Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Book Review - Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen

Other Birds

Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Between the real and the imaginary, there are stories that take flight in the most extraordinary ways.

Right off the coast of South Carolina, on Mallow Island, The Dellawisp sits—a stunning old cobblestone building shaped like a horseshoe, and named after the tiny turquoise birds who, alongside its human tenants, inhabit an air of magical secrecy.

When Zoey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment at the Dellawisp she meets her quirky and secretive neighbors, including a young woman with a past, two estranged middle-aged sisters, and a lonely chef, and three ghosts. The sudden death of one of Zoey's new neighbors sets off a search that leads to the island's famous author and to a long-estranged relative of the sisters.
Each of them has a story, and each story has an ending which hasn't yet been written.

My Thoughts: I loved so much about this story...the main thing it being set in my home state of South Carolina! I literally had to go in search of Mallow Island and see if it actually existed because the author made it seem so doggone real and I never have heard of dellawisp birds and had to look them up as well. Such beauties they are!

Right from the start as Zoey arrives at The Dellawisp and takes over her mother's condo I was immersed into her and the other residents lives. One of them drops dead on her first day and the story just picks up from there as mysterious things begin happening from night shadows and theft to ghosts and cornmeal!

Definitely had some twists I didn't see coming!

A story of mothers and love, loss and letting go, and just simply trying to find your way in a hard world.

#sarahaddisonallen #otherbirds #stmartinspress

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Friday, April 21, 2023

Book Review - The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

The Soulmate

The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  There’s a cottage on a cliff. Gabe and Pippa’s dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Night after night Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge. Until he doesn’t.

When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral...Did the victim jump? Was she pushed?

And would Gabe, the love of Pippa’s life, her soulmate...lie? As the perfect facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel.

My Thoughts: I love stories by Sally Hepworth and enjoyed this one but I did find it a bit dry in places and another thing this started out so strong and then got sort of repetitive which slowed me down and took me a while longer to read than it should have. I'm not saying it was bad at all! I can't really even put my finger on what bothered me....but I do think most of it was I would grow so impatient with Pippa. So naive and I can't even say I liked her. Towards the ending I can really say she just didn't impress me much at all. She came across as a silly pitiful woman who always needed saving/coddling.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martins Press for this copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

#netgalley #stmartinspress #sallyhepworth #thesoulmate

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Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Book Review - The Last Word by Taylor Adams

The Last Word

The Last Word by Taylor Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Emma Carpenter lives in isolation with her golden retriever Laika, house-sitting an old beachfront home on the rainy Washington coast. Her only human contact is her enigmatic old neighbor, Deek, and (via text) the house’s owner, Jules.

One day, she reads a poorly written—but gruesome—horror novel by the author H. G. Kane, and posts a one-star review that drags her into an online argument with none other than the author himself. Soon after, disturbing incidents start to occur at night. To Emma, this can’t just be a coincidence. It was strange enough for this author to bicker with her online about a lousy review; could he be stalking her, too?

My Thoughts: Really makes one think about the reviews they leave! LOL-kidding but seriously I found this to be quite a fast paced psychological read! Without all the daily distractions I could have easily read this in a sitting it was really good and a page turner.

Emma was such an awesome character to get to know. I enjoyed that she had a backbone and not a poor defenseless woman persona. She stood her ground no matter how afraid she was and still thru it all was able to concentrate on what needed to be done to survive next.

I enjoyed the isolation of it all. That is fast becoming one of my favorite tropes. Maybe a scene or two was a bit predictable but still very entertaining and suspenseful! Loved It!

Thank you to the publisher and author for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

#WilliamMorrow #TaylorAdams #TheLastWord

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Monday, April 10, 2023

Book Review - Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn't heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won't protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.

Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.

My Thoughts: Okay so I guess I'm in the minority here because I just didn't get the hype. It was just okay for me. I was actually loving the beginning but as the story moved on into the making of the games and all the game talk I got quickly bored because while I love playing games I am not that big of a gamer. I guess that was where it lost me but I really didn't have a care for any of the characters either so it could have been a bit of both.

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 #Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group #GabrielleZevin #Tomorrow,andTomorrow,andTomorrow


Friday, April 7, 2023

Book Review - Super Easy and Delicious Air Fryer Recipes by Emily Paster

Super Easy and Delicious Air Fryer Recipes: Nutritious and Delicious Ways to Cook Your Favorite Food with Your Air Fryer (New Shoe Press)

Super Easy and Delicious Air Fryer Recipes: Nutritious and Delicious Ways to Cook Your Favorite Food with Your Air Fryer by Emily Paster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Turn your air fryer into the most versatile and oft-used appliance in your kitchen arsenal All the recipes in Super   Easy and Delicious  Air Fryer Recipes  use easy-to-find ingredients and feature short prep times and fast cook times.

My Thoughts: I rarely used my air fryer because things I cooked in it usually came out soggy or just not tasted like I wanted but when I came across this recipe book I decided to give it another go and not only are there some nice easy recipes in here to try but also loads of tips for beginners and the like to air frying. I couldn't believe I could cook biscuits in an air fryer and was pleasantly surprised at not only how simple it was but how great they tasted! Another thing my family and I enjoyed trying out was the apple fritters! Yummmm!

#netgalley ##SuperEasyandDeliciousAirFryerRecipes

Thanks to NetGalley for a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Sunday, April 2, 2023

Book Review - Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

Hello Beautiful

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Edward comes an emotionally layered and engrossing story of a family that asks: Can love make a broken person whole?

William Waters grew up in a house silenced by tragedy, where his parents could hardly bear to look at him, much less love him. So it’s a relief when his skill on the basketball court earns him a scholarship to college, far away from his childhood home. He soon meets Julia Padavano, a spirited and ambitious young woman who surprises William with her appreciation of his quiet steadiness. With Julia comes her family; she is inseparable from her three younger sisters: Sylvie, the dreamer, is happiest with her nose in a book and imagines a future different from the expected path of wife and mother; Cecelia, the family’s artist; and Emeline, who patiently takes care of all of them. Happily, the Padavanos fold Julia’s new boyfriend into their loving, chaotic household.

But then darkness from William’s past surfaces, jeopardizing not only Julia’s carefully orchestrated plans for their future, but the sisters’ unshakeable loyalty to one another. The result is a catastrophic family rift that changes their lives for generations. Will the loyalty that once rooted them be strong enough to draw them back together when it matters most?

Vibrating with tenderness, Hello Beautiful is a gorgeous, profoundly moving portrait of what’s possible when we choose to love someone not in spite of who they are, but because of it.

My Thoughts: This was a very emotional story. I was sad and angry so much while reading it. I held a deep anger towards William's parents for basically denying him the love, comfort, and joy he so desperately deserved. I understand they were hurting but they still had an obligation to him and because of what they lacked in giving him he grew up alone and unloved and it caused so many mental issues for him.

He finally found his love in basketball and met Julia whom I developed a strong disliking to very quick because she always had to have things her way with him with her family/sisters. She was just a bossy person and drove me nuts.

It's not a book for everybody and not everybody will enjoy it. I myself had to read it between other books because I couldn't bear the emotions or sports talk for long periods but I still am happy that I read it and think it was beautifully written.

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#dialpress #annnapolitano #randomhouse 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Book Review - Minotaur Sampler Volume 8

The Minotaur Sampler, Volume 8: New Books to Make Your Heart Race

The Minotaur Sampler, Volume 8: New Books to Make Your Heart Race by Melissa Adelman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Looking for a new book that will make your heart race? The eighth edition of The Minotaur Sampler compiles the beginnings of six can't-miss novels--either standalone or first in series--publishing Spring/Summer 2023 for free for easy sampling.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed reading this sampler from Minotaur and it did kick out a couple that I'd like to continue reading!

The New Mother - Nora Murphy
I was really beginning to get into this one about a woman being a first time mom and going thru all those anxieties add in being in a new house a new neighborhood and a creepy neighbor to boot! (Yes please! Got to continue with this one!)

What the Neighbors Saw - Melissa Adelman
(Yes! Another I am wanting to Continue!) A couple pregnant with their second child moves into a new neighborhood and it sounds like there may be some creepy neighbors here. Most all of them welcome the new couple to the neighborhood but treat the wife kind of strangely standoffish and then she goes snooping around the neighborhood after dark peeping in places she shouldn't have and it seems it's about to hit the fan!

Speak of the Devil - Rose Wilding
This opens with a head. Yes a severed head of what appears to have been a despicable man who most wanted dead. We have seven women who had reason for him to be dead but all of them say they didn't do it. (This one sounds like it should be good but for some reason the writing style just isn't sitting well with me. This is a "maybe" on my list)

The Bitter Past - Bruce Borgos
This is told in multiple timelines and opens with a guy who gets a job in security in the Nevada desert back in the nuclear time. We know something is about to happen because of all the secretive talk. I mean you can just tell. (I enjoyed the feel of the authors writing because usually I wouldn't have even picked up a book like this so this is another "maybe".)

The Trade Off - Sandie Jones
(Sorry but this didn't interest me in the least. I wont be carrying on with this one.) We open with a lady getting a job at a newspaper and trying to fit in. I just am not interested in all the newspaper world chatter and what goes on behind the scenes, how they develop their stories and so forth. Nothing really juicy was offered up in the small teaser here but I got enough to know I dont want to continue sadly.

North of Nowhere - Allison Brennan
Wow the action is there from the start for this story and I can't wait to grab it to find out what happens next. It opens with a man on the run with his two kids only they aren't really his but two that he has promised to protect and treated as his own for 5 or 6 years and now their crime family biological father has found them.

#TheMinotaurSamplerVolume8 #NetGalley

Thanks to Minotaur and Netgalley for these samplers in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Thursday, March 16, 2023

Book Review - The Doppelganger by Cole Baxter

The Doppelganger

The Doppelganger by Cole Baxter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  He looks just like her husband. But who is he really? And what is he planning to do with her?

Emmeline Hopkins-Keller is in paradise, sharing a luxurious holiday on a tropical island with her husband Jeffrey and his family. But it’s hard to relax and enjoy it when she knows her marriage is in deep trouble.

One fateful night, a cataclysmic argument between Emmeline and Jeffrey sends him fleeing into the deep, dark forest. A day later he is still missing, leaving everyone shocked and bewildered.

Then, a miracle. Jeffrey turns up unharmed and wants to reconcile. But something is horribly wrong. He looks and sounds like Jeffrey, but Emmeline is 100% sure he's not the man she married. Even if everyone in his family is welcoming this stranger with open arms.

Which leaves her wondering, who exactly is this imposter? And how can he deceive everyone around him? And most of all – what are his plans for Emmeline?

Struggling to believe that everyone around her is lying, Emmeline begins to doubt herself, to lose her grip on reality. Only one thing is certain – when she finally uncovers the terrifying truth, her life will be changed forever.

My Thoughts: This wasn't a bad read although I came close to not finishing it several times. The actual story was great but it got so repetitious with Emmeline's whiny pathetic character I could hardly bear it sometimes. Hate is a strong word but I really despised her. I have no clue what Jeffery ever saw in her. If that's what she considers love I wouldn't want any part of it.

I loved what happened here even if it did have me wondering "what the heck" a few times!

#TheDoppelganger #NetGalley

Thank you NetGalley for this copy for an honest review.

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Monday, March 13, 2023

Book Review - Borrow My Heart by Kasie West

Borrow My Heart (Borrow My Heart #1)

Borrow My Heart by Kasie West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  When a girl overhears a guy getting verbally destroyed by his friends for being catfished, she jumps in to save the day—and pretends to be his online crush. A young adult romance from the critically acclaimed author of Places We've Never Been.

Wren is used to being called a control freak. She doesn’t care; sticking to the list of rules she created for herself helps her navigate life. But when a cute guy named Asher walks through the door of her neighborhood coffee shop, the rulebook goes out the window.

Asher is cute, charming . . . and being catfished by his online crush. So Wren makes an uncharacteristically impulsive decision—she pretends to be the girl he's waiting for to save him from embarrassment. Suddenly she’s fake-dating a boy she knows nothing about. And it’s . . . amazing.

It's not long before Asher has her breaking even more of her own rules. But will he forgive her when he finds out she's not who she says she is? Wren's not so sure. . . . After all, rules exist for a reason.

My Thoughts: I am totally in awe with the cute cover with the dogs! I usually have been shying away from young adult books lately but when I read the description for this one I had to check it out and am so glad I did because I fell in love with Wren's big heart not only for trying to help out a total stranger but for the love, heart, and soul she put into her work at the local animal shelter. The dogs was just icing on the cake for this incredible read.

This was a fun short read about social media, young love, and the angst of just being a teen tossed with a bit of family drama.

#BorrowMyHeart #NetGalley

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for providing a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed are all my own.

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Sunday, March 12, 2023

Book Review - Not Your Valentine by Jackie Lau

Not Your Valentine

Not Your Valentine by Jackie Lau
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Helen Tsang is tired of the pitying looks. From her parents, her friends, and even the bubble tea shop guy, who recognized her from the video. Almost one year ago, some loser couldn’t mind their own damn business and filmed an unsuspecting Helen's very public break-up during what was supposed to be a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. A video of her ex-boyfriend saying, "It's not me, it's you. You're holding me back" went viral.

Desperate to give everyone something else to talk about and with Valentine’s Day approaching once again, she asks her long-time friend Taylor Li to be her fake boyfriend, just to prove that she's moved on and hasn’t sworn off love. (Spoiler alert: She's totally sworn off love.) Taylor is the perfect option—single for once, and for some godforsaken reason, he loves Valentine’s Day.

But Helen didn't expect was how easy it would be to get Taylor on board, fitting right into the boyfriend-shaped hole in her life. All she wanted was a couple sickeningly sweet dates to fill her social feeds, not corny text messages of silly heart-shaped cakes, and bouquets of flowers that harbor hidden meanings. Wanting to be around his sunshine attitude and delicious forearms all the time? That definitely wasn't expected.

With February 14 quickly approaching, it's getting increasingly difficult to ignore her feelings, especially when she starts wishing it wasn’t all an act.

Oh God. What has she done?

My Thoughts: 3.5 - So short and sweet! But not heart shaped cake sweet because Helen our main character doesn't like those heart shaped!

Sometimes you just need something a little light and fluffy and this fit the bill for that. I adored the relationship between Helen and Taylor. There was never much of a surprise as to what was going to happen but this is one of those stories that you just go on for the sake of going..... a soft cushy ride and a nice breather between heavier reads like thrillers and such.

Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for this copy for my honest opinion.

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Saturday, March 11, 2023

Book Review - Barkcuterie by Hammy

Barkcuterie: 25 Pawsome Snack Boards Your  Dog Will Love

Barkcuterie: 25 Pawsome Snack Boards Your Dog Will Love by Hammy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Now you don’t have to exclude your fur babies from the festive food with over 25 themed snack boards for holidays, special occasions, milestones, and just because. This special take on the classic charcuterie board is for every human’s best friend. Curated by social media’s favorite corgis, Hammy and Olivia (@hammyandolivia), each artfully designed barkcuterie board is chock-full of delicious homemade and store-bought dog treats. You’ll have fun making the quick and easy boards and even more fun sharing all the goodies with your dog. For cat owners, don’t worry! Hammy and Olivia have included a cat board for their feline friends. So, dress up your pup, get the camera ready, and celebrate:

National Dog Day
Valentine’s Day
Gotcha Day
Cinco de Mayo
and more

Including over 35 easy-to-make recipes for pupcakes, biscuits, donuts, and pupsicles and adorable photos of Hammy and Olivia, Barkcuterie is the ultimate way to let your dog know how much you love them.

My Thoughts: Oh good grief this is super super cute as well as giving knowledge on some wonderful treats for your fur babies! This book combines three of my favorite things (dogs, food, and charcuterie boards) so it's hardly a no brainer that I had to have it!

I must try the banana balls and chicken jerky treats soon. It has fabulous colorful photo's and easy directions to create each board/recipe! A total must have!

#Barkcuterie #NetGalley

Thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for providing this complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

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Friday, March 10, 2023

Book Review - The Hacienda by Isabel Canas

The Hacienda

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: In the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father is executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.

But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.

My Thoughts: While I'm not a big historical reader this was written in such a way that I was interested in it especially when being mingled with the horror/gothic genre. It was creepy, gory at times and danced around the notion of a forbidden romance and add to that a priest/witch and I was all in!

I feel like I missed out by not having access to the audio book to read along with so I can almost guarantee this will be a re-read as soon as the audio comes in at my library. It was creepy enough just reading it but I just feel the audio would make it more so!

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Friday, March 3, 2023

Book Review - The Watchers by AM Shine

The Watchers

The Watchers by A.M. Shine
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Synopsis: This forest isn't charted on any map. Every car breaks down at its treeline. Mina's is no different. Left stranded, she is forced into the dark woodland only to find a woman shouting, urging Mina to run to a concrete bunker. As the door slams behind her, the building is besieged by screams.

Mina finds herself in a room with a wall of glass, and an electric light that activates at nightfall, when the Watchers come above ground. These creatures emerge to observe their captive humans—and terrible things happen to anyone who doesn't reach the bunker in time.

Afraid and trapped among strangers, Mina is desperate for answers. Who are the Watchers? Why are these creatures keeping them imprisoned? And, most importantly, how can she escape?

My Thoughts: I tried and really wanted to like this. The first couple of chapters were good and promising but it just drags out to long. Could have been shaved by about 150 pages. I had to quit with it several times because I was starting to get into a reading slump. It had creepiness to it and would have been enjoyable had it not been so long.

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Thursday, March 2, 2023

Book Review - The Suffering by MJ Mars

The Suffering

The Suffering by M.J. Mars
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: “It was a suffering like no other. And, oh, how they suffered.”

Recreating the séance that led to the infamous Victorian Suffering massacre seems like a good idea at the time. But Kyle Birbeck soon discovers that the ghosts his distant ancestor banished into the walls of Brackenby House in 1876 have been lurking, waiting for a chance to come out.

One by one the 5 terrifying ghosts latch onto each of the students who reside at Brackenby, preying on their deepest fears: A 3-eyed Incan giant. A member of the Hellfire Club who struck a deal with the devil to keep his fortune in the afterlife. A thieving factory hand who fell to his death, torturing them with endless footsteps. An oracle with a horde of dead sailors to do her bidding, and a 17th century axe-wielding executioner with a murderous hobby.

It’s up to Kyle and his friends to uncover the real secrets of the séance and banish the ghosts for good. But they soon come to realise it isn’t Brackenby House that’s haunted. They are. And the ghosts will stop at nothing to continue The Suffering…

My Thoughts: 4.5 so so close to being a 5 star for me. What a way to start a story... at Halloween with a seance! Creepy! I would have loved to have listened to this on audio! I bet it was twice as creepy. Loved the ghost and their background stories. I had no problem flying thru as the ghosts became more apparent and forced themselves into the daily lives of the houses occupants. I can't say I really had a favorite character as all of them were unique and fun to follow in their turmoil but Cassie... I really felt badly for what all was happening to her especially. The last few pages.... I literally stood from a seated position and exclaimed oh hell naw!

If you like creepy and things that go farther than a bump in the dark don't miss The Suffering. Don't recommend reading it in the dark alone either.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Book Review - Quick and Easy Mediterranean Recipes by Amy Riolo

Quick and Easy Mediterranean Recipes: Delicious Recipes from the World's Healthiest Diet (New Shoe Press)

Quick and Easy Mediterranean Recipes: Delicious Recipes from the World's Healthiest Diet by Amy Riolo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Live longer, feel younger, lose weight, and have more energy by incorporating the Mediterranean way into your home kitchen.

Take the advice of the professionals who rate the Mediterranean diet the #1 healthiest diet in the world year after year. By following a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, and led by fruits and vegetables—even drinking a little wine with meals—you can improve your brain function, lose weight, improve your heart health, reduce your cholesterol, prevent diseases, look and feel younger, and prolong your life.

My Thoughts: The intro and pyramid were cool. It was interesting seeing how the Mediterranean diet pyramid stacked up to others as well as fun reading the little tidbits included with each recipe about traditions.

I have always been interested in learning some Mediterranean dishes and I did find one or two here that I am certain my family might enjoy but I wish the book had more photo's of the completed recipe's. I like to see the finished product to help me to gauge how a dish should turn out.

While most of the food sounded tasty and what little I saw looked yummy I just don't think my family would benefit much from these as they also sound like the ingredients would be to pricey to obtain on a daily or even weekly basis. Especially the cost of things now a days.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this for my honest opinion.

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Sunday, February 19, 2023

Book Review - You Can't Hide by Emily Shiner

You Can't Hide

You Can't Hide by Emily Shiner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Beth thought she’d escaped her past. But all this time, it’s been waiting for her…

Beth and Ian are desperate to have a child. So much so that they decide to sell his family cabin in upstate New York to pay for IVF.

When they arrive at the cabin, they meet Ryan, the caretaker. But Ryan is not who he says he is… He’s here because he knows Beth has a dark secret. And now he intends to use it against her.

He threatens to tell Ian everything about Beth's past unless she does exactly what he says.

Beth finds herself caught in a nightmarish trap. If Ian discovers what she’s been hiding from him, she’s sure he’ll leave her. She’ll lose everything she cares about, including the chance to have a child of her own.

On the other hand, what Ryan wants her to do is so dark and twisted it’s beyond horrifying.

Either way, Beth is sure her life is over, she can see no way out. Unless… Unless she digs deep and finds a part of herself that is willing to do something so awful it doesn’t even bear thinking about…

My Thoughts: OH my God! This grabbed me from the beginning and never turned loose! I pretty much read it in one sitting moving from room to room with it in my hand. While I will admit for the most part it was a bit predictable but was written in such a way I still very much enjoyed it. It has those kind of characters in it that you really either love to pull for or really love to despise! My only problem with it mainly was the ending was a bit to quick "for me". I wanted to know more about Ian and Beth's future or lack of one. I totally want to read more from Emily Shiner!

Thanks NetGalley for this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Monday, February 13, 2023

Book Review - Love On The Brain by Ali Hazelwood

Love on the Brain

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project--a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia--Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.

Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school--archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it's her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas...devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there's only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?

My Thoughts: I feel so bad because Ali seems like such a lovely person but sadly this really did nothing for me. I actually didn't find myself liking either of the main characters and if I had seen a reference to Marie Curie or the cats anal glands one more time I may have just thrown the book across the room.

Levi and Bee just came off as a bit to childish to be as smart a scientist as they supposedly were. I just couldn't understand how Levi could act so childish towards Bee one minute but then turn around and be all "manly like" barking out orders to his team and all tough guy like with other folks. And then Bee's whining constantly about "Oh you don't like me. You think I'm Ugly." It's even mentioned a couple times how Levi was kinda tired of hearing that especially after he said it aint so! Even if it was so put your big girl bloomers on and get over it.

With that being said there were things I liked about the book other than the beautiful cover and the fact that Bee had purple hair! How cool! I liked the message added into the story about standardized testing, I enjoyed the love of the kitties, and I adored Bee's assistant! It was a "cute" love story, I just wished the characters could have been a bit more likable and acted a bit more grown up at least for their profession.

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Saturday, February 11, 2023

Book Review - Cold People by Tom Rob Smith

Cold People

Cold People by Tom Rob Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  The world has fallen. Without warning, a mysterious and omnipotent force has claimed the planet for their own. There are no negotiations, no demands, no reasons given for their actions. All they have is a message: humanity has thirty days to reach the one place on Earth where they will be allowed to exist… Antarctica.

Cold People follows the perilous journeys of a handful of those who endure the frantic exodus to the most extreme environment on the planet. But their goal is not merely to survive the present. Because as they cling to life on the ice, the remnants of their past swept away, they must also confront the urgent challenge: can they change and evolve rapidly enough to ensure humanity’s future? Can they build a new society in the sub-zero cold?

My Thoughts: This started out great with a family on vacation and boy meets girl and all heck starts breaking loose with an alien invasion and all. I really was enjoying myself reading about how all the world and these folks we were introduced to were trying to make their way to the one place the aliens said they would let them live, Antarctica, in 30 days time.

Obviously we knew it would be chaotic which makes for a great story because we know everybody will not make it and we see everybody struggling trying to find their way and making tough decisions. I would not like to be in any of their shoes! The story jumps forward like 20 years or so and the folks that made it have formed havens and mapped out a way to live as best they could.

Some wicked stuff is happening now as they struggle to make a way for the human race to continue. Bizarre and unthinkable what they came up with, I just found it unimaginable and also was like "what were they thinking?" What happened towards the end was thought provoking because I feel like they kinda got what they were wanting in a way but then......on the other hand obviously they didn't plan on that outcome but I'm like come on how could that not have happened?

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Friday, February 10, 2023

Book Review - The Deep by Nick Cutter

The Deep

The Deep by Nick Cutter
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  A strange plague called the ’Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys…then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily…and there is no cure. 

But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Marianas Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as “ambrosia” has been discovered—a universal healer, from initial reports. It may just be the key to a universal cure. 

In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But now the station is incommunicado, and it’s up to a brave few to descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.

My Thoughts: I'm sorry but I just didn't like this at all. The beginning was so interesting and then it just went off the rails. I was bored to death and found that I didn't care for any of the characters except for the dog.

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Friday, February 3, 2023

Book Review - 100% Match by Patrick C Harrison III

100% Match

100% Match by Patrick C. Harrison III
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Bart is thirty. He is bald. He is overweight. He wears glasses. He is a fry cook. He hates cats. And kids. Bart occasionally does very bad things. He is looking for his perfect match. He has done his research.

My Thoughts: This was so sick I can't believe I couldn't put it down! Short chapters but just left you wondering what in the heck Bart was going to do next. Gross Gross Gross I may never have the nerve to eat fast food again! The ending though....

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Book Review - The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

The Good Sister

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SynopsisThere's only been one time that Rose couldn't stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be...dangerous.

When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.

Fern's mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.

My Thoughts: I listened to the audio and read along with the book and I feel it made me enjoy this so much more. The characters seemed to come to life as I was taken deeper into the story of these twin sisters, their present and past lives, and once I reached the end I could have popped myself when I realized what was going on because I felt I should have seen it but didn't. Anyhow it was a race to the ending about middle ways in. I just had to find out what happened! An emotional and heartwarming story.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Book Review - Fat Vampire by Johnny B Truant

Fat Vampire (Fat Vampire, #1)

Fat Vampire by Johnny B. Truant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis: When overweight treadmill salesman Reginald Baskin finally meets a co-worker who doesn't make fun of him, it's just his own bad luck that tech guy Maurice turns out to be a thousand-year-old vampire.

And when Maurice turns Reginald to save his life, it's just Reginald's own further bad luck that he wakes up to discover he's become the slowest, weakest, most out-of-shape vampire ever born, doomed to "heal" to his corpulent self for all of eternity.

As Reginald struggles with the downsides of being a fat vampire -- too slow to catch people to feed on, mocked by those he tries to glamour, assaulted by his intended prey and left for undead -- he discovers in himself rare powers that few vampires have… and just in time too, because the Vampire Council might just want his head for being an inferior representative of their race.

My Thoughts: A quick read about an overweight guy who is teased by his office workers and comforts himself with food. This was really easy to relate to and I feel like that's why I was able to sympathize with the MC so much. He finally finds a friend in Maurice but he practically has to die first. And then the fun begins!

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Friday, January 27, 2023

Book Review - The Drift by C.J. Tudor

The Drift

The Drift by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Survival can be murder . . .

Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. Evacuated from a secluded boarding school during a snowstorm, her coach careered off the road, trapping her with a handful of survivors.

Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She's in a cable car stranded high above snowy mountains, with five strangers and no memory of how they got on board.

Carter is gazing out of the window of an isolated ski chalet that he and his companions call home. As their generator begins to waver in the storm, the threat of something lurking in the chalet's depths looms larger.

Outside, the storm rages. Inside each group, a killer lurks.

But who?

And will anyone make it out alive? . . .

My Thoughts: I would love to watch this as a movie! Fast paced and enjoyable right up until the very end. I usually don't like stories with a lot of characters in it but it worked well here as they were divided into three distinct groups and very easy to keep separate. I shivered the entire time I was reading this not just the chilling story with the virus but the descriptiveness of the cold environment all the characters were in. and Wow when everything began coming together....pure genius! Would have easily been a 5 star read but the ending left me wanting a bit more......

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Thursday, January 5, 2023

Book Review - The Club by Ellery Lloyd

The Club

The Club by Ellery Lloyd
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Everyone's Dying to Join . . .

The Home Group is a glamorous collection of celebrity members' clubs dotted across the globe, where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash out in its five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of fans and the media.

The most spectacular of all is Island Home—a closely-guarded, ultraluxurious resort, just off the English coast—and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade.

But behind the scenes, tensions are at breaking point: the ambitious and expensive project has pushed the Home Group's CEO and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits. All of them have something to hide—and that's before the beautiful people with their own ugly secrets even set foot on the island.

As tempers fray and behavior worsens, as things get more sinister by the hour and the body count piles up, some of Island Home’s members will begin to wish they’d never made the guest list.

My Thoughts: This had so much to offer but slightly just missed the mark for me. I tried to enjoy it but it had so many characters to keep up with and such long chapters I barely made it thru.

*Thank you NetGalley for providing this for my honest opinion.

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Sunday, January 1, 2023

Book Review - Finlay Donovan Jumps The Gun by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun (Finlay Donovan, #3)

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Author and single mom Finlay Donovan has been in messes before―after all, she's a pro at removing bloodstains for various unexpected reasons―but none quite like this. When Finlay and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they had "borrowed" in the process of saving the life of Finlay's ex-husband, the Russian mob did her a favor and bought the car for her. And now Finlay owes them.

Mob boss Feliks is still running the show from behind bars, and he has a task for Finlay: find and identify a contract killer before the cops do. The problem is, the killer might be an officer themself.

My Thoughts: And the fun continues in this third installment of the adventures with Finlay and her trusty sidekick Vero! The beginning had me laughing so hard I was practically in tears. I was on the edge of my seat as I read and read and then when I realized what was happening man I about bust a gut I was laughing so hard! Then we get on into the story with our girls trying to get the mob off their back as well as Finlays ex trying to shimmy his way back with her ugh! We also get some hands on fun at the police academy with Finlays new beau.

I'm just loving and adoring this series and can't wait to see what's next!

*Thank you NetGalley for this copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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