Thursday, February 27, 2020

BLOG TOUR - When We Were Brave



Today is my post for the Blog Tour for When We Were Brave by Suzanne Kelman.


DESCRIPTION:

The face of woman in the photograph was tilted upwards, as if enjoying the sunshine just for a moment, even as the wreckage of the bombed-out street lay behind her…

1944, Cornwall:
Blinded by love, Vivienne Hamilton eloped to Paris with a Nazi prisoner-of-war, never to be seen again. A disgrace to her family, her name would not be mentioned by any of her relatives for over 75 years.

Present day, London: When Sophie discovers a photograph of her great aunt Vivi from World War Two, it throws her into a world of confusion. Because, as she learns about this secret relative, she quickly realises that the photograph doesn’t fit with her family’s story. It shows Vivi leaving an address associated with a spy network in London – a place she had no reason to be – and it is dated right before she disappeared.

Meanwhile Sophie’s own life feels as blasted and bombed as the Blitzed city in the photograph she’s looking at. Her beautiful daughter – as full of joy and wild energy as Vivi had apparently once been – is gone; and Sophie’s heart has been left broken into pieces.

Retreating to the family home in rural Cornwall to seek solace from her pain and the feelings of guilt that she could have done more to protect her daughter, Sophie finds herself becoming obsessed with Vivi’s life.

But nothing can prepare Sophie for what she is about to uncover – the story of a woman who risked everything for the person she loved the most; and a secret family history that could be the key to Sophie’s own future.

A powerful, haunting and unforgettable read about love, heartbreak and betrayal set in Second World War Britain and France. Perfect for fans of The Nightingale, Under a Scarlet Sky and My Name is Eva.



BUY LINKS:
Amazon: http://bit.ly/2V2Z9Ts
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2P8YtIs
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Pc2QSZ
Google Play: http://bit.ly/32afOGh



MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   When We Were Brave
Author:  Suzanne Kelman
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   312
Date of Publication:   February 24, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

Historical Fiction seems to be my go to these past months, and When We Were Brave ranks right up there at the top. This affecting story is told in both 1944 Cornwall and present day London. Sophie finds a photograph of her great-aunt Vivi from World War II. This is very confusing to Sophie because this picture and the memories she has been told her entire life do not match up.

During the war, Vivienne Hamilton eloped to Paris with a Nazi POW. This was something her family was ashamed of, and that is why. until Sophie happened upon the picture, Vivi's name had never been discussed. 

Sophie studies the photograph, and she gets help when she can, and it becomes more and more evident that Vivi's story was simply one of love. It seems more and more that Vivi was involved in so much more, and that might be why she apparently disappeared. As Sophie has taken her questions to Cornwall, and talks to various people secrets are coming to light. 

Whether the story was being told in the past, or in the present, I was captivated throughout. The war effort was at full swing, and the spy network had an amazing agenda, as it turned out. Sophie's story was intriguing as well. In great fashion, Suzanne Kelman has penned another fantastic story. 

When reading historical fiction there is always something to learn about during that period of war. In this case it was the complicated spy network, the British SOE. Just as I will never forget the other book I read by her, The View Across the Rooftops, this is one I will not forget either. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Suzanne Kelman is a 2015 Academy of Motion Pictures Nicholl Finalist, Multi-Award-Winning Screenwriter and a Film Producer. As well as working in film she is also an International Amazon Bestselling Fiction Author of the Southlea Bay Series – The Rejected Writers’ Book Club, Rejected Writers Take the Stage and The Rejected Writers’ Christmas Wedding. Born in the United Kingdom, she now resides in Washington State.  



Wednesday, February 26, 2020

BLOG TOUR - The Tuscan Girl



Today I am part of the Blog Tour for The Tuscan Girl by Angela Petch.


DESCRIPTION:

She ran away through the pine trees when the soldiers came. Staggering into the hiding place, she felt a fluttering in her belly, like a butterfly grazing its wings, and knew instantly she had something to fight for.


Present day: When her fiancĂ© is tragically killed in an accident, twenty-six-year-old Alba is convinced she’s to blame. Heavy with grief and guilt, she flees to her childhood home – the tiny village of Rofelle, nestled in a remote Tuscan valley. Out hiking one day to fill the long, lonely hours, she finds a mahogany box filled with silverware, hidden near the vine-covered ruins of an isolated house left abandoned after World War II. Could finding the rightful owner ease Alba’s heartache, and somehow make amends for her own wrongs?

In search of answers, Alba meets Massimo, an elderly man who wants to spend his final years pruning his fruit trees, alone with his painful memories. His face turns pale when Alba brings up the war, but she senses that their shared grief connects them. An unlikely friendship grows as little by little Massimo speaks of Lucia: a wild young girl with sparkling eyes who fell in love with an enemy soldier, bravely stole precious Italian treasures back from Nazi occupiers, and whose selfless courage and sacrifice altered the course of the war – and Massimo’s life.

With each visit, Alba gets closer to unravelling the mystery of the silver, and they both start putting their ghosts to rest. But there’s one part of Lucia’s story that Massimo might never be able to share – and he’s running out of time. Has Alba churned up emotions that are too painful to ever confront? Or, will unearthing a wartime secret that has lain buried for generations finally bring Massimo peace?

An absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking read that will sweep you away to the rugged mountains and lush olive groves of Tuscany. Fans of The Nightingale, Rhys Bowen and Julianne MacLean will be captivated.

MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   The Tuscan Girl
Author:  Angela Petch
Genre:   Historical Fiction; Romance
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   346
Date of Publication:   February 25, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

Alba is devastated and plagued with guilt when her fiancĂ© is killed in an accident. She thinks she will be able to regroup by heading to her childhood home in a very small village in the Tuscan valley. When she discovers a box filled with silverware, near the ruins of a house abandoned after the second World War, she finds direction. She wants to find the owners of the silverware.

One of the people she meets is an elderly man named Massimo. When Alba is speaking with him, the pain and sadness is evident in his face. Alba cannot let go, however, and speaks to Massimo yet again. The two find make a connection in their grief. More and more Massimo trusts Alba and he begins to tell her of a young girl he knew during the war named Lucia. This is where the story often switches to the past. Lucia was a brave young woman and changed Massimo's life forever.

What a mystery to be solved. However, it is heartbreaking. As the horrors of the war grew close to Lucia and Massimo they were not happy-go-lucky young lovers. Their love was fraught with heartbreak and danger. Alba finds ways to help Massimo to recount these memories, although it is clear his life cycle is nearing its end. I do love the decisions each of the main characters made throughout the story, but especially Alba.

The Tuscan Girl is a touching story that touches on yet a different aspect of the war. It never ceases to surprise me as I continue to read historical fiction novels on how many ways lives were affected and forever changed.  I did read The Tuscan Secret previously by Angela Petch and I fell in love with Tuscany then. She did another fantastic job of making the characters and the settings feel real to me. I enjoy her writing and look forward to reading much more as time goes on.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I’m an award winning writer of fiction – and the occasional poem.

Every summer I move to Tuscany for six months where my husband and I own a renovated watermill which we let out. When not exploring our unspoilt corner of the Apennines, I disappear to my writing desk at the top of our converted stable.

In my Italian handbag or hiking rucksack I always make sure to store notebook and pen to jot down ideas.

The winter months are spent in Sussex where most of our family live. When I’m not helping out with grandchildren, I catch up with writer friends.


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Review - Summer on Moonlight Bay

Title:   Summer on Moonlight Bay
Author:  Hope Ramsay
Series:  Moonlight Bay #2
Genre:   Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  368
Date of Publication:  August 6, 2019
My Rating:  4 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Only one thing can make veterinarian Noah Cuthbert return to Magnolia Harbor-his mother's failing health. He'll do anything to help his family, including taking a short-term gig at the local animal clinic. What he doesn't count on is getting up-close-and-personal with the clinic's new manager, a woman whose love and compassion for every stray that crosses her path has him rethinking his plans to head back to his big-city life...

After her time in the Navy, Lia wants nothing more than to settle down. The quaint seaside town is just what she'd been hoping for, and not just because her new boss is movie-star handsome. As they grow closer, Lia starts wondering if Noah could be the one. But when a town crisis forces Noah to take a stand that jeopardizes their new-found happiness, can Lia convince him that home doesn't have to be a four-letter word?

Includes the bonus novel Then There Was You by Miranda Liasson!

MY THOUGHTS:

Lia DiPalma always thought she'd be a lifer with the Navy. Having served an extended time, circumstances have changed and she is about to undertake civilian life. She travels to Magnolia Harbor and hopes to become a church secretary with one of her Navy buddies who is now a chaplain in a parish there in South Carolina. Her plans are derailed when she accidentally hits a dog with her car. She then rushes the dog to the nearest vet clinic.


The only person that seems to be able to help Lia with the dog is visiting veterinarian Noah Cuthbert. He only plans on being in Magnolia Harbor long enough to see about his mother's health and plans on taking her back home with him. However, his help is needed at a new vet clinic so he will be around for awhile. This is how he meets Lia when she brings the dog in for emergency treatment.

As things turn out, Lia's situation is dire and she needs a job and a place to say immediately. It might take a bit of time before the church can hire her so she helps Noah set up the clinic. Sparks fly from almost their first meeting and the more time they spend together, the more it seems that they are perfectly suited for each other. However, Lia is there to stay. Noah is itching to leave.

This warm love story by Hope Ramsay is the second book in the Moonlight Bay series. I loved Lia and Noah together, and enjoyed the strong sense of family values. This book is preceded by The Cottage on Rose Bay. The third book in the series is Return to Magnolia Harbor, which is set for publication in June. 

Many thanks to Forever for this ARC to review. This is my honest opinion.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Hope Ramsay is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming contemporary romances, set below the Mason-Dixon Line.  She’s inspired by her husband of forty years, a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her Southern heroes.  She has two grown children, a demanding lap cat named Simba who was born in Uganda, and a precious Cockapoo puppy named Daisy.  She lives in Virginia where, when she’s not writing, she’s knitting or playing her forty-year-old Martin guitar.



Review - The Good Daughter


Somewhere along the line The Good Daughter ended up in my Goodreads TBR. When Audible had a 2-for-1 deal, there was no better time to buy it and read it. I realized that there was a prequel, so I got that one from my library and listened to it first. The hours that I spent with these two books was time well spent.


Title:   Last Breath
Author:  Karin Slaughter
Series:  The Good Daughter
Genre:   Mystery/Thriller
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Format:  Audiobook
No. of Pages:  192 
Date of Publication:   May 16, 2017
My Rating:   4 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Protecting someone always comes at a cost.


At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home—and after that shocking night, Charlie’s world was never the same.

Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.

But honor-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: How far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?

Razor-sharp and lightning-fast, this electrifying story from the #1 international bestselling author will leave you breathless.


MY THOUGHTS:

Charlie Quinn suffered unspeakable horror and loss when she was thirteen years old. She is now a lawyer and is about to take the case of fifteen-year-old Flora Faulkner. Flora wants to become an emancipated minor and Charlie feels compelled to take her case.

This book is novella length so I listened to it in less than two hours. The book itself was fast-paced as parts of Charlie's past was revealed. Even more so, nothing was as it seemed and Charlie ended up with a fight on her hands. The narration was also very good. The narrator, Kathleen Early, did a fantastic job with the reading and the voices. I immediately read The Good Daughter upon completing this book.


Title:   The Good Daughter
Author:  Karin Slaughter
Series:  The Good Daughter
Genre:   Mystery/Thriller
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Format:  Audiobook
No. of Pages:  192 
Date of Publication:   August 8, 2017
My Rating:   4 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind.

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville's notorious defense attorney—devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, Charlotte has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again, and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized, Charlotte is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress--because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever. Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.

MY THOUGHTS:

As mentioned in my review of Last Breath, I next read this book, The Good Daughter. I felt that prequel focused more on Charlie Quinn's client. In this book, all of the focus was on Charlie and her sister Sam. This book begin with a disturbing, and (probably for me) unforgettable scene. At the time, they were thirteen and fifteen years of age. Charlie and Sam survived a horrible attack, leaving both with life-changing consequences. These opening chapters are not for the faint of heart.


It is twenty-eight years later and Charlie is a practicing attorney. Charlie finds herself in the middle of another horrific situation that she witnessed. Her father agreed to represent a teen girl who apparently committed a heinous crime. This situation puts her at great odds with husband Ben, also an attorney. When her father is seriously injured due to an attack, Charlie's sister Sam, now estranged for most of their adult lives, steps in to represent their father's client. Not only are there hurt feelings between the sisters, Charlie's husband Ben walks out on her. Now Charlie, Sam, their father Rusty, and even Ben all have a major fight ahead of them. 


The Good Daughter is full of twists and turns and consistently brings up events of the past in order for the reader to see how Charlie and Sam have become the women they are now. The scenes were tough to read (again with excellent narration by Kathleen Early) as what happened to the girls when they were teenagers was incredibly awful and beyond tragic. 


This book is a riveting and compelling read and I was quite pleased when I noticed on Karin Slaughter's website that it is being developed for video production. Whether it will be a movie for television or for the big screen, this is one I do not want to miss.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Published in 37 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her nineteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter. Her most recent novel, The Last Widow, features Sara Linton and Will Trent. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her novels Cop Town, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her are all in development for film and television.




BLOG TOUR - Wild, Wild Rake



Her first marriage was an epic failure.

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

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

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

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Praise for the Cavensham Heiresses Series:


“Full-bodied romance…with intelligence and heart.”―New York Times bestselling author 

Cathy Maxwell “Sparkling…MacGregor brings England’s Regency era to life.” ―Publishers Weekly “

Beautifully defined, exceptionally appealing.” ―Booklist (starred review) on The Bad Luck Bride




MY THOUGHTS:


Title:   Wild, Wild Rake
Author:  Janna MacGregor
Series:   The Cavensham Heiresses #6
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:  St. Martin's Paperbacks
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   368
Date of Publication:   February 25, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

She's widowed and she's not unhappy. Truth be told, she is rather relieved. Her husband was selfish and cruel, and in the ways of the ton, Lady Avalon Warwyck, would have had no choice but to suffer his awful ways for decades. Instead, she now has the chance to focus on her son, Thane, as well as her work. Avalon helps fallen women find their way in society so that they can manage on their own if need be.

One caveat in her plan with Thane, however, is the guardian her husband's will provided. He wants to send Thane away to school, and he has that right. However, he needs a tutor for a time, and a vicar, Devan Farris, has been assigned the task.

Devan can never feel comfortable with his flock. His brother, who obviously has connections, freely moves Devan from one parish to the next. As frustrated as Devan is by this most recent change, he quickly finds this assignment is not as distasteful as he imagined it to be. He finds himself quite drawn to both Avalon and Thane. This is rather interesting to Devan, because, despite the reputation he has gained as a rake, nothing could be further than the truth. 

Will Avalon be able to let her hurtful marriage be a thing of the past and give love another chance in the form of Devan? Can Devan disprove his reputation and prove to be a worthy match for her? What about the church - and those nasty rumors? Will they ever come to an end?

Wild, Wild Rake is a delightful story. I had not had a chance to read any of the previous books in the series, but I had no problem jumping right into this story. Both characters, as well as Thane, were quite convincing and their story was enjoyable. I am interested to see if there will be further books in this series. 

Many thanks to St. Martin's Paperbacks, HF Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Giveaway:


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Wild, Wild Rake! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on March 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Paperback giveaway is open to US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. Wild, Wild Rake 


Blog Tour Schedule:


Monday, February 24
Review at Rose is Reading 

Tuesday, February 25 
Review at Robin Loves Reading 
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Wednesday, February 26 
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals 

Thursday, February 27 
Feature at YA, It's Lit 

Saturday, February 29 
Review at Reading is My Remedy 

Sunday, March 1 
Review at Historical Graffiti 
Review at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings

Monday, March 2 
Review at Gwendalyn's Books 

Tuesday, March 3 
Excerpt at What Is That Book About 

Wednesday, March 4 
Review at Bookish Bellee 

Friday, March 6 
Review at Historical Romance Lover 

Monday, March 9 
Review at Amy's Booket List 

Tuesday, March 10 
Review at The Romance Dish 
Excerpt at I'm All About Books 

Wednesday, March 11 
Review at Bookish Rantings 

Thursday, March 12 
Review at Jessica Belmont 

Friday, March 13 
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Monday, March 16 
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, March 17 
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit 

Thursday, March 19 
Excerpt at Cover To Cover Cafe 

Friday, March 20 
Review at Coffee and Ink 
Review at Pencils and Pages


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

Website | Facebook | Twitter | 

BookBub | Instagram | Goodreads


Saturday, February 22, 2020

BLOG TOUR - A Hope for Emily



Today I am very glad to be a part of the Blog Tour for A Hope for Emily by Kate Hewitt.


DESCRIPTION:

Looking back, I wish I could find my way back to that moment. I’d snatch it and hold onto it and live in it for the rest of my life, if I could. When Emily could still throw her arms around me. Oh God, just give me that moment, or one like it again. That’s all I want.


From the moment Emily was born, reaching out with her tiny little star-shaped hand towards her mother, blinking with long eyelashes over soft blue eyes, she became Rachel’s whole world.

But Rachel’s worst nightmare comes true when a rare auto-immune illness leaves four-year-old Emily in a coma the doctors say she may never come out of. And Rachel has to make a heartbreaking decision—one that her ex-husband, Emily’s dad James, doesn’t agree with.

Terrified she’s going to lose her daughter for good, Rachel knows she must find a way to keep the hope alive for Emily. But there is only one person she can turn to for help to convince James—and it’s his new wife, Eva.

As an unlikely but powerful friendship develops between the two women, both Rachel and Eva will have to ask themselves—what is truly the right choice for the tiny, fragile little girl who lies between them?

A beautiful story that will break your heart into a million pieces, perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain and Susan Lewis.



BUY LINKS:
Amazon: http://bit.ly/2uOrwd8
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2HmFcyG
Apple Links: https://apple.co/2uBMXyk
Google Play: http://bit.ly/39DnWBF


MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   A Hope for Emily
Author:  Kate Hewitt
Genre:   Women's Fiction
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   303
Date of Publication:   February 20, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

When I pick up a book by Kate Hewitt, I make sure to grab a box of tissues along with it. This doesn't stop me from getting my hands on the book when it becomes available. 

Rachel was the happiest of mothers, although her marriage left a lot to be desired and eventually ended. One endearing thing that Rachel has been doing is writing her daughter letters even before she was born.

Things go well for several years, but suddenly Emily is faced with an autoimmune illness. Symptoms go from bad to worse when she ends up in a coma. Unfortunately Emily's disease is quite rare and doctors simply do not have any answers or hope. Although Rachel and ex, James, have been apart for a while, and he has even remarried, they are united when it comes to Emily. That is, until Rachel finds what she think might help, and possibly cure Emily. This is when their unity comes to an end and James says no. Rachel appeals to his wife, Eva for help.

What transpires from here - if the story wasn't already heartbreaking - is a journey of sadness coupled with an unlikely friendship. I was right about those tissues as I was truly gutted. Nonetheless, I found this to be a compelling read that made me think - and made me thankful for the blessings I have in my family. Kate Hewitt has done it again, and I cannot wait for her next book.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kate Hewitt is the bestselling author of many novels of women's fiction, including the Hartley-by-the-Sea series set in the Lake District, the Willoughby Close series set in the Cotswolds, and Tales From Goswell written as Katharine Swartz. Her novel A Mother's Goodbye has been called 'unputdownable' and 'the most emotional book I have ever read' by readers. Not My Daughter and her latest novel, No Time to Say Goodbye are both available to buy now. 

An American ex-pat, she lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five young(ish) children, along with their two Golden Retrievers. Join her newsletter for monthly updates and giveaways at http://www.kate-hewitt.com, or be part of her Facebook groups Kate's Reads.