Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Review: The Italian Ballerina by Kristy Cambron

At the height of the Nazi occupation of Rome, an unlikely band of heroes comes together to save innocent lives in this breathtaking World War II novel based on real historical events.

Rome, 1943. With the fall of Italy’s Fascist government and the Nazi regime occupying the streets of Rome, British ballerina Julia Bradbury is stranded and forced to take refuge at a hospital on Tiber Island. But when she learns of a deadly sickness sweeping through the quarantine wards—a fake disease known only as Syndrome K—she is drawn into one of the greatest cons in history. Alongside hospital staff, friars of the adjoining church, and two Allied medics, Julia risks everything to rescue Jewish Italians from the deadly clutches of the Holocaust. Soon a little girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina arrives at their door, and Julia is determined to reunite the young dancer with her family—if only she would reveal one crucial secret: her name.

Present Day. Delaney Coleman recently lost her grandfather—a beloved small-town doctor and World War II veteran, so she returns home to help her aging parents. When a mysterious Italian woman reaches out claiming to own one of the family’s precious heirlooms, Delaney is compelled to travel to Italy and uncover the truth of her grandfather’s hidden past. With the help of the woman’s skeptical but charming grandson, Delaney learns of a Roman hospital that saved hundreds of Jewish people during the war. Soon, everything Delaney thought she knew about her grandfather comes into question. 

I'll be honest, it has been so long since I read anything by this author, but I've always kept her name in the back of my head as a word artist. In fact, I think the exact term I have her filed under is "magician." I saw this gorgeous cover at the store and just had to have it. Turns out, best decision ever! In split timelines, it can be easy to care for one time over the other, but from the very beginning I was invested in every single piece of this story. It was woven together in the most magical way possible. I stayed up late until I just couldn't keep my eyes focused because I wanted to know what was happening. I carried it with me everywhere, even when I knew I didn't have time to read. The characters were so important to me, and I loved them all dearly. The suspense had me fully immersed in the world, and the back and forth with the timeline kept me oh so engaged. I cried. I laughed. I made loud noises in silent rooms. I raged over things I can't mention because it'll be spoilers. This story captured me from the very beginning and wouldn't let go even after it was concluded. I wanted it to keep going on and on forever. I went into some serious book hangover when it was finished. What a fresh perspective on WW2! 



Friday, March 17, 2023

7 Years of Blogging! and a review of The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham

 I can't believe it's been seven whole years since I started this blog! I've gone through ups and downs, with less consistency than I've liked, but overall, it has been the best experience for growing my own writing and for sharing my love for all of my favorite authors and books. To celebrate, I'll be doing a giveaway soon. Stay tuned next week for bookish fun. To tide you over, I've got a review of the newest adventures of Grace and Freddie, The Cairo Curse.

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley have already experienced their fair-share of suspense, but when a honeymoon trip takes a detour to the mystical land of Egypt, not even Grace with her fiction-loving mind is prepared for the dangers in store. From an assortment of untrustworthy adventure-seekers to a newly discovered tomb with a murderous secret, Frederick and Grace must lean on each other to navigate their dangerous surroundings. As the suspects mount in an antiquities’ heist of ancient proportions, will Frederick and Grace’s attempts to solve the mystery lead to another death among the sands?

I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I was to have a second installment of the Grace and Freddie mysteries. I cannot get enough of them. Not only do they have the sweetest romance, they also make so many book references that I just know we'd be best friends if we ever met. I loved getting to explore Egypt with Grace, and she kept me laughing the entire time. (And I mean from the first chapter until the last... the entire time. Not in my head laughing, out loud and awkwardly high in volume in a quiet room laughing!) I also enjoyed getting to know Freddie's dear valet even better and watching him fall head over heels was a delight. Grace's new little maid made my day. She was such a cunning, cute thing. The quick pace of this story was humorous, light, but also deceptively suspenseful. I can't wait for the third installment in this series, and I hope it never ends. I really want to see Grace meet up with Aunt Lavenia again, because they're a riot! It's Agatha Christy meets Jen Turano and I am HERE for it. Plus, who wouldn't love Grace's Appalachian heritage showing up every now and then. 


I received a copy of this book through NetGalley to review, but trust me, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Review: Yesterday's Tides by Roseanna M. White

In 1942, Evie Farrow is used to life on Ocracoke Island, where every day is the same--until the German U-boats haunting their waters begin to wreak havoc. And when special agent Sterling Bertrand is washed ashore at Evie's inn, her life is turned upside down. While Sterling's injuries keep him inn-bound for weeks, making him even more anxious about the SS officer he's tracking, he becomes increasingly intrigued by Evie, who seems to be hiding secrets of her own.

Decades earlier, in 1914, Englishman Remington Culbreth arrives at the Ocracoke Inn for the summer, never expecting to fall in love with Louisa Adair, the innkeeper's daughter. But when war breaks out in Europe, their relationship is put in jeopardy and may not survive what lies ahead for them.

As the ripples from the Great War rock Evie and Sterling's lives in World War II, it seems yesterday's tides may sweep them all into danger again today. 

I absolutely adored this book! The dual timeline is something new for me from Roseanna M. White, and I loved it. There wasn't a moment where I wasn't invested in both. I loved all the characters, and you cannot believe how EXTREMELY pleased I was when I realized that all of my favorite characters got a cameo in the book. I was so sad when I had to leave the WW1 friends, but Margot and Barclay and Brooke and Camden all showed up and my heart was happy. At one point, I was squealing out loud, and I really hope nobody heard me. Evie and Louisa and Rem and Sterling were so perfect. Even thinking about Aunt L and her ending right now is making me tear up again. The grandma's were perfect. I could honestly read a sequel picking right up with Evie and Sterling right this second. I loved that there was sign language incorporated. The espionage was thrilling. The setting was beautiful. I loved the relationship between Evie and the Coast Guards. The whole way this book was sewn together was to die for. I highly recommend to lovers of historical fiction or lovers of Roseanna's books. 

(Also want to mention that Edith is a despicable human and I extremely much do not love her.)

This beauty releases today, so I hope you'll check it out right away!



I received this book as part of Roseanna's street team, but I was not required to post a positive review.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Review: A Mark of Grace by Kimberley Woodhouse

When everything crumbles, her chance for a new beginning hangs in the balance.

Ruth Anniston survived an injury that left her physically scarred, broken, and angry at God. Now, she finds herself working behind the scenes as a kitchen and dining room supervisor at the El Tovar Hotel, hidden away from curious eyes and with little hope of finding love. When money begins to disappear from the hotel, Ruth's entire livelihood is put at risk when she lands on the list of suspects.

Frank Henderson has at last succeeded in obtaining his dream job as head chef at the El Tovar. But competition in the kitchen is fierce, and one mistake could cost him his future. As the thefts at the hotel continue, and his affection for Ruth grows, Frank's career--and his heart--are in jeopardy.

As tensions run high, Ruth and Frank must work together to save the El Tovar. They find themselves growing closer . . . but can their combined ingenuity overcome the odds against them?

 

I've been waiting forever for Ruth's story, and this book was totally worth the wait! There might be a lot of chaos going on here (Let's just say I was getting some anxiety from all the mishaps... I'm sure the characters must've been feeling it even worse!) and there were a few times that I had to put it down for a second to catch my breath. I couldn't ever leave it more than a minute though, because I was just so strongly rooting for Ruth and Frank. The way this book ties up the series is a masterpiece. I felt like I knew that characters so well, even non-POV characters, like Mr. Owens. I also have a phrase stuck in my head now, and it's of the lifechanging variety, since I tend to have a slightly similar personality to Ruth at times: GRACE PLUS NOTHING. Isn't that great? Now, I do have two final things to say, and that is, I knew Oliver's secret pretty early on because I'm a naturally suspicious person and now I'm quite proud of myself, and secondly, while mostly unrelated, isn't there a saying about never trusting a skinny cook? I swear my Spidey senses were tingling as soon as the poor fellow was described. I know I've said this about all three books, but this time I mean it for real... this is the best book in the series! We're going out with a bang! (And a few other loud noises caused by the saboteur and his cronies...) Five stars well earned!


I received a copy of this book for review, but all opinions are my honest own.

A Mark of Grace is available for purchase as of Jan 3, 2023.