Format: Paperback

#BookReview #Q&A
The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances
@michellefrancesbooks @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview #Q&A The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances @michellefrancesbooks @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: The Girlfriend

Author: Michelle Frances

Published by Pan Macmillan on March 1, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A relentlessly paced domestic noir examining a mother-son-daughter-in-law relationship in a chilling new light.

A girl. A boy. His mother and the lie she’ll wish she never told.

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping debut thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgiveable lie. It follows the charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, in a triangle of lies and deceit.

Laura has it all. She has a successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.


Review:

Riveting, complex, and well crafted!

The Girlfriend is a character-driven, domestic thriller that delves into the embattled relationship that can occur between a mother and her son’s significant other when they’re both ruthlessly determined to be the most important woman in his life.

The writing is precise and intense. The characters are self-absorbed, troubled, devious, and at times despicable. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, starts with a bang and continues to ratchet up the tension as it subtly unravels all the personalities, histories, and motivations within it.

The Girlfriend is a chilling, intriguing, page-turner that at its core is a novel about family, manipulation, jealousy, deception, and obsession. It’s a wonderful debut for Frances, and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

  

 

And now a little Q&A with Michelle Francis:

 

This is a different sort of love triangle, the girlfriend, Cherry, isn’t competing with a lover but the potential mother-in-law, Laura. What made you choose this dynamic to write about?

I’ve always been fascinated by the notion that two women who are complete strangers are suddenly thrust together in a very intimate relationship for the rest of their lives – just because one starts to date the other’s son. It’s a bit weird and great territory for emotional stress and anxiety. Will she like me? Will I like her? What about for the next forty years?!

I really wanted to write a book that gave both the mother’s and the girlfriend’s point-of-view as each woman’s love for the same man is, although very different, of equal weight and importance. Pit these two loves against each other and who would win? I wanted to create a story that would get readers talking, debating which of the two women might be the more ‘wronged’ and the more justified in their behaviour.

 

There are times in the book where it’s easy to dislike Cherry and Laura! Did you feel empathy for them even though they both do some pretty bad things?

I find it hard to dislike either of them – particularly in the beginning. I want to shake Cherry and tell her to relax right at the start of the book and stop worrying so much! It’s sad really, she genuinely cares for Daniel (even though she does also like his money) and if she’d just stopped fretting about what Laura thought of her, things might have worked out very differently. And Laura does the most awful thing but she has been told by the doctors that Daniel has days – possibly hours – to live, and I can’t help but understand her actions as she’s about to lose her second – and only remaining – child. Both women have moments of possession and jealously and they are ugly, dangerous emotions that make them do despicable things. But as people I feel sorry for them both in many ways.

 

Part of the fun of The Girlfriend is trying to decide which of the characters’ behaviour is worse! Did you always intend for the story to be so morally ambiguous?

Yes, absolutely! I really wanted to test the characters, to see how far they would go, and importantly, try and make their actions justified – at least in their eyes. I think that in some cases, particularly with Laura, even though she does some awful things, she genuinely believes it’s for the right reason. Sadly, with the combination of both Laura’s and Cherry’s individual backgrounds and the situation they now find themselves in, mixed in with the paranoia and nerves, things start unraveling quite quickly.

 

How was writing for a novel different from writing for film and TV?

Well in TV, someone else does all the work! My work in television has been nearly all in producing and script editing (although I have attempted a script or two along the way). There are lots of key differences. The most obvious is length (!) – a script has about 12,000 words, a novel 100,000. Writing for television is also a very collaborative affair – certainly in the UK. There will be tiers of editors, producers, executives and commissioners, all with an opinion, that the writer will either embrace, or will need to successfully argue is invalid.

