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Review: People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

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Review: People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

With one week to win back the best friend she might just be in love with, a travel writer plans the trip of a lifetime in this sparkling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart–she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown–but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together–lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

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MY REVIEW

People We Meet On Vacation is a smartly written, feel-good, friends-to-lovers romance that will knock you off your feet and leave your heart full of joy. This is my first book by this author and most certainly will not be my last…

People We Meet On Vacation follows the story of Poppy and Alex. Poppy and Alex are complete opposites in every way. She’s the wild child and he loves the status quo. She wants to explore all that life has to give and he’d be happy staying out home with a good book. But, ever since their fateful meeting in college, these two have become the best of friends. Despite being miles apart, they spend every summer vacation together….that is until one fateful summer two years ago. Now everything has changed and Poppy and Alex no longer speak to one another. Poppy hasn’t been the same since and will do anything to make things right…..

I absolutely adored People We Meet On Vacation. It was a unique and refreshing read that left me utterly captivated. The characters are real and easy to connect with. I felt like I was right alongside them as they went on their journey. I loved the way the author told the story in both past and present tenses. We got to experience Poppy and Alex’s vacations and see their friendship grow and change over the years.

Poppy is a force to be reckoned with. She’s bold, a total risk-taker, and lives for her next big adventure. Alex is more chill and set in his ways. These two shouldn’t work, but somehow they did. Their banter was intoxicating and had me yearning for each moment they shared. The romance between them was a long and I mean long time coming and was the ultimate slow burn. It should come as no surprise that I loved every second of it.

People We Meet On Vacation was an extraordinary read. I felt right at home with these characters and enjoyed every minute of their journey. This story was sweet, swoon-worthy, and had just the right amount of drama. This is the kind of story that leaves your heart full and a big smile on your face. It’s one that you just never want to end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can not wait to check out more books from this author. She has definitely made a fan out of me!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert

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Review: The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert

Jobless and forced home to Wisconsin, journalist Sabrina Monroe can tolerate reunions with frenemies and kisses from old boyfriends, but not the literal ghosts that greet her in this heartwarming tale of the power of love and connection from acclaimed author Amy E. Reichert.

For Sabrina Monroe, moving back home to the Wisconsin Dells–the self-described Waterpark Capital of the World–means returning to the Monroe family curse: the women in her family can see spirits who come to them for help with unfinished business. But Sabrina’s always redirected the needy spirits to her mom, who’s much better suited for the job. The one exception has always been Molly, a bubbly rom-com loving ghost, who stuck by Sabrina’s side all through her lonely childhood.

Her personal life starts looking up when Ray, the new local restaurateur, invites Sabrina to his supper club, where he flirts with her over his famous Brandy Old-Fashioneds. He’s charming and handsome, but Sabrina tells herself she doesn’t have time for romance–she needs to focus on finding a job. Except the longer she’s in the Dells, the harder it is to resist her feelings for Ray. Who can turn down a cute guy with a fondness for rescue dogs and an obsession with perfecting his fried cheese curds recipe?

When the Dells starts to feel like home for the first time and with Ray in her corner, Sabrina begins to realize that she can make a difference and help others wherever she is.

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MY REVIEW

I fell in love with this author’s writing a few years ago when I read The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. So when I heard about The Kindred Spirits Supper Club, I just knew I had to get my hands on this book. And let me tell you, this book did not disappoint. It was fun, unique, and undeniably sweet.

The Kindred Spirits Supper Club follows the story of Sabrina and Ray. Sabrina’s life is anything but ordinary. You see, the woman in her family can see and talk to spirits. They’re tasked with helping those who have unfinished business. Sabrina has always seen her ability as a hindrance and wants nothing more than to be normal. The last thing Sabrina planned on was Ray. Sabrina knows she should focus on getting her life together, but staying away from Ray just isn’t an option….

Overall, I thought this book was a really cute read. This story was well written and paced just right. I thought the plot of the story was really unique and I really enjoyed all of the supernatural elements. The characters were genuine and easy to connect with. I thought the author did a really great job handling Sabrina’s past and her anxiety. I absolutely adored Ray. He accepted Sabrina for who she was and made Sabrina see herself in a more comfortable light. Ray had a genuine heart and I couldn’t wait to see how his and Sabrina’s story would play out.

The Kindred Spirits Supper Club is a fabulous read, from beginning to end. If you’re like me, you’re going to devour this book in just a single sitting and you’re going to love every single moment of it. This book was an absolute joy to read and I can’t wait to see what this author will have in store for us readers next!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Feature: If You Must Know by Jamie Beck

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About the Novel

Title: If You Must Know

Author: Jamie Beck

Release Date: June 1, 2020

Publisher: Montlake

Summary

Sisters Amanda Foster and Erin Turner have little in common except the childhood bedroom they once shared and the certainty each feels that her way of life is best. Amanda follows the rules—at the school where she works; in her community; and as a picture-perfect daughter, wife, and mother-to-be. Erin follows her heart—in love and otherwise—living a bohemian lifestyle on a shoestring budget and honoring her late father’s memory with a passion for music and her fledgling bath-products business.

The sisters are content leading separate but happy lives in their hometown of Potomac Point until everything is upended by lies that force them to confront unsettling truths about their family, themselves, and each other. For sisters as different as these two, building trust doesn’t come easily—especially with one secret still between them—but it may be the only way to save their family.

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EXCERPT

I rolled onto my side with a groan, coming face-to-face with one of my favorite family photos. We’d taken our annual family summer trip to Hilton Head—the one real splurge my dad had made sure we enjoyed every year. We had a tradition of having lunch at a little open-air cabana bar and restaurant called Coco’s on the Beach.

Between the deck and the volleyball court in the sand stood a tall pole with colorful arrow-shaped signs pointing in different directions. Each one was painted with the name of a different city somewhere on the globe, along with the mileage to get there. We’d dream about all the places we might go, and after high school I’d had the chance to see many. In this picture, our whole family is standing around that sign, smiling at the camera. My dad has his hand on my shoulder, and if you look closely, you can see Amanda holding my hand. I must’ve been only five or six—young enough that she hadn’t given up trying to be my second mother. At the time, I’d felt smothered by her attention, but looking back, I’d also felt loved.

I grabbed my phone and called my sister, but it went to voice mail. A heaviness pressed on me, but I couldn’t tell if it was from looking at that picture of our family that would never again be whole or from the fact that I’d disappointed my mom and sister today.

They loved me in their way even if they couldn’t love and accept me as I am. My dad had, though, and to honor his memory and wishes for our family, I couldn’t continue to drift out of their lives as I’d been doing.

After the beep, I said, “Hey, it’s moi. Surprise! My plans have changed and I’ve got a little time. If you get this message, let me know where you are and I’ll try to catch up.”

I hit “End,” my feet restlessly kicking the foot of my bed. The small bedroom seemed claustrophobic, but I didn’t want to talk to Max. Not that I could avoid him in here, either, where his dirty laundry, sandals, and other items lay about. Rather than take a match to it all, I decided to organize some of his things to help with his packing. Hauling myself off the bed, I then went to the armoire to get to the vintage albums my dad had left me in his will.

Some were fairly valuable, like the Beatles collection box set from 1982, valued at roughly a thousand bucks. Or the Led Zeppelin first pressing with the turquoise label, which should net around eight hundred or so dollars. U2’s Joshua Tree collection box set from 1987—maybe worth six or seven hundred. Then there were others worth less than one hundred dollars. But each one had infinite sentimental value.

Every song resurrected a specific memory of time spent with my father playing cards, washing cars, grilling hot dogs … anything. Whatever he’d wanted to do, I’d done with him, and he’d always chosen the perfect background soundtrack for every activity. Those stolen moments had also been a great way to escape my mom’s endless lectures and demands. She’d never yelled at me for skipping out on chores or being messy when I’d been spending that time with him. Probably because he wouldn’t let her.

At present, my restlessness matched the mood of a typical Bob Seger song, so I grabbed Beautiful Loser and slipped the record from its sleeve, resisting the urge to hug it as if it were my dad. I set it on the old turntable he’d also left me. As the few first drumbeats clangored, my heart kicked an extra beat or two—partly happy, partly sad. I glanced toward the bedroom door, picturing Max on the sofa, and then got to work.

It didn’t matter where life led me next. I had faith because my own personal angel was looking out for me now.

Que será, será.

Q&A with Bestselling Author Jamie Beck

How do you describe your newest novel If You Must Know?

This book is a “beach book” in the best sense. It’s not angsty, yet it has a page-turning plot and a bunch of interesting, relatable characters. I think it’s entertaining and heartfelt at the same time, which is exactly what many enjoy reading while on vacation.

What inspired the novel?

The external plot came to me as a result of the influence of two people in my life. My dear friend’s husband is a forensic accountant, so some of his stories about how people hide money and flee their families provided one point of inspiration. The second is my mother’s best friend who, in her seventies, sold her house and bought a boat, which she and her husband live on full-time. The impetus for the oil-and-water sisters was to provide myself an opportunity to explore the sibling-rivalry dynamic.

Tell us about the two main characters in the story—sisters Amanda and Erin.

Amanda is the middle child. She’s diligent, earnest, hard-working, and generous. She wants the people she loves to be happy and feel her love. Her weakness is a deep-seated insecurity—a sense that she is not interesting enough to be lovable. This leads her to overlook when she is being taken for granted because her need to be pleasing is omnipresent.

Erin is the baby of the family and her late-father’s pet. She is outgoing, fun-loving, and views her average intelligence as a blessing (rather than lamenting that her siblings are smarter). She is willful and has her own way of moving through the world. The big weakness she has is her impulsiveness, whether with jobs or relationships. As she approaches her 30th birthday, she’s looking to mature and create a more stable life for herself.

What kind of relationship do the sisters have?

I think they share a typical relationship insofar as their differences cause many misunderstandings and instill in each a sense of being judged by the other, and yet they do care about and love each other, too. They simply do not know how to be true friends and trust the other—at least not at the outset of this tale.

This book focused on the main female characters growing and learning about themselves. What prompted this ‘women’s fiction’ approach to the story?

Partly market forces and partly my own need to stretch. At 53, it was becoming more difficult to write a 20-something woman facing the challenges of dating. The shift to women’s fiction allows me to write late-30 and early 40-something characters, which comes more naturally to me. I also enjoy exploring family and friendship dynamics, and absolutely love having endless options for story arcs (as opposed to having to follow a traditional romance arc).

What does your new Potomac Point series have in common with your previous books?

All my books to date have focused on critical relationships and some type of redemption theme. I find damaged people to be very interesting and believe that there is good in most everyone, so I prefer to populate my stories with flawed people who must confront their inner demons in order to be happy. My new books will also focus on relationships and redemption, but the non-romantic relationships (or even the relationship with one’s self) will be more central.

Author Biography

Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than two million copies. She is a two-time Booksellers’ Best Award finalist and a National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing novels, she enjoys hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah and dancing around the kitchen while cooking. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family. Fans can get exclusive excerpts, inside scoops, and be eligible for birthday gift drawings by subscribing to her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b7k7G5. She also loves interacting with everyone on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks.

Social Media

Website – https://jamiebeck.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/writerjamiebeck

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8020971.Jamie_Beck

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Review: Love on Lexington Avenue (Central Park Pact #2) by Lauren Layne

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes the second delightfully charming installment in the Central Park Pact series, following a young widow whose newfound cynicism about love is challenged by a sexy, rough-around-the-edges contractor. 

There’s never a bad time to fall in love in the city, right? Wrong. According to the recently-widowed Claire Hayes, it’s very, verywrong. In fact, after finding out her late husband was a liar and a cheat, Claire’s convinced there’s never a good time for romantic notions. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her philandering husband, Claire sets out to redesign her entire Upper East Side brownstone and make it her own. But when she meets gruff and often-cantankerous contractor Scott Turner and realizes not all men are scumbags, Claire must decide if she’s ready to risk her heart again.

Scott needs a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately, and bluntly makes it clear to Claire that he only took on her house for that reason, adding that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess on his job site. But when long work days soon turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated—a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction…? Scott knows he’s not one to settle down, but then why can’t he bring himself to put the finishing touches on Claire’s house and move on to the next job?

Filled with laugh-out-loud scenes that blend perfectly with the touching friendships Layne brings to life on the page, this “hugely entertaining” (USA TODAY) novel is perfect for fans of Lauren Weisberger.

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MY REVIEW

Love on Lexington Avenue is the second book in the Central Park Pact Series and it follows the story of Claire and Scott. Now, if you remember from the first book, Claire is actually the widow of Brayden and it was Brayden’s death that brought this whole story into motion. When Brayden passed away, Claire might have lost her husband, but she gained two amazing friends and has discovered the woman she lost along the way.

When we meet up with Claire in Love on Lexington Aveune, Claire is ready for the next phase of her life. She’s tired of the status quo and is ready to make some colorful changes with her life. And what better way to start this change, then a home renovation. What Claire didn’t plan on was Scott…..Scott is looking for a change of pace from corporate renovation and despite his reservations, working with Claire might just be what the doctor ordered…..

Overall, I found this book to be a really fun and enjoyable read. I loved getting to know Claire and see how things with Brayden truley effected her. I loved that despite everything she had been through, she came out stronger than ever and formed an unbreakable friendship with two women that she should hate. I feel like Claire’s character came a long way since we first met her. She wasn’t just this meek and fraigle thing. She was strong and ready to take on the next phase of her life. She might not have been looking for love, but you know how the saying goes, it hits you when you least expect it.

Speaking of love, I really enjoyed Scott and Claire together. Of course they butted heads in the beginning, but the tension and chemsitry was there. Both Scott and Claire had their own baggage and weren’t ready to put their hearts on the line. Their romance had a nice slow burn to it. I enjoyed watching them try to figure things out and fight for their happily ever after.

Love on Lexington Avenue was a terrific read from beginning to end. I loved getting to catch up with Claire and the girls. I enjoyed getting swept up in all that was Scott and Claire. Claire’s story wasn’t just a romance, but it was also a journey of self discovery and letting go. This story has real, strong characters. It is sweet, yet swoon-worthy all at the same time and has just the right balance of steam and angst. In the end, Love on Lexington Avenue will leave you with a smile on your face and butterflies in your belly. This is the pefect book to spend your summer afternoon getting lost in. And I for one, can not wait to see what lies ahead for us with the next book in this series!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

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Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MhAUxZ

EXCERPT (Chapter 4)

I blink a few times, staring straight into Drew Danforth’s face. It’s like when you’re a kid and there’s a solar eclipse, and all the teachers are like, “Don’t look directly into the sun! You’ll destroy your retinas!” but there’s always that one kid (Johnny Berger, in our class) who can’t stop staring.

In this situation, I’m Johnny Berger. And I guess Drew Danforth is the sun.

“Are you okay?” he asks again, enunciating his words even more as if me understanding him is the problem. His brown eyes, I notice, are flecked with tiny bits of gold, which is something you can’t see when you watch him on TV. His hair is just as voluminous as it seems in pictures, but in person, I have the almost overwhelming urge to touch it, to reach out and pull on that one lock of hair that hangs over his forehead.

“She’s not responding.” He turns to Chloe. “Is something wrong?”

“She’s French,” Chloe says without missing a beat. “She only speaks French.”

“I’m not French,” I say, breaking my silence. Chloe and Drew’s heads swivel to look at me.

“I’m sorry about your coat,” I whisper, then I run toward Nick’s.

Chloe bursts in the door behind me, the bell jingling in her wake. “I’m not French?” she screeches. “Those are the first words you spoke to Drew Danforth? Really?”

“Well then, why did you tell him I was French?” I shout, ignoring the curious stares of everyone working on their laptops and the calming melody of whatever Nick put on to replace the Doobies.

“I don’t know!” She throws her hands in the air. “You weren’t talking, so I thought I’d give you an interesting backstory!”

I put my hands over my face. “This is ridiculous.”

“No,” Chloe says, grabbing me by the shoulders. “This is your meet-cute, and now you need to go back out there and find him and say something that isn’t a negation of your Frenchness or an apology for destroying his probably very expensive coat.”

“Meet what?”

Nick stares at us from behind the counter, a dishtowel in his hand.

“A meet-cute,” Chloe stands up straight, shoulders back, as if she’s delivering a Romantic Comedy 101 lecture to Nick and his patrons, “is the quirky, adorable, cute way the hero and heroine of a romantic comedy meet.”

Everyone stares at her blankly.

“Or hero and hero. Or heroine and heroine. Not to be heteronormative,” she clarifies.

“Like how me and Martha met at her wedding,” Gary says.

Chloe thinks about it. “I don’t know that I would necessarily call that one a meet-cute, but sure, Gary.”

“Did you just make that up?” Nick asks, arms crossed.

I shake my head. “No. It’s a thing.”

“Watch a romantic comedy, dude,” Tobin says.

Nick rolls his eyes.

“Anyway,” Chloe continues, “Annie straight up ran into Drew Danforth and spilled a cup of coffee all over his coat, which is, like, the cutest of meets.”

“That doesn’t sound very cute,” Nick says skeptically, rubbing the scruff on his chin. “Was it still hot?”

“Scalding,” I say, sinking into my chair and resting my head on the table.

“Sounds like a meet painful,” says Gary, and a few people laugh.

“Thanks,” I mutter. “I’m so glad you all find my embarrassment entertaining.”

“Annie!” Chloe sits down across from me as a customer walks in and the rest of the shop stops paying attention to us. “This isn’t embarrassing. This is merely a story I’ll tell in my toast at your wedding to Drew.”

I lift my head to look at her. “I hate to break this to you, but I don’t think he’s my Tom Hanks. I think he’s just a famous guy with a possible third-degree burn on his chest. And now my first day on set is going to be super awkward because I accidentally assaulted the lead actor with a beverage.”

Chloe’s about to say something, but then a song starts and she closes her mouth, looking up toward the speakers. “I swear to God, I told Nick not to play any more Bon Iver. It makes people look up their exes on Instagram, not buy coffee. I’m gonna go put on some Hall and Oates.”

As she walks away, I rest my head on the table again. As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough to have my uncle get me a job on set, now I have to deal with this.

MY REVIEW

If you are a fan of romantic comedies or obsessed with 90’s romantic comedies featuring Tom Hanks, than look no further, Waiting for Tom Hanks is the book that you’ve been waiting for.

Waiting for Tom Hanks follows the story of Annie and Drew. Annie wants what ever girl wants. She wants the perfect man that she just happens upon and they fall instantly in love. And the rest as they say is history…..Only that perfect guy doesn’t exist. This isn’t a movie, this is real life. And while Annie dreams of finding a man who is just like Tom Hanks, she needs to keep her eyes open or she might not see that Mr. Perfect is right under her nose….

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved all the Tom Hanks movie references and the nods to You’ve Got Mail & Sleepless in Seattle. Both of those movies I’ve seen over a million times and still find myself swooning over. I adored Annie. I think she was a little clueless when it came to men and that she did have some rather unrealistic expectations, but you’ve got to give props to the girl for knowing what she wants and not being embarrassed about what she’s looking for.  And in Annie’s case, I love that her match was the total opposite of her. He was everything that she was looking for, just wrapped in a different package.

I have to say, I enjoyed Annie and Drew together. I love that Drew just got Annie. Drew was the kind of guy that didn’t show attraction or affection in the most traditional ways. He’s the grown up version of the boy at the playground who can’t help but pull a little girls hair. So, when it came to Annie, Drew’s flirting skills might not have always hit the mark, but I found it to be funny and when he really did pull out all of the stops, it made those moments that much sweeter.

Waiting for Tom Hanks was a cute and fun read. I loved the idea of the story and was drawn into Annie’s story instantly. I enjoyed watching Annie live out her own romantic comedy and couldn’t wait to see how it would all unfold. I really enjoyed all the almost moments and the tension between the characters. This story was easy to read and light on the drama. In the end, I was hooked on Annie and couldn’t help but root for her to find her happily ever after.

Waiting for Tom Hanks is a terrific debut novel and I’m excited to check out more from this author in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

~~~~~February New Releases~~~~~

February 1st

Treating Her Right/In the Doctor’s Bed by Lori Foster

February 4th

For Emery by J. Nathan

February 5th

The Tiger Catcher by Paullina Simmons

February 9th

February 11th

February 12th

February 14th

February 18th

February 19th

February 21st

Finding the Fight by Brittney Sahin

February 22nd

February 25th

February 26th

Violent Delights by Jessica Hawkins

Sweet Liar by Laurelin Paige

February 27th

****PLEASE NOTE: ALL RELEASE DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE****

Review: IN DOG WE TRUST by Beth Kendrick

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From the author of Once Upon a Wine, a new novel set in the charming seashore town of Black Dog Bay, Delaware.

When everything has gone to the dogs . . .

When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce’s pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She’s spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn’t without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she’s confronted at every turn by her late benefactor’s estranged son, Liam, who thinks he’s entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.

Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she’s determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the “Best in Show” standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places.


My Review

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was totally intrigued. The story-line sounded really unique and refreshing. I loved the idea of the eccentric, rich pet owner leaving his fortune to his pets and was intrigued by how much this situation would change Jocelyn’s life.

For the most part, I liked the story. I thought it started out really well and had a great pace to it. I loved the friendship between Jocelyn & Bree. Their bond was very sister like and I couldn’t wait to see what kind of trouble they would get in to. I loved the addition of Liam to the story-line. He added some great drama to the story and really challenged Jocelyn. I thought their relationship had a lot of potential in the beginning. Jocelyn & Liam had some great chemistry and I enjoyed their banter. They definitely had the whole hate to love vibe going on. However, I felt like even though their relationship was supposed to progress and be romantic, it never got there for me. As the story progressed, I never really felt the romance between them. Honestly, it felt more platonic to me. Don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy them and thought they had a great friendship, but their romance just didn’t work for me.

I did have a few issues with this book. I loved the pacing in the beginning, but somewhere along the 60% mark, the story started to drag. It felt like the story was taking forever to move on, and not a whole lot was happening. Also, I felt like there was a lot and I mean a lot going on in this book. So much that there still feels like a lot of the book was left unresolved. And the lawsuits….there was just too many of them. It just felt very over the top to me.

In Dog We Trust was a cute and lighthearted read. The characters were fun and the story-line was unique. There were some parts of the book that left me wanting more, but I still had a good time getting lost in Jocelyn’s story. Even though this book wasn’t a 100% hit for me, I’m still glad to have checked it out.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Release Blitz: Genealogy by Mae Wood

Title: Genealogy
Author: Mae Wood
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: October 25, 2018
Blurb
Inspired by real, hundred-year-old love letters.

My great-grandmother’s name is bold across the cream envelope, now golden at the seams with age. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen graceful, purposeful handwriting with a fountain pen and not the hasty scrawl of ballpoint.

Alice Hirshhorn, Astoria Hotel, Seattle Washington.

“Letters to Great-grandma Alice,” I say with wonder, tracing my fingers over the faded postmark and foreign stamps.

December 1915. Philippine Islands.

I turn the thick envelope in my palm, slide out the tightly folded pages, and unfold the thin paper, taking care not to tear the letters that were important enough to keep for a century.

My dearest Alice

“Great-grandpa was in the Philippines?” I ask.

“Oh no. Not your great-grandfather,” answers Grammie, her eyes twinkling with her mother’s secrets. “Elliott.”

​~~~

At thirty-three and with her future unclear, Ali Waller finds her way home again. A box of long-forgotten love letters written to her great-grandmother holds the unlikely key to Ali finding her new path.

As she tracks down the letter writer and his descendants, Ali learns the magic of love, hope, and resilience.

Told by three characters, and across century and an ocean, Genealogy is an enchanting story about love and loss, taking chances, and embracing the surprises that life brings.

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Author Bio

Mae Wood is a mommy, bookworm, and lawyer (in that order).

A while ago Mae decided that she needed to give up the fear that she couldn’t write “great literature” and write what she wants to read.

And she wants romance. And laughter.

She wants heroines who are brave. Brave enough to be themselves and brave enough to fall in love.

She wants men who are strong and kind.

Mae lives in the Southeastern United States and sets her books in hot and steamy Memphis, Tennessee.

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January New Releases

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January 1st

January 2nd

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January 3rd 

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January 8th

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Cocksure by KI Lynn

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January 9th

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January 10th

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January 12th 

Dirt by Cassia Leo

January 14th

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January 22nd

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January 26th

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January 29th

Combust by K. Bromberg

January 30th

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**Release Dates are always subject to chance**

Review: Cream of the Crop (Hudson Valley #2) by Alice Clayton

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creamofthecrop

Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is…cheese.

Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.

Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be…love?


My Review

Told from dual points of view, Cream of the Crop follows the story of Oscar and Natalie. It is the second book in the Hudson Valley series, but can be read as a stand-alone.

Cream of the Crop was exactly what I expected from Alice Clayton. It was fun, and entertaining. It made me laugh and fall in love all at the same time. I adored Natalie from the very beginning. She was confident and strong. She loved life and wasn’t afraid to indulge in the things that made her happy….especially when it comes to cheese. Oscar is the sexy cheese man. He’s noticed Natalie from her weekly visits and looks forward to their encounters. These two couldn’t be more different, but you know the saying: opposites attract, and in this case it totally does.

Cream of the Crop is smart, funny and entertaining. It’s full of laughs, romance and swoon-worthy moments. The chemistry between Natalie and Oscar is instant and it was a joy watching these two try to figure things out. And, I loved that it was light on the drama and just a good old fashioned enjoyable read. I think Cream of the Crop would be perfect for summer reading!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*