8.5/10

#BookReview The Magnolia Sisters by Michelle Major @michelle_major1 @HarlequinBooks @BookClubbish #TheMagnoliaSisters

#BookReview The Magnolia Sisters by Michelle Major @michelle_major1 @HarlequinBooks @BookClubbish #TheMagnoliaSisters Title: The Magnolia Sisters

Author: Michelle Major

Series: Magnolia Sisters #1

Published by: HQN Books on Mar. 31, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

An inheritance brought her to Magnolia, but love just might keep her there…

Avery Keller arrives in Magnolia, North Carolina, with one aim: collect her inheritance and quickly put the quirky town in her rearview mirror. But the father who didn’t acknowledge her when he was alive has left Avery a mess to sort through–along with two half sisters she’s never met and a gorgeous single dad living next door. Soon her plan to keep this colorful, close-knit community at a distance gets complicated….

Grayson Atwell has rescued plenty of people in his firefighting career. His work and his little girl, Violet, are his entire world and there’s no time for anything–or anyone–else. But the vulnerability beneath Avery’s prickly facade brings out a fiercely protective side of him. Despite her protests, Gray can see that Avery’s falling under Magnolia’s spell–just like he’s falling for her. Now the only question is: How can he convince her to give them both a chance at forever?


Review:

Winsome, warm, and sweet!

The Magnolia Sisters is a compelling, optimistic tale that takes us to the small town of Magnolia, North Carolina and into the life of the focused, unsettled Avery Keller as she meanders through all sorts of highs and lows from unexpectedly receiving and having to settle an inheritance from a father she never knew existed, recovering from a disastrous relationship that shattered her self esteem, discovering she has two half-sisters, and navigating a blossoming new romance with the local hunky, divorced firefighter Grayson Atwell.

The prose is light and smooth. The characters are hesitant, determined, and complex. And the plot is a hopeful tale full of life, love, drama, family, friendship, community, self-discovery, forgiveness, acceptance, moving on, and finding happiness.

Overall, The Magnolia Sisters is another quaint, uplifting, entertaining tale by Major that’s an encouraging start for this new Magnolia series with its well-developed characters and refreshing storyline.

 

This novel is available March 31, 2020.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Michelle Major

Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in Journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets and several well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview American Sweethearts (Dreamers #4) by Adriana Herrera @ladrianaherrera @CarinaPress @HarlequinBooks @Bookclubbish #HarlequinPublicityTeam #DreamersSeries

#BookReview American Sweethearts (Dreamers #4) by Adriana Herrera @ladrianaherrera @CarinaPress @HarlequinBooks @Bookclubbish #HarlequinPublicityTeam #DreamersSeries Title: American Sweethearts

Author: Adriana Herrera

Series: Dreamers #4

Published by: Carina Press on Mar. 31, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Juan Pablo Campos doesn’t do regrets. He’s living the dream as a physical therapist with his beloved New York Yankees. He has the best friends and family in the world and simply no time to dwell on what could’ve been.

Except when it comes to Priscilla, the childhood friend he’s loved for what seems like forever.

New York City police detective Priscilla Gutierrez has never been afraid to go after what she wants. Second guessing herself isn’t a thing she does. But lately, the once-clear vision she had for herself—her career, her relationships, her life—is no longer what she wants.

What she especially doesn’t want is to be stuck on a private jet to the Dominican Republic with JuanPa, the one person who knows her better than anyone else.

By the end of a single week in paradise, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. No one can argue their connection is still there. And they can both finally admit—if only to themselves—they’ve always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach…if they can just accept each other as they are.

This book is approximately 90,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!


Review:

Progressive, timely, and downright steamy!

American Sweethearts is a passionate, second-chance romance between the intelligent, delectable Juan Pablo and the spirited, unfulfilled Priscilla as they discover that even though they’ve been stubborn and let each other go multiple times in the past, the heart wants who the heart wants, and a love like theirs is definitely worth fighting for.

The writing is titillating and light. The characters are kind, supportive, genuine, and open-minded. And the plot is a push-pull tale full of miscommunication, introspection, patience, acceptance, encouragement, love, friendship, family, diversity, community, and culture.

