Publisher: Pan Macmillan

#BookReview Left You Dead by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #PeterJames #LeftYouDead #RoyGrace

#BookReview Left You Dead by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #PeterJames #LeftYouDead #RoyGrace Title: Left You Dead

Author: Peter James

Series: Roy Grace #17

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jul. 1, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 512

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

NO BODY. NO TRACE.
NO CRIME?

Niall and Eden Paternoster start their Sunday the same way they always do – with a long drive, a visit to a country house and a quick stop at the local supermarket on the way home.

But this Sunday ends differently – because while Niall waits and waits in the car park for Eden to pick up supplies, Eden never returns. She’s not waiting for him at home, and none of their family or friends have heard from her.

Gone without a trace, Niall is arrested on suspicion of her murder. When DS Roy Grace is called in to investigate, it doesn’t take long to realize that nothing is quite as it seems – and this might be his most mysterious case yet . . .

Sunday Times number one bestseller Peter James returns with the latest installment in his award-winning Roy Grace novels – now a major TV series.


Review:

Intricate, twisty, and clever!

Left You Dead is a well written, perfectly paced police procedural that sees Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and his team investigating the sudden disappearance of Eden Paternoster, a young woman who seems to have vanished without a trace after her husband dropped her off at a local Tesco, and even though the husband seems to be the most likely suspect from the very start something just doesn’t seem to fit, and this case may actually be a lot more complicated than anyone could have imagined.

The writing is effortless and smooth. The characters are devious, astute, and committed. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine into a mysterious tale full of twists, turns, manipulation, deception, desperation, red herrings, police politics, familial drama, and personal tragedy.

Overall, Left You Dead is addictive, crafty, slightly emotional, and unbelievably already the seventeenth novel in the Roy Grace series and even though this one is a little meatier at just over 500 pages, I still have yet to read a book by James that didn’t captivate, satisfy, and highly entertain me and I’m happy to say this latest one is also no exception.

This book is available now.

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

              

 

 

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

 

About Peter James

Peter James is the international bestselling author of many award-winning novels. His Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, set in Brighton, has been translated into thirty-seven languages with worldwide sales of over eighteen million copies, and has given him eleven consecutive Sunday Times number ones. In 2015 WHSmith customers publicly voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he became the recipient of the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence. Peter has also written a short story collection, A Twist of the Knife, and his standalone titles include Perfect People and The House on Cold Hill. He has also co-written a non-fiction account of Brighton’s toughest cases with former detective Graham Bartlett entitled Death Comes Knocking. The Perfect Murder, Dead Simple and Not Dead Enough have all been turned into smash-hit stage plays. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police. Three of his novels have been filmed and before becoming a full-time author he produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton in Sussex.

#BookReview The Promise by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #ThePromise #LucyDiamond

#BookReview The Promise by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #ThePromise #LucyDiamond Title: The Promise

Author: Lucy Diamond

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jun. 29, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

The Promise is an unforgettable story about finding love, hope and joy in even the darkest moments, by the Sunday Times bestseller Lucy Diamond, author of The Secrets of Happiness.

When faced with the sudden death of his brother, Dan’s mission is clear. He puts together a project to help pick up the pieces and support his grieving sister-in-law Zoe, plus her young children. This is Dan’s promise – to ensure his family’s happiness and to try and live up to the man his brother was.

But tying up loose ends brings a shocking secret to light, and calls into question everything Dan knew about his older brother. With more than just his promise on the line, Dan is faced with an ultimatum: Should he tell the truth and risk his family’s fragile happiness, or will his brother’s secrets end up becoming his own?


Review:

Touching, sweet, and poignant!

The Promise is a tender, moving tale that immerses you into the lives of the Sheppard family as they navigate the shock, heartache, sorrow, tears, guilt, regret, and shattering secrets that come to life after the sudden death of Patrick, their perfect husband, father, brother and son.

The prose is heartfelt and immersive. The characters are flawed, devastated, and torn. And the plot is an absorbing tale about life, loss, family, secrets, relationship dynamics, introspection, redemption, moving on, taking chances, and finding happiness.

Overall, The Promise is a captivating, hopeful, slightly mysterious tale by Diamond that could have been slighter shorter but was nevertheless a lovely, somewhat solemn reminder of all the messy, emotional, complicated ups and downs associated with unimaginable loss and grief uniquely told predominately from a male perspective.

 

This novel is available now.

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

          

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lucy Diamond

Lucy Diamond lives in Bath, England with her husband and their three children. She has penned numerous bestselling novels, including The House of New Beginnings, The Secrets of Happiness, Summer at Shell Cottage, and The Year of Taking Chances.

#BookReview Secrets at Bletchley Park by Margaret Dickinson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #SecretsatBletchleyPark #MargaretDickinson

#BookReview Secrets at Bletchley Park by Margaret Dickinson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #SecretsatBletchleyPark #MargaretDickinson Title: Secrets at Bletchley Park

Author: Margaret Dickinson

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jun. 15, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 560

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In Secrets at Bletchley Park by Margaret Dickinson, two young women from very different backgrounds meet in the Second World War and are plunged into a life where security and discretion are paramount. But both have secrets of their own to hide.

In 1929, life for ten-year-old Mattie Price, born and raised in the back streets of Sheffield, is tough. With a petty thief for a father and a mother who turns to the bottle to cope with her husband”s brutish ways, it is left to the young girl and her brother, Joe, to feed and care for their three younger siblings. But Mattie has others rooting for her too. The Spencer family, who live at the top of the same street, and Mattie”s teachers recognize that the girl is clever beyond her years and they, and Joe, are determined that she shall have the opportunity in life she deserves.

Victoria Hamilton, living in the opulence of London”s Kensington, has all the material possessions that a young girl could want. But her mother, Grace, a widow from the Great War, is cold and distant, making no secret of the fact that she never wanted a child. Grace lives her life in the social whirl of upper-class society, leaving Victoria in the care of her governess and the servants. At eleven years old, Victoria is sent to boarding school where, for the first time in her young life, she is able to make friends of her own age. Mattie and Victoria are both set on a path that will bring them together at Bletchley Park in May 1940. An unlikely friendship between the two young women is born and together they will face the rest of the war keeping the nation”s secrets and helping to win the fight. They can tell no one, not even their families, about their work or even where they are. But keeping secrets is second nature to both of them.


Review:

Captivating, sentimental, and cosy!

Secrets at Bletchley Park is a heartwarming, uplifting tale that takes you into the lives of two main characters who come from completely different backgrounds but whose shared work at Bletchley Park during WWII makes them the unlikeliest but best of friends. Victoria Hamilton, a young girl who has all the things money can buy but lacks the love she so desperately desires, and Mattie Price, a girl from an impoverished, broken background who blossoms under the support and kindness of those who surround her.

The writing is sweet and tender. The characters are intelligent, helpful, and kind. And the plot is an engaging tale of life, loss, love, family, secrets, heartbreak, community, romance, and the power of friendship.

Overall, Secrets at Bletchley Park is a charming, compelling, nostalgic tale by Dickinson that I think is a lovely choice for anyone looking to be swept away into a heartfelt storyline with rich characterization.

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Margaret Dickinson

Born in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, Margaret Dickinson moved to the coast at the age of seven and so began her love for the sea and the Lincolnshire landscape. Her ambition to be a writer began early and she had her first novel published at the age of twenty-five. This was followed by many further titles including Plough the Furrow, Sow the Seed and Reap the Harvest, which make up her Lincolnshire Fleethaven Trilogy. She is also the author of Fairfield Hall, Jenny's War and The Clippie Girls. Margaret is a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.

Photo courtesy of Author's Facebook Page.

#BookReview City of Vengeance by D. V. Bishop @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #CityofVengeance #DVBishop #CesareAldoSeries

#BookReview City of Vengeance by D. V. Bishop @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #CityofVengeance #DVBishop #CesareAldoSeries Title: City of Vengeance

Author: D. V. Bishop

Series: Cesare Aldo #1

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 4, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

City of Vengeance is an explosive debut historical thriller by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence.

Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth.

Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most feared criminal court, is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany – or suffer the consequences.

During his investigations Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the volatile ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. If the Duke falls, it will endanger the whole city. But a rival officer of the court is determined to expose details about Aldo’s private life that could lead to his ruin. Can Aldo stop the conspiracy before anyone else dies, or will his own secrets destroy him first?


Review:

Mysterious, gritty, and atmospheric!

City of Vengeance is a dramatic, alluring tale that takes us back to Renaissance Florence in the winter of 1536 and into the life of Cesare Aldo, an officer of the Otto, as he struggles to investigate the murder of Jewish moneylender, Samuele Levi, expose a coup to once and for all remove Alessandro de’ Medici from power, and protect himself from a bigoted coworker intent on exposure.

The prose is authentic and fluid. The characters are complex, relentless, and intriguing. And the plot is a compelling, sinister tale full of life, loss, duty, friendship, coercion, deception, dissension, conspiracies, discrimination, political strife, violence, and murder.

Overall, City of Vengeance is a richly described, absorbing, well-written tale by Bishop that grabs you from the very first page and is a wonderful start to a series, Cesare Aldo, that blends two of my favourite genres, historical fiction and mystery, and interweaves it with a thread of all the weaknesses and vulnerabilities that ultimately make us human.

This novel is available now.

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

                  

 

 

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

 

About D. V. Bishop

D. V. Bishop is the author of the Cesare Aldo mysteries set in Renaissance Florence, and published by Pan Macmillan.

An award-winning screenwriter and TV dramatist, his love for the city of Florence and the Renaissance period meant there could only be one setting for his crime-fiction debut.

City of Vengeance won the Pitch Perfect competition at the Bloody Scotland crime fiction festival in 2018, and D. V. Bishop was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship by the Scottish Book Trust while writing the novel.

He is currently finishing the second novel in the Cesare Aldo mysteries.

Photo by Paul Reich.

#BookReview The Hidden Wife by Joanna Rees @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheHiddenWife #JoannaRees #AStitchinTiime

#BookReview The Hidden Wife by Joanna Rees @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheHiddenWife #JoannaRees #AStitchinTiime Title: The Hidden Wife

Author: Joanna Rees

Series: A Stitch in Time #2

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 4, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

The Hidden Wife by Joanna Rees is the second novel in A Stitch in Time – a sweeping historical trilogy.

Paris, 1928

Having fled London and been on the run around Europe, Vita Casey has established a new life for herself, keeping a low profile as a dresser at a cabaret hall where Nancy is part of the risqué dance troupe. It’s a vibrant world of wild parties, drugs and jazz music.

But despite the fun, hedonistic lifestyle they lead, Vita longs for a proper career and to re-kindle her dream of designing lingerie. When an opportunity to work for famous couturier Jenny Sacerdote presents itself, Vita grabs it with both hands and is soon exposed to an altogether different side of Paris society. Before long, romance blossoms in the unlikeliest of places.

However, left to her own devices, Nancy spirals into danger and drug abuse and Vita has to save her friend. But can Vita really trust the people who want to help her? When there are those back in England who wish to see her ruined and forced to pay for the past she ran away from . . .


Review:

Stylish, devious, and intriguing!

The Hidden Wife is a dramatic, menacing tale that picks up right where The Runaway Daughter left off, taking us back into the life of Anna Darton, aka Vita Casey, as with the help of her best friend Nancy and a whole slew of newcomers tries to forget her troubled past and settle into a new life in Paris complete with a highly-coveted position working for the esteemed couturier Jenny Sacerdote.

The prose is smooth and vivid. The characters are lively, troubled, and genuine. And the story sweeps you away to 1920s Paris, where glitz and glamour abound, indulgence is rife, romance is everywhere, and companions are not always as trustworthy as they first appear.

Overall, The Hidden Wife is an immersive, suspenseful, spirited sequel in the A Stitch in Time series by Rees, and I am eagerly awaiting the publication of the third book in this sinister, historical trilogy to see how this story will ultimately conclude.

 

This novel is available on May 4, 2021.

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

             

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Joanna Rees

Joanna Rees, aka Josie Lloyd and Jo Rees, is a bestselling writer of twelve novels, including rom-coms, blockbusters and big- hearted adventures such as Come Together, Platinum and A Twist of Fate.The Runaway Daughter, published in August 2019, is the first in The Stitch in Time trilogy set in the 1920s and following the fortune of budding fashion designer and girl-about-town, Vita Casey. The second part, The Hidden Wife is out in 2020.Based in Brighton, Joanna is married to the author Emlyn Rees with whom she has three daughters. They have co-written seven novels, including the Sunday Times number one bestseller Come Together, which was translated into twenty-seven languages and made into a film. They have written three bestselling parodies of their favourite children’s books, including We’re Going On A Bar Hunt and The Teenager Who Came To Tea as well as a light-hearted activity book encouraging people to stop being addicted to their technology called Switch It Off.

Photograph from www.curtisbrown.co.uk.

#BookReview The Secret Path by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheSecretPath #KarenSwan

#BookReview The Secret Path by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheSecretPath #KarenSwan Title: The Secret Path

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 3, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Every step leads me back to you.

At just twenty years old, Tara Tremain has everything: a trainee doctor, engaged to the man of her dreams—a passionate American biology student called Alex Carter. But just when life seems perfect, Alex betrays her in the worst way possible.

Ten years later, she’s moved on, with a successful career, good friends and a man who loves her. But when she’s pulled back into her wealthy family’s orbit for an unmissable party in the heart of Costa Rica, she finds herself flung into crisis: a child is desperately ill and the only remedy is several days’ trek into the heart of the jungle.

There’s only one person who can help—but it’s the man who shattered her heart a decade before. And how can she trust him, of all people?


Review:

Absorbing, escapist, and heartwarming!

The Secret Path is an atmospheric, passionate tale that sweeps you away to the lush wilderness of Costa Rica and immerses you into the life of Dr Tara Tremain as she tries to juggle a successful career, a handsome boyfriend, a well-deserved vacation, a friend’s severely sick son in serious need of medical intervention, and the one man who shattered her heart to pieces ten years ago.

The prose is smooth and seamless. The characters are altruistic, resourceful, and scarred. And the plot is a beguiling, twisty tale of life, loss, love, familial drama, friendship, deception, heartbreak, forgiveness, danger, and romance.

Overall, The Secret Path is another emotional, entertaining, enticing tale by Swan that keeps you engaged from start to finish with its beautiful depictions of island living, tantalizing adventures, and complex, romantic entanglements.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                   

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview Sisters by Michelle Frances @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #Sisters #MichelleFrances #PGCBooks

#BookReview Sisters by Michelle Frances @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #Sisters #MichelleFrances #PGCBooks Title: Sisters

Author: Michelle Frances

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jan. 5, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Is blood really thicker than water?

Abby and Ellie were never close as children. Now in their thirties, they each harbour deep-rooted resentment for the other – Abby for her sister’s looks and her status as their mother’s favourite. Ellie meanwhile is envious of Abby’s perfect husband and picturesque home, a villa on the sun-soaked Italian island of Elba.

When Abby invites Ellie to stay, both sisters see the break as a chance to relax and put aside their differences. But with their mother Susanna there too, all the simmering tensions of the past quickly rise to the surface. And Ellie suspects that Abby and their mother are keeping a dangerous secret . . .

But after a shocking act, the sisters have only each other to rely on. Vulnerable and scared, trusting each other will be the biggest risk of all . . .


Review:

Simmering, twisty, and intricate!

Sisters is a fast-paced, character-driven, domestic thriller that takes you into the lives of two sisters, Abbie, a hardworking, overachiever and Ellie a younger, prettier, free spirit as they each grapple with sibling rivalry, enduring jealousy, resentments, and long-buried secrets that will change their lives forever.

The prose is crisp and intense. The characters are envious, secretive, and troubled. And the plot told from differing perspectives unfolds rapidly into a gripping tale full of twists, turns, surprises, familial drama, lies, greed, deception, and tragedy.

Overall, Sisters is another exhilarating, pacey, suspenseful tale by Frances that does a wonderful job of delving into all the complex, dysfunctional relationships that exist between family members and reminds us just how toxic some of them can often be.

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Michelle Frances

Michelle Frances graduated from Bournemouth Film School and then from the Masters programme at the American Film Institute, Los Angeles. Returning to London, she has worked for several years in film and TV as a script editor and producer for both the independent sector and the BBC.

Her first novel, The Girlfriend, became an international best seller.

 

#BookReview I Follow You by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #IFollowYou #PeterJames #PGCBooks

#BookReview I Follow You by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #IFollowYou #PeterJames #PGCBooks Title: I Follow You

Author: Peter James

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 17, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 386

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the number one bestselling author, Peter James, comes I Follow You, a nerve-shredding standalone thriller.

To the outside world, suave, charming and confident doctor Marcus Valentine has it all. A loving wife, three kids, a great job. But there’s something missing, there always has been. . . . or rather, someone . . .

Driving to work one morning, his mind elsewhere and not on the road, he almost mows down a female jogger on a crossing. As she runs on, Marcus is transfixed. Infatuated. She is the spitting image of a girl he was crazy about in his teens. A girl he has never been able to get out of his mind.

Lynette had dumped him harshly. For years he has fantasized about seeing her again and rekindling their flame. Might that jogger possibly be her all these years later? Could this be the most incredible coincidence?

Despite all his attempts to resist, he is consumed by cravings for this woman. And when events take a tragically unexpected turn, his obsession threatens to destroy both their worlds. But still he won’t stop. Can’t stop.


Review:

Addictive, unnerving, and suspenseful!

I Follow You is a fast-paced, sinister thriller that takes you into the life of Georgie MacLean, an avid runner whose use of social media and an online running app makes it extremely easy for the man who seems harmless and like he has it all, a beautiful wife, three darling children, and a successful career to always know when and where she will be.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are secretive, obsessive, and impulsive. And the plot is a disturbingly eerie tale of control, obsession, deception, jealousy, betrayal, depravity, senseless violence, and murder.

Overall, I Follow You is a dark, twisty, creepy page-turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish and is a wonderful reminder of just how vulnerable and susceptible our dependence on technology and social media truly makes us.

 

This book is available now.

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

              

 

 

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

 

About Peter James

Peter James is the international bestselling author of many award-winning novels. His Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, set in Brighton, has been translated into thirty-seven languages with worldwide sales of over eighteen million copies, and has given him eleven consecutive Sunday Times number ones. In 2015 WHSmith customers publicly voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he became the recipient of the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence. Peter has also written a short story collection, A Twist of the Knife, and his standalone titles include Perfect People and The House on Cold Hill. He has also co-written a non-fiction account of Brighton’s toughest cases with former detective Graham Bartlett entitled Death Comes Knocking. The Perfect Murder, Dead Simple and Not Dead Enough have all been turned into smash-hit stage plays. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police. Three of his novels have been filmed and before becoming a full-time author he produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton in Sussex.

#BookReview The Winter Secret by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheWinterSecret #LuluTaylor

#BookReview The Winter Secret by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheWinterSecret #LuluTaylor Title: The Winter Secret

Author: Lulu Taylor

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 2, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction

Pages: 544

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The Winter Secret is a thrilling mystery from Lulu Taylor, top ten bestselling author of The Snow Rose and Her Frozen Heart.

‘My dear boy, the place is cursed. It always has been and it always will be . . .’

Buttercup Redmain has a life of pampered luxury, living in beautiful Charcombe Park. Her older husband, Charles Redmain, is wealthy and successful and proud of the house he has painstakingly restored, once owned by a famous ancestor. Buttercup is surrounded by people who make her life delightfully easy. But the one thing she really wants seems impossible.

There are other discomforting realities: her husband’s ex-wife Ingrid still lives nearby although Buttercup has never met her. And it soon becomes clear that all the people who make Buttercup’s life so carefree are also watching her every move. Does she actually live in a comfortable but inescapable cage? And what is the real story of her husband’s previous marriage?

In the late 1940s, Xenia Arkadyoff lived in Charcombe Park with her father, a Russian prince, and her mother, a famous film star. Life seemed charmed, full of glamour and beauty. But behind the glittering facade lay pain, betrayal, and the truth about the woman Xenia spent her life protecting.

Now Charcombe Park is calling back people who were once part of its story, and the secrets that have stayed long hidden are bubbling inexorably to the surface . . .


Review:

Gripping, menacing, and addictive!

The Winter Secret is an unsettling, pacey, atmospheric novel about love, life, loss, secrets, power, control, friendship, family, jealousy, and tragedy.

There are two main memorable characters, Xenia, a young girl in the late 1940s whose life is anything but glamourous when her mother’s starlet lifestyle leads to a neverending rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows. And Buttercup, the present-day Mrs. Redmain whose life is pristine and wonderful until the cracks begin to appear and everything is not quite as perfect as it originally seemed.

The writing is eloquent and descriptive. The characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are distressed, vulnerable, and sympathetic, and a setting, Charcombe Park, that is a character itself with its history, grandeur, isolation, and multitude of secrets. And the plot uses a past/present, back-and-forth style to create tension and suspense as it quickly unravels all the personalities, relationships, behaviours, and motivations within it.

Overall, The Winter Secret is a clever, haunting, absorbing novel that swept me away to a country estate marred by both cruelty and love and immersed me in a story rife with deception and obsession.

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lulu Taylor

Lulu Taylor moved around the world as a child before her family settled in the Oxfordshire countryside. She studied English at Oxford University and had a successful career in publishing before becoming a writer. Her first novel, Heiresses was published in 2007 and nominated for the RNA Readers' Choice award. It was followed by Midnight Girls, Beautiful Creatures, Outrageous Fortune, The Winter Folly, The Snow Angel, The Winter Children, and The Snow Rose. She lives in Dorset, England, with her husband and two children.

Photograph by Alicia Clarke.

#BookReview Together by Christmas by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #TogetherbyChristmas #KarenSwan

#BookReview Together by Christmas by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #TogetherbyChristmas #KarenSwan Title: Together by Christmas

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 3, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Canadian bestseller Karen Swan returns with another moving, surprising and heartwarming novel for the holiday season.

When Lee first came to Amsterdam, it was with a newborn baby and a secret. Five years later, her life is approaching normal: her career as a celebrity photographer is flourishing, her son Jasper is growing up, and they are enjoying the run-up to Christmas with their tight circle of close friends.

But all this changes one morning when Lee finds a book in the basket of her bicycle – and scrawled inside it, a desperate message. Who left it for her, and why? Lee feels compelled to help and tracks down the book’s author, Sam. With an instant, undeniable connection it seems they might have a shot at a real future together.

Until her past comes calling. As the snow falls and ice thickens on the city’s canals, the secret Lee has never told resurfaces. Suddenly everything she holds dear hangs in the balance. Christmas is a time for being together – but what if the truth means she ends up alone?

Escape to the snow-covered streets of Amsterdam in this deeply romantic read, featuring twists, turns and characters you’ll fall in love with.


Review:

Atmospheric, festive, and powerful!

Together by Christmas is an absorbing, poignant, sensitive tale that takes you into the life of professional photographer Lee Fitch, a young, single mother whose main focus is on raising her son after years of shooting graphic photos in countries ravaged by atrocities and war has left her wounded by the nightmares and horrors she witnessed and endured there.

The writing is rich and emotive. The characters are troubled, scarred, supportive, endearing, and kind. And the plot is a bittersweet, at times heartwrenching tale of life, loss, love, family, friendship, perseverance, parenthood, guilt, courage, selflessness, war, new beginnings and the delightful history, culture, landscape, traditions, and unique holiday celebrations found in the Netherlands.

As most of you know I am a huge fan of Karen Swan and have read almost every novel she has ever written, and Together by Christmas is without a doubt another compelling, romantic, emotional tale by Swan but one with perhaps a little more grit, depth, layers and hard-hitting themes than we’ve possibly ever read by her before.

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James

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