ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Historical Fiction, Romance, Series & Collections

Return to Satterthwaite Court, by Mimi Matthews

AVAILABLE April 11, 2023

I am so honored to have been chosen by Mimi Matthews to be part of her launch team for Return to Satterthwaite Court! This delightful novel of historical fiction is the third in the series of Somerset Stories, after The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim. But it also works perfectly fine as a standalone. The other books, each wonderful in its own way, are only lightly referenced.

It is December 1844 when we meet Lady Katherine Beresford and Lt. Charles Heywood, who has recently returned from several years at sea. Like the best literary romances there is awkwardness, tension, even annoyance, right from the beginning when these two have their first haphazard meeting on a busy street. Throw in a horrified best friend and a mangy stray dog and the encounter is nothing if not comical. And while Kate (Lady Katherine) is much more tenacious than most Victorian young ladies, she is kind and endearing in her pursuit of the handsome lieutenant. Her determination serves only as a reminder that females of that era had to orchestrate certain parts of their lives when so many other things were beyond their control.

There is mystery, intrigue, and terrific banter between the two characters. It easily played out as an entertaining movie in my mind’s eye, reminding me of some of my favorite onscreen couples. Because, although you know they will get together in the end, the journey to that conclusion is great fun.

If you love clean historical fiction with excellent character development and witty dialogue, I highly recommend this charming book!

9/10 Stars

Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction

Good For You, by Camille Pagán

Change is never easy, especially when it involves a devastating loss, but it can also lead to good things you never expected. Aly Jackson should know. As she’s mourning the death of her older brother, Luke, her career and relationship also get upended. The only lifeline she has is a house that Luke left to her on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Of course, nothing is as she expects it to be when Aly arrives. There are still plenty of estate details to figure out, family issues to resolve, and emotions to sort through. But, even in death, Aly’s older brother is her protector, whether she realizes it or not.

This is the first book I’ve read by Camille Pagán. It won’t be my last! She delves into very real feelings, exploring them through Aly with that frustrating combination of confusion, resistance, and wisdom that happens when the rug gets pulled out from under you. Having dealt with similar grief, I felt for Aly and related to her. But even if you have been fortunate enough not to experience such sorrow, this is a book worth reading. I recommend it!

9/10 Stars

Available with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Romance, Women's Fiction

The Chemistry of Love, by Sariah Wilson

One of the popular tropes these days is main characters who “fake date.” They’re either trying to make someone jealous, trying to break someone up, or trying to assuage parents’ concerns. The fake date premise can be done well…or not. The Chemistry of Love, a recent Kindle First Read selection, does a fairly good job, mainly because of its unique setting.

Anna Ellis is a cosmetic chemist hopelessly in love with her boss, Craig, while her immediate supervisor, Jerry, squelches any innovative ideas she proposes. In a state of complete frustration and sorrow, and with the help of a little alcohol, Anna bares her soul to a stranger at a work party. That stranger turns out to be the company’s young CEO, Marco, who suggests that he and Anna fake date to make Craig jealous.

After you’re done rolling your eyes at the lunacy of what you just read I can assure you that it isn’t as bad as it sounds. There are some cringe-worthy moments at the beginning, but the story has more than its share of sweet scenes too. It’s clean with witty banter between Anna and Marco and, though the ending is predictable from the start, I actually enjoyed this book quite a lot.

8/10 Stars

Christian Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Series & Collections, Women's Fiction

Riverbend Series, by Denise Hunter

Meet the Robinsons, a blended family with adult children Avery, Cooper, and Gavin. They love each other to a fault, which is lucky because they have their flaws like everyone else. But that love, and the compassion and generosity that go with it, is enough to extend to others who need their help.

Riverbend Gap is Cooper’s story. As a sheriff’s deputy in their small town, he’s always on the alert, but nothing could have prepared him for the situation he finds himself in one day. A car that recently skidded off the road now balances on the edge of a cliff. A terrified young woman sits inside, praying for a miracle. While waiting for emergency services, Cooper talks to her, calms her, and tries to keep the car from falling. This unusual meeting sets off a series of events that involve the entire Robinson family and a new arrival to their town.

Mulberry Hollow is Avery’s story. A young doctor, the only one in their small town, she works her fingers to the bone on a daily basis, tending to the needs of friends, neighbors, and hikers attempting the nearby trail. Her clinic is the only medical facility for miles. So, when she arrives at the clinic one night to find an injured hiker passed out on the doorstep, she must think fast. Who is he? Her protective family is skeptical, but Avery decides to let the stranger stay on while he mends.

Harvest Moon is Gavin’s story. Still nursing his wounds from the death of his child and a painful divorce, Gavin must now face the terrible news that his best friend has been killed in an airplane crash. His wife too. They left behind a little girl who must now deal with the loss of her parents. What will become of her? Surely her mother and father had guardians in mind should such a tragedy befall them. Fortunately, they did. Gavin and his ex-wife.

While all three of the Riverbend books have Christian aspects and happy endings, it’s the journey to those endings that make them worth reading. I have really enjoyed Denise Hunter’s books lately and have quickly added her as a go-to author. Without being too saccharine, the stories are uplifting and hopeful, with realistic characters. I’ve also read her book called The Wishing Season and am currently listening to Falling Like Snowflakes. They all deal with found family, new beginnings, and a community rallying together. If you like books with heart, you’ll want to read these.

9/10 Stars for the series

Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

Call It What You Want, by Brigid Kemmerer

Another fantastic read by Brigid Kemmerer. My goodness, I love how this woman writes!

No one wants to be defined by their mistakes. Especially as a teenager. Especially when the mistakes aren’t even his. But that is exactly what happened to Rob Lachlan, Jr. Why? Because after swindling half the townspeople (teachers, the librarian, and parents of Rob Jr.’s friends,) Robert Lachlan Sr. put a gun to his head, pulled the trigger, and failed his objective. Now he is a mumbling, drooling shell of a man who takes his meals through a tube. Meanwhile, Rob Jr.–once a high school alpha male and lacrosse champion–is the new face of a crime that left families in ruins. A crime he didn’t commit. A crime that, by proxy, took away his social status and made him an outcast. Life is pretty much in the toilet right now.

No one wants to be defined by their choices either. Unfortunately, overachiever Maegan made a bad one. Really, really bad. Tired of playing second fiddle to her golden older sister, Maegan cheated on her SATs, which caused a ripple effect to all the other test takers that day. Thank you for playing, Maegan. Here’s your new outcast badge.

But what makes these teens stand out? They are smart. Very, very smart. Not always socially smart, but definitely book smart, which is the hallmark of Brigid Kemmerer’s Young Adult characters. So when two very smart (and lonely) outcasts are rejected by everyone else to partner up for an Honors Calculus project, they have no choice but to work together.

And thus begins the story of two basically good teenagers who just want to reclaim some normality in their lives. But it’s a journey, one that involves testing boundaries of friendship, rules, and one’s own morals.

I’m leaving out a lot, but I will say that the one word that comes to mind when I read a book by Kemmerer is “brave.” This is brave writing. It’s layered. It alternates points of view, showing us the emotions and motives of both main characters. And what characters they are–brave writing calls for brave characters. Rob and Maegan have rock solid cores, refusing to let circumstances and choices beat them down, despite the detours along the way.

This is a terrific book. I highly recommend it. It’s marketed as a Young Adult novel, but I would say it is more for mature and older teens.

9.5/10 Stars

FYI: This is a book with multiple cover designs.
Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction

Scrooge and the Girls Next Door, by Melanie Jacobson

I’ve discovered a handful of new authors lately whose books I really enjoy. You’re going to start seeing more of them on this blog. One of them is Melanie Jacobson, known for her clean romances that mix humor and heart.

Scrooge and the Girls Next Door is a book I expected to read and forget–yes, I judged a book by its cover, don’t repeat my mistake–and instead, I was treated to a book that made me both laugh out loud and clutch my chest with emotion. Any book that has me feeling all the feels deserves a shout-out on this blog.

While using the “enemies to friends” plot line, this delightful story explores how the Christmas season can be difficult for some people, the importance of community, and how a generous spirit can melt a frosty attitude. It all begins when single mom, Paige Redmond, buys her first home–a raggedy fixer upper–and moves in with her daughter, Evie, next door to stodgy college professor, Henry Hill. While they navigate their differences and often disagree, there is a lot of self-exploration and reevaluation. Sometimes it takes the right person or people to motivate change. There is also a secondary “found family” story line that is very sweet. A reminder that the word “family” can have many interpretations.

I’ve read several Christmas-themed books this month and I have to say that this is my favorite. The characters have depth and feel realistic. The romance is slow and not corny or forced. Both main characters take turns sharing their points of view, which gives a fun and interesting perspective.

This book is available for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription and is a great way to relax during the busy holiday season. I recommend it!

9/10 Stars

Christian Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Series & Collections, Women's Fiction

All That Really Matters, by Nicole Deese

Social media influencer, Molly McKenzie, is on top of the world. Her channel has attracted hundreds of thousands of followers, she lives a fairy-tale lifestyle, and her talent manager boyfriend has just lined up a new opportunity to expand her reach even further. It’s truly the chance of a lifetime.

There’s just one thing she has to do. Since the makeover show she’s auditioning for is going to nominate underprivileged youth, the producers want her to have some real-life experience working with them. When Molly’s minister brother, Miles, connects her with The Bridge youth program, designed to help kids transition out of foster care, everything seems to be clicking into place.

Of course, Life is full of variables and unknowns, which grow exponentially when we allow more people into our circle. Those unknowns also happen when we allow someone in who is different. No one knows this better than Silas Whittaker, the youth program’s director. He and Molly appear to be opposites in every way. Add twenty two young people who have experienced more than their fair share of physical and emotional trauma and the unknowns multiply.

The good thing is that everyone, including those twenty two residents, has an end goal. The goals vary, as do their range in selflessness, but they keep everyone motivated. And, as time goes by, and Molly and Silas find some common ground and work to set aside their prejudices, they find that faith in God and in each other can go a long way.

This is a story about growth. Growth, change, and, especially grace–the grace we hope to receive and the grace we need to extend. If you can look past Molly’s initial superficial exterior, you will be happily surprised at the miracles–big and small–that happen in everyone’s lives.

9/10 Stars

ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Cozy Mysteries, History, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Women's Fiction, Young Adult

October Reads 2022

OK, this turned out a bit blurry! Sorry about that…

The facts are these: sometimes I’m in a reading mood, sometimes I’m in a blogging mood. Lately I’ve been in a reading mood! A lot. I will highlight a few from this month’s literary adventures.

Best Thriller: Daisy Darker, by Alice Feeney. Yes, this extremely popular book lives up to the hype, even though it was nothing like what I expected. In true Agatha Christie fashion, a group of dysfunctional relatives gather at Grandma’s house for a weekend. Many go in, but few go out. All seen through the eyes of 13 year old Daisy. Great writing with a surprise ending. Recommended! (Some language.) 4.5/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Classic: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, by R.A. Dick. I only recently discovered that one of my favorite classic films was first a book. And it was great! There are definitely some differences, as to be expected, but I really enjoyed this as original source material. It was fun to watch the movie again after reading it. 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Cozy Mysteries: Send in the Clowns/Watching the Detectives/Cold as Ice, by Julie Mulhern. These are books 4-6 in the Country Club Murders series and they are just as fun as the ones preceding them. If you’re looking for a smart, escapist series, this is a great one! The writing is terrific and you’ll love the main characters, the headstrong Ellison and Detective Anarchy Jones. 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Romantic Comedies: Pumpkin Spice and Not So Nice AND The Accidental Text, both by Becky Monson. They’re clean, there’s depth, and they tug at your heart. Pumpkin Spice and Not So Nice is a companion book to Jennifer Peel’s The Pumpkin and the Patch (which I read last month and loved.) The Accidental Text is about a twenty-something young woman who has recently lost her mother. She texts her mother’s phone number, pouring her heart out, as a way to deal with her grief. What she doesn’t know is that the number has already been given to someone else. I really loved this one. I recommend both books for a combination of clean, light romance with a splash of emotion. 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Clean Romance: Mulberry Hollow, by Denise Hunter. This is an author whose work I want to pursue more. I just finished this book yesterday morning. It’s proof that you can have a romance with attraction, emotion, tension, and a satisfying story without steamy scenes. It could be marketed as a “Christian Romance,” but the Christian aspect is pretty minimal. The main characters, Avery and Wes, felt so real. I loved the privilege of looking into their lives. 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Steamy Romance: Yours Until Dawn, by Teresa Medeiros. To be clear, I don’t go looking for steamy books. Sometimes, like in this case, the steam shows up halfway through the story. But, despite the blush-worthy scenes (which just about hit my steam limit) this is a fantastic historical romance. A young woman is employed to care for a recently blinded soldier. He’s cantankerous, demanding, and stubborn. She is undaunted, but also a bit mysterious. Then there’s a shocking twist I never saw coming (and I’m usually pretty good at predicting twists.) Again, there are some R-rated steamy scenes. I really wish there was a sanitized version because this is one of the best stories I’ve ever read. 5/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Young Adult: Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom. Another blind protagonist, high school junior Parker Grant is snarky, a runner, and bluntly honest. She’s high maintenance and she knows it. She also has a fierce love for those who stood by her in her darkest hours (literally) when she lost her sight at age seven. Navigating a new normal after she is orphaned, Parker must deal with her relatives, the drama of high school, and her own heart. The author does an amazing job writing the character of this complex girl. I was completely immersed in her world. (Some language.) 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

Best Fiction: Take Me With You, by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I love books that pair unlikely adults and kids together. Catherine Ryan Hyde is a master at this kind of story. Here we have a divorced science teacher who goes on a cross-country road trip, grieving for a son who recently died. While getting his RV serviced, he strikes up a conversation with the surly mechanic, a single father of two boys. When the mechanic reveals that he’s off to serve a prison sentence, he pleads with the man to take his sons on the road. It’s unusual, heartfelt, and keeps your attention. I recommend it. 4/5 Stars on Goodreads

The other 4 Star books are also worth your time, but these are the ones that affected me the most. Now, what will November bring? I have a few reads mapped out, but only time will tell!

Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Women's Fiction, Young Adult

September Reads!

Since it is unlikely that I will finish another book by tomorrow, here are the books I read this month! Any of the ones with 4 or 5 stars are worth your time. Some quick thoughts:

Thank You For Listening: This unique book, written by a woman who narrates audio books, is about people who narrate audio books! The main characters are great, a lot of their communication is through emails and texts, and the big reveal is very sweet. (Some steaminess.)

Rich Blood: This is a legal thriller with twists and turns aplenty! Jason Rich is a billboard-ambulance-chasing lawyer who must now defend his sister accused of murdering her husband. It keeps you guessing until the very end. I definitely want to read more by this author!

That Fine Line/Double or Nothing: These Cindy Steel books are fantastic, with a lot more going on than the covers would lead you to believe. They are clean romances with tons of hilarity, heart, and homespun characters that you will love. They are the first and second of a four-book series that I plan to continue. Extremely enjoyable!

A Pumpkin and a Patch/How to Get Over Your Ex in Ninety Days: Jennifer Peel is another author I was thrilled to discover this month! Her characters are smart, sensitive, and constantly learning from their mistakes. These clean romances are winners! Highly recommended!

The Deep End/Guaranteed to Bleed/Clouds in My Coffee: These are the first three books in a multi-book cozy mystery series. They are very entertaining, set in the 1970s among the Kansas City country club elite. Money might buy some nice things, but it can’t stop some people from being murdered…*cue sinister laugh* I plan to continue with this clever series!

The Bodyguard/What You Wish For/How to Walk Away: Books by Katherine Center, need I say more? You know I absolutely adore this woman. Hubby and I listened to all three of these in September, sometimes for hours. And guess what? We’re having a tough time finding other audio books we enjoy as much.

I hope you find something you love from this list! Happy Reading!!

One more thing,” as Detective Colombo would say… The “Most Messed Up Book Award” for September goes to Verity, by Colleen Hoover. If you’ve read anything by the popular and divisive “CoHo” then I can tell you that Verity is not within her “normal” style. Some people love it, some people despise it. I just wanted to vacuum that story out of my brain. It. Is. Twisted. And I know I’m not alone in that opinion. You’ve been warned!

ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Fiction, Magical Realism, Romance, Short Stories

Five Goodreads Reviews

In an effort to not get too far behind, I’m going to do some copy/pasting from Goodreads.

The best of the bunch, in my opinion, is the Young Adult novel, You’ve Reached Sam. It is about a teenage boy who is killed in a car accident and, when his girlfriend calls his number just to hear his voicemail message…he answers. That’s right. He answers. It’s as tender and goosebump-inducing as it sounds. I loved it.

Available January 17, 2023
Available April 11, 2023
ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Series & Collections

August Reads & September Faves

Here are the books I read and/or listened to in August! I rated them throughout the month so I could share them with you. Some will still be reviewed on this site (mainly You’ve Reached Sam, which touched me deeply.) If a book has 4 or 5 stars, I really enjoyed it. If it has 3 stars it means it’s good, but flawed. Anything with 2 or 1 star…you’ve been warned! All of these are just my opinion, of course.

Lastly, here are two advanced copies I read a while ago that I enjoyed very much. Both are coming out in September:

Right now I’m rereading Katherine Center’s The Bodyguard because my husband and I plan to listen to the audio book this week. Next I’ll be doing a buddy read of The Art of Racing in the Rain with one of the ladies in my online book club. There’s always something to read!

Cover Reveal, Fiction, Romance, Series & Collections, Women's Fiction

COVER REVEAL: Return to Satterthwaite Court, by Mimi Matthews

AVAILABLE April 11, 2023

Cover reveal! USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews’ highly-anticipated RETURN TO SATTERTHWAITE COURT releases April 11, 2023. Available to pre-order at your favourite online retailer now. 

SYNOPSIS:From USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews comes the long-awaited sequel to her critically acclaimed novels The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim.

The only son of a famous love match, ex-army lieutenant Charles Heywood is determined to make amends for his past mistakes by giving his mother the impossible—the deed to her long-lost childhood home, Satterthwaite Court. But arranging to purchase the remote west country estate is more difficult than Charles ever imagined. The property is mired in secrets, some of which may prove deadly. If he’s going to unravel them, he’ll need the assistance of someone as daring as he is.

At one and twenty, Lady Katherine Beresford has already earned a reputation to rival that of her infamous parents. As skilled with pistols as she is on horseback, she’s never met an obstacle she can’t surmount—or a man she can’t win. That is, until she encounters the infuriatingly somber Lieutenant Heywood. But Kate refuses to be deterred by the raven-haired soldier’s strong, silent facade. After all, faint heart never won a handsome gentleman.

From the wilds of rural Somersetshire to the glittering ballrooms of early-Victorian London, Charles and Kate embark on a cross-country quest to solve a decades’ old mystery. Will the greatest danger be to their hearts—or to their lives?


Thank you to Mimi Matthews for choosing me to be part of the team to reveal the cover to next year’s book!

Books 1 and 2 of the series are some of my favorites! And now the children of these beloved characters will have a story of their very own in Return to Satterthwaite Court!

If you’re new to the historical romance genre, this series is where you want to start. Plenty of swashbuckling good fun too!

Book 3 releases April 2023!
Author Spotlight, Cozy Mysteries, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Series & Collections, Women's Fiction

June & July 2022 Reads

I even added stars next to my July favorites!

I guess you could say that I’ve read a lot of books in the last two months! People ask how I do it and this is my answer:

  • I live in a small town where there isn’t much to do.
  • I’m still living the pandemic lifestyle, staying home even more than usual.
  • My husband has had to work lots of overtime lately.
  • We don’t have kids.
  • I sleep terribly.
  • I read fast.
  • My online book group has tons of motivational activities.
  • I upgraded my Kindle from a Basic to a Paperwhite Signature. (I was getting eye strain from the Basic. My poor eyes are so happy now!)

Some books I skim, some I give a great deal of attention to, and there are even some that I start and don’t finish (I don’t list these.) You may recognize some titles from previous posts. There are still a few I plan to acknowledge here, but the ones who had the greatest impact on me have already been reviewed. It’s difficult to get to everything.

I also get asked about authors. Which authors do I recommend? This is a TOUGH question! Everyone’s tastes are different. Please keep in mind that just because I love a book doesn’t mean everyone else will love it. This is why it’s important to read several reviews (unless you’re really brave)–and not just mine–before buying a book. Join Goodreads, read reviews on Amazon, join NetGalley, find a Facebook group for your age and genre preference. Being proactive is the only way to find what YOU enjoy reading.

But to answer the author question, here are some favorites–all fiction. You can find all of them in the “author” section of this site.

I hope this gives you a little glimpse into authors to research and whose works to pursue. For the devoted reader there is truly something for everyone. ❤️

Email subscribers: Visit to see the site in its entirety.


Fiction, Romance

Two Great Reads!

Before I begin my reviews let me tell you one thing I’ve learned lately: A whimsical book cover does not mean it is a whimsical story. Don’t be misled by these two covers. These are meaty books with emotion, depth, trauma, love, redemption, healing, and a myriad of other emotions. Both took me a bit longer to read, partly because there are several characters with whom to get acquainted, most of which are multi-faceted and complex.

THE SIGN FOR HOME, by Blair Fell introduces us to 23 year old Arlo Dilly. Arlo has Usher Type 1, meaning he was born deaf and lost the majority of his sight as he got older, except his sight was nearly gone fairly early. Raised by a tyrannical uncle in an extremely strict Jehovah’s Witness home, Arlo is bright but lonely. His uncle has systematically shut out anything he feels will taint Arlo’s eternal soul, even hiring a JW interpreter who is part informant.

But then, enter Cyril, Arlo’s new interpreter for a community college writing class. Cyril is hearing, gay, and dedicated to the ethics of interpreters. This means the interpreter does not make decisions for the client, he only interprets. Cyril has every intention of keeping his relationship with Arlo professional, but as he gets to know him and sees his potential, he realizes how much of the world Arlo has not been taught, even basic things like choices in the cafeteria. Over time, these two men from extremely different worlds become friends in an adventure I never expected.

Author Blair Fell is an interpreter at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., widely regarded as the most prestigious university for the Deaf. His writing will make you smile, cry, and get angry as you see how Arlo and others like him are often at the mercy of insensitive, incompetent people who dismiss the vast amount of resources and devices available to the Deaf, Blind, and DeafBlind. This is an emotional, raw story and I am grateful it exists. I learned so much! 9/10 Stars

ADULT ASSEMBLY REQUIRED, by Abbi Waxman is part 2 in her Nina Hill series. I loved The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, but I think I like Adult Assembly Required even better. It’s a bit more serious than its predecessor, but I felt a great connection to main character, Laura Costello, newly arrived in Los Angeles from New York and away from her family for the first time. A Columbia University alumni (daughter of two professors) and soon-to-be grad student at UCLA in physical therapy, Laura, through an early series of mishaps, ends up at Nina Hill’s bookstore needing a place to live. Nina’s extroverted employee, Polly, invites Laura to a large house in Hancock Park owned by 60-ish Maggie, who rents out rooms to young professionals just starting out in life.

Soon Laura is part of an eclectic group–Three guys and three girls in the house, plus Nina and her pub trivia team, who recruit Laura because of her biology/anatomy/sports knowledge. They all take a liking to her, especially horticulturalist housemate “Impossibly Handsome Bob” who, like the book covers above, has a lot more going for him than just his appearance, becoming an invaluable friend.

As Laura finds her niche and her voice, she begins to understand that “assembly” is more than being put back together. “Assembly” also means being part of a group. In this case, a group who supports one another despite their differences.

Abbi Waxman is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. She does “super intelligent plus witty” characters better than anyone I’ve read, even slightly upstaging my beloved Katherine Center and the irreverent but enjoyable Emily Henry. I savor her writing!

9.5/10 Stars

ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction

Two Fun, Witty Reads…

Here are two books I read recently that are extremely enjoyable. Happily, they also have intelligent, witty characters and plots with plenty of depth. A win-win!

THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL, by Abbi Waxman–seriously, one of the funniest books I have ever read! Laugh-out-loud-at-crazy-hours-in-the-morning funny. There were times I would try to read a passage aloud to my husband and it was so hilarious that I couldn’t even get the words out because I was laughing so much. So who is Nina Hill? She is an introverted employee of a bookstore–one of a tiny group of women who work there–and a trivia team champion. Her recall for facts is amazing (once you learn about racehorses’ birthdays, you’ll never forget) and all of her time is spent reading for competitions, reading for her weekly book group, and reading for fun (Thursday nights only.) Her life is all about planning and learning as much information as possible. This is all fine and good until some unexpected family secrets come to the surface, upending Nina’s organized existence, but also giving her insight into why she is this way. A delight from start to finish with excellent supporting characters. 9/10 Stars

WHEN IN ROME, by Sarah Adams will be available September 20th. I’d seen fellow readers talk about it and was happy when my request for an advanced copy was quickly approved. A fun companion book to Norah Goes Off Script and The Bodyguard where a celebrity and a “normal” person find their lives intersecting. Pop star Amelia “Rae” Rose idolizes Audrey Hepburn and, taking a cue from Princess Ann in Roman Holiday, decides to escape her chaotic life by driving to Rome–Rome, Kentucky, that is, where she ends up stranded in the front yard of grumpy pie shop owner Noah Walker. In a plot that’s a hybrid of Notting Hill and Sweet Home Alabama, Amelia finally has a chance to breathe and reevaluate her life. Like with the previous book, When in Rome also has wonderful supporting characters, partly because they are actually supportive. Another 9/10 Stars.