Posted in Reviews

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

68511765_10214881214443966_2124989224938635264_n“They say your life flashes before your eyes, but it wasn’t my life as I’d lived it that I saw. It was the life I’d been waiting for. The one I’d never get a chance to live.” 

Happy Tuesday friends! I finished up How to Walk Away by Katherine Center yesterday and WOW! You guys this book was and is everything book dreams are made of! To be honest I never heard of How to Walk Away and it just so happened to pop up on Hoopla so I picked it up and decided that it was the best audiobook I have ever listened to. Here is a little synopsis for you in case you too have not heard of this book.

Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment.

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture reader’s hearts with every page. 

Let me start off by saying that I freakin’ love our main character Margaret! She is feisty, strong headed, funny, and independent. Although she has found herself in a less than exciting situation, she refuses to let everyone walk all over her or treat her any different than how they did prior to her accident. I really think that Katherine Center did a phenomenal job developing every character! I love when I can picture every character and feel as if I know exactly who they are. Like I can meet for coffee with Maggie and her sister—-and don’t even get me started on Ian…can we just say hubba hubba!?

Overall though, I loved how Center was able to make me feel so many emotions. One minute she had me literally laughing out loud and the next minute I would feel so much grief. However, despite the grief–I found hope just as Margaret did. At the end Maggie says something that will forever live with me and I hope that it will do the same for you—-“You have to live the life you have, you have to find inspiration in the struggle, and pull joy out of the hardship——Because that is all we can do, carry the sorrow when we have to and savor the joy when can.”  How beautiful is that? I think that at times we forget to find the joy within our struggles and life is far too short to wallow in self pity, so I encourage you to find joy even in the smallest things. 

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

xoxo,

Nicole

Posted in Reviews

I am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

[PDF DOWNLOAD] I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll Free Epub Happy Thursday bookworms! I am so excited to come to you with a book review being that it has been so long since I have written one! A sweet friend of mine on #bookstagram (@kassyreadsbooks) shared that I am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll was on super sale and decided to pick it up, but thankfully it was part of Kindle Unlimited! Woohoo!

You guys, this book was so so good. I was not sure what to expect from it, but it drew me in right from the start! Not only was it a fast paced book, it changed from different point-of-views every single chapter. Now some people hate when that happens because it can make it hard to keep up with the story, but Driscoll did a phenomenal job!

Without giving too much away, this book follows the story of a young girl named Anna who had gone missing a year ago while on a trip with her friend Sarah. After they had gotten into an argument they ended separating at a club and from there Anna was unable to be found. Now the question is, why did she disappear? Did she go with someone? Was she abducted? Why can’t anyone find her? Between family, friends, by standers, and investigators they will get to the bottom of it…..or will they?

I would highly highly recommend this book if you are at all interested in psychological thrillers.

My Rating

starsxoxo,

Nicole

Posted in Reviews

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) Seanan McGuire

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5star

Synopsis


Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Review


Oh my goodness y’all! I was blown away by this first novel in the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire! I am not a huge fantasy reader, but this book alone has me sold! It was such a fun story that follows a group of children who have experienced a case of what I call “Alice in Wonderland syndrome,” where they find a door that takes them to a magical land that is different from where they came from. However, this first book is following them after they have found their way back to the “real world,” and are now at a boarding school to try and find their place in this world where they have never quite fit in.

Each character is extremely unique and they each have experienced a different world from one another. I would say the most fascinating thing is to learn about each of these different worlds. Some are considered dark worlds where death and vampires are and then there are worlds that are colorful and full of candy. Overall, this was such a fantastic start to this series and I cannot wait to give you my review on the next two novels!

Posted in Reviews

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geekerella

5star

Synopsis


Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck and her dad’s old costume, Elle’s determined to win – unless her stepsisters get there first.
Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons – before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he has ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake – until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?
Part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

Review


If you know me, than you know I am a huge Disney fan! So when I heard that Geekerella was a fandom retelling of Cinderella, I knew I needed to get my hands on it! You guys, this book was perfection! The story, the characters, the love, and even the horrible step-sisters and step-mom. When I finished the book, I was literally on cloud nine!

