The Secret Wife

The Secret Wife
The Secret Wife by Gill Paul

You by Caroline Kepnes

You by Caroline Kepnes
You by Caroline Kepnes

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Secret Wife by Gill Paul- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries...

Love. Guilt. Heartbreak.

1914: Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance—and their lives—in danger...

2016: Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation makes her flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to a long-buried family secret...

Haunting, moving and beautifully written, The Secret Wife effortlessly crosses centuries, as past merges with present in an unforgettable story of love, loss and resilience.

Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Dinah Jefferies.

LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:
The Secret WifeThe Secret Wife by Gill Paul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Secret Wife by Gill Paul is a 2016 Avon publication.

This book is an amazing, epic love story, unlike any I’ve read in a long time!

When Kitty Fischer makes a shocking discovery about her life and marriage, she flees England in search of the property in the Adirondacks she recently inherited. The place is in horrible disrepair, but she sets to work restoring it, while searching out her personal connection to her great-grandfather, Dmitri, the original owner of the property. This is a journey that will take the reader all the way back to 1914 where Dmitri is recovering from a war wound, and meets the great love of his life, Tatiana Romanov.

Like most of you, I have heard stories about the Romanov family. Most of us are familiar with Anastasia, but this novel features her sister, Tatiana, which is a refreshing change of pace. I have not thought about the Romanov family in a very long time, and for some reason, books based on the family or this period in history never seems to show up on my radar. So, because it was so unlike other historical fiction, I normally read, this one really captivated me.

While Kitty does the research into her family tree and discovers the shocking truth about her grandfather, she is feverishly restoring the cabin she inherited, and avoiding contact with her husband until she figures out how to get her life back on track. Her story is the contemporary thread that links the past with the present, but it’s Dmitri and Tatiana’s story that held me prisoner, and broke my heart into a million pieces.

The author obviously did a great deal of painstaking research, providing incredible and lush details that put me right there in the midst of royal opulence, only to later find myself experiencing the fall of the Tsar and the horrors of war, right along with Dmitri and Tatiana. We follow their tragic, but, powerful love story, and Dmitri’s years following the war. I was absolutely on the edge of my seat, riveted, and mesmerized!

I also enjoyed Kitty’s personal growth, her journey toward self-discovery, her awakening, so to speak. Although, she could have worded it a little better, I was happy she decided to use a negative experience as a chance to take stock of her life and made something good come from something bad.

Those of you who have followed my reviews, know that on occasion, I whine about the demise of the sweeping romantic historical sagas of old, so you can imagine how very much I loved this story!

The only thing left to say is: READ THIS BOOK!!


5 stars!!

View all my reviews GET YOUR COPY HERE:


https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Wife-captivating-romance-passion-ebook/dp/B01D4O804G/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-secret-wife-gill-paul/1124751786



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in recent history. Her new novel, The Secret Wife, is about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar, who first met in 1914. It’s also about a young woman in 2016 deciding whether to forgive her husband after an infidelity.

Gill’s other novels include Women and Children First, about a young steward who works on the Titanic; The Affair, set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fall in love while making Cleopatra; and No Place for a Lady, about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A History of Medicine in 50 Objects (to be published 1st October 2016) and a series of Love Stories, each containing fourteen tales of real-life couples: how they met, why they fell for each other, and what happened in the end. Published around the world, this series includes Royal Love Stories, World War I Love Stories and Titanic Love Stories.

Gill was born in Scotland and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in West Virginia when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – "It's good for you so long as it doesn't kill you"– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls "research trips" and attempting to match-make for friends.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:


Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s earWait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing historyand the part she’s meant to play in it.

Gripping and visceral, this unforgettable debut delves straight into the heart of dark family secrets and into one woman’s emotional journey to save herself from a sinister inheritance.

READ AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:

Burying the Honeysuckle GirlsBurying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter is a 2016 Lake Union publication.


Wow, I got more than I bargained for with this novel!

The southern backdrop is perfect for this atmospheric tale of family secrets and retribution.

Althea has no idea what is in store for her when she returns home after a stint in rehab. Her brother is running or office and her power hungry sister-in-law will stop at nothing to see Althea does nothing to mess that up. But the most disturbing thing for Althea is seeing her Alzheimer’s ridden father in such a bad place and his horrible reaction to seeing her again.

