A Wish for Winter by Viola Shipman @harlequinbooks #booktwitter #fiction #bookreview

Overview

Despite losing her parents in a tragic accident just before her fourteenth Christmas, Susan Norcross has had it better than most, with loving grandparents to raise her and a gang of quirky, devoted friends to support her. Now a successful bookstore owner in a tight-knit Michigan lakeside community, Susan is facing down forty—the same age as her mother when she died—and she can’t help but see everything she hasn’t achieved, including finding a love match of her own. To add to the pressure, everyone in her small town believes it’s Susan’s destiny to meet and marry a man dressed as Santa, just like her mother and grandmother before her. So it seems cosmically unfair that the man she makes an instant connection with at an annual Santa Run is lost in the crowd before she can get his name.

What follows is Susan and her friends’ hilarious and heartwarming search for the mystery Santa—covering twelve months of social media snafus, authors behaving badly and dating fails—as well as a poignant look at family, friendship and what defines a well-lived and well-loved life.

“Viola Shipman has written a captivating story for anyone whose memories run deep… This book keeps faith and hope alive!” —New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods

Review

Susan is approaching middle age fast and she is still struggling with the loss of her parents when she was a teenager. She was raised by her grandparents and they are still a major part of her life. But, they are aging and she just can’t face losing someone else. As 40 approaches, Susan realizes she has not met the man of her dreams. Even though she owns a successful book store, Susan knows something is missing from her life. And her quirky friends are going to help remedy this situation.

Viola shipman has recently become one of my go to authors. This book hit the Christmas spot! I loved Susan and her friends. And I know some of you will roll your eyes, but there are a lot of profound statements in this novel. It is not one of your cheesy Christmas romances. This story has a lot to say and Viola Shipman says it well!

Need a heartwarming, Christmas novel…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks #bookreview #historicalfiction #booktwitter @macmillanusa

Overview

Mariah Fredericks’s The Lindbergh Nanny is powerful, propulsive novel about America’s most notorious kidnapping through the eyes of the woman who found herself at the heart of this deadly crime.

“A masterful blending of fact and fiction that is as compelling as it is entertaining.”—Nelson DeMille

When the most famous toddler in America, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., is kidnapped from his family home in New Jersey in 1932, the case makes international headlines. Already celebrated for his flight across the Atlantic, his father, Charles, Sr., is the country’s golden boy, with his wealthy, lovely wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, by his side. But there’s someone else in their household—Betty Gow, a formerly obscure young woman, now known around the world by another name: the Lindbergh Nanny.

A Scottish immigrant deciphering the rules of her new homeland and its East Coast elite, Betty finds Colonel Lindbergh eccentric and often odd, Mrs. Lindbergh kind yet nervous, and Charlie simply a darling. Far from home and bruised from a love affair gone horribly wrong, Betty finds comfort in caring for the child, and warms to the attentions of handsome sailor Henrik, sometimes known as Red. Then, Charlie disappears.

Suddenly a suspect in the eyes of both the media and the public, Betty must find the truth about what really happened that night, in order to clear her own name—and to find justice for the child she loves.

Review

Betty Gow, a Scottish immigrant, has been hired to take care of little Charlie Lindbergh. Betty discovers the Lindberghs to be very distant from their child and their home. But, Betty steps into her role and falls quickly for little Charlie. When he disappears, she is the first suspect in the public eye.

I truly did not like Betty Gow at the beginning. She just did not seem like the ideal nanny the Lindbergh’s would pick. But, she did grow on me. And of course, I had to google her. She really had a hard time when Charlie was kidnapped.

This story started very strong. It sort of slowed down a bit in the middle. I felt it had too many everyday mundane details However, it really is captivating in many places because of the catastrophe and the mystery. Plus, I knew about the kidnapping but I really did not know a lot of the circumstances. So, I learned a great deal and that is a huge bonus!

Need a good book about a real life tragedy…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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The Prisoner by B.A. Paris @macmillanaudio #audiobook #audiblebook #bookreview

Overview

With Behind Closed Doors, New York Times bestselling author B. A. Paris took the psychological thriller to shocking new heights. Now she’ll hold you captive with THE PRISONER—a stunning new thriller about one woman wed into a family with deadly intentions.

Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a life for herself, she is swept up into a glamorous lifestyle where she married the handsome billionaire Ned Hawthorne.

But then, Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?

In the vein of Behind Closed Doors and The Therapist, multimillion-copy bestseller B. A. Paris is back with a gripping new suspense novel.

Review

Amelie is trying to make a go of it. She has lost her parents and she has moved to London to get a new start. She ends up marrying a billionaire…YES…You heard me right! But, it is an arrangement to help her reach her college goals. However, her husband, Ned, is not the person she thought he was. Then she and Ned are both kidnapped and kept prisoner for ransom.

Amelie is a naïve, young lady thrown into a situation she cannot get out of. Her husband is a piece of work and y’all will just have to read this and find out how bad he really is. Then there are the kidnappers. Geez, this girl just can’t win! Talk about captivating!

Lord have mercy, this story is intricate, intense and fierce. There were places in which I was gasping for air. Now, I did fluctuate between 4 and 5 stars. I think, basically, it is a bit far fetched. But, then again, is it really? See my dilemma!?!

I enjoyed this narrator, Georgia Maguire. She just does a great job, especially during the intense sections! This is really how I measure a narrator. If they can get the intense sections right, then they are excellent in my book!

Need a good guessing game…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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When We Had Wings by Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris, Susan Meissner #audiobook #audiblebook #bookreview @harpermusebooks

Overview

From three bestselling authors comes an interwoven tale about a trio of World War II nurses stationed in the South Pacific who wage their own battle for freedom and survival.

The Philippines, 1941. When U.S. Navy nurse Eleanor Lindstrom, U.S. Army nurse Penny Franklin, and Filipina nurse Lita Capel forge a friendship at the Army Navy Club in Manila, they believe they’re living a paradise assignment. All three are seeking a way to escape their pasts, but soon the beauty and promise of their surroundings give way to the heavy mantle of war.

Caught in the crosshairs of a fight between the U.S. military and the Imperial Japanese Army for control of the Philippine Islands, the nurses are forced to serve under combat conditions and, ultimately, endure captivity as the first female prisoners of the Second World War. As their resiliency is tested in the face of squalid living arrangements, food shortages, and the enemy’s blatant disregard for the articles of the Geneva Convention, the women strive to keep their hope—and their fellow inmates—alive, though not without great cost.

In this sweeping story based on the true experiences of nurses dubbed “the Angels of Bataan,” three women shift in and out of each other’s lives through the darkest days of the war, buoyed by their unwavering friendship and distant dreams of liberation.

Review

Three women, Eleanor, Penny and Lita, become great friends as they are nurses in the US military. But, things change quickly in the Philippines as WWII rages around them. They become prisoners of war under the Japanese Army. Every day is a day filled with terror, hunger and death.

A lot of the books set in this time period of WWII are about the tragedy of the Jews. But, you forget how awful the Japanese were. This book brings that to light. And let me tell you, it is heartbreaking in so many places. I could not stop listening to it.

What these women went through…and I do believe the authors softened their mistreatment! The strength and resilience of these characters will have you cheering in one breath and crying in the next!

The narrator, Saskia Maarleveld, is amazing! She kept the emotions at just the right tone and all the voices…WOW! What a fantastic job!

Need an intense, emotional historical fiction you will not soon forget…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz @atriabooks #fiction #bookreview

Overview

Winner of Crime Debut and Readers’ Choice Awards—Sisters in Crime

“A brave and timely novel.” —Clare Mackintosh, internationally bestselling author of Hostage

This is not just another novel about a dead girl. Two women—one alive, one dead—are brought together in the dark underbelly of New York City to solve a tragic murder.

When she arrived in New York on her eighteenth birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera, Alice Lee was looking for a fresh start. Now, just one month later, she is the city’s latest Jane Doe. She may be dead but that doesn’t mean her story is over.

Meanwhile, Ruby Jones is also trying to reinvent herself. After travelling halfway around the world, she’s lonelier than ever in the Big Apple. Until she stumbles upon a woman’s body by the Hudson River, and suddenly finds herself unbreakably tied to the unknown dead woman.

Alice is sure Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her short life and tragic death. Ruby just wants to forget what she saw…but she can’t seem to stop thinking about the young woman she found. If she keeps looking, can she give this unidentified Jane Doe the ending and closure she deserves?

A “heartbreaking, beautiful, and hugely important novel” (Rosie Walsh, New York Times bestselling author), Before You Knew My Name doesn’t just wonder whodunnit—it also asks who was she? And what did she leave behind?

Review

Alice Lee is the Jane Doe found raped and murdered in a very public place. But yet, no one saw a thing! Enter Ruby. Ruby is just trying to find her way and discover exactly what she wants to do with her life. But then she finds Alice’s body. Alice thinks Ruby can solve her murder. But, Ruby wants no part of it!

This novel is so freaking unique! I mean…honestly! One of the characters is dead and is narrating part of the story! Alice’s story is distressing and so sad. And Ruby! She is just struggling to overcome the trauma of finding Alice but it is just not happening.

Now, this is not a book to read quickly, in my opinion. You will miss something and get lost…believe me. I tried! I had to slow myself down and as everyone knows, that is so difficult for me. But, I am so glad I did! This novel is different but it is so heartbreaking and well written you do not want to miss it.

Need a beautiful story which will have you grieving when it is over…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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A Matter of Happiness by Tori Whitaker @torilwhitaker @suzyapbooktours #bookreview #historicalfiction

Overview

A cherished heirloom opens up a century of secrets in a bittersweet novel about family, hard truths, and self-discovery by the author of Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish.

Melanie Barnett thinks she has it all together. With an ex-fiancé and a pending promotion at a Kentucky bourbon distillery, Melanie has figured out that love and career don’t mix. Until she makes a discovery while cleaning her Jordan MX car, a scarlet-red symbol of the Jazz Age’s independent women that she inherited from her great-great-great-aunt Violet. Its secret compartment holds Violet’s weathered journal—within it an intriguing message: Take from this story what you will, Melanie, and you can bury the rest.Melanie wonders what more there is to learn from Violet’s past.

In 1921 Violet Bond defers to no one. Hers is a life of adventure in Detroit, the hub of the motorcar boom and the fastest growing city in America. But in an era of speakeasies, financial windfalls, free-spirited friends, and unexpected romance, it’s easy to spin out of control.

Now, as Melanie’s own world takes unexpected turns, her life and Violet’s life intersect. Generations apart, they’re coming into their own and questioning what modern womanhood—and happiness—really means.

Review

Melanie’s Aunt Violet has passed away and left her an old car, a Jordan. Inside this Jordan, Melanie finds Aunt Violet’s journal. This old car and this journal have a story to tell.

The novel is told in two different time periods, present day and the Jazz Age. It covers the speakeasies and the bourbon of today. Then there is Aunt Violet and her secret past. And Melanie and her worries of her job and her life. I absolutely loved these two characters, especially Aunt Violet. She really was a woman ahead of her time.

I really enjoyed this author’s first book Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish. You can see my review here. So, I jumped at the chance to read this one. And it is super! I loved everything about it! The time period, the characters, and the setting. It even had me googling the Jordan car. I can just picture Aunt Violet sporting around in it.

Need just an all around great book…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the author for a honest review.

About The Author:

Tori Whitaker grew up in the Midwest. She now resides outside of Atlanta, Georgia, where she and her husband of more than forty years live near their two sons and their families. Tori belongs to the Historical Novel Society, and her feature article, “Multi-Period Novels: The Keys to Weaving Together Two Stories from Different Time Periods,” appeared in the Historical Novels Review. Tori graduated from Indiana University and is chief marketing officer for a national law firm. She is also an alum of the Yale Writers’ Workshop. Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish is her first novel. https://toriwhitaker.com/

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ToriWhitakerAuthor/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/tori.whitaker.37

Twitter: @ToriLWhitaker

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The Blue Butterfly by Leslie Johansen Nack #historicalfiction @gosparkpoint #bookreview

Overview

New York 1915, Marion Davies is a shy eighteen-year-old beauty dancing on the Broadway stage when she meets William Randolph Hearst and finds herself captivated by his riches, passion and desire to make her a movie star. Following a whirlwind courtship, she learns through trial and error to live as Hearst’s mistress when a divorce from his wife proves impossible. A baby girl is born in secret in 1919 and they agree to never acknowledge her publicly as their own. In a burgeoning Hollywood scene, she works hard making movies while living a lavish partying life that includes a secret love affair with Charlie Chaplin. In late 1937, at the height of the depression, Hearst wrestles with his debtors and failing health, when Marion loans him $1M when nobody else will. Together, they must confront the movie that threatens to invalidate all of Marion’s successes in the movie industry: Citizen Kane.

Review

Marion Davies was a young 18 year old dancer on Broadway when she catches the eye of William Randolph Hearst. These two develop a life long affair full of secrets and drama.

I really knew nothing about Marion Davies other than she was an actress “back in the day”. She really was an amazing woman and this author brought her to life on these pages. I also enjoyed reading about all the names from Hollywood, like Charlie Chaplin and the Gabor sisters. But, WR Hearst is the one who stole the story in my book. There were many places I wanted to come across the pages and give him a good “Gibbs slap” upside the head.

I rotated between 4 and 5 stars. I settled on 5 stars because this is just a fascinating tale about a real person and her life. I actually read it in one day on the beach. It read like a biography of old Hollywood! So, this book hit the spot.

Need a very good old Hollywood novel…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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Treasure State by C.J. Box #audiblebook #audiobook #bookreview #mystery @macmillanaudio

Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author C. J. Box’s Treasure State finds Cassie Dewell in Montana on the trail of a con man.

Private Investigator Cassie Dewell’s business is thriving, and her latest case puts her on the hunt for a slippery con man who’s disappeared somewhere in the “treasure state”. A wealthy Florida widow has accused him of absconding with her fortune, and wants Cassie to find him and get it back. The trail takes Cassie to Anaconda, Montana, a quirky former copper mining town that’s the perfect place to reinvent yourself. As the case develops, Cassie begins to wonder if her client is telling her everything.

On top of that, Cassie is also working what’s easily one of her strangest assignments ever. A poem that promises buried treasure to one lucky adventurer has led to a cutthroat competition and five deaths among treasure-hunters. But Cassie’s client doesn’t want the treasure. Instead, he claims to be the one who hid the gold and wrote the poem. And he’s hired Cassie to try to find him. Between the two cases, Cassie has her hands full.

In Montana, a killer view can mean more than just the scenery, and Cassie knows much darker things hide behind the picturesque landscape of Big Sky Country. Treasure State, C. J. Box’s highly anticipated follow-up to The Bitterroots, is full of more twists and turns than the switchbacks through the Anaconda Range.

Review

Cassie has been hired to find a con man. He has absconded with a wealthy widow’s money and she wants it all back. As Cassie digs deeper, she finds many more victims. Not only has she got a con man she must find, but now she has been contacted by a mystery man with a strange poem and a treasure.

I loved Cassie. She is witty, strong and she is kind. You usually do not see kindness in a private investigator but Cassie makes it work well. I also enjoyed the dual story lines…the con man and the treasure hunt. Very unique and intriguing!

I cannot believe I have never read a book by this author. I am going to have to remedy that soon. How have I missed him? 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️. I am definitely going to get more of his books! Especially if Christina Delaine is the narrator. She is excellent and she nailed Cassie, in my opinion.

Need a captivating mystery…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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A Spying Eye by Michelle Cox @suzyapbooktours @michellecox33 #bookreview #mystery #fiction

Overview

In this sixth book of the series, Clive and Henrietta return to Europe in an attempt to resurrect their failed honeymoon. While in London, they are approached by their old friend, Inspector John Hartle, who convinces them to search for the missing panel of the Ghent Altarpiece, a famous Renaissance painting, of which Hitler’s top men are also in pursuit. 

Meanwhile, back in Chicago, Oldrich Exley threatens to cut off financial support for the entire Von Harmon brood if Elsie continues with her plan to marry Gunther—a situation made worse by the sudden appearance of one Heinrich Meyer, who claims to be little Anna’s father and threatens to take her away. Desperate, Elsie seeks the help of Clive’s sister, Julia, who is herself the victim of domestic abuse and who has fallen under the spell of a handsome Texas millionaire bent on acquiring a rare painting from the Howard collection. 

Clive and Henrietta’s search takes them to Chateau du Freudeneck in Strasbourg, France—the ancient seat of the Von Harmons and home to three eccentric distant relatives. What begins as a wild goose chase turns decidedly more deadly when several Nazi officers also arrive at the chateau in search of a “valuable item.” When Henrietta and Clive attempt to flee after Henrietta uncovers a shocking truth, they are forced to trust themselves to a suspicious French servant who seems all-too willing to help . . .

Review

Clive and Henrietta have decided to go on a second honeymoon. Their first one was cut short and Clive is just not having it. But, this one is in danger of being a working honeymoon. Not exactly what he had in mind. Clive is approached about the missing piece to the Ghent Altarpiece. So, he and Henrietta decide to take the case!

Give me a book in which I start to do research and I am hooked. I loved learning about the Ghent Altarpiece. You can read more about it here. What a great piece of history to put in a book. And Clive and Henrietta are on the case!

Clive and Henrietta are great together. I enjoy his wit and her quickness. She can think on her feet better than any character I know. So, they make a fabulous combination. Plus, they have a great connection and definitely have each other’s backs! They are just adorable.

I have only read one of the other books in this series. You can read my review here. So, it is not necessary to have read any of the other books. They can stand on their own and I bet they are all as enjoyable as this one!

Need a wonderful historical mystery which will enlighten your knowledge…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the author for a honest review.

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October Escapes and Escapades #wrapup #bookreviews #octoberwrapup

Well hey y’all! I didn’t do a whole lot this month. Just pure laziness! Ain’t going to lie!

We did get together and carve our annual pumpkin. My husband insists we do this. And his pumpkins are just standard! He refuses to do anything special! 😂🙄🤦🏻‍♀️ but we have a blast!

Now on to the…

Mad Honey
Miss Del Río
Die Around Sundown
Attribution
The Last Dreamwalker
The Ways We Hide
Something from Tiffany’s
The Boys from Biloxi
Built to Last
Doneraile Court
The Color Of Ice
Hidden Pieces
Bad Boy With Benefits
A Place to Land
The Winter Guest
The Mother I Never Had
The Rising Tide

Now, What did you read and enjoy?!?! Inquiring minds want to know!

Oh….and don’t for get to check out my TikTok!

https://www.tiktok.com/@reecaspiecesbooks

Thanks for stopping by!

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