Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Chick Ponders Bookish Things: Looking Back at 2016

As I look back on 2016, I see that my reading has gone down again.

This distresses me, because I love books.

I love everything about them; print or ebooks. I love them all.

I haven't finished a goodreads challenge since 2013 and I have lowered my expectations each year too. Of course, in 2013 my dad's health started to fail and he passed away in 2014 and then in 2015 we moved. So there's been a lot of upheaval in my life, as well as my developing a strange affinity for facebook games.

That is one thing that absolutely has to stop in 2017.

I want to get back to books and get away from facebook, which also makes my nerves bad. (way too much political stuff anymore)

I haven't decided what number of books I'll try for in 2017, I may lower myself to 100. This year I read 114 and that was really hard.

I hope in the next couple of days to go through my books and come up with my best of list for this past year too. So many good books and not nearly enough time to read them

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

From Passages to the Past

Here are the Reading Challenge details:

Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:

Everyone can participate, even those who don't have a blog (you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish)

Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review)

Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, etc.) During the following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels:

I'm going for the Medieval level

20th century Reader - 2 books

Victorian Reader - 5 books

Renaissance Reader - 10 books

Medieval - 15 books

Ancient History - 25 books

Prehistoric - 50+ books

To join the challenge you only need to make a post about it, add your link in Mr. Linky below or just leave a link to your blog if you are not yet ready to post about it yet. If you don't have a blog you can just leave a comment for this post saying that you are joining.

The challenge runs from January 1st to December 31st, 2017.

Friday, December 23, 2016

TLC Book Tours: Say Goodbye For Now

About Say Goodbye for Now

Paperback: 364 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (December 13, 2016)
On an isolated Texas ranch, Dr. Lucy cares for abandoned animals. The solitude allows her to avoid the people and places that remind her of the past. Not that any of the townsfolk care. In 1959, no one is interested in a woman doctor. Nor are they welcoming Calvin and Justin Bell, a newly arrived African American father and son.
When Pete Solomon, a neglected twelve-year-old boy, and Justin bring a wounded wolf-dog hybrid to Dr. Lucy, the outcasts soon find refuge in one another. Lucy never thought she’d make connections again, never mind fall in love. Pete never imagined he’d find friends as loyal as Justin and the dog. But these four people aren’t allowed to be friends, much less a family, when the whole town turns violently against them.
With heavy hearts, Dr. Lucy and Pete say goodbye to Calvin and Justin. But through the years they keep hope alive…waiting for the world to catch up with them.
“[A] heartwarming tale of transgression and redemption.” Kirkus Reviews
“A moving story about patience, trust, the families we choose, and the love it takes to let somebody go.” —Booklist
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Review:  This book was utterly amazing and at times it made me realize that though the world has come so far in some ways in others we haven't progressed at all.

Its the story of an interracial relationship that grows through a boy bringing a wolf-dog to Dr. Lucy. The setting is 1959 and Texas, so a love between a white woman and an african american is totally taboo.

This is the kind of book that makes you think and makes you fall in love with the characters as well. I can't believe I've never read anything by Catherine Ryan Hyde, because this book is beyond fabulous.

Rating: 5 flowers

Thursday, December 22, 2016

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Miracle on 5th Ave

About Miracle on 5th Avenue

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (November 29, 2016)
It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York! 
Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.
Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?
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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books a Million | Barnes & Noble

Review: Miracle on 5th Avenue is the final book in the From Manhattan With Love trilogy. This series really ends on a high note and I really loved this series.

Eva and Lucas's story has a sort of Castle-y vibe to me. Lucas is a crime writer and upon meeting Eva she sort of becomes his muse on the book he has up until the time Eva bursts into his life, he hadn't been able to right. Now unlike "Nikki Heat" Eva doesn't inspire his crime fighter, more his murderer.

What I love about this series is how you know all the characters through the other books. All the friends from the previous books still play a huge part in this book. I really love and am just a little bit jealous of the friendships these girls share.

There's an awesome chemistry between Eva and Lucas from the minute he knocks her down because he thinks she's a home invader. I think that says it all there.

I love how Eva and Lucas actually become friends first, before falling in love. Their personalities are really opposite, but both are really quite lovable. Eva is a hopeless romantic, her friends feel like she's in her own little world "Planet Eva." Lucas is much more jaded. He's what you'd expect from a crime writer..and yeah...something about him reminded me of Richard Castle.

I loved the dialogue between the two, some was witty and some sweet. I also liked that Lucas was never an alpha male. He was a little bit of a jerk at the beginning, but not alpha arrogant.

Lucas' backstory was interesting too, as he's hiding away dealing with the loss of his wife.  I found it refreshing that he actually loved his wife. This is something that I usually have issues with in 2nd time around loves. There was still problems in the marriage, but I did appreciate the fact that Lucas had loved Sallyanne.

I also love that this is a holiday themed romance. Seriously this is what Sarah Morgan does best. If you don't believe me check out Sleigh Bells In The Snow and Maybe This Christmas from her O'Neill brother series. If you want a story that really gives you the Christmas spirit, this is definitely the book to grab. You truly can't go wrong with one of Sarah Morgan's books.

Rating: 5 flowers

Blog Tour Book Review: A Bravo For Christmas

By New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
Christine Rimmer

Tis the season for a sexy holiday!
When Darius Bravo wants something—he usually gets it. And the powerhouse CEO has wanted Ava Malloy since he was a Justice Creek High senior. Darius is already adored by one Malloy: Ava's spirited daughter. Helping Sylvie and her local Blueberry troop build dollhouses for needy kids is a worthy cause that's bringing him closer to the widowed single mom. Imagine his surprise when the usually unapproachable Ava starts flirting and making her romantic intentions crystal clear!

With one condition. A holiday fling with the man Ava has always found irresistibly attractive is a thrilling way to ring in the New Year. She can't promise Darius the future—one devastating heartbreak in a lifetime is enough. But Ava underestimates his staying power. And what about her own secret heart's desire? A Bravo under the mistletoe and in her arms forever!

Review:  Christine Rimmer is one of my favorite authors for the Special Edition line. I like her writing because she brings a touch of reality to her stories and writes heroes that you absolutely fall for.

Darius is truly a guy that anyone would want to love. He's good looking and good with kids and really just downright perfect. He may have had a bit of a womanizing past, but there's nothing bad about this guy. He's 100 % lovable. In fact, I'd take him if he were a real, flesh and blood male.

Ava is a woman who doesn't really want a relationship. Her husband died in Afghanistan and she's had a past that made her weary of giving love another chance.

Ava and Darius have a shared past. Darius had feelings for her back in their school days, but Ava shut him down. He still has feelings for her.

If this story focused more on Darius and Ava and even better Sylvie (because Ava's daughter is an awesome character. The backstory is a bit of a detriment to the overall story.

I'm not sure what I had the hardest time dealing with. Ava's problem with her parents, who have lived on love for a long time. When Ava was young her mother was ill and family life fell apart and her and her siblings were sent to foster care.

I didn't like this..for one, not once in the discussion of her mother's illness did they mention what it was, but it was obviously something so bad that her father was so worried about her that he couldn't hold down a job.

Oh and since when does being broke put kids in foster care. If that were the case there would be a lot of kids in foster care.

These are the things that put me off. If you are going to make something a huge part of a person's history it needed to be more developed.

The other thing that bugged me was when Sylvie got hurt. She would not have had those stitches if her mother wasn't there to authorize treatment. Heck they can't give a kid Tylenol at school without authorization.

Its little things like this that get on my nerves in books. They are things that either need more developing or tweaked.

I liked the premise of the Christmas fling and I liked how it was turning into more. It was really the back story of Ava's that kept this from being a fabulous read.

Rating: 3 flowers

Monday, December 19, 2016

Blog Tour Book Review: The Greek's Christmas Bride

Author: Lynne Graham
Title: The Greek's Christmas Bride
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publish Date: Nov 22, 2016
Buy:  Amazon
Book Blurb: A good Greek wife…

Coldly ruthless and deeply cynical, Apollo Metraxis has made a career of bachelorhood. But when the inheritance of his father's estate is conditional on a marriage and a child, he is forced to do the unthinkable!

Unpolished Pixie Robinson is the world's worst choice of a wife for Apollo. Yet her family's mounting debts leave her defenseless and therefore uniquely suitable. But when the wedding night exposes Pixie's untouched vulnerability, striking a chord in the dark reaches of his heart, Apollo is forced to think again.

And that's before he discovers that she's carrying not one but two Metraxis heirs!

Review: Every time I read a Presents novel I feel like I'm reading a script for a soap opera, or as my dad would say a "daytime whore show."

There's something strangely satisfying in this kind of read.

There's the virgin bride (that always makes me shake my head a little)

The arrogant alpha male (It wouldn't be a presents novel without one)

A crazy will that tosses the hero and heroine together.

Pixie Robinson is a poor hairdresser with a dubious background and a brother with a gambling addition.

Apollo gives her an offer she can't refuse. Marriage and a baby in return for her brother's debts being wiped away.

There's great chemistry between the two characters. Its a nice little "love to hate you" thing that makes for explosive sex.

/The beauty of Harlequin Presents novels are that two people that have absolutely nothing in common, shy of a set of friends. Pixie and Apollo are two people that should not be together by any normal means, but thanks to a clause in his father's will, Apollo needs a wife, stat!

I liked how the two of them came together sadly through mutually terrible childhood. Pixie's family were criminals, and Apollo's dad gave him a string of abusive stepmothers. You definitely start to feel sorry for him once you learn that.

Unfortunately it still doesn't give us a reason why these two people want to be together (even though they won't share that with each other)

Then when things are getting good between the two...DRAMA ensues. The drama was something purely out of a soap.

This book was light and fluffy with a touch of the holiday to make it cozy. If you are a fan of the Presents line, you will love this book, because it is pure Presents!

Rating: 4 flowers

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Book Review: You're The Cream In My Coffee


You're the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

Publication Date: September 15, 2016

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

eBook & Paperback; 292 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Christian

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In 1928, Chicago rocks to the rhythm of the Jazz Age, and Prohibition is in full swing. Small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has sworn that coffee's the strongest drink that will pass her lips. But her quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy when she spots her high school sweetheart--presumed killed in the Great War--alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs.

Although the stranger insists he's not who she thinks he is, Marjorie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. To the dismay of her fiancé and family, she moves to the city and takes a job at a department store so she can spy on him. Meanwhile, the glittering world of her roommate, Dot, begins to look awfully enticing--especially when the object of her obsession seems to be part of that world. Is it really so terrible to bob her hair and shorten her skirt? To visit a speakeasy? Just for a cup of coffee, of course.

But what about her scruples? What about the successful young doctor to whom she's engaged, who keeps begging her to come back home where she belongs? And what, exactly, is going on at the store's loading dock so late at night?

Amid a whirlwind of trials and temptations, Marjorie must make a choice. Will the mystery man prove to be the cream in her coffee--the missing ingredient to the life she yearns for? Or will he leave only bitterness in her heart?

"The cat’s pajamas! Rich in jazzy details of 1920s Chicago, You’re the Cream in My Coffee is a sparkling debut novel. With an adventurous heroine, intriguing side characters, and a thought-provoking message, this story will keep you riveted. Jennifer Lamont Leo is a name to watch in historical fiction!" -Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of Anchor in the Storm

"Every single inch of this novel is delightful. From the start Marjorie Corrigan felt like a friend, one I was glad to see each time I returned to her story. With charming characters and a plot that keeps moving, this is a novel you don’t want to miss. Jennifer Lamont Leo is a fresh voice in Christian fiction. I can’t wait to read more of her work." -Susie Finkbeiner, author of A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Review: There's so much to love about this book, where to start.

1. The cover is perfect, especially if it your dream to one day find a flapper dress of your very own and be skinny enough to look good in it.