Overall, American Sweethearts is a sexy, sweet, uplifting tale by Herrera with a whole cast of characters you can’t help but fall in love with, an inclusive, diverse storyline that will keep you engaged, and a happy-ever-after ending that will make you swoon.

 

This book is available on March 31, 2020.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Adriana Herrera

Adriana Herrera was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last 15 years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings.

Her debut novel, American Dreamer, has been featured on Entertainment Weekly, NPR, the TODAY Show on NBC and was selected as one ALA Booklist's Top Ten Debut Romances of 2019.

When she's not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BlogTour #BookReview Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks @arrowpublishing @HeidiPerksBooks #ThreePerfectLiars

#BlogTour #BookReview Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks @arrowpublishing @HeidiPerksBooks #ThreePerfectLiars Title: Three Perfect Liars

Author: Heidi Perks

Published by: Century on Mar. 12, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Arrow Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

When a body is pulled out of an office fire, three women are first in line for questioning.
All of them have reasons for wanting revenge against the company’s CEO.

It could be Laura, who has returned to work to find that her maternity cover isn’t leaving. The CEO insists he’s doing what’s best for the company. Laura isn’t convinced he’s telling the truth.

Or there’s Mia. Brought in as temporary cover for Laura, she has quickly made herself indispensable – and popular with her colleagues. But if people knew why she was so desperate to keep her job, they might not welcome her so freely.

Then there’s Janie, wife to the CEO, who gave up her courtroom career to support her husband and his business. She has her own secret to protect – and will go to any length to keep it safe.

They never thought it would come to this.


Review:

Ominous, slow-burning, and secretive!

Three Perfect Liars is a compelling, malicious, character-driven thriller that takes you into the lives of three main characters. Janie, a big-city defence attorney, turned stay-at-home mom; Mia, a temporary employee with a hidden agenda; and Laura, a new mom returning to work where her replacement seems to be bound and determined to steal her job.

The writing is tight and tense. The characters are consumed, secretive, and troubled. And the plot told using a mixture of narrative, police interviews, and alternating timelines, before-and-after the fire is a suspenseful tale full of well-timed twists, unforeseen surprises, deception, insecurities, lies, obsession, manipulation, violence, arson, and murder.

Overall, Three Perfect Liars is an addictive, clever, tortuous tale by Perks that highlights the complex relationships that exist within a company and reminds us that revenge often has no limits.

 

This novel is available now.

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

          

 

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House UK – Arrow Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Heidi Perks

Heidi Perks was born in 1973. She lives by the sea in Bournemouth with her husband and two children.
Heidi graduated from Bournemouth University in 1997 with a BA (Hons) in Retail Management, and then enjoyed a career in Marketing before leaving in 2012 to focus on both bringing up her family and writing.
Heidi successfully applied for a place on the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative online Novel Writing Course and after that dedicated her time to completing her first novel, Beneath The Surface.
She has a huge interest in what makes people tick and loves to write about family relationships, especially where some of the characters are slightly dysfunctional.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz @BrendaJanowitz @HarlequinBooks @BookClubbish #TheGraceKellyDress

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz @BrendaJanowitz @HarlequinBooks @BookClubbish #TheGraceKellyDress Title: The Grace Kelly Dress

Author: Brenda Janowitz

Published by: Graydon House Books on Mar. 3, 2020

Genres: Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Trade Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Two years after Grace Kelly’s royal wedding, her iconic dress is still all the rage in Paris—and one replica, and the secrets it carries, will inspire three generations of women to forge their own paths in life and in love.

Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly—look-alike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice, one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security and of course, the dress.

Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky,” has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress—or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.

As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’s history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future.


Review:

Sentimental, heartfelt, and enchanting!

The Grace Kelly Dress is a sweet, captivating tale that takes you on a journey into the lives of three main characters. Rose, a young Paris seamstress employed by the esteemed Madame Michel in the late 1950s to handcraft dresses fashioned after the one worn by Princess Grace; Joan, a college student at NYCU in the 1980s who is struggling with the loss of her sister and a new engagement; and Rocky, an independent, tech CEO whose modern-day, upcoming nuptials are marred by the pressure to wear the family’s heirloom gown.

