Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Have you ever loved a book so much that you wanted to live in it?  Austenland is the chance for the contemporary woman to experience living in the regency period like in a Jane Austen novel.  The first novel and movie are a lot of fun, but this second novel takes things to another level by introducing a murder mystery.

Charlotte Kinder has built up a successful business and has two lovely children.  Her world comes crashing down when her husband leaves her for another woman.  She decides a break is needed and heads to England for a stay at Pembroke Park, a Jane Austen-themed retreat.  While trying to solve a fun party mystery, Charlotte stumbles across a real murder mystery.  Who was killed and why?

I enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery.  I was surprised by the mystery as I thought this book was making fun of Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey and her ability to think everything is a Gothic mystery when it was indeed not.  Charlotte is a bit like Catherine at first, but it does turn out to be a real mystery.  I liked seeing favorites like Miss Charming reappear and get a real happy ending for herself.  I enjoyed that we got Charlotte’s backstory in flashbacks at the end of each chapter.  Charlotte has a mid-life coming of age story where she has to figure out for herself what she wanted moving forward.  I wasn’t feeling the romance as much as I should have in this one, but I did enjoy the story.

Midnight in Austenland was one of the March selections for the JASNA Northwoods Book Club.  It was agreed that it was a fun, lighthearted book.

Book Source: Purchased from

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill (Book Review and GIVEAWAY)


Theresa Plane is an artist that is using her skills to make money to try to pay off her Grandfather’s debts. She loves her grandfather for raising her, but he seems to have gotten into trouble with nefarious men tracking him down to pay for his debts.   Theresa has a dashing fiancé Edward Graystone, but when she runs in with her former fiancé, Broderick Cosgrove, sparks fly.  Broderick is working as an undercover agent for the Secret Service to find the leader of a counterfeiting ring.  When this investigation leads him to Theresa’s door, the two have to form a partnership to solve this mystery.

I love historical mysteries, and this had a lot of intriguing elements.  I loved the gilded age setting, secret service, and counterfeit angles.  I also enjoyed that this is a clean read with light Christian elements to the story.  One of my favorite romance tropes is second chance love, so you know what couple of the love triangle I was rooting for in this story.  I am a Water Resources Engineer that has worked on flood management projects in the past and I found it intriguing that the backdrop of this story was the great Cincinnati flood of 1884.  I loved the details!

The only downside of this book to me is that it did take me a bit to get into the story.  The start of it made me feel that I should know the backstory of what had happened to these characters, but it was the first book in the series.

Overall, Counterfeit Love is a great new Christian historical mystery novel!

Book Source: A Review Copy from Kregel Publishing as part of the Audra Jennings PR Book Tour.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About the book:

Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves—or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he’s been sent to track down?

After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name--and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors’ threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn’t all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home--and the truth.

After months of undercover work, Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove is finally about to uncover the identity of the leader of a notorious counterfeiting ring. That moment of triumph turns to horror, however, when he finds undeniable proof that his former fiancé is connected. Can he really believe the woman he loved is a willing participant? Protecting Theresa and proving her innocence may destroy his career--but that’s better than failing her twice in one lifetime.

They must form a partnership, tentative though it is. But there’s no question they’re both still keeping secrets--and that lack of trust, along with the dangerous criminals out for their blood, threatens their hearts, their faith, and their very survival.

Combining rich history, danger, suspense, and romance, Crystal Caudill’s debut novel launches this new historical series with a bang. Fans of Elizabeth Camden, Michelle Griep, and Joanna Davidson Politano will be thrilled to find another author to follow!

 To read an excerpt of Counterfeit Love click here.

About the author

Crystal Caudill is the author of “dangerously good historical romance,” with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW. Counterfeit Love is her debut published novel.

Caudill says that reading and writing are part of her soul and have been since she first held a crayon. While she considered writing to be an escape from challenges and struggles and a way to keep her sanity, Caudill would come to recognize that God used it as a teaching tool. “The stories came through my fingertips, but they were marked with His fingerprints,” she shares.

As she delved into history and crafted her own stories of hope through danger, Caudill would answer the call to pursue writing as a career after her first writer’s conference. “My stories are still filled with danger, struggle, and history, but they are also permeated with the hope and love of Christ. I hope they are dangerously good. Good for the heart and for the soul.”

She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Caudill can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio.

 Find out more at or find her on Facebook (@crystalcaudillauthor) and Instagram (@crystalcaudillauthor)You can also join fellow readers in Crystal Caudill’s Reading Friends group on Facebook.

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Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman


What is your favorite flower?

The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman was the March selection for the Page-turners Book Club at the Kewaunee Public Library.  I enjoyed reading this novel at the beginning of the month and it started me thinking of spring and my garden.

Abby Peterson has moved to Grand Haven, Michigan in 2003 with her young daughter Lily, and husband Cory.  Cory has just returned from the war in Iraq and is struggling with PTSD.  Abby is hoping for a new start in their rented home and has a new job as an engineer at a nautical paint manufacturer.  As the family works to build their lives back, they meet their old neighbor Iris.  Iris lives next door and has a beautiful garden that is walled off by a high fence.  She has been alone for a long time after losing her husband in World War II and her daughter to an illness afterwards.  She was a botanist who worked on propagating her own flowers including daylilies.  After she is befriended by Lily, will she be able to come out of her shell?

I loved this story.  It was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes.  I loved the structure of the novel that was in sections named after different flowers as they bloom through the year.  I loved that the story was narrated both by Abby and by Iris.  The story was in 2003 and also flashed back to World War II and after to tell Iris’s story.  I loved that it showed that you may make assumptions about a crabby old neighbor, but that they may have a story that is much deeper. 

As a female engineer, I also loved how Abby’s travails at work was written.  It was so very relatable, especially being the only female engineer at the table.  It’s like Viola Shipman had been to work with me early in my career.  I enjoyed that the author had Abby be a female engineer and Viola a botanist.  It was great to see science careers in a novel!

This book made me really want to visit Grand Haven.  As a kid, we always went to South Haven and Holland to the beach, but never Grand Haven.  I grew up in Michigan, but now live in a small town in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan.  I love flowers and growing them in my own yard.  I have a lot of favorites, but I love Irises and I love peonies.  I have a peony from my Great Grandma Kile that I enjoy seeing bloom each year.  I just planted one last fall from my Grandma Arlt, and I can’t wait for it to bloom. 

Favorite Quotes:

“What I know is that war, sadly, is sometimes necessary not simply to protect a people but to save the world from evil.  But too often war is used as a way to keep people in fear and, thus, in line.  It is a false symbol of safety.”

“On the highway, Cory grabs my hand and holds it until we pull in the driveway, me thinking of trillium the entire way, of how we are all just like them, so fragile, so in need of protection, but also, always, a harbinger of hope.”

Overall, The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman was a beautiful story full of family, hope, and gardens.  This was my first Viola Shipman novel, and it won’t be my last!

Book Source:  Kewaunee Public Library

Thursday, March 24, 2022

A Deadly Affair by Agatha Christie


A Deadly Affair was my February read for #ReadChristie2022.  It’s a new collected of “unexpected love stories from the queen of mystery.”  February’s theme was “featuring travel and romance.”  This collection fit the bill perfectly as it put together a great collection of mystery stories with an overarching theme of love.  The collection featured many of Christie’s most famous detectives: Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Parker Pyne, Harley Quin, and Tommy and Tuppence,

 I enjoyed the grouping of the stories that looked mostly at the darker side of love.  My favorite though was “Affairs of the Heart” at the end which was from Agatha Christie’s autobiography and tells the story of two of her early courtships.  I loved it! 

 I did realize as I read the stories that I prefer the novel format for Agatha Christie’s tales.  I feel that in the novel she is really able to build up the mystery and the characters.  The short stories were entertaining, but I didn’t get to know the characters enough to really make some guesses on solving the mysteries.

 Favorite Quote:

“’Truth is stranger than fiction.’ The remark, perhaps, was not an original one.”

 Overall, A Deadly Affair is a fun collection of Agatha Christie stories featuring the theme of love.

Book Source: A Review Copy from William Morrow.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich


Title:  The Recovery Agent

Author:  Janet Evanovich

Narrated by:  Lorelei King

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 7 hours and 26 minutes

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

 Happy Publication Day to The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich!  I love her Stephanie Plum series on audio, and I was very excited to be able to review the start of her new series, The Recovery Agent.  It has the same narrator, Lorelei King, who happens to be my very favorite audiobook narrator. She was great again in this novel.

 Gabriela Rose is a recovery agent and works for clients to retrieve lost treasures or information around the world.  After her hometown is devasted by a hurricane, she decides to try to solve an old family legend and look for the ring of Solomon to raise enough money to repair the town.  Unfortunately, this means that she must look in the home that her ex-husband Rafer received in their settlement.  Rafter is handsome, but also drives Gabriela insane. He decides he needs to be on this adventure as the map came from his home.  Soon the two are traveling to exotic locals with a madman on their trail.  Will they be able to find the ring and save their hometown?

 The Recovery Agent was just the type of audiobook I wanted to listen to right now.  It was funny and a great adventure.  It reminded me of Romancing the Stone, but with a more capable heroine.  It had all of the adventure and treasure seeking that I loved in the Indiana Jones and the National Treasure series. Rafer is kind of a blend of Morelli and Ranger from the Stephanie Plum series, but he seems to lean more towards Morelli.  Rafer and Gabriela have great chemistry.  I love the witty banter throughout the novel.

 Overall, The Recover Agent is a great new humorous adventure series.  I’m looking forward to the next book.

Friday, March 18, 2022

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont


Title:  The Christie Affair

Author: Nina de Gramont

Narrated by:  Lucy Scott

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Length: Approximately10 hours and 23 minutes

Source: Review Copy from NetGalley. Thank-you!

 Where did Agatha Christie go when she disappeared for eleven days in 1926?  What books have you read recently with Irish characters or settings?

 The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont is the Brenda Novak Book Group selection for March.  I am looking forward to the meeting and interview with the author next week.

 The Christie Affair takes place during the eleven days that Agatha Christie disappeared in 1926.  I thought this book was about Agatha Christie, but it is actually about Nan O’Dea. Nan O’Dea is Archie Christie’s mistress, and she narrates the novel.  Why would Nan want to marry an already married man?  The novel goes back and forth between the past that brought Nan to this point and where Agatha and Nan end up during the disappearance. 

 This ended up being a good book for March as much of Nan’s past story was set in Ireland.  She had a great love, Finbarr who fought in the first World War.  She became pregnant with his child after his return from war.  As he is struck down with the flu epidemic, his parents take the unwed Nan to a convent to have her baby.  It is a traumatic experience.

 I enjoyed listening to this audiobook and the story was very engaging, especially once I let go of my preconceived notions that this was a book about Agatha Christie. It is historical fiction, but it is about real people.  It fictionalizes the lives of two real women, which I don’t know how I feel about.  I’m used to the story being true and the fiction part filling in the details.  In this book, fiction is made up about both characters and Agatha’s daughter.  I also wondered why everyone wanted Archie Christie.  He had no redeeming qualities. 

 The best parts of the book were unraveling the mystery of Nan, why she would want Archie Christie, and the romance between her and Finbarr.  The mysterious deaths at the spa and how it tied into everything were like an Agatha Christie novel.

 Lucy Scott was an entertaining narrator of the audiobook that kept me engaged.

 Overall, The Christie Affair was a good historical mystery about Archie Christie’s mistress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray


What literary villain would you like to be the victim in a murder mystery? 

The Murder of Mr. Wickham is a creative cozy murder mystery that selects one of my favorite villains, Mr. Wickham, from Pride and Prejudice and makes him the victim of a murder at a regency country house party at the Knightley estate of Donwell Abbey. Mr. Wickham was not invited to the party, but there are plenty of people at the party who would love to see him dead.  His life has been one of taking advantage of people for his own financial gain or pleasure.  Who murdered Mr. Wickham and why?

I loved the premise of this book and how it put together most of the main Jane Austen characters at their age in the chronological order that Jane Austen wrote her novels.  That makes Darcy and Elizabeth the parents of a young man, while Marianne and Colonel Brandon are newlyweds.  The Knightleys have invited the Darcys, Brandons, Wentworths, and Bertrams for a house party.  They have also invited Juliet, the daughter of Henry and Catherine Tilney.  While I missed Henry Tilney’s humor, I loved that Juliet and young Jonathan Darcy teamed up to solve the mystery.  Jonathan is on the spectrum and is trying to navigate life and social situations.  I found this part of the story to be really interesting.  Jonathan and Juliet had a great relationship and I hope that there is a follow-up novel so that I can read more about them.

Claudia Gray did a wonderful job of capturing the original Austen characters and making them believable as their older selves.  I didn’t really like Edmund and Fanny Bertram, but as they are my least favorite Austen couple, I was okay with it.  I did not guess the ending, mainly because everyone had a really good motive. 

Favorite Quotes:

“Do not be ashamed of caring for another creature.  Would that the world contained more such feeling, rather than less.”

“Mrs. Elton preferred to express her piety through disapproval rather than charity.  She was never more pleased when finding a new thing to condemn, particularly when the thing could in some way be connected to Emma Knightly.”

Overall, The Murder of Mr. Wickham is the perfect mystery for fans of Jane Austen.  I can’t wait for a new book in this series!

A Review Copy from Netgalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Her Country Gentleman by Sian Ann Bessey, Sarah M. Eden, and Rebecca Connolly (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


Her Country Gentleman is part of the Timeless Georgian Collection.  This is my first read of that collection and I greatly enjoyed it.  With all that is going on in the world right now, it was nice to sit down and read these gentle romances set in the Georgian time period.  The collection has three novellas.  They all have a theme that includes sheep and a young lady on a journey.  It was a perfect springtime collection.

In Spring at Tibbley Hall by Sian Ann Bessey, Charlotte has gone on a trip with her Grandmamma to Tibbley Hall.  Once there, she meets a man she mistakenly takes for a farm hand who is caring for the sheep.  She learns that it is William, Lord Cheston, the master of the estate.  His mother and her grandmother were determined that they meet.  Will they find love?

In Love of My Heart, Cordelia Wakefield’s family has had to retrench and leave London for Scotland.  How will she find a husband without a season?  In Scotland, she meets the home farmer and his pet lamb.  She is enamored, but her parents are not.  When she discovers that he is the heir to the castle, will her parents and his grandfather come around to their relationship?

In Miss Smith goes to Wiltshire, Martha Smith is visiting her relative in Wiltshire to learn the error of her ways.  Her mother is very upset that she will not marry the men that she approves of and wants her daughter to marry.  Martha just wants to have a happy and unpretentious life.  When she meets a farmer, who ends up really being a poor Earl, will she be able to find her own happy ending?

I loved all three stories.  You can read them individually or read the entire book in one sitting.  I read through this quickly myself and enjoyed it.  It is a clean romance. The Georgian period is right before the Regency period, and I was amused by the different styles (wigs and a lot more going on with the dresses).

Favorite Quote: 

“There is much of grandeur to be found in London, but hardly substance.  At least not in my circles.  One does get so tired of ceremony and gored with pretense.  Everybody is playing a part, and one is always on display.”

Overall, Her Country Gentleman is a sweet collection of novellas that is perfect for spring. 

A Review Copy from Mirror Press as part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


·         Title: Her Country Gentleman

·         Series: Timeless Georgian Collection (Book 1)

·         Authors: Sian Ann Bessey, Sarah M. Eden, & Rebecca Connolly

·         Genre: Historical Romance, Georgian Romance, Inspirational Fiction

·         Publisher: Mirror Press (March 8, 2022)

·         Length: (300) pages

·         Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

·         ISBN: 978-1952611216

·         Tour Dates: March 7-20, 2022



Her Country Gentleman is the first book in the Timeless Georgian Collection, a new anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from bestselling historical romance authors whose stories reveal that not all love is found in London.

“Spring at Tribbley Hall,” by Sian Ann Bessey

When Charlotte's grandmother invites her to accompany her to Norfolk, Charlotte jumps at the chance to visit the sea and escape the fuss surrounding her sister's wedding preparations in London. Lord William Cheston, on the other hand, is most unhappy when his mother informs him that her old friend and a granddaughter are coming to stay. Not only is it lambing season, but he's also dealing with the mysterious loss of several sheep. The last thing he needs is a child underfoot. When Charlotte and William first meet, he does not realize that the lovely young lady is the granddaughter in question, and she assumes that the man dressed in work clothes in the barn is a servant. Soon afterward, however, Charlotte stumbles upon a clue to William's sheep's disappearance, and when her life is placed in jeopardy, William is forced to choose between saving his unwanted houseguest and catching the thief.

“Love of My Heart,” by Sarah M. Eden

Cordelia Wakefield has never lived anywhere but London and is not overly happy when her family is forced to retrench to a small estate near Teviotbrae, Scotland. An ill-fated game of battledore and shuttlecock brings her face-to-racquet with Sebastian, who runs the home farm at nearby Teviot Castle. What begins as a clash of personalities, expectations, and preferences, soon leads to a friendship neither had expected. As the magic of Teviotbrae weaves its spell, the possibility of something more than friendship begins to blossom. But what future is there for a lowly farmer and a London lady?

“Miss Smith Goes to Wiltshire,” by Rebecca Connolly

Martha Smith wants to marry for love and will not be persuaded otherwise. She is highly sought after in Society for her beauty and status but refuses to consider any suitor whose only claim is that his prospects meet with her mother's approval. Her widowed mother has had enough of Martha's romantic sensibilities and is sending her to stay with unfortunate cousins in Wiltshire to show her that marrying for love is a risk that is too great. Benjamin Steele, Lord Hillier, is working on his new and dilapidated estate when he first catches sight of the striking Martha Smith. Becoming Lord Hillier has only brought him a house that needs significant repairs, tenant farms that had been abandoned, and only the money he'd already possessed. He wants meaning in his life, and he's more than willing to work for it. Though worlds apart in all else, on this point they can agree: a life of meaning would change everything.


The Timeless Georgian Collection is a new series featuring novellas set in England during the Georgian era (1714 – 1830). It is part of A Timeless Romance Anthology series published by Mirror Press — a curated collection of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.  



·         “I have no hesitation in giving five stars collectively to this book. Great writing. Outstanding characters and each story is very compelling and different.”— Ken Reynolds, Goodreads

·         “This book is authored by three very talented authors, Sian Bessey, Sarah Eden, and Rebecca Connolly. I will admit upfront that these are three of my favorite authors so my expectations were high and they did not disappoint. This book is a truly wonderful read that I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.”— Shauna Jones, Goodreads

·         “I enjoyed the premise of each book - high society lady going to the country. But each heroine found their own adventure as they learned to live a different type of life than they were used to. Each hero was engaging. And of course, I loved their HEAs”— Caleen Picket, Goodreads






Sian Ann Bessey

Born in Cambridge, England, but grew up on the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales, Sian left her homeland to attend university in the U.S. and earned a bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in English.


She began her writing career as a student, publishing several magazine articles while still in college. Since then, she has published historical romance and romantic suspense novels, along with a variety of children's books. She is a USA Today bestselling author, a Foreward Reviews Book of the Year finalist, and a Whitney Award finalist.


She loves to travel and experience other cultures, but when she's home, her favorite activities are spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.





Sarah M. Eden


Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today bestselling author of multiple historical romances, including AML's "2013 Novel of the Year" and Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, and the Whitney Award's "2014 Novel of the Year," Longing for Home: Hope Springs.


Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.





Rebecca Connolly


Rebecca Connolly is the author of more than two dozen novels. She calls herself a Midwest girl, having lived in Ohio and Indiana. She's always been a bookworm, and her grandma would send her books almost every month so she would never run out. Book Fairs were her carnival, and libraries are her happy place.


She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She received a master's degree from West Virginia University, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.





Friday, March 11, 2022

Woman Last Seen by Adele Parks


Leigh Fletcher is happily married to the handsome Mark and the mother of two stepsons that she adores.  When she doesn’t return from work one day, her entire family is left to wonder, what happened to Leigh?  Detective Clements thinks it must be a domestic issue until another woman, Kai Janssen, is also reported missing.  Kai is a wealthy woman married to a handsome and rich Dutch businessman, Daan.  She went to visit her mother at a nursing home up north and never came home.  Where could these two women be?

I don’t want to ruin this book by giving away any plot details.  The story was a good thriller.  I figured out certain elements of it but didn’t quite figure out the ending. I’m not sure I was totally satisfied with the ending.  It answered all of the questions but didn’t quite go the way I wanted it to go.  An interesting element to this book is that it takes place right at the start of the pandemic. There is uncertainty in the world and now two women have disappeared without a trace.  There was an element to the story that I thought was a good twist as it went against gender assumptions. 

I read this on a road trip to Michigan in February and couldn’t put it down!  It was the February selection for the Brenda Novak Book Group.  I enjoyed the online discussion that Brenda Novak had with Adele Parks about this book.

Overall, if you are looking for a good new thriller, Woman Last Seen will keep you up at night!

Book Source:  Purchased on

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Harlem Shuffle by Colten Whitehead


I keep hearing about how wonderful a writer Colten Whitehead is, and I jumped at the opportunity to review his latest novel, Harlem Shuffle.  I loved his writing style and I’m ready to read more of his books.

 Harlem Shuffle takes us back to the 1960s in Harlem.  There are three separate, but related, sections of the book.  Ray Carney owns a furniture store in Brooklyn and is happily married to Elizabeth.  Elizabeth grew up in a wealthier family and her father does not approve of Ray. Ray grew up the son of Big Mike, a criminal in Harlem.  Ray is only slightly crooked.  He may fence stolen items for his cousin Freddy, but he is mostly on the up and up.  When Freddy gets Ray inadvertently involved in a jewel heist, Ray’s life changes forever.  It becomes harder and harder to keep the two sides of his life separate.  Is Ray the striver or Ray the crook his true nature?

 This book was excellent.  I loved the noir aspect of it and vivid descriptions of Harlem in the 1960s.  I felt like I was immersed in this world. I loved the characters and Ray’s internal struggle.  I loved his loyalty to his cousin Freddy.  I had a hard time with the format after the first one third of the book until I realized they were basically three separate stories.  In the first and last story, Ray gets involved in bad business to help out Freddy, and in the middle Ray gets vengeance against someone who crossed him.  I thought it was interesting that there wasn’t much difference between crooks and “high class” people.

 Favorite Quotes:

“’I may be broke sometimes, but I ain’t crooked, ‘ he said to himself.  Although, he had to admit, perhaps he was.”

 “A few blocks was the difference between the strivers and the crooks, between opportunity and the hard scrabble.”

 “How long do you keep trying to save something that was lost?”

 “You could never know what was going on with other people, but their private selves were never far away.”

 Overall, Harlem Shuffle was a great novel set in the world of Harlem in the 1960s.  It was a family drama, crime caper, and the American dream all rolled up into one.

A Review Copy from NetGalley and Doubleday.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Saturday, March 5, 2022

Brothers and Wives by Christopher Andersen


Title:  Brothers and Wives

Author:  Christopher Andersen

Narrated by:  Nicholas Boulton

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 9 hours and 55 minutes

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

Are you a royal watcher?  I’ll admit, since my Princess Diana paper doll as a child, I have loved everything to do with the royal family.  I love to read books and news articles about them. One of my favorite shows is The Crown.  I was very happy to get a review copy of Brothers and Wives, subtitled:  Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan.

Brothers and Wives tells the story of William and Harry growing up, their relationship as young men, and how their relationship changed in recent years as they married and had families of their own. It also goes through how their mother’s life and death have inspired the choices the two men make today.  The book also sets the narrative that Harry was always very much the spare and was treated differently by the palace and by the media as compared to his brother.  This accelerated when he met and married Meghan. 

Nicholas Boulton was a great narrator to this book, and I thought it was very interesting to listen to.  As a royal watcher, there wasn’t anything really new in this book. It did give a good overall narrative of the brothers.  It also states that Prince Charles is the person who made the harmful comments about the potential color of Harry and Meghan’s children.  The book did a good job discussing the racial issues that face the royal family.

Overall, Brothers and Wives was an interesting audiobook about Prince William and Prince Harry and their relationship.