Publisher: Berkley Books

#BookReview
Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati
@akaSaraDonati @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati @akaSaraDonati @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCATitle: Where the Light Enters

Author: Sara Donati

Series: The Gilded Hour #2

Published by: Berkley Books on September 10, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 672

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

From the international bestselling author of The Gilded Hourcomes Sara Donati’s enthralling epic about two trailblazing female doctors in nineteenth-century New York

Obstetrician Dr. Sophie Savard returns home to the achingly familiar rhythms of Manhattan in the early spring of 1884 to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. With the help of Dr. Anna Savard, her dearest friend, cousin, and fellow physician she plans to continue her work aiding the disadvantaged women society would rather forget.

As Sophie sets out to construct a new life for herself, Anna’s husband, Detective-Sergeant Jack Mezzanotte calls on them both to consult on two new cases: the wife of a prominent banker has disappeared into thin air, and the corpse of a young woman is found with baffling wounds that suggest a killer is on the loose. In New York it seems that the advancement of women has brought out the worst in some men. Unable to ignore the plight of New York’s less fortunate, these intrepid cousins draw on all resources to protect their patients.


Review:

Multilayered, fascinating, and incredibly absorbing!

Where the Light Enters is a gritty, compelling tale set in New York City in the mid-1880s at a time when the island was bustling, female doctors were still discounted and frowned upon, reproduction and childbirth still had high mortality rates, and women looking for help with unwanted pregnancies had little or nowhere to go.

There are two main memorable characters in this novel; Dr. Sophie Savard, a young multi-ethnic obstetrician who returns to the United States to open a scholarship program and home for girls looking to study medicine after her husband succumbs to Consumption; and Dr. Anna Mezzanotte, a young surgeon who spends her days operating on those less fortunate and helping her detective husband Jack as he hunts for a serial killer who preys on women seeking an abortion.

The prose is eloquent and rich. The characters are strong, independent, intelligent, and genuine. And the plot using an intriguing mixture of narration, letters, newspaper articles, and reports immerses you in a riveting, suspenseful tale of familial dynamics, duty, friendship, passion, loss, love, sexism, violence, murder, and the roles and struggles faced by female physicians in early medicine.

Where the Light Enters is once again another hefty novel by Donati, with just under 700 pages, but it is so remarkably atmospheric and beautifully written that before you know it the story is finished and you’re yearning 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 Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sara Donati

Sara Donati is the pen name of Rosina Lippi, a former academic and tenured university professor. Since 2000 she has been writing fiction full-time, haunting the intersection where history and storytelling meet, wallowing in nineteenth-century newspapers, magazines, street maps, and academic historical research. She is the internationally bestselling author of the Wilderness series (Into the Wilderness, Dawn on a Distant Shore, Lake in the Clouds, Fire Along the Sky, Queen of Swords, and The Endless Forest) as well as The Gilded Hour, the first in a new series following the descendants of characters from the Wilderness series. She lives between the Cascades and Puget Sound with her husband, daughter, Jimmy Dean (a Havanese), and Max and Bella (the cats).

Photograph courtesy of penguinrandomhouse.com

#BookReview
Life and Other Inconveniences
by Kristan Higgins @Kristan_Higgins
@BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins @Kristan_Higgins @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCATitle: Life and Other Inconveniences

Author: Kristan Higgins

Published by: Berkley Books on August 6, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?


Review:

Graceful, nuanced, and moving!

Life and Other Inconveniences is a beautifully written, affecting story that immerses you into the lives of the London family, especially three strong, determined women, and all the secrets, wounds, smiles, tears, strength, and compassion that surround them.

The prose is effortless and expressive. The characters are authentic, angry, lovable, and stubborn. And the story is an exceptionally touching tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, hope, and the unbreakable ties that bind us as family.

Overall, Life and Other Inconveniences is another absorbingly insightful, skillfully plotted, multi-generational, family saga by Higgins that reminds us that life is complicated, messy, challenging, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other wonderful things, lovely times, and special moments that happen in-between.

This book 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 for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. Her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year. Kristan is also a cohost of the Crappy Friends podcast, which discusses the often complex dynamics of female friendships, with her friend and fellow writer, Joss Dey.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband. They own several badly behaved pets and are often visited by their entertaining and long-lashed children.

Photograph by Kristan Higgins.

#BookReview
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
@john_boyne @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne @john_boyne @PenguinRandomCATitle: A Ladder to the Sky

Author: John Boyne

Published by: Doubleday Canada on November 13, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The new novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Heart’s Invisible Furies, a seductive Highsmithian psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of fame

Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent – but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.
Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.
Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall…


Review:

Dark, seductive, and skillfully menacing!

A Ladder to the Sky is a character-driven, psychological thrill ride involving the ruthlessly ambitious Maurice Swift who has no qualms about using his handsomeness, charm, lack of conscience, and sociopathic tendencies in his ceaseless pursuit to become the world-class, successful writer he knows he can be.

The prose is unsettling and controlled. The characters, including the sinister, impulsive protagonist are consumed, complex, and vulnerable. And the brilliantly crafted plot builds nicely to create the perfect amount of tension and suspense as it unravels all the duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, questionable personalities, and parasitic relationships within it.

A Ladder to the Sky is an eerily compelling, darkly humorous, tragic novel that transports you to some of the biggest cities in the world and immerses you in a tale full of creative, eccentric, often self-absorbed characters that will keep you enthralled from start to finish. It’s a truly memorable novel by Boyne that highlights his extraordinary talent as a storyteller and his uncanny ability to lay bare humanities weaknesses and emotional vulnerabilities while still poking fun at an industry very close to his heart.

 

This book 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 for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About John Boyne

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, five for younger readers and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy In the Striped Pajamas sold 9 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for cinema, theatre, ballet and opera. John has won three Irish Book Awards and many other international literary awards and his novels are published in over 50 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Photo by Rich Gilligan.

#BookReview
The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman
@JoJakemanWrites @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman @JoJakemanWrites @PenguinRandomCATitle: The Exes' Revenge

Author: Jo Jakeman

Published by: Berkley Books on September 11, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Originally titled Sticks and Stones

A wickedly dark debut thriller about three women who’ve all been involved with the same man and realize the one thing they have in common is that they all want revenge against him…

Divorces are often messy, and Imogen’s is no exception. Phillip Rochester is controlling, abusive, and determined to make things as difficult as possible. When he shows up without warning demanding that Imogen move out of their house by the end of the month or he’ll sue for sole custody of their young son, Imogen is ready to snap.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable–something that puts her in control for the first time in years. She’s desperate to protect her son and to claim authority over her own life.

But she wasn’t expecting both Phillip’s ex-wife and new girlfriend to get tangled up in her plans. These three very different women–and unlikely allies–reluctantly team up to take revenge against a man who has wronged them all.


Review:

Ominous, relentless, and intense!

The Exes’ Revenge is a character-driven, domestic thriller that delves into how much relationships define us and reminds us that hell hath no fury as a woman scorned.

The prose is gritty and taut. The characters, including the sinister, despicable villain are consumed, ruthless, complex, and vulnerable. And the plot, using a back-and-forth, past/present style does a nice job of building tension and unease as it subtly intertwines and unravels an intricate web of lies, secrets, abuse, control, desperation, vengeance, violence, and manipulation.

Overall, The Exes’ Revenge is an unnerving, relentless, satisfying read and even though I felt the plot was slightly unrealistic at times it is still a compelling, entertaining debut for Jakeman, and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next.

 

This book 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 for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jo Jakeman

Jo Jakeman was the winner of the Friday Night Live competition at the York Festival of Writing in 2016. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in London before moving to the countryside with her husband and twin boys. The Exes' Revenge is her debut thriller.

Photo by Ollie Grove.

#BookReview
Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen
@SarinaBowen

#BookReview Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen @SarinaBowenTitle: Hard Hitter

Author: Sarina Bowen

Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2

Published by: Berkley Books on January 3, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 336

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Berkley Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

He’s a fighter in the rink, but he’s about to learn that playing nice can help you score… 

As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O’Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O’Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team’s massage therapist.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she’s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers’ MVP. O’Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O’Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good…


Review:

Charming, lighthearted, and deliciously hot!

This is a captivating, romantic tale between a hard-hitting, sexy hockey player with a troubled past, and a yoga-loving, massage therapist with an unpredictable ex who may just find everything they want and need in each other.

The characters are sweet, bold, likeable and athletic. The prose is smooth and effortless.  And the plot is an enticing mix of sizzling romance, steamy chemistry, suspenseful drama, and sporty action.

Overall, I would have to say this is a great, fun, easy read that has everything you look for in a contemporary romance novel, including of course that sought-after happy-ever-after ending.

This is the second book in the “Brooklyn Bruisers” series and if you haven’t had a chance yet to check out my review of Rookie Movie, book one in the series, you can check it out Here.

 

This book is due to be published on January 3, 2017.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaChapters/IndigoKoboBook Depository

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Berkley Publishing Group, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over two dozen contemporary and LGTB romance novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller's list in February, with Brooklynaire. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.

Sarina's books are published in a dozen languages on four continents. In 2016, The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with a RITA award for Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

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