Thursday, June 13, 2024

Love Songs Suck

I believe this is my first read by Becky Monson, and I'll be adding her to my trusted authors list. 

We have a bit of a love triangle here as our girl, Lou, is engaged. But her groom-to-be is kind of a jerk/wet blanket so really I was rooting for Finn the whole time. The one who treats her right. 

Great slow burn with respect to our engaged girl, and a fake relationship to boot. 

Prep the midnight read munchies. You'll be up late to finish this one. 


AMAZON

“Louella,” he says my name and . . . yep. A tingle just went down my spine. It’s just the way he says it, the way it rolls off his tongue, like his lips are meant to say it.

After growing up in Nashville with two musician parents, I promised myself one thing—I would never, ever fall in love with anyone who had anything to do with the music scene. I will take my stable, albeit boring, accountant boyfriend, thank you very much, and live securely ever after. At least that was the plan. Who knew one ridiculous party where boy band sensation Finn Thatcher showed up would turn my life completely upside down.

How dare he write a song about me. A song that went straight to number one. A song that messes everything up with his band. And who gets the blame for that? That’s right, me. I’m the new Yoko Ono. The only way to fix it is to, well . . . give the world what it wants—a love story. We are talking the whole freaking fairy tale. Nothing says true love like a fake relationship. But what if it’s not so fake? What if I want the happily ever after? Or am I just another love song to Finn?

Love Songs Suck is a slow burn rock star romance, with a dash of fake dating, some forced proximity, and late night song writing sessions.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Insta Kiss

This is my first read by Jen Atkinson, and I'll be back for more. 

Poor Beth. She really gets the wrong end of the stick and then seeks revenge, all the while falling for her new pen pal and boss. 

Great chemistry. Great kisses. Great new book boyfriend. 

Nicely paced and crafted. You'll set aside important repsonsibilities to read it. 


AMAZON

I’ve kissed a few guys. Okay, many, many guys. But on my terms. One kiss, that’s all they get. That’s the rule. And then I set them loose.

Bethany Barns has one goal—to hate Tate Wilhelm. It should be easy, considering he stole her job, and she now has to answer to him as the 
boss. Her plan to make his life utterly miserable is on track. Except for that little mistletoe incident at their work Christmas party, mission ruin Tate Wilhelm is in full swing. Besides, you can’t blame that kiss on Beth. She was stressed and sad, and there was mistletoe for heaven’s sake!

Tate may be new to Seattle but he isn’t new to the newspaper game. Sure, his last paper was a smaller one, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that he is a killer editor and an ideal boss. His employees love him. He knows them, their lives and circumstances; and they all love him for it. Well, 
all of his employees with one exception. Beth Barns cannot stand the sight of him. She kisses him—one magnificent kiss, by the way—and then she shows nothing but disdain for him. None of it makes sense.

Tate just needs to prove to Beth that they can be friends. She doesn’t need to be embarrassed about that mistletoe kiss, and he’ll be the best boss she’s ever had. That’s the plan. However, the plan doesn’t involve falling for the woman. But Tate can’t deny his attraction to Beth's witty humor. She's a beautiful, red-headed, ball of fire. Sure, he's going to get burned, but he still wants to try kissing those lips again.

Convincing Beth that they should be friends—let alone more—is proving difficult. But Tate isn’t giving up. She’ll see. It’ll all work out. That is if Beth will stop seething every time she looks his way.

 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Night Gardener

My book club chose this novel and I'm happy with the selection. I wouldn't have discovered this book otherwise. 

This is a quick read with lots of twists that will keep you guessing until the end. Lots of imagination threaded through reality. Love seeing the story unfold through the character's Irish eyes. Good voice and pacing. 

I would read more by Mr. Auxier after this introduction. Great for middle grade and up.


AMAZON

New York Times bestseller, The Night Gardener is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.
The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.


Thursday, May 23, 2024

I'm Not Charlotte Lucas

Kasey Stockton does a masterful job of tying in all the P&P references to this novel. 

Love the parallels and nuances. The super hunky hero. The flaws they each have and the differences to overcome and the super chemistry between them is off the charts. 