But, she really gets a shock when she discovers that her upcoming thirtieth birthday is a milestone in more ways than one and she could be about to inherit a terrible legacy that has been passed down from generation to generation on her mother’s side.

In order to break that chain and discover the truth about what really happened to her mother and grandmother, Althea must stay one step ahead of her own family.

This is an incredible debut novel that held my attention from start to finish. The story flips back and forth between the present and the past, telling the troubling story of Althea’s grandmother back in the 1930’s alongside Althea’s present day struggles.

There is a definite race against time element in both threads and a real heart pounding sense of dread, mingled with the mystery and drama.

The story is both sad and utterly horrifying. The author does a terrific job of defining the characters, of creating a dark, emotionally taut force, and adding just a tiny pinch of Southern Gothic to top it off.

Overall, this book was a major surprise for me. I’m so glad I took a took a chance on this one in the Kindle store!!

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Burying-Honeysuckle-Girls-Emily-Carpenter-ebook/dp/B017LGAKEG/

THIS BOOK IS ALSO IN THE KINDLE UNLIMITED PROGRAM IS YOU SUBSCRIBE. 

ABOU THE AUTHOR:
EMILY CARPENTER, a former actor, producer, screenwriter, and behind-the-scenes soap opera assistant, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University. Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, she now lives in Georgia with her family. BURYING THE HONEYSUCKLE GIRLS is her first novel. You can visit Emily online at emilycarpenterauthor.com.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Swing Time by Zadie Smith - Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Two brown girls dream of being dancers--but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.


LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:





MY REVIEW:


Swing TimeSwing Time by Zadie Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Swing Time by Zadie Smith is a 2016 Hamish Hamilton publication.

I picked this book out while reading through some of 2016’s award nominees, eager to read outside my comfort zone for a while.

The story begins with the childhood friendship between two ‘brown girls’ who forge a strong bond, despite their difference in upbringing and approach to life.

Tracey is a talented dancer, while her unnamed friend dances to the beat of a different drummer, so to speak.

As we follow the paths these two embark on in life, the friendship that once cemented them together, begins to crack. Still, no matter what transpires for each of them, that bond seems indestructible and impossible to ignore completely.

This book is truly multi-layered. Tracey has a goal, a purpose, despite her troubled home life. But, her undisciplined childhood promotes unflattering behaviors in her.

Our narrator, may not possess the natural talent of her friend, but her life is grounded by a father who loves her and a strong mother who works hard to achieve her own goals, set an example for her daughter, and hopefully provide her with a better life in the process.

The story is filled with lush locations, introduces us to different cultures, and even has musical soundtrack. The writing, of course, is exceptional, and characterizations vivid and alive.

The women featured are so exotic, each with a distinct and profound sense of themselves, except perhaps for our narrator who is still on that path of self -discovery.

The pop star the narrator works for might conjure up an image or two of real life divas, the mother is a character who leaves a strong and forceful impression on her daughter, and there is no question that Tracey’s friendship has had an impact. Hawa is a unique character, as well. A woman who embraces her life despite the cultural judgements our sensibilities might balk at. All these women make an impression on the narrator in some way and will help her chose her path.

I hope I’ve taken from the book what the author was attempting to express, but for some reason, I find it difficult to articulate what that might be.

I think our storyteller was so focused on leaving her old neighborhood behind, once she manages to do that, she seems to struggle with her selfhood. She attempts to wear several hats, but they don’t always seem to fit.

“I saw all my years at once, but they were not piled up on each other, experience after experience, building into something of substance—the opposite. A truth was being revealed to me: that I had always tried to attach myself to the light of other people, that I had never had any light of my own. I experienced myself as a kind of shadow.”

Ultimately, I think our narrator will find her calling, her niche, will embrace her heritage, her roots, and make peace with who she is deep down and maybe even find a common ground with her old childhood friend, in the old neighborhood where they first danced.

Overall, this is a well written story, which I think is open to various interpretations. It’s a serious character analysis, it’s about personal convictions, friendship, race, and individuality. This is my first novel by this author, and I’m impressed enough, I want to have a look at her previous releases and will look forward enjoying her future efforts.

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Swing-Time-Zadie-Smith-ebook/dp/B01D9H1Q2Q/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/swing-time-zadie-smith/1123566594

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, and NW, as well as a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. Swing Time is her fifth novel.

Visit www.zadiesmith.com for more information.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.
 

LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:



A Man Called OveA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a 2014 Atria publication.


After I read ‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ and really enjoyed it, my Goodreads friends strongly recommended this book, and were positive I would love it. I vowed to fit the book in as quickly as possible, and was thankful my library had a copy and the wait list wasn’t monstrous.

I have no idea where to begin! This an amazing story, with the most interesting characters, humorous and emotional situations. The writing is unusual, with present tense mingled with past tense.

Ove appears, in the beginning, as though he is a cranky old man, maybe a little anal, but there is also a loneliness surrounding him, and a sense of despair.

As the story progresses, we learn about Ove’s background, his marriage, and how he got to this point where he attempts to end his life, but is always inadvertently prevented from succeeding.

Ove may have been reserved, but his life has meant more, and his influence has reached further, than he ever thought.

Every person has a history. We see people on the surface, without knowing anything about them, and make judgements. I did that with Ove in the beginning, but by the end of the book, my opinion of him and respect for him had grown immeasurably.

I loved the various secondary characters, including the cat and of course the Saab!! But, the relationship between Sonja and Ove is the most poignant and effective part of the novel.

Ove had never been asked how he lived before he met her. But if anyone had asked him, he would have answered that he didn’t.”

Although Ove is dragged out of his shell kicking and screaming, he finally begins to live again, in the most eccentric, but enchanting way!


This book lived up to any and all of my expectations and then some!!

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Man-Called-Ove-Novel-ebook/dp/B00GEEB730/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-man-called-ove-fredrik-backman/1117313627

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty five territories. His latest novel is BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children. Visit him online at his blog: FredrikBackman.com, on twitter @backmanland, or on instagram @backmansk.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, & Manners by Therese Oneill- Feature and Review




ABOUT THE BOOK:


Have you ever wished you could live in an earlier, more romantic era? 


Ladies, welcome to the 19th century, where there's arsenic in your face cream, a pot of cold pee sits under your bed, and all of your underwear is crotchless. (Why? Shush, dear. A lady doesn't question.) 

UNMENTIONABLE is your hilarious, illustrated, scandalously honest (yet never crass) guide to the secrets of Victorian womanhood, giving you detailed advice on: 

~ What to wear 
~ Where to relieve yourself 
~ How to conceal your loathsome addiction to menstruating 
~ What to expect on your wedding night 
~ How to be the perfect Victorian wife 
~ Why masturbating will kill you 
~ And more

Irresistibly charming, laugh-out-loud funny, and featuring nearly 200 images from Victorian publications, UNMENTIONABLE will inspire a whole new level of respect for Elizabeth Bennett, Scarlet O'Hara, Jane Eyre, and all of our great, great grandmothers. 

(And it just might leave you feeling ecstatically grateful to live in an age of pants, super absorbency tampons, epidurals, anti-depressants, and not-dying-of-the-syphilis-your-husband-brought-home.) 

READ AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:


Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and MannersUnmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill is a 2016 Little Brown US publication.

Based on a review written by one of my Goodreads friends, I knew I had to check this book out. I’ve waited for months for a copy to become available at the library, but it was worth the wait.

The author transported me back to the Victorian days to experience firsthand what it would have been like to live during this era.

The author exhibits a riotous sense of humor as she describes the lifestyle you would expect to live if you were transported back in time.

The habits of the Victorian age are curious, dangerous, and disgusting, and of course oppressive, especially for women.

It’s fascinating and horrifying all at once, but the author’s wit offsets some of the more cringe worthy topics like hygiene, for example, and because the era was so restrictive, the book could have become a little nauseating, or depressing if not for the author’s well timed jokes.

There are authentic illustrations and photos of clothing articles, and of real ads found in newspapers and magazines, which advertised weight loss products, as well as some rather scandalous items that hinted at pregnancy prevention, which had to be carefully worded since it was illegal to pass out information about birth control.



I variety of subjects are covered, which range from dangerous cosmetics, to undergarments, to the lack of indoor plumbing, the very strange ideas about women and sex, mostly written by men, of course, and the mannerisms and expectations a woman should know when having a social gathering.

While the Victorian era is one of my favorite fictional time periods, by the book’s end, I was relieved to find that I had been safely returned to 2017.

Once you’ve finished reading this book, you will appreciate the things we take for granted and will be even more thankful for the great strides taken to release women from the restricted lifestyles they once endured.




GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Unmentionable-Victorian-Ladys-Marriage-Manners-ebook/dp/B01CO4AWWU/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unmentionable-therese-oneill/1123495918

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Therese lives in Oregon with her family, many friends and a wine bar. She and her husband have been together sixteen years and gave two children.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Murder in the Bayou- by Ethan Brown- Feature and Review

 



ABOUT THE BOOK:

SOUTHERN LIVING 2016 BOOK OF THE YEAR

An explosive, true-life southern gothic story, Murder in the Bayou chronicles the twists and turns of a high-stakes investigation into the murders of eight women in a troubled Louisiana parish.

Between 2005 and 2009, the bodies of eight women were discovered around the murky canals and crawfish ponds of Jennings, Louisiana, a bayou town of 10,000 in the heart of the Jefferson Davis parish. Local law enforcement officials were quick to pursue a serial killer theory, opening a floodgate of media coverage—from CNN to The New York Times. Collectively the victims became known as the “Jeff Davis 8,” and their lives, their deaths, and the ongoing investigation reveals a small southern community’s most closely guarded secrets.

As Ethan Brown suggests, these homicides were not the work of a single serial killer, but the violent fallout of Jennings’ brutal sex and drug trade, a backwoods underworld hidden in plain sight. Mixing muckraking research and immersive journalism over the course of a five-year investigation, Ethan Brown reviewed thousands of pages of previously unseen homicide files to determine what happened during each victim’s final hours. Epic in scope and intensely suspenseful, Murder in the Bayou is the story of an American town buckling under the dark forces of poverty, race, and class division—and a lightning rod for justice for the daughters it lost.
 

READ AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:


Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8? by Ethan Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Murder in the Bayou by Ethan Brown is a 2016 Scribner publication.

Although this case may have made headlines at some point between 2005-2009, I was not familiar with it. I stumbled across this book while browsing through the Axis360 library and decided to check it out, but I never imagined it would give me a real case of the shivers.

The ‘Jeff Davis 8’ case was so named because the murders took place in Jefferson Davis Parish in Louisiana. The location does indeed create that Gothic tone the blurb hints at. That tone, coupled with the cold- blooded murders of eight women and the astounding corruption in law enforcement, was enough to make me feel squeamish and a little jumpy.



The author’s stark and rather jarring style of journalism, which may not be polished enough for some, but works in this case, in my opinion, because it really opens up the reality of these murders, and throws a harsh light on a southern version of the syndicate in the midst of the lurid sex and drug trade.


It’s such a convoluted and murky case complicated by corruptions so deep and prevalent, it’s hard to fathom.

Don’t expect the usual focus on the victims' lives, or a precise law enforcement investigation, or a courtroom drama with a definitive verdict, which is often featured in true crime, but instead you should brace yourself for a hard and gritty investigative report that will leave you chilled right down to the bone.

If you read True Crime, this book is not to be missed!

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bayou-Killed-Women-Known-ebook/dp/B01A5TWZPS/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murder-in-the-bayou-ethan-brown/1123123085

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Ethan Brown is a New Orleans-based author and criminal defense investigator who has written four investigative-reporting driven books on crime and criminal justice policy:

His first book—Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent and the Rise of the Hip-Hop Hustler—was published by Random House in 2005 to rave reviews in the Boston Globe (“diligently researched and trenchantly observeda fascinating look at the way one generation’s reality becomes the next’s mythology”), The Village Voice (“one of the first reliable accounts [of the crack era]the fact that Brown was able to publish so thorough an account is itself notable”) and Publishers Weekly (“A vigorous account of an American subculture that’s colorful, influential and, given the body count, tragic”).

Ethan’s second book—Snitch: Informers, Cooperators and the Corruption of Justice—was published by Public Affairs in 2007. The Legal Times wrote of Snitch that “Many police and prosecutors reading his book (or this review) will surely cry foul. Their cries will too often be proven insincere upon close examination, however, because Brown’s evidenceis overwhelming.” Brown University economics professor Glenn Loury praised Snitch as “must reading for anyone concerned about the future of ‘law and order’ in America.” Manhattan Institute Scholar John McWhorter called Snitch one of the "strongest, smartest" books about race in the past decade.

Ethan’s third book—Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans—was published by Henry Holt in the fall of 2009. Evan Wright, author of the New York Times bestseller Generation Kill, called Shake the Devil Off “a chilling portrait of a broken hero failed by the system.” George Pelecanos, New York Times bestselling author of The Turnaround, said that “Ethan Brown examines a notorious murder case, rescues it from the talons of tabloid journalists, and comes up with something much more than a true crime book. Shake the Devil Off is a gripping suspense story, an indictment of the military’s treatment of our soldiers in and out of war, and a celebration of the resilience and worth of a great American city.” In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called Shake the Devil Off “heartbreaking” and Nate Blakeslee, author of Tulia, hailed the book as “a ‘coming home’ story that rivals any written about veterans of the war in Iraq, and a true crime account that raises the bar for the genre. Measured, thoroughly reported, and written with true empathy.” David Simon, creator of The Wire and author of Homicide and The Corner, said that “looking more deeply at that from which the rest of us turned in horror, Ethan Brown has transformed an ugly and disturbing shard of the post-Katrina anguish. In this book, that which was lurid and sensational becomes, chapter by chapter, something genuinely sad and reflective, something that now has true meaning for New Orleans and for all of us.” In September of 2009, Shake The Devil Off was chosen as a “Critics’ Pick” in the Washington Post and an “Editors’ Choice” by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. In December of 2009, the Washington Post named Shake the Devil Off one of the best books of 2009. 

Ethan's fourth book--Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?--was published by Scribner/Simon and Schuster on September 13, 2016. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

He is noble, notorious, and takes no prisoners...

Strong as a Viking. Handsome as Adonis. Rich as Midas. Collin "Cole" Talmage, Duke of Trewyth, is the stuff that legends are made of. He's the English Empire's golden son--until fate has its way with him. Cole's family is killed and his closest comrade betrays him on the battlefield, leaving him gravely injured. But Cole is not one to dwell on misfortune. He is a man of duty, honor--and desire. And now he's ready for the fight of his lifetime...

Imogen Pritchard is a beautiful lass who works in a hospital by day and as a serving maid at night. Years ago, when she was young and penniless, she ended up spending a scandalous night with Cole, whose tormented soul was matched only by his earth-shattering passion. Imogen entered a marriage of convenience―one that left her a wealthy widow―but she never forgot Cole. Now that her long-lost lover has turned up in her hospital, injured and with no memory of her, Imogen is torn: Is it a blessing or a curse that their past remains a secret to Cole, even as his new passion for her leaves him wanting to protect and possess her...at all costs, in The Duke, the next Victorian Rebels novel by Kerrigan Byrne.

READ AN EXCERPT:




MY REVIEW:





The Duke (Victorian Rebels, #4)The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne is a 2017 St. Martin’s Press publication.

The Victorian Rebels series is my favorite series in the historical romance category right now. I eagerly anticipate each new installment, but then hoard it because I want to have something to look forward to and I know once I finish it, I’ll have to wait for what seems like an eternity for the next book in the series.

I couldn’t hold out any longer, but I did manage to read the book very slowly, drawing it out and lapping up every delicious morsel one chapter at a time, trying to make it last as long as I could.

Kerrigan Bryne can create a dark and troubled hero better than anyone out there right now. Collin ‘Cole’ Talmage, the Duke of Trewyth, is tortured, but is slightly different from the heroes featured in past installments.

He’s a privileged Duke who spends one night with the sweet and innocent Ginny, leaving him with a memory he can not shake. In fact, it’s his memory of her that sustains him on the battlefield, where he is severely injured. She haunts him always, as his seemingly futile search for her stretches out over the years.

Imogen Pritchard, is a nurse by day, a maid by night, but after a dangerous encounter she is saved by a marriage of convenience. Now widowed, Imogen suddenly finds herself face to face with the one man she could never forget. But, little does he know, Imogen, the wealthy widow next door, is the woman he has been longing for. Should Imogen remind him of their shared past or keep it secret from him?

As a big fan of romantic suspense, I loved the element of suspense in this chapter, which was like the cherry on top!

The way the lovers seemed like two ships passing in the night also adds an element of tension to the story and of course a little frustration, too.

Cole, of course, is heartbroken and sad, but also, bitter and angry. He doesn’t know what to make of Imogen and his attraction to her, which leaves him conflicted about his feelings for Ginny, while Imogen is afraid to tell him the truth, which creates inner angst and turmoil, but makes for some seriously sharp dialogue as the pair play a delightful and slightly dangerous lovers game.

The only downside to the story is that the ending was tidied up a bit too abruptly, combining the threads a little too hurriedly, but it was still dramatic and despite the dark tones, the book ended on a humorous note, allowing Cole to steal the show and Imogen’s heart once and for all.

This is another terrific effort by this author. I love her style, her risk -taking plot lines, and how her stories are ever evolving and changing guaranteeing they stay fresh and original!



GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Duke-Victorian-Rebels-Kerrigan-Byrne-ebook/dp/B01IA6FN9S/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-duke-kerrigan-byrne/1123664029


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kerrigan has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to belly dance instructor. Now she's finally able to have the career she'd decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to "grow up to be a romance novelist." Whether she's writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story. 

She's the author of THE HIGHWAYMAN, THE HUNTER, THE HIGHLANDER, and THE DUKE, coming soon from St. Martin's Press.

THE HUNTER, has been named the one of Amazon's best books of the Month for 2016!

She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast.

Kerrigan loves to hear from her readers! To contact her or learn more about her books, please visit her sites: 

www.kerriganbyrne.com

https://twitter.com/Kerrigan_Byrne

http://www.facebook.com/#!/kerrigan.byrne.9

Friday, March 10, 2017

YOU by Caroline Kepnes- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone GirlAmerican Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.
 


LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:

You (You #1)You by Caroline Kepnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

YOU by Caroline Kepnes is a 2014 Atria/ Emily Bestler Books publication.

Joe Goldberg may be one of the creepiest characters I’ve happened across in a very long time!!

When Guinevere Beck walks into the bookstore where Joe works, he is instantly smitten… obsessively so. He decides she is made for him and he will have her… by any means necessary.

This book was named one of Suspense Magazine’s best books of 2014 and I can see why. Joe, if you haven’t guessed by now, is a psychopathic stalker. But, the unique thing about the book is that the entire story is told from Joe’s perspective, using a second person narrative, which I rarely see happen.


I have to say being inside of Joe’s brain, being privy to his thoughts is one weirdly fascinating, dark and disturbing place to be.

Beck is not a character I necessarily liked all that much. She’s shallow, but insecure, erratic, a little unstable, and very self-centered and absorbed. She makes the perfect target for someone like Joe, though. He seems so genuinely in love with her that if I didn’t know he was a real sleaze ball, I might have thought he was sincere.

But, he’s also quite vulgar , and his thoughts are not always so sweet and flowery, as he indulges in sexual fantasies about Beck and leaves nothing to the imagination.

Joe’s narrative often made me laugh, especially when it came to his use of Twitter and his spot- on analysis of Beck’s friends or the reading habits and attitudes of customers in his bookshop. The realization that I found him darkly humorous or felt charitable towards him on occasion is a sobering thought.

The suspense builds as Joe manipulates Beck by hacking into her phone and stalking her on social media, as well as those closest to her in the most clever and diabolical ways imaginable. Don’t under estimate Joe for one minute!!

This is a very clever and imaginative novel, as well as a scathing look the importance placed on perfunctory social media hierarchy, which hasn’t changed much since 2014. The story is very, very twisted and disturbing and well, I loved it!

The author did a fantastic job with the characterizations, the dialogue and with the very important pacing of the book and of course Joe’s narrative which couldn’t have been done any better.

I believe there is a follow up to this book and I am definitely going to check it out!

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/You-Novel-Caroline-Kepnes/dp/1476785597/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-caroline-kepnes/1118635565?ean=9781476785608

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Caroline Kepnes is the author of You and Hidden Bodies. She splits her time between Los Angeles, California and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 

She would love to hear from you over on Facebook. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman - Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:

From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother's fairy tales.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
 




LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:


MY REVIEW:


My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's SorryMy Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman is a 2015 Atria publication.

I read “Britt-Marie was Here” a while back and really liked it. It was suggested to me several times that I should go back and read this book because Brit-Marie is a secondary character here and this book is a segue into BMWH.

I am glad I was gently nudged to read this book and I couldn’t have chosen a better time to read this one. After having read several books in a row with melancholy themes, this book brightened my mood significantly.

That is not to say this book is fluffy, because it’s not. There are plenty poignant and emotional moments expertly woven into this humorous and whimsical story which features a precocious seven -year old girl named Elsa.

