#BookReview: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

2CD14931-D1C2-43F0-A97D-25EE39C46133
Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Date of Release: May 14th, 2019

Summary:

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

Review:

What a fun book to read! 

“The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren was so much fun to read. I haven’t giggled so much while reading a book. EVER!  If you like comedy, you will love this book. It is one laugh after another. 

Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of serious moments. There are also moments that will make you swoon. 

I have not read any other books by Christina Lauren and the next time I need something light and funny, I’ll be looking for one of their books. It was a deliciously fun divergence from my normal choice of books.

5 Stars.

 

 

 

 

 

#BookReview: Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

DEB69DAB-BB7E-42F4-812D-9A5EA3D09FD7Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Date of Release: January 14, 2020

Summary:

North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women’s Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn’t expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?

Review:

Count me a lucky girl! I just finished Diane Chamberlain’s “Big Lies in a Small Town”.

The story follows two women in two different time periods. 

The chapters rotate between the two women. I have always had a problem with this type of book because I always feel like I am shifting gears. I understand why the author chose this format and I have to say it didn’t hamper this novel in my opinion. It was brilliant! 

I learned the difference between an artist and an art restorer. They both take a lot of talent, use different skills and different perspectives. 

It was longer in pages than I expected but, I flew through it and did not want it to end. I felt like it ended rather abruptly but, when I thought about it, I decided it was a perfect ending. I had all the information that I needed and indeed it was the perfect ending. 

This is my first book by Diane Chamberlain and it won’t be my last. I like how she built the stories of both women and how I came to care for them both. 

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

5 stars.

 

#BookTour, #BookReview & #Giveaway: Lies that Bind by Ashley Farley

ED8155DC-097B-4471-901A-14EAA90E5FF2

Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Lies That Bind

(Exclusive Book Tour with @Katerockbooktours)

Author: Ashley Farley

Release Date: January 14, 2020

Leisure Time Books-(Self Published)

Book Tour Dates: January 7 -Jan 30

PreOrder Here:  https://amzn.to/2P02G07

$3.99 pre-order on Kindle

Summary:

About the book:

From the Best Selling Author of Only One Life and Life On Loan comes Lies That Bind.

A suspenseful story of three women who, in search of freedom from the lies that bind them, experience personal growth, discovery, and forgiveness.

Ten years ago, Stuart Carpenter was killed in a single-car accident after retrieving his daughter, Reese, from college. The first responders to the accident saw no evidence of her, and she’s been neither seen nor heard from since. A decade later, Reese’s mother, Eva, struggling to make it through her days, holds out hope her daughter is still alive.

Maggie, on the rebound after the breakup of a long-term relationship, rushes into marriage with a man she knows little about. On the surface Eric is a stable man and a good provider, but when his job takes them from Oregon to Virginia, his dark side begins to show. Eric is ready to start a family. Maggie is more interested in pursuing a career as an investigative journalist. Eric will do whatever it takes to get his way.

On a snowy Sunday in early March, Maggie befriends her across-the-street neighbor, Eva, who confides in Maggie about her missing daughter. The story intrigues Maggie, and she can’t stop thinking about Reese. When Eric’s controlling behavior turns abusive, Maggie uses the investigation of Reese’s disappearance as an opportunity to go undercover.

Maggie travels from Virginia to Ohio to Washington DC, unraveling the secrets of the dysfunctional family that drove a young woman to a desperate act of survival.  

Review:

I’M SO SLEEPY!!

I shut my light off last night with the intention of going to sleep but, sleep wouldn’t come. It was because of Ashley Farley’s new novel “Lies That Bind”. I just had to turn my light back on and finish the book. 

Oh my gosh! She has done it again. Farley has a way with character development that draws you into their story. You have to know what is going on and what happens next. This is the second book I’ve read by her and I experienced the same level of involvement.

I feel like I know these folks.

My heart races as I flip pages, my heart mourns when they suffer loss and my heart jumps for joy when they triumph. You can’t ask for better than that! 

What a fun way to start the new year!

Thank you Ashley Farley for another enjoyable read. 

I recieved a copy of this book from Kate Rock Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

GIVEAWAY: ONE (1) eBook COPY! TO ENTER JUST LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT YOUR INTEREST AND WE WILL DRAW A RANDOM WINNER ON                       FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, 2020.

To Follow Ashley Farley:

Book trailer: https://ashleyfarley.com/lies-that-bind/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6916019.Ashley_Farley

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ashleyhfarley

Facebook:  https://m.facebook.com/ashleywfarley

Website: www.ASHLEYFARLEY.net

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ashley-farley

@ashleyhfarley @katerockbooktours @katerocklitchick #LiesThatBind #womensfiction #suspense #booktour #southernfiction #leisuretimebooks #bestsellingauthor

#BookReview: Beside Herself by Elizabeth LaBan

12F06226-C6BF-4C91-9095-2226DE3DEEF6
Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Date of Release: August, 2019

Summary:

Author of THE RESTAURANT CRITIC’S WIFE and NOT PERFECT, Elizabeth LaBan’s BESIDE HERSELF, in which a woman finds out her husband had an affair and he proposes she do the same to even the score and keep the marriage intact–a story about how marriage doesn’t necessarily follow a straight line and unexpected detours might just bring you back to the place you most want to be, to Jodi Warshaw at Lake Union Publishing, by Uwe Stender at TriadaUS Literary Agency (world).

Review:

The novel “Beside Herself” by Elizabeth LaBan is definitely worthy to be your next read!

I really liked this book because I have often wondered what I would do if I found out my husband had an affair. It would definitely be the most devastating experience of my life. I know the heartbreak it has brought to my family and friends and I have wondered if it is enough of a reason to break up a family for a one-time mistake. 

This story explores the heartbreak, anger and thoughts of someone experiencing betrayal of a loved one. This author writes in such a way that you totally understand Hannah and her love for Joel. I loved Hannah and the rest of the characters in this story. I think Elizabeth LaBan did an outstanding job developing her characters. I never once wondered who a character was. They stood out individually in my mind. 

I highly recommend “Beside Herself”. I don’t think you will be disappointed. 

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

5 Stars.

#BookReview & #ChristinesFamilyFavorites: One Last Summer by Victoria Connelly

DE181759-E0D3-4CA8-8488-80FB87E4FCDAReviewer: Christine Davis

Date of Release: February 5, 2019

Summary:

They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once shared?

Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever. First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone?

Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes

1A53906F-5321-41D8-811C-71D8D9224809
Review:

How do you say goodbye? Knowing you’ll never see those you love ever again! Victoria Connelly takes this question to the heart and answers it in the most body and soul consuming way in her amazing novel “One Last Summer”

If you knew your time was soon going to be up on this Earth, how would you handle it? The main character in Connelly’s tale has to answer this question and does so in a beautifully constructed answer. She gathers love all around her and shares her last summer with her dearest of heart before cancer claims her.

This story struck me to the core. At a time I was in my own battle with cancer. My heart and mind got absorbed into this timely tale for me and I came away with tears streaming down my cheeks!

I have recommended books before but not one as strongly as I would this one! Take this book with you favorite hankie, curl up at your best reading spot and be prepared to have an emotional time with a beautiful tale of love, strength and friendship!

5 Stars.

#BookReview: True to Me by Kay Bratt

CBD7996D-2A95-4112-98DF-503A22A8B4DDReviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: December 10, 2019

Summary


From the bestselling author of Wish Me Home comes a breathtaking novel about the secrets that families keep and one woman’s illuminating search for the truth.

Quinn Maguire has a stable life, a fiancé, and what she thinks is a clear vision for her future. All of that comes undone by her mother’s deathbed confession—the absentee father Quinn spent thirty years resenting is not her real father at all. With that one revealing whisper, Quinn embarks on a journey to Maui, her mother’s childhood home, a storied paradise that holds the truth about her mother’s past and all its secrets Quinn is determined to uncover.

