#BookReview: Crushing It by Lorelei Parker

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: June 30, 2020

Summary:

In life, as in gaming, there’s a way around every obstacle . . .

To pitch her new role-playing game at a European conference, developer Sierra Reid needs to overcome her terror of public speaking. What better practice than competing in a local bar’s diary slam, regaling an audience with old journal entries about her completely humiliating college crush on gorgeous Tristan Spencer?

Until the moderator says, “Next up, Tristan Spencer . . .”

Sierra is mortified, but Tristan is flattered. Caught up in memories of her decade-old obsession as they reconnect, Sierra tries to dismiss her growing qualms about him. But it’s not so easy to ignore her deepening friendship with Alfie, the cute, supportive bar owner. She and Alfie were college classmates too, and little by little, Sierra is starting to wonder if she’s been focusing her moves on the wrong target all along, misreading every player’s motivations.

Maybe the only winning strategy is to start playing by her heart . . .

Review:

“Crushing It” was an entertaining and funny rom-com /chick-lit with a little bit of sexy slipped in there.

This novel by Lorelei Parker was engaging and witty. I literally laughed loud a few times at some of the crazy adventures that Sierra had.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

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Author Bio:

Bouncing all over the north throughout her childhood, Lorelei Parker grew up believing she was a Yankee. However, raised by transplanted Alabamans, she was destined to eventually wind up in the south. After graduating from Auburn University, she disappointed her entire family by defecting to SEC rival University of Florida and eventually settled as far north as central Virginia for grad school in French literature. After a major career shift and a brief detour through New York City, she now works as a computer programmer in Charlottesville. In her free time, when she isn’t playing video games, she writes contemporary romantic comedy.

 

 

 

#BookReview: You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: January 7, 2020

Summary:

Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?

Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Review:

Colleen Oakley totally shocked me with the last scenes of “You Were There Too”! This story was poignant, intense and beautiful! With a completely unexpected ending! I had to remind myself to breathe!

The story of Mia Graydon and the boy, Oliver she was dreaming of grew extremely intense after they met in person. It was quite the ride!  I was so invested in Mia’s choices. It was as if each decision reflected upon my life somehow.

Colleen Oakley really made me think long and hard about my Dreams and my thoughts on destiny and listening to those little hints about fate that I sometimes ignore as I walk through my life.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

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Author Bio:


Colleen Oakley’s novels have been named best books by People Magazine, Us Weekly, Library Journal, and Real Simple, and both were long-listed for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. Formerly the editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor of Marie Claire, her articles and essays have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, Marie Claire and Martha Stewart Weddings. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, four kids and the world’s biggest lapdog, Bailey. Her fourth novel THE INVISIBLE HUSBAND OF FRICK ISLAND will be published by Berkley/Penguin in summer 2021.

#BookReview: This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagán

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 26, 2020

Summary:

An ingeniously witty novel about the risks—and rewards—of opening your life to new people by Amazon Charts bestselling author Camille Pagán.

No new people: that’s Annie Mercer’s vow. It’s bad enough that her boss sabotaged her chemistry career and her best friend tried to cure her with crystals. But after her fiancé, Jon, asks for space while he’s gallivanting around Paris, Annie decides she needs space too—from everyone.

Yet when Harper moves in next door, Annie can’t help but train a watchful eye on the glamorous but fragile young woman. And if keeping Harper safe requires teaming up with Mo, a maddeningly optimistic amateur detective, who is she to mind her own business?

Soon Annie has let not one but two new people into her life. Then Jon reappears—and he wants her to join him in France. She’s pretty sure letting anyone get close won’t end well. So she must decide: Is another shot at happiness worth the risk?

Review:

Camille Pagán always delivers novels where her characters crack wide open, and we get to watch as they try to heal their souls! She writes with truth and honesty about their trials and tribulations. But, we do find ourselves laughing out loud and smiling as she has them walk their path!

I adored Annie Mercer! I was rooting for her! When I closed “This Won’t End Well”, I felt very close to Annie!

This novel was written using a rather invigorating approach, that I found to be genius! It was so original! She had her protagonist Annie Mercer share texts, emails and journal entries as she told us her story!! It felt more intimate! So cool!

The very essence of this story is hope and never giving up on yourself.

Truly unforgettable!

5 Stars.

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Author Bio:

I’m the author of six novels, including This Won’t End Well, I’m Fine and Neither Are You, and the #1 Kindle bestseller Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which was recently optioned for film. My novels have been translated into nearly two dozen languages.

I’ve written for Fast Company, Forbes, The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Parade, Real Simple, Time, and many others.

When I’m not at my computer, you’ll find me with my nose in a book, running after my two kids, or planning my next trip (most likely to Puerto Rico, where my husband was born and raised). Visit me at www.camillepagan.com.

Live Interview:

#BookReview: Husband Material by Emily Belden

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: December 30, 2019

Summary:

Sometimes love is unpredictable…

Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk—so she can avoid it.

Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law—and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not.

But soon a shocking secret surfaces, forcing Charlotte to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at new love arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart.

Review:

Spunky! Lovable! Uplifting! Super-Cute Read from Emily Belden!

“Husband Material” was so hilarious and light hearted considering Charlotte is a widow with a pretty heavy story to share. She is hiding this reality from everyone until her husbands urn shows up on her doorstep, being delivered 5 years after his death.

This story wraps up her past, present and possibly future in a Beach Bag Worthy Romantic Comedy! I loved her! If there is a fictional character I’d want to be friends with, Charlotte is definitely that girl!

Anytime is a great time to get to know Charlotte Rosen!

4 Stars.

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Author Bio:

Emily Belden is a food journalist, social media marketer, and storyteller. She is the author of the novels Hot Mess and Husband Material, and of Eightysixed: A Memoir about Unforgettable Men, Mistakes, and Meals. After she tiled her bedroom floor in over 60,000 pennies – all heads up for good luck – she was a guest on The Today Show and her story was covered by media outlets across the country. A Chicago native, Emily lives with her rescue dog in the West Loop, conveniently close to many of the city’s best restaurants.

Live Interview:

 

#BookReview: This Is Not How It Ends by Rochelle B. Weinstein

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date Of Release: January 1st, 2020

Summary:

From USA Today bestselling author Rochelle B. Weinstein comes a moving novel of hearts lost and found, and of one woman torn between two love stories.

When Charlotte and Philip meet, the pair form a deep and instant connection. Soon they’re settled in the Florida Keys with plans to marry. But just as they should be getting closer, Charlotte feels Philip slipping away.

Second-guessing their love is something Charlotte never imagined, but with Philip’s excessive absences, she finds herself yearning for more. When she meets Ben, she ignores the pull, but the supportive single dad is there for her in ways she never knew she desired. Soon Charlotte finds herself torn between the love she thought she wanted and the one she knows she needs.

As a hurricane passes through Islamorada, stunning revelations challenge Charlotte’s loyalties and upend her life. Forced to reexamine the choices she’s made, and has yet to make, Charlotte embarks on an emotional journey of friendship, love, and sacrifice—knowing that forgiveness is a gift, and the best-laid plans can change in a heartbeat.

This Is Not How It Ends is a tender, moving story of heartbreak and healing that asks the question: Which takes more courage—holding on or letting go?

Review:

There’s nothing like reading a book and feeling like I am walking alongside the main character. That is exactly what Rochelle Weinstein brings to life in “This Is Not How It Ends”!!

Every moment in Charley’s life was so beautifully written that I felt truly touched every time she was affected, changed, elated or hurt by anything. My skin would tingle, tears would flow down my cheeks, I’d need to breathe deeply, I’d pet my dogs more! They loved me reading this book! This is how visceral it was! I was there! It was an experience!

I think every woman will find a piece of herself in this story. I was in love with Charley!

The relationship with her Mother touched my soul. The love triangle created was palpable! Intense! Lovely!

Rochelle Weinstein is a truly gifted storyteller. She writes for our hearts, to our hearts!  Oh….Also! You’ll find yourself stopping to write down quotes and take notes….It’s that Awesome!!

5 Stars.

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Author Bio:

Rochelle B. Weinstein is the USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of emotionally driven women’s fiction, including This Is Not How It Ends, Somebody’s Daughter, Where We Fall, The Mourning After, and What We Leave Behind. Rochelle spent her early years in sunny South Florida, always with a book in hand, raised by the likes of Sidney Sheldon and Judy Blume. Before becoming a full-time writer, Rochelle lived in Los Angeles, where she handled advertising and promotions for major film studios and record labels at LA Weekly. After returning to Miami, she continued her passion for entertainment as a music-industry executive at the Box Music Network. When she’s not writing, Rochelle loves to hike, read, and find the world’s best nachos. She is currently working on her sixth novel. Please visit her at www.rochelleweinstein.com.

Live Interview:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BookReview: No Time for Goodbyes (No Brides Club, #7) by Christina Butrum

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Reviewer : Serena Soape

Release Date: November 1st, 2019

Summary:

When six friends make a pact not to let love get in the way of their careers, the No Brides Club is born. But could meeting the right man at the wrong time cause them to break their vows to each other?

Brooke Collins thought she had everything she wanted. Since relocating from her small town to work as an Oncology Nurse at one of Manhattan’s most respected children’s hospitals, she’s worked hard to make a life for herself in the big city. When a life-threatening emergency takes place back home, every choice she has made in the past three years is suddenly called into question.

As a firefighter, Austin Jensen knows how to handle a fire, but that doesn’t help when dealing with old flames. When his ex comes back to town and old feelings begin to resurface, he begins to wonder if the connection between them is worth risking getting burned again.

Sparks fly in this sweet, second chance romance as Brooke finds new reasons to stay in Lawson Heights and leave her life in the city behind while Austin remains unsure of what their future may be. Should they fan the flames or douse them with water and walk away for good?

Review:

Christina Butrum has once again written a sweet and from the heart romance with “No Time for Goodbyes”.

Brooke has life all figured out until she must head back home. When things feel like they are upside down, she is able to find some stability with Austin.

In the midst of making these decisions, it seems like they were always meant to be, but is she willing to uproot her life, abandon the No Brides Club and start life with Austin. You will have to read to find out.

This was my first read in The No Brides Club, so it can definitely be read as a stand alone. However, I am anxious to read the others !!!!

I have read many of Butrum’s books and all of them have been great !!!!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review

4 Stars.

#AuthorInterview: Bette Lee Crosby author of “Memory House”

C7E05B8B-03C7-451E-8341-301FDB3A7EBDI always enjoy speaking with Bette Lee Crosby. It is a very comfortable conversation, as if I have been friends with her all of my life.  Bette is one of the kindest, most easy going people I know.

Tonight we spoke about her novel, “Memory House”, which is my favorite of her stories. It will always hold a special place in my heart because I read it first, and I love Ophelia so very much.

But, of course, you cannot speak a whisper of this book without talking about most of her other novels. This conversation is Chick full of information, great laughter and lots of Bette’s book covers! Haha! I had to show them all.

Be sure to grab your tea and watch our chat! It’s not to be missed!

Ps. Tonight was the 6-month Anniversary Of our Book Club Live Chats..Bette did the first one, too.

Bette’s Website:

https://betteleecrosby.com

Facebook:

https://m.facebook.com/authorbetteleecrosby/

Twitter:

https://mobile.twitter.com/BetteLeeCrosby

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/betteleecrosby/

Pinterest:

https://www.pinterest.com/bettelcrosby/

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3222582.Bette_Lee_Crosby?from_search=true

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Bette-Lee-Crosby/e/B005TLT1PK?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1570096751&sr=1-

BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/bette-lee-crosby

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Bette%20Lee%20Crosby%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

#BookReview: Memory House by Bette Lee Crosby

Reviewer: Serena Soape

84962035-138A-4837-A2EF-00C26B567402Summary:

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A MEMORY TO OUTLIVE ITS OWNER?

Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety.

Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading.

When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one. The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and Ophelia fears things have gone too far.

Review:

I picked up “Memory House” yesterday and could not put it down until I had finished.

Who needs sleep when you are reading Bette Lee Crosby?

I loved the story of Annie’s life and how all of the characters were developed. The moment when I heard names that I recognized was a turning point for me. I was surprised to hear that characters from other Bette Lee Crosby novels were part this story. I thoroughly enjoyed that!! It was a Wow moment for me!!

Ophelia was someone that I wished that I could meet in person. What a sweet woman.

I had times where I was a little sad but then the happy moments that balanced them out!

I am anxious to read the next book in this Series.

I would absolutely recommend that you read this book, as well as her other books.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Katie Lyn’s Guarded Heart (Sweethearts of Country Music #4) by Marie Savage

Reviewer: Serena Soape

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Summary:

Book Release Date: September 27, 2019

When six musicians come together to form an all-girl country band, The Sweethearts of Country Music are born. But can they balance their musical worlds with their personal lives?

Lead singer, Katie Lyn Bishop, is ready for her first holiday in her new home in Nashville and she can’t wait to spend it with her three-year-old daughter, Madison. Unfortunately, her ex-husband, Trevor shows up after a four-year absence, suing for custody of their daughter, not to mention a hefty chunk of Katie Lyn’s profits.
The band’s attorney, Alec O’Donnell, assures her that’s not going to happen. But Alec’s interest is more than professional. He and Katie Lyn have a past—and there are skeletons in his closet that are best left in the dark. As he goes to battle against her ex, he worries his personal feelings will interfere with protecting her in court—and that if she finds out the truth, it could ruin everything.

Swirling rumors have the media targeting Katie Lyn wanting answers. Can Alec protect her? Will the secrets destroy not only her relationship with Alec, but the entire safety nest she’s built for her and Madison? Or is Alec exactly what she needs to truly make her new house a home?

The Sweethearts of Country Music series includes six books by six different authors. Each novel features a member of the band as she struggles to balance music and love.

Review:

Marie Savage’s Novel “Katie Lyn’s Guarded Heart” was such a sweet and entertaining story. While Katie Lyn had a complicated past and emotional relationships the story was heartfelt and at times both intense and poignant.

Katie Lyn’s life was not easy but she overcame so much…….

Marie Savage is very talented at character development, you’d enjoy getting to know her characters.

I finished this book in one night and was pleasantly surprised with the ending.

I have read a number of her books and definitely recommend them.

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Room for Two (Maple Glen #4) by Christina Butrum

Reviewer: Serena Soape

5C7BD6E0-69B7-471E-A425-C48C42D84413Summary:

Catie Mitchell has always dreamed of one day owning a successful Bed and Breakfast.

When an opportunity to purchase a house with plenty of flaws and plenty of potential presents itself, she knows the project is meant for her.

What should’ve been a simple project soon proves to be much more of a challenge than she’d bargained for.

Ethan Davis isn’t a fan of small towns. He loves his life in the city.

When his grandfather asks him to visit Maple Glen to help with a project, he’s determined to get it over with and return to his home in the city.

What should’ve been a simple project gets more complicated when he meets who he’ll be working with—a feisty blonde trying to make something out of nothing.

When two complete opposites are forced to see eye to eye in this sweet, enemies to lovers romance, will Catie’s dream of owning a Bed and Breakfast become a reality? Or will two clashing personalities cause the project to collapse altogether?

Review:

I was excited to be back in Maple Glen with Fran and the rest of the small town folks. This town is known for romance with matchmaking Fran and her coffee shop. This fits the bill perfectly.

Catie and Ethan’s story is an unlikely match and I must admit that I was not sure how this would end. Catie is such a fun and likeable character. I wanted to tell Ethan to straighten up a few times and do the right thing.

Christina Butrum is a great author that continues to entertain me with her books.

This is a part of the Maple Glen Series and I would recommend that you read the other books, if possible; so that you get the backstory on the characters.

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.