Wednesday, July 3, 2013

GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: The Last Cameliia: A Novel by Sarah Jio

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes.

More than half a century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple’s shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener’s notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate?

my thoughts:

Love, love, love!! I absolutely loved this book! It had mystery, drama, love, England, and flowers! What more could I ask for? Plus, it had the perfect mixture of past and present.  Jio did an amazing job of weaving Flora and Addison's stories together.  In fact, the way she connected the characters to the house and one another was fascinating.  Plus, I loved learning about the camellia - I even wound up googling Middlebury Pink.  I will admit to enjoying Flora's story a bit more than Addison's - I couldn't help it.  Flora's just had this emotional pull that I felt Addison's lacked.  Also, I identified with Flora more - working to help her parents out was something I could relate to.  Aside from the characters, I found myself easily engaged with Jio's story and would not put it down for anything (well, except for work and the drive home, but then I picked it right up and didn't stop reading.)

So, what exactly is this book about?  Well, its about a young woman named Flora who travels to England to become a nanny.  Only, its not just kids that she will be keeping an eye on.  Nope, Flora is on the look out for a rare flower that she hopes will provide the financial means necessary to take care of her parents.  As for Addison, she's a woman with a past who has been dodging phone calls lately.  Seems her past is about to catch up with her and in a bid to leave it behind, she tells her husband that a trip to England is just what they both need.  Of course, a change in location doesn't mean that you can escape your problems - in fact, it seems to make them even bigger.  Sounds intriguing, eh? Well, it is!  And, of course it all takes place in England (I heart that country) - in one of those huge, stately manors that has hidden staircases, too many rooms, and beautiful gardens.  Now, I'm not going to say what goes down, or who is responsible for what, because I don't want to spoil anything for you.  However, I will tell you one thing - the butler didn't do it. Har har har.  Seriously though, you will enjoy reading this book and you will love the surprise at the end. 

The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio is one book that I would wholeheartedly recommend to fans of Jio, women's fiction, and novels in general.  You will absolutely fall in love with this book - I did!  In fact, I still can't believe that I waited so long to read Jio - what was I thinking?

Oh, and if you don't believe me, then check out these other reviews of the book: The Last Camellia

And now, I'm off to order the rest of Sarah Jio's books.  Happy reading!!

GIVEAWAY: Thanks to the publisher, FIVE lucky readers can win a copy of this FANTASTIC novel!! All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what your favorite flower is.  How easy is that?  Last day to enter is July 17th!  Open to US/Canada residents only.  Good luck!!
Thank you to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!


rhapsodyinbooks said...

My favorite flower varies over time, but I think at the moment, I'm going with peonies!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

traveler said...

Thanks for this lovely giveaway. My favorite flower is geraniums. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Delightful giveaway. this year my flower that I enjoy is pansies. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

The Relentless Reader said...

Ooh, when you gush about a book I know I'm sure to love it!

My very favorite flower in the world is the daisy. So sweet and innocent looking. Sigh, I just LOVE them :)

Ti said...

She's a great storyteller. I keep saying that but it's true.

I have this book so I won't be entering the giveaway, but I'm glad to know that this one is a hit!

Sally said...

My favorite flower is the rose! It's my birth flower (June) and I carried roses at my wedding this past April :) I love Sarah Jio's earlier books especially The Bungalow. Thanks for the chance to win!

Blogger10 said...

Sounds like an interesting read! I've read one other Jio book, didn't really love it, but have wanted to try another just to be fair. :)

Oh and my favorite flower would have to be the gerbera daisy!

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Good luck, ladies :) I'm sure you will enjoy the new Jio as it is fantastic!

suz said...

Dahlias, the small ones that I can grow in containers; beautiful flowers, so perfect and long lasting.

Rebecca @ Love at First Book said...

I love the way gardenias smell! Soooo good!


Thank you for the giveaway! 5 winners? Awesome!!!!

-Rebecca @ Love at First Book

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

My favourite flower is the Lily of the Valley.

cdenya2 at Hotmail dot com

Connie said...

My favorite flower would be the rose. My grandma grew all kinds of them and I have a strong affection for them. My second favorite flower is the Lilac. :)

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Don't you just LOVE it when you find a book that is so perfect?! I'm thrilled to see how much you enjoyed this one!

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

SJL said...

Peonies! Just so beautiful and sweet, they always cheer me up. Really eager to read Sarah's new book! Thank you :) sjl446(at)nyu(dot)edu