Book Review Tuesday: The Marriage Secret by Carey Baldwin, Hues of Hope: Selected Poetry by Balroop Singh #PsychologicalFiction #Women’sFiction #poetry @CareyBaldwin @BalroopShado

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over image

Hello and Happy April! Welcome to my first book review feature for the month. Today, I have two very different titles to share, both splendid. A shout-out to Harmony Kent for alerting me to The Marriage Secret with her own fabulous review. For my second book today, I can always count on this author to deliver when it comes to poetry. Let’s get started!

Book cover shows double bed made with white sheets and pillows, bouquet of red roses on bed with several loose petals

By Carey Baldwin

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I became an instant fan of Carey Baldwin when I read Her First Mistake. With The Marriage Secret, Baldwin has scored again with the twisty story of a woman trapped in a wretched marriage. Holly thought she had it all when she married Zach, a respected doctor. For a time, her life was perfect—even after Holly shared a horrid secret from her past on their marriage day. Still, Zach lavished her with attention and gifts, promising to love her forever. But on the day their baby, Jolene, is born, Zach reveals a side of himself that is only the beginning of a dark and downward spiral for Holly. Her once perfect husband becomes manipulative and controlling, orchestrating events to make her question her sanity.

Zach is a character who made my skin crawl from the moment he showed his true colors in chapter one.

The book starts with a hook and keeps the tension building as Holly struggles to extradite herself from her wreck of a marriage and possessive husband. Because the book is told in first person POV, it’s easy to connect with Holly. Uncertain of her footing at first, she gains strength as the story progresses, willing to do what is necessary to protect Jolene.

This is a book of mind games, not physical abuse. Zach and Holly dance around each other in a clever game of cat and mouse. Especially when Holly gets wind of a secret from Zach’s past and gains leverage to use against him. Then two of the med students he mentored are found dead and matters go from simmer to boil. When the end comes, it corkscrews in a series of impossible twists. I was thrilled to have a “lightbulb moment” before the author delivered the final reveal, but even so—wow!

This is a fantastic domestic thriller and one I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a slick and crafty read.


by Balroop Singh

Book cover is an open window on night sky with crescent moon and dark sky above, fiery sunset sky below with small trees in silhouette, old vanished lantern in front of window

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I think of Balroop Singh’s poetry as immersive poetry because you’re able to sink so deeply into the words, the images they evoke, and the emotions they inspire. In this collection of poetry, themed around hope, you’ll find verses that celebrate nature, explore love, loss and death, as well as examine joy and resilience—all paving a path to the hope that inspires and raises us above circumstances.

Contents are broken into sections led by verse: Beyond the chaotic world; When each moment shimmers; Beams of Love; Clutching bizarre hope, and Reflections that retort. Each of these features its own gems where you’ll experience feelings inspired by the powerful brushstroke of the author’s words.

I’m a fan of nature poetry, so I was particularly drawn to those. Watch the Magic, which speaks to the changing seasons, is one of my favorites. You can see the magic unfold in verses such as

Deep shadows dance around me
Wind and breeze compete to win.
Far away, at the horizon, gray scrambles
To steal some golden kisses.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the poems in this collection, but of particular note, I was moved by Transient Waterfall, A Touch, Buried Dreams, My Muse, and Ode to Poetry. Topping the list, my very favorite is Do you Remember—a beautiful testament to memories and looking back on life with a loved one. I’ll share the opening verse here:

Do you remember the days?
When we played with clouds
Rolled in colors,
Wore them around
Drenched and smiled
When we splayed colors at each other.

This poem alone, I can read over and over, and find new glimmers of meaning and memory each time. Grab the book, experience Do You Remember, and all the jewels in this lovely collection!


64 thoughts on “Book Review Tuesday: The Marriage Secret by Carey Baldwin, Hues of Hope: Selected Poetry by Balroop Singh #PsychologicalFiction #Women’sFiction #poetry @CareyBaldwin @BalroopShado

  1. I’m so thrilled my recommendation spurred you on to read the book, Mae. Carey Baldwin has become a go-to author for me now.

    I have Balroop’s new book waiting on my ereader for me and look so forward to getting to it.

    Great reviews. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 💕🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. After hearing Harmony’s recommendation, I have “The Marriage Secret” waiting on my Kindle. “Her First Mistake” was amazing.I’m thinking Rebecca Baldwin might become one of my go-to authors.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Many thanks for this honor Mae, I am thrilled to see your review. First review is always exciting but such an excellent one with my favorite quotes is a blessing! 🥰 Love and hugs. Baldwin sounds like an awesome author, I must check her books.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s my pleasure to share my review of Hues of Hope today, Balroop. As usual, I found myself immersed in your words and the beautiful images you paint. Do You Remember is one I have always loved and never tire of reading.
      Congrats on your release! 💕❤️🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These both sound wonderful but especially The Marriage Secret. I love that the tension builds and that it hooks you in from the beginning. These are very important to hold my gnat-like attention. Excellent reviews!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for sharing your reviews, Mae. I was unaware of Carey Baldwin, and now I will seek her out. I love Balroop’s poetry and look forward to reading Hues of Hope. Congratulations to Carey and Balroop! 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    • Balroop always delivers, doesn’t she, Gwen. Hues of Hope is another sparkling achievement for her.
      And Carey Baldwin is now a go-to author for me. She’s 2 for 2 and hitting them in home run territory! 🙂


  6. Two fantastic reviews, Mae! I don’t know a lot about poetry, but Balroop’s lyrics read like the verses of a song to me- evocative and beautiful.
    I haven’t read Carey Baldwin yet, but this sounds like a page-turner!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t read a lot of poetry, but Balroop and Denise Finn’s always speak to me. Every now and then, I just get in the mood, 🙂
      And I think you’d like Carey Baldwin, Jacquie. I’ve read two of her releases now and found them impossible to put down!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel the tension and am hooked just by reading your review of The Marriage Secret by Carey Baldwin, Mae. I love Balroop’s poetry and enjoyed your review of her new release! Thank you for sharing your thoughts of these books.

    Liked by 1 person

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