Posted in Book Birthday, Book Review

The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis @berkleypub #bookreview #bookstabuddieread #thevanishedbride

Happy Tuesday all!

So excited to share with you today my review for this compelling historical mystery featuring the Brontë sisters. This was also part of a great buddy read that I participated in with a bunch of my friends on Bookstagram! Reading is so much fun when you discuss itwith others!🕵🏻‍♀️

My Thoughts

Bella Ellis has crafted a clever and atmospheric tale that will transport you to 1845 Victorian England. This was a captivating historical Mystery featuring the Brontë sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. The story takes place before the Brontës wrote their classic masterpieces and Inc. there curious, clever, and dynamic personalities. There was also much foreshadowing of their future famous works. It was so impressive how creative Miss Ellis was with her approach to the story. So well written and researched it completely captured the essence of this time and place as well as these characters. And it was a brilliant mystery to boot.

The story starts off with the Brontë sisters finding themselves all under the same roof for the first time in a long time. Then two things happen their friend Matilda’s mistress has disappeared leaving behind a pool of blood, and there is an article in the newspaper about male detectives. Always willing to live outside the norm the sisters decide to head to the scene of the crime and do some detecting of their own. The mystery was interesting, intriguing, and well plotted. I read this book as part of a buddy read and none of us had it all figured out. Always great to have a surprise ending, but even better when it is not out of left field. There were definitely clues and hints leading up to the ending I just didn’t clue into them. This was an extremely well executed historical mystery and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

This book in three emojis: 🕵🏻‍♀️ 💍 🔥

*** Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Before they became legendary writers, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë were detectors in this charming historical mystery…. 
Yorkshire, 1845. A young wife and mother has gone missing from her home, leaving behind two small children and a large pool of blood. Just a few miles away, a humble parson’s daughters – the Brontë sisters – learn of the crime. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified and intrigued by the mysterious disappearance. 
These three creative, energetic, and resourceful women quickly realize that they have all the skills required to make for excellent “lady detectors.” Not yet published novelists, they have well-honed imaginations and are expert readers. And, as Charlotte remarks, “detecting is reading between the lines – it’s seeing what is not there.” 
As they investigate, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are confronted with a society that believes a woman’s place is in the home, not scouring the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril…

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Review

Well Met by Jen DeLuca @berkleypub #bookreview #wellmet

Happy Monday all!

Super excited to share with you today my review for this AMAZING book! I think this is truly the best romcom I’ve read all year!🌹

My Thoughts

Best romcom I’ve read this year!!!

I loved absolutely everything about this book! Jen DeLuca stole my heart with this charming romance. Emily’s life has kind of fallen apart so when her sister April needs her help she sees it as a perfect opportunity to regroup, her intention was never to stay in small town Maryland. It also was not part of her plans to spend her summer volunteering at a Renaissance Fair. But when her 14-year-old niece needs a parent to supervise her volunteering she feels forced. Also volunteering will give her the opportunity to see Mitch the hot gym teacher in a kilt, that is if she doesn’t get fired from her volunteer position by the uptight Simon. After many Saturdays of rehearsal it is finally time for the fair opening and who is that hot pirate in those tight leather pants? Oh no it cannot possibly be Simon! Ah but it is Captain Ian Blackthorn (Simon’s alter ego) and he is quite fond of Emma (Emily’s alter ego) the tavern wench. I’m certain you know where this is going and let me tell you what it was so much fun getting to that delicious HEA!

Emily was such an amazing character, she had such a generous heart and a beautiful spirit. The chemistry between Emily and Simon was undeniable and the banter was divine. The renaissance Fair offered the perfect backdrop to the story. This really actually surprised me I am not a big Renaissance fair person, never been to one, never want to go to one, but I was completely intrigued with the goings-on at the fair. I think it really showcased the sense of community in this small town in Maryland, and added a little extra sparkle to the story. All the secondary characters were delightful! Mitch, stacey, and April in particular. Loved how supportive and kind these characters were. This was just a feel good story that still has me smiling a week later!

This book in three emojis: 🏴‍☠️ 💑 ♟

*** Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author Jen DeLuca. 
Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?  
The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?   
This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Review

The Passengers by John Marrs @johnmarrs1 @berkleypub #bookreview #thepassengers

Happy Monday all!

This book is coming out in the US tomorrow and it completely blew my mind! This was my first John Marrs but definitely will not be my last!

My Thoughts

This is my brain🧠. This is my brain after reading this book🤯. Any questions?

John Marrs completely blew my mind with this exhilarating thriller! Eight passengers in eight separate driverless cars, all of them with secrets, none of them making it to their desired destination. Imagine you’re in a driverless car you have no control, no brakes, no steering wheel, you can’t even open the doors,and somebody has taken over the car. In 2 1/2 hours all eight of these cars will collide head on end it is up to a “jury” and the public to decide who will survive. Or imagine this you are trapped in a room on a jury of sorts and your job is to decide the fate of these eight strangers. Yikes! I don’t know which situation I’d want to be in less.

This was a fast-paced wild ride full of twists, turns, and plenty of bumps in the road. I was right there with these characters in these cars, I could feel their panic and fear. I was also right there in that room trying to determine the fate of these characters. I can’t even imagine determining whether someone should live or die? Part of the brilliance of this story was how the lives of these characters were revealed to us. It was so real and disturbing how my opinion was altered as each piece of information was shared. I was so invested in the story, I seriously could not put it down! And then that end! WHAT! BRAVO John Marrs! This is an absolute can’t miss!

This book in three emoji’s: 🤯 🚗 👩🏻‍⚖️

*** Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

You’re riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, “You are going to die.” 
Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man. 
From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, “Which of these people should we save? …And who should we kill first?”

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Review

The Perfect Son by Lauren North @lauren_c_north @berkleypub #bookreview #theperfectson

Happy Friday all! We made it!

This book was so so good! A slow burn with an exceptional ending, yes please!🧸

My Thoughts

Lauren North has crafted a clever and compelling psychological thriller. This was an absorbing story packed with tension, suspicion, and heartbreak. Tess has recently lost her husband Mark and now believes that her beloved son has been taken. Tess’s grief and frustration was palpable, drawing you further in as you turn the pages. The book starts off with Tess in the hospital having been stabbed and desperate to know what they are doing to try to find her son Jamie. The book then tells the story of the events leading up to the day of Jamie‘s birthday starting on the day of the fatal accident that killed Mark. Also peppered throughout the book were police interviews with Tess’s brother-in-law Ian and her grief counselor Shelley. I was suspicious of and second guessing everything and everyone. Why was Shelly a virtual stranger such a rock for Tesse? Surely nobody is that kind and supportive to someone they don’t even know. And then there was Ian… he was a little too concerned about life insurance money. I had oh so many theories and all of them wrong! This book left me with my jaw on the floor and a million thoughts running around in my head. An excellent debut that I would absolutely recommend.

*** many thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

A disturbing and shocking debut novel of psychological suspense about a recently widowed mother, her young son, and the lengths she’ll go to in order to keep him safe.
When Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital the day after her son Jamie’s eighth birthday, she’s sure of these things: She’s been stabbed, her son is missing, her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are involved. But no one is listening to her.
After her husband, Mark, died suddenly in a terrible accident a few months earlier, the only thing keeping Tess together is Jamie. As they struggle to make sense of their new life without Mark, they find joy in brief moments of normalcy like walking to school and watching television together. Life is hard without Mark, but Tess has Jamie, and that’s what matters.
But there in the hospital, confused and surrounded by people who won’t listen, Tess’s world falls apart. To save her son, she must piece together what happened between Mark’s death and Jamie’s birthday, but the truth might just be too much for her to bear.

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Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry @pcallhenry @BerkleyPub #bookreview #thefavoritedaughter

Happy hump day all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this lovely story that completely captured my heart! Forgiveness seems to be the theme of the week, because this book was all about forgiveness and family!💕

My Thoughts

𝒮𝓉𝓇𝓊𝑔𝑔𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓉𝑜 𝓇𝑒𝓂𝑒𝓂𝒷𝑒𝓇. 𝒯𝓇𝓎𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓉𝑜 𝒻𝑜𝓇𝑔𝑒𝓉.

Patti Callahan Henry has written a beautiful story full of memories, family, and forgiveness. A decade ago Lena was devastatingly betrayed right before she was about to walk down the aisle. Completely destroyed and mortified Lena packs her bags and heads to New York to lick her wounds and start over. Lena gets a job as a travel journalist, traveling the country and the world, but rarely returning home to Water’s End South Carolina. After receiving a phone call from her brother Shane Lena realizes she needs to return home and face her past. Lena’s beloved father Gavin has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and it is only a matter of time before he will lose all his memories. What transpires is a lovely story about the struggle to remember and the desire to forget.

This story completely captured my heart. These characters, this family, I was completely invested. Lena’s struggle to face her sister Hallie after 10 years of animosity was heartbreaking and uncomfortable. Some things are hard to forgive and even harder to forget and I am not certain if I would be capable myself. I really felt for Lena and understood her actions. HallieWas a bit of a hypocrite and really frustrated me. And poor Shane was so caught in the middle just trying to keep the peace between his sisters. Loved how the siblings were working together to create a book of memories for their dad, they really wanted to do just about anything to keep his memories alive. Gavin had a big personality and a big heart and it was heartbreaking to see his health and memories deteriorate.

So many pieces to the story that when put together were pure magic. The story was captivating, the setting was stunning, and the characters were authentic. The ending was so touching and it hit me right in the heart! Another remarkable story that you definitely need to add to your summer TVR!

*** Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

New York Times best-selling author Patti Callahan Henry returns to the beloved Lowcountry setting of The Bookshop at Water’s End with a novel of one woman’s homecoming. 
On her wedding day 10 years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home – until she learns of her dad’s failing health. 
Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs their family’s Irish pub – and who has borne the burden of his sisters’ rift. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals their father’s memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and photographs. As his secret past brings Lena’s own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home….
Praise for The Favorite Daughter 
“A satisfying read about family and forgiveness.” (
PopSugar
“Henry’s latest packs an emotional wallop, delving into the bonds and tragedies that make a family…. Readers of thoughtful family dramas will be drawn to the travails of the Donohue clan.” (
Booklist
“Readers will be immersed in this moving tale, hungry to learn whether love and family will overcome betrayal, secrets, and heartache.” (
Publishers Weekly)

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green @JaneGreen @BerkleyPub #bookreview #thefriendswekeep #pubday

Happy Tuesday all!

Today I have a review for a book about friendship and forgiveness. This was a wonderful story that I strongly encourage you to add to your summer TBR!📚🏖

My Thoughts

F҉r҉i҉e҉n҉d҉s҉h҉i҉p҉. F҉o҉r҉g҉i҉v҉e҉n҉e҉s҉s҉. L҉i҉f҉e҉.

Jane Green has crafted an engaging story full of friendship, forgiveness, and finding out who you really are. Evie, Maggie, and Topher met at University where they forged a strong friendship that they swore would never end. A friendship built on love, respect, and trust. After university they all go their separate ways. Evvie does something to betray Maggie’s trust, rather than telling Maggie she pulls herself even further away from the friendship. Evvie moves to New York where she becomes a supermodel, Maggie works at a PR company, and Topher becomes a soapstar. Years later they all reunite at Maggie’s wedding to an old crush. The reunion is short as they all have their lives to live and then Evvie does something that might end this friendship forever. Fast forward and the three of them are in their 40s and they are all at a point in their lives where it makes the most sense for them to all live together. But as the three begin to get closer again, secrets begin to come out. Secret that may not be forgivable.

I love stories about friendships and that this was a friendship between two women and a man was a bit of a different twist that I found refreshing. I really liked all three of these characters even though they weren’t terribly relatable and they sure did frustrated me at times. The story spanned many decades and I Love that. It is so amazing how much we change and grow through the years. How we let go of dreams and develop new ones. That really was evident in the lives of these characters. I probably was most sympathetic towards Maggie, because I could relate to her more than the other characters. I know what it’s like to have a spouse who is an alcoholic, and if I’m being honest Maggie is a much more forgiving person than me. In oh so many ways!

This was a great read that will resonate with many. I think we all have those friends that we thought would always be part of our lives that we don’t see much of any more. Although I have to say some of the characters in this book really push those friendship boundaries, and I am not sure if I would be so ready to forgive. Jane green has a engaging writing style that kept me completely invested in the story throughout. This was another wonderful read that I encourage you to add to your summer TBR!

*** Big thanks to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book ***

About the Book

 is the heartwarming and unforgettable new novel from Jane Green, the New York Times best-selling author of The Sunshine Sistersand The Beach House. 
Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known one another since college. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and they never found the lives they wanted – the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible. 
Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man. 
Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with in college, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause. 
Topher became a successful actor, but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy. 
By their 30th reunion, these old friends have lost touch with one another and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness…until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything. 
The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments we’ve had or mistakes we’ve made, it’s never too late to find a place to call home.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding by Wendy Wax @Wendy_Wax @BerkleyPub #bookreview #myexbestfriendswedding

Happy Tuesday everybody!

Delighted to share with you today my review for this engaging story about three strong likable women. Thank you so much to Lauren at Berkley for inviting me to the tour!💐

My Thoughts

Ⓕⓡⓘⓔⓝⓓⓢⓗⓘⓟ. Ⓕⓐⓜⓘⓛⓨ. Ⓕⓞⓡⓖⓘⓥⓔⓝⓔⓢⓢ.

This was a delightful story about family, friendship, and forgiveness. Wendy Wax write stories about strong dynamic women and their complex unbreakable bonds. Lauren and Bree were best friends until Lauren went off to New York and Bree didn’t come as originally planned, instead she stayed home and ended up marrying Lauren’s ex. What stings even more is that Kendra, Lauren’s mother, thinks of Bree as a daughter. 20 years have passed and Lauren returns home to introduce her mother to her fiancé and maybe even try on the family wedding dress. Kendra is so excited to see her daughter, she wants to try to repair things between Lauren and Bree. She also has a BIG secret she needs to tell, a Secret that will change everything. So will Lauren ever make it to the altar? and will it be in the family gown?

The story jumps between the perspectives of Lauren, Bree, and Kendra. All of these characters were so real, so relatable, and so likable. They all have made mistakes, they all have done questionable Things, but haven’t we all? Getting the story from the three different women’s perspectives really let you see the full picture and what everyone’s motivations were. Sometimes we do stupid things with the best of intentions. Throughout this book I kept putting myself in each of these characters positions and tried to figure out what I would do. And if I’m being honest I have no idea. So it’s a good thing I did not have to come up with a resolution to this story, which I thought was perfection! The setting of the story was the Outer Banks of North Carolina, sounds simply beautiful. I loved how we got to see this beautiful place through the eyes of Lauren‘s fiancé a lifelong New Yorker.

This is the perfect book to read at the beach or when you wish you were at the beach. The characters were colorful and compelling, the story was engaging and complex, and the setting was gorgeous. I love books about strong women and all the women in this story were strong, and I saw a little piece of myself in each of them. This story made me smile and crave Kendra’s chocolate cake!

*** Thank you so much to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book ***

About the Book

A wedding dress passed down through generations unravels the tangled threads of three women’s lives in a novel of friendship, family, and forgiveness from the USA Today best-selling author of Ten Beach Road.
Prized and stored away for safekeeping, the timeless ivory wedding dress, with its scooped neck and cleverly fitted bodice, sits gently folded in its box, whispering of happily ever afters. To Kendra, Brianna, and Lauren, it’s a reminder of what could have been, the promise of a fairy tale, and a friendship torn apart. But as Kendra knows firsthand: It wasn’t the dress’s fault.
Once closer than sisters, Lauren and Bree have grown up and grown apart, allowing broken promises and unfulfilled dreams to destroy their friendship. A successful author, Lauren returns home to the Outer Banks, fiancé in tow, to claim the dress she never thought she’d wear. Bree, a bookstore owner, grapples with the realities of life after you marry the handsome prince. As the former best friends wrestle with their uncertain futures, they are both certain of one thing: Some betrayals can never be forgiven. 
Now, on the eve of her daughter Lauren’s wedding, Kendra struggles with a secret she’s kept for far too long. She vows to make sure the dress will finally bring Lauren and Bree back together – knowing they’ll need each other to survive the coming storm.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang @HHoangWrites @BerkleyPub #bookreview #thebridetest

Happy Hump Day!!!

So excited to share with you today my review for this delightful book that published yesterday! If you like sweet romances with fantastic characters and lots of heat this one is perfect for you!💕

My Thoughts

Sweet. Steamy. Diverse.

So over this past weekend I read both The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test. Helen Hoang completely stole my heart with her delightful characters and enchanting storylines.The Bride Test was so charming it read like a fairytale, a more diverse much steamier fairytale. I like my romances with strong males and sassy females and this book checked both those boxes off. I also like my romances to be more than just a romance (if you know what I mean) and this one definitely was that! Miss Hoang has a new fan in me, I will absolutely read anything she writes.

Once upon a time… Khai, Who is on the autism spectrum was convinced he could not love. His mom was convinced he could, so she traveled to Vietnam to find her son a wife. Esme was a hard-working single mom. When Khai’s mother runs across Esme working as a maid in a hotel she knows that she is the ONE. So Esme boards a plane to America to seduce the prince, oh I mean Khai. BUT will Khai learn to love? And what will happen when Esme’s secrets come out? Will these two be able to conquer the cultural differences, the language barriers, Khai’s fears and live happily ever after? You’re going to need to read this to find out!

Both Khai and Esme were delightful characters that I completely adored.Esme was so spunky and sassy and I found her strength admirable. Khai, I really had a soft spot for him he was so vulnerable, it was tough to watch him struggle with certain things so much. The chemistry between these two was off the charts, they were definitely physically attracted to one another. This book has a lot of sizzle, steam,. and heat. If that’s not your thing I’d skim those parts, because this is a book not to be missed. I’d also suggest you read the authors note at the end it was so interesting how so much of this book related to her own life, a definite tribute to her mother. I like the trend toward more diverse books, but sometimes it seems a bit forced. This was a perfect example of a diverse book done extremely well. I cannot wait to see what Miss Hoang has in store for us next, might I suggest Quan’s story.😉

*** huge thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny‚ but not important emotions, like love. His family knows better – that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride. 
As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

Kendall @ Sunflower Book Lover

💕💕 Be sure to check out all the Besties’ reviews!

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie

The Missing Years By Lexie Eliot @BerkleyPub #bookreview #themisingyears

Happy Sunday all!

Thrilled to share with you today my review for this creepy and atmospheric story! This was a group read and I’m glad I had friends to discuss this one with!💀

My Thoughts

Creepy. Atmospheric. Haunting.

Lexie Elliot Will completely transport you to this Erie Scottish house with her descriptive writing. I could feel the cold and contempt seeping from the house. The house has a life of its own and is probably the most dynamic character in the book. This is a slow burner that combines mystery, suspense, and magical realism.

Ailsa inherits a house, well half a house. The other half belongs to her father who she has not seen for over 20 years. Unable to sell the house until her father is found, or pronounced dead; Ailsa moves into the house along with her half sister Carrie. It doesn’t take Ailsa Long to figure out the house has a mind and a heartbeat of its own. Not only that she discovers a intruder in the house her very first night there. Then things start appearing and disappearing, noises are heard and there is that feeling of being watched at all times. A dead fox at the door, fire alarms going off, and the flies… oh the flies! Just thinking about the flies gives me the heebie-jeebies! So is the house friend or foe? Is it warning her or scaring her off?

For the most part I really liked this book it was so atmospheric and evocative. However some parts were extremely slow. Also as much as I enjoyed the magical realism element of this book, I wish it had been explored a little more in depth. Time folding? I was left with a few questions I would have liked answered. I recommend this to people who enjoy descriptive writing, a slower burn, and a touch of magic.

*** many thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

An eerie, old Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere that’s now hers.

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago—her father.

Leaving London behind to settle the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her. 

Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her—as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighborhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden. 

When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

Kendall @ Sunflower Book Lover

💕💕 Be sure to check out all the Besties’ reviews!

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian @LauraKalpakian @BerkleyPub #bookreview #thegreatpretenders

Happy Monday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this stunning story that truly exceeded my expectations! This was a group read and not everyone has finished yet but everyone is loving it so far!🎬

My Thoughts

an elegantly told exquisite tale of Old Hollywood and the girl who turned it on its head!

Laura Kalpakian stole my heart with this brilliant book! Have you ever finished a Book and thought, I need more and I need it now! That was me with this book. I was so invested in the story and these characters, I was seriously crushed when it was over. Kalpakian completely transported me to 1950s Old Hollywood with her riveting words.

Roxanne is Hollywood royalty, growing up on the back lots of her grandfather’s studio. Raised by her grandparents she is devastated when her grandmother passes away and is angry with her grandfather for leaving her beloved grandmother for a much younger woman. Not wanting to continue college and cut off (sort of) from her grandfather she finds herself living in a bungalow in Malibu. Realizing she knows Hollywood better than most she decides to pursue a career as an agent. After not being taken seriously and dealing with sexual harassment she decides to set out on her own. A huge risk, but Roxanne is all about risk. After a chance encounter (or two) Roxanne finds herself falling in love with Terrence an African-American reporter. BUT this is the 50s and multiracial relationships are a huge taboo even in liberal Hollywood. Will Roxanne‘s risks ultimately pay off? Will love conquer all or leave her heartbroken? You are definitely going to need to read this book and find out the answers to these questions and so much more!

Roxanne was so feisty, so fierce, and so ahead of her time. She was sassy with a vulnerable side and that made her even more endearing. This book took place during the “red scare, “the “blacklist,“ I found the politics of Hollywood fascinating. I also had absolutely no idea that Los Angeles was so segregated in the 50s. Growing up in southern California I guess I always like to think we are a little more enlightened than the rest of the country when it comes to racial relations, I guess not so much? Also fun fact… max one of the screen writers in the story who is blacklisted moves 60 miles south east of LA to the city where I live now(He was pretty much exiled to Riverside). I imagine it was quite rural here back in the day and seemed extremely far away from the hustle and bustle of LA. Now it is nonstop cities and freeways and traffic from LA to Riverside.

Such a magical story! I just loved everything the history, the characters, the setting, the tension, the romance. Roxanne was an amazing character who I won’t soon forget. Her relationship with Terrence was so raw, so intense, and so heart wrenching. I fell for these two so completely. This book had a Beautiful perfect ending, BUT I SO wanted more! A follow up would be great, I would really love to see what happens to these characters next. In case you can’t tell I strongly recommend this book!

*** A huge thank you to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

The daughter of Hollywood royalty, Roxanne Granville is used to getting what she wants – even if she has to break the rules. But after a falling-out with her grandfather, a powerful movie mogul, she has to face life on her own for the first time….
Roxanne forges a career unique for women in the 1950s, becoming an agent for hungry young screenwriters. She struggles to be taken seriously by the men who rule Hollywood and who often assume that sexual favors are just a part of doing business. When she sells a script by a blacklisted writer under the name of a willing front man, more exiled writers seek her help. Roxanne wades into a world murky with duplicity and deception, and she can’t afford any more risks.
Then she meets Terrence Dexter, a compelling African American journalist unlike anyone she’s ever known. Roxanne again breaks the rules and is quickly swept up in a passionate relationship with very real dangers that could destroy everything she’s carefully built.
Roxanne Granville is a woman who bravely defies convention. She won’t let men make all the rules and won’t let skin color determine whom she can love. 
The Great Pretenders is a riveting, emotional novel that resonates in today’s world and reminds us that some things are worth fighting for.

The Besties

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Holly @ Dressed to Read

Kendall @ Sunflower Book Lover

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Have brilliant day!🎬

Berit☀️✨