8/10

#BookReview Little Souls by Sandra Dallas @StMartinsPress #LittleSoulsBook #SandraDallas #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Little Souls by Sandra Dallas @StMartinsPress #LittleSoulsBook #SandraDallas #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Little Souls

Author: Sandra Dallas

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 22, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Sandra Dallas’s Little Souls is a gripping tale of sisterhood, loyalty, and secrets set in Denver amid America’s last deadly flu pandemic.

Colorado, 1918. World War I is raging overseas, but it’s the home front battling for survival. With the Spanish Flu rampant, Denver’s schools are converted into hospitals, churches and funeral homes are closed, and horse-drawn wagons collect corpses left in the street. Sisters Helen and Lutie have moved to Denver from Iowa after their parents’ deaths. Helen, a nurse, and Lutie, a carefree advertising designer at a fashionable women’s store share a small, neat house, and each finds a local beau―for Helen a doctor, for Lutie a young student who soon enlists. They make a modest income from a rental apartment in the basement. When their tenant dies from the flu, the sisters are thrust into caring for the woman’s small daughter, Dorothy. Soon after, Lutie comes home from work and discovers a dead man on their kitchen floor and Helen standing above the body, an icepick in hand. She has no doubt Helen killed the man―Dorothy’s father―in self-defense, but she knows that will be hard to prove. They decide to leave the body in the street, hoping to disguise it as a flu victim.

Meanwhile Lutie also worries about her fiancé “over there.” As it happens, his wealthy mother harbors a secret of her own and helps the sisters as the danger deepens, from both the murder investigation and the outbreak.

Set against the backdrop of an epidemic that feels all too familiar, Little Souls is a compelling tale of sisterhood and of the sacrifices people make to protect those they love most.


Review:

Immersive, tragic, and hopeful!

Little Souls is an alluring tale set in Denver during 1918 that takes you into the lives of two sisters, Lutie, a young fashion illustrator and Helen, a hardworking nurse whose lives are unimaginably changed forever when they decide to take in and protect their renter’s ten-year-old daughter Dorothy from an abusive father all while dealing first-hand with devastating losses both from the great war and the ravaging Spanish flu.

The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are kind, dependable, and resilient. And the plot is a moving tale of life, loss, heartbreak, abuse, determination, hope, loyalty, tragedy, secrets, survival, friendship, love, war, and the sacrifices of life during an influenza pandemic.

Overall, Little Souls is a rich, informative, uplifting tale by Dallas that does an exceptional job of highlighting the special bonds that exist between sisters while reminding us of the incredible impact the great war and the influenza of 1918 had on the people whose lives it touched both at home and away.

 

This novel is now available in paperback.

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 Sandra Dallas

Sandra Dallas, dubbed “a quintessential American voice” in Vogue Magazine, is the author of over a dozen novels, including Prayers for Sale and Tallgrass, many translated into a dozen languages and optioned for films. Six-time winner of the Willa Award and four-time winner of the Spur Award, Dallas was a Business Week reporter for 25 years covering the Rocky Mountain region, and began writing fiction in 1990. She has two daughters and lives with her husband in Denver and Georgetown, Colorado.

Photo Credit: Povy Kendal Atchison.

#BookReview The President’s Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood @TraceyEnerson @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #ThePresidentsWife #TraceyEnersonWood #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The President’s Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood @TraceyEnerson @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #ThePresidentsWife #TraceyEnersonWood #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The President's Wife

Author: Tracey Enerson Wood

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Aug. 15, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8/10

The incredible story of the First Lady who clandestinely assumed the presidency, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Engineer’s Wife and The War Nurse.

Socialite Edith Bolling has been in no hurry to find a new husband since she was widowed, preferring to fill her days with good friends and travel. But the enchanting courting of President Woodrow Wilson wins Edith over and she becomes the First Lady of the United States. The position is uncomfortable for the fiercely independent Edith, but she’s determined to rise to the challenges of her new marriage—from the bloodthirsty press to the shadows of the first World War.

Warming to her new role, Edith is soon indispensable to her husband’s presidency. She replaces the staff that Woodrow finds distracting, and discusses policy with him daily. Throughout the war, she encrypts top- secret messages and despite lacking formal education becomes an important adviser. When peace talks begin in Europe, she attends at Woodrow’s side. But just as the critical fight to ratify the treaty to end the war and create a League of Nations in order to prevent another, Woodrow’s always-delicate health takes a dramatic turn for the worse. In her determination to preserve both his progress and his reputation, Edith all but assumes the presidency herself.

Now, Edith must contend with the demands of a tumultuous country, the secrets of Woodrow’s true condition, and the potentially devastating consequences of her failure. At once sweeping and intimate, The President’s Wife is an astonishing portrait of a courageous First Lady and the sacrifices she made to protect her husband and her country at all costs.


Review:

Informative, sentimental, and intriguing!

The President’s Wife is a vivid, captivating tale that sweeps you away to the early 1900s and into the life of successful entrepreneur Edith Bolling who, after befriending the President’s cousin and meeting President Woodrow Wilson while attending a dinner at the White House, quickly becomes his friend, confidant, wife, and subsequent decision maker when during the latter part of his presidency he suffers a debilitating stroke which leaves him unable to fulfil all of his head-of-state duties.

The prose is evocative and rich. The characters are multilayered, engaging, and intelligent. And the plot, infused with love letters, is a fascinating tale about life, loss, family, friendship, history, emotion, determination, decisions, obligations, passion, war, secrets, alliances, and the intricacies of world politics during the early twentieth century.

Overall, The President’s Wife is a well-written, enlightening, exceptionally researched story by Tracey Enerson Wood that incorporates an engaging mix of real-life historical figures, insightful information, and plausible fiction into a comprehensive tale about the life, loves, losses, actions, and accomplishments of Edith Bolling Wilson both individually and in her role as the First Lady of the United States.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Tracey Enerson Wood

Tracey Enerson Wood has always had a writing bug. While working as a Registered Nurse, starting her own Interior Design company, raising two children, and bouncing around the world as a military wife, she indulged in her passion as a playwright, screenwriter and novelist. She has authored magazine columns and other non-fiction, written and directed plays of all lengths, including Grits, Fleas and Carrots, Rocks and Other Hard Places, Alone, and Fog.

Her screenplays include Strike Three and Roebling’s Bridge.

Other passions include food and cooking, and honoring military heroes. Her co-authored anthology/cookbook Homefront Cooking, American Veterans share Recipes, Wit, and Wisdom, was released by Skyhorse Publishing in May, 2018, and all authors’ profits will be donated to organizations that support veterans.

A New Jersey native, she now lives with her family in Florida and Germany.

#BookReview The Finish Line by Kate Stewart @authorklstewart @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheFinishLine #TheRavenhoodSeries #KateStewart #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Finish Line by Kate Stewart @authorklstewart @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheFinishLine #TheRavenhoodSeries #KateStewart #PGCBooks Title: The Finish Line

Author: Kate Stewart

Series: The Ravenhood #3

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 2, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica, New Adult

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

The third and final steamy novel in #BookTok sensation Kate Stewart’s bestselling Ravenhood Trilogy, following Flock and Exodus.

The only love I’ve ever known or craved is the kind that keeps me sick, sick with longing, sick with lust, sick with need, sick with grief. The distorted kind that leaves scars and jaded hearts.

Tobias King has lived most of his life in the shadows. A loner, and ruthless thief, he would never deny that he’s a villain. As the enigmatic leader of the band of vigilantes known as The Ravenhood, his life’s ambition has always led in one direction: revenge.

But his path is disrupted when he falls for the one woman who could destroy what he has spent two decades plotting. His all-consuming passion for Cecelia Horner comes at a great cost, including the loss of all he holds dear.

But Tobias is nothing, if not a fighter, and he’s determined to have it all: to settle old scores and win back the woman he loves.


Review:

Romantic, emotional, and charged!

The Finish Line is a dramatic, suspenseful tale that picks up right where Exodus left off, taking us back into the lives of Cecelia and Tobias as they continue to struggle with all the death, heartache, and destruction that has affected their journey over the past several years and finally grasp that happy-ever-after they so desperately deserve.

The writing is gritty and intense. The characters are wary, hurt, and committed. And the plot is an enticing mix of friendship, family, danger, drama, heartbreak, desire, reconciliation, and love.

Overall, The Finish Line is the third and final story in The Ravenhood Trilogy by Stewart, and even though it’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye to the characters I’ve come to know and love over these past three novels, it is nevertheless a satisfying ending to an alluring, entertaining series that I will undoubtedly always remember and sorely miss.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

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

 

About Kate Stewart

Bestselling author and Texas native, Kate Stewart, lives in North Carolina with her husband, Nick. Kate is a lover of all things '80s and '90s, especially John Hughes films and rap. She dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity, and on occasion, does very well at whiskey.
Her series, The Ravenhood Trilogy, consisting of Flock, Exodus, and The Finish Line, has become an international bestseller, TikTok phenomenon, and reader favourite.

#BookReview Queen Wallis by C. J. Carey @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #QueenWallis #CJCarey #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview Queen Wallis by C. J. Carey @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #QueenWallis #CJCarey #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Queen Wallis

Author: C. J. Carey

Series: Rose Ransom #2

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Jul. 18, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8/10

The thrilling sequel to Widowland, a feminist dystopian novel set in an alternative history that terrifyingly imagines what a British alliance with Germany would look like if the Nazis had won WWII.

London, 1955. The Leader has been dead for two years. His assassination, on British soil, provoked violent retribution and intensified repression of British citizens, particularly women. Now, more than ever, the Protectorate is a place of surveillance and isolation―a land of spies.

Every evening Rose Ransom looks in the mirror and marvels that she’s even alive. A mere woman, her role in the Leader’s death has been miraculously overlooked. She still works at the Culture Ministry, where her work now focuses on poetry, which has been banned for its subversive meanings, emotions, and signals that cannot be controlled.

A government propaganda drive to promote positive images of women has just been announced ahead of a visit from Dwight D. Eisenhower, the first American president to set foot on English soil in two decades. Queen Wallis Simpson will be spearheading the campaign, and Rose has been tasked with visiting her to explain the plan. When Rose arrives at the palace, she finds Wallis in a state of paranoia, desperate to return to America and enjoy the liberty of her homeland following her husband’s death. Wallis claims she has a secret document so explosive that it will blow the Protectorate apart. But will the last queen of England pull the trigger on the Alliance?


Review:

Unique, mysterious, and pensive!

Queen Wallis is a dark, sinister tale that picks up two years after Widowland left off, taking us back to a dystopian London during 1955 where the German Protectorate is still in rule and working hard to create his perfect society, espionage and repression are both still in abundance, Edward Vlll is dead, Queen Wallis remains though with little power or position, the American President and First Lady are set to make a surprise visit, women are still segregated based on attractiveness, reproductive capabilities, and age, and higher-caste Rose Ransom is still rewriting literature while doing whatever she can to empower women to fight for the respect and freedom they rightly deserve.

The prose is intense and rich. The characters are passionate, sly, and resilient. And the plot is a gripping tale of surveillance, segregation, courage, social injustice, politics, manipulation, control, suppression, and power.

Overall, Queen Wallis is an intricate, thought-provoking, creative sequel by Carey that incorporates a compelling mix of historical figures, atmospheric settings, and what-if fiction into an entertaining tale that’s bursting with feminism, intrigue, and action.

 

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 C. J. Carey

C. J. Carey is a novelist, journalist, and broadcaster. She has worked at the Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph, and the BBC, among others. She also writes novels under the name Jane Thynne and lives in London. Widowland is the first novel she has written as C. J. Carey.

Photo Credit: Charles Kerr

#BookReview Our Place on the Island by Erika Montgomery @erikamwriter @StMartinsPress #OurPlaceOnTheIsland #ErikaMontgomery #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Our Place on the Island by Erika Montgomery @erikamwriter @StMartinsPress #OurPlaceOnTheIsland #ErikaMontgomery #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Our Place on the Island

Author: Erika Montgomery

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 13, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

For decades, the Campbell women have reunited at the family’s rambling seaside cottage known as Beech House to celebrate life’s many occasions. But this year, they will be called back to Martha’s Vineyard for a celebration of a different their beloved matriarch Cora is getting remarried. And all the town gossips are calling him the one who got away, years ago…

For renowned chef Mickey Campbell, this wedding isn’t just a welcome excuse to return to the place she first learned to cook at her grandmother’s side. It’s also a chance to regroup while she figures out a way to tell her smoldering head chef boyfriend that she’s mismanaged their restaurant into the red.

Mickey’s mother, Hedy, is still mourning the passing of her adored father three years earlier, and she isn’t sure she’s ready to welcome a new man into the fold―and she’s not certain her own thorny relationship with her mother will weather the storm of her upcoming marriage.

But everyone knows a woman’s heart holds more than meets the eye. For Cora, drawing her daughter and granddaughter back to Beech House isn’t just about a ceremony, but a chance to reveal a history she has kept close to her heart for decades. As the days leading up to the wedding unfold, secrets of Cora’s past come to light– a secret that will cause three generations of Campbell women to question marriage, motherhood, and ultimately learn to savor the delicious joy of following your own heart.

Told in dual timelines on the sumptuous beaches of Martha’s Vineyard, OUR PLACE ON THE ISLAND is the sparkling, romantic read of the season.


Review:

Captivating, heartfelt, and sentimental!

Our Place on the Island is an enchanting, tender tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic Martha’s Vineyard and immerses you into the lives of three generations of women from the Campbell family and all the wounds, secrets, smiles, tears, hurt, compassion, strength, and loyalty that surround them.

The prose is reflective and sweet. The characters are kind, considerate, and concerned. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style, intertwines and unravels into a charming tale of familial dynamics, drama, emotion, secrets, love, loss, duty, heartbreak, introspection, passion, tradition, and new beginnings.

Overall, Our Place on the Island is a nostalgic, absorbing, uplifting tale by Montgomery that highlights the complex ties that bind us as family and reminds us that happy-ever-afters come in all different forms but rarely resemble those we read about in fairytales.

 

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 Erika Montgomery

A card-carrying cinephile and native New Englander, novelist Erika Montgomery lives with her family in the Mid-Atlantic where she teaches creative writing and watches an unspeakable amount of old movies. A Summer to Remember is her debut novel.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The St. Ambrose School for Girls by Jessica Ward @SimonSchusterCA #TheStAmbroseSchoolforGirls #JessicaWard #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The St. Ambrose School for Girls by Jessica Ward @SimonSchusterCA #TheStAmbroseSchoolforGirls #JessicaWard #SimonSchusterCA Title: The St. Ambrose School for Girls

Author: Jessica Ward

Published by: Gallery Books on Jul. 11, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Heathers meets The Secret History in this thrilling coming-of-age novel set in a boarding school where the secrets are devastating—and deadly.

When Sarah Taylor arrives at the exclusive St. Ambrose School, she’s carrying more baggage than just what fits in her suitcase. She knows she’s not like the other girls—if the shabby, all-black, non-designer clothes don’t give that away, the bottle of lithium hidden in her desk drawer sure does.

St. Ambrose’s queen bee, Greta Stanhope, picks Sarah as a target from day one and the most popular, powerful, horrible girl at school is relentless in making sure Sarah knows what the pecking order is. Thankfully, Sarah makes an ally out of her roommate Ellen “Strots” Strotsberry, a cigarette-huffing, devil-may-care athlete who takes no bullshit. Also down the hall is Nick Hollis, the devastatingly handsome RA, and the object of more than one St. Ambrose student’s fantasies. Between Strots and Nick, Sarah hopes she can make it through the semester, dealing with not only her schoolwork and a recent bipolar diagnosis, but Greta’s increasingly malicious pranks.

Sarah is determined not to give Greta the satisfaction of breaking her. But when scandal unfolds, and someone ends up dead, her world threatens to unravel in ways she could never have imagined. The St. Ambrose School for Girls is a dangerous, delicious, twisty coming-of-age tale that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.


Review:

Sinister, atmospheric, and unpredictable!

The St. Ambrose School for Girls transports you back to 1991 and into the life of Sarah Taylor, a fifteen-year-old girl with severe self-loathing and mental health issues that reluctantly heads to an elite private girl’s school in Greensboro Falls, Massachusetts, where all she wants to do is muddle through and be left alone, but when the poplar mean girl gets her in her sights everything starts to spiral out of control, secrets are exposed, reputations are ruined, and someone ends up dead.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are damaged, secretive, insecure, and selfish. And the plot is a suspenseful, twisty, coming-of-age tale filled with friendship, drama, deception, jealousy, hatred, abuse, callousness, desperation, cruelty, and revenge.

I’m always intrigued when an author decides to write something a little different than what they’re well known for and so I was excited when I received this one. Would I say it’s as memorable as the novels found in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series? Probably not. Did I love it as much as one of my all-time favourite series, The Bourbon Kings? Definitely not. But Ward wasn’t writing it to be like either of these. And so, do I think The St. Ambrose School for Girls is an engrossing, tight, edgy, dark academia novel that’s highly entertaining and worth a read? I sure do.

 

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 Jessica Ward

Jessica Ward is a pseudonym for the #1 New York Times bestselling author who writes as J.R. Ward and has over 20 million copies in print. She enjoys spending time in the Adirondacks and lives in the south with her family and her dogs.

Photo Credit: Andrew Hyslop

#BookReview You Were Always Mine by Christine Pride & Jo Piazza @jopiazza @SimonSchusterCA @AtriaBooks #YouWereAlwaysMine #ChristinePride #JoPiazza #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview You Were Always Mine by Christine Pride & Jo Piazza @jopiazza @SimonSchusterCA @AtriaBooks #YouWereAlwaysMine #ChristinePride #JoPiazza #SimonSchusterCA Title: You Were Always Mine

Author: Christine Pride, Jo Piazza

Published by: Atria Books on Jun. 13, 2023

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Cinnamon Haynes has fought hard for a life she never thought was possible—a good man by her side, a steady job as a career counselor at a local community college, and a cozy house in a quaint little beach town. It may not look like much, but it’s more than she ever dreamed of or what her difficult childhood promised. Her life’s mantra is to be good, quiet, grateful. Until something shifts and Cinnamon is suddenly haunted by a terrifying “Is this all there is?”

Daisy Dunlap has had her own share of problems in her nineteen years on earth—she also has her own big dreams for a life that’s barely begun. Her hopes for her future are threatened when she gets unexpectedly pregnant. Desperate, broke, and alone, she hides this development from everyone close to her and then makes a drastic decision with devastating consequences.

Daisy isn’t the only one with something to hide. When Cinnamon finds an abandoned baby in a park and takes the blonde-haired, blue-eyed newborn into her home, the ripple effects of this decision risk exposing the truth about Cinnamon’s own past, which she’s gone to great pains to portray as idyllic to everyone…even herself.

As Cinnamon struggles to contain old demons, navigate the fault lines that erupt in her marriage, and deal with the shocking judgments from friends and strangers alike about why a woman like her has a baby like this, her one goal is to do right by the child she grows more attached to with each passing day. It’s the exact same conviction that drives Daisy as she tries to outrun her heartache and reckon with her choices.

These two women, unlikely friends and kindred spirits must face down their secrets and trauma and unite for the sake of the baby they both love in their own unique way when Daisy’s grandparents, who would rather die than see one of their own raised by a Black woman, threaten to take custody.


Review:

Touching, thought-provoking, and graceful!

You Were Always Mine is a beautifully written, affecting tale that takes you into the life of Cinnamon Haynes, a thirty-four-year-old Black woman who, after befriending a nineteen-year-old white girl at the local park, has her life turned upside down when Daisy suddenly decides to leave her newborn blue-eyed baby girl abandoned for Cinnamon to find and raise as her own.

The prose is reflective and intentional. The characters are flawed, scarred, and authentic. And the plot is a compelling tale of friendship, family, race, discrimination, marital discord, childhood trauma, courage, hope, heartache, secrets, motherhood, foster care, culture, socioeconomic disparities, and the complex dynamics of interracial adoption.

Overall, You Were Always Mine is an insightful, nuanced, captivating tale by Pride & Piazza that reminds us that life is complicated, messy, challenging, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other special moments and lovely times that happen in between especially when it comes to being a mother, either biological or adoptive, to a child.

 

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 Christine Pride

Christine Pride is a writer, editor, and longtime publishing veteran. She’s held editorial posts at many different trade imprints, including Doubleday, Broadway, Crown, Hyperion, and Simon & Schuster. As an editor, Christine has published a range of books, with a special emphasis on inspirational stories and memoirs, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. As a freelance editorial consultant, she does select editing and proposal/content development, as well as teaching and coaching, and pens a regular column—“Race Matters”—for Cup of Jo. She lives in New York City.

Photograph by Christine Han

About Jo Piazza

Jo Piazza is a bestselling author, podcast creator, and award-winning journalist. She is the national and international bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels and nonfiction books including We Are Not Like Them, Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, The Knockoff, and How to Be Married. Her work has been published in ten languages in twelve countries and four of her books have been optioned for film and television. A former editor, columnist, and travel writer with Yahoo, Current TV, and the Daily News (New York), her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York magazine, Glamour, Elle, Time, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast, and Slate. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in economics and communication, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s in religious studies from New York University.

#BookReview The Wife App by Carolyn Mackler @simonschuster @SimonSchusterCA #TheWifeApp #CarolynMackler #SimonSchuster #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Wife App by Carolyn Mackler @simonschuster @SimonSchusterCA #TheWifeApp #CarolynMackler #SimonSchuster #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Wife App

Author: Carolyn Mackler

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Jun. 27, 2023

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster

Book Rating: 8/10

Because every wife deserves a happy ending.

Three best friends decide they’re finally done with their ex-husbands taking their work as wives and moms for granted. They’re ready to monetize the mental load, stick it to their exes, and have a wild ride in the process.

Lauren, mother of twins, wakes up one morning to her Wife Alarm Bells sounding. She sleuths on her husband’s phone and stumbles on a dirty secret that explodes her marriage. Madeline has it all—a penthouse apartment, a perfect daughter, and no-strings-attached romps with handsome men. When she learns that she might lose her child to her ex in England, it stirs up a decades-old personal tragedy. Sophie, with too much FOMO and never enough money, obsesses over her ex-husband’s Family 2.0—all while keeping her true desires hidden, even from herself.

It starts as a joke during a tipsy night out, as Lauren, Madeline, and Sophie rail against everything wives do for free. Let’s build an app that monetizes the mental load. And maybe get revenge on our exes in the process? Soon, the Wife App is born, and before long, it’s the fastest growing start-up in New York City. But then life intervenes. Love intervenes. Ex-husbands intervene. And the consequences are bigger than anything Lauren, Madeline, or Sophie could have expected. Carolyn Mackler marks her debut into adult fiction with a hilarious rollercoaster ride of revenge and redemption that is at once a send-up of modern marriage and a celebration of female friendship and love in all forms.


Review:

Fresh, spirited, and fun!

The Wife App is a lighthearted, engaging tale that sweeps you away to NYC and into the lives of three divorced friends, Madeline, Lauren, and Sophie who, after spending a night grumbling over all the selfless tasks mothers and wives are bombarded with on a daily basis, decide to join together to create an app which would monetize and give value to all those unappreciated, time-consuming, dreaded domestic chores nobody likes to do.

The writing style is witty and sharp. The characters are independent, layered, and supportive. And the plot is a humorous tale about life, love, family, friendship, child-rearing, introspection, marital inequality, interfering exes, tender moments, taking chances, and new beginnings.

Overall, The Wife App is an easy, uplifting, entertaining tale by Mackler that is bursting with female friendships, self-discovery, romance, and the ups and downs of single parenthood.

 

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 for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Carolyn Mackler

Carolyn Mackler is the acclaimed author of the YA novels The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things (A Michael L. Printz Honor Book); The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I; Infinite in Between; and Love and Other Four-Letter Words; and the middle grade novel, Best Friend Next Door. Carolyn’s award-winning books have appeared on bestseller lists and been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Carolyn lives in New York City with her husband and two sons. The Wife App is her first adult novel.

Photo by Sarah Klock.

#BookReview Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur @adriennebrodeur @SimonSchusterCA @AvidReaderPress #LittleMonsters #AdrienneBrodeur #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur @adriennebrodeur @SimonSchusterCA @AvidReaderPress #LittleMonsters #AdrienneBrodeur #SimonSchusterCA Title: Little Monsters

Author: Adrienne Brodeur

Published by: Avid Reader Press on Jun. 27, 2023

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

From the author of the bestselling memoir Wild Game comes a riveting novel about Cape Cod, complicated families, and long-buried secrets—for fans of the New York Times bestsellers The Paper Palace and Ask Again, Yes .

Ken and Abby Gardner lost their mother when they were small and they have been haunted by her absence ever since. Their father, Adam, a brilliant oceanographer, raised them mostly on his own in his remote home on Cape Cod, where the attachment between Ken and Abby deepened into something complicated—and as adults their relationship is strained. Now, years later, the siblings’ lives are still deeply entwined. Ken is a successful businessman with political ambitions and a picture-perfect family and Abby is a talented visual artist who depends on her brother’s goodwill, in part because he owns the studio where she lives and works.

As the novel opens, Adam is approaching his seventieth birthday, staring down his mortality and fading relevance. He has always managed his bipolar disorder with medication, but he’s determined to make one last scientific breakthrough and so he has secretly stopped taking his pills, which he knows will infuriate his children. Meanwhile, Abby and Ken are both harboring secrets of their own, and there is a new person on the periphery of the family—Steph, who doesn’t make her connection known. As Adam grows more attuned to the frequencies of the deep sea and less so to the people around him, Ken and Abby each plan the elaborate gifts they will present to their father on his birthday, jostling for primacy in this small family unit.

Set in the fraught summer of 2016, and drawing on the biblical tale of Cain and Abel, Little Monsters is an absorbing, sharply observed family story by a writer who knows Cape Cod inside and out—its Edenic lushness and its snakes.


Review:

Dramatic, simmering, and sincere!

Little Monsters is a tender, engaging tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic Cape Cod during 2016 and into the lives of the Gardner family, especially siblings Ken and Abby, as the preparations for their father’s upcoming seventieth birthday party will have them finally confronting all the jealousy, resentment, pain, scars, long-buried secrets, and despicable behaviours that have tied them together since childhood.

The prose is fluid and smooth. The characters are bitter, troubled, and flawed. And the plot is a captivating tale about life, loss, heartache, guilt, love, secrets, revelations, acceptance, familial drama, friendship, hope, mental illness, forgiveness, and introspection.

Overall, Little Monsters is a heartfelt, intricate, nuanced tale by Brodeur that reminds us that families are complicated and messy, the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences, and skeletons often find their way to the surface no matter how well they’re buried.

 

This novel is available June 27, 2023.

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 Adrienne Brodeur

Adrienne Brodeur is the author of the memoir Wild Game, which was selected as a Best Book of the Year by NPR and The Washington Post and is in development as a Netflix film. She founded the literary magazine Zoetrope: All-Story with Francis Ford Coppola, and currently serves as executive director of Aspen Words, a literary nonprofit and program of the Aspen Institute. She splits her time between Cambridge and Cape Cod, where she lives with her husband and children.

Photograph by Tony Luong.

#BookReview Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding @Rose_Wldng @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #SpeakoftheDevil #RoseWilding #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding @Rose_Wldng @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #SpeakoftheDevil #RoseWilding #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: Speak of the Devil

Author: Rose Wilding

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jun. 13, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

All of us knew him. One of us killed him…

Seven women stand in shock in a seedy hotel room; a man’s severed head sits in the centre of the floor. Each of the women – the wife, the teenager, the ex, the journalist, the colleague, the friend, and the woman who raised him – has a very good reason to have done it, yet each swears she did not. In order to protect each other, they must figure out who is responsible, all while staying one step ahead of the police.

Against the ticking clock of a murder investigation, each woman’s secret is brought to light as the connections between them converge to reveal a killer.

A dark and nuanced portrait of love, loyalty, and manipulation, Speak of the Devil explores the roles in which women are cast in the lives of terrible men…and the fallout when they refuse to stay silent for one moment longer.


Review:

Dark, intricate, and engrossing!

Speak of the Devil is a layered, unsettling tale that sweeps you away to Newcastle, England and into the life of DI Nova Stokoe, a young police inspector who suddenly finds herself embroiled in a complex murder investigation involving the decapitated head of an esteemed scientist and a suspect list that includes seven local women all who at some time were a victim of his manipulation, deviance, gaslighting, betrayal, violence, or cruelty, and thus all with a motive for his murder.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are secretive, cunning, and vulnerable. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, builds quickly creating intensity and suspense as it unravels all the personalities, motivations, relationships, deception, and devious behaviours within it.

Overall, Speak of the Devil is, ultimately, a story of lies, revelations, secrets, deception, betrayal, manipulation, mayhem, depravity, hatred, vengeance, violence, and murder. It’s a clever, sinister, solid debut by Wilding that certainly kept me thoroughly engrossed from start to finish.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

 

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

 

About Rose Wilding

ROSE WILDING is a crime writer from the north of England. She studied at the University of Manchester, University of Sunderland, and Towson University. When not murdering fictional people, she can usually be found drinking coffee, reading feminist sci-fi, or posting more pictures than anyone needs of her two chihuahuas on Instagram. Speak of the Devil is her debut novel.