Things – mostly – happen on screen fast. A very respected UK producer once told me to ‘burn story’. Help, I thought, if I tell the writer to use that story beat in the first five minutes of the episode, what the heck are we going to do just before the ad break? But actually, it’s extremely liberating. It’s a bit like a natural disaster. The occurrence of one thing will set in motion other things, for example the earthquake will set off the tsunami. It’s the same with story – and more to the point, characters. Making things happen often triggers other things to happen.

I’m stating the obvious here but television is a visual medium. But so is a reader’s imagination. In TV, you would look to cut scenes against one another that can help to tell the story. For example, a cop might be talking to a colleague wondering who could be the culprit. Cutting to a new scene featuring a particular individual can make the audience think that individual is the guilty party. The use of visuals – and descriptive prose – cut against each other can create all sorts of drama. It can build tension, create cliffhangers, increase mystery, explain secrets. This is true of novels just as much as of television.

 

What inspired you to write a thriller for your first novel?

Personally, I wrote a thriller because that was the story nagging at me in my head wanting to be told! The darker side of our psyche and how far we’ll go when pushed fascinates me. Also, the dynamic between mother / son / girlfriend is a universal story that touches on a lot of people. Plenty of my girlfriends had tales of woe about their mothers-in-law. During the course of writing the novel I also heard a radio program about the difficulties some women were having with their new daughters-in-law and one story particularly affected me. A heart-broken woman had phoned in and was in tears speaking of how she was excluded to the extent she hadn’t even known her son and his new wife had not one, but two children. She had discovered that her grandchildren existed by accident. It reinforced to me that it’s a universal relationship that can affect a lot of women and cause a lot of distress – to either party.

 

What was your writing process like?

I tend to see writing a novel as a bit like completing a jigsaw puzzle. After shaping up the characters, I generally start with the foundations of the story, the big plot beats and twists (which I liken to the straight edges of a puzzle). Then I will fill in some of the more detailed beats in the first few chapters only – and then go ahead and write them. Once they’re complete, the characters will be starting to tell me where to go next, and so I’ll write the next section, and this continues until I’m near the end, where hopefully the jigsaw pieces are slotting in faster than I can write them!

I write everything out by hand first in a series of notebooks and once I’ve completed the day’s word target, I’ll then type them up, doing a mini-edit along the way. I like the sensation of pencil on paper and find it more liberating.

 

The Girlfriend has already been optioned for a film adaptation (congratulations!). Are you excited to see how your story will be adapted for the screen?

Very much so. Having worked in TV for so long, I’m aware of how you can have two different writers take the same source material and end up with two wildly different scripts. I’m excited to see a filmmakers’ take on the novel and watch his or her vision take shape. This also applies to casting – it’s fascinating to try and imagine different actress’s versions of Laura and Cherry!

 

Are you working on another novel and if so can you tell us anything about it?

Yes, it’s another psychological thriller, which is set in the world of the maternity leave replacement. The mum-to-be is a TV producer who tries to like her temporary replacement, but can’t help thinking she’s got a hidden agenda. Is she after her job – or something else entirely?

 

Thank you to Michelle Frances and Publishers Group Canada for participating on my blog today and providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. It has been an honour and a pleasure.

 

About Michelle Frances

Michelle Frances graduated from Bournemouth Film School in 1996 and then from the Masters programme at the American Film Institute, Los Angeles, in 1998. Returning to London, England, she worked for several years in film and TV as a script editor and producer for both the independent sector and the BBC. The Girlfriend is her first novel.

 

#BookReview
On a Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond
@LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview On a Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: On a Beautiful Day

Author: Lucy Diamond

Published by Pan Macmillan on March 9, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

An inspiring and uplifting novel from the bestselling author of The Secrets of Happiness and The House of New Beginnings.

