#BookReview Warming My Winter Heart by Michelle Cornish

Warming My Winter Heart by Michelle Cornish is a delightful and sweet romance read!

I’m the kind of girl who likes to curl up on the couch with a blanket, a warm cup of tea and a great contemporary book that will whisk me away into a story. Warming My Winter Heart did just that! This adorably fun romance novel will let you escape and have a little soap opera-esque drama in your life as well.

Lexi Blair is coming home from L.A. because she heard her ex-fiancé has died. Even if they didn’t get along, the poor girl is upset over this. Yet, surprises are bound for this girl because he’s not actually dead… and he wouldn’t mind getting back together. This nasty scheme implemented by people in her close circle is just one of many dramatic plot twists that will have you glued to the edge of you seat and enjoying the soap opera-ness this book has to offer! But it gets better guys! There might be another handsome man waiting in the wings that Lexi can chase after… John is just the guy for her, but he’s got his own problems to deal with.

I really liked this book! It’s a soft, sweet, contemporary book that is easy to read and moves at a fast pace. The romance doesn’t start until about halfway through the book so it’s also quite the slow burn. The world develops, we meet the characters and then we get into the real action.

Other positives in list form:

  1. A puppy named Prince William – because why not? He’s adorable, he’s got an awesome name and he’s quite the trouble maker.
  2. Oh Canada! This book is set in a fictional Canadian city but it’s a great Canadian read regardless! I love supporting Canadian authors and I love reading Canadian fiction. Have I said Canadian enough for you yet? No? How about one more “Canadian” to make a statement?
  3. Accounting and Marketing are mentioned in this book as careers. For some reason, I rarely come across romance novels that have those careers. It’s kind of random, but to me it was a bonus!
  4. The world and characters are not perfect. Don’t you hate those characters that are Mary Sue’s and seem to have it all going for them? These characters have real problems and act real. I felt like I would actually now some of these characters if they magically popped out of the book and came alive. I like stories where the people are realistic and relatable. Not everyone has a perfect, little life!
  5. The best friend’s name is Briar. I am Briar. This is mega cool! Other than Sleeping Beauty (Briar Rose), I rarely see the name Briar pop up anywhere. It’s goofy, but again – you gotta find the small things in life that make you happy.
  6. The book is about 200 pages long, which for me is the perfect length for a dramatic romance. The book doesn’t feel like it’s too short and it doesn’t feel like it drags on. The length is literally perfect in my mind. It’s also not so big and daunting that you don’t want to read it. The book is manageable – which sounds awful in writing but is a huge bonus for readers like me.
  7. You can easily put this book down and jump back into it later. Because the book is not overly complicated, it’s one of those books that if you don’t want to binge read it (why wouldn’t you though? It’s amazing), then you can set it down for a couple days and come back to it. I also like that as a reader who tends to have a lot going on (and I read this over the holidays, so as you can imagine things can get a little crazy).
  8. The cover is adorable! And did I mention there’s a tree farm in the book? Yeah. This book has so many Canadian winter vibes. I love it!

Overall, this book is spectacular, fantastic and marvellous!

I, of course, am a little biased because a character is named after me (yay best friend Briar!) and I was mentioned in the author’s notes (literally one of my life goals!) but I still think it’s an amazing read. I highly recommend it to romance lovers seeking an easy read with lots of drama. Michelle Cornish is a writer to watch out for! Seriously, her books need more attention. I’ll be grabbing more of Michelle’s book as soon as possible. Join me in this adventure! Grab this book and chat (or gossip) with me about it!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Michelle Cornish, in exchange of an honest review.

You can purchase this book on:
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Check out the author, Michelle Cornish, by clicking on the links below:
https://www.michellecornish.com/
Twitter: @Chellevester
Instagram: @michellejcornish
Goodreads Author Page

Looking for more romance? Here are some other indie romance books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview My Christmas Charade by Melanie Ting
#BookReview Love Comes for the Rock Star by Savannah Adams
#BookReview Donut Disturb by Melissa Williams

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#BookReview Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I will be totally honest with you: I only read this book because I watched the television show and was morbidly curious about the book. I have picked up another book by Liane Moriarty (The Hyponotist’s Love Story) which was okay so I wanted to pick up another book by her. Big Little Lies was the perfect fit since I thoroughly enjoyed the television adaptation.

That being said, I actually prefer the t.v. show. Here’s why:

This book carries a lot of heavy material: sexual assault, domestic violence, abuse in general, bullying, and rich people problems. In one moment it feels really deep and real and in the next it feels like rich, white women complaining about rich, white women problems. If you read into the book, it’s supposed to be that way. It’s not only low and middle class people who have hard lives. Domestic abuse and sexual assault happens in all forms of human life these days. But this book still didn’t sit well with me.

I really wish I would have found this book before the television show. I know I shouldn’t be comparing the two genres because they are wildly different, but I liked how the television show handled these issues more. Maybe it’s the visuals, maybe it’s the music and the tone – all of the things a book can’t do – but it’s still my opinion.

That being said, this book is still an excellent read if you want a dramatic thriller set around school problems. The ending isn’t totally obvious (which is nice) but you can totally pick it up if you pay enough attention. It’s like a mystery story that’s full of gossip. Throw all of that in with some real fast paced antics and you’ve got yourself one excellent novel.

The way the book is set up is really cool, which is why it stood out to me in the beginning. There’s little police interviews scattered throughout the book that hint at what is going to come. If you’re smart and read into it a bit, you can totally guess the ending and have a good idea what is going to happen. In the same breath, if you just want to enjoy the ride you can do that too. The structure of this book is so well planned out, and that’s what impresses me. Liane Moriarty has some real talent and I want to see that talent in other novels.

I can totally see why this book is a best seller. It’s a wild book that’s also filled with some deep content. Most people can relate to something in this book, whether it be the white people problems, the struggles of parenthood, broken families or the really dark stuff. At the same time, it’s all packaged so well that it’s also enjoyable. Most books with this harsh of content lose me when it gets too dark, but I just kept trekking along and enjoying the ride. Bonus points for Liane.

My biggest little flaw in this book was that I wanted to see more of these police interviews. I’d like to see the incorrect, unreliable narrators tell more about what they thought happened. Those comments alone could be their own story. Honestly, they impressed me more than the story half the time. I was giggling and sneering at these comments, unable to help myself. I also knew the ending though (the joys of watching the television series first) so it was highly amusing to me.

Personally, I found a lot of the women to be awful. I know a lot of mothers are like that these days, but they definitely aren’t all like that in my neighbourhood. They all fought constantly, seemed to have little communication and listened to their kids more than other adults. Or, you know, didn’t listen when their kids were telling them something really important. It just seemed way over the top at times and I just couldn’t handle their bitchiness. On top of that, the book did seem a pinch too long. There was some content that could have been left out and the story wouldn’t have changed. That’s my inner student calling out to the world though – edit, revise, shorten, and meet the word count!

I think this might be one of those books you can jump back into once you know the ending. It definitely would have been a more interesting experience if I didn’t know what was coming. I could see how Liane set it up along the way, but I didn’t pick up on all of it.

Overall, this book is a cool take on a tough story. All of the connections that are woven throughout this book and the unique style has me intrigued. If you haven’t watched the television show, do it. Maybe read the book first though, because quality wise I think the television show is AMAZE-BALLS.

Three out of five stars.

 

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If you enjoyed this book (or even the television adaptation), you might enjoy these other books that have been featured on my blog:
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin
#TopBooksList Briar’s Crime, Mystery & Thriller Reads
#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio

 

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#BookReview Touch by Courtney Maum

Touch by Courtney Maum is one of my fave reads of 2020. Seriously, this book is ridiculously good.

I was shocked by how much I loved this book. The plot sounds super intriguing, but the content just blows it out of the water. Let me explain:

Sloane is a trend forecaster, and she’s really good at it. She sees trends coming from a mile away, almost like clairvoyance. She gets hired by a tech firm because she’s so good, and they want her to help develop products for them relating to the population enjoying being childless. Sloane is married to Roman, a social media influencer obsessed with Zentai (look it up, seriously). Their relationship is rocky since he believes real, penetrative sex is a thing of the past and cyber sex is the real deal. Sloane, on the other hand, wants a physical relationship and sees the trend of real, physical social interaction to be coming back.

Things get messy when their relationship fumbles, she reaches back out to her family and she rocks the boat in her office. Especially when other people seem to be agreeing with her…

Within the pages of this book, there are so many great quotable lines and paragraphs. Courtney speaks a lot of truths within this book, and it’s super haunting. A woman being described as a port for a journeyman or the description of how a woman feels when she’s finally touched after years of not being touched… It was so beautiful. Courtney has a way with words. To top it all, she used a lot of big words I hadn’t heard before, and I love searching up new words to use in my everyday life. Frangipane is a unique word, let me tell ya. It’s a dessert!

The one sentence that summed this novel up for me was “The twenty-first century was over taking risks”, and I’d have to agree. Yet, this book argues that it’s possible to change and take those risks again… Geez Louise, this book could have been taken apart in an English class by a pro! It’s that packed full of themes and wonderful quotes!

My biggest fault of this book was the driver-less car. I totally saw some weird sci-fi plot since this car talked about different scenarios as if they were real and talked to her. I swore up and down as I was reading it that there was going to be some wild and wacky twist about this car, but there wasn’t. It was just a car. Thank you for the writing ideas Courtney, because man… my imagination went WILD.

That being said, it’s hardly a fault. I was blown away by this book and couldn’t put it down. I need to read more by Courtney in the future because her writing style and ideas totally work for me.

I highly recommend this book. I cannot say that enough. If you love dystopian fiction, contemporary drama, a pinch of romance, and a wee bit of satire on today’s society then this book will be for you! Honestly, it’s probably one of my top recommendations for my 2020 reads. It’s just so darn good!

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Check this book out on:
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Find out more about Courtney Maum on:
https://www.courtneymaum.com/
Twitter – @cmaum
Goodreads Author Page

 

If you enjoyed this book (or even the review!) here’s some other books recently featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne
#BookReview 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon

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#BookReview The Reluctant Fortune-Teller by Keziah Frost

The Reluctant Fortune-Teller by Keziah Frost is one of my favourite 2020 reads.

This book is a serious contemporary gem. When I start reading it, I got instantly hooked and needed to binge the whole thing. It’s not only a very sweet story with great themes, but it’s also just a fun ride!

Norbert Zelenka is older gentleman who lives with his dog in a tiny house. He’s quite lonely and sticks to his regular routine. One day, he finds that he’s struggling financially and coincidentally three women from his local art club present him with an opportunity. Nortbert becomes the reluctant fortune-teller, despite his incredible abilities. Once he embraces his great advice giving ways, he steps into a whole new world of fortune telling. Then, his abilities become greatly needed when a local girl goes missing…

This book is a lovely little drama. It’s not super dramatic though, it’s simply very sweet. There’s gossip, there’s a little tension, but it’s mostly Norbert being a sweet man and trying to figure out his passion in his seventies. I hate to say it’s a very “grown up” book, but it felt like the type of book I need as an adult.

The themes in this book are magical: finding one’s passion, doing what’s right, finding one’s own way and the power of doing good. I love that this book is all about nice things. Sometimes, you just need a book about positivity! Sure, there’s some dubious older ladies making crazy plans, but everyone needs a little drama and gossip to spice up their life.

Overall, this book is charming! It’s a great tea drinking read and is the perfect way to relax.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads

 

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
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If you want some more contemporary and relaxing reads to fill up your TBR, check out some other books recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne
#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon
#BookReview City of Friends by Joanna Trollope

 

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#BookReview The One by Kiera Cass

This series is my guilty pleasure. Honestly, when I pick a book up in this series I literally cannot put it down! They are cute, fast-paced, PG-13, and absolutely adorable!

The One is a continuation of Kiera Cass’s The Selection series. This book feels like an episode rather than a sequel. Especially I’ve always considered The Selection to be a sort of YA Bachelor with a lot more dystopia and a few less roses! So, in this third episode America is one of the final contestants (ahem… I mean Elites?…. Potential Princesses?) in The Selection for Maxon’s heart. Mer and Max seem like they are End Game, but they are constantly fighting over little things. Mer wants Max to say he loves her first, but he’s also still getting handsy with some of the other girls. Max wants Mer to admit her love for him, but he still doesn’t know she used to have feelings for Aspen.

Mer and Max decide that they will split the numbered system up during Max’s reign, so they align with the Northern rebels who aren’t attacking them. Along the way, a major character’s death occurs, the Selection is finally determined (you know, cause the title is “The One”, it’s a spoiler but the book’s title ruined it…) and the series has a somewhat good “finale” despite the series not being over. Honestly, it felt like a good stopping place but THERE IS MORE TO COME!

Anywho, this book is super cheesey and romantic but at the same time utterly frustrating. I get these are teenage characters in YA universe, but sometimes I just wanted to smack these girls. Max is getting handsy with all of the girls and they are all in love with him. This is brought up in the book (America, our smart heroine, asks Max how he can love one of them when his heart is in pieces – one with each girl), but MAN these girls are dense in that regards. That was my biggest irk – I understand this book is a dystopia but come on girls! It was hard for me to grasp that this is “normal” in their world, so that’s all on me.

Another side note: Aspen’s story line just suddenly changes. SO QUICKLY. Again, Kiera! Give me just a few more chapters to follow through with that story line! This book felt just a little rushed. The book could have been 100 more pages and felt just as amazing!

But other than my big irk, I LOVE this series. The romance that does happen is honestly cute, adorable and sweet! The pair escaping to hide in the castle, the epic adventure they go on, and one of Max’s final scenes in the book stand out! Additionally, this book has comedy laced throughout it’s contents and it quite amusing.

Regarding the plot – it moves REALLY fast, which is great because the romance, action and comedy are all evenly balanced. The worst part about the plot is how fast the ending happens. The ending could have happened in a few chapters and felt perfect. But, it was put into one chapter! A lot of major plot points happen (including death) in such a short amount of time! I get that we only really watch America’s point of view, but with Kiera’s amazing writing I would have loved to see her write out exactly what happened in the final moments of the book.

There is a final epilogue. I feel like Kiera didn’t intend for this series to go on but then suddenly had an epic idea or realized the profitability of this series. Either way, the epilogue is super cute and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This trilogy following America and Maxon felt like it ended wonderfully… which is good, because I’m pretty sure this series follows a different character in the next book!

Overall, this book was a wonderful addition to the Selection series and I will definitely be continuing this series when I can find the next books in this series!

Note: This book would have been a 5 because I honestly loved how I just disappeared into this book! Buuuuuut… this book felt way too rushed. The story was so good for the type of book it is, but Kiera could have added a couple of chapters and drawn a few plot points out. She’s a good writer, so none of us readers would have complained! It’s still a marvelous book though!

Four out of five!

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If you enjoyed this book or review, you might enjoy some other books recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade
#BookReview Dance with a Vampire by Ellen Schreiber

 

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#BookReview The Dark and Other Love Stories by Deborah Willis

Deborah Willis has crafted one lovely group of stories in The Dark and Other Love Stories.

This collection is full of humor and intriguing content. No, seriously. I was thoroughly impressed by not only Deborah’s incredible writing style but the imagination behind these stories. Some of them were just wild! The weirdest yet most interesting was a girl falling in love with a man who wants her to be a bird. Like… what? How does one come up with THAT idea? Impressive.

My favourite was the story about a woman going behind her boyfriend’s back and trying to go to Mars. It was funny and yet really moving. My heart ached for the poor man as we watched the scenario unfold. But my gosh, so good! It’s hard to get emotions like that for a book!

I would highly recommend this book. Not only is it not your typical anthology full of love stories and dark and twisted humor, but it’s also just really well written. Deborah has a real talent and it’d be a waste for this book not to find a bigger audience (also, she’s Canadian. ReprIndigoesent!).

I do think this book may fit into a niche category for some readers, since it’s not purely about love and romance. This book is not a romance book, it is a contemporary novel written with love themes. That being said, if you go into it understanding that this isn’t a romance novel and it’s purely based on theming and creative stories, you’ll love it. I sure did! I thought it was a fun ride and I’d love to pick up more by Deborah in the future.

Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed by this book. I will continue to recommend it until my dying days, because it’s a real, secret, Canadian gem!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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Your TBR still need some love and affection? Pack it on with these delightful reads:
#BookReview The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne
#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker
#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio

 

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#BookReview Spectacle by Rachel Vincent

 

Is it possible to rate over five stars? Because I totally would with this book!

Many eons ago, I was OBSESSED with Rachel Vincent’s books. I was a high-schooler with a minimum wage job and and money to spend. So, I hoarded books and rammed through most of Ms. Rachel V’s bibliography. Soul Screamers, Shifters, Unbound, Menagerie and little old Wildcat topped my reading list! I loved all of them. Then, one day, I went off to school and couldn’t afford books that weren’t at discount stores so I lost my chance at these books…

AND THEN I FOUND COUPONS AND SALES AND GOT SPECTACLE! Honest to god, I read Menagerie when it came out and about six years later I read this magical sequel. Despite the six year gap (for me as a reader), I was able to totally remember what was going on and feel attached to this series again.

AND OMG I LOVED EVERY SINGLE FREAKING SECOND OF IT. WHERE’S FURY?! I NEED IT NOOOOOOW!

I love Delilah and Gallagher. I did not love what happened to Delilah but that’s drama in an adult book for you.

Anywho… My actual review:

1. This book expands a lot on the first book. Bigger stakes, more drama, bigger fights and crazier cliffhanger. I’m curious where book three will go – I’m assuming it expands to the broader universe with cryptids in it because this whole series smells of “go big or go home”.

2. I feel like there’s more to Rommily then the book let’s on. She’s one of the narrators but she’s not used a lot. I find her so intriguing because her hints at the future are true, you just can’t tell what way they’re going to swing.

3. The relationship between Delilah and Gallagher being best friends is such a nice change from the typical romance I see in most books (but, I mean… I kinda do want them to get romantic? That’s the inner romance reader in me though). The trust there is really inviting and makes me really love them as characters.

4. This book is fast paced and something is constantly happening. I’m the type of reader who needs that sort of action, so I loved it! If you’re a slow burn kinda reader you are not going to enjoy this book. Heads up!

5. I’ve seen the complaints by other reviewers that this book is a repeat. Since it’s been over half a decade, I can’t say much. All I can say is that I REALLY enjoyed it. I’m not the type of reader who reads an entire series back to back, so it doesn’t bother me all that much. As long as book three isn’t an exact repeat, I think it’ll be fine. Rachel’s one of my fave writers so it’s not a downfall for me at all.

6. There’s some real trauma in this book that just HURTS. I feel so bad but at the same time can’t stop reading. There’s some real trigger warnings in here, but Rachel doesn’t go R rated. Your heart might hurt a bit from one of the graphic scenes (that isn’t described, just stated that it happened).

Overall, I loved this book! I need more! I need Fury ASAP and I need Rachel to write more books so I can binge them all. I’ve loved her for years and I still fall in love with her writing.

Five out of five stars! I’m FURY-IOUS that I don’t have the final book of this series in my hands… Haha, puns!

 

Check out this book on:
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You can find out more about Rachel Vincent on:
http://rachelvincent.com/index.html
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If you love Rachel Vincent or Spectacle, check out some other books on my blog that you might enjoy:
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Fantasy Reads, Part 1
#BookReview Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda
#BookReview Gods in Oslo by John Plaski

 

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#BookReview Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly

Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly was a beautiful contemporary drama.

This novel follows a family through their treasures and troubles. Cassie and Coco are sisters whose Mother left them when Coco was only one and Cassie was eight. That memory hurts and shapes them as adults, leading to a lot of the conflict in this novel. Pearl is their grandmother, who took care of the girls with the help of their Father, when their Mother left.

As adults, Cassie is married and is a strong, working woman. She has two beautiful daughters, Beth and Lily, and seems to have it all: a nice house, a loving husband, two beautiful girls, a lovely sister and a helpful grandmother. Alas, that is not true. Cassie enjoys the drink when life gets tough, and life has been very tough lately. Shay, her husband, seems to be more interested in his Mother than Cassie. Even when Cassie brings it up, Shay doesn’t seem to realize that he doesn’t spend anytime with his wife or kids anymore.

Coco is thirty, flirty and thriving… or so we think. She owns her own vintage clothing store (life goals, much?) and has an awesome bestie named Jo, and is close to Jo’s daughter. A few years back, Coco broke up with her fiancee Red when she thought he was cheating on her. Ever since, she’s had some dates but hasn’t settled won. But, Red has been seen around town… is she over him? And what will she do when tragedy strikes close in her life?

I absolutely LOVED Cassie and Coco. Their story lines kept my hooked to this book like there was no tomorrow. I couldn’t help but binge their stories because I needed to know how they turned out. I felt these girls were very relatable (either hurt or thriving in the loss of a parent) and dealt with realistic scenarios in realistic ways. I did find their intertwined stories very sad (and I kind of want to know how a couple of them played out) but in the end I think it had a good message and moral. We can either grow, do nothing, or let the hurt define us.

The ending itself is very beautiful and I’m glad a certain plot line was able to close. There are some open ended questions left with us, but the ending itself felt… good. It felt nice and made my heart sing and soar! It’s the happy ending I won’t get, so it makes me feel very good inside.

I didn’t enjoy every plot line as much, but not because they were bad. Pearl and Pheobe’s stories didn’t intrigue me as much, but it’s because I just didn’t relate as much to them. They were still beautifully written and a marvelous addition to the book though! Don’t be scared off because I don’t relate to an older grandmother! I also really did not like Shay. Man, was he dumb… He loves that his wife is blunt and to the point, but doesn’t like it when he’s called out on his bullcrap.

If I had a negative for this book, it would be that some chapters moved at a really fast pace while others were slow. Since there was enough fast to out-weight the slow, it didn’t bother me as much. I can see some people not enjoying it though.

My biggest positive is that all storylines eventually intertwine. I love books like that! When you start the book, some of the people seem like they don’t belong… until they do. Cathy does this seamlessly and makes it super impressive! That’s one of the reasons I can rate this book so high. Not only does Cathy have excellent style in her writing, but she can also make it work!

Overall, I am so happy I read this book! It gave me a few too many tears for my own personal liking, but it’s still a gem hidden among my shelves.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Indigo

 

If you enjoyed this book (or review!) here’s some others you might enjoy:
#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon
#BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted
#BookReview Literature® by Guillermo Stitch

 

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#BookReview The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne

The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne is a delightful, contemporary novel that lit up my bookshelf.

Eleanor’s Mother, Rose, has a terrible fall and is suddenly speaking Polish. For many years, Rose has kept her history of the war a secret and not shared a word to a single soul. This sudden change sparks interest in Eleanor and the hunt for a secret past begins. Family secrets are unlocked, drama ensues and life lessons are learned. Will her marriage survive? Will her Mother and her’s bond survive? Will her son ever enjoy soccer?

I found this book truly intriguing an addicting. It’s hard to tell which way this book is going to go right off the bat, which is why I truly enjoyed it. There’s so many secrets hidden and discussed, slowly being revealed as each chapter rolls on. Eleanor’s entire life seems to be falling at the seams, and yet she keeps her cool and manages herself through all of it. Not only was this book about discovering the past, it was also about taking control of your present and future! Eleanor has to manage taking care of her Mother while trying to be a wife and a Mother. Not all of her life is sunshine and roses: her relationship with her Mother is strained, her cousin seems to have a better relationship with Rose, her marriage isn’t in tip top shape, her son isn’t interested in sports, and there may be a man flirting with her! There’s so much going on for Eleanor and yet she handles it all like a pro (with some stumbles, but we all stumble once and a while).

Fran crafted this story wonderfully. I think enough information is released piece by piece, but it also moves at a fast enough pace to keep the reader interested. It’s full of contemporary drama and insights into the past (specifically World War ll).

I can truly respect this book. I found it super engaging and I definitely want more. I could analyze this book while also drifting off into another world that reflects my own.

I can’t find any real negatives about this book, if I’m being honest. I never studied much history or took a giant interest in it, so I felt like I didn’t connect with the history as much as my history buff friends could have. People who enjoy history might like the little splash of Poland that is thrown in.

Overall, I’d highly suggest this book. I think Fran has crafted one of the best books of 2020 and I will be singing it’s praises for years.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Fran Hawthorne, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

You can find out more about the author, Fran Hawthorne, on:
Goodreads
http://www.hawthornewriter.com/
Twitter – @hawthornewriter

 

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#BookReview A Bicycle Made for Two by Mary Jayne Baker

Oh, Mary Jayne Baker. It’s like you wrote this book just for me! It’s 100% British and took me back to my youth when my Dad used every British slang word and saying he could all day, everyday. Meanwhile, it’s a cute, comedic romance that reminds me I’m an adult. It’s safe to say, this book was a nostalgia trip for me and a half!

If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be quirky! It doesn’t totally fit into one category for me, and that’s totally okay. It has a lot of comedy, a pinch of romance, some epic drama and lots of fictional heists to follow. Just labelling it one of those words (or genres) would be a tragedy! This book is just too good to be put into one little corner.

So, down to the meat of it: Lana Donati is our lead, but her brother Tom, friends Yolanda, Gerry, and Sue, a sexy television star named Hunter, and the love interest/former pro cyclist Stewart all take part in this story too. This book starts out seeming like it’ll be your typical romance: Lana and Stewart have a date but then… oh yes… the date goes sour. Stewart doesn’t call Lana and life goes to the pits. Her Father passes away and leaves the siblings his restaurant and the Tour de France is coming to town! Big things are coming Lana’s way…

For reference, I’m Canadian (half British, but good ol’ Canada is my home) so I don’t have many British references to give you. If I had to pick one that the masses from North America and the U.K. would understand, I’d relate this book to Coronation Street. It has the fun and quirky characters, the dramatic plot and British-ness I love about the show. But, sometimes that show can get depressing so imagine the funny and romantic storylines.

The banter itself is golden. I started highlighting all of the hilarious comments on my ecopy and I almost highlighted half the book (whoops!).

Since I don’t want to deal with too much copyright, here’s two excellent comments that made me laugh hysterically and giggle and chuckle and all of the fun laugh terms:

“Scott Spen, 26. Looks like a sheep, sounds like a sheep, may actually be part sheep.” Like, dude, who doesn’t look at dating profiles and think stuff like that?! Just me? Cool.

“A honking good pair.” Without context, sounds brutal. Read the book and you’ll be giggling along with me.

Comedy like THIS is what gets me laughing. Witty sarcasm is the best kind of humour, so I absolutely loved this novel.

Did I have negative? Of course I did! No book is perfect.

In some places online, this book was marketed more like a romance, and it’s not a pure romance. It’s more comedic romance, not Hallmark or Harlequin style romance at all. If a reader comes specifically for that romance, they will be let down. But… does that ruin the book? Heck no! That’s just my point of view.

Overall, this book is an absolute delight and totally fits into my wheelhouse! I love Mary Jayne Baker’s writing and will definitely be sticking around for the long haul. This book was marvelous!

Five out of five stars!

I received a book for free from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

Find out more about the amazing Mary Jayne Baker on:
http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk/
Twitter – @maryjaynebaker
Goodreads – Author Page

 

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