Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior @HazelPriorBooks @BerkleyPub

Norma’s review

Enchanting, sweet, & heartwarming!

ELLIE AND THE HARPMAKER by HAZEL PRIOR is a feel-good, delightful, up-lifting, lighthearted, and lovely story that completely entranced me.

HAZEL PRIOR delivers an engaging, humorous, entertaining, enjoyable and beautifully written tale of music and love here that is told through alternating chapters between Dan and Ellie. 

I absolutely loved Dan’s endearing, quirky, fun, innocent & loveable character and thought that he definitely stole the show. He was the highlight of the book for me and I loved how selfless, caring, carefree, giving, creative, and loving he was.

I was thoroughly entertained and invested in Dan and Ellie’s relationship and was rooting and hoping for the best for both of them.

Brenda’s review

Ellie and the Harpmaker is an entertaining, uplifting eccentric escapism with unusual likable characters. There is nothing new to the overall plot of the story.  It’s all about the tone to the story. The quirky personalities of the characters drew me into the story right from the start. At times their peculiarities seemed a little extreme yet fun.

Hazel Prior creates an oddly charming and enchanting fairy tale feeling story that is full of heart.  I loved the warm friendship here between our main characters and watching their relationship blossom through kindness and quirky moments.   I highly recommend for when you are in the mood for a quirky, feel-good story.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Not all that creative of a cover design but I do actually quite like the color schemes and the simplicity of it which is an effective and fitting representation to storyline.
Title: A simple and unimaginative title that represents the storyline quite effectively.
Writing/Prose: Lovely, engaging, captivating, humorous, and readable.
Plot: Fun, quirky, endearing, charming, lighthearted, entertaining, and enjoyable.
Ending: Heartwarming, uplifting, and a feel-good ending that left me feeling such warmth and love for these characters and this book.
Overall: This book was such a breath of fresh air to read and one that is packed full of heart. Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for gifting the both of us an advance copy of this book.

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads, The Sisters Recommend

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner @DuttonBooks @LisaGardnerBks #travelingsistersread #BookReview

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

LISA GARDNER has done it again with her latest installment to the Detective D.D. Warren series with Book # 10. She is an author we can always count on that never disappoints and always delivers such fantastic thrillers that are gripping, action-packed and packed full of nail-biting suspense. We are huge fans and have read all of her books to date. We highly recommend her books!

Norma’s Review

Captivating, edgy & wholly satisfying!

NEVER TELL by LISA GARDNER (Detective D.D. Warren #10) is a dark, suspenseful, emotional and intense thriller with absolutely wonderful and captivating characters. The story is told between the alternating perspectives from three fascinating and exceptionally well-developed characters. LISA GARDNER creates such compelling, fabulous and dynamic characters that you can’t help but love and be fully invested in. I absolutely love D.D. Warren and Flora Dane! There was another character that popped in to help D.D. with her investigation and I was pleasantly surprised and loved the appearance. 

The storyline’s are always intense but I thought this one was a little more complex than her previous novels which slowed down the pacing a tiny bit for me. Even though I had to pay a little more attention to the details while I was reading it, all those carefully hidden clues still stumped me until closer to the end.

Brenda’s Review

D.D. Warren is back with Flora Dane in another nail-biting installment that had me on the edge of my seat, turning the pages as fast as I could.  I love D.D. Warren and she has been a favorite character of mine right from the very first installment with Alone. 

When D.D. Warren arrives at her new case she sees a woman from a case from the past and then soon realizes the victim has ties to Flora’s kidnapper.  Secrets start to unravel and through the well written layers we start to piece together the ties from the past to the new cases. 

When I first met Flora Dane in Find Her, Book # 8, I loved her character and she is now becoming my favorite character.  I love how kidnapped survivor Flora now turned vigilantly becomes DD’s unofficial informant and I love the dynamics between them.  SSA Kimberly Quincy makes an appearance here as well and enjoyed the dynamics between the three of them and I was reminded just how much Lisa Gardner brings humor to the character’s dynamics allowing me to love them even more. There is also another character I hope to see back in future installments. 

In this installment Flora allows herself to revisit her dark past and remember the monster who kidnapped her Jacob Ness.  Her chapters became my favorite part of the story and enjoyed learning more about her and how her past is connected to DD’s new case.

Lisa Garner knows just when to reveal those well layered twists, one right after another and wrapping up this story almost perfectly for me.  She did push it a bit there in the end and I began to question some things but in the end she is another author who can do no wrong by me and will always be a favorite of mine.  We have history!!  

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Hauntingly beautiful and fitting representation to storyline. (Paperback version which releases on August 6, 2019.)
Title: A fabulous representation that definitely depicts the storyline perfectly with all of its secrets and lies it withholds until that explosive and perfectly timed ending.
Writing/Prose: Compulsively readable, notable, strong, impressive, well-written, entertaining, engrossing, and prolific. 
Plot: Suspenseful, raw, complex, riveting, fast-paced, dark, thrilling, captivating, taut, twisty, and entertaining.
Ending: An action-packed, surprising, thrilling, and explosive ending!
Overall: Another stellar read from the Queen of Thrillers that had me immediately hooked and completely riveted in this tangled crime thriller. Would highly recommend! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Dutton and Lisa Gardner for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy of this book.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day!

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman #BookBloggers #travelingsistersread @BerkleyPub @alysonrichman

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman is available now!

Brenda’s Review

A Mother’s love and sorrow, a teacher who cares and a child’s courage to live life to the fullest make for a tissue-worthy story here.

The Secret of Clouds is a tenderly written heart-warming and heart-breaking story that explores the bond between a teacher and her student. Who soon find they can learn something from each other.

Alyson Richman captures a mother’s love, fear and sorrow, a teacher’s caring ways to make a difference with her students and an ill child’s courage to connect to the outside world. Through each character, we learn something about resilience, perseverance, acceptance, love and connections in many ways, sorrow and healing.

I really enjoyed the special connection and dynamics between the characters. Each connection is interesting and heart-warming. At times the pace is slow and predictable however I think it’s to bring a bit of relief to the reality of the story.

Norma and I read this one on our own since a few of our Traveling Sisters read this one because I couldn’t get our schedule organized. It is definitely one we recommend for group reads.

Norma’s review

Passionate, compelling and evocative!

THE SECRET OF CLOUDS by ALYSON RICHMAN is an emotionally charged, tender, moving, beautiful and insightful contemporary novel that I absolutely loved and thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. The story was so beautifully told and totally touched my heart.

ALYSON RICHMAN delivers quite the awe-inspiring, emotional, touching, entertaining, well-written and unforgettable read here that will definitely stay with me for a very long time. I was totally invested in this story, fully absorbed in these characters lives and thoroughly enjoyed both storylines equally. The story and writing definitely held my full attention and I didn’t even care or notice that it might have been a little predictable. If a book can totally take you away into the world you are reading that for me is one extremely satisfying reading experience.

This is a book that I will always hold close to my heart.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Beautiful, intriguing, hopeful, huggable, spellbinding and an extremely emotive and fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Oh my goodness! The meaning behind this title is absolutely awesome, extremely fitting, and definitely heartwarming. Love…love….love it!!!
Writing/Prose: Well-written, perceptive, beautiful and extremely readable. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style and it definitely resonated with me.
Plot: Engrossing, powerful, affecting, moving, interesting, enlightening, fast-paced, and highly entertaining.
Ending: A beautifully written, heartwarming and extremely satisfying ending! This was a huggable and endearing book.
Overall: A fantastic and captivating read that had me totally absorbed within this story right from the very start, thoroughly enjoying every minute of this unputdownable and heartfelt story! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Alyson Richman for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a review! I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience!

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

Posted in Reviews, Sister Reads

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou #travelingsistersread #BookReview @lauriepetrou @crookedlanebks

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Sister of Mine
by Laurie Petrou

Brenda’s Review

I do have to start off by commenting on the title like Norma did. I love the title and every time I think of the title I think of Norma calling me That Sister of Mine. Which she did quite regularly. So when I saw this title I knew we had to read it.

Well, let me just say that’s where any similarity to this story ended. These sisters and their dynamics and complicated relationship is nothing like my boring relationship with Norma. Thank goodness!

When we first meet the sisters Penny and Hattie we were drawn into their bond to protect each other and soon the tensions rises as we start to see just how complicated their relationship is. We start to see a secret that binds them and soon a competition between them sets in and things start to spiral for them.

Laurie Petrou does a fantastic job here creating the dynamics between Penny and Hattie and we were fascinated by their dynamics and couldn’t turn those pages fast enough to see how things turned out for them.

There is some good storytelling here that focuses on family ties, secrets and things that complicate and threaten relationships to move this story forward and not with any shocking twists and turns. Laurie Petrou’s writing and storytelling reminded me of the days when thrillers were more driven by suspense and you could rely on the storytelling over shock value.

We highly recommend Sister of Mine to anyone who likes a character-driven suspense domestic thriller that is light on the drama but high on complicated relationships.

Just some fun facts that Norma and I found interesting Sister of Mine was first published in Canada by HarperCollins and then sold in the US to Crooked Lane Books. The US version is slightly different due to some editing. Norma and I received physical copies from Crooked Lane Books.

Thank you so much to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books for sending me and that sister of mine a physical copy of this book.

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Norma’s Review

I absolutely love the title of this book and found it to be extremely fitting for this story and it reminded me of all the times that I have said “That sister of mine!” whether it be when I am a little annoyed with her or loving her at that time!  Also, what made this book extra special to read for me was reading it with my sister, Brenda!

SISTER OF MINE by LAURIE PETROU is an engaging, tense, and haunting domestic suspense novel about the bond and secrets shared by two sisters, Penny and Hattie.  Once I started reading this one I couldn’t put it down as I was totally committed and consumed in this story. I was intrigued in learning their secrets and was totally entertained with their love/hate relationship.  The underlying suspense that arises from this novel here is more for us readers to see if they can actually keep their secrets between the two of them. I really enjoyed this approach because it definitely kept me captivated right to the very end.

What really shined the most for me here was the creative way that Petrou delivered this story as she really made it an extremely interesting portrayal with the dynamics between Penny and Hattie.

I absolutely loved LAURIE PETROU’S unique style of voice here and her writing style which made this an extremely quick, enjoyable and entertaining read.  Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books for sending me a physical copy of this book.

Have you had a chance to read Sister of Mine?  If not do you want to now?  Drop us a comment and let us know!

Next Sister Read: Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

Never Let You GoNever Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

From Goodreads:  Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Next Sister Read: Redemption Road by John Hart

Redemption RoadRedemption Road by John Hart

From Goodreads:  Over 2 million copies of his books in print. The first and only author to win back-to-back Edgars for Best Novel. Every book a New York Times bestseller.

Now after five years, John Hart is back with a stunning literary thriller.

Imagine:

A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.

A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.

After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free. But for how long?

And deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, the unthinkable has just happened…

This is a town on the brink. This is a road with no mercy.

After five years, John Hart returns with Redemption Road, his most powerful story yet.