Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful first weekend of fall.  I spent it celebrating my son’s 16th birthday, preparing for a tropical storm to blow through, and reading three holiday-themed novels that come out tomorrow.  I wasn’t really ready to start my holiday reading but I have to say that these books did make me start feeling the Christmas spirit and looking forward to my beloved Hallmark holiday films which will start next month.  Anyway on to the books.  Two of these are by authors I love, Beth O’Leary and Emily Stone, while the third is a new-to-me author I was excited to try this year.


Holiday Romance Reviews: THE WAKE-UP CALL; LOVE, HOLLY; & THE EX-MAS HOLIDAYSThe Wake-Up Call Goodreads

Author: Beth O’Leary

Publication Date: September 26, 2023

Publisher: Berkley

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary e- copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley and an ALC from PRHAudio.  All opinions are my own.


I’ll confess that I was a little nervous going into The Wake-Up Call.  Workplace romance is not typically my favorite trope, but I love Beth O’Leary’s writing and wanted to see how she would approach it. I’m so glad I gave the book a chance too because it turned out to be such a wonderful and heartwarming read for me.

When we first meet Izzy, we can tell right away that she is not a fan of Lucas, her coworker at the Forest Manor Hotel, and that he doesn’t appear to be a fan of hers either.  They are a classic grumpy-sunshine duo and they have a fierce rivalry, always trying to one-up the other. Additionally, there appears to be some history between them. Well, it turns out that Izzy used to have a major crush on Lucas and poured her feelings for him out into a letter that was delivered to him at last year’s Christmas party and invited him to meet her under the mistletoe.  Something clearly went wrong for her feelings to have taken a drastic turn, and I was dying to find out what, especially since it’s so clear that the two of them have major chemistry between them no matter how much they are trying to pretend they don’t.  When they learn the hotel is in trouble and might not make it, Izzy and Lucas are forced to work together to try to save it.

I loved the direction this story took as soon as Izzy and Lucas teamed up.  They are tasked with helping to sell off some items, including what’s in their lost property room, to raise funds for hotel repairs. While completing the task, they come across a collection of wedding rings that have been lost there over the years.  Both Izzy and Lucas are competitive at heart and make a little wager as to who can find and return the rings to their rightful owners.  The romantic in me became very invested in seeing these rings returned to their owners. The ring competition was probably my favorite part of the story as the banter between Izzy and Lucas starts to shift from snarky to playful, and you can just tell their feelings for one another are starting to shift as well.  While some of the story is focused on more dramatic and emotional themes, this ring challenge gave all the rom com vibes and was so much fun to read!

I also really loved the whole vibe of the hotel.  It’s clearly an important place to both Izzy and Lucas for different reasons and they have both come to think of it as home rather than just a place of employment.  Their attachment to the place added a sentimental touch to the story and had me rooting for them to save the hotel as much as I was rooting for them to work through their issues and find their way to a happily ever after together.

I alternated between the e-book and the audiobook for this one and really enjoyed both formats. The audiobook is narrated by Jessie Cave and Lino Facioli and they both do such an incredible job of capturing the chemistry between Izzy and Lucas.

If you’re looking for a laugh out loud funny story that is also quite moving, be sure to check out The Wake-Up Call.   4 STARS


Holiday Romance Reviews: THE WAKE-UP CALL; LOVE, HOLLY; & THE EX-MAS HOLIDAYSLove, Holly Goodreads

Author: Emily Stone

Publication Date: September 26, 2023

Publisher:  Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Dell

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary e- copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley and an ALC from PRHAudio.  All opinions are my own.


Love, Holly is the latest book from Emily Stone, and it packs an emotional punch! I love Stone’s books because they always take me on these emotional journeys where they break my heart into a million pieces but then slowly but surely put it back together again.  I’m not entirely sure why that kind of read appeals to me as much as it does, but boy, do I love it!

Holly has been estranged from her family ever since a devastating car accident tore their lives apart.  As a way  to feel a bit less lonely, Holly joined a lonely-hearts holiday letter writing group.  Every December she sends an anonymous letter to a stranger who is also alone at Christmas and she receives one as well.  Because the letters are anonymous, it’s a way for the senders to really just pour out their hearts.  When Holly receives her latest letter, there’s something different about it.  First, the sense of grief in it speaks to her because it is so much like her own. The letter writer, whose name is Emma, is also estranged from her loved ones, in particular, her grandson, who she has not seen since he was a little boy.  But second, the letter mentions a place Holly knows all too well because it’s near where her car accident took place. Holly realizes she might actually be able to find this letter’s author and makes it her mission to find Emma and help her reunite with her grandson, not realizing how life changing this same mission will be for her as well.

One of my favorite parts of this story is the bond that forms between Emma and Holly, once Emma gets over the shock of learning that her heartfelt letter was not anonymous after all.  Emma becomes the family that Holly has been estranged from and the two of them are really able to support each other through their grief and form a beautiful friendship.  I also loved that there’s an element of kismet to the story in that through meeting Emma, Holly is also reintroduced to Jack, a man she met and found herself quite attracted to the night of her car accident.  Jack had given Holly his phone number that fateful night but it was lost in the accident.  It turns out that Jack is also the grandson Emma has been estranged from for so many years.   As you can imagine, the story becomes an emotional roller coaster as these characters deal with long-buried emotions and try to find a path forward.  I adored all of the characters and cried for them so many times as I was reading and hoping for reconciliations all around for both Emma and Holly.

Love, Holly is just such a beautiful story.  The writing is gorgeous, filled with those raw emotions that just grab your heart and won’t let go, and the characters are so well-developed and their experiences feel so authentic.  I alternated between the audiobook and e-book for this read and thought both formats were so well done. I especially enjoyed the audio narration of Heather Long, who just captured those emotional moments so well and had me reaching for my tissues numerous times.  If you’re into stories about love and forgiveness, and about families, both real and found, then this is the book for you!  5 STARS


Holiday Romance Reviews: THE WAKE-UP CALL; LOVE, HOLLY; & THE EX-MAS HOLIDAYSThe Ex-Mas Holidays Goodreads

Author: Zoe Allison

Publication Date: September 26, 2023

Publisher:  Berkley

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary e- copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley and an ALC from PRHAudio.  All opinions are my own.

The Ex-Mas Holidays is an entertaining holiday romance that gives two ski instructors a second chance at love.

Set in the Scottish Highlands, the story follows Maya Bashir, who is returning home to live with her parents after losing her job and breaking up with her boyfriend.  On her way to her parent’s house, Maya stops off for a few minutes at a bachelorette party she was invited to and it is there where she unexpectedly reconnects with Sam Holland, her high school crush and former coworker at the local ski lodge.  It’s clear they are attracted to one another, but they are both so awkward around each other that it’s equally clear that something happened to drive them apart.  When the two of them end up working together again as ski instructors, it becomes an opportunity to move past that awkwardness and reconnect.

I really enjoyed watching Sam and Maya reconnect as they teach classes at the ski resort.  There’s plenty of fun banter between them and also several adorable moments as many of their classes center on teaching young children how to ski.  The more I watched Sam and Maya and saw how good they were together, the more invested I became in learning what went wrong between them in the past.  This story isn’t all rom com antics though because as we learn more about what came between Sam and Maya, Allison explores more serious topics such as toxic relationships and the emotional fallout from them.  I thought she did a wonderful job realistically portraying this kind of relationship and just how much it can mess with a person’s head, although I absolutely loathed the character of Kat to the extent that I had to walk away from the book a couple of times.

Another aspect of this story I really enjoyed was Maya’s journey with respect to choosing a career path that makes her happy versus just doing what her loving but very overbearing father wants her to do.  The two of them have some hard conversations throughout the course of the story, and I loved the growth we see in Maya as she has those conversations.

Overall, this was a really enjoyable read. I especially enjoyed the audio narration, which was read by Nikki Massoud. The Scottish accents really immersed me all the more in this charming, heartwarming story.  I recommend The Ex-Mas Holidays to anyone who enjoys second chance romances as well as friends to lovers.  3.5 STARS

Blog Tour – THIS SPELLS DISASTER by Tori Anne Martin

Blog Tour – THIS SPELLS DISASTER by Tori Anne MartinThis Spells Disaster by Tori Anne Martin
Published by Berkley Romance on September 12, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop

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


Tori Anne Martin’s debut novel This Spells Disaster is a queer witchy romcom that takes place over the course of a spellcasting festival. Not only does it feature fantastic worldbuilding and lovable characters who are easy to root for, but it also features one of my favorite romance tropes, fake dating.

The story follows Morgan Greenwood, a potion witch who considered herself to be a hot mess.  Morgan has had a crush on Rory Sanders, a badass elemental witch, but is too intimidated by Rory to even approach her.  Instead, Morgan has admired her from afar for ages, that is, until fate puts Rory in her path one night at a bar.  Rory is complaining about the unreasonable expectations her family always puts on her and that she is dreading spending time with them at the biennial New England Witches’ festival.  A drunken Morgan volunteers to fake date Rory and act as a buffer between her and her family.  Morgan can’t believe she did that, but even more unbelievable to her is that Rory decides to take her up on her offer.

I adored both Morgan and Rory.  Morgan is just the most adorable protagonist.  She’s incredibly loyal to those she cares about.  Her heart is always in the right place, but she can definitely be a bit chaotic and impulsive at times.  Rory is equally fabulous but in a much more reserved way than Morgan.  She can be standoffish at first, but once you get to know her, Rory is a sweetheart. She’s also a brilliant spellcaster and both she and Morgan have a competitive streak that makes for some of the most entertaining banter. I just loved watching the two of them get to know each other.

My favorite part of the fake dating trope is when those fake feelings start to become real, and in This Spells Disaster, the author has added a unique complication to this trope.  Morgan crafts a relaxation spell for Rory and after Rory starts taking it, she starts behaving as if she has romantic feelings toward Morgan. Morgan can’t believe that Rory could ever feel that way about her and is soon horrified to realize that her feelings for Rory may have slipped into the potion, accidentally turning it into a love potion.  Love potions are illegal in the witching community because they take away a person’s right to give or refuse consent. I felt so bad for Morgan since it’s clear she didn’t intend for this to happen, but at the same time, it made the story all the more compelling for me, waiting to see how this would all play out, especially once Rory realizes the truth. I was rooting for them to work things out so hard because fake relationship or not, they were perfect for each other.

I don’t want to give anything else away, so I’ll just say this is a delightfully witchy romance.  If you’re a fan of witchy romcoms, adorable characters, and fake dating, This Spells Disaster needs to go on your fall TBR.

Thanks so much to Kristin Cipolla and Berkley Romance for the invitation to take part in this blog tour!




About Tori Anne Martin

Tori Anne Martin lives in New England where she collects pen names, tattoos, and hoodies in shades of gray and black. Previously, she collected degrees, including a doctorate in psychology where she studied interpersonal power, consent, and sexual assault. She much prefers writing romance. If you can’t find her online, it’s because she’s lost in the woods.

Blog Tour – Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Blog Tour – Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez GillilandWitch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Published by Berkley Romance on September 12, 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop

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



I started my spooky season reading with vampires and now it’s time to bring some witches into the mix. I chose Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland as my first witchy read of the season, in part because of that gorgeous cover and also because it features elemental magic, which I love. It also features a romance that is complicated by secrets, as well as a family dynamic that is complicated by grief.  If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that all of those elements are like catnip for me!

At the center of this story are the women of the Flores family. Legend has it that many years ago a Flores woman offended the old gods and caused all of her female descendants to be cursed with magical powers.  Sage Flores is the protagonist of the story and her magical abilities are tied to plants. Nicknamed the “Plant Whisperer,” Sage can identify any plant and not only that but she can actually communicate with them.  Sage’s sister, Teal, has powers that tie her emotions to the weather — extreme emotions equal extreme weather conditions. Lastly, younger sister Sky’s magic allowed her to communicate with animals.

When the story opens, we meet Sage as she has just been fired from her job and is headed back to her hometown.  Sage is not looking forward to this because she has been estranged from Teal ever since the death of Sky eight years earlier.  Teal holds Sage responsible for their sister’s death and wants nothing to do with her.  What we also learn about Sage in these opening scenes is that Sky is actually haunting her, following her around and leaving her gifts of coffee.  Sky is trapped here and wants Sage to find a way to mend fences with Teal, in hopes that will allow her spirit to move on.  Needless to say, emotions run high between the two remaining sisters as they come face to face after so many years apart.

Sage isn’t just being haunted by her sister though. She’s also being haunted by her past, in the form of Tennessee Reyes, a boy she had a crush on in high school who broke her heart.  When Sage takes a job with the Cranberry Rose Company to hunt for unique plant specimens, she ends up partnered with Tennessee.  Being with Tennessee brings back so many memories for Sage and as she starts to grow closer to him all over again, she knows she has to tell him a secret that she has kept from him for nearly a decade.  I loved how the author has their relationship unfold, through the use of both present day scenes and through flashbacks from their high school days.

I really loved everything about this book.  The story grabbed my attention from the opening scenes and I flew through it in just a couple of sittings because I was so invested in Sage’s journey.  She’s a messy and flawed character, but she grows so much throughout the course of the book, both in terms of her relationship with her sister and her relationship with Tennessee.  The writing was also just so gorgeous. I loved all of the nature vibes and the descriptions of the magic.  It was truly an enchanting read!

Thanks so much to Kristin Cipolla and Berkley Romance for the opportunity to take part in the blog tour to promote Witch of Wild Things! It’s available now so be sure to pick up a copy!





About Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Raquel Vasquez Gilliland is a Mexican American poet, novelist, and painter. She received an MFA in poetry from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 2017. She’s most inspired by fog and seeds and the lineages of all things. When not writing, Raquel tells stories to her plants and they tell her stories back. She lives in Tennessee with her beloved family and mountains. Raquel has published two books of poetry. Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything is her first novel.

Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Trap & The Drowning Woman


Hi everyone! Sharon here and it is time for Thriller Thursday! This week I am excited to share my thoughts on Catherine Ryan Howard’s, The Trap and Robyn Harding’s, The Drowning Woman.


Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Trap & The Drowning WomanThe Trap Goodreads

Author: Catherine Ryan Howard

Publication Date: August 1, 2023

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard was inspired by the unsolved disappearance of women in Ireland in the 1990’s. The story follows three different perspectives. Lucy, who has taken matters into her own hands as she tries to find out what happened to her sister, Nicki, who disappeared a year ago after leaving a pub in Dublin. Angela, who works in the missing person’s unit and desperately wants to be a full fledge member of An Garda Síochána, the Irish police force and is pulled into the cases of three women who have disappeared in the Dublin area. And then we have the unsub, driving through the night with his latest victim in the back of his car. He is telling her his story, from his home life, to what started him on this road to kidnapping women.

Out of the three POV’s, the Unsub’s was my favorite. I got the chills while reading his chapters and listening to his story, all the while knowing there is another victim in his car. I could just feel her terror, and I was getting claustrophobic imagining being her in the back of that car with no way out listening to this man tell his story.

I had a lot of sympathy for Lucy. I know if one of my sisters was missing and the police were not getting anywhere finding her, I would be doing anything and everything to find her, just as Lucy was. Yes, some of the things she was doing were dangerous, but she was determined to get answers.

Angela was a tough cookie. I really liked her determination to prove herself and finally getting on the police force. When she found herself pulled into the investigation of the missing women, she knew this could make or break her chances. Angela is working with Garda detective, Denise Pope, who does not always do things by the book. I really liked watching them work together to figure out what happened to the missing women.

Catherine Ryan Howard did a great job in creating these characters as well as bringing their storylines together.

The Trap was an edge of my seat, fast paced read, that kept me turning the pages. I could not wait to find out how everything was going to end. And OMG! what an ending it was. I so did not anticipate how this book was going to conclude. My jaw was literally hanging open. I have loved everything I have read by Catherine Ryan Howard. The Nothing Man was my favorite, but now that is my second favorite, and The Trap has jumped to the number one spot.  4 ½ stars


Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Trap & The Drowning WomanThe Drowning Woman Goodreads

Author: Robyn Harding

Publication Date: June 13, 2023

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Robyn Harding’s The Drowning Woman is a twisty mystery that follows two women, Lee Gulliver and Hazel Laval, who are both trying to escape their past and they form an unlikely friendship. Lee is homeless and living in her car in Seattle. She never thought this would be her life, but after her restaurant went under during covid, Lee had to flee New York due to her owing money to a very unsavory character. Hazel is married to a wealthy criminal attorney, but her life is anything but roses. Hazel’s husband is abusive and will never let her leave of her own accord. Lee and Hazel meet when Hazel is trying to drown herself, but Lee pulls her out of the water and saves her. The women form a friendship and share their secrets with each other. Hazel then asks Lee to help her disappear. At first Lee is apprehensive, but after learning the abuse Hazel lives with, she agrees.  But Lee soon learns that Hazel may not be the friend she pretended to be and not everything is as it seems.

This story is broken up into four parts.  Parts one and three are from Lee’s POV and parts two and four are from Hazel’s POV.  I loved how Harding presented the book this way. Each part ended in a twist that had me craving to find out what was going to happen.

I felt closer to Lee than I did to Hazel. I think it is because of the fact that the book starts with Lee’s POV, and we learn more about her first. And when we get the twist at the end of that first part, I was like “Hazel you bitch!”  So, by the time I got to Hazel’s POV, I already didn’t like her. Lol! Though by the end of her part, I did warm to her some.

I liked how strong and resourceful Lee was. She was a bit too trusting at times though. The more Hazel was telling Lee about her plan and what she needed Lee to do, the alarm bells went off in my head. I wanted to scream “No Lee, do not do it!”

I did feel for Hazel, even though I did not like her much. Her husband was abusive and controlling, and the more I learned about her situation, I understood why she just couldn’t walk away from him. One main reason was that Hazel’s mother had Alzheimer’s and was living in a nursing home, which her husband was paying for and if she left him he would stop paying and her mother would have nowhere to go.  I just wish she went about things differently.

The Drowning Woman is full of twists and turns that kept me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next.  4 stars

Book Tour Review – WHAT WOULD JANE AUSTEN DO? by Linda Corbett

Book Tour Review – WHAT WOULD JANE AUSTEN DO? by Linda CorbettWhat Would Jane Austen Do? by Linda Corbett
Published by ‎HarperCollinsUK on June 16, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Pages: 384
Source: Netgalley

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




Linda Corbett’s new novel What Would Jane Austen Do? follows Maddy Shaw, a young journalist and Jane Austen fangirl who has been writing an advice column for a national paper.  When we first meet Maddy, she has just been told her column is cancelled and that she’ll have to find work elsewhere.  Maddy can barely make ends meet as it is so she knows she’s going to have to leave London to find more affordable housing.  Before leaving London, Maddy attends one final interview and it’s here that she meets a famous crime writer who is the grumpiest, most cynical person she has ever encountered.  He also has a very negative opinion about romance novels, which Maddy just isn’t having, and the two of them passionately debate the subject. I fell in love with Maddy during that encounter.  Her passionate defense of the romance genre was so moving and I agreed with every word she said.

Maddy’s life takes another unexpected turn and it is this turn that drives the plot of the novel.  She inherits a huge house in the English countryside from a cousin she never really knew. While Maddy would love to sell the house and get some much needed cash, the will stipulates that she must live in the house for twelve months first.  Reluctantly, Maddy moves into her new home, having no idea how truly life changing the entire experience will be.

I had such a fun time reading this book!  The village where Maddy has relocated is full of quirky, literature- loving neighbors who are committed to carrying on the literary festival that Maddy’s cousin had hosted for years.  Another stipulation of the will that no one told Maddy about was that she would follow in her cousin’s footsteps and plan the whole festival. Not only that, but when they hear she could really use a lodger to help with her financial situation, they find her a roommate, who of course turns out to be none other than her least favorite grumpy crime writer, whose name is Luke, and his adorable dog, Buster. Needless to say, there are plenty of laughs and shenanigans as Maddy awkwardly tries to navigate both the planning of the festival and how to live peacefully with Luke.

I will also say that while this is a romance, it is most definitely a slow burn one. Both characters are so well developed though that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them, and I also enjoyed watching the dynamic between them shift as they got to know one another.  That slow burn was worth the wait!

What Would Jane Austen Do? is a fun and heartwarming contemporary romance.  It also pays homage to all things Jane Austen, which is sure to delight any Austen fan.  This book isn’t just for Austen fans though so no worries if you haven’t read her entire canon.

Thanks so much to Laurel Ann Nattress at Austenprose for inviting me to take part in this tour.



  • “Witty, sharp and beautifully observed – I feel sure Jane would approve.”— Julie Caplin, author of The French Chateau
  • “Sparkling romance, secrets from the past…Witty and romantic, I couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages.”— Alison Sherlock, bestselling author of The Village of Lost and Found
  • “…sheer fun from beginning to end, beautifully written, and with a real touch of originality.”— Anne Williams, Being Anne
  • “What a lovely book! It also fills my need to see British colloquialisms on occasion. Yes! I highly recommend this book!”— Michelle, Tales Untangled 







About Linda Corbett

Linda Corbett lives in Surrey with her husband Andrew and three permanently hungry guinea pigs. As well as being an author, Linda is treasurer and fundraiser for Shine Surrey – a volunteer-led charity that supports individuals and families living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. For many years she also wrote a regular column for Link, a disability magazine, illustrating the humorous aspects of life with a complex disability and she is a passionate advocate of disability representation in fiction. Love You From A-Z was her first published novel.



Happy Friday everyone!  Today I’m back to share my thoughts on two fantastic new releases from Berkley Romance.  Samantha Young is one of my favorite romance writers so I was thrilled to read her latest, and Jenna Levine is a debut author that I was excited to try after hearing her talk about her book at a recent Berkley event that showcased upcoming fall releases.


Romance Reviews:  THE LOVE PLOT & MY ROOMMATE IS A VAMPIREThe Love Plot Goodreads

Author: Samantha Young

Publication Date: August 29, 2023

Publisher: Berkley Romance

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley and a complimentary ALC from Penguin Random House Audio.  All opinions are my own.


Samantha Young is fast becoming one of my favorite romcom authors. I’ve loved everything I’ve read from her so far and her latest, The Love Plot, is my new favorite! It’s just the perfect combination of sexy, swoony, heartwarming fun and I loved every page of it.

The protagonist, Star Shine Meadows, as her name might suggest, is quite the free spirit. All Star wants to do is be happy and to do what she can to spread that happiness to others. When we meet her, she is working two jobs, one as a professional costume character actor who mainly attends kids’ birthday parties, and the other as a professional line sitter, where she waits in line for items her clients do not have the time to wait for. She meets Rafe, the sexy but grumpy male love interest, at his niece’s birthday party, & sparks fly.

Rafe is Star’s opposite in pretty much every way. He’s a broody, reserved veterinarian, and he doesn’t understand Star at all. She’s too cheerful, obnoxious & he doesn’t get why she works the jobs she works. Yet, there’s just something about her that gets under Rafe’s skin. Rafe is also desperate to get his family to stop playing matchmaker, so he offers Star money to be his fake girlfriend. She agrees & shenanigans ensue!

I had so much fun reading this one. Both Star and Rafe are just so adorable & they have sizzling chemistry. I loved their hilarious and snarky banter, as well as the more heartwarming moments when they realize they’ve caught feelings for one another. I also loved that there were some more serious moments, particularly when they talk about their families and the future.

I alternated between the physical book and the audio (thank you, @PRHAudio), and I loved both. Savannah Peachwood read the audio and she did a phenomenal job bringing these wonderful characters to life.

This is the perfect read for any fan of the fake dating, opposites attract or grumpy-sunshine tropes. The Love Plot is out 8/29 so be sure to pick up a copy!  4.5 STARS


Romance Reviews:  THE LOVE PLOT & MY ROOMMATE IS A VAMPIREMy Roommate Is a Vampire Goodreads

Author: Jenna Levine

Publication Date: August 29, 2023

Publisher:  Berkley Romance

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley and a complimentary ALC from Penguin Random House Audio.  All opinions are my own.


I’ve been enjoying the witchy rom com trend that has really taken off the past few years, so when I saw that Jenna Levine’s debut novel was a vampire romcom, I just had to read it! I’m so glad I do too because this was just such a charming book.

Cassie is an artist who is struggling to make ends meet, so much so that she’s being evicted from her apartment. When she comes across an ad for an apartment in a great neighborhood and the rent is only $200 a month, Cassie is of course suspicious because it sounds too good to be true, but she decides to take it because she really has no other viable option. Cassie is a fun character, a little messy and chaotic at times, but very likable.

I adored Frederick J. Fitzwilliam from the moment we first meet him. He may be a vampire but he looks and sounds like he stepped out of the pages of a Jane Austen novel and he is a cinnamon roll. We learn early on that Frederick was the victim of a prank (courtesy of his friend Reginald) that left him in a coma for 100 years. When Frederick woke, he had no idea how to function in such a modern society so he has been struggling to fit in.

While Cassie and Frederick rarely ever see one another, they exchange notes every day. The notes are super cute, filled with lots of flirty banter, and the two of them soon become friends.

When Cassie accidentally learns that Frederick is a vampire, after an initial freakout, she accepts Frederick’s offer to let her keep living there in exchange for her help in making a modern vampire out of him. I loved watching their relationship evolve as Cassie gives him a makeover. So cute & so hilarious! And even though their relationship is a slow burn, there is definitely some steam for those who enjoy that.

There was some drama near the end that I could have done without, but overall I just loved this delightful paranormal romance.

I alternated between the physical copy and the audio version (thank you, @PRHAudio) and thought both were excellent.  The narrator Gilli Messer did an especially fabulous job capturing Frederick’s personality and it was such a fun listening experience. 4 STARS

Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Narrow & Dead of Winter


Sharon’s back with another edition of Thriller Thursday.  Spooky season is upon us and this week I have a couple of great books to kick the season off with. I have a not too scary ghost story in Kate Alice Marshall’s, The Narrow and a slasher/horror story in Darcy Coates’, Dead of Winter.  Both of these books were great and I loved them.


Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Narrow & Dead of WinterThe Narrow Goodreads

Author: Kate Alice Marshall

Publication Date: August 1, 2023

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

The Narrow is a YA ghost story, and it is also a story of friendships and finding lost loves. This is my second read by Kate Alice Marshall, and I loved this just as much as What Lies in the Woods. 

Behind the Atwood School, a prestigious boarding school, is a river called the Narrow. The Narrow is only a few feet wide, but the water is deep and vicious. It is said that no one that has fallen into the Narrow has ever survived, what the Narrow takes it never gives back. But Eden White knows this is not true. Six years ago, Eden and her best friend Veronica saw Delphine Fournier fall into the Narrow and survive. Although now Delphine has to live on the school grounds in Abigail House. If she leaves the school grounds she becomes gravely ill. She also cannot come in contact with unpurified water, as a single drop could kill her. This year in exchange for her tuition, Eden has agreed to live at Abigail house with Delphine and keep her company as well as ensuring she stays safe. As Eden and Delphine get to know each other and begin to unravel each other’s secrets, Eden realizes something is haunting Delphine and now that something is coming for Eden as well. Eden hears rain on the windows, but the sky is clear, she has seen a ghostly silhouette in her doorway and wet footprints by her bed.  The school has been rumored to be haunted by the Drowning Girl. What does the Drowning Girl want with Delphine and Eden?

There was so much to love about this book. I loved the spooky ghost story and the tale of the Drowning Girl. I cannot say too much about her, but whenever she showed up all I could picture was the girl that crawled out of the TV in The Ring.

I really liked the friendship that Eden and Delphine formed. Eden was determined to figure out what was going on and help Delphine break whatever was haunting her. Eden was willing to risk her life for Delphine. Eden enlisted the help of her friends, Veronica, Zoya, and Ruth to help her uncover the mystery of The Drowning Girl. And what a mystery that was. As we were given bits of information on her, I thought I knew what was going on, but then a twist came and knock that out of the water (no pun intended lol).

I really loved Eden and the more we learned of her backstory, the more sympathy I had for her. She hides a lot about her home life from her friends and at times she would push them away because she did not want them to find out. But I liked it when she needed them they were there for her and had her back.

I think Kate Alice Marshall did a great job in weaving the ghost story, friendships, and lost loves aspect of this story together. If you are looking for a book to start off the spooky season that is not too scary, then I highly recommend The Narrow4 stars


Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Narrow & Dead of WinterDead of Winter Goodreads

Author: Darcy Coates

Publication Date: July 11, 2023

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

I have never read anything by Darcy Coates before, but when Dead of Winter popped up as a suggestion from Goodreads, it sounded just like the kind of book I would like, and it definitely was. Dead of Winter follows a group of strangers stranded in the Rocky Mountains during a snowstorm. Oh! And one of them is a killer, picking the others off one by one.

Christa Bailey and her boyfriend Kiernan are on a bus with nine other people on their way to Blackstone Alpine Lodge in the Rocky Mountains. When the bus has to stop because of a large tree branch in the road, Christa and Kiernan decide to take in the mountain scenery while the others try to clear the road.  When a snowstorm comes in, Christa and Kiernan get separated from the group, as well as each other. Christa is able to find her way to an abandoned cabin, where the others from the bus have taken shelter from the storm. They promise Christa they will go looking for Kiernan in the morning, but come morning Brian, their tour guide, is also missing. When they go out to look for Brian, they find just his head and it is impaled on a tree branch. Terrified, the group does all they can to stay safe and wait out the storm, but one by one they are killed, and their heads are impaled on the tree with Brian’s.

Wow! I loved everything about this book.  The Story is told from the POV of Christa. I loved being in Christa’s head as she tries to figure out who can be trusted when it became obvious that one of the group was the killer.

We don’t get a lot of backstories on the rest of the group, but I think Coates did a great job of creating them and giving us just enough information, so that along with Christa we tried to figure out who was the killer.

I loved the snowy mountain and small cabin setting as well, that just added to the spookiness of the book. Darcy Coates did an amazing job of creating this setting, so that I could feel the coldness and could picture how claustrophobic that cabin must have been. You would think being in a small cabin they should be safe and they would be if they stayed together. But oh no, at one time or another someone would go off on their own and then sure enough their head was added to the tree.

I thought for sure I had things figured out and knew who the killer was, but when their body turned up, I was like “Damn! I was so sure!” I was totally clueless when the killer was revealed. So good job Darcy Coates on keeping me in the dark.

Dead of Winter was full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end.  This book would make one hell of a great slasher movie. Be forewarned though, this book is not for the weak of heart. So, I of course loved it. LOL! I definitely want to check out more from Darcy Coates.   4 ½ stars



Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Mine was pretty relaxing, and I got a lot of reading done, which is always nice.  Today I’m back to share my thoughts on two YA books that I’ve read recently.  I haven’t been reading much YA in recent years, but I’m always up for a new Rachel Griffin novel and I definitely could not resist Mazey Eddings’ YA debut since I’ve loved all of her adult romance novels.


YA Reviews: TILLY IN TECHNICOLOR & BRING ME YOUR MIDNIGHTTilly in Technicolor Goodreads

Author: Mazey Eddings

Publication Date: August 15, 2023

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

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


This is such a gem of a book, my favorite from Eddings yet!

After struggling throughout high school because of her ADHD, Tilly Twomley is ready for a fresh start. She’s not sure exactly what she wants to do, so in the meantime, her parents are paying to send her to Europe to work as a summer intern for her sister.

Unlike Tilly, Oliver Clark knows exactly what he wants. His autism has kept his world small, but he’s okay with that because of his passion for color theory and design. He is looking to build up his resume and lands a summer internship, which he is excited about, until he experiences the most horrendous international flight ever, courtesy of his cute but chaotic seat mate.

He can’t wait to get away from her, but to his dismay, she is also an intern at the same company and he’s stuck spending the summer with her. That seatmate/intern is of course, Tilly, and she’s equally mortified after having embarrassed herself repeatedly in front of Oliver on the plane.

I can’t express how much I enjoyed watching the relationship between Oliver and Tilly! They’re both just adorable together and their banter is top notch, but what I especially loved was how they “saw” each other. As they get to know each other, they recognize each other’s neurodiversity and really make an effort to be supportive of each other. I loved that connection between them!

Eddings also does a wonderful job of exploring how being neurdiverse can impact family relationships as well. Tilly’s mom is overprotective to the point of being hurtful, and it has strained their relationship. I thought Tilly’s journey of self-discovery was beautiful, not just because of what she learns about herself, but also because of how she proves herself both to her mom and sister.

With Tilly in Technicolor, Eddings does an incredible job of making neurodiverse individuals feel seen and understood.  4.5 STARS



Author: Rachel Griffin

Publication Date: August 1, 2023

Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

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


I don’t read much YA fiction these days, but I couldn’t resist a new YA witchy read from Rachel Griffin since I loved her first two books so much. Filled with the lush, atmospheric writing I’ve come to expect from Griffin, Bring Me Your Midnight did not disappoint either.

Set on a small island inhabited by witches, this story immediately drew me in as soon as we learn that Mortana Fairchild, a young witch and the protagonist of the story, is preparing to marry Landon, who is the governor’s son and who is also not a witch. It is an arranged marriage that is designed for forge an alliance between the island witches and the mortals who live on the mainland. Mortana is willing to go along with the marriage out of a sense of duty to her coven but she doesn’t have any real feelings for Landon.

Over the years Tana’s coven has alleviated the fears of those on the mainland by performing a ritual that releases most of their magic into the ocean during the full moon. When Mortana accidentally misses the ritual, she is afraid to tell her mother and so is at risk of dying, unless she can find someone to help her. That someone ends up being Wolfe, a handsome witch from a coven who practices forbidden magic. Mortana is not only physically attracted to Wolfe, but she’s also very attracted to his forbidden magic and how powerful and alive it makes her feel. Wolfe not only opens her eyes to this new magic, but he also reveals to her that most of her life she has been living a lie.

I loved the chemistry between Mortana and Wolfe and I was completely rapt by this storyline. I couldn’t stop turning the pages to find out how Mortana would react to her attraction to Wolfe and to this new knowledge that secrets and lies have colored her entire world.  Bring Me Your Midnight is perfect for fans of witchy reads, forbidden love, small town/island settings, and atmospheric writing.  4 STARS

Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Mother & A Twisted Love Story


Happy Thriller Thursday! Sharon here and I hope everyone is having a good week and an enjoyable summer. Spooky season is right around the corner.  🙂   This week I am happy to share my thoughts on T.M. Logan’s, The Mother and Samantha Downing’s, A Twisted Love Story. I enjoyed both of these books very much.


Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Mother & A Twisted Love StoryThe Mother Goodreads

Author: T.M. Logan

Publication Date: March 2, 2023

Publisher: Zaffre

I am always excited when I see that T.M. Logan has a new book out, I have loved everything of his I have read. When I read the synopsis for his new book, The Mother, I couldn’t wait to read it. The Mother follows Heather Vernon, who was convicted of killing her husband, Liam, ten years ago. Heather was sentenced to eighteen years in prison and has been paroled after nine years. Heather is determined to find out who really killed her husband and regain custody of her two sons, Theo who is now fourteen and Finn who is now thirteen.  But what Heather soon learns is that the person responsible for her husband’s murder will do anything to silence her.

Omg! I loved Heather so much. From the first chapter when she is hiding in the back of a church during her “funeral”, I was hooked and was team Heather all the way. I loved Heather’s determination in finding out the truth. I also feared for her safety often. The person responsible went to great lengths to frame Heather for Liam’s murder and it just made me so angry for her as we found out bits and pieces of evidence that was planted.  I really don’t want to say too much about Heather’s investigation and what info she finds, as I think this book is best to go in blind. But I will say that I flipped often on what I thought was going on. I also had a lot of sympathy for Heather as she was uncovering information, as she had to try and keep her emotions in check, which was hard to do because Heather truly loved Liam and some of the information she uncovered did not put Liam in the best light.

Heather has help in her search for the truth. She has hooked up with Owen Tanner, a reporter who does not believe that Heather is guilty of killing Liam. I was on the fence trusting Owen. Heather also formed a fast friendship with Jodie, who has also been recently released from prison and is living at the same boarding house as Heather. I loved their friendship; they had each other’s backs and formed such a strong friendship in a short time.  Rounding out Heather’s group is Liam’s sister Amy. I really enjoyed following along as they all worked to find out who was responsible for Liam’s murder. There were quite a few tense moments when each of them got into life-or-death trouble.

I wish I could say more about The Mother because I loved it so much. T.M. Logan did a great job in creating a story that flowed so smoothly and gradually increased the suspense and tension, that by the end of the book I was on the edge of my seat and could not read fast enough to find out how everything would end. And I hope I am not spoiling anything when I say, I so did not see that ending coming.    4 ½ stars


Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Mother & A Twisted Love StoryA Twisted Love Story Goodreads

Author: Samantha Downing

Publication Date: July 18, 2023

Publisher: Berkley

Samantha Downing’s latest book, A Twisted Love Story, follows Wes Harman and Ivy Banks who have, you guessed it, a very twisted love story. Wes and Ivy have been dating on and off for ten years and when things are good, it’s great. But when their relationship hits a snag it can be an all-out war, with screaming matches and arrest warrants. This last break-up of theirs has lasted a few months. When someone starts stalking Ivy she reports it to the police and tells them she believes it is Wes. It is after the police talk to Wes that they end up back together. Told you they have a twisted love story. LOL!  But the detective, Karen Colglazier, that initially spoke with Wes does not like him and she is determined to put him in jail. She starts her own private investigation into Wes and what she uncovers could land both Wes and Ivy in jail. You see, seven years ago during one of their fights, someone ended up dead.

At first when Colglazier was looking into Wes she was just trying to get him arrested for stalking Ivy, but the more she dug she actually turned up bits of information that linked Ivy and Wes to the death of an eighteen-year-old. Once Colglazier got onto the scent she was now determined to have Wes arrested for murder. I didn’t really care for Colglazier at all. She had tunnel vision on Wes, and she did not follow the evidence to where it led. She twisted it and made it point to where she wanted it to go.

Once we were given some information on what happened seven years ago that resulted in the death of the eighteen-year-old, I was all over the place on who I thought was responsible, Wes or Ivy. I kept going back and forth on that.

Downing did a great job in creating this mystery, while also giving us an entertaining read into Wes and Ivy’s twisted relationship. Their banter back and forth and just how toxic they were with each other was fun to read. But even though these two had a volatile relationship they were actually good for each other. When things started to heat up in the investigation into the death of the eighteen-year-old, both Wes and Ivy had each others backs. By the end of the book things really were starting to hit the fan and Wes as well as Ivy could end up in jail. I couldn’t wait to find out if they were going to be able to get away with everything that was going on.

A Twisted Love Story was such an entertaining read, full of great characters. There were also a few smaller plots going on in the story and Downing did a fantastic job of weaving everything together. I also loved how the two main characters were the “villains” but were also just so likable.  4 stars



Happy Monday! I hope everyone is doing well.  We’re still settling into a new year of school here so I’m posting a little later in the day than I usually do.  Today I’m sharing my thoughts on two new historical fiction releases that I requested for review this summer.  Both are new-to-me authors that I’ve been wanting to try so I’m excited to have finally had the chance to read them both.


Reviews: THE AIR RAID BOOK CLUB & MRS. PORTER CALLINGThe Air Raid Book Club Goodreads

Author: Annie Lyons

Publication Date: July 11, 2023

Publisher: William Morrow

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


I’m always drawn to WWII historical fiction anyway, but I especially couldn’t resist Annie Lyons’ latest novel when I saw that it centered on a book shop and book club.  Filled with both heartbreak and hope, The Air Raid Book Club was a brilliant read that I devoured in just a couple of sittings.

Set in London in 1938, the story follows Gertie Bingham. For years, Gertie ran Bingham Books with her beloved husband, Harry.  When Harry unexpectedly passes away, Gertie starts to feel out of sorts in the shop, too many memories of Harry surround her.  Lost in her grief, Gertie thinks about selling the shop and retiring.  She puts those plans on hold, however, when she learns that Jewish children are being evacuated from Germany.  Gertie agrees to take in a 15-year-old Jewish girl named Hedy Fischer.

Although they get off to a slightly rocky start, Gertie and Hedy soon become friends and a great comfort to one another. Gertie opens up to Hedy about how much she misses Harry, while Hedy is able to share her fears about the fate of the rest of her family who were unable to be evacuated from Germany. Hedy helps Gertie in the book shop and when the air raids start to increase, they create a shelter in the shop and invite everyone nearby to come to their shelter when the air raid sirens blare. They start a new book club while in the shelter so that they can pass the time and distract themselves from the danger by discussing books.

I adored everything about this book. The relationship between Gertie and Hedy was just so moving and beautiful. I adore a good found family story and the bond between these two truly warmed my heart. In addition to those beautiful found family moments, there was also so much wonderful bookish content. I thoroughly enjoyed those air raid book club meetings and loved how lively and thoughtful their discussions always were as well as the idea that books could provide these weary Londoners with an escape, however so brief, from the terrors of war. The entire cast of characters was wonderful and the writing was beautiful.

I highly recommend The Air Raid Book Club to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, books about books, found families, and especially to anyone who enjoys stories that explore how to move forward after experiencing loss and grief.  5 STARS


Reviews: THE AIR RAID BOOK CLUB & MRS. PORTER CALLINGMrs. Porter Calling (The Emmy Lake Chronicles, #3) Goodreads

Author: AJ Pearce

Publication Date: August 8, 2023

Publisher:  Scribner

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


Mrs. Porter Calling is the third installment in The Emmy Lake Chronicles series by A.J. Pearce.  Set in London during WWII, this series follows aspiring journalist, Emmy Lake, as she seeks to do her part for the war effort.

In Mrs. Porter Calling, Emmy is now in charge of writing “Yours Cheerfully” a popular advice column in Women’s Friend magazine.  With each column, Emmy seeks to help her readers cope with the increasing challenges they have all faced because of the war.  In fact, much of the magazine is dedicated to helping the average Londoner get by.  The readers love that everyone at the magazine is so devoted to their well being, and therefore Woman’s Friend is wildly successful even in such trying times. That is, until Mrs. Porter arrives on the scene.

I have to say that I struggled a little with this book.  First, I didn’t realize this was the third book in a series when I requested it, totally my fault for not paying attention, but that meant I didn’t have all the background on Emmy, her husband Charles, and the rest of her friends and coworkers. I was still easily able to follow along and get the gist of all their personalities and relationships and I enjoyed all of the series regulars, especially Emmy and her best friend Bunty, who are both just so plucky and fierce, but I felt like I would have connected even more with them if I had read the first two books.

My biggest struggle though was actually Mrs. Porter.  Mrs. Porter is a narcissistic socialite who inherits the magazine.  She doesn’t like anything sad or that relates to the war and so she comes in like a wrecking ball, dismantling everything good about the magazine and turning it into a ridiculous vanity project, without care or concern for what the readers want. Now I love a good villain – it’s fun to have a character that you love to hate.  The problem with Mrs. Porter is that I didn’t love to hate her. I just hated her and wanted to skip over the scenes she appeared in.  She was just too predictable and one dimensional.  I wanted her to do something that would surprise me and she unfortunately never did.

That said, what saved the book for me was Emmy and her fellow staff members.  They are appalled by Mrs. Porter and make it their mission to save their beloved magazine.  I loved watching this crew hatch schemes to try to undermine Mrs. Porter. Those scenes were a lot of fun to read and I found myself cheering them on all the way.  I also really enjoyed watching Emmy’s domestic life.  Since her husband is away at war and several of her friends are struggling, they all decide to move in together to save on expenses and share their rations.  When tragedy strikes, they all come together as a family and it was just beautiful to witness.

Even though I had some issues, I still enjoyed Mrs. Porter Calling and would definitely recommend it to historical fiction fans.  I would say to read the first two books in the series before you do though for the best overall reading experience.  3.5 STARS