The Silver Shoes

The Silver ShoesThe Silver Shoes by Jill G. Hall

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Two women, separated by two coasts and almost ten decades, looking for love and independence.

During one of her romantic visits to New York, Anne McFarland comes upon a pair of rhinestone shoes in an antique shop. Mesmerized by the unique shoes, Anne unable to say no to a new purchase. Once at home, our leading young lady opens a box, and besides the beautiful and shiny shoes, she finds a few more interesting items in the box that draws her attention to its original owner.

And that’s the part when Clair Deveraux makes her grand entrance to the story. The young debutant is about to make her official appearance to the wealthy New York society, after the successful event, she receives a marriage proposal, which she very much like to refuse. Clair sees a much different future in front of her, which includes further education instead of arranged marriage.

The future changes quickly, and Clair & Anne must very carefully choose the next steps that will lead them to their goals.

Loved Clair’s story, her fight for freedom, and the future only she could build by being honest, determined, and open to all kinds of opportunities no matter how difficult those were. Great character, definitely someone to admire. On the other hand, I found Anne’s character needy and whiny. Looked like all her focus was on getting a shiny ring on her finger to match her newfound rhinestone shoes.

IMG_20200730_113515_878

View all my reviews

Paris Never Leaves You

Paris Never Leaves YouParis Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Two timelines, two stories, one woman.

A new mother and recent widow, Charlotte continued her employment in a book shop in an occupied Nazi Paris. Just like many of her fellow Parisians, Charlotte kept her head low and did her best to survive the shortage of food, medicine and heating supplies. The situation worsened after the imprisonment of her close friend. Unwanted friendship with a German officer carried Charlette thru some difficult time, but in a process of survival – she became an enemy of her own people.

1950, New York, now a successful editor of a prestigious publishing house, Charlotte has everything she once, in a dark room of the Parisian bookshop, could ever imagine. Great job, cozy apartment on Park Avenue, and a beautiful and intelligent daughter. No one knows the price she paid for this safe and secure life.

I love dual timeline novels! Especially about WWII. In this book, I enjoyed Charlette’s life during WWII. However, I really disliked the New York part. It felt overly dramatic, I could not understand her behavior and reasons why she hid her past from her daughter. It left me disappointed. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

IMG_20200709_094436_921

View all my reviews

The Three Mrs. Wrights

The Three Mrs. WrightsThe Three Mrs. Wrights by Linda Keir

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

His life in general had been a neatly wrapped package of lies.

Jonathan Wright, also known as Jon, Jack to close friends, Trip to new “friends”, has everything a man could ever want. A beautiful family, gorgeous and devoted wife, successful business, smart and ambitious girlfriend. Jon Wright is not an ordinary man. He is a man with a constant need for new experiences, new challenges, new business ideas, new cars, new hobbies, new lovers. His life is a constant movement, to a new city, a new country, a new lover’s bed. But all good things at one time or another come to an end, and Jon’s was not an exception.

Three strangers, divided by social class, age, and status have one thing in common: they’ve been deceived by a master of lies. And they unite to bring Jon’s cruel actions to justice.

I loved the plot, what a phenomenal and catching story. However, the ending was very disappointing and dry. It felt like a typical Hollywood movie ending. I expected better twists and more amusing revenge. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed the novel. Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a free and advanced copy of the book.

IMG_20200702_102629_865

View all my reviews

The Last Train to Key West

The Last Train to Key WestThe Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three strangers, three difficult dilemmas. Their paths cross in Key West.

After years of abuse, Helen finally makes a difficult decision. This time it is not about her, it’s about the child she is caring inside her. But will she be able to protect her unborn baby and give it a happy and carefree life?

To help her family survive – Mirta has to sacrifice her future and marry an American businessman. But will she be able to make a happy life with a man she knows nothing about, move to another country and leave her family behind?

After the Wall Street crash, Elizabeth’s life turned upside down. In order to provide care for her sick mother, she must marry a dangerous man. But will the marriage guarantee the safety net her remaining family needs?

While each young girl tries to beside their future, a big danger is approaching the sunny Key West.

I’ve heard many great reviews about Chanel Cleeton’s novel and was super excited to read her newly released novel. Loved the idea of the plot, great location. But the characters just didn’t fully catch my attention. The only personage I liked was Helen. Simple ad good-hearted girl. I wish Elizabeth and Mirta’s stories were more fascinating. Nevertheless, the story is perfect for a beach read this hot summer. Thank you NetGalley and Berkley Publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

IMG_20200625_125614_383

View all my reviews

The German Heiress

The German HeiressThe German Heiress by Anika Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The German Heiress” is a story of justice, loyalty, forgiveness, and trust.

After the end of the Great War, Germany’s “the Iron Fräulein” is hunted by English officers. All Clara wants is to locate her best friend and her son. As people say, be careful of what you wish for, you might get that. And what is waiting for Clara at the end of her search is a big shocking secret that has been kept from her by her closest family and friends.

While on the run and searching for her missing friend, Clara meets many people who are loyal to her family and help Clara on her mission. Clara’s path crosses with a war veteran Jakob, who becomes her ally during the hard times.

In a time of war, it took a strong person to break the rules, go against the political power to perform an act of human kindness, protect the innocent. During the great war, while the men were at the front lines protecting their countries – women were left behind to shield the people in need. Anika Scott gave as a perfect example of this effort in her new novel “The German Heiress”. Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow Paperbacks publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

IMG_20200323_095100_358

View all my reviews

Stolen Beauty

Stolen BeautyStolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The novel is based on a worldwide famous painting “The Woman In Gold” by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt.

A young and impressionable Adele meets an older man, with whom she falls in love and their marriage bonds two wealthy and powerful families into one magnificent dynasty that rules Vienna. Adele’s love produces and lifetime friendship with Austrian famous painted Gustav Klimt, who had created a masterpiece, now known as “The Woman In Gold”.

Forty years later, Adele’s niece Maria is following her aunt’s footsteps, however, Hitler’s hatred of Jewish people not only ruins her family life but outcasts and sets them on a run from their home, country, religion, and past.

A lifetime apart, the two women fight for their husbands, family welfare and their dignity in the world. They are beautiful, determined, strong, and Jewish – a full package of an unstoppable female.

IMG_20200309_122713_484

View all my reviews

My Perfect Wife

My Perfect WifeMy Perfect Wife by Clare Boyd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Glamour, wealth and beauty surround the graceful Huxley family on the cover of the magazine.

Lucas has everything he ever wanted, beautiful wife, cheeky children, expensive house with a grand garden, obedient help. The last thing he longs for is a business deal that can make him rich as a Rockafeller. And to seal the deal – he needs a picture-perfect event. As people say – it’s easier said than done. The sabotage of the deal is in the works, and behind it stands a woman Lucas trusts the most. You would ask: what has his fellow done to deserve this pitiful treatment? Just remember – it always takes two to tango.

Great read, with multiple twists that make the reader question every story and every fact. I wish the ending was stronger and more detailed. Liked the characters, I think it would be great if Agatha’s character was one of the narrators as well. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

Screenshot_20200310-114834_Instagram

View all my reviews

As Bright As Heaven

As Bright as HeavenAs Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Coincidentally the reading of this novel collided with the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2020.

Now, let’s travel back to 1918. The Bright family who is greaving the loss of the family member receives a chance to get a fresh start in a big city of Philadelphia. Upon their arrival, they meet and make lifelong friends. But no matter how far they try to run from their misfortune – it found the way to catch up with them.

As years passed, Brights kept standing strong and moving on with their lives, nonetheless keeping their individual secrets. I love each character and the way their life stories developed. It was great to be able to stay with the family for a long period of years and learn their final faith at the end of the book.

While reading “As Bright As Heaven” I’ve enjoyed the fiction story and the facts it presented based on the true event during the Spanish Flu outbreak. Wonderful plot, with multiple narrators, made the novel an enthralling read.

IMG_20200219_084640_708

View all my reviews

The Whispers of War

The Whispers of WarThe Whispers of War by Julia Kelly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the author of “The Light Over London” comes a new debut novel “The Whispers of War“.

Three childhood friends…
Two hostile nations…
One great war…

We’ll always be… just us three… A mantra the three girls have shared for ages since they have met at all-girls school. Years after the graduation, the three girls: German-born Marie, proud feminist, and homeowner Nora, and married matchmakers Hazel remained as close as sisters. When Germany invaded Poland, Marie’s relation to Nazi sympathizers put her life into great danger. While defending and standing by her friend’s side, Nora became dismissed from her job, but shortly after she has found a new calling by joining WREN. However, the biggest surprise came from Hazel, who decided to fight german discrimination and help fellow German-born individuals in her own way. The beginning of WWII has tested their friendship, taught each and one of them a greater life lesson, and changed their lives in different ways.

The novel covers the first year of the war (’39-’40), and it gives the reader a front-row view of London based British and german-born residents’ reaction to Hitler’s action and the beginning of the second great war. This is the time we see women starting to step up in their roles, voice and stand by their beliefs and opinions, and find their place in the world. A great story, a wonderful set of characters. Beautifully and tastefully written. Thank you NetGalley and Gallery Books publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel, and big thank you to Julia Kelly for a heartfelt story.

IMG_20200123_081416_546

View all my reviews

The Christmas Lights

The Christmas LightsThe Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like Karen Swan’s writing style. most of her books have dual storylines that are always connected. The prologues are always intriguing and pull the reader into the story from page one.

This year our main characters are Signy and Bo. Besides coming from different eras and backgrounds, the two have one thing in common – they both have experienced a trauma that has made a big effect on their lives. An incident has changed Signy’s life when she was fourteen years old. But an awful event shaped the young girl into a wise woman who in the end, overcame her sorrow and found the way to move on with her life. And when Bo’s brother passed away in her arms, she found her escape in constant running mode from the typical daily life. However, everything has changed when wise and old Signy entered Bo’s life.

I love everything about this book, location, characters, and storylines. It covers infidelity, physical and emotional abuse, murder. This is not the typical happy go lucky kind of novel, but that’s what I love about Karen Swan’s writing.

IMG_20191229_124614_283

View all my reviews

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.

IMG_20191222_094907_997

View all my reviews

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.

Screenshot_20191215-213659_Instagram

View all my reviews