Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

#BookReview Anthem by Noah Hawley @GrandCentralPub #NoahHawley #Anthem #GrandCentralPub #Thriller

#BookReview Anthem by Noah Hawley @GrandCentralPub #NoahHawley #Anthem #GrandCentralPub #Thriller Title: Anthem

Author: Noah Hawley

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jan. 4, 2022

Genres: Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

An epic literary thriller set where America is right now, in which a band of unlikely heroes sets out on a quest to save one innocent life—and might end up saving us all.

Something is happening to teenagers across America, spreading through memes only they can parse.  

At the Float Anxiety Abatement Center, in a suburb of Chicago, Simon Oliver is trying to recover from his sister’s tragic passing. He breaks out to join a woman named Louise and a man called The Prophet on a quest as urgent as it is enigmatic. Who lies at the end of the road? A man known as The Wizard, whose past encounter with Louise sparked her own collapse. Their quest becomes a rescue mission when they join up with a man whose sister is being held captive by the Wizard, impregnated and imprisoned in a tower.  

Noah Hawley’s new novel is an adventure that finds unquenchable lights in dark corners.  Unforgettably vivid characters and a plot as fast and bright as pop cinema blend in a Vonnegutian story that is as timeless as a Grimm’s fairy tale.  It is a leap into the idiosyncratic pulse of the American heart, written with the bravado, literary power, and feverish foresight that have made Hawley one of our most essential writers.


Review:

Dark, tragic, and action-packed!

Anthem is a creative, pacey, intriguing novel that sweeps you away to a few years in the future when the world has finally seen the back of the current pandemic, mother nature is reaping even more havoc on a planet that continues to warm, politics is as tumultuous as ever, teenagers are taking their own lives at an alarming rate, and a misfit group of teens, including the son of a wealthy pharmaceutical exec and a boy who likes to be addressed primarily as “the Prophet” decide to take matters into their own hands and hunt down a sadistic billionaire who thinks he’s way above the law.

The writing is complex and suspenseful. The characters are troubled, driven, and impulsive. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and with a large cast of characters is tight and intense as it twists, turns, and unravels all the actions, motivations, personalities, and relationships within it.

Overall, Anthem is not the type of book I typically read but was nevertheless a menacing, pensive, unique page-turner with a fantastical thread that did a remarkable job of raising the question will the youth of today be able to weather the storms and handle all the responsibilities, catastrophes, and disasters that are sure to come.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Noah Hawley

Award‑winning author Noah Hawley is one of the most accomplished auteurs and versatile storytellers working in television, film and literature. Over the course of his more than 20-year career, Hawley's work as a novelist, screenwriter, series creator, showrunner and director has garnered acclaim—winning an Emmy®, Golden Globe®, PEN, Critics’ Choice, and Peabody Award. As a bestselling author, Hawley has published six novels: A Conspiracy of Tall Men, Other People’s Weddings, The Punch, The Good Father, Before the Fall and the upcoming Anthem.

Photo courtesy of grandcentralpublishing.com

#BookReview The Child of Auschwitz by Lily Graham @lilygrahambooks @GrandCentralPub #LilyGraham #TheChildofAuschwitz

#BookReview The Child of Auschwitz by Lily Graham @lilygrahambooks @GrandCentralPub #LilyGraham #TheChildofAuschwitz Title: The Child of Auschwitz

Author: Lily Graham

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Sep. 7, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 256

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

For readers of Lilac Girls and The Tattooist of Auschwitz, a heartbreaking story of survival, where life or death relies on the smallest chance and happiness can be found in the darkest times.

​It is 1942 and Eva Adami has boarded a train to Auschwitz. Barely able to breathe due to the press of bodies and exhausted from standing up for two days, she can think only of her longed-for reunion with her husband Michal, who was sent there six months earlier.

But when Eva arrives at Auschwitz, there is no sign of Michal and the stark reality of the camp comes crashing down upon her. As she lies heartbroken and shivering on a thin mattress, her head shaved by rough hands, she hears a whisper. Her bunkmate, Sofie, is reaching out her hand…

As the days pass, the two women learn each other’s hopes and dreams – Eva’s is that she will find Michal alive in this terrible place, and Sofie’s is that she will be reunited with her son Tomas, over the border in an orphanage in Austria. Sofie sees the chance to engineer one last meeting between Eva and Michal and knows she must take it even if means befriending the enemy…

But when Eva realizes she is pregnant, she fears she has endangered both their lives. The women promise to protect each other’s children, should the worst occur. For they are determined to hold on to the last flower of hope in the shadows and degradation: their precious children, who they pray will live to tell their story when they no longer can.


