Publisher: St. Martin's Press

#BookReview Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen @SarahAddisonAll @StMartinsPress #OtherBirdsNovel #SarahAddisonAllen #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencer

#BookReview Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen @SarahAddisonAll @StMartinsPress #OtherBirdsNovel #SarahAddisonAllen #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencer Title: Other Birds

Author: Sarah Addison Allen

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 30, 2022

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 10/10

From the acclaimed author of Garden Spells comes an enchanting tale of lost souls, lonely strangers, secrets that shape us, and how the right flock can guide you home.

Down a narrow alley in the small coastal town of Mallow Island, South Carolina, lies a stunning cobblestone building comprised of five apartments. It’s called The Dellawisp and it is named after the tiny turquoise birds who, alongside its human tenants, inhabit an air of magical secrecy.

When Zoey Hennessey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment at The Dellawisp, she meets her quirky, enigmatic neighbors including a girl on the run, a grieving chef whose comfort food does not comfort him, two estranged middle-aged sisters, and three ghosts. Each with their own story. Each with their own longings. Each whose ending isn’t yet written.

When one of her new neighbors dies under odd circumstances the night Zoey arrives, she is thrust into the mystery of The Dellawisp, which involves missing pages from a legendary writer whose work might be hidden there. She soon discovers that many unfinished stories permeate the place, and the people around her are in as much need of healing from wrongs of the past as she is. To find their way they have to learn how to trust each other, confront their deepest fears, and let go of what haunts them.

Delightful and atmospheric, Other Birds is filled with magical realism and moments of pure love that won’t let you go. Sarah Addison Allen shows us that between the real and the imaginary, there are stories that take flight in the most extraordinary ways.


Review:

Charming, poignant, and beautifully written!

Other Birds is an emotionally-charged, moving tale that takes you into the lives of a handful of people, including the kind, independent Zoey Hennessey, as their worlds are irrevocably changed when the sudden death of a long-term resident has them finally sharing their time, secrets, and heartbreaking pasts.

The prose is lyrical and expressive. The characters are complex, scarred, and conflicted. And the plot is a compelling, sobering tale of life, loss, family, friendship, grief, guilt, denial, secrets, abuse, neglect, self-preservation, loneliness, and the importance of learning to love and be loved.

Overall, Other Birds made me think, made me cry, and resonated with me long after the final page. It’s an immersive, impactful, hopeful tale by Allen that combines exceptional character development with the magic of the supernatural to weave a heart-tugging, bittersweet story steeped in an abundance of loneliness, optimism, tenderness, and pain.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Addison Allen

SARAH ADDISON ALLEN is the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, The Peach Keeper, and Lost Lake. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina.

Photo Credit: Katie Linsky Shaw

#BookReview Stay Awake by Megan Goldin @megangoldin @StMartinsPress #StayAwake #MeganGoldin #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Stay Awake by Megan Goldin @megangoldin @StMartinsPress #StayAwake #MeganGoldin #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Stay Awake

Author: Megan Goldin

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 9, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers―a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget―permanently.

In the vein of SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and Christopher Nolan’s cult classic Memento, Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that plays with memory and murder.


Review:

Tight, sinister, and gripping!

Stay Awake is a propulsive, intense mystery that introduces us to Liv Reese, a disoriented, troubled young woman who, after waking in the back of a cab with a pocket full of cash, a bloodied knife, arms covered in messages to not fall asleep, and no idea how she got there, finds herself visiting old jaunts and doing whatever she can to try and remember and piece together the last two years of her life since the day her life was violently turned upside down and her memories all but disappeared.

The writing is taut and brisk. The characters are resourceful, confused, and persistent. And the plot told using a mixture of flashbacks and alternating POVs unravels quickly into an intricate, action-packed tale full of twists, turns, secrets, surprises, questionable personalities, duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, parasitic relationships, violence, and ruthless murder.

Overall, Stay Awake is an unpredictable, chilling, entertaining tale by Goldin that was a little nutty in all the best ways while also being engaging, engrossing and impossible to put down.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Megan Goldin

MEGAN GOLDIN worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. THE ESCAPE ROOM was her debut novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Can’t Look Away by Carola Lovering @StMartinsPress #CantLookAway #CarolaLovering #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Can’t Look Away by Carola Lovering @StMartinsPress #CantLookAway #CarolaLovering #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Can't Look Away

Author: Carola Lovering

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 14, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In 2013, twenty-three-year old Molly Diamond is a barista, dreaming of becoming a writer. One night at a concert in East Williamsburg, she locks eyes with the lead singer, Jake Danner, and can’t look away. Molly and Jake fall quickly and deeply in love, especially after he writes a hit song about her that puts his band on the map.

Nearly a decade later, Molly has given up writing and is living in Flynn Cove, Connecticut with her young daughter and her husband Hunter—who is decidedly not Jake Danner. Their life looks picture-perfect, but Molly is lonely; she feels out of place with the other women in their wealthy suburb, and is struggling to conceive their second child. When Sabrina, a newcomer in town, walks into the yoga studio where Molly teaches and confesses her own fertility struggles, Molly believes she’s finally found a friend.

But Sabrina has her own reasons for moving to Flynn Cove and befriending Molly. And as Sabrina’s secrets are slowly unspooled, her connection to Molly becomes clearer––as do secrets of Molly’s own, which she’s worked hard to keep buried.

Meanwhile, a new version of Jake’s hit song is on the radio, forcing Molly to confront her past and ask the ultimate questions: What happens when life turns out nothing like we thought it would, when we were young and dreaming big? Does growing up mean choosing with your head, rather than your heart? And do we ever truly get over our first love?


Review:

Brisk, sinister, and tight!

Can’t Look Away is a gripping psychological thriller that takes you on a journey into the life of the sweet, lonely Molly Hunter as she juggles living in a small community, being a caring wife and mother, ongoing struggles with infertility, memories of an all-consuming relationship that changed her life forever, and a new friend who is too good to be true.

The prose is crisp and tense. The characters are secretive, troubled, and vulnerable. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth, past/present style, intertwines and unravels quickly into a menacing tale of family, friendship, deception, lies, drama, manipulation, jealousy, secrets, revelations, tragedy, betrayal, and young love.

Overall, Can’t Look Away is another taut, tortuous, riveting tale by Lovering that highlights just how fine the line between love and obsession can truly be and reminds us that every choice, good or bad, always has a consequence.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Carola Lovering

Carola Lovering is the author of TELL ME LIES (Atria Books) and TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE (St. Martin's Press). She attended Colorado College, and her writing has appeared in W Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Yoga Journal, among other publications. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner @NatalieMJenner @StMartinsPress #BloomsburyGirls #NatalieJenner #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner @NatalieMJenner @StMartinsPress #BloomsburyGirls #NatalieJenner #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Bloomsbury Girls

Author: Natalie Jenner

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 17, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 370

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare book store that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiance was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances – most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she’s been working to support the family following her husband’s breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she’s working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time – Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others – these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.


Review:

Nostalgic, heartwarming, and tender!

Bloomsbury Girls is a sweet, sentimental tale that sweeps you away to post-WWII London and into the lives of three main characters. Evie Stone, a young Cambridge graduate who begins work in the rare books department of Bloomsbury Books after being denied a coveted research position by the old boys at the university, Vivien Lowry, a sophisticated woman who spends her days in the fiction section grieving the loss of her fiancé during the war and yearning to become a successful writer herself, and Grace Perkins, a secretary and mother of two boys who would love to escape her loveless, controlling marriage and gain a little independence of her own.

The writing is expressive and sweet. The characters are determined, independent, and progressive. And the plot is a cosy tale about life, love, loss, family, friendship, female inequality, literary greats, hopes, dreams, and new beginnings.

Overall, Bloomsbury Girls is a light, charming, engaging novel by Jenner that was a delight to read with its abundance of self-discovery, female friendships, and cameos by some of the most famous authors of all time.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Natalie Jenner

Natalie Jenner was born in England and emigrated to Canada as a young child. She obtained her B.A. and her LL.B. from the University of Toronto, where she was the 1990 Gold Medalist in English Literature at St. Michael's College, and was Called to the Bar of Ontario in 1995. In addition to a brief career as a corporate lawyer, Natalie has worked as a recruiter, career coach, and consultant to leading law firms in Canada for over two decades. Most recently Natalie founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. A lifelong devotee of all things Jane Austen, "The Jane Austen Society" is her first published novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview My Wife is Missing by D.J. Palmer @djpalmerauthor @StMartinsPress #MyWifeisMissing #DJPalmer #StMarinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview My Wife is Missing by D.J. Palmer @djpalmerauthor @StMartinsPress #MyWifeisMissing #DJPalmer #StMarinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: My Wife is Missing

Author: D.J. Palmer

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 10, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

A family vacation turns into a nightmare for Michael Hart when he discovers his wife and two children have disappeared from their New York City hotel room. Horrified, he fears they’ve been kidnapped. Michael’s frantic search to find them takes a shocking turn when he discovers that his wife, Natalie, appears to have left quite willingly, taking their children with her. The police want to know why, and so does Michael. But there may be a reason why Natalie ran, something Michael can’t tell the police―the truth about his past.

While untangling his deceptions might be the key to locating Natalie, Michael knows it could also be his undoing. To find his wife, he must now turn to the one person capable of exposing all that he’s been hiding. Natalie thinks she has Michael all figured out and has hatched a plan to escape from him permanently. One detail, though, threatens to derail her efforts: sleep―or more accurately, the lack of it. Since the moment the shocking revelations about her husband came to light, Natalie’s insomnia has worsened to the point that she now suffers from delusions.

Are her fears about Michael valid―or a symptom of her condition? With her children’s lives at risk, the stakes for Natalie could not be higher. On her own, running low on energy and resources, avoiding increasingly close calls with Michael―who is on the hunt and closing in fast―Natalie needs someone to turn to for help. But who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself?


Review:

Clever, twisty, and well written!

My Wife is Missing is an intricate, perfectly paced thriller that takes us into the life of Michael Hart, a husband and father of two who finds his life turned upside down when he returns from picking up a pizza for dinner only to find his wife and children missing from the hotel and only his son’s beloved bear left behind as evidence that they were ever even there.

The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters are astute, devious, and committed. And the plot unravels briskly into a sinister tale full of twists, turns, manipulation, deception, desperation, jealousy, red herrings, familial drama, marital strife, tragedy, and murder.

Overall, My Wife is Missing is an intricate, crafty, addictive read by Palmer that captivated, satisfied, and highly entertained me and was a good reminder that things are never quite what they seem, and behind closed doors nobody really knows what happens.

 

This book is available now.

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

              

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About D.J. Palmer

D.J. PALMER is the author of numerous critically acclaimed suspense novels. He received his master’s degree from Boston University and after a career in e-commerce he shifted gears to writing full time. He lives by the ocean in Massachusetts where he is working on his current novel. Besides writing, DJ enjoys yoga, songwriting, and family time with his two children and his ever faithful dog.

Photo by Ron Cowie.

#BookReview The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrews @StMartinsPress #TheHomewreckers #MaryKayAndrews #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrews @StMartinsPress #TheHomewreckers #MaryKayAndrews #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Homewreckers

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 3, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Women's Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Summer begins with Mary Kay Andrews, in this delightful summer listen about flipping houses, and finding true love.

Hattie Kavanaugh went to work helping clean up restored homes for Kavanaugh & Son Restorations at 18; married the boss’s son at 20; and was only 25 when her husband, Hank, was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Broken hearted, but determined to continue the business of their dreams, she takes the life insurance money, buys a small house in a gentrifying neighborhood, flips it, then puts the money into her next project. But that house is a disaster and a money-loser, which rocks her confidence for years to come. Then, Hattie gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: star in a beach house renovation reality show called The Homewreckers, cast against a male lead who may be a love interest, or may be the ultimate antagonist. It’s a question of who will flip, and who will flop, and will Hattie ever get her happily-ever-after.

Filled with Mary Kay Andrews’s trademark wit, warmth, junking trips, and house porn, The Homewreckers is a summer beach delight.


Review:

Comedic, mischievous, and fun!

The Homewreckers is a charming, summery read that takes you just outside of Savannah, Georgia and into the life of Hattie Kavanaugh as she meanders through all sorts of highs and lows from being a young widow, losing her savings on a house that was unfixable, a contract to become a new reality tv home improvement star, the discovery of a body that may be that of a missing school teacher from seventeen years ago, and a blossoming attraction to the show’s creator/producer, Mo Lopez.

The prose is tight and witty. The characters are endearing, quirky, and amusing. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine into an irresistibly heartwarming tale of life, loss, grief, heartbreak, murder, friendship, tricky mishaps, dangerous situations, drama, community, family, and love.

Overall, The Homewreckers is another refreshing, entertaining, enjoyable treat by Andrews that lived up to all my expectations and was without a doubt the perfect read to make it feel like summer.

 

This novel is available now.

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

 

           

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the pen name of American writer Kathy Hogan Trocheck, based in Atlanta, who has authored a number of best-selling books under the Andrews pen name since 2002.

Trochek graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree in 1976. She worked as a reporter at a number of papers, and spent 11 years as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before leaving to write fiction full-time in 1991. She published ten mystery novels under her own name between 1992 and 2000, and switched to the Andrews pen name in 2002 to author Savannah Blues, which marked a change in her style to more Southern-flavored themes.

#BookReview Last Dance on the Starlight Pier by Sarah Bird @sarahbirdwriter @StMartinsPress #LastDanceOnTheStarlightPier #SallyBird #StMarinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Last Dance on the Starlight Pier by Sarah Bird @sarahbirdwriter @StMartinsPress #LastDanceOnTheStarlightPier #SallyBird #StMarinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Last Dance on the Starlight Pier

Author: Sarah Bird

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Apr. 12, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Set during the Great Depression, Sarah Bird’s Last Dance on the Starlight Pier is a novel about one woman—and a nation—struggling to be reborn from the ashes.

July 3. 1932. Shivering and in shock, Evie Grace Devlin watches the Starlite Palace burn into the sea and wonders how she became a person who would cause a man to kill himself. She’d come to Galveston to escape a dark past in vaudeville and become a good person, a nurse. When that dream is cruelly thwarted, Evie is swept into the alien world of dance marathons. All that she has been denied—a family, a purpose, even love—waits for her there in the place she dreads most: the spotlight.

Last Dance on the Starlight Pier is a sweeping novel that brings to spectacular life the enthralling worlds of both dance marathons and the family-run empire of vice that was Galveston in the Thirties. Unforgettable characters tell a story that is still deeply resonant today as America learns what Evie learns, that there truly isn’t anything this country can’t do when we do it together. That indomitable spirit powers a story that is a testament to the deep well of resilience in us all that allows us to not only survive the hardest of hard times, but to find joy, friends, and even family, in them.


Review:

Hopeful, heartwarming, and atmospheric!

Last Dance on the Starlight Pier is an intriguing tale that sweeps you away between Chicago and Texas during the early 1930s and into the life of Evie Grace Devlin, a young woman who yearns to become a registered nurse, but who after her past as a Vaudeville performer comes to light and she is denied graduation, ends up in the world of competitive dance competitions until tragedy strikes, and she must rethink what’s truly important and where, what and who she’d truly like to be.

The prose is smooth and expressive. The main characters are spirited, resilient, and hardworking. And the plot is a compelling, emotional tale about life, loss, self-discovery, familial drama, social injustices, political unrest, poverty, inequality, heartbreak, courage, romance, and friendship.

Overall, Last Dance on the Starlight Pier is a sweet, entertaining, sentimental tale by Bird that was a pleasure to read with a setting I don’t often get a chance to read about and a unique storyline that was informative as well as refreshing.

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Bird

Sarah Bird’s novel, Above the East China Sea, was long-listed for the Dublin International Literary Award. A Dobie-Paisano Fellowship helped in researching Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen. Raised in an Air Force family on bases around the world, Sarah is the child of two warriors, a WWII Army nurse and an Air Corps bombardier, who met at a barn dance in North Africa. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Photo by Sarah Wilson.

#BookReview The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth @SallyHepworth @StMartinsPress #TheYoungerWife #YoungerWifeBook #SallyHepworth #StMarinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth @SallyHepworth @StMartinsPress #TheYoungerWife #YoungerWifeBook #SallyHepworth #StMarinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Younger Wife

Author: Sally Hepworth

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Apr. 5, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

THE HUSBAND
A heart surgeon at the top of his field, Stephen Aston is getting married again. But first he must divorce his current wife, even though she can no longer speak for herself.

THE DAUGHTERS
Tully and Rachel Aston look upon their father’s fiancée, Heather, as nothing but an interloper. Heather is younger than both of them. Clearly, she’s after their father’s money.

THE FORMER WIFE
With their mother in a precarious position, Tully and Rachel are determined to get to the truth about their family’s secrets, the new wife closing in, and who their father really is.

THE YOUNGER WIFE
Heather has secrets of her own. Will getting to the truth unleash the most dangerous impulses in all of them?


Review:

Brisk, intricate, and compulsive!

The Younger Wife is a compelling, character-driven thriller that takes you into the lives of the Aston family, Pamela, the matriarch and first wife who unfortunately suffers from early-onset dementia, Tully, the anxious daughter and mother of two who likes to pocket things that don’t belong to her, Rachel, the baker who indulges in food to escape the pain that lives inside her, and Stephen, the cardiac surgeon and seemingly perfect father and husband who is set to marry the soon to be second wife, Heather, who may have a drinking problem and is almost half his age.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are tentative, damaged, and secretive. And the plot told from multiple perspectives unfolds briskly into a gripping tale full of twists, turns, surprises, familial drama, lies, mental illness, tragedy, and manipulation.

Once again, The Younger Wife has proven that when it comes to writing exceptionally complex, fast-paced, twisty, domestic thrillers with exceptional character development and nefarious storylines that highlight just how fine the line between real and imagined truly is, Hepworth is one of the best.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the United Kingdom and Canada. She is the author of The Secrets of Midwives, The Things We Keep, The Mother's Promise, The Family Next Door and The Mother-in-Law. Sally now lives in Melbourne with her husband, three children, and one adorable dog.

Photo by Mrs. Smart Photography.

#BookReview The Next Thing You Know by Jessica Strawser @jessicastrawser @StMartinsPress #TheNextThingYouKnow #JessicaStrawser #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Next Thing You Know by Jessica Strawser @jessicastrawser @StMartinsPress #TheNextThingYouKnow #JessicaStrawser #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Next Thing You Know

Author: Jessica Strawser

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Mar. 22, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A musician facing the untimely end of his career. An end-of-life doula with everything, and nothing, to lose. A Star Is Born meets Me Before You in this powerful novel by the author of A Million Reasons Why.

As an end-of-life doula, Nova Huston’s job—her calling, her purpose, her life—is to help terminally ill people make peace with their impending death. Unlike her business partner, who swears by her system of checklists, free-spirited Nova doesn’t shy away from difficult clients: the ones who are heartbreakingly young, or prickly, or desperate for a caregiver or companion.

When Mason Shaylor shows up at her door, Nova doesn’t recognize him as the indie-favorite singer-songwriter who recently vanished from the public eye. She knows only what he’s told her: That life as he knows it is over. His deteriorating condition makes playing his guitar physically impossible—as far as Mason is concerned, he might as well be dead already.

Except he doesn’t know how to say goodbye.

Helping him is Nova’s biggest challenge yet. She knows she should keep clients at arm’s length. But she and Mason have more in common than anyone could guess… and meeting him might turn out to be the hardest, best thing that’s ever happened to them both.

The Next Thing You Know is an emotional, resonant story about the power of human connection, love when you least expect it, hope against the odds, and what it really takes to live life with no regrets.


Review:

Poignant, hopeful, and sweet!

The Next Thing You Know is a tender, moving tale that immerses you into the life of grief-stricken, end-of-life doula Nova Huston as she navigates the shock, heartache, sorrow, guilt, regret, blame, secrets, and questions that come to life after the sudden death of musician Mason Shaylor a man who started as a client but quickly became something a lot more.

The prose is sensitive and smooth. The characters are multilayered, genuine, and conflicted. And the plot is an absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, family, friendship, introspection, heartbreak, romance, and the intricacies of end-of-life care.

Overall, The Next Thing You Know is an intense, compelling, touching tale by Strawser that does a lovely job of highlighting just how powerful love is and reminds us to always savour every moment because life can often change in a heartbeat.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jessica Strawser

JESSICA STRAWSER (she/her) is the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You, Not That I Could Tell (a Book of the Month selection), Forget You Know Me, and A Million Reasons Why. She is Editor-at-Large for Writer’s Digest, and her work has appeared in The New York Times' Modern Love, Publishers Weekly, and other fine venues. She lives with her husband and two children in Cincinnati.

Photo by Corrie Schaffeld.

#BookReview Under the Golden Sun by Jenny Ashcroft @Jenny_Ashcroft @StMartinsPress #UndertheGoldenSun #JennyAshcroft #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Under the Golden Sun by Jenny Ashcroft @Jenny_Ashcroft @StMartinsPress #UndertheGoldenSun #JennyAshcroft #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Under the Golden Sun

Author: Jenny Ashcroft

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Mar. 15, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 10/10

Jenny Ashcroft’s Under the Golden Sun is a captivating World War II historical love story set against the raw beauty of Australia.

Rose Hamilton is in desperate need of a life change when she reads the want ad in the newspaper for a companion needed to escort a young orphaned child to Australia. There are so many reasons she should ignore the advertisement―the war, those treacherous winter seas, her family, her fiance… but she can’t help herself. Within weeks she is boarding an enormous convoy, already too attached to five-year-old Walter.

Unfortunately, the cattle station home of Walter’s family isn’t anything like either of them were told to expect. Rose can’t leave this little boy who she’s grown to love until he is happy and settled, and she knows the key to this is Walter’s wounded fighter pilot uncle. But how will she ever part with Walter? And what if he isn’t the only reason she wants to stay?


Review:

Captivating, memorable, and exceptionally moving!

Under the Golden Sun is a rich, absorbing tale that sweeps you away to WWII London and into the life of Rose Hamilton, a recently engaged, young British woman who, after suffering a miscarriage and being discharged from her position in the air force, answers an ad to chaperone a four-year-old boy to Australia that not only exposes her to a world unlike any she has ever known before but, ultimately, changes her life forever.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are apprehensive, multilayered, and genuine. And the plot is a heartwarming tale of life, love, loneliness, familial relationships, heartbreak, war, loss, grief, guilt, culture, hardships, hope, loyalty, romance, and self-discovery.

Overall, Under the Golden Sun is a beautifully written, exceptionally atmospheric novel by Ashcroft that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the lives, personalities, and feelings of the characters you can’t help but be affected. It is undoubtedly one of my favourite novels of the year, and just like her previous novel, Meet Me in Bombay, I highly recommend it.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jenny Ashcroft

JENNY ASHCROFT is a British author of historical fiction books including Beneath a Burning Sky and Island in the East. Having spent many years living, working and exploring in Australia and Asia, she is now based in Brighton where she lives with her family by the sea. She has a degree from Oxford University in history, and has always been fascinated by the past—in particular the way that extraordinary events can transform the lives of normal people.

Photograph by David Myers Photography.

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