Format: ARC

#BookReview Of Manners and Murder by Anastasia Hastings @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #DearMissHermione #OfMannersandMurder #AnastasiaHastings #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Of Manners and Murder by Anastasia Hastings @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #DearMissHermione #OfMannersandMurder #AnastasiaHastings #SMPInfluencers Title: Of Manners and Murder

Author: Anastasia Hastings

Series: Dear Miss Hermione #1

Published by: Minotaur Books on Feb. 7, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

Of Manners and Murder is the first in the delightful new Dear Miss Hermione mystery series from Anastasia Hastings.

1885: London, England. When Violet’s Aunt Adelia decides to abscond with her newest paramour, she leaves behind her role as the most popular Agony Aunt in London, “Miss Hermione,” in Violet’s hands.

And of course, the first letter Violet receives is full, not of prissy pondering, but of portent. Ivy Armstrong is in need of help and fears for her life. But when Violet visits the village where the letters were posted, she finds that Ivy is already dead.

She’ll quickly discover that when you represent the best-loved Agony Aunt in Britain, both marauding husbands and murder are par for the course.


Review:

Atmospheric, mysterious, and delightfully entertaining!

Of Manners and Murder is a playful, engaging tale set in England during 1885 that features Violet Manville, a spirited bluestocking who, after her Aunt Adelia heads to the Continent on vacation leaving her in charge of the “Dear Miss Hermione” column, finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery with the most unusual suspects after travelling to Willingdale to meet up with a young woman who wrote to her in fear for her life only to discover when she arrives there that she’s already dead.

The writing style is light and witty. The characters are intelligent, adventurous, and intriguing. And the plot is a well-paced, compelling whodunit full of red herrings, amateur sleuthing, tricky situations, awkward moments, deduction, danger, attraction, and a touch of romance.

Of Manners and Murder is the first book in the Dear Miss Hermione series, and if you love historical mysteries/romances, this novel won’t disappoint. It is an amusing, enjoyable, cosy read that is the first novel I’ve read by Hasting but undoubtedly won’t be my last.

 

This novel is available February 7, 2023.

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 Anastasia Hastings

ANASTASIA HASTINGS is a penname for Connie Laux who has, over a thirty-year career, published 65 novels in a number of different genres and under a number of names.

She began her career writing historical romance, and has also written contemporary romance, YA, and a children's book. Over fifteen years ago, she set her sights on writing in her favorite genre, mystery, and since then has published 30+ mysteries for Minotaur and Penguin Random House.

As Kylie Logan, she wrote the Jazz Ramsey books for Minotaur as well as a number of cozy mysteries for Berkley, including the League of Literary Ladies series, the Ethnic Eats series, and the Button Box mysteries. She's also written the Haunted Mansion mysteries as Lucy Ness and the Love is Murder mysteries (set in a romance bookstore) as Mimi Granger. As Casey Daniels, she authored the Pepper Martin mysteries, a series in which she put her knowledge of old cemeteries and the paranormal to good use.

She is a Sherlock Holmes devotee, a Victorian England aficionado, and she enjoys learning about history as it applies to the everyday lives of the people who lived it. Connie learned to love mysteries at an early age thanks to her dad who was a Cleveland Police detective. He not only introduced her to the Holmes stories, he took her along on his days off and they went in search of stolen cars.

Connie lives outside of Cleveland with her husband, David, and her Airedale, Eliot Ness, who is a ribbon-winning show dog when he's outside and a couch potato when he's home.

#BookReview Chick Magnet by Emma Barry @AuthorEmmaBarry @KayePublicity @KayePublicity @AmazonPub #ChickMagnet #EmmaBarry #Montlake #KayePublicity

#BookReview Chick Magnet by Emma Barry @AuthorEmmaBarry @KayePublicity @KayePublicity @AmazonPub #ChickMagnet #EmmaBarry #Montlake #KayePublicity Title: Chick Magnet

Author: Emma Barry

Published by: Montlake Romance on Jan. 24, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 302

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Kaye Publicity, Montlake Romance

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From Emma Barry comes a clever romance about a hot veterinarian and a chicken-loving influencer who can’t help but ruffle each other’s feathers.

Nicole Jones needs a fresh start. “Chick Nic” to millions of internet fans, the social media star and her flock of chickens bask in the spotlight—until she’s publicly dumped by a YouTuber for clout. She has no choice but to round up her birds and move on.

But when one of her hens has an emergency, Nic gets her first taste of her new stomping grounds—and it isn’t good. Veterinarian Will Lund is wildly attractive, yes, but he’s also surly. In fact, he comes right out and calls her a menace for parading her chickens on social media.

As neighbors, Nic and Will can’t exactly avoid each other. Then again, maybe they don’t want to. The two can’t deny their smoldering attraction, and it isn’t long before late-night confessions lead to backyard shenanigans.

Is this the start of a neighborly relationship—or could something more be hatching?


Review:

Engaging, heartfelt, and fun!

Chick Magnet is a spirited, heartwarming, enemies-to-lovers romance that features the successful influencer Nicole who, after having her heart shattered live on YouTube, is hoping that a move to her late grandmother’s hometown of Yagerstown will be the perfect place for her and her famous chickens to settle down and create a new life, and the grumpy, passionate veterinarian Will who’s determined to do whatever it takes to keep the doors of his practice open after the closures and restrictions of COVID have left him all but financially ruined.

The prose is amusing and light. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are quirky, supportive, and kind. And the plot is a fun-loving, flirty blend of tricky situations, tender moments, humorous mishaps, self-discovery, friendship, family, kindness, depression, support, happiness, romance, and a flock of chickens with large personalities.

Overall, Chick Magnet is a charming, humourous, enjoyable treat by Barry that is a delight to read and ultimately reminds us that true love is always worth the fight.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Kaye Publicity & Amazon Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Emma Barry

Emma Barry is a teacher, novelist, recovering academic, and former political staffer. She lives with her high school sweetheart and a menagerie of pets and children in Virginia, and she occasionally finds time to read and write.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Better the Blood by Michael Bennett @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #BettertheBlood #MichaelBennett #PGCBooks

#BookReview Better the Blood by Michael Bennett @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #BettertheBlood #MichaelBennett #PGCBooks Title: Better the Blood

Author: Michael Bennett

Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

An absorbing, clever debut thriller that speaks to the longstanding injustices faced by New Zealand’s indigenous peoples, by an acclaimed Māori screenwriter and director

A tenacious Māori detective, Hana Westerman juggles single motherhood, endemic prejudice, and the pressures of her career in Auckland CIB. Led to a crime scene by a mysterious video, she discovers a man ritualistically hanging in a secret room and a puzzling inward-curving inscription. Delving into the investigation after a second, apparently unrelated, death, she uncovers a chilling connection to an historic crime: 160 years before, during the brutal and bloody British colonization of New Zealand, a troop of colonial soldiers unjustly executed a Māori Chief.

Hana realizes that the murders are utu—the Māori tradition of rebalancing for the crime committed eight generations ago. There were six soldiers in the British troop, and since descendants of two of the soldiers have been killed, four more potential murders remain. Hana is thus hunting New Zealand’s first serial killer.

The pursuit soon becomes frighteningly personal, recalling the painful event, two decades before, when Hana, then a new cop, was part of a police team sent to end by force a land rights occupation by indigenous peoples on the same ancestral mountain where the Chief was killed, calling once more into question her loyalty to her roots. Worse still, a genealogical link to the British soldiers brings the case terrifyingly close to Hana’s own family. Twisty and thought-provoking, Better the Blood is the debut of a remarkable new talent in crime fiction.


Review:

Meticulous, sharp, and engaging!

Better the Blood is a sinister, gripping tale featuring the relentless Auckland CIB detective Hana Westerman and her partner DC Stanley Riordan as they hunt down a cold, calculating, indigenous serial killer driven to exact revenge on six colonial soldiers who were immortalized in a photo from 160 years ago murdering a Māori Chief by making their ancestors pay for their sins.

The writing is crisp and tight. The characters are flawed, tormented, and hardworking. And the plot is a tightly-paced, ominous tale full of twists, turns, surprises, manipulation, guilt, injustice, violence, and murder.

Overall, Better the Blood is an intricately woven, informative, highly entertaining mystery by Bennett with a nice amount of suspense, good character development, great pace, and an insightful look into the history, culture, oppression, and struggles of the Māori people in New Zealand.

 

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 Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett (Ngati Pikiao, Ngati Whakaue)is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and author whose films have been selections at major festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, and New York. His nonfiction book, In Dark Places, which explored an infamous miscarriage of justice, won awards, and his young adult graphic novel, Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas, was a finalist for the 2019 New Zealand Book Awards.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Mitford Affair by Marie Benedict @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheMitfordAffair #MarieBenedict #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Mitford Affair by Marie Benedict @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheMitfordAffair #MarieBenedict #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Mitford Affair

Author: Marie Benedict

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Jan. 17, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict—she’ll have to choose: her country or her sisters?

Between the World Wars, the six Mitford sisters dominate the English political, literary, and social scenes. Though they’ve weathered scandals before, the family falls into disarray when Diana divorces her husband to marry a fascist leader and Unity follows her sister’s lead, inciting rumors that she’s become Hitler’s own mistress.

Novelist Nancy Mitford is the only member of her family to keep in touch with Diana and Unity after their desertion, so it falls to her to act when her sisters become spies for the Nazi party.

Probing the torrid political climate of World War II and the ways that sensible people can be sucked into radical action, The Mitford Affair follows Nancy’s valiant efforts to end the war and the cost of placing loyalty to her country above loyalty to her family.


Review:

Engaging, informative, and colourful!

The Mitford Affair is a timely, intriguing tale set in England in the 1930s, pre-WWII, that takes you into the lives of the Mitford family, specifically three of the six sisters. Nancy, a novelist and the oldest of the siblings whose concern for the family’s political leanings she expresses through her writing and through information she secretly gathers and shares with her cousin Winston Churchill; Diana, a true beauty whose love for the fascist movement leads to the destruction of her marriage to the Guinness heir yet facilitates an ambivalent relationship with the founder of the British Union of Fascists, and perhaps even more controversial a friendship with the Führer of Germany; and Unity, one of the youngest of the sisters who through her all-consuming Nazi obsession becomes one of Hitler’s closest companions until war is declared and tragedy ultimately strikes.

The prose is smooth and precise. The characters are spirited, self-indulgent, and cultured. And the plot is an evocative tale of life, loss, love, self-discovery, passion, war, secrets, friendship, determination, betrayal, treachery, family, espionage, and manipulation.

Overall, The Mitford Affair is an alluring, insightful, compelling novel by Benedict that does a spectacular job of highlighting her incredible knowledge and research into these fascinating historical figures whose complex lives, relationships, and political alliances are often unknown, overlooked, or perhaps just long forgotten.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Marie Benedict

Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms and Fortune 500 companies. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus on history and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. She is the author of New York Times bestseller The Only Woman in the Room, Carnegie's Maid, The Other Einstein, and Lady Clementine. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Night Travelers by Armando Lucas Correa @ArmandoCorrea @SimonSchusterCA @AtriaBooks #TheNightTravelers #ArmandoLucasCorrea #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Night Travelers by Armando Lucas Correa @ArmandoCorrea @SimonSchusterCA @AtriaBooks #TheNightTravelers #ArmandoLucasCorrea #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Night Travelers

Author: Armando Lucas Correa

Published by: Atria Books on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Four generations of women experience love, loss, war, and hope from the rise of Nazism to the Cuban Revolution and finally, the fall of the Berlin Wall in this sweeping novel from the bestselling author of The German Girl.

Berlin, 1931: Ally Keller, a talented young poet, is alone and scared when she gives birth to a mixed-race daughter she names Lilith. As the Nazis rise to power, Ally knows she must keep her baby in the shadows to protect her against Hitler’s deadly ideology of Aryan purity. But as she grows, it becomes more and more difficult to keep Lilith hidden so Ally sets in motion a dangerous and desperate plan to send her daughter across the ocean to safety.

Havana, 1958: Now an adult, Lilith has few memories of her mother or her childhood in Germany. Besides, she’s too excited for her future with her beloved Martin, a Cuban pilot with strong ties to the Batista government. But as the flames of revolution ignite, Lilith and her newborn daughter, Nadine, find themselves at a terrifying crossroads.

Berlin, 1988: As a scientist in Berlin, Nadine is dedicated to ensuring the dignity of the remains of all those who were murdered by the Nazis. Yet she has spent her entire lifetime avoiding the truth about her own family’s history. It takes her daughter, Luna, to encourage Nadine to uncover the truth about the choices her mother and grandmother made to ensure the survival of their children. And it will fall to Luna to come to terms with a shocking betrayal that changes everything she thought she knew about her family’s past.

Separated by time but united by sacrifice, four women embark on journeys of self-discovery and find themselves to be living testaments to the power of motherly love.


Review:

Compelling, rich, and moving!

The Night Travelers is a heartbreaking, alluring tale that transports you between Germany, Cuba, and the USA from 1931 to 2015 and immerses you in all the oppression, tragedy, emotions, memories, racism, and scars that mar and define the multi-generational women of the Keller family.

The prose is fluid and expressive. The characters are wounded, selfless, and intelligent. And the plot is a tender tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, sacrifice, friendship, courage, hope, romance, the unbreakable ties that bind us as family, and the horrors of both WWII and the Cuban Revolution.

Overall, The Night Travelers is an atmospheric, absorbing, heartfelt tale by Correa that does a beautiful job of highlighting his exceptional ability to portray complex, memorable characters and historically troubling times in such a way that is not only impactful but stays with you long after you finish the final page.

 

This novel is available now.

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

       

 

 

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

 

About Armando Lucas Correa

Armando Lucas Correa is an award-winning journalist, editor, author, and the recipient of several awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the Society of Professional Journalism. He is the author of the international bestseller The German Girl, which is now being published in thirteen languages. He lives in New York City with his partner and their three children.

Photograph by Héctor O. Torres.

#BookReview The Other Daughter by Caroline Bishop @calbish @SimonSchusterCA #TheOtherDaughter #CarolineBishop

#BookReview The Other Daughter by Caroline Bishop @calbish @SimonSchusterCA #TheOtherDaughter #CarolineBishop Title: The Other Daughter

Author: Caroline Bishop

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

A timely novel about an ambitious London journalist who reports on the fight for women’s rights in 1970s Switzerland, and the daughter who uncovers the long-buried truth about the assignment years later—for fans of Genevieve Graham and Heather Marshall.

2016

Jess is at a crossroads in life. In her late thirties, all she has to show for it is a broken marriage and a job teaching a bunch of uninterested kids. But when she discovers a shocking secret about her late mother, Sylvia, Jess begins to question all she’s ever known. Her search for answers leads to a 1970s article about women’s rights in Switzerland that Sylvia wrote when she was a young journalist. But to uncover the real story of what happened all those years ago, Jess will have to go to Switzerland and find someone who knew her mother…

1976

Sylvia’s life is on track. She has a loving fiancé and her dream job as a features writer in a busy London newsroom—if only her editor would give her the chance to write about something important instead of relegating her to fashion, flowers, and celebrities. When Sylvia learns about the growing women’s liberation movement in Switzerland, where women only recently got the right to vote, she knows the story could be her big break. There’s just one wrinkle: she’s pregnant.

Determined to put her career first, Sylvia travels to Switzerland, and as she meets the courageous band of women fighting for their rights, she stumbles across an even bigger scoop, one that would make her male colleagues take her seriously. But telling the story will change her—and her baby’s—life forever.

Inspired by an important chapter of women’s history, The Other Daughter is an unforgettable novel about the bond between mothers and daughters—and the fight of women, generations over, for the freedom to choose their own path.


Review:

Astute, tender, and nostalgic!

The Other Daughter is a layered, intriguing tale set in Europe during 1976, as well as 2016, that is told from two different perspectives; Jess, a young woman who journeys to Switzerland after her mother’s death to unravel the secrets of her birth, and Sylvia, a writer who after travelling abroad to cover women’s rights not only befriends a wonderful group of courageous women but also unexpectedly delivers her baby girl early resulting in a turn of events that will ultimately have heart-shattering consequences.

The prose is reflective and sweet. The characters are troubled, inquisitive, and endearing. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style, intertwines and unravels effortlessly into a touching tale of life, loss, family, friendship, drama, emotion, secrets, heartbreak, passion, self-discovery, and love.

Overall, The Other Daughter is a heartfelt, sentimental, affecting read by Bishop that does a lovely job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into an insightful, heart-tugging tale that is atmospheric and highly absorbing.

 

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Caroline Bishop

Caroline Bishop is a journalist, an editor, and the author of two novels, The Other Daughter and The Lost Chapter. For the past fifteen years, she has written about travel, food, and theatre for many publications, including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, and BBC Travel. A British-Canadian, she currently lives in Switzerland.

Photo courtesy of S&S website.

#BookReview All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham @svwillingham @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #AllTheDangerousThings #StacyWillingham #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham @svwillingham @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #AllTheDangerousThings #StacyWillingham #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: All the Dangerous Things

Author: Stacy Willingham

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jan. 10, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

One year ago, Isabelle Drake’s life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally.

Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year.

Isabelle’s entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle’s past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust… including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.


Review:

Sophisticated, twisty, and riveting!

All the Dangerous Things is a highly suspenseful, character-driven thriller that takes you into the life of Isabelle Drake, a young mother who has barely slept a wink in the last year since her worst nightmare came true and her son was abducted during the night but who now at her wit’s end is willing to accept any help she can get to discover what really occurred even if it means working with the meddling true-crime podcaster Waylon Spencer and confronting a past she would much rather stay hidden.

The writing is precise and brisk. The characters are complex, secretive, and troubled. And the plot ratchets up the intrigue quickly as it twists, turns and unravels all the personalities, motivations, actions, and relationships within it.

Overall, All the Dangerous Things, at its core, is a novel about family, friendship, fear, secrets, manipulation, red herrings, revelations, childhood trauma, kidnapping, and motherhood. It’s a fast-paced, gripping, uniquely-written tale that highlights everything is not always as it seems and is a real page-turner you certainly don’t want to miss.

 

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 Stacy Willingham

STACY WILLINGHAM, author of A Flicker in the Dark, worked as a copywriter and brand strategist for various marketing agencies before deciding to write fiction full time. She earned her BA in Magazine Journalism from the University of Georgia and MFA in Writing from the Savannah College of Art & Design. She currently lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, Britt, and Labradoodle, Mako.

Photo by Mary Hannah Harte.

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

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

Author: Kate Meader

Series: Hot in Chicago Rookies #2

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

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 358

Format: ARC, eBook

Source: Kate Meader

Book Rating: 10/10

It was supposed to be a random hookup.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Review:

Passionate, provocative, and steamy!

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

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

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

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Kate Meader

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she's there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip.

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

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

Author: Jane Johnson

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

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

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

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

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

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


Review:

Atmospheric, mysterious, and intriguing!

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

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

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

 

This novel is available now.

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

       

 

 

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

 

About Jane Johnson

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

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

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

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

Author: Alexandra Lapierre

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 23, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

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

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

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

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


Review:

Rich, captivating, and immersive!

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

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

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

 

This book is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Alexandra Lapierre

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

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

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