Thursday, December 29, 2022

Our Missing Hearts

Bird is a 12 yr old boy living with his dad in Boston. It is some time in the future and after the “Crisis" the government revitalized the economy by blaming China and subsequently the Asian communities in the United States for all of their problems. Being a good American now meant spying on your neighbors. Turning in anyone who seemed unpatriotic. In turn the government would quickly find you and deem your children were in danger of becoming unpatriotic and “replace” them to another home. Bird and his dad live a very quiet existence. After his mom Margaret left them they lay low desperate to remain anonymous and not be associated with her rebellious actions. Margaret was a thoughtful poet and of Chinese dissent. She thought leaving Bird with Ethan would protect them. Three years after she left Bird still cannot imagine never seeing his mom again. He is determined to find her and get answers to the questions that haunt him at night. I have loved other books by this author but this one was not for me. Although it had glowing reviews, I did not understand or like any of the characters and couldn’t wait for it to end. :( ⭐️⭐️

The Pirate's Wife

Sarah Bradley was born in England circa 1665. After her mother died, Sarah helped raise her younger brothers while her seafaring father was away. Maturing quickly due to her circumstance, Sarah was married off to William Cox at only 15 years old when the Bradley’s arrived in the New York Colony. Becoming even more self sufficient with natural business acumen Sarah quickly married again after the untimely demise of Cox. When John Oort passed soon after Sarah met Captain William Kidd, a dashing and adventurous man with a reputation that followed him everywhere. As Sarah was already a beautiful and well-to-do woman with multiple businesses and land acquisitions - unheard of for women during this time period - the two became somewhat of a power couple. When the dashing Captain made a privateering arrangement with duplicitous investors their  lives came crumbling down. Completely fascinating account of a period in history that most know little about. The conditions for women, whims of a monarchy and a colony on the cusp of change, this author brings history to life revealing shocking secrets and possible scenarios. Non-fiction that reads like fiction, I did not want it to end. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

French Kissed

Fleur Marceaux is in her last year at the International School in London. Her best friends are all moving forward and making plans while she feels absolutely lost - barely passing her classes and no idea what to do after graduation. Fleur was so confident her future included her boyfriend Costa, but that was before she lost the baby and he dumped her for another girl. Fleur never imagined getting her life back on track would include Max, the American. Not her type by a long shot but when she finally gives him a chance their chemistry is electrifying. Together they figure out the value that lies beneath a true friendship. This was #3 in an older series by Chanel Cleeton - when she wrote a completely different genre of young romance. I remembered liking the first two much more but it’s always nice to wrap up a series. Cute easy paced story. If you haven’t read it yet, definitely start at the beginning. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flirting With the Beast

Andi McDermott has been a widow for the last five years. Having never had children, her entire adult life was spent taking care of Kevin, their home and social life. Without him she has felt completely lost. Hastily Andi decides Christmas alone would be more tolerable at the cabin in Lake Arrowhead, a small mountain community in northern California. Her only distraction is Wolf, a neighbor she and her husband battled for years. A big, brawny man with rambunctious dogs and a loud motorcycle, she was always quite intimated and at the same time curious about this mystery man. Their paths quickly cross and this handsome hunk is more helpful than hurtful. His brutish manner is actually kind of hot. Although she is more nervous than she cares to admit, Andi makes an effort to be neighborly. Delightful late fifties romance with plenty of steam? I’m in. Filled with likable characters in a beautiful setting, this fast paced modern love story was perfect. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Other End of the Sea

Becky Klein grew up in the Midwest. A typical teenager Becky became more curious about her Jewish roots. Unfamiliar with the history and politics of Israel, Becky decides to travel to a kibbutz in Haifa during the summer of 1981. In a small garden near the kibbutz she befriends a young man who invites her to Gaza to meet his friends and family. This Palestinian activist, slightly older and infinitely more worldly, is intelligent and handsome - the two are instantly attracted to one another. Months later, their friendship grows and Becky moves to closer his neighborhood to teach English at the nearby Quaker school. She becomes immersed with a group of young people who belong to various global organizations trying to help the community in any way they can. Through decades Becky’s love affair with this man, his people and the land itself take her on a journey to places she could have never imagined. The Other End of the Sea is not just a love story and it’s not just about religion or politics. It’s depicts family, friendship and survival. A work of fiction that reads like a memoir, this is an outsider’s peek into a world few of us know much about. Thought provoking, sad and hopeful all at once. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Monday, December 26, 2022

The Matchmaker's Gift

As the Glikman family make their way to America in 1910, young Sara Glikman sees a thread of light no-one else can see. This thread connects a handsome man on the ship with her older sister and she graciously introduces them. It is love at first sight. And so begins the illustrious career of a matchmaker. Sara’s gift does not slow on the bustling streets of the lower east side. Sara matches her lovely school teacher, the man who sells pickles and the daughter of the famous knish maker. It is not always easy for Sara. She is too young and unmarried - the men of this mostly religious community do not approve of her vocation. Most troubling to Sara, a romantic at heart, is how will she ever be able to find a match for herself? Many years later Sara’s granddaughter Abby is a high priced divorced attorney. Far from the love stories she heard growing up, her parent’s brutal divorce forced her to the darker side. Abby has a cutthroat boss and fortunes of famous clients to protect. When her beloved grandmother passes away Abby devours the journals she inherited. These diaries tell a different tale, one she never knew. Learning about her grandmother’s journey to help others, Abby is forced to face her own reluctance to believe in true love. Could this gift of light possibly be hers as well? Narrated by both women, this story is a heartwarming tale of hope and I loved very single minute of it! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The House Party

New Falls, Pennsylvania is a picture perfect place to live. The river runs through beautifully manicured estates and old classic farms producing the charming effect of chic small town living. Maja Jensen, a NYC gallerist and her husband Ted have taken all of their savings and are building a modern McMansion on it’s willowy shores. Construction is almost complete and they couldn’t be more excited. It’s the end of the school year and local seniors find easy access to this uninhabited home. What begins as a relatively small group of seniors getting drunk quickly spirals out of control. This magnificent home is destroyed in a violent manner. These mostly good students who are off to college in just a few months begin to weave their stories as the investigation begins. But as the DA, Jake Tillman, and Detective Murray dig deeper they find signs of a much more complicated assault, drugs and local elitism that turn the case on its head. Narrated between the rocky marriage of the Jensens, relative strangers to New Falls and the families of these teens who all appear to be hiding something. Highly recommend this unexpected page turner. It’s a miracle we made it through high school. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Monday, December 19, 2022

The Little Book of Hygge

Hygee, pronounced hoo-gah, is the Danish concept that consists of feelings of comfort. It can include food, music, decor and all elements that affect our senses giving people a feeling of coziness, closeness, safety and contentment. Dating back to the early 1800’s this lifestyle trend has been embraced by the Danish people. But you definitely don’t have to be Danish to enjoy and benefit from living a hygge life. After learning about hygge it becomes nearly impossible to escape the images that immediately begin to form in your mind, examining your own habits that are not bringing you as much joy as they used to. Our society does not allow us the necessary time with our family and friends or even quiet time just on our own. Hygge is about living in the moment, being present and allowing yourself to enjoy simplicity. As we rush through our fast paced world working hard, acquiring as much as possible, it is no wonder anxiety and depression are at an all time high. I remember preparing to leave the house when my son was little. He was very slowly tying his shoes and looked up at me with his serious little face and asked “Mommy, are we in a rush?” I must admit, sometimes there is no choice but I bet we could all use a bit of hygge in our lives. This little easy to read book is the perfect place to start. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Better Than Fiction

Drew Young never imagined she would own and run her grandmother’s popular bookshop called the Book Nook. Having grown up in Colorado, Drew’s dream was to travel through her state’s beautiful landscapes, creating adventures and photographing the magnificent sights. After her dear grandmother passes away, Drew is left with heartache and a huge responsibility to care for the bookshop. When Jasper Williams shows up at a book club event she is breathless. Drew never expected him to be so young and so handsome. This author of romance novels leaves her unexpectedly speechless. Charming though he may be, Jasper is shocked to learn that Drew is not an avid reader. They make a deal. Drew will provide Jasper with a Colorado bucket list to assist with the setting of his latest bestseller and he will carefully introduce Drew into the world of booklovers. Let the games begin. Filled with romcom mishaps and adorable characters, this quick easy book about books is too good to put down. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Eight Nights of Flirting

There is nothing like Nantucket for the holidays. The Barbanel family have been celebrating Hanukah at their summer home on the island for generations. From Boston, NY and other surrounding cities this large group of aunts, uncles and numerous cousins descend upon their grandparents historical mansion for a week of latkes, lights and laughter. Shira Barbanel, a smart, funny, fairly innocent sixteen year old has always looked forward to this magical family holiday. This year even more excited, handsome Isaac, her great uncle’s assistant will be joining them. She arrives at the Nantucket airport on her own only to find the entire family is delayed due to bad weather. As she waits for a taxi none other than Tyler Nelson sidles up next to her. Tyler (aka former hot crush/next door neighbor who she avoids at all costs) agrees to share a ride. Shira unexpectedly reconnects with her past nemesis. He even agrees to her crazy plan. Shira will introduce Tyler to her well connected uncle for an internship and in return Tyler will teach Shira how to flirt with Isaac. Eight days and nights of perfect adorableness, the memory of my sixteen year old self enjoyed every single moment. Quick easy YA holiday story. I haven’t read too many Hanukkah romcoms so this was a treat. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Christmas Dress

After Meg’s father passes away she returns to the heart of Chicago. Facing the brutal cold and concept that she is now literally an orphan Meg arrives at Parkview apartments where all her childhood memories are hidden away, many too painful to face. Her father has left her this building, its longtime curious tenants and the many daily problems to contend with. Leaving the dazzling world of fashion behind in NYC along with her ex-boyfriend Drake has not been easy, but Meg is determined to make her father proud. Assisted by Sylvie, Ellie and handsome handyman Logan - Meg must find a way to repair and restore this crumbling historic site to its former glory. Filled with unexpected romance, friendship and even a mystery involving a magical dress - as Christmas approaches so do the miracles of the holiday season. Enjoyed and recommend this sweet and quick holiday read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Girl in Ice

Val never imagined she would find herself in the freezing cold temperatures of the Arctic, on an isolated island off the Greenland coast. She has been summoned by Wyatt, her late brother’s fellow researcher and mentor. Val can barely fathom spending time where Andy spent his last moments, endlessly wondering and worrying what they entailed. As a renowned linguist and professor of dead Nordic languages Wyatt needs her assistance with a young girl he and his team have discovered or more specifically rescued from the thick glacier. A terrified petite 8 year old that has thawed from the ice alive and speaks in a language no-one can begin to understand. Val must overcome her fear of flying, her terror of meeting new people and general panic over anything outside her rigid daily routine at the university. From the moment she arrives in this frozen tundra she feels overwhelmed with suspicion, for her brothers death and the life of the innocent girl she must save. With the assistance of a young couple set to dive these unimaginable icy waters, Jeanne - a woman who oversees the day to day of the team and erratic behavior of Wyatt, the group sets out to make sense of this mysterious phenomena. A well written, bone-chilling thriller that surprised me at every turn. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Family Game

Harry’s novel has reached the bestsellers list. Her agent and publisher are thrilled, she has finally made it. After being orphaned as a child, with little direction and minimal guidance Harry (short for Harriet) finds herself enjoying life for the first time as a successful author, recently engaged to Edward who hails from one of America’s most well known and wealthy families. After a magical introduction in London followed by a year of long distance, the couple have moved into a swanky NYC apartment while Harry writes her second novel and Ed’s successful tech company continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Seemingly perfect except for one thing. Harry’s family. The rest of the Holbeck clan will do anything to get Edward back in their firm familial grip. Initially nervous, Harry is surprised to find them welcoming and warm upon introduction. But very slowly the tides begin to change. Robert, the patriarch of the family mysteriously knows her secret past. He wants something from her future. Suddenly Harry’s novel becomes all too real, cat chasing mouse or vice versa. It is not clear who she can trust (maybe no-one?) or what lengths this powerful family will go to get exactly what they want. This fast paced psychological thriller was absolutely brilliant and I could not put it down. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sunday, November 27, 2022


