9/10

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Hookup Handbook by Kendall Ryan
@KendallRyan1 #bestfriendssister #friendstolovers #standalone

#BlogTour #BookReview The Hookup Handbook by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1 #bestfriendssister #friendstolovers #standalone

#BlogTour #BookReview The Hookup Handbook by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1 #bestfriendssister #friendstolovers #standaloneTitle: The Hookup Handbook

Author: Kendall Ryan

Series: Escorts Inc. #2

Published by Dream Press on March 19, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 296

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Kendall Ryan

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

My love wand is on a strike.

As bad as that blows, pun unintended, it’s ten times worse for me. I’m a male escort, but not just any escort, I’m the escort. The one with a mile-long waiting list and a pristine reputation that’s very well-deserved.

Only now, I’m on hiatus. Because after years of pleasing women all over the city, my man missile decides to get finicky. And the only woman he wants? Someone I can never have—my best friend’s younger sister, the nerdy and awkwardly adorable Sienna.

She’s working at the agency this summer, keeping me organized, handling paperwork, and most importantly, keeping me on track to finish writing my book about sex and intimacy, which is due to my publisher in thirty days.

She thinks I hate her, that I don’t want her here. The truth is much more twisted. I get hard every time she walks into my office. Her wide blue eyes and pouty mouth drive me wild with desire, and if she stays, I’m not sure how much longer I can stay away from her.

Little Miss Overachiever says she’s here to help? Fine. I’m going to put her nerdy, curvy tush to work.


Review:

Passionate, frisky, and sweet!

The Hookup Handbook is a charming, enticing tale that mixes the intelligent, hardworking Sienna who’s determined to help her new boss meet his deadlines this summer but not fall for him, and the cocky, successful Case who may just take the risk and act on his feelings for his best friend’s little sister who seems to be able to help him with more than just his career woes.

The prose is humorous and light. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are unique, friendly, and engaging. And the plot sweeps you away into a steamy storyline filled with snappy banter, shameless flirting, palpable chemistry, friendship, family, light drama, romance, and the ups and downs of life as an escort.

Overall, The Hookup Handbook is another fabulous addition to the Escorts, Inc series by Ryan complete with sexy characters, an entertaining storyline, and a dreamy happy-ever-after ending.

 

This book is available now.

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

                              

 

 

 

About Kendall Ryan

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

 

Thank you to Kendall Ryan for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway
Summer on the Italian Lakes
by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanAuth
@aria_fiction @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanAuth @aria_fiction @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanAuth @aria_fiction @rararesourcesTitle: Summer on the Italian Lakes

Author: Lucy Coleman

Published by Aria on February 5, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?

Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…

Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.


Review:

Winsome, engaging, and lush!

Summer on the Italian Lakes is the uplifting, humorous story of Brie, a young romance writer who heads to Lake Garda to help out at a writing retreat even though her own heart, focus, and self-confidence are in tatters after a recent, public breakup.

The writing is beautiful and vivid. The characters are endearing, intriguing, and authentic. And the plot is a wonderful mix of life, love, family, friendship, light drama, self-discovery, romance, and all the ins and outs of writing a novel.

Overall, Summer on the Italian Lakes is another sophisticated, tender, intriguing tale by Coleman that once again highlights her phenomenal ability to sweep you away to another place through her passion and knowledge for its food, landscape, and culture.

 

This book is available now.  

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

 

 

About Lucy Coleman

From interior designer to author, Linn - who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman - says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

 

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

 

Giveaway:

Win a Chocolate dipping set (UK only)

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Terms and Conditions – UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt
The Military Wife by Laura Trentham
@LauraTrentham @StMartinsPress

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt The Military Wife by Laura Trentham @LauraTrentham @StMartinsPressTitle: The Military Wife

Author: Laura Trentham

Series: A Heart of a Hero #1

Published by St. Martin's Griffin on February 5, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction, General Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

An emotionally layered novel about family, loss and what it means to be a military wife.

Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband, Noah Wilcox’s death, nearly five years earlier. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind.

Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL that served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children under foot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end.

In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country.

In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend and SEAL brother. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. As her business grows so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their pasts?


Review:

Absorbing, moving, and incredibly uplifting!

The Military Wife is a tender, heartfelt story that delves not only into the emotional and psychological struggles and hardships of being part of the military and the effects they have on both the enlisted themselves and their loved ones, but also the patience, understanding, support, and trust required to maintain a relationship and individuality under those conditions.

The prose is effortless and well turned. The characters are scarred, genuine, and endearing. And the story is a mesmerizing tale about life, loss, love, forgiveness, grief, familial drama, friendship, community, courage, resilience, and moving on.

Overall, The Military Wife is a beautifully written tale with a lovely mix of hope, grit, emotion, and romance that exceeded my expectations. It’s an impressive start to the “A Heart of a Hero” series and I can’t wait for the publication of book #2.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1

Present Day

Winters in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, were temperamental. The sunshine and a temperate southerly breeze that started a day could turn into biting, salt-tinged snow flurries by afternoon. But one thing Harper Lee Wilcox could count on was that winter along the Outer Banks was quiet.

The bustle and hum and weekly rotation of tourists that marked the summer months settled into a winter melancholy that Harper enjoyed. Well, perhaps not enjoyed in the traditional sense . . . more like she enjoyed surrendering to the melancholy. In fact, her mother may have accused her of wallowing in it once or twice or a hundred times.

In the winter, she didn’t have to smile and pretend her life was great. Not that it was bad. Lots of people had it worse. Much worse. In fact, parts of her life were fabulous. Almost five, her son was happy and healthy and smart. Her mother’s strength and support were unwavering and had bolstered her through the worst time of her life. Her friends were amazing.

That was the real issue. In the craziness of the summer season, she forgot to be sad. Her husband, Noah, had been gone five years; the same amount of time they’d been married. Soon the years separating them would outnumber the years they’d been together. The thought was sobering and only intensified the need to keep a sacred place in her heart waiting and empty. Her secret memorial.

She parked the sensible sedan Noah had bought her soon after they married under her childhood home. Even though they were inland, the stilts were a common architectural feature up and down the Outer Banks.

Juggling her laptop and purse, Harper pushed open the front door and stacked her things to the side. “I’m home!”

A little body careened down the steps and crashed into her legs. She returned the ferocious hug. Her pregnancy was the only thing that had kept her going those first weeks after she’d opened her front door to the Navy chaplain.

“How was preschool? Did you like the pasta salad I packed for your lunch?”

“It made me toot and everyone laughed, even the girls. Can you pack it for me again tomorrow?”

“Ben! You shouldn’t wantto toot.” Laughter ruined the admonishing tone she was going for.

As Harper’s mom said time and again, the kid was a hoot and a half. He might have Harper’s brown wavy hair, but he had Noah’s spirit and mannerisms and humor. Ben approached everything with an optimism Harper had lost or perhaps had never been gifted with from the start. He was a blessing Harper sometimes wondered if she deserved.

“Where’s Yaya?” She ruffled his unruly hair.

Of course, her mom had picked an unconventional name. “Grandmother” was too old-fashioned and pedestrian. Since she’d retired from the library, she had cast off any semblance of normalcy and embraced an inner spirit that was a throwback to 1960s bra burners and Woodstock.

“Upstairs painting.” Ben slipped his hand into Harper’s and tugged her toward the kitchen. Bright red and orange and blue paint smeared the back of his hand and arm like a rainbow. At least, her mom had put him in old clothes. “Yaya gave me my own canvas and let me paint whatever I wanted.”

“And what did you paint?” Harper prayed it wasn’t a nude study, which was the homework assignment from her mom’s community college class.

“I drew Daddy in heaven. I used allthe colors.” The matter-of-factness of his tone clawed at her heart.

No child should have to grow up only knowing their father through pictures and stories. Her own father had been absent because of divorce and disinterest. He’d sent his court-ordered child support payments regularly until she turned eighteen but rarely visited or shown any curiosity about her. It had hurt until teenaged resentment scarred over the wound.

Noah would have made a great dad. The best. That he never got the chance piled more regrets and what-ifs onto her winter inspired melancholy.

“I’m sure he would have loved your painting.” Luckily, Ben didn’t notice her choked-up reply.

He went to the cabinet, pulled out white bread and crunchy peanut butter, and proceeded to make two sandwiches. It was their afternoon routine. Someday he would outgrow it. Outgrow her and become a man like his daddy.

She poured him a glass of milk, and they ate their sandwiches, talking about how the rest of his day went—outside of his epic toots. His world was small and safe and she wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Her mom breezed into the kitchen, her still-thick but graying brown hair twisted into a messy bun, a thin paintbrush holding it in place. Slim and attractive, she wore paint-splattered jeans and a long-sleeve T-shirt that read: I make AARP look good. Harper pinched her lips together to stifle a grin.

“How’s your assignment coming along?” Harper asked.

“I’m having a hard time with proportions. It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure my man’s you-know-what shouldn’t hang down to his kneecaps.”

Harper shot a glance toward Ben, who had moved to the floor of the den to play with LEGOs. As crazy as her mom drove her, she was and would always be Harper’s rock. The irony wasn’t lost on her. As hard as she’d worked to get out of Kitty Hawk and out of her mother’s reach when she was young, she’d never regretted coming home.

“It’s been a while for me, too, but that’s not how I remember them, either.”

“A pity for us both.” Her mother pulled a jar of olives out of the fridge and proceeded to make martinis—shaken, not stirred. She raised her eyebrows, and Harper answered the unspoken question with a nod. Her mom poured and plopped an extra olive in Harper’s. “How was work?”

Harper handled bookkeeping and taxes for a number of local businesses, but a good number closed up shop in the winter. “Routine. Quiet.”

“Exactly like your life.”

Harper sputtered on her first sip. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I hate seeing you mope around all winter.” Her mom poked at the olive in her drink with a toothpick and looked toward Ben, dropping her voice. “He’s been gone five years, sweetheart, and you haven’t gone on so much as a date.”

“That’s not true. I went to lunch with Whit a few weeks ago.”

“He was trying to sell you life insurance. Doesn’t count.”

Harper huffed and covered her discomfort by taking another sip. “What about you? You never date.”

 “True, but your father ruined me on relationships. I have trust issues. You and Noah, on the other hand, seemed to get along fine. Or am I wrong?”

“You’re not.” Another sip of the martini grew the tingly warmth in her stomach. Their marriage hadn’t been completely without conflict, but what relationship was? As she looked back on their fights, they seemed juvenile and unimportant. It was easier to remember the good times. And there were so many to choose from.

She touched the empty finger on her left hand. The ring occupied her jewelry box and had for three years. But, occasionally, her finger would ache with phantom pains as if it were missing a vital organ.

“You’re young. Find another good man. Or forget the man, just find something you’re passionate about.”

“I’m happy right where I am.” Harper hammered up her defenses as if preparing for a hurricane.

“Don’t mistake comfort for happiness. You’re comfortable here. Too comfortable. But you’re not happy.”

 “God, Mom, why are you Dr. Phil–ing me all of sudden? Are you wanting me and Ben to move out or something?” Her voice sailed high and Ben looked over at them, his eyes wide, clutching his LEGO robot so tightly its head fell off.

“You and Ben are welcome to stay and take care of me in my old age.” Her mom shifted toward the den. “You hear that, honey? I want you to stay forever.”

Ben gave them an eye-crinkling smile that reminded her so much of Noah her insides squirmed, and she killed the rest of her drink. She was so careful not to show how lonely she sometimes felt in front of Ben.

“Harper.” Her mom’s chiding tone reminded her so much of her own childhood, she glanced up instinctively. Her mom took her hand, and her hazel eyes matched the ones that stared back at Harper in the mirror. “You’re marking time in Kitty Hawk. Find something that excites you again. Don’t let Ben—or Noah— be your excuse.”

Harper looked to her son. His chubby fingers fit the small LEGO pieces together turning the robot into a house. She had built her life brick by brick adding pieces and colors, expanding, taking pride, until one horrible day she’d stopped. Maybe her mom was right. Was it time to build something new?

 

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

 

About Laura Trentham

LAURA TRENTHAM is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She is a member of RWA, and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend’s Sister
by Meghan Quinn @AuthorMegQuinn @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour #BookReview The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend’s Sister by Meghan Quinn @AuthorMegQuinn @InkSlingerPRTitle: The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend's Sister

Author: Meghan Quinn

Published by Meghan Quinn on January 3, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 336

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: InkSlingerPR

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

How do you date your best friend’s sister? Easy. 

Step one: Pretend you want her to set you up with someone else. That will bring the two of you closer.

Step two: Go on date with lots of random women, proceed to get stupid drunk and talk about your best friend’s sister, thus gaining the courage to finally make a move.

Step three: Randomly show up at her apartment and confess your love. Women love that, right?

It all seemed so simple. A fool-proof three step process that will guarantee the love of you life to fall madly in love with you. 

At least–that’s what I thought was going to happen. But my attempts to win over Julia Westin backfired in more ways than I can count. The thing about Julia? She’s smart–really smart–and her wicked gaze cuts through all the charm I’ve tried slinging her way. She’s not interested in games, my gifts, or my stories. She might want me too; but she’s not giving in that easy…


Review:

Sultry, entertaining, and sweet!

The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend’s Sister is a passionate, charming tale that mixes the caring, hardworking Julia who’s determined to use all her knowledge and expertise to find the perfect match for her brother’s best friend, and the delectable, successful Bram who has finally decided to take the risk and act on his feelings for his best friend’s little sister.

The writing is titillating and crisp. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are fun-loving and engaging. And the plot sweeps you away into a sassy, push-pull storyline filled with witty banter, shameless flirting, sizzling chemistry, friendship, family, romance, and light drama.

Overall, The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend’s Sister is a fabulous read to kick off the new year. I enjoyed the characters, I enjoyed the storyline, and I loved the swoon-worthy happy-ever-after ending!

 

This book is available now.

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

 

 

 

About Meghan Quinn

USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

 

 

Thank you to InkSlingerPR and Meghan Quinn for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

#BookReview
The Temp by Michelle Frances
@PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Temp by Michelle Frances @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: The Temp

Author: Michelle Frances

Published by Pan Macmillan on December 26, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A new gripping psychological thriller from Michelle Frances, bestselling author of The Girlfriend.

Carrie is a successful TV producer in a high pressure job. She’s talented, liked, and well-respected. She and her husband, Adrian, an award-winning screenwriter, decided years before that they didn’t want children. But now, just as they’re both at the pinnacle of their careers, she has discovered she’s pregnant, and is shocked to discover that she wants to keep the baby. But in a competitive industry where time off is seen as a sign of weakness, Carrie looks at the prospect of maternity leave with trepidation.

Enter Emma, the temp, who is everything Carrie could wish for as her cover: smart, eager, and charming. Carrie fears that Emma is manoeuvring her way into Carrie’s life, causing turmoil in both her work and her marriage. The problem is everyone else adores Emma…

Increasingly isolated from Adrian and her colleagues, Carrie begins to believe Emma has an agenda. Does she want her job? Or is she after even more?

A twisting thriller about ambition, deception, and betrayal, The Temp will leave readers hanging on until the very last page!


Review:

Compulsive, unsettling, and surprising!

The Temp is a character-driven, pacey thriller that takes us into the life of Carrie, a middle-aged TV producer who finds herself struggling to juggle new motherhood, a successful career, a secretive husband, and a temp who seems determined to make her position a permanent one.

The writing is taut and polished. The characters are consumed, unscrupulous, and driven. And the plot is a twisty, suspenseful tale of power, betrayal, ambition, suspicion, obsession, violence, and the complex world of tv production.

Overall, The Temp is another intricate, sinister, edgy novel by Frances that reminds us that anger and resentment fostered over a long period of time can often have devastating consequences.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

  

 

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

 

About Michelle Frances

Michelle Frances has worked in television drama as a producer and script editor for fifteen years, both for the independent sector and the BBC. The Temp is her second novel, following her bestselling debut, The Girlfriend.

 

#BookReview
Watching You by Lisa Jewell
@lisajewelluk @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Watching You by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @SimonSchusterCATitle: Watching You

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published by Atria Books on December 26, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…


Review:

Dark, eerie, and spine-chillingly mesmerizing!

Watching You is a complex, intense, psychological thriller that highlights that every choice, good or bad, has a consequence and perspective is everything.

The writing is polished and crisp. The characterization is spot on with a multitude of characters that are multi-faceted, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot told through a mixture of narration and interview-style musings builds steadily creating tension, suspicion, and unease as it unravels all the personalities, relationships, motivations and actions within it.

Watching You is, ultimately, a story of deception, obsession, desperation, vengeance, violence, manipulation, and murder. It’s shocking, satisfying, hard to put down and without a doubt another must-read novel by Jewell.

 

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
Crossing the Line by Bibi Belford
@BarbaraBelford @skyponypress

#BookReview Crossing the Line by Bibi Belford @BarbaraBelford @skyponypressTitle: Crossing the Line

Author: Bibi Belford

Published by Sky Pony Press on July 25, 2017

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Billy’s family has fallen on hard times, what with his da hospitalized after the war and his ma barely scraping by. But it’s no hardship for him when there’s not enough money to pay the tuition for Nativity of Our Lord, the private Catholic school everyone in his neighborhood attends. Billy’s not big on education.

When he transfers to James Ward, a Chicago public school, he finds out there’s a big difference at public school: the kids aren’t all Irish—in fact, they aren’t even all white. It isn’t long before Billy’s found a new best friend in Foster, another fifth grader who also doesn’t have any money, loves baseball, and just happens to be black.

Billy is pretty sure skin color doesn’t matter. Not when he and Foster are just horsing around, playing baseball, working on the docks of the canal, and building a raft at their secret hideout on Bridgeport’s Bubbly Creek. But in the Red Summer of 1919, it does matter.


Review:

Heartfelt, sweeping, and immersive!

Crossing the Line is a moving, fascinating, coming-of-age story set in Chicago during the early 1900s that highlights all the struggles and racial tension of the time and reminds us that even though we’ve come so far, we still have a long way to go.

The writing is sincere and smooth. The characters are concerned, vulnerable and loyal. And the story is an exceptionally compelling tale about life, loss, familial dynamics, friendship, courage, community, discrimination, and racial segregation. 

Overall, Crossing the Line is a well written, exceptionally researched, moving novel by Belford that is a beautiful blend of historical facts, intriguing fiction, and endearing characters.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

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

 

About Bibi Belford

Bibi Belford graduated with a B.A. in English from Westmont College and has worked as a playground supervisor for children of migrant workers and was a student teacher in a bilingual classroom before completing her masters in Bilingual Literacy at Northern Illinois University. She currently works as a literacy coach and reading interventionist for an elementary school in Illinois. She is the mother of four grown children and lives in Batavia, Illinois.

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway
Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood
@lwestwoodwriter @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood @lwestwoodwriter @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood @lwestwoodwriter @rararesourcesTitle: Moonlight on the Thames

Author: Lauren Westwood

Published by Aria on September 4, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 455

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Worlds collide when two strangers meet at Waterloo station. It’s a moment they’ll never forget. Perfect for the fans of Milly Johnson. 

Christmas is a joyous time, but not everyone is merry and bright. 

Nicola is a rising star at the top of the corporate ladder, but her personal life is a disaster. Her office affair has lost its allure, and the last thing she wants to think about is Christmas. A night of cancelled trains and festive Christmas carols at Waterloo Station is just about the last straw… 

Dmitri loves conducting his pop-up choir during the festive season, meeting people, and spreading joy and cheer around London. But he carries deep secrets from his past that robbed him of his dream to become a concert pianist. 

Can their hearts and souls be unlocked by music and moonlight and will they discover the healing power of love?


Review:

Captivating, tender, and romantic!