In Lucy Diamond’s new novel, On a Beautiful Day, four thirty-something friends are catching up, eating al fresco at a bistro in Manchester. Laura is desperate to get pregnant and is glumly starting to think it’s never going to happen. Recent divorcee Juliet is swept up in a whirlwind romance although finding it hard to win over her new partner’s precocious teenage daughter. Eve, an uptight and a control freak, has found a lump in her breast and is in complete denial that anything might be wrong. India is the most happy-go-lucky of the four, but when you’re trying to juggle a career, marriage, kids, ailing parents, neurotic dog, and a falling-down house, there’s always a catastrophe waiting in the wings.

But when they witness an accident on the street that changes them forever, each woman begins to contemplate just how lucky (or not) they really are.


Review:

Affecting, inspiring, and delightfully mesmerizing!

On a Beautiful Day is a heartwarming tale that reminds us that life should be lived to the fullest every day and it’s not only the high but also the low moments in life that truly shape us.

There are four main characters in this novel; Eve, an accountant and mother of two who struggles to ask for help; Jo, a divorcee and nurse who’s hesitant to fall in love; Laura, a middle-aged woman who craves motherhood; and India, a mother of three who has a secret from the past that continually haunts.

The prose is warm and emotional. The characters are multifaceted, empathetic, resilient, and endearing. And the plot is a sweeping saga about life, loss, family, secrets, adultery, infertility, determination, acceptance, self-discovery, happiness, romance, and love.

Diamond has an uncanny ability to write beautiful, beguiling stories about female friendships that resonate and On a Beautiful Day is no exception. It’s powerful, genuine, heartfelt, and moving and I enjoyed every minute of it.

 

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
Find You In The Dark by Nathan Ripley
@NabenRuthnum @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Find You In The Dark by Nathan Ripley @NabenRuthnum @SimonSchusterCATitle: Find You In The Dark

Author: Nathan Ripley

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada on March 6, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In this chilling debut thriller, in the vein of Dexter and The Talented Mr. Ripley, a family man obsessed with digging up the undiscovered remains of serial killer victims catches the attention of a murderer prowling the streets of Seattle.

Martin Reese is obsessed with murder.

For years, he has been illegally buying police files on serial killers and studying them in depth, using them as guides to find missing bodies. He doesn’t take any souvenirs, just photos that he stores in an old laptop, and then he turns in the results to the police anonymously. Martin sees his work as a public service, a righting of wrongs that cops have continuously failed to do.

Detective Sandra Whittal sees it differently. On a meteoric rise in police ranks due to her case-closing efficiency, Whittal is suspicious of the mysterious caller—the Finder, she names him—leading the police to the bodies. Even if the Finder isn’t the one leaving bodies behind, who’s to say that he won’t start soon?

On his latest dig, Martin searches for the first kill of Jason Shurn, the early 1990s murderer who may have been responsible for the disappearance of his sister-in-law, whom he never met. But when he arrives at the site, he finds a freshly killed body—a young and recently disappeared Seattle woman—lying among remains that were left there decades ago. Someone else knew where Jason Shurn buried his victims . . . and that someone isn’t happy that Martin has been going around digging up his work.

When a crooked cop with a tenuous tie to Martin vanishes, Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder. Hunted by a real killer and by Whittal, Martin realizes that in order to escape the killer’s trap, he may have to go deeper into the world of murder than he ever thought.


Review:

Dark, menacing, and gritty!

Find You In The Dark is an engrossing, creepy thriller that delves into the sadistic and disturbing thoughts, motivations, and actions of serial killers and immerses you in all the manipulation, violence, murder, depravity, and pure evil they’re capable of.

The prose is chilling and tight. The characterization is well done with a whole slew of characters that are flawed, vulnerable, and persistent. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, is an exceptionally suspenseful, twisty, violent, tension-filled thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very first page.

Overall, Find You In The Dark is a fast-paced, unique, ominous tale that reminds you that if you continually dance with the devil eventually you might get burned.

 

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 Nathan Ripley

Nathan Ripley is the pen name of literary fiction writer and journalist Naben Ruthnum. His stories and essays have appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt, Sight & Sound, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, among other places. He lives in Toronto.

#BookReview
Bachelor Girl by Kim van Alkemade
@KimvanAlkemade @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Bachelor Girl by Kim van Alkemade @KimvanAlkemade @SimonSchusterCATitle: Bachelor Girl

Author: Kim van Alkemade

Published by Touchstone on March 6, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Orphan #8 comes a fresh and intimate novel about the destructive power of secrets and the redemptive power of love—inspired by the true story of Jacob Ruppert, the millionaire owner of the New York Yankees, and his mysterious bequest in 1939 to an unknown actress, Helen Winthrope Weyant.

When the owner of the New York Yankees baseball team, Colonel Jacob Ruppert, takes Helen Winthrope, a young actress, under his wing, she thinks it’s because of his guilt over her father’s accidental death—and so does Albert Kramer, Ruppert’s handsome personal secretary. Helen and Albert develop a deepening bond the closer they become to Ruppert, an eccentric millionaire who demands their loyalty in return for his lavish generosity.

New York in the Jazz Age is filled with possibilities, especially for the young and single. Yet even as Helen embraces being a “bachelor girl”—a working woman living on her own terms—she finds herself falling in love with Albert, even after he confesses his darkest secret. When Ruppert dies, rumors swirl about his connection to Helen after the stunning revelation that he has left her the bulk of his fortune, which includes Yankee Stadium. But it is only when Ruppert’s own secrets are finally revealed that Helen and Albert will be forced to confront the truth about their relationship to him—and to each other.

Inspired by factual events that gripped New York City in its heyday, Bachelor Girl is a hidden history gem about family, identity, and love in all its shapes and colors.


Review:

Passionate, evocative, and thoroughly absorbing!

Bachelor Girl is an intriguing interpretation about the life of Colonel Jacob Ruppert, the wealthy American brewer and owner of the New York Yankees who became known for his successful acquisition of the legendary slugger Babe Ruth, the construction of the iconic Yankee Stadium, and the unusually large endowment he left to a young, unknown actress upon his death.

The prose is eloquent and fluid. The characters are genuine, well drawn, and endearing. And the story sweeps you away to New York City during the 1920s when women were shortening their skirts, cutting their hair and gaining independence, prohibition was in full force, and love in all its forms was expressed but still hidden.

Bachelor girl is a fascinating, well-written, richly described story about friendship, loyalty, familial relationships, sexual identity, secrets, prosperity, ambition, life, loss, and love. And even though there is not much known about Colonel Jacob Ruppert’s close, personal relationships, van Alkemade has done an exceptional job of taking historical facts and surrounding them with fiction that is both captivating and exceptionally alluring.

 

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 Kim van Alkemade

Kim van Alkemade was born in New York City and spent her childhood in suburban New Jersey. Her late father, an immigrant from the Netherlands, met her mother, a descendant of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, in the Empire State Building. She attended college in Wisconsin, earning a doctorate in English from UW-Milwaukee. She is a professor at Shippensburg University where she teaches writing, and lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Her creative nonfiction essays have been published in literary journals including Alaska Quarterly Review, So To Speak, and CutBank. Orphan # 8 was her first novel.

#BookReview
The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard
@janetbeardauthor @HarperCollinsCa

#BookReview The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard @janetbeardauthor @HarperCollinsCaTitle: The Atomic City Girls

Author: Janet Beard

Published by William Morrow on February 6, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 353

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HarperCollins Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In the bestselling tradition of Hidden Figures and The Wives of Los Alamos, comes a riveting novel of the everyday women who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II

“What you see here, what you hear here, what you do here, let it stay here.”

In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn’t officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee has sprung up in a matter of months—a town of trailers and segregated houses, 24-hour cafeterias, and constant security checks. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders.

The girls spend their evenings socializing and flirting with soldiers, scientists, and workmen at dances and movies, bowling alleys and canteens. June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment and begins an affair with Sam Cantor, the young Jewish physicist from New York who oversees the lab where she works and understands the end goal only too well, while her beautiful roommate Cici is on her own mission: to find a wealthy husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Across town, African-American construction worker Joe Brewer knows nothing of the government’s plans, only that his new job pays enough to make it worth leaving his family behind, at least for now. But a breach in security will intertwine his fate with June’s search for answers.

When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.


Review:

Atmospheric, authentic, and immersive!

The Atomic City Girls is a fascinating story that sweeps you away to Oak Ridge, Tennessee during the mid-1940s when WWII was raging on the battlefields of Europe, and back home the American government was funding a top-secret project that would triumphantly and tragically have a resounding effect on the entire world for years to come.

The prose is captivating and vividly described. The four main characters June, Sam, Cici, and Joe are unique, hardworking, and patriotic. And the plot, interspersed with real-life photos, is a compelling story about life, love, friendship, self-discovery, segregation, survival, tragedy, war, romance, uranium enrichment, nuclear weapons, and morality.

Overall, The Atomic City Girls is a well-written, exceptionally researched novel that does a remarkable job of highlighting Beard’s incredible knowledge into a period and historical event that is often forgotten or overlooked.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Janet Beard

Born and raised in East Tennessee, Janet Beard moved to New York to study screenwriting at NYU and went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from The New School. Her first novel, Beneath the Pines, was published in 2008, and her follow-up, The Atomic City Girls will be published in 2018. Janet has lived and worked in Australia, England, Boston, and Columbus, Ohio, where she is currently teaching writing, raising a daughter, and working on a new novel.

#BookReview
Say My Name by Allegra Huston
@allegrahuston @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Say My Name by Allegra Huston @allegrahuston @HarlequinBooksTitle: Say My Name

Author: Allegra Huston

Published by Mira Books on January 9, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Eve is a garden designer and antique buyer whose husband has left her after several miserable years of marriage. Her latest antique find is an old violin, beautiful but broken.

On meeting Micajah, 20 years younger than her, she feels a spark between them – a sexual spark she hasn’t felt in a long time.

As their affair escalates, Micajah shows her how to embrace her sexuality and take charge of it. A musician, he also helps her repair the violin to be even more beautiful than she could have imagined.

Eve goes on a journey of discovery, and the story ends in Venice where she and Micajah set each other free in the world, allowing Eve to take charge of her own happiness at last.


Review:

Pensive, intriguing, and incredibly seductive! 

Say My Name is an alluring novel that reminds us that women can be attractive, powerful, sexual beings at any age and highlights that you’re never too old to try new things, take risks, and discover what truly makes you happy.

The prose is delicate and raw. The characters are authentic, sensual, and unique. And the plot sweeps you away into an engaging saga about marriage, independence, age disparity, music, desire, lust, and happiness.

Overall, Say My Name is a thought-provoking, love story with palpable emotion that for the most part kept me captivated and invested in both the characters and the situations they found themselves in.

 

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 Allegra Huston

Allegra Huston has written screenplays, journalism, and one previous book, Love Child: A Memoir of Family Lost and Found. After an early career in UK publishing, including four years as Editorial Director of Weidenfeld & Nicolson, she joined the film company Pathé as development consultant. She wrote and produced the award-winning short film Good Luck, Mr. Gorski, and is on the editorial staff of the international art and culture magazine Garage. She lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her 15-year-old son.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview
Dangerous Score by Michael Bearcroft
@mikebearcroft1 @rararesources

#BlogTour #BookReview Dangerous Score by Michael Bearcroft @mikebearcroft1 @rararesources

#BlogTour #BookReview Dangerous Score by Michael Bearcroft @mikebearcroft1 @rararesourcesTitle: Dangerous Score

Author: Michael Bearcroft

Published by New Generation Publishing on September 19, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 342

Format: Paperback

Source: Michael Bearcroft, Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 6.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Football hero Jason Clooney is riding high….until a date with a beautiful woman lands him in trouble with the media, and into battle with the criminal underworld.

