• ARC's,  Book Reviews,  Recommendations

    Dali Summer: review & blog tour

    About Dali Summer

    • Paperback: 344 pages
    • Publisher: Tule Publishing Group, LLC (May 5, 2020)

    Her wild and vivid visions inspire an icon…

    Synopsis

    Nothing is more important to prim, colorblind Dolors Posa than family and living down the shame of her illegitimate birth, but when the sudden onset of fantastical visions threaten her sterling reputation, she must search for answers before the inhabitants of the tiny village of Cadaqués brand her as demente– crazy like her mother. In a quest to stop her hallucinations, she befriends a beautiful, intoxicating fortune teller and her handsome anarchist brother, as well as becoming a reluctant muse for thirteen-year-old Salvador Dali. In a summer that changes everything, Dolors must choose between her family’s reputation and a life filled with adventure, friendship, rapturous color and the possibility of love.

    Set against the political upheaval of 1917 Spain, Dali Summer captures the fierce spirit of Catalonia, the generosity and stubbornness of its people and the blossoming promise of a woman who thought life was bland and empty and had long ago had passed her by.

    Review

    What a fascinating premise – a colorblind girl and the world she sees portrayed through her eyes. Then the contrast of the vivid color from new friends, including Salvador Dali, and even love. I am a huge fan of books that incorporate art into their storylines so I was hooked from the beginning.

    The characters were just as easily imagined as the colors in this book. They were well developed and easy to identify with. The writing was excellent and I plan to read more by this author.

    My one issue: there were a lot of moving parts to this story. It almost felt as if it needed to decide between being a historical fiction novel and a character-driven story. It certainly was not a deal breaker for me but I was torn between the characters and wanting to learn more about the history of the time period.

    If you enjoyed Where The Crawdads Sing or Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, you will most likely enjoy this book as well

    ✂️✂️✂️✂️/5

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

    About T. J. Brown

    Well behaved women rarely make history. Teri Brown lived that quote way before she ever even heard it. The two things she is most proud of, (besides her children), is that she jumped out of an airplane once and she beat the original Legend of Zelda video game. She is a novel writer, head banger, pet keeper, math hater, cocktail drinker, booty shaker, book reader, city slicker, food fixer, French kisser, rule breaker, wine sipper and word scribbler. She loves her husband, kitties and chocolate.

    Find out more about Teri at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

    Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for the gifted copy in exchange for my unbiased review.

     

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    Beach Read: a review

    Book details

    Author: Emily Henry

    Publisher: Berkley

    Publishing date: May 19th, 2020

    Pages: 384

    Synopsis

    A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

    Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

    They’re polar opposites.

    In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

    Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

    Review

    ✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️/5

    𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡’𝑠 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑡 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑑 𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑟𝑒?

    𝐇𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐝𝗼𝐰𝐧, 𝐢𝐭’𝐬 𝐫𝗼𝗺𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝗼𝐫 𝗺𝐞.

    This book is anything but a beach read. You can totally read it on a beach but consider yourself warned that this is one giant tangle of emotions that will capture even the hardest of romance reading hearts.

    Like mine. Keep your sunglasses on for this one.

    Betrayal, loneliness, dysfunctional families, friendship, and secrets – this book has it all. But somehow it counters all the feels with sharp writing, wit, sarcasm and fantastic dialogue and chemistry. I read this book in a day. The complex emotions and relationships make it hard to put down. It’s one of those I need to know what happens next books.

    I am a self-professed romance book avoider but I’m willing to reconsider after this book. I laughed and teared up and still had moments where the writing was captivating for my inner book snob. The depth of the characters alone took this out of the chic-lit category and put it somewhere in between literary fiction and awesome.

    If you enjoyed Fleishman Is In Trouble or All This Could be Yours, you will most likely enjoy Beach Read.

    This book is available on May 19th from your favorite local book seller.

    I received this book as my Book of The Month pick. Not a member? Click here to join for $9.99.

     

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    The King Of Warsaw: Blog tour & Review

     

    Book Details

    Author: Szczepan Twardoch

    Publisher: Amazon Crossing

    Publish date: April 21st, 2020

    Pages:379

    Translator: Sean Gasper Bye

    Genre: Historical Thriller

    Rating: ✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️/5

    A city ignited by hate. A man in thrall to power. The ferociously original award-winning bestseller by Poland’s literary phenomenon—his first to be translated into English.

    𝐒𝐲𝐧𝗼𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬

    It’s 1937. Poland is about to catch fire.

    In the boxing ring, Jakub Szapiro commands respect, revered as a hero by the Jewish community. Outside, he instills fear as he muscles through Warsaw as enforcer for a powerful crime lord. Murder and intimidation have their rewards. He revels in luxury, spends lavishly, and indulges in all the pleasures that barbarity offers. For a man battling to be king of the underworld, life is good. Especially when it’s a frightening time to be alive.

    Hitler is rising. Fascism is escalating. As a specter of violence hangs over Poland like a black cloud, its marginalized and vilified Jewish population hopes for a promise of sanctuary in Palestine. Jakub isn’t blind to the changing tide. What’s unimaginable to him is abandoning the city he feels destined to rule. With the raging instincts that guide him in the ring and on the streets, Jakub feels untouchable. He must maintain the order he knows—even as a new world order threatens to consume him.

    Review

    This book is incredible. It brilliantly tells a story with a historical, war-torn backdrop. It’s unique, gritty, and a beautifully written book that gives most readers a fresh insight into a time period not widely read about here in the U.S. And the characters – they are so well developed that it is not hard to begin to think as they would think.

    One important note: this book is violent – if torture, killing, and other acts of violence bother you, it’s important to know that they are contained within this book. However, none of it is gratuitous.The violence moves the plot along and adds to the realistic portrayal of the time. Countries divided by war are often left with deep and violent divisions.

    The writing is nothing short of masterful. It’s easy to see why the author is an award-winning author in Poland. The translation is perfect – nothing felt stiff or awkward – and I hope that more of his work is translated into English.

    Thank you to the publisher, Over The River PR and NetGalley for the gifted eBook in exchange for my unbiased review.

     

     

  • ARC's,  Book Reviews,  Recommendations

    The Socialite: a review

    About The Socialite

    Paperback: 368 pages

    Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 14, 2020)

    Glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis.

    As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has a certain set of responsibilities. But chasing her wayward sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Now accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle that her Nazi boyfriend provides, Ellie has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate for them—but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

    Arrested for simply trying to defend himself against a drunken bully, Barrett Anderson is given the option of going to jail or serving out his sentence by training Resistance fighters in Paris. A bar owner serves as the perfect disguise to entertain Nazis at night while training fighters right below their jackboots during the day. Being assigned to watch over two English debutantes is the last thing he needs, but a payout from their father is too tempting to resist. Can Barrett and Kat trust each other long enough to survive, or will their hearts prove more traitorous than the dangers waiting around the corner?

    Review

    If you enjoy historical fiction, set in WWII Paris, with a dash of romance, this book is for you. WWII fiction rarely keeps me on the edge of my seat nor do I typically find the genre to be a page-turner. Neither was true with this book. Danger seemed to be around every corner and I could not put it down.

    I connected with the characters and found myself worrying about them even when I wasn’t reading the book – that’s got to be a sign of a good book! The writing was excellent, especially the dialogue. The backstories of the characters were quite interesting and did not slow the book down – a common issue I have with backstories.

    I finished this book in less than 24 hours and I’m still thinking about the history, the characters, and the outcome. I won’t provide any spoilers but there are several  scenes that are unforgettable.

    If you are a fan of books like 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑵𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒂𝒍𝒆 and 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝑵𝒆𝒕𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌 you will most likely enjoy this book

    ✂️✂️✂️✂️/5

    Thanks to Thomas Nelson, TLC Book Tours and NetGalley for the gifted copy and ebook in exchange for my unbiased review.

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson

    About J’nell Ciesielski

    With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at http://www.jnellciesielski.com.

    Connect with J’nell

    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

     

     

  • Book Reviews,  Recommendations

    Hope And Other Dangerous Pursuits: blog tour & review

    Author: Laila Lalami

    Publish date: October, 2005

    Publisher: Algonquin Books

    Pages: 188

    Genre: Adult Fiction

    Synopsis:

    𝑯𝒐𝒑𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑶𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝑫𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝑷𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒖𝒊𝒕𝒔, the debut of Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Laila Lalami, evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. The book begins as four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain. What has driven them to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger?

    There’s Murad, a gentle, unemployed man who’s been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who’s fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife in hope of securing work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future.

    Sensitively written with beauty and boldness, this is a gripping book about what propels people to risk their lives in search of a better future.

    Review:

    This powerful book may be small but packs a powerful and timely punch. Originally published in 2005, it’s just as relevant – if not more – today.

    Following four individuals illegally fleeing to Spain from Morocco, while a relatively short physical journey, the emotional journey was incredible.

    The structure of the plot and book are what made the book for me. The reader begins their journey in a boat crossing the Mediterranean with unfamiliar characters. Lalami then delves into the backstory of each of the four characters. Without spoiling the story, each person has a compelling reason for fleeing and the real journey begins.

    The writing is gritty, realistic, and perfectly captures the nuances of the Moroccan culture, the Muslim religion, and the timeless and universal struggle of people seeking a better life in another land.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book and learned a tremendous amount about a time and a place I wasn’t familiar with. This was my first book by this Pulitzer and National Book Award finalist author but it definitely will not be my last.

    Thanks to Algonquin Books for this beautiful gifted copy in exchange for promotion and my honest review.

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