Cover Image: A Brighter Flame

A Brighter Flame

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Member Reviews

Two sisters come together in their Grandmother's Philadelphia home.  The half sisters don't get along but when Vale's bar burns to the ground and her father had left the insurance lapse she had no choice.   Blythe has moved in with Grandmother because she has miscarried and thinks her husband will leave her.  Then there is the girl's mother.  As the four women work on their relationships, the sisters work on their love lives.  A truly wonderful story of relationships in a multi-generational story.
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This was a good heartfelt read about sisters. We have all had our sibling spats and Vale and Blythe had plenty of them, and couldn't be two different people. Vale took off from home as soon as she could and has had struggles her whole life with jobs, men and her father. Blythe has come across as the perfect daughter and is now married to a world famous baseball pitcher- go figure. Vale left and never looked back and Blythe didn't invite her to the wedding or any other part of her life. Their grandmother Iris has always had a house of refuge and this time the two of them have converged at the same time, and Iris is bound and determined to fix the sister bond that seemed to never have been there, as well as find out what each of them are running from. Confronting the past may be where the answers lie to get these two to realize that sisters are meant to be there for each other and that some truths need to be brought to light. Thank you to Suzy Approved Book Tours for the invite and to the author for the free novel.
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Vale is devastated when the bar she owns with her father Bo goes up in flames. To make matters worse she finds out he failed to pay the insurance premium. Seeking comfort and time to think she heads back home to Philadelphia to stay with her Nana Iris. Vale has had a tumultuous relationship with her mother, stepfather and her half sister Blythe and they haven’t spoken for a long time. When she arrives at her nana’s she’s shocked to see Blythe staying in the guest room as well.  Blythe appeared to have had the perfect life with her MLB husband, but when Vale arrives it’s soon apparent that her sister is hiding something and even Blythe husband is confused. We watch as  the two sister navigate through the years of pent up anger and frustrations, and their  both at crossroads  in their life. As they put aside their differences and work through memories of the past , they began to wonder are they able to mend their relationship, or is  it far too late for that? I loved this book , it has so many layers and we’re taken on journey with each character as they each face a problem and work through their past. This book is amazing it’s about family , secrets, forgiveness, healing and the hope for second chances.
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This is the first book I’ve read by Christine Nolfi and I really enjoyed it. The book reads like a Lifetime movie - family issues and marital issues that all come together in one great ending! A great light and fast read.
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"Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

Father and daughter,Bo and Vale, are devastated when their business, The Crafty Cocktail, burns to the ground. Vale almost gives up when she finds out her father let the insurance lapse and rather than deal with the fallout, she heads back to Philadelphia to stay with her grandmother Iris

Vale left Philadelphia and basically never looked back on her family "situations", but showing up at Iris' and finding her estranged sister there dealing with her own *issues" is not her ideal "homecoming".

Blyth was the daughter of her mother's second marriage and to Vale anyway, it seemed as if to them, she was the perfect daughter where Vale acted out. It also seemed that when Vale left they were happy to see her go. Blythe never even invited Vale to her wedding! So much for sisterly affection.

Both Iris and to somewhat Vale were sure Blythe's marriage was on the rocks. Little did they know how much Blythe was struggling.

In the meantime Vale stays with Iris and begins to catch her breath after Pittsburgh. She is enchanted by the nerdy little girl next door as well as her other neighbor, the pharmacist Emmett. Emmett is quite attracted to Vale and they slowly begin to explore a relationship. Coming from a non existent dating life on one end and a broken engagement on the other, they are wisely dating ..

Blythe, however, is dealing with issues that some couples have to deal with and Nolfi treats the issue with aplomb. Booker and Blythe love each other. Will this issue mean the marriage is over?

When everything comes out will the family reconcile? Will Vale and Emmett survive? Will Vale's father make peace? Will Vale and her mother finally come together? And what about "Mr. Mysterious"?
Highly Recommended 5/5

[Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. In no way did it affect this review or my opinions]
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“𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘥𝘰 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘶𝘴 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦?”
I adored this realistic family drama book capturing the lives of two estranged half sisters, both in their twenties and going through a rough time in their life.
Their Nana invites them both to visit with her, while she undergoes testing, hoping to bring the two closer again.
Making important discoveries of their mothers past relationship with each one’s fathers, this begins an important process to bridge the gap between each other.
Incredibly moving with a wonderful happy ending, add this one to your TBR now.
Thank you @suzyapprovedbooktours for having me on tour. 
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𝘛𝘰𝘶𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨!

This is my second book by Christine Nolfi and I have to say that now I have another favorite author. I loved everything about this story, it was beautifully written, moving and powerful. It was a one sitting read. Fantastic!

Thank you Suzy Approved Book Tours for this tour invite.

𝗔 𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗙𝗹𝗮𝗺𝗲 by Christine Nolfi released September 27, 2022.
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AUTHOR: Christine Nolfi
PUB DATE: 09.27.2022 Now Available

Christine Nolfi writes an emotional and complex family drama about a mother and their two daughters, which reminded me of my own relationship with my mother and my more favored sister.

A BRIGHTER FLAME is an uplifting and hopeful read about a family torn apart by their own narrative - I found the characters compelling and I was invested in their struggles and challenges. Once I got started it was hard to put this book down. Nolfi is such a great writer that is able to pull the readers in and in a thoughtful and poignant way. Just like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, so is to new beginnings for this family.

I really enjoyed this read!
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This is my third book by this author and she never disappoints. I enjoyed the characters and their relationships so much. There is a lot of growth in this story and I loved the way I was drawn in and became invested in the outcome. It's a beautiful novel of a family learning how to become family.
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This book was a feel-good read for me. Vale had a rocky relationship with every family member except her grandma and I loved the character development. There was family drama, some heartfelt sentimental moments, and even a little romance. I loved the characters and enjoyed getting perspectives from Vale, Blythe, and the grandmother. The supporting characters left as much of an impression as the main. The forced proximity the grandma created was a great way to get her grandchildren to face their problems. Some of the secrets had a slow burn but there was always something happening to keep me interested. All around a good book!

Thank you @christinenolfi and @netgalley and @suzyapprovedbooktours for the gifted copy.
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A family drama, mostly between half sisters, with a sweet grandmother. This one was so good. Loved the writing and the relatable characters. It was great to see the past experiences through the eyes of each sister and understand their perspective. There was even some romance
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A Brighter Flame is a story full of secrets, lies, and miss understandings that lead to the definite separation of a family that makes a big reef between sisters and even with her own mother casting her aside and making her feel all her life like a pest thinking always the other parent were the evil one when it was not.

Vale returns to her past after she and her father lost what seemed to be the life for both of them, she didn't expect to find any back stories or redemption while she was helping her grandmother but life has a funny way of bringing things from the past to make you aware how wrong you were or to bring the truth to the surface to finally make peace with your family and yourself. 

A complicated family drama that will have you in your seat, not knowing what will happen next and mostly seeing how the main character fights to recover what she lost by lies, mistakes, and past agendas that only brought many tears and sadness. 

Vale was a great character I really felt like she had the opportunity to redeem what she lost and finally make peace with herself and her sister and family in general.

Great book and story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the advanced copy of A Brighter flame in exchange for an honest review.
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In 𝐀 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐅𝐥𝐚𝐦𝐞, Vale Lightner has her dreams burn to the ground when a fire consumes the bar her father and her own. Returning to her hometown to be with her grandmother, Vale realizes she is opening herself up to old family wounds.

I love how Christine Nolfi writes her characters. They feel real and tangible, even relatable. 

If you enjoy complicated family dramas, you need to read this book. Vale has conflicts with her parents and step-sister, but her grandmother is a gem. Her grandmother understands how to show unconditional love and support to Vale and her half-sister.  

A side of romance provides a sweet reprieve from the deeper themes of family conflict, sibling rivalry, secrets, and forgiveness.

Thank you @suzyapprovedbooktours and @amazonpublishing for a spot on tour and a gifted copy
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It’s family drama time and this book made me think about all the messy and beautiful parts of having a blended family.

The book centers around half sisters, Vale and Blythe who are both having individual personal crisis and wind up staying at their grandmother, Iris’s house (thanks to a bit of manipulation on Iris’s part).

These half sisters haven’t gotten along in almost 15 years and have barely spoken.  There is a lot of animosity on both sisters’ parts who have the same mother but different fathers.

This book reveals not only what is behind each sister’s present angst but also past transgressions of the parents.

Iris, who is my favorite character in this book, moderates and helps gently guide not only Vale and Blythe but also Iris’s own daughter and the girls’ mom, Audrey.  

The book has a spark of romance and a bit of sports in it to keep it from being too heavy.

Also, the dilemma that Blythe is facing in her life is a subject that I’m very glad became an integral piece of the book.
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This book starts out in a bar which Vale owns with her dad. She’s always had a touch and go relationship with him since he basically was not in her like. After the bar goes up in flames so does her dreams for  good old dad let the insurance lapse .She goes back to her home town to figure out what she needs to do . Her mom and step dad never showed they care but her grandmother is her angel. Vale finally is trying to build a relationship to a sister she was never close too. It a complicated problem but Vale grows close to a neighbor and finally sees where she be the bigger person.
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Vale has a complicated history with her family and she distanced herself from them. She started a new life for herself and she opened a bar. One fateful day her bar is destroyed by fire. She needs to get back on her feet and she starts by moving in with her grandmother. While Vale is down and out, her family enters back into her life and she is resistant to the reunion. She always felt like she was pushed into the background because of her half sister. Her mother wants to start the healing process to bring her family together and Vale is reluctant about the idea. A story about the complexities of family relationships and second chances with interesting characters. 

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for this review copy, I received this review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Christine Nolfi has done it yet again and brought us a great story with Brighter Flame. This story is a well written tale of family secrets, forgiveness, and relationships.

Vale owns a bar in Pittsburgh, but after one tragic night, when the place literally goes up in flames, everything begins to shift and change for her again. Vale returns to Philadelphia to stay with her Nana Iris, only to discover that her half sister, Blythe is also staying there. Now is the time for Vale to face her past in order to move forward into her future.

I really enjoyed this book, and Christine's writing style always gives us unique storylines that manage to touch on a lot of personal and relatable issues. I can see myself being a fan of Christine's for many years to come!
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A Brighter Flame
Author, Christine Nolfi
Pub date: 9.27.22

Thank you @suzyapprovedbooktours #lakeunionpublishing @netgalley and @christinenolfi for my signed and gifted finished copy! I was excited to have the opportunity to read A Brighter Flame after I read and enjoyed Nolfi's The Passing Storm a few months ago!

At twenty- nine- years- old, Vale is only beginning to scratch the surface and understand how her tumultuous childhood brought her to where she is today- both emotionally and physically. After the Crafty Cocktail burned down, a bar that she and her father co- owned together in Pittsburg, she does a little soul- searching and realizes that she needs to start over yet again; but not before her beloved grandmother calls her home to Philadelphia to offer her a little support and help while she goes through some medical testing over the next couple of weeks. What her grandmother fails to tell her before her arrival, is that her half- sister, Blythe, is experiencing a crossroads in her seemingly perfect marriage, and is also staying with her grandmother while she figures out her next steps. However, Vale and her younger sister, her mother, and her step- father are estranged, so going home to Philadelphia to support her grandmother is now causing Vale to unbury her past memories and hurts, and face her own mistakes and poor decisions. 

Vale and her family, like all families, are flawed and imperfectly human. Nolfi's family drama is loaded with miscommunications, secrets, struggles, and inner challenges that each need to learn how to face, own, and forgive- not only each other, but themselves. Although I was able to predict many of the secrets, I thoroughly enjoyed reading how Vale's story unfolded, how she navigated and grew through her pain, and how she forged ahead and learned just how strong and capable she was all along. Her relationship with her intuitive and one- of- a kind grandmother was perfect and made me miss mine so much. I didn't even include her blossoming relationship with the local pharmacist, which is just so appropriate and perfect for Vale. Not to mention the ending, loved it! A Brighter Flame is an emotionally engaging drama of second chances, family, and of hope. Nolfi's writing is empathic, insightful, and realistic for those who love a well- written family drama!

4.5 stars!
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When Vale's bar, The Crafty Cocktail, burns down in Pittsburgh she goes back home to stay with her grandmother, Iris, in Philadelphia. She doesn't know when she arrives that her step-sister Blythe has been staying with Iris. They have never really gotten along. Vale felt her mother and Step-father, Grant, always treated Blythe better. Will these two come together and works things out and become family again?

This was my first book by Christine Nolfi and it did not disappoint. I really enjoyed this story about family. It was filled with real life situations and I appreciated that. I did think it ended perfectly, and I would recommend this to those who enjoy a good book about family with a little romance added in.
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Christine Nolfi always brings a tremendous amount of heart into her stories, and this book is definitely no exception. It is a touching story of the complexity of family relationships. I highly recommend this one.
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