The Girl In The Castle by Santa Montefiore

Kitty was nine.

Kitty was ignored by her mother.

Kitty was friends with a servant.

Kitty had a very harsh governess.

Kitty could see her dead ancestor in the castle tower, and no one believed her.

Poor Kitty Deverill had a lot to deal with at her young age, but she was spunky, delightful, and resilient.

Kitty was a character I really enjoyed, and THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE was a book I really enjoyed..

THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE is set around 1910 and lets us into the lives of aristocrats and the lives of servants in a castle.

I enjoyed the talk of life in both worlds and the Deverill family.

THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE also addressed the issue of Ireland and the British during the fight for Irish liberty. That part of history was interesting, but I liked the family saga better.

The personal side of the lives of the characters intrigued me. THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE was a fun, informative read with unforgettable characters.

Ms. Montefiore’s writing is exquisite and detailed easily allowing the reader to step into every situation with the characters.

ENJOY if you read THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE. The book became better and better as I turned each page.

You will fall in love with the characters and wish you could join in the family fun at the castle in Ireland and in their homes in London.

The gorgeous cover pulls you in along with the marvelous story line.

I am looking forward to Ms. Montefiore’s sequels to THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.


News Of The World by Paulette Jiles

Captain Kidd had experience traveling uncharted lands as he read his newspapers in different towns to spread the news of the world, but traveling with a ten-year-old girl who couldn’t speak English was quite a different task for him.

Johanna had been kidnapped by the Kiowa Indians after her family was killed in a raid, but Johanna was now released and needed to be returned to her aunt and uncle.  She didn’t know who they were, and they didn’t know her.

NEWS OF THE WORLD flows beautifully as we follow Captain Kidd and Johanna on their 400-mile journey that Captain Kidd regretfully had accepted.  He had to deal with no language communication except for a few words and sign language as well as Johanna’s numerous attempts to escape.

NEWS OF THE WORLD was an enjoyable read because the writing was marvelous, the story line was interesting, and the characters were authentic and likable.  Johanna grew on you.  Mrs. Gannet was charming.  Captain Kidd was a perfect gentleman, a wonderful father, and an all-around good guy.

I enjoyed the historical aspect of how there were folks who went from town to town reading the news.  I loved the descriptions of the undeveloped country and am happy I didn’t live back then.  It was difficult to imagine there were no paved roads. We readers even get to be in the middle of a gun fight.

NEWS OF THE WORLD is filled with beautiful, beautiful, descriptive writing that pulls you in   I truly enjoyed NEWS OF THE WORLD mainly because of the characters and definitely the warmth and kindness of Captain Kidd.  

If you need a quick, enjoyable, heartwarming read, NEWS OF THE WORLD fits the bill along with a history lesson. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Letters From Paris by Juliet Blackwell

I fell in love with LETTERS FROM PARIS the minute Claire walked into the warmth of her childhood home as she returned to take care of her dying grandmother.

Claire had left Louisiana right after college for a high-paying job in Chicago, but returned because her grandmother needed her.  While Claire was in Louisiana, she found a treasure in the attic that she remembered from her youth and a treasure that her grandmother suggested had a secret that Claire may find the answer to if she went to Paris. 

 Claire wasn’t sure what she would find but complied with her dying grandmother’s wishes and left for Paris.

Claire found more than the secret of the mask when she arrived. What else is there an abundance of in Paris?  Love, of course.

As for her mission, Claire found a mask creator in Paris who made copies of “L’Inconnue” – The Unknown Woman, obtained a temporary job there, and learned how to sculpt while learning the mask’s story and about the family legacy behind the mask.

Meanwhile LETTERS FROM PARIS takes us back to the life of the model for the mask and her tragic, difficult life.  The tragedy and story of “LInconue” was well known in France and was part of many French households.

Ms. Blackwell did another marvelous job of taking you to Paris and experiencing the life there.  I enjoyed Claire’s adventures and loved the description of the market and the delicious, mouth-watering meals made by the French people.

Being taken to Paris and its countryside through Ms. Blackwell’s descriptions was a marvelous treat.  I would have loved to join in the fun at the gorgeous family estate.  A family anyone would love to be a part of.

LETTERS FROM PARIS left me with a warm, cozy feeling because it was filled with history, family, Paris, love, and was simply a lovely read.

ENJOY!!  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.





The Confectioner’s Tale

A chance encounter, a patisserie, back and forth in time, and secrets that will keep you turning the pages.

We meet Guillaume du Frere in 1910 who started out as a railway man, met the daughter of the owner of a patisserie, and then saved her life.  Saving her life took Guillaume away from the difficult railway work and into the sweet, hard-working life in a patisserie.

We meet Petra  in 1988 who is writing a thesis and stumbles upon the files of her grandfather who has a secret that is well hidden but a secret that she wants to uncover.

THE CONFECTIONER’S TALE was a fun, breezy read for me even though it took a few chapters to get going.

I enjoyed the characters, the time travel, the delicious pastries, the mystery of what her grandfather had done, the love story, and a few other secrets. 

Ms. Madeleine’s writing draws you in, puts you in Paris 1910, makes your mouth water at the mention of the sweets, and seamlessly takes you to 1988 as you try to put together the pieces along with Petra to solve the mystery of what the words “Forgive Me” meant and what they had to do with her grandfather and his secret.  

The beautiful cover adds to the sweetness of the love story as well as the intrigue of THE CONFECTIONER’S TALE.


This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

Tahoe Dark by Todd Borg

Familiar characters we love, more murders than you care to hear of, but as always Owen McKenna has everything covered.

Todd Borg’s latest, marvelous thriller, TAHOE DARK, includes a kidnapping, a murder of the father of the kidnapped son, a robbery of an armored truck, and old grudges coming to the surface.

TAHOE DARK is packed with action and twists.  The surprises just keep on coming, and Owen keeps on resolving them.

TAHOE DARK continues the tradition of Todd Borg’s excellence with his wonderful descriptions and plot lines.  You think the characters have had enough, and then along comes a situation that is somehow connected to the previous one.  The action doesn’t stop, and it all smoothly flows and connects.

The ending comes crashing in with the final scene being another Todd Borg masterpiece.

Give yourself a treat and read a TAHOE book.  ENJOY when you do.  5/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author in return for an honest review.

The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman


From 1898 to 1940 we meet Solange and Marthe de Florian.

Solange is the granddaughter of Marthe and the grandmother Solange never knew existed until she was nineteen years old. 

Solange’s father never knew Marthe was his birth mother until he was eighteen and kept Marthe from Solange until Solange’s mother had passed away.

The meeting of the two women allowed Solange to learn of her grandmother’s life and legacy in an apartment filled with collected treasures and the traces of men Marthe had collected during her lifetime.

I really enjoyed getting to know Marthe and Solange as Marthe told her life story to her granddaughter. What a treat it must have been for Solange to listen to the story.  Marthe’s life was one that went from poverty to living a luxurious life paid for by Charles and other men. 

THE VELVET HOURS was enticing, sensual, and exceptionally interesting since it was based on the real life of Marthe. 

I truly enjoyed the book and recommend THE VELVET HOURS for historical fiction fans.   Ms. Richman’s writing and research is absolutely marvelous.

Don’t forget to search for photos of Marthe’s apartment and her famous portrait by artist, Giovanni Boldini.   

It is totally amazing to me how the apartment and its contents made it through WWII without being ransacked or destroyed and that no one entered it for 70 years.

ENJOY when you read THE VELVET HOURS. 

I hope you fall in love with Marthe’s story as I did.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Karolina’s Twins by Ronald H. Balson

Re-telling your nightmare of living in occupied Poland during WWII would stir up emotions that I would want to forget, but Lena Scheinman Woodward wanted it told. 

Lena Woodward lived in Poland during the holocaust, lost her entire family, but did find her best friend, Karolina, in the factory where they were required to work and make coats for the Germans.

We are there as Lena tells of her experiences to an attorney and private investigator in hopes of getting the help she needs to fulfill the promise she made to her friend Karolina to find her twins.

Lena Woodard made a promise to her friend 70 years ago, and now at the age of 89 decided to tell her story and to try to find Karolina’s children that sadly had to be abandoned because of the situation they were in.

When Lena’s son finds out she is telling her story, he causes problems because he is worried about his inheritance being taken by the attorney and the investigator even though he indicates his concern is only with his mother’s welfare.

As Lena’s story unfolded for her attorney, Catherine, we re-lived with her the terror and atrocities committed by the Nazis, and we learned that there was a secret Lena had been keeping for 70 years.

Lena and Catherine were two characters I loved.  They were strong, determined women.  Liam was fun.  Arthur, Lena’s son, was not pleasant.  I truly enjoyed the interaction of the characters both present day and past as Lena told her story.

KAROLINA’S TWINS flowed very nicely, and was another well-researched book by Mr. Balson.  Mr. Balson has a marvelous writing style and a knack for keeping readers interested by combining facts with human interest

Mr. Balson indicated that his book is fiction, but it is similar to the life of Fay Scharf Waldman whom he met after writing his first book.  

World War II buffs will add yet another layer to their interest and desire to learn the truth.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.