8.5/10

#BookReview Fatal Deception (Steele Ops #3) by April Hunt @AprilHuntBooks @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #AprilHunt #FatalDeception #SteeleOps

#BookReview Fatal Deception (Steele Ops #3) by April Hunt @AprilHuntBooks @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #AprilHunt #FatalDeception #SteeleOps Title: Fatal Deception

Author: April Hunt

Series: Steele Ops #3

Published by: Forever on Nov. 10, 2020

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 332

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Roman Steele learned a hard lesson about trusting others. While serving his country, he put his faith in the wrong person and lost a leg for his loyalty. So far, civilian life suits him—as long as he doesn’t have to deal with anyone. But when he’s called in to investigate a break-in at a high-security lab, he finds himself butting heads with the lead virologist, a woman as infuriating as she is beautiful.

When criminals break into Isabel Santiago’s lab and steal a deadly virus, she’s desperate to find the culprits before they turn her research into a weapon. But first, she must put her trust in the brooding security expert who sees danger around every corner. As she and Roman race to track down the culprits, these two unlikely partners find there’s more at stake for them than they ever imagined possible—but only if they stop the enemy in time.


Review:

Action-packed, suspenseful, and twisty!

Fatal Deception is a steamy, sinister tale that takes you on a journey into the life of Dr. Isabel Santiago, a devoted, intelligent infectious disease specialist who with a little help from the wounded, sexy, security expert, Roman Steele, finds herself struggling against time to protect the world from a mercenary group determined to cause global panic and mayhem.

The writing is tight and seductive. The characters are tenacious, fiery, and smart. And the plot is a sultry, compelling tale filled with twists, turns, red herrings, secrets, lies, palpable attraction, danger, and murder.

Overall, Fatal Deception is another provocative, timely, fast-paced addition to the Steele Ops series by Hunt that has just the right amount of mystery, passion, and intensity to keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish and leave romantic suspense fans delightfully satisfied.

 

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 April Hunt

April Hunt blames her incurable chocolate addiction on growing up in rural Pennsylvania, way too close to America’s chocolate capital, Hershey. She now lives in Virginia with her college sweetheart husband, two young children, and a cat who thinks she’s a human-dog hybrid.

On those rare occasions she’s not donning the cape of her children’s personal chauffer, April’s either planning, plotting, or writing about her next alpha hero and the woman he never knew he needed, but now can’t live without.

#BookReview Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten @EAlpsten_Author @StMartinsPress #Tsarina #EllenAlpsten

#BookReview Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten @EAlpsten_Author @StMartinsPress #Tsarina #EllenAlpsten Title: Tsarina

Author: Ellen Alpsten

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Nov. 10, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

St. Petersburg, 1725. Peter the Great lies dying in his magnificent Winter Palace. The weakness and treachery of his only son has driven his father to an appalling act of cruelty and left the empire without an heir. Russia risks falling into chaos. Into the void steps the woman who has been by his side for decades: his second wife, Catherine Alexeyevna, as ambitious, ruthless and passionate as Peter himself.

Born into devastating poverty, Catherine used her extraordinary beauty and shrewd intelligence to ingratiate herself with Peter’s powerful generals, finally seducing the Tsar himself. But even amongst the splendor and opulence of her new life—the lavish feasts, glittering jewels, and candle-lit hours in Peter’s bedchamber—she knows the peril of her position. Peter’s attentions are fickle and his rages powerful; his first wife is condemned to a prison cell, her lover impaled alive in Red Square. And now Catherine faces the ultimate test: can she keep the Tsar’s death a secret as she plays a lethal game to destroy her enemies and take the Crown for herself?

From the sensuous pleasures of a decadent aristocracy, to the incense-filled rites of the Orthodox Church and the terror of Peter’s torture chambers, the intoxicating and dangerous world of Imperial Russia is brought to vivid life. Tsarina is the story of one remarkable woman whose bid for power would transform the Russian Empire.”


Review:

Fascinating, insightful, and engaging!

