In Another Time by Jillian Cantor

Hanna and Max found each other by accident or was there a reason they found each other?

Whether it was an accident or for a reason, their love for each other was never ending.

Max walked in on Hanna practicing her violin, and much to his surprise, she wasn’t too happy to have him there.  It did take a lot to get her attention, but once he did, he couldn’t stay away.

We travel back and forth in time and learn of Hanna’s passion for music, her violin, and Max.

IN ANOTHER TIME tells the story of Max and Hanna before and after the war.  Hanna is the main focus after the war because something happened to her that caused her to lose the memory of ten years, but not the memory of Max and her marvelous talent of playing the violin.

Max isn’t mentioned after the war except in Hanna’s memories.  It is heartbreaking.

We see Max before the war and more interestingly we are introduced to the mystery of what could be behind the door in the bookshop that Max’s father had always forbidden him to enter.

The love between Max and Hanna was the main focus as well as the love of books and music.   You will keep hoping Hanna and Max find each other.

IN ANOTHER TIME is beautifully and smoothly written with characters you will want to know better.

Ms. Cantor immediately pulls you into the story line and into the lives of the characters with her marvelous tale and her well-researched story line.

Readers will get a glimpse into a personal side of WWII.

IN ANOTHER TIME is a beautiful, beautiful tale of love, heartbreak, and an outstanding history lesson.  5/5

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

Advertisements

Beautiful Strangers by Camille di Maio

Kate Morgan didn’t want to spend her entire life frying fish in her family’s restaurant so with her grandfather’s insistence, she sold her grandmother’s ring, took the money, and went to the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California, to work in the kitchen on a set for the movie SOME LIKE IT HOT.

Kate was anxious as she left and especially as she continued on her journey that none of her family knew she had taken.  As she traveled, her suitcase was stolen, she was hungry, and she was not very presentable when she arrived.

When Kate arrived she is told there is a ghost that lived at Hotel Del Coronado in 1892 with the exact same name.

When I heard this, the connection between the two Kates and the connection her grandfather was trying to remember must have had something to do with the Kate from 1892 and made THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS even more intriguing.

We find out as Kate Morgan from today and Kate Morgan from the past tell their story in alternating chapters and time periods as the story of who the beautiful stranger is becomes unraveled.

Camille Di Maio has written another beautiful, fantastic book with marvelous research.  Her beautiful prose and story line pull you in and keep you anxious for the characters and for information about the history of Kate’s grandfather and his connection to San Diego and the Hotel Del Coronado.

Ms. Di Maoi’s descriptions of buildings, colors, landscapes, and simply everything made me feel as though I were there and wanting to be there.

I just loved the characters and both time periods….well…most of the characters.  If you read the book or have read the book, you will know which character is very unlikable.

The story line is absolutely marvelous.

We get taken onto a movie set, meet Marilyn Monroe and other actors, follow Kate on her journey and quest for information, and best of all enjoy another award-winning read by Camille Di Maio.

THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS has a marvelous dual-time story line as well as what historical fiction fans, movie buffs, and California fans are looking for.

DO NOT MISS reading this book.  It is heartwarming, amazing, and an all-around gem.  5/5

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

Woman 99

Two society daughters – Phoebe who has screaming fits and Charlotte who is to marry a wealthy socialite she doesn’t want to marry.

When Phoebe is put in an institution for her fits, her sister, Charlotte, can’t deal with having her sister inside so she makes herself seem mad and gets herself inside the institution too.  Charlotte blames herself for Phoebe’s placement.



Once Charlotte is inside, just like Nellie Bly, she sees the horrors and wonders how she will every get out.  It was easy to get in, but not as easy to get out.



Charlotte found many women there that were not mad but just a nuisance to their family for one reason or another.



Charlotte is put in a ward for those women who do not talk and then moved to a different ward shortly after, but she still can’t find her sister in any of the nine wards.



What she does find is that these women are not treated very well at all, and it is difficult to see how the harsh treatment could cure anyone.



We meet many different personalities, and Ms. Macallister’s detailed descriptions put you into the institution and have you feeling what the women are feeling and going through.



Charlotte passes the time she has, and she only has six weeks to find her sister and get out, by figuring out how to find Phoebe, by working in the soapmaking shop, and thinking of her previous life at home and her time with Henry.

As Charlotte continues her quest to find her sister, the search becomes difficult and has some unexpected surprises. 



I enjoyed WOMAN 99.  

Ms. Macallister’s research is very thorough, and the tales being told are as frightening to read as the situations the women have to deal with.



I also enjoyed going back in time and seeing how the sisters were treated at home and the circumstances that Phoebe got herself into with one of them being screaming at her parents that Charlotte didn’t want to marry George but his brother Henry. 

Her fit is what got her thrown into the institution.

WOMAN 99 is historical fiction, women’s fiction, mystery, and thriller all rolled into one.  

If you enjoy those genres, some nasty characters, and strong female characters, you will want to read this book. 5/5



This book was shared with me at the BookExpo by Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review.

The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey

Leaving Boston and their jobs to become Red Cross Clubmobile Girls is where we meet Viv, Dottie, and Fiona.

They all had different reasons for joining the Red Cross, but besides being a volunteer, Fiona’s other reason was to find her missing fiance, Danny.

When they arrive in London, a buzz bomb greets them and scares them to death.

WE FOLLOW THE three friends through their seven-day training in all areas and share their fears and their fun during the training and in their jobs as Red Cross Clubmobile Girls as they moved from one place to the other.

The women seemed like a lot of fun and made the best of their time even though they were in dangerous war zones and some of the men weren’t too happy to have women to worry about along with everyone else.  But….the men were also happy to have some pretty women to remind them of home and of their mothers, sisters, daughters, or girlfriends.

Ms. Healey brought you into the story with her light-hearted writing and wonderful research.

Her descriptions of the dresses the characters wore was swoon worthy, and the landscape descriptions were equally as good.

I enjoyed learning about these women and this program and how these women helped during the war.

You will laugh and cry along with them and laugh and cry at their bravery and sweet demeanor.

Despite the main story line about war, THE BEANTOWN GIRLS was an enjoyable read filled with friendship, caring for mankind, love, and of course tears and sadness.

Historical fiction fans and women’s fiction fans will love this book.

You will definitely need tissues, and we all should be thankful for the men and women who suffered and died so we could have our freedom.

A beautiful tribute and history lesson….thank you for sharing and for your marvelous research, Ms. Healey.  5/5

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

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

 

An annual reunion of friends at a new location with the added beauty and terror of a huge snowstorm that cuts everyone off from the rest of the world is where THE HUNTING PARTY begins and where we meet the characters.

The reunion starts off with a long ride from the train station to the remote lodge with a scary gamekeeper as the driver, the juggling of who gets what cabin, the first-night dinner together, and finding out there is another couple in residence as well as the group of friends.

The group has been friends for a long time, but do they really know each other?  Are they jealous of each other? Why do they do this reunion every year?  They all seem to have secrets and pasts that the others don’t know about.

The first-night dinner brings many feelings about each other and frightening feelings about the couple from Iceland.  They are poorly dressed and seem most interested in the hunting party that has been arranged.

Along with the Lodge guests, we meet mysterious Heather. She seems all organized and put together on the outside, but she has her secrets and something in her past that she wants to forget.

THE HUNTING PARTY lets us get to know the guests very well. Actually a little too well…going into all the detail about their lives past and present got a bit too much, but I guess it was necessary for the reader to get the full impact of the reunion and events.

We are taken from the festivities to Doug, the gamekeeper, finding a body and  showing Heather where he found it.  When Heather sees the body, she knows it wasn’t an accident.

Waiting to find out which one of the friends was the victim and who the killer was kept the tension high.  The identity was not made known until the very end. The mystery was a well-kept secret.

Ms. Foley’s writing is very descriptive and beautiful.  I could see every detail of the landscape and feel the emotions of each character.  If you can describe writing as lush, that is how beautiful the sentences flowed and created a picture.

If you enjoy a mystery, antics of characters, learning that the characters really didn’t show their true colors, and waiting for the “ball to drop,” THE HUNTING PARTY will be a book you will want to read.

The story line was perfectly carried out and nothing was revealed until the very end.  4/5

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

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

Two parents…then one parent…then no parents.

The Skinner children lived comfortably with their parents and no worries until their father died, and even though their mother was living, she was absent.

The family had to move to a smaller house and a not-so-nice neighborhood and to fend for themselves because they only saw their mother when she decided to venture out from her bedroom.

Renee was the oldest, Caroline was next in line, Joe was the only boy, and Fiona was the baby when it all happened.  They called this time their mother was absent The Pause.  The Pause went on for a few years.

The children did well for a while, but then things started to get tough.  Renee couldn’t take the responsibility, and the other children couldn’t do without her.  They started going their separate ways and weren’t as close knit as they had been until one day another adult stepped in, got them some help, and got their mother Antonia out of bed.

Things looked up after that, and the family unit worked better together as everyone grew up.

We learn of what happened to each family member whether good or bad.   They all loved each other and were there for each other.

I was disappointed in this book even though it has Ms. Conklin’s beautiful, detailed writing.

THE LAST ROMANTICS was not an appealing read or of interest, and I struggled to read it in its entirety especially since I LOVED her first book.  2/5

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

Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser

 

It seems everyone has something to hide.

Who is keeping what secret?

Who has the biggest secret?

We meet Molly, Daniel, and Liza.  Molly and Liza have been best friends forever, but have lost touch.  Molly and Daniel are married with two children, live in a nice neighborhood, live comfortably, aren’t the happiest, and Molly has debilitating pain.

Each character has something they hide from another character and actually from themselves.

We first meet Liza and Molly the night of their long overdue Skype chat that was to bring them close again, but the chat turned everything sour.

While Liza and Molly were catching up, Molly’s daughter kept calling out.  When Molly left to attend to her daughter, Liza saw something on the screen that scared her to death, but something that Molly simply chose to ignore and was not telling everything about it.

Just what did Liza see, just what did Molly not want to admit, why was what Liza saw such a secret, and why did it have to come between the two friends?

Another question is what was going on between Molly and her husband that she couldn’t tell him or even call him about the scary incident that Liza had seen?

An answer might be that there were a lot of things happening in Molly and Daniel’s life that were not being addressed, and it had nothing to do with what happened in the Skype chat.

The tension mounted as we learn more about what was going on with everyone and how cunning and sneaky some of the characters were.

If you enjoy personal drama, seeing how any type of relationship can fall apart, characters that are somewhat believable, secrets, and a story line that will have you thinking about the situations and choices the characters made long after you turn the last page, then FORGET YOU KNOW ME will be a book you won’t want to miss.

I do have to say that the book dragged on a bit too long, but it didn’t affect the read.  I still enjoyed the book and the revelations at the end. 4/5

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