Book Review — “Life’s Golden Ticket” by Brendon Burchard

Published in 2007, this book was written in a time when we were all trying to better ourselves, become more “self-actualized” and find inner peace. And, while all of the “lessons” in this book have been explored for years and in other books — this was a lovely escape. Making peace with your past, present and future might have been replaced with fighting about politics at cocktail parties, but it shouldn’t have been. There’s nothing new here, but there’s nothing stupid, either. I enjoyed it; the story is good, and the writing is charming and comforting. Living your best life isn’t out of style and sweet books about finding yourself shouldn’t be either. Five happy stars. 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Book Review — “Verity” by Colleen Hoover

O. M. G. I can’t even with this one. Disturbing, shocking, creepy, sick, manipulative and then some. I think it was Chapter 10 when I first said “Oh my God”, and it didn’t end there. Not even close. Everyone is talking about this book and it was in many ways worse than I expected. It might not be for everyone. Some of you will really hate her. But did she get what she deserved? Only Verity really knows…. Five stars. 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Book Review — “Dangled Carat” by Hilary Grossman

Ugh on this. Maybe I’m just bitter from my 20’s when I and a million other fun, loving, intelligent, good-hearted, successful women dated self-centered, immature, commitment-terrified boys. Maybe I’m still bitter from watching my friends, and myself, applaud these children for every kind word they said and every time they made the huge risk of holding our hand, being kind, expressing their feelings or “compromising” their “I’m just not ready” status. I could not stand Mark. And I couldn’t get past it to hope they ended up together. Maybe because I’m glad I didn’t end up with my “Mark”, even though we parted as friends (eventually!!) Maybe I’m bitter? Yeah… but better yet, maybe I, over the years, figured out that they were right about one thing — it really was them and not us. Cheers, girls!!!! And to my loving, treasured friend Suzanne —- thanks for being there for me when I navigated my 20’s. For old time’s sake…..”she never heard from him again” Three very annoyed stars 🤩🤩🤩

Book review — “An Artificial Light” by Petra Durst-Benning

This is a good story. And its just that– a story about people in a small German town in 1911. Nothing major really happens. There are villains; there are good people; there is romance, and there is conflict. If you like historical fiction where its all about character development and story telling, you will like this. It was interesting to read about working conditions in the pre-union era, and you can understand why workers revolted. I enjoyed the Mimi character and learning about how photography evolved more creatively. However, I really couldn’t understand why such a strong woman was in love with someone who kept her at arm’s length, but that’s just me. I do recommend this for lovers of historical fiction. 4 stars. Disclaimer — I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher. #NetGalley 🤩🤩🤩🤩 Publish date 9/2020

Book Review — “Little Disasters” by Sarah Vaughan

Liz & Jess met in Lamaze class and became fast friends. Liz thinks Jess is the perfect mother while she, herself, oftentimes feels lost and overwhelmed. When a tragedy sets in motion a series of judgments and discoveries, everything will change for both women. This is a great book about judgments, perspectives, self-doubt, and the hard fact that everyone is struggling and succeeding all at once and in different ways. I really enjoyed this book — hence the 5 stars– but I almost gave it 4 stars because of the uncomfortable and kinda creepy final twist. I do think the book was well-written, believable and a good story about normal people with normal problems. It kept my interest the whole time and I will definitely read more of Sarah Vaughan’s work. Disclaimer — I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher!! Publish date: August 18, 2020 #NetGalley. Five stars!!! 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Book Review — “I’m Fine and Neither Are You” by Camille Pagan

Penny is overwhelmed and under appreciated. Her marriage is in a rut; her job is time-consuming and stressful, and her kids, well, are kids. Meet her best friend Jenny, who’s life, marriage and kid are perfect. Or are they? When tragedy forces Penny to take a hard look at her life, she realizes something has to change. But maybe, in the end, its actually Penny that needs to change the most. This is a good book that could be about anyone. It was a good escape — not to depressing!! — and very relatable. I really enjoyed it. 4 stars 🤩🤩🤩🤩

