The Arctic Fury

The Arctic Fury: a historical novel packed with strong female characters and filled with arctic adventure and secrets.

Book Review

The Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I pick books by their covers all the time. And this was one that had me hooked from the instant I first saw it on #bookstagram. Better yet? The story features an all-female arctic expedition AND a murder trial. Intrigued? So was I!

About The Arctic Fury:

The Arctic Fury book cover

(From the publisher) Eccentric Lady Jane Franklin makes an outlandish offer to adventurer Virginia Reeve: take a dozen women, trek into the Arctic, and find her husband’s lost expedition. Four parties have failed to find him, and Lady Franklin wants a radical new approach: put the women in charge.

A year later, Virginia stands trial for murder. Survivors of the expedition willing to publicly support her sit in the front row. There are only five. What happened out there on the ice?

Set against the unforgiving backdrop of one of the world’s most inhospitable locations, USA Today bestselling author Greer Macallister uses the true story of Lady Jane Franklin’s tireless attempts to find her husband’s lost expedition as a jumping-off point to spin a tale of bravery, intrigue, perseverance and hope.

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The Venice Sketchbook

The Venice Sketchbook book against white pillows and background

Book Review

The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The city of Venice — could there be a more romantic setting? Bestselling author, Rhys Bowen, truly captures the charm of this ancient, Italian port. Her writing is vivid, inviting readers to experience the sights, smells, and tastes of a city built along the canals in this romantic, historical fiction. The Venice Sketchbook was first and foremost, very well set.

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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

An intensely original and beautifully researched story full of heart, resilience and empathy -- The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Book Review

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When I think about characters with blue skin, I immediately assume that I must be reading some sort of fantasy novel. But this book explores the inspired-by-real-life story of the blue-skinned people of Troublesome Creek and Kentucky’s incredibly courageous pack-horse librarians.

An intensely original and beautifully researched story full of heart, resilience, and empathy. (Don’t forget to scroll down for my full review!)

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The Women of Chateau Lafayette

Photo of book cover The Women of Chateau Lafayette on an e-reader in front of a bookshelf

Book Review

The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An epic saga from bestselling author, Stephanie Dray, this novel is based on the true story of Chateau Lafayette and the three, fierce-hearted women who protect its legacy.

About the book:

Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women…

A founding mother…
1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband’s political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

A daring visionary…
1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing–not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what’s right.

A reluctant resistor…
1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan’s self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become.

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Giveaway: WIN by Harlan Coben

Win by Harlan Coben -- a fast-paced and entertaining read with a vigilante, antihero that you can't help but be intrigued by.

Review + Giveaway

WIN by Harlan Coben

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Any giveaway day is a good day, and I am super excited to share this one with you all! I have teamed up with Grand Central Publishing to give away TWO copies of WIN by Harlan Coben. (Open to US or Canadian residents only.)

One winner will be chosen from this blog giveaway (see below to enter) and our second winner will be chosen from our Instagram giveaway! (Click here to enter!)

This was an entertaining and fast-paced read, perfect for those who love thrilling, action-based reads like James Patterson or David Baldacci. Read for a chance to WIN?!?

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Surviving Savannah

Surviving Savannah -- an intricately researched look into a little known historical event. This novel explores the long lasting effects of personal tragedy and what it means to survive well.

Book Review

Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I remember visiting a Titanic exhibit at the Royal Victoria Museum as a teen. Walking amidst the artifacts and recreations, the tragedy came to life in a new way. Blue lights cast across the floor as I clutched a little paper passport — the name of an actual Titanic passenger scrawled across the top. It was only as you arrived at the end of the exhibit that you encountered a wall full of names. Holding my passport up, my eyes flickered along the wall, settling on the name of the young man in my hands.

He hadn’t survived.

But what if the shipwreck hadn’t been well documented? What if you had to piece these stories back together, bit by bit. Dragging silver cups and pocket watches up from the murky depths, historians would piece these fragments back into stories. Tales of the men and women to whom they’d once belonged.

That’s where this story begins. With the story of the Titanic of the South.

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The Rose Code

The Rose Code book cover along with quote, "a well-told story that transports readers to the exhausting and intriguing world of enigmas."

Book Review

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Kate Quinn does it again! The Rose Code is a hefty 650+ page read that is so well written and intricately crafted, you don’t want it to end!

The premise:

It’s 1940 and England finds itself at war against Germany. Three young women answer the call to Bletchley Park — sworn to keep their daily tasks secret even from one another. It’s here that the sharpest brains in Britain have gathered in an attempt to break German military codes.

Osla is a beautiful and wealthy debutant — who also happens to be dating the handsome Prince Philip of Greece. Mab, who grew up in east-end poverty and is desperate to make something more of herself. And Beth, painfully shy and under the thumb of an overbearing mother, who soon begins to find herself as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts.

Their friendship blossoms but soon war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart. But when a mysterious traitor emerges in the years following the war, the three must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But this Rose Code may threaten not only their relationships but their very lives…

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Things We Didn’t Say

Things We Didn't Say book cover with quote from The 52 Book Club "an impressive debut novel that made me fall in love with epistolary style story-telling."

Book Review

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

From 1942 through 1945, more than 400,000 Axis prisoners were shipped to the United States and detained in camps in rural areas across the country. This relatively little-known historical fact acts as the focal point for this impressive debut novel, Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green.

About: It’s 1944. Linguistic student, Johanna Berglund, has reluctantly accepted a translator position at a camp for German POWs. As she interacts with the prisoners, translating conversations and censoring their letters home to Germany, she begins to see these men as more than just enemies. But advocating for the soldiers’ better treatment leaves townspeople wondering whose side she’s on. Most patriot citizens want nothing to do with the Germans labouring in the camp, or with those who work there. As the lines between compassion and treason become blurred, Johanna must decide where her heart truly lies.

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Before She Disappeared

Book Review

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Before She Disappeared is Lisa Gardner’s first standalone novel in twenty years. (!!!) Readers new to her work will find this an easy book to jump into, while still holding the feel of a classic Gardner read for those long-term fans too.

About the book:

(From the publisher) Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will–searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.

A new case brings her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family tells Frankie she’s on her own–and she soon learns she’s asking questions someone doesn’t want answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing could be her.

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The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Book Review

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

It’s December 1926 and Agatha Christie has disappeared. For eleven days, England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt. And then, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, she reappears — claiming amnesia.

Was it an elaborate stunt to promote her newest book? A hoax? A “fugue” state? Or something more? While we may never know the truth of those missing eleven days, Marie Benedict explores one of the many possibilities in this carefully crafted work of historical fiction.

A master storyteller whose clever mind may never be matched, Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.

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