The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Cover "The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba" girl in dress by sea shore
Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Well this was a lovely book! The historical aspect was obviously well researched, and woven into the fiction beautifully!

Following three women, this is a great story of women empowerment! We have Evangelina stuck in a Havana jail, Grace who is a reporter, and Marina playing the part of a secret courier! This is a story of people coming together to free Evangelina and of a woman who becomes an icon for Cuba.

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Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Cover "Musical Chairs" with illustrated legs and feet on chairs
Book Genre Block - "Rom Com" couple on bench

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What a wonderful story filled with fun, family, hilarious situations, and friends! We start this story with a plan for Bridget and her boyfriend Sterling to spend the summer in Connecticut. After a really crappy electronic breakup by Sterling 😠, Bridget is left alone in her summer home to nurse her broken heart. But then her twin children (now adults) come bringing their own problems, and Bridget gets roped into hosting a wedding for her father…and this story goes from one of heartbreak to one of utter chaos. It’s amazing!

The absolute craziness of the story made this so much fun. It just felt light and full of life. Like a busy family reunion where you can’t get a moment’s peace because everywhere you turn there’s someone. I really felt that busy-life-is-upended feeling. Poeppel has done a wonderful job of conveying the environment through her words!

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The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book cover of gate opening to the ocean

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a beautiful story with a setting that I thoroughly enjoyed! Oh my, I want to visit Sunshine Cove now! The ocean views, and the people that live there sound amazing! This is book 2 in the series “Cape Sanctuary”, but if you haven’t read book one, do not worry! I think you’ll be completely fine, this can be read as a stand-alone.

The characters are wonderful and easy to connect with. They feel so real, they could be your actual friends. Jess and Rachel are sisters separated from each other in their teenage years. Sunshine Cove provides an opportunity for the two of them to reconnect, and it’s an absolutely lovely story!

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The Light Through the Leaves by Glendy Vanderah

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

What an absolutely beautiful story! This is my first book by Glendy Vanderah, and now I need to go read Where The Forest Meets the Stars by her!

This is a story that you just get lost in. Vanderah has a wonderful way with her words! The amazing descriptions of nature place you right into the scenes with the characters. It made me want to go reconnect with the earth, go for a hike, and feel the healing powers!

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Hadley and Grace by Suzanne Redfearn

Rating: 5 out of 5.
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Loved this book!!! It was very Thelma & Louise, but seriously so much better! I loved the addition of children, and how that changes the choices available to the women. This was a fast-paced, wild ride following two women and their children as they run from one danger after another.

I loved the characters Hadley and Grace. They were an unlikely and accidental partnering that created this amazing dynamic. The two bicker like sisters, and yet clearly care for each other. Their stories created wonderful character growth for each of them, which was honestly, extremely surprising. Running from the law, trying to protect their children, they somehow managed to have their own personal moments of inspiration and change.

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The Winter Song by Saurav Dutt

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction"
Book cover of winter road and person's profile and silhouette
Book Genre Block -

From the acclaimed Author of ‘The Butterfly Room’ comes a powerful afterlife drama conveying how great gifts can be hidden in death and how they can bear fruit in our lives if we have the faith to let them unfold.

Somewhere between the mountains and the mist in North India, a widower must reconcile himself to the loss and grief that haunts him after the recent death of his wife.

Unhinged by grief, anger, and guilt, John Perera has set off on a journey, a journey to honour the love of his life and to fulfill the promise he made to her to uncover the truth behind the mysterious death of their son. It is a journey of extraordinary self-discovery that will take him to the extremities of his soul and question all he believes about life, death, and faith.

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Blind Turn by Cara Sue Achterberg

Rating: 5 out of 5.
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

What an outstanding book! From the first few sentences, I knew this was going to be a story that I just fell into, tumbling into the pages, completely invested in the characters and what was happening to them.

Blind Turn is a story that is a parent’s nightmare. A daughter’s split-second driving mistake ends in the death of a beloved football coach. The community is outraged. Their impact on both mother and daughter created a last impression on me. I enjoyed that this story was written from dual points of view. I liked seeing how the mother was thinking, and then how the daughter was thinking.

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The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

Rating: 5 out of 5.
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

This book was AMAZING! I am not going to be able to fully do this book justice in this review, but I’m going to try.

I must say how much incredibly detailed research obviously went into writing this book. It is stuffed full of Egyptian history and information that was amazingly detailed. I learned so much through reading this, and I loved it.

This story is hard for me to explain because I do not want to spoil it for any reader, so I’m going to leave a lot out. If you’ve read the book, I’d love to discuss it!

So, the story itself, it’s about love, life, death, family, everything that builds us into the people we are. This book ripped me up and then put me back together. I couldn’t quite figure out how this was going to end. It’s about The Book of Two Ways, an Egyptian path for the dead to find their afterlife. The chapters are broken into a story of two ways. Water or Land / Boston or Egypt. Sometimes I struggle jumping back and forth to different stories in a book, but with this, every time we switched to the “other way” I was so deeply invested I didn’t want that one to end, then we’d jump to the “other way” and I’d get invested all over again.

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Undeveloped by K Leigh

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Author K Leigh has such a wonderful way with words. Her stories continue to get better and better, and I am always on the lookout for her next book! Undeveloped was an absolutely beautifully written story with characters you fall in love with, wonderful revelations, and heartbreaking moments. It is well worth the read, and I hope everyone picks it up!

This is a dual-timeline story with Lia, our present-day teenager stumbling across her Aunt Natalie’s journals from her own youth. As Lia secretly reads more and more of Natalie’s entries, she becomes entranced by what looks like a love-lost in Natalie’s history.

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What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Rating: 5 out of 5.
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

You know how everyone talks about an author, and you’re like hmmm…I haven’t read this author, there must be a reason everyone loves them? Well….That was Katherine Center for me. I haven’t read any of her books, but she’s ALL over the book world! So, I was really excited that I managed to snag her audio and physical book, What You Wish For! And what I wished for came true, this author ROCKS!

What You Wish For is categorized as romance, and I would agree, there is definitely a romance element, but it felt like SO much more than that. There is hope, grief, inspiration, and friendship all mixed into this beautiful story!

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A Goddess Among Men by Daniel Davidsohn

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I love that this book covered three generations of characters. I think it really helped me to understand who Christel, the main character, was. I got an excellent understanding of why her emotional state was the way it was, and I appreciated all the details that went into building the timeline.

My Synopsis:

Alan and Julian are an odd-couple type of business relationship. Julian is a wonderful man with a lovely personality, while Alan is the exact opposite. He is a cruel, ruthless man that is focused on making it to the top of the success ladder.

Julian finds out he is a father shortly before his death, and he entrusts his daughter to Alan. WHY?!?!? I know as the reader we know more than the characters, but this decision broke my heart. So, Alan ends up the caregiver for Christel, and he is terrible. Christel endures unthinkable acts *see warnings below* and her treatment emotionally hollows her out.

Christel’s early childhood experiences shape who she becomes as a woman. She must work to embrace who she is with the help of someone from her past.

How I Felt:

The plot was so interesting. I really liked how the story covered such a wide range of years. There were twists and turns that I didn’t expect throughout the book, making the story such a page-turner! Christel’s history provides so much for the reader to learn about, and as the information was revealed, I just needed to know more!

The characters were so well-written. They had a depth that stemmed from their expansive histories, as well as the care the author took to develop them throughout the story. Alan is a despicable person. I was disgusted by him throughout the entire book. I found myself blaming Julian again and again for putting Christel in this horrible situation.

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Not According to Plan by A.M. Madden

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I love this twist on a romance storyline! A one-night-stand turned into a pregnancy and love story was adorable, and I loved it! One other thing I just adored about this book was the cover! I just think it’s utterly fabulous and I was drawn to the book from that alone!

How I Felt:

The characters were so lovable in this story. Jade, our female lead, has no interest in love. She is focused on her career. When life throws her curve-balls though, we find how adaptable to change she can be. I liked her strength and determination in all things life gave her. Max is also not looking for love, and yet love seems to find him. He’s a wonderful love interest, and I loved his strength of character. He was willing to commit to the situation and I appreciated that so much. Together, Jade and Max make a fabulous pair and they were so fun to read about.

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