When in Vanuatu by Nicki Chen

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Cover "When in Vanuatu" with hand making
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is one of those stories that gave me such an expanded view of a location I didn’t know a lot about. I loved the setting in the Philippines.

When in Vanuatu is a story that follows Diana and her husband to Manila. We follow her focus on having a baby, and the struggles she has. At her doctor’s encouragement to destress, she moves to Vanuatu.

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Decanted by Linda Sheehan

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book cover for Decanted with
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This story really tells us that we can follow our dreams, and I love that! Samantha leaves her day job behind to become a wine maker. She gets an internship in France🥳!!! (but it’s unpaid😔). That is okay though, she takes her life’s savings and hops on a plane!

Samantha is this inspiring character that makes you truly feel like you can do anything! Learning about wine making with Samantha was an amazing experience. Watching her learn and grow felt easy and I just enjoyed the story from start to finish!

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Eva and Eve: A Search for My Mother’s Lost Childhood and What a War Left Behind by Julie Metz

Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
Book Cover of "Eva and Eve" with an old
"Non Fiction" words carved into wood

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Julie Metz has written an absolutely stunning memoir that takes her family’s story and brings you into each heart-racing moment!

This story brings Julie’s personal impact from the War and her family’s harrowing experiences together. I really appreciated the opportunity to see how the war continued to change people’s lives long after it ended. Julie’s story opened my eyes and broke my heart a bit (she puts it back together though)!

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When We’re Thirty by Casey Dembowski

Book Genre Block - "Rom Com" couple on bench
When We're Thirty Book Cover with bride and groom
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When We’re Thirty by Casey Dembowski is a fun rom-com that had me laughing, smiling, and just generally happy while reading! This is a debut work, and I was delighted with the quality of the story! I am excited to see what Dembowski writes next!

After college graduation, Hannah and Will created a marriage pact that when they were 30, if they were both unmarried, they would marry each other. Well, Hannah has turned thirty, and Will shows up to honor that promise after some pretty major work issues.

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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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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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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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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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