Wish Upon A Christmas Star by Karen McQuestion ~ 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Holiday Fiction ~ Release Date: December 6, 2021

REVIEW: Wish Upon A Christmas Star by Karen McQuestion proves this author can write anything! I have read a few books by her and they are all different genres! I love an author that stretches her wings and always brings a new and wonderful story. 

This book is everything you want in a Christmas story. It really is what Christmas is all about. Gwen is recently divorced and moves into the home she and her ex bought for their retirement in Poplar Creek. She is depressed and it is when she steps outside of herself that she finds a new life with new friends. 

I’ve read a couple of books this year that rate at the top of my Christmas book list and deserve a re-read next year. Wish Upon A Christmas Star is one of those books. Don’t get me wrong, the others I’ve read and given a good rating to are very good. I don’t make a habit of reading a book more than once. There are simply too many good books out there to spend time reading books over again. Just my opinion. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

SYNOPSIS: Get caught up in a special holiday story about the magic of Christmas and a second chance at love.

When Gwen Hayward moves to the quaint town of Poplar Creek, she’s too mired in post-divorce misery to meet the neighbors. That changes when she spots a little girl leave an anonymous wish on the local bookstore’s Christmas tree. Compelled to find the girl and fulfill the wish, Gwen enlists the aid of local business owner, Lucky Gallagher.

With the help of the townspeople, a lost dog, and some holiday magic, Gwen and Lucky may see more than one Christmas wish come true.

Christmas Yearnings by Ev Bishop ~ 5⭐

Genre: Holiday Fiction ~ Release Date: November 25, 2021

REVIEW: Christmas Yearnings by Ev Bishop was so very heartwarming. This is book 8 of The Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge series. At first, I didn’t remember who Marilyn was. She is Jo’s biological mother who was addicted to drugs and eventually lost Jo. This story is about her life starting at three years sober. 

I don’t think many of us liked Marilyn in the past. We all were wanting the best for Jo and we’re glad that Maddie came into her life. In this book we see Marilyn’s life from her point of view. It makes you want to reach out and hug her at times. She knows she messed up her life. She also doesn’t feel she deserves any grace. She longs for her family. I began to start pulling for her. 

If you’ve read any of the books in this series, you have to pick this one up. I loved every single second of this book. I think you will too. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

SYNOPSIS: Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.

Marilyn Fox is three years clean and sober but a life-long loser—in her mind, anyway. It doesn’t matter that she’s finally holding down a job, providing for herself, and trying to make amends with those she’s hurt. Her past haunts her. What kind of mother abandons her own child? No kind, that’s what.

She yearns for connection and love but knows that she doesn’t deserve it, not even from Millie, the big old dog who’s become her best—maybe only—friend.

When a chance encounter with a man as lonely as she is sparks dreams of things she’s long since given up on—okay, never thought possible for someone like her—she is more than stunned. She is . . . utterly baffled. Even more surprising, Jamie is deluded enough to think she is valuable, loveable, even.

Her daughter Stevie shows her unbelievable and completely undeserved grace—even going so far as letting her have a relationship with her precious grandson. Millie gives her the most gentle and effusive unconditional love—and much laughter. Jamie is bent on trying to get her to see herself the way he sees her. . . . But none of that is enough.

If the yearnings of Marilyn’s heart will ever be met, she needs to know for herself: can she—has she—really changed? And even if other people can forgive her, can she ever forgive herself?

If you’re a fan of small towns, heartwarming holiday romance, second chances, and furry dog friends, you’ll be rooting for Marilyn and hoping her heart’s deepest longings can be met in Christmas Yearnings, Book 8 in Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge, from USA Today bestselling author Ev Bishop.

Christmas Peace by Violet Howe ~ 5⭐

Holiday Fiction ~ Release Date: November 27, 2021

REVIEW: I love a good Christmas story. I have been fortunate to be an early reader for several of them this year. It was a ton of fun and I have a few more to go. The Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge rises to the top because this year we get to read a continuation of the story for each of the girls and their mother. Christmas Peace by Violet Howe melted my heart. 

Ms. Violet writes the story of Maddie who is the Matriarch of the family. After losing her husband and daughter in an accident she struggled for purpose in her life. During Christmas one year she took in four girls who needed homes at the last minute knowing foster homes are hard to come by during the holidays. The love that grows between Maddie and these girls is beautiful. 

I love these characters! Each author writes a different one and their particular story and because of that the characters are rich and full. You get a wide perspective of the family they have become and the adults the girls are now. 

The stories were so well received last year and because readers fell in love with them, the story continues this year! I’m hoping we get at least one more year. They set such a warm and beautiful feeling for my holidays and I know they will do the same for yours. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

SYNOPSIS: Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.

Christmas has been a magical time for Maddie and her four adopted daughters ever since she first welcomed the girls into her home for the holidays years ago. With each passing year, preserving their family traditions and holiday customs has remained a priority, but now that the girls are adults beginning families of their own, Maddie worries that this may be the last year they’ll all spend the holiday together.

When Robert suggests a pre-holiday trip to celebrate their first year together, Maddie’s heart is torn between making the most of time with her daughters or enjoying a romantic getaway that would provide a much-needed break from the overwhelming stress she’s been under at work.

With a promise that she’ll be back by Christmas Eve, she jets off to an idyllic resort in Costa Rica with Robert, but the vacation ends up being not at all what Maddie expected. Then, when complications threaten to delay their return and put her beloved family holiday in jeopardy, Maddie’s faith in the Christmas spirit is put to the test.

Can she still find the magic of the season and have Christmas Peace in her heart?

If you’re a fan of heartwarming, second-chance, holiday romances with later-in-life heroes and heroines, you’ll love this volume of the Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge series!

Don’t miss a Soul Sisters book – download them all today!
Book 1: Christmas Sisters – FREE prologue book
Book 2: Christmas Kisses by Judith Keim
Book 3: Christmas Wishes by Tammy L. Grace
Book 4: Christmas Hope by Violet Howe
Book 5: Christmas Dreams by Ev Bishop
Book 6: Christmas Rings by Tess Thompson
Book 7: Christmas Surprises by Tammy L. Grace
Book 8: Christmas Yearnings by Ev Bishop
Book 9: Christmas Peace by Violet Howe
Book 10: Christmas Castles by Judy Keim
Book 11: Christmas Star by Tess Thompson

Only One Wave by Jenifer Ruff ~ 5⭐

Genres: Medical Thriller & Disaster Fiction ~ Release Date: December 1, 2021

REVIEW: Holy Toledo! Hang on to your seat!! Only One Wave by Jenifer Ruff was one of those books that hooks you and won’t let you go until you’re finished and beyond. I finished last night and I’m still thinking about this exciting book. 

Number one. The medical part of the story is awesome. There is a Tsunami on the Island of Nalowale and a virus follows. The story is the race to find out how to cure it. I loved all the medical testing and attempts at treatment. If you’re like me and love medical stuff, this is your next read. 

Number two. The main characters who appear in the rest of the series are on the island. The inhabitants of the island that are suffering losses and illness after the  the disaster of the Tsunami. You can’t help but feel sorry for them. One little boy kept tugging at my heartstrings. 

Number three. There is a lot going on and the author is so good it’s easy to follow. I felt along the way I knew what was going on, but I didn’t. Only One Wave was very well written and Jenifer Ruff did an amazing job.

I received a complimentary copy from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

SYNOPSIS: “Once again, Jenifer Ruff delivers a heart-pumping thriller! The well-crafted twists surrounding this medical mystery will keep you guessing until the end.” – Audrey J. Cole – USA Today bestselling author

A tsunami strikes a small island in the Pacific Ocean, leaving destruction and madness in its wake.

After the natural disaster, CDC epidemiologist Dr. Madeline Hamilton and her fiancé, FBI operative Quinn Traynor, go to Nalowale Island to investigate a deadly outbreak of unknown origin. Victims become aggressive and irrational, suffering from insomnia, hallucinations, and eventual death.

Under quarantine conditions, with all communications to and from the island shut down, the wave of illness climbs toward a calamitous crash. Then Madeline uncovers something terrifying…and impossible. The investigation requires huge leaps of faith and significant acts of courage, but what they discover, and what they take home with them, will change lives forever.

“Only One Wave is a gripping thriller led by captivating characters and an enthralling story. I loved every minute of it.”—Timothy Browne, USA Today bestselling author

This is the third adventure in the FBI & CDC thriller series featuring Dr. Madeline Hamilton and Agent Quinn Traynor. Mystery and medical thriller fans of James Patterson, Michael Crichton, and A.G. Riddle will be hooked. It can be read as a standalone novel with no confusion.

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult ~ 5⭐

Genre: Literary Fiction ~ Release Date: November 30, 2021

REVIEW: Believe me when I tell you that I never wanted to read a book about Covid. We have heard and lived Covid for almost two years. Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult was a pleasant surprise. I truly thought the book would be different than it was.

I enjoyed the part of the book where Diana goes to The Galapagose on her own because her boyfriend who is a doctor has to stay behind to fight the virus. She becomes stranded on the island when it and the world closes down due to Covid. She stays so long that she is no longer a tourist and is seen as a resident. Who wouldn’t want to be stranded on such a beautiful place as Isabela Island?

The interesting part of the book is some of the research this author has done about the after effects of Covid especially those that have been put on ventilators and survived. I love the medical facts I learn along the way in my reading journey. 

I know most of us want to shy away from a novel about Covid. I highly recommend reading this book. It takes us away to a dream vacation and provides some pretty interesting information. I even appreciated the author’s notes at the end of the book. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book. I think you’ll love it and at least appreciate it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from #RandomHousePublishing-Ballentine, #Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

SYNOPSIS: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and The Book of Two Ways comes “a powerfully evocative story of resilience and the triumph of the human spirit” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Malibu Rising)

Rights sold to Netflix for adaptation as a feature film

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s an associate specialist at Sotheby’s now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. Her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.

Mimi Lee Cracks the Code by Jennifer J Chow ~ 5⭐

Genre: Cozy Mystery ~ Release Date: November 30, 2021

REVIEW: Mimi Lee Cracks the Code by Jennifer J Chow was a rollicking good time! This is the second book I’ve read by her and because I now know what a Cozy Mystery is my enjoyment was unbridled.

I enjoyed visits with many of the same characters from the first book. I totally missed the second book in the series but, it didn’t seem to be a problem. I think you can jump in anywhere and not feel lost at all. Jennifer makes it easy. I will be reading number two as soon as I can. 

Mimi Lee and her talking cat Marshmallow have solved a few murders much to the chagrin of Detective Brown. He would like her to get lost but, you have to protect your friends! Right? Marshmallow has a dry sense of humor that I appreciate. Like most kitties, he demands attention and pampering.

If you love Cozy Mysteries or just enjoy a fun book, you might enjoy this series! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

To follow my blog, click on the heading of any blog post. This will bring up just that blog and you will see a follow button on the bottom right hand corner. Thank you!

SYNOPSIS: One of BookRiot’s Best Upcoming Cozy Mysteries for the Second Half of 2021!

When murder follows Mimi Lee to her romantic island getaway, she puts on her best sleuthing hat with her sassy cat in tow in this adventurous cozy mystery by Jennifer J. Chow.

Mimi Lee just found an extra perk to being a pet groomer at Hollywoof (other than cuddling animals all day long, that is). Pixie St. James, one of Mimi’s clients and the investor behind Hollywoof, has offered her and her boyfriend, Josh, a getaway at her vacation home, nestled on beautiful Catalina Island. With the island just outside of Los Angeles but still far enough from the hustle and bustle, Mimi, Josh, and their cat Marshmallow (who, of course, wouldn’t be caught dead in a dingy pet hotel) are excited for their relaxing stay.
 
That is, until Pixie’s last renter, Davis D. Argo, turns up dead. Mimi and Josh’s romantic getaway immediately turns into an enormous buzzkill, especially when Pixie asks Mimi for help. The police suspect Pixie, and Mimi knows a thing or two about wrongful allegations. Mimi figures it couldn’t hurt to snoop a little since she’s already there, and soon discovers that a valuable item is missing. Except Pixie isn’t the only one in the neighborhood who has been robbed. There is something strange happening on the island, and Mimi won’t stop until she finds out what it is.

The Confidant by J.S. Ellis ~ 4⭐

Genre: Phycological Fiction ~ Release Date: November 23, 2021

REVIEW: The Confidant by J.S. Ellis was an interesting book but, not my favorite by this author. I’ve read a couple of others that I loved. This one was good, just not a home run. 

This novel deals with friendship and cheating both within a friendship and a marriage. The big hangup for me is I don’t like cheating or lying and go out of my way to avoid both.

This story was like having a long discussion with your best friend and hearing all the ins and outs of another friendship that person is involved in. 

The characters were believable along with the story line. It made me miss my best friend that passed away several years ago because there was nothing we wouldn’t discuss all day long. I miss that and just maybe why this book left me wanting something more. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

To follow my blog, click on the heading of any blog post. This will bring up just that blog and you will see a follow button on the bottom right hand corner. Thank you!

SYNOPSIS: Be careful who you trust with your secrets.

A part of him knew she was always lying, but he could change that. He could change her.

When charismatic Zoë first sits in Jason’s salon chair, he can immediately tell they have a connection. Who wouldn’t? She was smart, witty, and incredibly funny, everything someone could want in a budding friendship. But soon, Jason learns there is more to Zoë than meets the eye.

When lies are uncovered and secrets exposed, Jason must decide just how far he’s willing to go in the name of friendship.

How far should he go to uncover the truth? If he digs too deep, could Jason lose the very person he’s trying to keep?

When it all comes crashing to the light, and someone’s very life hangs in the balance, will he regret what he’s done? Or will Jason wish he had only done more?

For fans of Lisa Jewell and Gillian Flynn.

