Review: I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Maria De Los Santos

About I’ll Be Your Blue Sky

• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 4, 2018)

The New York Times bestselling author revisits the characters from her beloved novels Love Walked In and Belong to Me in this captivating, beautifully written drama involving family, friendship, secrets, sacrifice, courage, and true love for fans of Jojo Moyes, Elin Hilderbrand, and Nancy Thayer.

On the weekend of her wedding, Clare Hobbes meets an elderly woman named Edith Herron. During the course of a single conversation, Edith gives Clare the courage to do what she should have done months earlier: break off her engagement to her charming—yet overly possessive—fiancé.

Three weeks later, Clare learns that Edith has died—and has given her another gift. Nestled in crepe myrtle and hydrangea and perched at the marshy edge of a bay in a small seaside town in Delaware, Blue Sky House now belongs to Clare. Though the former guest house has been empty for years, Clare feels a deep connection to Edith inside its walls, which are decorated with old photographs taken by Edith and her beloved husband, Joseph.

Exploring the house, Clare finds two mysterious ledgers hidden beneath the kitchen sink. Edith, it seems, was no ordinary woman—and Blue Sky House no ordinary place. With the help of her mother, Viviana, her surrogate mother, Cornelia Brown, and her former boyfriend and best friend, Dev Tremain, Clare begins to piece together the story of Blue Sky House—a decades-old mystery more complex and tangled than she could have imagined. As she peels back the layers of Edith’s life, Clare discovers a story of dark secrets, passionate love, heartbreaking sacrifice, and incredible courage. She also makes startling discoveries about herself: where she’s come from, where she’s going, and what—and who—she loves.

Shifting between the 1950s and the present and told in the alternating voices of Edith and Clare, I’ll Be Your Blue Sky is vintage Marisa de los Santos—an emotionally evocative novel that probes the deepest recesses of the human heart and illuminates the tender connections that bind our lives.


This flips back and forth between Clare and Edith and follows two timelines, Clare in the present day and then Edith in the nineteen fifties. The way the story flowed and weaves together was really beautiful and the authors writing was really gorgeous. I didn’t realize that this is the third book in a series and I think I probably would’ve been more invested in some if the characters if I had read the previous books, but I still enjoyed this one.

There is a mysterious aspect to this but I would definitely say it fits best in a Women’s Fiction category or even contemporary romance. There was a lot of emotion infused into the one and a poignant depth that makes it standout from cutesy Chick Lit novels. I’m really impressed with the authors writing style and would definitely read something else by her in the future!

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky in three words: Poignant, Emotional and Beautiful.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for my review copy.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Tisa Della-Volpe

About Marisa de los Santos

Marisa de los Santos is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning poet with a PhD in literature and creative writing. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family.

Connect with Marisa on Facebook and Twitter.


Best Women’s Fiction and Romance of 2018 #Bestof2018

This is my last post of my best of 2018 series but I will be sharing some books to look out for in 2019 that I was lucky enough to read already later this week. Today I’ll be sharing the best WF and romance.

Best WF and Romance:

When Life Gives You Lululemons is the ideal beach read, it’s scandalous and so entertaining.

How to Walk Away was such an inspiring and empowering read.

Limelight was just pure fun to read, I had a blast with this one.

KH is one of my all time favorite authors and Good Luck With That was perfection, I think every woman should read this.

Before I Let You Go broke my heart in half it was so heart wrenching and poignant.

All We Ever Wanted is such a timely and relevant read, ideal for a book club.

The Perfect Couple is EH at her best, this had a slightly darker edge than her previous books but with the same beachy appeal.

The Husband Hour was my first read by JB and I loved it so much she’s now an auto buy author for me.

The Family Next Door is perfect for people who want a mystery with no gore, very similar vibes to Big Little Lies.

The Accidental Beauty Queen was rom com perfection, I need to see a movie version of this!!

Josh and Hazel may be my favorite fictional couple of all time, this was so cute.

CL again, I’m newly obsessed with this writing duo and Half Night Stand was just as cute as J and H!

No one writes emotional, topical and highly sensitive novels with grace and dignity quite like JP does and A Spark of Light was no exception.

That’s it for my favorite WF and romance, what do you think of my picks?

Best Historical Fiction and Audiobooks of 2018 #Bestof2018

After this I only have one more post to share so my best reads series is almost wrapped up! Today I’ll be sharing my favorite HF and also my favorite audiobooks. I’ve always liked audiobooks but this year I listened to so many more than in the past and I believe audiobooks are very underrated. I’ve even seen people say that it shouldn’t count as real reading?! I don’t get that mentality at all, but I would love to hear what you think.

Best HF

The Dream Daughter was my first DC book and I’ve been slowly working my way through her backlist since I read this. This may actually be the best book I’ve read all year, it had a little something for everyone.

I love Fiona Davis and have read all three of her books and The Masterpiece was an amazing story.

This was my first Camille Di Maio but I loved The Way of Beauty SO much I’m already a firm fan. She writes beautifully and truly brought NYC to life.

If you’re a HF fan then you’ve probably already read The Great Alone but if you haven’t, it’s a total must!

As Bright as Heaven taught me about a piece of history I knew next to nothing about and it was also written so gorgeously.

Best Audio

So I don’t normally write full reviews for audiobooks, I’m not totally sure why but it’s probably because I feel like I already spend so much time writing reviews for ARCs that I just don’t wanna 😂 Anyway, these were all 4.5-5 stars for me, some are newer and some are years old, I tend to try and listen to older backlist books on my TBR in order to actually squeeze them in. Each of these comes highly recommended by me due to both an excellent plot, writing style etc but also had fantastic narration!

If you ever need an audiobook recommendation though besides these I’m your girl, just ask!

That’s it for HF and audio, what do you think?

Best Thrillers of 2018 #Bestof2018

This may be my favorite category of all, mystery/thrillers are my hands down favorite genre to read so narrowing this list down was hard y’all!

Best thrillers

Good Samaritans was one of the darkest and most messed up books I read all year and I loved every single twisted page!

Verity has been everywhere this month and rightfully so. Hoover’s first foray into the dark side of fiction was amazing and this one will keep you thinking about it long after you finish, SO good!

The Lies We Told is psychological thriller perfection, beyond twisty and super intense and also really smartly plotted. A definite must read.

I’m a huge Bell fan and think Somebody’s Daughter is his best yet. It was fast and furious and had so many great surprises.

Don’t Believe It is a total binge read and after I finished it I remember feeling like it breathed fresh life into the genre.

The Sandman is impressive on so many levels but if you like serial killer thrillers this is a must read!

The Perfect Mother was one of the most talked about books this year and the best part is that it more than lives up to the hype, it even exceeded my expectations!

Jar of Hearts was one of the best surprises for me this year, not only was the content of this especially shocking but I found a new author, that’s always the best!

In the Vines was such a rich, Immersive read I loved it!

That’s it for my favorite thrillers, have you read any of these? If so, what did you think?

Best Series of 2018 #Bestof2018

Part two of my best of series will focus on, well series haha! These are all books that released this year but the series may have started a few years ago. Being a part of this list means that I’ve enjoyed each and every book so far and recommended them if you’re looking for a new series to binge on!

Best Series:

If you’re looking for a book that feels like watching an awesome episode of Criminal Minds, Into the Black Nowhere is the perfect choice!

I’ve been a huge fan of the Kim Stone series for a long time and Dying Truth just about broke me. No spoilers, but it’s not often I’m sobbing while reading Crime Fiction and I was a big old baby with this one.

Everything about Keeper is unique, this one had me riveted and is just SO damn good!!

Barker writes bold, in your face books and Fifth to Die is no exception. Such a great serial killer thriller!

Deep Blue Trouble is a true action packed thriller, the intensity is through the roof and really reading it was just an electrifying experience.

Hydra has one of the most unique structures I’ve ever encountered, it’s told via podcast interviews which I absolutely love! It’s also creepy and highly atmospheric, a definite must read.

KWH writes like a dream and The Secret to Southern Charm was just a delight to read. It has a little something for everyone and is much more than a beach read, although that cover would look gorgeous on a beach!

Ain’t She a Peach is rare in that it truly made me laugh out loud. It’s full of quirky, charming characters and just so damn adorable.

And that’s a wrap on my favorite series of the year! Most of these have new books being released in 2019 so nows the time to catch up if you need to. What do you think of my picks?

Best Debuts of 2018 #Bestof2018

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and had a relaxing day doing whatever you wanted to be doing! Anyone get an amazing gift?!

I can’t believe it’s already time for me to start recapping my favorite reads of the year, as I write this I’ve read 303 books so narrowing my lists down was no easy feat. I’m starting this short series out with standout debuts and in the coming days I’ll share my picks for best thrillers, best women’s fiction, romance, audiobooks, historical fiction and finally some 2019 books that I was lucky enough to read already! All of these books come highly recommended by me and I urge you to add them all to your TBR because I’m a book pusher like that 😜


Only Child was the kind of book I still think about to this day, it was so timely and heartbreaking, yet incredibly beautiful and poignant.

Sometimes I Lie had me raving as far back as 2017 and I’m still recommending it today. The second book is out in early 2019 so if you haven’t read this you have time to catch up!

Rapid Falls blew me away because it had every single element in a psychological thriller that I crave, it was fast paced, exciting very intricately plotted. I’ll be following Cowie closely.

The Woman in the Window took the literary world by storm this year, if for some reason you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?!

The Chalk Man is another book that seemed to be everywhere this year, and rightfully so! It was such a clever mix of coming of age and good old fashioned mystery with an amazingly strong ending.

The Wife Between Us is another one I’ve been blabbing about for well over a year but it’s just THAT good! I can’t say a lot but if you haven’t read you have to, a total must read!

That’s it for my first set of picks, I’ll have a new list to share tomorrow, but I’m the meantime what do you think of my choices? Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

Review: Into the Night by Sarah Bailey


Release date: December 4, 2018

Publisher: Grand Central

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Troubled and brilliant, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock finds herself lost and alone after a recent move to Melbourne, brokenhearted by the decisions she’s had to make. Her new workplace is a minefield and Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet, the partner she has been assigned, is uncommunicative and often hostile. When a homeless man is murdered and Gemma is put on the case, she can’t help feeling a connection with the victim and his lonely, isolated existence. 

Then Sterling Wade, an up-and-coming actor filming his breakout performance in a closed-off city street, is murdered in the middle of an action-packed shot, and Gemma and Nick have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor’s life and death. Who could commit such a brazen crime? Who stands to profit from it? Far too many people, and none of them can be trusted. Gemma can’t imagine a pair of victims with less in common–and yet as Gemma and Fleet soon learn, both men were keeping secrets that may have led to their deaths. 

With riveting suspense, razor-sharp writing, and a fascinating cast of characters, INTO THE NIGHT proves Sarah Bailey is a major new talent to watch in the world of literary crime fiction.


I’ve been meaning to read the first book in the series for quite some time and just never managed to get around to it and then this one just sounded right up my alley, so I took a chance and just started with book two. It was totally fine but I enjoyed this one so much that I’m kicking myself for not having started at the beginning!

There was a lot going on here plot wise, Gemma is a busy detective working on multiple cases and as much as I was intrigued by the cases, what really engrossed me was the outstanding characterization. Gemma is fascinatingly complex and just so well drawn that I was immediately invested in her. The setting of Melbourne was also a standout, I haven’t read many thrillers set there and it’s always nice to read about someplace new and fresh to me. I imagine as the series continues Gemma will become more and more interesting and I’ll definitely be following along. Recommended for thriller fans, especially those who feel like they want something slightly different and written by an incredibly gifted author.

Into the Night in three words: Engaging, Intriguing and Nuanced.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Watching You by Lisa Jewell


Release date: December 26, 2018

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam… 


Lisa Jewell has proven to me several times over that she’s a force to be reckoned with, there is something utterly intoxicating about her writing style that just captures my attention from beginning to end and this was no different. The premise/title combo appealed to me greatly, nothing really creeps me out more than thinking about being watched or stalked and once I really got into this one and realized who was watching whom I was completely hooked!

There are quite a few characters here and it’s told from their various perspectives, but there’s not so many that I couldn’t keep track of who was who. It opens with a murder, a sure fire way to reel me in and throughout the book there are transcripts from police interviews with the residents of the neighborhood. It was a clever tool and one that I appreciated, it was interesting to see what each person would reveal in their interview as they all had secrets they were desperate to keep.

I don’t like to discuss the plot of Jewell’s books too much because she writes such intricate books that are best discovered on your own as you read them. I will say that this one did focus on obsession, betrayal, lies and paranoia and what a killer combination that turned out to be in the end. Jewell is a fantastic writer who writes about domestic strife like no other, this is sure to be another hit!

Watching You in three words: Obsessive, Gripping and Complex.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Gown With the Wind by Stephanie Blackmoore


Release date: December 18, 2018

Publisher: Kensington

Genre: Cozy Mystery


Professional wedding planner Mallory Shepard knows her job is challenging under any circumstances. But when the groom is your ex and someone invites murder, there may never be another tomorrow . . .

Mallory’s fine–really–handling the wedding arrangements for her ex, Keith. But his fianc�e, Becca, has at the last minute decided to switch from a Japanese-cherry-blossom theme to a Gone with the Wind theme. She wants to honor her ailing grandmother, who owns an impressive collection of GWTW memorabilia–and who is fiercely at odds with the groom’s mother over the nuptial plans.

But among other complications, Becca gets into a fight with an old childhood rival over a replica Scarlett O’Hara wedding gown. She wins the dress–but soon becomes a murder suspect when the other woman is found dead in Becca’s swimming pool. And it’s up to Mallory to solve the mystery behind this unhappy occasion, before a different kind of civil war breaks out . . . 


As much as I love my hardcore thrillers, during the holidays I like to curl up with lighter books and this cozy mystery seemed like the perfect choice. After all, this genre does combine two of my favorite genres, Chick Lit and mysteries and the author did a great job creating a fun story full of quirky characters and just enough depth to keep me on my toes.

This is the fourth book in a series, I haven’t read the first three and I was fine starting here. Mallory and her sister plan weddings among other events and they keep busy in their quaint little town. There was plenty of drama and excitement throughout, some aspects were a tad predictable, but overall it didn’t really bother me because the characters were just so fun. There was a little something for everyone here in terms of characters, and some super cute pets for animal lovers. I breezed through this one and found it to be the exact type of lighthearted escape I was craving, cozy mystery fans will eat this one up.

Gown With the Wind in three words: Light, Breezy and Easy.

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson


Release date: December 4, 2018

Publisher: Gallery

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Charlotte Gorman loves her job as an elementary school librarian, and is content to experience life through the pages of her books. Which couldn’t be more opposite from her identical twin sister. Ginny, an Instagram-famous beauty pageant contestant, has been chasing a crown since she was old enough to enunciate the words world peace, and she’s not giving up until she gets the title of Miss American Treasure. And Ginny’s refusing to do it alone this time.

She drags Charlotte to the pageant as a good luck charm, but the winning plan quickly goes awry when Ginny has a terrible, face-altering allergic reaction the night before the pageant, and Charlotte suddenly finds herself in a switcheroo the twins haven’t successfully pulled off in decades.

Woefully unprepared for the glittery world of hair extensions, false eyelashes, and push-up bras, Charlotte is mortified at every unstable step in her sky-high stilettos. But as she discovers there’s more to her fellow contestants than just wanting a sparkly crown, Charlotte realizes she has a whole new motivation for winning. 


If ever a book was begging to be made into a movie The Accidental Beauty Queen is it! It was an absolutely adorable read and would be more than ideal as a rom com movie, it was perfection in my eyes and I’m so glad I read it before making my best of the year lists because this will definitely be on it!

This uses quite a few classic and well loved tropes that we’ve all seen before, but somehow Wilson manages to breathe fresh life into the story in such a charming way. Identical twins switch places, of course it goes horrible wrong along the way, but it was just so damn cute I didn’t even care that I knew exactly how it would end early on. That alone speaks highly of the authors talent, I was totally into this one hardcore, from beginning to end and truly enjoyed every single page of this beauty. Highly recommended for rom com fans, it’s a must read and I guarantee you’ll finish with a smile on your face!

The Accidental Beauty Queen in three words: Sparkly, Funny and Light.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.