Posted in Blog Tour

Mayhem by Estelle Laure **Audiobook Review** @stmartinspress @macmillanaudio @wednesdaybooks

Happy Tuesday all!

How is life in your corner of the world? Here in California we are starting to shut things down again. It is so frustrating I just wish everyone would cooperate and follow the rules so things can get back to normal sooner than never. Thank goodness for Books!

My Thoughts

Books that make you go hmm… what a uniquely wild ride! OK so this book is marketed as a feminist mash up of The Lost Boys and The Craft. I saw The Lost Boys in 1987 when it came out. In all honesty I don’t remember much other than I really liked the soundtrack and there was some kind of supernatural element going on. In reading other reviews it appears as though a lot of this book has been A little too much like the original for peoples liking, but I can’t remember the original so that was completely lost on me. Never saw The Craft, so I have no idea if it’s anything like that at all. So now on to what I do know… Chloe Cannon narrates the audiobook and does a spectacular job! I’m going to be honest I’m not certain this book would’ve held my attention if it weren’t for the wonderful narration of Chloe. It’s not that I did not like this book, it is that occasionally I was a little lost and confused.It was kind of like reading a book through a bank of fog. Mayhem and her mom flea mom’s abusive boyfriend and return home to California. Mom is not crazy about returning home, but her sister is glad to welcome them back. Mayhem soon befriends her aunt’s foster children, but there are secrets brewing. A necklace with a bird charm, magical water, N soon the teens are attempting to save the town from a serial killer. Mayhem was a likable and unusual character. The other characters were interesting, but I always felt like there was a layer of haze between me and them. An interesting premise that didn’t necessarily work for me, but I think will work for others. Now I’m going to go listen to my Lost Boys soundtrack on cassette, of course I need to go find a cassette player.

This book in emojis 🦇 🌫 💦 🏖

*** Big thank you to Wednesday Books and Macmillan Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

MAYHEM by Estelle Laure; On-sale: July 14th, 2020

Jacket Copy: The Lost Boys meets Wilder Girls in this supernatural feminist YA novel.

It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else. 

But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. 

But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost. 

From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.

 

  • Short author bio:
    Estelle Laure, the author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back believes in love, magic, and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theatre Arts and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and she lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her family. Her work is translated widely around the world.

 

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Humor, Romance

What I’m Looking For by Karen Grey @KarenWhitereads @TheRealJoeArden #AudiobookReview

Hello book friends, I hope you are all well?

I was asked by the lovely Karen White (Pen name Karen Grey) to review this wonderful audiobook, and I’m so glad I said YES, as it was so good!!

Also, just look at that stunning cover!!!

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My Review

This book was so much fun, taking us back to the 80’s we meet the very awkward Kate Bishop, she is a financial analyst working in an all male office. She tries her best to fit in and be one-of-the-boys, but she mostly fails miserably.

She is brilliant at her job, but she has problems with speaking in front of people, and has trouble with social cues.

While trying to impress her work colleagues, she agrees to go to a social gathering at the local bar, this is where she meets Will, an actor/bartender, who notices how uncomfortable she is, and offers her a drink that won’t end up with her on the bar floor as she really doesn’t do well with alcohol.

Although these two people shouldn’t fit together they do brilliantly, Kate being her usual awkward self doesn’t immediately see the connection, while the Shakespeare spouting young Will does feel a spark.

With lots of 80’s references throughout the book, and the narration by the always brilliant Joe Arden, and the fabulous narration by the author herself, Karen Grey/White has made an instant new fan in me.

It was cute, very funny, and sometimes cringeworthy with some of the characters antics!

The audiobook was done brilliantly, and I loved the added extras such as the answering machine voicemails that were left, it made me very nostalgic.

All in all it was a great read, and I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next, I wonder if we will have a story for “hot Steve”?

**Thank you so much to Karen White/Grey for reaching out and asking me to review this book, I had so much fun listening to it**

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Synopsis

Recipe for a Boston Classic Cocktail: one part finance geek, one part starving actor, two shots of stubborn and a healthy squeeze of passion. Shake well and serve in a vintage glass.

When Kate Bishop walks into Boston’s famous Bull and Finch pub, all she’s looking for is one guy from her investment firm that she can trust to have her back—a tall order. With a salesman at her side, maybe stage fright won’t paralyze her completely when she presents her meticulously prepared research to clients. And maybe she can save her job.

Romance is the last thing on her to-do list, but a meet-cute with a Shakespeare-quoting bartender has her speculating on the value of diversifying her life portfolio.

Will Talbot is not a fan of the slick financiers who cram into his bar after each day’s closing bell. With their calls for Harvey Wallbangers and their Hermès ties, they’re all the same.

Except for a certain beautiful, buttoned-up brunette with fire in her eyes and a storm in her heart. They’re totally wrong for each other. He should be focusing on his upcoming audition, not coaching Kate on how to act like she’s a bona fide member of the Gordon Gekko club.

Problem is, they can’t seem to stay away from each other.

The course of true love never did run smooth, but in this 1980’s sweet-and-sexy rom-com, returns on love can’t be measured on the S&P 500

Purchase Links

Amazon Affiliate Link

Audible UK

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Historical Fiction, own voices, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D Jackson @WriteinBK @Harper360UK #bookreview

Hello book friends,

I hope you are all doing well and not suffering too much in this heat, us UK’ers are not used to it LOL

I am so happy to bring you a review for this stunning book

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My Review

I received this gorgeous covered book by Harper 360 and I was super excited to read it, I also wanted to start reading more books by Black Authors and Own Voices, and helping out more, so I also purchased the Audio version, so this will be a review for both!

Set in Brooklyn 1998 we follow 3 friends, Quadir, Jarrell and Jasmine.

The book starts at the funeral of Quadir and Jarrell’s best friend Steph, Jasmine is Steph’s little sister, who was shot, and murdered.

Jasmine takes herself off into Steph’s bedroom for a moment to herself, and is soon followed by the 2 boys, they then find Steph’s stash of tapes of his own music under his bed, and notebooks of lyrics.

The 3 kids are so in awe of how brilliant Steph’s music is, that they decide that the whole world needs to hear it, but how do they get it heard, especially when the artist himself is dead and they themselves are only teenagers?

Well, being in Brooklyn, the Rap scene was the place to be, and while managing to get CD’s printed and a few well-connected people to listen, they manage to get Steph’s music noticed, and by changing his name to “The Architect” they didn’t have to mention the fact that Steph isn’t around anymore.

But what happens when a big time record producer want to meet the Artist? And how were the kids to know that some of the lyrics could cause a lot of trouble for everyone?

🎧🎧

The narration for this book was by a full cast and it was fabulous, the lyrics are Rapped and very poignant for the late 90’s and also today.

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end, grab it if you can.

**Many thanks to Harper 360 for sending me a copy of this beautiful book**

Enjoy
Vicci 📚💛✨

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Synopsis

In this standalone novel, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he is still alive.

Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.

Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other

Purchase Links

Berts Books

Amazon Affiliate Link

Waterstones

Posted in Audiobook Review

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin @alisongaylin @wmmorrowbooks @harperaudio #bookreview #audiobook #neverlookback

Happy Monday everybody!

Super excited to share my review for this book today! This is probably the BEST thriller I have read this summer! ALL THE STARS for this one!🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

About Never Look Back

• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 2, 2019)

From the Edgar Award-winning author of If I Die Tonight

Reminiscent of the bestsellers of Laura Lippman and Harlan Coben—with a Serial-esque podcast twist—an absorbing, addictive tale of psychological suspense from the author of the highly acclaimed and Edgar Award-nominated What Remains of Me and the USA Today bestselling and Shamus Award-winning Brenna Spector series.

For thirteen days in 1976, teenage murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy terrorized Southern California’s Inland Empire, killing a dozen victims before perishing themselves in a fire… or did they? More than 40 years later, twentysomething podcast producer Quentin Garrison blames his troubled upbringing on the murders. And after a shocking message from a source, he has reason to believe April Cooper may still be alive. Meanwhile, New York City film columnist Robin Diamond is coping with rising doubts about her husband and terrifying threats from internet trolls. But that’s nothing compared to the outrageous phone call she gets from Quentin… and a brutal home invasion that makes her question everything she ever believed in. Is Robin’s beloved mother a mass murderer? Is there anyone she can trust?

Told through the eyes of those destroyed by the Inland Empire Killings—including Robin, Quentin, and a fifteen-year-old April Cooper—Never Look Back asks the question:

How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?

My Thoughts

BEST THRILLER of the SUMMER!!!

Alison Gaylin completely sucked me in with this tense absorbing dark story. 1976 California the Inland Empire ( fun fact is where I live). Two teenagers go on a killing spree that ends with them both dying in a fire. Present day quinton a crime podcaster is investigating these serial killers whose actions had a direct impact on his life. In the course of his investigation he happens across a film journalist living in New England who also has a tie to the story. What transpires is a tents and disturbing search for the truth. The book is told from the perspective of Quinton, Robin, and a young April Cooper (one of the teenagers). I found each of these characters perspectives unique and compelling. Aprils story was told to us in letters written to her future child, this was both chilling and endearing. Not going to lie I really liked April as well as Quinton and Robin and as things began to unravel I was shocked. This was a book that really made you question how well do you know the people in your life? Your parents? Your significant other? Your coworker? And the twists kept coming! As soon as I thought aha I got this figured out the book slammed me and said not so fast inspector Berit! This was just a brilliantly told story that kept me invested and on the edge from first page to last! If you love thrillers, books about serial killers, crime podcasts then this is a can’t miss!

🎧🎧🎧

Narrated by: Jorjeana Marie, James Fouhey

Both narrators did a wonderful job with the narration of the story. As always getting a voice to extremely well develop characters just adds another dimension to the story. You can listen to the narrator’s as they present this scripted podcast of what Quinton was working on during this book.

https://m.soundcloud.com/harperaudio_us/preview-of-never-look-back-episode-one-of-the-podcast-closure

*** Big thanks to William Morrow for my copy of this book ***

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Michael Gaylin

About Alison Gaylin

Alison Gaylin is the award-winning author of Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed and Heartless; and the Brenna Spector series: And She Was, Into the Dark, and Stay with Me. A graduate of Northwestern University and of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she lives with her husband and daughter in Woodstock, New York.

Find out more about Alison at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Dystopia, Horror

Until the end of the World by Sarah Lyons Flemming @SLyonsFleming @justjuliawhelan #Audiobookreview #PostApocalyptic

Hello book friends,

I’m super happy to bring you a review for a new series that I think is going to keep me busy for a while as I couldn’t tear myself away from it.

Sorry for being MIA for a while, Real Life bitch-slapped me in the face for a while and I kind of got stuck in a bit of a slump!

But I think I’m back and ready to make up some lost time (and reviews!)

Why did you pick it up Vicci? 

Well, I saw lots of people talking about this book in a Facebook group that I am in, and you know how I don’t like to be left out of anything!!

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Well, I have found myself a new series to binge, I can’t wait to read the next one in this series, I was on the edge of my seat for most of it.

A genre that I wouldn’t usually read was being banded around on a FB group that i am in, then I heard the narrator, Julia Whelan…..and I was invested.

I promptly bagged the who series on KU and upgraded the Audio’s for £3.47 each!!! what a bargain!

Told in the POV of Cassie, we see her in her home town of New York, there seems to be some sort of “flu” epidemic that is sweeping the city, so people are being quite cautious, but until she gets a call from her friend explaining that people are dying and there is no cure does she really start to worry.

Her friends tells her to get out of town immediately, so her and her friends try and do just that, except it turns out that the people that are dying from this epidemic, have not done being dead yet!

This was such a great story, I was so invested in all of the characters, and they were all brilliantly narrated by the awesome Julia Whelan, one of my favourite narrators, ho bought every one of them to life in my head.

This is not a gory book, there is a little gruesome talk, but nothing too bad, if you liked The Walking Dead then you will probably like this, as it is about a group of people trying to survive.

Try it, You never know, you might like it!!

Book 1 is only £2.49 on audio or free on KU, what have you got to lose?
Until the End of the World – Book 1

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About the book 

Until the End of the World
By: Sarah Lyons Fleming
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Series: Until the End of the World, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
Publisher: Podium Publishing

Cassie Forrest isn’t surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk.

Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too. This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant.

When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. And it’s a lot farther than she’d anticipated. This, coupled with Adrian’s distant voice on Safe Zone Radio and, of course, the living dead, threaten to put Cassie right back into the funk she just dragged herself out of. Survival’s great and all, especially when you have leather armor, good friends and home-brewed beer, but there’s something Cassie must do besides survive: tell Adrian she still loves him. And to do that, Cassie has to find faith that she’s stronger than she thinks, she’s still a crack shot and true love never dies.

