Format: ARC

#BookReview Single Bald Female by Laura Price @LauraPriceWrite @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #SingleBaldFemale #LauraPrice #PGCBooks

#BookReview Single Bald Female by Laura Price @LauraPriceWrite @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #SingleBaldFemale #LauraPrice #PGCBooks Title: Single Bald Female

Author: Laura Price

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jun. 14, 2022

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

At thirty-one, Jessica Jackson has it all – the career she’s worked so hard for, the loving boyfriend and a cosy London flat they share with their cat. But a shock diagnosis turns Jess’s world upside down, and her contented life implodes with it.

As Jess juggles her career with chemo, and learns that her perfect boyfriend isn’t quite so perfect after all, her friends’ lives continue to follow the script – the ‘I said yes’ Facebook announcements, the big white weddings and the baby scans. Worrying that she’ll be left behind, she turns to online dating as she figures out what the future holds.

In the midst of it all, she meets Annabel, an enigmatic, enchanting twenty-seven-year-old, with incurable cancer. But while Annabel may be nearing the end of her life, she understands much more about living than anyone Jess has ever met. And Annabel is determined to show Jess how to make every day count . . .

Frank, funny and poignant, Single Bald Female is a completely unforgettable story of love and friendship.


Review:

Poignant, absorbing, and profoundly moving!

Single Bald Female is an exceptionally memorable novel that takes you into the life of Jessica Jackson, a young woman whose life gets turned upside down when she finally gets the promotion she’s always wanted, her boyfriend admits to having an affair, she receives the dreaded diagnosis of having breast cancer and must come to grips with all that entails, and she befriends, Annabel, a fellow cancer patient who quickly teaches her to live life to the fullest every day.

The prose is thoughtful and direct. The characters are strong, genuine, and endearing. And the plot is a compelling, touching tale of life, love, family, friendship, honesty, kindness, humour, contemplation, acceptance, introspection, grief, and loss.

Overall, Single Bald Female is a candid, powerful, beautifully written novel by Price that made me think, made me smile, made me cry, and resonated with me long after I turned the final page not only as a woman, daughter, and mother, but also the sister of breast cancer warrior.

 

This novel 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 Laura Price

Laura is a multilingual journalist who travels the world writing about restaurants. A proud Yorkshire lass at heart, she spent five years living and working in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Ireland, and is now settled in South London.

Laura worked for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Bloomberg News and Facebook for 15 years before becoming a freelance food, travel and lifestyle writer and consultant. Her work appears in publications including 50 Best, Condé Nast Traveller, National Geographic Traveller and Foodism. She is also project manager for 50 Next and contributing editor for 50 Best.

Laura is a confident public speaker who has presented at culinary events and women’s leadership forums from Bangkok to Bogotá, Melbourne to Milan. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and is a qualified translator.

Her debut novel, SINGLE BALD FEMALE, was published in 2022 by Pan Macmillan in the UK and HarperCollins in Germany. Laura is represented by literary agent Sophie Lambert at C&W. She is also a Faber Academy graduate.

Photo by Sara Beth Turner.

#BookReview Wicked Beauty by Katee Robert @katee_robert @RaincoastBooks @SourcebooksCasa #KateeRobert #WickedBeauty #DarkOlympus #SourcebooksCasa

#BookReview Wicked Beauty by Katee Robert @katee_robert @RaincoastBooks @SourcebooksCasa #KateeRobert #WickedBeauty #DarkOlympus #SourcebooksCasa Title: Wicked Beauty

Author: Katee Robert

Series: Dark Olympus #3

Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca on Jun. 7, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Raincoast Books, Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Rating: 9/10

She was the face that launched a thousand ships,
The fierce beauty at the heart of Olympus,
And she was never ours to claim.

In Olympus, you either have the power to rule… or you are ruled. Achilles Kallis may have been born with nothing, but as a child he vowed he would claw his way into the poisonous city’s inner circle. Now that a coveted role has opened to anyone with the strength to claim it, he and his partner, Patroclus Fotos, plan to compete and double their odds of winning.

Neither expect infamous beauty Helen Kasios to be part of the prize… or for the complicated fire that burns the moment she looks their way.

Zeus may have decided Helen is his to give to away, but she has her own plans. She enters into the competition as a middle finger to the meddling Thirteen rulers, effectively vying for her own hand in marriage. Unfortunately, there are those who would rather see her dead than lead the city. The only people she can trust are the ones she can’t keep her hands off—Achilles and Patroclus. But can she really believe they have her best interests at heart when every stolen kiss is a battlefield?

A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Helen of Troy, Achilles, and Patroclus that’s as sinful as it is sweet.


Review:

Smouldering, fervid and sinfully sexy!

Wicked Beauty is a tantalizing, action-packed retelling that takes you on a journey into the life of Helen of Troy, Achilles, and Patroclus as they all enter their names into the competition to become the next Ares and vie to take to the one coveted open spot as a member of the Thirteen but first they will have to survive three dangerous trials that will test their intelligence, speed, agility, strength, and wit, and a passion burning between them that could destroy their dreams but solidify their desire and hearts forever. 

The writing is spicy and seductive. The characters are driven, consumed, and intense. And the plot is a provocative, exhilarating tale full of competition, sexual tension, red-hot chemistry, sizzling attraction, flirty banter, murderous intentions, threatening situations, and scorching menage (MFM) sex scenes.

Overall, Wicked Beauty is another salacious, dramatic, erotic treat by Roberts that just took the desire, danger, and dirty of the Dark Olympus series to a whole other level and has left me curious and exceptionally eager to read whatever she manages to come up with next.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

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

 

About Katee Robert

Katee Robert is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Entertainment Weekly calls her writing “unspeakably hot.” Her books have sold over a million copies. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, children, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and two Great Danes who think they’re lap dogs.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Foundling by Ann Leary @annleary @SimonSchusterCA @ScribnerBooks #AnnLeary #TheFoundling

#BookReview The Foundling by Ann Leary @annleary @SimonSchusterCA @ScribnerBooks #AnnLeary #TheFoundling Title: The Foundling

Author: Ann Leary

Published by: Scribner on May 31, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good House, the story of two friends, raised in the same orphanage, whose loyalty is put to the ultimate test when they meet years later at a controversial institution—one as an employee; the other, an inmate.

It’s 1927 and eighteen-year-old Mary Engle is hired to work as a secretary at a remote but scenic institution for mentally disabled women called the Nettleton State Village for Feebleminded Women of Childbearing Age. She’s immediately in awe of her employer—brilliant, genteel Dr. Agnes Vogel.

Dr. Vogel had been the only woman in her class in medical school. As a young psychiatrist she was an outspoken crusader for women’s suffrage. Now, at age forty, Dr. Vogel runs one of the largest and most self-sufficient public asylums for women in the country. Mary deeply admires how dedicated the doctor is to the poor and vulnerable women under her care.

Soon after she’s hired, Mary learns that a girl from her childhood orphanage is one of the inmates. Mary remembers Lillian as a beautiful free spirit with a sometimes-tempestuous side. Could she be mentally disabled? When Lillian begs Mary to help her escape, alleging the asylum is not what it seems, Mary is faced with a terrible choice. Should she trust her troubled friend with whom she shares a dark childhood secret? Mary’s decision triggers a hair-raising sequence of events with life-altering consequences for all.

Inspired by a true story about the author’s grandmother, The Foundling offers a rare look at a shocking chapter of American history. This gripping page-turner will have readers on the edge of their seats right up to the stunning last page…asking themselves, “Did this really happen here?”


Review:

Simmering, shocking, and insightful!

The Foundling is an intriguing, immersive tale that sweeps you away to Pennsylvania during 1927 and into the Nettleton State Village for Feeble-minded Women of Childbearing Age, where women who are supposedly dim-witted or sexually loose are sent to be incarcerated often for trivial reasons only to endure emotional and physical abuse, excessive workloads, forced sterilization, meagre basic necessities, and often vicious, unwarranted punishments.

The prose is smooth and sophisticated. The characters are naive, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is a compelling tale about life, loss, love, heartbreak, courage, hope, manipulation, corruption, ethics, morality, racism, and abuse of power.

Overall, The Foundling is a gripping, enlightening, somewhat disturbing tale by Leary that does a remarkable job of highlighting her incredible knowledge and research into this horrifying time in history that included extreme prejudice, the repression of women, a vast gap between the rich and poor, and unimaginable support for the eugenics movement.

 

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 Ann Leary

Ann Leary is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels, THE CHILDREN, THE GOOD HOUSE, OUTTAKES FROM A MARRIAGE, and the memoir, AN INNOCENT, A BROAD.

Her work has been translated into eighteen languages and she has written for numerous publications including Ploughshares, NPR, Real Simple and the New York Times. Ann’s Modern Love essay, “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive,” was adapted for the Amazon Modern Love TV Series and stars Tina Fey and John Slattery. THE GOOD HOUSE was adapted as a motion picture starring Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline and recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Her new novel, THE FOUNDLING will be released on May, 31, 2022.

Ann and her husband Denis Leary live in New York.

Photo by Scott M. Lacey.

#BookReview The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz @CeladonBooks #TheLatecomerBook #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

#BookReview The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz @CeladonBooks #TheLatecomerBook #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner Title: The Latecomer

Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz

Published by: Celadon Books on May 31, 2022

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Celadon Books

Book Rating: 8/10

The Latecomer follows the story of the wealthy, New York City-based Oppenheimer family, from the first meeting of parents Salo and Johanna, under tragic circumstances, to their triplets born during the early days of IVF. As children, the three siblings – Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally – feel no strong familial bond and cannot wait to go their separate ways, even as their father becomes more distanced and their mother more desperate. When the triplets leave for college, Johanna, faced with being truly alone, makes the decision to have a fourth child. What role will the “latecomer” play in this fractured family?

A complex novel that builds slowly and deliberately, The Latecomer touches on the topics of grief and guilt, generational trauma, privilege and race, traditions and religion, and family dynamics. It is a profound and witty family story from an accomplished author, known for the depth of her character studies, expertly woven storylines, and plot twists.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Latecomer is a layered and immersive literary novel about three siblings, desperate to escape one another, and the upending of their family by the late arrival of a fourth.


Review:

Sincere, simmering, and dramatic!

The Latecomer is a layered, compelling, multi-generational story that delves into the complex bonds and emotional scars that can exist between family members and immerses you in a tale about discovering one’s true self, confronting the past, accepting the things you cannot change, learning to heal, and moving on.

The prose is nuanced and fluid. The characters are conflicted, self-absorbed, and bitter. And the plot told from multiple POVs is an intriguing tale about life, loss, secrets, resentment, privilege, race, individuality, sexuality, infidelity, fertility, acceptance, forgiveness, friendship, and family drama.

Overall, The Latecomer is a rich, immersive, character-driven tale by Korelitz that reminded me that life is complicated, challenging, messy, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other special, defining moments that happen in-between.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

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

 

About Jean Hanff Korelitz

Jean Hanff Korelitz is the author of the novels You Should Have Known (which aired on HBO in October 2020 as The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, and Donald Sutherland), Admission (adapted as a film in 2013 starring Tina Fey), The Devil and Webster, The White Rose, The Sabbathday River and A Jury of Her Peers, as well as Interference Powder, a novel for children. Her company BOOKTHEWRITER hosts Pop-Up Book Groups in which small groups of readers discuss new books with their authors. She lives in New York City with her husband, Irish poet Paul Muldoon.

Photo by Michael Avedon.

#BookReview Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle @EbonyLadelle @SimonSchusterCA @simonteen #LoveRadio #EbonyLaDelle #SimonTeen

#BookReview Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle @EbonyLadelle @SimonSchusterCA @simonteen #LoveRadio #EbonyLaDelle #SimonTeen Title: Love Radio

Author: Ebony LaDelle

Published by: Simon & Schuster BFYR on May 31, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Prince Jones is the guy with all the answers—or so it seems. After all, at seventeen, he has his own segment on Detroit’s popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, where he dishes out advice to the brokenhearted.

Prince has always dreamed of becoming a DJ and falling in love. But being the main caretaker for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and his little brother means his dreams will stay just that and the only romances in his life are the ones he hears about from his listeners.

Until he meets Dani Ford.

Dani isn’t checking for anybody. She’s focused on her plan: ace senior year, score a scholarship, and move to New York City to become a famous author. But her college essay keeps tripping her up and acknowledging what’s blocking her means dealing with what happened at that party a few months ago.

And that’s one thing Dani can’t do.

When the romantic DJ meets the ambitious writer, sparks fly. Prince is smitten, but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. She gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for.

Three dates for the love expert to take his own advice, and just maybe change two lives forever.


Review:

Sweet, tender, and uplifting!

Love Radio is a bighearted, passionate tale that takes you into the lives of two main characters. Prince, a young DJ who spends most of his days juggling school, a radio slot, and taking care of his disabled mother and young brother, and Danielle, a high school senior struggling to socialize and do the thing she’s always loved to do, write, after being violated one night at a college party.

The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters are well-drawn, genuine, and kind. And the plot is the perfect blend of heart, hope, humour, drama, and emotion.

Love Radio is, ultimately, a story about coming-of-age, life, friendship, family, self-discovery, culture, trauma, responsibilities, patience, independence, and the joys of falling in love. It’s an empowering, charming, heart-tugging novel by LaDelle that’s also a true love letter to the city of Detroit, Motown, and some of the greatest authors of all time.

 

This book is available now.

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

              

 

 

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

 

About Ebony LaDelle

She co-hosted Why Not YA?, a @belletrist and @epicreads monthly video series where she interviewed authors in the young adult space. Born in MI, awoken at Howard U, and cultivated in Brooklyn, Ebony can usually be found searching for her next live concert, scouting out the latest food craze to try, rocking out to Motown, or being the undisputed Mom Friend of any group. You can follow her on social at any of the links below.

Photo by Taylor Baldwin.

#BookReview The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley @lucindariley @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #TheMurdersatFleatHouse #LucindaRiley #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley @lucindariley @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #TheMurdersatFleatHouse #LucindaRiley #PGCBooks Title: The Murders at Fleat House

Author: Lucinda Riley

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 26, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

The sudden death of a pupil in Fleat House at St Stephen’s – a small private boarding school in deepest Norfolk – is a shocking event that the headmaster is very keen to call a tragic accident.

But the local police cannot rule out foul play and the case prompts the return of high-flying Detective Inspector Jazmine ‘Jazz’ Hunter to the force. Jazz has her own private reasons for stepping away from her police career in London, but reluctantly agrees to front the investigation as a favour to her old boss.

Reunited with her loyal Sergeant, Alastair Miles, she enters the closed world of the school, and as Jazz begins to probe the circumstances surrounding Charlie Cavendish’s tragic death, events are soon to take another troubling turn.

Charlie is exposed as an arrogant bully and those around him had both motive and opportunity to switch the drugs he took daily to control his epilepsy.

As staff at the school close ranks, the disappearance of young pupil Rory Millar and the death of an elderly Classics Master provide Jazz with important leads, but are destined to complicate the investigation further. As snow covers the landscape and another suspect goes missing, Jazz must also confront her own personal demons . . .

Then a particularly grim discovery at the school makes this the most challenging murder investigation of her career. Because Fleat House hides secrets darker than even Jazz could ever have imagined . . .


Review:

Riveting, meticulous, and unpredictable!

In this latest novel by Riley, The Murders at Fleat House, she transports us to Norfolk, England, home to St. Stephen’s School, an elite boarding school that has all the usual fare, entitled students, unrelenting bullies, ghost stories, favouritism, and a history of scandals, violence, and death that may be about to repeat itself.

The writing is sharp and tight. The characters are vulnerable, troubled, and multilayered. And the plot is a suspenseful, twisty tale filled with manipulation, familial drama, deception, lies, neglect, jealousy, secrets, revelations, vengeance, mayhem, and murder.

The passing of Lucinda Riley in the middle of last year was a tremendous loss for the literary world, and it’s an honour to be able to read anything she wrote. The Murders at Fleat House is not the typical novel we’ve seen from Riley in the past several years as she swept us away into the stories of The Seven Sisters, but it is nevertheless a clever, tortuous, cunning page-turner that kept me guessing from the very first page and ultimately left me surprised, satisfied, and thoroughly entertained.

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 Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland and, after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four.

Her books have been translated into thirty-seven languages and sold thirty million copies worldwide. She is a New York Times and Sunday Times number one bestseller.Lucinda's Seven Sisters series, which tells the story of adopted sisters and is inspired by the mythology of the famous star cluster, has become a global phenomenon. The series is a number one bestseller across the world and is currently in development with a major TV production company.

Though she brought up her four children mostly in Norfolk in England, in 2015 Lucinda fulfilled her dream of buying a remote farmhouse in West Cork, Ireland, which she always felt was her spiritual home, and indeed this was where her last five books were written. Lucinda was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and died in June 2021

#BookReview Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry @Tamara_Morgan @PPPress #BuriedinaGoodBook #TamaraBerry #BytheBookMysteries #inkedinpoison

#BookReview Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry @Tamara_Morgan @PPPress #BuriedinaGoodBook #TamaraBerry #BytheBookMysteries #inkedinpoison Title: Buried in a Good Book

Author: Tamara Berry

Series: By the Book Mysteries #1

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on May 24, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 312

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A thriller writer who knows way more than anyone should about death and dismemberment

Her young daughter who’s more intrigued by dead bodies than she probably should be

An isolated cabin in the woods that’s probably―definitely―hiding something

The tiny mountain town that seems less than troubled by a sudden abundance of murders

Bestselling thriller writer Tess Harrow is almost at the end of her rope when she arrives with her teenage daughter at her grandfather’s rustic cabin in the woods. She hopes this will be a time for them to heal and bond after Tess’s recent divorce, but they’ve barely made it through the door when an explosion shakes the cabin. Suddenly it’s raining fish guts and…is that a human arm?

Tess was hardly convincing Gertie that a summer without Wi-Fi and running water would be an adventure. Now she’s thrust into a murder investigation, neighbors are saying they’ve spotted Bigfoot in the woods near her cabin, and the local sheriff is the spitting image of her character Detective Gabriel Gonzales―something he’s less than thrilled about. With so much more than her daughter’s summer plans at stake, it’s up to Tess to solve this case before anyone else gets hurt.


Review:

Intricate, fresh, and funny!

Buried in a Good Book is a wacky, mischievous tale that transports you to Okanogan County and into the life of Tess Harrow, a famous mystery writer who, after arriving at her late grandfather’s cabin for some rest and relaxation with her teenage daughter, Gertrude, quickly discovers that facts are sometimes even stranger than fiction when she finds herself smack dab in the middle of a bizarre murder investigation involving flying body parts and fish guts, exotic animals freely roaming in the woods, and a broody sheriff with an uncanny resemblance to Detective Gonzales, the beloved leading man of her successful series.

The prose is sharp and witty. The characters are endearing, unique, and persistent. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel quickly into an exceptionally humorous, thrilling tale filled with family, friendship, secrets, deception, danger, violence, spirited hijinks, hilarious mishaps, and small-town antics.

Overall, Buried in a Good Book is a quirky, clever, edgy mystery that kept me amused and entertained from the very first page. It’s the first novel I’ve read by Berry, but based on this fantastic, creative start to the new By the Book Mysteries series, I can guarantee you it won’t be my last.

 

This book is available now.

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

               

 

 

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tamara Berry

Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance copywriter/editor. She has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture.

She also writes romances under the pennames Lucy Gilmore and Tamara Morgan.

Photo by Emily Jones Photography.

#BookReview The Favor by Nora Murphy @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #TheFavorBook #MinotaurBooks #NoraMurphyBooks #FavorForAFriend #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Favor by Nora Murphy @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #TheFavorBook #MinotaurBooks #NoraMurphyBooks #FavorForAFriend #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: The Favor

Author: Nora Murphy

Published by: Minotaur Books on May 31, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Staying is dangerous. Leaving could be worse.

Leah and McKenna have never met, though they have parallel lives.

They don’t—ever—find themselves in the same train carriage or meet accidentally at the gym or the coffee shop. They don’t—ever—discuss their problems and find common ground. They don’t—ever—acknowledge to each other that although their lives have all the trappings of success, wealth and happiness, they are, in fact, trapped.

Because Leah understands that what’s inside a home can be more dangerous than what’s outside. Driving past McKenna’s house one night, she sees what she knows only too well herself from her own marriage: McKenna’s “perfect” husband is not what he seems. She decides to keep an eye out for McKenna, until one night, she intervenes.

Leah and McKenna have never met. But they will.


Review:

Devious, alluring, and intense!

The Favor is a riveting, character-driven thriller that immerses you into the lives of two strangers, Leah and McKenna, as their eerily similar worlds intersect, unravel, and collide while anxiously surviving day-by-day dangerous, controlling, troubling marriages.

The writing is brisk and precise. The characters are complex, troubled, and resolved. And the plot unravels quickly into an unnerving tale of secrets, power, control, deception, jealousy, obsession, domestic abuse, unlikely friendships, and murder.

Overall, The Favor is an addictive, twisty, brilliant debut by Murphy that delves into all the emotional and psychological damage caused by domestic abuse and highlights just how easily intimidation, manipulation, and dominance can often be masked as love.

 

This novel is available May 31, 2022.

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nora Murphy

NORA MURPHY attended law school in Washington, D.C., then worked as a judicial law clerk before transitioning to private practice. During law school, she participated in two clinics through which she represented and studied the issues facing survivors of intimate partner violence. A practicing attorney, Nora writes as much as she can, usually long before the sunrise or on her phone for brief moments when the inspiration strikes. Nora resides in Maryland with her husband, young son, and five rescue pets. When she’s not working, writing, or chasing her toddler, Nora can be found contemplating her next ice cream run or reading. The Favor is her first novel.

Photo by Crystal Tseng Photography.

#BookReview Sinkhole by Davida G. Breier @leekinginc @KayePublicity @unopress #Sinkhole #DavidaGBreier #KayePublicity

#BookReview Sinkhole by Davida G. Breier @leekinginc @KayePublicity @unopress #Sinkhole #DavidaGBreier #KayePublicity Title: Sinkhole

Author: Davida G. Breier

Published by: University of New Orleans Press on May 26, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 263

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Kaye Publicity

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Boiled peanuts, lovebugs, and murder.

Lies from the past and a dangerous present collide when, after fifteen years in exile, Michelle Miller returns to her tiny hometown of Lorida, Florida. With her mother in the hospital, she’s forced to reckon with the broken relationships she left behind: with her family, with friends, and with herself.

As a teenager, Michelle felt isolated and invisible until she met Sissy, a dynamic and wealthy classmate. Their sudden, intense friendship was all-consuming. Punk rocker Morrison later joins their clique, and they become an inseparable trio. They were the perfect high school friends, bound by dysfunction, bad TV, and boredom—until one of them ends up dead.

Confronting the death of her best friend requires Michelle to face her past if she is going to survive. But what if everything she remembers is a lie? Or just as dangerous: What if it isn’t?

An ingenious debut from editor and publisher Davida Breier, Sinkhole is a mesmerizing, darkly comic coming-of-age thriller immersed in 1980s central Florida. A disturbing and skillful exploration of home, friendship, selfhood, and grief set amidst golf courses, mobile homes, and alligators.


Review:

Raw, sinister, and consuming!

Sinkhole is a simmering, character-driven novel that transports you into the life of Michelle Miller who, after fifteen years away, reluctantly heads home to Lorida, Florida, knowing that the past will inevitably collide with the present, long-buried secrets will undoubtedly be unearthed, and a life littered with dysfunction, lies and insecurities will finally be confronted.

The writing is emotive and tight. The characters are flawed, vulnerable, and conflicted. And the plot is an immersive, coming-of-age tale about life, loss, deception, desperation, friendship, familial drama, manipulation, jealousy, obsession, cruelty, callousness, social inequality, and emerging sexuality.

Overall, Sinkhole is an astute, tragic, gritty tale by Breier that does a remarkable job of delving into the complex dynamics between friends and family and highlights just how parasitic and toxic some of those relationships can truly be.

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Davida G. Breier

Davida G. Breier was born in Miami, FL and spent her formative years in Florida, rural Minnesota, urban New Jersey, and suburban Pennsylvania. She’s worked as a youth sports photographer, TV extra, substitute teacher, jewelry maker, bookseller, and ATM cleaner. Davida discovered the world of zines and independent publishing in 1994 and Baltimore’s City Paper awarded her with “Best Local Zinester” in 2000 and “Best Zine” in 2003. She won the Literary Death Match, Baltimore 3.0 event in 2011. She’s spent the last two decades in various roles within the book industry and currently works for Johns Hopkins University Press. Davida lives in Maryland with her family, a pack of wee rescue dogs, a rescue tortoise, and two companion chickens.

Photo by Richard Montgomery.

#BookReview My Wife is Missing by D.J. Palmer @djpalmerauthor @StMartinsPress #MyWifeisMissing #DJPalmer #StMarinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview My Wife is Missing by D.J. Palmer @djpalmerauthor @StMartinsPress #MyWifeisMissing #DJPalmer #StMarinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: My Wife is Missing

Author: D.J. Palmer

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 10, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

A family vacation turns into a nightmare for Michael Hart when he discovers his wife and two children have disappeared from their New York City hotel room. Horrified, he fears they’ve been kidnapped. Michael’s frantic search to find them takes a shocking turn when he discovers that his wife, Natalie, appears to have left quite willingly, taking their children with her. The police want to know why, and so does Michael. But there may be a reason why Natalie ran, something Michael can’t tell the police―the truth about his past.

While untangling his deceptions might be the key to locating Natalie, Michael knows it could also be his undoing. To find his wife, he must now turn to the one person capable of exposing all that he’s been hiding. Natalie thinks she has Michael all figured out and has hatched a plan to escape from him permanently. One detail, though, threatens to derail her efforts: sleep―or more accurately, the lack of it. Since the moment the shocking revelations about her husband came to light, Natalie’s insomnia has worsened to the point that she now suffers from delusions.

Are her fears about Michael valid―or a symptom of her condition? With her children’s lives at risk, the stakes for Natalie could not be higher. On her own, running low on energy and resources, avoiding increasingly close calls with Michael―who is on the hunt and closing in fast―Natalie needs someone to turn to for help. But who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself?


Review:

Clever, twisty, and well written!

My Wife is Missing is an intricate, perfectly paced thriller that takes us into the life of Michael Hart, a husband and father of two who finds his life turned upside down when he returns from picking up a pizza for dinner only to find his wife and children missing from the hotel and only his son’s beloved bear left behind as evidence that they were ever even there.

The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters are astute, devious, and committed. And the plot unravels briskly into a sinister tale full of twists, turns, manipulation, deception, desperation, jealousy, red herrings, familial drama, marital strife, tragedy, and murder.

Overall, My Wife is Missing is an intricate, crafty, addictive read by Palmer that captivated, satisfied, and highly entertained me and was a good reminder that things are never quite what they seem, and behind closed doors nobody really knows what happens.

 

This book 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 for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About D.J. Palmer

D.J. PALMER is the author of numerous critically acclaimed suspense novels. He received his master’s degree from Boston University and after a career in e-commerce he shifted gears to writing full time. He lives by the ocean in Massachusetts where he is working on his current novel. Besides writing, DJ enjoys yoga, songwriting, and family time with his two children and his ever faithful dog.

Photo by Ron Cowie.

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