#BookReview Overkill by Sandra Brown @sandrabrown_NYT @GrandCentralPub #SandraBrown #Overkill #GrandCentralPub #GCPInsider

#BookReview Overkill by Sandra Brown @sandrabrown_NYT @GrandCentralPub #SandraBrown #Overkill #GrandCentralPub #GCPInsider Title: Overkill

Author: Sandra Brown

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Aug. 16, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown delivers a riveting thriller in which a conflict of conscience for a former football star and an ambitious state prosecutor swiftly intensifies into a fight for their lives.
 
Former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Zach Bridger hasn’t seen his ex-wife, Rebecca Pratt, for some time—not since their volatile marriage imploded—so he’s shocked to receive a life-altering call about her. Rebecca has been placed on life support after a violent assault, and he—despite their divorce—has medical power-of-attorney. Zach is asked to make an impossible choice: keep her on life support or take her off of it. Buckling under the weight of the responsibility and the glare of public scrutiny, Zach ultimately walks away, letting Rebecca’s parents have the final say.
 
Four years later, Rebecca’s attacker, Eban—the scion of a wealthy family in Atlanta—gets an early release from prison. The ludicrous miscarriage of justice reeks of favoritism, and Kate Lennon, a brilliant state prosecutor, is determined to put him back behind bars. Rebecca’s parents have kept her alive all these years, but if her condition were to change—if she were to die—Eban could be retried on a new charge: murder.
 
It isn’t lost on Zach that in order for Eban to be charged with Rebecca’s murder, Zach must actually be the one to kill her. He rejects Kate’s legal standpoint but can’t resist their ill-timed attraction to each other. Eban, having realized the jeopardy he’s in, plots to make certain that neither Zach nor Kate lives to see the death of Rebecca—and the end of his freedom.


Review:

Tight, ominous, and action-packed!

Overkill is a suspenseful, twisty tale that features the handsome, troubled former NFL quarterback, Jack Bridger who, after learning that the narcissistic predator who left his ex-wife in a vegetative state after a night of dangerous sex play has been released from prison after only four years due to good behaviour, joins together with the feisty state prosecutor Kate Lennon to do whatever it takes, even finally take Rebecca off life support, to put her attacker behind bars for good.

The writing is brisk and intense. The characters are persistent, driven, and multilayered. And the plot is an eerie, riveting tale full of twists, turns, violence, desire, attraction, deception, danger, romance, and murder.

Overall, Overkill is a menacing, alluring, edgy tale by Brown that has all the elements I’ve come to know and love in her romantic suspense novels, including a fierce heroine, a sexy hero, and a fast-paced, highly entertaining storyline that I can happily say I devoured in one sitting.

This book is available now.

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

                

 

 

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

 

About Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-nine New York Times bestsellers, including the #1 Seeing Red. There are over eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. She lives in Texas.

 

Photograph courtesy of grandcentralpublishing.com.

#BookReview The Double Life of Katharine Clark by Katharine Gregorio @ktu48 @Sourcebooks #KatharineGregorio #Sourcebooks #TheDoubleLifeofKatharineClark

#BookReview The Double Life of Katharine Clark by Katharine Gregorio @ktu48 @Sourcebooks #KatharineGregorio #Sourcebooks #TheDoubleLifeofKatharineClark Title: The Double Life of Katharine Clark

Author: Katharine Gregorio

Published by: Sourcebooks on Apr. 15, 2022

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In 1955, Katharine Clark, the first American woman wire reporter behind the Iron Curtain, saw something none of her male colleagues did. What followed became one of the most unusual adventure stories of the Cold War.

While on assignment in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Clark befriended a man who, by many definitions, was her enemy. But she saw something in Milovan Djilas, a high-ranking Communist leader who dared to question the ideology he helped establish, that made her want to work with him. It became the assignment of her life.

Against the backdrop of protests in Poland and a revolution in Hungary, she risked her life to ensure Djilas’s work made it past the watchful eye of the Yugoslavian secret police to the West. She single-handedly was responsible for smuggling his scathing anti-Communism manifesto, The New Class, out of Yugoslavia and into the hands of American publishers. The New Class would go on to sell three million copies worldwide, become a New York Times bestseller, be translated into over 60 languages, and be used by the CIA in its covert book program.

Meticulously researched and written by Clark’s great-niece, Katharine Gregorio, The Double Life of Katharine Clark illuminates a largely untold chapter of the twentieth century. It shows how a strong-willed, fiercely independent woman with an ardent commitment to truth, justice and freedom put her life on the line to share ideas with the world, ultimately transforming both herself―and history―in the process.


