Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Review: The Light Through the Leaves by Glendy Vanderah

The Light Through the Leaves
by Glendy Vanderah

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  One unbearable mistake at the edge of the forest.

In a moment of crisis, Ellis Abbey leaves her daughter, Viola, unattended—for just a few minutes. But when she returns, Viola is gone. A breaking point in an already fractured marriage, Viola’s abduction causes Ellis to disappear as well—into grief, guilt, and addiction. Convinced she can only do more harm to her family, Ellis leaves her husband and young sons, burying her desperate ache for her children deeper with every step into the mountain wildernesses she treks alone.

In a remote area of Washington, a young girl named Raven keeps secrets inside, too. She must never speak to outsiders about how her mother makes miracles spring from the earth, or about her father, whose mysterious presence sometimes frightens her. Raven spends her days learning how to use her rare gifts—and more important, how to hide them. With each lesson comes a warning of what dangers lie in the world beyond her isolated haven. But despite her mother’s cautions, Raven finds herself longing for something more.

As Ellis and Raven each confront their powerful longings, their journeys will converge in unexpected and hopeful ways, pulled together by the forces of nature, love, and family.


Kritters Thoughts:  Before I dive into the review, let me say before you start this book, the first few chapters are a little different, but hang tight on this one and you will be glad you did!  This was a book I almost quit, but so glad I kept going and finished it very quickly!

Ellis Abbey is having a hard time and is distracted by her twin boys enough to leave her newborn daughter at a park and when she shortly returns she is gone.  This one moment sends Ellis' life down a completely different path and the reader follows her as she tries to figure out how to create the life that she is willing to lead.  

Raven is a young girl living in remote Washington state and her mom keeps her secluded from everything as she is dealing with her own demons.  Raven slowly realizes there is a life beyond her mom and their property and wants to know more about this world.  

This was an epic novel where the reader is just waiting for it to all come together!  I couldn't wait to see how these two stories would intersect and I appreciated that the author allowed for some story to happen after the two stories converge.  

Even though these characters were SO far from my own experience, I could still enjoy dipping into their lives and watching it unfold.  I am not the outdoorsy girl, so I definitely couldn't have camped like Ellis did or be so connected to my environment, but I could appreciate how both of these characters found peace in the outdoors.  

This is the second novel by this author and I will be adding her other title to my TBR and hope to read it very soon.  I will also be waiting what comes next from her!


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 31 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Monday, March 29, 2021

Review: Her Dark Lies by JT Ellison

Her Dark Lies
by JT Ellison

Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  At the wedding of the year, a killer needs no invitation

Jutting from sparkling turquoise waters off the Italian coast, Isle Isola is an idyllic setting for a wedding. In the majestic cliff-top villa owned by the wealthy Compton family, up-and-coming artist Claire Hunter will marry handsome, charming Jack Compton, surrounded by close family, intimate friends…and a host of dark secrets.

From the moment Claire sets foot on the island, something seems amiss. Skeletal remains have just been found. There are other, newer disturbances, too. Menacing texts. A ruined wedding dress. And one troubling shadow hanging over Claire’s otherwise blissful relationship—the strange mystery surrounding Jack’s first wife.

Then a raging storm descends, the power goes out—and the real terror begins…


Kritters Thoughts:  Claire Hunter is about to become a part of an illustrious family - the Compton family.  They are known for their wealth, their history and for having women/wives that die young.  Claire is going into this marriage a little naive and maybe doesn't have all the information before hading to a remote castle in Italy to marry.  

For me, right off the bat, this book had terrible pacing and within that it felt too long and it dragged on and on.  I was surprised to find out after finishing it, that it was under 500 pages because for me it felt as though it was much longer - and not in a good way.  

With that being said, this book had atmosphere and I felt as though I was stuck on an island in a huge castle and felt as though I should keep looking over my shoulder while I was reading the book.  I love a thriller that gives me the goosebumps, but I felt as though there wasn't enough movement to keep the story progressing forward.  

This was only my second JT Ellison read and I liked Good Girls Lie better than this one, but am still open to trying more from the backlist and more from what is to come.  


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 30 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

Two books completed is a sad week for me.  A very busy work week and a busy house project week and weekend, made for little reading time.  

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Elizabeth & Margaret by Andrew Morton
Lost, Found and Forever by Victoria Schade

Currently Reading:
Just My Luck by Adele Parks
 
Next on the TBR pile:
The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Review: Not Without My Sister by Marion Kummerow

Not Without My Sister
by Marion Kummerow

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 259
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  1944, Germany. Two sisters seek to overcome impossible odds to be reunited, in this utterly devastating and unforgettable novel about sisterhood, courage and survival.

All they had left was each other. Until the Nazis tore them apart.

After years of hiding from the Nazis, Rachel Epstein and her little sister Mindel are captured by the Gestapo and sent to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. The only ray of light for either girl is that they are together.

But on arrival they are separated. As she’s seventeen and deemed an adult, Rachel is sent to work in a brutal factory whilst four-year-old Mindel is sent into the so-called “star” camp for Jewish prisoners. All on her own, Rachel knows her sister will have no chance of survival—unless she can find someone to take care of her.

Working in the windowless, airless factory—filling munitions casings with chemicals that burn her fingers and make her eyes sting—the only thing that keeps Rachel going is the thought of her little sister. Because if there’s even a chance Mindel is alive, Rachel knows she must try to save her.

But, separated by barbed wire, and treated brutally by SS guards who do not even see them as human beings, can either of the orphaned sisters ever dare to hope that they’ll find their way back to each other? And to freedom?


Kritters Thoughts:  An extremely hard read.  A set of sisters are separated on their way to a Nazi concentration camp and they must hold onto the dream of reconciliation to get them through the hardest of the days.  At four and seventeen years old they have very different experiences and the book switches between their points of view to show two different sides of survival in a concentration camp.

I have read a lot of World War II books and even some that take place in a concentration camp, but for some reason this one was harder to read than most.  I think I can contribute the heaviness of the book due to the fact that it is through a child's eyes.  Mindel who is four is experiencing things no one should and at such a young age without a family member nearby, that is beyond anyone's imagination.  It was a bit easier to read Rachel's story, but to watch her bounce between handling it and almost losing it - I was thankful this one was short.  

I would add this to your reading list if you feel as though you have read all the books in the World War II genre and are ready for this one, but this is worth the read if you can handle it.   


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 28 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Review: Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan

Tell No Lies
by Allison Brennan

Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Something mysterious is killing the wildlife in the mountains just south of Tucson. When a college intern turned activist sets out to collect her own evidence, she, too, ends up dead. Local law enforcement is slow to get involved. That’s when the mobile FBI unit goes undercover to infiltrate the town and its copper refinery in search of possible leads.

Quinn and Costa find themselves scouring the desolate landscape, which keeps revealing clues to something much darker—greed, child trafficking and more death. As the body count adds up, it’s clear they have stumbled onto much more than they bargained for. Now they must figure out who is at the heart of this mayhem and stop them before more innocent lives are lost.


Kritters Thoughts:  Returning to Detective Quinn and FBI Agent Costa in the second book in the series.  As in most mystery/thriller series, each case is solved in each book, but there is character development of the repeating characters from book to book, so I suggest you start at book one before you dive into this one.

Detective Quinn is undercover again in Arizona as a college student was murdered while investigating possible ecological anomalies - i.e. weird amount of dead birds in a spot.  FBI Agent Costa is running the investigation into a copper refinery to find out if they had a motive for murder and were illegally dumping things to cause the dead birds.  This is the main mystery, but goodness there was a lot more going on, but I don't want to spoil a thing.

There were many moments in this book where I wondered if the author tried to put too much into this book.  By the end, it worked out and everything tied up nicely, but there were a few mysteries going on and I was worried that it was too much for one book.  

I am keeping this review brief and vague because I appreciated going into this book with minimal knowledge, so I would say pick up book one and then quickly dive into this one and enjoy the ride and the characters.


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 27 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Harlequin  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Review: Small Town Secrets by Alys Murray

Small Town Secrets
by Alys Murray

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 254
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  “Young women needed for the Fortune Springs Town Improvement Initiative. One year’s room and board provided.”

I should have known it was too good to be true when I first saw the ad. It turns out that Fortune Springs, Colorado isn’t just a one-horse town, it’s a two-woman one, and this is their attempt to keep the community alive. I want to say the scheme is ridiculous, totally outdated, but I’m carrying everything I own in my canvas backpack and the greyhound I stepped off this morning is long gone. If this is my chance at a fresh start, I’d better grab it with both hands.

I know I should feel guilty about pretending to be a lonely heart willing to help repopulate this rural logging town, but all I feel is relief at having escaped the apartment in Savannah. And after all, what’s one more secret to add to the pile? I only hope I’ve hidden my tracks well enough, and that the kind Fortune Springs locals who’ve opened their doors to me will never find out what made me run away in the first place…


Kritters Thoughts:  Virginia is leaving Savannah in hopes for a new start in Colorado than can be a jumping off point for her new life.  She goes to a small town that is in "need" of young ladies and they have a house and a stipend and hopefully she can get some inspiration.  

Of course this is a romance, so you know that this will end happily, but it will be a journey to get there.  What I love about Alys Murray as an author and what she did in this book was putting in the sexy times when it feels right and focusing on the evolution of a relationship.

For me one of the plotlines that disappeared in the book was about a set of puppies and a possible career path for Virginia.  I wanted so much more from that storyline than the little it drove the storyline - I wish it had been in the story and think it would have made Virginia feel more well rounded and a full character.

I have read a few by this author and loved the others more than this and wouldn't stop reading her books because of my feelings about this one.  I look forward to her next books.  


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 26 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.



Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Review: The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne

The Path to Sunshine Cove
by RaeAnne Thayne

Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  She knows what's best for everyone but herself...

With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She's made a career out of helping others downsize--because she's learned the hard way that the less "stuff," the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home...and that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven't made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents and changed everything between them.

While Jess couldn't wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world--and her sister--to think she has a picture-perfect life. But with the demands of her youngest child's disability, Rachel's marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she's learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn't do family, and she shouldn't count on her now.

Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached--to her sister and her family, even to her client's interfering son, Nate--and it's time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put and make room for the love and joy that come along with it?


Kritters Thoughts:  Jessica Clayton returns to a small town where her sister now lives, but for a work project.  She parks her Airstream and is there for work, but glad for a few moments with her sister and her kids and husband.  Her sister, Rachel is trying to create the perfect life online, but it is impeding on the joy in her real life.  Each sister will hopefully learn a life lesson or two from each other in the short time they are together.  

I think my favorite books of RaeAnne Thayne are her stand alone books where she really concentrates on the plot and the story of the characters in this one book instead of making sure they fit into the world of a series.  I also love that RaeAnne Thayne doesn't sacrifice character development or plot to sexy scenes and instead those seamlessly fit in around the story - if there are any at all (can't even remember them in this one!)

I read this book in two sittings because I loved both Jessica and Rachel and wanted to find out where these two would end up and how they would get there.  I loved reading about their childhoods and how each responded in very different ways and how that shaped them as adults.  I don't want to even hint as the reveal of those details came at such an interesting time in the book and I am so glad I found it out when the character told their story.  

I was a fan of RaeAnne Thayne before this one and will continue after this book.  She writes great women (and men) that are going through life and having honest experiences.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 29 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Harlequin  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.




Sunday, March 21, 2021

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

Another week where house and work took priority over reading.

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Her Dark Lies by JT Ellison
The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne
The Light Through the Leaves by Glendy Vanderah

Currently Reading:
Elizabeth & Margaret by Andrew Morton
 
Next on the TBR pile:
Lost, Found and Forever by Victoria Schade

Review: Danger in Numbers by Heather Graham

Danger in Numbers
by Heather Graham

Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On the edge of the Everglades, an eerie crime scene sets off an investigation that sends two agents deep into a world of corrupted faith, greed and deadly secrets.

A ritualistic murder on the side of a remote road brings in the Florida state police. Special Agent Amy Larson has never seen worse, and there are indications that this killing could be just the beginning. The crime draws the attention of the FBI in the form of Special Agent Hunter Forrest, a man with insider knowledge of how violent cults operate, and a man who might never be able to escape his own past.

The rural community is devastated by the death in their midst, but people know more than they are saying. As Amy and Hunter join forces, every lead takes them further into the twisted beliefs of a dangerous group that will stop at nothing to see their will done.


Kritters Thoughts:  A combination of a dramatic story about cults and religion mixed with a murder mystery - Amy Larson is a Special Agent and this case is going to take her to a few small towns in Florida as they track ritualistic murders of young females.  

I enjoyed combining two interests of mine - cults and murder mysteries!  I am weirdly fascinated by the sociology of cults and how one person can influence a group and have them "buy what they are selling."  Add in some murder and this book was in my wheelhouse.  

Even while enjoying the book, there were a few moments in the book where either the story stalled and the pacing wasn't working OR I completely predicted the next moves.  Both of those instances are frustrating in a murder/mystery where pacing matters to keep the reader on the edge of the seat and as a reader I don't love finding things out too early and it loses value when the reveal actually happens.  

This was my first Heather Graham read and she has quiet the backlist, where should I go next if I liked this one?


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 24 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Harlequin.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Saturday, March 20, 2021

Review: The Queen's Dressmaker by Meghan Masterson

The Queen's Dressmaker
by Meghan Masterson

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 303
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  As part of Marie Antoinette’s household, Giselle ensures the queen is always perfectly dressed in opulent gowns, without a feather or ruffle out of place. Being so close to power comes with benefits, and Giselle admires the queen’s kindness and style. But it also makes her a perfect target for enemies of the Crown…

The palace of Versailles shimmers with gilt, crystal, mirrors and silk. Life within its walls is governed by a complex set of rules that are a million miles away from Giselle’s respectable, but modest, upbringing in Paris. On a visit home to her own family, Giselle is caught in the middle of a violent street riot. When dashing Léon comes to her aid, she falls madly in love with the young, idealistic revolutionary, as the French capital burns around them.

Giselle begins sewing the tricolor rosettes of the revolution, which she conceals beneath her clothes. Guiltily hiding them from the queen, who has only ever shown her friendship, she arranges secret meetings with her new love whenever she can slip away from her duties. But outside Versailles, people are angry and soon the mob breaks down the doors of this enchanted palace, forcing Giselle’s two worlds to collide.

With the lives of the royal family at stake and Léon rising within the ranks of the revolutionaries, Giselle faces a heart-wrenching choice. She is asked to help the monarchs escape France but this means risking the guillotine herself… Will she take the chance to save the life of her beloved queen? And can she do so without betraying the man she loves?


Kritters Thoughts:  An interesting perspective on Marie Antoinette from one of the ladies in her court as they are going through the turmoil that would result in her death and the death of her husband.  Giselle comes from a good family that finds themselves in the middle of the revolution and then she goes to her place of work and is in the middle of it and seeing it from a different point of view.  

I know only a bare minimum of Marie Antoinette's story, so to get some more details but from a unique point of view was so fun to read.  I also love that with a historical fiction, you learn about the main events, but you also learn about the feelings of others as they go through these historical moments.  It is a good sign when a historical fiction book makes me consult the internet for facts to know the full depth of the situation - a prod for knowledge is always a good thing in my book (pun intended).

It was exciting to find out after finishing the book that this was a debut novel and there could be many more to come from this author.  I hope she continues to focus on characters that are just adjacent to the limelight and give color to the person, place and time.  


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 23 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Review: Are We There Yet? by Kathleen West

Are We There Yet?
by Kathleen West

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Alice Sullivan feels like she's finally found her groove in middle age, but it only takes one moment for her perfectly curated life to unravel. On the same day she learns her daughter is struggling in second grade, a call from her son's school accusing him of bullying throws Alice into a tailspin.

When it comes to light that the incident is part of a new behavior pattern for her son, one complete with fake social media profiles with a lot of questionable content, Alice's social standing is quickly eroded to one of "those moms" who can't control her kids. Soon she's facing the very judgement she was all too happy to dole out when she thought no one was looking (or when she thought her house wasn't made of glass).

Then her mother unloads a family secret she's kept for more than thirty years, and Alice's entire perception of herself is shattered.

As her son's new reputation polarizes her friendships and her family buzzes with the ramification of her mother's choices, Alice realizes that she's been too focused on measuring her success and happiness by everyone else's standards. Now, with all her shortcomings laid bare, she'll have to figure out to whom to turn for help and decide who she really wants to be.


Kritters Thoughts:  People always talk about the drama that young folks have in middle and high school, but this book shows that the drama just starts there . . . 

Told through a wide variety of perspectives from the kids themselves to the parents, this book shows how perception and reality don't always meet and how life has both ups and downs.  The main mom is Alice Sullivan as she begins the book happily married with two kids who have been doing well until middle school happens to her son and his antics send the entire family into a tail spin.  

I love to read these books and sprinkle them in between a high intensity mystery/thriller or darker moody historical fiction.  Reading about "low level" drama makes me happily roll my eyes and puts my own trials and tribulations into perspective.  Although I am not a parent, a good "mom drama" is fun to read now and then.  

I was excited to find out after finishing this book that Kathleen West has another book that looks to be similar and I hope to slate it into my reading when I need a little lift.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 22 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Review: The Secret Stealers by Jane Healey

The Secret Stealers
by Jane Healey

Publisher: Lake Union Publish
Pages: 443
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Anna Cavanaugh is a restless young widow and brilliant French teacher at a private school in Washington, DC. Everything changes when she’s recruited into the Office of Strategic Services by family friend and legendary WWI hero Major General William Donovan.

Donovan has faith in her—and in all his “glorious amateurs” who are becoming Anna’s fast friends: Maggie, Anna’s down-to-earth mentor; Irene, who’s struggling to find support from her husband for her clandestine life; and Julia, a cheerful OSS liaison. But the more Anna learns about the organization’s secret missions, the more she longs to be stationed abroad. Then comes the opportunity: go undercover as a spy in the French Resistance to help steal critical intelligence that could ultimately turn the tide of the war.

Dispatched behind enemy lines and in constant danger, Anna is filled with adrenaline, passion, and fear. She’s driven to make a difference—for her country and for herself. Whatever the risk, she’s willing to take it to help liberate France from the shadows of occupation and to free herself from the shadows of her former life.


Kritters Thoughts:  Anna Cavanaugh lost her husband early in the war as he was in the Pacific as a doctor and had an accident.  Being a widow she decides that she wants to support herself and contribute to the war efforts.  Working with a family friend she ends up in the OSS as it is in the beginning stages and gets really invested in their mission with the war.  

From the US to France, this book was on the move constantly and for being the length that it is, the story kept moving and I couldn't put it down.  Anna was always in the thick of things and I loved how the story didn't take a breath.  I really enjoyed reading about how the war affects the decisions you make and you really can't make promises to anyone because you can't promise tomorrow.  

I won't spoil it, but there were a few cameos from different people and I loved seeing a few famous faces show up in the book, but I appreciated that this book's perspective was from this unknown as she played her part in the war.  

This is my first Jane Healey read and after loving her writing in this book, I want to read the other two books in her backlist very soon.  

If you enjoyed this book, I would recommend also trying The Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck - another book that takes the reader behind the scenes of a woman in the resistance trying to operate a wireless to get supplies to those who need it behind enemy lines.


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 21 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Lake Union Publishing.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Sunday, March 14, 2021

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

One of our pups had a medical procedure which made me stop and curl up with her and a book!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Small Town Secrets by Alys Murray
Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan
Not Without My Sister by Marion Kummerow
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Currently Reading:
Her Dark Lies by JT Ellison
 
Next on the TBR pile:
The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne

Friday, March 12, 2021

Review: A New York Secret by Ella Carey

A New York Secret
by Ella Carey

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 379
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  War forces her to choose a side…

1942, New York. As war rages in Europe, Lily Rose is grateful for her perfect life: a wealthy family who love her and a dream job working uptown as a restaurant chef. Times are changing for women and Lily is determined to run her own kitchen one day. She hopes handsome Tom Morelli, son of Sicilian immigrants, will be at her side. Together they work late, dreaming up delicious meals for New Yorkers struggling with wartime rationing and the threat of sons and sweethearts being called up…

Then Tom receives a devastating telegram that changes everything: he is drafted to fight in Italy.

Suddenly alone, Lily turns to her parents for support. But when her mother finds out about Tom, she is furious. When the war ends, Lily’s duty is to marry the man picked for her, keep house and raise children. They give her a heartbreaking ultimatum: end her relationship with Tom or lose her family and inheritance forever.

In the middle of the war, Lily is left in an impossible position. Will she choose to stay with her family and live the safe life she has always known, or will she follow her heart and her dreams?


Kritters Thoughts:  World War II.  New York City.  Lily Rose comes from a family of wealth that has certain expectations on her for how her future will unfold, but this isn't what she dreams for herself.  She enters a NYC restaurant and is happily working when the men started getting drafted and a large promotion comes her way, but what will happen with the men come home from war?  And especially a certain man that Lily Rose is pining for.

I really enjoyed this book as it took a unique look at NYC during World War II.  Most books set in this time take place across the pond and the impacts that war had in the countries where the war was being fought, but as the United States became involved, it is interesting to see how home life changed and evolved while men of a certain age left to help fight the fight.  

At this point in my reading life, I have read quite a number of World War II books, so I can appreciate when a book takes a different angle and informs me of a different experience during this time period that I have read so much of.  

I have read quite a few of Ella Carey's books and I am a fan that is hoping for many more to come!

A great companion read to this one would be one I recently read and reviewed, The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan as it takes a reader into home kitchens in Europe and women are teaching others how to create meals with the rations provided.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 20 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.




Back to Top