#BookReview The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger @WmKentKrueger @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #WilliamKentKrueger #TheRiverWeRemember #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger @WmKentKrueger @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #WilliamKentKrueger #TheRiverWeRemember #SimonSchusterCA Title: The River We Remember

Author: William Kent Krueger

Published by: Atria Books on Sep. 5, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 421

Format: Hardcover

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

In 1958, a small Minnesota town is rocked by the murder of its most powerful citizen, pouring fresh fuel on old grievances in this dazzling standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of This Tender Land.

On Memorial Day, as the people of Jewel, Minnesota gather to remember and honor the sacrifice of so many sons in the wars of the past, the half-clothed body of wealthy landowner Jimmy Quinn is found floating in the Alabaster River, dead from a shotgun blast. Investigation of the murder falls to Sheriff Brody Dern, a highly decorated war hero who still carries the physical and emotional scars from his military service. Even before Dern has the results of the autopsy, vicious rumors begin to circulate that the killer must be Noah Bluestone, a Native American WWII veteran who has recently returned to Jewel with a Japanese wife. As suspicions and accusations mount and the town teeters on the edge of more violence, Dern struggles not only to find the truth of Quinn’s murder but also put to rest the demons from his own past.

Caught up in the torrent of anger that sweeps through Jewel are a war widow and her adolescent son, the intrepid publisher of the local newspaper, an aging deputy, and a crusading female lawyer, all of whom struggle with their own tragic histories and harbor secrets that Quinn’s death threatens to expose.

Both a complex, spellbinding mystery and a masterful portrait of midcentury American life, The River We Remember is an unflinching look at the wounds left by the wars we fight abroad and at home, a moving exploration of the ways in which we seek to heal, and a testament to the enduring power of the stories we tell about the places we call home.


Review:

Haunting, intimate, and impactful!

The River We Remember is a gritty, moving, character-driven tale that sweeps you away to Jewel, Minnesota, during 1958 and into the lives of a handful of people, including a sheriff with a tormented past, a wealthy murder victim who seems to have had sadistic tendencies, and a suspect who the people are more than happy to convict purely due to his Dakota Sioux blood and choice of a bride.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, scarred, and strong. And the plot is a raw, absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, strength, bravery, hope, survival, violence, injustice, racism, abuse, gossip, suicide, community, and fear.

Overall, The River We Remember makes you think, makes you feel, and ultimately resonates long after the final page. It’s a beautifully written, sobering, memorable story by Krueger that uses extraordinary character development to weave a combination of an impressive, intricate mystery with a heartbreaking, nostalgic tale, all steeped in an abundance of tragedy, discrimination, and pain.

 

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 William Kent Krueger

William Kent Krueger is the New York Times bestselling author of The River We Remember, This Tender LandOrdinary Grace (winner of the Edgar Award for best novel), and the original audio novella The Levee, as well as nineteen acclaimed books in the Cork O’Connor mystery series, including Lightning Strike and Fox Creek. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family.

Photo by Diane Krueger.

#BookReview Maybe Once, Maybe Twice by Alison Rose Greenberg @alisongreenberg @smpromance #MaybeOnceMaybeTwice #AlisonRoseGreenberg #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Maybe Once, Maybe Twice by Alison Rose Greenberg @alisongreenberg @smpromance #MaybeOnceMaybeTwice #AlisonRoseGreenberg #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers Title: Maybe Once, Maybe Twice

Author: Alison Rose Greenberg

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Oct. 3, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Filled with the romance and angst that defines the years you come to know yourself, with a shifting timeline covering two decades and ratcheting up the tension, Maybe Once, Maybe Twice is a novel of second chances and finding your own way.

You know that old saying, “if we are still single when we’re 35, we should get married?” Well, Maggie Vine made that vow with two different people, at two very different stages of her life.

And they both showed up.

Maggie Vine’s life is going extra-medium. At 35 she’s pursuing her dreams of being a singer and being a mother—though neither is successfully panning out. So when Garrett Scholl—stifled hedge fund manager by day but electrifying aspiring rock singer by night—comes to her 35th birthday party with the intention to kiss Maggie senseless, it feels like one piece might click into place. Except he’s engaged to someone else, and Maggie knows she won’t fit into the cookie-cutter life he’s building for himself.

Enter Asher Reyes. Her first boyfriend from summer camp, turned into heartthrob actor, he’s lived a successful yet private life ever since he got famous. When a career-changing opportunity is presented to Maggie after her reconnection with Asher, it feels like everything—music, love, family—will fall into place. But her past won’t let her move on without a fight.


Review:

Heartwarming, thought-provoking, and romantic!

Maybe Once, Maybe Twice is a sweet, tender tale that takes us into the life of Maggie Vine, from her teens to her mid-thirties, including the highs and lows of pursuing a singing career, yearning for motherhood, her ongoing unrequited love for a man, Garrett Scholl who somehow seems to continuously fall in and out of her life, and an unexpected reconnection with her first love.

The prose is sentimental and light. The characters are flawed, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is a smart, engaging tale full of life, loss, love, music, tricky moments, awkward situations, undeniable chemistry, drama, tension, self-reflection, and a soundtrack of some of the most classic, unforgettable love songs of all time. (Playlist can be found here: HERE )

Overall, Maybe Once, Maybe Twice is an angsty, compelling, heartfelt tale by Greenberg that I thoroughly enjoyed and which is a lovely reminder that life is unpredictable and full of curve balls and, in the end, timing really is everything.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Alison Rose Greenberg

Alison Greenberg is an author and screenwriter who lives in Atlanta, but is quick to say she was born in New York City. While attending The University of Southern California, Alison took her first screenwriting class and fell head over heels. A journey from screenwriting led to marketing jobs, before coming full-circle back to her first love. Alison speaks fluent rom-com, lives for 90’s WB dramas, cries to Taylor Swift, and is a proud single mom to her two incredible kids, two cats, and one poorly-trained dog.

Photo Credit: Talitha Kauffman Photography.

#BookReview Nanny Wanted by Lizzy Barber @ByLizzyBarber @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #NannyWanted #LizzyBarber #PGCBooks

#BookReview Nanny Wanted by Lizzy Barber @ByLizzyBarber @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #NannyWanted #LizzyBarber #PGCBooks Title: Nanny Wanted

Author: Lizzy Barber

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Oct. 31, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

A remote Cornish mansion. The perfect couple. And the deadly secrets that bind them.

When Lily finally leaves her toxic relationship, a job as a nanny at Kewney Manor seems like the perfect solution. There, she can cut herself off from her old life, and never have to see him again.

The Rowes seem like a model family, and Lily falls instantly in love with her new home. But she can’t help feeling that something isn’t quite right. Why will nobody tell her about the nanny before? Where does Laurie go at night? And what does Charles really want?

As Lily becomes increasingly entangled in the Rowes’ lives, she realizes that the perfect family may not be all that they seem. And as that as much as she fears the past she is running from, perhaps the present is where the real danger lies. . .


Review:

Simmering, gripping, and claustrophobic!

Nanny Wanted is an ominous, character-driven thriller that introduces us to Lily, a young woman who, after fleeing London for a quieter existence and a place to hide, quickly discovers that everything is not as perfect as it seems in the affluent home of the Rowes family she’s employed by, relationships seem to be strained, everyone has a secret to hide, and danger potentially lurks around every corner.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are anxious, flawed, and vulnerable. And the plot is a darkly menacing tale full of twists, turns, revelations, insecurities, lies, manipulation, isolation, domestic abuse, familial dysfunction, and troubled pasts.

Overall, Nanny Wanted is a taut, atmospheric, unnerving tale by Barber that is deliciously relentless, surprising, deceptive, and bursting with eeriness.

 

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

 

About Lizzy Barber

Lizzy Barber studied English at Corpus Christ College, Cambridge University. After 'previous lives' acting and working in film development, she has spent the last ten years as Head of Brand and Marketing for The Hush Collection, a boutique group of restaurants founded by her brother, Jamie.

Her debut novel, MY NAME IS ANNA, is the winner of the Daily Mail First Novel Competition, and was published in 2019 in the UK by Penguin Random House, by Mira/Harper Collins in the US and by Albatros in Slovakia.

OUT OF HER DEPTH was published in 2022 by Pan Macmillan in the UK and Harper Collins in the US and was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick. The TV rights have been optioned by Sony.

Her third novel, GIRLS LIKE THAT, will be published in 2023 by Pan Macmillan.

Lizzy lives in London with her husband, George, a food writer and strategy consultant, and their son, Marlowe.

#BookReview People to Follow by Olivia Worley @olivia_worley @WednesdayBooks @StMartinsPress #OliviaWorley #PeopletoFollow #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview People to Follow by Olivia Worley @olivia_worley @WednesdayBooks @StMartinsPress #OliviaWorley #PeopletoFollow #SMPInfluencers Title: People to Follow

Author: Olivia Worley

Published by: Wednesday Books on Oct. 31, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, eBook

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Ten teen influencers come to a remote island to star in a reality show, but when one of them winds up dead, they realize that this time, the price of being “cancelled” could be their lives.

A reality show on a remote Caribbean island. Ten teen influencers. One dead body.

Welcome to “In Real Life,” the hot new reality show that forces social media’s reigning kings and queens to unplug for three weeks and “go live” without any filters. IRL is supposed to be the opportunity of a lifetime, watched closely by legions of loyal followers. But for these rising stars–including Elody, an Instagram model with an impulsive streak; Kira, a child star turned fitness influencer; Logan, a disgraced TikTok celeb with a secret; and Max, a YouTuber famous for exposés on his fellow creators—it’s about to turn into a nightmare.

When the production crew fails to show up and one of their own meets a violent end, these nine little influencers find themselves stranded with a dead body and no way to reach the outside world. When they start receiving messages from a mysterious Sponsor threatening to expose their darkest secrets, they realize that they’ve been lured into a deadly game…and one of them might be pulling the strings.

With the body count rising and cameras tracking their every move, the creators must figure out who is trying to get them canceled—like, literally—before their #1 follower strikes again.


Review:

Intense, tight, and sinister!

People to Follow is a crafty, ominous tale that sweeps you away to a secluded island where ten teen influencers have gathered to film the latest reality TV show, “In Real Life”, but in a group like this, where tensions are high, fame is coveted, deception is rife, everyone has secrets, and someone has a hidden agenda, death is definitely not out of the question.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are self-obsessed, ambitious, and secretive. And the plot is a suspenseful mix of twists, turns, secrets, deception, manipulation, obsession, greed, jealousy, malicious intentions, vengeance, and murder.

Overall, People to Follow is a cunning, edgy, promising debut by Worley that is an eerie reminder of just how corrosive social media can truly be and just how low some people are willing to go to achieve even just a little fame and fortune.

 

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 – Wednesday Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Olivia Worley

Olivia Worley is an author and actor born and raised in New Orleans. A graduate of Northwestern University, she now lives in New York City, where she spends her time writing thrillers, overanalyzing episodes of The Bachelor, and hoping someone will romanticize her for reading on the subway. People to Follow is her debut novel.

#BookReview Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr @charcarr1 @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #HoldMyGirl #CharleneCarr #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr @charcarr1 @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #HoldMyGirl #CharleneCarr #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Hold My Girl

Author: Charlene Carr

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Oct. 10, 2023

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Two women. Two eggs. One life-changing switch.

Katherine finally has it all. She’s spent her entire life striving for perfection―obsessing over her spotless home, maintaining her pristine reputation, building her perfect family―and her hard work has finally paid off. After seven difficult years of trying (and failing) to conceive, Katherine gives birth to Rose, her IVF miracle child, and at last has the one thing she’s wanted most of all. But one thing isn’t quite perfect. Rose’s pale skin doesn’t match Katherine’s complexion, and an irritating doubt begins to grow in Katherine’s mind.

Tess never got the happy ending she wanted. She underwent IVF at the same clinic as Katherine, but after finally conceiving, Tess’s daughter was stillborn. Now, nearly two years later, she’s approaching rock bottom. Consumed by her grief and without hope for the future, Tess is divorced, broke, and stuck in a dead-end job beneath her skillset. But shortly before Rose’s first birthday, Katherine and Tess get a call from the fertility clinic. Their eggs were switched.

As Katherine’s carefully planned life begins to crumble around her, Tess finally sees the glimmer of hope she needed to get her life back on track. Motherhood has always been their dream, and neither woman is prepared to share that claim over Rose. It will take a tense custody battle to decide who deserves to be Rose’s mother, but it will also push them to the brink.

With themes of racial identity, loss, and betrayal, Hold My Girl is an emotional novel that will leave you What makes a mother?


Review:

Insightful, thought-provoking, and sensitive!

Hold My Girl is a compassionate, moving novel that introduces us to two young women, Katherine and Tess, as they navigate the torment and fallout of their eggs being secretly switched at an IVF clinic, resulting in one mother being ecstatic to finally be the mother she’s always wanted to be and another mother grieving the loss of her baby girl until the truth comes out and each woman has to navigate the emotional, psychological, and legal upheaval of being the birth mother versus the biological one.

The prose is sincere and rich. The characters are vulnerable, multilayered, and genuine. And the plot is a compelling tale of life, loss, love, friendship, family, race, discrimination, marital discord, courage, hope, heartache, secrets, grief, motherhood, interracial families, and infertility.

Overall, Hold My Girl is a fresh, pensive, emotional tale by Carr bursting with heart, hope, and healing that immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and personalities of the characters you can’t help but be fully invested.

 

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 Charlene Carr

CHARLENE CARR spent much of her childhood creating elaborate, multi-faceted storylines for her dolls and reading under the blankets with a flashlight when she was supposed to be asleep. A bit of a nomad, she’s lived in four countries and seven Canadian provinces. After working an array of mostly writing related jobs, she decided the time had come to focus exclusively on her true love—novel writing. She lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and daughter. Hold My Girl is her tenth novel, and she recently received a Canada Council for the Arts grant to revise her next novel.

#BookReview Sisters Under the Rising Sun by Heather Morris @StMartinsPress #SistersUndertheRisingSun #HeatherMorrisAuthor #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Sisters Under the Rising Sun by Heather Morris @StMartinsPress #SistersUndertheRisingSun #HeatherMorrisAuthor #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Sisters Under the Rising Sun

Author: Heather Morris

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Oct. 24, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A phenomenal novel of resilience and survival from bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris.

In the midst of World War II, an English musician, Norah Chambers, places her eight-year-old daughter Sally on a ship leaving Singapore, desperate to keep her safe from the Japanese army as they move down through the Pacific. Norah remains to care for her husband and elderly parents, knowing she may never see her child again.

Sister Nesta James, a Welsh Australian nurse, has enlisted to tend to Allied troops. But as Singapore falls to the Japanese she joins the terrified cargo of people, including the heartbroken Norah, crammed aboard the Vyner Brooke merchant ship. Only two days later, they are bombarded from the air off the coast of Indonesia, and in a matter of hours, the Vyner Brooke lies broken on the seabed.

After surviving a brutal 24 hours in the sea, Nesta and Norah reach the beaches of a remote island, only to be captured by the Japanese and held in one of their notorious POW camps. The camps are places of starvation and brutality, where disease runs rampant. Sisters in arms, Norah and Nesta fight side by side every day, helping whoever they can, and discovering in themselves and each other extraordinary reserves of courage, resourcefulness and determination.

Sisters under the Rising Sun is a story of women in war: a novel of sisterhood, bravery and friendship in the darkest of circumstances, from the multimillion-copy bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Cilka’s Journey and Three Sisters.


Review:

Immersive, evocative, and affecting!

Sisters Under the Rising Sun is an alluring tale set in Singapore and Indonesia during WWII that follows several women, especially Sister Nesta James, an Australian nurse, and Norah Chambers, a mother and British musician, as they do whatever it takes to help each other survive the horror and hardships of life in a Japanese POW camp in order to one day be able to reunite with the people that have kept their fighting spirits alive and strong.

The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are dependable, courageous, and resilient. And the plot is a moving tale of life, loss, self-discovery, heartbreak, determination, hope, loyalty, tragedy, survival, love, friendship, sisterhood, and wartime brutalities.

Overall, Sisters Under the Rising Sun is an emotive, rich, absorbing tale that I devoured from start to finish. I’m a huge fan of Heather Morris’ writing, and this novel didn’t disappoint. If you enjoy well-researched WWII novels with a fresh and unique perspective, then I highly recommend it.

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Heather Morris

HEATHER MORRIS is a native of New Zealand, now resident in Australia. For several years, while working in a large public hospital in Melbourne, she studied and wrote screenplays, one of which was optioned by an Academy Award-winning screenwriter in the US. In 2003, Heather was introduced to an elderly gentleman who ‘might just have a story worth telling’. The day she met Lale Sokolov changed both their lives. Their friendship grew and Lale embarked on a journey of self-scrutiny, entrusting the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her. Heather originally wrote Lale’s story as a screenplay – which ranked high in international competitions – before reshaping it into her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Photo by Tina Smigielski.

#BookReview Alone With You in the Ether by Olivie Blake @OlivieBlake @torbooks #AloneWithYouintheEther #OlivieBlake #torbooks

#BookReview Alone With You in the Ether by Olivie Blake @OlivieBlake @torbooks #AloneWithYouintheEther #OlivieBlake #torbooks Title: Alone With You in the Ether

Author: Olivie Blake

Published by: Tor Publishing on Oct. 24, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Tor Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

CHICAGO, SOMETIME—

Two people meet in the Art Institute by chance. Prior to their encounter, he is a doctoral student who manages his destructive thoughts with compulsive calculations about time travel; she is a bipolar counterfeit artist, undergoing court-ordered psychotherapy. By the end of the story, these things will still be true. But this is not a story about endings.

For Regan, people are predictable and tedious, including and perhaps especially herself. She copes with the dreariness of existence by living impulsively, imagining a new, alternate timeline being created in the wake of every rash decision.

To Aldo, the world feels disturbingly chaotic. He gets through his days by erecting a wall of routine: a backbeat of rules and formulas that keep him going. Without them, the entire framework of his existence would collapse.

For Regan and Aldo, life has been a matter of resigning themselves to the blueprints of inevitability—until the two meet. Could six conversations with a stranger be the variable that shakes up the entire simulation?

From Olivie Blake, the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six, comes an intimate and contemporary study of time, space, and the nature of love. Alone with You in the Ether explores what it means to be unwell, and how to face the fractures of yourself and still love as if you’re not broken.


Review:

Intricate, passionate, and memorable!

Alone With You in the Ether is an intimate, pensive novel that immerses you into the lives of two unique individuals. Regan, a young bipolar woman and aspiring artist who is struggling to find purpose in her life while dependent on the medication she has been prescribed to take, and Aldo, a doctoral student and exceptional mathematician who spends his days contemplating the concept of time travel and doing whatever he can to quiet a mind that never wants to rest.

The prose is sincere and evocative. The characters are eccentric, multi-layered, and vulnerable. And the plot is a compelling tale of life, love, family, friendship, desires, needs, complex relationships, and mental health.

Overall, Alone With You in the Ether is a unique, emotional, sensitive tale by Blake that does a remarkable job of highlighting the struggles of being able to perform normal daily activities, forge true friendships, and experience love while being neurodivergent and reminds us just how blurry the line can sometimes be between healthy love and that which is too consuming or detrimental.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Tor Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Olivie Blake

OLIVIE BLAKE is the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six, Alone with You in the Ether, One for My Enemy, and Masters of Death. As Alexene Farol Follmuth, she is also the author of the young adult rom-coms My Mechanical Romance and Twelfth Knight. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, goblin prince/toddler, and rescue pit bull.

#BookReview The Christmas Cabin by Michelle Major @michelle_major1 @HarlequinBooks #TheChristmasCabin #MichelleMajor #CarolinaGirls

#BookReview The Christmas Cabin by Michelle Major @michelle_major1 @HarlequinBooks #TheChristmasCabin #MichelleMajor #CarolinaGirls Title: The Christmas Cabin

Author: Michelle Major

Series: Carolina Girls #6

Published by: Canary Street Press on Oct. 24, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Michelle Major

Book Rating: 9/10

As a girl, single mom Lauren Maxwell hated Magnolia, South Carolina. And she thought she’d left her hometown in the rearview mirror years ago, but a message from her beloved baby brother, Brody, changes all that. He’s getting married on Christmas Eve. So a holiday at Camp Blossom, the rustic sleepaway camp that had been a haven during her growing-up years, it is. Lauren won’t even have to see her dictatorial father. Or her ex-husband, Ben…

When Ben greets her at the surprisingly decrepit cabin, he’s just as stubborn—and as irresistible—as ever. And when she discovers he’s working with her estranged father to buy the campgrounds and rebuild them as luxury housing, Lauren is furious. She won’t let the man who broke her heart win. So she and her daughter stay in town to block the sale.

But the magic of the Christmas season brings back memories Lauren tried so hard to forget: his crooked smile, their daughter’s laughter at the breakfast table, the feel of her hand in his. As the spark between them rekindles, Lauren realizes that second chances are real. And they’re worth fighting for.


Review:

Bighearted, uplifting, and festive!

The Christmas Cabin is a magical, heartwarming tale that takes you to Magnolia, North Carolina, and into the life of the independent, single mother Lauren Maxwell as she reluctantly heads back to her hometown in order to help her brother with his surprisingly quick nuptials, give her teenage daughter a little space from the fallout of her recent destructive behaviours, organize a holiday event one last time at the summer camp that holds a special place in her heart, and try not to fall too hard for the one man she once thought was her forever until she up and left him without a backward glance.

The writing is charming and smooth. The characters are scarred, stubborn, and loyal. And the plot is a sweet, absorbing tale about life, love, family, friendship, trust, compassion, romance, happiness, community, healing, self-reflection, tricky situations, and second chances.

Overall, The Christmas Cabin is another cosy, tender, delightfully enchanting tale by Major that reminds us that life is complicated, often the choices we make have consequences, letting people in is never a bad thing, and love is, ultimately, always worth fighting for.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Michelle Major for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Michelle Major

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

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward @jesmimi @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA #JesmynWard #LetUsDescend #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward @jesmimi @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA #JesmynWard #LetUsDescend #SimonSchusterCA Title: Let Us Descend

Author: Jesmyn Ward

Published by: Scribner on Oct. 3, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.

Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader’s guide through this hellscape. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Ward leads readers through the descent, this, her fourth novel, is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation.

From one of the most singularly brilliant and beloved writers of her generation, this miracle of a novel inscribes Black American grief and joy into the very land—the rich but unforgiving forests, swamps, and rivers of the American South. Let Us Descend is Jesmyn Ward’s most magnificent novel yet, a masterwork for the ages.


Review:

Haunting, poignant, and impactful!

