The Secret They Kept by J.S. Ellis ~ 5⭐

Genre: Phycological Suspense ~ Release Date: March 8, 2022

REVIEW: WOW! J.S. Ellis knocked it out of the park with The Secret They Kept. It is my favorite book of hers so far. I totally enjoyed this story and happily went along with the ride. I didn’t know where this book was headed. There were a few characters throughout the book that raised my suspicions but, I couldn’t put a solid finger on any of them. 

Emily moves into her first house and finds out the woman of the couple who used to live there came up missing. Emily’s boyfriend goes missing and the Jones’ across the street had a son that went missing too. That is a lot between two houses! Who is involved? It has to be someone close by. Right? Or maybe not. You’ll have to read this on your own too see if you can figure out who is the culprit. 

If you love a good mystery, this is your book. At first, it didn’t seem like a mystery but, I loved the characters and the story was engaging. The mystery built throughout the story. It kind of sneaks up on you. I enjoyed every minute of this book. I wouldn’t mind another story about Emily in a new mystery, a new city, a new man? I can think of all kinds of scenarios. Probably just my wishful thinking because I never want a good book to end. 

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

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SYNOPSIS: Emily Clarke thought her dreams were coming true. Her business was thriving and she was moving into a beautiful new house. Yet this dream quickly morphed into a nightmare.

Rocks being thrown at her windows.
Haunting messages written on glass.
Items mysteriously disappearing.

Emily’s nerves are on edge, which is only made worse by the man across the street constantly screaming at his wife. By befriending their son, Lucien, she learns a dark truth about the street she now calls home. Lucien has a brother who went missing ten years ago, as did the last occupant of Emily’s house.

Emily wants to believe these ominous events are past history until her ex-boyfriend vanishes without a trace. Now, she’s convinced she is a pawn in someone’s twisted game.

Can she uncover who is behind these disappearances before becoming their next victim?

Lawn Darts and Lemonade by Steven Manchester ~ 5⭐

Genre: Family Life Fiction ~ Release Date: March 8, 2022

REVIEW: I’ve been a lucky lady lately! My books have been 5 star books and Lawn Darts and Lemonade by Steven Manchester is no exception. When you pick up this book, take a word of advice from me. You’ll want snuggly clothes, a comfy chair, a snack or two, something to drink AND a box of tissues before you sit down. 

I haven’t read all of Steven’s books yet but every one that I’ve read has made me cry. He gets right to the heart of the matter. He is not afraid to tell it like it is. This man has a big heart. I typically don’t like male authors because frankly, most men just don’t get it. This guy does. He isn’t afraid to show that men have hearts, feelings and can love enough to tear them to pieces. 

This is a book about growing up in a crazy family during the 80’s. I love the perspective of Herbie, the middle brother. His older brother is Wally and little brother is Alphonse who the boys call Cockroach. A family of 3 boys! Their parents had a lot to deal with. Mom and Dad give us a lot of wisdom along the way. Wisdom we see passed down to the next generation.

If you love heartwarming stories about families, coming of age stories and stories that will remind you of your youth then this is one book you need to pick up and read. I know you will love it all much as I do. If you’ve read any of Steven Manchester’s books and liked them, you will want to read this one too. It is actually a sequel to Bread Bags and Bullies. Lawn Darts and Lemonade stands very well on its own. You can read it first. 

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

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SYNOPSIS: From New England’s Storyteller, Steven Manchester, comes the nostalgia-filled sequel to Bread Bags & Bullies; a novel about growing up in a whacky family during the 1980s. Boom boxes, leg warmers and Rubik’s Cubes—it’s all there. A hysterical walk down memory lane!

“Steven Manchester’s Lawn Darts & Lemonade is so much fun, filled with laughter, tears, and Big Hair.” – Taylor Dayne, ’80s Recording Artist, Love Will Lead You Back

It’s the summer of 1984, a season of dodging lawn darts and chugging lemonade—or at least the discolored tap water Ma tried to disguise as lemonade.

Growing up is never easy, no matter what era you do it in. For generations, teenagers have suffered peer pressure, bullying, fear of rejection, and a sadistic obstacle course of one unexpected challenge after the next. Three brothers, Wally, Herbie, and Cockroach, learn that the past can be filled with questions—even shame and regret—while the future might be shrouded in worry and fear. But staying in the moment, now that’s where the sweet spot is.

Road to New Beginnings by Ashley Farley ~ 5⭐

Genre: Women’s Fiction ~ Release Date: March 8, 2022

REVIEW: Road To New Beginnings by Ashley Farley is the last book in the Hope Spring Series. I’m kind of broken hearted because I loved this series. Well, to be honest, I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Ashley Farley. She creates the best characters and story lines! 

I am excited because she hints at a new series called Virginia Vineyards which is a spin off of the Hope Spring Series. What could be better than that? I can hardly wait to start reading the new series.

Road To New Beginnings wraps up everything that was going on at Hope Springs. We see how things have worked out for our favorite characters. Knowing where their lives are headed makes it easier to say goodbye. It definitely felt like a goodbye when I turned the last page. 

If you love small towns, resorts in the mountains, down to earth people and love stories that get a little tangled up, then this series is for you. I highly reccomend it. You won’t be sorry you got involved with these folks. 

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

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SYNOPSIS: The staffers at Hope Springs Farm greet guests with smiles. But trouble brews beneath their calm demeanors. Stella faces her first crisis as an adoptive mom when a second-grade bully wreaks havoc on Jazz’s life. When their beloved teacher is suspended on bogus charges, Stella takes on the principal and the president of parents’ association.

Ollie experiences crippling panic attacks as she struggles to cope with her parents’ death. While she loves her new friends at Hope Springs, her job as wellness center manager is a pit stop on her journey of life. Her hopes soar when she discovers a vineyard for sale in the nearby town of Lovely. But there’s a catch. Why is the price of the property so low? Does it have to do with the current owner’s ancient feud with his neighbor.

Cecily is falling in love with Parker. But she’s worried it’s too soon after breaking off her engagement. Lyle begs for another chance, but Cecily isn’t interested. Lyle’s advances become increasingly more aggressive, placing Cecily’s life in danger.

Presley’s baby is due in a few short weeks. But she’s heard nothing from her country music star husband in months. Is it possible the rumors are true? Could Everett be having an affair with his attractive young co-star? Or is he hiding a more serious problem?

The exciting conclusion of the bestselling Hope Springs series where some journeys are ending while others are just beginning.

I Wish by Amanda Prowse ~ 5⭐

Genre: Family Life Fiction ~ Release Date: March 2, 2022

REVIEW: Book two in The Wishing Tree Series is I Wish by Amanda Prowse. I’m a huge fan of Ms. Prowse. I haven’t read any of her books that I don’t count among my favorites. She has an awesome writing style. She writes about true love, family and loyalty. If, you haven’t read anything by her, I suggest that you do. I highly recommend anything by her. I have not read all of her book yet but, I intend to at some point. So, start anywhere. I wish is a good jumping off point. Not only is this a engrossing book, it fits in nicely with this series and it is also a good example of her writings.

Her characters are people you would like as friends. The Wishing Tree Series takes place in Linden Falls, a small town in Vermont. The folks that live in the town are warm and welcoming. Most of them appreciate living in their town and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Of course, if you follow me, you know I love small town living. There isn’t anything better!

This story is about a woman and her daughter from England that decide to get away for the summer. They close their eyes, spin the globe and plant their finger. It lands on Linden Falls in Vermont. They pack their bags and go to the United States for three months. What a great premise! Haven’t we all thought of doing something like that? I have. Not sure I could do that though. I’m too much of a planner. You have to read the book to know how it all turns out. 

If you love small towns and all the quirky characters you meet, you will love this series. I can’t wait to read the next book and all the rest of them. So many of my favorite authors are a part of the adventure. I couldn’t wait for the chance to review these books. Don’t forget The Wishing Tree Prequel is a free download. That gives you a taste of each book and a feel for the whole series. Get your free copy today and start reading this wonderful series. This might just be my most favorite series to date!

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: Wishes in branches tied with string. Someone’s hopes. Another’s dreams.

When heartache disrupts her world, Verity’s life in London’s affluent Chelsea is blown apart.

Hiding from the press and the pain of rejection, she and her teenage daughter Sophie pack their bags and head to Linden Falls, a small town in Vermont. It is here in this quaint New England neighbourhood that her journey of self-discovery takes an unexpected twist.

Verity begins to feel at home in the close-knit community, and pretty soon realises that what she thought was an ending is about to lead to a whole new beginning. The question she asks the Wishing Tree is whether she will ever find the courage to listen to her heart and not her head…

Join Amanda Prowse the bestselling World Book Night author as she brings the latest book in the Wishing Tree series alive, featuring Verity who might find a new opportunity in Linden Falls…

✓Don’t miss any of books in The Wishing Tree Series – download them all today!

Book 1: The Wishing Tree prequel/prologue book

Book 2: I Wish.. by Amanda Prowse

Book 3: Wish You Were Here by Kay Bratt

Book 4: Wish Again by Tammy L. Grace

Book 5: Workout Wishes & Valentine Kisses by Barbara Hinske

Book 6: A Parade of Wishes by Camille Di Maio

Book 7: Careful What You Wish by Ashley Farley

Tell Me the Truth by Kiersten Modglin ~ 5⭐

Genre:Phycological Suspense ~ Release Date: March 1, 2022

REVIEW: Brilliant! Tell Me The Truth by Kiersten Modglin was an absolutely brilliant book. She hasn’t been named the Queen of Twists by her fans for nothing. I love the way she hooks you into going along with her premise and then she blows you out of the water. I have to be honest and really didn’t know where this book was going but, I never expected it to end the way it did.

I actually liked Edith and her husband Joe. I wasn’t sure Joe was lying like Edith though. He seemed so sincere when he tried to explain to his wife he wasn’t lying. I was hoping they would figure out what was messing with their marriage. Edith also had a best friend named Dan. He was such a good guy! I would have loved to have someone like Dan for a friend. He was true blue and my favorite character. 

The writing was flawless. It takes true talent to rope in a reader and make them think the way you want them to. In this case, you could have easily hated one character or another. The ending in the book was the true twist. Somebody was despicable. Someone took things into their own hands. Someone was not who we thought they were. Someone was a hero. Someone was many things. Can you guess? I’m not telling. You’re going to have to read this book and find out for yourself who was who and who was what. 

This was such a delicious book. I devoured it pretty fast. I couldn’t put it down. If you like a book that keeps you guessing. Doesn’t give anything away then this book is for you. This is Psychological Suspense at it’s best.

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SYNOPSIS: It’s not the first time Edith’s husband, Joe, has lied to her. But it will be the last?

When she finds photos of a mysterious woman on her husband’s phone, the heartbreaking implications are all too familiar, and Edith sets out to discover her identity. What starts as a desperate search for answers quickly becomes a terrifying spiral of obsession and subterfuge.

With each new secret uncovered about her life, her marriage, and the man she loves, Edith is left with even more questions.

What exactly is Joe hiding?
Who is the woman in his photos?

Refusing to accept Joe’s lies any longer, Edith soon finds herself living a double life, telling lies and keeping secrets of her own. When she uncovers a final piece of the puzzle, something darker and more gut-wrenching than even she could’ve anticipated, Edith is forced to make a choice about the future of her marriage.

The truth always comes at a price.
Sometimes, that price is your life.

Carolina Blue Sky Days by Susan Schild ~ 5⭐

Genre: Contemporary Literature ~ Release Date: February 25, 2022

REVIEW: Carolina Blue Sky Days is the second book in A Second Chance at Love Series by Susan Schild. Carolina Comforts was book one. I totally love this series and I think those who enjoy love stories about older people will also fall head over heels for this series. 

The characters in this series are all colorful. Linny is probably the most down to earth but, she’s still fun and ready for adventure. Her mom has spunk and is a hoot. Her sister knows how to get what she wants. Her boyfriend is a down home, veterinarian. His mom is something “special” if you know what I mean. Linny’s attorney friend is out of this world wacky. This book is filled with fun and interesting characters. 

Nothing in this story is straight forward. It doesn’t go as planned or turn out as you would think it would. That along with the characters makes it so much fun. Carolina Blue Sky Days is available for preorder now!

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SYNOPSIS: Ready for the comforting and sweet next book in the Second Chance at Love series? Put on your comfy clothes, pull up a chair, and relax!

At age 40, Linny Taylor is ready for love, but her con man late husband has made her wary of any men, especially the ones who seem too good to be true. But small-town veterinarian, Jack Avery, is proving to be as kind and genuine as he seems. And Linny’s marrying him!

With her dreams of a happily ever after about to come true, Linny has a serious case of pre-wedding jitters. Jack’s wealthy family doesn’t approve of her, his ex-wife is acting too chummy with him, and Linny has yet to win over his son’s heart.

If Linny can’t find a way to trust love again, she risks losing the one man she wants to be with—forever…

The Diary of Anne Monroe by Heidi Andrews ~ 5⭐

Genre: Literary Fiction ~ Release Date: February 23, 2021

REVIEW: If you are like me and love the idea of reading someone’s diary from the past, then The Diary if Anne Monroe by Heidi Andrews is the book for you. It was an easy but, thoughtful read. I happily went along for the ride and enjoyed the adventure.

This book is told from two points of view. One is the 13 year old Margaret who is adopted. The other is through the diary. At first I felt the writing was not professional and needed some editing. I’ve thought about it and decided it was genius. It is told by a 13 year old and the voice changes as she grows to adulthood. The diary takes place in a shorter time span and is told by a 17 to 18 year old. The author told this story to perfection.

I got caught up in the story of the two young women. For me, I was drawn in right from the beginning. I’ve always loved books set around a diary. It gives me a chance to peek into someone’s private thoughts. I would never read someone’s diary that was living. Thats just not right and I guess I like the permission a book gives me. I can have all the fun without the guilt. 

This book is interesting in the points it brings up about adoption and how all the parties involved can feel at different times in their lives. It was fun, heartbreaking and realistic. It certainly gave me something to think about. I would highly recommend this lovely book.

I received a 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: Margaret, a thirteen-year-old girl who has always felt out of place among her family, moves into her biological mother’s childhood home in the summer of 1952 in Alexandria, Virginia. Shortly after moving in, she discovers a diary under a floorboard in her bedroom, and after reading it, she learns that it belonged to her birth mother, and against her parents’ wishes, she goes looking for her. Margaret’s search leads her to her angry grandmother who has forgotten about her daughter and speaks ill of her, so Margaret decides to put off her search until after she graduates high school. Over the next few years, life for the Sorenson family is a normal one, and just when the Sorenson’s think Margaret has forgotten about her birth mother, she takes off once again right after graduation with her boyfriend Tom to New York, a city much bigger than where she came from—not knowing what to expect or if she will find her mother, Margaret pushes forward, not letting anyone or anything get in the way of her finding her mother and getting the answers to the questions she has had since she was a child.

Fake Crown by Wendy Million ~ 5⭐

REVIEW: Wooowee! Hot, hot, hot! I may have burned my fingers and eyeballs! WOW! What a fun book!!!

Fake Crown by Wendy Million was a fun book that brought me out of my reading slump. Don’t get me wrong. I was still reading but, since the first of the year it was not with the same enthusiasm. I’m rating this book a 5 star and I’ll tell you why.

This book is not what you would call a literary masterpiece. It probaby won’t have a place among the classics. I don’t think Wendy meant it to be either. Brent is one of the main characters who is training for the Olympics and has six years before he retires. It doesn’t leave him much time to have a relationship since he is also in college at Northern Michigan University. (Michigan is my home state and another reason to love this book.) Posey is the girl who answers his post on the campus chat looking for a date to his friend’s wedding in Bermuda. 

I really liked the characters. They are much younger than me but, I was still drawn into the story and cared about what was happening. Believe me, there is a lot that happens. There is enough loving in this book to take it to the moon and back. If, you know what I mean. So, if you don’t like that kind of thing…be warned ahead of time.

I enjoyed that I was also watching the winter Olympics while reading this book. It comes out in time to order it so you too can read Fake Crown during the Olympics. They tell us about the sacrifices the Olympians make to be there and the time involved in training. You get some of that in this book and the drive that Brent has as he readies for competition.

I read The Donaghey Brothers series by Wendy and I totally fell in love with those books. If you read that series, if you like sports and especially Olympic sports and you like romance even if it isn’t clean, you will want to pre-order this book NOW! I’m already looking forward to book two. This is the first book of four in the Bellerive Royals series

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

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SYNOPSIS: Previously published as Olympic Crown by W. Million.

Posey Jensen is a friend collector, boyfriend avoider, and thrill seeker. When someone posts in a group chat looking for a wedding date to Bermuda, Posey jumps on the chance to prove to a new friend that she’s the reigning queen of adventure. But even she’s not prepared for Brent Faulkner: Olympic swimmer, Northern University star, and the only guy she’s ever thirsted after.

Brent Faulkner has a +1 for his friend’s wedding he can’t fill—and zero desire for another relationship. He’s married to his sport, and girlfriends are never happy mistresses. When he posts in Northern University’s group chat seeking a seat filler, someone named Jensen replies, and Brent figures a bros weekend will be just what he needs.

Little does he know, Jensen is Posey Jensen, and she’s diving into his life to change his priorities forever.

This is a mistaken identity turns to fake dating new adult sports swimming romance.

Cop An Attitude by Hilary Grossman ~ 5⭐

Genre: Humorous Romantic Fiction ~ Release Date: February 17, 2022

REVIEW: I just finished a sweet love story by Hilary Grossman and it was Cop an Attitude. If you are looking for a cute book that will take you away from the normal grind and give you something else to think about, this book will do the trick. If you read Forest River PTA Mom’s Series by this author and enjoyed the fun, hang on because you will recognize at least one character returning to this series. This is the first book in the I Can’t Stop Loving You Story series. 

I read Cop an Attitude when it was a novella in an anthology by several authors. I wrote to Ms. Grossman and expressed how much I enjoyed the novella and wished she would expand it into a novel. I wasn’t quite ready for the book to end. Well, it turns out I was not the only one to encourage her to do that and she indeed turned her novella into a full length novel. She has seamlessly inserted Peter’s side of the story. It was not choppy at all and the writing flowed effortlessly. I have to say if I read this novel first, I would never have known about it earlier life.

This is a love/hate relationship between a man and woman that actually knew each other in elementary school. As most of us do, they went their separate ways after graduation from High School. They meet again as adults. He is a police officer and she is a hard working woman coming home from the office late at night. He stops her and detains her for an extended time and as you can guess their relationship is off to a rocky start. I loved the attraction they had for one another and kept hoping someone would get it together. 

This book is not a serious book and I don’t think it was meant to be. It was created to bring a little joy into our hectic lives and give us something different than the same old grind to think about for a while. Waverly and Pete’s relationship is fun and I’m looking forward to where this series is headed next. Cop a Plea is the next book to be released on July 25th (maybe earlier). I don’t know about you but, I’m looking forward to reading more of this series!

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SYNOPSIS: Their reunion left a lot to be desired. Are they a disaster in the making or totally meant to be?

I kicked love to the curb for the greater good. After all, my soaring career would’ve made my family so proud, and men have a tendency to stop success cold. But I never expected a single and sexy police officer to pull me over, flirt with me, and then write me a ticket.

Now I see the infuriating cop everywhere I go. It doesn’t help that we have a past, and he’s an amazing dad to his daughter. And every time I want to get back to my small-town routine, I can only think about what my life would be like with the no-nonsense policeman…

I should really just forget the whole thing. But if I do, will I lose my last chance at love?

Cop An Attitude is the charming first book in the I Can’t Stop Loving You romantic comedy series. If you like engaging characters, enemies to lovers, and laughing out loud, then you’ll adore Hilary Grossman’s humorous walk on the wild side.

Buy Cop An Attitude for an arresting affair today!

Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict ~5⭐

Genre: Historical Fiction ~ Release Date: January 25, 2022

REVIEW: Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict is another masterpiece by this author. I have enjoyed everything I’ve read by her so far. She brings to us stories of women who have contributed greatly to technology or science that did not get the recognition they deserved simply because they were women. My first book by her was The Other Einstein. She caught my attention with that book and I have been reading her books since then. I have some to catch up on and I am looking forward to time to be able to do that.

Her Hidden Genius is about Rosalind Franklin who did much of the research and study of DNA. She was the one to discover the double Helix structure of DNA. She is the one to take thousands of X-ray pictures to coax DNA to reveal itself to her. She sacrificed her life to discover the nature of DNA and her drive advanced our understanding of humankind. She was the top of her field but, it was hidden by the men she worked with. 

It amazes me that we have so many women that did so much for science in the study of physics and chemistry. The men that felt women didn’t have a place in the world of men or didn’t have the brains to compete. It is sad to think that it has taken so long for the women of the world to show what we are made of and what we can accomplish. It has been many years and many courageous women and we are just starting to break the barrier. It is about time!

If you love Historical Fiction, I highly recommend Her Hidden Genius and anything else Marie Benedict has written. She is an author that puts an abundance of research into her writings. She is amazing. If you are a fan of hers, I know you will be reading this book. If you haven’t read any book by her, you are missing out. Don’t let Marie Benedict be another hidden genius!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Book Browse. 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: She changed the world with her discovery. Three men took the credit.

Rosalind Franklin has always been an outsider―brilliant, but different. Whether working at the laboratory she adored in Paris or toiling at a university in London, she feels closest to the science, those unchanging laws of physics and chemistry that guide her experiments. When she is assigned to work on DNA, she believes she can unearth its secrets.

Rosalind knows if she just takes one more X-ray picture―one more after thousands―she can unlock the building blocks of life. Never again will she have to listen to her colleagues complain about her, especially Maurice Wilkins who’d rather conspire about genetics with James Watson and Francis Crick than work alongside her.

Then it finally happens―the double helix structure of DNA reveals itself to her with perfect clarity. But what unfolds next, Rosalind could have never predicted.

Marie Benedict’s powerful new novel shines a light on a woman who sacrificed her life to discover the nature of our very DNA, a woman whose world-changing contributions were hidden by the men around her but whose relentless drive advanced our understanding of humankind.

Also By Marie Benedict:

The Other Einstein

Carnegie’s Maid

The Only Woman in the Room

Lady Clementine

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie