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?

Happy Book Lovers Day! 📚

Happy National Book Lovers Day!!!! 💓📚

I can really get behind this holiday 🤩 and I thought I’d show some #coverlove to celebrate! I just love a beautiful book cover! I’m drawn to bright colors on the book’s cover. Is there a color you love most or are drawn to?

Which book’s cover has recently made you go 😍🤩?

A Life Once Dreamed

Thank you to Revell Publishing and to NetGalley for this eARC! “A Life Once Dreamed” is available now!

Rachel Fordham’s “A Life Once Dreamed” takes place in America’s Dakota Territory in the late 1800s. Agnes Pratt suddenly abandons her fiance and family after learning a secret, and she moves to the small frontier town of Penance. For six years she teaches school, makes friends, and vows to never marry. Then one day her former fiance, James Harris, shows up as the new town doctor. He’s come to win her back but numerous obstacles arise, including a deadly scarlet fever epidemic.

I absolutely love a good, Christian romance but I love them even more when there are issues that are relevant to the present day. “A Life Once Dreamed” definitely delivers. The issue covered here involves not prejudging someone based on their background. In this case, it’s prejudging illegitimate children but I love that this lesson can be applied to a number of present day issues. I think Fordham’s Aggie sums it up best when she says, “It’s time the world stops punishing the innocent for crimes they did not commit.”

You will love this fast read that was the perfect escape!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

🌊July Wrap Up🌊

I have been busy celebrating my daughter’s birthday this weekend! 🥳🧁💜

Before more time went by, I wanted to recap my July books. Someday I’ll read as much as many of you. Probably when my 3 kids are grown 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

Until then, I do what I can! It was a perfect mix of physical books, audiobooks, and ebooks!😍📚

🎧The Switch ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.💫

🎧Talking as Fast as I Can ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📕Mexican Gothic ⭐️⭐️.💫

📕I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📱Set the Stars Alight ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📱 RomEantically Challenged ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What was your favorite book you read in July?

💞RomEantically Challenged💞

Happy Pub day to RomEantically Challenged by Marina Adair. I really liked this rom-com but probably not for the reasons you may think! Thanks to Goodreads and Kensington Books for this gifted ARC for an honest review!

Goodreads describes the story as Three Men and a Baby Meet 27 Dresses and I think it’s a pretty good interpretation. Here’s the main scoop: Physician Assistant Annie relocates to Rome, Rhode Island after her fiancé dumps her, immediately meets someone new, and then steals her wedding date/venue/etc. She moves into a quiet cabin in Rome and is adjusting to life in the new town when the cabin owner (Emmitt) suddenly shows up, back in town after being injured in his photojournalist job. The predictable sparks fly. Additionally, Emmitt’s daughter’s mom has just died, and he struggles to be emotionally available for her after traveling so much for his job. Along with his daughter’s step dad and uncle, Emmitt and company often struggle to rein in their girl and help her work through her emotions. So, there’s a lot going on!

Here’s what didn’t work for me:

Emmitt is the stereotypical macho “player” in Rome. This kind of character trait always makes me face palm a little but his womanizing ways were a little too in my face for my liking. Also, I don’t think their love story wasn’t anything special since it was mostly lust turned to love.

Emmitt’s relationship with his teenage daughter was a bright point in the book. It was pretty funny to see her run circles around her dads. I also liked how Adair explores how each man processes the grief over losing the lady who held them all together. Men grieving and processing their emotions was refreshing and something we need to see more of.

The climax of the book/ big problem and the solution felt a bit forced.

Here’s what I loved:

My favorite theme in this book focused on Annie’s past. Adopted from Vietnam as a baby by white parents, Annie never feels like she truly fits in. She struggles knowing she wasn’t wanted by her birth parents but was wanted by her adopted parents and it’s such a complex dichotomy. Adoption is close to my family so I really loved the complexities with adoption that Adair focused on. In a truly heartbreaking scene, Annie is asked to consult on a patient by a well respected doctor. When she arrives in the exam room, the doctor assumes that because she’s Asian, she can speak Chinese with the patient and wants her to translate. While difficult to read, these are things that I don’t experience as a white women. Being in Annie’s shoes in this humiliating experience is an important lesson.

While the romance of the book isn’t anything extraordinary, I think the themes of grief, adoption, loss of a parent, and realizing that others’ actions aren’t a reflection of you are such important themes.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️