Format: Paperback

#BookReview
Broken Ground by Val McDermid
@valmcdermid @PGCBooks

#BookReview Broken Ground by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooksTitle: Broken Ground

Author: Val McDermid

Series: Inspector Karen Pirie #5

Published by Atlantic Monthly Press on December 5, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, and her gripping, masterfully plotted novels have garnered millions of readers from around the globe. In Broken Ground, cold case detective Karen Pirie faces her hardest challenge yet.

Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville’s inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise–a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. Meanwhile, DCI Pirie is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems. And as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.


Review:

Engrossing, intricate, and deft!

In this latest novel by McDermid, Broken Ground, we head back to Edinburgh where DCI Pirie and her sidekick DC Murray from the Historic Cases Unit find themselves pursuing new evidence in the case of a serial rapist from the 80s; tasked with identifying a body discovered in a peat bog in the Highlands alongside relics from WWII; and inadvertently involved in a new case of premeditated, cold-blooded murder.

The prose is gritty and descriptive. The characterization is superb with all the usual gang back including the intuitive, tenacious, Karen Pirie who’s still coping with the loss of her lover through nocturnal walks and designer gins. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine meticulously into an irresistible tale full of deception, abuse, deprivation, manipulation, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, Broken Ground is a highly entertaining, gripping, atmospheric thriller that highlights McDermid’s exceptional ability to write police procedurals that have well-drawn characters and edgy storylines. It is the fifth novel in the Inspector Karen Pirie series, and definitely one of my favourites.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

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

 

About Val McDermid

Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.

She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

#BookReview
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
@christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks

#BookReview My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooksTitle: My Favorite Half-Night Stand

Author: Christina Lauren

Published by Gallery Books on December 4, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

By the New York Times bestselling author who “hilariously depicts modern dating” (Us Weekly), My Favorite Half-Night Standis a laugh-out-loud romp through online dating and its many, many fails.

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Perfect for fans of Roxanne and She’s the Man, Christina Lauren’s latest romantic comedy is full of mistaken identities, hijinks, and a classic love story with a modern twist. Funny and fresh, you’ll want to swipe right on My Favorite Half-Night Stand.


Review:

Amusing, smart, and adorably romantic!

My Favorite Half-Night Stand is an engaging, witty, friends-to-more romance that features the spunky, intelligent Millie whose finding it harder and harder to keep her attraction for her best friend a secret, and the charming and honest Reid who may finally realize everything he’s ever wanted or needed is standing right in front of him.

The writing is whimsical and crisp and uses a delightful mix of text messages, group chats, snappy dialogue, and first-person narration from dual points of view. The characterization is spot on with an incredible cast of characters who are quirky, charismatic, and genuine. And the plot is an irresistible blend of shameless flirting, friendship, family, light drama, tricky situations, spirited shenanigans, awkward moments, steamy romance, and the hilarious ups and downs of online dating.

I’ve always been a fan of Christina Lauren novels, and My Favorite Half-Night Stand has just become my new favourite. It’s outrageously funny, deliciously swoon-worthy and without a doubt one of the best rom-coms I’ve had the pleasure to read this year.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

 

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

 

About Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined penname of longtime writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 International bestselling authors of The Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Dating You/Hating You, Roomies, Love and Other Words, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, and the critically acclaimed Autoboyography.

Photograph by Alyssa Michelle.

#BookReview
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
@lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent @lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCATitle: Lying in Wait

Author: Liz Nugent

Published by Simon & Schuster on November 27, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 310

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The second heartstopping suspense novel by international bestselling author Liz Nugent—filled with dark secrets, twisted relationships, and unexpected surprises.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

In 1980s Dublin, Lydia Fitzsimons seems to have the perfect life—wife of Andrew, a respected judge, and mistress of Avalon, the beautiful house where she grew up. Her pride and joy, however, is her only child, her son Laurence, to whom she is utterly, obsessively devoted.

But her husband’s murder of Annie Doyle, accidental or not, sets into motion a dark downward spiral. No one knows what Lydia and Andrew were doing with a drug-addled prostitute late at night on a deserted stretch of the strand near Dublin, but they stuffed her body into the trunk of their car and buried it in their tidy suburban garden, hoping that will put the matter to rest. Annie was a junkie from the wrong side of the tracks; surely no one will miss her or care to find out what happened to her.

Except that Annie has a sister. Her twin, Karen, who has fared much better in life, is desperate to find her. And when Karen crosses paths with Laurence, isolated and lonely, things begin to unravel. Laurence may be overweight and ungainly and bullied at school, but he’s more clever than he’s given credit for. He knows that something is very, very wrong in the Fitzsimons household—and he is determined to discover the truth…


Review:

Gothic, twisty, and downright creepy!

Lying in Wait is a compulsive, macabre, psychological thriller that isn’t so much a whodunit as a whydunit that delves into the complex dynamics between family members and reminds us just how controlling and possessive some of these relationships can truly be.

The prose is insightful, intense, and dark. The characters are obsessed, secretive, and perfectly unlikable. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and alternating timelines builds and unravels exquisitely into a story filled with unexpected twists, well-timed surprises, manipulation, fixation, ruthless deception, and pure wickedness.

Lying in Wait is an intelligent, murky, tragic tale that highlights the scheming, selfish, desperate side of human nature and the ability of even the most ordinary of people to commit the most heinous of crimes. It’s a tight, propulsive, shocking, must-read novel by Nugent that will grip you from the very first line, make your skin crawl throughout, and undoubtedly leave you wholly unnerved.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theater, and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written critically acclaimed short stories both for children and adults, as well as the novels Unraveling Oliver and Lying in Wait. She lives in Dublin.

Photograph by Beta Bajgartova.

#BlogTour #BookReview
Too Far Gone by Allison Brennan
@Allison_Brennan @StMartinsPress @MinotaurBooks

#BlogTour #BookReview Too Far Gone by Allison Brennan @Allison_Brennan @StMartinsPress @MinotaurBooksTitle: Too Far Gone

Author: Allison Brennan

Series: Lucy Kincaid #14

Published by Minotaur Books on October 30, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

The next intense installment in Allison Brennan’s New York Times bestselling Lucy Kincaid series.

When a man who appears mentally unstable holds a group of people hostage and dies in a shootout with the FBI, Special Agent Lucy Kincaid is assigned to investigate what happened. Up until two months ago, McMahon was a respected scientist—then his wife left him, he lost his job, and was arrested for assaulting a former colleague. The one person who might have answers — his research assistant — has disappeared. 

While Lucy is investigating this bizarre case, her husband Sean is on top of the world: his son Jesse is visiting for the summer. They are having a blast until someone follows them. Sean is positive that the surveillance is connected to Jesse’s step-father—a man who had once laundered money for a violent drug cartel. But when Lucy and Jesse are run off the road, they begin to wonder if the attack is connected to Jesse … or Lucy’s current case. 

Nothing is what it seemsnot the McMahon investigation or the car accident. As Sean and Lucy dig deep into the lives of everyone involved, one thing becomes clear: If they don’t find the truth fast, everyone they care about is in danger.


Review:

Ominous, engrossing, and suspenseful!

In this compelling fourteenth installment in the Lucy Kincaid series, Too Far Gone, Brennan has written an intricate, action-packed, police procedural that has FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid and her fellow law enforcement colleagues delving into a case that on the surface seems to be a simple hostage situation but which quickly unfolds into a complex case involving a suspicious death, a missing assistant, and a pharmaceutical company with something to hide.

The writing is taut and precise. The characters are rugged, intelligent, and relentless. And the two main plots intertwine and unravel into a seamless, entertaining tale full of deception, secrets, corruption, scandal, cover-ups, manipulation, family drama, jealousy, violence, and murder.

Overall, Too Far Gone is a multi-layered, captivating mystery that highlights that money and greed are often the root of all evil. And even though it’s another wonderful addition to the series that fans are sure to appreciate it can also be read and enjoyed as a standalone novel.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                         

 

 

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

 

About Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty novels and many short stories. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, she lives in Northern California with her husband Dan and their five children.

 

#BookReview
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
@john_boyne @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne @john_boyne @PenguinRandomCATitle: A Ladder to the Sky

Author: John Boyne

Published by Doubleday Canada on November 13, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The new novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Heart’s Invisible Furies, a seductive Highsmithian psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of fame

Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent – but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.
Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.
Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall…


Review:

Dark, seductive, and skillfully menacing!

A Ladder to the Sky is a character-driven, psychological thrill ride involving the ruthlessly ambitious Maurice Swift who has no qualms about using his handsomeness, charm, lack of conscience, and sociopathic tendencies in his ceaseless pursuit to become the world-class, successful writer he knows he can be.

The prose is unsettling and controlled. The characters, including the sinister, impulsive protagonist are consumed, complex, and vulnerable. And the brilliantly crafted plot builds nicely to create the perfect amount of tension and suspense as it unravels all the duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, questionable personalities, and parasitic relationships within it.

A Ladder to the Sky is an eerily compelling, darkly humorous, tragic novel that transports you to some of the biggest cities in the world and immerses you in a tale full of creative, eccentric, often self-absorbed characters that will keep you enthralled from start to finish. It’s a truly memorable novel by Boyne that highlights his extraordinary talent as a storyteller and his uncanny ability to lay bare humanities weaknesses and emotional vulnerabilities while still poking fun at an industry very close to his heart.

 

This book 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 John Boyne

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, five for younger readers and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy In the Striped Pajamas sold 9 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for cinema, theatre, ballet and opera. John has won three Irish Book Awards and many other international literary awards and his novels are published in over 50 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Photo by Rich Gilligan.

#BookReview
Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter
@genashowalter @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter @genashowalter @HarlequinBooksTitle: Shadow and Ice

Author: Gena Showalter

Series: Gods of War #1

Published by HQN Books on October 23, 2018

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Knox of Iviland has spent his life competing in the All Wars, where vicious warriors with supernatural powers fight to the death to claim new realms. One winner takes everything—and all losers die. Enslaved as a child for his ability to control shadows, the most ruthless champion in history will stop at nothing to kill his king. But first he must win the battle for Earth. When a fearsome weapon imprisons every combatant in ice, centuries pass without progress…until she walks in.

Vale London craves a fun arctic getaway with her foster sister before settling down to open a bakery. Street-tough but vulnerable, she is unprepared to find ancient gods escaping a frozen cave—merciless beings who target her when she inadvertently enters their war.

Though Vale is now his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can prove victorious, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.


Review:

Fierce, seductive, and savagely action packed!

Shadow and Ice is a riveting, at times shocking tale that introduces us to Vale London and her sister, Nola, two young women stranded in the Arctic who inadvertently stumble upon warriors from the fight-until-death, All War battle who have been frozen for 1,400 years, until now.

The prose is intense and intricate. The characters are unique, remorseless, and scarred. And the plot is an imaginative, compelling tale of supernatural abilities, magnificent weapons, sizzling chemistry, brutal violence, loyalty, humour, romance, and murder.

I have to say Shadow and Ice is like taking Hunger Games, Marvel Super Heroes, Gladiator, and a slice of mythology and mixing them all together. It’s an epic saga featuring lots of bloody battles, grit, determination, gore, sexual tension, heat, adventure, and fantastical elements that is without a doubt suspenseful, violent, steamy, and thoroughly entertaining.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

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

 

About Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs.

#BookReview
The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton
@LinnBHalton @HarperImpulse

#BookReview The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton @LinnBHalton @HarperImpulseTitle: The Secrets of Villa Rosso

Author: Linn B. Halton

Published by HarperImpulse on July 21, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 401

Format: Paperback

Source: Linn B. Halton

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Some places stay with you forever…

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso. It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors? What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.


Review:

Vivid, heartwarming, and magical!

The Secrets of Villa Rosso is the enchanting, thought-provoking story of Ellie, a happily married, middle-aged woman whose life gets turned upside down after a quick, unexpected business trip to Itay leaves her pondering the inexplicable connection she feels to the villa, the country, and the director of the estate, Max, and has her questioning whether it’s possible to have two soul mates in one lifetime.

The writing is sincere and reflective. The characters are kindhearted, loyal, and appealing. And the plot sweeps you away into an engaging, heartfelt tale of family, friendship, community, self-discovery, obligation, life, love, mystery, and the intricacies of interior design.

Overall, The Secrets of Villa Rosso is a sweet, emotional tale with a picturesque backdrop, a little mystery, and an authentic feel that will leave you dreaming of sunshine and olive trees and have you contemplating the real power of karma and fate.

 

This book is available now. 

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Linn B. Halton for sending me a copy as part of a giveaway.

 

About Linn B. Halton

From interior designer to author, Linn - who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman - says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

#BookReview
False Witness by Michelle Davies
@M_Davieswrites @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview False Witness by Michelle Davies @M_Davieswrites @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: False Witness

Author: Michelle Davies

Series: DC Maggie Neville #3

Published by Pan Macmillan on November 1, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

It began with a lie . . .

Two children are seen on top of a wall in a school.

Shortly later one of them lies fatally injured at the bottom.

Did the boy fall or was he pushed?
As a family liaison offer, DC Maggie Neville has seen parents crumble under the weight of their child’s death. Imogen Tyler is no different. Her son’s fall was witnessed by the school caretaker and another pupil is under suspicion/being questioned, but Imogen is paralysed by questions. Why was he at the school so early? Why was he with a girl who wasn’t a friend?
For Maggie, finding the answers to these questions is paramount if she is to help the mother. But as she investigates, further questions emerge and the truth suddenly seems far from certain. Could the witness be mistaken about what happened and if he is, then who is responsible? And how far will they go to cover up the boy’s death?


Review:

Sinister, relentless, and unpredictable!

In this latest novel in the DC Maggie Neville series, False Witness, Davies immerses us in an emotional case involving the death of a young boy that may or may not be an accident, on school grounds that may or may not be used for illegal extracurricular activity after dark, and involving two families who may or may not have a long, complicated history.

The writing is sharp and tight. The characters are secretive, impulsive and troubled. And the intricate plot, told from differing points-of-view, keeps you engrossed from start to finish with all its twists, turns, deception, revelations, corruption, power, violence, and murder.

I have to say this series keeps getting better and better. False Witness is a perfectly paced, entertaining whodunit that has all the elements you look for in a thrilling mystery, along with a touch of authenticity not always found in police procedurals that will undoubtedly keep you riveted and eager for more.

 

This book 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 Michelle Davies

Michelle Davies has been writing professionally for twenty years as a journalist for magazines, including on the production desk at ELLE, and as Features Editor of Heat. Her last staff position before going freelance was Editor-at-Large at Grazia magazine and she currently writes for a number of women's magazines and newspaper supplements. Michelle is also a crime fiction reviewer for the Books section of the Sunday Express. Michelle lives in London, England and juggles her freelance journalism with motherhood and writing crime fiction.

 

 

#BookReview
Love in Catalina Cove by Brenda Jackson
@AuthorBJackson @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Love in Catalina Cove by Brenda Jackson @AuthorBJackson @HarlequinBooksTitle: Love in Catalina Cove

Author: Brenda Jackson

Series: Catalina Cove #1

Published by HQN Books on October 30, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

In her brand-new series, Brenda Jackson welcomes you to Catalina Cove, where even the biggest heartbreaks can be healed…

In the wake of a devastating teen pregnancy that left her childless and heartbroken, Vashti Alcindor left Catalina Cove, Louisiana, with no plans to return. Now, over a decade later, Vashti reluctantly finds herself back in her hometown after inheriting her aunt’s B and B. Her homecoming gets off to a rocky start when the new sheriff, Sawyer Grisham, pulls her over for speeding, and things go downhill from there.

The B and B, a place she’d always found refuge in when it seemed like the whole world was against her, has fallen into disrepair. When a surprising benefactor encourages Vashti to reopen the B and B, Vashti embraces a fresh start, and soon old hurts begin to fade as she makes new memories with the town—and its handsome sheriff…

But some pasts are too big to escape, and when a bombshell of a secret changes everything she thought was true, Vashti is left reeling. With Sawyer and his teenage daughter determined to see her through the storm, though, she’s learning family isn’t always a matter of blood—sometimes it’s a matter of heart.


Review:

Dramatic, romantic, and uplifting!

Love in Catalina Cove is an engaging, lighthearted read that takes us to coastal Louisiana and into the life of Vashti Alcindor as she meanders through all sorts of highs and lows, including a recent divorce, being laid off, reopening her aunt’s B&B, a blossoming courtship, and returning to the hometown that shunned her following a teen pregnancy.

The writing is smooth and effortless. The characters are strong, confident, and dependable. And the plot, although a little slow to start, is a heartwarming tale with a sliver of mystery that’s full of tricky situations, tender moments, self-discovery, friendship, family, community, acceptance, revelations, happiness, slow-burning romance, and scrumptious blueberry delights.

Overall, Love in Catalina Cove is a passionate, heartfelt start to this new series by Jackson that has a large, intriguing cast of characters that I look forward to reading more about in Forget Me Not (Catalina Cove #2) due to be published in Spring 2019.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

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

 

About Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred romance titles. Brenda lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and divides her time between family, writing and traveling.

#BookReview
The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan
@KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: The Christmas Lights

Author: Karen Swan

Published by Pan Macmillan on October 30, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Set on the scenic fjords of Norway, The Christmas Lights by bestselling author Karen Swan is a moving Christmas tale of love and heartbreak.

December 2018, and free-spirited Influencers Bo Loxley and her partner Zac are living a life of wanderlust, travelling the globe and sharing their adventures with their millions of fans. Booked to spend Christmas in the Norwegian fjords, they set up home in a remote farm owned by enigmatic mountain guide Anders and his fierce grandmother Signy. Surrounded by snowy peaks and frozen falls, everything should be perfect. But the camera can lie and with every new post, the ‘perfect’ life Zac and Bo are portraying is diverging from the truth. Something Bo can’t explain is wrong at the very heart of their lives and Anders is the only person who’ll listen.

June 1936, and fourteen-year old Signy is sent with her sister and village friends to the summer pastures to work as milkmaids, protecting the herd that will sustain the farm through the long, winter months. But miles from home and away from the safety of their families, threat begins to lurk in friendly faces . . .

The mountains keep secrets – Signy knows this better than anyone – and as Bo’s life begins to spiral she is forced, like the old woman before her, to question who is friend and who is foe.


Review:

Alluring, mysterious, and delightfully festive!

The Christmas Lights is an atmospheric, compelling tale set in Norway during 1936, as well as the present day, and is told from two different perspectives. Bo, a young reality star unnerved by an obsessed, online stalker and struggling to enjoy a life that lacks privacy, and Signy a sweet, country girl who learns at a young age the dangers that hide on the hills she loves and amongst the animals that grace them.

The writing is smooth, crisp, and vivid. The characters are a mix of kind, endearing, self-indulgent, and exasperating. And the plot is an entertaining mix of heart, hope, angst, mystery, and drama.

The Christmas Lights is, ultimately, a story about relationships, adventure, heartbreak, secrets, expectations, love, obsession, and discovering one’s true self that highlights just how susceptible and vulnerable social media can make us. It’s a beautiful, picture postcard of the frozen terrain, rugged mountains, and breathtaking Northern Lights of the fjords of Norway, and is a charming holiday read complete with a sliver of mystique.

 

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 Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James

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