Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Cute, shockingly sexy, and unique. After Chloe Brown is nearly hit by a car, her life flashes in her eyes and she's not too impressed with what she sees. She decides to rectify that by making a list of things she wants to do: move out, go camping, do something bad, have meaningless sex, ride a motorcycle. All those things are easier said then done though, she suffers from fibromyalgia and doing even the most mundane things can be challenging. She's been babied by her parents and sisters for far too long so she moves out on her own where she meets, Red, her very sexy superintendent. It is not love at first sight. Red thinks Chloe is the most infuriating and bossy woman in the complex. Chloe thinks the same about him. But after Chloe tries to rescue a cat from a tree and requires a rescue of herself the two start to spend more time together and despite all their differences find themselves extremely attracted to one another. What follows is lots of steamy scenes, quirky debates, and good old fashioned romance. We all need a Red!

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Shop Before Life

A surprisingly fresh and unique take on what happens before you're born. In "The Shop Before Life," Hughes examines the prelife through the eyes of a curious young woman named Faythe. For nearly two centuries she's been perfectly content to play pranks on her friends and just hang around, but after a chance encounter with two men who work in management; she's decided to try out a new adventure, being an apprentice in the shop before life. Now her life is almost too exciting; every day she learns something new and she gets to help customers choose the traits that they want to be born with. Bravery. Bad with Numbers. Slightly Modest. Bad Digestion. Dogged Determination. Joy. Always Late. Taller Than Normal. Generous Heart. Inappropriate Humor.  Nimble. Heroic. Introvert. If you can think of a trait, you can find it at the shop. After customers have stocked up on what traits they want they journey to earth where you are born. Faythe gets to assist the customers under the Shopkeeper's watchful eye, but things aren't starting off so smooth. To start with, she signed a one thousand year contract and if the Shopkeeper doesn't warm up to Faythe, it's going to be a frosty millennium. But she can't help if she has questions and curiosity! What harm can knowledge do? The answer Faythe, soon discovers, is a lot. Funny, unique, and appealing; this was a more than enjoyable read!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Stage Dreams

Queer. Western. Graphic Novel.... Have I drawn you in yet? Relatively short for a graphic novel; Stage Dreams tells the story of a trans deserter who is kidnapped by an indigenous woman and her hawk. When Ghost Hawk realizes that Grace is trans, she isn't upset; in fact the two start to work together to steal maps and gold along their way to California. What neither of them expected was to start falling for each other. A super short, charming story that looks wonderful in colored pencil rather than the usual color of graphic novels.

Tiger Queen

This was a young adult fantasy novel that reminded me a lot of Dune (in a good way) but had more scorpions, romance, and tigers and wasn't set in space. Achra is a kingdom secluded in the desert; it's people virtually trapped by the lack of water. For years, the "desert boys" have raided the city and stolen water; making the rationing even harder on the people. Princess Kateri wants to see the desert boys punished just as much as anybody; but right now she's focused on battling her suitors. Each month she has to defeat a suitor in the arena or else marry him, but when she finds out that her last opponent is her father's right hand man, her trainer, and the most cruel man she's ever met, she panics and flees into the desert. In the desert she'll find answers she didn't even know she was seeking and in the process might even find a new purpose and love. A young adult fantasy that's full of great fighting scenes and intrigue. As an adult though, I found it quite predictable, the Easter eggs were obvious and the characters were a little flat. Still very enjoyable though!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Secret Ingredient

There were huge chunks where I REALLY got into this book and other moments when I couldn't care less. Having just read Christmas in Evergreen I was ready to give Nancy Naigle another go (I mean I have been on a Hallmark kick lately) and this one wasn't Christmas themed (although with the snow on the cover it could have been holiday themed.... and speaking of the cover - whoever photo-shopped the cake on the cover... shame on you! It's awful!). Kelly and her fiance called it off years ago after he went to Paris to take a baking class and never returned. She fulfilled "their" dream of opening a very successful bakery all on her own and without that dumbass. Seven years later, old feelings return when Andrew comes back home to visit. Maybe they should have tried to make it work. Is it too late now? Things will get even trickier though when they find out their both competing on the same baking show. Do old wounds ever heal. Cheesy as all get out and super predictable. I dd however love all the baking show bits. That was fun and made me VERY HUNGRY while listening to the audiobook!

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Deep

I haven't read a great adult mermaid novel in.... forever. The story was unique, dark, and captivating; although the plot was quite slow at time. Inspired by the pregnant African slaves who were thrown overboard to die on their way to America for being "disruptive" cargo; the authors wondered what happened to their unborn babies who were already breathing underwater in their mother's womb? Inspired may not be the right word; but that horrible back story helped mold this book into what it is. Yetu, an underwater being tasked with storing the entire history of her people, is barely hanging on. The history of the wajinru is a violent and bloody one and it wants to claw it's way out of Yetu. The wajinru are descended from the pregnant slave woman, yet that traumatic history is too much for their people to process so the historian (Yetu) must house all that painful history and bear the burden for all. Yetu must find a way to live with those truths or pass them onto others without breaking tradition. Dark, slow at times, but unique and enchanting!

Find Your Weigh

Shellie Bowdoin uses personal experience as well as research in healthy lifestyles and the Bible to write and craft a new approach to losing weight and keeping it off. A lot of her advice and techniques are things that yo-yo dieters will be familiar with: drink more water, walk more, portion control, forming healthy habits; etc. but her approach and tie in to the Bible helps give it a different, more positive perspective. Not filled with fancy recipes and impossible to follow advice, this guide is easy to adhere to and even comes with a 50 day journal in the back of the book. Bowdoin does an excellent job making weight-loss and healthy lifestyle change seem attainable and achievable and provides ample tie ins to the Bible and to weight-loss studies. A great guide for anyone sick of trendy yo-yo diets and in need of an extra push. Although this book is Christian based, non-religious folks would still be able to glean lots of great advice out of this book. An excellent guide that won't bog you down or defeat you before you even begin your weight-loss journey!

The Bromance Book Club

This book was enjoyable albeit highly unrealistic. But hey that's the joys of fiction; reading unrealistic romance, lmao. Major League baseball player, Gavin Scott is living in a motel after his wife kicked him out. All he wants is to get his wife and twin daughters back but is at a loss to do so. Enter a bunch of other pro athletes and all around "bros." They toss Gavin a paperback bodice ripper and tell him to get reading. For years they've had an underground club where they read romance books written for women, by women, to help improve and understand their relationships with their wives, fiances and girlfriends. They take pity on Gavin and let him in their inner circle and Gavin is not ready. He has to read romance?!?! And it's going to somehow save his marriage? Like I said, unbelievable as shit.... but still  amusing, well written, and cute.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses

This book was just the holiday fluff I was looking for. Romantic, cheesy, cute, and heartfelt; this book won't win any awards, but will certainly install holiday cheer in the hearts of readers. It's a light feel good story about a single mom who has the opportunity of a lifetime; a chance to decorate a millionaire's mansion. Abbey has been wanting to transition out of nursing for a while and one of her senior clients set Abbey up with her grandson who is too busy with work to be bothered filling or decorating his home. Soon she has Nick wrapped around her fingers and even her little son is smitten with the reclusive millionaire. Will they be able to get him to participate in the holiday cheer and pay attention to anything other than work? You already know how the story will end three chapters in, but that won't stop you from eating it up. A cute holiday beach read that is a perfect read to forget about your worries this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Dear Sweet Pea

This book was precious. Patricia (known to everyone as Sweet Pea) is having a rough end to seventh grade. Her parents are divorced and living on the same street in nearly identical houses. They're trying to be real chill about it, splitting their time with her; but it's making it more confusing for Sweet Pea. Why can't they just be together as a family? To make matters more confusing she's having mixed feelings about her frenemy Kiera (maybe she's not all that bad?) and her best friend Oscar is upset that she's not telling him everything.  The thing is though, Sweet Pea made a promise to her neighbor (the advice columnist) to keep a secret but it may blow up in her face. Cute, charming, and dealing with lots of issues that middle school teens face: bullying, weight, divorce, friendship, and trying to fit in. The reason it's not a 5 star book to me, is that at times, Sweet Pea sounds far too mature for her age, sometimes her voice just seemed to be "too much" for her age and it lost it's believability factor. Other than that it was great! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Toll

Not too often can I say that I read a 600+ page book in one sitting, but thank god I only worked half a day today because I knocked this bad boy out! I thought it was a thrilling and wonderful wrap up to the trilogy. We met a few new characters, reconnected with our old favorites, and explored a thrilling new chapter that kept me guessing up to the end. The Toll picks up right where the last book left off and the pace never slows. Not for one minute. I liked the Greyson Tolliver became a central part of this story so we had four main characters instead of just Rowan, Citra, and the Thunderhead. I don't want to spoil the ending, but it was great I think the way the whole trilogy was plotted was unique and brilliant and it is definitely a series I will return to. I would love to see this on the big screen!

The Library of Lost Things

Darcy isn't your average high school student, she's a literary genius who can virtually memorize any text she wants. She lives in her books and is never found without a book in her hands or in her purse. Her best friend Marisol has worked on getting her out of her shell a little more, but for Darcy, the plot line of her life isn't nearly as exciting about the ones she's reading about. Her home life is non-existent and she spends more time worrying about her mother than any other 17 year old on the planet. Her mom is a hoarder and Darcy's biggest fear is that the new building manager will find out, kick them out of their home, and CPS will take her away. Marisol and her books provide the only comfort in her life. That is until, she meets Asher. Cute, sincere, and quirky; this book is better than most other "teenage bibliophile" ones I've read. The characters are real, flawed, and great fun. A wonderful story!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Juliet Takes a Breath

I'm loving how diverse young adult fiction is getting! Although honestly this is more of a new adult book, as the protagonist is in college. Juliet has won the internship opportunity of a lifetime. She's going to work and live with the most esteemed feminist author, Harlowe Brisbane in Porttland for the summer. Juliet just came out to her Latina parents and it did not go well, so she is hoping that her summer with Harlowe will giver her the queer confidence boost she needs. Her summer will be filled with self exploration, romance, dance parties, sexy librarians, and questions of race and identity. We need more diverse books like this!

The Goldblum Variations

Fucking weird. I don't know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't this. There were a few laugh out loud moments, but really I was almost creeped out by a lot of it. Bizarre doesn't even begin to describe it. From Jeff Goldblum Bingo to transcripts of Jeff Golblum cooking, to jobs that Jeff Goldblum could do, to his past lives, to any other weird scenario you can possibly imagine. It was freaking weird. All of it came out of Helen McClory's head and even though it was all made up some of it felt "right," although all of it felt wrong, lol. A quick bizarre read.


I was just not feeling this, so this is one of those reviews that's really on me the reader, and not the author. A teenage witch rekindles a friendship with her long lost friend who is dealing with identity issues; from being a werewolf to changing some pronouns. Nova and Tam (along with the nanas) are working together to fight some weird creature in the woods and as they get magical, them two teens start to develop feelings for each other. This graphic novel has all the calling cards for teens; witchcraft, friendship, identity crisis, LGBTQ+, and more. Cute, but I was not in the mood.

Petal Plucker

I loved the concept of this and got a huge kick out of all the flower puns. What's not to love about florist erotica? My only beef with it, is the same beef I have with nearly all erotica. So much of it is so damn unbelievable. A 26 year old virgin has the most orgasmic sex of her life and is suddenly the most horny sex goddess in the world! She picks up on everything INSTANTLY! Other than that, I didn't hate the plot. A cute, quirky girl who runs her parent's flower shop runs into the boy who stood her up for prom and now he's working at his parent's RIVAL FLOWER SHOP! Duh duh duh. Obviously sparks fly! She loses her virginity! She makes beautiful flower arrangements! Her judgmental cat decides she likes him! There is a misunderstanding! All the usual tropes, with more humor and candor than most. I think I'm just cynical; there wasn't really anything wrong with this erotica; maybe I just need to take a breather and go back to true crime for a while.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Boys: Omnibus volume one

I've had some friends begging me to read this for months and I'm SO GLAD I finally did! Better late than never because I am all in now! This is a true anti-superhero comic (think Watchmen with more laughs) and centers on a group (the boys) as they take on the "supes" (superheroes) who get out of line and don't care about the casualties. The Butcher, Wee Hughie (Simon Pegg), Mother's Milk, the Female, and the Frenchman are out to kick ass, expose supes and bring justice to the world; all while having a laugh out loud kick ass time. It's hilarious, super raunchy, graphic, and all around insanely awesome. This is definitely a series I will stick to and I can't wait to check out the tv show!

Stitches in Time

I see Suzanne Woods Fisher books ALL THE TIME at my library. She's got like three full to bursting shelves and library patrons love her. Generally I'm not to keen on Amish romance but I decided to give this one a whirl. I was more than pleasantly surprised! This is the second in the Deacon Family series, but I honestly couldn't tell; it read easily as a standalone (I'm assuming book one focused on different people in the community). Stitches in Time focuses on a few different people. Recently married, Izzy and Luke, Mollie who is new to the community and the school teacher, and Sam brother to Luke and has a better relationship with his horses than he does any member of their community. Luke has just been tapped as Deacon and it is already putting a strain on his and Izzy's relationship. Luke is constantly gone working or helping others and the addition to their house isn't getting worked on and neither is Izzy (she DESPERATELY wants a baby). Mollie and Sam meanwhile are falling for each other, although both are a little too scared ans stubborn to make anything come from it. To complicate things for the whole community; ten foster kids come into their community and shake everyone's lives up. Sweet, endearing, and dealing with harder issues then I thought I would read about in an Amish romance, this book took me by surprise and I look forward to reading the rest in the series!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa

A cute Christmas story that fans of the first Evergreen novel will enjoy. This story centers on two different people, but all the townsfolk are the same. That being said you don't have to read or watch the first one to get what's happening in this one. Lisa has nowhere to go for Christmas and her parents are overseas so she decides to revisit her favorite childhood home, Evergreen. She hasn't been there in two years but it is just as magical as she remembered it. When she arrives she notices that Daisy's Country Store has been shuttered and is in disarray. The mayor informs her that the bank is going to seize it if it doesn't sell by Christmas so Lisa decides that she is going to enlist the town people to help save the store that held so many childhood memories for her. She gets Kevin, a hunky contractor, to help her fix the damage while she works on decorating it for buyers. Soon sparks are flying, maybe Lisa can spend more than Christmas in Evergreen? Full of "misunderstandings," romance, small town charm, and holiday cheer this light hearted Hallmark audiobook is perfect for fans of cozy, inspirational, romance.

In the Hall with the Knife

This was fun and I really enjoyed this more than the graphic novel adaptation that came out not to long ago. Set in an elite boarding school on a remote island during a horrible storm; "In the Hall with the Knife"focuses on some of the rich kids that get stuck behind in the storm. Mrs. White (the housekeeper) tends to the kids, the janitor, and the headmaster while they hole up in the Tudor House, the all girls dorm high up on the hill and safe from flooding. The first night there, the headmaster is stabbed. At first everyone thinks it's a looter, but soon the kids start to get suspicious of each other. What are their motives? Braniac Scarlett, army kid Mustard, local boy Green, brown noser Plum, tennis star Peacock, and elusive Orchid are all hiding secrets. But are any of those secrets reason enough to kill their headmaster? A good mystery for teens and I would be interested in reading more in this series! It's a little predictable for adults, but still very enjoyable for fans of the classic board game.

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Fountains of Silence

Wow, Ruta Sepetys delivers time and again! She has a talent for taking a piece of "little known history" (not known to us American dunces anyways) and weaving together a brilliant young adult historical fiction novel that is impossible to put down. Madrid, Spain in 1957 might seem glamorous and "upcoming" to American tourists, but it's hiding dark secrets. The dictator, General Franco has ruled with an iron fist and life for kids and families who had members convicted of treason, have never slept easy. There is no freedom of religion, girls must be modest, and incomes must not increase. At first, the young Texan, Daniel is enamored with it all; the sights, the sounds, the food. But the more he gets to know his housekeeper, Ana, and "her Spain," the more he becomes determined to capture what's wrong with his camera and expose it to the world. Intriguing and delightful; I genuinely enjoyed all the perspectives and learned much more about Spanish history. Another great novel from a talented young adult author!