Book Review

Book Review: Home is Where You Are by Melissa Grace

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 328 pages
Author: Melissa Grace
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: October 27th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Olivia Sinclair left her dreams of a music career behind, along with her hopes for love and a family. With her husband having left her for more fertile pastures, she’s content to focus her energy on her thriving bakery, a new home, and an ornery rescue cat named Mama. That is until Liv’s best friend drags her to a concert where she meets the handsome (and much younger) frontman of the popular band, Midnight in Dallas.

Jaxon Slade is looking for a little inspiration. Up against a deadline, his ability to write music has escaped him. But when he meets Liv backstage, all of that changes. Jax is instantly captivated by her witty sense of humor and effortlessly beautiful voice. As the two grow closer, he begins to see a future with Liv by his side. All he has to do is convince her that their connection is worth the risk.

But when Jax suggests taking their relationship to the stage as a duo, fame makes some of the most painful details of Liv’s past public, testing her belief in their relationship and herself. Liv must decide between being the woman the world and her ex told her she was, or choosing the woman she was always meant to be. Home Is Where You Are, the first in the Midnight In Dallas series, is a story of love, friendship, and the family we choose.

NO.

Yeah, I should have DNFed this. I acknowledge that choice. I kept thinking there’d be a turnaround. There was not.

First mistake, the instant, first chapter, all consuming, I’m in love with this person. I know this can be accomplished well, but here, there was absolutely NO ANGST. None. I wanted to feel something for these two, but being thrown into love within the first chapter annoyed me. I knew nothing about anyone before the entire plot was laid out. You knew exactly where things were going. I could have told you the plot (including “twists”) without reading more than the first chapter.

The initial issues ramped up the pronounced drama throughout. There’s some good moments in here about a few things, but that was the small good I found.

I didn’t like how some of the characters were portrayed either. A lot of it bugged me.

I think I’ll stop here. It’s enough.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: discussion of infertility and a past miscarriage, growing up in foster care, a parent with a drug addiction, losing a spouse to cancer, losing a spouse to an accident, divorce

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Book Review

Book Review: A Hand-Me-Down Heart (Texas General Cases of Romance #1) by Becki Willis

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 148 pages
Author: Becki Willis
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 24th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Grace Stavenaugh has lived her life in the shadow of her older sister. Even as children, Hope was always the talented one and Grace the smart one. Hope received the attention, the boyfriends, and the beautiful clothes; Grace received the hand-me-downs.

The leftovers never bothered Grace, until it came to one boy. Her sister went through boyfriends and their affections like she did her clothes, carelessly tossing one aside in favor of another. Often left to stall her sister’s adoring public, Cruz Colton was the one boy Grace never objected to entertaining. As their friendship grew and Grace found herself falling for the boy with the quiet sense of humor, she began to imagine he really came to see her, and not her sister. But one fateful night changed that perception, and she realized his was only a hand-me-down heart, after all. Long ago, Grace banished thoughts of Cruz from her mind, even if her heart was reluctant to let his memory go.

Ten years later, their paths cross again. Grace is living her dream as a registered nurse, Hope is a brilliant concert violinist, and Cruz has a distinguished career in the military. Recently discharged from service, Cruz checks in at Texas General Hospital where Grace works.

And just like that, Grace’s heart picks up where it left off.

She tells herself she’s over him. These sparks between them are nothing but leftover embers from bridges burned, a decade past. The adult Cruz is a changed, hardened man. The shadows in his dark eyes speak of hidden secrets and the horrors of war. Is Grace strong enough to help him battle his inner demons? And with Hope back in town, can Grace stand up to her sister’s domineering presence?

Grace may have been content in the shadows as a girl, but she’s a woman now, and she knows what she wants. It’s time to let her own light shine, because Cruz Colton’s is definitely a hand-me-down heart worth fighting for.

From the best-selling author of Texas General Cozy Cases of Mystery, The Sisters, Texas Series, and Forgotten Boxes, don’t miss this first book in the series! 

FULL OF HEART.

This was a quick and well-written tale of second chances. I was impressed that within 150 pages that I felt some emotion and attachment to these characters. The set-up for their second chance worked out really well for them.

It’s a cozy read with two characters coming to terms with a lot from their pasts. I thought the banter was cute and made for an enjoyable read. There’s not a lot here to dive down into but it is engaging. Some aspects were a bit silly (i.e. what the main issue was from their past). Overall though I’m happy with this simple, romantic read and am curious of the authors other novels.

The side characters made me laugh, and completely roll my eyes. I did like the charm they added to the book and helped round out some of the situational aspects. If you’re looking for something light to get lost in for the afternoon it’s a satisfactory choice.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warings: PTSD (from being a war veteran)

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Book Review

Book Review: Lucky Witches (Riddler’s Edge #3) by A.A. Albright

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Length: 257 pages
Author: A.A. Albright
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 26th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Just because Detective Quinn is on holiday does not mean that the rest of Riddler’s Edge gets to take a break.

And it definitely doesn’t mean that Aisling misses him.

But even if she did miss him – ever so slightly, mind you – she has far more urgent things to worry about. Like the fact that every single person the detective asked to look after his lighthouse has met with an unfortunate accident. Or the fact that a mysterious casino has appeared overnight – and instead of winning money, the gamblers are winning wishes.

These wishes are not all they seem, and as violence and chaos break out, it’s becoming ever more likely that the detective’s lighthouse is keeping a secret of its own.

ANOTHER GREAT READ.

Flying through these and loved this one too. I love how each mystery is unique to the town and yet brings out more to the larger plot. I loooove Aisling and her banter and wittiness. Her inner monologue makes me laugh and this was no exception.

I felt the only thing missing was a bit for Dylan. He wasn’t there for good reasons though so I’m curious how that comes into play in the next book. I love getting to know all of these side characters too. Everyone is well thought out and adds another layer to this quick mysteries.

Overall audience notes:

  • Paranormal Cozy Mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: murder

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Book Review

Book Review: Witchy See, Witchy Do (Riddler’s Edge #2) by A.A. Albright

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Length: 254 pages
Author: A.A. Albright
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: May 28th, 20218
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

There’s been another unfortunate death in Riddler’s Edge. And just like last time, this one definitely wasn’t a murder.

Or was it?

When Heather Flynn is found hanging from the church bell, it seems clear that she killed herself. But Aisling Smith is convinced otherwise – and not just because it appears that Heather’s death was a resurrection spell gone wrong. There are mysterious symbols painted below Heather’s body – symbols which emit a green glow that only Aisling can see.

It’s Shanty Season in Riddler’s Edge – and seeing as Heather was a member of the local choir, Aisling thinks it might be time to sing for her supper. Well, to sing for her story, anyway.

But when yet another member of the choir is killed, the case gets stranger yet. Aisling and Detective Quinn find themselves involved in the gruesome game of Witchy See, Witchy Do – a game from which no player has ever emerged alive.

IS THIS MY NEW FAVORITE?

Two books in and all I want to do is binge the entire series. I don’t have long reviews for these because they’re very quick reads, just know that I find them super enjoyable and compulsively readable.

I adore Aisling. She is full of witty comebacks and smart dialogue. I love learning more about her and how her full story is slowly unfurling. Still smitten with the budding romance with detective Dylan and I can’t wait for more!!

This mystery kept me on my toes a bit more. It took awhile before I put together all of the pieces, but I love how it all came together and the new info I learned. The writing is witty and these are such a delight to read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Paranormal cozy mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: flirting
  • Violence: murder

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