Review: Mother Daughter Traitor Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal

Big big big fan of Susan Elia MacNeal here! I have loved her Maggie Hope series over the years and when I saw this one was coming out, I actually thought it was maybe a novella or something tied to the Maggie Hope series. If you are familiar with the Maggie Hope books, then you will know that spying and familial connections play a big role. So just based on the title I thought surely this book would tie into the Maggie books some how. However, it’s actually a stand alone book! No connection to the Maggie books.

I I know that for some authors it’s hard to branch out into a world of standalone books. Authors get to be ‘known’ for a character, or series etc and next thing you know they have become pigeon holed. I think what works for this one is MacNeal sticks to familiar territory. She knows her history and always does such a great job developing the historical context. While this book wasn’t a Maggie book, I felt connected to the time period and setting in the same way that I would with one of her series books.

I love this book for new fans of MacNeal. The Maggie books are about 10 books into the series and sometimes it can be intimidating to go back and read the whole series in order to get caught up before the next release comes out. This book gives interested and new readers the chance to explore MacNeal’s writing and style without having to go back and read a whole series. It is a great standalone novel and should not be missed!

Continue reading “Review: Mother Daughter Traitor Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal”

Special Feature and Excerpt: An Autumn Kiss by Annette Lyon, Lisa H. Catmull, and Laura Rollins

This book cover is giving meals the fall vibes! I am absolutely in love with this dress! I wish I could wear something like this to work, it looks so cozy! This book is coming in hot with the fall theme not just in the cover but in the title as well and I am absolutely here for it. I am ready to usher in fall and all the cozy reading and this book seems like a nice way to do that!

Today I have an excerpt to share with you guys and I am really looking forward to hearing what you guys think! This series is in it’s seventh book but they can be read out of order. This book is on the shorter side (300 pages) so it will make for some quick reading no doubt, and it’s an anthology so there are a couple of stories included in this one!

I love clean romances and of course the Victorian era is right up my alley (yes, I binged Bridgerton)! Each novella features a fun heroine and a charming romance for readers to enjoy and while I often favor full length romances sometimes having a novella/anthology is refreshing. I find that reading a variety of stories can help break up the desire to read something fun without having to fully commit to a full length novel if that makes sense. I am so excited to check this collection out and I hope you enjoy reading the excerpt!

Continue reading “Special Feature and Excerpt: An Autumn Kiss by Annette Lyon, Lisa H. Catmull, and Laura Rollins”

Special Feature: The Winter Orphans by Kristin Beck

I love reading historical fiction that is based on a true story. There are, naturally, tons of stories throughout history that are just waiting to have an author give voice to. Some might be family stories, some might be big figures in history, or just random people that an author stumbled upon in their research for a new novel. Sure an author could come up with their own story, but as the saying goes—-truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. And for me, often the stories based on real events and characters, are often the best.

Author Kristin Beck has written a lovely historical fiction novel that is based no real events and characters and I am simply so excited to check it out! Beck is known for her first novel, Courage, My Love that was released in 2021 with rave reviews. This latest novel will no doubt leave readers feeling satisfied. It is already getting wonderful reviews from early readers and I am simply thrilled to share about this one with you all today!

The Winter Orphans focuses on two young girls and their incredible journey to escape the Nazis. While this might sound like a heavy novel, Beck is a talented writer with a beautiful prose and will leave readers feeling happy that they chose to pick this one up. If you love historical fiction, especially WWII fiction, then you are not going to want to miss this one! It is out now so be sure to get it on your TBR list and pick up a copy now!

Continue reading “Special Feature: The Winter Orphans by Kristin Beck”

Special Feature and Excerpt: The Girl from Guernica by Karen Robards

I love historical fiction with a new twist and this book sounded like it fit that bill! So many war time historical novels follow similar plot narratives or settings—typically the novels are set in London, France, or Germany. But this novel follows the Spanish experience and location which promises to give readers a fresh new perspective while still being a familiar bit of history to follow and orientate themselves with.

I was super excited when I saw this one. Author Karen Robards is no stranger to historical fiction. Her book, The Black Swan of Paris, received rave reviews a couple of years ago and this book promises all the magic and romanticism that Robards was praised for. I don’t know much about how Spain was involved in the war so I am eager to see what story this book has to tell us!

Today I have an except on the blog and it sound like it’s going to be a great read! No doubt historical fiction fans will be looking forward to this one! Not only because of the talented writer but because of the beautiful historical fiction narrative that promises something new and refreshing to read this fall! Take a look at the excerpt and get this one on your TBR list today!

Continue reading “Special Feature and Excerpt: The Girl from Guernica by Karen Robards”

Review: Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

If I had to describe this one, I would say it’s a Golden Girls meets James Bond mashup that you never knew you needed. Deanna Raybourn has been a beloved author of mine for YEARS! Her characters are charming, witty, and smart. I have read almost all of her books and never pass on anything she has written. She is truly a talented writer and I am just so thrilled that she has come out with a new standalone book! Raybourn has such a great prose with humor, charm, and boldness that is rare to find and I absolutely love when she comes out with a new book as I am almost SURE to love it.

When I saw this one was coming out, it sounded a little different from her usual books. Raybourn usually writes more historical fiction and this one sounded more like spies and espionage. But I have full faith in Raybourn’s writing talents and I knew that she would craft something that I would simply love and adore! In so many books, the main characters are young hot talented women, but we all grow up and age—I love seeing more representation of older badass women!

This book was also selected as a Book of the Month pick so if you need anymore endorsement, this is it! Raybourn’s writing mixed with this unique story really made it shine an I can totally see why it was a BOTM selection. You should be able to add this one onto your next book box if you missed it for September. This book really shows that just because you are retired—-doesn’t mean you can’t still be interesting.

Continue reading “Review: Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn”