Saturday, April 29, 2023

Make A Wish

Seven years ago Harley Spark made a huge mistake. She almost kissed her boss. At the time she was nanny to a precious infant whose mother had tragically passed away. While the dad Gavin grieves and desperately needs help, Harley may have overstepped the nanny lines just a little bit. The family quickly moved to another part of Colorado and Harley never forgave herself. Now, years later they unexpectedly show up at Spark House, the party planning company Harley runs with her sisters. Shocked to meet up again, the little girl Peyton is dressed as a princess for the birthday party she is attending and Gavin is speechless noticing that Harley is not the young college student she was but a beautiful woman he cannot stop staring at. Slowly they reignite their friendship while very carefully navigating Peyton’s young feelings and those of his in-laws still reeling from the loss of their daughter. This is #3 in a series, each focusing on a different sister. I liked the first one best, so “When Sparks Fly” would be a good place to start! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jane & Edward

When Jane’s father passed away she was a young girl with no other family to turn to. Placed in the difficult foster care system, Jane was a good student and managed to get through it relatively unscathed. Now waiting tables in her early twenties and struggling financially Jane decides to take a legal assistant course to improve her job qualifications. An avid reader, who mostly keeps to herself, Jane is rather quiet and extremely practical. She lands a position at a coveted law firm in downtown Toronto. Little did she know she was placed as the assistant to Edward Rosen, the majority shareholder who is the most difficult boss imaginable and goes through assistants quicker than you could change your socks. But Jane is determined to make this work. She needs experience to improve her resume and her future. Putting emotions aside, Jane is a quick learner and very good at her job. Edward, who is a strikingly handsome grump cannot deny he finds their witty banter and Jane’s efficiency very attractive. As the two opposites are slowly pulled together both Jane and Edward must learn to open up their hearts in ways they never expected. Loved this sweet modern reimagining of Jane Eyre, a classic with a delightful twist! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Women Are the Fiercest Creatures

Strangers is one of the largest tech companies in the social media space. The upcoming IPO is going to make founder and CEO Jake Sarnoff more money than he has ever imagined at the same time that his young instagrammable wife Jessica is about to give birth. Anna, wife #1, is an attorney who helped build Strangers and while raising their two teenage sons during this transition has not been easy, she is doing her best to keep the peace. Samanta, Jake’s college ex-girlfriend who has never gotten over Jake’s abandonment is suddenly back in his life while working with a New York Times reporter regarding a story of the very public IPO and its questionable past. In this small upscale town outside Seattle the very rich firmly believe they can manipulate any situation to their advantage and these women are tired of the male hierarchy controlling their lives. No matter how handsome and charming Jake may be, they are finally seeing the light. In a world where social media is already controlling the masses, this premise is not that farfetched at all! At the beginning the reader is quickly introduced to a very large cast of characters and it may feel a little confusing. Worth hanging in there as it all comes together creating a suspenseful story filled with family drama, tech secrets and delicious revenge. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday, April 28, 2023

The Nanny

Cassie Evans is a beautiful young woman struggling through her final years of grad school. Trying hard to make ends meet she finds a way to earn enough for tuition with a site called OnlyFans. This risqué web site produces sexy videos for subscribers and Cassie has gained quite a following. With her identity expertly hidden behind a mask and wig, Cassie builds an intimate relationship with a stranger. She doesn’t know his name or what he looks like but their communications are shockingly sexy. With no explanation, “A” mysteriously disappears and Cassie deletes her site. Months later, struggling financially, Cassie finds a position as a live-in nanny for a little girl. She falls head over heels for this adorable 9 year old named Sophie but even more striking is Aiden, the hottest dad she has ever laid eyes on. He is kind, thoughtful and extremely attractive. Cassie does everything in her power to remain respectful with her boss, a busy chef who trusts her with his precious daughter. Late one evening Aiden is in the kitchen (shirtless) and while Cassie quietly admires his physique from afar, she realizes that Aiden is her online heartthrob - the one that got away. He has no idea who she is. As their relationship grows Cassie is no longer able to resist Aiden’s magical touch. She is terrified the truth will destroy everything she has ever desired. Quick fun read, I loved this super steamy summer romance. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sunday, April 23, 2023

I Could Live Here Forever

Leah Kempler is starting her Creative Writing MFA program at UW. It’s a big change from her life in Massachusetts, leaving the comforts of the familiar, her brothers and father behind. The epitome of a bookworm, Leah is shy and feels most comfortable when she is reading, writing and surrounded by books. People tend to make her nervous and feel unsure of herself. The cohort is a small group of 6. Intimately reading and critiquing each others work they become a tight knit  group, she quickly befriends the only other female Vivian. Leah expresses herself more comfortably through words. Many of her short stories reflect the painful loss of her mother who left the family when she was 13. Desperate to feel love and acceptance Leah quietly searches for her soul mate. One day she meets Charlie on a check out line at the grocery store. He is much too handsome, way out of her league. Leah is shocked when he initiates conversation and a date. Upon the slightest contact her heart is beating out of her chest, her palms sweating. She is mesmerized by this sweet beautiful man. As they slowly get to know each other Charlie admits he has been in recovery for the last few years and lives with his parents. He swears he will never use heroin again. As the two fall deeply in love Leah chooses to ignore the many telltale signs of the “recovery” rollercoaster which sadly include bouts of relapse along with more promises. Leah does not feel capable of truly helping Charlie but she is bound by this love she is convinced she has never felt before. This novel pulls the reader deeply into the minds and hearts of its characters. It has moments both tearful and beautiful as do most stories I’ve read that touch on addiction. I loved the unembellished writing and honestly could not put it down. I look forward to reading more from this author. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy Place

Ten years after college 6 best friends find themselves at their happy place, for the last time. Sabrina’s Dad is selling his beautiful vacation home in Maine where these roomies have reconnected and reminisced year after year. Some of their most treasured memories happened on this lake and this is where Harriet and Wyn fell in love. Although they initially denied their feelings for the sake of the others, the moment Wyn picked her up at the airport every single thing changed. Now, years later the group meets up at the lake house for their last hurrah. In addition to the infamous lobster fest weekend, Parth and Sabrina announce they are getting married. Harriet and Wyn do not announce what they have hidden for the past 5 months, something no-one could have ever guessed - they have broken up. Wyn has returned to Montana to help care for his mother as Harriet continues to trudge through her grueling surgery residency in San Francisco.  Once again, wishing to spare the others any discomfort they decide to wait until after the festivities to break the jarring news. Easier said than done, now that Wyn is in her midst Harriet’s heart is slowly breaking all over again. There is no way she can just be friends with the man who knows her every whim and every secret. The one who promised to love her forever. As they try in vain to “fake it til you make it”, they discover the truth about themselves and the friends they consider family. Fast paced fun, this book has a great mix of laughter, love and the challenges of long lasting friendships. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sunday, April 16, 2023

The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise

Tanner’s parents are not too happy with her. After a horrific accident her soccer career, scholarship and life at Northwestern University disappeared overnight. Back in her parents basement playing video games 24/7 they finally hit rock bottom. With no real world job skills Tanner is sent to live with and keep an eye on an older woman named Louise. The woman’s children believe she needs some assistance and company. After a rocky start (it’s hard to tell who is more unhappy) Tanner and Louise find common ground and commit to a predictable daily routine. Small, unexplainable clues start to niggle at Tanner’s brain. A locked shed with no windows. A feature story on the nightly news with a drawing that resembles Louise as a suspect in an historical robbery. Late one night Louise arrives in Tanner’s room with a packed suitcase. Tanner will be paid an enormous amount of money - no questions asked - to drive Louise to California. Always a rule follower, Tanner throws caution to the wind for the first time and begins the journey of a lifetime. Both reluctant to open up, mile after mile they learn about each other and slowly discover the truth about themselves. Erratic Thelma and Louise style adventure and laugh out loud funny. Mostly silly, but Tanner & Louise also touches on the relationship of a feisty older person, who lived a big life, and feels a lot younger than her years  - and a younger person who cannot clearly see the very big road ahead. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Do-Over

Lily Lee really believed this awesome job was in the bag. She loved them, they loved her and every interview went perfectly. When their HR department questioned her college degree with a background check she knew she was in trouble. After writing a bestselling book about super women in the workplace Lily thought she was ready for a change. She was working on a sequel and interviewing for the perfect position. Going back to college was not on her list of things to do. Returning to her old stomping grounds 12 years after commencement (was it really?) Lily finds herself older, wiser and gawked at. She assumes she can tolerate one semester, complete her degree (for real this time) and move on to the corporate job of her dreams. Lily never expected to cross paths with Jake Cho. She lost touch with her college love and one time confidant after their tumultuous parting, her broken heart never fully recovered. Apparently Jake has done some growing up of his own. More than a decade later he is hunky, gorgeous and her TA in a required class. Shenanigans with her bestfriend/PR guru and current roomie who bakes a lot leads Lily down paths she never imagined. The idea of a do-over is the perfect plot! This fun rom-com is a breezy walk down memory lane. If only we knew then what we know now! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Regrets Only

Professional television screenwriter Paige Lancaster returns with 8 yr old Izzy to the small east coast town in which she was raised. At forty plus, it is not ideal that she is living with her mother and learning to manage without the cadre of nannies and babysitters she had come to depend on while her career writing for a hit television series was thriving. After a string of unfortunate mishaps involving the police and an irate cheating piece of trash boyfriend, Paige had no choice but run far away from the glitter of Hollywood. Focused on clearing her writing juju and creating new opportunities, Paige enrolls Izzy in the very same elementary school she attended as a child. On her very first drop off disaster morning, Paige is approached by the ladies who lunch to join the parent booster association, 100% membership and money apparently their motto. Face to face with these catty women who have never had to work a day in their lives, the normally opinionated Paige finds herself speechless. Even more at a loss for words when she bumps into handsome John, her first love, first everything. When a huge fundraising event ends with the mysterious death of John’s wife (the queen bee) Paige slowly watches a mystery begin to unfold. Putting her crafty skills (it was a crime show!) to work she cannot resist helping Hot Cop untangle this nasty web of alibis. Mom/school mystery (think Big Little Lies) - this fast paced mystery was a suspenseful read that I could not put down! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Monday, April 10, 2023

The Golden Spoon

The Golden Spoon has been a top rated reality cooking show for the last ten years. Hordes of fans wait for the annual weeklong event to see which of the six chosen bakers will win the coveted title. Infamous baker, cookbook author and host Betsy Martin holds the event in the Victorian mansion in which she was raised, Grafton Manor. Deep in the luxurious rolling hills of Vermont, the contestants arrive one by one, each carrying their own baking baggage. As Betsy grapples with an obnoxious co-host she despises and an assistant she no longer trusts, she must protect the legacy of Grafton Manor which cannot be maintained without the revenue of Bake Week. Small discrepancies in salt and sugar and oven temperatures may only pique the reader’s curiosity but no-one can turn a blind eye when a dead body is found. As the baking competition, similar to the Great British Bake Off, follows each delicious recipe - the various backgrounds of each baker is slowly revealed. With all the ingredients of an escape room mystery, the contestants are locked in the mansion on a stormy night. When the power fails and lightening flashes the frightening truth is slowly revealed. Highly recommend this fun, fast paced foodie mystery, a debut novel by Jesse Maxwell, definitely a rising star. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Sadie on a Plate

Sadie is a young chef from Seattle, a rising star at the trendy Green Onion when her no good boss chops her heart to tiny little pieces. Embarrassed and mourning her career, Sadie is stunned to get a call welcoming her as a contestant on Chef Supreme, the world-class cooking competition she applied to months ago. On the first available flight to NYC, Sadie is seated next to a very handsome hunk with the tell tale hand scars only a chef would have. Sworn to secrecy, they enjoy each others company and a sizzling farewell kiss knowing Sadie will be incommunicado for the six weeks the show is filming. When Luke shockingly walks into the studio the next day she combines all the ingredients together - certain it’s a recipe for disaster. Sadie puts her heart and soul into cooking traditional Jewish food with a modern twist while the whispers of her late Grandma Ruth’s advice and opinions stream through her mind. As the weekly challenges escalate - designed to thwart even the most confident competitors - Sadie cannot ignore the intense way Luke tastes every bite. Following the popular cooking shows and competitions televised today, this read is perfect for foodies looking for a little laugh out loud romance. Certainly leaves the reader hungry for more. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️