Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Review: What Holds Us Together by Sandi Ward

From the author of The Astonishing Thing and Something Worth Saving comes a tender, wise, and insightful novel of a family cat, a second chance, and the love that persists through the deepest heartache . . .

They say that cats don't like change. But Luna, an imaginative tabby, understands that sometimes it's necessary. When her owner, Annika, moved back to her small New England hometown six months ago along with her sixteen-year-old twins, Luna knew it was for the best. Ever since Annika's husband, Peter, died suddenly, the family has been floundering. Luna, too, is guilt-ridden, sure she could have done more to save her favorite person. Luna also knows something the others don't know. Peter's spirit is still with them, and Luna believes there is something he needs her help to do . . .

Annika has been struggling to move on. It doesn't help that her son, Donovan, blames her for his father's death. Peter always told Annika that they had the best love story going, yet the fact is that much of their story has been hidden away, even from their children. When Annika's first love, Sam, arrives to plow them out during an intensifying storm, the truth begins to emerge at last. And Luna--watchful and unwavering in her affection--may be her family's best hope of learning how to forgive and to heal . . .

My Review: 

If you have read any of Sandi Ward’s books in the past, you don’t want to miss this one.  As the others, it features a beautiful cat on the cover and a heartfelt family story. 

After Annika’s husband, Peter, suddenly dies in his sleep, she moves back to her family home with her twin teenagers and their cat, Luna.  Only Luna knows Peter is still with them.  She can see and communicate his ghost.  While trapped at home during a snow storm, along with Annika’s high school boyfriend and his brother, Luna helps her family heal from their loss.  Annika also learns to trust in love again.  

This was an enjoyable, and emotional, book and I liked how it was told from different points of views, including Luna’s.  The story switches from the present to the past, telling Annika’s story about her life with Peter, Sam and the troubled relationship with her sister, Lisa.  The author fully uses her imagination to weave a tale that is unexpected and highly memorable.  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. 

Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.      

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Review: Christmas Contract for His Cinderella by Jane Porter

December in the brooding Sicilian’s castle…

Spending the holidays with the man who broke her heart is Monet’s worst nightmare. But when commanding Marcu’s children urgently need a nanny, she can’t refuse. Landing back in his aristocratic world, where free-spirited Monet never belonged, is bittersweet torture…

Marcu doesn’t anticipate his overly ordered life being disrupted by the enchanting woman Monet’s become. Duty has always dictated his actions, making Monet, with her infamous family history, strictly forbidden. But when their long-simmering passion burns intensely enough to melt the snow, will Marcu finally claim his Christmas Cinderella…?

My Review:

A magical Christmas romance.

Monet Wilde spent her teenage years in the Uberto palazzo in Palermo where she fell in love with Marcu Uberto only to end up with a broken heart.  With a loan and a plane ticket to London, Monet put the Uberto family way in the back of her mind.  She worked hard for her new life managing the bridal department at a department store.

The last thing Monet wanted to do was to leave her job at the peak of the busy Christmas season.  But she owed Marcu a favor and when he asked Monet to repay it, he wouldn’t take no for an answer.  He needed her as a temporary nanny to his three children while he set off on a Christmas holiday to propose to his girlfriend.  But when old memories and feeling return, anything can happen.

I got totally swept away in this book.  Everything from the characters to the setting, in the Italian Alps, was just right.  I couldn’t ask for more.  There were a lot of memorable scenes.  Of course this is a romance book and I was glad to see Monet and Marcu get their happily ever after, but the children are such a big part of the story too.  I couldn’t help but fall for them just like Monet did.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a feel-good Christmas romance.