Friday, November 24, 2017

Christmas Angels
by Viola Shipman

Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Pages: 78
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Kate, a single woman in her 30s, works as a designer/decorator for a large interior landscaping company bedecking and bedazzling St. Louis for the holidays. Her work keeps her from spending the holidays with her family and masks the loneliness and pain after a nasty breakup just before Christmas.
Known as "The Christmas Angel" for providing holiday beauty to the city's offices, homes, and malls, Kate's world changes when she decorates the home of a widowed single dad. Both soon realize that life (and love) must go on somehow and that perhaps Christmas (and guardian) angels are all around, if we only choose to see them.

Kritters Thoughts:  Recently I have read a few holiday novellas and they just weren't satisfying, they felt rushed and not complete.  NOT so with this one!  This was just the right holiday novella, it had enough holiday hoopla and a full story that felt complete when the final page was flipped.  

Kate is a interior designer/decorator and she specializes in the holidays and all holidays, but Christmas is her jam.  She decks out all the spots in St Louis and while working for a law firm she is asked to decorate one of the founders/partners and something more may happen when she shows up to decorate his home.  

As it is a novella, there isn't much to say except I absolutely adored it.  It was simple and sweet and just perfect for the holiday season.  I may have read it before my Christmas tree went up, but I may have to read it again with the backdrop of my lite Christmas tree!  
At the time of writing this review, it is simply 99 cents on Amazon and a quick and easy download for a night in and a break from all the Christmas crazy!


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 40 out of 50


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

source

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope your day is full of parades, food, family and 
maybe a few quiet moments with a great book!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Little Broken Things
by Nicole Baart

Publisher: Atria
Pages: 368
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn's house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.

While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves.


Kritters Thoughts:  Two sisters are the heart of the book and after reading the synopsis I was ready for Quinn to tell the full story, but I was so pleasantly surprised when chapters from her sister Nora and her mother Liz appeared in the book.  

A book that focuses on sisters is usually a book that will get me hooked in the beginning.  The sister relationship will always be a complicated one, two females and usually there are similarities and differences and those impact how each sister sees themselves, the other, the family, and the world.  Its hard to see the world through someone who is similar and different and grew up in the same home that you did.  I love when a book presents sisters as real - hard work and rewarding.  

After reading the book, I read reviews that said the book was predictable and I could see that.  I could have guessed some of the endings bits, but I still enjoyed the journey to get there.  Without giving away the ending, I would say that this book is a good read for the time that we are in now.  With an emphasis right now on females having strong relationships with the other females in their lives; this book reminded me that there are safety in numbers, but we have to be honest with one another.

I would gladly read another by Nicole Baart.  Her writing was interesting and had a good flow.  Her characters were easy to get to know and easy to get invested in and I wanted to know what would happen and that is an A+ in my book!


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Is This It Then?
by Victoria Oliver

Pages: 265
Format: ebook
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A humiliating experience at an office party prompts married mom-of-two, Becky, to ditch the junk food and start a healthy new lifestyle, with or without the help of her apathetic family. During one of her early morning workouts Becky meets an attractive new guy in town, whose attentiveness makes her question her 15-year marriage to sports-obsessed husband, Dave. 

Seemingly unflappable businesswoman Fay is convinced that her husband, Pete, is having an affair with his leggy, blond personal assistant. Determined to find out the truth, Fay enlists the help of Becky and HR nightmare Brigitte. After several failed attempts at playing amateur detective, Fay discovers that what she thinks she knows about Pete doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of his deception. 

Oblivious to her coworkers' marital woes, lovable but self-centered Brigitte is on a two-pronged mission: to beat out her arch-nemesis Tom for a departmental promotion, and to sleep with as many men as possible. Unfortunately her inability to separate business and pleasure means that Brigitte is more likely to get an appointment at the unemployment center than a desk in a corner office. Everyone can see Brigitte's impending career spiral…except for Brigitte.



Kritters Thoughts:  Three women who all work together take turns telling their stories and they will intermingle from the beginning and twist and turn.  Becky is a married mother of two who is trying to keep her professional life and personal life running.  Brigitte is divorced and is wanting her professional life to move forward, but is enjoying the life of a single lady!  Fay knows that there is a secret in her relationship and is willing to go to an extreme to figure it out, but will she be ok with the truth.

I loved that the story bounced back and forth between the three women and they all had a little drama going on in their lives.  At the same time they could each give the other some perspective on what was going on in their lives.  If you tend to shy away from books with ladies with drama, don't fret this one wasn't over the top, each character had real issues that either you or a girlfriend of yours has and it was more or less entertaining.

I like to read these semi lighter books interspersed between my mystery/thrillers or my heavy subject matter books, it is nice to take a breath now and then.  I lived Victoria's writing and would absolutely read another one.


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 57 out of 50



Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

A quieter weekend made for some good reading moments.  Next week with Thanksgiving, I should have some extra time next week too!
A meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox
Is This It Then? by Victoria Oliver
Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Currently Reading:
Fates and Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini

Next on the TBR pile:
A Cold Creek Christmas Story by RaeAnne Thayne

Friday, November 17, 2017

Halfway to Christmas
by Steena Holmes

Pages: 76
Format: ebook
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Christmas has always been one of the busiest times of the year for the women of Halfway, Montana, and this year is no exception. 

It’s barely been a year since Nikki Landon and her son, Ryan returned to town. But a lot has happened in such a short time, and this year, with her new love by her side, the holidays are set to take on a whole new meaning. 

Despite how busy Becky Jennings and her husband Matt are running their tree farm, Christmas has always been a time for love, laughter and…baking. Now, with a baby on the way, their lives are about to change—but is all the stress starting to take its toll? 

Melissa Tait has spent the last nine years celebrating the holidays without her husband Wade. Now that he’s returned, the whole family has a lot of adjusting to do. But is it too much? 

After ten years away, Nyah Henderson has finally returned to Halfway to take over her father’s medical practice. As happy as she is to be home, small town life can be tough. Maybe the holiday season is just what she needs to find her way? 

Join the women of Halfway, Montana as they celebrate love, friendship and the benchmarks of life this holiday season while learning some hard life lessons along the way. 



Kritters Thoughts:  The third in a series and I must warn that I would start at the beginning of this series because the story completely builds from one book to the next.

There are four women that in book one returned to Halfway, Montana and in this book their lives move forward just a bit.  As I would say this is more in the novella range, it is a quick short read and I loved the holiday theme, I wish it were a little longer.  

Each woman gets a chance to tell the story from her point of view and I absolutely love a book that does that, its interesting to see other characters through a different characters point of view - did I confuse you?!  It just felt a little too short and too sweet.  

If during the holidays short and sweet works for you, I would still say you should start with book one and end here.  


Rating:  enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2017 Challenge: 27 out of 50

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Uterus is a Feature Not a Bug
by Sarah Lacy

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 320
Format: book
Buy the Book: HarperCollins

Goodreads:  Working mothers aren’t a liability. They are assets you—and every manager and executive—want in your company, in your investment portfolio, and in your corner.

There is copious academic research showing the benefits of working mothers on families and the benefits to companies who give women longer and more flexible parental leave. There are even findings that demonstrate women with multiple children actually perform better at work than those with none or one.

Yet despite this concrete proof that working mothers are a lucrative asset, they still face the "Maternal Wall"—widespread unconscious bias about their abilities, contributions, and commitment. Nearly eighty percent of women are less likely to be hired if they have children—and are half as likely to be promoted. Mothers earn an average $11,000 less in salary and are held to higher punctuality and performance standards. Forty percent of Silicon Valley women said they felt the need to speak less about their family to be taken more seriously. Many have been told that having a second child would cost them a promotion.

Fortunately, this prejudice is slowly giving way to new attitudes, thanks to more women starting their own businesses, and companies like Netflix, Facebook, Apple, and Google implementing more parent-friendly policies. But the most important barrier to change isn’t about men. Women must rethink the way they see themselves after giving birth. As entrepreneur Sarah Lacy makes clear in this cogent, persuasive analysis and clarion cry, the strongest, most lucrative, and most ambitious time of a woman’s career may easily be after she sees a plus sign on a pregnancy test.



Kritters Thoughts:  I read very little non fiction these days, so when I saw a pitch for this book, I had to read it.  Although I am working woman and not a working mom, I still thought I could get some interesting information from this read and I wasn't disappointed.

Yes, she does focus on working moms and how important it is for companies to make sure working moms feel like they have the space to take maternity leave and to come back and do both a home life and a work life.  It is on us to make sure they know they have the space to do what they need to do, but also keep expectations that they be productive in the hours they are at work.  On the flip side, as a woman who doesn't have a child at home needing my time, I would love the same respect that my home time is just as valuable for my husband and dogs and I kind of wish she had hit on that for just a moment.  I wish she had highlighted that work life balance should be an expectation for all working women - moms or not - and even set those expectations for men also.  

I loved the parts where she highlighted other countries and what they have done to achieve a little more equality and their numbers are better than ours, but they still feel the need to fight for even more equality.  It seems like this conversation will never die, but maybe it will become a little less fierce if the US can make some strides in equality.  

I would encourage people who work to read this one and really take your time with it.  It has a lot of interesting points and this may be a book that I go back to a few times to give me the fire to fight for equality and justice.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Ebook 2017 Challenge: 56 out of 50


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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