Format: Paperback

#BookReview
The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz
@tiffanyreisz

#BookReview The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz @tiffanyreiszTitle: The Bourbon Thief

Author: Tiffany Reisz

Published by MIRA on June 28, 2016

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 379

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the internationally celebrated author of the Original Sinners series comes a brand-new tale of betrayal, revenge and a family scandal that bore a 150-year-old mystery

When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris. 

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.


Review:

Dark, gritty, and impressively compelling!

This novel takes you into the lives of, the multi-generational bourbon maker family, the Maddoxes. They are rich. They are southern. And they are ruthless. And like most families with privilege, money, and power, they have a lot of skeletons in their closets, and hidden behind those closed doors you will find an intricate web of abuse, lies, adultery, secrets, and murder.

The characters are complex, avaricious, vindictive, and self-destructive. And the plot is well written, rich in detail, and highly suspenseful. 

This really is a truly engaging and captivating story and I only hope that I will get to enjoy more of the Cooper and Paris saga in the future.

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

About Tiffany Reisz

Tiffany Reisz is the USA Today-bestselling author of the Romance Writers of America RITA®-winning Original Sinners series from Harlequin's Mira Books.

Born in Owensboro, Kentucky, Tiffany graduated from Centre College with a B.A. in English. She began her writing career while a student at Wilmore, Kentucky's Asbury Theological Seminary. After leaving seminary to focus on her fiction, she wrote The Siren, which has sold more than half a million copies worldwide.

Tiffany also writes mainstream women's suspense fiction, including The Bourbon Thief (winner of the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence Award) and the RITA®-nominated The Night Mark.

Her erotic fantasy The Red—self-published under the banner 8th Circle Press—was named an NPR Best Book of the Year and a Goodreads Best Romance of the Month. It also received a coveted starred review from Library Journal.

Tiffany lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, author Andrew Shaffer, and two cats. The cats are not writers.

#BookReview
You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane
@MhairiMcF

#BookReview You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane @MhairiMcFTitle: You Had Me At Hello

Author: Mhairi McFarlane

Published by Avon on December 6, 2012

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 436

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

What happens when the one that got away comes back?

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart.

It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

From the moment they met they’d been a gang of two; partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on. Ben is married. Rachel is definitely not. In fact, the men in her life make her want to take holy orders…

Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

If you love David Nicholls and Lisa Jewell then this is the book for you. Hilarious, heartbreaking and everything in between, you’ll be hooked from their first ‘hello’.


Review:

This is a heartwarming, charming, funny story about friendship, love, and life.

For me what resonated throughout this novel is that timing is everything.

The main character, Rachel, is determined, conscientious, and likeable. And the supporting characters are imperfect, quirky, and interesting. 

And although the plot seems to drag slightly during the middle, it has enough heartbreak, romance, and entertaining dialogue to keep you intrigued until the last page.

Overall, this is an engaging, easy read that I enjoyed.

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Mhairi McFarlane, visit her website at: http://www.mhairimcfarlane.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @MhairiMcF

 

#BookReview
Trophy Life by Elli Lewis
@ElliLewisTweets

#BookReview Trophy Life by Elli Lewis @ElliLewisTweetsTitle: Trophy Life

Author: Elli Lewis

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 18, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 268

Format: Paperback

Source: Elli Lewis

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Meet Amy, the world’s most improbable trophy wife.

She has a degree, ambitions and something resembling a mind of her own. The trouble is, she just doesn’t use it anymore. Married to handsome aristocrat, Harry Green, Amy’s world is a whirlwind of luxury, labels and lunches.

But amidst the peerages and polo of the privileged few lie wolves in minks’ clothing.

Before she knows it, Amy’s perfect existence is plunged into chaos by the poshest of plots. Ominous heiresses, simpering starlets and a terrifying mother-in-law abound as Amy faces up to some harsh realities.

Can Amy survive life in the upper crust? Or is high society an all new low?


Review:

This is a sweet, clever, heartwarming novel.

It is a beguiling story about high society, family, happiness, fulfillment, and true love.

It is full of colourful characters, including not only the warm, down-to-earth Amy, and the arrogant, pompous Harry, but a whole slew of supporting characters that are charming, quirky, and lovable. 

It is very well written. The prose is funny, clear and descriptive. And the plot is intelligent, engaging, witty, and delightful.

This really is a great read that entertained me from start to finish. It was a real pleasure and I highly recommend it.

 

This book is due to be published on July 26, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to Elli Lewis, the author, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elli Lewis

Elli grew up in North London, the second of three sisters and, consequently, in a home that was bursting at the seams with shoes. As a teenager in the 90s, she experimented with Sun In, wore a standard uniform of combat trousers and vest top and shed tears over the breakup of Take That.

She soon recovered and went on to study law at university and qualify as a solicitor. In the course of her career, Elli has worked for some of the UK’s most prestigious law firms, representing a host of A-list clients. Her time in the City gave her a unique insight into the depths of high society, the height of fame and the biggest of fortunes. It was a world where multi-million pound mansions housed pampered pooches and ruthless spouses determined to wreak revenge, experiences that would later inspire her literary career.

