BOOK REVIEW: THE LENDING LIBRARY BY ALIZA FOGELSON.

Author: Aliza Fogelson

Title: The Lending Library

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)/ Women’s Fiction

Publication date: 01 July, 2020

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

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Book Blurb

For fans of Jane Green and Loretta Nyhan, a heartwarming debut novel about a daydreamer who gives her town, and herself, an amazing gift: a lending library in her sunroom.

When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she’s as resourceful and generous as Dodie, she turns her sunroom into her very own little lending library.

At first just a hobby, this lit lovers’ haven opens up her world in incredible ways. She knows books are powerful, and soon enough they help her forge friendships between her zany neighbors—and attract an exciting new romance.

But when the chance to adopt an orphaned child brings Dodie’s secret dream of motherhood within reach, everything else suddenly seems less important. Finding herself at a crossroads, Dodie must figure out what it means to live a full, happy life. If only there were a book that could tell her what to do…

My Review

The Lending Library by Aliza Fogelson was written  in first person narrative.

The  main character name is Dodie or Do for short.

I love her two friends, Kendra and Sullivan.

Do is so obsessed with books. I could understand her perfectly. In fact, the book title was what made me to request for the book from NetGalley. I have always been fascinated with libraries and books. Funnily enough, my blog name is “The Book Chic Blog” so I can totally relate with Do.


I don’t want to summarise the book but libraries have a way of welcoming you home especially if you’re a book lover.


I could practically imagine everything involved in starting the Lending Library thanks to Dodie’s narrative.


Themes of friendship, family, support, love for books and many more were explored in this novel.


I love this line from the book ” The smell of books was already filling the air”.


Aliza Fogelson writes an engaging novel where so many lives are brought out in the book.


Oh! I love the recipe that was added at the back of the book. The baker in me wanted to try out the renowned Hummingbird cake popular in this novel. Thanks, Aliza Fogelson for that extra chapter.


I am giving this book 4  stars rating.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

About the Author

Aliza Fogelson is a writer and editor living in New York. She specializes in lifestyle books, including those about decorating, cooking, and style. She graduated from Princeton University, where she studied literature and creative writing. Her first published work was her third-grade short story “Baby Cow’s Adventure.” This is her first novel.

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BOOK REVIEW: A DISCERNING EYE BY CAROL ORANGE.

Author: Carol Orange

Title: A Discerning Eye

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Mystery & Thrillers

Publication date: 15 September, 2020

Publisher: Girl Friday Productions. Cavan Bridge Press.

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Book Description

An art heist sets into motion a high-stakes operation that will involve Interpol, the FBI, the Mafia, drug lords, and a daring female art dealer.

Art dealer Portia Malatesta is devastated when she learns that thirteen works of art were robbed from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. To help uncover the whereabouts of the artwork, she sets out to construct a psychological profile of the thief. By analyzing the common theme linking the stolen pieces, she suspects the mastermind behind the heist is obsessed with the interplay of dark and light—not only in art, but also in life.

The FBI enlists Portia’s help in a high-stakes sting operation to recover the stolen works of art—a dangerous proposition that will take her to Colombia, where she’ll have to earn the trust of a notorious drug lord’s married daughter. Risking everything, Portia navigates the underworld of Medellín—a complicated web of politics, pride, and ugly crimes—where a single misstep could have deadly consequences.

My Review

A Discerning Eye by Carol Orange is a book that takes you on a journey to the world of art.


I observed the author’s style of writing. It is remarkable.


Although this is not one of my favourite genre but you can’t help getting immersed in the plot.

The book  setting is in Italy.
The main character, Portia is described as a woman that is wise and calculative.

This is a suspense novel that reminded me of those movies where the main actors are on the hunt for the bad guys.


One thing that fascinated me was the names of the characters in the book. I did my best to mentally pronounce them correctly based on their spellings.


Each chapter was written with a date, month and a year. It looked almost liked a diary but the narrative was in third person.


The book cover and title intrigued me.

I am giving this book 4 stars rating.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

About the author

Rev Ink, andSheKnows among others. She is a long-term member of the New York Society Library fiction-writing group headed by published author John Buchanan.

She has worked as an editor of art books in London and owned an art gallery in Boston. Her Etsy storefeatures many of the artists she represented, as well as vintage posters she collected from all over the world.

Carol also spent two years in Paris, where she researched the life and times of George Sand and developed a series of Sand-Chopin salons with concert pianist Virginia Eskin. She recently moved to Chicago to be near her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, and is at work on her next novel about art theft.

BOOK REVIEW: ARIAN BY IRIS GOWER.

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

Series: Book 4 of 6. The Cordwainers

Publication date: 31 May, 2011

Publisher: Random House UK

Product Description

Perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin, this is the powerful next instalment of The Cordwainers, a series from bestselling author Iris Gower.


