Meet Me in Monaco – Blog Tour

 

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GoodReads:
Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and glamourous wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate, and second-chances.

Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique, fending off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.

 

My Review

If you think I’ve been on a historical fiction binge lately, you’re right. I have.

But, guys. There have been so many good ones these past couple of months! And this one is no exception to that! I ADORED it!!!

It’s a love story wrapped up in Grace Kelly’s own story but yet completely separate from her and you just want to cheer on the two protagonists.

It’s a sweet love story that really makes Grace Kelly’s involvement quite serendipitous in it.

James is a brilliant ‘male lead’ and you really love how big his heart is, how much he cares for his friend, for Sophia, and most importantly, for his daughter. Honestly, that type of fatherly love is not seen enough in novels whether they’re historical or not and so this was a very important point for me.

There’s this collision of cultures as well, our French countryside where Sophie hides away to make her perfume scents, James and his ‘grittier’ London, the Hollywood life style and the royalty of Monaco. All of it is just spun together in this excellent tale of perfume, glamour, and love.

It didn’t hurt that to begin with I’m a pretty big Grace Kelly fan, but it really was Sophie and James who won me over. Sophie is such an intriguing character, her love of perfumes comes from her Father but yet she is a genius in her own way and what’s more is that when she finally breaks free of things holding her back it is such a satisfying moment for you as the reader.

It was the same when James decided to change his fate, to do something to make him happy.

Also the way this love story ended may or may not have made me teary eyed. ‘It was perfect, and really I’ve had such a great time reading this that I’ve been raving it about it to my sister and mom, I’m hoping they’ll get the point and read it themselves.

This is such a great novel and it wasn’t too heavy, it’s set in such a great period too so even if you’re not a fan of historical fiction, if you love, well, love and beauty, you’ll probably like this too.

Four cups of coffee from me!

Thank you to Jessie @ Harper 360 for a copy of this to read in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour.

 

About the Authors

 

Hazel Gaynor is the acclaimed New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of A MEMORY OF VIOLETS and THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, for which she received the 2015 Romantic Novelists’ Association Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel, THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY, was an Irish Times and Globe and Mail bestseller, and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. In 2017, she published THE COTTINGLEY SECRET and LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS (co-written with Heather Webb). Both novels hit bestseller lists, and LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award. Hazel’s most recent novel, THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER, was an Irish Times and USA Today bestseller. Her latest novel MEET ME IN MONACO (co-written with Heather Webb) will be published in July 2019.

Hazel was selected by Library Journal as one of Ten Big Breakout Authors for 2015. Her work has been translated into ten languages and is published in seventeen countries to date. She is co-founder of creative writing events The Inspiration Project, and lives in Ireland with her husband and two children. She is represented by Michelle Brower of Aevitas Creative Management, New York.

Author Link

Twitter | Website

 

When Josephine Bonaparte appeared to Heather in a dream, she switched gears from fun-loving high school teacher to author & history nerd on the prowl for fascinating stories.

To date, her historical novels have sold in multiple countries worldwide, received national starred reviews, and have been featured in print media including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, and more. In addition, LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS was a Globe & Mail bestseller in 2017, and in 2015, RODIN’S LOVER was chosen as a Goodread’s Pick.

Next up? She had so much fun writing Last Christmas in Paris with her co-author Hazel Gaynor that she decided to do it again! Their novel, MEET ME IN MONACO, set to the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s wedding, will release in the summer of 2019 from HarperCollins.

When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills, geeks out on pop culture and history, or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world, (especially her beloved France). She loves to chitchat on Twitter with new reader friends or writers (@msheatherwebb) or via her Facebook page. Stop on by!

Author Link

Twitter | Website

 

The Rest of the Tour

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The Secrets We Kept – Blog Tour

 

The Secrets We Kept Cover

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BLURB:
TWO FEMALE SPIES. A BANNED MASTERPIECE. A BOOK THAT CHANGED HISTORY.

1956. A celebrated Russian author is writing a book, Doctor Zhivago, which could spark dissent in the Soviet Union. The Soviets, afraid of its subversive power, ban it.

But in the rest of the world it’s fast becoming a sensation. 

In Washington DC, the CIA is planning to use the book to tip the Cold War in its favour.

Their agents are not the usual spies, however. Two typists – the charming, experienced Sally and the talented novice Irina – are charged with the mission of a lifetime: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago back into Russia by any means necessary.

It will not be easy. There are people prepared to die for this book – and agents willing to kill for it. But they cannot fail – as this book has the power to change history.

Sold in twenty-five countries and poised to become a global literary sensation, Lara Prescott’s dazzling first novel is a sweeping page turner and the most hotly anticipated debut of the year.

Book Information:
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Hutchinson (5 Sept. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786331667
ISBN-13: 978-1786331663

Book Links

Amazon UK | Goldsboro Books Exclusive Edition

 

My Review

 

I was immediately engrossed in this book, and I am not over-exaggerating about barely putting this book down the day I picked it up. I was up until at least 2 AM to finish it in the end.

First of all the synopsis had me hooked with the mention of Dr. Zhivago, it has such an interesting history to it and though I’ve yet to read the book, I have seen the beloved 1965 movie and do own the book and plan on reading it…you know, just as I plan on reading the rest of my mountainous tbr pile.

And I mean, spies, guys, SPIES. ESPIONAGE IN THE COLD WAR ERA!!! AMAZING ALREADY WITHOUT EVEN HAVING TO CRACK IT OPEN.

This is also a book that sheds light onto the difficulties faced by women in the work force. They had so much power in the workforce in WWII and many of them were left at a loss, the independence they had gained was stripped away and they were reverted to secretaries, typists, typical ‘female’ roles. [Of course some enjoyed those roles, this is not a judgement on those jobs then or now!]

But, a female spy can still get the work done that is necessary of them, the question is, how much is their worth to the people that employ them?

They brave the same hardships as men, and they were vital to certain operations, and in this story, they were vital to spreading Dr. Zhivago to its people.

Who were its people? The Russians. The Russian author has been under the thumb of the government, they view this novel as a threat, and of course that makes it a greater asset to those who want to go against Russia covertly.

Russia may have Sputnik, but these women are giving its people, Dr. Zhivago.

There’s the point of view of two women working as/with the spies primarily, but also the author of Dr. Zhivago, Pasternak’s, mistress, the typists and good ol’ Ted.

Prescott is amazing at setting up the book for its time period, in fact, I had such a huge urge to go watch the first few seasons of Mad Men after reading this.

The love story in this book isn’t what you might think when hear it involves Dr. Zhivago but it is the best part of this book. I absolutely adored the relationship and thought it was so well written while keeping historical fiction in balance with love and all the emotions it can cause.

Not to mention the ending was perfection, much as the rest of the novel was.

I gave this 4.5 instead of 5 because I really wanted to know more about the affect of the book on the Russian people, but I do understand why this wasn’t the focus.

A brilliant and thought provoking story that really tugs on the heart strings. If you love espionage, Cold War, or just great historical fiction, this book is highly recommended!

Thank you to Anne Cater, the publisher and the author for a copy of this book to honestly review as part of the hour.

 

About the Author

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Lara Prescott was named after the heroine of Doctor Zhivago and first discovered the true story behind the novel after the CIA declassified 99 documents pertaining to its role in the book’s publication and covert dissemination.

She travelled the world – from Moscow and Washington, to London and Paris – in the course of her research, becoming particularly interested in political repression in both the Soviet Union and United States and how, during the Cold War, both countries used literature as a weapon.

Lara earned her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband.

Author Links

Website | Twitter

 

The Rest of the Tour

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A Different Time – Blog Tour

 

 

Hey guys, there are three blog tour posts today.

Why?

Because I’m an idiot and don’t always remember the tours I sign up for, or apparently the dates for them.

Anyway this first one up is one for part of ‘The Write Reads’ as they’re doing another ultimate blog tour!

GoodReads: 
Keith Nolan falls in love with a remarkable young woman from the past, talking to him on a home video she recorded in 1989. To keep their conversation going, he must find more of her tapes—while forces work against them both, and time is running out.

 

 

My Review

I always love when I can include a book trailer, it’s the inner youtube fanatic in me really shining.

Anyway, this is a sweet little novella that was a nice light read. I mean light enough, if you don’t mind a bit of heartbreak along the way!

The foremost definition of short but sweet!

Keith was a nice protagonist, there was no secret darkness to him, he was well rounded, and I enjoyed that he wasn’t some dark and broody character.

On the same token, I really enjoyed Lindsey, she was a down to earth girl and had some of the best taste in music! [The 80s are calling me now, haha]

While I found it sweet, I wasn’t a fan of the insta-love feel, but I do admit that the way  Hill played everything out made it balance out well enough in my opinion.

Keith and Lindsey are brought together through some logic defying home made tapes from the 80s, Lindsey’s video diary, in which two way communication is somehow possible.

I thought the pacing was great, and enjoyed the switching from between Keith and Lindsey, I just didn’t believe in their love story, but you know what? It was a nice read and it was something that was just perfect to read when you have a couple of hours of your day free and aren’t looking for books with heady and slow paced plots.

I actually enjoyed Hill’s descriptions, they were great at giving you imagery without wasting pages in his novella. Overall, I enjoyed this, and if you’re into a bit of love at first sight and time travel, this book is definitely for you!

Thank you to The Write Reads tour and the publisher and author for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

 

About the Author

Michael K. Hill is an internationally published writer of fiction and non-fiction. His short story collection, Anansi and Beyond, is available now. His novel, A Different Time, publishes July 2, 2019. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, kids, and 7 rescued animals.

Author Website

The Rest of the Tour

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