Review: I Promise You This by Patricia Sands @patricia_sands #giveaway

Release date: May 17, 2016

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Women’s Fiction 


Suddenly single after twenty-two years of marriage, the calm of Katherine Price’s midlife has turned upside down. Seeking to find her true self, she took a chance on starting over. A year later, she is certain of this: she’s in love with Philippe and adores his idyllic French homeland, where he wants her to live with him.

But all that feels like a fantasy far removed from Toronto, where she’s helping her friend Molly, hospitalized after a life-threatening accident. Staying in her childhood home full of memories, Katherine wonders: Is she really ready to leave everything behind for an unknown life abroad? And if all her happiness lies with Philippe, will it last? Can she trust in love again?

Searching her heart, Katherine finds the pull of the familiar is stronger than she thought. An unexpected meeting with her ex, the first time since his cruel departure, and a stunning declaration of love from an old flame spur her introspection.

With sunlit backdrops and plot twists as breathtaking as the beaches of Antibes, author Patricia Sands brings her trilogy about second chances to a provocative and satisfying close that proves that a new life just might be possible—if you’re willing to let your heart lead you home. 


It’s so bittersweet that I’ve come to the final book in the Love in Provence series! If you missed my earlier reviews here is The Promise of Provence and Promises to Keep. Thanks to the generosity of Patricia Sands herself  I have another fantastic giveaway where one lucky person will receive the entire series in ebook format! Enter via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. 

I Promise You This picks up immediately where things ended in the second book, which thank goodness as it ended on a gigantic cliffhanger and I was desperate to know what happened! Due to a tragedy, Kat finds herself back home in Canada and is surprised by the conflicting emotions she’s experiencing upon her return home. She begins to question her decisions as of late and has many moments of doubt as she wonders if she’s been hasty in deciding to make France her permanent home. Once again, the way that Sands infused the reality of life into Kat’s story pleased me greatly as things were not all rainbows and roses for her, it was an accurate portrayal of what someone’s real life could actually be. 

Switching things up and having Philippe visit Canada was a nice change of pace as the first two books were primarily set in France. Seeing how he fit into Kat’s life was interesting and seemed only fitting as usually she was the one struggling with a language barrier and a completely different culture. I don’t want to say much about the plot, but as with book two there were some surprises and secrets that cropped up again. 

Though this was an ideal way to end this trilogy I’m still really sad to say goodbye to this series and the lovely characters that I’ve grown to know and love. I’ll especially miss reading all the gorgeous descriptions of the food Kat eats and the stunning locales she visits as Sands has a real knack for bringing the setting to life. If I didn’t already have the urge to visit France I most certainly would have developed one now and can’t wait until one day when I can experience it for myself! 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy. 

About the Author: 

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn’t somewhere else. An admitted travel fanatic, she can pack a bag in a flash and be ready to go anywhere … particularly the south of France, for her annual visit.

Giveaway (Open internationally)

Book Blitz: Donovan by Jillian Quinn @jquinnbooks

Jillian Quinn
(Face-Off Series, #3)
Publication date: May 24th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

As the starting goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers, Carter Donovan has the toughest position on the team. He’s hot as puck, a caveman in bed, and a beast on the ice. But after another season of missing the playoffs, Carter is taking the off-season harder than normal.

Just when Carter needs a change of luck, his teammate sets him up with Sydney Carroway, a famous romance author who likes to play games of her own. And after a blind date gone wrong, the dark-haired beauty has him wrapped around her finger. Sydney tortures Carter with her dirty words and pictures, thrives off the steamy conversations that give him a never-ending case of blue balls. Carter knows it. But he can’t get enough.

It might be Carter’s job to protect the net when he’s on the ice, but when it comes to Sydney, he needs more than a killer glove save to defend his heart.

Goodreads / Amazon


Carter Donovan has no idea I am messing with him. I bet he thinks I’m an evil witch, toying with his dick along with his emotions. Maybe I am, or at least to some extent, but damn him for shaving his beard. I’m still pissed about that. When I walked into Tyler Kane’s house last weekend, he was dressed in gym clothes and had only a tiny bit of facial hair. I was disappointed, to say the least.

I was hoping to kick things off with his face shoved between my legs and that stubble rubbing against my skin. Over the past two days, Carter has called non-stop. He even sent flowers and gifts to my apartment. To be honest, I was shocked to receive such lavish presents from him. The Chanel sunglasses were a bit overboard, but at least I know he has good taste. And that’s an important quality in a man who I am considering dating.

Flipping through a magazine on my couch, I wait for Carter to knock on the door. He’s twenty minutes early again, same as last time. I didn’t even have a chance to hop in the shower before he said he was almost here.

Part of me wants to take him into my bedroom and have my way with him. The other part of me, the side that likes experimenting with the opposite sex for research purposes, tells me I should make him wait a little while longer. After all, our relationship could make for good writing material for my next book.

As the author of all things smutty and over-the-top, I draw a lot of my inspiration from experiences. Carter just doesn’t know that yet. Poor guy. Kennedy and I did the same thing with Tyler Kane when they had first met. He fell for that shit hook, line, and sinker. Now, the two of them are living together and practically married. There’s a method to my madness.

I fix my dark curls in the mirror on the wall next to the door and double check my makeup before opening it. Drool just about runs down my chin as I take in the sight of Carter. He’s one sexy hunk of man candy. With those big, strong arms that are more suited for boxing than hockey, I want him to grip me up in them and do bad things to me.

Carter smiles so wide it reaches up to his soulful brown eyes. “Hey, baby.”

“Don’t hey, baby, me,” I shoot back, feigning interest. But this is all part of the game.

He leans in to kiss my cheek, because I promised him one kiss, his fingers grazing my bare shoulder as he touches me, fiddling with the strap of my tank top. “You look beautiful, as always, Sydney.”

My willpower almost crumbles with his lips sending shockwaves down my spine. His big hand is dangerously close to my breast as he slides it the rest of the way down my arm. If he were a character in one of my books, I would say the hell with self-control and throw myself at him, allow myself to become consumed in his manly scent and intoxicating sex appeal.

“Thanks, big guy.” I tug on his forearm in an attempt to pull him into the apartment. He’s so big I can hardly move him an inch.

After Carter shuts the door, he surprises me by shoving me up against the wall. I do my best to get away from him, but he makes it difficult with his size. Carter is used to defending the net when he’s on the ice. He sure as hell proves that right now as he blocks my entire view of the living room with his body.

Bending down to my height, he breathes against my neck and ignites a fire beneath my skin. Heat rushes from my cheeks to my toes as he presses his lips to my neck. I move my head to the side to give him better access, my inhibitions lowering along with my guard. The walls I have built up to protect myself come crumbling down in an instant.

Author Bio:

Jillian loves Mafia men, sports, bad boys, dirty talkers, strong female characters, and books with plenty of heat, all of which you will find in her books. As a lover of all things bookish, she has a serious book hoarding problem and runs a book blog in her free time. When she’s not reading, writing, or blogging, she’s obsessively fangirling over hockey players and can be found wherever she can catch the next hockey game.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



Blog Tour: Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea by Liz Eeles @lizeelesauthor @bookouture

Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: May 18, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Chick Lit


Prepare to be whisked away to the Cornish seaside, where clear blue skies, crashing waves, and a welcoming choir await you. 

Annie Trebarwith has no family to tie her down, and she likes it that way. But when a letter arrives, unexpectedly inviting her to visit her great aunt Alice in her family’s ancestral home, curiosity gets the better of her and she travels to deepest Cornwall to meet the family she’s never known. 

Salt Bay is beautiful and Tregavara House imposing – but there’s no phone signal and some of the locals, like the gorgeous but brooding Josh, are incredibly grumpy. But Alice’s poor health compels Annie to stay, so to keep herself busy she relaunches the Salt Bay Choral Society. 

Annie is surprised to see how much the choir means to the community, and she even starts to break through Josh’s surly exterior. As she begins to put down roots in Salt Bay, Annie soon realises that there’s a lot to be said for finding the place where you belong after all… 

Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea is a heartwarming story about family, belonging and the healing power of music, perfect for fans of Alex Brown, Rachael Lucas and Carole Matthews. 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea


Have you ever picked up a book at just exactly the right time, it’s like the stars align and everything just fits into place perfectly? That’s what happened when I picked up this splendid book, it was the breathe of fresh I needed at exactly the right moment and I absolutely fell in love. 

Annie was the type of character that I formed a bond with right away, she’s so well formed that it was very easy for me to imagine her leaping from the pages and entering my real life. Oh how I wish she would, I just adored her. She’s very closed off and likes to keep to herself as she doesn’t really believe in the idea of family. It was always just her and her mom and now that her mom has passed away, she’s perfectly content on her own and knows that forming deep bonds and meaningful relationships only leads to headaches and trouble. When she decides to go meet her aunt for the first time she really goes out of curiosity and expects that it’ll be a quick trip and then she’ll get back to her life in London. But she didn’t anticipate meeting an irresistible cast of colorful characters in Salt Bay.

The characters were all absolutely engaging and lovable (with the exception of one) and I couldn’t possibly pick my favorite, I equally enjoyed all of them. Kayla is an Aussie barmaid with a wicked sense of humor and loads of charm. Josh is a moody hunk who tends to rub Annie the wrong way and she refers to him as a Cornish pirate which while hilarious, conjures up quite an alluring image. Alice is her aunt and was a dear, sweet woman and the residents of Salt Bay were all highly eccentric and wholly entertaining. 

There were some surprises as far as the plot line is concerned as there was a secret family history that comes to light as well as enough warm moments to leave me feeling cozy and content. Despite the title the choir isn’t the sole focus, rather it’s more about Annie and how her ideas about family and life in general shift and of course there is a cute romance. It was a totally outstanding debut that made me giggle and maybe even tear up a few times, I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a super fun, light read. 

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy. 

About the Author: 

Liz began her writing career as a journalist for newspapers and magazines before moving into the health sector as a communications manager and press officer. The low point of her career was abandoning an interview with Cliff Richard after two questions because she was about to faint – her excuse is that she was newly pregnant at the time.

Liz is from Gloucestershire but now lives by the sea in West Sussex with her husband and grown-up daughter. She spends a lot of time meaning to meditate, avoiding exercise, and missing her son who lives in London.


Review: The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter @EmilyDCarpenter

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: June 6, 2017

Publisher: Lake Union 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


In this gripping, atmospheric family drama, a young woman investigates the forty -year -old murder that inspired her mother’s bestselling novel, and uncovers devastating truths—and dangerous lies.

Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of a privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir.

Digging into the past—and her mother’s cult classic—draws Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia and an unusual woman said to be the inspiration for the book. At first, island life seems idyllic, but as Meg starts to ask tough questions, disturbing revelations come to light…including some about her mother.

Soon, Meg’s search leads her to question the facts of a decades-old murder. She’s warned to leave it alone, but as the lies pile up, Meg knows she’s getting close to finding a murderer. When her own life is threatened, Meg realizes the darkness found in her mother’s book is nothing compared to the chilling truth that lurks off the page. 


I found another gem of a book that y’all need to add to your summer reading lists ASAP! This was such a compelling read, I simply devoured it and it could be the ultimate definition of a page turner. It has a totally unique and fascinating premise, characters that ranged from the relatable to the odd and scary,  and a stunning atmosphere that was creepy and gorgeous at the same time. Don’t forget a crazy, multilayered mystery that goes back forty years and a hint of romance, what more could you want?!

This was a book within a book, what I like to call bookception, don’t be hesitant and assume it’s confusing because it’s not at all. Meg is the daughter of a super famous author best known for her cult classic, Kitten. It’s a classic seventies horror novel (think Carrie) and has a huge fan base. The formatting was genius and really gripped me, in between each chapter from Meg in present day you get excerpts from Kitten as well. I loved the kitschy vibe of these sections and if Mrs. Carpenter could go ahead and make Kitten a full length novel that would be great! The similarities between Kitten and what was actually happening in Meg’s life were eerie and awesome. 

The atmosphere had me completely absorbed, Meg travels to the hotel Kitten was based on and it’s now a ramshackle pit with only a handful of people working there. It was simultaneously spooky and beautiful and I fell right down the rabbit hole alongside Meg as she tried to untangle a massive web of lies her mother wove. Doro is the hotels owner and part of the inspiration behind the book and was such a complex and interesting character as well. 

This was a total binge read despite the complicated structure, it made me turn the pages faster as I grew desperate to know not only what Meg would uncover but also how Kitten ended. I’m blown away by how flawlessly Carpenter plotted this, it’s truly impressive. There is a lot of diversity here as the island has ties to Native American history which was a totally appreciated addition by me. I think it’s safe to say that Carpenter is the queen of Souther Gothic fiction, this book was a marvel.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy. 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

What I Read Last Week: 

The Honeymoon was a crazy psychological thriller. 

Ella’s Ice Cream Summer was a hilarious read. 

The Girl Who Was Taken was great, twisty read. 

Promises to Keep was the second in a truly lovely series, there’s still time to enter my giveaway too! 

Remember Me was a really entertaining, addictive read. 

Not a Sound was a good mystery with a unique lead. 
Currently Reading: 

Up Next: 

I didn’t have the greatest reading week, my kids were sick AGAIN and stuff was crazy in my house! Hopefully everyone in my house stays healthy.

How was your week? 

Review: Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf @hgudenkauf

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: May 30, 2017

Publisher: Park Row Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


A shocking discovery and chilling secrets converge in this latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf 

When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters–her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?

New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf has been described as “masterful” and “intelligent” and compared to Lisa Scottoline and Jodi Picoult. Introducing her most compelling heroine yet, she delivers a taut and emotional thriller that proves she’s at the top of her class. 


This is the second book I’ve read by Heather Gudenkauf and while I struggled with my first attempt, I’m so pleased to say that I enjoyed this one much more. While this wasn’t one of those crazy, twisted thrillers that I’m usually drawn to, it was still a highly entertaining read. 

This opened with a fantastic prologue, Amelia gets hit by a car and is badly injured and is now deaf. Fast forward to two years later and her life has changed drastically, and NOT for the better. Besides adjusting to life with a hearing impairment, she’s separated from her husband, David and stepdaughter Nora, she isn’t a nurse anymore, she’s battling an addiction to alcohol, and she’s living alone in an isolated house in the woods. Amelia was a highly original and unique protagonist and I’m always excited about something new and fresh in fiction. Seeing how she adapted to life with her impairment was really interesting and I think Gudenkauf handled the portrayal accurately and sensitively. 

After Amelia finds her old friend Gwen’s body she develops an obsession with finding her killer and starts looking into it on her own. An amateur detective always draws me in and when they have a partner like Amelia did in her service dog, Stitch, I’m hooked. He was such a great addition to the story and I loved watching the bond between him and Amelia. 

I’m a fan of Gudenkauf’s writing style, it’s sharp but still conveys a wide variety of emotions and fantastic descriptions. The visual descriptions were outstanding and I like to think Gudenkauf used this as a tool to show how Amelia had to rely more heavily on her other senses due to her hearing loss. This was pretty fast paced and suspenseful but not your typical thriller, I would say it’s an emotional thriller rather than a classic thriller. The author created an unforgettable cast of characters who I really liked and felt connected to and delivered a solid mystery that I didn’t quite figure out. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

Review: Remember Me by Lynda Renham @Lyndarenham

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: March 24, 2017

Publisher: Raucous Publishing 

Genre: Psychological Thriller


A new neighbour becomes a new friend. She looks up to you. She admires you, but is it you she wants? You begin to wonder if she wants your husband, or even your child. But then you realise, she wants your life. 

When Sharni and Tom move into 24 The Pines, it seems like Clare and Chris have the perfect neighbours. Sharni is always there to help, especially with childcare for Clare’s two-year-old, Ben. But Clare can’t shake off the feelings of anxiety that assail her whenever Sharni is near. Is Clare just being overprotective, or are her feelings justified? As Sharni‘s influence touches everyone around her, Clare finds herself fighting for her sanity as well her family. 


Oohh what an addictive read! Once I started I didn’t put this one down, and despite one minor complaint, I loved every second of this read. Clare and Sharni were both woman who clearly had very dark, troubled pasts and trying to figure out which one of them was actually reliable was so fun. Clare is so fragile and already unstable, so when Sharni moves in next door, something about her immediately sets her on edge. Already a highly anxious person, Clare delves into full blown paranoia and I love nothing more than a erratic, edgy narrator. 

Things are told from Clare’s point of view until the halfway point when it flips to Sharni’s perspective and while I liked seeing things from her side, it was pretty repetitive. It basically, albeit more quickly, retold chunks of what you’ve already read from her eyes. I think it was definitely necessary to hear from her, I just wish it would’ve been done differently. It disrupted an otherwise fantastic flow to the story, BUT once the timelines merged it was very intense until the end. 

There were also brief sections from a therapy session between one of the woman and a doctor and I really liked trying to figure out which woman it was. This wasn’t predictable in the slightest and has plenty of killer twists and turns that surprised me. This book is pure entertainment of the best kind as long as you don’t think too hard about plausibility and the like. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

Blog Tour: Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul E. Hardisty @Hardisty_Paul @OrendaBooks

Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: May 1, 2017

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Thriller


Fresh from events in Yemen and Cyprus, vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker returns to South Africa, seeking absolution for the sins of his past. Over four days, he testifies to Desmond Tutu’s newly established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recounting the shattering events that led to his dishonourable discharge and exile, fifteen years earlier. It was 1980. The height of the Cold War. Clay is a young paratrooper in the South African Army, fighting in Angola against the Communist insurgency that threatens to topple the White Apartheid regime. On a patrol deep inside Angola, Clay, and his best friend, Eben Barstow, find themselves enmeshed in a tangled conspiracy that threatens everything they have been taught to believe about war, and the sacrifices that they, and their brothers in arms, are expected to make. Witness and unwitting accomplice to an act of shocking brutality, Clay changes allegiance and finds himself labelled a deserter and accused of high treason, setting him on a journey into the dark, twisted heart of institutionalised hatred, from which no one will emerge unscathed. Exploring true events from one of the most hateful chapters in South African history, Reconciliation for the Dead is a shocking, explosive and gripping thriller from one finest writers in contemporary crime fiction. 

I’m so pleased to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Reconciliation for the Dead today. I have an extremely interesting guest post from the author himself. 

Living and Dying in a Time of Plunder


Paul E. Hardisty


There is a scene in my new novel, Reconciliation for the Dead, set in apartheid-era South Africa, where the protagonist (Claymore Straker), comes upon a herd of elephants. It is 1981, and Clay is a young South African soldier fighting the communist insurgency in Angola. This is a war that his parents, the leaders of his country, and the officers who command him, have cast as a struggle for survival. The elephants Clay happens upon are dead. They have been slaughtered and their tusks hacked out with chainsaws. Even the babies were killed, and the little milk tusks dug out. The image stays with him, haunts him, even as the bodies of his human enemies and brothers-in-arms stack up.

​The scene is one that, in reality, was repeated across Africa during the conflicts that raged in the continent during that cold-war period, including in neighbouring Rhodesia and Mozambique. Teak and other hardwoods were cut extensively to pay for weapons and ammunition, and diamonds were mined using slave labour to enrich warlords and corrupt officials. Hippos were machined gunned in the rivers by jumpy ill-fed recruits in guerrilla armies. Rape was widespread. It was a time of plunder. With the breakdown of law and order that comes with civil war, protection of common assets disappears, and those who are armed take what they want. As the Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero said: ‘In times of war, the law falls silent.’

​And of course, in many parts of the world, this same kind of behaviour continues. Civil strife leads to war. Factions resort to plunder to support their cause, and always it is the poor and the innocent who suffer most.

​Claymore Straker, as a young man, comes face to face with one of the more cynical examples of wartime plunder in modern history. Unable to stand by and do nothing, spurred on by his idealistic friend, Eben Barstow, he begins to peel back the layers of deception and secrecy thrown up by the apartheid regime. What he finds will change his life forever, and fundamentally shape who he is.

The historical events described in Reconcilation for the Dead happened. As I writer, I try to create a thrilling, breathless ride for the reader, so that by the end, he or she feels as if they had gone ten rounds in the UFC cage with a top fighter. In short, I want to entertain. So hold on tight. But I also hope that by placing the reader right in the middle of the chaos, with the kind of immediacy that allows them to see and feel the action as it unfolds, that I can inform. The wars in Africa during that period are still recent enough to be relevant. It wasn’t until 1994 that Nelson Mandela was elected first black president of South Africa. So, while Claymore Straker wants to forget this time of plunder, perhaps we still have something to learn from it.  

 About the Author: 

Canadian Paul Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a cafe in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and Director of Australia’s national land, water, ecosystems and climate adaptation research programmes. He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia. His debut thriller The Abrupt Physics of Dying was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger.



Blog Tour: The Inheritance by Angie Coleman @Aria_Fiction

Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: May 1, 2017

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Romance


Twenty-four-year-old Ashley Morgan thinks her future is guaranteed when she takes over the reins of her family business. What could go wrong?

But when her father decides to give the job to Jamie Standley, his right-hand man, Ashley feels cheated and breaks off all ties with her father.

Three years later at the reading of her late father’s Will, she discovers to her horror that Jamie will continue to be director of Morgan & Hall, while she will only receive a small share in the business. But on one condition: that Ashley and Jamie work together and live under the same roof for a whole year…

Once again Ashley feels betrayed and cheated. To her, Jamie is an impostor and she is determined to make him pay. But forced cohabitation can sometimes have unpredictable consequences…

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Inheritance. I have an extract to share with you today. 



The taxi is stopping just outside the front door – my home address is 37 Long Street.

Grief, how much I’ve missed home! It’s been six months since I left – it’s a record for someone like me who’s so fond of her home and home town. I lived away from home for five years while studying Economics, the most tedious discipline ever, at university. My only objective during these five years has been to keep afloat, and now I’m glad to be back. I wouldn’t have made it without Alex. I have a degree now and I still have all the energy to show Dad that I can live up to his expectations. I made it.

The air is cold outside, although I can’t help but stand still in front of the door for a few seconds, staring at the building like it’s for the first time. It feels so good to be back that I’m worried I might wake up and realise it’s all a dream. Dad has insisted that we should all celebrate my degree with a dinner tonight because he couldn’t be there at the graduation last month. He has invited Jamie – his business partner – to the dinner, and I sense that he wants to take this opportunity to make an important announcement. I know what he wants to say. That’s why I can’t wait for tonight: Dad is going to announce the new head of Morgan & Hall, the biggest, most important sweet-producing factory in the city, which is also our family business. I have always suspected that Dad cared a little more about his business than about me. I used to be jealous of the fact that Morgan & Hall always had my Dad’s attention, whereas I struggled to get it. When I was little, he used to enjoy sitting in his favourite armchair and telling me how he started the business. He and his best friend Milton Hall, a skilled pastry chef, had enjoyed success from the very beginning. Their recipes are original and have remained a trademark of their business, even after Mr Hall had retired due to unspecified health reasons. When Dad talked about his friend, his eyes shone with the fullest admiration and I have grown up with deep respect for the man who made my Dad’s business so great.

After Hall resigned, Dad carried on working even harder to improve his business. When he began to achieve great results all by himself, Dad taught me the secrets of being a good business manager. Looking back, I have to be honest: he was constantly supported by three older men, who were probably far too lenient with me. Dad is extremely proud of his business and he sponsored my university course for one reason only: he wants me to take over the administrative side. Well, here I am now: I’m ready.

I have the brightest smile as I push the front door open. Gregory, the good old caretaker is sitting on a chair reading his favourite newspaper.

“Good evening, Gregory!” My greeting is full of excitement.

“Good evening, Miss Morgan, welcome back home!”

“Thank you. Is Dad upstairs?”

“Yes, he’s waiting for you. Mr Standley is here with him too.” He hasn’t changed – nosey as ever. Still, he does his job very well.

“I know, it’s a great day today, Gregory!” I said to him, then I rush to the lift. On my way upstairs, I can’t avoid reminiscing about how handsome Jamie was. Will he have changed? I don’t know why, but I have the feeling that he belongs to the category of men who look better and better with time. He’s five years older than me, so he must be twenty-nine now. His hair is black – it gives him a somewhat wild look – and very curly. It covers most of his forehead and, sometimes, his eyes. He’s an excellent pastry chef, and that is why Dad has given him a job. I would have given him a job just for his looks… especially his eyes, which seem to penetrate my soul. He’s also a gentleman, I hope he hasn’t lost this quality over the years.

The lift doors open to let me out, I wonder if it’s better to use the key or ring the bell. It’s crazy how being away for six months makes you feel like such a stranger. Still, most of my memories are tied to this apartment: the nights spent listening to Dad’s stories; the occasional visits from my mother, who’s always travelling. My mother brought me so many souvenirs from around the world that I had to devote a whole bookcase to them in my room. My mother and I are very different: the only things we have in common are our passion for books and our hair colour. All the rest is from Dad: my eyes, my temperament. I could never travel around the world forever without a place to settle in – she is a news reporter first and foremost, a wife and mother second. She’s in Brussels right now, if I remember correctly; she might have a new love affair. This must be the fourth man that she’s had since her divorce from Dad, about ten years ago. It’s difficult to keep up with her life, because she rarely ever calls home.

I choose to use the key, eventually.

“Dad?” I shout at the front door, then I pull off my coat and hang it on the stand next to me. “Dad, I’m home!”


Review: Promises to Keep by Patricia Sands @patricia_sands #giveaway

Release date: October 13, 2015

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Women’s Fiction


The painful memories from her life back in Toronto will never be distant enough, but Katherine Price finds peace under the autumn sky in the South of France…and a deepening, dizzying love with Philippe. Together, they savor the delicacies and splendor of life, toasting to a future filled with happiness and hope—a life far away from the heartache they both knew so well.

But during a trip to the charming village of Entrevaux, a strange note turns into a dangerous car chase. Philippe reveals he has a troubling secret—and the couple’s new life together threatens to crumble before it can begin. Now that Katherine has everything she’s ever wanted, is she about to lose it all?

Promises to Keep is the heartfelt second addition to award-winning author Patricia Sands’s Love in Provence trilogy—and a stirring reminder that it’s never too late to be joyfully surprised by love, life, or even yourself. 


Promises to Keep is the second book in a series, I reviewed the first book earlier this month, The Promise of Provence and adored it! Book two was just as delightful and I have a giveaway to win a copy of the first book, there’s a Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

This begins right where things left off in the first book, Kat is still in France and trying to settle into her new life with Philippe. She is so changed from the woman she was in the first book, she’s much more calm, centered and sure of herself and I really enjoyed seeing her in her happy place. Andrea and Molly are back as well, albeit briefly mostly through phone calls with Kat, but it was still nice to get a peek at what they were up too.

One of my favorite things about the first book was the combination of the gorgeous setting and the mouthwatering descriptions of the food and Sands still captured both in book two. It was also nice to see how things were progressing for Kat and Philippe after their fairytale beginning when real life sets in. They’re very much in love and both of them desperately want to make things work, but they face some obstacles along the way.

This book was much more mysterious than the first, there were secrets and some family history and drama that I really appreciated and I loved learning more about Philippe’s history and the culture of such a fascinating place. It ended on a HUGE cliffhanger and I’m so happy that I’m starting the third book soon, I’m dying to know what happens next! Again, this is a perfect summer read and one that I devoured.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

About the Author: 

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn’t somewhere else. An admitted travel fanatic, she can pack a bag in a flash and be ready to go anywhere … particularly the south of France, for her annual visit.

a Rafflecopter giveaway