The prose is well turned and intriguing. The characters are resolute, independent, and multilayered. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into a charming tale of familial dynamics, drama, emotion, secrets, love, loss, duty, heartbreak, introspection, passion, and tradition.

Overall, The Grace Kelly Dress is a nostalgic, absorbing, uplifting tale by Janowitz that highlights the complex ties that bind us as a family and reminds us that happy-ever-afters come in all different forms but rarely resemble those found in fairytales.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                   

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

The mother of the bride, as a bride herself
Long Island, 1982

She loved the dress. She loved the veil that went with it, too, though she wasn’t sure if it could be salvaged. It was showing signs of age, its edges curling and tinged with brown. But that wouldn’t dull her excitement.

Today was the day she would be trying on her mother’s wedding dress. Even though Joanie had tried it on countless times as a child—it was a favorite rainy-day activity with her mother—today felt different. She was engaged, just like she’d dreamed about ever since she could remember. When she tried the dress on this time, it was for keeps. She was completely in love with the dress.

“Let me help you get it on,” Joanie’s mother said, her French accent coming through. It was always more pronounced when she was feeling emotional. With her American friends, Joanie noticed, her mother always tried to sound “American,” softening her accent and using American expressions. But when they were alone, she could be herself. Let her guard down. Joanie knew exactly who her mother was, and she loved her for it.

Her mother handed Joanie a pair of white cotton gloves and then put on her own set. The first step in trying the dress on, always, so that the oils in their hands wouldn’t defile the fabric. She laid the large box on her bed and nodded her head at her husband, her signal to give them privacy. The door closed to Joanie’s childhood bedroom, and she and her mother were alone.

The white cotton gloves were cool and smooth on her skin. Joanie opened the box slowly. So slowly. It was sealed with a special plastic that was supposed to keep it airtight so that the dress would not oxidize and turn yellow. She and her mother laughed as they struggled to set the dress free. The last time she tried the dress on was the summer before her sister died. It was after Michele’s death that her mother brought the dress into the city so that it might be cleaned properly and preserved for just this day. At the time, Joanie hadn’t understood the connection between her sister’s sudden death and her mother’s tight grip on family heirlooms, but now, a year into her psychology degree at NYC University, she understood. It was so hard to hold on to things that were important to you, things that mattered, and preserving her wedding dress, this memory, was her mother’s way of taking control of something. It was something she could save.

The dress was just as beautiful as she’d remembered. Crafted from rose point lace, the same lace used on Grace Kelly’s iconic wedding dress, it was delicate and classic and chic and a million other things Joanie couldn’t even articulate.

“Go on,” her mother said, holding the first part of the dress—the bodice with the attached underbodice, skirt support, and slip—out for her to take. As a child, it had thrilled Joanie to no end that the wedding dress her mother wore was actually made up of four separate pieces. It was like a secret that a bride could have on her special day, something that no one else knew.

“I couldn’t,” Joanie said, hands at her side. Knowing how carefully preserved the dress had been, what the dress had meant to her mother, it was hard for Joanie to touch it. She didn’t want to get it dirty, sully its memory. “It’s just so beautiful.”

“It’s yours now,” her mother said, smiling warmly. “The dress belongs to you. Put it on.”

Joanie kicked off her ballerina flats, and her mother helped her ease the bodice on. Joanie stood at attention as her mother snapped the skirt into place, and wrapped the cummerbund around her waist. Joanie held her hands high above her head, not wanting to get in the way of her mother’s expert hands, hands that knew exactly where to go, fingers that knew exactly what to do.

“You ready in there, Birdie?” her father yelled from the hallway, impatient, his French accent just as strong as the day he left France. Joanie always loved how her father had a special nickname for her mother. When they first married, he would call her mother GracieBird, a nickname of Grace Kelly’s, because of the Grace Kelly–inspired wedding gown she wore on their wedding day. Eventually, it was shortened to Bird, and then over time, it became Birdie. What would Joanie’s fiancé call her?

