Monday, October 30, 2017

TLC Book Tours Book Reviews: Lilac Lane

About Lilac Lane

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (October 17, 2017)
No one writes about friends, family and home better than Sherryl Woods. Told with warmth and humor, Lilac Lane is a brand-new story in her beloved Chesapeake Shores series, one readers all over the world have waited two years to read!
At the heart of Lilac Lane is Keira Malone, who raised her three children alone after her first marriage broke apart, and who, after years of guarding her heart, finally finds love again. But that love is short-lived when her fiancĂ© suffers a fatal heart attack. Grieving and unsure of what’s next, Keira agrees to move from Dublin to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, to spend time with her daughter, Moira, and her new granddaughter, Kate, as well as to help her son-in-law, Luke, with his Irish pub, O’Briens.
Not wanting to live underfoot, she rents a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, replete with views of the ocean and her neighbor’s thriving garden—not to mention views of the neighbor himself. The neighbor is none other than Bryan Laramie, the brusque and moody chef at the pub, with whom Keira is constantly butting heads. But things get real when Bryan’s long-lost daughter, whom he hasn’t seen since she was a baby, shows up out of the blue. As Bryan and Keira each delve into their pasts, reopening wounds, the rest of the town is gearing up for the Fall Festival Irish Stew cook-off, and making no bones about whose side they’re on. It’s Kitchen Wars meets This is Your Life—a recipe for disaster…or a new take on love?
You won’t want to miss this epic return to Chesapeake Shores, a place we’re betting you’ll want to stay forever.
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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Review: There are a handful of authors that you associate with small town fiction, Sherryl Woods is one of them.  This book is a return to Chesapeake Shores. It is book 14 in this series. I've read several of these. This is the perfect time to revisit this town, as the series is now a Hallmark series.
This is a novel of second chances, which you find a lot in the small town novels by authors like Sherryl and Debbie Macomber.

Keira and Bryan are a rather unlikely couple. There romance is one that isn't really a hot and heavy sort of thing, but then again, in books like this, I've always found that romance is usually subdued to the point that it is barely there.  The meddling from Keira's family makes for some fun moments.

I enjoyed getting to know Moira and Luke, who I hadn't read about before. (Again, I've just read random books in this series). 

I liked that the characters aren't the usual twentysomethings that you usually find in romances, or even thirty somethings. These are mature people that have real life issues.  Heck, poor Keira even lost her fiance to a heart attack, which is what prompted the family meddling to get her to come to Chesapeake Shores. 

The O'Neill family does their best to push Keira and Bryan together even though they don't really get along all that well. That alone is a recipe for love. I loved the oil and water nature of their relationship. It wasn't that they didn't get along, it was more that they didn't know how to.

Bryan's story is really the one that makes this book so good, and a lot of that doesn't really get to the reader until the book is more than halfway through, but when it does. Oh goodness, have a few tissues ready.

The twist that Sherryl took with Bryan's first marriage was definitely an interesting one, and one that doesn't allow for much sympathy for Melody. I found I could have none for her and though Ash was a stand up guy, the lie he and Melody perpetrated was truly cruel when you really start to think about it. It is probably the only part of the book that didn't sit well with me. 

I found the book to be a little bit on the long side, but it was still a very welcome addition to this series. I definitely need to go back and fill in some of the gaps in this series, because this was truly a lovely read.

I hope Ms Woods decides to bring Keira's sons to Chesapeake Shores. I would love to see these bad boys turn good.

Rating: 4 flowers

About Sherryl Woods

With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. Sherryl is best known for her ability to creating endearing small town communities and families. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition.

Connect with Sherryl

Website |Facebook | Twitter

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Great Escape Book Tours: Best-Laid Plants

Best-Laid Plants: A Potting Shed Mystery by Marty Wingate

Best-Laid Plants: A Potting Shed Mystery
Cozy Mystery 6th in Series Alibi (October 17, 2017)
Print Length: 294 pages ASIN: B01MSAATUW
A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve.
Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues.
With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated.
Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:
Review: I love the Potting Shed Mysteries. I've read several in this series, and other books written by Marty, and I've loved each and every one.

Pru and Christopher are becoming old friends. I love the English setting and I learn an awful lot about plants reading these books.

I love that Christopher is the investigator and that they work on the investigation together.

This is a fabulous addition to this series.

Rating: 5 flowers

About the Author

MARTYMarty Wingate is a Seattle-based writer and speaker who shares her love of Britain in her two mystery series. The Potting Shed books feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England, and Birds of a Feather follows Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village. Marty writes garden articles for magazines including Country Gardens and theAmerican Gardener. She is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Crime Writers Association. She leads garden tours to England, Scotland and Ireland, spending free moments deep in research for her books. Or in pubs.

Author Links

Facebook: Twitter: Goodreads:
Amazon author page:
Purchase Links Amazon   B&N  kobo  Google Play

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Seashells Spells and Caramels

Seashells, Spells & Caramels by Erin Johnson

Seashells, Spells & Caramels by Erin Johnson Cozy Mystery 
1st in Series Self Published Release Date - October 29, 2017 
286 Pages

Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.
When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest—one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.
Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom's big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.
It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.
With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it- because it just might.

Review: I'm always open to new authors and new series and this book looked like something I definitely would like, and I was right.

Its not the typical cozy, which makes it unique, but it also has some of the elements I like in a cozy mystery, baking and food!

Add a touch of magic and Imogen and her fellow cast of characters are part of a real fun story.  This is a fabulous read especially in October!

Rating: 5 flowers

About the Author A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).
Twitter: @EJohnsonWrites
 Purchase Link Amazon  

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Welcome Home Diner

About The Welcome Home Diner

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 10, 2017)
Betting on the city of Detroit’s eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There’s just one little snag in their vision.
Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood’s gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.
As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they’ve worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home?
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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Review: I have mixed feelings about this book. Where I loved all the food descriptions in this book Sam and Addie sometimes made me want to scream just a little, especially with their romantic lives. Addie in particular drove me crazy. Her four year relationship seemed so unrealistic, not to mention the house. I can't imagine how a house that seems so dilapidated could be inhabitable and that code enforcement wouldn't be on their case. Then there's her relationship with David. I really hated them together especially their love life. They were a bit nauseating at times with their love.

The story is told from Sam and Addie's point of view and in first person, which occasionally made it hard to deal with, especially at the beginning when they were in the same moment.

Of the two characters, I have to say I liked Sam the best. She was more real. I wanted good things for her. I really hated the way her relationship with Uriah turned out. I wanted better for her. She deserved it.

This book is about love and relationships and food.  All of these are complex and fabulous, and they are full of emotion. There's a lot of drama going on in this story, as the girls have definitely ruffled some feathers in opening the diner. Addie is definitely the type of person you expect to find on Pantsuit Nation. Both girls have a "I must save the world attitude" which is good but at times downright annoying in others.

Part of the drama involves a troll that is trying to damage the reputation of the restaurant. When this troll goes on to attempting to hurt a child, things get ugly.

Oh and did I mention the food and the wonderful descriptions?  Oh and there are great recipes at the end. I really want to try the cabbage roll and the tzatziki recipes.

This was an enjoyable read.  Great for a weekend afternoon.

Rating: 4 flowers

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Book Review: A Bone To Pick

Author: Charlaine Harris
Title: A Bone To Pick
Publisher: Berkley Crime
Publish Date: January 1, 1992
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Going to two weddings—one of a former lover—and a funeral for a member of her disbanded crime study club keeps Aurora “Roe” Teagarden quite busy for a few months. Unfortunately, her personal life seems to be at a standstill—until her fortunes unexpectedly change.

After the funeral Roe learns that Jane Engle, the deceased, has named her as heir to a rather substantial estate, which includes money, jewelry, and a house complete with a skull hidden in a window seat. Knowing Jane, Roe concludes that the elderly woman has purposely left her a murder to solve. So she must identify the victim and figure out which one of Jane’s ordinary-seeming neighbors is a murderer—without putting herself in deadly danger...

Review: I started reading this series, because in a fit of boredom watched The Julius House on Hallmark. I've been slowly trying to make my way through the series, which as I have expected is similar yet different and some of the changes made in the movies made me shake my head.

Roe starts out at the wedding of her ex and then ends up at a funeral of friend from the "Real Murders" group which has now disbanded. This friend has left her quite an inheritance. She also left her a skull in her new home and a mystery to solve.

This is where I start wondering about this series. This book is really about Roe and not so much about finding out anything about the skull she finds in the window seat of her new home. There's no investigating at all.

One of the things that really got me was how Roe felt she was rich when she inherited $500,000. Yes, that's a lot of money, but even by early 90s standards it wouldn't be enough to make you feel you are rich. She makes some decisions that make me question how smart she is.

In the first 2/3 of the book, Roe's mom is on her honeymoon, when she returns, I realized what an intensely unlikable person she is. For a woman with a great career of her own, she really focuses on her daughter's marital status, rather than helping her find her way in the world. Roe is, after all, a part-time librarian.

Roe is the typical low self esteem heroine. What I find I don't like about her, is how she feels she must have a husband to be complete and this theme continue throughout the book, as you see her start a new relationship and start to screw it up at a bbq to welcome her to the neighborhood.

I think Aubrey seems like a nice sort, but it is easy to see early on, that he isn't going to be the guy for Roe, especially as he's an episcopal minister.

The best part of this book involves Madeline the cat and her kittens.

The mystery was solved so quickly and without any real indication that anything was going on.

This book wasn't even 300 pages long and yet nothing really happened, and yet I'm going to move on to the next book.

Rating: 2 flowers

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The It Girls

About The It Girls

• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 24, 2017)

From New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper comes a novel based on the lives of two amazing sisters . . .

One sailed the Titanic and started a fashion empire . . .

The other overtook Hollywood and scandalized the world . . .

Together, they were unstoppable.

They rose from genteel poverty, two beautiful sisters, ambitious, witty, seductive. Elinor and Lucy Sutherland are at once each other’s fiercest supporters and most vicious critics.

Lucy transformed herself into Lucile, the daring fashion designer who revolutionized the industry with her flirtatious gowns and brazen self-promotion. And when she married Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon her life seemed to be a fairy tale. But success came at many costs—to her marriage and to her children . . . and then came the fateful night of April 14, 1912 and the scandal that followed.

Elinor’s novels titillate readers, and it’s even asked in polite drawing rooms if you would like to “sin with Elinor Glyn?” Her work pushes the boundaries of what’s acceptable; her foray into the glittering new world of Hollywood turns her into a world-wide phenomenon. But although she writes of passion, the true love she longs for eludes her.

But despite quarrels and misunderstandings, distance and destiny, there is no bond stronger than that of the two sisters—confidants, friends, rivals and the two “It Girls” of their day.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: I am always one that loves stories about sisters and Lucy and Elinor are two very interesting sisters that will keep you turning the page.

Its set in the pre WWI era, which is one of my favorite time periods. The best part is this book deals more with glitz and glamour of the times.

This is the story of two woman that make their own success in a time when most women only aspired to be wives.

While the characters weren't always likable or for that matter endearing, you did want to find out what happened to them. Plus there were all the fantastic people that they both knew.

A truly enjoyable book

Rating: 4 flowers

About Karen Harper

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author KAREN HARPER is a former Ohio State University instructor and high school English teacher. Published since 1982, she writes contemporary suspense and historical novels about real British women. Two of her recent Tudor-era books were bestsellers in the UK and Russia. Harper won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for Dark Angel, and her novel Shattered Secrets was judged one of the best books of the year by Suspense Magazine.

Find out more about Karen at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Secrets and Pies


Secrets and Pies

by Jenny Kales
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Self Published
Release Date - October 19, 2017
Approximately 200 pages 
Book will be up on Amazon and other retail sites soon.

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Callie’s Kitchen! Greek-American restaurateur Callie Costas faces down another killer in the small waterfront town of Crystal Bay, Wisconsin. Recipes included!
Summertime in Crystal Bay means tourist season for Calliope “Callie” Costas, owner of Callie’s Kitchen, a Greek-meets-Midwest from-scratch eatery. Business is booming but so is the stress. Callie can barely keep up with the demand for her famous summer fruit pies and savory Greek delicacies, plus she’s agreed to bake dozens of “pitas” for the annual Greek Fest.
When Callie is asked to deliver cast party treats for a Murder Mystery Night at the historic Harris House, it seems like a welcome break from her hot stove. That is, until she finds herself an unwilling player in yet another suspicious death. Worse yet, the victim is a family friend and graduate student working on a project involving Crystal Bay’s colorful past.
Before long, a motley crew of suspects makes things as juicy as the succulent berries strewn around Callie’s Kitchen. And that’s not all Callie’s got on her plate. Add family obligations, a deepening romance with a local detective and unexpected personnel problems to the mix. One thing’s for sure: Callie’s got the recipe for a long, hot summer!
SECRETS AND PIES is the third installment in the Callie’s Kitchen Mystery series.

Review:  Secrets and Pies is book three in The Callie's Kitchen mystery series.  I'm jumping head first into this series and I'm loving it. I'm also going to be going back and reading the first two books "On The Chopping Block" and "Spiced and Iced"

When Callie was at the murder mystery dinner, she encountered her ex's new wife Raine, and Raine's actions reminded me of Barbara Jean on Reba. She seemed to want to be friends

I also love that the family is Greek, because one of my favorite cozy series, Sofie Metropolis, is about a Greek family.  Oh and all the descriptions of Greek food made me so hungry. If you can finish this book without wanted some spanikopita, you'll have more willpower than I.

When Callie finds her daughter's favorite teacher dead, while waiting for her ex to drop Olivia off. Things start to get interesting. Then her right hand man in her restaurant, Max, has to return to the family farm to help his injured father.

Callie keeps herself busy working for Crystal Bay's concert series and for a church festival. She's up to her neck in goodies while trying to find out who killed Holly.

There's also an interesting subplot involving Holly's research for Grad school and F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Gilded Age homes on the lake.

This was a fast paced mystery, with Callie having to do an awful lot along with trying to solve the murder. The ending was such a surprise to me too. I love when mystery author can point you in one direction for a killer and then bring someone totally out of left field. This was a great cozy.

Rating: 5 flowers

About the Author
Award-winning writer Jenny Kales is the author of The Callie's Kitchen Mystery series. Though she's worked as a writer and journalist for years, fiction writing is her first love and her marriage into a Greek-American Midwestern family inspired The Callie's Kitchen mysteries, featuring Calliope Costas, food business owner and amateur sleuth. The setting of the story, "Crystal Bay," is inspired by a fav
orite family vacation spot - Wisconsin's beautiful Geneva Lakes. Kales is an avid reader, cook and baker and she's addicted to mystery TV, especially anything on Masterpiece Mystery or BBC America. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier.

  • Purchase Link -  Amazon

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017

    TLC Book Tours Book Review: Last Christmas In Paris

    About Last Christmas in Paris

    • Paperback: 400 pages
    • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 3, 2017)

    New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.

    August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

    But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

    Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

    Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

    Purchase Links

    HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

    Review:  Some books are destined to be tear-jerkers. I knew this was one in just the first few pages. By the time I hit page 100, tears were freely flowing.

    I love stories that stir my emotions and I can always count on Hazel Gaynor to be a writer of one. I haven't read any of Heather Webb's work, but after this book, I am sure to do so.

    Don't let the book title fool you though. This isn't a Christmas story, though a Christmas trip to Paris, that was supposed to happen before war broke out weaves its way into the fabric of the letters. The holiday itself is the subject of many of the letters sent between Evie and Tom.

    The letters written by Evie and Tom are wonderfully emotional. The other letters between friends and family just add to the brilliance of this story. These are characters that you care for and your heart aches for when bad things happen to them, and during wartime, you know that it is bound to happen.  No, you more than care for them, you love them.

    My heart hurt for both of them so many times through this book. Each suffers different kinds of losses throughout the war, a brother, a father.

    Thomas and Evie correspond continuously throughout the war and their relationship changes and as the war changes them. Evie is falling in love with Tom, though she never really gets around to telling him properly.

    Through these letters you get the day to day observations on the home front as well as the front lines. You see the war from both points of view, and as Evie takes up her pen, you see it through the column she writes for Tom's family's newspaper.

    There is a small part of the story told in Tom's point of view in 1968. He is making his "Last Christmas in Paris" shortly after Evie has died. In his last trip to Paris, you also get a sweet reveal to the mystery of Evie's brother's love affair, before he was killed in combat.

    The ending of the book is bittersweet.  I cried like a child at the end.

    This was quite possibly the most beautiful book I've read this year. This is one for my keeper shelf.

    Rating 5 flowers

    About Hazel Gaynor

    HAZEL GAYNOR is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel The Girl from the Savoy was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year.

    Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of ‘Ten Big Breakout Authors’ for 2015 and her work has been translated into several languages.

    Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland.

    Find out more about Hazel at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

    About Heather Webb

    HEATHER WEBB writes historical fiction for Penguin, including her novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin's Lover.

    As a former military brat, Heather naturally grew up obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before channeling these passions into fiction. When not writing, she flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.

    Heather is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women's Fiction Writers Association.

    Find out more about Heather at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017

    Book Review: The Accidental Wedding

    The Accidental Wedding
    by Debra Elizabeth


    GENRE:   Contemporary Romance



    Unemployed Keira Callahan decides to try her luck at the casino before delving back into job hunting. As she walks through the casino, she bumps into the most handsome man she’s ever seen. When he asks her to dinner, she doesn’t hesitate. As she learns Cade Tyndale’s story—he needs to wed or lose his British estate, her impulsive nature rears up and she agrees to marry him and move to England for one year. What does she have to lose except her heart to the impossibly handsome Earl of Barrett?

    Review:  This book made me go Squee! This is a plot that my younger self had floating in my head when I daydreamed about marrying a handsome Brit...and if not a member of the aristocracy, at least Davy Jones from The Monkees or George Harrison...or Simon Le Bon.

    I'm a sucker for a cute accent.

    This was a wonderful quick read that gave me warm fuzzy feelings. Keira and Cade are just a perfect couple. 

    Keira is sweet and more than a little naive, but that is what made you love her. She's really a bit of a Cinderella, without the wicked stepmother/step sisters thing going on. She loves her sister and her family and she's good with children and she is looking for a new job and a place to live.

    Cade is the type of hero we all want in a sweet romance too, plus there's no sign of an alpha male to be found. That gets a two thumbs up from me. He is also a victim of a will that says he must be married for a year before he turns thirty or else he must forfeit his inheritance to his not so nice brother Edward and his wife Courtney.

    I liked that both were at crossroads in their lives and somehow through a whole lot of craziness managed to get together in an almost fairy tale sort of way, complete with some twists and turns along the way. 

    A sweet fun fairytale-ish read.

    Rating: 5 flowers

    Friday, October 13, 2017

    TLC Book Tours Book Review: Unforgivable Love

    About Unforgivable Love

    • Paperback: 528 pages
    • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 26, 2017)

    A People Magazine October pick!

    "A dazzlingly dark and engaging tale full of heartbreak, treachery, and surprise.” - Kirkus

    In this vivid reimagining of the French classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses, it’s the summer when Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s color barrier and a sweltering stretch has Harlem’s elite fleeing the city for Westchester County’s breezier climes, two predators stalk amidst the manicured gardens and fine old homes.

    Heiress Mae Malveaux rules society with an angel’s smile and a heart of stone. She made up her mind long ago that nobody would decide her fate. To have the pleasure she craves, control is paramount, especially control of the men Mae attracts like moths to a flame.

    Valiant Jackson always gets what he wants—and he’s wanted Mae for years. The door finally opens for him when Mae strikes a bargain: seduce her virginal young cousin, Cecily, who is engaged to Frank Washington. Frank values her innocence above all else. If successful, Val’s reward will be a night with Mae.

    But Val secretly seeks another prize. Elizabeth Townsend is fiercely loyal to her church and her civil rights attorney husband. Certain there is something redeemable in Mr. Jackson. Little does she know that her worst mistake will be Val’s greatest triumph.

    Purchase Links

    HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

    Review: Dangerous Liasions (Les Liasions Dangereuses) is one of my favorite classic novels and it is one of my favorite movies.

    I loved the idea of reimagining this story for modern times.

    It has been a long time since a book has blown me away, but this one did that.

    It was perfection.

    Really, it was.

    I loved the name she chose for the male lead. (You really can't call him a hero) the original book was de Valmont.


    This book was just as sexy as the original and fabulously written.

    Rating: 5 flowers (and then some)

    About Sophfronia Scott

    Sophfronia Scott hails from Lorain, Ohio. She was a writer and editor at Time and People magazines before publishing her first novel, All I Need to Get By. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a bachelor’s degree in English from Harvard. Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.

    Find out more about Sophfronia at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    Thursday, October 12, 2017

    TLC Book Tours Book Review: Christmas At Little Beach Street Bakery

    About Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery

    • Paperback: 320 pages
    • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 10, 2017)

    It's the most wonderful time of the year… and the perfect moment to escape to a charming English village! From the beloved author whose novels are "sheer indulgence from start to finish" (SOPHIE KINSELLA) comes a delightful holiday story — funny, heartfelt, romantic and packed with recipes — perfect for the winter months.

    In the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne, the Christmas season has arrived. It’s a joyous time for family, friends, and feasting, as decorations sparkle along the town’s winding streets and shop windows glow with festive displays. And in Polly’s Little Beach Street Bakery, the aroma of gingerbread cookies and other treats tempts people in from the cold.

    Though Polly is busy keeping up with the demands of the season, she still makes time for her beekeeper boyfriend, Huckle. She’s especially happy to be celebrating the holiday this year with him, and can’t wait to cuddle up in front of the fireplace with a cup of eggnog on Christmas Eve.

    But holiday bliss soon gives way to panic when a storm cuts the village off from the mainland. Now it will take all of the villagers to work together in order to ensure everyone has a happy holiday.

    Full of heart and humor, Jenny Colgan’s latest novel is an instant Christmastime classic.

    Purchase Links

    HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

    Review: I <3 bakery="" beach="" colgan.="" jenny="" love="" nbsp="" p="" series.="" st="" the="">
    More so, I love Polly and Huckle. I've followed this series from the very first book. I totally adore Neil the puffin, too. I can't forget Neil.

    I can't even begin to say how much I love these characters and when you add a Christmas setting, well that makes this book darn near perfect.

    As always, things go wrong in the days leading up to the holiday and that is what is makes these stories so heartwarming and fun. There's always some fun conflict.

    I plan to read this book over again closer to the holiday to stay in the spirit.

    Rating: 5 flowers

    About Jenny Colgan

    Jenny Colgan is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Bookshop on the Corner, Little Beach Street Bakery, and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.

    Find out more about Jenny at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Sweet Life

    About The Sweet Life

    • Print Length: 225 pages
    • Publisher: Lyrical Press (September 19, 2017)
    In Italy, the best attractions are always off the beaten path . . .

    Mamie Weber doesn’t know why she survived that terrible car accident five years ago. Physically, she has only a slight reminder—but emotionally, the pain is still fresh. Deep down she knows her husband would have wanted her to embrace life again. Now she has an opportunity to do just that, spending two weeks in Tuscany reviewing a tour company for her employer’s popular travel guide series. The warmth of the sun, the centuries-old art, a villa on the Umbrian border—it could be just the adventure she needs.
    But with adventure comes the unexpected . . . like discovering that her entire tour group is made up of aging ex-hippies reminiscing about their Woodstock days. Or finding herself drawn to the guide, Julian, who is secretly haunted by a tragedy of his own, and seems to disapprove any time she tries something remotely risky—like an impromptu scooter ride with a local man.
    As they explore the hilltop towns of Tuscany, Mamie knows that when this blissful excursion is over, she’ll have to return to reality. But when you let yourself wander, life can take some interesting detours . . .
    “Struth has a gift for layering stories within stories while keeping them all connected.”—Library Journal
    “The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page.”—Fresh Fiction, SHARE THE MOON
    “Sharon Struth writes a good story about love and loss. She knows her characters and has a path she wants them to take.”—Eye on Romance
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    Review: This was a sweet book. Mamie is joining a group of people that went to Woodstock on a trip to Tuscany. She lost her husband and daughter 5 years previously and has pretty much given up on living.

    This trip is giving her a chance to start living again. On the trip she meets handsome tour director, Julian who has his own issues.

    This is wonderful story of second chances at life and at love with some secrets tossed in for good measure.

    Both Mamie and Julian have had some pretty horrific things happen to them in their recent past, and for Julian even back to his youth.

    They both need to start living again in different ways and they need to come to terms with the past. For Mamie, it is embracing new challenging things, that are sometimes a bit dangerous.  Julian is the exact opposite. He's had enough danger. He wants to put his past behind him

    Mamie is taking the trip to Tuscany in place of her uncle. Therein starts the drama, as the tour group wasn't informed of the switch.

    This is where Julian starts his change too. By allowing Mamie on the tour, he is starting to take risks again, just as Mamie is by simply being there. It also begins a rather unlikely and sweet romance.

    Sharon doesn't make the romance the be all and end all of the story, though it is definitely an important part of what's happening between the two characters. Its the backdrop of Italy and group of aging hippies that all went to Woodstock that are taking the tour that really bring this story to life.

    There is one scene where the tour bus stops for the group to take photos of a field of sunflowers. It is something that you can visualize perfectly and when you do, you desperately want to be there.

    Sharon makes both Mamie and Julian characters that need something the other has to offer and when they start to come together you see that they really complete each other and you know they have to find a way to be together.

    This is a simply beautiful story.

    Rating: 5 flowers

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    Wednesday, October 4, 2017

    TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Other Alcott

    About The Other Alcott

    • Paperback: 432 pages
    • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 5, 2017)

    Named one of POPSUGAR's 25 Books to Read This Fall!

    Elise Hooper’s debut novel conjures the fascinating, untold story of May Alcott—Louisa’s youngest sister and an artist in her own right.

    We all know the story of the March sisters, heroines of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. But while everyone cheers on Jo March, based on Louisa herself, Amy March is often the least favorite sister. Now, it’s time to learn the truth about the real “Amy”, Louisa’s sister, May.

    Stylish, outgoing, creative, May Alcott grows up longing to experience the wide world beyond Concord, Massachusetts. While her sister Louisa crafts stories, May herself is a talented and dedicated artist, taking lessons in Boston, turning down a marriage proposal from a well-off suitor, and facing scorn for entering what is very much a man’s profession.

    Life for the Alcott family has never been easy, so when Louisa’s Little Women is published, its success eases the financial burdens they’d faced for so many years. Everyone agrees the novel is charming, but May is struck to the core by the portrayal of selfish, spoiled “Amy March.” Is this what her beloved sister really thinks of her?

    So May embarks on a quest to discover her own true identity, as an artist and a woman. From Boston to Rome, London, and Paris, this brave, talented, and determined woman forges an amazing life of her own, making her so much more than merely “The Other Alcott.”

    “Elise Hooper’s thoroughly modern debut gives a fresh take on one of literature’s most beloved families. To read this book is to understand why the women behind Little Women continue to cast a long shadow on our imaginations and dreams. Hooper is a writer to watch!”—Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens

    Purchase Links

    HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

    Review: I feel like I missed out. I love reading but I've never read the Little House books or Little Women. I'm not sure how that has happened, but I plan to rectify it sometime soon.

    This book focuses on May Alcott, Louisa's younger sister, who is also the inspiration for Amy March.

    This was a wonderful book especially for fans of Little Women.

    As a person who has never read the book, and yes, I hang my head in shame when I say that, this is a book that made me very curious about Louisa's life and that of her sister. This is a book that required me to google quite a bit as I turned the pages, and for me that's the mark of a great historical novel. If I'm intrigued enough to fact check and try to learn more, then it is a good book

    Rating: 5 flowers

    About Elise Hooper

    Though a New Englander by birth (and at heart), Elise Hooper lives with her husband and two young daughters in Seattle, where she teaches history and literature.

    Find out more about Elise at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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