Book Review: Nine Lives by Kevin McManus

Book Blurb:

Nine Lives Book Cover

In Western Ireland in 1979, Hazel Devereaux, a student of Trinity College in Dublin, goes missing while working at a summer job. Six months later her body is discovered in a shallow grave. A line from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe entitled “A Paean” is discovered in an envelope at the house Hazel was renting.

Could this be a calling card of the murderer?

Thirty years later, Detective Ray Logue discovers that a series of murders in Boston appear to be connected to the killings in 1979. Each victim also received a line from the poem by Edgar Allan Poe delivered to their homes.

It becomes evident that a serial killer is at work and has claimed seven lives so far.

The murderer kills two victims every ten years, always on a year ending in nine and always on the same dates in June and December. If he follows the same pattern, he will kill again in less than a fortnight.

Ray Logue is dispatched to Boston to work alongside Detective Olivia Callaghan and Inspector Sam Harper to discover the identity of the murderer and to stop him before he strikes again. Logue’s ‘bull in a china shop’ policing method brings him into conflict with Sam Harper’s more calculated and measured approach.

As a result, trying to work together becomes almost as challenging as catching the serial killer.

But catch a killer they must.

Buy the Book:

About the Author:

Kevin McManus Author Photo

Kevin McManus is an Irish author. He primarily writes Crime Fiction novels but also delves into writing poetry and short stories. He lives in County Leitrim in Western Ireland with his wife Mary and their dog Jack. He works by day as a secondary school teacher. Kevin has produced a series of novels featuring an Irish Detective called Ray Logue and a series based around a New York Detective called John Morrigan. His debut novel published in 2016 was “The Whole of the Moon”. In a previous incarnation, Kevin was a bass guitarist in several rock bands for over twenty year. Kevin is a supporter of Aston Villa FC which has caused him to age prematurely.

Follow him at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Books-by-Kevin-McManus-1075444599167606
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bassbreeze
Amazon : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kevin-McManus/e/B01E4GF0GY/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

My Thoughts:

Nine Lives by Kevin McManus is a wonderfully well-written detective story that takes the reader into the heart of cold cases that seem to resemble the current string of murders. Detective Ray Logue travels to Boston to work on the case alongside two fine and rather interesting people, Detective Olivia Callaghan and Inspector Sam Harper.

I found the working dynamics of this group of people to be quite interesting and each character’s personality was quite different. The plot is well thought out and will definitely hold your attention until the very end. Be prepared to go on a roller coaster ride as we try to find the serial killer alongside some rather fine detectives.

The author brings a unique spin to the plot with the Edgar Allan Poe messages and the patterns behind the killings. With time running out, the detectives are in a race to catch a killer and prevent more murders! This is one worthwhile read and having read this book first, I am going to now go back and read the book that came before this! I have indeed been won over and am a fan of the author’s works!

Note: This review is a part of the blog tour planned by Zooloo’s Book Tours as a part of the promotion leading up to the release of the book.

Nine Live Book Tour Poster

Zooloos Book Tours

Book Review: Princess and Country by Emmanuelle Snow

Book Blurb:

PIC2

Her love and her best friend
A passion that can’t be shared
A friendship that needs no words
A record deal that takes her all over the world.
And one fateful night that stops her world.

Country superstar Dahlia Ellis finds herself loved by both her best friend and his brother. Without leaving too many broken heart pieces behind, she must find a way to traverse through her own feelings and live her life with the one she was meant to be with, even if it means breaking a heart that loves her the most.
But life has its own game plan ready for her. Despite her best intentions, she will be sucked into a tornado of love and loss that will hurt her and the people she loves the most.

3 lifetimes…
One night will change the rest of her life
One loss will shatter everything she has ever known
And one encounter will give her the courage to dream again.

Fame, love, success aren’t enough to protect her heart from bleeding.
Will Dahlia be able to survive after everything she has ever known crashes and burns?

And just how many heartbreaks can she actually survive?

Princess and Country is the second book in this small-town, soulmate, country music romance series.

It’s full of raw emotions, sizzling moments, heat, banter, and chemistry. 

BOOK LINKS:
AMAZON USA https://amzn.to/2Up9TgC
AMAZON UK https://amzn.to/2UnMeNz

About the Author:

Smart, Sexy, and Sassy Love Stories
Emmanuelle Snow is a contemporary author of mature YA and New Adult love stories, who likes to give life to strong characters who’ll fight with all they have to reach their life goals and find their own happiness.
Emmanuelle is in love with love. Especially those complicated, deep, and passionate feelings that make a relationship extraordinary and complex, all at the same time.
In her spare time, when she’s not writing or reading, Emmanuelle likes to go on road trips—with her four kids and her own soulmate—watch movies, paint, or do some DIY, always with a cup of green tea in her hand and listening to country music.
She splits her time between beautiful Canada and the small US towns she adores.
Find all of Emmanuelle’s books here: http://www.emmanuellesnow.com/books

Author Social Media:

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/esnowauthor

Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/snowvip

Newsletter: http://emmanuellesnow.com/subscribe/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/snowemmanuelle

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/snowemmanuelle

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@snowemmanuelle

Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/emmanuelle-snow

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/snowemmanuelle

Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B094GR5ST4

Website: http://www.emmanuellesnow.com

Book link on website: http://www.emmanuellesnow.com/princess-and-country

Read an Excerpt:

My boyfriend turned to face me, and I hurried into his arms. “Princess, you’ll be amazing up there. Look at me.” I tilted my head back. “I’m so proud of you.” He tucked a strand of hair behind my ears.
I rose to my tiptoes. “I love you.”
With the pads of his fingers, he wiped the tears pooling in the corners of my eyes.
“I love you too.”
I looked around. “It’s kinda scary. All those people. The stage, the crowd—”
“Carter will be up there with you. You have nothing to worry about.”
Riley stepped next to us. “Okay, Dahlia, time to go. Ready?”
“I guess.”
Would my voice be shaky like this on stage?
Butterflies took flight in my stomach. The not-so-fun kind.
I walked away, my hand locked in Jeff’s, touching until our fingers broke apart.
Carter neared me and snaked his arm through mine. “It’s okay, Dah. I’m here. We can do this. Just follow my lead, I’ll take care of everything.”
Those words.
My pulse evened.
We exchanged a smile as Stud padded in our direction and put his arms around us.
“Let’s show them what we’ve got.” He stopped and pulled us into his embrace. “We’re kicking off our first world tour. How awesome is that? Let’s do this, motherfuckers.”
Stud’s longish stubble rapped my cheek.
“Oh yes,” Carter said as I replied, “Let’s make history.”
The lights of the stage blinded me. My heart sank down to my toes. “Seventy thousand people,” I said, mostly to myself. “Seventy thousand.”
My insides tightened. Carter said a few words to the crowd, but I registered none. My eyes drifted to the right side where Jeff stood. Did I look like a deer caught in headlights? My fingers shook. My head turned. My legs wobbled. I tried to breathe, but my lungs were closed for business.
“You can do this,” Jeff mouthed.
I swallowed the lump choking me.
Carter strummed the first chords of “Heart for Rent.” My heart leaped in my throat. Why did I agree to this? I loved our simple garage band. This, right here, was way too big for a White Crest girl like me. I shut my eyes, silencing my thundering heart. I could do this. I breathed out. My fingers played on their own. I locked my eyes on my best friend. He winked. No one was here except the two of us—and Stud. We were back in Carter’s garage, dreaming about getting fifty people to come see us play.
This—right here—was our dream.
I rolled my shoulders—chasing the tension away—rotated my neck and found my voice.

My Thoughts:

Princess and Country is a lovely romance that will tug at the heartstrings and keep you reading until the end. This is not without its share of emotions, but is a light read altogether with everything coming together eventually.

The story follows Dahlia, a singer and country superstar, her best friend Carter and his brother Jeff. When Dahlia realizes that both Carter and Jeff love her, she has a hard time finding the balance and following her heart. She has been best-friends with Carter since childhood and they sing together, they are famous together. As Dahlia struggles to keep the people she loves together in her life, we follow them on this wonderful journey of discovery.

This is a story of love, friendship that endures, second chances even. With heartbreak just around the corner, it remains to be seen how Dahlia copes with her best-friend supporting her no matter what. This is indeed a wonderful example of true friendship!

I truly enjoyed reading this book and about the characters. They are charismatic and will draw you in making you feel a part of the group. The musical aspect is interesting and I love how they embrace this. The brothers are so different from each other and yet their bond is strong. This is the kind of book that one should read on a quiet summer afternoon or to spend a lovely evening! I highly recommend the books in this series by the author. (I have started reading Carter’s story after all)

DRBT new logo

Book Review: The Christmas House by Victoria James

About the Book:

57202506._SY475_

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Victoria James is back with a heartwarming story about three generations of women trying to reconcile for the holidays.

It’s Christmas in the small town of Silver Springs which is bursting with holiday spirit. The downtown shops boast twinkling lights, and the town square features an enormous Christmas tree. Every Christmas Eve for the past fifty years, Ruby Harris, the owner of the historic B&B, The Christmas House, has opened her doors to strangers in need, showing them the compassion once denied to her.

When Ruby invites her family home for the holidays, including her two adult grandchildren, Charlotte and Olivia, she hopes they will be able to put the past behind them. However, her plans for reconciliation implode as the women unravel secrets from the past that force them to confront the impact they’ve had on their dysfunctional family. As Charlotte grows closer to Wyatt, the neighbor next door and a friend from the past, old memories resurface that the women would rather forget. they’re reminded of a man they want to forget.

As the clock inches closer to the New Year, can the magic of the season bring the family closer? Or will a surprise guest threaten their tentative truce and test newly formed bonds?

This light-hearted Christmas tale draws inspiration from Victoria James’s own historical fixer-upper, offering plenty of warmth and holiday cheer.

My Thoughts:

The Christmas House is a lovely story of a dysfunctional family, with a whole lot of secrets who come together for Christmas. This is a story of second chances, unraveling the truth and finding your peace with the past. 

The reader is introduced to Ruby, the current owner of The Christmas House and the matriarch of the family. We are told her story as flashbacks interspersed with Charlotte’s story. Charlotte and her younger sister Olivia have dealt with their father leaving (without any explanation), being left at their grandmother’s doorstep and hardly any contact with their mother. The characters are wonderful and each one has a story to tell that we discover as the story progresses.

Charlotte has grown up resenting her parents and confused about everything that has happened. In addition, she feels the loss of the one friend she has in Wyatt when he suddenly disappears from school. In the present, she turns up at her grandmother’s place only to discover that Wyatt lives here with his teenage daughter. As sparks fly, old emotions and memories surface and Charlotte has to confront her feelings. Additionally, she has to deal with the recent fallout with her younger sister and try to find middle ground to reconcile.

With everyone’s emotions running high, there are so many decisions to be taken and chances to be considered. It is not everyday that one gets to rekindle an old love which could just be the one. The story is a roller-coaster of emotions and it will make you laugh, cry and eventually be happy. New bonds are formed, old ones are renewed and a family comes together for Christmas in the hopes of reconciliation. This is definitely worth a read especially for those who believe in second chances and strong family bonds and it is happening at The Christmas House!

Book Review: The Lily Garden by Barbara Josselsohn

About the Book:

tlg

She held the letter that she had found in the garden, and noticed the distinctive curls of her father’s handwriting etched on the worn paper. Her life had already been turned upside down by one family secret, would his last words force her to leave her childhood home forever?

When Caroline left Lake Summers thirty years ago, she thought she’d never go back to the place where she lost her parents. But when she finds out that the town’s lily garden lovingly built by her mother is going to be destroyed, she knows she must return from Chicago to save it.

Caroline and her daughter Lee are welcomed home by the warm smile of her mother’s best friend Maxine, and piles of pancakes at her cozy little restaurant in town. And Caroline soon learns that she isn’t the only person invested in saving her mother’s legacy, when she meets handsome historian Aaron. As she gets to know him, strolling along the sparkling lakeshore, she can’t imagine anywhere else she’d rather be.

But then Caroline learns a terrible secret about the day her mother died. And soon the real reason Aaron is in Lake Summers comes to light. Will the truth about the people she loves force her to give up a future with Aaron, and the beautiful town that has always been in her heart?

About the Author:

barbara

Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning writer who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels include The Bluebell Girls, The Lilac House, The Last Dreamer, and her newest release, The Lily Garden. She has published hundreds of articles about family, home and relationships in national and regional publications, and also teaches novel writing at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: her husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo! Visit her online at http://www.BarbaraSolomonJosselsohn.com, @Barbara_Josselsohn_Author (Instagram), @BarbaraJoss (twitter) or Facebook.com/BarbaraSolomonJosselsohnAuthor

Amazon link: https://bit.ly/39PgndH

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful story of re-connecting with people, unravelling secrets and forging new bonds. Caroline comes back to Lake Summers with her daughter in the hope of saving the garden behind the library. This is the garden which her mother built up rather lovingly and took care of it until she passed away at a rather young age. Caroline was taken in by her mother’s best friend Maxine until her great aunt came and took her away.

Caroline is nursing a slight hatred towards her great aunt for having kept her away from Lake Summers, but as time passes, she starts to find out the truth about what really happened and all the secrets her family has kept. Reconnecting with people from her childhood, especially ones who love her and took care of her gives us a feleing of finally coming home. As Caroline and her daughter explore this place and discover their passion, the reader is taken along on a sweet journey towards a wonderful end.

The characters are well thought out and pleasant. I loved reading about Maxine and her family, the love and connection people had with the Garden and the place, Lake Summers. It is a pleasant setting that made me feel happy to be a part of it through Caroline in the end. The cherry on the top is the chance to find love and move beyond all the secrets and what ifs towards new beginnings. The author addresses these quite well in this book.

This is a pleasant read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a romance and family story.

Note: Thanks to Bookouture for having me on the blog tour!

Lily Garden Banner

Book Review: Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery by Julia Golding

About the Book:

56933218._SY475_

Jane Austen turns detective in this spooky historical adventure by award-winning author Julia Golding!

It’s 1789 and a young Jane Austen turns detective as she seeks to solve the mysterious happenings at Southmoor Abbey. When a carriage accident forces a change of plans, 13-year-old Jane is sent to be a companion to Lady Cromwell for a week as the household prepares to celebrate the eldest son’s coming-of-age party. While there, Jane vows to solve the mystery of the ghostly monk in the Abbey grounds – for she does not believe in such stories!

But this is not the only strange occurrence for the adventurous young Jane to investigate. There are shivery night-time investigations, an Indian girl with secret talents, a library fire, two prize horses in danger, and friends to save from false accusations.

With notebook in hand and her faithful dog Grandison by her side, will Jane overcome the continuous obstacles and find out the truth?

My Thoughts:

Note: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. The below review reflects my honest opinion!

This is a delightful book for young readers and fans of mystery and adventure! The reader meets a young and spunky Jane Austen who is thirteen years old. She is sent to Southmoor Abbey as a companion to Lady Cromwell for a week in place of her sister. Jane is drawn to the mystery surrounding the Abbey and the so called ghost who haunts the place. On a dare from one of her brother’s she decides to investigate and find out the truth since she does not believe that ghosts exist.

The story introduces us to a myriad of characters, including a father-daughter duo from India and Jane’s “lap” dog Grandison. There are many secrets and mysteries to be solved that eventually end up being connected. I enjoyed reading about Jane’s thoughts and experiences which the author described quite well. We are able to see some of the famous author in this young girl with her strong imagination and opinions. We also see how supportive her family is of her, encouraging her to write and share her thoughts and stories. Jane’s letters to her sister were a delight to read about and some of them had me in splits.

Though the focus moved away from the mystery of the ghost in between, the overall plot is well done and will ensure that the target audience of middle graders (as well as adults) will be hooked. The story and main character remind me of Nancy Drew and other such heroines who seek out and solve mysteries. The author has done a great job in bringing a young Jane Austen to life and I am indeed looking forward to join them on further adventures along with all the friends Jane (and enemies) Jane makes along the way! I do hope you all join the adventure too.

Book Review: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

About the Book:

41026360._SY475_

A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.

Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…

Empire of Sand is a lush, dazzling fantasy novel perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.

My Thoughts:

This debut novel by Tasha Suri is well written and gripping. Set in a world inspired by Mughal India, Tasha creates a captivating world of politics, intrigue and of course magic. Her characters are refreshing as is the concept for the plot.

The book follows Mehr as she tries to survive in her father’s household under her very watchful stepmother. Born of mixed heritage, Mehr is forbidden from talking about or openly following the customs of her mother’s people. She practices and learns in secret and is always careful to not be seen doing anything she should not. However, one foolish action leads to a series of events that define Mehr and her life thereafter. When her power is finally noticed, the Emperor’s mystics come for her with an offer of marriage.

As the story progresses, we learn a lot more about the ways of the Amrithi people, their culture and magic. They are a dying race and few have the kind of power that Mehr possesses. The author weaves an intriguing tale around this concept, taking us deep into a world of deceit and a thirst for power. With few people on her side, Mehr has to save not only herself but the entire world and set things right by the Gods.

I loved reading about the journey through the desert and the experiences of our characters. The setting is exotic and pulls the reader into a different world entirely. Overall this is a good read in the fantasy fiction genre and I recommend this for all fans!

Book Review: Guilty by Sadie Ryan

About the Book:

Guilty (1)

𝐀 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐌𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠?

𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫.

Lindy once had the world at her feet. An adoring husband, two beautiful daughters and a successful career.

In a split second, a tragic accident causes Lindy’s world to come crashing down around her.

Mia, a personal fitness trainer and glamorous wife of a local tv personality seems to have everything.  

Slowly Lindy learns more about Mia’s ‘perfect’ life and becomes convinced that they are each other’s saviours.  

As obsessions grow and the lines that shape reality become blurred, Lindy’s and Mia’s lives are now forever dangerously intertwined as personalities merge.

About the Author:

Sadie Ryan Author Photo

Sadie Ryan is the author of three books. Her latest, Guilty came out in April 2021, a psychological thriller. She loves animals and lives in leafy Cheshire in the North West of England with her daughter and rescue dog. When not writing she spends her time reading, gardening, walking her dog or watching old black and white movies.

When asked where she gets her ideas from, she says, ‘From observation, inspiration and lots of wicked thoughts.’

Follow her at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sadieryanauthor
Website : https://www.sadieryan.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/The__SadieRyan

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B092DV5QP4

Amazon USA https://www.amazon.com/Guilty-breathtaking-psychological-thriller-night-ebook/dp/B092DV5QP4

My Thoughts:

Wow! This is one interesting book and not at all what I expected the plot to be like!

Guilty is a psychological thriller that’s unlike any I’ve read before. The story is told from two different perspectives, giving the reader a glimpse into the minds and lives of each of the main characters. It took me a few chapters to grasp the concept, but once in, I was hooked until the very end. This is a rollercoaster of a journey with the craziest twists and the most unexpected turns.

Lindy, one of the main characters is troubled, sad, angry and filled with all kinds of negative emotions. Until we find out what truly happened, all we know is that she is bitter and her perfect life is not as it once was. Mia, a fitness trainer and wife of a famous TV host, seems to have it all; a perfect husband, life and everything. However, when one truly steps into the house, the reality is quite different.

The lives of these two women intersect, not exactly by coincidence and from here starts the crazy journey. Lindy inserts herself into Mia’s life, trying to befriend her it seems. It feels as though Lindy is everywhere and this even feels like she is stalking Mia. What is her interest in this couple? Why is she always seen around them? Why is she watching them?

So many questions arise and are answered as the story progresses. The characters are quite deep and as we get to know them, we start to understand why they are the way they are. In fact, as a reader and person, it is easy to sympathize with them even when they are in the wrong. Their state of mind is something that the author has done a wonderful job of capturing. When the perfection is shattered, what’s underneath brings out the monster in everyone. The author portrays this through this well crafted plot which is executed to perfection. I could not stop reading. I could not stop the horror I felt nor the sadness and all other emotions that go with this book. It is interesting to read about how the mind reacts to situations and then tries to understands them. This is a must must must read for all fans of psychological thrillers!

Tour Schedule:

Guilty Tour Poster (1)

 

Book Review: The Lost Girl of Berlin by Ella Carey

About the Book:

cover227023-medium

The truck stopped for a moment in the freezing, bombed-out street and Kate caught sight of a little girl in a ragged dress on the steps of a once-beautiful mansion. The child’s eyes were startling blue, a pair of endless pools, drawing Kate towards her…

1946, Berlin. War correspondent Kate Mancini is in Germany, reporting on the aftermath of the devastating war. For her readers back home in New York, she tells the stories of innocent families, trying to rebuild the wreckage of their lives now the soldiers have left at last. But in the Russian-held sector of Berlin on an icy winter’s day, Kate breaks all the rules, rescuing Mia Stein, a silent orphan who she fears will otherwise perish.

Together with her fellow journalist, handsome Rick Shearer, Kate manages to find a safe house for Mia before she returns to America and vows to keep in touch. Back home, the reality of post-war life for women is stark. Whilst Rick walks into his dream job, no newspaper will hire a woman. The editors laugh her out of their offices, telling her to get married and raise a family. Rick does all he can to support her, as she takes her first steps towards the new medium of television news, and their friendship deepens into something more.

Then tragedy strikes: Rick is falsely named as a communist sympathizer. He is arrested, blacklisted and faces prison.

Kate knows she must do all she can to free the man she loves. But that means returning to Germany, to seek out the little orphan girl who is her only chance at salvation. Kate and Rick saved Mia—will she help them both now? And even if Kate succeeds, freedom might never be hers when she returns home…

My Thoughts:

I requested for and received a copy of this book via NetGalley. A huge thank you to Bookouture and the author. The below review reflects my honest opinion.

The Lost Girl of Berlin is a very well-written novel that is gripping and heart-wrenching. Set in the time post WWII, we are introduced to Kate, a journalist whose interests lie in all things post war and politics. She is dedicated and a great journalist, in a man’s world, fighting to make a place for herself. The book leads us to post was Berlin where we are introduced to various other journalists from America as well as a little girl sitting on the steps of a home that is now destroyed.

As Kate sets out to save this girl and find her truth, we are also introduced to Rick, a fellow journalist who steps in to help her out. Little do they know that this small good deed will go a very long way. The author gives us a glimpse into how the war affected the countries, people and their way of life. We also get a glimpse into the mind of the average American and the impacts on their lives. With a focus on the two main characters and glimpses into their families, this story is one of resilience and strength in one o the most difficult times.

I have read a lot of stories set during the WWII, but this is the first one that focuses on the world post war. This was refreshing and enlightening. It is heart breaking to read about everything that happened, but the most is little Mia’s story. The author brings in an unexpected twist towards the end that I honestly did not see coming, but one which brings this entire story together in the end.

I think the author has done a great job in portraying the lives of women and the expectations from them in society. Kate was indeed the first woman to present her pieces on radio and later on television. It was difficult to land a steady contract and no-one wanted a woman involved in writing or talking about political things. Taking all this in stride, Kate works hard to fight for her chance, she makes tough choices and along the way finds love, family and peace of some kind.

This is a wonderful story, but one that is based on so many truths and it is definitely an emotional read! I strongly recommend this for all fans of historical fiction and history as such!

Book Review: To Marry an Earl by Karen Thornell

About the Book:

57938073._SY475_

Katherine Cartwright knows through bitter experience that true love is fiction and trust should not be bestowed easily. Now, after two unsuccessful London Seasons, her atrocious father has decided to marry her off to the highest bidder to pay for his gambling debts, ridding himself of the daughter he never wanted. A profitable deal is struck, and Kate is packed off to the home of her betrothed, an earl she has never met. Or so she believes.

When James Fenwick, the new Earl of Bowcott, learns that the girl he’s loved since childhood is being sold off like chattel, he’s determined to step in and save her. He makes an offer her father cannot refuse and insists on a proper engagement. But when Kate meets James again, her old friend cannot bring himself to admit it is him whom she is to marry. Soon, an intricate charade and a past that cannot be escaped jeopardize James’s chance at rekindling their friendship, to say nothing of winning Kate’s heart. Can love truly conquer all, or was this a match doomed
from the start?

My Thoughts:

I requested for and received a copy of this book on NetGalley! A huge thanks to the publisher and author.

This is a delightful regency romance that follows Kate and James, childhood friends who drift apart. James has his reasons which are not known to Kate who holds on to the disappointment and heartbreak. Kate does not have an easy life and we see a woman who is trying to fight for herself and stand up for herself. When her father decides to marry her off to the highest bidder, she knows that she is doomed. Little does she know that she will once again come face to face with her childhood friend and have to revisit her feelings.

James has had a hard time and coming into an earldom was highly unexpected. When he heard about Kate’s father’s decision, all his old feelings resurfaced leading to his final decision and sudden betrothal. Therein begins a series of hidden truths, misunderstandings and some life threats, that though hilarious enough, make this a highly enjoyable read.

The story is enjoyable and fun with strong characters some likeable and some who definitely get on your nerves. The author has done a great job in bringing out the contrast in characters. I love how Kate not only finds love, but also friendship and companionship among the group. She also redevelops a strong bond with her mother who finally gains the confidence to stand up to her father. This is a classic romance that is very well-written and will sweep the reader off their feet!

As Kate and James attempt to reignite a friendship (with some interesting suggestions from James’ best friends) while battling their true feelings against a picturesque backdrop, there’s nothing for the reader to do except join the adventure and fall in love!

Book Review: The Secret Angels by Smita Bhattacharya

About the Book:

♥ A slow-burn atmospheric literary mystery. With armchair travel, intriguing characters, small-town noir, and a troubled heroine. For lovers of Tana French, Veronica Mars, and Sue Grafton. ♥

Darya was meant to be in Mumbai for two months. No more.
It was going to be an ordinary study break. Just that.
Except things didn’t go according to plan.

The year before, Darya accidentally solved the mystery of her uncle’s untimely death in Goa. A year later, she finds herself embroiled in another bizarre mystery: this time at Mumbai’s quirky Chapel Road.

Darya had thought Chapel Road in Bandra was a quaint little lane when she’d decided to rent there. But she soon realizes a tragic mystery is lurking behind its peculiar charm. Three women have disappeared in the past three years, purportedly murdered by a serial killer. No dead bodies have been found and he has never been caught. And now it’s that time of year again. Who will be next?

At first, Darya is only concerned about her creepy landlords, her reticent neighbours, and her temperamental roommate and best friend, Veda. But when one of the missing girls winds up dead in a hotel room, and her roommate, Veda, disappears, Darya is spurred to find out what’s really going on.

But what if it was her life, actually, that was most in danger?

**THE SECRET ANGELS is the second book in the Darya Nandkarni Misadventure series, after KISS OF SALT**

About the Author:

Smita Bhattacharya works as a management consultant and lives in Mumbai. Her short stories have appeared in numerous Indian and international publications. Her books rank among the top Asian Literature & Fiction on Amazon. Strong female protagonists and Agatha Christie-style whodunits are her forte. Smita thrives on crime and coffee. Though she prefers cafés, she occasionally also hangs on Twitter and Instagram @smitabe.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Darya Nandkarni Misadventure series and the second book by Smita that I have read. To be honest, I have been reading the books in the reverse order (I read Who Threw Draco Down the Chimney? first), but I have still enjoyed the books so far.

In short, I would describe this book as unputdownable and intriguing!

Now on to a slightly more detailed review… 🙂

The Secret Angels is a slow-burn atmospheric mystery that takes place in Mumbai. Darya and her friend are staying there for two months and get embroiled in the mystery surrounding the street they are staying at. Three girls from the area have mysteriously disappeared over the last few years and nobody know where they are or whether they are alive. However, when one of them turns up dead, warnings flags are raised in Darya’s mind. Something fishy is going on and she feels the urge to find out what it is before someone else gets hurt.

The characters are wonderfully detailed and well thought-out. Darya has so many layers to her personality that make her immediately likeable and interesting. Veda, her best friend, is a contrast in personality is a welcome addition in portraying the subtle differences in the characters. I also enjoyed reading about the landlords of the villa at which Darya was staying.

Smita has a way with words that draws you in and keeps you reading until the very end. This is a fascinating story filled with the right amount of mystique to keep the reader hooked. As the plot thickens and the story unravels, we discover so many unexpected twists! I whole heartedly recommend this series by Smita (even though I am yet to read the first book in the series, which is now on my TBR and in keeping with my reverse read system for these books 😛 ) for all the mystery lovers out there!