Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Seven Day Switch

 Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Kelly Harms
Expected publication date: July 2, 2021
Two moms as opposite as a Happy Meal and a quinoa bowl. What a difference a week makes in a heartfelt, laugh-out-loud novel by the Washington Post bestselling author of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler.

Celeste Mason is the Pinterest stay-at-home supermom of other mothers’ nightmares. Despite her all-organic, SunButter-loving, free-range kids, her immaculate home, and her volunteering awards, she still has time to relax with a nice glass of pinot at the end of the day. The only thing that ruins it all is her workaholic, career-obsessed neighbor, who makes no secret of what she thinks of Celeste’s life choices every chance she gets.

Wendy Charles is a celebrated productivity consultant, columnist, and speaker. On a minute-by-minute schedule, she makes the working-mom hustle look easy. She even spends at least one waking hour a day with her kids. She’s not apologizing for a thing. Especially to Celeste, who plays her superior parenting against Wendy whenever she can.

Who do Celeste and Wendy think they are? They’re about to find out thanks to one freaky week. After a neighborhood potluck and too much sangria, they wake up—um, what?—in each other’s bodies. Everything Celeste and Wendy thought they knew about the “other kind of mom” is flipped upside down—along with their messy, complicated, maybe not so different lives. - from Goodreads

I've really been enjoying Kelly Harms' books, and this sounds like it's going to be fun!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Blog Tour + Excerpt: Mad About Ewe


Mad About Ewe, an all-new heartwarming second-chance romance from Susannah Nix, is now available in Kindle Unlimited! 

Dawn Botstein is doing just fine after her divorce, thank you very much.

She’s got her yarn store to run, her house to herself for the first time in her life, and no use for men anymore. That is until the hottie silver fox who walks into her store turns out to be her old high school crush—the guy who rejected her 30 years ago.

No way is she going to lose her head over him this time, no matter how well he wears that salt-and-pepper lumberjack beard. Okay, so he’s the opposite of her ex in every way, and his attention gives her a thrill she thought she’d never feel again. She’s not risking her heart again.

Mike Pilota is having a mid-life crisis.

Only instead of buying a red sports car he can’t afford and dressing like a 25-year-old who’s time-traveled from the 1990s, he quit his job after his second divorce to move closer to his recently widowed mother.

He didn’t expect to run into Dawn again, but as soon as he lays eyes on her he’s utterly smitten. So he sets out to make up for past mistakes and prove he can be the kind of man she deserves.

But is it too late for second chances? Or will these two lonely hearts find a way back to each other?

'Mad About Ewe' is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #1 in the Common Threads series, Seduction in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.  

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

Amazon Print:


Audiobook: Coming later this year! 


Mike Pilota sent you a friend request.

I’d received the notification a week ago but still hadn’t responded. I’d just left it hanging there, unanswered. Ignored.

Out of spite? Perhaps a little. After he’d rejected me yet again, I had to admit I enjoyed the thought of Mike getting a taste of that same rejection for once. I liked to picture him sitting at home, futilely checking his notifications day after day, waiting for a reply that would never come.

I wanted him to know that I wasn’t desperate for his attention and would not be begging for treats like a pet Labrador. I couldn’t care less whether I ever spoke to Mike again.

Of course, it was just as likely he’d forgotten he even sent the request by now. There was no reason to assume he was in any way invested in my response.

I couldn’t imagine why he’d sent it in the first place. Why now? Why would you send a friend request to someone you’d brushed off?

I hadn’t even realized Mike was active on Facebook, which was probably just as well. It had saved me from years of pathetic cyberstalking. And it would be pathetic to be hung up on a man you’d had a childish crush on thirty years ago.

Good thing I wasn’t.

I’d meant what I’d said about being done with Mike Pilota. Finito. Over and out. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

So it was annoying in the extreme when I walked into The Old House Pub and saw him sitting next to Angie. My steps, which had been confident and quick as I entered the bar, faltered as I recognized him.

How? Why? What the blazing hell was Mike doing here?

My eyes narrowed as they homed in on my best friend, the obvious answer to all my questions. She must have recruited Mike for her reunion committee. And I could guess why.

It was clearly some misguided attempt to force another reunion between me and Mike in the hopes that, against all odds, this time sparks would finally fly, and he’d realize his secret attraction to me which he’d been repressing all these years.

Did I mention Angie was a bit of a fantasist?

Obviously, there was no way any of that would happen. The far more likely scenario was that Mike and I would try our level best to ignore each other’s existence while pretending there was no lingering awkwardness between us.

That was my game plan anyway. Mike could do what he liked.

Gathering a deep breath, I forced my feet to carry me to the table where Mike and Angie were seated. There were six chairs, and I set my sights on the one farthest from Mike.

Angie spotted my approach immediately and called out a greeting. Mike looked up, and our eyes caught and held for a charged second before I forcibly tore my gaze away to pin my best friend with an accusatory glare. Angie grinned back at me and shrugged, as if she knew exactly what she’d done wrong and didn’t care one bit.

Before I could claim the chair diagonally across from Mike, he leapt to his feet. “Here, you probably want to sit next to Angie,” he said, and held his own chair out for me.

I had no choice but to accept his offer at that point without looking like an ill-mannered ingrate. Mumbling my thanks, I draped my purse over the back of the chair and sat down.

To my consternation, Mike took the seat right next to me at the head of the table. He was so close our knees brushed as he scooted his chair forward, and I jerked my legs away from him as if I’d been zapped with electricity.

“It’s good to see you again,” he said in that warm, gravelly voice that used to make my limbs quiver like a gelatin mold on a mechanical bull. Fortunately, I was completely over my childish infatuation with him, and therefore impervious to his sexy man voice.

I looked up to find him smiling at me, his lips curved invitingly and framed by his neatly trimmed beard, and my heart gave a little involuntary jump in my chest.

Well, crud.

Perhaps I wasn’t quite as over Mike as I’d hoped. 

About Susannah Nix

Susannah Nix is an award-winning author of contemporary romances featuring smart women and swoony men, including the Chemistry Lessons series of romcoms about women who work in STEM fields and the Starstruck series of movie star romances. 

Susannah resides in Texas with her husband, two ornery cats, and a flatulent pit bull. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, knitting, watching stupid amounts of television, and getting distracted by Tumblr. She is also a powerlifter who can deadlift as much as Captain America weighs.

Find Susannah Nix online



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Twitter: @Susannah_Nix 


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Monday, March 29, 2021

Cover Reveal: Friends With Benedicts by Staci Hart

Look at this cute cover! Friends With Benedicts is a brand new rom-com from Staci Hart! I cannot WAIT to read this one! Pre-order your copy today.

Timing is everything.

Presley Hale and Sebastian Vargas are no strangers to goodbye. Their high school summers were spent wrapped up in each other until she would inevitably go home to California. One season after college, Sebastian finally escaped the little Texas town to travel the world, and they said goodbye for what they thought might be the last time.

Sebastian went one way. Presley went the other.

For the first time in five years, they’re both in town, but the timing is no better than ever. So the only thing to do is what they do best. Keep it casual.

Friends with benefits.

They’ve done it before—doing it again will be easy.

But their hearts don’t get the memo.

When the lines of their arrangement blur, Presley and Sebastian are faced with decisions they’ve avoided for years. And that’s not even their biggest problem.

A small town in danger of failing.

A secret that could tear them apart.

And two hearts that can’t hide anymore.

They’ve shared so many summers, but none compare to what they’ll face.

Timing is everything.

And their time is almost up.

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Mini-Reviews: Family Dramas

The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson (2020)

When their grandmother Helen passes away, three estranged siblings and their mother find a priceless heirloom among her possessions, the Florentine Diamond, a 137-carat yellow diamond missing since 1918 in Austria.  The family must prove they are the rightful owners, leading them down a path to learn more about their own family history, while confronting personal issues and long-held grudges.

This story is based on the true story of the real-life still-missing Florentine Diamond, which I had never heard of, so that was an interesting aspect of the story.  I really enjoyed the parts of the story where Helen's family begins their search into her mysterious past.  The way things were revealed was interesting, from Helen's mother's connection to the Austrian royal family to how Helen herself arrived in America.  I liked watching the siblings' interactions, especially because they hadn't been together in so many years and now have differing views on what to do with their possible inheritance.  What I didn't really care for was all the time spent on their current personal issues - Jake is having a baby with his girlfriend, Ashley's husband is having serious work issues, and Beck recently got out of a relationship.  The book wasn't super long, but it could have easily been shorter; I wished the book focused less on the characters' individual issues and spent more time on Helen.  3.5 stars

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (2016)
The Plumb siblings have been looking forward to receiving their portions of the family inheritance, dubbed "The Nest," for years, but some terrible mistakes made by oldest brother Leo have drained nearly the entire amount.  The siblings now must deal with the ramifications and learn how to move forward, with or without the money.

I wanted to like this one more than I actually did.  The premise is really interesting, these siblings having to figure out how to deal with each other when they're all going through their own issues.  The problem was, they were all so unlikable.  They're selfish and pretentious and shallow.  They've relied too much on the assumption that they will each inherit a substantial amount of money and this will solve all their problems, instead of making better choices and avoiding the problems in the first place.  Beyond the siblings, there are a ton of other characters to keep track of, each with their own little storyline that either doesn't go anywhere or doesn't add much to the book.  I thought the writing was good, but the characters just really ruined it for me.  Disappointing for me, unfortunately!  2.5 stars

* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Soulmate Equation

 Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Christina Lauren
Expected publication date: May 18, 2021
Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents—who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno—Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard...and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: this Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated. - from Goodreads

Christina Lauren has become an auto-read author for me, so of course I'm looking forward to this one!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Down The TBR Hole #21

Down the TBR Hole is a feature created by Lost in a Story (although the blog seems to be down).  I've seen it on a few other blogs and thought I would try it out myself!  It seems like a really good way to cull your TBR of those books you're no longer interested in.  So, how does it work?

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
Here are the books I'm looking at this time:
The Other People by C.J. Tudor
After his daughter disappears, a man never gives up hope finding her, leading him to a group called The Other People.  I'm just not super into this - pass!

The Poison Garden by Alex Marwood
A young woman raised in a cult finally escapes, but now she's alone, expecting a baby, and doesn't know who to trust.  This one isn't grabbing me, either - pass!

The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings
Daniel is a successful marriage counselor and author, but behind the scenes, his own marriage is falling apart and his daughter is drifting away.  He inherits a camera, but the pictures come out strange, and he finds himself having to choose between keeping his secrets or saving his family.  This sounds kind of intriguing, but the reviews seem mixed - pass!

Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten
After the death of Peter the Great of Russia, his wife Catherine assumes power.  This historical fiction novels tells the story of her life from her humble beginnings to her rise to power.  Love the sound of this - keep!

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
The host of a true crime podcast investigates in a small-town rape trial, and the mystery of what really happened to her sister 25 years ago re-emerges.  This sounds really good - keep!

The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye
It's 1921 and after fleeing Harlem, Alice finds refuge in the Paragon Hotel in Portland.  However, racial tensions are taking over the city.  I'm just not really interested in this one anymore - pass!

The Last Day by Andrew Hunter Murray

In a dystopian near-future, the Earth has stopped rotating, leaving half the world in cold darkness and the other in blinding sunlight.  Nations fight for survival while a lone scientist comes across a secret that threatens all of humanity.  I can't resist an "end of the world" type novel - keep!

Have you read any of these?

