#BookReview: Cilka’s Journey (The Tattooist of Auschwitz #2) by Heather Morris

Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

C8145661-CF1C-4B45-B326-96F44E9BC124Summary:

Release Date: October 1, 2019

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.

Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.

Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.

After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? And where did the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when still a child?

In a Siberian prison camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she makes an impression on a woman doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing. Cilka begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.

Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she daily confronts death and faces terror. And when she nurses a man called Ivan, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.

Review:

I am in awe! Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris is a beautiful book.

If you read the Tattooist of Auschwitz, you will love Cilka’s Journey. We met Cilka in the Tattooist of Auschwitz and as you can guess this is her story. I fell in love with Cilka as she is such a warm, kind person. Reading what she went through will break your heart.

I am not going to tell you anything about the book because I want you to discover her and her journey on your own. This book was a little easier to experience than the Tattooist of Auschwitz. I am not sure if it was because I thought I knew the horrors that would be coming or if this was truly a more gentle story just as Cilka is.

Please don’t miss reading Cilka’s Journey!
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
5 Stars.

#BookReview: Friends Of The Library by Susan Cushman

Reviewer: Serena Soape

77137D0F-6856-41AB-8BCC-B331516CBF12Summary:

“. . . a beautifully wrought hymn of praise to readers and book-lovers in the most sacred of places, the libraries where we find both.” –Cassandra King, author of the best-selling novels The Sunday Wife

WHEN ADELE COVINGTON becomes an author in her sixties, she goes on a book tour to speak to the Friends of the Library groups in ten small towns in her home state of Mississippi. Chasing her personal demons through the Christ-haunted South of her childhood, Adele befriends an eclectic group of wounded people and decides to tell their stories. From Eupora to Meridian, from a budding artist with an abusive husband to a seven-year-old with a rare form of cancer, each story contains elements of hope and healing and honors the heart, soul, and history of the Magnolia State.

Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were many stories that tugged at my heart strings and made me feel like I was right there with Adele. This was a quick read perfect for a weekend. This was my first book by Susan Cushman and look forward to reading more of her books.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Summer at the Lakeside Resort (Lakeside Resort Book #2) by Susan Schild

Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

9FD108D9-444D-4202-AA43-593A3AB3B753Summary:

Ready for more love and adventure with heroines over age 40, 50 and 60?

Forty-three year old Jenny Beckett has just renovated eight rustic guest cabins on beautiful Heron Lake, North Carolina. Brand new to the innkeeping business, she is struggling to make The Lakeside Resort profitable. Wrangling guests like The Fighting Couple, persnickety attorneys, and the curvy gals from the Fabulous You Fitness Week keep her on her toes.

Jenny’s business isn’t her only problem. Her mother and stepfather have just moved in for an extended stay. Startling developments with her possible fiancé, Luke, make Jenny question his commitment to her. An all-gal camping trip in her old Airstream lifts her spirits, but Jenny still has doubts about whether she and Luke can make their love work. After all the heartache she’s had, can Jenny learn to trust love again and finally find her happily ever after?

Review:

Want to have a crazy good time?

I received Summer at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild as a gift and oh my goodness, I fell in love with the characters. They are warm, funny and some of them are quirky. It really is a laugh out loud funny book. Susan Schild tickled my funny bone several times. Although Summer at the Lakeside Resort is not necessarily a profound and awe inspiring book, it is still a really good book. I think Susan meant for this to be a lighthearted and fun book although it deals with a woman who has the courage to put herself back out there in both the professional and personal sides of her life.

This is actually the second book in the series. I have every intention of going back to read the first book. Although I didn’t read the first one, I didn’t get that lost feeling while reading the second installment. There is a Christmas story coming out and the next installment in the spring. You would do yourself a favor by reading these books.

Who doesn’t love a good laugh?

4 Stars.

#BookReview: A Season Of Surprises at the Villa des Violettes by Patricia Sands

DA4B7C0D-E86F-44BF-A6DD-7F1351C70CA1Review:

Meeting up with Katherine and Philippe again is like unwrapping a gift! I was so excited to have them back in my life again. Their B&B is getting ready for guests, the dogs are running around, the kittens are playing, and the grounds are starting to bloom. Simone is next door baking goodies for breakfast!

Once again, I was swept away on a mini vacation as I visited the South of France and visited with some old friends that I have missed!

This story is full of the same excitement and enchantment of France that the precious “Love in Provence” Series holds. If you enjoyed that series you do not want to miss this book. If you haven’t read it yet, then begin here and you will fall in love; this I promise you!

*The first book in this Novella Series is “The First Noël at the Villa des Violettes”. This is book 2, but can be read as a stand alone.

5 Stars.

#NewRelease: A Forged Affair by MaryAnn Clark Scott

48AC94CB-7FC4-4CC9-8E8D-D55BF9332322NEW RELEASE TODAY!!
MaryAnn Clark Scott – A FORGED AFFAIR
Release Date: June 14
Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance

About the book:
New from MaryAnn Clarke Scott, Award-winning author of The Art of Enchantment.

She welcomes any risk, as long as it doesn’t involve her own carefully guarded heart.

Adrenaline junkie, Niki Ballantyne is a risk-taker at work and at play. Haunted by guilt over her brother’s tragic death, she’s devoted to saving others in trouble.

While on an adventure holiday in the south of France, she meets handsome and charming traveler Luc and his shy friend, the gentle giant Didier.

Helping the bullied blacksmith win the love of another woman is not a typical rescue project for Niki, but she’s driven by compassion for her lonely new friend. Bittersweet memories of her brother’s life compel Niki to stay and support the star-crossed giant.

Their forged affair is perfectly safe.

There’s no risk of getting emotionally involved, but teaching him about intimacy comes with consequences, and lesson to be learned.

Particularly when it comes to Luc. On the cusp of a life-altering decision, Luc is drawn to daredevil Niki, though she upends his carefully laid plans for a perfect future. Despite instant chemistry and a powerful connection, Niki pushes him away.

But when a sudden emergency brings Luc to her rescue, the way he sees her vulnerability scares her more than anything. Now she has to decide if the last thing she ever wanted might be exactly what she needs.

Buy the book here: books2read.com/ForgedAffair

Author Links:
Website: https://maryannclarkescott.com/
IG: https://instagram.com/maclarkescottauthor
FB: https://m.facebook.com/maryann.clarkescott

Instagram: @maclarkescottauthor @katerockbooktours @McHorsky
#aforgedaffair #maryannclarkscott #katerockbooktours
#TheWriteReview

#BookReview: Change of Heart by Judith Keim

Chang of HeartSummary:

Emerson “Em” Jordan always wanted a Valentine’s Day wedding. But after being dumped by her boyfriend, she spends the holiday at Seashell Cottage on the Gulf Coast of Florida with Devin Gerard, a family friend who has no interest in her or any other woman and is instead concentrating on his pediatric medical practice and continuing medical missions in Costa Rica.

Em, who’s always wanted a large family, doesn’t mind his disinterest. At thirty-two, she’s decided she doesn’t need a husband to have a child or to adopt one. First, she’s going to fulfill her dream of setting up her own landscape design business in upstate New York and has promised to continue to help run her grandmother’s flower shop.

It isn’t until Em and Devin become friends that Em realizes she might want more than friendship from him. But with his work in Miami and Costa Rica and her busy life in New York, it’s out of the question until something happens that changes everything, even a couple of hearts.

Review:

I melted. I cannot believe the amount of emotion this story had me feeling. I was literally sitting alone at an airport restaurant and cried!! I cried!! Judith Keim really knows how to tell a story that hits your heart and pulls at its strings. I was really surprised by this story. I did not expect the ending, which was amazing! There is nothing better than that!

I was so in love with Emerson “Em” Jordan and the rest of her family; especially her grandmother, Julia. Their relationship was just so beautiful. This is a multigenerational story that has a lot going on in each person’s life and that makes it very exciting to read. I never wanted to put it down.

Her sister, Elena is a trip!! Sending Em to Seashell Cottage…with a man; none the less…There was no plan there! None! Or was there?

I highly recommend this story and I cannot wait to read the next Seashell Cottage Story/Judith Keim Novel. I am officially a fan!!

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi

The Copenhagen AffairSummary:

Set in the capital city of the world’s happiest country, a comedy of manners about depression, the pressures of marriage, and the possibility of falling in love again, from the bestselling author of A House for Happy Mothers.

Sanya was always the perfect wife, but after a breakdown at her office, it’s her husband Harry’s turn to step up. His proposal? A temporary move to Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital city. He needs to be there to close a business deal and figures the change of scenery will do her good. Soon Sanya goes from hiding under her duvet to hiding in plain sight—a dark-skinned Indian American in a city of blondes.

Within Copenhagen’s glamorous high society, one man stands out—not only because of his intriguing scar but because he sees Sanya in a way Harry hasn’t for years. Anders Ravn owns the company Harry wants to acquire, and soon Sanya begins to fall for him. As allegations of white-collar crime arise, she learns of Harry’s infidelity, and having an affair with Anders seems ever more tempting. Surrounded by old money, smoked fish on dark breads, and way too many bicycles, Sanya slowly moves from breakdown to breakthrough, but where will she end up—and with whom?

Review:

Amulya Malladi had me at hello with this novel!! I was instantly connected to the main character, Sanya. It was one of those stories that you hate to finish because you fall in love with the characters and you hate to say goodbye. This was our Book Club read this month and everyone that read it truly enjoyed it and our conversation was certainly lively.

The story begins with Sanya in California suffering from depression, in bed; Under the Duvet! (#UnderTheDuvet…You’ll understand my obsession with this once you read the book..hint..read the book) Sanya was working as an executive until she had a nervous breakdown during a meeting at work. Three months later, her husband came up with the brilliant plan to temporarily move to Copenhagen for him to help acquire a company over there and work as an acting CEO; thinking it would do wonders for her emotions.

Once over there, Sanya meets a man named Ravn and all bets are off when it comes to her marriage. Only to find out that he is also the man that owns the company that her husband, Harry is trying to acquire; and things are not going according to plan because Ravn is not exactly on the up-and-up.

This is the story of Sanya finding herself along the way and discovering what it will take to truly make her happy. All women will find themselves somewhere in Sanya!

You will meet a cast of characters that you will just adore because they are truly the type that make a book come alive! You will meet a city that is so colorful you will feel like you are sitting there in the café watching the people walk by and hear their voices.

Amulya Malladi is a gifted writer and certainly knew how to create a story that is going to stay with me. I bet it will have the same effect on you!

Go read this book!

5 Stars.

#Bookreview: The view from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr

1E3B1D4E-B3AF-46E4-8901-7A8AA58F36B3Summary:

From the outside looking in, Lauren Delaney has a life to envy—a successful career, a solid marriage to a prominent surgeon and two beautiful daughters who are off to good colleges. But on her twenty-fourth wedding anniversary Lauren makes a decision that will change everything.

Lauren won’t pretend things are perfect anymore. She defies the controlling husband who has privately mistreated her throughout their marriage and files for divorce. And as she starts her new life, she meets a kindred spirit—a man who is also struggling with the decision to end his unhappy marriage.

But Lauren’s husband wants his “perfect” life back and his actions are shocking. Facing an uncertain future, Lauren discovers an inner strength she didn’t know she had as she fights for the love and happiness she deserves.

Review:

This story is about the struggle of leaving a marriage behind; no matter how cruel a spouse can be, and no matter how toxic a relationship is.

Lauren meets Beau who is having similar issues and wanting to leave his marriage as well, so they form a friendship that soon starts to lean towards more.

But, can that happen with Lauren’s spouse still lingering so close by?

There is the family dynamic with the children and who they each side with, and the friends along the way.

I found that this story dragged a bit in few places and I got a little bored sometime; I have to be honest. Maybe I just didn’t really feel attached to many other characters. But, my interest in the outcome for Lauren was enough!

3 Stars.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this Novel via NetGalley

 

#BookReview & #GiveAway: Emily, Gone By Bette Lee Crosby

Emily Gone**Leave a Comment for your chance to win a copy of Emily, Gone** closes 5/1 noon

Pre-Order your copy today.

Release Day: April 30th, 2019

Summary:

A missing child sets the lives of three women on a collision course in this powerful and compelling novel by USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby.
1971.

When a music festival rolls through the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia, the Dixon family’s lives are forever changed. On the final night, a storm muffles the sound of the blaring music, and Rachel tucks her baby into bed before falling into a deep sleep. So deep, she doesn’t hear the kitchen door opening. When she and her husband wake up in the morning, the crib is empty. Emily is gone.

Vicki Robart is one of the thousands at the festival, but she’s not feeling the music. She’s feeling the emptiness over the loss of her own baby several months before. When she leaves the festival and is faced with an opportunity to fill that void, she is driven to an act of desperation that will forever bind the lives of three women.

When the truth of what actually happened that fateful night is finally exposed, shattering the lives they’ve built, will they be able to pick up the pieces to put their families back together again?

Review:

This is a Winner!

Emily, Gone’s true essence is that several people love Emily and this is the story of that love.

So, Bette Lee Crosby writes us a tale about how this can transpires in the life of a woman whose daughter is kidnapped one night during a music festival being held in her small town. and, the consequences that unfold.

You will be so moved that you may wonder whose side you are on. Can that even happen? Can you actually have soft feelings towards the kidnappers? Compassion?

The character development is so strong that you feel like you really know each of them. You will fall in love with some and detest others. As always, you feel like you are in Hesterville, Wynn Bluffs and all the towns in between.

I love Bette Lee Crosby’s storytelling, I cannot say that enough!

How this book wraps up is so stunning, it could not have been written any better.

Bette Lee Crosby always delivers exceptional books, but this goes beyond her typical phenomenal scope! This book was Epic!!!

I really think that this book would make a great movie.

5 Stars.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this Novel via NetGalley

#BookReview: Only One Life by Ashley Farley

Only One LIfeSummary:

A reunion between an estranged mother and daughter opens a world of secrets in a poignant novel by the bestselling author of Magnolia Nights.

Julia Martin grew up wealthy, but it wasn’t until she met her husband, Jack, that she knew true happiness. He made her feel worthy and loved. Their marriage was also an escape from her sister’s bullying, her father’s scrutiny, and her chilly and enigmatic mother. But when tragedy strikes on the night she gives birth, Julia’s happiness is shattered. She has no choice but to return home to her family’s South Carolina mansion, where the grief and guilt buried in her mother’s past await her.

As a young woman trapped in a bitter marriage, Julia’s mother, Iris, once needed her own means of escape. In Lily, she found a best friend. In the flower shop they opened, she discovered independence. Then came a transgression—unforgivable, unforgettable, and unresolved—that changed Iris’s life forever.

Now, in Iris’s most desperate hour, her only hope is to regain the trust of the daughter she loves—and to share the secrets of the heart that could rebuild a family’s broken bonds.

Review:

Ashley Farley writes a brilliant novel! This is a very character driven story with the beautiful backdrop of South Carolina. I am learning that I am a huge fan of Southern Fiction.

I was captivated from the very beginning by the character Julia. She gave everything up to be with the man she loves, even if it means he is all she has. For 15 years it was just the two of them living a modest life in Edisto Beach, SC and she was happy because she loved Jack.

She finally gets pregnant and the day the baby is to be born, tragedy strikes, and Jack loses his life and Julia must figure life out all over again without him.
This story is about her giving her family a second chance.

The relationship between her and her Mom, Iris was my favorite part. That is what led the story for me. Sure, there is her father, Max and her Moms business partner, Lily…but, ultimately it comes down to their relationship for me. The secrets and lies are so intense, but so is the love.

This was the first I’ve read, and it will not be the last.

4 Stars.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this Novel via NetGalley.