Tag Archives: life

Review: Cooper’s Charm by Lori Foster

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…

Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.

Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.

For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Cooper’s Charm by Lori Foster is about second chances. Friendships, fresh starts, and a bit of romance can be found on the pages. The story is sweet, steady-sometimes slow, and engaging. I felt it tug my heart in some places. Other spots in the book dragged a little. It felt like there were more details than was needed. The main female character seemed sad and distant. Her new job was just the thing to stir up her life. It like she came back to the living. Cooper, her boss, was real likable. He had this way of dragging me further into the plot. Charming, hard-working, and kind, Cooper was a great character to follow. Overall, it was a good story about letting go of the past and moving forward.

 

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Review: I Hate Everyone, Except You by Clinton Kelly

I Hate Everyone, Except You

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly pens a hilariously candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult.

Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker.

Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jump start her cheer-leading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). Clinton delves into all these topics—and many more—in this thoroughly unabashedly frank and uproarious collection.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

I Hate Everyone, Except You is a deeper look into the man many have come to love. Clinton Kelly has always appeared to be this perfect well-put together man. I could never imagine him doing anything that was well-done.  His taste and mannerisms come alive in this journey. A journey through his younger years and into the man he is now. I found it quite interesting. There’s more depth to this celebrity than I thought originally. He’s funny, bold, and learns along the way. Watching him fail, wasn’t really failure…it was success in if it didn’t feel so at the time. Failure moments teach and change us. Clinton Kelly grew as he approached his station in his life and career. I loved his caring demeanor towards his family. He and his step-dad went from not liking each other to liking each other. I think we all can learn something from this memoir. Apply it to our own journeys and grow from them. Overall, I Hate Everyone, Except You was inspiring and motivational. The pages held a lot of humor making this feel nothing like a typical memoir.

Review: Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Cottonbloom is the perfect place for starting over, finding your way back home–and falling head over heels. . .

Ella Boudreaux has a lot to prove to her family, friends, and foes–and to herself. So when her marriage ends she decides to invest her energy and money into a place that brings back some of Ella’s happiest memories: the Abbott brothers’ garage. Maybe, if she puts her mind to it, she can teach skeptical, stubborn Mack Abbott how to make the business a true success. Which would be a lot easier if the hunky mechanic didn’t make her motor run quite so fast…and hot.

Mack was furious when his brother, Ford, sold his share of the business. He’s in no rush to team up with a wealthy divorcee who shows up to the garage in stilettos–and the longest, sexiest legs he’s seen in forever. But Ella’s grit and determination won’t quit…and soon Mack can see that she’s been down a few rough roads herself. Neither Mack nor Ella can deny the fierce attraction that’s revving up between them. Could it be that true love has been in the backseat all along…and they’ve finally found the key?

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham is an exciting romantic read. I loved the fierce protectiveness that Mack feels towards Ella. At first, he didn’t want her anywhere around him, but getting to know her changed all of that. Her determination sparked a fire inside of Mack. One that he tried to diminish but was helpless in shaking off. His attraction towards the beauty only increased. As other characters from the previous books and new ones came onto the scene it only sparked more of an interest to keep on reading. I ended up finishing the entire read in one sitting. Fast-paced packed with action, hot scenes, and humor to make the pages fly by…I was impressed.

Laura Trentham’s latest novel, wasn’t just a hot romance that I could not put down. It went deeper than that. It displayed the family and marriage abuse that Ella went through in her life. It gave me a glimpse into her loss. Losing a family member is never easy. The car mechanic garage meant and reminded Ella of her older brother. It was sentimental value to her. Plus, the brothers that worked it became like family to her. Despite what hell life brought to Ella, she bounced back. She became stronger and more independent. But she was also able to put some trust into the tough as nails mechanic aka Mack. Mack has his own personal struggles as well. I loved the depth and meaning this book brought. It was more than just a romance. It was life. Overall, I would highly recommend this romantic story to all readers.

Review: Judy Moody (Mood Martian) by Megan McDonald

Mood Martian (Judy Moody #12)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s Backwards Day, so Judy Moody double-dares herself to become Queen of the Good Mood for one whole week. Can she do it?

Will the real Judy Moody please stand up? In honor of Backwards Day, Judy Moody decides to turn that frown upside down, make lemonade out of lemons, and be nice to stinky little brothers. In fact, Judy becomes a NOT moody, cool-as-a-cucumber neat freak for one whole entire day. But when her combed hair, matching outfits, and good moods hang around for days after, her friends begin to worry. Could this smiley Judy be an impostor?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Judy Moody: Mood Martian by Megan McDonald is the best novel yet. In this tale, I got to watch Judy Moody show a different side to herself than her usual self. In fact, her family started to think she wasn’t really Judy…at all. The change was pleasant and welcoming.

Judy Moody is a young girl who has a wild imagination and a good heart. She wants to be good, but her plans always went wrong. There was always a big oops, somewhere if not everywhere she went.

I was surprised by how much Judy changed and grew up. Her personality is still creative as ever. I laughed a lot. Her and Stink will always be my favorite two characters in this series.

Judy Moody: Mood Martian is about Judy trying not to be her usual Moody self. Readers familiar with the series all know how moody Judy Moody can get at times. Her ways of accomplishing not being moody was interesting! I definitely recommend this book story to all. Judy did make a lot of boo boos as usual, but she somehow ended up at the top. I liked the themes and the new adventure presented. The illustrations were great. They went well with each chapter. Overall, I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: House of Belonging by Andrea Thome

House of Belonging (Hesse Creek #3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

Who can we count on? The family we’re born into, or the one we create for ourselves?

Renowned chef Laina Ming walked away from the culinary spotlight and an unhealthy relationship—one that still haunts her a year later. She’s trying to start fresh in the Rocky Mountains, opening a concept restaurant on the banks of the Roaring Fork River, where she hopes she’ll be able to express her passion for food and bury her heartache.

Horse rancher Logan Matthews moved to Aspen to be near his sister and her husband, grateful for his newfound family. Since a chance meeting with Laina the previous summer, Logan’s been enchanted. But she doesn’t want anything to do with him—which makes her all the more appealing.

Despite Laina’s efforts to protect her heart, Logan has been on her mind, too—and he has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places. Can they learn to trust one another and finally find the sense of belonging they’ve both been searching for?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

House of Belonging by Andrea Thome is so much more than it appears. I thought it was about a woman or women overcoming an obstacle and moving forward. Yes, it was about that. But it had more depth and emotion than I knew. The journey that each character went through to get to where they ended up was heartfelt. I could not be happier. They were so realistic. I felt as if I lived right beside them for years. Sad, funny, and charming-Andrea Thome hooked me. I couldn’t stop reading. One chapter turned into several and then I was finishing the whole book. Love, new beginnings, and a promising future were shown here. I enjoyed it. Overall, I would recommend this inspirational and heart warming tale to fans of Hallmark, Debbie Macomber, and Susan Mallery.

 

Review: 101 ?s You Need to Ask in Your Twenties by Paul Angone

101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties: (And Let's Be Honest, Your Thirties Too)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Adulting got you down?

Whether you just polished off your college graduation cake, are in your twenties or thirties struggling through a quarter-life crisis, you’re simply trying to figure out how to become all grown up, or you’re a parent looking for that perfect college graduation gift or Christmas gift for your twentysomething, 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties is the book for you. 

To find important life answers in your 20s, you need to start with good questions. Author, speaker, and blogger Paul Angone has dedicated the last 12 years to helping twentysomethings and in this book he culminates his work to give readers wisdom through major life questions like: 

What’s the best way to know if you’re actually ready to get married?
Where’s the future of work headed and what does having a successful career look like today?
How do I make a choice when I don’t know what to choose?
How do I stop networking and start “relationshipping”?
Why do some people have great marriages while others have complete wrecks before they even make it to the highway?
Am I seeing the other side of people’s Instagram photos (you know, the side they’re not exactly posting pictures of)?
What are the Pivotal Plot Points of my story?
Do I have anyone on my “Dream Team”?
After his success with 101 Secrets for your Twenties and connecting with millions of twentysomethings around the world through speaking engagements and his blog AllGroanUp.com, Paul Angone captures the hilarious, freakishly-accurate assessment of life as a modern-day twentysomething (and thirtysomething) facing real Millennial problems, but now he’s digging even deeper. 

If you’re drowning your anxieties in Netflix and ice cream, are afraid you’re failing, going crazy, or both, or are just longing for a little guidance to get past “just getting by,” grab this book and start thriving in the most “defining decade” of your life.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties is an easy to read book that I found intriguing. Once I started to read, I just kept on reading it. There were a lot of great questions found here. Then there were the typical questions one would have asked this writer. I found interesting how he went through each question with a flair that made it not boring. It was nothing like what I had expected. No dull boring words filling up pages that would fall on deaf ears. Instead, I got exactly what the book said I would get. A deep thorough examination of myself. In other words, I got to explore where I was at, what I was doing, and where do I want to be.

Paul Angone is a motivational speaker. I did not need to read the back blurb to see that. Instead, I just read his book. I can see the intelligent words and wisdom they offered. It was like flashing a light into a dark tunnel. It inspired hope. The writing was clear and organized. Each chapter was divided into a particular subject with some of the writer’s own personal experience attached. I did not feel alone. This book, made me feel like I was understood and being heard. As a twenty-something, I had no clear idea where I was headed. But reading this book, I know where to go and what needed to be done. Overall, I would recommend this book to high school students and those who planned to enter college. It was a great read.

Review: Beyond Chains by Mark Anthony NZE

BOOK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Michael Nnaji is a dedicated cleric, and an exceptionally, brilliant young man that bluntly, refuses to perpetrate sinister acts, his superior in their ministry orchestrates.

His refusal puts him in chains and he’s faced with a choice, accept the proposition, and become a multi millionaire or refuse to compromise his faith, and continue suffering behind bars.

He prays ardently, for divine intervention, and hopes to be let off the hook some day.

Out of the unconditional love, Sandra has for him, she assures him that she will see to his freedom but the allegation against him is so grievious, and only a miracle – a quick one can save him from a damnable incarceration.

An expository of the ills that prominent personalities commit in the African society.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Beyond Chains by Mark Anthony NZE is entertaining African urban fiction read. There were more urban fiction elements to this novel than Christian ones. The main protagonist, Michael Nnaji, is stuck in a bad position when his superior uses his power to control Michael. Michael is a likable character with many flaws. Giving a more realistic appeal to readers. I found his position to be intriguing. There were many ways it could escalate out of control. But he does have a choice to do what is right…making a tough choice is harder especially when the readers like myself is driven into Michael’s society. His society operates differently than most. This gives way to action, suspense, and evil versus good. I enjoyed how the author showed me what it was like being behind bars as a black men and how one’s hope can quickly diminish. Overall, Mark Anthony NZE has created a great plot that pulls readers in fast and leaves their hearts racing.

Author Interview: MarkAnthony NZE

BOOK

Meet Author MarkAnthony NZE

Interview with MarkAnthony NZE 
ULM: When did you first decide to become an author? Why?
NZE: The decision came, over two decades when I was in high school and, it was due to my voracious reading of novels.
ULM: How would you describe your character, Michael Nnaji?
NZE: My main character, Michael Nnaji is affable, brilliant, and honest with an unwavering faith.
ULM: What inspired you to create your book, Beyond Chains?
NZE: The inspiration to create Beyond Chains came as a result of some of the malpractices I witnessed in churches, and contemporary African societies generally, and Nigeria particularly.
ULM: What themes will readers find within your book?
NZE: They’re basically; perseverance, uprightness, and the absolute belief in good always triumphing over evil irrespective of how long the latter must have gone before the former.
ULM: Describe Beyond Chains, using only three words.
NZE: Beyond Chains is iconoclastic, classic, and interesting.
ULM: What boundaries are pushed and tested inside of your book, Beyond Chains?
NZE: Faith and integrity.
ULM: What was it like creating your antagonist for this story?
NZE: It was challenging as well as fascinating.
ULM: What other projects are you planning to write, if any?
NZE: Currently, I am at work on another phenomenal novel which is directed towards helping the young generation discover exactly what they’re called on earth to do and not stepping into areas that they will struggle till the rest of their lives without making any impact.
ULM: Where can readers find you and your work online?
NZE: They can simply visit me at my website; www.markanthonynze.com

Review: From Nothing by Ken Goldstein

From Nothing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Victor Selo had blown up his life. A wannabe rock star turned tech savant, he’d wagered his Silicon Valley executive position on a corporate inside straight and lost. Having security escort him out of the building was the best thing that happened to him that day. The rest left him in the hospital, broken, broke, and with no prospects. That’s when a shadowy stranger with questionable motives came with an offer: a chance to get his life back – and better – if he simply cooperates. It would require becoming invisible for a while, but he would be hiding in the spotlight, playing guitar in a Vegas cover band. Reluctantly, Victor accepts and begins an odyssey he never could have imagined. One that involves a charismatic lead singer who owns the stage but aspires to own an Elvis wedding chapel, a mesmerizing woman who can play anything on her keyboards and can really play with Victor’s head, and two specters from his old life offering competing devil’s bargains. Suddenly, multiple futures are opening up in front of Victor. All of them offer opportunity – and each comes with potentially catastrophic risk. Populated with a wide array of colorful characters, brimming with reflections on everything from love to God to the price of commitment, and backed by a great soundtrack, From Nothing is an endlessly engaging work of fiction that will resonate like your favorite song.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

From Nothing by Ken Goldstein is unlike any novel I have read. It carries so much punch and intrigue that I could not put it down. The tale carries me through one man’s journey from a corporate world to the lifestyle of a rock star. This book shows what happens when the main character rolls like a dice on a gambling table. The chances are fifty-fifty and the risks are high. An opportunity of taking a new road to life comes with consequences. But this character keeps rolling; making the best with each roll. I liked the do not look back attitude and how Victor moves forward despite his past life being destroyed. The remaining cast varied in positions and levels of life. It was quite interesting to follow them. The main focus was redemption for Victor. It was a long yet tough journey for him, whether he found it or not, is up for discovery. I enjoyed watching Victor grow as a man throughout novel. He went from being someone to nothing then to somebody going somewhere. His future held hope. Overall, I would recommend this read to all. There’s a little of everything for readers to like, relate to, and connect with…

Review: A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out by Sally Franson

A Lady's Guide to Selling Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A brilliant young woman navigates a tricky twenty-first-century career—and the trickier question of who she wants to be—in this savagely wise debut novel in the tradition of The Devil Wears Prada. 

Casey Pendergast is losing her way. Once a book-loving English major, Casey lands a job at a top ad agency that highly values her ability to tell a good story. Her best friend thinks she’s a sellout, but Casey tells herself that she’s just paying the bills—and she can’t help that she has champagne taste.

When her hard-to-please boss assigns her to a top-secret campaign that pairs literary authors with corporations hungry for upmarket cachet, Casey is both excited and skeptical. But as she crisscrosses America, wooing her former idols, she’s shocked at how quickly they compromise their integrity: A short-story writer leaves academia to craft campaigns for a plus-size clothing chain, a reclusive nature writer signs away her life’s work to a manufacturer of granola bars.

When she falls in love with one of her authors, Casey can no longer ignore her own nagging doubts about the human cost of her success. By the time the year’s biggest book festival rolls around in Las Vegas, it will take every ounce of Casey’s moxie to undo the damage—and, hopefully, save her own soul.

Told in an unforgettable voice, with razor-sharp observations about everything from feminism to pop culture to social media, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out is the story of a young woman untangling the contradictions of our era and trying to escape the rat race—by any means necessary.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out by Sally Franson has some promising parts to its story. However, other parts just fell flat. I loved the book cover. It was pretty to the eye. The book blurb also caught my attention made me think, OMG-This book is it!  But the main character was just going through the motions without any effort on her part. It appeared she put effort into not being the same kind of sell out yet she was just that.

Casey is a main protagonist that made me want to like her. However, I was only half-way liking her. There were her attempts to be good that made her likable. She just didn’t accomplish it on any scale. Casey is supposed to be the hero…

Anything with books or about writing in fiction has caught my full interest. This tale had the ingredients but they weren’t used right. I just did not feel emotionally attached at all to Casey. Yes, I loved how she loved books etc…and her romantic relationship with the Ben was the best part of this novel. Overall, it was good but could have been better.

 

 

Review: Savage Liberty by Eliot Pattison

Savage Liberty (Duncan McCallum #5)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The fifth installation of Eliot Pattison’s Bone Rattler series follows the exiled Scotsman Duncan McCallum to the stepping-stones of the American Revolution

Acclaimed author Eliot Pattison continues his Bone Rattler series as Duncan McCallum is drawn into dark intrigue surrounding the Sons of Liberty in this gripping thriller set in the early days of the American revolution.

Pattison’s deep historical knowledge and attention to detail brings a young America to life, immersing the reader in the atmosphere and events that were to lead to the American rebellion. Protagonist Duncan McCallum is lead into a mystery of murder, treachery, and intrigue with Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and a secret society of American patriots organizing to resist the British throne.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Savage Liberty by Eliot Pattison is a novel that sent me back in time. I love following Scottish characters. I have never read a novel, where they were never not in trouble. There was always something going wrong to keep the action steady. Duncan MaCallum’s life was interesting. Death was constantly hanging over his head. Duncan is a strong, determined, and stubborn man. He appeared foolish but is not. He is braver than most men. His relationship with the strong-willed woman, Sarah, is beautiful. Both are good people struggling to survive in their new world. Boston was a place of danger, violence, and uprising. Duncan was smart to leave there but somehow it still chased after him. The time period was captured perfectly. Eliot Pattison created this story in way that deeply engaged me in all the characters’ lives. I felt as though I just lived through them all. Overall, I would recommend this to history fans and historical fiction lovers. This was fun to follow.

Review: Not that I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Not That I Could Tell

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Not that I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser is one of the most intriguing drama mysteries that I’ve read. This was similar to Pretty Little Liars and Big Little Lies. A lot of deception is found, here on the pages. Just when the characters think they know everything, their neighborhood gets shaken upside down.  Secrets, drama, and mystery were combined making this a page turner. I was deeply engrossed with the characters’ lives and how they were connected. My curiosity was snatched immediately by this writer.

A group of women sit outside, sipping their wine. Too much to drink, and one of them disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to their missing neighbor or why. Kristen seemed to have the perfect life and a divorce that was just about closed, when she was found missing.

The ending was sort of surprising in a way, but I kind of predicted  what was going to happen. It felt like the same kind of plot as other books but on a grown adult level. The story was easy to get lost within…but like I said it was predictable in many ways due to similarities. Otherwise, great mystery novel.

 

Review: 3 Hour Dad by Adam Hourlution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Based on actual events

One day Adam, just your average, typical guy receives a call from his mother-in-law (to be !) summoning him to the hospital following his girlfriend being rushed in with suspected appendicitis only to discover that she is in fact having contractions and has been admitted to the labour ward.

This heart-warming and true story invites readers to step into Adam’s shoes and experience what it is like to be a 3 Hour Dad.

A portion of sales are donated to a random act of kindness project. For more information please read the about me section at the end of the book.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

This story is a man’s journey into finding out he was about to become a father. Both parents were not aware of the pregnancy, and the reader is able to flow the path of the father finding out just how much his life is going to change.

At some parts of the story, it is difficult to follow, but you are quickly able to rejoin the discovery. As a real-life story, 3 Hour Dad is great for anyone who enjoys to take part in the lives of others and their embarkment into new territories and stages of life.

 

Review: Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From Barbara Delinsky, the New York Times bestselling author of Blueprints and Sweet Salt Air, a brand-new novel about a woman in hiding finding the courage to face the world again.

Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends—and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made—though she can’t risk telling them too much. And she takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist at the luxurious local spa, helping clients hide the visible outward signs of their weariness, illnesses, and injuries. Covering up scars is a skill she has mastered.

Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend’s teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, accused of hacking a powerful man’s Twitter account, Maggie is torn between pulling away and protecting herself—or stepping into the glare to be at their side. As the stunning truth behind their case is slowly revealed, Maggie’s own carefully constructed story begins to unravel as well. She knows all too well that what we need from each other in this difficult world is comfort. But to provide it, sometimes we need to travel far outside our comfort zones.

From a multimillion-selling master of women’s fiction, Before and Again is a story of the relationships we find ourselves in—mothers and daughters, spouses and siblings, true companions and fair-weather friends—and what kind of sacrifices we are or aren’t willing to make to sustain them through good times and bad.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky is a fast paced plot. The story is about a family’s life that gets turned upside down when they loose their only daughter. A five-year-old girl, dead on impact of another car hitting them. The mother was driving the car. Since then, life has beennothing but hell for the parents. A divorce, separation, guilt, shame, and grief immediately consumed me. I felt an instant sympathy for the family, especially the mother. It was intense. Sad, horrifying, and just one big emotionally charged journey. What started out as a sad and dark road, soon proved to hold some hope and light for this couple. I loved how realistic and how I was shown what was happening.

The situations were not easy but I could easily see all of this happening in real life. It’s difficult to lose a loved one, especially one that was so young and in the mother’s care at the time…the physical and emotional trauma would be hard. Yet Barbara Delinsky showed that there is always a light at the end of the long dark tunnel. We may lose ourselves but not all is lost. There is hope for a future…overall, I would recommend this to readers everywhere.

 

Review: The Woman Behind the Waterfall by Lenoroa Meriel

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Heartbreak and transformation in the beauty of a Ukrainian village

For seven-year old Angela, happiness is exploring the lush countryside around her home in western Ukraine. Her wild imagination takes her into birds and flowers, and into the waters of the river.

All that changes when, one morning, she sees her mother crying. As she tries to find out why, she is drawn on an extraordinary journey into the secrets of her family, and her mother’s fateful choices.

Can Angela lead her mother back to happiness before her innocence is destroyed by the shadows of a dark past?

Beautiful, poetic and richly sensory, this is a tale that will haunt and lift its readers.

“A strange and beautiful novel” – Esther Freud, author of Mr Mac and Me, Hideous Kinky, Peeless Flats

“Readers looking for a classic tale of love and loss will be rewarded with an intoxicating world” – Kirkus Reviews

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The Woman Behind the Waterfall by Leonora Meriel is a deep emotional tale. One that reads like poetry. It was a bit too slow and stretched out for my tastes when it comes to the pacing. However, the story presented was interesting. Reading this novel, made me sad. It felt like everything was crashing down around the mother and daughter. The mother made some wrong choices and feels regret. Her daughter is a ray of sunshine and innocence. Their love for each other is all they have. This book was different than what I usually read. Not exactly what I expected but unique. Overall, those looking for an emotional yet strong theme on family may love reading this.

Review: The Art of Fully Living by Tal Gur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Master the art of fully living, one life goal at a time.

Do you want to experience your one life—your whole life—to its fullest measure?

In this stirring book, author, blogger and lifestyle entrepreneur, Tal Gur offers his own transformational journey as an inspiring example and practical guide to implementing the art of fully living to its fullest potential. You’ll learn how to actualize your potential by forging all aspects of your life through the process built into your life goals.

Once you discover “the art of fully living,” there is no going back; it will feel unacceptable to settle for less than your dreams—and what’s more, you’ll dream even more wildly, aspiring to action with greater clarity of purpose, broader horizons of possibility, and holistic vision across all areas of your life.

The very structure of this book models Tal’s immersive approach to goal-driven living: each chapter of The Art of Fully Living is dedicated to a year of focus—socializing, fitness, freedom, contribution, love, adventure, wealth, relationship, spirituality, and creativity—and follows Tal’s endeavors as he works toward fulfilling 100 life goals in only 10 years.

This daunting ambition, springing from one late-night conversation among friends and a gnawing discontentment within the typical “success” story, becomes extremely relatable through Tal’s bold storytelling; what’s more, the deep lessons learned become immediately applicable for your own purposes as Tal thoughtfully extracts the actionable wisdom from his own experiences to articulate the principles and techniques of “the art of fully living.”

The Art of Fully Living takes you along the exhilarating ride of Tal’s journey while illuminating your own possible life-goal trajectory: as Tal relates how he socialized nonstop in vibrant Melbourne to master English and trained intensively to complete Ironman New Zealand and practice ancient Thai martial arts, you’ll learn how to apply immersion to achieve your own life goals; as Tal describes how he eliminated his crushing student debt in one year and attained financial and location independence, you’ll learn how to simplify your life, recognize your own present wealth, and turn your passions into a living; and as Tal animates his experiences learning to surf and salsa, to drum in a troupe and compose electronic music, and to write this very book, you’ll learn how to let your intuition be your guide, reveal your authentic core, and achieve flow—among the myriad other adventures and take-aways that fill this book.

Tal not only introduces the idea that the art of fully living is another skill to master but also guides you through honing this skill with chapter lessons and actionable key takeaways.

This is especially for you if you find yourself frustrated often, feeling low, or if you’re struggling while asking yourself “What do I REALLY want?”

You will find your calling.
You will define your life goals.
You will discover how to leverage your strengths to achieve your dreams.
You will know what it means to be truly free.
You will be fulfilled by the path you have chosen to take from this point on.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone discovered and did what made them feel fully alive?

Your dreams are your dreams for a reason; they are rooted in your deepest understanding of who you want and can become.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Art of Fully Living by Tal Gur is an excellent nonfiction book to read. It has many lessons about life that anyone, including myself can apply to their life. This book, was different than others that I have read in the past. The writer has gone on this journey for his own life and the way he tells it was enjoyable to read. I normally read mostly fiction because they can keep my attention. However, this memoir like guide was educational and refreshing to read. There were a lot of pointers that made me rethink the way I was going about my own life’s dreams. Overall, I recommend this book to all.

 

Review: Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Whisking you back to the shores of her bestselling Beach House series, Mary Alice Monroe weaves together a tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina. Beautifully wrought and rich with keen insight, this is an illuminating tale of new beginnings, resilience, and one family’s enduring love.

Cara Rutledge returns to her Southern home on the idyllic Isle of Palms. Everything is comfortingly the same, yet each detail is rife with painful memories. Only through reconnecting with family, friends, and the rhythms of the lowcountry can Cara release the hold of the past and open herself to the possibility of a new love, career, and hope for the future.

Meanwhile, her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate who doesn’t know where her life will take her, leaves her historic home in Charleston, with all its entitlement and expectations, and heads to her aunt’s beach house. On the island, she is part of the freer, natural ocean lifestyle she loves, rejoining the turtle team, learning to surf, and falling in love. Remembering the lessons of her beloved grandmother, Lovie, the original “turtle lady,” Linnea rediscovers a meaningful purpose to her life and finds the courage she needs to break from tradition.

In this heartwarming novel, three generations of the Rutledge family gather together to find the strength, love, and commitment to break destructive family patterns and to forge new bonds that will endure long beyond one summer reunion.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe is a great read featuring family, relationships, commitment, and love. A family torn by traditions and new beginnings is found inside these pages. A daughter who went to college, earned her degree, and is home looking for a job. Her father is pushing her to work for him. Her brother is forced to go to the same college as his dad and to work for the family business. This caused a tidal wave that is felt by the whole family. The mother is wanting her daughter to uphold the same principles she holds for the family. Then, there’s an aunt who lost her love, adopted a baby, and is tackling on a new relationship. In the background, are the sea turtles that come back every 2-3 years to build a nest and lay new eggs. I loved how an older sea turtle came back to the beach and was found to have survived a shark atrack. The aunt in the family is finally returning back home to her beach house to stay. Her niece helps with babysitting while finding her own way in life. The plot was engaging, realistic, and steady. There was action, romance, and a destructive family force to be dealt with…but it was dragged out a little too much for me. Choices are presented and will be made. Where the characters and future of the sea turtles lie, is a journey for readers to find out…overall, it was a good story.

Review: Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiance.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter is a sweet tale full of sacrifices and hope. Two friends are battling for things they want in life. However, when the push comes to shove they put aside their dreams for a better future than they hoped for…

Brady is a decent man and going to be a wonderful father. His trouble broke my heart. I felt sympathy for him right away. It was easy to connect with Brady due to his circumstances. Losing a loved one and then finding out that your newborn isn’t yours to begin with…is a whole new level of difficulty that no one wants to have. Yet Brady is dealing with them all. Then, the pressure from his wife’s family is giving him even more trouble. But hope and promises lie with his friend, Hope.

Hope is a determined woman willing to get what she wants. Yet something keeps pulling her towards Brady and his newborn that she cannot deny. A new future with new possibilities is hard to let go of when the hear is being torn.

Honeysuckle Dreams is exactly as it sounds. Hope and dreams colliding causing for an adventure of a lifetime. Overall, I was entertained from beginning to end. I would recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Twin sisters Waverly and Charlie Talbot have drifted far apart as they pursue opposite dreams of stardom and service to the poor. On an astonishing journey across Central Europe, they must come together to face their fears, find their courage and fight for what they love.

Celebrity chef Waverly Ross has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly’s heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile Waverly’s twin sister, Charlie Talbot, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worked in Budapest, Hungary.

When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.

But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on an adventure across Central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven’t had to rely on each other since childhood, an unforeseen dangerous turn in their journey across Europe forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden is an awe inspiring tale of the bond between two sisters. Being an older sister, I can relate to these sisters. My baby sister has moved away to pursue her dreams, and I felt like we drifted apart. But we still love each other and are there when we need each other. The same can be shown in this book with the Talbot sisters. Their aunt passes away and that starts their reunion in becoming closer. From there their journeys become messy, complicated, and scary. But they now, have each other in their lives again and from there they learn and help each other. I loved the protrayal of the sister bonding moments, the emotional rollercoaster each one took, and the sacrifices they made. It was a steady piece of fiction. The plot was heartfelt and realistic. Overall, I recommend it to readers.

Review: Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have decided to put life’s disappointments behind them. At least in theory. Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, while Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget the longing for motherhood set deep in her heart. But when Betsy’s free-spirited younger sister Jenna drops her young daughters off at the farm to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida, Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As those two weeks stretch much farther into the hot Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world and revel in a home that’s suddenly filled with the sound of laughter and life. Meanwhile, record heat promises to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She’d once been free to travel and pursue a career in photography, but all that changed with the appearance of two pink lines on a plastic stick and a boyfriend who hit the road. At Halcyon art retreat, she finally has the time and energy to focus on her photography. As the summer continues, she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home with her two children.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims her steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that could affect both her and her children’s futures, and Betsy and Ty find themselves protecting their beloved farm as well as their own hearts.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton is a fascinating women’s fiction piece. Here, are two sisters with different lives. One wants children the other feels pulled down by her children. As one sister and her husband deal with two girls in their home, a season of storms brews ahead. This season of storms is both a physical and emotional journey. Both sister are experiencing storms in their personal lives as well as the physical ones threatening their lives. I found interesting. The story was realistic and heartfelt. I felt sorry for the sister and her husband who were trying to have children. The characters and their struggles tugged at my heartstrings. Overall, I recommend this beautiful engaging tale to all readers.

Review: If I Live by Terri Blackstock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Casey is hiding again—in Memphis this time—but it’s different now. She knows without a doubt that Dylan believes her and is doing all he can to help bring Brent’s killer to justice. He’s become an unexpected friend . . . and even, maybe, something more. Hope makes everything more bearable.

Casey makes a deal with the DA to turn over all the evidence she and Dylan have gathered against Keegan and Rollins—only to discover that the DA is in league with them too. After a desperate escape, who can they possibly turn to now?

Time is running out for Casey, but master suspense writer Terri Blackstock will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the last, utterly satisfying page.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

If I Live by Terri Blackstock is suspenseful. The danger and intrigue build up with every page. I was hooked. This novel, had all the right elements to keep my interest. I have not read the previous books before this one and was able to follow along just fine. The characters felt real. Their situation went from super bad to worse in seconds. What had been a hopeful turn, turned out to backfire on them. Casey and Dylan are easy to like and relate to…their troubles and decisions made them believable. I felt sorry for them both. Overall, this novel was packed full of action, risks, and hope. I would recommend it to readers worldwide.

Review: Until There Was Us by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

He’ll have to play his cards just right for her to take a chance on him…

Megan Montgomery has always been careful…except that one time she threw caution to the wind and hooked up with a sexy groomsman at her cousin’s wedding. But that was two years ago—so why can’t she stop thinking about Alex Rebat?

Alex has been living the good life. He loves his job, has a great circle of friends, and doesn’t answer to anyone. The problem? There’s only one woman he wants and she ran out on him after one amazing weekend. But now that Megan’s coming back to town, Alex hopes he can convince her to take another chance on him…and on a future that can only be built together.

Montgomery Brothers Series:

Wait for Me (Book 1)
Trust in Me (Book 2)
Stay with Me (Book 3)
Return to You (Book 4)
Meant for You (Book 5)
I’ll Be There (Book 6)
Until There Was Us (Book 7)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Until There Was Us by Samantha Chase is the most emotionally charged book I’ve read so far. A young woman has had to work so hard to prove to her father that she is just as good as her brothers. Yet he has never once taken notice until she proved him she was just that good. However, she finds out that having her dad’s approval could mean an unwanted life with him constantly telling her how to run her life. Her brother Christian had always been their father’s favorite. But after what their dad did to him, he’s turned into ‘the stone man’. That visit with her brother helped them both. She got to see her brother and understand what would happen if she let her dad give her a job. Then, there the issue of her working too much. She is trying to fix that but it’s harder than saying she can. But there’s a special man who can help make her feel happy again. If only she lets him into her life and heart. Megan was burned once and her self-esteem isn’t as great as it should be. Megan is a determined, bright, and good person. I really liked her. I felt like her and I could be best friends for life. Plus, she has a secret…

Alex is a therapist. He’s so caring it’s hard not to like the man. Also, he’s just as sexy as he is sweet. Alex loves the outdoors and is best of friends with Megan’s cousin. Alex met Megan at a family wedding and they hit it off from there. But since then, Megan blew him off and has hidden from Alex. Life gets in the way, and Alex finds he’s still in love with her. Maybe, her coming back in his life is a positive sign. But knowing Megan, the road to convincing her to give them a chance will be tough.

Samantha Chase has created another amazing feel good title. It’s sexy, hot, and engaging as hell. I loved it! I could not stop reading it. I was held in suspense as to what would occur between Alex and Megan. They seemed perfect for each other yet…it was a constant tug of war. Samantha has placed a little bit of her awesome pug into this story! Maylene, is the beautiful yet sassy pug inside this heartfelt tale. I thought it was pretty cool to meet her as well. Overall, I highly recommend this contemporary novel to all readers.

 

Review: Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As a reporter, she’s used to covering the news.
Now she’s the headline.

Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story, and unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.

What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list.
And Alex is on it.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch is the first to a new cozy mystery series. Murder, mayhem, and suspense all wrapped in one great plot.  I instantly took a liking to the main character, Alex Vlondnachek. Her vibrant nature called to me. She’s the woman I see myself being best friends with…she has seen,,heard, and witness enough craziness to tell anyone. Her work life is total chaos. The employers have no sens of morals and Alex seems to hold up the fort with professional attitude and decor. The things they expect her to do…well, I can definitely understand her frustration. Alex is framed for a crime she didn’t commit. Her whole life went from handling crazies at work to being put on the spotlight as a murderer. Alex being a former reporter must find out who did commit the murder she’s being framed for and why. That’s where her friend, Trip, came…together they can maybe find the killer before it’s too late.

Dana Dratch combines family drama and humor in a way that was intriguing. I was rolling my eyes and laughing so hard, I cried. Alex’s family isssues is hilarious. Her youngest brother sells his farm and marries a girl without having money, a job, or a place to live in…luckily her other brother is a lawyer and can help her with legal advice. Being convicted of a murder is not something Alex took lightly. The cast of characters were easy to like. They felt real. There was no easy road for Alex or her family which made this book even better. I love a plot that can hold my attention to the end and be realistic, too. Confessions of a Red Herring is engaging, funny, and full, of adventure. I recommend this mystery to all readers.

 

Review: Glam Squad & Groomsmen by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Dressing up as a bride once a week is all fun and games until you come face to face with your ex.

Penny Blake loves her job with Enchanted Bridal. She gets to model wedding gowns and help brides plan for their big day. And yet…she’s wanting a little more. Besides wishing for her own happily ever after, she has big dreams of making her own contribution to the business in the form of her own glam squad. Her bosses all think it’s a great idea, but right now she’s needed in other ways – like helping out with the groomsmen.

Was there any greater form of torture than having to help your sister plan her wedding?

That’s what Spencer Buchanan is facing and although he goes into it with a bit of an attitude, running into the girl who got away – three times! – suddenly made this whole wedding planning thing a lot more bearable. Moving back home was never part of his plan, but once Spencer sees Penny again, all bets are off. And having her help him with his fittings on his tux turn into his favorite pastime ever!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Glam Squad & Groomsmen by Samantha Chase is an exciting and addictive tale. I loved how to young people who has always loved each other have found a way to each other again. It was heartfelt, funny, and charming. The man was sexy as hell and one I would love to keep. Spencer is the man that make women dream of happily ever afters. Penny is the leading female protagonist and she’s awesome, too. Her personality is fun to watch. Going from running away to forcing to reckon with her past love, she has grown a lot in this book.  Marriage, weddings, and second chances are the themes of this journey. I loved every moment of it. Hot, emotional, and and sweet just the way I like my romance stories. Overall, I recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

An exceptional storyteller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr beautifully captures the emotionally charged, complex dynamics that come with being part of any family. Readers will laugh and shed a few tears as they discover what it means to be loved, supported and accepted by the people who mean the most.

Having left the military, Dakota Jones is at a crossroads in his life. With his older brother and youngest sister happily settled in Sullivan’s Crossing, he shows up hoping to clear his head before moving on to his next adventure. But, like every visitor to the Crossing, he’s immediately drawn to the down-to-earth people and the seemingly simple way of life.

Dakota is unprepared for how quickly things get complicated. As a newcomer, he is on everyone’s radar—especially the single women in town. While he enjoys the attention at first, he’s really only attracted to the one woman who isn’t interested. And spending quality time with his siblings is eye-opening. As he gets to know them, he also gets to know himself and what he truly wants.

When all of the Jones siblings gather for a family wedding, the four adults are drawn together for the first time in a way they never were as children. As they struggle to accept each other, warts and all, the true nature and strength of their bond is tested. But all of them come to realize that your family are the people who see you for who you really are and love you anyway. And for Dakota, that truth allows him to find the home and family he’s always wanted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ROBYN CARR is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan’s
Crossing series, as well as highly praised women’s fiction such as Four Friends and The Summer That Made Us. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at http://www.robyncarr.com.

 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr is a heartfelt story. It has themes about family, community, and relationships. I loved how the characters were all like one big family. The family members of the main characters were interesting as well. They added more zest to the plot.

A good looking man returns back home. All the women want him except for one. While we have heard this same plot line so many times, it’s the emotional journey and risks these characters take to follow their hearts. That is what makes it so different. Everything from their personalities to yer actions give the plot a different tune. I enjoyed watching them grow and grow together as a community. The sense of belonging was strong. The struggles and fears made all of these characters stand out to me. The Family Gathering contains some romance and a whole lot of action to keep readers, like myself engaged. Overall, I recommend it to everyone.

Review: Entwined Hearts-The Sunset of Alzheimer’s Disease and More of Life’s Realities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As author JJ Janice reflects on her surprise connection with a mother-daughter duo, she finds herself, an outsider, overwhelmed by mysteries regarding the short time it took for her to become a new member in this tight-knit family with a complicated past. How did she get here? What forces are at work? Why was she chosen to be a witness?

Using her diary as guide, she sifts through layers of her imagination and shares her story in Entwined Hearts. It chronicles the ascent of forgiveness by and for three women who perhaps least expect it–all in two short years. Through the stories of Anita, who suffers from Alzheimer’s; Lynn, Anita’s daughter who struggles with bi-polar disorder; and Janice, a friend to both, it investigates how relationships change and endure through challenges.

Though this memoir touches on the difficult topics of Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, stress, drugs, incarceration, and alcoholism, it also looks at the world with kind generosity and love–a love that connected three unlikely women.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Entwined Hearts: The Sunest of Alzheimer’s Disease and More of Life’s Realities by JJ Janice is a great read. It covers a lot of topics such as alcoholism, Alzheimer’s, and bipolar disorders. This book took a piece of my heart. My own grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer’s. It has gone from forgetting something to having to repeat things many times during the day to her. It is emotionally hard because we have to remember to be patient with her. The book discussed the stages of Alzheimer’s, the path of the Alzheimer’s person fading from who they were into someone that one wouldn’t recognize. This road is painful for all who are involved. Overall, this nonfiction book was encouraging to read. I cried because a I know there are no cures for Alzheimer’s. It’s one of the most unpreventable diseases. I still carry hope that one day there will be a cure. I recommend this book to all readers.

Review: Think Like a Winner, Act Like You Won

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Are you fed up with not getting the results you want from life?
Do you want to know what it feels like to taste success in every area of your life?
If you are, then it’s time to make a stand, start believing in yourself and Think Like a Winner, Act Like You’ve Won.

Inside these pages, you are about to discover yourself. You will learn how you can achieve the success that you’ve always dreamed of, just by making a few positive changes to the way you act, such as:

Making up your mind
Taking action
How to think like a winner
Developing your character
Forming good habits
And more…

Many self-help books go into great detail about how you can attain success. Think Like a Winner, Act Like You’ve Won shows you exactly how it can be done in the most concise method you have ever encountered.

Without wasting more of your precious time and without expending vast amounts of effort, you can now be the success you always wanted to be.

Get your copy of Think Like a Winner, Act Like You’ve Won now and start believing in yourself today!

 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Think Like a Winner, Act Like You’ve Won by Carl Mathis is a great book to start of the new year with…it is one of those essential books to read. It reminds me of what you are and can do now, instead of what you’re trying to  become. Success is measured differently. Success is the determination to stick with what you have and use that to get to where you need to be. Success is not about how much money you have nor what you possess. It is not giving up and working with what you have. Many of us have talents for different things. We just need to find ours and then go from there. The writer stresses on uses the knowledge and information you have to climb forward. This, is true. However, many of us, like myself included have trouble finding out what we know and can do well enough to be successful in our lives. That’s where this book walks us through the process. Overall, I enjoyed reading this nonfiction guide and recommend it to all.

 

Review: Traits and Emotions of a Salvageable Soul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

All people have their own remarkably intrinsic value, and it’s time we recognize it in ourselves and share it with the people in our lives.

From the wisdom of elders comes Traits and Emotions of a Salvageable Soul: A Conversation with a Touch of Class, a guide to growing and healing ourselves so that we can live the quality of life we were always meant to live. From life’s hard lessons, Crawford offers the reader encouragement and truth, a path for using life’s challenges to overcome and even thrive.

Don’t give up, he reminds us. Every one of us has great potential and purpose. We just need to have faith in ourselves and courage.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Traits and Emotions of a Salvageable Soul by Keeshawn C. Crawford is an uplifting yet inspiring nonfiction boo. The pages bring a sense of calm into readers like me. Life is challenging and tends to wear us down as humans. This book has a way of pushing one back up, encouraging one to bloom fully again. The writer makes me feel cared about…when I fell, the writer’s words gave me a hand to get back on track. Sure, I struggle with loving myself. Always comparing myself to others. Feel like I do not compare…I fall short of expectations. Yet this book digs through that emotion and causes for a newfound joy, an inspiration to not give up hope. Overall, I recommend this self-help guide to readers everywhere.

 

Review: As Bright as Heaven

As Bright as Heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and A Bridge Across the Ocean comes a new novel set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love.

In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters–Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa–a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without–and what they are willing to do about it.

As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world, not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner is a wonderful journey. Packed full of emotions, action, and risks…I was hooked. A family that survives the war but barely gets through the flu war. Losing a mother is difficult. The husband and children were great to follow. I felt their pain as though it were my own. Susan Meissner wrote a story that is sad, heartfelt, and engaging.  An emotional journey that I will never forget. Overall, I recommend this

Review: Black Fatherhood: Trials & Tribulations, Testimony & Triumph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Fatherhood is one of the most challenging jobs in the world, and it becomes even tougher when one must combat harmful stereotypes.

In his work, Khalid Akil White actively challenges the negative stereotype of the “Black Father.” White is both a father himself and a professor of African American studies. With these dual qualifications, he is the perfect candidate to combine personal stories with cultural context. White holds the image of the “irresponsible Black man” up to the light and fully engages with it. His work is a tender, moving argument against the stereotype of the absentee Father.

The men interviewed are certainly not absent. Instead, they have used the stereotype as a way to structure their own stories about the challenges of Fatherhood. Dr. Steven Millner discusses his drive to continue his family’s legacy of cohesiveness while Eric Jay Handy recalls an encounter with his own father and its impact on his parenting style. Dr. Sydney Sukuta compares cultural expectations of Fatherhood in Zimbabwe to those of America. Jamal Bey challenges traditional gender roles as a stay-at-home dad. These men and others deepen the social discourse surrounding Black Fatherhood and regale readers with stories of both struggle and triumph.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Black Fatherhood by Khalid Akil White is a fascinating piece of literature. I have always been curious on co-parenting and what it was like for single black fathers. These pages covered both topics well. It gave a deep inside view to outsiders like me on these fathers journey of parenthood. Parenthood is composed of both the ups and downs when raising children. Being single makes that harder. Being a single father is harder yet.  Each father represented a new set of emotions and struggles.  I was captivated.  For fathers everywhere, this is a must read.  It shows what happens and how fathers can still stay on top. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Review: Man of My Dreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She wants to make him pay. But will it cost her everything she’s ever wanted? After spending over a decade in the Air Force, Staff Sergeant Elena Garcia is more than ready to ditch her uniform for some girlie clothes and high heels. Starting over in a quaint town in Washington, her dream of becoming a romance writer is finally within her reach. But when a rival from her past comes barreling back, Elena will stop at nothing to make Captain Daniel Grant pay for making her life a living Hell seven years ago. With destiny on her side, Elena plans her ultimate vendetta. Feeling fate has answered his prayers, Daniel is ready to show the sexy and feisty staff sergeant what kind of man he can truly be and finally make up for his past mistakes. But can Elena let go of the past to find a future with the one man that she vowed to destroy?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Man of My Dreams by Stephanie Aviles is an entertaining romantic story. I loved the main characters. They were strong and charming. Their personalities made it easy to connect with them. Both characters were amusing to follow. One is attracted but is fully set to make a man pay for his mistakes. The other is attracted but wanting to make up for his past mistakes. It seems like their plans just got messy, complicated, and hotter. Romance, women’s issues, and second chances are discussed in this novel. I enjoyed the electoral charge that came from the characters. This book was more character driven. Their actions made me enjoy reading their dilemmas. Fate is partially cruel and partially not. Man of My Dreams is full of heat, emotions, and action. Overall, I recommend this fascinating romance to all.

Review: The Heart Between Us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel is the most heartbreaking/heartfelt story I have read. I was instantly taken into one sister’s journey. A path full of hospitals and illness. Suffering from a weak heart, Megan has always envied her sister of being able to live her life to the fullest. I was caught up in the sadness and the anger. There was also healing and love at the end of this book. I was completely engaged from the beginning. Two sisters finally settle their troubles and find new beginnings without the dead weight of their emotional baggage. Lindsay Harrel is a talented writer. Once I started reading,  I did not stop until I reached the end. Overall, I recommend this contemporary novel to all readers. Beware, you may need a box of tissues while reading it.

 

Review: A Quick Bite

Synopsis:

That hot guy tied to Lissianna Argeneau’s bed? He’s not dessert – he’s the main course!

Lissianna has been spending her centuries pining for Mr. Right, not just a quick snack, and this sexy guy she finds in her bed looks like he might be a candidate. But there’s another, more pressing issue: her tendency to faint at the sight of blood…an especially annoying quirk for a vampire. Of course it doesn’t hurt that this man has a delicious-looking neck. What kind of cold-blooded vampire woman could resist a bite of that?

Dr. Gregory Hewitt recovers from the shock of waking up in a stranger’s bedroom pretty quickly – once he sees a gorgeous woman about to treat him to a wild night of passion. But is it possible for the good doctor to find true love with a vampire vixen, or will he be just a good meal? That’s a question Dr. Greg might be willing to sink his teeth into…if he can just get Lissianna to bite.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sexy, intriguing, and overall exciting to read…

A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands introduces me to the Argeneau Vampire series. This first book, gives me everything I want in a romance novel plus some. Interesting characters both immortal and mortal alike. The main protagonists have challenges ahead of them that were fun to follow. I am hooked. Smart yet caring vampire meets sexy human psychologist. The twists and turns kept me turning the pages. I am in love. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series as well as the rest. Overall, I recommend this paranormal romance to all readers.

Review: The Perfect Hope (book 3)

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts introduces you to the Montgomery brothers – Beckett, Ryder, and Owen – as they bring an intimate bed-and-breakfast to life in their hometown.

Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out – with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He’s surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a toolbelt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except, apparently, Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro…

As the former manager of a D.C. hotel, Hope is used to excitement and glamour, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the joys of small-town living. She’s where she wants to be – except for in her love life. Her only interaction with the opposite sex has been sparring with the infuriating Ryder, who always seems to get under her skin. Still, no one can deny the electricity that crackles between them…a spark that ignited with a New Year’s Eve kiss.

While the inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope’s experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome – and embarrassing – appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder’s emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Hot, sexy, and sweet!

The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts was exactly that. It felt so real and believable. The deeper I got into the story, the more I wanted to keep reading it. The beginning and middle sort of felt slow/steady that I didn’t realize how fast the ending got u till I was done. The characters are out of this world charming. I love them all. Feisty, unpredictable, and entertaining to follow. Ryder and his woman were my favorite couple featured in this whole series. Overall, I recommend this sexy romance to all.

Review: The Last Boyfriend (book 2)

Synopsis:

Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist – and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers give him grief for his compulsive list making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery MacTavish….

Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation — and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent.

As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of BoonsBoro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected — and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last….

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts is the next book in this great series. This part continues where the other left off. I followed Avery and Owen as they took their relationship further. Only it feels like their relationship is being stretched into three books. I love the story and the characters; however, I would have preferred if their story was told in one book. Owen knows exactly what he wants. Avery seems to be holding out and that frustrates me like crazy. The question I kept asking is why. The plot is sweet, engaging, and fun to read. But it’s their relationship that isn’t going at the speed I’d wish. Other than that is still a good read that I recommend to others. Romantic, family orientated, and tasteful.

Review: The Next Always (book 1)

Synopsis:

The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look . . . at the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour – one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new – and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Next Always by Nora Roberts is a sweet heartfelt story. Her characters feel real. Beckett is remodeling an older building into a hotel. He’s very attracted to a single mother of three boys, Clare. Clare is just as attracted to Beckett. Hope, new beginnings, and second chances at a happily ever after are major themes of this book. It is entertaining. It engages me further into the characters’ lives. Overall, I would recommend this romantic book to all.

Review: Murder in an Irish Churchyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The village of Kilbane in County Cork, Ireland, has a new garda–and her first case is a grave matter indeed . . .

It’s official! Siobhán is now Garda O’Sullivan, and her five siblings couldn’t be prouder. While brother James runs Naomi’s Bistro, Siobhán is doing her part to keep the village safe. Of course, Kilbane is pretty quiet compared to a place like Dublin, where Macdara Flannery has gone to be a detective sergeant.

Then one night the local priest summons Siobhán to the church cemetery. There’s a dead man in the graveyard–aboveground. He lies shot on a blanket of freshly fallen snow, hand stretched out toward a nearby headstone. He’s a stranger, but the priest has heard talk of an American tourist in town, searching for his Irish ancestor.

A detective sergeant is dispatched from Dublin to assist with the case, and as fate would have it, it’s Macdara. After his parting, things are awkward between them, but they have to work together. They learn the victim was from Dublin–Dublin, Ohio, that is. And when his family members are located and told of his murder, the plot thickens. Siobhán begins to dig for a motive among the gnarled roots of the family tree. But as long-buried secrets are unearthed, she and Macdara will need to stay two steps ahead of the killer or end up with more than one foot in the grave.

Rating: 4-.5-stars

Review:

Murder in an Irish Churchyard by Carlene O’Connor is the third installment to this enjoyable cozy mystery series. Humor, family drama, and an Irish heritage are woven into this book. Siobhán is the leading protagonist and sleuthing detective. I really like her personality. She’s reliable and well-known for solving crimes. This time, an unknown person ends up dead in the church yard. No one knows who he is. Siobhán gets called in by the priest to check it out. She hasn’t even started her new career officially and yet Father wants her to head this murder case. Father is also another likable character. Easy to love him. Carlene O’Connor heats up the story as Siobhán takes the case. I was hooked. The plot is intriguing and the who done it theme kept going through my mind until the mystery was solved. I had to keep reading! It was fun getting lost within this third novel. I would love to see more of these wonderful characters…overall, I highly recommend this mystery to all readers.

Review: The Cabin Sessions

Synopsis:

The Cabin Sessions is a confronting, hard-hitting, dark psychological thriller told with acid wit. Themes of abuse are explored through minds distorted by fear and corrupted by hatred and delusion; this is a tale in which redemption is gained in unexpected ways.

It’s Christmas Eve when hapless musician Adam Banks stands on the bridge over the river that cleaves the isolated village of Burton. A storm is rolling into the narrow mountain pass. He thinks of turning back. Instead, he resolves to fulfil his obligation to perform the guest spot at The Cabin Sessions. He should be looking forward to it, but fear stirs when he opens the door on the Cabin’s incense-choked air.

Philip Stone is already there, brooding. He observes with a ruthless eye the regulars, from sleazy barmaid Hannah Fisher, to old crone Cynthia Morgan.

Meanwhile, Philip’s sister, Eva, prepares to take a bath. It¿s a ritual – she’s a breath holder. At twenty-eight, Eva has returned to Burton to finish the business of her past, as memories begin to surface concerning one fateful day by the river and the innocence of her beloved brother…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Cabin Sessions by Isobel Blackthorn is a dark edgy read. There’s an a lot hatred, anger, and fear represented in this thriller/mystery. The tale is built upon the motions of the characters. Their emotions cause for reactions that may cause them more problems. The internal war inside of the characters felt like a heavy dark blanket that simply would not lift away. The plot was interesting. It kept me wondering how it would explode and when. There were a few grammatical errors that made some lines confusing, other than that it was easy to read. Complex, intriguing, and a bit sinister…yet entertaining. The cast of characters was different from my usual reading kind but they added more to this book. Overall, it was good read.

Review: Billion Dollar Cowboy

Billion Dollar Cowboy (Cowboys & Brides, #1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A Billionaire Can Buy Anything…

Colton Nelson was twenty-eight years old when he won the Texas Lottery and went from ranch hand to ranch owner overnight. Now he’s desperate to keep the gold diggers away. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a pretty girl and hire her to pretend to be his one-and-only.

Or Can He?

Laura Baker’s got mixed feelings about this–she’s on the ranch to work, not to be arm candy. On the other hand, being stuck for a while in the boondocks with a gorgeous cowboy isn’t half-bad.

What neither Colton nor Laura expects are the intensely hard lessons they have to learn about the real cost of love…

Rating:  4.5-stars

Review:

Billion Dollar Cowboy by Carolyn Brown is a heartfelt tale. Hot, charming, and hilarious…The teenage girl featured in this story made me laugh out loud a lot. She helped bring together the new couple. One is her older brother and the other is her brother’s employee. Both suffered loss and grief. They are stubborn as hell and sparkle any room. Their personalities made me fall in love with them. Their flaws made them feel real. I loved how Carolyn Brown captured the true cowboy ways and family life in this novel.Sibling rivalry, addiction, facing fears, and finding love were some of the major themes featured inside this book. It was funny, sweet, and engaging from the start. Overall, I recommend this story to those looking for a romance featuring cowboys and happily ever after.

 

 

Review: Ghost Night (book 2)

Synopsis:

A slasher movie turns real when two young actors are brutally murdered on a remote island film set. Their severed heads and arms are posed in macabre homage to a nineteenth-century pirate massacre.

Two years later, survivor Vanessa Loren is drawn back to South Bimini by a documentary being made about the storied region. Filmmaker Sean O’Hara aches to see how the unsolved crime haunts her…and Sean knows more than a little about ghosts.

Lured by visions of a spectral figurehead, Vanessa discovers authentic pirate treasures that only deepen the mystery. Are the murders the work of modern-day marauders, the Bermuda Triangle or a deadly paranormal echo of the island’s violent history? As Vanessa and Sean grow closer, the killer prepares to resume the slaughter…unless the dead can intervene.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Ghost Night by Heather Graham is at it again! Her cast of characters from the previous book are meet once more in this second installment. I love the O’Haras and their significant others. Hearing and seeing ghosts adds to the fun and mystery. This time, however, is Sean O’Hara and ghost Bartholomew’s turn at adventure and maybe, romance. A woman comes seeking Sean’s help. She once acted for a film until people were murdered. Then, more people were being killed. Sean isn’t convinced but with his sister, uncle, best friends, and a ghost, he can’t ignore the quest. History there seems to be nothing but dark, haunting, and deadly. I felt shivers down my spine. The intensity of the deadly situation kept building up with every page. It was thrilling. The cast of new characters are enjoyable to follow. A new crime to solve and new ghosts to meet. Heather Graham has just proved to be the best writer. Overall, I recommend this book to all.

Review: Hearts Entwined (Anthology)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Claire Nevin gets the surprise of her life awaiting her sister’s arrival by train. Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind” offers the story of two former best friends who are reunited while escaping a stampede. Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” where a most unusual trip across barren Oklahoma plains is filled with adventure, romance, and . . . camels? And Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True” entertains with a tale of two hearts from different social classes who become entwined at a cotton thread factory.

Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Hearts Entwined is a super sweet collection of historical romances. Each story bares a different cast of characters as well as hardships. These writers have unique writing styles.

The Love Knot featured a story of one sister receiving her sister’s baby via train carried by her past lover. Claire gets the surprise of her life. From there, loving her nephew like her own child and working on her relationship with her love, Claire has her hands full. It was heartfelt. I love Claire. She’s a good woman.

The Tangled Ties that Bind featured two young lovers who grew apart. Now, one of them returns back home to pursue his heart. Yet his love isn’t interested. The suspense of what happened next between the two kept me hooked. I had fun following this story. It tempted me. Conor thought he did the right thing. While Maggie felt like her left her for good.

Bound and Determined was really interesting. It involved a heard of camels! That was rare in a story such as this one. Two young people meet in this journey. One is a young man needing to mature, so he is assigned military work. The other is a daughter of a military man. Both find a lot more than they were expecting.

Tied and True featured a love between a poor man and a rich woman. Both are strong, independent, and stubborn. In this tale, the woman did the chasing. She also went a long way, to try and catch her love’s heart. I felt connected to her. Her hope and determination made me like her all the more.

Review: The Lost Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Launching a brand-new series, Kristy Cambron explores the collision of past and present as she discovers the ruins of a French castle, long lost to history.

A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France’s picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

As Ellie Carver sits by her grandmother’s bedside, she hears stories of a castle . . . of lost love and a hidden chapel that played host to a secret fight in the World War II French resistance. But her grandmother is quickly slipping into the locked-down world of Alzheimer’s, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty–the castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale–and unearth its secrets before they’re finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods–the French Revolution, World War II, and present day–The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron is an interesting historical journey. A young woman is wanting to learn everything she can about her family history. Her grandmother provides the clues but is slipping away fast into Alzheimer’s. The clock is ticking fast, and Ellie Carver must find the answers. Soon, I was following her as she traveled to a castle that has holds so many secrets. Many generations of women, and their historical time periods were brought to life in this engaging tale. Captivating and intriguing, I was hooked. The Lost Castle peaked my interest. What were the women’s lives like…and how it all ties in with the present, kept me reading. Ellie is a good character. Her personality makes her easy to like. Overall, I enjoyed traveling back in time with The Lost Castle. I recommend it to all.

Review: The Breathing Sea I

Synopsis:

Second Place in Epic Fantasy, Virtual FantasyCon 2017!

Dasha is a gift from the gods. Only she’s not very gifted. Or at least so it seems to her.

Eighteen years ago, Dasha’s mother made a bargain with the gods. She would bear a gods-touched child, one who would stand on the threshold between the worlds, human and divine. Dasha is that child, now almost ready to become a woman, and one day take her mother’s place as Empress of all of Zem’. Except that Dasha is shy, lonely, and one of the least magically inclined girls in the Known World. Instead she has fits and uncontrollable visions. When she sets off with her father on her first journey away from her home kremlin, she hopes she will finally find someone who can help her come into her powers. But those whom she finds only want to use her instead. What will it take for her to unlock the abilities hidden within her, and take up her proper place in the world?

The sequel to the award-winning novel “The Midnight Land,” “The Breathing Sea” returns to the land of Zem’, where animals speak, trees walk, and women rule. Filled with allusions to Russian history, literature, and fairy tales, this coming-of-age tale straddles the line between high fantasy and literary fiction.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Breathing Sea I by E.P. Clark is an interesting fantasy. This novel features women as the rulers. The matriarch theme is unusual in most fiction novels. However, for this tale, it works great. The plot was steady. It contained a lot of magic, power, and action. Dasha has a heavy weigh on her shoulders. Sometimes it was hard to connect with her others times it was easy. I believe Dasha still needs a bit more time to mature fully. Yet she still holds potential as the main protagonist. Dasha goes on a journey to find her way in the world she lives within as well as what she may fully be capable of doing. I found that journey quest intriguing. Overall, The Breathing Sea was entertaining and held my interest.

Review: The Sea Before Us

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin takes me back to the rush of World War II. Dorthy is a beautiful yet smart woman. Her work helps the war effort in more ways than most imagine. She meets Wyatt. A soldier missing his family. Together, Dorothy and Wyatt find hope and courage to get through the rough times ahead. What they never thought would happen is the love they find for each other. Somehow, each character gives the other one exactly what they needed. Themes of friendship, love, hope and new beginnings can be felt throughout this engaging read. I couldn’t stop reading it. Both characters risks their hearts and lives to help win the war. Sarah Sundin created memorable characters in a time period that still haunts many of us, today. Heartfelt and intriguing, I highly recommend this historical romance to all.

Review: A Passionate Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith is a wonderful Jewish tale of love, hope, faith, and forgiveness. During this time period, the struggles were harder. Especially, when their coveted ark disappears. Yet they still remain hopeful and obedient to God. I liked how Hannah turns to prayer when life brings her curveballs. She is strong, independent, and faithful. She is an inspiration to all women. Jill Eileen Smith’s historical fiction is well-written. It engages me to follow Hannah as her life dramatically changes for good to problematic to good again. Her love of her husband and God are strong. Hannah felt sad, angry, and hurt when her husband married another women. I wanted to hug her immediately. Her pain is real. It is easy to connect with her on many levels. The title is exactly what this book is about…and I recommend this read to others.

Review: Phoebe’s Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an enlightening Quaker journey. I love historical novels that take me back in time and hold me captive. The main cast of characters were interesting. They felt three-dimensional. The Quaker language and cultural is captured on every page. Phoebe wanting a different life than the one she has on land leaves for a life at sea. Until she leaves home, Phoebe does not realize just how much being on land means to her. Marrying the sea captain brings a whole new adventure to her life. Quipped with a journal from her great-grandmother, Phoebe learns a lot. Phoebe is wanting an adventure. That is exactly what she gets. Matthew is another main character that was easy to like. He’s a good man. Phoebe’s Light is inspiring in many ways especially, to women. Secrets, murder, and an emotional rollercoaster ride…all inside this intriguing story. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Review: Fully Ignited (Boston Fire)

Synopsis:

When Jamie Rutherford takes a temporary assignment as lieutenant of Boston Fire’s Engine 59, she doesn’t anticipate any problems. She’s been in the fire service for a long time and, even though she’s fairly new to Boston, she knows how to make any firehouse her home. What she’s not prepared for is her reaction to firefighter Scott Kincaid.

Scott is looking for a wife. It’s been a fun ride as a single guy, but he’s tired of being the third wheel, and nearly losing his brother-in-law finally made him realize just how much he wants a family of his own. When the new guy at the firehouse turns out to be a capable, confident and very attractive woman, his plan is completely derailed.

Hooking up with a fellow firefighter has never been part of Jamie’s plan, but she’s tempted by Scott—even though getting involved with him could tarnish the reputation she’s worked so hard for. And Scott can’t stop thinking about Jamie, despite the fact that she’s his superior and not sticking around. Chemistry can crush the best-laid plans, though, and while Jamie and Scott might not be each other’s future…there’s no resisting the right now.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Fully Ignited: Boston Fire by Shannon Stacey is a smoking hot read. It engages and pulls at the heart strings. Once a playboy, Scott is now looking for his happily ever after. Yet when he found a woman, he soon realized he made a mistake. Scott then goes on a hiatus from dating women. Thinking his choices in women is bad, Scott focuses on his family life and work. But that all goes to hell, when a sexy lady firefighter comes in to take over for one of their fallen members. Scott instantly takes to the beautiful woman before him. But being working partners their relationship is doomed from the start.

Jamie has fought her way through life proving she is just as good as the men. Many of them do not believe that she has what it takes. Her determination and hard work only makes the men like her more. Jamie has never had to watch herself around men more than she has had to when Scott is around her. He makes her want to break all the rules. He oozes sex. Makes her want things she cannot have…but avoiding temptation could prove to be difficult. Working day in and day out with Scott makes it impossible. Something about him makes Jamie fall harder for the man.

Fully Ignited is a temptation in itself. Hot, intense, and sweet. I love the characters. Their flaws make them real. Their courage for what they do is amazing. The reality of their risks is seen on every page. Family life, sexism, and the younger man loving an older woman are just a few themes featured in this contemporary tale. I recommend it to others.

Review: The Undercover Billionaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Tate Brothers were raised to protect what is theirs…

Navy SEAL Wolf Tate is on a mission of vengeance. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to infiltrate the lair of his arms-dealing enemy—and rescue the mother he never knew. To do this, he’ll need more than his father’s fortunes or his brothers-in-arms. He must find a way to kidnap his enemy’s daughter for leverage. There’s just one problem: She is also one of Wolf’s closest friends—and the only woman he’s ever loved…

For years, Olivia de Santis has been waiting for Wolf to take her in his arms and make her dreams come true. But she never imagined that he’d sneak into her bedroom one night…and take her as his hostage. Olivia knows she should resist him—and stay loyal to her own family. But how can she deny the burning justice of Wolf’s mission, and the blazing desire in his eyes—even if giving into the heat of the moment can put her in grave danger?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Undercover Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden is sexy, hot, and dangerous. The plot takes readers, like myself deep into their lives. Their fears, anger, and love are felt from all angles. A game of chess with the bad guys could prove to be the undoing of one couple. A woman who can’t resist the sexy seal who kidnaps her and the man who loves his captive fiercely. The stakes are high and there is so much to lose. Time and teamwork will help them…but will it be enough? Choices have to be made…

Jackie Ashenden sucks me into her world of fiction. I am in love. Engaging characters, fun yet irresistible banters, and danger on every page…everything I need. This book is suspenseful and intense. The further I went in, the more pressure the characters felt. This is one romantic suspense title, I will recommend to readers worldwide.

Review: The Recipe Box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Bestselling, beloved author of The Charm Bracelet spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and in their pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life–including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is a heartfelt journey. Themes of family, love, and second chances are brought to life on these pages. I felt connected to the characters instantly. It was like I knew them for years. The pacing was steady yet emotional. The struggles were believable. Sam is a young woman who left her comfort to find her way in life. Only it did not turn out the way she had hoped. Frustrated and broken, Sam returns back home to find herself. Being back home, gave Sam all she needed. It was sweet, inspiring, and beautiful. Overall, I recommend it to all.

Review: A Vicarage Reunion

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to Thornthwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings and surprises await the four Holley sisters…

Esther Holley, the eldest in the family, has always had her life firmly in control until a miscarriage knocks her off course. Two months later, still emotionally spinning, she separates from her husband Will, a sheep farmer and man of few words and moves back in with her parents.

Life as a singleton thirty something living in her parents’ house is miserable, but Esther is determined to re-boot her life, including going on a few unfortunate dates. She’s shocked when tight-lipped Will shows up on her doorstep determined to woo her back. They’ve been married for seven years, but Will wants to return to the beginning, dating and getting to know each other again.

New challenges face them as they start over–and new chances too. Can Esther and Will save their marriage, especially when faced with the hardest decision of all?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt is a heartfelt women’s fiction story. Romance, marriage, miscarriage and family life are put to the test. A journey that sucked me in from the first page. A young married couple have been suffering silently for a long while. Until one day, the wife decides she can’t take it anymore. Losing their baby, was the last straw for Esther. Esther is a daughter of a vicar. She knew her faith should be stronger but she felt broken, sad, and unhappy. Esther decided to leave her good husband Will. Only fate has plans that neither adult saw coming. Will loves his wife and alway will love her. He felt sad, broken, and unhappy that she left him. Worried about what he did to make her leave, Will goes about trying to woo his wife back into his arms.

It was so easy to like the characters. Relating to the married couple was like breathing in air. Their personalities made them believable. Heartache, fear, and their little flaws make way for a path of discovery, renewal, and acceptance. Both Esther and Will have a lot to figure out before they can get their lives back in-order.

Overall, A Vicarage Reunion, is sweet, thoughtful, and deep. I enjoyed following the protagonists as they fell and rose. Their dilemmas were understandable. The story was clean, well-developed, and engaging. I highly recommend this title to all readers.