Format: Hardcover

#BookReview Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens @ChevyStevens @StMartinsPress @RaincoastBooks #DarkRoads #ChevyStevens #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens @ChevyStevens @StMartinsPress @RaincoastBooks #DarkRoads #ChevyStevens #SMPInfluencers Title: Dark Roads

Author: Chevy Stevens

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 3, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

The acclaimed and beloved author of Still Missing is back with her most breathtaking thriller yet.

The Cold Creek Highway stretches close to five hundred miles through British Columbia’s rugged wilderness to the west coast. Isolated and vast, it has become a prime hunting ground for predators. For decades, young women traveling the road have gone missing. Motorists and hitchhikers, those passing through or living in one of the small towns scattered along the region, have fallen prey time and again. And no killer or abductor who has stalked the highway has ever been brought to justice.

Hailey McBride calls Cold Creek home. Her father taught her to respect nature, how to live and survive off the land, and to never travel the highway alone. Now he’s gone, leaving her a teenage orphan in the care of her aunt whose police officer husband uses his badge as a means to bully and control Hailey. Overwhelmed by grief and forbidden to work, socialize, or date, Hailey vanishes into the mountainous terrain, hoping everyone will believe she’s left town. Rumors spread that she was taken by the highway killer—who’s claimed another victim over the summer.

One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek, where her sister Amber lived—and where she was murdered. Estranged from her parents and seeking closure, Beth takes a waitressing job at the local diner, just as Amber did, desperate to understand what happened to her and why. But Beth’s search for answers puts a target on her back—and threatens to reveal the truth behind Hailey’s disappearance…


Review:

Unsettling, twisty, and intricate!

Dark Roads is a tortuous, disturbing mystery that introduces us to Beth Chevalier as she heads to Cold Creek, British Columbia, to investigate the horrific murder of her younger sister, Amber, after her body is found brutalized on the side of Cold Creek Highway, a lonely stretch of road where multiple women have suspiciously disappeared, including local Hailey McBride, over the past several decades.

The writing is brisk and sharp. The characters are tormented, vulnerable, and scarred. And the plot told from alternating POVs and using a back-and-forth style is an eerie whodunit full of twists, turns, lies, deception, familial drama, depravity, violence, and murder.

I can honestly say I have yet to read a novel by Stevens that I didn’t really enjoy, and Dark Roads is no exception. It’s a taut, tense, gripping tale that packs a real punch and is a spine-chilling reminder, especially for those of us who grew up hearing about this real-life crime this tale is loosely based on, that evil can often live comfortably amongst us, merely hidden behind masks of normality.

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Chevy Stevens

CHEVY STEVENS lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and daughter. When she isn’t working on her next book, she’s hiking with her two dogs on her favorite mountain trails and spending time with her family. Chevy's current obsessions are vintage Airstreams, Hollywood memoirs, all things mid-century modern, and stand-up comedians--not necessarily in that order. Her books, including Still Missing, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel, have been published in more than thirty countries.

 

Photo by Poppy Photography.

#BookReview What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster @zafatista @GrandCentralPub #NaimaCoster #WhatsMineandYours

#BookReview What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster @zafatista @GrandCentralPub #NaimaCoster #WhatsMineandYours Title: What's Mine and Yours

Author: Naima Coster

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

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 341

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

From the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family-and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships.

A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the span of the next twenty years.

On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee’s steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he’ll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle’s headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn’t protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie.

When Gee and Noelle join the school play meant to bridge the divide between new and old students, their paths collide, and their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives. And their mothers-each determined to see her child inherit a better life-will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come.

As love is built and lost, and the past never too far behind, What’s Mine and Yours is an expansive, vibrant tapestry that moves between the years, from the foothills of North Carolina, to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Paris. It explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.


Review:

Graceful, thought-provoking, and moving!

What’s Mine and Yours is a beautifully written, affecting tale that takes you back and forth in time and immerses you into the lives of two single-mother families as they grapple with all the secrets, wounds, smiles, tears, strength, discontent, and compassion that life seems to have handed them.

The prose is effortless and rich. The characters are authentic, angry, and raw. And the story is a touching, coming-of-age tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, race, discrimination, marital discord, courage, hope, socioeconomic disparities, and the complex dynamics that exist between family members.

Overall, What’s Mine and Yours is an insightful, nuanced, multi-generational family saga by Coster that reminds us that life is complicated, messy, challenging, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other special moments and lovely times that happen in-between.

 

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 Naima Coster

Naima Coster is the author of Halsey Street, and a finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Naima's stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Kweli, the Paris Review Daily, Catapult, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, as well as degrees from Fordham University and Yale. She has taught writing for over a decade, in community settings, youth programs, and universities. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Photo courtesy of grandcentalpublishing.com

#BookReview Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #CatchtheRabbit #LanaBastasic

#BookReview Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #CatchtheRabbit #LanaBastasic Title: Catch the Rabbit

Author: Lana Bastašić

Published by: Picador on May 27, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

A moving story about loss, forgetting and female friendship: two women on a road trip across Bosnia head towards a lost brother and a collision with the lies they’ve told themselves about where they’re from.

Sara hasn’t seen or heard from Lejla in years. She’s comfortable with her life in Dublin, with her partner, their avocado plant, and their naturist neighbour. But when Lejla calls and demands she come home to Bosnia, Sara finds that she can’t say no.

What begins as a road trip becomes a journey through the past, as the two women set off to find Armin, Lejla’s brother who disappeared towards the end of the Bosnian War. Presumed dead by everyone else, only Lejla and Sara believed Armin was still alive.

Confronted with the limits of memory, Sara is forced to reconsider the things she thought she understood as a girl: the best friend she loved, the first experiences they shared, but also the social and religious lines that separated them, that brought them such different lives.

In Catch the Rabbit, Lana Bastašic tells the story of how we place the ones we love on pedestals, and then wait for them to fall off, how loss marks us indelibly, and how the traumas of war echo down the years.


Review:

Frank, pensive, and melancholic!

Catch the Rabbit is a dark, gritty, nostalgic novel that takes us into the life of Sara, a young woman who is more than content with her current life in Dublin and how she’s managed to reinvent herself after growing up in Bosnia during the 1990s, until her childhood best friend, Lejla contacts her out of the blue after more than a decade to ask her to drive from Mostar to Vienna in order to find her brother who has been missing for more than twenty years, and whose disappearance has had a lasting impact on both of their lives.

The prose is perceptive and expressive. The characters are scarred, multilayered, and self-absorbed. And the plot, using a past-present style, is a reflective tale about life, loss, tragedy, family, friendship, coming-of-age, shared experiences, differing perspectives, and elusive memories, all interwoven with an undercurrent of the ongoing dread and tension experienced by those who must live and grow up in war zones.

Overall, Catch the Rabbit is a poignant, weighty, toxic tale by Bastašić that delves into all the messiness of life and highlights all the enduring psychological and emotional ties that exist between friends.

 

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

 

About Lana Bastašić

Lana Bastašic is a Yugoslavborn writer. She has published two collections of short stories and one of poetry. Catch the Rabbit, her debut novel, was published in 2018 in Belgrade and was shortlisted for the NIN Award. Her short stories have been included in major regional anthologies and have won numerous awards throughout former Yugoslavia. She lives and works in Barcelona.

#BookReview The Therapist by B.A. Paris @BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress @RaincoastBooks #TheTherapist #BAParis #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Therapist by B.A. Paris @BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress @RaincoastBooks #TheTherapist #BAParis #SMPInfluencers Title: The Therapist

Author: B.A. Paris

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jul. 13, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Raincoast Books, St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

The multimillion-copy New York Times bestselling author B.A. Paris returns to her heartland of gripping psychological suspense in The Therapist–a powerful tale of a house that holds a shocking secret.


Review:

Brisk, eerie, and intense!

The Therapist is a suspenseful, psychological thriller that introduces us to Alice, a young woman who is excited to move into a new home with her long-distance boyfriend Leo, that is until the murder-suicide of the previous homeowners is learned, the neighbours of this coveted gated community seem distant and unfriendly, a PI appears out of nowhere asking for help in identifying the true killer, and danger seems to be lurking around every corner inside and out.

The writing is edgy and tight. The characters are obsessed, consumed, and flawed. And the plot is an unnerving, suspenseful tale of deception, manipulation, suspicions, revelations, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Therapist is a twisty, atmospheric, sinister page-turner that does a wonderful job of highlighting just how easily people can be psychologically and emotionally exploited, and reminds us that even those we think we know so well often have deep, dark secrets they choose to hide.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About B.A. Paris

B. A. PARIS is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, and Bring Me Back. She grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters. The Dilemma is her fourth novel.

Photograph by Philippe Matsas.

#BookReview The Rehearsals by Annette Christie @MsAnnetteMC @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheRehearsals #AnnetteChristie

#BookReview The Rehearsals by Annette Christie @MsAnnetteMC @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheRehearsals #AnnetteChristie Title: The Rehearsals

Author: Annette Christie

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jul. 13, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: Forever, HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Have you ever made a life-changing decision and then wondered if you made the right one…? A clever, captivating and bittersweet story of what might have been. Perfect for the fans of Jojo Moyes and Marian Keyes.

When Liv and Nate walked up the aisle, Liv knew she was marrying the one, her soul mate and her best friend.

Six years later, it feels like routine and friendship is all they have left in common. What happened to the fun, the excitement, the lust, the love?

In the closing moments of 1999, Liv and Nate decide to go their separate ways, but at the last minute, Liv wavers. Should she stay or should she go?

Over the next twenty years we follow the parallel stories to discover if Liv’s life, heart and future have been better with Nate… Or without him?


Review:

Creative, thought-provoking, and delightfully optimistic!

The Rehearsals is a moving, time-loop tale that takes you into the lives of Megan and Tom, as after a disastrous rehearsal day, when difficult families, long-buried secrets, and thoughts of what-if leave them tired, confused, heartbroken, and calling the whole thing off fate magically intervenes leaving them reliving that same day over and over again in order to change, forgive and potentially rekindle the love they once shared.

The writing is sensitive and sincere. The characters are flawed, genuine, and weary. And the multi-layered plot is a heartfelt, absorbing tale about life, love, family, friendship, secrets, betrayal, compassion, romance, happiness, destiny, and second chances.

Overall, The Rehearsals is an emotional, pensive, brilliant debut by Christie that reminds us that life is complicated, things happen for a reason, secrets always have a way of coming to light, often the choices we make have far-reaching consequences, and love is, ultimately, always worth fighting for.

 

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

 

About Annette Christie

Annette Christie is a Canadian-American hybrid with a BFA in Theatre and a history of very odd jobs. Her writing has been published in HelloGiggles and The Guardian, and the back of her head is featured prominently in the film Mean Girls. She currently resides in Alberta with her husband and two children.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The War Nurse by Tracey Enerson Wood @TraceyEnerson @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheWarNurse #TraceyEnersonWood #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The War Nurse by Tracey Enerson Wood @TraceyEnerson @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheWarNurse #TraceyEnersonWood #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The War Nurse

Author: Tracey Enerson Wood

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Jul. 6, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

She asked dozens of young women to lay their lives on the line during the Great War. Can she protect them?

Superintendent of Nurses Julia Stimson must recruit sixty-five nurses to relieve the battle-worn British, months before American troops are ready to be deployed. She knows that the young nurses serving near the front lines of will face a challenging situation, but nothing could have prepared her for the chaos that awaits when they arrive at British Base Hospital 12 in Rouen, France. The primitive conditions, a convoluted, ineffective system, and horrific battle wounds are enough to discourage the most hardened nurses, and Julia can do nothing but lead by example―even as the military doctors undermine her authority and make her question her very place in the hospital tent.

When trainloads of soldiers stricken by a mysterious respiratory illness arrive one after the other, overwhelming the hospital’s limited resources, and threatening the health of her staff, Julia faces an unthinkable choice―to step outside the bounds of her profession and risk the career she has fought so hard for, or to watch the people she cares for most die in her arms.

Based on a true story, The War Nurse is a sweeping historical novel by international bestselling author Tracey Enerson Wood that takes readers on an unforgettable journey through WWI France.


Review:

Evocative, affecting, and incredibly absorbing!

The War Nurse is an immersive, fascinating tale set in German-Occupied France during WWI that takes you into the life of Julia Stimson, a young woman who recruits, trains, mentors, and guides sixty-four American nurses as they embark on a mission for the American Red Cross to take over the day-to-day duties of the Rouen base hospital from the departing British Expeditionary Force.

The prose is seamless and vivid. The characters are driven, courageous, and dependable. And the plot is an insightful, moving tale of life, loss, insecurities, self-discovery, heartbreak, determination, innovation, emerging medical practices, hope, loyalty, survival, and friendship.

Overall, The War Nurse is an alluring, rich, compelling novel by Tracey Enerson Wood that does a spectacular job of highlighting her incredible knowledge and research into this pioneering, historical figure whose remarkable life and contribution to the nursing field of medicine are often unknown, overlooked, or unfortunately long forgotten.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Tracey Enerson Wood

Tracey Enerson Wood has always had a writing bug. While working as a Registered Nurse, starting her own Interior Design company, raising two children, and bouncing around the world as a military wife, she indulged in her passion as a playwright, screenwriter and novelist. She has authored magazine columns and other non-fiction, written and directed plays of all lengths, including Grits, Fleas and Carrots, Rocks and Other Hard Places, Alone, and Fog.

Her screenplays include Strike Three and Roebling’s Bridge.

Other passions include food and cooking, and honoring military heroes. Her co-authored anthology/cookbook Homefront Cooking, American Veterans share Recipes, Wit, and Wisdom, was released by Skyhorse Publishing in May, 2018, and all authors’ profits will be donated to organizations that support veterans.

A New Jersey native, she now lives with her family in Florida and Germany.

#BookReview Runner (Cass Raines #4) by Tracy Clark @tracypc6161 @KayePublicity @KensingtonBooks #Runner #TracyClark #CassRaines

#BookReview Runner (Cass Raines #4) by Tracy Clark @tracypc6161 @KayePublicity @KensingtonBooks #Runner #TracyClark #CassRaines Title: Runner

Author: Tracy Clark

Series: Cass Raines #4

Published by: Kensington Books on Jun. 29, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Kaye Publicity

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Chicago in the dead of winter can be brutal, especially when you’re scouring the frigid streets for a missing girl. Fifteen-year-old Ramona Titus has run away from her foster home. Her biological mother, Leesa Evans, is a recovering addict who admits she failed Ramona often in the past. But now she’s clean. And she’s determined to make up for her mistakes—if Cass can only help her find her daughter.

Cass visits Ramona’s foster mother, Deloris Poole, who is also desperate to bring the girl home. Ramona came to Deloris six months ago, angry and distrustful, but was slowly opening up. The police are on the search, but Cass has sources closer to the streets, and a network of savvy allies. Yet it seems Ramona doesn’t want to be found. And Cass soon begins to understand why.

Ramona is holding secrets dark enough to kill for, and anyone who helps her may be fair game. And if Ramona can’t run fast enough and hide well enough to keep the truth safe, she and Cass may both be out of time.


Review:

Gritty, engaging, and propulsive!

In this engrossing fourth instalment in the Cass Raines series, Runner, Clark has written a fast-paced thrill ride that takes us into the life of the tenacious PI Cassandra Raines as she takes on a new case to find a fifteen-year-old foster care runaway who seems to have a lot of concerned people out on the icy Chicago streets looking for her, but as clues start to surface, and motivations don’t seem to be quite as altruistic as they first appeared, it will quickly become a race against time to find and protect Ramona from those who supposedly care.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are raw, vulnerable, and resourceful. And the plot unravels quickly into a suspenseful mix of twists, turns, manipulation, familial drama, lies, secrets, corruption, coercion, violence, and murder.

Overall, Runner is a fast-paced, tortuous, complex tale by Clark that does an exceptional job of reminding us that money and greed can easily sway perspective and is, in fact, often the root of all evil.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Kaye Publicity & Kensington Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tracy Clark

Tracy Clark is the author of the highly acclaimed Chicago Mystery Series featuring ex-homicide cop turned PI Cassandra Raines, a hard-driving, African-American protagonist who works the mean streets of the Windy City dodging cops, cons, killers, and thugs. She received Anthony Award and Lefty Award nominations for her series debut, Broken Places, which was also shortlisted for the American Library Association’s RUSA Reading List, named a CrimeReads Best New PI Book of 2018, a Midwest Connections Pick, and a Library Journal Best Books of the Year. In addition to her Cass Raines novels, Tracy’s short story “For Services Rendered,” appears in the anthology Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African-American Authors. A native of Chicago, she works as an editor in the newspaper industry and roots for the Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks equally. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, PI Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a Mystery Writers of America Midwest board member.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrews @StMartinsPress #TheNewcomer #MaryKayAndrews #StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrews @StMartinsPress #TheNewcomer #MaryKayAndrews #StMartinsPress Title: The Newcomer

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 4, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

In trouble and on the run…

After she discovers her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain she knows who did it: Tanya’s ex; sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. Even in the grip of grief and panic Letty heeds her late sister’s warnings: “If anything bad happens to me–it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”

With a trunkful of emotional baggage…

So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road with her wailing four-year-old niece Maya. Letty is determined to out-run Evan and the law, but run to where? Tanya, a woman with a past shrouded in secrets, left behind a “go-bag” of cash and a big honking diamond ring–but only one clue: a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel in a Florida beach town with the improbable name of Treasure Island. She sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel.

The No Vacancy sign is flashing & the sharks are circling…

And that’s the good news. Because The Surf, as the regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and down-right hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective. Can Letty find romance as well as a room at the inn–or will Joe betray her secrets and put her behind bars? With danger closing in, it’s a race to find the truth and right the wrongs of the past.


Review:

Heartwarming, mysterious, and colourful!

The Newcomer is an offbeat, intriguing tale that takes us into the life of thirty-three-year-old Letty Carnahan, who after discovering her sister Tanya’s murdered body and a magazine clipping featuring the Murmuring Surf Motel, flees with her four-year-old niece from NY to the west coast of Florida, where unbeknownst to her Tanya’s past unsavoury friendships, secrets, behaviour, and acquaintances will finally come to light.

The prose is amusing and light. The characters are multilayered, quirky, and endearing. And the plot is an engaging tale of familial drama, loss, grief, deception, theft, murder, kindness, suspicious personalities, taking chances, community, happiness, and love.

Overall, The Newcomer is a humorous, action-packed, entertaining tale by Andrews, and even though it’s not my favourite novel by this author, I still think it’s a satisfying, enjoyable pick for any summer day you’re planning to spend at the beach.

 

This novel is available now.

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

 

           

 

 

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

 

About Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the pen name of American writer Kathy Hogan Trocheck, based in Atlanta, who has authored a number of best-selling books under the Andrews pen name since 2002.

Trochek graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree in 1976. She worked as a reporter at a number of papers, and spent 11 years as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before leaving to write fiction full-time in 1991. She published ten mystery novels under her own name between 1992 and 2000, and switched to the Andrews pen name in 2002 to author Savannah Blues, which marked a change in her style to more Southern-flavored themes.

#BookReview The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheSweetnessofWater #NathanHarris

#BookReview The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheSweetnessofWater #NathanHarris Title: The Sweetness of Water

Author: Nathan Harris

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jun. 15, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, a profound debut about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever.

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.


Review:

Evocative, tragic, and incredibly affecting!

The Sweetness of Water is a powerful, riveting, emotionally-charged tale that sweeps you away to Georgia at the end of the civil war and takes you into the lives of a handful of people, including a lost father, a grieving mother, a returned soldier with a lot of aggression and a secret he will protect at any cost, two brothers recently enslaved who are slowly adapting to their newfound freedom, and a myriad of other southern people struggling to survive and accept the repercussions, fallout, and new way of life caused by their recent defeat by the Union Army.

The prose is sensitive and expressive. The characters are multi-layered, resilient, and vulnerable. And the plot, set during the mid-1860s, is a profoundly moving tale about war, familial relationships, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, shame, suspicion, secrets, desperation, resilience, hope, courage, resentment, emancipation, unlikely friendships, and forbidden love.

Overall, The Sweetness of Water is the perfect blend of historical facts, compelling fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a beautifully written, impactful, stunning debut by Harris that does a remarkable job of highlighting the indomitable spirit of humanity to endure, survive, conquer, forgive, and even love under even the harshest of circumstances.

This book is available now. 

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Nathan Harris

Nathan Harris, a native of Oregon, is a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas. He was awarded the Kidd Prize, as judged by Anthony Doerr, and was also a finalist for the Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Seven Days in June by Tia Williams @TiaW_Writes @GrandCentralPub #SevenDaysinJune #TiaWilliams #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Seven Days in June by Tia Williams @TiaW_Writes @GrandCentralPub #SevenDaysinJune #TiaWilliams #GrandCentralPub Title: Seven Days in June

Author: Tia Williams

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jun. 1, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget and seven days to get it all back again… From the author of The Perfect Find, this is a witty, romantic, and sexy-as-hell new novel of two writers and their second chance at love.

Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York.

When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York’s Black literati. What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. They may be pretending that everything is fine now, but they can’t deny their chemistry-or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books ever since.

Over the next seven days in the middle of a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect, but Eva’s not sure how she can trust the man who broke her heart, and she needs to get him out of New York so that her life can return to normal. But before Shane disappears again, there are a few questions she needs answered. . .

With its keen observations of Black life and the condition of modern motherhood, as well as the consequences of motherless-ness, Seven Days in June is by turns humorous, warm and deeply sensual.


Review:

Humorous, romantic, and gritty!

Seven Days in June is an emotional, all-consuming, character-driven, second-chance romance that takes you on a journey into the lives of Eva Mercy and Shane Hall, two tormented and tortured souls who spent seven days as teens finding comfort and solace in each other’s arms, and who now fifteen years later must discover if what they had was real, unconditional love that’s still worth fighting for.

The prose is rich and polished. The characters are consumed, damaged, and sincere. And the plot using flashbacks and told from alternating POVs intertwines and unravels effortlessly into a complex, absorbing tale of life, love, friendship, family, addiction, introspection, palpable emotion, undeniable chemistry, motherhood, childhood trauma, chronic pain, and the ups and downs of life as a writer.

Overall, Seven Days in June is a raw, fresh, unforgettable tale by Williams that is the perfect blend of heart, hope, humour, and heat and is undoubtedly one of the must-read novels for summer 2021.

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 Tia Williams

Tia Williams had a fifteen-year career as a beauty editor for magazines including Elle, Glamour, and Essence. In 2004, she pioneered the beauty blog industry with Shake Your Beauty. She wrote the bestselling novel, The Accidental Diva, and penned two YA novels: It Chicks, and Sixteen Candles. Her award-winning novel, The Perfect Find, will be adapted into a Netflix film starring Gabrielle Union. Tia is currently an Editorial Director at Estée Lauder Companies, and lives with her daughter and husband in Brooklyn.

Photo courtesy of grandcentralpublishing.com.

%d bloggers like this: