Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Holiday Romance
by Catherine Walsh

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 318
Format: ebook
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  She’s meant to be catching flights, not catching feelings…

Molly and Andrew are just trying to get home to Ireland for the holidays, when a freak snowstorm grounds their flight.

Nothing romantic has ever happened between them: they’re friends and that’s all. But once a year, for the last ten years, Molly has spent seven hours and fifteen minutes sitting next to Andrew on the last flight before Christmas from Chicago to Dublin, drinking terrible airplane wine and catching up on each other’s lives. In spite of all the ways the two friends are different, it’s the holiday tradition neither of them has ever wanted to give up.

Molly isn’t that bothered by Christmas, but—in yet another way they’re total opposites—Andrew is a full-on fanatic for the festive season and she knows how much getting back to Ireland means to him. So, instead of doing the sane thing and just celebrating the holidays together in America, she does the stupid thing. The irrational thing. She vows to get him home. And in time for his mam’s famous Christmas dinner.

The clock is ticking. But Molly always has a plan. And—as long as the highly-specific combination of taxis, planes, boats, and trains all run on time—it can’t possibly go wrong.

What she doesn’t know is that, as the snow falls over the city and over the heads of two friends who are sure they’re not meant to be together, the universe might just have a plan of its own…

Kritters Thoughts:  A sweet romance that takes place all during the holiday season, but over many years!  Molly and Andrew ended up one year on the same flight from Chicago to Ireland and it keeps happening year after year until one year where they must do anything in order to get Andrew home to his Christmas loving family.  And because this is a romance book, we know where this will end, but we have no clue how it will end up there!

If you watch any sort of Hallmark movies during the holiday season, then this book will be the perfect companion to read with holiday music playing in the background.  I loved watching Molly and Andrew have short interactions year to year, but knowing that it takes place over many years keeps the book from feeling like instalove!  And of course the epic will they won't they make it home was a fun thread throughout the entire book as one year is featured in and out amongst the other years (I know this may be confusing, but go with me) - it was just such a fun ride to see them "miss" each other.  

While my reading time has been limited due to some life circumstances, I was glad I picked this one up and maybe kicked off my holiday season a little early with this one! 

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

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 59 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Great Sexpectations
by Kristen Bailey

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 298
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  What’s wrong with a little bit of faking it?

After Josie got dumped by her ex through a note on the fridge, she hasn’t let herself get close to anyone. But when she meets Cameron at a Halloween party, who turns up in the same Ghostbusters costume as her, it’s virtually impossible to stay away.

Cameron, a curly haired video-games designer with dazzling blue eyes, the sexiest dimples and the same encyclopedic knowledge of movies as Josie, seems too good to be true.

And maybe he is… Because there’s one teeny tiny problem as Josie falls madly in love. Cameron has no idea that Josie lives at home with her ex-porn star parents and their dog Dave, or about the minor detail that she works for their sex toy empire. After her ex broke up with her because of the family business, Josie decides to tell a little white lie.

But it’s just a matter of time until the truth comes out. When it does, will Cameron end things, leaving Josie with only Dave the dog for company? And what if she’s not the only one who’s keeping secrets?

Kritters Thoughts:  Josie is the child of parents who own a sex toy company and her brother is a mid tier celebrity and at a Halloween party she meets a great guy, but can she be honest with him about her entire life?

My third Kristen Bailey book and not my favorite, but it didn't turn me off enough not to read more of her backlist and read her upcoming books.  Josie was a great character to follow through this story and when reading a romance, I am always glad to connect with a character and be able to root them on from beginning to the predictable end!  

While I read a lot of books set across the pond and tend to enjoy them, for some reason there were some moments in this one that maybe didn't completely translate for me - super shruggy shoulders!  

With a few eye rolling moments and some tender ones too, this was a good one, but I hope to read more from Kristen Bailey - maybe with a few less sexy toys and things!  

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

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 58 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  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, August 1, 2022

A busy busy month with lots going on and not a lot of time for reading!

1. Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare
2. Reputation by Sarah Vaughn
3. Can I Pet Your Dog? by Jeremy Nguyen
4. A Shoe Story by Jane Rosen
5. The Lost Sister of Fifth Avenue by Ella Carey
6. Bone Deep by Charles Bosworth Jr and Joel Schwartz (audio)
7. This Place of Wonder by Barbara O'Neal

Total pages read, clicked and flipped: 2,123

Where Have I Been Reading?:
New York City (2)
Troy, Missouri

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

This Place of Wonder
by Barbara O'Neal 

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 316
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In the wake of a personal tragedy, four women face the past, their futures, and each other in a novel of broken ties and healing by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids.

When famed chef Augustus Beauvais dies, he leaves behind a celebrated reputation―and four women grappling with loss, anger, pain, and the question of how the world will turn without him…

Meadow, the ex-wife with whom Augustus built an empire―and a family―still holds a place for him in her heart, even as she continues to struggle with his infidelities, which ended their twenty-year marriage. More unforgiving is Maya, his estranged daughter, who’s recently out of rehab but finally ready to reclaim her life. Norah, his latest girlfriend, sidelined her own career for unexpected love and a life of luxury, both of which are now gone with Augustus. And then there’s Rory, Meadow’s daughter, the voice of calm and reason in a chorus of discontent.

As Meadow, Maya, Norah, and Rory are flung together by tragedy, grief, and secrets yet to be revealed, they must accept―or turn away from―the legacy of great intentions and bad decisions Augustus left them. And when the circumstances around his death are called into question, their conflicted feelings become even more complicated. But moving forward is the only choice they have, and to do so, they’ll need to rely on family, friendship, and inner strength.

Kritters Thoughts:  A famed chef dies and the four closest women in his life are dealing with all the things he left behind with his unexpected death.  Two daughters and two exes must come together to pick up the pieces and all move on.

Told through multiple perspectives, which I loved, the reader gets to see the story move along through different points of view and how each cope with this tragedy.  It was so interesting to read about this man from the women in his lives and how each experienced him a different way.  From his current love to his epic love and the daughters in his life, seeing them grapple with his departure made for an enjoyable read this summer.  

While I can't spoil a thing, I sure loved that I thought this book would end in one place, there was a great twist and turn that took this book in a different direction and I was so surprised when all the puzzle pieces fit together!  

I have only read 3 of Barbara O'Neal books and I am hoping to fix this soon!      

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 57 out of 100

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.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

The Lost Sister of Fifth Avenue
by Ella Carey

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 327
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  New York, 1938: Martha pulled the door of her Fifth Avenue apartment closed, her heart thumping, re-reading the telegram she’d been dreading. Her beloved sister Charlotte needed her help. She was alone in Paris, and the threat of Nazi invasion grew ever stronger. The time had come for Martha to make the bravest decision of her life. She needed to bring Charlotte home.

As Martha looks out of her bedroom window at the blossom-covered trees in Central Park, she is a world away from Europe and the threat of war. But when a telegram arrives from her sister Charlotte telling of the death of their Jewish friend Anita, Martha’s quiet life changes in an instant. With the threat of the Nazi invasion growing, Martha knows she must travel to Paris to convince Charlotte to return home.

When Martha arrives, she finds a city preparing for war. Soldiers patrol Paris’ cobbled streets and families talk of packing up and fleeing with whatever they can carry. Clutching her sister tightly, Martha knows that Charlotte has already decided to stay. Charlotte’s heart is in France, and as an American in Paris she believes she will be safe.

When the Nazis march through Paris’ streets and raise their flags over the city’s most beautiful buildings, Charlotte is determined not to give in. She works for the Resistance with a Frenchman named Louis, carrying messages, and hiding Anita’s family’s precious art collection from the Nazis. Meanwhile, Martha vows to help a female Jewish professor to safety in America, only to be faced with impossible odds.

But as the war rages, Martha and Charlotte’s determination will be tested like never before. And when Charlotte uncovers a shocking secret about her family which threatens her own life, can she find the strength to protect those she loves the most?

Kritters Thoughts:  The fourth book in a series where you can read them as you wish and don't need to start at the beginning.  A set of sisters who have been living different lives and one finds herself in a comprising situation as the Nazis make their way across Europe.  Charlotte is living in Paris with her mother's best friend and loving her life when Hitler and his regime start making trouble for the Jewish population.  Her sister Martha is living in NYC and must travel to help Charlotte make decisions for her future.

While the sisters storyline is going on in the book, we also go back in time to the sister's mother and her two friends as they were recovering from World War I.  I loved both storylines and they wove in and out of each other so well.  The older storyline revealed such fun clues in the perfect way.  The pacing for both stories was spot on, there was no way I was putting down this book and not finishing it in one setting!  

I have loved all the books in this series, but this one may be my favorite.  I sure hope that Ella Carey writes more, even if it isn't in this series.  

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 55 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from  Bookouture.  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.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

A Shoe Story
by Jane Rosen 

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Esme Nash is eager to leave her small town and begin her carefully planned post-grad life: a move to New York City, an apartment with her loving college boyfriend, and a fancy job at an art gallery. But when tragedy strikes, instead of heading to Manhattan, she returns home to care for her ailing father, leaving every bit of her dream behind.

Seven trying years later, Esme is offered a dog-sitting job in Greenwich Village by a mysterious stranger, giving her access to all of her long-buried hopes and dreams--as well as to an epic collection of designer shoes. Esme jumps at a second chance to step into the future she's sure was meant to be hers.

As she retraces her steps, one pair of borrowed shoes at a time, making new friends and reconnecting with her old love, Esme tries on versions of herself she didn't know existed. But the hazy August days and warm summer nights pass too quickly, and Esme must decide how much of the life she imagined still fits, and what--and who--is on the road ahead of her.

Kritters Thoughts:  Are you looking for that fun summer read - this is it!  Esme Nash heads to NYC to dog sit, but it is the city that alluded her years ago when family took priority.  She has three weeks to live in the city and decide what is next for her life while holding on to a special pair of shoes that her mother gave her at her college graduation.  

First, let me say that I LOVED how each chapter started with a pair of shoes and looking up the shoes and thinking about where the story may go with Esme in these shoes made my read so much more fun.  Esme has access to some fantastic shoes and she loves picking the right ones for the right occasion.  With a little bit of a love triangle, Esme has a new guy that came into her life while she is also reconnecting with a guy from the past - I loved this.  I also loved the other people that came into her life through her adventures in New York City, just a fun book.  

As this is a fiction book, there were a few times I had to stop myself from an eye roll as the character made some decisions or things happened that seemed beyond reality!  BUT that is why we read fiction!!  

With two books in her backlist, both sound so good and after loving this one, I want to pick them up quickly! 

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 54 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  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, July 7, 2022

by Sarah Vaughan

Publisher: Atria
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  As a politician, Emma has sacrificed a great deal for her career--including her marriage and her relationship with her daughter, Flora. A former teacher, she finds the glare of the spotlight unnerving, particularly when it leads to countless insults, threats, and trolling as she tries to work in the public eye. As a woman, she knows her reputation is worth its weight in gold, but as a politician, she discovers it only takes one slip-up to destroy it completely.

Fourteen-year-old Flora is learning the same hard lessons at school as she encounters heartless bullying. When another teenager takes her own life, Emma lobbies for a new law to protect women and girls from the effects of online abuse. Now, Emma and Flora find their personal lives uncomfortably intersected--but then the unthinkable happens: A man is found dead in Emma’s home, a man she had every reason to be afraid of and to want gone. Fighting to protect her reputation, and determined to protect her family at all costs, Emma is pushed to the limits as the worst happens and her life is torn apart.

Kritters Thoughts:  Emma Webster was surprised when she was elected a MP so quickly and was torn as it would greatly impact her husband and her daughter.  A few years later this book begins as she has been a MP for awhile and it has impacted as her husband and her have divorced and they are trying to coparent their teenage daughter.  And not a spoil here, but the book begins as Emma has found a dead body at the bottom of her stairs and we immediately go back in time to find out how she got there.  

There were so many things that I loved about this book.  I loved that the author allowed more than just Emma to relay this story.  From chapters from her daughter Flora, to her husband's new wife Caroline, to a journalist Mike and I loved seeing the story through various points of view; to see through Emma, but then to see Emma in her own story was so good.  

I also loved the plot.  I loved the juxtaposition of what Emma was going through on her job while her daughter Flora had similar issues at school - like mother like daughter.  And while the story took place across the pond, I could easily relate how Emma, a public figure was dealing with social media and journalism invading her personal space while she tried to also do her job.  

I was surprised to find out when I finished that this was my first Sarah Vaughan book, but will for sure not be my last.  I hope to read her backlist very soon.  

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel 

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 52 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Simon and Schuster.  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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