Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The House Mate

Book 3 of the Roommate series does not disappoint. Max Alexander is in his mid 30’s. Successful, gorgeous and raising a beautiful little girl Dylan on his own. Max doesn’t have time to play dating games. When he decides to relocate to be closer to his ailing mother in the town he was raised Max’s life takes an unexpected turn. He hires an old flame Addison to help with his daughter. Addison and Max shared the typical high school romance but when Max left for college he never looked back. Their chemistry is still sizzling after all these years apart but it will take a lot of convincing to get Addison to trust him again. ⭐⭐⭐

My Brother's Roommate

#2 Frisky Business series. The title pretty much says it all. Wolfie Cox and Conor have been friends, roommates and business partners for many years. Wolfie is the dark, handsome silent type and rarely has a girlfriend or a smile to spare. Polite, hard working but not exactly an easy going guy, Wolfie is the last person Penelope, Conors younger sister, ever expected to crush on. While Wolfie tries to keep his admitted attraction at bay, Penelope manipulates him into giving her a chance. It is no surprise this steamy quick love story will have you begging for more. According to author Kendall Ryan #3 is on the way. ⭐⭐⭐

The Boyfriend Effect

#1 in the Frisky Business series, author Kendall Ryan does it again. Hayes is taking a break from women. Too many crazy break ups and drama filled days. Maren is the younger sister of one of his best friends and business partner, officially off limits. Hotter than hot Hayes has always had a little crush on Maren, but she was just a kid back in the day. Now, she has become a beautiful, smart woman that he is finding hard to resist  — and Maren knows what she wants. Typical, quick steamy romance. A well done and easy to read treat. ⭐⭐⭐

Anna and The French Kiss

Anna is an average teen living in Atlanta, excited to face senior year and her future as a hopeful movie critic. Currently flirting with the cutest boy at the theater where she works part time and hanging out with her best friend is pretty much all that’s on her mind. When her divorced parents inform her that she is to spend her senior year at a posh boarding school in Paris, everything she hoped for falls to pieces. As soon as her parents leave the dormitory Anna commits to being miserable and alone. That is until she meets Etienne, the very handsome boy downstairs and his group of friends become hers as well. Seeing the sights and all the local films bonds Anna in a way she never thought possible. Etienne and Anna fight their unquestionable chemistry as his past girlfriend refuses to let go. The romantic city brings more to light than just the Eiffel Tower. Anna is forced to test the true meaning of friendship both old and new. This adorable YA romance has all the charm and innocence of first love and of course, there is Paris! Adored this quick enjoyable treat and will definitely check out more by this author. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Monday, December 28, 2020

A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

Lila Reyes just graduated from highschool in West Dade, Miami. Happily living with her Cuban-American family and working in La Paloma, the successful bakery her grandmother established many years ago. When her abuela unexpectedly passes away it sets off a chain of events that turns Lila’s life upside down. Her longtime boyfriend dumps her a few days before prom and her best friend’s secret to work in Africa comes to light. Everything Lila had planned, all her dreams to be the best baker in Miami and run the business with her sister come tumbling down. As sadness overwhelms her, the family decides Lila must leave to recuperate from the difficulties she has faced. They send her to Winchester, England to stay with Aunt Cate, rest and relaxation the key to recovery. Lila is unable to stay out of the kitchen and as she regains her strength Lila’s baking takes the village of Winchester on a Cuban journey through deliciousness. She wins every heart including Orion who runs the tea shop. This adorable YA novel takes a girl from a tight knit community out into the world and while nourishing the needs of other’s she manages to find herself again. Beyond adorable, I highly recommend this recipe for travel with a little bit of romance. ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Dana is a 26 year old African-American woman in 1976 California. She and her white husband Kevin just moved into their lovely first home and aside from a few family complications these two aspiring writers live a rather simple life. One day Dana feels strangely dizzy and as the room begins to blur she is terrifyingly swept away to another time. Dana awakens in Maryland in the early 1800’s. She sees a little boy in the distant lake and he is drowning. Without a moments hesitation Dana saves his life and begins a journey none of her creative writing could have ever imagined. She time travels back and forth between centuries to repeatedly save this boy called Rufus. As a black woman she is thought to be a slave on his father’s plantation. Going along with the ruse and the historical facts she knows, Dana must learn to survive while she figures out this mysterious existence she has acquired. This book originally published in 1979 is part fantasy/part historical fiction and one hundred percent mesmerizing. To physically live, even for a short while, during a time in history that tested everything we believe about freedom and humankind is almost unimaginable. Author Octavia Butler takes us on a journey you will remember long after the final chapter. An absolute must read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Swear On This Life

Emiline, an English lit grad student had a rough childhood. Raised by an abusive alcoholic father, she clung to the boy next door, her best friend. Jackson fed Emiline when she was hungry, he dried her tears when she was sad. Jackson was the only person in rural Ohio who protected Emiline down this dirt road they called home. When she finally was taken away by the authorities to be raised by a distant Aunt in California, she never saw Jackson again. Now, as a teacher, Emiline yearns to write her own story but she cannot quite find the words. Her roommate is raving about the latest bestseller by “J. Colby” and when Emiline finally gives it a chance, she finds herself speechless. This is her life, in detail, on a page. The painful story she has not found the courage to tell. And the author is none other than Jackson. Angry and terrified of revisiting the past, Emiline reads the novel is pieces while she reflects on memories she buried long ago. This romantic drama had an absolutely fantastic concept and I loved the flashback chapters of her life but the present storyline in between was not compelling at all. 
Hence, only a mediocre review. ⭐⭐⭐

The Simple Wild

Calla Fletcher left rural Alaska when she was two years old. Her mother loved her husband Wren with all her heart but could not manage in this remote isolated land. And Wren, a bush pilot to his very core, could never leave Alaska. Her mother eventually remarries and Calla’s strained long distance conversations over the years have left her with a father she barely knows. When a surprising call comes from a neighbor that Wren is not well, the stars align and Calla makes her way to this estranged man she yearns to call Dad. Upon arrival it is clear this city girl has a lot to learn. Her high heels don’t work in the mud and cell reception is scarce. When she meets her Dad’s right hand man Jonah, she can barely make out his smirk hiding beneath a bush of a beard she names yeti. The back and forth banter quickly becomes flirting and naturally there is an extremely handsome sky cowboy hiding under there. Just as her mother warned before her departure, between her father’s illness and her budding friendship with the hunky pilot, Calla’s world is turned upside down. Couldn’t put down this quick, vivid romance set in the wilds of Alaska. Armchair travel at its best. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Library at the Edge of the World

Hanna Casey has spent the last few years starting over. Escaping a failed marriage in an upscale London suburb with little more than the clothes on her back and her beautiful daughter Jazz, Hanna now runs the library in the rural village on Ireland’s west coast that she grew up in. Jazz, now grown and working as a flight attendant has left Hanna miserably on her own, living with her oppressive mother who criticizes her every move. When it comes to light that Hanna is the owner of a late Aunt’s crumbling cottage on the outskirts of town it becomes her mission to start her life again. Throw in the most peculiar but kind hearted handyman, a local council who threatens to close the library and a handsome city clerk who hides his own complicated past and there is quite some drama to contend with. A lot of driving around in her mobile library van, gossip that spreads like wild fire and an ocean view to die for … add some books and I’m in. Always a fan of Irish authors and stories that take place in the land of leprechauns, this one was pure delight. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This Time Next Year

Minnie Cooper meets Quinn at a fancy New Year's Eve bash thrown by his girlfriend. With little in common and both romantically involved with others, it comes a complete surprise that not only do they share a birthday on New Year's Day but their mother’s delivered in the same hospital and Quinn actually stole Minnie’s name! As she struggles with her small catering business and is forced to move back in with her parents, Minnie begins the most unexpected friendship with this handsome very successful man that she is convinced would never be attracted to her. The two lives accidentally intertwine at every turn which Minnie mistakes for coincidence that may actually be pure destiny. Adorable rom-com characters reinforcing the power of opposites attracting and sometimes putting best laid plans aside while you follow your heart. Fun, quick, happy holiday read. ⭐⭐⭐

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Addie LaRue is a young woman in the early 1700’s. At 23 years old she is practically an old maid in this quaint French village. Her stern mother and artistic loving father are desperate for their daughter to become a wife, a mother. Happiness, love, Addie’s dreams of travel are beyond their scope of understanding. Minutes before her arranged marriage to a local widow, Addie runs to the forest and begs the god of gods to show her mercy. She is desperate to avoid this wedding and a life contained in this small world. Now, 300 years after her deal with the devil, Addie’s curse may be broken. After centuries of living a lonely existence where she can do as she pleases but not a single person ever remembers her, Addie meets Henry at a small bookshop in NYC. She returns the very next day for another book and Henry remembers her. Addie does not know what makes Henry special or different but as they share the truth the future becomes even more complicated. Flashing back and forth through time, Addie keeps marching onward through history and her endless search for home. A lot of subtle lessons and beautifully written, this book received a ton of excellent reviews. My only complaint is with editing - a bit repetitive and about 100 pages too long. ⭐⭐⭐

Wednesday, December 9, 2020


Chloe Berringer is a senior at the most prestigious (most expensive) private high school in Los Angeles. The SAT pressure is on full blast and her beautiful, celebrity mother and handsome, successful father are playing the helicopter parents from hell. As Chloe’s grades appear mediocre at best her mom hires a highly recommended college consultant get the job done. Chloe is more focused on her longtime crush and spending weekends with her best friend but figures whatever makes her parents happy is just fine by her. The morning the FBI comes banging down the door is the day her life is no longer her own. This high priced college assistance turns into the college scandal of the decade. Chole’s mother is facing federal charges along with a slew of other rich, entitled parents who were claim they were naively trying to help their beloved offspring. Not only has Chloe lost everything she loves, she faces the fact that her parents did not believe she could succeed on her own. They have risked her future and that of her sister’s to ensure their own bragging rights. Loosely based on the recent admissions scandal that rocked the nation, this fictionalized account was unputdownable. Highly recommend this fast paced, well written read!! Will definitely be following this author going forward! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

Emilia lives alone in a small family apartment in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Perpetually single, she dotes on her cat, bakes at her grandfather’s deli and hasn’t changed her hairstyle in more than a decade. As a second-born daughter in the Fontana family, Emilia is burdened with a two hundred year old curse that she will never find love. Having lost her mother when she was just a baby, Emilia remains under the thumb of her fierce, unrelenting nonna, bitter sister and timid father. When her estranged, eccentric Aunt Poppy invites her and cousin Lucy on an all expense paid dream trip to Italy, Emilia’s life is instantly turned upside down. Poppy, another second-born daughter, plans to reunite with her long lost lover Rico at the Ravello Cathedral on her 80th birthday. Battling the curse and a lifetime of regret Emilia and Lucy have a lot to learn from this Aunt they barely know. There is a world outside of Bensonhurst just waiting to be discovered. As this quirky trio travels through the canals of Venice, picturesque streets of Florence and majestic hills of Tuscany, they uncover not only the many wonderful delicacies but Aunt Poppy’s deepest, darkest secret. Buon viaggio. ⭐⭐⭐⭐