The Hidden Beach

The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Life is so much simpler when people just talk honestly.

After a major life event, England native Bell settles down in Sweden. The job as a nanny was dropped into her hands… After meeting Hanna, a mom of three in the cafe, ad giving her a little hand of help, Belle found herself with a well-paying and purposeful job. One of the perks of working for the family was a summer getaway on the beautiful island, outside of the civilization. This year the summer holiday is very different. The family that she loves and works for keeps a very major secret hidden from Bell, and their children. Bell’s job got a lot more difficult, especially since her own feelings got involved in the family’s affair.

It feels so good to go back to romance novels, and Karen Swan’s novels are the best. She puts a lot of effort into her research, hence her books are always unique and filled with so many details of the foreign places, their beauty, and history. This is not my most favorite novel by this author, but I did enjoy the story and the intriguing twists that it came with.

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The Late Mr. Cary

THE LATE MR. CARY: A 1920s mystery by Michael Campeta

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story takes us to a snowy and cold Albany NY. Outside is 1928. Megan boards a train in NY, not knowing that this trip will change her life. On the train, she meets a queer woman who shares a shocking secret with her. Megan also meets a handsome man in a cafe cabin. After her arrival in Albany, our young librarian crosses paths with her new acquaintances and forms a close friendship. The shocking twist comes at the end when her new friends meet her family-in-law. The fatal encounter leads to a string of shocking events.

Loved the final plot twist. I did see it coming, but fully enjoyed the reveal presented by the author. It is a fun and easy read, slow at the beginning but picks up the pace towards the end. I also found the dialogue between the characters a bit peculiar, as it lacked the natural flow. But it’s easy to disregard taking into consideration the mystery part of the whole novel.

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The People’s Princess

The People’s Princess by Flora Harding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Diana’s tragic story as a princess of Wells is well known. And the more I read about her, the more I begin to understand the person behind the title. Said that – I am always happy to get my hands on any additional material evolving the People’s Princess.

Shortly after her engagement, in the hallways of the grand Buckingham Palace, Diana’s attention is caught by the portrait of a beautiful girl with a free spirit in her eyes. The portrait is of another princess of Wales, the Queen that never was. After developing an unusual interest in Princess Charlotte, Diana receives the best surprise of all, Charlotte’s diary full of all her secrets, domestic, love, and political affairs.

Although I’ve enjoyed this book, it was mainly focused on Princess Charlotte instead of Diana. I did learn numerous interesting historical details about the mysterious princess, whose premature death has changed the English monarchy.

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Make Me Disappear

Make Me Disappear by Jessica Payne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Handsome, attentive, wealthy… Daniel is the perfect boyfriend any girl could ask for. And Noelle considers herself the luckiest girl on Earth. But with time Daniel’s attention begins to smother her, and as a result, she finds herself in the tight claws of Daniel’s “love”. But the worst is yet to come. After short but successful research into Daniel’s previous relationship, she uncovers an ugly truth. Guided by fear, Noelle stages her own kidnapping, but that’s when the situation becomes very tricky and the pretend kidnapping turns into a run for her life.

This was definitely an interesting novel. I had many mixed feelings during the read. Will admit, that the plot at times was overdramatic. Certain parts just didn’t seem realistic. However, the pace of the novel was fast, and it moved from one scene to another one with lightning speed. And now, let’s talk about the fiction bomb thrown at the very end of the novel. Although I’ve expected something similar to happen, the magnitude of the twist was simply marvelous.

Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture publisher for a free and advanced copy of this novel.

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The Paris Apartment

The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My obsession with Paris began many years ago, and I’ve read multiple stories about abandoned apartments in Paris and the storylines of their owners. This book, like all others, was unique and full of war horrors and losses of the war.

After her adopted family has been taken away by the Nazis, Estelle joins the french resistance. For months she hides her fellow allies, collects and shares info picked up during her time at the Ritz, and thru this work, she meets the mysterious and fearless Sophie. The list of events that took place after the fateful meeting, divided Estelle’s life into before and after. And seventy years later, Estelle opens a door to an apartment that was vacated during the war and discover’s her grandmother’s past.

I absolutely loved Estelle and Sophia’s timeline. Both of their stories are filled with bravery. I was once again amused by the courage of the resistance, who risked their lives in order to protect the innocent. Unfortunately, the “present” part was a bit disappointing. I wish the story was told without Aurelia and Gabriel’s romance. Their story seemed tacky in comparison to the service their relatives provided during WWII.

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The Girl From The Sea

The Girl From The Sea by Shalini Boland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my second book by Shalini Boland and I was amazed yet again!

Our main heroine wakes up on the beach, with no memories. Days later she is claimed by a man who says he is her boyfriend. After arriving at her home, meeting her family and friends, and learning about her life before the accident, she realizes that she no longer wants to follow the lifestyle she lived prior to her accident. And it’s easier said than done, especially with a tricky past like Mia’s.

The shocking plot twist comes at a very end. Did I see it coming? Never in a million books! Don’t want to spill any spoilers, but if you’re like me – hard to surprise by a shocking ending – you must drop everything you’re reading and get this book NOW. It took me about 24 hours to read and complete the novel, that’s the major green flag for a thriller book. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture publisher for a free copy of this amazing thriller!!!

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Last Call At The Nightingale

Last Call at the Nightingale by Katharine Schellman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Absolutely captivating Jazz age mystery.

The Nightingale is more than an underground dance hall. People come here to lose themselves from ordinary everyday life. Release the pressure of playing roles that society is expecting them to be… The Nightingale is home to rebels. Vivian is one of these people. One night, she stumbles upon a body in an alley of the club. the accident can cause big problems for the club and many of its visitors may lose the only place they can truly be themselves. After some persuasion, Vivian decides to help her beloved club, in a long run making new acquaintances and building a new and bright future.

The beginning of the novel was very slow. My biggest pet peeve is the large number of characters in the novel. I was pleasantly surprised by the way the author navigated thru the characters, making them all useful and a part of one big picture. Overall it was a very enjoyable read. Thank you NetGalley and Minotaur Books publisher for a free copy of the novel.

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