Review:

Evocative, tragic, and heartrending!

The Child of Auschwitz is an immersive, affecting tale set during WWII that takes you into the lives of two young Jewish women, Eva and Sofie, as they do whatever it takes to help each other survive life in the Auschwitz concentration camp in order to one day reunite with the people that have kept their fighting spirits alive, Eva’s husband Michal and Sofie’s son Tomas.

The prose is insightful and authentic. The characters are resilient, caring, and brave. And the plot is a poignant, memorable tale of life, loss, love, family, sacrifice, courage, survival, selflessness, the inconceivable horrors of war, and the special bonds of friendship.

Overall, The Child of Auschwitz is a harrowing, hopeful, moving tale by Graham inspired by true-life events that are a haunting reminder of a time in history when millions endured unimaginable cruelty and needlessly suffered and and yet still managed to have the capacity for compassion and love.

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Lily Graham

Lily Graham is the author of the bestselling, The Child of Auschwitz, The Paris Secret, and The Island Villa, among others. Her books have been translated into numerous languages, including French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Turkish.

She grew up in South Africa, and was a journalist for a decade before giving it up to write fiction full time. Her first three novels were lighter, women's fiction, but when she wrote The Island Villa, a story about a secret Jewish community living on the tiny island of Formentera during the Spanish Inquisition, she switched to historical fiction and hasn't quite looked back since.

She lives now in the Suffolk coast with her husband and English bulldog, Fudge.

#BookReview Blind Tiger by Sandra Brown @SandraBrown_NYT @GrandCentralPub #SandraBrown #BlindTiger

#BookReview Blind Tiger by Sandra Brown @SandraBrown_NYT @GrandCentralPub #SandraBrown #BlindTiger Title: Blind Tiger

Author: Sandra Brown

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Aug. 3, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 512

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The year 1920 comes in with a roar in this rousing and suspenseful novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown. Prohibition is the new law of the land, but murder, mayhem, lust, and greed are already institutions in the Moonshine Capitol of Texas.

Thatcher Hutton, a war-weary soldier on the way back to his cowboy life, jumps from a moving freight train to avoid trouble . . . and lands in more than he bargained for. On the day he arrives in Foley, Texas, a local woman goes missing. Thatcher, the only stranger in town, is suspected of her abduction, and worse. Standing between him and exoneration are a corrupt mayor, a crooked sheriff, a notorious cathouse madam, a sly bootlegger, feuding moonshiners . . . and a young widow whose soft features conceal an iron will.

What was supposed to be a fresh start for Laurel Plummer turns to tragedy. Left destitute but determined to dictate her own future, Laurel plunges into the lucrative regional industry, much to the dislike of the good ol’ boys, who have ruled supreme. Her success quickly makes her a target for cutthroat competitors, whose only code of law is reprisal. As violence erupts, Laurel and—now deputy—Thatcher find themselves on opposite sides of a moonshine war, where blood flows as freely as whiskey.


Review:

Twisty, gritty, and entertaining!

Blind Tiger is an engrossing, sinister novel that takes us to Foley, Texas during 1920 and into the life of former soldier Thatcher Hutton who, after a grievous misunderstanding, suddenly finds himself recruited as a part-time deputy investigating a complex case involving kidnapping, a potential murder, and an illegal, highly-successful bootlegging operation, all while fighting the attraction that seems to be brewing between himself and Laurel Plummer, a young widowed mother who may be caught up in something a little more enterprising than just farming with her father-in-law.

The prose is crisp and tense. The characters are flawed, multilayered, and hardy. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel seamlessly into a mysterious tale of mayhem, corruption, coercion, mischief, politics, criminal behaviour, dangerous situations, suspicious motivations, red herrings, deduction, violence, and murder.

Overall, Blind Tiger is an ominous, sophisticated, satisfying novel by Brown that has all the things I enjoy in her romantic suspense novels, along with the added bonus of a unique historical setting that provided the perfect backdrop for lots of action and adventure.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-nine New York Times bestsellers, including the #1 Seeing Red. There are over eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. She lives in Texas.

 

Photograph courtesy of grandcentralpublishing.com.

#BookReview A Dog’s Chance by Casey Wilson @CaseyWilsonAuth @grandcentralpub #ADogsChance #CaseyWilson

#BookReview A Dog’s Chance by Casey Wilson @CaseyWilsonAuth @grandcentralpub #ADogsChance #CaseyWilson Title: A Dog's Chance

Author: Casey Wilson

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Nov. 9, 2021

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 256

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

A reminder of the unbelievable bonds we form with the dogs in our lives. No matter how broken you are, the unconditional love of a dog can piece you back together in this book that’s perfect for fans of A Dog’s Purpose, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and Marley and Me.

Madison knows her fourteen-year-old daughter Abbie is struggling. She wishes she could give Abbie stability, the promise of a forever home in Millbury, but she is scared to stay in one town for too long, and every day Abbie seems more anxious. Until a chance encounter with a beautiful, boisterous golden retriever puppy called Duke changes everything…

Duke bounces into the community centre where Madison is working and when Abbie meets him she stops pacing the room. Duke is tugging his owner, seventy-five-year-old Arthur, along for the ride, and instantly Madison sees a way she and Arthur can help each other. She offers to train Duke so that Abbie gets to see him, and from that moment the four of them become a family.

Madison finally feels like she has a second chance at life and a reason to stay in town, but when her past catches up with her they are all at risk. Duke may have united this family, but will he be able to keep them together?


Review:

Moving, charming, and uplifting!

A Dog’s Chance is an optimistic, engaging novel that takes us into the lives of four main characters. Arthur, a kind-hearted widow whose loneliness is palpable and who spends the better part of his days thinking of his lost wife, Rosie; Madison, a nurse practitioner who would love to settle down but knows she must always keep one step ahead of her past; Abbie, a troubled teenager, struggling with anxiety and a place to fit in; and Duke, a stray golden retriever who is determined to bring together all those around him and ultimately find himself a forever home.

The prose is reflective and sweet. The characters are caring, endearing, and resilient. And the plot is a compelling tale of life, loss, friendship, tension, kindness, self-discovery, generosity, happiness, taking chances, unconditional love, growing old, and the healing power of pets.

Overall, I found A Dog’s Chance to be a heartwarming, emotive, touching novel by Wilson that reminds us that family can be any unit created by love and not limited to those related by blood and that life should always be lived to the fullest.

 

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Casey Wilson

Casey Wilson is the author of A Dog's Hope. Born and raised in the United States in Nevada, she is the owner of a gorgeous golden retriever, who may or may not have inspired the dogs in her novels.

#BookReview Mercy (Atlee Pine #4) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @HBGCanada @grandcentralpub #DavidBaldacci #Mercy #AtleePineSeries

#BookReview Mercy (Atlee Pine #4) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @HBGCanada @grandcentralpub #DavidBaldacci #Mercy #AtleePineSeries Title: Mercy

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Atlee Pine #4

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Nov. 16, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s harrowing search for her long-lost sister Mercy reaches a boiling point in this breakneck thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci. 
 
For her entire life, FBI agent Atlee Pine has been searching for her twin sister, Mercy, who was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Mercy’s disappearance left behind a damaged family that later shattered beyond repair when Atlee’s parents inexplicably abandoned her.
 
Now, after a perilous investigation that nearly proved fatal, Atlee has finally discovered not only the reason behind her parents’ abandonment and Mercy’s kidnapping, but also the most promising breakthrough yet: proof that Mercy survived her abduction and then escaped her captors many years ago. 
 
Though Atlee is tantalizingly close to her family at last, the final leg of her long road to Mercy will be the most treacherous yet. Mercy left at least one dead body behind before fleeing her captors years before. Atlee has no idea if her sister is still alive, and if so, how she has been surviving all this time. When the truth is finally revealed, Atlee Pine will face the greatest danger yet, and it may well cost her everything.


Review:

Thrilling, twisty, and meticulous!

Mercy is a propulsive, gripping tale that picks up right where Daylight left off, taking us back into the life of FBI agent Atlee Pine, as she and her loyal assistant, Carol Blum, decide to take a leave of absence from the bureau to work full-time on discovering once and for all what happened to her twin sister, Mercy, who after escaping from her captors nineteen years ago seems to have vanished without a trace.

The writing is gritty and descriptive. The characters are cunning, ruthless, and persistent. And the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat as it immerses you into a malicious tale full of twists, turns, mayhem, chaos, revenge, survival, danger, violence, cruelty, and murder.

