Harper Collins/Harlequin Virtual Tour for: THE SUMMER SET by Aimee Agresti

Description

The real drama happens offstage in this juicy novel about a former A-list actress who must spend the summer at the idyllic theater where she got her start. But with a first love and celebrity rivals present, will this be the second chance she imagined or her last act?

Charlie Savoy was once Hollywood’s hottest A-lister. Now, ten years later, she’s pushing forty, exiled from the film world and back at the summer Shakespeare theater in the Berkshires that launched her career—and where her old flame, Nick, is the artistic director.

It’s not exactly her first choice. But as parts are cast and rehearsals begin, Charlie is surprised to find herself getting her groove back, bonding with celebrity actors, forging unexpected new friendships and even reigniting her spark with Nick, who still seems to bring out the best in her despite their complicated history.

Until Charlie’s old rival, Hollywood’s current It Girl, is brought on set, threatening to undo everything she’s built. As the drama amps up both on the stage and behind the curtains, Charlie must put on the show of a lifetime to fight for the second chance she deserves in career and in love.

With an unforgettable cast of characters and undeniable charm, Aimee Agresti’s The Summer Set is about first loves, second chances, and third acts.

If you know me, you know I love live theater — watching it and being part of it as an actor. This was a fun and funny read — Charlie is a bit of a bad girl, but you can’t help but like her and admire her pluckiness. Back with her old flame, Charlie is focused on herself and getting her way (think “diva”). At the same time we get a glimpse into some of the other characters as they share the voice in this story. Underneath it all is the imminent demise of the summer theater unless something or someone makes all the difference and breathes new life into it.

A fun read that is a light romance, this was a great choice for the summer! I will admit to sometime being confused when the point of view switched, but I figured it out!

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my ARC!

Here’s a bit about the author:

Aimee Agresti is the author of the Gilded Wings novels, Illuminate and Infatuate. She is also an entertainment journalist whose work has appeared in People, the Washington PostMademoiselle, and the New York Observer. As a staff writer for Us Weekly magazine, she interviewed many celebrities and penned the magazine’s coffee table book Inside Hollywood. She lives in Washington, DC.

Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon

I love Ariel Lawhon’s works and was excited to get this one off Net Galley! What a story! This was a fascinating and fantastic, though at times heart-breaking, story of WWII Resistance. It was so incredible that I was sorry that it was not true — and then I found out that it was based on true events and a true person, which made it all the more fantastic!

If you enjoy WWII stories with intrigue, action, suspense, and love, this is one for you!


Thank you, Doubleday Books, for my ARC!

Description

“Ariel Lawhon delivers in Code Name Hélène. This fully animated portrait of Nancy Wake… will fascinate readers of World War II history and thrill fans of fierce, brash, independent women, alike. A stark exploration of the remarkable difference one person, willing to rise in the face of fear, can make.”
-LISA WINGATE, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

BASED ON THE THRILLING REAL-LIFE STORY OF SOCIALITE SPY NANCY WAKE, comes the newest feat of historical fiction from the New York Times bestselling author of I Was Anastasia, featuring the astonishing woman who killed a Nazi with her bare hands and went on to become one of the most decorated women in WWII.

Told in interweaving timelines organized around the four code names Nancy used during the war, Code Name Hélène is a spellbinding and moving story of enduring love, remarkable sacrifice and unfaltering resolve that chronicles the true exploits of a woman who deserves to be a household name.
It is 1936 and Nancy Wake is an intrepid Australian expat living in Paris who has bluffed her way into a reporting job for Hearst newspaper when she meets the wealthy French industrialist Henri Fiocca. No sooner does Henri sweep Nancy off her feet and convince her to become Mrs. Fiocca than the Germans invade France and she takes yet another name: a code name.
As LUCIENNE CARLIER Nancy smuggles people and documents across the border and earns a new nickname from the Gestapo for her remarkable ability to evade capture: THE WHITE MOUSE. With a five million franc bounty on her head, Nancy is forced to escape France and leave Henri behind. When she enters training with the Special Operations Executives in Britain, she is told to use the name HÉLÈNE with her comrades. And finally, with mission in hand, Nancy is airdropped back into France as the deadly MADAM ANDRÉE, where she claims her place as one of the most powerful leaders in the French Resistance, known for her ferocious wit, her signature red lipstick, and her ability to summon weapons straight from the Allied Forces. But no one can protect Nancy if the enemy finds out these four women are one and the same, and the closer to liberation France gets, the more exposed she–and the people she loves–will become.

The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns

Description

Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

Oh – I loved this beautifully written book about a young woman tracing the secret past of her family. I particularly liked the story of the past, with young, headstrong Naoko who is in love with an American. As always, redemption is a favorite theme of mine and this story was compelling, memorable, and touching.

Recommended to those who enjoy historical fiction!

Thank you for my review e-copy!

Worst-Kept Secret by Sienna Cash

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No one wants to move back home at twenty-six—especially not Charlie Michaelsen, and *especially* not if it means dealing with her overbearing sister, not to mention confronting six years’ worth of unresolved grief over her dad’s death. But when reclaiming her childhood bedroom coincides with reconnecting with her long-lost high-school sweetheart, it feels like a sign. Next door, Wade Hunter has moved home, too. Charlie hasn’t seen her neighbor since he was an awkward tween, still using the shared treehouse that had defined her own childhood. Now he’s back, a nineteen-year-old college student with secrets of his own—and embarrassingly gorgeous to boot. As her ex-boyfriend frustrates her—are they just friends with benefits?—Charlie turns more and more to the kid next door. Along the way their running dates and casual conversations give way to something that feels like anything but “just friends.” Simple lust? That’s the easy answer. But maybe there’s a deeper reason why the only person Charlie can talk to—and be real with—is the teenaged boy next door.

WORST-KEPT SECRET is a sexy, poignant tale about love, grief, family, and childhood… and how sometimes going home means growing up. (Amazon overview)

 

So – I actually know Sienna Cash but she DID NOT ask me to review her book. In fact, I purchased it for myself for my kindle through Amazon. This is a “New Adult” title – a relatively new genre that is geared to 18-25 year olds. I have had some challenges with this genre in the past as I find the protagonists (female in every one I’ve read) to be completely self-centered and annoying, and the stories often without merit. I chalk that up to my being old (50 this year!) and rather old-fashioned and married. However, this novel was different I just loved this book! This was a fun and fulfilling read, where Charlie actually realized her complete self-centeredness. Charlie was not a perfect person but her imperfections were at times hysterically funny. What I liked best about Charlie – unlike some other novels I’ve read in this genre – was that she didn’t go around thinking she was better than everyone else and that she was entitled to better treatment than the next person just because she was – I don’t know – young? pretty? something else? She was very real.

I think another reason I liked this book so much was that it took place outside of Boston in a town very similar to the one where I work (which I do not think is a coincidence). It’s always great to be able to perfectly picture a setting.

So pick up this book if you are looking for a great end of summer read. I hope that there is more to come of Charlie’s story. Keep writing, Sienna! 🙂