But settling on the island has its complications, and with the fiancé she left behind questioning every choice she makes, Quinn’s quest for her truth is even more difficult than she expected. As time passes and she digs deeper into her family history and her own identity, one thing becomes clear: Maui is as beautiful as she’d always imagined, and its magic is helping uncover the woman that Quinn was always meant to be.

Review:

Kay Bratt has written a beautiful heartfelt novel with “True To Me”.

Quinn’s truly emotional journey was one that instantly drew me in and had me right there with her through the happy and the sad times. Complex and tear jerking at times! I loved this story and found it hard to put down!

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for an emotional journey!

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

5 Stars.

#BookTour, #BookReview, #AuthorSpotlight, & #Giveaway: More Than by Diane Barnes

1798C4E2-9668-4819-B9C2-F2968E715622Reviewer: Serena Soape

Release Date: October 29, 2019

 Summary:

“You are obese, Mrs. Moriarty.”
Peggy Moriarty is stunned. She knows she’s let herself go a bit, but she thinks her young, skinny doctor is exaggerating. Her husband’s death fourteen years ago left her to raise their twins, Grace and Greg, alone. But now that they’re teenagers, doing their own things, her only hobby is watching Messages from Beyond, a show about a medium who connects the grieving with their deceased loved ones.

When the twins leave for college, they give Peggy a gift certificate for an exercise class. At first, Peggy is insulted. But once the sting wears off, she realizes if she gets in shape, she might gain the confidence she needs to go on her favorite TV show and talk to her husband one last time.

With help from her new friends at the gym and Carmen Tavarez, the mother of Grace’s boyfriend, Peggy begins to emerge from her prolonged grief and spread her wings. She may soon discover that her sum is more than a mother,
a widow, and her body.

E81DD5F0-BE71-41C4-AE30-757C884CD07AReview:

Diane Barnes has written “More Than” about Peggy and her life starting when the doctor tells her that she is obese. It’s all the unbelievable result of sadness.

The story definitely kept my interest right from the start and was hard to put down!!! I loved the characters and how they all interacted with Peggy.  Peggy’s various circles were all rather entertaining, whether it was at boot camp with her friends home. I just enjoyed everybody.

Peggy’s story is one that would definitely be relatable to so many people that struggle with the same issues that Peggy has. But it’s “More Than” that!! It’s about resilience and pushing through! Peggy’s perseverance through Boot Camp, which she did more than once; was inspiring.

I found myself wanting to get back into exercising after reading this book. Now that should tell you something!

This was my first book for Diane Barnes, but definitely see more in my future.

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

 

4 Stars.

8D27A1BF-B88F-4111-898B-499110E4672A
Author Spotlight:

Writer, Reader, Ridiculous Amount
of Chocolate Eater. 

How many people get to do what they love? Since I was old enough to hold a pencil, I’ve loved writing. Today, I’m fortunate enough to have two careers that give me the opportunity to write. By day, I write marketing copy and corporate communications for a company in the healthcare market. After hours I pen fiction.  I’m also a voracious reader and can sit for hours, preferably on a beach or by a pool, devouring good books.

I live outside of Boston with my husband. I don’t talk like a Bostonian, but some people still detect Southern California in my accent from the years I lived there. When I’m not writing or reading, I’m at the gym, running, or playing tennis, trying to burn off the ridiculous amounts of chocolate and ice cream I eat.

 

Follow Diane:

Website: https://www.dianembarnes.com/   Instagram:  @DianeBarnes777


GIVEAWAY –    3 eBooks. Just leave a comment that you’d like a copy  and that you’ll post a review. Giveaway Closes on Friday, November 1st, 2019.

#BookReview & #HolidayReads: Christmas in Snow Valley by Tammy L Grace (A Novella included in Christmas at Mistletoe Lodge: New Holiday Romances to Benefit St. Judes Hospital)

Reviewer: Serena Soape

Release Date: On Sale Now

30572B4D-8FD7-4F14-B9D4-062E2596377F
Summary:

Tammy L. Grace – Christmas in Snow Valley — Fifteen years ago, he broke her heart. She never moved on. Will a little Christmas magic bring them back together?

Review:

Tammy L. Grace has joined ten other authors to bring together new Holiday Romance Set of novella’s to benefit St. Judes Hospital called “Christmas at Mistletoe Lodge”.

She has has written another heartfelt, touching story that brought happy smiles throughout the story, called “ “Christmas in Snow Valley”.

From the moment the main character Emily arrived, I knew there had to be a bunch ifsurprises in store. Sure enough there was; you will have to read to find out.

Snow Valley was such a warm, inviting town that seems like a great place to visit! Most especially at the holidays!

I would recommend this book, as well as; her other books. She is such a heartwarming writer.

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

4 Stars.

#BookReview & #HolidayReads: Mistletoe at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild

Reviewer: Serena Soape

Expected Release Date: October 25, 2019

034758F0-6E08-4C33-9E32-CCA30540A1EC
Summary:

USA Today Bestselling author Susan Schild writes heartwarming and funny novels about women over 40 having adventures, falling in love and finding their happily ever afters.

The soon to be released MISTLETOE AT THE LAKESIDE RESORT is a Christmas novella and the third book in Susan’s popular Lakeside Resort series. You’ll catch up with Jenny and her gal pals, fiancé Luke, and Levi and the boys as they plan a very special Christmas for guests at her rustic cabins on beautiful Heron Lake.

A few hints: Jenny’s been gifted a new vintage camper and has the jitters about her future with Luke. Charlotte and Ashe are at odds about their upcoming wedding, and Mama and Landis make a startling announcement.

If you’re looking for a feel good read to get into the Christmas spirit, Mistletoe at the Lakeside Resort offers cozy romance, classic Christmas carols, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and a happily ever after.

Review:

“Mistletoe at Lakeside Resort” is a sweet and charming Christmas Novella that left me feeling happy, joyous and looking forward to the holidays.

The way Susan Schild describes Jenny and Luke’s adventures, I could picture myself being right there with them in one of the cabin’s on Heron Lake.

It’s definitely a wonderful place to spend the Holidays!

I have enjoyed all of Susan Schild’s books, and I cannot wait for the next.

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

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Controlling Shelly Fagan by Olive Dunn

67D77798-A84A-4024-A6A8-DD06FDF21D5D
Reviewer: Serena Soape

Summary:

Have you ever loved someone so much it took your breath away?

A captivating, unforgettable love story, Olive Dunn restores glory to the romance genre with this intense and provocative novel.

Controlling Shelly Fagan is a riveting romance novel that will guide readers through a tantalizing journey of a young woman whose life has been dominated by secrets and deceit. She trusted her parents—only to discover years later they lied.

A first love, an endless love. Shelly Fagan at seventeen loved Chris Johnson with every ounce of her being. Forced away from him and everything she knew and loved, she was hidden in a convent, pregnant and alone. Now, at age thirty-six and married to another man, a life-changing event takes Shelly back to the same small Indiana town where it all began.

This novel will take you back to 1967—a year of music, sex, freedom, laughter, love, and Vietnam.

Controlling Shelly Fagan is a gripping emotional story that will stay with you.You grow up, but you never forget. You can’t forget.

Review:

Olive Dunn clearly shows us how lies and deceit can hurt a family and friendships in her novel “Controlling Shelly Fagan”.

This a deeply poignant story telling us about Shelly and her very difficult life. From her teenage years through her mid-thirties we watch her maneuver through so much heartbreak; because of what happened to her as a teenager and then all of the unimaginable choices she had to make as an adult.

There were many times where my heart truly broke for her. I kept wondering what choice she would make when she came to certain crossroads and wondered would I have done the same???

I must admit that I was surprised a couple of times as I thought the story was headed a different direction, only to be taken the opposite.

I thoroughly enjoyed this from cover to cover! Olive Dunn’s Debut novel surely was wonderful, I hope she writes more!

4.5 Stars.