All the feels. Intoxicating kisses. Satisfying ending. 


AMAZON

"Stockton’s fans will delight in this." -Publishers Weekly

Northern California girl Charlotte “Charlie” Lucas has two great loves: Diet Coke and Pride and Prejudice. But her passion for Regency classics is tempered by a very real fear: Charlie is terrified of having to endure the fate of her namesake—spinsterhood. Despite her best attempts to maintain a modern sensibility, she can’t say no when an elderly neighbor asks Charlie to attend a charity ball with her grandson. Blind date or not, Charlie is powerless to resist the allure of a real-life ball. Soon it’s clear that she will struggle to resist the charms of her blind date too.

Liam Connell is every bit the swoon-worthy leading man, straight out of Charlie’s daydreams. But he’s completely unattainable—his last girlfriend was a gorgeous actress and a far cry from Charlie’s world. So after a magical evening with Liam, Charlie is ready to get back to reality, even if her best option right now is a former boyfriend who wants to give it another shot. Unfortunately, despite imagining she’ll never see Liam again, he seems to be everywhere. How is a lady to move past a fantasy when life suddenly seems to be imitating fiction to an alarming degree?

Thursday, May 16, 2024

How to Kiss a Movie Star

Jenny Proctor builds a fun romcom that keeps you turning pages. 

I loved how wonderfully clueless our heroine was about the Hollywood star who's property she was tresspassing on. 

Yet, there is immediate chemistry from the meet cute and beyond. 

Lots of cuteness and crazy to ensue as the fake relationship turns real. 

All the good feels. Clean romance. Just kisses. Really good kisses. 


AMAZON

He’s Hollywood’s biggest star. She wouldn’t know him from the pizza delivery guy.

I’m a wildlife biologist in a tiny mountain town, not some kind of law-breaking celebrity stalker. At least not on purpose.

It was an accident when I wandered onto the property of one of Hollywood’s hottest movie stars. Five minutes ago, I'd never even heard of Flint Hawthorne. I definitely didn’t know he lives in Silver Creek.

When I’m detained for trespassing, the last thing I expect is to trade my handcuffs for a designer gown. All I wanted was permission to conduct my research on a remote corner of his estate.

Now I’m walking the red carpet of a Hollywood movie premiere as Flint’s (very fake) girlfriend.

At least, the relationship is supposed to be fake. But the way he slips his arm around me, his breath tickling my ear, the chemistry feels like something real.

The trouble is, I’m not really built to handle his fast-paced celebrity life. Most days, I prefer the company of squirrels to people. I should be glad we’re only pretending.

I’m just not sure my heart got the memo.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Meals that Heal

Yes, I acquired another cookbook. 

But, I'm really excited about this one. 
We have several people in our home that deal with chronic issues that can be affected both positive and negative by diet. 
And I'm all for doing what I can to help everyone feel as good as they can. 
I read the book cover to cover before starting to use the recipes. 
I really like her approach with the 80/20 set up.
It's more life sustainable and practical for everyday living. 
It is less restrictive than other anti-inflammatory cookbooks I've use too. 
And she is all for shortcuts!

I'll be cooking these recipes for years to come. 


100+ delicious, quick, and easy anti-inflammatory recipes to make for the whole family—all ready in 30 minutes or less!

“The real key to eating healthy for all ages—is reducing inflammatory foods and increasing certain nutrients. My challenge became how to make anti-inflammatory meals easy, quick, and most importantly, taste good,” writes Carolyn Williams in her bestselling cookbook, 
Meals that Heal, the FIRST anti-inflammatory book written by a James Beard Award­–winning registered dietician—and the FIRST multi-purpose book on the market for those who want to make changes before they have a condition.

With more than 100 quick and tasty recipes featuring natural, healthy ingredients that have researched-backed abilities to cool inflammation, balance gut health, and detox the body, 
Meals that Heal will show you how to prevent future diseases, as well as heal or improve most conditions by making a few simple changes to your diet.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

On Deck for Love

Rebecca Talley does a wonderful job of getting romantic at sea. 

There's lots of cuteness happening when two people find unexpected love and fight their feelings as being due to circumstances rather than being real and valid. 

Wonderful hijinks from friends and family and the unexpected revelation that one character's been the nemisis for the other for decades. 

Solid writing. Clean romance. Just kisses. Set sail. 


AMAZON

An ambitious personal trainer, a successful attorney, and the memory of a middle school bully that comes between them on a singles cruise.

Meg Summers was bullied about her weight when she was a kid. Now, as an adult, she’s passionate about fitness and health. Just before the launch of her online business, 4FHealth.com, she reluctantly agrees to accompany her BFF, Shayla, on a singles cruise. Meg plans to dodge all the shipboard losers by staying in her stateroom and putting the finishing touches on her website.

Drew McDermott has one goal on this singles cruise: find a woman for his heartbroken brother, Joey. Drew plans to bide his time during the cruise, then return to his successful—albeit unfulfilling—career as an attorney in Dallas. Shortly after the mandatory safety meeting aboard the ship, Meg meets Drew and sparks fly.

When Shayla and Joey hit it off, Meg finds herself spending time with Drew instead of working on her website. Despite her better judgment, she begins falling for him—hard—until a shocking discovery dredges up painful memories from her childhood and changes everything.

Will this revelation doom Meg’s blossoming relationship with Drew or will she be able to move past it?

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Amazon Decoded

I read this book over quite a span of time. I find marketing books are more digestible this way, and I don't get overwhelmed. And when it come to Amazon, there's plenty that can be overwhelming. 

Mr. G. does an excellent job as your guide explaining the ins and outs and the whys as much as can be deciphered of the Amazon algorithms. And he does it with humor and gem for a non-fiction book. 

His advice is sound and applicable. 

Note: since this latest edition, Amazon has changed a few things. This isn't Mr. G's fault and certainly doesn't make the majority of his information outdated. I'd say it's 95% accurate and worth your time. 



Want to sell more books on the world's biggest retailer? Fancy Amazon doing the selling for you instead? Amazon Decoded: A Marketing Guide to the Kindle Store will show you how.

* Learn about Visibility Marketing and how understanding Amazon can boost your sales.
* Discover the algorithms that go into Sales Rank and dispel some common myths.
* Understand the critical differences between the Best Seller list and the Popularity list.
* Decode the ways Amazon recommends millions of books to readers every single day.
* Implement proven marketing plans, optimized for maximum Amazon visibility.

Whether you are exclusive to Amazon and chasing those page reads, or a wide author trying to survive the onslaught of Kindle Unlimited titles, 
Amazon Decoded will share the secrets of the Kindle Store and how you can sell more books.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Miss Devon's Choice

Ms. Britton brings us on another adventure of this family. This time it's Rebecca's turn, with a bit of a Beauty and the Beast theme. 

A delightful read of how an arranged marriage can end up with two people falling in love, which I rather thought was quite a rub against the arrangers. Well done Rebecca and Devon! 

Naturally, it isn't all smooth sailing. Though there are boats. And a dog. And Italy. And music. 

There are loveable characters and others you'd like to seen thrown in the nearest dung heap. 

And a few choice kisses, that maybe are against the times, but as a romance reader, I'll allow it. ;) 

Sweet and clean historical you'll enjoy from beginning to end. 


AMAZON

A scarred and lonely viscount and an independent young woman are forced into an arranged marriage. What hope do they have for a happily ever after?

Rebecca Devon lives under the severe eye of her aunt and the iron will of her father. Though she wears what she is told and befriends the people they choose for her, she spends every moment longing to do as she wishes. Knowing freedom will only come through marriage, her hopes for a happy union are stolen away when her father arranges her marriage to a complete stranger.

Christian Hundley, Lord Easton, has learned the hard way that English society won't accept a person who looks or behaves differently than their ideal. He has hidden himself away from scornful eyes for years, until his aging grandfather takes matters in hand and finds Christian a bride. Knowing he must agree to the marriage, Christian shields his heart. If the whole of society cannot accept him, why should his bride?

Rebecca knows she must have love in her life, but Christian is convinced there is nothing so fraught with danger and pain as entrusting one’s heart to another. Rebecca does everything she can to change his mind, but Christian is determined to remain aloof. Can an arranged marriage ever be anything other than a business partnership?

While this is the fifth book in the Regency romance series, Branches of Love, it can be read as a stand-alone romance.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

It Was Always You

Ms. Corry has a wonderful way of presenting teens. 

She isn't afraid to give them hard circumstances or expressive feelings that match the represented demographic. There is great internal and external conflict for the characters to work through, not to mention the use of the fake relationship trope. 

She's great at putting the reader inside their heads and hearts. 

You don't need to read the other books in this series to enjoy this one, but it is better to read them as the other characters show up from book to book. 



What’s the first rule when pretending to date your brother’s best friend? Don’t let feelings get involved.

Sixteen-year-old Lexi Stevens has never been kissed—never even been asked on a date. So when she humiliates herself in front of her crush and her brother’s best friend offers to be her fake boyfriend for the week to make him jealous, she doesn’t know if it’s the stupidest idea ever, or a dream come true.

When Noah Taylor gets kicked out of his house by his abusive stepdad, the last thing he needs is for anyone at school to find out—not even his best friend. But when his new “girlfriend” discovers him sleeping in his car and offers to let him sleep in her closet, he starts to wonder if he’s found someone he can confide in after all.

Pretty soon Noah and Lexi are putting on a big show in front of the whole school while sneaking around behind her overprotective father’s back. It isn’t long before feelings develop and it becomes harder and harder to discern between what’s fake and what’s real.

IT WAS ALWAYS YOU is a standalone novel in The Ridgewater High series. Perfect for readers who enjoy sweet YA romance with ballad-worthy chemistry, passionate kisses and endearing characters.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch

Do not read this book if you're hungry. It's all about food and the woman who cooks it. 

This is a memoir of from childhood to adulthood and everything in between. 

And yet it felt like fiction. 

There were moments when I mentally told the heroine, "Don't do it." or "Go for it!" or "I hope she gets a happy ending or this will be very depressing." 

And then had to remember that people's lives don't always end happily. That's real life. I won't spoil how this woman's life turned out. You'll have to read that for yourself. 

And now, I need to send in my postcard and get lucky enough to win a table at The Lost Kitchen this summer. 

A good thing my book club picked this or I would've missed it. 

*contains swearing*



Long before The Lost Kitchen became a world dining destination with every seating filled the day the reservation book opens each spring, Erin French was a girl roaming barefoot on a 25-acre farm, a teenager falling in love with food while working the line at her dad’s diner and a young woman finding her calling as a professional chef at her tiny restaurant tucked into a 19th century mill. This singular memoir—a classic American story—invites readers to Erin's corner of her beloved Maine to share the real person behind the “girl from Freedom” fairytale, and the not-so-picture-perfect struggles that have taken every ounce of her strength to overcome, and that make Erin’s life triumphant.

In 
Finding Freedom, Erin opens up to the challenges, stumbles, and victories that have led her to the exact place she was ever meant to be, telling stories of multiple rock-bottoms, of darkness and anxiety, of survival as a jobless single mother, of pills that promised release but delivered addiction, of a man who seemed to offer salvation but in the end ripped away her very sense of self. And of the beautiful son who was her guiding light as she slowly rebuilt her personal and culinary life around the solace she found in food—as a source of comfort, a sense of place, as a way of bringing goodness into the world. Erin’s experiences with deep loss and abiding hope, told with both honesty and humor, will resonate with women everywhere who are determined to find their voices, create community, grow stronger and discover their best-selves despite seemingly impossible odds. Set against the backdrop of rural Maine and its lushly intense, bountiful seasons, Erin reveals the passion and courage needed to invent oneself anew, and the poignant, timeless connections between food and generosity, renewal and freedom.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Echoes of Summer

Ms. Bastian puts her tropes to good use in this novel. 

Second chances. Secret Baby. Workplace/Office. Friends to Lovers. 

If you like the romance formula, this one goes by the book, so you'll have a satisfying read. 


AMAZON

When her former boyfriend shows up eight years later, Madison isn’t sure if she’s more relieved or angry he doesn’t recognize her. Especially since she’s forced to work with him for a few months and he has no clue she kept such a huge secret from him.

When Stephen finally realizes Madison is the same girl he knew as Bea from his grandparents’ town, he’s excited to catch up and reminisce about those summers — but she seems cold and wants nothing to do with him.

The truth comes out and he learns he’s the father of a seven-year-old son, throwing him into completely unfamiliar territory as he tries to develop a relationship with his child and attempts to rekindle the romance he’d once shared with Bea.

Can they each overcome their sense of betrayal and learn to be united for the sake of their son, and perhaps find love again?

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Anatomy of Peace

When a friend handed me this book, I thought I would be bored reading a non-fiction book about achieving inner peace. 

I couldn't have been more wrong. 

The authors brilliantly teach their principles through a fictional story. I looked forward to reading a chapter each day over my lunch hour and got grumpy when I had to skip a day because I wanted to see how the characters would respond to the lessons and what I could learn and implement daily. 

The prinicples presented can be life changing if you let them. I certainly see myself and the world around me differently and better. 

If the world could do the same, our hearts would be at peace. 




From the authors of Leadership and Self-Deception (over 2 million copies sold) comes a new edition of this bestseller that has been thoroughly revised to more effectively address the diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges that plague our communities and hinder our organizations.

What if conflicts at home, at work, and in the world stem from the same root cause? What if we systematically misunderstand that cause? And what if, as a result, we unwittingly perpetuate the very problems we think we are trying to solve?

The Anatomy of Peace uses a fictional story of an Arab and a Jew—both of whom lost their fathers at the hands of the other's cousins—to powerfully show readers the way to transform conflict. We learn how they come together, how they help parents and children come together, and how we too can find our way out of the personal, professional, and social conflicts that weigh us down.

The fourth edition includes revisions and new materials and resources that increase its relevance and usefulness at a time of deeply entrenched divisions throughout society. Additionally, it includes new detailed discussions of the pattern of dehumanization that lies at the heart of today's most pressing struggles with prejudice and discrimination—challenges that cannot be solved until the origins of bias and discrimination are properly understood and addressed. The new edition is a unique and vital resource for combatting racism and prejudice in their many manifestations.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Assistant to the Villian

My sister recommended this one, and I'm so happy she did. 

It's wonderful to find a clean story that focuses on the characters while simultaneously being excellent at world building and crafting a romantic thread all at the same time. 

The narrator was a brilliant choice for the story. 

The only thing I got blindsided by was this being the first of a trilogy, though I began to suspect the story would need more than one book as I got to the eighty percent mark. There was simply too much to wrap up and not enough pages/time. 

Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy. 


AMAZON

ASSISTANT WANTEDNotorious, high-ranking villain seeks loyal, levelheaded assistant for unspecified office duties, supporting staff for random mayhem, terror, and other Dark Things In General. Discretion a must. Excellent benefits.

With ailing family to support, Evie Sage's employment status isn't just important, it's vital. So when a mishap with Rennedawn’s most infamous Villain results in a job offer—naturally, she says yes. No job is perfect, of course, but even less so when you develop a teeny crush on your terrifying, temperamental, and undeniably hot boss. 
Don’t find evil so attractive, Evie.

But just when she’s getting used to severed heads suspended from the ceiling and the odd squish of an errant eyeball beneath her heel, Evie suspects this dungeon has a huge rat…and not just the literal kind. Because something rotten is growing in the kingdom of Rennedawn, and someone wants to take the Villain—and his entire nefarious empire—out.

Now Evie must not only resist drooling over her boss but also figure out exactly who is sabotaging his work…and ensure he makes them pay.

After all, a good job is hard to find.



Thursday, March 7, 2024

Lessons in Chemistry

This was a book club pick and a worthwhile one. Otherwise, I would've missed it. 

Such a powerhouse female character, who will resonate with women of any age, is our leading lady Elizabeth Zott. 

I loved her outlook on life, her love of Calvin, and watching her carve her path in a time when such a thing was frowned upon. 
I had several moments when I laughed out loud. But I didn't cry. And I did learn about chemsitry, rowing, and how dogs think. 

I listened to the audiobook in four days. It's that good. The narrator is excellent. 

Prepare to have your thoughts challenged and elevated in the best of ways. 


AMAZON


Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an 
average woman. But it's the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show 
Supper at Six. Elizabeth's unusual approach to cooking ("combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride") proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn't just teaching women to cook. She's daring them to change the status quo.

Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, 
Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Minimalista

Ms. Gill didn't write just a home edit book, she went a step further and makes you go through the psychology of WHY. 

This is a fresh approach to the world of home editing, decluttering, and more of you in the space you inhabit. 
I'm such an organizer geek that this was fun reading for me, and I looked forward to unpacking each section like unwrapping a chocolate treat to be savored. 
Is my home perfect now? Not yet. It's a home in progress. I'm taking one space at a time and prioritizing which ones need the most attention and which ones mean the most to me. 
I don't have to do the whole house in a day. In fact, I shouldn't. That wouldn't be healthy. 
But one bin, one pocket of space, one room at a time is. And eventually the home will be a reflection of me and my family. 

You don't need every book, show, or magazine on the market to create your beautiful home, but you should get this book. It will stand the test of time. 



As a professional home organizer with clients ranging from students to multi-millionaires, Shira Gill observed that clutter is a universal stress trigger. Over the years she created a signature decluttering and organization process that promotes sustainability, achieves lasting results, and can be applied to anyone, regardless of their space or lifestyle. Rather than imposing strict rules and limitations, Shira redefines minimalism as having the perfect amount of everything—for you—based on your personal values and the limitations of your space. 
 
Now, in 
Minimalista, Shira shares her complete toolkit for the first time, built around five key steps: Clarify, Edit, Organize, Elevate, and Maintain. Once you learn the methodology you'll dive into the hands-on work, choose-your-own-adventure style: knock out a room, or even a single drawer; style a bookshelf; donate a sweater. Shira teaches that the most important thing you can do is start, and that small victories, achieved one at a time, will snowball into massive transformation. Broken into small, bite-sized chunks, Minimalista makes it clear that if the process is fun and easy to follow, anyone can learn the principles of editing and organization.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Mother Daugther Murder Night

This is my first read by Ms. Simon, and I'll be back for more. 

It's so hard to find a clean murder mystery these days, free of gore, foul language, and sex. Ms. Simon proves that a good mystery can be written clean and thoroughly enjoyed. 

The murder of a naturalist brings the three women in one family together, even if some of them are reluctant. 
There's a great deal of research that Ms. Simon did to accurately portray the town and the issues of land use that revolve around the murder. She likely only put in a quarter of what she learned, and parcels it out bit by bit over the course of the novel. 

This novel is a womencentric story, and I enjoyed getting the perspectives of each woman. 

The only question on the table is which motive is the strongest: love, money, or power. 



High-powered businesswoman Lana Rubicon has a lot to be proud of:her keen intelligence, impeccable taste, and the L.A. real estate empire she’s built. But when she finds herself trapped 300 miles north of the city, convalescing in a sleepy coastal town with her adult daughter Beth and teenage granddaughter Jack, Lana is stuck counting otters instead of square footage—and hoping that boredom won’t kill her before the cancer does. 

Then Jack—tiny in stature but fiercely independent—happens upon a dead body while kayaking. She quickly becomes a suspect in the homicide investigation, and the Rubicon women are thrown into chaos. Beth thinks Lana should focus on recovery, but Lana has a better idea. She’ll pull on her wig, find the true murderer, protect her family, and prove she still has power.

With Jack and Beth’s help, Lana uncovers a web of lies, family vendettas, and land disputes lurking beneath the surface of a community populated by folksy conservationists and wealthy ranchers. But as their amateur snooping advances into ever-more dangerous territory, the headstrong Rubicon women must learn to do the one thing they’ve always resisted: depend on each other.


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Jennifer's Football Collection

Lots of love in this four book collection. 

Each one is a stand alone. The Titans carry the first two books but the second two are about nonfootball players who are side characters to the original books. You won't get football players all the way through. I was hoping for at least Kade's story. 

