Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ARC Review: Hungry Hearts

Posted May 24, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Hungry Hearts

I was so excited for this anthology because I’m a huge fan of food (of all types) and short story collections in general! I love even MORE when the stories are connected. In this case, all of these occur on Hungry Hearts Row, a place where “magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.” As usual, I’ll be sharing mini reviews and ratings for each story, plus overall feelings and an average rating for the whole anthology. Rain by Sangu Mandanna I’m glad that the first story introduced the setting of Hungry Hearts Row, because I was curious about how they would set that scene if someone didn’t read the synopsis. The main character comes in from England and talks about the Indian food from her mother’s home. She’s grieving her mother and struggling to keep a connectiong with her father throughout the story, so it was a bit melancholy. I loved how she connected her mother with food (specifically her favorite dish). Such a cute and simple story about family, loss, and food… and how all three connect to keep someone’s memory alive. Kings and Queens by Elsie Chapman I loved the exploration Chinese food here, especially because it has become so Westernized in American Chinese restaurants. (I also loved that the first connections between the stories starting already, because this family’s restaurant was referenced in the first story and there were a few characters I assume will come around later.) It took a turn I […]

Review Round Up | Fumbled, The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project, and There’s Something About Sweetie

Posted May 6, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Fumbled, The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project, and There’s Something About Sweetie

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I really enjoyed INTERCEPTED, despite the incessant internal hashtagging that the main character did. There were some parts I didn’t love about that book though, so I was slightly concerned but optimistic about FUMBLED. I really had nothing to worry about though, because this book was even better than the first! I loved TK when he made appearances in the first book so I was super excited to see that this starred him, in a second chance romance. Poppy and TK were together in high school… and TK has no idea that her nine-year old son is his. When they cross paths again at a club where Poppy works, sparks fly and she knows the truth will have to come out. I appreciated that this piece of drama was not dragged out; the honest moment happened early on instead of way-too-late like it would in most books. TK and Poppy had reasonable arguments, discussions, and conversations about everything. I loved their openness. There were actually quite a few moments where I expected there to be friction between them (about money, parenting style, etc.) that were handled perfect well and logically. It was genuinely refreshing to read in a romance novel where one person is a celebrity/athlete and […]

ARC Review: Serious Moonlight

Posted April 3, 2019 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: Serious Moonlight

Initial Excitement & Summary I’m a huge fan of Jenn Bennett. Seriously, huge. All of her books have been major successes in my eyes. She always creates somewhat unique situations for romance and develops her characters in wonderful ways. Her three releases before SERIOUS MOONLIGHT each earned 4.5 stars from me… so clearly I’m a fan. From an overall plot perspective, with the mystery solving and quirky settings across Seattle, this had the right setup to be another favorite by Bennett. Birdie and Daniel meet under interesting circumstances and find soonafter that they’ll be working together during the night shift at a famous Seattle hotel. They move past the awkwardness of their first meeting to solve a mystery together – an author, who remains anonymous and uses a pseudonym, is staying at their hotel each week, and they want to confirm his identity. Birdie is big into mystery novels and hopes to be a detective of some kind someday. Daniel loves magic and has a talent for woodworking. Both of them also have secrets they’re hiding from each other… Storytelling & End Feels I’ve never been to Seattle but I can say with certainty that I want to visit even more now! I know the hotel was made-up but the rest of the city felt real to me. I’d love to take a ferry to the island and explore the market on the other side. There were so many cool shops, like the bookstore (mysteries!) and magic shop, that made […]

Review Round Up | The Fairest Kind of Love, Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, The Winter Sister, and I’ll Be There For You

Posted March 27, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | The Fairest Kind of Love, Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, The Winter Sister, and I’ll Be There For You

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! This series is something I would call a guilty pleasure if I believed in that term. I genuinely don’t. BUT it’s a whimsical, short, breezy, easy, and cute series. There isn’t a lot of substance involved but I love the magical beings and seeing what Amber gets up to next! This is the final book in the series, I believe, and it’s one I’ve remained loyal to over the past few years of new releases. I saw it on Hoopla and immediately downloaded it, of course. Amber is gearing up to meet with a matchmaker to determine a few things – can she get her powers back and functioning properly? AND, is Charlie her soulmate? Since her abilities have gone haywire, she’s been trying to figure out how to get them back and move on with her life after graduating high school. I liked that this installment involved fairies, my fave magical creature, and some of the classic elements you’re familiar with (like wishing using fairy dust and having to be very specific about what you want!). This one felt cheesier than the last two. I’m not sure if it’s just because there’s been enough time in between where I forgot what they were like, or if […]

Review Round Up | Field Notes on Love, Girls with Sharp Sticks, and Springtime at Hope Cottage

Posted March 7, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Field Notes on Love, Girls with Sharp Sticks, and Springtime at Hope Cottage

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! THIS WAS SO CUTE. I was determined to finish another book in February to keep up with 10 books per month, so I ended up scrambling to read this between the last two days. I read so much of it in one sitting on the 28th, both because I “had to” and definitely because I wanted to. Seriously, let me say again, it was ADORABLE. I’m a sucker for those weird circumstances where people meet, especially when traveling. In this case, Hugo was planning a cross-country train trip with his girlfriend (Margaret Campell), when she surprisingly broke up with him. He decided to continue on the trip with the one caveat that that whole thing was nontransferable and booked under HER name. He needed a new Margaret Campbell, put out an ad, and found Mae. The vast majority of the book takes place on the train. I love the idea of this kind of journey, so reading about it was almost as good as doing it myself. I didn’t find it boring or repetitive to read about them talking and spending time one-on-one. Even though the side characters weren’t IN the story that much, they felt fully fleshed out. Alfie’s siblings (he’s a sextuplet!) and cute parents, […]

Review Round Up | Last Seen, The Proposal, and This Lie Will Kill You

Posted January 18, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Last Seen, The Proposal, and This Lie Will Kill You

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I can’t believe this series is over… hopefully! The ending wasn’t exactly ambiguous but I suppose there’s always a chance Shepard continues the series multiple times a la Pretty Little Liars. Jokes aside, this was a REALLY strong end to this trilogy! The main issue I had throughout all of the books was that I was disconnected from the characters. I never warmed up to them or felt anything for them – didn’t care about the ships, was uninterested in any of their personal lives, etc. I’m not sure if, again, it’s because it was a mystery and I was on edge or not trusting anyone? But I just could never get on board with them. I think it’s an interesting twist when you know who the murderer/culprit is AND get to read from their point of view. Sometimes it can take a little bit of the fun out, but that was certainly not the case here. There were SO MANY twists and connections that were built throughout the whole trilogy that I never would have picked up on. Just because you knew the killer and what he was doing, definitely did not mean that you knew why he was doing it or how he picked his victims. […]

Blog Tour | Review & Author Interview: The Accidental Beauty Queen

Posted December 7, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour | Review & Author Interview: The Accidental Beauty Queen

On Sale: December 4, 2018 Gallery Books | Trade Paperback Original Available for purchase here ISBN: 9781501197604 | $16.00 E-ISBN: 9781501197611 | $7.99 Audio-ISBN: 9781508283553 | $17.99 Review Once I learned that this author had written books and Hallmark movie adaptations, I was sold on this book. I also tend to love books that are billed as more “romantic comedies” as well, a la Sophie Kinsella. Another key point? The reference to Miss Congeniality. I’m so happy that this book lived up to my expectations! Charlotte and Ginny are twin sisters. The former is a children’s librarian and the latter is a beauty queen… until they have to secretly switch places. While Charlotte visits with Ginny in Florida for a pageant, Ginny suffers an allergic reaction that would otherwise derail her participation in the pageant. Much to Charlotte’s initial dismay, Ginny begs her to compete instead… and she agrees. It was interesting to see these two seemingly different sisters try to bond and essentially become the same person for a few days. It was even better to meet others in the competition and see how Charlotte’s biases toward them completely changed; she was able to see that her sister was right – they ARE about more than just outward appearances. The contestants are supportive and encouraging to each other, and there were a lot of sweet scenes along those lines. Of course, it wouldn’t be a rom-com without the romance element! It’s not exactly in the synopsis so I won’t spoil […]

ARC Review: The Reckoning of Noah Shaw

Posted November 29, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: The Reckoning of Noah Shaw

I’ll admit that some of my low rating is partially my fault since I remember about 10% of the previous book, but I feel disenchanted overall by this whole series/world. This book had a lot of filler (going back and explaining more things that had happened in previous books) and a decent amount of interesting plot points otherwise. I don’t even really know what else to say because this was just the epitome of a “shrug emoji” to me lol. I think that it’s hard to review this series without giving too much away because the synopses always include very vague information. Basically, this one relied heavily on Goose and Noah going around and trying to get to the bottom of everything. As I mentioned, the story went back and forth a little between “before” and “after” certain events took place. This is usually fine, but the majority of the book was somewhat confusing. I didn’t really understand what was happening, where the story was headed, and what was really happening with the characters. I think the vague-ish writing style (not sure how else to describe it) and moving around a lot didn’t do this book any favors. I previously loved Noah but I was disconnected from him (and truly everyone else) in this story. Also, word of warning that I don’t think is a major spoiler: don’t expect to see a whole lotta Mara in this book. The end was intriguing, like the first book in this companion series, […]

Nonfiction Reviews: The Last Black Unicorn and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

Posted November 23, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Nonfiction Reviews: The Last Black Unicorn and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

I absolutely loved Tiffany Haddish in GIRLS TRIP and wanted to make it a point to see as many things as possible with her in them. I loved her even more when I learned about her favorite expensive white dress that she planned to wear to multiple events. Her explaining how she grew up without a lot of money and was homeless at eighteen inspired me to pick up her memoir; it sounded like she led an interesting life! Her memoir was fascinating – she really did have some wild experiences over the years. I enjoy a good celebrity memoir, as long as it’s someone I like or am interested in, and this was a great audio experience to finish off one of my reading challenges. I think the writing style wasn’t particularly wonderful, with quite a bit of repetition, but hearing her read the story was perfect. She talked about her childhood, getting into comedy, being homeless, and more. I can’t emphasize enough though… she has had QUITE a life. I appreciate how far she’s come and the fact that she has a memoir to share all of these experiences. I think my main complaints are about the writing style and how often certain words or phrases were repeated, even within the same passages, but the way she reads the story definitely suits her personality. True crime podcasts are my JAM but the first true crime book I tried to read didn’t really go according to plan… even though […]

ARC Reviews: Little White Lies and The Geography of Letting Go

Posted October 22, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Little White Lies and The Geography of Letting Go

I loved THE FIXER duo so much (and it should be a trilogy — still something that makes me incredibly sad and bitter) and have been saving THE NATURALS series for when I’m desperate for more words by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I decided not to resist this one though… and I’m glad I didn’t wait! I read it during ARC August and was definitely what I needed to break the semi-slump I was in. I was just forcing myself to read (not because I wanted to read) and this book changed me for the month. It centers around Sawyer, a young mechanic who learns that her mom’s estranged family are filthy rich and only live 45 minutes away. When her grandmother shows up and offers her half a million dollars for college/life if she moves there and participates in the debutante season, she can’t resist the opportunity to find her biological father at the same time. She quickly falls in with her cousin, Lily, and her friend, Sadie-Grace… and unfortunately also with the evil Campbell. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this story, to be honest – I was kind of expecting something similar to the REBEL BELLE series with all of the ball gowns and southern traditions (minus the paranormal stuff). I did kind of get that, but there was a great mix of contemporary-mystery that Jennifer Lynn Barnes does so well. If you like her writing, I would have to recommend this book. It’s easy and addicting […]