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.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Review: When Tomorrow Came by Hannah Linder

Nan and Heath Duncan, siblings abandoned by their papa and abused by their guardian, have no choice but to survive on the London streets. When a kind gentleman rescues Nan from such a life, the siblings are separated and raised in two vastly different social worlds. Just when both are beginning to flourish and years have healed some of their wounds, their long-awaited papa returns and reunites them—bringing demands with him. Nan is expected to marry a rich suitor she’s never liked, and Heath is expected to forsake his gentle spirit and become the hardened man his father always was.

Dangers unfold, secret love develops, fights ensue, and murder upsets the worlds Heath and Nan have built for themselves.

They’ve waited their whole lives for their papa to return, for tomorrow to come—but now that it has, will they be able to see through to the truth and end this whirlwind of a nightmare before it costs one of their lives?   

 I've sort of gotten myself into a rut recently... one where I'm not always keen to try new authors. However, Kimberley Woodhouse raved on this book and I just had to try it. I adored it! One thing you know I'm fond of are stories with children or adoption/found family themes, and this had that in spades. I also loved that the only POVs were the "children." I think, especially at the beginning, that this helped to really feel the characters. Now, I read some other reviews saying that they didn't much care for Nan, but she was my favorite POV, with Gilbert a close second. There was just something about her that I adored. I think the story was a unique one, and not your typical gothic novel. I think the author's style is so fresh and I enjoyed it. I love all the character that she put into the Stanhope family, the parents and Charlotte, as well as Gilbert and Nan. I do think that Lord Humphries and his family were very very strange. They were giving Pride and Prejudice vibes very strongly. Everything sort of made sense at the end, but it took so long for me to be able to put two and two together and sort that whole mess out. The sailor dad also uses "bloody" a ton. It might be his favorite word ever. The one thing that had me off kilter for the middle half of the book and here's your WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!!! I just couldn't get over Gilbert falling for Nan after being raised as siblings for a dozen years. That weirded me out for the longest time. Eventually, I got on board with it, but it was an uphill struggle for a minute... SPOILER ENDED 

Overall, I adore this book and the characters. I wish I could have held on to them just a little longer. If all regency were like this, I'd read a lot more of it. I also wanted to share my favorite quote from this story:

"Whatever troubles you this day, the Lord thy God would like to know. He may not always change it, but He certainly showers it with grace."

I received a review copy through NetGalley, but was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my 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.