#BookReview Down in Flames by Kate Meader #DowninFlames #KateMeader #HotinChicagoRookies

#BookReview Down in Flames by Kate Meader #DowninFlames #KateMeader #HotinChicagoRookies Title: Down in Flames

Author: Kate Meader

Series: Hot in Chicago Rookies #2

Published by: Kate Meader LLC on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 358

Format: ARC, eBook

Source: Kate Meader

Book Rating: 10/10

It was supposed to be a random hookup.

At a crossroads, my life a hot mess, I swiped right on the guy with the washboard abs and the tree-trunk thighs. His handle was Holt (yeah, really) but as soon as he opened the door, I recognized him: Hudson Grey, the hottest prospect in pro-hockey and apparently, secretly playing for my team. Not mind-blowing enough? He needed someone to punch his V-card and I was only too happy to volunteer as tribute . . .

Then he ghosted me when it got to be too much.

A year later, my life is back on track and I’m a candidate firefighter at legendary Engine 6. While I might be new to the Chicago Fire Department, I’m a veteran in the game of steamy hookups. My No. 1 rule? No newbies. Except now Hudson has been traded to my hometown team, the Chicago Rebels, and he’s out, proud, and ready to date. And he wants my help introducing him to the local gay scene.

My messy past means I’m the worst guy to be mentoring the shy, sexy jock. But neither can I stand by and watch while others touch the man who already feels like mine.

I might have been his first, but I’m about to learn that the new guy has even more to teach me about hunger, hope, and falling hard . . .

Includes: First times, hot firefighters, sexy hockey players, meddling friends, and fighting like hell for the love of a lifetime.


Review:

Passionate, provocative, and steamy!

Down in Flames is a sweet, sultry, heartwarming romance featuring the shy, inexperienced NFL star Hudson and the wild, sexy candidate firefighter Jude as they discover that the heart wants what the heart wants and that some things are definitely worth fighting for.

The prose is fervent and spicy. The characters are multi-faceted, vulnerable, and endearing. And the plot is an alluring mix of palpable chemistry, sizzling tension, heartfelt emotion, flirty banter, friendship, tricky situations, awkward moments, and explosive heat.

Down in Flames is, ultimately, a seductive, swoon-worthy, heartwarming tale by Meader with scrumptious characters and an intriguing storyline that is not only a fantastic addition to the Hot in Chicago Rookies series but hands down one of my favourite MM romance novels of the year!

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Kate Meader for gifting me 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.

#BookReview The Secret of Elephants by Vasundra Tailor @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #TheSecretofElephants #VasundraTailor #LakeUnion

#BookReview The Secret of Elephants by Vasundra Tailor @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #TheSecretofElephants #VasundraTailor #LakeUnion Title: The Secret of Elephants

Author: Vasundra Tailor

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Sep. 1, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 318

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 8/10

Navsari, India. Penniless and trapped in a loveless marriage, Nirmala spends her days anxiously caring for her sick young son, Varun. Looming over Nirmala’s impoverished home is an imposing mansion built by her grandfather, and from its balcony her cruel aunt scorns them, refusing to help in any way.

But when a mysterious letter addressed to her long-dead father arrives from Zimbabwe, it opens a door to a past Nirmala never knew existed and a future she never imagined possible. If the contents of the letter can be believed, not only does she have family in Africa, but they might also hold the answers to a family mystery that spans three generations.

While travelling to Zimbabwe might lead to a brighter future for Nirmala and her son, it could also reignite the bitter family feud that condemned her family to poverty. Nirmala is ready to risk it all to uncover the truth, but how will she cope when this journey changes her life forever?


Review:

Atmospheric, pensive, and moving!

The Secret of Elephants is an emotional tale predominantly set in Navsari, India, that takes you into the life of Nirmala, a young mother who, after her son is diagnosed with epilepsy and her loveless marriage finally falls apart, journeys to Zimbabwe after receiving an unexpected letter from a cousin she never knew she had to unravel her family’s history and discovery the secrets of her father’s past.

The prose is vibrant and expressive. The characters are multilayered, vulnerable, and troubled. And the plot is an intriguing, tender tale of life, loss, family, tragedy, secrets, betrayal, prejudice, segregation, caste division, and forgiveness.

Overall, The Secret of Elephants is a lush, intriguing, absorbing debut by Tailor that does a lovely job of blending historical events, intense emotion, and thought-provoking fiction.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Vasundra Tailor

Vasundra Tailor was born in India and raised in Zimbabwe when it was called Rhodesia. She is a qualified pharmacist who completed her Masters in Pharmaceutical Microbiology at the University of Strathclyde. Based in London, she began her debut novel after obsessing about families currently living in a property in India which once belonged to her father. Curious about human relationships, she loves to meet people from diverse backgrounds and see how they connect with those around them.

Her novel extract won the second runner-up prize for the Mo Siewcharran Fiction Competition in November 2019.

#BookReview The Night Gate by Peter May @Mobius_Books @QuercusBooks #TheNightGate #TheEnzoFiles #PeterMay #MobiusBooksUS

#BookReview The Night Gate by Peter May @Mobius_Books @QuercusBooks #TheNightGate #TheEnzoFiles #PeterMay #MobiusBooksUS Title: The Night Gate

Author: Peter May

Series: The Enzo Files #7

Published by: Mobius on May 31, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 8/10

The body of a man shot through the head is disinterred by the roots of a fallen tree.

A famous art critic is viciously murdered in a nearby house.

Both deaths have occurred more than 70 years apart.

Asked by a forensic archaeologist in Paris to take a look at the site of the former, Enzo Macleod quickly finds himself embroiled in the investigation of the latter, and two narratives are set in train – one historical, unfolding against a backdrop of real events in Occupied France in the 1940s; the other contemporary, set in a France going back into Covid lockdown in the autumn of 2020.

At the heart of both is da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Tasked by de Gaulle to keep the world’s most famous painting out of Nazi hands after the fall of France in 1940, 28-year-old Georgette Pignal finds herself swept along by the tide of history. Following in the wake of the Mona Lisa as it is moved from chateau to chateau by the Louvre, she finds herself both wooed and pursued by two Germans sent to steal it for rival patrons – Hitler and Göring.

What none of them know is that the Louvre has secretly engaged the services of the 20th century’s greatest forger to produce a duplicate of the great lady, one that even those who know her well find hard to tell apart. The discovery of its existence is the thread that links both narratives. And both murders.


Review:

Complex, sophisticated, and intriguing!

In this impressive seventh instalment in The Enzo Files series, The Night Gate, May has written a fast-paced, tortuous mystery that finds forensic expert Enzo Macleod temporarily out of retirement and immersed in two investigations, one involving skeletal remains found entangled in the roots of a tree, and the other concerning a newly deceased middle-aged male found murdered in a home he recently visited to discuss the movement of the Mona Lisa during WWII.

The prose is sharp and tight. The characters are meticulous, intuitive, and intelligent. And the plot, using a back-and-forth style, unravels and intertwines quickly into an ominous tale full of secrets, lies, deception, greed, manipulation, misdirection, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Night Gate is another engrossing, pacey, action-packed thriller by May that was an extra special treat allowing us to go back and visit with these characters one last time in a storyline that was not only suspenseful but steeped in fascinating history.

 

This book is available now.

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

              

 

 

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

 

About Peter May

Author, screenwriter and creator of television drama. Peter May was born in Glasgow, but now lives in France, where his books have won several awards and he has a large following of fans. He was recently introduced at the Lyon Festival of Crime writing as "The most French of all Scotsmen"; however, after acquiring French nationality in 2016, he became known in the French media as "The most Scottish of all Frenchmen".

Photo by Vincent Loisin.

#BookReview The Lilac House by Barbara Josselsohn @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #BarbaraJosselsohn #TheLilacHouse #LakeSummers

#BookReview The Lilac House by Barbara Josselsohn @ReadForeverPub @GrandCentralPub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2022 #BarbaraJosselsohn #TheLilacHouse #LakeSummers Title: The Lilac House

Author: Barbara Josselsohn

Series: Lake Summers #1

Published by: Forever on Dec. 14, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8/10

Summer brought Anna and Aidan together, but can she finally let go of the past for a chance at a new beginning?

Lilac House has always been a source of comfort for Anna Harris. Though things will never be the same since her husband’s death, she knows the cottage, nestled in Lake Summers in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, will be the perfect place for her and her two children to build a new life.

The house is just as beautiful as Anna remembers, and soon she’s caught up in the rhythm of small-town life, helping her Aunt Hope run the little shop on Main Street and beginning to finally feel like herself again. Then she meets Aidan. Handsome, strong and quiet, he also knows what it’s like to lose someone. In each other they recognize something they’ve both been missing…and a spark of undeniable attraction.

But Aidan’s past holds a different set of complications. He’s hiding a secret about why he came to Lake Summers. And just as the Lilac House starts to feel like home, Anna learns something devastating about her husband’s death that will make her question everything she’s always known to be true.


Review:

Heartwarming, sweet, and uplifting!

The Lilac House is a heartfelt, tender story set in the idyllic Lake Summers that takes you into the life of Anna, a young mother of two juggling to come to grips with losing the love of her life, raising her children alone, and one last trip to the summer house to put the all the memories finally to rest, and Aidan, a young widower himself who has recently moved to this small, cosy town to keep his son and himself under the radar and away from the troubles waiting for him back in his hometown.

The prose is light and hopeful. The characters are lonely, helpful, and considerate. And the plot is a reflective, engaging tale about life, loss, love, marriage, parenthood, family, friendship, attraction, grief, happiness, community, self-discovery, mental illness, taking chances, new beginnings, and small-town living.

Overall, The Lilac House is a sentimental, charming, optimistic tale by Josselsohn that is definitely a lovely start to the Lake Summer series with its endearing characters and heartening storyline.

 

This book 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 Barbara Josselsohn

Barbara Josselsohn loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. She is the author of the Lake Summers series, which is set in the fictional town of Lake Summers, nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, and includes the books The Lilac House, The Bluebell Girls, The Lily Garden, and The Cranberry Inn. Her debut novel was The Last Dreamer, and she is also the author of hundreds of articles and essays in major and specialty publications about family, home, and relationships. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her husband and her three kids.

Photo Credit: Andrea Harnick Tuchman

#BookReview The White Hare by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @SimonSchusterCA #TheWhiteHare #JaneJohnson

#BookReview The White Hare by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @SimonSchusterCA #TheWhiteHare #JaneJohnson Title: The White Hare

Author: Jane Johnson

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Oct. 4, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

For fans of Alice Hoffman and Kate Morton, The White Hare is a spellbinding novel about mothers and daughters finding a new home for themselves, the secrets they try to bury, and the local legends that may change their lives.

In the far west of Cornwall lies the White Valley, which cuts deeply through bluebell woods down to the sea at White Cove. The valley has a long and bloody history, laced with folklore, and in it sits a house above the beach that has lain neglected since the war. It comes with a reputation and a strange atmosphere, which is why mother and daughter Magdalena and Mila manage to acquire it so cheaply in the fateful summer of 1954.

Magda has grand plans to restore the house to its former glory as a venue for glittering parties, where the rich and celebrated gathered for cocktails and for bracing walks along the coast. Her grown daughter, Mila, just wants to escape the scandal in her past and make a safe and happy home for her little girl, Janey, a solitary, precocious child blessed with a vivid imagination, much of which she pours into stories about her magical plush toy, Rabbit.

But Janey’s rabbit isn’t the only magical being around. Legend has it that an enchanted white hare may be seen running through the woods. Is it an ill omen or a blessing? As Mila, her mother, and her young daughter adjust to life in this mysterious place, they will have to reckon with their own pasts and with the secrets that have been haunting the White Valley for decades.


Review:

Atmospheric, mysterious, and intriguing!

The White Hare is a rich, eerie, gripping tale that transports you to Cornwall during 1954 and into the lives of three generations of Prusik women as they move to a dilapidated new home and try to come to terms with all the powerful emotions, spooky folklore, traditions, long-buried secrets, strange behaviours, tragedy, and magic that surrounds them.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are multilayered, vulnerable, and scarred. And the plot is an unsettling tale of life, loss, trauma, tragedy, desperation, familial drama, legends, folklore, secrets, supernatural phenomena, new beginnings, and the complex relationships that exist between mothers and daughters.

Overall, The White Hare is an ominous, vivid, gothic tale by Johnson that undoubtedly kept me engaged and invested from start to finish and was truly a delight to read.

 

This novel is available now.

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

       

 

 

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

 

About Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She is responsible for the publishing of many major authors, including George RR Martin.

In 2005 she was in Morocco researching the story of a distant family member who was abducted from a Cornish church in 1625 by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa, when a near-fatal climbing incident caused her to rethink her future. She returned home, gave up her office job in London, and moved to Morocco. She married her own ‘Berber pirate’ and now they split their time between Cornwall and a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. She still works, remotely, as Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.

#BookReview Belle Greene by Alexandra Lapierre (translated by Tina Kover) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #BelleGreene #AlexandraLapierre #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions

#BookReview Belle Greene by Alexandra Lapierre (translated by Tina Kover) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #BelleGreene #AlexandraLapierre #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions Title: Belle Greene

Author: Alexandra Lapierre

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 23, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Based on the true story of Belle da Costa Greene, a woman who defied all odds to carve out a destiny of her own choosing, this is a richly imagined novel bursting with atmosphere, lush period detail, and many unforgettable characters.

New York in the 1900s. A young girl fascinated by rare books defies all odds and becomes the director of one of the country’s most prestigious private libraries. It belongs to the magnate J.P. Morgan, darling of the international aristocracy and one of the city’s richest men.

Flamboyant, brilliant, beautiful, Belle is among New York society’s most sought after intellectuals. She also hides a secret. Although she looks white, she is African American, the daughter of a famous black activist who sees her desire to hide her origins as the consummate betrayal. Torn between history’s ineluctable imperatives and the freedom to belong to the society of her choosing, Belle’s drama, which plays out in a violently racist America, is one that resonates forcefully, and illuminatingly even today.

The fruit of years of research and interviews, Alexandra Lapierre’s magnificent novel recounts the struggles, victories, and heartbreaks of a woman who is free, astonishingly determined, daring, and fully, exuberantly alive.


Review:

Rich, captivating, and immersive!

Belle Greene is a beautifully written, fascinating interpretation that sweeps you away to New York between 1898 and the mid-1900s and into the life of Belle Greene from the abandonment of the family by her father, the first African American to graduate from Harvard, the decision of the family due to their light skin tone to identify as white, befriending Junius Spencer Morgan while working at the Princeton library, to her illustrious career curating J. P. Morgan’s personal library.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are hardworking, independent, and determined. And the plot is an absorbing tale of life, loss, love, friendship, familial drama, support, passion, courage, racism, affluence, and the ins and outs of obtaining and cataloguing book collections in the early 1900s. 

Overall, Belle Greene is a well-written, compelling, exceptionally researched story by Lapierre that incorporates an engaging mix of real-life historical figures, insightful information, and plausible fiction into a comprehensive tale about the life and brilliant accomplishments of Belle de Costa Greene, one of the most famous librarians of all time.

 

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 Alexandra Lapierre

Alexandra Lapierre is a bestselling French novelist, short story writer and biographer. She graduated from Sorbonne University and the University of Southern California. Among her works that bring back to life great women and characters neglected by history, is the international bestseller Artemisia (Vintage, 2012). Her books have been published in more than twenty countries.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The London Girls by Soraya M. Lane @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #TheLondonGirls #SorayaMLane #LakeUnion

#BookReview The London Girls by Soraya M. Lane @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #TheLondonGirls #SorayaMLane #LakeUnion Title: The London Girls

Author: Soraya M. Lane

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Nov. 8, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 334

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 9/10

From the bestselling author of The Last Correspondent comes a remarkable story of three young women who defy the bombs to do their bit for Britain. Will they survive the dark streets of London to see the Allies win the war?

London, 1941. The Blitz. When a Royal Navy memo arrives at head office, requesting female recruits to sign up as motorcycle dispatch riders, delivering highly classified orders across the country, three women jump at the chance to sign up for the most dangerous jobs in London.

Olivia grew up riding motorcycles with her brothers, and with them fighting abroad she feels it is her duty to join up. The thrill of adventure draws Ava, but with more enthusiasm than skill, will she learn to navigate the treacherous London streets safely? Having lost her family during one of the first air attacks, Florence knows how important it is to have help arrive on the scene—fast—and so she steps up, out-manoeuvring the men behind the wheel of an ambulance. When Olivia, Ava and Florence meet for the first time they know they have found something all of them need—family.

As bombs fall, decimating the city they love, these three brave women build a sisterhood amid the rumble, facing down anyone—even their own families—who objects to their service. And while romances bloom and fade, their connection grows ever stronger. But none of them dare consider the terrifying reality that one night Florence’s ambulance may be rescuing someone she loves…


Review:

Hopeful, heart-wrenching, and memorable!

The London Girls is an immersive, poignant tale set in London during WWII that takes you into the lives of three main characters. Ava Williamson, a daring, somewhat reckless young woman driven by overconfidence and a desire for a little more time and freedom to spend with her married lover; Olivia Blakely, an independent gal determined to use the motorcycle skills she was taught by her older brother to support the war effort however she can while she patiently awaits the return of her dearly beloved fiancé; and Florence Hughes a scarred ambulance driver who after losing her family when a bomb exploded on their home spends as many nights as possible trying to save those she can.

The prose is expressive and rich. The characters are independent, supportive, and courageous. And the plot is an intriguing, tender tale of life, loss, love, family, despair, sacrifices, tragedy, bravery, new beginnings, and the importance of female friendships.

Overall, The London Girls is an absorbing, moving, rollercoaster ride of emotion by Lane that does a wonderful job of showcasing the hard work, bravery, and danger involved in being one of the chosen female dispatch riders involved in transporting top-secret invaluable military information around the UK during WWII, and even though it’s surprisingly the first novel I’ve read by Lane, I can guarantee it won’t be my last.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Soraya M. Lane

Soraya M. Lane graduated with a law degree before realizing that law wasn't the career for her and that her future was in writing. She is the author of historical and contemporary women's fiction, and her novel Wives of War was an Amazon Charts bestseller.

Soraya lives on a small farm in her native New Zealand with her husband, their two young sons and a collection of four legged friends. When she's not writing, she loves to be outside playing make-believe with her children or snuggled up inside reading.

Photo courtesy of Author's Amazon Page.

#BookReview A Delicate Game by Hana Walker-Brown @HWalker_Brown @Mobius_Books #ADelicateGame #HanaWalkerBrown #MobiusBooksUS

#BookReview A Delicate Game by Hana Walker-Brown @HWalker_Brown @Mobius_Books #ADelicateGame #HanaWalkerBrown #MobiusBooksUS Title: A Delicate Game

Author: Hana Walker-Brown

Published by: Hodder And Stoughton Ltd. on Jul. 5, 2022

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 9/10

A footballer dies of dementia, younger than he should
A 14-year old-rugby player is told to play on through multiple blows. He never wakes up from the last one
A scientist reveals endemic brain disease in NFL players and is discredited
A survivor of domestic abuse can’t remember details when standing up in court

This is the story of the degenerative brain disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). This is a story of power, of science and sport, and of the bodies that society deems worth sacrificing.


Review:

Comprehensive, eye-opening, and impactful!

A Delicate Game is the insightful, informative, candid examination into the preventable disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, that has tragically caused the premature deaths of both famous, beloved athletes and up-and-coming stars.

The writing is frank and descriptive. And the novel is an extremely well-researched tale of the apprehension and irresponsible resistance of professional sports to acknowledge the real and growing evidence that head trauma, whether one big catastrophic hit or multiple smaller hits over time, suffered by players during games or practices throughout their careers can lead to severe neurodegenerative disorders or CTE.

Overall, A Delicate Game is, ultimately, a clear, concise, exhaustive analysis and investigation into the dangerous, long-lasting, often fatal consequences of those gruesomely entertaining, enthralling hits, tackles, and headers we’ve come to know and expect in contact sports to the most important, fragile organ we often take for granted, the human brain.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

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

 

About Hana Walker-Brown

Hana Walker-Brown is a multi-award-winning audio documentary maker, writer and the Creative Director for Broccoli Productions, a London based podcast production company founded in direct response to the lack of opportunities for minority talent both in front of and behind the mic. In 2019, Hana Walker-Brown created the Audible original, The Beautiful Brain, a multi-award-winning podcast docuseries about West Bromwich Albion hero Jeff Astle and CTE. Hana is a fearless and passionate advocate of multi-media storytelling and has covered an exceptional range of stories, taking the big world stuff and making it human. She is a guest lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London and has given talks and masterclasses around the world about her work and creative processes. Hana has created work for Audible, the BBC, the Guardian, National Geographic, Spotify and Warner Brothers among many others.

Photo courtesy of Hachette UK Website.

#BookReview The Tuscan Secret by Angela Petch @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #AngelaPetch #TheTuscanSecret

#BookReview The Tuscan Secret by Angela Petch @ReadForeverPub #ReadForever #ReadForever2022 #AngelaPetch #TheTuscanSecret Title: The Tuscan Secret

Author: Angela Petch

Published by: Forever on Apr. 5, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 9/10

This sweeping historical novel from a bestselling author follows the lives of two generations of women, the secrets they keep, their sacrifices for love, and the heartbreaking betrayals they encounter—perfect for fans of Kelly Rimmer and Natasha Lester.​

Il Mulino. An old crumbling mill, by a winding river, nestled in the Tuscan mountains. An empty home that holds memories of homemade pasta and Nonna’s stories by the fire, and later: the Nazi invasion, and a family torn apart by a heartbreaking betrayal.

Anna is distraught when her beloved mother, Ines, passes away. She inherits a box of papers, handwritten in Italian and yellowed with age, and a tantalizing promise that the truth about what happened during the war lies within. The diaries lead Anna to the small village of Rofelle, where she slowly starts to heal as she explores sun-kissed olive groves, and pieces together her mother’s past: memories of homemade pasta, Nonna’s stories by the fire, and happy days spent herding sheep across Tuscan meadows cruelly interrupted when World War II erupted and the Nazis arrived. Her mother fleeing her home to join the Resistenza and risking everything to protect an injured British soldier who captured her heart. But Anna is no closer to learning the truth . . . What sent Ines running from her adored homeland?

When she meets an elderly Italian gentleman living in a deserted hamlet, who flinches at her mother’s name and refuses to speak English, Anna is sure he knows more about the devastating secret that tore apart her mother’s family. But in this small Tuscan community, some wartime secrets were never meant to be uncovered . . .


Review:

Immersive, emotional, and vivid!

The Tuscan Secret is an absorbing, dual-timeline tale predominantly set in Tuscany during WWII, as well as the late 1990s that takes you into the life of Anna, a young woman who, after her own life seems to be in tatters, journeys to Italy after her mother’s death to unravel her family’s history and discovery the secrets of her mother’s past.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are feisty, brave, and determined. And the plot is an immersive, compelling tale about life, loss, family, secrets, desperation, tragedy, friendship, resistance, survival, first love, and the atrocities of war.

Overall, The Tuscan Secret is a moving, evocative, beautifully written tale by Petch inspired by real-familial events that I devoured from start to finish and is the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a well-researched WWII time-slip story with a fresh perspective and a dab of romance.

 

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 Angela Petch

Angela Petch is a USA Today bestselling author and an award-winning writer of fiction–and the occasional poem. Every summer she leaves her home in West Sussex, England to reside in the Tuscan Apennines for six months where she and her husband own a renovated watermill which they let out.

Photo Credit: Mairi Thomas

#BookReview Desperation in Death by J. D.Robb @StMartinsPress #ForgotteninDeath #JDRobb #InDeathSeries #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Desperation in Death by J. D.Robb @StMartinsPress #ForgotteninDeath #JDRobb #InDeathSeries #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Desperation in Death

Author: J. D. Robb

Series: In Death #55

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

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

The #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a gripping new thriller that pits homicide detective Eve Dallas against a conspiracy of exploitation and evil…

New York, 2061: The place called the Pleasure Academy is a living nightmare where abducted girls are trapped, trained for a life of abject service while their souls are slowly but surely destroyed. Dorian, a thirteen-year-old runaway who’d been imprisoned there, might never have made it out if not for her fellow inmate Mina, who’d hatched the escape plan. Mina was the more daring of the two—but they’d been equally desperate.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get away fast enough. Now Dorian is injured, terrified, and wandering the streets of New York, and Mina lies dead near the waterfront while Lt. Eve Dallas looks over the scene.

Mina’s expensive, elegant clothes and beauty products convince Dallas that she was being groomed, literally and figuratively, for sex trafficking—and that whoever is investing in this high-overhead operation expects windfall profits. Her billionaire husband, Roarke, may be able to help, considering his ties to the city’s ultra-rich. But Roarke is also worried about the effect this case is having on Dallas, as it brings a rage to the surface she can barely control. No matter what, she must keep her head clear–because above all, she is desperate for justice and to take down those who prey on and torment the innocent.


Review:

Deviant, gripping, and sophisticated!

In this latest novel by Robb, Desperation in Death, we head back to New York during 2061, where NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her partner Detective Peabody now find themselves on a gruesome case involving a dead teen elegantly groomed and a missing girl who knows more about what the well-funded “Academy” is really a school for.

The writing is absorbing and meticulous. The characters are multilayered, persistent, and intuitive. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine methodically into a sinister tale full of deception, deprivation, manipulation, abuse, corruption, mayhem, violence, murder, and the disturbing, depraved world of sex trafficking.

It’s hard to believe that this novel, Desperation in Death, is the fifty-fifth book in the In Death  series, and even though I have not read close to even half of the books in this obviously well-loved, remarkable series, I have to say I think this is the best one I’ve ever read and my new all-time favourite in the series.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

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

 

About J. D. Robb

J.D. Robb is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling In Death series and the pseudonym for #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts. The futuristic suspense series stars Eve Dallas, a New York City police lieutenant with a dark past. Initially conceived as a trilogy, readers clamored for more of Eve and the mysterious Roarke. Forgotten in Death (St. Martin's Press, September 2021) is the 53rd entry in the series.

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