Source: St. Martin's Press

#BookReview Every Duke Has His Day by Suzanne Enoch @suzieenoch @smpromance #EveryDukeHasHisDay #SuzanneEnoch #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Every Duke Has His Day by Suzanne Enoch @suzieenoch @smpromance #EveryDukeHasHisDay #SuzanneEnoch #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers Title: Every Duke Has His Day

Author: Suzanne Enoch

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Sep. 19, 2023

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Michael Blumley, Duke of Loriton (age 28), is viewed as an eccentric by his peers in the ton. He does his duty, of course, but his interest—and talent—lies in the science of electricity. He has no interest in what the frivolities of Society. When his favorite aunt, Mary, Lady Harris, leaves her precious, well-behaved black poodle, Lancelot in his care while she travels his life takes an interesting turn.

Elizabeth “Bitsy” Dockering (age 19), third daughter of a viscount, is enjoying her second Season in London. She is a Diamond of the Season and is adored by all—and especially by her precious black poodle, Galahad. To everyone else, however, Galahad is a demon dog. So much so that Peter Cordray, one of Bitsy’s most insistent beaux and a particular victim of Galahad’s bad manners and sharp teeth, has hired a petty thief (Jimmy Bly) to steal the dog, clearing the way for his suit.

When the two dogs and their “people” meet in the park, chaos ensues and unknowingly results in a dog swap. Which means Lancelot is kidnapped instead of Galahad! But when both dogs go missing in an ever thickening dognapping plot, Michael and Elizabeth end up coming together to scour London, recover Lancelot and Galahad all while falling in love.


Review:

Enchanting, romantic, and highly entertaining!

Every Duke Has His Day is a playful, adventurous tale that sweeps you away to Regency London and into the lives of the quirky, handsome Duke of Loriton, Michael Blumley and the beautiful, independent Elizabeth Dockering as they navigate a mix-up of dogs, a dognapping gone wrong, a suitor determined to do whatever it takes to win the girl, and a sizzling attraction neither of them can deny.

The prose is witty and light. The characters are loyal, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is an amusing, compelling tale full of friendship, family, scheming behaviour, societal expectations, tricky situations, tender moments, unconditional love, and romance.

Overall, Every Duke Has His Day is a lighthearted, engaging, delightful read by Enoch that I absolutely adored and which is the perfect choice for anyone who loves historical romance with a side of adventure.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Suzanne Enoch

A native and current resident of Southern California, Suzanne Enoch loves movies almost as much as she loves books, with a particular soft spot for anything Star Wars. She has written more than 50 books, including Regency romances, historical romances, and contemporary romantic suspense. She shares a home with various humans, tropical fish, a dog (Tiki), a tortoise (Lucky Jo), five lizards, six finches, and a parakeet named Fozzie.

Photo Credit: Dinamariephotography.com

#BookReview And Then There Was You by Nancy Naigle @smpromance @nancynaigle @StMartinsPress #AndThenThereWasYou #NancyNaigle #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview And Then There Was You by Nancy Naigle @smpromance @nancynaigle @StMartinsPress #AndThenThereWasYou #NancyNaigle #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers Title: And Then There Was You

Author: Nancy Naigle

Series: Chestnut Ridge #1

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Jun. 27, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

During the coziness of sweater weather in the mountains of Virginia two people find love against all odds in USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle’s And Then There Was You .

Reeling after falling prey to a Romeo con-artist who just waltzed away with the better part of her belongings, Natalie Maynard works closely with the detective assigned to her case, only the few leads have led nowhere.

Detective Randy Fellowes can’t promise Natalie restitution, but he’s determined to find the culprit and serve up justice. Married to his work, he’s caught off guard when Natalie has his thoughts wandering to more than the case.

Natalie soon seeks refuge in the one thing she still owns ― an old fishing cabin in the mountains of Chestnut Ridge. She quickly falls in love with the town and the eccentric people who are teaching her so much about the area and its heritage.

Through these people, and the determination of Detective Fellowes, she rediscovers her courage, self, and a reason to risk love again.


Review:

Reflective, optimistic, and tender!

And Then There Was You is a charming, uplifting tale that takes you into the life of Natalie Maynard, a confused, heartbroken widow who, after falling for a con man that left her confidence shattered, her life in tatters and her money all gone, moves to her late husband’s cabin in the idyllic mountains of Virginia to regroup, start over, and perhaps find some peace, family, and a new place to call home.

