Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross @leioss @BerkleyPub #bookbestiesbeastheart #bookreview #thebeastsheart

TGIF! I am so ready for the weekend!

Super excited to share with you today my review for this magical tale, a beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast🌹

This was a fun group read with Jennifer and Kenzi, as always I enjoyed sharing my thoughts with these wonderful ladies!💕

My Thoughts

A magical tale as old as time.

This was an enchanting retelling of Beauty and the Beast, told from the Beast’s perspective…. my only true knowledge of this story is from Disney and from that movie I had a bit of a soft spot for Beast… so I was really excited when I heard this book was going to tell us the story from his point of view… and this book did not disappoint… although I do have to admit because this book had a bit of a young adult vibe the Beast wasn’t quite as alpha as I would have liked… A magical story, lyrically told, that really gave me a real fairytale vibe… The writing was a bit old-fashioned and really gave you a sense of being right there with Beast and Isabeau… this was something that actually threw me off, not being right there with them, but the fact that the main female protagonist was not named Bell but Isabeau… not going to lie it took me a good while to figure out she was the correct love interest, I kept waiting for Bell to show up! Once I got over that I really got into the story and fell in love with this beautiful castle and the adorable Beast…

I am sure most of you are very familiar with this plot so I’m not going to regurgitate it… One thing I think you need to know before you pick it up though it is very heavy on the romance, a very clean romance, but romance all the same… Beast was one determined and relentless man and I have to say I am not sure if Isabeau was worthy of his love? It could possibly be that women were much more reserved in 17th century France then they are today,Isabeau just seemed a little cold… but I really did like her family her father and her sisters, and I like that Beast could glimpse them in that magical mirror…

A beautifully told story Full of heart and charm! Recommend🌹

🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
Unexpectedly
Just a little change
Small to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the beast
Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before and ever just as sure as the sun will rise
Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise
Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong
Certain as the sun
Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast…

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

About the Book

A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France–and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse . . . 

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

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Have A magical day!✨🌹✨

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Contemporary Fiction

The inbetween Days by Eva Woods @HarlequinBooks #bookreview #theinbetweendays

Happy Monday book lovers!

Excited to share with you my review for this uplifting beautifully told story that will tug at both your heart and your head!💕🌹

The Inbetween Days by Eva Woods

My Thoughts

An uplifting life affirming story about the little things in life!

WOW! This book was an unexpected gem of a story! A book about how it is the little things in life that can make the biggest impact… how sometimes your small actions can influence not only your own life but that of others… how little acts of kindness can spiral into big successes… just think about it the next time you give that stranger a smile it might alter the course of their life and for the better… kind words to a stranger might lead to a great invention… telling your BFF that her new haircut is fabulous might lead to her meeting the man of her dreams that night, you just gave her that much more confidence…. just saying it’s those small things that can impact a persons day, of course it could happen adversely as well, but we’re staying positive here! Don’t worry this is not a philosophy book, it is a well-crafted story that will give you a really positive vibe about life and make you want to run out and be thoughtful about your interactions with others….

Eva Woods has written an engaging and beautiful story that sucked me in from page 1… Rosie is hit by a bus and put in a coma… she has no recollection of the accident, the events leading up to the accident, she has no memory at all… we the reader are privy to her inner thoughts as she begins to piece her past together… this part of the book jumps around and can be a little jarring at times, Rosie does not regain her memory in a linear fashion… she also has a bit of a spiritual guide to help her puzzle The pieces of her life back together… this part of the book slightly reminded me of “A Christmas Carol,” could also be that I was reading it at Christmas time…. rosie’s sister Daisy also plays a very important part in this book… not only is she right by Rosie side willing her to come back to her, but she also has her own life issues to deal with… I thought how the sisters stories were woven together was seamless and perfect…

Both Rosie and Daisy were tremendously likable characters, I truly adored both of them! The way the story unfolded made for a compelling and addictive read… Eva Woods has crafted an exquisite thought-provoking story…

A story that will tug atboth your heart and your head, full of beautiful imagery and wonderful characters! Recommend!

🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head

Yesterday I got so old,
I felt like I could die,
Yesterday I got so old,
It made me want to cry
Go on, go on,
Just walk away
Go on, go on,
Your choice is made
Go on, go on,
And disappear
Go on, go on,
Away from here
And I know I was wrong,
When I said it was true,
That it couldn’t be me,
And be her in between,
Without you,
Without you
Yesterday I got so scared,
I shivered like a child,
Yesterday away from you,
It froze me deep inside,
Come back, come back,
Don’t walk away,
Come back, come back,
Come back today,
Come back, come back,
Why can’t…

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

About the Book

From the author of Something Like Happy comes an uplifting and emotionally compelling novel about a woman in a coma fighting for a second chance at life, love and happiness.

Rosie Cooke is “in between.” In between consciousness and oblivion. Life and death. And though some say that when you’re near death your entire life flashes before your eyes, Rosie can’t remember anything at all—not even how she ended up in a coma. At least not at first.

Then something strange starts to happen. Rosie finds herself revisiting scattered moments from her past: a beach vacation, a play rehearsal, the day her brother was born. But why these memories? And what do they mean?

As each piece of the puzzle comes into focus, Rosie struggles to face the picture of her life that forms. But with every look backward comes a glimpse of what might be: A relationship with her sister. The opportunity to pursue her passion. A second chance at love. And Rosie just might discover that she has much to live for.

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Have A wonderful day full of words!💛

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour, Contemporary Romance

The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper @toodletinkbaby @EburyPublishing @annecater #bookreview #valentineread #RandomThingsTours #thedaywemet

Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful relaxing weekend!

Excited to share with you today a story perfectly perfect for Valentine’s Day!🌹🌹🌹 A huge thank you to Anne Cater for my invitation to the tour and to Roxie Cooper for her lovely story!💕💕

The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper

My Thoughts

A romantic story full of emotion and fated love💕

Roxie Cooper has painted a beautiful Story with her words… she turned me the cynic into a true believer in soulmates, well for at least the length of this book… sometimes I wonder why I Love reading romance, I certainly don’t believe in epic love or one true love or soulmates or any of that… but then again I occasionally enjoy a vampire or werewolf book and I certainly don’t believe in them either… this is a book that on paper I really should not have enjoyed, it is about two people who are involved with other people who cannot help but be drawn to one another… my cynical and jaded brain says, BS people can help who they are drawn to, and people aren’t drawn to others unless they’re out looking for it, so I don’t buy this premise for one single minute! And I probably still believe all this, however this book was aBSOLUTELY FABULOUS!

Stephanie and Jamie meet one weekend at an art retreat… Stephanie and Jamie have instant chemistry, the problem? Stephanie is engaged to Matt and Jamie is married to Helen… Stephanie and Jamie recognize there is a strong connection between them unlike no other, but they respect their significant others…. for the next decade they meet up about once a year as friends, but can two people with this strong of a connection stay just friends? Now my logical brain at this point was saying, I certainly wouldn’t want someone to stay with me when they were this fated to be with somebody else? And I think that was my biggest struggle with this Matt and Helen deserve better than what they were getting… but life is messy and nothing is ever black-and-white, this book really had my emotions flying all over the place….

The story is told from the perspective of both Jamie and Stephanie… and not just when they are together we also got a front row seat look at their family life with their significant others who were good people…. Stephanie and Jamie were also extremely likable, seriously I really liked these two characters and I really wanted them to end up together, even though I thought it was wrong… or maybe I didn’t? See what I’m saying very messy and a whole lot of gray! Matt and Helen were very likable as well I wanted nothing but the best for them, I was so torn throughout this entire book… this book was truly playing with my emotions and then… and then… that ending! What? All I’m going to say is have tissue handy!

An exquisite love story that will pull at your heartstrings and leave you reeling and in tears! Recommend!

🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head

The day we met,
Frozen I held my breath
Right from the start
I knew that I’d found a home for my heart
Beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone?
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow
One step closer
I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this
One step closer
I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
And all along I believed I would find you…

*** A big thank you too Ebury Publishing for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Stephanie doesn’t believe in fate, true love or living happily ever after. She’s content enough being engaged to Matt. But then she meets Jamie, who understands her more than anyone else ever has.

Jamie is happily married to his childhood sweetheart Helen and believes in everything Stephanie doesn’t. So why does he have such a strong connection with Stephanie?

When Stephanie and Jamie meet one fateful weekend in 2006 it will change everything…

Ten years. Two people. One epic love story.

have a lovely day full of love and words!🌹💕

berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly @marthahallkelly @randomhouse @suzyapbooktours #bookreview #lostroses

Happy Sunday book lovers!