Tsarina is an intriguing interpretation of the rags-to-riches, extraordinary life of Marta Helena Skowrońska (Catherine I of Russia), who started life as the illegitimate child of a peasant and was subsequently sold into slavery, widowed, and sexually violated before becoming the mistress of Peter the Great, and later his wife and successor to the Russian throne, holding the title of Empress of Russia until her untimely death in 1727.

The prose is vivid and rich. The characters are bold, remorseless, and well-drawn. And the plot is an absorbing, sweeping saga of all the hopes, fears, sacrifices, struggles, treachery and entangled relationships found in one of the most powerful families to ever rule the Russian Empire.

Tsarina is, ultimately, a story about life, loss, love, politics, power, war, corruption, greed, riches, fervour, desires, sacrifice, savagery, violence, and murder. It’s a perceptive, alluring, compelling tale by Alpsten that does a beautiful job of highlighting her impressive research and considerable knowledge into the infamous Romanov family, especially those who reigned in the late seventeenth, early eighteenth century and their undeniable influence on Russian history.

 

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 Ellen Alpsten

ELLEN ALPSTEN was born and raised in the Kenyan highlands. Upon graduating from L'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, she worked as a news anchor for Bloomberg TV London. Whilst working gruesome night shifts on breakfast TV, she started to write in earnest, every day, after work and a nap. Today, Ellen works as an author and as a journalist for international publications such as Vogue, Standpoint and CN Traveller. She lives in London with her husband, three sons and a moody fox red Labrador. Tsarina is her debut novel.

Photograph by Andreas Stirnberg.

#BookReview Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent @lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCA #LittleCruelties #LizNugent

#BookReview Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent @lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCA #LittleCruelties #LizNugent Title: Little Cruelties

Author: Liz Nugent

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Nov. 10, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

All three of the Drumm brothers were at the funeral.
Only one of us was in the coffin.

William, Brian, and Luke: three boys bound by blood but split by fate, trained from birth by their wily mother to compete for her attention. They play games, as brothers do…yet even after the Drumms escape into the world beyond their windows, those games—those little cruelties—grow more sinister, more merciless, more dangerous. And with their lives entwined like the strands of a noose, only two of the brothers will survive.

Crisply written and quickly paced, perfect for readers of both sophisticated literary fiction and breathtaking suspense, Little Cruelties gazes unflinchingly into the darkness: the darkness collecting in the corners of childhood homes, hiding beneath marriage beds, clasped in the palms of two brothers shaking hands. And it confirms Liz Nugent, whose novels have been celebrated as “captivating” (People) and “highly entertaining” (The Washington Post), as one of the most exciting, perceptive voices in contemporary fiction.


Review:

Tragic, intricate, and twisty!

Little Cruelties is a dark, compelling, character-driven, domestic thriller that takes you into the lives of three brothers, Wiliam, an arrogant film producer, Brian, an unmotivated leach, and Luke, an emotionally fragile pop star as they each grapple with sibling rivalry, enduring jealousy, devastating secrets, and exceptionally cruel decisions that will change their lives forever.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are selfish, deceptive, and troubled. And the plot told from multiple perspectives unfolds gradually into a murky tale full of twists, turns, surprises, familial drama, lies, greed, resentments, scandal, wickedness, deception, tragedy, and murder.

Overall, Little Cruelties is another sophisticated, creepy, gloomy tale by Nugent that does a fantastic job of delving into all the complex, dysfunctional dynamics that can occur between family members and reminds us just how evil and toxic some of these relationships can truly be.

 

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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theater, and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written critically acclaimed short stories both for children and adults, as well as the novels Unraveling Oliver and Lying in Wait. She lives in Dublin.

Photograph by Beta Bajgartova.

#BookReview The Winter Secret by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheWinterSecret #LuluTaylor

#BookReview The Winter Secret by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheWinterSecret #LuluTaylor Title: The Winter Secret

Author: Lulu Taylor

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 2, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction

Pages: 544

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The Winter Secret is a thrilling mystery from Lulu Taylor, top ten bestselling author of The Snow Rose and Her Frozen Heart.

‘My dear boy, the place is cursed. It always has been and it always will be . . .’

