Genre: Women's Fiction

#BookReview The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner @jenniferweiner @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #JenniferWeiner #TheBreakaway #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner @jenniferweiner @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #JenniferWeiner #TheBreakaway #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Breakaway

Author: Jennifer Weiner

Published by: Atria Books on Aug. 29, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a warmhearted and empowering new novel about love, family, friendship, secrets, and a life-changing journey.

Thirty-three-year-old Abby Stern has made it to a happy place. True, she still has gig jobs instead of a career, and the apartment where she’s lived since college still looks like she’s just moved in. But she’s got good friends, her bike, and her bicycling club in Philadelphia. She’s at peace with her plus-size body—at least, most of the time—and she’s on track to marry Mark Medoff, her childhood summer sweetheart, a man she met at the weight-loss camp that her perpetually dieting mother forced her to attend. Fifteen years after her final summer at Camp Golden Hills, when Abby reconnects with a half-his-size Mark, it feels like the happy ending she’s always wanted.

Yet Abby can’t escape the feeling that some­thing isn’t right…or the memories of one thrilling night she spent with a man named Sebastian two years previously. When Abby gets a last-minute invi­tation to lead a cycling trip from NYC to Niagara Falls, she’s happy to have time away from Mark, a chance to reflect and make up her mind.

But things get complicated fast. First, Abby spots a familiar face in the group—Sebastian, the one-night stand she thought she’d never see again. Sebastian is a serial dater who lives a hundred miles away. In spite of their undeniable chemistry, Abby is determined to keep her distance. Then there’s a surprise last-minute addition to the her mother, Eileen, the woman Abby blames for a lifetime of body shaming and insecurities she’s still trying to undo.

Over two weeks and more than seven hundred miles, strangers become friends, hidden truths come to light, a teenage girl with a secret unites the riders in unexpected ways…and Abby is forced to reconsider everything she believes about herself, her mother, and the nature of love.


Review:

Humorous, heartwarming, and uplifting!

The Breakaway is a sweet, slow-burning romance that takes us into the life of the hardworking, kind Abby Stern who, after needing a little space before taking the next step with her current boyfriend, Mark, decides to lead a twelve-day bike tour from NYC to Niagara Falls with two unexpected participants among the pack. One a former one-night stand notorious for his playboy lifestyle whom she’s never been able to completely forget, and the other her mother, whom she’s always had a strained complex relationship with due to her lifelong criticism of Abby’s above-average weight.

The writing is sentimental and engaging. The characters are layered, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is a touching tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, happiness, healing, taking chances, growth, revelations, tender moments, light drama, misunderstandings, romance, passion, new beginnings, the importance of body autonomy, and the joy of cycling.

Overall, The Breakaway is another charming, timely, thought-provoking tale by Weiner that has everything I’ve come to know and love about her novels, including a good dose of hope, heart, healing, and humour that always keeps me coming back for more.

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and, most recently, Mrs. Everything. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, she lives with her family in Philadelphia.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Through the Snow Globe by Annie Rains @AnnieRainsBooks @KayePublicity #KayePublicity #AnnieRains #ThroughTheSnowGlobe #HolidayReads #WomensFiction

#BookReview Through the Snow Globe by Annie Rains @AnnieRainsBooks @KayePublicity #KayePublicity #AnnieRains #ThroughTheSnowGlobe #HolidayReads #WomensFiction Title: Through the Snow Globe

Author: Annie Rains

Published by: Kensington on Aug. 22, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Kaye Publicity

Book Rating: 8.5/10

It’s a Wonderful Life meets Groundhog Day, as a woman dangerously close to losing it all receives an unexpected Christmas gift that prompts a surprising journey of self-discovery… and another chance at happiness.

What if you could have one more day with someone you lost?

Diana Merriman, a physical therapist, is probably the only person in the small town of Snow Haven, North Carolina, who isn’t looking forward to Christmas. It’s been three weeks since her fiancé Linus was critically injured when a car hit him as he biked home from the toy store he owns and manages. Watching him open his eyes is the only gift she wants, but she can’t help losing a little more hope every day.

But an unexpected visit from a friendly neighbor and finding a snow globe of Snow Haven—a gift Linus had hidden in the closet—the night before Christmas Eve changes things in ways Diana never would have imagined. Because on Christmas Eve Diana wakes up to find that it’s not—Christmas Eve, that is. Instead, it’s somehow December 4 all over again, the day Linus got hurt, and as mystified as Diana is, she immediately starts a plan to save her partner from his fate.

Nothing is that simple, of course. Instead of a single repeat of that day, Diana finds herself in an endless loop of December 4, experiencing every possible variation of events. Along the way, she uncovers startling truths about herself, her relationship, and even her career that illustrate the ways she’s retreated from her life—and in the face of life’s slights and outright blows, from her deepest feelings. Suddenly hope is second only to joy as Diana opens her heart to the people she loves in every way she can.


Review:

Thought-provoking, optimistic, and creative!

Through the Snow Globe is a moving, time-loop tale that takes you into the life of Diana, as after a tragic day when everything seems to go wrong, patients get injured, feelings are hurt, dreams of a promotion are shattered, and her beloved fiancé is involved in an accident that leaves him fighting for his life, fate magically intervenes twenty-one days later on Christmas Eve when she discovers a present hidden by Linus that once enchanted allows her to relive December 4 over and over again to try and change, grow, reshape relationships, strengthen friendships, and recognize what’s truly important.

The writing is sensitive and sincere. The characters are flawed, genuine, and weary. And the multi-layered plot is a heartfelt, absorbing tale about life, love, family, friendship, trust, compassion, romance, happiness, destiny, self-reflection, and second chances.

Overall, Through the Snow Globe is an emotional, pensive, heartwarming tale by Rains that reminds us that life is complicated, things happen for a reason, often the choices we make have consequences, letting people in is never a bad thing, and love is, ultimately, always worth fighting for.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Kaye Publicity for gifting me a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Annie Rains

Annie Rains is a USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional places in her home state of North Carolina. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s living out her own happily ever after with her husband and three children.Annie Rains is a USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional places in her home state of North Carolina. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s living out her own happily ever after with her husband and three children.

Photograph courtesy of Read-Forever Website.

#BookReview Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley & Harry Whittaker @lucindariley @HarryTwittaker @PGCBooks #AtlasTheStoryofPaSalt #LucindaRiley #HarryWhittaker #TheSevenSistersSeries #PGCBooks

#BookReview Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley & Harry Whittaker @lucindariley @HarryTwittaker @PGCBooks #AtlasTheStoryofPaSalt #LucindaRiley #HarryWhittaker #TheSevenSistersSeries #PGCBooks Title: Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt

Author: Lucinda Riley, Harry Whittaker

Series: The Seven Sisters #8

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 11, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 784

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Spanning a lifetime of love and loss, crossing borders and oceans, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt, co-authored by her son Harry Whittaker, draws Lucinda Riley’s saga to its stunning, unforgettable conclusion.

1928, Paris. A boy is found, moments from death, and taken in by a kindly family. Gentle, precocious, talented, he flourishes in his new home, and the family show him a life he hadn’t dreamed possible. But he refuses to speak a word about who he really is.

As he grows into a young man, falling in love and taking classes at the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris, he can almost forget the terrors of his past, or the promise he has vowed to keep. But across Europe an evil is rising, and no-one’s safety is certain. In his heart, he knows the time will come when he must flee once more.

2008, the Aegean. The seven sisters are gathered together for the first time, on board the Titan, to say a final goodbye to the enigmatic father they loved so dearly.

To the surprise of everyone, it is the missing sister who Pa Salt has chosen to entrust with the clue to their pasts. But for every truth revealed, another question emerges. The sisters must confront the idea that their adored father was someone they barely knew. And even more shockingly: that these long-buried secrets may still have consequences for them today.

In this epic conclusion to the Seven Sisters series, everything will be revealed.


Review:

Fascinating, heartfelt, and absorbing!

Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt is the eighth instalment in The Seven Sisters series, set from 1928 to 2008, that sweeps you away into the life of Pa Salt, the loving father of seven girls who, after gathering together for the first time in a long time to celebrate his life, finally have the opportunity with the journal he left behind to unravel the secrets of his past and discover how they all came together to become one big family.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are considerate, caring, and troubled. And the plot is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching tale of life, loss, familial drama, self-discovery, grief, friendship, forgiveness, unconditional love, courage, hope, selflessness, revenge, and survival.

Overall, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt is the brilliant conclusion to an extraordinary saga that is a testament to the amazing storytelling abilities of the late Lucinda Riley, as well as what must have been an incredibly difficult yet unbelievable literary achievement by her son Harry Whittaker. It is hard to believe that this fascinating, mysterious, exceptionally absorbing series has come to an end, but what a way to end. It doesn’t get much better than this. And even though it’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye to these characters I’ve come to know and love over these past eight books, it’s been a true pleasure and sheer delight to have been able to immerse myself in the histories, lives, loves and losses of them all.

 

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Harry Whittaker

Harry Whittaker grew up in the 1990s and spent the first few years of his life on the rural west coast of Ireland. The son of the author Lucinda Riley, Harry became a storyteller himself, as an award-winning radio presenter for the BBC and a member of one of the UK’s most renowned improv troupes. In 2019, Harry and Lucinda co-authored the Guardian Angels series for children – four reassuring, timeless stories addressing worries that a small child may have.

After Lucinda’s death in 2021, it was announced that Harry would complete the Seven Sisters series on behalf of his late mother. Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt publishes globally in May 2023.

Harry lives in Yorkshire, England.

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 thirty-seven languages and sold thirty million copies worldwide. She is a New York Times and Sunday Times number one bestseller.Lucinda's Seven Sisters series, which tells the story of adopted sisters and is inspired by the mythology of the famous star cluster, has become a global phenomenon. The series is a number one bestseller across the world and is currently in development with a major TV production company.

Though she brought up her four children mostly in Norfolk in England, in 2015 Lucinda fulfilled her dream of buying a remote farmhouse in West Cork, Ireland, which she always felt was her spiritual home, and indeed this was where her last five books were written. Lucinda was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and died in June 2021

#BookReview Hotel Laguna by Nicola Harrison @NicolaHAuthor @StMartinsPress #HotelLaguna #NicolaHarrison #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Hotel Laguna by Nicola Harrison @NicolaHAuthor @StMartinsPress #HotelLaguna #NicolaHarrison #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Hotel Laguna

Author: Nicola Harrison

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 20, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In 1942, Hazel Francis left Wichita, Kansas for California, determined to do her part for the war effort. At Douglas Aircraft, she became one of many “Rosie the Riveters,” helping construct bombers for the U. S. military. But now the war is over, men have returned to their factory jobs, and women like Hazel have been dismissed, expected to return home to become wives and mothers.

Unwilling to be forced into a traditional woman’s role in the Midwest, Hazel remains on the west coast, and finds herself in the bohemian town of Laguna Beach. Desperate for work, she accepts a job as an assistant to famous artist Hanson Radcliff. Beloved by the locals for his contributions to the art scene and respected by the critics, Radcliff lives under the shadow of a decades old scandal that haunts him.

Working hard to stay on her cantankerous employer’s good side, Hazel becomes a valued member of the community. She never expected to fall in love with the rhythms of life in Laguna, nor did she expect to find a kindred spirit in Jimmy, the hotel bartender whose friendship promises something more. But Hazel still wants to work with airplanes—maybe even learn to fly one someday. Torn between pursuing her dream and the dream life she has been granted, she is unsure if giving herself over to Laguna is what her heart truly wants.


Review:

Nostalgic, romantic, and intriguing!

Hotel Laguna is a vivid, compelling tale that takes you into the life of Hazel Francis, an independent young woman who, after moving from Kansas to California to help in the war effort, finds herself settling in the artsy city of Laguna Beach after the war ends working as a girl Friday for the temperamental, eccentric Hanson Radcliff and developing a budding attraction for Jimmy, the handsome, helpful bartender at the Hotel Laguna.

The prose is rich and sentimental. The characters are complex, talented, and kind. And the plot is an engaging tale about life, loss, friendship, determination, kindness, romance, happiness, self-discovery, and community.

Overall, Hotel Laguna is a sweet, tender, delightful summer read by Harrison, complete with strong, endearing characters, a touching storyline, and an insightful look into life in 1940s California.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nicola Harrison

Born in England, Nicola Harrison moved to CA where she received a BA in Literature at UCLA before moving to NYC and earning an MFA in creative writing at Stony Brook. She is a member of The Writers Room, has short stories published in The Southampton Review and Glimmer Train and articles in Los Angeles Magazine and Orange Coast Magazine. She was the fashion and style staff writer for Forbes, had a weekly column at Lucky Magazine and is the founder of a personal styling business, Harrison Style.

Photo by Erwin List.

#BookReview Our Place on the Island by Erika Montgomery @erikamwriter @StMartinsPress #OurPlaceOnTheIsland #ErikaMontgomery #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Our Place on the Island by Erika Montgomery @erikamwriter @StMartinsPress #OurPlaceOnTheIsland #ErikaMontgomery #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Our Place on the Island

Author: Erika Montgomery

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 13, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

For decades, the Campbell women have reunited at the family’s rambling seaside cottage known as Beech House to celebrate life’s many occasions. But this year, they will be called back to Martha’s Vineyard for a celebration of a different their beloved matriarch Cora is getting remarried. And all the town gossips are calling him the one who got away, years ago…

For renowned chef Mickey Campbell, this wedding isn’t just a welcome excuse to return to the place she first learned to cook at her grandmother’s side. It’s also a chance to regroup while she figures out a way to tell her smoldering head chef boyfriend that she’s mismanaged their restaurant into the red.

Mickey’s mother, Hedy, is still mourning the passing of her adored father three years earlier, and she isn’t sure she’s ready to welcome a new man into the fold―and she’s not certain her own thorny relationship with her mother will weather the storm of her upcoming marriage.

But everyone knows a woman’s heart holds more than meets the eye. For Cora, drawing her daughter and granddaughter back to Beech House isn’t just about a ceremony, but a chance to reveal a history she has kept close to her heart for decades. As the days leading up to the wedding unfold, secrets of Cora’s past come to light– a secret that will cause three generations of Campbell women to question marriage, motherhood, and ultimately learn to savor the delicious joy of following your own heart.

Told in dual timelines on the sumptuous beaches of Martha’s Vineyard, OUR PLACE ON THE ISLAND is the sparkling, romantic read of the season.


Review:

Captivating, heartfelt, and sentimental!

Our Place on the Island is an enchanting, tender tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic Martha’s Vineyard and immerses you into the lives of three generations of women from the Campbell family and all the wounds, secrets, smiles, tears, hurt, compassion, strength, and loyalty that surround them.

The prose is reflective and sweet. The characters are kind, considerate, and concerned. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style, intertwines and unravels into a charming tale of familial dynamics, drama, emotion, secrets, love, loss, duty, heartbreak, introspection, passion, tradition, and new beginnings.

Overall, Our Place on the Island is a nostalgic, absorbing, uplifting tale by Montgomery that highlights the complex ties that bind us as family and reminds us that happy-ever-afters come in all different forms but rarely resemble those we read about in fairytales.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Erika Montgomery

A card-carrying cinephile and native New Englander, novelist Erika Montgomery lives with her family in the Mid-Atlantic where she teaches creative writing and watches an unspeakable amount of old movies. A Summer to Remember is her debut novel.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Hello Stranger by Katherine Center @katherinecenter @StMartinsPress #HelloStranger #KatherineCenter #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Hello Stranger by Katherine Center @katherinecenter @StMartinsPress #HelloStranger #KatherineCenter #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Hello Stranger

Author: Katherine Center

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jul. 11, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 10/10

Sadie Montogmery has had good breaks and bad breaks in her life, but as a struggling artist, all she needs is one lucky break. Things seem to be going her way when she lands one of the coveted finalist spots in a portrait competition. It happens to coincide with a surgery she needs to have. Minor, they say. Less than a week in the hospital they say. Nothing about you will change, they say. Upon recovery, it begins to dawn on Sadie that she can see everything around her, but she can no longer see faces.

Temporary, they say. Lots of people deal with this, they say. As she struggles to cope―and hang onto her artistic dreams―she finds solace in her fourteen-year-old dog, Peanut. Thankfully, she can still see animal faces. When Peanut gets sick, she rushes him to the emergency vet nearby. That’s when she meets veterinarian Dr. Addison. And she’s pleasantly surprised when he asks her on a date. But she doesn’t want anyone to know about her face blindness. Least of all Joe, her obnoxious neighbor who always wears a bowling jacket and seems to know everyone in the building. He’s always there at the most embarrassing but convenient times, and soon, they develop a sort of friendship. But could it be something more?

As Sadie tries to save her career, confront her haunting past, and handle falling in love with two different guys she realizes that happiness can be found in the places―and people― you least expect.


Review:

Swoon-worthy, sassy, and uplifting!

Hello Stranger is an absorbing, heart-tugging tale that takes you into the life of struggling portrait painter Sadie Montgomery as she juggles a disastrous, life-changing complication after surgery, a loyal companion in need of some emergency care, and an unfortunate blossoming attraction to not only the kind, caring veterinarian Oliver, but also her rude, cocky neighbour Joe.

The writing is sentimental and engaging. The characters are layered, supportive, and patient. And the plot is a touching tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, happiness, healing, taking chances, growth, revelations, tender moments, light drama, selflessness, misunderstandings, romance, new beginnings, and the ups and downs of living with prosopagnosia.

For the past few years, Katherine Center’s books have topped my must-read favourites list, and even though I didn’t think it was possible to love her books any more than I already did, she proved me wrong once again. Hello Stranger made my heart ache and smile all in just 336 pages, and not only did I absolutely adore it, but it might just be, dare I say it, one of my all-time faves!

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Katherine Center

Katherine Center is the author of several novels about love and family: The Bright Side of Disaster, Everyone Is Beautiful, Get Lucky, and The Lost Husband. Her books and essays have appeared in Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, and Real Simple—as well as the anthologies Because I Love Her, CRUSH, and My Parents Were Awesome. Katherine is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. She lives in Houston with her husband and two sweet children.

Photo by Skylar Reeves.

#BookReview The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @uplitreads @SimonSchusterCA #thesummerofsongbirds #kristywoodsonharvey #SimonSchusterCA #gifted

#BookReview The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @uplitreads @SimonSchusterCA #thesummerofsongbirds #kristywoodsonharvey #SimonSchusterCA #gifted Title: The Summer of Songbirds

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Published by: Gallery Books on Jul. 11, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada, Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 9/10

Four women come together to save the summer camp that changed their lives and rediscover themselves in the process in this moving new novel from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Wedding Veil and the Peachtree Bluff series.

Nearly thirty years ago, in the wake of a personal tragedy, June Moore bought Camp Holly Springs and turned it into a thriving summer haven for girls. But now, June is in danger of losing the place she has sacrificed everything for, and begins to realize how much she has used the camp to avoid facing difficulties in her life.

June’s niece, Daphne, met her two best friends, Lanier and Mary Stuart, during a fateful summer at camp. They’ve all helped each other through hard things, from heartbreak and loss to substance abuse and unplanned pregnancy, and the three are inseparable even in their thirties. But when attorney Daphne is confronted with a relationship from her past—and a confidential issue at work becomes personal—she is faced with an impossible choice.

Lanier, meanwhile, is struggling with tough decisions of her own. After a run-in with an old flame, she is torn between the commitment she made to her fiancé and the one she made to her first love. And when a big secret comes to light, she finds herself at odds with her best friend…and risks losing the person she loves most.

But in spite of their personal problems, nothing is more important to these songbirds than Camp Holly Springs. When the women learn their childhood oasis is in danger of closing, they band together to save it, sending them on a journey that promises to open the next chapters in their lives.


Review:

Absorbing, nostalgic, and sweet!

The Summer of Songbirds is an uplifting, compelling tale that takes you into the life of three childhood friends, Daphne, Lanier, and Mary Stuart who, after discovering that the place they met and holds such a special place in their hearts, Camp Holly Springs, is about to be lost join together to do whatever they can to raise the money Aunt June needs to keep this summer sanctuary for girls open for generations to come.

The prose is rich and vivid. The characters are creative, reliable, and loyal. And the plot is a heartfelt, delightful mix of friendship, family, heartbreak, introspection, support, forgiveness, tragedy, loss, drama, community, new beginnings, tender moments, and love.

Overall, The Summer of Songbirds is a sophisticated, sensitive, romantic tale by Harvey that once again highlights her innate ability to delve into all the psychological and emotional dynamics that exist between friends and reminds us just how meaningful, important, and powerful female friendships 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 Uplit Reads & Simon Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the USA TODAY bestselling author of six novels, including Feels Like Falling, The Peachtree Bluff series, and Under the Southern Sky. A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism, her writing has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Southern Living, Traditional Home, USA TODAY, Domino, and O. Henry. Kristy is the winner of the Lucy Bramlette Patterson Award for Excellence in Creative Writing and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her work has been optioned for film and television, and her books have received numerous accolades including Southern Living’s Most Anticipated Beach Reads, Parade’s Big Fiction Reads, and Entertainment Weekly’s Spring Reading Picks. Kristy is the co-creator and co-host of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction. She blogs with her mom Beth Woodson on Design Chic, and loves connecting with fans on KristyWoodsonHarvey.com. She lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband and son where she is (always!) working on her next novel.

Photo by Jay Ackerman.

#BookReview You Were Always Mine by Christine Pride & Jo Piazza @jopiazza @SimonSchusterCA @AtriaBooks #YouWereAlwaysMine #ChristinePride #JoPiazza #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview You Were Always Mine by Christine Pride & Jo Piazza @jopiazza @SimonSchusterCA @AtriaBooks #YouWereAlwaysMine #ChristinePride #JoPiazza #SimonSchusterCA Title: You Were Always Mine

Author: Christine Pride, Jo Piazza

Published by: Atria Books on Jun. 13, 2023

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Cinnamon Haynes has fought hard for a life she never thought was possible—a good man by her side, a steady job as a career counselor at a local community college, and a cozy house in a quaint little beach town. It may not look like much, but it’s more than she ever dreamed of or what her difficult childhood promised. Her life’s mantra is to be good, quiet, grateful. Until something shifts and Cinnamon is suddenly haunted by a terrifying “Is this all there is?”

Daisy Dunlap has had her own share of problems in her nineteen years on earth—she also has her own big dreams for a life that’s barely begun. Her hopes for her future are threatened when she gets unexpectedly pregnant. Desperate, broke, and alone, she hides this development from everyone close to her and then makes a drastic decision with devastating consequences.

Daisy isn’t the only one with something to hide. When Cinnamon finds an abandoned baby in a park and takes the blonde-haired, blue-eyed newborn into her home, the ripple effects of this decision risk exposing the truth about Cinnamon’s own past, which she’s gone to great pains to portray as idyllic to everyone…even herself.

As Cinnamon struggles to contain old demons, navigate the fault lines that erupt in her marriage, and deal with the shocking judgments from friends and strangers alike about why a woman like her has a baby like this, her one goal is to do right by the child she grows more attached to with each passing day. It’s the exact same conviction that drives Daisy as she tries to outrun her heartache and reckon with her choices.

These two women, unlikely friends and kindred spirits must face down their secrets and trauma and unite for the sake of the baby they both love in their own unique way when Daisy’s grandparents, who would rather die than see one of their own raised by a Black woman, threaten to take custody.


Review:

Touching, thought-provoking, and graceful!

You Were Always Mine is a beautifully written, affecting tale that takes you into the life of Cinnamon Haynes, a thirty-four-year-old Black woman who, after befriending a nineteen-year-old white girl at the local park, has her life turned upside down when Daisy suddenly decides to leave her newborn blue-eyed baby girl abandoned for Cinnamon to find and raise as her own.

The prose is reflective and intentional. The characters are flawed, scarred, and authentic. And the plot is a compelling tale of friendship, family, race, discrimination, marital discord, childhood trauma, courage, hope, heartache, secrets, motherhood, foster care, culture, socioeconomic disparities, and the complex dynamics of interracial adoption.

Overall, You Were Always Mine is an insightful, nuanced, captivating tale by Pride & Piazza that reminds us that life is complicated, messy, challenging, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other special moments and lovely times that happen in between especially when it comes to being a mother, either biological or adoptive, to a child.

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Christine Pride

Christine Pride is a writer, editor, and longtime publishing veteran. She’s held editorial posts at many different trade imprints, including Doubleday, Broadway, Crown, Hyperion, and Simon & Schuster. As an editor, Christine has published a range of books, with a special emphasis on inspirational stories and memoirs, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. As a freelance editorial consultant, she does select editing and proposal/content development, as well as teaching and coaching, and pens a regular column—“Race Matters”—for Cup of Jo. She lives in New York City.

Photograph by Christine Han

About Jo Piazza

Jo Piazza is a bestselling author, podcast creator, and award-winning journalist. She is the national and international bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels and nonfiction books including We Are Not Like Them, Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, The Knockoff, and How to Be Married. Her work has been published in ten languages in twelve countries and four of her books have been optioned for film and television. A former editor, columnist, and travel writer with Yahoo, Current TV, and the Daily News (New York), her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York magazine, Glamour, Elle, Time, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast, and Slate. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in economics and communication, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s in religious studies from New York University.

#BookReview The Wife App by Carolyn Mackler @simonschuster @SimonSchusterCA #TheWifeApp #CarolynMackler #SimonSchuster #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Wife App by Carolyn Mackler @simonschuster @SimonSchusterCA #TheWifeApp #CarolynMackler #SimonSchuster #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Wife App

Author: Carolyn Mackler

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Jun. 27, 2023

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster

Book Rating: 8/10

Because every wife deserves a happy ending.

Three best friends decide they’re finally done with their ex-husbands taking their work as wives and moms for granted. They’re ready to monetize the mental load, stick it to their exes, and have a wild ride in the process.

Lauren, mother of twins, wakes up one morning to her Wife Alarm Bells sounding. She sleuths on her husband’s phone and stumbles on a dirty secret that explodes her marriage. Madeline has it all—a penthouse apartment, a perfect daughter, and no-strings-attached romps with handsome men. When she learns that she might lose her child to her ex in England, it stirs up a decades-old personal tragedy. Sophie, with too much FOMO and never enough money, obsesses over her ex-husband’s Family 2.0—all while keeping her true desires hidden, even from herself.

It starts as a joke during a tipsy night out, as Lauren, Madeline, and Sophie rail against everything wives do for free. Let’s build an app that monetizes the mental load. And maybe get revenge on our exes in the process? Soon, the Wife App is born, and before long, it’s the fastest growing start-up in New York City. But then life intervenes. Love intervenes. Ex-husbands intervene. And the consequences are bigger than anything Lauren, Madeline, or Sophie could have expected. Carolyn Mackler marks her debut into adult fiction with a hilarious rollercoaster ride of revenge and redemption that is at once a send-up of modern marriage and a celebration of female friendship and love in all forms.


Review:

Fresh, spirited, and fun!

The Wife App is a lighthearted, engaging tale that sweeps you away to NYC and into the lives of three divorced friends, Madeline, Lauren, and Sophie who, after spending a night grumbling over all the selfless tasks mothers and wives are bombarded with on a daily basis, decide to join together to create an app which would monetize and give value to all those unappreciated, time-consuming, dreaded domestic chores nobody likes to do.

The writing style is witty and sharp. The characters are independent, layered, and supportive. And the plot is a humorous tale about life, love, family, friendship, child-rearing, introspection, marital inequality, interfering exes, tender moments, taking chances, and new beginnings.

Overall, The Wife App is an easy, uplifting, entertaining tale by Mackler that is bursting with female friendships, self-discovery, romance, and the ups and downs of single parenthood.

 

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 for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Carolyn Mackler

Carolyn Mackler is the acclaimed author of the YA novels The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things (A Michael L. Printz Honor Book); The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I; Infinite in Between; and Love and Other Four-Letter Words; and the middle grade novel, Best Friend Next Door. Carolyn’s award-winning books have appeared on bestseller lists and been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Carolyn lives in New York City with her husband and two sons. The Wife App is her first adult novel.

Photo by Sarah Klock.

#BookReview Welcome to Beach Town by Susan Wiggs @susanwiggs @uplitreads @WmMorrowBooks #welcometobeachtown #authorsusanwiggs #uplitreadscampaign

#BookReview Welcome to Beach Town by Susan Wiggs @susanwiggs @uplitreads @WmMorrowBooks #welcometobeachtown #authorsusanwiggs #uplitreadscampaign Title: Welcome to Beach Town

Author: Susan Wiggs

Published by: William Morrow on Jun. 20, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Every town has its secrets… In idyllic Alara Cove, a California beach town known for its sunny charm and chill surfer vibe, it’s graduation day at the elite Thornton Academy.

At Thornton, the students are the worldly and overindulged children who live in gated enclaves with spectacular views. But the class valedictorian is Nikki Graziola, a surfer’s daughter who is there on scholarship. To the shock of everyone in the audience, Nikki veers off script while giving her commencement address and reveals a secret that breaks open the whole community. As her truth explodes into the light, Alara Cove will face a reckoning. Nikki Graziola’s accusation shakes the foundation of Alara Cove, pitting her against the wealthy family whose money runs the town. Her new notoriety sends Nikki into exile for years, where she finds fame—but not fortune—overseas as a competition surfer…until a personal tragedy compels her to return to Alara Cove.  

As Nikki struggles to rebuild her future, she finds that the people of the town have not forgotten her. But time has changed Alara Cove, and old friendships, rivalries, and an unexpected romance draw her back into the life of the beach town she’s never quite forgotten, and where joy and redemption may be possible after all.


Review:

Sincere, heart-tugging, and rewarding!

Welcome to Beach Town is an emotional, immersive, heartwarming tale that takes us into the life of the sweet, vulnerable Nikki Graziola as she struggles to juggle returning to her hometown that’s laced with tragic memories and a place she hoped she’d never have to live again, the overwhelming grief caused by the sudden loss of the love of her life, a strained relationship with a father she hardly knows, a determination to finally uncover all the secrets hidden by those in power, and a newly budding attraction to a friend she was pretty close with in the past.

The writing is sentimental and engaging. The characters are layered, supportive, and generous. And the plot is a touching tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, happiness, heartbreak, taking chances, growth, healing, revelations, tender moments, light drama, greed, corruption, selflessness, romance, and new beginnings.

Overall, Welcome to Beach Town is another heartwarming, uplifting, nostalgic tale that reminds us that the true meaning of family is unconditionally respecting, loving, supporting, and accepting each other through all the highs and lows. It’s the perfect read for summer that proves once again that when it comes to writing heartfelt, moving stories with characters you can’t help but root for, Wiggs is one of the best.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

 

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

 

About Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and in good weather, she commutes to her writers' group in a 21-foot motorboat. She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR, PRI, and USA Today, has given programs for the US Embassies in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and is a popular speaker locally, nationally, internationally, and on the high seas.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature. Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries and languages. According to Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with "refreshingly honest emotion," and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is "one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book." Booklist characterizes her books as "real and true and unforgettable."

Her novels have appeared in the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and have captured readers’ hearts around the globe with translations into more than 20 languages and 30 countries. She is a three-time winner of the RITA Award,. Her recent novel, The Apple Orchard, is currently being made into a film, and The Lakeshore Chronicles has been optioned for adaptation into a series.

The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book. She lives on an island in Puget Sound, where she divides her time between sleeping and waking.