Now against a backdrop of an uncertain professional future, Jason has to confront disturbing revelations surrounding his new girlfriend’s family. From football action on the pitch to behind the scenes plotting. To battles with a criminal gang and constant media attention, all adding to the toughest challenges he has ever faced in life, love, as a player and as a man.


Review:

Complex, suspenseful, and highly descriptive!

Dangerous Score is a sports mystery that takes you into the day-to-day running of the Kettering Town Football Club and delves into all the action, politics, and corruption that goes on behind the scenes.

The pose is detailed and clear. The characters are dedicated, resourceful, and supportive. And the plot is ultimately about friendship, family, deception, violence, murder, romance, and football.

Dangerous Score is an intriguing novel that spotlights all the intricacies involved in organizing, advertising, and running a football club and even though I felt there was a little repetition and a slower pace to the second half of the novel it certainly highlighted Bearcroft’s incredible knowledge and enormous passion for the sport.

 

This novel is available now.

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

    

 

 

Giveaway:

Giveaway – Win 3 x Signed Copies of Dangerous Score by Michael Bearcroft (Open International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you to Michael Bearcroft and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Michael Bearcroft

Michael Bearcroft is an Ex Sheffield United Junior, former Chairman Corby Town FC, Actor and stage director, and former British Red Cross Regional Director.

 

#BookReview
Texas-Sized Trouble by Delores Fossen
@dfossen @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Texas-Sized Trouble by Delores Fossen @dfossen @HarlequinBooksTitle: Texas-Sized Trouble

Author: Delores Fossen

Series: Wrangler's Creek #4

Published by Harlequin Books on January 23, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

A local girl comes home to face the cowboy from her past—and finally claim her future…

Lawson Granger loved Eve Cooper once, but her dreams were grander than anything his Texas-cowboy destiny could provide. Letting her walk out of his life and into television stardom was a mistake he made eighteen years ago. Now everything’s changed. Eve is back—pregnant and desperate for someplace to hide. And their desire is just as stubborn as they are.

Escaping to the comforts of home is Eve’s one shot at giving her baby a safe life. Earning Lawson’s trust is her one chance at making amends for the past. But the long-buried secrets and unintentional damage she fled from aren’t far behind. When the truth finds her, she stands to lose the man she loves and the only place she’s ever called home…this time forever.


Review:

Emotional, passionate, and entertaining!

Texas-Sized Trouble is a heartwarming, second-chance romance between the sweet, hardworking, ruggedly handsome Lawson who let his high school sweetheart slip away without a fight, and the famous, but lonely actress Eve who took more than Lawson’s broken heart when she fled Wrangler’s Creek eighteen years ago.

The prose is crisp and clear. The characters, including the supporting characters, are engaging, amusing, and quirky. And the plot is a wild ride full of family drama, secrets, deception, twists, turns, forgiveness, closure, new beginnings, and sizzling romance.

Overall, Texas-Sized Trouble is a lighthearted, easy read that’s a true guilty pleasure with its sexy cowboys, touch of the rich and famous lifestyle, western charm, heartfelt moments, and a cover that had me smitten from the very first glance.

 

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 Delores Fossen

Delores Fossen is a USA Today bestselling author, who has sold over 100 novels. Needless to say, she writes a lot. She’s had the honor of receiving the Booksellers’ Best Award for romantic suspense, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita. Her books have been featured in Vogue, Woman’s Day and Woman’s World. She’s also had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines.

#BookReview
Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore
@SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore @SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCATitle: Songs of Love and War

Author: Santa Montefiore

Published by Simon & Schuster UK on February 13, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 528

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The #1 international bestseller about the enduring bond between three women and the castle they will never forget.

Their lives were mapped out ahead of them. But love and war will change everything…

It’s the early 1900s and Castle Deverill stands staunchly untouched by time, hidden away in the rolling Irish hills. Within the castle walls, three friends have formed a close bond: affluent, flame-haired Kitty Deverill; Bridie Doyle, Kitty’s best friend and daughter of the castle’s cook; and Celia Deverill, Kitty’s flamboyant English cousin. They’ve grown up together, always sheltered from the conflict embroiling the rest of the country. But when Bridie learns of a secret Kitty has been keeping, their idyllic world is forever torn apart.

Later, the three women scatter to different parts of the globe. Kitty must salvage what she can before Castle Deverill and everything she has ever known is reduced to ash. Songs of Love and War is an epic generational saga about the lasting bonds of true friendship and the powerful ties we all have to the place we call home.

Previously published in the US as The Girl in the Castle.


Review:

Insightful, riveting, and incredibly atmospheric!

Songs of Love and War is an intriguing tale that sweeps you to Co. Cork in the early 1900s when Ireland is full of unrest and upheaval not only due to the Great War being waged on the fields of Europe but in their own countryside where the simmering anger and need for self-identity, patriotism, and independence from Anglo rule are about to come to a head.

The prose is poetic and vividly described. The three main characters Kitty, Birdie, and Celia are strong and independent, and their lives are bound and entangled together by the magnificent Castle Deverill that graces the Irish hillside and in some way each calls home. And the plot is an engaging saga filled with self-discovery, familial drama, social stratification, spiritual occurrences, tragedy, heartbreak, romance, war, life, loss, and friendship.

Songs of Love and War is an exquisitely written, exceptionally detailed, beautiful start to a trilogy that is sure to be a big hit with historical fiction fans and book clubs everywhere, and you can be sure that Daughters of Castle Deverill, Deverill Chronicles #2, is already on my TBR list.

 

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 Santa Montefiore

Santa Montefiore’s books have been translated into twenty languages and have sold more than four million copies in England and Europe. She is married to writer Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London.

Photograph by Elaine Fattal

 

#BookReview
The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz
@HarlequinBooks

#BookReview The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz @HarlequinBooksTitle: The Lucky Ones

Author: Tiffany Reisz

Published by Mira Books on February 13, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 365

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

They called themselves “the lucky ones.” They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by legendary philanthropist and brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello to live in The Dragon, his almost magical beach house on the Oregon Coast. Allison was the youngest of the lucky ones living an idyllic life with her newfound family…until the night she almost died, and was then whisked away from the house and her adopted family forever.

Now, thirteen years later, Allison receives a letter from Roland, Dr. Capello’s oldest son, warning her that their father is ill and in his final days. Allison determines she must go home again and confront the ghosts of her past. She’s determined to find out what really happened that fateful night–was it an accident or, as she’s always suspected, did one of her beloved family members try to kill her?

But digging into the past can reveal horrific truths, and when Allison pieces together the story of her life, she’ll learns the terrible secret at the heart of the family she once loved but never really knew.

A vivid and suspenseful tale of family, grief, love—and the dark secrets that bind everything together—Tiffany Reisz’s latest is enthralling to the final page.


Review:

Atmospheric, eerie, and darkly romantic!

The Lucky Ones is a menacing thrill ride that takes you on a journey into the life of the lonely, determined Allison as she unravels all the secrets from her past and confronts all the ghosts that still haunt her.

The prose is tight and edgy. The characters are scarred, secretive, and troubled. And the plot is an intense, suspenseful tale filled with familial drama, chemistry, mental illness, abuse, deception, adultery, forbidden love, and murder.

Overall, The Lucky Ones is a unique, sinister romance that explores the ethical and moral fine line between right and wrong. And even though it isn’t my favourite book from Reisz and may not be everyone’s cup of tea there is no denying she has an incredible imagination and can spin a gritty tale that intrigues, surprises, and shocks like no other.

 

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 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.

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