Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Drowning by TJ Newman


Title:  Drowning

Author:  TJ Newman

Narrated by:  Steven Weber and Laura Benanti

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 7 hours and 43 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster Audio.  Thank you @simonandschuster #BookClubFavorites for the free books!

 What is your worst disaster related fear? Mine is of being trapped underwater . . . which makes Drowning by TJ Newman the perfect book to play into my fears.

Six minutes after takeoff from Hawaii, Flight 1421 crashes into the Pacific Ocean.  As the crew and passengers attempt to escape from the plane, engineer Will Kent realizes that they have a better chance of surviving by staying in the plane.  Together with his daughter Shannon, and 10 other people, they end up trapped inside a plane, underwater, perched on a sea cliff.  Will they survive?

Will’s wife, Chris, is a professional diver and underwater welder/construction worker.  After the death of their other young daughter, Will and Chris have not been able to keep their relationship on track.  On the verge of divorce, Chris is annoyed at Will for insisting on traveling with Shannon on her trip to California.  Once she finds out what has happened, she is intent on being part of the rescue.  Will Chris be able to help her husband and daughter?

Drowning is a dual narrative novel with Will and Chris narrating alternate chapters.  I enjoyed Steven Weber and Laura Benanti’s narration as Will and Chris in the audiobook.  Steven had a very distinctive voice which I enjoyed.

Drowning is the perfect adventure novel for a drive – I couldn’t stop listening to it!  I had a lot of driving for work this month and this audiobook kept me very entertained.  It is basically like an action movie, with a riveting plot and great characters.  Plus, I always love reading about #engineersinfiction.  Will may use the line “I’m an engineer!” followed by another life saving tip for the passengers.  Dubious at first, they finally realize it’s best to follow the advice of the engineer.

I really liked how the accident made both Will and Chris separately evaluate their lives and put things into perspective.  What is the most important thing for their family?  Do they still love each other?  I also liked the stories of all of the other passengers.  Even though it was an action story, several characters did give me a good laugh.

I read and enjoyed Falling by TJ Newman last year.  If you enjoyed Falling, you will definitely enjoy Drowning.

The Game She Plays by Siena Sterling (Bibliolifestyle Book Tour)

Thank you, Partner @bibliolifestyle @williammorrowbooks for the review copy of The Game She Plays by Siena Sterling.

Do you have a group of high school or college friends that you still get together with?  It definitely gets harder as the years go by!

In The Game She Plays by Siena Sterling, American Nicola has just had a whirlwind romance with Englishman James.  They are both invited for a weekend of shooting at the fabulous estate of James friends from Cambridge.  Nicola is starting to get to know everyone and finally feel welcomed when the mysterious Juliet arrives from Hong Kong.  Juliet was James college girlfriend.  She is beautiful, witty, and the life of the party.  She acts like she cares about everyone and just wants to help them out. Nicola struggles to feel a part of the crowd with Juliet around.  She starts to suspect that Juliet may not be all that she seems to be.  Is Nicola imagining things or is there a devious plot at play?

I enjoyed this character drive novel, and it was the perfect read for a weekend away.  I would call this a slow-burn suspense novel. It hooked me right away and I kept making theories about what I thought would happen. There was a lot of action at the end of the book. I thought I had this figured out, but I was a bit surprised by the ending overall and it definitely made me want to read a second book. 

I kept feeling Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier type vibes as I read this novel.  I was excited when Rebecca was referenced with Juliet as the Rebecca type person.  I loved it!

I thought it was interesting that this book was set in 1980.  I liked that is was in the not so distant past and I liked the look at the English upper crust of that era.  It was hard to fit in when you didn’t know the rules.  I liked how while Nicola was from America, another girlfriend of a friend, Bella, was from the north and also didn’t understand the unwritten rules.

This book was published on June 6, 2023.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See


Title:  Lady Tan’s Circle of Women

Author:  Lisa See

Narrated by:  Jennifer Lim and Justin Chien

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 13 hours and 15 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster Audio.  Thank you @simonandschuster #BookClubFavorites for the free books!

Do you have a “circle of women?”  Family, friends, coworkers, a book club that support you?  Or would you like to have a supportive group?

Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See is the story of a real 15th century doctor in Chian, Tan Yunxian. The story starts with Yunxian as a small child. She loves her mother, but after her mother dies from a foot infection, she goes to live with her grandparents.  Both of her grandparents are doctors and they train her with their skills.  Being a doctor in the 15th century is much different than now. The doctor was not allowed to touch any blood or bodily fluids. Male doctors couldn’t even be within sight of their female patients, which is what made it so invaluable to have a female doctor.  Grandmother pairs Yunxian with a young midwife, Meiling. The two have a great friendship that spans their lives through marriage and ups and downs.

Lady Tan’s Circle of Women was a very engaging audiobook – I couldn’t stop listening.  I loved learning about the culture, but I also loved the mystery that was laced throughout the story that Yunxian solved at the end.  It was overall a great story of female friendship.  Jennifer Lim was a great narrator and Justin Chien narrated a short part at the end.

I loved the note at the end of the book that discussed that the real medical book that Tan Yunxian had written had started to go out of print, but her descendant found a copy of it in a private collection and had it reprinted.  This book uses that medical book and the scant details of her life to create a beautiful story. Author Lisa See fills in all of the details and has great descriptions of the era.  I have always enjoyed her books in the past.

The book does go into detail about foot binding.  I remember when I first read about foot binding in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.  From our modern times, it is still hard for me to figure out how binding feet until they rotted could have been considered attractive.  It sounds so painful and hard for a woman to actually walk.  I wonder who thought of this in the first place?  I wonder what beauty regime from now will be looked upon as strange in the future.  Any thoughts?

Favorite Quote:

“For much of my life I felt alone, but over the years a circle of women came to love me and I came to love each of those women in return.”

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin


Title:  The Last Bookshop in London

Author:  Madeline Martin

Narrated by:  Saskia Maarleveld

Publisher: Harlequin Audio

Length: Approximately 8 hours and 13 minutes

Source: Checked out with Hoopla through the Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

Do you like stories of found families?  Do you have a favorite book, show, or movie that features a found family?

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin is a found family story and was the June pick for the Pageturners Bookclub at the Kewaunee Public Library.  I enjoyed the book and was looking forward to book club.  Sadly, a work meeting ran late and I was unable to attend.

Grace Bennett moves to London in 1939 with her friend Viv.  They had hoped London would be fun, but as the blitz starts, they find themselves in a different type of situation.  Grace finds a job at a bookstore and helps the owner to improve the bookstore to make it successful.  As the blitz takes over the city, Grace helps her community with books and through the love of reading to keep hope alive.  Together Grace, her landlady, and her friends make their own supportive community and family.

I loved how Grace made new friends and helped people out.  I also enjoyed how she became a reader and discovered great literature through reading some of my favorite books, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Emma by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, etc. throughout the novel.  I loved when she would read aloud and comfort people in the tubes during bombing raids.

I am aways looking for #engineersinfiction.  I was happy to discover that the love interest was George, an engineer.  George shares The Count of Monte Cristo with Grace and helps to develop her love for reading.  They enjoy discussing books together.  George joins the miliary and is away fighting in WWII through most of the book.

I always really enjoy books where the main character works in a bookstore and makes changes to improve sales.  This book reminded me at the start of A Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan and Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner for the first part of the book.

I also thought this novel did a good job of describing how the blitz affected ordinary people that were living and working in London.  It was a very hard time for everyone.  Grace’s work as an air raid warden was interesting as well.  Author Madeline Martin did great research and included many details that day to day living during the Blitz that I had never heard about before.

Saskia Maarleveld was a good narrator and I enjoyed listening to this audiobook.  I especially enjoyed her British accent.  I loved the relationships in the novel, the talk of books, and the realistic look into the impacts of the blitz.  It was a good book.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


Do you ever wonder about your ancestors?  Have you researched your genealogy?  I think genealogy is fascinating and have dabbled with it.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi was our May book club pick for the Rogue Book Club.  I have been wanting to read this book for a long time and was glad to finally get to read it.

In the 18th century, two half sisters are born in Ghana and go on to live very different lives.  Effia marries an Englishman and lives in the Cape Coast Castle.  Her husband has a wife back in England and is involved in the slave trade.  Esri is captured in the basement of the Castle and is shipped to the United States as a slave.  The novel traces the lives of the descendants of the two sisters as they live their lives through turbulent times in Ghana and the United States.

I’ll admit when the book first switched from the sisters to their descendants, I had a hard time trying to figure out what was going on.  Each chapter tells the story of a new descendant, although some characters are in the stories of their descendants as well.  I got used to the format and I also really liked the family try at the start of the book.  I didn’t really feel the true genius of the novel until I got to the end of the novel.  It perfectly ties up the entire story.

It reminded me of Roots, but I liked that it showed how the families differed between who stayed behind in Africa and who went to the United States.  I liked the unique format and the journey.

Book Source: Purchased from Barnes and Nobles.  Thank-you!


Kismet by Becky Chalsen


Are you a twin or do you wish you had a twin?  I’ve always enjoyed reading stories with twins in them starting with Sweet Valley Twins as a kid.

Amy and Jo are twins that are both turning 30 this summer.  Jo has decided to have her wedding over fourth of July weekend on Fire Island, which is also the twins’ thirtieth birthday weekend.  Amy arrives trying to put the best face on everything, but she and her husband, Ben, have been having marital problems.  When her old college boyfriend from freshman year shows up as the best man, Amy is torn. Should she go after her old love or try to repair things with her husband?  Will Jo’s wedding be able to go off without a hitch with all of the personalities at play?

Kismet is a perfect sun-soaked beach read with plenty of family drama.  I’ll admit I did get annoyed by Amy as her angst against Ben dragged on, but luckily the story unfolded for me to learn about the entirety of Amy and Ben’s relationship.  I enjoyed the slight mystery of finding out what the problem was.  The entire wedding party learns about how it is better to be open with each other and to believe in the power of love.  I really liked how this story wrapped up and concluded.  I thought it was very heart warming.

I also loved the setting of Fire Island.  It sounds beautiful and I had to look it up after I finished the book last month.  It sounds like I need to check this out next time I find myself in New York.

Book Source:  Book Source: Review Copy from Penguin Random House and Netgalley.   Thank-you! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Monday, June 19, 2023

Timeless Western Collection: A Wyoming Summer by Carla Kelly, Christine Sterling and Heather B. Moore (Austenprose PR Book Tour)

What is the weather like where you live?  It’s been a mild, but dry spring and early summer here along Lake Michigan in Northeast Wisconsin.  We are heading to Minnesota later this week and the high temperatures look shocking to us!

I have read entries in the Timeless Regency and Timeless Georgian collection, but this was my first read of a Timeless Western Collection.  It was a similar reading experience with three gentle romance novellas set in times past.  I greatly enjoyed reading this book during a hectic period at work and in life.  I also thought it was interesting that the time period, set in the early 1900’s is when my Great-Grandparents were born.

Ellen Found by Carla Kelly is the story of a young woman who was an orphan working at a derelict eating house in Butte.  She decides to apply for a new job at a hotel being built in Yellowstone and leaves with her cat in tow.  Her joyful spirit and new ideas help to bring cheer to the work crew and all around her.  She also finds herself the object of affection for two very different men.  There really wasn’t a mystery of who she would end up with, but there were some tense moments from living life in the American wilderness.  The true hero of the story was Plato the Cat and I loved reading about him.

The Widow of Daybreak by Christine Sterling was more of a gunslinger type western. Doris Whistler recently witnessed her husband being gunned down by an outlaw who has taken over their small town.   Even worse, days later the outlaw shows up in her store telling her that she will become his wife or more will die.  She had written a letter of desperation to her brother asking for help.  He sends his friend Buck to town.  Will he be able to bring law back to their small Wyoming town?  I enjoyed this story as well, although the love between Doris and Buck seemed too quick after her husband’s murder.  Doris did have qualms about this so that helped me out as their love grew over time.

May I Kiss the Bride?  By Heather B. Moore was the final tale in this trilogy.  After a failed engagement, Viola Delany has been shipped off to stay with her aunt in a small town in Wyoming.  On the way she spots a handsome cowboy on the train, who she never expects to see again.   Life has other plans.  I loved this story.  It had a great sweet romance and the pursuit of dreams that included a bakery. I enjoyed that Viola found her strength and had her own coming of age in this story. 

Overall, this was a wonderful anthology.  I loved the clean, sweet romance.  The characters were wonderfully developed and interesting.  I enjoyed the plots of all three stories and liked that they were all unique.

Favorite Quote:  "She marveled that such a small body could hold something as enormous as death."

