An e book bargain for January 12, 2021

My earlier review

For me, this novel provides a perfect escapist read; it has appealing settings, multiple characters and plot lines, complications, resolutions…and of course, love.
Settings: The story opens and ends in France at a beautiful chateau that has become a hotel. Much happens between two visits to that countryside. The rest of the novel takes place in the U.K., partly in Cornwall, a place that comes vividly into being with the water, the cafes, the shops, etc. Readers also spend time in other locations including Bristol. (I enjoyed my visit back to the suspension bridge via the book.)
So many characters: Lainey and Kit: Good friends who come to work for a family in Cornwall. They pretend to be a married couple to get the job. Will they be discovered? What will happen then? Who does each belong with?
Sir Richard: an eighty-year old well-loved actor who is egotistical, eccentric and was a playboy. What surprising new relationship will come to him?
Majella: the widow of Sir Richard’s son. She does her scattered best to take care of her children while hoping to move on to a new romance. FYI: She has some real clunkers of dates. Majella’s children are secondary characters and each has his/her own personality.
Seth: he runs a tourist agency that readers will wish was real. A ladies man, he has never found “the one.” Will he by the end of the story? Also, is there something to know about his parentage?
Wyatt: He proposed to the lovely Penny who turns him down. Why? Will he ultimately be happier? Will she?
There are many strands to tie together over the course of the novel as readers watch the characters deal with the secrets in their lives. Throughout, Ms. Mansell has a light touch and kept me happily turning the pages.
Many years ago when I first ordered a book to be sent to me via the wonders of the internet and international purchasing, I picked a Jill Mansell title. This author’s ability to combine humor and heart have not diminished over her many publications.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

They’re on the case! Bryant & May: Oranges and Lemons

A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

by Christopher Fowler

#BryantMayOrangesandLemons #NetGalley

To begin with, I love the cover of this novel. I find it to be both nostalgic and engaging in its appeal. It puts the reader in just the right mood to enjoy the latest Bryant and May novel. These two are not your average detectives but, rather, are full of idiosyncrasies. This is hardly surprising as they work for the Peculiar Crimes Unit.

This entry involves a politician on St. Clement’s Day. What follows is a complicated adventure with nursery rhyme connections. The virtual armchair traveler will also enjoy the London setting.

This is a long running series. Those new to Bryant and May can still enjoy this title although they may want to go back to read all of the others upon finishing this book.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

Time for bed: The Magic of Sleep

A fascinating guide to the world of slumber

by Vicky Woodgate

#TheMagicofSleep #NetGalley

I really like this comprehensive and attractively illustrated book on sleep. It is geared towards kids and includes a lot of information. Just some of the topics briefly covered include sleeping positions, larks & owls, stage of sleep, dreams, nightmares, beds through time, the night sky, sleep in numbers, tips for better sleep and more. Plus, a cute kitten guides readers through the pages. Each section is short and this book can be read in order or flipped through.

Help a child you know to sleep better by sharing this title.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Pub Date 02 Mar 2021

Let’s look:

Find My Favorite Things


DK Children

#FindMyFavoriteThings #NetGalley

This search and find book is sure to be enjoyed by children. Each two page spread features a location that kids will find appealing. There are pages on the park, toy store, market and beach. Young ones can search for objects in each location. There are also characters who appear in every scene to find and some questions for additional searching as, for example, looking for who lost a red kite and what happened to it.

This title’s creators offer excellent suggestions about how to help a child to get the most from this book. Their suggestions are practical and helpful.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

Pub Date 02 Mar 2021   

Mark your calendar if you enjoy women’s fiction: The Bookstore on the Beach

A Novel

by Brenda Novak

#TheBookstoreontheBeach #NetGalley

Pub Date 06 Apr 2021

The Bookstore at the Beach is the second title that I have read by Ms. Novak, following her earlier novel, One Perfect Summer. As was true of that book, this is a long (448 pages) story that is filled with plot and character.

Readers follow and get to know the lives, struggles and joys of three generations of women from one family. The oldest is Mary. She runs a bookstore in a small town and leads a fairly insular life. Mary is not a risk taker. Why? What happened to her in the past that formed her attitudes and character? No spoilers so you have to read the book to find out.

Next up is Autumn, Mary’s daughter. She has come with her two children to spend time with Mary over the summer. Readers learn early on that Autumn’s husband has been missing for nineteen months, most likely related to his travel in Ukraine. Should Autumn hold on to hope that he will come back or…should she again become involved with her high school crush who lives in the town where Autumn is summering?

Finally there is Taylor, Autumn’s daughter. She was feeling numb and engaged in sexual activity without using birth control. Is she pregnant? If yes, how will this define her life? There is also a strong plot line about Taylor’s friendship with Sierra as Taylor wonders if she is in love with her.

The author holds onto all of the many plot strands without losing any of them. She tells a story that has some depth and that held my interest.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

Editorial Reviews


“The Bookstore on the Beach is a page-turner with a deep heart. You’ll cheer for these admirable, complicated women. You’ll be breathless (and smiling) when you read the surprising end. (Don’t peek!)”—Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Girls of Summer

“This heartwarming story of sisters who bond as adults is sure to please the many fans of Novak as well as those who enjoy books by Susan Mallery and Debbie Macomber.”—Library Journal on One Perfect Summer

“I adore everything Brenda Novak writes. Her books are compelling, emotional, tender stories about people I would love to know in real life.”—RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author

Heartwarming, life-affirming, page-turning…I can always count on Novak to make me weep, laugh and fall in love!”—Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author

An e book bargain for January 10, 2020 Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Lethal White (Cormoran Strike Book 4)

My earlier review:

Last year I was so excited to learn that there was going to be a new Robert Galbraith book.  I purchased the novel as soon as it came out and then held on to it for quite a while before reading.  It was worth the wait for me.

The Strike books are best read in order although a new reader could pick this one up and still enjoy it. Long term readers of the series may feel, as I do, that the novels are to be savored for the relationship between the protagonists.  Since Robert Galbraith is J K Rowling, a master plotter, I am sure that she knows where she is going to take us in their (not quite) romance.

Along with catching up with Robin and Matthew (and Sarah) and Strike, there is a mystery to solve.  What did Billy see?  How does it relate to the troubled family of the Minister for Culture?  How does this plot intersect with that of the blind minister who is involved in sport and her sleazy husband?  Who is the murderer in the present?

Set in London, Parliament, country estates and the country the book has many settings.  Politics and the London Olympics are the background.

The novel is long, very long, but I was happy to stay within the pages of this book as I both eagerly awaited the denouement and yet, did not want the book to end.   I am already looking forward to the next in this series.

Have you read this one?  Did you enjoy it?  I would be interested to know your thoughts.

Another view:

“At times you might feel as you did when reading the Harry Potter books, particularly later in the series, when they got longer and looser. You love the plot, and you love being in the company of the characters, and you admire the author’s voice and insights and ingenuity, and you relish the chance to relax into a book without feeling rushed or puzzled or shortchanged…. Long live the fertile imagination and prodigious output of J.K. Rowling.”―The New York Times