Em’s Awful Good Fortune by Marcie Maxfield

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Okay, this book was an absolute delight! I got to experience the life of an expat, but through the lens of how it affects a marriage and the individuals involved.

I felt like Em was sitting down with a cup of coffee and telling me the stories of her life. It was a conversation weaving fun moments with ones of heartbreak. Em’s experiences as the wife of someone who chooses to live outside the US for extended periods of time for work was so interesting. I’ve traveled to China, and I found those parts of the story something I connected to, and laughed at, as I had some of those experiences. Other locations though were completely new for me, and I loved learning more about them! I loved the entire story, and I highly recommend it!

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The Jennifer Files by Isla Moore

Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a spicy romance with some moments of laughter, seriousness, and of course, heat! The southern setting made this feel intimate in a small-town setting. The characters are easy to fall in love with. They have great personalities and really stand out within the story.

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Beneath the Marigolds by Emily C. Whitson

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

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was such an exciting, mysterious, and crazy story! I loved the secluded setting and the surprising twists!

This thriller is told through two alternating view. We have Reese who is always on the hunt for her next Mr. Right, and then we have Ann. Ann and Reese are friends, but have quite different personalities. When Reese gets an invitation to an exclusive singles retreat on a private island, she jumps at the chance. Reese has soon mysteriously disappeared, and Ann heads to the retreat to figure out what has happened to her.

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Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross

Person peeking through hole titled "Thriller"
Nanny Needed book cover with girl facing building
Person in dark woods titled "Suspense"

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wow. This book was crazy! This is the kind of thriller that has you completely invested and yet so confused about what is going on! There are so many questions to answer, and you won’t believe it when you learn them!

Sarah finds a post in her apartment for a nanny. It seems like a great way to make some extra money, and even though she doesn’t have any nanny experience, she heads to the interview…and gets the job! It’s a beautiful New York apartment at a luxury address, and yet the family is…a bit off… As she starts to realize that maybe this family is just a bit too odd, it’s also a bit too late. She’s already become entrapped in their secrets.

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The Ghost Marriage by Kirsten Mickelwait

Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What an absolutely stunning story! I was completely entranced by this memoir! Mickelwait lays her emotional journey out in the pages of her memoir, bringing us all into her life.

When Kirsten Mickelwait married Steve, she could see the bright future they had ahead of them, but years down the road, the life isn’t so bright and beautiful. Steve is addicted to opioids, cheating on Kirsten, and emotionally abusing her. They divorce, but then Steve dies, and Kirsten finds out there’s one more blow to come. Steve has left her with $1.5 million in debts.

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The Pickwick Murders by Heather Redmond

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

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Pickwick Murders is a retelling of the Charles Dickens story, The Pickwick Papers. I haven’t read the original, so this was a new story for me. Set in the early 1800’s, this was a fun historical cozy mystery. I enjoyed the fiancée, Kate in this story. She is a strong female character, and has to use a variety of tools in her belt to figure out what is happening!

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Urge to Rome by Kyra Robinov

Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
Urge to Rome cover with Rome landscape

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When Kyra begins to struggle with migraines, aging parents, teenage children, and working too much, her and her husband find an opportunity to move to Europe, and they jump at it!

Kyra’s story of her adventure in Rome is one that will sweep you away. Kyra’s memoir is honest and raw at times, making you connect with her and her life. I found her struggles and triumphs through her year abroad to be entertaining, emotional, and wonderful. She tells her story in a way that makes the reader feel like they are right there with her!

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The Keeper of Happy Endings by Barbara Davis

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
The Keeper of Happy Endings book cover with girl looking at Eiffel Tower
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a stunning historical fiction! Told through the lives of two women, we get introduced to Soline the owner of a Paris bridal salon during WWII as well as Rory, the new owner of the bridal salon building years later. As their stories intertwine, it’s impossible to put this one down. Their lives stay on your mind!

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Beware the Mermaids by Carrie Talick

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Beware the Mermaids book cover with three girls on a dock
Book Genre Block with image of group of children

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I thought this was such a great story. A wife finds her husband cheating, and it’s clearly not the first time. She’s ready for a divorce, and she wants their sailboat. Her husband, Roger, is not interested in letting her have it though. So Nancy proposes a 125 mile race where the winner gets the boat.

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The Fault Between Us by Bette Lee Crosby

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
The Fault between us book cover

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Oh this was so good! I loved the characters. Templeton is an interesting woman. She knows what she wants, and she focuses on how to succeed! I loved that drive and determination in her. She passed up on so many opportunities of marriage because she was focused on her career, which made her chance encounter and romance with John so much more exciting!

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The Extraordinary by Brad Schaeffer

Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth
The Extraordinary cover

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Extraordinary was a book that really brought a story to life for me. It felt like a real person’s story, as if it was a memoir, and yet it’s fiction. The characters are incredibly realistic, making the reader connect with them with such emotion, you want to reach through the pages and save them at times.

The story revolves around a family going through some troubling times. Our narrator is a teenage boy who is autistic, and has always connected with his father in a special way. When his dad returns home after serving in the military, he’s not the same, and we see through the son’s eyes how this affects the entire family.

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The Sound Of Wings by Suzanne Simonetti

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
The Sound of Wings book cover with flowers and butterfly
Book Genre Block with image of group of children

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a beautiful story of friendship, love, and the ups and downs of living. We meet three women, Goldie, Jocelyn, and Krystal who are at different points in their lives, and yet each have their own struggles and issues.

The characters in this story were stand-outs for me. They are real and heartbreaking at times, but they are redeemable, and they created a beautiful story for readers! As their stories begin to intertwine, I found myself incredibly invested.

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