For Fans of Lisa See

I’ve been eager to write about The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns since finishing it an whole half an hour ago but, as I’m sitting here, I’m having a hard to putting into words how much the book made me feel.

I knew within the first quarter of this book that it was hands down a five-star top-notch book that I needed to share. Naoko is a young Japanese woman at the age where marriage is arranged. But in post-war Japan, things have changed. Although Naoko has a suitor who is not at all what she thought he would be (in a good way), she’s already given her heart to a young American solider whose child she is carrying. Disgraced, she must find her way outside of her family’s home with or without her soldier.

Flash forward to present day America, we meet Tori. She’s a journalist whose beloved father has passed away, but not without his secrets. As she reads a letter, Tori realizes her father’s stories may actually have been him trying to explain to her about his early life. In order to find closure, Tori finds herself traveling across the world for answers.

If you loved books like Memoirs of a Geisha or Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, you absolutely MUST read The Woman in the White Kimono. It is one of the most heartfelt, gut-wrenching books I have read. I rarely cry, but I shed a tear several times reading this book. You will cheer, you will cry, you will be completely engulfed in the story and have no idea what is going on around you. I cannot recommend it enough! Get it on your TBR now, because it releases on May 28, 2019!

Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin for providing me with a copy of this book . I have read and reviewed this book voluntarily and all opinions expressed are my own.


Two Silver Crosses – Blog Tour Edition!

Hello Everyone! Hope you are having a wonderful day so far! Today, I’m excited to present to you… Two Silver Crosses! This is a special blog post in that it’s one of the stops for the Two Silver Crosses blog tour! If you’re one of my regular followers, please know how much I appreciate you coming here for historical fiction reviews and if you’re new here, welcome! Feel free to subscribe to my blog on the right-hand side of the page. With that being said, let’s get started!

‘Nobody is to know where we are. You must forget England. That part of your lives is over.’

Twins Ginny and Emily Holborn have everything they could ever need in their Wolverhampton home: a loving family, a garden to play in, and staff waiting to attend to their every need. Until, one summer day in 1926, they disappear without a trace.

Ten years later, bright-eyed solicitor Charlie Commoner is given his first job: track down the still-missing Holborn twins. Dispatched to France, he’s left to unravel a web of infidelity, mystery, and terrifying family secrets.

Let bestselling author Beryl Kingston sweep you away on a journey from London to Paris, through tragedy and triumph in the search for two sisters wearing two silver crosses.

Two Silver Crosses was originally published in 1992.

I’ve read a couple of Beryl’s books, however, I have to say that Two Silver Crosses is easily my favorite. There’s this great balance of mystery, romance, and history that really draws you into the story. The characters really drew me in as well – whether I was getting irritated with Uncle Claud, or wanting to shake some sense into Ginny and Emily’s mother, I had strong feelings towards everyone encountered. I found myself rooting for a couple of the long-distance relationships as well and I am absolutely amazed at how honorable many of the characters were. I also found myself continually reading because I had so many questions that I absolutely needed to have answered in order to understand the true depth of the main issue and the pain it caused. If you’re looking for some deep characters who are looking for answers despite a war brewing with a touch of romance, I highly recommend you try Two Silver Crosses!

A little bit about the beloved author:
Beryl Kingston is the author of 30 novels with over a million copies sold. She has been a writer since she was 7 when she started producing poetry. She was evacuated to Felpham at the start of WWII, igniting an interest in one-time resident poet William Blake which later inspired her novel The Gates of Paradise. She was an English teacher from 1952 until 1985
when she became a full-time writer after her debut novel, Hearts and Farthings, became a bestseller. Kingston continued writing bestsellers for the next 14 years with titles ranging from family sagas to modern stories and historical novels. She currently lives in West Sussex and has three children, five grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

A tremendous “Thank You” is owed to Agora Books and Beryl Kingston for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour. I have voluntarily read and reviewed this book.

The blog tour continues tomorrow with the release of the new edition of Two Silver Crosses!

Part 2 of the Redway Acres Double Feature!

Welcome back to this weekend’s double feature highlighting the first two books of the Redway Acres series by the wonderful Trish Butler! If you missed Part 1 yesterday, you can get caught up here. Otherwise, let’s get started with Part 2 – Book 2!

Book 2 of the Redway Acres series is titled Redway Acres: Maria and, as you might have guessed, highlights more of Maria’s life at Eastease and beyond. You will, however, still get to check in and catch up with some of our favorite characters and horses from book 1 like Helena, Ackley and Harriet to name a few.

This second book really pulled on my heartstrings and I have therefore awarded it five stars. What happened to give it five stars, you ask? I’m not sure I can do that justice without revealing some key turning points of the book so I highly recommend you head over to Amazon and/or Kindle Unlimited to check it out yourself.

As you may recall, Harriet has a twin named Maria. The book first moves back in time to capture the twins’ younger years, primarily around their 16th birthday. There is a grand ball in honor of their birthday and the event ultimately leads to a marriage. Harker and Ackley are shocked to say the least.

The marriage isn’t the only shocking thing. There are several characters who show their true characters in both a negative and positive manner. For example, Mr. Brooks ends up realizing his love for a woman even after he had met with many families and their daughters with no success. Helena and Ackley have a few bumps in their marriage. And to top it off, there are some events that will shock you to your core.

The twists and turns of this book easily captured my attention and made me feel even more deeply invested in the characters. While there are again some topics and situations that may be triggering for some readers, I wish more people would read these books. I firmly believe it is important even in this day and age that we talk about things that have happened to us, and that others outside the situation know how to react and discuss respectfully. I also find the reactions and discussions to be empowering which is incredibly important.

Again, I’d like to thank Trish Butler for providing me with a copy of Redway Acres: Maria. I’ve voluntarily read this book and the review expresses my own personal opinion.

Redway Acres – A Double Feature!

Hello everyone and welcome to what promises to be an exciting element to your weekend – a historical fiction double feature! While I’ve spent the majority of this week traveling for work, I’ve also been working with author Trish Butler to bring you not one but TWO books of her series between today and tomorrow. Let’s get started!

Redway Acres: Helena is the first book of Trish’s historical romance series. It’s getting a solid four stars from me. In book one, you meet Helena who runs her own horse stable – something that is considered unladylike and unheard of during this time. She’s faced some tough stuff in her life and is raising a child on her own. As you can imagine, she is fierce – she is deliberate and confident in voicing her opinion despite the time period’s expectation that women be more demure. One thing she doesn’t have though is a man to share her life with. Throughout the book, we meet her neighbors and friends and watch as a romance blossoms… or falls apart.

There are a LOT of things I could tell you about this book that I loved. It’s a smooth, heart-warming (and sometimes -breaking) story that I became totally engrossed in. But the biggest thing I appreciated is the author’s handling of situations that arise in the book. I will briefly mention that there are some topics (about sexual situations and treatment of women) that could be triggering for some people. However, the characters handle the situations and topics well in that she are clear in saying this is something that is wrong and unacceptable. They clearly state what is wrong about it and how it should be handled. Those who are in the wrong are receptive and repentant for the most part. Given how society is today, I found this to be incredibly important and empowering.

If you’re looking for a book with some romance, a touch of history, horses, and a strong female lead, this is the series! Check it out on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. I will be filling you all in tomorrow about book two and all I can say right now is, plot twist!

Stay tuned – I’ll see you back here on Sunday!

A huge thank you to Trish Butler for providing me with the first two books of the Redway Acres series. I have voluntarily read this book and the review expresses my own personal opinion.

Meet Baby Doe!

It’s not often I find or read books about that era between the American Civil War and World War I, so it was a happy surprise that I stumbled into reading Gold Digger:The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor.

In Gold Digger, you fall into the life of Lizzie aka Baby Doe. Baby has just been married and is off to Colorado with her new husband in the hopes of striking in big with gold mining. Things don’t go as planned, and Baby Doe finds herself husband- and child-less. What’s worse is the hate many of the townswomen are spewing on her as she fights to take care of herself and forge her own path ahead. In the end, she may find that money isn’t the most important driver in life.

Baby Doe was one of my favorite characters of the many, many books I’ve read, and what’s even cooler is that she’s modeled after a real life woman. She is smart and strong-willed and expects no less from herself than what is expected of men, which is odd for that time period. She’s a dreamer, and unafraid to provide ideas and opinions. Throughout her struggles, she fights to stay true to herself. What an inspiration for women of any age!

If you like what you’ve heard so far, be sure to add Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor to you reading list; it will be available on May 28th.  I’m giving this five stars, and I’m telling you, you don’t want to miss out on this woman’s trials and tribulations!

**Thank you to Rebecca Rosenberg and Netgalley for providing with a copy of this e-book. I’ve voluntarily read this book and the review expresses my own personal opinion.**

A Bend in the Stars

A Bend in the Stars is easily my favorite book that I’ve read this year – hence the 5 star rating I’m giving it! It will be hard for any other books to be more thoroughly loved in 2019. If you read and loved For All The Things We Cannot See, then this is another must-read. You won’t be disappointed!

Believe it or not, this is Rachel Barenbaum’s debut book. She brings us to Russia and introduces us to the brother-sister duo Miri and Vanya. Russia is on the brink of war with Germany. Things aren’t easy, especially for science-based practices. This makes things difficult for Miri, who practices as a surgeon (rare for women at this time!), and Vanya, a physicist competing with the famous Albert Einstein to explain relativity. Their practices bring many challenges and critiques, and with conscription brewing, their lives are turned upside down. When Vanya goes missing, Miri is forced to face reality and fight for the brother she loves most.

I really enjoyed that this book took us into Russia history and successfully explored the sciences without it being overkill; it was artfully folded in. I never thought that science in Russia would be such a conspiracy, or be thought of as witchcraft! The other thing that really pulled me into this book was how much I related to Miri as a woman trying to prove herself as an equal without it being overdone. No matter what, Miri fights for her beliefs and does her best even though she may feel like that’s not enough. I never cry, but I cried through the end of this book and I had chills. It was just. That. Good.

Clearly, I could go on and on about how much I loved this book. Mark your calendars because it’s coming out on May 14th! You don’t want to miss it!

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy of this book. I have voluntarily read this book and the review provided expresses my own personal opinion.

The German Midwife – 5 Star Review

The German Midwife falls in the vein as many books I’ve read over the years – World War II-era historical fiction. What is completely different about this book is the perspective which is told from Anke’s point of view. She’s a German midwife whose profession has put herself and her family members in a difficult position given that Berlin is currently at war. Anke has a job to do; deliver any woman’s baby regardless of their beliefs and what may result of the birth. However, when she is asked to be the midwife for one particular woman’s baby, a battle both inside her mind and outside of her control are brewing and her moral and ethical stances are put to the test.

This book tugged on my heartstrings from the first chapter. The reality of pregnancy and birth during WWII just guts you. There were so many layers to the characters, feeling that inner turmoil they faced with every decision they made. Everyone is just trying their best, much like we do each and every day in our own lives. We would do anything for the ones we love, as you will see the mothers, midwives, and even some unexpected people do in The German Midwife. It’s got a touch of romance, a lot of tense ethical moments, and a mother’s determination – all things that make this an outstanding book. The book recently released, so make sure you get your copy now!

For some individuals, however, this book may be a trigger. If infancy-loss or anything along those lines is a trigger for you, this likely is not the book for you.

A copy of this book was provided to me thanks to Netgalley and Avon. I have voluntarily read/reviewed this book and all opinions expressed are my own.