Book Review: The Girl I Used to Be by Heidi Hostetter

Synopsis:

In her years of acting the perfect wife to Marc, Jill had built walls around herself so high that nobody could reach her. Now she has no money, nowhere to live and a future as uncertain as it was the day Marc first asked her—the shy, trusting new assistant—to lunch. Jill hadn’t known then what sort of man he really was…

When Jill Goodman’s picture-perfect marriage implodes, she’s heartbroken. Still reeling from the shock, the only thing she receives in the hasty divorce settlement is the deed to her husband’s sprawling beach house on the New Jersey shore. Overpriced, with a dark history and a crippling mortgage far outside her means to pay—the house is a symbol of everything Jill’s lost. She hates the sight of it, but knows she must face it if she’s to move on.

With no other choice, Jill travels to Dewberry Beach intending to sell the house quickly—but the task is not as easy as she expects. Still, she can’t help but be charmed by the little town’s leafy streets, sweetly old-fashioned ways and even the unexpected attentions of a handsome local with dark eyes and a teasing smile. For the first time, she can see a path back to the girl she was before she met her husband…

Then Jill dives deeper into the house’s dark past and Marc’s part in it, and she stumbles across a terrible secret that changes everything. Torn between the right choice and the easy one, Jill realizes the key lies with her ex-husband. But he would do anything to keep the truth from coming to light…

An emotionally gripping read that will keep you turning the pages late into the night, perfect for fans of Amanda Prowse, Elin Hilderbrand and Diane Chamberlain.

Purchase links:

Amazon: https://bit.ly/3aWKrUe 

Apple: http://apple.co/2NbAdqV 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ZjYuy1 

Google: http://bit.ly/3b9TSjx

Author bio:

Heidi Hostetter is a proud Jersey Girl, born and raised. Growing up, she spent summers at her grandparents’ house on the shore, in a town much like the one she writes about in her novels, and it was idyllic. The New Jersey shore has a culture all its own, where every magical thing can be found: sparklers on the beach, fireflies at night, and whole days swimming in the ocean. 

She went to college in South Carolina and found inspiration for her Lowcountry Novels. After graduation, she moved to the Pacific Northwest where she developed an appreciate the rain. Trips to the Oregon coast inspired her award-winning Inlet Beach novels. She and her family have recently moved back across the country, to the DC-area, where history is everywhere. They live in a one-hundred-year-old house that’s definitely haunted and feels like inspiration for a really good story.

When she’s not writing, you can probably find her digging in her garden or poking around old houses for inspiration. She loves the beach, a good podcast, and is always up for a trip to a bookstore, no matter how far away.

Heidi is currently at work on her new novel. She shares office space with a labradoodle named Emmett who keeps are careful watch for errant squirrels foolish enough to wander into his yard. She loves to hear from readers and answers all her own mail. You can find her here:

Author Links:

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

Facebook Reading Group: facebook.com/groups/636728933179573

Goodreads: Goodreads.com/HeidiHostetter

Instagram @LoveTheShore_

Twitter: @HeidiHostetter

Website: HeidiHostetter.com

My Thoughts:

This review is a part of the Book Release Blog Tour by Bookouture.

The Girl I Used to be is the first book by the author that I have read and I must admit that I am absolutely blown away! At first while reading the book, the first few chapters made me form certain assumptions about how the story would progress. When we reach midway through the book, the author throws out everything with a few twists forcing the reader to rethink their assumptions! This was amazing!

The story follows Jill who we think is happily married to Marc, almost twenty years her senior. She changed her life, her style and everything for him until one day when everything shatters. From there on, we see the strength and resolve Jill has as she deals with a divorce and mortgage on a house she demanded for in a calculated move. However, going to Dewberry Beach is perhaps the best thing she does. With the intention to sell the house as soon as possible, she immerses herself in the town and falls in love with it. Once she hears what people think of the house and she realizes what Marc did to obtain the land, she sets out to try and make things right. In addition, she gets a chance to explore her passion for photography.

This is a story of rebuilding and of finding oneself. It is a story of strength and determination as well as community who come together. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the characters and their lives which the author has brought out very well. The description of the beach and it’s view from the house, the lives of people there is amazing and will make the reader want to visit the place!

This is a wonderful summer beach read that can be finished in one sitting. It is an emotional rollercoaster with some kind of a happy ending that will ensure the reader falls in love with the book and the places!

Guest Post: Digging into My Roots by author Sverrir Sigurdsson

It has been a long time since I had the pleasure of hosting an author on my blog. I am pleased to restart the same by hosting author Sverrir Sigurdsson as he talks about the events leading up to his memoir, Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir.

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About the Book:

This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance toward North America. The country’s post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icelander’s success. Spurred by this favorable wind, Sverrir answered the call of his Viking forefathers, setting off on a voyage that took him around the world. Join him on his roaring adventures!

Link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MDMRM66

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Guest Post by Sverrir Sigurdsson

A memoirist is supposed to depend mostly on his memory.  But when I started writing my memoirs, I felt what was stored in my brain wasn’t enough.  To get to the bottom of who I was, I needed to burrow into the consciousness of the people I came from. 

My dad had researched the family tree of my maternal grandmother and traced it all the way to our ancestors who lived in Sognefjord, Norway in the late seventh century.  In other words, I’m a descendant of the original Vikings who left Norway for Iceland in protest over King Harald the Beautiful Hair’s efforts to unify the country.  My ancestral pantheon includes Erik the Red and his son, Leif Eriksson the explorer.  But names alone weren’t enough; I wanted to know these people, how they lived, what they did in life, and what they were made of. 

I started by digging into my grandparents’ stories.  My maternal grandmother was no stranger to me as she lived with the family until she died.  She was as gentle as a lamb with me, but she had to have the heart of a lioness to face down the tragedy of losing her husband and son in one fell swoop and continue to raise her four other children.  The other three grandparents, however, had passed away before I was born. 

Since I was located in the US, I was worried that accessing material for my memoirs might pose a challenge.  To my delight, the internet brought the world to my fingertips.  My first seminal find happened while browsing the online catalogue of the Icelandic National Library.  My Uncle Óli’s name appeared in a cultural heritage project conducted by the library some years ago.  I emailed the librarian, who promptly sent me the digitized cassette tapes of his interview.   I clicked on one of the files, and there was my long-dead uncle speaking to me in his gravelly voice.  In the interviews, he describes life as a seaman fishing the rough seas around Iceland.  Having started his maritime career at the age of ten, the working age of Icelandic children in those days, he had plenty to tell.  His words fill five hours of recording.

His accounts also shed light on his father, my grandfather.  He was a self-made man who started as an orphaned farmhand and ended as skipper of a lucrative fishing vessel called Gyða.  One day in 1910, his ship disappeared during a storm.  Forty some years later, the ship’s mast was recovered from the bottom of the fjord, but none of the remains of the skipper, his first-born son and the other six crew members have been found.  Uncle Óli would have gone down with them if he hadn’t stayed behind to take a school leaving exam that day.

On another internet search, I stumbled on the digitized logbook of Gyða’s first captain, the one before my grandfather.  The log is typically terse and dry, recording the weather, the catch, and the ship’s location, which could reach as far north as the Polar Circle.  Some entries are more interesting than others, and here is one: 

“A flu epidemic ravaged the town that winter.  By the time Gyða set sail, three men had come down with the flu, and a fourth would join them by the time they reached the fishing grounds.  Despite good weather and an abundance of fish, the lines were idle because all but the skipper and one crew member were in bed, delirious with fever.  When the skipper finally succumbed to the flu, some of the other patients had recovered sufficiently to execute the sailing chores.  A few days later, the crew was still weak but well enough to resume fishing.  However, the bait, herring, had gone bad because the ice had melted while they were ill.”

I struck a goldmine on the website www.timarit.is . Until recently, accessing newspaper articles in Icelandic papers would have been a formidable task.  But a few years ago, the University of Iceland and the National Libraries of Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland joined hands to digitize every newspaper article and periodical printed from the beginning of news publishing in the 1800s until today.  To date, almost six million pages of searchable text are available to anyone for free at the site.

A story about my father’s side of the family came from an unexpected source—a Canadian newspaper that serves the Icelandic diaspora in North America.  This heroic tale of devastation and salvation took place during the exceptionally long and cold winter of 1880-1881.  Runólfur, a farmer in northeast Iceland, was then old and infirm.  He foresaw a shortage of hay in spring and asked for help from farmers in a nearby valley where the weather was milder.  They came to his rescue, sheltering and feeding his sheep until early May.  Assuming the winter was over, they sent the sheep back.  But shortly after, snowstorms hit Runólfur’s farm again, dumping four feet of snow, which quickly turned into a solid sheet of ice.  The neighboring farmers rallied once again.  They crossed the snow- and ice-covered mountain pass on foot and skis and herded the sheep back across the pass.  To keep the starving sheep moving, the rescuers carried on their backs sacks of hay, which they emptied now and then to entice the sheep to go on.  They did the trek not once but twice in order to get all the sheep, horses, and cows, as well as people to safety.  My grandfather, Runólfur Hannesson, born in 1867, was the nephew of his namesake in the above story.

These people and their stories were never far from my mind when I wrote Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir.  Their endurance kept the nation going until conditions were ripe for Iceland to prosper.  To them I owe my golden childhood and the superb education that equipped me to compete in the world.  The spirit of these same people egged me to pursue an architecture degree in Finland and from thereon to adventures around the world.  To them I owe my fortune, not in monetary terms but in the wealth of experiences gathered from the places I visited and people met.  Vikings traveled the world to seek their fortune; I’ve indeed found mine.

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Book Review: The Billionaire’s Mask by Margarette Grey

About the Book:

“I am a monster, Miss Hart. You wouldn’t want nor wish to see me…”

He is mysterious and brilliant, wealthy and prominent, but no single person has seen him in person. Well, no one should see him—that’s one of his many rules. No one can touch him either; that’s also another rule.

Except for me because I have broken every rule.

Now I’m extremely drawn to him. His peculiarity is out of this world, and his beauty is beyond physical.
But the Master has demons of his own and is being chased by his brutal past. Suddenly, we’ve become the reflection of each other’s nightmares. I realize that the Master and I are not so different.

Is this newly found bond just another uncertain fate that could deepen our wounds, or is it finally going to be our redemption?

My Thoughts:

The first time I came across this book was on Wattpad. While scrolling for new books to read, I came upon this title and something about it and the cover grabbed my attention. I devoured the book in one night and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The moment I found out that this book is due for release, I jumped at the chance to talk about it!

This story follows Alayna as she takes up a job in the house of Brandon Lucien, mainly referred to as “the Master”. There are rules to be followed in the house, but as we discover, the phrase “rules are meant to be broken” speaks true. The author brings to us amazingly well developed characters with depth and pasts full of secrets. As we discover each one, we are exposed to trauma, hurt, loss and so much love.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and fell in love with the characters as much as I did the story. Brandon is your typical brooding man with a hidden past and the fact that he himself stays hidden from the world adds to the mystery. He allows only two people to meet him or be around him, that is until Alayna turns up. Slowly she begins to break down his walls and bring light into his dark life.

This story reminded me of The Beauty and The Beast, but had it’s own unique spin to it. The author has done a wonderful job with this book ensuring that the readers are hooked until the very end. Honestly? I am excited and cannot wait to read the next books and to follow our beloved characters further!

Book Blitz: The Hollow World by Tracy Auerbach

The Hollow World
Tracy Auerbach
(Fragments, #3)
Publication date: February 2nd 2021
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

The time has come for Kai and her friends to make a final stand, and as the war begins, everyone must choose a side. But with the lines between good and evil more blurred than ever, Kai has to stick with her convictions and follow her heart. Kai’s first priority is to free Finn from the clutches of Tessa Raven, who has become no better than the evil she once fought against.

As Kai reluctantly turns against the people she once considered her closest friends, she becomes entangled in a struggle with a mysterious new power that threatens to destroy what is left of Finn and change everything she thought she knew about the planet.

Meanwhile, Charlie and Aric remain behind and help Raven breach the underground world of the Science Council. All bets are off as they prepare to cross every line and burn every bridge in an attempt to claim the world that has abused them for too long.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

Too many missing coefficients.

Raven ran her ungloved hand over the smooth, cool metal of the missile. She needed it to shatter the barrier—opening the way down so that she could destroy the Science Council. She knew enough about terminal ballistics to be able to calculate its exact impact on the crystal tube that led to the Science Council’s underground lair when it struck. The only problem was that the makeup of the tube was so unique…

“It’s a thing of beauty, Raven,” Sayers commented. He stared at her hungrily from his spot amongst her people, seeking approval.

“Yes, it is,” she offered, and he smiled.

“The only problem is, because the substance we’re striking has never been studied, there’s no way to tell if it will work without testing it. Our likelihood for success is still low.” She glanced around the interior of the Dome of Artifacts, taking in the relics from the original Earth with an appreciative eye. “And I’m not willing to risk destroying all of these artifacts by blowing up the whole place when the chance of it failing to destroy the tube is unacceptably high.”

Her soldiers stood around her, silent, waiting for her suggestions. She’d been trying to puzzle this out for three weeks, and the answer was painfully obvious: a last straw plan. And yet, she hesitated, because there was a small part of her that wanted to try every other possible scenario before resorting to what she knew would work, even though she knew that wasn’t logical.

Damn my weakness.

“We’ll need something softer,” she said at last. “Something that will turn to mush on impact rather than ricocheting off the crystal and taking out this whole place. Also, we’ll need something much bigger… heavier.” She scrutinized the crystal tube housing of the elevator platform that had, thus far, been impossible to penetrate.

“Would you like us to try crafting a hollow missile that’s twice this size?” asked Larson. “We’d have to melt this down first.” He gestured toward the missile they’d taken three weeks to craft and painstakingly calibrated.

“No.”

The time to divulge her last straw plan was now. She knew a missile wouldn’t work. A rain of bullets wouldn’t work. But she happened to have a special tool—a former friend who could run at the speed of a bullet and who was close to two hundred pounds.

A human body hitting the tube at that speed would spread adequate weight over a large enough surface area to crack open the entryway to the Science Council’s underground world like an egg. Also, a body would explode upon impact, resulting in a mostly liquid byproduct, causing minimal damage to the artifacts.

Finn’s sacrifice would save the planet.

Author Bio:

Tracy Auerbach is an author of science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. As an avid reader with a vivid imagination, she chose to study film, English, and education, and went on to teach and write STEM curriculum for the New York Department of Education. This helped to polish her writing skills and ignite her passion for science fiction and fantasy.

Her first scholarly article, published in Language Magazine, was about the value of active, creative learning in science.
On the fiction side, Tracy’s work has been featured in the online literary journal Micro-horror, The Writing Disorder fiction anthology, and the “(Dis)ability” short story anthology, in addition to her novels.

When she is not teaching or writing, Tracy is usually reading or spending time with her family. She lives in New York with her husband and sons.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

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Book Review: The Newlyweds by Arianne Richmonde

About the Book:

The Newlyweds

One marriage. One lie. Two sides to the story.

The moment Vivien meets Ashton, she knows she will be his wife and absolutely nothing will stop her.

Powerful, rich and from a good family, Ashton is everything Vivien is not. So, she molds herself into Ashton’s perfect soulmate.

Pouring his favorite vintage wine, whispering ‘I love you’ over dinner in front of friends and biting her tongue when she disagrees with him are simple sacrifices for the perfect marriage she has always craved.

When people begin to notice the bruises on her cheek, she holds their stares. There is no cry for help from Vivien. She simply keeps her mouth shut and lets the gossip continue.

If you saw Vivien nursing a black eye, you might be forgiven for thinking what everyone else does – that she is the victim in her marriage, but you’d be wrong. Vivien and Ashton’s life together is much more complicated than that. You will never guess the true story behind Vivien’s undying devotion to her husband. Nor could you possibly predict what she does next…

Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Behind Closed Doors and The Perfect Couple. If you enjoy reading twisted psychological thrillers with bags of suspense, then you’ll love The Newlyweds from USA TODAY bestselling author Arianne Richmonde.

My Thoughts:

The Newlyweds is a psychological thriller that follows the life of Vivien and Ashton as they transition into life as a newly married couple. Vivien is seen trying to fit into society and uphold her name as the perfect wife to Ashton. As the story progresses, we get pulled into the narration assuming that Ashton is abusive in the marriage. But no way! After building this narrative, the author starts to pull apart the plot and reveals so much more that is happening underneath.

As the real story emerges, the reader is in for a roller coaster ride filled with lies and deception. Noone is as they seem and everything we learn is a lie. The author has done an amazing job with the plot line and narration, making us like some characters, dislike some and then completely change our minds about the entire set of characters. For every plan, there is a master plan and then another one.

Though some parts of the plot line didn’t make sense or fully fit in, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was truly shocked by some of the revelations. I would never have guessed at anything that happened. This is the beauty of the story telling and I highly recommend this book for fans of psychological thrillers!

Cover Reveal: The Right Kind of Wrong by Shilpa Suraj

 

He’s dangerous, damaged and doomed but he’s hers…

With no name, no medical history, multiple gunshot wounds and enough security to rival the Prime Minister’s, Dr Aria Dubey’s new patient is something more than she asked for. And everything she might just need.

Intelligence Officer Karan Bhatnagar has only vengeance on his mind. Nothing will stop him from seeking justice for his murdered parents. 

Not even almost losing his own life. And certainly not the doctor who healed but couldn’t save him. The woman he can’t afford to fall for. And the killer’s next target.

There’s only one thing left to do…find the killer and end him before he ends them. Will Karan and Aria risk everything for a love that is all kinds of wrong? And yet, is the right kind of wrong.

 
Releasing on 26th January!
 
 
About the Author:

 

 

Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

 

 

 

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter

 

Book Review: Forever Your Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas #12) by Erica Ridley

About the Book:

Forever Your Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas,#12)

This year, the Duke of Nottingvale’s Christmastide house party doubles as a bride hunt. The handsome duke seeks a blue-blooded debutante as respectable as he is, and his parlor is brimming with paragons of propriety.

Inveterate spinster and unapologetic hoyden Miss Cynthia Louise Finch does not fit the mold. Any mold. Her younger cousin is perfect for the duke! By matchmaking the two, Cynthia will save her favorite cousin from a horrific fate. The only problem? Cynthia has always held a tendre for the duke. And for the first time, she seems to have caught his attention…

The Duke of Nottingvale knows his responsibilities: Duty and decorum above all else. A respectable lord would never sneak away for stolen moments with a fearless, audacious minx he cannot make his duchess. He definitely wouldn’t kiss her. Or fall in love…

My Thoughts:

The final book in the 12 Dukes of Christmas Series, Forever Your Duke is short and simply gorgeous! The basic theme of the story is to follow your heart inspite of Duty. This is a quick read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Set in a time when women have to be proper and behave a certain way, Miss Cynthia Louise Finch is exactly the opposite. Now declared a spinster according to the general public, she has chosen to be the way she chooses and to ignore the expected conventions. Charged with trying to pair her cousin with the Duke of Nottingvale, she ends up in even more trouble than she expected having caught his attention. all hell breaks lose as the story progresses, with Cynthia Louise attending the parties at the Duke’s house as well as all the events the village has to offer.

Cynthia is a ray of sunshine and a ball of energy. I like how she interacts with her cousin with love and tenderness and they share a mutual respect. The story is on point, focusing on how Cynthia and the Duke navigate their way around each other, where Cynthia even gets a chance to push the Duke out of his comfort zone and spend some time with her in the village. All things considered, this definitely has the makings of a scandal!

A Christmas time romance read, this book is wonderful for a quick break from a busy day with a nice mug of coffee or hot chocolate!

Book Review: Wedding Bells on Victory Street (The Bryant Sisters #2) by Pam Howes

About the Book:

Wedding Bells on Victory Street (The Bryant Sisters #2)

From Amazon bestseller Pam Howes comes a heartbreaking World War Two novel about a young woman trying to make the best of history’s darkest hour. Is a happy ever after impossible?

Liverpool, 1943. For Bella Rogers, life is looking up. She loves performing with The Bryant Sisters, the singing trio who have become the country’s sweethearts, putting a smile on the faces of the brave boys fighting the Nazis. But then tragedy strikes when a telegram arrives: Bella’s beloved father has been killed in France.

Unlike her poor Mam, Bella has someone to share her grief with. Her childhood love Bobby is home from the war. He lost a leg but she counts her blessings every day that he’s alive when so many young men haven’t made it back. Bella longs to give her heart to Bobby but she is hiding a secret that may change their lives forever. Will he still love her if she reveals the truth?

But when bombs screech down on Victory Street in the middle of the night, blowing houses apart, Bella may lose both the home she loves and the family who mean everything to her. With so much loss around her, will Bella be brave enough to snatch her chance of happiness? And when the war is finally over, will wedding bells ring out on Victory Street again?

An utterly unputdownable, heart-wrenching historical novel that will have you completely hooked from page one. You’ll lose yourself in this gorgeous wartime story of love, loss and family secrets. Perfect for fans of Wives of War, Nadine Dorries and Nancy Revell.

My Thoughts:

Wedding Bells on Victory Street is Book 2 in The Bryant Sisters series. I am glad that I was approved a copy of the book via NetGalley.

The story follows the Bryant Sisters as they travel the country during WWII, providing entertainment for the troops. I directly read this book without having read the first one, but it did affect the story for me. I was able to easily connect with the main characters and follow their journey in this book. The story revolves primarily around Bella and her family, her relationships with the other girls who form the Bryant Sisters as well as Bobby, her childhood love. The story is well-written and flows so well that I finished the book in one sitting.

The setting of the story is heart-wrenching with death and uncertainty looming over all the characters. I loved how Bella’s Mother and sister stepped up to help her and how the entire community who lived in and around Victory Street band together to support each other. As the war progresses, the characters learn to rely on themselves and one another to move forward. The author has done a great job with the story, the settings and the characters are adorable.

This is a love story set in the time of WWII and it brings to us a feeling of hope for the characters and a feeling of joy in spite of all the sadness. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to everyone!

Book Review: Across the Lake (Lake to Coast Book 2) by Nancy LiPetri

I was provided with a copy of the book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Book:

Across the Lake (Lake to Coast Book 2)

In this sequel to The Wooded Path, the character you least expect to return is back, experiencing lake life a whole new way. She’s pushing boundaries. Not worried about fitting in. And she can’t believe what she discovers. The second book in the Lake To Coast Series, it reveals more secrets in the close-knit community on Lake Norman and also takes readers through Spanish moss and salt spray to the famed Outer Banks of North Carolina. Will Kat find what she’s looking for, on Ocracoke Island?

My Thoughts:

Across the Lake introduces the reader to Kat, an interesting person, seemingly in the middle of a mid-life crisis as she comes to stay at a cottage off Lake Norman. Trying to make sense of her life and thoughts, her relationships and feelings, Kat seeks to spend some time away from her husband and daughters while she gathers her thoughts.

It took me some time to really get into the story, but once I caught on, the journey was interesting. My favourite friendship of all was the one between Kat and her twenty year old neighbour Hailey. Hailey’s out look towards life brought in a different perspective and she also learnt a lot from Kat. This give and take friendship is something I enjoyed reading about.

It is refreshing to read about a character who is in her forties and is dealing with issues that people can relate to. As Kat tries to figure out her life, she meets a lot of interesting people and has some interesting experiences. The friendships formed and the bonds developed help to guide her and change her. The author beautifully describes the locations and eclectic mix of people who play a part in this journey of self-discovery and self-love. It is okay to change as change is inevitable, but it is necessary to accept and adapt accordingly. I think this is something that stood out to me while reading this story!

Overall this is an enjoyable and stress-free read!

Book Review: A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Sabaa Tahir

The most anticipated finale to the Ember Quartet is now available! Having read the first three books in the series earlier this year, I was excited (and a little impatient) to know what happens finally. Even though I am yet to review the first three books on my blog, I will start off with my review of Book 4!

Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts or links to your reviews on this post! I would love to discuss the book with all Sabaa Tahir fans out there!

About the Book:

A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4)

Prepare for the jaw-dropping finale of Sabaa Tahir’s beloved New York Times bestselling An Ember in the Ashes fantasy series, and discover: Who will survive the storm?

Picking up just a few months after A Reaper at the Gates left off…

The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.

At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.

Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.

And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.

My Thoughts:

A Sky Beyond the Storm is the conclusion to the epic Ember Quartet, a tale that began with an introduction to characters who have become beloved to us! We have gone on long journeys with them through this series and Sabaa Tahir does a brilliant job bringing everything together in this epic conclusion.

We have Laia of Serra, our fighter, survivor and Scholar. The Soul Catcher, formerly known as Elias Venturia, a former Mask who spends his time passing on the ghosts of the dead and trying to forget his former life. The Blood Shrike is a formidable character and even though she has many rough edges, it is easy to see how honor and duty as well as family are important to her. Keris Venturia, Elias’s mother, but now the self-declared Empress, wrecks havoc and leaves a string of bodies wherever she goes. Strong as she is, she is an enigma until her story is finally explained in this book. Finally, the Nightbringer, aligned with Keris for his own reasons, he helps to bring about death and destruction. His end game? Well that is something we find out in this final book!

The story brings all the characters together slowly as they allign, formulate plans to work together and try to win. Each has their own agenda and feelings or non-feelings as we have seen in the previous books, but one common thread holding all of them is love. The ability to care and love can make anyone do things beyond their expectation or imagination. We also have our favourite characters, Harper, Darin, Musa and some very unexpected characters make appearances and help carry the story along. Of course, not everyone can reach the finish line and some of the character deaths are devastating.  There are moments of joy that make us smile and as the war progresses, a lot of the parallel story lines become clear and come to their own conclusions. There are no loose ends in my opinion.

This is a story of loss, yes a lot of it, sadness, hatred, but also understanding and forgiveness. Knowing a person’s Kehanni will help to understand who they are and why they are the way they are. The author weaves a magical and spell-binding tale keeping the reader enthralled until the very end. This is a fitting conclusion and culmination of the events that happen across all the books in the series!