Review:

Intriguing, informative, and descriptive!

The Double Life of Katharine Clark is the insightful, meticulous story of Katharine Clark’s personal and professional successes, frustrations, experiences, sacrifices, and accomplishments as an International News Service journalist stationed in Eastern Europe during the early stages of the Cold War.

The writing is clear and precise. And the novel is a compelling, absorbing tale of one woman’s dedication and passion, under extremely dangerous circumstances, to help record and have published a manuscript and a series of articles dictated and written by a high-ranking communist officer, Milovan Djilas, who was subsequently arrested and jailed for his criticism of the Yugoslavia government.

The Double Life of Katharine Clark is, ultimately, a valuable, suspenseful, insightful biography by Gregorio inspired by real-life events that does an exceptional job of highlighting her impressive research into her great aunt’s plight as a female journalist during the 1950s and her extraordinary courage and determination to do whatever it took to have an important story told and heard.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Katharine Gregorio

Katharine Gregorio was inspired to write The Double Life of Katharine Clark when she uncovered a family secret about her great-aunt who worked as a foreign correspondent in Europe during the height of the Cold War. Years in the making, Katharine leveraged her degrees in history from Dartmouth College and international relations from The London School of Economics & Political Science in her quest to unravel the story. She also holds a masters in business administration from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Katharine resides with her family in San Francisco.

Photo by Lacey Khiev.

#BookReview The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier @PaulaSMunier @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #MercyCarr #TheWeddingPlot #PaulaMunier #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier @PaulaSMunier @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #MercyCarr #TheWeddingPlot #PaulaMunier #SMPInfluencers Title: The Wedding Plot

Author: Paula Munier

Series: Mercy & Elvis #4

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jul. 19, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The Wedding Plot, USA Today bestselling author Paula Munier’s fourth Mercy Carr mystery, finds Mercy and Elvis at a deadly Vermont wedding.

Love never dies a natural death…

When Mercy’s grandmother Patience marries her longtime beau Claude Renault at the five-star Lady’s Slipper Inn, it promises to be the destination wedding of the year. Just as the four-day extravaganza is due to begin, the inn’s spa director Bodhi St. George disappears—and Mercy’s mother Grace sends Mercy and Elvis to find him. But what they discover instead is a stranger skewered by a pitchfork in the barn on the goat farm where St. George lived.

As Mercy tries to figure out who the victim is and where St. George is hiding, the bride and groom’s estranged relations gather for the first of the pre-wedding festivities. Long-buried rivalries and resentments surface—and Mercy realizes that they’re all keeping secrets that could tear both families apart. When Elvis interrupts the escalating melodrama to alert Mercy to an intruder on the estate, she finds a wounded St. George in the cottage where she and Troy are staying. St. George is not who he says he is—but when he escapes from the hospital and disappears again, Mercy thinks he’s gone for good. With the wedding imminent and the families at each other’s throats, she decides finding St. George will have to wait.

The big day arrives—but the danger is far from over. With the families and the festivities still under threat, it’s up to Mercy and Elvis together with Troy and Susie Bear to stop the killer and save the bride and groom—before death do they part.


Review:

Mysterious, cosy, and intricate!

In this satisfying fourth instalment in the Mercy & Elvis MysteriesThe Wedding Plot, Munier has written an amusing, sinister thriller that finds former MP Mercy Carr having more than just her hands full with pre-wedding mayhem at the location of her grandmother’s upcoming nuptials, the Lady’s Slipper Inn when the spa director goes missing, an unidentified person is found dead on the property of the local goat farm, and her special sidekick Elvis accidentally uncovers the skeletal remains of a woman who seems to have been murdered and buried more than twenty years ago.

The prose is fluid and smooth. The characters are persistent, resourceful, and clever. And the plot is an engaging tale full of twists, turns, surprises, red herrings, familial drama, danger, tension, a smidge of romance, and murder.

Overall, The Wedding Plot is a clever, fun, easy read by Munier that is absorbing, entertaining, and the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a lighthearted mystery featuring some very intelligent, helpful, four-legged friends. 

 

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

 

About Paula Munier

PAULA MUNIER is a literary agent and the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mysteries. A Borrowing of Bones, the first in the series, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award and named the Dogwise Book of the Year. Blind Search was inspired by the real-life rescue of a little boy with autism who got lost in the woods. The Hiding Place debuted in March 2021. Paula credits the hero dogs of Mission K9 Rescue, her own rescue dogs, and a deep love of New England as her series’ major influences. Paula has also written the popular books on writing: Plot Perfect, The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings, and Writing with Quiet Hands, as well as Fixing Freddie and Happier Every Day. She lives in New England with her family and Bear the Newfoundland-retriever rescue, Bliss the Great Pyrenees-Australian cattle dog rescue, pandemic puppy Blondie, a Malinois rescue (much like Elvis in her books), and Ursula The Cat, a rescue torbie tabby who does not think much of the dogs.

Photo by Lynne Wayne.

#BookReview The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #LisaJewell #TheFamilyRemains

#BookReview The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #LisaJewell #TheFamilyRemains Title: The Family Remains

Author: Lisa Jewell

Series: The Family Upstairs #2

Published by: Atria Books on Aug. 9, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell comes an intricate and affecting novel about twisted marriages, fractured families, and deadly obsessions in this standalone sequel to The Family Upstairs.

Early one morning on the shore of the Thames, DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene of a gruesome discovery. When Owusu sends the evidence for examination, he learns the bones are connected to a cold case that left three people dead on the kitchen floor in a Chelsea mansion thirty years ago.

Rachel Rimmer has also received a shock—news that her husband, Michael, has been found dead in the cellar of his house in France. All signs point to an intruder, and the French police need her to come urgently to answer questions about Michael and his past that she very much doesn’t want to answer.

After fleeing London thirty years ago in the wake of a horrific tragedy, Lucy Lamb is finally coming home. While she settles in with her children and is just about to purchase their first-ever house, her brother takes off to find the boy from their shared past whose memory haunts their present.

As they all race to discover answers to these convoluted mysteries, they will come to find that they’re connected in ways they could have never imagined.

In this masterful standalone sequel to her haunting New York Times bestseller, The Family Upstairs, Lisa Jewell proves she is writing at the height of her powers with another jaw-dropping, intricate, and affecting novel about the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love and uncover the truth.


Review:

Suspenseful, gripping and intense!

The Family Remains is a well-executed, intricate thriller that takes us back into the lives of the Lamb family, specifically Lucy, Harry, and Libby, as they continue to struggle with the actions, scars, repercussions, and tragedy from their childhoods and they endeavour to find Libby’s birth father and Harry’s childhood obsession, Phin, whom they haven’t seen since he managed to escape the mansion of horrors more than twenty years ago.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are troubled, devious, and vulnerable. And the plot told from various timelines and multiple perspectives unfolds and unravels quickly into a compelling tale of twists, turns, lies, secrets, manipulation, obsession, loyalty, extortion, vengeance, family, and the long-lasting effects of childhood trauma.

Overall, The Family Remains is a creepy, engrossing, complex sequel by one of my favourite authors that once again showcases her exceptional ability to not only delve into the psychological and behavioural actions of the most depraved of society but also those of the victims who have suffered and been permanently damaged by their hands.

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

Photograph by Andrew Whitton.

#BookReview Three by Valérie Perrin (translated by Hildegarde Serle) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #Three #ValeriePerrin #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions

#BookReview Three by Valérie Perrin (translated by Hildegarde Serle) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #Three #ValeriePerrin #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions Title: Three

Author: Valérie Perrin

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 17, 2022

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 512

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

From the international bestselling author of Fresh Water for Flowers, a beautifully told and suspenseful story about the ties that bind us and the choices that make us who we are.

1986: Adrien, Etienne and Nina are 10 years old when they meet at school and quickly become inseparable. They promise each other they will one day leave their provincial backwater, move to Paris, and never part.

2017: A car is pulled up from the bottom of the lake, a body inside. Virginie, a local journalist with an enigmatic past reports on the case while also reflecting on the relationship between the three friends, who were unusually close when younger but now no longer speak. . As Virginie moves closer to the surprising truth, relationships fray and others are formed.

Valérie Perrin has an unerring gift for delving into life. In Three, she brings readers along with her through a sequence of heart-wrenching events and revelations that span three decades. Three tells a moving story of love and loss, hope and grief, friendship and adversity, and of time as an ineluctable agent of change.


Review:

Raw, vivid, and sophisticated!

