The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale by Stephanie Eding

White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Well, I just loved this adorable book! The characters are so fantastic, and they just steal the show!

Josie is a wonderful person, and she’s been crapped on a bit with life, but when she bumps into two friends from high school, her life takes on a new trajectory. Pregnant, getting divorced, and being nudged out of her parents’ house, an offer to move in with Ben and Kevin. These two goofballs make life so fun. I loved having them in the story. They are well-meaning, big hearted, and loving friends, and watching their relationship with Josie grow was wonderful.

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The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews

White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was such a fun mixture of romance, healing, moving forward, and…. murder! I loved how Andrews was able to weave all these things together to seamlessly create a beautiful story!

Hattie is a young widow and works with her father-in-law restoring old Savannah homes to their former glory. I really loved Hattie. She is grieving but is such a fun woman. Watching her heal and grow throughout this story felt like watching a good friend go through a transformation. The grief isn’t heavy, it’s been quite a few years since she lost her husband, so I still completely feel this is a beach read!

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Avery G. and the Scary End of School 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.

I really love a book that helps children understand emotions they may feel or ones that others may feel, and this book does that beautifully!

This is the fourth book in the children’s series The Super Fun Day Books, and I have to recommend not only this book, but all of them. They each feature a child and a fear or emotion to understand and work through!

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The School for German Brides by Aimie K. Runyan

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This World War II story brings the lives of three women together in unexpected ways. It was beautifully written with surprising moments and wonderful characters, and I loved it!

Taking place in the early days of WWII, we are introduced to three women, but hear the story through the perspectives of two of them. These three women’s struggles are lived separately but come crashing together as the war intensifies.

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Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Book Genre Tag "Fantasy" with image of fantasy world of mountains and water

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a beautifully written story that sweeps the reader away to a world of magic, love, family and honor. I loved the characters, the world, the magic, and the overall story! This story is inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess. While I didn’t know anything about this legend, I loved that it was inspired by it!

Xingyin lives with her mother hidden away from the Celestial Emperor who doesn’t know she exists. When Xingyin’s magic releases accidentally, she must escape the only home she’s ever known. She lands herself in the palace of the Celestial Emperor and must keep her true identity hidden.

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The Wedding Season by Katy Birchall

White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a lovely story of self-love and growth, forgiveness, and moving on. I really enjoyed the characters and the story!

Freya has just been left, not quite at the altar, but in the broom closet. Regardless of the location, she’s got an entire wedding to unravel now. After taking some time to recover from the heartbreak, it’s closing in on the wedding season, and Freya’s friends have her back. They give her a challenge to complete at each wedding. The challenges are to help her get through the wedding and get over Matthew.

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More Than a Mom by Kari Kampakis

"Non Fiction" words carved into wood

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book…every mom needs to consider this one. So many times we prioritize our family first, and there’s a lot of needs there. When do we move ourselves to the top of the list? I think it’s not often enough sometimes, but this book gives so many reasons and ways to start doing that!

In this book, Kari Kampakis writes about ten things that mom’s should help themselves with. Things like stopping the negative talk, realizing your own self worth, coming to a peaceful understanding with your body, and so many others…well 10 to be exact. But those were three that were really important for me.

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The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon

Person peeking through hole titled "Thriller"

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Wow, I really enjoyed this one. What a fantastic story! This was creepy, and confusing, and had a surprise ending. I loved it!

This is told through two timelines, and both are compelling stories, which I really appreciated. Sometimes one timeline is more interesting than the other, but in this story, I loved them both! We have the 1978 story where we follow three children living with their grandmother. But grandma has some secrets…

The second timeline is present day, where we follow Lizzie. She’s a monster hunter, but right now, she’s hunting a different kind of monster…her sister.

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Everything Must Go by Camille Pagán

White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Camille Pagan writes such real stories. The characters are real, the situations are real. I just really recommend reading her works!

This was an emotional and moving story told through the voices of a mother and daughter. I really enjoyed these two perspectives as we learn the secrets that are separating the two.

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The Unknown Beloved by Amy Harmon

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am thoroughly convinced that Amy Harmon can write anything. She is an author that can jump from genre to genre with such ease and agility, and I am HERE for it every time!

In The Unknown Beloved, we are taken to the 1930’s for a murder mystery. I didn’t realize this until over halfway through the book, but the serial killer, and many of the characters were real people, and that made me love this book even more! Dani is a fictional character, but she is a fantastic MC, and as Harmon hinted at in the author’s note, I agree…more stories of her and Mike would be awesome!

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Scarlet Carnation by Laila Ibrahim

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is a continuation of a family saga series that I just absolutely love! It starts with Yellow Crocus, set in the 1800s and follows the life of two women, Lisbeth, a white plantation daughter, and Mattie, a slave and wet nurse. Each book after that one continues to follow those women and their descendants. I would absolutely recommend that you start at the beginning of this series, but I think you could read this as a stand-alone if you really wanted to.

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Guapo’s Giant Heart by Janet Zappala

"Childrens" Genre Block - 4 kids laying on stomachs looking at book
Book Genre Block - "Animals" with image of toy animals lined up

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was an adorable children’s story about a lovable calf and his friends. Guapo is adopted by a family, and he is so happy to have a place to sleep and humans to feed him. As he grows, he finds that his size is intimidating to some.

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