Tuesday 24 April 2018

Review: Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes by Amy Miller

January 1941: As Charlie Barton tiptoes silently out of the house one cold winter morning to go off and fight for his country, his wife Audrey is left to run the family bakery on her own.

Times are tougher than ever, but at the Barton Bakery in Bournemouth, Audrey is determined as always to serve the town with love, loaves and cakes, even as the town is reeling from the struggles of the Blitz.

Audrey’s brother William has returned from battle with serious wounds. His fiancé Elsie is waiting for wedding bells, but William is a changed man, and will her hopes be in vain?

Bakery helper Maggie has her heart set on dashing officer George. But will George still want to marry her when he discovers the truth about her family?

And Lily, Audrey’s stepsister, is struggling to raise her illegitimate baby and facing judgement from many in the town. The man who broke her heart returns with an offer, and Lily faces a hard decision about where her future lies.

When disaster strikes the bakery, Audrey fears that everything she has worked for may be ruined. With her shop threatened and her family in turmoil, can she fight to save everything she holds dear? 

Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Published March 7th 2018 by Bookouture 
Series: Wartime Bakery #2
Genre: Historical Fiction
Kristine's Thoughts:
** I received an advanced readers copy from Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**
Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes is the second book in the Wartime Bakery series. I did not read the first book in the series but reviews assured me that it could be read as a stand alone. I have to disagree a little bit with that statement. Although I eventually was able to follow along I spent a significant amount of time trying to figure out who was who and getting quite confused. I feel like I needed to read the first book to familiarise myself with the characters. I constantly felt like I was missing something because the characters were already developed before I was introduced to them.
Once I became familiar with the different characters I did find myself enjoying the story and the struggles that they each were dealing with. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and WW11 stories to be more specific. Although it was a horrific time and there were many hardships, including for the characters in this book, this book is more on the fluffy side of the WW11 stories that I am use to reading. Not to take away from any of the issues that arose but it wasn't as hardcore for a lack of better words.
In the end it was a quick and easy book to read that I was eventually able to get lost in. I do recommend reading the first book first. I feel that my rating might have been higher if I had done the same.

Sunday 22 April 2018

Review: Beartown by Fredrik Backman

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Atria Books
Genre: Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

Beartown was my first ever audiobook so I wasn't sure how I would feel about it. As an avid reader I wasn't sure how I would feel about someone elses voice deliver the story. However, I had suffered a severe concussion and regular reading was not an option so in order for me to get my reading fix I had to turn to an audiobook. I didn't want to pick just any book to listen to. First of all, they are extremely expensive and because I was going through reading withdrawls I wanted something that I could almost be guaranteed to love. I looked at different lists of top books of 2017 and ended up with Beartown. I passed on the opportunity to read an ARC earlier in the year so I thought it was time to give it a go.

This book was about a small town in the middle of nowhere that had nothing going for it. There was no tourism or industry to think of. The only thing it had was its junior boys hockey team. With the possibility of them winning the season came the possibility of putting them on the map and bringing some life back to the dying town. Everyone's hopes and dreams were sitting squarely on those teenage boys shoulders. They understood the magnitude of what they needed to do and the privilege that came with it. They were the stars of the town. When the unthinkable happened involving one of the players it tore the town apart. Sides were taken, accusations were flung and lives changed forever.

Beartown was an absolutely stunning story in my opinion. It was very character driven which I don't always like but it worked wonderfully in this story. Coming from a small town where most people play hockey it was easy to visualise and even easier to relate. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the voices of all the different characters and getting inside their heads. It showcased how one persons actions can impact so many different people in different ways and the chaos it can create.

I loved every minute of this book. A truly wonderful story and a great first audiobook!

Saturday 21 April 2018

Review: Reality Wedding (Reality Star #3) by Laura Heffernan

When Jen Reid escaped a reality TV cruise with her relationship intact—if not her hair—she swore she was done with the cameras for good. Sure, she and Justin met, had their first kiss, and got engaged with tape rolling, but manufactured drama and ruthless producers have shaken them up more times than she can count. With Jen’s reality-themed bakery just getting started and her brand-new lawyer fiancé in a pile of debt, they’re a long way from glitz and glamour, and that’s fine by Jen. Until the Network calls and tells her that unless she says “I do” to a wedding special, Justin will be out of a job.
Now Jen has two weeks to plan an all-expenses-paid “dream wedding”—and dodge the tricks and traps of a showrunner happy to mess up her future in the name of ratings. Luckily for Jen, she’s got plenty of experience with cake and popcorn. But when real-life drama and reality TV twists collide, the cliffhangers may just follow her right down the aisle . . .

Kindle Edition
Published March 6th 2018 by Lyrical Shine

Terri's Thoughts

I had received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you (and apologies for posting it so late!).

This is the third in the Reality stars series and I do think it is necessary to read the series in the correct order.  I think to pick this up without reading the ones before would confuse the reader as the series follows the same character throughout all three.

In all honesty, this story is not going to win any awards in literature.  You never know I could be wrong but I don't think that it is the expectation with this series.  I look at it more as an entertaining poke at the ridiculousness of some reality T.V. series and for this I got what I wanted out of the story.  As wild an crazy as the events that occur (no spoilers here), I really do think there is a little truth to the real thing.

This story, and series, has been my little escape for reality (life not TV) and given me something light and funny and slightly ridiculous to pass some time.  For this I am thankful as sometimes you really don't want serious.  Thank you Laura Heffernan for offering me a series that encompasses all.

About the Author

Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

Thursday 19 April 2018

Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Simon Pulse 
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Kristine's Thoughts:
** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

Two centuries ago three sisters were accused of being witches. Their crime was making all the men fall in love with them. Stones were placed in their pockets and they were taken out in the harbour where they would meet their demise. For a few short weeks each summer the Swan sisters return to get their revenge by entering the bodies of local girls and luring young men into the harbour and to their death.

Although the story does detail some of the swan sister's lives the story took place mostly in present time over one summer. I enjoyed the tidbits about the three sisters and actually wished that there was a little more. It really added to the overall story. The book focused mostly on Penny who had the strange ability to see the sisters and who's body they were inhabiting, a secret she guarded closely. With her new friend Bo, they tried to make it to the summer solstice unharmed.

Admittedly, this type of book is not normally my cup of tea. If it can't really happen I tend to be quite critical of it. This book however was an exception. It leaned a little more towards magical realism than fantasy and I found I could get behind that. It was kept simple and not complicated by a far fetched, over the top plot like I find most in the fantasy genre are.

There were some twists and turns, none that I can mention without giving the story away. It kept me wanting to know more and the pages turning. Would Penny tell her secret? Could she save Bo? At the end I was left mostly satisfied however I did struggle a little bit with Penny and Bo's relationship. I'm not sure I fully understood or felt it or even wanted it to happen if I'm being completely honest. I was initially in their corner but events that occurred tainted my hopes for them. My rating and final feelings in regards to this book were impacted pretty strongly by my mixed feelings over Penny and Bo. I am very curious how other people felt about how it played out.

Over all The Wicked Deep was an entertaining and easy to read book that I think its target audience (YA) will thoroughly enjoy.

About the Author
Shea Ernshaw is an Oregon native and YA author. She often writes late, late, late into the night, enjoys dark woods, scary stories and moonlight on lakes. She drinks loads of tea and believes sunrises are where unicorns hide.

She lives with her two cats, a dog, a husband, and a stack of books beside her bed she still needs to read.

Connect with Shea

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Review: It Might Be You (The Harrisons #5) by Jennifer Gracen

When Officer Nick Martell learns that a sick child needs his help, he flies to the young Harrison boy’s side. But once in the heart of the wealthy Harrison family, Nick faces a shocking truth—he is none other than a Harrison son himself, born of a secret affair. Though the blue-collar bachelor struggles to accept the elite clan as his own, compassion for the vulnerable boy compels him to stay. That, and the deep spark of connection he feels for the child’s beautiful nurse . . .
Amanda Kozlov never felt such a strong and sudden passion for a man before. But falling for Nick is not an option—the life the rugged cop leads is too dangerous, the wounds he carries from his explosive family history too fresh. Yet watching Nick bond with the young boy in her care, experiencing tenderness in his arms, Amanda longs to take a chance on the one man who could save the Harrison heir—the only man with the power to shatter her heart. And as drama swirls around them, only time will tell if they’re brave enough to give their love the future it deserves .

Kindle Edition, 401 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Zebra

Terri's Thoughts

I had received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  I read the story some time ago and I am very late for posting my review so I offer my apologies.

This is book five in a series and I would recommend reading the previous stories before this.  I had read some but not all of the series and it took me a while to get some of the characters straight.  From the stories I had read, including this one I think I can safely say that the entire series is a good one.

I simply loved Nick.  Everything about his character was loveable and the fact that he was willing to help a child, whom he thought was a complete stranger, really pulled at my heartstrings.  This was the highlight of the story for me.

While I liked Amanda, I found at times her fuse was a little quick to set off, and her walls didn't really make sense.  I understood her hesitation about first responders but at the end of the day, the heart wants what it wants.

Do yourself a favor and pick up this series and enjoy!

About the Author

Jennifer Gracen hails from Long Island, New York, where she lives with her two young sons. She loves to write contemporary romance for readers who seek better days, authentic characters, and satisfying endings. When she isn’t taking care of her kids, doing freelance copy editing/proofreading, reading, or talking to friends on Twitter and Facebook

Tuesday 17 April 2018

We Will be Returning Shortly

A message from Kristine & Terri.

I am sure that you have noticed that the blog has been pretty silent recently. Over the last couple of months,  Kristine and I have been dealing with some personal matters that has taken our attention away from reading and sharing our reviews with everyone.  Our posts have been sporadic or none at all lately.  I just want to let you know that we have not taken a permanent departure from sharing our book reviews and we plan to get back on track shortly.  I appreciate everyone's patience during our absence and hope that you will be happy to see the reviews returning shortly.  In addition, we are tossing around the idea of adding in some travel reviews to our posts so that we can share our love of travel along with our love of books.  I hope we can make it happen and I hope you will like this future enhancement.

See you all again soon!

Monday 16 April 2018

Release Day Blitz: Trick's Trap by Lucy Leroux

She’s a gamble he’s willing to take.
When world-class poker player Patrick Tyler meets his match, Tahlia, in an underground game, he’s immediately drawn to her swift talent and striking beauty. But it’s not long after their meeting that she mysteriously disappears. With nothing but a bloody crime scene as a clue to her whereabouts, she’s presumed dead.
Or so he thought…
A chance encounter changes everything.
Alone, afraid, and homeless, Tahlia needs Patrick now more than ever. Feeling compelled to help, he throws her a much-needed lifeline—a lady’s choice card game. When Tahlia’s family finds out Patrick’s plans, they will stop at nothing to get their hands on her. Will Tahlia be able to protect him from her family or will this game of high stakes end in the most devastating loss?

***Trick’s Trap is the fifth full-length novel in the Singular Obsession Series. No cliffhangers and no serials. HEA. Each novel stands alone. Not suitable for readers under 18.***

About the Book

Trick’s Trap
by Lucy Leroux
A Singular Obsession #5 (Each Story is Standalone)
Contemporary Romance
Candy Cap Publishing
Publication Date
April 16, 2018
Get Your Copy Today!
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About Lucy Leroux

Lucy Leroux is another name for USA Today Bestselling Author L.B. Gilbert.
Seven years ago Lucy moved to France for a one-year research contract. Six months later she was living with a handsome Frenchman and is now happily married to him…and still in France.
When her last contract ended Lucy turned to writing. Frustrated by the lack of quality romance erotica she created her own.
Cursed is the first of many regency novels. Additionally, she writes a bestselling contemporary series. The ‘Singular Obsession’ books are a combination of steamy romance and suspense that feature intertwining characters in their own stand-alone stories. Follow her on twitter @lucythenovelist or http://www.facebook.com/lucythenovelist or visit http://www.authorlucyleroux.com.
*For fans of paranormal romance and adventure check out the author’s bestselling Elementals series. Fire: The Elementals Book One is now available on Kindle Unlimited.

Author Links

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Friday 6 April 2018

Book Blitz: Because of you by Renee D. Pellegrino


 When Danielle discovers her boyfriend also has a boyfriend, she flees Altoona for Lexington, Kentucky and the rent-free cottage of her new employer, handsome lawyer-rancher Sam Thompson. The cottage proves to be less than idylic, however, drawing intruders, blackmail and violence–climaxing in an attempt on Danielle’s life. Amidst the terrors, Danielle must deal with her growing feelings for Sam against the sabotages of his former fiance, Nora Reynolds, and even Nora’s father. And just when Danielle realizes Sam is the “lid” her grandmother had promised she’d find, a secret from her past is discovered and forces Danielle to leave Sam and return to Pennsylvania.

 About the Book

Because of You
by Renee D Pellegrino
n/a; standalone
Contemporary Romance
Publication Date
April 1, 2018
Get Your Copy Today!Amazon 
Also Available On

About Renee Pellegrino

Renee Danielle Pellegrino was born Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1974, and is of Italian descent. Her la nonna (grandmother) told stories of coming to America on a banana boat, and how their windows in the kitchen of the home in Italy viewed the Swiss Alps. Family was always important to her Nunny, who instilled the desire for large family gatherings during the major and minor holidays. During her childhood, experiencing these family dinners, her Uncle Terry inspired her to become a writer. Uncle Terry challenged Renee to become an avid reader by introducing her to the writings of author, Stephen King. They encouraged her to become a writer. Uncle Terry, could often be heard, “Write your stories down, little one.”

Author Links

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