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.


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. 


"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. 


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. 


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,, 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?