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?

With the Fire on High

In honor of my son turning 4 today, I wanted to highlight With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Ever since he was little, my son loves all things kitchen related! With the Fire on High, Emoni has an innate talent for creating kitchen masterpieces. As a senior in HS, she’s trying to balance her part time job, school load, her toddler, and helping manage the house she shares with her grandma. She decides to sign up for a Culinary Arts elective and it teaches her skills in both the kitchen and in life.

This book was narrated by the author and I could listen to her all day! I loved the descriptions of all the Puerto Rican dishes- don’t read this when you’re hungry! Emoni’s emotional maturity for a HS senior was also really admirable. She’s so smart and conducts herself so well in tons of tough situations.

Definitely check out this book! You’ll root for Emoni every step of the way!!

What’s your favorite thing to cook? 🌮🥙🍚🍪🍗🍳

Something Worth Doing

“It’s not the certainty that something will turn out well but the certainty that something is worth doing regardless of how it turns out.”

If you are a fan of historical fiction…MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE! 📣📣

Jane Kirkpatrick’s epic and inspirational story of Abigail Scott is well worth your time! I found this story to be extremely timely since we are facing an election that is right around the corner. It’s also been 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified! AND the influential RBG just passed away.

Abigail lives in the mid 1800s in Oregon Territory and works as a school teacher. She marries Ben and gives up her job but still desires to “do more” with her life. Sadly when Ben is injured and the family experiences financial issues, Abigail becomes the breadwinner. What she sees and experiences in the working world horrifies her and she soon works to fight for the rights of women, specifically the right to vote.

I loved the marriage between Abigail and Ben. He was so supportive and encouraging especially in a time where most men would not have that faith in their wife. And I loved the modern themes of trying to balance work, children, the home, and personal fulfillment. These themes are timeless, as many of you women know!
Something Worth Doing is available now!
Thank you @revellbooks for the gifted copy!

The Edge of Belonging

🧡Book review 🧡

The debut novel from @amandacoxwrites ,The Edge of Belonging, was a 5⭐️ read for me!!!

Here’s the scoop:
Harvey James, a homeless man who has experienced so much tragedy, finds a newborn wailing in the woods near his camp. He decides to care for her but soon realizes he needs help. He gets a job as a groundskeeper at a local church. He hides the baby (he named Ivy) while he works, but when she gets sick he has to decide if he can accept kindness and love from the church community.
Fast forward 24 years, Ivy is grown and is still seeking answers about her origins. When her grandmother dies, Ivy must settle the estate with her childhood friend’s help. Ivy begins to learn more about her past, which both break her heart and give her the answers she is looking for.

I loved this book so much! I love split time novels and Cox did a great job cultivating lovable characters in each! I also love that Cox casts light on tough topics like abuse and homelessness. Definitely check it out! It’s available now! 🧡🧡🧡

Thank you to Revell Books for the gifted copy!

August Wrap Up 📚☀️

☀️August Wrap Up☀️

I read 8 books in August which was pretty good for me!

Now I just need to catch up on reviews! ☺️

The Christmas Swap/ 2.5⭐️
I’m Still Here/ 4⭐️
Home Before Dark/ 4.5⭐️
One to Watch/ 4⭐️
Dating Makes Perfect/3.5⭐️
The Other Alcott/3⭐️
Acceptable Risk/ 3.5⭐️
A Life Once Dreamed/4⭐️

What are you most excited to read in September?

Acceptable Risk

Whew! Hey friends! It’s been awhile! With the back to school season, we’ve been super busy, as I’m sure many of you have been too!

Well buckle up for a fast paced, wild ride. Here’s my review for Acceptable Risk, the 2nd book in the Danger Never Sleeps series.

Sarah, a military journalist, is taken hostage in the Middle East along with some female students. Luckily she is rescued by Gavin Black, a former Army Ranger, at the request of her father, a Lieutenant General in the Army. Her father also arranges for her to be discharged on a false psychiatric diagnosis. Sarah is NOT happy and it only furthers past wounds she carries from her relationship with her father.

Once stateside, Sarah learns of a string of veteran suicides, including her own brother. Unable to accept this news, she soon uncovers more than she bargained for and she and Gavin try to uncover the truth in these mysterious deaths. But someone wants them both dead and will do anything to keeps some secrets hidden.

I’m giving this one ⭐️⭐️⭐️.⭐️/5⭐️

There is a high body count and Sarah finds herself in some literally unbelievable situations all within a short span of time (attempted abduction, hostage situation, being run off the road,etc).
You don’t need to have read the first book in the series although those characters make a few cameos. If you are looking for a quick, action packed read this is definitely the book for you but be sure to see the trigger warnings below ⬇️ Acceptable Risk is available now!

Trigger Warnings: suicide, PTSD, violence, abduction, addiction to prescriptions

💄One to Watch💄

💄Book review 💄

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I got “One to Watch” earlier this summer from Book of the Month and I just finished! I’m reading with some fab ladies in a Buddy Read group and we are loving it. This is probably my favorite new book of the summer! 😎☀️

Here’s the scoop: Bea, a plus sized fashion blogger, is a longtime Main Squeeze show (modeled after the Bachelor) viewer. One night she has a little to much 🍷 and writes a post about the show that goes viral. She criticizes the show’s lack of body diversity and actual diversity and, as a result, they ask her to be the next Main Squeeze. Originally, Bea agrees to do it to further her own career, but she soon gets swept up in the romance and fantasy of the show! I was really excited to see how this ended but my lips are sealed! 😍🤐

While an easy read, Kate Stayman London does an amazing job spotlighting self love, friendship, forgiveness, family relationships, and body diversity. You’ll love Bea and the cast of characters. 💞

I’ve never seen a whole season of The Bachelor! 😄🤷🏻‍♀️ Do you watch?