#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.

 

#BookReview: Lily Barlow: The Mystery of Jane Dough by Carla Vergot

Reviewer: Annie McDonnell

7C6CD20C-22EB-4296-8F83-768DF686338ESummary:

Lily Barlow, a quirky college student obsessed with the fictional bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, is called home from the University of Virginia to get the family bakery running after her dad’s heart attack. Stuck in a sinkhole of self-pity, she finds her sleepy hometown…well…can a town actually be in a coma?

No worries. All she needs to do is hire a bakery manager, and she’s not even moving back in with her family for that part. Instead, she rents an efficiency garage from Miss Delphine Walker, an old woman who Lily begins to believe may have killed someone at some point in time.

Meanwhile, Lily’s overactive imagination takes a swan dive when she discovers an online clearinghouse for victims the cops can’t identify. Consumed with the profiles on the website, Miss Delphine, and the candidates for the bakery manager position, she simply cannot cope with one more problem. So when Jack Turner, her best friend since kindergarten, reveals out of nowhere that he wants something more than friendship, what’s a woman to do?

Review:

Carla Vergot delivers a fun, often hysterical crime-solving romp between two best friends that could be lovers, if only Lily opens her eyes and heart; and crazy chickens that could have their very own novel in “Lily Barlow: The Mystery of Jane Dough”.

Lily Barlow is one cool chic! She is a Laugh Riot!

She is so unique, eccentric and hilarious with her quirky one-liners that had me laughing out loud! I found myself always waiting for the next one!

I fell for her hard; especially loving the fact that she became obsessed with the Doe Network she happened upon…when she was supposed to be googling “Dough”! (See! She is hysterical!)

This led us to the mystery part of the story. I was so intrigued and rather excited about this. But, then this part of the narrative fell a little short for me. Only because I was expecting a lot more excitement. This by no means is suggesting I did not like this storyline. I am saying that when you wrap Carla Vergot’s story up, this was the one small piece I wish had a bigger explosion….like Lily’s character!

Her best friend, Jack was helping her investigate the mystery….and the slow burn romance with him was killing me!! The entire book I was like..”Lily! He’s perfect!”

Only Lily seems to need Love Goggles! Ha! Drove me bit mad.

I cannot wait to see what is in store for Lily and Jack in the next book.

(I can totally see Lily Barlow getting a Cult Following)

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Fishnet by Kirstin Innes

Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

6FEA3D06-04B0-4B0C-AE8C-5B60DFD60BE1Summary:

Rona Leonard was only twenty-years-old when she walked out of her sister Fiona’s flat and disappeared.

Six years later—worn down by a tedious job, childcare, and an aching absence in her life—Fiona’s mundane existence is blown apart by the revelation that Rona had been working as a prostitute before she vanished. Driven to discover the truth, Fiona embarks on an obsessive quest to investigate the sex industry that claimed her sister. However, as she is drawn into this complex world, Fiona finds herself seduced by the power it offers women in a society determined to see them only as victims.

In bold, unflinching prose, Fishnet offers a clear-eyed look at the lives of sex workers, questioning our perception of contemporary femininity and challenging assumptions about power, vulnerability, and choice.

Review:

Fishnet by Kirsten Innes is a book to be respected! It is a story about sex workers and it affords us the opportunity to learn about the sex trade in Scotland. It will make you think about their situation and maybe you will change your thoughts about the sex trade. I do think the situation in Scotland is different than it is here in the States due to our laws and the safety in some areas of big cities.

Fishnet was a difficult story to read for a several reasons. One, most of us don’t like to think about the sex trade and would probably prefer to sweep it under the rug. Two, the dialog was told with the Scottish brogue. I didn’t always understand the slang and it took me a while to catch on. Third, the story not only changed from past to present but, was often being told by a different character. In my opinion these were not smooth transitions and it took me a page or two to figure it out. I was about 25% into the book before I caught onto the flow. 
 
Fishnet is a worthwhile book and worthy of your time especially if you have a curiosity about the sex trade.
I thought it was going to be more of a suspense story and this probably was not a comfortable subject for me to read about
 
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
3 Stars.

#BookReview: Friends Of the Library by Susan Cushman

Reviewer: Annie McDonnell

2DB61876-A50A-46EE-98FC-5FC6B3D6D6BBSummary:

“. . . a beautifully wrought hymn of praise to readers and book-lovers in the most sacred of places, the libraries where we find both.” –Cassandra King, author of the best-selling novels The Sunday Wife

WHEN ADELE COVINGTON becomes an author in her sixties, she goes on a book tour to speak to the Friends of the Library groups in ten small towns in her home state of Mississippi. Chasing her personal demons through the Christ-haunted South of her childhood, Adele befriends an eclectic group of wounded people and decides to tell their stories. From Eupora to Meridian, from a budding artist with an abusive husband to a seven-year-old with a rare form of cancer, each story contains elements of hope and healing and honors the heart, soul, and history of the Magnolia State.

Review:

Don’t we love happy endings! That’s what Susan Cushman writes in “Friends Of the Library”…..Short Stories; all with happy endings!

This is the story of a hero author named Adele. A woman that can lead the way to a better life, better choices and better options for those of us that have been abused, damaged, battling illness, or still hurting in this world. As she visits local libraries she happens to finds that person that needs her. 

Personally, I like a deeper read when it comes to the serious subjects that were discussed. I had a tough time with the reasoning of everyone opening up to Adele so easily. But, I am sure that comes from my personal battle scars. 

That being said; this was truly a beautiful book. It was heartwarming and refreshing. I know this book will touch a lot of people and hopefully get people talking about what is hurting them.

Each story had its own allure and I was left thinking about someone in my life at the end of each of them.

If you enjoy short stories; quick romps to happiness….This is the book for you.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
3.75 Stars.

#BookReview: Friends Of The Library by Susan Cushman

Reviewer: Serena Soape

77137D0F-6856-41AB-8BCC-B331516CBF12Summary:

“. . . a beautifully wrought hymn of praise to readers and book-lovers in the most sacred of places, the libraries where we find both.” –Cassandra King, author of the best-selling novels The Sunday Wife

WHEN ADELE COVINGTON becomes an author in her sixties, she goes on a book tour to speak to the Friends of the Library groups in ten small towns in her home state of Mississippi. Chasing her personal demons through the Christ-haunted South of her childhood, Adele befriends an eclectic group of wounded people and decides to tell their stories. From Eupora to Meridian, from a budding artist with an abusive husband to a seven-year-old with a rare form of cancer, each story contains elements of hope and healing and honors the heart, soul, and history of the Magnolia State.

Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were many stories that tugged at my heart strings and made me feel like I was right there with Adele. This was a quick read perfect for a weekend. This was my first book by Susan Cushman and look forward to reading more of her books.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Summer at the Lakeside Resort (Lakeside Resort Book #2) by Susan Schild

Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

9FD108D9-444D-4202-AA43-593A3AB3B753Summary:

Ready for more love and adventure with heroines over age 40, 50 and 60?

Forty-three year old Jenny Beckett has just renovated eight rustic guest cabins on beautiful Heron Lake, North Carolina. Brand new to the innkeeping business, she is struggling to make The Lakeside Resort profitable. Wrangling guests like The Fighting Couple, persnickety attorneys, and the curvy gals from the Fabulous You Fitness Week keep her on her toes.

Jenny’s business isn’t her only problem. Her mother and stepfather have just moved in for an extended stay. Startling developments with her possible fiancé, Luke, make Jenny question his commitment to her. An all-gal camping trip in her old Airstream lifts her spirits, but Jenny still has doubts about whether she and Luke can make their love work. After all the heartache she’s had, can Jenny learn to trust love again and finally find her happily ever after?

Review:

Want to have a crazy good time?

I received Summer at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild as a gift and oh my goodness, I fell in love with the characters. They are warm, funny and some of them are quirky. It really is a laugh out loud funny book. Susan Schild tickled my funny bone several times. Although Summer at the Lakeside Resort is not necessarily a profound and awe inspiring book, it is still a really good book. I think Susan meant for this to be a lighthearted and fun book although it deals with a woman who has the courage to put herself back out there in both the professional and personal sides of her life.

This is actually the second book in the series. I have every intention of going back to read the first book. Although I didn’t read the first one, I didn’t get that lost feeling while reading the second installment. There is a Christmas story coming out and the next installment in the spring. You would do yourself a favor by reading these books.

Who doesn’t love a good laugh?

4 Stars.

#AuthorInterview: Amulya Malladi author of “The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You”

Amulya Malladi and I had an excellent discussion about her book, “The Nearest Exit May be Behind You”, the Coaching Book that goes along with it and the seven other novels that she has written since 2003.

Learn more about the “Lean In” culture and tricks that Amulya has learned to be a stronger You! I said her book is a celebration of women, but it’s more than that, it’s Amulya’s personal celebration of women and it is not to be missed! Each of her books are written to lift women up and remind us that we are stronger than we think! She is one of our biggest champions!

I could talk with her forever! I am sure Amulya will be back. She has definitely become one of my favorite authors to speak with. So, get to know her!

To Keep in Touch with Amulya Malladi be sure to Like and Follow her on the following platforms….and Add her books to your TBR List!

🔥She is one of my Top Favorite Authors!🔥

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/58564.Amulya_Malladi

BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amulya-malladi

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Amulya-Malladi/e/B001HD2YH6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1566549329&sr=8-1

Website:

https://www.amulyamalladi.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/authoramulya/

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/amulyamalladi/

Twitter:

https://mobile.twitter.com/amulyamalladi

You don’t want to miss this interview, so check it out here:

#BookReview: The Mourning Parade by Dawn Reno Langley

Reviewer: Serena Soape

63F3E635-C7E4-434A-81CA-24467B35F915Summary:

Natalie DeAngelo lost everything the day her two young sons were killed in a school shooting. Desperate to find relief from her unspeakable loss, she volunteers as a veterinarian on an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, but soon realizes she may be in over her head. Battling the memories that torment her day and night, Natalie must find a way to heal an angry, injured elephant named Sophie. Through love, acceptance, and gentle care, Natalie and Sophie heal together, finding new ways to enjoy life again.

Review:

Wow!
This book knocked it out of the park for me! I absolutely fell in love with Natalie from the moment she stepped into the book and onto the page.
Emotions ran high throughout this story entire story. I found myself with tears in my eyes many times throughout; when both sad and happy events took place.
The emotional journey that Natalie takes when traveling to the elephants, which she refers to as “ellies”, is one that will have you wanting more and not wanting to put the book down. I was always wondering “what could possibly happen next”…..
I absolutely loved this book! This was my first book by Dawn Reno Langley and will certainly not be my last.

5 Stars.