to someone else, and Maggie knows she won’t fit into the cookie-cutter life he’s building for himself.

Enter Asher Reyes. Her first boyfriend from summer camp, turned into heartthrob actor, he’s lived a successful yet private life ever since he got famous. When a career-changing opportunity is presented to Maggie after her reconnection with Asher, it feels like everything—music, love, family—will fall into place. But her past won’t let her move on without a fight.


Heartwarming, thought-provoking, and romantic!

Maybe Once, Maybe Twice is a sweet, tender tale that takes us into the life of Maggie Vine, from her teens to her mid-thirties, including the highs and lows of pursuing a singing career, yearning for motherhood, her ongoing unrequited love for a man, Garrett Scholl who somehow seems to continuously fall in and out of her life, and an unexpected reconnection with her first love.

The prose is sentimental and light. The characters are flawed, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is a smart, engaging tale full of life, loss, love, music, tricky moments, awkward situations, undeniable chemistry, drama, tension, self-reflection, and a soundtrack of some of the most classic, unforgettable love songs of all time. (Playlist can be found here: HERE )

Overall, Maybe Once, Maybe Twice is an angsty, compelling, heartfelt tale by Greenberg that I thoroughly enjoyed and which is a lovely reminder that life is unpredictable and full of curve balls and, in the end, timing really is everything.


This novel is available now.

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




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


About Alison Rose Greenberg

Alison Greenberg is an author and screenwriter who lives in Atlanta, but is quick to say she was born in New York City. While attending The University of Southern California, Alison took her first screenwriting class and fell head over heels. A journey from screenwriting led to marketing jobs, before coming full-circle back to her first love. Alison speaks fluent rom-com, lives for 90’s WB dramas, cries to Taylor Swift, and is a proud single mom to her two incredible kids, two cats, and one poorly-trained dog.

Photo Credit: Talitha Kauffman Photography.

#BookReview Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr @charcarr1 @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #HoldMyGirl #CharleneCarr #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr @charcarr1 @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #HoldMyGirl #CharleneCarr #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Hold My Girl

Author: Charlene Carr

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Oct. 10, 2023

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Two women. Two eggs. One life-changing switch.

Katherine finally has it all. She’s spent her entire life striving for perfection―obsessing over her spotless home, maintaining her pristine reputation, building her perfect family―and her hard work has finally paid off. After seven difficult years of trying (and failing) to conceive, Katherine gives birth to Rose, her IVF miracle child, and at last has the one thing she’s wanted most of all. But one thing isn’t quite perfect. Rose’s pale skin doesn’t match Katherine’s complexion, and an irritating doubt begins to grow in Katherine’s mind.

Tess never got the happy ending she wanted. She underwent IVF at the same clinic as Katherine, but after finally conceiving, Tess’s daughter was stillborn. Now, nearly two years later, she’s approaching rock bottom. Consumed by her grief and without hope for the future, Tess is divorced, broke, and stuck in a dead-end job beneath her skillset. But shortly before Rose’s first birthday, Katherine and Tess get a call from the fertility clinic. Their eggs were switched.

As Katherine’s carefully planned life begins to crumble around her, Tess finally sees the glimmer of hope she needed to get her life back on track. Motherhood has always been their dream, and neither woman is prepared to share that claim over Rose. It will take a tense custody battle to decide who deserves to be Rose’s mother, but it will also push them to the brink.

With themes of racial identity, loss, and betrayal, Hold My Girl is an emotional novel that will leave you What makes a mother?


Insightful, thought-provoking, and sensitive!

Hold My Girl is a compassionate, moving novel that introduces us to two young women, Katherine and Tess, as they navigate the torment and fallout of their eggs being secretly switched at an IVF clinic, resulting in one mother being ecstatic to finally be the mother she’s always wanted to be and another mother grieving the loss of her baby girl until the truth comes out and each woman has to navigate the emotional, psychological, and legal upheaval of being the birth mother versus the biological one.