The writing is warm and fluid. The characters are kind, attentive, and supportive. And the plot is a sweet, heartfelt blend of life, loss, friendship, grief, introspection, drama, community, tricky situations, romantic gestures, unconditional love, and new beginnings.

Overall, And Then There Was You is a heartwarming, hopeful, captivating tale by Naigle that’s a promising start for this new Chestnut Ridge series and is definitely the perfect choice for anyone who loves endearing characters and small-town charm.

 

This book is available now.

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

       

 

 

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

 

About Nancy Naigle

USA Today bestselling author NANCY NAIGLE whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart. Now happily retired, she devotes her time to writing, antiquing, and the occasional spa day with friends. A native of Virginia Beach, she currently calls North Carolina home. Nancy is the author of Christmas Joy and Hope at Christmas, both of which have been turned into film for Hallmark Channel.

Photograph by Adam Sanner.

#BookReview The Enemy Beside Me by Naomi Ragen @StMartinsPress #TheEnemyBesideMe #NaomiRagen #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Enemy Beside Me by Naomi Ragen @StMartinsPress #TheEnemyBesideMe #NaomiRagen #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Enemy Beside Me

Author: Naomi Ragen

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Sep. 12, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Inspired by true events, Naomi Ragen’s The Enemy Beside Me is a powerful, provocative novel about two people fighting for reconciliation over unforgivable crimes of the past.

Taking over from her father and grandfather as the head of the Survivor’s Campaign, an organization whose purpose is to bring Nazi war criminals to justice, Milia Gottstein has dedicated her life to making sure the voices of Holocaust victims will never be silenced. It is an overwhelming and heartbreaking mission that has often usurped her time and energy being a wife to busy surgeon Julius, and a mother and grandmother. But now, just as she is finally ready to pass on her work to others, making time for her personal life, an unexpected phone call suddenly explodes all she thought she knew about her present and her future.

In the midst of this personal turmoil, Milia receives an invitation to be the keynote speaker at a Holocaust conference in Lithuania from Dr. Darius Vidas, the free spirited, rebellious conference head. Despite suspecting his motives―she is, after all, viewed as a ‘public enemy’ in that country for her efforts to have them try war criminals and admit their historic responsibility for annihilating almost their entire Jewish community, including her own family―she nevertheless accepts, having developed a secret agenda of her own. But as Milia and Darius begin their mission, shared experiences profoundly alter their relationship, replacing antagonism and suspicion with a growing intimacy. However, this only ramps up the hostile forces facing them, threatening their families, livelihoods, and reputations, and forcing them into shocking choices that will betray all they have achieved and all that has grown between them.


Review:

Thought-provoking, moving, and immersive!

The Enemy Beside Me is an insightful, poignant tale that takes you into the life of Milia Gottstein, a Jewish woman and current head of the Survivors’ Campaign, an organization previously run by her father and grandfather, who reluctantly heads to Lithuania to speak at a Holocaust conference to make sure that the Lithuanian people of today have a clear understanding of the actual role their citizens played and the atrocious acts they committed against their own neighbours and community members contrary to what they’ve always been taught to believe.

The prose is sobering and expressive. The characters are troubled, brave, and strong. And the plot is an enthralling, hopeful tale about life, love, strength, deception, injustice, guilt, loss, shame, respect, passion, truth, understanding, and acknowledgement.

Overall, The Enemy Beside Me is ultimately a heart-wrenching, affecting, pensive tale by Ragen based on real-life events that highlights the extreme hardships, suffering, and horrors endured during a heinous time in history when millions of lives were violated, taken, and senselessly lost, and reminds us that our greatest power against such evil, truly, is knowledge and never, ever to forget.

 

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 Naomi Ragen

Naomi Ragen is an award-winning novelist, journalist and playwright. Her first book, Jephte’s Daughter, was listed among the one-hundred most important Jewish books of all time. Her bestselling novels include Sotah, The Covenant, The Sisters Weiss, and Devil in Jerusalem. An outspoken advocate for women’s rights, and an active combatant against anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda through her website, she has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. An Observant Wife is her thirteenth novel.

