Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner

4 Star

February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Resistance spy.

Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark... 

Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.




Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star

I am not typically a person who enjoys historical fiction, but sometimes when it is more modern, it can appeal to me. This book was one of the most enjoyable books of that genre that I have read. That may have been in part due to the fact that it alternated between modern and war time, telling the story of several war brides. 

I found it quite interesting how the author used ghosts and the paranormal in her book. At first I was not entirely sure why or what it added to the story but by the end of it, it all made complete sense and everything was brought together.

I truly adored the different love stories that this book spoke about. Especially since they were all so different but all showed great resilience and dedication! It was also eye opening about some of the things that people had to go through during wartime just to survive. Everyone's story was unique and touching in their own way and a few things happened that I was not at all expecting.

This was a great book, full of emotion and a bit of intrigue but very much realistic and down to earth, even with the paranormal factor. I enjoyed this book a lot and read it quite quickly.


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

Connect with Susan Meissner:
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Stranded....with Carol Mason

Please welcome Carol Mason, author of After You Left.

Carol Mason:

 

I am the author of The Love Market, Send Me A Lover, and The Secrets of Married Women, which will be re-released in June 2017 with Amazon's Lake Union imprint. My latest novel, After You Left, will be out April 1, 2017.

You can keep up to date with developments by making me your friend on Facebook. I'll try my best to entertain you. I'm on twitter too. 


I always enjoy getting comments about my books (prefer nice ones!), and am always willing to attend your book club or do a phone conference if you'd like to have me. 


Connect with Carol :
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Stranded... 
with Carol Mason

1. If you could only have one book with you, what would it be?

Rodale’s Synonym Finder. Without it, I probably couldn’t write. And if I couldn’t write, I’d probably happily lie down at the shoreline and pray to be eaten by a shark.

2. What one luxury item would you want to be stranded with?

My wonderful fiery red Mulberry handbag. You’d be shocked how much pleasure I get from staring at it, touching it, smelling it, rubbing the leather against my cheek. And then… repeat. This could keep me entertained for days! 

3. What is the one practical item you would want to have with you to use?

A pair of tweezers. I might be cast away, but I don’t want to end up looking like Tom Hanks.

4. Would you enjoy the solitude, even briefly, or would it drive you crazy?

I would love the solitude. I’m a loner more than a people person, though a friendly sociable loner at that! But then when meal time rolls around it’s always nice to have company for dinner. Or, in this case, to catch dinner.

5. If you could be stranded with one other person, who would you want it to be?

My husband. He’s the person I most enjoy talking to, and he’s always said he would take the bullet for me, so I figure this could come in handy. If he wasn’t available then Kyle Chandler. In fact, let’s think about that for a moment…

6. What modern technology would you miss the most?

My electric toothbrush.

7. What food or beverage would you miss the most?

A cup of tea. A really good homemade steak pie with hot water pastry. 

8. How many days do you think you would cope without rescue?

Thirty days. Not a day more. Not a day less.

9. What is the first thing you would do when rescued?

Hit the bar. 

10. What would be your first Tweet or Facebook update upon your return?

A photo of my cat wearing a pirate patch. 



After You Left

You want to know what the worst thing is? It’s not the embarrassment, or the looks on people’s faces when I tell them what happened. It isn’t the pain of him not being there—loneliness is manageable. The worst thing is not knowing why.

When Justin walks out on Alice on their honeymoon, with no explanation apart from a cryptic note, Alice is left alone and bewildered, her life in pieces.

Then she meets Evelyn, a visitor to the gallery where she works. It’s a seemingly chance encounter, but Alice gradually learns that Evelyn has motives, and a heartbreaking story, of her own. And that story has haunting parallels with Alice’s life.

As Alice delves into the mystery of why Justin left her, the questions are obvious. But the answers may lie in the most unlikely of places…

Available at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kindle 


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Always by Sarah Jio

4.5 Star

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiance, Ryan, at one of Seattle's chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can't believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister. 

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense everything connected and felt "right." But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what and whom she wants. 



Kathryn - 4.5 Star

I love Sarah Jio.  Since the first novel I read of hers I've been hooked on her in-depth characters and thoughtfully planned plot lines. 

This story dug into something deeper ‎than a regular romance. There were social issues that took precedence over the romantic nature of the plot and while it obviously affected the characters it also affected the reader. I wasn't in love with Ryan as Kailey’s partner and though we were assured repeatedly that he was a good guy and he never stepped out of line, I just didn't love him for her. I suppose this was obvious to most of us reading the book, as well as those people around her in the book. I felt much empathy for him though despite being unsure of their partnership, he was a bystander in the “real” couples’ life. 

What made me turn the pages was the mystery behind Cade’s memory loss. How had he ended up there? What had gone wrong? What had happened with his business partner? In the end all is made clear but I was uneasy about his business partner and worried about their friendship. Somehow, if there had been any guilt at the time you would think that he would have spent more time looking for his friend. They had been close since childhood so you’d think this would have superseded any issues with the business?

Always puts a spotlight on homelessness. It puts a focus on basic human compassion and it puts a light on being aware of those around you- in person, not just via an email or a text.  The novel was thought provoking while still maintaining the warmth that I’ve come to expect from this author’s work.

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


Connect with Sarah Jio:
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton

4 Star

A New City A New Start. Same Old Demons.

Your flight is now boarding! Join Alex Sinclair for a life-changing, trans-Atlantic journey. London Belongs to Me is a coming-of-age story about friendship, following your dreams, and learning when to let go … and when to hang on.

Meet Alex, a recent college graduate from Tallahassee, Florida in love with London, pop culture, and comic cons. It’s not easy being twenty-one-years-old, and Alex has never been the most popular girl. She’s an outsider, a geeky fangirl … with dreams of becoming a playwright in a city she’s loved from afar, but never visited. Fleeing America after a devastating betrayal, she believes London is where she’ll be understood, where she belongs. But Alex’s past of panic attacks and broken relationships is hard to escape. When her demons team up with a jealous rival determined to destroy her new British life, Alex begins to question everything: her life-long dream, her new friends, and whether London is where she truly belongs. 




Kaley- 4 Star

London Belongs to Me is exactly the kind of New Adult story I’ve been looking for. Too many books in the category are full of angst and danger. I want more stories of early 20somethings just out of college in a world that I live in. Jacquelyn Middleton delivered a sweet, funny, heartfelt, and real novel with a main character I immediately identified with.

I was 1000% invested in Alex’s life from the very first second I met her. I felt everything she was feeling and I was rooting for her all the way. I liked that she was smart and driven but she was also human and therefore flawed. It was so hard for her to accept help and let go of the past and I loved reading as she slowly worked through those issues. I also totally loved that she was a fangirl. There aren’t enough books about twentysomethings who are unapologetic nerds.

There were some times where I found myself wondering what on earth some of the characters were thinking but I had to remind myself that 21 is not the easiest time, especially when you’re in a new country and everything seems to be going wrong.

Some of the secondary characters weren’t as well developed as I would have liked. For example, I know Olivia is the antagonist but I’d rather have more insight into Lucy, Alex’s best friend, than Olivia. Or Mark! I wanted to know more about him. He still remained so much of a mystery even by the end of the novel. The pacing was just a little slow as well and I sometimes had trouble figuring out what month it was since the story does take place over a year and some odd months.  I’m glad it did take place over such a long period of time because it was much more realistic but it wasn’t always immediately easy to follow.

Overall, even if the writing could have been cleaned up ever so slightly, the story in London Belongs to Me completely won me over. I hope Jacquelyn Middleton writes another contemporary novel soon!


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

Connect with Jacquelyn Middleton:
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Friday, April 7, 2017

The Echo of Twilight by Judith Kinghorn

4 Star

In 1914, despite the clouds of war threatening Europe, Pearl Gibson’s future is bright. She has secured a position as a lady’s maid to a wealthy Northumberland aristocrat, a job that will win her not only respect but an opportunity to travel and live in luxury. Her new life at Lady Ottoline Campbell’s Scottish summer estate is a whirlwind of intrigue and glamour, scandals and confidences—and surprisingly, a strange but intimate friendship with her employer. 

But when violence erupts in Europe, Pearl and Ottoline’s world is irrevocably changed. As the men in their lives are called to the front lines, leaving them behind to anxiously brace for bad news, Pearl realizes she must share one final secret with her mistress—a secret that will bind them together forever... 




Kathryn - 4 Star

One of the best things about historical fiction is the reader’s journey to a time gone by. I was immediately immersed in the time period surrounding World War I in this novel by Judith Kinghorn and her writing eased me into a new world.  I’ve seen Downton Abbey of course and visited some country houses during travels but even without these personal aides I believe the writing transports you there.  

We follow Pearl through her early years as she tries to determine a career for herself in a changing world. We are also given her story through scenes from the past and this back and forth is done seamlessly to bring the woman’s persona and past all together. I felt really connected to Pearl and loved her habit of pretending to be someone else- this humour and personal quirk made her come to life.  When she’s hired as Ottoline’s personal maid I was even more intrigued by their relationship and Ottoline’s own story.  She’s immediately someone you’re drawn to and slightly apprehensive about. I was so glad that not only was Pearl’s story explored to the fullest but that Ottoline’s was given a rounded conclusion also- I would have been so disappointed to not have closure on her also.

On occasion the choices of the characters are perhaps completely different from what we would now choose in modern times but The Echo of Twilight manages to bring empathy between not only the women but also those who were their house-keepers, butlers and other staff. There were genuine bonds between them and this made the story so plausible for me as the reader.

There are fantastic scenes outside with life like descriptions of the surroundings- you could feel the air move in across the open spaces and the stillness of the moments with Ralph.  The Echo of Twilight transported me through the past and gave me characters that will stay with me.


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


Connect with Judith Kinghorn:
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Monday, April 3, 2017

Perfect Weddings by Lynda Renham

4 Star

Every bride wants a perfect wedding and that includes Georgina Winters. Amy Perfect is the crème de la crème of wedding planners so who best to plan Georgina s wedding... except the man Georgina plans to marry is the same man who jilted Amy three years ago. Will her plan to give Georgina the most imperfect wedding backfire on her? Is this the chance for Amy to win back the love of her life, or will insufferable Ben Garret put a spanner in the works? Arab princes, spoilt brides and wedding catastrophes make Perfect Weddings a page-turning romantic comedy that will keep you guessing until the very last page.




Kathryn - 4 Star

Perfect Weddings had all the elements of a romantic comedy with just enough to make you ponder.  I was disheartened at first by Amy’s own wedding fiasco and felt so badly for her that it put me on the right track to want the best for our heroine.  

Amy’s transformation to Amy Perfect, expert wedding planner, was glossed over in terms of the process it took to get her there but I didn’t really miss a beat in believing in her new persona. Somehow it seemed fitting that she took that rage, confusion and hurt and turned it into something positive for herself and for others.  There are a slew of confusion and hilarious situations in the book, times when Amy needs to navigate bridal tempers and keep shows on the road.  All of these were really funny and balanced with her situation with ex Greg’s wedding to the lovely Georgina to create the impression that she was actually managing her business while dealing with her own personal crisis- the juggling was real. 

I wish she’d been able to confess to Georgina earlier- that would have made her life much less stressful but on the other hand without Georgina’s wedding Amy would not have met the crushing and yet dashing Ben.  The novel would not have had such hopefulness without Ben so we needed Georgina, you see?  

While the novel always has a slight tinge of the bittersweet to it there was also the balance of humour which made the pages turn quickly.  On the whole the book made me laugh and kept me interested and I liked Renham’s writing immensely.


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

Connect with Lynda Renham:
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Friday, March 31, 2017

Would you rather...with Samantha March

Please welcome Samantha March, author of Defining Her.

Samantha March:

 

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things beauty, fashion and fitness. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has five published novels – Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, A Questionable Friendship, Up To I Do and Defining Her, and one holiday novella, The Christmas Surprise. 
You can also find her on Youtube sharing beauty reviews and creating makeup tutorials. When she isn’t reading, writing, or vlogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.



Connect with Samantha:
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Would You Rather... 
with Samantha March

Chips, chocolate or cheese?

Basically my three favorite things! Um….chips!

Bridget Jones, Becky Bloomwood or Carrie Bradshaw?

Carrie Bradshaw!

Wine, beer or vodka?

I love a good glass of wine!

Camping or spa vacation?

Hands down spa vacation!

Dogs or cats?

I love my dog!

Coke or Pepsi?

I’m a little indifferent here, but I’ll say Coke!

Coffee or tea?

Coffee for sure!

Dine out or take away?

Usually we do take away so we can stay home with our dog J

High heels, sneakers or flip flops?

I could live in flip flops.

Physical Book or ebook?

eBooks because they are more convenient to a book blogger!

Pen or pencil?

Pen!

Drama or comedy?

Comedy 100%

Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick?

Liquid lipstick!

Facebook or Twiter?

Twitter for sure!

Plot your entire novel or fly by the seat of your pants?

I always try to plot but it ends up being flying by the seat of my pants!


Defining Her

Nellie Hawthorne is a woman who has it all. A devoted husband, her own business, a wealthy lifestyle. But the Nellie she is now is much different from her past. A past filled with abuse, addiction, and men. Nellie’s carefully constructed new life is suddenly in jeopardy when a blast from the past emerges in her small town and her overbearing mother-in-law starts pushing for grandchildren and questions start being asked. A budding new friendship presents itself at an opportune time, and a once friendless Nellie finds herself growing closer to Prue Doherty.

Prue Doherty is the quintessential good girl. Always making the right decisions, always playing it safe. Until she meets a man that could change all of that. Still reeling from a devastating breakup and betrayal that had her fleeing from Chicago and settling into suburb life with her mom close by, Prue finds herself in a damaging funk. But everything changes when she befriends Nellie Hawthorne.

Nellie is trying to escape her past. Prue wants that perfect future. While both women strive to change their lives, they continue to cling to the past. But what defines us? Who we were then . . . or who we are trying to be now? Lies, manipulation, and deceit are woven throughout the pages of this edgy women’s fiction novel, with an ending you won’t see coming.

Available at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kindle Nook Kobo


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Midnight & Mistletoe (Cedarwood Lodge Series) by Rebecca Raisin

3.5 Star

A brand new feel-good festive romantic serial from bestselling author Rebecca Raisin!
Planning a New Years Eve Party might be the kind of event Clio Winters used to dream about organising, but when everything is feeling a bit up in the air, she has to hope that this New Years her wish really will come true.


Cedarwood Lodge is a delectable romance told in three parts – following Clio Winters journey back to her hometown of Evergreen. This is the final part.




Kathryn - 3.5 Star

I read this series all at once (Celebrations & Confetti, Brides & Bouquets and Midnight & Mistletoe) with only a short break while I waited for this last installment to come out. I was a bit impatient and even emailed to find out how long I would have to wait for part three!  Each book is theoretically a stand-alone novel but if you want to know the full story you really need to read them all.

The series takes a woman from her high stress party-planning job to the stars (and almost stars) to the rural town she grew up in to start her own business.  It seems as if this is something she’d always wanted to do especially when a building near to her heart comes up for sale.  I’ve no idea where she got the money to buy the place- the financial details are a little hazy throughout the books so it’s best to just gloss over them!  She has a hard time getting herself set up in the town and simultaneously is trying to re-connect with her estranged mother and fight off an old boyfriend who seems keen to reunite. Most interesting to me though was the actual running of the lodge and the ins and outs of the business.  I was really keen on the details and the author gave me enough to stay interested.  

Clio also manages to drag her best friend out of the city to help her with her new life and I enjoyed their banter, their communication was pretty honest and I really liked that she wasn’t the cookie-cutter type of best friend.  The other connections in the novels were good too but that friendship was the most realistic for me. 

There was also the little matter of her mother’s reluctance to even go near the lodge which I drew me to reading the whole series.  Though a good result in the end I found myself more curious about their past and Clio’s childhood and could have used a bit more of the details to really round out their story.

Thank you to LRR promos for our review copies.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Rebecca Raisin:
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

I see you by Clare Mackintosh

4.5 Star

You do the same thing every day.

You know exactly where you're going.

You're not alone.

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .





Sabrina-Kate - 4.5 Star

I really love this genre, the whole detective whodunit schtick and especially when it involved England, which this one does. Written with alternating points of view, this book largely focuses on Zoe, one of the potential victims of a crime and Kelly, the flawed police officer trying to help her and fight her own demons. I enjoyed having the different perspectives, from the victim, to the savior and then back again, interspersed with the actual criminal's thoughts as well.

The story was fairly creepy and probably so much so as I could imagine something like this happening. Most of us are creatures of habit, so for someone to be able to stalk us or let others know about our routines would be fairly easy. I was also reading this book in the subway and found myself looking around to see if there was anything strange happening. I also found myself wondering how well you can really know someone or is it normal to be like Zoe and doubt those around you.

I liked how diligent and tenacious Kelly was especially when it came to being able to help and save these new victims while reliving the brutal attack on her twin sister years earlier. It must not be easy to be so close to a situation and yet put others ahead of your own needs. At least most of the time.

I know that this author's first book was a smashing success and having read this one, I am very much looking forward to picking it up considering I suspect I may read it as quickly as this one, which was only a day!


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

Connect with Clare Mackintosh:
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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Waiting for Ethan by Diane Barnes

2.5 Star

When Gina Rossi was in junior high, her best friend’s psychic grandmother got everything right—from predicting that Gina would break her arm and travel to Italy, all the way to leading police to a missing neighborhood child. The one time Gina didn’t listen to her, she almost got herself killed. So when she says that Gina will marry a man named Ethan—but she will have to wait for him—Gina believes her, and waits…

Now thirty-six, Gina’s Mr. Right is nowhere in sight—until the day she’s stranded in a snowstorm, and rescued by the last type of Ethan she expected. It’s very romantic, yet surprisingly not. This Ethan is sexy, and clearly her hero. Still, instead of her “Aha” moment, Gina’s confused. And when Ethan is happy to discover she’s single, does Gina dare tell him, It’s because I've been waiting for you? But the bigger question is, does she dare question destiny—by taking it into her own hands? And is she brave enough to handle what happens once it’s time to stop waiting—and start living? 





Kaley- 2.5 Star


I’m all for heroines who need to learn and grow over the course of the novel. I get that. I’m sure if someone wrote a book about me they’d sometimes think, “What are you doing that for? Are you sure about that?” It’s easy to judge and say someone, like a character in a novel, should do something when you’re not living their life. It’s hard to see past certain things…such as a prediction from someone you trust. I read this and can clearly see Gina does not belong with Ethan. But, she can’t see that. She’s desperate and is so sure this is the Ethan she’s supposed to be with. Girl, take a look at how you’re feeling and how he’s treating you. Got that? Now leave him.

All that being said, I suppose I can see why Gina is holding onto this prediction. She truly thought Ajee was always right and continued to think that because she was thinking like the child she was. We all know how important things are to kids sometimes so it makes sense that she refuses to let go of this last prediction. It’s not only a super strong belief that this will come true but also a way for her to hold onto a part of her life when she was supremely happy.

Gina was an interesting character, even if she was, at times, naïve and frustrating to me. It was easy to imagine her as a friend or co-worker, which isn’t always the case so I commend Barnes for that. I was drawn to her and maybe it’s because I liked her so much that I was so upset with how completely wrong Ethan was for her. She allowed the prediction to overpower the red flags she should have seen and that scared me a little bit. Ethan wasn’t a bad man – he just had a lot of unresolved issues that meant Gina was better off far, far away from him.

Waiting for Ethan had potential but, in the end, it kind of let me down. I did love that there was a Happily Ever After, as you’d expect from books like this, so that helped my overall feelings of the book become a little more positive. (I’m a sucker for a great HEA!) I’m sure I got too stuck on how closely Gina was holding onto Ajee’s prediction and others may not have the same issues with it that I did. If that’s your kind of story, then you should definitely check out Diane Barnes’ novel. 


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

Connect with Diane Barnes:
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Reunion by Roisin Meaney

4 Star

It's September 2015 and sisters Caroline and Eleanor Plunkett receive invitations to their twenty year school reunion. But for both, the invitation takes them back to a time they'd rather forget ... 

For Caroline, it's a reminder of a night she's never told anyone about - and the traumatic consequences she had to face on her own.

While for Eleanor, who has spent the past fourteen years trying to get over the death of her young daughter, the school reunion is a stark reminder of life before grief. 

As the reunion approaches, both sisters face choices and decisions about their lives. Caroline, a successful knitwear designer living in England must choose between love and honesty. Eleanor, who long ago removed herself from the restaurant she started with her husband, must finally make a decision to choose the man she married and the son she has forgotten for so long. 



Kathryn - 4 Star

The Reunion took a number of tricky family dynamics and put them together in a novel that covered two time period in sisters' lives.  Their teenage years were mostly focused on Caroline and an event that shaped her future and for Eleanor her present day story as an adult is monopolized by a recent part of her history.  An invitation to their high school reunion opens up Caroline's past and makes Eleanor consider her commitment to her family. 

I found the connection between the two women interesting.  As teenagers Eleanor wasn't able to comprehend the horror of what had happened to Caroline and yet she still felt that her sister had been neglected by their mother by her blatant lack of support.  Despite years of unease there was still a tenuous bond as sisters and mothers that brought them back to helping each other. My feelings for their mother were probably pretty obvious but what made her behaviour more inexcusable was that their father seemed to grasp the damage that was being done in pushing their child out the door and she refused to relent.  Having been sent to England, to not bring disgrace on the family, Caroline was lucky to be given warmth and support by distant cousin Florence.  Their relationship was built on respect and understanding which just highlighted her conflict with her mother. 

Eleanor's story of loss was raw.  The loss of their child was visible in her marriage and her relationship with her teenage son, he had also lost his mother by default. I can’t imagine how the guilt weighed on her but
felt myself only partially accepting her ways of coping with her tragedy as her son’s needs were so very visible to her.

For both sisters the loss of a child shaped their present though their losses occurred very differently. Despite the painful subject matter I was engrossed in their stories all the way through.


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

Connect with Roisin Meaney:
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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Walk into silence by Susan McBride

5 Star

When Patrick Dielman shows up at Detective Jo Larsen’s desk insisting that his wife, Jenny, is missing, Jo wonders if it’s a case of a bored housewife running away.

But as she digs deeper into Jenny’s life, Jo learns that Dielman keeps a stranglehold on the family finances, down to the last nickel, and that Jenny’s first marriage dissolved following the death of her young son. By all accounts—including her doctor’s—she never recovered from the loss. Between a controlling husband, a tragic past, and a callous ex-husband, Jo can’t be sure if she should suspect foul play or accept that the woman may have wanted to disappear.

For Jo, whose own demons are shadowing her every step, finding Jenny becomes more than the typical protect-and-serve.





Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star


A great police detective movie, I really enjoyed this book about Jo Larsen and am so very pleased that it is the first of what promises to be many more!

This book was just the perfect winter read. A fast paced detective story with a lot of mystery thrown in, I read it probably far too quickly as I was sad when I was done and really wanted more. It seems like the intention of the author is to have other books about this quirky, damaged detective which is a consolation of sorts.

I know that this author used to write chick lit and the approachability of the characters translates through into this new genre. From learning about the character's pasts, to their current hopes, dreams and fears, I found like I got to know a lot about the main protagonist and in a very intimate way.
Headstrong and determined, Jo would be the exact type of detective I would want looking for me if I had disappeared. She did not let anything stand in her way, from her own past to her current fears, her desire to find missing Jenny and make things right won out every time.

I could not have guessed the ultimate ending, even if I had tried and that is one thing that I truly appreciate in a book. I am very much looking forward to the next installation in this new series!

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Susan McBride:
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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Confessions of a wedding musician mom by Jennifer McCoy Blaske

3 Star

Stay-at-home mom Heather Hershey hadn't thought about playing the piano in years. After what happened in college, she could barely bring herself to learn the theme song to Millie Mallard's Pond of Fun to amuse her kids. 

When she ran into an old college acquaintance at the grocery store things began to change. You were the piano player kept reverberating through Heather's head. She couldn't shake the idea, and she decided to take a leap of faith. 

Acting on suggestions from her patient husband, a zany neighbor, and even her out of control kids, Heather dives head first into the quagmire of starting her own business. In the beginning, it didn't seem as hard to get prospective clients as she'd imagined. It soon became obvious that sealing the deal was the problem . . . 

Will Heather realize her dream of becoming a professional pianist, or will it just be misstep after misstep yet again? 



Kathryn - 3 Star

This is a quick and easy read which does right what it says on the box. The novel delves into the stay at home mum life of Heather and her desire to get back a little bit of herself while trying to bring in an income. Her natural talent for music and her training seems to lend itself to being a part time wedding musician and with her husband's support she starts up her own business- or tries to... children make anything with a need to focus infinitely more challenging of course.  

I found the author did a great job creating the loving but slightly chaotic life of a stay at home but part time working mother. The kids were natural and their interactions seemed to flow. I also enjoyed her attempts at finding business and they were also naturally occurring and came with some giggles. All in all the frustrations came through the pages.

I'm not sure though if the novel in its entirety came across with all the pieces. Perhaps it was too short? I just finished it feeling like it wasn't quite resolved. I wished also that there had been more scenes with the husband to round out the family dynamic a bit more. 


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


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