Books – June 2022

I have had a good reading month. Coming at you with my most recent book reviews. I recommend all of these, except the DNF at the end. Have you read any of these? What has been your favorite book so far this summer?

The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich

The Recovery Agent (Gabriela Rose, #1)

Gabriela Rose reminds me of a more capable Stephanie Plum. I enjoyed the wacky cast of characters in this one, and the fun ride we went on in search of the Ring of Solomon. Rafer was fun, and I hope to get more of him in future books from this series.

Bottom Line: If you are a fan of Stephanie Plum or cozy mysteries, check this out!

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

By the Book (Meant to Be #2)

This is supposed to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, sign me up! I will say, that a lot of the ties to Beauty and the Beast were lame. Like calling the hired help “Kettle,” the yellow sundress coming down the stairs (sounds more like a danger with it trailing behind her), the feeling of the furniture being magical and giving you hugs. Lame. Anyways. This was a little slow for me. I didn’t quite feel the chemistry between the characters. If I am being completely honest, Izzy got on my nerves a little. I feel like she didn’t grow in the book near as much as Beau did. I did enjoy the general plot, with her helping Beau write his book. Overall, I liked the book and I am glad I read it. It just wasn’t my favorite from Jasmine Guillory.

Bottom Line: If you are a Guillory fan or a fairytale retelling fan, read it. I did enjoy it, it just wasn’t my favorite from this author.

**I received a copy of By the Book from NETGALLEY in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel

I enjoyed this one, it was full of family drama. The Golden Hotel is located in the Catskills and there was mentions of Dirty Dancing, and has lots of nostalgia of the “good old days.” We deal with a lot of issues in this one; opioids, cheating, miscarriage, dementia, loss, disordered eating, coming out, etc. Even with all of this, the book felt light. I loved the layers of family complications and the way they were there for each other.

I did this on audio and Julia Whelen is one of my favorite narrators.

Bottom Line: Read it

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Local Woman Missing

Man, this book was intense! I couldn’t stop. I had to know what was going on!!! I had a few theories, and I was wrong. I tried to connect everything but was mind blown when it all played out. What a roller coaster! I think I am going to need some fluffy reads for awhile. I am spent. Definitely enjoyed this one, probably the fastest I read a book in awhile.

Bottom Line: Read it!!!

When in Rome by Sarah Adams

When in Rome

This was so cute and such a fun slow burn. The writing reminded me of RS Grey, and you all know how much I love her. This is my first from this author, and I am going to be binging anything else she has wrote in my near future. I just know it. This modern take on the Hepburn classic, Roman Holiday. Amelia and Noah were so fun. I loved Noah’s sisters and the town they live in. It was heartwarming and sweet and I hate that I rushed through it, because I miss them! One of my favorite things, is at the end we didn’t have some huge miscommunication issue that most romcom authors turn to. It was so refreshing to see the book play out differently.

Bottom Line: Read it!!!

**I received a copy of When in Rome from NETGALLEY in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Sizzle Paradox by Lily Menon

The Sizzle Paradox

This one was so cute! It went by pretty quickly for me. I love a good friends to lovers romcom. Add in the fact that Lyric and Kian are science-nerds, even better. I enjoyed all the side characters in this one as well. It reminded me a little of “Love Hypothesis,” but I liked that one more. I will say, that Lyric was a little immature for her age? Maybe? I am trying to remember what I was like in my late twenties. Either way, I enjoyed this one.

I received an audio version of The Sizzle Paradox and I really enjoyed both the male and female narrators. They kept me interested and engaged through the whole book.

Bottom Line: Read it.

**I received a copy of The Sizzle Paradox from NETGALLEY in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson

Mother May I

I love Joshilyn Jackson, she is always a solid read for me. This one does not disappoint! I could not put it down. This is a suspenseful, twisty story about a son that goes missing. I was immediately hooked and found the investigation process very interesting. All the characters and details were so very well fleshed out. I am not 100% sure that is was completely believable how everything was connected, but I was here for it. The pacing of the book was interesting, as things happen and you keep thinking oh this is wrapping up, but then it goes on.

I have mixed feelings about the revenge of the villain. Without giving too much away, she is hurting innocent people. I understand that she wants to make certain people hurt the most…but uses innocent people to do that. It just doesn’t make sense. Especially as a mother. There was a theme running through the book of how an act that may have meant very little to us at the time may have been life-changing for another. It makes you think about things differently. This book also makes you think about the choices you would make if you were in Bre’s position in this book.

Bottom Line: Read it!!!

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Weather Girl

I absolutely loved this one! I couldn’t stop once I started. I loved Russell and Ari so much. The fun banter about their horrible bosses, their plotting, and watching them grow close. It was such a fun premise and I loved every moment. Ari is a TV  meteorologist, and that was just a fun aspect of the book as well. Bring on the science nerds! I felt like the author did a good job writing a character that dealt with depression. I also appreciated Russell and his past. Definitely one of my favorites recent reads.

Bottom Line: Read it!

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Modern Lovers

I am not sure what is wrong, if it was me or the book….but I just couldn’t get into this. I was bored from the beginning and gave up pretty early. I hesitate to give it a bad rating since I didn’t really give it a try. Have you read it? Should I try it again later?

Currently Reading

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

In Five Years

Friday Favorites -Nashville Fun

Happy Friday! It has been quite the busy summer so far. I feel like every weekend since the beginning of May we have had some type of event/commitment. This weekend is the first one we don’t have any plans, besides it being Father’s Day.

Last weekend we went to Nashville to see my dad become ordained at his church. We decided to head up a day early so we could spend some time doing fun things around town. I hadn’t been to Nashville in about 10 years, so it was nice to be back. I feel like Nashville is a bigger, cleaner Birmingham. We were excited to show Zoe around.

We started out with lunch at Paula Dean’s, and found a few fun video game stores to look around at. We then headed over to the Cool Springs area to take Zoe to American Girl. Needless to say, it was instant love. She is obsessed with Wellie Wishers and finally got her first doll. She chose Willa.

Zoe carried Willa around everywhere the rest of the trip. Unfortunately, my tire pressure lights started going crazy and we realized we had a nail in the shoulder of our tire. Thank goodness for technology! NTB was right near where we were, so we had a 2 hour pitstop and an expensive tire change out before we headed to our hotel to check in.

CMA Fest was in Nashville when we went, and the hotel rates were insane. We ended up staying at Marriot Vanderbilt, which was across from the Parthenon. After we got checked it, we walked over there and explored.

After walking around the area for a little while, we settled on eating at the restaurant at our hotel because they had outdoor seating, Central Bar + Grill. It was an amazing experience. We had the best service, and they had crab meat hushpuppies. The best I have EVER had.

The next morning, we took Zoe to Parlor Doughnuts (best ever!!!!) and then grabbed coffees from Three Brothers Coffee before heading up to my dad’s church. It was a wonderful day.

Alley near Three Brothers Coffee

Zoe’s school does a lot of fun summer activities for the kids. Last week they had Super Hero Day, and all the kiddos dressed like super heroes. Every Wednesday they have water day, and every Friday the ice cream truck comes and they get to bring money and pick out a treat. Needless to say, Zoe is living her best life.

Picture credit to Zoe’s teachers, who are so great about showing us all the fun they are having throughout the day!

Favorite Finds: About a month ago, I got myself some new sneakers to work out in. I decided to try Brooks for the first time, and I am in love! I haven’t had to wear them in or get used to them or anything. I just threw them on one morning and went about my workout, slaying. LOVE. These are the ones I chose, in Lilac.

Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home by  Jessica Smartt

Favorite Book Purchase: I ordered Memory Making Mom for my morning quiet time and have been really enjoying it so far!!! The book basically talks about how you can turn little moments into special memories for you and your family. She gives lots of practical tips and advice, and a list of 200 ideas to make traditions for your family. “You never know what traditions your children will treasure the rest of their lives.” I will have a full review when I finish, I am about half done now. I just wanted to share since we are going into summer, and now is the perfect time to slow down and make a few of those special traditions!

Favorite Funnies:

Linking up for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!


Amazon Favorites

Linking up with Tanya for some more Amazon finds. I didn’t order a ton this month, just a few items. We have a friend that is having a baby next weekend, and Chris chose many items from their registry. Besides that, this is what we ordered.


I love diffusing essential oils in my office while I work. I had been wanting to get a bigger diffuser for our kitchen area so that Chris and Zoe can enjoy them as well. I love the look and functionality of this one. It quickly fills our entire downstairs with scent and is a fraction of the price of the YL one. Zoe is entertained by the light option it has, and I will admit…it is quite fun.


Zoe had her dance recital last month and we gave her this leotard as part of her present. It is so pretty on and she absolutely loves that it looks like Elsa without having any characters on it. It fits true to size and is better quality than some others that we purchased from Amazon. She starts back at summer dance in two weeks!

The Riddle of Robin

Amazon - The Riddle of the Robin (American Girl: Welliewishers): Tripp,  Valerie: 9781609587918: Books

Zoe is obsessed with the Wellie Wishers. She checks out at least two or three of their books every time we go to the library. I decided we should probably start her own collection of them, so we surprised her with this one last week. They are fun stories with kind messages. They usually have 5-6 chapters per book and I read them to Zoe over a few nights. When she is older, these will make great chapter books to read on her own.

Body Wash

EO Shower Gel, Grapefruit Mint, 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)

A repurchase of our favorite body wash. Love the pump dispensing, the scent, the clean ingredients.


Books – May 2022

Coming at you with some more book reviews. I had a great book month. So many new releases came out this month that I really want to read. A few of them are mixed in here…and hopefully I will get to the rest soon! Read anything good lately?

The Unsinkable Gretta James by Jennifer E Smith

The Unsinkable Greta James

I absolutely loved every moment of this book! I was hooked right away. Even though this book dealt with heavy things like grief and loss, and the sometimes complicated relationship between a father and daughter…..it was still also light. There were moments of humor, love and growth. I loved all of Greta’s parents’ friends as well. I was sad when this one was over.

Bottom Line: Read it!!!

The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews

The Homewreckers

I love Mary Kay Andrews, and I quite enjoyed this book. You get a little mystery, a home improvement project, and a romance all in one. I liked that this book took place in Savannah, I have been there before and it brought back all the memories. This focuses more on the mystery than the relationships, which I found quite interesting. It turned out nearly exactly like I thought it would….but that didn’t take away from the ride. Loved all the side characters and I especially loved Detective Mak!

I received both an ebook and audio version, and I enjoyed the narrator on the audiobook so much. It was such a pleasure to listen to.

Bottom Line: Read it!

**I received a copy of The Homewreckers from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers

Emily Henry is definitely one of my favorite authors. I absolutely loved this book! It started out a little slow, but once I got into it, it was really hard to put down. I loved Nora and Charlie. I really loved watching them grow together. Their banter cracked me up! I also enjoyed getting to see the relationship between Nora and her sister, their list for their trip and watching them workout their issues. All of the characters in this book are so well developed and everything just works so well. I read the inspiration for Nora’s character came from Miranda Priestly, Meredith Blake, Patricia Eden but all set in a Hallmark small town. It was just so, so good. And that ending! Fantastic.

Bottom Line: Read it!!!!

Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee

Booked on a Feeling: A Novel

I am not really sure what it is about this book, but I just didn’t connect with it. We don’t really get any background on the characters, so I never felt a connection or spark between them. The inner dialogue from both characters, but especially Jack, was very childish. Nothing really happens in this book. You keep reading thinking it is going to pick up, and it never really does. I appreciate that it covers some anxiety and self-doubt issues.

Bottom Line: I really wanted to love this book, as I have enjoyed others from Jayci Lee…but it was very underwhelming. Maybe it would work for others.

** I received a copy of Booked on a Feeling from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

The Dating Plan (Marriage Game, #2)

I love a good enemies to lovers or second chance romance. This is sort of both? Liam and Daisy were complex characters with a lot of personality. I love that we get the back story of their past, and mix that with the current banter….and you definitely feel the chemistry between them. I really liked that Daisy was in IT and she seemed like a badass character that really grew. I LOL’d several times throughout this book, and just thought overall that it was a really cute read. I quite enjoyed the Patel family and would love to read more about them.

Bottom Line: Super cute, read it!

