Format: Paperback

#BookReview
Hello I Want to Die
by Anna Mehler Paperny @amp6 @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Hello I Want to Die by Anna Mehler Paperny @amp6 @PenguinRandomCATitle: Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me

Author: Anna Mehler Paperny

Published by: Random House Canada on August 6, 2019

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A vibrant, compelling memoir from a remarkable young woman that bravely reveals the real-life havoc wrought by depression and the urgent search for solutions. Illuminating, completely engaging–it’s essential reading for all since we all know someone whose life, family or friends are touched by the disease that directly afflicts a fifth of Canadians.

In her early twenties, while outwardly thriving in her dream job and enjoying warm familial support and a strong social network, award-winning journalist Anna Mehler Paperny found herself trapped by feelings of failure and despair. Her first suicide attempt–ingesting a deadly mix of sleeping pills and antifreeze–landed her in the ICU, followed by weeks of enforced detention that ran the gamut of horrifying, boring, hilarious, and absurd. This was Anna’s entry into the labyrinthine psychiatric care system responsible for providing care to millions of Canadians.

As she struggled to survive the psych ward and as an outpatient–enduring the “survivor’s” shame of facing concerned family, friends, and co-workers; finding (or not) the right therapist, the right meds; staying healthy, insured, and employed–Anna could not help but turn her demanding journalist’s eye on her condition and on the system in which she found herself. She set off on a quest to “know her enemy,” interviewing leading practitioners in the field across Canada and the US–from psychiatrists to neurological experts, brain-mapping pioneers to heroic family practitioners, and others dabbling in novel hypotheses. She reveals in courageously frank detail her own experiences with the pharmacological pitfalls and side effects of long-term treatment, and offers moving case studies of conversations with others, opening wide a window into how we treat (and fail to treat) the disease that accounts for more years swallowed up by disability than any other in the world.


Review:

Informative, honest, and perceptive!

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is the first-hand, candid story of Anna Mehler Paperny’s personal, ongoing struggle with suicidal ideation and depression, as well as an in-depth look into the mental health care industry and the limitations, resources, misunderstandings, and treatments that surround it.

The writing is clear, moving, and educative. And the novel is an exceptionally researched, impassioned tale of one woman’s battle to maintain life while her brain consistently tells her to end it.

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is, ultimately, part memoir, part investigation that includes statistical data and interviews with Canadian and North American health care professionals that is a valuable, emotive resource for anyone, anywhere who suffers from, works with, or is affected in any way by this disease that wreaks havoc on over 300 million lives worldwide.

 

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 Anna Mehler Paperny

ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY is an award-winning reporter for Reuters based in Toronto. Over a decade she's chased down stories ranging from the opioid crisis to migration, from post-quake Haiti to Guantanamo Bay. She's written for the Kingston Whig-Standard, the Edmonton Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Maclean's Magazine; as a staff reporter at The Globe and Mail; and a reporter-editor for Global News, where she developed globalnews.ca's award-winning Investigative Data Desk. Her work on deaths in Canadian prisons won an investigative journalism award. At Queen's University, she spent most of her time working on the campus newspaper.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BookReview
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
@esmacneal @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal @esmacneal @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Doll Factory

Author: Elizabeth Macneal

Published by: Simon & Schuster on August 13, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 386

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The Doll Factory, the debut novel by Elizabeth Macneal, is an intoxicating story of art, obsession and possession.

London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning.

When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening . . .


Review:

Gothic, evocative, and eerie!

The Doll Factory is a riveting, gritty tale set in London in the mid-1800s at a time when the city was bustling, scavenging was prevalent, respectability meant everything, The Great Exhibition was a structural marvel, and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was redefining visual art.

There are three main memorable characters in this novel; Iris Whittle, a young red-headed girl who dreams of becoming an artist and unconsciously catches the eye of many; Silas Reed, a strange fellow with a morbid fascination with taxidermy and a macabre, obsessive nature; and Albie, a young guttersnipe who spends his days traipsing the streets for a shilling and dreaming of a mouth full of pearly whites.

The prose is ominous and rich. The supporting characters are multilayered, flawed, and believable. And the plot is an insightful, compelling tale of familial responsibilities, strength, duty, coming-of-age, art, friendship, passion, desire, obsession, loss, love, survival, and the roles of women in Victorian England.

Overall, The Doll Factory is an intense, creative, menacing read by Macneal that does a beautiful job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into a sinister, suspenseful mystery that is deliciously atmospheric and highly entertaining.

 

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 Elizabeth Macneal

Elizabeth Macneal was born in Edinburgh and now lives in East London. She is a writer and potter and works from a small studio at the bottom of her garden. She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA in 2017 where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship.

The Doll Factory, Elizabeth's debut novel, won the Caledonia Noel Award 2018. It will be published in twenty-eight languages and TV rights have sold to Buccaneer Media.

Photography by Mat Smith.

#BookReview
The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
@kristinharmel @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel @kristinharmel @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Winemaker's Wife

Author: Kristin Harmel

Published by: Gallery Books on August 13, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Champagne, 1940: Inès has just married Michel, the owner of storied champagne house Maison Chauveau, when the Germans invade. As the danger mounts, Michel turns his back on his marriage to begin hiding munitions for the Résistance. Inès fears they’ll be exposed, but for Céline, half-Jewish wife of Chauveau’s chef de cave, the risk is even greater—rumors abound of Jews being shipped east to an unspeakable fate.

When Céline recklessly follows her heart in one desperate bid for happiness, and Inès makes a dangerous mistake with a Nazi collaborator, they risk the lives of those they love—and the champagne house that ties them together.

New York, 2019: Liv Kent has just lost everything when her eccentric French grandmother shows up unannounced, insisting on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive—and a tragic, decades-old story to share. When past and present finally collide, Liv finds herself on a road to salvation that leads right to the caves of the Maison Chauveau.


Review:

Informative, beautiful, and tragic!

The Winemaker’s Wife is a stirring, immersive story set in France during the early 1940s, as well present day, that is told primarily from three different perspectives; Inès Chauveau, a young wife who after feeling neglected and misunderstood naively makes choices that have far-reaching, life-changing consequences; Céline Laurent, the half-Jewish wife of Chauveau’s winemaker who lives in constant fear of the advancing Germans except when deep within the vineyard caves where she finds solace, hope, contentment, and love; and Liv Kent, a recently divorced American who journeys to France at the request of her grandmother only to uncover a family history that’s littered with secrets, betrayals, and sacrifices.

The prose is preceptive, vivid, and sincere. The characters are courageous, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is a heartrending tale that gives us a unique view into the struggles, sacrifices, horrors, and bravery of those who lived and survived in the Champagne region during this heinous time in history.

The Winemaker’s Wife is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, deception, determination, perseverance, resistance efforts, intricacies of winemaking, and the importance of forgiveness. It’s pensive, moving, and thoroughly absorbing and a fantastic choice for historical fiction fans and book clubs everywhere.

 

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 Kristin Harmel

Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE, THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING, THE LIFE INTENDED, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN, and several other novels. Her latest, THE WINEMAKER'S WIFE, is coming in August 2019 from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster. A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has also freelanced for many other publications, including American Baby, Men’s Health, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Travel + Leisure, and more.

Kristin grew up in Peabody, Mass.; Worthington, Ohio; and St. Petersburg, Fla., and she graduated with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida. After spending time living in Paris, she now lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband and young son.

Photograph by Phil Art Studio, Reims, France.

#BookReview
Life and Other Inconveniences
by Kristan Higgins @Kristan_Higgins
@BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins @Kristan_Higgins @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCATitle: Life and Other Inconveniences

Author: Kristan Higgins

Published by: Berkley Books on August 6, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?


Review:

Graceful, nuanced, and moving!

Life and Other Inconveniences is a beautifully written, affecting story that immerses you into the lives of the London family, especially three strong, determined women, and all the secrets, wounds, smiles, tears, strength, and compassion that surround them.

The prose is effortless and expressive. The characters are authentic, angry, lovable, and stubborn. And the story is an exceptionally touching tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, hope, and the unbreakable ties that bind us as family.

Overall, Life and Other Inconveniences is another absorbingly insightful, skillfully plotted, multi-generational, family saga by Higgins that reminds us that life is complicated, messy, challenging, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other wonderful things, lovely times, and special moments 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 Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. Her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year. Kristan is also a cohost of the Crappy Friends podcast, which discusses the often complex dynamics of female friendships, with her friend and fellow writer, Joss Dey.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband. They own several badly behaved pets and are often visited by their entertaining and long-lashed children.

Photograph by Kristan Higgins.

#BookReview
Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
@kathleenatucker @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker @kathleenatucker @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCATitle: Say You Still Love Me

Author: K.A. Tucker

Published by: Atria Books on August 6, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.


Review:

Sincere, intoxicating, and heartwrenching!

Say You Still Love Me is an alluring, emotional tale that takes you on a journey into the life of the hardworking, intelligent Piper as she juggles a high-pressure career, a sexist coworker, an overbearing family with good intentions, the memories of one summer that changed her life forever, and the sudden reappearance of the boy who first stole her heart and then left her brokenhearted.

The writing is fluid and intense. The characters are secretive, scarred, ambitious, and intriguing. And the plot is a wonderful, contemporary mix of life, love, coming-of-age, family dynamics, humour, heartbreak, privilege, conflict, and surprises that starts in the present, takes you back 13-years in the past, and ultimately finishes when the past and the present collide.

Overall, Say You Still Love Me is another memorable, heartwarming, compelling tale by Tucker that once again has the perfect amount of mystery and romance to keep you engaged, enthralled, and invested from start to finish.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

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

 

About K.A. Tucker

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the USA Today bestselling author of 17 books, including the Causal Enchantment, Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, and The Simple Wild.

Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, First for Women, and Publisher's Weekly. She has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance 2013 for TEN TINY BREATHS and Best Romance 2018 for THE SIMPLE WILD. Her novels have been translated into 16 languages.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her family.

Photograph (c) Christa Hogan, Storeybook Studios.

#BookReview
The One Who Stays by Toni Blake
@AuthorToniBlake @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview The One Who Stays by Toni Blake @AuthorToniBlake @HarlequinBooksTitle: The One Who Stays

Author: Toni Blake

Series: Summer Island #1

Published by: HQN Books on July 30, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 7/10

 

Synopsis:

Lose your heart to Summer Island, where summers are easy, winters are cozy and friends welcome you with open arms.

Summer Island has always been home to Meg Sloan. She runs the Summerbrook Inn, like her grandmother did, and she loves the laid-back pace of life and the close-knit community the island offers. Meg also loves Zack Sheppard, a local man she’s been seeing for years. What she doesn’t love is Zack’s refusal to commit to her, his reluctance to be exclusive with her.

Seth Darden arrives on Summer Island in search of summer work, but also in search of something else—his past. There are secrets buried at the Summerbrook Inn, secrets that forged the path of Seth’s life. But he wasn’t counting on falling for the lovely innkeeper, Meg.

When Meg meets Seth, she can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them, even though she feels like her heart has been torn in half. But if Zack won’t commit, should she take the leap with Seth? And can she even have a future with him if he can’t reckon with his past?


Review:

Romantic, engaging, and sweet!

The One Who Stays is a heartwarming, inspiring tale featuring the dependable innkeeper and cancer survivor Meg and the charismatic, secretive, hardworking Seth as they work together to unravel secrets from the past and find a place to truly call home.

The prose is light and hopeful. The characters are supportive, welcoming, and authentic. And the plot is a dramatic tale full of relationship dynamics, genuine emotion, family, friendship, community, life, loss, love, and a touch of romance.

Overall, The One Who Stays is a heartfelt, entertaining tale about accepting the things you cannot change, letting go of the past, rediscovering one’s self, taking chances, and moving on.

 

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 Toni Blake

Toni Blake's love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Soon after, she penned her first novel, nineteen notebook-pages long, and announced to her mother over breakfast one day that she was going to be a writer when she grew up. Since then, Toni has become the author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels. Her work has been excerpted in Cosmo, she's been a recipient of the Kentucky Women Writers Fellowship and a nominee for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, and she's also had more than forty short stories and articles published. Toni lives in the Midwest and enjoys traveling, genealogy, crafts, and snow skiing.

Toni has also written under the name Toni Blair.

#BookReview
Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones
@amylaurajones @McClellandBooks @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones @amylaurajones @McClellandBooks @PenguinRandomCATitle: Every Little Piece of Me

Author: Amy Jones

Published by: McClelland & Stewart on June 4, 2019

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of We’re All in This Together comes a novel about family, friendship, fame, and the cost of living in the public eye — because when everyone suddenly knows your name, it’s easy to forget who you really are.

“The first time they met, Mags saved Ava’s life. The second time they met, Ava saved Mags’s.”
Ava Hart is the most reluctant cast member of a reality TV show based on her big city family’s (mostly staged) efforts to run a B&B in small-town Nova Scotia. Every family has its problems, but Ava has grown up seeing her family’s every up and down broadcast on national television, after the show becomes an unexpected success for reasons that will take a heavy toll on the Harts.

Mags Kovach is the charismatic lead singer of a struggling Halifax rock band hoping to be the Next Big Thing. For years she’s managed to contain her demons and navigate the uglier aspects of being a woman in the music world, but after a devastating loss, she turns her anger on the only person she can: herself.

As their private tragedies continue to set social media and tabloid headlines on fire, their every move subjected to an endless stream of public commentary, it will be their unexpected friendship that will save them. They will push back against the roles they’ve been forced to play, and take back control of something they thought they’d lost forever — the right to their own stories.


Review:

Pensive, sharp, and tragic!

Every Little Piece of Me is a character-driven, gritty tale that follows two women, unlikely friends, Mags and Ava, as they each struggle to find some semblance of control, meaning, and love in a life littered with abandonment, self-destruction, and relentless scrutiny.

The prose is pithy and effective. The characters are young, damaged, lonely, and vulnerable. And the plot is a realistic, moving story about familial drama, exploitation, loneliness, self-preservation, coming-of-age, and the unrelenting pressure of fame and fortune.

Overall, Every Little Piece of Me is a sensitive, heartwrenching, timely tale that does a remarkable job of highlighting the detrimental effects of reality tv and technology on the human psyche and reminds us that even in this high-tech, digital world we still have an innate requirement for kindness, interaction, companionship, intimacy, and love that’s created and nurtured offline.

 

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 Amy Jones

AMY JONES's first novel, We're All in This Together, was a national bestseller, won the Northern Lit Award, and was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Her debut collection of stories, What Boys Like, won the Metcalf-Rooke Award and was a finalist for the ReLit Award. She won the 2006 CBC Literary Prize for Short Fiction, was a finalist for the 2005 Bronwen Wallace Award, and is a graduate of the Optional Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Her fiction has appeared in Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Stories. Originally from Halifax, she lived in Thunder Bay for many years before moving to Toronto.

Photo by Ali Eisner.

#BookReview
How to Hack a Heartbreak
by Kristin Rockaway @KristinRockaway @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway @KristinRockaway @HarlequinBooksTitle: How to Hack a Heartbreak

Author: Kristin Rockaway

Published by: Graydon House on July 30, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Swipe right for love. Swipe left for disaster.

By day, Mel Strickland is an underemployed helpdesk tech at a startup incubator, Hatch, where she helps entitled brogrammers—”Hatchlings”—who can’t even fix their own laptops, but are apparently the next wave of startup geniuses. And by night, she goes on bad dates with misbehaving dudes she’s matched with on the ubiquitous dating app, Fluttr.

But after one dick pic too many, Mel has had it. Using her brilliant coding skills, she designs an app of her own, one that allows users to log harrassers and abusers in online dating space. It’s called JerkAlert, and it goes viral overnight.

Mel is suddenly in way over her head. Worse still, her almost-boyfriend, the dreamy Alex Hernandez—the only non-douchey guy at Hatch—has no idea she’s the brains behind the app. Soon, Mel is faced with a terrible choice: one that could destroy her career, love life, and friendships, or change her life forever.


Review:

Light, cute, and timely!

How to Hack a Heartbreak is a sassy, witty rom-com about the determined, underestimated Melanie Strickland who after struggling through numerous bad dates, unsolicited dirty pics, and no shows decides to take online dating to another level by creating a website, JerkAlert, where women can identify those men who are not only sexist, obnoxious, and rude, but should definitely be avoided.

The writing style is sharp and clever. The characters are quirky, brazen, and amusing. And the plot is a funny blend of life, love, introspection, friendship, awkward moments, embarrassing situations, misunderstandings, taking chances, and the ups-and-downs of finding love in a high-tech world.

Overall, How to Hack a Heartbreak is a humorous, entertaining, easy read by Rockaway that’s bursting with female friendships, empowerment, and a nice dab of romance.

 

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 Kristin Rockaway

Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker and recovering corporate software engineer. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she finally traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of code. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, browsing the aisles of her neighborhood bookstores, and planning her next big vacation.

Photograph by Kristin Rockaway.

#BookReview
Something to Tell You by Lucy Diamond
@LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Something to Tell You by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: Something to Tell You

Author: Lucy Diamond

Published by: Pan Macmillan on July 16, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A warm, heartfelt story of a family by Sunday Times bestselling author Lucy Diamond.

Frankie, a talented illustrator who lives with her partner Craig and his young son Fergus, sets off to Yorkshire determined to trace her father, Harry Mortimer.

But when she arrives, she is horrified to find Harry and his wife Jean are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary with their children, family and friends. Frankie’s unexpected arrival throws the close-knit family into disarray and causes a devastated Jean to disappear, leaving the rest of the Mortimers to cope without her.

As Harry’s wife and children struggle to come to terms with this shocking revelation, Frankie’s own happiness is threatened. She and Craig must decide how to face their new, uncertain future together.

Heartfelt, witty, and ultimately uplifting, Something to Tell You is a novel about love, courage and what it means to be a family.


Review:

Touching, heartwarming, and hopeful!

Something to Tell You is an amusing, optimistic, domestic drama that immerses you into the lives of the Mortimer family as they confront secrets from the past, accept the things they cannot change, forgive, accept, take chances, repair fractured relationships, and embrace the future.

The writing is expressive, authentic, and polished. The characters are flawed, genuine, and relatable. And the plot is a compelling, emotional tale of life, love, heartbreak, acceptance, secrets, betrayal, insecurities, friendship, loyalty, and familial drama.

With Something to Tell You Diamond has proven once again that when it comes to writing sophisticated, moving, inspiring stories that have strong female characters, heartfelt storylines, and an astute, insightful look into the complex dynamics between family members, she’s undoubtedly 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 Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lucy Diamond

Lucy Diamond lives in Bath, England with her husband and their three children. She has penned numerous bestselling novels, including The House of New Beginnings, The Secrets of Happiness, Summer at Shell Cottage, and The Year of Taking Chances.

 

 

#BookReview #GoodreadsGiveaways
Dragonfly by Leila Meacham
@LeilaMeacham @GrandCentralPub @HBGCanada @goodreads

#BookReview #GoodreadsGiveaways Dragonfly by Leila Meacham @LeilaMeacham @GrandCentralPub @HBGCanada @goodreadsTitle: Dragonfly

Author: Leila Meacham

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on July 9, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 576

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Grand Central Publishing, Goodreads Giveaways

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

At the height of WWII, five idealistic young Americans receive a mysterious letter from the OSS, asking them if they are willing to fight for their country. The men and women from very different backgrounds–a Texan athlete with German roots, an upper-crust son of a French mother and a wealthy businessman, a dirt-poor Midwestern fly fisherman, an orphaned fashion designer, and a ravishingly beautiful female fencer from Princeton — all answer the call of duty, but each for a secret reason of his or her own. They bond immediately, in a group code-named DRAGONFLY.

Soon after their training, they are dropped behind enemy lines and take up their false identities, isolated from one another except for a secret drop-box, but in close contact with the powerful Nazi elite who have Paris under siege.

Thus begins a dramatic and riveting cat-and-mouse game, as the young Americans seek to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. But…is everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spycraft?


Review:

Poignant, absorbing, and incredibly affecting!

Dragonfly is an immersive, suspenseful tale set in Nazi-Occupied Paris during WWII that follows five young American spies as they use their own unique skillsets to infiltrate, befriend, and acquire special intelligence from the enemy to aid Resistance and Allied Forces.

The prose is eloquent and polished. The characters are driven, courageous, and resilient. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into a sweeping saga of life, loss, family, self-discovery, heartbreak, betrayal, determination, isolation, survival, tragedy, and friendship.

Overall, Dragonfly is an evocative, rich, beautifully written novel by Meacham that grabs you from the very first page, and is sure to be a big hit with book clubs and historical fiction fans everywhere. I absolutely devoured it, and it is hands down one of my favourite reads of the year!

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Leila Meacham

Leila Meacham is a writer and former teacher who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She is the author of the bestselling novels Roses, Somerset and Tumbleweeds.

Photograph by Marie Langmore/Langmore Photography.

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