Tag Archives: bestselling author

Book Review: The Santa Suit – A Charming Romance

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

Ivy Perkins’ dreams of living in a farmhouse situated in a small town have prompted her to purchase one sight unseen. As she approaches her dream home with her dog Punkin and a box of baby chicks, she realizes there may be some flaws in her new house that the pictures sent by the realtor did not show. That is the first sign that she may have bitten off more than she could chew.

Ezra Wheeler, the realtor, is there to welcome her. After helping her open the front door with a quirky lock, they walk into her new home. It is still full of the previous owner’s furniture, clothing and dishes as well as Christmas decorations. Apparently, her new home was renowned for the annual Christmas decorations. The former owners portrayed Mr. and Mrs. Claus every year. Ivy doesn’t have time for Christmas decorations this year. But when she finds the legendary Santa suit with an old note in it from a youngster, she feels something inside of herself telling her to find the child – now adult – that wrote it.

This is a delightful tale of a woman reborn into the life she always dreamt she wanted. The characters are quirky and fun. Ivy is a dreamer, and is determined to make her life and new farmhouse work out. She has to learn to adjust and fit in all the while staying true to herself. With the help of Ezra, the house is shaping up and he is becoming more attractive to Ivy every day.

Mary Kay Andrews has written 24 New York Times best-selling books. The Christmas Suit is destined to be #25. I have read many of her previous novels, enjoying each and every one. Her plots and characters are relatable and fun to read. I highly recommend this author and her newest novel.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2021 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Eternal – Must Read Historical Fiction

By Lisa Scottoline

Marco, Sandro and Elisabetta’s carefree lives as teenagers is about to change. Still in high school, one dreams of becoming a writer, one dreams of becoming a scholar and the other dreams of becoming more than the cyclist his father wants him to become. The love triangle between the three creates a bit of tension and a lot of playful flirting. But it is 1937, and unbeknownst to them, Italy is on the verge of war. This will dash their dreams and take away everything, even loved ones, in a tragic turn of fate.  

Survival is paramount. It is growing harder to find essentials as the war begins. While Marco and Elizabetta are struggling, things are exponentially harder for Sandro. He and his family are Jewish. When the Nazis arrive, many in their community will lose their jobs, homes and lives. The three friends are thrust apart by the war and by the choices they have made. At the beginning of the novel, the reader knows that at least one of them has survived. But what about the other two? You must read it to find out.

The plot is an engaging mix of true history and fiction. It reads like a novel, fast-paced and very interesting. But the underlying chill of the war, death and devastation is very real both in life and on the page. It is very sobering.

The characters are interesting and not always likeable, but I feel that is the author’s intent. Life doesn’t always have a happily ever after, but the characters growth and changes during the course of the war are realistic. The ending is very satisfying, staying with the reader long after the last pages are read.

Ms. Scottoline has skillfully taken us back into these dark times in Italy. She has carefully researched, bringing the reader into the events that happen with her realistic characters. Be sure to read her author’s note at the end of the book. There she differentiates between fiction and fact in the novel. Most of the characters are fiction. She states: “But much of what transpires in these pages is true to the past”. It is heart wrenching to read about Jewish families being rounded up and sent to Auschwitz like cattle, especially knowing that this is history, not fiction. But it is also a story that must be told so it is never forgotten or repeated.

I am a huge fan of Lisa Scottoline, having read many of her books. She is the best-selling, award winning author of over 30 books, and is known for her fabulous legal thrillers. There is a reason she is the beloved of many. Eternal is different than her other books, but is not to be missed; I highly recommend it.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2021 Laura Hartman

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