The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady [Book Review] #BlogTour

October 4, 2021

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady by Sharon J. Mondragón

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady by Sharon Mondragon (cover) a ball of yarn and two silver knitting needles

Genre/Categories: Christian Comtemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Friendship, Prayer, Ministry

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Out of your comfort zone and into the mall!

Thanks #NetGalley @KregelBooks and the I Read With Audra Blog Tour for a complimentary eARC of #TheUnlikelyYarnOfTheDragonLady upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry consists of four women (Controlling Margaret, Positive Rose, Hurting Jane, and Lonely Fran) who meet weekly in the lovely and quiet Prayer Chapel of their church to knit shawls for the prayer shawls ministry. When the pastor announces that the prayer chapel is being painted and they will need to find another place to sit and knit, he suggests they knit out in public somewhere like the local mall. Grumpy and difficult-to-love Margaret vehemently resists the idea of knitting in the mall with all its distractions. However, the others are open to the idea. After they get kicked out of the bookstore cafe (for never ordering anything), they find a satisfactory place to knit using the comfortable seating display in front of Macy’s department store. And, yes, there are distractions and encounters with the people they meet taking them out of their comfort zones in many ways.

My Thoughts:

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The House Swap [Book Review]

September 24, 2021

The House Swap by Jo Lovett

The House Swap by Jo Lovett (cover) Image: white text on a salmon background...graphic images of a young man and woman above the title

Genre/Categories/Settings: Light Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romance/Rom-Com, Luxury Flat in London/Beach House in Maine

My Summary:

Cassie needs to work with her agent in London for a few months and James needs a break from London and has work he can do in Boston. They meet on a house swapping website when each other’s home seems like the answer to their search. They are quite opposite in every way: personality, lifestyle, and attitudes. This deal leads to humorous communication and house swapping experiences. Do opposites attract?

My Thoughts:

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The Vanished Bride [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

September 2, 2021

The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis
#throwbackthursday

The Vanished Bride Review

Genre/Categories/Setting:  Historical Fiction, Siblings, Cozy Mystery, Yorkshire

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a historical fiction mystery, The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The Vanished Bride is the highly imagined story of the famous Brontë Sisters before they were authors. In 1845, when all four Brontë siblings return home to live with their father (for various reasons), Charlotte, Emily, and Anne hear about the disappearance and suspected murder of a young neighbor woman, they decide to become lady detectors and embark on an ambitious endeavor to solve the mystery. Relying on their resourcefulness, determination, energy, wits, cleverness, and creativity, they investigate, interrogate, analyze clues, and follow leads. The sisters need to pursue these activities without drawing attention to themselves because of the expectations for women and their roles at that time. Since they are already intrigued by the idea of becoming authors in a male-dominated field, they are already thinking outside the box and challenging boundaries. Although at times they need to involve their brother, most of the investigation is accomplished without the knowledge of their protective father. Will they solve the mystery of the vanished bride?”

Authentic and delightfully entertaining characterizations of the three Brontë sisters….

Continue here for my full review of The Vanished Bride…



QOTD:

Have you read The Vanished Bride or is it on your TBR?

#CoverReveal #BloomsburyGirls

September 1, 2021

Cover Reveal of Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

The internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world.

Bloomsbury Girls Cover Reveal Banner

Do you love Jane Austen?

One of my loveliest reads last year was The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, an imagined story inspired by the first meetings of the Jane Austen society that was formed to preserve and honor Austen’s work.

Bloomsbury Girls by Jenner is a “spin off” of The Jane Austen Society and builds a story featuring one of the interesting characters. A book about books, bookshops, and booksellers! Pub Date: 5/17/2022.

Book Description and Summary

“One bookshop. Fifty-one rules. Three women who break them all.”

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules.  But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry:  Single since her aristocratic fiancé was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances – most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she’s been working to support the family following her husband’s breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone:  In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she’s working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time – Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others – these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.

 Doesn’t this sound great?

Quotes From Author, Natalie Jenner

“I never intended for Evie Stone to be a major character in my debut novel, let alone inspire my second one, Bloomsbury Girls. But as time went on, I found I could not leave her behind in Chawton with the other society members. And then one day I rewatched a favourite movie, 84 Charing Cross Road, and I remember thinking, there’s a whole other story in here still to be told, of an upstairs-downstairs motley crew of booksellers, and right away the figures came to life.”

“As with The Jane Austen Society, Bloomsbury Girls features multiple characters and storylines revolving around one very charming location: this time, the quintessential Dickensian-type bookshop.”

“If The Jane Austen Society was the book I wrote when I was coming out of sadness, Bloomsbury Girls was written when I was very happy, and I hope it provides a little cheer to readers during this difficult time.

Meet the Author, Natalie Jenner

Author Natalie JennerNatalie Jenner is the author of two books, the instant international bestseller THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY and BLOOMSBURY GIRLS. A Goodreads Choice Award finalist for best debut novel and historical fiction, THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY was a USA Today and #1 national bestseller and has been sold for translation in twenty countries. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer, a career coach and, most recently, an independent bookstore owner in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

Cover Reveal!

Do you love the cover?

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner (cover) Image: three young women walking arm in arm toward the camera, pinkish/red text and a large pinkish/red blooming flower in the lower left corner

I already have Bloomsbury Girls on my Spring 2022 TBR! Look for my review on or near 5/17/2022.

What a pretty set these two books make!



QOTD:

Have you read The Jane Austen Society or is it on your TBR?

If you’ve read Jane Austen Society, does Bloomsbury Girls sound interesting?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© http://www.ReadingLadies.com

The Last Chance Library [Book Review]

August 30, 2021

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson (cover) Image: white block text on a blue background.....text forms 3 shelves which hold graphic images of books and library scenes

Genre/Categories/Settings: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Books About Books, Librarians, Library, English Village

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A shy, lonely, and quirky librarian, June Jones, and a colorful cast of characters band together to fight against the closure of their local public library. Can June find courage for the fight and forge true friendships?

My Thoughts:

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Snowflakes Over the Starfish Cafe [Book Review]

August 27, 2021

Snowflakes Over the Starfish Café by Jessica Redland

Snowflakes Over the Starfish Cafe by Jessica Redland (cover) Image: a young man and woman sit outside at a table near a rustic cafe near a cove of water and a lighthouse

Genre/Categories/Setting: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Family Life, Romance, North Yorkshire Coast

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @bookandtonic @boldwoodbooks for a complimentary eARC of #SnowflakesOverTheStarfishCafe upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Mum had built a legacy around warmth and friendship and I was determined to keep that going.”

Hollie has inherited the Starfish Cafe and works hard at retaining the traditional warmth and friendliness of the small, family-owned, community cafe where everyone knows your name. A fluffy, cute dog causes Hollie and Jake to meet. Both Hollie and Jake are dealing with loss and grief and are hesitant to risk love again. Will they find the courage to trust each other, build a strong friendship, move past loneliness and fear, and find love?

My Thoughts:

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Meet Me in Monaco [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

August 26, 2021

Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
#throwbackthursday

Meet Me in Monaco Review

Genre/Categories/Setting:  Romantic Historical Fiction, Royalty, Monaco (the French Riviera)

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a romantic historical fiction, Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Grace Kelly, Hollywood actress, and Prince Rainier of Monaco meet in the 1950s at the Cannes Film Festival, and their story is the backdrop of this imagined love story of a perfumer, Sophie Duval, and a British press photographer, James Henderson. As Sophie develops an exclusive perfume for Grace Kelly and James is an assigned photographer, the wedding of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer is the setting for the bittersweet and sometimes star-crossed romance of Sophie and James.

The subtitle needs some explanation in that this is a story INSPIRED by the Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier wedding; the wedding is simply a backdrop and not the primary story.

“To be a parfumeur is to be a keeper of memories, Sophie. Every scent will remind you of something, or someone.” 

Continue here for my full review of Meet Me in Monaco…



QOTD:

Have you read Meet Me in Monaco or is it on your TBR?

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

August 19, 2021

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal
#throwbackthursday

Unlikely Adventures of Shergill Sisters Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Sisters, Family Drama, India

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a family drama, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“To honor their mother’s dying wish, three Punjabi sisters travel to India on a pilgrimage to visit sacred places that are special to Mom and to scatter her ashes. Told from the three perspectives of three very different sisters, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters explores sibling relationships, modern vs traditional roles of women, secrets, and the importance of family.”

Can three very different sisters living three vastly different lives come together to honor their mother’s last dying wish of traveling to India and scattering her ashes?

Continue here for my full review of The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters…



QOTD:

Have you read The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters or is it on your TBR?

Our Italian Summer [Book Review]

August 13, 2021

Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst

Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst (cover) Image: a beautiful sunny Italian coast lined with villas

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Mothers/Daughters, Family Life, Italy

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Special thanks to Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den (@srbetler on Twitter and Bookstagram) for the giveaway win and a shout out to Gina @ Gina Rae Mitchell (@GinaRaeMitchell on Twitter and Bookstagram) for the recommendation!

With individual reasons for wanting or not wanting this trip, a grandmother, her daughter, and her granddaughter travel to Italy for a month’s summer vacation. Sophia, the grandmother, feels that this might be her last chance to visit her homeland and also hopes it will be an opportunity for her daughter and granddaughter to heal their relationship; Francesca, her daughter, is a workaholic and a single mom (by choice) and is suddenly having difficulty with Allegra, her teenage daughter. It’s the trouble that Allegra gets into that finally convinces Francesca that a trip to Italy might be the best option for them even though it will be difficult to extract herself from work. Although Sophia and Allegra are close and share a love of cooking, tensions run high for both of them when Francesca is around. Will this trip to Italy be Sophia’s dream of a lifetime? Most important, will this trip help heal relationships?

My Thoughts:

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Yours Cheerfully [Book Review]

August 10, 2021

Yours Cheerfully by A J Pearce

Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce (cover) Image: 2 women sit on a bench reading a newspaper with a London cityscape in the background

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, WW11, Women’s Fiction, London

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @ScribnerBooks for a complimentary eARC of #YoursCheerfully upon my request. All opinions are my own.

In this follow up to Dear Mrs. Bird, Emmeline Lake continues her journalism career as an advice columnist for Woman’s Friend magazine. Emmy’s best friend, Bunty, is reovering from her injuries and the loss of her fiance, and Emmy’s boyfriend is now stationed back in the U.K. The focus and intensity of this story changes as the Ministry of Information asks women’s magazines to help recruit female workers to the war effort. Emmy is thrilled to do her part, but then she is confronted with the very real challenges that women war workers face and takes a stand to support her new friends.

My Thoughts:

Even though Yours Cheerfully can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading Dear Mrs. Bird first for a richer reading experience. Dear Mrs Bird centers around the London Blitz and its affect on Londoners (bombings are a part of the story) and follows Emmy as she begins her journalism career, Yours Cheerfully focuses on the war effort from the perspective of women left behind and on Emmy’s activism. Yours Cheerfully is very much a “day in the life” type of story.

Do you ever create categories in your mind just for your own benefit? Just me?! In my own mind I think of Dear Mrs. Bird as light histfic and Yours Cheerfully as cozy histfic if that makes sense! What I’m trying to communicate is that I see a different degree of war intensity between the two books, but they are both upbeat and charming in tone.

Main Character: I admire Emmeline as the protagonist. I like a series that follows one character (as opposed to other series that rotate the protagonist of each story). We notice Emmeline’s growth as a competent and confident columnist, observe as she’s challenged by the unfairness of women’s work conditions, and cheer for her actions and involvement. Although Emmy has a fiance, the romance is not a main focus of the story.

Thoughtful themes include women supporting women, women and the War effort, women’s working conditions and equal wages, friendship, influence of news media on current issues, making a difference, and wartime romance.

Recommended: I’m warmly recommending Yours Cheerfully (and Dear Mrs. Bird) for readers looking for light, inspirational, and heartwarming WW11 historical fiction (closed door romance, no profanity, no graphic violence), for fans of fiesty and independent female protagonists, and for book clubs. I think I enjoyed Yours Cheerfully a bit more than Dear Mrs. Bird but that could be because I’ve become familiar with the characters, the setting, and the author. I’m definitely looking forward to more books in the Emmy Lake series!

My Rating:  3.5 (rounded to 4) Stars

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Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce (cover) Image: 2 young women sit on a low wall reading one newspaper

Yours Cheerfully Information Here

Meet the Author, A.J. Pearce

Author A.J. PearceAJ Pearce grew up in Hampshire, England. She studied at the University of Sussex and Northwestern University. A chance discovery of a 1939 women’s magazine became the inspiration for her international bestseller, Dear Mrs. Bird, the first novel in The Emmy Lake Chronicles series. She lives in the south of England.

 

 



QOTD:

Is Yours Cheerfully on your TBR or have you read it?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com