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.
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.
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.
Enter to win an e-book of Fish Out of Water by Jennifer Sommersby. 5 participants will win this giveaway. Giveaway open internationally.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
Enter to win one $15 Amazon gift card via rafflecopter during this tour.
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.
What I Loved: The writing made this story so fun and entertaining. I loved the sisters’ love/hate relationship. The story made their struggle feel real.
How I Felt: This book has a little something for every emotion. There were definitely times where I laughed, but the sister relationship also tugs at the heart-strings. I watched the movie long after I read the book, and felt that this was one of a few times where the movie really did the book justice. If you have a chance, you should check it out after you read the book!
To Read Or Not To Read: If you are looking for a funny, easier read, this is a good one!
What’s This Book About Anyway?
Rose and Maggie are sisters, but extreme opposites. Rose is a lawyer, in a relationship, and has her life all buttoned up. Maggie, on the other hand, jumps from job to job, man to man, and party to party.
Maggie needs a place to stay and ends up with Rose. Will this bring them closer or drive them apart?
What I Loved: The mystery surrounding this story had me hooked. I really needed to understand what happened! Jodi Picoult’s writing is always so gripping and full of questions you just need to have answered and this one did not disappoint.
How I Felt: Shattered. Utterly shattered. This book surrounds a school shooting, which is just a terrifying story line. I was devastated for the families, but sucked into the aftermath’s story.
To Read or Not To Read: With the caveat that this has trigger warnings with school shootings, gun violence, and teen death, this was a great book. Jodi Picoult fans will not be disappointed. If you haven’t read Jodi Picoult, this one does not stray from what readers love so much about her. It is a great book, and I highly recommend it.
What’s This Book About Anyway?
A school shooting has taken place in a small New Hampshire town. This book follows the aftermath of that shooting, including the trial for the shooter. There is an eye-witness that cannot remember what she saw, and she happens to be the judge’s daughter. There are a lot of mysteries to be solved throughout the story, keeping you turning the pages long into the night!
What I Loved: Jodi Picoult has the ability to write about the worst situations and make millions of people want to read the book. She is a master at storytelling. This book is another one. I loved it because she wrote a story I was wrapped up in. I needed to know what happened and what was going to happen to these characters.
How I Felt: This is a sad story, ripping you apart piece by piece. The death of a teenager, the sadness of a suicide pact *potentially*, just tears you up. However, it is a powerful book that keeps you turning the pages.
To Read or Not To Read: Readers of Jodi Picoult will enjoy this book. I do have this tagged as Romance for romance-lovers, however, it’s more of a love *Romeo and Juliet style* so be prepared for that. Trigger Warning: Teen death and suicide.
What’s This Book About Anyway?
Two teens grow up living next door to each other. They are friends as children and that friendship grows into love by their teenage years. Then, one night, Emily’s parent’s lives are shattered when they are called to the hospital where their daughter has died from a gunshot wound to the head. Her boyfriend Chris is alive, but has a gun with one bullet in the chamber. Chris is adamant that it was a suicide pact, however, the city’s detectives are unconvinced. What really happened that night; will the detective be able to unravel the secrets?
What I Loved: I loved the cover of this book. Fair warning, this was not a well-liked book for me.
How I Felt: The beginning of this book had me completely hooked. “My sister had been dead for fifteen years when I see her on the TV news.” I was like, “Yes!” This book is going to be awesome!” I felt so let down from that point on. I, in no way, ever want to bash a book, and I am usually finding myself handing out 4 and 5 star reviews because I “justlovebooks”, but I was on the Struggle-Bus for this entire book.
My Gripes: I was bored with the story line and completely unconnected with the characters. O’Neal’s writing was beautiful and descriptive, however, it was overly fluffy for the story. There is an entire story line surrounding a house and it has all this mystery about a murder, and I kept waiting for that part of the story to flesh out, but it just fizzled into nothing. It could have been completely removed from the book and it would not have affected the story at all. It would have improved the length of the story, however.
The two main characters are sisters, and one is thought to be dead for 15 years until her sister catches a glimpse her on TV. There was so much side-fluff happening, and I couldn’t understand why. If I thought my sister had been dead for 15 years, and then I see her on TV, I wouldn’t be traipsing around New Zealand, I would be so focused on finding her. Ultimately, this book missed the mark for me because the characters were not written in a way that made you understand their actions enough. I was constantly questioning WHY this or that issue was the thing ruining their lives.
Additionally, I felt that the placement of when I was given a “big reveal” about what had happened to a character, it was truly the third or fourth time it had been referenced, and I just wasn’t surprised about it. I was, however, frustrated that I had to read it again.
To Read or Not To Read: For me, this is a big fat not to read. However, I have scanned the Goodreads comments, and while there are people like me, there are a lot of people that really did enjoy this book. Many of the 4+ star comments also note that they almost did not finish this book, so most readers and I agree that it’s a struggle. For some, however, the book redeemed itself, for me, it did not. So, I’m suggesting that if the synopsis sounds good to you, pick it up and give it a try. Maybe you’ll have a better experience than me!
What’s This Book About Anyway?
Kit’s sister has been dead for 15 years until she spots her on a news reel on TV. At her mother’s instance, Kit hops on a plane to New Zealand where the news came from, checks into a hotel and starts looking for her sister. Kit finds an unexpected romance in the middle of all of this. She must break down her barriers built up from her childhood to be able to truly let love in. There are many childhood secrets and the memories begin to pop up for Kit.
The book is written from the perspective of Kit, and her sister Josie. Kit will be one chapter, and then it will change to Josie. The perspectives were nice to help understand why each character felt the way they did. There are a lot of flashbacks to help us see all the secrets from their past. They will need to understand each other and their childhood to move forward.
What I Loved: The self-empowering story of a girl getting herself together.
⠀ How I Felt: This story is a feel-good one with romance and self-discovery.⠀
To Read Or Not To Read: A great read! Perfect for just about everyone!⠀It’s funny and sad and happy all in one!
What’s This Book About Anyway?
Holly is a new window who used food as comfort and now she’s found herself overweight and alone at 32. She meets Logan, a personal trainer and decides to get herself back in shape when he offers to be her trainer. They have some pretty intense “workouts” together in this romance, but as Holly gets back to her old self, can their relationship last?