The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

Grace and Viv left their small home town of Dayton and moved to London to get away from an uncle and overbearing parents.  They had no idea things would get as bad as they did.

Grace found a job in a bookstore….how fun to arrive in London and to work in a bookshop. Viv worked as a sales clerk at Harrod’s.

The funny thing was that Grace had no love of books, but that was the only job she could find since war was about to break out.  She had to deal with the grumpy shop owner, but she made the best of the situation.

A handsome, helpful customer, George, that visited the book shop and smiled at Grace made the shop more bearable.  He was also helpful and gave Grace ideas about getting the shop organized after all these years.

Grace brought new life and more business to Primrose Hill Books.  Her organization had customers buying more and staying longer. She was a success and knew she would get a wonderful letter of recommendation if she could last for her required six months.

All things weren’t great, though.  The children in London were taken from their parents and sent to the country, and George and Colin, their landlady’s son, were sent off to war leaving Grace, Viv, and Mrs. Weatherford alone.

As the women are alone, Grace learns the beauty of books and how they can take you to another place and keep the story with you. 

Viv learns that she can’t work at Harrod’s when she knows other women are doing things for their country.

Mrs. Weatherford learns to cope with her son being gone and with helping others while continuing to take care of Grace.

Readers will hear of the London bombings which I didn’t know were so often and so devastating, but for the most part bookworms will not want to miss THE LAST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON. 

It is a must read because of the bookshop setting, London, and the endearing characters. The characters are just so heartwarming and genuine.

This book would definitely be good for a reluctant reader because Grace shares how she turned from a non-reader to one who can’t stop reading and recommending and turning others into readers and book lovers.

THE LAST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON is a lovely, lovely read and a tribute to mankind in times of need.

You will need some tissues and many ways to tell everyone how wonderful this book is. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson

Bree turned her back for one minute, and her son was gone.

What could have happened? She found out soon enough. It was the woman who had been lurking in her yard and in the parking lot of the school that had taken him.

The woman who had her son had Bree doing things she never would have done, but she had to do them to get her son back.

She found out that even though she did everything the woman said including murder, her son was still with this woman and in danger.

Talk about tension…this book will have you biting your nails and wondering if someone else was involved in the plot or did it have something to do with a case her husband had been on?  How could an old woman carry out this devious plan?

The terror Bree felt came through the pages. Just think how you would feel if your baby had been taken.  Wouldn’t you do anything to get your baby back?

MOTHER MAY I will pull you in and not let you go.

All the secrets everyone had and that were being revealed will have you not being able to put the book down.

So good – don’t miss it is my final comment.

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley and print in exchange for an honest review.

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines by Pamela Terry

Why would Geneva be out in the muscadine grove with a spoon in her hand when they found her.  What even possessed her to go there in the night?

Geneva’s three grown children were puzzled about why, but did one of them have an idea?

Lila and Henry hadn’t been back to their Southern hometown in Wesleyan, Georgia, for ten years. 

Abigail  had never left Wesleyan and was the one who found their mother the morning she stopped to pick her up for their breakfast outing.

Abigail was the one who was most out of sorts especially since her mother didn’t want a formal funeral.  Abigail couldn’t understand why because that was just what you did.

We follow the children as they unravel the lives of their parents and try to make sense of it all.

The writing in THE SWEET TASTE OF MUSCADINES is absolutely marvelous, beautifully detailed, and pulls you in just like the taste of sweet tea and Southern charm.

If you grew up in the South, you will love this entertaining book that has life-changing, heartbreaking secrets revealed after many years. It is truly an enjoyable, thoughtful read.

If you have ever been to Scotland, this book will also take you back to its magic and beauty.

A do-not-miss, heartwarming read.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Off The Wild Coast of Brittany by Juliet Blackwell

Sisters meeting on an isolated island off the coast of Brittany after not seeing each other for ten years is where we meet Alex and Natalie.

Alex arrived unannounced and didn’t tell her sister why.

Natalie was restoring a beautiful home but had to stop because her boyfriend returned to France and wasn’t planning to come back. 

Natalie is also an author of a popular book about this island and her love life which is now non-existent. She has to worry about the next book which was to be focused on the romance between her and Francois-Xavier.

Both sisters had secrets which they finally shared with each other.

While exploring the house, they found a hidden space in the attic that held an old cookbook, costumes, and beautifully embroidered linens.  Why were these things hidden?

We then travel back to the island during WWII and meet the women left to fend for themselves after all the men had gone off to war.

The women weren’t alone for long, though, because the Germans invaded the island, lived in their homes, took their food, and gave orders.

The characters will steal your heart and make you want to immediately book a plane to this island to soak up its quaintness.

As you begin to love the characters and the island, the two stories blend together through the cookbook that holds the secrets to the island’s past.

A hundred-year-old resident also helped to reveal secrets.

Ms. Blackwell’s writing pulls you in and puts you right into the story line to enjoy what the characters are enjoying and what they are suffering through.

You may even learn some French and learn about French cooking and cooking terms.

If you are a fan of WWII, authors, lovely, isolated islands, hidden spaces, long-kept secrets, and Ms. Blackwell’s books, do not miss OFF THE WILD COAST OF BRITTANY. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

Being famous is a dream we all wish for, but the Pine family was famous because of unpleasant things. Not what anyone would like to be famous for.

One of things they were famous for was a TV series that depicted the murder of a young girl that their son accused of.

The other unpleasant thing was the death of the entire Pine family except for Matt and Danny. 

Matt hadn’t gone on vacation with the family, and Danny was in jail. 

Was the family’s death really an accidental death?  FBI agent Sarah Keller had her doubts.

What could happen next?  Plenty can and does happen.

The characters were well thought out with great descriptions for all of them.  Agent Sarah Keller was a favorite.

The writing flowed easily and excellently for a debut, and I was immediately pulled into the story.  

Tense, tense, tense and twisty is the perfect description of EVERY LAST FEAR.

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Who wouldn’t like to solve a hundred-year-old mystery and especially one that had to do with poisons that were used to kill unfaithful husbands or boyfriends.​

Caroline came to London for a tenth anniversary celebration, but found out her husband had been having an affair so she came alone.​​

She didn’t want to follow through with her itinerary she was to have had with her husband and happened upon a man who suggested she go mudlarking with a group.  

Mudlarking was done in the 1800’s as a means of survival by finding things washed up on the shore, but this group did it for fun.​​

Caroline finds a vial with a bear on it.  Her curiosity as a historian had her searching for what the vial may have been used for and the place where a shop probably existed in 1791 that could have created remedies.

​​While Caroline is looking for clues, we flash back to 1791 and meet Nella who made remedies, actually poisons, for women who needed to be rid of their husbands.  A young girl, Eliza, who came to the shop to have Nella make a potion for her mistress, took an interest in the shop.  ​​

Nella, Eliza, and Caroline collide virtually in present day through research and poisons.

​​THE LOST APOTHECARY is very clever, enjoyable, different, unique, and very well researched.  ​​

I loved the information about the maps of London and finding clues to how others lived and worked in past times. ​​

History buffs, those who love solving years-old mysteries, and those who love Old London won’t want to miss this book.​​

ENJOY!! 

An amazing debut!! 5/5​​

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Too Good To Be True by Carola Lovering

Burke was definitely deceitful.  Heather wasn’t bad at it either.

He knew how to keep secrets, and they were big ones.

We also meet Skye who has her own problem of having an addictive compulsion to count and can’t find a boyfriend because of it. Burke solved this problem for her.

Then we meet Libby who became friends with Heather and showed Heather what a good life could be when you had money.

Did the obsession with money have Heather making wrong choices in her life like marrying Burke?

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE was difficult to keep the characters and even the story line straight at the beginning.  

We meet all the characters in detail in each chapter.

I couldn’t tell who was the worst offender when it came to being loyal or being naive.

Burke’s chapters had his diary entries, and they showed what a bad person he really was.

Skye’s chapters showed how gullible and trustworthy she was and how anxious she was to find a boyfriend even with her gobs of money from a trust fund.

Heather’s chapters showed how her sordid life growing up made her want more.

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE was slow for the first quarter of the book, but I kept reading because I wanted to see how Burke’s devious plan would work out.  

Continuing to read was a VERY good decision.

Once the story line got going despite the wordy sections, it kept me glued to the pages with the twists and surprises.

Readers who enjoy domestic suspense will enjoy this book.

The uniqueness and the deviousness of the characters makes it one you don’t want to miss.  4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Family Ship by Sonja Yoerg

A family with nine children, a ship in the backyard, and a house run like a drill sergeant was in charge.

We meet the Vergennes family and learn that the ship is a diversion to keep the children busy as well as teach them how to be self-sufficient and learn life skills.

THE FAMILY SHIP has a storyline that takes us into a pecking order of sorts with the oldest child being respected as the leader.

Both parents love their children deeply, but they do rely on the children to help take care of each family member.

There is a slow start that will make you wonder where this book is going.

As you keep reading, you will find out where the book was going, and what a marvelous story line.  

You will fall in love with most of the characters. You will also feel the pain of tragedies as well as happy moments which were few since their father was so strict.

Their strict father was a bit much because the children always behaved and were doing their best to help each other.

I really enjoyed the family‘s interaction and how tight knit they were.

Helping out is what happens in a large family as well as having to make sacrifices for some or all family members.

Anyone who has come from a large family will definitely enjoy this book and might see some of their own family with the array of different personalities and a mother who has to make each one feel special in their own way.

THE FAMILY SHIP is a beautiful read with lovely characters, heartbreaks, and a writing style and story line that pull you in.

You won’t want to miss this book. 4/5

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

How could there be someone with the exact DNA as you?

That could happen if you were cloned. 

Evelyn and Martine had the same DNA. 

Evelyn was married to Nathan – both were scientists. 

Evelyn and Nathan started to drift apart, but Nathan still wanted his wife. To keep her, he cloned Evelyn into Martine. 

Clones were not to live long. What did Nathan do to keep Evelyn alive?

THE ECHO WIFE is way out there and the most bizarre book I have ever read.  

What the characters did isn’t possible in my eyes, and all the scientific information was wordy and tedious for me.

Sci-fi fans and readers who enjoy an unbelievable story line should enjoy this book. 3/5

This book was given to me via the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles


The American Library in Paris 1939 then to a small town in Montana 1983.

Odile is a librarian at the American Library in Paris as the war breaks out.  Lily is a teenager in Montana whose mother passed and is having trouble at school.

Both women find solace in each other after Lily finally meets her elegant neighbor from Paris.

THE PARIS LIBRARY moves back and forth and allows us to see into the lives of both characters.

Odile has the perfect job until it was necessary to provide books in secret.

Lily has the perfect life – well almost perfect – until her mother dies, but Odile helped her through this time and Lily helped Odile to not be so alone.

I enjoyed how the staff at the library was like a family itself and how the library delivered books to soldiers and others who couldn’t enter or were forbidden to enter the library.  I never knew this happened.

Both Lily and Odile were very likeable characters. I truly enjoyed watching Lily grow up.

THE PARIS LIBRARY will appeal to all bookworms, romantics, and historical fiction fans.

It is heartwarming as well as heartbreaking, and despite the heartaches most of the characters were lighthearted and positive.

Once you get to know the characters, you will cry with them, wish them well, and not want them to leave you alone as you close the last page.
 
This book is about friendship, the love of books and libraries, regrets, giving advice, and forgiveness.

Ms. Skeslien Charles’ research is impeccable. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.