Book Review

ARC Book Review: Juniper Bean Resorts to Murder by Gracie Ruth Mitchell

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance + Mystery
Length: 368 pages
Author: Gracie Ruth Mitchell
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: March 31st, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Juniper Bean has big plans for her writing career. Swoony kisses, sigh-inducing happily ever afters—she’s going to write them all.

There’s just one problem: she can’t seem to stop killing off her main characters.

After accepting that a genre change is in order, Juniper sets out to do some research. What’s the best way to carry a dead body? How exactly does one pick a lock? Juniper is going to find out—with the unwilling help of her new roommate, Aiden.

But Juniper’s plans go haywire when she stumbles across an actual, real-life dead body—and before she knows it, she and Aiden are thrust into the middle of a murder mystery that seems suspiciously tied to Juniper’s past.

Who killed the girl in the woods? Can Juniper ever get the hang of mystery writing? And, perhaps the biggest question of all: Why the heck does Aiden look so good in a tweed jacket?

Thank you to the author for an eARC.


I increasingly became obsessed with this story the more I read. It was a beautiful combination of romance, mystery, vulnerability and humor. My new favorite book by Gracie Ruth Mitchell.

This romance was off the charts tender. With a dash of second chance and a feeling of fate playing a role, Juniper and Aiden found each other [again]. I loved the way they bounced off of each other and how you could really see the growth in their bond as they worked together to solve a murder mystery. There were incredibly vulnerable moments from both Aiden and Juniper about how they perceive themselves and things they knew they needed to work on and it had me all misty-eyed at the end. I felt all the feels.

The mystery played out well!! It was woven in behind the romance (without overshadowing) and I was still very much intensely involved in solving the crimes. Those more intense ending scenes were exactly what I was hoping for and all of the grand reveals simultaneously broke my heart and gave me relief for the characters involved.

A really great read. I could keep gushing about all of the tiny moments I absolutely adored that came together to make this book huggable. I know this was a mix-up in what GRM usually writes and she NAILED IT.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance + Mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: moderate
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: murder, knife violence, alludes to sexual assault and rape (of a side character), loss of a mother, lack of food resources

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Book Review

Book Review: The Siren by Katherine St. John

Rating: ★★★
Audience: Thriller/Mystery
Length: 416 pages
Author: Katherine St. John
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: May 4th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


From Katherine St. John, author of The Lion’s Den, comes another sublimely escapist thriller: When dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power hires his ex-wife, Stella Rivers, to act in his son’s film, he sparks a firestorm on an isolated island that will unearth long-buried secrets — and unravel years of lies.

In the midst of a sizzling hot summer, some of Hollywood’s most notorious faces are assembled on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, starring dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power playing opposite his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. The surefire blockbuster promises to entice audiences with its sultry storyline and intimately connected cast.

Three very different women arrive on set, each with her own motive. Stella, an infamously unstable actress, is struggling to reclaim the career she lost in the wake of multiple, very public breakdowns. Taylor, a fledgling producer, is anxious to work on a film she hopes will turn her career around after her last job ended in scandal. And Felicity, Stella’s mysterious new assistant, harbors designs of her own that threaten to upend everyone’s plans.

With a hurricane brewing offshore, each woman finds herself trapped on the island, united against a common enemy. But as deceptions come to light, misplaced trust may prove more perilous than the storm itself.


Goodness this book took me in so many directions I could hardly keep a handle on everything happening. Which definitely kept the pages turning.

What I did realize though is that this type of thriller isn’t my favorite? The writing is great, the story is intense and disturbing, but something about it just didn’t click for me in the end. Maybe some of the subject matter was a bit too much. I can’t quite pinpoint the vibe.

I liked that this kept me guessing at every turn. The flashback scenes added to the history and built up to the reveals well. As the hurricane rocked the island and crap really started to hit the fan I HAD to know where things were going.

I’m glad everything worked out in the end and that there was an epilogue. This kind of story had to have that closure. An intense tale for sure.

Overall audience notes:

  • Thriller/Mystery
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: multiple brief open door
  • Violence: mild-strong
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: suicide, murder, physical altercations, gun violence, kidnapping, drug use, rape, forced miscarriage, substance abuse, nonconsensual drugging

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Five Survive by Holly Jackson

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: YA Thriller
Length: 400 pages
Author: Holly Jackson
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: November 29th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Eight hours. Six friends. Five survive. A road trip turns deadly in this addictive YA thriller from the bestselling author of the worldwide phenomenon A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER.

Red Kenny is on a road trip for spring break with five friends: Her best friend – the older brother – his perfect girlfriend – a secret crush – a classmate – and a killer.

When their RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere with no cell service, they soon realize this is no accident. They have been trapped by someone out there in the dark, someone who clearly wants one of them dead.

With eight hours until dawn, the six friends must escape, or figure out which of them is the target. But is there a liar among them? Buried secrets will be forced to light and tensions inside the RV will reach deadly levels. Not all of them will survive the night. 

Thank you to Delacorte Press and Netgalley for an eARC.


Well this a riiiiide. One that I binge read in two sittings because I easily get wrapped up in thrillers. I am also easily spooked by anything remotely creepy or frightening so yes, I was reading with a light on.

For a book only covering 8 hours it was an adventure. A very interesting group of friends together just trying to get to spring break when BAM. All the things start happening. This book needed a fast paced and that pace was served. I spanned the spectrum on emotions towards all of the characters. Which to me was the kind of thing I like seeing in thrillers. I want to hug some characters and shake others. I even impressed myself with figuring out who were the five to survive.

The plot is definitely intense at times and high stakes were achieved. There were big twists that took me by surprise and I loved turning the pages on this one. I’m not really a thriller reader, but Holly Jackson is one thriller author I will keep coming back to.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Thriller
  • Language: some strong
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent (recounted multiple times), executions (recounted), gun violence, attempted murder, murder, physical altercations, alcohol consumption, mob violence

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Book Review

Book Review: Girls of Salt and Sea by Natalia Macias Lucia

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
Genre: Thriller + Romance
Length: 484 pages
Author: Natalia Macias Lucia
Publisher: Lightkeeper Press LLC
Release Date: August 26th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


“Don’t go back to Halcyon Bay.”

24-year-old Dell Costa knows nothing of the island where she was born, nor of the distant family that calls it home. For years, she’s lived a world away from Halcyon Bay, fiercely protected from the secrets of her past. But when Dell receives notice that her estranged grandmother has died, and her mother falls into a sudden downward spiral, she is determined to figure out why.

Returning to the island one stormy night, Dell resides at her grandparents’ seaside estate over a long weekend of funeral proceedings, learning of her family’s tragic history and the strange local folklore concerning drowned girls. With the help of a captivating young fisherman, Dell discovers that her childhood home teems with dangers at every turn—some even lurk beneath the crashing waves.

Nothing on Halcyon Bay is as it seems on the surface, and when small town whispers prove to be more than hearsay, Dell finds herself at the center of a dangerous plot with deadly repercussions.

In Girls of Salt and Sea, debut author Natalia Macias Lucia weaves a sultry, atmospheric tale dripping with haunting secrets, electrifying romance, and dark loyalties. Readers will be swept away on a thrilling wave of suspense into a story as intoxicating and mysterious as the sea itself.


Note: Girls of Salt and Sea is a new adult contemporary fantasy with some dark content. Please refer to the author’s website for a list of content warnings. 


I’m not generally a thriller gal. But a friend gave this such a good recommendation I couldn’t help but download it. I actually went in thinking it was a romance (whoops, though there is a romance!!), and after a few chapters and realizing my mistake I was loving it enough that I kept going and I’m glad I did!

The writing was incredible. A debut author who knows how to write and I love it. The only issue I had was some minor pacing things where I thought it slowed down a touch too much here and there.

I loved the murder mystery. It really kept me guessing. And even at the end I was looking like a fish out of water when even more things kept being brought to life. I LOVED IT. I love the way this story was woven. How you had to double check each character wondering who was on what side.

I enjoyed the romance too (and would have loved even more of them). I thought it fit well into the story and they were a couple I wanted to root for. Also meaning, I better get more of them in the next book!!

Any who, really loved this. Highly recommend.

Overall audience notes:

  • Thriller
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: brief/vague fade to black
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: drowning, suicide, mental illness, physical and weapons violence, physical and emotional abuse, brief remarks about a rumored sexual assault against a child, grief, alcohol and drug use, cults, murder

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