#BookReview: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin

cranberryAbout the Book
Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home?

My Review

What a perfect read to get you into the holiday spirit! From the cover, the cozy vibes of Stardust Lake Hotel and a heart-warming romance, I enjoyed Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky from start to finish. I loved the setting, and the backstory between Piper and Gabe was heartbreaking yet hopeful at the same time. There was plenty of interesting characters, including Gabe’s adorable daughter, and fun little plot twists along the way. If you are building your holiday reading list, make sure to add this one.

4 stars

#BookReview: A Season To Lie by Emily Littlejohn

a season to lieAbout the Book

In Emily Littlejohn’s follow-up to her acclaimed debut Inherit the Bones, a twisted killer stalks his prey in the dead of winter.

On a cold dark night in February, as a blizzard shrieks through Cedar Valley, police officer and new mother Gemma Monroe responds to an anonymous report of a prowler at the local private high school, The Valley Academy. In her idyllic Colorado small town, Gemma expects the call was just a prank by a bored teenager.

But there in the snow lies the savaged body of a man whose presence in town was meant to be a secret. And a disturbing message left by his killer promises more death to come.

This is only the beginning . . .

Nothing is as it seems in Cedar Valley and stories, both fact and fiction, ensnare Gemma as her investigation moves from the halls of an elite academy to the forests that surround Cedar Valley.

Against a backdrop of bleak winter weather, stymied by those who would lie to protect what is dearest to them, Gemma hunts a ruthless killer before he strikes again in A Season to Lie.

My Review

I do love me a good thriller, and got the vibes right away that I was going to enjoy A Season To Lie. I was easily pulled into the story, and the drama kicks off right away. I could tell that there was a novel prior to this (Inherit the Bones) because some of the back story was brought up, but this was easily read as a stand alone for me. I will say it made me want to read the first book for sure, because I really enjoyed Emily Littlejohn’s writing. Plenty of twists and turns, questionable characters, and a solid mystery that I didn’t piece together until just before the ending played out. I would recommend if you enjoy thriller style reads.

4 stars

#BookReview: Beautiful Messy Love by Tess Woods

beautiful messy loveAbout the Book

‘Not since Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi has an Australian author presented the cross-cultural challenges of new Australians quite so beautifully. Beautiful Messy Love is my pick for 2017 book of the year’ AusRom Today

When football star Nick Harding hobbles into the Black Salt Cafe the morning after the night before, he is served by Anna, a waitress with haunted-looking eyes and no interest in footballers, famous or otherwise. Nick is instantly drawn to this exotic, intelligent girl. But a relationship between them risks shame for her conservative refugee family and backlash for Nick that could ruin his career.

Meanwhile, Nick’s sister, Lily, is struggling to finish her medical degree. When she meets Toby, it seems that for the first time she is following her heart, not the expectations of others. Yet what starts out as a passionate affair with a man still grieving after his wife’s death slips quickly into dangerous dependency.

Scarred by tragedy each in their own way, these warm, hopeful couples must overcome prejudice and heartbreak to prove just how much they will give for beautiful messy love.

A gorgeous, hard-hitting novel that touches on celebrity, asylum, cultural integration and family tragedy, this is a book with heart and soul.

My Review

Tess Woods writes magic. Her debut, Love at First Flight, had me feeling all kinds of ways, and recommending it wherever I could. Beautiful Messy Love is no different. I was a bit worried because I started this book with really high expectations, and wondered if I set the bar too high for Tess. But I quickly realized there was no need for that fear. I started reading this book on a Friday night, and Sunday morning flipped the final page. It is an intense story with such emotional connections between not the only characters, but also the reader to the characters. It is a longer book, but I never felt that it was stretched on unnecessarily, or any scene didn’t move the story in some way. I love that Tess was able to jump months at a time so seamlessly throughout the book, without feeling the need to overdo the gaps, and continued to get straight to the point.  One of my favorite books of 2017, and one I highly recommend you add to your reading list.

5 stars