Genre: General Fiction

#BookReview
Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree
@jamieraintree @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree @jamieraintree @HarlequinBooksTitle: Perfectly Undone

Author: Jamie Raintree

Published by: Graydon House on October 3, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 299

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Yes is such a little word…

Dr. Dylan Michels has worked hard for a perfect life, so when her longtime boyfriend, Cooper, gets down on one knee, it should be the most perfect moment of all. Then why does she say no?

For too many years, Dylan’s been living for her sister, who never got the chance to grow up. But her attempt to be the perfect daughter, perfect partner and perfect doctor hasn’t been enough to silence the haunting guilt Dylan feels over her sister’s death—and the role no one knows she played in it.

Now Dylan must face her past if she and Cooper stand a chance at a future together. But when Cooper makes a startling confession of his own, can Dylan find the courage to define her own happiness before her life becomes perfectly undone?

Set among the breezy days of a sultry Portland summer, Perfectly Undone is a deeply moving novel of family secrets, forgiveness and finding yourself in the most surprising of places.


Review:

Emotional, vivid, and relatable!

Perfectly Undone is an engaging tale that takes us into the life of Dr. Dylan Michels, a woman who finds herself quickly unraveling as she tries to not only live with the responsibility and guilt she secretly harbours, but also balance a successful career, intimate relationship, and familial obligations.

The writing is descriptive and genuine. The characters are diligent, compulsive, and tenacious. And the plot is an intriguing tale full of heartache, loss, grief, betrayal, infidelity, relationship dynamics, family, romance, and love.

Overall, I think, Perfectly Undone is a fantastic debut for Raintree that does an excellent job of highlighting the importance of forgiving one’s self, moving on, and living life to the fullest.

 

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 Jamie Raintree

Jamie Raintree is voracious student of life, which is why she became a writer, where she could put all that acquired information to good use. She is a mother of two, a wife, a businesswoman, a nature-lover, and a wannabe yogi. She also teaches writers about business and productivity. Since the setting is always an important part of her books, she is happy to call the Rocky Mountains of Northern Colorado her home and inspiration.

#BookReview
Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand
@elinhilderbrand @littlebrown

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

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Series: Winter #4

Published by: Little Brown and Company on October 3, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 262

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Little Brown and Company, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Raise one last glass with the Quinn Family at the Winter Street Inn.

It’s been too long since the entire Quinn family has been able to celebrate the holidays under the same roof, but that’s about to change. With Bart back safe and sound from Afghanistan, the Quinns are preparing for a holiday more joyous than any they’ve experienced in years. And Bart’s safe return isn’t the family’s only good news: Kevin is enjoying married life with Isabelle; Patrick is getting back on his feet after paying his debt to society; Ava thinks she’s finally found the love of her life; and Kelly is thrilled to see his family reunited at last. But it just wouldn’t be a Quinn family gathering if things went smoothly. A celebration of everything we love–and some of the things we endure–about the holidays, WINTER SOLSTICE is Elin Hilderbrand at her festive best.


Review:

Affecting, heartwarming, and romantic!

Winter Solstice is a sweet, unexpected surprise that gives us one last chance to check in with the Quinns and savour their special moments, new loves, old loves, and heartbreaking losses.

The prose is clean and crisp. The characters are lovable, engaging, and genuine. And the plot is a compelling tale about life, love, family, acceptance, loss, sorrow, friendship, growing up, growing old, and moving on.

Winter Solstice is ultimately an emotional ending to a charming series that will make you laugh, make you smile, and at times even make you cry. A true wintry delight!

If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for some of the other novels in the Winter Street Series, be sure to check them out here:

 

This book is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

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

#BookReview
The Trick by Emanuel Bergmann
@SimonSchusterCA @simonschuster

#BookReview The Trick by Emanuel Bergmann @SimonSchusterCA @simonschusterTitle: The Trick

Author: Emanuel Bergmann

Published by: Atria Books on September 19, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Sweeping between Prague during World War II and modern-day Los Angeles, this deeply moving debut follows a young Jewish man in 1934 who falls in love and joins the circus as the country descends into war. Decades later, a young boy seeks out the now cynical, elderly magician in the hopes that his spells might keep his family together.

Prague, 1934: The fifteen-year-old rabbi s son Moshe Goldenhirsch marvels at the legendary circus magician known as the Half-Moon Man. Unexpectedly, he falls madly in love with the magician’s delightful assistant, spurring him to run away from home to join the circus, which is slowly making its way to Germany as war looms on the horizon. Soon, he becomes a world-renowned magician known as the Great Zabbatini, even sought after by Adolf Hitler. But when Moshe is discovered to be a Jew, only his special talent can save him from perishing in a concentration camp.

Los Angeles, 2007: Ten-year-old Max Cohn is convinced that magic can bring his estranged parents back together before they divorce. So one night he climbs out of his bedroom window in search of the Great Zabbatini, certain this powerful magician has the power to reunite his family.


Review:

Quirky, sweet, and humorous!

The Trick is set in both 1930s Prague and twenty-first century Los Angeles and centres around two main characters. Moshe Goldenhirsch, or more famously known as the great Zabbatini, a Jewish survivor of WWII who learned from a very early age the true power of magic. And Max Cohn, a brave, determined 10-year-old on a mission to uncover the love spell he’s confident will fix his parent’s marital woes.

The prose is witty and emotive. The characters are stubborn, unique, and endearing. And the plot is a captivating tale of life, love, heartbreak, family, friendship, and survival.

The Trick, overall, is a well-written, amusing story that ultimately reminds us that magic is a set of tricks, tools or suggestions that give us the freedom to see what we want to see and believe what we want to believe.

 

This book is available September 19, 2017.

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 Emanuel Bergmann

Emanuel Bergmann was born in Germany and is a journalist and translator. He has been living in Los Angeles since 1990. His first novel, The Trick, is an international bestseller.

Photograph: Philipp Rohner/© Diogenes Verlag

#BookReview
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
@jesmimi @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward @jesmimi @SimonSchusterCATitle: Sing, Unburied, Sing

Author: Jesmyn Ward

Published by: Scribner on September 5, 2017

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi’s past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers.

Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.

Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, musical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature.


Review:

Haunting, atmospheric, and powerful!

Sing, Unburied, Sing is an incredibly moving novel about life in small-town Mississippi where life is constantly inflicted by ravishing hurricanes, enduring poverty, rampant opioid availability, and racial prejudices.

The prose is eloquent and descriptive. The characters are tormented, fragile, and raw. And the plot takes us on a heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride full of love, violence, hatred, addiction, biracial tension, incarceration, abandonment, death, loss and the spirit world beyond. 

Sing, Unburied, Sing is ultimately a poetic tale woven with a supernatural thread that reminds us that strength, compassion, and kindness is the base of humanity that transcends skin colour, socioeconomic status, and the deepest, darkest realities.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward is the author of Where the Line Bleeds, Salvage the Bones, and Men We Reaped. She is a former Stegner Fellow (Stanford University) and Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi. She is an associate professor of Creative Writing at Tulane University.

Her work has appeared in BOMB, A Public Space and The Oxford American.

#BookReview
Killer Affair by Rebecca Chance
@MsRebeccaChance @PGCBooks

#BookReview Killer Affair by Rebecca Chance @MsRebeccaChance @PGCBooksTitle: Killer Affair

Author: Rebecca Chance

Published by: Pan Macmillan on August 24, 2017

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

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A shocking betrayal deserves a wicked revenge . . .

Stunning, charismatic Lexy O’Brien is the reigning queen of British reality TV. Her life in front of the camera is planned and manipulated as successfully as any military assault.

But success breeds jealousy. When you’re on top, the only way is down and there’s always someone standing by to give you a shove . . .

Dowdy Caroline Evans, a part-time blogger and writer of erotic fiction, is brought in to chronicle Lexy’s life. Being taken under Lexy’s wing is a dream come true for Caroline. But sampling the star’s lifestyle is like tasting the most addictive of drugs, and it’s not long before she is craving what she can’t possibly have – or can she?

And as Caroline and Lexy’s lives and loves become increasingly entwined, it’s only a matter of time before the hidden rivalry becomes a powder keg waiting to explode . . .


Review:

Scandalous, salacious, and outrageously entertaining!

Killer Affair is an alluring novel that takes us into the lives of the rich and famous and reminds us that everything that glitters is not gold and often behind the shiny facade and quintessential social media postings is an abundance of power, obsession, envy, deception, betrayal, infidelity, and revenge.

The writing is well done. The characters are ambitious, self-indulgent, and vain. And the plot is a clever, captivating mix of humour, drama, action, and sex.

Overall, I have to say Killer Affair is truly a scintillating, enjoyable treat that’s perfect for anyone who loves all the backstabbing, glamour, gossip, and sexual hijinks of reality TV. It will make you smile, laugh, and at times even leave you at a loss for words.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                  

 

 

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

 

About Rebecca Chance

Rebecca Chance was born in Hampstead to international art dealer parents, and grew up in the exclusive millionaire’s row surroundings of London’s St John’s Wood. Tiring of her cushioned, privileged existence, she ran away to Tuscany to live a wild bohemian life on a wine-making estate, where she lived in a 14th century villa in a Chianti vineyard, partying with artists, learning Italian, and picking grapes. But big city life was calling her, and after staying in Rome and Porto Ercole, she moved to Manhattan, lured by the glamorous single-girl existence and nonstop nightlife. She spent a decade living the Sex and The City dream in SoHo, equally at home in an uptown penthouse on Fifth Avenue overlooking the Metropolitan Museum, or downtown dancing on the bar of the Coyote Ugly for kicks. Eventually, a handsome American husband in tow, she moved back to London to settle down (as much as she can) and finally fictionalize some of her most exciting and glamorous experiences into her bestselling blockbuster novels.
Rebecca’s interests include trapeze, pole-dancing, watching "America’s Next Top Model", and cocktail-drinking.

#BookReview
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
@gabriellezevin @PenguinCanada

#BookReview Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin @gabriellezevin @PenguinCanadaTitle: Young Jane Young

Author: Gabrielle Zevin

Published by: Viking on August 29, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Random House, Goodreads Giveaways

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the author of the international bestseller The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes another novel that will have everyone talking.

Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida, makes the mistake of having an affair with her boss–and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the beloved congressman doesn’t take the fall. But Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins: slut-shamed, she becomes a late-night talk show punch line, anathema to politics.

She sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. This time, she tries to be smarter about her life and strives to raise her daughter, Ruby, to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, Aviva decides to run for public office herself, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet and catches up–an inescapable scarlet A. In the digital age, the past is never, ever, truly past. And it’s only a matter of time until Ruby finds out who her mother was and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she knows.

Young Jane Young is a smart, funny, and moving novel about what it means to be a woman of any age, and captures not just the mood of our recent highly charged political season, but also the double standards alive and well in every aspect of life for women.


Review:

Clever, humorous, and highly entertaining!

Young Jane Young is an engaging, satisfying tale that reminds us that the internet although an invaluable source of information and a blessing is also often a curse where mistakes are never forgotten.

The story is divided into multiple sections and told from various perspectives; Rachel, Aviva’s mother whose attempts at online dating is dismal at best; Jane/Aviva, a young events planner who has successfully carved out a new life and identity after falling in love with the wrong man; Ruby, Jane’s inquisitive and direct teenage daughter; and Embeth, the congressman’s forgiving and supportive wife.

The characters are strong, female, and resilient. The prose is smooth, fresh, and exceptionally witty. And the plot interweaves and unfolds effortlessly using unconventional, unique writing styles, such as emails and “choose your own adventure” to keep you intrigued and absorbed from start to finish.

Young Jane Young is ultimately a lighthearted, warm, enjoyable story about empowerment, survival, feminism, shame, acceptance, adultery, politics, scandals, and the unfair sexist stigma that still surrounds women and their sexual behaviour today.

If you haven’t already checked out my review for The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, one of my favourite books from last year,  be sure to check it out here:

 

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 and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gabrielle Zevin

GABRIELLE ZEVIN is an internationally bestselling author whose books have been translated into over thirty languages.

Her eighth novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (2014), spent months on the New York Times Best Seller List, reached #1 on the National Indie Best Seller List, and has been a bestseller all around the world. The Toronto Globe and Mail called the book “a powerful novel about the power of novels.” Her debut, Margarettown, was a selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. The Hole We’re In was a New York Times Editor’s Choice title.

She also writes books for young readers. Her best known young adult novel is Elsewhere, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book. Of Elsewhere, the New York Times Book Review wrote, “Every so often a book comes along with a premise so fresh and arresting it seems to exist in a category all its own… Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin, is such a book.”

She is the screenwriter of Conversations with Other Women (Helena Bonham Carter, Aaron Eckhart) for which she received an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best First Screenplay. In 2009, she and director Hans Canosa adapted her novel Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (ALA Best Books for Young Adults) into the Japanese film, Dareka ga Watashi ni Kiss wo Shita. She has also written for the New York Times Book Review and NPR’s All Things Considered. She began her writing career at age fourteen as a music critic for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

Zevin is a graduate of Harvard University. She lives in Los Angeles. Her 9th novel is Young Jane Young.

#BookReview
Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh
@tarynleighbook @olympiapub

#BookReview Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh @tarynleighbook @olympiapubTitle: Perfect Imperfections

Author: Taryn Leigh

Published by: Olympia Publishers on March 28, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, General Fiction

Pages: 290

Format: Paperback

Source: Olympia Publishers

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Sarah Lewis desires nothing more than to begin again after a failed marriage and a tragedy so terrifying, it forces her to leave her life in London to stay with her best friend a world apart in South Africa.

Despite immediate success in her business, she struggles to understand who she really is and where she belongs in the world. So begins a journey of discovery as Sarah re-unites with Katy in the land where she was born, where the air is lavender scented, and weekends are spent cycling on the beach.

Until the day when she has to return to London to face the ghosts of her past and confront a situation that has grown more complicated in her absence.

Perfect Imperfections is an intriguing tale which hints at wrongdoings and deceit without giving too much away. The author cleverly weaves a tale around fragile yet strong Sarah as she tries to reconcile her past with her future, engaging the reader to the point where we simply want the best for her and for happiness finally to come her way.


Review:

Uplifting, vivid, and poignant!

Perfect Imperfections is a heartwarming tale about letting go of the past, embracing the future and discovering one’s true self after suffering heartbreak and tragedy.

The writing is vivid and descriptive. The characters are strong, kind, and supportive. And the plot is an engaging, emotional tale with a side of mystery that’s full of heartache, loss, grief, betrayal, relationship dynamics, family, romance, and love.

Overall, I would have to say that Perfect Imperfections is a charming, sweet, beautiful debut for Leigh that does a wonderful job of highlighting just how important and powerful friendship can truly be.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                    

 

 

Thank you to Taryn Leigh and Olympia Publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is a South African born citizen, who spent her childhood with her nose buried in books. Her love for reading transpired into her ambition to become a writer. She first tried her hand at blogging, which eventually led to her writing her first novel. She lives in Pretoria, with her husband, son and two cocker spaniels.

#BookReview
The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley
@lucindariley @PGCBooks

#BookReview The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley @lucindariley @PGCBooksTitle: The Olive Tree

Author: Lucinda Riley

Published by: Pan Macmillan on July 7, 2017

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

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

It has been 24 years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now-crumbling house, “Pandora,” is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family. Yet, as soon as Helena arrives at Pandora, she knows that its idyllic beauty masks a web of secrets that she has kept from William, her husband, and Alex, her son. At the difficult age of 13, Alex is torn between protecting his beloved mother, and growing up. And equally, desperate to learn the truth about his real father. When, by chance, Helena meets her childhood sweetheart, a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make her past and present collide. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same, once Pandora’s secrets have been revealed . . .


Review:

Lighthearted, mesmerizing, and genuinely heartfelt!

The Olive Tree is an engrossing tale that reminds us that life is often a messy journey complete with smiles, tears, happiness, and heartbreak.

It is set on the idyllic island of Cyprus and takes us into the lives of two main families who on the surface seem to have it all, great relationships, beautiful houses, and good kids, but over the course of one hot summer marriages will be tested, secrets will be revealed, love will be found, love will be lost, and lives will be changed forever.

The prose is expressive, sincere, and smooth. The characters are charming, multi-layered, and alluring. And the plot is a wonderful, contemporary mix of life, love, coming-of-age, humour, family dynamics, deception, and mystery that starts in the present, takes you back 10-years in the past, and finishes when the past and present collides.

There are only a few authors that no matter the theme or size of the book their stories are always filled with magical characters I can’t get enough of and stories that are so atmospheric and vivid I’m entertained, enthralled and swept away and Lucinda Riley is one of them. She has the incredible ability to take her innate knowledge of all the psychological and emotional entanglements found in nuclear families and weave them into a story you can’t put down. I absolutely loved this book and will now try my hardest to patiently await her next release, The Pearl Sister, book #4 in The Seven Sisters series due out late 2017/early 2018.

If you haven’t checked out my reviews for some of Lucinda Riley’s other novels be sure to check them out here:

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages and sold over ten million copies worldwide. She is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author.

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

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

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

#BookReview
One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprell
@marklamprell @Flatironbooks

#BookReview One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprell @marklamprell @FlatironbooksTitle: One Summer Day in Rome

Author: Mark Lamprell

Published by: Flatiron Books on August 1, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, General Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Flatiron Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Mark Lamprell’s The Lovers’ Guide to Rome is an enchanting novel about three couples drawn irresistibly to Rome, narrated by the city itself.

Alice, an art student in New York City, has come to Rome in search of adventure and inspiration before settling down with her steady, safe fiancé. Meg and Alec, busy parents and successful business people from LA, are on a mission to find the holy grail, a certain blue tile that will make their home renovation complete—but soon it becomes clear that their marriage needs a makeover as well. Connie and Lizzie are women of a certain age—“Sometimes I look at my laughter lines and wonder what on earth could have been that funny”—who come from London to scatter the ashes of their beloved husband and brother. Both women are seemingly done with romance, but Rome has other ideas.


Review:

Absorbing, romantic and incredibly moving!

One Summer Day in Rome is a story about love, new love, struggling love, eternal love, and lost love.

The story takes place in the time span of one day and takes us into the lives of three couples; Alice and August, university students from different continents who test the idea of love at first sight; Alec and Meg, a middle-aged married couple who’ve lost that loving feeling; and Constance a heartbroken widow who recently lost her soul mate.

The prose is light, humorous and incredibly descriptive. The narration is unconventional. The characters are multi-layered, real and endearing. And the plot is an entertaining mix of emotion, dialogue, humour, hijinks, mishaps, and passion.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started One Summer Day in Rome but it wasn’t long before Lamprell not only swept me away to a city he obviously knows and loves and gave me a truly romantic guidebook to all the history, must-see landmarks, culture, lifestyle, and food but also immersed me in a heartfelt, touching story that made me laugh, smile and even cry.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                          

For more information on Mark Lamprell follow him on Twitter at: @marklamprell

 

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

#BookReview
The Ice-Cream Makers by Ernest van der Kwast
@ernestvdkwast @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Ice-Cream Makers by Ernest van der Kwast @ernestvdkwast @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Ice-Cream Makers

Author: Ernest van der Kwast

Published by: Atria Books on August 1, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In this international bestseller, a poet struggles to decide if he should put his family’s or his own needs first when he returns to Italy to help run the ice cream dynasty he left behind years ago in this charming tale perfect for fans of A Man Called Ove.

As the heir to a proud Northern Italian ice-cream dynasty, Giovanni Calamine’s family is none too happy when he decides to break with tradition and travel the world as a notable poet. So when Giovanni receives an unexpected call from his brother, he is faced with a difficult decision: return home to serve in his family’s interests or continue on his own path in life once and for all?

In a heartwarming tale that weaves history with lore and poetry with delicious culinary curiosities, The Ice-Cream Makers paints a century-long, multi-generational portrait of a family wrestling with the conflicting pulls of legacy and desire.


Review:

Poignant, intriguing, and delightfully entertaining!

The Ice-Cream Makers is set in both Rotterdam and Northern Italy and is the multi-generational story of the Talamini family and their ice-creaming making dynasty.

It centres around two brothers; Giovanni, the oldest who decides to branch out from tradition and lead a life filled with words, festivals, travel, and independence; And Luca the youngest who does what is expected and continues the family business of making ice cream like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather did before him.

The prose is rich and sophisticated. The characters are unique, diligent, and authentic. And the story is ultimately about family, sacrifice, responsibility, guilt, tradition, love, poetry, and ice cream.

Overall the Ice-Cream Makers is a well written, fascinating story that reminds us that family legacies can often be a blessing and a curse, that the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences, and that ice cream is the result of mouth-watering ingredients, a complex process, and a lot of hard work. 

 

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 Ernest van der Kwast

Ernest van der Kwast is a Dutch author born in Mumbai, India, in 1981. He made his debut in 2005 with the novel Sometimes Things Are Better When People Applaud. His breakthrough book is Mama Tandoori, which became a bestseller in the Netherlands and Italy upon publication, and has to date sold more than 100,000 copies. He lives in Rotterdam.

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