Christmas Surprises by Tammy L Grace ~ 5⭐

Genre: Holiday Fiction ~ Release Date: November 23, 2021

REVIEW: I’m in love all over again! Christmas Surprises by Tammy L Grace is actually Book 7 of Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge Series. I read and reviewed all six books last year and only had a chance to read book 7 this year. I’ve got to tell you, I’m dying to read the other 4 books!

This book is the next installment of Jo’s and Luke’s life two years after they after they rekindled their friendship at the lodge during Christmas. Life has change a lot for these two. Jo moved back home to Granite Ridge, opened her law practice and married Luke. This past of the story also takes place during Christmas. 

I loved every second of this installment and I’m chomping at the bit to read the stories of Maddie and the other girls. If you read the first six books last year, you’re not going to want to miss this year’s books! I love these characters and it’s like returning home for a visit. You will be pleasantly surprised with Christmas Surprises! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

To follow my blog, click on the heading of any blog post. This will bring up just that blog and you will see a follow button on the bottom right hand corner. Thank you!

SYNOPSIS: Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.

Two years ago, Jo returned to Granite Ridge for her sister’s wedding and reconnected with Luke Turner, her childhood best friend. Now, she’s happier than she’s ever been, newly married and making a new life together in their small hometown. Her law practice is flourishing, the project of her heart—a nonprofit to help foster children—is coming together, and Luke’s new business venture as an outdoor excursion guide is thriving.

They spend their spare time with family, especially enjoying being an aunt and uncle to Alissa’s and Stevie’s toddlers. As their first Christmas as a married couple approaches, they’re beside themselves with excitement, determined to make it a magical and memorable holiday. Then, while Luke is taking an important client on an extended tour of the backcountry, a terrible accident leaves Jo with a life-changing decision to make. The stress of the tragedy threatens their new beginnings.

Will their relationship crumble under the pressure, or will the magic of the holidays help Jo and Luke shore up their love and find a way to make the most of the unexpected surprises?

If you’re a fan of small towns, heartwarming family holiday stories, along with a few furry friends, you’ll fall in love with the latest book featuring Jo from the Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge Series written by USA Today bestselling author, Tammy L. Grace.

✓ Don’t miss a Soul Sisters book – download them all today!

Book 1: Christmas Sisters – perma-FREE prologue book
Book 2: Christmas Kisses by Judith Keim
Book 3: Christmas Wishes by Tammy L. Grace
Book 4: Christmas Hope by Violet Howe
Book 5: Christmas Dreams by Ev Bishop
Book 6: Christmas Rings by Tess Thompson
Book 7: Christmas Surprises by Tammy L. Grace
Book 8: Christmas Yearnings by Ev Bishop
Book 9: Christmas Peace by Violet Howe
Book 10: Christmas Castles by Judy Keim
Book 11: Christmas Star by Tess Thompson

Memory Hunter by Liane Carmen ~ 5⭐

Genre: Suspense ~ Release Date: November 19, 2021

REVIEW: Whew! I need to slow down my heart. Memory Hunter by Liane Carmen is Book 3 of the Investigation Duo Series. Let me tell you, it is a good one. I enjoyed the other two books and this one makes a great addition to the series. If you read the first two, you’ll definitely want to read Memory Hunter. If you haven’t started the series, hurry up! You’re missing out on some great entertainment. 

I think the owners of the DNA Investigation company have gotten in over their heads with their current case. They mainly solve adoption cases using DNA. This time their client was mugged and can’t remember who she is. She has a driver’s license but doesn’t have a car and the police think the name on the license is incorrect. How does that happen? And why?

I like this series because their business uses DNA to solve the kind of cases they take. It is a different kind of twist. If you like to build your family tree or you’re interested in your family’s history, you might enjoy this series. I recommend this series for something different with some interesting characters. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

To follow my blog, click on the heading of any blog post. This will bring up just that blog and you will see a follow button on the bottom right hand corner. Thank you!

SYNOPSIS: When Brittany Mullins shows up at the hospital after being attacked, she’s alone and in bad shape. Her injuries heal, but she’s locked away the memories of who she is and what’s happened to her. She has keys to an apartment and identification, but the name on her driver’s license appears to be for a person who doesn’t exist.

Brittany comes to detectives, Jules and Becky, in hopes they can use DNA testing to confirm her real identity. While they wait for her results, they dig into the few clues they have about her life before the attack. They can’t help but believe she’s in hiding–from someone or something dangerous.

When a mysterious man appears to be stalking Brittany, Jules and Becky know they need to protect her until they can figure out how he fits in. As they attempt to unravel his agenda, they discover there could be more at stake than they imagined. Then, as friends and family gather for a wedding, Brittany goes missing. Becky panics, especially when she realizes Jules is nowhere to be found either.