Source: St. Martin's Press

#BookReview What You Wish For by Katherine Center @katherinecenter @StMartinsPress #WhatYouWishFor

#BookReview What You Wish For by Katherine Center @katherinecenter @StMartinsPress #WhatYouWishFor Title: What You Wish For

Author: Katherine Center

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jul. 14, 2020

Genres: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 10/10

From Katherine Center, the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.

Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.

When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.


Review:

Inspirational, romantic, and incredibly absorbing!

What You Wish For is a moving, intimate tale that sweeps you away to Galveston, Texas and into the life of Samantha Casey, a young, school librarian who after finally finding her groove, confidence, and a place to call home has her life unexpectedly turned upside down when her former colleague and old crush, Duncan Carpenter moves to town and takes over as the new school principal with an obsessive focus on safety and security and none of the joviality he was previously known for.

The writing is tender and fluid. The characterization is well-developed with a wonderful cast of characters that are kind, caring, eccentric, and endearing. And the plot is a lovely blend of heart, hope, angst, and drama.

What You Wish For is, ultimately, a story about life, love, expectations, loss, trauma, grief, trust, forgiveness, friendship, community, second chances, and discovering one’s true self. It is a whimsical, addictive, immersive read by Center that does an exceptional job of highlighting the importance of always finding a little joy in everything you do and is a wonderful reminder that there’s no perfection in humanity, we are all wonderfully flawed.

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 in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Katherine Center

Katherine Center is the author of several novels about love and family: The Bright Side of Disaster, Everyone Is Beautiful, Get Lucky, and The Lost Husband. Her books and essays have appeared in Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, and Real Simple—as well as the anthologies Because I Love Her, CRUSH, and My Parents Were Awesome. Katherine is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. She lives in Houston with her husband and two sweet children.

Photo by Skylar Reeves.

#BookReview A Good Duke is Hard to Find (Isle of Synne #1) by Christina Britton @cbrittonauthor @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #ChristinaBritton #IsleofSynne

#BookReview A Good Duke is Hard to Find (Isle of Synne #1) by Christina Britton @cbrittonauthor @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever20 #ChristinaBritton #IsleofSynne Title: A Good Duke is Hard to Find

Author: Christina Britton

Series: Isle of Synne #1

Published by: Forever on Jun. 30, 2020

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 351

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 8/10

Get swept away by a Regency romance of broken engagements, second chances, and stolen kisses from the author whom Publishers Weekly calls “irresistible”.

After her third fiancé leaves her at the altar, Lenora Hartley is beginning to think she’s cursed. One thing’s for certain: she needs to escape London and her father’s tyrannical attempts to find her yet another suitor. The Isle of Synne, an isolated and idyllic retreat off Britain’s northern coast, is blessedly far from society’s gossip, but it also carries haunting reminders of her first fiancé. Letting go of the past to find happiness seems impossible—until Lenora is thrown in the path of a gruff, mysterious blue-eyed man who makes her pulse race.

Next in line for a dukedom he doesn’t want to inherit, Peter Ashford is only on the isle to exact revenge on the man who is responsible for his mother’s death. Once he’s completed the task, he’ll return to America where his life can finally be his own. Yet when he meets the beautiful and kind Miss Hartley, he can’t help but be drawn to her. Can Peter put aside his plans for vengeance for the woman who has come to mean everything to him?


Review:

Impassioned, engaging, and romantic!

A Good Duke is Hard to Find is set on the idyllic Isle of Synne during 1817 and features the handsome, bitter Peter Ashford, the heir to the Dane dukedom, who is bound and determined to revenge the man he holds responsible for his mother’s death until he meets the kind, disheartened Lenora Hartley, a young woman with heartache and troubles of her own.

The prose is light and authentic. The characters are intelligent, unsettled, and warm. And the plot is a push-pull blend of Regency lifestyle, familial expectations, palpable attraction, undeniable chemistry, desire, friendship, heartbreak, and steamy romance.

Overall, A Good Duke is Hard to Find is an entertaining, passionate, delightful read by Britton that may be the first novel I’ve read by this author but definitely won’t be my last.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                 

 

 

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

 

About Christina Britton

Christina Britton developed a passion for writing romance novels shortly after buying her first at the tender age of thirteen. Though for several years she turned to art and put brush instead of pen to paper, she has returned to her first love and is now writing full time. She spends her days dreaming of corsets and cravats and noblemen with tortured souls.

She lives with her husband and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area. A member of Romance Writers of America, she also belongs to her local chapter, Silicon Valley RWA, and is a 2017 RWA® Golden Heart® Winner.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Dilemma by B. A. Paris @BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress #TheDilemma

#BookReview The Dilemma by B. A. Paris @BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress #TheDilemma Title: The Dilemma

Author: B.A. Paris

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 30, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Knowing the truth will destroy her. Keeping it secret will destroy him.

It’s Livia’s 40th birthday, and her husband Adam is throwing her the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding they never had. Everyone she loves will be there, except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But Livia is secretly glad Marnie won’t be there.

Livia has recently uncovered a secret about their daughter which, if revealed, will shake the foundation of their family to its core. She needs to tell Adam, but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.

Adam, meanwhile, has his own surprise for Livia: he’s arranged for Marnie to secretly fly back for the party. But before Marnie arrives, Adam hears some terrible news. Now he too is faced with a dilemma: Does he share what he’s learned with his wife? Is hiding the truth the same as telling a lie? And how far are Adam and Livia willing to go to protect the ones they love—and give each other a last few hours of happiness?


Review:

Pensive, unsettling, and emotional!

The Dilemma is a poignant, intense, domestic drama that immerses you into the lives of the Harman family as they each grapple with weighty decisions, make potentially unforgivable choices, keep devastating secrets, and receive news that will shatter their lives forever.

The writing is gripping and unnerving. The characters are anxious, secretive, and troubled. And the plot told from two different perspectives uses an alternating, back-and-forth style to create tension and unease as it subtly unravels all the personalities, relationships, behaviours, and histories within it.

Overall, The Dilemma is, ultimately, a novel about life, love, loss, marriage, friendship, parenting, expectations, secrets, betrayal, fear, anguish, tragedy, and repercussions. It’s not the usual psychological thriller we’ve come to expect by Paris but is nevertheless an edgy, tight, emotionally compelling, thought-provoking tale.

 

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 in exchange for an honest review.

 

About B.A. Paris

B. A. PARIS is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, and Bring Me Back. She grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters. The Dilemma is her fourth novel.

Photograph by Philippe Matsas.

#BookReview Under Currents by Nora Roberts @smpromance @StMartinsPress #UnderCurrents #smpromance

#BookReview Under Currents by Nora Roberts @smpromance @StMartinsPress #UnderCurrents #smpromance Title: Under Currents

Author: Nora Roberts

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on May 5, 2020

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

For both Zane and Darby, their small town roots hold a terrible secret. Now, decades later, they’ve come together to build a new life. But will the past set them free or pull them under?

Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers―and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake―see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back…

Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own.

Together they will have to teach each other what it means to face the past, and stand up for the ones they love.


Review:

Twisty, steamy, and suspenseful!

Under Currents is a propulsive, seductive tale that takes you to Lakeview, North Carolina where the strong, handsome Zane Bigelow has finally returned to his hometown to open a law practice after fleeing twenty years earlier after suffering years of abusive at the hands of his parents, and the hardworking, sweet Darby McCray, a young landscaper running from her own abusive past and looking for a new place to call home.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are resilient, brave, and driven. And the plot is an ominous, passionate tale filled with twists, turns, familial drama, mayhem, abuse, secrets, danger, sizzling attraction, violence, romance, and murder.

Overall, Under Currents is a menacing, action-packed, alluring tale by Roberts that’s got all the elements we’ve come to know and love in her romantic suspense novels over the years, including endearing characters, tender moments, and a deliciously sinister storyline.

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 Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Come Sundown, The Obsession, The Liar, and coming in December 2017, Year One -- the first book in The Chronicles of The One. She is also the author of the futuristic suspense In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner @NatalieMJenner @StMartinsPress #TheJaneAustenSociety

#BookReview The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner @NatalieMJenner @StMartinsPress #TheJaneAustenSociety Title: The Jane Austen Society

Author: Natalie Jenner

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 26, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.


Review:

Charming, cosy, and quaint!

The Jane Austen Society is a delightfully nostalgic, heartwarming tale that takes us to the small village of Chawton, England post-WWII and into the lives of an unusual, eclectic group of people that includes a farmer, a doctor, a former school teacher, a young maid, a solicitor, a movie star, an antique auctioneer, and a distant relative of Austen as they join together to preserve and honour the iconic writer and the legacy she left behind.

The writing is tender and rich. The characters are multilayered, caring, and engaging. And the plot is an absorbing mix of life, loss, love, family, friendship, heartbreak, loneliness, familial expectations, second chances, and literary dabblings.

Overall, The Jane Austen Society is a sweet, touching, sentimental debut by Jenner that does a wonderful job of reminding us of all the special, remarkable characters and tales Jane Austen created and why we still enjoy and love them so much today.

 

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 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 Highland Sword (Royal Highlander #3) by May McGoldrick @MayMcGoldrick @smpromance #HighlandSword #smpromance

#BookReview Highland Sword (Royal Highlander #3) by May McGoldrick @MayMcGoldrick @smpromance #HighlandSword #smpromance Title: Highland Sword

Author: May McGoldrick

Series: Royal Highlander #3

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Mar. 31, 2020

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Scottish pride, persuasion, and passion—this is Highland romance at its breathtaking best. From USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick comes Highland Sword, the third book in the Royal Highlander series.

A VOW FOR VENGEANCE
Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.

A PLEA FOR PASSION
Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?


Review:

Spirited, intricate, and suspenseful!

Highland Sword is set in the Scottish Highlands during 1820 and features the fiery, resolute Morrigan Drummond, a loyal relative of the heir to the Scottish throne who is bound and determined to revenge the death of her father no matter the cost and with or without the help of the handsome, barrister Aidan Grant.

The prose is authentic and precise. The characters are intelligent, focused, and driven. And the plot is a push-pull tale full of family drama, political intrigue, historical facts, retribution, action, adventure, danger, and romance.

Overall, Highland Sword is an engaging, meticulous, entertaining read by McGoldrick that in my opinion could have used just a little more heat, but is nevertheless still a highly satisfying finale to the Royal Highlander series.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                 

 

 

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

 

About May McGoldrick

Authors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Publishing under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written more than thirty novels and works of nonfiction for Penguin Random House, Mira, HarperCollins, Entangled, and Heinemann. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a Resident Author. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut. They are the authors of Much ado about Highlanders, Taming the Highlander, and Tempest in the Highlands with SMP Swerve.

Photography by Loghan Rose Photography.

#BookReview Wild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Janna MacGregor @JannaMacGregor @smpromance #WildWildRake #smpromance

#BookReview Wild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses #6) by Janna MacGregor @JannaMacGregor @smpromance #WildWildRake #smpromance Title: Wild, Wild Rake

Author: Janna MacGregor

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses #6

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Feb. 25, 2020

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 353

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Her first marriage was an epic failure.

Lady Avalon Warwyk never did love her husband. Arrogant, selfish, and cruel, it’s a blessing when she’s widowed and left to raise her son all by herself. Finally, Avalon can live freely and do the work she loves: helping fallen women become businesswomen. She’s lived these past ten years with no desire to remarry―that is until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.

Can he convince her to take another chance at happily ever after?

Devan Farris―charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian―is reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. Devan wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But she’ll have nothing to do with vicar with a wild reputation―even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside―a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can prove that he wants to love and care for her. . . until death do they part?


Review:

Romantic, tantalizing, and witty!

Wild, Wild Rake is set in the English countryside during 1815 and features the independent, fiery Lady Avalon Warwyk who after a decade of blissful widowhood suddenly finds herself under the watchful eye of her late husband’s friend, the devilishly handsome, new parish vicar Devan Farris.

The prose is light and engaging. The characters are sweet, tentative, and alluring. And the plot is an amusing mix of Regency lifestyle, scoundrel behaviour, familial drama, mystique, attraction, admiration, tricky mishaps, danger, and steamy romance.

Overall, Wild, Wild Rake is a tempestuous, entertaining, scandalous read by MacGregor that’s a wonderful addition to The Cavensham Heiresses series and a delightful indulgence.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                 

 

 

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

 

About Janna MacGregor

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Unexpected Spy by Tracy Walder with Jessica Anya Blau @tracy_walder @JessicaAnyaBlau @StMartinsPress #TheUnexpectedSpy

#BookReview The Unexpected Spy by Tracy Walder with Jessica Anya Blau @tracy_walder @JessicaAnyaBlau @StMartinsPress #TheUnexpectedSpy Title: The Unexpected Spy

Author: Tracy Walder

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Feb. 25, 2020

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A highly entertaining account of a young woman who went straight from her college sorority to the CIA, where she hunted terrorists and WMDs

When Tracy Walder enrolled at the University of Southern California, she never thought that one day she would offer her pink beanbag chair in the Delta Gamma house to a CIA recruiter, or that she’d fly to the Middle East under an alias identity.

The Unexpected Spy is the riveting story of Walder’s tenure in the CIA and, later, the FBI. In high-security, steel-walled rooms in Virginia, Walder watched al-Qaeda members with drones as President Bush looked over her shoulder and CIA Director George Tenet brought her donuts. She tracked chemical terrorists and searched the world for Weapons of Mass Destruction. She created a chemical terror chart that someone in the White House altered to convey information she did not have or believe, leading to the Iraq invasion. Driven to stop terrorism, Walder debriefed terrorists—men who swore they’d never speak to a woman—until they gave her leads. She followed trails through North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, shutting down multiple chemical attacks.

Then Walder moved to the FBI, where she worked in counterintelligence. In a single year, she helped take down one of the most notorious foreign spies ever caught on American soil. Catching the bad guys wasn’t a problem in the FBI, but rampant sexism was. Walder left the FBI to teach young women, encouraging them to find a place in the FBI, CIA, State Department or the Senate—and thus change the world.


Review:

Candid, eye-opening, and inspiring!

The Unexpected Spy is the informative, intriguing story of Tracy Walder’s personal and professional experiences, successes, struggles, and accomplishments as a CIA SOO, FBI Special Agent, and beloved history teacher at an all girl’s school.

The writing is clear and precise. The characters are intelligent, focused, and driven. And the novel is a compelling, fascinating, introspective tale of one woman’s life as a covert operative in the wake of 9/11. 

The Unexpected Spy is, ultimately, part memoir, part spy novel that is full of valuable, insightful information into counterterrorism and the roles and efforts of counterintelligence agencies worldwide.

 

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 in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tracy Walder

Tracy Walder is a former Staff Operations Officer (SOO) at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center and a Special Agent at the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office specializing in Chinese counterintelligence operations and has taught high-school history and government courses at Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. Now Walder is the Board of Directors for Girl Security, a non profit, non partisan group that brings national security curriculum to girls in high school throughout the US.

Photography by Kent Barker Photography.

#BookReview The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo @AlyssInWnderlnd @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo @AlyssInWnderlnd @StMartinsPress Title: The Borgia Confessions

Author: Alyssa Palombo

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Feb. 11, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

During the sweltering Roman summer of 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has risen to power as pope. Rodrigo’s eldest son Cesare, forced to follow his father into the church and newly made the Archbishop of Valencia, chafes at his ecclesiastical role and fumes with jealousy and resentment at the way that his foolish brother has been chosen for the military greatness he desired.

Maddalena Moretti comes from the countryside, where she has seen how the whims of powerful men wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary people. But now, employed as a servant in the Vatican Palace, she cannot help but be entranced by Cesare Borgia’s handsome face and manner and finds her faith and conviction crumbling in her want of him.

As war rages and shifting alliances challenge the pope’s authority, Maddalena and Cesare’s lives grow inexplicably entwined. Maddalena becomes a keeper of dangerous Borgia secrets, and must decide if she is willing to be a pawn in the power games of the man she loves. And as jealousy and betrayal threaten to tear apart the Borgia family from within, Cesare is forced to reckon with his seemingly limitless ambition.

Alyssa Palombo’s captivating new novel, The Borgia Confessions, is a story of passion, politics, and class, set against the rise and fall of one of Italy’s most infamous families–the Borgias.


Book Rating: 9/10

Rich, fascinating, and immersive!

The Borgia Confessions is a compelling, informative tale set in Rome from 1492 to 1498 that tells the story of Rodrigo Borgia’s children, primarily Cesare, the Archbishop of Valencia who entered the church to please his father against his own true passion for battle and desire to become a condottiere; as well as that of Maddalena, a pious, palace servant who was not only loyal and friendly but a temptation too strong to resist.

The prose is vivid and alluring. The characters are bold, ruthless, and driven. And the plot is a sweeping saga that gives an insightful view into the sacrifices, struggles, hopes, fears, treachery, and entangled relationships of one of the most powerful families of Renaissance Italy.

The Borgia Confessions is, ultimately, a story about life, loss, love, politics, power, war, corruption, greed, fervour, desires, and sacrifice. It’s a perceptive, absorbing, well-written tale by Palombo that does a beautiful job of highlighting her impressive research and considerable knowledge into the infamous House of Borgia and their undeniable influence on both the Vatican and Italian history.

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 in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Alyssa Palombo

ALYSSA PALOMBO is the author of The Violinist of Venice, The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence, and The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel. She is a recent graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively. A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. When not writing, she can be found reading, hanging out with her friends, traveling, or planning for next Halloween. She lives in Buffalo, New York.

Photograph by Jennifer Hark-Hameister.

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham @LauraTrentham @StMartinsPress @smpromance

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham @LauraTrentham @StMartinsPress @smpromance Title: An Everyday Hero

Author: Laura Trentham

Series: A Heart of a Hero #2

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Feb. 5, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction, General Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

From award-winning author Laura Trentham comes an emotionally layered novel about redemption, second chances and discovering that life is worth fighting for.

At thirty, Greer Hadley never expected to be forced home to Madison, Tennessee with her life and dreams of being a songwriter up in flames. To make matters worse, a series of bad decisions and even crappier luck lands her community service hours at a nonprofit organization that aids veterans and their families. Greer cannot fathom how she’s supposed to use music to help anyone deal with their trauma and loss when the one thing that brought her joy has failed her.

When Greer meets fifteen-year-old Ally Martinez, her plans to stay detached and do as little as possible get thrown away. New to town and dealing with the death of her father in action, she hides her emotions behind a mask of bitterness and sarcasm, but Greer is able to see past it and recognizes pieces of who she once was in Ally. The raw and obvious talent she possesses could take her to the top and Greer vows to make sure life’s negativities don’t derail Ally’s potential.

After Greer is assigned a veteran to help, she’s not surprised Emmett Lawson, the town’s golden boy, followed his family’s legacy. What leaves her shocked is the shell of a man who believes he doesn’t deserve anyone’s help. A breakthrough with Ally reminds Greer that no one is worth giving up on. So she shows up one day with his old guitar, and meets Emmett’s rage head on with her stubbornness. When a situation with Ally becomes dire, the two of them must become a team to save her—and along the way they might just save themselves too.


Review:

Heartfelt, uplifting, and sweetly romantic!

An Everyday Hero is a compelling, touching tale that reminds us of the enduring emotional, physical, and psychological effects of war on those in the military and their families and highlights the incredible healing power that friendship, trust, love, and music can have.

The prose is clear and fluid. The characters are wounded, stubborn, and empathetic. And the story is a beautiful tale about life, loss, grief, family, ambition, forgiveness, introspection, patriotism, community, PTSD, pride, resilience, and love.

Overall, An Everyday Hero is another emotional, absorbing, enchanting tale by Trentham that is a wonderful addition to a series, A Heart of a Hero, that is quickly becoming one of my all-time favourites.

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1

“Disorderly conduct. Public intoxication. Resisting arrest.” Judge Duckett put down the paper, linked his hands, and stared over his reading glasses from his perch behind the bench with a combination of exasperation and fatherly disapproval.

Greer Hadley shifted in her sensible heels and smoothed the skirt of the light pink suit she’d borrowed from her mama for the occasion. “I’ll give you the first two, Uncle Bill—” The judge cleared his throat and narrowed his eyes. “Excuse me—Judge Duckett—but I did not resist arrest.”

“That you recall.” Deputy Wayne Peeler drawled the words out in the most sarcastic, unprofessional manner possible.

She fisted her hands and took a deep breath. The impulse to punch Wayne in the face simmered below the surface like a volcano no longer at rest. But ten o’clock on a Monday morning during her arraignment was not the smartest time to lose her temper, and she’d promised herself not to add to her string of bad decisions.

She sweetened her voice and bared her teeth at Wayne in the facsimile of a smile. “I recall plenty, thank you very much.”

Truth was she didn’t recall the minute details, but the shock of Wayne’s whispered offer on Saturday night to make her troubles go away for a price had done more to sober her up than the couple of hours spent in lockup waiting for her parents.

Dressed in his tan uniform, Wayne adjusted his heavy gun belt so often she imagined he got off every night by rubbing his gun. Giving him a badge had only empowered the part of him desperate for respect and approval. His nickname in high school, “the Weasel,” had been well earned.

Unfortunately, she was the unreliable narrator of her life at the moment and no one would trust her recollections. Judge Duckett, her uncle Bill by marriage until he and her aunt Tonya had divorced, rustled papers from his desk.

The ethics of her former uncle acting as her judge were questionable, especially considering they had remained close even after he’d remarried, but if nepotism is what it took to make this nightmare go away, then she wouldn’t be the one to lodge a complaint.

“A witness claimed you were sitting quietly at the end of the bar until a song played on the jukebox. What was the song?” Her uncle glanced at her over his glasses again, which made him look like a stern teacher.

“‘Before He Cheats’ by Carrie Underwood.” She forced her chin up.

 

 

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

 

About Laura Trentham

LAURA TRENTHAM is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She is a member of RWA, and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

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