The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess @henryholt #bookwhisperer #review #5star

Overview

Summer 2019 B&N Discover Great New Writers Selection*
*A July 2019 Indie Next List Great Read* 
*One of Parade’s Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2019* 
*An O Magazine Best Beach Read of 2019*
*A New York Post Best Beach Read of 2019*

The Last Book Party is a delight. Reading this story of a young woman trying to find herself while surrounded by the bohemian literary scene during a summer on the Cape in the late ’80s, I found myself nodding along in so many moments and dreading the last page. Karen Dukess has rendered a wonderful world to spend time in.”
—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six 

A propulsive tale of ambition and romance, set in the publishing world of 1980’s New York and the timeless beaches of Cape Cod.

In the summer of 1987, 25-year-old Eve Rosen is an aspiring writer languishing in a low-level assistant job, unable to shake the shadow of growing up with her brilliant brother. With her professional ambitions floundering, Eve jumps at the chance to attend an early summer gathering at the Cape Cod home of famed New Yorker writer Henry Grey and his poet wife, Tillie. 

Dazzled by the guests and her burgeoning crush on the hosts’ artistic son, Eve lands a new job as Henry Grey’s research assistant and an invitation to Henry and Tillie’s exclusive and famed “Book Party”— where attendees dress as literary characters. But by the night of the party, Eve discovers uncomfortable truths about her summer entanglements and understands that the literary world she so desperately wanted to be a part of is not at all what it seems. 

A page-turning, coming-of-age story, written with a lyrical sense of place and a profound appreciation for the sustaining power of books, Karen Dukess’s The Last Book Party shows what happens when youth and experience collide and what it takes to find your own voice.

Review

Eve is a young woman struggling to make it as a writer. She is in a dead end job in publishing and she just can’t take it anymore. So, she QUITS! She takes a job as an assistant to a famous author and his poet wife. She entangles herself into their lives and she gets invited to their famous Book Party. Eve slowly discovers she is in over her head.

I started out enjoying Eve. I really felt for her. But, like all good characters, she makes a STUPID, STUPID mistake in this story. As a reader, I saw it coming. The author did a great job building up to it. (Can you tell I am trying not to give it away). Also, like all good characters, she realizes she has made a mistake and she takes matters in her own hands, even if it will be painful.

Give me a story about books, authors, and publishing and I am in love. This story is fantastic in my eyes. I loved the setting, the characters (well, except when Eve does something REALLY stupid) and all the book references. Did I mention the book references?!?! It really take you on a ride you will not soon forget.

Grab this one today!

I received this novel from Henry Holt and Company for a honest review. The book releases July 9, 2019.

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Advertisements
Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Celebrating 30 Years of Diane Chamberlain #spotlight #giveaway @stmartinspress

Enter here to win all 5 books!

http://bit.ly/Chamberlain30

Posted in giveaway | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Little Teashop on Main by Jodi Thomas @harlequinbooks @jodithomas #review #fiction

Overview

A rainy-day ritual—a tea party between three little girls—becomes the framework of not only their friendship, but their lives.

Redheaded, curly-haired Zoe is openhearted, kind and free-spirited, and dreams of becoming a famous actor in New York City. Shy Emily struggles with mental health but has the heart and soul of a writer. And Shannon—tall, athletic, strong—has a deep sense of loyalty that will serve her well when she heads off to military college.

As Zoe, Emily and Shannon grow into women—forging careers, following dreams and finding love—they’ll learn that life doesn’t always unfold the way they want it to, but through it all, the one constant is each other, and their regular tea parties. And when the unthinkable happens, the girls must come together to face the greatest test of all.

A deeply moving novel about the family that raises us, the hearts that nurture us and the great friendships that define our lives.

Review

Three young friends started out life having tea parties together. They have kept the tradition alive all through their lives. Many life changes and challenges have come their way. They have always been there for each other. Then the biggest challenge of all hits them hard.

Zoe, Emily, and Shannon are three best friends. They have been friends since kindergarten. They each have different family lives and different issues and I loved all three of these young ladies. Each lady has a unique personality but somehow these three are a perfect mix. Zoe moves to NYC to try and become a broadway star. Shannon is following in her dads footsteps and goes into the military. And my favorite character of all is Emily. She wants to be a writer. My heart goes out to this shy, introverted young woman.

This book takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. It is a lightening fast read full of fantastic characters, true emotion and unique situations. I read this in one sitting. It just hits you with all the feels and you don’t want to end.

Don’t miss this one.

I received this novel from Harlequin for a honest review.

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin @berkleypub #review #historicalfiction #5star

Overview

An American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this captivating novel from the acclaimed author of The Beautiful American.

Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli are fighting for recognition as the most successful and influential fashion designer in France, and their rivalry is already legendary. They oppose each other at every turn, in both their politics and their designs: Chanel’s are classic, elegant, and practical; Schiaparelli’s bold, experimental, and surreal.

When Lily Sutter, a recently widowed young American teacher, visits her brother, Charlie, in Paris, he insists on buying her a couture dress—a Chanel. Lily, however, prefers a Schiaparelli. Charlie’s beautiful and socially prominent girlfriend soon begins wearing Schiaparelli’s designs as well, and much of Paris follows in her footsteps. 

Schiaparelli offers budding artist Lily a job at her store, and Lily finds herself increasingly involved with Schiaparelli and Chanel’s personal war. Their fierce competition reaches new and dangerous heights as the Nazis and the looming threat of World War II bear down on Paris.

Review

Lily has recently lost her husband and she is just barely making it through life. She meets her brother, Charlie, in Paris. He is determined to cheer her up by buying her a couture gown. Lilly wants a Schiaparelli. This purchase changes her life. Lilly is hired as an artist by Schiaparelli. This throws her right in the middle of the feud between Schiaparelli and Chanel.

I have read a little about Chanel but nothing about Schiaparelli. So I learned a great bit. I enjoy books that have me researching. This one definitely had me looking up both designers. This story is not just about the designers though. It is also about the strength of family and friends. Lilly would have fallen down into the well of depression if it had not been for her small clan surrounding her. Then, there is the political aspects. You are damned if you are friends with the Germans and you are damned if you are not. A very precarious position for all involved.

Now, I will not say this is a perfect read. It sort of slowed down for me in the middle. But, I still LOVED this book, especially the end. The ending gave me all the feels.

Don’t miss this one. This is twisty and emotional.

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse @minotaurbooks #review #historicalfiction

Overview

For fans of juicy historical fiction, this one might just develop into their next obsession.”EW.com

From the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of Labyrinth, comes the first in an epic new series.

Power and Prejudice: France, 1562. War sparks between the Catholics and Huguenots, dividing neighbors, friends, and family—meanwhile, nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: She knows that you live.

Love and Betrayal: Before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, she meets a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon. Piet has a dangerous task of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to stay alive. Soon, they find themselves on opposing sides, as forces beyond their control threaten to tear them apart.

Honor and Treachery: As the religious divide deepens, Minou and Piet find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as tensions ignite across the city—and a feud that will burn across generations begins to blaze. . .

“A masterly tour of history . . . a breathless thriller, alive with treachery, danger, atmosphere, and beauty.”A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Review

Huguenot and Catholics collide in France. Everyone is at each other’s throats and no one knows whom to trust. Minou is the daughter of a book seller. Piet is a Huguenot. These two come together at one of the most dangerous times in history. Both end up leaning on each other just to survive and stay alive.

Oh wow! The research Kate Mosse does to write her stories is outstanding. I have been a fan for many, many years. She always teaches me something new. I enjoyed many aspects of this read. The rich history, the setting, and the action and betrayals really keep a reader turning pages. However, I did feel it was disjointed in places. But, I was enraptured and enraged with mans inhumanity to man. Something about Kate Mosse rich historical settings and the way she reels the reader in, will keep me a fan forever!

Don’t miss this one!

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Summer Country by Laura Willig

Overview

A brilliant, multigenerational saga in the tradition of THE THORN BIRDS and NORTH AND SOUTH, New York Timesbestselling historical novelist Lauren Willig delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Barbados, 1854: Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous English merchant clan– merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day.  But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned. 

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts.

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins?  Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills? The answer lies in the past— a tangled history of lies, greed, clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

THE SUMMER COUNTRY will beguile readers with its rendering of families, heartbreak, and the endurance of hope against all odds. 

Review

Emily finds herself the unexpected owner of a sugar plantation in Barbados. When she arrives in Barbados she finds the plantation a burned out shell. Emily, for the life of her, cannot figure out why her grandfather left this rundown plantation to her.

The setting of Barbados in the 1800’s is definitely unique. Slavery on a sugar plantation in colonial Barbados is an extremely interesting time period. Lots of research went into this tale. And Emily! She is a no nonsense, take no prisoners kind of gal…within reason. She knows how to use her head!

This is not my favorite book by Laura Willig. Starts very slow. I put it down because I just could not get into it. But, I did go back and pick it up a couple of weeks later. Sometimes a book just needs to hit you at the right time. The story did pick up as I moved into the novel. Lots of intriguing questions arise… family secrets, greed, ghosts….yes ghosts! Keeps you guessing till the end!

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Montauk by Nicola Harrison @stmartinspress #review #fiction

Overview

An epic and cinematic novel by debut author Nicola Harrison, Montauk captures the glamour and extravagance of a summer by the sea with the story of a woman torn between the life she chose and the life she desires.

Montauk, Long Island, 1938. 

For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor—a two-hundred room seaside hotel—while Harry pursues other interests in the city. 

College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was. 

As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future. 

Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…

Review

Beatrice is to spend the summer on Montauk, a high society resort outside NYC. She is planning on reconnecting with her husband and hopefully becoming pregnant. Nothing goes as planned. She discovers her husbands infidelities and realizes her life is not exactly what she expected.

I enjoyed this time period and the setting. Who doesn’t like leisurely (entitled) ladies spending a summer at the beach? But, I understand why Beatrice started to expand her horizons. These society ladies would get on anybody’s nerves. Beatrice inserts herself into the life of the laundry lady. This leads her to the light house. And to an attraction she never expected.

I applaud Beatrice! She does not let society rule her thoughts and actions. She is smart and uses her abilities to change her stars.

I enjoyed this novel. I just felt it was a little wordy and moved a little slow. But, isn’t this cover wonderful!

I received this novel from St. Martin’s Press for a honest review.

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments