The Water Keeper by Charles Martin

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Charles Martin has this beautiful writing style that draws the reader in immediately. I enjoyed every word in this book because of his prose.

How I Felt:

Murph, the main character, was heartbreaking and raw with emotion, and yet he finds it in himself to overcome those feelings to help others every time he can. He comes across a multitude of characters on his journey and they are all wonderfully built and add so much to the story.

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The Apartment by K.L. Slater

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

This book was crazy! I really enjoyed the twists that were carefully woven into the story to provide lots of heart-racing moments! I especially enjoyed that we get to read the POV of the antagonist as well as the protagonist. It created an interesting perspective for me as I was reading, and I loved it!

My Synopsis:

Freya Miller is trying to get her life in order after the death of her husband. Without a job, she’s quickly running out of money. She has sold her home and is prepared to temporarily move into a friend’s place when the opportunity of a lifetime falls into her lap.

Dr. Marsden is looking for a new tenant and a coffee shop accidental meeting leads him to believe Freya is just what he is looking for. Freya quickly agrees to this upscale, beautiful apartment for such a ridiculously low rent, she can’t believe her luck.

Freya is soon moved in but doesn’t even get a chance to be happy. Everything seems a little off. Dr. Marsden and Mrs. Marsden seem extremely controlling. They want to install a video camera in her apartment entrance, and they don’t like visitors. The list goes on and on.

The apartment building, Adder House, seems to have a dark history that people won’t tell Freya about. She begins hearing sounds and voices, and things are moved around in their apartment. Freya is starting to think this was too good to be true.

How I Felt:

The plot for The Apartment was so good! I felt like all the pieces fit together perfectly to provide an exciting thriller for the reader. I did guess what was going on but didn’t have all the details figured out. I don’t mind guessing at a thriller, I like to see if I’m right. So, it doesn’t bother me as long as it’s still a good story.

Continue reading “The Apartment by K.L. Slater”

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Wives had an awesome premise that had me so excited to pick this book up. I loved all the secrets that surrounded the intricacies of this relationship!

My Synopsis:

Thursday is married to Seth. Seth is married to Thursday…and two other women, sort of.

Thursday went into her marriage fully aware that Seth had two other wives, but she was okay with the arrangement because she loved him so much. She’s happy with their arrangement. She gets to see him once a week, and that makes her content.

Until she accidentally finds the identity of one of his other wives and a receipt for a prenatal doctor’s visit. One thing leads to another and Thursday finds herself on the doorstep of this wife to see what she’s like.

Thursday’s life begins to spiral out of control from there as she suspects Seth of abusing this other wife. Except that her Seth is nothing like that…is he?

How I Felt:

This story did not go where I thought it was going to go and it threw me for a loop! I was really hooked on the whole plot until about halfway through. Then everything kind of got turned upside down, and I felt like I was reading a different book. The story completely changed and it felt less like a thriller and more like an odd domestic fiction.

Continue reading “The Wives by Tarryn Fisher”

Private Lessons by Cynthia Salaysay

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I really appreciate the author tackling such a tough subject matter. I am sure it is hard to write about the topics surrounding this story, but I feel it is also important for work like this to be available to people, especially a younger audience.

How I Felt:

This story was an emotional read. Written by debut author Cynthia Salaysay, it is touted as a #metoo story and it is, but it takes a while to get there. The book was slow to start and really draws out the manipulation by Paul, the music teacher. The author did a good job of showing how cunning Paul is as he passes small compliments to Claire in a very calculated manner.

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Swimming Sideways by C.L. Walters

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As A Whole:

Swimming Sideways was such an emotional story. I was so impressed with how C.L. Walters was able to draw out such feeling and connection to the characters! The story was deeply moving and I can’t wait to read the second book!

On The Details:

The story focuses on Abby, and her torn love between two boys, Gabe and Seth. Who Abby is as a person is a big focus. She goes through a self-discovery journey to decide who she is, and who she wants to me. I did find some portions of the story to be a bit slow. The beginning of the book didn’t quite capture my attention, and it took some time to really settle into the story. Once, I did though, I was hooked!

Continue reading “Swimming Sideways by C.L. Walters”

One Woman Falling by Melanie Campbell – Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

One Woman Falling was such an emotionally impactful book, it almost hurt to read. I am so impressed with Melanie Campbells’s ability to write about the topic of domestic violence with such beautiful words. I was so drawn into this book and it deeply touched me.

How I Felt:

The characters felt so real in this story. Melanie Campbell created Cassie Peterson, a woman living a life filled with domestic abuse and made her come to life on the pages. Her story takes the reader through the emotional impact domestic abuse has on a person. Cassie comes to realize that she is worthy of love and that this relationship is not a loving one. Her faith helps to guide her to understand her own strength and empower her to make a change.

Continue reading “One Woman Falling by Melanie Campbell – Book Review”

Finding Jackson by Anne Holster – Interview

Q: What is something you’ve lied about?

Lol, my age, but who hasn’t?

Q: Who is the last person you hugged?

That’s an easy one! The last person I hugged is my daughter and that was early this morning. I always give her a hug before she leaves for school.

Continue reading “Finding Jackson by Anne Holster – Interview”

Fish Out of Water by Jennifer Sommersby

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Fish Out of Water was so real. I loved that this teenager felt like a real teenager. She had problems and sadness and unattainable expectations from her father. It was written so well and captured such a real-feel. The writing was beautiful.

How I Felt:

The Plot in Fish Out of water was heartbreaking, but wonderful at the same time. I was cheering for Marina to go for her dreams and not live the life her father wants her to live. I loved watching her struggle to be able to do what she wanted to do (sing).

The Characters were so, heart-crushingly well built. Marina’s dad makes me so angry. The author’s ability to draw that anger out of a reader is fantastic. I just wanted to shake him and be like “Let her live her own life!” Marina felt like a real teen and I appreciated that character building. She was just a normal girl trying to navigate the frustrations of a normal life.

Overall, this was a fun book filled with interesting characters, solid writing, and an enjoyable story.

To Read or Not To Read:

If you enjoy YA novels with a real-feel to the story, this would be a book you would enjoy.

Where To Find This Book:
Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Kindle | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Book Depository
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Brought to you by the hugely popular YouTube series, The Girl Without A Phone, from the Young Actors Project, in collaboration with YA novelist Jennifer Sommersby, Fish Out of Water is a timeless, heartwarming tale inspired by the beloved Little Mermaid. Join Marina—alongside friends Lily and Sierra—in this fresh new adventure meant to inspire the reader to find their own song.

Be who you were born to be …

Marina Andersen’s structured life is ruled by the Three S’s: Swim. Study. Succeed. But all this routine and order leaves little time for what she really wants to do: SING. Try telling that to her overbearing father, a former rock legend whose personal demons keep Marina’s extraordinary musical talents behind closed doors.

After a chance performance at school drops a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—and a gorgeous young rocker—at Marina’s feet, she’ll have to decide what lengths she’s willing to go to in pursuit of the one thing that reminds her heart to beat.

While navigating the rough seas of managing her father’s expectations and finding her own voice, will Marina summon the courage to show her dad who she really is inside before their family is dashed like a galleon in a storm?

  • Fish Out of Water by Jennifer Sommersby
  • Subtitle: A Little Mermaid story
  • Series: The Girl Without a Phone, Book 1
  • Page Count: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Young Actors Project (YAP)
  • Pub Date: December 6, 2019

Jennifer Sommersby is a writer, copy/line editor, bibliophile, and mom of four living in the Great White North. She is represented by Victoria Doherty Munro at Writers House. Jennifer is also an author of romantic comedies under Eliza Gordon.

I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

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The Best Man Problem by Mariah Ankenman

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The back and forth banter in The Best Man Problem was adorable! I feel like the book was comical and light in just the right places and it really kept me interested.

How I Felt:

I found this story to be a fun, cute romance-read. It started off with such a fun scene and I was immediately drawn into the story and interested in the main character, Lily. At times I didn’t feel quite as invested in Lily and Lincoln, but at other times, I felt their connected and was very interested. While The Best Man Problem can be read as a stand-alone, it is the second book in a series, and I think I might have enjoyed it just a bit more if I had read the first book in the series. I will go back and read the first book now because the story was fun, the writing was good, and overall, this was worth the read.

To Read or Not To Read:

If you enjoy light, comical stories of romance, with some somewhat steamy scenes, this is a good book for you. You don’t need to read the first book in the series, but if you are interested in the premise, I would suggest starting at the beginning!

Where To Find This Book:
Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Lilly Walsh is used to keeping things buttoned-up and aboveboard. After all, the last time she hooked up with someone in a wedding party, it nearly cost her her wedding planning business. Thankfully, those rules don’t apply when she meets a handsome stranger in a hotel bar. One bad pirate joke leads to the best night of her life, but come morning, she’s got a wedding to plan.

Lincoln Reid never imagined he’d see the woman who rocked his world last night and then ran out on him ever again. But there she is, planning his best friend’s wedding with the same passion and drive that brought him to his knees. She’s adamant that wedding planner and best man can never mix, but that just means he’s got four weeks to make her see him as more than just a one-night guy. Because he’s itching for more than one night…or five, or ten…

  • The Best Man Problem by Mariah Ankenman
  • Series: Mile High Happiness, Book 2
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled: Lovestruck
  • Pub Date: January 20, 2020

Bestselling author Mariah Ankenman lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her two rambunctious daughters and loving husband who provides ample inspiration for her heart-stopping heroes.

Whether she’s writing hometown heroes or sexy supernaturals, Mariah loves to lose herself in a world of words. Her favorite thing about writing is when she can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of her books.

I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

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Mismatched in Mayhem by L.E. Rico – Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved: Walker, our main character, is amazing. I loved her personality and her attitude. She is definitely a shining star in this story.

“You don’t get to choose who you fall for. It just… happens. No matter how much you want to undo it. No matter how hard you try to fight it…. That kind of attraction runs so deep that there is no way out-except to let it run it’s course.”

Mismatched in Mayhem – L.E. Rico

How I Felt: I loved the characters in this book. I previous mentioned that I loved Walker’s character, but there are so many people to love in this story. Mason, Walker’s love interest, is so easy to fall for. Father Romance is adorable and I loved the interactions between Walker and him.

I was a little drawn out of the book with Mason’s family issues towards the end. I could have done without so much of that in the story. The remainder of the story line, was quite enjoyable. I liked that Mason has this secret and he’s trying to hard to keep it from Walker. It made just the right amount of drama without being stressful to read.

Overall: This is a fun, romantic read with good writing to make you laugh and sigh in delight.

To Read or Not To Read: Mismatched in Mayhem is the fourth book in the series Whiskey sisters. I had not previously read the earlier books in the series. While I understood everything that was happening in this book, I do think I would have enjoyed it a bit more if I had read the first books. I would suggest that you read the earlier books before starting this one so that you get the most enjoyment out of it.

Where To Find This Book:
Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Welcome to Mayhem, Minnesota, with its sweater-wearing cats and ultra-competitive trivia nights. Where love really does conquer all…if you’ll let it.

Walker O’Halloran is finally ready to shed her “wild child” persona. Bartending at her family’s pub, babysitting her adorable niece and nephews, and getting her degree during the day.

What she doesn’t do is date–or even think about dating. Ever. Until he walks into her bar, looking like a former Mr. Quarterback of the Football Team and Student Council President all rolled into one. No, thank you.

Mason Stevens has a secret—and it prevents him from knowing if someone is truly interested in him, or just what he can do for them. Until he meets Walker. She’s the first person in ages who doesn’t recognize him, and her grouchy attitude feels like the greatest challenge of his life. And he’s ready for it.

But the more time they spend together, the more he’s desperate to come clean—it’s just never the right time. Until the paparazzi do it for him…

  • Mismatched in Mayhem by L.E. Rico
  • Series: Whiskey Sisters, Book 4
  • Page Count: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
  • Pub Date: January 13, 2020
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Award-Winning author Lauren Rico also happens to be one of the top classical music broadcasters in the country. Her voice is heard nationally on SiriusXM’s Symphony Hall channel, as well as on radio stations in New York City, Charlotte, and Tampa. She’s even been known to accompany travelers as they fly the skies over Thailand, Oman, and China as part of the in-flight entertainment on several airlines. Her love and passion for classical music have allowed her to breathe new life into the stories of the great composers.

And now Lauren is telling some stories of her own…

Beginning with her erotic thriller, Reverie (Harmony House Productions, 2016), she set out to “put the sexy back in Bach,” creating a riveting tale of passion, deception and redemption set against the backdrop of an international music competition. She rounded out the trilogy with Rhapsody (Harmony House Productions, 2016) and Requiem (Harmony House Productions, 2017).

From there, Lauren partnered with Entangled Publishing, LLC, to create the first in her Symphony Hall series of romance novels, Solo (Entangled Publishing 2017). Her most recent release, Mistletoe in Mayhem, is the third in the five-book Whiskey Sisters series (Entangled 2018). Upcoming projects include two more Whiskey Sisters romances, a follow-up to Solo and a super-secret, as-of-yet-unnamed thriller.

Lauren hopes to bring classical music to a new audience by showcasing it in twisty, steamy stories that grab the reader and keep them turning pages — and YouTubing the music — into the wee hours.

When she’s not on talking on the radio or typing on her laptop, Lauren enjoys time with her husband and spectacularly spoiled mini-schnauzer.

I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

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Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green – A Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved: The charming conversations in this cozy story made this book so lovable. I loved the way Ellie thinks with funny things like “Oh nightmare!”

How I Felt: I loved the characters in this book. Sylvia is probably my favorite character actually and I would love to see more of her in another book (and maybe I will get to since this is a series). Ellie is a bit of a hot mess with all the things going wrong in her life and I appreciated her character flaws that came with these issues. The romance was perfect and I enjoyed that story line. I felt that the two characters had chemistry and found myself rooting for them from the beginning.

Overall: This is a quick read with a very light-hearted feel. The story was endearing and the writing was well-done.

To Read or Not To Read: If you are looking for a quick read to lighten your mood, this is it!

Fleeing from a romance gone wrong, Ellie Farmer arrives in the pretty village of Sunnybrook, hoping for a brand new start that most definitely does not include love!

Following an unscheduled soak in the village duck pond, she meets Sylvia, who runs the Little Duck Pond Cafe. Renting the flat above the cafe seems like the answer to Ellie’s prayers. It’s only for six months, which will give her time to sort out her life, far away from cheating boyfriend Richard.

But is running away from your past ever really the answer?

Clashing with the mysterious and brooding Zak Chamberlain, an author with a bad case of writer’s block, is definitely not what Ellie needs right now. And then there’s Sylvia, who’s clinging so hard to her past, she’s in danger of losing the quaint but run-down cafe altogether.

Can Ellie find the answers she desperately needs in Sunnybrook? And will she be able to help save Sylvia’s Little Duck Pond Cafe from closure?

  • Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green
  • Series: The Little Duck Pond Cafe book 1
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Print Length: 127 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: March 22, 2018
The following is an excerpt from Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green.

A sudden noise makes me turn my head towards the cottage and I almost lose my balance, grasping just in time at a branch above my head.

Oh, nightmare!

A tall man is striding out of the house towards me, looking understandably peeved. He crosses the grass and stands right below me.

‘What’s going on?’ The deep, rumbling voice matches his big, lean frame as he stands there, hands on hips, glaring up at me. I can barely see his eyes beneath the tumble of dark hair but I’m pretty sure they’re flashing with anger.

I swallow hard and open my mouth to start apologizing but my throat feels so dry, nothing comes out. So I’m left staring back at him like a stunned haddock.

‘Well?’ His bark tones down a notch. I think he’s realized from my gormless expression that I pose no big security threat to his tree or his person.

‘Sorry.’ I manage to choke out a single word. But looking down, I feel quite faint. Descending is going to be a challenge. Fright has welded my bottom to the branch.

‘Are you doing this for a dare?’ he asks, glancing towards the hedge as if he expects to see a friend with a sheepish grin pop up at any moment with their thumb in the air. ‘We’ve had one or two break-ins lately, so you can understand how I might feel slightly suspicious about a strange woman lurking in my tree.’

Oh, God, does he think I’m a burglar

Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green is available now. Readers will also be able to read the whole series on Kindle Unlimited as it is released.

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Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Spring at the Little Duck Pond Café is the first in Rosie’s brand new series of novellas centred around life in a village café. Each novella is a ‘stand-alone’ read.

I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved the ending. The last few chapters did me in. I literally had tears streaming down my face. I have NEVER read a book that wrapped up the way Colleen Hoover did in Regretting You. I am still in awe and I absolutely loved it. I’m not going to say anything more about this because there will not be spoilers from me, but it is worth the read.

How I Felt:

This is my FIRST Colleen Hoover book, and I am already figuring out how to fit more of her books into my reading list! The way she wove this story was fascinating. The book is told from two perspectives, 16-year-old Clara, and her mother, Morgan. I loved how raw the emotions were during their struggles in this book. Above all else, for me, this book was about healing, forgiving, and relationships of family and love.

There are two stories of romance for the reader. Clara’s is a first love sort of story with all the goodies and struggles that go along with that. Then, Morgan’s story is filled with healing after the death of her husband and finding a new path forward.

The writing in Regretting You is phenomenal. The first-person narrative is captivating, as each woman tells their story. The supporting characters all played a role in the story, and I loved the role each played.

To Read or Not To Read:

If you love Colleen Hoover, I’m sure this is already on your TBR (to-be-read) list. So, this section is more for those that haven’t discovered her yet. Regretting You is a real-feel life story filled with struggles that really happen and may touch you on a personal note. You are pulled in by each character’s heartbreak and happiness. If you enjoy a book that tugs at the heart strings, but can also give you those warm fuzzies, you need to read this book.

Have you read any other books by Colleen Hoover yet? Check out my review of Verity by Colleen Hoover!

Where To Find This Book:

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Morgan and Clara seem to have a pretty normal teenage daughter and mother relationship. There’s absolutely love there, but there’s also tension. Morgan was young and unexpectedly pregnant with Clara and wants to make sure Clara doesn’t follow the same path her mother did. Clara wants to go to an arts school to become an actress and has no intention of leading the same life as her mother.

Their fairly ordinary life is turned upside down when Chris, Morgan’s husband and Clara’s father is killed in a car accident. Devastated by the loss, Morgan quickly finds that there are more questions than answers surrounding the accident. Struggling to shield Clara from these unexpected and unwanted secrets, Morgan finds herself at constant odds with Clara. Can these two find a way to heal their relationship and their hearts?

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

  • Page Count: 363 pages
  • Genre: Romance / YA / Contemporary
  • Publisher: Montlake
  • Pub Date: December 10, 2019

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I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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