Format: Hardcover

#BookReview
The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride
@McBrideKristina @skyponypress

#BookReview The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride @McBrideKristina @skyponypressTitle: The Bakersville Dozen

Author: Kristina McBride

Published by Sky Pony Press on August 8, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.


Review:

Mysterious, unpredictable, and sinister!

The Bakersville Dozen is a young adult novel that takes us to the small town of Bakersville, Ohio where five popular, senior girls have one-by-one gone missing after being featured in a libelous video with eight of their peers.

The characters are nervous, bold, and at times impetuous. The writing is edgy and taut. And the plot is filled with an abundance of teenage drama, secrets, danger, jealousy, murder, red herrings, tension, and romance.

Overall, The Bakersville Dozen is a well-paced, suspenseful YA whodunit that reminds me of those classic 90s teen thrillers like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer that had you thinking “why would you do that?” while you simultaneously gripped the edge of your seat. It’s captivating, entertaining and has an ending you definitely won’t see coming.

If you haven’t had a chance already to check out my review for A Million Times Goodnight by McBride you can find it here:

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristina McBride

Kristina McBride is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is the author of two previous novels, The Tension of Opposites and One Moment. She lives in Centerville, Ohio with her husband and two young children.

#BookReview
A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride
@McBrideKristina @skyponypress

#BookReview A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride @McBrideKristina @skyponypressTitle: A Million Times Goodnight

Author: Kristina McBride

Published by Sky Pony Press on July 5, 2016

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

One night. Two paths. Infinite danger.

On the night of the big spring break party, seventeen-year-old Hadley “borrows” her boyfriend Ben’s car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see.

Now Hadley has a choice. She can go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture. Or she can raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.

Each storyline plays out in alternating chapters. In one strand, Hadley embarks on a reckless adventure with her best friends, spinning the perfect plan for revenge. In the other, stuck in a car with her ex-boyfriend, Josh, she’s forced to revisit the mistakes they each made, including whether they should ever have broken up at all. As events of a wild night race toward an explosive conclusion, old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.

A Million Times Goodnight is a fast-paced romantic contemporary thriller ripped right from the headlines.


Review:

Mysterious, thought-provoking, and romantic!

A Million Times Goodnight is a young adult novel that reminds us that every choice has a consequence and sometimes those consequences have far-reaching ramifications.

The characters are young, fearless, and at times irresponsible. The writing style is unique and delves into the idea of parallel universes by utilizing alternating chapters to present the different “what if” scenarios. And the plot is a fast-paced, twisty thrill ride full of adventure, heartbreak, and surprises.

It is, ultimately, a story about life, love, secrets, deception, betrayal, teenage drama, and friendship.

A Million Times Goodnight is a very intriguing novel that at times is quite moving. And although I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to I think teens, the target demographic, would definitely be able to identify and relate to their behaviour, mindset, and choices more readily.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristina McBride

Kristina McBride is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is the author of two previous novels, The Tension of Opposites and One Moment. She lives in Centerville, Ohio with her husband and two young children.

#BookReview
Cold Summer by Gwen Cole
@GwenCole_ @skyponypress

#BookReview Cold Summer by Gwen Cole @GwenCole_ @skyponypressTitle: Cold Summer

Author: Gwen Cole

Published by Sky Pony Press on May 2, 2017

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 322

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.


Review:

Harrowing, intense and poignantly emotional!

In this debut novel by Cole, she gives us a time-travel piece full of familial dynamics, friendship, teenage angst, fear, guilt, abandonment, trust, disappointment, unconditional support, and young love.

The writing is earnest and smooth. The characters are troubled, vulnerable and coming of age. And the plot, although a little inconsistent in pace at times, provides a captivating, heart-rending look at the psychological and physical effects of war, the struggles of finding one’s identity and place in the world, and the nervousness and excitement of falling in love for the first time.

