Format: Hardcover

#BookReview Brat: An ’80s Story by Andrew McCarthy @GrandCentralPub #Brat #AndrewMcCarthy #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Brat: An ’80s Story by Andrew McCarthy @GrandCentralPub #Brat #AndrewMcCarthy #GrandCentralPub Title: Brat: An '80s Story

Author: Andrew McCarthy

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on May 11, 2021

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 240

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

Fans of Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Rob Lowe’s StoriesI Only Tell My Friends will love this beautifully written, entertaining, and emotionally honest memoir by an actor, director, and author who found his start as an 80s Brat pack member.

 Most people know Andrew McCarthy from his movie roles in Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Less than Zero, and as a charter member of Hollywood’s Brat Pack. That iconic group of ingenues and heartthrobs included Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, and Demi Moore, and has come to represent both a genre of film and an era of pop culture.

In his memoir Brat: An ’80s Story, McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time. The result is a revealing look at coming of age in a maelstrom, reckoning with conflicted ambition, innocence, addiction, and masculinity. New York City of the 1980s is brought to vivid life in these pages, from scoring loose joints in Washington Square Park to skipping school in favor of the dark revival houses of the Village where he fell in love with the movies that would change his life. 

Filled with personal revelations of innocence lost to heady days in Hollywood with John Hughes and an iconic cast of characters, Brat is a surprising and intimate story of an outsider caught up in a most unwitting success.


Review:

Informative, interesting, and entertaining!

Brat: An ’80s Story is the honest, fascinating autobiography of Andrew McCarthy’s personal and professional successes, struggles, motivations, and accomplishments as a young actor in the early 1980s.

The writing is perceptive and genuine. And the novel is an introspective, compelling tale of one man’s life from a NY college student to the lights and fame of Hollywood in a time when high school movies aimed at teens would ultimately change pop culture forever.

Overall, Brat: An ’80s Story is a candid, intriguing, enjoyable tale by McCarthy that gives an insightful look into a talented life filled with hard work, determination, luck, and exceptional moments, but also one unfortunately often riddled with insecurity and addiction.

 

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 Andrew McCarthy

Andrew McCarthy is a director, an award winning travel writer, and—of course—an actor. He made his professional début at 19 in Class, and has appeared in dozens of films, including such iconic movies as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Less Then Zero, and cult favorites Weekend At Bernie’s and Mannequin. He chronicles these films and his time as a member of the Brat Pack in his upcoming memoir BRAT: An ‘80s Story (order here), to be published by Grand Central in May of 2021.

Andrew has directed nearly a hundred hours of television, including some of today’s biggest hits, including The Blacklist, Grace and Frankie, New Amsterdam, Orange is the New Black, and many others.

For a dozen years Andrew served as an editor-at-large with National Geographic Traveler magazine. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Time, Travel+Leisure, Town & Country, Men’s Journal, Bon Appetit, and many others. He has been named Travel Journalist of the Year by The Society of American Travel Writers, as well as serving as guest editor of the prestigious BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING anthology.

Andrew is the author of a travel memoir, THE LONGEST WAY HOME and a Young Adult novel JUST FLY AWAY — both New York Times bestsellers.

He lives in New York.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Last Night in London by Karen White @KarenWhiteWrite @uplitreads @BerkleyPub #TheLastNightinLondon #KarenWhite #UplitReads #gifted

#BookReview The Last Night in London by Karen White @KarenWhiteWrite @uplitreads @BerkleyPub #TheLastNightinLondon #KarenWhite #UplitReads #gifted Title: The Last Night in London

Author: Karen White

Published by: Berkley Books on Apr. 20, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: Hardcover

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8.5/10

New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a story of friendship past and present, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day.

A captivating story of friendship, love and betrayal – and finding hope in the darkness of war.

London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck – she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever.

London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie, healing from past trauma and careful to close herself off to others, finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, Precious’ enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’ haunting past – and the secrets she swore she’d never reveal …


Review:

Captivating, enigmatic, and absorbing!

The Last Night in London is a mysterious, dual-timeline tale set in London during WWII, as well as 2019, that takes you into the lives of two main characters; Maddie Warner, a young journalist who unexpectedly stumbles across an intriguing story involving long-buried secrets and complex relationships after travelling to the home of a distant relative to write an article about wartime fashion, and Precious Dubose, a 99-year-old former model with a story to tell that involves more than just designers and styles but one that is also brimming with heartbreak and deception.

The prose is expressive and rich. The characters are determined, resilient, and brave. And the plot is an alluring tale full of twists, turns, drama, duplicity, emotion, betrayal, family, friendship, life, loss, romance and mystique.

Overall, The Last Night in London is a bittersweet, evocative, compelling tale by White that illuminates the enduring passion and power of unconditional love and is certainly the perfect choice for historical fiction lovers and long-time fans of Karen White’s work.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen White

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of 28 books, including the Tradd Street series, Dreams of Falling, The Night the Lights Went Out, Flight Patterns, The Sound of Glass, A Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of All the Ways We Said Goodbye, The Glass Ocean and The Forgotten Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband near Atlanta, Georgia.

Photo by Marchet Butler.

#BookReview A Gambling Man (Archer #2) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @GrandCentralPub #DavidBaldacci #AGamblingMan #ArcherSeries

#BookReview A Gambling Man (Archer #2) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @GrandCentralPub #DavidBaldacci #AGamblingMan #ArcherSeries Title: A Gambling Man

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Archer #2

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Apr. 20, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Aloysius Archer, the straight-talking World War II veteran fresh out of prison, returns in this riveting new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.

The 1950s are on the horizon, and Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal—or all three.

Along the way, Archer stops in Reno, where a stroke of fortune delivers him a wad of cash and an eye-popping blood-red 1939 Delahaye convertible—plus a companion for the final leg of the journey, an aspiring actress named Liberty Callahan who is planning to try her luck in Hollywood. But when the two arrive in Bay Town, California, Archer quickly discovers that the hordes of people who flocked there seeking fame and fortune landed in a false paradise that instead caters to their worst addictions and fears.

Archer’s first stop is a P.I. office where he is hoping to apprentice with a legendary private eye and former FBI agent named Willie Dash. He lands the job, and immediately finds himself in the thick of a potential scandal: a blackmail case involving a wealthy well-connected politician running for mayor that soon spins into something even more sinister. As bodies begin falling, Archer and Dash must infiltrate the world of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and long-hidden secrets, descending into the rotten bones of a corrupt town that is selling itself as the promised land—but might actually be the road to perdition, and Archer’s final resting place.


Review:

Twisty, colourful, and unpredictable!

A Gambling Man is a menacing, action-packed mystery that picks up right where One Good Deed left off, taking us back into the life of Aloysius Archer as he now makes his way to Bay Town, California, by way of Reno, NV, where he befriends the luscious Liberty Callahan, wins a nice bit of cash on the roulette wheel, and attracts the attention of a ruthless gang of thugs before arriving on the west coast and taking up the position of junior PI to the infamous Willie Dash and working on a blackmailing case involving a mayoral candidate with extremely influential in-laws.

The prose is sharp and brisk. The characters are multilayered, flawed, and principled. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel seamlessly into a mysterious tale of mischief, mayhem, corruption, coercion, politics, suspicious motivations, criminal behaviour, dangerous endeavours, red herrings, deduction, lies, and murder.

Overall, A Gambling Man is an ominous, sophisticated, entertaining addition to the Archer series by Baldacci that I am confident will more than satisfy fans of 1950s noir with its action, adventure, violence, and straight-up detective work.

 

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 David Baldacci

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org.

 

Photograph by Allen Jones.

#BlogTour #BookReview The Vines by Shelley Nolden @ShelleyNolden @OverTheRiverPR #TheVines #ShelleyNolden #OTRPR

#BlogTour #BookReview The Vines by Shelley Nolden @ShelleyNolden @OverTheRiverPR #TheVines #ShelleyNolden #OTRPR Title: The Vines

Author: Shelley Nolden

Published by: Freiling Publishing on Mar. 23, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 391

Format: Hardcover

Source: OTRPR

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In the shadows of New York City’s North Brother Island stand the remains of a shuttered hospital and the haunting memories of quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned there by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses the enigmatic woman through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past–and his own family’s dark secrets.  Nolden skillfully intertwines North Brother Island’s horrific and elusive history with a captivating tale of love, betrayal, survival, and loss. 


Review:

Timely, action-packed, and supernaturally creepy!

The Vines transports you to North Brother Island, NY, from 1902 to 2008 and immerses you in all the obsession, tragedy, emotions, memories, fantastical elements, destruction, experimentation, sickness, and long-buried secrets that mars and defines the multi-generational, Gettler family.

The prose is mysterious and dark. The characters are obsessed, callous, and ruthless. And the plot told from alternating timelines is a fascinating, engrossing tale full of familial drama, heartache, tension, sacrifice, violence, and intriguing, historical medical philosophies and procedures.

Overall, The Vines is a spellbinding, atmospheric, sinister tale by Nolden that not only highlights her incredible knowledge and passion for a time and place that is often unknown, forgotten or overlooked, but also does a remarkable job of reminding us that advances in medicine has both a light and a dark side, as the power to help and heal often comes at a price.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Shelley Nolden & OTRPR for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Shelley Nolden

A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Shelley Nolden is an entrepreneur and writer, now residing in Wisconsin. Previously, she lived in the New York City area, where she worked on Wall Street and first learned of North Brother Island. At the age of 31, Shelley was diagnosed with leukemia and completed treatment three years later. The sense of isolation and fear she experienced during her cancer ordeal influenced her spellbinding debut novel, THE VINES.

 

#BookReview Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering @StMartinsPress #TooGoodtoBeTrue #CarolaLovering #StMartinsPress

#BookReview Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering @StMartinsPress #TooGoodtoBeTrue #CarolaLovering #StMartinsPress Title: Too Good to Be True

Author: Carola Lovering

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Mar. 2, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

ONE LOVE STORY. TWO MARRIAGES. THREE VERSIONS OF THE TRUTH.

Skye Starling is overjoyed when her boyfriend, Burke Michaels, proposes after a whirlwind courtship. Though Skye seems to have the world at her fingertips―she’s smart, beautiful, and from a well-off family―she’s also battled crippling OCD ever since her mother’s death when she was eleven, and her romantic relationships have suffered as a result.

But now Burke―handsome, older, and more emotionally mature than any man she’s met before―says he wants her. Forever. Except, Burke isn’t who he claims to be. And interspersed letters to his therapist reveal the truth: he’s happily married, and using Skye for his own, deceptive ends.

In a third perspective, set thirty years earlier, a scrappy seventeen-year-old named Heather is determined to end things with Burke, a local bad boy, and make a better life for herself in New York City. But can her adolescent love stay firmly in her past―or will he find his way into her future?

On a collision course she doesn’t see coming, Skye throws herself into wedding planning, as Burke’s scheme grows ever more twisted. But of course, even the best laid plans can go astray. And just when you think you know where this story is going, you’ll discover that there’s more than one way to spin the truth.


Review:

Intricate, creepy, and twisty!

Too Good to Be True is a sinister, psychological thriller that introduces us to three main characters. Skye Starline a young woman with looks, money, and a great career but unlucky in love, until recently, due to her often debilitating OCD, Burke Michaels, a handsome, mature father of three who seems to be the perfect fiancé except for the fact he’s broke and actually already married, and Heather, a middle-aged wife with a past littered with heartbreak and loss and a compulsive desire to have all the good things in life.

The prose is taut and intense. The characters are suspicious, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot using a mix of narration, diary entries, and flashbacks, and told from multiple POVs, intertwines and unravels effortlessly into a machiavellian tale of deception, lies, manipulation, jealousy, secrets, revelations, and mind-blowing mayhem.

Overall, Too Good to Be True is an unpredictable, tight, satisfying thrill ride by Lovering that had just the right amount of twists, turns, and surprises to keep me thoroughly engrossed from start to finish.

 

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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Carola Lovering

Carola Lovering is the author of TELL ME LIES (Atria Books) and TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE (St. Martin's Press). She attended Colorado College, and her writing has appeared in W Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Yoga Journal, among other publications. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Unfit Heiress by Audrey Clare Farley @GrandCentralPub #TheUnfitHeiress #AudreyClareFarley #AnnCooperHewitt #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview The Unfit Heiress by Audrey Clare Farley @GrandCentralPub #TheUnfitHeiress #AudreyClareFarley #AnnCooperHewitt #GrandCentralPub Title: The Unfit Heiress

Author: Audrey Clare Farley

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Apr. 2, 2021

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

For readers of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and The Phantom of Fifth Avenue, a page-turning drama of fortunes, eugenics and women’s reproductive rights framed by the sordid court battle between Ann Cooper Hewitt and her socialite mother.

At the turn of the twentieth century, American women began to reject Victorian propriety in favor of passion and livelihood outside the home. This alarmed authorities, who feared certain “over-sexed” women could destroy civilization if allowed to reproduce and pass on their defects. Set against this backdrop, The Unfit Heiress chronicles the fight for inheritance, both genetic and monetary, between Ann Cooper Hewitt and her mother Maryon.

In 1934, aided by a California eugenics law, the socialite Maryon Cooper Hewitt had her “promiscuous” daughter declared feebleminded and sterilized without her knowledge. She did this to deprive Ann of millions of dollars from her father’s estate, which contained a child-bearing stipulation. When a sensational court case ensued, the American public was captivated. So were eugenicists, who saw an opportunity to restrict reproductive rights in America for decades to come.

This riveting story unfolds through the brilliant research of Audrey Clare Farley, who captures the interior lives of these women on the pages and poses questions that remain relevant today: What does it mean to be “unfit” for motherhood? In the battle for reproductive rights, can we forgive the women who side against us? And can we forgive our mothers if they are the ones who inflict the deepest wounds?


Review:

Detailed, fascinating, and shocking!

The Unfit Heiress is the candid, expository tale of Ann Cooper Hewitt, a young woman who sued her mother in 1936 for involuntarily having her sterilized in order to acquire her inheritance, as well as an inside look into her infamous parent’s history and relationship, and the horrifying practice of forced sterilization.

The writing is intensive and insightful. And the novel is an intriguing tale of one woman’s personal experiences, legal battles, and struggles to find compensation, justice, love and happiness.

Overall, The Unfit Heiress is a thought-provoking, comprehensive debut by Audrey Clare Farley that does a remarkable job of highlighting her incredible knowledge and research into this monumental case, the eugenics movement, and the evolution of society’s perception and acceptance of women’s sexuality.

 

This novel 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 Audrey Clare Farley

Audrey Clare Farley is a writer, book reviewer, and historian of twentieth-century American fiction and culture. Having earned a PhD in English from University of Maryland, College Park in 2017, she occasionally lectures in history and literature at local universities. Her essay on Ann Cooper Hewitt, published in July 2019 in Narratively, was the publication’s second most-read story of the year. Her writing on the eugenics movement and other topics has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Public Books, Lady Science, Longreads, and Marginalia Review of Books, where she is a contributing editor. She lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Photo by Grace Farley.

#BlogTour #BookReview The Whispers by Heidi Perks @arrowpublishing @HeidiPerksBooks #TheWhispers #HeidiPerks

#BlogTour #BookReview The Whispers by Heidi Perks @arrowpublishing @HeidiPerksBooks #TheWhispers #HeidiPerks Title: The Whispers

Author: Heidi Perks

Published by: Century on Apr. 15, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Arrow Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A MISSING WIFE. FOUR FRIENDS. WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?

Anna Robinson hasn’t been seen since she went on a night out with her four closest friends.

She has a loving husband and a son she adores. Surely she wouldn’t abandon them and her perfect life. . .

But what has happened to her?

At the school gates, it’s not long before the rumours start. Anna’s oldest friend Grace is beside herself with worry – desperately searching for answers, and certain that someone is hiding the truth.

With each day that passes, Anna’s life is under increasing threat. And a the pressure mounts, it won’t be long before something cracks. . .


Review:

Ominous, atmospheric, and twisty!

The Whispers is a menacing, character-driven thriller that delves into the complex dynamics between friends and highlights just how dependent and toxic some of those relationships can ultimately become.

The prose is taut and intense. The characters are plagued, deceptive, and impulsive. And the plot using a back-and-forth, past/present style does a nice job of building tension as it unfolds a tortuous tale of friendship, lies, secrets, manipulation, and obsession.

As some of you know, I’m a huge fan of Heidi Perks, and this novel didn’t disappoint. The Whispers is another riveting, edgy, unsettling tale by Perks that kept me guessing from start to finish, and as always, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

This novel is available now.

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

          

 

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House UK – Arrow Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Heidi Perks

Heidi Perks was born in 1973. She lives by the sea in Bournemouth with her husband and two children.
Heidi graduated from Bournemouth University in 1997 with a BA (Hons) in Retail Management, and then enjoyed a career in Marketing before leaving in 2012 to focus on both bringing up her family and writing.
Heidi successfully applied for a place on the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative online Novel Writing Course and after that dedicated her time to completing her first novel, Beneath The Surface.
She has a huge interest in what makes people tick and loves to write about family relationships, especially where some of the characters are slightly dysfunctional.

 

#BookReview While Paris Slept by Ruth Druart @grandcentralpub #RuthDruart #WhileParisSlept

#BookReview While Paris Slept by Ruth Druart @grandcentralpub #RuthDruart #WhileParisSlept Title: While Paris Slept

Author: Ruth Druart

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Feb. 23, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

One woman must make the hardest decision of her life in this unforgettably moving story of resistance and faith during one of the darkest times in history.

Santa Cruz, 1953. Jean-Luc is a man on the run from his past. The scar on his face is a small price to pay for surviving the horrors of Nazi occupation in France. Now, he has a new life in California, a family. He never expected the past to come knocking on his door.

Paris, 1944. A young Jewish woman’s past is torn apart in a heartbeat. Herded onto a train bound for Auschwitz, in an act of desperation she entrusts her most precious possession to a stranger. All she has left now is hope.

On a darkened platform, two destinies become intertwined, and the choices each person makes will change the future in ways neither could have imagined.

Told from alternating perspectives, While Paris Slept reflects on the power of love, resilience, and courage when all seems lost. Exploring the strength of family ties, and what it really means to love someone unconditionally, this debut novel will capture your heart.


Review:

Pensive, poignant, and insightful!

While Paris Slept is an affecting, heartwrenching tale set in both France during 1944, as well as California during 1953, that takes you into the lives of five people whose lives are unimaginably changed one day when Sarah Laffitte, a Jewish prisoner, hands her newborn child to a Drancy railway worker in order to save his life.

The prose is emotive and charged. The characters are brave, selfless, and compassionate. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine seamlessly into an alluring tale of life, loss, family, tragedy, desperation, secrets, friendship, war, parenthood, unconditional love, and the true meaning of family.

Overall, While Paris Slept is an atmospheric, intense, impactful novel by Druart that sweeps you away to another time and place and reminds you that survival of any form takes unimaginable sacrifice, courage, strength, and often moral and ethical dilemmas.

This novel 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 Ruth Druart

Ruth Druart grew up on the Isle of Wight, leaving at eighteen to study psychology. In 1993 she moved to Paris, the city that inspired her to write While Paris Slept. There she pursued a career in international education and raised three sons with her French husband. She recently left her teaching position, so she can write full time while running her writing group in Paris.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers @redhookbooks @HBGCanada @BookSparks #TheLadiesoftheSecretCircus #ConstanceSayers #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope

#BookReview The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers @redhookbooks @HBGCanada @BookSparks #TheLadiesoftheSecretCircus #ConstanceSayers #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope Title: The Ladies of the Secret Circus

Author: Constance Sayers

Published by: Redhook Books on Mar. 17, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada, BookSparks

Book Rating: 8/10

Paris, 1925: To enter the Secret Circus is to enter a world of wonder-a world where women tame magnificent beasts, carousels take you back in time, and trapeze artists float across the sky. But each daring feat has a cost. Bound to her family’s strange and magical circus, it’s the only world Cecile Cabot knows-until she meets a charismatic young painter and embarks on a passionate love affair that could cost her everything.

Virginia, 2005: Lara Barnes is on top of the world-until her fiancé disappears on their wedding day. Desperate, her search for answers unexpectedly leads to her great-grandmother’s journals and sweeps her into the story of a dark circus and a generational curse that has been claiming payment from the women in her family for generations.


Review:

Rich, compelling, and mystical!

The Ladies of the Secret Circus transports you from present-day Virginia to 1920s Paris as it immerses you into the multi-generational, circus-owning Cabot family and all the powerful emotions, tragic memories, dark magic, fantastical elements, and long-buried secrets that swirl around them.

The prose is dark and mysterious. The characters are multi-layered, vulnerable, cursed, and troubled. And the plot told from alternating timelines is an ominous tale full of familial drama, heartache, tension, obsession, death, revenge, jealousy, sacrifice, sibling rivalry, and violence.

Overall, The Ladies of the Secret Circus is a spellbinding, atmospheric, romantic tale by Sayers that captivated me from the very first page and ultimately left me satisfied and highly entertained.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Constance Sayers

Constance Sayers is the author of A Witch in Time and The Ladies of the Secret Circus which will be published on March 23, 2021, from Redhook (Hachette Book Group).

A finalist for Alternating Current’s 2016 Luminaire Award for Best Prose, her short stories have appeared in Souvenir and Amazing Graces: Yet Another Collection of Fiction by Washington Area Women as well as The Sky is a Free Country. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

She received her master of arts in English from George Mason University and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She attended The Bread Loaf Writers Conference where she studied with Charles Baxter and Lauren Groff. A media executive, she’s twice been named one of the “Top 100 Media People in America” by Folio and included in their list of “Top Women in Media.”

She lives outside of Washington DC. Like her character in The Ladies of the Secret Circus, she was the host of a radio show from midnight to six.

Photo by Julie Ann Pixler.

#BookReview #Giveaway Elizabeth & Margaret @andrewmortonuk @GrandCentralPub #Elizabeth&Margaret #AndrewMorton #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview #Giveaway Elizabeth & Margaret @andrewmortonuk @GrandCentralPub #Elizabeth&Margaret #AndrewMorton #GrandCentralPub Title: Elizabeth & Margaret

Author: Andrew Morton

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Mar. 30, 2021

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

Perfect for fans of The Crown, this captivating biography from a New York Times bestselling author follows Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Margaret as they navigate life in the royal spotlight.

They were the closest of sisters and the best of friends. But when, in a quixotic twist of fate, their uncle Edward Vlll decided to abdicate the throne, the dynamic between Elizabeth and Margaret was dramatically altered. Forever more Margaret would have to curtsey to the sister she called ‘Lillibet.’ And bow to her wishes.

Elizabeth would always look upon her younger sister’s antics with a kind of stoical amusement, but Margaret’s struggle to find a place and position inside the royal system—and her fraught relationship with its expectations—was often a source of tension. Famously, the Queen had to inform Margaret that the Church and government would not countenance her marrying a divorcee, Group Captain Peter Townsend, forcing Margaret to choose between keeping her title and royal allowances or her divorcee lover.

From the idyll of their cloistered early life, through their hidden war-time lives, into the divergent paths they took following their father’s death and Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne, this book explores their relationship over the years. Andrew Morton’s latest biography offers unique insight into these two drastically different sisters—one resigned to duty and responsibility, the other resistant to it—and the lasting impact they have had on the Crown, the royal family, and the ways it adapted to the changing mores of the 20th century.


Review:

Sincere, intuitive, and captivating!

Elizabeth & Margaret is the candid, informative biography of Lilibet and Margaret. Two sisters whose lives were drastically changed when their father unexpectedly took the throne in 1936, their home suddenly became Buckingham Palace, and one became the heir apparent and would subsequently go on to become the longest-reigning British monarch of all time.

The writing is descriptive and vivid. The characters are special, unique, duty-bound, and intriguing. And the novel is a fascinating look into how two women with distinctive, individual personalities chose to live lives that were consistently under scrutiny and criticism.

I think in a time when royal fascination seems to be running high, Elizabeth & Margaret is an incredibly insightful look not only into the push-pull relationship between two sisters who seemed to genuinely admire each other but also the pressures, responsibilities, hardships, and luxuries they each individually experienced due to their respective positions and differing roles in the House of Windsor.

This book is available now.

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

                

 

 

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

 

GIVEAWAY!

I’m giving two people a chance to win a copy of Elizabeth & Margaret. To enter please visit my Instagram page HERE

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for sponsoring the giveaway! All giveaway information can be found in the Instagram Giveaway Post. Good luck!

 

About Andrew Morton

Andrew Morton studied history at the University of Sussex, England, with a focus on aristocracy and the 1930s. Morton has written biographies featuring the British Royal Family as well as celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, and Madonna. His bestselling biography of Princess Diana, Diana: Her True Story, met with international acclaim as “the closest we will ever come to her autobiography.”

Photograph courtesy of GCP Website.

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