#BookReview: The Roux in the Gumbo by Kim Robinson

Reviewer: Serena Soape

C427BAA8-28F7-4A79-A9D1-95002C9D41A5Summary:

From the 1800’s in Louisiana to 1997 California

Experience the history of a family as the author makes you laugh and cry through their adventures.

Review:

“Every Person’s life is like a pot of gumbo, you get out what you put in”

This was one of my favorite sayings from Kim Robinson’s book right from the beginning.

I listened to the Audible version of “The Roux in the Gumbo” and I feel like I was able to get a real feel for the book, with all of the different characters and their voices and situations.

This story is sometimes heartbreaking and hard to hear. What they went through was often horrific! But, there were also a lot of happy points highlighted in the book, as well. Sometimes the difficult parts of the book concerned me about whether I could keep going, but I am glad I did.

I did find it a little difficult to keep up with all of the characters, as there were so many of them, but I think listening to the made that easier for me (versus reading the book) with the distinct voices.

The fact that she was able to create this novel from all of her elders stories through the years was truly amazing and a work of art.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for 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.

 

#BookReview: The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

Reviewer: Serena Soape

The Night Olivia FellBoth Annie McDonnell & I Reviewed this Book. You can find her find her review by simply Searching the book title in the Search Field. We hope you enjoy both points of view.

Summary:

In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

Review:

Christina McDonald has wowed me with “The Night Olivia Fell”!!!!!

Absolutely a page turner that I could not put down!!!! I had heard so much about it and now I know why.

The twists and turns that the author took me on throughout this book telling Olivia’s story all the way to the unpredictable ending –  were all fantastic!!!

I would definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading more of her books!!!

5 Stars.

#BookReview: So Long As We’re Together by Glenda Burgess

Reviewer: Serena Soape

EDB3BE39-0346-4D90-B6B7-2E0F6E2411B0Summary:

Two little girls, holding hands and singing in the back seat of a car. There for each other, unafraid. Life for the Stone girls is a life lived on the edge. Singing for a living, Marley and Andi find their way through a childhood of upheaval marked by their mother Donna’s dark, unpredictable flights. Today, Marley writes the songs her twin, country diva Andi Stone, makes famous, and the girls’ connection struggles to survive the cuts and devastations of fame. “You girls,” laments their manager. “One of you marries indiscriminately, the other not at all.” When without warning Donna Stone takes her own life, alone at the family cabin, danger stalks Marley back to Lost Prince Lake, back into the loves and betrayals of the past. Hidden truths threaten to take the Stone sisters down, singly and together. A powerful, intimate portrait of love, ambition, and survival, So Long As We’re Together takes the reader into the lives of three women who give song to broken hearts, and for whom music is the language of family.

Review:

When I first started this book, I thought I knew what was going to happen but boy was I wrong. I was taken on an emotional roller coaster ride where I learned many things I could not ever imagine would happen. I found myself chuckling occasionally, but; mostly I was truly sympathetic to everything this family had endured and how they handled what was handed to them was truly amazing.

Glenda Burgess weaves this story about 2 sisters whom were connected with music but connected in so many more ways. I loved the characters personalities throughout.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

It was my first read by Glenda Burgess, but I will be exploring more of her books.

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

4 Stars.

#TheBookReview: Christmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes

Reviewer: Serena Soape

B902D5F2-02FA-4B3F-91D2-F13C06B37CC9.jpegSummary:

Release Date: October 15th, 2019

A sweet holiday love story about the magic of synchronicity and fate set at a quaint Vermont inn during the week after Christmas.

Emma can’t believe her luck when she finds an open pawn shop on Christmas Eve in Manhattan. She’s there to sell the beautiful bracelet her ex-boyfriend gave her when a familiar looking watch catches her eye. It’s the same engraved watch she gave her college boyfriend, Fletcher, years ago. On a whim, she trades the bracelet for the watch and wonders at the timing.

Practical Emma thinks it’s just a coincidence, but her best friend Bronwyn believes it’s the magic of synchronicity that caused Emma to find the watch. Fletcher was the one that got away, and somehow Emma never quite moved on.

When Bronwyn finds out that Fletcher is in snowy Vermont at a romantic inn for the week, she can’t help but give synchronicity a push. She signs Emma up to help the inn keeper as the children’s activity coordinator. Emma agrees that a week filled with quaint shops and maple syrup would do her good… and maybe Fate really does have a Christmas gift in store for her. That is until she sees Fletcher with his daughter and fianc�e.

Suddenly, the fairytale trip seems doomed to fail… much like the innkeeper’s dwindling cashflow. It will take a miracle to save her heart and the inn. And that just might be what Fate has in mind.

Christmas in Vermont is a delightful and charming love story about the magic of second chances during the most festive time of year.

Review:

From the moment I picked up “Christmas in Vermont” I could not put it down. I had to know if it ended the way I had hoped it would.

Anita Hughes tells a story of the relationship between Emma and Fletcher.

Emma was a sweet character with a heart of gold. Fletcher was her ex-boyfriend from college, who was just as kind as she was.

When they cross paths again, what does destiny have in store for them?

I loved the characters and how their personalities were developed.

It’s a sweet holiday romance with an ending that might have even had me teary eyed. 

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

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Desperately Seeking Househusband (Reality of Love #3) by Marika Ray

Reviewer: Serena Soape

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Release Date: September 18th, 2019

I’m fake dating my ex’s brother…all on national television.

Gabby
I just needed a fake boyfriend to be on the reality show Desperate Househusbands with me to prove once and for all I was over my evil ex and living my best life.
Too bad the only guy willing to do the job turned out to be my ex’s half-brother.
Dimples are my kryptonite and he’s got two of them.

Rhett
I was intrigued by her before I knew who she was.
And I admit, I signed up for the fake boyfriend position because I was curious how someone so successful could have dated my asshole brother.
Maybe it’s the way her edges soften at night when she cuddles up to me.
Or maybe it’s watching her rebuild her confidence brick by brick.
Maybe it’s just the goats stirring up repressed sexual desire.
Either way, I have feelings. Real ones.
Which is a bummer when my brother, the wrecking ball, comes back through the door, ruining everything we fought so hard for.
Where’s a goat to rekindle the flames when you need one?

Desperately Seeking Househusband is the third sexy RomCom stand-alone novel in the Reality of Love series.

Review:

Marika Ray has written another entertaining rom-com. I found myself laughing out loud at many of the scenes in the book. The characters were both likeable and relatable.

I enjoyed watching the development of Rhett and Gabby’s relationship.

Definitely a must read if you want to laugh.

This is the third book in the Reality of Love Series, but all can be read as stand alone.

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

4 Stars.