Reading Round Up: April 11th-20th

Maggie Finds Her Muse by Dee Ernst – 3 Stars In this book we are following Maggie who is an author that is struggling to write her next book. She has pushed back her deadlines multiple times but just can’t find inspiration. After breaking up with her long time partner her agent and friend tells her to go to Paris with him and his partner that maybe inspiration will strike her in the city of love, which of course it does. While in Paris Maggie makes new friends, meets a man, spends time with her daughter and reconnects with her ex-husband.

This book started off really slow for me to the point where I almost dnf’d at 25% but I told myself I had to at least get to 50%. By the time I got halfway the book did pick up and I was enjoying it but nothing about it really blew me away. I loved the setting and the descriptions of food and places she was seeing in Paris. I have been obsessed with Paris since I was in high school and it is still one of my favorite places I have been to so I loved all the descriptions. One of the issues I had with the book was that there was no break between narratives so it would got from and her daughter somewhere and the next sentence she would be back home writing. I am guessing this was just a formatting issue with my advanced copy. Overall it was enjoyable and the last half was a lot more engaging the first. Thank you St. Martins Press and Netgalley for my copy to review.

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle – 5 Stars Oh my heart you guys!! This book hit me in all the feels and I loved it so much! I loved Sarah Hogle’s book that came out last year called You Deserve Each Other so I was a little scared going into this one but it did not disappoint! Wesley has moved up to be alongside Judd Lauren, Vasic Zen, Joshua Templeman and Will Trent as my favorite book boyfriends. Give me a grump any day of the week. Maybell inherits a run down mansion from her aunt who she hasn’t spoken to in years but was once very close too. When she arrives at what she thinks is her new home she finds out the house has also been left to the caretaker Wesley. Right off the bat the two have different ideas for how the house should be restored. Maybell wants to take it back to its origins as a hotel while Wesley wants to make it a large animal sanctuary. I loved the problem solving solutions the two came up with on to restore the house. This book was full of whimsey and charm as Maybell took us into her very detailed day dreams and I honestly want to visit Maybell’s Coffee Shop AU and have a donut! Highly, Highly recommend this book for a fun sweet and whimsical story of love and friendship!

Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho – 4 Stars I have had this book on my shelves since it was released last year and doing a buddy read with @bookgoalbusters finally got it off my tbr shelf 😁This book has been described as Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones Diary and I can see that comparison. I have not read Bridget Jones but have seen the movie and the main characters narration at times was like Bridget’s. I listened to this one on audio and I highly recommend going that route. The narrator was really funny and I loved her reading Andrea’s diary entries. This was a fun story of a woman trying to find what really makes her happy and please her family. This is not a romance but does have some in it, just want to put that out there because I never know which books are more rom com vs woman’s fiction 💕

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse – 3 Stars I really enjoyed the atmosphere in this book. An isolated hotel in the Alps that used to be a sanatorium. I was hoping for a little more creepy vibe with the setting but it didn’t quite go there. I also was just meh on the actual mystery but I did enjoy it over all. The epilogue of this is what really got me, I hope this turns into a series because I need answers!! One thing I found interesting is that I keep seeing many mention in books about how Sanatoriums were used to keep woman who didn’t conform to the time’s expectations. I really want to know more about this and plan on doing some research. If you have any recommendations then let me know.

Like Cats and Dogs by Kate McMurray – 2 Stars I thought the idea of this one sounded cute but the reality was that I just didn’t click with it. We first meet Lauren who runs a cat cafe and has a flirtation with a new patron, this patron turns out to be the new Vet, Dr. Caleb Fitch who works at the clinic next door. By chapter 3 I knew this book was going to be hard for me. I am not really an animal person (I like them just not to the point where I think one is better than the other) and this book relies heavily on the cat vs. dog mentality. A few days after meeting Dr. Fitch, Lauren takes her cat into the vet thinking they have a UTI but Caleb wants to run tests to make sure it’s not something else. Lauren then begins to argue with him, THE DR. about whats wrong her cat and the fact that she owns a bunch means she can diagnosis it. I found this scene so irritating! She is not a doctor, he is and yet she fights with him about how to treat the cat!! Then in the middle of this she yells “you’re a dog person aren’t you?” Really!! At this point I was done! Why did this become a thing? Why is there a trope for this!