Every seven -year old deserves a superhero.

For Elsa that is her seventy-seven year old grandmother who regales her with stories that become like a secret communication between them. Her grandmother always comes to defense, is always in her corner, something Elsa desperately needs because she is a little different. This, of course, sets her up for a great deal of bullying at school, and causes her mother a good deal of exasperation at times.

But, when her grandmother dies, Elsa is left to cope with her parent’s divorce, her mother’s pregnancy, and her issues at school without her staunch supporter. Elsa is not only sad, but is also angry that her grandmother has abandoned her.

But, via a series of apology letters her grandmother wrote to various people she felt she had wronged, Elsa is sent on an adventurous journey that will enlighten her, challenge her perception of her beloved grandmother, and change the dynamics of her relationship with her mother and other family members, opening a door towards forgiveness and acceptance.

Elsa stole my heart, as was intended. I enjoy seeing children portrayed as trailblazers in a way, because they refuse to give in to conformity. Elsa doesn’t do this as an intentional rebellion, though. She is who she is and her ‘crazy grandmother’ encourages her.

Elsa’s love of Wikipedia is hilarious at times, but it’s her fondness for Harry Potter books that was so telling. That she related to those characters, is a testament to how stories and books can offer relief and comfort, as well as influence and teach.

While the characters are quirky and eccentric, the story has a slightly sinister undertone, because Elsa is afraid of ‘The monster’ which is more than just a part of her imagination and fairytales.

But overall this is a story of family and its complexities and mysteries, the regrets and mistakes, and triumphs and sacrifices made over the course of a lifetime, atonement, understanding, forgiveness, and embracing individuality.

I was thoroughly entertained by this novel, and enjoyed experiencing the wealth of and range of emotions and it evoked. This is a delightful story, full of charm and hope!!

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Grandmother-Asked-Tell-Shes-Sorry-ebook/dp/B00Q102M5Y/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-grandmother-asked-me-to-tell-you-shes-sorry-fredrik-backman/1120819048

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty five territories. His latest novel is BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children. Visit him online at his blog: FredrikBackman.com, on twitter @backmanland, or on instagram @backmansk.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Stormchaser by Cherry Adair- Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:

No one charters the depths of passion on the high seas like New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair...

In the darkest storm...

Nick, Logan, and Zane Cutter are a tightknit, unstoppable force in the family treasure-hunting business. Now that half-brother Jonah has arrived at the scene, he’s got a lot to prove—and a powerful enemy who wants to stop him dead in his tracks.

Love will find a way....

A perilous sea journey. A bitter nemesis. A woman whose spectacular beauty and talents are to die forOver and over, Jonah will be tested. Is he worthy of carrying the Cutter name? With his eyes on the prize, Jonah will fight with all his heart. But desire often comes with a price. . .
 

READ AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:


Stormchaser (Cutter Cay #4)Stormchaser by Cherry Adair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stormchaser by Cherry Adair is a 2017 St. Martin's Press publication.

Cherry Adair is very good at creating unique storylines and never seems to fall into a rut. Some of her plots are masterfully woven and some rely more on action, which was the case here, but there is a level of suspense that builds along the way, which kept me captivated, wondering just how everything would work out in the end.

Overall, this one is a little different from what I normally expect from my romantic suspense novels. But once it gets going it is a very fast paced, super steamy, read, that kept me very entertained.

This review is the copyrighted property of Night Owl Reviews. To read the full review, click on this link: https://www.nightowlreviews.com/V5/Re...


GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Stormchaser-Cutter-Cay-Cherry-Adair/dp/1250016347/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stormchaser-cherry-adair/1113857448

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair's innovative action-adventure novels have appeared on numerous bestsellers lists, won dozens of awards and garnered praise from reviewers and fans alike. With the creation of her kick butt counterterrorist group, T-FLAC, years before action adventure romances were popular, Cherry has carved a niche for herself with her sexy, sassy, fast-paced, action adventure novels. She is hard at work on two new series - CUTTER CAY and LODESTONE, and loves to hear from readers. Cherry loves to interact with readers, and she's easy to find on Facebook http://tiny.cc/l1iva or Twitter http://twitter.com/CherryAdair. 

To see scenes from Cherry's books, find a printable book list, read excerpts, watch videos, learn more about characters, or receive her newsletter, visit www.cherryadair.com