It’s almost Christmas, the first without their mother. Henry, Kate and Martin have gathered at Henry’s house in upstate NY. They have brought their spouses and children to Henry’s trying their best to emulate holiday cheer when in their own private ways they deeply grieve the loss of their mother. Kate, who outwardly appears most affected, strives to mimic the small details of ornaments, photos and traditional holiday dishes. Kate announces that she and her broke trust fund baby husband have decided they would like to live in their mother’s Florida home to raise their family and propose to slowly buy out the other siblings. The conflict begins. Siblings often behave as their younger selves when their respective tribes gather. Spouses rarely understand the true underlying source but are quick to take sides, the oblivious children easily entertain themselves with food and mischief. Feeling orphaned, the core of grief emerges from their loss leaving these siblings to face how differently their memories have formed their adult selves. Even though there is no doubt they love each other, grudges and jealousies of the past make it nearly impossible to find a peaceful solution. Although the story line is palpable, there were so very many characters and backstories I found it exhausting. The writing is good and I had no trouble finishing but I’m on the fence recommending. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Color of Ice

It is cold, really cold, when freelance photographer Cathryn McAllister arrives in Reykjavik, Iceland. Known as the smallest big city in the world, this is a tremendous adventure for Cathryn who has spent the last 15 years grieving the loss of her husband or more accurately - the family they were meant to be. Here to photograph the blue icebergs and illustrious glaciers Cathryn has been hired to interview and create a spread for a prominent glassblower named Mack. She has extended this opportunity into a much deserved solo vacation. With her two children grown and her well established client list, at 48 years old Cathryn is desperate for passion and purpose in both her life and work. Upon meeting the handsome burly Mack who is quite reserved, their shoot is completed smoothly and quickly. But something about Mack intrigues Cathryn who has not been infatuated in too many years. The two strike up a friendship and contrary to Cathryn’s meticulous nature she rearranges her itinerary to spend time learning about glassblowing. Cathryn is intrigued and attracted to this enigmatic man. Deep down, for as much as she fears change - she is ready. The Color of Ice is filled with the descriptive allure of Iceland matched perfectly with the intricacies of glassblowing. All senses in overdrive, the reader can see and feel the sharp beauty. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Home for Christmas

Piper McCauley inherits her family’s lodge in Wander, Alaska. She has spent her entire life at Great Expectations, initially with her parents who were tragically lost in a plane crash then as a bush pilot helping her beloved grandmother run the lodge. They cater to trophy hunters offering them exclusive treks into this remote and often desolate wilderness. One day Piper is caught up in a blizzard searching for her guests who may have meandered too far in this uncertain weather. She is rescued and awakens to a group of men who offer to take her in until the weather subsides. They bring her to Great Expectations where she meets her grandmother Marina as a young woman. It is 1945. As confusing as it seems, Piper cannot reveal that she is from the future. She does not know how she got there but these sweet hospitable people would think she was absolutely crazy! Not to mention the priceless opportunity to spend time with her Gran and great grandparents. They call her Pippy and she blames the absurd circumstances on amnesia. Borrowing Marina’s clothing and curling each other’s hair, a remarkable friendship blooms helping Piper understand much more about her family and painful recent loss. When an unexpected romance blossoms with a local war hero Piper questions whether she was meant to stay in this alternate reality forever. Whether she lands in the past, present or future Piper is determined to celebrate Christmas with a full heart. Don’t miss this fast paced holiday fun with a time travel twist! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The People's Princess

Lady Diana Spencer was only eighteen years old when she started dating Charles, the Prince of Wales. At the time she was rather lost, having dropped out of formal schooling, occupied by a few menial jobs as a nanny and helping her sister. She longed to make a meaningful contribution to the world. When things with Prince Charles became more serious Diana had but one goal - to become Princess of Wales. She was young, convinced she was in love and sure that over time Charles would reciprocate these feelings. As their engagement and wedding plans in 1981 speed ahead, Diana’s sense of loneliness intensifies. Hidden away for propriety’s sake in Buckingham Castle Diana swallowed her sadness creating a frightening eating disorder. With no-one to talk to she becomes obsessed with a diary from the 1800’s written by Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only heir of George IV. Charlotte was a young woman in an equally lonely castle, awaiting an arranged marriage by her egocentric father, the King. Dreaming of marrying for true love Charlotte creates unending chaos and will do anything to interfere with the King’s plans to create her own destiny. As Diana plans the wedding of the century to be viewed by millions of adoring admirers she learns the fate of Charlotte, the Queen that never was. Narrated between the royal worlds of two very different times in history these women have one thing in common - a desire for love and acceptance. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

One of Nory’s closest school friends is getting married just before Christmas. The wedding will be a week long event at a castle near the private school they attended, a sort of reunion. It is also in the small unassuming village Nory grew up in. Nory was a scholarship student at a very posh school outside London. Always a good student some people, namely her older brother, never got over the rift created when Nory’s friend group included a wealthy bunch of extremely entitled and outspoken classmates. Years later, constantly juggling expectations from two separate worlds, Nory leaves her unfulfilling well paid job. She opens up a bookshop called Serendipitous Seconds, filled with collectibles and rarities, now leading a quiet, bookish life. Arriving at the castle Nory recognizes the gardener Isaac. Both her brother’s longtime friend and her childhood tormentor she steers clear of any potential conflict. As the festivities get underway she accidentally crosses paths with Isaac. Suffice to say Isaac is handsome, charming and no longer a boy. Just as Nory reconsiders her past relationships and rather lonely foreseeable future, she runs into this hottie right under the mistletoe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Holiday Romance

Chicago is a long way from Dublin for Molly. Studying abroad was her chance to start over independent from her identical twin sister and small suffocating life in Ireland. Its Christmas break and Molly’s flight is packed. Sitting in the seat next to her is none other than Andrew, her roommates soon to be ex-boyfriend. To soften the blow she knows is coming, Molly is extra nice to this adorable seat mate. Their airplane tradition begins. For ten years Andrew and Molly are terrific friends. They drink bad wine, exchange silly gifts and catch up on their latest hookups or lack thereof. Their transatlantic flight becomes a same time next year  start to the holidays. A decade later, it’s their flightaversary and Molly, now a successful lawyer has secretly purchased first class upgrades! One delay after another the weather has become blizzard like conditions. Molly is stressed but Andrew is devastated. Holidays with his large family in Ireland is something he looks forward to all year. Molly cannot bear to disappoint him and vows she will do whatever it takes to get her friend home in time for Christmas. Through laugh out loud travel mishap after mishap (all too real!) the two Irish darlings try to make their way home. This completely delicious holiday friends to lovers romcom is the perfect stocking stuffer. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Queen's Secret

The Queen Mother, Elizabeth was a young woman when she finally accepted Bertie’s proposal. She never imagined she’d be the queen. She never could have predicted King Edward VIII would abdicate the throne to marry Wallis Simpson an American divorcee, thus leaving Bertie, her husband as King of England. Vowing to help make her husband’s reign successful Elizabeth greatly improves his speaking confidence and influences decisions both large and small. In 1939 Elizabeth is horrified that they are in another World War, that London and everyone they know and love is in terrible danger. Elizabeth was a supportive, strong wife and the couple built an uncommonly close relationship with Winston Churchill strategizing together throughout the war. But she had her own secret burden to bear, one that could destroy her reputation and possibly the monarchy. This intimate portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth’s parents details a story filled with much respect, resilience and love. The King and Queen made sure their beloved daughters Princesses Lilibet and Margaret had a childhood filled with warmth and affection and not the cold strictness displayed in the royal families of the past. Well aware that Lilibet would be Queen someday they did everything in their power to raise an independent, confident woman with a big and tender heart. After witnessing her reign that lasted over 70 years it is clear they did a marvelous job. Love historical fiction that puts a very human face on a complex woman and complicated family. FYI, the names can be confusing because when you become king you pick the name you want to rule under not necessarily your given name. In addition, they rarely use last names. Once you get into the story it quickly makes sense. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday, November 11, 2022

Ayesha At Last

As a modern Muslim, Ayesha walks through her world with confidence, courage and vibrant hijabs. Not everyone in the community approves of her working as a teacher, performing poetry in a bar and unmarried in her late twenties. Ayesha’s younger cousin Hafsa has more proposals than she can count. Dating is rare in their community. Often a young man of marriageable age will be offered to a girl’s family as a match. Ayesha has sworn her marriage will never be arranged, she is in charge of her own destiny. Lately she finds herself lonely and jealous of the fuss surrounding Hafsa. Khalid is a devout conservative man working with Ayesha’s friend at a tech conglomerate, his traditional clothing out of place in their world. When he crosses paths with Ayesha he is mesmerized by her beauty and strength. Suppressing his desires, Khalid faces discrimination at work and struggles with life changing decisions. Can this stubborn duo realize that similarities are more valuable than their differences before its’ too late? ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, November 3, 2022


Cecily Wong has the journalistic opportunity of a lifetime. All she has has to do is summit the eighth highest peak in the world, Mount Manaslu in Nepal and she will have the privilege of an exclusive interview with world renowned mountaineer Charles McVeigh. Cecily may have reached a little too high on this one. Recently dumped by her boyfriend James, a fellow journalist and climber raging with jealousy that she got this scoop. Cecily doesn’t have much climbing experience and has never attempted anything close to this magnitude but Charles conveys a sense of confidence that is contagious. He has carefully picked his small team of trusted sherpa guides and variety of climbers who all have more experience than she does. But Cecily wants this interview that can change the course of her entire career. Excited and nervous upon arrival she befriends another climber whose life is lost to a freak accident before they even leave base camp. As the journalist in Cecily starts asking questions the mild reaction from the others seems suspicious in itself. Yes, climbers are surrounded by accidents and death on a regular basis but when a second climber dies Cecily is determined to get to the bottom (or rather top) of this mysterious mountain where a murderer is on the loose. Her mantra begins - summit, get the interview, get the truth. Filled with literal cliff hangers from the very first chapter. This bone chilling thriller was unputdownable.  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Next Ship Home

Escaping war, drought, famine and religious persecution, immigrants have dreams of starting a new life. But first, these men, women and children had to make their way through Ellis Island. In 1902, Francesca and Maria escaped their abusive father and life in Sicily. Aboard a ship packed in a third class steerage filled with poor, sick and desperate passengers, Francesca did everything she could do to get to them America. A young woman named Alma recently started working at Ellis Island as a matron. She lives with her family on the lower east side of NY in a tight German community where unmarried at 21, she is already an old maid. Fluent in English, German and Italian, Alma plans to attend school and become a translator, a job not yet available to women. When Alma and Francesca meet during inspection, an unexpected friendship blooms. Alma helps Fran get a job and brings her home against her parents wishes although her older brother Fritz is instantly smitten. As we are immersed in the history of rampant discrimination, battles over unionizing disgruntled workers and severe mistreatment of the stereotyped immigrant it becomes shockingly clear these same issues are in the headlines today. It is equally daunting to see how quickly these families, only one generation American themselves, feared anyone different who wanted the very same things their own ancestors sought in America. This mesmerizing vivid work of historical fiction is a powerful reminder of friendship, family and the courage it takes to make change. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday, October 28, 2022

It Starts With Us

Lily and Ryle are finally divorced. They have settled into a somewhat amicable relationship where they can coparent their daughter Emerson and be in the same room at the same time without lawyers. One day Lily bumps in Atlas Corrigan, whom she was anxious and nervous to see again. All her feelings instantly came pouring back over her heart, exactly what she feared and expected. The two slowly and carefully start texting and agree to meet. It’s been 18 months since that fateful day and Atlas is quietly thrilled Lily is free from her broken marriage and has both a beautiful healthy daughter and thriving florist shop. After everything she went through no-one deserves it more. Naturally Ryle is furious as soon as he discovers their rekindled feelings. He can no longer control the anger that he mostly managed to keep at bay, always hoping he would get a second chance with Lily if he behaved. Atlas is also confronted with his buried past. Years after last having contact with his mother he must once again face painful truths and stand up for what is right. Continuing where It Ends With Us ends, this ode to young love and unwavering friendship is the perfect closure for Atlas and Lily. A little tiny bit repetitive but an easy and enjoyable read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

There's Something About Merry

Moving back to her home town of Mistletoe, Idaho, Merry Winters is ready to restart her life. After surviving her share of more than a few dating disappointments she is ready to settle down on her family’s Christmas tree farm and find her soul mate. Confident that happily ever after is at her fingertips, Merry downloads the latest dating app. Knottygirl25 begins her matchmaking search and is instantly attracted to a Woodsman who crafts adorable snowmen. A chain of flirty messaging ensues at the same time a new foreman appears on the farm, Clark Griffin. While this responsible single dad is off the chart handsome he remains purely professional with Merry, not willing to risk his new job and friendship with her family. Purposefully keeping his distance, Clark often appears distant and cold. The truth is he would like more than anything a friend to confide in and cuddle with on these long winter nights. Way out of practice, Clark decides messaging anonymously on his dating app is a lot easier than a face to face. More than a little intrigued the two unknowingly arrange a date. As the sparks begin to fly it will take more than a kiss under the mistletoe to make this swipe a real love match. Filled with romcom mishaps and holiday hallmark, this is an easy breezy bit of seasonal fun. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Matchmaker's List

At twenty nine years old the pressure is on. Raina Anand has finally allowed her beloved Nani (grandmother) to set her on up blind dates until she finds “the one.” In this small traditional Indian community in Toronto gossip spreads fast and rumors even faster. After a tumultuous childhood Raina managed to find success and independence as a financial analyst working downtown. But as a single woman she is already labeled an old maid. Permission granted, Nani lines up the suitable bachelors. Making her way down the potential love list Raina becomes frustrated and discouraged as do most of her dates who were similarly coerced by meddling mothers! Desperate to appease her Nani and the aunties trying to find an eligible Indian man, she goes on exhausting date after date becoming frustrated and resentful. At the same time Raina is helping arrange a huge wedding affair for her best friend and cannot deny the unmistakable chemistry brewing with the best man (not on her list!) Raina learns the hard way that arranged marriages may not be so very different from the widely popular online dating apps her friends use. Learning to balance traditional values with modern day matchmaking turns into a priceless lesson of family, friendship and the pursuit of happiness. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Beautiful Country

In 1994, at seven years old Qian lands in New York on a plane from China with her Ma Ma (mother). A precocious little girl, she was anxious beyond belief to see her Ba Ba (father) who had arrived a few years earlier promising with every phone call a better life in the beautiful country, Mei Guo (America). In Chinatown the undocumented threesome struggle for years working in sweatshops, slowly learning the English language and American ways. With few friends and no extended family for support, what they once had perceived as success for themselves is now purely survival. Living in severe poverty with the threat of deportation hanging over their heads, the Wang family find little joy and much anxiety in America. Before the Chinese Cultural Revolution, her parents were distinguished professors - now they perform backbreaking manual labor. Qian quickly finds her only happiness in books at the public library, a treasured safe space. A voracious reader she quickly teaches herself English and learns to adapt, always feeling a great responsibility for her parents well being. After her Ma Ma overcomes a serious illness she is resolute that they cannot wait any longer to get citizenship. Today, working as a civil rights litigator dedicated to helping immigrants and other marginalized communities, Qian shares her journey in this magnificent memoir of resilience, faith and much love. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When in Rome

Amelia Rose, AKA Rae Rose pop star sensation, has been enamored with Audrey Hepburn her entire life. Having watched voraciously with her mom as a child, these movies became a soothing balm for tough times. Right now Amelia is running away from her glamorous life. Desperate for a mental break before she actually has one Amelia sets out from her home in Nashville to Rome, Kentucky. It might not be the Rome of Audrey’s infamous movies but it will have to do. As she rarely drives herself anywhere these days, her old car proceeds to get stuck. It is late, it is dark and the most handsome guy she has ever laid eyes on is tapping on her window. When Noah Walker finds Amelia he seems less impressed with her fame and more annoyed by this disturbance on his precious front lawn and quiet life. One romcom mishap after another, Noah, a baker who runs the town's pie shop cannot ignore his gentleman’s upbringing and takes Amelia under his wing (or in his case, very large bicep). As Amelia learns to appreciate the simple things in life like making the perfect pancake, Noah must open his once broken heart to the possibilities right in front of him. This cozy small town deliciousness has all the ingredients for a perfect Fall romance.  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Stories from Suffragette City

Horses, carriages and marching on foot. In 1915 women banded together all wearing white, carrying banners and signs, demanding equality. The parade was the largest and most famous suffrage movement at that time. It appeared triumphant but these short stories written by some of our most favorite authors reveal a variety of narratives ranging from struggling new immigrants, the poorest of children in the Berkshire Mountains and well heeled society ladies joining the march against the wishes of their powerful husbands. Each individual story culminates on this very special day when against all odds these tenacious, hard working women refused to give up. Mini Lesson: On October 23, 1915 over 25,000 women marched down New York City’s Fifth Avenue to fight for women’s suffrage. This fight which had begun over 65 years earlier would not come to fruition until the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920, granting women the right to vote across the entire country. Although this amendment declares no one can be denied this right based on sex, many state laws deliberately restricted the black vote. It wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that all women could freely vote. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday, October 14, 2022

