It feels like forever since I last shared a book recommendation list. 2022 was the year where I kept my nose in a textbook pretty much 24/7, and now that my Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam is scheduled for this Friday (fingers crossed) I’ll have more time on my hands to read some of the upcoming releases that are currently stacking up on my bookshelves.
The Love Scribe was one of my favorite reads of the month, and the release of the book just before Valentine’s Day this year, couldn’t be more perfect. This book is one that ensnares your emotions, and you can’t help but get attached to the main character Alice who writes stories that help people fall in love while being a bit of a skeptic about whether or not she wants to find love for herself.
My favorite chapters were those where Alice visits the mysterious Madeline Alger at her home in the woods. The descriptions of Madeline are so detailed that you can picture her perfectly.
“When Alice’s best friend, Gabby, is reeling from a breakup, Alice writes her a heartfelt story to cheer her up. While reading it in a café, Gabby, as if by magic, meets the man of her dreams. Thinking the story might have some special power to it, Gabby shares it with her sister and other friends, who all find instant love. Word of mouth spreads, and Alice stumbles upon a new calling—to be a love scribe.
But not all the love stories she writes unfold as expected. And while Alice tries to harness her extraordinary gift, she is summoned to a mansion in the woods where she encounters the reclusive Madeline Alger and her mysterious library. As Alice struggles to write a story for Madeline, her most challenging assignment yet, she’s forced to confront her own guarded heart. Because maybe—just maybe—there’s a love story waiting to be written for her, too.
Emotional, deeply imaginative, and brimming with valuable life lessons, The Love Scribe explores love, fate, and the power of stories when we choose to believe in them.”
Releases on 2/7
Ever since it first opened, a Wallner woman has been at the helm of Hotel Wallner, a Viennese hotel that is just now beginning to regain some of its luster. Maria, is determined to restore her families hotel to its former glory and with the opportunity to host The Hotelkeepers Ball comes her way, it looks like she might finally have a way of insuring her families legacy (no dark-haired gentlemen required.)
What she hadn’t factored into her plans was Eli Whittaker, an American secret agent, who has been sent to Hotel Wallner in search of a spy responsible for selling American secret codes.
“During ball season, anything can happen— even love.
It’s ball season in Vienna, and Maria Wallner only wants one thing: to restore her family’s hotel, the Hotel Wallner, to its former glory. She’s not going to let anything get in her way – not her parents’ three-decade-long affair; not seemingly-random attacks by masked assassins; and especially not the broad-shouldered American foreign agent who’s saved her life two times already. No matter how luscious his mouth is.
Eli Whittaker also only wants one thing: to find out who is selling American secret codes across Europe, arrest them, and go home to his sensible life in Washington, DC. He has one lead – a letter the culprit sent from a Viennese hotel. But when he arrives in Vienna, he is immediately swept up into a chaotic whirlwind of balls, spies, waltzes, and beautiful hotelkeepers who seem to constantly find themselves in danger. He disapproves of all of it! But his disapproval is tested as he slowly falls deeper into the chaos – and as his attraction to said hotelkeeper grows.”
Release on 3/28
I’ve been a fan of Brenda’s novels since The Grace Kelly Dress (and this year The Liz Taylor Ring was another favorite of mine), so as a fan of all things Audrey Hepburn I couldn’t wait to read her latest novel is loosely based on my favorite Audrey Hepburn film, Sabrina.
The Audrey Hepburn Estate is one of those books you’ll stay up all night to read because you just can’t put it down until you know how everything ends. Without giving anything away, I will say that when reading this book you should question everything because nothing is quite as it seems. Another must-read from one of my favorite authors, Brenda Janowitz!
“When Emma Jansen discovers that the grand Long Island estate where she grew up is set to be demolished, she can’t help but return for one last visit. After all, it was a place filled with firsts: learning to ride a bike, sneaking a glass of champagne, and falling in love.
But once Emma arrives at the storied mansion, she can’t ignore the more complicated memories. Because that’s not exactly where Emma grew up. Her mother and father worked for the family that owned the estate, and they lived over the garage like Audrey Hepburn’s character in the film Sabrina. Emma never felt fully accepted, except by the family’s grandson, Henry—a former love—and by the driver’s son, Leo—her best friend.
As plans for the property are put into motion and the three are together for the first time in over a decade, Emma finds herself caught between two worlds and two loves. And when the house reveals a shattering secret about her own family, she’ll have to decide what kind of life she really wants for herself now and who she wants to be in it.”
Release on 4/18
If like me you’ve always been interested in the Royals, Coronation Year is definitely a novel that should have a place on your must-read list. The book takes place in the year leading up to the late Queen Elizabeth II coronation and follows the lives of three friends, Edie Howard, the current owner of the Blue Lion hotel, Stella Donati, a budding photographer and Holocaust survivor who takes a position at London magazine, and artist, James Geddes.
Coronation Year novel is full of hope, loss, betrayal, and love… making it one of my favorite books of 2023. Jennifer Robson truly transports us to 1950s London, so much so that you can almost feel the London air on your face (and smell a hint of the scones served up at tea time at the Blue Lion.
The cast of characters are sure to ensnare your heart, as you wait for the truth to finally be revealed.
“It is Coronation Year, 1953, and a new queen is about to be crowned. The people of London are in a mood to celebrate, none more so than the residents of the Blue Lion hotel.
Edie Howard, owner, and operator of the floundering Blue Lion has found the miracle she needs: on Coronation Day, Queen Elizabeth in her gold coach will pass by the hotel’s front door, allowing Edie to charge a fortune for rooms and, barring disaster, save her beloved home from financial ruin. Edie’s luck might just be turning, all thanks to a young queen about her own age.
Stella Donati, a young Italian photographer, and Holocaust survivor have come to live at the Blue Lion while she takes up a coveted position at Picture Weekly magazine. London in celebration mode feels like a different world to her. As she learns the ins and outs of her new profession, Stella discovers a purpose and direction that honor her past and bring hope for her future.
James Geddes, a war hero, and gifted artist has struggled to make his mark in a world that disdains his Indian ancestry. At the Blue Lion, though, he is made to feel welcome and worthy. Yet even as his friendship with Edie deepens, he begins to suspect that something is badly amiss at his new home.
When anonymous threats focused on Coronation Day, the Blue Lion, and even the queen herself disrupt their mood of happy optimism, Edie and her friends must race to uncover the truth, save their home, and expose those who seek to erase the joy and promise of Coronation Year.”
Releases on 4/23
**I received advanced copies of these books for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.