Three is a poignant, nostalgic, character-driven tale that sweeps you away to La Comelle, Burgundy between 1986 and 2017 and into the lives of Adrien, Etienne and Nina, three best friends since fifth grade who are seemingly inseparable until adulthood takes them in different directions, only to be brought back together again, along with fellow classmate, Virginie, who was always on the outside desperately looking in, when a car, potentially containing the body of a girl missing since 1994 is dredged from the local lake.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are multilayered, vulnerable, and scarred. And the plot is an astute, captivating tale about life, loss, friendship, family, secrets, jealousy, guilt, pain, anger, death, emerging sexuality, self-identity, and first loves.

Overall, Three is, ultimately, a beautifully written coming-of-age tale interwoven with a thread of mystery that does a remarkable job of delving into the complex dynamics between friends and is a wonderful reminder of just how complicated, challenging, memorable and emotionally wrenching growing up can truly be.

 

This book is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Valérie Perrin

Valérie Perrin was born in 1967 in Remiremont, in the Vosges Mountains, France. She grew up in Burgundy and settled in Paris in 1986. Her novel The Forgotten Sunday (2015) won the Booksellers Choice Award and the paperback edition has been long-selling best-seller since publication. Her English-language debut, Fresh Water for Flowers (Europa, 2020) won the Maison de la Presse Prize, the Paperback Readers Prize, and was named a 2020 ABA Indies Introduce and Indie Next List title. It has been translated into over thirty languages. Figaro Littéraire named Perrin one of the ten best-selling authors in France in 2019, and in Italy, Fresh Water for Flowers was the best selling book of 2020. Perrin now lives in Normandy.

Photo © Valentin Lauvergne

#BookReview When Sparks Fly by Jo McNally @JoMcNallyAuthor @KayePublicity @HarlequinBooks #JoMcNally #WhenSparksFly #RendezvousFalls #KayePublicity

#BookReview When Sparks Fly by Jo McNally @JoMcNallyAuthor @KayePublicity @HarlequinBooks #JoMcNally #WhenSparksFly #RendezvousFalls #KayePublicity Title: When Sparks Fly

Author: Jo McNally

Series: Rendezvous Falls #5

Published by: Harlequin Books on Aug. 9, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Harlequin Books, Kaye Publicity

Book Rating: 8.5/10

What if the one who’s off-limits…is really the one?

Between her business, her recent divorce and her teenage daughter who needs her right now, Zoey Hartford has her hands full. Thank goodness she has her best friend, Mike McKinnon, to keep her laughing. Zoey and Mike have gone through everything together—from chemistry class to heartbreak. They would never risk their friendship…until one unexpected but sizzling night changes everything.

Mike is torn. Funny, down-to-earth Zoey in her flannel shirts and messy ponytail always seems so in control…until she melts into his arms. But he won’t come between Zoey and her daughter. They’ll just keep it casual. No drama. No feelings. No messiness. What could go wrong?

But the meddling, matchmaking book club won’t be denied. They may not have set them up, but they recognize a perfect match when they see one. And they’re determined to help Zoey see what’s been right in front of her for so long…

In Lost in Love, single mom Andrea will do anything to make the fall festival a success…even ask the town bad boy for his help.


Review:

Engaging, heartfelt, and fun!

When Sparks Fly is an alluring, tender, friends-to-lovers romance that transports you to the idyllic Rendezvous Falls and into the lives of the reliable, handsome Mike McKinnon and the hardworking, single mother Zoey Hartford as they discover that even though they’ve been the best of friends forever perhaps there’s a little something more underneath that’s worth taking a chance on.

The writing is light and playful. The characters are supportive, kind, and genuine. And the plot is an entertaining, amusing mix of friendship, family, community, responsibilities, parenthood, snappy banter, undeniable chemistry, humorous moments, small-town antics, and unconditional love.

Overall, When Sparks Fly is a sexy, sweet, uplifting tale by McNally with characters I couldn’t help but fall in love with, a charming storyline that kept me engaged from start to finish, and a happy-ever-after ending that made me swoon.

 

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

 

About Jo McNally

Jo McNally lives in coastal North Carolina with 100 pounds of dog and 200 pounds of husband – her slice of the bed is very small. When she's not writing or reading romance novels (or clinging to the edge of the bed...), she can often be found on the back porch sipping wine with friends, listening to great music. If the weather is absolutely perfect, she'll occasionally join her husband on the golf course, where she always feels far more competitive than her actual skill-level would suggest.

Photograph by Jo McNally.

#BookReview Stay Awake by Megan Goldin @megangoldin @StMartinsPress #StayAwake #MeganGoldin #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Stay Awake by Megan Goldin @megangoldin @StMartinsPress #StayAwake #MeganGoldin #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Stay Awake

Author: Megan Goldin

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 9, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers―a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget―permanently.

In the vein of SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and Christopher Nolan’s cult classic Memento, Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that plays with memory and murder.


Review:

Tight, sinister, and gripping!

Stay Awake is a propulsive, intense mystery that introduces us to Liv Reese, a disoriented, troubled young woman who, after waking in the back of a cab with a pocket full of cash, a bloodied knife, arms covered in messages to not fall asleep, and no idea how she got there, finds herself visiting old jaunts and doing whatever she can to try and remember and piece together the last two years of her life since the day her life was violently turned upside down and her memories all but disappeared.

The writing is taut and brisk. The characters are resourceful, confused, and persistent. And the plot told using a mixture of flashbacks and alternating POVs unravels quickly into an intricate, action-packed tale full of twists, turns, secrets, surprises, questionable personalities, duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, parasitic relationships, violence, and ruthless murder.

Overall, Stay Awake is an unpredictable, chilling, entertaining tale by Goldin that was a little nutty in all the best ways while also being engaging, engrossing and impossible to put down.

 

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

 

About Megan Goldin

MEGAN GOLDIN worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. THE ESCAPE ROOM was her debut novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Bend Toward the Sun @kisscrafter @smpromance @StMartinsPress #JenDevon #BendTowardtheSun #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers #StMartinsPress

#BookReview Bend Toward the Sun @kisscrafter @smpromance @StMartinsPress #JenDevon #BendTowardtheSun #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers #StMartinsPress Title: Bend Toward the Sun

Author: Jen Devon

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Aug. 9, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 10/10

Two imperfect people. One year under the sun. A love story you won’t ever forget.

Rowan McKinnon doesn’t believe in love. With a botany PhD, two best friends who embrace her social quirkiness, and some occasional no-strings sex, she has everything she needs. But she hides deep wounds from the past—from a negligent mother, and a fiancé who treated her like a pawn in a game. When an academic setback leads Rowan to take on the restoration of an abandoned vineyard, she relishes the opportunity to restore the grapes to their former glory.

She does not expect to meet a man like Harrison Brady.

An obstetrician profoundly struggling after losing a patient, Harry no longer believes he is capable of keeping people safe. Reeling, Harry leaves Los Angeles to emotionally recover at his parents’ new vineyard in Pennsylvania.

He does not expect to meet a woman like Rowan McKinnon.

As their combative banter gives way to a simmering tension, sunlight begins to crack through the darkness smothering Harry’s soul. He’s compelled to explore the undeniable pull between them. And after a lifetime of protecting herself from feeling anything, for anyone, Rowan tries to keep things casual.

But even she can’t ignore their explosive connection.


Review:

Alluring, intimate, and sweet!

Bend Toward the Sun is a heart-tugging, enchanting tale that takes you into the lives of two main characters. Rowan, a young woman who is thoughtful and hardworking but much more comfortable surrounded by plants than other people, and Harry, a caring obstetrician who is struggling to overcome a professional loss that has left him traumatized and emotionally astray.

The writing is heartfelt and tender. The characters are supportive, layered, and loving. And the plot is a touching tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, happiness, taking chances, growth, healing, tender moments, light drama, community, and new beginnings.

Overall, Bend Toward the Sun is an uplifting, absorbing, magical debut by Devon that was so much more than I ever expected and one which I undoubtedly highly recommend.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Jen Devon

Jen Devon wrote her first romance when she was eight. Now she writes vivid, cinematic love stories about imperfect people finding their perfect match. A former biology academic and lecturer, she currently works in the tech industry and dreams of writing full-time. She’s an avid gardener, photographer, and boardgamer, a thrift store enthusiast and unapologetic nerd. She’s a mom of six (three kids, three rescue mutts) and lives in central Ohio with her engineer husband. Bend Toward the Sun is her first book.

Photo Credit: Maya D Photography

#BookReview The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #DebbieRix #TheSecretLetter

#BookReview The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #DebbieRix #TheSecretLetter Title: The Secret Letter

Author: Debbie Rix

Published by: Forever on Apr. 20, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 9/10

Inspired by a true story, this historical novel is a heart-wrenching, unforgettable tale of one young girl who refuses to give up on what she believes in and the strength of human kindness in a time of unimaginable heartbreak.

London, 2018: When ninety‑four‑year‑old Imogen receives a letter addressed to her in neat, unfamiliar handwriting, she notices the postmark is stamped from Germany—and it sends shivers down her spine . . .
 
Germany, 1939: Thirteen‑year‑old Magda is devastated by the loss of her best friend Lotte, cruelly snatched from her and sent to a concentration camp—the Star of David sewn on her faded brown coat. As the Nazis’ power takes hold, Magda realizes she’s not like the other girls in her German village—she hates the fanatical new rules of the Hitler Youth. So she secretly joins The White Rose Movement and begins to rebel against the oppressive, frightening world around her.

But when an English bomber pilot crashes nearby, she is faced with an impossible choice: risk the safety of her family or save a stranger and make a difference in the devastating war that has claimed the lives of so many. Little does she know, her actions will have the power to change the life of another girl, on the other side of enemy lines, forever.


Review:

Captivating, emotional, and intense!

The Secret Letter is an immersive, dual-timeline tale set in London and Germany during WWII, as well as 2018, that takes you into the lives of two main characters from completely different backgrounds and worlds, Imogen and Magda, whose lives become unimaginably entwined by the consequences of war and the actions of one brave man.

The prose is rich and expressive. The characters are resilient, determined, and brave. And the plot is an alluring, coming-of-age tale about life, loss, family, secrets, separation, desperation, tragedy, friendship, love, and the hardships and horrors of war.

Overall, The Secret Letter is an absorbing, moving, beautifully written tale by Rix inspired by real-life events that, at its heart, highlights that survival of any kind often involves moral dilemmas, action, strength, courage and beyond all else, sacrifice.

 

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 Debbie Rix

Debbie Rix tells the stories of real women history has overlooked. As an ex‑journalist, she believes historical accuracy is key and she strives to weave her stories around real‑life events. Her novels have been published in several languages, including Italian, Czech, and Russian.

Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy, but when not traveling, she lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, and their children, chickens, and cats.

#BookReview Can’t Look Away by Carola Lovering @StMartinsPress #CantLookAway #CarolaLovering #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Can’t Look Away by Carola Lovering @StMartinsPress #CantLookAway #CarolaLovering #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Can't Look Away

Author: Carola Lovering

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 14, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In 2013, twenty-three-year old Molly Diamond is a barista, dreaming of becoming a writer. One night at a concert in East Williamsburg, she locks eyes with the lead singer, Jake Danner, and can’t look away. Molly and Jake fall quickly and deeply in love, especially after he writes a hit song about her that puts his band on the map.

Nearly a decade later, Molly has given up writing and is living in Flynn Cove, Connecticut with her young daughter and her husband Hunter—who is decidedly not Jake Danner. Their life looks picture-perfect, but Molly is lonely; she feels out of place with the other women in their wealthy suburb, and is struggling to conceive their second child. When Sabrina, a newcomer in town, walks into the yoga studio where Molly teaches and confesses her own fertility struggles, Molly believes she’s finally found a friend.

But Sabrina has her own reasons for moving to Flynn Cove and befriending Molly. And as Sabrina’s secrets are slowly unspooled, her connection to Molly becomes clearer––as do secrets of Molly’s own, which she’s worked hard to keep buried.

Meanwhile, a new version of Jake’s hit song is on the radio, forcing Molly to confront her past and ask the ultimate questions: What happens when life turns out nothing like we thought it would, when we were young and dreaming big? Does growing up mean choosing with your head, rather than your heart? And do we ever truly get over our first love?


Review:

Brisk, sinister, and tight!

Can’t Look Away is a gripping psychological thriller that takes you on a journey into the life of the sweet, lonely Molly Hunter as she juggles living in a small community, being a caring wife and mother, ongoing struggles with infertility, memories of an all-consuming relationship that changed her life forever, and a new friend who is too good to be true.

The prose is crisp and tense. The characters are secretive, troubled, and vulnerable. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth, past/present style, intertwines and unravels quickly into a menacing tale of family, friendship, deception, lies, drama, manipulation, jealousy, secrets, revelations, tragedy, betrayal, and young love.

Overall, Can’t Look Away is another taut, tortuous, riveting tale by Lovering that highlights just how fine the line between love and obsession can truly be and reminds us that every choice, good or bad, always has a consequence.

 

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 Carola Lovering

Carola Lovering is the author of TELL ME LIES (Atria Books) and TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE (St. Martin's Press). She attended Colorado College, and her writing has appeared in W Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Yoga Journal, among other publications. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

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