Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Trust by Ronald H. Balson

5 Star

When his uncle dies, Liam Taggart reluctantly returns to his childhood home in Northern Ireland for the funeral—a home he left years ago after a bitter confrontation with his family, never to look back. But when he arrives, Liam learns that not only was his uncle shot to death, but that he’d anticipated his own murder: In an astonishing last will and testament, Uncle Fergus has left his entire estate to a secret trust, directing that no distributions be made to any person until the killer is found. Did Fergus know, but refuse to name, his killer? Was this a crime of revenge, a vendetta leftover from Northern Ireland’s bloody sectarian war? After all, the Taggarts were deeply involved in the IRA. Or is it possible that the killer is a family member seeking Fergus’s estate? Otherwise, why postpone distributions to the heirs? Most menacingly, does the killer now have his sights on other family members? 

As his investigation draws Liam farther and farther into the past he has abandoned, he realizes he is forced to reopen doors long ago shut and locked. Now, accepting the appointment as sole trustee of the Fergus Taggart Trust, Liam realizes he has stepped into the center of a firestorm.

Kathryn - 5 Star

I really enjoyed my past Ronald H. Balson reads and so was delighted to sink my teeth into this one.  Set in the present with family ties to recent history the plot covers the life of Liam from his childhood in Ireland (during the period referred to as The Troubles) to the his current position of being the trustee of his uncle's will. 

There are a lot of characters and it's important to get them straight or you will find yourself confused.  Not only are there a number of family members and beneficiaries to the will but there are a lot of other possible "suspects".  Suspects because the death of his uncle is deemed to be suspicious by both the police and the family. 

I found the juxtaposition between the imminent danger and the complex family relationships to be fascinating. There are many loving bonds in this family and also a number of conflicts which kept me on my toes. Things seemed to be changing constantly especially as they seemed to be getting no closer to a culprit. 

Reviewing thrillers and mysteries is difficult without giving away the plot but I will say again that I was engaged all the way through and loved the historical aspect that peppered the plot. And though I had an idea of who would eventually be the culprit I wasn't sure until the very end. 

A great read and something a little bit different.

Thank you to St Martin's Press for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Ronald H. Balson:
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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Queen of Bloody Everything by Joanna Nadin

5 Star

Dido Sylvia Jones is six years and twenty-seven days old when she moves from London squat to suburban Essex and promptly falls in love with Tom Trevelyan, the boy next door. It's not just Tom that Dido falls for, though: it's also his precocious sister, Harry, and their fastidious, controlling mother, Angela. Because Angela is everything that Edie—Dido's own mother—is not. And the Trevelyans are exactly the kind of family Dido dreams of: Normal.

Dido wants to be normal more than anything else in the world. But it's the very thing that Edie can never be, as Dido—and the Trevelyans, including Dido's beloved Tom—will eventually learn the hard way.

 Kindle   Kobo

Kathryn - 5 Star

This book grabbed my attention and my heart not only because of the story but because of the writing. Every word had a purpose and the subtleties of each sentence made me question the undertones.

The novel is a study on relationships, primarily the bond between mother and daughter, and it is written as if the daughter is writing or speaking to her mother from childhood to adulthood. Their lives are difficult but not always due to hardships that are clear. It seems that Evie isn't entirely on board with her role as a mother and Dido is aware that her upbringing is unconventional, even as a small child. Though often frustrated Dido also loves her mother. Their interactions are heart breaking at times and it's no stretch to understand why she clings to the family in the home behind theirs. Their normalcy and clear roles make her feel safe. 
While my feelings of compassion for Dido were always clear my bond with Evie was mixed. I liked her spirit and her tenacity and also felt her longing for love from her daughter. But she could also be entirely devoid of maternal instinct so at times I couldn't always support her.  

The neighbours that Dido attaches herself to each represent something she is missing in her life and the author very gently weaves the links to each of them throughout the novel naturally. I was entirely convinced of their worth for her.  

While examining the mother/daughter bond this is also a novel of self discovery and growing up. A study on the way we are nurtured that will make you think and I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to read it.

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

Connect with Joanna Nadin:
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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas at Hope Cottage by Lily Graham

4 Star

When thirty-year-old food writer Emma Halloway gets dumped then knocked off her bike, she’s broken in more ways than one, and returns to her family’s cosy cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. Emma hasn’t been back in some time, running from her crazy relatives and her childhood sweetheart, Jack Allen.
Emma’s grandmother is determined to bake her back to health and happiness, as the Halloways have done for generations. Surrounded by old friends and warm cinnamon buns, Emma starts to believe in her family’s special talents for healing again. But then in walks Jack with his sparkling hazel eyes, stirring up the family feud between them. 
As the twinkly lights are strung between the streetlamps, Emma remembers just why she fell for Jack in the first place... and why a Halloway should never date an Allen.
The infuriating new lodger, Sandro, doesn’t believe anyone should have to choose between love and family. With a little bit of Christmas magic, can Emma and Jack find a way to be together, or will Emma find herself heartbroken once more?

Kathryn - 4 Star

I became a bit attached to this village and this family.  There's something about the bonds that Lily Graham creates that appeal to me and I had a great visual of Hope cottage and the lovely women who prepared the meals, with hope and love, for those who asked for help. I was never really clear if they considered themselves witches or simply blessed with gifts of help?  Either way the warmth of the home and the history in that kitchen came through. 

Emma is unsettled being back in the village though, partly because her extensive injuries are making her feel unlike herself and partly because she has had to come face to face with the ex she lost.  I never really took to him, which was just as well really, and was much more intrigued by her aunt's lodger. He was lovely, smart and warm, just the right sort of man to help Emma become herself again! But with the romance to the side I just adored the bonds between Emma and het aunts. She was obviously very close to each of them and those relationships made the story for me.  

I wish Emma had had more friends- there were some speckled into the story but none that really made me feel she had support her own age.  Regardless though the novel is charming and both emotional and amusing.  A great read!

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

Connect with Lily Graham:
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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

4 Star

The lead homicide investigator in a rural town, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is deeply unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. And not just any classmate, but Rosalind Ryan, whose beauty and inscrutability exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School, first during Rosalind's student years and then again when she returned to teach drama. 

As much as Rosalind's life was a mystery to Gemma when they were students together, her death presents even more of a puzzle. What made Rosalind quit her teaching job in Sydney and return to her hometown? Why did she live in a small, run-down apartment when her father was one of the town's richest men? And despite her many admirers, did anyone in the town truly know her? 

Rosalind's enigmas frustrate and obsess Gemma, who has her own dangerous secrets—an affair with her colleague and past tragedies that may not stay in the past.

Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star

As I have said before, I do truly love mysteries with crime fiction and this combined the best of both worlds. Gemma Woodstock is the police officer investigating the terrible crime, in order to find out who killed her former friend, Rosalind Ryan. A bit of a crisis of conscience and a coming to terms of the trauma- this book alternates through the past and present in order to put every piece of the puzzle together.

Gemma is not a terribly compelling character as she is not particularly likeable but her life definitely drew me in. The mystery kept me intrigued and I was very entertained. I liked how I was unable to unravel the story until the author decided to put everything together. Gemma has a messy life, past and present, which helped to keep me guessing about all that was happening and had happened.

A fantastic thriller, full of mystery and suspense, I enjoyed this author’s writing style quite a lot and got to know a bit about New South Wales where it is set.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Sarah Bailey:
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Friday, December 15, 2017

A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan

3.5 Star

After Grandmére Ursule gives her life to save her tribe, her magic seems to die with her. Even so, her family keeps the Old Faith, practicing the spells and rites that have been handed from mother to daughter for generations. Until one day, Ursule’s young granddaughter steps into the circle, and magic flows anew.

From early 19th century Brittany to London during the Second World War, five generations of witches fight the battles of their time, deciding how far they are willing to go to protect their family, their heritage, and ultimately, all of our futures.

Kathryn - 3.5 Star

The secret history of witches spans multi generations so the thread of the story is the theme rather than the people themselves. I enjoy this kind of saga if I feel the characters are interesting and have brought something new to the story.

I found though that we probably had a couple of extra generations here that didn't add much of note to the plot. I don't really remember the generations between Nanette and Veronica except for "lady" Irene.  

It's unfortunate because the novel started off really strongly with a powerful witch Ursule who died to protect the rest of her family when they were being persecuted. The family then relocates to England where the female descendants were still gifted with the power in some ways but didn't seem to be using it for much, good or bad.  They all seemed to be afraid of the men in the family or at least they bowed to their wishes in that they hid their powers from the world. There was of course a need for some secrecy, they didn't want to be caught again but it seems like they were a subdued version of what they could have been.

There were only two women that stood out for me.  Irene, though the epitomy of unpleasant, at least she decided to use her powers to make her own decisions and Veronica, who quietly found a way to use her own for the greater good.

There were some wonderful scenes that stood out and characters I clung to and overall I got pleasing satisfaction from the story- I just wish that each generation had brought something more impactful. 

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

Connect with Louisa Morgan:
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Monday, December 11, 2017

That Crazy Perfect Someday by Michael Mazza

5 Star

The year is 2024. Climate change has altered the world’s wave patterns. Drones crisscross the sky, cars drive themselves, and surfing is a new Olympic sport. Mafuri Long, UCSD marine biology grad, champion surfer, and only female to dominate a record eighty-foot wave, still has something to prove. Having achieved Internet fame, along with sponsorship from Google and Nike, she’s intent on winning Olympic gold. But when her father, a clinically depressed former Navy captain and widower, learns that his beloved supercarrier, the USS Hillary Rodham Clinton, is to be sunk, he draws Mafuri into a powerful undertow. Conflicts compound as Mafuri’s personal life comes undone via social media, and a vicious Aussie competitor levels bogus doping charges against her. Mafuri forms an unlikely friendship with an awkward teen, a Ferrari-driving professional gamer who will prove to be her support and ballast. Authentic, brutal, and at times funny, Mafuri lays it all out in a sprightly, hot-wired voice. From San Diego to Sydney, Key West, and Manila, That Crazy Perfect Someday goes beyond the sports/surf cliché to explore the depths of sorrow and hope, yearning and family bonds, and the bootstrap power of a bold young woman climbing back into the light.

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

Surfing has always been a sport that appeals to me. Now, I can't swim very well and I would probably never try it but I love watching it. The sheer power of nature coupled with such athleticism has long been fascinating to me so this story about Mafuri had me hooked from the beginning.

The best thing about this novel was how unique it was. I am not sure if there are any other novels about surfing but there are surely none that are quite like Mafuri and her story which had all kinds of unique characters and took us on a wild ride around the planet vacillating from past and present and we even foray into the future.

Mafuri is all kinds of bold and strong but has things in her past that are making her hesitant and weaker. This story focuses on her journey to come to terms with certain things and the renewal of her strength. Between her own fears and dealing with her father's issues, we get to see just how strong this young woman is and how she is able to accomplish her journey to the Olympics, which is her ultimate goal. 

A story about inner strength and overcoming obstacles, this was a compelling read even if I didn't understand all of the sports terms or analogies. The book was powerful enough to capture my attention and keep me vested in it.

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

Connect with Michael Mazza:
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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

4 Star

Here is a gorgeous, slowburning story of families growing up and tearing each other apart in rural Northern Ontario, where tragedy and hardship are mirrored in the landscape. 

Centre stage are the Morrisons whose tragedy is insidious and divisive. Orphaned young, Kate Morrison was her older brother Matt's protegee, her curious fascination for pond-life fed by his passionate interest in the natural world. Now a zoologist, she can identify organisms under a microscope, but seems blind to the tragedy of her own emotional life. She thinks she's outgrown her family, who were once her entire world - but she can't seem to outgrow her childhood or lighten the weight of their mutual past.

Kathryn - 4 Star

I was loaned this novel to read on holiday and I was fascinated from the first pages.  Initially I was inspired by the fact that it was set in my own country and that adult Kate was about my age.  That's where the similarities ended as she was raised in northern Ontario amongst farmland and a bustling communit-centered life. 

I was emotionally invested in the Morrison family so deeply that I cried for the children when tragedy struck them all and yet I was impressed by their quiet resilience, their focus on family and their support of one another.  Their life was both tragic and rich with the bonds that tied them.

While the Morrisons are blessed with a sense of family bond there are other families in the town that are plagued with histories that seem to be doomed to repeat themselves. Their lives are entwined with the Pyes not only in Kate’s own lifetime but throughout history and added a huge amount to the overall scene. 

The novel is mainly centered around Kate as she narrates the story and I found her a bit cold if truth be told.  I suppose her rearing was unconventional and her losses were many but as she was also so close with brother Matt I found it unnatural that she would be so aloof.  I had a very hard time relating to her as an adult and was frustrated by her relationship with her boyfriend. There is a huge gap of time between her childhood (which is explored deeply) and the woman in her 40’s.  I wish we had been given more about the intervening years to show us how she ended up so much more guarded as despite her great loss I would have expected the warmth she began life with to follow through a more into her adulthood.  
Crow Lake is an interesting read and I enjoyed it for it's exploration of family dynamics.

All opinions are our own.

Connect with Mary Lawson:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

3 Star

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren't.

Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There's barely time for a trip to England for her little sister's wedding. And there's certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can't help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . 

Kathryn - 3 Star

A classic story of the love that you wish you hadn't lost- this novel is based on Jane Austen's Persuasion.  I don't have a full head of details on that anymore so I'm going to assume that this somewhat follows that plot with a modern twist!

Certainly set in the now, Ruby seems to be quite stressed about seeing her ex Ethan at her little sister's wedding in the England.  Her angst would seem over the top except that she chose to end their relationship a decade ago and appears to have regretted it ever since.  It's also slightly intimidating for her that he's now a hugely successful entrepreneur known all over the world.  Her sister's over the top wedding is nothing compared to her feeling about seeing Ethan again.  

Their meeting on his side is civil but lacking warmth which makes Ruby even more unsure.  
They move through the pre wedding hoopla with caution but there are many distractions in the form of twenty something ladies with brilliant careers that are interested in Ethan and a charming doctor Ruby meets while out running.  But they are clearly still circling each other like sharks!

Though this novel won't surprise you I was still charmed by the families and the backstory between Ruby and Ethan. I enjoyed the wedding setting and the interactions with the other guests and family. The story was simple and sweet, definitely a fun read.

Thank you to St.Martin's Press for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Melissa Pimentel:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Mother like Mine by Kate Hewitt

4 Star

Abby Rhodes is just starting to get her life on track. After her fiance's unexpected death, she returned with her young son to the small village where she grew up and threw herself into helping her ailing grandmother run the town's beach cafe. Then one evening, her mother, Laura, shows up in Hartley-by-the-Sea and announces her plan to stay. After twenty years away, she now wants to focus on the future--and has no intention, it seems, of revisiting the painful past. 

Laura Rhodes has made a lot of mistakes, and many of them concern her daughter. But as Abby gets little glimpses into her mother's life, she begins to realize there are depths to Laura she never knew. Slowly, Abby and Laura start making tentative steps toward each other, only to have life become even more complicated when an unexpected tragedy arises. Together, the two women will discover truths both sad and surprising that draw them closer to a new understanding of what it means to truly forgive someone you love.

Kathryn - 4 Star

This book took me through so many emotions from empathy to frustration but ultimately I felt joy.  The bond between Laura and Abby was tragically broken at the start and though I mostly bonded with Abby I was also surprised that I liked Laura's voice and wanted to know how they had ended up in this situation.  

I wasn't too sure about the grandmother's voice (the only mother Abby had known). While I applauded her raising of her grandchild there was also something tough about her that I felt needed some softening. Throughout the story we find out why she's a bit guarded but I still didn't get the typical "grandma" persona others have felt.

Their story is complicated and it takes a long while to unravel their shared past but I admired Laura's persistence in trying to forge a new relationship with her daughter.  Her attempts, though sometimes clumsy, appeared to be sincere.  It certainly made me ponder how else she could have tried to reach Abby and also made me wonder how she stayed away so long.  Abby's son is actually the force that really seals mother and daughter.  I enjoyed the village life throughout the book too, the villagers, friends and acquaintances rounded out the novel well and I was entirely absorbed throughout- a great tale of family and tragedy.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Kate Hewitt:
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Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

5 Star

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit...

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive. 

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be... 

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

I have usually not been a big fan of futuristic, dystopian novels but lately the offerings of this type have been amazing and this book is one of the reasons I can say that. It seemed like it was a story that was more accessible to the masses; what I mean by that is that it was not focused on a sci-fi theme (although fans of that genre would most likely enjoy this book as well).

The story is about Jamie, a survivor of a virus that killed most of the universe's population and her search for home. Having left earth ages ago to start over, she must now decide if she will return there to find others and a way to survive.

This story seemed quite realistic to me. I have often wondered what would happen if something serious started wiping out humanity, whether it be illness or something else. This book made the idea more realistic which was something scary but it also provided hope.

I loved the cover and I loved the content. Thought provoking and emotionally charged, The Space Between Us is a book I won't soon forget.

Thank you to Penguin Random House for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Anne Corlett:
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Monday, November 20, 2017

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

5 Star

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Kathryn - 5 Star

A completely absorbing read that kept me on my toes from start to finish. I actually kept checking to see how many more pages were left to make sure I wasn't almost finished!  I am really a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid and as her novels become more and more diverse she'll amass an even larger fan base as you never quite know what she'll tackle next.

Firstly I couldn't believe this woman could indeed have seven husbands but as we followed her life from teenager to senior citizen it made a lot more sense! An exuberant character, Evelyn is exactly what you'd want from an actress whose popularity spanned decades. What made the novel though were the relationships she formed with friends and lovers throughout her life.  She respected others and in turn earned the respect and loyalty of some very special people.  It's also interesting that we were given a taste into the process of becoming an actor, the hoops to jump through, the horrific pitfalls of sexuality and it's "expectations".  It's a timely novel. I wonder if it will reinforce the voice of women?  I hope so, with all my heart. 

The plot and development are fast paced and Evelyn moves around a lot and changes her life frequently so the reader is always kept on their toes. I liked that the author covered so many types of love and that each was explored with respect.  I hope this book makes into many hands and others enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Taylor Jenkins Reid:


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Name 3 Things with Alison Brodie

Please welcome Alison Brodie, author of Zenka, as she lets us into her life with our Name 3 Things interview!

About Alison:

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side. 

Alison Brodie is an international best-selling author.  Her books having been published in hardback and paperback by Hodder & Stoughton (UK), Heyne (Germany) and Unieboek (Holland).

Alison has now gone “indie”. 

Connect with Alison:
 Website      Facebook     Twitter    Goodreads

Alison Brodie on Name 3 things:

Name three things one wouldn’t normally expect to find…

In your fridge

A half drunk Guinness (the Guinness isn’t drunk.  I mean, I drank half of the bottle)

An over-ripe pear (that’s the genteel way of saying a pear that is so bruised it looks as if it’s been flung around the room in a game of dodge-ball).

A cheap, roasted pork slab which has been bought for doggo but I’ve been stealing bits off it (I have no lunch!) and doggo has been watching me balefully with a “That’s mine” look.

In your purse

You don’t want to know!  But I’ll tell you:  

A brocade-covered diary with slim gold pencil.  

An invitation to Her Majesty’s Garden Party.  

A tracking device issued by MI5.  

(Ha!  You will never know what’s inside my handbag!)

In/On your bedside table



And more books

In your car


Writing pad.  

Maps.  (I have a boring car)
On your desk/writing spot

Hand spinner.  

Cup of Lapsong Souchong tea.  

A Noddy pencil sharpener.

In the "junk drawer"

Keys!  Hundreds of them.  I never knew I had so many.  I think they are breeding.

A Girl Guide whistle (??)

A compass.

In your closet/garage/storage room

A red feather boa – never worn

Gold stiletto shoes with v. high heels – never worn

Grey, baggy knickers – worn all the time

In your music or movie collection

Fats Domino, His Greatest Hits

Max Bygraves, SingaLongaWarYears!  (??)  (That must be my mother-in-laws)

Maria Muldaur  (that must be Hubby’s)

On your bookshelf

You are not going to believe this but it is true.  A glass bottle in the most beautiful shade of blue with the words TASCHENFLASCHE FUR HUSTENDE.  I bought this for one euro in a house sale, got home and checked it up on the internet.  It was used in tuberculosis sanitoriums in the 1930s for ladies to spit into.

A line of tiny wind-up toys.  I get them out at dinner parties when everyone is drunk.  There’s a prize for the one whose toy gets to the finish line first.  Everyone becomes alarmingly competitive!  What my guests don’t know is … the rabbit only does somersaults, the seal-lion keeps falling on his face, the penguin waddles and the fireman goes round in circle.  I’ll tell you the secret if you ever come to dinner:  it’s the elephant that always wins. 

“Dining With The Duchess” by Sarah, The Duchess of York and Weight Watchers.  This is a signed edition (I used to know someone who was friends with her).  And there are recipes for “Supper After a Horseback Ride”, “A Working Mother’s Lunch” (working mother?) and Apres-Ski Lunch.


Ruthless, devious, and loyal.

Zenka is a Hungarian pole-dancer with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will turn Nicholas into the son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is? 

Available at:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Indian Summer by Marcia Willett

4 Star

For renowned actor Sir Mungo, his quiet home village in Devon provides the perfect retreat. Close by are his brother and his wife, and the rural location makes his home the ideal getaway for his old friends in London.

Among those is Kit, who comes to stay for the summer, bringing with her a letter from her first and only love, Jake, and a heart in turmoil. Years have passed since they last saw each other, and now he has written to Kit asking to meet again.

As the summer unfolds, secrets are uncovered that will shatter the sleepy community, and even tear a family apart. But those involved soon realize that the only way to move forward might be to confront the past... 

Kathryn - 4 Star

Indian Summer is my first novel by this author and I’m sure it won’t be my last.   Set in the countryside of Devon the scenery plays a big part in the story- as we delve into the past for the backstory it’s a key factor that the setting for the plot of the novel remains the same, despite the passage of time.  I even found that it was a parallel for some of the characters’ plot lines.

Admittedly I found the first few pages difficult- I didn’t immediately warm to Sir Mungo and though I tried, I didn’t relate to him at first.  I’m glad I persevered though because Mungo’s warmth did come across and I was invested in his history and his future so much.  As a young actor he seemed to have frequently returned to the family home on holiday, bringing friends and treating them to the country life, a rural escape etc. However, now retired, he appeared to be staying longer and placing more emphasis on this natural escape to being his more permanent home. 
Though initially focussed on Mungo, the author brought in old friends and new friends so that the plot kept expanding for Mungo, his brother and sister-in-law. Each persona had an intricate story of their own and sometimes I wasn’t sure how they would all match up.  I liked the different generations that Willett explored - typical of a village in the countryside, you find all sorts of people amongst the ever changing fields, sky and wildlife.  I was fascinated by the mystery of the past that was hinted at throughout (and mercifully is explained in the end) but I almost found it distracted from the newer relationships and found its conclusion a smidge anti-climactic- hopefully that’s just me.

Thank you to St.Martin's Press for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Marcia Willett:
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