Posted in Blog Tour

Family For Beginners by Sarah Morgan **Book Review** @HarlequinBooks

Happy Thursday all!

It’s getting hot it was almost 100° F today! I’m ready for summer but not for the heat! This was such a wonderful story about grief, new beginnings, and family dynamics.

My Thoughts

What a gem! Sarah Morgan always writes such beautiful stories that warm my heart. This is such a lovely story about grief, new beginnings, and family dynamics. Flora as always been a little lonely, felt a little like an outsider. Her mother died when she was eight years old and she was sent to live with her Aunt who was more interested in her career than raising Flora. Izzy is 17 and still grieving the death of her mother. When Flora shows up to dinner with her father Jack, Izzy is none too pleased. Hurt and confused, and annoyed that little sister Molly has taken to Flora. Izzy is determined not to allow this interloper into her family. So, what happens when Jack invites Flora onto the family’s summer vacation?

Loved the story! Told from the alternating perspectives of Flora and Izzy, I really got both sides of the story. I really connected to both of these characters and found their grief and desires palpable. Flora really just wanted to belong and Izzy just really wanted to be understood. The first half of the book takes place in New York City and the second-half takes place in the Lake District in the UK. The Lake District was so beautifully described, I really hope I can make it there one day. The second half of the book also brought a third perspective, Claire, Izzy’s mother’s best friend. I really loved Claire’s personality she was so down to earth and kind. There is romance in this book between Jack and Flora. It was a sweet slow burn romance, and I thought that worked perfectly in the story where the focus really was on family. A delightful story that just made me feel good!

This book in emojis 👨‍👧‍👧 🐶 💐 🐎 🛶

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

About the Book

Book Summary:

USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan returns with a life-affirming exploration of love, loss, and how families come in all shapes and sizes…

New York florist Flora Donovan is living the dream, but her bubbly optimism hides a secret. She’s lonely. Orphaned as a child, she’s never felt like she’s belonged anywhere…until she meets Jack Parker. He’s the first man to ever really see her, and it’s life changing.

Teenager Izzy Parker is holding it together by her fingertips. Since her mother passed away a year ago, looking after her dad and little sister is the only thing that makes Izzy feel safe. Discovering her father has a new girlfriend is her worst nightmare—she is not in the market for a replacement mom. Then her father invites Flora on their summer vacation…

Flora’s heart aches for Izzy, but she badly wants her relationship with Jack to work. As the summer unfolds, Flora must push her own boundaries to discover parts of herself she never knew existed—and to find the family she’s always wanted.

FAMILY FOR BEGINNERS

Author: Sarah Morgan

ISBN: 9781335014931

Publication Date: 5/5/2020

Publisher: HQN Books

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Google

iBooks

Kobo

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @SarahMorgan_

Facebook: @AuthorSarahMorgan

Instagram: @SarahMorganWrites

Author Bio: USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes lively, sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin.

Romantic Times has described her as ‘a magician with words’ and nominated her books for their Reviewer’s Choice Awards and their ‘Top Pick’ slot. In 2012 Sarah received the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America. She lives near London with her family. Find out more at http://www.sararahmorgan.com.

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

The Secrets of Love Story Bridge by Phaedra Patrick **Book Review** @harlequinbooks

Happy Thursday evening!

Anyone else like me having a hard time keeping track of the days? This was such a sweet quirky sentimental story that made me smile!🔒

My Thoughts

Quirky and charming. Phaedra Patrick has written another heartwarming feel good story. Mitchell no longer believes in romance, not after the loss of his beloved wife. He spends his days happily removing padlocks from bridges that people have left to express their love. Mitchell keeps his young daughter’s and his life regimented and structured. Then one day A woman in a yellow dress falls from the bridge and Mitchell jumps in to rescue her. He feels a connection between himself and the woman, but fails to get her name. In a strange coincidence it turns out that the woman is the sister of his daughter Poppy’s music teacher Liza, and she has been missing for over a year. Intrigued Mitchell decides to help Liza find her sister and in doing so he finds a better version of himself.

Such a delightful story. Mitchell was such a great character even in the beginning when he was a bit of a grump. His daughter Poppy was simply darling and I loved every bit of the book that she was in. The friendship that formed between Mitchell and Liza was wonderful. These were definitely two people that complemented one another. There was also a little side story that was kind of fun. There was a contest where people sent in letters about the hero jumping off the bridge, those were enjoyable to read along with Mitchell. The perfect feel good story for these unsettling times.

This book in emojis 🌉 🔒 🎼 ✉️

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

About the Book

It’s summer in the city, and passions are soaring along with the temperature – for everyone but Mitchell Fisher, who hates all things romance. He relishes his job cutting off the padlocks that couples fasten to the famous “love story” bridge. Only his young daughter, Poppy, knows that behind his prickly veneer, Mitchell still grieves the loss of her mother. 

Then one hot day, everything changes when Mitchell courageously rescues a woman who falls from the bridge into the river. He’s surprised to feel an unexpected connection to her, but she disappears before he can ask her name. Desperate to find out her identity, Mitchell is shocked to learn she’s been missing for almost a year. He teams up with her spirited sister, Liza, on a quest to find her again. However, she’s left only one clue behind – a message on the padlock she hung on the bridge. 

Brimming with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and a sparkling cast of characters, The Secrets of Love Story Bridgefollows one man’s journey to unlock his heart and discover new beginnings in the unlikeliest places.

Excerpt


The Lilac Envelope

The night before

As he did often, over the past three years, Mitchell Fisher wrote a letter he would never send.

He sat up in bed at midnight and kicked off his sheets. Even though all the internal doors in his apartment were open, the sticky July heat still felt like a shroud clinging to his body. His nine-year-old daughter Poppy thrashed restlessly in her sleep, in the bedroom opposite.

Mitchell turned on his bedside lamp, squinting against the yellow light, and took out a pad of Basildon Bond notepaper from underneath his bed. He always used a fountain pen to write—old-fashioned he supposed, but he was a man who valued things that were well-constructed and long-lasting.

Mitchell tapped the pen against his bottom lip. He knew what he wanted to say, but by the time his words of sorrow and regret travelled from his brain to his fingertips, they were only fragments of what he longed to express.

As he started to write, the sound of the metal nib scratching against paper helped him block out the city street noise that hummed below his apartment.

Dearest Anita

Another letter from me. Everything here is fine, ticking along. Poppy is doing well. The school holidays start soon and I thought she’d be more excited. It’s probably because you’re not here to enjoy them with us.

I’ve taken two weeks off work to spend with her, and have a full itinerary planned for us—badminton, tennis, library visits, cooking, walking, the park, swimming, museums, cooking, a tour of the city bridges, and more. It will keep us busy. Keep our minds off you.

You’ll be amazed how much she’s grown, must be almost your height by now. I tell her how proud I am of her, but it always means more coming from you.

Mitchell paused, resting his hand against the pad of paper. He had to tell her how he felt.

Every time I look at our daughter, I think of you. I wish I could hold you again, and tell you I’m truly sorry.

Yours, always

Mitchell x

He read his words, always dissatisfied with them, never able to convey the magnitude of grief and guilt he felt. After folding the piece of paper once, he sealed it into a crisp, cream envelope, then squeezed it into the almost-full drawer of his nightstand, amongst all the other letters he’d written. His eyes fell upon the slim lilac envelope he kept on top, the one addressed to him from Anita, that he’d not yet been able to bring himself to open.

Taking that envelope out, he held it under his nose and inhaled. There was still a slight scent of her on the paper, he thought, of violet soap. His finger followed the angle of the gummed flap and then stopped. He closed his eyes and willed himself to open the letter, but his fingernails dented crescents into the paper.

Once more, he placed it back into his drawer.

Mitchell lay down and hugged himself, imagining Anita’s arms were wrapped around him. But, when he closed his eyes, the words from all the letters weighed down upon him like a bulldozer. As he turned and tried to sleep, he pulled the pillow over his head to force them away.

A Locked Heart

The lovers who attached their padlocks to the bridges of Upchester might see it as a fun or romantic gesture but, to Mitchell, it was an act of vandalism.

It was the hottest year on record in the city and the morning sun was already beating down on the back of his neck. His biceps flexed as he methodically opened and squeezed his bolt cutters shut, cutting the padlocks off the cast-iron filigree panels of the old Victorian bridge, one by one.

Since local boyband Word Up filmed the video for their international smash hit “Lock Me Up with Your Love” on this bridge, thousands of people were flocking to the small city in the North West of England. They brought and attached locks marked with initials, names, messages, to demonstrate their love for the band and each other, on the city’s five bridges.

Large red and white signs that read no padlocks studded the pavement. But as far as Mitchell could see, the locks still hung on the railings like bees swarming across frames of honeycomb. The constant reminder of love surrounding him, other people’s, made him feel like he was fighting for breath.

As he cut off the locks, he wanted to yell, ‘Why can’t you just keep your feelings to yourselves?’

After several hours of hard work, Mitchell’s trail of broken locks glinted on the pavement like a metal snake. He stopped for a moment and narrowed his eyes as a young couple strolled toward him. The woman glided in a white floaty dress and tan cowboy boots. The man wore shorts and had the physique of an American football player. With his experience of carrying out maintenance across the city’s public areas, Mitchell instinctively knew they were up to something.

After breaking away from his girlfriend, the man walked to the side of the bridge while nonchalantly pulling out a large silver padlock from his pocket.

Mitchell tightened his grip on his cutters. He was once so easy and in love with Anita, but rules were rules. ‘Excuse me,’ he called out. ‘You can’t hang that lock.’

The man frowned and crossed his bulging arms. ‘Oh yeah? And who’s going to stop me?’

Mitchell had the sinewy physique of a sprinter. He was angular all over with dark hair and eyes, and a handsome dorsal hump on his nose. ‘I am,’ he said and put his cutters down on the pavement. He held out his hand for the lock. ‘It’s my job to clear the bridges. You could get a fine.’

Anger flashed across the blond man’s face and he batted Mitchell’s hand away, swiping off his work glove. Mitchell watched as it tumbled down into the river below. Sometimes the water flowed prettily, but today it gushed and gurgled, a bruise-grey hue. A young man had drowned here in a strong current last summer.

The man’s girlfriend wrapped her arms around her boyfriend’s waist and tugged him away. ‘Come on. Leave him alone.’ She cast Mitchell an apologetic smile. ‘Sorry, but we’re so in love. It took us two hours and three buses to get here. We’ll be working miles away from each other soon. Please let us do this.’

The man looked into her eyes and softened. ‘Yeah, um, sorry, mate,’ he said sheepishly. ‘The heat got the better of me. All we want to do is fasten our lock.’

Mitchell gestured at the sign again. ‘Just think about what you’re doing, guys,’ he said with a weary sigh. ‘Padlocks are just cheap chunks of metal and they’re weighing down the bridges. Can’t you get a nice ring or tattoo instead? Or write letters to each other? There are better ways to say I lov– Well, you know. . .’

The man and the woman shared an incredulous look.

‘Whatever,’ the man glowered, and he shoved his padlock back into the pocket of his shorts. ‘We’ll go to another bridge instead.’

‘I work on those too . . .’

The couple laughed at him and sauntered away.

Mitchell rubbed his nose. He knew his job wasn’t a glamorous one. It wasn’t the one in architecture he’d studied hard and trained for. However, it meant he could pay the rent on his apartment and buy Poppy hot lunch at school each day. Whatever daily hassle he put up with, he needed the work.

His workmate Barry had watched the incident from the other side of the road. Sweat circled under his arms and his forehead shone like a mirror as he crossed over. ‘The padlocks keep multiplying,’ he groaned.

‘We need to keep on going.’

‘But it’s too damn hot.’ Barry undid a button on his polo shirt, showing off unruly chest curls that matched the ones on his head. ‘It’s a violation of our human rights, and no one can tell if we cut off twenty or two hundred.’

Mitchell held his hand up against the glare of the sun. ‘We can tell, and Russ wants the bridges cleared in time for the city centenary celebrations.’

Barry rolled his eyes. ‘There’s only three weeks to go until then. Our boss should come down here and get his hands dirty, too. At least join me for a pint after work.’

Mitchell’s mouth felt parched, and he suddenly longed for an ice-cold beer. A vision of peeling off his polo-shirt and socks and relaxing in a beer garden appeared like a dreamy mirage in his head.

However, he had to pick Poppy up from the after-school club to take her for a guitar lesson, an additional one to her music class in school. Her headteacher, Miss Heathcliff, was a stickler for the school closing promptly at 5.30pm, and it was a rush to get there on time. He lowered his eyes and said, ‘I’d love to, but I have to dash.’

Then he selected his next padlock to attack.

Excerpted from The Secrets of Love Story Bridge by Phaedra Patrick, Copyright © 2020 by Phaedra Patrick. 

Published by Park Row Books

Posted in Blog Tour

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi **Book Review** @harlequinbooks @harperaudio

Happy Monday all!

What crazy times! This is the perfect book for you to read while you are practicing social distancing. A story that will allow you to travel from the comfort of your own couch.🛋

My Thoughts

Alka Joshi brings 1950s India to life with her lush and vivid writing. If you are someone like me who enjoys learning about other cultures and traveling to places you might never go, this is a can’t miss. The interesting well drawn characters and the captivating storytelling completely drew me into this clever tale. Sneha Mathan masterfully narrated this audiobook, really bringing a voice and an additional layer to this incredible story. With a book like this it is nice to have the audiobook because then you know how things are pronounced, however you don’t always know how things are spelled. There is a PDF that accompanies the audiobook that includes a list of the characters and a glossary. This made me a little nervous that there needed to be a character list, but I have to say I never needed to refer to it I never was confused.

1950s India 17-year-old Lakshmi escapes her abusive marriage and heads to Jaipur. In Jaipur Lakshmi establishes herself as a successful henna artist as well as a procurer of herbal remedies. She has even realize her dream of owning her own home, then her pass catches back up with her. Her estranged husband shows up with her 13-year-old sister Radha, A sister she did not even know she had. What ensues is a compelling tale of family, tradition, secrecy, revenge, and second chances.

Loved this book! Lakshmi was such an easy character to get behind. She was so strong, so smart, and so deserving. Her sister Radha on the other hand really frustrated me, I had to remind myself that she was just a teenager at times. There were many other extremely well drawn secondary characters some who I loved and some who I did not. I also found the herbal medicine in this book super fascinating and I liked how they combined it with traditional medicine in the story. This is one of those books that gives you a lot to think about. Filled with colorful characters and beautifully told this is a story that I will not soon forget.

This book in emojis: 🇮🇳 🖌 💰 🦜 🛺 🚂 🏔 🏥

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

About the Book

Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel. 

Escaping from an abusive marriage, 17-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist – and confidante – to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own….

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow – a younger sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly, the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does. 

“Eloquent and moving…Joshi masterfully balances a yearning for self-discovery with the need for familial love.” (Publishers Weekly

Let’s Connect

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Have a lovely day!🌸

Berit☀️✨

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. 


Let’s Connect!

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Have a magnificent day!🌼

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith @harlequinbooks #bookreview

Happy Thursday everyone!

This was a fun unique story with a very positive message!🎮

My Thoughts

This was a fun cute story, but I am definitely not the target demographic. Some young adult books will resonate with people of all ages. I think this book will appeal more to actual young adults. And it has been a very long time since I’ve been classified as a young adult. Having said that I still really did enjoy the book and I thought the message was timeless. This was a story about Devya A gamer who became famous by streaming her gameplay. As a mother of a teenager it still baffles me that my son spends time watching other people play video games. My son tells me, “it’s just like watching sports, but better, because there’s personality to it“. With Devya’s Fame comes the haters and the trolls. She is determined for this not to bring her down and not to read the comments. Aaron is an aspiring video game creator, who games for fun. The two of them Meat on a video game and become fast friends. When the threats start to become personal and lead to physical threats Devya is truly tested and Aaron is there to support her.

This was a story about being yourself and not worrying about what other people say about you. Something that I think is even harder these days with social media. It never fails to surprise me what hateful things people will post about people they don’t even know. And the reasons given in this book for this group to go as far as they did were truly baffling, but sadly there is probably some truth to it. There was a tiny bit of romance in the story and what there was was sweet. This really however was a story about being yourself and not listening to what others have to say.

This book in emojis. 🎮 💻 🕹 🪐 🛸

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

About the Book

Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya – better known as popular streaming gamer D1V – regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent. 

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun – and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V. 

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line….

And she isn’t going down without a fight.


Let’s Connect

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

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.

Let’s Connect

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

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

Let’s Connect

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

First Cut by Judy Melinek &; T. J. Mitchell @harlequinbooks #bookreview

Happy Monday all!

My kids go back to school today, so things are back to regular schedule! Excited to share my review for this intriguing medical examiner procedural not certain if that’s a thing, but it should be!

My Thoughts

If you are fascinated by forensics this books for you! Judy Melinek wrote this enthralling book with her husband T. J. Mitchell. Melinek works as a medical examiner and that really gave an authentic realistic feel to the story. Dr. Jessie Teska just transferred from the LA Office of the medical examiner to its SF counterpart. She is surprise by the rundown state of the SF office especially after being spoiled by the sparkling new stainless steel LA office. But Jessie doesn’t have much time to acclimate she is quickly brought in on a case, a possible overdose. What follows is a tense story of push and pull, Mystery and politics. An addictive procedural with some grit.

This was such a compulsive compelling story. I’ve always been fascinated when it comes to forensics and autopsies. It is so interesting to me the clues that your body leaves behind. Parts of the story might be a little too detailed or descriptive for some, but I thought it was well done and truly gave you a real sense of the characters and what they dealt with. There was a part in the story where Jesse was unable to shower after performing an autopsy and then had to go interact with the cops. I felt so bad for her and was simultaneously repulsed by her possible smell. The setting of San Francisco lended well to the story and I have to say I love the fact that Jesse took up residence in a renovated cable car. Real, raw, gritty, gruesome, absorbing, addictive, enthralling, engaging. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is just the first in a new series!

This book in emojis 🌫 🚃 💉 🩸

*** Big thanks to Harlequin Hanover Square for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

“Scalpel sharp.” (Kathy Reichs) 

A young rookie medical examiner. A suspicious case. An underworld plot only she saw coming. 

From the New York Times best-selling authors of Working Stiff 

For San Francisco’s newest medical examiner, Dr. Jessie Teska, it was supposed to be a fresh start. A new job in a new city. A way to escape her own dark past. 

Instead, she faces a chilling discovery when an opioid-overdose case contains hints of something more sinister. Jessie’s superiors urge her to close the case, but as more bodies land on her autopsy table, she uncovers a constellation of deaths that point to an elaborate plot involving drug dealers and Bitcoin brokers. 

Drawing on her real-life experiences as a forensics expert, Judy Melinek teams up with husband T.J. Mitchell to deliver the most exhilarating mystery of the year. Autopsy means “see for yourself”, and Jessie Teska won’t stop until she has seen it all – even if it means that the next corpse on the table could be her own.


Let’s Connect

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison @harlequinbooks #bookreview

Happy Tuesday!

The last day of 2019! Excited about this thrilling thriller that releases today!🎆

My Thoughts

J. T. Ellison does it again! An exclusive boarding school, secret societies, mysterious tunnels, creepy staircases, codes of conduct, hazing, murder, dark secrets, twists, and tainted histories. The book starts off with a body hanging from the school gates and then it goes back to the events leading up to this tragedy. Ash is the new girl, grateful for the opportunity but worried she won’t fit in. Ash has left the UK and her past behind and is ready for a fresh start. BUT Ash has plenty of secrets of her own. As the girls start getting murdered and the lines start to get blurred I began to wonder how reliable of a narrator was ash? I enjoyed this book so much, I was 100% invested in the story. Loved all the drama, the angst, and the juicy secrets. Also loved the setting of this boarding school with all its creepy secrets and hidden nooks and crannies. Not to mention it was out in the middle of nowhere in a secluded mountain town, it added such an eerie vibe to the story. This was a thriller that made my pulse race, my spine tingle, and blew my mind.

This book in emojis 🎒 👩🏼‍🎓 💻 ✉️ 📓 🤯

*** Big thanks to Harlequin Mira for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Goode girls don’t lie….

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new novel examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to to protect their secrets.


Let’s Connect!

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Have a magnificent day!🌼

Berit☀️✨