Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Killing Kind by Jane Casey (TLC Book Tour)

 Do you like psychological thrillers?  What are some of your favorites?

The Killing Kind was just the kind of thriller I needed right now.  Ingrid Lewis is a barrister (lawyer) in London.  She successfully defends her client John Webster against a stalking claim only to have him turn around and stalk her.  Ingrid manages to keep her career intact, but she loses her home, fiancé, and pet.  When an acquaintance that borrowed her umbrella dies in an accident, she is convinced it was John Webster is behind it. She grows suspicious of everyone including her overly friendly neighbor and a cop that wants to help her out. When John Webster warns her that there are others out to get her, who can she trust?

The Killing Kind is a very engaging novel.  The timeline is not quite linear as the story is filled in.  You can feel Ingrid’s paranoia, but at times you wonder, is it all just paranoia?  I guessed some of the ending, but not all of it and was intrigued as the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.  The book moves along quickly.  I liked that Ingrid was a strong character.  I was disturbed by the stalking and feeling of powerlessness.  John Webster kept going everything just short of getting caught.  

Favorite Quotes:

“I think about death a lot, but I was not thinking about it the day it came for me.” – Great First Line!

“Losing is part of the job but winning is better.”

Overall, The Killing Kind is a thrilling and engaging new novel.

Book Source:  Review Copy from Harper Collins as a part of the TLC Book Tour.  Thank-you!

About The Killing Kind 

Publisher: HarperCollins (September 21, 2021) 
Hardcover: 480 pages
He tells you you’re special…
As a barrister, Ingrid Lewis is used to dealing with tricky clients, but no one has ever come close to John Webster. After Ingrid defended Webster against a stalking charge, he then turned on her – following her, ruining her relationship, even destroying her home. 

  He tells you he wants to protect you… Now, Ingrid believes she has finally escaped his clutches. But when one of her colleagues is run down on a busy London road, Ingrid is sure she was the intended victim. And then Webster shows up at her door… 
But can you believe him? Webster claims Ingrid is in danger – and that only he can protect her. Stalker or saviour? Murderer or protector? The clock is ticking for Ingrid to decide. Because the killer is ready to strike again.


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 Photo Credit: Annie Armitage[/caption]

About Jane Casey

JANE CASEY is the author of the Maeve Kerrigan novels (Let the Dead SpeakAfter the Fire) and the Jess Tennant Mysteries (Hide and SeekBet Your Life). A graduate of Oxford she also has received a M. Phil from Trinity College, Dublin. Born and raised in Dublin, she lives in London where she works as an editor. Find out more about Jane on her Twitter and Facebook.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

When the Summer Was Ours by Roxanne Veletzos


Title:  When the Summer Was Ours

Author: Roxanne Veletzos

Narrated by:  Imani Jade Powers & Jacques Roy

Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio

Length: Approximately 9 hours and 40 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Shuster Audio.  Thank-you! 

 How are you finishing off your summer reading?  Or are you squarely into fall reads?

 When the Summer was Ours is my last “summer” read of 2021.  It takes place in 1943 Hungary.  Eva César spends the summer in the small town of Sopron.  As she tries to get over her mother’s death, she also takes time off of her studies to become a nurse and preparations for her marriage to a young idyllic doctor, Eduard.  While in Sopron, Eva meets Aleandro, a young Romani fiddler and artist.  Eva and Aleandro have an instant chemistry, but war soon invades their lives, and they are separated.  Will they survive the war?

 This was a great historical romance.  I haven’t really read many WWII novels set in Hungary and I loved this aspect of it.  I also enjoyed that the novel showed the war, but also the aftermath of the war and discussed the Hungarian revolution of 1956.  I knew nothing about this revolution, and I was fascinated.  I also liked the story covered the plight of the Romani people and how they were also put into concentration camps. The only part of the novel that confused me was the beginning.  It seemed strange that in 1943 that Eva seemed so far removed from the war with dinner parties and plans for her marriage. 

 I really enjoyed the characters, plot, and love story.  The story shifted between Eva and Aleandro’s narratives as did the narrators on the audiobook.  I liked that.  The narrators were the voices of Eva and Aleandro for me.

Overall, When the Summer Was Ours is a great new WWII historical fiction novel with a unique Hungarian setting.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Sunrise by the Sea by Jenny Colgan

What are your favorite comfort reads?

 Jenny Colgan is one of my favorite authors and one that I turn to when I’m looking for comfort reads.  I love her characters and really like the Little Beach Street, Summer Seaside Kitchen, and Scottish Bookshop series.  I always can’t wait what is in store for the characters next.

 Sunrise by the Sea is a new book in the Little Beach Street Bakery series.  Marisa Rosso has moved to the village of Mount Polbearne to try to start over.  Marisa’s beloved grandfather has passed away and she can’t get over her death and move on.  She realizes she has anxiety and tries to figure out how to deal with it.  Unfortunately, the peace and quiet she craves, quickly vanishes when a piano teacher, Alex, moves in next door. Will she be able to get over her fears and work with him to find peace and quiet?  Will she be able to get to know her community and Alex?

 While there is a new character, old favorites Polly, Huckle, and there twins also are part of the story.  The story moves between Polly and Marisa.  Polly’s family is having a hard time with finances and making their businesses work in these trying times.  How can they make it all work and what is the most important thing to them?

 I really liked having a new character while still enjoying old characters.  I really liked the exploration of anxiety and grief in this novel and how Marisa was able to get the help she needed.  I also loved Marisa’s relationship with her grandmother over Skype. She didn’t know here that well as she had always spent time with her Grandfather.  I love that they cooked together, watched TV together, and talked.  They were two lonely people who found comfort with each other over the distance.

 Favorite Quote:

“But being an introvert meant that often she hadn’t quite managed to pluck up the courage to tell people she didn’t like them that much, and things could bumble along, or she would lack the courage to make it clear to people she did like that she liked them, and they’d pass her by.”

 Overall, Sunrise by the Sea was a nice comfort read that continues as one of my favorite stories.

 Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow. Thank-you!


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Kicking Ass in a Corset: Jane Austen’s 6 Principles for Living and Leading from the Inside Out by Andrea Kayne (Book Tour)


Kicking Ass in a Corset is an innovative book that takes a look at Jane Austen’s six major heroines and how their characteristics can be used to help women lead in today’s age.  Author Andrea Kayne is a major Austen fan and she has found a way to relate these characters to their internally referenced leadership style.  Their styles are boiled down to Elizabeth Bennet (Pride & Prejudice) is confidence, Fanny Price (Mansfield Park) is principled morals, Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey) is play hard, Emma Woodhouse (Emma) is humility, Elinor Dashwood (Sense & Sensibility) is acceptance, and Anne Elliot (Persuasion) is work hard.

Author Andrea Kayne outlines what it takes to be a leader and how today’s women can empower themselves like an Austen heroine.  Each chapter discusses an Austen heroine, her story, and how her internally applied leadership style can be applied to today’s world.  Each chapter ends with exercises for applying the particular principle to your life.  This was the most entertaining business leadership / self help book that I have ever read.  The chapters that spoke the most to me were the Elizabeth Bennett and Anne Elliot chapters.

In the Elizabeth Bennet chapter, it discusses how women of the regency era and today “were socialized to forgo our own values and truths for those of others.  We were told to be quiet, to be small, and to be like everyone else except ourselves.”  In the workplace women then “spend too much time acting modest, apologizing, avoiding verbal opposition, and being indirect.”  I have definitely found this to be true for myself with work.  I’m constantly working on being more direct.   Kayne points out that Elizabeth Bennet is true to herself for the entire book and doesn’t fit anyone’s expectations for what she should be.  The book suggests exercises for looking inward to see what your true principles are and working on having the confidence to stick with your principles.

Anne Elliot is not like the rest of her family.  She is the quiet overlooked sister, but also the hardest working and most capable person in her family.  “The most effective leaders are ‘sea-faring folks with weathered skin,’ who work hard for their success rather than having it handed to them.”  I love how this quote references Anne’s father’s, Sir Walter Elliot, vanity and disdain for sea faring folks.  I also love this quote, “An internally referenced leader feels empowered and inspired when working with her own body, mind, and soul to achieve what she wants, which mostly is to make her world a better place.”  I feel this quote.

I also did not know until reading this book that Jane Austen started writing Persuasion on the day that Napoleon went into exile, August 8, 1815.  This book was filled with interesting tidbits.

Favorite Quote:

“Indeed, these heroines balance me in so many ways.  I reread the Austen novels every year to remind myself that, no matter what is going on in the external world or how I am being squeezed professionally or personally, I can always choose to be well in a state o f internal equanimity.  Austen acknowledged that life can be challenging and rough, writing, ‘We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.’ But she also suggests to me that if we anchor in our internally referenced self, we have the makings of a kickass boat.”

Overall, Kicking Ass in a Corset is a great book for both Austen lovers and those looking for ways to empower themselves in both life and the business world.  This was the most entertaining business leadership book I’ve read.

Book Source:  Review Copy from University of Iowa Press as part of the TLC Book Tour.  

About Kicking Ass in a Corset 
• Publisher: University of Iowa Press (September 15, 2021) 
• Paperback: 208pages 

 What can organizational leaders in business, education, government, and most any enterprise learn from an unemployed, unmarried woman who lived in patriarchal, misogynistic rural England more than 200 years ago? As it turns out, a great deal. In identifying the core virtues of Austen’s heroines—confidence, pragmatism, diligence, integrity, playfulness, and humility—Andrea Kayne uncovers the six principles of internally referenced leadership that, taken together, instruct women how to tap into a deep well-spring of personal agency and an internal locus of control no matter what is going on around them. Utilizing practical exercises, real-life case studies, and literary and leadership scholarship, Kicking Ass in a Corset maps out effective leadership that teaches readers how to tune out the external noise and listen to themselves so that they can truly live and lead from the inside out. 


Purchase Links

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Andrea Kayne

Andrea has spent her personal and professional life engaging with one basic question: How can we, as women, realize our own internal power both personally and professionally, no matter the constraints in the external world? As Director of the Leadership Program at DePaul University College of Education, where she has spent the last twenty years. Andrea has taught, written, spoken, and consulted, all around the country and world, in the areas of empowered leadership, feminist leadership, emotionally intelligent leadership, constructive culture and conflict resolution, data-informed professional learning communities, and the area she has developed called Internally Referenced Leadership™. Andrea earned a bachelor's degree from Vassar College, a master's degree in Education from Harvard University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois with her husband and their beautiful blended family and, of course, her Pride and Prejudoodle, Addy. Find out more about Andrea on her website, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen (Book Tour)

Join the virtual book tour of THE MATCHMAKER’S LONELY HEART, Nancy Campbell Allen’s highly acclaimed historical novel, September 6-19, 2021. Thirty popular on-line influencers specializing in historical romance, mystery/suspense, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of its release with a spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in London, England.

Have you ever gone on a blind date?

Amelie is an independent woman in Victorian England working for her Aunt at the Marriage Gazette.  She decides to match together two lonely heart letters at the Gazette.  She knows she is not supposed to, but she spies on the date to see how it is going.  She is surprised to see Mr. Radcliffe is one of the people meeting.  He is a member of her book club and a recent widower.  She has developed a tendre for him.  She runs into Michael Baker who is trailing Mr. Radcliffe.  He believes that Mr. Radcliffe’s first wife did not die by accident and is determined to figure out what happened.  What happened to Mr. Radcliffe’s wife?  Will Amelie find her own happy ending?

 I greatly enjoyed this novel.  I loved the witty banter between Detective Baker and Amelie. I also enjoyed the other characters such as Amelie’s cousins Charlotte and Eva.  I hope they get their own novels.  The Victorian setting was perfect. This story had it all, romance, mystery, suspense and adventure.  It does take a dark turn, but I really enjoyed the ending.

 I loved the quotes at the start of each chapter from different publications.  They not only set a great backdrop to the times, but they made me chuckle sometimes when the characters acted in direct opposition of the quotes.

 Favorite Quote:

“I do not know that absence of emotion holds any sway in a debate on human evolution.  I should think Darwin’s observations prove the opposite, in fact.  The more man evolves, the higher his plane of morality, the greater this depth of compassion, wouldn’t you say?”

 Overall, The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is an entertaining Victorian romance and mystery.

 Book Source:  Shadow Mountain Publishing as part of the Austenprose Book Tour.


·       Title: The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart: Proper Romance Victorian

·       Author: Nancy Campbell Allen

·       Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Mystery/Suspense, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (September 7, 2021)

·       Length: (336) pages

·       Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 



London, 1885

Amelie Hampton is a hopeless romantic, which makes her the perfect columnist to answer lonely heart letters in The Marriage Gazette. When Amelie plays matchmaker with two anonymous lonely hearts, she also decides to secretly observe the couple's blind date. To her surprise, the man who appears for the rendezvous is Harold Radcliffe―a grieving widower and a member of Amelie's book club.

