The Paris Secret by Lily Graham @lilygrahambooks @bookouture #blogblitz #NetGalley #bookreview #TheParisSecret

Delighted to join the blog blitz for The Paris Secret by Lily Graham today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and my review copy!

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Author : Lily Graham
Title : The Paris Secret
Pages : 214
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 4, 2018

aboutthebook

The last time Valerie was in Paris, she was three-years-old, running from the Nazis, away from the only home she had ever known.

Now as a young woman, Valerie must return to Paris, to the bookshop and her only surviving relative, her grandfather Vincent, to find out what really happened to those she loved. As she gets to know Vincent again, she hears a tragic story of Nazi occupied Paris, a doomed love affair and a mother willing to sacrifice everything for her beloved daughter.

Can Valerie and Vincent help each other to mend the wounds of the past? Valerie isn’t after a fairy-tale ending, she only wants the truth. But what is the one devastating secret that Vincent is determined to keep from his granddaughter?

mythoughts

On a train journey from Moscow to Paris, Annie meets Valerie. The two ladies get along really well, despite their age difference, and soon Valerie tells Annie the most heartbreaking story.

Valerie was born during the second World War in Paris. When she was three years old, she was sent to live in England with a family member she didn’t know after her parents died. But why did her grandfather, Vincent, send her away? Didn’t he want her?

As a young woman in the 1960’s, Valerie returns to Paris to find her grandfather in order to maybe strike up some sort of relationship with him but more so, to discover what happened to her parents and why she was sent away.

The Paris Secret lays bare events set during the war I never really thought about. Despite wanting to say much more on that subject, I really can’t because it would ruin everything for you, the reader. Suffice to say I found it truly thought-provoking and immensely sad.

While Valerie is a most likeable character, it was Vincent, the curmudgeonly and grumpy grandfather, who stole my heart from the beginning. He runs a bookshop but the way he treats his customers is far from ideal. Yet they keep coming back for more and I often found myself chuckling at Vincent’s ideas about the books in his shop. Which made what I learned about him afterwards even more heartbreaking and I really felt for him.

This story had me engrossed from start to finish. The setting in Paris oozes atmosphere and the threat of the Germans invading every aspect of daily life while the French government had all but deserted their citizens felt all too harrowing. It’s always so easy to forget that there were many different casualties of war, but also that not all Germans were bad. This is something that always hits close to home for me as my grandmother was German. She suffered just as much, although few people understood that.

The Paris Secret is a story about love, family and bravery in the darkest of times. Sometimes emotional, sometimes rather witty with characters that will find their way into your heart from the start. An absolutely beautifully written and wonderfully captivating story about one of the darkest periods in our history.

The Paris Secret is out today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Former journalist, Lily Graham grew up in South Africa, and spent much of her childhood buried inside the covers of a book. Her adulthood has passed no differently. Except that now she occasionally gets to make up some of the stories for a living. She is happy to report that most of her neighbours think of her as a cheerful layabout and no amount of protesting that lazing about in her pyjamas is actually ‘work’ she is never taken seriously. She lives in West Sussex with her husband and her beloved bulldog, Fudge.

Lily is the author of five novels, including THE ISLAND VILLA. All her books have entered the Amazon Top 100 bestseller list.  THE PARIS SECRET is published on 4th October 2018.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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This Week in Books (October 3)

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Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading

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The last time Valerie was in Paris, she was three-years-old, running from the Nazis, away from the only home she had ever known.

Now as a young woman, Valerie must return to Paris, to the bookshop and her only surviving relative, her grandfather Vincent, to find out what really happened to those she loved. As she gets to know Vincent again, she hears a tragic story of Nazi occupied Paris, a doomed love affair and a mother willing to sacrifice everything for her beloved daughter.

Can Valerie and Vincent help each other to mend the wounds of the past? Valerie isn’t after a fairy-tale ending, she only wants the truth. But what is the one devastating secret that Vincent is determined to keep from his granddaughter?


The book I’m currently reading

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Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.


What I’m (definitely) reading next

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Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village—the “hottest beach in Finland.”

The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown.

The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary.

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What do you think? Anything here taking your fancy? What does your week look like? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

 

The Island Villa by Lily Graham @lilygrahambooks @bookouture #blogblitz

It’s such a pleasure to host a stop on the blog blitz for The Island Villa by Lily Graham today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Lily Graham
Title : The Island Villa
Pages : 285
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : June 29, 2018

aboutthebook

When Charlotte’s husband James tragically dies, he leaves her an unexpected gift – her grandmother’s beautiful villa, Marisal, on the Spanish island of Formentera.

As she begins to explore her new home, and heal her broken heart in the warm golden sunshine, Charlotte discovers that her grandmother Alba has been keeping secrets about her life on the island. Intrigued by her family’s hidden history, Charlotte uncovers a devastating love affair that put many lives at risk and two sisters torn apart by loss.

Can the heartbreaking truth of the island’s dark history finally be laid to rest? Or will the secrets of the past shake the new life and love that Charlotte is close to finding?

mythoughts

Widowed at the young age of forty-five, Charlotte would like nothing else but to hide under her duvet and sleep the days away. But her husband has left her a surprise in the form of a villa on the Spanish Island of Formentera that used to belong to Charlotte’s grandmother. Arriving on the island, Charlotte soon discovers her grandmother has kept a large part of her life secret.

I do so adore a dual timeline in an historical fiction story and this one is done brilliantly. Parts of the story are set in the present day with Charlotte trying to put the pieces of her shattered life together, while discovering things about her family she never knew. Other parts of the story are set in the late 1700’s. These are centred around two sisters, Cesca and Esperanza. Sometimes I find myself being more engrossed by one of the timelines but in this case, both held my attention throughout.

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot but it deals with a part of history I knew nothing about and the author does a fabulous job of combining fact and fiction, turning it into a moving, evocative and thought-provoking story. Combine that with tales of the hardship that is island life, the struggles the sisters faced back in the day and Charlotte trying to find her feet after such a devastating loss and I soon found myself completely engrossed.

With vivid descriptions, the island of Formentara soon captured my heart, as did the characters. Charlotte is most definitely someone to sympathise with and root for and the characters she meets on the island are equally likeable in their own ways. This is a truly wonderfully immersive and enchanting story about family, love, loss and secrets and its idyllic setting makes this the perfect summer read.

The Island Villa is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Lily grew up in dusty Johannesburg, which gave her a longing for the sea that has never quite gone away; so much so that sometimes she’ll find sand grouting the teaspoons, and an ocean in a teacup. She lives now in the English countryside with her husband and her sweet, slobbering bulldog Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.

Author link : Twitter

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This Week in Books (June 27)

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Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.


Last book I finished reading

39712117

When Charlotte’s husband James tragically dies, he leaves her an unexpected gift – her grandmother’s beautiful villa, Marisal, on the Spanish island of Formentera.

As she begins to explore her new home, and heal her broken heart in the warm golden sunshine, Charlotte discovers that her grandmother Alba has been keeping secrets about her life on the island. Intrigued by her family’s hidden history, Charlotte uncovers a devastating love affair that put many lives at risk and two sisters torn apart by loss.

Can the heartbreaking truth of the island’s dark history finally be laid to rest? Or will the secrets of the past shake the new life and love that Charlotte is close to finding?


The book I’m currently reading

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Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.


What I’m (probably) reading next

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The Missing…

In a hidden basement, eighteen-year-old Toni is held captive and no one can hear her screams. She’s been abducted after investigating unspeakable things in the darkest corners of the Internet.

The Vigilante…

Fearing the worst, Toni’s mother turns to ex-SAS operative Mitchell to help find her missing daughter. And when Mitchell discovers Toni’s fate rests in the hands of pure evil, he races against the clock to find Toni and bring her out alive. But even that might not be enough to save her.

The Detective…

DS Warren Carter is looking forward to a new job and a simpler life. But when he’s called in to investigate the brutal murder of a seemingly normal couple, he becomes entangled in lives that are anything but simple. And as he digs deeper, he uncovers a crime more twisted than he could ever have imagined.

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I’m quite excited about my upcoming reads. What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx