Posted in Blog Tour

The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns @author_AnaJohns @harlequinbooks @tlcbooktours #bookreview #thewomaninthewhitekimono

Happy almost weekend!

Thrilled to share with you my review for this beautiful story that transported me to 1950s Japan! Thank you so much Lisa for my invitation to the tour!👘

My Thoughts

𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥. 𝐄𝐯𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞. 𝐌𝐞𝐬𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠.

Ana Johns swept me away with her words and her stunning storytelling. Two women, two countries, thousands of miles and decades of years apart, but there is something that binds them. Japan 1957 Naoko finds herself caught between love, culture, and family obligations. Naoko is 17 and her parents have arranged a marriage for her, a marriage that will help her family’s business out immensely. The problem is Naoko is in love with another man, an American soldier. Not only does this not go over well with her family, but it does not go over well with most of Japan who still sees America as the enemy in this post WWII era. But Naoko is determined to follow her heart, but how much will she lose in the process? The US, present day Tori is taking care of her ailing father when she discovers a letter full of secrets. After her dad passes away she sells his beloved Cadillac and takes a journey to Japan to find out the truth.

Beautifully told, I was completely mesmerized by Miss Johns’ writing. I know I’ve mentioned this before in a review but I find the eastern culture fascinating and I am always excited to read about this part of the world. I truly had no idea there was so much hatred towards America in Japan after WWII, but why wouldn’t there be? I could only imagine how challenging this relationship was for Naoko, although I think she was a little naïve as to what all was implied. I found her to be a bit of a contradiction she was strong and feisty, but had the innocence of a child. What she went through was horrific, and it is incredible that I have read so many books that take place in so many different parts of the world where women are subjected to similar situations. The sad thing is I’d venture to guess things like this are still going on today in certain parts of the world. While I found Naoko’s story more compelling than Tori’s, tori’s story might have been the more important one. I like how the storylines were brought together, but it sure did not end how I was hoping it would. Although there is probably more truth in tragedy.

The story seamlessly bounces between time and perspective. You will never get lost because the chapters are clearly labeled as to time and place. I really dlove the time the book spent in Japan it was so interesting. And can I just say something about these capsule hotels, I cannot imagine sleeping in one of these capsules that is only 4 feet tall? Stacked on top of each other? I’m certain I am coming across naïve or spoiled, but it just sounds very uncomfortable. Doesn’t really have anything to do with the book, Tori just stayed in one of these hotels. If I were her I would’ve stayed in one of those traditional homes turned into a hotel with steaming baths with essential oil’s, just saying. LOL all this is just to say the book was so well researched and I felt as though I was transported to Japan. Simply put this is a beautiful story full of so much culture, history, and love.

*** Big thanks to Harlequin/ Park Rowe for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

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Have a magnificent day!🌼

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity @HarperImpulse #bookreview #DeadInside

TGIF!

Excited for the weekend and excited to share my review for this wonderful debut! Thank you so much Sarah for my invitation to this tour, I enjoyed your character in the story! And thank you Noelle congrats girl!🥳

My Thoughts

ᎴᏗᏒᏦ. ᎴᎥᏕᏖᏬᏒᏰᎥᏁᎶ. ᏰᏒᎥᏝᏝᎥᏗᏁᏖ.

Noelle Holten’s debut was dark, disturbing, and brilliant. This is the first book in the DI Maggie Jamison series but it really centered on Lucy a probation officer. Three men have been murdered, three men that were convicted of domestic abuse, three men whose probation officer was Lucy sherwood. When Lucy’s own abusive husband is killed, she becomes the primary suspect. But could Lucy possibly be a killer? And is murder ever justified?

This was less of a crime investigation and more of a dark character study of abusers and the abused. Noelle worked for 18 years as a probation officer and I thought this really shown through in this book and gave it some major authenticity. Abuse is a dark and difficult subject, but I think it was handled with a careful hand in this story. I thought it was important that the book really showed you that abuse doesn’t discriminate, anyone regardless of their background or Socio economic status is vulnerable. It is easy to say why don’t you just get out, but unless you have been there I don’t think that is a fair statement. Lucy was such a complex character she had so much strength and yet was so vulnerable. Maggie is a character I am really looking forward to getting to know even better in future books.

This was a well told story with a large cast of characters. It took me a while to get all the characters straight. Additionally if you are a book blogger or follow book blogs there are lots of familiar names in this book. This distracted me and took me out of the story quite a few times in the beginning, until it didn’t. And Noelle i’m certain there is a Berit in the next book, right? Murder victim, murderer, best friend of the murderer, I’m not picky! The murder mystery in this book even though it wasn’t as prevalent as I thought it would be it was compelling and I was super surprised by the outcome. Simply put this was a compulsively readable dark tale that will have you coming back for more. Well done Noelle!

*** thank you to Harper Impulse for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Book Description:

‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela Marsons

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt

A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

About the AuthorAuthor Bio:


Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog. 
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Links:

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Have a magnificent day!🌼

Berit☀️✨