Arian – spirited and unconventional – had always shocked the residents of World’s End with her wild behaviour. As she begins to make a name for herself in the leather and shoemaking trade, she is overjoyed when the intriguing and charismatic Calvin Temple decides to back her. Yet this backing proves disastrous when her venture with a French company fails and it looks as though all their money will be lost.

When Arian sets out for France in desperation to try to salvage their investment, she falls foul of the law and is given a grim alternative to prison – a loveless marriage with a man she despises.

Will she ever be able to find fulfilment with the man she loves, or will she be forced to face a life sentence of unhappiness?

Arian is the fourth in Iris Gower’s The Cordwainers series. The story continues in Sea Mistress.

My Review

Arian. Book 4 of the Cordwainers series. I met Arian in book 3. She was Fon’s friend in Swansea, Honey’s Farm.


Wow! I am really enjoying each book in the series.


Here we meet Arian, a lady dealt cruelly by men and life but surviving against all odds.


Iris Gower took me on an adventure to the lives and minds of people in this novel.


This series is totally different from the historical fiction novels I do read. This is a genre on its own.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions in this review are mine.

About the author

Iris Gower was born in Swansea. The mother of four grown-up children, she wrote over twenty bestselling novels. She received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Wales Swansea in 1999 and was awarded an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cardiff.

BOOK REVIEW: HONEY’S FARM BY IRIS GOWER.

Author: Iris Gower

Title: Honey’s Farm

Series: Book 3 of 6. The Cordwainers

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

Publication date: 30 June, 2011

Publisher: Random House, UK

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Book Blurb

Perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin, this is the emotional third instalment in The Cordwainers, a series by bestselling author Iris Gower.


Can she overcome the perils facing her and win the heart of the man she loves?

Fon Parks isn’t surprised with farmer Jamie O’Connor asked her to marry him – she had nursed his wife until her death and knew his son and the ways of Honey’s Farm.

She adores Jamie, but her love is unrequited.

When the future of the farm is threatened by people who want to destroy Jamie and his wife, she determines, with the support of her friend Eline Harries, to take action, stand strong against the dangers confronting her and earn the love of her husband.

Honey’s Farm is the third in Iris Gower’s The Cordwainers series. The story continues in Arian.

My Review

Honey’s Farm is book 3 of the Cordwainers series by Iris Gower.


The main character here is Fon. Daughter of Nina Parks from book 2, Oyster Catchers.


Iris Gower brought the lives of the characters alive in this book.


I was happy to see Eline’s story continued here.


I can’t wait to read the remaining books in this series.

The book cover is fascinating and the plot is addictive.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

About the book

Iris Gower was born in Swansea. The mother of four grown-up children, she wrote over twenty bestselling novels. She received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Wales Swansea in 1999 and was awarded an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cardiff.

BOOK REVIEW: THE OYSTER CATCHERS BY IRIS GOWER.

Author : Iris Gower

Title: The Oyster Catchers

Series: Book 2 of 6. The Cordwainers

Genre: Historical Fiction / General Fiction (Adult)

Publication date: 22 March, 2011

Publisher: Random House UK, Transworld Publishers.

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Book Description

Perfect for fans of Rosie Goodwin and Cathy Sharp, this is the moving second instalment of The Cordwainers, a series by bestselling author Iris Gower. 

Can she cling on to her hopes for the future?

When her father dies, Emmeline Powell finds herself married to fisherman Joe Harries – rough, stoic, sturdy and many years her senior. But the other fishermen’s wives are unwelcoming and she soon finds herself lonely, isolated and trapped in an ill-matched marriage.

But then she meets Will Davies, who teaches her things about herself and about love that she never knew. 
As tragedy and feuding erupt in the village, will the promise of a new life still be open to her?

The Oyster Catchers is the second in Iris Gower’s The Cordwainers series. The story continues in Honey’s Farm.

My Review

The Oyster Catchers by Iris Gower.

This is book 2 of the Cordwainers series.

I felt for seventeen year old Eline who prefers the farm life to a life at sea catching Oysters.

I was happy to see Hari’s name mentioned in this book but that’s what you get from a book in a series.

Imagine being trapped in a loveless marriage?


While reading this book, I was looking forward to the end. I wanted to see how life will turn out for Eline.


I love this book. So emotional, descriptive and entertaining.


Eline is just an awesome character, despite how life treated her, she never gave up.


You need to watch out for Nina Parks. She really surprised me in this book.


I am rating it 5 stars.


Love is beautiful when you’re with the right person.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

About the author

Iris Gower was born in Swansea, where she still lives. The mother of four grown-up children, she has written over twenty bestselling novels. She received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Wales Swansea in 1999 and has been awarded an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cardiff.

BOOK REVIEW: THE SHOEMAKER’S DAUGHTER BY IRIS GOWER.

Author: Iris Gower

Title: The Shoemaker’s Daughter

Series: Book 1. The Cordwainers

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)/ Historical fiction

Publication date: 22 March, 2011

Publisher: Random House UK, Transworld Publishers

Book Blurb

Perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin, this is the powerful beginning of The Cordwainers, a series from bestselling author Iris Gower.

Will she let matters of the heart cloud her judgement?

When her father dies, Hari Morgan has no choice to but make a life for herself and her ailing mother and carry on the family shoemaking business. Her talent leads her to an unlikely friendship with Emily Grenfell, the daughter of one of the richest men in Swansea.

But friendship is fickle. As their respective fortunes change and they both fall in love with Craig Grenfell, Emily’s cousin, Hari must decide whether to follow her heart or her head…

The Shoemaker’s Daughter is the first in Iris Gower’s The Cordwainers series. The story continues in The Oyster Catchers.

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My Review

This is an in depth book that takes you on a journey to Hari’s  life.

This is the first book by Iris Gower and her style of writing is fascinating.


The book cover is so beautiful.


I learnt from this book that no matter your title on earth, every human being is important, useful and deserves to love and be loved for.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

About the author

Iris Gower was born in Swansea, where she still lives. The mother of four grown-up children, she has written over twenty bestselling novels. She received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Wales Swansea in 1999 and has been awarded an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cardiff.

BOOK REVIEW: THE GIRLS OF VICTORY STREET (THE BRYANT SISTERS BOOK 1) BY PAM HOWES.

Genre: Historical fiction/ Romance

Series: The Bryant Sisters Book 1

Publication date: 27 July, 2020

Publisher: Bookouture

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Book Blurb

From Amazon bestseller Pam Howes comes an emotional World War Two saga about three young women whose bravery and friendship will see them through the darkest times.

Liverpool, 1939. Bella Rogers thought her life was just starting; she can’t wait to get married to her childhood sweetheart, Bobby. But when war is declared and Bobby is called up, his letters stop, leaving Bella heartbroken and alone. Then her family is torn apart by tragedy when her angelic five-year-old sister dies from a terrible illness. They can barely afford a funeral, but the church is packed with the entire community, devastated for their loss.

Grieving for her sister and lost love, Bella finds a job at the Bryant and May factory, making matches. As bombs begin to fall, Bella gets the workers singing, keeping spirits high amidst the fear. When she meets a handsome American airman, Earl Franklin Jr, Bella’s heart finally starts to mend. Earl encourages her passion and soon she and her friends are offered the opportunity of a lifetime: to travel the country’s army bases, entertaining the troops and singing for victory. They name themselves The Bryant Sisters.

Just as her life is getting back on track, Bella finds herself pregnant – and Earl reveals a shattering secret that changes everything about their future. Desolate, she flees home to Liverpool, but as an unmarried mother, will her family reject her? And, as she faces a terrible sacrifice, will she ever sing with The Bryant Sisters again?

A heartbreaking historical novel about women in wartime, friendship, family and hope. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Diney Costeloe and Wives of War.

My Review

The Girls of Victory street.(The Bryant Sisters 1) by Pam Howes.
The first line of chapter one grabbed my full attention. The author’s description were so vivid and real.


The book cover is beautiful too. I am an aesthetic person who appreciates beauty especially in book covers.


This is a heartbreaking but enjoyable story. Every emotions the characters experienced were written so perfectly you can’t help feeling them too.
War is terrible.


I love the three friends, Edie,Fran and Bella. Their friendship almost made me go green with envy.


Wow! I had an adventure traveling around Europe with the Bryant sisters.


I agree, war is disastrous but one need to make the most out of it.


I ENJOYED this book so much.


5 stars rating, please.


I can’t wait to read more books by the author. I love her style of writing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookouture through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

About the author

Pam Howes was born in Cheshire. She is an ex Interior Designer who began writing seriously in the mid nineties. The idea for her first novel, set in the sixties, was inspired by her time as a teenager, working in a local record store and hanging around with musicians who frequented the business. That first novel evolved into a series set in the fictional town of Pickford, based on her home town of Stockport. Three Steps to Heaven; ‘Til I Kissed You; Always On My Mind; Not Fade Away, and That’ll Be The Day, follow the lives and loves through the decades of fictional Rock’n’Roll band The Raiders. Pam is a big fan of sixties music and it’s this love that compelled her to write the series. A stand-alone true-life romance, Fast Movin’ Train, set in the nineties, was published in early 2012. Pam is mum to three adult daughters, grandma to seven assorted grandchildren, and roadie to one musician partner.

Pam recently signed a second contract with the award winning publisher Bookouture and the first novel in her new Lark Lane series, The Factory Girls of Lark Lane, will be published in July 2018.
Her first series for Bookouture – The Mersey Trilogy – is available in E book, paperback and as audio books.

The Lost Daughter of Liverpool
The Forgotten Family of Liverpool
The Liverpool Girls

Follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pam-Howes-Books/260328010709267

And Twitter @PamHowes1