Smart Girl Summer

Abby Atkinson always had a plan, to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a physics professor at a prestigious university. On track for her PhD and tutoring on the side, Abby is now in her late twenties and finds herself completely lost. Her deceiving advisor stole all of her hard work, years of research now lost and hopes of attaining her goals shattered. The company she tutors for in Manhattan has a last minute request for the summer. A well paid job teaching math to the twelve year old daughter of a very wealthy man on his very fancy super yacht. Without too many other options and her bank account rather low, Abby sends off a quick yes and she’s on the next flight to Europe. Abby has been in school for so long she never questioned her path, never thought any other options existed. Traveling abroad for the first time is both luxurious and eye opening. It’s time to admit she really enjoys teaching and her instant chemistry with the unexpectedly down to earth billionaire is a breath of fresh air. Enjoyed every moment of this sailing romance adventure where a young woman gives herself a chance to follow her heart and put aside the expectations of others. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Drunk in Love

Running the family winery in the Napa Valley is no easy task. Margot’s brother is the winemaker and when their beloved uncle passed away, all business duties fell on her petite shoulders. It hasn’t been easy but one thing is certain, Margot is a hard worker and will do anything to prove her worth. After returning from a short business trip, Margot stops in at The Barrell, her friend Sydney’s quaint bar/restaurant down the street. In walks Luke Williams, a new face in the familiar crowd and as sexy as they come. Their immediate connection leads to hours long conversation. After leaving the bar there is no doubt whether they will be together, only question is to whose apartment. A night she will never forget, Margot arrives at work the next morning on cloud nine. She is shocked when an hour later her brother introduces her to their new employee, drumroll please … Luke Williams. What began as a sexy one night stand becomes an incredibly confusing and tense situation. Surrounded by gorgeous rolling hills, mouthwatering bottles of wine and plenty of family chaos, Margot and Luke must figure out if they can work together, remain friends and face the burning truth. This wine filled flirty romance is perfect for many a happy hour. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lucy Checks In

Once upon a time Lucy Giannetti had it all, or at least she thought she did. As the hotel manager of a ritzy NY establishment, Lucy was well known throughout the industry as a thorough, detail oriented, savvy executive who happened to be the girlfriend of the owner himself, Tony Fielding. She dressed in fine suits and lived in a luxurious suite, keeping her unyielding Italian parents and difficult brothers at an arm’s length in NJ. When her entire life is turned upside down by scandal she loses her career, all her savings and is left with nothing but a broken heart. Two years later, she is 49 and desperate for a new beginning. Lucy accepts a position to manage Hotel Paradis in Rennes, France. What she finds is a dilapidated old chateau that hasn’t had a guest in over 80 years. A quirky group of tenants convince Lucy she is up to the task to both rebuild the hotel and her life at the very same time. Filled with the joy of second chances and everything deliciously French, this fast paced novel is a romance for the senses and the heart.  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Only nine years old, Javier Zamora set out on a journey that would change his life forever. He left the comfort and relative safety of his grandparents home in El Salvador and traversed over 3,000 miles with a group of complete strangers to meet his parents in the U.S. With coyotes leading the way, the estimated trip of two weeks unexpectedly turned into months. Months during which none of his family knew where he was, if he was dead or alive. This brave little boy was blessed with the unwavering kindness he received from a mother who was traveling with her young daughter and a male friend from her town. The foursome quickly bonded. The unwavering care they showered on Javier helped him survive death defying boat trips, long desert treks, dehydration, hunger, horrifying arrests and most of all a crippling loneliness. Years later, this poetic, well educated and humble man shares his story to heal his own heart and enlighten others who watch and judge from afar. A memoir of a little boy who dreamed of reaching his parents and a world where the price of freedom is inestimable. Heartbreaking and beautifully written, Javier’s story will be with you long after the last page. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Witch in the Well

In the small town of F— two young girls become summer friends. Cathy lives on a neighboring farm and Elena comes from the big city every year to spend time with her beloved Uncle John. He lives on a large old estate they deem “the castle.” At 12 years old the two girls roam free, spending their days exploring the forest and swimming at the lake while drinking lemonade. As teens the girls drift, Cathy deeply resents that Elena has better things to do and does not come to F— anymore, while her life remains rather desolate. Years later Elena is a successful influencer and novelist. She finally returns to F— to clear out Uncle John’s estate when he passes away. Cathy has spent the last years obsessed and researching the local town archives of Ilsbeth Clark, a woman accused of witchcraft that drowned in the infamous well hundreds of years ago. A well that apparently many have lost their lives to since. The eventual reunion between the two old friends is bitter and awkward. As the summer slowly passes it becomes clear that Elena has a similar novel in mind initiating a nasty feud. Chock-full of witches, daemons and spirits, this creepy tale becomes deadly when the unimaginable truth is revealed. Perfect for Halloween!  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Monday, October 3, 2022

Lessons in Chemistry

“Courage is the root of change—and change is what we’re chemically designed to do.” Elizabeth Zott proudly and rather stoically recites again and again throughout the story. It is certainly not her fault that the world in the 1950’s and 60’s is a patriarchal society that she does not fit into. Elizabeth Zott is the ONLY female chemist at Hastings Research Institute. Chemistry is all she ever wanted do with her life. As everything else felt upside down, science always made sense. When she unexpectedly falls in love (perfect chemistry) with a fellow scientist Calvin Evans, it is explosive. Unfortunately, life can be unfair and there is not always a happy ending. Elizabeth is repeatedly hounded by sexist superiors throughout her career. These chauvinist men simply cannot tolerate her intelligence and beauty. They will do whatever it takes to knock her down. Years later Elizabeth finds herself as a single mother and host of a hit television series called Supper at Six. Using chemistry and cooking to influence women across the country, the show becomes a smashing success. Daring to change the balance of power, Elizabeth makes many people uncomfortable with her direct honesty regarding issues women have been quietly suffering from for years. This novel is a unique, witty observation of a time in history when feminism was progressing at a snails pace. Filled with quirky, smart, wonderful characters - even the scenes that felt completely fantastical were still a joy.  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Wherever the Wind Takes Us

When Becca was barely an adult she met Alistair Larkin. He was older, a successful lawyer and from a prominent wealthy family. She was smitten and quickly pregnant with their daughter Olivia. Eventually finishing college (just to prove she could) Becca was mostly content as a stay at home mom raising her child and managing the family’s ever growing social calendar. Twenty two years later she can no longer ignore that her marriage is a sham, Alistair has changed for the worse and she has not been happy in a very long time. After the divorce is final, and Becca did not contest the prenuptial agreement, she walks away with little more than her dignity and Alistair’s prize possession, his 40 foot sailboat. For all practical purposes she must sell the boat having no idea how to sail and desperately needing the cash.  When what was meant to be a cathartic, relationship building experience with her daughter turns into a catastrophe, in walks Grant Murphy, the hottest sailing Irishman she has ever seen. Grant offers to sail the boat to the buyer in Miami and off they go on an adventure. For the very first time Becca is rolling with the waves, facing her fears of the ocean and her future. I simply loved this delicious sailing adventure of a woman deemed past her prime learning how to navigate life on her own terms. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Other Birds

Off the coast of South Carolina is a small charming island called Mallow Island. It’s history as sweet as the marshmallows it once produced. Eighteen year old Zoey arrives at the Dellawisp condo complex with her invisible bird Pigeon to claim her inheritance. This apartment is all she has left of her mother besides a few very early, blurry memories. She is quickly introduced to an eclectic group of tenants. Twenty six year old Charlotte, a surprisingly reclusive henna artist finds a way into her heart. Mac, an award winning local chef with his own haunting past befriends them both as he provides meaningful comfort food. Her neighbor Lizbeth, a mean spirited hoarder dies unexpectedly leaving Zoey with the tedious job of cleaning the apartment and the happenstance of meeting her very handsome son who hasn’t been home for years. Then there is Frasier, the older man who runs the complex and truly cares for them all, including the mysterious exotic birds that control the court yard. Feeling alone since her father remarried, Zoey is determined to use this special summer before college to create a new life for herself. As ghosts of the past embody the natural elements around them, these new friends are guided towards the mystery that has kept the Dellawisp alive. Other Birds is a delightful literary mystery filled with magical realism and moments of pure love and friendship. These are ghosts to be embraced. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wrong Time Wrong Place

It’s almost Halloween, the pumpkin is beautifully carved and lit on the porch. Jen anxiously waits by the window in their quiet Liverpool neighborhood for her teenage son Todd to get home. Initially, she only sees Todd walk towards their front path, then Jen glimpses another man approaching, an older man she does not recognize. Todd pulls out a weapon and stabs the man. Jen runs outside and as she tries to stem the bleeding she notices Todd’s withdrawn, pale face. He is as unrecognizable as their futures seem to be the moment the police take him into custody. Horrified and distraught Jen and her husband Kelly barely get a wink of sleep that night. But things only get worse when she wakes in the morning and it is the day before. As each day passes Jen finds herself going back in time. Days, months, years before. Each new episode she discovers more lies and clues as to what led their little family to this horrendous conclusion. For the love of her son Jen must figure out why this is happening and she will stop at nothing to change their destiny. This unputdownable fast paced psychological thriller is wholly original as a mystery solved backwards. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Something Wilder

Lily’s father Duke was never around much. He was always out chasing one of his treasure hunting dreams. The ranch was sold long ago and Lily, a hard working and resourceful young woman has managed on her own taking small groups on outdoor adventures. Lily shares just enough of her father’s old tales to give these guests a little mystery. Mostly, it pays the bills. When the ranch is for sale once again it is Lily this time that finds herself chasing the treasure dream. The handwritten maps her father left, with notes only she can interpret are her last chance to get back to the place she always believed she should be. The next group of tourists includes a ghost from her past. Leo once spent a summer helping on the ranch. Lily was young and impressionable when Leo disappeared her heart was completely broken. Here he is in the flesh with his buddies from the big city. Even though Lily is not quick to forgive and forget, Leo is willing to risk everything to win back her love. I have read every single book by this dynamic duo author team and this one is most certainly my least favorite. I think I know where it was heading with a mix of romance and adventure but the mark was way off. Silly beyond belief and just wanted it to end. ⭐️⭐️

The Lifestyle

Georgina and Nathan are a busy young couple living in NYC climbing the ladder at a prestigious law firm. Georgina has worked hard her entire life to attain each and every one of her goals. When her marriage hits an insurmountable bump in the road she is forced to make a tough decision. To remain on track with her life plan, Georgina decides to give Nathan a second chance and that what their marriage needs is a little more excitement. With questionable guidance from a female client she and Nathan are introduced to the mostly secretive world of swinging. Her best friends Norah and Felix (harboring their own marital issues) tag along for the ride and the unlikely foursome set out to navigate this new lifestyle. At the very first party they attend Georgina bumps into her old college boyfriend - the one that got away. This in itself has Georgina questioning whether it’s her plan or her husband that is the actual problem. Not a great way to begin this new adventure, one that demands the utmost of trust between partners, problems quickly snowball. Perhaps farfetched but definitely thought provoking and a quick read, this novel interweaves the complexities of marriage and friendship with a twist. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Luck & Last Resorts

Nina Lejeune has been working on a super yacht for the last ten years. She is now chief stewardess and runs her team with an iron fist. Nina’s ex-boyfriend, Irish chef Ollie, no longer works on the yacht but their on-again off-again romance is still off the hook. When they are together their attraction is unstoppable and neither have been able to maintain an actual relationship outside of their own. When Nina steps aboard after a long summer she is ready for the season and shocked to find Ollie in the kitchen, as he had been working in a fancy schmancy Miami restaurant the last few years. Naturally he is adorable, talented and has an accent that melts hearts but Nina refuses to be dependent on anyone. After the disappointment she experienced with her own parents, she trusts no-one. Believing it is easier to be on her own, Nina pushes away Ollie’s affections whenever it feels too real. Their secret past comes back to haunt them and Nina must choose her future or lose him forever. Very cute, Below Deck - ish, fun characters but the push pull is exhausting when someone really cannot get out of their own way. Its a quick easy read, I liked but not loved.  (I did not read Love, Lists & Fancy Ships which is the first in this series and has very good reviews.) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank You For Listening

Sewanee is an award winning audiobook narrator. Her dreams of acting were crushed at the beginning of her career when she was involved in a horrific accident. After recuperating she found recording audiobooks kept her creativity flowing while remaining behind the scenes. One night at a Las Vegas book convention Sewanee has a completely unexpected one night stand with a very handsome stranger. After returning home she is offered an opportunity of a lifetime to dual narrate a romance by her favorite author for an ungodly amount of money. This windfall will help her care for her beloved grandmother who is losing her memory at an alarming speed. Her fellow narrator is Brock McNight, a well known, although never seen in public persona, with an Irish lilt that women swoon over. They begin a friendship/workship leads to a closeness she hasn’t experienced since her self imposed isolation. As her movie star friend Adaku encourages her to reach for more and her grandmother Blah Blah barely recognizes her, Sewanee senses this is a challenge she must face on her own. With multiple names I could not pronounce (and I am usually ok with that?) and an ending that was just within reach but dragged on and on, I cannot recommend this read. I loved her first novel and adored this premise (especially knowing Julia Whelan is an actress and admired audiobook narrator) but it just did not work for me. ⭐️⭐️


When Georgia Ross landed at the Seattle airport she was already beyond exhausted. Her work in London had been stressful, difficult and even dangerous but Georgia’s life changing deadline is looming and she refuses to give up. Her connecting flight to LAX is delayed over and over again, ultimately being canceled and leaving Georgia with too many other passengers racing to book hotels and flights for the next day. Recognizing exactly one face in the crowd, it takes Georgia - or as she used to be called “Gigi” - a minute to realize it is Alec Kim, the brother of her childhood best friend. And boy, did he grow up. Alec is even more gorgeous than her 13 year old crush remembers. When she finally gets the courage to say hello, she finds Alec is as charming as he is handsome. A completely unexpected one night stand turns leaves Gigi secretly begging for more but she is focusing on her journalistic ambitions at the moment and not about to let a man get in the way. Easier said than done. Not only is Alec larger than life but he is part of her actual story. Nice twist of suspense plot added to an extremely steamy romance. Completely enjoyed this hot little book candy. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Monday, September 5, 2022

Mad Honey

Two single moms. Two high school students. One charming town in New Hampshire trying to solve an inexplicable murder. Olivia McAfee grew up in Adams and she couldn’t wait to leave. Dreaming of college and a career as a zoologist Olivia couldn’t get away quick enough after graduation. She never dreamed she would find herself taking over her family’s beekeeping honey business and raising her precious son Asher on the very same farm she fled. Ava Campanello is another local single mom. This brave, independent woman drove across the entire country to start over with her daughter Lily. Both seniors and instantly attracted to one another, Asher and Lily become inseparable. With holiday cheer in the air, college applications in the mail and hockey practice at ungodly hours, Olivia is shocked to receive Asher’s phone call from the police station. Lily is dead and Asher is the person who found her. Heartbroken and terrified, Asher is questioned and quickly released. Days later the puzzle pieces begin to fall into a devastating picture that simply cannot be true. Asher is arrested for murder. As this mystery unfolds completely unexpected twists and turns (no spoilers here!) will keep you on the edge of your seat. The chapters are expertly narrated and intertwined by the past and present lives of these two grieving families - one thing becomes crystal clear, you most certainly should not judge a book by its cover. Loved the suspense, education, characters and dual writing skills of these incredible authors. FIVE STARS! Wow! A must read for fall!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday, August 26, 2022

Our Last Days in Barcelona

In 1964 the eldest daughter, Isabel Perez, travels from Palm Beach to Barcelona. She is searching for Beatriz, her sister whom they have not recently heard from. Always the rebel, Beatriz was recently involved in mysterious work with the CIA. The sisters fear the worst. After arriving, Isabel finds her apartment empty and the door ajar. Minutes later a terrified Isabel has a visitor. A handsome stranger named Diego offers assistance to help. Isabel quickly finds herself searching for more than her beloved sister as she is drowning in her loveless marriage and a bleak future with a man that does not understand her. In 1936, Alicia Perez, Isabel’s mother also traveled to Barcelona, running from her own crumbling union. As Spain explodes with fascism and violence Alicia debates whether she should return to Cuba and realistically faces what kind of happiness a woman can expect. She spends months with her parents and reunites with a man from her past while contemplating her daughter’s future and her own.  As history and the present connect these strong, brave women must finally learn to follow their hearts. #5 in the Perez series, these novels are filled with captivating history, culture and family drama. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reasons to Stay Alive

Prefer to listen? I highly recommend the audible version of this memoir, expertly narrated by the author himself. Many lives are touched by mental illness. You may have a family member or friend silently suffering and do not know how to assist them. Or you may recognize symptoms within yourself and have not found a way to ask for help. Matt Haig openly and honestly describes his personal struggles with severe depression and anxiety. Matt reveals his most private thoughts and feelings that he experienced throughout his life. Plagued for many years Matt was often petrified he was going to die. It didn’t matter that this made no practical sense, it is what he feared every minute of almost every day. There seemed to be no reason to go on living this way. His girlfriend Andrea and his parents were there every step of the way trying to help Matt find the path to wellness. It wasn’t always easy. Reading this memoir may seem daunting and even scary but there is much to learn from other peoples experiences. In the end this beautiful human truly believes there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is worth discovering. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️