Thursday, January 31, 2013

In Need Of Therapy by Tracie Banister

5 Star

Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart?

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger.

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star 

There is just something completely endearing about a psychologist who seems to need one herself. I absolutely loved Pilar and her quirky insecurities, trouble with men and overbearing family. Her entire character was developed into someone whom I felt like I had actually met after I had read the story. The author really was able to bring her to life and in a big way.

The story just flowed easily and was a shocking delight for this avid reader. The descriptions, personalities of the characters, scene setting and delivery of every line and every nuance were done so masterfully that I immediately looked up the author to see if she had written anything else and am pleased to say that she has so I am looking forward to another great read and soon!

I think that a lot of us can identify with Pilar because she is so self-assured in so many ways and helps out so many others yet struggles with the basic social things like dating and love in her own life while giving advice for a living and helping out friends and family. Who isn't able to see things more clearly from a distance or has been able to?

In Need of Therapy's story and every surprising development spoke to me so I would love to hear more about Pilar in further books so I am hoping that Banister will be writing more about her in the future.

Thank you to Tracie Banister for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Tracie Banister:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I KILL ME: Tales Of A Jilted Hypochondriac by Tracy Tucker

5 Star

Christine Bacon has a fatal attraction. To all things fatal. A veteran hypochondriac, her near-death experiences are exacerbated when her husband proposes they have a menage a trois with Eleanor, his busty British massage therapist, to "shake things up." Christine reluctantly agrees (although she is more wholesome than threesome), never expecting just how much she'd be rattled. As her marriage to Richard, a/k/a "Dick," falls apart, so, too, does Christine, whose fear of her own demise causes her to research every freckle, blemish, cough, bump, lump, tingle and hiccup. She isn't a doctor, but she plays one on the internet.

There is solace for Christine: in raising daughters Lily and Carli, leaning on her friends, and wearing out the shower massager. In order to heal, she struggles to become her own person and to view her symptoms (and ex-husband) as less malignant, while searching for that special someone who will love her--despite her grave condition.

Lydia - 5 Star

I loved I Kill Me – Tales of a Jilted Hypochondriac. It was cute, witty and ridiculously funny. I read this novel in a few short sittings and couldn’t get enough of this amusing tale and it wasn’t as heavy as it might seem from the title, which was a nice surprise.

I was initially leery to read about a hypochondriac, worried it would be bogged down with medical jargon and depressing material. But I worried needlessly as this novel had the good balance and there wasn’t nearly as much hypochondriasis as I expected (except near the end when I tended to gloss over some of her concerns.) And a shout out to Tucker for the Fibromyalgia and Huntington’s Disease mentions as both are so obscure, but close to my heart so any mention and possible awareness is a bonus.

This novel has a fabulously funny opening chapter and it grabbed me from the start. It outlines Christine’s vulnerability and the dynamic with her husband and from there it swept me away as I couldn’t stop reading. Tucker has created a fabulous heroine to root for. She’s jilted in the most awful, cringe-worthy way and you can’t help but feel sorry for her and want her to move forward, even when she’s stuck and wondering what dreadful disease she has every time she has a pimple or muscle twinge.

All the characters were fabulous and real, and I loved her two girls, and the relationship she has with them. Although slightly predictable, this novel is still an amusing ride along the way.
I Kill Me – Tales of a Jilted Hypochondriac is fabulous chick lit for anyone, but particularly anyone who has been jilted, is a mother, or has been worried about their health and the over forty crowd.

Thank you to Tracy H. Tucker for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Tracy H. Tucker:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon

5 Star

The summer of 1985 changes Reggie’s life. An awkward thirteen-year-old, she finds herself mixed up with the school outcasts. That same summer, a serial killer called Neptune begins kidnapping women. He leaves their severed hands on the police department steps and, five days later, displays their bodies around town. Just when Reggie needs her mother, Vera, the most, Vera’s hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there’s no body and Neptune disappears. 
Now, twenty-five years later, Reggie is a successful architect who has left her hometown and the horrific memories of that summer behind. But when she gets a call revealing that her mother has been found alive, Reggie must confront the ghosts of her past and find Neptune before he kills again. 

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

I can easily see why Jennifer McMahon has bestsellers on her hands. From start to finish, The One I Left Behind kept me enthralled and kept me guessing. This does not amount to an easy task as a lot of plot lines seem to be quite predictable to me so I really enjoyed the twists and turns of this story. The characters also seemed very well thought out and developed, not leaving me questioning any of their actions or finding their thoughts or words contrived.

