Book Review

Book Review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing- 5 Stars

This will be a pretty short review because it will be too easy to give away spoilers if I say too much!

A husband and wife need to spice up their marriage. Instead of counseling, more date nights or intimate time, they turn to murder. Scheming, plotting, messed up murders. Told from the husband’s point of view, My Lovely Wife is disturbing and thrilling. The couple themselves are so dark, one more so than the other, and I was glued to the pages pretty much all day, just waiting to see what would happen next!

There are SO many twists, and that bombshell at the end- woah! I will say I started to figure out what was really going on in this relationship but it didn’t ruin the book for me at all. I read a lot of psychological thrillers and this one was definitely unique and different from the typical thriller!

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Book Review

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!

Book Review

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

Book Review: Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler 5 Stars

Oh this book was a delight. I had my eye on it but hadn’t got around to reading it until my coworker highly praised it; and I’m so glad I read it! Vinegar Girl is perfection. Kate’s father wants her to marry his foreign research assistant so he will not be deported. Kate is headstrong, intelligent, and witty, but can be brash, especially in her job as a preschool teacher assistant. Kate and her sister Bunny lost their mother young and Kate has played the matriarchal role for many years. Their father is completely absorbed in his research but is still a loving father, if distant at times. Boring as it may sound, I LOVED the routine and systems the Battista’s have, with their weekly meat mash and dishwashing method.

Anne Tyler is a storytelling mastermind. The premise of the story seems so harsh and outdated, but it’s such a lighthearted, feel good novel. The epilogue was my favorite part, but I loved the passage on page 202 when Pyotr explains to Kate his frustration with the English language- “There is no special word for ‘you’ when it is you that I am speaking to. In English there is only one ‘you,’ and I have to say the same ‘you’ to you that I would say to a stranger; I cannot express my closeness. I am homesick in this country, but I am thinking I would be homesick in my own country now, also….there is no place for me. So I have to pretend I am fine here.”  This novel is beautifully written-a masterpiece of a story with strong willed characters that mesh together exquisitely in an unconventional way.

I highly recommend Vinegar Girl!

 

Book Review

Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes-2.5 Stars

 

 

An active, life-loving, successful businessman named Will Traynor is now a quadrepligic confined to a wheelchair, who can do nothing but speak, turn his head, and wheel his chair with the limited use of one arm. He is grouchy, depressed, irritable, who has to be fed, bathed, and medicated all by someone else. Louisa Clark, eccentric, lovable, cheerful, recently unemployed, becomes a companion for Will. Not to tend solely to his medical needs, but, someone who can bring him friendship and contentment.

 

I’m acutely aware I will be in the minority regarding my thoughts towards this book. I simply did not enjoy it, well, it’s not meant to be an “enjoyable” book per say, but I found it boring. The only part I cared for was the epilogue. I found it redundant. I didn’t become emotionally invested in any of the characters. I only got watery-eyed while Lou was reading Will’s letter at the end. I respect Will’s decision and I applaud Louisa for stepping out of her comfort zone by traveling and going back to school. I can even appreciate the fact that while she was trying to help improve Will’s outlook life, he was, in turn, encouraging her to be stronger and more confident, even if she didn’t see it right off.

Louisa lives a comfortable life, with loving, albeit pesky, parents, and her granddad. Her sister annoyed me. She was a spoiled, know-it-all brat. I hated the fact that Louisa was expected to be the primary earner for the whole family. Will is understandably depressed, being confined to a chair and having to rely on someone for your every need. His father is a philanderer, his mother, spineless and rude, his sister, a snob. Nathan, Will’s medical aide, was someone I actually liked. He accepted Will’s decision but also appreciated Louisa for her efforts.

So while I respect Will’s decision, what irritated me is that he was so set in his choice, nothing, nor no one, could sway him, even when he had days of pure joy and happiness. I love Louisa for her “calendar of adventures,” for pushing Will to enjoy life and see that his wheelchair doesn’t define him. She was actually a likeable character, I just couldn’t get attached and relate to her. 2.5 Stars because the ending made it not completely horrible.

Book Review

Book Review: To Rome With Love by Mandi Benet- 5 Stars

AH! This book was SOOOO good. Steamy, sexy, sweet, and delicious! And that cover!

TO ROME WITH LOVE_200x300.jpg - hi res

To Rome With Love tells the story of Gabriela and Silvio who are both going through divorces after their spouses cheated. Gaby is taking some time to visit her best friend Maria, and her husband Carlo, in Rome, where she meets the rude and arrogant Silvio, Carlo’s cousin. They end up working together catering Carlo’s daughters wedding, spending time grocery shopping, cooking, and sightseeing, per Maria’s demands!

Silvio has a face that has been “finely carved by the angels”, educated in art history at Oxford, and the kind of sexy that knows he’s sexy. Gaby is a chef, with curves in all the right places,  curly blond hair, unique lilac eyes, but sees herself inadequate and unsexy compared to other women. And she’s sure to let Silvio know when he’s being rude and arrogant! I really liked Gaby’s personality. She was real and genuine.

The two can’t deny the chemistry between them no matter how much they want to. They frustrated me so much though! The passion between them was {HOT} & incredible, but every single time one of them had to go and screw things up, can’t they just admit to each other that they’re in love?! Gaby doesn’t want to get in a relationship and have her heart crushed again, especially by another Italian man. As for Silvio, Gaby is unlike any woman he’s ever been interested in and that scares him. Can they just enjoy the time they have, no strings attached, no labels? Or do they feel they have something more?

The writing style and descriptions were beautiful. One of my favorite lines describes the moon as a “scoop of tangerine sorbet” hanging in the sky. While stunningly descriptive, the author is also hilarious: Gaby’s friend Sandy goes on a date expecting Channing Tatum and ends up with Friar Tuck! This was a novel that completely captured me and I did not want to stop reading! If you’re looking for a sexy, fun read with the luscious setting of Italy, this is the one!

The author sent me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. Please let there be a sequel! Thank you Mandi!

To Rome With Love is available for pre-order now here and releases February 10 on Amazon!

 

Book Review

Book Review: The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver-1 Star

Okay, so I actually didn’t finish this book. I requested it from Edelweiss/Blogging for Books, because I’d had it on my TBR for a while and thought it sounded good. I was wrong. Even though I didn’t finish it, I still want to give my (brief) thoughts…

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17560409-the-execution-of-noa-p-singleton

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton focuses on Noa, a female inmate awaiting her execution date for the killing of Sarah Dixon ten years prior. Sarah’s mother Marlene shows up with Oliver, a lawyer who, together, think they can get clemency for Noa because apparently Marlene doesn’t believe in the death penalty anymore, she just wants answers. There was so much useless information and all these big words that felt like they were just dumped into a paragraph for show. I will say that I enjoyed the interactions in the beginning with Noa and her father, as they were starting to get to know each other. I wish I felt like I could power through and finish this book, but there are so many great books awaiting me that I can’t waste my time on something I’m not in to.

Have you read The Execution of Noa P. Singleton?  Let me know what you thought!