Buttercup Redmain has a life of pampered luxury, living in beautiful Charcombe Park. Her older husband, Charles Redmain, is wealthy and successful and proud of the house he has painstakingly restored, once owned by a famous ancestor. Buttercup is surrounded by people who make her life delightfully easy. But the one thing she really wants seems impossible.

There are other discomforting realities: her husband’s ex-wife Ingrid still lives nearby although Buttercup has never met her. And it soon becomes clear that all the people who make Buttercup’s life so carefree are also watching her every move. Does she actually live in a comfortable but inescapable cage? And what is the real story of her husband’s previous marriage?

In the late 1940s, Xenia Arkadyoff lived in Charcombe Park with her father, a Russian prince, and her mother, a famous film star. Life seemed charmed, full of glamour and beauty. But behind the glittering facade lay pain, betrayal, and the truth about the woman Xenia spent her life protecting.

Now Charcombe Park is calling back people who were once part of its story, and the secrets that have stayed long hidden are bubbling inexorably to the surface . . .


Review:

Gripping, menacing, and addictive!

The Winter Secret is an unsettling, pacey, atmospheric novel about love, life, loss, secrets, power, control, friendship, family, jealousy, and tragedy.

There are two main memorable characters, Xenia, a young girl in the late 1940s whose life is anything but glamourous when her mother’s starlet lifestyle leads to a neverending rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows. And Buttercup, the present-day Mrs. Redmain whose life is pristine and wonderful until the cracks begin to appear and everything is not quite as perfect as it originally seemed.

The writing is eloquent and descriptive. The characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are distressed, vulnerable, and sympathetic, and a setting, Charcombe Park, that is a character itself with its history, grandeur, isolation, and multitude of secrets. And the plot uses a past/present, back-and-forth style to create tension and suspense as it quickly unravels all the personalities, relationships, behaviours, and motivations within it.

Overall, The Winter Secret is a clever, haunting, absorbing novel that swept me away to a country estate marred by both cruelty and love and immersed me in a story rife with deception and obsession.

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Lulu Taylor

Lulu Taylor moved around the world as a child before her family settled in the Oxfordshire countryside. She studied English at Oxford University and had a successful career in publishing before becoming a writer. Her first novel, Heiresses was published in 2007 and nominated for the RNA Readers' Choice award. It was followed by Midnight Girls, Beautiful Creatures, Outrageous Fortune, The Winter Folly, The Snow Angel, The Winter Children, and The Snow Rose. She lives in Dorset, England, with her husband and two children.

Photograph by Alicia Clarke.

#BookReview Feel the Fire (Hotshots #3) by Annabeth Albert @AnnabethAlbert @CarinaPress @HarlequinBooks @Bookclubbish #HarlequinPublicityTeam #HotshotsSeries

#BookReview Feel the Fire (Hotshots #3) by Annabeth Albert @AnnabethAlbert @CarinaPress @HarlequinBooks @Bookclubbish #HarlequinPublicityTeam #HotshotsSeries Title: Feel the Fire

Author: Annabeth Albert

Series: Hotshots #3

Published by: Carina Press on Oct. 26, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 336

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Carina Press, Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The third installment of Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series—the emotions and intensity of Chicago Fire with the raw, natural elements of Man vs. Wild .

When their career paths bring two high school sweethearts together again, the forest isn’t the only thing ablaze…

Fire behavior specialist Luis Riviera goes where his job takes him. But when he’s assigned to an arson investigation in Central Oregon—the place he left his broken heart twenty years ago—he’s afraid of being burned all over again.

Tucker Ryland had planned to join his first love, Luis, in LA after high school graduation, but life got in the way. Now a fire management expert and a divorced father of teen twins, Tucker’s thrown for a loop when he finds himself working side by side with his Luis, now all grown up and more intriguing than ever.

Though consumed by a grueling fire season and family responsibilities, the two men discover their bond has never truly broken. Tentative kisses turn to passionate nights. But smoking sheets aside, old hurts and new truths stand in the way of this time being the start of forever.


Review:

Sincere, steamy, and sweet!

Feel the Fire is a passionate, heartfelt, second-chance romance that features the dependable, loving Tucker, and the caring, hunky Luis as they navigate a relationship that includes a high school romance that reluctantly ended due to relocation, smouldering tension, undeniable attraction, and two teenage twin sons.

The writing is effortless and fluid. The characters are supportive, genuine, and endearing. And the plot is a heartwarming combination of family, friendship, heartbreak, angst, parenthood, tender moments, and unconditional love.

Overall, Feel the Fire is another emotional, uplifting, satisfying tale by Albert that is the perfect addition to what is quickly becoming, in my opinion, a smoking-hot series.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Carina Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Annabeth Albert

Frequent tweeter, professional grammar nerd, and obsessive reader, Annabeth Albert is also a Pacific Northwest romance writer in a variety of subgenres.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

#BookReview The Forgotten Daughter by Joanna Goodman @joannagoodman @HarperPerennial #TheForgottenDaughter #JoannaGoodman #HarperPerennial #OliveInfluencer

#BookReview The Forgotten Daughter by Joanna Goodman @joannagoodman @HarperPerennial #TheForgottenDaughter #JoannaGoodman #HarperPerennial #OliveInfluencer Title: The Forgotten Daughter

Author: Joanna Goodman

Published by: Harper Paperbacks on Oct. 27, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harper Perennial

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the author of the bestselling novel The Home for Unwanted Girls, comes another compulsively readable story of love and suspense, following the lives of two women reckoning with their pasts and the choices that will define their futures.

1992: French-Canadian factions renew Quebec’s fight to gain independence, and wild, beautiful Véronique Fortin, daughter of a radical separatist convicted of kidnapping and murdering a prominent politician in 1970, has embraced her father’s cause. So it is a surprise when she falls for James Phénix, a journalist of French-Canadian heritage who opposes Quebec separatism. Their love affair is as passionate as it is turbulent, as they negotiate a constant struggle between love and morals.

At the same time, James’s older sister, Elodie Phénix, one of the Duplessis Orphans, becomes involved with a coalition demanding justice and reparations for their suffering in the 1950s when Quebec’s orphanages were converted to mental hospitals, a heinous political act of Premier Maurice Duplessis which affected 5,000 children.

Véronique is the only person Elodie can rely on as she fights for retribution, reliving her trauma, while Elodie becomes a sisterly presence for Véronique, who continues to struggle with her family’s legacy.

The Forgotten Daughter is a moving portrait of true love, familial bonds, and persistence in the face of injustice. As each character is pushed to their moral brink, they will discover exactly which lines they’ll cross—and just how far they’ll go for what they believe in.


Review:

Emotive, absorbing, and informative!

The Forgotten Daughter is a charged, fascinating tale that takes us to Quebec, Canada during the 1990s when the October Crisis of 1970 involving the FLQ separatists has not been forgotten, the desire for independence and sovereignty is still a passionate and inflammatory cause, and one of the most horrendous political and religious scandals in Canadian history, the institutionalization of orphans as mentally ill in order to receive increased subsidization still requires some form of justice and restitution to be imposed.

The prose is fluid and evocative. The characters are raw, troubled, scarred, and genuine. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into a tumultuous, gritty tale of life, love, loss, fervour, family, secrets, deception, introspection, corruption, turmoil, violence, and political upheaval.

Overall, The Forgotten Daughter is an atmospheric, gritty, intricate novel by Goodman that does a remarkable job of highlighting her incredible passion and knowledge into this one province’s ongoing struggle for cultural identity over national unity.

 

This novel is available now.

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

               

 

 

Thank you to Harper Perennial for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Joanna Goodman

Joanna Goodman’s #1 Bestselling Historical Fiction novel, The Home for Unwanted Girls was released April 17, 2018 to wide critical acclaim.

Joanna is the author of four previous novels, including The Finishing School, You Made Me Love You and Harmony. Her stories have appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Ottawa Citizen, B & A Fiction, Event, The New Quarterly, and White Wall Review.

Originally from Montreal, Joanna now lives in Toronto with her husband and two children, and is at work on her sixth novel. She is also the owner of a well-known Toronto linen store, Au Lit Fine Linens.

#BookReview Dear Child by Romy Hausmann @RaincoastBooks @Flatironbooks #DearChild #RomyHausmann

#BookReview Dear Child by Romy Hausmann @RaincoastBooks @Flatironbooks #DearChild #RomyHausmann Title: Dear Child

Author: Romy Hausmann

Published by: Flatiron Books on Oct. 6, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A windowless shack in the woods. A dash to safety. But when a woman finally escapes her captor, the end of the story is only the beginning of her nightmare.

She says her name is Lena. Lena, who disappeared without a trace 14 years prior. She fits the profile. She has the distinctive scar. But her family swears that she isn’t their Lena.

The little girl who escaped the woods with her knows things she isn’t sharing, and Lena’s devastated father is trying to piece together details that don’t quite fit. Lena is desperate to begin again, but something tells her that her tormentor still wants to get back what belongs to him…and that she may not be able to truly escape until the whole truth about what happened in the woods finally emerges.


Review:

Dark, spine-chilling, and intricately plotted!

Dear Child is a gritty, tortuous, intense, character-driven tale that takes us on a hunt for a sadistic kidnapper and highlights the enduring psychological, physical, and emotional effects experienced by all those affected by his actions and ensnared, even briefly, in his despicable world.

The writing is edgy and tight. The characters are vulnerable, tormented, and scarred. And the plot told from multiple perspectives is an engrossing, eerie tale full of twists, turns, lies, secrets, deception, familial drama, obsession, depravity, violence, and murder.

Overall, Dear Child is a highly suspenseful, well written, gripping thriller that is a scary reminder that even the most heinous of evil can often be concealed behind masks of normality.

 

This novel is available now!

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Romy Hausmann

Romy Hausmann lives with her family at a remote house in the woods in Stuttgart, Germany. Dear Child is her English-language debut.

Photograph by Astrid Eckert.

#BookReview Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #InvisibleGirl #LisaJewell

#BookReview Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #InvisibleGirl #LisaJewell Title: Invisible Girl

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published by: Atria Books on Oct. 13, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone returns with an intricate thriller about a young woman’s disappearance and a group of strangers whose lives intersect in its wake.

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart. In his thirties and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct—accusations he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel forums, where he meets a charismatic and mysterious figure.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.


Review:

Brisk, creepy, and addictive!

Invisible Girl is an unsettling, compelling, psychological thriller that delves into all the deep, dark secrets people keep even from those closest to them and raises the question how well do you really know anyone.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are secretive, cunning, and troubled. And the plot builds quickly creating suspense and intensity as it unravels all the relationships, motivations, personalities, and behaviours within it.

Invisible Girl is, ultimately, a story of suspicious personalities, lies, deception, manipulation, familial drama, abuse, hatred, violence, and the danger-infused incel subculture. And like most of Jewell’s previous novels, this one keeps you on the edge of your seat with its multitude of twists, turns, and surprises right up until the final page.

 

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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

Photograph by Andrew Whitton.

#BookReview #Giveaway The Return by Nicholas Sparks @NicholasSparks @GrandCentralPub #NicholasSparks #TheReturn #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview #Giveaway The Return by Nicholas Sparks @NicholasSparks @GrandCentralPub #NicholasSparks #TheReturn #GrandCentralPub Title: The Return

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Sep. 29, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In the romantic tradition of Dear John and The Lucky One, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the story of an injured Navy doctor — and two women whose secrets will change the course of his life.

Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, NC. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.
Tending to his grandfather’s beloved bee hives while gearing up for a second stint in medical school, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . and yet, from their very first encounter, his connection with Natalie Masterson can’t be ignored. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road from his grandfather’s cabin. Claiming to be 19, she works at the local sundries store and keeps to herself. When he discovers she was once befriended by his grandfather, Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues — until a crisis triggers a race that will uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could ever have anticipated.

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.


Review:

Hopeful, heart-wrenching, and bittersweet!

The Return sweeps you away to the small town of New Bern, North Carolina and into the life of Trevor Benson, a young doctor and wounded war vet who inadvertently stumbles across a mystery and unexpectedly falls in love when he heads to his late grandfather’s home to regroup, refocus, heal and prepare to move on.

The prose is smooth and effortless. The characterization is well-developed with a wonderful cast of characters that are multilayered, strong, secretive, and endearing. And the plot is a tender tale full of life, love, heartache, healing, kindness, community, the intricacies of beekeeping, and a sliver of mystique.

Overall, The Return is an absorbing, charming, incredibly touching tale with a real undercurrent of heartbreak, loss, loneliness, and grief. And even though in classic Sparks style it had me a little teary more than once, it also left me warmed, smiling, and extremely satisfied.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                  

 

 

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

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

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

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

 

About Nicholas Sparks

With over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. His novels include fifteen #1 New York Times bestsellers, and all of his books, including Three Weeks with My Brother, the memoir he wrote with his brother, Micah, have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than fifty languages. Eleven of Nicholas Sparks’s novels–The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and Message in a Bottle–have been adapted into major motion pictures.

Photography courtesy of Grand Central Publishing Website.

#BookReview A Very Merry Match (Sunshine Valley #2) by Melinda Curtis @MelCurtisAuthor @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #Forever20 #MelindaCurtis #SunshineValley

#BookReview A Very Merry Match (Sunshine Valley #2) by Melinda Curtis @MelCurtisAuthor @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #Forever20 #MelindaCurtis #SunshineValley Title: A Very Merry Match

Author: Melinda Curtis

Series: Sunshine Valley #2

Published by: Forever on Sep. 29, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Melinda Curtis brings the spice for the holidays with this small-town romance featuring a woman who must maintain a secret identity and the man who begins falling for her.
This holiday season, kindergarten teacher Mary Margaret Sneed never imagined she’d be unwrapping…herself. But a burlesque side gig is the young widow’s only hope of paying off her late husband’s substantial debt. With her reputation and career on the line, she performs in disguise, under the stage name Foxy Roxy. But her secret identity is threatened when Roxy’s biggest fan turns out to be Mary Margaret’s biggest crush — the handsome-as-sin mayor of Preston!

Newly divorced single dad Kevin Hadley is prepping to make the jump from mayor to state assemblyman. He knows he should be settling down with someone quiet and practical, someone like Mary Margaret Sneed. The last thing Kevin needs right now is a steamy scandal. But he just can’t stop thinking about Foxy Roxy…and if Preston’s matchmaking Widows Club has their way this Christmas, Kevin won’t have to…

Includes a bonus novella by Hope Ramsay!


Review:

Cosy, amusing, and delightfully festive!

A Very Merry Match is a winsome, uplifting, wintery story that takes you into the lives of two main characters, Mary Margaret Sneed, a young, kindergarten teacher with a boatload of debt and some very intriguing side gigs, and the divorced, local golden boy, Kevin Hadley who is focused on raising his five-year-old son and has his sights set on political advancement.

The prose is witty and light. The characters are multilayered, endearing, and quirky. And the plot is an engaging tale of tender moments, humorous hijinks, self-discovery, friendship, family, community, happiness, love, a dab of mystery, and a little Christmas cheer!

Overall, A Very Merry Match is a quaint, charming, enjoyable, holiday read that will have you dreaming of snowflakes, hot chocolate, and some very scrumptious treats!

 

This book is available now. 

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

 

       

 

 

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

 

About Melinda Curtis

Melinda Curtis is the USA Today bestselling author of light‐hearted contemporary romance. In addition to her Sunshine Valley series from Forever, she’s published independently and with Harlequin Heartwarming, including her book Dandelion Wishes, which was made into a TV movie - Love in Harmony Valley, starring Amber Marshall. She lives in Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley with her husband - her basketball-playing college sweetheart. While raising three kids, the couple did the soccer thing, the karate thing, the dance thing, the Little League thing and, of course, the basketball thing. Now when Melinda isn’t writing and Mr. Curtis isn’t watching college basketball, they do the DIY thing.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

%d bloggers like this: