15 February 2019

Five on Friday | Quick Reviews



Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon

There's complicated drama aplenty when Willow Lamott's best friend, Ashton Kelleralso an accused murderer—returns to their small town. Mystery, suspense, danger, and of course, romance fill Langdon's story as the pair works to reestablish their friendship and discover what exactly happened all those years ago. It's a fun, intriguing, spooky-ish read.




In 27 Days by Alison Gervais

When one of her classmates commits suicide, Hadley Jamison gets the opportunity to rewind twenty-seven days and try to rewrite the future. As I read, I worried about the commentary Gervais would make regarding suicide, but in the context she creates, the message of Hadley's experience is well delivered. All in all, it's a great story of friendship.




It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

In a refreshing retelling of the Cinderella fairytale, Tatum Elsea's summer looks nothing like she expected: wrongly accused of a crime, at odds with her best friend, distrusted by her father and stepmother. Everything may seem hopeless at first, but her story plays out with great humor and heart, including lessons of self-discovery, friendship, and forgiveness. It's a definite recommendation from me.



One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

Against her wishes, Sophie Brooks is sent to spend a summer in Paris with her father. She'd rather devote her time to practicing piano, but it's clear she has some important growing to do in her familial relationships. With some adventure and romance, too, it's a cute story (that reminded me of Anna and the French Kiss at times), and I heartily enjoyed it when I read it.




The Thing With Feathers by McCall Hoyle

Emilie Day has spent years protecting herself from the world, thanks to her epilepsy. Now, as she begins to attend public school again, she must confront her fear. With moments of friendship, romance, and discovering that everyone has challenges to overcome, this was exactly the type of good-hearted YA I needed when I read it. I loved it.



So, what books have you enjoyed reading lately?

Thanks to Blink YA Books, I received complimentary copies of these books and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Friday 56 & First Line Friday | Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

The Friday 56 is hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.
First Line Friday is hosted weekly by Hoarding Books.

Happy Friday!

In honor of Valentine's Day, I can't resist featuring this cute, new YA romance. I'm not sure exactly when I'll have a chance to read it, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's soon. I always have fun with a Kasie West book. 

14 February 2019

His Honor, Her Family | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


She could be The One

If he’ll let her in.

The rustic mountain town of Golden, Georgia, is the ideal place for crime scene investigator Deke Matthews to heal after a tragedy left him questioning everything. But there’s another reason he’s here, and moonlighting as an adventure guide provides the perfect cover. It doesn’t include falling for his boss. Attorney Grace Harper is back in Golden only long enough to save her family business. Just when Deke has found the woman to share his life with...

Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Release Date: February 5, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


13 February 2019

After the Rain | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


Debra Hart is moving on. Maybe. Hopefully. One day.

As a radio show host, Debra spends her mornings as Miss Lonely Heart on air, empathizing with all the broken hearts in the Denver metro area. She spends her evenings watching old musicals and trying not to think about the guy who broke up with her and subsequently fell in love with one of her best friends. Alone in a new city, Debra questions where she belongs and who she is now.

When she stumbles into the indie music scene, Debra meets singer Ben Price. Rock star appeal, with a day job as a worship pastor, Ben is everything Debra wants to avoid. But he’s determined to be her friend, and it so happens she could really use one. Because try as she might, nothing seems to erase the anger and betrayal she feels.

It’s time for a new dream. But how does she start over when she doesn’t even know what she wants anymore?

Publisher: Bling! Romance
Release Date: January 15, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


Waiting on Wednesday | Living Lies

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.
(Similarly, Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.)

Happy Wednesday!

I'm always up for new romantic suspense, and Natalie Walters' debut seems like it will not disappoint.

12 February 2019

Top Ten Tuesday | Romantic Cover Couples

Hosted weekly by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Happy Tuesday!

In honor of the approaching Valentine's Day, I've compiled a list of covers I love that feature a couple. Their stories are sweet and romantic and oh so delightful, perfect for the holiday.

11 February 2019

A Cowboy in Shepherd's Crossing | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


From bachelor to daddy…

Shepherd’s Crossing is full of surprises.

Cowboy bachelor Jace Middleton was ready to leave Shepherd’s Crossing for good—until he learns his family’s unspoken secrets. 

Now Jace finds himself not only caring for his twin baby nieces, but working with beautiful, strong-willed designer Melonie Fitzgerald to renovate his grandmother’s run-down estate. 

Love wasn’t part of the plan… but Jace soon finds himself wishing Melonie could become part of his unexpected family.

Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: January 1, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #35

Hosted weekly by The Book Date.

Happy Monday!

Another ordinary, but entertaining reading week for me.

09 February 2019

Maybe It's You | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


Reagan Bellamy’s neighbor is everything she never wanted. Despite her best efforts to ignore him and fly under his radar, Dash Carter refuses to wither under her stare and leave her alone. So what if he’s totally hot? Who cares if her roommates think he’s adorable? Reagan’s too busy to waste time on a loser with musical pipe dreams. Between classes, studies, and her need to stay ahead of the game, she’s got too much on her plate to give him the time of day.

Dash Carter is a man on a mission. He’s done a total 180 and for the first time in a long time feels optimistic about the future. He’s clean, he’s on a good path, and he’s surrounded himself with people who make life better, not worse. Unfortunately, his neighbor—the one girl who’s always piqued his interest—still thinks he’s a slacker, bothering Dash more than it should. 

Acting on an opportunity to show Reagan he’s a changed man, Dash inadvertently puts her in a difficult position with her new boss and sends her down a path she hasn’t the time or inclination to pursue. Desperate to make things right, Dash becomes more invested in her life despite warnings from his mentor to not get involved with someone whose beliefs don’t match his own.

Reagan’s not sure what it says about her that she’d rather deal with Dash the deadbeat than Dash the Bible thumper. The more she digs her heels in against the religious freaks she’s forced to interact with, the more she begins to question everything she’s built her life upon. When the tide begins to turn in Reagan’s heart and her worldview flips upside down, trusting God means putting everything on the line, including her heart.

Publisher: CAH LLC
Release Date: February 4, 2019


08 February 2019

The Secret of Willow Inn | Excerpt

ABOUT THE BOOK


Two women fighting for their dreams, one who’s long lost hers, are united by tragedy and a long-held secret.

Pregnant with her first child, Emily Hayes is eager to help her mother finish transforming an estate into the Willow Inn and write a novel about Willow Falls’ colorful history. A tragic event threatens her parents’ plans to refurbish an abandoned hotel and transform the obscure Georgia setting into a tourist destination.

Sadie Lyles left Willow Falls a murderer who’d killed the town hero. She returns as a despised felon and seeks solace in the town’s cafĂ©. Emily struggles to unite the close-knit community and becomes Sadie’s biggest advocate. She strives to uncover the truth about the crime and save her town from dying.

To appease her father, Rachel, a VP in his Atlanta real-estate-development firm, relegates her acting dream to secret performances for imaginary audiences. After meeting charming, flirtatious Charlie Bricker, manager for Willow Falls’ future vineyard, she vows to break free from her father’s control.

The tragedy and Willow Inn’s secret past launch Emily and Rachel on a collision course with destiny and truth.

Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Release Date: January 10, 2019


The Friday 56 & First Line Friday | True Nobility

The Friday 56 is hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.
First Line Friday is hosted weekly by Hoarding Books.

Happy Friday!

A historical romance, accompanied by plenty of danger, True Nobility is a book I intend to pick up very soon.

(I'll be featuring this book on Instagram today, too, with a great giveaway, so be sure to check it out.)

07 February 2019

The Sewing Sisters' Society | Excerpt

ABOUT THE BOOK


Hattie McGillicuddy might not look like your typical matchmaker, but Hattie makes things happen in the little town of Second Chance, South Dakota. With the arrival of the railroad and official statehood, Hattie’s determined to bring brides west, and not just any brides. Brides who need the wide open prairie as much as the prairie- and the prairie men- need them! Three pioneer stories of unlikely love are woven around a little town full of homespun characters that take us back to another place and another time but with the same faith, hope and love we cherish today.

Macy can’t sew a lick, and she’s come to town with a sacrifice and a secret, but when Hattie’s first apprentice is attracted to the pastor of the only church in town—the man raising her illegitimate son— will the truth set her free? Or make her leave the town and her son behind?

Unjustly accused, Nellie comes west to escape the law. She has a way with tucks and gathers, and every Western town could use more tucks and gathers. She’s determined to improve the drab look of the prairie and manages to brighten hearts as well. But will her quick speech and firm ideas of women’s suffrage draw Levi Eichas closer or send the somber carriage maker running? 

Grief has robbed Ann Hazel, but when her aunt pushes her to go west and help an ailing Hattie McGillicuddy turn hems, Ann’s shamed into it. She’s managed to avoid life for awhile, but when Sol Eichas’s nanny comes down sick, Ann reluctantly agrees to help. As she winds her way around Sol’s heart and home, can the two troubled souls leave the past behind to embrace a future together?

Release Date: January 22, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

A Most Inconvenient Love (coming March 2019)

06 February 2019

Golden Child | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


A new novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint, SJP for Hogarth: a deeply affecting debut novel set in Trinidad, following the lives of a family as they navigate impossible choices about scarcity, loyalty, and love.

Golden Child is a stunning novel written with force and beauty. Though true to herself, Adam’s work stands tall beside icons of her tradition like V.S. Naipaul.”—Jennifer Clement, author of Gun Love

Rural Trinidad: a brick house on stilts surrounded by bush; a family, quietly surviving, just trying to live a decent life. Clyde, the father, works long, exhausting shifts at the petroleum plant in southern Trinidad; Joy, his wife, looks after the home. Their two sons, thirteen years old, wake early every morning to travel to the capital, Port of Spain, for school. They are twins but nothing alike: Paul has always been considered odd, while Peter is widely believed to be a genius, destined for greatness.

When Paul goes walking in the bush one afternoon and doesn’t come home, Clyde is forced to go looking for him, this child who has caused him endless trouble already, and who he has never really understood. And as the hours turn to days, and Clyde begins to understand Paul’s fate, his world shatters—leaving him faced with a decision no parent should ever have to make.

Like the Trinidadian landscape itself, Golden Child is both beautiful and unsettling; a resoundingly human story of aspiration, betrayal, and love.

Publisher: SJP for Hogarth
Release Date: January 29, 2019


Waiting on Wednesday | No Ocean Too Wide

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.
(Similarly, Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.)

Happy Wednesday!

Not only do I love the Carrie Turansky novels I've read, but I also can't resist a comparison to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. This story sounds emotionally captivating.

04 February 2019

Winning the Cowboy's Heart | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


Jewel Cade wants two things—

One is Heath Loveland.

The Rocky Mountain cowgirl has her heart set on becoming range boss of the Cade ranch. But first she has to accompany the son of her family’s longtime enemy—and her off-limits secret crush—on a cattle drive across Colorado. Discovering Heath shares her attraction only makes for a rockier road. Because Jewel has a sneaking suspicion that if she drops her guard, the cowboy might ride off with her heart.

Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Release Date: February 5, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #34

Hosted weekly by The Book Date.

Happy Monday!

The most excited part of the past week was watching the Patriots win the Super Bowl! Yay!

02 February 2019

Reading Challenges | January Update

It's February, so it's time to check-in on my progress with my 2019 reading challenges.

First, I should mention that since my beginning-of-the-year reading challenge post, I decided to add a few more challenges because why not? They're too much fun for me to resist.


(I want to complete all 52 prompts.)

(I want to complete the epic bingo card.)

(I want to attempt to get a bingo each month.)

(I want to complete all twelve prompts.)

(I want to complete the Insatiable Reader level.)

#LittenLoveBingo
(I want to complete all 25 prompts.)

#ReadingUSA
(I want to read a book for each of the 50 states.)


Now, here's the progress I made in January...

Beat the Backlist: 43/100 books
Mount TBR: 21/100 books

#Ampersand2019 Reading Challenge: 23/52 books

Beat the Backlist Reading Bingo: 33/81 books

#Booked2019: 3/24 books
  • Reminds you of your happy place: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
  • Set in Ireland / Irish author: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer
  • New to you author: The Dad Next Door by Stephanie Dees

Bookish's January Bingo: 17/25 books (but no bingo)
  • A book you meant to read in 2018: White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D'Avenia
  • Title begins with J: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  • An author you've never read: Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti
  • First in a series: The Dad Next Door by Stephanie Dees
  • A debut: When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
  • Multiple narrators: Who I Am With You by Robin Lee Hatcher
  • Borrowed from the library: The Christmas Star by Donna VanLiere
  • Blue cover: Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle
  • Published in January: No Safe Place by Sherri Shackelford
  • FREEBIE: The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron
  • Independent publisher: The Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin
  • Character moves to a new town: A Baby for the Doctor by Stephanie Dees
  • Book includes three kings: The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
  • Character lets go of bad habits: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
  • Set in a city you want to visit: These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
  • Character seeks a fresh start: Their Secret Baby Bond by Stephanie Dees
  • Author or character is an immigrant: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Carla's Reading Challenge: 1/12 books
  • Read a children's book: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers


Hope By the Book Reading Challenge: 4/48 books
  • Young adult genre: White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D'Avenia
  • Author's surname begins with S: Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
  • Flowers on cover: The Bridesmaid's Hero by Narelle Atkins
  • Five-word title: Who I Am With You by Robin Lee Hatcher

#LitsyAtoZ: 17/26 books
  • A: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
  • B: A Baby for the Doctor by Stephanie Dees
  • C: The Christmas Star by Donna VanLiere
  • D: The Dad Next Door by Stephanie Dees
  • E: Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
  • G: The Goodbye Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin
  • H: Hide and Seek by Christina Benjamin
  • J: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  • L: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer
  • M: The Marriage Bargain by Stephanie Dees
  • N: No Safe Place by Sherri Shackelford
  • P: Pride by Ibi Zoboi
  • R: Rule #1: You Can't Date the Coach's Daughter by Anne-Marie Meyer
  • S: Searching for You by Jody Hedlund
  • T: Their Secret Baby Bond by Stephanie Dees
  • U: Umberland by Wendy Spinale
  • W: Who I Am With You by Robin Lee Hatcher

#LittenLoveBingo: 5/25 books
  • From your own Litsy TBR: Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle
  • A #BookAboutBooks: A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
  • #DiverseReads: Pride by Ibi Zoboi
  • Book picked by a Litten you admire: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  • A #BOTM pick: Severance by Ling Ma

  • A book you've been meaning to read: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
  • Three books by the same author: The Dad Next Door, A Baby for the Doctor & Their Secret Baby Bond by Stephanie Dees
  • A book you chose for the cover: Rule #1: You Can't Date the Coach's Daughter by Anne-Marie Meyer
  • A book by an author who is new to you: White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D'Avenia
  • A book published before you were born: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

  • A book that makes you nostalgic: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
  • A book by two female authors: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  • A book you think should be turned into a movie: The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron
  • A debut novel: When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
  • A book with a plant in the title or on the cover: Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle
  • A book that's published in 2019: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
  • A reread of a favorite book: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer
  • A book you meant to read in 2018: White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D'Avenia
  • A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover: The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
  • A book about family: A Baby for the Doctor by Stephanie Dees
  • A book written by an author from Asia, Africa, or South America: Severance by Ling Ma
  • A book that includes a wedding: The Bridesmaid's Hero by Narelle Atkins
  • A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter: No Safe Place by Sherri Shackelford
  • A retelling of a classic: Pride by Ibi Zoboi
  • A book set on a college or university campus: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
  • A book about someone with a superpower: These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
  • A book told from multiple character POVs: Who I Am With You by Robin Lee Hatcher
  • A book with a two-word title: Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

  • An alternate history novel: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
  • A book published prior to January 1, 2019 with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads: The Dad Next Door by Stephanie Dees
  • A book of mythology or folklore: The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

#ReadingUSA: 12/50 books
  • Alabama: The Dad Next Door by Stephanie Dees
  • California: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
  • Idaho: Who I Am With You by Robin Lee Hatcher
  • Illinois: Searching for You by Jody Hedlund
  • Kansas: Rule #3: You Can't Kiss Your Best Friend by Anne-Marie Meyer
  • Louisiana: The Goodbye Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin
  • Maine: My Christmas Break Mistake by Anne-Marie Meyer
  • New York: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
  • North Carolina: Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle
  • Oregon: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  • Pennsylvania: The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts
  • Washington: Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti


What books did you read in January for a reading challenge?