Publisher: Gallery Books

#BookReview The Wedding Veil by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @uplitreads #theweddingveil #kristywoodsonharvey #uplitreadscampaign

#BookReview The Wedding Veil by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @uplitreads #theweddingveil #kristywoodsonharvey #uplitreadscampaign Title: The Wedding Veil

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Published by: Gallery Books on Mar. 29, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 9/10

“Four women. One family heirloom. A secret connection that will change their lives—and history as they know it. 

Present Day: Julia Baxter’s wedding veil, bequeathed to her great-grandmother by a mysterious woman on a train in the 1930s, has passed through generations of her family as a symbol of a happy marriage. But on the morning of her wedding day, something tells her that even the veil’s good luck isn’t enough to make her marriage last forever. Overwhelmed and panicked, she escapes to the Virgin Islands to clear her head. Meanwhile, her grandmother Babs is also feeling shaken. Still grieving the death of her beloved husband, she decides to move out of the house they once shared and into a retirement community. Though she hopes it’s a new beginning, she does not expect to run into an old flame, dredging up the same complicated emotions she felt a lifetime ago.

1914: Socialite Edith Vanderbilt is struggling to manage the luxurious Biltmore Estate after the untimely death of her cherished husband. With 250 rooms to oversee and an entire village dependent on her family to stay afloat, Edith is determined to uphold the Vanderbilt legacy—and prepare her free-spirited daughter Cornelia to inherit it—in spite of her family’s deteriorating financial situation. But Cornelia has dreams of her own. Asheville, North Carolina has always been her safe haven away from the prying eyes of the press, but as she explores more of the rapidly changing world around her, she’s torn between upholding tradition and pursuing the exciting future that lies beyond Biltmore’s gilded gates.

In the vein of Therese Anne Fowler’s A Well-Behaved Woman and Jennifer Robson’s The Gown, The Wedding Veil brings to vivid life a group of remarkable women forging their own paths—and explores the mystery of a national heirloom lost to time.”


Review:

Enchanting, sentimental, and heartfelt!

The Wedding Veil is a a captivating, uplifting tale that takes you on a journey to the early 1900s, as well as present-day, and into the lives of four main characters, Edith Vanderbilt, a young widow and mistress of the exquisite Biltmore Estate, Cornelia Vanderbilt, a mother of two with seemingly everything but who yearns for something more, Babs Carlisle, a grandmother extraordinaire with a lot of spunk and a heart of gold, and Julie Baxter, a soon-to-be bride with a beautiful locale, a family veil with a mysterious past and a history of its own, and a fiancé who unfortunately can’t seem to keep his hands to himself.

The prose is charged and intriguing. The characters are independent, kind, reliable, and supportive. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel effortlessly into a charming tale of drama, emotion, secrets, loss, duty, heartbreak, familial dynamics, self-reflection, passion, tradition, taking chances, moving on, and finding new love.

Overall, The Wedding Veil is an evocative, moving, nostalgic tale with compelling characters that I devoured from start to finish. As most people know, I’m a huge fan of Kristy Woodson Harvey’s writing, and now with this first exceptional endeavour into my favourite genre, historical fiction, I might have become an even bigger fan if that’s even possible.

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 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 Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @uplitreads #christmasinpeachtreebluff #kristywoodsonharvey

#BookReview Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @uplitreads #christmasinpeachtreebluff #kristywoodsonharvey Title: Christmas at Peachtree Bluff

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Series: Peachtree Bluff #4

Published by: Gallery Books on Oct. 26, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 9/10

“When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband James announce that they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island?

Quite a lot, as it turns out.

When the “storm of the century” heads toward Peachtree Bluff, Vivi’s recklessness forces her, along with Ansley and her husband Jack, to shelter in place during the worst hurricane Peachtree has ever seen. With no power, no provisions, and the water rising, the circumstances in Peachtree Bluff become dire very quickly…and the Murphy sisters soon realize it’s up to them to conduct a rescue mission.

With Caroline’s boat the Starlite Sisters in tow, Sloane and Emerson set sail loaded with supplies. When they arrive, they find not only their family in need, but also an entire community desperate for help. Putting aside their own plans for December, they decide to stay in Peachtree, rebuilding their beloved town—as well as their family—just in time for the yuletide season.

In “pitch perfect tones” (Publishers Weekly) and written with her signature Southern charm, Kristy Woodson Harvey explores the magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family in a tale that reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, home is always where we belong—especially during the holidays.”


Review:

Quaint, heartfelt, and evocative!

Christmas in Peachtree Bluff is a delightfully amusing, festive tale that sweeps you away to Peach Tree Bluff, Georgia and immerses you into the lives of the Murphy family, especially four strong women, as they gather to celebrate, support, interrogate, heal, grow, communicate, close doors, open new ones, take chances, and survive mother nature.

The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are genuine, compassionate, and reliable. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel effortlessly into a bewitching tale of life, love, friendship, family, self-reflection, determination, community, happiness, holiday traditions, romantic moments, blossoming relationships, stormy weather, and the special bonds between sisters.

Christmas in Peachtree Bluff is another absorbing, uplifting, magical tale by Harvey that does a brilliant job of highlighting her exceptional ability to create relatable characters, idyllic places, and memorable storylines that thoroughly enchant from start to finish.

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 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 The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks #TheSoulmateEquation #ChristinaLauren

#BookReview The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks #TheSoulmateEquation #ChristinaLauren Title: The Soulmate Equation

Author: Christina Lauren

Published by: Gallery Books on May 18, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate.

But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River.

As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.


Review:

Witty, clever, and sweetly romantic!

The Soulmate Equation is a delightfully charming tale featuring the affable, kindhearted, single mother, Jess and the intense, thoughtful, geneticist River as they discover that it may be as easy as just comparing DNA to find “the one” or maybe numbers and algorithms really don’t mean a thing.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are dreamy, engaging, and dependable. And the plot is an enchanting, irresistible blend of tension, humour, chemistry, familial drama, friendship, parenthood, awkward mishaps, tender moments, introspection, tricky situations, and unconditional love.

Overall, The Soulmate Equation is another amusing, swoony, brilliant tale by Lauren that had everything I look for in a lighthearted rom-com and more. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, and I loved the happy-ever-after ending. It is without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year and should definitely be high on everyone’s must-read list for summer 2021. 

This novel is available on May 18, 2021.

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

                

 

 

 

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

 

About Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined penname of longtime writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 International bestselling authors of The Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Dating You/Hating You, Roomies, Love and Other Words, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, and the critically acclaimed Autoboyography.

Photograph by Alyssa Michelle.

#BookReview Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @BookSparks @GalleryBooks #UnderaSouthernSky #KristyWoodsonHarvey #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope

#BookReview Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @BookSparks @GalleryBooks #UnderaSouthernSky #KristyWoodsonHarvey #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope Title: Under the Southern Sky

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Published by: Gallery Books on Apr. 20, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: BookSparks

Book Rating: 9/10

Recently separated Amelia Buxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process.

Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate.

Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Cape Carolina. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.

From “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Under the Southern Sky is a fresh and unforgettable exploration of love, friendship, and the unbreakable ties that bind.


Review:

Poignant, hopeful, and romantic!

Under the Southern Sky is a beautifully written, heartfelt tale set predominantly in the small-town of Cape Carolina that takes us into the lives of Amelia Saxton, a young journalist struggling to come to grips with a recent separation and an important discovery she inadvertently stumbles across involving her childhood friend, and Parker Thaysden, a young widower who is still grappling with the loss of his wife and the all-consuming grief that is preventing him from moving on.

The prose is smooth and genuine. The characters are scarred, hesitant, and sympathetic. And the plot is an addictive, alluring mix of friendship, family, introspection, support, forgiveness, love, loss, drama, selflessness, community, new beginnings, and the power of love.

Under the Southern Sky was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021, and it did not disappoint. Once again, Kristy Woodson Harvey has written a charming, absorbing, moving tale that has an abundance of irresistible characters and a storyline I couldn’t get enough of, and it is without a doubt the perfect choice for summer!

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

Thank you to BookSparks and Kristy Woodson Harvey for providing me with 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 Do No Harm by Christina McDonald @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #DoNoHarm #ChristinaMcDonald

#BookReview Do No Harm by Christina McDonald @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #DoNoHarm #ChristinaMcDonald Title: Do No Harm

Author: Christina McDonald

Published by: Gallery Books on Feb. 16, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Emma loves her life. She’s the mother of a precocious kindergartener, married to her soulmate—a loyal and loving police detective—and has a rewarding career as a doctor at the local hospital.

But everything comes crashing down when her son, Josh, is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Determined to save him, Emma makes the risky decision to sell opioids to fund the life-saving treatment he needs. But when somebody ends up dead, a lethal game of cat and mouse ensues, her own husband leading the chase. With her son’s life hanging in the balance, Emma is dragged into the dark world of drugs, lies, and murder. Will the truth catch up to her before she can save Josh?


Review:

Crafty, addictive, and exceptionally twisty!

Do No Harm is a consuming, action-packed thrill ride that takes you into the life of physician Emma Sweeney as she puts her marriage, career, and life in jeopardy to do whatever it takes, including selling forged prescriptions for opioids to drug dealers, to pay for her five-year-old son’s experimental treatment that could potentially save his life from a rare, aggressive form of leukemia. 

The writing is gritty and intense. The characters are distressed, impulsive, and determined. And the plot told from two different perspectives is an ominous tale of life, love, deception, familial dynamics, desperation, lies, ethics, morality, drug abuse, tragedy, violence, and murder.

Overall, Do No Harm is a well-crafted, gripping, relentless tale by McDonald that reminds us just how far a mother will go to save her child and is definitely one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read in a long time.

This novel is available now.

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

 

            

 

 

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

 

About Christina McDonald

Christina McDonald is the USA Today bestselling author of Do No Harm, Behind Every Lie and The Night Olivia Fell, which has been optioned for television by a major Hollywood studio. Originally from Seattle, Washington, she now lives in London, England, with her husband, two sons, and their dog, Tango.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly @The_Julia_Kelly @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheLastGardeninEngland #JuliaKelly

#BookReview The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly @The_Julia_Kelly @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheLastGardeninEngland #JuliaKelly Title: The Last Garden in England

Author: Julia Kelly

Published by: Gallery Books on Jan. 12, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.


Review:

Absorbing, romantic, and beautifully written!

The Last Garden in London is an engaging, moving tale that sweeps you away to the Highbury House Estate in Warwickshire, England from the original commission of the estate’s gardens, through WWII and its requisition as a convalescent hospital, to the current day garden restoration efforts and the discovery of some long-buried secrets hidden beneath its soil.

The prose is rich and eloquent. The characters are resilient, brave, and authentic. And the plot is a delightful tale set in 1907 to the present day that moves seamlessly between multiple perspectives and the past and present as it unravels all the personalities, behaviours, motivations, secrets, and complex relationships within it.

Overall, The Last Garden in London is ultimately a tale about life, loss, tragedy, grief, hope, history, family, sisterhood, and friendship. It’s a captivating, heartwarming, uplifting novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and am certain will please all those who love to read historical fiction that has alluring characters, an evocative, timeslip storyline, and a sliver of romance.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Julia Kelly

Julia Kelly is the award-winning author of women's fiction and historical romance books about the extraordinary stories of the past. She also writes fast-paced contemporary sports romance as Julia Blake. In addition to writing, she’s been an Emmy-nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London.

Photograph by Scott Bottles.

#BookReview The Residence by Andrew Pyper @andrewpyper @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA @SkyboundBooks #TheResidence

#BookReview The Residence by Andrew Pyper @andrewpyper @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA @SkyboundBooks #TheResidence Title: The Residence

Author: Andrew Pyper

Published by: Gallery Books on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

In this terrifying ghost story based on true events, the President’s late son haunts the White House, threatening all who live in it—and the divided America beyond its walls. From the bestselling author of The Homecoming.

The year is 1853. President-elect Franklin Pierce is traveling with his family to Washington, DC, when tragedy strikes. In an instant, their train runs off the rails, violently flinging passengers about the cabin. When the great iron machine finally comes to rest, the only casualty is the Pierces’ son, Bennie. The loss sends First Lady Jane Pierce into mourning, and casts Franklin’s presidency under a pall of sorrow and grief.

As the Pierces move into the White House, they are soon plagued by events both bizarre and disturbing. Strange sounds seem to come from the walls and ceiling, ghostly voices echo out of time itself, and visions of spirits crushed under the weight of American history pass through empty hallways. But when Jane orchestrates a séance with the infamous Fox Sisters—the most noted Spiritualists of the day—the barrier between this world and the next is torn asunder. Something horrific comes through and takes up residence alongside Franklin and Jane in the very walls of the mansion itself.

Only by overcoming their grief and confronting their darkest secrets can Jane and Franklin hope to rid themselves—and America—of the entity that seeks to make the White House its permanent home.


Review:

Eerie, intense, and sinister!

In this latest novel by Pyper, The Residence, we are transported to the White House during 1852 and into the life of the newly-elected President Franklin Pierce has he struggles with the recent loss of his 11-year-old son, a wife enveloped by sorrow, a nation fractured and heading towards war, and one special room where grief is in abundance and terror seems to like to come and play.

The prose is dark and ominous. The characters are tormented, desperate, and troubled. And the plot is a horrifying, gripping tale interwoven and steeped in the supernatural that’s full of familial drama, heartache, tension, obsession, secrets, death, hopelessness, and violence.

Overall, The Residence is a unique, dark, spooky tale that captivates from the very first page and ultimately leaves you mystified, chilled, and creepily entertained.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Andrew Pyper

Andrew Pyper is the author of nine novels, including the forthcoming THE HOMECOMING (February 2019). Among his previous books, THE DEMONOLOGIST won the International Thriller Writers award for Best Hardcover Novel and was selected for the Globe and Mail’s Best 100 Books of 2013 and Amazon’s 20 Best Books of 2013. LOST GIRLS won the Arthur Ellis Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Three of Pyper’s novels, including THE HOMECOMING, are in active development for television or feature film. He lives in Toronto.

#BookReview The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel @kristinharmel @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheBookofLostNames

#BookReview The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel @kristinharmel @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheBookofLostNames Title: The Book of Lost Names

Author: Kristin Harmel

Published by: Gallery Books on Jul. 21, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis in this unforgettable historical novel from the international bestselling author of the “epic and heart-wrenching World War II tale” (Alyson Noel, #1 New York Times bestselling author) The Winemaker’s Wife.

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

An engaging and evocative novel reminiscent of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Alice Network, The Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil.


Review:

Fascinating, heartwrenching, and exceptionally absorbing!

The Book of Lost Names is an evocative, beautifully written, touching tale set in France during WWII, as well present day, that takes you into the life of Eva Traube, a young Jewish woman who spent the majority of the war, to the detriment of herself and those she loved, using her artistic talents to help save as many lives as possible.

The prose is atmospheric, authentic, and insightful. The characters are vulnerable, brave, and strong. And the plot is a poignant tale of life, loss, love, deception, perseverance, survival, betrayal, sacrifice, courage, selflessness, the unimaginable horrors of war, and the important role of the Resistance in transporting people from the free zone in France to the safety of Switzerland.

Overall, The Book of Lost Names is a thought-provoking, immersive, moving tale by Harmel that does an incredible job of reminding us that millions of lives were lost, numerous aliases were given, but real names and true identities should never be forgotten. 

This novel is available now.

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

              

 

 

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

 

About Kristin Harmel

Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE, THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING, THE LIFE INTENDED, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN, and several other novels. Her latest, THE WINEMAKER'S WIFE, is coming in August 2019 from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster. A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has also freelanced for many other publications, including American Baby, Men’s Health, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Travel + Leisure, and more.

Kristin grew up in Peabody, Mass.; Worthington, Ohio; and St. Petersburg, Fla., and she graduated with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida. After spending time living in Paris, she now lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband and young son.

Photograph by Phil Art Studio, Reims, France.

#BookReview On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe @maryalicemonroe @GalleryBooks @simonschuster #OnOceanBoulevard

#BookReview On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe @maryalicemonroe @GalleryBooks @simonschuster #OnOceanBoulevard Title: On Ocean Boulevard

Author: Mary Alice Monroe

Series: Beach House #6

Published by: Gallery Books on May 19, 2020

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Gallery Books

Book Rating: 9/10

The New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Guests returns at long last to her beloved Beach House series in this breathtaking novel about one family’s summer of forging new beginnings against the enduring beauty and resilience of the natural world.

It’s been sixteen years since Caretta “Cara” Rutledge has returned home to the beautiful shores of Charleston, South Carolina. Over those years, she has weathered the tides of deaths and births, struggles and joys. And now, as Cara prepares for her second wedding, her life is about to change yet again.

Meanwhile, the rest of the storied Rutledge family is also in flux. Cara’s niece Linnea returns to Sullivan’s Island to begin a new career and an unexpected relationship. Linnea’s parents, having survived bankruptcy, pin their hopes and futures on the construction of a new home on Ocean Boulevard. But as excitement over the house and wedding builds, a devastating illness strikes the family and brings plans to a screeching halt. It is under these trying circumstances that the Rutledge family must come together yet again to discover the enduring strength in love, tradition, and legacy from mother to daughter to granddaughter.

Like the sea turtles that come ashore annually on these windswept islands, three generations of the Rutledge family experience a season of return, rebirth, and growth. “Authentic, generous, and heartfelt” (Mary Kay Andrews, New York Timesbestselling author), On Ocean Boulevard is Mary Alice Monroe at her very best.


Review:

Captivating, heartfelt, and sentimental!

On Ocean Boulevard is an enchanting, tender tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic South Carolina Lowcountry and immerses you into the lives of the Rutledge family and all the wounds, secrets, smiles, tears, compassion, strength, and loyalty that surround them.

The writing is fluid and clear. The characters are multi-layered, resilient, and authentic. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into an optimistic, heartwarming tale about life, love, loss, family, friendship, romance, contentment, plastic pollution, sea turtles, and the importance of environmental conservation.

Overall, On Ocean Boulevard is a big-hearted, insightful, timely, family saga by Monroe that reminds us that life is comprised of not only the lovely, special, wonderful moments but all the complicated, messy, challenging, heartbreaking ones too.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

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

 

About Mary Alice Monroe

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the Beach House series: The Beach House, Beach House Memories, Swimming Lessons, Beach House for Rent, and Beach House Reunion. She is a 2018 Inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the 2015 SW Florida Author of Distinction Award, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the 2017 Southern Book Prize for Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Beach House is also a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina.

Photograph by Mic Smith Photography.

#BookReview The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel @kristinharmel @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel @kristinharmel @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA Title: The Winemaker's Wife

Author: Kristin Harmel

Published by: Gallery Books on Aug. 13, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Champagne, 1940: Inès has just married Michel, the owner of storied champagne house Maison Chauveau, when the Germans invade. As the danger mounts, Michel turns his back on his marriage to begin hiding munitions for the Résistance. Inès fears they’ll be exposed, but for Céline, half-Jewish wife of Chauveau’s chef de cave, the risk is even greater—rumors abound of Jews being shipped east to an unspeakable fate.

When Céline recklessly follows her heart in one desperate bid for happiness, and Inès makes a dangerous mistake with a Nazi collaborator, they risk the lives of those they love—and the champagne house that ties them together.

New York, 2019: Liv Kent has just lost everything when her eccentric French grandmother shows up unannounced, insisting on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive—and a tragic, decades-old story to share. When past and present finally collide, Liv finds herself on a road to salvation that leads right to the caves of the Maison Chauveau.


Review:

Informative, beautiful, and tragic!

The Winemaker’s Wife is a stirring, immersive story set in France during the early 1940s, as well present day, that is told primarily from three different perspectives; Inès Chauveau, a young wife who after feeling neglected and misunderstood naively makes choices that have far-reaching, life-changing consequences; Céline Laurent, the half-Jewish wife of Chauveau’s winemaker who lives in constant fear of the advancing Germans except when deep within the vineyard caves where she finds solace, hope, contentment, and love; and Liv Kent, a recently divorced American who journeys to France at the request of her grandmother only to uncover a family history that’s littered with secrets, betrayals, and sacrifices.

The prose is preceptive, vivid, and sincere. The characters are courageous, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is a heartrending tale that gives us a unique view into the struggles, sacrifices, horrors, and bravery of those who lived and survived in the Champagne region during this heinous time in history.

The Winemaker’s Wife is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, deception, determination, perseverance, resistance efforts, intricacies of winemaking, and the importance of forgiveness. It’s pensive, moving, and thoroughly absorbing and a fantastic choice for historical fiction fans and book clubs everywhere.

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Kristin Harmel

Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE, THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING, THE LIFE INTENDED, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN, and several other novels. Her latest, THE WINEMAKER'S WIFE, is coming in August 2019 from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster. A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has also freelanced for many other publications, including American Baby, Men’s Health, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Travel + Leisure, and more.

Kristin grew up in Peabody, Mass.; Worthington, Ohio; and St. Petersburg, Fla., and she graduated with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida. After spending time living in Paris, she now lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband and young son.

Photograph by Phil Art Studio, Reims, France.

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