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Map of the Heart: Susan Wiggs

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Book blurb

An accomplished photographer, widow, and mother, Camille Palmer is content with the blessings she’s enjoyed. When her ageing father asks her to go with him to his native France, she has no idea that she’s embarking on an adventure that will utterly transform her.

Returning to the place of his youth sparks unexpected memories—recollections that will lead Camille’s family back to the dark, terrifying days of the Second World War, where they will uncover their family’s surprising history.

My review

Short: buy this book, you won’t regret it

Long

I’m not sure I can even begin to tell you how much I loved this book. Susan Wiggs has long been one of my favourite writers but she has surpassed herself. As a writer, and I suppose you could say a fellow connoisseur of words, I appreciate good writing, well-rounded characters and extraordinarily plotting. For a book to grab me and glue me to my chair to the exclusion of all else it has to also have an extra dollop of magic – this book has it all. It’s a romance. It’s a mystery. It’s a YA. It’s an historical thriller.

Finn, trying to work out what happened to his father ropes in expert photographer, old film developer and widow, Camille. But the story quickly switches to war torn France and the mystery that surrounds Camille’s grand- parents. This is well-rounded, well-worded and totally engrossing. If you fell in love with The Letter (Kathryn Hughes)  then this is for you.

PS,  I adore the cover

Available here

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Cover reveal: Englishwoman at Christmas

 

Book blurb

Holly Branch has it all. She’s rich, famous and beautiful but, after a disastrous early marriage, she’s also deeply distrustful of men, all men…

Lord Oliver Ivy has it all. He’s rich, titled and handsome. He’s also a world renowned plastic surgeon, or he was… Now he’s an emotional wreck seeking solace in the bottom of a whiskey bottle.

When fate decides to play a trick on these two strangers, by dumping them in Cornwall in the middle of a snow storm, fate gets a shock…

Out 31st October and available to pre-order from Amazon for 99p here

About this book

I’m delighted to be revealing the cover of my next book on such a special day, my twins birthday. When they asked me a couple of months ago if they could have a book dedicated to them, of course I agreed. But they probably didn’t realise I’d fill it with as many twins as I could…

In a way I’m going back to my roots with Englishwoman at Christmas because it’s does have a strong medical slant with Lord Ivy being a plastic surgeon.  But he’s not just any old plastic surgeon, he’s a reconstructive surgeon and his speciality? Conjoined twins. He heads up a specialist unit with someone you may have heard of? Professor Mitch Merrien – the male lead in my first romance, Ideal Girl – a book that will always be special.

But that’s not all that’s special, or should I say personal about Englishwoman at Christmas. When I was looking around for a setting I was heavily influenced by thoughts of my own romance as it’s coming up to our 25th wedding anniversary soon. We spent our honeymoon in Polruan, a small village just across Fowey on the estuary. Polruan was the perfect honeymoon idyll. It’s not touristy simply because it’s not the easiest of places to get to unlike its more popular counterparts. But, for us, that made it all the more special, after all, three’s a crowd on a honeymoon.

 

 

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Moonlight Over Manhattan: Sarah Morgan

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Book Blurb

Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog-walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list – dealing with Madi’s temporary dog-sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.

Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi – how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple – he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide 24-hour care. But there’s nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.

Available from October here

My review

Sarah Morgan has long been one of my favourite writers. Her ability to weave words on a blank page is renowned and it wasn’t me that coined the phrase magician with words, but it could have been.

Moonlight over Manhattan is a charming tale of strength over adversary. Harriet and Fliss are twins: we have already found out Fliss’s tale in holiday in the Hamptons, a summer hit for Sarah. Now, it’s Harriet’s turn. Harriet is the shy twin, she also suffers from a speech dysfluency, or stammer if you like.  Now this, for me is where the story got a little freaky. As a parent of twins, one of whom suffers from a speech dysfluency I think you’ll agree that I wasn’t able to view this from a position of neutral.  I was all for being super critical but I was left eating my words (no pun intended) and can only comment on the indepth level of research that has been undertaken. The story grabbed me from page one and, although I didn’t finish it in one sitting it did only take two.

Now the big question is: this my favourite Sarah Morgan of all time  and the answer would have to be no. That would be Miracle On 5th Avenue, which was last years Christmas story. However as this also appears in my top favourite five books of all time I think you can allow me some largessse especially when you take into account that this list includes  Wilkie Collins The woman in white and, of course, Jane Austen’s Pride  and Prejudice. In fact, I think I’m going to snuggle up under a cat or two and read all three again…