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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Special Feature/Excerpt: The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman

I have never wanted to visit Hawaii so much! Whenever I read one of Sara Ackerman’s books set in Hawaii, I simply want to go there instantly! I have never been to Hawaii but I feel like I have simply by reading her books! Her love of Hawaii resonates in every book she writes and I always come away from one of her books feeling like I just took a vacation. Not only is her love for the island evident, her history is interesting and the stories and characters always well done.

It’s been a while since I read one of her books and I am actually currently reading this one so be watching for a review coming soon! Hint—it’s great so far! Today I have an excerpt from the book which I am sure you will all enjoy as much as I have! If you love WWII stories, but are tired of the same old same old locations, then take an adventure to Hawaii and escape into the rich world of spies, espionage, and love that haven’t been explored before!

As I mentioned, I couldn’t resist reading this book. I originally planned on reading it later in the fall but Hawaii was calling my name and that cover made it nearly impossible to resist. I love how Ackerman explores Hawaii’s unique history particularly wartime history. Each of her books feature a bit of romance but for me the setting and history of Hawaii really shine in her books. So checkout the excerpt today and be sure to pick up a copy, you will not be disappointed! And be watching for my review soon!

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Special Feature: Mademoiselle Revolution by Zoe Sivak

I love seeing all these new historical fiction books featuring characters of color and of the LGBTQ community! It’s exciting and refreshing to see a new side of history told from a new perspective. I am always eager to check out books that have substance and a rich historical backdrop and interesting locations. I have said this often enough, a lot of historical fiction is set in England and France—-familiar landscapes for readers. But if you read a lot of historical fiction, you will likely grow board of these locations.

This is why this book appealed to me so much—it is set in Haiti and then moves to France. I am so eager to see how the Haitian culture translates into the French culture. The setting and cultural elements promised in this book really make it stand out as unique and new. I am just so excited to check this one out and of course share a bit about it with all of you today.

This is Sivak’s debut novel and it has been receiving rave reviews from early reviews. It features a biracial main character and brings bisexual energy to the story as well. It promises well researched history told from a new perspective with interesting details and historical information. I am simply beyond excited to check this one out and if you love historical fiction, this no doubt will be a hot seller this year. It is out now so do not delay—download or order it today!

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Review: The Mozart Code by Rachel McMillan

Over the years I have read and enjoyed many or Rachel McMillan’s books! I especially loved her book The London Restoration that I read in 2020. It was a standalone novel with lots of historical detail and some romance. While I enjoyed her historical mysteries, it was the standalone novel that really made me love her writing!

When I saw that she was coming out with a new standalone piece of historical fiction, I was eager to get my hands on it. I love books about espionage and spies especially when they are women spies! I have read a lot of historical fiction with female spies in WWII and while that might be the hot ticket right now, I never get tired of reading books like that!

McMillan is a wonderful writer and I know how much detail she puts in her books not only with her characters but with her historical facts as well. If you enjoy historical fiction by Kate Quinn or espionage mysteries by Susan Elia MacNeal, then you will no doubt enjoy this latest novel from McMillan! I waited and waited and waited for my copy to arrive and when it finally did, I had COVID. While I planned to read it during my quarantine, I ended up having a hard time focusing on reading so I saved it for my flight to Arizona. I quickly read this one in a matter of days once I started it on the plane—it was an excellent choice that’s for sure!

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