In 2008, she went on to found a successful copywriting agency, with clients including national newspapers and media brands, including the BBC.

The books came later. If you ask Elli why she started writing novels, she will glaze over and look thoughtfully into the middle distance. This is not because she doesn’t like you – well, probably – but because Elli has literally no clue how it happened. Suffice to say that, one day she started typing and then never stopped. In fact, Elli wrote Trophy Life, The Lottery Club and The Anti-Natals in the same year and published the first of them in 2016.

Elli can now be found back in North London in the house she shares with one tired husband, two boisterous boys and a colossal Siberian cat. She relies on coffee and chocolate to keep her awake and has a mild addiction to pitta chips.

#BookReview
The Lie by Helen Dunmore

#BookReview The Lie by Helen DunmoreTitle: The Lie

Author: Helen Dunmore

Published by Windmill Books on May 8, 2014

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Set during and just after the First World War, The Lie is an enthralling, heart-wrenching novel of love, memory and devastating loss by one of the UK’s most acclaimed storytellers.

Cornwall, 1920, early spring.
A young man stands on a headland, looking out to sea. He is back from the war, homeless and without family. Behind him lie the mud, barbed-wire entanglements and terror of the trenches. Behind him is also the most intense relationship of his life.

Daniel has survived, but the horror and passion of the past seem more real than the quiet fields around him. He is about to step into the unknown. But will he ever be able to escape the terrible, unforeseen consequences of a lie?


Review:

Extremely compelling, poignant, and hauntingly realistic!

This is a novel that reminds us of the considerable physical and psychological horrors of war and their effects on both the soldiers themselves and the loved ones they left behind.

It is a subtle, but deeply moving story about familial relationships, friendship, loss, guilt, grief, survival and ultimately love.

The writing is clear and precise. The prose is beautiful and poetic. The settings are vividly described. And the characters are strong and multifaceted, especially Daniel, who is resilient, damaged, lonely, and empathetic. 

This truly is a powerful, heartbreaking story that I won’t soon forget.

 

 

About Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore is the author of twelve books, including The Greatcoat, The Betrayal, a New York Times Editors’ Choice; The Siege, a best seller and finalist for the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; and A Spell of Winter, winner of the Orange Prize.

Helen Dunmore (1952 – 2017)

#BookReview
The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski

#BookReview The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita LeganskiTitle: The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow

Author: Rita Leganski

Published by Harper Paperbacks on February 26, 2013

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Conceived in love and possibility, Bonaventure Arrow didn’t make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. No one knows Bonaventure’s silence is filled with resonance – a miraculous gift of rarified hearing that encompasses the Universe of Every Single Sound. Growing up in the big house on Christopher Street in Bayou Cymbaline, Bonaventure can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature tempests that rage inside raindrops. He can also hear the gentle voice of his father, William Arrow, shot dead before Bonaventure was born by a mysterious stranger known only as the Wanderer.

Bonaventure’s remarkable gift of listening promises salvation to the souls who love him: his beautiful young mother, Dancy, haunted by the death of her husband; his Grand-mere Letice, plagued by grief and long-buried guilt she locks away in a chapel; and his father, William, whose roaming spirit must fix the wreckage of the past. With the help of Trinidad Prefontaine, a Creole housekeeper endowed with her own special gifts, Bonaventure will find the key to long-buried mysteries and soothe a chorus of family secrets clamoring to be healed.


Review:

This is a bittersweet, sophisticated novel that reminds us of the incredible resilience of the human spirit.

It is a lovely story that touches on familial relationships, love, loss, guilt, grief, and ultimately forgiveness.

It is exquisitely written. The prose is beautiful. The setting is vividly described. And the characters are well-developed and complex, especially the protagonist, Bonaventure Arrow, who is strong, brave and empathetic. 

This truly is a subtle story that flows effortlessly, makes an impact, and leaves an impression.

 

#BookReview
The Girl From The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor
@HazelGaynor

#BookReview The Girl From The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor @HazelGaynorTitle: The Girl from the Savoy

Author: Hazel Gaynor

Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on June 7, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 419

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Presenting a dazzling new historical novel … The Girl From The Savoy is as sparkling as champagne and as thrilling as the era itself.

Sometimes life gives you cotton stockings. Sometimes it gives you a Chanel gown …

Dolly Lane is a dreamer; a downtrodden maid who longs to dance on the London stage, but her life has been fractured by the Great War. Memories of the soldier she loved, of secret shame and profound loss, by turns pull her back and spur her on to make a better life.

When she finds employment as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, Dolly takes a step closer to the glittering lives of the Bright Young Things who thrive on champagne, jazz and rebellion. Right now, she must exist on the fringes of power, wealth and glamor—she must remain invisible and unimportant.

But her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to a struggling songwriter’s advertisement for a ‘muse’ and finds herself thrust into London’s exhilarating theatre scene and into the lives of celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry. Loretta and Perry may have the life Dolly aspires to, but they too are searching for something.

Now, at the precipice of the life she has and the one she longs for, the girl from The Savoy must make difficult choices: between two men; between two classes, between everything she knows and everything she dreams of. A brighter future is tantalizingly close—but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?


Review:

This novel is deeply moving, intriguing, and pensive.

The story is set in London in the early 1920s, and is told from three perspectives. Dolly, an ambitious young woman, who yearns for adventure and dreams of being more than just the help. Loretta, a starlet who seems to have it all, but who hides a heavy heart behind the smile and the charm. And Teddy, a soldier, who left for war full of love and hope, only to return with jumbled thoughts and frayed nerves.

The prose is precise, clear, and exquisitely descriptive. The characters are sympathetic, wounded, and real. And the plot is intricately woven together to flow seamlessly from start to finish.

This truly is an engaging, captivating story about love, loss, war, hardship, grief, resilience and determination that would be a wonderful addition to book clubs everywhere.

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

#BookReview
Friction by Sandra Brown

#BookReview Friction by Sandra BrownTitle: Friction

Author: Sandra Brown

Published by Grand Central Publishing on February 2, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.

A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?


Review:

This is a great mystery. In fact, it is one of my favourite reads in this genre so far this year.

It is a riveting, intense, suspenseful story, with a side of romance, that starts with a murder in a courtroom and takes us through multiple twists and turns to identify who the target really is and why.

The characters are well-developed, bold, and complex. And the story is well written, with multiple plots, great dialogue, and steamy romance.

This is a gripping page turner and I highly recommend it.

 

#BookReview
The Moment of Everything by Shelly King

#BookReview The Moment of Everything by Shelly KingTitle: The Moment of Everything

Author: Shelly King

Published by Grand Central Publishing on September 2, 2014

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 270

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In the tradition of The Cookbook Collector comes a funny, romantic novel about a young woman finding her calling while saving a used bookstore.

Maggie Duprès, recently “involuntarily separated from payroll” at a Silicon Valley startup, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly’s Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along.
When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance-even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a book she hasn’t encountered since college, in an evening. But the edition she finds at the bookstore is no Penguin Classics Chatterley–it’s an ancient hardcover with notes in the margins between two besotted lovers of long ago. What Maggie finds in her search for the lovers and their fate, and what she learns about herself in the process, will surprise and move readers.

Witty and sharp-eyed in its treatment of tech world excesses, but with real warmth at its core, The Moment of Everything is a wonderful read.


Review:

This was a book club read for me this month, and I have to say I enjoyed it.

To me this story is a journey of finding one’s self, discovering what makes you happy, realizing that sacrifices are not really sacrifices when we make them for love, and friendship. 

The setting is a wonderful juxtaposition, where on the one hand we have a quaint used book store. A store seeped in history and the past, right down to the musty shelves and the crinkled pages. And on the other hand we have Silicon Valley, the epitome of the future, all things new, better, faster and electronic.

The story flows nicely. The prose is subtle but lovely. And the characters are quirky, interesting and engaging.

It is a nice, heart-warming story that was a pleasure to read.

 

#BookReview
Best of My Love by Susan Mallery

#BookReview Best of My Love by Susan MalleryTitle: Best of My Love

Author: Susan Mallery

Series: Fool's Gold #20

Published by HQN Books on April 26, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

An irresistible new love story from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of the Fool’s Gold series, set in a town Library Journal calls “so appealing, readers will want to start scoping out real estate.”  

To overcome her painful past, baker Shelby Gilmore goes on the hunt for a friend—a male friend—to convince her stubborn psyche that men can be trusted. But where in a town as small as Fool’s Gold will the petite blonde find a guy willing to not date her? 

Dark, charming Aidan Mitchell puts the “adventure” in Mitchell Adventure Tours…and into the beds of his many willing female tourists. Until he realizes he’s inadvertently become that guy—the one-night Casanova—and worse, everyone in town knows it. Maybe Shelby’s boy/girl experiment will help him see women as more than just conquests so he can change his ways and win back his self-respect. 

As Aidan and Shelby explore the secret lives of men and women, the heat between them fires up the Fool’s Gold rumor mill. If no one will believe they’re just friends, maybe they should give the gossips something to really talk about!


Review:

It’s hard to believe this is book #20 in the Fool’s Gold series, but once again Susan Mallery has written a nice, warm contemporary romance story.

The writing is smooth and flows easily. The characters are sweet, funny and interesting. And the plot is full of humour, drama, and romance. 

This is a cute, entertaining novel that is perfect for a light-hearted summer read.

 

 

About Susan Mallery

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. She's best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur.

Photo by Annie Brady

#BookReview
The Stranger by Harlan Coben

#BookReview The Stranger by Harlan CobenTitle: The Stranger

Author: Harlan Coben

Published by Dutton on February 9, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.


Review:

I enjoyed this book.

It is intense, suspenseful, and full of action.

It takes us on a journey through the depth and despair that comes from secrets, and reminds us that everything is not always as it seems.

This book is interesting, unique and well written. The characters are realistic and colourful. And the plot develops nicely, has multiple twists and turns, and is highly captivating.

Harlan Coben is a great mystery writer. And once again he has written a good one!

 

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