Fatal Witness

Fatal Witness by Robert Bryndza

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Detective Erika Foster comes across her new case right outside of her newly bought home. The neighbor is found gruesomely murdered inside her apartment. After a thorough examination of the scene of the murder, the team finds multiple clues that eventually lead them to a shocking discovery.

It’s a good book and had many great twists. Unfortunately while reading the book I found myself distracted and it took me a while to finish it. Great story with a lot of potentials, but I didn’t feel the suspense. Nevertheless, I liked Erika’s character and would like to read another sequel with this detective.

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What Happens in Greece

What Happens in Greece by Sue Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great feel-good novel that is taking place on the island of Greece.

When they discovered a sale of a gorgeous house on their favorite greek island – Jamie and Charlotte take a leap of faith, buy the scenic house and move to their favorite place on earth, with hopes of everyday vacation mode life. But weeks after the move, the couple realizes that they both have absolutely different views on their future. So as Jamie goes packing and moves back to their hometown, Charlotte takes time to let her broken heart heal. As time passes, she realizes how much she has missed her other love – the love for baking. And with a help of wonderful neighbors and newly met friends, Charlotte reopens the only bakery on her beloved island. And in the midst of living her dream life, our heroine begins to develop feelings for a dark, tall, and handsome local restaurant owner. And suddenly she receives a call from Jamie.

Although the novel was ah so predictable, I did enjoy a beautiful and inspiring story about following the heart and dreams. Of course, this is fiction, and in a book anything is possible and every character gets their happy ending. But stories like this give us hope and faith that everything works out in the end. After a number of suspense novels, this book was a breath of fresh air, a great break from my usual genre of reading. Thank you, NetGalley for a free and advanced copy of this novel in the exchange for my honest review.

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The Secret Wife

The Secret Wife by Emily Shiner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What was supposed to be a fun family camping trip, turned into the parents’ worst nightmare when Cara and Michael’s daughters go missing. Michael’s thoroughly thought plan has been ruined. His past prevents him to tell the truth and open up to Cara, but Michael has underestimated his wife. And in this cunning game, the player gets played.

As a new mother, I was mortified by the kidnapping part of the story. Of the two main characters, Cara has shocked me the most. I did expect Michael to be a shady character from the very first pages, but Cara’s sharp persona put this sneaky man into his place, and more importantly, gave him a justified punishment. I wanted to love the novel, but some parts of it seemed unrealistic and just didn’t play well together.

Thank you, NetGalley for a free copy of the novel in the exchange for my honest review.

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The Painter’s Girl

The Painter’s Girl by Helen Fripp

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mimi lives a life of poverty. But with loyal friends by her side and driven by the love of her daughter, she makes it her target to climb her way out of Paris slums. Mimi takes every opportunity that comes her way to make connections, which brings her a little closer to her goal… but life is a funny thing, and our sweet little heroine meets many obstacles on her way.

This book is filled with so many famous names, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir… Reading this novel felt as if I traveled in time into the 1860s. Mimi’s story was despairing, but she has managed to pull thru, and just like a cat, lived thru numerous lives. Beautiful, encouraging, and simply heartwarming story. Perfect for a summer beach trip or a lazy evening on the comfy sofa with a glass of cold rose. Thank you, NetGalley for a free and advanced copy of the novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Guilty Women

Guilty Women by Melanie Blake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A group of women will stop at nothing to get what they want. And all they want is their beloved show to blossom as it has been doing for over 40 years. The power of strong women working together can reach the stars, and grab it, just like our fascinating characters did. But behind the power, there is a price that each and one of them will have to pay.

I will admit, that the beginning of the novel didn’t amuse me at all, but it gets better with each chapter. A lot of drama. So get ready for that. I have enjoyed many of the plot twists. The characters did some pretty dirty stuff to get to the power of the soap opera they spent years creating, but it was not an excuse for the road they took to get there. The ending was satisfying. Although I did not like the drama of the novel, it has made a great read. Thank you, NetGalley for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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The New Neighbor

The New Neighbour by Miranda Rijks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Close, a small and picturesque countryside community is a dream place to live in. With five houses in line, each neighbor gets their space and privacy. But six months prior, an awful accident brings a string of unfortunate incidents to each and every resident of The Close.

Great novel, the pacing is fast and it includes many shocking plot twists. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. A wonderful set of neighbors and their tricky secrets. I mean, let’s be honest, we all have something to hide, but this circle of neighbors are way out of our league. And the ending of the novel was absolutely satisfying. Phenomenal read. Thank you NetGalley and Inkubator Books publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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An American in Provence

An American in Provence: Art, Life and Photography by Jamie Beck

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful, feel-good book with absolutely stunning photos.

