The Blackout Club

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To gather people together in the midst of the war and get their midst of the gruesome reality, the town’s librarian creates a book club. Within a few short months, the book club turns its attendees into a close-knit group of trustworthy, reliable, and loving friends.

The Blackout Book Club is a beautiful, heartwarming story. A group of people from different social circles bonds together over the love of reading. Although the time of the novel takes place in the middle of WWII, our characters are placed in the safety of the little town of Maine.
One of my favorite parts of the novel was the club members’ discussions of the books they have read in their club. During my reading, I wanted to be a part of their wonderful group.
If you’re in a search of a feel-good novel – this book is for you. Wonderful writing, a great fast pace plot. This book will leave you with a feeling of hope and joy.

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

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If You’re Reading This

If You’re Reading This… by Kiersten Modglin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Colbie decides to take a trip with her three best friends on the one-year anniversary of her fiance’s passing. The trip started with a mysterious letter, written by her late boyfriend. The getaway, which was supposed to heal and nourish Colbie’s grief, revealed deep dark secrets of the man she once vowed to love for the rest of her life.

If You’re Reading This is a great suspense story, however, I have expected more. Kiersten Modglin’s style is like no other, the finales of her previous books have left me with my jaw hanging. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy this read, in the end, I simply didn’t feel amazed by the final twists of the story. Overall, it was a fast-paced read with a thrilling storyline.

Said that – I am looking forward to all future novels by this amazing author.

Thank you, NetGalley for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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Paperback Jack

Paperback Jack by Loren D. Estleman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The post-war publishing world meets Jacob Happelmen with a new challenge. Ever clever writer is able to write himself into a new and quite successful career. But the road he took to get there and the relationships he has made to help him reach the rise of his career are under thorough investigation. And once the famous author is about to get famously punished.

Phenomenal fast pace novel full of clever characters and a gripping plot. Jacob is by far my absolute favorite character, his witty humor and never-ending sarcasm made this novel even more entertaining. I am absolutely amazed by how much I’ve enjoyed this story. Great writing style and I can’t wait to read more of Loren D. Estleman’s novels. This may be my new favorite historical fiction read.

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

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The Daughter In Law

The Daughter-in-Law by Shalini Boland

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The hasty marriage of Seb and Caroline comes with many secrets. Will the couple be able to overcome their past?

I’m a fan of Shalini Boland, but this novel didn’t keep me in suspense as her previous novels did. And the overall plot of the novel didn’t make sense, especially Caroline’s storyline. Her reactions didn’t match her backstory, and her overall act was very confusing and over-exaggerated. All the remaining characters were good. I loved the twist with the parents, that was a great unexpected touch.

Overall, I didn’t find the novel very captivating. I guess I’m more used to the author’s books being packed with twists and turns which has me asking lots and lots of questions throughout the story but not this one.

Thank you, NetGalley for an advanced copy of this novel.

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The Lindbergh Nanny

The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Twenty months old Charlie is taken from his family home. Distraught parents and the house help work closely with the police to find and bring little darling back home. Every person in the house is under suspicion, and Charlie’s nurse Betty carries the heaviest burden.

Prior to reading the novel, I didn’t know this was based on real-life events. Although this novel is pure work of fiction, the author did amazing research and focused her story on the boy’s nanny. From the very beginning, I was fond of young Betty, a Scottish immigrant who came to America to follow her heart but instead landed employment with the most famous family in the country. The Lindbergh Nanny is a gripping read, and sadly without a happy ending.

I was surprised to learn Agatha Christie’s “The Murder on the Orient Express”, one of my favorite mystery novels, is based on the story of the missing Lindbergh boy. I am glad Mariah Fredericks has brought this devastating story back to our time and told it in a beautiful yet melancholic way.

Thank you, NetGalley for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for my honest review.

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The Couple In The Cabin

The Couple In The Cabin by Daniel Hurst

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Upon her arrival at home, unannounced, Grace finds her beloved husband in the arms of his young lover. In her angry state, she locks the lovers in the cabin.

Great idea of the plot, however, the writing and presentation were a bit unnatural. At times it felt forced and overstated. Great set of characters followed by a fast and smooth flow of the storyline. I look forward to Daniel Hurst’s new novels in the future.

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

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The Girl With The Yellow Star

The Girl With the Yellow Star by Natalie Meg Evans

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cornwall, England, 1943. Never in her wildest dream, Gwenna thought that she would be working alongside german POWs on her beloved family farm. But the circumstances led to the current status, and she had no choice but to accept the help. Besides the three working POWs at the far, Gwenna has another german visitor. Days prior to their arrival, a young Jewish refugee became Gwenna’s guest at the farmhouse. Gwenna is afraid of the conflict that can occur between the working german officers and the Jewish girl. But to her surprise, Lotti and Max develop a unique friendship. Living in a village that has tremendous resentment towards the German nation, the german visitors very quickly warm their way into Gwenna’s heart.

This novel takes on a different direction than all the resistance novels that I am so fond of. It came to my surprise the treatment of german POWs on the territory of England VS the opposite side. Nevertheless, it always warms my heart to read about human kindness no matter the nationality or religion. This novel shows us that love can overcome hate, new experiences would never replace memories and the world moves on.

Wonderful plot, favorable characters, and an overall uplifting novel. There are many heart-stopping situations, so naturally, the tension is palpable throughout, but it makes for a real page-turner. I recommend this novel to my fellow WWII readers as well as romance lovers. Thank you, NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the novel, and Natalie Meg Evans for a heartwarming story.

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The Babysitter

The Babysitter by Gemma Rogers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Her best friend’s baby has been abducted at the park during their weekly walk. She knows who took the baby. But in order to reveal the name of the abductor, she has to tell the truth.

The name of the novel reveals the master manipulator of the novel. And in all honesty, her delusional state gave me full-body chills. Overall, I did enjoy the idea of the plot and all the twists included in it. I wish the parents had more dark secrets revealed, that would absolutely add more stars and suspense to the novel.

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Jacqueline In Paris

Jacqueline in Paris by Ann Mah

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

1949 Paris welcomes Jacqueline Bouvier with an authentic lifestyle, new friendships, delicious French cuisine, classes in the Sobourne, and first love. And this is not all. Her new experiences involve a visit to the concentration camp, an unpleasant encounter with soviet soldiers, and a trip thru post-war Europe.

I love the way Jackie loved Paris. I felt what she felt walking the streets of Latin quoter, crossing the Alexander Bridge, enjoying the outdoor cafes, and simply appreciating the forever chick Paris. Said that – I enjoyed Ann Mah’s version of Jackie’s year in Paris, and learned a few new and interesting details about America’s First Lady. Although I found this novel quite charming, I was disappointed with the ending. The tense build-up of the communist subject simply dissolved at the end. Throughout the novel, I assumed Jacqueline had stronger involvement in the party. Overall, it is a good, light, and entertaining read. Jacqueline in Paris is pure work of fiction based on the details of Jackie’s time in the city of lights.

Thank you Mariner Books publisher for a free copy of the novel.

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The Nurse’s Secret

The Nurse’s Secret by Liz Lawler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sarah may be thirty-something years of age, but like a cat, she has lived multiple lives. Today she is a new wife and a beloved and well-experienced nurse. Unfortunately, her bad luck strikes again, and her husband William is found dead at their home. The main detective in charge of William’s case is Sarah’s ex-lover. On top of this, her fellow nurse assumes the role of a mother hen, and Sarah finds herself in an awkward situation.

Revenge is a word that comes to my mind when I think of this novel. The main job of the nurse is to provide comfort and support to the patient. But our nurse leaves multiple dead bodies behind her. The plot of “The Nurse’s Secret” is a combination of multiple secrets that are revealed throughout the novel. I must admit, the storyline was too busy for my liking. Too many characters with their own agenda and backstories. I did like the finale of the novel, not the typical happy-ending, but a very optimistic one. Makes me wonder if there will be a sequel to this book.

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

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The It Girl

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ten years ago, Hannah found her best friend and roommate strangled on the floor of their room. Today, the man convicted of the crime has died in prison. And this event sparks new memories in Hannah’s head. The obsession with the old trauma begins. After speaking to the group of her college friends, Hannah begins to suspect that she has identified the wrong man as her friend’s murderer.

I am a long-time fan of Ruth Ware. One of her tricks is to let the reader spot the villain early in the novel, but puzzle them with the way they have performed their evil mission. Loved the plot, and absolutely enjoyed the way the events of the fatal night got untangled at the end. BUT, I just could not stand Hannah. Her constantly indecisive and whiney character irritated me to my bones. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed the novel and would recommend it to all my suspense/thriller-loving friends.

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The Lost Girl In Paris

The Lost Girl in Paris by Jina Bacarr

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Emma gets an opportunity of a lifetime – a personal invitation, by Madame De Cadieux to join her on the return trip back to Paris in the exchange for an exclusive interview.

It was Angéline’s dream one day to write the true story of her early life and her involvement in the resistance. The connection she feels with a young journalist gives her an opportunity to fulfill her dream.

But when the women sit down and begin their work, they uncover a very unique secret.

I love reading about the resistance, and the lives of the concentration camp survivors. If Emma was a real character – I would love to be her friend. Now, back to the novel. Great idea for the book, but a dull plot. I could tell from the very first pages that the two heroines are related. There was no secret it in. Tiena’s story was heartbreaking, and I do not think she fulfilled her revenge in the end. The scene that led to Angéline’s arrest was simply absurd. She gave up her mother’s bracelet, but could not give her friend’s coat away. Where’s the logic?

Am I regretting the time spent on this novel – not really. It could be better, but it is still a beautiful, light, heartwarming read. I would recommend this book to readers that begin to learn of the Nazi-occupied Paris.

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