I decided to keep reading to see if the book gets better and the answer is not really. I liked her writing and there was definitely some funny lines like when she she was equating a dog and cat person to a coke vs. pepsi person. Here again, I will gladly drink both and do not have a preference so maybe Im not the best judge. One other small qualm I had with the story is that they were trying to portray Caleb as a grump and he was in no way one. I love grumpy main characters and Caleb was not that. There was enough in the writing that made me want to be interested so I will definitely pick up another book by Kate McMurray, just not one about cats vs. dogs people. Thank you Sourcebooks Casablanca for my gifted copy to review.

Her Dark Lies by J. T. Ellison – 3 Stars This book was just ok for me. We are following Claire who is an artist and is about to get to married in to the very wealthy Compton family. As soon as Claire and fiance Jack arrive on the island of Isle Isola it is clear that someone does not want the weeding to go through. Accidents start happening and people end up dying all the while Claire, Jack and his family are trying to figure out whats going on. This book had potential but it just never really grabbed me. I feel like I missed something and ended the book going “huh?” I love a good isolated mystery/thriller but this one was just ok.

Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno Garcia – 3 Stars I don’t have a lot to say about this one as it was a short story so I don’t want to give a lot away. This story follows Amelia who lives in Mexico City and dreams about going to one of the colonies on Mars. I was really invested in the character and would have loved to know more about what came after the end .

May (Maybe) TBR

Hi Friends! I am her today with my May (Maybe) TBR. I still have a few ARCs I need to read but I really want to mood read this month. Below I have the few monthly goals I try to reach each month. I also found this fun readathon that is Star Wars Themed. Im not sure if I will get to it or not but if I do I will put it in my wrap up. What are your reading plans for May? Do you have a big TBR or just reading whatever you want?

For my back list books (which is any book I bought prior to January 1st 2021)

  • Mercy House by Alena Dillon

I have some buddy reads as well this month that I need to get too.

  • Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane
  • Mary Shelly Club by Goldy Moldavsky
  • Pucked by Helena Hunting – Re-read
  • The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor

ARC’s For May that I need to read.

  • It Had To Be You by Georgia Clark out 5/4
  • The Siren by Katherine St. John Out 5/4
  • The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz out 5/11
  • People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry out 5/11
  • Hunting Wives by May Cobb out 5/18

For Kayla’s Buzzword – This month’s word is House/Home and it needs to be somewhere in the title.

  • The House at the Bottom of the Lake by Josh Malerman
  • Mercy House – Also a Backlist

Other Books I would like to try and get too.

  • Meet Me In Paradise by Libby Hubscher
  • The Beautiful Ones by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Ex-Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto
  • Quiet In Her Bones by Nalini Singh
  • Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Again these are all books that I would like to read soon but I know I probably won’t get to most of these. What are you reading this month? Are you participating in any fun reading challenges?

May New Releases

Hi Friends! I am here today with some of my most anticipated reads for May. I have already read some and many more I will get done this month too. What books are you looking forward to this month? Let me know in the comments below!

  • The Girl With Stars In Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod out 5/4 – 4 Stars – Contemporary Romance
  • Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane 5/4 – Contemporary Fiction/Romance
  • Most Beautiful Girl In Cuba by Chanel Cleeton out 5/4 – Historical Fiction
  • Secret Bridesmaid Katy Birchall out 5/4 – 4 Stars – Contemporary Romance
  • The Siren by Katherine St John out 5/4 – Thriller
  • Six Weeks To Live by Catherine McKenzie out 5/4 – Thriller
  • People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry out 5/11 – Contemporary Fiction
  • The Plot out by Jean Hanff Korelitz out 5/11 – Thriller

  • The Hunting Wives by May Cobb out 5/18 – Thriller
  • Rosaline Palmer Takes The Cake by Alexis Hall out 5/18 – Contemporary Romance
  • The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren out 5/18 – Contemporary Romance
  • Legacy by Nora Roberts out 5/25 – 4 Stars – Romantic Suspense
  • Touch of Malice by Scarlett St. Claire out 5/25 – Paranormal Romance/Fantasy

Blog Tour: The Girl With Stars In Her Eyes

About the Book

Her name’s Antonia “Toni” Bennette (yeah, she’s heard all the jokes before) and she’s not a rock star. Neither are the Lillys—not yet. But the difference between being famous and being almost famous can be a single wrong note…or the start of something that’ll change your life forever.

Growing up in dive bars up and down the East Coast, Toni Bennette’s guitar was her only companion…until she met Sebastian Quick. Seb was a little older, a lot wiser, and before long he was Toni’s way out, promising they’d escape their stifling small town together. Then Seb turned eighteen and split without looking back.
Now, Toni’s all grown up and making a name for herself in Philadelphia’s indie scene. When a friend suggests she try out for a hot new up-and-coming band, Toni decides to take a chance. Strong, feminist, and fierce as fire, Toni B. and the Lillys are the perfect match…except Seb’s now moonlighting as their manager. Whatever. Toni can handle it. No problem. Or it wouldn’t be if Seb didn’t still hold a piece of her heart…not to mention the key to her future.

My Thoughts

Antonia “Toni” Bennett has always loved playing guitar and making music but she has never desired the spot light so she works as a session musician for a local recording studio and playing a few nights a week at a local bar. Toni’s mother always wanted to make it big so she and Toni would go to club after cub until she turned 12 and her mother left her with a father she has never known. Years later Toni gets an opportunity to audition for upcoming rock band The Lilly’s to fill in temporarily while the lead guitarist has a small break. Toni decides to take the offer and finds out that her best growing up who ended up leaving her without a goodbye, is the band’s manager Seb.

Growing up both Seb and Toni didn’t have a great family so the two made one together so it was really and when Seb left Toni with no warning. At first I was not on board with Seb trying to get back into Toni’s good graces, it was hard to tell what his intentions were but by the end I really liked him. They both had things from their pasts that they needed to go through and I enjoyed them both.

This book was a fun journey for Toni as she struggles with trying to decide what she really wants out of her music career, does she just want to make music or does she want to be a part of something bigger? I really enjoyed this book and the girls in The Lilly’s were amazing and I am so glad that this is a series so we get stories for each of them. There is one character that I really did not like at all and I really don’t want to get a redemption story for them because I don’t want them to end with who I think they will! Also I really want a story about Zeph, they were not a main character and was only in for like 2 pages but I need more about them! Highly recommend this one especially if you love books that have a. musical element in them.

Thank you Sourcebooks Casablanca for my gifted copy for review!

WWW Wednesday – 4/28

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Sam on Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The three Ws are:
What are currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

What are you currently reading?

  • The Most Beautiful Girl In Cuba by Chanel Cleeton – ARC
  • Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne – Physical Book
  • Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson – Physical Book
  • Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey – Audio

What did you recently finish reading?

  • Lover Unveiled by JR Ward
  • To Love and To Loathe by Martha Waters
  • The Secret Bridesmaid

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • It Had To Be You by Georgia Clark – ARC
  • Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey – Buddy Read

What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!

Thrift Book Haul #9

Hi Friends! I am here today with my first thrift haul of April and I am happy to say there will only be one more and it is very small! However, I seemed to have made up for my lack of thrift buying for full priced books as my April Haul is pretty big.

The Adventure Zone – I love this podcast and really want to read the graphic novels. This is vol 2 but I knew I had to pick it for $3. If you like DnD and funny podcasts then I would check out this one.

Expire by Danielle Girard – I loved White Out by her which I read last month ( see my review here )so I have been on the look out for some back list titles.

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth – Again I loved her newest thriller (review here) so I have been looking for backlist titles.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I read this one before I started my blog but I enjoyed it and want to do a re-read at some point.

Choose Your Own Adventure – Outlaws of Sherwod Forrest – Made me feel nostalgic because I loved these as a kid so picked it up.

Winter People by Jennifer McMahon – I have heard from many people that this is a really good thriller so I when I saw it I grabbed it.

Last Breath by Karin Slaughter – One of her short stories.

Alone by Lisa Gardner – As can be seen by my many other thrift hauls I pick up her books when I can.

Deep in the Alaskan Woods by Karen Harper – I love romances set in Alaska so decided to try a mystery/thriller.

Birds of New Zealand – I know I talk about on her how I like to go birding especially when I am in a new place so when I find books like this I pick them up for the days when I can travel again. This one was fun because it had notes with dates next to be birds that someone saw there!

Have you read any of these? Let me know your thoughts below!

Top 5 Tuesday: April 27th

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah @the Bionic Bookworm and is now being hosted by Meeghan @Meeghan Reads. This week’s topic is Top 5 Graphic Novels. I don’t read a ton of graphic novels, it’s mostly comic bind ups for me. Let me know your favorites in the comments below!

Blood Stain by Linda Šejić – This follows Elliot as she take on the job of being the assistant to Dr. Vlad Stein. She is not sure what he does but he is usually covered in blood. These are bind ups of a web toon series.

Hawkeye by Matt Fraction – This is one of my favorite runs of Hawkeye! The interactions with him and Kate Bishop are fantastic. There are 5 volumes in total and these are bind ups of the individual issues.

Rat Queens – Im not sure how these were originally published but I read them as volumes and they are hilarious! This follows four woman who basically go on DnD adventures.

Green Arrow – Rebirth – Love the rebirth story line of Oliver Queen AKA Green Arrow. He is one of my favorite comic characters. And I love the relationship with Black Canary. Bind ups of individual issues.

Batman: Hush, Heart of Hush and The Wedding – What can be said about Batman other than he is THE BEST. The Hush books are some of my favorite as is the Tom King run that went on the last couple of years. The bind up for the wedding issues are some of my all time favorites! Plus Catwoman!!

I just realized I forgot Fence and Check Please! Both great graphic novels!!

I also want to add a few that I really want to read but haven’t been able to yet.

Blog Tour & Promo: The Crown Of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Happy Monday friends!! I hope every one had a great weekend! The weather was so beautiful here so we spent some time outside working in the yard! I am so ready for warm weather and spending time outside and planting my veggie garden. I am happy to be part of the blog tour for The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

“Armentrout surprises me at every page turn with higher stakes, hotter heat, shocking revelations, and a knows-no-bounds love that hits me deep, and I am here for it.” –Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author

The Crown of Gilded Bones, the all new gripping and intense third installment in the epic fantasy Blood and Ash series from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout is out now, and we have an inside look!

She’s been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of.Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers. “”

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become theQueen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.


