Mini Reviews – September 2022

I try to avoid it every month but here we are again catching up on reviews. I’ll have a part two coming soon so I’m not packing too much into one post.

Thanks to the mentioned publishers for any gifted copies in the mix

Mini Reviews – September 2022 Part One

THE BEST FRIEND – Jessica Fellowes (Released September 13th, 2022 – Thanks to Minotaur Books for the gifted copy)

Following the intense, toxic friendship of two kindred spirits across their lifetimes, The Best Friend is a dark, suspenseful novel and first standalone from Jessica Fellowes, New York Times bestselling author of the Mitford Murders series and the companion Downton Abbey books.

Bella and Kate. Kate and Bella. From childhood they were bosom friends, Bella sensible and cautious, Kate gregarious and just a little dangerous.

Yet in spite of their intimacy, their trust is fragile. Men came into their lives and things changed: a black seed was set in the heart of their relationship. Over decades, acts of both cruelty and love ferment until one shocking event tests them more than ever. Neither will escape unscathed.

Reminiscent of Elena Ferrante and Sally Rooney, and for readers of Leila Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny and Ashley Audrain’s The PushThe Best Friend explores the darkest corners of female friendship, a place where loyalty and betrayal intersect with deadly consequences.

My Thoughts: 2/5 stars

I wanted to love this more than I did. I’m honestly not entirely sure what I read. I know that Kate and Bella are best friends and that they have been for life. We get to see their friendship grow and progress from a young age and the timeline jumps were confusing and hard to follow at times. Due to this the characters were difficult to connect to and tjr dialog felt disjointed. I’d give this author another shot but this book just wasn’t for me.

THIS POISON HEART – Kalynn Bayron (Released June 29th, 2021)

Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron’s new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.

Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.

When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.

When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.

From the bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead comes another inspiring and deeply compelling story about a young woman with the power to conquer the dark forces descending around her.

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

This book was mesmerizing from start to finish. I’m a sucker for anything with retellings or mythology and this one had everything I could have hoped for. The atmosphere at the mansion was all encompassing and the mystery surrounding Briseis’s powers was intriguing. Its very rare that book gets me in the feels and this one definitely did, so well done to the author for that. Just do yourself a favor and read this book!

THE AMERICAN ADVENTURESS – CW Gortner (Released September 20th, 2022 – Thanks to William Morrow Books for the gifted copy)

The story of Jennie Jerome Churchill, mother of Winston, a New York born heiress who always lived life on her own terms.

Daughter of New York financier Leonard Jerome, Jennie was born into wealth—and scandal. Upon her parents’ separation, her mother took Jennie and her sisters to Paris, where Mrs. Jerome was determined to marry her daughters into the most elite families. The glamorous city became their tumultuous finishing school until it fell to revolt.

Fleeing to Queen Victoria’s England, Jennie soon caught the eye of aristocrat Randolph Spencer-Churchill, son of the Duke of Marlborough, one of Britain’s loftiest peers. It was love at first sight, their unconventional marriage driven by mutual ambition and the birth of two sons. Undeterred by premature widowhood or society’s rigid expectations, Jennie brashly carried on a lifelong intimate friendship with Edward, Prince of Wales—a notorious bon vivant—and had two later marriages to younger men. When her son Winston launched his brilliant political career, Jennie guided him to success, his most vocal and valuable supporter.

By turns scandalous, tragic, and exciting, Jennie Jerome lived an unconventional life full of defiance—one that enshrined her as an American adventuress.

My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars

A story about a figure I can honestly say that I never gave a thought to, Winston Churchill’s mother. Not only is this well written but you can tell there was a lot of research that went into the book. It was a quick and fun read – Jennie Jerome Churchill was a force and she lived quite the life! I know there are other books about her and I’ll be keeping an eye out for them.

One thought on “Mini Reviews – September 2022

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: