Author: Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview Christmas by Candlelight by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #ChristmasbyCandlelight #KarenSwan #PGCBooks

#BookReview Christmas by Candlelight by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #ChristmasbyCandlelight #KarenSwan #PGCBooks Title: Christmas by Candlelight

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Oct. 17, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Snowed in for the holidays…

It’s three days before Christmas and just starting to snow… Against her better judgement, Libby Pugh has been persuaded by her best friend to stop in on their university reunion on her way back from a wedding in North Yorkshire with her boyfriend, Max.

The host is Archie Templeton, the playboy of their group, who has finally inherited his father’s title and estate – even if the latter is more stately heap than palace. Libby is surprised at how good it feels to catch up with old. The night is a great success but when they come to leave, the road is now impassable and she and Max are given a bed for the night.

At first being snowed in with old friends is rather lovely – they spend he next day is spent in high spirits as they wait for the local farmer to clear the snow. But as the hours pass and he doesn’t come, everyone grows restless. Christmas is two days away and everyone has plans, other places to be. Then the power goes out . . .

By the fireside and by candlelight, the old friends must hunker down together as they await help. They reminisce about times past, good and bad. But as the cracks in their relationships, old and new, start to show, Libby is confronted with a truth she has long tried to deny . . .


Review:

Quaint, mysterious, and heartfelt!

Christmas by Candlelight is an alluring, compelling tale that takes you into the life of Libby Pugh, a young, successful lawyer who, after keeping a distance from her university roommates for the past nine years, excepts an invitation for a brief reunion-like dinner at Archie’s isolated country estate only to find herself snowed in shortly after she arrives with no power, no connection with the outside world, and a few days with nothing to do but confront secrets and hurts from the past, and finally acknowledge and accept the feelings that have been brewing for years.

The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are flawed, witty, and intelligent. And the plot, using flashbacks and a back-and-forth style, is an enticingly nostalgic tale full of secrets, lies, friendship, tension, chemistry, attraction, tender moments, strong emotions, self-reflection, relationship dynamics, and love.

Overall, Christmas by Candlelight is another absorbing, uplifting, festive tale by Swan that does a brilliant job of highlighting her exceptional ability to create endearing, multilayered characters, idyllic wintery settings, and engaging storylines that thoroughly captivate from start to finish.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview The Stolen Hours by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheStolenHours #TheWildIsleSeries #KarenSwan #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Stolen Hours by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheStolenHours #TheWildIsleSeries #KarenSwan #PGCBooks Title: The Stolen Hours

Author: Karen Swan

Series: The Wild Isle #2

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 2, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

A reluctant bride. A forbidden romance. An island full of secrets . . .

It’s the summer of 1929 and Mhairi MacKinnon is in need of a husband. As the eldest girl among nine children, her father has made it clear he can’t support her past the coming winter. On the small, Scottish island of St Kilda, her options are limited. But the MacKinnons’ neighbour, Donald, has a business acquaintance on distant Harris also in need of a spouse. A plan is hatched for Donald to chaperone Mhairi and make the introduction on his final crossing of the year, before the autumn seas close them off to the outside world.

Mhairi returns as an engaged woman who has lost her heart – but not to her fiancé. In love with the wrong man yet knowing he can never be hers, she awaits the spring with growing dread, for the onset of calm waters will see her sent from home to become a stranger’s wife.

When word comes that St Kilda is to be evacuated, the lovers are granted a few months’ reprieve, enjoying a summer of stolen hours together. Only, those last days on St Kilda will also bring trauma and heartache for Mhairi and her friends, Effie and Flora. And when a dead body is later found on the abandoned isle, all three have reason enough to find themselves under the shadow of suspicion . . .


Review:

Absorbing, passionate, and thrilling!

The Stolen Hours is a compelling tale that sweeps you away to 1929 and into the life of Mhairi MacKinnon, one of Effie’s best friends and another one of the thirty-six inhabitants of the small island of St. Kilda, who, on her brief travels to Harris to meet the man she will likely become engaged to, realizes the one she truly loves but who is already sworn to another has always been living right beside her, and when the government decides to evacuate the island villagers and move them permanently to the mainland, time is running out, her new married life is about to begin, and with a heart shattered to pieces and the life she always wanted merely now but a dream she may also have more than one reason to want the de facto ruler of the island, Frank Mathieson, dead.

The writing is expressive and rich. The characters are hardworking, fierce, and loyal. And the plot is an enchanting tale of life, loss, family, friendship, community, drama, mystery, intrigue, responsibilities, expectations, heartbreak, and forbidden love.

Overall, The Stolen Hours is another mysterious, captivating, highly immersive tale by Swan that kept me engaged from start to finish with its rugged depictions of island living and layered, complex, romantic entanglements and even though it’s only the second book in The Wild Isle trilogy, I can already tell this is definitely going to be one of my favourite historical fiction series 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 Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview The Christmas Postcards by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheChristmasPostcards #KarenSwan #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Christmas Postcards by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheChristmasPostcards #KarenSwan #PGCBooks Title: The Christmas Postcards

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Oct. 4, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Set in a chocolate-box village, a woman makes a surprising connection with a pen-pal that will change her life – and warm your heart – in the new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Swan.

It had been a make-or-break holiday for their marriage, but Natasha and Rob’s rekindled romance is short-lived when their daughter’s beloved soft toy disappears on the journey home.

As Natasha comforts the distraught child, she turns to social media for help. Miraculously, the toy is found, but it has become the lucky mascot of a man named Duffy, who is thousands of miles away.

When Duffy promises to keep Natasha updated with pictures, the pair begin a correspondence that soon becomes more meaningful to both of them. Sometimes, Natasha feels this stranger understands her more than the man lying next to her.

But as the weeks pass and Duffy heads deeper into the mountains, Natasha begins to notice a change in him. Then one day, the messages stop. Too late, Natasha wonders why he had ever needed a lucky mascot at all.

From the picture-perfect Cotswolds to the majesty of the Himalayan foothills, The Christmas Postcards is a novel about how the closest connections can be the furthest apart.


Review:

Atmospheric, heartfelt, and enchanting!

The Christmas Postcards is an alluring, compelling tale that sweeps you away into the life of Natasha, a young mother who, after her daughter loses her toy elephant she can’t possibly live without, begins a correspondence with the man who found it, Duffy, who seems to be on a soul-searching mission of his own and who may have actually spent a moment of time with Natasha once years before.

The prose is effortless and immersive. The characters are multilayered, troubled, and genuine. And the plot is a heartwarming tale about life, loss, love, friendship, relationship dynamics, hope, happiness, tragedy, fate, self-discovery, and romance.

I’m not sure if it’s ever truly winter unless I have a Karen Swan book to cosy up with in front of the fire, and this twenty-fourth outing is everything I could have wanted and more. The Christmas Postcards is a charming, emotional, irresistible tale by Swan that’s the perfect escapist read with its layered characters, idyllic settings, and beautifully entertaining storyline.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview The Last Summer by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheLastSummer #TheWildIsleSeries #KarenSwan #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Last Summer by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheLastSummer #TheWildIsleSeries #KarenSwan #PGCBooks Title: The Last Summer

Author: Karen Swan

Series: The Wild Isle #1

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 3, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 496

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

When the residents of St Kilda ask to be evacuated from their remote island home in the summer of 1930, it’s in search of a better life on mainland Scotland compared to the scratch existence on their mountain in the sea.

For eighteen-year-old tomboy Effie Gillies, it’s a bittersweet departure. She’s the best young climber on the island, as skilled and brave as any of the men. But it is Effie’s expansive knowledge of local bird life that leads her to take up a position as curator of Dumfries House’s ornithological collection – and back into the arms of Lord Dumfries’ son and heir, Sholto.

During her last summer on St Kilda, Effie had been Sholto’s guide, and their attraction had seemed irresistible. But, in the glamorous polite society of Ayrshire, it is clear they are worlds apart. When a body is discovered on the island, soon after the evacuation, a scandal erupts as Effie is implicated. Sholto knows she’s keeping secrets – but are they even her own?

The Last Summer is the first in an epic, sweeping historical series by Sunday Times bestseller Karen Swan, set in and around the Scottish island of St Kilda.


Review:

Enthralling, mysterious, and romantic!

The Last Summer is an absorbing tale that sweeps you away to 1930 and into the life of Effie Gillies, an eighteen-year-old girl who, along with her family and closest friends, is one of thirty-six inhabitants of the isolated St. Kilda archipelago who is content with her isolated existence, living a simple life amongst the birds and the cliffs, until things start to get a little more complicated and she falls for a man way above her station, the government decides to evacuate the island villagers to the mainland, she takes on a new job curating the ornithological collection of Lord Dumfries, the father of the man who stole her heart, and the deserted island is left with more than just empty dwellings and whispered secrets, but the body of a man who wasn’t all that kind or liked and had more than one person who wished him dead.

The writing is eloquent and vivid. The characters are hardy, resilient, and brave. And the plot is an alluring tale of life, loss, family, friendship, community, intrigue, mystery, drama, expectations, angst, social division, heartbreak, and love.

Overall, The Last Summer is a beautifully written, incredibly atmospheric, brilliant start to a new series by Swan that I absolutely devoured, highly recommend, and is hands down one of my favourite reads 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 PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheSecretPath #KarenSwan

#BookReview Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheSecretPath #KarenSwan Title: Midnight in the Snow

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Oct. 1, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a wonderfully romantic novel from Karen Swan, bestselling author of The Secret Path, The Christmas Party, and Together by Christmas.

Midnight in the Snow is the story of a forbidden attraction in the dramatic surroundings of the snow-covered Austrian Alps, by Canadian and international bestseller Karen Swan.

It’s the red carpet life for filmmaker Clover Phillips. Her documentary on surfer Cory Allbright is winning awards around the globe for shining a spotlight on life after his tragic accident. Now she’s free to choose her next subject.

But everything changes when Cory is found dead and his widow needs answers. Clover makes a promise to find out the truth about what happened the day his life fell apart, turning her attention to the man responsible, disgraced surfing champion Kit Foley. Rejected by the sport he loves, he’s starting over as a snowboarder in the Austrian Alps. Kit wants nothing to do with the film but his new sponsor has other ideas. Soon Clover and her team are shadowing him on the slopes and in the chalet.

It’s dislike at first sight but boundaries become dangerously blurred as Clover finds herself drawn into Kit’s power games. Each of them vie for control over the project – until a revelation blows Kit’s secretive past wide open. Finally Clover has her answers, and the material for her explosive new film. Kit Foley is everything she ever said he was… Isn’t he?


Review:

Absorbing, intense, and delightfully addictive!

Midnight in the Snow is an intriguing, atmospheric tale set predominantly in the Austrian Alps that immerses you into the life of documentary filmmaker Clover Philips as she searches for answers from the one man, Kit Foley, whose reputation proceeds him, has seamlessly moved on to conquer a new sport, and remarkably still seems to have nothing to say about that one fateful decision he made that cost his fellow professional surfer his health, livelihood, and eventually his life.

The writing is effortless and smooth. The characters are multilayered, withdrawn, infuriating, and dedicated. And the plot is an entertaining mix of hope, heart, angst, drama, and mystery.

Midnight in the Snow is, ultimately, a story about relationships, competitive rivalry, adventure, heartbreak, scandal, secrets, guilt, grief, expectations, and protecting those you love that highlights just how relentless and unscrupulous the media can be. It is a wonderfully alluring tale that sweeps you away to the snowy mountains of Europe, charms, satisfies, and, at least for me, kept me up way past my bedtime to finish.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

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

 

About Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview The Secret Path by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheSecretPath #KarenSwan

#BookReview The Secret Path by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheSecretPath #KarenSwan Title: The Secret Path

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 3, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Every step leads me back to you.

At just twenty years old, Tara Tremain has everything: a trainee doctor, engaged to the man of her dreams—a passionate American biology student called Alex Carter. But just when life seems perfect, Alex betrays her in the worst way possible.

Ten years later, she’s moved on, with a successful career, good friends and a man who loves her. But when she’s pulled back into her wealthy family’s orbit for an unmissable party in the heart of Costa Rica, she finds herself flung into crisis: a child is desperately ill and the only remedy is several days’ trek into the heart of the jungle.

There’s only one person who can help—but it’s the man who shattered her heart a decade before. And how can she trust him, of all people?


Review:

Absorbing, escapist, and heartwarming!

The Secret Path is an atmospheric, passionate tale that sweeps you away to the lush wilderness of Costa Rica and immerses you into the life of Dr Tara Tremain as she tries to juggle a successful career, a handsome boyfriend, a well-deserved vacation, a friend’s severely sick son in serious need of medical intervention, and the one man who shattered her heart to pieces ten years ago.

The prose is smooth and seamless. The characters are altruistic, resourceful, and scarred. And the plot is a beguiling, twisty tale of life, loss, love, familial drama, friendship, deception, heartbreak, forgiveness, danger, and romance.

Overall, The Secret Path is another emotional, entertaining, enticing tale by Swan that keeps you engaged from start to finish with its beautiful depictions of island living, tantalizing adventures, and complex, romantic entanglements.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                   

 

 

 

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

 

About Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview Together by Christmas by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #TogetherbyChristmas #KarenSwan

#BookReview Together by Christmas by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #TogetherbyChristmas #KarenSwan Title: Together by Christmas

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 3, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Canadian bestseller Karen Swan returns with another moving, surprising and heartwarming novel for the holiday season.

When Lee first came to Amsterdam, it was with a newborn baby and a secret. Five years later, her life is approaching normal: her career as a celebrity photographer is flourishing, her son Jasper is growing up, and they are enjoying the run-up to Christmas with their tight circle of close friends.

But all this changes one morning when Lee finds a book in the basket of her bicycle – and scrawled inside it, a desperate message. Who left it for her, and why? Lee feels compelled to help and tracks down the book’s author, Sam. With an instant, undeniable connection it seems they might have a shot at a real future together.

Until her past comes calling. As the snow falls and ice thickens on the city’s canals, the secret Lee has never told resurfaces. Suddenly everything she holds dear hangs in the balance. Christmas is a time for being together – but what if the truth means she ends up alone?

Escape to the snow-covered streets of Amsterdam in this deeply romantic read, featuring twists, turns and characters you’ll fall in love with.


Review:

Atmospheric, festive, and powerful!

Together by Christmas is an absorbing, poignant, sensitive tale that takes you into the life of professional photographer Lee Fitch, a young, single mother whose main focus is on raising her son after years of shooting graphic photos in countries ravaged by atrocities and war has left her wounded by the nightmares and horrors she witnessed and endured there.

The writing is rich and emotive. The characters are troubled, scarred, supportive, endearing, and kind. And the plot is a bittersweet, at times heartwrenching tale of life, loss, love, family, friendship, perseverance, parenthood, guilt, courage, selflessness, war, new beginnings and the delightful history, culture, landscape, traditions, and unique holiday celebrations found in the Netherlands.

As most of you know I am a huge fan of Karen Swan and have read almost every novel she has ever written, and Together by Christmas is without a doubt another compelling, romantic, emotional tale by Swan but one with perhaps a little more grit, depth, layers and hard-hitting themes than we’ve possibly ever read by her before.

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

 

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

 

About Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheHiddenBeach

#BookReview The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheHiddenBeach Title: The Hidden Beach

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Apr. 30, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From internationally bestselling author Karen Swan comes The Hidden Beach, an addictive story of heartbreak, loyalty and hope, set in the historic city of Stockholm and along the beautiful archipelagos of the Swedish coast.

In the oldest part of Stockholm, Bell Everhurst is working as a nanny for an affluent family. Hanna and Max Von Greyerz are parents to 7-year-old Linus, and 5-year old twins Ellinor and Tilde, and Bell has been with the family for over two years.

One early Spring morning, as she’s rushing out to take the children to school, she answers the phone – and everything changes. A woman from a clinic she’s never heard of asks her to pass on the message that Hanna’s husband is awake.

Bell is confused. She clearly just saw Max walking out of the house a few minutes earlier, but the woman mentioned Hanna by name . . .

When she gets hold of her employer, the truth is revealed: Hanna’s first husband fell into a coma seven years earlier, following an accident. But now he’s awake. And life is going to change for them all.


Review:

Pensive, mysterious, and multilayered!

The Hidden Beach is a heartwarming, compelling story that sweeps you away to the idyllic archipelagos islands of Sweden and immerses you into the lives of Bell Everhurst and the Von Greyers family as their world is turned upside down when a miracle brings the past into the present and triggers a whirlwind of emotions, strains on relationships new and old, and secrets long-buried to become unearthed.

The prose is expressive and vivid. The characters are complex, confused, troubled, and intriguing. And the story is a beguiling tale of life, loss, love, familial drama, friendship, secrets, infidelity, forgiveness, heartbreak, deception, and romance.

Overall, The Hidden Beach is a thoughtful, emotive, charming tale by Swan that is absorbing, entertaining, and perfect for any sunny day.

 

This novel is available now.

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

               

 

 

 

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

 

About Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview The Christmas Party by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Christmas Party by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan Title: The Christmas Party

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 1, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 474

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

The Christmas Party is a delicious, page-turning story of romance, family and secrets, by the Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Swan.

When Declan Lorne, the last remaining knight in Ireland, dies suddenly, an ancient title passes with him. But his estate on Ireland’s rugged south-west coast is left to his three daughters. The two eldest, Ottie and Pip, inherit in line with expectations, but to everyone’s surprise – and dismay – it is the errant baby of the family, Willow, who gets the castle.

Why her? Something unknown – something terrible – made her turn her back on her family three years earlier, escaping to Dublin and vowing never to return. So when Willow quickly announces she is selling up, her revenge seems sweet and the once-close sisters are pushed to breaking point: in desperation, Pip risks everything to secure her own future, and Ottie makes a decision that will ruin lives. It’s each woman for herself.

Before moving in, Connor Shaye, the prospective new owner, negotiates throwing a lavish party at the castle just days before Christmas – his hello, their goodbye. But as their secrets begin to catch up with them, Ottie, Willow and Pip are forced to ask themselves which is harder: stepping into the future, or letting go of the past?


Review:

Beguiling, quaint, and heartwarmingly festive!

The Christmas Party is an alluring, heartfelt story that sweeps you away to the beautiful, rugged coastline of southwest Ireland in winter and immerses you into the lives of the Lorne family as they endure a great loss, accept the things they cannot change, confront the past, repair strained relationships, take chances, and embrace the future.

The prose is evocative and well turned. The characters are distressed, vulnerable, genuine, and troubled. And the story is an engaging tale about life, loss, love, grief, familial drama, community, friendship, forgiveness, nostalgia, duty, and romance.

Overall, The Christmas Party is another lovely, absorbing, magical treat by Swan that reminds us to always live life to the fullest and surround ourselves with those we love.

This novel is available now.

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

               

 

 

 

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

 

About Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview The Spanish Promise by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Spanish Promise by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan Title: The Spanish Promise

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 1, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Charlotte, a wealth counsellor who knows from personal experience the complications that a sudden inheritance can bring, helps her clients navigate the emotional side effects of sudden wealth syndrome. When she is asked by Mateo Mendoza, heir to a huge Spanish estate, to fly to Madrid to help resolve an issue in his father’s will, she’s confident it will be straightforward. The timing isn’t great as Charlotte’s due to get married the following week, but once her client signs on the dotted line, Charlotte can return to her life in London and her wedding, and live happily ever after. Marrying Stephen might not fill her with excitement, but she doesn’t want to live in the fast lane anymore – safe and predictable is good.

But Carlos Mendoza’s final bequest opens up a generation of secrets, and Charlotte finds herself compelled to unravel the mystery. As Charlotte digs deeper, she uncovers the story of a family divided by Spain’s Civil War, and of a love affair across the battle lines that ended in tragedy.

And while she is consumed in the drama of the Mendozas, Charlotte’s own tragic past catches up with her, threatening to overturn everything in her life she’s worked so hard to build.


Review:

Evocative, mysterious, and incredibly enchanting!

The Spanish Promise is an alluring, mesmerizing tale predominantly set in Spain during the late 1930s, as well as present day, that takes you into the lives of both the prosperous, successful, multi-generational Fairfax and Mendoza families. But like most families with money, power, and privilege everything is not always as it seems, and behind the designer clothes and beautiful houses hides an abundance of secrets, betrayals, scandals, rivalry, conflict, and heartbreak.

The prose is seamless and eloquent. The characters are perceptive, intriguing, and scarred. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel effortlessly into a vividly satisfying tale of life, loss, family, friendship, self-discovery, regret, deception, love, duty, honour, and the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War.

The Spanish Promise is another magical, heartwarming tale by Swan that does a beautiful job of highlighting her exceptional ability to portray memorable characters, idyllic places, and historically troubling times that stay with you long after you finish the final page.

This book is available now.

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

                   

 

 

Thank you to Karen Swan and PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

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

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

Photograph by Alexander James