Posted in 5 Stars, Book Review

REVIEW: The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper

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Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, Magical Realism
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
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Summary

Sisters Rose and Lily Martin were inseparable when they were kids. As adults, they’ve been estranged for years, until circumstances force them to come together to protect Rose’s daughter. Ten-year-old Antoinette has a severe form of autism that requires constant care and attention. She has never spoken a word, but she has a powerful gift that others would give anything to harness: she can heal things with her touch. She brings wilted flowers back to life, makes a neighbor’s tremors disappear, changes the normal course of nature on the Kentucky flower farm where she and her mother live.

Antoinette’s gift, though, puts her own life in danger, as each healing comes with an increasingly deadly price. As Rose—the center of her daughter’s life—struggles with her own failing health, and Lily confronts her anguished past, they, and the men who love them, come to realize the sacrifices that must be made to keep this very special child safe.

Written with great heart and a deep understanding of what it feels like to be “different,” The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin is a novel about what it means to be family, and about the lengths to which people will go to protect the ones they love.

~* My Review *~

5 Stars

As I sit down to write this review, I’m a little shocked to learn thatThe Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin is Stephanie Knipper’s debut novel. Aside from the pacing, which dragged a little especially in the first half, I can think of nothing but good things to say. Most of the story takes place on a commercial flower farm in Kentucky and Knipper immerses the reader with vivid imagery, allowing us to see, hear, feel, smell, and taste everything about that beautiful place. Add to that exquisite writing, complex characters, heartrending conflict, and a dash of magical realism, and I’m happy as a clam. I can’t wait for Knipper’s next book.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

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Posted in 5 Stars, Book Review

REVIEW: Breathe Again by Sydney Logan

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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Enchanted Publications
Publication Date: July 22, 2016
Formats Available: Kindle, Paperback

Carrie Malone has seen enough heartbreak to last a lifetime. Her family’s demons gave Carrie the courage to move away from home and leave her past behind. Now a college senior, she stays busy with her classes and her job at the diner. It may sound boring to some, but to Carrie, the very best thing about her new life is that every day is calm and blissfully uneventful. That all changes the night Josh Bennett walks into her diner. 

With his dirty designer suit and mud-caked shoes, Carrie’s not sure what to think about the broken man sitting at her counter. She’s even more confused when he doesn’t touch his coffee…and leaves his Rolex watch as a tip.

Josh Bennett has nothing to live for. Starved for affection and deep in despair, he’s looking for a tender touch. A kind word. A giving heart. A shattered and broken Josh finds himself standing on a city bridge, looking down into the freezing river that will undoubtedly bring an end to his pain. 

He’s prepared to jump. He’s prepared to die. He’s not prepared for the pretty waitress who finds him there by the river’s edge.

When two lost souls find each other in the dark of night, can they give each other a reason to breathe again?

MY RATING: 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚

 

Sydney Logan’s readers often compare her to Nicholas Sparks, with the caveat that she doesn’t kill off major characters. After reading Breathe Again, I find that this description, while accurate, doesn’t do Ms. Logan’s writing justice. Breathe Again is everything I love in a contemporary romance–sweet, heart-wrenching, and uplifting with just the right amount of passion. I don’t like steamy romances, preferring authors to leave most of the action to the imagination, so I did appreciate this relatively clean romance. Josh and Carrie are both flawed, loveable, and interesting characters, which I appreciated since those aren’t always present in a romance. If you’re looking for a quick read that will warm your heart and bring a smile to your face, I recommend Breathe Again wholeheartedly. I can’t wait to read more from Sydney Logan!