#BookReview The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre by Natasha Lester @HBGCanada @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #NatashaLester #TheThreeLivesofAlixStPierre #HBGCanada

#BookReview The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre by Natasha Lester @HBGCanada @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #NatashaLester #TheThreeLivesofAlixStPierre #HBGCanada Title: The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre

Author: Natasha Lester

Published by: Forever on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Hardcover

Source: Forever, HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

New York Times bestselling author Natasha Lester delivers an unforgettable story of an orphan turned WWII spy turned fashion icon in Paris—perfect for fans of Kate Quinn and Fiona Davis.
 
Alix St. Pierre. An unforgettable name for an unforgettable woman. She grew up surrounded by Hollywood glamor, but, as an orphan, never truly felt part of that world. In 1943, with WWII raging and men headed overseas to fight, she lands a publicity job to recruit women into the workforce. Her skills—persuasion, daring, quick-witted under pressure—catch the attention of the U.S. government and she finds herself with an even bigger assignment: sent to Switzerland as a spy. Soon Alix is on the precipice of something big, very big. But how far can she trust her German informant…?
 
After an Allied victory that didn’t come nearly soon enough, Alix moves to Paris, ready to immerse herself in a new position as director of publicity for the yet-to-be-launched House of Dior. In the glamorous halls of the French fashion house, she can nearly forget everything she lost and the dangerous secret she carries. But when a figure from the war reappears and threatens to destroy her future, Alix realizes that only she can right the wrongs of the past …and finally find justice.

Review:

Sincere, vivid, and engaging!

The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre is a gripping, heartfelt story set predominantly in Switzerland and France between 1942 and 1947 that takes you into the life of Alix St. Pierre, a young woman who spends the last few years of the war working for the OSS as a spy in Bern helping to create a secure courier line for the Italian partisans, and the next few years post WWII working as hard as she can to make the new Maison Christian Dior a worldwide phenomenon as his Directrice of the Service de la Presse while also using her spare time to hunt down the Nazi informant who shattered her world and left her responsible for the needless slaughtering of nine lives, two of whom she deeply cared for.

The prose is polished and eloquent. The characters are driven, tormented, and resilient. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel effortlessly into a sweeping saga of life, loss, heartbreak, betrayal, secrets, espionage, danger, survival, tragedy, friendship, and a touch of romance.

As a historical fiction lover for the past few years Natasha Lester’s books have been some of my all-time favourites, and even though I didn’t think it was possible to love another one of her books more than the ones I’ve already read, she proved me wrong. The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre is an unbelievable story that captured me from the very first page, and not only did I devour it, I absolutely loved it!

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 All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham @svwillingham @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #AllTheDangerousThings #StacyWillingham #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham @svwillingham @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #AllTheDangerousThings #StacyWillingham #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: All the Dangerous Things

Author: Stacy Willingham

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

One year ago, Isabelle Drake’s life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally.

Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year.

Isabelle’s entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle’s past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust… including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.


Review:

Sophisticated, twisty, and riveting!

All the Dangerous Things is a highly suspenseful, character-driven thriller that takes you into the life of Isabelle Drake, a young mother who has barely slept a wink in the last year since her worst nightmare came true and her son was abducted during the night but who now at her wit’s end is willing to accept any help she can get to discover what really occurred even if it means working with the meddling true-crime podcaster Waylon Spencer and confronting a past she would much rather stay hidden.

The writing is precise and brisk. The characters are complex, secretive, and troubled. And the plot ratchets up the intrigue quickly as it twists, turns and unravels all the personalities, motivations, actions, and relationships within it.

Overall, All the Dangerous Things, at its core, is a novel about family, friendship, fear, secrets, manipulation, red herrings, revelations, childhood trauma, kidnapping, and motherhood. It’s a fast-paced, gripping, uniquely-written tale that highlights everything is not always as it seems and is a real page-turner you certainly don’t want to miss.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

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

 

About Stacy Willingham

STACY WILLINGHAM, author of A Flicker in the Dark, worked as a copywriter and brand strategist for various marketing agencies before deciding to write fiction full time. She earned her BA in Magazine Journalism from the University of Georgia and MFA in Writing from the Savannah College of Art & Design. She currently lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, Britt, and Labradoodle, Mako.

Photo by Mary Hannah Harte.

#BookReview A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones @Darynda @smpromance @StMartinsPress #AHardDayForAHangover #DaryndaJones #SunshineVicram #StMartinsPress #smpinfluencer

#BookReview A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones @Darynda @smpromance @StMartinsPress #AHardDayForAHangover #DaryndaJones #SunshineVicram #StMartinsPress #smpinfluencer Title: A Hard Day for a Hangover

Author: Darynda Jones

Series: Sunshine Vicram #3

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Some people greet the day with open arms. Sheriff Sunshine Vicram would rather give it a hearty shove and get back into bed, because there’s just too much going on right now. There’s a series of women going missing, and Sunny feels powerless to stop it. There’s her persistent and awesomely-rebellious daughter Auri, who’s out to singlehandedly become Del Sol’s youngest and fiercest investigator. And then there’s drama with Levi Ravinder—the guy she’s loved and lusted after for years. The guy who might just be her one and only. The guy who comes from a family of disingenuous vipers looking to oust him—and Sunshine—for good.

Like we said, the new day can take a hike.


Review:

Lighthearted, quirky, and highly entertaining!

A Hard Day for a Hangover is a playful, engaging, suspenseful tale that takes us back to Del Sol, New Mexico, one last time and into the life of Sunshine Vicram, police chief extraordinaire, as she once again has her hands full with robberies, assaults, murders, an escaped convict, a town flasher, a pregnant racoon, a daughter indulging in first love, and a childhood sweetheart she may finally get to settle down with.

The writing is witty and sweet. The characters are sharp, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is an enticing mix of friendship, family, danger, drama, tension, attraction, community, intrigue, violence, spirited mishaps, romance, and a little heat.

Overall, A Hard Day for a Hangover is the third and final story in the Sunshine Vicram series, and even though it’s more than a little bittersweet to say goodbye to this amazing gang of characters I’ve come to know and love over these past three novels, it is nevertheless a superb ending to a fabulous series that I highly recommend and will undoubtedly miss.

This book is available now.

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

               

 

 

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

 

About Darynda Jones

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. She currently has two series with St. Martin's Press, the Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Underneath the Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #UnderneaththeSycamoreTree #AuthorBCeleste #SourcebooksCasa

#BookReview Underneath the Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #UnderneaththeSycamoreTree #AuthorBCeleste #SourcebooksCasa Title: Underneath the Sycamore Tree

Author: B. Celeste

Published by: Bloom Books on Jan. 3, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Rating: 9/10

Time is a luxury we don’t all have…

Emery Matterson’s life has been broken for a while. First, she lost her twin sister to an incurable autoimmune disease, then her father left, then her mother fell apart when Emery herself was diagnosed with the same disease that killed her sister. The only option for Emery seems to be to move in with the father she hasn’t seen in ten years, and start over.

Enter Kaiden Monroe, the brooding athlete who has baggage of his own. Kaiden makes Emery feel normal. Hated. Cared for. Loathed. And…loved. Somewhere along the way, Emery finds solace in the guy with the sad eyes.

But everything happens in stages. And nothing good ever lasts.

From fan-favorite author B. Celeste comes an raw, real, and unforgettable story of love and loss between two young people grappling with the harsh reality of invisible disease.


Review:

Poignant, pensive, and beautifully written!

Underneath the Sycamore Tree is an exceptionally moving, emotional novel that takes you into the life of teenager Emery Matterson as she tries to reap as much joy and pleasure out of each day, savouring the little things, doing the one thing in life that she thought she might never get to do, falling in love, all while dealing with a body in constant pain and a family shattered by grief over the loss of her twin.

The prose is eloquent and insightful. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are strong, compassionate, and endearing. And the plot is an absorbing, touching tale about life, love, family, friendship, kindness, honesty, fear, acceptance, generosity, romance, humour, introspection, loss, and the quiet savagery of lupus.

Overall, Underneath the Sycamore Tree is a reflective, heart-wrenching, bittersweet tearjerker by B. Celeste that does a remarkable job of reminding us of what’s truly important in life and highlighting the sheer power of love.

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

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

 

About B. Celeste

B. Celeste is a new adult and contemporary romance author that gives voices to raw, realistic characters with emotional storylines that tug on the heartstrings.

She was born and raised in upstate New York where she still resides with her four-legged feline sidekick, Oliver “Ollie” Queen. Her love for reading and writing began at an early age and only grew stronger after getting a BA in English and an MFA in English & creative writing. When she’s not writing, she’s working out, binge-watching reality game shows, and spending time with her friends and family.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Choice by Penny Hancock @Pennyhancock @PGCBooks @MantleBooks #TheChoice #PennyHancock #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Choice by Penny Hancock @Pennyhancock @PGCBooks @MantleBooks #TheChoice #PennyHancock #PGCBooks Title: The Choice

Author: Penny Hancock

Published by: Mantle Books on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Renee Gulliver appears to have it all: a beautiful house overlooking a scenic estuary on England’s East Coast; a successful career as a relationship therapist; three grown up children; and a beloved grandson, Xavier. But things aren’t always as they seem on the surface, as Renee is all too aware. And when Xavier vanishes after she fails to pick him up from school one day, the repercussions are manifold.

Renee is wracked with remorse; her daughter Mia can’t forgive her; the local community question her priorities; and her clients abandon her. But as long-held family secrets threaten to tear her world apart once and for all, those same secrets might also hold hope for the future — because it’s not always the secret itself that has the power to destroy; sometimes it’s the act of keeping of it . . .

For fans of Hannah Beckerman and Lucy Diamond, Penny Hancock’s The Choice is a beautiful, haunting novel about family secrets and silences — and the power of love.


Review:

Complex, thought-provoking, and engaging!

The Choice is a multilayered, emotional, domestic drama that delves into all the complexities, dynamics, and dysfunction that exist in the familial relationships of the Gulliver family, including the long-lasting effects of secrets and the art of forgiveness.

The prose is mysterious and smooth. The characters are hesitant, conflicted, and troubled. And the plot is a well-paced, pensive tale about life, loss, love, tragedy, resentment, regret, guilt, grief, familial drama, self-reflection, friendship, and absolution.

Overall, The Choice is a rich, immersive, absorbing tale by Hancock that reminds us that life is complicated and messy, and even the smallest choices we make often have far-reaching consequences.

 

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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Penny Hancock

Penny grew up in South East London and then did an English degree in Newcastle Upon Tyne. For several years she taught English as a foreign language in Italy, Greece and Morocco. She then took a PGCE, got a job as a Primary school teacher in an inner city London school, and moved into her partner Andy’s short-life house in East London, which is now part of the hardcore under the M11 that links their new home in Cambridge with her birth place in Greenwich!

While bringing up their three children, she continued to teach in primary schools, taught English to asylum seekers, and ran adult education classes in writing. She also wrote articles for various papers (The Independent, The Guardian, The Times Ed, The Sunday Express magazine, and Child Education, amongst others) specialising in family and education. Penny has also written readers for English language learners for Cambridge University Press, and a Primary English course for children published by Longmans. It was an Arvon writing course and an MA in creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University that encouraged her to complete her first novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Misfit by Elle Kennedy @ElleKennedy @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #MisfitBook #SandoverPrep #ElleKennedy #SourcebooksCasa

#BookReview Misfit by Elle Kennedy @ElleKennedy @Read_Bloom #ReadBloom #MisfitBook #SandoverPrep #ElleKennedy #SourcebooksCasa Title: Misfit

Author: Elle Kennedy

Series: Prep #1

Published by: Bloom Books on Nov. 29, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Rating: 10/10

Finding out your mom is marrying some rich dude you’ve never met is enough to make any eighteen-year-old guy’s head spin. But for RJ SHAW, it only gets worse: he’s being sent to Sandover Prep for senior year. If there’s one place a misfit hacker like RJ doesn’t belong, it’s an ivy-covered all-boys boarding school for rich delinquents.

RJ knows his stay at Sandover will be temporary. Which means there’s no point making friends or trying to fit in. But the plan to remain antisocial goes awry when he meets a gorgeous girl in the woods on campus. SLOANE TRESSCOTT is pure temptation, with a sharp tongue and an ice princess attitude RJ’s determined to crack. Except there’s a catch. Sloane is the one girl he is forbidden from touching.

The headmaster’s daughter.

Good thing RJ doesn’t believe in rules. Sure, Sloane insists she’s swearing off guys this year, but their connection is impossible to deny. He wants her bad, and he’s going to win her over if it kills him.

Unless her ex-boyfriend kills him first.

DUKE, the ruling king of Sandover, will stop at nothing to get rid of his competition. Luckily, RJ’s unwittingly made some friends—his new stepbrother FENN, a pretty boy with a self-destructive streak; LAWSON, self-proclaimed agent of chaos; and SILAS, the All-American Good Guy who can’t actually be as nice as he seems.

If RJ wants to survive prep school and win Sloane’s heart, he’ll need to adapt—and fast.


Review:

Captivating, sexy, and outrageously entertaining!

Misfit is a seductive, engaging tale that transports you to Sandover Prep, an elite all-boys school for rich delinquent teens that has all the usual fare, entitled students, unrelenting bullies, sexual promiscuity, forbidden romance, naughty behaviour, and innumerably delicious scandals.

The writing is steamy and fun. The characters are rebellious, self-indulgent, and secretive. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, is a passionate, promiscuous, coming-of-age tale full of familial troubles, teenage angst, palpable attraction, witty banter, excessive indulgence, romance, friendship, and love.

Overall, Misfit is a wildly addictive, sinfully salacious, exceptionally absorbing novel by Kennedy that immersed me so thoroughly in the decadence, lifestyle, drama, luxuries, and scandalous behaviour of the characters I never wanted to put it down. It’s truly a guilty pleasure that undoubtedly not only left me craving for more but already counting down the days until I can get my hands on the second book in the series Rogue, publishing on March 7, 2023.

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

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

 

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

#BookReview The Villa by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheVillaNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Villa by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheVillaNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Villa

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 3, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set at an Italian villa with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.


Review:

Compelling, ominous, and unpredictable!

The Villa transports you into the life of cosy mystery writer Emily Sheridan who, after recently battling illness and a nasty divorce, heads to an Italian villa at the invitation of her childhood best friend and successful self-help author Chess Chandler, where the past will collide with the present, long-buried secrets will be unearthed, and the infamous murder that occurred on the property in 1974 and was the inspiration for the classic, celebrated horror novel, Lilith Rising may finally be solved.

The writing is taut and tight. The characters are self-indulgent, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth, past/present style, intertwines and unravels effortlessly into a machiavellian tale full of manipulation, deception, lies, drama, jealousy, secrets, revelations, mayhem, and murder.

Overall, The Villa is a twisty, intense, sinister tale by Hawkins that does an excellent job of delving into the complex dynamics that exist between friends and highlights just how toxic, parasitic, and dangerous some of those relationships can turn out to be.

 

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 providing me with 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 Secret Society of Salzburg by Renee Ryan @ReneeRyanBooks @Harlequinbooks #TheSecretSocietyOfSalzburg #ReneeRyan #LoveInspired

#BookReview The Secret Society of Salzburg by Renee Ryan @ReneeRyanBooks @Harlequinbooks #TheSecretSocietyOfSalzburg #ReneeRyan #LoveInspired Title: The Secret Society of Salzburg

Author: Renee Ryan

Published by: Love Inspired on Dec. 27, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 9/10

London, 1933. At first glance, Austrian opera singer Elsa Mayer-Braun has little in common with the young English typist she encounters on tour. Yet she and Hattie Featherstone forge an instant connection—and strike a dangerous alliance. Using their friendship as a cover, they form a secret society with a daring goal: to rescue as many Jews as possible from Nazi persecution.

Though the war’s outbreak threatens Elsa and Hattie’s network, their efforts attract the covert attention of the British government, offering more opportunities to thwart the Germans. But Elsa’s growing fame as Hitler’s favorite opera singer, coupled with her secret Jewish ancestry, make her both a weapon and a target—until her future, too, hangs in the balance.

From the glamorous stages of Covent Garden and Salzburg to the horrors of Bergen-Belsen, two ordinary women swept up by the tide of war discover an extraordinary friendship—and the courage to save countless lives.


Review:

Compelling, intense, and absorbing!

The Secret Society of Salzburg is a charged, intriguing tale set between the mid-1930s to the end of WWII that takes you into the lives of Hattie Fetherstone, a young British artist with a love for opera and a kind heart, and Elsa Mayer-Braun, an Austrian operatic singer, who after befriending a devoted fan and discovering just how dangerous the world is about to become, creates a network with the help of her new friends to transport as many Jewish people as possible out of Nazi-occupied Europe to the safety of the United Kingdom.

The prose is fluid and rich. The characters are resourceful, loyal, and trustworthy. And the plot is a captivating mix of life, love, loss, secrets, passion, heartbreak, betrayal, tragedy, survival, danger, friendship, art, opera, and war.

Overall, The Secret Society of Salzburg is an enticing, heart-tugging, atmospheric tale by Ryan that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and personalities of the characters you can’t help but be fully engrossed and completely invested throughout.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

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

 

About Renee Ryan

Renee Ryan grew up in a Florida beach town outside Jacksonville, FL. Armed with a degree in Economics and Religion from Florida State University, she explored various career opportunities, including stints at a Florida theme park and a modeling agency. She currently lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband and a large, fluffy cat many have mistaken for a small bear.

#BookReview The Lost Children by Shirley Dickson @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #ShirleyDickson #TheLostChildren

#BookReview The Lost Children by Shirley Dickson @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #ShirleyDickson #TheLostChildren Title: The Lost Children

Author: Shirley Dickson

Published by: Forever on Jul. 26, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

For readers of Natasha Lester and Pam Jenoff comes a poignant and heart-wrenching tale of two orphans in a world at war, with only each other to rely on—but can their bond survive the shocking truth of their past?
 
England, 1943: Home is no longer safe for eight-year-old twins Molly and Jacob. Night after night, wailing bombs and screeching planes skim the rooftops overhead. Their mother, Martha, has no choice but to evacuate them to the safety of the countryside, even if it means she might never see them again. At the train station, she gives Jacob a letter, telling him only to read it if they are in danger.

In the country, Molly and Jacob must adjust to life with strangers. But then the unimaginable happens. Martha is killed in an explosion, leaving the twins all alone in the world. Motherless and destitute, the siblings face the grim reality of life in an orphanage.

The time has finally come for Jacob to open the letter. What secret does it hold, and could it change the course of their tragic fate? Because if they are together, they can survive anything—but what if they are torn apart?


Review:

Immersive, heart-tugging, and sweet!

The Lost Children is a captivating, heartwrenching tale set in England during 1943 that takes you into the lives of eight-year-old twins Molly and Jacob who, after losing their grandmother and with their mother away working to make ends meet, are sent to the British countryside to live for the duration of the war, until tragedy strikes once again and more permanent lodgings, security, and love are required.

The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are resilient, brave, and endearing. And the plot is a poignant tale about life, loss, family, secrets, separation, desperation, tragedy, grief, friendship, physical disabilities, and the horrors and hardships of war.

Overall, The Lost Children is a hopeful, heartwarming, moving tale by Dickson that is a wonderful choice for anyone who would love to be swept away into a well-written historical fiction novel told uniquely from the children’s perspectives.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Forever and Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Shirley Dickson

Shirley Dickson lives under the big skies of Northumberland, United Kingdom with her husband, family, and lucky black cat. She wrote her first short story at the age of ten for a childrens’ magazine competition. She didn’t win but was hooked on writing for a lifetime. For many years she wrote poetry and short stories and got many rejection slips. Shirley decided to get serious about writing novels when she retired. The Orphan Sisters is her first published novel. Shirley says she is a prime example of “never give up on your dream.”

#BookReview Until We Meet by Camille Di Maio @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #UntilWeMeet #CamilleDiMaio

#BookReview Until We Meet by Camille Di Maio @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #UntilWeMeet #CamilleDiMaio Title: Until We Meet

Author: Camille Di Maio

Published by: Forever on Mar. 1, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A poignant and page-turning story of three women whose lives are forever changed by war.…

New York City, 1943

Can one small act change the course of a life? Margaret’s job at the Navy Yard brings her freedoms she never dared imagine, but she wants to do something more personal to help the war effort. Knitting socks for soldiers is a way to occupy her quiet nights and provide comfort to the boys abroad. But when a note she tucks inside one of her socks sparks a relationship with a long-distance pen pal, she finds herself drawn to a man she’s never even met.

Can a woman hold on to her independence if she gives away her heart? Gladys has been waiting her whole life for the kinds of opportunities available to her now that so many men are fighting overseas. She’s not going to waste a single one. And she’s not going to let her two best friends waste them either. Then she meets someone who values her opinions as much as she likes giving them, and suddenly she is questioning everything she once held dear.

Can an unwed mother survive on her own? Dottie is in a dire situation—she’s pregnant, her fiancé is off fighting the war, and if her parents find out about the baby, they’ll send her away and make her give up her child. Knitting helps take her mind off her uncertain future—until the worst happens and she must lean on her friends like never before.

With their worlds changing in unimaginable ways, Margaret, Gladys, and Dottie will learn that the unbreakable bond of friendship between them is what matters most of all.


Review:

Compelling, rich, and moving!

Until We Meet is an absorbing, touching tale set in NY during WWII that takes you into the lives of three main characters. Margaret, a practical young woman honoured to be working at the Brooklyn Shipyard on the USS Missouri, knitting socks for those overseas fighting, and corresponding back-and-forth with one of her brother’s fellow soldiers; Gladys, an independent gal determined to do whatever it takes to show that women are more than capable of doing anything that men can do; and Dottie, a sweet, pregnant young lady whose looking forward to her fiancé coming home from the war so they can finally get married and live the life they were meant to live.

The prose is fluid and expressive. The characters are spirited, hardworking, and brave. And the plot is an immersive tale of life, loss, love, hope, grief, family, sacrifices, war, new beginnings, friendship, and a touch of romance.

Overall, Until We Meet is a well-written, tender, lovely tale by Di Maio that does a wonderful job of reminding us just how much hope and joy can be reaped from the little things in life.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Forever & Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Camille Di Maio

Camille Di Maio left an award-winning real estate career to become a bestselling author. She has a bucket list that is never ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai‘i and Maine to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and hopes to get to all of them someday. Camille studied political science in college. She loves to spend Saturdays at farmers’ markets and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years in coastal Virginia, has two kiddos grown and flown, and two still at home. Rescue pets have been a long-term passion for her, the most recent addition being a German shepherd puppy.

Photo credit: Christina Orosco

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