But you won't be disappointed. Each couple has their own barriers and issues to overcome to get their HEA and are diverse in their problems and solutions. 

Lots of good sweet kisses and nothing more is needed. 


AMAZON

A collection of four, standalone novels from the popular Texas Titan Romance Series. Lives are changed and worlds are rocked when these take-charge, alpha pro players find the right women to settle scores of the heart.


The Persistent Groom

When single mom Silver Coulter gets a chance to plan the bachelor auction event of the season, she has no idea it’ll bring her face-to-face with the very man she’s spent years trying to forget—Ace Sanchez, superstar running back for the Texas Titans.
Long-held attractions sizzle to the surface as Ace tries to get back into Silver’s life. But Silver has a sordid past that includes a nasty ex-husband and ruthless ex-mother-in-law who’ll stop at nothing to keep Silver in her clutches.

The Ghost Groom

After a long, painful search that involved legions of duds, Ariana Sanchez, fitness guru and gym owner, finally meets the perfect guy when she least expects it. Not only can Rennen tear up the dance floor, but he has these adorable blonde curls and compelling green eyes, specked with gold. When Ariana’s around him she feels oh, so alive! And the best part is that he’s a perfect gentleman and easy to talk to. Their first encounter leaves Ariana floating on air, thinking there’s hope for her love life after all … until she learns that Rennen is the celebrated rookie who’s taking her brother’s position as starting running back for the Titans. Too bad she’s totally loyal to her brother and has to hate him now!

The Hometown Groom

Emerson Stein has no intention of marrying billionaire Finley Landers just so her daddy’s merger will go through, no matter how much of a hissy fit her mama throws. When she skips out of a high-profile barbecue to barrel race at a rodeo, she never expects to meet Riker Dylan, the new starting quarterback for the Titans. With his startling blue eyes, easy smile, and boyish charm, Riker turns Emerson’s head and sends her pulse racing to the stars. Too bad she chews him out and punches him in the gut.

Growing up just outside Dallas, Riker Dylan never imagined he’d get the chance to play football for the Titans. An unexpected encounter with a copper-haired beauty puts him on an uncharted path. Why does he get the feeling there’s more to her than meets the eye?

When the stakes get impossibly high, will Emerson have the courage to choose her own path to be with the man she loves, or will the family pressure prove to be too great?

The Jilted Billionaire Groom

Still reeling from getting dumped on national TV, Finley Landers flees Dallas and takes solace in his hotel in Park City, Utah. When a young hooligan tries to steal his money, Finley gets an explosive introduction to Sunny Day who happens to be a maid at his hotel. Intrigued by the dark-eyed beauty and her sharp tongue, he can't seem to get her out of his mind.

With her sister's killer hot on her trail, Sunny has no room in her life for a relationship. But try as she might, she can't seem to avoid Finley who's determined to sweep her off her feet. When an unfortunate accident sends Sunny running to Finley for help, she must decide if she’ll close off her heart to protect her secret or risk it all for love.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Crying in Hmart

This is an interesting nonfiction read. 

Ms. Zauner reflects on what it's like to grow up as part Korean in America. 

The struggles and how it took time to embrace all the parts of her to become who she is, to come to a place of peace with her relationships with her parents, and how to move forward with her future. 

I recommend the audiobook narrated by the author. 


AMAZON 

From the indie rock star of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.

In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian-American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's particular high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band - and meeting the man who would become her husband - her Korean-ness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was 25, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.

Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and enjoy many times.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Horse

There are there timlines runing in this book, back and forth. 

I learned so much about the horse racing industry in early America and how we owe much to the enslaved for the breeding and racing of the thoroughbreds. 
I learned about how the paintings came to be a circulated. 
I was reminded of how our country still has much to do with seeing equality instead of race. 
This is worth a read. 
Well researched. Well constructed. Well done. 
I recommend the audiobook. 


A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history

Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamor of any racetrack.

New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.

Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse—one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.

Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.



Thursday, January 25, 2024

When a Star Falls

Ms. Eliker certainly has a talent for romantic comedy. 

