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The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Bookstore on the Beach to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating       

The Bookstore on the Beach

by Brenda Novak

On Sale Date: April 6, 2021

9780778361053

Trade Paperback; $16.99 USD

448 pages

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars    💙💙💙💙💙    

For fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Kay Andrews, comes New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak’s newest standalone work of women’s fiction, a big, sweeping novel about family and the ties that bind and challenge us. In this novel, three generations of women from the same family share a house and work together at a bookstore in Colonial Beach over the course of a summer.

How do you start a new chapter when you haven’t closed the book on the last one?

Eighteen months ago, Autumn Divac’s husband went missing. Her desperate search has yielded no answers—she still has no idea where he went or why. After being happily married for twenty years, she can’t imagine moving forward without him, but for the sake of their two teenage children, she has to try.

Autumn takes her kids home for the summer to the charming beachside town where she was raised. She seeks comfort by working alongside her mother and aunt at their quaint bookshop, only to learn that her daughter is facing a life change neither of them saw coming and her mother has been hiding a terrible secret for years. And when she runs into Quinn Vanderbilt—the boy who stole her heart in high school—old feelings start to bubble up again. Is she free to love him, or should she hold out hope for her husband’s return? She can only trust her heart…and hope it won’t lead her astray.

I Thought…

Nick Divac has been missing for more than 18 months, and his wife, Autumn has been valiantly trying to cope with the situation at their home in Tampa, Florida. The couple has two teenage children, daughter Taylor, age 17, and son Caden, 16. Nick was thought to be working on a mission for the FBI in the Ukraine but never returned from his assignment. When the official investigation ended, Autumn hired a private investigator, Mr Olynyk, based overseas, but even he could not supply any information about Nick’s location. Stressed out and looking for a change of scenery, Autumn and her children head to her mother, Mary Langford’s beach house in Sable Beach, Virginia for the summer, the place where Autumn grew up.

This family drama tells the stories of three women, the problems they face and the secrets they harbour. Aside from Autumn, Mary has to overcome a life-changing situation that has affected her outlook on life. Mary runs a bookshop, Beach Front Books, along with Autumn’s Aunt Laurie and they both have a 50/50 share. Taylor, too, has some serious issues of her own to deal with.

Brenda Novak’s character portrayal was exceptional although I had been excepting nothing less! Autumn reconnects with her first love, Quinn and has to make some hard decisions about her future. Meanwhile, Taylor is all at sea; the disappearance of her much-loved father left her feeling emotionally adrift and she committed a regrettable and undoable act. A new friend both helps and further complicates her inner turmoil.

The author masterfully weaves the characters experiences and backstories into a marvellous, heartwarming tale, delivered with aplomb. So many different themes and topics are explored and touched upon in this splendid tale of family and relationships, including grief, loss, and mental health issues but also of hope, optimism and choice.

The Bookstore on the Beach is a satisfying and rewarding reading experience from the beginning to its intense ending.

Thanks to NetGalley, MIRA and the author, Brenda Novak for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

Brenda Novak, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, has penned over sixty novels. She is a five-time nominee for the RITA Award and has won the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Bookbuyer’s Best, and many other awards. She also runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity to raise money for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised $2.5 million. For more about Brenda, please visit http://www.brendanovak.com.

Author Links:
Website  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Bookshop.org – IndieBound – Barnes & Noble – Books a Million – Amazon – Indigo – Book Depository – Walmart – Target

Until Next Time, 

Featured

The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Path to Sunshine Cove to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating

THE PATH TO SUNSHINE COVE 
Author: RaeAnne Thayne 
ISBN: 9781335665430
Publication Date: March 30, 2020
Publisher: HQN Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars    💙💙💙💙💙    
                  

She knows what’s best for everyone but herself…

With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She’s made a career out of helping others downsize—because she’s learned the hard way that the less “stuff,” the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home…and that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven’t made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents and changed everything between them.

While Jess couldn’t wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world—and her sister—to think she has a picture-perfect life. But with the demands of her youngest child’s disability, Rachel’s marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she’s learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn’t do family, and she shouldn’t count on her now.

Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached—to her sister and her family, even to her client’s interfering son, Nate—and it’s time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put and make room for the love and joy that come along with it?

I Thought…

In this emotive second instalment in RaeAnne Thayne’s Cape Sanctuary series, the reader is afforded the delightful story of Jessica Clayton who finds out how important her home is to her. Jessica has her own very successful business; she runs Transitions, along with her business partner, a company that helps people to declutter their homes as they prepare to downsize. When a resident of Sanctuary Cove enlists her help she returns to her hometown where her younger sister, Rachel still lives. Jess and Rachel have not spoken for many years but now, Jess would maybe like to reconnect with Rachel and spend her free time with her and her family – husband Cody and Rachel and Cody’s three children, one of whom, Silas has recently been diagnosed with a life-changing condition.

This beautiful, romantic story is set in a small town by the sea, a place vividly brought to life, so gorgeously described by RaeAnne Thayne. I could feel the sea breezes and easily picture the magnificent views. The author’s characterisation is first-class and I really liked Jess’s recently widowed client, Eleanor Whitaker who came across as kind and honest. Jess herself showed resilience and toughness of spirit.

I enjoyed the sub-plot of social media influencer Rachel and her struggling marriage to Cody. With empathy and heartfelt compassion, the author presented this tale of broken relationships and challenges repaired with hard work, effort and determination. The Path to Sunshine Cove can be fully appreciated as a standalone and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy contemporary romance.

Thanks to NetGalley, HQN Books and the author, RaeAnne Thayne for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

Author Links:
Website  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

BUY LINKS:

HarlequinIndiebound ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million ~ Walmart

Until Next Time, 

Featured

Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ MIRA Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Tell No Lies  by Allison Brennan

Publication Date: March 30, 2021

Publisher: MIRA Books

ISBN: 9780778331469

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan’s newest thriller again features an edgy young female LAPD detective and an ambitious special agent, both part of a mobile FBI unit that is brought in to investigate the unsolved murder of a college activist and its alleged ties to high stakes crime in the desert Southwest.

Something mysterious is killing the wildlife in the desert hills just south of Tucson, Arizona. When Emma Perez, a college-intern-turned activist, sets out to collect her own evidence, she too ends up dead. Local law enforcement seems slow to get involved. That’s when the mobile FBI unit goes undercover to infiltrate the town and the copper refinery located there in search of possible leads. Costa and Quinn find themselves scouring the desolate landscape that keeps on giving up clues to something much darker—greed, child trafficking, other killings. As the body count continues to add up, it’s clear they have stumbled on more than they bargained for. Now they must figure out who is at the heart of this mayhem and stop them before more innocent lives are lost.

Brennan’s latest novel brims with complex characters and an ever-twisting plotline, a compelling thriller that delivers.

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I Thought…

Golly, this impressive second instalment in Allison Brennan’s series centring on the FBI’s Mobile Response Team turned out to be a little gem! This newly formed part of the FBI consists of highly specialised agents who are top in their field, be it forensics, crime scene specialists or investigators. They are operational primarily in rural areas and in Tell No Lies the team is undercover in Patagonia, Arizona as they investigate a murder that leads to the local copper refinery possibly dumping toxic waste in the desert. FBI special agent Mathias (Matt) Costa has LAPD Detective on loan to the FBI, Kara Quinn working as a bartender in the local bar where the refinery workers and townies socialise. Michael Harris, a former Navy SEAL, takes a job at the refinery and the refinery owner’s son becomes an informant. When another dead body is found, the case becomes much more complicated as they realise the quiet town has links to several other criminal activities.

Kara is such a fiercely independent, strong and unique protagonist with a strong sense of justice. There is chemistry between her and Matt, and they also share a mutual respect for one another however, their growing connection is not the main focus of this book. Matt himself is shrewd, level-headed and makes a marvellous leader.

The mystery element in Tell No Lies is magnificent and totally engaging. The tight time-frame keeps the plot rolling, with no opportunity to become mired in tediousness. The procedural aspects are solid with the coordination and teamwork of the investigators coming through winningly. Tell No Lies is wonderfully written in a style I relish and I was in my element reading this dark and gritty tale. This is a great second instalment in what has so far turned out to be a stellar series. I enjoyed Tell No Lies so much that I’m reading the books from Allison Brennan’s other series and cannot wait for her next in this one.

 A special thank you to MIRA Books and the author for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request, received via NetGalley. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

ALLISON BRENNAN is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over thirty novels. She has been nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers and the Daphne du Maurier Award. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, Allison lives in Arizona with her husband, five kids and assorted pets.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Buy Links:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/tell-no-lies-9780778331469/9780778331469

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778331469

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tell-no-lies-allison-brennan/1136909250;jsessionid=BE5869D36ACCCEF44F21FF4A05BC5D62.prodny_store01-atgap04?ean=9780778331469 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0778331466/httpwwwalli0f-20

Books A Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/product/9780778331469

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B087JTYYSY/httpwwwalli0f-20

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tell-no-lies-allison-brennan/1136909250?ean=9781488077142

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tell-no-lies-16

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Allison_Brennan_Tell_No_Lies?id=RHDeDwAAQBAJ

Ibooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/tell-no-lies/id1509698872

Until Next Time, 

Featured

Beneath Cornish Skies by Kate Ryder | Book Review and Mini Blog Blitz 

I am delighted to join the blog blitz for Beneath Cornish Skies by Kate Ryder! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy, though I must offer my sincere apologies for this late post.

About the Book

 To an outsider, Cassandra Shaw’s life looks perfect. She lives in a beautiful, luxurious house in the English countryside, with a handsome, wealthy boyfriend who insists she needn’t do a day’s work in her life. But Cassie knows that something is not right. Her boyfriend has grown colder, treating her more like a housekeeper than a future wife. And her time feels empty and purposeless.

Cassandra has always been riddled with insecurities and self-doubt, but, just for once, she decides to take a chance on a new beginning. She answers an advert for a live-in nanny, dog walker, cook and all-round ‘Superhuman’ for a family living in a rambling manor house on the rugged North Cornish coast. The work is hard and tiring, but Cassie has never felt so fulfilled.

As Cassie learns to connect with the natural beauty unfolding around her, Cornwall starts to offer up its secrets. Soon, Cassie starts wondering if she was drawn to this isolated part of the coast for a reason. Why was she guided to Foxcombe Manor? What are the flashes of light she sees in the valley? Is it her imagination or does someone brush past her? And who is the mysterious man living deep in the woods?

A beautiful romance with a hint of ghostliness, Beneath Cornish Skies is for anyone who has ever longed to start their lives again.

Buy Beneath Cornish Skies from Amazon UK here

My Thoughts

I wanted to read Beneath Cornish Skies as it belongs in a couple of genres that I dip into from time to time and also as it’s set in a place I’ve visited and would very much like to again.

Kate Ryder’s characterisation skills were evident and I loved her portrayal of our protagonist, Cassandra (Cassie) Shaw. Cassie’s spirit and determination really shone through and she was courageous in her decision to leave David Ashcroft, her inconsiderate, controlling, cheating and distant boyfriend of ten years, to pursue different goals and make the necessary changes in her life.

Cassie starts to settle into her new surroundings and it was lovely to read about her experiences as the new live-in nanny working for the Kinsmans. The storytelling by Kate Ryder was so polished and elegant and the plotline had a magical element to it that was sublime. I particularly liked the author’s descriptions of Foxcombe Manor with its air of tranquility. I was easily able to picture the surrounding area with images of the crashing waves, the deep blue sea complete with its shimmering shoreline, the sandy beach and breathing in the salty air. There were light sprinkles of romance between Cassie and Luke, the man in the woods and I was really rooting for them.

A terrific, spirit-raising and totally immersive story about self-discovery with shades of ghostliness and the supernatural, that I’m delighted to have read.

Thank you to Kate Ryder, Aria, NetGalley and Rachel’s Random Resources for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Kate Ryder is an award-winning, Amazon Kindle international best seller who writes timeslip and romantic suspense in a true-to-life narrative. On leaving school she studied drama but soon discovered her preference for writing plays rather than performing them! Since then, she has worked in the publishing, tour operating and property industries, and has travelled widely.

Kate is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. In 2017, she signed a 4-book contract with Aria (digital imprint of award-winning independent publisher, Head of Zeus).

Summer in a Cornish Cove, a contemporary romantic suspense set on the Lizard Peninsula, gained her a nomination for the RNA’s 2018 Joan Hessayon award, while its standalone sequel, Cottage on a Cornish Cliff, reached the heady heights of #2 in Kindle Literary Sagas.

‘Secrets of the Mist’, a mysterious timeslip romance, not only achieved #1 Kindle best seller flags in the UK, Canada and Australia, but also reached #49 in Amazon UK Paid Kindle. In the original, self-published version (The Forgotten Promise) it was awarded the first Chill with a Book “Book of the Month”.

Originally hailing from the South East of England, today Kate lives on the Cornish side of the beautiful Tamar Valley with her husband and a collection of animals.

 Keep up to date with Kate via her  websiteTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

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The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

The Villa of Dreams

‘Beautifully written, comforting and utterly uplifting, Lucy Coleman’s stories are the perfect tonic when life is a little grey.’ Holly Martin

Seren Maddison left behind a rainy Britain to follow her dreams and live and work in Lisbon. The vibrancy, the beautiful scenery and the sunshine, made her fall in love and she knew, instantly, that it would be her forever home.

International artist Reid Henderson has homes in Lisbon and London. Following his painful divorce, his dream is to turn his luxurious home into an art school and gallery.

When Seren and Reid first meet there is an instant attraction, but they are both people who have been hurt, and each have dreams that are so far apart, they aren’t even on the same page.

Can they enjoy one summer of happiness together, as life bestows a gift of memories to cherish for the rest of their lives? Or is their destiny to chart a path into the future, in a home where dreams can come true.

Seren and Reid may be about to discover that love is as much about what you are prepared to give up, as what you are prepared to keep hold of.

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to sun-drenched Portugal where true love really can conquer all, and home is where the heart is. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley, Holly Martin and Sue Moorcroft.

Buy The Villa of Dreams from Amazon UK here

My Thoughts

My first book by Lucy Coleman was warming, gratifying and highly entertaining, bringing absolutely no disappointments.

When Seren Maddison leaves drizzly Britain to move to sunny Lisbon in Portugal, she knows she has made the right decision and she has found her perfect place to settle. Following a work meeting with Reid Henderson, an artist, they click immediately but both are wary of becoming too involved because they have been hurt in previous relationships, and they have very different goals. Seren and Reid discover whether their time together is a happy summer holiday romance or some lessons in love.

With its realistic, brilliantly drawn characters this was such a lovely story and the perfect choice of novel as the weather has turned distinctly wintery already. Lucy Coleman’s tremendous writing and descriptions of Lisbon made me think I was there myself, in the pockets of Seren as she explored the heart of Almada. This author really knew how to set the scene, from the views to delicious sounding foods, art, architecture, and traditions, making The Villa of Dreams so great. I was totally swept along with the well- paced, delightful storyline. Moving to a new country can be a daunting experience for many and this came across very well. With a dominant theme of self-development and a will-they/won’t-they trope, The Villa of Dreams was a riveting, heartwarming read that really raised my spirits.

Romance readers who like to be transported to another country for some escapism will enjoy this one. Very highly recommended!

Thank you to Lucy Coleman, Boldwood Books, NetGalley and Rachel’s Random Resources for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Summer in Provence and Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys. Keep up to date with Lucy via her  websiteTwitterFacebook, Instagram and Bookbub.

 

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

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What She Saw by Diane Saxon | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for What She Saw by Diane Saxon today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

What She Saw by Diane Saxon 

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

Publisher: Boldwood Books

ISBN: 9781838892685

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

‘An addictive 5* read that kept me guessing. Diane Saxon’s DS Jenna Morgan series is brilliant’ – bestselling author, Ross Greenwood.

Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter
Why does someone want the Lawrence family dead?

The Lawrence’s were the perfect family; successful, beautiful, and happy until one night their whole world was ripped apart. 
Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan is called to investigate the suspected arson attack and death of the Lawrence family at the charred remains of their stunning home, Kimble Hall.
The case takes a sinister turn as the body count fails to tally.
Suspecting that someone may have survived the inferno, DS Morgan and her team need to discover whether they have a witness, or someone far more dangerous.
Who set the fire? Who wanted this family extinguished beyond recognition?
As the case progresses, DS Morgan realises she has a calculating, cold-blooded killer on her hands, and the race is on to track them down before they kill again.

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I Thought…

What She Saw is the third instalment in the Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan series, set in Shropshire, England. Even though I have yet to read the first two books, I jumped at the chance to read this one, and I’m so pleased I did!

The story opens with teenager, Poppy, lying on her bedroom floor along with her dead boyfriend, Aiden, looking at her father who has just shot them. As Poppy plays dead, her father continues his mission to kill the rest of the Lawrence family before setting fire to their home – Kimble Hall.

This exciting start set the tone for the whole book and I was totally hooked. DS Jenna Morgan lives with her sister, Fliss, who is currently dating Jenna’s work partner, DS Mason Ellis. As Jenna and Mason investigate, Diane Saxon strikes a great balance between the crimes and Jenna’s personal life and both are compelling to read. This captivating police procedural is very well plotted and paced and I found Jenna to be a likeable protagonist, though she was certainly not perfect.

With numerous twists and good use of misdirection throughout, What She Saw held my interest. As the tension levels peaked, the shocking revelations left me reeling. A magnificent very highly recommended read.

Thank you to Diane Saxon, Boldwood Books, Rachel’s Random Resources and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion. 

About the Author:

Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to writing psychological crime. Find Her Alive was her first novel in this genre and introduced series character DS Jemma Morgan. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest * Bookbub * Newsletter sign up 

Purchase at: Amazon 

Until Next Time, 

Featured

When I Was You by Amber Garza | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ MIRA Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for When I Was You by Amber Garza, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

When I Was You by Amber Garza

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Publisher: MIRA Books

ISBN: 9780778361046

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

YOU meets FATAL ATTRACTION in this up-all-night psychological thriller about a lonely empty-nester’s growing obsession with a young mother who shares her name.

It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s pediatrician to confirm her upcoming “well-baby” appointment. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly has never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there’s another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.

But Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can’t help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her.

Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose, taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.

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I Thought…

There are two women named Kelly Medina living in the town of Folsom. The older Kelly is married to Rafael who is a Professor and they have a son, Aaron, aged 19 and at college. One day she takes a call from the paediatrician’s office about her son’s appointment. It soon becomes apparent that an error has been made and the two Kelly Medinas have been mixed up. But the older Kelly, with time on her hands now that Aaron has left home, decides to turn up for the younger Kelly’s appointment and the two women’s stories follow.

I devoured When I Was You and I flew through its pages, fully immersed in the obsessiveness of the older Kelly Medina and her fixation on the young mother and her baby, Sullivan. Her determination to befriend baby Sullivan’s mother and wriggle her way into their lives was shocking, but believable. With Amber Garza‘s excellent execution, the frequent surprises, alongside an extremely chilling atmosphere, events really turned disturbing in the second half. Written with precisely the right amount of drive resulting in a powerful, and engaging tale, When I Was You was an absolute pleasure to read.

This is the first novel I have read by Amber Garza and I am excited to see what she compiles next. For me, a fabulous, standout novel.

 A special thank you to MIRA Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they’re real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California, which is—no joke—home to another Amber Garza.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase at:  HarlequinIndieboundAmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-Million / TargetWalmart / Google / iBooks / Kobo

Until Next Time, 

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Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ Graydon House Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Publisher: Graydon House Books

ISBN: 9781525836749

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

You’re not alone. Someone’s waiting. Someone’s watching…Someone’s listening.

 In SOMEONE’S LISTENING (Graydon House Books; July 28; $16.99) Dr. Faith Finley has everything she’s ever wanted: she’s a renowned psychologist, a radio personality—host of the wildly popular “Someone’s Listening with Dr. Faith Finley”—and a soon-to-be bestselling author. She’s young, beautiful, and married to the perfect man, Liam.

Of course Liam was at Faith’s book launch with her. But after her car crashes on the way home and she’s pulled from the wreckage, nobody can confirm that Liam was with her at the party. The police claim she was alone in car, and they don’t believe her when she says otherwise. Perhaps that’s understandable, given the horrible thing Faith was accused of doing a few weeks ago.

 And then the notes start arriving—the ones literally ripped from the pages of Faith’s own self-help book on leaving an abusive relationship. Ones like “Secure your new home. Consider new window and door locks, an alarm system, and steel doors…”

Where is Liam? Is his disappearance connected to the scandal that ruined Faith’s life? Who is sending the notes? Faith’s very life will depend on finding the answers.

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I Thought…

Someone’s Listening is an extremely suspenseful story and kicks off with a tantalising prologue. The reader is first introduced to Faith Finley, a talented psychologist with a flourishing career, a bestselling author and the host of a popular local radio program, Someone’s Listening. One icy winter’s night she is travelling home from a book launch party, then wakes up in hospital having been in a car crash. Happily married Faith asks for her husband Liam, but he appears to have vanished… into thin air. The police aren’t listening to Faith’s concerns, but then she starts receiving threatening messages.

This compelling début had me hooked from the very first paragraph, and Faith made a very good, if unreliable protagonist. In this chaotic whirl of lies and duplicity, the abundant wicked twists and turns kept me guessing from the start. The complex characters and arresting dialogue helped to make Someone’s Listening a riveting read. For me, the cherry topping was the obvious ability of Seraphina Nova Glass as she probed ever deeper into the psyches of her characters, creating some fascinating, though alarmingly troubled souls. I read it in one day and was left dumbfounded after the astounding, fast-paced conclusion. Very highly recommended to fans of the genre.

 A special thank you to Graydon House Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Texas-Arlington, where she teaches Film Studies and Playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and has optioned multiple screenplays to Hallmark and Lifetime. Someone’s Listening is her first novel.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase atHarlequin / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / Amazon / Powell’s 

Until Next Time, 

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The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ Graydon House Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Karen Hamilton’s latest novel The Last Wife and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

Publication Date: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Graydon House Books

ISBN: 9781525831744

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

In Karen Hamilton’s shocking thriller, THE LAST WIFE (Graydon House, July 7, $17.99) Marie Langham is distraught when her childhood friend, Nina, is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before Nina passes away, she asks Marie to look out for her familyher son, daughter, and husband, Stuart. Marie would do anything for Nina, so of course, she agrees.

Following Nina’s death, Marie gradually finds herself drawn into her friend’s lifeher family, her large house in the countryside. But when Camilla, a mutual friend from their old art-college days, suddenly reappears, Marie begins to suspect that she has a hidden agenda. Then, Marie discovers that Nina had long suppressed secrets about a holiday in Ibiza the women took ten years previously when Marie’s then-boyfriend went missing after a tragic accident and was later found dead.

