• Audiobooks,  Book Reviews,  Writing

    The Good Sister: book review

    Title: The Good Sister

    Author: Sally Hepworth

    Publish date: 4/13/21

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

    Genre: Domestic thriller

    Pages: 320

    Synopsis

    There’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.

    Review

    Writing impressions: What a story! I love books that are partially told in journal form and the diary of Rose was critical to this book. The author did a wonderful job of writing about Fern and her sensory processing differences. I also appreciated that she met someone who genuinely understood and cared about how she saw the world and did little things to ease some of her anxieties.

    Characters: Twins. It’s a trope and it’s one of my favorites. It’s always interesting to see how the author develops them as siblings and as individuals. Fern and Rose could not have been more different and were both well developed with their own storylines that intersected. It was also interesting seeing Fern’s job – a librarian – through her eyes.

    My thoughts: The good twin vs. the evil twin made for a fascinating story. I figured out the twist pretty early on but that didn’t detract from the book at all – it was interesting to see how the author developed the story.

    If you enjoy domestic thrillers then this book is for you!

    ✂️✂️✂️✂️/5

    Thanks to Libro.fm for the the advanced audiobook copy. The narration is fantastic!

     

  • ARC's,  Book Reviews,  Writing

    My Ride or Die: a book review

    Title: My Ride or Die

    Author: Leslie Cohen

    Publisher: William Morrow

    Release Date: 4/20/21

    Pages: 321

    Genre: Humorous fiction/Female friendship

    Synopsis

    A timely and hilarious millennial women’s fiction novel about two friends who decide to give up their search for a perfect man and devote their lives to each other—but their careful plan soon begins to unravel with unexpected consequences. 

    Fall in love.

    Get married.

    Turn to your female friends to be truly understood.

    Friends for over a decade, Amanda and Sophie decide it’s time to flip the script. Why not spend their lives with each other and keep men on the side for fun, sex, and occasionally fixing things around the house?

    Amanda is a lawyer who excels in her professional life but crumbles at the slightest sign of a common cold. Sophie is an aspiring artist who has lived all over the world and doesn’t crumble, period. Together, they’ve been through it all. But when their romantic lives implode at the same time, they decide enough is enough. Enough pretending that traditional relationships work for everyone. Enough fantasizing about an old-fashioned ideal.

    They decide to form an alliance: They will rely on each other and give men the secondary role that they deserve. And much to their surprise, it actually works. They fix up a run-down brownstone and create the home they’ve always wanted. Soon, they have love and emotional support as well as a wide variety of male “crushes” on the side. But when one of their crushes becomes something more, Amanda and Sophie must reconsider the life they’ve begun to build and how far they’re willing to go to keep it.

    In this brilliantly funny novel, Leslie Cohen asks: must friendship always be second to love? This is female friendship at its finest. Smart. Witty. And no holds barred.

    Review

    Two best friends done with looking for the perfect man, buy a DIY brownstone to create a life together – with men only on the periphery.

    The premise of this book was so unique in how intentional Amanda and Sophie were about the next steps in their lives. I appreciated that there wasn’t any angst or waffling in the beginning. They knew what they wanted.

    The characters were well-developed and interesting without being annoying or overly quirky. I loved the detail around Sophie’s creation of her artwork – the author either has a background in art or did some fantastic research.

    The writing was sharp and the banter was witty with several laugh out loud moments. The alternating points of view were at times difficult to follow but certainly were not a deal breaker for me.

    This was a fun book to read over a weekend after a few heavy reads. I won’t spoil the ending but it strikes the perfect balance of tension and resolution at the end.

    This was a solid ✂️✂️✂️✂️/5 for me. This book is available now!

    Thanks to William Morrow for the gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

     

  • Book Reviews,  Writing

    Book Review: Boss Up!

    Title: Boss Up!

    Author: Lindsay Teague Moreno

    Publisher: Thomas Nelson

    Pages: 233

    Genre: Entrepreneurship/Business

    Release Date: 8/6/2019

    Synopsis

    Boss Up! will help you put your business on the map and the ideas you’ve previously only dreamed about into the marketplace. It will help you overcome your fears and guilt to find a fulfillment that changes you and your families for the better. And it will help you break free of the hard and boring and allow you to have fun along the way.

    In Boss Up! Lindsay helps you gain the confidence to know that having ambition doesn’t make you a bad mother or wife. That it’s okay to have a desire for something more than endless sippy cups, clean-ups, Band-Aids, and groundings. That no matter your education or experience, you can tap into your passions and create businesses that give you increased flexibility, fulfillment, and financial security.

    And Lindsay doesn’t just do this through commiserating but, instead, through giving you the tools for change. Using the lessons she learned on her own path to success, Lindsay shares real, solid business principles with ten distinct success philosophies that you will encounter on the journey to entrepreneurship, such as:

    • Think Long Term
    • Be Unapologetically Yourself
    • Use the Unsales Tactic
    • Understand Your Why
    • and many more

    Stay-at-home mom turned multimillion-dollar-producing business owner Lindsay Teague Moreno doesn’t just have a passion for entrepreneurship. She has a deep passion for helping women of all walks of life gain the confidence and skills to tap into their ambition and achieve success in their own business endeavors.

    Boss Up Ain’t Your Momma’s Business Book

    Review

    We live in a gig economy. It’s not unusual for someone to have a side-hustle in addition to their day job.

    I have one myself as a mom and a freelance writer. I work with many entrepreneurs – some successful and some that simply flounder.

    I was excited about the opportunity to read and review this book, primarily because I wanted to see how the author approached entrepreneurship. Because if you’re like me, you’ve run into more than one friend from high school who sends you a friend request and then wants to tell you about an amazing “opportunity”.

    That approach is tired, it often financially harms people who buy inventory, and many are built upon lies of success. So when this book began with the author starting with an MLM, I was almost out.

    But I stuck around and I’m glad I did.

    This book is part workbook and takes people through a blueprint for discovering their strengths, their desires, and what they are passionate about – those are the things the business is then built upon.

    I can get on board with that.

    She also gets into the difference between a freelancer and an entrepreneur and I appreciated that because it’s a common source of confusion. There is planning involved for both paths but they are different.

    This book is also practical. It discusses identifying your target market, standing out amongst the competition, and discovering what sets you apart and how to leverage these positions. It also speaks to how to set up a business – something I am continually amazed by when working with business owners who operate out of their personal checking accounts.

    Boss Up! closes with the creation of goals that you won’t quit on – something vital to the long term success of a business. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched entrepreneurs wander from opportunity to opportunity because they haven’t been provided with a practical roadmap like this book.

    If you are a business owner, aspiring entrepreneur, or an individual trying to find your place in your target market – then this book is for you.

    Thank you to TLC Book Tours, Thomas Nelson and W Publishing Group for the gifted copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

     

     

  • Book Reviews

    The Stills: a book review

    Title: The Stills

    Author: Jess Montgomery

    Date Available: 3/9/20210

    Pages: 352

    Publisher: Minotaur Press

    Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

    Synopsis

    The third in Jess Montgomery’s exquisitely written Kinship series, The Stills is a triumph of storytelling by an extraordinary new talent in crime fiction…

    Ohio, 1927: Moonshining is a way of life in rural Bronwyn County, and even the otherwise upstanding Sheriff Lily Ross has been known to turn a blind eye when it comes to stills in the area. But when thirteen-year-old Jebediah Ranklin almost dies after drinking tainted moonshine, Lily knows that someone has gone too far, and–with the help of organizer and moonshiner Marvena Whitcomb–is determined to find out who.

    But then, Lily’s nemesis, the businessman George Vogel, reappears in town with his new wife, Fiona. Along with them is also her former brother-in-law Luther Ross, now an agent for the newly formed Bureau of Prohibition. To Lily, it seems too much of a coincidence that they should arrive now.

    As fall turns to winter, a blizzard closes in. Lily starts to peel back the layers of deception shrouding the town of Kinship, but soon she discovers that many around her seem to be betraying those they hold dear–and that Fiona too may have an agenda of her own.

    Review

    You had me at prohibition. That time period in our country combined with Sherriff Lily Ross being based on a real person made for a fascinating and tense read.

    The writing and the attention to detail brought to life what is must have been like to live in the time period. The characters were well developed with this being the third book of the series. However, this book could easily be read as a stand-lone… but don’t do that because you’ll be missing out for sure.

    If historical fiction is your thing, this book will captivate you. It sheds light on a time when women often stepped into male dominated roles and excelled at doing so.

    My only complaint about this book was that it was a bit light on the mystery part. A few good twists would have added some depth to the story.

    I hope this isn’t the end of the series but if it is, it ended on a satisfying note. However, if it was to continue, I’d love a storyline dedicated to the moonshiner’s lives and struggle to survive.

    Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Minotaur Books for the gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

     

  • Book Reviews

    The Shadow Box: book review

    The Shadow Box

    Author: Luanne Rice

    Publisher: Amazon Publishing

    Date Published: 2/1/21

    Pages: 367

    Genre: Domestic Thriller

    Synopsis

    After artist Claire Beaudry Chase is attacked and left for dead in her home on the Connecticut coast, she doesn’t know who she can trust. But her well-connected husband, Griffin–who is running for governor–is her prime suspect.

    Just before the attack, Claire was preparing for an exhibit of her shadow boxes, one of which clearly accuses Griffin of a violent crime committed twenty-five years ago. If the public were to find out who her husband is, his political career would be over. Claire’s certain her husband and his powerful supporters would kill her to stop the truth from getting out.

    When one of Claire’s acquaintances is murdered, the authorities suspect the homicide is linked to the attack on Claire. As the dual investigations unfold, Claire must decide how much she’s willing to lose to take down her husband and the corrupt group of elites who will do anything to protect Griffin’s interests and their own.

    Review

    This was my second Luanne Rice book. The Shadow Box had a lot of potential with multiple storylines and complex characters. There were several heart-racing moments that kept me engaged most of the time.

    However, the thrilling moments crossed over into contrived and far-fetched a few too many times for me and the plot began to feel like a made for TV movie. I’m not a fan of those so this was a deal breaker for me.

    The writing was fine but the characters were nothing special. I usually love multi-POV plots but this one felt very formulaic. When done well, multiple POV’s can add depth to the plot and characters but here, it felt more like a way to dress us book lacking substance.

    This wasn’t a DNF for me and in the end I found it to be a solid read but nothing to get overly excited or rave about. I loved the first Luanne Rice book that I read and despite feeling pretty neutral about The Shadow Box, this one won’t be my last by her either.

    Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Amazon Publishing for this gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

    Connect with Luanne

    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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