Source: Uplit Reads

#BookReview How to Plot a Payback by Melissa Ferguson @our_friendly_farmhouse @uplitreads #HowToPlotAPayback #melissaferguson #uplitreads

#BookReview How to Plot a Payback by Melissa Ferguson @our_friendly_farmhouse @uplitreads #HowToPlotAPayback #melissaferguson #uplitreads Title: How to Plot a Payback

Author: Melissa Ferguson

Published by: Thomas Nelson on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8/10

He crossed an ocean, and it still wasn’t enough to escape his lifelong nemesis. Now he has to work with her.

Successful screenwriter Finn Masters just landed his dream job writing for Neighbors, one of Hollywood’s highest-rated, longest-running sitcoms. The only downside? It will put him back in proximity of the show’s universally adored, optimistic, altruistic star, Lavender Rhodes, who has been inadvertently ruining his life since they were school chums in England. But she doesn’t even know she destroyed his acting career and wrecked his relationship with the love of his life.

He’s not about to let this woman yank yet another dream out from under his feet. In fact, he realizes he’s been given the ideal opportunity to plot his payback: spinning her character in shocking new directions.

What could go wrong? Only everything. As Finn’s not-so-brilliant plot backfires one scene after the next, catching him in the blasts, he’s forced to think about this impossible, infuriating… and maybe even lovable woman in an entirely new light.


Review:

Engaging, charming, and fun!

How to Plot a Payback is an amusing, feel-good, enemies-to-lovers romance that takes you into the lives of both Lavender Rhodes, a young woman who loves being a celebrity on one of the most popular shows on TV but who may be ready for something more, and the kind, handsome Finn Masters who may finally have the career of his dreams but with the unfortunate twist of having to work with the one woman who has been wreaking havoc on his life since adolescence.

The writing is humorous and light. The characters are hardworking, passionate, and lively. And the plot is a push-pull tale full of tricky situations, tender moments, humorous mishaps, workplace drama, self-discovery, witty banter, friendship, expectations, chemistry, and love.

Overall, How to Plot a Payback is another sweet, spirited, highly entertaining read by Ferguson with characters I couldn’t help but root for and a happy-ever-after ending that left me smiling, smitten, and more than satisfied.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Melissa Ferguson

Melissa Ferguson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, where she enjoys chasing her children and writing romantic comedies full of humor and heart. Her favorite hobby is taking friends and acquaintances and turning them into characters in her books without their knowledge. She is confident you should read all her novels, starting with this one.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Berlin Letters by Katherine Reay @uplitreads #TheBerlinLetters #KatherineReay #gifted #uplitreads

#BookReview The Berlin Letters by Katherine Reay @uplitreads #TheBerlinLetters #KatherineReay #gifted #uplitreads Title: The Berlin Letters

Author: Katherine Reay

Published by: Harper Muse on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Bestselling author Katherine Reay returns with an unforgettable tale of the Cold War and a CIA code breaker who risks everything to free her father from an East German prison.

From the time she was a young girl, Luisa Voekler has loved solving puzzles and cracking codes. Brilliant and logical, she’s expected to quickly climb the career ladder at the CIA. But while her coworkers have moved on to thrilling Cold War assignments—especially in the exhilarating era of the late 1980s—Luisa’s work remains stuck in the past decoding messages from World War II.

Journalist Haris Voekler grew up a proud East Berliner. But as his eyes open to the realities of postwar East Germany, he realizes that the Soviet promises of a better future are not coming to fruition. After the Berlin Wall goes up, Haris finds himself separated from his young daughter and all alone after his wife dies. There’s only one way to reach his family—by sending coded letters to his father-in-law who lives on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

When Luisa Voekler discovers a secret cache of letters written by the father she has long presumed dead, she learns the truth about her grandfather’s work, her father’s identity, and why she has never progressed in her career. With little more than a rudimentary plan and hope, she journeys to Berlin and risks everything to free her father and get him out of East Berlin alive.

As Luisa and Haris take turns telling their stories, events speed toward one of the twentieth century’s most dramatic moments—the fall of the Berlin Wall and that night’s promise of freedom, truth, and reconciliation for those who lived, for twenty-eight years, behind the bleak shadow of the Iron Curtain’s most iconic symbol.


Review:

Gritty, intense, and informative!

The Berlin Letters is an edgy, insightful tale set between 1961 and 1989 that takes you into the life of Luisa Voekler, a CIA cryptographer living in DC who, after finding a pile of encrypted letters after her grandfather passes away, learns there’s more to her family’s history in Berlin before and after the wall was erected than she ever could have imagined. And though she has always been told that her parents were killed in an accident when she was young, she suddenly uncovers that her father is actually still alive and being held in a Stasi prison.

The prose is rich and expressive. The characters are troubled, inquisitive, and brave. And the plot, told in a past/present, back-and-forth style, is a tightly crafted, intriguing tale of life, loss, secrets, sacrifice, war, loyalty, passion, heartbreak, corruption, treachery, familial drama, politics, and repression.

Overall, The Berlin Letters is a compelling, absorbing, perceptive tale by Reay that not only satisfied and entertained me but did a wonderful job of opening my eyes to a dark time in history I lived through as a child but barely understood.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Katherine Reay

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

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

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

#BookReview The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn & Janie Chang @uplitreads @uplitreads #thephoenixcrown #katequinn #janiechang #gifted #uplitreads

#BookReview The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn & Janie Chang @uplitreads @uplitreads #thephoenixcrown #katequinn #janiechang #gifted #uplitreads Title: The Phoenix Crown

Author: Kate Quinn, Janie Chang

Published by: William Morrow Paperbacks on Feb. 13, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8/10

From bestselling authors Janie Chang and Kate Quinn, a thrilling and unforgettable narrative about the intertwined lives of two wronged women, spanning from the chaos of the San Francisco earthquake to the glittering palaces of Versailles.

San Francisco, 1906. In a city bustling with newly minted millionaires and scheming upstarts, two very different women hope to change their fortunes: Gemma, a golden-haired, silver-voiced soprano whose career desperately needs rekindling, and Suling, a petite and resolute Chinatown embroideress who is determined to escape an arranged marriage. Their paths cross when they are drawn into the orbit of Henry Thornton, a charming railroad magnate whose extraordinary collection of Chinese antiques includes the fabled Phoenix Crown, a legendary relic of Beijing’s fallen Summer Palace.

His patronage offers Gemma and Suling the chance of a lifetime, but their lives are thrown into turmoil when a devastating earthquake rips San Francisco apart and Thornton disappears, leaving behind a mystery reaching further than anyone could have imagined . . . until the Phoenix Crown reappears five years later at a sumptuous Paris costume ball, drawing Gemma and Suling together in one last desperate quest for justice.


Review:

Compelling, atmospheric, and mysterious!

The Phoenix Crown is a captivating, insightful tale set during 1906 that takes you into the life of Gemma Garland, an operatic soprano who, after having a lacklustre career in New York, heads to San Francisco to meet up with her friend, Nell and give her career the boost it needs, but things don’t work out exactly as she hoped, and as the earthquake and subsequent fires destroy the foundations of the city, it quickly becomes apparent that the railroad magnate and Chinese antiquities collector, Henry Thornton is not quite the catch he first appeared, and it will take forming a close friendship with a young embroider and a middle-aged renowned botanist to finally bring his nefarious actions to light.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are naive, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is an engaging tale of life, loss, deception, surprises, heartbreak, betrayal, danger, friendship, inequality, survival, a touch of romance, and the great San Francisco earthquake.

Overall, The Phoenix Crown is an intriguing, absorbing, enigmatic tale by this dynamic writing duo that immerses you in another time and place and does a wonderful job of highlighting the lengths that people will often go for power, success, acceptance, retribution, and survival.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Janie Chang

Born in Taiwan, Janie Chang has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, New Zealand, and Canada. She writes historical fiction, often drawing from family history and ancestral stories. She has a degree in computer science and is a graduate of the Writer’s Studio Program at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of Three Souls, Dragon Springs Road, and The Library of Legends.

About Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of Southern California, she attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network, The Huntress, The Rose Code, and The Diamond Eye. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in California with three black rescue dogs.

#BookReview Christmas at the Shelter Inn by RaeAnne Thayne @raeannethayne @uplitreads @HarlequinBooks #ChristmasattheShelterInn #RaeAnneThayne #UplitReads #gifted

#BookReview Christmas at the Shelter Inn by RaeAnne Thayne @raeannethayne @uplitreads @HarlequinBooks #ChristmasattheShelterInn #RaeAnneThayne #UplitReads #gifted Title: Christmas at the Shelter Inn

Author: RaeAnne Thayne

Published by: Canary Street Press on Oct. 10, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Come home to Shelter Springs this Christmas, where hearts are warm and hopes are bright…

Growing up at the Shelter Inn hotel, Natalie Shepherd envied guests who could come and go as they pleased. So when it was time to finally leave for college and put the lush green mountains around Shelter Springs—along with the cloud of loss that seemed to follow her family—behind her, she swore she’d never come back. But now her sister McKenna needs a favor. On pregnancy bed rest at doctor’s orders, McKenna needs a helping hand with her two young daughters and someone to take over the inn during the hectic holiday season, and Nat can’t refuse. And just when things can’t get worse, she runs into her late brother’s best friend, Griffin Taylor…

Griff has mixed feelings about Natalie’s return. She’s just as beautiful and full of life as he remembered, but there’s a secret he’s carried for years about her brother—and the guilt is eating away at him. Still, Christmas in this small town is filled with treasured traditions and new adventures that hold the promise of something sweet and lasting. From matchmaking seniors to rambunctious nieces, it seems everyone is hoping Nat and Griff will put loss behind them and find a happy new beginning…


Review:

Quaint, spirited, and heartwarming!

Christmas at the Shelter Inn is a cosy, beguiling tale that takes you into the lives of two main characters. Natalie Shepard, a young woman who heads home for the first time in a long time right before Christmas in order to help out her sister, and Griffin Taylor, a hardworking doctor who is trying to do whatever he can to heal the hurts of the past and open a successful private practice in his hometown.

The prose is charming and light. The characters are thoughtful, lonely, and kind. And the plot is a delightfully enchanting tale full of life, loss, love, tender moments, friendship, family, community, self-discovery, merry preparations, and a touch of romance!

Overall, Christmas at the Shelter Inn is a clean, festive, uplifting treat by Thayne that will have you believing in the magic of Christmas and daydreaming of snowflakes, twinkling lights, decorated trees, and scrumptious wintery treats.

 

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About RaeAnne Thayne

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @uplitreads @SimonSchusterCA #thesummerofsongbirds #kristywoodsonharvey #SimonSchusterCA #gifted

#BookReview The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey @uplitreads @SimonSchusterCA #thesummerofsongbirds #kristywoodsonharvey #SimonSchusterCA #gifted Title: The Summer of Songbirds

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Published by: Gallery Books on Jul. 11, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada, Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 9/10

Four women come together to save the summer camp that changed their lives and rediscover themselves in the process in this moving new novel from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Wedding Veil and the Peachtree Bluff series.

Nearly thirty years ago, in the wake of a personal tragedy, June Moore bought Camp Holly Springs and turned it into a thriving summer haven for girls. But now, June is in danger of losing the place she has sacrificed everything for, and begins to realize how much she has used the camp to avoid facing difficulties in her life.

June’s niece, Daphne, met her two best friends, Lanier and Mary Stuart, during a fateful summer at camp. They’ve all helped each other through hard things, from heartbreak and loss to substance abuse and unplanned pregnancy, and the three are inseparable even in their thirties. But when attorney Daphne is confronted with a relationship from her past—and a confidential issue at work becomes personal—she is faced with an impossible choice.

Lanier, meanwhile, is struggling with tough decisions of her own. After a run-in with an old flame, she is torn between the commitment she made to her fiancé and the one she made to her first love. And when a big secret comes to light, she finds herself at odds with her best friend…and risks losing the person she loves most.

But in spite of their personal problems, nothing is more important to these songbirds than Camp Holly Springs. When the women learn their childhood oasis is in danger of closing, they band together to save it, sending them on a journey that promises to open the next chapters in their lives.


Review:

Absorbing, nostalgic, and sweet!

The Summer of Songbirds is an uplifting, compelling tale that takes you into the life of three childhood friends, Daphne, Lanier, and Mary Stuart who, after discovering that the place they met and holds such a special place in their hearts, Camp Holly Springs, is about to be lost join together to do whatever they can to raise the money Aunt June needs to keep this summer sanctuary for girls open for generations to come.

The prose is rich and vivid. The characters are creative, reliable, and loyal. And the plot is a heartfelt, delightful mix of friendship, family, heartbreak, introspection, support, forgiveness, tragedy, loss, drama, community, new beginnings, tender moments, and love.

Overall, The Summer of Songbirds is a sophisticated, sensitive, romantic tale by Harvey that once again highlights her innate ability to delve into all the psychological and emotional dynamics that exist between friends and reminds us just how meaningful, important, and powerful female friendships can truly be.

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads & Simon Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristy Woodson Harvey

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

Photo by Jay Ackerman.

#BookReview Welcome to Beach Town by Susan Wiggs @susanwiggs @uplitreads @WmMorrowBooks #welcometobeachtown #authorsusanwiggs #uplitreadscampaign

#BookReview Welcome to Beach Town by Susan Wiggs @susanwiggs @uplitreads @WmMorrowBooks #welcometobeachtown #authorsusanwiggs #uplitreadscampaign Title: Welcome to Beach Town

Author: Susan Wiggs

Published by: William Morrow on Jun. 20, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Every town has its secrets… In idyllic Alara Cove, a California beach town known for its sunny charm and chill surfer vibe, it’s graduation day at the elite Thornton Academy.

At Thornton, the students are the worldly and overindulged children who live in gated enclaves with spectacular views. But the class valedictorian is Nikki Graziola, a surfer’s daughter who is there on scholarship. To the shock of everyone in the audience, Nikki veers off script while giving her commencement address and reveals a secret that breaks open the whole community. As her truth explodes into the light, Alara Cove will face a reckoning. Nikki Graziola’s accusation shakes the foundation of Alara Cove, pitting her against the wealthy family whose money runs the town. Her new notoriety sends Nikki into exile for years, where she finds fame—but not fortune—overseas as a competition surfer…until a personal tragedy compels her to return to Alara Cove.  

As Nikki struggles to rebuild her future, she finds that the people of the town have not forgotten her. But time has changed Alara Cove, and old friendships, rivalries, and an unexpected romance draw her back into the life of the beach town she’s never quite forgotten, and where joy and redemption may be possible after all.


Review:

Sincere, heart-tugging, and rewarding!

Welcome to Beach Town is an emotional, immersive, heartwarming tale that takes us into the life of the sweet, vulnerable Nikki Graziola as she struggles to juggle returning to her hometown that’s laced with tragic memories and a place she hoped she’d never have to live again, the overwhelming grief caused by the sudden loss of the love of her life, a strained relationship with a father she hardly knows, a determination to finally uncover all the secrets hidden by those in power, and a newly budding attraction to a friend she was pretty close with in the past.

The writing is sentimental and engaging. The characters are layered, supportive, and generous. And the plot is a touching tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, happiness, heartbreak, taking chances, growth, healing, revelations, tender moments, light drama, greed, corruption, selflessness, romance, and new beginnings.

Overall, Welcome to Beach Town is another heartwarming, uplifting, nostalgic tale that reminds us that the true meaning of family is unconditionally respecting, loving, supporting, and accepting each other through all the highs and lows. It’s the perfect read for summer that proves once again that when it comes to writing heartfelt, moving stories with characters you can’t help but root for, Wiggs is one of the best.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and in good weather, she commutes to her writers' group in a 21-foot motorboat. She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR, PRI, and USA Today, has given programs for the US Embassies in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and is a popular speaker locally, nationally, internationally, and on the high seas.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature. Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries and languages. According to Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with "refreshingly honest emotion," and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is "one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book." Booklist characterizes her books as "real and true and unforgettable."

Her novels have appeared in the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and have captured readers’ hearts around the globe with translations into more than 20 languages and 30 countries. She is a three-time winner of the RITA Award,. Her recent novel, The Apple Orchard, is currently being made into a film, and The Lakeshore Chronicles has been optioned for adaptation into a series.

The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book. She lives on an island in Puget Sound, where she divides her time between sleeping and waking.

#BookReview Only the Beautiful by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner @uplitreads #onlythebeautiful #authorsusanmeissner #uplitreadscampaign

#BookReview Only the Beautiful by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner @uplitreads #onlythebeautiful #authorsusanmeissner #uplitreadscampaign Title: Only the Beautiful

Author: Susan Meissner

Published by: Berkley Books on Apr. 18, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, eBook

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 10/10

A heartrending story about a young mother’s fight to keep her daughter, and the winds of fortune that tear them apart by the New York Times bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things and The Last Year of the War.

California, 1938—When she loses her parents in an accident, sixteen-year-old Rosanne is taken in by the owners of the vineyard where she has lived her whole life as the vinedresser’s daughter. She moves into Celine and Truman Calvert’s spacious house with a secret, however—Rosie sees colors when she hears sound. She promised her mother she’d never reveal her little-understood ability to anyone, but the weight of her isolation and grief prove too much for her. Driven by her loneliness she not only breaks the vow to her mother, but in a desperate moment lets down her guard and ends up pregnant. Banished by the Calverts, Rosanne believes she is bound for a home for unwed mothers, and having lost her family she treasures her pregnancy as the chance for a future one. But she soon finds out she is not going to a home of any kind, but to a place far worse than anything she could have imagined.

Austria, 1947—After witnessing firsthand Adolf Hitler’s brutal pursuit of hereditary purity—especially with regard to “different children”—Helen Calvert, Truman’s sister, is ready to return to America for good. But when she arrives at her brother’s peaceful vineyard after decades working abroad, she is shocked to learn what really happened nine years earlier to the vinedresser’s daughter, a girl whom Helen had long ago befriended. In her determination to find Rosanne, Helen discovers that while the war had been won in Europe, there are still terrifying battles to be fought at home.


Review:

Poignant, insightful, and incredibly absorbing!

Only the Beautiful is a heart-wrenching, compelling tale that sweeps you away to California between the late 1930s to late 1940s and into the lives of Rosanne, a young girl who, after falling pregnant, is sent by her wards to an institute to not only have her baby removed from her care and adopted out when it’s born, but also where for the good of society they perform forced sterilization, and Helen Calvert, a kind, generous woman who after spending the entirety of the war overseas trying to save children with disabilities from Hitler’s horrifying T4 program returns home only to discover she has a niece she’s never met and thus a new mission to find where she ended up and provide her with the best life possible.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are genuine, sympathetic, and vulnerable. And the plot is a masterfully woven, captivating tale about life, loss, love, heartbreak, courage, hope, manipulation, power, ethics, morality, motherhood, and the unconscionable theory of eugenics.

Overall, Only the Beautiful is an emotional, heartbreaking, beautifully written tale by Meissner that immerses you so thoroughly into the lives, feelings, and personalities of the characters you never want it to end. It is, without a doubt, one of my favourite novels of the year, and it really shouldn’t be missed.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner is a USA Today bestselling novelist with more than half a million books in print in fifteen languages. Her critically acclaimed works of historical fiction have been named to numerous lists including Publishers Weekly’s annual roster of 100 best books, Library Reads Top Picks, Real Simple annual tally of best books, Goodreads Readers’ Choice awards, Booklist’s Top Ten, and Book of the Month.

She attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and is a former managing editor of a weekly newspaper. Susan’s expertise as a storyteller and her thoroughly researched topics make her a favorite author of book clubs everywhere. Her engaging and warm speaking style appeal to all manner of women’s groups, literary organizations, libraries and learning institutions, and service clubs.

When she is not working on a new novel, she enjoys teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with her family, music, reading great books, and travelling.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson @AuthorJenniferR @uplitreads @harpercollinsca #coronationyear #JenniferRobson #uplitreadscampaign

#BookReview Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson @AuthorJenniferR @uplitreads @harpercollinsca #coronationyear #JenniferRobson #uplitreadscampaign Title: Coronation Year

Author: Jennifer Robson

Published by: William Morrow on Apr. 4, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The USA Today bestselling author of The Gown returns with another enthralling and royal-adjacent historical novel—as the lives of three very different residents of London’s historic Blue Lion hotel converge in a potentially explosive climax on the day of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation.

It is Coronation Year, 1953, and a new queen is about to be crowned. The people of London are in a mood to celebrate, none more so than the residents of the Blue Lion hotel.

Edie Howard, owner and operator of the floundering Blue Lion, has found the miracle she needs: on Coronation Day, Queen Elizabeth in her gold coach will pass by the hotel’s front door, allowing Edie to charge a fortune for rooms and, barring disaster, save her beloved home from financial ruin. Edie’s luck might just be turning, all thanks to a young queen about her own age.

Stella Donati, a young Italian photographer and Holocaust survivor, has come to live at the Blue Lion while she takes up a coveted position at Picture Weekly magazine. London in celebration mode feels like a different world to her. As she learns the ins and outs of her new profession, Stella discovers a purpose and direction that honor her past and bring hope for her future.

James Geddes, a war hero and gifted artist, has struggled to make his mark in a world that disdains his Indian ancestry. At the Blue Lion, though, he is made to feel welcome and worthy. Yet even as his friendship with Edie deepens, he begins to suspect that something is badly amiss at his new home.

When anonymous threats focused on Coronation Day, the Blue Lion, and even the queen herself disrupt their mood of happy optimism, Edie and her friends must race to uncover the truth, save their home, and expose those who seek to erase the joy and promise of Coronation Year.


Review:

Nostalgic, mysterious, and immersive!

Coronation Year is a captivating, lighthearted tale set in London in 1953 that takes you into the lives of the residents of the Blue Lion hotel, especially Edie Howard, the hardworking owner who, after struggling for the last few years to make ends meet, is hoping the upcoming coronation will provide the influx of cash she so desperately needs; Stella Donati, a Holocaust survivor and up-and-coming photographer who just received the chance of a lifetime when due to unforeseen circumstances she is chosen to photograph the queen on this incredibly momentous occasion; and James Geddes, a Scottish man with Indian ancestry who after leaving law school to pursue his dream of becoming a successful artist secures a lucrative commission to paint the queen’s procession as it passes by the esteemed Cartwrights’ Hall.

The prose is rich and expressive. The characters are plucky, supportive, and kind. And the plot is a delightfully engaging tale about life, loss, love, friendship, family, loyalty, uncertainty, good intentions, self-discovery, meddling, mischief, deception, and a touch of romance.

Overall, Coronation Year is a vivid, sentimental, timely read by Robson that does a lovely job of interweaving historical facts, endearing characters, and intriguing fiction into an insightful, compelling tale that is atmospheric and highly absorbing.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Jennifer Robson

Jennifer Robson first learned about the Great War from her father, acclaimed historian Stuart Robson, and later served as an official guide at the Canadian National War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. A former copy editor, she holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children.

#BookReview The Girls in Navy Blue by Alix Rickloff @AlixRickloff @uplitreads #thegirlsinnavyblue #authoralixrickloff #uplitreadscampaign

#BookReview The Girls in Navy Blue by Alix Rickloff @AlixRickloff @uplitreads #thegirlsinnavyblue #authoralixrickloff #uplitreadscampaign Title: The Girls in Navy Blue

Author: Alix Rickloff

Published by: William Morrow on Nov. 1, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8/10

A gripping and compelling dual timeline novel about three women who joined the Navy during WWI to become yeomanettes and the impact their choices have on one of their descendants in 1968.

1918 – America is at war with Germany, and, for the first time in history, the US Navy has allowed women to join up alongside the men. Ten thousand of them rush to do their part. German-American Marjory Kunwald enlists in the Navy to prove her patriotism. Suffragette Blanche Lawrence to prove that women are the equal of men. And shy preacher’s daughter Viv Weston in a desperate attempt to hide from the police.

Even as the US military pours into France and the war heats up, the three yeomanettes find friendship and sisterhood within the Navy. But all their plans for the future are thrown into chaos when Viv’s dark past finally catches up with her.

1968 – Newly divorced and reeling from a personal tragedy, Peggy Whitby unexpectedly inherits her estranged great-aunt Blanche’s beach cottage outside Norfolk Virginia. But her fragile peace is rattled when she begins to receive mysterious postcards dated from 1918 when Blanche served as a Navy yeomanette.

Curious to learn more about her mysterious aunt and uncover the truth behind the cryptic messages, Peggy is drawn deeper into the lives of the three young Navy girls. But her digging uncovers more than she bargains for, and, as past and present collide, Peggy must decide if finding out about her aunt is worth the risk of losing herself.


Review:

Compelling, vivid, and insightful!

The Girls in Navy Blue is an immersive, dual-timeline tale set in Virginia during WWI as well as 1968 that takes you into the lives of four main characters. Marjory Kunwald, a young German American who yearns to prove where her patriotism lies; Blanche Lawrence, an independent gal determined to do whatever it takes to fight for equality; Viv Weston, a scarred woman with a tortured past looking for a new start; and Peggy Whitby a divorcée who after inheriting her great-aunt’s cottage starts to uncover more secrets about her family’s past than she ever could have imagined.

The prose is rich and expressive. The characters are independent, spirited, and brave. And the plot is an intriguing, tender tale of life, loss, love, hope, family, sacrifices, new beginnings, and female friendship.

Overall, The Girls in Navy Blue is an absorbing, moving, lovely tale by Rickloff that does a wonderful job of showcasing the lifestyles, struggles, and daily intricacies involved in being a “yeomanette”, one of the first women honoured with the right to serve in the US Navy.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Alix Rickloff

Critically acclaimed author of historical fiction, Alix Rickloff’s family tree includes a knight who fought during the Wars of the Roses (his brass rubbing hangs in her dining room) and a soldier who sided with Charles I during the English Civil War (hence the family's hasty emigration to America). With inspiration like that, what else could she do but start writing her own stories? She lives in Maryland in a house that’s seen its own share of history so when she’s not writing, she can usually be found trying to keep it from falling down. THE WAY TO LONDON is her latest release.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall @Leciacornwall @uplitreads @BerkleyPub #ThatSummerinBerlin #LeciaCornwall #UplitReads #gifted

#BookReview That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall @Leciacornwall @uplitreads @BerkleyPub #ThatSummerinBerlin #LeciaCornwall #UplitReads #gifted Title: That Summer in Berlin

Author: Lecia Cornwall

Published by: Berkley Books on Oct. 11, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 9/10

In the summer of 1936, while the Nazis make secret plans for World War II, a courageous and daring young woman struggles to expose the lies behind the dazzling spectacle of the Berlin Olympics.

German power is rising again, threatening a war that will be even worse than the last one. The English aristocracy turns to an age-old institution to stave off war and strengthen political bonds—marriage. Debutantes flock to Germany, including Viviane Alden. On holiday with her sister during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Viviane’s true purpose is more clandestine. While many in England want to appease Hitler, others seek to prove Germany is rearming. But they need evidence, photographs to tell the tale, and Viviane is a genius with her trusty Leica. And who would suspect a pretty, young tourist taking holiday snaps of being a spy?

Viviane expects to find hatred and injustice, but during the Olympics, with the world watching, Germany is on its best behavior, graciously welcoming tourists to a festival of peace and goodwill. But first impressions can be deceiving, and it’s up to Viviane and the journalist she’s paired with—a daring man with a guarded heart—to reveal the truth.

But others have their own reasons for befriending Viviane, and her adventure takes a darker turn. Suddenly Viviane finds herself caught in a web of far more deadly games—and closer than she ever imagined to the brink of war.


Review:

Compelling, vivid, and absorbing!

That Summer in Berlin is a captivating tale predominately set in Berlin in 1936 that takes you into the lives of two main characters; Viviane Alden, a young woman who turns down the marriage to a duke in order to pursue her passion for photography, and Tom Graham, an undercover journalist and illegitimate son of a Scottish Earl who under the guise of reporting on the Summer Olympics, recruits his friend and fellow British acquaintance to help him secretly spy and discover if Germany is slyly preparing to start another world war.

The prose is rich and expressive. The characters are independent, spirited, and brave. And the plot is an evocative tale of life, loss, love, self-discovery, war, secrets, friendship, determination, betrayal, family, espionage, and romance.

Overall, That Summer in Berlin is an intriguing, absorbing, atmospheric tale by Cornwall that does a lovely job of blending historical events, intense emotion, and thought-provoking suspense.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

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

 

About Lecia Cornwall

was born in the wrong century. I must have been. I’ve always been more comfortable with history than modern life—except for essential modern conveniences like flush toilets, hot running water, immersion blenders, and iPads.
Originally from Ontario, I now call the foothills of Canada’s Rocky Mountains home. I am the author of sixteen novels. The Woman at the Front (October 2021) was my first historical fiction title. It is being followed by That Summer in Berlin, coming this October! I write full time, love gardening (though many plants come to my house just to die), knit (and purl!), adopt stray creatures (usually cats), and create magical worlds from cardboard, paint, and glue. If I’m not at my desk working on my next book, you can find me walking my dog ( Andy, the indefatigable chocolate Lab) by the Bow River, or volunteering at a local museum.

Photo credit: Laurie MacBrown