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Description: It’s been two rough years since Andrea Montgomery lost her husband, and all she wants is for her children to enjoy their first Christmas in Haven Point. But then Andie’s friend asks a favor—to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who’s recovering from a hit and run. Andie will do anything for Wyn, even park her own misgivings to check on her grouchy, wounded bear of a brother.
Marshall hates feeling defenseless and resents the protective impulses that Andie brings out in him. But when a blizzard forces them together for the holidays, something in Marshall begins to thaw. Andie’s gentle nature is a salve, and her kids’ excitement for the holidays makes him forget why he never wanted a family. If only he and Andie can admit what they really want—each other—their Christmas wishes might come true after all. (publisher)
My take: Readers met Andrea Montgomery (Andie) in Riverbend Road, book 4 in the Haven Point series. She’s been to hell and back and just wants to live a normal life with her two young children in the town they recently moved to. When the local sheriff is run down by a hit-and-run driver his sister Wyn, Andie’s good friend, asks her to look in on him until she can get home.
As you might expect, Andie and Marshall’s friendship grows into something more. The thing is, Andie doesn’t want to be involved with anyone in law enforcement. Her first husband was killed in the line of duty and she just can’t put herself or her children through that again. Marshall never liked kids and certainly never wanted any of his own. Then why does he think Andie’s kids are so sweet? Changes are in the air.
Snowfall on Haven Point is an enjoyable Christmas romance. Along with the issues between Andie and Marshall there’s the mystery of the hit-and-run, some missing money at the Sheriff’s Department, and the next-door neighbors may be more than just neighbors. I liked it all and recommend it to fans of RaeAnne Thayne and contemporary Christmas romance novels.
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story.
Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor.
Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews.
RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.raeannethayne.com.
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Giveaway ends on November 1, 2016
Description: Is there a right way to die? If so, Joanna DeAngelis has it all wrong. She’s consumed by betrayal, spending her numbered days cyberstalking Ned McGowan, much younger ex, and watching him thrive in the spotlight with someone new, while she wastes away. She’s every woman scorned, fantasizing about revenge … except she’s out of time.
Joanna falls from her life, from the love of daughters and devoted dog, into an otherworldly landscape, a bleak infinity she can’t escape until she rises up and returns and sets it right – makes Ned pay – so she can truly move on.
From the other side into right this minute, Jo embarks on a sexy, spiritual odyssey. As she travels beyond memory, beyond desire, she is transformed into a fierce female force of life, determined to know how to die, happily ever after. (publisher)
Praise for THE NEXT:
Cathleen Schine called it “an elegantly written, thoughtfully sharp and surprisingly touching whirlwind of a book.”
Erica Jong said, “I was instantly hooked by Gangi’s vivid writing, her psychological acumen, and her sharp observation of love and life. She is a fascinating writer who understands love, sex, men, and women.”
About the author:
STEPHANIE GANGI is a NYC novelist, poet, and by day, a corporate communications strategist. She is working on her second novel, and a chapbook of poems, More Than Four.
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Giveaway ends on October 27, 2016
When Byrd Whalen returns to her family’s ancestral home to uncover secrets threatening to destroy a legacy she holds dear, she gets more than she bargained for. Over the course of one harrowing weekend, the dark haunted histories of the Amore women reveal themselves, leading Byrd to question everything she’s ever believed about herself.
In 1890, Nan, the Amore family matriarch, was sent away to America with little more than a baby and a rocking chair, quickly finding work on the sprawling estate of the wildly eccentric Green family. This new life is one she wanted: loving and free with a family that understands and shares in her magic. But when tragedy strikes, destroying the mansion and the precious lives inside, Nan is left alone and pregnant with Reginald Green’s child. With nothing more than the deed to the property, she builds a house from the rubble and a new, pragmatic life. It would become a haunted life that would lead to other haunted lives. It would become a house both terrible and wonderful. It would become known as “The Witch House.”
An unforgettable family saga in the Gothic tradition, Suzanne Palmieri’s The Witch House of Persimmon Point is her most powerful novel yet.
About the author:
Suzanne Palmieri is the author of The Witch of Little Italy, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, and The Witch of Bourbon Street. She also writes as Suzanne Hayes and lives with her family in North Branford, Connecticut.
Praise for THE WITCH HOUSE OF PERSIMMON POINT:
“Palmieri’s Gothic style novel has witty, carefree and interesting characters who have secret they will protect with their last breath. The fast paced plot is full of many layers and unexpected turns, but they never overwhelm the main storyline.” – Romantic Times, Four Stars
“This dazzlingly shadowy tale of how the past always seeps into the future will leave readers tormented by mystery.” – Popsugar
“It’s rare to find a novel that sends shivers up your spine. The Witch House of Persimmon Point not only leaves you spooked, it’ll give you chills whenever you see it on your bookshelf.” – Redbook.com
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Giveaway ends on October 26th, 2016
Description: The New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kiss launches a new series with the death of an earl and the revelation of a scandalous secret…
Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had…
Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…
Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long. (publisher)
My take: Mary Balogh is back with the first in her new Wescott series: Someone to Love. I love a good historical romance and Balogh writes wonderful novels to escape into. This story is a little different in tone from the usual historical but I liked it every bit as much as all of her books.
It’s a Cinderella story to be sure but the prince is not your run-of-the-mill hero. No, Avery’s a bit mysterious – you just know he’s more than the public image most of the world sees. I won’t spoil because it was fun to learn his secret – nothing monumental but it made me smile just the same.
Anna was so courageous and was easy to cheer on as she met her new life head-on. It was fun to see her life change and yet she held on to certain aspects of her past. She was a refreshing character who I hope we’ll see more of in future books in this series.
If you’re a fan of the genre or Mary Balogh I think you’ll enjoy Someone to Love as much as I did. It will go on sale Nov. 8th.
Description: A lush and gorgeous guide to all things food and entertaining from Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of Jemima J, The Beach House, and Falling.
Jane Green’s life has always revolved around her kitchen…
… from inviting over friends for an impromptu brunch; to wowing guests with delicious new recipes; to making sure her ever-on-the-move family makes time to sit down together. For Jane, food is enjoyable because of the people surrounding it and the pleasures of hosting and nourishing those she cares about, body and soul.
Now, Jane opens wide the doors of her stunning home to share tips on entertaining, ideas for making any gathering a cozy yet classy affair, and some of her favorite dishes, ranging from tempting hors d’oeuvres like Sweet Corn and Chili Soup, to mouthwatering one-pot mains like Slow-Braised Onion Chicken, to sinfully satisfying desserts like Warm Chocolate and Banana Cake.
This book is Jane’s perfect recipe for making a wonderful life complete with friends, loving family, and moments filled with good food, good times, and, of course, Good Taste. (publisher)
My take: At first glance Good Taste has a rather unassuming cover – until you take a closer look at the photo which shows the author readying a dining table for an outdoor meal. It looks quite inviting and lovely.
And that’s exactly how I felt about the cookbook – welcomed by author Jane Green to take a look at her favorite recipes and give them a try. She personalized each one with an anecdote about the family or friends a recipe bring to mind. I loved that.
The book is divided into Beginnings (starters and soups), Middles (main courses), and Endings (desserts). Gorgeous color photos accompany each recipe which is something I really appreciate. I’m not an accomplished cook by any stretch of the imagination so I like to have a clear goal in mind of what my finished product should look like🙂
There are several recipes I can’t wait to try including: Tomato Tart Tatin; Slow-Braised Onion Chicken; and Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle. The photos of all three are gorgeous and what I really love is that after reading each recipe I feel confident I’ll be able to make them.
Good Taste would make a wonderful gift for the cook in your life this holiday season.
Description: In February, 1906 as the personal secretary of the recently departed Duke of Olympia—and a woman of scrupulous character—Miss Emmeline Rose Truelove never expected her duties to involve steaming through the Mediterranean on a private yacht, under the prodigal eye of one Lord Silverton, the most charmingly corrupt bachelor in London. But here they are, improperly bound on a quest to find the duke’s enigmatic heir, current whereabouts unknown.
An expert on anachronisms, Maximilian Haywood was last seen at an archaeological dig on the island of Crete. And from the moment Truelove and Silverton disembark, they are met with incidents of a suspicious nature: a ransacked flat, a murdered government employee, an assassination attempt. As they travel from port to port on Max’s trail, piecing together the strange events of the days before his disappearance, Truelove will discover the folly of her misconceptions—about the whims of the heart, the motives of men, and the nature of time itself. (publisher)
My take: Having read a few books by Beatriz Williams I was surprised to learn she also writes under the name Juliana Gray. A Most Extraordinary Pursuit is the first book in a new series. I agreed to join the blog tour for this book mostly because I love reading about the era of the early 20th century. A few pages in I was surprised by some strange occurrences. No spoilers but what I will say is the reader should be prepared for a bit of time-travel and the occasional dip into the paranormal.
I think my favorite character was Lord Silverton. At first he seems a ne’er-do-well aristocrat but later reveals himself to be a sort of James Bond of his day. He made me laugh a lot with the things he said to Miss Truelove and her reactions were usually equally funny. I liked the (mostly) Greece setting and mythology theme.
Although it took me a bit to get caught up in the story I ended up enjoying the novel and would take a look at the next book in this unusual series due out late next year. Recommended to readers looking for something a bit different in a historical mystery.
Praise for A Most Extraordinary Pursuit:
“Packed with unforgettable characters, exotic settings, and unexpected twists, A Most Extraordinary Pursuit is a delicious adventure from the first word to the last. This book has everything a reader could want: lyrical prose, swashbuckling action, and a heroine worth rooting for. Three cheers for Truelove!” —New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn
“If Elizabeth Peters’s Ameila Peabody and Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia had an intrepid younger sister, it would, without doubt, be the heroine of Juliana Gray’s new series, Miss Emmeline Truelove.” —New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig
My take: Christmas in Paris is the story of two people, Isabel and Alec, whose weddings to other people were recently called off. They end up in neighboring suites at the Paris hotel where their respective honeymoons had been scheduled and meet in a humorous scene on their balconies.
Each is nursing a broken heart but they can console each other by seeing the sites of Paris together. The city is a major part of the novel from the famous tourist stops to cafes to high-end boutiques.
After having her palm read at a holiday bazaar, Isabel is convinced she will meet a French aristocrat and become engaged soon after. Alec is certain he’ll never allow himself to fall in love again but he’s willing to help Isabel enjoy her time in Paris. Little by little he discovers he could love again and it might be sooner than he thought possible.
This novel seemed like a fairy tale. There were beautiful ball gowns and fabulous events and places. And not everyone was the way they appeared. In reality, I couldn’t believe someone as smart and sophisticated as Isabel would go all in on a palm reading! I needed to suspend belief in order to enjoy the story. That was key because once I did that the pages almost turned themselves. In the end, the two will learn a lesson about honesty and love they both knew all along.
Christmas in Paris is a fluffy snow-dusting of a novel. If things like Paris, fashion, food, upscale lifestyles and Romance are your catnip you’ll love this book. I liked it and think fans of Anita Hughes and light, romantic novels will as well.
About the Author:
ANITA HUGHES is the author of Monarch Beach, Market Street, Lake Como, French Coast, Rome in Love, Island in the Sea, and Santorini Sunsets. She attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program, and lives in Dana Point, California, where she is at work on her next novel. For more information visit anitahughesbooks.com.
“Christmas. Paris. Star-crossed lovers. Yup, it’s the perfect holiday read!” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dashing Through the Snow
“Gorgeously festive and evocative, this is a compelling story filled with characters you truly care about. I adored it.” —Melissa Hill, USA Today bestselling author of The Charm Bracelet
My take: When Julia Padden meets her across-the-hall neighbor Cain Maddox she’s shocked by his rudeness. It’s the Christmas season after all. The naturally bubbly and upbeat Julia is just not used to such treatment. He’s her polar opposite. Never one to back down from a challenge, and on the advice of her best friend, she decides to “kill him” with kindness.
Julia also has a project that is tied into a social media job interview that is down to between her and one other applicant. She must create a blog for a couple of weeks. The person who has the most hits and followers will get the job. So she decides to blog about her kindness project. This has far-reaching repercussions and some unexpected results.
Twelve Days of Christmas is quintessential Debbie Macomber. There’s a bit of conflict, romance, drama, humor and sweetness. I enjoyed it and think her fans will as well.
Now Available in Trade Paperback
You can read my review here.
About: Set over the course of one life-changing Thanksgiving week, THE RAMBLERS is a sumptuous, accomplished novel about loss, hope, passion and the strength of the human spirit. Native New Yorker Aidan Donnelley Rowley has written a love letter to New York City—its glittering moments and the magic and wonder that are waiting to be discovered in some of its secret corners.
Clio Marsh, an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History, has found solace from her broken childhood by studying the ways in which hummingbirds adapt to harsh environments. The Ramble in Central Park is the only place in Manhattan that has truly ever felt like home in the city, and she’s dedicated to introducing other New Yorkers to the beauties of the natural world on her popular bird-watching walks there. But then Clio meets someone and the solitary world she’s carefully constructed threatens to crumble as she struggles to come to terms with her past.
Smith Anderson has been Clio’s best friend since their first days as undergraduates at Yale, when a painful secret bound them together. As a professional organizer to wealthy Manhattanites, Smith’s career is centered on order and peace, but her own life has been falling apart ever since her fiancé mysteriously called off their engagement and quickly married another woman. Now, with her younger sister’s wedding just days away, Smith is spiraling out of control, grasping for answers from her family and from herself.
Tate Pennington, an aspiring photographer, is going through a bitter divorce. Though the iPhone app he created on a whim made him a millionaire nearly overnight, his failed marriage has left him reeling and he’s returned to New York for a fresh start. But Tate finds himself desperate for a real connection and wonders if he’ll have a sense of truly belonging somewhere, with someone, again.
As the emotional chaos of their lives unfolds, Clio, Smith and Tate must learn to let go of the past in order to make room for the future and the uncertainty and promise that it holds.
Praise for THE RAMBLERS
“Rowley once again captures the bright dialog, urban and romantic insecurities, and stylish lifestyle of a group of appealing upper-echelon mid-30s Manhattanites who defy the jaded stereotypes and will have readers rooting for them as they stumble their way to happiness. Irresistible.” – Library Journal, starred review
“I can’t recommend The Ramblers more highly: the book is gorgeously written, deeply moving, and stays with you long after you finish it.” – Huffington Post
“In this spirited, compulsively-readable, sophisticated tale of entangled urban lives, Aidan Donnelley Rowley has written a love letter to New York, full of sparkling innocence and its ensuing heartache. The Ramblers is a pure delight.” – Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Devotion
“A wonderfully woven story of how family can hold us back or set us free. The richly drawn characters in The Ramblers remind the reader that we sometimes fear the things we most want. It’s not often that a book embeds you so deeply with the characters that you feel as if you are in their story. Rowley’s finely drawn story of love, loss, fear and friendship wound me around its little finger…” – Lee Woodruff, New York Times bestselling author of Those We Love Most
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Giveaway ends on October 5, 2016
Description: As Paris teeters on the edge of the German occupation, a young French woman closes the door to her late grandmother’s treasure-filled apartment, unsure if she’ll ever return.
An elusive courtesan, Marthe de Florian cultivated a life of art and beauty, casting out all recollections of her impoverished childhood in the dark alleys of Montmartre. With Europe on the brink of war, she shares her story with her granddaughter Solange Beaugiron, using her prized possessions to reveal her innermost secrets. Most striking of all are a beautiful string of pearls and a magnificent portrait of Marthe painted by the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. As Marthe’s tale unfolds, like velvet itself, stitched with its own shadow and light, it helps to guide Solange on her own path.
Inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment, Alyson Richman brings to life Solange, the young woman forced to leave her fabled grandmother’s legacy behind to save all that she loved.
My take: In 2010 a Paris apartment that had been closed for seventy years was opened to reveal a time capsule of sorts. Found inside were objets d’art from the Belle Epoch and earlier eras as well as many other valuable items. The Velvet Hours is the imagined story of the woman who owned the apartment and her granddaughter.
Alyson Richman’s story of Marthe de Florian and Solange Beaugiron captured me from the start. The descriptions of, well, everything was gorgeous and gave me the feeling I was sitting in the room with the characters.
Solange didn’t know she had a grandmother until she was nineteen and her father took her to meet Marthe. Upon their introduction they met a few days each week and Marthe told Solange about her life. It’s a remarkable story about a remarkable time and involves art, books and romance. I loved it all. Equally intriguing but less developed than Marthe’s story was the story of a book passed down on Solange’s mother’s side of the family. I’d love to read more about it in a separate novel.
Until The Velvet Hours I’d never read one of Alyson Richman’s novels. I was happy to discover she has six other books that are now on my to-be-read list. I can easily recommend The Velvet Hours to fans of the author and historical fiction.
Note: You can search online for Marthe de Florian and you’ll find photos of her apartment as well as the portrait highlighted in the novel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alyson Richman is the internationally bestselling author of the The Garden of Letters, The Lost Wife, The Last Van Gogh, The Rhythm of Memory (previously published as Swedish Tango) and The Mask Carver’s Son. Her novels have been translated into eighteen languages and are known for their rich historical and artistic detail. She lives in Long Island, New York, with her husband and two children.
PRAISE FOR THE VELVET HOURS:
“Alyson Richman’s writing sings in her evocative new novel set in Paris at the dawn of World War II. The Velvet Hours is a beautiful and compelling portrait of two women facing their unknown past and an unimaginable future as their world begins to crumble.”
— Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale
“Alyson Richman deftly weaves fact and fiction to create an enthralling tale of love and sacrifice in The Velvet Hours. Richman slips flawlessly between time periods, her sense of place in depicting Paris in the 1880’s and 1940’s spot on. The reader navigates the streets of the City of Light alongside Solange and Marthe, two carefully crafted and worthy heroines. The author does a superb job of creating a Paris apartment full of exquisite treasures and a priceless painting, a world of light and shadow, beauty and darkness. Ultimately, this is a carefully wrought story of love, of what the heart chooses to give up, and what it chooses to keep. Highly recommended to readers who enjoyed Kristen Hannah’s The Nightingale.”
—Karen White, New York Times bestselling author
“A masterful mix of the glamour of the Belle Epoque and the shadows of impending war as the stories of two generations twist and twine together in delightful, heart-wrenching, and sometimes unexpected ways.”
— Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author
“Staggeringly evocative, romantic, heartrending, sensual, and beautifully written.”
—John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author
“Tragedy and hope, love and loss, and the strength to endure are examined through Richman’s graceful writing and powerful characters.”
“If you love graceful, mellifluous writing, you should read this book.”
—Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author
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Description: 26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.
Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.
As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again. (publisher)
My take: I’m a fan of novels with a dose of magical realism – think Sarah Addison Allen (one of my favorite authors). Let me tell you how happy I was to receive this book in the mail. Rachel doesn’t know where she’s going but when she ends up running out of gas in Nowhere, North Carolina she meets some interesting people.
One of those people is Catch who offers Rachel a place to stay for as long as she’d like. Catch is in her seventies and kind of cantankerous – in a charming kind of way, ha. She also possesses an ability to make secrets stay secret. So she understands how difficult it can be for Rachel who doesn’t want her own special ability.
This novel is full of interesting characters. Some are sweet, some downright rude and insensitive, and some just want to live a regular life. Rachel hopes to figure out how to fix or make peace with things that have happened. I enjoyed it all.
The Secret Ingredient of Wishes charmed me and I look forward to reading more of Susan Bishop Crispell’s books. And now I want some pie – love that book cover!