Photo Credit: Alex Ragen

#BookReview Gone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen @sarahpekkanen @StMartinsPress #GoneTonightNovel #SarahPekkanen #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Gone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen @sarahpekkanen @StMartinsPress #GoneTonightNovel #SarahPekkanen #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Gone Tonight

Author: Sarah Pekkanen

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 1, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Catherine Sterling thinks she knows her mother. Ruth Sterling is quiet, hardworking, and lives for her daughter. All her life, it’s been just the two of them against the world. But now, Catherine is ready to spread her wings, move from home, and begin a new career. And Ruth Sterling will do anything to prevent that from happening.

Ruth Sterling thinks she knows her daughter. Catherine would never rebel, would never question anything about her mother’s past or background. But when Ruth’s desperate quest to keep her daughter by her side begins to reveal cracks in Ruth’s carefully-constructed world, both mother and daughter begin a dance of deception.


Review:

Ominous, tense, and clever!

Gone Tonight is a sharp, compulsive, psychological thriller that delves into all the deep, dark secrets people keep even from those closest to them and highlights just how easily people can be emotionally manipulated, controlled, and exploited by those they love.

The writing is crisp and edgy. The characters are distressed, unreliable, and vulnerable. And the plot, told by alternating perspectives, unfolds subtly into a murky tale full of twists, turns, surprises, familial drama, lies, secrets, manipulation, love, dysfunction, wickedness, deception, mental illness, and murder.

Overall, Gone Tonight is a crafty, sinister, engaging tale by Pekkanen that kept me engaged from start to finish and was a fantastic reminder of all the complex bonds and emotional ties that bind mothers and daughters.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Sarah Pekkanen

SARAH PEKKANEN is the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of four novels of suspense including The Golden Couple and The Wife Between Us, and the solo author of the thriller Gone Tonight. A passionate volunteer for rescue animals, she serves as an Ambassador for RRSA India and works hands-on in India to heal and vaccinate street dogs. She lives just outside of Washington, D.C., with her family.

Photo Credit: Kristina Sherk

#BookReview The Block Party by Jamie Day @StMartinsPress #JamieDay #TheBlockPartyNovel #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Block Party by Jamie Day @StMartinsPress #JamieDay #TheBlockPartyNovel #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Block Party

Author: Jamie Day

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jul. 18, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

This summer, meet your neighbors.

The residents of the exclusive cul-de-sac on Alton Road are entangled in a web of secrets and scandal utterly unknown to the outside world, and even to each other.

On the night of the annual Summer block party, there has been a murder.

But, who did it and why takes readers back one year earlier, as rivalries and betrayals unfold—discovering that the real danger lies within their own block and nothing—and no one—is ever as it seems.


Review:

Suspenseful, relentless, and tight!

The Block Party is a tempestuous, edgy domestic thriller that takes us to the affluent Alton Road, where financial woes are hidden, drama is high, marriages are in trouble, lives are messily intertwined, and by the end of this year’s annual Memorial Day party at least one resident won’t be alive.

The prose is brisk and sharp. The characters are self-absorbed, deceptive, and intrusive. And the plot, using a present/past style, is a juicy tale filled with secrets, deception, scandal, tragedy, infidelity, suspicions, revelations, mayhem, fractured relationships, inappropriate behaviours, substance abuse, jealousy, and murder.

Overall, The Block Party is a dark, twisty, compelling page-turner by Day that delves into the intricate and dynamic bonds that can exist between residents of tight-knit communities and has just the right amount of pace, mood, atmosphere, and surprises to keep you guessing until the very last page.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Jamie Day

Jamie Day lives in one of those picture-perfect, coastal New England towns you see in the movies. And just like the movies, Jamie has two children and an adorable dog to fawn over. When not writing or reading, Jamie enjoys yoga, the ocean, cooking, and long walks on the beach with the dog, or the kids, or sometimes both.

#BookReview Little Souls by Sandra Dallas @StMartinsPress #LittleSoulsBook #SandraDallas #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Little Souls by Sandra Dallas @StMartinsPress #LittleSoulsBook #SandraDallas #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Little Souls

Author: Sandra Dallas

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 22, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Sandra Dallas’s Little Souls is a gripping tale of sisterhood, loyalty, and secrets set in Denver amid America’s last deadly flu pandemic.

