Posted in Blog Tour

This is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf **Book Review** @harlequinbooks @harperaudio

Happy Thursday night all!

This was such a twisted tense thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat, especially the last 1/4 of the book!

My Thoughts

Gripping and disturbing. Heather Gudenkauf has crafted an addictive, dark and twisted who done it. 25 years ago Maggie’s best friend Eve was murdered. The case was never solved, but now there is a new lead and Maggie Who is now a police officer is on the case. Re-opening this cold case stirs up many secrets and old feelings,, not everyone is happy about it. A tense Mystery with plenty of suspects and secrets. So who killed Eve all those years ago? Was it the boyfriend? The sister? The creepy guy from the library? The older man? Or was it Maggie herself?

Told from three different perspectives and two different timelines we really are privy to the entire story. We get the present day perspective from Maggie and Eve’s sister Nola. We also get Eve’ss perspective leading up to the murder. Brittany Presley narrated the audiobook and did a spectacular job with all these character’s voices. Nola was one of the most creepy and unstable characters I have read in quite some time and the narration made her even more disturbing. Miss Presley masterfully gave this creepy character the perfect flat inflection to her voice. She also gave Maggie the perfect likable relatable voice. I really liked Maggie and felt bad for her waddling around eight months pregnant trying to solve this cold crime that had such a deep personal connection. There was a lot going on in the story including some triggers such as animal cruelty and abuse. I think it was handled well and it wasn’t gratuitous, but if those are triggers for you I do want you to know ahead of time. A very well told who done it with a very satisfying and tense ending.

This book in emojis 🚨 🥾 🩸 🧬 🍏 🌲

*** Big thank you to Harlequin for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

Publisher’s Summary

“Gudenkauf proves herself the master of the smart, suspenseful small-town thriller that gets right under your skin.” (Gilly Macmillan, New York Times best-selling author of The Nanny)

Everyone has a secret they’ll do anything to hide….

Twenty-five years ago, the body of 16-year-old Eve Knox was found in the caves near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa – discovered by her best friend, Maggie, and her sister, Nola. There were a handful of suspects, including her boyfriend, Nick, but without sufficient evidence the case ultimately went cold.

For decades Maggie was haunted by Eve’s death and that horrible night. Now a detective in Grotto, and seven months pregnant, she is thrust back into the past when a new piece of evidence surfaces and the case is reopened. As Maggie investigates and reexamines the clues, secrets about what really happened begin to emerge. But someone in town knows more than they’re letting on, and they’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth buried deep.

Posted in Blog Tour

Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry **Book Review** @algonquinbooks @samanthamabry

Happy Friday lovelies!

This was such a magical beautifully written coming-of-age story.

My Thoughts

Lyrical and magical. A compulsively readable tale of grief, growing up, and moving forward. Samantha Mabry’s stunning storytelling brought the Torres sisters to life on the pages of this book. This is the story of four sisters and how they cope after one of them dies. Jessica is strong, angry, and has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Iridian it’s quiet and timid, she’d rather be at home with her books then out in the real world. Rosa is sweet and caring with an unusual bond with the animals. All three sisters miss their oldest sister Anna terribly. Anna fell to her death crawling out her bedroom windows as the girls tried to escape their oppressive home life. When the sisters start to hear voices, see writing on the wall, and sense a presence in the room, they wonder what their sister Anna is trying to tell them. How do you keep living when your world falls apart?

Such a gorgeous story with so much heart and the perfect touch of magic. These girls do not live an easy life. Their mother has died and their father is useless. The story is real and raw and perhaps a little bleak, but there is always that little trace of hope. The audiobook is narrated by Luis Moreno and she brought the perfect unique voice to each of the sisters. The story is told from the perspectives of each of the sisters, and I really liked getting to know each of them. Rosa was definitely my favorite sister from the very beginning, but I have to say Jessica definitely grew on me through out the course of the book. This truly was the perfect blend of coming of age and magical realism.

This book in emojis 👭 👭 🐶 ✍🏻 💄 🎼

***Big thank you to Algonquin and libro.fm FM for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the eldest, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by Ana’s memory when strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. Is Ana really haunting her sisters and trying to send them a message? And what exactly is she trying to say?

 

Tigers, Not Daughters is a phrase from Shakespeare’sKing Lear,” says Mabry, author of three young adult novels now, and a community college writing and Latino literature teacher in Dallas. “In the play, it’s used as an insult, hurled by Albany at Lear’s selfish and disobedient daughters. When I recently heard that phrase spit out with such venom during a production, it struck me—how could I write a story in which this wasn’t an insult, but, in a way, praise? I’ve always been of the mind that some parents frankly deserve to be disobeyed, and I’m sure many young people would agree. And I’ve always been interested in tinkering with various sources of inspiration, such as stories that explore Latinx identity and the various forms of assimilation. I’ve very loosely based the dynamic of the Torres sisters on my mother’s often complicated relationship with her sisters, and on their experience of being a mostly English-speaking Mexican-American family with roots near the US-Mexico border.”

            

Part family drama, part ghost story, and part love story,TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS is a stunning follow-up to All the Wind in the World, firmly establishing Mabry as a novelist not-to-be-missed.

 

 

Advance Praise for TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS

“Move over, Louisa May Alcott! Samantha Mabry has written her very own magical Little Women for our times. This is no family of tamed girls but a clan of fierce and fighting young women who will draw readers into their spell. A celebration of the bonds of sisterhood and of the ways we heal by reaching beyond our losses, our brokenness and fears to the love that holds and heals.”

–Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

 

“A moody and unflinching examination of the gritty, tender and impossible parts of people that make them unforgettably whole. You don’t read Samantha Mabry’s books so much as experience them. Ferocious and gorgeously crafted. I loved it.”

Courtney Summers, New York Times bestselling author of Sadie

 

“A ghostly tale of revenge and the strength of the sisterly bond…The author adeptly portrays the claustrophobia of living in a small town and being under the watch of an overbearing patriarchal figure—in fact, the male gaze is the true enemy in this novel, and it’s only when the young women join forces that they’re able to break free of its oppressive ties. Mabry’s (All the Wind in the World, 2017, etc.) third novel has echoes of The Virgin Suicides. The protagonists are Latinx. The evocative language and deft characterization will haunt—and empower—readers.”

Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

 

“Borrowing elements of magical realism and Latinx folklore, this is a story that is often uncomfortable; in its quest to explore grief, family, and the traumas inflicted by each, it lays its characters utterly and unforgettably bare.”

Booklist (Starred Review)

 

“Mabry speaks gracefully to the transformative power of grief and the often messy (even violent) road to letting go.”

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

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Posted in Blog Tour

After the Accident by Kerry Wilkinson **Book Review** @bookouture

Happy Thursday all!

Hope life is treating you well! This book was the perfect little break from the current craziness and the sombering news.🍹

My Thoughts

Clever, compelling, creative. Kerry Wilkinson has crafted a fresh story with a unique construct. The story was told in an interview style reminiscent of a documentary. I started this book in print and then I thought I go see if there was an audio version. I have to admit for me this worked a lot better on audio. It is narrated by multiple narrators and it was really like listening to a really well-done crime podcast. Kerry Wilkinson narrates A small part of the story, it was nice to hear his voice. I’ve read a few reviews that allude to this being based on a true story? I can’t find any information that would back this up, but it definitely reads as one. Dysfunction, deception, secrets, and lies.

Emma finds herself on a family vacation for the first time in years. She is there with her parents, her brother and his twin daughters, her fathers business partner and his wife, and his son and his wife. Emma has a past that people refer to, but you do not find out about it until later in the book. When Emma‘s father Jeff is found having fallen from a cliff (not dead, but in need of serious medical attention) Emma is the prime suspect. But Emma is adamant about her innocence and wonders if this has anything to do with a similar accident involving her father’s ex business partner resulting in his death many years ago. I really loved how the story was constructed. I was suspicious of every character and did not trust what any of them had to say. Well that is a lie, I did trust the twins Chloe and Amy(sort of). I found Emma to be the most likable of the characters. This could be because she was the primary focus, but I really did not want her to be the guilty party. An entertaining tale with a welcome twist. I don’t generally like to compare books, but this book reminded me of Daisy Jones in structure, but the story was entirely different. Strongly encourage you to do this one on audio, if that’s your thing.

This book in emojis 🎧 🚨 🏖 🍹 💷

*** Big thank you to Bookouture for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the BookUnder a cloudless Mediterranean sky, two families wheel their suitcases past swaying palm trees towards their hotel to grab a spot by the pool. But behind the smiles, someone is hiding a terrible secret…

 

I never wanted to come on this trip. I thought the accident had torn us apart forever, but then my mother called out of the blue, wanting to make amends. So here we are, two families on a beautiful island, sipping sangria like nothing ever happened.

 

My parents’ oldest friend, Daniel, was invited too – I’ve never trusted him, and now he brings up my past mistake every chance he gets. And why does his son, Victor, keep disappearing off on his own?

 

Even my brother’s here, with his twins. It’s amazing to see my nieces playing happily in the pool. After what happened at home, it still hurts me to be around the girls, but more so that my brother doesn’t trust me alone with them.

 

Despite everything, it’s going surprisingly well – everyone forcing a smile at the dinner table, laughing at the twins’ antics – until the night my father is attacked on the beach, left for dead on the sand.

 

As always, all fingers point to me, but this time I know for certain that I’m innocent. And if I’m not guilty, someone else on this holiday is…

 

A unique and totally gripping psychological thriller that will have fans of T.M. Logan and The Girl on the Train racing through the pages late into the night.

 

Previously titled Seven Days in July.

 

About the Author

Kerry Wilkinson has had No.1 bestsellers in the UK, Canada, South Africa and Singapore, as well as top-five books in Australia. He has also written two top-20 thrillers in the United States.

As well as his million-selling Jessica Daniel series, Kerry has written the Silver Blackthorn trilogy – a fantasy-adventure serial for young adults – a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter, plus numerous standalone novels. He has been published around the world in more than a dozen languages.

Originally from the county of Somerset, Kerry has spent far too long living in the north of England, picking up words like ‘barm’ and ‘ginnel’.

When he’s short of ideas, he rides his bike or bakes cakes. When he’s not, he writes it all down.

Author Social Media Links:

http://kerrywilkinson.com

http://facebook.com/KerryWilkinsonBooks

 

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Posted in Blog Tour

The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai **Book Review** @algonquinbooks

Hello book people!

Today I am sharing with you a book I cannot adequately put into words how much I loved. This is one of those stories that will stick with me for a long time a beautiful story about resilience and family.🇻🇳

My Thoughts

Gorgeous and miracle a poignant tale of resilience and heart. Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s lush and vivid storytelling transported me to Vietnam. The story spans most of 20th century Vietnam told from alternating perspectives in dual timelines from grandmother and granddaughter. 1950s Trần Diệu Lan is Born the daughter of a wealthy farmer. As a young girl she was told by a palm reader that she would live a hard life and indeed she did. From the death of her father to the great hunger to the land reform, to the Vietnam war she stood strong and fought hard for her life and the lives of her loved ones. 1970s Hương is living with her grandmother while her parents are off at war fighting against South Vietnam and the Americans. A young girl growing up in the shadows of war, tradition, and change. Both these storylines were equally riveting, heartwrenching, compelling, and beautiful.

As an American I have always thought of the Vietnam war as an American tragedy, where the average age of the combat soldier was 19. This book was very eye-opening and really made me realize that the people of Vietnam suffered even more then I could ever imagine. The French, the Japanese, and then the Americans all invading, forcing their own ideologies on the people of Vietnam for decades. I cannot adequately express how remarkable this book was and I encourage everyone to pick it up.

Quyen Ngo narrates this audio book bringing the perfect tone to this story’s beautiful pros. There are Vietnamese sayings told in Vietnamese sprinkled throughout this book and it was lovely to hear them read to me in Vietnamese. I really love learning so much about the Vietnamese culture and people in this book. I love when a book gives us a glimpse into different cultures and traditions. This is the first book in English from Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai and I am definitely hoping it is not her last. Simply stunning!

This book in emojis 🇻🇳 👩‍👧 🍵 📚 👩🏻‍⚕️

*** Big thank you to Algonquin Books for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War.

Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope. The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s first novel in English. 

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Posted in Blog Tour

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson **Book Review** @wmmorrowbooks @harperaudio @tlcbooktours

Hello lovely book people!

Have you read this one yet? I strongly encourage you to pick it up, it was so good! The perfect read while your social distancing.

My Thoughts

What a clever book! A captivating, compelling, and intelligent murder mystery. Peter Swanson has really hit it out of the park with this one. Not a thriller, but a well thought out, refreshing, murder mystery. A nod two classic mysteries of the past. Malcolm Kershaw owns the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston. He is an expert on all things Mystery books, even though he’s not reading them anymore. Mal is approached by an FBI agent who believes that a serial murder is using a list he posted on his blog years ago to commit murders. The blog post was about the eight perfect murders committed in literature. Perfect meaning the killer was almost guaranteed to get away with it. Mal is sucked up into the investigation not only to find out who is using his list, but also to prove his innocence. Tense and addictive I was completely hooked!

Graham Halstead does an exceptional job of narrating this audiobook. He really brought the perfect voice to Mal. His steller delivery and perfect pacing added some extra tension to this already engaging story. I loved all the literary references in this book. The story unfolded so well the perfect amount of twists, turns, and misdirection. I have seen other reviews mention that this book does spoil all the books on the perfect murder list and I suppose it does, but I also think it probably sparked some interest for those books as well. Mal was such a sympathetic yet quirky character who I didn’t quite trust, bu I was definitely rooting for. The secondary characters were all equally interesting and I cannot forget the cat Nero. Another winner from this exceptional author.

this book in emojis. 🔎 📚 ✍🏻 🧩 🐱

*** Big thank you to William Morrow & Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About Eight Perfect Murders

• Hardcover: 288 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (March 3, 2020)

“Swanson rips us from one startling plot twist to the next… A true tour de force.” —Lisa Gardner

“Fiendish good fun.” —Anthony Horowitz

From the hugely talented author of Before She Knew Him comes a chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. There is killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Jim Ferguson

About Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson is the author of five novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, Before She Knew Him. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionThe Atlantic MonthlyMeasureThe GuardianThe Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives outside of Boston, where he is at work on his next novel.

Find out more about Peter on his website and follow him on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz **Audiobook Review** @harlequinbooks @harperaudio

Happy Monday evening!

Have you adjusted to the time change yet? This was such a sweet sentimental story that I loved every minute of!👰🏼🤍

My Thoughts

A sweet, sentimental, multi generational tale. Brenda Janowitz’s storytelling completely swept me up in this enchanting story. Three generations of women connected buy this stunning wedding gown. Rose a Paris seamstress in the late 1950s, Joan a young proper college student in 1982, and her daughter Rocky A rebellious techie in 2020. Each woman had their own voice and their own story to tell. The story jumps around between these three women in short well crafted chapters. I was completely and equally invested in each of these women’s stories and found the pacing absolutely perfect. The gown meant something different to each of these women with the common thread of love.

The short chapters left me wanting more, but I was always happy to get back to the next woman’s story. I started this book with the intention of only listening to a few chapters and ended up finishing it pretty much without a break. The audio is narrated by Cassandra Campbell Who masterfully gave each woman her own unique voice and did a marvelous job with the French accent. I had recently read a book about Grace Kelly and that gave me a better appreciation of this gown and its meaning. Rose took pride in her work and did everything she could to emulate the princess’s wedding gown, while still adding her own touches. Joan added her own touches to the gown and learned that fairytales can have more than one happy ending. Rocky struggled with the gown it really wasn’t her, but it meant so much to her mom. Eventually even Rocky found a way to make the gown work for her. Such a beautiful story of love, family, tradition, expectations, choices, and mothers and daughters.

This book in emojis. 👰🏼 👰🏼 👰🏼

*** Big thank you to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

Two years after Grace Kelly’s royal wedding, her iconic dress is still all the rage in Paris – and one replica, and the secrets it carries, will inspire three generations of women to forge their own paths in life and in love.

Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly-look-alike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice, one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security, and, of course, the dress.

Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky”, has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress – or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.

As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’ history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future. 


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Posted in Blog Tour

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin *Audiobook Review*

Happy Monday book lovers!

You guys! This is such a great thriller and it’s even better on audio! I really cannot express to you how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book! And interesting fun fact part of the story takes part in my stomping grounds!🎧🌴

My Thoughts

Alison Gaylin completely sucked me in with this tense absorbing dark story. 1976 California the Inland Empire ( fun fact is where I live). Two teenagers go on a killing spree that ends with them both dying in a fire. Present day quinton a crime podcaster is investigating these serial killers whose actions had a direct impact on his life. In the course of his investigation he happens across a film journalist living in New England who also has a tie to the story. What transpires is a tents and disturbing search for the truth. The book is told from the perspective of Quinton, Robin, and a young April Cooper (one of the teenagers). I found each of these characters perspectives unique and compelling. Aprils story was told to us in letters written to her future child, this was both chilling and endearing. Not going to lie I really liked April as well as Quinton and Robin and as things began to unravel I was shocked. This was a book that really made you question how well do you know the people in your life? Your parents? Your significant other? Your coworker? And the twists kept coming! As soon as I thought aha I got this figured out the book slammed me and said not so fast inspector Berit! This was just a brilliantly told story that kept me invested and on the edge from first page to last! If you love thrillers, books about serial killers, crime podcasts then this is a can’t miss!

🎧🎧🎧

Narrated by: Jorjeana Marie, James Fouhey

Both narrators did a wonderful job with the narration of the story. As always getting a voice to extremely well develop characters just adds another dimension to the story. You can listen to the narrator’s as they present this scripted podcast of what Quinton was working on during this book.

https://m.soundcloud.com/harperaudio_us/preview-of-never-look-back-episode-one-of-the-podcast-closure

*** Big thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

from the author of the highly acclaimed and Edgar Award-nominated What Remains of Me and the USA Today bestselling and Shamus Award-winning Brenna Spector series.

For thirteen days in 1976, teenage murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy terrorized Southern California’s Inland Empire, killing a dozen victims before perishing themselves in a fire… or did they? More than 40 years later, twentysomething podcast producer Quentin Garrison blames his troubled upbringing on the murders. And after a shocking message from a source, he has reason to believe April Cooper may still be alive. Meanwhile, New York City film columnist Robin Diamond is coping with rising doubts about her husband and terrifying threats from internet trolls. But that’s nothing compared to the outrageous phone call she gets from Quentin… and a brutal home invasion that makes her question everything she ever believed in. Is Robin’s beloved mother a mass murderer? Is there anyone she can trust?

Told through the eyes of those destroyed by the Inland Empire Killings—including Robin, Quentin, and a fifteen-year-old April Cooper—Never Look Back asks the question:

How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?

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A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison @harlequinbooks @harperaudio #bookreview

Happy Thursday all!

Well January is flying by! Today I have a review for a book that really was kind of a love-hate thing.

My Thoughts

Whitney D. Grandison has written a compelling debut. This was kind of a mash up of the friends to lovers/enemies to lovers trope. Tyson Trice has just gone through a major tragedy and the loss of his beloved Pops. Five months away from turning 18 he goes to live with old family friends who live in an affluent area of Southern California. When they were little Trice and Mandy were the best of friends, but now Mandy is not quite certain of Trice because of his background. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist or a romance aficionado to figure out where this one’s going. Even though this story was predictable and somewhat clichéd I still enjoyed the story.

Trice, (Who prefers to go by his last name rather than his first name, because he was named after his father) was a lovable sympathetic character. Although he was constantly contradicting himself, there were some definite conflicts between his words and his actions. Then there was Mandy, what a spoiled entitled princess she was. I grew up in Southern California somewhere between these fictional cities of Linderwood and Pacific Hills. This is such a diverse checkerboarded area that I really doubt anyone would automatically assume someone was a “thug“ just because they were from a bad neighborhood. Well that is with the exception of dear Mandy. Even though we were constantly told what a sweet person she was I never saw that through her actions. I honestly thought Trice could’ve done much better for himself, possibly with her best friend. But I guess the heart wants what it wants. The story was told from both characters perspectives and I really got quite annoyed when I was in Mandy’s head. While I appreciated the diversity in the story I thought occasionally it was a bit stereotypical. I guess this is all to say I’m a little conflicted on this one. On one handI thought the characters were very vivid and well drawn, but on the other hand I really was not rooting for this couple. I was definitely wanting the best for Tyson, but I could’ve cared less what happened to Mandy. So I guess the title is super appropriate, it was kind of a love-hate thing!

this book in emojis. 📱 💰 📓 🎵 🏖

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Adenrele Ojo and Barrie Buckner. I thought both these narrators did an outstanding job and really added the perfect voice to these characters (even that Mandy).

*** Big thank you to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love.

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the affluent coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares, and the feeling of not belonging in the posh suburb. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the mean streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He doesn’t even care how the rest of his life will play out.

In Pacific Hills, image is everything. Something that, as the resident golden girl, Nandy Smith knows all too well. She’s spent most of her life building the pristine image it takes to fit in. After learning that her parents are taking in a teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. It’s the start of summer vacation, and the last thing Nandy needs is some juvenile delinquent from the ’Wood crashing into her world.

Stuck together in close quarters, Trice and Nandy are in for some long summer nights. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

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The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin @harlequinbooks @harperaudio #bookreview

Happy Tuesday all!

This was a cute story that made me want to go to Paris. I have traveled so many places through my reading. I’m not a huge fan of airplanes, so it’s probably the best way for me to do it!

My Thoughts

Books, food, romance, and Paris what more can you want from a book? This was such a fun story with a slight holiday vibe. Rebecca Raisin brought the beauty of Paris to life with her descriptive writing and dazzling storytelling. Sarah feels as though she is in a bit of a rut so when her friend Sophie who lives in Paris offers a book shop swap she jumps at the chance. The city of lights, holiday time, and a book shop, it’s a dream come true. But has Sarah bitten off more than she can chew? The bookshop is busier than she expected, the staff is unreliable at best, and her boyfriend seems to be putting his job before traveling to Paris. Will Sarah be able to find her inner strength and turn things around?

Sarah was a great character, but I did want to give the girl a major peptalk. This book shop swap was not as advertised. Sarah was doing her friend Sophie a favor and Sophie didn’t seem to give her the knowledge she needed to be successful in this bustling hostile environment. I am not certain if this is a French thing, but I cannot imagine working anywhere especially retail where people popped in and worked when they chose to? There was no set schedule? Just reading about it stressed me out. Fortunately Sarah made some good friends that made this all a little more bearable. As the book progressed the magic of Paris inhabited Sarah more and more. I loved her character development throughout the story. The romance in this story was really in the background, this really was more about Sarah becoming fierce. I was glad of how things ended with Sarah and her boyfriend.

Cute story, charming characters, books, and Paris.

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Sally Scott. I am pretty certain that she is British, so I am not certain why she was narrating a book that was primarily told from an American’s perspective? I mean if I had to speak in a British accent I’m sure people would find all kinds of things wrong with it. While her French accent I thought was brilliant, her American accent bothered me a bit. She dropped her R’s that drove me nuts, but did admittedly bother me less as the book went on.

This book in emojis. 📚 🇫🇷 🧀 🥖 🎄

*** Big thank you to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Husband Material by Emily Belden @harlequinbooks @harperaudio #bookreview

Happy Monday everybody!

Only a couple more days and 2019! Excited to share with you today my review for this fun quirky story!

My Thoughts

This book was just what I needed! Sweet, quirky, and delightful. Not really a romcom more like women’s fiction with a sprinkling of humor and a generous dollop of romance. This is the story of Charlotte who is in her 20s and lost her husband five years ago. Unsure of how to navigate being such a young widow and not wanting the label Charlotte has made it that no one in her life knows that she was ever even married. She has re-entered the dating field but treats it more like a math problem than anything else. Using an algorithm to find the perfect man. BUT everything is turned topsy-turvy when she gets a surprise package with her husband’s ashes inside. Charlotte is now forced to face the past, the truth, and her future. What follows is an engaging story filled with memories, tenderness, heartbreak, hope, forgiveness, and closure.

Charlotte may not have been the most relatable character, but I had a lot of sympathy for her. She had lost her husband at such a young age and was still caring around so much grief and guilt. Her neurotic tendencies really did not help the situation. She had kind of isolated herself from people, avoiding ever being hurt again, and also avoiding ever being loved again. I found the secondary characters roommate Casey and love interest Brian much more interesting than Charlotte if I’m being honest. Brian was a pretty great guy and I loved all the interactions with him. Casey was the perfect counterbalance to Charlotte, and I loved how eventually she basically told her how it is! Later in the story there is a secret revealed and I think Charlotte handled it much better than I might have. I love watching Charlotte bro and rediscover herself throughout the course of this book. Emily Belden has written a clever refreshing story and I’m looking forward to the next book from this author.

This book in emojis 👩🏻‍💻 🐶 ⚾️ 🍨 ⚱️

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Piper Goodeve. I truly believe this made the story more relatable to me, she gave Charlotte a human side. Charlotte was kind of a dry character, but I think piper’s voice made her more lively. And more relatable. This might be a book I liked more because I listen to it rather than read it.

*** Big thanks to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Sometimes love is unpredictable….

Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk – so she can avoid it.

Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law – and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not. 

But soon a shocking secret surfaces, forcing Charlotte to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at new love arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart.

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Berit☀️✨