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


·       Title: A Wyoming Summer

·       Series: Timeless Western Collection (Book 4)

·       Authors: Carla Kelly, Christine Sterling, & Heather B. Moore

·       Genre: Historical Romance, Western Romance, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: Mirror Press (June 20, 2023)

·       Length: (330) pages

·       Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

·       ISBN: 978-1952611322

·       Tour Dates: June 19 – 30, 2023



A Wyoming Summer is the fourth book in the Timeless Western Collection, a bestselling anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from acclaimed historical romance authors whose stories ask if true love can survive the changing seasons?

“Ellen Found,” by Carla Kelly

Set n location of Old Faithful Inn, 1903-4. Working in a discouraging café, Ellen escapes an awful situation in rough and tumble Butte, Montana, and goes to work as second in command to a wary cook in the shell that will become Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone Park. She meets Charles Penrose, head carpenter on the massive project of Old Faithful Inn, which is being finished in a harsh Wyoming winter. Will it really open June 1, 1904? Can Ellen start to trust the other workers? What will she learn about the other employees? And Charles. He's a widower with a young daughter there, too. Like Ellen, he wants more.

“The Widow of Daybreak,” by Christine Sterling

Doris Whistler is learning how to survive in a town taken over by outlaws. When the leader of an infamous gang murders her husband, her choices are to tuck tail and run, or stand her ground and make Daybreak as promising as its name. It proves to be a difficult task with the good citizens in fear of the corrupt mayor and godlessness that abounds. What she doesn't expect is the support of a traveling lawman who believes in her and the tiny town she loves so much.

“May I Kiss the Bride,” by Heather B. Moore

Viola Delany is not happy about being sent to the middle-of-nowhere, small town Wyoming. Yes, it will be good to let the gossips find something else to talk about other than her failed engagement. And yes, it will be nice to spend the summer with her Aunt Beth. But as Viola sits on the train heading for Wyoming, wondering how she'll ever occupy her time in such a small town, none other than a real-life cowboy sits across the way. She can't help but take peeks at him, noting that the condition of his unpolished black boots and scuffed rawhide jacket seem to be authentic . . . All right, so he might be tall, dark-haired, and handsome if a woman doesn't mind green eyes and a dangerous-looking scar, but this man certainly has nothing to do with her. Besides she'll never see him again. What are the chances he's traveling to the same middle-of-nowhere small town?


Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Romance Collection, a curated anthology 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.  


·       5 STARS “…my new favorite of the Timeless Romance Anthologies.”— Maria Thomas, Goodreads

·       5 STARS – “Another wonderful collection from the Timeless Romance Anthologies...A perfect read for your summer enjoyment that just might have you planning some trips to Wyoming or another western historical feeling location. ”— Julie Carpenter, Goodreads

·       5 STARS – “A clean, fun, well-written collection by three talented authors.”— Lorieah, Goodreads




Carla Kelly started writing Regencies because of her interest in the Napoleonic Wars. She like writing about warfare at sea and ordinary people of the British Isles, rather than lords and ladies. In her spare time, she likes to read British crime fiction and history, particularly the U.S. Indian Wars. She is a former park ranger, and double Rita Award and Spur Award winner. She currently lives in Utah, has five interesting children and four grands. Carla’s favorite authors include Robert Crais and Richard Woodman.


Christine Sterling is a USA Today best-selling author who writes small-town inspirational romances with a touch of humor. Most of her stories take place in the plains of Nebraska or Colorado, but she will write wherever there are cowboys needing to find love. Her favorite stories involve tight-knit families, and you will often find that her characters cross over in many of her stories.

She lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, four dogs, and one spoiled cat, aka The Floof. She can often be found in her garden with a notebook and a cup of tea.


Heather B. Moore is a USA Today best-selling and award-winning author of more than seventy publications, including The Paper Daughters of Chinatown. She has lived on both the East and West Coasts of the United States, as well as Hawaii, and attended school abroad at the Cairo American Collage in Egypt and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about history and is passionate about historical research.


Monday, June 12, 2023

A Shadow in Moscow by Katherine Reay (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


What is your favorite book, movie, or TV show about a spy?

A Shadow in Moscow is an intriguing and unique cold war historical fiction novel.  It is a dual story told in both the 1940s/50s and 1980s.  In Vienna, Ingrid loses her family and everything she loves during WWII.  After the war, she marries a Soviet Embassy worker and follows him to Moscow.  She finds herself reaching out to her mother’s home country of England with information about the communist regime. 

