Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L Armentrout @JLArmentrout @inkyardpress @harperaudio @tlcbooktours #bookreview #stormandfury

Happy Tuesday afternoon!

If you are a J LA fan I’ve got a book for you and if you’re not what are you waiting for? Thank you so much Lisa for my invitation to the tour!🤩

My Thoughts

🅛🅞🅥🅔 🅜🅔 🅢🅞🅜🅔 🅙🅔🅝🅝🅘🅕🅔🅡 🅛 🅐🅡🅜🅔🅝🅣🅡🅞🅤🅣

WOW! It has been a while since I’ve read a JLA book and it was so amazing to revisit her books and this world. This is the first book in this series a spinoff from the Dark Elements series. I read and loved that series, but I don’t believe you need to read it to enjoy this book. This book was packed full of action, romance, Snark, and steam. Trinity the female protagonist was smart, sassy, strong, and savvy. The male protagonist Zane was well HOT… OK well he might’ve had some other things going for him as well but best of all he was not a stereotypical bad boy. Now if you read the previous series you’re probably wondering is this THE Zane? The answer is yes, yes it is! And I sure am hoping this time he gets the girl. There are so many characters from the previous stories that make appearances and that was a lot of fun. A special shout out goes to Bambi the snake familiar. We also spend quite a bit of time with Layla and Roth as well. What I think JLA did so brilliantly with these characters is she introduced them just enough to remind readers of the previous series as to who they were and for those who did not read the previous series to truly understand.

Gargoyles, angels, demons, and witches. Stellar characters, exceptional world building, and steamy romance. What more could you want from a young adult fantasy? I think what I like most about JLA’s books is that they are heavier on the romance then most others. If you are a parent I’d give this probably a PG-13 rating, there is some steam but it’s not overly graphic. I realize I have not delved too deeply into the storyline all you need to know is that it is packed with an abundance of action and romance, the 500+ pages went by so quick. The ending was spectacular so unexpected and left me wanting more. And bonus there wasn’t a crazy cliffhanger, you just know there is more greatness coming!

🎧🎧🎧 Lauren Fortgang did an exceptional job with this audiobook .There were so many characters and she gave each of them a unique voice. I have no idea how old Lauren is but she gave a youthful feel to this story full of young characters and I love that!

*** many thanks to Ink Yard Press and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

From the #1 New York TimesUSA TODAY and internationally bestselling author of the fantastical Dark Elements and the Lux series comes a new novel set in a world of gargoyle protectors, rising demons and one girl with an explosive secret.

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons andWardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour

The Cutting Room by Ashley Dyer @AshleyDyerAuthor @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours @harperaudio #bookreview #audiobook #thecuttingroom

Happy Tuesday all and happy publication day to this deliciously disturbing book!

I’ve been really trying hard not to start any more crime thriller series, but I am certainly glad I gave this one a try! It was seriously SO good! Thank you so much Trish for my invitation to this tour!🎨

About The Cutting Room

• Hardcover: 448 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (June 18, 2019)

Detectives Ruth Lake and Greg Carver, introduced in the electrifying Splinter in the Blood, must stop a serial killer whose victims are the centerpiece of his macabre works of art.

While Britain is obsessed with the newest hit true-crime television show, Fact, or Fable? detectives Ruth Lake and Greg Carver are tormented by a fiendish flesh-and-blood killer on the loose.

Lured to a “crime scene” by a mysterious digital invitation, Ruth Lake is horrified by what she finds: a bizarre and gruesome tableau surrounded by a crowd of gawkers. The deadly work is the latest “art installation” designed by a diabolical criminal dubbed the Ferryman. Not only is this criminal cold-blooded; he’s a narcissistic exhibitionist desperate for an audience. He’s also clever at promoting his deadly handiwork. Exploiting England’s current true-crime craze, he uses social media to titillate and terrorize the public.

Ruth is joined in the investigation by her partner Greg Carver, who is slowly regaining his strength after a run-in with another sadistic criminal. But Greg can’t seem to shake the bewildering effects of the head wound that nearly ended him. Are the strange auras blurring his vision an annoying side effect of his injury, or could they be something more . . . a tool to help him see a person’s true nature?

In this utterly engrossing and thrilling tale of suspense, a pair of seasoned detectives face off against a wickedly smart and inventive psychopath in a tense, bloody game that leads to a shocking end.

My Thoughts

ᴅɪsᴛᴜʀʙɪɴɢ. ᴅᴇʀᴀɴɢᴇᴅ. ᴅᴇʟɪᴄɪᴏᴜsʟʏ ᴅᴀʀᴋ.

Ashley Dyer has twisted together One deranged, disturbing, and deliciously dark tale! Would you follow a serial killer on Instagram? This book picks up shortly where the first book leaves off (from what I can gather). I did not read the first book and I still thoroughly devoured this book. However I think it would’ve been nice to have read the first book because both Ruth Lake and Greg Carver are suffering from repercussions from their previous case. There is a sadistic serial killer on the loose, preying on the men of Liverpool. Not only does he kill, but he publicly displays the body parts and calls it art. A narcissistic psychopath who thrives on attention. Attention that is easy to get in the age of social media. The serial killer really whipped the public into a frenzy creating a mob mentality where ever his artwork was displayed. Made you wonder could this really happen? Would people follow a sadistic killer on Instagram?

This was such a well done crime thriller! I loved all the investigative and forensic details. I particularly liked all the time that Lake and Carver spent with the medical examiner. The characters were all so well developed, so real. I particularly was fascinated by Carver and the auras he would see as a side effect of his head injury. Oras that allowed him to read peoples moods and emotions, that really helped him in his role as a detective. We also got a glimpse into Ruth Lake’s past and private life. Glimpses that I am sure will be expanded on in future books. I also got to spend some time in the mind of this serial killer. This book was told from multiple perspectives including that of this sadistic deranged killer. If you’re like me and like spending some time with crazy you will love how off the chains this character was! I’ve really been trying to avoid starting any new crime series, but I am certainly glad I gave this one a shot! Going to try to read the first book before the next one comes out. What a wild and crazy ride that I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of!🎧🎧🎧 Peter Noble masterfully narrated this dark tale. I thought he had the perfect English accent to draw me into this atmospheric story. When you read a book set in England there is nothing better than having it read to you by someone with an accent, it really gives you a true sense of the story.

*** many thanks to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Ashley Dyer

Ashley Dyer is a writing duo based in the United Kingdom.

Margaret Murphy is a Writing Fellow and Reading Round Lector for the Royal Literary Fund, a past chair of the Crime Writers Association (CWA), and founder of Murder Squad. A CWA Short Story Dagger winner, she has been shortlisted for the First Blood critics’ award for crime fiction as well as the CWA Dagger in the Library. Under her own name she has published nine psychological suspense and police procedural novels.

Helen Pepper is a senior lecturer in policing at Teesside University. She has been an analyst, forensic scientist, scene of crime officer, CSI, and crime scene manager. She has coauthored, as well as contributed to, professional policing texts. Her expertise is in great demand with crime writers: she is a judge for the CWA’s Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction Award, and is a forensic consultant on both the Vera and Shetland TV series.

Find out more at their website, www.ashley-dyer.com.

Posted in Blog Tour

Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan @tlcbooktours #bookreview #murderintheofliberty

Happy almost weekend all!

This was such a fun book a little history, a little mystery, a little Romance. Thank you so much Lisa for my invitation to this tour!⚾️

My Thoughts

Rachel McMillan has written an authentic and atmospheric Mystery steeped in history. 1940s Boston Hamish and Reggie are a couple years into running their detective agency. Their newest client is a well known black baseball player who is being messed with. The racism and the criminal element on the cobblestone streets of Boston is really brought to life with McMillan‘s words. Throw in some major romantic tension and this book really had a bit of everything. The perfect balance of mystery, history, and romance.

This book really reminded me of the 1980s television show “Moonlighting”. Reggie was smart savvy and spunky and Hamish was shy and quirky. The sexual tension between them was palpable and I think that will be a fun storyline that will run throughout the series. The mystery was interesting but I think it was more of a social commentary on 1940s Boston especially when it came to racism and anti-Semitism. There was also that mobster/criminal element to the story that is expected I guess with a book with this setting and time. This was such an entertaining read and even though there were some dark spots it ultimately was full of hope. Perfect for anyone who loves a well told Mystery or romance that is fizzing with history! The book was a real gas!

About the Book

Hamish DeLuca and Regina “Reggie” Van Buren have a new case—and this one could demand a price they’re not willing to pay.

Determined to make a life for herself, Reggie Van Buren bid goodbye to fine china and the man her parents expected her to marry and escaped to Boston. What she never expected to discover was that an unknown talent for sleuthing would develop into a business partnership with the handsome, yet shy, Hamish DeLuca.

Their latest case arrives when Errol Parker, the leading base stealer in the Boston farm leagues, hires Hamish and Reggie to investigate what the Boston police shove off as a series of harmless pranks. Errol believes these are hate crimes linked to the outbreak of war in Europe, and he’s afraid for his life. Hamish and Reggie quickly find themselves in the midst of an escalating series of crimes.

When Hamish has his careful constructed life disrupted by a figure from his past, he is driven to a decision that may sever him from Reggie forever . . . even more than her engagement to wealthy architect Vaughan Vanderlaan.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Summer Country by Lauren Willig @LaurenWillig @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours @harperaudio #bookreview #audiobooks #thesummercountry

Happy Tuesday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this wonderful book that completely captivated me! many thanks to Trish for my invitation to this tour.🏝

About The Summer Country

 

A brilliant, multigenerational saga in the tradition of THE THORN BIRDS and NORTH AND SOUTH, New York Timesbestselling historical novelist Lauren Willig delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Barbados, 1854: Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous English merchant clan– merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day.  But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned.

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts.

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins?  Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills? The answer lies in the past— a tangled history of lies, greed, clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

THE SUMMER COUNTRY will beguile readers with its rendering of families, heartbreak, and the endurance of hope against all odds.

My Thoughts

𝔹𝕖𝕒𝕦𝕥𝕚𝕗𝕦𝕝 𝕤𝕖𝕥𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘. 𝕃𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕪 𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕪 .

Lauren Willig will completely captivate you with this sweeping family saga. A beautiful story that spans over four decades. Steeped in family history, family secrets, and family ties. The story is set in Barbados and introduces you to two sets of characters living 40 years apart. 1850to Emily‘s beloved grandfather has passed away and left her a sugar plantation on the island of Barbados. So Emily travels from England to Barbados with her cousin Adam and his wife to check out this plantation that nobody had any idea of. What follows is Emily discovering family history and secrets with deep ties to Barbados. In 1812 Charles and Jenny find themselves in a torrid and forbidden love affair with great consequences. Two tales seamlessly woven together into one beautiful engaging story.

This book was clearly well researched and I learned something about a time and place I new little about previously. Slavery and the slave trade were a big part of life in Barbados in the early 1800s. I have to admit it was really disturbing to read about people referring to other people as their property and talking about leasing them out. The Cholera outbreak in the 1850s was not as disturbing but was equally as devastating. There was a large cast of characters in the story that took me a while to get straight, but once I did I was completely invested. The story jumped perfectly between time periods that were well marked.Lauren’s Willig’s exquisite storytelling will completely transport you to 19th century Barbados. A well told story full of interesting characters and an engaging plot. A sweeping tale that will appeal to all historical fiction lovers.

🎧🎧🎧 Micola Barber does an exceptional job narrating the audio of this book. So many accents that she completely Masters. The audio narration added another layer to this already exquisite story.

*** many thanks to Harper Audio and William Morrow for my copy of this book ***

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Amanda Suanne Photography

About Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several novels. She lives in New York City with her family.

Find out more about Lauren at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

Valencia and Valentine by Suzy Krause @krausesuzy @tlcbooktours @luauthors @amazonpub #bookreview #valenciaandvalentine

Happy Tuesday everybody!

Today I have a review of this quirky little gem that I truly adored! A huge thank you to Lisa for my invitation to the tour.💕

My Thoughts

𝗤𝘂𝗶𝗿𝗸. 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗺. 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁.

Suzy Krause’s debut is a quirky little gem. This is the story of Valencia, 35 A lonely debt collector who suffers from OCD. And Mrs. Valentine, 87 a lonely elderly lady who will talk to anyone telemarketers, funeral organizers, the lady who cleans her house. As both of these ladies’ stories unfold you will wonder what could possibly tie these tales together? This is such a character driven story, so full of quirk, charm, and heart. This is another book that is compared to Eleanor. While I can see how they came to this comparison I’d really like to see them stop doing this. Seriously books are still being compared to “Gone Girl”! So here is my comparison… this book is more like Eleanor then it is GG!

When I finish this book I said out loud (to nobody) damn that was good! This was a book that got better and better as the story progressed. I was more and more invested in Valencia and Mrs. Valentine’s lives as I turn the pages. Valencia had a very busy mind and we got a lot of her inner dialogue throughout this book. I really just wanted to reach through the pages give her a hug and tell her it’s all gonna be OK! Mrs. Valentine was so endearing and seem to have lead such a colorful life. Or did she? That was part of the charm of the story with both these narratives I was never quite sure what was truth, what was a lie, and what was a figment of the characters imagination. Reading this book really was like putting a puzzle together. It really didn’t make much sense and you couldn’t see the beauty of it until it was all pieced together.

A lovely tale you need to read with an open mind. The beginning of the story is a little convoluted, a little muddled.. But these characters are so endearing, so engaging, you can’t help but fall in love with them and want to know what happens in their lives. A delightful debut looking forward to what’s next from Suzy Krause.

*** many thanks to Lake Union for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

For readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, debut author Suzy Krause delivers a quirky, colorful story about love, loss, second chances, and what it means to truly live.

Valencia, a timid debt collector with crippling OCD, is afraid of many things, but the two that scare her most are flying and turning thirty-five. To confront those fears, Valencia’s therapist suggests that she fly somewhere—anywhere—before her upcoming birthday. And as Valencia begins a telephone romance with a man from New York, she suddenly has a destination in mind. There’s only one problem—he might not actually exist.

Mrs. Valentine is an eccentric old woman desperate for company, be it from neighbors, telemarketers, or even the funeral director (when you’re her age, you go to a lot of funerals). So she’s thrilled when the new cleaning girl provides a listening ear for her life’s story—a tale of storybook love and incredible adventures around the world with her husband before his mysterious and sudden disappearance.

The stories of Valencia and Mrs. Valentine may at first appear to have nothing in common…but then again, nothing in life is as straightforward as it seems.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank @DorotheaFrank @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours @harperaudio #bookreview #audiobook #queenbee 🐝

Happy Monday y’all!

It is the best time of the year! Summer reading time! Excited to share my review for this charming story that made me want to pack up and move to the south and become a beekeeper! Thank you so much Trish for my invitation to this tour!🐝🐝🐝

My Thoughts

ᴄʜᴀʀᴍ. ᴡɪᴛ. ᴡᴀʀᴍᴛʜ.

Dorothea Benton Frank has crafted a delightful story bursting with the perfect amount of heart, quirk, and southern charm. Holly is 30 and she still lives at home caring for her unappreciative mother who is a bit of a hypochondriac. Holly is certain she will eventually land her dream job as a teacher at Sullivan’s Island elementary school. She is also certain that she plays an important part in the lives of the two little boys that live next-door, and a little less certain that she will ever capture their fathers heart. Not only is Holly busy taking care of others, but she is also a beekeeper. Holly not only cares for the bees, but she also has a special bond with them. Holly’s sister Leslie left the island as soon as she could needing to escape their demanding mother the “queen bee“. But there have been big changes in Leslie‘s life and she finds herself returning home. What follows is a Beautiful story about two sisters and their mother who reconnect, regroup and grow together.

Loved this book! The setting of Sullivan’s Island was so lovely. The author grew up on the island and her love and knowledge of this charming place really shown through. The characters in this book were so wonderful, so colorful, and so well-developed. I felt as though I would know them if I were to run across them walking down the street. Not only that I’d want to spend the day with them, shoot I’d even love to see those bees. And the food, can’t forget that. I’d love for Holly to invite me over for dinner and feed me some of that good old southern cuisine. Holly was a fantastic character and I loved her growth throughout the story. She was so good with Hunter and Tyler and I really adored those kids! Loved all the little bee fax that she told them at the beginning of each chapter. I really actually learned a lot about bees that I did not know. Holly‘s mom “the queen“ was a very colorful character and I really loved the direction that her character took throughout the story. Leslie oh Leslie I am still not certain about some of your choices.

This really is the perfect book to kick off your summer with! A beautiful setting, amazing characters, and a fun storyline with a lot of heart. There were several laugh out loud moments. This book certainly took a turn I was not expecting. A wonderful uplifting feel-good story that will put a smile on your face.

🎧🎧🎧 Shannon McManus is the perfect narrator for southern fiction. She does such a good job with all the voices I really love her male voice and her little kid voices as well. There is something so warm and friendly about Shannon’s voice that really adds a little something something to these heartwarming books!

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

About the Book

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of New York Timesbestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank’s Carolina Lowcountry in this evocative tale that returns at long last to her beloved Sullivan’s Island.

Beekeeper Holly McNee Kensen quietly lives in a world of her own on Sullivan’s Island, tending her hives and working at the local island library. Holly calls her mother The Queen Bee because she’s a demanding hulk of a woman. Her mother, a devoted hypochondriac, might be unaware that she’s quite ill but that doesn’t stop her from tormenting Holly. To escape the drama, Holly’s sister Leslie married and moved away, wanting little to do with island life. Holly’s escape is to submerge herself in the lives of the two young boys next door and their widowed father, Archie.

Her world is upended when the more flamboyant Leslie returns and both sisters, polar opposites, fixate on what’s happening in their neighbor’s home. Is Archie really in love with that awful ice queen of a woman? If Archie marries her, what will become of his little boys? Restless Leslie is desperate for validation after her imploded marriage, squandering her favors on any and all takers. Their mother ups her game in an uproarious and theatrical downward spiral. Scandalized Holly is talking to her honey bees a mile a minute, as though they’ll give her a minute, as though they’ll give her a solution to all the chaos. Maybe they will.

Queen Bee is a classic Lowcountry Tale—warm, wise and hilarious, it roars with humanity and a dropperful of whodunit added for good measure by an unseen hand. In her twentieth novel, Dorothea Benton Frank brings us back to her beloved island with an unforgettable story where the Lowcountry magic of the natural world collides with the beat of the human heart.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Debbie Zammit

About Dorothea Benton Frank

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

Find her on the web at www.dotfrank.com, or like her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Spotlight

The Summer of Sunshine and Margot by Susan Mallery @SusanMallery @harlequinbooks @tlcbooktours #excerpt #thesummerofsunshineandmargot

Happy Monday all!

Delighted to share with you today and excerpt from this book that I am really looking forward to! The book comes out on June 11 and I will be sharing my review with you later in the month, this is a perfect summer beach read!🏖

About the Book

The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…

As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?

Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.

Master storyteller Susan Mallery weaves threads of family drama, humor, romance and a wish-you-were-there setting into one of the most satisfying books of the year!

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


Connect with Susan

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Excerpt

An hour and a half later, Sunshine put a completed salad into the refrigerator and glanced at the clock. According to a text from Declan, he was planning on joining them for dinner. She’d set the table for three, but honestly, she wasn’t holding out much hope. Her boss was in the middle of a big project—something about designing the gardens of a new five-star hotel just north of Malibu. Not only was the job time consuming, there was actually no good way to get to Pasadena from anywhere by the beach without dealing with miles of gridlock and hours stuck in traffic. More than once he’d texted to say he would be home in time for dinner only to call her an hour later to say he was still on the freeway and to start without him.

Sunshine didn’t mind when it was just her and Connor, but she knew the boy missed his father when he wasn’t around.

