Format: ARC

#BookReview The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan @AmySueNathan @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #TheLastBathingBeauty

#BookReview The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan @AmySueNathan @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #TheLastBathingBeauty Title: The Last Bathing Beauty

Author: Amy Sue Nathan

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Apr. 1, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her past—for herself and the sake of her family’s future—in a heartfelt novel about fate, choices, and second chances.

Everything seemed possible in the summer of 1951. Back then Betty Stern was an eighteen-year-old knockout working at her grandparents’ lakeside resort. The “Catskills of the Midwest” was the perfect place for Betty to prepare for bigger things. She’d head to college in New York City. Her career as a fashion editor would flourish. But first, she’d enjoy a wondrous last summer at the beach falling deeply in love with an irresistible college boy and competing in the annual Miss South Haven pageant. On the precipice of a well-planned life, Betty’s future was limitless.

Decades later, the choices of that long-ago season still reverberate for Betty, now known as Boop. Especially when her granddaughter comes to her with a dilemma that echoes Boop’s memories of first love, broken hearts, and faraway dreams. It’s time to finally face the past—for the sake of her family and her own happiness. Maybe in reconciling the life she once imagined with the life she’s lived, Boop will discover it’s never too late for a second chance.


Review:

Tender, nostalgic, and sentimental!

The Last Bathing Beauty is an absorbing, heartwarming tale that takes us to the shores of South Haven, Michigan during 1951 when Jewish summer camps in the Catskills of the Midwest were the place to be, girls were excited for more than just marriage, and Betty Stern and her family would never be the same.

The writing is vivid and expressive. The characters are authentic, vivacious, and sympathetic. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a delightful mix of summer fun, friendship, family, coming-of-age, secrets, heartbreak, forbidden love, familial expectations, and second chances.

Overall, The Last Bathing Beauty is a heartfelt, beguiling, charming tale by Nathan that not only reminds us that everyone that enters our lives impacts, shapes, and defines it but that love is truly ageless.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Amy Sue Nathan

Writer of novels, lover of cats, morning coffee, dark chocolate, and bold lipstick. Former vegetarian, occasional crafter, adequate cook, loyal friend, proud mom to two awesome adults.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Magnolia Sisters by Michelle Major @michelle_major1 @HarlequinBooks @BookClubbish #TheMagnoliaSisters

#BookReview The Magnolia Sisters by Michelle Major @michelle_major1 @HarlequinBooks @BookClubbish #TheMagnoliaSisters Title: The Magnolia Sisters

Author: Michelle Major

Series: Magnolia Sisters #1

Published by: HQN Books on Mar. 31, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

An inheritance brought her to Magnolia, but love just might keep her there…

Avery Keller arrives in Magnolia, North Carolina, with one aim: collect her inheritance and quickly put the quirky town in her rearview mirror. But the father who didn’t acknowledge her when he was alive has left Avery a mess to sort through–along with two half sisters she’s never met and a gorgeous single dad living next door. Soon her plan to keep this colorful, close-knit community at a distance gets complicated….

Grayson Atwell has rescued plenty of people in his firefighting career. His work and his little girl, Violet, are his entire world and there’s no time for anything–or anyone–else. But the vulnerability beneath Avery’s prickly facade brings out a fiercely protective side of him. Despite her protests, Gray can see that Avery’s falling under Magnolia’s spell–just like he’s falling for her. Now the only question is: How can he convince her to give them both a chance at forever?


Review:

Winsome, warm, and sweet!

The Magnolia Sisters is a compelling, optimistic tale that takes us to the small town of Magnolia, North Carolina and into the life of the focused, unsettled Avery Keller as she meanders through all sorts of highs and lows from unexpectedly receiving and having to settle an inheritance from a father she never knew existed, recovering from a disastrous relationship that shattered her self esteem, discovering she has two half-sisters, and navigating a blossoming new romance with the local hunky, divorced firefighter Grayson Atwell.

The prose is light and smooth. The characters are hesitant, determined, and complex. And the plot is a hopeful tale full of life, love, drama, family, friendship, community, self-discovery, forgiveness, acceptance, moving on, and finding happiness.

Overall, The Magnolia Sisters is another quaint, uplifting, entertaining tale by Major that’s an encouraging start for this new Magnolia series with its well-developed characters and refreshing storyline.

 

This novel is available March 31, 2020.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Michelle Major

Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in Journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets and several well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel @EmilyMandel @HarperCollinsCa #BooksofHCC

#BookReview The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel @EmilyMandel @HarperCollinsCa #BooksofHCC Title: The Glass Hotel

Author: Emily St. John Mandel

Published by: HarperCollins on Mar. 24, 2020

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HarperCollins Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass-and-cedar palace on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, a hooded figure scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later, Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship.

Weaving together the lives of these characters, The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the wilderness of remote British Columbia, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.


Review:

Tragic, imaginative, and atmospheric!

The Glass Hotel is an alluring, character-driven tale that immerses you into the lives of multiple strangers as their worlds quickly unravel, intersect, collide, and are ultimately ruined when a Ponzi scheme catastrophically collapses.

The prose is rich and lyrical. The characters are lonely, complex, and vulnerable. And the plot told from multiple perspectives using flashbacks and alternate realities is a hauntingly sobering tale of tragedy, crime, corruption, heartbreak, manipulation, disillusionment, morality, and the true weight of a guilty conscience.

Overall, The Glass Hotel is an evocative, pensive, unique page-turner with a supernatural thread that does a beautiful job of reminding us that the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences and that life rarely unfolds as we expect it to.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Emily St. John Mandel

Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York.

She is the author of five novels, including The Glass Hotel (spring 2020) and Station Eleven (2014.) Station Eleven was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, won the Morning News Tournament of Books, and has been translated into 34 languages. She lives in NYC with her husband and daughter.

Photography by Sarah Shatz.

#BookReview The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne @raeannethayne @HarlequinBooks @BookClubbish #TheSeaGlassCottage

#BookReview The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne @raeannethayne @HarlequinBooks @BookClubbish #TheSeaGlassCottage Title: The Sea Glass Cottage

Author: RaeAnne Thayne

Published by: Harlequin Books on Mar. 17 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 9/10

The life Olivia Harper always dreamed of isn’t so dreamy these days. The 16-hour work days are unfulfilling and so are things with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when she hears that her estranged mother, Juliet, has been seriously injured in a car accident, Liv has no choice but to pack up her life and head home to beautiful Cape Sanctuary on the Northern California coast.

It’s just for a few months—that’s what Liv keeps telling herself. But the closer she gets to Cape Sanctuary, the painful memories start flooding back: Natalie, her vibrant, passionate older sister who downward-spiraled into addiction. The fights with her mother who enabled her sister at every turn. The overdose that took Natalie, leaving her now-teenaged daughter, Caitlin, an orphan.

As Liv tries to balance her own needs with those of her injured mother and an obstinate, resentful fifteen-year-old, it becomes clear that all three Harper women have been keeping heartbreaking secrets from one another. And as those secrets are revealed, Liv, Juliet, and Caitlin will see that it’s never too late—or too early—to heal family wounds and find forgiveness.


Review:

Enchanting, heartwarming, and touching!

The Sea Glass Cottage is a heartfelt, beguiling story that sweeps you away to the idyllic town of Cape Sanctuary and immerses you into the lives of the Harper family as they confront the past, accept the things they cannot change, repair fractured relationships, take chances, and embrace the future.

The writing is polished and expressive. The characterization is spot on with a whole slew of characters that are relatable, multi-layered, and genuine. And the plot, including all the engaging subplots, skillfully intertwines and unravels into a big-hearted, hopeful tale about life, love, loss, family, secrets, friendship, misunderstandings, romance, contentment, forgiveness, and the importance of communication.

Overall, The Sea Glass Cottage is a compelling, moving, beautifully-written tale that reminds us to always surround ourselves with those we love and live each day to the fullest.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

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

 

About RaeAnne Thayne

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert #1) by Melinda Leigh @MelindaLeigh1 @AmazonPub #montlakeromance

#BookReview Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert #1) by Melinda Leigh @MelindaLeigh1 @AmazonPub #montlakeromance Title: Cross Her Heart

Author: Melinda Leigh

Series: Bree Taggert #1

Published by: Montlake Romance on Mar. 17, 2020

Genres: Romantic Suspense, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 327

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

A homicide detective’s violent family history repeats itself in #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s novel of murder, secrets, and retribution.

For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents’ murder-suicide…Until her younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night: innocent witnesses and a stormy marriage that ended in gunfire. There’s just one chilling difference. Erin’s husband, Justin, has vanished.

Bree knows how explosive the line between love and hate can be, yet the evidence against her troubled brother-in-law isn’t adding up. Teaming up with Justin’s old friend, former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn, Bree vows to uncover the secrets of her sister’s life and death, as she promised Erin’s children. But as her investigation unfolds, the danger hits close to home. Once again, Bree’s family is caught in a death grip. And this time, it could be fatal for her.


Review:

Twisty, menacing, and intense!

In this compelling first installment in the Bree Taggert series, Cross Her Heart, Leigh has written a well-paced whodunit where cases from the past and the present collide, suspects are numerous, and danger lurks around every corner.

The writing is smooth and tight. The characters are dependable, persistent, and troubled. And the plot is a captivating police procedural with lots of twists, turns, red herrings, familial drama, deception, jealousy, obsession, abuse, murder and a dab of romance.

Overall, Cross Her Heart is a suspenseful, entertaining, sinister tale that’s an encouraging start for this new series with its intriguing characters, and engaging storyline.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Melinda Leigh

#1 Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker who learned that writing books is way more fun than analyzing financial statements. Melinda's debut novel, SHE CAN RUN, was nominated for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers. Since then, she has garnered numerous writing accolades, including two RITA® Award nominations and an induction into the NJ Romance Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have sold more than 7.5 million copies across the world. Melinda loves martial arts, rescue dogs, and sea turtles.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview All I Ask by Corinne Michaels @AuthorCMichaels @HBGCanada @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #CorinneMichaels #AllIAsk

#BookReview All I Ask by Corinne Michaels @AuthorCMichaels @HBGCanada @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #CorinneMichaels #AllIAsk Title: All I Ask

Author: Corinne Michaels

Published by: Forever on Mar. 17, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Last Time comes a breathtaking story about first love, second chances, and starting over.

Teagan Berkley is trying her best. A single mom raising a precocious teen, she may have given up on her dreams, but she’s accepted her life in her small beachside hometown. Now the one person who abandoned her when she needed him the most has returned, bringing back memories of what might have been.
Derek Hartz arrives in town with a teenage daughter – and he’s full of guilt over his failed marriage and the way he ended his friendship with Teagan. He’s determined to set things right with her, but first he needs to gain her trust. Something he’s not convinced he deserves.
As Teagan and Derek open up to each other-and confess their deepest secrets-it’s impossible for them to deny what’s always been between them. But just when their happily ever after is within reach, their complicated history surfaces again and threatens to keep them apart. Forever.


Review:

Uplifting, heartwarming, and romantic!

All I Ask is a delightfully charming, emotional novel set on Chincoteague Island, VA that takes us into the lives of two main characters; Teagan, a young mother who after falling pregnant in college has spent the last decade struggling to make ends meet, ignoring small-town gossip, and enduring the heartache of losing her best friend, and Derek, a loving father who after unexpectedly losing his wife returns home where ten years earlier he not only left behind his best friend but also his heart.

The writing is emotive and warm. The characterization is spot on with a cast of characters that are multilayered, brokenhearted, and endearing. And the plot is an irresistible blend of friendship, familial tension, heart, hope, grit, attraction, chemistry, miscommunication, tender moments, and enduring love.

Overall, All I Ask is a poignant, sweet, enchanting tale by Michaels that I absolutely devoured, highly recommend, and is without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year! 

This book is available now. 

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Corinne Michaels

Corinne Michaels is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of romance novels. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love, and she enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak before finding a way to heal them through their struggles.
Corinne is a former Navy wife and happily married to the man of her dreams. She began her writing career after spending months away from her husband while he was deployed-reading and writing were her escapes from the loneliness. Corinne now lives in Virginia with her husband and is the emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun-loving mom of two beautiful children.

Photography by Lauren Perry.

#BookReview The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress Title: The Woman in the Mirror

Author: Rebecca James

Published by: Minotaur Books on Mar. 17, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

Rebecca James unveils a chilling modern gothic novel of a family consumed by the shadows and secrets of its past in The Woman in the Mirror.

For more than two centuries, Winterbourne Hall has stood atop a bluff overseeing the English countryside of Cornwall and the sea beyond.

In 1947, Londoner Alice Miller accepts a post as governess at Winterbourne, looking after Captain Jonathan de Grey’s twin children. Falling under the de Greys’ spell, Alice believes the family will heal her own past sorrows. But then the twins’ adoration becomes deceitful and taunting. Their father, ever distant, turns spiteful and cruel. The manor itself seems to lash out. Alice finds her surroundings subtly altered, her air slightly chilled. Something malicious resents her presence, something clouding her senses and threatening her very sanity.

In present day New York, art gallery curator Rachel Wright has learned she is a descendant of the de Greys and heir to Winterbourne. Adopted as an infant, she never knew her birth parents or her lineage. At long last, Rachel will find answers to questions about her identity that have haunted her entire life. But what she finds in Cornwall is a devastating tragic legacy that has afflicted generations of de Greys. A legacy borne from greed and deceit, twisted by madness, and suffused with unrequited love and unequivocal rage.


Review:

Intense, sinister, and mystical!

In this debut novel by James, The Woman in the Mirror, she transports us to the rugged cliffside of Cornwall, England during 1947, as well as present-day, and into a family manor where powerful emotions swirl, tragic memories reside, and long-buried skeletons and secrets are in abundance.

The prose is ominous and dark. The characters are complex, lonely, and troubled, with the setting, Winterborne Hall, being a character itself with its dereliction and isolation. And the plot told from alternating timelines is a gripping, suspenseful tale full of familial drama, heartache, tension, obsession, death, revenge, cruelty, desperation, and violence, all interwoven with a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, The Woman in the Mirror is a gothic, atmospheric, eerie tale that captivates from the very first page and ultimately leaves you chilled, mystified, and entertained.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Rebecca James

Rebecca James worked in publishing for several years before leaving to write full-time, and is now the author of several novels written under a pseudonym, as well as The Woman in the Mirror under her own name. Her favorite things are autumn walks, Argentinean red wine and curling up in the winter with a good old-fashioned ghost story. She lives in Bristol with her husband and two daughters.

Photograph by Marte Lundby Rekaa

#BookReview Wild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Janna MacGregor @JannaMacGregor @smpromance #WildWildRake #smpromance

#BookReview Wild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Janna MacGregor @JannaMacGregor @smpromance #WildWildRake #smpromance Title: Wild, Wild Rake

Author: Janna MacGregor

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses #6

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Feb. 25, 2020

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 353

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Her first marriage was an epic failure.

Lady Avalon Warwyk never did love her husband. Arrogant, selfish, and cruel, it’s a blessing when she’s widowed and left to raise her son all by herself. Finally, Avalon can live freely and do the work she loves: helping fallen women become businesswomen. She’s lived these past ten years with no desire to remarry―that is until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.

Can he convince her to take another chance at happily ever after?

Devan Farris―charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian―is reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. Devan wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But she’ll have nothing to do with vicar with a wild reputation―even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside―a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can prove that he wants to love and care for her. . . until death do they part?


Review:

Romantic, tantalizing, and witty!

Wild, Wild Rake is set in the English countryside during 1815 and features the independent, fiery Lady Avalon Warwyk who after a decade of blissful widowhood suddenly finds herself under the watchful eye of her late husband’s friend, the devilishly handsome, new parish vicar Devan Farris.

The prose is light and engaging. The characters are sweet, tentative, and alluring. And the plot is an amusing mix of Regency lifestyle, scoundrel behaviour, familial drama, mystique, attraction, admiration, tricky mishaps, danger, and steamy romance.

Overall, Wild, Wild Rake is a tempestuous, entertaining, scandalous read by MacGregor that’s a wonderful addition to The Cavensham Heiresses series and a delightful indulgence.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                 

 

 

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

 

About Janna MacGregor

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BlogTour #BookReview Down and Dirty (Hot Jocks #5) by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1 #hotjocks

#BlogTour #BookReview Down and Dirty (Hot Jocks #5) by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1 #hotjocks

#BlogTour #BookReview Down and Dirty (Hot Jocks #5) by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1 #hotjocks Title: Down and Dirty

Author: Kendall Ryan

Series: Hot Jocks #5

Published by: Dream Press on Mar. 10, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 320

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Kendall Ryan

Book Rating: 9/10

Your favorite hot jocks are back with an all new stand-alone novel.

Whoops.

Last night in Vegas is a blur. There were drunken shenanigans … And now I’m waking up naked wrapped around Landon freaking Covington, my incredibly hot younger guy friend, with a wedding ring on my finger and a marriage certificate on the table next to me.

Like I said, whoops. I’m thirty. I should know better, but what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?

Well, apparently not.

Because I’ve married the last alpha-male virgin on the planet. Yep, virgin. And my stubborn, oddly traditional new husband doesn’t want a divorce. He wants me.

If you like sexy, confident men who know how to handle a stick (on and off the ice), and smart women who are strong enough to keep all those big egos in check, this series of athlete romances is perfect for you!


Review:

Sultry, charming, and sweetly romantic!

Down and Dirty is a lighthearted, passionate rom-com featuring the independent, intelligent Aubree who is more than happy to be single and focused on her career, and the charismatic, hunky Landon who’s prepared to wait as long as it takes to find Mrs. Right.

The writing is playful and witty. The characters are sassy, gregarious, and endearing. And the plot is a spicy combination of friendship, desire, temptation, sizzling attraction, palpable chemistry, tender moments, light drama, sexy times, and hockey.

Overall, Down and Dirty is a fun, steamy, wonderful edition to the Hot Jocks series by Ryan that will leave you smiling, craving more, and dreaming of the most delicious, perfect book boyfriend ever.

This book is available now.

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

 

           

 

 

 

About Kendall Ryan

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

 

Thank you to Kendall Ryan for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz @BrendaJanowitz @HarlequinBooks @BookClubbish #TheGraceKellyDress

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz @BrendaJanowitz @HarlequinBooks @BookClubbish #TheGraceKellyDress Title: The Grace Kelly Dress

Author: Brenda Janowitz

Published by: Graydon House Books on Mar. 3, 2020

Genres: Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Trade Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Two years after Grace Kelly’s royal wedding, her iconic dress is still all the rage in Paris—and one replica, and the secrets it carries, will inspire three generations of women to forge their own paths in life and in love.

Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly—look-alike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice, one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security and of course, the dress.

Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky,” has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress—or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.

As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’s history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future.


Review:

Sentimental, heartfelt, and enchanting!

The Grace Kelly Dress is a sweet, captivating tale that takes you on a journey into the lives of three main characters. Rose, a young Paris seamstress employed by the esteemed Madame Michel in the late 1950s to handcraft dresses fashioned after the one worn by Princess Grace; Joan, a college student at NYCU in the 1980s who is struggling with the loss of her sister and a new engagement; and Rocky, an independent, tech CEO whose modern-day, upcoming nuptials are marred by the pressure to wear the family’s heirloom gown.

The prose is well turned and intriguing. The characters are resolute, independent, and multilayered. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into a charming tale of familial dynamics, drama, emotion, secrets, love, loss, duty, heartbreak, introspection, passion, and tradition.

Overall, The Grace Kelly Dress is a nostalgic, absorbing, uplifting tale by Janowitz that highlights the complex ties that bind us as a family and reminds us that happy-ever-afters come in all different forms but rarely resemble those found in fairytales.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                   

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

The mother of the bride, as a bride herself
Long Island, 1982

She loved the dress. She loved the veil that went with it, too, though she wasn’t sure if it could be salvaged. It was showing signs of age, its edges curling and tinged with brown. But that wouldn’t dull her excitement.

Today was the day she would be trying on her mother’s wedding dress. Even though Joanie had tried it on countless times as a child—it was a favorite rainy-day activity with her mother—today felt different. She was engaged, just like she’d dreamed about ever since she could remember. When she tried the dress on this time, it was for keeps. She was completely in love with the dress.

“Let me help you get it on,” Joanie’s mother said, her French accent coming through. It was always more pronounced when she was feeling emotional. With her American friends, Joanie noticed, her mother always tried to sound “American,” softening her accent and using American expressions. But when they were alone, she could be herself. Let her guard down. Joanie knew exactly who her mother was, and she loved her for it.

Her mother handed Joanie a pair of white cotton gloves and then put on her own set. The first step in trying the dress on, always, so that the oils in their hands wouldn’t defile the fabric. She laid the large box on her bed and nodded her head at her husband, her signal to give them privacy. The door closed to Joanie’s childhood bedroom, and she and her mother were alone.

The white cotton gloves were cool and smooth on her skin. Joanie opened the box slowly. So slowly. It was sealed with a special plastic that was supposed to keep it airtight so that the dress would not oxidize and turn yellow. She and her mother laughed as they struggled to set the dress free. The last time she tried the dress on was the summer before her sister died. It was after Michele’s death that her mother brought the dress into the city so that it might be cleaned properly and preserved for just this day. At the time, Joanie hadn’t understood the connection between her sister’s sudden death and her mother’s tight grip on family heirlooms, but now, a year into her psychology degree at NYC University, she understood. It was so hard to hold on to things that were important to you, things that mattered, and preserving her wedding dress, this memory, was her mother’s way of taking control of something. It was something she could save.

The dress was just as beautiful as she’d remembered. Crafted from rose point lace, the same lace used on Grace Kelly’s iconic wedding dress, it was delicate and classic and chic and a million other things Joanie couldn’t even articulate.

“Go on,” her mother said, holding the first part of the dress—the bodice with the attached underbodice, skirt support, and slip—out for her to take. As a child, it had thrilled Joanie to no end that the wedding dress her mother wore was actually made up of four separate pieces. It was like a secret that a bride could have on her special day, something that no one else knew.

“I couldn’t,” Joanie said, hands at her side. Knowing how carefully preserved the dress had been, what the dress had meant to her mother, it was hard for Joanie to touch it. She didn’t want to get it dirty, sully its memory. “It’s just so beautiful.”

“It’s yours now,” her mother said, smiling warmly. “The dress belongs to you. Put it on.”

Joanie kicked off her ballerina flats, and her mother helped her ease the bodice on. Joanie stood at attention as her mother snapped the skirt into place, and wrapped the cummerbund around her waist. Joanie held her hands high above her head, not wanting to get in the way of her mother’s expert hands, hands that knew exactly where to go, fingers that knew exactly what to do.

“You ready in there, Birdie?” her father yelled from the hallway, impatient, his French accent just as strong as the day he left France. Joanie always loved how her father had a special nickname for her mother. When they first married, he would call her mother GracieBird, a nickname of Grace Kelly’s, because of the Grace Kelly–inspired wedding gown she wore on their wedding day. Eventually, it was shortened to Bird, and then over time, it became Birdie. What would Joanie’s fiancé call her?

Joanie inspected her reflection in the mirror. Her shoulder-length blond hair, recently permed, looked messy. Her pink eye shadow, which had always seemed so grown-up on her sister, made her appear tired and puffy-eyed. But the dress? The dress was perfect.

Her mother opened the door slowly, and her father’s face came into view. His expression softened as he saw his daughter in the wedding dress. She walked out into the hallway, towards him, and she could see a tear forming in the corner of his eye.

She turned to her mother, about to tell her that Daddy was crying, when she saw that her mother, too, had teared up. Joanie couldn’t help it—seeing her mother and father cry, she began to cry as well. She could never keep a dry eye when someone else was crying, least of all her parents, ex-pats from Europe who hardly ever cried.

Michele’s presence floated in the air like a haze, but no one would say it. No one dared mention that she would have worn the dress first. Should have worn the dress first.

“And look at us,” her mother said, her hands reaching out and grabbing for her husband and daughter. “All of us crying like little babies.”

All three embraced—carefully, of course, so as not to ruin the dress.

Her father kissed the top of her head. “Give us a twirl.”

Joanie obliged. The dress moved gracefully as she spun. Joanie curtsied, and her father gently took her hand and kissed it.

“I know what you’re thinking,” her mother said, her voice a song.

“What?” Joanie asked absentmindedly, while staring at her reflection in the mirror. She knew the first thing she’d change—the sleeves. The dress needed big, voluminous sleeves, just like Princess Diana had worn on her wedding day.

“Or I should say who you’re thinking about,” her mother said, a gentle tease.

“Who?” Joanie asked, under her breath, twirling from side to side in front of the mirror, watching the dress move.

“Your fiancé,” her mother said, furrowing her brow. “Remember him?”

“For sure,” Joanie said, spinning around to face her mother. “My fiancé. Yes. I knew that. And, yes. I was.” But the truth was, she had completely forgotten.

 

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

 

About Brenda Janowitz

Brenda Janowitz is the author of five novels, including The Dinner Party and Recipe for a Happy Life. She is the Books Correspondent for PopSugar. Brenda's work has also appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Salon, Redbook, and the New York Post. She lives in New York.

Photograph by Cristina Calvi.

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