Friday, March 19, 2021

Romance Quick Reviews

Royal Icing by Aven Ellis (2020)

While attempting to land the biggest job of her career (providing the cookies for the upcoming royal wedding), baker Poppy crosses paths with the Prince of Wales, Alexander, but their burgeoning relationship won't be easy.  I had some issues with this one, unfortunately.  The compressed timeline felt like the relationship was moving at warp speed, and Poppy and Alexander were worrying about issues they didn't need to yet.  The writing wasn't as good as I wanted it to be; cringey dialogue, too much telling, and not enough showing.  The characters are all one-dimensional; everyone is perfect except for the "villain," who is OTT nasty.  But, I can never resist the trope of royalty falling in love with regular people, and there were a lot of good discussions about what that meant for Poppy and Alexander's relationship.  The book kicks off with an adorable meet-cute, and I loved the way Alexander opened up to Poppy like he never had with anyone before - such a swoon-worthy prince!  3 stars

Street Smart by Aly Stiles (2021)
Office romance between an intern and his boss as they work together to investigate corporate espionage.  It's still early in the year, but I know for sure this is going to end up on my "best of 2021" list, this book was that good!  It has everything - it's smart and sexy and funny, with an intriguing plot and well-rounded characters.  I loved Marcos - he hasn't had the easiest life, but he's worked hard and has landed an amazing internship at a huge company while he works toward his MBA.  On his first day, he comes across some suspicious documents involving the owner's son and his new company.  He then finds himself working with his boss, Eva, to uncover what's going on.  I loved watching these two work together - not only do they have amazing chemistry, but they're both super smart.  Their brains are just as attractive to each other as their physical qualities.  Between the snappy writing, the romance, and the fun side characters, I couldn't stop reading this book!  5 stars

Only When It's Us by Chloe Liese (2020)
Rising college soccer star Willa Sutter is a force on the field, but off it she avoids confrontation and hates being vulnerable.  Ryder Bergman, her new class partner, might be just the person to change that.  This book is exactly the type of romance I've been enjoying - it's funny but still has depth.  Both Willa and Ryder are facing tough things in their lives - Willa's mom is seriously ill with cancer, and Ryder lost most of his hearing a couple years earlier.  I really enjoyed the college setting (especially their roommates), and the forced proximity between the two, having to work on projects and study together, really worked.  The tension and attraction between the two was obvious from the start, but their romance is definitely a bit of a slow burn.  I wanted them to just get over the whole "frenemy" issue!  Ryder's patience with and attention to Willa is unparalleled, though, and I'm looking forward to getting to know the rest of the Bergman clan in the next books in the series.  4 stars

* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Malibu Rising

 Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Expected publication date: June 1, 2021
Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

Malibu: August 1983. It's the day of Nina Riva's annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over--especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud--because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he's been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can't stop thinking about promised she'll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own--including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family's generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind. - from Goodreads

I preordered this book back in September, that's how excited I am for it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is our spring TBR!  I managed to read all 10 books on my winter TBR, so yay me!  I'm still on a romance kick, but I'm trying to incorporate other genres, too, so here are the picks for my spring TBR!

Where should I start first?

Friday, March 12, 2021

Mini-Reviews: Longest on My TBR

Vessel by Lisa A. Nichols (2019)

Thanks to Susie at Novel Visits for the recommendation!

Astronaut Catherine Wells is part of a mission to explore a far-away planet when disaster strikes and the crew is thought to be all lost.  Years later, Catherine returns to Earth, with little memory of what happened, but she has a feeling that something isn't right.  This book was part science fiction, part thriller, and part domestic drama.  Catherine has to adjust back to life at home, knowing she's missed a decade of her daughter's life and her husband started seeing someone else, but she's also tormented by thoughts of her former crew and not knowing what happened to them; in addition, she's experiencing some strange things, like losing hours of her day.  Since this book is so short, the story moves along pretty quickly, although at times that was a detriment.  Scenes jumped forward in time rapidly without enough transition.  I did like the way the author used flashbacks to slowly reveal what happened on the distant planet.  I had a pretty good idea early on of what was going on with Catherine, but it was still interesting to watch how it all played out, especially since there's a lot on the line with another crew heading out into space soon.  3.5 stars

A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean (2019)
When Gillian finds a picture of her grandmother looking very close with a Nazi soldier, it opens a floodgate of family secrets that started during WWII.  As her grandmother reveals her story, Gillian feels compelled to learn more.

Although not the most unique WWII historical fiction story I've read in terms of events or angles, A Fire Sparkling had a unique family story at its heart.  It starts with the discovery of a shocking photo, and it moves back and forth in time as the full story is slowly revealed.  I had some issues with this book - I wasn't a big fan of the writing.  It felt overwritten and melodramatic in parts it shouldn't be, and the dialogue was stilted, repetitive, and unnatural.  I didn't really care about the personal issues Gillian was dealing with; I was way more interested in her grandmother's story, and in those sections, the writing seemed to find its way a bit more.  I don't want to give too much away because some of the reveals were just that good, but I will say that this book contained wonderful themes of the strength, courage, and resiliency of women during the war, and it raised questions about loyalty and having to choose between family and country.  3.5 stars

* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Don't Make Me Turn This Life Around

 Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Camille Pagan
Expected publication date: May 11, 2021
A seriously funny novel about a woman trying to keep her family vacation—and yes, her life—from going south by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences.

It’s been thirteen years since doctors declared Libby Ross-Velasquez a goner. Yet here she is—cancer free. So why doesn’t she feel more alive?

Sure, Libby’s husband, Shiloh, has been distant. One of their daughters has a serious health condition. And her father’s death hovers over Libby like a rain cloud. Still, this eternal optimist knows she’s the winner of the existential lottery.

But when her forced cheer isn’t enough to keep her family from catching her blahs, she decides to fly them all to Vieques. The Puerto Rican island is where she and Shiloh fell in love—and where she decided to fight for her life after her cancer diagnosis. Where better to put their problems into perspective?

Then a tropical storm strikes. Libby pretends everything’s fine, even as she fears she’s doomed her family. What she can’t see is that the worst disaster they’ve faced may be the best thing that ever happened to them. But first, they have to get through it. - from Goodreads

Although there are a lot of heavy issues in this blurb, I think this will also be a very humorous book!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Battle of the Book Covers #3

In Battle of the Book Covers, I pick one book, compile a bunch of different international covers, and choose my favorite - and I'd love for you to weigh in, too!  (Thank you to Heather at Random Redheaded Ramblings, who put together a list of 25 book blog post ideas, for the inspiration!)
For this edition, I'm taking a look at the various covers of A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams, originally published in 2013.  I have the US paperback edition, and it was total cover love the minute I laid eyes on it!  But can any of the foreign covers compete?

2013 US // 2019 Lithuanian // 2014 Italian

2014 German // 2015 Portuguese // 2014 Serbian

2013 Dutch // 2016 French // 2015 Hungarian

This is a really hard one - there are so many beautiful covers!  The 2015 Portuguese edition is so striking, and the woman on the 2014 Italian cover looks so strong.  And while I love the lighthearted feel of the 2013 Dutch cover, my favorite is...

The original US cover!  It feels like a vintage postcard!

Which one is your favorite?
* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

Friday, March 5, 2021

February Quick Reviews

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella (2020)

Ava and Matt meet on a writing retreat in Italy, and they instantly click - but in keeping with the rules of the retreat, they don't reveal any personal information about themselves.  When they get home to England, eager to continue their relationship, they realize they have very little in common.

Sophie Kinsella is always good for a fun, quick read, and this was no exception.  The idea that two people can have perfect chemistry, yet be so incompatible in terms of food, music, and mattress preferences is such a fun premise to explore.  I found Ava's frenetic energy and need for everything to be perfect to be a little grating at times, but I understood her desire to want her relationship with Matt to work out.  In addition to the romance, there are also a fun cast of side characters, including Ava's dog Harold, and a dilemma facing Matt's job with his family's business.  I liked the layers this conflict gave to Matt's personality.  Overall, a classic Kinsella story!  4 stars

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon (2020)
Rowan and Neil have been fierce competitors all through high school, but today, on their last day, they decide to team up on a scavenger hunt through Seattle, during which they confront their true feelings for each other.  There were so many things to love about this book: the condensed timeline; the tour of Seattle; watching Rowan's evolving feelings for Neil; Rowan's relatable feelings about her high school experience and the future; the age-appropriate dialogue and behavior.  I've read a lot of YA books where the teenage characters felt much older than their ages, but here it was so believable that Rowan and Neil are 18.  I loved how even though they've known each other for years, they really discovered a lot about each other over the course of a single day.  Rowan was totally the star for me in this book; her love for romance novels shone through, and I was so happy for her that she was able finally express her desire to write them and confront those who didn't take her love of the genre seriously.  If you love stories about friendship, love, ending a chapter and starting something new, definitely give this one a try!  4.5 stars

Westering Women by Sandra Dallas (2020)
Chicago, 1852 - Seamstress Maggie sees a flier seeking women to travel 2000 miles west to California, in hopes of finding a husband among the gold miners there.  Maggie sees this as her chance to escape her problems, so she (and many other women) sign up to make the trek, led by two reverends.  This was such an interesting historical fiction novel.  I loved getting to know each woman and her motivations for joining the wagon train.  Some were looking for a husband, some a better life, and some, like Maggie, were fleeing dangerous situations.  Many of the women become close almost immediately, and you could feel the sense of sisterhood that evolved.  They were fiercely protective of each other, from threats on and off the trail.  It was heartwarming to see them work together to overcome the harsh environment.  It did often feel that everything that could go wrong did, so while I was rooting for the women, it was hard to see how the story could have any hope of a happy ending.  Overall, though, this was an interesting look at a time period in American history that I don't often come across in books.  4 stars

* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Where The Grass Is Green And The Girls Are Pretty

 Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating! 

Lauren Weisberger
Expected publication date: May 18, 2021 
A college admissions scandal threatens to topple the lives of two sisters navigating the suburban jungle in this sharply observed novel from the #1 bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada and When Life Gives You Lululemons.

Peyton Marcus seems to have it all: She’s the co-anchor of a hit morning news show; her husband, Isaac, runs a successful business; and her daughter, Max, is headed to Dartmouth. Peyton’s sister, Skye, is about to finally achieve her mission to open a home for academically gifted, underprivileged young girls, with a little help from Isaac’s business associates. All seems to be going according to plan—until Isaac is arrested in an Ivy League admissions sting, jeopardizing everything the sisters have worked so hard for. But that’s not the whole story. When dark secrets in their posh world—rife with social landmines, barre classes, and Botox—come to light, Peyton and Skye are forced to reckon with the dreams they’d had when they were young and start to wonder if the compromises they made to get there were worth it.

With her signature satirical style, sharp wit, and clear-eyed insights, Lauren Weisberger has written a timely, entertaining novel about what it means to have—and lose—everything. When the chips are down, can you count on your sister to stand by you? - from Goodreads

Lauren Weisberger has been an auto-read author for me for years!  I like the timely issue of the college admission scandal and the focus on the sisters' relationship.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Blog Tour + Excerpt: Dewey Belong Together by Ann Whynot

Dewey Belong Together, an all-new enemies to lovers small-town romance from Ann Whynot, is available now in Kindle Unlimited! 

Librarian Maxine Peters lives her life behind the scenes. By day, she’s a buttoned-up cataloguing whiz in the basement of the Green Valley Public Library. By night, she’s secretly dominating in an online role playing game as the legendary Maximus_Damage. Her in-game persona has the skills to back up the hype. But every hero has an enemy; every saga, a villain. And by her own invitation, Maximus’ arch nemesis, Wrath, has just landed in Green Valley.

Jonathan Owen is not at all who Maxine expects when she meets Wrath face to face. Eager to leave the past in the game, Jonathan takes this golden opportunity to win Maxine’s heart. There’s just one wrench in that plan: he may have, on a few occasions, acted like a bit of a jerk online. And to his puzzlement, she has taken their fun rivalry to the level of epic dislike.

When Jonathan and Maxine are unexpectedly alone for a weekend, secrets are revealed that make love hard and hatred even harder. Jonathan quickly learns fighting his own demons will take more than one elite gamer. And Maxine, who is busy rebooting her life in Green Valley, might not be up to the task.

When real life starts to override the game, can Maxine and Jonathan find a way to make it work? Or will it be game over for this player versus player adventure?

Dewey Belong Together’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #7 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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After the group sang and twanged through a ton of damn fine bluegrass, the crowd began to thin a bit, and the banjo player declared the quartet was retiring for the evening. Max grabbed my arm and gracelessly hauled me through the audience toward the banjo player.

Our arms still linked, and with a megawatt smile on her face, she shouted, "Cletus! That was incredible tonight."

“It was, man. You’ve got a great sound,” I offered.

Cletus looked from Max, to our joined arms, again at me, and then back at Max. I didn’t want to engage in stereotypical jealous guy behavior, but I did want to sniff out who this Cletus was to her. What had he done to earn her smiles and respect?

“Thank you,” he replied, then looked pointedly behind us. “Maxine, you seem to have misplaced the rest of your guests from your game. I suspect you noticed this, which is why you’re hanging onto this one so tightly.”

“Oh!” Max said in surprise and dropped my arm like it was a hot potato. I instantly disliked Cletus. “All the others couldn’t make it. Just him. Cletus, meet Wrath—er, Jonathan Owen from Florida. Jonathan, this is my friend Cletus Winston.”

Not one to let my manners fail me when needed, I stuck out my hand and Cletus gave it a firm shake. “Jonathan Owen, would you happen to be the same gentleman who enjoys harrying Maxine at every available turn?”

I spun to face Maxine. “You told people that about me? What else did you say, that I like to hunt people for sport?” I felt my face redden in embarrassment as I recalled the time I had also besmirched her good name to the other guild officers. I wasn’t sure what to do with the information that she was talking unfavorably about me to her friends. I felt like every time we made some progress and I got to show her more of who I really was, something popped up to remind me of her animosity.

“Wrath, calm down. Of course not. I was telling Cletus about the game, that’s all.”

“Oh, I see. That’s all,” I said sarcastically.

“It would seem to me,” Cletus said, inserting himself into our fight, "that you two need to have a tête-à-tête, but allow me to suggest not tonight. We're fixing to take things back to my brother's place up on Bandit Lake. Scarlet and Billy will be there singing, and I'll have my banjo and a dulcimer. If you can sit in your own stew for the rest of the evening, you can imbibe and listen to more fine music."

And with that, he packed up his banjo and gave Max a little salute as he left the room.

"So, feel like hitting up a party?" Max asked, almost cautiously.

I thought about it. I was mad as hell that not only did Max hate me, she had told her offline friends I was some kind of dastardly character. That being said, I didn't want to piss her off by saying no when she probably wanted to go. Plan Seduction would suggest that I be pliable to her wishes, even if I thought she was a jerk at the moment. I hoped that this wasn't some big rager we were headed to because being the only sober person at a party is about as much fun as watching paint dry, only the wall sometimes vomits and tries to get into your pants.

"Fine," I answered. "Party it is, princess." I couldn't help poking the bear, just a little. Her eyes flashed fire, and I smiled, gesturing with my arm that she should lead the way.

About Ann Whynot

Ann Whynot has been writing stories since she was five, and always dreamed of one day being a published author. She is a voracious reader and book collector, and used book stores are her kryptonite. She also is passionate about video games, crafting, baking, laughing, and travel.

She lives with her family, dog, and two cats on the Canadian east coast, and is inspired by both the forest and sea.

Find Ann Whynot online






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