BOOK REVIEW: Unmanageable by Lavinia Kent

This review is going to focus on Unmanageable by Lavinia Kent. This is the second book in her Forbidden Cove series. I received an eARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The main character of this title is lawyer Veronica Andersen. She lives in Forbidden Cove and commutes daily to the city. Sometimes it’s hard for her to get back home with work events at night, which makes it hard for her to care for her dog she got from her brother after he passed away in a car accident. She’s hired a neighbor to walk her dog when she needs it.

But when she opens the door she doesn’t find the older woman she’s expecting. She finds the woman’s nephew, the sexy Brian Walsh. The two feel an immediate connection, and after an initial hook-up Veronica invites him to be her date to her sister’s wedding.

The two insist they don’t want anything serious, and Veronica doesn’t take the time to get to know Brian. She even judges him for his current lifestyle of being a dog walker and doing sunset yoga on the beach.

But what she doesn’t know is that he was a star goalie in the NHL until a recent injury ended his career. Eventually the two can’t be kept apart and they work on their differences and learn about each other.

This was a fun, interesting read, and I will definitely be picking up other titles in this series.

Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

BOOK REVIEW: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han.

This is the third book by Jenny Han in her To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, and it’s titled Always and Forever, Lara Jean. This part of the story takes a look at LJ’s senior year and what her future in college may look like.

In this plot line we know that Peter won Lara Jean’s heart, and not John Ambrose at the end of the second book. It is now senior year and there are so many activities happening all at once. This includes a class trip to New York City (seriously?!), prom, Beach Week after graduation (again…seriously!?), and we can’t forget her father’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. On top of all of this though, is applying for college and of course, picking a school.

What could possibly go wrong!?

Well, for starters, Margot can’t stand Ms. Rothschild, and she’s pretty vocal about it. She got used to filling their mom’s shoes and taking care of everyone after their mom passed away, and even though she’s away at college, she doesn’t like the idea of another woman filling those roles.

Lara Jean being the anxious over thinker that she is doesn’t let her senior year with Peter go smoothly. Constantly trying to figure out how things could go wrong, they do, as she starts fights that don’t necessarily need to be there. I remember constantly thinking–USE YOUR WORDS and talk to each other instead of thinking about your side only.

The major drama occurring in this installment is that of what college to attend, and will she go to the same school as Peter? Peter has a full ride lacrosse scholarship to the University of Virginia (UVA). The original plan is that they will attend there together, but then Lara Jean receives word that she’s no longer on the wait list for the University of North Carolina (UNC), and has now been accepted.

Where will Lara Jean decide to go? And what will that mean for her relationship with Peter? Could it be something that one last contract would solve?

I enjoyed this book, and the entire trilogy very much. This story was a very fitting, and thoughtful ending to Lara Jean’s story. I hope you all enjoy it too!

Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

BOOK REVIEW: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han.

This review is going to take a look at the second installment in Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series; P.S. I Still Love You. Netflix just released the trailer for its sequel adaptation.

In this second book, Lara Jean realizes that she has fallen for Peter. The plot points at the beginning of this book take place in the first film. It begins with the viral posting of Lara Jean in the hot tub with Peter. Lara Jean feels insecure by the rumors that start flying around school and decides to stay away from Peter despite her feelings for him.

When Margot is preparing to return to college after her holiday break, she suggests that Lara Jean get a job to fill her time so that she can get over Peter. Lara Jean begins volunteering at Belleview, the local retirement home. At Belleview she meets a feisty old lady named Stormy who teaches LJ about life.

Lara Jean’s little sister, Kitty, who was just a baby when their mother passed away spends a good portion of this book trying to set up their father with their neighbor Trina.

Unlike in the film, by the end of the first book she hasn’t gotten a surprise visit from the last person she sent a letter to: John Ambrose McClaren. In the book he writes back to her and the two become pen pals. She invites him to a party of all of their old friends group from middle school when she learns that the neighborhood treehouse that they used to hang out in will be torn down. The group also decides to play a game of Assassins.

While Peter and Lara Jean are trying to make each other jealous and fighting LJ gets to know John Ambrose again, and finds out that he is Stormy’s grandson. He begins to spend more time at the retirement home and LJ takes him out in the game of Assassins.

Lara Jean and Peter eventually talk about their problems and he confesses that Genevieve’s father is having an affair and she’s having a hard time with it. Peter tells LJ that he loves her.

I enjoyed reading this book, and it was yet another page turner. I can’t wait to review the third book!

Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

BOOK REVIEW: Let It Snow by Nancy Thayer

This review is going to take a look at Nancy Thayer’s latest Christmas novel, Let It Snow. This book was released on October 15, 2019, so it’s available for all of you looking for more holiday reads as we get closer to Christmas! I received an eARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Let It Snow is set on the lovely island of Nantucket, and follows shopkeeper Christina Antonioni, and her fellow three shopkeeper friends, and the family of their landlord–the Bittlesmans. Christina is a likable thirty year old woman who has recently lost both of her parents. She runs a toy store on the wharf in a shed with heat provided by an electric heater.

Every day for lunch she meets with the other wharf shopkeepers for lunch. Oscar Bittlesman has sent a letter to them all that he will be increasing their rent by 10%, a sum that will put them all out of business.

In time, Christina meets Wink, Oscar’s granddaughter, and puts her to work in her shop. She also meets Wink’s handsome uncle, Andy. Through the book Christina spends a lot of time with Wink and Andy, and falls for Andy. It’s a cute story and it spends time showing what small town life on the island is like.

Much of the story is spent trying to get Oscar to realize what the wharf stores are like so he won’t raise the rent. But honestly, the rent problem doesn’t seem to be as realistic of a problem to me as the problems in the book from my review earlier this week. By the end of the book Christina is engaged to Andy and would no longer have the financial issues if Oscar raised the rent. Her fellow shopkeepers would have the problem, but because they aren’t the main characters the consequences of the stores closing is glossed over.

Also, I had a hard time believing some things. Yes, she lives on a small island, but she’s also thirty. I don’t think that she was written like a thirty-year-old. Other than finding a partner, and having children her life is completely settled.

I enjoyed the romantic plot of Christina and Andy, and really enjoyed the storyline between Christina and Wink. I think readers looking for a light holiday romance would enjoy this.

Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

BOOK REVIEW: Weekend Fling by Stacey Lynn

This post is going to dive into Stacey Lynn’s 4th novel in her Crazy Love series. The book is titled Weekend Fling. I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Willow Parks is the female lead in this story. She has her own part-time editing business, and also works in a coffee shop on the ground floor of the building that sexy Trey Collins happens to live in.

Willow is busy holding down two jobs and caring for her mother and doesn’t have time to get back on the dating scene, but Trey has other ideas about that. He’s a self-made millionaire who needs a date to his best friend’s wedding. He’s been interested in Willow since he met her when she began working in the coffee shop, but she constantly rejects him. But Willow is at her breaking point with responsibility and admits she could use a weekend away from work, and caring for her mother. She agrees to a weekend getaway with Trey to go to the wedding.

She is taken aback by all the money she is quickly surrounded by. And while their relationship becomes quite steamy over the weekend, they both wonder if it could be more after the weekend is over.

During the wedding reception Willow receives a phone call from her friend Cara, who she asked to keep an eye on her mother for the weekend. Cara tells Willow that they are at the hospital. Willow becomes full of doubt about everything and also doesn’t want to throw all of her baggage on Trey so she tries to sabotage things on the relationship front so she can get a handle on all of her family problems.

I thought this contemporary romance had a bit more depth to it than a lot of others that I read, where the problem introduced to wreck everything is usually not as large, or realistic. Often when reading romance (as much as I enjoy it) I find myself saying… “That’s not a real problem…”. But this story reveals several problems ranging from self-doubt to financial problems, to mental health problems.

I honestly had a hard time putting this book down and I think anyone interested in contemporary romance would have a fun time with this one. It was released on November 26th so go get a copy! I can’t wait to go back and read the first three books in Lynn’s Crazy Love series!

Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

BOOK REVIEW: My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLoache Williams.

This review is going to take a look into My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLoache Williams. I selected this book for my library’s leisure reading collection and decided to pick it up to take a break from fiction real quick knowing that many of my ARCs are fiction.

Rachel was living in New York City and was working as a photo editor for Vanity Fair when Anna Delvey aka Anna Delvey Sorokin appeared in her life. Rachel was out with friends and met the socialite, who took a liking to her. Once that happened Rachel and Anna were practically inseperable.

Anna would invite Rachel to fancy meals, share her personal trainer, use infrared saunas, and more. The whole time, she led Rachel to believe she was a German heiress living off a hefty allowance, until her trust money came through. That’s when she went all in, inviting Rachel, her personal trainer, and a videographer on a vacation to Morocco. One small problem, she didn’t have the money to cover the trip.

Anna left all the planning until the last second, believing it would all happen. But then she got Rachel to book the flights. And then in Morocco, her credit card wouldn’t work, so Rachel put her card down thinking she would either be reimbursed by Anna, or Anna would get it figured out before they left, and she wouldn’t be charged at all. But boy was she wrong. She ended up paying more than $62,000 for the trip.

Once home, Rachel continually tried to get Anna to reimburse her to no avail. So she decided to look deeper into Anna’s background. That’s when the puzzle started to come together. Rachel testified about all of this in court and opened up about all of the problems she has had since falling for this scam.

This book was eye opening to how easy it is to fall for something one might hope is true. At the same time, while reading I continually had feelings of did you really not pick up any red flags before this trip? Maybe I am just more skeptical about things that appear to be too good to be true.

I think those that like reading celebrity memoirs would enjoy this book. It would also serve as a good–don’t fall for this yourself warning read. My Friend Anna was released on July 23, 2019. Go pick up a copy so you don’t fall into a similar trap!

Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

BOOK REVIEW: The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis

This post is going to focus on The Vanished Bride written by Bella Ellis. It is the first novel in Ellis’s Brontรซ Sisters Mystery series and was released on September 10, 2019.

This book has the interesting concept of following the Brontรซ sisters in 1845 as they learn of a murder that has taken place in a nearby village. The murder has taken place in a home in which one of their friends works as a governess. But is it even murder? The woman of the house is missing, but left her room covered in blood. What other explanation could there possibly be?

Though they have yet to publish any of their works, they already have the research skills needed to become “detectors.” Ellis has done an enormous amount of research on the Brontรซ family and because of this was able to use each family member to their strengths in her plot.

Ellis also does a good job at describing a society that believes women should be at home, and seen, but not heard. They take various journeys together, and apart in following the clues they uncover under the guise of searching for the right place to open a school.

I found the plot enjoyable as I followed along the twists and turns throughout the English countryside. This book will be enjoyed by fans of the Brontรซ clan, and cozy mystery readers.

Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

BOOK REVIEW: The Trouble With Hedge Witches Series Bundle by Sarina Dorie

This review is going to focus on the Trouble with Hedge Witches 4 book series by Sarina Dorie. I received an eARC of the series through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The first book in this series bundle is The Witch of Nightmares: Dark Fairy Tales of Magic and Mystery. This introductory book introduces readers to the main character, 14-year-old Abigail MacQuillan and her journey with fate. We are introduced to the Morty Realm, the Unseen Realm, and the Fae Realm, each having its own rules about magic.

This installment has readers following Abby on her journey to find her lost family. Can she accomplish this while protecting her younger brother, and staying away from dark magic?

The second book in the series is A Cauldron Full of Curses: Dark Fairy Tales of Magic and Mystery. This installment follows Abby as she deals with the loss of her family, learning how to use her plant magic, and becoming an apprentice to a wicked hedge witch, Baba Nata. Abby and her friend Lucifer, who is another apprentice of Baba, learn to fight against the Fae that prey upon lost humans.

The third book in this series is A Pocket Full of Poison: Dark Fairy Tales of Magic and Mystery. In this book you will learn that revenge comes at a price.

Readers will follow Abby and Lucifer as they continue to learn how to harness their magic. Baba Nata begins to teach Abby the darker magic that she will need to use against the Fae. How far will Abby go to avenge her brothers? Will she keep the act in her seduction, or fall for a Fae?

The last installment to this series bundle is Abigail Lawrence’s Untold Story: The Witch’s Familiar, which is also part of Dorie’s Womby’s School for Wayward Witches series.

This segment takes place almost thirty years after the last book, and Abby has led a life in the Morty Realm, reconnecting with Grace, and her nephew Adam. Over time she marries Adam, and they adopt two daughters. This story focuses on Abigail after she receives news that her twenty-two-year old daughter Clarissa is in danger and recovering from an attack at the school she teaches at.

Lucifer, who has been stuck in cat form for the last thirty years begins to act strange while back in the Unseen Realm and runs away. Much of this story is searching for Lucifer, and trying to find a way to return him to human form. Will she succeed?

This series was an interesting read, and I enjoyed reading about the different plant and animal magic affinities that different characters controlled. I started to lose some interest in Abby’s story in the third book because she was so entrenched in her desire to kill the Fae without listening to anything Lucifer would say about how it would change her. I hope you enjoy reading this series. Each installment is a quick, roughly 100 page, read.

Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

BOOK REVIEW: The Shape of the Night by Tess Gerritsen

This review is going to take a look at the book The Shape of the Night by New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen. I received an eArc of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The book was released on October 1st–so get out there an read a copy!

This novel is set mostly in a Maine coastal town with some appearances by Boston. Our main character, Ava Collette is a food writer, and while punishing herself she has decided to get away from Boston to test some recipes for her very late book.

The cookbook she is writing is about traditional New England cuisine, so where better than Maine to write!? She finds an old home available to rent of the summer called Brodie’s Watch. It is the former home of a sea captain that perished at sea. At first all is normal, until she begins hearing weird sounds.

Ava becomes all consumed with trying to figure out who is watching her and what is happening. She begins to wonder if it’s her, and the binge drinking to cope with tragedy, or if it’s all real? Who can she trust in this small coastal town where locals fit in and tourists aren’t trusted.

Gerritsen does a great job of writing the story in a way that it could actually be a ghost, or it could be this other more logical option throughout the entire book. Even after finishing the book I was left wondering–but was the ghost real? The story instills a real feeling of being right there the entire time. I felt like I was by the ocean in Maine. I drooled over the recipes Ava made, just like her carpenters. It was an entertaining read and I encourage you to go read it so you can be in Maine too!

Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

BOOK REVIEW: Ice Hard by Tracy Goodwin

This review is going to center on the book Ice Hard by Tracy Goodwin. I received an ARC through NetGalley. This was published on October 8th, and is the second book in the New York Nighthawks series. The first book in the series is Ice Hot.

The main characters in this book are Nicholas Alexander George (yep, three first names make up his name), a right winger and NHL league enforcer, and Camille Bennetti, a loyal daughter currently running the family’s Italian restaurant.

Nick meets Cami while she’s helping out working a bar shift during Nick’s best friend’s bachelor party. Nick can’t take his eyes off her and the two share some quick banter. The major problem, as he finds out, is that she doesn’t date hockey players. Cami’s tortured past slowly comes to light throughout the story. Nick plans to prove himself worthy of Camille any way he can.

Will Camille be able to stick to the one night deal, or will she end up wanting more, much more?

I enjoyed reading this book and read it during this past weekend’s 24 hour Dewey Readathon. I think Goodwin did a good job of making her characters imperfect. They were believable in their personalities. It was clear that the characters understood that relationships are hard and take work to maintain instead of the many romance novels that are a bit easier in getting to the Happily Ever After. Persistence was a big aspect of this book. I hope those of you that pick it up enjoy it!

Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