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My thoughts on what I've been reading!

Book Review: Prose and Cons (Magical Bookshop #2) by Amanda Flower-3.5 Stars

 

I definitely liked the first book in this series more. This one seemed slower paced and Violet started to annoy me. I also didn’t like how it ended leaving me wanting more romance between Violet and Chief Rainwater!

Book 2 in this Magical Bookshop Mystery takes on a Poe theme. When a member of the writing group is found dead in the bookshop during a Poe reading, cute, vintage clothes lover Sadie becomes the prime suspect with all evidence pointing towards her! The magical shop keeps hinting at Violet to use the works of Poe to uncover the killer, but will her sleuthing cause her heart to beat nevermore?

A fun cozy mystery but the lack of intrigue had me wanting more. I do still look forward to book 3!

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Book Review: Squeeze Play (Washington DC Soaring Eagles #1) by Aven Ellis-5 Stars

Aven is back with a new book and a new sport! Squeeze Play is a baseball romance set in Washington DC.

Hayley has just gotten her dream job working for a dyslexia focused non-profit in DC. She has no time for romance, especially boys her age-they are too immature and unfocused.

Brody is the catcher for the Washington Soaring Eagles. All his life he’s been compared to his twin Brady and led to believe all he is is a dumb jock.

After a super embarrassing yet hilarious encounter at a coffee shop Brody and Hayley start hanging out and talking about everything under the sun-from kitschy appliances to favorite cereal combos! As they start to grow closer, their own insecurities threaten to pull them apart. Will Hayley and Brody be able to continue their love story under the cherry blossoms or will their fears cause them to strike out in love?

Even if you don’t like baseball, don’t understand it, or you’re just in it for the baseball butts, Squeeze Play is a home-run for everyone because it’s hilarious, the friendships and relationships are realistic, and the romance is sweet yet passionate. This book will make you laugh, cry, and melt your heart!

*I was gifted an ARC from the author.*

Book Review: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin-5 stars

 

This was such a magical, feel-good romance!

Pip, or Piper, works as a mystery hotel guest for The Tree of Life. She stays at various hotels all over the world and writes reviews on them. Her latest assignment is to review Stardust Lake Hotel-a newly renovated hotel on a quaint little island that often has views of the Northern Lights. Little does she know the hotels new owner is none other than the love of her life from her youth.

Gabe took over his grandfather’s hotel and is making amazing strides with renovations. Igloos, decorated lodges, views of the Northern Lights, reindeer, shops run by local villagers selling all sorts of themed goodies…it’s the perfect winter retreat. But when the girl who broke his heart many years ago ends up in his hotel, it seems to be anything but perfect.

Gabe and Pip go way back…but after a tragedy and heartbreak years prior, their hearts are broken, but the chemistry and feelings are still there!

I loved this book. I enjoyed following Pip and Gabe’s journey towards finding love again. The setting was absolutely magical, and the author did an amazing job focusing on the details of the lodges and the village with their specialties-chocolate fountains and handcrafted snow globes, among other goodies! I love Christmas and would love to visit a place just like this, it sounds so enchanting and lovely!

Even though it’s only October I’m always in the mood for a holiday romance, and Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky did not disappoint! It’s got all you need for a cozy, heartwarming read that just makes you feel warm inside.

 

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and Bookouture. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Book Review: Playing Defense (Dallas Demons #5) by Aven Ellis-5 Stars

Aven is back with another Dallas Demons hockey romance! In Playing Defense we meet Swiss stud JP and oreo obsessed fitness model Reese! Being that this is another installment in the Demons series, we get to catch up with all of our fave couples which I love!

After an intense fitness shoot Reese is tired and sweaty but dying for a burger and Oreo shake and unexpectedly ends up sharing fries and onion rings with JP…only to start the convo by telling JP she normally bathes before going out! Thankfully that doesn’t scare him away and the dates just get better and better!

All of the cute little surprises and fun adventures JP and Reese do for one another is simply adorable, their chemistry is HOT, and the relationship just seems to flow perfectly like they were always meant to be, but they do have to work through their fair share of conflicts and problems. JP is OVER women and relationships. He wants to fall in love, get married, and have kids, but all the women he meets aren’t ready for anything serious. Reese doesn’t want to open her heart after being hurt, she knows the “love” her parents had wasn’t real so she just doesn’t want to let anyone close to her. Can Oreos, Turkish coffee, disdain for ice cubes, and fun graphic tees pave the way for these soul mates to realize their love is real?

I received an ARC of Playing Defense from the author. My thoughts and opinions are my own. 🙂

 

Book Review: Crime and Poetry (Magical Bookshop #1) by Amanda Flower- 4 Stars

Crime and Poetry is a cozy mystery set in a magical bookshop! Charming Books is set in Cascade Springs, not far from Niagara Falls. The quaint, upscale town of Cascade Springs is known for its water, which residents claim has healing qualities.  The bookstore is magical in the fact that YOU don’t pick your book, the perfect book picks YOU! Daisy runs Charming Books and is Violet’s fun and quirky grandma. Violet left Cascade Springs 12 years ago after a tragedy and public embarrassment, and has only returned to care for her grandma.

When Daisy’s friend is found murdered, she becomes a prime suspect. Violet makes it her mission to clear her grandma’s name. Complete with magic, mystery, history, and a dash of romance, Crime and Poetry is a charming, cozy read to curl up with and enjoy!

 

 

{Children’s} Book Review: Night Night, Train by Amy Parker-5 Stars

 

“Night Night, Train” by Amy Parker is an adorable children’s bedtime story book.

It’s a sturdy board book that is beautifully and brightly illustrated. I think it would be great to read to infants on up to preschool age, and when they’re old enough, I think young readers will enjoy reading this with mom and dad right before bed as well!

All the characters are animals, from the adorable puppies on the train, to the kitten train conductor. As the engineer drives through Sleepytown, all the passengers say “night night” to everyone and everything they pass. They eat together, take baths, and read stories before going night night, making this a fun book to establish nightly routines for young ones! I look forward to adding this to my newborn’s little library.

This book is not overtly christian but it does mention how God loves us and cares for us through all of our daily routines and life.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

Book Review: Serafina and the Splintered Heart (Serafina #3) by Robert Beatty-4 Stars

Serafina and the Splintered Heart is the conclusion to the Serafina series. This is what I would consider an “upper” middle grades series. It’s quite frightening, but it’s still pretty juvenile feeling, so I wouldn’t classify it as young adult.

Overall I’ve enjoyed reading this series because of the setting being local to me, the fact that the heroine is a young girl looking for her place in the world, and the overarching theme of trust, friendship, and belonging is refreshing to read in a suspenseful, action-packed series.

There are lots of twists and surprises in the Splintered Heart. Serafina and her friends have been trying to defeat the Man in the Black Cloak all throughout the series. Have they finally succeeded? Can life at the Biltmore carry on as normal?

Complete with rich descriptions of the area and local history, suspense, strong characters, and a fast moving plot, the Splintered Heart is one for young teens and adults both to enjoy!

Book Review: Simple Perfection (Rosemary Beach #6) by Abbi Glines-3 Stars

Simple Perfection is the conclusion to Woods and Della’s story that began in Twisted Perfection.

I LOVED Woods and Della’s story in Twisted Perfection, but I seriously disliked Della in Simple Perfection. She was completely idiotic and whiny 95% of the time. I don’t know what else Woods can do to prove his complete love and adoration for her and she actually UNDERSTAND. Della loves Woods, but she doesn’t feel deserving of him because of her past. When Della overhears Woods talking to Jace about “dealing with someone’s crazy” she assumes it’s about her and decides to leave town with Tripp. When she shows up at her best friends house, Della is hit with a huge revelation that will change her whole life. Woods is one of my favorite Rosemary Beach characters and I still loved him in this book, I just almost couldn’t deal with Della! Eventually at the end I started to like her more but it made reading the book really hard!

There is a huge tragedy that happens…I was in shock and honestly didn’t think it was real at first. So prepare your heart if you’re invested at all in any of these characters! I’ll continue reading the Rosemary Beach series as I can’t wait for Grant and Tripp’s stories to come up!

 

Book Review: The Gauntlet (The Cage #3) by Megan Shepherd-4 Stars

The Gauntlet is the final book in The Cage series, and while I found it thrilling and interesting, it was my least favorite book in the series because of the ending.

In The Gauntlet, Cora and her friends escaped from the Kindred and are on a ship with Bonebreak, a mosca. They left behind Cassian who was being tortured because Cora needs to run the Gauntlet so humans can be considered intelligent like the other species.

There was a lot of drama, death, surprises, and twists (and a little romance) throughout this novel. Cora is so strong, as is all the others who escaped with her, but they as humans can only fight for so long without help from others. The actual gauntlet sounded incredible and interesting, a total mind warp that pushes you in every direction. With certain species on the brink of war with one another and ready for a complete take over, can Cora successfully complete the Gauntlet to save humanity and her friends, and be considered as worthy as the others?

With plenty of action and heart stopping shockers, The Gauntlet was super intriguing but as the final novel, it was slightly disappointing because of the decision a certain character made at the end.

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