A Dance in Donegal☘️🇮🇪

☘️Book review ☘️

St. Patrick’s Day is coming! If you need a quaint romance/mystery set in 1920 Ireland to get you in the mood for the holiday, definitely pick up A Dance in Donegal!

Moira travels to the village of Ballymann, the home of her deceased mother, to become the new teacher. When she arrives, she’s overwhelmed by the language, the weather, and the mysterious hostility many of the town’s residents have toward her. Relying on her faith and a few kind neighbors, Moira tries to uncover the mysterious circumstances of her mother’s sudden departure years before as well as how to truly be considered part of the village.

Charming and full of Irish vocabulary (@jenniferdeibel_author even includes a glossary of Irish phrases and terms), definitely check this one out! Diebel lived in Donegal for many years and her descriptions are so vivid and obviously based on her home.

TW: there is a brief scene of sexual assault that may be upsetting.

Happy Mardi Gras! 💜💛💚

Happy Mardi Gras/ Fat Tuesday!!!
🎺💜💛💚🎷

I know so much of the US is under extreme weather conditions and many don’t have power. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone- especially those of you in the South who aren’t equipped for this insanity. I hope you are still able to have a treat today in honor of Fat Tuesday!

If any meal could magically appear on your table, what would you pick? 🍴

#fattuesday #mardigras2021 #mardigras #purplegoldgreen #mardigrasbookstack #bookstack #mardigrasstack #bookish #booksbooksbooks #booklife #booklover #mardigrasmask #readwithrosemary

🍁All That We Carried🍁

Thank you to Revell Books and Erin Bartels for this copy of All That We Carried.

4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Set in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula in October, sisters Melanie and Olivia have hardly spoken in 10 years. Their parents were lost in a tragic car accident and each handled the grief differently. After 10 years, they decide to try to reconnect and take off into the Michigan wilderness. They encounter bears, a forest fire, they lose their map, but each finds what they were looking for- just not in the way they were expecting.

After reading this, I was ready to head to the nearest outdoor store to stock up for a wilderness hike! I loved how Bartels describes the forest and waterfalls while also keeping my attention and keeping the plot moving. Each sister has many flaws and redeemable qualities so you are rooting for both of them.

Definitely check this book out!

🛩 The Escape🌲

Thank you to Revell Books for a copy of this fun and fast paced book!

The Escape by Lisa Harris introduces us to Madison James and Jonas Quinn, US Marshals on a routine prison transfer flight. When their plane crashes in the Idaho wilderness, Madison and Jonas miraculously survive. But both pilots and 1 convict are dead and one convict is on the run. Madison and Jonas must use all their training to capture their fugitive while surviving the elements and a multiple state manhunt. But their fugitive is much smarter than they gave him credit for!

What are your weekend plans?

The Love Note

I went into reading The Love Note by Johanna Davidson Politano with no expectations and came out the other side loving it. It’s such a simple premise with enormous heart and numerous lessons for readers about love.

“Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings–mostly negative ones–about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa’s search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words.”

I loved the writing and the secondary characters were all given a moment to shine. There are so many amazing things to love about this book. Don’t miss it and put Politano on your automatic buy list from now on!
Thank you to #Netgalley and @revellbooks for this wonderful read!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Who else played MASH growing up? I’m a long way from driving a Corvette in my McMansion but that’s ok 😃

The Key to Love

Happy Pub Day to #thekeytolove 💗
If the state of the world has you down and you need a little pick me up, check out The Key to Love!

Bri lives in Story, Kansas where she works in the same Paris inspired bakery her mother did. She spends her days making delicious concoctions and dreams of finding the perfect man to have her own fairy tale that rivals her dead parents’ love story.

Cynical and burned by love Gerard arrives into town from Trek magazine. He’s doing a feature on the bakery and the lovelock wall behind it that was inspired by the one in Paris.
He and Bri immediately clash; Gerard disgusted by the over the top sweetness of Story and Bri by Gerard’s view of the world. Sparks soon fly but each discovers that the other was right to be annoyed.

I’m obsessed with this cover! It’s so gorgeous! I also liked the setting for the book and the enemies to lovers trope. However, I did find Bri annoying in her naïveté and her unrealistic expectations on love. She definitely grows up by the end of the book, but not soon enough for my liking.

This book is perfect for a feel good, fun Hallmark type read. But make sure you have a special treat to enjoy while eating. There’s lots of bakery treats mentioned! 🧁🍰🍡

Thanks to @revellbooks and @netgalley for copy in exchange for an honest review.

What’s your favorite bakery treat?

The Night Swim

I finished The Night Swim this morning as part of a Buddy Read.

It tells the story of Rachel, who hosts a very successful true crime podcast. She is recording her 3rd season while covering a rape trial that pits the local Golden Boy against a 16 year old girl. Rachel also starts to get letters from someone who claims her sister was murdered 25 years ago. Driven to find the answer to both crimes, Rachel uncovers more than she bargains for.

At times, it was tough to read this book as it dives deeply into the crime and the trauma the girl experiences. What I liked most about the book is that it casts a needed spotlight on consent, sexual assault, and the entitlement for sex that some men feel. Even though it’s fiction, it definitely shows how some small towns can be just as dangerous and corrupt as big cities.
⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Have you read The Night Swim?

The Christmas Swap

If you are looking for a fun, clean, Hallmark type Christmas story, look no further! The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson is such a fun concept: 2 families switch houses for the holidays.

Emma joins her BFF ( Gillian)’s family when they go from Arizona to Breckinridge, Colorado for Christmas. West is a famous musician and through a mix up, ends up staying in Breckinridge. He and Emma hit it off but Gillian wants West for herself! And West isn’t as honest with Emma as he should be. Predictable trouble ensues but we all get the happy ending we’ve come to love from Carlson’s Christmas novellas.

The Colorado Christmas provides a cozy Christmas setting that makes me want to fast forward a few months.

Thank you to Revell for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Until I Met You

I’m filling your feed today with pumpkin bread and Until I Met You by Tari Faris. It’s Book 2 in the Restoring Heritage series.

It tells the story of a small town in Michigan that is trying to be revamped by a giant cast of main and secondary characters. Libby moves to town for a new start, to be closer to her brother, and to be the town’s new librarian. She soon meets her neighbor, Austin, who is trying to save his family’s business and complete the town square’s overhaul he’s been hired to do. Libby’s big ideas for the library derail his plans. Also his brother (Nate) is the town pastor and, despite Nate’s checkered past, everyone loves him. This really angers Austin since he sees Nate as just a big screw up. Austin’s not wrong, but he needs to let some things go. The story goes back and forth between Libby and Austin’s love story and Nate and his love interest.
Unfortunately, Austin is so angry all the time about a lot of things and I was disappointed Libby didn’t tell him to take a hike. The nice things he did for her didn’t outweigh his temper, in my opinion.
Nate also was frustrating since he kept leading his girl on and then acting like she was too good for him. Too many mixed signals.

This would make a decent Hallmark movie- fun, clean, and modern… but they would need to change Austin’s attitude first!

What is your favorite romantic trope?