Once he got home, Declan spent the rest of the evening with his son and he was the one to get Connor ready for bed. They were obviously close, which was good. Still, the whole situation remained slightly awkward for her. Normally by the three- week mark of a job, she was comfortable in the house and had a set routine. She and Connor were doing great, but she’d barely seen Declan and they hadn’t talked and she really had to tell him they should have a sit-down at some point. Maybe in the next couple of days.

The first weekend she’d been employed, Declan and Connor had gone to Sacramento to visit Declan’s parents. Last weekend, Declan had been out of town at a conference and this weekend she had no idea what was going on.

“Do you and your dad have plans for tomorrow?” she asked. “I don’t know. He didn’t tell me. If he’s busy, what do you want to do?”

“I thought we’d go to the Star Eco Station.”

Connor finished putting the flatware in place. “Do I have to hold the tarantula?”

“Not if you don’t want to.”

“Arachnids aren’t ants,” he said, his tone defensive.

She held up both hands. “You don’t have to tell me. I’m perfectly fine with an ant farm but if you told me you wanted to start a spider colony, I’d run screaming into the night.”

He grinned. “In your pajamas?”

“Very possibly.”

His laughter was interrupted by the sound of the garage door opening.

“Dad’s home! Dad’s home!”

She watched him race across the kitchen and through the mudroom, then looked back at the table. Looked like there would be three for dinner and wouldn’t that be fun.

Not that she was nervous. She wasn’t. It was just she barely knew Declan. Which was fine—tonight they would have a conversation over lasagna roll-ups with ant-sized zucchini.

“…and Sunshine’s going to help me with the ant farm. We’re going to check online tomorrow and it’s okay because I read three books and I’ve checked out two more from the library and I’ll read them this weekend so I’m gonna know everything.”

Based on the framed photographs she’d seen in Connor’s room, Sunshine knew he took after his mother. He was small for his age, with a slight build and dark hair and eyes, so every time she saw Declan, it was something of a shock.

The man was big. Not heavy, but tall with broad shoulders and a lot of muscles. He had sandy-colored hair and green eyes, had to be at least six-two. With her only being five-four, that seemed a little extreme. He wore a suit and tie most days, which somehow made him even more impressive. He also had a presence about him—he was someone who was noticed wherever he went. She didn’t know him well enough to have much of an opinion about him, but he seemed like a decent kind of guy. He loved his son and honestly that was all she cared about.

“Good evening, Mr. Dubois,” she murmured as he set down his briefcase, then swept Connor up in his arms and turned the boy upside down.

As his son hung there, shrieking with happy laughter, De clan met her gaze. “We talked about this, Sunshine. Call me Declan, please.”

“Okay, just checking.”

“I want to keep things casual.”

She liked casual. Now that she thought about it, casual was probably for the best considering she’d kicked off her shoes when she’d walked into the house and was currently standing barefoot, wearing jeans and an oversize T-shirt advertising a bar in Tahiti.

Declan turned Connor right side up, then glanced at the table. “That looks nice. What are we having?”

“Ant food!” Connor told him gleefully. “Zucchini ant sticks.”

“Really?”

“Salad, lasagna roll-ups, garlic knots and zucchini fries,” she corrected.

“The garlic knots are bread,” Connor told his father. “I tied them all myself.”

“Did you?” Declan ruff led his hair. “That’s great. Give me five minutes to get changed and I’ll be back to help.” He picked up his briefcase and started for the hallway, his son at his heels. “Sunshine, do you drink wine?”

“Only on days ending in Y.”

“Good. Why don’t you pick us out a bottle of red from the wine cellar? You know where it is?”

“I do.”

Except for Declan’s bedroom, she’d explored the house that first weekend. She knew every place an eight-year-old boy could hide and had moved a bucket full of different bottles of cleaning solutions out to the garage. Yes, Connor was old enough to know not to play with stuff like that, but why tempt fate?

Looks good, doesn’t it! Berit

Posted in Blog Tour

The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns @author_AnaJohns @harlequinbooks @tlcbooktours #bookreview #thewomaninthewhitekimono

Happy almost weekend!

Thrilled to share with you my review for this beautiful story that transported me to 1950s Japan! Thank you so much Lisa for my invitation to the tour!👘

My Thoughts

𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥. 𝐄𝐯𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞. 𝐌𝐞𝐬𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠.

Ana Johns swept me away with her words and her stunning storytelling. Two women, two countries, thousands of miles and decades of years apart, but there is something that binds them. Japan 1957 Naoko finds herself caught between love, culture, and family obligations. Naoko is 17 and her parents have arranged a marriage for her, a marriage that will help her family’s business out immensely. The problem is Naoko is in love with another man, an American soldier. Not only does this not go over well with her family, but it does not go over well with most of Japan who still sees America as the enemy in this post WWII era. But Naoko is determined to follow her heart, but how much will she lose in the process? The US, present day Tori is taking care of her ailing father when she discovers a letter full of secrets. After her dad passes away she sells his beloved Cadillac and takes a journey to Japan to find out the truth.

Beautifully told, I was completely mesmerized by Miss Johns’ writing. I know I’ve mentioned this before in a review but I find the eastern culture fascinating and I am always excited to read about this part of the world. I truly had no idea there was so much hatred towards America in Japan after WWII, but why wouldn’t there be? I could only imagine how challenging this relationship was for Naoko, although I think she was a little naïve as to what all was implied. I found her to be a bit of a contradiction she was strong and feisty, but had the innocence of a child. What she went through was horrific, and it is incredible that I have read so many books that take place in so many different parts of the world where women are subjected to similar situations. The sad thing is I’d venture to guess things like this are still going on today in certain parts of the world. While I found Naoko’s story more compelling than Tori’s, tori’s story might have been the more important one. I like how the storylines were brought together, but it sure did not end how I was hoping it would. Although there is probably more truth in tragedy.

The story seamlessly bounces between time and perspective. You will never get lost because the chapters are clearly labeled as to time and place. I really dlove the time the book spent in Japan it was so interesting. And can I just say something about these capsule hotels, I cannot imagine sleeping in one of these capsules that is only 4 feet tall? Stacked on top of each other? I’m certain I am coming across naïve or spoiled, but it just sounds very uncomfortable. Doesn’t really have anything to do with the book, Tori just stayed in one of these hotels. If I were her I would’ve stayed in one of those traditional homes turned into a hotel with steaming baths with essential oil’s, just saying. LOL all this is just to say the book was so well researched and I felt as though I was transported to Japan. Simply put this is a beautiful story full of so much culture, history, and love.

*** Big thanks to Harlequin/ Park Rowe for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Ana

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Have a magnificent day!🌼

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Desert Sky Before Us by Anne Valente @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours #bookreview #thedesertskybeforeus

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Hope you had a wonderful relaxing day filled with food, family, and of course books! Delighted to share with you today my review for this descriptive story filled with dinosaurs and hope. Thank you so much Trish for my invitation to this tour.🦕

My Thoughts

Anne Valente Took me along on this road trip of discovery with her descriptive writing. Sisters Billie and Rhiannon set out on a road trip mapped buy their mother who insists they take the trip after her death. Billie has just been released after being incarcerated for the past six years and Rhiannon is still coming to terms with no longer being a racecar driver. Their mother has given them a journal with map coordinates and crude drawings that will lead them on a treasure hunt of sorts. Along the way not only will they find the treasures left behind by their mother, but they will also reveal secrets and become reacquainted with one another.

The writing in this book was so descriptive I felt as though I was right along with the sisters on this road trip through the south west. I have driven on a lot of the same roads that these sisters took and I thought the author did a really good job with bringing this area of the US to the pages. Now I didn’t necessarily know all the dinosaur stuff going on, and I found that very interesting. The beginning of the book was really compelling, I was really intrigued by the sisters and their back stories. I wanted to know why Billie was incarcerated and why Rhiannon no longer drove race cars. As the book progressed I began to care less. I really had a hard time relating to both of these girls, I could not understand their motivations and if I’m being honest they both seemed a bit self-serving. This is what makes this hard for me to review… On one hand I really liked the concept of the book and the descriptive writing. On the other hand I just found these characters a bit hard to like. Generally I can like or even love a book with characters I don’t like. But in this type of book I think I really needed to feel more of a connection to the characters in order to truly love the book. The sisters did get to know each other better throughout the story and I think they really began to repair their relationship, however I didn’t see much in the way of personal growth. Having said this I think this might be a case of this not being the right book for me, I think some people will really relate to these characters and for them this will be an incredibly special book! 7/10

*** Big thanks to William Morrow for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

From award-winning author Anne Valente comes this poignant and unforgettable literary novel of two estranged sisters—one, a former racecar driver and the other a recently-released prisoner—who embark on a road trip together to complete the scavenger hunt their mother designed for them before her death.

When Billie is released from a correctional facility in Decatur, her sister Rhiannon is there to meet her, even though the two haven’t seen each other in months. Painful secrets and numerous unspoken betrayals linger between them—but most agonizing is the sudden passing of their mother, a renowned paleontologist.

Rhiannon and Billie must overcome their differences as they set off on a road trip west, following the breadcrumb-trail of their late mother’s scavenger hunt, a sort of second funeral she planned in her final days. The sisters know the trail will end in Utah at the famous Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry, where their mother spent her career researching dinosaur fossils. But the seemingly endless days on the road the seemingly endless days on the road soon take their toll, forcing Rhiannon and Billie to confront their hostilities and revisit old memories—both good and bad.

As they travel across the heart of America, and as a series of plane crashes in the news make their journey all the more urgent, the two sisters begin to rediscover each other and to uncover their late mother’s veiled second life, taking them on an unexpected emotional journey inward—and forcing them to come to terms with their own choices in life.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photograph by Josh Finnell

About Anne Valente

Anne Valente’s first short-story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names, won the Dzanc Books Short Story Prize. Her fiction appears in One Story, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and the Chicago Tribune, and her essays appear in The Believerand the Washington Post. Originally from St. Louis, she teaches creative writing and literature at Hamilton College.

Find out more about Anne at her websi

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms @tlcbooktours @luauthors @amazonpub #bookreview #theoverduelifeofamybyler

Happy Thursday all!

I loved this book and I am so excited to share my review with you all! Huge thanks to Lisa for my invitation to the tour!😍

My Thoughts

🅡🅔🅛🅐🅣🅐🅑🅛🅔. 🅗🅘🅛🅐🅡🅘🅞🅤🅢. 🅕🅐🅝🅣🅐🅑🅤🅛🅞🅤🅢.

Kelly harms! BRAVO! This was such a relatable story told with so much heart and humor, I absolutely adored it! Amy is the single mother of 15-year-old Cory and 12-year-old Joe. Three years ago Amy’s husband John went out of country for work and never came back. Amy picked her self up, dusted herself off, went back to work, and learned how to be a single parent. Now John is back wanting to repair his relationship with his Children and offering Amy a summer off from parental responsibility. What follows is Amy’s summer of freedom, fun, self discovery, love, and a new wardrobe. #momspringa

Amy was such a real and relatable character. As a single mother I saw so much of myself in Amy. It is so easy to get caught up in your kids lives and not make enough time for yourself. But you also don’t know who you are if you’re not a mom. It was so much fun reading about Amy rediscovering herself in New York. I loved the makeover, all the shopping, and all the crazy dates. I also loved her support system her Besties Lena and Tallia, and Mathew who was kind of a bit of a fairy godfather. Also loved the big part that books played in this story. Amy was a librarian and she had this really interesting program she presented at a librarian convention. I’m sure all bookworms will appreciate the amount of booktalk in this book. And there is a hot librarian love interest. Another part of the book I really loved was Corey’s journal entries, Kelly harms really nailed the 15-year-old voice. There was just so much fun and goodness in this book!

This is one of those books that will make you smile, make you laugh, and leave you feeling good when you have turned that last page. The characters are relatable, likable, and entertaining. The storyline is amusing and authentic. I think all moms will absolutely love this book! BUT I think the book will not only appeal to Mom’s it will appeal to anyone who is ever needed a break from their real life, A little re-charge. Simply put this is an uplifting feel-good story with relatable characters and a lot of humor!

*** Big thanks to Lake Union for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Kelly

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Let’s Connect!

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Have a magnificent day!🌼

Berit☀️✨