Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review

Montauk by Nicola Harrison @NicolaHAuthor @StMartinsPress @MacmillanAudio #bookreview #audiobook #Montauk

Happy Friday y’all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this delightful story that transported me to 1938 Montauk! Another wonderful debut, this has really been a great year for debuts!🤩

My Thoughts

sᴜɴ. sᴀʟᴛ. sᴀɴᴅ. ᴍᴏɴᴛᴀᴜᴋ.

Nicola Harrison completely captivated me with this dazzling tale set against the backdrop of 1938 Montauk Long Island. The story had a great sense of place and time. You really got a good handle on the role of women and the class divide in the late 1930s. Sometimes a character would do or say something that would make me cringe and I had to put it in perspective and realize this was a different place and time. This was a romance with a historical setting rather than historical fiction with some romance. Beatrice is a strong smart savvy woman who finds herself in a loveless and childless marriage. Excited and a little hesitant to spend her summer on Montauk Beatrice is hopeful to rekindle things with her husband. When she finds out that he will only be spending the weekends with her she is less than thrilled how is she going to pass her time with these women that she has nothing in common with? Fortunately Beatrice befriends Dolly an older and wiser woman and Elizabeth a local who does laundry for the hotel. Beatrice finds herself more drawn to the locals and the natural beauty of Montauk rather than the socialites and the glitz. When she meets Thomas the lighthouse keeper there is an instant attraction. He is kind and caring and authentic the complete opposite of Beatrice‘s husband Harry. As the summer goes on Beatrice realizes that she is going to need to choose between a life of luxury and true love.

Beatrice was such a likable character I really wanted her to find her happily ever after even if she was technically cheating. Her husband was unfaithful, inattentive, and a misogynist, so I guess I gave her a bit of a pass. I could also see why she was drawn to a simpler life in this charming fishing village rather than trying to position herself all the time in society. Her friend Dolly was such a breath of fresh air. She was so spunky, so ahead of her time, and such a great support to Beatrice. And the hats! Oh the hats! Elizabeth was also a great character a little quieter but just as supportive. The romance in the story was so sweet and tender, I could really sense the chemistry between Thomas and Beatrice. The ending to the story really took me by surprise, and I’m still not quite sure what to think. In the audiobook there was an interview with the author at the end and she said that she always knew that was how the book was going to end. This book is the perfect addition to your summer reading plans. A little romance. A little glamour. A little history. And a whole lot of goodness.

🎧🎧🎧 Erin Bennett narrates the audio and really brings life to the story. Bringing a voice to the character of Beatrice who this entire story is told through the eyes of. In the author interview on the audio Nicola Harrison mentions that she hears the characters voices in her head as she is writing. I thought that was so interesting and how exciting it must be for an author to hear their story brought to life through audio.

*** thank you so much to St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Montauk, Long Island, 1938. 
For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor—a two-hundred room seaside hotel—while Harry pursues other interests in the city. 
College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was. 
As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future. 
Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…
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About the Author

Born in England, Nicola Harrison moved to CA where she received a BA in Literature at UCLA before moving to NYC and earning an MFA in creative writing at Stony Brook. She is a member of The Writers Room, has short stories published in The Southampton Review and Glimmer Train and articles in Los Angeles Magazine and Orange Coast Magazine. She was the fashion and style staff writer for Forbes, had a weekly column at Lucky Magazine and is the founder of a personal styling business, Harrison Style. Montauk is Harrison’s debut novel.

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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

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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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Daughter’s Tale by Armando Lucas Correa @ArmandoCorrea @AtriaBooks @tlcbooktours #bookreview #thedaughterstale

Happy Tuesday afternoon/evening!

I have another review today for a wonderful historical fiction novel. I am always inspired and humbled by WWII books. Thank you so much to Lisa for my invitation to this tour! 🗝

My Thoughts

𝔖𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔫𝔤𝔱𝔥. ℜ𝔢𝔰𝔦𝔩𝔦𝔢𝔫𝔠𝔢. ℌ𝔬𝔭𝔢.

This was a compelling story about love, heartbreak, and sacrifice. No matter how many books I read about WWII I am always shocked by the horrors of war and The resilience of humans. Amanda was a happily married mother and the owner of her family bookshop. Then things begin to change. The books were ordered to be burned, her husband was sent away, and her daughters’ lives were in danger. Amanda’s one goal now is the survival of her daughters and she will sacrifice whatever it takes to ensure their safety. 80 years later Elise receives letters written by her mother all those decades ago. Letters that make her face secrets, some she has live with and some she never knew. Who are you really, when you’ve lived someone else’s nlife? This book wove some true events into the story. Including book burning, the annihilation of a French Village, and a boat of German refugees heading to Cuba. This is something I really love about historical fiction, you always learn something while reading.

This book grab me from the first page. The writing was straightforward and concise, and I thought that was perfect for the subject matter. My heart broke for Amanda and I was humbled by her strength. The atrocities of war are so disturbing, so dark, so unfortunate. The bulk of the story was bleak but there was hope peppered throughout. Although I have to say as dark as most WWII books are I always find light in the strength of the characters.

This was a well told story that read quicker than most historical fiction books. The characters were so compelling and I felt so much for them. This is a book that I think will appeal to most historical fiction fans.

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

About the Book

Berlin, 1939. Bookseller Amanda Sternberg and her husband, Julius, dreamed of blissful summers spent by the lake at Wannsee and unlimited opportunities for their children. But that all falls apart when the family bookshop is destroyed and Julius is sent to a concentration camp. Now, desperate to flee Nazi Germany and preserve what’s left of her family, Amanda heads toward the south of France with her two young daughters—only to arrive with one. In Haute-Vienne, their freedom is short-lived, and soon she and her eldest daughter are forced into a labor camp, where Amanda must once again make an impossible sacrifice.

New York City, 2015. Eighty-year-old Elise Duval receives a call from a woman bearing messages from a time and country that she forced herself to forget. A French Catholic who arrived in New York after World War II, Elise is shocked to discover that the letters were from her mother, written in German during the war. Despite Elise’s best efforts to stave off her past, seven decades of secrets begin to unravel.

Based on true events, The Daughter’s Tale chronicles one of the most harrowing atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II. Heartbreaking and immersive, it is a beautifully crafted family saga of love, survival, and redemption.

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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

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

Kendall @ Sunflower Book Lover

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton @chanelcleeton @BerkleyPub #bookreview #whenweleftcuba

Happy Thursday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this Fantabulous follow up to “Next Year in Havana” a book I reviewed on Tuesday. Both these books are about strong smart women and rich with history.🇨🇺

My Thoughts

An exceptional story about an extraordinary woman! A book rich with love and steeped in history!

Beatriz Perez my queen! There was something about Beatriz that completely captured my heart from the very first page of this book. She was a smart, strong, and sassy woman with an unbreakable spirit and an unstoppable independence. This is a follow-up of sorts to, “Next Year in Havana”, although I’d say you could read this book independently. We do meet Beatriz in the first book (it is the story of her sister Elisa) however Beatrix is on the periphery of that story. Both books are exquisite, however I have to admit I like this book a teeny bit more.

Beatrix might live in the US now, but her heart is still in Cuba. Her family was exiled to the US after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. Beatriz was the privileged daughter of a sugar barren, she lived a glamorous life filled with parties and glitz. Then her life was turned upside down, she lost her twin brother during the uprise, her family loses all their wealth, and her family is sent away from the land that they loved. Beatrix now has to start over in a new country. Consumed with revenge and a desire to return “home“ she finds herself entangled with the CIA. She also meets a man. A man who is off-limits, A man who will completely capture and consume her. We experience the US Cuba relationship during the 1960s through the pages of this book. We see the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the JFK assassination through Beatrix’s eyes. This book is a true love story, A woman’s love for a country and a man.

Chanel Cleeton’s vivid writing will transport you to the 1960s. The feel and the fear at the beginning of the Cold War seeps through the pages. The historical aspects of this book are compelling, but I have to say the romance wormed its way into my heart. Beatrix Nick’s Love story was so raw, I really can’t think of any other word to describe it. A forbidden love that broke them both and then built them up again. it’s all about Fate and timing and all that.

This was a spellbinding story packed with romance and history rat in a cloak of intrigue! Unequivocally recommend!

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

About the Book

Publisher’s Summary

In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life – and heart – to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana. 
Beautiful. Daring. Deadly. 
The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez – her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost. 
As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban-American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future – but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything – not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart.

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

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton @ChanelCleeton @BerkleyPub #bookreview #nextyearinhavana

Happy Tuesday bibliophiles!

Today is publication day for Chanel Cleeton’s When We Left Cuba(and I will have a review for that on Thursday). But I wanted to read this book before I started the second book and I’m sure glad I did! It was so beautifully told and so steeped in history… a brilliant read!🇨🇺

Happy

My Thoughts

An exquisitely told story steeped in history and Rich with love!

Chanel Cleeton has expertly woven together threads of the present and the past. This is the story of two strong women, grandmother and granddaughter, bonded by blood and a love for Cuba. A story of love for a boy, for a land, for a family, for a culture. Admittedly I know very little about Cuba and it’s history, and I found the history lesson I got from this book exceptional. Miss Cleeton skillfully brings Cuba to life with her words. The sights, the sounds, the vibe,in both 1958 and present day.

Cuba 1958, Elisa lives a privilege life as the daughter of a sugar Barron. She has been pretty sheltered from the political goings-on in Cuba, that is until she falls in love with a revolutionary. The problem is her family is in support of the president, on the other side of the issue. When the president falls and Fidel Castro takes over, Elisa and her family flee to the United States. Present day, Marisol is destroyed when her beloved grandmother who raised her passes away. Her grandmother’s last wish is to have her ashes spread in the country she loved, Cuba. This requires Marisol to travel to Cuba where she finds a land far different from that that her grandmother told her about. She was not expecting the poverty, the food shortages, the lines. Determined to find the perfect location to scatter her grandmothers ashes Marisol discovers her grandmother secrets. She also discovers the real Cuba and a love for a man.

This was a wonderful story that captured my attention and my heart. Both Elisa And Marisol were interesting and likable characters. I was slightly more drawn to Elisa’s story simply for the history. Although I like getting to know about present day Cuba as well. I think it just came down to the fact that I enjoyed one of the love stories over the other a little bit. It always comes down to the love!

Beautifully told… drenched in history, culture, family, and love! Absolutely recommend!

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

About the Book

 A Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine on Audible Pick 
“A beautiful novel full of passion, secrets, courage and sacrifice.” (Reese Witherspoon)
After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity – and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution 
Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, 19-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest – until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…. 
Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. 
When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage. 

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

American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton @StephMThornton @BerkleyPub #bookreview #bookbestiesamericanprincess #anericanprincess

Happy Sunday bibliophiles!

Thrilled to share with you today my review for this wonderful book!I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction novel about Alice Roosevelt the daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, I love when I learn as I read!🌹

My Thoughts

Alice Roosevelt, daughter of the president, wife of the Speaker of the House, mistress of a Senator… america’s princess!

This was a compelling book about a remarkable woman! Alice Roosevelt was bold and brash and blunt. She realized in order for A woman to be noticed in Washington she needed to shake things up, so shake things up she did! From smoking on the White House roof to publicly opposing her cousin FDR when he was running for president. Alice was always marching to the beat of her own darn drum!

Alice’s 96 years were filled with triumph, heartbreak, politics, tragedy, scandal, and love. She was a strong and smart woman, well ahead of her time. At one point in this book Helen Taft the wife of William Taft, told Alice that it was a woman’s only job to make sure her husband was happy. This was something that Alice absolutely did not prescribed to. She had tenuous marriage to a congressman Nick Longworth, who later became the speaker of the house. But she never lost sight of who she was or what she stood for. She was never afraid to voice her opinion, in fact she strongly opposed FDR when he was running for president. Despite the fact that Eleanor and her were raised together, there was no love lost between these two ladies.

Alice was a amazing and memorable person. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this book Learning about Alice and what part she played in America’s history. I also now admire, respect, and adore her. Could not help but wonder how all of this would have played out today with all the social media the instant information? So much scandal that they seem to be able to keep from the public, I wonder if that could possibly happen today?

This was a fabulous book about a fascinating woman that I am so grateful to have learned more about! There really is nothing better than a book that teaches you something you didn’t already know. Absolutely recommend!

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

About the Book

“Presidential darling, America’s sweetheart, national rebel: Teddy Roosevelt’s swashbuckling daughter Alice springs to life in this raucous anthem to a remarkable woman.” (Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling author of The Alice Network)
A sweeping novel from renowned author Stephanie Marie Thornton….
Alice may be the president’s daughter, but she’s nobody’s darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing first daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves – oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.
But Washington, DC, is rife with heartaches and betrayals, and when Alice falls hard for a smooth-talking congressman, it will take everything this rebel has to emerge triumphant and claim her place as an American icon. As Alice soldiers through the devastation of two world wars and brazens out a cutting feud with her famous Roosevelt cousins, it’s no wonder everyone in the capital refers to her as the Other Washington Monument – and Alice intends to outlast them all.

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

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

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner @BerkleyPub #bookreview #bookbestieslastyearofthewar #thelastyearofthewar

Happy hump day book lovers!

Excited to share with you today my review for this riveting story that definitely hurt my heart! Another wonderful group read with the Besties!🦋

My Thoughts

A heartbreaking tale about the atrocities of war, and one girl who never allowed the cruelty of war to break her spirit!

It never ceases to amaze me how tragic, horrifying, and devastating war is! This was my very first book from Susan Meissner, but will definitely not be my last! This book completely captivated me, I was fully invested in the lives of all these characters from first page to last. I did have prior knowledge of the Japanese internment camps during WWII, however I did not realize that we also sent Germans to these camps. I also did not realize that we sent German people living in America back to Germany in the midst of war, that is truly horrifying! This is really a part of our history that we as Americans seem to avoid acknowledging. It certainly does not appear to be in any history book I’ve ever seen? OK I just asked my kids and they do teach it now, however back in the day when I was in school this was not ever brought up, so that’s something. It is definitely a dark time in our country‘s history. This is one of the reasons why I love books so much, they always have something to teach you. More times than not they give you a little nugget of knowledge to walk away with that you didn’t already possess.

Elise is an American citizen, born in America and has lived in America her entire life. her parents are legal residence of the United States, however her father is falsely thought to be a Nazi sympathizer and ultimately the family is sent to an internment camp in Texas. While at the internment camp Elise befriends a Japanese American girl, Mariko. The girls form a tight bond and it is this friendship and the hopes and dreams that come from it that will help Elise through the toughest and darkest of days. When Elise‘s family is sent back to Germany to endure the last year of the war. It is the hope that she will one day be reunited with her friend in America that Elise clings to like a lifeline. And over 70 years later Elise still clings to the bond that ultimately leads to the friends reunion.

Elise really completely stole my heart in this book. She was a brave, smart, resourceful young lady, with a strong spirit. Her story was so disturbing and devastating, it definitely broke my spirit at times. I really loved the friendship between Elise and Mariko, but I have to say my one complaint about the book is that we did not see what happened to Mariko after the internment camp. Maybe this is in a future book? I guess I felt so much was made out of this friendship and then it just wasn’t there anymore? It was almost as though Elise was hanging onto a ghost. However this did not hinder my enjoyment of this book. Although it is hard to say I enjoyed a book that was so real and raw and at times depressing. War is brutal and this book really brought that to life.

A riveting story about an exceptional girl Who grows into a remarkable woman, who I will not soon forget! Absolutely recommend!

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

About the Book

Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen-year-old in 1943–aware of the war but distanced from its reach. Then her father, a legal U.S. resident for nearly two decades, is suddenly arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer. The family is sent to an internment camp in Texas, where, behind the armed guards and barbed wire, Elise feels stripped of everything beloved and familiar, including her own identity.

The only thing that makes the camp bearable is meeting fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teen from Los Angeles, whose friendship empowers Elise to believe the life she knew before the war will again be hers. Together in the desert wilderness, Elise and Mariko hold tight the dream of being young American women with a future beyond the fences. 

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

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

Let’s Connect!

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Have a lovely day!🦋

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton @AtriaBooks #6bookbestiesclockmakersdaughter #6bookbestiesapproved #bookreview #pubday

Happy Tuesday book lovers!

Delighted to share with you my review today for this beautifully told story from Kate Morton. Another wonderful discussion with my BOOK BESTIES 💕💕💕

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

My Thoughts

A beautifully told story about a house, a love, and a ghost….

This is my third Kate Morton book and just as her previous books were this book was a slow burn… some books are a quick little getaway this book was a journey… The journey of a house and it’s ghost, through many decades and many eyes…. an old-fashioned love story, a contemporary mystery, and so much inbetween… This story really is like a complicated and beautiful weaving… at the beginning there are so many threads none of them seeming to be connected…. but as Kate Morton begins to work the loom and weave the story together, a beautiful picture is formed… just remember when you pick this book up sometimes weaving takes some patients and effort, but the end result is so worth it!

A love story, a ghost story, a murder, a theft, a complex plot…. this book is crammed full of interesting characters with interesting lives and if I’m being completely honest sometimes we did not get to explore those lives as thoroughly as I would have liked…. The two constant characters in this book were unlikely, the house and the ghost… both were extremely engaging and intriguing, and both had a story of their own… and as the characters traveled in and out of this house through time we really saw them through the eyes of the House and the ghost… an extremely well done go story, it will make you a believer, it really was never over the top…. a perfect addition to an October read….

As much as I appreciated this book when I finished… I have to admit it was a little tough to get into in the beginning… there are a lot of characters and it seemed a little jarring and disjointed, but I had to trust… trust that Kate Morton would bring this all together and at about 30% she really did, The picture began to come together…. and at the end of the book it was quite an exquisite picture indeed!

Absolutely recommend to fans of this author and to those of you who have the patience and passion for a complex book that spans many lives and a century and a half …

*** A huge thank you to Atria for my copy ***

About the Book

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House—the story of a love affair and a mysterious murder that cast their shadow across generations, set in England from the 1860’s until the present day.

My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.

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Holly @Dressed to Read

Book friends are the best friends! Berit☀️✨