Anya is a young Russian girl going to college in 1980.  She grows to respect the United States as she finishes her degree at Georgetown and also finds that she has fallen in love with an American, Scott.  She has to return to the USSR for her safety and her family’s safety.  After the KGB murders a good friend, Anya becomes a spy sending top secret information from a military research center to the CIA in hopes of ending the arms race.  Will either Ingrid or Anya be caught?

I have not read too many historical fiction novels set during the cold war and I really enjoyed this novel.  I enjoyed both stories equally, which is important in a dual narrative novel.  Both Ingrid and Anya are strong female leads with intriguing back stories.  I have enjoyed Katherine Reay’s novels in the past and this one did not disappoint with great characters and an riveting plot.  The plot and romance were both slow burn as the novel set up the story, but I was intrigued and couldn’t stop reading once the story got revved up.  I love a good spy story with all of the feels!

This novel has a great author’s note and discussion questions at the end.  I feel like I learned a lot about the Cold War in this novel.

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


·       Title: A Shadow in Moscow: A Cold War Novel

·       Author: Katherine Reay

·       Genre: Historical Fiction, Espionage Thrillers, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: ‎Harper Muse (June 13, 2023)

·       Length: (384) pages

·       Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

·       ISBN: 978-1400243037

·       Tour Dates: June 5-19, 2023



In the thick of the Cold War, a betrayal at the highest level risks the lives of two courageous female spies: MI6’s best Soviet agent and the CIA’s newest Moscow recruit.

Vienna, 1954

After losing everyone she loves in the final days of World War II, Ingrid Bauer agrees to a hasty marriage with a gentle Soviet embassy worker and follows him home to Moscow. But nothing within the Soviet Union’s totalitarian regime is what it seems, including her new husband, whom Ingrid suspects works for the KGB. Inspired by her daughter’s birth, Ingrid risks everything and reaches out in hope to the one country she understands and trusts—Britain, the country of her mother’s birth. She begins passing intelligence to MI6, navigating a world of secrets and lies, light and shadow.

Moscow, 1980

A student in the Foreign Studies Initiative, Anya Kadinova finishes her degree at Georgetown University and boards a flight home to Moscow, leaving behind the man she loves and a country she’s grown to respect. Though raised by dedicated and loyal Soviet parents, Anya soon questions an increasingly oppressive and paranoid regime at the height of the Cold War. Then the KGB murders her best friend and Anya chooses her side. Working in a military research lab, she relays Soviet plans and schematics to the CIA in an effort to end the 1980s arms race.

The past catches up to the present when an unprecedented act of treachery threatens all agents operating within Eastern Europe, and both Ingrid and Anya find themselves in a race for their lives against time and the KGB.



  • “In her nail-biting latest . . . Reay builds an immersive world behind the Iron Curtain, full of competing loyalties and a constant, chilling sense of paranoia. Readers will be enthralled.”— Publishers Weekly
  • ”Rich with fascinating historical detail and unforgettable characters!”— Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times Bestselling author of The Wedding Veil

·       “…intrigue, twists and turns, acts of bravery and sacrificial love, and an unforgettable cold war setting with clever daring women at the helm.”— Susan Meissner, USA Today Bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things






Katherine Reay is a national bestselling and award-winning author who has enjoyed a lifelong affair with books. She publishes both fiction and nonfiction, holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois, with her husband and three children.



Sunday, June 11, 2023

White Bird by R. J. Palacio


How do you find out about new books?  My daughter Penelope and I were at the movie theatre watching “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” where we watched a trailer for White Bird.  We thought it looked good and looked up and ordered the book when we got home.  We were both surprised to discover that it was a book from the world of Wonder, a book we had both previously enjoyed.  Penelope devoured White Bird and implored me to read it as soon as possible so we could discuss it.  I complied.

White Bird is a graphic novel.  The framing of the story is that Julian, the bully from Wonder, has a beloved Grandmother who tells him a story of her youth to help explain why she thinks it is important to always be kind to everyone.  Grandmere was a young Jewish girl growing up in France when the Nazis invaded.  Other Jewish children and her parents were taken away.  She was only able to survive because a crippled boy that the other kids disdained put his life at risk to help her.  The story is a harrowing tale of survival that shows there is always good in the world. 

This story was very engaging, and the graphics are wonderful.  It’s a heart-rending story.  My daughter gave me the book with tears running down her face . . . she also told me what was going to happen, so it wasn’t a surprise for me at the end.  It was still very sad to read.

I really liked the message of good people helping those in need, and that you should always be kind to those around you.  When you get to know other people, you can find new and wonderful friends. 

For those that want to know more, there is a great author’s note at the end that discusses the real-world inspirations for this book.  I thought it was very interesting and would be a great learning tool for those who want to learn more.  I also thought it was interesting that it noted many World War II fiction novels about the atrocities against Jewish people are told from the point of view of a non-Jewish person.  I had never thought about that before, but it is true.  I liked that this did tell the story from the Jewish child that has to go into hiding.

Overall, White Bird is a touching and meaningful book that is perfect for both kids and adults alike.  I can’t wait to see the movie based on this book!

Favorite Quote:

“Evil will only be stopped when good people decide to put an end to it.”

Book Source:  Purchased from


Saturday, June 10, 2023

The Heiress Bride by Madeline Hunter (TLC Book Tours)

 What would you do if you discovered you had a surprise inheritance?  I have all sorts of home improvements I would make including putting bookcases in my sitting room to make a cozy library.

Iris is an independent woman who looks for rare books across England and Europe to sell for collectors.  She is surprised to learn that she has inherited a fortune from a late Duke whom she discussed a rare book with previously.  The new Duke of Hollinburgh, Nicholas, has been searching for her to fulfill his late uncle’s will.  He also is searching for a bride for himself.  When he meets Iris, he is instantly attracted, but also slightly scandalized by her independent ways.  It also appears that Iris is in danger as Nicholas starts to suspect that his late Uncle may have been murdered.  Will they be able to solve this mystery?

I loved Iris and Nicholas both as characters.  I loved how Iris loved books and was an independent woman with her own mind.  I like how Nicholas enjoyed that she was an independent woman and it made him question what he had been taught to look for in a perspective bride.

This was the third book in the series, but I read it as a standalone.  It worked for me, but I did find myself wondering about the two other heiresses that Iris befriends that were the main characters in the first two books in the series.  I need to go back and read them!

The mystery was intriguing, and I enjoyed the slow burn romance.  This was a fun book, and I loved the banter between Iris and Nicholas.  I also loved all of the descriptions of libraries, book sales, and collectable books.  It was a stressful week at work and this was a great book to relax with in the evenings.

Book Source: Review Copy from Kensington Publishing, Zebra Historical Romance.   Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the TLC Book Tour. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

After Anne by Logan Steiner (Bibliolifestyle Book Tour)


Thank you, Partner @bibliolifestyle @williammorrowbooks for a review copy of After Anne by Logan Steiner.  This book was published on May 30th.

Have you read or watched Anne of Green Gables?  What are your thoughts?

After Anne starts with L.M. Montgomery, Maud, as a spinster in her 30’s living with her Grandmother and just starting on her writing of Anne of Green Gables.  She loves spending time with her beloved cousin and best friend, Frede.  When a new minister comes to town, Ewan Macdonald, Maud wonders whether she has finally found her soul mate.  After a glorious birthday weekend with Frede and Ewan, Maud marries Ewan and together they build a life.  Sadly, their lives slip into despair over time.  How can a woman who wrote such beautiful novels have such a sad life?

I liked how this novel was put together.  It opens on the day that L.M. Montgomery is discovered to have committed suicide.  Was it an accident or intentional?  The book then flashes back to show her life.  The birthday weekend of 1907 is prominent, and the narrative keeps slipping back to that time frame when everything looked bright and wonderful for Maud.  Anne of Green Gables was about to be published, she was about to be married, and she had her best friend and cousin, Frede.  Maud had a lot of trials and tribulations as her husband slipped into madness, she lost those that she loved, and she had a troubled relationship with one of her sons.  She started to self-medicate to make it through her days which led to her ultimate demise.

I didn’t know much about her life, and I found this was an interesting biographical fictional novel.  It made me sad to learn that L.M. Montgomery had such a sad life, but I was happy that she was able to use the best parts of it for inspiration in her works.  This book has led me to want to read her journals and biographies of her life.  I may have read all of the fiction that she wrote, but I have not delved into her personal life at all until now.  I was particularly fascinated by how the war and the flu epidemic of 1918 affected her life and her writing of one of my favorite novels, Rilla of Ingleside.

I found the character of Maud to be likeable and sympathetic. I enjoyed learning more of her story and looked forward to the bright points such as her 1907 birthday party.  The pacing of the story was a bit slow, but I overall enjoyed the novel.