Joanie inspected her reflection in the mirror. Her shoulder-length blond hair, recently permed, looked messy. Her pink eye shadow, which had always seemed so grown-up on her sister, made her appear tired and puffy-eyed. But the dress? The dress was perfect.

Her mother opened the door slowly, and her father’s face came into view. His expression softened as he saw his daughter in the wedding dress. She walked out into the hallway, towards him, and she could see a tear forming in the corner of his eye.

She turned to her mother, about to tell her that Daddy was crying, when she saw that her mother, too, had teared up. Joanie couldn’t help it—seeing her mother and father cry, she began to cry as well. She could never keep a dry eye when someone else was crying, least of all her parents, ex-pats from Europe who hardly ever cried.

Michele’s presence floated in the air like a haze, but no one would say it. No one dared mention that she would have worn the dress first. Should have worn the dress first.

“And look at us,” her mother said, her hands reaching out and grabbing for her husband and daughter. “All of us crying like little babies.”

All three embraced—carefully, of course, so as not to ruin the dress.

Her father kissed the top of her head. “Give us a twirl.”

Joanie obliged. The dress moved gracefully as she spun. Joanie curtsied, and her father gently took her hand and kissed it.

“I know what you’re thinking,” her mother said, her voice a song.

“What?” Joanie asked absentmindedly, while staring at her reflection in the mirror. She knew the first thing she’d change—the sleeves. The dress needed big, voluminous sleeves, just like Princess Diana had worn on her wedding day.

“Or I should say who you’re thinking about,” her mother said, a gentle tease.

“Who?” Joanie asked, under her breath, twirling from side to side in front of the mirror, watching the dress move.

“Your fiancé,” her mother said, furrowing her brow. “Remember him?”

“For sure,” Joanie said, spinning around to face her mother. “My fiancé. Yes. I knew that. And, yes. I was.” But the truth was, she had completely forgotten.

 

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

 

About Brenda Janowitz

Brenda Janowitz is the author of five novels, including The Dinner Party and Recipe for a Happy Life. She is the Books Correspondent for PopSugar. Brenda's work has also appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Salon, Redbook, and the New York Post. She lives in New York.

Photograph by Cristina Calvi.

#BookReview Undone by Kelly Rimmer @Kelrimmerwrites @HarlequinBooks #StartUpInTheCity #KellyRimmer #Undone

#BookReview Undone by Kelly Rimmer @Kelrimmerwrites @HarlequinBooks #StartUpInTheCity #KellyRimmer #Undone Title: Undone

Author: Kelly Rimmer

Series: Start Up in the City #3

Published by: Harlequin Books on Feb. 25, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The only vow she’s ever been prepared to make is not to say “I do”

Running a major tech company without breaking a sweat? No problem. But being bridesmaid at her best friend’s wedding is giving Jess Cohen a bad case of the jitters. Maybe that’s because she’ll have to face the groom’s brother, Jake–the man she’s been avoiding for the last two years. Jake, who Jess dumped mercilessly, unable to tell him the truth about her past. Jake, who’s loyal, loving and all wrong for someone who refuses to be tied down. If only Jess’s heart could remember that.

Jake Winton spent four months secretly dating Jess, and the past two years trying–and failing–to forget her. He’d been ready to propose, convinced Jess was every bit as in love with him as he was with her. Now he’s sure their connection is still there, sizzling and undeniable. Whatever she’s holding back, he can handle–if only she’ll trust him with her secrets, her fears and her heart.


Review:

Engaging, emotive, and rewarding!

Undone is a heartwarming, second-chance romance that brings together the sweet, kindhearted Jake who’s still hopelessly in love with the one woman who doesn’t seem to want him back, and the independent, stubborn Jess who may finally have found the one man to help her overcome all the hurt and baggage from her past.

The writing is smooth and tender. The characters are dependable, loyal, and multifaceted. And the plot is a passionate, touching tale filled with sizzling tension, poignant moments, scorching chemistry, genuine emotion, and a swoony, happy-ever-after ending.