The One I Left Behind alternates between the past and present which I often do not like as I find it interrupts the flow of the story but again McMahon executed this perfectly, providing just enough detail in each chapter to keep the story flowing and to keep the interest level at the maximum. The author was able to include a lot of facts in the story that I didn't realize but was able to verify later on, which only serves to make the detail that much more interesting for me.

The story was just incredibly written with interesting facets to it in every way that I could barely put it down and almost didn't want it to end. I would definitely recommend this masterful suspense novel to anyone who loves that genre but also to anyone who loves a great read.

Thank you to Avon for our review copy! All opinions are our own.

Connect with Jennifer McMahon:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The House On Willow Street by Cathy Kelly

3.5 Star

Welcome to Avalon: a quaint, sleepy town on the Irish coast. Nothing has changed here for generations - least of all the huge mansion on Willow Street; the house in which sisters Tess and Suki Power grew up.

Now, years later, Tess is trying to save her marriage protect her glamorous sister Suki who has come back home, dreams shattered. Similarly, Mara Wilson is seeking refuge from a broken heart at her Aunt Danae′s house. And Danae, the inscrutable postmistress, is hiding some dark memories of her own.

Now that the big house is up for sale, change is blowing on the cold sea wind. But before they can look to the future, these four women must face up to the past.


Kathryn - 3.5 Star

Kelly has a gift when developing characters with depth and The House on Willow Street is exactly what we have come to expect from her, the slow- release storyline leads us to the intertwining lives we crave. There were indeed quite a number of people to keep track of and at first I was worried there would be too many to give the novel any purpose but I shouldn’t have been concerned, this isn’t the first Kelly novel I’ve enjoyed and I should trust her!  It took a few chapters but they gradually weaved their way into creating a lovely novel of discovery and dealing with life’s changes.

Danae was such a difficult person to understand until her dreadful past was officially revealed towards the end of the book. Her secrets could probably be guessed earlier on but the extent of her history was still shocking and well delivered and it helped me to like her as I’d been finding her slightly prickly. I absolutely loved her niece Mara’s involvement in the town and how she and Danae worked out their compassion for each other- Mara seemed to bring life and laughter to everything around her and was a joy to read about.

My least favourite character was Suki, although she was well developed by Kelly and her whole persona was clearly defined- I found her too cold to grow attached too and thought she could have done more for her sister and her father. (Possibly I’m projecting my own expectations of family on a character in a novel and I need to grasp that this is fiction!)

For me the most interesting aspect I’ll take away from The House on Willow Street is the new support systems the women were exploring and drawing on- it’s a reassuring thought that your network can expand at any age and that you can discover help you can receive help from people you haven’t even met yet.

Thank you to Gallery Books for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Cathy Kelly: 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Collateral by Ellen Hopkins

3 Star

Meet Ashley, a graduate student at San Diego State University. She was raised in northern California reading poetry and singing backupin her best friend’s band. The last thing she ever expected was to end up a military wife. But one night, she meets a handsome Marine named Cole. He doesn’t match the stereotype of the aggressive military man she’d always presumed to be true; he’s passionate and romantic, and he even writes poetry. Their relationship evolves into a deeply felt, sexually charged love affair that goes on for five years and survives four deployments. Cole desperately wants Ashley to marry him, but when she meets another man, a college professor, with similar professional pursuits and values, she begins to see what life might be like outside the shadow of war.  

Jen - 3 Star

If you are looking for a “not your typical read,” Collateral by Ellen Hopkins may meet your needs.

Collateral is a story written in free verse about Ashley, a college student who falls in love with Cole, a Marine serving in Afghanistan.

Even though though the storyline, topics and feelings are very strong, I didn’t love the free verse style as much as I thought I would. I am a lover of poetry, but this style made it hard for me to follow along.

I love books with more than one character’s point of view and I appreciated reading both Ashley and Cole’s thoughts. Where Ashley was a bit resentful of Cole’s military duties, she was also sweetly in love, which was endearing.  

I cannot imagine having a spouse or loved on in the military and I respected Ashley’s feelings as she felt the loss of Cole each time he left and the sadness and fear she felt knowing he might never come back to her. Interwoven between the strong emotions between Cole and Ashley are interesting insights about history and politics that really showed me the complications of war, and the seriousness of post traumatic stress syndrome, which are things I don’t know alot about but enjoyed learning about. I also enjoyed the poetry written by some of the characters.

As I read Collateral, I found myself wishing for more action, more interaction with characters and I wanted to see them make plans and move forward with their lives and romance. Instead, I read alot about their feelings and the struggles of waiting for Cole to come home after deployment.

Even though the writing style was hard for me to read, the characters in this book are heartwarmingly real, the emotions are raw and the situations made me really think about what it might be like to walk in their shoes.

Readers of Collateral will find a lot of topics to relate to, but may find themselves asking for more.

Thank you to Atria for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Ellen Hopkins:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Things Are Going To Slide by Rangeley Wallace

5 Star

In Things Are Going to Slide, Marilee Carson Cooper, daughter of a prominent southern family, teaches law and runs a law school legal aid clinic in the small Alabama town her family has inhabited for generations. But then things slip out of her control. She is pregnant with her second child when her husband leaves her for another man. She loses a coveted job--to her first love--that would ensure her financial security, and she is desperately trying to help a teen-age mother accused of murdering her baby. 

Jen - 5 Star

What I have found is that a great book doesn’t just entertain you, it teaches you.

With that in mind, I must give Things Are Going To Slide by Rangeley Wallace a 5 star rating. I was entertained, I felt emotions right along with the characters and I learned a lot.

Marilee Cooper is a respected law professor in Alabama. She’s smart, but she’s clumsy and self conscious, which makes her one of the most relatable character’s I’ve read about in a long time.  And to top it all off...she’s 8 months pregnant and in the middle of a divorce. I immediately related to Marilee and could feel her discomfort of being largely pregnant and uncomfortable.

When an unexpected announcement at the law school is made that changes everything Marilee was looking forward to, she is forced to face her first love, Dwight, who she hasn’t spoken to since she walked in on him cheating on her during college.

Dwight is hard not to like. He’s smart, savvy and has the charm some high school sweethearts never lose. But since I was so invested and in love with Marilee’s character and he had broken her heart, I didn’t want to like him on her behalf. I was rooting for them to get along though, especially when I read they’d be working together on a case.

The plot centers around Merilee’s career  as a law professor and her students’ cases. The main case involves the death of an infant, which was hard to read about, but I was so interested in learning about the court proceedings that the plot moved smoothly without making me too sad. The passion  that Marilee, Dwight and the students fight with for their client’s cause is infectious.

My favorite part about this story is that Rangeley Wallace wrote the most satisfying ending. Everything came full circle and left me smiling as the book came to a close.

I will definitely read more of Rangely Wallace’s books.

Thank you to Rangeley Wallace for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Rangeley Wallace:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli Roland

3.5 Star

Is finding true love as easy as an attitude change?

Thirty-something Emma Beckett has always looked down on 'the glass is half full' optimists, believing it's better to be realistic than delusional. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancé in the same week, even Emma has difficulty keeping calm and carrying on.

With her world spinning out of control and bolstered by a challenge from her best friend, Emma makes a radical decision. For the next year, she'll behave like Pollyanna: attempting to always see the upside, no matter how dire the situation.

Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea?

Lydia - 3.5 Star

The Pollyanna Plan is an enjoyable, quick read. There is something about taking a Negative Nelly and turning her into a Positive Patty as a premise that is intriguing and humourous. We’ve all heard someone say to look on the bright side of life or to think more positively, and The Pollyanna Plan takes us on one such journey.

Talli Roland’s characters are always delightful, but horribly misguided, and we get to see them on their journey as they figure out that their way may not always be best. And Emma Beckett is no exception. She takes life seriously and is very narrow minded in her thinking, realistic as she calls it. But when she suddenly loses her fiancé and job in the same week, her best friend suggests a new way of thinking: Always looking for the positive in everything like Pollyanna. When Emma realizes she has nothing to lose, she goes along with the ridiculous notion and realizes there may be more life than expecting the worst.

Emma Beckett is a great character to root for. You can’t help but want her to figure herself out and although the love angle is predictable, it was amusing to watch their push pull antics. I also loved the unique aspect of the Pollyanna Plan itself in this light hearted tale.

Although this is a lighter story, there is a bit of a heavier aspect on her love interest’s side, which I appreciated. I did find myself wanting a bit more from the story though in that it was a bit too short and I wanted to get out of the characters head at times as I found much of the story took place that way instead of scenes.

If you’re looking for a lighter read in between some heavier fare, check out Talli Roland’s novels today!

Thank you to Tallli Roland for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Talli Roland:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay

2.5 Stars

Sean has spent twenty years in Third World war zones and natural disaster areas, fully embracing what he’d always felt was his life’s mission. But when burnout sets in, Sean is reluctantly drawn home to Belham, Massachusetts, the setting of Fay’s much-loved Shelter Me. There, he discovers that his steely aunt, overly dramatic sister, and quirky nephew are having a little natural disaster of their own. When he reconnects with a woman from his past, Sean has to wonder if the bonds of love and loyalty might just rewrite his destiny.

Sabrina-Kate - 2.5 Stars

The Shortest Way Home was definitely a book that I had hoped to really enjoy as I have enjoyed previous works by this author and the premise of the book appealed to me as well. However, I cannot say that it lived up to its expectations.

The book just felt off most of the time and let me explain why. I felt that oftentimes the story was either too rushed with pieces missing or too detailed. So therefore the story didn't flow particularly well as it seemed off balance somewhat.

The Shortest Way Home is a story of a man who is making major decisions and also needing to come to terms with his life so will probably appeal to most people. However I did find it difficult to believe that this person was in his forties and had worked all over the world. Often I felt like he was acting and reacting like an adolescent instead of an adult which gave me pause. I'm not saying it isn't possible but it just didn't seem likely.

The descriptions, when they were there, were beautifully written but again, it was not enough to make me love this book as much as I wanted to.

Thank you to Penguin USA for our review copy! All opinions are our own.

Connect with Juliette Fay here:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dearest Rose by Rowan Coleman

5 Star

'You are a remarkable woman and you deserve all the happiness, contentment and love in the world. I, for one, know that I have never met anyone quite like you.'

When Rose Pritchard turns up on the doorstep of a Cumbrian B&B it is her last resort. She and her seven-year-old daughter Maddie have left everything behind. And they have come to the village of Millthwaite in search of the person who once offered Rose hope.

Almost immediately Rose wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake – if she’s chasing a dream – but she knows in her heart that she cannot go back. She’s been given a second chance – at life, and love – but will she have the courage to take it?

Lydia - 5 Star

I thoroughly enjoyed Dearest Rose. Complete with memorable characters, a compelling storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat and a quaint English village, Dearest Rose is a captivating story will stay with you. I devoured the pages to discover Rose’s secret and to find out just how Rose was going to overcome her past. A novel that is not all ‘roses’, this one is definitely a hard hitting read.

I loved all the characters from her precocious daughter to her grumbling father and her foul mouthed best friend. They were all perfect in their own ways and each had their own growth throughout, which makes the novel even more fabulous. Rose herself is an incredible character to root for. She’s vulnerable and confused, yet trying to be brave and change her life. She’s trying to move forward, beyond her horrid marriage and to try actually living for the first time – with some comical, some sad results. I really loved tagging along for her journey.

There was always the thread of impending doom throughout which kept me on the edge of my seat. I kept waiting for her past to creep up and I think I was slightly disappointed here, but won’t go further. It did fit though with the portrayal of her relationship, but I think I wanted it to be a bit heavier, although this does come across in other ways. Yes, that was cryptic. Sorry. No spoilers.

Although I wasn’t immediately sure about the postcard Rose kept and how she drives off to find the man that wrote it, the man she had thought about for years, somehow Coleman pulls it off. And not only does she pull that off, but she also manages to handle such a sensitive issue with grace and compassion. She stays true to the devastation spousal abuse causes and never shies away from the darker side.

If you’re looking for chick lit with a heavier edge, pick this one up today.

Thank you to Arrow for our review copy! All opinions are our own.

Connect with Rowan Coleman:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chocolate Shoes And Wedding Blues by Trisha Ashley

4 Star

When Tansy Poole inherits a run-down shoe shop tucked away in the village of Sticklepond, ‘Cinderella’s Slippers’ is born – providing the footwear to make any fairytale wedding come true…

Carrying everything a bride would want to walk down the aisle in, Tansy’s shop soon expands to carry shoe-themed wedding favours, bridesmaid gifts and even delicious chocolate shoes. It’s the dream destination for any shoe-lover!

If only everything in her personal life could be as heavenly – but with a fiancé trying to make her fit into a size 8 wedding dress, not to mention the recent discovery of disturbing family revelations, Tansy takes refuge in the shop’s success.

But one man isn’t thrilled by the stream of customers hot-footing it to Cinderella’s Slippers… Actor Ivo Hawksley, resident of the cottage next to the shop, is troubled by a dark secret in his past and has come to Sticklepond to nurse his own broken heart.

However, Ivo realises that he and Tansy have a link in their past and soon, they both find out how secrets shared can make a very strong bond indeed…

Kathryn - 4 Star

I found this novel enchanting though I may be a bit biased because of my love for sweet tales set in English villages. It’s no secret I feel at home in these novels and I truly loved the setting and the way it drew my heart back to my childhood visits to family and friends.

Now, in continuing in the vein of being truly honest, the romantic plot line of this novel is predictable (although the route to the end result does take some turns).  The “who ends up with whom” is pretty obvious from the start and this could turn out to be frustrating for some seasoned chick lit readers.  Tansy’s most recent ex-boyfriend is so obviously awful that I wished Ashley had given her the presence of mind to leave him sooner- I didn’t see a single redeeming quality in Justin to have been worthy of her time and it caused me to question her other decisions regarding subsequent men in her life.

Leaving aside the romantic “subplot” (as for me it was certainly secondary to rest of the action) Tansy is quirky and original and her close relationship with her great aunt Nan is also refreshingly sweet. I found the great mystery surrounding Nan’s past a bit irritating but I’ll let others decide if it was worth the mammoth build up- I think it could have been made into more. However, I loved the concept that Nan was still connecting with her great-niece via her audio history, it would be so comforting for loved ones left behind as it obviously was for Tansy.  Tansy is certainly no wall flower when it comes to business and her decisions regarding the shoe shop- I think this is the Tansy I’ve chosen to remember when thinking back on Ashley’s novel.  Let’s pretend the men weren’t even involved and leave Tansy, her aunt Nan and great friends to carry on the story.

Connect with Trisha Ashley:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Novel Escapes Historical Fiction Faves

In honour of Cathy Marie Buchanan's latest release, The Painted Girls, Novel Escapes is celebrating by sharing our favourite historical fiction. We each had to pick one. It wasn't easy. Some of us read wide ranges of novels, while some of us typically only read select genres. Some of us have had one such favourite for over twenty years while some of us have newer faves. There is so much to choose from! Check out the Novel Escapes Historical Fiction Faves!


I first read Pillars of the Earth when I was sixteen. I've read it at least a dozen times since. In addition to falling in love with this novel, I absolutely adored the mini-series produced in 2010. Ken Follet is a master of character, plot and historical detail. Full of intrigue, mystery, murder, politics, religion and romance (swoon!), this one isn't for the faint at heart at over a thousand pages, but it's worth every second.

As a new age dawns in England's twelfth century, the building of a mighty Gothic cathedral sets the stage for a story of intrigue and power, revenge and betrayal. It is in this rich tapestry, where kings and queens are corrupt - and one majestic creation will bond them forever.


Although I read Year of Wonders years ago I am still impacted by its' intensity and the haunting, horrific images it created. The plot surrounds the spread of the plague of 1665-1666 in England to one village of Eyam but in simply reading Brooks’ story it was like watching events unfold in front of me. The almost daily changes occurring to families with people passing and orphaned children, the survivors having to take on more and more roles as more people passed- all were simply told but left a huge impact on me and Brooks has written an incredible novel.

When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders."

When I was first asked to come up with my favourite historical novel my thoughts immediately went to Elizabethan England as that's my favourite historical period. I surprised myself when I realized that I haven't actually read many novels based in that time period. After jotting down several titles to add to my to read list, I came up with another favourite that is completely different - and I think that's why I liked it so much. The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a book that took me awhile to pick up because I didn't think I would find it interesting. Once I started reading it though, I couldn't put it down. Stockett provides a voice for the African American maids in 1960s Mississippi and writes an entertaining and enlightening novel while doing so.
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

I have selected The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I loved this book because it was set in the South which is an area of the world that I find so intensely interesting. I am always drawn to coming of age tales and this is definitely one that was masterfully written. I just adore the author's writing style. It is so easy to get into and I just devoured this book!
When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's most vicious racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love—a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.
My favorite historical fiction novel is The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. It's the account of two sisters, Anne and Mary Boleyn as they both vie to become Queen and marry Henry VIII. It's a riveting novel with many story lines that is a must read! 
Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: the love of a king When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her familys ambitious plots as the kings interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands.


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