Christmas in Vermont

Christmas in VermontChristmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anita Hughes’ books are becoming a part of my Twelve Books of Christmas Tradition.

This year, I’ve spent a wonderful time in a beautiful little town in Vermont. My travelers were college sweethearts Emma and Fletcher. The story of the two goes back 11 years. One fateful evening, before the graduation, the couple makes a chain of unfortunate mistakes that leads to the sudden break-up.

Fast forward to the present tense, the two meet in a winter wonderland – Vermont. Fletcher, who is spending a romantic holiday in the countryside with his daughter and new fiance, runs into his ex-girlfriend Emma. What he does not know, is the fact that Emma has followed him to snowy Vermont for a reason, and the reason is – to rekindle the old flame.

I love Anita Hughes’s novels. And this one was a perfect little story, however, I was disappointed with the characters, especially Bronwyn, Lola, and Megan. Lola did not sound like a 10-year-old at all, Megan was a spoiled brat from page one and Bronwyn was just blah, I could not find anything interesting about her. The plot is very predictable, I guess I was expecting a little challenge there. Nevertheless, this is a sweet novel to cuddle up with during chilly winter evenings.

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A Noel Killing

A Noël Killing (Verlaque and Bonnet, #8)A Noël Killing by M.L. Longworth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was a pleasure to reconnect with Antoine Verlaque and Marine Bonnet again, and the best part of all was to spend a wonderful Christmas time with then in spectacular Aix-en-Provence.

And all was fun and games with joyful Christmas carols and delicious dinner and wine… until a local businessman dropped dead in the middle of Christmas festivities in a local church. Verlaque, who hates Christmas, was absolutely excited to shift his attention to a new case. And what a case… it involved secrets, mafia, and shady business owners… all fun ingredients for a juicy and thrilling Christmas mystery.

I’m loving Antoine and Marine relationship. Not a fan of many characters that are involved in the novel, but it worked well for this storyline. This is a perfect book to cuddle up with during cold winter evenings.

Thank you Penguin Books for a free copy of the novel and M. L. Longworth for a marvelous Christmas mystery.

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Rebecca

RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…

Young, timid and naïve companion to a rich American woman meets a dashing and charming widower on the holiday in Monte Carlo. Shortly after meeting wealthy Englishman, she accepts his surprise marriage proposal, and after tying the knot and marvelous honeymoon in Italy, Maxim de Winter brings the young wife back to his ominous and gothic estate of Manderley. The married life in Manderley is everything young Mrs. de Winter has ever dreamed of, however, the shadow of recently drowner wife of Maxim beginning to weight on the new marriage.

Rebecca de Winter – a famous beauty with miraculous taste in fashion, devoted and loving wife and perfect hostess… Our young Mrs. de Winter has large shoes to fit, however at every step and turn her efforts are desperately crashed.

Rebecca is one of the quintessential books I ever read. Deception, misery, revenge, unhealthy relationships – this novel has it all! My advice to you – take a trip to gothic Manderley, you will not be left disappointed.

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The Wives

The WivesThe Wives by Tarryn Fisher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The Wives” is a thriller in the best tradition of Alfred Hitchcock, it’s the kind of book that’s nearly impossible to put down.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Seth live in a polygamy relationship. The only thing that all three women have in common is Seth. They have never met, live in different cities, have distinct hobbies and careers, they never contacted each other, and more than that – they do not even know each other’s names. However, this idyllic arrangement is about to hit an iceberg. Buckle up your belts – you’re in for a mystifying ride.

This novel is amazing suspense, it has everything: unreliable narrator, twisty turns, “what in the world?” moments. A perfect marriage/relationship/arrangement that is a lot more then meets the eye. The best part about this novel is the punches never stop coming. Even when I neared the end – BOOM another big reveal. I’m very good at predicting the ending, and with this book, I’ve made many assumptions, several guesses as to what is going on – and yet I was still so wrong! Thank you NetGalley and Graydon House publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel, and Tarryn Fisher for a hopelessly tragically perfect thriller.

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Never Have I Ever

Never Have I EverNever Have I Ever by Lucy V. Hay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

New mother, happily married and successful writer – three remarks that perfectly describe our feisty main character – Samantha. The story begins with her recent move from busy and noisy London back to her home town – Ilfracombe. The relocation went nice and smooth, her son Caleb and husband Mo seem to adjust and favor the new home. And so did Sam, until old ghosts started to make a fresh appearance in her new life.

Never Have I Ever Been Punished For What I Have Done…

Seriously, if I would ever receive that kind of note, I would pack up my life and move far far away from a creepy place and weirdos that write such threats. But of course, Sam decides to stand her grounds and find and confront her bully. In order to do so, Sam must go down her memory lane, reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. What first sounded like a good plan – started to bring back the memories Samantha spend twenty-three years to forget.

Should the past be left in the past? And what sacrifices a woman can make to keep her family safe?

Well written, dark, disturbing, twisty, and unsettling. Looking forward to reading more from the talented author. Thank you, NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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Revolutionary Brothers

Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship That Helped Forge Two NationsRevolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship That Helped Forge Two Nations by Tom Chaffin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised by Tom Chaffin’s new book “Revolutionary Brothers“.

The novel gives a short but very detailed dual biography of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de LaFayette. As a good American, I know many facts and details of Mr. Jefferson’s life, however, this book gave me a better insight into his life before and after making a huge impact on American History.

The story of the Marquis de LaFayette’s life was very fascinating, and his rise and fall of power have been very intriguing. He has left tremendous footsteps in American history, and unfortunately is not fully recognized by it.

An author has written a history that reads like a novel, which makes it so easy to read. He characterized the friendship of two extraordinary people in a remarkable manner. Thanks to him, I learned so much more about American History. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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