Poor Ruby. She's clumsy in both body and words. And yet, you can't help feel sorry for her putting her foot in her mouth and speaking without thinking. 
Collin will be your next book boyfriend. And Jill will be the next wicked witch you want to drop a house on. 

Lots of fun reading how our lovebirds navigate long distance while living out their dreams. 



How many ways can I embarrass myself? A lot.

I wish I could say tripping a hot guy and tumbling across the grass with him was the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s not. Somehow, it turned into a date with him, ending with a seriously incredible kiss.

I’d say that was a pretty good recovery.

Especially since that date with Collin led to me being discovered by a record label powerhouse. Whoa. An amazing boyfriend, and becoming music’s next big thing?

Yes, please!

I thought I was ready for fame, but I’m not so sure. Collin’s career is taking off at the same time as mine, and I swear his personal assistant is making gaga eyes at him.

Over my dead body!

Except she’s conniving enough that she would stab me in the back.

Turns out, stardom isn’t all glamorous. I just wish I didn’t have to choose between Collin and making a name for myself.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

How to Find a Keeper

Mr. Banner tackles a difficult premise in this romance. A married woman and single man are attracted to one another. 

No one likes a cheater. So I want to root for them and not root for them at the same time, very conflicting. 
This makes it hard to build the romance between them. 
And so this isn't a straight forward romance for me as both characters are, blessedly, highly moral and won't act on the attraction until the way is clear, which doesn't come until the end of the book. 
This novel felt more like a prequel to their love story rather than the love story itself. 
And so the romantic declarations missed their powerful punch for me. 
Worth a read? Yes. Does it follow the typical romantic plot line? Not so much. 
Keep those points in mind when you pick up this book. And, yes, you will enjoy it. 


Zandra Curtis’s world is turned upside down when she finds out her husband has cheated. But she doesn’t believe in throwaway marriages, and she won’t let go without a fight. As Zandra tries to heal her marriage, she is also trying to figure out how to heal the lesions on her French Mastiff’s joints. Dog coach Cason O’Connor, with his easy-going manner and good looks shows up at just the wrong time and Zandra, ever-faithful to her husband, keeps her distance.

Cason quickly falls in love with the Curtis’s Mastiffs, but he’s careful about getting close to the attractive—but very married—owner. Having been hurt by a cheating fiancĂ©e, the last thing Cason wants is to cause problems for the young couple.

Can Zandra find a way to convince her husband to fight for their marriage? Or is she fighting the wrong fight altogether?

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Snow Valley Romances

This is a four book box set of Jeanette Lewis's Snow Valley Romances. 

These stories are all well told with lots of heart. Enjoyable characters, idyllic setting, and soft kisses. 
Easily enjoyable and clean with just kisses. 

I only wish two things: the stories were just a bit longer, and that the editor had taken more care. There were multiple missing commas in every chapter. 



From Book 1: A sweet romance about second chances and finding the love of your life right where you left him.

Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiance, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, he is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.


Thursday, January 4, 2024

The Billionaire Love Match

Ms. St. Claire never disappoints. 

This may be my favorite book by her to date. 
Love the premise. The book starts out with bang and Ms. St. Claire isn't afraid to torture her characters. 
She keeps the plot developing along with all the feels. 
The MCs are both between a rock and a hard place with the situation and discerning if their feelings and the other person's are real or just emotional whiplash. 
So much fun!
Happily blame Ms. St. Claire if you ignore sleep and responsibilities to finish this novel. 



Does real love stand a chance on reality TV?

The odds are NEVER in your favor. At least, that’s what she thought. But when Casey makes the final casting call for a matchmaking show, she holds her breath and takes a chance.

Colt Woods needs to find ratings, not romance. When the show he expected to be all-fake turns all-too-real, Colt has to rethink everything. Especially when his movie-mogul mother tries to script the ending.

In front of cameras and surrounded by fourteen other jealous women, Colt and Casey do their best to let a real relationship unfold.

Can they trust something built on live television or will their relationship run out like fifteen minutes of fame?

Scroll up and one-click to find out if love gets the final rose!

This clean, inspirational billionaire romance is a perfect read if you enjoy witty dialogue and colorful characters or consider shows like The Bachelor a guilty pleasure.