Review: The Lost Summers of Newport by Beatriz Williams, Karen White, and Lauren Willig

I have read all of Lauren Willig’s book and many by both Beatriz Williams and Karen White. All of their books have been some of my most favorite reads. Then they started to team up and write collective books together and I devoured those books so incredibly fast! I love how well written each book is and not just independently but as a writing team. When I saw this book was coming out, I knew I had to read it. I love how in all of their collective books, there are characters that make appearances in other collective books. For example in this book we meet Prunella who has been in some of the other books by this writing team.

These three authors are some of the best in the historical fiction genre and I never feel disappointed in any of their independent books or their collective books. I debated about reading this one of listening to it on audiobook. I actually downloaded it in both formats but ended up reading it instead of listening to it. With the books written by the ‘Three W’s’ as I call them, I find that the audiobook is sometimes preferable as each chapter is based on a different character and written by different authors. So the audiobook usually gives readers more of an experience with the narration changes etc.

If you are looking for a powerhouse historical fiction book, anything by these three women will surely hit the mark whether it’s collective like this book or their own independent books. You simply cannot go wrong with these writers when it comes to historical fiction. While this book had some issues for me, overall it was enjoyable and I would absolutely read it again and anything by them! They are easily autobuy authors for me and I am looking forward to their next collaboration.

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Review: The Forgotten Cottage by Courtney Ellis

I read Courtney Ellis’s debut novel last summer, At Summer’s End, and good lord was it ever good! I devoured it and it was one of my favorite reads last year. So naturally when I saw this one coming up for review I was thrilled! This one has a great dual timeline aspect which I know is often overdone in historical fiction, but for me it never gets old! I love readling dual timeline books!

This book promises long buried family secrets and complex characters rich in historical detail. And it certainly had all of those things! Ellis write beautiful historical fiction with lots of historical details and heart and this second book was not a disappointment in that regard. I know that fans of the historical fiction genre will not have missed Ellis’s first novel (not with that stunning cover that’s for sure!) but this book doesn’t quite have the ‘curb appeal’ that the first book did. The cover was more simple and not nearly as eye catching as her first book but it was still a wonderful read so don’t let the basic cover fool you!

If you are a fan of historical fiction this book and author should be on your TBR list. Ellis is clearly one to watch in the genre and I for one am going to be eagerly awaiting the next book she writes! This book had a lot to recommend itself based on my expectations from the first book, but at first I did have my doubts that I would love this book though that was quickly dispelled.

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Review: Evil in Emerald (Harriet Gordon Mysteries #3) by A. M. Stuart

I think it’s safe to say that I cannot WAIT for the next book in this series. I have devoured this series over the last week and have loved every single book and this one ended on quite the cliffhanger and I NEED the next book! The series has such wonderfully written characters and each one stands independently strong in the story. Meaning neither character is fully dependent on the other if that makes sense. Curran and Harriet are both strong leads and watching their friendship evolve through the series has been so great, they don’t need each other to shine but they choose each other which makes this series stand out for me.

I highly recommend reading this series in order, especially this book. This book draws on bits we explored in book two, so starting this book without reading the others would be a disservice and not do this book or characters justice. If you have been thinking about reading this series but haven’t decided if you should pull the trigger or not—-do it. I was on the fence when I picked up the book at a used bookstore and then forgot about it. I wasn’t sure, however I only regret that I didn’t read the books earlier. They have all been great so far and this one is no exception.

The setting of the books really adds so much to the story. The setting is almost its own character. I really feel like I am there in Singapore and experiencing the weather and culture just like Harriet and Curran. But it’s not so heavy on history and culture that it dominates the narrative. The author does a wonderful job incorporating the culture and history into the story without it being overpowering. Do not miss this series with all it’s goodness!

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Review: Revenge in Rubies (Harriet Gordon Mysteries #2) by A. M. Stuart

The binge reading continues with the second book in the Harriet Gordon series. I loved the first book so much that I downloaded the next two in the series and read them each in a day! This is a wonderful series and I cannot believe it took me this long to discover it—-ok rather not discover it since I have had the first book sitting on my shelf for a couple of years—-but read it!

There is so much to love in this series. Complex characters with their own unique stories and history, who don’t try to control or overly protect each other. They are independent and self assured without being arrogant. The setting is exotic and adds a lot of romanticism to the setting, plus gives readers a feeling of escapism, and last but not least the mysteries are top shelf! I always find myself wondering what’s going on and who the killer could possibly be!

If you love historical mysteries that are a little on the cozy side, you need to read the Harriet Gordon books. You will not be disappointed and no doubt longing for more—just like me! I know this book is only the second in the series but I feel like this series has the makings of a longer series. The characters have a lot of depth and the setting offers endless opportunity for exploration. Do NOT miss these books!

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Review: The School for German Brides by Aimee K. Runyan

I have only read one of Aimee Runyan’s books but I adored it! I have had the others are on my TBR list and she is always one that I keep an eye on when I see new historical fiction coming out. When I saw this book I was instantly intrigued! A school to make the perfect German bride?! What in the world? I knew it was one that I couldn’t pass up as it would no doubt explore a plotline and history that I never even imagined before!

One of the things that always stands out about Runyan’s books is the attention to historical detail. Historical fiction writers often walk a delicate line between adding lots of interesting (or interesting to them) historical detail that will give the story teeth and context but at the same time, not adding so much historical detail that it bores readers. Runyan always does a great job at striking a good balance of both historical detail and facts but not so many that it becomes bogged down with details and slows the story.

I loved that this book really looks at the behind the scenes life of the German people under Nazi rule—-especially the female perspective. I was so intrigued by this one before I even received my copy in the mail! I saved it for my trip to Arizona so I could have plenty of time to savor it and enjoy all the details without feeling like I had to rush through it, seriously vacation reading is the best for books like this! I had plenty of time to read it and savor it but at the same time I did read it quickly because it was an engaging story!

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