Let Us Descend is an atmospheric, moving tale that sweeps you away to North Carolina during the mid-1800s and into the life of Annis, a young woman of mixed race trained by her mother in more than just servitude who, after being sold one year after her beloved Mama, is forced in chains on a gruelling march from the rice fields she’s only ever known to the sugar plantations of New Orleans where with a little help from the spirit world beyond she endures extreme hardships and brutal savagery until she can find an opportunity to finally slip free.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, scarred, and strong. And the plot is an exceptionally enthralling tale about life, loss, strength, bravery, hope, survival, violence, injustice, racism, slavery, and death, all interwoven with a thread of the supernatural.

Overall, Let Us Descend is an enchanting blend of historical facts, powerful fiction, and heart-wrenching emotion that does a wonderful job of reminding us that even under the most cruel and barbaric conditions, humanity can be incredibly resilient, compassionate, and kind.

 

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 Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has received the MacArthur Genius Grant, a Stegner Fellowship, a John and Renee Grisham Writers Residency, the Strauss Living Prize, and the 2022 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. She is the historic winner—first woman and first Black American—of two National Book Awards for Fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) and Salvage the Bones (2011). She is also the author of the novel Where the Line Bleeds and the memoir Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and the Media for a Just Society Award. She is currently a professor of creative writing at Tulane University and lives in Mississippi.

Photograph by Beowulf Sheehan.

#BookReview Every Duke Has His Day by Suzanne Enoch @suzieenoch @smpromance #EveryDukeHasHisDay #SuzanneEnoch #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Every Duke Has His Day by Suzanne Enoch @suzieenoch @smpromance #EveryDukeHasHisDay #SuzanneEnoch #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers Title: Every Duke Has His Day

Author: Suzanne Enoch

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Sep. 19, 2023

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Michael Blumley, Duke of Loriton (age 28), is viewed as an eccentric by his peers in the ton. He does his duty, of course, but his interest—and talent—lies in the science of electricity. He has no interest in what the frivolities of Society. When his favorite aunt, Mary, Lady Harris, leaves her precious, well-behaved black poodle, Lancelot in his care while she travels his life takes an interesting turn.

Elizabeth “Bitsy” Dockering (age 19), third daughter of a viscount, is enjoying her second Season in London. She is a Diamond of the Season and is adored by all—and especially by her precious black poodle, Galahad. To everyone else, however, Galahad is a demon dog. So much so that Peter Cordray, one of Bitsy’s most insistent beaux and a particular victim of Galahad’s bad manners and sharp teeth, has hired a petty thief (Jimmy Bly) to steal the dog, clearing the way for his suit.

When the two dogs and their “people” meet in the park, chaos ensues and unknowingly results in a dog swap. Which means Lancelot is kidnapped instead of Galahad! But when both dogs go missing in an ever thickening dognapping plot, Michael and Elizabeth end up coming together to scour London, recover Lancelot and Galahad all while falling in love.


Review:

Enchanting, romantic, and highly entertaining!

Every Duke Has His Day is a playful, adventurous tale that sweeps you away to Regency London and into the lives of the quirky, handsome Duke of Loriton, Michael Blumley and the beautiful, independent Elizabeth Dockering as they navigate a mix-up of dogs, a dognapping gone wrong, a suitor determined to do whatever it takes to win the girl, and a sizzling attraction neither of them can deny.

The prose is witty and light. The characters are loyal, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is an amusing, compelling tale full of friendship, family, scheming behaviour, societal expectations, tricky situations, tender moments, unconditional love, and romance.

Overall, Every Duke Has His Day is a lighthearted, engaging, delightful read by Enoch that I absolutely adored and which is the perfect choice for anyone who loves historical romance with a side of adventure.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Suzanne Enoch

A native and current resident of Southern California, Suzanne Enoch loves movies almost as much as she loves books, with a particular soft spot for anything Star Wars. She has written more than 50 books, including Regency romances, historical romances, and contemporary romantic suspense. She shares a home with various humans, tropical fish, a dog (Tiki), a tortoise (Lucky Jo), five lizards, six finches, and a parakeet named Fozzie.

Photo Credit: Dinamariephotography.com