9/10

#BookReview A Sea of Glass by Gail Avery Halverson @gailhalv #ASeaOfGlass #TheSockbridgeSeries #GailAveryHalverson

#BookReview A Sea of Glass by Gail Avery Halverson @gailhalv #ASeaOfGlass #TheSockbridgeSeries #GailAveryHalverson Title: A Sea of Glass

Author: Gail Avery Halverson

Series: Stockbridge #3

Published by: Gail Avery Halverson on Sep. 20, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 360

Format: Paperback

Source: Gail Avery Halverson

Book Rating: 9/10

In this rich, absorbing tale, Gail Avery Halverson continues the remarkable saga of Lady Catherine Abbott and Simon McKensie that began with the multiple award-winning novels, The Boundary Stone and The Skeptical Physick. Sweeping us from a quaint village in England to Colonial Boston and to the beautiful evils of 17th century Barbados, Gail Avery Halverson has once again written a truly compelling and unforgettable novel.

After a wrenching, heartbreaking tragedy, Catherine yearns for the safety and familiarity England, but when a free, black woman attempts to accomplish the unthinkable, Catherine is forced to decide where her future lies.

When a daring investment in the lucrative 17th century Barbados sugar trade takes a horrifying turn, Simon must at last set his dedication for medicine and scientific discovery aside and face the true ugliness of slavery.

Joining the multitude of courageous souls in the first waves of the Great Migration from England to America, Simon and Catherine McKensie lay witness to the forging of a new country, the first seeds of violent rebellion against the Crown, and the bitter tentacles of a slave trade just beginning to take root.


Review:

Captivating, immersive, and adventurous!

A Sea of Glass is a vivid, atmospheric tale that picks up where The Skeptical Physick left off, taking us back to the mid-1600s and into the lives of Simon, Catherine and their loved ones as they start their new lives in Boston, struggle with the horrifying commonplace of slavery, and head out on the high seas on a rescue mission that gives them a front row seat to the rare beauty of the landscape but also the barbaric ugliness of life on the sugar plantations of Barbados.

The prose is insightful and engaging. The characters are dependable, resourceful, and empathetic. And the plot is a tender, enlightening tale full of life, loss, love, courage, sacrifice, pirates, savagery, injustice, slavery, family, friendship, thrilling escapades, and life in early Boston.

Overall, A Sea of Glass is another fascinating, creative, engrossing read by Halverson that does a brilliant job of highlighting her undoubtable passion and tireless research into seventeenth-century Boston and the political tensions and attitudes that governed and ruled it.

This novel is available now.

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

    

 

 

Thank you to Gail Avery Halverson for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gail Avery Halverson

Award-winning writer, Gail Avery Halverson, is the author of The Boundary Stone, and its sequel, The Skeptical Physick, a historical romance novel set in 1666 England at the time of the Great Fire and the Scientific Revolution. The Boundary Stone is a Chaucer Award Finalist (historical fiction), a Cygnus Award Finalist (speculative fiction), and a Chatelaine Award Winner (historical romantic fiction). The Skeptical Physick is currently long-listed for both the Chatelaine and the Chaucer Awards. Ms. Halverson is also the writer/producer for “Take it From The Top,” (sitcom pilot, Twin One Productions, Inc.), as well as the playwright and composer of musical plays that have been performed for nearly 300,000 children since 2004. Writing for both theater and television, she holds a B.A. in English Literature/Communications from the University of California, Davis, and is currently at work on the third novel in the Stockbridge Series. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera @amytintera @CeladonBooks #AmyTintera #ListenForTheLie #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

#BookReview Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera @amytintera @CeladonBooks #AmyTintera #ListenForTheLie #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner Title: Listen for the Lie

Author: Amy Tintera

Published by: Celadon Books on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Celadon Books

Book Rating: 9/10

What if you thought you murdered your best friend? And if everyone else thought so too? And what if the truth doesn’t matter?

After Lucy is found wandering the streets, covered in her best friend Savvy’s blood, everyone thinks she is a murderer. Lucy and Savvy were the golden girls of their small Texas town: pretty, smart, and enviable. Lucy married a dream guy with a big ring and an even bigger new home. Savvy was the social butterfly loved by all, and if you believe the rumors, especially popular with the men in town. It’s been years since that horrible night, a night Lucy can’t remember anything about, and she has since moved to LA and started a new life.

But now the phenomenally huge hit true crime podcast “Listen for the Lie,” and its too-good looking host Ben Owens, have decided to investigate Savvy’s murder for the show’s second season. Lucy is forced to return to the place she vowed never to set foot in again to solve her friend’s murder, even if she is the one that did it.


Review:

Sophisticated, twisty, and gripping!

Listen for the Lie is an edgy, menacing tale that takes you into the life of Lucy Chase, a young woman who, after staying as far away from her hometown as she possibly could for the past five years, reluctantly returns to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday even knowing that the whole town still thinks she murdered her best friend and the persistent true-crime podcaster Ben Owens is hanging around stirring up trouble and trying to finally discover what really happened on that stormy night all those years ago.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are layered, secretive, and troubled. And the plot builds quickly as it twists, turns and unravels all the personalities, motivations, actions, and relationships within it.

Overall, Listen for the Lie, at its core, is a novel about family, friendship, secrets, manipulation, obsession, red herrings, revelations, violence, and murder. It’s a fast-paced, riveting, tortuous tale by Tintera that highlights everything is not always as it seems and is a real page-turner I highly recommend, and one you definitely don’t want to miss.

 

This novel is available March 5, 2024.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Celadon Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amy Tintera

Amy Tintera is the New York Times bestselling author of several series for young adults. She earned degrees in journalism and film and worked in Hollywood before becoming an author. Raised in Austin, Texas, she frequently sets her novels in the Lone Star State, but she now lives in Los Angeles, where there’s far less humidity but not nearly enough Tex-Mex. Listen for the Lie is her adult debut.

Photo credit: Stephanie Girard

#BookReview Queens of London by Heather Webb @msheatherwebb @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #QueensofLondon #HeatherWebb #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview Queens of London by Heather Webb @msheatherwebb @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #QueensofLondon #HeatherWebb #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Queens of London

Author: Heather Webb

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Feb. 6, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

Maybe women can have it all, as long as they’re willing to steal it.

1925. London. When Alice Diamond, AKA “Diamond Annie,” is elected the Queen of the Forty Elephants, she’s determined to take the all-girl gang to new heights. She’s ambitious, tough as nails, and a brilliant mastermind, with a plan to create a dynasty the likes of which no one has ever seen. Alice demands absolute loyalty from her “family”—it’s how she’s always kept the cops in line. Too bad she’s now the target for one of Britain’s first female policewomen.

Officer Lilian Wyles isn’t merely one of the first female detectives at Scotland Yard, she’s one of the best detectives on the force. Even so, she’ll have to win a big score to prove herself, to break free from the “women’s work” she’s been assigned. When she hears about the large-scale heist in the works to fund Alice’s new dynasty, she realizes she has the chance she’s been looking for—and the added bonus of putting Diamond Annie out of business permanently.

A tale of dark glamour and sisterhood, Queens of London is a look at Britain’s first female crime syndicate, the ever-shifting meaning of justice, and the way women claim their power by any means necessary, from USA Today bestselling author Heather Webb.


Review:

Immersive, charged, and gritty!

Queens of London is an engaging, enlightening tale that sweeps you away to London during 1925 and into the lives of a handful of women, including the notorious Diamond Annie, leader of the all-female crime gang, the Forty Elephants; Lilian Wyles, the first female CID officer at Scotland Yard; Hira, a young orphan determined to do whatever it takes to make it on the streets alone; and Dorothy, a somewhat naive young shop assistant who is almost too kind for her own good.

The prose is evocative and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, driven, and engaging. And the plot is an intriguing, action-packed tale of life, loss, love, self-discovery, secrets, manipulation, female friendships, determination, family, betrayal, moral dilemmas, well-planned heists, street crime, and the ins and outs of policing in the early twentieth century.

Overall, Queens of London is a wonderful blend of historical facts and compelling fiction that’s gripping, atmospheric, and perfect for anyone who loves to learn a little bit more about some of the most trailblazing women in history.

 

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 Heather Webb

Heather Webb is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of seven historical novels. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was a Goodread’s Top Pick, and in 2018, Last Christmas in Paris won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. Meet Me in Monaco, was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Goldsboro RNA award in the UK, as well as the 2019 Digital Book World’s Fiction prize. To date, Heather’s books have been translated to sixteen languages. She lives in New England with her family, a mischievous kitten, and one feisty rabbit.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard by Natasha Lester @HBGCanada @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForever2024 #NatashaLester #TheDisappearanceOfAstridBricard #HBGCanada

#BookReview The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard by Natasha Lester @HBGCanada @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForever2024 #NatashaLester #TheDisappearanceOfAstridBricard #HBGCanada Title: The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard

Author: Natasha Lester

Published by: Forever on Jan. 30, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Hardcover

Source: Forever, HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Three generations. One chance to prove themselves. Can the women of the Bricard fashion dynasty finally rewrite their history?

French countryside, Present  Blythe Bricard is the daughter of famous fashion muses but that doesn’t mean she wants to be one. She turned her back on that world, and her dreams, years ago. Fate, however, has a different plan, and Blythe will discover there is more to her iconic mother and grandmother than she ever knew. New York, 1970:  Designer Astrid Bricard arrives in bohemian Chelsea determined to change the fashion world forever. And she does―cast as muse to her lover, Hawk Jones. And when they’re both invited to compete in the fashion event of the century―the Battle of Versailles―Astrid sacrifices everything to showcase her talent. But then, just as her career is about to take off, she mysteriously vanishes, leaving behind only a white silk dress.

Paris, 1917:  Parentless sixteen-year-old Mizza Bricard has made a to be remembered on her own terms. Her promise sustains her through turbulent decades and volatile couture houses until, finally, her name is remembered and a legend is born―one that proves impossible for Astrid and Blythe to distance themselves from.


Review:

Astute, heartbreaking, and mysterious!

The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard is a tender, intriguing tale that takes you on a journey into the lives of three generations of Bricard women. Mizza, a young Paris assistant and muse to Christian Dior who spends the wartime helping the resistance; Astrid, a bold, headstrong designer who uses all her energy to try to step out of the shadow left by her mother and prove the journalists wrong once and for all by showcasing her true talent at the 1973 Battle of Versailles Fashion Show, and Blythe a mother of two who, after being abandoned by both her famous parents, dreams of making a success of her own sustainable-fashion brand and perhaps finally discovering what really happened on that night so long ago when her mother seemingly disappeared without a trace.

The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are talented, tormented, and resilient. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into a poignant, simmering tale of familial dynamics, drama, emotion, secrets, love, loss, lies, heartbreak, introspection, passion, inequality, injustice, and the misogynistic world of fashion.

As most of you know, I am a huge fan of Natasha Lester and have read almost every novel she has ever written, and The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard is without a doubt another compelling, romantic, affecting tale by Lester but one with perhaps a little more grit, depth, and layers than we’ve had the pleasure of seeing from her before.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada & Forever for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Natasha Lester

Natasha Lester is a USA Today, internationally best-selling author. Prior to writing, she worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing.

Her first historical novel, the bestselling A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, was published in 2016. This was followed by Her Mother’s Secret in 2017 and The Paris Seamstress in 2018. The French Photographer is her latest book (note: this will be published as The Paris Orphan in North America in September 2019).