Overall, Undone is a lighthearted, charming, entertaining read by Rimmer that’s a fantastic addition to the Start Up in the City series with its push-pull storyline and wonderful cast of characters.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Kelly Rimmer

Kelly Rimmer is the worldwide and USA TODAY bestselling author of five novels, including Me Without You and The Secret Daughter. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, two children and fantastically naughty dogs Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages.

#BookReview This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann @katrinschumann @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #ThisTerribleBeauty

#BookReview This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann @katrinschumann @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #ThisTerribleBeauty Title: This Terrible Beauty

Author: Katrin Schumann

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Mar. 1, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 382

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the bestselling author of The Forgotten Hours comes an unforgettable story of one woman’s journey to reclaim what she lost in a country torn apart by the devastating legacy of WWII.

On the windswept shores of an East German island, Bettina Heilstrom struggles to build a life from the ashes. World War II has ended, and her country is torn apart. Longing for a family, she marries Werner, an older bureaucrat who adores her. But after joining the fledgling secret police, he is drawn deep into its dark mission and becomes a dangerous man.

When Bettina falls in love with an idealistic young renegade, Werner discovers her infidelity and forces her to make a terrible choice: spend her life in prison or leave her home forever. Either way she loses both her lover and child.

Ten years later, Bettina has reinvented herself as a celebrated photographer in Chicago, but she’s never stopped yearning for the baby she left behind. Surprised by an unexpected visitor from her past, she resolves to return to her ravaged homeland to reclaim her daughter and uncover her beloved’s fate, whatever the cost.


Review:

Captivating, pensive, and absorbing!

This Terrible Beauty is an intriguing, compelling tale that sweeps you away to East Germany following WWII when the country is still reeling with the aftermaths of war, and the new Soviet rule is causing repression, economic instability, political upheaval, social injustice, and lack of freedom.

The prose is evocative and vivid. The characters are lonely, complex, and vulnerable. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a moving tale about war, loss, familial relationships, heartbreak, guilt, desperation, betrayal, resilience, courage, hope, forbidden love, and the importance of creative expression.

Overall, This Terrible Beauty is a beautifully written, poignant, nostalgic tale that is a lovely blend of historical facts, thought-provoking fiction, and intense emotion that reminds us of the enduring power of love and the self-sacrificing, unbreakable bonds between a mother and her child.

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Katrin Schumann

Katrin is the Washington Post and Amazon Charts Bestselling author of "The Forgotten Hours." Her new novel, "This Terrible Beauty" is forthcoming on March 1, 2020. She studied languages at Oxford and journalism at Stanford, and is also the author of several nonfiction books. Katrin has been awarded fiction residencies from the Norman Mailer Writer’s Colony, The Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Currently the Program Coordinator of the Key West Literary Seminar, she teaches writing at GrubStreet and was an instructor in PEN's Prison Writing program. She lives in Boston and Key West.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Unexpected Spy by Tracy Walder with Jessica Anya Blau @tracy_walder @JessicaAnyaBlau @StMartinsPress #TheUnexpectedSpy

#BookReview The Unexpected Spy by Tracy Walder with Jessica Anya Blau @tracy_walder @JessicaAnyaBlau @StMartinsPress #TheUnexpectedSpy Title: The Unexpected Spy

Author: Tracy Walder

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Feb. 25, 2020

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A highly entertaining account of a young woman who went straight from her college sorority to the CIA, where she hunted terrorists and WMDs

When Tracy Walder enrolled at the University of Southern California, she never thought that one day she would offer her pink beanbag chair in the Delta Gamma house to a CIA recruiter, or that she’d fly to the Middle East under an alias identity.

The Unexpected Spy is the riveting story of Walder’s tenure in the CIA and, later, the FBI. In high-security, steel-walled rooms in Virginia, Walder watched al-Qaeda members with drones as President Bush looked over her shoulder and CIA Director George Tenet brought her donuts. She tracked chemical terrorists and searched the world for Weapons of Mass Destruction. She created a chemical terror chart that someone in the White House altered to convey information she did not have or believe, leading to the Iraq invasion. Driven to stop terrorism, Walder debriefed terrorists—men who swore they’d never speak to a woman—until they gave her leads. She followed trails through North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, shutting down multiple chemical attacks.

Then Walder moved to the FBI, where she worked in counterintelligence. In a single year, she helped take down one of the most notorious foreign spies ever caught on American soil. Catching the bad guys wasn’t a problem in the FBI, but rampant sexism was. Walder left the FBI to teach young women, encouraging them to find a place in the FBI, CIA, State Department or the Senate—and thus change the world.


Review:

Candid, eye-opening, and inspiring!

The Unexpected Spy is the informative, intriguing story of Tracy Walder’s personal and professional experiences, successes, struggles, and accomplishments as a CIA SOO, FBI Special Agent, and beloved history teacher at an all girl’s school.

The writing is clear and precise. The characters are intelligent, focused, and driven. And the novel is a compelling, fascinating, introspective tale of one woman’s life as a covert operative in the wake of 9/11. 

The Unexpected Spy is, ultimately, part memoir, part spy novel that is full of valuable, insightful information into counterterrorism and the roles and efforts of counterintelligence agencies worldwide.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                      

 

 

 

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

 

About Tracy Walder

Tracy Walder is a former Staff Operations Officer (SOO) at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center and a Special Agent at the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office specializing in Chinese counterintelligence operations and has taught high-school history and government courses at Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. Now Walder is the Board of Directors for Girl Security, a non profit, non partisan group that brings national security curriculum to girls in high school throughout the US.

Photography by Kent Barker Photography.

#BookReview Unforgiven (Loveless, Texas #2) by Jay Crownover @jaycrownover @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #JayCrownover #LovelessTexas

#BookReview Unforgiven (Loveless, Texas #2) by Jay Crownover @jaycrownover @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #JayCrownover #LovelessTexas Title: Unforgiven

Author: Jay Crownover

Series: Loveless Texas #2

Published by: Forever on Feb. 25, 2020

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a tough Texas Ranger and his first love–a woman in danger who insists she doesn’t need his protection.

Hill Gamble is a model lawman: cool and collected, with a confident swagger to boot. Too bad all that Texas charm hasn’t gotten him anywhere in his personal life, especially since the only girl he ever loved has always been off-limits. But then Hill is assigned to investigate her father’s mysterious death, and he’s forced back to the town–and the woman–he left behind.

When Hill left Loveless, he broke Kody Lawton’s already battered heart. And now that he’s working on her father’s case, avoiding him is impossible. She can handle Hill and her unwanted feelings–until he puts his life on the line to protect her. Suddenly, Kody realizes that Hill could be taken away from her…for good.


Review:

Tense, ominous, and passionate!

Unforgiven is a sultry, compelling tale that takes us back to Loveless, Texas and into the lives of the solid, dependable, Texas Ranger Hill Gamble who is struggling to solve the murder of Conrad Layton while still keeping his feelings for his late brother’s fiancee a secret, and the feisty, fiery Kody who’s determined more than ever to put her father to rest and keep her teen crush away from her heart.

The writing is smooth and seductive. The characters are hesitant, headstrong, and loyal. And the plot is a well-paced, alluring tale of temptation, desire, danger, deception, mystique, devotion, romance, palpable attraction, and sizzling chemistry.

Overall, Unforgiven is another provocative, intriguing, menacing addition to the Loveless, Texas series by Crownover that has just the right amount of steam and suspense to keep you engaged from start to finish and a cliffhanger ending that will leave you eager for more.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Jay Crownover

Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

Photograph courtesy of Read-Forever Website.

#BookReview Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake #4) by Rachel Caine @rachelcaine @AmazonPub @ThomasAllenLTD

#BookReview Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake #4) by Rachel Caine @rachelcaine @AmazonPub @ThomasAllenLTD Title: Bitter Falls

Author: Rachel Caine

Series: Stillhouse Lake #4

Published by: Thomas & Mercer on Jan. 21, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 8.5/10

An Amazon Charts, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling series.

She’s investigating a cold case no one else could—by going places no else would dare.

