#BlogTour #BookReview Hooked On You by Kate Meader @KittyMeader @Pocket_Books

#BlogTour #BookReview Hooked On You by Kate Meader @KittyMeader @Pocket_Books Title: Hooked On You

Author: Kate Meader

Series: Chicago Rebels #4

Published by: Pocket Books on May 29, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Pocket Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

Violet Vasquez never met her biological father, so learning he left his beloved hockey franchise—the Chicago Rebels—to her is, well, unexpected. Flat broke and close to homeless, Violet is determined to make the most of this sudden opportunity. Except dear old dad set conditions that require she takes part in actually running the team with the half-sisters she barely knows. Working with these two strangers and overseeing a band of hockey-playing lugs is not on her agenda…until she lays eyes on the Rebels captain and knows she has to have him.

Bren St. James has been labeled a lot of things: the Puck Prince, Lord of the Ice, Hell’s Highlander…but it’s the latest tag that’s making headlines: washed-up alcoholic has-been. This season, getting his life back on track and winning the Cup are his only goals. With no time for relationships—except the fractured ones he needs to rebuild with his beautiful daughters—he’s finding it increasingly hard to ignore sexy, all-up-in-his-beard Violet Vasquez. And when he finds himself in need of a nanny just as the playoffs are starting, he’s faced with a temptation he could so easily get hooked on.

For two lost souls, there’s more on the line than just making the best of a bad situation… there might also be a shot at the biggest prize of all: love.


Review:

Sweet, romantic, and satisfying!

Hooked on You is a fervent, bittersweet tale that brings together the broody, guilt-ridden Bren, and the feisty, fun-loving Violet as they both discover that some things are worth fighting for and together they can overcome any baggage from their pasts.

The prose is emotive and smooth. The characters are hesitant, dependable, and affable. And the plot is an alluring mix of compassion, patience, attraction, friendship, addiction, parenthood, familial drama, hockey, combustible chemistry and unconditional love.

Hooked on You is the fourth and final novel in the Chicago Rebels series. It’s a little rueful to say goodbye to the characters we’ve come to love but is nevertheless a lovely way to catch up on the whole gang and finally give Violet and Bren the happy-ever-after ending we’ve imagined for them from the very start.

 

This book is available now.

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

             

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster, especially Pocket Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kate Meader

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she's there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip.

 

 

#BookBlitz Playing for Keeps by Alison Packard @Alleyfics @XpressoReads

 

 

 

Playing for Keeps (Feeling the Heat, #6)

Alison Packard

Publication date: May 1st 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

 

 

 

He’s riding the bench. She’s living a lie. The game of love is won in extra innings.

Following a terrible tragedy, Rick Taylor is making his comeback to the major leagues… and the dating scene. But years off the roster have left the veteran catcher a little rusty. It’ll take a special woman to heal the heartache of losing his family. But the perfect contender refuses to let him try out…

Single mom Amy Vaughn leads a double life. Between her daytime job and her nightclub gig, she can’t afford to date a famous baseball player… especially when the publicity could bring her dark secret to light. But the handsome catcher’s charms prove too strong to resist.

When old memories and new notoriety threaten to tear them apart, Rick and Amy must learn to drop their defenses, or they’ll miss out on their second chance at love.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

———-

EXCERPT:

Sitting next to Rick at the breakfast bar Amy was acutely aware of everything about him. His subtle scent; a mixture of soap and cologne that was unique to him invaded her senses. He’d shaved so the stubble was gone, but even without it he was sexy as hell. Underneath the navy blue Henley shirt, the play of his muscles as he’d worked in the kitchen had riveted her. The sleeves had been pushed up to his elbows to reveal his muscular forearms. She was taller than average, but next to Rick she felt almost dainty.

With a happy sigh, she set her fork on her empty plate. “On a scale of one to ten, your crepes are a definite ten.”

“I told you I had mad culinary skills.” He looked pleased as he grabbed their plates, then slipped off of his stool and rounded the counter to place them in the sink. Amy’s gaze lowered to his perfect ass. Boxers, briefs, or the ever popular boxer-briefs? She’d find out soon.

Just then he turned around and she jerked her gaze up to meet his. Warmth surged over her skin and she was sure she was blushing. Still, with a backside like his he should be used to it. “You don’t have to do the dishes. You can leave them in the sink. I’ll do them tomorrow.”

“It is tomorrow. But I won’t argue about the dishes. It’s the only part of cooking I don’t like,” he said as she hopped off of her stool and joined him in the kitchen. She reached for the brown paper grocery bag he’d placed on the counter next to the stove and let out a surprised yelp when he cut in front of her and grabbed it first.

“What’s in the bag?” She set her hands on her hips, curious as to what he didn’t want her to see. “A secret ingredient you used in the crepes?”

“Maybe.” A hint of a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. “Maybe not.”

“Color me curious.” She snatched the bag from his grasp, then, laughing at his dumbstruck expression, she stuck her hand inside and pulled out a box of condoms. “So this is why you had to stop at the store.” Grinning, she inspected the box and read the large script aloud. “Ribbed for her pleasure. What do you think that means?”

“I’m not really sure, but I think it means you…um…the woman gets more stimulation during…” He paused, then amusement flashed in his eyes. “Okay. I can see by that shit-eating grin you’re messing with me. And for your information the condoms aren’t the only reason I had to stop at the store. You said you didn’t have cream cheese, whipping cream, or berries. All of which I needed for the crepes.”

“Did you stop at the twenty-four-hour market on Bryant?”

He nodded. “Why?”

With a mischievous smile, she side-stepped around him and grabbed the tote bag she’d hung on an oversized metal hook on the end of the breakfast bar. “I was in and out before you got there,” she said as she pulled out three small boxes of condoms and set them on top of the counter along with his box. “I wasn’t sure what size to get so I bought regular, large, and extra-large. I’m sure the guy at the cash register thought I was on my way to an orgy.”

“You could have told him they make great water balloons.”

“And you’d know this how?” she asked, slipping the handles of the tote over the hook. She turned to find Rick leaning against the edge of the counter in front of the sink. She crossed the short space between them and in a quick move, braced her palms on the countertop and lifted herself up to sit on its smooth surface.

“When I was at UT a few of my buddies used to fill them with water and have water balloon fights. They’re actually pretty durable.” He chuckled. “They also make excellent balloon animals.”

“This is what you did in college?”

“I didn’t say I participated.”

“But you did.” She cocked her head and arched a brow at him. “Didn’t you?”

He pushed off the counter and moved to stand in front of her. “Maybe once or twice.”

“Will you make a condom balloon animal for me?”

“I made you crepes.” A smile crinkled the corners of his eyes. “Isn’t that enough?”

“No.”

“Are you always this demanding?” he asked with a laugh.

“Only when I want something.”

Their smiles slowly faded. Rick lifted his hand and gently caressed her cheek. The pad of his thumb brushed over her lower lip and the desire she’d held in check since they’d kissed in the garage returned full force. He skimmed his fingers over her jaw, then to her neck. She sighed and tilted her head slightly to the side. “What do you want right now?” he asked in a low voice.

“You.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Southern Nevada where she’s finally used to the blistering summers, but still finds the slot machines in grocery stores and gas stations rather odd.

When not working at the day job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over her head, and supports her book and chocolate habits, she spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

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#BlogTour #BookReview Tubing by K.A. McKeagney @kamckeagney @RedDoorBooks #TUBING

#BlogTour #BookReview Tubing by K.A. McKeagney @kamckeagney @RedDoorBooks #TUBING Title: Tubing

Author: K.A. McKeagney

Published by: RedDoor Publishing on May 31, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Erotica

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: RedDoor Publishing

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Polly, 28, lives in London with her ‘perfect-on-paper’ boyfriend. She works a dead-end job on a free London paper. . . life as she knows it is dull. But her banal existence is turned upside down late one drunken night on her way home, after a chance encounter with a man on a packed tube train. The chemistry between them is electric and on impulse, they kiss, giving in to their carnal desires. But it’s over in an instant, and Polly is left shell-shocked as he walks away without even telling her his name.

Now obsessed with this beautiful stranger, Polly begins a frantic online search, and finally discovers more about tubing, an underground phenomenon in which total strangers set up illicit, silent, sexual meetings on busy commuter tube trains. In the process, she manages to track him down and he slowly lures her into his murky world, setting up encounters with different men via Twitter.

At first she thinks she can keep it separate from the rest of her life, but things soon spiral out of control.

By chance she spots him on a packed tube train with a young, pretty blonde. Seething with jealousy, she watches them together. But something isn’t right and a horrific turn of events makes Polly realise not only how foolish she has been, but how much danger she is in…

Can she get out before it’s too late?


Review:

Ominous, risqué, and exceptionally gritty!

Tubing is a spine-chilling, erotic, psychological thriller that highlights just how quickly life can spin out of control when you’re driven by sexual desire, engage in destructive behaviour, and play dangerous games.

The prose is sultry and dark. The characters are manipulative, consumed, deceitful, and reckless. And the plot is a fast-paced, incredibly twisty tale that unravels a world filled with power, control, betrayal, obsession, malice, hatred, infidelity, mental illness, seduction, violence, and murder.

Overall, Tubing is a taut, sinister, explicit, shocking tale that kept me absolutely riveted. It’s a great debut for McKeagney, and with that kind of imagination, I’m a little scared but extremely excited to read what she comes up with next.

 

This book is available May 31, 2018.

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

    

 

 

Thank you to RedDoor Publishing and K.A. McKeagney for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About K.A. McKeagney

K.A. McKeagney studied psychology in Bristol before completing a Masters degree in creative writing at Brunel. She won the Curtis Brown prize for her dissertation, which formed the basis of her first novel, Tubing. She has worked in London as a health editor, writing consumer information, as well as for medical journals. Her writing has been commended by the British Medical Association (BMA) patient information awards. She is currently working on her second novel.

 

 

#BlogTour #BookReview Bro Code by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1 @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour #BookReview Bro Code by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1 @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour #BookReview Bro Code by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1 @InkSlingerPR Title: Bro Code

Author: Kendall Ryan

Published by: CreateSpace on May 1, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 340

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: InkSlingerPR

Book Rating: 10/10

From New York Times bestselling author Kendall Ryan comes a flirty new standalone about falling for your older brother’s best friend.

There’s pretty much only one rule when you’re a guy.

Don’t be a douche.

Turns out, the fastest way to break that rule is to fall for your best friend’s sister.

Ava’s brilliant, sharp-tongued, gorgeous, and five years younger than me.

She’s the sexual equivalent of running with scissors. In a word, she’s dangerous. And completely off-limits.

Falling for her could ruin everything.

Yet I can’t seem to stop, even when her company is threatened by a lawsuit, and my promotion hinges on representing the opposing client—and winning.

I can’t see a way out of this mess that doesn’t end in a broken friendship, a broken heart, or a ruined career.

I may have broken the bro code when I fell for Ava. But do I have the balls to handle what comes next?


Review:

Sultry, sassy, and sweet!

Bro Code is an enchanting, passionate read that mixes the the hardworking, caring Ava who’s determined to not only keep the family business up and running but her hands off the man of her dreams, and the chivalrous, delectable Barrett who may finally take the risk and act on his feelings for his best friend’s sister.

The writing is effortless and fluid. The supporting characters are fun-loving and engaging. And the plot sweeps you away into a push-pull storyline filled with tantalizing mishaps, witty banter, shameless flirting, red-hot chemistry, family, friendship, light drama, romance, and love.

I’m not sure there’s a Kendall Ryan book out there that isn’t well written with the perfect mix of heart, humour, and heat and Bro Code is no exception. I loved the story, I loved the characters, I loved the swoon-worthy happy-ever-after ending, and I especially loved the cover ?!

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 InkSlingerPR and Kendall Ryan for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

#BookReview Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas @jodithomas @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas @jodithomas @HarlequinBooks Title: Mornings on Main

Author: Jodi Thomas

Published by: Harlequin Books on Apr. 10, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 315

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8/10

From the beloved and bestselling author of the Ransom Canyon and Harmony, Texas series comes a powerful, heartwarming story about generations of family and the ironclad bonds they forge.

When Jillian James lands in the small town Texas community of Laurel Springs, she’s definitely not planning to stay–except to find a few clues about the father who abandoned her and destroyed her faith in family.

Connor Larady is a single dad, and the only one caring for his grandmother, Eugenia, who has Alzheimer’s. And now he has to close Eugenia’s quilt shop. When Connor meets down-on-her-luck Jillian, he’s out of options. Can he trust the newcomer to do right by his grandmother’s legacy?

Jillian is done with relationships. But as she grows closer to Connor and Eugenia, she must consider giving up her nomadic life for a future with those who need her.

An inspiring family saga that asks us to consider what love and chosen family really mean.


Review:

Sweet, comforting, and small-town charming!

Mornings on Main is a heartwarming novel that immerses you in a story about love, old love, new love, and young love and highlights the importance of having a place to call home.

The prose is fluid and warm. The characters are affable, genuine, supportive, and lovable. And the plot is an absorbing tale about life, love, family, friendship, community, coming-of-age, single parenthood, romance, the difficulties and struggles of Alzheimer’s, and the beautiful art of quilting.

Overall, Mornings on Main is a tender, lovely, compelling mix of heart, hope, and humour that ultimately reminds us that capturing, remembering, and sharing those special moments in life is truly what it’s all about.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                             

 

 

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

 

About Jodi Thomas

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas is a fifth-generation Texan who sets many of her stories in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. She is a certified marriage and family counselor, a Texas Tech graduate and writer-in-residence at West Texas A&M University. She lives with her husband in Amarillo, Texas.

 

#BookReview The Greek Escape by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Greek Escape by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan Title: The Greek Escape

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 8, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A scorching and sensational summer novel from the Globe and Mail bestselling author of The Paris Secret and The Rome Affair.

Set between the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean, The Greek Escape will leave you breathless as each twist unfolds.

Running from heartbreak, Chloe Marston leaves her old life in London for a fresh start in New York. Working at a luxury concierge company, she makes other people’s lives run perfectly, even if her own has ground to a halt. But a terrible accident forces her to step into a new role, up close and personal with the company’s most esteemed and powerful clients. Charismatic Joe Lincoln is one of them and his every wish is her command, so when he asks her to find him a secluded holiday home in the Greek Islands, she sets about sourcing the perfect retreat.

But when Tom, her ex, unexpectedly shows up in Manhattan and the stability of her new life is thrown off-balance again, Chloe jumps at the chance to help Joe inspect the holiday house. Escaping to Greece will give her the time and space to decide where her future truly lies. Tom is the man she has loved for so long but he has hurt her before – can she give him another chance? And as she draws closer to Joe, does she even want to? As magnetic as he is mysterious, there’s an undeniable chemistry between them that she can’t resist.

But whatever her heart is telling her, she’s in over her head—another client’s wife has mysteriously disappeared and seriously allegations about Joe threaten more than just her happiness. Who can she trust? And will Chloe uncover the truth in time?


Review:

Mysterious, enticing, and wickedly entertaining!

The Greek Escape is a provocative thrill ride that takes you on a journey into the life of the heartbroken, hardworking Chloe as she juggles relocation, a high-pressure career, a two-timing ex, the whims and dalliances of the rich and famous, and a cocky, demanding, handsome new client.

The prose is evocative and polished. The characters are inquisitive, ambitious, and spontaneous. The settings are exotic and picturesque. And the plot is a true guilty pleasure that’s packed with action, humour, suspense, drama, corruption, scandals, sex, and romance.

The Greek Escape is a fresh, sophisticated, addictive novel with irresistible characters that I devoured from start to finish. I’m a huge fan of Karen Swan, and this novel didn’t disappoint. It enthralled, captivated, and amused me, and I highly recommend it.

This novel is available now in some countries.

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

             

 

 

Thank you to PGC Canada and Pan Macmillan for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Concubine’s Child by Carol Jones @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Concubine’s Child by Carol Jones @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books Title: The Concubine's Child

Author: Carol Jones

Published by: Aria on Apr. 1, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: eBook

Source: Aria, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

In 1930s Malaya a sixteen-year-old girl, dreaming of marriage to her sweetheart, is sold as a concubine to a rich old man desperate for an heir. Trapped, and bullied by his spiteful wife, Yu Lan plans to escape with her baby son, despite knowing that they will pursue her to the ends of the earth.

Four generations later, her great-grandson, Nick, will return to Malaysia, looking for the truth behind the facade of a house cursed by the unhappy past. Nothing can prepare him for what he will find.

This exquisitely rich novel brings to life a vanished world – a world of abandoned ghost houses, inquisitive monkeys, smoky temples and a panoply of gods and demons. A world where a poor girl can be sold to fulfil a rich man’s dream. But though he can buy her body, he can never capture her soul, nor quench her spirit.


Review:

Somber, evocative, and poignant!

The Concubine’s Child is a compelling tale that sweeps you away to a country where money is power, freedom is often beyond reach, and the people are governed by the ancient superstitions, traditions, and spirituality that have been passed down and ingrained from generation to generation.

The prose is vivid and rich. The characters are multi-layered, sympathetic, and vulnerable. The plot is well crafted and uses a back-and-forth, past/present style to unravel all the motivations, relationships, and personalities within it. And the story set in Malaysia during both the 1930s, as well as present day, is full of familial drama, heartbreak, lost love, jealousy, obsession, discord, mystique, culture, courage, grief, self-discovery, hope, solace, and survival.

Overall, I would have to say that The Concubine’s Child is a heart-wrenching tale that does an exceptional job of highlighting the indomitable spirit of women and their ability to face, endure, survive, and conquer any challenges, struggles, or tragedies that come their way.

 

This book is available now.

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

                  

 

 

Thank you to Aria, an imprint of Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Carol Jones

Born in Brisbane, Australia, Carol Jones taught English and Drama at secondary schools before working as an editor of children’s magazines. She is the author of several young adult novels as well as children’s non-fiction.

 

 

#BookReview Her Last Word by Mary Burton @MaryBurtonBooks @JoanSchulhafer

#BookReview Her Last Word by Mary Burton @MaryBurtonBooks @JoanSchulhafer Title: Her Last Word

Author: Mary Burton

Published by: Montlake Romance on May 8, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 360

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Mary Burton, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

An unsolved crime pits a desperate woman against a relentless killer in New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton’s heart-stopping novel of psychological suspense…

Fourteen years ago, Kaitlin Roe was the lone witness to the abduction of her cousin Gina. She still remembers that lonely Virginia road. She can still see the masked stranger and hear Gina’s screams. And she still suffers the guilt of running away in fear and resents being interrogated as a suspect in the immediate aftermath. Now Kaitlin has only one way to assuage the pain and nightmares—by interviewing everyone associated with the unsolved crime for a podcast that could finally bring closure to a case gone cold.

But when a woman Kaitlin questions is later found stabbed to death, she fears that she’s drawn a killer out of hiding. It’s Detective John Adler’s fear that the murders have only just begun. Now his job is to keep Kaitlin safe. As a bond between Kaitlin and Adler builds, the past closes in just as fast—and it’s darker than Kaitlin remembers. Soon, her wish will come true. She’s going to find out exactly what happened to Gina. Someone has been dying to tell her.


Review:

Suspenseful, sinister, and exceptionally gripping!

Her Last Word is a fast-paced, intense police procedural that not only delves into a 14-year-old cold case involving a missing teen but takes you on a hunt for an obsessed serial killer consumed with revenge.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are flawed, scarred, and tenacious. And the complex plot told through a mixture of narration and interview-style musings interweaves into a compelling story with lots of twists, turns, red herrings, violence, sexual attraction, mayhem, and murder.

Once again with Her Last Word, Burton has written a highly entertaining, intricately woven mystery with a touch of romance that is satisfying, enthralling, and doesn’t disappoint.

This book will be available May 8, 2018.

Preorder now from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

Thank you to Mary Burton and Joan Schulhafer Publishing for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mary Burton

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the highly praised author of twenty-six romance and suspense novels and five novellas. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three miniature dachshunds.

 

#BookReview The Broken Girls by Simone St. James @simone_stjames @BerkleyPub #NetGalley

#BookReview The Broken Girls by Simone St. James @simone_stjames @BerkleyPub #NetGalley Title: The Broken Girls

Author: Simone St. James

Published by: Berkley Publishing on Mar. 20, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Berkley Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

A suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare…

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .


Review:

Haunting, imaginative, and mystical!

In this latest novel by St. James, The Broken Girls, she transports us to Barrons, Vermont a small town where the restoration of an abandoned boarding school will unearth powerful emotions, tragic memories, and more long-buried secrets and skeletons than anyone could have imagined.

The prose is eerie and dark. The plot, told from alternating timelines, is gripping, suspenseful and filled with familial drama, neglect, hatred, abuse, desperation, violence, and murder all interwoven with a thread of the supernatural. And the characterization is spot on with a cast of characters that are damaged, fearless, and loyal, and a setting, Idlewild Hall, that is a character itself with its dereliction and isolation.

Overall, The Broken Girls is an intelligent, unique, skillfully crafted page-turner that will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first page and will ultimately leave you chilled, surprised, satisfied and thoroughly entertained.

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

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

 

About Simone St. James

Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled cat.

#BlogTour #Excerpt East of India by Erica Brown @baywriterallat1 @canelo_co

  

 

Synopsis:

India, 1940. When Nadine learns that the Indian woman she thought her nanny is, in fact, her mother, she rebels against her English father and he arranges for Nadine to be wed to an Australian merchant many years older. She whisked off to his plantation in Malaya but as the Second World War rages throughout the East, Nadine is taken captive by the Japanese. She is held at a camp in Sumatra with other women and forced to provide sexual favours for the soldiers. In the most unlikely circumstances, Nadine finds an ally and protector in a Japanese-American general, caught up in the war. The two bond over the conflicted identities and gradually fall in love. But can Nadine survive long enough to find happiness?

Don’t miss this emotional and powerful saga about a women’s determination to beat the odds, perfect for fans of Renita D’Silva, Dinah Jefferies and Julia Gregson.

 

Excerpt:

Schooldays were coming to a close and Nadine was glad that they were. She’d never fitted in, viewed as slightly odd by fresh-faced girls who knew the far-off Mother Country far better than they did the one they lived in. Her dark hair and skin had set her apart. Only the odd contrast of her grey eyes had halted their insinuations of mixed blood, until Cecilia Renfrew had thrown comments around that she’d overheard from gossiping memsahibs. Some of the girls now went out of their way to avoid her, though not all.

Girls in brown uniforms had filed in and out of the Benares Academy for Young Ladies for over forty years. Most were destined to be wives either in this country or back home. Only a very few intended furthering their education and contemplating a career in ‘something useful’, such as becoming a secretary or doing a little nursing, though nothing too strenuous.

Someone asked Nadine whether she was going to England to continue studying. ‘Seeing as Cecilia may have scotched your chances on the marriage market.’

Nadine had bristled. ‘No. I’m going to study India – and the rest of the world if I get the chance.’

‘Oh! How odd,’ said the person who had asked. ‘Still, as long as you can afford it. Anyway, not everyone needs a man, do they?’

‘Will you get a job?’ someone else asked.

‘As what?’

Jennifer, a softly spoken girl who was as near to being her best friend as anyone, shrugged her narrow shoulders.

‘Nurse, secretary, teacher…’

Nadine shuddered. ‘Certainly not. What will you do?’

‘Marry an eligible man as quickly as possible. That’s what my parents hope for too. Have you considered marrying? I mean, I know some of the others think you’ve got no chance because of your pedigree, but let’s face it, you’re jolly pretty. Actually, the prettiest girl in the school.’

Nadine glanced at the slight sixteen-year-old. She had hips like a boy and the curve of her breasts barely disturbed the front of her blouse.

‘No. I won’t marry.’

‘I see. Of course, now there’s a war on you could do something in the military, I suppose – once you’re old enough, that is.’

‘I don’t think so.’

‘So what will you do?’ persisted the girl, peering from beneath a floppy brown fringe as she awaited an answer.

Nadine eyed the sandstone yellow of the school building, the locked gates that kept the girls in and the world – an India viewed as decadent but tempting – firmly shut out.

Remember it was here that made you respectable young ladies, truly representative of all the British Empire stands for.

The school’s mantra, dogged and basically unthinking: Nadine grinned as a deliciously naughty thought crossed her mind.

‘I think I shall be a dancer.’

Jennifer gasped and clapped a hand across her mouth. ‘You wouldn’t!’

‘Why not?’ Nadine spoke deliberately loudly. ‘I’m going to be a dancer in the Hindu fashion. I’m going to twirl and twitch my hands and arms around all those exquisite temples – you know the ones I mean – those decorated with intertwining, naked bodies.’

Jennifer’s shocked expression fuelled Nadine’s urge to shock and unsettle. She raised her voice, determined everyone would hear.

‘You know what they’re doing of course, don’t you? They’re having sex in every position possible. Some of the female carvings are sucking on the men’s…’

Nadine’s descriptions of the lewd statuary spread from girl to giggling girl.

‘MISS BURTON.’

Judging by her flame-coloured expression, Miss Clark looked about to explode.

Nadine didn’t care. Satchel tucked beneath her arm, she sauntered off, her hat swinging on a ribbon around her neck.

She half-turned, smiled and waved back to those gathered at the school gates. ‘Goodbye, Miss Clark. I’m off to dance seductively in a Hindu temple.’

 

About the Author:

Erica Brown is the pseudonym of a very successful author of women’s fiction and crime. She lives in Bath and has one daughter and twin grandchildren one of whom is dead set on becoming a writer.

 

Thank you to Erica Brown and Canelo for providing me with an excerpt for my blog today!

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

For more information on Erica Brown follow her on Twitter at: @baywriterallat1