Monday, July 10, 2017

MONDAY KID READS

Title:  Little Tails in Prehistory
Author:  

Genre: Graphic Children's Fiction
Available:  July 11, 2017
Series: Little Tails

Synopsis: 
Chipper and Squizzo are a precocious puppy and squirrel who love to explore new and exciting environments, flying their cardboard box airplane to wondrous worlds full of fascinating animals and creatures. In each volume of this fun, educational series, they tour a different location, encountering the real-world animals found there in beautiful illustration and fun cartoon strip antics. 
This exciting volume sees our adorable nature guides traveling back in time (in their cardboard time machine) to view the dinosaurs up close!


Review:
What a great series to teach young readers about different environments and animals.  This book is sure to delight all readers of dinosaurs and time travel!  The book is full of color and descriptions and full of life.  There is even more education at the end of the book with more details about the animals encountered along the way.  This particular book dives into the age of the dinosaur and how we are learning about them today.  The story is told in a comedic way but gets the learning in as well!  There are so many lessons to be learned throughout this story that would make this book good for all ages.  As an adult the artwork is stunning and well worth the read.



Sunday, July 9, 2017

DEBUT SUNDAY

Title:  The Graybar Hotel:Stories
Author:  Curtis Dawkins
Publisher: Scribner
Available: Now 7/4/17
Genre:  Short Story Collection
Source:  NetGalley


Synopsis:
In this stunning debut collection, Curtis Dawkins, an MFA graduate and convicted murderer serving life without parole, takes us inside the worlds of prison and prisoners with stories that dazzle with their humor and insight, even as they describe a harsh and barren existence.

In Curtis Dawkins’s first short story collection, he offers a window into prison life through the eyes of his narrators and their cellmates. Dawkins reveals the idiosyncrasies, tedium, and desperation of long-term incarceration—he describes men who struggle to keep their souls alive despite the challenges they face.

In “A Human Number,” a man spends his days collect-calling strangers just to hear the sounds of the outside world. In “573543,” an inmate recalls his descent into addiction as his prison softball team gears up for an annual tournament against another unit. In “Leche Quemada,” an inmate is released and finds freedom more complex and baffling then he expected. Dawkins’s stories are funny and sad, filled with unforgettable detail—the barter system based on calligraphy-ink tattoos, handmade cards, and cigarettes; a single dandelion smuggled in from the rec yard; candy made from powdered milk, water, sugar, and hot sauce. His characters are nuanced and sympathetic, despite their obvious flaws.

The Graybar Hotel tells moving, human stories about men enduring impossible circumstances. Dawkins takes readers beyond the cells into characters’ pasts and memories and desires, into the unusual bonds that form during incarceration and the strained relationships with family members on the outside. He’s an extraordinary writer with a knack for metaphor, and this is a powerful compilation of stories that gives voice to the experience of perhaps the most overlooked members of our society.
 



Review:
I wasn't sure how to first take this book, so I just dived in Short stories can be hit or miss with me, but this collection was spot on! I loved the stories, albeit if this were a novel even better! It was like peaking into a world where you have all the questions but none of the answers and then Bam, someone that can write great prose shows you inside that room. I realize this is a work of fiction, but hey, he's writing from inside a prison so I'm sure there's some truth behind those words The truth behind the fiction, the words behind the words is what will hit you and probably stay with you for quite some time! If you like short stories, and want to see a little more behind the scenes of a prison and learn a lot more about freedom, pick this up. It flew by and I was done before I realized it, or you can even take bits and pieces and stretch it out over a longer length of time.

review copy courtesy of netgalley


Friday, July 7, 2017

Title: A French Affair
Author:  Katie Fford
Publisher:  Bookouture
Available 7/7/2017
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Source: Netgalley


Synopsis:
Escape to France for a summer of new beginnings, second chances and an unexpected romance … 
Sisters Gina and Sally Makepiece couldn’t be more different. Sally is a stay at home mum to twins while Gina is a busy career woman with little time for anything else. 

Their two lives are about to change when they discover their eccentric Aunt Rainey has left them her beloved stall in the French House – an antiques centre nestled in a sprawling stately building in the heart of the English countryside. 

As Gina and Sally work together to transform the business, they find themselves growing closer than ever. Their biggest challenge is winning over the brooding but gorgeous owner, Matthew Ballinger

But romance is in the air and a beautiful, sunshine filled trip to France changes everything for Gina and Matthew .



Review:
I'm in love with Katie Fford's books now. This was my first Fford book and I was not disappointed. Cute and fun and such a delight to read. Romance with a little extra in the mix. It was great for a way to while away a summer afternoon (although this book may be even better for a winter read). The books are being republished and I think a new audience will find great delight in this British Chic Lit. I must read all the books now! If looking for a lighthearted romp through the English countryside, take this book out for a spin. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my thoughts!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

THRILLER THURSDAY

Title:  Bring Her Home
Author: David Bell
Genre:  Psychological Suspense
Publisher: Berkley
Available: July 11, 2017
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:

In the breathtaking new thriller from David Bell, bestselling author of Since She Went Away and Somebody I Used to Know, the fate of two missing teenage girls becomes a father’s worst nightmare.... 

Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family...

Review:
Great read, kept the suspense going for most of the book, although some of the details were figured out early on.  It is a fairly fast read with not a lot of characters to keep up with.  However, some of the characters I could never tell if I was to love or hate them or suspect them or root for them, probably the intention!  If looking for a beach read to while away the hours of the summer I'd recommend picking this up.  I'll be looking for more of David's books to see if I like them even more.

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017







Title:  Paintbrush
Author:  Hannah Bucchin
Available: July 11, 2017
Publisher:  Blaze

Rating:4 Star

Synopsis:
Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren't particularly close--at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.

But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support – and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is – and if it can survive their very different plans for the future.




Rating:
A sweet clean ya romance. It's a quick light read just perfect for a sunny day read! It's a friends becoming maybe more story and nothing really new with the story, but the extra characters made the story more special. I loved the community of paintbrush and I think it would be great to see more of the other stories.
There is a little physical abuse talk from the past and some issues with drinking, but it was managed well. Just thought I'd drop that in there if anyone has those triggers.
Cute, likable characters and clean, can't wait to see more from Hannah Bucchin.
Thanks to Netgalley and Blaze for the book in return for my honest review.

Monday, July 3, 2017

MONDAY KID READS

Title: The Day the Crayons Came Home
Author: 
Publisher: Philomel Books
Available: Now
Genre: Picture Books
Source: Library

Synopsis:
I'm not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but his crayons sure are a colorful bunch of characters! Having soothed the hurt feelings of one group who threatened to quit, Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. From Maroon Crayon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him; to poor Turquoise, whose head is now stuck to one of Duncan's stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together; to Pea Green, who knows darn well that no kid likes peas and who ran away—each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box.


Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers have combined to create a companion book every bit as funny and kid-friendly as the #1 bestselling The Day the Crayons Quit.

Review:
This was a fun book, but the writing in several of the colors may prove to be a challenge for new readers, but for a read along book this is great.  Learning that maybe we can come back home, no matter what the reason was for leaving.  Looking to seeing even more of these books in the series?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

DEBUT SUNDAY

Title: Jackaby
Author: William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Available: Now
Series Jackaby 1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 299
Rating: 4 stars


Synopsis:
Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

Review:
I loved this fun book. Full of snarky humor and dry wit it kept my attention throughout the book and I can't wait to read book 2. For a debut novel, always a few issues that people have with a book as seen in the reviews, but I thought this one was pretty good. The characters are great and I'm sure we'll get to know more about them in future books. I wouldn't quite call this a Sherlock book, maybe Sherlock like, but I still liked it. It's a great who dun it and great for all ages, although I think it's labeled YA. Read it!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Title:  A Symphony of Echoes
Author: Jodi Taylor
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Available: Now
Series: The Chronicles of St. Mary's #2
Genre:  Fantasy
Source: Library
Rating:  5 stars

Synopsis:
Behind the seemingly innocuous facade of St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, a different kind of academic work is taking place. Just don’t call it “time travel”—these historians “investigate major historical events in contemporary time.” And they aren’t your harmless eccentrics either; a more accurate description, as they ricochet around history, might be unintentional disaster-magnets.

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s tells the chaotic adventures of Madeleine Maxwell and her compatriots—Director Bairstow, Leon “Chief” Farrell, Mr. Markham, and many more—as they travel through time, saving St. Mary’s (too often by the very seat of their pants) and thwarting time-travelling terrorists, all the while leaving plenty of time for tea.

In the sequel to Just One Damned Thing After Another, Max and company visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches. But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St. Mary’s—an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy history itself to do it


Review:
I don't have to say much.  I love this snarky series with it's time travel disasters and cast of characters!  This book will have you rolling with laughter and shaking your heads at the predicaments they get into.  If you like time travel books with a dose of laughter, sarcasm and wit..pick this up you won't be disappointed.

Monday, June 26, 2017

CHRISTIAN FICTION
Title:  The Mountains Bow Down
Author: Sibella Giorello
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Available: Now
Genre:  Christian Suspense
Series:Raleigh Harmon Mysteries #4
Rating: 3

Synopsis:
Everything's going to work out. Time away always makes things better...That's what FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon believes as she boards a cruise to Alaska. A land of mountains and gems and minerals, the Last Frontier is a dream destination for this forensic geologist who's hoping to leave behind a hectic work schedule and an engagement drained of romance. But when a passenger goes missing and winds up dead, Raleigh's vacation suddenly gets lost at sea. The ship's security chief tries to rule the death a suicide, but Raleigh's forensics background points to a much darker conclusion; Somewhere onboard, a ruthless murderer walks free. Engulfed by one of her toughest cases yet, Raleigh requests assistance from the FBI and receives her nemesis-handsome Special Agent Jack Stephanson. As the cruise ship sails through the Inside Passage, Raleigh has five days to solve a high-profile murder, provide consultation for a movie filming onboard, and figure out her increasingly complicated feelings for Jack-who might not be as arrogant as she originally thought. And that's only her work life. Family offers even more challenges. Joined on the cruise by her mother and aunt, Raleigh watches helplessly as disturbing rifts splinter her family. Like the scenery that surrounds the cruise ship, Raleigh discovers a mystery so daunting that even the mountains might bow down before it.

Review:
What a fun read with lots of characters and mystery with some romance thrown in!  The humor is really what got me into the story, but seeing more of Alaska through the MC eyes was a great addition to the story.  While this is considered a Christian book, the book is not preachy at all and actually could be shelved under general fiction.  It wasn't a page turner for me and I was able to figure out the mystery pretty easily but the book was just fun to read and would recommend to anyone looking for something a little more laid back than the current fad of psch thrillers.



Monday, June 19, 2017

Title: Every Last Lie
Author: Mary Kubica
Publisher:  Park Row Books
Source:  Netgalley
Available:  June 27, 2017
Genre:  Psychological Thriller



Synopsis:
Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. 
Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick's death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit. 
Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara's investigation and Nick's last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.
Review:
Having never read anything by Ms. Kubica before I was happily surprised. I did enjoy the suspense and the pace at which the book flowed. Usually dual points of view bother me, but it worked well in this instance. It was well put together in the past vs the present and allowed the story to play out in it's own time. There were so many elements in here, from depression to elation to mystery to well, you name it, that emotion or element was in this book. Determining the lies from the truth or the lies in the truths was what kept my intrigue throughout the book, it is a definite page turner. It's a clean psych thriller, not much gore or language or graphic scenes at all. Looking for something a little darker this summer? Pick it up!

Monday, June 12, 2017


MONDAY KIDS READS

Title:  You Can't Win Them All, Rainbow Fish
Author:  






Another great installment in the stories of Rainbow Fish.   Not only do we learn a valuable lesson, we learn it as a child would through a simple game of hide and seek.  Trying to find the fish in the pages is fun in itself but the story brings home the point that sometimes you aren't the best but having fun is always a good thing with friends.   The illustrations are great as they always are in a Rainbow Fish book! Highly recommend for all ages!

I was given a copy of the book for an honest review by Netgalley and pubisher.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

DEBUT SUNDAYS

Title:  Beware The Cuckoo
Author: Julie Newman
Publisher: Urbane Publications
Available:  Now  Amazon
Genre:  Psych Mystery


Synopsis:
They were reunited at his funeral, school friends with a shared past. A past that is anything but straightforward. A past that harbours secrets and untruths. 

Karen has a seemingly perfect life. An adoring husband, two wonderful children and a beautiful home. She has all she has ever wanted, living the dream. She also has a secret. 

Sandra's once perfect life is rapidly unravelling. The man who meant everything to her had a dark side and her business is failing. To get her life back on track she needs to reclaim what is rightfully hers. She knows the secret. 

As the past meets the present, truths are revealed - and both women understand the true cost of betrayal.


Review:
This book is another book that works with the past vs. present points of view.  However, it is some very sensitive subjects so if you are triggered by pedophile don't pick this up.  If you are interested in the dark side of humanity you may like this book.  There was some really good writing, but the ending seemed a bit rushed, I could have used a little more suspense near the end.  However, it did keep me on the seat of my chair trying to figure out what could happen and I had a few surprises that I didn't expect. This being a debut novel is worth the read, looking forward to more by Ms. Newman.

This book was provided to me in exchange for a honest review by Netgalley and the publisher.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Title:  A Beautiful, Terrible Thing

Author:  Jen Waite

Publisher: Plume Books

Available:  July 11, 2017

Source:  Netgalley and Plume

Genre:  Memoir




Synopsis:

What do you do when you discover that the person you've built your life around never existed? When "it could never happen to me" does happen to you? These are the questions facing Jen Waite when she begins to realize that her loving husband--the father of her infant daughter, her best friend, the love of her life--fits the textbook definition of psychopath. In a raw, first-person account, Waite recounts each heartbreaking discovery, every life-destroying lie, and reveals what happens once the dust finally settles on her demolished marriage. After a disturbing email sparks Waite's suspicion that her husband is having an affair, she tries to uncover the truth and rebuild trust in her marriage. Instead, she finds more lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have imagined. Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment from the last five years that isn't part of the long-con of lies and manipulation. With a dual-timeline narrative structure, we see Waite's romance bud, bloom, and wither simultaneously, making the heartbreak and disbelief even more affecting.

Review:

This book will tug at all the strings if you have any emotion and if you don't perhaps you'll fall in love with Marco.  The book was well written and had a very good suspense hook especially for a memoir, however there could have been a bit less when 'researching'.  I did feel like it made 'googling' seem like the thing to do instead of reaching out to medical professionals for proper diagnosis.  Most adults know that the 'rabbit hole' of google will lead to bad things but there are new generations emerging that think that google is the end all and will  take things into their own hands. (stepping off my soap box now)But this book is worth the read if you are the kind of reader that likes to peek behind the curtains into other peoples houses.  I feel for Jen and wish her all the best in her future and think she should consider writing fiction because she can hook a reader in quickly and keep them on the line til the very last page.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Series Saturdays

Title: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Series:  Stuff 3
Author:  Don Bruns
Available:  Now
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Genre:  Cozy Mystery

Synopsis:
It's official; stumbling, bumbling James Lessor and Skip Moore are licensed private investigators. Now, that's some scary stuff. It could take time to get Moore or Less Investigations off the ground, so James takes a job with a traveling carnival show. But this show has a dubious reputation, having had a string of accidents and at least one death in the past year. When they're hired to investigate what's caused the carnival chaos, James and Skip set into motion a dizzying, roller coaster chain of events. After a terrifying trip on the Dragon Tail ride, a not-so-fun dust-up in Freddy's Fun House, and a host of threats, James and Skip realize they'll get anything but cooperation from this cantankerous cast of carnies. But when a carnival worker is murdered, James and Skip will have to act fast-because they might be next in line. For James and Skip, the only thing sweeter than the smell of corndogs and fried dough will be the sweet smell of success-but in this case, 'success' means getting out alive. This investigation is going completely off the rails.

Review:
What a fun ride, this book was a fun read, with mystery and fun and great characters!  Loved seeing these two bumble along on their own way and the descriptions of the carnival pretty much seals my dislike of carnivals!  I didn't read the previous books in this series and actually wasn't lost, very good back story information without any kind of back story dump!  If you like cozy mysteries and bumbling fools for main characters pick this one up or rather get the whole series!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Title:  A Monster Calls
Author:  Patrick Ness
Publisher:  Walker Books
Available:  Now






Source:  Purchase
Genre: MG/YA

Rating:  7 thumbs up

Synopsis: 
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.
 


Review:
Wow, this was an incredible ride on a very sensitive subject.  But it is so relevant.  It's hard to watch our parents wither in front of us and maybe not know exactly what is going on or where to turn.  The art work is amazing, worth the cost of picking up this book in paperback edition.  Totally loved it and our family read this book in like 3 days for everyone (5 of us) and then went to see the movie.  While the movie diverted slightly from the book, it still brought out the tears.  Looking for something a bit darker, a bit more scary?  Pick this up.  Highly recommend!

Awards:
Bram Stoker Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Novel (2011)Kate Greenaway Medal (2012)Galaxy British Book Awards for Children's Book of the Year (2011)Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Literature (2011)Red House Children's Book Award (2012)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Title:  Mistborn
Author:  Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor
Available:  Now
Series: Mistborn #1
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Source:  Purchased

Rating:  7 thumbs up!

Synopsis:
Brandon Sanderson's epic fantasy trilogy overturns the expectations of readers and then goes on to tell the epic story of evil overturned in a richly imagined world.

A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash fields.

But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy - the magic that lies in all metals.

A word of mouth success in the states the Mistborn trilogy has, this year, broken onto the New York Times Bestseller list. The time is ripe for its success to cross the Atlantic.
 


Review:
This book hit all the right places for me, the page turning action, the magic system, the romance, the great characters, the plot driven story.  There is so much going on in these pages that it is just great!  I loved this book and can't wait to pick up the second book.  Sanderson is one of my only 3 auto buy authors!  Pick this up if you are in the mood for some great fantasy world building with a killer magic system and a little bit of time, it is quite large!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Title: Duplicity
Author: Sibel Hodge
Available: Now
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher:  Thomas and Mercer
Rating: 4 stars


Synopsis:
There are three sides to every story: Yours. Mine. And the truth…



Max and Alissa have a fairy tale life—newlywed, madly in love and enviously rich. Then Max is brutally stabbed to death at their home and Alissa, miraculously, escapes with her life. But why was she spared?

The hunt for the killer begins, uncovering a number of leads—was Max’s incredible wealth the motive? Had his shady business practices finally caught up with him? Or was it a stalker with a dangerous obsession?

Devoted friends rally around gentle, sweet Alissa as she is left to mourn the loss of her husband and pick up her life. But not everyone is who they seem…Deep-rooted jealousies, secrets and twisted love lie just beneath the surface, and not all fairy tales have a happy ending.

Duplicity is a suspenseful thriller from the bestselling author of Look Behind You and Where the Memories Lie



Review:
Wow, a complete mind blower.  Just when I thought it couldn't get more twisted, I find out I'm wrong.  It was a definite page turner and I lost much needed sleep to find out the next thing.  The switching between two characters threw me a little at first, but once I realized what was going on, it made sense.   Never knowing who to trust or what the truth is leaves the reader at the mercy of the author.  kudos! I'm looking forward to reading more psychological thrillers from Sibel Hodge!  Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas and Mercer for the opportunity to read in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Title:  Sugar
Author: Kimberly Stuart
Available:  now
Source: netgalley
Publisher: Skyhorse

Rating:  3 stars

Synopsis:
After realizing her coworkers at L’Ombre, a high-profile restaurant in NYC, will never appreciate or respect her, Charlie Garrett allows her ex-boyfriend, Avery Michaels, to convince her to work for him as executive pastry chef at his new Seattle hotspot, Thrill. She’ll have her own kitchen, her own staff—everything she ever wanted professionally.

When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realizes that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realizes that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.

The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.

Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants.




Review:
A delightful quirky romance that is sweet and not over the top. It's a clean read and refreshingly fun. It's great for a quick summer romantic read if you are in the mood for a little love, a little humor, a little meddling family and friends and a lot of reality. The desserts seem amazing and I only wish we could have recipes!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Title: Root Beer and Roadblocks
Author: Susan M. Braganza
Available: now
Publisher: Prism

Rating:3 stars

Synopsis: When God strips away all your hopes and dreams can you trust Him to give you something better? 

Johnny Marshall’s cancer is back . . . and so is the girl who broke his heart seven years ago. As Johnny struggles to find the will to live and fights his second round with the disease, he finds hope comes in small packages with an energetic little boy named David.

Having bought in to her parents' narrow view of finding a man worthy of her, years ago, Katie abandoned the one man she'd ever loved. In all the years since, no one has ever compared to Johnny. Now as a single mom of a young boy, she wonders if their reunion right on time or is it too late for a future together?

Discover healing, forgiveness and second chances in Root Beer & Roadblocks, book four in the Orchard Hill series.
 

Review:  I really liked the idea of this book.  I found myself drawn into their stories and wanted to see what would come next.  However, the dialogue was just off.  Didn't always flow and felt like there were a lot of inconsistencies within the characters, for instance a child that speaks like an adult suddenly didn't know the meaning of 'easy' words at times.  Things happening much faster than would ever be possible in real life.  
It was a good faith based contemporary romance, but I think it could be so much more if a few of the storylines were left out and focused on a few important ones.  
If looking for a sweet romance pick it up. 
Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for honest review.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Title:  Just One Damned Thing After Another
Author: Jodi Taylor
Available:  Now
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Night Shade Books
Source:  Library

Rating:  5 star

Synopsis:
"History is just one damned thing after another."

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document - to try and



find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions...and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And, as they soon discover - it's not just History they're fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake...


Review:
This book is a treasure of fun and time travel and a little romance and hilarity and a page turning can't wait to see what happened...what?  There's a second book?  kind of a book!  This book left me satisfied yet wanting more all at the same time  It's a great way to while away a summer afternoon (you may want to have the whole series at hand) binge reading.  There were so many times when I was laughing so hard and I seldom do that with any books.  Ms. Taylor has now become an auto buy author for me (and I don't do too many of those)!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Title: Liar
Author: K. L. Slater
Publisher: Bookouture
Pub date: June 16, 2017
Rating: 4 stars


Synopsis:
Single dad Ben is raising his two sons alone, with the help of his parents.  He meets Amber and everyone but his mother, Judi thinks it's a great match. The two women dislike each other immensely and no one can figure out why. Secrets start to emerge and someone is going to get hurt.

Psychological thriller that exceeds expectations.  Your brain doesn't know who to root for, the back and forth kept me in suspense even as the story played out to the bitter end.  While I was able to discern some truth during the story, there was always something small that shook my beliefs and made me question those truths.  Very much a page turner with the POV being between the two women in the story.  Never had a problem figuring out was 'talking'.  Great read and would recommend if you are a fan of mind game books.

Thanks to Netgalley for review copy in exchange for honest review.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Catching the Wind

Title: Catching the Wind
Author: Melanie Dodson
Publisher: Tyndall
Pub date: May 9, 2017

Stars: 4.5
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Synopsis:
That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

Now a wealthy old man, Daniel's final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby's tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons--and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel's lawyer, Lucas Hough--the lure of Brigitte's story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.


Review:  What a wonderful historical fiction tale based on the realities of WW2 and those who weren't all that they may seem.  The way the stories were woven together made for an enjoyable read.  Even though the story went back and forth between the past and present, it wasn't hard to keep the stories straight.  The suspense was built up gradually, just enough to keep the pages turning.  This is a great showcase of God's answering or not answering prayers in His timeline.  The research that went into this novel is beyond comprehension, Ms. Dobson proved once again she can deliver a great story with a message!


Thanks to Tyndall and Netgalley for the book in exchange for a honest review.  This is on my to buy list for sure though!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Title:  How to Hang a Witch
Author:  Adriana Mather
Available:  Now
Publisher: Knopf Books
Source: Library


Rating:  4 stars


Synopsis:
It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in a debut novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
 



Review:

Salem, witches and a little more. YA bullying story with a history.  It's a great YA read that looks as if it's going to be a series?  I love the author's connection to Salem and even though this is a fictional account I love everything that pertains to Salem and the infamous witch trials.  Can't wait to read more!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Title:  Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte
Available: Now
Source:  Library

Rating 4 stars

Synopsis:
 My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster


Review:
Loved this sweet romantic contemporary with a side of something else.  It flew so fast I was able to complete it in an afternoon which is a good thing or I probably would have stayed up half the night trying to find out what is happening.  I loved the characters and I loved the story line.  This is a great read perfect for a car trip or just for a fun afternoon!