Sunday, May 30, 2021

The Sunday Post #122


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

We're on our way back from Northern California as I type this. Not much to report. Worked then drove up north Thursday afternoon. We went out to lunch twice and went to the park. It was sunny and nice. Tomorrow it's supposed to be really hot with a real-feel of 101 degrees! Not looking forward to that. 

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

Absolutely loved The Summer Seekers and People We Meet on Vacation. I have a giveaway going for Once Upon a Puppy here.

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
Click on cover for Goodreads link:

I'm a big fan of horror movies so I'm excited for The Final Girl Support Group!  I might start For the Wolf when I get home. Has anyone read it? Tear it Down is our audio listen for our ride home. I'll start the book as soon as I'm done typing. 



I'm enjoying both.

How was your week?

Friday, May 28, 2021

Mini Review & Giveaway: Once Upon a Puppy by Lizzie Shane


Once Upon a Puppy (Pine Hollow #2) by Lizzie Shane
Publication Date: May 25th 2021 by Forever
Pages: 335
Source: Publisher
Rating: ½
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads 

My Thoughts:
Deenie and Connor couldn't be more mismatched, but bonding over dog training and fake dating to impress her parents shows that opposites really do attract! Deenie is the free-spirited, never wants-to-be-tied-down kind of girl, and Connor is the uptight straight-laced, plan-everything-kind-of-guy.  Heads butt and sparks fly in this fun, cute romance! 

3.5 Stars

Book Description:

Opposites attract when a straitlaced lawyer and whimsical party planner must fake-date as co-parents of a rambunctious Irish wolfhound in the second book of this im-paw-ssibly charming small-town romance series.

Connor Wyeth has a plan for everything. But when he adopts Maximus, an unruly Irish wolfhound mix, he gets more than he bargained for. If he doesn't act fast, the big dopey mutt is going to destroy his house. The only person Max ever listens to is the volunteer who used to walk him at the shelter—a perennially upbeat woman whose day job is planning princess parties for little kids. Connor couldn't ever imagine that she'd be able to tame such a beast as Max, but he's desperate enough to try anything.

Deenie Mitchell isn't looking forward to spending more time with uptight, rules-oriented Connor—no matter how attractive he is. But when her sister announces her engagement, Deenie realizes he's the perfect person to impress her type-A family. When she learns he needs a plus-one for his law firm's work events, an unlikely alliance is formed. But as they play the perfect couple, the friendship—and the feelings—that are forming start to feel all too real. Opposites may attract, but can the man with a plan for everything and the misfit who makes her own rules ever find common ground?

Forever has generously offered to giveaway one Paperback Copy of Once Upon a Puppy to one reader! Giveaway is restricted to US and CA residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Good luck!

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Hearts in Darkness Anniversary Edition Cover Reveal

I read and instantly loved Hearts in Darkness years ago and it's always held a special place in my heart! 

I'm excited to have Laura Kaye join us today to share the cover reveal for her 10th Anniversary edition of HEARTS IN DARKNESS COLLECTION!


Title: Hearts In Darkness Collection

Author: Laura Kaye

Cover Artist: Tricia "Pickyme" Schmitt

Dear Readers, It’s my 10th publication anniversary & HEARTS IN DARKNESS is 10!! I can hardly believe it! This book has been such a wild, special ride and I'm so grateful that so many people fell in love with it. It's how so many readers found me and that is just incredible to think about! Thank you so so much for all the love, fun, and support over the past 10 years! To celebrate, I’ve put together a special 4-story collector’s edition volume that includes two new and/or never-before-published stories that continue Caden and Makenna’s story! Preorder the collection for a discount now before the price goes up on release day! 

xx Laura  

PREORDER NOW at a special price! COMING AUGUST 24!


Barnes &Noble




Links to come: GooglePlay, paperback, hard cover

About the Collection:

"Laura Kaye has a gift for writing beautifully damaged men." ~ NYT Bestseller Tessa Bailey


Two strangers. Four hours. One pitch-black elevator. And their struggle to find love in the light…


This beloved, bestselling series has it all! Scorching hot chemistry. Achingly heartfelt emotion. Strangers-to-lovers, forced proximity, and opposites attract goodness. And, with “one of the most beloved couples in romance,” Caden Grayson and Makenna James will stay with you long after the last page! Plus, a brand-new story and a never-before-published epilogue. All in one gorgeous edition!


This Special Collector’s 10th Anniversary Edition Includes:

Hearts in Darkness – the bestselling story that started it all!


When two strangers get trapped in a pitch-black elevator, they find connection, attraction, and red-hot heat in the darkness.


Lovers at Dawn – a brand-new follow-up story!


In the light of the morning after, these new lovers wake up in each other’s arms. But will this buttoned-up accountant and tattooed paramedic still want what they found in the darkness?


Love in the Light – the bestselling sequel to Hearts in Darkness


Can a man who’s lost everyone he’s ever loved trust that he won’t crash again if he lets himself fall? Or will the pressures of commitment be more than Caden and Makenna’s love story can handle?


Forever in the Light – a never-before published epilogue to the series


The happily-ever-after story Caden and Makenna deserve, including their heartfelt wedding and sexy wedding night! 


"Passionate and poignant! This will have readers falling in love with Caden and Makenna all over again!" ~ NYT Bestseller Jay Crownover


Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo | Goodreads


About the Author:


  Laura Kaye is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 books in contemporary romance and romantic suspense and has sold more than one million books in the U.S. alone. Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. A former college history professor, Laura also writes bestselling historical women's fiction as Laura Kamoie. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Blog Tour Review: The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan


The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan
Publication Date: May 18th 2021 by HQN Books
Pages: 432
Source: Publisher

My Thoughts:
Forty-year-old Liza doesn’t have a whole lot of free time, but lately she’s been using those moments worrying that her marriage is in trouble. Between working, twin teenage daughters, and a never-ending to-do list, there’s no time for herself let alone her marriage. Liza feels overwhelmed and unappreciated, and I was ticked off on her behalf!

Eighty-year-old Kathleen is being pressured by her daughter, Liza, to sell her beloved home by the sea and move into a residential home. Kathleen has always been an independent woman, she traveled the globe for her show, The Summer Seekers, and she has no intention of giving in. After a wake-up call, Kathleen decides it’s time for another trip, this time to the States driving the historic Route 66. Now all she needs is a driver and this is where Martha comes in.
Martha is living back at home after a few setbacks. She’s reminded constantly of her “bad choices” by her family and it’s chipping away at her soul. When she stumbles upon Kathleen’s ad she jumps at the chance for employment and escape.
This story and these women touched my heart! I felt a connection to all of them! I think most can relate to the situations these women found themselves in: What it feels like to be an overwhelmed wife and mother, to question choices and keep oneself at arm’s length for emotional protection. These characters were far from perfect and had made mistakes. Most notable to me was Kathleen and her relationship with her daughter, a bit distant and seemingly cold on her part, but as her story was revealed I could understand how she got there. Liza’s story really spoke to me as a wife and mother, but I found all the stories emotionally compelling.
I can’t talk about The Summer Seekers without mentioning the setting and how vividly it came to life though the author’s talented writing! Oakwood, Kathleen’s home on the Cornish coast sounded beautiful and full of character. I’d never want to sell either! The road trip on Route 66, with all the regional charms made me eager to embark on a road trip of my own!

The Summer Seekers was such a realistic and heartwarming story! The perfect summer read! There’s self-discovery, a bit of romance and a restoration of love and understanding. I absolutely loved their journeys to happiness! 

5 Stars

Book Summary:

Get swept into a summer of sunshine, soul-searching and shameless matchmaking with this delightfully bighearted road-trip adventure by USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan!

Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. But she’s not having any of it. What she craves—what she needs—is adventure.

Liza is drowning in the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza long for a solo summer of her own.

Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.

When Martha sees Kathleen’s advertisement for a driver and companion to share an epic road trip across America with, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. She's not the world's best driver, but anything has to be better than living with her parents. And traveling with a stranger? No problem. Anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?

As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it's never too late to start over…

Author Bio: USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy, contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as “a magician with words” by RT Book Reviews, she has sold more than eleven million copies of her books. She was nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award three times: once in 2012 for Doukakis’s Apprentice, in 2013 for A Night of No Return and in 2017 for Miracle on 5th Avenue. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their Top Pick slot. As a child, Sarah dreamed of being a writer, and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream. Sarah lives near London, England, with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Audio Review: The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz


The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Publication Date: May 11th 2021 by Macmillan Audio
Pages: 364
Audio Book Length: 10 hrs 43 min
Narrators: Kirby Heyborne
Source: Publisher
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Audible | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Jacob Finch Bonner is struggling to write his second novel after his first book was a modest success, however, things aren’t going as well as he thought. His success and experience make him the perfect candidate to teach at Ripley’s a writer’s workshop/retreat. This is where he encounters Evan Parker, a loud, arrogant guy who claims he has the perfect plot. A plot no writer could mess up, a guaranteed success, and Even claims he doesn’t need any sort of teaching to help him along. When Jacob hears the plot he’s stunned, because Jacob thinks Evan is right. This plot will catapult this asshole into fame, giving Evan everything Jacob has ever dreamed of as a writer: Critical acclaim, book tours, a spot on Oprah’s Book Club Couch.

Years later when Jacob’s prospects keep dwindling as his new books are rejected over and over he’s reduced to taking odd editing jobs and the random writer’s workshop. His situation is depressing but things are about to change when Jacob discovers that not long after Ripley’s Evan died without ever writing “The Book”. Here is a once in a lifetime plot that begs to be told and who better than Jacob? Jacob writes the story and it’s exactly as predicted: fame, accolades, movie deal, and here’s when the other shoe drops. Jacob gets an email calling him a thief. 

Jacob was a bit self-absorbed and pretentious, but I couldn’t help but root for this guy! His life was going downhill, and I have a soft spot for the underdog! I didn’t even feel bad when he sort of lifted the idea (although, apparently you can’t copyright a plot) off of Evan, because who wants a jerk to win and come out ahead? Evan is dead and didn’t leave anyone who cared about him behind, so who’s sending the threatening emails? Jacob must go back and investigate Evan and his background to find out.

The Plot was captivating even when things are pretty calm at the beginning!  I had my suspicions, but even so when things started to come together I had that “aha!” moment where I was shocked! Love being taken by surprise!

I’m familiar with Kirby Heyborne as a narrator and have enjoyed his performances in the past. I loved him as the quiet, flawed Jacob Finch Bonner! I listened at my normal 1.5x normal speed.

4 Stars

Book description:

Jean Hanff Korelitz’s 'THE PLOT' is a psychologically suspenseful novel about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.

Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he’s teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what’s left of his self-respect; he hasn’t written—let alone published—anything decent in years. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn’t need Jake’s help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then . . . he hears the plot.

Jake returns to the downward trajectory of his own career and braces himself for the supernova publication of Evan Parker’s first novel: but it never comes. When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that - a story that absolutely needs to be told.

In a few short years, all of Evan Parker’s predictions have come true, but Jake is the author enjoying the wave. He is wealthy, famous, praised and read all over the world. But at the height of his glorious new life, an e-mail arrives, the first salvo in a terrifying, anonymous campaign: You are a thief, it says.

As Jake struggles to understand his antagonist and hide the truth from his readers and his publishers, he begins to learn more about his late student, and what he discovers both amazes and terrifies him. Who was Evan Parker, and how did he get the idea for his “sure thing” of a novel? What is the real story behind the plot, and who stole it from whom?

Monday, May 24, 2021

Review: Dream Spinner by Kristen Ashley


Dream Spinner (Dream Team #3) by Kristen Ashley
Publication Date: May 25th 2021 by Forever
Pages: 393
Source: Publisher

My Thoughts:
Striving to be a good enough dancer and never quite reaching her father’s expectations over the years has made Hattie struggle with self-confidence and opening herself to others.

She’s been crushing on Axl and he’s definitely been into her, but Hattie runs every time Axl tries to get close and finally he’s wondering if he’s wasting his time trying. Surprisingly enough, it’s the semi-bad guy Brett who lights a fire under Hattie’s butt and convinces her to take a shot before she loses Axl for good. What pushes them together even more is the anonymous creepy calls and notes Hattie starts receiving. Stalker behavior for sure! Hattie needs protection and Axl wants her safe.

As usual, Axl was a bit of a jerk to Hattie before they came together but seeing things from his side I didn’t really blame him. They both just needed to get on the same page and then it was all heart eyes for me.

I can’t write up Dream Spinner without mentioning Cleo, Axl’s very prissy cat! I just loved Cleo! Kristen Ashley nails cat behavior so well, (we live to serve them, obviously!), making me giggle every time Ms. Cleo stepped onto the page!

I’ve been enjoying the Dream Team series. Dream Spinner had all the hallmarks of an old-school Kristen Ashley read: solid female friendships, bossy Alpha men, and a sweet likeable heroine with a bit of sass! Pepper’s story next and it seems like it’s going to be a bit of drama, in the best way, of course! I can’t wait!

4 Stars

Book Description:
Hattie Yates has finally met the man of her dreams. Yet years of abuse from her demanding father have left her petrified of disappointment. She’s already failed to reach her goal of becoming a professional ballerina—she can’t handle the terrible consequences of another dream becoming a nightmare. But when a stalker sets their sights on Hattie, there’s only one man she dares to hope can help . . .

Axl Pantera knows Hattie is the only woman for him. Yet despite the attraction burning between them, Hattie refuses to let him in. The former soldier is determined to woo her into letting down her walls. And when danger comes calling, he’s up against more than her wary and bruised heart. Axl will do anything to prove to Hattie that they’re meant to be, but first, he’ll need to keep her safe. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sunday Post #121


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

It's been a busy week, but what else is new? We stayed in Southern California and have been working on home projects. 

We went to dinner with our son and his wife last night and had a nice meal talking vacations we want to do and vacations past. I think half the fun is the planning that goes into a vacation! Is anyone planning on taking a vacation soon? Have you looked into rental cars? We are going to Montana at the end of June, and we tried to reserve a rental car and couldn't get anything! We looking up different airports too and couldn't get anything! I've seen Samantha Brown, from Passport to Europe and Places to Love comment on Instagram that she had issues as well. I guess everyone is taking that vacation they missed out on last year. 

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

This is two weeks worth of reading. Loved The Soulmate Equation and Blood Heir! 4.5 Stars and 5 Stars respectively. Local Woman Missing left me in a melancholy mood, but it was twisty. I really enjoyed The Plot! I suspected the who, but not the why and it was surprising and exciting! Once I had the "aha" moment I shocked but it all clicked and made sense. I love that! 

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link)


I still suck at stories, but I've been posting. Not a very original picture, but I loved The Soulmate Equation so much I had to share. The authors actually "liked" it, which doesn't seem to happen much when you tag them. Not like Twitter where they usually do. I also watched a live Instagram with Christina Lauren and Kristen Ashley, and then another one with Christina Lauren and Katherine Center. Both were very entertaining and made me smile!


Loving Mare of Eastown even though Mare takes a bit to warm up to. Some of the things she does makes me say "what a bitch" but then by the end I totally understand where she was coming from! Love Forensic Files. I wish they made more.

How was your week?

Friday, May 21, 2021

Audio Review: Cursed Luck by Kelley Armstrong


Cursed Luck (Cursed Luck #1) by Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: April 13th 2021 by Tantor Audio
Pages: 364
Audio Book Length: 12 hrs 20 min
Narrators: Carly Robins
Source: Publisher
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Kennedy Bennett and her two sisters come from a long line of curse weavers and Kennedy’s specialty is uncursing valuable objects and then reselling them. When she’s approached by Aiden Conolly, a luck worker, to uncurse the infamous Necklace of Harmonia, they butt heads, and she refuses to work for him.  However, when Kennedy’s sisters are kidnapped and the evidence points to it being related to Aiden’s request, she hunts him down and they team up to find her sisters. Kennedy and Aiden quickly get over their differences and form a complimentary team and there are hints of an attraction growing between them.  

This was a fun magical story! I’ve seen a few reviews calling it a cozy Urban Fantasy, and I totally agree with that description. It reminded me of the The Guild Codex series by Annette Marie in that it’s a lighthearted adventure/mystery with a lot of silly humor. Urban Fantasy-Lite in a way. I thought the magical world Ms. Armstrong presented was an original and interesting concept: humans with a variety of magical talents based on Greek Mythology. I will say that I did get a little lost on some of the roots because there are so many variations of names in the Greek Mythos, but I just went with it, and it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the story.

The mystery wraps up, but the relationship between Kennedy and Aiden is just starting with a possible romance to come. Kennedy is left with a “souvenir” from this caper, and I wonder how it will impact the story going forward. I look forward to the next story!

Carly Robins narrated the story, and I thought her voice represented Kennedy perfectly. Fun and sarcastic, she had great comedic timing! I’d like to continue the series by audio with her as the performer. I listened at 1.4x normal speed.

4 Stars

Book Description:
Kennedy Bennett comes from a long line of curse weavers. For centuries, her family has plied their trade in Unstable, Massachusetts, a quirky small town that’s welcomed paranormal practitioners since the dawn of spiritualism. Kennedy has recently struck out on her own, opening an antiques shop in Boston, where her speciality is uncursing and reselling hexed objects.

Then Aiden Connolly walks into her life with an offer she really should refuse. The scion of a wealthy family of luck workers, Aiden has a scheme to get his hands on the most famous cursed object of all: the mythical Necklace of Harmonia. He’s not the only one after the necklace, though. And he’s not the only one looking for a curse weaver to fix it. Kennedy’s sisters are kidnapped, she finds herself plunged into the underbelly of the magical world where even Aidan soon finds himself in over his head.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Mini Review: Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica


Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica
Publication Date: May 18th 2021 by Harlequin Trade Publishing
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Rating: ½

My Thoughts:
Shelby goes missing, and not long after Meredith and her six-year-old daughter go missing too. Are these disappearances connected? Eleven years later Delilah returns, and questions abound.

This mystery captured my attention from the first page trying to piece together what happened. The story takes us back and forth eleven years in the past, and now in the present with Delilah’s return. Alternate perspectives slowly reveal what happened, and I found the whole thing heartbreaking. Some people are truly evil, the actions they take out of pure selfishness without regard to how it shatters the lives of others. Yes, this is fiction, but sadly it could easily be a real-life account. All is revealed, justice carried out, but some things can’t be fixed by justice. I do enjoy a good twisty mystery, but I always feel a bit melancholy with a story like this.

3.5 Stars

About the Book:

People don't just disappear without a trace…
Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.
Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they'll find…
In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

About the Author:

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of six novels, including THE GOOD GIRL, PRETTY BABY, DON’T YOU CRY, EVERY LAST LIE, WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT, and THE OTHER MRS. A former high school history teacher, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children. Her last novel THE OTHER MRS. was an instant New York Times bestseller; is coming soon to Netflix; was a LibraryReads pick for February 2020; praised by the New York Times; and highly recommended by Entertainment Weekly, People, The Week, Marie Claire, Bustle, HelloGiggles, Goodreads, PopSugar, BookRiot, HuffingtonPost, First for Women, Woman’s World, and more. Mary’s novels have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. She’s been described as “a helluva storyteller,” (Kirkus Reviews) and “a writer of vice-like control,” (Chicago Tribune), and her novels have been praised as “hypnotic” (People) and “thrilling and illuminating” (Los Angeles Times).  LOCAL WOMAN MISSING is her seventh novel. 

Connect with Mary Kubica: