Browsing Category



Books – December 2023

Coming in with some more book reviews! I was fully into all the Christmas books! But I do have some that aren’t if that isn’t your thing. I have a few more ARC copies of Christmas books that I didn’t get to last month. I am trying to decide if I am going to get to them soon or not. Most that I read this year were disappointing in that they weren’t super Christmasy at all. So we shall see. Here we go!

Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

I absolutely loved the way that the little area of NYC was written in this book. It seemed whimsical and dreamy and all the neighbors were so nice and friendly. And I have to call BS on that, because I don’t know anywhere in NYC that you can park Spammy and plug up somewhere and have all these connections for showers, food, etc. But in the spirit of Christmas I am going with it. It felt magical. I can always count on Mary Kay Andrews to bring a solid read.

Bottom Line: Read it

**I received a copy of Bright Lights, Big Christmas from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Winter in New York by Josie Silver

Oh this book! I loved it so much. I loved how the story went back and forth between the present and Iris’s mother’s past with Santos to allow us to understand what started this whole chain of events with the Belotti secret recipe. I loved all the characters in this book, the families, the tradition. Watching Iris and Gio meet and their relationship grow, it was all timed so well. My only gripe is with Iris’s lies. Why did there have to be so many? You know exactly how it is all going to come crashing down on her. But I still enjoyed the ride anyways. One of my favorite holiday reads this year for sure! Warning, you are going to want some gelato while reading this one!

Bottom Line: Read it.

One Margarita by Kerry Evelyn

I enjoyed the small town setting of this read. I liked the atmosphere of the two family restaurants and the history between our main characters. However, I felt like there were way too many side characters to keep up with!!! I think some were merged from another series from the author, which is great if you have read all her books. But I have to admit, even if I had, I doubt I still would have been able to keep them all straight. Which lead me to skimming some of the conversation between them all, because it was just a bit much. Also. While I can appreciate that it is a clean romance, all the kissing talk was a little immature for characters who are almost 30 years old. Their whole relationship track was weird in general and reminded me more of a high school relationship. I would have just preferred fade to dark scenes than talk of kissing someone silly or senseless or whatever terms were used. Over and over again. Pass. Both characters have their own issues, one with OCD and one with ADHD…so it was interesting to see their personalities come together.

Bottom Line: This wasn’t super Christmas-y to me, and the cheesiness of the kisses and immaturity of our characters left me wanting something different. It passed the time fine, but I was ready to move on to something else.

I received a copy of One Margarita from BookSiren in exchange for my review. All opinions are my I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

I am trying to decide how I want to rate this book. I like Mary Beth Keane’s writing, but I felt like this story moved a little to slow for me. And honestly, when I look over the book as a whole, there is not a whole lot going on. I enjoyed it while reading, but it did take me awhile to get through. I liked Malcom as a character, but also was mad at him a little bit, because he is selfish. And Jess, I never really connected to her at all in the story, and so I didn’t relate to anything she did. I found her selfish as well, especially when others become involved. (I will leave it there as to not to spoil, but if you read, you will know what I mean.) And then without giving away the ending I will just say that I felt neither character really grew or changed in the end. I did enjoy the side characters and the town.

Bottom Line: I could take this or leave it.

The Grumps Guide to Chaos by Valerie Pepper

Valerie Pepper became one of my favorite new authors of 2023. I read four of her books and I have enjoyed them all so much! If you are looking for spicy, witty romance…this is your girl.

Ok, and now that I have gushed about the author, let’s talk about the third, oldest, grumpiest Joseph brother…Will! Oh, Will. There were times I wanted to slap both of these characters who are so set in their ways and focused on their pasts. But that makes a good read, right? You want to be passionate about them and their choices. I liked that both characters were in their late 30s, it made it more relatable to me. Getting to build on all the characters we know and love from the first two books, and getting to know what happened with Will and the mom connects the dots with all the brothers. I love to read some family drama. And Tori had some of her own as well. Her story was fascinating with changing her career, coming home and trying something new. That was badass! I love how she just fit right in with the group of ladies we have all come to love. And I am going to miss this little Talladega town. Please, Valerie, keep writing small Alabama town romance! I may never look at Noccalula Falls the same after reading this book either. IYKYK.

We have second chance, lots and lots of steam, he falls first, firefighter/baker/innkeeper, forced proximity, one night to get it out of system, anxiety disorder, small town romance, so much. So good.

Bottom Line: Read it!

**I received an advanced copy of The Grump’s Guide to Chaos from the author in exchange for a voluntary review. **


Books – November 2023

Book reviews coming in hot! I have a few Christmas and a few not Christmas books for you today. I hit 70 books for the year with these, I had a goal set of 60. I am hoping to get a few more in this year! I didn’t keep up with my bookstagram account from the beginning of the year, so I am going to make it a goal in 2024 to start with my first read and really use it a lot more this year! I will probably still share the books I read in my stories on my main account, as I still have the most conversation and engagement there, and I truly love talking books with you all!

Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey

I am not sure what I want to say about this one. First and foremost, it is a Christmas book, but besides the super cute cover and the fact that it takes place two weeks before Christmas….it isn’t very Christmas-y. That is disappointing for me, those that don’t really care to read seasonal books would probably be happy about that. Next, I would like to say how cringe these characters names are. I can handle Melody, and it would go along with the Christmas theme if this was a Christmas-y book, but Beat???? Seriously? Just no. Now, I liked the characters, and I found the two moms very interesting!!! I wish we would have gotten a little more of them even. They were hilarious. The characters were an instalove that didn’t quite work for me. Basically they met 14 years ago and have been pining for each other after a few exchanged words? No. And another thing that bothered me, Beat whines about his “privileges'” the entire novel. All the self loathing was really annoying. Oh poor Beat, who got everything he wanted growing up and feels bad about it so now he has issues as an adult. Please. It was a theme throughout the entire book and it just really got on my last nerve.

I did enjoy the reality show aspect of the plot, the characters were great minus that major flaw in Beat, and the storyline was interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading to see what happens. I liked the producer of the show, and there was a little side love story in it. Tessa Bailey knows how to spice up a book, and we get some of that here as well. Overall, this was just ok. Not her best, and certainly not the Christmas story I wanted it to be.

Bottom Line: If you enjoy Tessa Bailey, I would read this…but don’t expect to get all the warm Christmas feels from this one. It is basically just one of her usual reads that happens in December before Christmas.

**I received a copy of Wreck the Halls from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

A Holly Jolly Ever After by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

I really enjoyed the first half of this book once I got into it. It was cute, fun, cheesy, spicy, all the things. But then there is a twist and I just didn’t love the second half of the book. It’s like the characters backslide and I start to not like them as much anymore. They’re both immature and say and do things that make me cringe. Overall, the plot was fun. I am not saying don’t read this…but I am also saying, you might be disappointed. Also, the book takes place in Christmas Notch and they are filming a Christmas movie, but I still didn’t get the cozy Christmas vibes from this book. Many are letting me down this year in that aspect.

There were some things I really liked about this book that worked well, like Kallum’s dad bod, some great side characters, and the pace at which the book moves.

Bottom Line: I am rating it 3 stars, as the first half would be 5 and the second half is more like 2.

**I received a copy of Holly Jolly Ever After from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

I love a Sally Hepworth book! They are always interesting and twisty, with unique plots and this was no different. The history of the cliff and house was interesting, and I enjoyed learning about all the different characters. I didn’t quite connect as deeply with the main character as I wanted to? I can’t put my finger on as to why. Perhaps I am tired of books using mental illness as an excuse for unacceptable behavior. And there was a lot in this book. I know it can be genetic, but it seems nearly everyone had a mental illness, it was a bit draining in that sense. And while I didn’t see certain twists coming, the ending was a little anticlimactic. But I was satisfied how it ended for Pippa. Overall this one kept me engaged the entire time, I just didn’t love it as much as her others.

Bottom Line: Read it.

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

Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose

I just could not get into this book. The characters are truly horrendous. I don’t have to love or root for characters, but I need to find the storyline interesting. I got about 30% or so into this book and I was so bored, and it took me almost a month to get that far in. I couldn’t make myself care, and life is too short to read something you are vibing with. I cannot recommend this one.

Bottom Line: Pass

**I received a copy of Dirty Laundry from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review, all opinions are of my own.**


Claus and Effect – Book Review

Checking in for a fun Christmas book review! I think that this is my first Piper Rayne book, and I know it wont be my last. If an author can write a good Christmas book that keeps me hooked the entire time and gave it some depth…I know I can find enjoyment in others from them.

Claus and Effect by Piper Rayne

This book is so fun! It was giving me big Planes, Trains and Automobile vibes meets romcom and I am here for it! The way the meet cute went down was hilarious and unique. This has everything you want in a Christmas romcom; enemies to lovers, forced proximity, small town charm and festive fun. It was a slow burn that went at just the right speed. I loved Tre’s family and the characters we meet in WY along the way. Getting to know the back story of Tess and Tre added some depth to the book. Christmas stories are usually really light, and I appreciated the layers in this. I am so glad I picked this one up, I couldn’t set it down! Now if you have read this one, did you gasp too??? You know what I am talking about!

Bottom Line: Read it!

**I received a copy of Claus and Effect in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**


Books – October/November 2023

Book reviews coming in hot! I may post the second half of my November reading this month later. You can always find them on Instagram too. I got behind this month updating on there, I want to be better about doing them in real time again. I read so many good books this month, several are 5 star reads! Let’s get into it!

The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

I wasn’t sure what to think of this book going in, but goodness did I enjoy it. It reminds me a bit of the bookish version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It was such a fun book filled with magic, wishes, love (both platonic and a little of the other kind), stories, just all the wonderful things. It started out a little slow for me, but once I was about 15-20% in….I was in hard and couldn’t stop.

Bottom Line: Read it

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

The Good Part by Sophie Cousens

I really enjoy Sophie’s books. I feel like they always have a unique plot that is obviously not realistic, but then she makes you feel like it is with wonderful writing and in depth characters. I think we have all been there in our twenties, struggling and wanting to “skip to the good part of our life.” This book gave major 13 going on 30 vibes. I absolutely ADORED Felix, he had to be my favorite character in the book. And can we talk about Sam for a minute? Could he be more perfect? This book left me thinking a lot about it when I wasn’t reading it and what I would do in the given situation. And if a book has me thinking about it in my own life, then I know its a good one. The only thing I will say, is that I feel like the ending was a little rushed, I wanted more. And maybe it was just because I was enjoying it that much, I just wasn’t ready for it to end.

Bottom Line: Read it!!!

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

Naughty All the Way by Valerie Pepper

This was such a fun novella that I through right through. I really enjoyed how the characters were introduced. You get just enough of a back story and depth of them so that you feel like you know them, and then it just gets hot and fun from there. I definitely would have liked a full story version of this plot, it was so fun. Snowed in, reverse age gap, instalove. A great way to kick off my Christmas reading! Valerie Pepper never disappoints.

Bottom Line: Read it

**I received a copy of Naughty All the Way in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

This book has been on my TBR for years. Some of my favorite bookish friends gushed over it and for some reason I just never got around to reading it. Well, I devoured it in 24 hours, could not stop. This is the slowest of slow burns in the best way possible and I am so sad I am done with the book. I enjoyed the characters so much. I totally get the hype. This has so many good things, there is a lot of character development due to the slower pace, a marriage of convenience, hate to love, football, boss and employee, good side characters. Just everything!

Bottom Line: Read it!

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zeven

This book moved very slow at times, and I had a really hard time sticking with it for awhile. I am so glad I did, because I do love Zeven’s writing. There is so much creativity in this book when you consider all the games that were developed in it, all the details from the games being shared and then some interwoven into the story. These characters were unlikable at times because they felt so real. They were all so flawed and each had their own set of issues and odd things about them. I have always loved video games since I received Super Nintendo for Christmas way back in elementary school. My husband was a big gamer and we have a huge collection. So the nostalgia this book gave was right on. I don’t think you have to be into games though to appreciate the beautiful writing and storyline. This is one I will think about long after I read it. And I cant say that about many books. My only thing was that I felt it could be a little shorter, it did drag in parts which has me giving it a 4.5.

Bottom line: Read it!

**I received an ARC copy of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**


Books – October 2023

Book reviews! I am going to go ahead and post the first half of October books now to turn in one of my ARC reviews, and because I already have four down and two more started so I know I should have enough for another post by the end of the month! I always like to get more into thrillers and mysteries in the fall months, and if you hang out til the end, you will see I have also started my holiday reading! My favorite time of year for books!

None of This Is True by Lisa Jewel

Wow. While reading this book, I was like what am I even reading???? Several times. And by reading, I mean listening, as I consumed this one on audiobook and the narration cast was fantastic!!! It really added so much to the book with music and background noise during interviews with other people, the podcast recordings, and then different narrators for different POV. So fantastic! But back to the book! You obviously know from the title that there is going to be an unreliable character, and it doesn’t take long to figure out who. The way that Josie slithers her way into Alix’s life is just….creepy! And like Alix, you can’t help but be all in on Josie’s story. And then Alix of course has some of her own problems. I will probably be thinking about this one for awhile, which marks a good book.

Bottom Line: Read it! Definitely check out the audio version if you enjoy audiobooks!

The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

I am going to be totally honest here, I started this book twice on ebook and just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t give it much of a chance and had so many other things I wanted to read, so I set it aside. I ended up waiting until the book came out on audio at my library, hoping the narrator would pull me in. She does a fantastic job with the narration! This is a story within a story, and I was bored with both of them in the beginning. I didn’t really start getting into the book until about 30-40% in, and then I flew through the rest wanting to see where the story was going. I figured out quite a few things on my own before they happened, but there were a few twists. I think I enjoyed this one more than Hawkins last book.

Bottom Line: Even though it started off slow, I am glad I hung in there because I quite enjoyed the second half and found it interesting.

**I received a copy of The Villa from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.**

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto

I don’t know what it is about this book, but I absolutely loved it! All the characters are so interesting and I loved to see how they are all part of the story. Cozy mysteries can be so hard, because they often come off cheesy at times, but that isn’t the case at all with this one. I just loved Vera and the whole gang and I found it very hard to put down. I consumed this one on audio and I highly recommend the audio version, as it was done so well. I am not going to say anymore about the storyline, because this is just one that you will have to read and enjoy on your own. And now I want a cup of tea.

Bottom Line: Read it!

Once Upon a Christmas Kiss by Ciara Knight, Brenda Lowder, Susan Carlisle, Terra Weiss, Susan Sands, Christy Hayes

Book Cover

This is a collection of short stories that all revolve around the book Once Upon a Christmas Kiss that gets passed around the town of Cherry Creek. I loved each of their stories in their own way, each sweet and full of Christmas cheer. We all know going into these short stories that you wont get a lot of depth, it is impossible in just a few chapters each. But with that said, I feel like you definitely get to know these characters a little and feel a spark between them. My favorites were Sawyer and Dawson’s story and Brandon and Laurel’s story. I have read a few other books by Terra Weiss, and she is definitely someone I seek out to read. The other authors were new to me and I wouldn’t mind checking out some of their other works as well. This book gives Hallmark Christmas Movie binge feels and I am here for it!

Bottom Line: Read it

**I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.**