[Book Talk] Ember Island by Kimberley Freeman

Book Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Read: June 2017


A riveting story of secrets and scandal.

1890: Orphaned as a small child, Tilly Kirkland found a loving, safe home with her grandfather in Dorset. But nineteenth-century England is an unforgiving place for a young woman with limited means and as her grandfather’s health fails, it seems perfect timing that she meets Jasper Dellafore. Yet her new husband is not all he seems. Alone in the Channel Islands, Tilly finds her dream of a loving marriage is turning into a nightmare.

2012: Bestselling novelist Nina Jones is struggling with writer’s block and her disappointing personal life. Nothing is quite working. After a storm damages Starwater, her house on Ember Island, she decides to stay for a while and oversee the repairs: it s a perfect excuse to leave her problems behind her on the mainland. Then Nina discovers diary pages hidden in the walls of the old home. And a mystery unravels that she is determined to solve.

Though the two women are separated by years, Starwater House will alter the course of both their lives. Nina will find that secrets never stay buried and Tilly learns that what matters most is trusting your heart.

My Thoughts

This is only my second Kimberley Freeman book, but oh my gosh, I wish I had ALL of her books so I could binge read them! She is such a great writer, weaving the past and the present together so seamlessly, but still in a way that has you wondering how everything fits together.

The last book I had read by Kimberley happened years ago and I loved it so much — I think I bought this one pretty soon after finishing that one because I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had other books I was reading but this one kept niggling its way into my head and I finally had to pick it up! Right off the bat I remembered why I loved her writing so much – she sucked me right in and automatically I was curious how the past story fit with that of the present, that of a writer who escapes to an old family house to work on her next novel. I loved that the main character was a writer and I fell in love with Starwater immediately.

This was such an enjoyable read and I loved that it kept me reading late at night. It might have been slightly predictable, but the joy of reading the story and the journey to what I thought might happen in the end was still so great. And only a few chapters in I was researching Kimberley’s other books, seriously contemplating just buying them all because she’s just such a great writer! If I had to compare her to someone, it would probably be the writing of Taylor Jenkins Reid, where you get those dual stories that meet up at some point in the book. This story was addicting and lovely and I’m happy I finally read it!

[Children’s Book Thoughts] Peek A Flap Who, Little Yellow Bee, & I Love Sharks, Too!

I was lucky enough to get some books from a friend of mine who works at Thomas Allen & Sons the other day. She was sending me a copy of a book they had blurbed my cover thoughts on and I was surprised and happy to see that she sent me not only that, but four other books for me AND three for my kids!

Now, my kids LOVE books. They adore any book that has them searching the pages for items, or looking under flaps for things, or just books with lots of colours, great stories, and lots of fun for both them and my husband and me. The three books that I got were AWESOME. Two of them were lift the flap books – Peek A Flap Who and Little Yellow Bee – and normally I hate lift the flap books because they’re so flimsy. My kids will open them up, lift a flap, and something gets ripped immediately. These books, however, have heavier flaps that seem almost indestructible and are perfect for tiny ninja hands!

My daughter gave these books to my husband to read over and over again and it was so much fun watching them find the birds and other animals on the pages – and I loved the surprise on her face as she lifted all the flaps. Of course my three and a half year old had to get in on it too and they both cuddled up to dad, reading them over and over. Little Yellow Bee is definitely for a smaller audience, but Lift The Flap Who is not only fun to read, but educational, which is something that I love. It’s perfect for both of them!

I Love Sharks, Too! is a picture book rated 3 and up and I thought it was so much fun! I had read some reviews on it and one had said that they didn’t like how there was no addressing of the little boy’s behaviour in the book. As I read the book, I loved how the story was interspersed with shark facts, making it flow really nice. I don’t think it needed a resolution because the whole story was how Stevie thought he was a shark, too, and wanted to do things like a shark would. At the “end” of the story there are then pages of shark facts and, honestly, for any young child who loves learning facts like this, it’s a great book! We all learned lots reading the story and I know my kids will find it fascinating when they can read it on their own. There are LOTS of other books about child behaviour that a few can just be silly and fun.

Thank you so much to Ambur at Thomas Allen & Sons for sending me copies of these wonderful books! 

This Week(ish) In Books – August 1-8, 2017

This Week In Books

“This Week In Books” is a weekly event, hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found, that lets readers share what they read, what they’re reading, and what they’re planning to read next. I thought it would be a nice way to recap my reading week and share a few thoughts on what I’ve been reading.

What I Read:

I took the whole month of July off from updates to this post since I had a LOT of posts going up for my Month of Canada and felt like this would just be too much, so I’m back at it now for August! This month is all about reading the books I own, as well as reading books for #ARCAugust and #TomeTopple.


These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips – I was so lucky to have gotten this book signed from the author as a thank you for having her on the blog last month, and it was such a good book! I gave it 4.5 stars and it’s worth all the hype that’s been on social media. I was crying by the end of it.

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2) by Cassandra Clare – Such a disappointment. I think I’m done with Cassandra’s Shadowhunter books because I’m just not liking them anymore. Now, I did really like Lady Midnight, but there was just too much in this book that had me rolling my eyes. I also felt like the whole 700 page book was too long and didn’t have any resolution at all. I rated this one 2 stars and will definitely try to not be lured in by the pretty covers in the future!

Miss You by Kate Eberlen – This book was definitely too long (seems to be a running theme) but it had its good points. Unfortunately, I only rated this one 3 stars – it was good, but not great. I had high hopes since it was blurbed by Sophie Kinsella, but I just didn’t like either of the characters. There was too much cheating going on in this book, too.

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – I’m not sure I would classify this as horror – Reese Witherspoon blurbs this on the front saying its terrifying and I think she’s correct in that the atmosphere is definitely chilling, but it’s a solid mystery book at best. I’m happy to have finally read my first Ruth Ware book and I liked the writing in this one so much that I bought her other two books before I even finished. I rated this one 4 stars.

Paper Hearts (The Heartbreaker Chronicles, #2) by Ali Novak – This was a review book I got through Sourcebooks and even though I was tentative going into it, I ended up loving it! I read the whole thing in a day and thought it was a lot of fun. A little too light on the mystery part but I loved the whole thing. I rated this 4 stars.

What I’m Currently Reading:


Deer Life by Ron Sexsmith – I received this one as a review book through Dundern and it’s okay. It’s not great and the writing is not good. I had really high hopes since I love Ron Sexsmith but this book is really confusing as to who it’s written for and it’s almost like he’s trying to channel Neil Gaiman, but not doing a good job.

Dinner With Edward by Isabel Vincent – I’m not too far into this one, but I’m really liking it. This was one of the books I got from Thomas Allen and it looked very interesting. I started reading it while starving which was a horrible idea since a lot of it is about food, but I LOVE food books.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – This one is pretty good. I love stories that have two people communicating through letters or texts or something, where one person has no idea who the other is. I’m glad I finally got the audiobook for this one!

The Drowned Girls (Angie Pallorino, #1) by Loreth Anne White – Just started this one yesterday but it has almost a Kelley Armstrong vibe to it, similar to something like her Nadia Stafford series. It’s just over 500 pages and I’m about 20% in and hoping I love it since the next book comes out in November. I ADORE this cover, too.

What I Plan To Read Next: 


August is #ARCAugust and I loosely define it as being a month to read not only ARCs, but also books that I won or was given and since this year’s priority is to read the books that I buy or am gifted as they come in, that means all of these are books I’ve gotten this year! Goodbye Days is a book I won through a Twitter giveaway from Indigo; Just Friends and The Agony of Bun O’Keefe are both review books and ARCs, and; The Atomic Weight of Love was given to me from Thomas Allen & Sons after they quoted my thoughts on the cover. Really hoping to get through all of these in the next week!

New On The Shelf

So, at the beginning of the month I told myself that I wasn’t going to buy ANY books because I wanted to work through the books I had already bought this year … and then I bought 11 books. And it’s only August 9th! This is precisely why I can’t stick to book buying bans – I love books too much!

Like I had said above, Thomas Allen had sent me a book because they blurbed my thoughts on the cover, BUT I didn’t mention that they sent me a big pile of books on top of that! I’ve already read the kids books with my kids and am working through two more of the books now. I feel so lucky to have gotten these – I literally gasped out loud when the post office lady handed me the huge package!

What I’m Waiting For

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

August 22, 2017 | Avon

If you’ve read any Tessa Dare books, you’ll know that this needs no explanation! I LOVE her books. Whenever I read any kind of historical romance, I compare them to Tessa Dare’s books because I just love her writing. Her books are sweet, funny, sexy, romantic, and just perfect. Needless to say, this new series is going to be so good!

What have you been reading lately? Any recommendations? What books are you waiting for to be published?