Publisher: Pan Macmillan

#BookReview The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley @lucindariley @PGCBooks

#BookReview The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley @lucindariley @PGCBooks Title: The Olive Tree

Author: Lucinda Riley

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jul. 7, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

It has been 24 years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now-crumbling house, “Pandora,” is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family. Yet, as soon as Helena arrives at Pandora, she knows that its idyllic beauty masks a web of secrets that she has kept from William, her husband, and Alex, her son. At the difficult age of 13, Alex is torn between protecting his beloved mother, and growing up. And equally, desperate to learn the truth about his real father. When, by chance, Helena meets her childhood sweetheart, a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make her past and present collide. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same, once Pandora’s secrets have been revealed . . .


Review:

Lighthearted, mesmerizing, and genuinely heartfelt!

The Olive Tree is an engrossing tale that reminds us that life is often a messy journey complete with smiles, tears, happiness, and heartbreak.

It is set on the idyllic island of Cyprus and takes us into the lives of two main families who on the surface seem to have it all, great relationships, beautiful houses, and good kids, but over the course of one hot summer marriages will be tested, secrets will be revealed, love will be found, love will be lost, and lives will be changed forever.

The prose is expressive, sincere, and smooth. The characters are charming, multi-layered, and alluring. And the plot is a wonderful, contemporary mix of life, love, coming-of-age, humour, family dynamics, deception, and mystery that starts in the present, takes you back 10-years in the past, and finishes when the past and present collide.

There are only a few authors that no matter the theme or size of the book their stories are always filled with magical characters I can’t get enough of and stories that are so atmospheric and vivid I’m entertained, enthralled and swept away and Lucinda Riley is one of them. She has the incredible ability to take her innate knowledge of all the psychological and emotional entanglements found in nuclear families and weave them into a story you can’t put down. I absolutely loved this book and will now try my hardest to patiently await her next release, The Pearl Sister, book #4 in The Seven Sisters series due out late 2017/early 2018.

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 Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages and sold over ten million copies worldwide. She is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author.

Lucinda’s novels include The Seven Sisters, a seven-book series telling the story of adopted sisters and based allegorically on the mythology of the famous star constellation. The first three books, The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister, and The Shadow Sister have all been No.1 bestsellers across Europe, and the rights to a multi-season TV series have already been optioned by a Hollywood production company.

To read about the inspiration behind The Seven Sisters series, please visit thesevensistersseries.com

When not writing, travelling or running around after her children, she loves reading books that she hasn’t written with a glass or two of Provençal rosé!

#BookReview Among the Lemon Trees by Nadia Marks @Nadia_Marks @PGCBooks

#BookReview Among the Lemon Trees by Nadia Marks @Nadia_Marks @PGCBooks Title: Among the Lemon Trees

Author: Nadia Marks

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jun. 30, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

She had thought that they would be together forever, but Max’s betrayal leaves Anna questioning their marriage and fearing the future.

So when her elderly widowed father invites her to spend the summer with him on the small Aegean island of his birth, Anna agrees – unaware that a chance discovery is about to unleash a host of family secrets. Kept hidden for sixty years, they reveal a torrent of events, beginning in Greece at the beginning of the 20th century and ending in Naples at the close of the Second World War.

Confronted by their family’s long-buried truths, both father and daughter have their worlds turned upside down and Anna begins to realise that, if she is ever to heal the present, she must first understand the past . . .


Review:

Heartwarming, intriguing and touching!

Among the Lemon Trees is predominantly set on a small Aegean island in the Mediterranean and is the story of Anna, a middle-aged woman who decides to accompany her father home to Greece after her husband’s infidelity and finds herself not only engaging in some deep introspection about her own life but also uncovering some family mysteries and secrets that have remained buried for decades.

The writing is light and fluid. The characters are multi-faceted, gregarious, and forgiving. And the plot is written in a back and forth, past/present style that captivates and engages you as it sweeps you along through a tale of love, loss, family, war, betrayal, regret, deception and the true meaning of home.

Overall, Among the Lemon Trees is a nice, easy, enjoyable read about love in all it’s forms, passionate, unconditional, family, and friendship with a picturesque backdrop and an authentic feel that will certainly leave you daydreaming of sunshine, lazy days, and fresh olives.

 

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 Nadia Marks

Nadia Marks (ne Kitromilides,) was born in Cyprus, but grew up in London. An ex creative director and associate editor on a number of leading British women’s magazines, she is now a novelist and works as a freelance writer for several national and international publications. She has written for the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Express, the Independent, the Royal Photographic Society Journal, Psychologies, In Style magazine and others. For Europe and abroad she has contributed to Italian Vanity Fair, Brazilian Vogue, Greek and Australian Marie Claire, to the biggest Greek Sunday newspaper Vima, and the glossy Greek Cypriot lifestyle magazines Omikron and Must.

#BookReview Need You Dead by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks

#BookReview Need You Dead by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks Title: Need You Dead

Author: Peter James

Series: Roy Grace #13

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 30, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award-winning author Peter James, faces his most mysterious case yet in Need You Dead.

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.


Review:

Intelligent, extremely fast-paced and wonderfully unpredictable!

This is a skillfully executed, perfectly crafted police procedural that sees Detective Superintendent Roy Grace leaving Temporary Detective Inspector Guy Batchelor in charge of the latest murder while he heads to Germany to meet the son he never knew he had, but as often is the case this investigation may not be as open-and-shut as first believed and may just get a little bit more complicated before the case is closed.

The writing is fluid, seamless and structured in an easy to follow timeline. The characters are well-developed, varied and realistic. And the plot is told from differing points-of-view and jam-packed with suspense, twists, suspects, violence, and murder that will keep you riveted from start to finish.

I have to admit I am probably one of the few people on the planet, or at least one in 18 million 😉, who hasn’t read a Peter James book before. And when you read as many books as I do in a year, close to 300, you tend to pick up on or at least guess the ending long before you get there and I thought that this book was no exception. After the first quarter I was pretty confident I had figured out where the story was going and as the story progressed I got more and more confident I had pegged it, but you know what Mr. Peter James, congratulations, YOU GOT ME! This is definitely one of my favourite mysteries of the year and you surely have a new fan in me. I not only devoured this book but loved it from beginning to end and if you haven’t guessed by now I highly recommend it!

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 and Peter James 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 Rome Affair by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks

#BookReview The Rome Affair by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks Title: The Rome Affair

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 2, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Another compulsive, page-turning novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Paris Secret.

The glamorous capital city of Italy is brought to startling life in The Rome Affair, a compelling summer novel by Karen Swan.

1974 and Elena Damiani lives a gilded life. Born to wealth and a noted beauty, no door is closed to her, no man can resist her. At twenty-six, she is already onto her third husband when she meets her love match. But he is the one man she can never have, and all the beauty and money in the world can’t change it.

2017 and Francesca Hackett is living la dolce vita in Rome, leading tourist groups around the Eternal City and forgetting the ghosts she left behind in London. When she finds a stolen designer handbag in her dustbin and returns it, she is brought into the orbit of her grand neighbour who lives across the piazza – famed socialite Viscontessa Elena dei Damiani Pignatelli della Mirandola. Though the purse is stolen, Elena greets the return of the bag with exultation for it contains an unopened letter written by her husband on his deathbed, twelve years earlier.

Mutually intrigued by each other, the two women agree to collaborate on a project, with Cesca interviewing Elena for her memoirs. As summer unfurls, Elena tells her sensational stories, leaving Cesca in her thrall. But when a priceless diamond ring found in an ancient tunnel below the city streets is ascribed to Elena, Cesca begins to suspect a shocking secret at the heart of Elena’s life.


Review:

Brilliantly clever, mesmerizing, and unequivocally unputdownable!

This is an absorbing, enigmatic tale about all-consuming love; the lengths we will go for it and the unimaginable and limitless things we will do in the name of it.

It is predominantly set in the idyllic city of Rome and takes us into the lives of the rich and glamorous and reminds us that not everything is always as it seems and behind the majestic palaces, priceless jewels and designer clothes often lives a lot of loneliness, deception, sex, temptation, secrets, scandals, heartbreak and tragedy.

The prose is expressive, vivid and flawless. The characters are multi-layered, sympathetic and unique. And the plot is a wondrous travel guide to the city of Rome itself, the culture, the history, the food; as well as an intriguing mystery, an emotional drama and a beautiful love story.

Karen Swan’s books always entertain me, beguile me and transport me to another time and place and immerse me so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and stories of her characters that I never want to leave and this novel is no exception. I loved this story and I can honestly tell you I will be patiently or not so patiently be eagerly awaiting her next novel.

If you haven’t checked out my review for Karen Swan’s previous title “The Paris Secret”, you can find it out HERE, and if you haven’t read anything by Karen Swan before you’re definitely missing out!

The first paperback will be available on May 2, 2017 and other editions will be available shortly thereafter.

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

             

 

 

Thank you to Karen Swan and PGC Books 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 The Paris Secret by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks

#BookReview The Paris Secret by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks Title: The Paris Secret

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 10, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Not every door should be opened . . .

With stunning locations and page-turning tension, The Paris Secret is an intense and gripping tale from bestselling author Karen Swan.

Somewhere along the cobbled streets of Paris, an apartment lies thick with dust and secrets: full of priceless artworks hidden away for decades.

High-flying fine art agent Flora from London, more comfortable with the tension of a million-pound auction than a cosy candlelit dinner for two, is called in to assess these suddenly discovered treasures. As an expert in her field, she must trace the history of each painting and discover who has concealed them for so long.

Thrown in amongst the glamorous Vermeil family as they move between Paris and Antibes, Flora begins to discover that things aren’t all that they seem, while back at home her own family is recoiling from a seismic shock. The terse and brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on forcing Flora out of his family’s affairs – but just what is he hiding?


Review:

Compelling, emotional and deliciously mysterious!

This is a riveting tale that sweeps us into the glamorous world of art and takes us on a journey to find the true provenance of precious paintings that have been concealed for decades.

The story is predominantly set in Paris during both the latter part of WWII, as well as present day and is filled with mystique, familial drama, heartbreak, secrets, deception, history, abuse, self discovery, exotic locales and of course a little bit of romance.

The prose is precise and vividly descriptive. The characters are complex, independent and affluent. And the plot uses a present/past style to not only build suspense and tension, but to create depth and understanding to the personalities, motivations and relationships within it.

I have to admit that when it comes to Karen Swan I’m a little bit biased. I’m a huge fan (as you can see)! To me her books are like a cosy jumper, every time I pick one up I know I can snuggle down for the whole day and be immersed in a story that will captivate me, make me smile, probably make me laugh, and possibly even make me cry and this one was no exception.

 

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 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 Exposure by Aga Lesiewicz @Aga_Lesiewicz @PGCBooks

#BookReview Exposure by Aga Lesiewicz @Aga_Lesiewicz @PGCBooks Title: Exposure

Author: Aga Lesiewicz

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Mar. 24, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

You know that feeling. Your life’s on track and all is going well. And then something monumental occurs that turns everything on its head. It happens to everyone but, for Kristin Ryder, it was much, much worse . . .

When up-and-coming photographer Kristin begins to receive anonymous emails, her life in a trendy loft in London’s Hoxton with Anton, her ultra-cool, street-artist boyfriend, suddenly begins to feel unsafe. The emails come with sinister attachments that suggest the sender has an intimate knowledge of Kristin’s past, and soon her life spirals out of control.

Who can she trust? And will she be able to discover the sender’s identity before it’s too late?

Breathtaking and shocking, Exposure by Aga Lesiewicz will grip you until the last snap of the camera shutter.


Review:

Gripping, edgy and dark!

This is a character-driven psychological thriller that illustrates just how vulnerable our technological dependence makes us and how quickly life can change.

The story is set in London and is told from the perspective of Kristin, a photographer with incredible talent who suddenly finds herself in a lacklustre career with an unfaithful partner and a tenacious stalker who seems to be everywhere.

The writing is crisp. The plot is fast-paced, suspenseful and a relentless thrill ride of multiple suspects and precarious situations, as well as some intriguing glimpses into the world of street art, photography and metropolis sights and sounds. And, generally, the characterization is well done, with an assortment of characters that are troubled, intense and layered.  However, I do have to admit that the poor choices and decisions occasionally made by the main character seemed a little unbelievable even given the circumstances and caused me at times to lose some sympathy and connection with her.

This is Lesiewicz’s second novel and it is definitely an entertaining, riveting read that will keep you guessing for quite some time.

 

The book is available now and available in Canada on March 24, 2017.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboB&NBook Depository

 

 

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

 

About Aga Lesiewicz

Aga Lesiewicz lives in London, which has been her professional and spiritual home for over thirty years. She has worked as a radio presenter, voice-over artist, interpreter, screenwriter and, most recently, a TV producer and director. A freak knee injury in 2013 led to a change in her career and prompted her to write her first book ‘Rebound’. Her second novel ‘Exposure’ will be out in 2017.

#BookReview City of Friends by Joanna Trollope #JoannaTrollope @PGCBooks

#BookReview City of Friends by Joanna Trollope #JoannaTrollope @PGCBooks Title: City of Friends

Author: Joanna Trollope

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Mar. 24, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

She glanced at her phone again. There were appeals from the girls, from her colleagues, a text from Steve reading with uncharacteristic imperiousness, ‘Call me.’ She couldn’t. She couldn’t call anyone . . . She leaned forward, gripping the edge of the bench, and stared at the ground. God, she thought, am I losing my mind? Is this what happens when you lose your job? 

The day Stacey Grant loses her job feels like the last day of her life. Or at least, the only life she’d ever known. For who was she if not a City high-flyer, Senior Partner at one of the top private equity firms in London? As Stacey starts to reconcile her old life with the new—one without professional achievements or meetings, but instead, long days at home with her dog and ailing mother, waiting for her successful husband to come home—she at least has The Girls to fall back on. Beth, Melissa and Gaby. The girls, now women, had been best friends from the early days of university right through their working lives, and through all the happiness and heartbreaks in between. But these career women all have personal problems of their own, and when Stacey’s redundancy forces a betrayal to emerge that was supposed to remain secret, their long cherished friendships will be pushed to their limits.


Review:

Thought-provoking, intriguing and deeply moving!

This is Joanna Trollope’s twentieth novel and once again she has written a mature story that delves into the complexities and inevitability of change on relationships, both familial and friendship, graciously.

The characters are strong, ambitious, troubled and real. The prose is smooth and sophisticated. And the plot is an engaging mix of depth, emotion, determination, acceptance, communication, love and support.

Overall I would have to say this is an enjoyable, satisfying story that highlights the difficulties and struggles women still face today when juggling high-powered careers, marriage and motherhood and reminds us how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go.

 

This novel is available March 24, 2017.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook DepositoryKobo

 

 

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

 

About Joanna Trollope

Joanna Trollope is the author of twenty highly acclaimed and bestselling novels, including City of Friends, Friday Nights, Second Honeymoon, and The Other Family. She was appointed OBE in 1996, and a trustee of the UK National Literacy Trust in 2012. She has chaired the Whitbread and Orange Awards, as well as being a judge of many other literature prizes; she has been part of two DCMS panels on public libraries and is patron of numerous charities, including Meningitis Now, and Chawton House Library. In 2014, she updated Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility as the opening novel in the Austen Project.

#BookReview The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks

#BookReview The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks Title: The House of New Beginnings

Author: Lucy Diamond

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Feb. 24, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

Number 11, Dukes Square, looks just like the other houses on the Brighton seafront: a Regency terrace with elegant sash windows, a winding staircase, and post piled up in the hall for its tenants. It might be part of the city’s history, but it’s also a place of brand new beginnings.

Georgie has followed her childhood sweetheart to Brighton but is determined to carve out a career for herself in journalism. Throwing herself into the city’s delights is fun and exciting, but before she knows it, she’s sliding into all kinds of trouble . . . 

Charlotte’s in the city for a new start, hoping to keep her head down and somehow get over the heartbreaking loss she’s suffered in the past. But Margot, the stylish old lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.

A terrible revelation sent Rosa running from London to start again as a sous chef. The work is gruelling and thankless but it’s a distraction at least . . . until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her on her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa’s passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?

As the three tenants find each other, it’s as if a whole new chapter of their lives has begun. The House of New Beginnings is a moving and uplifting novel from bestselling author Lucy Diamond.


Review:

Absorbing, beguiling, and incredibly touching!

This is a heartwarming story that reminds us to always live life to the fullest and never be afraid to try something new.

The prose is effortless. The plot is a wonderful blend of heart, humour and hope. And the characterization is spot on with a wonderful cast of characters, including some strong, determined, courageous women who learn through compassion and friendship to let go of the past and embrace the future.

This is, ultimately, a story about dreams, heartbreak, goals, loss, love and finding one’s true self and I absolutely adored it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and in the end it left me smiling.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook DepositoryKobo

 

 

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.

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