 

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour

Rouge by Richard Kirshenbaum @stmartinspress @macmillanaudio #bookreview #rouge

Happy Wednesday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this wonderful book full of glitter, glamour, and tons of drama! Thank you so much Kelly for my invitation to the tour!💅🏻

My Thoughts

ɢʟᴀᴍᴏᴜʀ. ɢʟɪᴛᴢ. ᴅʀᴀᴍᴀ.

Richard Kirshenbaum has written an addictive fast-paced story packed with glitz, glamour, and an entire cosmetic case full of drama! Three strong, confident, ruthless women engage in the ultimate power struggle to become the queen of the beauty industry. The bulk of the story takes place in the 30s,40s, and 50s when it was very unusual for women to be major powers in the business world. Josephine, Constance, and CeeCee all break into the beauty Industry in very different ways. They all have secrets to hide and hurdles to jump. This book not only highlighted these ladies rise to the top, but the deep seeded rivalry between them. These women would stop at nothing to claw their way to the top and were NOT willing to share that top spot! All the drama and cattiness sure was fun to read about, but WOW how much easier would it have been if they could’ve all just got along! You know female solidarity!?! While I admired all these women’s tenacity, I didn’t always admire their methodology.

This book was not only entertaining, but it was also very informative. I liked all the little tidbits about how makeup evolve sprinkled throughout the story. There was also plenty of romance and scandal. These women did not leave boring lives, that is for sure! This was a fascinating fast-paced story that you’ll find completely engaging even if you are not into makeup or beauty. It really was about powerful women having to overcome societal expectations in order to succeed, and succeed they did!

🎧🎧🎧 Lauren Ezzo narrated the audio and did a stellar job! I really think she got the tone of these ladies voices spot on. She also did a really good job with Josephine’s Polish accent. Lauren made a great story even better!💄

*** Big thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Like Swans of Fifth Avenue and Truman Capote’s Answered Prayers, Richard Kirshenbaum’s Rouge gives readers a rare front row seat into the world of high society and business through the rivalry of two beauty industry icons, by the master marketer and chronicler of the over-moneyed.

Rouge is a sexy, glamorous journey into the rivalry of the pioneers of powder, mascara and rouge.

This fast-paced novel examines the lives, loves, and sacrifices of the visionaries who invented the modern cosmetics industry: Josiah Herzenstein, born in a Polish Jewish Shtlel, the entrepreneur who transforms herself into a global style icon and the richest woman in the world, Josephine Herz; Constance Gardiner, her rival, the ultimate society woman who invents the door-to-door business and its female workforce but whose deepest secret threatens everything; CeeCee Lopez, the bi-racial beauty and founder of the first African American woman’s hair relaxer business, who overcomes prejudice and heartbreak to become her community’s first female millionaire. The cast of characters is rounded out by Mickey Heron, a dashing, sexy ladies’ man whose cosmetics business is founded in a Hollywood brothel. All are bound in a struggle to be number one, doing anything to get there…including murder.

About the author:

RICHARD KIRSHENBAUM is CEO of NSG/SWAT, a high-profile boutique branding agency. He has lectured at Harvard Business School, appeared on 20/20, was named to Crain’s New York Business’s “40 under 40” list, and has been inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame. He is the author of Under the Radar, Closing the Deal, Madboy, and Isn’t That Rich? and the New York Observer’s “Isn’t That Rich?” column. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children

Buy-book link: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250225108

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Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Summer Country by Lauren Willig @LaurenWillig @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours @harperaudio #bookreview #audiobooks #thesummercountry

Happy Tuesday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this wonderful book that completely captivated me! many thanks to Trish for my invitation to this tour.🏝

About The Summer Country

 

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

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts

𝔹𝕖𝕒𝕦𝕥𝕚𝕗𝕦𝕝 𝕤𝕖𝕥𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘. 𝕃𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕪 𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕪 .

Lauren Willig will completely captivate you with this sweeping family saga. A beautiful story that spans over four decades. Steeped in family history, family secrets, and family ties. The story is set in Barbados and introduces you to two sets of characters living 40 years apart. 1850to Emily‘s beloved grandfather has passed away and left her a sugar plantation on the island of Barbados. So Emily travels from England to Barbados with her cousin Adam and his wife to check out this plantation that nobody had any idea of. What follows is Emily discovering family history and secrets with deep ties to Barbados. In 1812 Charles and Jenny find themselves in a torrid and forbidden love affair with great consequences. Two tales seamlessly woven together into one beautiful engaging story.

This book was clearly well researched and I learned something about a time and place I new little about previously. Slavery and the slave trade were a big part of life in Barbados in the early 1800s. I have to admit it was really disturbing to read about people referring to other people as their property and talking about leasing them out. The Cholera outbreak in the 1850s was not as disturbing but was equally as devastating. There was a large cast of characters in the story that took me a while to get straight, but once I did I was completely invested. The story jumped perfectly between time periods that were well marked.Lauren’s Willig’s exquisite storytelling will completely transport you to 19th century Barbados. A well told story full of interesting characters and an engaging plot. A sweeping tale that will appeal to all historical fiction lovers.

🎧🎧🎧 Micola Barber does an exceptional job narrating the audio of this book. So many accents that she completely Masters. The audio narration added another layer to this already exquisite story.

*** many thanks to Harper Audio and William Morrow for my copy of this book ***

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Amanda Suanne Photography

About Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several novels. She lives in New York City with her family.

Find out more about Lauren at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank @DorotheaFrank @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours @harperaudio #bookreview #audiobook #queenbee 🐝

Happy Monday y’all!

It is the best time of the year! Summer reading time! Excited to share my review for this charming story that made me want to pack up and move to the south and become a beekeeper! Thank you so much Trish for my invitation to this tour!🐝🐝🐝

My Thoughts

ᴄʜᴀʀᴍ. ᴡɪᴛ. ᴡᴀʀᴍᴛʜ.

Dorothea Benton Frank has crafted a delightful story bursting with the perfect amount of heart, quirk, and southern charm. Holly is 30 and she still lives at home caring for her unappreciative mother who is a bit of a hypochondriac. Holly is certain she will eventually land her dream job as a teacher at Sullivan’s Island elementary school. She is also certain that she plays an important part in the lives of the two little boys that live next-door, and a little less certain that she will ever capture their fathers heart. Not only is Holly busy taking care of others, but she is also a beekeeper. Holly not only cares for the bees, but she also has a special bond with them. Holly’s sister Leslie left the island as soon as she could needing to escape their demanding mother the “queen bee“. But there have been big changes in Leslie‘s life and she finds herself returning home. What follows is a Beautiful story about two sisters and their mother who reconnect, regroup and grow together.

Loved this book! The setting of Sullivan’s Island was so lovely. The author grew up on the island and her love and knowledge of this charming place really shown through. The characters in this book were so wonderful, so colorful, and so well-developed. I felt as though I would know them if I were to run across them walking down the street. Not only that I’d want to spend the day with them, shoot I’d even love to see those bees. And the food, can’t forget that. I’d love for Holly to invite me over for dinner and feed me some of that good old southern cuisine. Holly was a fantastic character and I loved her growth throughout the story. She was so good with Hunter and Tyler and I really adored those kids! Loved all the little bee fax that she told them at the beginning of each chapter. I really actually learned a lot about bees that I did not know. Holly‘s mom “the queen“ was a very colorful character and I really loved the direction that her character took throughout the story. Leslie oh Leslie I am still not certain about some of your choices.

This really is the perfect book to kick off your summer with! A beautiful setting, amazing characters, and a fun storyline with a lot of heart. There were several laugh out loud moments. This book certainly took a turn I was not expecting. A wonderful uplifting feel-good story that will put a smile on your face.

🎧🎧🎧 Shannon McManus is the perfect narrator for southern fiction. She does such a good job with all the voices I really love her male voice and her little kid voices as well. There is something so warm and friendly about Shannon’s voice that really adds a little something something to these heartwarming books!

*** Big thanks to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ** *

About the Book

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of New York Timesbestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank’s Carolina Lowcountry in this evocative tale that returns at long last to her beloved Sullivan’s Island.

Beekeeper Holly McNee Kensen quietly lives in a world of her own on Sullivan’s Island, tending her hives and working at the local island library. Holly calls her mother The Queen Bee because she’s a demanding hulk of a woman. Her mother, a devoted hypochondriac, might be unaware that she’s quite ill but that doesn’t stop her from tormenting Holly. To escape the drama, Holly’s sister Leslie married and moved away, wanting little to do with island life. Holly’s escape is to submerge herself in the lives of the two young boys next door and their widowed father, Archie.

Her world is upended when the more flamboyant Leslie returns and both sisters, polar opposites, fixate on what’s happening in their neighbor’s home. Is Archie really in love with that awful ice queen of a woman? If Archie marries her, what will become of his little boys? Restless Leslie is desperate for validation after her imploded marriage, squandering her favors on any and all takers. Their mother ups her game in an uproarious and theatrical downward spiral. Scandalized Holly is talking to her honey bees a mile a minute, as though they’ll give her a minute, as though they’ll give her a solution to all the chaos. Maybe they will.

Queen Bee is a classic Lowcountry Tale—warm, wise and hilarious, it roars with humanity and a dropperful of whodunit added for good measure by an unseen hand. In her twentieth novel, Dorothea Benton Frank brings us back to her beloved island with an unforgettable story where the Lowcountry magic of the natural world collides with the beat of the human heart.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Debbie Zammit

About Dorothea Benton Frank

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

Find her on the web at www.dotfrank.com, or like her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Audiobook Review

The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda @KairaRouda @harlequinbooks @harperaudio #bookreview #audiobook #theperfectdaughter

Happy Friday!

I am so ready for the weekend! And even better only two more weeks of school for my youngest, that means two extra hours of sleep/Reading time for me in the morning!🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

today I have a review for a book I absolutely LOVE! I love crazy and this book had lots of that going on and so much more! An incredible audiobook!💕

My Thoughts

ʟᴏᴠᴇ. ᴍᴇ. sᴏᴍᴇ. ᴄʀᴀᴢʏ.

Woo Hoo I love me some crazy and this book had that in spades! Jane was one of the most over the top delusional characters I’ve read in a long time, and I loved her! Now would I want to be friends with her? Probably not, but she sure was fun to read about! A year ago Jane lost her oldest daughter Mary in a tragic accident. Jane is finally coming out of her fog of grief to find that her husband David and younger daughter Betsy have been living their lives without her. Everything Jane does is for her family *cough* SO why is it that they are getting distant? Hiding things from her? Her beloved Mary would have never done this to her, she was a good girl. She was the PERFECT DAUGHTER.

The entire book is told from Jane’s point of view. It was like she was talking directly to you throughout the book. I was fortunate enough to have an audio copy of this to review and Kathleen McInerney did a stellar job! She really brought the character of Jane to life, I felt as though Jane was venting in my ear for nine hours. This book was really pretty much a major bitch fest. Like how could the world be so cruel to Jane, when she was such a fabulous person? And oh how I loved how she justified her crazy actions. There really weren’t any major twists or revelations this book was just so much fun and super entertaining!

If you love crazy as much as I do you need this book in your life! Kaira Rouda is the queen of writing delusional characters. First “The Best Day Ever” and now “the perfect daughter,” can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next! And I loved the little shout out to her previous book in this book!

*** Big thanks to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

“Will hit you right in the heart” (Bustle)
A PopSugar Best Book of Spring! 
“An exceptional psychological thriller.” (Publishers Weekly
“Compulsively readable and deeply satisfying psychological suspense.” (Christina Alger, USA Today best-selling author of The Banker’s Wife
“Leaves you wanting more.” (Liv Constantine, author of the national best seller The Last Mrs. Parrish
From the author of Best Day Ever, another gripping novel of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community, for fans of B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena. 
The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie. 
Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident, and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of antidepressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now, that’s all about to change.
It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary, and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days – and nights – at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl – dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?
The bonds between mothers and daughters and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together….

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour

The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning @KirstyManningAu @wmmorrowbooks @harperaudio @tlcbooktours #bookreview #audiobook #thesongofthejadelily

Happy Monday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this stunning story that all historical fiction lovers will devour! A huge thank you to Trish for my invitation to the tour!🌺

My Thoughts

ℭ𝔬𝔪𝔭𝔢𝔩𝔩𝔦𝔫𝔤. 𝔄𝔟𝔰𝔬𝔯𝔟𝔦𝔫𝔤. ℜ𝔦𝔳𝔢𝔱𝔦𝔫𝔤.

Kirsty Manning has written a stunning story filled with secrets, sorrow, and resilience. 1939 Vienna Austria Romy’s family realizes it is in their best interest to leave the country. But the only place that will take them in without a visa is shanghai. Shanghai is miles away, a brief respite from the war, but it isn’t long before shanghai is also impacted by WWII. 2016 Alexandra returns home to Australia from London to see her beloved grandfather before he dies. Alexandra was raised by her grandparents after her mother Sophia was killed in a car accident. Alexandra knows that her mother was adopted brought over to Australia by her grandfather and grandmother, Romy. Alexander has taken a new job in Shanghai Inn is determined to figure out where her mother came from. The only information Alexander has is a necklace, a birth certificate, a picture, and journal. Will Alexandra discover her roots? Or are some secrets best kept in the past?

This was an amazing book that introduced me to a part of history I previously had no idea about. When I think of WWII I certainly never think of China. I had no idea China took in so many Jewish refugees. I was ignorant to the tensions between Japan and China during WWII. The beauty of historical fiction is learning something that you probably otherwise would never have learned. Romy and her family have found themselves in the unfortunate position of leaving one horrible situation to find themselves in the midst of another. I once again was completely in awe of the resilience of people.

The characters and the setting of this story completely popped off the pages. Kirsty Manning has seamlessly woven together the present and the past in this compelling tale. Both timelines completely captivated me and all these characters stole my heart. The friendship between Romy and Lee was so beautiful to read about. I loved how we really got to learn about the Chinese culture through Romy’s eyes. I found the Chinese medicine fascinating. Romy was such an authentic character, my heart broke for her with some of the letters she wrote to her brother Daniel back in a work camp in Austria. I was so curious as to what the secret was she was keeping from her granddaughter Alexandra, and what her motivations were. Alexandra was also an intriguing character. I loved discovering the past right alongside her. And I love the little bit of romance she had going on with John.

A beautiful story brimming with family, friendship, and culture. This is not a short book, but it went so quick I was so riveted by the story and I just needed to know what the secret was. I also am completely intrigued by all eastern cultures and just love getting to know more about them. Simply put this was an evocative story that all fans of historical fiction will completely devour.

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook is narrated by Saskia Maarleveld who in my opinion is one of the absolute best! There are so many accents in this book and she nailed them all! She gave each character their own distinct voice and I never was confused as to who is narrating the story. A stellar job!

*** Big thanks to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of this book **

About the Book

“Kirsty Manning weaves together little-known threads of World War II history, family secrets, the past and the present into a page-turning, beautiful novel.”— Heather Morris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A gripping historical novel that tells the little-known story of Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai during WWII.

1939: Two young girls meet in Shanghai, also known as the “Paris of the East”. Beautiful local Li and Jewish refugee Romy form a fierce friendship, but the deepening shadows of World War II fall over the women as they slip between the city’s glamorous French Concession district and the teeming streets of the Shanghai Ghetto. Yet soon the realities of war prove to be too much for these close friends as they are torn apart.

2016: Fleeing London with a broken heart, Alexandra returns to Australia to be with her grandparents, Romy and Wilhelm. Her grandfather is dying, and over the coming weeks Romy and Wilhelm begin to reveal the family mysteries they have kept secret for more than half a century. As fragments of her mother’s history finally become clear, Alexandra struggles with what she learns while more is also revealed about her grandmother’s own past in Shanghai.

After Wilhelm dies, Alexandra flies to Shanghai, determined to trace her grandparents’ past. Peeling back the layers of their hidden lives, she is forced to question what she knows about her family—and herself.

The Song of the Jade Lily is a lush, provocative, and beautiful story of friendship, motherhood, the price of love, and the power of hardship and courage that can shape us all.

About the Author

Kirsty Manning grew up in northern New South Wales, Australia. She has degrees in literature and communications and worked as an editor and publishing manager in book publishing for over a decade. A country girl with wanderlust, her travels and studies have taken her through most of Europe, the east, and west coasts of the United States as well as pockets of Asia. Kirsty’s journalism and photography specializing in lifestyle and travel regularly appear in magazines, newspapers, and online. She lives in Australia.

Find out more about Kirsty at her website, and connect with her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Have a stunning day!🌺

Berit☀️✨