Moonlight on the Thames is a charming, festive tale about the importance of lending a hand, confronting the past, taking risks, learning to trust, embracing the future, and being true to one’s self.

The prose is poetic and impassioned. The characters are hesitant, secretive, and wounded. And the plot sweeps you away into an engaging, touching tale about life, loss, friendship, family, heartbreak, trauma, tragedy, forgiveness, unconditional love, and the magic of music.

Overall, Moonlight on the Thames is another enchanting, uplifting, emotive story by Westwood that is beautifully written, positively beguiling and so much more than just another feel-good holiday read.

 

This book is available now. 

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

                              

 

 

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

 

About Lauren Westwood

Lauren Westwood writes romantic women's fiction, and is also an award-winning children's writer. Originally from California, she now lives in England in a pernickety old house built in 1602, with her partner and three daughters.

 

Giveaway:

 

Win 2 x Signed copies of Moonlight On The Thames (UK Only)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Terms and Conditions – UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#BookReview
Broken Ground by Val McDermid
@valmcdermid @PGCBooks

#BookReview Broken Ground by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooksTitle: Broken Ground

Author: Val McDermid

Series: Inspector Karen Pirie #5

Published by Atlantic Monthly Press on December 5, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, and her gripping, masterfully plotted novels have garnered millions of readers from around the globe. In Broken Ground, cold case detective Karen Pirie faces her hardest challenge yet.

Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville’s inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise–a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. Meanwhile, DCI Pirie is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems. And as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.


Review:

Engrossing, intricate, and deft!

In this latest novel by McDermid, Broken Ground, we head back to Edinburgh where DCI Pirie and her sidekick DC Murray from the Historic Cases Unit find themselves pursuing new evidence in the case of a serial rapist from the 80s; tasked with identifying a body discovered in a peat bog in the Highlands alongside relics from WWII; and inadvertently involved in a new case of premeditated, cold-blooded murder.

The prose is gritty and descriptive. The characterization is superb with all the usual gang back including the intuitive, tenacious, Karen Pirie who’s still coping with the loss of her lover through nocturnal walks and designer gins. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine meticulously into an irresistible tale full of deception, abuse, deprivation, manipulation, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, Broken Ground is a highly entertaining, gripping, atmospheric thriller that highlights McDermid’s exceptional ability to write police procedurals that have well-drawn characters and edgy storylines. It is the fifth novel in the Inspector Karen Pirie series, and definitely one of my favourites.

 

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 Val McDermid

Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.

She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

#BookReview
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
@john_boyne @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne @john_boyne @PenguinRandomCATitle: A Ladder to the Sky

Author: John Boyne

Published by Doubleday Canada on November 13, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The new novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Heart’s Invisible Furies, a seductive Highsmithian psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of fame

Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent – but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.
Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.
Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall…


Review:

Dark, seductive, and skillfully menacing!

A Ladder to the Sky is a character-driven, psychological thrill ride involving the ruthlessly ambitious Maurice Swift who has no qualms about using his handsomeness, charm, lack of conscience, and sociopathic tendencies in his ceaseless pursuit to become the world-class, successful writer he knows he can be.

The prose is unsettling and controlled. The characters, including the sinister, impulsive protagonist are consumed, complex, and vulnerable. And the brilliantly crafted plot builds nicely to create the perfect amount of tension and suspense as it unravels all the duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, questionable personalities, and parasitic relationships within it.

A Ladder to the Sky is an eerily compelling, darkly humorous, tragic novel that transports you to some of the biggest cities in the world and immerses you in a tale full of creative, eccentric, often self-absorbed characters that will keep you enthralled from start to finish. It’s a truly memorable novel by Boyne that highlights his extraordinary talent as a storyteller and his uncanny ability to lay bare humanities weaknesses and emotional vulnerabilities while still poking fun at an industry very close to his heart.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About John Boyne

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, five for younger readers and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy In the Striped Pajamas sold 9 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for cinema, theatre, ballet and opera. John has won three Irish Book Awards and many other international literary awards and his novels are published in over 50 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Photo by Rich Gilligan.

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