#BookReview The Sugar Planter’s Daughter by Sharon Maas @sharon_maas

#BookReview The Sugar Planter’s Daughter by Sharon Maas @sharon_maas Title: The Sugar Planter's Daughter

Author: Sharon Maas

Published by: Bookouture on Jul. 22, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 328

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

A breathtaking and unforgettable story of a woman torn between her family and the man she loves. 

1912, British Guiana, South America: Winnie Cox is about to marry George Quint, the love of her life. Born into a life of luxury and privilege on her father’s sugar plantation, Winnie has turned against her family by choosing to be with George – a poor black postman from the slums. 

Winnie may be living in poverty, but she’s got what sister Johanna doesn’t have: a loving husband and a beautiful family. And despite Johanna running her family’s sugar plantation, Winnie will always be their mother’s favourite daughter, a bitter pill for Johanna to swallow. 

Then Winnie’s son falls ill and she must travel to Venezuela desperate for a cure. With her sister away, Johanna finds herself increasingly drawn to George. But he only has eyes for Winnie. Johanna, stung by the rejection and the fragile state of her own marriage, is out for revenge – no matter how devastating the consequences.


Review:

Heartbreaking, poignant, and intriguing.

This is the story of Winnie, a fearless, courageous, white woman who chooses to leave the comfort and security of her family’s sugar plantation to do the unthinkable and marry George, a charismatic, strong, good-natured, dark-skinned man from the ghettos of Georgetown.

The story is set in British Guiana during the early 1900s, and is told by differing perspectives that carry you along through the ups and down’s of Winnie’s life flawlessly.

This is, ultimately, a story about strength, loss, jealousy, courage, racial inequality, and true enduring love.

The prose is clear and precise. And the characters are multifaceted, empathetic, and in some cases cunning.

This truly is a powerful story that will fascinate and engross you from the very beginning until the very end.

This book is due to be published on July 22, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Sharon Maas, visit her website at: sharonmaas.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @sharon_maas

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bookouture, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview Trophy Life by Elli Lewis @ElliLewisTweets

#BookReview Trophy Life by Elli Lewis @ElliLewisTweets Title: Trophy Life

Author: Elli Lewis

Published by: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on Jul. 18, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 268

Format: Paperback

Source: Elli Lewis

Book Rating: 9/10

Meet Amy, the world’s most improbable trophy wife.

She has a degree, ambitions and something resembling a mind of her own. The trouble is, she just doesn’t use it anymore. Married to handsome aristocrat, Harry Green, Amy’s world is a whirlwind of luxury, labels and lunches.

But amidst the peerages and polo of the privileged few lie wolves in minks’ clothing.

Before she knows it, Amy’s perfect existence is plunged into chaos by the poshest of plots. Ominous heiresses, simpering starlets and a terrifying mother-in-law abound as Amy faces up to some harsh realities.

Can Amy survive life in the upper crust? Or is high society an all new low?


Review:

This is a sweet, clever, heartwarming novel.

It is a beguiling story about high society, family, happiness, fulfillment, and true love.

It is full of colourful characters, including not only the warm, down-to-earth Amy, and the arrogant, pompous Harry, but a whole slew of supporting characters that are charming, quirky, and lovable. 

It is very well written. The prose is funny, clear and descriptive. And the plot is intelligent, engaging, witty, and delightful.

This really is a great read that entertained me from start to finish. It was a real pleasure and I highly recommend it.

This book is due to be published on July 26, 2016. 

Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to Elli Lewis, the author, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elli Lewis

Elli grew up in North London, the second of three sisters and, consequently, in a home that was bursting at the seams with shoes. As a teenager in the 90s, she experimented with Sun In, wore a standard uniform of combat trousers and vest top and shed tears over the breakup of Take That.

She soon recovered and went on to study law at university and qualify as a solicitor. In the course of her career, Elli has worked for some of the UK’s most prestigious law firms, representing a host of A-list clients. Her time in the City gave her a unique insight into the depths of high society, the height of fame and the biggest of fortunes. It was a world where multi-million pound mansions housed pampered pooches and ruthless spouses determined to wreak revenge, experiences that would later inspire her literary career.

In 2008, she went on to found a successful copywriting agency, with clients including national newspapers and media brands, including the BBC.

The books came later. If you ask Elli why she started writing novels, she will glaze over and look thoughtfully into the middle distance. This is not because she doesn’t like you – well, probably – but because Elli has literally no clue how it happened. Suffice to say that, one day she started typing and then never stopped. In fact, Elli wrote Trophy Life, The Lottery Club and The Anti-Natals in the same year and published the first of them in 2016.

Elli can now be found back in North London in the house she shares with one tired husband, two boisterous boys and a colossal Siberian cat. She relies on coffee and chocolate to keep her awake and has a mild addiction to pitta chips.

Some Noteworthy Book Releases in July!

#BookReview After She’s Gone by Lisa Jackson @readlisajackson

#BookReview After She’s Gone by Lisa Jackson @readlisajackson Title: After She's Gone

Author: Lisa Jackson

Series: Northwest #3

Published by: Kensington on Dec. 29, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Kensington Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

In this explosive new thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson delves into the deep bond between two sisters and their shared dream that becomes a harrowing nightmare of madness, hatred and jealousy…

Cassie Kramer and her younger sister, Allie, learned the hazards of fame long ago. Together, they’d survived the horror of a crazed fan who nearly killed their mother, former Hollywood actress Jenna Hughes. Still, Cassie moved to L.A., urging Allie to follow. As a team, they’d take the town by storm. But Allie, finally free of small-town Oregon, and just that little bit more beautiful, also proved to be more talented—and driven. Where Cassie got bit parts, Allie rose to stardom. But now her body double has been shot on the set of her latest movie—and Allie is missing.

Police discover that the last call to Allie’s phone came from Cassie, though she has no recollection of making it. Instead of looking like a concerned relative, Cassie is starting to look like a suspect—the jealous sister who finally grew sick of playing a supporting role. As the tabloids go into a frenzy, Cassie ends up on a Portland psych ward. Is she just imagining the sinister figure who comes to her bedside, whispering about Allie—a visitor of whom there is no record? Is someone trying to help—or drive her mad? 

Convinced she’s the only one who can find Allie, Cassie checks herself out of the hospital. But a sudden slew of macabre murders— each victim masked with a likeness of a member of Cassie’s family—makes Cassie fear for her safety and her sanity. The only way to end the nightmare is to find out what really happened to Allie. And with each discovery, Cassie realizes that no one can be trusted to keep her safe—least of all herself…


Review:

This book takes you on a roller coaster ride of murder, mystery, jealousy, revenge, and familial secrets.

The first half of the story, for me, started off a little slowly, and seemed to drag just a little bit. 

However, the second half of the novel was much more action-packed, suspenseful and the twists and turns were definitely captivating.

There is a reason that Lisa Jackson is a best seller in this genre, and even though I don’t think this was her best, the writing is well done, the characters are strong, complex, and flawed, and overall it was still an enjoyable read.

This is the third book in the Northwest series, and although it can definitely be read as a standalone novel, we were introduced to some of the characters in the first book of the Northwest series, Deep Freeze.

 

This book is due to be published on July 26, 2016.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Lisa Jackson, visit her website at: lisajackson.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @readlisajackson

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Kensington Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg

#BookReview The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg Title: The Pursuit

Author: Janet Evanovich

Series: Fox and O’Hare #5

Published by: Bantam on Feb. 28, 2017

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Janet Evanovich, author of the blockbuster Stephanie Plum novels, and Lee Goldberg, writer for the Monk television show, team up once again for the fifth book in their rollicking, New York Times bestselling Fox and O’Hare series!

Nicolas Fox, international con man, thief, and one of the top ten fugitives on the FBI’s most-wanted list, has been kidnapped from a beachfront retreat in Hawaii. What the kidnapper doesn’t know is that Nick Fox has been secretly working for the FBI. It isn’t long before Nick’s covert partner, Special Agent Kate O’Hare, is in hot pursuit of the crook who stole her con man.

The trail leads to Belgium, France, and Italy, and pits Nick and Kate against their deadliest adversary yet: Dragan Kovic, an ex–Serbian military officer. He’s plotting a crime that will net him billions . . . and cost thousands of American lives.

Nick and Kate have to mount the most daring, risky, and audacious con they’ve ever attempted to save a major U.S. city from a catastrophe of epic proportions. Luckily they have the help of an eccentric out-of-work actor, a bandit who does his best work in the sewers, and Kate’s dad, Jake. The pressure’s on for Nick and Kate to make this work—even if they have to lay their lives on the line.


Review:

Highly Entertaining, action packed, and laugh-out-loud funny!

This is the fifth novel in the Fox and O’Hare series, and once again the extraordinary cast of quirky, eccentric, and unique characters are back.

The writing is easy, charming, and fun. And the plot is jam-packed full of bizarre escapades, impressive cons, witty banter, a touch of romance, and imaginative villains.

This novel really is a riot from start to finish. And I can’t wait to read the next book in the series to find out what kind of hijinks Kate and Nick will get up to next.

 

#BookReview My Girl by Jack Jordan @_JackJordan_

#BookReview My Girl by Jack Jordan @_JackJordan_ Title: My Girl

Author: Jack Jordan

Published by: JJP on Jul. 4, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 240

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: JJP, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

Paige Dawson: the mother of a murdered child and wife to a dead man.

She has nothing left to live for… until she finds her husband’s handgun hidden in their house.

Why did Ryan need a gun? What did he know about their daughter’s death?

Desperate for the truth, Paige begins to unearth her husband’s secrets.

But she has no idea who she is up against, or that her life isn’t hers to gamble – she belongs to me.

From the bestselling author of Anything for Her, Jack Jordan’s My Girl is the new chilling thriller that you won’t want to miss.


Review:

Frightening, spine-chilling, and deeply disturbing!

This is a psychological thriller full of familial dysfunction, violence, manipulation, degradation, murder, and mayhem.

The main character, Paige, is distraught, confused, and damaged. And the supporting characters are strong, troubled, and complex. The writing is well done. And the plot is jam-packed with twists, turns and mounting suspense.

This story is definitely not for the squeamish, but if you like fast-paced, creepy page turners this is the perfect novel for you. 

 

This book is due to be published on July 4, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Jack Jordan, follow him on Twitter at: @_JackJordan_

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially JJP, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview The Lie by Helen Dunmore

#BookReview The Lie by Helen Dunmore Title: The Lie

Author: Helen Dunmore

Published by: Windmill Books on May 8, 2014

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Set during and just after the First World War, The Lie is an enthralling, heart-wrenching novel of love, memory and devastating loss by one of the UK’s most acclaimed storytellers.

Cornwall, 1920, early spring.
A young man stands on a headland, looking out to sea. He is back from the war, homeless and without family. Behind him lie the mud, barbed-wire entanglements and terror of the trenches. Behind him is also the most intense relationship of his life.

Daniel has survived, but the horror and passion of the past seem more real than the quiet fields around him. He is about to step into the unknown. But will he ever be able to escape the terrible, unforeseen consequences of a lie?


Review:

Extremely compelling, poignant, and hauntingly realistic!

This is a novel that reminds us of the considerable physical and psychological horrors of war and their effects on both the soldiers themselves and the loved ones they left behind.

It is a subtle, but deeply moving story about familial relationships, friendship, loss, guilt, grief, survival and ultimately love.

The writing is clear and precise. The prose is beautiful and poetic. The settings are vividly described. And the characters are strong and multifaceted, especially Daniel, who is resilient, damaged, lonely, and empathetic. 

This truly is a powerful, heartbreaking story that I won’t soon forget.

 

 

About Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore is the author of twelve books, including The Greatcoat, The Betrayal, a New York Times Editors’ Choice; The Siege, a best seller and finalist for the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; and A Spell of Winter, winner of the Orange Prize.

Helen Dunmore (1952 – 2017)

#BookReview What Happens at the Beach… by T. A. Williams @TAWilliamsBooks

#BookReview What Happens at the Beach… by T. A. Williams @TAWilliamsBooks Title: What Happens at the Beach...

Author: T.A. Williams

Published by: Carina UK on Jul. 11, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 276

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Carina UK, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

A deliciously sunny, uplifting romance to curl up with on your holiday – or any day!

For the perfect summer romance…

It’s finally time for Natalie Dryden to decide what she really wants! After ditching her sparkling engagement ring, and her ghastly fiancé, she jets off for the sun-kissed shores of Southern France – the only place that has ever truly felt like home. For the first time ever, Natalie is determined to forget all about men and follow her dreams!

…head to the French coast!

Only, avoiding the male population isn’t quite so easy, especially when she meets smooth-talking Philippe and gorgeous fisherman, Remy! But then Natalie bumps into brooding millionaire Mark whilst swimming in the glittering azure-blue bay – and her life is turned upside-down.

Love might be off the cards for Natalie, yet suddenly she finds herself in her dream job and working with her dream man! But is it all too good to be true…?


Review:

Wow! This is contemporary romance at its best!

This is the perfect historical love letter to Southern France complete with incredibly authentic and fascinating facts about the Cathar Crusade (Albigensian Crusade) that took place in the early 1200s, to a breathtaking tour of the beaches, landmarks, and monuments that still grace this beautiful countryside today.

It has an abundance of colourful characters, including not only the warm, intelligent, lovable, Natalie, and the sexy, kind, Mark, but a whole slew of supporting characters that are witty, quirky, and fun. 

The writing is exquisite. The prose is precise, funny and vividly descriptive. And the plot is brilliantly clever, captivating, and delightful with a little bit of drama, love, loss, and of course romance.

I loved this story! It was my first T. A. Williams novel, but it definitely won’t be my last.

This book is due to be published on July 11, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Carina UK, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About T.A. Williams

T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.

#Book Review Almost Forever by Kathy Clark @93NightWriter

#Book Review Almost Forever by Kathy Clark @93NightWriter Title: Almost Forever

Author: Kathy Clark

Series: Austin Heroes #2

Published by: Loveswept on Jul. 26, 2016

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 240

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Loveswept, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

A cold case leads to blazing-hot temptation in this novel of romantic suspense from bestselling author Kathy Clark. For readers of Nora Roberts and Karen Robards, Almost Forever pairs a rugged lawman with a woman who may just be a murderer.

Justin Archer is a Texas Ranger through and through, a loyal man devoted to the dangerous job he loves. But when the grisly discovery of a skeleton in a local vineyard turns an old missing-persons case into a vicious homicide, Justin finds that the toughest challenge of his professional career will be keeping his hands off his chief suspect: the dead man’s beautiful, young trophy wife. Did Lori Roberts kill for vast material gain? The only thing Justin knows for sure is that their chemistry is instantaneous—and overpowering.

Lori worked hard to build a new life for herself and her daughter. She turned her husband’s struggling vineyard into a thriving enterprise, and now she stands to lose it all over something that happened eight years ago. Justin could lock her up and throw away the key, but Lori desperately wants to trust him. More than that, she wants to let him into her wounded heart. Because Lori’s been running from the past for a long time . . . and she’s ready to start living for the future.


Review:

Sizzling chemistry, light-hearted, and suspenseful!

This is the second book in the Austin Heroes series, and this time we are off to solve an eight-year-old murder with a ruggedly handsome Texas Ranger.

The characterization is well done, with main characters that are attractive, complex, and interesting, and a whole mixed bag of supporting characters that are unique, likeable, and fun. While the plot is full of drama, secrets, deception, twists and turn, and romance that will captivate you until the very end.

This is an enjoyable read, and I look forward to reading about the third brother, Luke, when the next novel in the series is published.

 

This book is due to be published on July 26, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House Publishing – Loveswept, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kathy Clark

Kathy Clark has always been a storyteller. She completed her first novel when she was four years old and self-published it the same year. The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and sold out of its first printing. Thanks Mom!

Since then, a total of twenty-three novels published by Dell, Crown, and Harlequin happened. With her husband Bob Wernly as a co-writer, they published (both traditionally and epub) an additional fourteen novels.

Nine of these fourteen books were self-published in the romantic suspense, young adult and erotic romance genres. The remaining five published by Random House LLC as the Denver Heroes and Austin Heroes, released in 2015 and throughout 2016.

The author team are currently developing a new contemporary romance series (with a suspense backdrop) titled Breathless. High altitude, high stakes, and high romance, the series will begin in 2017 with the first book, Fools Gold . The series is set in Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Their young adult genre series, Time Shifters, is a time travel romance-mystery series. The fifth book in the award winning series, Not My Life releases 10.18.16.

Finally, their new adult romantic suspense series, Scandals, currently has the first three books released.

With two people developing ideas, plotting, researching, writing and editing, Kathy and Bob are both busy and productive. To be perfectly honest, Kathy and Bob would rather be riding horses, sitting on a sandy beach, watching movies or plays, and playing a round of golf every few days. But the voices in their heads insist on coming out, so they keep writing.

#BookReview Landline by Rainbow Rowell

#BookReview Landline by Rainbow Rowell Title: Landline

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jul. 8, 2014

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 310

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?


Review:

Heartwarming, interesting, and thought-provoking.

For me what resonated throughout this novel is the idea that a successful marriage does not occur just from finding the right mate, but rather from being the right mate.

The main character, Georgie, in the beginning is quite self indulged, overworked, and oblivious. She takes a lot for granted and forgets to appreciate all she has. And throughout the story as the plot develops, she undergoes a form of introspection to recognize what is truly important in life and that some things are worth fighting for.

The story is well written. And the plot uses a past/present style to give insight and depth into the relationship between the characters and also to highlight their individual drives, wants and motivations.

Overall, it is an engaging, easy read, that is certainly a nice way to spend an afternoon

 

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