Colorado, 1918. World War I is raging overseas, but it’s the home front battling for survival. With the Spanish Flu rampant, Denver’s schools are converted into hospitals, churches and funeral homes are closed, and horse-drawn wagons collect corpses left in the street. Sisters Helen and Lutie have moved to Denver from Iowa after their parents’ deaths. Helen, a nurse, and Lutie, a carefree advertising designer at a fashionable women’s store share a small, neat house, and each finds a local beau―for Helen a doctor, for Lutie a young student who soon enlists. They make a modest income from a rental apartment in the basement. When their tenant dies from the flu, the sisters are thrust into caring for the woman’s small daughter, Dorothy. Soon after, Lutie comes home from work and discovers a dead man on their kitchen floor and Helen standing above the body, an icepick in hand. She has no doubt Helen killed the man―Dorothy’s father―in self-defense, but she knows that will be hard to prove. They decide to leave the body in the street, hoping to disguise it as a flu victim.

Meanwhile Lutie also worries about her fiancé “over there.” As it happens, his wealthy mother harbors a secret of her own and helps the sisters as the danger deepens, from both the murder investigation and the outbreak.

Set against the backdrop of an epidemic that feels all too familiar, Little Souls is a compelling tale of sisterhood and of the sacrifices people make to protect those they love most.


Review:

Immersive, tragic, and hopeful!

Little Souls is an alluring tale set in Denver during 1918 that takes you into the lives of two sisters, Lutie, a young fashion illustrator and Helen, a hardworking nurse whose lives are unimaginably changed forever when they decide to take in and protect their renter’s ten-year-old daughter Dorothy from an abusive father all while dealing first-hand with devastating losses both from the great war and the ravaging Spanish flu.

The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are kind, dependable, and resilient. And the plot is a moving tale of life, loss, heartbreak, abuse, determination, hope, loyalty, tragedy, secrets, survival, friendship, love, war, and the sacrifices of life during an influenza pandemic.

Overall, Little Souls is a rich, informative, uplifting tale by Dallas that does an exceptional job of highlighting the special bonds that exist between sisters while reminding us of the incredible impact the great war and the influenza of 1918 had on the people whose lives it touched both at home and away.

 

This novel is now available in paperback.

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 Sandra Dallas

Sandra Dallas, dubbed “a quintessential American voice” in Vogue Magazine, is the author of over a dozen novels, including Prayers for Sale and Tallgrass, many translated into a dozen languages and optioned for films. Six-time winner of the Willa Award and four-time winner of the Spur Award, Dallas was a Business Week reporter for 25 years covering the Rocky Mountain region, and began writing fiction in 1990. She has two daughters and lives with her husband in Denver and Georgetown, Colorado.

Photo Credit: Povy Kendal Atchison.

#BookReview The Trade Off by Sandie Jones @realsandiejones @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #SandieJones #TheTradeOffBook #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Trade Off by Sandie Jones @realsandiejones @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #SandieJones #TheTradeOffBook #MinotaurInfluencers #SMPInfluencers Title: The Trade Off

Author: Sandie Jones

Published by: Minotaur Books on Aug. 15, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, eBook

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Reese’s Book Club Pick The Other Woman comes The Trade Off, an electrifying new novel of suspense that begs the Would you tell a story, if you knew it was a lie? Or tell the truth and sleep at night?

For Stella, deputy editor of The Globe, the choice has always been clear. It doesn’t matter how low she has to stoop―getting the best story is what she’s built her reputation on.

For Jess, The Globe ’s rookie reporter, the story stops when the truth does. But she knows that the dirty tricks of the tabloids will be hard to overturn.

And when a celebrity is hounded by The Globe and pays the ultimate price, Jess wonders just how much Stella and the paper are responsible.

Determined to show the world what the tabloid is capable of, Jess will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth, but she needs to watch her back, because someone else is prepared to kill to bury it.

RISK or REWARD. JUSTICE or REVENGE. INNOCENCE or GUILT.


Review:

Intricate, crafty, and suspenseful!

The Trade Off is an engrossing, ominous tale that transports you into the lives of two main characters, Stella, the deputy editor of The Globe who will do whatever it takes to get the story, and Jess, the new rookie reporter who believes that the only story that should be printed is the truth, especially when that story can lead to devastating consequences.

The prose is tight and tense. The characters are secretive, ruthless, and driven. And the plot unravels quickly into a gripping tale full of twists, turns, lies, deception, power, abuse, corruption, greed, indulgence, revelations, ambition, and violence.

Overall, The Trade Off is a sinister, entertaining, intense thriller by Jones that explores the ethical and moral fine line between right and wrong. And even though it isn’t my favourite novel by this author, it does do a wonderful job of combining the morally questionable, somewhat sleazy atmosphere of tabloid journalism with unsavoury characters, poor choices, and eerie motivations.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Sandie Jones

SANDIE JONES has worked as a freelance journalist for more than twenty years and has written for publications including The Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly, and Hello magazine. She lives in Lon-don with her husband and three children. She is the author of The Other Woman, a Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick, as well as The First Mistake and The Half Sister. The Guilt Trip is her fourth novel.

Photo by Harriet Buckingham.

#BookReview Dark Corners by Megan Goldin @megangoldin @StMartinsPress #DarkCornersBook #MeganGoldin #RachelKrall #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Dark Corners by Megan Goldin @megangoldin @StMartinsPress #DarkCornersBook #MeganGoldin #RachelKrall #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Dark Corners

Author: Megan Goldin

Series: Rachel Krall #2

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 8, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Rachel Krall, the true crime podcaster star of Megan Goldin’s acclaimed The Night Swim, returns to search for a popular influencer who disappears after visiting a suspected serial killer.

Terence Bailey is about to be released from prison for breaking and entering, though investigators have long suspected him in the murders of six women. As his release date approaches, Bailey gets a surprise visit from Maddison Logan, a hot, young influencer with a huge social media following. Hours later, Maddison disappears, and police suspect she’s been kidnapped—or worse. Is Maddison’s disappearance connected to her visit to Bailey? And why was she visiting him in the first place?

When they hit a wall in the investigation, the FBI reluctantly asks for Rachel Krall’s help in finding the missing influencer. Maddison seems to only exist on social media; she has no family, no friends, and other than in her posts, most people have never seen her. Who is she, really? Using a fake Instagram account, Rachel goes undercover to BuzzCon, a popular influencer conference, where she discovers a world of fierce rivalry that may have turned lethal.

When police find the body of a woman with a tattoo of a snake eating its tail—identical to a tattoo Rachel had seen on Bailey’s hand—the FBI must consider a chilling possibility: Bailey has an accomplice on the outside and a dangerous obsession with influencers, including Rachel Krall herself. Suddenly the target of a monster hiding in plain sight, Rachel is forced to confront the very real dangers that lurk in the dark corners of the internet.


Review:

Dark, ominous, and unnerving!

Dark Corners is an intense, well-crafted tale that takes us back into the life of podcaster Rachel Krall as she heads to Florida to help the FBI with a case involving a missing influencer with ties to a convicted killer that will see her using her talents to infiltrate BuzzCon, a cutthroat convention of influencers, where everyone is willing to do anything they have to in order to be the next big thing.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are sly, self-obsessed, and competitive. And the plot is an intricate, gripping tall full of twists, turns, secrets, deception, manipulation, obsession, greed, jealousy, gossip-mongering, red herrings, malicious intentions, and murder.

Overall, Dark Corners is an unpredictable, eerie, entertaining tale by Goldin that didn’t have as much of that podcast feel as the first novel in the series, The Night Swim, but was nevertheless still an intricate, creepy, fantastic thrill ride.

 

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 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 Hotel Laguna by Nicola Harrison @NicolaHAuthor @StMartinsPress #HotelLaguna #NicolaHarrison #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Hotel Laguna by Nicola Harrison @NicolaHAuthor @StMartinsPress #HotelLaguna #NicolaHarrison #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Hotel Laguna

Author: Nicola Harrison

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 20, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In 1942, Hazel Francis left Wichita, Kansas for California, determined to do her part for the war effort. At Douglas Aircraft, she became one of many “Rosie the Riveters,” helping construct bombers for the U. S. military. But now the war is over, men have returned to their factory jobs, and women like Hazel have been dismissed, expected to return home to become wives and mothers.

Unwilling to be forced into a traditional woman’s role in the Midwest, Hazel remains on the west coast, and finds herself in the bohemian town of Laguna Beach. Desperate for work, she accepts a job as an assistant to famous artist Hanson Radcliff. Beloved by the locals for his contributions to the art scene and respected by the critics, Radcliff lives under the shadow of a decades old scandal that haunts him.