The prose is sincere and rich. The characters are vulnerable, multilayered, and genuine. And the plot is a compelling tale of life, loss, love, friendship, family, race, discrimination, marital discord, courage, hope, heartache, secrets, grief, motherhood, interracial families, and infertility.

Overall, Hold My Girl is a fresh, pensive, emotional tale by Carr bursting with heart, hope, and healing that immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and personalities of the characters you can’t help but be fully invested.


This novel is available now.

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




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


About Charlene Carr

CHARLENE CARR spent much of her childhood creating elaborate, multi-faceted storylines for her dolls and reading under the blankets with a flashlight when she was supposed to be asleep. A bit of a nomad, she’s lived in four countries and seven Canadian provinces. After working an array of mostly writing related jobs, she decided the time had come to focus exclusively on her true love—novel writing. She lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and daughter. Hold My Girl is her tenth novel, and she recently received a Canada Council for the Arts grant to revise her next novel.

#BookReview Sisters Under the Rising Sun by Heather Morris @StMartinsPress #SistersUndertheRisingSun #HeatherMorrisAuthor #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Sisters Under the Rising Sun by Heather Morris @StMartinsPress #SistersUndertheRisingSun #HeatherMorrisAuthor #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Sisters Under the Rising Sun

Author: Heather Morris

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Oct. 24, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A phenomenal novel of resilience and survival from bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris.

In the midst of World War II, an English musician, Norah Chambers, places her eight-year-old daughter Sally on a ship leaving Singapore, desperate to keep her safe from the Japanese army as they move down through the Pacific. Norah remains to care for her husband and elderly parents, knowing she may never see her child again.

Sister Nesta James, a Welsh Australian nurse, has enlisted to tend to Allied troops. But as Singapore falls to the Japanese she joins the terrified cargo of people, including the heartbroken Norah, crammed aboard the Vyner Brooke merchant ship. Only two days later, they are bombarded from the air off the coast of Indonesia, and in a matter of hours, the Vyner Brooke lies broken on the seabed.

After surviving a brutal 24 hours in the sea, Nesta and Norah reach the beaches of a remote island, only to be captured by the Japanese and held in one of their notorious POW camps. The camps are places of starvation and brutality, where disease runs rampant. Sisters in arms, Norah and Nesta fight side by side every day, helping whoever they can, and discovering in themselves and each other extraordinary reserves of courage, resourcefulness and determination.

Sisters under the Rising Sun is a story of women in war: a novel of sisterhood, bravery and friendship in the darkest of circumstances, from the multimillion-copy bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Cilka’s Journey and Three Sisters.


Immersive, evocative, and affecting!

Sisters Under the Rising Sun is an alluring tale set in Singapore and Indonesia during WWII that follows several women, especially Sister Nesta James, an Australian nurse, and Norah Chambers, a mother and British musician, as they do whatever it takes to help each other survive the horror and hardships of life in a Japanese POW camp in order to one day be able to reunite with the people that have kept their fighting spirits alive and strong.

The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are dependable, courageous, and resilient. And the plot is a moving tale of life, loss, self-discovery, heartbreak, determination, hope, loyalty, tragedy, survival, love, friendship, sisterhood, and wartime brutalities.

Overall, Sisters Under the Rising Sun is an emotive, rich, absorbing tale that I devoured from start to finish. I’m a huge fan of Heather Morris’ writing, and this novel didn’t disappoint. If you enjoy well-researched WWII novels with a fresh and unique perspective, then I highly recommend it.


This novel is available now.

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




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


About Heather Morris

HEATHER MORRIS is a native of New Zealand, now resident in Australia. For several years, while working in a large public hospital in Melbourne, she studied and wrote screenplays, one of which was optioned by an Academy Award-winning screenwriter in the US. In 2003, Heather was introduced to an elderly gentleman who ‘might just have a story worth telling’. The day she met Lale Sokolov changed both their lives. Their friendship grew and Lale embarked on a journey of self-scrutiny, entrusting the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her. Heather originally wrote Lale’s story as a screenplay – which ranked high in international competitions – before reshaping it into her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Photo by Tina Smigielski.

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