Monday, March 27, 2023

BLOG TOUR - An Island Far From Home



Rosie realised she loved the man standing before her. She wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. And if he were to fall in France, heaven help them both, she knew she would not regret one last night with him…

1941, Canada: When Rosie Lyman and her cousin Violet join the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, Rosie is uncertain about leaving her life in Ontario behind and entering a new and challenging world of duty and service.

From the moment Rosie signs up, the intensity of the work pushes all thoughts of home from her mind. And when she is selected for officer training and a placement overseas in London, Rosie finds herself swept up into an exciting world of classified postings she could never have imagined…

When she meets handsome Lieutenant 
Thomas Crewe, with sparkling blue eyes and a smile like a movie star, Rosie soon finds herself falling in love for the very first time. With precious moments together restricted to weekends on leave, the pair try to steal as much time together as they can.

But when Rosie hears that Thomas’s division is flying in the D-Day invasion, she feels like her heart might break. Will he survive the battle? And can she find the strength within herself to go on if he doesn’t?

The fifth novel in the page-turning Amherst Island series, set during the Second World War in Canada and England, this gripping and truly unmissable read is perfect for fans of The Orphan Sisters and My Name is Eva.


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Title:   An Island Far From Home
Author:  Kate Hewitt 
Series:  Amherst Island #5
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Historical Fiction 
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   260
Date of Publication:   March 27, 2024
My Rating:   4 Stars

When Rosie Lyman’s life took a very different turn during the dark days of WWII, she was forced to make very difficult decisions. An Island Far From Home is the touching fifth book in a compelling series by Kate Hewitt. 

While growing up, Rosie shattered her father, when it came to his work as a lawyer. Soon to finish school, Rosie had visions of joining her father. However, that was not to be the case, and she ended up following her cousin and joining the Canadian Women’s Army Corps. Wow her wife did not go in the direction that she expected, she excelled at whatever she said her hand at. Meeting an American admin name, Thomas brought live into Rosie’s life.

Duty was first in her life, especially when tragedy ensued. While love was a factor, heartbreak was an even bigger factor in Rosie’s life. While the story has a big focus on the love that Rosie found in her life, it also explored her relationship with her cousin Violet, who had been her very dear friend. The cousins could not have been more different, and it was explored as to the roles that each of them played. This powerful story was very intriguing and provided history about women’s roles in the Canadian armed services, all while showcasing excellent prose. 

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


Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives. 

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BLOG TOUR - Her Lost Words

Title:  Her Lost Words
Author  Stephanie Marie Thornton
Publisher:   Berkley Books
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   448
Date of Publication:   March 28, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars

From A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to Frankenstein, a tale of two literary legends—a mother and daughter—discovering each other and finding themselves along the way, from USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Marie Thornton.

1792. As a child, Mary Wollstonecraft longed to disappear during her father’s violent rages. Instead, she transforms herself into the radical author of the landmark volume A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in which she dares to propose that women are equal to men. From conservative England to the blood-drenched streets of revolutionary France, Mary refuses to bow to society’s conventions and instead supports herself with her pen until an illicit love affair challenges her every belief about romance and marriage. When she gives birth to a daughter and is stricken with childbed fever, Mary fears it will be her many critics who recount her life’s extraordinary odyssey…

1815. The daughter of infamous political philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, passionate Mary Shelley learned to read by tracing the letters of her mother’s tombstone. As a young woman, she desperately misses her mother’s guidance, especially following her scandalous elopement with dashing poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary struggles to balance an ever-complicated marriage with motherhood while nursing twin hopes that she might write something of her own one day and also discover the truth of her mother’s unconventional life. Mary’s journey will unlock her mother’s secrets, all while leading to her own destiny as the groundbreaking author of Frankenstein.

A riveting and inspiring novel about a firebrand feminist, her visionary daughter, and the many ways their words transformed our world.


Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Shelley. Mother and daughter.  Both authors. For Mary Wollstonecraft, her very notable writing was an iconic piece of literature that focused on women’s rights, a ground-breaking piece of literature that pushed the rights of women, especially that we are equal to men. The year was 1792, and sadly Mary W. passed away soon after the birth of her second daughter, Mary Shelley. After her death, her her husband published her memoirs and they were presented in such a way that had a negative impact on the feminist movement in its earliest stages. 

Mary S. was forced to grow up without her mother. Always wanting to know more and more about her mother in the legacy that she was certain was connected to her mother, she made several decisions that changed the course of her young life. While at a young age, marriage to a handsome poet, did not set the course for an easy life for Mary S. Nonetheless, she was truly her mothers daughter and before the age of 21, she wrote the volume Frankenstein. Although the name was different, and she was not at first recognized for writing the book, just as her mother wrote something groundbreaking, this was the first science-fiction of its type.

Historical fiction is something that is very important. Although the author took took some literary license with this book, the story of both women was one that was very inspiring and encouraged me to learn even more about both of these powerful women. Both of them had difficult home lives, experiencing trauma that might trigger sensitive people. Although dark at times, the story was one of loss, but also of survival. A book where the work that emanated from these two women can prove to be one that will be uplifting too many readers.  

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


Stephanie Marie Thornton is a USA Today bestselling author and a high school history teacher and librarian. She lives in Alaska with her husband and daughter.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Cuban Daughter



Cuba, 1950: As Esmeralda moved past Christopher, her breath stilled as he caught her finger in his. It was only a split-second, their fingers intertwined in a hold so brief that no one could have possibly noticed, but it told her everything she needed to know. He didn’t just come to see Cuba. He travelled all this way to see me.

London, present day. When Claudia discovers that her grandmother was born at Hope’s House, a home for unmarried mothers, everything she thought she knew about her family is shattered in an instant. Looking down at a faded family crest, she is determined to discover how it can possibly relate to her grandmother. Soon Claudia learns that the crest belongs to the Diaz family, once one of the wealthiest dynasties in Cuba. Impulsively Claudia books a ticket to Havana, feeling sure in her heart that she will be able to uncover her family’s true story.

Arriving in the bustling and vibrant city she meets a young man named Mateo, a chef who loves nothing more than to cook his family’s recipes. As they get to know each other over dinner, Mateo says that his grandfather worked for the Diaz family and he too wants to uncover what happened.

But when they arrive at the Diaz family home, they find it completely abandoned as if preserved in time from the 1950s. It’s not long before they uncover a heartbreaking story about Claudia’s family and of a young woman who was forced to leave behind everything she’d ever known in search of true love.

As Claudia becomes closer to Mateo, will her family’s story of bravery and sacrifice inspire her to follow her own heart to Cuba? Or will the tragic love story force her home?

An utterly gripping and heart-wrenching novel about family secrets, lost loves and new beginnings. Perfect for fans of Santa Montefiore, Lucinda Riley and Victoria Hislop.


Title:   The Cuban Daughter
Author:  Soraya M. Lane
Series:  The Lost Daughters #2
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   305    
Date of Publication:   September 23, 2022  
My Rating:   5 Stars

In this touching second book  in The Lost Daughters series, this dual timeline book tells the stories of Esmarelda in Havana, 1950 and present day, London. Their lives were indeed connected and Claudia makes great strides when it comes to learning about her grandmother’s history. 

Claudia has just broken her engagement and has also quit her job, and these life changes enable her to track down the history of a family crest that lies in Cuba. Claudia really hopes that she will be able to unravel her history, which leads her to a family dynasty she had been unaware of. This is where Esmeralda’s story comes in, and the book switches seamlessly through both timelines. 

While in Havana, Claudia meets a chef named Mateo and soon learns that his grandfather once worked for the Diaz family, and this information brings Claudia even closer to the past she is struggling to uncover. With regard to Esmeralda, her heart was torn. Her family was being forced to flee Cuba, but she wanted to be with the young man she fell in love with, a merchant named a Christopher. This creates a huge conflict for Esmeralda, and in a heartbreaking fashion, readers will see the devastating choice she was forced to make. 

This lovely series began in Italy, this book was set in Cuba, and Soraya Lane will next take her readers to Greece. The stories are warm and inviting, and make the perfect accompaniment to a nice cup of tea or coffee. 

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


Soraya Lane graduated with a law degree before realising that law wasn't the career for her and that her future was in writing. She is the author of historical and contemporary women's fiction, including the #1 Kindle bestselling novels The Last Correspondent and The Secrets We Left Behind. 

Soraya lives on a small farm in her native New Zealand with her husband, their two young sons and a collection of four legged friends. When she's not writing, she loves to be outside playing make-believe with her children or snuggled up inside reading.

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Instagram @SorayaLaneAuthor


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Thursday, March 23, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Lost Mother of Ireland



A completely gripping and unforgettable story of long-lost family secrets and forbidden romance that will whisk you away to the beautiful village of Sandy Cove on the west coast of Ireland.