A sudden growl of warning came from the largest wolven I’d ever seen. Kieran and Vonetta’s father stood to my right. Jasper had officiated the marriage between Casteel and me in Spessa’s End. He’d been there when Nyktos showed his approval by briefly turning day to night. But now, the steel-hued wolven’s lips peeled back, baring teeth thatcould tear through flesh and break bone. He was loyal to Casteel, and yet instinct told me that it wasn’t just the guards he warned. Another snarl came from my left. In the shadows of the blood tree that had sprouted from where my blood had fallen and then grew to a massive height within seconds, a fawn-colored wolven crept into my line of sight, head dipped low, and wintery blue eyes iridescent. Kieran. He stared down Casteel. I didn’t understand why either of them would behave this way toward the Prince, but especially Kieran. He had been bonded to Casteel from birth, meant to obey and protect him at all costs. But he was more than a bonded wolven to Casteel. They were brothers, if not by blood then by friendship, and I knew they loved each other. Right now, nothing about the way Kieran’s ears were pinned back was loving. Unease skipped its way through me as Kieran sank down, the sleek muscles of his legs tensing as he prepared to attack…Casteel. My stomach plummeted. This wasn’t right. None of this was right. “No,” I rasped, my voice hoarse and barely recognizable, even to my ears. Kieran didn’t appear to hear me or care. If he had been acting normally, I would’ve just assumed he was attempting to ignore me, but this was different. He was different. His eyes were brighter than I ever remembered seeing, and they weren’t right because they…they weren’t just blue now. His pupils glowed silvery-white, an aura that seeped out in wispy tendrils across the blue. My head jerked to Jasper. His eyes had changed, too. I’d seen that strange light before. It had been what my skin had done when I healedBeckett’s broken legs—the same silvery glow that had radiated from me minutes earlier. Icy bursts of surprise raced through Casteel as he eyed the wolven, and then I felt…relief radiate from him. “You all knew.” Casteel’s voice filled with awe, something no one standing behind him felt. Even the easy grin was absent from the auburn-haired Atlantian. Emil looked at us with wide eyes, broadcasting a healthy dose of fear, as did Naill, who had always appeared utterly unfazed by everything—even when he’d been outnumbered in battle.

About Jennifer L. Armentrout

#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true.When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Border JackApollo. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance.She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen andBrazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers ChoiceAward for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction byYALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was an Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over a hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and AdultFiction, panels, parties, and more.

Connect with Jennifer

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S4S – April 25th

Six for Sunday is a weekly meme created by A Little But A Lot and today’s topic is: Characters who would make great ships captains. This one took way too much thinking on my part! When I think of pirate captains I think of leaders who do whats right for their crew and are not afraid to get their hands a little dirty. They are take charge and no nonsense and their crew is devoted to them. Here are six characters who I think could handle the job of being a pirate captain.

  • Simon from Well Met by Jen Deluca – This one is a bit of cheat because he plays a pirate during a Ren Fair. I chose him because he takes charge and organizes the entire fair and cares for his people that help him run it.
  • Emily from Well Met by Jen Deluca – I also chose the other main character from Well Met and that is Emily. I chose her because she saw things and how they needed to be and got everyone on board with her ideas.
  • Joshua Templeman from The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – He is stern and silent and strong! He isn’t afraid to make hard decisions even if he knows it won’t make him a favorite among his peers.
  • Caleb Krycheck from The Psy-Changling Series by Nalini Singh – Again he will do anything to get stuff done, he isn’t afraid to make hard decisions for the betterment of his people.
  • Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniel’s series by Ilona Andrews – She leads mercenaries and hangs out with shifters and vampires. Kate gets shit done!
  • Max from The Honey Badger Chronicles by Shelly Laurenston – Max is one of my all time favorite characters. I loved her from the first book in the trilogy and she only gets better. Nobody messes with this crazy honey badger!

Sorry this one is so short guys, I had a really hard time with it! Let me know in the comments below who you think would make a good pirate captain.

ABC Book Challenge: J

Hello Book Friends and happy Saturday!! I have seen this challenge on a few blogs like One Book More and Meeghan Reads and thought it looked like a fun way to talk about some books I read before (and after) I started my blog and also some upcoming books I would like to read that are on my tbr. For the books I pick I will put in parentheses what number it is in a series, if it’s in one and the author. It seems that I do not have a ton of books that start with the letter J. Let me know below what J books you like.

Books that start with J

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – 5 Stars – Classic
  • Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier – 4 Stars – Thriller – My Review
  • Josh and Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating by Christina Lauren – 4 Stars – Contemporary Romance
  • Justified by Jay Crownover – 4 Stars – Contemporary Cowboy Romance – My Review

Books on my TBR that start with J

  • The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Lenner – Historical Fiction
  • The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson – Mystery
  • Just Last Night bu Mhairi McFarlane – Contemporary Romance

Do we share any of the same memorable books for the letter J? Let me know in the comments below!

Until Next Time, Happy Reading!