Book Review — “Logging Off” by Nick Spalding

This book made me laugh. Many many times. Often out loud. Aside from being a great, humorous, sweet story about taking a break from technology, it is truly FUNNY. The narrator, Andy, is hilarious and one hot mess. The book does have a message too — it makes you realize how much we rely in technology, apps, the Internet and google maps!! It also is a good snapshot how much of our self worth we place in strangers’ hands. There is an adorable love story and some interesting and quite crazy supporting characters. In these times serious times when there is so much spouting from soap boxes, this is just what I needed. I’ve never said this before — but I bet the author is a lot of fun at parties. Cheers, Nick Spalding!! I’m giving this 5 stars. 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩.

Disclaimer — I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher. Release date: 4/23/2020 #NetGalley #LoggingOff

Book Review — “Magpie Murders” by Anthony Horowitz

It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” ~ Winston Churchill

“Magpie Murders” is a story within a story — a book within a book — a mystery within a mystery. Editor Susan Ryeland begins reading her client’s book over a weekend only to find out that while she was reading, the author allegedly took his life. But did he? Also, the ending of the book is missing. She sets out to solve both mysteries and gets so much more them the bargained for.

The catch of this book, however, is that you read the book within a book along with Susan and become wrapped up in both mysteries. This was really good and kept my interest although I did feel it didn’t have to be quite so long. I actually enjoyed the novel within better than the story about Susan (but to be clear — I did enjoy it all) I do recommend this book. 4 1/2 stars 🤩🤩🤩🤩✨

Book Review — “Lady in the Lake” by Laura Lippman

I really enjoyed this book! This is a murder mystery wrapped in a love story, a-woman-on-the-verge-of-finding-herself story and a story of race and politics in 1966 Baltimore. Laura Lippman is a great writer and the plot itself is very interesting and has the requisite twists and turns. But what I really liked was Lippman’s use of almost every character as a narrator — very clever!!! They are interspersed throughout the book in small “chapters”, where you get the inside story on the supporting cast. This was a fast-paced read. So….stay home, stay safe, stop watching the news and escape with this entertaining book!! 4 1/2 stars!!! 🤩🤩🤩🤩✨

Book Review — “The Prisoner’s Wife” by Maggie Brookes

What a story. This is “inspired by a true story” although the author was never able to find proof it actually happened. I have to say — I hope it did. This is a story about a young British soldier in a POW camp that falls in love with a Czech farm girl, and they decide to risk everything by trying to run to safety and a better life. In their youthful exuberance, they really don’t think their plan through and wind up living a nightmare after being captured by the Nazis. The young girl, Izzy, pretends to be a man and thats when the story truly begins. The author gives a realistic glimpse into the hardships of Nazi POW camps; its unimaginable that anyone survived, let alone a woman hiding as a man. But what touched me the most about this story were Izzy & Bill’s fellow prisoners and the lengths they went to keep her secret. Its a hopeful book of love and friendship trapped amongst the horrors of war. I’ll remember this one. And again — I really hope its true. Disclaimer– I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher!!! Publication date: 5/20/2020 #NetGalley 4 1/2 stars 🤩🤩🤩🤩✨

Book Review — “The Boy Who Steals Houses” by C. G. Drews

This is that YA book that’s sad yet uplifting, unbelievable yet enticing and devastating yet a cause for celebration. It’s unbelievable because you hope it can’t be true. It’s uplifting because of the love and laughter the De Lainey family members bring to every page in which they appear. And it’s devastating because you just don’t know if there’s a happy ending here. But it’s worth it. My heart broke for Sam, who’s only true break in life was breaking into the De Laineys’ home. And I can’t put into words how much I loved Moxie, her brothers and their kind-hearted father. I did enjoy this book and I think it will stay in my heart for awhile. 🤩🤩🤩🤩⭐️ 4 1/2 stars

