The Secret Society of Salzburg by Renee Ryan

The Secret Society of Salzburg by Renee Ryan is a brilliant story, loosely based on the true story of two women who took it upon themselves to risk their lives saving people during Hitler’s regime. This riveting plot will have you immediately immersed in the lives the two women, Elsa Mayer-Braun, an up-and-coming European opera singer and Hattie Featherstone, an English civil worker who aspires to become a famous painter. A chance meeting between the two will change both their lives forever as well as some Jewish families who were able to escape Hitler and find freedom because of the two.

When Hattie hears a recording of an opera Elsa sang, she is immediately moved. She also begins to find her painting style changing. Then she and her sister are able to go to a concert together to witness that beautiful voice in person, and a friendship is born.

As their friendship progresses, as does Hitler’s hold. Hattie has an experience on a train in which she sees a Jewish couple humiliated and then dragged away. She will never forgive herself for not trying to do something to help them. Elsa (who herself has a hidden Jewish heritage which only her husband is aware) is having a personal reaction to what is going on. Her aunt who is part Jewish is trapped in a country in which she is not welcomed and in danger. Elsa must figure out how to get her aunt to safety. She does this with Hattie’s help and thus begins their secret society.

What ends up happening is this “secret” becomes very popular and as Elsa and Hattie try to help as many as they can, they need a bit of help. That’s when they meet a British gentleman who owns an art gallery, and their plan is secured.

But unfortunately for Elsa, her husband begins to align himself with Hitler and puts her in the position of having to sing for him. She becomes Hitler’s favorite singer. Hating herself for that and for her husband’s alliance she feels she is at her breaking point.

Suddenly something goes terribly wrong. Elsa’s life is in jeopardy and Hattie must try and save her. But Hattie is in England. With all their success in helping people find the safety and security and freedom they needed, Hattie feels helpless to do the same for Elsa.

In the Secret Society of Salzburg, these two courageous women who are strong willed and selfless, take on a nation and a man filled with hate and endanger their own lives to save people they don’t even know. A wonderfully engrossing story with a powerful message.

About the author: Multi-published, award-winning author Renee Ryan grew up in Florida. She’s written nearly thirty books in several genres, including historical fiction, historical romance and contemporary romance. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and a large cat many have mistaken for a small bear. To learn more about Renee, visit her on Facebook, Twitter, or her website,


·       “This story, told from various points in time during the 1930s and ’40s, will not disappoint lovers of Ryan’s previous novel, The Widows of Champagne (2021). The setting of opera and art houses of a bygone era gives this book a special appeal to classical music and art enthusiasts. The novel also contains a chaste romance and hints of spirituality that will appeal to those looking for a clean, historical love story.” –Booklist

·       “…this (story) powerfully blends ruminations on the importance of art with acute depictions of Nazi cruelty. The result is a rousing historical.” –Publishers Weekly

·       A Costco pick!

Thank you #NetGalley #Harlequin #ReneeRyan #TheSecretSocietyofSalzburg for the advanced copy. The book comes out today, so get a copy fast!

One Last Secret by Adele Parks

We all have secrets. Some secrets eventually are revealed. It is inevitable, no matter how hard you try. Others will be taken to the grave. In Adele Parks’ new psychological thriller, the known, unknown gives the reader intense angst as we devour the story waiting for the last secret.

When Dora, an elite escort is invited by one of her clients to spend a week in the south of France, she hesitates. You see, she has just “retired” and is on a new path in life. But Daniel, one of her most loyal clients needs her desperately to pretend to be his girlfriend to assist him with someone he really wants to impress. So, she agrees to pretend to be with him with a very important caveat…no sex. You see, Dora has found someone she thinks she wants to spend her life with. If he knew what she was doing, he certainly would not approve.

But when she and Daniel arrive, and she meets the other guests and staff she immediately feels something is off. Dora begins to miss time as well as events in which she is told she was there but can’t remember being at. She starts to panic and decides to leave. But they now have some sort of hold on her, and she is unable to escape. Worst of all, no one knows she is there.

She begins to realize her past secrets which she has buried for so many years have become her dangerous present. Someone she knew has come back into her life to kill her. But she does not understand what on earth the motivation could be.

As hidden secrets are exposed, and Dora realizes she has lost control of her life as she knows it, she must face her painful past once again and hopefully survive. And just when she feels she might have control, there is always one last secret.

Thank you #NetGalley #Mira #AdeleParks #OneLastSecret for the advanced copy.

All The Dark Places by Terri Parlato

An astonishing psychological thriller in which one death opens the door to a chilling pandora’s box full of hidden secrets and mysteries.

Molly Bradley is content in her life. She has a wonderful husband who she trusts, great friends and a job she loves. But all that changes in just one night. As she falls asleep after the party she has just thrown for her husband’s birthday, she awakes to the worst imaginable nightmare anyone could imagine. She finds her husband Jay, a psychologist, dead in his home office. Murdered savagely.

Enter Boston Detective Rita Meyers who has been on the Boston Police force many years. She’s used to seeing death. Ruling Molly out as a suspect, she dives into who could possibly want the psychologist dead and why. They seemed to have a solid group of friends, although they tell her Jay had seemed distracted a bit the past week. He had been in the process of writing a book about psychopathic killers, even recently going to a prison to interview someone.

Molly knew he was writing a book but had no idea what it was about. When she finds out it shakes her to her core. As she tries to begin life without her best friend, she begins to believe someone tried to break into her house and is stalking her. But unbeknownst to both her friends and the police, Molly has a past in which none of them, but Jay knows about. And she refuses to give up the information because she believes her life will never be the same again.

As Molly and Jay’s friends surround her with love, Detective Meyers’ gut reaction is something is off with them. She thinks one of them knows something. Then Molly begins to get phone calls from an unknown person and receives a letter from prison and her life suddenly explodes once again taking her back to where she had once been.

Is Jay’s death related to her past? How could someone know who she really is? She has been so careful.

Detective Meyers starts to look at this murder very differently. With everyone a suspect, the pieces of this puzzle begin to fall into place. And someone does have their sights on Molly. Can she find the last piece before Molly is gone forever?

With the many twists and turns the story takes, and an amazingly shocking ending, this page turner is well worth the read!

Thank you #Goodreads #KensingtonBooks #AllTheDarkPlaces #TerriParlato for the advanced copy.

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling/Rachel Hawkins

The Kiss Curse is an absolutely, adorable, funny, delightful follow up to The Ex Hex by author Erin Sterling who also writes under the pen name Rachel Hawkins.

With her cousin Vivi now happily married to Rhys Penhallow and heading off on their long-awaited honeymoon, and her mother away on vacation, Gwyn Jones is put in charge of their witch shop, Something Wicked which is a tourist favorite just in time for all of Penhallow’s Halloween season. Everything seems to be going well until ANOTHER Penhallow brother show us!

Wells Penhallow, Rhys’ brother has decided he needs a change and comes to his namesake town to open none other than a witchcraft shop! Across the street from Gwyn and Vivi’s! And Gwyn is having none of it! So yes, he is handsome and has incredible hair. Lots of hair! But this is their town now and she is in charge!

Until one day as she visits Well’s store just to snoop around and a box falls on both of them and powder flies out and they unexpectedly kiss! They both believe the box has been cursed and they both are tremendously embarrassed. They decide to stay away from each other, not knowing what else the curse has in store for them, but strange circumstances seem to keep pulling them together.

It seems there is quite a bit of witchery going on in Penhallow, and some of it is not the good kind. So, Gwyn enlists some magic students to help her try and figure out what’s happening to the town. Then Gwyn’s powers begin to go on the fritz. She knows it might take the help of another powerful witch to help her figure out what darkness has been invited into the town. Ugh, Wells…

Is it possible for these two to work together without a.) killing each other or b.) falling in love?

The Kiss Curse is a fun, charming book with a wonderful mystery and enchanting characters those who read the first installment have grown to love! And with that said, there is one last Penhallow brother! I can’t wait!

Your Table Is Ready by Michael Cecchi-Azzolina

Your Table Is Ready by Michael Cecchi-Azzolina is a delicious dive into the underworld of restaurant workers with juicy tales giving all the unbelievable dirt of what the staff is up to (and it is quite a lot)! with the soup to nuts of all their high society and celebrity customers.

This can’t put down book tells intimate details of the goings on before, during and after a day of servicing customers, (in more ways than one). Azzolina explains in honest detail why sometimes customers can never get that window table with the beautiful view, or why that twenty does not seem to get you a table without a reservation. He even gives tips on how to do both!

But, for the most part it’s his stories which both amuse and sometimes shock the reader, at least this one! His accounts are from an era long ago, when there were no Human Resource departments and literally anything could happen and there was no one to complain to. It was also sadly during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic a time in which Azzolina lost many of his close co-workers and friends. In one story he explains how close he came to actually getting the disease and by sheer luck did not.

But it all starts when he was a young boy in Brooklyn looking for something to do. While all his friends were doing drugs and dying, he decided to find something else to do and that was working in a local restaurant. This led him to his amazing career. But he honestly admits he was no angel. He tells of the easy access to drugs, alcohol and the abuse which goes along with each. The drinking for the staff did not exactly start after the restaurant closed for the night but could begin as early as when someone got a bit stressed. He admits to doing many things for and to customers to make a little extra money.

But some of his stories are haunting. One in particular is about how he unknowingly made a person in the Mafia mad by innocently kicking a rude customer out at the request of his boss and being stalked and assaulted by him. It would forever change the way he managed rude customers.

The best stories are of course those in which he talks about the celebrities and people we know. The list is impressive…Dustin Hoffman, Madonna, Jackie Gleason, famous models and designers, and a not so nice Anna Wintour anecdote.

As one can imagine, working sometimes 10-to-15-hour shifts can be not only grueling but exhausting, only to have to get up and do the same thing over and over again. Relationships are difficult to maintain, and the last place a staffer wants to be on their day off is on a date at a restaurant.

Your Table Is Ready is not only an enjoyable read but could also be a bible of sorts and a how to (and not to) for those interested in the restaurant business. It’s terrifically gossipy, funny, heartwarming and sometimes cringy. I for one will never enter a restaurant the same way again!

Thank you #NetGalley #St.Martin’sPress #YourTableIsReady # MichaelCecchi-Azzolina for the advanced copy.

A Hard Day For A Hangover by Darynda Jones

A Hard Day For A Hangover is the third and sadly final installment of the Sherriff Sunshine Vicram series. But it certainly does not disappoint! It still captures Sunshine and the gangs incredibly witty, smart dialogue, with the mystery and intrigue of the other books. The incredibly quirky characters from the past stories are also included with some even having shocking revelations. But the laugh out loud dialogue makes these books hard to put down.

In this installment, Sunshine and her high school aged daughter Auri, who seems to be developing her mother’s talent for solving mysteries, in which Sunshine seriously explains to her daughter who wants to be an FBI agent that one of the requirements of being an agent is that she be a virgin, or they won’t take her, are caught up in some of their own family drama. Just who is Auri’s father, and when and how should Sunshine tell her. How will Auri take the news? In the meantime, she and Levi Ravinder and his nasty family, must navigate what comes next.

The story opens with a girl being found unconscious at the bottom of an embankment. No one seems to know who she is or where she came from. Auri takes it upon herself to investigate without her mother’s knowledge. In the meantime, with a Ravinder family prison break, and one of the towns people getting stabbed with a knitting needle, Sunshine seems to be running in circles.

The police station is still under raccoon attack as they have been unable to capture the unofficial deputy of the department even though he continues to wreak havoc on the place. And with all this going on Sunshine and Levi have finally decided to stop playing games and get serious with each other.

With another girl going missing, work is just not that much fun anymore. Auri gets too close to the truth and danger begins to unravel all around Sunshine. The ending will change the town as well as the lives of Sunshine and her family forever.

The Sunshine Vicram series has been one of the funniest mystery series I have ever read with terrific plot twists, odd characters and although I am devastated the series has ended, the final installment for those Sunshine fans will be the page turner they wished for and the ending they always wanted.

Thank you #NetGalley #St.Martin’sPress #DaryndaJones #AHardDayForAHangover for the advanced copy.