Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was such a beautiful story! There’s some romance in this, but it’s really about a young woman trying to figure out what she wants her life’s path to be like. I really enjoyed watching her navigate the frustrations of a downsizing company and how she tries to solve for her pay cut.

The romance felt real to me. I liked the chemistry between the two characters, and I enjoyed the entire arc of their relationship.

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To Love and Be Loved by Amanda Prowse

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Amanda Prowse has a beautiful way of bringing life to her books with emotion, real characters, and stories that I get invested in!

After a wedding day that didn’t go as planned, Merry leaves her small hometown and family to restart in a bigger city. But like many stories go, her hometown draws her back. She is forced to face her fears of how people will react to her and her situation. The story explores the emotional journey after a traumatic experience, and it brings the reader into the intimate moments of Merry’s life. This is a slow-burn that will wrap you up in its words and refuse to let go until the end!

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Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano

"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Well, it’s another great addition to the Finlay Donovan story! In this story, Finlay is trying to stop a hit on her husband. She has to juggle her parent’s, her cop-sister, her cop love interest, her lawyer love interest, her book agent, oh yeah…and the mob. It’s an awful lot for her, but she’s a kick-ass heroine, and she can do it!

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Sometimes When I’m Sad by Deborah Serani

"Childrens" Genre Block - 4 kids laying on stomachs looking at book
Book Genre "Learning" with "Learn" spelled in blocks

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Emotions are hard for adults to handle, and for children, it definitely not any easier. I am always looking for books that can help my kids learn about why they feel the things they feel and how they can handle those emotions.

Sometimes When I’m Sad is a children’s book that focuses on feeling sad. I think that every child can benefit from this book. It helps kids understand that feeling sad is okay, and that it’s okay to talk to others about those feelings.

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Deconstructed by Liz Talley

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This story was so fun. I was captivated by the hilarious plot and the heartwarming characters!

Cricket owns an antique store filled with fabulous knickknacks, furniture, and vintage apparel. When she overhears two gossips discussing her husband’s cheating ways, she’s devastated. She needs to find proof of this on her own, and she enlists the help of her employee, Ruby. The two take off on a hilarious journey that includes revenge, friendship, and self-discovery.

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Curfew by Jayne Cowie

"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was one of my favorite reads of 2021! I loved the dystopian setting, the murder mystery, and the character POVs!

We are transported to a country where laws have been passed to keep women safe. Men are required to wear tracking devices on their ankles, and they have curfews. Being tracked or caught outside comes with jailtime. This means men cannot have jobs that would require them to be out after curfew. They can’t have long commutes, and many end up being the homemaker while the wife or girlfriend works. This law is only in one country, and so some people have chosen to move while so many choose to stay. I thought it was an interesting dynamic for the story to have an option to not live under the rules and regulations.

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The Brass Queen by Elizabeth Chatsworth

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This story is full of regency romance, mystery, and situations that will make you laugh!

Constance Haltwhistle is the heroine of this story, and she’s a delightful breath of fresh air. She is full of spunk and energy that just makes you want to know more about her! Constance is supporting her family estate by selling weapons through her “Brass Queen” moniker. When she meets Trusdale, a spy, she finds herself in a hunt for a dangerous scientist trying to create an invisible army.

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The Lobotomist’s Wife by Samantha Greene Woodruff

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When I hear the word “lobotomy” my skin crawls a bit. I didn’t really know the history of the procedure, so I was really interested in reading this book! I felt that the research was amazing, and really gave me great insight into this history.

Ruth is a woman working in a man’s world, so already my attention was captured with this one. As she falls in love with Robert, we learn about the new procedure he thinks will revolutionize mental health. As time goes on though, Ruth begins to see concerning behavior and doubts the safety of his actions.

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The Saints of Swallow Hill by Donna Everhart

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Written in the gritty voice of the Great Depression, this historical fiction draws the reader into the difficult lives of three characters in North Carolina. All three are at the Swallow Hill turpentine camp, and while their backgrounds and stories are different, their lives intersect, and we see friendships and bonds form.

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The Passing Storm by Christine Nolfi

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was my first book by Christine Nolfi, and I found her writing to be captivating! She writes with such amazing emotion; you can’t help but become invested in the characters and the story!

The Passing Storm introduces the reader to Rae, a mother trying to cope after the unimaginable loss of her daughter. As Rae tries to heal and move forward in some fashion, we watch her work through her grief. She takes a chance on a young teen who needs help, and through him, we hope she can find forgiveness.

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George J. and the Miserable Monday by Sivan Hong

"Childrens" Genre Block - 4 kids laying on stomachs looking at book
Book Genre "Learning" with "Learn" spelled in blocks

Rating: 4 out of 5.

George J. and the Miserable Monday is a wonderful children’s book that discusses how Mondays can be hard for kids too!

I really enjoyed that this story shows children how other kids may have the same worries and fears they do. George is easy to relate to, and I think he can be a great support for children! The story was easy to understand and is something that kids will enjoy reading again and again!

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Do I Know You? by Sarah Strohmeyer

Person peeking through hole titled "Thriller"
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Wow, I really enjoyed this book! It was twisty and turny, and kept me guessing constantly! It has a great plot that had some unique things for a thriller.

We have our main character, Jane, who has a unique ability to recognize faces. She’s the epitome of the “I never forget a face” kind of person. Her job places her in an airport watching for known terrorists when she recognizes the face of the woman she thinks killed her sister. From there we are off on a crazy race to get to the bottom of what happened to Jane’s sister.

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