The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (five stars)
Nora McNeill has always dreamed of exploring her Irish roots. When she finally gets the opportunity to spend a summer in the village where her grandparents grew up, the experience promises to live up to her very high expectations. Except for the ghost that is haunting her rented cottage and is soon invading her dreams.
Briana Devlin has arranged her life the way she likes it: a good dog, good mates, and work with horses. There’s no room in her life for a relationship. Especially with an annoyingly clumsy—and attractive—American who is only going to be around for a few months.
The weeks fly by, and Nora’s ghost becomes more demanding, seeking her help in solving the mystery surrounding her death. Briana watches as Nora becomes more wrapped up in the past, seeming to fade away before her eyes.
Past and present are on a collision course, leaving Nora and Briana caught in a ghostly intrigue that could cost them not only their chance of a future together, but their very lives.
|Genre(s):||> Lesbian Fiction
> Lesbian Romance
> LGBT Romance (Books)
“Wait!” Nora called out, scrambling over roots and rocks as branches tore at her hair and clothing. Up ahead, only just visible through the trees and underbrush, was a flash of pale yellow, the only color in the forest. Behind her, a woman’s voice wailed in the gloom, calling desperately.
This book introduces you to Nora McNeill, fulfilling her lifelong dream to visit the birthplace of her ancestors.
With “A Bittersweet Garden”, Caren J. Werlinger has created a wonderful story of exploring one’s Irish ancestry, dealing with a ghost, as well as a little history of Ireland and a touch of romance. It is a very enjoyable and compelling read, drawing you in as you learn more about Nora and the other characters. Caren J. Werlinger paints a clear picture of Nora and Briana’s minds while the story evolves. I was drawn very close to Nora – a woman who follows Ireland’s calling, needs to find herself, and has to deal with a strong-willed ghost. The characters are complex, believable with their flaws and virtues; the author’s care for each of them shows. As for the Irish locations – I was thrilled to return to the familiar places – without having to travel for once. The story is very nicely woven and has a wonderful flow.
This is a book for you if you like realistic protagonists, believable and often very likeable characters, Ireland, ghosts, and/or lesbian fiction.
|Cover||⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (five stars)|
|Writing||⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (five stars)|
|Plot||⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (five stars)|
|Characters||⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (five stars)|
|POV||Third person – past tense|
|Language|| (decent enough)
|Violence||– 😳 (some mentions)|
|Sexual content||😳 – 😡 (some scenes with moderate details)
About the author
Caren was raised in Ohio, the oldest of four children. Much of her childhood was spent reading every book she could get her hands on, and crafting her own stories. She was influenced by a diverse array of authors, including Rumer Godden, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Willa Cather, and the Brontë sisters. She has lived in Virginia for over twenty years where she practices physical therapy, teaches anatomy and lives with her partner and their canine fur-children.
She began writing creatively again several years ago. Her first novel, Looking Through Windows, won a Debut Author award from the Golden Crown Literary Society in 2009. Since then, she has published several more novels, winning three Goldies and multiple Rainbow Awards. She recently completed her first fantasy trilogy, The Dragonmage Saga. “A Bittersweet Garden” is her fourteenth published novel.
Check out her blog: https://cjwerlinger.wordpress.com/
Connect with the author:
Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading. Now I am asking you. 🙂
My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about “A Bittersweet Garden”? Or – if you did not yet read “A Bittersweet Garden” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?
I am looking forward to reading your comments. 🙂