Super excited to share with you today my review for this stunning historical fiction novel! Many thanks to Suzy for my invitation to the tour! What a delight it was to be given the opportunity to read an early copy of this stunner!🌹🌹🌹

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

My Thoughts

A beautiful story about the ugly truth of war. A tale full of courage, determination, strength, compassion, Hope, beauty, and love!

Martha Hall Kelly has written A compelling book that is simultaneously elegant and brutal… this is the kinder gentler cousin of “The Lilac Girls” A book I read and liked, but if I’m being honest I liked this book a bit more… I think for me all the characters in this book were more relatable, and I felt compassion for all of them… really the only common thread between this book and the previous is the character of Caroline Ferriday, a character I liked in the first book but I adored even more in this one… so I wouldn’t necessarily call this a prequel, and both books can definitely be read as standalones… although I’m guessing after you’ve read one you will want to read the other they’re both exquisitely told historical fiction novels full of strong women living through extraordinary circumstances!

“Lost Roses” is the story of three remarkable women Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka… The book is set during WWI and mainly focuses on the atrocities in Russia… both Sofya and Varinka are Russians, although they come from very different backgrounds and social classes… Eliza is an American, she is from a privileged background, she is also the mother of Caroline of “The Lilac Girls”… Eliza and Sofya became friends while at boarding school in Switzerland, Sofya is related to the Romanoffs family…Varinka was not born into privilege as these other ladies were she came to know Sofya when she went to work for the family… three women from three very different backgrounds and yet all their lives are adversely impacted by war…

One of my biggest takeaways from this book was how untouched America really has been by war… yes, many lives were lost and goods were rationed, but I think that is very different from The many more lives lost, the property damage, the horror of living through war on your soil, not to mention bandits taking over your family home… some of the situations that Sofya found her self in were so harrowing… her fortitude and determination were so admirable, I tried to put myself in her situation and I just don’t know if I would have had the strength to do what she did…Varinka really skated the line of right and wrong throughout this book, I felt so much for her because I’m not sure what choices she had… Eliza was strong and compassionate and I admired her loyalty and altruism… such a remarkable story that I feel will resonate with everybody!

This really was historical fiction at its finest, this book made me feel as though I was right there with these ladies during WWI, I felt so much for each and everyone of them and bonus I learned some things along the way! Absolutely recommend!

🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head

This song always reminded me of how we are all more alike than different, it also reminds me of the Cold War and Russia…

… In Europe and America there’s a growing feeling of hysteria.
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets.
MIster Krushchev said, “We will bury you.”
I don’t subscribe to this point of view.
It’d be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too.
How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy?
There is no monopoly on common sense
On either side of the political fence.
We share the same biology, regardless of ideology.
Believe me when I say to you,
I hope the Russians love their children too
… There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the president?
There’s no such thing as a winnable war,
It’s a…

*** many thanks to Random House Valentine for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

The runaway bestseller Lilac Girlsintroduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.

It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorker’s treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov’s. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.

From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre’s who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history. 

Have a lovely day!

berit☀️✨

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Humor

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella @KinsellaSophie @randomhouse #bookreview #ioweyouone

Happy Sunday bibliophiles!

Super excited to share with you today my review of this book from one of my absolute favorite authors! I have read and loved every single one of Sophie Kinsella’s they are all so delightful romcom perfection!💕💕

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

My Thoughts

A fun escapist read full of whimsy and charm!

This book was quintessential Sophie Kinsella! Full of fun flawed realistic characters, wity dialogue, and loads of humor… I can always count on a Kinsella book to take me away for a few fun hours, make me feel good and induce me into laughter until tears are coming down my face, and this book was no exception… sophie’s books never take themselves too seriously and are full of many laugh out loud moments… warning: don’t pick this up unless you have your sense of humor intact, don’t read while drinking, especially a carbonated drink, and don’t read around other people, unless you’re OK with them looking at you strangely because you’re laughing at what appears to be nothing….

Fixie was a kind caring sweet girl who really needed to find her backbone… I really liked her and I think she would make an amazing friend, but the girl sure did frustrate me! Fixie is a people pleaser she wants to make sure everyone around her is happy… her friends, her family, her coworkers, and of course the men in her life…. One day Fixie was at a local coffee shop when a man asks her to watch his laptop when he steps out to take a phone call… the ceiling starts to cave in, Fixie throws herself on top of the laptop and saves the day… The man who’s named Sebastian and of course is handsome issues her an IOU to repay her for saving his laptop and livelihood… Fixie is pretty sure she will never use it, that is until her lifetime crush Ryan enters the picture like a wounded puppy… what ensues is Fixie being walked all over by Ryan and her siblings, add in the stress of trying to keep the family business afloat while her mom is out of town… thank goodness Fixie has some good friends in her life who eventually help her see the light and get a back bone… as in all SK books there was some major much-needed character growth in the story, and that extended to most of the secondary characters as well….

The romance in the story was sweet but slightly confusing… Sebastian who I really liked was a little all over the place when it came to relationships, it was something that confounded me and I had trouble wrapping my head around… I felt there was real chemistry and respect between Fixie and Seb, so I cannot understand why a certain bimbo (whose name I cannot remember) was around for as long as she was, really kind of threw a wrench into it for me… having said that though I thought this book wrapped up perfectly and that final chapter was book perfection!

A perfect romcom with wonderful characters and plenty of humor! Absolutely recommend!

🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head

A-E-A-E-I-O-U-U I sometimes cry
A-E-A-E-I-O-U-U I sometimes cry
You tell me that you love me every day
When we’re alone I really feel in love
But when you’re out with friends I see a change
You treat me bad, I feel like second best
I want your love (I want your love)
Give me your love, girl (give me your love)
That’s how I feel, I want it to be real
I want your love (I want your love)
Give me your love, girl (give me your love)
I need your touch and I, I owe you so much
A-E-A-E-I-O-U-U I sometimes cry
(Oh) A-E (I really care) A-E-I (I really care) O-U-U
(I really care, care, care) I sometimes lie
Do you realize some things you say
I know you do, it makes me so confused
I’m sure this ain’t the way that love should be
Let’s get…

*** many thanks to Random House for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants? 
Have a wonderful day filled with words and whimsy!

berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli @BerkleyPub @saskinthecity #bookbestiesmatchmakerslist #bookreview

TGIF all!

Excited for the weekend and excited to share with you my review for this totally adorable romcom that brought a huge smile to my face! This was a group read with a few of my Besties and we found it quite delightful!💕💕

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli

My Thoughts

This was an adorable romcom bursting with culture, family, friendship, fun, and love!

This was a charming feel-good story that put a big smile on my face! This book did a really good job of showcasing the expectations and pressure we as parents sometimes put on our children when it comes to love, marriage, and many other things… I think the pressure to be “perfect“ is greater in some cultures than others…. but I think almost all parents regardless of culture want the absolute best for their children, we want them to be happy, and it is always hard to let go…. Sonya Lalli did a tremendous job of handling some serious subject matter with respect and compassion… she took the pressures of belonging and assimilating and added in some heart, hope, and humor!

Raina has just turned 29, she was raised by her Nanny Who is a traditional Indian woman… her Nanny is bound and determined to get Raina married off… I think the fact that she feels as though she “failed“ when it came to Raina’s mother adds even more pressure… Raina wants nothing more than to make her beloved grandmother happy so she acquiesces and agrees to date some of the men on “the list“… The biggest problem? Raina is still hung up on her ex, and when her ex comes back into the picture she is hopeful to rekindle the flame… feeling the pressure and the pull of pleasing herself or pleasing her grandma and others leads Raina to some poor decision making…. decisions that impact many others in her life, decisions that she soon regrets, decisions with ramifications, decisions that she ultimately has to atone for…. so how will Raina extricate herself from this mess? And will she ever find true love?

The characters and culture in this story we’re all so colorful and just popped off those pages! Raina’s stress to please not disappoint was palpable as was her grandmothers love… The complexities of familial entanglements really shown through in this book… I especially found the relationship between Raina’s grandmother and mother quite interesting and complicated… there were quite a few complicated relationships in this book most likely compounded by the struggle between the old and the new… Raina’s dating adventures were quite cringe worthy and humorous! And relatable, I mean who hasn’t been on a bad date? But through all the struggle, the complexities, the pressures, what really shown through in the story was LOVE! There was so much love amongst all these characters and even though sometimes it wasn’t shown in the best way, it was always there!

A wonderfully told story full of whimsy, heart, hope, and love! Absolutely recommend with all my heart!

🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head! This is what raina needed to say to her ex! What a tool he was!

To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
Everything you own in the box to the left
In the closet that’s my stuff, yes
If I bought it please don’t touch
And keep talking that mess, that’s fine
But could you walk and talk at the same time?
And it’s my mine name that is on that tag
So remove your bags let me call you a cab
Standing in the front yard telling me
How I’m such a fool, talking about
How I’ll never ever find a man like you
You got me twisted
You must not know ’bout me
You must not know ’bout me
I could have another you in a minute
Matter fact he’ll be here in a minute, baby
You must not know ’bout me
You must not know ’bout me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don’t you ever for a second get
To thinking…

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

About the Book

One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it 

Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it–or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina’s side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community, but now she’s ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? Besides, what Nani doesn’t know won’t hurt her…

As Raina’s life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged-marriage trap without shattering her beloved grandmother’s dreams. 

The Besties

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

*** don’t forget to check out Jennifer and Kenzie’s amazing reviews!

enjoy your Friday! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Audiobook Review

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides @MacmillanAudio #bookreview #audiobook

Happy hump day book lovers!

Today I am so excited to share with you my audiobook review of this brilliant debut thriller! This is a definite can’t miss and was so spectacular on audio!🎧🎨 also as an added bonus I have a little Guest review from my mom, the woman who taught me to love and appreciate books! I will periodically be bringing you many reviews from her, she is the English major after all!💕

  • My Thoughts

  • This book was… simply bRILLIANT! Fraught with tension and an urgency that made me fly through the story!
  • This book has been billed as the “debut thriller of 2019“ and can I just say, it just might be! Bravo Alex Michealides! This was one heck of a debut! A well-crafted, perfectly paced story, that I believe will please even the pickiest thriller lover! This was a unique take on a psychological thriller, seriously the entire book was a twist, because I never knew in what direction it was going….
  • Alicia has been convicted of shooting her husband five times in the face… she was discovered with the gun in hand, covered in blood, and did not offer up a word of defense… not only that she has not spoken a single word since the murder… she now resides at the Grove a psychiatric hospital in northern London…. Theo is a criminal psychotherapist who is obsessed with the mute Alicia… convinced he can get her to talk, he gets hired at the Grove and insists on treating her… why won’t Alicia talk? Why is Theo so obsessed? Why would a seemingly happy wife murder her husband? What really happened that night? These are just a few questions that ran through my head throughout this book…
  • The story is primarily told from Theos point of view… although it is quite remarkable how much Alicia said with her silence… Theo is a complicated character in his own right, with troubles and issues of his own… we learned about Alicia and her marriage through Theos eyes, as he investigated and interviewed those that had known her and her husband Gabriel… we also got an even more personal glimpse into Alicia‘s psyche when she revealed her journal to Theo… nothing in this book was ever quite as it seemed….
  • This was a complicated tale bursting with misdirection and an ending that will make you gasp! I was thinking what? How did I miss this? Someday time permitting I’d like to go back and read this again, and find the clues the author left behind, because I did not see that ending coming! Absolutely recommend this one should not be missed!
  • 🎧🎧🎧 I was fortunate enough to listen to this one on audio and can I just say it was stellar! Jack Hawkins did an amazing job of bringing the character of Theo to life, there really is nothing better than listening to a book that takes place in England with that posh English accent in your ear! Louise Brealey voiced Alicia, another English accent I could listen to all day. It was interesting because I was discussing this book with my mom who does not listen to audiobooks (shame on her) and I think the characters were so much more likable for me because I had more of a connection with them through their voices. Does this make sense? To clarify she love the book, I just think I saw some things a little differently because I had a little more of a personal connection. Audiobooks really do add another dimension to the story, in my humble opinion.
  • 🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head! OK I know this is not politically correct, but seriously this was the song running through my head during this book 🙃
  • … See a clinic full of cynics
    Who want to twist the peoples’ wrist
    They’re watching every move we make
    We’re all included on the list
    … The lunatics have taken over the asylum
    The lunatics have taken over the asylum
    … No nuclear the cowboy told us
    And who am I to disagree
    ‘Cause when the madman flips the switch
    The nuclear will go for me
    … The lunatics have taken over the asylum
    The lunatics have taken over the asylum
    … I’ve seen the faces of starvation
    But I just can not see the points
    ‘Cause there’s so much food here today
    That no one wants to take away
    … The lunatics have taken over the asylum
    The lunatics have taken over the asylum
    The lunatics have taken over the asylum, take away my right to choose
    The lunatics…
  • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g0daraC4i0s
  • *** A huge thank you to Macmillan Audio for my copy of this book ***

My Mom’s Thoughts

The author of THE SILENT PATIENT made a wise career move when he decided to write a novel instead of a screenplay.  What a trip he takes the reader on with a calm narrator and a mute patient towards a shocking reveal.  Nothing was quite the way it seemed to be and the truth was well hidden.  A quick, captivating read you won’t soon forget.

About the Book

“That rarest of beasts: the perfect thriller. This extraordinary novel set my blood fizzingI quite literally couldnt put it down.” A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the WindowThis program includes a bonus interview with the author.Promising to be the debut of the season The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a womans act of violence against her husbandand of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motiveAlicia Berensons life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of Londons most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.Alicias refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivationsa search for the truth that threatens to consume him…. More praise for The Silent Patient: Absolutely brilliant I read it in a state of intense, breathless excitement. Stephen Fry Smart, sophisticated storytelling freighted with real suspense – a very fine novel by any standard. Lee ChildThe Silent Patient sneaks up on you like a slash of intimidating shadow on a bad 

Have a beautiful day! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib @StMartinsPress @MacmillanAudio #bookreview #audiobook

Happy Tuesday and happy publication day to this beautiful story!

I am so delighted to be part of the blog tour and share with you today my review for this hauntingly exquisite story guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings!💛🦢

  • The Girls at 17 Swann Street

  • By: Yara Zgheib
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 02-05-19
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio

My Thoughts

A hauntingly powerful story alive with heartbreak and hope!

Yara Zgheib’s debut is a stunning story resplendent with compassion and heart! An important story, a story that needed to be told, and that could not have been told any better than it was in this book…Miss Zgheib handles the tough and emotional subject of eating disorders with a gentle and loving hand… she handles the subject in a realistic and raw manner, but never lost sight of or compassion for those who suffer…. approximately 1 in 20 Americans suffer from some type of eating disorder in their lifetime… I have work in the fitness industry my entire adult life and I can attest to the fact that eating disorders can manifest in many forms and at any age… my daughter was a competitive dancer when she was younger and the same rules apply in the dance world… there is such an emphasis in so much pressure on women young and old to be thin and fit and perfect especially today when so much is out there on social media…. I truly believe this story will make so many women realize that they are not alone and that there is so much more to life than being thin….

This is Anna’s story… Anna is a 26-year-old exdancer who just moved from France to Missouri with her loving husband Mateus… Anna used to be happy and full of life, she used to be able to enjoy ice cream and french fries… then her relationship with food became toxic and life-threatening… One day when her husband found her after she fainted in the bathroom, they knew it was time for her to get help…. that is when Anna enters the treatment center at 17 Swann Street…

The story is told from the present and the past… Anna’s life leading up to her present situation, including an abusive boyfriend… as well as Anna’s time spent in the treatment center… I really enjoyed getting to know all the girls at 17 Swann Street and hearing their own unique stories…. I also like how the meal plans and treatment notes were interspersed throughout the book, it really added some authenticity to the story… Anna was such a sweet caring girl with such a big heart I had so much compassion for her throughout the story… I was so happy she had such an amazing support system within the treatment center and an incredible husband who was really a rock!

Such an elegant, honest, and emotional story that will have a hold on your heart long after the last page has been read! Absolutely recommend!

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by one of my favorite narrators Saskia Maarleveld… she told the story with so much compassion and beauty… she really painted a beautiful picture with her voice!

🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head, this was not easy I needed to find a hauntingly beautiful song that really was worthy of such a lovely story!
Well I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
Well it goes like this:
The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
But baby I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
You know, I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
And love…

*** many many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for my copies of this beautiful book ***

About the Book

The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.
 
Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day.
Every bite causes anxiety.  Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street.
Buy Links:

Meet the Author

About the Author:
Yara Zgheib is a Fulbright scholar with a Masters degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a PhD in International Affairs in Diplomacy from Centre D’études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris. She is fluent in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish. Yara is a writer for several US and European magazines, including The Huffington Post, The Four Seasons Magazine, A Woman’s Paris, The Idea List, and Holiday Magazine. She writes on culture, art, travel, and philosophy on her blog, “Aristotle at Afternoon Tea” (http://www.aristotleatafternoontea.com/).
Have a beautiful day! Berit☀️✨
Posted in Contemporary Fiction

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal @SoniahKamal #bookreview

Happy super Bowl Sunday booklovers! All I have to say is GO RAMS!🏈

Delighted to share with you today my review for this beautiful book! This was a book that really caught me by surprise, I had no idea it would captured my heart so completely!💕

Unmarriageable

My Thoughts

A beautifully told story full of character charm and culture! This was such a magical story, a modern retelling of “Pride and Prejudice“ set in modern day Pakistan… Full disclosure I have never read P&P ( don’t tell anybody) and this book still was pure magic! Soniah Kamal has crafted a wonderfully told tale that really brought the people and the culture of Pakistan to life…

Alys is a modern self-sufficient woman living in a not so modern or forward thinking Pakistan… there is a definite tug-of-war between what Alys wants and what her mother and society believe she needs… Alys is the second daughter in a family of five girls, and her mother is determined to get them all married off well… Alys Who works as a English literature teacher feels as though it is more important to educate girls and teach them that they can be more than just somebody’s wife…

The Pakistani culture absolutely fascinated me and I loved learning about a different culture… The characters in the story were so well developed and likable… I was seriously ready to hop on a plane to Pakistan and visit Alys and sisters… any similarities to P&P were completely lost on me, but as I mentioned previously that definitely did not hinder my enjoyment of this book… The story was captivating, the characters were charming, and the romance was sweet… yes there is a Mr. Darcy and even I know that is from the original…

This is an exquisite story that will make you proud to be a woman and grateful that there are wonderful books like this to read! Absolutely recommend!

🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head! I could see this being Alys’s anthem!

Question, tell me what you think about me
I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings
Only ring your celly when I’m feelin’ lonely
When it’s all over please get up and leave
Question, tell me how you feel about this
Try to control me, boy, you get dismissed
Pay my own fun, oh, and I pay my own bills
Always fifty fifty in relationships
The shoes on my feet, I’ve bought it
The clothes I’m wearing, I’ve bought it
The rock I’m rockin’, I’ve bought it
‘Cause I depend on me if I want it
The watch I’m wearin’, I’ve bought it
The house I live in, I’ve bought it
The car I’m driving, I’ve bought it
I depend on me, I depend on me
All the women, who are independent
Throw your…

Destinys Child 2000

*** A huge thank you to Random House Valentine for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

In this one-of-a-kind retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.

When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

Told with wry wit and colorful prose, Unmarriageable is a charming update on Jane Austen’s beloved novel and an exhilarating exploration of love, marriage, class, and sisterhood.

Advance praise for Unmarriageable

“[A] funny, sometimes romantic, often thought-provoking glimpse into Pakistani culture, one which adroitly illustrates the double standards women face when navigating sex, love, and marriage. This is a must-read for devout Austenites.”Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

Unmarriageable is a joy to read! It transforms a familiar story into something new and fresh and different, but keeps all of the warmth and intelligence of the original. I loved everything about these characters and spending time in their world.”—Jasmine Guillory, author of The Wedding Date 

Unmarriageable raises an eyebrow at a society that views marriage as the ultimate prize for women. Crackling with witty dialogue, family tensions, humor, and rich details of life in contemporary Pakistan, it tells an entirely new story about love, luck, and literature.”—Balli Kaur Jaswal 

Hope your day is full of books and words! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne @SherylBrowne @bookouture #bookreview

Happy hump day book lovers!

I have no idea how it is already January 30? Where did January go? Time sure flies when you’re always behind! Anyways I am so excited to share with you today my review for this dark twisted thriller! A huge thank you to Kim for my invitation to this tour and two Sheryl Browne for blowing my mind!🤯

She made her bed. You’ll lie in it.

Rebecca only wanted to help out – to be kind. Richard seemed so alone after his wife, Nicole, died, and Rebecca wanted to make sure he knew he had someone to rely on.

But now she’s in Nicole’s immaculate house. Drinking from her favourite crystal wine glass. Keeping shoes in her orderly closet. Comforting her sweet and grieving step-daughter. It feels like Rebecca is living another woman’s life.

And as she gets to know the neighbours, Rebecca hears stories that make her wonder: was free-spirited Nicole happy in this perfect life, or did she feel trapped? Did she feel, as Rebecca is beginning to, that something wasn’t quite right?

The book everyone’s talking about! If you loved The Girl on the TrainThe Wife Between Us and The Girl Before, you’ll be totally gripped and unable to put down this twisty page-turning psychological thriller.

My Thoughts

YES! This was a riveting dark and twisted thriller that completely captivated me!

Sheryl Browne, you seriously blew my mind with this one! This book was darker, twistier, steamier, and more disturbing… hands-down my favorite book from this author thus far! Hold onto your hats and glasses for this one, it is a crazy ride!

Nicole and Rebecca are best friends, they share everything, but I bet they never thought they would share a husband! Nicole is still dealing with her past abusive marriage, even when she is married to the seemingly fabulous Richard… Nicole confesses everything to her BFF Rebecca, she tells her all about her loving husband and how happy they are… SO when Rebecca finds out that Nicole has committed suicide, she is determined to figure out what has really happened… Rebecca meets Richard and is instantly charmed, and before she knows it she has moved into her BFFs house and life… I know what you’re thinking… what? What kind of friend moves in on her deceased Bestie’s husband? Well apparently Rebecca, and I have to say I think this is all kinds of wrong, so shady, but still somehow I liked Rebecca?

The story is told from multiple points of view, and from both the present and the past…. we learn the truth of Nicole and Richard‘s marriage as the layers are slowly peeled away through Nicole’s eyes… we also get the present day story through the eyes of Rebecca, Olivia, and even Richard…. Olivia is richer’s 19-year-old daughter, the girl seriously disturbed me throughout this entire book… this was one strange father daughter dynamic! I really liked both Rebecca and Nicole, I was really conflicted sometimes because I didn’t necessarily agree with their actions, but I really found them both quite likable…. Richard, I am admittedly a bit of a man hater, so I was suspicious of him from page 1… * just to clarify I love my sons, my dad, my brothers, but I really have bad taste in men, so I’m not crazy about anyone that I previously had a relationship with! I’m a little jaded!* so what in the world is going on? Is Richard really a good guy or is it all an act? Is Olivia just a spoiled brat or pure evil? And what in the world is Nicole doing? At about 60% this book goes off the rails, starts zigging and zagging and bobbing and weaving… I had no idea what side was up? Oh what a dark disturbing deceitful journey this book took me on!

This was an intriguing, disturbing, dark, deceitful, twisted, and brilliant book! Absolutely recommend!

🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head! this is the first time I am going to use this song, but I can guarantee it won’t be my last, this is my go to crazy train book song! All aboard!🚂

All aboard!

Hahahahaha

Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye…

Crazy, but that’s how it goes

Millions of people living as foes

Maybe it’s not too late

To learn how to love and forget how to hate

Mental wounds not healing

Life’s a bitter shame

I’m going off the rails on a crazy train

I’m going off the rails on a crazy train

I’ve listened to preachers, I’ve listened to fools

I’ve watched all the dropouts who make their own rules

One person conditioned to rule and control

The media sells it and you live the role

Mental wounds still screaming

Driving me insane

I’m going off the rails on a crazy train

I’m going off the rails on a crazy train

I know that things are going wrong for me

You gotta…

Ozzy Osbourne 1980

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy1V5LHXWbg

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

About the author
Bestselling Author, Sheryl Browne, brings you powerful psychological thriller and contemporary fiction.  A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previously writing for award winning Choc Lit, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

So why does Sheryl write in two genres? Quoting E. L. Doctorow, Sheryl says: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights…” This she thinks sums up a writer’s journey, you never quite know where you are going until you get there. You might start with an outline, but a strong character will always divert from the plot. If Sheryl’s not sure where a character is going, she simply has to trust him to show her the way. Plus, according to one reviewer, she also has a scary insight into the mind of a psychopath. 


To find out more about Sheryl’s novels, go to www.facebook.com/SherylBrowne.Author/ or follow @SherylBrowne on Twitter. 
To find out more about Sheryl, go to www.sherylbrowne.com
Buy Links: 
Have a lovely day! Berit☀️✨