Don’t mind me, I’m still playing catch up on my reviews.  I thought I was done with May releases but then remembered I hadn’t share my thoughts on these two lovelies yet.  Anyway, these really are the last of my May releases and I’ll be back to share some June releases later this week.

Reviews:  MRS. NASH’S ASHES & MARRYING OFF MORGAN MCBRIDEMrs. Nash's Ashes Goodreads

Author: Sarah Adler

Publication Date: May 23, 2023

Publisher:  Berkley Romance

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.


As soon as I read the synopsis for Sarah Adler’s debut romance Mrs. Nash’s Ashes and saw it described as “A starry-eyed romantic, a cynical writer, and (the ashes of) an elderly woman take the road trip of a lifetime that just might upend everything they believe about true love,” I knew this was my kind of book.  I love road trip books and grumpy-sunshine romances, and I also love quirky twists like someone’s ashes going along for the ride.  This book had the added bonus of a dual timeline and second romance featured as a story within the story, which just made this read all the more special.

When the story opens, Millicent Watts-Cohen (Millie) is on a mission to keep a promise to Mrs. Nash, her elderly best friend who has recently passed away.  Millie had promised to reunite Mrs. Nash with Elsie, the woman she fell in love with nearly 80 years ago. Mrs. Nash of course dies before Millie is able to find Elsie, but once she locates her and realizes that Elsie is in hospice care, Millie is determined to give these ladies a symbolic happily ever after. When we meet Millie, she is at the airport preparing to fly to Elsie in Key West with three tablespoons of Mrs. Nash’s Ashes in her bag.

A technological glitch causes all the flights to be grounded, so Millie, with no time to waste, agrees to catch a ride to Miami with Hollis Hollenback, whose flight was also grounded but who has a car.  Their journey starts off rather awkwardly since Millie knows Hollis through her ex and because Millie can’t believe what a grump Hollis is. Thankfully the more time they spend in the car together, the more comfortable they get around each other and the more Millie is able to bring out Hollis’ cinnamon roll side.  The more she is able to coax out that cinnamon roll side, the more Hollis becomes invested in making sure Millie gets to Elsie in time and it soon becomes all too clear that these two are starting to have feelings for one another.  Their road trip is full of both hilarious and heartfelt moments, including a side trip to a tiny town where Millie ends up serving as Grand Marshal in a Broccoli parade, haha!

As hilarious and entertaining as Millie and Hollis’ road trip adventure is, I also love that it’s perfectly balanced with chapters that take us back in time to where Mrs. Nash and Elsie first meet and fall in love.  Their chapters are just so beautiful and heartfelt, but are also tinged with sadness since it’s nearly impossible for them to have a future together because of the time period they are living in.  My heart broke for the two women and it made perfect sense to me why Millie was so determined to reunite them in whatever small way she could.

Mrs. Nash’s Ashes just has so many wonderful layers to it.  There’s a strong romcom element, but there’s an equally strong more dramatic one, but then there’s also an element of grief and loss.  It’s truly a special book with a little something for every reader.  4.5 STARS


Reviews:  MRS. NASH’S ASHES & MARRYING OFF MORGAN MCBRIDEMarrying Off Morgan McBride Goodreads

Author: Amy Barry

Publication Date: May 30, 2023

Publisher: Berkley Romance

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.


Set in Buck’s Creek, Montana in the 1880s, Marrying Off Morgan McBride is the second installment in Amy Barry’s The McBrides of Montana series, a historical romance series that focuses on the four McBride brothers finding love. There’s just one catch to that – none of the brothers are actively looking for wives.  Junebug, their 14-year old sister, has decided she’s tired of being the one to do all of the cooking and cleaning and so she gets the idea that if she secretly sends out advertisements for mail order brides, then maybe she’ll get lucky and her brothers will get married and then she’ll have some help around the house!

This series is such a good time!  It might be a historical romance, but Junebug is definitely the star of the show and it is hilarious to watch her pull the strings and orchestrate everything that happens between her brothers and their potential love interests.  Junebug’s shenanigans had me chuckling all the way through the first two books in the series.  I especially love how she writes these advertisements making her brothers sound like the absolute worst, that way any prospective wife will be pleasantly surprised when she actually comes to Buck’s Creek to meet them.

In this second book in the series, Junebug sets her sights on marrying off her gruff, oldest brother, Morgan.  Junebug adores Morgan because since their mom died and their dad ran off years ago, Morgan has been like a father to Junebug.  Junebug knows that Morgan is dying to hit the trail and get back to his life as a cowboy and is hoping to secretly find him a wife so that he won’t leave her.  And it wouldn’t hurt if this wife happened to be a good cook and an even better baker of pies, haha.

I really enjoyed all the characters in this book. It was fun to see all of the quirky townsfolk again, and I especially love Pip, the woman who answers Junebug’s ad.  All her life Pip has been led to believe that she’s not pretty enough or feminine enough to land a husband and had just about given up hope until she saw Junebug’s ad and its cooking requirements.  Pip may not be a lot of things, but she is a fabulous cook so this gives her the confidence to head to Buck’s Creek and a new life.  I loved watching Pip strike out on her own in search of happiness rather than just let herself be confined to spinsterhood and taking care of her parents who clearly don’t appreciate her.  Pip’s chaperone on this trip, Granny Colfax, is also a hoot who could give Junebug a run for her money in the shenanigans department.

There’s obviously a romance as well, and it’s a slow burn one.  I really enjoyed watching Pip and Morgan get to know one another.  Morgan is pretty determined to send her away so as to discourage Junebug from continuing with her matchmaking antics, but he has to admit that Pip gets under his skin from the moment he laid eyes on her.  I liked how Pip was able to get past Morgan’s gruff exterior to reveal the big hearted man beneath.  She gets him to open up about emotions he has kept bottled up for years so as not to worry his siblings, namely the guilt and sense of failure he feels regarding his mother’s death.

If you enjoy historical romance with a hefty side of laugh out loud humor, be sure to check out this series. You won’t be disappointed.  4 STARS.


17 replies
  1. Jonetta | Blue Mood Café
    Jonetta | Blue Mood Café says:

    Just got Mrs. Nash’s Ashes yesterday and am excited about it now. Thanks for your review of book #2 of The McBrides of Montana series as it sounds like my kind of historical romance. Off to check it out!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I wondered about the fate of those ashes the whole time too, especially since the couple have a few misadventures along the way.

  2. Literary Feline
    Literary Feline says:

    I have Mrs. Nash’s Ashes on my wish list and am looking forward to it. It sounds like such a sweet book. I am glad you liked both of these!

  3. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    I agree that the rom-com was strong in Mrs. Nash’s Ashes. It didn’t blow me over, but it was a strong book (4/5). I really adored the idea of the friendship between Mrs. Nash and Millie. I loved Morgan McBride. It was fun to be back in that world, and the whole love-me-as-is thing always warms my heart.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yes, same here about Millie and Mrs. Nash. I would have loved a few more scenes showing them together before Mrs. Nash died.

  4. Verushka
    Verushka says:

    Oh my heart, Mrs Nash’s Ashes is just lovely — and I want to know Mrs Nash and Elsie’s love story bc it sounds so powerful and heartbreaking at the same time. It’s a love that endured despite them being apart.

  5. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    Marrying Off Morgan McBride sounds so good. Fell in love with Junebug reading this review. 🙂

  6. Lark
    Lark says:

    I think both of these sound like fun, but especially Mrs. Nash’s Ashes! I definitely want to read that one. 😀

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