Working hard to stay on her cantankerous employer’s good side, Hazel becomes a valued member of the community. She never expected to fall in love with the rhythms of life in Laguna, nor did she expect to find a kindred spirit in Jimmy, the hotel bartender whose friendship promises something more. But Hazel still wants to work with airplanes—maybe even learn to fly one someday. Torn between pursuing her dream and the dream life she has been granted, she is unsure if giving herself over to Laguna is what her heart truly wants.


Review:

Nostalgic, romantic, and intriguing!

Hotel Laguna is a vivid, compelling tale that takes you into the life of Hazel Francis, an independent young woman who, after moving from Kansas to California to help in the war effort, finds herself settling in the artsy city of Laguna Beach after the war ends working as a girl Friday for the temperamental, eccentric Hanson Radcliff and developing a budding attraction for Jimmy, the handsome, helpful bartender at the Hotel Laguna.

The prose is rich and sentimental. The characters are complex, talented, and kind. And the plot is an engaging tale about life, loss, friendship, determination, kindness, romance, happiness, self-discovery, and community.

Overall, Hotel Laguna is a sweet, tender, delightful summer read by Harrison, complete with strong, endearing characters, a touching storyline, and an insightful look into life in 1940s California.

 

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 Nicola Harrison

Born in England, Nicola Harrison moved to CA where she received a BA in Literature at UCLA before moving to NYC and earning an MFA in creative writing at Stony Brook. She is a member of The Writers Room, has short stories published in The Southampton Review and Glimmer Train and articles in Los Angeles Magazine and Orange Coast Magazine. She was the fashion and style staff writer for Forbes, had a weekly column at Lucky Magazine and is the founder of a personal styling business, Harrison Style.

Photo by Erwin List.

#BookReview The Summer Girl by Elle Kennedy @ElleKennedy @smpromance @StMartinsPress #TheSummerGirl #ElleKennedy #AvalonBaySeries #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Summer Girl by Elle Kennedy @ElleKennedy @smpromance @StMartinsPress #TheSummerGirl #ElleKennedy #AvalonBaySeries #SMPRomance #SMPInfluencers Title: The Summer Girl

Author: Elle Kennedy

Series: Avalon Bay #3

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Jul. 18, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

College student Cassie Soul hasn’t spent an entire summer in Avalon Bay in years, not since her parents divorced and her mother spitefully whisked her away to Boston. Now that her grandmother is selling the boardwalk hotel that’s been in their family for five decades, Cassie returns to the quaint beach town to spend time with family, ring in her twenty-first birthday… and maybe find herself a summer fling.

On her first night in town, she finds the perfect candidate: Tate Bartlett, Avalon Bay’s fun-loving golden boy.

Tate, sailing instructor and lovable player, is no stranger to flings. In fact, he’s always down for a good time. But the moment he meets Cassie, he knows she’s not the girl you play games with. Cassie is gorgeous, hilarious, and, frankly, the coolest person he’s ever met. The last thing he wants to do is risk breaking her heart, and so he reluctantly puts her in the friend-zone… only to realize he made a huge mistake. Soon, his attraction to Cassie becomes impossible to ignore. He wants that fling now. Big-time.

And maybe even something more.

As Cassie and Tate walk the line between friends and lovers, they’re about to discover that their situation is the least complicated part of this equation. Because Avalon Bay is full of secrets—and their relationship might not survive when those secrets come to light.


Review:

Steamy, sassy, and tender!

The Summer Girl is a cute, sweet, delightfully charming rom-com featuring the kind, dependable Cassie Soul, who, after returning to Avalon Bay for the summer to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, spend some time with her maternal grandmother, visit with her father, and perhaps have a little fling, quickly discovers that as time goes on, and secrets are uncovered she may have more than just a passing fancy for life on the island and local boy Tate Bartlett.

The writing is witty and smooth. The characters are easygoing, supportive, and dependable. And the plot is an enchanting mix of life, friendship, tension, chemistry, self-discovery, emotion, familial drama, special moments, summer fun, happiness, taking chances, and unconditional love.

Overall, The Summer Girl is an amusing, lighthearted, perfect summer read by Kennedy that can definitely be picked up as a standalone novel, but as someone who absolutely adores this Avalon Bay series, I highly recommend you read them all.

 

This book is available now.

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

       

 

 

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

 

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!