Book Review — “Been There, Married That” by Gigi Levangie

“Been There, Married That” is a fun, funny, sarcastic look at Hollywood, marriage, friendship and family. It’s full of completely crazy characters who are unbelievable but you’ll love them anyway. The dialog is quick-witted and truly funny in many places. The tone reminded me a lot of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Some of the characters — mainly Trevor — were a bit tiring and got on my nerves but they were, thankfully, outnumbered by characters like Agnes, Fin and their Dad. I enjoyed it; sometimes you just need a light and funny escape. Disclaimer — I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher! 🤩🤩🤩🤩 #NetGalley

Book Review — “The Dilemma” by B. A. Paris

What lengths would you go to in order to shelter someone you love from unhappiness? In “The Dilemma”, Livia and Adam are both keeping secrets from one another to protect the other person’s happiness. But would you be able to keep the ultimate secret for a few hours so that someone you love could be blissful before their life is ruined? Is that cowardly or courageous? Selfish or selfless? Cold hearted or full of love? These are the questions you’ll consider as “The Dilemma” pulls you in and doesn’t let go. Whether you’ll feel empathy or fury — you’ll have an opinion. I did. Great for book clubs!! Disclaimer– I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher!! Release date: 6/30/2020. 4 1/2 stars!!! 🤩🤩🤩🤩⭐️ #NetGalley

Book Review — “The Last High” by Daniel Kalla

Great, fast-paced read!! FIVE STARS!!! Kalla does an exceptional job at drawing us in from the beginning and keeping us on the edge of our seats until the end. The writing is top-notch with well-defined characters and a believable story line. Where so many novels are tripping over themselves to out-twist each other, this could be something that truly happened in any major city. Set in Vancouver, “The Last High” delves into the opioid crisis and how it is greedily and devastatingly ruining lives and families. This novel is set to be released in May of 2020 and I highly recommend it!! Disclaimer — I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher! #NetGalley 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

Book Review — “Vendetta in Death” by J. D. Robb

I’m pretty sure most people know that J. D. Robb is the constantly-writing Nora Roberts, who uses this name specifically for her IN DEATH series. I’ve been reading these books for years and I love them. Eve Dallas, Roarke, Peabody and the other cast of characters are like old friends now. “Vendetta in Death” did not let me down. Lady Justice is a wacky, vengeful vigilante who kills men who have wronged their wives. And she kills them brutally. Yes, they are liars, cheaters and abusers, but Lieutenant Dallas and her crew must find Lady Justice before she kills another. This is a good storyline and the book really focuses on the mystery which is fun. Not enough Roarke in this for my taste, but….that’s ok. I enjoyed this. Thanks to the author for not getting lazy or crazy and ruining these beloved characters. If you haven’t read these books yet — why not and start at the beginning!! 🤩🤩🤩🤩

Book Review — “I Will Make You Pay” by Teresa Driscoll

I really enjoyed this book!! I read a lot in this genre and sometimes it gets too creepy or the heroine is too weak — but this one had all the right moves!!! Alice Henderson receives a threatening phone call on a Wednesday, and this begins a series of stalking incidents on Wednesdays. Why Wednesday? Who can be after her? Are her friends and family safe? What she doesn’t know is that there is a tortured soul who has turned his hatred towards her and Wednesday represents a recurring horrible day from his childhood. Told from the perspective of the stalked and stalker, “I Will Make You Pay” is a well-written, fast-paced mystery that kept my interest and never made me want to roll my eyes like some books in this genre do. I highly recommend this fun read. Disclaimer– I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this very enjoyable book for free!! #NetGalley 🤩🤩🤩🤩

Book Review — “Tidelands” by Philippa Gregory

“Tidelands” is the tale of Alinor, a poor but proud mid-wife in an age of accusations, paranoia and judgment. Its set in 1648 England, which is in the middle of a civil war between the King and Parliament, turning neighbors against one another in an already miserable time. Philippa Gregory does a good job of making you feel as though you’re right in the middle of it all. Her characters are well-defined, the landscape and living conditions are described vividly, and there are plenty of villains and heroes in this story, which is the first of a series. This isn’t my usual genre, but I really enjoyed it; I look forward to reading Book Two and beyond. Disclaimer– I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher!! Definitely recommend! 🤩🤩🤩🤩