Genre: Historical Fiction

#BookReview The Hidden Wife by Joanna Rees @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheHiddenWife #JoannaRees #AStitchinTiime

#BookReview The Hidden Wife by Joanna Rees @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheHiddenWife #JoannaRees #AStitchinTiime Title: The Hidden Wife

Author: Joanna Rees

Series: A Stitch in Time #2

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 4, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

The Hidden Wife by Joanna Rees is the second novel in A Stitch in Time – a sweeping historical trilogy.

Paris, 1928

Having fled London and been on the run around Europe, Vita Casey has established a new life for herself, keeping a low profile as a dresser at a cabaret hall where Nancy is part of the risqué dance troupe. It’s a vibrant world of wild parties, drugs and jazz music.

But despite the fun, hedonistic lifestyle they lead, Vita longs for a proper career and to re-kindle her dream of designing lingerie. When an opportunity to work for famous couturier Jenny Sacerdote presents itself, Vita grabs it with both hands and is soon exposed to an altogether different side of Paris society. Before long, romance blossoms in the unlikeliest of places.

However, left to her own devices, Nancy spirals into danger and drug abuse and Vita has to save her friend. But can Vita really trust the people who want to help her? When there are those back in England who wish to see her ruined and forced to pay for the past she ran away from . . .


Review:

Stylish, devious, and intriguing!

The Hidden Wife is a dramatic, menacing tale that picks up right where The Runaway Daughter left off, taking us back into the life of Anna Darton, aka Vita Casey, as with the help of her best friend Nancy and a whole slew of newcomers tries to forget her troubled past and settle into a new life in Paris complete with a highly-coveted position working for the esteemed couturier Jenny Sacerdote.

The prose is smooth and vivid. The characters are lively, troubled, and genuine. And the story sweeps you away to 1920s Paris, where glitz and glamour abound, indulgence is rife, romance is everywhere, and companions are not always as trustworthy as they first appear.

Overall, The Hidden Wife is an immersive, suspenseful, spirited sequel in the A Stitch in Time series by Rees, and I am eagerly awaiting the publication of the third book in this sinister, historical trilogy to see how this story will ultimately conclude.

 

This novel is available on May 4, 2021.

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 Joanna Rees

Joanna Rees, aka Josie Lloyd and Jo Rees, is a bestselling writer of twelve novels, including rom-coms, blockbusters and big- hearted adventures such as Come Together, Platinum and A Twist of Fate.The Runaway Daughter, published in August 2019, is the first in The Stitch in Time trilogy set in the 1920s and following the fortune of budding fashion designer and girl-about-town, Vita Casey. The second part, The Hidden Wife is out in 2020.Based in Brighton, Joanna is married to the author Emlyn Rees with whom she has three daughters. They have co-written seven novels, including the Sunday Times number one bestseller Come Together, which was translated into twenty-seven languages and made into a film. They have written three bestselling parodies of their favourite children’s books, including We’re Going On A Bar Hunt and The Teenager Who Came To Tea as well as a light-hearted activity book encouraging people to stop being addicted to their technology called Switch It Off.

Photograph from www.curtisbrown.co.uk.

#BookReview The Last Night in London by Karen White @KarenWhiteWrite @uplitreads @BerkleyPub #TheLastNightinLondon #KarenWhite #UplitReads #gifted

#BookReview The Last Night in London by Karen White @KarenWhiteWrite @uplitreads @BerkleyPub #TheLastNightinLondon #KarenWhite #UplitReads #gifted Title: The Last Night in London

Author: Karen White

Published by: Berkley Books on Apr. 20, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: Hardcover

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8.5/10

New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a story of friendship past and present, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day.

A captivating story of friendship, love and betrayal – and finding hope in the darkness of war.

London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck – she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever.

London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie, healing from past trauma and careful to close herself off to others, finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, Precious’ enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’ haunting past – and the secrets she swore she’d never reveal …


Review:

Captivating, enigmatic, and absorbing!

The Last Night in London is a mysterious, dual-timeline tale set in London during WWII, as well as 2019, that takes you into the lives of two main characters; Maddie Warner, a young journalist who unexpectedly stumbles across an intriguing story involving long-buried secrets and complex relationships after travelling to the home of a distant relative to write an article about wartime fashion, and Precious Dubose, a 99-year-old former model with a story to tell that involves more than just designers and styles but one that is also brimming with heartbreak and deception.

The prose is expressive and rich. The characters are determined, resilient, and brave. And the plot is an alluring tale full of twists, turns, drama, duplicity, emotion, betrayal, family, friendship, life, loss, romance and mystique.

Overall, The Last Night in London is a bittersweet, evocative, compelling tale by White that illuminates the enduring passion and power of unconditional love and is certainly the perfect choice for historical fiction lovers and long-time fans of Karen White’s work.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen White

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of 28 books, including the Tradd Street series, Dreams of Falling, The Night the Lights Went Out, Flight Patterns, The Sound of Glass, A Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of All the Ways We Said Goodbye, The Glass Ocean and The Forgotten Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband near Atlanta, Georgia.

Photo by Marchet Butler.

#BookReview Leaving Coy’s Hill by Katherine A. Sherbrooke @Kazzese @Pegasus_Books #LeavingCoysHill #KatherineASherbrooke

#BookReview Leaving Coy’s Hill by Katherine A. Sherbrooke @Kazzese @Pegasus_Books #LeavingCoysHill #KatherineASherbrooke Title: Leaving Coy's Hill

Author: Katherine A. Sherbrooke

Published by: Pegasus Books on May 4, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Katherine A. Sherbrooke, Pegasus Books

Book Rating: 10/10

An unforgettable story about the triumphs and travails of a woman unwilling to play by the rules, based on the the remarkable life of pioneering feminist and abolitionist Lucy Stone. 

Born on a farm in 1818, Lucy Stone dreamt of extraordinary things for a girl of her time, like continuing her education beyond the eighth grade and working for the abolitionist cause, and of ordinary things, such as raising a family of her own. But when she learns that the Constitution affords no rights to married women, she declares that she will never marry and dedicates her life to fighting for change.

At a time when it is considered promiscuous for women to speak in public, Lucy risks everything for the anti-slavery movement, her powerful oratory mesmerizing even her most ardent detractors as she rapidly becomes a household name. And when she begins to lecture on the “woman question,” she inspires a young Susan B. Anthony to join the movement. But life as a crusader is a lonely one. 

When Henry Blackwell, a dashing and forward-thinking man, proposes a marriage of equals, Lucy must reconcile her desire for love and children with her public persona and the legal perils of marriage she has long railed against. And when a wrenching controversy pits Stone and Anthony against each other, Lucy makes a decision that will impact her legacy forever.

Based on true events, Leaving Coy’s Hill is a timeless story of women’s quest for personal and professional fulfillment within society’s stubborn constraints. And as an abolitionist and women’s rights activist fighting for the future of a deeply divided country, Lucy Stone’s quest to live a life on her own terms is as relevant as ever. In this “propulsive,” “astonishing,” and “powerful” story, Katherine Sherbrooke brings to life a true American heroine for a new generation.


Review:

Immersive, insightful, and exceptionally inspiring!

Leaving Coy’s Hill is a powerful, alluring, enlightening interpretation that sweeps you away to the American East in the mid-1800s and into the life of Lucy Stone, an independent, intelligent woman ahead of her time who after becoming the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree spent the rest of her life dedicated to organizing, promoting, and advocating for both the anti-slavery and suffragist movements.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are strong, passionate, and determined. And the plot, using a story within a story, is a fascinating tale of life, love, bravery, strength, loss, loyalty, friendship, motivation, politics, and the early battle for equality and justice in the U.S.

I have to admit that I had never heard of Lucy Stone before I started Leaving Coy’s Hill, but Sherbrooke did such a beautiful job of blending historical facts with captivating, alluring fiction that I was left incredibly intrigued and motivated to learn even more about this iconic woman’s tireless efforts, influence and legacy on abolitionism and women’s rights.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Katherine A. Sherbrooke and Pegasus Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Katherine A. Sherbrooke

Katherine Sherbrooke is the author of Leaving Coy's Hill (May, 2021) Fill the Sky and a family memoir, Finding Home (2011). An alumna of Dartmouth College and Stanford Business School, she wanted to be an author from the time she opened her first book, and lived on books like food and water for a long time. Somewhere along the line, though, she caught the start-up bug and co-founded a Boston based company called Circles. After that wonderful 15 year+ entrepreneurial adventure, she "remembered" her original dream and finally sat down to write. She lives outside Boston with her family.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheGirlinHisShadow #AudreyBlake #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheGirlinHisShadow #AudreyBlake #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Girl in His Shadow

Author: Audrey Blake

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on May 4, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world believed in her

Raised by the eccentric surgeon Dr. Horace Croft after losing her parents to a deadly pandemic, the orphan Nora Beady knows little about conventional life. While other young ladies were raised to busy themselves with needlework and watercolors, Nora was trained to perfect her suturing and anatomical illustrations of dissections.

Women face dire consequences if caught practicing medicine, but in Croft’s private clinic Nora is his most trusted–and secret–assistant. That is until the new surgical resident Dr. Daniel Gibson arrives. Dr. Gibson has no idea that Horace’s bright and quiet young ward is a surgeon more qualified and ingenuitive than even himself. In order to protect Dr. Croft and his practice from scandal and collapse Nora must learn to play a new and uncomfortable role–that of a proper young lady.

But pretense has its limits. Nora cannot turn away and ignore the suffering of patients even if it means giving Gibson the power to ruin everything she’s worked for. And when she makes a discovery that could change the field forever, Nora faces an impossible choice. Remain invisible and let the men around her take credit for her work, or let the world see her for what she is–even if it means being destroyed by her own legacy.


Review:

Multilayered, alluring, and incredibly absorbing!

The Girl in His Shadow is a fascinating, immersive tale set in London in the mid-1840s at a time when women were still forbidden to practice medicine, reproduction and childbirth still had high mortality rates, studying the dead was an underground, backdoor activity, and contemplating open surgery on the stomach was not only frowned upon but considered a death wish.

There are three main memorable characters in this novel. Dr Horace Croft, a renowned, unconventional surgeon whose reputation precedes him, Dr Daniel Gibson, a newly trained assistant with a desire to learn and discover, and Miss. Nora Beady, a young woman who, after spending her formative years under the care of the eccentric doctor and his housekeeper, is secretly a skilled and talented illustrator and surgeon in her own right.

The prose is eloquent and rich. The characters are intelligent, strong, and independent. And the plot is an engrossing, suspenseful tale of life, loss, duty, friendship, family, romance, determination, courage, and the evolution and procedures of early medicine.

The Girl in His Shadow is an atmospheric, evocative, beautifully written novel by the writing duo known as Audrey Blake that grabs you from the very first page and does a remarkable job of blending historical facts with compelling fiction that’s both informative and wonderfully captivating.

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Audrey Blake

Audrey Blake has a split personality-because she is the creative alter ego of Regina Sirois and Jaima Fixsen, two authors who met online in a survivor style writing contest. They live 1500 miles apart, but both are prairie girls: Jaima hails from Alberta, Canada, and Regina from the wheat fields of Kansas. Both are addicted to history, words, and stories of redoubtable women, and agree that their friendship, better and longer lasting than any other prize, is proof that good things happen in this random, crazy universe.

#BookReview Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA #LettersAcrosstheSea #GenevieveGraham #CanadianHistory #BattleofHongKong

#BookReview Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA #LettersAcrosstheSea #GenevieveGraham #CanadianHistory #BattleofHongKong Title: Letters Across the Sea

Author: Genevieve Graham

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Apr. 27, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Inspired by a little-known chapter of World War II history, a young Protestant girl and her Jewish neighbour are caught up in the terrible wave of hate sweeping the globe on the eve of war in this powerful love story that’s perfect for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

If you’re reading this letter, that means I’m dead. I had obviously hoped to see you again, to explain in person, but fate had other plans.

1933

At eighteen years old, Molly Ryan dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead she spends her days working any job she can to help her family through the Depression crippling her city. The one bright spot in her life is watching baseball with her best friend, Hannah Dreyfus, and sneaking glances at Hannah’s handsome older brother, Max.

But as the summer unfolds, more and more of Hitler’s hateful ideas cross the sea and “Swastika Clubs” and “No Jews Allowed” signs spring up around Toronto, a city already simmering with mass unemployment, protests, and unrest. When tensions between the Irish and Jewish communities erupt in a riot one smouldering day in August, Molly and Max are caught in the middle, with devastating consequences for both their families.

1939

Six years later, the Depression has eased and Molly is a reporter at her local paper. But a new war is on the horizon, putting everyone she cares about most in peril. As letters trickle in from overseas, Molly is forced to confront what happened all those years ago, but is it too late to make things right?

From the desperate streets of Toronto to the embattled shores of Hong Kong, Letters Across the Sea is a poignant novel about the enduring power of love to cross dangerous divides even in the darkest of times—from the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child.


Review:

Powerful, immersive, and unforgettable!

Letters Across the Sea is a pensive, enlightening tale that sweeps you away to Toronto during the 1930s and into the lives of the Irish Ryan family and the Jewish Dreyfus family as they navigate relationships strained by the Great Depression, religious differences, hatred, loss, misunderstandings, forbidden love, tragedy, and the sacrifices and inherent consequences of war.

The prose is evocative and rich. The characters are genuine, kindhearted, and courageous. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine seamlessly into an alluring tale of life, loss, love, family, devastation, hardship, hope, friendship, self-discovery, and ultimately survival.

When it comes to novels involving Canadian history, nobody writes stories like Genevieve Graham. She takes little known or forgotten historical facts, infuses them with humanity, and then edges them all with a love story that is hard to put down, and Letters Across the Sea is no exception. It’s beautifully written, exceptionally memorable, and in parts devastatingly heart-wrenching, and in case it wasn’t obvious already, I absolutely loved it.

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 & Genevieve Graham for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham is the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child, Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep, Come from Away, and At the Mountain’s Edge. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Photo by Bryghton Towns.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview The Vines by Shelley Nolden @ShelleyNolden @OverTheRiverPR #TheVines #ShelleyNolden #OTRPR

#BlogTour #BookReview The Vines by Shelley Nolden @ShelleyNolden @OverTheRiverPR #TheVines #ShelleyNolden #OTRPR Title: The Vines

Author: Shelley Nolden

Published by: Freiling Publishing on Mar. 23, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 391

Format: Hardcover

Source: OTRPR

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In the shadows of New York City’s North Brother Island stand the remains of a shuttered hospital and the haunting memories of quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned there by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses the enigmatic woman through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past–and his own family’s dark secrets.  Nolden skillfully intertwines North Brother Island’s horrific and elusive history with a captivating tale of love, betrayal, survival, and loss. 


Review:

Timely, action-packed, and supernaturally creepy!

The Vines transports you to North Brother Island, NY, from 1902 to 2008 and immerses you in all the obsession, tragedy, emotions, memories, fantastical elements, destruction, experimentation, sickness, and long-buried secrets that mars and defines the multi-generational, Gettler family.

The prose is mysterious and dark. The characters are obsessed, callous, and ruthless. And the plot told from alternating timelines is a fascinating, engrossing tale full of familial drama, heartache, tension, sacrifice, violence, and intriguing, historical medical philosophies and procedures.

Overall, The Vines is a spellbinding, atmospheric, sinister tale by Nolden that not only highlights her incredible knowledge and passion for a time and place that is often unknown, forgotten or overlooked, but also does a remarkable job of reminding us that advances in medicine has both a light and a dark side, as the power to help and heal often comes at a price.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Shelley Nolden & OTRPR for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Shelley Nolden

A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Shelley Nolden is an entrepreneur and writer, now residing in Wisconsin. Previously, she lived in the New York City area, where she worked on Wall Street and first learned of North Brother Island. At the age of 31, Shelley was diagnosed with leukemia and completed treatment three years later. The sense of isolation and fear she experienced during her cancer ordeal influenced her spellbinding debut novel, THE VINES.

 

#BookReview A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe @karintanabe @BookSparks @StMartinsPress #AHundredSuns #KarinTanabe #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope

#BookReview A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe @karintanabe @BookSparks @StMartinsPress #AHundredSuns #KarinTanabe #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope Title: A Hundred Suns

Author: Karin Tanabe

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Mar. 16, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: BookSparks

Book Rating: 8/10

A faraway land.
A family’s dynasty.
A trail of secrets that could shatter their glamorous lifestyle.

On a humid afternoon in 1933, American Jessie Lesage steps off a boat from Paris and onto the shores of Vietnam. Accompanying her French husband Victor, an heir to the Michelin rubber fortune, she’s certain that their new life is full of promise, for while the rest of the world is sinking into economic depression, Indochine is gold for the Michelins. Jessie knows that the vast plantations near Saigon are the key to the family’s prosperity, and though they have recently been marred in scandal, she needs them to succeed for her husband’s sake—and to ensure that the life she left behind in America stays buried in the past.

Jessie dives into the glamorous colonial world, where money is king and morals are brushed aside, and meets Marcelle de Fabry, a spellbinding expat with a wealthy Indochinese lover, the silk tycoon Khoi Nguyen. Descending on Jessie’s world like a hurricane, Marcelle proves to be an exuberant guide to colonial life. But hidden beneath her vivacious exterior is a fierce desire to put the colony back in the hands of its people––starting with the Michelin plantations.

It doesn’t take long for the sun-drenched days and champagne-soaked nights to catch up with Jessie. With an increasingly fractured mind, her affection for Indochine falters. And as a fiery political struggle builds around her, Jessie begins to wonder what’s real in a friendship that she suspects may be nothing but a house of cards.

Motivated by love, driven by ambition, and seeking self-preservation at all costs, Jessie and Marcelle each toe the line between friend and foe, ethics and excess. Cast against the stylish backdrop of 1920s Paris and 1930s Indochine, in a time and place defined by contrasts and convictions, Karin Tanabe’s A Hundred Suns is historical fiction at its lush, suspenseful best.


Review:

Tense, lush, and twisty!

A Hundred Suns is predominantly set in Hanoi during 1933 and is told from two different perspectives. Jesse Lesage, a young mother who becomes overwhelmed and in over her head when she gets swept up in the ex-pat lifestyle while her husband, a member of the renowned Michelin family, is away overseeing his family’s rubber plantations, and Marcelle de Fabry, a charming woman on a ceaseless pursuit for retribution who will do whatever it takes to exact revenge on those she deems responsible. 

The prose is clever and rich. The characters are multifaceted, driven, and secretive. And the plot told from alternating perspectives is a mysterious, gripping tale about life, love, friendship, indulgences, political unrest, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, vengeance, and deception.

Overall, A Hundred Suns is an intriguing blend of evocative fiction, captivating suspense, and palpable emotion, and as a historical fiction lover, I think what I enjoyed the most was being able to delve into a time and place not typically found in this genre.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to BookSparks and Karin Tanabe for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karin Tanabe

KARIN TANABE is the author of six novels, including A Hundred Suns and The Gilded Years (soon to be a major motion picture starring Zendaya, who will produce alongside Reese Witherspoon/Hello Sunshine). A former Politico reporter, she has also written for The Washington Post, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune, and Newsday. She has appeared as a celebrity and politics expert on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and CBS Early Show. A graduate of Vassar College, Karin lives in Washington, D.C.

#BookReview While Paris Slept by Ruth Druart @grandcentralpub #RuthDruart #WhileParisSlept

#BookReview While Paris Slept by Ruth Druart @grandcentralpub #RuthDruart #WhileParisSlept Title: While Paris Slept

Author: Ruth Druart

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Feb. 23, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

One woman must make the hardest decision of her life in this unforgettably moving story of resistance and faith during one of the darkest times in history.

Santa Cruz, 1953. Jean-Luc is a man on the run from his past. The scar on his face is a small price to pay for surviving the horrors of Nazi occupation in France. Now, he has a new life in California, a family. He never expected the past to come knocking on his door.

Paris, 1944. A young Jewish woman’s past is torn apart in a heartbeat. Herded onto a train bound for Auschwitz, in an act of desperation she entrusts her most precious possession to a stranger. All she has left now is hope.

On a darkened platform, two destinies become intertwined, and the choices each person makes will change the future in ways neither could have imagined.

Told from alternating perspectives, While Paris Slept reflects on the power of love, resilience, and courage when all seems lost. Exploring the strength of family ties, and what it really means to love someone unconditionally, this debut novel will capture your heart.


Review:

Pensive, poignant, and insightful!

While Paris Slept is an affecting, heartwrenching tale set in both France during 1944, as well as California during 1953, that takes you into the lives of five people whose lives are unimaginably changed one day when Sarah Laffitte, a Jewish prisoner, hands her newborn child to a Drancy railway worker in order to save his life.

The prose is emotive and charged. The characters are brave, selfless, and compassionate. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine seamlessly into an alluring tale of life, loss, family, tragedy, desperation, secrets, friendship, war, parenthood, unconditional love, and the true meaning of family.

Overall, While Paris Slept is an atmospheric, intense, impactful novel by Druart that sweeps you away to another time and place and reminds you that survival of any form takes unimaginable sacrifice, courage, strength, and often moral and ethical dilemmas.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Ruth Druart

Ruth Druart grew up on the Isle of Wight, leaving at eighteen to study psychology. In 1993 she moved to Paris, the city that inspired her to write While Paris Slept. There she pursued a career in international education and raised three sons with her French husband. She recently left her teaching position, so she can write full time while running her writing group in Paris.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers @redhookbooks @HBGCanada @BookSparks #TheLadiesoftheSecretCircus #ConstanceSayers #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope

#BookReview The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers @redhookbooks @HBGCanada @BookSparks #TheLadiesoftheSecretCircus #ConstanceSayers #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope Title: The Ladies of the Secret Circus

Author: Constance Sayers

Published by: Redhook Books on Mar. 17, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada, BookSparks

Book Rating: 8/10

Paris, 1925: To enter the Secret Circus is to enter a world of wonder-a world where women tame magnificent beasts, carousels take you back in time, and trapeze artists float across the sky. But each daring feat has a cost. Bound to her family’s strange and magical circus, it’s the only world Cecile Cabot knows-until she meets a charismatic young painter and embarks on a passionate love affair that could cost her everything.

Virginia, 2005: Lara Barnes is on top of the world-until her fiancé disappears on their wedding day. Desperate, her search for answers unexpectedly leads to her great-grandmother’s journals and sweeps her into the story of a dark circus and a generational curse that has been claiming payment from the women in her family for generations.


Review:

Rich, compelling, and mystical!

The Ladies of the Secret Circus transports you from present-day Virginia to 1920s Paris as it immerses you into the multi-generational, circus-owning Cabot family and all the powerful emotions, tragic memories, dark magic, fantastical elements, and long-buried secrets that swirl around them.

The prose is dark and mysterious. The characters are multi-layered, vulnerable, cursed, and troubled. And the plot told from alternating timelines is an ominous tale full of familial drama, heartache, tension, obsession, death, revenge, jealousy, sacrifice, sibling rivalry, and violence.

Overall, The Ladies of the Secret Circus is a spellbinding, atmospheric, romantic tale by Sayers that captivated me from the very first page and ultimately left me satisfied and highly entertained.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Constance Sayers

Constance Sayers is the author of A Witch in Time and The Ladies of the Secret Circus which will be published on March 23, 2021, from Redhook (Hachette Book Group).

A finalist for Alternating Current’s 2016 Luminaire Award for Best Prose, her short stories have appeared in Souvenir and Amazing Graces: Yet Another Collection of Fiction by Washington Area Women as well as The Sky is a Free Country. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

She received her master of arts in English from George Mason University and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She attended The Bread Loaf Writers Conference where she studied with Charles Baxter and Lauren Groff. A media executive, she’s twice been named one of the “Top 100 Media People in America” by Folio and included in their list of “Top Women in Media.”

She lives outside of Washington DC. Like her character in The Ladies of the Secret Circus, she was the host of a radio show from midnight to six.

Photo by Julie Ann Pixler.

#BookReview The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin @MadelineMMartin @HTPBooks @Bookclubbish #HTPBooks #TheLastBookshopinLondon #MadelineMartin #Bookclubbish

#BookReview The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin @MadelineMMartin @HTPBooks @Bookclubbish #HTPBooks #TheLastBookshopinLondon #MadelineMartin #Bookclubbish Title: The Last Bookshop in London

Author: Madeline Martin

Published by: Hanover Square Press on Apr. 6, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Trade Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

Inspired by the true World War II history of the few bookshops to survive the Blitz, The Last Bookshop in London is a timeless story of wartime loss, love and the enduring power of literature.

August 1939: London prepares for war as Hitler’s forces sweep across Europe. Grace Bennett has always dreamed of moving to the city, but the bunkers and blackout curtains that she finds on her arrival were not what she expected. And she certainly never imagined she’d wind up working at Primrose Hill, a dusty old bookshop nestled in the heart of London.

Through blackouts and air raids as the Blitz intensifies, Grace discovers the power of storytelling to unite her community in ways she never dreamed—a force that triumphs over even the darkest nights of the war.


Review:

Poignant, affecting, and beautifully written!

The Last Bookshop in London is an engaging, moving tale set during WWII that follows Grace Bennett, a young woman who heads to London in the fall of 1939 in the hopes of a better life and a glamourous career only to find herself employed in a dusty bookshop and war being declared.

The writing is seamless and smooth. The characters are brave, resilient, and supportive. And the plot is an absorbing tale of life, loss, family, heartbreak, friendship, self-discovery, community, determination, tragedy, survival, and love.

As some of you may already know, I’m originally from Coventry, a city heavily bombed during the war. And as my dad was born in 1937, I grew up hearing how a bomb exploded in his backyard 30 ft from the house, leaving a crater two garden widths wide, and how he would count the number of new houses missing each morning on his way to school. But as that generation ages and memories start to fade, these stories are so important in reminding us how much novels helped and continue to help people cope with devastating circumstances and unimaginable losses, as well as how the strength, courage, selflessness, and sacrifices of that generation enabled us the lives we lead today. I loved The Last Bookshop in London, and I hope everyone who enjoys historical fiction picks this one up.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Madeline Martin & HTP Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Madeline Martin

Madeline Martin is a USA Today bestselling author of historical romance and historical fiction novels with strong heroines and tons of high-action plot twists! Her books have finaled in the Holt Medallion award and National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.

She lives in sunny Florida with Mr. Awesome (a man who truly deserves such a great name) and two wonderfully magical girls, known collectively as “the minions.”

She enjoys working out (really to support my love of Nutella and wine), travelling and doing fun kid-like things with the minions.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

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