Natasha's books have been published in the US, the UK, Australia and throughout Europe. She lives in Perth, Western Australia with her 3 children and loves travelling, Paris, vintage fashion and, of course, books.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BookReview Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge by Lizzie Pook @LizziePook @SimonSchusterCA #LizziePook #MaudeHortonsGloriousRevenge #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge by Lizzie Pook @LizziePook @SimonSchusterCA #LizziePook #MaudeHortonsGloriousRevenge #SimonSchusterCA Title: Maude Horton's Glorious Revenge

Author: Lizzie Pook

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Jan. 16, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

An Arctic expedition. A mysterious death. And the lengths to which one woman will go to avenge her sister

When Maude Horton receives a letter from the British Admiralty informing her of her younger sister’s death, her world is shattered. Bold and daring, Constance had run away from her life in Victorian London two years prior, disguising herself as a boy to board the Makepeace, an expedition vessel bound for the Arctic’s unexplored Northwest Passage. The admiralty claims Constance’s death was a tragic accident, but Maude knows when she is being deceived.

Armed with Constance’s diary from her time at sea and a fiery desire for justice, Maude sets her sights on the Makepeace’s former scientist, Edison Stowe, a greedy and manipulative man whom she suspects had a hand in her sister’s death. When she learns he has a new venture, a travel company that escorts spectators across the country to witness popular public hangings, she decides to join the latest tour, determined to extract the truth from Stowe and avenge her sister—no matter the risk to herself.

From the stark beauty of the Arctic to the teeming streets of Victorian London, Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge is a mysterious, transportive tale about the unbreakable bond of sisterhood and the things we are driven to do by both love and greed.


Review:

Action-packed, alluring, and exceptionally atmospheric!

Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge is a rich, adventurous tale that sweeps you away to London in 1850 and into the life of the independent, bold Maude Horton who, after learning of her sister’s suspicious death on the Makepeace’s expedition to find the missing explorer Sir John Franklin, embarks on a secret mission of her own, attending ghastly public hangings and befriending the shady Edison Stowe in order to discover what truly happened to her.

The prose is eloquent and vivid. The characters are persistent, clever, and brave. And the plot is a fascinating tale of life, loss, family, bravery, survival, tragedy, danger, forbidden love, sisterhood, and vengeance.

Overall, Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge is an intriguing, absorbing, meticulous tale by Pook that grabs you from the very first page and does an outstanding job of blending historical facts with fiction that is both compelling and wonderfully immersive.

 

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 Lizzie Pook

Lizzie Pook is a London-based travel writer and journalist whose work has taken her to some of the farthest-flung parts of the planet, from the trans-Himalayas—in search of elusive snow leopards—to the vast, uninhabited east coast of Greenland. She has written for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times (London), Lonely Planet, and Condé Nast Traveler. Lizzie is the author of Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge and Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter.

Photo by Magdalena Smolarska.

#BookReview The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheHeiressNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheHeiressNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Heiress

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 9, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

When Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore dies, she’s not only North Carolina’s richest woman, she’s also its most notorious. The victim of a famous kidnapping as a child and a widow four times over, Ruby ruled the tiny town of Tavistock from Ashby House, her family’s estate high in the Blue Ridge mountains. In the aftermath of her death, that estate—along with a nine-figure fortune and the complicated legacy of being a McTavish—pass to her adopted son, Camden.

But to everyone’s surprise, Cam wants little to do with the house or the money—and even less to do with the surviving McTavishes. Instead, he rejects his inheritance, settling into a normal life as an English teacher in Colorado and marrying Jules, a woman just as eager to escape her own messy past.

Ten years later, Camden is a McTavish in name only, but a summons in the wake of his uncle’s death brings him and Jules back into the family fold at Ashby House. Its views are just as stunning as ever, its rooms just as elegant, but coming home reminds Cam why he was so quick to leave in the first place.

Jules, however, has other ideas, and the more she learns about Cam’s estranged family—and the twisted secrets they keep—the more determined she is for her husband to claim everything Ruby once intended for him to have.