Overall, Mercy is another compelling, intricate, addictive mystery by Baldacci that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend, and although it seems like it might be the last novel we get to enjoy in this series, it certainly introduced us to a new, formidable heroine, Spectator, who is easily in my opinion definitely worthy of a series of her own.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About David Baldacci

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org.

 

Photograph by Allen Jones.

#BookReview An Ambush of Widows by Jeff Abbott @JeffAbbott @GrandCentralPub #JeffAbbott #AnAmbushofWidows

#BookReview An Ambush of Widows by Jeff Abbott @JeffAbbott @GrandCentralPub #JeffAbbott #AnAmbushofWidows Title: An Ambush of Widows

Author: Jeff Abbott

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jul. 6, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 340

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

In New York Times bestselling author Jeff Abbott’s latest novel of riveting psychological suspense, an uneasy alliance forms as two widows delve into their husbands’ deadly and dangerous secrets—as they try to protect their own.

Henry North is a down-on-his-luck cybersecurity expert from New Orleans. Adam Zhang is the cofounder of one of Austin’s most successful venture capitalist firms. These two men didn’t know each other. They had never met. Yet they died together, violently, in a place neither had any business being.

When Henry doesn’t return from a business trip, his wife, Kirsten, panics—and then gets an anonymous phone call: “Your husband is dead in Austin.”

Flora Zhang knew her husband was keeping secrets. She suspected an affair, but she had decided she could forgive him for his weakness—until her husband ended up dead. And with no explanation for her husband’s murder, the police begin to suspect her.

Together, these two widows will face a powerful foe determined to write a false narrative about the murders. In doing so, neither Flora nor Kirsten will remain the women the world thought they were.


Review:

Sinister, tight, and engrossing!

An Ambush of Widows transports you into the life of researcher Kristin North as her world suddenly gets turned upside down when she receives an anonymous phone call informing her that her IT security specialist husband has just been one of two men murdered in Texas, even though he is supposed to be on a business trip in New York, and she heads straight to Austin to find out exactly what and who her husband has gotten himself tangled up with.

The writing is sharp and intense. The characters are troubled, multilayered, and mysterious. And the plot intertwines and unravels quickly into a tortuous, suspenseful tale of lies, secrets, deception, power, corruption, suspicious personalities, nefarious motivations, violence, and murder.

Overall, An Ambush of Widows is an intricate, clever, dramatic page-turner by Abbott that kept me guessing from the very first page and, ultimately, left me surprised, satisfied, and highly entertained.

 

This novel is available now.

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

              

 

 

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

 

About Jeff Abbott

Jeff Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels. He is the winner of an International Thriller Writers Award (for the Sam Capra thriller The Last Minute) and is a three-time nominee for the Edgar Award. A former President of Mystery Writers of America, he lives in Austin with his family.

Photo by Leslie Abbott Photography.

#BookReview Lost Girls by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @GrandCentralPub #AngelaMarsons #LostGirls #DIKimStoneSeries

#BookReview Lost Girls by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @GrandCentralPub #AngelaMarsons #LostGirls #DIKimStoneSeries Title: Lost Girls

Author: Angela Marsons

Series: DI Kim Stone #3

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Oct. 12, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

Two girls go missing. Only one will return.

The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for and the squad.

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?


Review:

Brilliantly plotted, incredibly captivating, and cleverly spine-chilling!

Lost Girls is a dark, suspenseful, gripping police procedural that brings every parent’s worst nightmare to life and explores the terror, chaos, and distress a ruthless set of kidnappers with no conscience, a lot of savvy, and sadistic tendencies can wreak.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are intelligent, multi-layered, and tenacious. And the plot starts with a bang and quickly unravels into a perilous tale full of twists, turns, red herrings, secrets, lies, fear, obsession, greed, violence, kidnapping, and murder.

I have to say that in a time when mysteries and thrillers seem to be churned out quicker and quicker, and storylines seem to be getting more predictable and rote, Angela Marsons is like a breath of fresh air. She creates characters I can’t get enough of and complex, gritty stories that suck me in and make me feel like a participant and not just an observer. She writes with great depth and a lot of insight, and every time I finish one of her books, I’m left unnerved, entertained, and disturbingly satisfied and Lost Girls is no exception. What more can I say if you haven’t read any of the novels in the DI Kim Stone series, you really need to.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Angela Marsons

Angela Marsons is the USA Today bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone series, and her books have sold more than four million copies and have been translated into twenty-seven languages. She lives in the Black Country, in the West Midlands of England, with her partner and their two Golden Retrievers. She first discovered her love of writing at junior school when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s.” After writing women’s fiction, Angela turned to crime — fictionally speaking, of course — and developed a character that refused to go away.

#BookReview Meghan and the Unmasking of the Monarchy by Andrew Morton @andrewmortonuk @GrandCentralPub #MeghanandtheUnmaskingoftheMonarchy #AndrewMorton #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Meghan and the Unmasking of the Monarchy by Andrew Morton @andrewmortonuk @GrandCentralPub #MeghanandtheUnmaskingoftheMonarchy #AndrewMorton #GrandCentralPub Title: Meghan and the Unmasking of the Monarchy

Author: Andrew Morton

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Oct. 19, 2021

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

The New York Times bestselling biography of Meghan Markle, the American actress who won Prince Harry’s heart.

Women who smash the royal mold have always fascinated the public, from Grace Kelly to Princess Diana. Now acclaimed royal biographer Andrew Morton, the New York Timesbestselling author of Diana: Her True Story, brings us a revealing, juicy, and inspiring look at Meghan Markle, the confident and charismatic duchess whose warm and affectionate engagement interview won the hearts of the world.

When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were set up by a mutual friend on a blind date in July 2016, little did they know that the resulting whirlwind romance would lead to their engagement in November 2017 and marriage in May 2018.

Morton goes back to Meghan’s roots to uncover the story of her childhood growing up in The Valley in Los Angeles, her studies at an all-girls Catholic school, and her fraught family life-a painful experience mirrored by Harry’s own background. Morton also delves into her previous marriage and divorce in 2013, her struggles in Hollywood as her mixed heritage was used against her, her big break in the hit TV show Suits, and her work for a humanitarian ambassador-the latter so reminiscent of Princess Diana’s passions. Finally, we see how the royal romance played out across two continents but was kept fiercely secret, before the news finally broke and Meghan was thrust into the global media’s spotlight.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with her family members and closest friends, and including never-before-seen photographs, Morton introduces us to the real Meghan as he reflects on the impact that she has already had on the rigid traditions of the House of Windsor, as well as what the future might hold.


Review:

Informative, intriguing, and perspicuous!

Meghan and the Unmasking of the Monarchy is the interesting, candid biography of Rachel Meghan Markle, a divorced, mixed heritage, American actress who grew up in a somewhat dysfunctional family, although supported and loved, before appearing in a successful tv series, and then ultimately capturing the heart of a British prince.

The writing is crisp and clear. The characters are influential, hardworking, and driven. And the novel is a compelling tale of one woman’s life, from a young girl in Hollywood to a grown woman with her very own real-life prince.

Overall, Meghan and the Unmasking of the Monarchy, especially this new updated novel, which includes even the most recent events involving the Monarchy in early 2021, is an insightful look into a strong, independent woman and her struggles to retain a modicum of independence, privacy, and freedom after marrying into an institution ruled by tradition, image, and responsibility.

 

This book is available now.

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

                

 

 

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

 

About Andrew Morton

Andrew Morton studied history at the University of Sussex, England, with a focus on aristocracy and the 1930s. Morton has written biographies featuring the British Royal Family as well as celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, and Madonna. His bestselling biography of Princess Diana, Diana: Her True Story, met with international acclaim as “the closest we will ever come to her autobiography.”

Photograph courtesy of GCP Website.

#BookReview #Audiobook The Wish by Nicholas Sparks @HBGCanada @NicholasSparks @grandcentralpub @HachetteAudio #NicholasSparks #TheWish #GrandCentralPub #HachetteAudio

#BookReview #Audiobook The Wish by Nicholas Sparks @HBGCanada @NicholasSparks @grandcentralpub @HachetteAudio #NicholasSparks #TheWish #GrandCentralPub #HachetteAudio Title: The Return

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Narrator: Mela Lee, Will Collyer

Published by: Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Audio on Sep. 28, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Length: 11 hrs 42 min

Format: ARC, Audiobook, Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Audio

Book Rating: 10/10

1996 was the year that changed everything for Maggie Dawes. Sent away at sixteen to live with an aunt she barely knew in Ocracoke, a remote village on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, she could think only of the friends and family she left behind . . . until she meets Bryce Trickett, one of the few teenagers on the island. Handsome, genuine, and newly admitted to West Point, Bryce gradually shows her how much there is to love about the wind-swept beach town—and introduces her to photography, a passion that will define the rest of her life.

By 2019, Maggie is a renowned travel photographer. She splits her time between running a successful gallery in New York and photographing remote locations around the world. But this year she is unexpectedly grounded over Christmas, struggling to come to terms with a sobering medical diagnosis. Increasingly dependent on a young assistant, she finds herself becoming close to him.

As they count down the last days of the season together, she begins to tell him the story of another Christmas, decades earlier—and the love that set her on a course she never could have imagined.


Review:

Pensive, absorbing, and profoundly moving!

The Wish is a beautifully written, touching novel that takes us into the life of Maggie Dawes as she spends her last Christmas savouring all the little things, enjoying time with those she loves, reaping as much pleasure and joy out of each day, and having no regrets before her battle with cancer comes to an end.

The prose is eloquent and reflective. The characters are strong, compassionate, and endearing. And the plot is a compelling, highly emotional tale of life, love, friendship, kindness, generosity, honesty, humour, contemplation, and acceptance.

Overall, The Wish is a charming, insightful, bittersweet tale by Sparks that, unlike most of his books that usually make me a little teary, this one absolutely slayed me. I think there was more than once when tears were trickling down my face. However, saying that this is the most exquisite, good for the soul story I’ve read in a while, and I do hope everyone grabs a few tissues and picks this one up in any version, as the audiobook narrators, Mela Lee and Will Collyer are fabulous, and spends a few hours immersed in a story that is guaranteed to remind you that life is short and every moment is truly precious.

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada & Hachette Audio for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nicholas Sparks

With over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. His novels include fifteen #1 New York Times bestsellers, and all of his books, including Three Weeks with My Brother, the memoir he wrote with his brother, Micah, have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than fifty languages. Eleven of Nicholas Sparks’s novels–The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and Message in a Bottle–have been adapted into major motion pictures.

Photography courtesy of Grand Central Publishing Website.

#BookReview High Stakes by Iris Johansen @Iris_Johansen @GrandCentralPub @HBGCanada #HighStakes #IrisJohansen #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview High Stakes by Iris Johansen @Iris_Johansen @GrandCentralPub @HBGCanada #HighStakes #IrisJohansen #GrandCentralPub Title: High Stakes

Author: Iris Johansen

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Sep. 7, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

All bets are off as #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen introduces gambler Logan Tanner, a man with a secret past that’s about to come back to haunt him.

Logan Tanner lives the exhilarating life of a professional gambler, taking risks with nerves of steel. From casinos in Macau to Monte Carlo to Milan, he’s racked up a fortune and become a living legend. But all the glitz and glamor hide a dark and violent past as an extractor—a world that comes rushing back to him when the beautiful and innocent Lara Balkon enters his life.

Soon Logan is drawn into the conflict between two Russian mafia bosses over Lara, whose life now hangs in the balance. Logan has been offered something more valuable to him than money—information he desperately needs—in exchange for getting Lara out of Russia and to safety. Once together, Tanner discovers that Lara is a force to be reckoned with in her own right. Tanner’s search for the truth leads them to the bright lights of Las Vegas. Where the person who was hunting Lara now lies in wait for them.

With the stakes climbing with each deadly confrontation, Logan and Lara are soon catapulted into a game against pure evil. The odds are stacked against them, but it’s a game they know they must play…even if it may cost them their lives.


Review:

Tense, twisty, and suspenseful!

High Stakes is a well-executed, menacing tale that features professional gambler, sometimes extractor Logan Tanner, as he heads out on a special mission to extract the talented pianist, Lara Balkon, and her mother Maria from the clutches of the ruthless, depraved Russian mafia in return for a nice paycheck and some sought after intel on someone very special to him who has been missing for some time.

The prose is crisp and precise. The characters are hot-tempered, callous, talented, and resourceful. And the plot is a fast-paced, cat-and-mouse game full of twists, turns, action, intrigue, power, corruption, duplicity, immorality, manipulation, danger, terror, and murder.

Iris Johansen is an award-winning, best-selling author, and with this new release, it’s easy to see why. High Stakes is a sinister, edgy, action-packed page-turner that is intricate, entertaining, and undoubtedly extremely satisfying.

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Iris Johansen

Iris Johansen is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success.

She lives in Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.

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