Format: ARC

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

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

Author: Jane Johnson

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

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

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

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

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

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


Review:

Atmospheric, mysterious, and intriguing!

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

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

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

 

This novel is available now.

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

       

 

 

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

 

About Jane Johnson

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

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

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

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

Author: Alexandra Lapierre

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 23, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

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

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

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

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


Review:

Rich, captivating, and immersive!

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

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

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

 

This book is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Alexandra Lapierre

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

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The 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 Party by Clare Mackintosh @claremackint0sh @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLastParty #ClareMackintosh #DCMorgan #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh @claremackint0sh @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLastParty #ClareMackintosh #DCMorgan #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Last Party

Author: Clare Mackintosh

Series: DC Morgan #1

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Nov. 8, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 432

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8/10

At midnight, one of them is dead.
By morning, all of them are suspects.

It’s a party to end all parties, but not everyone is here to celebrate.

On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests. His vacation homes on Mirror Lake are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbors.

But by midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year’s Day, Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects. The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbors, friends and family—and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.

With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead…but who finally killed him.

In a village with this many secrets, murder is just the beginning.


Review:

Simmering, tight, and intriguing!

The Last Party is a tense, menacing police procedural that takes us to North Wales, where DC Ffion Morgan will have to team up with DC Leo Brady from the Cheshire Constabulary when the body of the previously famous opera singer Rhys Lloyd is found floating in Mirror Lake on New Years Day and the investigation quickly unearths secrets that point to him being a victim of misfortune, infidelity, and revenge or possibly a predator himself who through the years has preyed on anyone more vulnerable.

The prose is atmospheric and gritty. The characters are secretive, scarred, and impulsive. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel steadily into a sinister tale full of twists, turns, deception, revelations, emotion, violence, and murder.

The Last Party is the first book in the new DC Morgan series, and as I’m a huge fan of Mackintosh’s standalone thrillers, I’m interested and intrigued to read any and all of the next instalments to see how these characters will further develop and where she might actually take them.

 

This book 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 Clare Mackintosh

Clare Mackintosh is an award-winning New York Times and international bestselling author. She spent twelve years on the police force in England and has written for Guardian (UK), Good Housekeeping, and other publications. Translated into forty languages, her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide. Clare lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.

Photo by Astrid di Crollalanza.

#BookReview The Perfect Assassin by James Patterson & Brian Sitts @JP_Books @GrandCentralPub #JamesPatterson #ThePerfectAssassin #DocSavage #GCPInsider

#BookReview The Perfect Assassin by James Patterson & Brian Sitts @JP_Books @GrandCentralPub #JamesPatterson #ThePerfectAssassin #DocSavage #GCPInsider Title: The Perfect Assassin

Author: James Patterson, Brian Sitts

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Nov. 15, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

Prof. Brandt Savage—grandson of the legendary action hero Doc Savage—is forced into a top-secret training program where he discovers his true calling…as the perfect assassin.
 
Dr. Brandt Savage is on sabbatical from the University of Chicago. Instead of doing solo fieldwork in anthropology, the gawky, bespectacled PhD finds himself enrolled in a school where he is the sole pupil. His professor, “Meed,” is demanding. She’s also his captor. 
 
Savage emerges from their intensive training sessions physically and mentally transformed, but with no idea why he’s been chosen, and how he’ll use his fearsome abilities. Then his first mission with Meed takes them back to her own training ground, where Savage learns how deeply entwined their two lives have been. To prevent a new class of killers from escaping this harsh place where their ancestors first fought to make a better world, they must pledge anew : Do right to all, and wrong to no one.     

Review:

Thrilling, fierce, and action-packed!

The Perfect Assassin is a gripping, suspenseful tale that takes you into the life of Dr. Brandt Savage, a professor of anthropology whose planned sabbatical takes an unusual turn when he is kidnapped off the street by the enigmatic Meed and is schooled in the fine art of assassination.

The prose is taut and intense. The characters are complex, intelligent, and resourceful. And the plot using flashbacks and multiple POVs is a riveting tale of twists, turns, espionage, passion, intrigue, tension, terrorism, violence, corruption, elite training, and murder.

Overall, The Perfect Assassin is another successful collaboration by Patterson that features lots of different locales, sexual chemistry, battles, action, and adventure. It keeps you invested, engaged, and on the edge of your seat from the very first page, and if you can suspend disbelief for a little while, you will certainly be satisfied and highly entertained.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About James Patterson

JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. His books have sold in excess of 385 million copies worldwide. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past two decades - the Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club, Detective Michael Bennett and Private novels - and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand- alone thrillers.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Wait for Me by Sara Shepard @UnionSqandCo #WaitforMe #SaraShepard #UnionSqandCo

#BookReview Wait for Me by Sara Shepard @UnionSqandCo #WaitforMe #SaraShepard #UnionSqandCo Title: Wait for Me

Author: Sara Shepard

Published by: Union Square & Co. on Nov. 1, 2022

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Union Square & Co.

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Drowning in déjà vu . . .
 
Who is Casey Rhodes? Is she a no-nonsense realist or a hopeless romantic? A just-getting-by scholarship student or a sometimes-Cinderella dating the cool, cultured heir to a media empire and New York City’s most eligible? At seventeen years old and already in her sophomore year at NYU, Casey sheds disguises effortlessly. It’s how she navigates school and avoids the second-guessing that’s plagued her since she and her boyfriend Marcus got together. 
 
But then Casey starts hearing voices that terrify her so badly she flees to the remote beach town of Avon where she can sort through her thoughts and reset. But the voices only get more intense and are now accompanied by visions of places she’s never been and people she’s never met, like Jake who’s lived in Avon his whole life. There’s no way Casey could know him, yet she feels an immediate connection. And, crazier still: he feels it too. Together they search for answers, finding only questions—about their connection, Avon, Casey’s memories . . . And whose voice is she hearing inside her head?


Review:

Mysterious, thought-provoking, and romantic!

Wait For Me is a creative, dramatic tale that takes you on a journey into the life of seventeen-year-old Casey Rhodes as she struggles with her hesitancy towards her seemingly rich, handsome boyfriend Marcus, her haunting memories of the loss of her mother, the inexplicable attraction she seems to have for a boy who calls her Becky, and disturbing flashbacks that seem so real but from another life completely.

The writing is haunting and rich. The characters are confused, troubled, and determined. And the plot is a tortuous, emotional tale of life, loss, tragedy, desperation, familial drama, secrets, heartache, romance, tortured souls, and supernatural phenomena.

Overall, Wait For Me was a little different than I was expecting but was nevertheless a unique, compelling, twisty read by Shepard that kept me intrigued 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 Union Square & Co. for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sara Shepard

Sara Shepard is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the sixteen-book Pretty Little Liars series, which has sold millions of copies worldwide, has been translated into more than twenty different languages, and became a popular TV show on Freeform. She’s also the author of The Perfectionists and The Lying Game, which also were TV series, as well as The Amateurs series, and several books for adults including The Heiresses, Reputation, and The Elizas. She’s written more than thirty novels in total and is also active in the screenwriting and podcasting spaces.

Photo by Daniel Snyder.

#BookReview Never Rescue a Rogue by Virginia Heath @VirginiaHeath_ @smpromance @StMartinsPress #NeverRescueaRogue #VirginiaHeath #MerriwellSisters #smpromance #smpinfluencers

#BookReview Never Rescue a Rogue by Virginia Heath @VirginiaHeath_ @smpromance @StMartinsPress #NeverRescueaRogue #VirginiaHeath #MerriwellSisters #smpromance #smpinfluencers Title: Never Rescue a Rogue

Author: Virginia Heath

Series: The Merriwell Sisters #2

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Nov. 8, 2022

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, eBook

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Virginia Heath’s Never Rescue a Rogue, the next book in the Merriwell Sisters series, is filled with whip-smart banter, swoony romance, hilarious mishaps, and twisty reveals that will make you gasp and laugh in delight.

Diana Merriwell and Giles Sinclair only tolerate one another for the sake of their nearest and dearest. Everyone believes that the two of them are meant to be together, but Diana and Giles know that their constant pithy barbs come from a shared disdain—not a hidden attraction. Diana loves the freedom of working at the newspaper too much to give it up for marriage, and Giles is happily married to his bachelor lifestyle. But they do have one thing in common—the secrets they can’t risk escaping.

When Giles’ father, the curmudgeonly Duke of Harpenden unexpectedly turns up his toes, it’s only a matter of time before someone comes crawling out of the woodwork who knows the true circumstances of his only son’s birth. As the threat of blackmail becomes real, Giles must uncover the truth of his parentage first, or else he and all those who depend upon him will be ruined—and dogged bloodhound Diana is his best hope at sniffing out the truth. As Giles and Diana dive into his family’s past, the attraction that the two of them insisted wasn’t there proves impossible to ignore. Soon, the future of the Sinclair estate isn’t the only thing on the line…


Review:

Scandalous, seductive, and fun!

Never Rescue a Rogue is a playful, heartwarming tale that sweeps you away to London during 1826 and into the life of Diana Merriwell, a young, clever journalist who is determined to keep her identity as “The Sentinel” a secret at any cost, even if it means befriending and helping the annoyingly handsome, newly appointed Duke of Harpenden, Giles Sinclair who seems to be inundated with troubles and devastating secrets of his own.

The prose is amusing and light. The characters are loyal, charming, and endearing. And the plot is a delightfully enchanting tale full of family, friendship, societal expectations, scheming behaviour, tricky situations, desire, illegitimacy, danger, and steamy romance.

Overall, Never Rescue a Roque is a fast-paced, enticing, highly entertaining read by Heath that is the second book in The Merriwell Sisters series and a novel that I absolutely adored.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Virginia Heath

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin Mills & Boon took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

#BookReview Cradles of the Reich by Jennifer Coburn @JenniferCoburn @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #CradlesoftheReich #JenniferCoburn #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview Cradles of the Reich by Jennifer Coburn @JenniferCoburn @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #CradlesoftheReich #JenniferCoburn #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Cradles of the Reich

Author: Jennifer Coburn

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Oct. 11, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Three women, a nation seduced by a madman, and the Nazi breeding program to create a so-called master race.

At Heim Hochland, a Nazi breeding home in Bavaria, three women’s fates are irrevocably intertwined. Gundi is a pregnant university student from Berlin. An Aryan beauty, she’s secretly a member of a resistance group. Hilde, only eighteen, is a true believer in the cause and is thrilled to carry a Nazi official’s child. And Irma, a 44-year-old nurse, is desperate to build a new life for herself after personal devastation. All three have everything to lose.

Based on untold historical events, this novel brings us intimately inside the Lebensborn Society maternity homes that actually existed in several countries during World War II, where thousands of “racially fit” babies were bred and taken from their mothers to be raised as part of the new Germany. But it proves that in a dark period of history, the connections women forge can carry us through, even driving us to heroism we didn’t know we had within us.


Review:

Haunting, insightful, and affecting!

Cradles of the Reich is an absorbing, intense tale set during prewar Germany that takes you into the lives of three German women who all come from different backgrounds and with completely different motivations but whose worlds become uniquely connected and intertwined when they all find themselves residents of Heim Hochland, a secret Nazi breeding facility created and maintained specifically with the intent to create a pure Aryan race.

The prose is polished and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, intriguing, and strong. And the plot is a compelling tale of life, loss, love, family, sacrifice, courage, manipulation, motherhood, subjection, oppression, resistance, and survival.

Overall, Cradles of the Reich is a well-written, informative tale by Coburn based on real-life events that does an exceptional job of highlighting her considerable knowledge and impressive research into an unimaginable, narcissistic atrocity executed during one of the most dark, hate-filled, tragic times in history.

 

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 Jennifer Coburn

Jennifer Coburn is the author of Cradles of the Reich, a historical novel about three very different women living at a Nazi Lebensborn breeding home at the start of World War ll.

She has also published a mother-daughter travel memoir, We'll Always Have Paris, as well as six contemporary women's novels. Additionally, Jennifer has contributed to five literary anthologies, including A Paris All Your Own.

Jennifer lives in San Diego with her husband, William. Their daughter, Katie is currently in graduate school. When Jennifer is not going down historical research rabbit holes, she volunteers with So Say We All, a live storytelling organization, where she is a performer, producer, and performance coach. She is also an active volunteer with Reality Changers, a nonprofit that supports low-income high school students in becoming the first in their families to attend college. She specializes in college essay development, and interview prep.

Photo Credit: Killian Whitelock

#BookReview Locust Lane by Stephen Amidon @CeladonBooks #LocustLaneBook #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

#BookReview Locust Lane by Stephen Amidon @CeladonBooks #LocustLaneBook #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner Title: Locust Lane

Author: Stephen Amidon

Published by: Celadon Books on Jan. 17, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Celadon Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

For fans of Mystic River by Dennis Lehane and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Stephen Amidon’s Locust Lane is a taut and utterly propulsive story about the search for justice and the fault lines of power and influence in a seemingly idyllic town. Can anyone be trusted?

On the surface, Emerson, Massachusetts, is just like any other affluent New England suburb. But when a young woman is found dead in the nicest part of town, the powerful neighbors close ranks to keep their families safe. In this searing novel, Eden Perry’s death kicks off an investigation into the three teenagers who were partying with her that night, each a suspect. Hannah, a sweet girl with an unstable history. Jack, the popular kid with a mean streak. Christopher, an outsider desperate to fit in. Their parents, each with motivations of their own, only complicate the picture: they will do anything to protect their children, even at the others’ expense.

With a brilliantly woven, intricately crafted plot that gathers momentum on every page, this is superb storytelling told in terse prose—a dynamic read that is both intensely gripping and deeply affecting.


Review:

Compelling, tragic, and suspenseful!

Locust Lane is a tortuous, simmering thriller that delves into the complex dynamics between family members and friends and highlights just how dependent, toxic, and deadly some of those relationships can ultimately be.

The prose is taut and intense. The characters are arrogant, troubled, and self-indulgent. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, unravels and intertwines effortlessly into an ominous tale filled with suspicious personalities, shocking revelations, malicious behaviours, deception, manipulation, secrets, lies, power, corruption, privilege, and murder.

Overall, Locust Lane is a sinister, atmospheric, twisty whodunit by Amidon that does a wonderful job of highlighting just how vulnerable and susceptible technology and social media makes us and reminds us just how far some people are willing to go to keep deep dark secrets hidden away forever.

 

This novel is available on January 17, 2023.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Stephen Amidon

STEPHEN AMIDON was born in Chicago and grew up on the East Coast. He lived in London for twelve years before returning to the United States in 1999. He now lives in Massachusetts and Torino, Italy. His books have been published in sixteen countries and include two works of non fiction, a collection of short stories, and seven novels, including Human Capital, adapted as a film directed by Marc Meyers in 2019, and Security, also adapted as a film and released by Netflix in summer 2021.

Photo Credit: Celeste Amidon

#BookReview A Curse of Queens by Amanda Bouchet @AuthorABouchet @SourcebooksCasa #AmandaBouchet #ACurseofQueens #kingmakerseries #kingmakerchronicles #SourcebooksCasa #Sourcebooksfiction

#BookReview A Curse of Queens by Amanda Bouchet @AuthorABouchet @SourcebooksCasa #AmandaBouchet #ACurseofQueens #kingmakerseries #kingmakerchronicles #SourcebooksCasa #Sourcebooksfiction Title: A Curse of Queens

Author: Amanda Bouchet

Series: The Kingmaker Chronicles #4

Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca on Oct. 4, 2022

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Pages: 496

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Rating: 9/10

Discover an all-new adventure in USA Today Bestselling author Amanda Bouchet’s thrilling, white-hot fantasy series, The Kingmaker Chronicles!

The queen has been cursed, and no one knows who’s behind the plot to threaten the realm’s fragile peace. Desperate to help, Jocasta hatches a plan to find Circe’s Garden, a fabled island where she hopes to discover an antidote. But she can’t do it alone. She needs the strong arm and unflinching bravery of the warrior she’s loved since childhood—her brother’s right-hand-man and captain of the guard, Flynn of Sinta.

Together they can do the impossible. Yet with treachery brewing on Mount Olympus, one thing is clear: Thalyria and its new royals are still pawns in an epic game of power—one that might end in a War of Gods.


Review:

Complex, adventurous, and enthralling!

A Curse of Queens is an action-packed, seductive tale that takes us into the life of Jocasta, King Griffin’s younger sister and small-town healer who, after discovering the possible solution to the curse that binds her sister-in-law Queen Catalia and threatens overall peace in the kingdom, embarks on a treacherous journey to Circe’s Garden with the help of the one man who doesn’t seem to realize just how much he owns her heart, the talented and reliable captain of the guard, Flynn of Sinta in the hopes of finally discovering the magical antidote that could save them all.

The prose is brisk and tight. The characters are multilayered, fearless, and dependable. And the plot is a thrilling tale full of twists, turns, duty, danger, destruction, heartbreak, family, friendship, violence, tormented pasts, and unconditional love.

Overall, A Curse of Queens is a creative, passionate, epic fantastical novel by Bouchet that is brimming with dangerous quests, soul-searching dilemmas, sizzling romance, and complex, intriguing characters that once again kept me immersed and entertained from the very first page and is the perfect addition to the Kingmaker Chronicles series that I’m pretty sure I will never get enough of.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Amanda Bouchet

Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

Her first novel, A Promise of Fire, won several Romance Writers of America chapter contests, including the Orange Rose Contest and the paranormal category of the prestigious Golden Pen.

Amanda is a French master's graduate and former English teacher. She lives in Paris, France with her two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.

Photo by Richard Beban.

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