Posted in Contemporary Romance

Don’t Miss: Birds of California

Do you believe in second chances?

Thank you to Harper Perennial and Netgalley for the complimentary digital copy for review.

Former teen TV actor Fiona St. James has kept hidden from the spotlight since the famous crash and burn that ended her career. Now years later, in the age of TV reboots, she is contacted to reprise her role. Meanwhile, Sam Fox, her TV brother learns his current show is being canceled. Sam is all for the reboot, but it’ll only happen if Fiona is on board. Can he convince her?

When I was starting this book, I thought I would be reading about the bad behavior of an actress, but it was so much more. Fiona’s character is deep and there are a lot of layers to her life even from when she was a teen. It actually made me sad and think of child stars like Britney Spears who had to grow up in the spotlight. How is it possible to know who wants to be with you for you or for your fame? 

Learning about Fiona’s past and present through Sam’s eyes was interesting. Fiona questioned his motivation for wanting to hang out and even had me questioning it.  

Letting us know that not everything on the surface or in the media is real or what it seems, this book was an impactful read!

Posted in RomCom

Don’t Miss: The Lifestyle

How far would you go to save your relationship?

Thank you to Penguin Random House Audio for the complimentary audiobook for review.

Lawyer Georgina walks in on her husband, Nathan, in a compromising position with a junior associate in their law firm thus puncturing the perfect image Georgina had of her life. In order to try and save her marriage, she suggests that she and Nathan become swingers. She drags along her friends Felix, Norah, and their partners so they don’t have to do it alone. Makes perfect sense, right?

I was both intrigued and dismayed by the swinger aspect of this novel. Not knowing much about how the “Lifestyle” works, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. While there was some interesting and silly parts in relation to the sex clubs, most of the novel was about exploring friendships and learning about themselves in relationships. It was funny at times, and serious at times. A great blend of both. I enjoyed following Georgina’s journey to find what she deserves and to ultimately do what is best for herself.

Posted in Romance, RomCom

Don’t Miss: As Seen on TV

Do Hallmark small towns really exist?

Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Pub) and Netgalley for the complimentary digital copy for review.

Struggling writer Adina Gellar is looking for the perfect story to land her a full-time position as a staff writer at Tea digital magazine. When she hears about a big-time developer planning to build an obnoxious condo development in small town Pleasant Hollow, she sees her chance. After all, it’s a Hallmark movie come to life. She even has her very own meet-cute with Finn Adams right after she arrives in Pleasant Hollow. What can go wrong?

Billing this as Hallmark Movies meets Gilmore Girls had me jumping at the chance to read this. After all, those are two of my favorite things. However, we quickly learn that Pleasant Hollow is the antithesis of all things Hallmark. Adina struggles to find people who will actually talk to her for her story, and when it’s not working she decides to switch her story focus. Finn turns out to be integral to her time in Pleasant Hollow, first as a supporter and then as a friend. I really liked the relationship between Finn and Adina. Adina’s mom and best friend were also great. Dialogue was fun and there were a lot of heartwarming moments. Although not what I initially expected, this was definitely worth the read!

Posted in Literary Fiction, Mystery

Don’t Miss: The Maid

“I am your maid. I’m the one who cleans your hotel room, who enters like a phantom when you’re out gallivanting for the day, no care at all about what you’ve left behind, the mess, or what I might see when you’re gone.”

Thank you to Penguin Random House Audio for the complimentary audiobook for review.

What Molly the Maid sees in the first part of this novel is the body of Mr. Black in one of the rooms she’s assigned to clean. This sends Molly on a crazy journey to find who did it, when she’s the main suspect! With the supporting cast at the Regency Grand Hotel, Molly must figure out who is behind Mr. Black;s murder before she winds up in jail.

Molly is one of my favorite characters ever! She is quirky and literal, has trouble with social clues and sees everything at face value through the wisdom of her Gran. As a reader, we were able to pick up the clues and cues that Molly missed and I wanted her to find the good eggs in this hotel basket. The “clue” style locked room mystery also made it enjoyable to read.

I absolutely loved this book! You need to read it, or better yet, listen to it so you get the full impact of Molly’s character!

Posted in Mystery & Thriller

Don’t Miss: Find Me

Would you be willing to start over?

Thank you to Harper Audio and for the complimentary digital edition for review.

Hope Miller has rebuilt her life from the moment that she had an accident and lost her memory fifteen years ago. So one night when she sees someone following her, she wonders if her past is catching up with her. Instead of being excited, she’s afraid. 

Lindsay Kelly, Hope’s rescuer and best friend, can’t get in touch with Hope and after investigating discovers blood in the last place Hope was seen. The DNA matches with a notorious Kansas murder. 

Ellie Hatcher is an NYPD homicide detective with a unique connection to the Kansas murder case. Her father was the investigating detective and he died before it could be solved. Ellie always suspected there was more to her father’s death and the case. 

These three women collide on a quest to find out what happened to Hope, how she is connected to the Kansas murder, and how the death of Ellie’s dad may have related to the recent events. 

My thoughts: Like always, Alafiar Burke delivers an interesting plot with twists and surprises. Although this is the 6th book featuring Ellie Hatcher, it really can be read as a standalone, as Ellie has at most a supporting role. Knowing Burke’s writing style, the number of characters did not surprise me, but I can understand how they could all be confusing at first. I love how past and present in Ellie’s story wove together and tied in with the current mystery. The ending shocked me enough that I had to listen to it twice to fully grasp what happened. This was a great listen and I look forward to the next Alafair Burke book!

Posted in Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thriller

Don’t Miss: The Last House on the Street

House in the woods, House in a bustling suburb, Loft in a big city?

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for a complimentary digital copy.

In 1965, Ellie Hockley is determined to make her life stand for something. As the daughter of a popular town pharmacist, she herself is going to school for pharmacy and is dating a bank manager. She puts all that aside to spend her summer helping Black people register to vote. In the process, she finds out the true nature of the town she grew up in.

In 2010, Kayla Carter and her young daughter are moving to a house they built in Shadow Ridge Estates, down the street from the Hockley homestead. Right before she moves in, she receives a visit from a mysterious woman cautioning her about the property and the haunted reputation of the woods behind her house. Her neighbor, Ellie Hockley, also seems to have some long held secrets.

💭 Once again, Diane Chamberlain weaves the perfect tale with a clashing of past and present. One of the things I most love about this book was that it was an easy transition between the timelines. I loved them both equally and was always sad for a page or two when switching, until I became re-immersed in the other timeline.

This is almost two distinct genres wrapped in one. Historical fiction in a time of civil unrest and contemporary thriller. The characters, especially those in the 1965 timeline are so powerful. This book wrecked me when the stories finally came together. Such an impressive work. It’s definitely a must read!

Posted in Mystery & Thriller

Don’t Miss: Reckless Girls

How adventurous are you?

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the complimentary digital edition for review.

In Rachel Hawkins’ new novel, Lux is about to find out just that. After following Nico to Hawaii, he decides to charter a girls’ trip to a remote atoll with a haunting history. The story goes that anyone who spends too much time on the island begins to go a little crazy.

Amma and Brittany seem like two nice girls who are looking for a great graduation adventure before beginning their post-graduation lives. But are they as innocent as they appear? When they arrive on the atoll, they find another vacationing couple willing to share their good fortune. As we can expect, when 3 pairs of strangers all end up on an island together so much can happen.

Told in dual timelines, we slowly learn the pasts of each of the characters. Little by little we see how those pasts are impacting their current island experience. Secrets are revealed and will shock you!

None of the characters are particularly likable or trustworthy in this novel. It is definitely one that will keep you guessing all the way through and make you wonder what you would do in that situation. Would you trust or would you be suspicious? In true Rachel Hawkins’ fashion, there are some major twists that will shock you. Including the end!

Posted in Reading Goals

Don’t Miss: New Year… New Goals

Do you set reading goals?

Every year I look forward to starting fresh with my reading goals. Some goals I share and some I keep to myself. I created this blog last summer and decided to wait until the new year to share it. There’s something about starting fresh. That can be a blessing or a curse. Especially if the only time I start something new is at the new year. 😆

Some of my goals for this year include:

  • Read 100+ books
  • Keep up with reviews by writing within one week of finishing a book
  • Post at least 5 times a week to Bookstagram and engage daily — Keeping it FUN!
  • Keep track of my reading stats because that is something I enjoy
  • Keep up with the blog

Speaking of this blog. I would love suggestions for posts besides the normal review posts. Anything you want to see or enjoy when looking at blogs?

Share some of your reading goals or blog idea in the comments!