Special Feature: The Second Life of Mirielle West by Amanda Skenandore

Publication Date: July 27, 2021
Kensington Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 304 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

In this thought-provoking and sensitive novel, inspired by the true story of a Louisiana leprosy hospital where patients were forcibly quarantined, acclaimed author Amanda Skenandore tells an extraordinarily timely tale of resilience, hope–and the last woman who expected to find herself in such a place…

1920s Los Angeles: Socialite Mirielle West’s days are crowded with shopping, luncheons, and prepping for the myriad glittering parties she attends with her actor husband, Charlie. She’s been too busy to even notice the small patch of pale skin on the back of her hand. Other than an occasional over-indulgence in gin and champagne, which helps to numb the pain of recent tragedy, Mirielle is the picture of health. But her doctor insists on more tests, and Mirielle reluctantly agrees.

The diagnosis–leprosy–is devastating and unthinkable. Changing her name to shield Charlie and their two young children, Mirielle is exiled to rural Louisiana for what she hopes will be a swift cure. But the hospital at Carville turns out to be as much a prison as a place of healing. Deaths far outnumber the discharges, and many patients have languished for years. Some are badly afflicted, others relatively unscathed. For all, the disease’s stigma is just as insidious as its physical progress.

At first, Mirielle keeps her distance from other residents, unwilling to accept her new reality. Gradually she begins to find both a community and a purpose at Carville, helping the nurses and doctors while eagerly anticipating her return home. But even that wish is tinged with uncertainty. How can she bridge the divide between the woman, wife, and mother she was, and the stranger she has become? And what price is she willing to pay to protect the ones she loves?

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Review: The Devil and the Heiress (The Gilded Age Heiresses #2) by Harper St. George

After reading The Heiress Gets a Duke earlier this year, Harper St George was on my ‘one to watch’ list. I immediately preordered this book and was eager to find out what happened to the more reserved Crenshaw sister, Violet. In the first book, August was more headstrong and a little more bold than her sister so I was eager to see how Violet’s character was explored in this one.

Not only do St George’s novels boast fantastic covers but they boast non conventional heroines and dashing heroes with an edge. If you love historical romances I would highly recommend checking this new series out. I found that this book (like the first) was a quick read and you could easily pick it up and put it down and pick it up again and not feel lost. It makes a great read for busy moms who are trying to watch their kids but simply can’t watch another episode of Blippi!

Since it’s summer break, my son is home with me and on those hot days when we are stuck inside we are often watching Blippi—however, I would rather be reading something else more entertaining. So while he’s watching tv, I am able to read a bit. This was the perfect novel to distract me and enjoy but when he needed a snack I could set it down and then pick right back up where I left off and not feel lost in the story or going back to read a page of two because I forgot what was happening!

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Review: John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews

Mimi Matthews is an auto buy author for me. I love all of her books and always make room for them on my calendar. She never disappoints and when I saw she was going to write a novel that was a little darker and more gothic than her standard feel good historical romances made me elated!

I couldn’t say yes fast enough to this one! I know that some times when an author branches out of their typical genre to try something new, there is always hesitation that it won’t be well received, but she is such a talented writer that I knew this was going to be another outstanding read. You can tell it’s a retelling of Jae Eyre based on the title and I think a number of readers will be thrilled to pick this one up and give it a go.

In the last book I read by Matthews, Gentleman Jim, she did a bit of a twist on The Count of Monte Cristo, so I couldn’t wait to see how this retelling would develop. And you guys know I am a huge fan of gothic romances so this book was practically made for me! While I am not a huge Jane Eyre fan, I appreciate the story and couldn’t wait for Matthew’s take on this classic gothic tale!

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Special Feature: A Duke in Time (The Widow Rules #1) by Janna MacGregor

A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor

Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri’s accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she’s been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.

Meri’s far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she’s Meri’s widow. Or can he?

With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri’s two other wives, Katherine doesn’t have time for much else. But there’s something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they’ll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other’s hearts and futures.

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Review: The Girls from the Beach by Andie Newton

I have read all of Andie Newton’s books so far and not once have I been disappointed! She is an amazingly talented writer and her historical research and detail is always spot on. Plus she has a wonderful prose and creates interesting characters. So when this one came up for review there was zero question if I would read it or not!

Not only is the cover to DIE for but I loved the sound of this plot…..American nurses tasked with a secret mission go missing and infiltrate the Nazi regime. It couldn’t sound more compelling if it tried! Spies and Nazis are a hot ticket right now. There are so many books about women spies infiltrating or working against the Nazis during WWII right now but Andie Newton is at the tip of that sword for me.

I sat down to read this one and expected to read it in a couple of days—wrong, I read it in like a day. It was so great and I loved the larger narrative and characters so much but it’s the uniqueness of the story that really shines. This book isn’t due out in the US until October so my review is really early, but when it becomes available in the US you will want to snag yourself a copy because it’s a wonderful novel!

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