Source: BookSparks

#BookReview The London House by Katherine Reay @Katherine_Reay @harpermusebooks @BookSparks #TheLondonHouse #KatherineReay #FallPopUp

#BookReview The London House by Katherine Reay @Katherine_Reay @harpermusebooks @BookSparks #TheLondonHouse #KatherineReay #FallPopUp Title: The London House

Author: Katherine Reay

Published by: Harper Muse on Nov. 2, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: BookSparks

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Uncovering a dark family secret sends one woman through the history of Britains World War II spy network and glamorous 1930s Paris to save her family’s reputation.

Caroline Payne thinks it’s just another day of work until she receives a call from Mat Hammond, an old college friend and historian. But pleasantries are cut short. Mat has uncovered a scandalous secret kept buried for decades: In World War II, Caroline’s British great-aunt betrayed family and country to marry her German lover.

Determined to find answers and save her family’s reputation, Caroline flies to her family’s ancestral home in London. She and Mat discover diaries and letters that reveal her grandmother and great-aunt were known as the “Waite sisters.” Popular and witty, they came of age during the interwar years, a time of peace and luxury filled with dances, jazz clubs, and romance. The buoyant tone of the correspondence soon yields to sadder revelations as the sisters grow apart, and one leaves home for the glittering fashion scene of Paris, despite rumblings of a coming world war.

Each letter brings more questions. Was Caroline’s great-aunt actually a traitor and Nazi collaborator, or is there a more complex truth buried in the past? Together, Caroline and Mat uncover stories of spies and secrets, love and heartbreak, and the events of one fateful evening in 1941 that changed everything.

In this rich historical novel from award-winning author Katherine Reay, a young woman is tasked with writing the next chapter of her family’s story. But Caroline must choose whether to embrace a love of her own and proceed with caution if her family’s decades-old wounds are to heal without tearing them even further apart.


Review:

Captivating, immersive, and mysterious!

The London House is an uplifting, pensive tale that sweeps you away to England and Paris during WWII, as well as present-day London, and into the lives of the Payne family as they delve into all the strained relationships and enduring secrets, loss, tears, wounds, misery, grief, and anger that has surrounded them for generations.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are complex, scarred, and authentic. And the plot is a sweeping saga filled with familial drama, introspection, love, loss, life, family, friendship, mystique, heartbreak, romance, secrets, hope, passion, sisterhood, as well as a little insight into some of the iconic fashion produced by the house of Schiaparelli over the years.

Overall, The London House is an informative, romantic, alluring tale by Reay that does an exceptional job of highlighting the incredible impact war had on the personal lives of those it touched both at home and away and the significant contribution women played during those dark and tumultuous times.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

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

 

About Katherine Reay

Katherine Reay is a writer, wife, mom, continually rehabbing runner, compulsive vacuumist and a horrific navigator…

She graduated from Northwestern University and earned an MS in Marketing from Northwestern as well. She then worked in marketing and development before returning to graduate school for a Masters of Theological Studies. Moves to Texas, England, Ireland and Washington left that degree unfinished as Katherine spent her time unpacking, raising kids, volunteering, writing, and exploring new storylines and new cities.

The Reay family (with a great sense of permanency) now resides outside Chicago, and Katherine pursues writing with more focus. She writes character-driven stories and non-fiction that focuses upon examining the past and how it influences our present experiences.

#BookReview Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @BookSparks @GalleryBooks #UnderaSouthernSky #KristyWoodsonHarvey #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope

#BookReview Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @BookSparks @GalleryBooks #UnderaSouthernSky #KristyWoodsonHarvey #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope Title: Under the Southern Sky

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Published by: Gallery Books on Apr. 20, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: BookSparks

Book Rating: 9/10

Recently separated Amelia Buxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process.

Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate.

Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Cape Carolina. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.

From “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Under the Southern Sky is a fresh and unforgettable exploration of love, friendship, and the unbreakable ties that bind.


Review:

Poignant, hopeful, and romantic!

Under the Southern Sky is a beautifully written, heartfelt tale set predominantly in the small-town of Cape Carolina that takes us into the lives of Amelia Saxton, a young journalist struggling to come to grips with a recent separation and an important discovery she inadvertently stumbles across involving her childhood friend, and Parker Thaysden, a young widower who is still grappling with the loss of his wife and the all-consuming grief that is preventing him from moving on.

The prose is smooth and genuine. The characters are scarred, hesitant, and sympathetic. And the plot is an addictive, alluring mix of friendship, family, introspection, support, forgiveness, love, loss, drama, selflessness, community, new beginnings, and the power of love.

Under the Southern Sky was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021, and it did not disappoint. Once again, Kristy Woodson Harvey has written a charming, absorbing, moving tale that has an abundance of irresistible characters and a storyline I couldn’t get enough of, and it is without a doubt the perfect choice for summer!

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

Thank you to BookSparks and Kristy Woodson Harvey for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the USA TODAY bestselling author of six novels, including Feels Like Falling, The Peachtree Bluff series, and Under the Southern Sky. A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism, her writing has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Southern Living, Traditional Home, USA TODAY, Domino, and O. Henry. Kristy is the winner of the Lucy Bramlette Patterson Award for Excellence in Creative Writing and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her work has been optioned for film and television, and her books have received numerous accolades including Southern Living’s Most Anticipated Beach Reads, Parade’s Big Fiction Reads, and Entertainment Weekly’s Spring Reading Picks. Kristy is the co-creator and co-host of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction. She blogs with her mom Beth Woodson on Design Chic, and loves connecting with fans on KristyWoodsonHarvey.com. She lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband and son where she is (always!) working on her next novel.

Photo by Jay Ackerman.

#BookReview A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe @karintanabe @BookSparks @StMartinsPress #AHundredSuns #KarinTanabe #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope

#BookReview A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe @karintanabe @BookSparks @StMartinsPress #AHundredSuns #KarinTanabe #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope Title: A Hundred Suns

Author: Karin Tanabe

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Mar. 16, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: BookSparks

Book Rating: 8/10

A faraway land.
A family’s dynasty.
A trail of secrets that could shatter their glamorous lifestyle.

On a humid afternoon in 1933, American Jessie Lesage steps off a boat from Paris and onto the shores of Vietnam. Accompanying her French husband Victor, an heir to the Michelin rubber fortune, she’s certain that their new life is full of promise, for while the rest of the world is sinking into economic depression, Indochine is gold for the Michelins. Jessie knows that the vast plantations near Saigon are the key to the family’s prosperity, and though they have recently been marred in scandal, she needs them to succeed for her husband’s sake—and to ensure that the life she left behind in America stays buried in the past.

Jessie dives into the glamorous colonial world, where money is king and morals are brushed aside, and meets Marcelle de Fabry, a spellbinding expat with a wealthy Indochinese lover, the silk tycoon Khoi Nguyen. Descending on Jessie’s world like a hurricane, Marcelle proves to be an exuberant guide to colonial life. But hidden beneath her vivacious exterior is a fierce desire to put the colony back in the hands of its people––starting with the Michelin plantations.

It doesn’t take long for the sun-drenched days and champagne-soaked nights to catch up with Jessie. With an increasingly fractured mind, her affection for Indochine falters. And as a fiery political struggle builds around her, Jessie begins to wonder what’s real in a friendship that she suspects may be nothing but a house of cards.

Motivated by love, driven by ambition, and seeking self-preservation at all costs, Jessie and Marcelle each toe the line between friend and foe, ethics and excess. Cast against the stylish backdrop of 1920s Paris and 1930s Indochine, in a time and place defined by contrasts and convictions, Karin Tanabe’s A Hundred Suns is historical fiction at its lush, suspenseful best.


Review:

Tense, lush, and twisty!