In spite of a harrowing past still haunting her, Gwen Proctor is trying to move forward. Until a new assignment gives her purpose: the cold-case disappearance of a young man in Tennessee. Three years missing, no clues. Just Ruth Landry, a tortured mother in limbo. Gwen understands what it’s like to worry about your children.

Gwen’s investigation unearths new suspects…and victims. As she follows each sinister lead, the implications of the mystery grow more disturbing. Because the closer Gwen gets, the closer she is to a threat that looms back home.

In a town that’s closed its ranks against Gwen; her partner, Sam; and her kids, there’s no bolder enemy than the Belldene family—paramilitary, criminal, powerful, and vengeful. As personal vendettas collide with Gwen’s investigation, she’s prepared to fight both battles. But is she prepared for the toll it could take on everyone she loves?


Review:

Creepy, fast-paced, and action-packed!

Bitter Falls is an eerie, enthralling thriller that takes us back to Stillhouse Lake and into the lives of Gwen Proctor and her family who are still struggling to have a normal life away from the past and those who want them gone but who now also find themselves embroiled in the gritty, manipulative world of cults and the disturbing ideology that underlies their extremism, radicalism, and violence.

The prose is sinister and tight. The characters are resilient, scarred, and determined. And the plot told from multiple points of view and utilizing short chapters is a menacing tale of control, power, deception, lies, secrets, intimidation, coercion, hatred, zealotry, and murder.

Overall, Bitter Falls is an intricate, timely, twisty tale by Caine that highlights the scheming, selfish, evil side of human nature and is another gripping novel in the Stillhouse Lake series.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine is the NYT, USA Today, and #1 WSJ bestselling author of more than 50 books in several categories and genres, including adult thriller and adult urban fantasy/SF as well as books for young adults ages twelve to eighteen.

She is the winner of several national awards, and most recently was a finalist in both the International Thriller Writers awards and the Killer Nashville awards for her debut thriller novel Stillhouse Lake.

Rachel is available for school and library appearances, as well as professional conferences and convention appearances. Please use the contact form to request appearances, charitable donations, or for any correspondence.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BlogTour #BookReview The Cottage on Wildflower Lane by Liz Davies @lizdaviesauthor @rararesources

#BlogTour #BookReview The Cottage on Wildflower Lane by Liz Davies @lizdaviesauthor @rararesources

#BlogTour #BookReview The Cottage on Wildflower Lane by Liz Davies @lizdaviesauthor @rararesources Title: The Cottage on Wildflower Lane

Author: Liz Davies

Published by: Independently Published on Feb. 14, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 209

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Esther’s life isn’t perfect (whose is?) – but she’s happy enough living in her little flat with her boyfriend, Josh.

But that’s about to change.

Bored out of her mind in work, she wishes that something, anything, would happen to liven her life up.

Unfortunately, her wish comes true when Josh calls her from the airport to tell her he’s going to work in a bar in Spain, and she’s not invited, Esther is devastated, and her unhappiness is compounded when she discovers she can actually view the bar via a webcam link and watch him chatting up other girls.

But when she inadvertently clicks on a link to another webcam which shows a pretty cottage and the rather hunky man who lives in it, her interest is piqued and she wishes she could get to know him.

Wishes don’t really come true, though – do they…?


Review:

Sweet, heartwarming, and delightfully charming!

The Cottage on Wildflower Lane is a lighthearted, uplifting tale that takes you into the life of the lovely, heartbroken Esther who after being bamboozled by her boyfriend Josh spends her days going on some uninspiring internet dates, mooning over her ex, scanning online webcams, starting a new job, and lusting over a handsome stranger.

The writing is fluid and crisp. The characters are charismatic, genuine, and endearing. And the plot is an amusing tale full of life, love, heartbreak, friendship, palpable chemistry, humorous moments, witty banter, and dreamy romance.

Overall, The Cottage on Wildflower Lane is a warm, comical, engaging tale by Davies that will make you chuckle, smile, and potentially swoon.

 

This book is available now. 

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

 

 

Thank you to Liz Davies and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Liz Davies

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.
She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat - she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.
She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.

 

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