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#Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin–Review–4 stars–#NetGalley

Mistress of the Ritz::.jpg 850.jpgMelanie Benjamin’s Newest Novel–Coming 5/21/19!

 

Mistress of the Ritz is an engrossing historical fiction novel. It tells the story of Blanche and Claude Auzello during WWII, in occupied France. After a quick, whirlwind romance in Paris, Claude and Blanche married. Claude never considered the possibility that his new American wife would have difficulty in accepting her role as a French wife. He should have. Claude expected Blanche to cook, clean, satisfy his needs, and then look the other way when he took a mistress. Blanche assumed that her husband would be faithful to her. She realized too late that she’d made a big mistake. Although their marriage was turbulent, bitter, and hurtful, they stayed together.

Blanche enjoyed her role as mistress of the Ritz until the Nazis stormed in, took over, and used the Ritz as their headquarters. During the German Occupation, the Auzello’s marriage difficulties rose to a new destructive level. Blanche looked upon her husband with disgust whenever he bowed to the Nazis and fretted over them. She was also fed up with him leaving in the middle of the night to be with another woman. So, Blanche changed, made friends, drank, and worked on a new purpose for her life. And, Claude didn’t like it one bit. Claude really wanted to tell Blanche his secret. He wasn’t convinced though, that she was trustworthy enough. What Claude didn’t realize was, that Blanche was hiding something as well. A secret, that was as dangerous, and risky as his own.

Although the pace of the book slows down at times, it is still captivating and enjoyable. If you love reading WWII historical fiction books, this may be just the read for you.  

Thank you, Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Melanie Benjamin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. An avid reader all her life–as a child, she was the proud winner, several years running, of the summer reading program at her local library–she still firmly believes that a lifetime of reading is the best education a writer can have.

While attending Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis, Melanie performed in many community theater productions before meeting her husband, moving to the Chicago area and raising two sons. Writing was always beckoning, however, and soon she began writing for local magazines and newspapers before venturing into her first love, fiction.

By combining her passion for history and biography, she has found her niche writing historical fiction, concentrating on the “stories behind the stories.” Her most recent novel, THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE, tells the fascinating and timely story of the first true female partnership – and enduring friendship – in Hollywood, between the silent film star Mary Pickford and her collaborator (and first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Screenplay), Frances Marion. 

Her previous novels, THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE, and THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, were New York Times, USA Today and IndieBound best sellers. Her first novel, ALICE I HAVE BEEN, was a national bestseller; this was followed by the critically acclaimed THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB. Her next novel will be out in May, 2019. 

She and her family still live in the Chicago area; when she’s not writing, she’s gardening, taking long walks, rooting for the Cubs–

And reading, of course.

 

#The Abolitionist’s Daughter by Diane C. McPhail–#NetGalley–Review-4 Stars

the abolitionists daughter::.jpg 850.jpgA Story of Forgiveness, Redemption, and Love–  

Coming 4/30/19

 

The Abolitionist’s Daughter takes place in Greensboro, Mississippi, during the Civil War. Judge Matthews despised slavery, with a passion, yet he owned an abundance of slaves. Some might think that he was a hypocrite, but he wasn’t. The judge would buy slaves who were severely abused by their owners or about to be separated from their families. He would educate the slaves and care for their needs. And, even though it was illegal to grant slaves their freedom, the judge prepared freedom papers for each one. He wanted to be ready, for whenever their liberation day came. His daughter, Emily, was his best advocate. The judge worried, however, that his controversial anti-slavery practices lessened the number of suitors for his daughter. He was right. So when a young doctor, Charles Slate, asked to marry Emily, the judge readily gave his consent. He feared, however, that he might have made a mistake. 

Ms. McPhail crafts The Abolitionist’s Daughter with enough authentic details, and local dialect, that the characters came to life. She also depicts the ugliness and horrors of slavery in this story, as well as the kind and understanding way some owners cared for their slaves. This book is about love, loyalty, forgiveness, abuse, and redemption. I found the pacing slow at times, but the story captivating. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction novel.  

Thank you, Kensington Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. In addition to holding an M.F.A., an M.A., and D.Min., she has studied at the University of Iowa distance learning and the Yale Writers’ Workshop, among others. Diane is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network and the Historical Novel Society. She lives in Highlands, North Carolina, with her husband, and her dog, Pepper.

#The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer–Review 5 Stars–#NetGalley

Things We Can Not Say 850.jpgOutstanding Historical Fiction Novel by Kelly Rimmer–Coming 3/19/19

 

The Things We Cannot Say is a bittersweet, unforgettable, and superbly-written novel. It takes place during the 1930s in Nazi-occupied Poland, and also in modern-day, America. This powerful novel is about loyalty, love, sacrifice, and perseverance. I quickly fell in love with the main characters and became engrossed in their lives. I was transported into the story with ease and found the book impossible to put down. I have never been disappointed by this talented and amazing author, and I don’t think that you will either.

In occupied Poland, the author develops for the reader, three main characters, Alina Dziak, her fiance`, Tomasz, and Saul, Tomasz’s friend. The author pens her larger-than-life scenes with enough authentic details that I felt as if I was living in occupied Poland. My anguished heart broke as I experienced life under the Nazis, as a Jew, a Catholic, and a rebellious outlaw.

The author transitions the reader into modern-day American life, seamlessly, with the same emotional pull and realism as she had with occupied Poland. With this portion of the book, however, the story revolves around Alina’s granddaughter, Alice, and her struggles with, Eddie, her beautiful but challenging autistic son, an absent but loving husband, and an entitled genius daughter. I loved many characters in this book, but my absolute favorite was Eddie. And in the end, it was Eddie’s words that brought me to tears.

 This book is a quality read, thought-provoking, and heartwrenching. I highly recommend it. —Five shining stars— from this reader.

Thank you, Graydon House Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I absolutely loved it!

~5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Kelly Rimmer is the USA Today best selling author of contemporary fiction novels including Me Without You, The Secret Daughter, When I Lost You, A Mother’s Confession and her most recent release, Before I Let You Go. She lives in rural Australia with her family.

For further information about Kelly’s books, and to subscribe to her mailing list, visit http://www.kellyrimmer.com.

 

 

#Daughter of Moloka’i by Alan Brennert–Review–4.5 Stars

daughter of Moloka'i:.jpg 850.jpgNew Historical Fiction Novel by Alan Brennert–Coming 2/19/19

 

 

Daughter Of Moloka’i is a well-written, poignant, and bittersweet novel. The story begins in 1916, in Moloka’i Hawaii, a place designated for people with Hansen’s disease (Leprosy). When Ruth was born to parents suffering from the disease, she was taken from them, within an hour of her birth.

Ruth was brought up in an orphanage, run by nuns, until she was adopted by Japanese immigrants, living in Honolulu. Ruth loved her parents but often wondered why her biological parents had given her away.

Ruth was content with her life in Hawaii until her Uncle convinced her father to move to California. The opportunity he was offered, was supposed to be, a wonderful one. It wasn’t. It was a scam. But after her father uprooted his family and moved to America, it was too late to turn back. Being taken advantage of was not the worse thing, that happened to Ruth’s family in California. WWII was about to break out, and with it, Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. The President’s reaction to the Japanese invasion was to gather, isolate, and relocate all Japanese immigrants and their family members, to less than ideal internment camps. 

Everyone who was sent to these camps had given up their homes, farms, businesses, and belongings. Many of these people with Japanese parents and grandparents were US citizens, but sent to camps, just the same. 

Daughter Of Moloka’i is a compelling and engaging book, well-crafted and researched.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Alan Brennert is the author of the best-selling historical novels MOLOKA’I and HONOLULU, both favorites of reading groups across the country. MOLOKA’I was a 2012 “One Book, One San Diego” selection and HONOLULU was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post. PEOPLE Magazine said of his novel PALISADES PARK, “Brennert writes his valentine to the New Jersey plaground of his youth in RAGTIME style, mixing fact and fiction. It’s a memorable trip.” His work on the television series L.A. LAW earned him an Emmy Award in 1991 and his short story “Ma Qui” was honored with a Nebula Award in 1992. His latest book, DAUGHTER OF MOLOKA’I, is a follow-up to MOLOKA’I that tells the story of Rachel Kalama’s daughter Ruth, her early life, her internment during World War II, and her eventual meeting with her birth mother, Rachel. The novel explores the women’s 22-year relationship, only hinted at it in MOLOKA’I. It will be published by St Martin’s Press on February 19, 2019.

 

#The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman–Review-5 Stars–#NetGalley

War time sisters..850.jpgDon’t Miss This Outstanding 5-Star Novel–Coming 1/22/19

 

 

The Wartime Sisters is a heartfelt, poignant story, rich in character development, historical details, and family drama. I enjoyed every page of this emotionally charged novel.

Ruth and Millie Kaplan have never been close, and their mother was the chief reason. Ever since childhood, Ruth lived under Millie’s shadow. In their mother’s eyes, Millie was perfect; Ruth was not. Ruth was considered the smart, responsible daughter and Millie, the beautiful, fragile one. The sister’s strained relationship worsened in their teen years; when every man whom Ruth brought home, eventually, turned their eyes toward Millie, except for one; Arthur. And, Ruth married him.

 Ruth was ecstatic when Arthur informed her that they needed to move away from Brooklyn, to the Armory, in Springfield, Ma. Ruth couldn’t be happier. Not only would she have the man she loved to herself, Ruth, was finally, going to have a life out from underneath Millie’s shadow. Years later, however, when Millie was alone with a two-year-old son, Ruth felt obligated to invite Millie to live with them. Reluctantly.

I wanted to shake some common sense into the mother, and tell the father, to grow a backbone. The favoritism was a bit over-the-top in this book. But the emotional pull and turmoil crafted into each page was nothing short of exceptional. Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down.  

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

~5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. Lynda practiced trusts and estates law in New York City for eight years before moving out of the city to raise her two children with her husband. She wrote The Two-Family House while she was a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. The Two-Family House was chosen by Goodreads as a best book of the month for March, 2016, and was a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. Her second novel, The Wartime Sisters, will be published on January 22, 2019.

Today’s New Historical Fiction Releases, #Not The Duke’s Darling & #A December with a Duke

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Don’t Miss Today’s New Fabulous Releases!

Not The Duke’s Darling & A December with a Duke

 

 

 

In Case You Missed My Reviews, The Links Are Below:

 

Not The Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt—4.5 stars

Https://write-escape.com/2018/11/19/not-the-dukes-darling-by-elizabeth-hoyt-review-4-5-stars-netgalley

A December With a Duke by Collette Cameron—4.5 stars

https://write-escape.com/2018/12/16/a-december-with-a-duke-by-collette-cameron-review-4-5-stars

#A December With a Duke by Collette Cameron–Review 4.5 stars

A December to remember 850.jpgNew Exciting Release by Collette Cameron –Coming 12/18/18

 

Everleigh never wanted to marry again. For two years she had suffered at the hand of a narcissistic, abusive, and controlling man. Her now deceased husband’s behavior and his son had made her afraid of men. 

Everleigh planned on spending Christmas alone, but a good friend convinced her to attend a house holiday party. She was promised that even though the house would be full of eligible dukes, they would not bother her. Although Everleigh’s physical bruises had been long healed, her heart was another story. She never wanted to be controlled by a man again.  

There was one duke, however, who captured Everleigh’s heart. He was kind, caring, and oh-so-gentle. Could Everleigh ever trust enough, to allow herself to fall in love? She didn’t think so.

A December With a Duke is an engaging, heartfelt holiday romance. I read the story in one sitting. My only complaint is that it ended too quickly. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Everleigh, Griffin, and Sarah. They touched my heart. And, reading a summary of how their lives turned out, saddened me. Not because I didn’t like how the book ended, but because I wanted to experience each and every moment of it. This is the first book that I have read by this talented author, but it won’t be my last.

Thank you, Collette Cameron, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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