Publisher: St. Martin's Press

#BookReview The Ingenue by Rachel Kapelke-Dale @RKapelkeDale @StMartinsPress #TheIngenue #RachelKalpekeDale #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencer

#BookReview The Ingenue by Rachel Kapelke-Dale @RKapelkeDale @StMartinsPress #TheIngenue #RachelKalpekeDale #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencer Title: The Ingenue

Author: Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

My Dark Vanessa meets The Queen’s Gambit in this new novel of suspense about the bonds of family, the limits of talent, the risks of ambition, and the rewards of revenge.

When former piano prodigy Saskia Kreis returns home to Milwaukee after her mother’s unexpected death, she expects to inherit the family estate, the Elf House. But with the discovery that her mother’s will bequeathed the Elf House to a man that Saskia shares a complicated history with, she is forced to reexamine her own past–and the romantic relationship that changed the course of her life–for answers. Can she find a way to claim her heritage while keeping her secrets buried, or will the fallout from digging too deep destroy her?

Set against a post #MeToo landscape, The Ingenue delves into mother-daughter relationships, the expectations of talent, the stories we tell ourselves, and what happens when the things that once made you special are taken from you. Moving between Saskia’s childhood and the present day, this dark, contemporary fairy tale pulses with desire, longing, and uncertainty, as it builds to its spectacular, shocking climax.


Review:

Dark, dramatic, and disturbing!

The Ingenue is a gritty, suspenseful tale that takes you into the life of Saskia Kreis, a thirty-seven-year-old former piano prodigy who, after returning home after her mother’s death to find she’s been disinherited and that her mother has left her multi-million dollar mansion to an old family friend, decides to open up old wounds and discover just how inappropriate her teenage relationship was with this man and just how many others he may have also targeted.

The prose is taut and tight. The characters are vulnerable, consumed, and tormented. And the plot does a exceptional job of building tension and unease as it subtly intertwines and unravels an intricate tale of lies, secrets, abuse, control, manipulation, expectations, revenge, and redemption.

Overall, The Ingenue is an unsettling, compelling psychological thriller by Kapelke-Dale that delves into all the deep, dark secrets people keep even from those closest to them and raises the question of how well do you really know anyone.

 

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 Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Rachel Kapelke-Dale is the co-author of GRADUATES IN WONDERLAND (Penguin 2014), a memoir about the significance and nuances of female friendships. The author of Vanity Fair Hollywood's column "Advice from the Stars," Kapelke-Dale spent years in intensive ballet training before receiving a BA from Brown University, an MA from the Université de Paris VII, and a PhD from University College London. She currently lives in Paris.

Photo by author.

#BookReview A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones @Darynda @smpromance @StMartinsPress #AHardDayForAHangover #DaryndaJones #SunshineVicram #StMartinsPress #smpinfluencer

#BookReview A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones @Darynda @smpromance @StMartinsPress #AHardDayForAHangover #DaryndaJones #SunshineVicram #StMartinsPress #smpinfluencer Title: A Hard Day for a Hangover

Author: Darynda Jones

Series: Sunshine Vicram #3

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Some people greet the day with open arms. Sheriff Sunshine Vicram would rather give it a hearty shove and get back into bed, because there’s just too much going on right now. There’s a series of women going missing, and Sunny feels powerless to stop it. There’s her persistent and awesomely-rebellious daughter Auri, who’s out to singlehandedly become Del Sol’s youngest and fiercest investigator. And then there’s drama with Levi Ravinder—the guy she’s loved and lusted after for years. The guy who might just be her one and only. The guy who comes from a family of disingenuous vipers looking to oust him—and Sunshine—for good.

Like we said, the new day can take a hike.


Review:

Lighthearted, quirky, and highly entertaining!

A Hard Day for a Hangover is a playful, engaging, suspenseful tale that takes us back to Del Sol, New Mexico, one last time and into the life of Sunshine Vicram, police chief extraordinaire, as she once again has her hands full with robberies, assaults, murders, an escaped convict, a town flasher, a pregnant racoon, a daughter indulging in first love, and a childhood sweetheart she may finally get to settle down with.

The writing is witty and sweet. The characters are sharp, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is an enticing mix of friendship, family, danger, drama, tension, attraction, community, intrigue, violence, spirited mishaps, romance, and a little heat.

Overall, A Hard Day for a Hangover is the third and final story in the Sunshine Vicram series, and even though it’s more than a little bittersweet to say goodbye to this amazing gang of characters I’ve come to know and love over these past three novels, it is nevertheless a superb ending to a fabulous series that I highly recommend and will undoubtedly miss.

This book is available now.

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

               

 

 

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

 

About Darynda Jones

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. She currently has two series with St. Martin's Press, the Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Villa by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheVillaNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Villa by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheVillaNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Villa

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 3, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set at an Italian villa with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.


Review:

Compelling, ominous, and unpredictable!

The Villa transports you into the life of cosy mystery writer Emily Sheridan who, after recently battling illness and a nasty divorce, heads to an Italian villa at the invitation of her childhood best friend and successful self-help author Chess Chandler, where the past will collide with the present, long-buried secrets will be unearthed, and the infamous murder that occurred on the property in 1974 and was the inspiration for the classic, celebrated horror novel, Lilith Rising may finally be solved.

The writing is taut and tight. The characters are self-indulgent, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth, past/present style, intertwines and unravels effortlessly into a machiavellian tale full of manipulation, deception, lies, drama, jealousy, secrets, revelations, mayhem, and murder.

Overall, The Villa is a twisty, intense, sinister tale by Hawkins that does an excellent job of delving into the complex dynamics that exist between friends and highlights just how toxic, parasitic, and dangerous some of those relationships can turn out to be.

 

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 Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, as well as multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama.

Photo by John Hawkins.

#BookReview Desperation in Death by J. D.Robb @StMartinsPress #ForgotteninDeath #JDRobb #InDeathSeries #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Desperation in Death by J. D.Robb @StMartinsPress #ForgotteninDeath #JDRobb #InDeathSeries #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Desperation in Death

Author: J. D. Robb

Series: In Death #55

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Sep. 6, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

The #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a gripping new thriller that pits homicide detective Eve Dallas against a conspiracy of exploitation and evil…

New York, 2061: The place called the Pleasure Academy is a living nightmare where abducted girls are trapped, trained for a life of abject service while their souls are slowly but surely destroyed. Dorian, a thirteen-year-old runaway who’d been imprisoned there, might never have made it out if not for her fellow inmate Mina, who’d hatched the escape plan. Mina was the more daring of the two—but they’d been equally desperate.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get away fast enough. Now Dorian is injured, terrified, and wandering the streets of New York, and Mina lies dead near the waterfront while Lt. Eve Dallas looks over the scene.

Mina’s expensive, elegant clothes and beauty products convince Dallas that she was being groomed, literally and figuratively, for sex trafficking—and that whoever is investing in this high-overhead operation expects windfall profits. Her billionaire husband, Roarke, may be able to help, considering his ties to the city’s ultra-rich. But Roarke is also worried about the effect this case is having on Dallas, as it brings a rage to the surface she can barely control. No matter what, she must keep her head clear–because above all, she is desperate for justice and to take down those who prey on and torment the innocent.


Review:

Deviant, gripping, and sophisticated!

In this latest novel by Robb, Desperation in Death, we head back to New York during 2061, where NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her partner Detective Peabody now find themselves on a gruesome case involving a dead teen elegantly groomed and a missing girl who knows more about what the well-funded “Academy” is really a school for.

The writing is absorbing and meticulous. The characters are multilayered, persistent, and intuitive. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine methodically into a sinister tale full of deception, deprivation, manipulation, abuse, corruption, mayhem, violence, murder, and the disturbing, depraved world of sex trafficking.

It’s hard to believe that this novel, Desperation in Death, is the fifty-fifth book in the In Death  series, and even though I have not read close to even half of the books in this obviously well-loved, remarkable series, I have to say I think this is the best one I’ve ever read and my new all-time favourite in the series.

 

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 J. D. Robb

J.D. Robb is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling In Death series and the pseudonym for #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts. The futuristic suspense series stars Eve Dallas, a New York City police lieutenant with a dark past. Initially conceived as a trilogy, readers clamored for more of Eve and the mysterious Roarke. Forgotten in Death (St. Martin's Press, September 2021) is the 53rd entry in the series.

#BookReview Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese @Laurie_Albanese @StMartinsPress #HesterNovel #LaurieLicoAlbanese #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese @Laurie_Albanese @StMartinsPress #HesterNovel #LaurieLicoAlbanese #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Hester

Author: Laurie Lico Albanese

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Oct. 4, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 10/10

Isobel Gamble is a young seamstress carrying generations of secrets when she sets sail from Scotland in the early 1800s with her husband, Edward. An apothecary who has fallen under the spell of opium, his pile of debts have forced them to flee Edinburgh for a fresh start in the New World. But only days after they’ve arrived in Salem, Edward abruptly joins a departing ship as a medic––leaving Isobel penniless and alone in a strange country, forced to make her way by any means possible.

When she meets a young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is a man haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows––while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. As the weeks pass and Edward’s safe return grows increasingly unlikely, Nathaniel and Isobel grow closer and closer. Together, they are a muse and a dark storyteller; the enchanter and the enchanted. But which is which?

In this sensuous and hypnotizing tale, a young immigrant woman grapples with our country’s complicated past, and learns that America’s ideas of freedom and liberty often fall short of their promise. Interwoven with Isobel and Nathaniel’s story is a vivid interrogation of who gets to be a “real” American in the first half of the 19th century, a depiction of the early days of the Underground Railroad in New England, and atmospheric interstitials that capture the long history of “unusual” women being accused of witchcraft. Meticulously researched yet evocatively imagined, Hester is a timeless tale of art, ambition, and desire that examines the roots of female creative power and the men who try to shut it down.

A vivid reimagining of the woman who inspired Hester Prynne, the tragic heroine of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, and a journey into the enduring legacy of New England’s witchcraft trials.


Review:

Absorbing, multilayered, and moving!

Hester is an expressive, compelling tale set in Scotland and Salem during both the early 1800s and 1662 when religious condemnation and fear of the unknown was rife, women with special abilities were labelled witches, the Underground Railroad was working tirelessly to give slaves the freedom they so rightly deserved, cruel and barbaric behaviour towards women who didn’t conform to what society deemed norm was still acceptable, and love still managed to blossom everywhere even under the most unlikely of circumstances.

The prose is evocative and rich. The characters are strong, resilient, and haunted. And the plot is an engrossing tale about life, loss, friendship, family, determination, courage, self-identity, sexism, prejudice, poverty, survival, romance, and the beauty of colour.

Overall, Hester is a book you have to read to truly appreciate just how atmospheric, alluring, and beautifully written it is. It grabs you from the very first page and does a remarkable job of blending historical facts with captivating fiction that’s both intriguing, creative, and exceptionally immersive, especially for those who, like myself, are fans of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.

 

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 Laurie Lico Albanese

Laurie Lico Albanese has published fiction, poetry, journalism, travel writing, creative nonfiction, and memoir. Her books include Stolen Beauty, Blue Suburbia: Almost a Memoir, Lynelle by the Sea, and The Miracles of Prato, co-written with art historian Laura Morowitz. Laurie is married to a publishing executive and is the mother of two children.

#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.

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