A Hundred Suns is predominantly set in Hanoi during 1933 and is told from two different perspectives. Jesse Lesage, a young mother who becomes overwhelmed and in over her head when she gets swept up in the ex-pat lifestyle while her husband, a member of the renowned Michelin family, is away overseeing his family’s rubber plantations, and Marcelle de Fabry, a charming woman on a ceaseless pursuit for retribution who will do whatever it takes to exact revenge on those she deems responsible. 

The prose is clever and rich. The characters are multifaceted, driven, and secretive. And the plot told from alternating perspectives is a mysterious, gripping tale about life, love, friendship, indulgences, political unrest, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, vengeance, and deception.

Overall, A Hundred Suns is an intriguing blend of evocative fiction, captivating suspense, and palpable emotion, and as a historical fiction lover, I think what I enjoyed the most was being able to delve into a time and place not typically found in this genre.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to BookSparks and Karin Tanabe for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karin Tanabe

KARIN TANABE is the author of six novels, including A Hundred Suns and The Gilded Years (soon to be a major motion picture starring Zendaya, who will produce alongside Reese Witherspoon/Hello Sunshine). A former Politico reporter, she has also written for The Washington Post, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune, and Newsday. She has appeared as a celebrity and politics expert on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and CBS Early Show. A graduate of Vassar College, Karin lives in Washington, D.C.

#BookReview The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers @redhookbooks @HBGCanada @BookSparks #TheLadiesoftheSecretCircus #ConstanceSayers #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope

#BookReview The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers @redhookbooks @HBGCanada @BookSparks #TheLadiesoftheSecretCircus #ConstanceSayers #SPRC2021 #SpringBookScope Title: The Ladies of the Secret Circus

Author: Constance Sayers

Published by: Redhook Books on Mar. 17, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada, BookSparks

Book Rating: 8/10

Paris, 1925: To enter the Secret Circus is to enter a world of wonder-a world where women tame magnificent beasts, carousels take you back in time, and trapeze artists float across the sky. But each daring feat has a cost. Bound to her family’s strange and magical circus, it’s the only world Cecile Cabot knows-until she meets a charismatic young painter and embarks on a passionate love affair that could cost her everything.

Virginia, 2005: Lara Barnes is on top of the world-until her fiancé disappears on their wedding day. Desperate, her search for answers unexpectedly leads to her great-grandmother’s journals and sweeps her into the story of a dark circus and a generational curse that has been claiming payment from the women in her family for generations.


Review:

Rich, compelling, and mystical!

The Ladies of the Secret Circus transports you from present-day Virginia to 1920s Paris as it immerses you into the multi-generational, circus-owning Cabot family and all the powerful emotions, tragic memories, dark magic, fantastical elements, and long-buried secrets that swirl around them.

The prose is dark and mysterious. The characters are multi-layered, vulnerable, cursed, and troubled. And the plot told from alternating timelines is an ominous tale full of familial drama, heartache, tension, obsession, death, revenge, jealousy, sacrifice, sibling rivalry, and violence.

Overall, The Ladies of the Secret Circus is a spellbinding, atmospheric, romantic tale by Sayers that captivated me from the very first page and ultimately left me satisfied and highly entertained.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada and BookSparks for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Constance Sayers

Constance Sayers is the author of A Witch in Time and The Ladies of the Secret Circus which will be published on March 23, 2021, from Redhook (Hachette Book Group).

A finalist for Alternating Current’s 2016 Luminaire Award for Best Prose, her short stories have appeared in Souvenir and Amazing Graces: Yet Another Collection of Fiction by Washington Area Women as well as The Sky is a Free Country. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

She received her master of arts in English from George Mason University and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She attended The Bread Loaf Writers Conference where she studied with Charles Baxter and Lauren Groff. A media executive, she’s twice been named one of the “Top 100 Media People in America” by Folio and included in their list of “Top Women in Media.”

She lives outside of Washington DC. Like her character in The Ladies of the Secret Circus, she was the host of a radio show from midnight to six.

Photo by Julie Ann Pixler.

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