Code Name Hélène (by Ariel Lawhon) … more about Nancy Wake’s relationship with Henri Fiocca

I love WWII historical fiction books. And I was excited at the opportunity to read this one since it was about Nancy Wake. I was looking forward to story that was full of danger, bravery, and intrigue. Unfortunately, this was focused more on Nancy’s relationship with Henri Fiocca…more of a romance novel. The author should be commended on the amount and quality of research she conducted. However, the manner in which she presented Nancy Wake drew away from the extraordinary influence she had on bringing an end of Hitler’s horrendous acts. I felt like Nancy’s reputation was tarnished by focusing on aspects that did not highlight her extreme bravery and willingness to be such an integral part of the French Resistance. I believe I am in the minority in my low opinion of the book, so I would encourage you to read it for yourself to see if it appeals to you.

Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

A Fatal Family Feast ~ Farm-to-Fork #6 (by Lynn Cahoon) … great clues sprinkled throughout the pages

I have loved the books in the Farm-to-Fork series and this one does not disappoint. The characters are well developed and I enjoy the relationships that have evolved. This book will grab you from the first page and the murder mystery will keep you invested in the story. There are great clues sprinkled throughout the pages. You can’t help but cheer on the Scooby Team as they do their best to prove Estebe’s innocence and discover who is guilty of the crime. I can’t wait for the next adventure with Angie, Ian, Felicia, and Estebe and the rest of the County Seat gang.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lyrical Press for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Orphan Collector (by Ellen Marie Wiseman) … interesting historical fiction

This book was interesting to read at this point in history as we struggle with the worldwide epidemic of COVID. The issues of race and bigotry are brought forth. The details about the Spanish flu was interesting and provided information of which I was not aware. The character of Bernice was simply evil. Her prejudices were overwhelming and led her to be a very bitter woman. I also had some issues with Pia’s sixth sense of who was ill just by touching them. This was an emotionally challenging book to read. It is a difficult story but is one that I think would appeal to fans of historical fiction.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing Corporation for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Hope Lies Ahead: Encouragement for Parents of Prodigals from a Family That’s Been There (by James Banks and Geoffrey Banks) … interesting and emotional read

This is an interesting and emotional read. I love the way the chapters are split with the viewpoint of dad, James, and then the son, Geoff. They each share about life as the parent of an addict or the person who is the addict. And each point of view is important to know. While I can imagine life as a part of a child who suffers with an addiction (by the grace of God I haven’t had to experience that), I had no idea the physical, psychological, and mental challenges a person with addictions faces. If you are a parent of a prodigal, a person who is a prodigal, deal with prodigals, or know someone who does, this is a must read for you!

Thank you to NetGalley and Our Daily Bread Publishing for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Cross Her Heart ~ Bree Taggert #1 (by Melinda Leigh) … the story will grab your attention

This story will grab your attention from the very beginning and holds on tight until the very end. I love the characters and how well developed they are and the relationships that grow or develop. The mystery was handled well and kept you guessing until the end. Though there is a spark of a possible romance between Bree and Matt, it is not over the top but just a nice hopeful future in store for them. I can’t wait for the next episode in this series.

Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Egg Shooters ~ Cackleberry Club #9 (by Laura Childs) … delightful cozy mystery

I have enjoyed the books I’ve read in this series. It’s a delightful cozy mystery. You are drawn in from the beginning and all of the drama and crazy antics of Suzanne and Toni keep you interested. Between the hijackings and drug thefts, you also enjoy hanging out with the gang at The Cackleberry Club. The characters are well developed and, even though this is the 9th book in the series, you could read it as a standalone. This book had a couple of mysteries going at the same time which I enjoyed. My one negative comment is that I thought Suzanne was a little reckless in getting involved in solving the mysteries. It would have been more entertaining for her to accidentally show up in situations than to intentionally commit crimes to assist in solving the bigger crimes.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Books for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Last House on the Street (by Diane Chamberlain) … emotional dual timeline book

I enjoy dual timeline books and the author has done an excellent job of having you invested in each time period. As someone who grew up during times of racial tension in North Carolina, I could relate to the earlier time in the book. I was impressed by Elli’s sense of justice and her willingness and dedication to the cause of allowing blacks the right to vote. I think we have too easily forgotten the fear the families experienced as they only wanted something that was a right … not a privilege. The present day storyline is also wrought with emotion. The tears were streaming down my face and I found myself gasping in horror and shock. And what a twist at the end. Though not an easy and light read, it is definitely one to put on your to-be-read list.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Last Dogs (by Joe Siple) … young adult book that would appeal to adults

Though this is a book for young adults, I enjoyed it very much. The characters … both human and canine … were well developed. I loved the relationships already established … between Ashley and Mason … as well as the ones that developed along the way. The story brings to light how science can go awry and things are manipulated so that people are misled into believing that dogs are dangerous creatures. The pace of the story is handled well and keeps you flipping through the pages quickly to see how things will end.

Thank you to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

999 ~ The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz (by Heather Dune Macadam) … different WWII historical fiction focus

I love books about WWII. This one was a different focus about the first women transported to Auschwitz. These 999 young women were misled to believe they were helping the government. However, the interviews the author conducts reveals the atrocities they experienced. And while some survived, due to the evil reign of Hitler, making it home was not a positive experience. The research conducted by the author is astounding and admirable.

Thank you to NetGalley and Citadel Press for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Show Me the Bunny ~ Melanie Travis Canine #29 (by Lauren Berenson) … an enjoyable read

This is the first book I’ve read in the Melanie Travis series. But it was interesting and entertaining enough that I will go back and read previous books. The characters are well developed and I loved their interactions. This had a great mystery as the premise. Melanie and the dogs make for an enjoyable read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing Corporation for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.