The Beautiful Strangers [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

April 15, 2021

The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio
#throwbackthursday

The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio (cover) Image: a beautiful girl in a green one piece swimming suit lies on the sand under a colorful umbrella

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, San Diego, Romance

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The legendary Hotel Del Coronado off the coast of San Diego, California is the picturesque and glamorous setting for this story of a ghost, movie stars, mystery, chasing a dream, and romance.

Hotel Del Coronado

Picture of the Hotel Del Coronado from their website

In 1958, Kate Morton, a teenager living in San Francisco, seizes her chance to escape from the demands of working in her family’s struggling restaurant to impulsively travel alone to Coronado in response to her ailing grandfather’s plea to find “the beautiful stranger” and to also search for a job at the hotel which will enable her to dream of a new life. A few surprises await her: the true identity of the beautiful stranger, a family mystery, celebrity encounters, and romance.

Continue here for my full review of The Beautiful Strangers ….



QOTD:

Have you read The Beautiful Strangers or is it on your TBR?

Hana Khan Carries On [Book Review]

April 13, 2021

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Hana Khan Carries On (cover) Image: a woman in a head covering holds a mic

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Canada, Muslim, Complicated Family Drama, Love Story, Prejudice, #OwnVoices

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thank you, #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary e ARC of #HanaKhanCarriesOn upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Hana Khan is an energetic, hard-working, and loyal young adult living with her family in a suburb of Toronto,  Canada. She has a big dream to make it in broadcasting. Hana takes on a lot of responsibility by working part-time in her family’s struggling halal restaurant, holds down an internship in a local radio station where she has conflicting views about cultural content with her boss, and produces her own podcast (anonymously). She strikes up a virtual friendship with one of her listeners and they both use fake names. This virtual friendship becomes one of her main sources of support. Meanwhile, her family’s small restaurant is struggling to survive financially. It doesn’t help when a new corporate halal restaurant is planning to open just down the street. Will her family’s restaurant be able to withstand the competition? Will Hana be able to come up with strategies to face the competition and help her family with everything else she has going on? Will Hana ever be on friendly terms with the restaurant’s new (and attractive) owner? How will Hana use her voice?

My Thoughts:

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Lost, Found, and Forever [Book Review]

 March 19, 2021

Lost, Found, and Forever by Victoria Schade

Lost, Found, & Forever by Victoria Schade (cover) Image: a cute white dog with gray markings peeks around a corner

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thank you, #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads @BeritTalksBooks @ThePHDivaBooks for a commplimentary e arc of #LostFoundAndForever upon my request. All opinions are my own. Pub Date: 3.30.2021.

Finders, Keepers?

In addition to romance, we have a custody battle over a beloved rescue dog, Spencer. Justine is Spencer’s current owner, and she loves to train him and he’s also her loyal companion at her dog supply store in upstate New York. Spencer loves performing tricks and has landed a role as a dog actor. On day, Justine comes across a social media post that pleads for the return of a dog that sounds suspiciously like her beloved Spencer. Justine contacts the guy, Griffin, and agrees to meet up with him at a park in Brooklyn. Griffin has the paperwork to prove he’s the original owner but Justine refuses to let Spencer go without a fight. What would you do?

My Thoughts:

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Becoming Mrs. Lewis [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

February 11, 2021

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
#throwbackthursday

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan (cover) Image: a woman in a red long sleeved dress and hat walks though a set of columns with her back to the camera

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Biographical, Love Story, Marriage

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m eager to share my review of the page-turning Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan.a love story.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Struggling with an unhappy marriage, her writing career and health, and matters of faith, Joy Davidman begins writing to well-known author, C.S. Lewis (Jack). Joy and Jack are both writers and poets and experience a robust and heartfelt correspondence through which they develop a warm and intellectual friendship. Soon, Joy takes a break from her unpredictable, angry, drunken husband and travels to England in hopes of restoring her health, finding inspiration for her writing projects, and meeting C.S. “Jack” Lewis. After spending time with Jack and enjoying a mutual fondness, Joy begins to realize her growing love for him. Despite a lack of personal financial resources and continuing heartbreak over her circumstances, Joy finds the courage to risk it all and the voice to end her marriage and move permanently to England. Through her great friendship with Lewis she finds enduring love, a trusted friend and confidant, and a true writing partner. During this time in history (1950s), Joy’s independence and decisions regarding her marriage and children were most likely questioned. In addition, Jack received criticism for his involvement with a divorced woman. However, we know that Jack called her “my whole world” and upon her death he wrote his popular “A Grief Observed.” In this biographical historical fiction you will be treated to a poignant love story along with beautiful descriptions of England and bookish references.”

Their relationship involves a respect and admiration for the other’s intellectual and creative endeavors, a shared love of nature and the mystical, a deep friendship, as well as romance.

Continue here for my full review of Becoming Mrs. Lewis ….



QOTD:

Have you read Becoming Mrs. Lewis or is it on your TBR?

In a Holidaze [Book Review]

January 12, 2021

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren (cover) text and a string of Christmas lights on a green background

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Two families gather to spend a few days at a cabin in Utah, an annual and much anticipated Christmas tradition. The children in the families have grown up together and are close friends. Mae is in her twenties and has just moved home to live with her parents after a breakup. The vacation is coming to an end and she is driving home in her parent’s car and feeling miserable about her dead-end job, the fact that the cabin might be sold in the near future (thus losing a beloved family tradition), and her unrealized secret crush on a young man in the other family. She leans her head against the car window wishing for happiness and BAM! Their family car is broadsided by a truck. When she wakes up, she is in an airplane on her way to the cabin as if the accident never happened. Although this is unnerving, it will give her a chance to undo some things she regrets and to have another chance with her true love. The horrible part is that this loop repeats a few times and each time she relives those vacation days in the cabin. Mae is concerned with how she will manage to exit this strange time-loop and how it will affect the progress she has made in her new relationship.

My Thoughts:

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New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow [Book Review]

December 4, 2020

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland (cover) Image: a woman and her cat sit on a pink bench overlooking a country landscape edged with flowers

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Animal Rescue, Romance, Family Drama

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thank you #NetGalley #BoldWoodBooks @BoldWoodBooks for my complimentary copy of #NewArrivalsAtHedgehogHollow by Jessica Redland at my request. All opinions are my own.

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow is book #2 in the Hedgehog Hollow series. It can be read as a stand-alone but will be a richer reading experience if you’ve read Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow first.

Samantha is the founder and owner of the Hedgehog Hollow Rescue Center. Although she has the support of her boyfriend, Josh, and her father, Samantha is overwhelmed with hedgehog arrivals, working full time, vandalism, and family issues. Samantha and Josh work hard at figuring it all out and growing their new relationship.

hedgehog

Image Source: Wikipedia

My Thoughts:

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South of the Buttonwood Tree [Book Review]

October 16, 2020

South of the Buttonwood Tree by Heather Webber

South of the Buttonwood Tree by Heather Webber (cover) Image: white text over a background of a buttonwood tree closeup

Genre/Categories: Southern Fiction, Magical Realism, Family Drama

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Blue Bishop lives in the charming small town of Buttonwood, Alabama, and she has a sixth sense for finding lost things. The magical buttonwood tree in the woods is important in the community because people can leave their life questions in a rabbit hole of the tree and the next day the tree will leave an answer for you. One day as Blue is walking in the woods, she discovers an abandoned baby south of the magical tree. In solving the mystery of the abandoned baby, long-held secrets are revealed, lives are altered, and family is redefined.

looking upward through the branches of a buttonwood tree

A Buttonwood Tree

My Thoughts:

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The Music Shop [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

September 17, 2020

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
#throwbackthursday

The Music Shop Review

Genre/Categories: Fiction, Music, Friendship

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m sharing my review of The Music Shop by favorite author Rachel Joyce, a story of friendship and music…

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

…quirky character overcomes a difficult and turbulent past and takes risks to create a better life……

My Summary:

“Set in the 1980s on a run-down street in a forgotten suburb of London, there is a small indie music shop that is jam-packed with vinyl records of every kind. Frank, the shop’s owner, has a way of connecting his customers with the exact piece of music they never knew they needed, he welcomes the lonely, and he goes out of his way to help others. One ordinary day, a beautiful young woman in a green coat, Ilse Brauchmann, comes into his music shop and changes his life. Frank feels an attraction to her and yet he fears developing any closeness; in spite of his reservations, he begins to teach her about music and they develop a close friendship based on their common musical interests. Frank is terrified of his feelings for Ilse, yet he’s drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with eyes as black as vinyl. It’s complicated because Ilse has secrets and Frank has a past that haunts him. Readers find out about Frank’s life with his eccentric mother through flashbacks; however, Ilse remains mysterious. While Frank and Ilse contemplate the risks of a relationship, there are events in the community that threaten the livelihood of all the small, independent shops including Frank’s music shop. A further complication for Frank is the growing popularity of cassette tapes and CDs while Frank cherishes the world of vinyl.

In The Music Shop, Frank’s greatest gift is the ability to listen, his greatest heartache is his devotion to and preservation of vinyl, and his greatest fear is having what he most wants…the love of mysterious Ilse.”

Continue here for my review of The Music Shop

QOTD: Have you read The Music Shop or is it on your TBR?

The Switch [Book Review]

August 18, 2020

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

The Switch by Beth O'Leary (cover) Image: two scenes of a young woman walking a dog in the country and another of an older woman standing in front of a building

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Would you switch places with your grandmother?

Summary:

Grandmother Eileen and granddaughter Leena, both dissatisfied with their lives for different reasons, impulsively decide to swap places for two months. Seventy-nine-year-old Eileen moves into Leena’s London flat and twenty-something Leena escapes to her grandmother’s small home in a tiny rural Yorkshire village. They even switch phones! Eileen experiments with online dating and easily makes friends with Leena’s young flatmates. Leena tries to fulfill her grandmother’s responsibilities on various committees and attempts to gain credibility with the community.

My Thoughts:

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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry [Book Review] #flashbackfriday #fridayfavorite

August 14, 2020

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (cover) Image: right shot of a bookstore's painted red door and window display

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Love Story, Found Family, Family Life

Welcome to Friday Favorite! Today in lieu of reviewing a new release, I  am choosing to revisit an old favorite which I read years before starting this blog. (thanks for the inspiration Sandy’s Book a Day blog!)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

A.J. Fikry lives on a fictional island (Alice Island) off the coast of Massachusetts. The isolated island reflects Fikry’s own mental state as he lives with consuming grief over the loss of his wife to a tragic accident. He’s lonely, drinks to excess, is grumpy and opinionated, and struggles with low book sales in the bookstore that he and his wife bought when they moved to the island. Complicating this already dire situation, Fikry’s most prized and valuable book is stolen, he is rude to a book publisher’s representative, and a baby is abandoned in his bookshop. How will Fikry pull his life together?

My Thoughts:

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