Bronte’s Mistress by Finola Austin

Bronte's Mistress

This dazzling debut novel for fans of Mrs. Poe and Longbourn explores the scandalous historical love affair between Branwell Brontë and Lydia Robinson, giving voice to the woman who allegedly corrupted her son’s innocent tutor and brought down the entire Brontë family.

This is a tale of Branwell Bronte and Lydia Robinson, the mistress of Thorp Green Hall. It is 1843 in Yorkshire and Lydia has suffered not one but two devastating losses this year. Her mother and her youngest daughter.

She doesn’t get much sympathy from her husband, who all but ignores her and the children, and to be honest, she isn’t a very sympathetic character. 

She already has one Bronte sister tutoring her teenage daughters but now has hired a tutor for her only son. And Branwell is the lucky chap. Down on his own luck, at loose ends and fighting his own demons while dealing with his own rather odd family.

He is very passionate about life, the theater, and music and regales them with tales of his sisters, but under the surface, you can just feel the rather manic energy and short temper. As the two begin an illicit relationship, he gets more and more erratic and Lydia knows she must end things to keep her own reputation intact and before those pesky sisters get involved.

 

NetGalley Review/ August 4th, 2020 by Atria Books

THE FIRST TO LIE by HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN

The First to Lie

Ryan is a genius at twisty, suspenseful writing! I felt the same way about this book as I do when all of my necklaces get tangled up in my jewelry box…I’m never going to get this untangled!

A daughter of privilege and wealth betrayed by the people who should have loved and protected her wants revenge and to get it she will have to be someone else.

A young, heartbroken widow. Betrayed in the same way.

A reporter trying to take down a big pharma company touting a drug that has horrific side effects. And doing it any way she can.

All it takes is a lie. But who will be the first to lie? And are any of them who they claim to be? And when the truth does come out, will one of them be the first to die?

Another crazy, suspense-filled tangle of a thriller!

NetGalley/ August 4th, 2020 by Forge Books/MacMillan

 

 

 

 

 

Ghost Ups Her Game by Carolyn Hart

Ghost Ups Her Game

A Bailey Ruth Ghost Novel #9

Bailey Ruth Raeburn is back in Heaven’s Department of Good Intentions. Busy dispatching heavenly emissaries to those in need of a bit of help. Satisfied with herself for doing such a heavenly job matching everyone up, she suddenly gets an emergency call for help from her hometown of Adelaide, Oklahoma.

Bailey wastes no time jumping aboard the train engine, she heads out quickly with Wiggins yelling in her ear!

All she knows is Iris Gallagher is in trouble and Bailey must help her.

A fun twist in this one is that Iris can see Bailey! All the time. And while Bailey Ruth tries to stick to the rules, she is barely skating by on this one. And when her good friend Sam arrests Iris for murder, Bailey does whatever she must to find a killer before he kills again!

Oh, Bailey Ruth! I do love this ghostly character. These characters are so well written and I can’t wait for the next one!

NetGalley Reviews/August 4th, 2020 by Severn House Publishers

 

THE CHRISTMAS FAIR KILLER by AMY PATRICIA MEADE

The Christmas Fair Killer

A TISH TARRAGON MYSTERY

It’s almost Christmas and the Hobson Glen Holiday Fair is upon us. Tish and crew are serving up delicious food and selling it like crazy. They are also catering the Williamsburg Theatre Group which is performing several shows a day.

Tish is at her finest creating memorable themed dishes. Very clever. To save time, Tish delivers the meals to the actors and ends up meeting a tight crew who have known and worked with each other forever. Well, not all of them have. And of course, that’s the one that Tish finds dead in her trailer.

Jenny Inkpen is not what she seems. Even her name is fake. But the look of fear and horror on her dead face is not fake. Someone hated her and wanted her dead. As Tish digs, politely, of course, she and her motley crew of friends find that everything isn’t as chummy as they claim to be. Secrets are behind every door and now they are seeing a ghost?

Severn House is one of my favorite publishers and their authors are some of my favorite authors. Ms. Meade is one of those and I absolutely love her characters! And this one has an ending that left me in tears and wanting to email her and ask what is up with that?

I’ll have to wait to find out.

NetGalley/ August 4th, 2020 by Severn House Publishers

 

The Love Scam by MaryJanice Davidson

The Love Scam

 

A rich playboy wakes up in Venice with the worst hangover of his life! And all of a sudden he has a daughter too.

This one had a lot of inconsistencies and I was confused and not amused during the entire book.

This one just needed a lot of pulling together of facts and plots.

NetGalley/August 4th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Griffin

 

 

Hello August! Please Be Gentle With Us!

Happy August! And Sunday!

This has been the strangest year so far. With the Plague, the Murder Hornets and Bounties on our troops, and everyone losing their everloving mind!

Let’s start with the plague. OU Boy and I had this before it had a name. It turned into pneumonia and while he bounced back, I did not. Six weeks of feeling horrible and finally just about the time they named it, I was better.

We went to the beach for a week in Texas and did not come into contact with anyone and we arrived home just as Texas became a hot spot.

On our days off we headed to a secluded lake and camped and hiked and turned off the news! Then one of the employees tested positive and came into work to tell us. SMH

So everyone got tested and they were all fine. And then I got it again. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Okay, that’s probably not true. Trump and his entire crime family could have it. It was bad. My doctor told me I was wheezing and put me on a nebulizer and steroids and the Z pac. Then told me I should probably go to the hospital.

I did not listen as I knew there were really sick and contagious people there. So home we go and I used the breathing machine for 4 solid days but tossed the meds. I tried explaining that it was swimsuit season and steroids make me bloat and I was allergic to the antibiotic. Finally this week I felt human. I was floating in my pool with a mask every day. So that explains where I have been. Much the same as everyone we are still in limbo with work and why in the world people keep coming from Texas and Florida and Iowa and complaining because Marriott is requiring a mask or you can leave. Some people have been downright violent. The world has lost its mind.

Curacao is still not letting us in so we have rebooked for November hoping we can, at last, get back. I hope you have all been well and I have missed reading your thoughts and adventures!

See you tomorrow!

xx P

THE NIGHT SWIM by MEGAN GOLDIN

The Night Swim

True Crime Podcasts are all the rage at the moment. And Rachel Krall has become an overnight success with hers after helping to set an innocent man free. She receives tons of mail and e-mails begging for her help solving cases and while her voice is distinctive and recognizable, her face is not. Not everyone is a fan and she takes care to keep herself safe.

On her way to cover a rape trial in Neapolis, she finds an envelope under her windshield at an out of the way diner. Creepy. But it seems to be just someone going that extra step to ask for help.

In the meantime, she discovers the town is quite divided and secretive. The accused rapist is a swimmer on the way to Olympic greatness with a family who is very shady. The girl, the granddaughter of the former police chief.

Rachel is determined Season Three of her podcast will be a success and is determined to dig in and do her homework before the trial begins. But the mysterious letters keep appearing. In her locked hotel room, her car and Rachel is intrigued.

Hannah Stills is begging for Rachel to help find who killed her 16-year-old sister twenty-five years ago. Officials say she drowned. But there is no police report or autopsy report. Hannah was only ten years old when this happened and her mother died soon after. But she never forgot what she saw and heard. Or the threats.

When Rachel begins to ask questions she is met with silence. But when she uncovers similarities in the old case and the new one, she digs in to find justice for both girls and in the process may not have worry about Season 3!

Small towns have a way of protecting the rich and connected and demonizing anyone different. What these men did was horrific and unforgivable and the sad part is they may get away with it a second time.

Always a thrill ride with Goldin! I absolutely loved it!

NetGalley/ August 4th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

behind the red door by Megan Collins

Behind the Red Door: A Novel

From the author of The Winter Sister, comes this psychological thriller that seriously messed with my head!

Fern had an unorthodox upbringing to say the least! There are gaps in her memory and one day watching the news she sees a story about Astrid Sullivan, 34, and missing. But this isn’t the first time she has gone missing. Fern is positive she knows this woman. Scraps of memories bring nightmares that feel real.

Fern’s husband is convinced she is probably just remembering reading the first story as it happened near her childhood home. But Fern isn’t so sure.

When her distant father asks her to come home to help him clear out the house, she should have just hung up the phone!

I really don’t want to say a lot about the story. It is too wickedly twisted and you should have the joy of discovering what I did. And OMG! I just thought my family was screwy!

A great followup to The Winter Sister!

NetGalley/ August 4th, 2020 by Atria Books

 

 

 

Tea & Treachery, A Tea by the Sea Mystery by Vicki Delaney

Tea & Treachery (Tea by the Sea Mysteries #1)

In this charming new cozy mystery series from nationally bestselling author, Vicki Delany, a New York City expat-turned-Cape Cod tea shop owner must solve the murder of a local real estate developer to help her feisty grandmother out of a jam
. . .
It was a wonderful surprise to find out Delany had a new series out! And it’s a tea room by the sea.
Lily Robers is one busy lady! As the owner and head pastry chef at her little tea room Tea by the Sea, you can have traditional English Tea and a view of Cape Cod. She is always running between her grandmother, Rose’s Bed, and Breakfast which she helps out in the mornings.
Rose is one great character. She may be elderly but she isn’t dead yet and until she is she will fight with all of her might to not let the sketchy Jack Ford buy the property next door to put up some golf course/resort. For a small old lady, she is not one to mess with.
Everyone thinks there is something fishy about Jack so it seems appropriate that he is found dead on the beach having fallen down the stairs on Rose’s property.
It looks like the police are railroading Rose and not looking anywhere else. But boy oh boy are there a lot of places to look! No one liked this man. NO. ONE. A con man and a slimeball, there are so many suspects Lily may never get her Grandmother out of hot water!
This is the first in a new series. And I loved every minute of it. The characters are so well done and I can’t wait for the next one!
NetGalley Reviews/July 28th, 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

 

 

CROSSINGS by ALEX LANDRAGIN

Crossings

Crossings is an unforgettable and explosive genre-bending debut—a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning a hundred and fifty years and seven lifetimes.

Paris. About to be overrun with Nazis is not the best place for a not only German man but a Jewish one as well. As all-around is chaos and fear, a courier arrives at his bookbinding shop with a manuscript from a Baronness who would like it re-bound in the red leather she sends with it.

Inside are three stories, very unlikely tales. When the Nazis arrive the manuscript is forgotten for a bit and when he retrieves it he keeps it. Later he learns it can be read two ways. Straight through or in a very different way. The fantastical tale is hard to believe and takes us all over the world. The one commonality is Charles Baudelaire. He wrote at least the first one and a lot of this content is about him and a mysterious woman.

That is all I am saying here. This was something I have never seen a writer attempt. The word Epic comes to mind. The planning and detail this took are beyond anything I’ve seen.

Personally, I read it both ways and understood everything just fine. Although at one point I took a few notes to keep everyone straight.

Historical Fiction mixed with fact and fantasy. Well Done!

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press July 28,2020