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 book of the month

My BOTM Pick: August 2019

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Happy Friday my fellow bookworms! We made it to the end of the week and it is now time to soak up some sunshine and relax! This weekend I will be diving into Well Met by Jen Deluca which also happens to be my August Book of the Month pick! I have been seeing this book ALL over #bookstagram and I am so glad to now have it in my possession! What makes it even more special is that this book is not set to release until September 3rd! Not sure what this book is? Well here is a little synopsis from goodreads.
All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

Does this sound like a book that you will pick up on release day? Let me know what you think in the comments! 

xoxo,

Nicole

Posted in Uncategorized

Hello Again!

Hello gorgeous black & white print by myfabulesslife on etsy

Hi there bookworms! My oh my has it been quite some time or what!? Life has been crazy the last four months and I had to make sure that I took care of myself both physically and mentally so I took a break from all things books. I just could not focus long enough to read a book and it was so so frustrating, but I am back and ready to dive  in to some reading! How have all of you been? What have been your favorite reads of the summer? Let me know down below! I am always looking for a new book so maybe your favorite read will be my next!

 

xoxo

Nicole

Posted in Reviews

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

every heart.jpg

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 Monthly Book Wrap Up, Uncategorized

April Wrap-Up

Happy Saturday friends! I cannot believe how fast time is flying by…how is it almost mid May!? Last month was such a great reading month for me and I thought it was time to share my April wrap-up. I read a total of 12 books! Out of the twelve that I read, four of them were children’s books and one was a middle grade novel that I had the opportunity to read via Netgalley. Being that I am a nanny, I love to be able to read up and coming children’s books that I will hopefully be able to purchase for my kiddos later on. The others were romance and YA fantasy/horror.

  1. The Girls of Firefly Cabin by Cynthia Ellingsen
  2. Livi Grace by Jennifer Lynch
  3. Argyle Fox by Marie Letourneau
  4. Seraphina Does Everything by Melissa Gratias
  5. Jocelyns Box of Socks by Kristen L. Jackson
  6. Geekerella by Ashley Poston
  7. Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith
  8. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  9. War of the Roses by Iris Moreland
  10. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
  11. This is Not a Love Scene by S.C. Megale
  12. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

I am so thankful to have had a great reading month and hope that May will turn out to have the same outcome! I will be traveling to New Mexico the end of the month and I am planning to get a lot of reading done on the plane and while I am at the airport during my layover.

What are some of your go to genres while flying or road tripping? Let me know down in the comments!

Xoxo,

Nicole

Posted in Thrifty Thursday

Thrifty Thursday: Cheap or Free Kindle Books

Happy Thursday bookworms! Today I coming at you with a list of cheap or free kindle books! I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for new books and as much as I love physical copies..my bank account does not love spending the money! Thankfully, e-readers ALWAYS have amazing deals on books and often times they have a ton of free books! If you are a kindle user, you do have the option to pay for Kindle Unlimited which gives you access to a plethora of free books! Where are my romance fans? Kindle unlimited is literally calling your name because they have soooo many romance novels! 

Now onto the books!

  1. Verity by Colleen Hoover is free if you have Kindle Unlimited or is only $4.99! I have not read this yet, but it is definitely on my TBR.
  2. A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert: The first book in Hibbert’s Ravenswood series is only $2.99! I read this as part of the Dragons and Tea book club in February and it was so good!  Review can be found here.
  3. War on the Roses: A Steamy Romantic Comedy by Iris Moreland is free and you guys this was such great novella to start Morelands new Flower Shop Sisters series! Definitely check this out if you are into contemporary romance novels. Plus book 1 in the series is only $3.99!
  4. Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell is $2.99! If you are a fan of Rowell, than definitely check this short story out! It was so good!
  5. Finally for those who are into graphic novels, I recommend the first five volumes of Lumberjanes because they are all part of Kindle Unlimited!

Are you a kindle or e-reader fan? Let me know down in the comments!

xoxo

Nicole

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

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