Mini Review: Stolen Things by R.H. Herron

Stolen Things by R.H. Herron
Published: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Dutton
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 3/5

“Mama? Help me.”

Laurie Ahmadi has worked as a 911 police dispatcher in her quiet Northern California town for nearly two decades. She considers the department her family; her husband, Omid, is its first Arab American chief, and their teenaged daughter, Jojo, has grown up with the force. So when Laurie catches a 911 call and, to her horror, it’s Jojo, the whole department springs into action.

Jojo, drugged, disoriented, and in pain, doesn’t remember how she ended up at the home of Kevin Leeds, a pro football player famous for his on-the-field activism and his work with the CapB—“Citizens Against Police Brutality”—movement. She doesn’t know what happened to Kevin’s friend and trainer, whose beaten corpse is also discovered in the house. And she has no idea where her best friend Harper, who was with her earlier in the evening, could be.

But when Jojo begins to dive into Harper’s social media to look for clues to her whereabouts, Jojo uncovers a shocking secret that turns everything she knew about Harper—and the police department—on its head. With everything they thought they could rely on in question, Laurie and Jojo begin to realize that they can’t trust anyone to find Harper except themselves . . . and time is running out.

My Thoughts
Stolen Things seemed like a read I would’ve read in one sitting and by the premise, I wanted to but once I started reading it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I thought this was a thriller about a mother trying to get her daughter back and while it was it took different turns that I couldn’t get invested in. 

Laurie thought she knew her daughter but when she calls 911 and Laurie who is a dispatcher answers she finds out her daughter has been hanging with some shady people. Jojo’s best friend has been involved with some older men who are police officers and seeing how Jojo’s father is one this isn’t good. Plus when someone is found dead and Jojo doesn’t know how she ended up drugged and maybe even raped her mother doesn’t know where to start to find out the truth.

While all of this sounds good and parts are really good overall I found that too much stuff was happening. There were a lot of characters and there were so many issues being thrown at you I couldn’t keep track of them at times. This was an okay read but honestly, me going into this thinking it was about something else might have not made me fully get into it.


Mini Review: One Week 'Til Christmas by Belinda Missen

One Week Til Christmas by Belinda Missen
Published: November 1, 2019
Publisher: HQ Digital
Format: via NetGalley
Rating: 3/5

Two people. One chance meeting. Seven days to Christmas.
Isobel Bennett is waiting for the number 11 bus when a man quite literally falls into her lap. Snow is falling, Christmas lights are twinkling, and a gorgeous man with dark brown hair has just slipped on ice and is now pressed against Isobel. Isobel knows she’s not imagining the chemistry between them. But then his ride arrives and, embarrassed, he beats a hasty retreat, murmuring apologies – and Isobel realizes only too late that she didn’t manage to catch his name…
When she runs into him again the next morning, she decides it’s fate. It’s a second chance for Isobel and Tom – but there’s only one week until she’s leaving London for good. Seven days of enjoying all the festive delights the city has to offer: ice-skating at Somerset House, mulled wine on the Southbank, Christmas shopping at Liberty. There’s magic in the air and mistletoe in the trees – but what will happen when the week is over?
My Thoughts
Isobel and Tom have their met cute when they bump into each other not once but twice and what happens after that leads to a week of fun and romance but what happens after their whirled wind week? Will these two realize that there is more to this than just a fling or will they just chalk all this up to just fun?

I liked this novel it was a quick read filled with fun and romance and two characters that were meant to be. When they meet it was supposed to be just a fling but they soon discovered how much they had in common and how much they filled what was missing in their lives. This is a read for anyone who loves a good romance sprinkled with the magic that is Christmas.


Mini Review: Under Wraps by Brynn North

Under Wraps by Brynn North
Published: November 9, 2019
Format: free Kindle read
Rating: 4/5

Luci is a serial dater, always on the lookout for Mr. Right. Heck, even Mr. Right Now would do, but even he seems to be missing in action. She's definitely not feeling the Christmas spirit, so when her boss dumps the major task of organizing the entire company's Christmas event on her lap to get the promotion she's been desperate for, she's more than annoyed.

Alex is struggling with the holiday season too, but for an entirely different reason. Not only was he recently dumped by his longtime girlfriend, but he had to let a suave doctor move into his spare room. If having a new roommate wasn’t annoying enough, Luci takes on look at this guy and swoons. Can’t Luci see that Sebastian is just another player who will just break her heart? She deserves better than that!

Luci struggles to pull off the double duty of capturing this new man's attention and creating the ultimate Christmas event to wow both her company and Sebastian. Will Luci be able to pull off both? Should she try to pull off both, or was Alex right all along?

This Christmas novella will have you laughing as you relate to the character's struggles at the holiday season. 

My Thoughts
This is a short and sweet read about Alex and Luci who are friends but once Alex breaks up with his girlfriend he finds himself caring a little too much about Luci’s personal life. While Luci hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to men she thinks Alex’s new roommate might change all that.

I really liked the characters and the storyline while nothing new was cute and who doesn’t like the potential best friends turn lovers story? The author makes it easy to root for these two to get together, their chemistry is amazing and they are simply great and funny characters. If you want something light and easy this is definitely a read worth the time.


Mini Review: Go Ask Fannie by Elisabeth Hyde

Go Ask Fannie by Elisabeth Hyde
Published: April 10, 2018
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 3/5

Everyone has baggage. The Blaire siblings are just taking theirs home for the long weekend.

When Murray Blaire invites his three grown children to his New Hampshire farm for a few days, he makes it clear he expects them to keep things pleasant. The rest of his agenda–using Ruth and George to convince their younger sister, Lizzie, to break up with her much older boyfriend–that he chooses to keep private. But Ruth and George arrive bickering, with old scores to settle. And, in a classic Blaire move, Lizzie derails everything when she turns up late, cradling a damaged family cookbook, and talking about possible criminal charges against her.

This is not the first time the Blaire family has been thrown into chaos. In fact, that cookbook, an old edition of Fannie Farmer, is the last remaining artifact from a time when they were a family of six, not four, with a father running for Congress and a mother building a private life of her own. The now-obscured notes written in its pages provide tantalizing clues to their mother’s ambitions and the mysterious choices she once made, choices her children have always sought without success to understand. Until this weekend.

As the Blaire siblings piece together their mother’s story, they come to realize not just what they’ve lost, but how they can find their way back to each other. In this way, celebrated author Elisabeth Hyde reminds readers that family survival isn’t about simply setting aside old rivalries, but preserving the love that’s written between the lines. 

My Thoughts
In Go Ask Fannie we have the Blaire siblings who all come home to help deal with their father. This is well written family drama that showcases the dynamics between each sibling and how no matter how long you can be apart when family comes together it can be a beautiful but also hectic thing. I enjoyed the family dynamics between the characters and how each while flawed in the end do love and care for one another. There is nothing I love more than a good family novel and this one was pretty good.


Mini Review: Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
Published: March 6, 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 3/5

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

Soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves--until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? What about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself, so how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

My Thoughts
I was really excited about this read seeing how Peter Swanson has become one of my favorite authors but sadly this one just fell a little flat for me. In Her Every Fear we have Kate who is recovering from something tragic from her past and her parents decide maybe she needs a break and maybe she should exchange places with her cousin in the States for a while. Corbin her cousin has his own demons from his past he is trying to escape but the timing of the swap isn’t the best for him and soon he finds himself having to prove his innocence.

While I found this novel interesting there were some things I just couldn’t believe in. I found myself getting confused at times with the characters and other times I just wanted to know what was going to happen. I liked Corbin as a character and found his storyline very interesting but Kate wasn’t my favorite. I found her just repeating her mistakes and just wanted her to find her way. This novel will definitely draw you in but at times I found it dragging. I’m still a huge fan of the author but this one was an okay read for me in the end.


Mini Review: 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
Published: October 1, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 4/5

Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents' house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That's when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she's started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever... or is it?

My Thoughts
10 Blind Dates is a fun and cute holiday read that will definitely make you smile and give you the feels! We met Sophie who is ready to enjoy the Christmas holidays with her boyfriend but her boyfriend has other plans. He decides to break up with her and so she spends the holidays with her huge family who has other plans for her. They all decide to fix her up on 10 blind dates and they make a contest out of it. Sophie plays along and while some dates are better than others she likes spending time with her family and old friends including her grandparents’ neighbor. While she still has feelings for her ex she knows stepping back that he wasn’t the right one for her, she feels like there is someone better for her out there.

This was definitely a fun read, her family is something I can relate to. This read had me thinking of my own crazy family, in the sense how when we are together its so much fun and how we have each other backs in the time of need. The relationship she has with her grandmother is so sweet and enduring that it hit me in the heart. This is one read I highly recommend! If you want something funny and sweet this will get you out of any reading slump.


Release Day Blitz: All the Befores by Samantha Chase

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase is back with ALL THE BEFORES--a new Magnolia Sound story. Be sure to grab your copy today to find out which Magnolia Sound couple is getting married!


Susannah Westbrook never thought she’d find love again.
After a failed marriage, focusing on her children instead of her love life was the best thing to do. Now years later, she’s content with her life. But when she meets Colton Hale, she decides that she wants to be more than just content—she’s ready to take a chance on love once again.
After just a year of being together, Colton is ready to spend forever with Susannah—to give her the happily ever after she deserves. But old insecurities have a way of making a comeback when you least want them to.
Will they be able to get over all their befores for a chance at their happy ever after?


Get your copy of ALL THE BEFORES! Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo | Google Play



Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina. 


Mini Review: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Published: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 4.5/5

When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her--freedom, prison or death.
With The Testaments, the wait is over.
Margaret Atwood's sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

My Thoughts
When I heard there was going to be a follow up to The Handmaid’s Tale I was split down the middle on how I felt about this. One I was excited and the other I didn’t want this book if bad to diminish my thoughts and praise on the first novel. I’m glad to say I was really pleased with The Testaments.

In the sequel, we hear from three characters, Aunt Lydia, Agnes who grew up in Gilead and Daisy who grew up in Canada. Through these characters, we see how everyone has had to deal with Gilead.  To be honest I feel like you have to go into this novel with a real open mind. The Handmaid’s Tale is a beloved book so to mess with that is a touchy subject so you have to be open with this read. There are some characters from the first novel but this in a sense is a novel of its own and should be treated as such, with that I found this novel well written and I connect with it. I liked seeing the story told through new eyes and seeing how they see things. This was a good read based on a book which I love so much, I’m just sad to see this chapter end.


Mini Review: Last Christmas by Marisa Mackle

Last Christmas by Marisa Mackle
Published: April 24, 2013
Format: via Kindle
Rating: 3/5

A group of strangers are thrown together unexpectedly at Christmas and spend the holiday together at a tiny guesthouse in the middle of the woods. A fun thought-provoking festive story with a hint of romance.

My Thoughts
I really enjoyed this short holiday read about a group of strangers who individuals stories all seem to intertwine at the end. Each of these people ends up wanting to enjoy the holidays even if at the beginning they didn’t think they would. What I found so magical was that all these lonely souls came together to celebrate the holidays, and that's what Christmas is all about. This is a very short read but one that gives you a great story in a limited time. This is recommended for anyone who wants a holiday read in a short time.


Mini Review: Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson

Christmas at Winter Hill by Melody Carlson
Published: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Revell
Format: via audiobook
Rating: 3/5

Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. After her rough childhood in multiple foster homes, the holiday season just brings too many bad memories to the surface. But when she accepts a job as a city manager in the mountain town of Winter Hill, Washington, Christmas is part of the deal. The small town is famous for its Christmasville celebration, something that the city manager . . . well, manages.

As she tries to make her tiny new apartment feel like home for her and her eight-year-old daughter, Emily, Krista begins to wonder if this move was a mistake. She doesn't always feel welcomed in the close-knit town, and Emily continually wonders, "Where's the snow?" Can a friendly stranger and his family help restore Krista's Christmas spirit before the big day?

My Thoughts
Krista and her daughter recently moved to Winter Hill in hopes of a better future. It’s Christmas time and no one loves it more than Krista’s daughter but Krista isn't one for it since she grew up in the foster care system and the holidays bring no cheer at all. So when she moves to a town that loves the holidays Krista is a little put-off, to say the least, but her daughter and the town hope to change her mind.

So will this town change her mind about Christmas and make her see there is some good in this world? Not to mention maybe even a new romance is her future. I really enjoyed this book it was cute and a quick read but one with lots of cheer and holiday magic. I like a good read that shows us that hope is a possibility and shows us that the good still has good people in it. This is one read that will bring you some great holiday feels.


Book Blitz+Giveaway: Home for Christmas by Ann Grech

Home For Christmas by Ann Grech
Publication date: November 19, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Fate threw him a wicked twist. Or maybe it was the magic of Christmas. Maybe it was just going home.
T’was the night before Christmas—three actually—and there was nothing quiet about the club Declan found himself at. The superhero-themed masquerade party was the one thing he’d been looking forward to when he’d been summoned home for Christmas. He usually kept a safe distance between him and his family. It was easier to hide his secret that way. Being gay wasn’t the only thing he was hiding. The truth was far worse—he’d fallen for his stepbrother, Ollie.
The night of the masquerade party saw his world was flipped upside down by an enticing stranger. He’d never be the same again. The two men came together when they both needed it most. What followed was one seriously sexy pre-Christmas set of fireworks exploding between them. But he was soon alone again, sitting in an apartment full of beautiful, rich people who only wanted to know him because of his stepfather’s bank account. Declan’s love of the holidays was wavering, and he was regretting his trip home.
Then Ollie walked in, and everything became a whole lot more complicated. Declan was torn—unable to get the sexy, nameless stranger out of his head and Ollie out of his heart.
Going home for Christmas would either break him or… well, Declan didn’t have that quite figured out.
Home For Christmas is a stand-alone, Christmas gay romance by Ann Grech featuring a steamy one night stand, a closeted hero, wrestling stepbrothers, numerous references to Woody and Buzz, singing in the shower and a feel good second chance romance.
I tossed the shot back and enjoyed the burn of the whiskey as it traveled down my throat.
“Nice costume,” a warm voice said next to me. His words cut through the noise of the club and settled in my gut, spreading tingles throughout my body. That voice was as smooth as the whiskey I’d just drunk. I sucked in a breath, want and need curling low in my gut. The voice was familiar, like I’d heard him speak before. As if I’d listened to it for countless hours long ago, but that was wishful thinking. An impossibility. I turned sideways and faced…Batman. His three-quarter face mask and his beard hid his identity spectacularly, but as my eyes traveled down his body, I nearly choked on my tongue. Jesus, the man is beautiful.
His cape covered only the tops of his shoulders, and the smooth skin of his shirtless chest was on full display. He was lean with just enough muscle definition that it made my mouth water. He was the epitome of everything that turned me on. The perfect build. His nicely rounded pecs were tipped with flat nipples, the small nubs pointing at me in the dim light, and although he didn’t have the perfect six-pack, he did have the sexiest dips coming in from his hips. Cum gutters were cut off from my viewing pleasure by the dark jeans he wore. Damn, those jeans looked like they were tailor-made for him, fitting his hips and package perfectly and hugging his long legs.
“Damn, Batman, you’re lookin’ pretty fuckin’ hot yourself,” I drawled, my southern accent becoming more pronounced the more aroused I became.
He stilled, tilting his head to the side. “Have we met before?”
“Maybe? I don’t know.” I lifted one shoulder in a half shrug. “Does it matter?”
One side of his mouth turned up in a small grin, and he shook his head before grabbing my hand. That simple connection floored me. It was like lightning had struck me, setting every nerve ending on fire. Want and need slammed into me, stealing my breath. People say “sparks flew” and “instant chemistry” but I’d never experienced it before.
Until that moment.
And it hit him too if the slow lick of his lips gave me any indication.

Author Bio
By day Ann Grech lives in the corporate world and can be found sitting behind a desk typing away at reports and papers or lecturing to a room full of students. She graduated with a PhD in 2016 and is now an over-qualified nerd. Glasses, briefcase, high heels and a pencil skirt, she's got the librarian look nailed too. If only they knew! She swears like a sailor, so that's got to be a hint. The other one was "the look" from her tattoo artist when she told him that she wanted her kids initials "B" and "J" tattooed on her foot. It took a second to register that it might be a bad idea.
She's never entirely fit in and loves escaping into a book--whether it's reading or writing one. But she's found her tribe now and loves her MM book world family. She dislikes cooking, but loves eating, can't figure out technology, but is addicted to it, and her guilty pleasure is Byron Bay Cookies. Oh and shoes. And lingerie. And maybe handbags too. Well, if we're being honest, we'd probably have to add her library too given the state of her credit card every month (what can she say, she's a bookworm at heart)!
She also publishes her raunchier short stories under her pen name, Olive Hiscock.



December & Tistheseasonathon TBR


Monthly Wrap Up: November

The end of the year is near! This year has been a whirlwind, to say the least, but it been filled with lots of good things and great books! Here’s how my November went book-wise.

Books Read
54. 25 Days of Christmas by Poppy Alexander
55. Let It Snow by Nancy Thayer
56. One Week Til Christmas by Belinda Missen
57. Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson

Reading Stats
5 Stars - 0
4 Stars - 0
3 Stars - 4
3.5 Stars - 0
2 Stars - 0
1 Stars - 0

Fiction - 4

Pages Read - 979

Books via Publisher
Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra
Blitzed by Alexa Martin
Once Removed by Colette Sartor
A Mrs. Miracle Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Thanks to Ballantine, Gallery, Berkley and Georgia Press for the amazing books!

ARC’s via NetGalley/Edelweiss
A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight

That’s it for my November Wrap Up please feel free to share your wrap up I love to check out all things bookish!!