The Honeybee Emeralds

The Honeybee Emeralds by Amy Tector

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every piece of jewelry tells a story

A Mysterious Honeybee Emerald neckless lived many lives before it landed in the hands of a young researcher of the Parisian oldest magazine “Bonjour Paris.” A group of very diverse characters formed a “fellowship” made it their goal to a) find the rightful owners of the mysterious neckless and b) save the drowning magazine from issuing its very last copy. During long but very thorough research, the group discovered a list of very exquisite owners of the neckless, but the biggest and most shocking secret of all was uncovered during the reading of the very unique letter left by a least expected individual.

I was pleasantly impressed by the plot. This novel is up to my alley – it has a great history and mystery, and it is based in a beautiful Paris. I was particularly pleased with the author’s pairing of the characters. I was very well matched and didn’t create the sappy love novel instead of focusing on the peculiar jewelry with its grand history. I enjoyed learning about its owners and the link that connected them all. This is a nice, easy read, with enough excitement to keep the reader glued to the pages of the book. Thank you, NetGalley and Keylight Books publisher, for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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Stay Awake

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.

Finally, after years of struggle, Liv is living the life she longed for – a job at a glamorous magazine, an apartment in a beautiful brownstone, a devoted best friend, and a handsome boyfriend. Suddenly, strange things began to happen, she wakes up in random places she has no idea how she got to, with odd writings on her arms, but one stand out of it all – STAY AWAKE. It all begins to crash down at the same time – her best friend and boyfriend are out of reach, strange people living in her apartment, her favorite coffee shop is closed, and her job… is miles away, across the ocean. The last thing Liv remembers before waking up is answering her office phone, now she desperately needs to find out what accrued between the strange phone call and the moment she woke up.

Megan Goldin has blown my mind AGAIN. I’m afraid to give out the details, all you need to know is – the characters are well written, the plot is fantastic, and the pacing is on point. The four stars are for the ending – in my opinion, the perpetrator’s style was completely off when it came to Liv at the end and it threw me off the balance. Nevertheless, it was an addictive and thrilling read. If you’re a fan of bewildered thrillers – this book is for you. Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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The Party At Number 12

The Party at Number 12 by Kerry Wilkinson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One evening, one party, one murder… one night to remember for the rest of their lives.

After receiving a generous inheritance, Hannah’s mind is set to see the world. Her family and friends have mixed feelings about her plan; nevertheless, they all gathered together to give Hannah a farewell party, aka good ole girls’ sleepover. The party is filled with food, booze, games, and light drugs. In the morning, the gang discovers that one of their girls is dead. The group decides against police involvement, as each person has something to hide from law enforcement. But no matter how hard they have tried to hide all the evidence, police have quickly found their way to a strange group of guests.

What an exciting read. I loved the connection between all the characters. The phenomenal, mysterious plot, and the twisty reveals were well done. The story had me captivated, and I really looked forward to knowing what was going on and how the novel would end. It is hard for me to comprehend the action the group has taken. Maybe it was a shock that guided them to that plan. Nevertheless, I was happy when, despite giving the word to keep up with the lies to protect the group, Hannah gave up and decided to uncover the mystery of her friend’s death. This is my first book by Kerry Wilkinson and definitely not the last. Thank you, NetGalley and Bookouture publisher, for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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Tender Is The Night

Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He was so terrible that he was no longer terrible, only dehumanized.

Dick and Nicole’s marriage is not an ordinary one. Although he declares his love for his wife, there was one more reason for which they have tied the nuptials. Nicole has spent her young years in the asylum, from which she was passed on into the hands of a young and handsome doctor. Together with a gorgeous wife, Dick has inherited Nicole’s family fortune and her peculiar medical case that he spent years of studying.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Nicole’s character closely based on Scott’s own wife Zelda? Dick and Nicole’s relationship reflected the one Scott and Zelda had for years. Nevertheless, Dick’s character was well built. I loved to hate him, but at the same time felt sorry for the life he has wasted. He was not meant to be tight to one person, one place, one job. He is a free spirit that needed to be fully unleashed.

This is a beautiful work of fiction: the language, the story, the characters… Scott Fitzgerald’s novels tend to move me in a way not many authors do. I think of the characters past the final pages of the books, his stories stay with me for a long time.

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The Younger Wife

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The universe is based on a fair exchange. What you give you will get.

The heart wants what it wants, and Heather’s heart wants Stephen. Heather and Stephen had an unusual courtship. But after they confessed to mutual feelings, their relationship quickly led to the walk down an aisle. As Heather’s life began to change, together with a “happy ending” she began to experience a very strange change in herself.

The story is told by three characters: Heather, the younger fiance, and two sisters Tully and Rachel. All three are suffering from childhood traumas, and all three are dealing with their struggles on their own. I liked the fact that the novel was told from three different points of view, each, focusing on Stephen from a different direction. I give this novel four stars for its great plot, wonderful background on three characters. The twist was not shocking, but I’ve enjoyed it as the evil personage met the rightful punishment. This book is a fast, enjoyable, and easy read, without major suspense. Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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My Dead Husband

My Dead Husband by N.J. Moss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all, this is not your typical thriller. So, think twice before reading it.

After a nightmare of a marriage, Ellie manages to gather her strength and leave her abusive husband. But when her life finally got back on track, a shocking turn of events is threatening to ruin her life as she knows it.

I do not even know how to start this review. The writing was great. Incredibly dark, shocking, and disturbing twists at the end of the novel were not foreseen by me. I did finish the book… I wish I had never started it. The plot of the book was well built, but the characters’ link with domestic violence, sex abuse, child rape (just to name a few) was dark and twisted and not at all my cup of tea. I do give an author a credit for going forward with a shocking and gripping idea of the book. Thank NetGalley for a free copy of the novel.

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A Place To Call Home

A Place to Call Home by Lizzie Page

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a while to get into the book. I’ve restarted it four times, and finally, the fourth time was the lucky break. Wonderful story of love and trust and fight and triumph, and long road of orphan children to building a family.

Sometimes it takes only one person to change someone’s life forever. For the children of the Shilling Grange Orphanage, it was Clara Newton. After the war, she has dedicated her time, life and heart to the children who lost everything during the war. And by everything I do not mean the material things, besides their beloved parents, they have lost hope, trust, and security.

Once Ms. Newton finally found her way to her children’s hearts, she received a piece of devastating news. Their home was up for sale, and kids were spread out thru multiple orphanage houses. With no time for grievance, Clara threw herself headfirst into a long fight for her children.

A beautiful and heartwarming story of a blended family. I was very happy I didn’t give up on the book at the beginning. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture publisher for an amazing story.

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How Paris Became Paris

How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I left my heart in Paris… ever since every time I visit this magnificent city – I fall in love with it over and over again.

The city of light represents more than an Eiffel tower and shops on the Champs-Élysées, it’s more than fresh croissant from the local boulangerie, or a love lock on pond des arts. Paris holds so much history, although it is not an “old” city. This book is a phenomenal historical guide on the raise of the city of lights. Paris was a city of many firsts – the sidewalks, street theaters/entertainments, shops, street lights… The book includes the history of Paris’ bridges, architecture, streets/boulevards, and most importantly the history of the city’s financial growth and new wealth. Do not get me started on fashion and romance.

The history Paris has to offer is overwhelming. And this wonderful book highlights the major changes that made Paris what we know it today.

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