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

A Million Junes

In general, I don’t really care for magical realism. I like my fiction books to be more realistic. However, from time to time I do enjoy some magic, vampires or the Charley Davidson series where she is basically the grim reaper. So I went into this with an open mind, and quite enjoyed it. I consumed this on audio and I love the narrator Emily Henry uses.

I loved that this was sort of a Romeo and Juliet tale of two feuding families with a long history. Emily Henry writes so beautifully and really fleshes out her characters, so I felt like I completely understood what was going on with the ghosts, the falls, etc. All around a solid read, and quite different from my usual.

Bottom Line: Read it.

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

The Night She Disappeared

This one jumps back and forth from past and present, as well as from several points of view. Sometimes I have a hard time following when that happens, but I didn’t in this case. It kept my attention, as I was curious to find out what happened to Tallulah and Zach. It ended mostly how I thought it would, but there were definitely a few twists in there I didn’t see coming.

Bottom Line: Read it.

My Professor by R.S. Grey

My Professor

Pre-order now!

Comes out June 2, 2022

You all know my love for R.S. Grey, and she does it again with My Professor! I read this book in less than a day, I simply could not put it down. We got family drama, tension, angst, steam. I felt like Emelia was a little immature at times, very closed off. There is just something about the way that R.S. Grey write that made this work for me. Very slow burn, not a lot of romance. I really enjoyed the architectural parts of the book as well…as Jonathan owned his own firm and we get to hear about some projects mixed in there.

Bottom line: If you are an R.S. Grey fan, read it!

**I received a copy of My Professor from R.S. Grey in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**


Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!! We had such a crazy last few weeks…I want to quickly recap a few major events for Zoe! She graduated 4K last Thursday. It was so fun to see all the kiddos up there that we started daycare with at 8 months still together and going strong. They sang a few songs, said the pledge of allegiance and recited a bible verse. They exited the stage dancing to Can’t Stop the Feeling and now every time I hear that song, I will be flooded of memories watching my little girl dance her way off stage so proudly with the first set of friends she ever made. No, you’re crying.

Last Saturday was recital day! This was Zoe’s third year of dance, and she received her first trophy! It was a very late night, and we might have broken down towards the end….but I am so proud of these girls. They did so well on stage with their routines and it was so fun getting to see the older girls dance in between running Zoe back and forth back stage for costume changes/line up.

Today, Zoe goes on her first ever field trip! I signed up to be a chaperone. What was I thinking?? Haha. I can’t wait to watch her run around and have fun with her friends though. The kids have been talking about their trip for weeks and I am excited for them.

Favorite Finds: I had some returns to make to H&M this week. I decided to do them in store, and after I walked around and found a few things I fell in love with. First up are these easy, pull on pants. They are a light weight/summer appropriate material and come right to the ankle and perfect to pair with your sandals. They are so comfortable and can really be dressed up or down. They fit true to size (size down if you are between sizes), and you cannot beat the price.

I also grabbed this tshirt. The color blue is gorgeous and I love the fit of it. It has an oversized fit, I got my usual size.

Printed T-shirt - Blue/Amalfi - Ladies | H&M US

I walked around so many stores that day, and I couldn’t even find anything to try on to even maybe consider. Sad, isn’t it? I don’t know who is doing the buying or setting the fashions this year…but it is not my jam at all.

Favorite Workout: I have been very much enjoying the Faster Way to Fat Loss workouts and haven’t missed a single one. If you follow me on Instagram, you will notice in my stories I am tagging #1mileadayinMay with Heather from My Life Well Loved. I have very much enjoyed getting out and getting those morning walks in. This next week, she is teaming up with another influencer to spread awareness about the true meaning of Memorial Day and asking people to walk or workout in patriotic or camo clothes. Love the idea behind this and its never too late to join in the fun!

Favorite Health Find: I am scraping bottom of my collagen powder and wanted to report back with my thoughts after switching. I think Vital Proteins is complete garbage. I noticed no difference when I used it, my knees were hurting, my nails were peeling, etc. I switched to Ancient Nutrition and after using an entire bottle, my knee pain is gone and my nails are strong and growing fast. My skin looks better and my hair isn’t brittle and dry. Definitely found my new go to.

Linking up for Friday Favorites. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!