Laura inherits a small cottage from a friend who was like a mother to her, she wonders whether this could be the new beginning she’s been searching for. Although she’s never been to the village of Sandy Cove on the west coast of Ireland, her friend described it as on the edge of the sparkling blue sea, with sandy white beaches. Could this be the fresh start she needs to ease her heartache?

During her first walk on the beach, Laura meets 
Gino, a handsome local who instantly charms her with his sparkling eyes and gorgeous smile. Laura finds herself attracted to him as he tells her about his life and his love for Sandy Cove. And, as they spend more time together, the pair begin to grow closer.

But just as Laura begins to settle into village life, her friend’s son disputes his mother’s will. But what he doesn’t know is that Laura hasn’t just inherited the cottage from her, she’s also been given a very valuable heirloom – one that tells the story of a forbidden love, a long-forgotten family secret and a bond between a mother and daughter that could not be broken…

Just as Laura begins to solve the mystery behind the painting, everything she thought she knew about Gino changes in a heartbeat when she discovers that he might have already given his heart away to someone else. Is their love story over before it ever truly began?

And when Laura uncovers the truth behind her inheritance,
 she is left wondering whether the family secret should have remained forgotten. When the dust settles from her discovery, will she be able to rebuild her life in Sandy Cove with the one man she truly loves?

Fans of Sheila O’Flanagan, Mary Alice Monroe and Debbie Macomber will fall in love with this gripping, heart-warming and utterly charming Irish romance.


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Title:   The Lost Mother of Ireland
Author:  Susanne O’Leary
Series:  Starlight Cottages #6
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Women’s Fiction; Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   243
Date of Publication:   March 20, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars 

Sandy Cove is the setting of a beautiful village where Susanne O’Leary presents another delightful story in the Starlight Cottages series.  These warm stories are always like coming home and this latest book is another example of a truly touching story. 
Laura has received a very unusual inheritance after her charge that she cared for passes away. Laura did everything she could to make Josephine’s life comfortable at the end as her nurse and caregiver but there relationship also became one of a very strong friendship. Laura was left a cottage in the village of Sandy Cove, so she travels to Ireland to perhaps restart her life.  

Laura is about 50, which is a wonderful age to see someone who still loves life and who just might find her future and perhaps love in a new place where she really fits in. Meanwhile, Laura discovers a painting in the cottage and tries to learn the history behind that painting, and this gives the story a bit more flavor. There is so much to this wonderful story in a very touching series, one that will no doubt leave the reader feeling more than pleased.  

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


Susanne O'Leary is the bestselling author of more than twenty novels, mainly in the romantic fiction genre. She has also written three crime novels and two in the historical fiction genre. She has been the wife of a diplomat (still is), a fitness teacher and a translator. She now writes full-time from either of two locations, a ramshackle house in County Tipperary, Ireland or a little cottage overlooking the Atlantic in Dingle, County Kerry. When she is not scaling the mountains of said counties, or keeping fit in the local gym, she keeps writing, producing a book every six months.

Visit Susanne at her website,
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BLOG TOUR - How I’ll Kill You

Title:   How I’ll Kill You
Author:  Ren DeStefano
Publisher:  Berkley Books
Genre:   Mystery& Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   352
Date of Publication:   March 21, 2023
My Rating:  4 Stars


Your next stay-up-all-night thriller, about identical triplets who have a nasty habit of killing their boyfriends, and what happens when the youngest commits their worst crime yet: falling in love with her mark.

Make him want you.
Make him love you.
Make him dead.

Sissy has an...interesting family. Always the careful one, always the cautious one, she has handled the cleanup while her serial killer sisters have carved a path of carnage across the U.S. Now, as they arrive in the Arizona heat, Sissy must step up and embrace the family pastime of making a man fall in love and then murdering him. Her first target? A young widower named Edison--and their mutual attraction is instant. While their relationship progresses, and most couples would be thinking about picking out china patterns and moving in together, Sissy's family is reminding her to think about picking out burial sites and moving on.

But then something happens that Sissy never anticipated: She begins to feel protective of Edison, and then, before she can help it, she's fallen in love. But the clock is ticking, and her sisters are growing restless. It becomes clear that the gravesite she chooses will hide a body no matter what happens; but if she betrays her family, will it be hers?


Identical triplets live a very unconventional life. They find a mark, wait until their mark falls for them, and then kill them. There is no doubt that the story just might make you think twice because that was certainly the case with me.

They are Sissy, Moody and Iris. These are not their birth names, but they are what they go by when they meet the boyfriends that they work hard to make fall in love with them. The problem is, Sissy starts to deter from the plan. Her mark is Edison, a widower that she gets just a little bit too close to. They have a time limit with their mark and the closer Sissy gets to Edison, the more than lines get blurred for her. 

The fact that they are identical plays into how the story develops. Although the story is unusual, including things such as violence and murder as well as the bonds of sisterhood and love, and painful pasts play into what happens in this surprisingly thrilling, although a bit disturbing story.  

Ren DeStefano presents this remarkable debut novel with aplomb. This book definitely made me think and a sad as it was in some parts, it manage to end on a note of hope.  

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

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
  If not for my sisters and the tragic circumstances of our upbringing, I would be living an empty life and bound for heartbreak.

It started when we were nineteen.

Iris called me, frantic, in the middle of the night. She had her own apartment above a laundromat in downtown Clovis. She was so proud of that place—all five hundred square feet of it. She kept it tidy and burned incense at all hours to hide the smell from the dumpster in the alley outside her bedroom window. At night, there was the persistent throb of the bar across the street, the music loud enough to rattle the porcelain angel figurines on the shelves. They’d come with the place, and Iris had decided they made her living room look homey—a word she’d never used before, because we’d never had a home.

“Just come,” she’d sobbed and then hung up. All of my calls went straight to voicemail. I sped the whole way over there, sure that someone had just climbed up the fire escape to murder her. But what I found was a different sort of violence. Blood, deep and dark, pooled on her oriental rug, and splattered across the angel figurines.

She’d been sleeping with her old high school guidance counselor—a fifty-one-year-old married father of two. He strung her along for months, promising to leave his wife. He broke her heart a hundred times, and then Iris plunged a kebab skewer through his.

“You watch all of those crime shows,” Moody said, emerging from the kitchen with a bottle of bleach she’d found under the sink. “Help us make this go away.” We moved with a practical calm, the three of us, and when it was through, Iris’s ill-fated lover was resting in six garbage bags, wound tightly with duct tape. If it were only one of us, or even two, I’m sure we would have been caught. We would have missed a detail. But we were a perfect team, the three of us.

After a lifetime of being torn apart, we were finally together, finally able to help one another in all the ways we never could when we were being jostled helplessly by the foster system. All those years of loneliness, of wanting, of being kept apart, had brought us to this desperate moment. Knee-deep in the water of the San Joaquin river in the velvet black night, we weighed the pieces of the man with rocks, and a promise started to form. In the coming days, it slowly became obvious what we needed to do.

We wouldn’t deprive ourselves of love, but our hearts would be weapons. We would love the men we found completely and without inhibition, put a lifetime into our brief time together. Live out every fantasy we desired. And then we would kill them.

There would never be another lover to break one of us. We would break all of them first.  

“Excerpted from HOW I’LL KILL YOU by Ren DeStefano published by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2023 by Ren DeStefano”    



Ren DeStefano lives in Connecticut, where she was born and raised. When she’s not writing thrillers, she’s listening to true crime podcasts and crocheting way too many blankets. Learn more at:


Monday, March 20, 2023

BLOG TOUR - Second Wives


There’s been a terrible accident, Brigid, but the only thing that matters is that I love you. We’ll get through this together.” As I slowly wake in my hospital bed, my darling husband’s familiar voice soothes me. Yet, as I look across at him, I can’t shake the feeling that this is not my husband at all…

Later, I realize the awful truth. Because of my injury, I’m unable to feel the same emotion towards those I loved. The doctor calls this emotional amnesia, but gazing over at my husband, I call it torture.

As the weeks pass, my family and friends keep me going, especially 
Charity. Years before, she married my ex-husband and I, in turn, married hers. To keep our friendship group together we kept things civil - I thought we had the perfect blended family.

But once I’m back home, I begin to notice Charity inserting herself into my family. At first it’s little things, her hand lingering a moment too long on my husband’s back, playing the role of hostess in my home at a family barbeque. Then I see her encouraging her wayward brother to pay my only daughter more attention and I feel instantly threatened.

That evening, I am haunted by a familiar nightmare of an unknown man forcing someone under water, vowing that their next breath will be their last. As I gasp for air, my husband tries to comfort me.

But lying there in his arms, I feel anything but reassured. With no one I can really trust, I have to ask myself: 
does the man who gave me a second chance at love want me gone?



Title:   Second Wives
Author:  Carey Baldwin
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Psychological Thriller 
Format:  Kindle ARC 
No. of Pages:   306
Date of Publication:  March 17, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars

When Brigid is seriously hurt in an accident, she awakens in the hospital with loving words from her dear husband. However, as Brigid is now experiencing emotional amnesia, she does not realize that the man at her hospital bed is not her husband Nash, but her ex-husband Jackson. In fact, Jackson is now married to her best friend Charity. Yes, Brigid and Charity have indeed married each other’s ex-husbands. So then, why is Jackson at Charity’s bedside, uttering words of concern and devotion?

It has been years since the couples have remarried, and all four of them have been able to remain friends. As this book is a psychological thriller, there is no doubt that at least one of the four principal characters has something to hide. While reading this intriguing book, I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to fall. Meanwhile, I was especially interested how things would work out for Brigid and Nash, especially since her emotional connection to Nash was severed due to her accident. 

The original couples had reasons for their divorces and while it might have seemed quite odd that the remarriages occurred, they seemed to work for years. The accident that Brigid experienced and the result of that accident reminded me of the slightest crack in a vase full of flowers. The water is going to seep through causing the rack to grow. Can these couples get past loss and change in their lives? Is one or both of their marriages doomed? 

While unimaginable for me to imagine being married to my best friend’s ex and hers married to mine - no worries, 40+ years married and going strong - I really found myself very interested in this story. Past tragedy and other issues were explored, and this includes a recurring nightmare Brigid explores, especially in psycho-therapy, and this added yet another layer to this story. 

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


Carey Baldwin is a USA Today bestselling author of psychological suspense. Also a dedicated physician, she holds two doctoral degrees, one in medicine and one in psychology. Her experience in the fields of medicine and psychology often informs her writing. She loves reading and writing stories that keep you off balance and on the edge of your seat. Carey lives in the southwestern United States with her amazing family. In her spare time she enjoys hiking and chasing wildflowers.

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BLOG TOUR -The Last Russian Doll

The Last Russian Doll
Author:  Kristen Loesch
Publisher:   Berkley
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   384
Date of Publication:   March 14, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars 


A haunting, epic novel about betrayal, revenge, and redemption that follows three generations of Russian women, from the 1917 revolution to the last days of the Soviet Union, and the enduring love story at the center.

In a faraway kingdom, in a long-ago land...

...a young girl lived happily in Moscow with her family: a sister, a father, and an eccentric mother who liked to tell fairy tales and collect porcelain dolls.

One summer night, everything changed, and all that remained of that family were the girl and her mother.

Now, a decade later and studying at Oxford University, Rosie has an English name, a loving fiancĂ©, and a promising future, but all she wants is to understand--and bury--the past. After her mother dies, Rosie returns to Russia, armed with little more than her mother’s strange folklore--and a single key.

What she uncovers is a devastating family history that spans the 1917 Revolution, the siege of Leningrad, Stalin’s purges, and beyond.

At the heart of this saga stands a young noblewoman, Tonya, as pretty as a porcelain doll, whose actions—and love for an idealistic man—will set off a sweeping story that reverberates across the century....

This book is a historical fiction that is a dual timeline, 1917 and 1991. It is about a woman named Rosie who is trying to find out more about her history after her mother dies. The story has to do with a porcelain doll and it’s just really intriguing Russian history. It’s quite tragic, and has a lot to do with stories that were told to Rosie in a fairytale-like fashion, but the Russian revolution was afoot when the story goes back to the past (character is Tonya ), and then we see what’s going on in the present as Rosie tries to figure out not only her past, but where her life will go in the future. 

This is a very well-told tale where the past is explored in a rather tragic fashion. For Rosie, her past was quite troubled. Things were difficult between her and her mother. After her mother’s death, she has decided to go back to her roots in Russia to learn about her own past and how Russian dolls play into that past. With regard to Tonya, the story shifts back to 1915 when everything about Tonya’s life underwent many difficulties. 

What a powerful story! History has always been one of my very favorite subjects, and this book was one that gave me early insight into Russian history. I loved how the story was told, and the dual timeline fashion only made it that much more interesting. If a reader is not fond of history and how it in this case affected the lives of the principal characters, then this book might be a tough read. But for me, it hit the mark. 

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


Kristen Loesch grew up in San Francisco. She holds a BA in History, as well as a Master’s degree in Slavonic Studies from the University of Cambridge. Her debut historical novel, THE LAST RUSSIAN DOLL, was shortlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award and longlisted for the Bath Novel Award under a different title. After a decade living in Europe, she now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children.