Saturday, September 30, 2023

Sunday Post #224


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. I'm also linking up to The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance @Readerbuzz.

It's been a busy week. Worked an extra day and then was asked to work an extra day next week, too. On my days off I made up apple pie filling with the apples from our trees and plum jam with plums from our neighbor and canned them. I also got out on a run three times.  By Friday I was beat. 

Went to dinner with my sister and her husband after work on Friday to a local rustic dinner place that has best fried zucchini served ranch dressing. So happy I didn't have to cook or cleanup. 

Today (Saturday) has been raining off and on all day. The leaves are changing all around, beautiful red, orange and yellows all around town.

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

Bright Lights, Big Christmas-4 Stars
The House Beyond the Dunes-4 Stars

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

I grabbed a copy of Here With Me on Kindle Unlimited after seeing Tanya's review.  Blood Sisters was pitched as similar to Longmire so I couldn't resist. Loved the sound of this gothic mystery: The Curse of Penryth Hall. Love, Just In sounded like an emotional friends-to-lovers romance.

Thank  you to Berkley, Minotaur Books, and Allen & Unwin for the e-ARCs.


How was your week?

Mini-Review: The Wake-Up Call by Beth O'Leary


The Wake-Up Call by Beth O'Leary
Publication Date: September 26th 2023 by Berkley
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher 
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Izzy and Lucas at one time got along, with attraction and chemistry sparking between them, but a misunderstanding has them battling it out as co-workers, trying to one-up the other.  

Now they must band together to save the beloved and charming Forest Manor Hotel. Cleaning out and selling off the accumulated “lost items” to raise money, Izzy finds a Tupperware of lost wedding rings. Partially motivated by her own loss, Izzy is determined to find the owners of the missing wedding rings, which leads to a competition between Izzy and Lucas over who can return the most.

I loved The Wake-Up Call! Brimming with emotions, fun and playful at times, but also more serious dealing with feelings of inadequacy, grief and hurt. The romance was deliciously steamy, and I cheered for these two to sort everything out!

4 Stars

Book Description:

Two hotel receptionists--and arch-rivals--find a collection of old wedding rings and compete to return them to their owners, discovering their own love story along the way.

It's the busiest season of the year, and Forest Manor Hotel is quite literally falling apart. So when Izzy and Lucas are given the same shift on the hotel's front desk, they have no choice but to put their differences aside and see it through.

The hotel won't stay afloat beyond Christmas without some sort of miracle. But when Izzy returns a guest's lost wedding ring, the reward convinces management that this might be the way to fix everything. With four rings still sitting in the lost & found, the race is on for Izzy and Lucas to save their beloved hotel--and their jobs.

As their bitter rivalry turns into something much more complicated, Izzy and Lucas begin to wonder if there's more at stake here than the hotel's future. Can the two of them make it through the season with their hearts intact?

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Review: Burning Justice by Tee O'Fallon


Burning Justice (K-9 Special Ops #2) by Tee O'Fallon
Publication Date: August 22nd 2023 by Entangled Amara
Pages: 400
Source: Publisher 

My Thoughts:
ATF Agent, Brett Tanner is called into investigate a suspicious fire and runs into Gemma Scott, with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, also working the case. Brett and Gemma think that the fire is connected to a string of prior fires and reluctantly team up, pooling sources to solve the mystery and bring the criminals to justice.

Brett has personal reasons behind his dogged determination to catch the bad guy(s) and suffers PTSD from his history.

Gemma’s been burned by an ambitious co-worker who stole her past case and claimed it as his own accomplishment. Since then, she’s been wary about taking on any partners, but Brett’s position in the ATF gives her access to parts of the investigation she wouldn’t have otherwise. Also, her gut tells her she can trust Brett. She loved his K-9 partner, Blaze, right away and as they say dogs are the best judge of character. There was an immediate attraction between these two, but they try and keep things professional. Of course, they can resist only for so long. I was rooting for them to solve their case and for them as a couple!

As a fan of well-done police/crime procedurals, I thoroughly enjoyed Burning Justice, even more so with a smart K-9 partner!  I was hooked and eager over every discovery they made that led them closer to the truth and on edge as their investigations put them in danger! The mystery and romance wrap up nicely and I look forward to the next in the series: Ultimate Justice!

4 Stars

Book Description:

After narrowly surviving a childhood fire that killed two of his friends, ATF Special Agent Brett Tanner knows what it’s like to get too close to the flame. The trauma only spurs him and his K-9 partner to track down the arsonists targeting a Colorado town. This latest warehouse blaze looks suspicious as hell…and there’s a body. Now it’s murder.

Fiercely independent insurance investigator Gemma Scott has been burned enough times to know she doesn’t need anyone—especially a handsome agent with an agenda. Teaming up with the hardened and determined ATF agent means not just trusting her instincts…it also means trusting him.

Now they’re racing against an arsonist with a lethal agenda—one who’s willing to burn and kill to hide the evidence. But the killer is only part of a larger mystery. And the searing attraction between Gemma and Brett adds fuel to an already dangerously lethal fire. One that will smoke out a killer…along with Brett’s darkest secret.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Audiobook Review: Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin


Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin
Publication Date: June 8th 2023 by Macmillan Audio
Pages: 368
Audio Book Length: 10hrs 37min
Narrator: Karissa Vacker
Source: Publisher
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Kobo | Audible | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Vivvy Bouchet has always been a little different, like her mother. Both inexplicably knew things, but Vivvy has always had a love of science. Her other talents go on the backburner while she studies stars and far away planets as an astrophysicist for a living.

However, her mother’s death has her back in her hometown and she’s asked to look the famous cold case of a missing three-year-old, Lizzie Solomon, by her friend/old crush, Mike, a police detective. Detective Jesse Sharp, lead on the case, is more than a little skeptical of Vivvy. He’s like a thorn in her side, showing up everywhere she goes while searching for the truth. What comes from Vivvy’s examination is a surprise, one that she can’t let go of even with all the negative publicity she attracts.

 Sensationalist podcaster, Bubba Guns, has focused his ranty-conspiracy theorist sights on Vivvy, putting her in danger with all the nut-jobs that believe every word from the liar’s mouth. This guy was something else and I enjoyed how Vivvy handled him.  Vivvy was also in danger as she closed in on the truth of Lizzie’s disappearance.

Night Will Find You was a mystery that grabbed hold of me and didn’t let go! Atmospheric and thrilling, I couldn’t stop listening! There were a few twists, a bit of romance, and a juxtaposition of science and the unexplained that was highly intriguing! I loved every minute!

As usual, Karissa Vacker’s performance was wonderful! She nailed both male and female voices, and her accents felt spot on. Her narration enhanced an already riveting story! I listened at my usual 1.5-1.75x normal speed.

The publisher shared this Good Morning America interview with Karissa Vacker while narrating Night Will Find You, and an interview with Kate and Charlie Gibson talking about the increase in audiobook popularity. Such a great piece!

5 Stars

Book Description:

A scientist and reluctant psychic is brought in to find a girl who went missing long ago in the new novel by Julia Heaberlin, the bestselling author of We Are All the Same in the Dark

Vivvy Bouchet, daughter of a known psychic, was ten when she saved a boy’s life by making an impossible prediction. Now she’s an astrophysicist in Texas, devoted to science, but the boy she saved has become a cop who continues to believe she can see things no one else can. When he begs for help on the high-profile cold case of a kidnapped girl, Vivvy steps back into the ocean of voices that once nearly drowned her.

She is forced to team up with detective Jesse Sharp, a skeptic of anything but fact. When Vivvy becomes the target of a conspiracy theorist podcaster, she fights back with both her scientific mind and her inexplicable gifts, hoping to lure a kidnapper, find a child who haunts her, and lay some of her own ghosts to rest.

Sharply relevant, Julia Heaberlin's Night Will Find You explores the mysterious nature of belief—in psychic power, in science, in conspiracies, in a higher power—and the delicate dance between scientific truth and the things we can’t explain.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Sunday Post #223


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. I'm also linking up to The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance @Readerbuzz.

I'm currently in the Texas Hill Country, in a suburb of Austin visiting with my daughter, grandkids and SIL We flew out Thursday and are flying back tomorrow (Sunday). We've had a good time, visited as a "special person" at the kid's school. They had a visit day where we toured their art, music and PE class and got a slice of their day at school for each of them. The school was new and beautiful and it seemed like a good place to learn. 

It's been hot here, but I guess 10-15 degrees cooler than the week before. We'll be coming home to 70-75 degree weather at home where fall is in full swing.

Some hydrangeas from the garden I cut to hang up and dry.

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

Had a lot going on with work and then preparing for our trip to Austin so all I managed was two book. Both a win!

Burning Justice- 4 Stars

Received/Purchased/Library Lend

Thank you to Berkley and Canary Street Press for the e-copies!


How was your week?

Blog Tour Review: The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan


The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan
Publication Date: September 19th 2023 by Canary Street Press
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher 
Rating: ½

My Thoughts:
The Book Club Hotel centers on four women, all at a pivotal time, each of their lives intersecting at the Maple Sugar Inn in Vermont.

Twenty-eight-year-old Hattie is running the Maple Sugar Inn by herself and barely getting by. It was her late husband’s dream to renovate and run the beautiful Vermont inn, but with his tragic death, Hattie feels like she’s drowning while trying to raise their five-year-old daughter on her own.

Erica, Claudia, and Anna, best friends since college, have their yearly vacation book club meeting and Erica has chosen the Maple Sugar Inn as their meet up. This is very unlike Erica, who usually wants a 5-star hotel, not a quaint, picturesque inn, but there’s more to that story.

Anna’s eighteen-year-old twins are gearing up to go to college and she’s so very sad, already missing them. She’s been a stay-at-home mom so she’s not sure what’s next.
Claudia not only parted from her boyfriend of ten years, but she’s also just been laid off. Since then, she hasn’t wanted to look at a recipe, much less find another job as a chef.

The Book Club Hotel was so lovely and heartwarming! When Hattie, Erica, Anna, and Claudia meet up, each are struggling a bit, and I felt for each character!  I was moved to see them help and support each other. There’s a bit of romance for three of the four characters as well, which was just icing on the cake for me. The Maple Sugar Inn sounded like a dreamy winter wonderland, a magical place to sort out troubles!

I also thought it was fun they were reading a Catherine Swift novel for their book club, since she was one of the main characters in Morgan’s previous book, The Island Villa.

I look forward to every new Sarah Morgan book and The Book Club Hotel didn’t disappoint! It was an uplifting story that filled my heart with joy! A definite recommend!

4.5 Stars

Book Description:

This Christmas, USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan returns with another heartfelt exploration of change, the power of books to heal, and the enduring strength of female friendship. Perfect for fans of Emily Henry and Jennifer Weiner.

With its historic charm and picture-perfect library, the Maple Sugar Inn is considered the winter destination. As the holidays approach, the inn is fully booked with guests looking for their dream vacation. But widowed far too young, and exhausted from juggling the hotel with being a dedicated single mom, Hattie Coleman dreams only of making it through the festive season.

But when Erica, Claudia and Anna—lifelong friends who seem to have it all—check in for a girlfriends’ book club holiday, it changes everything. Their close friendship and shared love of books have carried them through life's ups and downs. But Hattie can see they're also packing some major emotional baggage, and nothing prepares her for how deeply her own story is about to become entwined in theirs.

In the span of a week over the most enchanting time of the year, can these four women come together to improve each other’s lives and make this the start of a whole new chapter?

Photo Credit: Ev Sekkides

Author Bio: 

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes lively, sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin.

Romantic Times has described her as 'a magician with words' and nominated her books for their Reviewer's Choice Awards and their 'Top Pick' slot. In 2012 Sarah received the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America. She lives near London with her family. 

Find out more at

Connect with Sarah Morgan:

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Review: Closer to You by Jill Sanders


Closer to You (Haven, Montana #1) by Jill Sanders
Publication Date: September 12th 2023 by Montlake Romance 
Pages: 283
Source: Author/Kindle Unlimited

My Thoughts:
Kristen is in Haven, Montana to convince the McGowan’s to sell their oil business. She’s worked tirelessly for JB Holdings and this deal should be the advance she’s been striving for. However, as she stays and works with Tyler and his family, Kristen starts to wonder why her company is so dead set on acquiring the McGowan’s business. As Kristen digs deeper into the puzzle, she and Tyler get closer and she starts to yearn for a more meaningful life, in this small, beautiful town.

Tyler McGowan never expected to be running his family’s business, but the tragic death of his father has him stepping into the role. He’s proud of the business and has no intention of selling out, but JB Holdings is persistent. Kristen should be the enemy, but at every turn she helps them out. Yes, she’s gorgeous, but there’s a good person underneath the designer clothes and business drive.

I enjoy a good fish-out-of-water kind of story and city-girl, Kristen was definitely out of her element in the small town of Haven, Montana. I loved seeing her priorities shift from corporate ladder climber/fashionista to appreciating the more important things in life as she stayed in Haven.

Kristen and Tyler are immediately attracted physically with lots of chemistry. I do wish they would’ve admitted the depth of their true feelings earlier, but I get that insecurities held them back.

The whole mystery surrounding the sabotage, destruction and then threat to Kristen added an extra layer of excitement to the story. One that kept me turning the pages! Some of it was resolved, but some aspects were not. I’m guessing it will be an ongoing story arc in the series.

I’m looking forward to the next one!

4 Stars

Book Description:

New York Times bestselling author Jill Sanders strikes gold with a sizzling series about oil-rich playboys whose hearts are up for grabs.

No one’s more surprised than Tyler McGowan when he discovers he has a knack for running the family’s oil business—a role he took on after his father’s sudden passing. Now, to keep the old man’s legacy afloat, Tyler’s giving up his playboy ways and settling into small-town life. But his newfound resolve is tested when trouble strides into his office in five-inch heels.

Kristen Howell has spent the last five years working her way up the corporate ladder. And somehow it’s landed her smack-dab in the middle of nowhere: Haven, Montana. It’s her job to convince the head of McGowan Enterprises to sell. But the tall and rangy hunk is proving to be exceedingly stubborn—and overwhelmingly hot. When someone attempts to derail her negotiations, Kristen is ready to get down and dirty. But the sparks she and Tyler are throwing near the oil field may be dangerously combustible…


Monday, September 18, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Fall 2023 TBR


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader where each week they post a new top ten list and ask fellow bookish folk to share their lists on that topic. 

This week Books on My Fall 2023 TBR:

(Click on cover for Goodread link)

I love her romantic suspense/police procedurals! The perfect combo of advanced police procedure, exciting fast-paced mystery and lusty romance. I'm looking forward to this stand alone!

I finally broke down and listened to Fourth Wing last week and loved it! The hype is real! Lucky for me, I don't have to wait long for the next one. 

Gothic tropes: crumbling mansion with secret passageways and compartments, set in New Zealand's treacherous Southern Alps. A group of seven friends reunite for a week with the shadow and mystery surrounding the death of one of their group, nine years earlier, looming. 

I've been reading and loving the Johns Mills Amish Romance series which started with the tragic murders of the Hochstedler parents and the effects on their grown children. Each have their own emotional and touching story of healing and romance. 

Three women in three different horror stories. I loved Ms. Henry's The Girl in Red so I'm thrilled for this!

I loved Talulah's Back in Town, my first full on romance from Brenda Novak, so I'm excited for the next in the series.

It's hard to go wrong with RaeAnne Thayne's heartwarming romances! Her holiday romances are a special treat!

Can't go wrong with Mary Burton's mystey/thriller/romantic suspense. I just downloaded this from Kindle Unlimited as a "read and listen". 

"The Stitcher" boogey man sounds all kinds of scary. I'm rooting for Abby to get her sister back!

I'm both eager and nervous for the new Will Trent installment!

What's on your Fall TBR?

Review: Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland


Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Publication Date: September 12th 2023 by Berkley 
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher 

My Thoughts:
The Flores sisters have magical gifts. Sage is gifted with a connection to plants: she can talk to them, identify, and make them grow. Her sister Teal can affect the weather, and her youngest sister Sky gifted with a connection to animals.

Sage is back home, at her Aunt Nadia’s, after being laid off from her job. Things are tense with her younger sister, Teal, as she blames her for the death of their youngest sister, Sky. To add to the drama, Sky’s ghost appears to Sage, talking to her.

Sage lands a job with her old employer, Cranberry Rose Company, the local nursery and is teamed up with her teenage crush, Tennessee Reyes, the man who broke her heart, unbeknownst to him. They’re paired together to find rare plants with a history and a story, to cultivate for sale. I love plants and gardening, so I thought Sage’s gift and her job was so neat!

I got a Practical Magic vibe here (the movie, not the book) picturing the beautiful old house as Nadia’s. Loved the descriptions of the setting and surrounding area!

The romance was lovely, even though I wasn’t a fan of Sage not coming clean with her prior AOL interactions with Tennessee, the blowback from it wasn’t long and overdrawn. I feel like Sage’s relationship with her sisters and Aunt Nadia were equally important to the story. They had past hurts that needed to be mended. Didn’t care for the way Teal or Aunt Nadia treated Sage. Teal was awful to her sister with no cause. It came from guilt and grief, but definite groveling was needed from both her sister and aunt. There’s some mystery around Sky’s death and I was thrilled over how that was all resolved!

Witch of Wild Things was a beautifully written, magical delight! Some romance, some family reconciliation, and cool magical gifts!

4 Stars

Book Description:

Legend goes that long ago a Flores woman offended the old gods, and their family was cursed as a result. Now, every woman born to the family has a touch of magic.
Sage Flores has been running from her family—and their “gifts”—ever since her younger sister Sky died. Eight years later, Sage reluctantly returns to her hometown. Like slipping into an old, comforting sweater, Sage takes back her job at Cranberry Rose Company and uses her ability to communicate with plants to discover unusual heritage specimens in the surrounding lands.

What should be a simple task is complicated by her partner in botany sleuthing: Tennessee Reyes. He broke her heart in high school, and she never fully recovered. Working together is reminding her of all their past tender, genuine moments—and new feelings for this mature sexy man are starting to take root in her heart.

With rare plants to find, a dead sister who keeps bringing her coffee, and another sister whose anger fills the sky with lightning, Sage doesn’t have time for romance. But being with Tenn is like standing in the middle of a field on the cusp of a summer thunderstorm—supercharged and inevitable.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Sunday Post #222-Late Edition


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. I'm also linking up to The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance @Readerbuzz.

I meant to do this post up early yesterday but got caught up in chores and making dessert (pear & apple crisp) to take to my sister's house. Of course, I forgot the dessert on the counter! We ate it last night when we got home. I couldn't sleep a lot of the night and got back to sleep about 6am and woke up about 8:45am.

The week was a usual one, work and such. It's been warm here in the low 90s but cooling off quickly with the shorter days. It's been a low of 50 most nights. This week is supposed to be cooler with highs in the upper 70s and rain in the forecast. We'll see.

My apples are ripe and I figured out one of them are a green variety, so I have one red and one green. My "Picture This" app said both were the variety "Paradise" so I guess that's not completely right. I've looked up some recipes for canning apple pie filling and will be doing that on Tuesday. 

The red apples

My garden is really blooming now that it's cooler and my flowers are getting fried. We have had a lot of Hummingbird Moth this summer. Didn't see them at all last year.

I think we're headed for Texas on Thursday to see my daughter. I need to book the flights. She lives outside of Austin. Kind of last minute trip. 

(Click  on cover for Goodreads link)

I had a great reading week. Four for review and two library lends. 
Just curious, do you like to see what I've rated my reads? I'll start listing like below if so.

Witch of Wild Things-4 Stars 
Closer to You 4-Stars
Night Will Find You-5 Stars
Fourth Wing- 4.5 Stars
With a Kiss We Die- 4 Stars

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

Two invites: Good Girls Don't Die and The Boy Who Cried Bear. So excited for both, but especially The Boy Who Cried Bear, #2 in the Haven's Rock series which is a spinoff of Rockton. The Only One Left is a library audio. I hope I can listen before my lend expires.


Love this cover!

How was your week?