The moment I began to read this book, it unleashed the memories of my own desire to leave NY and move across the ocean to a beautiful Frances. Jamie Beck’s story is simply satisfying. I could not help but burst with joy at her new life in Provence. The struggles with the new culture and language made her love for wonderful France even stronger.

An inspiring book, filled not only with great and happy experiences but includes amazing recipes that I have tried and it came out delicious (taking into consideration this was my first time making it), cant wait to try the rest.

And the photos are simply remarkable. Jamie Beck is a successful professional photographer, and all photos that are included in this wonderful book are taken by her. She also gives a number of tips on how to take beautiful shots.

Now I am going to stop bragging about this book so you can go ahead and get a copy of it for yourself. This will also make a phenomenal gift.

Thank you, NetGalley for a free and advanced copy of the book and Jamie Beck for a an astonishing story.

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And There He Kept Her

And There He Kept Her by Joshua Moehling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After years away, Packard is back in his hometown. The place that took his brother away from their family. The tragedy struck the family for the second time when the young girl and her boyfriend goes missing. But behind the story of missing teens lays another gruesome secret. And the person behind it is ready to take all necessary measurements to let the dead lay as low as he buried them.

Spine chilling thriller. I was a bit disturbed during some parts of the novel. This is definitely a graphic read. But I enjoyed the investigating part of the novel and was very impressed by Packard’s character. The pacing of the novel is very fast, and the author has managed to fit the background stories of the detective and his family, which makes me think the sequel of the novel will follow, and I would like to get my hands on it as well. Thank you NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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My Life In France

My Life in France by Julia Child

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I met Julia Child for the first time in the movie “Julie and Julia”. It took me a while to get to this wonderful book, but I am so glad I’ve waited this long as I’ve appreciated it so much more.
First, Julia is a firecracker. So much fire in one character, I was simply amazed! But we have bonded on our mutual love for the delicious French cuisine.

Julia’s life in France is simply spectacular. I could feel her character shine thru the words of the book. She was able to adapt to post war Paris and fall in love with the magnificent city within the days of her arrival. But this book is not about Paris, or France. It’s about the French cuisine. Julia was the first person who taught the world, not just the Americans, how to master the French cooking. The work that went into the first cook book was tremendous, and I was amazed at how much thought was put into each recipe. I was so impressed, I’ve ordered the cook book and going to try the famous recipes myself. Wish me luck!

My second favorite part of the book is Julia and Paul’s relationship. Their love, support and patience for each other is simply inspiring.

This was an undeniably enjoyable read.

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the Principle of Reverse.

Maya and Bailey’s travel journey began with their first move to a small Southern town to live with their parental grandmother after their parents’ divorce. But as two siblings settled down in their new home, their parents made yet another decision of relocating their children. This time, Maya and Bailey moved into their mother’s hometown. While Bailey was beyond happy to be reunited with their mother, Maya felt a sting of loss. And when her mother’s admirer showed Maya a little affection, the little girl fell into the arms of a very malicious man. After the traumatic event, Maya and Bailey are moved to their grandmother’s house, where the young girl discovers her calling for studying. But the duo’s adventure is only beginning. The following move is back to their beloved mother. This time, Maya strikes a deep connection with her mother, whose support teaches her valuable life lessons.

The novel ends on a sweet note. But it left me with so many questions and a longing to know more of Maya’s story. From her rough upbringing, Maya brought into her adulthood love, self-worth, and strength to overcome any obstacles played on her road to this beautiful thing we call life. Such an inspiring novel. Throughout the book, reading about subjects such as rape and racism, I felt no notion of resentment. Maya’s novel bursts with joy for life, willingness for change, and longing for equality. She teaches the readers that it’s ok to go thru abuse, survive and be happy. You are not alone.

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The Girlfriend

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rought upbringing should not define one’s future, right? Cherry is convinced that she was born to live a life of privilege. She is ashamed of her impoverished childhood and resents her mother for the choices she’s made and her low life goals. So when handsome and well-off Daniel walks into her life – she makes it her mission to marry him. Luring Daniel into her arms was easy, but Cherry underestimated his overprotective mother and the measures she would take to separate the couple.

I loved the novel, especially since it was told from both Cherry and Laura’s perspectives. The reader is given the opportunity to observe each woman’s point. Although both Cherry and Laura crossed the lines in the attempts to make the decision for Daniel, the idea of the plot is very entertaining. I enjoyed reading about the rivalry of two very strong and smart characters. Neither woman gave up the opportunity to fight for their goals. This novel deserves all of my five stars and I would recommend it to all thriller lovers out there. In a sea of great thriller novels, it is hard to come upon an intriguing and daring plot. Thank you, NetGalley and Pan Macmillan publisher for a free copy of the novel.

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