Marie used to envy Nina’s beautiful life, but now the cards are up in the air and she begins to realize that nothing is what it seemed. As long-buried secrets start surfacing, Marie must figure out what’s true and who she can trust before the consequences of Nina’s dark secrets destroy her.

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I Thought…

Best friends Nina and Marie are inseparable until Nina dies from a terminal illness. In her final days she asks Marie to make sure her children, Emily and Felix, are looked after and Marie is only too happy to oblige. But how well did Nina really know Marie and what lengths is Marie prepared to go to in order to achieve her goals?

This was a really twisted psychological thriller, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Marie was perfectly portrayed by Karen Hamilton as the ultimate unreliable and creepy character, and I questioned her integrity from the opening chapters. As she barrelled her way into Nina’s life I was given a powerful sense of exactly how manipulating Marie was prepared to be.

Narrator Marie, along with pretty much the whole of the adult cast, was not particularly affable and, in my opinion, was practically insane as well as being quite the scheming manipulator. As the story progressed I found myself pondering about the agendas and mind games of some of the others, particularly Nina’s husband, Stuart, not to mention Camilla, the friend of Marie and Nina from their University days who suddenly arrives from Canada. As secrets constantly kept bubbling up to the surface and occurrences clearly weren’t as they had first appeared, I began to feel that Marie at least deserved some benefit of doubt, even if I was on tenterhooks wondering what she was going to do next, most of the time.

With buckets of tension, a myriad of twists and different avenues keeps the reader on their toes, building up to an interesting and enthralling conclusion.  

The Last Wife is a dark, dubious and chilling family drama with some great characters, and plenty of oomph!

 
A special thank you to Graydon House Books, the author, NetGalley and Pigeonhole for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy and worked as a flight attendant for many years. Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy and, having now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband, she satisfies her wanderlust by exploring the world through her writing. She is also the author of the international bestseller The Perfect Girlfriend.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase atHarlequin / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / Amazon / Powell’s 

Until Next Time, 

Featured

Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Park Row Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Kimberly Belle’s latest novel Stranger in the Lake and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle

On Sale Date: June 9, 2020

Publisher: Park Row

ISBN: 978-0778309819

Pages: 352

Genre: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.

At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.

As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.

I Thought…

Charlotte (Charlie), has recently married Paul Keller, a former widow and feels extremely happy in her surroundings. Paul is wealthy and the couple live in a gorgeous home overlooking Lake Crosby, North Carolina. The minted owner of Keller Architecture, Paul is a highly respected magnate and entrepreneur whereas Charlotte, a twenty-something gas station attendant, grew up in a caravan home, and often took charge of her younger brother, Chet when her mother was absent. Charlotte ignored all the rumours when she was swept off her feet by Paul. After all, despite her being a strong swimmer, the death of Paul’s first wife, Katherine, by drowning was deemed to be an accident. But when a second woman also drowns, in exactly the same spot under Paul’s jetty, secrets begin to surface…

 The story switches seamlessly between two timelines, the present and 1999, when Paul and friends Jax Edwards and Micah Hunt are spending their summer partying before leaving for college. The scenes from the present are mostly centred on the investigation that ensues. Stranger in the Lake has a thrilling premise and it is doubtlessly a spine-tingling story, while I regularly found myself pondering who to trust.

 With its comfortable pacing, the icing on the cake for me in this exhilarating tale was the incredible atmospheric setting. The lake was truly a malevolent presence throughout the proceedings. Kimberly Belle did a sterling job of exploring the motivation behind human weakness and imperfection, and I liked those aspects of the story detailing Charlotte’s bond with Sam Kincaid (Charlotte’s policeman friend), though I think more could have been made of this.

If you’ve enjoyed Kimberly Belle‘s previous books, or if novels with oodles of secrets, lies, misdirection and surprises dripping from the pages give you a buzz, then look no further than Stranger in the Lake!

A special thank you to Park Row Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble / Books-A-MillionAmazon / IndieBound / Bookshop   

Until Next Time,