Source: HBG Canada

#BookReview Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu @MelissaLFu @littlebrown @HBGCanada #PeachBlossomSpring #MelissaFu #HBGCanada

#BookReview Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu @MelissaLFu @littlebrown @HBGCanada #PeachBlossomSpring #MelissaFu #HBGCanada Title: Peach Blossom Spring

Author: Melissa Fu

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Mar. 15, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

“Within every misfortune there is a blessing and within every blessing, the seeds of misfortune, and so it goes, until the end of time.”

It is 1938 in China and, as a young wife, Meilin’s future is bright. But with the Japanese army approaching, Meilin and her four year old son, Renshu, are forced to flee their home. Relying on little but their wits and a beautifully illustrated hand scroll, filled with ancient fables that offer solace and wisdom, they must travel through a ravaged country, seeking refuge.

Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. How can he keep his family safe in this new land when the weight of his history threatens to drag them down? Yet how can Lily learn who she is if she can never know her family’s story?

Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold and moving look at the history of modern China, told through the story of one family. It’s about the power of our past, the hope for a better future, and the haunting question: What would it mean to finally be home?


Review:

Rich, poignant, and affecting!

Peach Blossom Spring is an intimate, absorbing, multi-generational story, spanning eight decades, that takes you into the life of Meilin, a young widow who, after fleeing war and communistic oppression in the Hunan Province of China in 1938, escapes to Taiwan with her four-year-old son where she toils and struggles to make a good life until 1960, when Renshu, now grown, heads to graduate school at Northwestern University in America where he stays, marries, and raises a family as an immigrant who never quite feels at home due to ongoing encounters of political unease, awkwardness, racism, and the enduring effects of his childhood trauma.

The prose is expressive and fluid. The characters are layered, vulnerable, and resourceful. And the plot is a moving tale about life, love, familial relationships, heartbreak, loss, desperation, estrangement, courage, hope, regret, and culture.

Overall, Peach Blossom Spring is a compelling, evocative, immersive tale by Fu that I thoroughly enjoyed and which has just the right amount of intrigue, colourful history, and palpable emotion to be more than pleasing to lovers of the historical fiction genre.

 

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 for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Melissa Fu

Melissa Fu grew up in Northern New Mexico and has lived in Texas, Colorado, New York, Ohio and Washington. She now lives near Cambridge, UK, with her husband and children. With academic backgrounds in physics and English, she has worked in education as a teacher, curriculum developer, and consultant. She was the 2018/19 David TK Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia. Peach Blossom Spring is her first novel.

Photo courtesy of grandcentralpublishing.com.

#BookReview On a Night of a Thousand Stars @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #OnaNightofaThousandStars #AndreaYaryuraClark #GrandCentralPub #HBGCanada

#BookReview On a Night of a Thousand Stars @HBGCanada @GrandCentralPub #OnaNightofaThousandStars #AndreaYaryuraClark #GrandCentralPub #HBGCanada Title: On a Night of a Thousand Stars

Author: Andrea Yaryura Clark

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Mar. 1, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing, HBG Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

In this moving, emotional narrative of love and resilience, a young couple confronts the start of Argentina’s Dirty War in the 1970s, and a daughter searches for truth twenty years later.

New York, 1998. Santiago Larrea, a wealthy Argentine diplomat, is holding court alongside his wife, Lila, and their daughter, Paloma, a college student and budding jewelry designer, at their annual summer polo match and soiree. All seems perfect in the Larreas’ world—until an unexpected party guest from Santiago’s university days shakes his usually unflappable demeanor. The woman’s cryptic comments spark Paloma’s curiosity about her father’s past, of which she knows little.
 
When the family travels to Buenos Aires for Santiago’s UN ambassadorial appointment, Paloma is determined to learn more about his life in the years leading up to the military dictatorship of 1976. With the help of a local university student, Franco Bonetti, an activist member of H.I.J.O.S.—a group whose members are the children of the desaparecidos, or the “disappeared,” men and women who were forcibly disappeared by the state during Argentina’s “Dirty War”—Paloma unleashes a chain of events that not only leads her to question her family and her identity, but also puts her life in danger.

In compelling fashion, On a Night of a Thousand Stars speaks to relationships, morality, and identity during a brutal period in Argentinian history, and the understanding—and redemption—people crave in the face of tragedy.


Review:

Rich, informative, and fascinating!

On a Night of a Thousand Stars is a vivid, moving tale set in Buenos Aires during the mid-1970s, as well as 1998, that takes you into the lives of the Larrea family whose individual actions, decisions, choices, secrets, and sacrifices made in order to survive and keep their loved ones safe from the random disappearances, kidnappings, torture, and murder experienced during Argentina’s political nightmare led by General Jorge Rafael Videla, known as the Dirty War will have lasting effects and irrevocably change their lives forever.

The prose is perceptive and descriptive. The characters are anguished, steadfast, and multilayered. And the plot using a past-present style unfolds effortlessly into a harrowing tale of life, loss, love, family, friendship, injustice, guilt, grief, secrets, self-identity, ancestry, kindness, war, bravery, and survival.

On a Night of a Thousand Stars is a hauntingly tragic, insightful, heart-wrenching debut by Clark that highlights the inconceivable horrors, suffering, and events endured during a heinous time in Argentina’s history and reminds us of humanities incredible ability to still be resilient and compassionate to others even when surrounded by barbaric cruelty.

 

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 & Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Andrea Yaryura Clark

Andrea Yaryura Clark grew up in Argentina amid the political turmoil of the 1970s until her family relocated to North America. After completing her university studies, she returned to Buenos Aires to reconnect with her roots. By the mid-1990s, many sons and daughters of the “Disappeared”—the youngest victims of Argentina’s military dictatorship in the 1970s—were coming of age and grappling with the fates of their families. She interviewed several of these children, and their experiences, not widely known outside Argentina, inspired her debut novel. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two sons and a spirited terrier.

Photo by David Jacobs.

#BookReview Mercy (Atlee Pine #4) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @HBGCanada @grandcentralpub #DavidBaldacci #Mercy #AtleePineSeries

#BookReview Mercy (Atlee Pine #4) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @HBGCanada @grandcentralpub #DavidBaldacci #Mercy #AtleePineSeries Title: Mercy

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Atlee Pine #4

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Nov. 16, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s harrowing search for her long-lost sister Mercy reaches a boiling point in this breakneck thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci. 
 
For her entire life, FBI agent Atlee Pine has been searching for her twin sister, Mercy, who was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Mercy’s disappearance left behind a damaged family that later shattered beyond repair when Atlee’s parents inexplicably abandoned her.
 
Now, after a perilous investigation that nearly proved fatal, Atlee has finally discovered not only the reason behind her parents’ abandonment and Mercy’s kidnapping, but also the most promising breakthrough yet: proof that Mercy survived her abduction and then escaped her captors many years ago. 
 
Though Atlee is tantalizingly close to her family at last, the final leg of her long road to Mercy will be the most treacherous yet. Mercy left at least one dead body behind before fleeing her captors years before. Atlee has no idea if her sister is still alive, and if so, how she has been surviving all this time. When the truth is finally revealed, Atlee Pine will face the greatest danger yet, and it may well cost her everything.


Review:

Thrilling, twisty, and meticulous!

Mercy is a propulsive, gripping tale that picks up right where Daylight left off, taking us back into the life of FBI agent Atlee Pine, as she and her loyal assistant, Carol Blum, decide to take a leave of absence from the bureau to work full-time on discovering once and for all what happened to her twin sister, Mercy, who after escaping from her captors nineteen years ago seems to have vanished without a trace.

The writing is gritty and descriptive. The characters are cunning, ruthless, and persistent. And the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat as it immerses you into a malicious tale full of twists, turns, mayhem, chaos, revenge, survival, danger, violence, cruelty, and murder.

Overall, Mercy is another compelling, intricate, addictive mystery by Baldacci that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend, and although it seems like it might be the last novel we get to enjoy in this series, it certainly introduced us to a new, formidable heroine, Spectator, who is easily in my opinion definitely worthy of a series of her own.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada & Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About David Baldacci

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org.

 

Photograph by Allen Jones.

#BookReview An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire by Manda Collins @MandaCollins @readforeverpub @HBGCanada @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2021 #MandaCollins #AnHeiresssGuidetoDeceptionandDesire #ALadysGuide

#BookReview An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire by Manda Collins @MandaCollins @readforeverpub @HBGCanada @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForeverPub #ReadForever2021 #MandaCollins #AnHeiresssGuidetoDeceptionandDesire #ALadysGuide Title: An Heiress's Guide to Deception and Desire

Author: Manda Collins

Series: A Lady's Guide #2

Published by: Forever on Nov. 16, 2021

Genres: Historical Romance, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Former lovers become reluctant allies in this delightfully witty historical rom-com from the bestselling author of A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem—for fans of Evie Dunmore, Enola Holmes, and Netflix’s Bridgerton!

England, 1867 : As half of the writing duo behind England’s most infamous crime column, Miss Caroline Hardcastle has quite the scandalous reputation. It may have cost her a fiancé, but she would much rather bring attention to crimes against those ignored by society than worry about what the ton thinks of her.

After Caro’s dear friend is kidnapped, however, she has no choice but to work with Lord Valentine Thorn, the same man who broke her heart. Worse, when her actions put her father’s business at risk, a marriage of convenience may be her only solution . . . but can she trust Val to stand by her? Or will their past repeat itself?

Val–the new Viscount Wrackham–is in an untenable position: His father is demanding he find a respectable bride to secure the succession. Yet the only woman he’s ever loved, Miss Caroline Hardcastle, is notorious for behaving improperly. And she’s never forgiven him for his youthful transgressions, missteps made in the name of familial duty, but ones he still regrets to this day.

As they grow closer to unmasking the culprit, Val sees an opportunity to show Caro he’s a changed man. But can he convince her to give their love a second chance–before death does them part?


Review:

Quirky, adventurous, and fun!

An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire is a playful, engaging tale set in London during 1867 that takes you into the life of Miss Caroline Hardcastle, a crime columnist who, after one of her closest friends goes missing, must grudgingly team up with he ex-fiancé and one man who broke her heart, the dashingly handsome, Lord Valentine Thorn in order to solve the case and rescue her dear friend, Effie as quickly as possible.

The writing is cheeky and engaging. The characters are resourceful, clever, and endearing. And the plot is a passionate, compelling tale full of family, friendship, societal expectations, deductive reasoning, scheming behaviour, tricky situations, awkward moments, secrets, attraction, desire, sleuthing, and of course, a little romance.

An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire is an amusing, lighthearted, entertaining tale that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is the second title in the A Lady’s Guide series by Collins, that if you ask me, keeps getting better and better.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Manda Collins

Manda Collins grew up on a combination of Nancy Drew books and Jane Austen novels, and her own brand of historical romantic suspense is the result. A former academic librarian, she holds master’s degrees in English and Library & Information Studies. Her novel Duke with Benefits was named a Kirkus Best Romance of 2017. She lives on the Gulf Coast with two lazy cats, a very spoiled Shih Tzu, and more books than are strictly necessary.

Photograph courtesy of read-forever.com.

#BookReview The Stolen Hours by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada #TheStolenHours #AllenEskens #MulhollandBooks

#BookReview The Stolen Hours by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada #TheStolenHours #AllenEskens #MulhollandBooks Title: The Stolen Hours

Author: Allen Eskens

Published by: Mulholland Books on Sep 7, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Lila Nash is on the verge of landing her dream job—working as a prosecutor under the Hennepin County Attorney—and has settled into a happy life with her boyfriend, Joe Talbert. But when a woman is pulled from the Mississippi River, barely alive, things in the office take a personal turn.
 
The police believe the woman’s assailant is local photographer Gavin Spenser, but the case quickly flounders as the evidence wears thin. It seems Gavin saw this investigation coming—and no one can imagine how carefully he has prepared.

The more determined Lila is to put Gavin behind bars, the more elusive justice becomes. Battling a vindictive new boss and haunted by the ghosts of her own unspeakable attack, which she’s kept a dark secret for eight long years, Lila knows the clock is ticking down. In a race against an evil mastermind, it will take everything Lila’s got to outsmart a killer—and to escape the dark hold of her own past.


Review:

Sharp, riveting, and creepy!

In this latest novel by Eskens, The Stolen Hours, he transports us to Hennepin County and into the life of Lila Nash, a young prosecutor with a haunted, troubled past, who under the guidance of the tough, veteran prosecutor Andi Fitch takes on the assault and attempted murder case of bridesmaid, Sadie Vaub, putting her front and centre in the sightline of Gavin Spencer, a wedding photographer with a penchant for details and a long history of sadistic violence.

The prose is fluid and tight. The characters are vulnerable, persistent, and meticulous. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine quickly into a gripping tale full of twists, turns, surprises, deception, cruelty, obsession, manipulation, power, privilege, politics, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Allen Eskens is one of those authors that every time I pick up one of his books, I absolutely love it, and yet for some reason he seems to fly under the mainstream radar. I don’t know why. He’s one of my favourite authors, and once again, with The Stolen Hours, he’s written a tense, crafty, cunning thriller that I highly recommend and, in my opinion, shouldn’t be missed.

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

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

 

About Allen Eskens

Allen Eskens is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, the Deep Dark Descending and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Rosebud Award, Minnesota Book Award, and the Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His work had been published in 21 languages and his debut novel, The Life We Bury is being developed for a feature film.

Allen lives with his wife, Joely, in greater Minnesota and is represented by Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron and Associates, and is published by both Seventh Street Books and Mulholland/Little Brown.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Rehearsals by Annette Christie @MsAnnetteMC @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheRehearsals #AnnetteChristie

#BookReview The Rehearsals by Annette Christie @MsAnnetteMC @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheRehearsals #AnnetteChristie Title: The Rehearsals

Author: Annette Christie

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jul. 13, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: Forever, HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Have you ever made a life-changing decision and then wondered if you made the right one…? A clever, captivating and bittersweet story of what might have been. Perfect for the fans of Jojo Moyes and Marian Keyes.

When Liv and Nate walked up the aisle, Liv knew she was marrying the one, her soul mate and her best friend.

Six years later, it feels like routine and friendship is all they have left in common. What happened to the fun, the excitement, the lust, the love?

In the closing moments of 1999, Liv and Nate decide to go their separate ways, but at the last minute, Liv wavers. Should she stay or should she go?

Over the next twenty years we follow the parallel stories to discover if Liv’s life, heart and future have been better with Nate… Or without him?


Review:

Creative, thought-provoking, and delightfully optimistic!

The Rehearsals is a moving, time-loop tale that takes you into the lives of Megan and Tom, as after a disastrous rehearsal day, when difficult families, long-buried secrets, and thoughts of what-if leave them tired, confused, heartbroken, and calling the whole thing off fate magically intervenes leaving them reliving that same day over and over again in order to change, forgive and potentially rekindle the love they once shared.

The writing is sensitive and sincere. The characters are flawed, genuine, and weary. And the multi-layered plot is a heartfelt, absorbing tale about life, love, family, friendship, secrets, betrayal, compassion, romance, happiness, destiny, and second chances.

Overall, The Rehearsals is an emotional, pensive, brilliant debut by Christie that reminds us that life is complicated, things happen for a reason, secrets always have a way of coming to light, often the choices we make have far-reaching consequences, and love is, ultimately, always worth fighting for.

 

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 Forever for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Annette Christie

Annette Christie is a Canadian-American hybrid with a BFA in Theatre and a history of very odd jobs. Her writing has been published in HelloGiggles and The Guardian, and the back of her head is featured prominently in the film Mean Girls. She currently resides in Alberta with her husband and two children.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheSweetnessofWater #NathanHarris

#BookReview The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris @littlebrown @HBGCanada #TheSweetnessofWater #NathanHarris Title: The Sweetness of Water

Author: Nathan Harris

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jun. 15, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, a profound debut about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever.

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.


Review:

Evocative, tragic, and incredibly affecting!

The Sweetness of Water is a powerful, riveting, emotionally-charged tale that sweeps you away to Georgia at the end of the civil war and takes you into the lives of a handful of people, including a lost father, a grieving mother, a returned soldier with a lot of aggression and a secret he will protect at any cost, two brothers recently enslaved who are slowly adapting to their newfound freedom, and a myriad of other southern people struggling to survive and accept the repercussions, fallout, and new way of life caused by their recent defeat by the Union Army.

The prose is sensitive and expressive. The characters are multi-layered, resilient, and vulnerable. And the plot, set during the mid-1860s, is a profoundly moving tale about war, familial relationships, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, shame, suspicion, secrets, desperation, resilience, hope, courage, resentment, emancipation, unlikely friendships, and forbidden love.

Overall, The Sweetness of Water is the perfect blend of historical facts, compelling fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a beautifully written, impactful, stunning debut by Harris that does a remarkable job of highlighting the indomitable spirit of humanity to endure, survive, conquer, forgive, and even love under even the harshest of circumstances.

This book is available now. 

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Nathan Harris

Nathan Harris, a native of Oregon, is a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas. He was awarded the Kidd Prize, as judged by Anthony Doerr, and was also a finalist for the Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanada #GoldenGirl #ElinHilderbrand

#BookReview Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanada #GoldenGirl #ElinHilderbrand Title: Golden Girl

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jun. 1, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she’s assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.

With all of Elin’s trademark beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and picture-perfect homes, plus a heartfelt message—the people we lose never really leave us—Golden Girl is a beach book unlike any other.


Review:

Thought-provoking, sentimental, and a touch mysterious!

Golden Girl is a heartfelt, compelling tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic Nantucket Island and into the life of novelist Vivian Howe, a mother of three, who after being killed in a hit-and-run accident is given one last summer to watch over those she loves and granted three small nudges to alter events on earth before she must finally accept her fate and pass over to the other side.

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are complex, authentic, and troubled. And the plot is an irresistible, touching tale of relationship dynamics, familial drama, life, loss, acceptance, moral dilemmas, secrets, forgiveness, friendship, and the intricacies of small-island living.

Overall, Golden Girl is another absorbing, nostalgic, poignant tale by Hilderbrand that does a beautiful job of reminding us that to be human is to be flawed, and everyone should love and deserves to be loved for who they are, flaws and all.

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 for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is a mother of three, an avid runner, reader, and traveler, and the author of twenty-three novels. She grew up outside Philadelphia, and has lived on Nantucket for more than twenty years.

#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.

#BookReview Who Is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews @littlebrown @HBGCanada #WhoIsMaudDixon #AlexandraAndrews

#BookReview Who Is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews @littlebrown @HBGCanada #WhoIsMaudDixon #AlexandraAndrews Title: Who Is Maud Dixon?

Author: Alexandra Andrews

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Mar. 2, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Florence Darrow is a small-town striver who believes that she’s destined to become a celebrated writer. When she stumbles into the opportunity to become the assistant to “Maud Dixon,” a celebrated-but anonymous-novelist (think: Elena Ferrante), she believes that the universe is finally providing her big chance. The arrangement feels idyllic; Helen can be prickly, but she is full of pointed wisdom on both writing and living. She even invites Florence along on a research trip to Morocco, where her new novel is set. Florence has never been out of the country before; maybe, she imagines, she’ll finally have something exciting to write about herself.

But when Florence wakes up in the hospital after a terrible car crash, and Helen is dead, she begins to imagine what it might be like to ‘upgrade’ into not only Helen’s life, but also that of Helen’s bestselling pseudonym, Maud Dixon…


Review:

Chilling, atmospheric, and ominous!

Who Is Maud Dixon? is a character-driven, psychological thrill ride involving the young, ambitious Florence Darrow, who after landing her dream job as an assistant to a famous writer, has no qualms in seizing an opportunity when it presents itself and dabbling in a little identity and literary theft in her ceaseless pursuit to become a world-class, successful writer.

The prose is intense and tight. The characters, including the devious, impulsive protagonist, are consumed, complex, and vulnerable. And the well-crafted, menacing plot builds nicely to create the perfect amount of tension and suspense as it unravels all the manipulative actions, questionable personalities, duplicitous motivations, and parasitic relationships within it.

Who Is Maud Dixon? is a tragic, unsettling, compelling novel by Andrews that with its beautiful Moroccan setting, self-absorbed, unscrupulous characters, and a plot reminiscent of Highsmith’s “The Talented Mr Ripley” is sure to have thriller fans excited and enthralled.

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Alexandra Andrews

Alexandra Andrews has worked as a journalist, editor and copywriter in New York and Paris. Who Is Maud Dixon? is her first novel. Publishers Weekly named her a “Writer to Watch” in 2021. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.

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