Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

#BookReview The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan @AmySueNathan @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #TheLastBathingBeauty

#BookReview The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan @AmySueNathan @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #TheLastBathingBeauty Title: The Last Bathing Beauty

Author: Amy Sue Nathan

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Apr. 1, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her past—for herself and the sake of her family’s future—in a heartfelt novel about fate, choices, and second chances.

Everything seemed possible in the summer of 1951. Back then Betty Stern was an eighteen-year-old knockout working at her grandparents’ lakeside resort. The “Catskills of the Midwest” was the perfect place for Betty to prepare for bigger things. She’d head to college in New York City. Her career as a fashion editor would flourish. But first, she’d enjoy a wondrous last summer at the beach falling deeply in love with an irresistible college boy and competing in the annual Miss South Haven pageant. On the precipice of a well-planned life, Betty’s future was limitless.

Decades later, the choices of that long-ago season still reverberate for Betty, now known as Boop. Especially when her granddaughter comes to her with a dilemma that echoes Boop’s memories of first love, broken hearts, and faraway dreams. It’s time to finally face the past—for the sake of her family and her own happiness. Maybe in reconciling the life she once imagined with the life she’s lived, Boop will discover it’s never too late for a second chance.


Review:

Tender, nostalgic, and sentimental!

The Last Bathing Beauty is an absorbing, heartwarming tale that takes us to the shores of South Haven, Michigan during 1951 when Jewish summer camps in the Catskills of the Midwest were the place to be, girls were excited for more than just marriage, and Betty Stern and her family would never be the same.

The writing is vivid and expressive. The characters are authentic, vivacious, and sympathetic. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a delightful mix of summer fun, friendship, family, coming-of-age, secrets, heartbreak, forbidden love, familial expectations, and second chances.

Overall, The Last Bathing Beauty is a heartfelt, beguiling, charming tale by Nathan that not only reminds us that everyone that enters our lives impacts, shapes, and defines it but that love is truly ageless.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Amy Sue Nathan

Writer of novels, lover of cats, morning coffee, dark chocolate, and bold lipstick. Former vegetarian, occasional crafter, adequate cook, loyal friend, proud mom to two awesome adults.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann @katrinschumann @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #ThisTerribleBeauty

#BookReview This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann @katrinschumann @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #ThisTerribleBeauty Title: This Terrible Beauty

Author: Katrin Schumann

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Mar. 1, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 382

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the bestselling author of The Forgotten Hours comes an unforgettable story of one woman’s journey to reclaim what she lost in a country torn apart by the devastating legacy of WWII.

On the windswept shores of an East German island, Bettina Heilstrom struggles to build a life from the ashes. World War II has ended, and her country is torn apart. Longing for a family, she marries Werner, an older bureaucrat who adores her. But after joining the fledgling secret police, he is drawn deep into its dark mission and becomes a dangerous man.

When Bettina falls in love with an idealistic young renegade, Werner discovers her infidelity and forces her to make a terrible choice: spend her life in prison or leave her home forever. Either way she loses both her lover and child.

Ten years later, Bettina has reinvented herself as a celebrated photographer in Chicago, but she’s never stopped yearning for the baby she left behind. Surprised by an unexpected visitor from her past, she resolves to return to her ravaged homeland to reclaim her daughter and uncover her beloved’s fate, whatever the cost.


Review:

Captivating, pensive, and absorbing!

This Terrible Beauty is an intriguing, compelling tale that sweeps you away to East Germany following WWII when the country is still reeling with the aftermaths of war, and the new Soviet rule is causing repression, economic instability, political upheaval, social injustice, and lack of freedom.

The prose is evocative and vivid. The characters are lonely, complex, and vulnerable. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a moving tale about war, loss, familial relationships, heartbreak, guilt, desperation, betrayal, resilience, courage, hope, forbidden love, and the importance of creative expression.

Overall, This Terrible Beauty is a beautifully written, poignant, nostalgic tale that is a lovely blend of historical facts, thought-provoking fiction, and intense emotion that reminds us of the enduring power of love and the self-sacrificing, unbreakable bonds between a mother and her child.

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

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

 

About Katrin Schumann

Katrin is the Washington Post and Amazon Charts Bestselling author of "The Forgotten Hours." Her new novel, "This Terrible Beauty" is forthcoming on March 1, 2020. She studied languages at Oxford and journalism at Stanford, and is also the author of several nonfiction books. Katrin has been awarded fiction residencies from the Norman Mailer Writer’s Colony, The Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Currently the Program Coordinator of the Key West Literary Seminar, she teaches writing at GrubStreet and was an instructor in PEN's Prison Writing program. She lives in Boston and Key West.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Keep Me Afloat by Jennifer Gold @jengoldauthor @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #KeepMeAfloat

#BookReview Keep Me Afloat by Jennifer Gold @jengoldauthor @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #KeepMeAfloat Title: Keep Me Afloat

Author: Jennifer Gold

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Mar. 3, 2020

Genres: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 371

Format: Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

From the author of The Ingredients of Us comes a moving story about true love and heartbreak, mistakes and redemption, forgiveness and second chances.

Five years ago, marine biologist Abby Fisher made a mistake that cost her everything. Rather than face the consequences, she fled home to start anew—and built the career she’d always dreamed of. But when her research program runs out of funding, she’s adrift once again and decides to return to the safe harbor of her family and friends.

Except nothing at home is how she remembered.

Her friendships are strained, her normally affectionate parents seem distant, and her once-great love story is now just a painful memory. What’s worse, she keeps running into the people she hurt years ago—and they aren’t ready to forgive her.

Abby is determined to atone for her mistakes, but she can’t seem to move beyond her guilt for a chance of future happiness. Can Abby learn to sail through the storm, or will she remain lost at sea?

Poignant and heartfelt, Keep Me Afloat asks the question: How can you expect forgiveness from others if you can’t even forgive yourself?


Review:

Thoughtful, absorbing, and emotive!

Keep Me Afloat is a redemptive, heartfelt story that immerses you in a tale about confronting the past, accepting the things you cannot change, forgiving one’s self, taking chances, and moving on.

The writing is fluid and well turned. The characters are genuine, flawed, and supportive. And the plot is a hopeful, tender tale full of life, love, heartache, loss, grief, guilt, friendship, family, romance, community, introspection, and forgiveness.

Overall, Keep Me Afloat is a beautiful, uplifting, moving tale by Gold that reminds us that life is truly precious and even with all the ups and downs, highs and lows, it’s always meant to 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 Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jennifer Gold

Jennifer Gold writes book club fiction about the relationships of real, flawed women — love, past mistakes, redemption, and all the stuff in between. Critics at Booklist have called her characters “multifaceted” and her storylines “compelling” and “bittersweet.” Jenni is a travel-obsessed romantic and ambivert. When she’s not writing, you can find her sipping coffee, enjoying the outdoors, or curled up with a book. She loves nature documentaries and realistic hopefully-ever-afters. Jenni lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two cats.

Fans can learn more through Jenni’s newsletter, which features book-related sneak peeks, photos from her travels, and funny stories from her life on a horse farm. Jenni also loves connecting with fans on Facebook and Instagram.

Photography courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn @SuzanneRedfearn @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #InAnInstant

#BookReview In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn @SuzanneRedfearn @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #InAnInstant Title: In an Instant

Author: Suzanne Redfearn

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Mar. 1, 2020

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

A deeply moving story of carrying on even when it seems impossible.

Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.

Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?

Heartrending yet ultimately redemptive, In an Instant is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and carrying on…even when it seems impossible.


Review:

Beautiful, poignant, and incredibly heart-wrenching!

In an Instant is a tragic, pensive, moving novel that takes you into the lives of eleven people whose worlds are irrevocably changed in the blink of an eye when a fatal accident causes them to make individual decisions that will have enduring consequences.

The prose is eloquent and intense. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are complex, conflicted, and wounded. And the unique plot, narrated from beyond the grave by sixteen-year-old Finn is a compelling, sobering, emotional tale of life, love, loss, family, friendship, grief, guilt, acceptance, self-preservation, and redemption.

Overall, In an Instant will make you think, it will make you cry, and it will resonate with you long after the final page. It’s an impactful, enthralling, reflective tale by Redfearn that does a remarkable job of highlighting humanities weaknesses and emotional fragility and reminds us just how important it is to appreciate all those little things in life, the moments, the sunsets, and the shared smiles.

This book is available now. 

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of three novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, and In an Instant. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Poison Garden by A. J. Banner @ajbannerwriter @AmazonPub

#BookReview The Poison Garden by A. J. Banner @ajbannerwriter @AmazonPub Title: The Poison Garden

Author: A. J. Banner

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Oct. 22, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 208

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

A woman’s idyllic life becomes a deceptive hall of mirrors in a thriller of exquisitely constructed psychological suspense by A. J. Banner, bestselling author of The Good Neighbor.

Elise Watters seems to have it all—a blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush gardens, and a dream job running her late mother’s herbal boutique.

But on the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Elise makes a shocking discovery that turns her life upside down and casts doubt on everything she thought she knew—about her marriage, her friends, and even herself. As she treads into dangerous territory, Elise is forced to wonder: Is her whole future at stake? Or is paranoia getting the best of her?

If she is to believe what she sees, Elise has every reason to fear for her life…


Review:

Complex, twisty, and unpredictable!

The Poison Garden is an unnerving, menacing, domestic thriller that delves into all the deep, dark secrets people keep even from those closest to them and highlights just how easily people can be psychologically and emotionally manipulated.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are secretive, unstable, and troubled. And the plot, told through an unreliable narrator, builds and unravels briskly into a story filled with unexpected twists, suspicious personalities, lethal vegetation, familial drama, deception, jealousy, violence, and greed.

Overall, The Poison Garden is a sinister, tortuous, cunning tale by Banner that keeps you guessing from the very first page and is fast-paced, highly entertaining, and eerily atmospheric.

 

This novel is available on October 22, 2019.

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

                   

 

 

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

 

About A. J. Banner

A. J. Banner grew up reading Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, and other masters of love and mystery. She enjoyed sneaking thrillers from her parents' library, which gave her excellent fodder for her novels of psychological suspense, The Good Neighbor, The Twilight Wife, After Nightfall, and her upcoming release, The Poison Garden. The Good Neighbor was a #1 Kindle bestseller for 34 days in a row, and The Twilight Wife became a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller. After Nightfall has been a Kindle bestseller in several categories. Born in India and raised in North America, she always dreamed of writing gripping stories in which nothing is what it seems. She's hard at work on her next novel in her home office overlooking a Pacific Northwest forest.

Photograph from Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview #BlogTour One Last Summer by Victoria Connelly @VictoriaDarcy @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour One Last Summer by Victoria Connelly @VictoriaDarcy @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour One Last Summer by Victoria Connelly @VictoriaDarcy @rararesources Title: One Last Summer

Author: Victoria Connelly

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Feb. 5, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 302

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 8/10

They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once shared?

Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever.

First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone?

Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes.


Review:

Pensive, heart wrenching, and moving!

One Last Summer is a beautifully written, touching novel that takes us into the life of Harriet Greenleaf as she spends her last summer enjoying time with those she loves, reaping as much pleasure and joy out of each day, savouring all the little things, and having no regrets before her battle with terminal cancer comes to an end.

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

Overall, One Last Summer is a charming, insightful, bittersweet tear-jerker that does a lovely job of highlighting that life is short and should always be lived to the fullest, and that true friendship is supportive, unconditional, powerful, and endless.

 

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

 

Thank you to Victoria Connelly and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly studied English literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens.
She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.
Ms Connelly loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden, with either a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

 

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