But Ruby’s plans were always more complicated than they appeared. As Ashby House tightens its grip on Jules and Camden, questions about the infamous heiress come to light. Was there any truth to the persistent rumors following her disappearance as a girl? What really happened to those four husbands, who all died under mysterious circumstances? And why did she adopt Cam in the first place? Soon, Jules and Cam realize that an inheritance can entail far more than what’s written in a will––and that the bonds of family stretch far beyond the grave.


Review:

Complex, intense, and gripping!

The Heiress is a charged, unpredictable mystery that sweeps you away to North Carolina and into the life of Camden McTavish, who are receiving an email from an estranged cousin, reluctantly heads home after ten years away to deal with the inheritance he never wanted, introduce his wife to the dysfunctional, multigenerational McTavish family he willingly disowned, and finally discover all the long-buried secrets that his adopted mother, the infamous Ruby McTavish tried for a long time to keep hidden and buried for good.

The prose is powerful and polished. The characters are flawed, self-absorbed, and ruthless. And the plot, using a mixture of letters, news articles, and dual perspective narration, is a captivating, menacing tale of life, loss, secrets, deception, privilege, resentments, greed, corruption, violence, familial drama, surprises, and despicable truths.

Overall, The Heiress is a gritty, provocative, twisty novel by Hawkins that’s a must-read for anyone who loves a well-written mystery interlaced with a dramatic family saga all mired in the dark, toxic history of the past.

 

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, as well as multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama.

Photo by John Hawkins.

#BookReview The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan @vanjchan @SimonSchusterCA #VanessaChan #TheStormWeMade #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan @vanjchan @SimonSchusterCA #VanessaChan #TheStormWeMade #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Storm We Made

Author: Vanessa Chan

Published by: Marysue Rucci Books on Jan. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A spellbinding, sweeping novel about a Malayan mother who becomes an unlikely spy for the invading Japanese forces during WWII—and the shocking consequences that rain upon her community and family.

Malaya, 1945. Cecily Alcantara’s family is in terrible danger: her fifteen-year-old son, Abel, has disappeared, and her youngest daughter, Jasmin, is confined in a basement to prevent being pressed into service at the comfort stations. Her eldest daughter Jujube, who works at a tea house frequented by drunk Japanese soldiers, becomes angrier by the day.

Cecily knows two things: that this is all her fault; and that her family must never learn the truth.

A decade prior, Cecily had been desperate to be more than a housewife to a low-level bureaucrat in British-colonized Malaya. A chance meeting with the charismatic General Fuijwara lured her into a life of espionage, pursuing dreams of an “Asia for Asians.” Instead, Cecily helped usher in an even more brutal occupation by the Japanese. Ten years later as the war reaches its apex, her actions have caught up with her. Now her family is on the brink of destruction—and she will do anything to save them.

Spanning years of pain and triumph, told from the perspectives of four unforgettable characters, The Storm We Made is a dazzling saga about the horrors of war; the fraught relationships between the colonized and their oppressors, and the ambiguity of right and wrong when survival is at stake.


Review:

Absorbing, harrowing, and impactful!

The Storm We Made is a poignant, immersive tale set in British-occupied Malaya that takes you into the lives of the Alcantara family, especially the matriarch, Cecily, a middle-aged mother suffering from extreme guilt over the decisions she made ten years ago, and her three children, Jujube, Abel, and Jasmin whose lives are irrevocably changed forever when their homeland is invaded and occupied by the Japanese during WWII.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are brave, tormented, and determined. And the plot is an exceptionally touching tale about life, loss, family, secrets, separation, desperation, infidelity, tragedy, and the horrors of war.

Overall, The Storm We Made is a gritty, emotional, beautifully written tale by Chan inspired by real-life familial events that reminds us that survival of any kind often involves heartbreaking choices, moral dilemmas, action, spirit, extreme loss, and beyond all else, unimaginable sacrifice and courage.

 

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 Vanessa Chan

Vanessa Chan Author Photo

Vanessa Chan was born and raised in Malaysia. Her short stories have been published in Electric Lit, Kenyon Review, Ecotone, and more. She was the 2021 Stanley Elkin scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference and has also received scholar awards to attend the Bread Loaf and Tin House writers’ conferences. The Storm We Made is her first novel.

Photograph by Mary Inhea Kang.

#BookReview My Darling Bride by Ilsa Madden-Mills @ilsamaddenmills @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #MyDarlingBride #IlsaMaddenMills #Montlake #FireflyDist

#BookReview My Darling Bride by Ilsa Madden-Mills @ilsamaddenmills @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #MyDarlingBride #IlsaMaddenMills #Montlake #FireflyDist Title: My Darling Bride

Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

Published by: Montlake Romance on Dec. 5, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 331

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 9/10

In a sizzling romance that sparkles with wit and depth, two wounded souls meet by chance in the desert and agree to get married, and their lives will never be the same.

On a normal day, Emmaline Darling isn’t a car thief. She’s just a simple girl who runs a bookstore and adores cats. But when she’s stranded in the desert and needs to get away from her dangerous ex-boyfriend, she picks her only option: swiping the keys to a famous football player’s Lamborghini and speeding away.

Football star Graham Harlan is in chaos. First he took a hit on the field that left him with a near-death experience, and now he’s promised his brother he’ll get married to secure the family inheritance. Trouble is he isn’t even seeing anyone.

Then a mystery woman steals his car. With his usual stubbornness, he tracks her all the way to Manhattan and gives her an ultimatum: marry me or I’ll press charges.

Her choice is obvious, only neither of them expect the sparks that ignite between them.

As the end of their arrangement looms, will Graham take a chance on love or let his darling walk away forever?


Review:

Romantic, hopeful, and sweet!

My Darling Bride is a heartwarming, sassy tale that takes you on a journey into the life of Emmaline Darling, a young woman who, after an embarrassing first meeting and an unfortunate event involving a stolen car, finds herself agreeing to a fake marriage with the one man, football player Graham Harlan who although struggling with health issues of his own might actually be able to heal and steal her heart.

The prose is smooth and light. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are fun-loving, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is a heartfelt, flirty blend of tricky situations, tender moments, humorous hijinks, introspection, new beginnings, friendship, family, health, happiness, romance, and love.

Overall, My Darling Bride is another charming, witty, delightful tale by Madden-Mills that has all the elements I’ve come to know and love in her novels, including a fierce heroine, an attentive alpha male, and a fast-paced, swoony storyline.

 

This novel is available now.

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

     

 

 

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

 

About Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Fourteen of her Eighteen novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Not My Romeo #1; The Revenge Pact #1; Dear Ava, Fake Fiancée, I Dare You, and I Promise You #2; I Hate You #5; Not My Match, I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She's addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females.

#BookReview Inheritance by Nora Roberts @StMartinsPress #InheritanceNovel #TheLostBrideTrilogy #NoraRoberts #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Inheritance by Nora Roberts @StMartinsPress #InheritanceNovel #TheLostBrideTrilogy #NoraRoberts #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Inheritance

Author: Nora Roberts

Series: The Lost Bride Trilogy #1

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Nov. 21, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Pages: 419

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Inheritance is the first in The Lost Bride Trilogy by #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts―a tale of tragedies, loves found and lost, and a family haunted for generations.

1806: Astrid Poole sits in her bridal clothes, overwhelmed with happiness. But before her marriage can be consummated, she is murdered, and the circle of gold torn from her finger. Her last words are a promise to Collin never to leave him…

Graphic designer Sonya MacTavish is stunned to learn that her late father had a twin he never knew about―and that her newly discovered uncle, Collin Poole, has left her almost everything he owned, including a majestic Victorian house on the Maine coast, which the will stipulates she must live in it for at least three years. Her engagement recently broken, she sets off to find out why the boys were separated at birth―and why it was all kept secret until a genealogy website brought it to light.

Trey, the young lawyer who greets her at the sprawling clifftop manor, notes Sonya’s unease―and acknowledges that yes, the place is haunted…but just a little. Sure enough, Sonya finds objects moved and music playing out of nowhere. She sees a painting by her father inexplicably hanging in her deceased uncle’s office, and a portrait of a woman named Astrid, whom the lawyer refers to as “the first lost bride.” It’s becoming clear that Sonya has inherited far more than a house. She has inherited a centuries-old curse, and a puzzle to be solved if there is any hope of breaking it…


Review:

Unique, captivating, and romantic!

Inheritance is a dramatic, mysterious tale that takes you into the life of Sonya MacTavish, a hardworking graphic designer who, after finding her fiancé cheating and learning she has inherited a mansion from her father’s twin brother no one even knew existed, moves into the stately home in Maine only to discover that it is haunted by a generational curse cast in 1806 that will take not only the help of the dashingly handsome Trey to break but also all the friends she can muster.

The writing is smooth and effortless. The characters are kind, tolerant, and endearing. And the plot is a captivating tale of life, love, friendship, family, intrigue, desire, temptation, attraction, supernatural phenomenon, romance, and danger.

Overall, Inheritance is a creative, atmospheric, brilliant start to the new Lost Bride Trilogy by Roberts that I absolutely devoured and highly recommend.

 

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Come Sundown, The Obsession, The Liar, and coming in December 2017, Year One -- the first book in The Chronicles of The One. She is also the author of the futuristic suspense In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Voices of the Dead by Ambrose Parry @ambroseparry @canongatebooks @PGCBooks #VoicesoftheDead #RavenFisherSimpsonSeries #AmbroseParry #PGCBooks

#BookReview Voices of the Dead by Ambrose Parry @ambroseparry @canongatebooks @PGCBooks #VoicesoftheDead #RavenFisherSimpsonSeries #AmbroseParry #PGCBooks Title: Voices of the Dead

Author: Ambrose Parry

Series: Raven Fisher and Simpson #4

Published by: Canongate Books Ltd on Sep. 26, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

EDINBURGH, 1853.
In a city of science, discovery can be deadly . . .

In a time of unprecedented scientific discovery, the public’s appetite for wonder has seen a resurgence of interest in mesmerism, spiritualism and other unexplained phenomena.

Dr Will Raven is wary of the shadowlands that lie between progress and quackery, but Sarah Fisher can’t afford to be so picky. Frustrated in her medical ambitions, she sees opportunity in a new therapeutic field not already closed off to women.

Raven has enough on his hands as it is. Body parts have been found at Surgeons’ Hall, and they’re not anatomy specimens. In a city still haunted by the crimes of Burke and Hare, he is tasked with heading off a scandal.

When further human remains are found, Raven is able to identify a prime suspect, and the hunt is on before he kills again. Unfortunately, the individual he seeks happens to be an accomplished actor, a man of a thousand faces and a renowned master of disguise.

With the lines between science and spectacle dangerously blurred, the stage is set for a grand and deadly illusion . . .


Review:

Atmospheric, absorbing, and intriguing!

Voices of the Dead is a mysterious, engaging tale that takes us back to Edinburgh during 1853 and into the lives of both Dr Will Raven, who finds a reprieve from family life when he is called to Surgeon’s Hall regarding the discovery of a severed foot and a missing professor, and Sarah Fisher who after stumbling into the world of mesmerism temporarily contemplates specializing in the field when her frustration over the fact her gender will never allow her to become the qualified doctor she wishes be has her looking for something more.

The prose is tense and tight. The characters are determined, reliable, and loyal. And the plot is a menacing tale full of twists, turns, revelations, insecurities, life, duty, friendship, misdirection, trickery, and murder.

Overall, Voices of the Dead is another complex, sophisticated, perilous tale in the Raven, Fisher, Simpson series by the Parry duo that does a wonderful job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into a suspenseful mystery that is not only captivating but highly entertaining.

 

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Ambrose Parry

Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years' experience, whose research for her Master's degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this series, which begun with The Way of All Flesh, is based. The Way of all Flesh was longlisted for both the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award and the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year.