REVIEWS: Sam Joice reviews 3 great new reads!

by |August 27, 2018

sam joiceBellewether
by Susanna Kearsley

Review by Sam Joice

I was absolutely swept away by Susanna Kearsley’s latest novel.

A dual timeline novel, Belleweather alternates between Long Island 1759 and today. In 1759, America is at war and a captured French Canadian lieutenant is sent to live with a Long Island family until he can be exchanged. No one in the family wants ‘the enemy’ in their home. The daughter of the family, Lydia Wilde, is resistant, and unsure she can trust this stranger. But the longer Jean-Phillipe stays with family, the more he is drawn to Lydia. A relationship between the two is forbidden, but some within Lydia’s family are keeping secrets that could place them in even more peril.

In our time, Charley, a young historian, is working on turning Lydia’s family house into a museum, and discovers the story of Lydia and Jean-Phillipe. But how much of the legend is true?

An utterly enchanting story, rich in historical detail and gorgeously written. Bellewether is a romantic story of love and freedom, where the ghosts of the past reach out to the present,, perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Diana Gabaldon and Kate Forsyth.

Click here to order your copy of Bellewether


sam joiceDie Me a River
by Denise Swanson

Review by Sam Joice

A delightful small-town cosy mystery with a vibrant cast of characters, I was drawn into the story of new parents – school psychologist Skye and police chief Wally. Though this is the second book in the series, I was easily able to dive into the story.

In Scumble River, an explosion rips through the town’s bowling alley, but although it was closed at the time, a body has been discovered inside. While Wally is conducting an official investigation, Skye can’t help but do her own amateur sleuthing. Swanson layers a range of suspects and motives that provide an intriguing mystery and a satisfying resolution. A perfect read to curl up with on a lazy weekend.

Click here to order your copy of Die Me a River


sam joiceRocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas

by Katie Ruggle

Review by Sam Joice

I’m not going to lie, I was very drawn to the cover of this book! But try not to get too distracted – there’s also a lot to love inside Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas. This is a book that ticked the boxes of several of my favourite tropes.

Steve Springfield is back in his hometown – he’s now a single dad and widow, working with the the local firefighters and helping his brothers out on their ranch. Camille is a local artist and homebody, who makes sculptures out of scrap material she finds or buys from local ranch owners.

Camille is very shy – she hates attention, crowds and leaving her house. When she gets nervous, she tends to babble or cut people off abruptly. Far from annoying, these traits are written very authentically. I relate so hard to Camille’s tendency to ramble or straight up just want to go home. But, as Steve and Camille reconnect, she starts to come out of her shell.

Steve is a sweet, caring guy just trying to raise his kids after their mother passed away and he moved them to a new town. He’s a gooey caramel man – a beta hero but absolutely not a push over. Ruggle has a way of writing authentic characters – they aren’t perfect, but they feel real.

I enjoyed the mystery sub-plot of Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas and the ‘big reveal’ took me by surprise! Ruggle did a great job of using the suspense element to add atmospheric tension for the reader, while also using it to drive the plot to an exciting conclusion. Though I didn’t get the ending to the mystery I was expecting, I’m interested to see how it will affect events in future books.

I thoroughly enjoyed this small town romance and encourage you to have a go if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas with guy-next-door romance feels.

Click here to order your copy of Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas

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