Sunday, January 28, 2024

While the City Sleeps (The Women of Midtown #1) by Elizabeth Camden

While the City Sleeps (The Women of Midtown #1) 
By Elizabeth Camden 
Published by Bethany House 
Publication Date: February 13, 2024 

Description from the publisher: 
Katherine Schneider's workaday life as a dentist in 1913 New York is upended when a patient reveals details of a deadly plot while under the influence of laughing gas. As she is plunged into danger, she seeks help from the dashing Lieutenant Jonathan Birch, a police officer she has long admired from afar. 
Jonathan has harbored powerful feelings toward Katherine for years but never acted on them, knowing his dark history is something she could never abide. Now, with her safety on the line, he works alongside her through the nights as they unravel the criminal conspiracy that threatens her. And throughout it all, Jonathan fears what will happen should Katherine ever learn his deepest secrets. 
Join award-winning author Elizabeth Camden for a sweeping and romantic adventure of dangerous secrets and wounded hearts fighting to overcome the darkness while the rest of the city sleeps. 

My review: 
Although I'm very much a character-driven reader, I think the plot stole the show for me in this book! I was really drawn in by the mystery/supense and trying to figure out who is out to silence Katherine as well as cause destruction around NYC. Following along with the clues and theories and policework just really hooked me, as did so many interesting historical details (like about dentistry in the early 1900s and the all-female Martha Washington hotel). I did also like the characters, although there were also times I found both of them to be a bit irritating--likely because they were so realistic and sometimes did things that drove me up a wall! (I think their actions totally fit with their characters, so that's not a criticism of the writing; it's just a comment about how they weren't these practically perfect people who always did everything right.) I was glad to see things work out for them in the end. 
4 stars. 
 I read a DRC from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Embers in the London Sky by Sarah Sundin

Embers in the London Sky
By Sarah Sundin
Published by Revell
Publication Date: February 6, 2024

Description from the Publisher:
As the German army invades the Netherlands in 1940, Aleida van der Zee Martens escapes to London to wait out the Occupation. Separated from her three-year-old son, Theo, in the process, the young widow desperately searches for her little boy even as she works for an agency responsible for evacuating children to the countryside. 
 When German bombs set London ablaze, BBC radio correspondent Hugh Collingwood reports on the Blitz, eager to boost morale while walking the fine line between truth and censorship. But the Germans are not the only ones Londoners have to fear as a series of murders flame up amid the ashes. 
The deaths hit close to home for Hugh, and Aleida needs his help to locate her missing son. As they work together, they grow closer and closer, both to each other and the answers they seek. But with bombs falling and continued killings, they may be running out of time. 

My Review:
World War II is such a fascinating era, and I can't get enough of learning about different experiences during the war, so I was hooked by seeing a mother, a refugee herself, looking for her son while helping to encourage parents in London to evacuate their children to the country for their safety alongside a BBC radio correspondent. Those aspects of history were so interesting--and then the characers themselves were wonderful. I loved how Aleida was determined to find her son and used her organizational skills to try to find him. Hugh was really endearing, with his asthma and his feeling of constantly disappointing his parents as he tries to do what he loves making him so realistic. Their romance was sweet, albeit subtle. While some of the plotlines (there are four murders in the book), the writing is never graphic. All in all, an interesting mystery, a sweet romance between lovable characters, and awesome historical details made this a terrific book! 

 4.5 stars. 

I read a DRC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Devoted Hearts series by Sally Britton

 I mentioned in a previous post that I'd been catching up on my to-read list...well, during December, I read/listened to the entire Devoted Hearts series by Sally Britton and loved each story! I won't give a review of each book, but I will say I'm not a binger, and yet, I binged this series. I actually started with the seventh book because I was looking through my un-read Kindle books for Christmas stories, and it's a Christmas novella. Well, I enjoyed that so much that I looked at the Libby app to see which books in the series my library might own as audiobooks (the fastest way for me to get through books) and was delighted to see that all of them were available (well, I had to put them on hold but they were all eventually available for me). Luckily for me, I didn't have to wait too long for them to come in and I got busy listening to them. I absolutely tore through these books because I enjoyed them so much!

Here are the books:

Prequel: Martha's Patience
Book 1: The Social Tutor
Book 2:The Gentleman Physician
Book 3: His Bluestocking Bride
Book 4: The Earl and His Lady
Book 5:Miss Devon's Choice
Book 6: Courting the Vicar's Daughter
Book 7: Penny's Yuletide Wish

The narrator was terrific for each book that I listened to, and I loved the characters. You don't have to read them in order, but it does add some depth to see what happened in previous books. 

Five stars for the series! All clean reads and just so much fun to read!