What I loved most about Geekerella was how it switched perspectives between Elle and Darien. On paper they were completely different people with nothing in common; however, they were so much alike! Not only were they both HUGE Starfield fans, they both found themselves in unlikely situations. Elle had to deal with going through life alone because both her parents had died and now her evil “stepmonster,” made sure to make her life hell. For Darien, he had to deal with his father being his manager and controlling EVERY.SINGLE.THING in his life…to the point of hiring someone to follow him and essentially tarnish his name. He could not do what he wanted and if he tried, someone would find out and force him to stop whatever it was he was doing. So when Darien texted Elle thinking he was talking to someone from Excelsicon to cancel his appearance, he ended up with much much more. The two of them would text each other as often as they could mainly talking about their love for Starfield, but little did they know they would be each other’s saving grace.

Overall, I loved this book and look forward to reading the second book in the series called The Princess and the Fangirl.

Look to the stars. Aim. Ignite.”

Are you a fan of Cosplay/Cos-Cons? Let me know!

xox,

Nicole

Posted in Reviews

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

FNOL

stars

I never thought I would fall in love with Field Notes on Love and yet here I am, a big cry baby because of how much I loved this novel by Jennifer E. Smith! It was the first book that I have ever read by this author and I am so thankful that I was able to get my hands on a copy. I bet you are wondering, “Nicole, why did you love this book so much?” Well bookworms, let me tell you:

It involves a cross country train trip from New York to California

  • I have an aching for wanderlust and knew that this would just make me want to travel even more…preferably by train now.

The dynamic between our two main characters was so perfect.

  • Hugo: an 18 year old boy from England who just so happens to be a sextuplet and is now “famous,” in his little town of Surrey.
  • Mae: an 18 year old from New York who has two dads and a grandma who is spunky and wants Mae to live the best life she can.

The way love comes to be in this story is just so sweet and makes you swoon way too much!

Most things are easier than you think,” She says “It’s deciding to do them that’s hard.”

Hugo has always lived his life in the shadows of his five other siblings and by that I mean that it has always been Hugo and his brothers and sisters. They did everything together….they were a package deal when it came to EVERYTHING. All Hugo wanted was to live a life separate from his siblings, but how can he do that without completely shutting them out and making his family upset. On top of trying to figure that out, he was going through a break-up. All Hugo knew is that he NEEDED to go on the trip that him and his now ex-girlfriend were going to take…..a train trip across America. Once he realized that everything was in her name and that he could not change the reservations…he did something completely out of the ordinary. He was going to find himself another Margaret Campbell and was going to ask her to “pretend,” to be Margaret Campbell his ex-girlfriend!

Mae has always known what she wanted to do, being that both of her dad’s were artistic it was just a given that she would fall in love with film. Her hopes and dreams were to attend school in California at one of the most respected film schools in America and maybe even in the world. However, when she got that rejection letter…Mae did not know what to do. She thought the film she sent the school was perfect! She knew she needed to change something, but what is there to change when you already love it so much? After getting advice from pretty much every person in her life, she found that she needed to experience a little more life. So when her friend Priyanka sends her a link to a wanted ad of a boy looking for a Margaret Campbell to take a cross country train trip with….she decided to do the unthinkable….she responded! Sadly, she did not get chosen and school was about to start…so she just sat it out….until she got another email saying that the previous winner was unable to make it!

Now Hugo and Mae have come together at Penn Station to embark on a trip of lifetime. The catch though, neither of their parents know they are traveling with a complete stranger. Every time their parents call they fib a little in hopes that they won’t find out. Of course Hugo’s parents would eventually find out because when you are part of sextuplets…someone is bound to spill the beans. For Mae though, her little secret remained a secret. Her grandma was the one who knew and being that she too found love on a train many years ago, all she wanted was for her granddaughter to do the same. So off they went on this journey of a lifetime where they each would gain more life experience and even find love! 

You guys, this book was absolutely perfect and all I hope is that there is a second novel that will go a little further into the relationship between Hugo and Mae. Will Mae get into film school? Does Hugo stay in the USA or does he go back to England for good? Do the two of them end up being in a long lasting relationship? So many questions!

Have you read this? Let me know in the comments!

 

xoxo,

Nicole!

 

 

Goodreads | Amazon

Posted in Reviews

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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5star


“It’s like some of us are chasing after our nightmares the way other people chase dreams.”

 

Daisy Jones and The Six is the first novel that I have read by Taylor Jenkins Reid and you guys….it was so good! For months all I kept hearing about was Daisy Jones and that was enough for me to check it out. Once I read more into it, I was on board being that it’s main focus was set in the 70’s.Starting off, the first thing you notice is the book being written in an interview style which I thought was so fascinating! It was easy to keep my attention because each character had their own personality and you could easily find what their roll was among all the characters.

The story opens up with us getting to know Daisy Jones. The one thing that is mentioned often is how beautiful she is. She is that kind of girl that will just grab your attention the moment she walks into the room. What I loved most about Daisy is that she started off as a fragile little girl with no direction and grew into an empowered woman who knew what she wanted. She wanted to write music and she wanted to do it her own way. When she would finally get the chance to do so, she was not going to back down. 

The story also follows the band The Six, whose lead singer is Billy Dunne. As like Daisy, Billy is strong willed and he knew what he wanted when it came to the band and he was not going to stop until he got it. So when Daisy joined the band on an album, it would prove to be a difficult road. The reason being that the two of them both wanted to write music and they did not want compromise. Thankfully, when they were able to find some common ground they created some of the best music out there. 

Although The band and Daisy were known separately; when they were together as Daisy Jones & The Six it was pure magic. They were selling out shows, hitting record highs, but like any story you always have a falling out. At the end of the Aurora tour, every band member hit a low in their life and they had to figure out where to go from there. Although it ended with the band splitting, every member of the band was able to find happiness with where their life had taken them and they now had the memories of being one of the greatest bands in history. 

This book was all rock n roll, meaning it was filled with music, alcohol, drugs, and sex. It was brilliant! I felt like you truly got to know each of the characters and when they were going through something you felt their pain or you would be angry because you wanted a different outcome. To me that makes for a great book.  I highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself and be prepared to finish it in one sitting! The best part of all, at the end of the book you get the lyrics of the songs Daisy and Billy have written.

Are you a fan of the 70’s? Let me know in the comments below!

 

xoxo

Nicole

 

 

Goodreads|Bookbub|Amazon

Posted in Reviews

A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander

5star


Jules Capshaw has finally recovered from the murder that took place during the summer and is hoping that the fall season will bring lots of baking and sales for Torte. Now that she is co-owner of her mother’s bake shop, it is time to begin updating her little family owned bakery. Thankfully, Jules will have the opportunity to win $25,000 by competing in a reality TV show called Take the Cake! As easy as that sounds, it will take a turn for the worst….a murder! Once again, Jules finds herself constantly running into bits and pieces of clues that will help her solve the case. Turns out, it was someone she would least expect. Was it someone in her hometown or one of the visitors from the show Take the Cake?

Once again, Ellie Alexander did a fantastic job writing this novel. What I love most about her books so far is that she paints a picture for you so well that you feel like you know the characters first hand. I could see myself sipping on a cup of joe in Torte by a window and eating a delicious pastry having conversation with the locals. I just love this little world in Ashland, Oregon and want to visit ASAP. I also enjoy how she adds in a little bit of suspense into each of these novels without completely going overboard in detail *hence being a cozy ;)* Again, I would highly recommend reading Ellie Alexander’s Bakeshop Mystery Series! If you are an audio book fan, the first three novels are on audible!

Goodreads|Bookbub|Amazon

Posted in Reviews

Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander

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stars

Synopsis:


Welcome to Torte-a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…

After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…

The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival’s newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her…but still. The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…

Review


Meet Your Baker was the perfect cozy mystery! It had such a great balance of suspense, love, humor, and great relationships.  It was the first novel that I have read by Ellie Alexander and it did not disappoint. Once I finished, I was eager to start the second book!

This particular novel follows Jules Capshaw who just moved back home to Ashland, Oregon after being on a cruise ship for several years working as a chef. Her plan was to stay at home for a short while and then move on to her next adventure. Little did she know that her heart would rekindle the love she once had for her small town and her families bakery Torte. However, when one of Torte’s customers is murdered, Jules finds herself in the middle of the investigation. Whether she was seeking answers or not, some how she would find bits and pieces to help her solve the case. Sadly, when Jules finally figures out who committed the murder, she would find herself in the act of another murder….or does she?

I will most definitely catch up on the series and hope to be done before the next novel comes out! I would highly recommend Meet the Baker if you are at all interested in cozy mysteries!

Amazon|Goodreads|Bookbub

 

Posted in Reviews

Review: Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers

 

Waisted

Goodreads | Amazon

Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for this eARC!

Title: Waisted

Author: Randy Susan Meyers

Release Date: May 21, 2019

Pages: 288

Genre: Women’s Fiction

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this provocative, wildly entertaining, and compelling novel, seven women enrolled in an extreme weight loss documentary discover self-love and sisterhood as they enact a daring revenge against the exploitative filmmakers.
Alice and Daphne, both successful and accomplished working mothers, harbor the same secret: obsession with their weight overshadows concerns about their children, husbands, work—and everything else of importance in their lives. Scales terrify them.
Daphne, plump in a family of model-thin women, learned only slimness earns admiration at her mother’s knee. Alice, break-up skinny when she met her husband, risks losing her marriage if she keeps gaining weight.
The two women meet at Waisted. Located in a remote Vermont mansion, the program promises fast, dramatic weight loss, and Alice, Daphne, and five other women are desperate enough to leave behind their families for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The catch? They must agree to always be on camera; afterward, the world will see Waisted: The Documentary.
The women soon discover that the filmmakers have trapped them in a cruel experiment. With each pound lost, they edge deeper into obsession and instability…until they decide to take matters into their own hands.

My Review:

When I first came across this novel on Netgalley, I was super excited because it is not often you come across fiction books that follow people who are on a weight loss journey. However, I thought the story would be a little more lighthearted and would focus on the camp primarily while only taking bits and pieces of why each woman was attending the camp.

While the author did go into the stories of both Alice and Daphne, I felt that it was too much. By that I mean, it went into too much detail that it took away from the actual story. I would have preferred to learn more about the other five women who were attending the camp because each of their stories were kind of thrown in at the last minute.

I wanted to love this book so much, but overall it fell flat to me.

 

xoxo,

Nicole

Posted in Reviews

Review: Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

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Goodreads|Amazon

★★★★

Title: Truth or Beard

Author: Penny Reid

Series: The Winston Brothers, #1

Pages: 390

Genre: Contemporary Romance

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. 

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

My Review:

I have enjoyed Penny Reid’s writing and have heard so much about The Winston Brother’s series. It has taken me awhile to start, but book one was such a fun read!  I was not sure what to expect going into this series, but it was filled with some good humor, romance, and some unexpected turns. 

The characters in this book are so lovable and very relatable.   Jessica James is an outgoing, strong-willed woman with a wanderer’s heart. She knows what she wants and she will not let anything stop her. Duane is also strong-willed, but more reserved,family oriented, and loyal. He works at the body shop that him and his brother’s own and does not plan on moving anytime soon. Jess on the other hand cannot wait for the day that she pays off her student debt so she can begin travelling. However, like every love story..their hearts get pulled in different directions and have to decide if their love is worth the compromising of each of their dreams.

I would say the part that I hated about this book was just the back and forth with their relationship. One minute you would be cheering them on and the next you just wanted them to part ways. I know they had to figure out what was going to work and if it was even worth it, but I did get to a point where enough was enough. Thankfully, towards the end of the story they talked out their frustrations and came up with a plan that would suite the both of them. 

Overall, I enjoyed this series and plan to continue on with the series. I am excited to see where their relationship leads and look forward to learning more about the other Winston brothers! 

Have you read any of Penny Reid’s novels? If so, which is your favorite?

 

xoxo

Nicole