2. The characters: Marjorie is sweet and fun and Dot who is totally different from her becomes her bff.

3. Its a nice mix of Christian fiction (without getting too over the top with religion) and mystery. I like how her former fiance plays a part in the mystery

4. The setting. Chicago in the 1920s is great and one of two places a great 20s novel should take place. (the other being NYC)

I recommend this book highly to anyone that loves this time period and a bit of a cozy mystery to go along with it.

Rating: 5 flowers

About the Author
03_jennifer-lamont-leoWith a passion for all things historical, Jennifer Lamont Leo captures readers' hearts through stories set in times gone by. She is also a copywriter, editor, and journalist. An Illinois native, she holds a deep affection for Chicago and its rich history. Today she writes from the mountains of northern Idaho, where she shares her home with her husband, two cats, and abundant wildlife.

For more information, please visit Jennifer's website and blog. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, December 12
Blog Tour Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 13
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Spotlight at What is That Book About

Wednesday, December 14
Guest Post at Kinx's Book Nook

Thursday, December 15
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, December 16
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Interview at T's Stuff

Monday, December 19
Review at Books, Dreams, Life

Tuesday, December 20
Review at Luxury Reading
Review at Turning the Pages
Guest Post at Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, December 21
Spotlight at A Bookaholic Swede

Thursday, December 22
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, December 23
Review at Reading Is My SuperPower


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Marlene

About Marlene

• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 13, 2016)

From the cabarets of Weimar Berlin to the dazzling film studios of Hollywood’s golden age, an enthralling novel of a glamorous legend Maria Magdalena Dietrich was born for a life on the stage. Raised in genteel poverty after the First World War, the willful teenager vows to become an actress and singer, trading her family’s proper, middle-class society for the free-spirited decadence of Weimar Berlin’s cabarets and drag balls. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, and androgynous tailored suits, Marlene performs to packed houses—and becomes entangled in a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention—until she finds overnight success in her breakthrough film role as the cabaret singer Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel.

For Marlene, neither fame nor marriage and motherhood can cure her wanderlust. As Hitler rises to power, she sets sail for America. Her image as an erotic temptress captures worldwide attention, and she becomes one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies, starring in one high-profile film—and affair—after another. Though Hitler tries to lure her back to Germany, Marlene chooses instead to become a citizen of her new nation, even as America enters the war against her fatherland.

But one day, she must return to Germany, escorted by General George Patton himself. In the devastated cities and the concentration camps, she comes face-to-face with how the evils of fascism transformed her country, and the family she thought she knew.

Lushly descriptive, as alluring as the lady herself, Marlene reveals the inner life of a woman of grit, glamour, and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged a path on her own terms.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: I've never seen a movie that Marlene Dietrich stared in but somehow this book intrigued me from the very start, because I knew she was important to Hollywood and film making.

As I read the book I became totally engrossed in her story.

Yes, this is a fictional account, but it pulled me in and made me want to know more about this woman.

I really enjoyed learning about Marlene's younger years and her rise to stardom, especially her relationship with her mother that was strained at best. I've always found that the mark of a great historical novel is how much you fact check it while reading. I was really interested in her playing the violin. So many of the classic holiday stars played violin. (Think Jack Benny...who was actually pretty darn good at it)

I did this all the time while reading this book.

Marlene definitely had some interesting encounters and relationships with both men and women. She was definitely scandalous in a time when being open about who you had sex with was simply not the thing.

You also got a picture of Germany between the two great wars. This is really what made Marlene different from a lot of other people in her country at the time. She wasn't really political, but she knew what wasn't right. I especially liked learning how she did her best to help people get out of Nazi Germany and her work with the USO even though she was a woman that had a price on her head.

While reading I kept thinking, why aren't there any people now that feel this intriguing? There's no one in Hollywood now that I really care about or that I feel is very interesting. The actresses from the war years were something special. I don't think there is anyone in recent years to compare with ladies like Dietrich and Garbo.

Speaking of Garbo, the book ends rather abruptly when Marlene finally meets the other Hollywood actress who was considered her rival. There's a lot of rumors that the two had an affair, though none of that is alluded to here, just that Marlene would like to meet Garbo.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves classic Hollywood

Rating: 5 flowers

About C. W. Gortner

C. W. Gortner is the author of many bestselling historical novels—including Mademoiselle Chanel—which have been published in more than twenty countries. He lives in San Francisco.

Find out more about C.W. Gortner at his website and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book Review: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Author: Douglas Adams
Title: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publish Date: May 15, 1987
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb:  What do a dead cat, a computer whiz-kid, an Electric Monk who believes the world is pink, quantum mechanics, a Chronologist over 200 years old, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poet), and pizza have in common? Apparently not much; until Dirk Gently, self-styled private investigator, sets out to prove the fundamental interconnectedness of all things by solving a mysterious murder, assisting a mysterious professor, unravelling a mysterious mystery, and eating a lot of pizza – not to mention saving the entire human race from extinction along the way (at no extra charge). To find out more, read this book (better still, buy it, then read it) – or contact Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. ‘A thumping good detective-ghost-horror-whodunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy epic.

Review: I have to say I read this book because I was watching the new series on BBC America. I knew that the series was inspired by the Douglas Adams book, so when I started to get really confused with the show, I decided to see if the book could offer any clarity.

Uh no.

The book is absolutely nothing like the show, except that it, too, is pretty darn confusing. There are characters that are in both the book and the show...Dirk, of course, who takes FOREVER to show up in the book,  Oh and a cat...but no corgi and the cat doesn't morph into a shark that kills people either, oh and a time machine.

Dang that was disappointing.

The book was interesting though and to me it read more like a quirky mystery with a touch of weirdness than sci fi.

I mean there are electric monks on horses (horses that sometimes end up in bathrooms)

The story is pretty random. Dirk makes his first appearance 30 pages in, but he doesn't make a huge impact on the story until it was half over.

Its been a long time since I read Hitchhikers Guide but while reading this I was stuck by how similar his writing style was with Pratchett. (I think I like Pratchett better though)

Dirk is character that is just...well a pain in the butt and not your typical detective or holistic detective..everything is interconnected and all that yada yada yada.

BTW Dirk is not his real name, it is Svlad Cjelli, uh ok.

When he is investigating the death of Gordon Way, who is a ghost now btw, we see he's a bit of a trouble maker with local law enforcement.

Richard MacDuff is the guy he's trying clear, even though he doesn't need to be cleared.

Its all crazy and oddly, it is all interconnected.

Oh and like the series it doesn't make sense until the very end.

Rating: 4 flowers

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Book Spotlight: Fool Me Twice


Publication Date: December 1, 2016
Madison Street Publishing
eBook & Paperback
ISBN13: 9780996264846
Genre: Historical Romance
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In the gaming hells of eighteenth century London, orphan Caro Worth is leading a double life. By day she plays a proper gentlewoman on the lookout for a wealthy husband. By night she plays the infamous Angelica, her fictional half-sister with a talent for cards and an ability to finance the life her respectable self has built. An introduction to a rich Marquis brings marriage and security within Caro’s grasp…until the arrival of the unpredictable and totally ineligible Mr. Tobias Felton.
Dismayed by Felton’s persistent appearances, shocking frankness, and enigmatic green eyes, Caro watches helplessly as he comes closer than anyone to guessing her secret, but when complete and utter ruin threatens, she finds that Felton’s suspicions just might become her salvation. As the walls she has built to protect herself crumble down around her, Caro learns that no matter how careful your plans, life and love have a habit of falling quite spectacularly out of control!


About the Author

Philippa Jane Keyworth, known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History. A born again Christian, Philippa lives in the south of England with her handsome husband.
Philippa has always written stories and believes that, since it is one of her loves and passions, she always will. In her early writing career, she dabbled in a variety of genres, but it was the encouragement of a friend to watch a film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that began her love affair with the British Regency. Since then, she has watched every Regency film and TV series she could get her hands on and become well acquainted with Georgette Heyer’s novels which gave her the inspiration to write her own.
Both as a reader and a writer, Philippa believes it is important to escape into a world you yourself would want to live in. This is why she writes stories that will draw you into the characters’ joys and heartaches in a world apart from our own. Her debut novel, The Widow’s Redeemer (Madison Street Publishing, 2012), is a traditional Regency romance bringing to life the romance between a young widow with an indomitable spirit and a wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. The novel has been received well by readers and reviewers who have praised the heartfelt story and admirable characters. Her second novel, The Unexpected Earl (Madison Street Publishing, 2014), explores another romance in the Regency era when an impetuous young woman has her life turned upside down by the reappearance of the earl who jilted her six years ago. Her third novel a Georgian romance will come out at the end of 2016.
For more information, please visit Philippa Jane Keyworth’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Book Review: Comfort Food

Author: Kate Jacobs
Title: Comfort Food
Publisher: Putnam
Publish Date: March 8, 2008
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb:
Shortly before turning 50, TV cooking show personality Augusta "Gus" Simpson discovers that the network wants to boost her ratings by teaming her with a beautiful, young new co-host. But Gus isn't going without a fight-whether it's off-set with her two demanding daughters, on-camera with the ambitious new diva herself, or after-hours with Oliver, the new culinary producer who's raising Gus's temperature beyond the comfort zone. Now, in pursuit of higher ratings and culinary delights, Gus might be able to rejuvenate more than just her career.

Review: If you are a foodie or a food network junkie this is a book for you. I don't know how I missed this book when it came out in 2008.

This book was really fun. I tried to figure how what Food Network personality  Gus most resembled to me. She's an approaching 50 widow with two grown daughters that aren't doing well being in their mom's shadow.

Sabrina is a serial fiancee while Aimee just sort of hides herself away. The cast of characters grows and each one seems quirkier than the next. Hannah, is Gus' neighbor and bff, who is an exiled tennis player hiding from a scandal in her past. Then there's Oliver. He's on board as a sous chef in Gus' new show. He used to work on Wall Street, but food is his passion ...well until he meets Gus. Then there's Carmen. She's a former Miss Spain who also has a love for food and a desire for her own restaurant and show.

Carmen is a love to hate her character. I picture her like Sophia Vergara's Gloria from Modern Family. She's very ambitious and very sexual. She's like a mean girl, but not really. Sometimes you want to smack her, because she uses her looks to advance her career, but other times you actually like her, like when she was kind to Hannah.

There are a lot of interesting antics here because everyone working on Eat Drink and Be seem to be at odds with one another.

This was an enjoyable read, but one that needed a little more oomph to make it great. The book mostly focused on Gus, but the other characters were begging to get more attention. I would have loved to get a little deeper into Carmen's life or either of Gus's daughters. The secondary characters were very one dimensional.

Then there was Oliver. He should have been a lot more developed and the relationship between him and Gus definitely needed more pages then it got, considering the fact that it played a huge part in the way the story wraps up.

This isn't a great story, but it is fun for anyone that is a foodie.

Rating: 4 flowers

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Tasty Book Tour Release Blast: Kiss Me For Chrstmas

Three romantic comedies to light your fire!
Releasing December 5, 2016
Entangled Lovestruck

by USA Today bestselling author Christine Bell 
and author Riley Murphy

Leah Latrelle has landed herself in the proverbial holiday hot seat. To get her family off her back, she told them she has a fiancĂ©. And now they want to meet him. But just when it seems her goose is cooked, her sexy-as-sin business partner offers Leah a deal she can’t refuse…

by Ros Clarke

Advertising exec Hugh Munro hasn’t forgotten last year’s scorching-hot kiss with buttoned-up Anna Gardner, and kissing her again at the annual office party only strengthened his resolve to make her his. If all he wants for Christmas is Anna, he’ll have to prove it…to both of them.

by USA Today bestselling author Serenity Woods

What better way for Holly Jones to get over her ex than spending the holidays in solitude with the sexy teacher in the class next door? Except, there’s nothing solitary about their time together—especially not the innocent kiss that flares into much, much more…


Christine Bell is a USA Bestselling Author of contemporary romance novels and one half of the happiest couple in the world. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys and their two dogs, Gimli and Pug. If she gets time off from her duties as maid, chef, chauffeur, or therapist, she can be found reading just about anything she can get her hands on, from Young Adult novels to books on poker theory.

She doesn’t like root beer, clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, the New York Giants and playing Texas Hold ‘Em. Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she would be a pirate…or, like, a ninja maybe. She loves writing fun, sexy romances, but also hopes to one day publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with rusty spoons.

Christine loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to get in touch with her via the Contact Page, or find her on Twitter @_ChristineBell.

Visit Christine here

Riley Murphy writes sexy, humorous and emotional romance, happy ending guaranteed. An optimist, she believes life is awesome, people are complicated, but in a good way, and we should never stop learning. Riley currently resides in Florida with her gorgeous husband. She has two wonderful kids and one very bossy English Bull terrier. When Riley's not working she enjoys reading, oil painting, and getting to the Sunday crossword puzzle before anyone else does, so she can fill-in all the easy answers first. If Riley wasn't a writer she'd be an international spy with top-level security so she could have a peek at Area 51 and decide for herself if those green guys are for real. Riley loves her characters and she hopes you do too.

Visit Riley here

USA Today Bestselling Author Serenity Woods lives in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand with her wonderful husband and gorgeous teenage son. She writes hot and sultry contemporary romances with a happy ever after, and she would much rather immerse herself in reading or writing romance than do the dusting and ironing, which is why it’s not a great idea to pop round if you have any allergies.

Visit Serenity here

Ros’s first short story was published by Entangled in December 2011. Since then she has written and published six contemporary category-style romances and a further six short stories. Writing as Sophie Carr, she has also published a Regency romance.

Visit Ros here

releasing Dec 12th

Friday, December 9, 2016

Tasty Book Tours Release Blast: God Of Wine

The God of Wine is lookin’ for love. 
And he has absolutely no clue what he’s doing. 

Immortal Matchmakers, Inc #3
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Released Nov 25th, 2016

From New York Times Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff…
Book #3 of the Immortal Matchmakers Inc. Series. (Standalone)


Acan, the God of Wine and Intoxication, has been partying for over ten thousand years. And New Year’s Eve, when humans around the world succumb to his naturally occurring spike in powers, is his big night. Only this year, things are bit different.

A plague is sweeping the immortal community, and he’s turning downright evil. All those New Year’s bashes will turn into bloodbaths if he doesn’t stop it. Sadly, the only known cure is finding a mate, and he is a giant, rude, beer-bellied mess. Definitely not husband material.

But can a little gym-time and help from the pros at Immortal Matchmakers, Inc. turn him into a divine sex-machine? Absolutely!

So watch out, ladies! The God of Wine is lookin’ for love. And he has absolutely no clue what he’s doing. 


(Book One) is FREE!

MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling romance author. Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance closet and follow your dream. Mimi lives with her Latin Lover hubby, two pirates-in-training (their boys), and the rat terrier duo, Snowflake and Mini Me, in Arizona. She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Tasty Book Tours Release Blast: Skirting The Ice

"The Bannister Brothers series has everything I love...
hockey, humor, and heart!" 

Bannister Brothers #3
Jennie Marts
Releasing Dec 8th, 2016

"The Bannister Brothers series has everything I, humor, and heart!" - Kristin Miller- New York Times Bestselling author 

Buttoned-up accountant Jack Bannister lives an uncomplicated life until his teenage crush moves back into the house next door…all grown up and sexy as hell. Murphy Ryan is still wild and reckless, and danger has followed her to Colorado.  Jack will do whatever it takes to protect her, even it means letting her go…again.

Murphy Ryan is focused on building a new NHL women’s hockey team. But staying on her game is hard with the distraction, and the memories, of the hot nerd in the house next door. Jack Bannister had been her first kiss, and she wants him to be her last. With his dry humor and sexy glasses, being smart never looked so good.

Jack’s been given a chance to win back the one that got away, but worries this gorgeous hockey player is still out of his league. He’s kept his heart on ice, but now that Murphy’s back, she might be the one to finally thaw it.

Jennie Marts is the USA Today Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”

She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.

Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances. 

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