Police detective Michael Baker has been struggling ever since his best friend and brother-in-law died in the line of fire. Because he knows the dangers of his job, he has vowed never to marry and subject a wife and family to the uncertainty of his profession. But when he meets Miss Hampton, he is captured by her innocence, beauty, and her quick mind.

When a woman's body is pulled from the river, Michael suspects the woman's husband―Harold Radcliffe―of foul play. Amelie refuses to believe that Harold is capable of such violence but agrees to help, imagining it will be like one of her favorite mystery novels. Her social connections and clever observations prove an asset to the case, and Amelie is determined to prove Mr. Radcliffe's innocence. But the more time Amelie and Michael spend together, the more they trust each other, and the more they realize they are a good team, maybe the perfect match.

They also realize that Mr. Radcliffe is hiding more than one secret, and when his attention turns toward Amelie, Michael knows he must put an end to this case before the woman he loves comes to harm.


"Allen pairs a matchmaker and a detective in this charming Victorian romance. Allen expertly combines mystery and romance into a fast-paced tale complete with plenty of surprises and a central relationship founded on mutual admiration and respect. Readers are sure to appreciate the strong, well-shaded heroine and twisty plot." —Publishers Weekly

"Allen's chaste tale of Victorian romantic suspense will also appeal to historical mystery readers, and it would be great for mother-and-daughter reads. This has great appeal for teens who like historical fiction laced with mystery and romance." —Booklist

“I was immediately drawn into the characters’ lives and enjoyed the unraveling of the mystery and the development of the romance.” —Mystery and Suspense Magazine


Nancy Campbell Allen is the author of fifteen published novels and numerous novellas, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction.  In 2005, her work won the Utah Best of State award, and she received a Whitney Award for My Fair Gentleman. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel, and research and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children.



TOUR SCHEDULE           

Sept 06         Timeless Novels (Review)

Sept 07         The Book Diva Reads (Excerpt)

Sept 07         Wishful Endings (Review)

Sept 08         Robin Loves Reading (Review)

Sept 08         A Darn Good Read (Review)

Sept 08         Storeybook Reviews (Spotlight)

Sept 08         Austenesque Reviews (Review)

Sept 09         Bookfoolery (Review)

Sept 09         The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)

Sept 10         The Bluestocking (Review)

Sept 10         Bookworm Lisa (Review)

Sept 10         The Silver Petticoat Review (Review)

Sept 11         Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Sept 11         My Bookish Bliss (Review)

Sept 11         Nurse Bookie (Review)

Sept 12         The Bibliophile Files (Review)

Sept 12         My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight)

Sept 13         Heidi Reads (Excerpt)

Sept 13         Reading with Emily (Review)

Sept 13         Our Book Confessions (Review)

Sept 14         Rosanne E. Lortz (Review)

Sept 14         Laura's Reviews (Review)

Sept 14         Beauty in the Binding (Spotlight)

Sept 15         All-of-a-Kind Mom (Review)

Sept 15         Gwendalyn's Books (Review)

Sept 15         Life of Literature (Review)

Sept 16         From Pemberley to Milton (Review)

Sept 16         Probably at the Library (Spotlight)

Sept 17         Greenish Bookshelf (Review)

Sept 17         Relz Reviewz (Review)

Sept 18         Novel Kicks (Review)

Sept 19         Historical Fiction with Spirit (Excerpt)






Saturday, September 11, 2021

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede


What is the last inspiring book you read that restored your faith in humanity?

 The Day the World Came to Town is the story of what happened to the planes that were forced to land elsewhere when the United States closed its airspace on 9/11.  Thirty-eight planes were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland which had an extra-long landing from its early days in aviation.  6,595 passengers were deposited on a town of barely 10,000 people.  The community came together to help out these passengers from all over the world. 

 The Day the World came to town is the stories of individuals that were flying to the United States for various reasons.  It is also the story of the individuals in Gander and how they helped.  I was amazed at how the town was able to mobilize and help out the people including stripping their beds of sheets and beddings and bringing all of their towels.  I loved the individuals and the pictures included.  Some of the individuals including the parents of a NYC firefighter, a couple trying to fly home with their adopted daughter, a US general trying to get back to her command, etc.  I was riveted.  This was a truly human story of perseverance.  It reminded me that just like Mr. Rogers said, you should focus on the helpers on not on those that are evil in the world.  When you get down to it, most people are good people that just want to help each other out.  I think this story applies to today more than ever. 

 Favorite Quotes:

“We realized we are part of a global village, as my children used to say: What is happening in one part of the globe is affecting us all.”

 “Their willingness to help others is arguably the single most important trait that defines them as Newfoundlanders.”

 “They affirmed the basic goodness of man at a time when it was easy to doubt such humanity still existed.  If the terrorists had hoped their attacks would reveal the weaknesses in western society, the events in Gander proved its strength.”

 “We’re all Americans tonight.”

 “There was no hatred.  No anger.  No fear in Gander.  Only the spirit of community.  Here, everyone was equal, everyone was treated the same. Here, the basic humanity of man wasn’t just surviving, but thriving.”

 “Nevertheless, given all of those human frailties, what happened in Gander is still remarkable.  And perhaps the lesson learned isn’t that these acts of kindness occurred because Gander is a magical place, but rather these people came together in a time of crisis regardless of their own personal shortcoming.  And if that’s the case, then it offers us hope that all of us have that ability within us.”

 Overall, The Day the World Came to Town is a truly inspiring story that will restore your faith in humanity.

 Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow.  Thank-you!

Friday, September 10, 2021

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie


I read Evil Under the Sun at the end of August for the #ReadChristie2021 challenge.  The prompt was a story on a seaside.  Poor Hercule Poirot never gets a break, even when he is on a seaside vacation.  He goes to visit the Jolly Roger Hotel, Smuggler’s Island, Leathercombe Bay on a promontory that is cut off from England at each high tide.  He meets a motley crew of characters and soon enough, one is found dead on the beach.  Who committed this murder during a seaside vacation and why?

I enjoyed this Christie as I’ve been enjoying each one as I read them for the first time.  Christie tricked me again, but I loved going along for the ride and seeing how this mystery turned out.  This novel did not have a narrator and I liked how chapter one set up the seaside location including a map.  I loved how once again Poirot uses his little grey cells to understand people’s characters and to really look at how much they are saying or not saying.  He shows the reader and the characters of the novel that sometimes or own biases are what make it so that a murderer can be hiding in plain sight.

Favorite Quotes:

“It is romantic, yes. It is peaceful.  The sun shines.  The sea is blue.  But you forget, Miss Brewster, there is evil everywhere under the sun.”

“One can’t go back, can one?  That – never.  But I’d like to have gone on - a different way.”

Overall, Evil Under the Sun is the perfect mystery to take along on your next holiday.

Book Source:  Purchased from Amazon.com

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Island Queen by Vanessa Riley


Have you ever learned about a new (to you) figure in history that is inspiring?

Dorothy Kirwan was born enslaved in Montserrat in the Caribbean to an enslaved woman and white plantation owner father in 1756.  She spent long years working and saving until she was finally able to buy her and her family’s freedom.  Once free, Kirwan built an empire of her own as an entrepreneur, merchant, hotelier, and landowner.  Along the way she experienced great love and great loss.  She had many children and she worked to ensure that they and her grandchildren received a great education in Great Britain. 

Dorothy Kirwan Thomas lived a fascinating life and I loved learning about her in this wonderful historical fiction novel.  Her life at times reminded of the fictional Amber in Forever Amber or fictional Becky Sharpe in Vanity Fair.  She had a lot of strength of character and was able to work hard and put everything on the line to move herself up and help her family.  The story was epic, and I couldn’t it down reading it over a weekend of camping.

My favorite part was reading in the afterword that Island Queen had an Austen connection.  Author Vanessa Riley was reading the unfinished Jane Austen novel, Sanditon, and discovered the character of Miss Lambe who is described as a half mulatto heiress from the West Indies.  Riley wondered, “was this character a creature derived from a progressive author’s creativity or was his character based on persons of color that Austen learned about or saw or interacted with in her community?”  Riley went on a ten-year quest for the answer and discovered that both were true.  She found the true history of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas and other black women who were powerful women in that time.  I have been fascinated by this question as well also from Sanditon and the movie Belle.  I felt like my questions were finally answered!

Favorite Quotes:

“No woman needed a man who wasn’t worthy of her heart.”

“I was an impressionable girl who needed a hero.  I’m my own savior now.”

“No man in my life, none had supported me, not like Thomas.  He wasn’t threatened by my dreams or my past.  I should assure him of my heart and say to him the three words he said easily.”

“Broken glass still sparkles when the light hits it.  It might even look like diamonds or chandeliers’ jewels.  It’s still ruined and in need of repair.  Time will fix it, if you live free.”

“What was the use of building a legacy if the ones who deserved the fruit never lived long enough for the harvest?”

Overall, Island Queen is a historical fiction novel that brings the riveting story of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas to life.

Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow.  Thank-you!


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Deer Season by Erin Flanagan (TLC Book Tour)

 Deer season has opened in Gunthrum, Nebraska in 1985 and a girl has gone missing.  Peggy was a typical high school girl that snuck out from home for a party on Saturday night, but failed to turn up for her brother’s confirmation Sunday morning.  As the family starts to look for her, more mysteries abound. Alma Costagan’s intellectually disabled farm hand, Hal, is like a son to her.  Hal shows up early from a weekend of deer hunting with blood in his truck and a dent in his truck.  His story doesn’t add up, and soon the small town turns against him.  Is Hal guilty and where is Peggy?

I enjoyed this story for the slow burn mystery and more for the masterful portrait of small-town rural life and people.  I loved the small-town farm community setting.  It reminded me of where I live now in Wisconsin and where I grew up in Michigan.  I also loved the characters.  They were all interesting in their unique ways. The novel is told from Alma and Peggy’s 12-year-old brother Milo’s point of view.  The two viewpoints kept the action moving in the novel. I also loved that this novel really explored families and relationships.  Most of all I loved Alma Costagan.  She’s a woman of a certain age who tells it like it is to everyone she meets.  She has suffered through great heart ache in her life, but she’s also found happiness with her husband Clyle and Hal.  I would love to read more about Alma.  Milo’s coming of age story was riveting as well as he grapples with guilt for knowing that his sister was sneaking out and wondering what happened to her.  What does Milo want from life?

Favorite Quote:

“He wondered if for the rest of his life he’d think about the time his sister went missing while he watched it snow.”

Overall, Deer Season is a wonderful literary mystery with great characters.

Book Source:  Review Copy from University of Nebraska Press for being a part of the TLC Book Tour.  Thank-you!  For more stops on this tour check out this link.

For a chance to win a copy of this novel, check out my Instagram post

Friday, September 3, 2021

What If You & Me by Roni Loren


Title:  What If You & Me

Author: Roni Loren

Read by:  Desiree Ketchum

Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC

Length: Approximately 7 hours and 48 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Netgalley. Missing first two chapters so then purchased from Audible.

What if fear of the world can turn to trust and love?

Andi Lockley has a mysterious past traumatic event in her teenage years that has made her distrustful of the world and of relationships.  She meets her new neighbor, Hill Dawson after he barges in thinking she is being assaulted when he hears the screams from the horror movie she is watching.  They meet again when Andi runs over to his place after finding her back door open during another horror movie-a-thon.  Andi is a horror novel writer and Hill is a retired firefighter. Hill has trauma in his own past as he lost first part of his leg while rescuing people from a fire, and then his fiancée when she cheated on him with his best friend.  Will these two seemingly very different people find love and a way to move forward in life?

I LOVED this novel.  I really loved how the two main characters had very different trauma in their life and were able to work through it to build a trusting relationship together.  I also loved how this novel brough in elements of suspense as well.   This novel does have open door romance in it, but it did not go overboard.  I didn’t realize this was the second book in a series until I was well into it.  It stands on its own, but I do want to go back and read the first book.

What If You & Me is the August selection of the Brenda Novak Book Group. I listened to the meeting a day later on Friday, and it was a great interview with author Roni Loren.  My question was asked about whether Loren was a horror fan herself and what were her favorites.  It turns out she read a lot of the same books that I read as a preteen / teen – RL Stine, Christopher Pike, etc.  She then turned to a love of classic horror.  I am not much of a horror movie fan myself, but I enjoyed Andi’s passion for them in this novel.  This book group meeting is still up on Brenda Novak’s Facebook page if you would like to listen.

I downloaded this audiobook from Netgalley for review, but it was unfortunately missing the first two chapters, so I bought it from audible.  Desiree Ketchum was a delightful narrator.

Overall, I loved this romance and want to read more from author Roni Loren.