Posted in Reviews

My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding by Wendy Wax @Wendy_Wax @BerkleyPub

Norma’s review

Charming, relaxing, & refreshing!

First off I have to mention that I absolutely loved that this story was inspired by a wedding dress that was worn by generations of brides in the author’s family. That little piece of information is stated in the beginning of the book and I think it definitely set the stage perfectly for the events that followed in this story. I didn’t think there was anything too new here with this story but I definitely found the addition of THE DRESS to be quite intriguing which also gave it a fairytale type quality to it. Which I loved by the way and totally sucked me in! 

My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding  by Wendy Wax is an engaging, light, delightful, insightful, and lovely novel that had me totally intrigued, entertained, and interested throughout this entire book. It was such an entertaining, quick and easy story to read even though there were some powerful and complex themes happening here with these three women’s lives of friendship, family, romance, love, and the power of forgiveness. 

WENDY WAX delivers an engaging and compelling story here that was so beautifully written. The story of the two authors was absolutely fascinating to read about and I thoroughly enjoyed how enlightening it was. It was definitely fun having an inside look into the life of an author’s writing world. The story is told in alternating perspectives between Kendra, Lauren and Brianna. I thoroughly enjoyed each of these women’s perspectives equally which really allowed me to feel and be invested in each of these characters lives and situations. 

The author writes with such ease that I totally connected with and just had me wondering why I haven’t picked up one of her books before. I am happy to say that this book left me feeling quite satisfied after finishing it. 

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Beautiful, calming, affecting, heartwarming, eye-catching, intriguing and a fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and a fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, vivid, engaging, expressive, relaxing, captivating, and fluid. Thoroughly enjoyed the author’s writing style!
Plot: Thought-provoking, intriguing, suspenseful, engrossing, fast-paced, enjoyable and extremely entertaining. I was totally sucked right into this storyline!
Ending: A pleasing and heartwarming ending that I was extremely satisfied with and left me feeling quite happy. 
Overall: 4.5 Stars! This book was so darn good and refreshing to read! Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for my complimentary copy. It was an absolute pleasure spending time with this book!!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

The Yankee Widow by Linda Lael Miller @LindaLaelMiller @HarlequinBooks #BookReview #BookBloggers

This phenomenal book – The Yankee Widow by Linda Lael Miller is available now!

We have update this post with Lindsay’s added review and are excited to be sharing it with you all!

Brenda’s Review

As a lover of historical fiction 0f WWII, I jumped at the chance to read something a bit out of my usual by reading this one.  While what I thought was out of my usual it wasn’t so much and I was pleasantly surprised. Back in the day, historical romance heavy on the romance was my favorite and I loved stories with the backdrop to the civil war.  I was reminded in this story just how fascinated by the civil war I am.

The Yankee Widow is a refreshing, moving and richly layered saga with strong well-developed characters, well-plotted story that explores duty, loyalty, family and friends bonds and love.   I was drawn into the lives of these characters right from the start and was turning the pages as fast as I could. Linda Lael Miller does a good job here balancing the characters from both sides of the war, with a little romance and weaving the history in as well that allowed me to form my own thoughts for each character and had me feeling for them all.

The Yankee Widow had it all here to make this an interesting, thought-provoking and entertaining read for me.  The romance to the story felt a bit rushed and predictable leaving the eye-rolling to a minimum and allowing me not to have to think about it too much.  Just adding a nice touch to the story that left me entertained.

I loved how the story wrapped up, maybe a bit too neat but certainly, a satisfying feel-good ending for me.  It did leave me wondering and hoping for a sequel with some of these characters. I highly recommend.

Norma’s Review

Immersive, passionate & vivid!

THE YANKEE WIDOW by LINDA LAEL MILLER was an interesting, riveting, compelling, heartfelt, moving and highly entertaining historical fiction novel that immediately grabbed my attention and held taut right to the very end. I was thoroughly impressed and fascinated with this storyline and with MILLER’S storytelling. It has been quite a little while that I have been this entranced and absorbed in a historical fiction novel – I was glued to those pages. 

LINDA LAEL MILLER delivers quite the atmospheric, engaging, intriguing, beautifully written and well-plotted read here that I was totally drawn into. There were so many scenes within this book that totally touched and warmed my heart along with moments that twisted my heart to shreds. The characterizations of place and time along with the characters themselves were absolutely wonderful and so vividly descriptive, placing me easily into the heart of this novel. I absolutely loved all the characters in this book and I was definitely emotionally invested in them.

I do love a little romance within my novels and I totally ate this one right up. I was completely besotted with these male characters and couldn’t decide who I thought was the better catch for our lovely main character, Caroline. The romantic touch to this novel definitely helped with softening the mood to this heartfelt period in time. The historical aspect to this novel with the Civil War and this time period totally fascinates me. Also, I must add that this book opens up with quite the strong opening scene and where the story settles a little bit it is definitely one to savour and enjoy! Loved everything about this novel!

Lindsay’s review

Beautiful writing. Charming characters. Unforgettable story.

Caroline is a young wife and mother who is left to manage the family farm when her husband, Jacob, joins the army and is sent off into war. Caroline stays strong in the face of the unknown, with the help of her four-year-old daughter, Rachel, her grandmother, Geneva, and hired farmhand, Enoch. One day Caroline receives word that Jacob is wounded on the battlefield. She leaves Rachel with Geneva and the farm in Enoch’s care, to travel in search of her husband.

These characters were so extremely loveable! I felt an immediate connection to all of them and was fully invested in their lives and situation. The author, Linda Lael Miller, had me completely engrossed within the Civil War era, creating a storyline that kept me captivated and curious throughout. This is my first book by Miller and I am eager to check out her many other novels.

Historical fiction is my most favourite reading genre, yet most of what I read within the genre centers around WWII. This novel really captured my interest and has me eager to pick up more historical fiction novels focused on the Civil War era. 

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, lovely, mesmerizing, moving and an extremely fitting and meaningful representation to storyline. #coverlove 
Title: An intriguing, interesting, meaningful, emotive and extremely fitting representation to storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful, affecting, vivid, assured, captivating, moving and readable. I totally connected and loved MILLER’S writing style!!!
Plot: Perfectly paced, interesting, refreshing, heartwarming, heartfelt, moving, touching, and fantastic. 
Ending: I was totally taken with this feel-good ending and absolutely loved the direction this novel took. Leaving me feeling totally satisfied and warmed all over. I think there might be a possibility for a sequel with the way that this story ending. I would definitely read it if there was. 
Overall: This novel totally captured my heart and made it into my 2019 Favourite Reads Shelf! Would highly recommend! 

Thank you so much to Eden at Harlequin Trade Publishing and Linda Lael Miller for our complimentary copies and the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book. It was an absolute pleasure reading this phenomenal historical fiction novel!

#travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #BookReview #askusaboutourbook #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads

Have you read this one? Want to read it? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Blog Tours, Reviews

The East End by Jason Allen #BlogTour @EathanJason @parkrowbooks

The East End by Jason Allen Blog Tour

Hello everyone and thank you so much for stopping by! We are so excited and it’s our absolute pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for The East End by Jason Allen and share Norma’s review with you. Thank you so much to Justine Sha at Park Row Books for inviting us to be a part of this blog tour.

The Traveling Sisters ~ Norma, Brenda & Lindsay! xxoo

The East End by Jason Allen is available now!

Book Summary:

THE EAST END opens with Corey Halpern, a Hamptons local from a broken home who breaks into mansions at night for kicks. He likes the rush and admittedly, the escapism. One night just before Memorial Day weekend, he breaks into the wrong home at the wrong time: the Sheffield estate where he and his mother work. Under the cover of darkness, their boss Leo Sheffield — billionaire CEO, patriarch, and owner of the vast lakeside manor — arrives unexpectedly with his lover, Henry. After a shocking poolside accident leaves Henry dead, everything depends on Leo burying the truth. But unfortunately for him, Corey saw what happened and there are other eyes in the shadows.

Hordes of family and guests are coming to the estate the next morning, including Leo’s surly wife, all expecting a lavish vacation weekend of poolside drinks, evening parties, and fireworks filling the sky. No one can know there’s a dead man in the woods, and there is no one Leo can turn to. With his very life on the line, everything will come down to a split-second decision. For all of the main players—Leo, Gina, and Corey alike—time is ticking down, and the world they’ve known is set to explode.

Told through multiple points of view, THE EAST END highlights the socio-economic divide in the Hamptons, but also how the basic human need for connection and trust can transcend class differences. Secrecy, obsession, and desperation dictate each character’s path. In a race against time, each critical moment holds life in the balance as Corey, Gina, and Leo approach a common breaking point. THE EAST END is a propulsive read, rich with character and atmosphere, and marks the emergence of a talented new voice in fiction.

Author Bio: Jason Allen grew up in a working-class home in the Hamptons, where he worked a variety of blue-collar jobs for wealthy estate owners. He writes fiction, poetry, and memoir, and is the author of the poetry collection A MEDITATION ON FIRE. He has an MFA from Pacific University and a PhD in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University, and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he teaches writing. THE EAST END is his first novel.

Social Links:

Author Website Twitter: @EathanJason Facebook: @jasonallenauthor Goodreads

Q&A with Jason Allen

Q: How would you describe your writing process? (Do you write at night? During the day? Alone or out in public at a cafe?)

A: On the best of days, I’m a marathon writer. I’m always most productive when I can devote an entire day to novel pages, ideally starting the moment I wake up, or right after the coffee is in the cup anyway, and then working until at least dinner time. I used to write very late at night, sometimes all night until the sun had risen and the birds reminded me I should finally sleep, but in the past few years I’m more a morning writer overall. I also teach at a university and have a heavy teaching load, so some days I can only spend an hour or so working on my writing before grading papers or heading to campus. I’ve found that I can’t work on a novel in public. I have to be in total solitude and quiet, at least when working on a novel. For shorter pieces, especially essays or poems, I sometimes like the energy in a coffee shop or a diner because it can spark a new thread of strange associative thoughts or odd metaphors, but as far as the novels go, I need to be a hermit for large blocks of time in order stay immersed in the prolonged dream of the fictional world.

Q: What physical settings do you find most conducive to writing?  Where did you write the bulk of this novel?

A: I wrote a lot of the early draft of The East End while living in Upstate New York, mostly while on my old couch, looking out the window throughout a few full cycles of the seasons and many days while snow was falling. I revised it while living in Atlanta and renting a first floor apartment in an old decrepit house that had a porch. I usually brought my laptop outside to the couch that was on the porch. During the hottest, most humid, most mosquito-thick parts of the year in Atlanta, I worked way more at night when it was cooler and less buggy and quieter.

Q: How did writing a novel compare to your previous experience writing poetry?

A: Writing poems is much more spontaneous for me than the novel writing process. The scale is also so dramatically different. A poem is a distillation of image and emotion, sort of like carving and polishing a figurine of a baby elephant from a palm-size piece of limestone, while writing a novel takes years of chiseling marble slabs, and then rearranging and questioning how all the animals in an acre of the African savannah should be positioned to tell their larger interconnected story. Most of the poems in my collection A Meditation on Fire connect to personal experience, the initial drafts written with a sense of urgency. The East End was a constant process of exploration, until the characters felt so real to me that I truly cared about each of them.

What I love about writing poetry is that I can spend one day on a first draft and feel I have something that is at least close to finished. What I love about novel writing is that I can only plan so much, and at a certain point during the years it takes to reach the end, there is sure to be at least a hundred ah-ha moments, so many surprises, and overall it’s so satisfying to complete a work that took hundreds of days, sometimes thousands of hours, and to discover something about the characters’ journeys that makes me think more deeply about my own experience in this world. Whether it’s through the short form with poems or essays or short stories, or the long form with novels, I can’t consider a piece finished in any form until I feel the same sense of emptiness—and I mean that in a good way. Each medium allows me to empty my consciousness to a certain extent, to empty out the static of daily life that we all cope with in our own ways.

Q: What inspired you to write THE EAST END?

A: Initially, I mainly wanted to illuminate the inner lives of the working class people of the Hamptons. I grew up there, and as a working class person in a seasonal resort area that attracts the wealthiest of the wealthy, as the Hamptons does, it’s impossible not to compare what “they” have versus what “we” have. I’d always been fascinated by just how extreme the disparity was between the multi-millionaire visitors and those of us who scraped by year after year, and that tension played out in so many ways each summer season. So I wanted to explore class, but also addiction, secrecy, obsession, and to do my best to write a complex story that highlights that tension among the disparate classes of people in the Hamptons. What I found over time, after delving into the depths of each character’s psyche, is that I truly believe that we are all more than the assumptions others might impose upon us.

Q: What are some of the main themes in the book or some of the key takeaways?

A: The main themes are class (specifically class-divide), alcoholism and addiction, secrecy, obsession, loneliness and longing, and identity (including sexual orientation/ identification). The key takeaway, I hope, is that we should try our best not to judge any book by its cover. I had an easy time empathizing with the teenaged character, Corey, even as he starts breaking into houses, and also for his mother, Gina, even as she’s hitting bottom with alcohol and pills and is relatively absent from her two sons’ daily lives. I was surprised to find how much I cared about the billionaire character, Leo Sheffield, when in the past I could have easily written him off as just another greed-driven destroyer of the world, someone who deserves no empathy—but it was gratifying to care about them all, despite their flaws and bad decisions.

Q: What are the commonalities you discovered between the elite and the middle-class characters?

A: Everyone suffers. Everyone loves. Everyone longs for something or someone. We’re all so flawed, all bumbling along through our lives; we’re all having a human experience, no matter our socioeconomic status. It just so happens that it will always be a bit harder for working class people in general—hardest of all for the poorest of the poor.

Q: What was the hardest part about writing your debut book?

A: Maintaining relationships, maybe? It’s understandable that it might not be easy for most people to be in a relationship with someone who wants to spend days off from work in their pajama pants, shut away in a room for hours at a time. The work itself, I honestly love it—even when it feels like hard work. It’s incredible that after many years of writing, now I get to work on my next novels as others are reading The East End. I guess the hardest part is what happens after the writing is finished. I want everyone to like it… haha.

Q: Your author bio says you grew up in the Hamptons and worked a variety of blue-collar jobs for wealthy estate owners.  How much did you draw from personal experience when writing this book?

A: I mined lots of lived experience for both the setting of the novel and the characters. My mother worked for a millionaire family at their summer estate in Southampton for more than a decade, and while the plot and characters are fictional, the setting is closely based on the estate where she worked (and where I worked with her for one summer). I also worked for the mega-rich in the Hamptons as a pool guy, a carpenter’s helper, lots of labor jobs in my teens and twenties.

Q: What is your favorite genre to read?  Have any authors you’ve read influenced your work?

A: Literary fiction is definitely my favorite, but all of the best genre fiction always transcends its genre, so I love discovering an especially strange novel with magical realism elements, or one that introduces a dystopian world in a new and fascinating way (think the original Twilight Zone episodes, Rod Serling’s brilliant social commentary through sci-fi). Whatever the genre, the characters will always matter most to me, but also I find that I’m most grateful when an author obviously took the time to pull me through the story with relatively constant plot complications and tension—all the books I love, all the ones I just couldn’t down, have so much character complexity and tension throughout. I’m sure that every author I’ve read has influenced my work to varying degrees, and I’m always looking for that next book that will trick me into forgetting that I’m reading—the best novels always achieve this seemingly impossible magic trick.

Q: What are you currently reading and what’s on your TBR (to be read) list?

A: I’m currently reading an advanced reader copy of a debut novel called The Tenth Girl, by Sara Faring, which is a brilliant, funny, twisted gothic story that takes place in a haunted girls’ prep school in Argentina, and at the same time I’m in the midst of another advanced copy of a wonderful literary debut novel Goodnight Stranger, by Miciah Bay Gault. I’ve also just finished Winter Loon, by Susan Bernhard, and loved it for its rich characters and the author’s bravery to show the true struggles of working class characters. Some other recent favorites include: The Boat Runner, by Devin Murphy (if you haven’t read that yet, buy it immediately—it’s amazing); Eileen, by Ottessa Moshfegh (so unique, both dark and funny in all the most interesting ways); and I just reread All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, which I can only describe as a masterpiece, a novel in my top two or three of all-time.

Q: Do you have plans to write more novels in the future?

A: Yes, absolutely. I plan to finish my second novel this summer. It’s a story set mostly in Portland, Oregon, where I also lived for ten years. It takes place during the winter of 2008, during the start of the Great Recession and the Housing Crisis, also during an especially cold winter. The characters are all down-and-outers, with addiction and family and desperation as the central themes. I’m also looking forward to revising my first memoir manuscript, as well as my first feature-length screenplay, and in the next year or so I will begin fleshing out my third novel. I have the novel-writing bug, and realize now that I always have. I’m not hoping for a cure, either.

Now onto Norma’s review

Atmospheric, messy & scandalous!

THE EAST END by JASON ALLEN is a disturbing, wicked, suspenseful, evocative and entertaining novel that was filled with quite the unusual and interesting characters. This was definitely a rapid-paced read for me but there was something about it that didn’t always sit all that well with me though. I was loving it one moment and then the next not so much.

JASON ALLEN delivers quite the atmospheric, gripping, compelling and well-written read here that was extremely vividly descriptive. I’m not normally a visual reader but this one definitely gave me a lot of visual scenes throughout that I could easily see playing out in my mind.

There is lots going on here and plenty of themes to ponder. I’m not sure if there was a little too many for me or if certain themes affected me in an unfavourable way. I’m thinking it was the latter.

This was an entertaining, wild and frantic read from start to finish! 

I’m extremely honoured to be a part of the blog tour for THE EAST END. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Park Row / Harlequin and Jason Allen for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.


If you would like to read a copy of the book for yourself, it is available now from the following retailers:

Author: Jason Allen
ISBN: 9780778308393
Publication Date: 5/7/19
Publisher: Park Row Books

Buy Links: Harlequin Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Powell’s

Posted in Reviews

Camp Grandma by Marianne Waggoner Day #BookReview @BookSparks #MarianneWaggonerDay #CampGrandma

Happy pub day to CAMP GRANDMA!

Illuminating, inspiring & delightful!

CAMP GRANDMA by MARIANNE WAGGONER DAY was such a pleasure to read. A real gem! It’s a quick and easy one that is packed full of valuable information and some fabulous ideas. Not only useful for grandparents but for all mothers and fathers out there as well as any caregiver for that matter.

My granddaughter is a little too young to incorporate some of the information that was provided within this book but it did give me the knowledge to store and look back on for future use. I love that this book gave me so much insight and tools to use in order for me to be an active participant in my granddaughter’s life. And hopefully instill some valuable lessons, memorable moments and helpful techniques that will be useful to her in the future.

I can hardly wait to put some of this information and ideas to good use. I am one proud Grandma and this book just makes me want to be the best possible Grandma ever!! I got all those warm fuzzy feelings while I was reading this book. Love that!!

This book definitely resonated with me as a mother and grandmother. And I also thoroughly enjoyed the stories and pictures that were shared by Marianne with and of her own grandchildren. It definitely added in an extra personal touch that I totally ate right up. Would definitely recommend!!

Thank you so much to BookSparks for the opportunity to read this engaging and enlightening book. I feel so grateful for being chosen to read an early copy of this book and I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience.

Posted in Blog Tours, Reviews

The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl #BlogTour @HoZ_Books @alexdahlauthor

The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl Blog Tour

Hello everyone and thank you so much for stopping by! We are so excited and it’s our absolute pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl and share our individual reviews with you. Thank you so much to Victoria Joss at Head of Zeus for inviting us to be a part of this blog tour.

The Traveling Sisters ~ Norma, Brenda & Lindsay! xxoo

The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl is available now!

The heart-breaking, heart-pounding new thriller from the author of The Boy at the Door.

How do you mend a broken heart?

It’s been three months since Alison Miller-Juul’s world fell apart when her six-year-old daughter, Amalie, died in an accident. Three months of sympathy cards, grief counselling and gritting her teeth, but it’s still only the vodka and pills that seem to help.

Across town, Iselin Berg’s life is finally looking up. Her seven-year-old daughter, Kaia, has survived a life-changing operation. After years of doctors, medication and hope, they can now start thinking about the future.
When Alison uncovers a dangerous secret, she is left in turmoil. She can now see a way to heal her broken heart, but will she risk everything to do so?

About the author

Alex Dahl is a half-American, half-Norwegian author. Born in Oslo, she studied Russian and German linguistics with international studies, then went on to complete an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University and an MSc in business management at Bath University. A committed Francophile, Alex loves to travel, and has so far lived in Moscow, Paris, Stuttgart, Sandefjord, Switzerland, Bath and London. Her first thriller, The Boy at the Door, was a Sunday Times Crime Club star pick.

Follow Alex:  
Twitter: @alexdahlauthor
Facebook: @alexdahlauthor

Now onto our reviews!
Norma’s Review

Moving, heart-wrenching & raw!

THE HEART KEEPER by ALEX DAHL is an interesting, enjoyable and entertaining read that had quite the emotional, profound and unique premise. I haven’t read too many books in regards to organ donation and I found that quite intriguing. I wouldn’t necessarily say though that I was totally immersed in this story but I did definitely feel at times an intense emotional pull. 

The story itself is a scary, horrific and heartbreaking one that definitely plants you right into the storyline with all of its dramatic highs and lows. But I wouldn’t say that it was all that thrilling or had me on the edge of my seat in anticipation until maybe towards the end. Then I was breathlessly awaiting the outcome.

ALEX DAHL delivers an intriguing and well-written read here with determined, honest and relatable characters. I especially enjoyed Kaia and she had me totally loving and rooting for her. The concept and the actual things all heart related was pretty palpable and extremely touched me as a reader. You could definitely feel the author’s heart here within this story. 

Brenda’s Review

Two Mothers, one grieving, two daughters, one gone and the other given a second chance

The Heart Keeper is an emotional, heart breaking story that explores a mother’s grief and guilt that turns into an obsession.

Alex Dahl does a great job capturing the grief of a family after the death of their daughter and sister. Each dealing in their own way that really pulled me into their lives. I was turning those pages as fast as I could to see how this story comes together in the end. We see how grief and guilt start to unravel our grieving mother and she starts to become obsessed with the idea of having a second chance with her daughter through her daughter’s heart keeper.

The ending had me on the seat of chair, holding my breath and rooting for the characters and feeling very satisfied with how the story wrapped up. I highly recommend!

Lindsay’s Review

Alison is lost in her grief after her five-year-old daughter, Amalie drowns in the lake.  She is consumed by guilt, as she was the one watching her that day. Alison and her husband decide to donate Amalie’s organs, feeling comfort that Amalie can help to save other children.  Iselin’s seven-year-old daughter, Kaia, is the recipient of Amalie’s heart. Being born with a heart condition, Iselin has watched Kaia struggle to survive for her entire life. Shortly after, Alison stumbles across a magazine article outlining Kaia’s miraculous recovery through the heart transplant.  Could part of Amalie be living within this young girl? Would she recognize any signs of Amalie in Kaia?

The emotional impact of this book hit me hard.  Alison’s grief completely consumed me. It was a gut-wrenching, impossible to ignore sadness that reached my core and had me shedding countless tears within the first several chapters.  I felt so deeply for her character and situation that I had to take breaks from reading to dry my eyes and regroup my thoughts. The power behind this author, Alex Dahl’s, writing is undeniable.   I had deep sympathy for Alison from start to finish, hoping for her to somehow find comfort and peace and be able to move forward in life.

This book is separated into three parts.  Part 1 was the most powerful for me, leaving a devastating and unforgettable emotional impact.  I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book, but found that Part 2 and Part 3 lost some of the emotional intensity, focusing more on the storyline, rather than the emotions involved.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, heartfelt, moving and an extremely fitting and meaningful representation to storyline. 
Title: An intriguing, interesting, meaningful and extremely fitting representation to storyline. I absolutely love the title of this story! Perfection!
Writing/Prose: Well-written, sincere, captivating, moving and readable. 
Plot: Slow-building, steadily paced, interesting, heartfelt, moving, touching, and unique. 
Ending: Intense, heartfelt and satisfying. 
Overall: I think this book will be much better perceived if you go into it knowing that it is more of a strong family drama rather than a full on heart-pounding thriller. This book definitely resonated with me as a mother. Would recommend! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Victoria Joss at Head of Zeus and Alex Dahl for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.


If you would like to read a copy of the book for yourself, it is available now from the following retailers:

Buy links:
Google Play

Follow Aria:
Twitter: @HoZ_Books
Facebook: @headofzeus
Instagram: @headofzeus

Please check out these other fantastic blogs that are participating in the blog tour!

Posted in Reviews

Park Avenue Summer by Reneé Rosen @BerkleyPub @ReneeRosen1

Park Avenue Summer by Reneé Rosen is available today!

Norma’s Review

Vibrant, inspiring, & empowering!

This was my very first RENEÉ ROSEN book and just let me tell you it just had me asking myself, “Uhm, how come I haven’t read any of this author’s books before?” I am definitely going to be checking out her other books, past and future ones that is for sure.

PARK AVENUE SUMMER by RENEÉ ROSEN is a highly entertaining, delightful, captivating, and fascinating historical fiction novel that immediately drew me in and held my interest right to the very end. Lately, with my books, I have been finding myself easily distracted and my thoughts wavering while reading but I’m happy to say that wasn’t the case here. I was fully immersed in this story and found the setting, characters, and storyline to be extremely engrossing and totally enraptured me.

RENEÉ ROSEN delivers an intriguing, well-plotted and well-written read here that captures place and time fabulously placing me right into the heart of this story. There was this perfect balance of fact and fiction that I absolutely loved and found so appealing. I was never too much of a Cosmopolitan reader and still not but there is this attraction, fascination and glamorous appeal to the magazine that I have always found intriguing. So I just knew that I had to read this story and find out how the new editor, Helen Gurley Brown’s vision for her “girls” reshaped the look and feel of women’s publications everywhere. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Helen’s story through the perspective of her fictional secretary, Alice. I thought it was very telling and an effective way to hear about Helen and her story as editor of Cosmopolitan magazine. This was definitely an engaging page-turner and one that had me rooting for the success of the July issue when it went to print and hoping for all of Alice’s dreams to come true. I am especially fond of Epilogues and I have to say that I absolutely loved how this one wrapped up. Perfection! 

Brenda’s Review

Ok pussycats! I was definitely a Cosmo girl back in the day and I couldn’t wait for every new edition of the magazine and never missed one. I had stacks of magazines that I kept for years.

I read it from cover to cover and loved those very brazen articles which weren’t so back in my day like they were here in this story.    So when I got the chance at a complimentary copy I jumped at it. I didn’t keep all those magazines and I wished that I had now. It would be fun to go back and look at those titles and articles and see how they changed.

We meet the brazen, determined and ambitious editor of Cosmopolitan magazine Helen Gurley Brown through our main character Alice who becomes her “secretary” which was the title used back in the day. I am feeling kind of old here. Lol I enjoyed the dynamics here between the characters and loved just how ambitious both the women were. I was fascinated by Helen and enjoyed learning a bit about what the real Helen might have been like. I wished the story was focused a bit more on her and the magazine. I enjoyed Alice’s character but felt there was a little bit of unnecessary drama and a bit of a romance there which slowed down the story for me and left me rolling my eyes a bit. And this is where Norma and I differ as readers because she loves that stuff.

I enjoyed my trip down memory lane with this one and glad I read it.  I highly recommend.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Glamorous, nostalgic, beautiful and a fitting representation to storyline. I absolutely love the simplicity, classic and vintage feel of this cover. 
Title: Intriguing, fun and absolutely loved how the title played so fittingly and wonderfully into storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful, witty, fluid, engaging and readable. Thoroughly enjoyed the narrative, totally entertaining. There were even a few laugh out loud moments and some touching ones too. 
Plot: Glitzy, fascinating, atmospheric, sexy (without details), entertaining, and highly enjoyable. 
Ending: A goose bump ending that enveloped me with warmth leaving me with that ever coveted afterglow feeling of satisfaction that I just read a fabulous book. 
Overall: Wowza! This book gave me all the feels and it’s a huggable one that will stay with me long after closing the cover. Just fabulous and another one added to my Favourite Reads Shelf for 2019. Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for our complimentary copies. It was an absolute pleasure spending time with this book!!

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Have you read this one? Want to read it? Do you love epilogues too? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!