Overall, I would have to say this is a quick, enjoyable, moving YA read with endearing characters you can’t help but root for and hope they find peace and happiness.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press and Gwen Cole for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gwen Cole

Gwen Cole grew up in upstate New York and then moved to Virginia where she did not graduate college. Instead she played bass guitar in a hardcore band and later married the lead guitarist. She enjoys large jigsaw puzzles, playing Xbox and softball, and watching movies. Gwen now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and very large dog, where she longs to live in the country again.

#BookReview #BecomingBonnie by Jenni L. Walsh #BonnieAndClydeVersary
@jennilwalsh @forgereads

#BookReview #BecomingBonnie by Jenni L. Walsh #BonnieAndClydeVersary @jennilwalsh @forgereadsTitle: Becoming Bonnie

Author: Jenni L. Walsh

Published by Forge Books on May 9, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: Forge Books

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From debut historical novelist Jenni L. Walsh, Becoming Bonnie is the untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo!

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family’s poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas’s newest speakeasy, Doc’s.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, and embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—Bonnie tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. What she doesn’t know is that her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.

She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.

Few details are known about Bonnie’s life prior to meeting her infamous partner. In Becoming Bonnie, Jenni L. Walsh shows a young woman promised the American dream and given the Great Depression, and offers a compelling account of why she fell so hard for a convicted felon—and turned to crime herself.


Review:

This is a remarkably fascinating interpretation about the life of Bonnelyn Parker, a young, sweet, god-loving girl who became known as one of the most notorious outlaws of the 20th century. She was, ultimately, a victim of the times and longed and strived to help support and protect those she cared for.

It is a story about familial responsibilities, poverty, coming-of-age, survival, friendship, dreams, desire and love.

The prose is precise and fluid. And the story takes us back to the mid-to-late 1920s to a dusty town on the outskirts of Dallas where people worked hard but didn’t always have much, prohibition was in full force and the worst, longest and deepest economic depression was just about to hit.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this story. It is a well written, intriguing, rich story, and even though there is not much known about Bonnelyn’s early life and the events that led up to her close, intimate relationship with the fugitive Clyde Barrow, Walsh has done an exceptional job of taking historical facts and surrounding them with fiction that is both alluring and exceptionally captivating.

 

This novel is available now!

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

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Jenni L. Walsh and Forge Books for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jenni L. Walsh

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia’s countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni’s passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet.

#BookReview
The Thirst by Jo Nesbo
@RealMrJoNesbo ‏@RandomHouseCA

#BookReview The Thirst by Jo Nesbo @RealMrJoNesbo ‏@RandomHouseCATitle: The Thirst

Author: Jo Nesbo

Series: Harry Hole #11

Published by Random House Canada on May 4, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 352

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

THERE’S A NEW KILLER ON THE STREETS…
A woman is found murdered after an internet date. The marks left on her body show the police that they are dealing with a particularly vicious killer.

HE’S IN YOUR HOUSE… HE’S IN YOUR ROOM
Under pressure from the media to find the murderer, the force know there’s only one man for the job. But Harry Hole is reluctant to return to the place that almost took everything from him. Until he starts to suspect a connection between this killing and his one failed case.

HE’S OUT FOR BLOOD
When another victim is found, Harry realises he will need to put everything on the line if he’s to finally catch the one who got away.


Review:

Welcome back Harry Hole!

This a brilliantly crafted, dark, gritty thriller that takes us on a hunt for a sadistic serial killer with a taste for blood and causes Harry to come face-to-face with some of the demons that haunt him.

The writing is seamless, precise and vivid.  The characterization is spot on with characters that are driven, selfish and flawed, including the tough and tenacious Harry Hole whose greatest struggles persistently involve his own addictions and obsessions. And the plot is a twisty, violent, tension-filled thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning and will definitely leave you speechless by the end.

Once again Nesbo has proven that when it comes to writing clever, gripping, fast-paced police procedurals with exquisite character development and spine-chilling storylines he’s one of the best.

 

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

 

About Jo Nesbo

Jo Nesbø is a bestselling Norwegian author and musician. He was born in Oslo and grew up in Molde. Nesbø graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics with a degree in economics. Nesbø is primarily famous for his crime novels about Detective Harry Hole, but he is also the main vocals and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. In 2007 Nesbø also released his first children's book, Doktor Proktors Prompepulver.

#BookReview
The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley
@lucindariley

#BookReview The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley @lucindarileyTitle: The Storm Sister

Author: Lucinda Riley

Series: The Seven Sisters #2

Published by Atria Books on March 22, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 501

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Ally D’Aplièse is about to compete in one of the world’s most perilous yacht races, when she hears the news of her adoptive father’s sudden, mysterious death. Rushing back to meet her five sisters at their family home, she discovers that her father – an elusive billionaire affectionately known to his daughters as Pa Salt – has left each of them a tantalising clue to their true heritage.

Ally has also recently embarked on a deeply passionate love affair that will change her destiny forever. But with her life now turned upside down, Ally decides to leave the open seas and follow the trail that her father left her, which leads her to the icy beauty of Norway…

There, Ally begins to discover her roots – and how her story is inextricably bound to that of a young unknown singer, Anna Landvik, who lived there over 100 years before, and sang in the first performance of Grieg’s iconic music set to Ibsen’s play ‘Peer Gynt’. As Ally learns more about Anna, she also begins to question who her father, Pa Salt, really was. And why is the seventh sister missing?

Following the bestselling The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister is the second book in Lucinda Riley’s spellbinding series based loosely on the mythology surrounding the famous star constellation.


Review:

Fascinating, enchanting and bittersweet!

This story is predominantly set in Norway during the late 1800s, as well as present day, and is told from two different perspectives, Ally, a young sailor who journeys to Scandinavia to unravel the mystery surrounding her ancestry after suffering heartbreaking tragedies; and Anna a country girl with an angelic voice that at times was not only a blessing but a curse.

The story, itself, is a dramatic tale filled with family, love, loss, grief, introspection, and new beginnings; as well as a comprehensive look into the composition of music and the art of sailing. 

The prose is lyrical, fluid and vividly descriptive. The characters are complex, intriguing, sympathetic and real. And the plot is written in a back and forth, past/present, style that captivates and engages you as it sweeps you along through the highs and lows of both Ally and Anna’s life.

This once again is another large novel by Riley, with over 700 pages, but it is so remarkably researched and well written that before you know it the story is finished and you’re yearning for more. I absolutely loved this story and even though it can be read as a standalone novel I strongly recommend you read The Seven Sisters (Book #1) first.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                          

 

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 over thirty languages and sold over ten million copies worldwide. She is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author.

Lucinda’s novels include The Seven Sisters, a seven-book series telling the story of adopted sisters and based allegorically on the mythology of the famous star constellation. The first three books, The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister, and The Shadow Sister have all been No.1 bestsellers across Europe, and the rights to a multi-season TV series have already been optioned by a Hollywood production company.

To read about the inspiration behind The Seven Sisters series, please visit thesevensistersseries.com

When not writing, travelling or running around after her children, she loves reading books that she hasn’t written with a glass or two of Provençal rosé!

#BookReview
Nest by Terry Goodkind
@terrygoodkind

#BookReview Nest by Terry Goodkind @terrygoodkindTitle: Nest

Author: Terry Goodkind

Published by Skyhorse Publishing on November 15, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 432

Format: Hardcover

Source: Skyhorse Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Terry Goodkind reinvents the thriller with a provocative, page-turning walk among evil.

Kate Bishop thought she was an ordinary woman living and working in Chicago. But when she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation into a brutal murder, Kate makes a shocking discovery: she has the ability to identify killers just by looking into their eyes.

Trying to grasp the implications of this revelation, Kate is drawn deep into a world of terror. She is tracked down by Jack Raines, a mysterious author with shadowy connections to those who share her ability. He tells Kate that her unique vision also makes her a target, and only he can help her.

Now, hot on Jack and Kate’s heels are a force of super-predators, vicious and bloodthirsty killers who will stop at nothing until Kate is dead. But even as she fights for her life, Kate still isn’t sure if Jack is really her salvation, or another killer coming to slaughter her.

An explosive mix of action and suspense, Nest is a landmark new novel from worldwide bestselling author Terry Goodkind, and a complete reinvention of the contemporary thriller. Travel with Goodkind on a dangerous journey to the back alleys of the darknet, to the darkest corners of our minds, and to the very origins of what it is to be human.


Review:

Spine-chilling, gritty, and hands down one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year!

As most of you know fantasy and science fiction novels are not my favourite and anyone who’s anyone knows that Terry Goodkind is very successful in those genres, so I have to admit in the beginning I was a little hesitant about reading and reviewing this novel, but boy am I glad I did.

This is a gripping, often gruesome, intelligent thriller that takes us on a journey into the dark and disturbing criminal underworld and immerses us in violence, manipulation, murder, depravity, immorality, wickedness, and pure evil.

The characters are complex, unique, and well developed.  And the story starts off with a bang and continues from there with an incredibly clever rollercoaster ride full of twists and turns, mystery, intensity and suspense that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

This truly is an extremely captivating novel that will not only shock, fascinate and scare you, but cause you to reflect on what “evil” really means and where it actually may come from.

What more can I say. This isn’t a good book, it’s a great book. Terry Goodkind you definitely have a new fan in me. 

 

This book was published on November 15, 2016 and is available now. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigo/CanadaBook Depository

 

 

Thank you to Skyhorse Publishing and Terry Goodkind for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It was a pleasure and honour to read.

 

About Terry Goodkind

Terry Goodkind is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and the creator of the most controversial new thriller of our lifetime. His work is often called “provocative”, “courageously original”, “terrifying”, and even “dangerous”.

More than anything; Terry Goodkind’s books are character driven stories that take a brutally honest inward look at ourselves. With a focus on the complexity of the human psyche, Terry Goodkind has an uncanny grasp for crafting compelling stories of people like you and me, trapped in terrifying situations.

With his latest novel, Nest, readers will be drawn into an original story of the driving forces behind those who take lives and those trying to save them, a struggle that will take readers into a dark world as we search for the origins of evil.

As a resident of Nevada, Terry Goodkind deeply appreciates the rights and freedoms of the United States, although worries about how quickly those rights are eroding. His passion for writing is a parallel to his passion for life.

Terry Goodkind is a part-time race car driver, a devoted husband to Jeri, the love of his life, and is a friend to animal-kind.

“My privilege in life is the joy of writing books and telling stories about people who fascinate me, the good and the bad. I am grateful to all of my readers for the critical role they play in making these books possible. Your passion is my passion, and I thank you.” – Terry Goodkind

#BookReview
Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand
@elinhilderbrand @littlebrown

#BookReview Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrownTitle: Winter Stroll

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Series: Winter #2

Published by Little Brown and Company on October 13, 2015

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 263

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

“Happy Holidays 2015! It has been a rough year for the Quinns, but I would like to start by saying thank you for all of the well wishes and positive missives sent our way.” 

Another Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn reflecting on the past year as he writes a holiday letter to friends and family. Though the year has had its share of misfortune and worry, the Quinns have much to celebrate. Kelley, now single, at least is on better terms with his first wife Margaret, who is using her celebrity to lure customers to the inn in record numbers. Their son Kevin has a beautiful new baby, Genevieve, with the Inn’s French housekeeper, Isabelle; and their daughter, Ava, is finally dating a nice guy–her devoted colleague, Scott. 

Now the Quinns are looking forward to celebrating Genevieve’s baptism, welcoming Isabelle to the family, and enjoying the cheer of Nantucket’s traditional Christmas Stroll. But just when a peaceful family gathering seems within reach, Kelley’s estranged second wife, Mitzi, shows up on the island after souring on her relationship with the inn’s former Santa Claus. Soon Kelley isn’t the only Quinn entertaining a surprise guest from Christmases past as lovers old and new gather beneath the mistletoe. With jealousy, passion, and eggnog consumption at an all-time high, it’s going to take a whole lot more than a Christmas miracle to get the Quinns–and the inn–through the holidays intact.


Review:

 The Quinns are back!

It’s been one year since we left the Quinns, and in this second novel in the Winter series we head back to Nantucket to see how the gang is faring.

It is a heartwarming story full of grief, jealousy, old loves, new loves, addiction, and the importance of family.

The writing is clear and fluent. The characters are well developed, endearing, and multi-layered. And the plot is engaging and entertaining, with an ending that has just the right amount of intrigue to leave you anticipating what comes next.

It was great to see the story and characters from Winter Street back and more developed in this novel. And although you could read it as a standalone, I think the curiosity and fascination left behind from the first novel was a large contributor to the appeal and enjoyment of this one.

If you haven’t read the first novel in the series, Winter Street, I would highly recommend reading it first, and be sure to look out for the third and final novel in the series, Winter Storms, due out this fall.

 

This book is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaChapters/Indigo

 

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

#BookReview
Mata Hari’s Last Dance by Michelle Moran

#BookReview Mata Hari’s Last Dance by Michelle MoranTitle: Mata Hari's Last Dance

Author: Michelle Moran

Published by Touchstone on July 19, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the international bestselling author of Rebel Queen and Nefertiti comes a captivating novel about the infamous Mata Hari, exotic dancer, adored courtesan, and, possibly, relentless spy.

Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom…or death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she’s been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers.

As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father’s cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe’s most infamous dancer.

From exotic Indian temples and glamorous Parisian theatres to stark German barracks in war-torn Europe, international bestselling author Michelle Moran who “expertly balances fact and fiction” (Associated Press) brings to vibrant life the famed world of Mata Hari: dancer, courtesan, and possibly, spy.


Review:

This is a fascinating and engaging story about the life of Mata Hari, the famous dancer, courtesan, who was tried and convicted by the French for being a double agent during WWI, and was subsequently executed for treason by firing squad in 1917.

It is told in first-person narration, and it takes us through a life filled with abandonment, abuse, poverty, riches, love, loss, and wartime.

Mata Hari lived in a time when respectable woman were meant to be demure and obedient and she was certainly nothing of the sort. She appeared to be extremely independent and passionate, but one wonders if this was simply a facade for loneliness and naiveté.

I have to admit that I knew very little about Mata Hari when I started this book, and I found her story to be extremely captivating and intriguing.  It certainly leaves you questioning whether she was truly a spy or whether she merely got caught up in all the glitz and glamour and, ultimately, chose the wrong paramours.

The writing is poetic and the story flows effortlessly from page to page. 

I really enjoyed this story and I highly recommend it.

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaChapters/Indigo

 

 

About Michelle Moran

Michelle Moran is the international bestselling author of seven historical novels. A native of southern California, she attended Pomona College, then earned a Masters Degree from the Claremont Graduate University. During her six years as a public high school teacher she used her summers to travel around the world, and it was her experiences as a volunteer on archaeological digs that inspired her to write historical fiction.

In 2012 Michelle was married in India, inspiring her seventh book, Rebel Queen, which is set in the East. Her hobbies include hiking, traveling, and archaeology. She is also fascinated by archaeogenetics, particularly since her children's heritages are so mixed. But above all these things Michelle is passionate about reading and can often be found with her nose in a good book. A frequent traveler, she currently resides with her husband, son, and daughter in the US. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

#BookReview
The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
@mkayandrews

#BookReview The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrewsTitle: The Weekenders

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Published by St. Martin's Press on May 17, 2016

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends-and the mix between the regulars and “the weekenders” can sometimes make the sparks fly. Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on Belle Isle when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found.

So she turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out that each of them has their own secrets, and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens…in a murderous way. Cocktail parties aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything.

Told with Mary Kay Andrews’ trademark blend of humor and warmth, and with characters and a setting that you can’t help but fall for, The Weekenders is the perfect summer escape.


Review:

Engaging, mysterious, and romantic.

This is an intriguing story full of deception, secrets, adultery, murder, and love.

The characters are multilayered, introspective, and a good mix of those you love and those you love to hate. The prose is clear and precise. And the plot is full of suspense, romance and a multitude of twists and turns that will keep you captivated until the very end.

This really is a perfect summer read that will have you not only contemplating the idea of revenge and retribution, but will also have you dreaming of beaches, wharfs, and sea salt air.

 

This book is available now.

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

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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.

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