Review: Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan

Thank You for Listening Book Cover Thank You for Listening
Julia Whelan
Contemporary Romance
Avon
August 2, 2022
Audiobook
432
Public Library
June 8 - 19, 2023

From the author of My Oxford Year, Julia Whelan’s uplifting novel tells the story of a former actress turned successful audiobook narrator—who has lost sight of her dreams after a tragic accident—and her journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance when she agrees to narrate one last romance novel. For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a long way from her old dreams, but the days of being a star on film sets are long behind her. She’s found success and satisfaction from the inside of a sound booth and it allows her to care for her beloved, ailing grandmother. When she arrives in Las Vegas last-minute for a book convention, Sewanee unexpectedly spends a whirlwind night with a charming stranger. On her return home, Sewanee discovers one of the world’s most beloved romance novelists wanted her to perform her last book—with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest, most secretive voice. Sewanee doesn’t buy what romance novels are selling—not after her own dreams were tragically cut short—and she stopped narrating them years ago. But her admiration of the late author, and the opportunity to get her grandmother more help, makes her decision for her. As Sewanee begins work on the book, resurrecting her old romance pseudonym, she and Brock forge a real connection, hidden behind the comfort of anonymity. Soon, she is dreaming again, but secrets are revealed, and the realities of life come crashing down around her once more. If she can learn to risk everything for desires she has long buried, she will discover a world of intimacy and acceptance she never believed would be hers.

Review:

Right off the bat, this book was too steamy for my young adult reading ears. I almost quit. I just wasn’t connecting. But I stayed with it and it paid off.

What drew me to this book was that it was a romance about an audiobook narrator who started in romance before moving on to more “serious” books only to be coerced back into the romance audiobook world to narrate the final book of the author who helped her get started in the business.

What I didn’t like was her jumping into bed with a man hours after she met him, but I was able to move past that as the story went on.

I’ll be completely honesty with you, it’s been…a while between listening to this audiobook and writing this review, but I can tell you this, fans of romance will enjoy this one.  

There’s family drama (Sewanee and her dad), overcoming tragedy (right away we learn that Sewanee lost an eye, ending her dream of becoming an A-list actress), and a whirlwind romance with a mystery man and an email/text flirtation with her narration partner. 

This could’ve been just another romance, but those things listed above really made this more.

NetGalley Roundup – August 2023

It’s been, oh… eight months since I last did this. Whoops! But I’ve been pretty good at holding back and not requesting everything and anything that caught my eye.

Below, I will list the new NetGalley titles that I’ve been approved to read, the publication date and genre, a very brief summary, and why I chose this book.

Also included is my current, at time of writing the NetGalley roundup, feedback ratio. (This is the percentage of reviews I’ve submitted in comparison to the total number of books I’ve been approved for.)

In January I had a list of 15 NetGalley titles to read, of those 15 I’ve read… 9. Not too bad!

Current Feedback Ratio: 77% (up 2% since January!)

The Seaside Library by Brenda Novak

The Seaside Library (April 11, 2023) – Women’s Fiction

ABOUT: There are secrets that bring friends together, and others that drive them apart…

WHY I chose it: I’ve enjoyed Brenda Novak’s romantic thrillers, so I thought I’d try another side of her!

Enchanted to Meet You by Meg Cabot
Enchanted to Meet You by Meg Cabot

Enchanted to Meet You by Meg Cabot (Sept 5, 2023) – Paranormal / Romance

ABOUT: A witchy rom-com from New York Times bestseller Meg Cabot about a plus size witch who must team up with a handsome stranger to help protect her village from an otherworldly force—but will she be able to protect her heart?

WHY I chose it: I like Meg Cabot! I like witches! Plus, everytime I read the title, I start singing Taylor Swift “I WAS ENCHANTED TO MEET YOOOOUUUU!”

Night of the Witch by Sara Raasch and Beth Revi
Night of the Witch by Sara Raasch and Beth Revi

Night of the Witch by Sara Raasch and Beth Revi (Oct 3, 2023) – Paranormal / Romance

ABOUT: Fritzi is a witch. Otto is a hexenjäger—a witch hunter. They team up and…. ?

WHY I chose it: The unlikely pairing of the witch and witch hunter sold me. Plus the cover is suuuuper pretty! (I’ve actually started this book and I have ZERO regrets asking NetGalley for an ARC copy!)

Insane Emperors, Sunken Cities, and Earthquake Machines by Garrett Ryan
Insane Emperors, Sunken Cities, and Earthquake Machines by Garrett Ryan

Insane Emperors, Sunken Cities, and Earthquake Machines by Garrett Ryan (Oct 6, 2023) – Non-Fiction / History

ABOUT: Did the ancient Greeks and Romans have conspiracy theories? Did they come close to an industrial revolution? Did they drink beer? In a series of fast-paced essays, Insane Emperors, Sunken Cities, and Earthquake Machines answers 40 questions that ancient historian Garrett Ryan has been asked in the classroom and through his popular YouTube channel ToldinStone.

WHY I chose it: Sometimes a girl just wants to learn about history!

Inheritance by Nora Roberts
Inheritance by Nora Roberts

Inheritance by Nora Roberts (Nov 21, 2023) – Paranormal / Mystery

ABOUT: Inheritance is the first in The Lost Bride Trilogy by #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts—a tale of tragedies, loves found and lost, and a family haunted for generations. Sonya discovers that not only did her father have a secret twin nobody new about, but she’s inherited a majestic Victorian house on the coast of Maine…and it just might be haunted.

WHY I chose it: Family secrets and a haunted house. Need I say more??? (Plus the cover looks like a fairy tale!)

The Couple in the Photo
by Helen Cooper
The Couple in the Photo by Helen Cooper

The Couple in the Photo by Helen Cooper (Dec 5, 2013) – Drama / Mystery-Thriller

ABOUT: From the author of The Downstairs Neighbor and The Other Guest comes a propulsive suspense novel that asks how far you would go to keep a friend’s secret.

WHY I chose it: I was in the mood for an adult mystery/thriller and this one sounded interesting enough. I actually requested this and The Heiress at the same time, along with a couple others that I was denied. (That was probably for the best, TBH!)

The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins
The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins

The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins (Jan 9, 2014) – Drama / Mystery-Thriller

ABOUT: New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins returns with a twisted new gothic suspense about an infamous heiress and the complicated inheritance she left behind.

WHY I chose it: The cover was intriguing, and I love sound of all the drama surrounding the family drama.

Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands Book 2 of the Emily Wilde Series by Heather Fawcett
Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett

Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands (Jan 14, 2024) – YA Fantasy

ABOUT: When mysterious faeries from other realms appear at her university, curmudgeonly professor Emily Wilde must uncover their secrets before it’s too late, in this heartwarming, enchanting second installment of the Emily Wilde series.

WHY I chose it: I read the first book this past year and enjoyed it enough to want to know what happens next for Emily and the fair folk.

So, did any of these titles catch your interest? Share in the comments!

Review: A Cowboy’s Wish Upon a Star by Caro Carson

A Cowboy’s Wish Upon a Star Book Cover A Cowboy’s Wish Upon a Star
Texas Rescue #5
Caro Carson
Contemporary / Western / Hollywood Romance
Harlequin
November 21, 2016
Paperback
224
Goodreads First Reads
June 7 - 17, 2023

From Hollywood… 

A cattle ranch is the perfect place for movie star Sophia Jackson to escape her scandalous past and the paparazzi hot on her trail. But foreman Travis Chalmers makes it clear who's running the ranch. When their constant clashing ignites unexpected attraction, Sophia takes on her greatest acting role: pretending she isn't falling for the sexy, domineering cowboy.

…to Motherhood 

Once Travis sweeps her into his arms at her sister's wedding, she knows the feeling's mutual. But a precious secret followed Sophia to Texas. And now a Hollywood hurricane is about to blow through Travis's peaceful Texas town. Is the mother-to-be ready to fight for her future and see her most passionate Christmas wish granted—she and Travis vowing to love each other forever?

Review

I’ll be real with you, I 100% thought this was going to be a quick romance with zero depth that made me roll my eyes every other page. 

I was wrong.

Sophia is a Hollywood A-List actress who fell in with a bad boy rockstar who’s trashed her reputation. In order to avoid more scandal, she’s agreed to lock herself up at a Texas cattle ranch.

Enter Travis, the ranch’s foreman, who wants nothing less than to “babysit” this city girl. Except, from the moment he lay eyes on her, he’s enchanted. He sees below the facade she wears, but knows nothing can happen between them.

What Travis doesn’t know, and Sophia won’t admit even to herself, is that she’s pregnant, and her isolation is also to keep her pregnancy a secret until she gives birth and gives the baby up for adoption. 

Despite a rocky start, these two find a connection. But can it last with Sophia’s big secret looming between them? 

This was such a charming story. It wasn’t too country/cowboy western, and it wasn’t too Hollywood. It was really just the story of two people. Absolutely recommend this one to fans of the romance genre.  

Review: Suddenly a Murder by Lauren Muñoz

Suddenly a Murder Book Cover Suddenly a Murder
Lauren Muñoz
YA Mystery
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
September 5, 2023
E-ARC
320
NetGalley
July 12- 28, 2023

Seven friends throw a 1920s-themed party, where it's all pretend—until one of them is murdered. One of Us Is Lying meets Knives Out in this killer locked-room mystery.

Someone brought a knife to the party.

To celebrate the end of high school, Izzy Morales joins her ride-or-die Kassidy and five friends on a 1920s-themed getaway at the glamorous Ashwood Manor. There, Izzy and her friends party in vintage dresses and expensive diamonds—until Kassidy's boyfriend turns up dead.

Murdered, investigators declare when they arrive at the scene, and now every party guest is a suspect. There's the girlfriend, in love. The other girl, in despair. The old friend, forlorn. The new friend, distressed. The brooding enigma. And then, there's Izzy—the girl who brought the knife.

To find the killer, everyone must undergo a grueling interrogation, all while locked in an estate where, suddenly, the greatest luxury is innocence.

Review

The blurb for this book compares it to One of Us is Lying and Knives Out… and while I can see the parallels, honestly, I think Suddenly a Murder is far more entertaining. I was engaged in the story from the very beginning. 

Izzy is a student at a high school for rich kids, and the only reason she’s able to go there is because her mother is a teacher at the school. She and her bestie, Kassidy, are both obsessed with the 1920s and for a graduation gift, Kassidy rents out a beautiful historic house on a private island for Izzy, Kassidy, Kassidy’s boyfriend Blaine, and a group of their fellow graduates to celebrate their freedom from high school—bonus, this house was where one of their favorite 1920s movies was filmed!

Kassidy, being the dramatic young woman that she is, insists that in order for the week to be authentic, nothing modern is to be allowed on the island. That means no cellphones, no modern clothing, nothing! She’s stocked each room with period clothing for each guest and after instructing them to change, has everything modern shipped back to the main land. The week is going to be epic.

But not everything is champagne and glitter when one of them ends up dead. And we know from almost page one that Izzy brought the murder weapon to the island.

Enter the detectives who work to read between all of the lies and piece together the real story of what happened to Blaine, Kassidy’s boyfriend-of-four-years-turned-murder-victim. Everyone loved Blaine, who could do such a thing? But as the friends tell their stories, we quickly learn that more than one person has motive for murder. 

To be honest, a lot of the characters blurred together. I don’t think this was poor writing, more just a me problem. I read this book in small pieces over a longer period of time than it would’ve taken me if I only read one book at a time, and when there are as many characters as this book has, and they’re all introduced relatively quickly, I sometimes struggle to keep them straight. I was able to keep up well enough and it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story at all.

All of the characters in this book were enjoyable but my favorite was Pilar de León, the detective merely consulting on the investigation. She was a woman seemingly full of secrets, who could easily act like your best friend one moment only to arrest you the next. She was wonderful. I’d love to read more books based on her investigating crimes and mysteries. 

As for the books ending…I didn’t call it. At all. I love when a book is able to literally keep me guessing until the very last pages and Lauren Muñoz succeeded in doing so. This is an author I will keep on my radar. I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next!

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the cover (sorry!) 

5 glorious stars for Suddenly a Murder and, hands down, one of my top reads for 2023. 

* Shout out to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for a review in exchange for my honest review!

Review: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation Book Cover People We Meet on Vacation
Emily Henry
Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Berkley
May 11, 2021
Audiobook
364
Public Library
May 31 - June 8, 2023

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Review

It’s a hard thing to determine, but I think this may be my favorite Emily Henry book so far. 

Poppy and Alex met in college. They both grew up in the same small town in Ohio and ended up at the same Chicago college, but that’s where the similarities end. And yet, thanks to a shared road trip home from college that first year, they quickly became the best of friends. 

Just. Friends. 

Bouncing back and forth between present day and the many annual summer trips the pair have taken over the past decade or so, we watch Poppy and Alex’s friendship grow and change. No matter what happens to the other, a bad breakup or a serious illness, the other is always there for them. They have the friendship dreams are made of.

Except something happened two years before the story begins. We don’t find out what that something is until later in the book, but we know that whatever it was, it led to Poppy and Alex not speaking for two whole years. 

Feeling lost in her life and career, Poppy sends a text to Alex and asks him if he’s open to joining her on one more vacation, for old times sake. Turns out, he can’t, his brother is getting married in Palm Springs, but…would she like to come? With that, Poppy winds up in Palm Springs with Alex on the worst vacation ever. From the joke of a rental car to the Air B&N’s AC failing. Basically, if it could go wrong, it will.

But despite all that goes wrong, Poppy is just so happy to have Alex back in her life again. But is their friendship beyond repair? Can they go back to the way things used to be? 

I love these characters. So much. I love all of Emily Henry’s characters, but these two were by far my favorite. Poppy, the wild free-spirit big city girl and Alex, the quiet and reserved home town school teacher/writer. 

Their journey’s, both independently and together, were a joy. I felt like I was there with them on every trip they took. 

This is a 5 star read and I would absolutely read it again. 

Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read Book Cover Beach Read
Emily Henry
Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Berkley
May 19, 2020
Audiobook
358
Public Library
May 6 - 11, 2023

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters. Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They’re polar opposites.

Review

It is my firm believe that Emily Henry is unable to write a bad book. Every book of hers I’ve read (and I’m quickly working my way through her entire backlist) has been varying degrees of amazing. Beach Read is no exception. 

January is in a writing rut. Little does she know, her college nemesis, Agustus, is also in a rut. And fate has thrown them together. 

When January’s father passes away unexpectantly and his secrets come to light, January begins to doubt everything she believed about love. When your lifelong example of a perfect couple experiencing true love turns out to be a sham, how are you supposed to write a believable love story? She’s blocked. 

It’s as January is attempting to clear out the house her father owned in a small town she never knew about, that she reconnects with Agustus. He is also a writer struggling with his latest book. The pair exchange words and a bet is presented. He could never write a book with a happy ending, and she could never write a book where terrible things happen to the characters.

With the bet going strong, the pair take turns opening the others eyes to the romance and the darkness of the world, respectively. 

What I love most about Emily Henry’s books is the characters. No two characters she writes are the same, each one has their own quirks and personality, and I love them all. 

In the end, will January find her passion for romance again, or will her writing take a darker turn? And what about Agustus? And during their bet, will the pair move past their old college rivalry? 

Look, if you read this review you’ve wasted time. Go find a copy of an Emily Henry book. This one, another one, I don’t care. They’re all amazing.  

Review: Sweet Tea at Sunrise by Sherryl Woods

Sweet Tea at Sunrise Book Cover Sweet Tea at Sunrise
The Sweet Magnolias #6
Sherryl Woods
Contemporary Romance
MIRA
April 27, 2010
Audiobook
392
Public Library
May 26 - 31, 2023

Emotionally wounded single mom Sarah Price has come home to Serenity, South Carolina, for a fresh start. With support from her two best friends—the newest generation of the Sweet Magnolias—she can face any crisis. But sometimes a woman needs more than even treasured friends can provide. Sexy Travis McDonald may be exactly what Sarah's battered self-confidence requires. The newcomer is intent on getting Sarah to work at his fledgling radio station…and maybe into his bed, as well. Sarah has learned not to trust sweet words. She'll measure the man by his actions. Is Travis the one to heal her heart? Or will he break it again?

Review

Hands down, this is the best book in the Sweet Magnolia’s series. I was going to quit listening to these books after #4, but #5 was Annie’s story, and I loved her character arc in book #2, so I stuck it out for her book. And it was kind of disappointing and not fully fleshed out. But they introduced Sarah in that book, and I liked her. She seemed like she had a good story to tell. And I was right! 

Sweet Tea at Sunrise was actually sort of a work place romance. When newcomer Travis McDonald shows up in town, he takes a liking to Sarah, who is the waitress at the restaurant he’s been frequenting. He admires her ability to chat so effortlessly with all of her customers, and when he decides to buy the old defunct newsstand and start up a new radio station in Serenity, he knows Sarah would be the perfect voice to put on air.

Sarah, however, has reservations about Travis. As a former pro baseball player, he has a reputation for having his way with women. Having just come out of an emotionally abusive relationship, Sarah is in no place to let herself get hurt. Reluctantly, she accepts his offer to put her on the radio, and she finds herself shocked to realize she’s quite good at the job.

Sparks are flying between the pair, but will Sarah let him in? Will Travis prove to her that he is worthy? This is such a cute book. Solid character growth and plot progression, and, of course, it’s set up to continue with another character from Serenity in book #6… which yes, I will read, but not yet because I have a bunch of library holds all coming in at the same time! 

Review: Gone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen

Gone Tonight Book Cover Gone Tonight
Sarah Pekkanen
Mystery / Suspense
St. Martin’s Press
August 1, 2023
Audiobook
352
NetGalley

New from the #1 bestselling co-author of The Golden Couple and The Wife Between Us!

"I'm a huge fan of Sarah Pekkanen's books, and GONE TONIGHT is her best yet." —Colleen Hoover

Catherine Sterling thinks she knows her mother. Ruth Sterling is quiet, hardworking, and lives for her daughter. All her life, it's been just the two of them against the world. But now, Catherine is ready to spread her wings, move from home, and begin a new career. And Ruth Sterling will do anything to prevent that from happening.

Ruth Sterling thinks she knows her daughter. Catherine would never rebel, would never question anything about her mother's past or background. But when Ruth's desperate quest to keep her daughter by her side begins to reveal cracks in Ruth's carefully-constructed world, both mother and daughter begin a dance of deception.

Review

I love a good mystery/suspense novel, but this one just fell flat for me. 

The entire build up of Catherine believing her mother has alzheimer’s and Ruth questioning if her daughter has violent tendencies just didn’t work for me.

To be honest, most of the book I was bored. Everything happened in the past, which is filled in so slowly it was painful at times, or in the climax of the book, which I admit, was pretty good! 

What would have worked better for me would’ve been if we’d learned Ruth’s story in real time, and then time jumped to the present time to learn how it ends. The format the author chose just dragged for me. I also needed more about Catherine’s father, to really establish his character, I felt he was very glossed over. He felt one dimensional. 

What I did enjoy was the background of Ruth and the secrets she’s hiding. The climax was very engaging and I didn’t want to stop listening to the audiobook at that point.

Overall, this was a good story that was executed in a way that I personally did not find as enjoyable as I would’ve liked. 

Review: You Won’t Believe Me by Cyn Balog

You Won't Believe Me Book Cover You Won't Believe Me
Cyn Balog
Mystery / Thriller / Horror
Sourcebooks Fire
June 27, 2023
E-ARC
368
NetGalley
May 29 - June 4, 2023

Brace yourself for the unexpected in this chilling novel that will thrill suspense and horror readers alike! Willow can't remember what landed her in captivity, but she'll do anything to survive. For fans of Natasha Preston and Stephen King.

Willow is alone, confined to a bed with restraints. She can't remember how she got there…or how long she's been there.

An old lady appears in her room to feed her twice a day. Granny doesn't talk, but Willow can hear thumping from somewhere beyond her door. It's not Granny's shuffling steps. It's too loud to be Granny's cat. Is it someone? Something?

Then Granny's cat dies in Willow's room. And Granny follows a few days later. Willow will do anything to survive. But freeing herself from her bed is only the beginning… Because there is someone else in the house. Who is this mysterious teen who calls himself Elijah? And is he the reason she's hostage or the key to her escape?

Review:

This was such a fun book! 

When Willow wakes up tied to a bed with no memory of how she got there, she slowly begins to try and piece together what happened. She knows that a deadly virus had been wrecking havoc and that her father had been a lead scientist working on a cure. But beyond that… nothing. She’s fed every day by an elderly woman who calls herself “Granny”… until “Granny” succumbs to the deadly virus right in front of Willow, leaving her tied to a bed with nobody to help. 

Except she’s not alone, there’s another captive. A teenage boy. In whispers, he explains that the world has been destroyed by the second wave of the virus. That all they have left is each other. 

But, could it be true? And why can’t she remember what’s happened to her? 

This book is all over the place in the very best way. You think it’s one type of book, then you realize it’s something else, only in the end to realize you were completely wrong. Some readers will absolutely hate that, but as someone who enjoys many genres, it was such a fun ride. 

For much of the book, the chapters begin with text conversations between Willow and her crush from school, August, from before she found herself tied up. The significance of this isn’t truly revealed until the latter portion of the book and ooooh is it juicy!

If you’re looking for something different that will keep you guessing, this is the book for you! And with that ending, I really wish there was a sequel in the works!

Review: Queen Charlotte by Julia Quinn & Shonda Rhimes

Queen Charlotte Book Cover Queen Charlotte
A Bridgerton Novel
Julia Quinn & Shonda Rhimes
Historical Romance
Avon
May 9, 2023
Audiobook
352
Public Library
May 12 - 25, 2023

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn and television pioneer Shonda Rhimes comes a powerful and romantic novel of Bridgerton's Queen Charlotte and King George III's great love story and how it sparked a societal shift, inspired by the original series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, created by Shondaland for Netflix. “We are one crown. His weight is mine, and mine is his…” In 1761, on a sunny day in September, a King and Queen met for the very first time. They were married within hours. Born a German Princess, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was beautiful, headstrong, and fiercely intelligent… not precisely the attributes the British Court had been seeking in a spouse for the young King George III. But her fire and independence were exactly what she needed, because George had secrets… secrets with the potential to shake the very foundations of the monarchy. Thrust into her new role as a royal, Charlotte must learn to navigate the intricate politics of the court… all the while guarding her heart, because she is falling in love with the King, even as he pushes her away. Above all she must learn to rule, and to understand that she has been given the power to remake society. She must fight—for herself, for her husband, and for all her new subjects who look to her for guidance and grace. For she will never be just Charlotte again. She must instead fulfill her destiny… as Queen.

Review

I have two reviews for this book.

Review 1: For those who have seen the Netflix show.

Congratulations. You’ve read the book. No, really. It’s nearly identical. The book is missing the “present day” storyline with Violet and all, but the backstory of Queen Charlotte is the same.

Review 2: For those who haven’t seen the Netflix show.

Whether you’ve seen/read the other Bridgerton stories or not, this was a sweet romance about a new queen in a foreign land, with a husband hiding secrets from her. Once she discovers his secrets, she must decide what to do. Meanwhile, her mother-in-law is pressuring her to do her duty and get pregnant. 

From the adorable meet-cute where Charlotte tries to enlist George, unknowing who he was, to help her escape over the wall and run away from her wedding to the very end, this is a sweet story about true love and acceptance.

The best part about this book/show was being able to understand Queen Charlotte a little better. In the Bridgerton show I never knew what to make of her. She just seemed so… mean. Now? I get it. 

Where The Heck Have I Been?

I was on a real roll with sharing reviews… until I wasn’t. June 9. It’s been over 6 weeks since I shared my last review. Yikes! And I promise, this is not for lack of reading/listening. I have a stack of reviews that need to get written and shared!

So, what’s been keeping me away? A handful of things. The day job has been kind of stressful so when my work day ends I don’t want to stare at a computer screen ever again, so then when I do bring myself to look at a screen, I need to focus on my publishing job. Plus the freelance formatting/book cover design projects I took on recently.

My little bookcase behind my desk in my living room, with my freshly painted wall.

Add to that, I decided to paint my entire living room/hallway. By myself (because my husband didn’t find the gray we’ve had on the wall the past 14 years as depressing as I do—the cream looks lovely and really brightens the place up!) So I have 3/4 of the project done. I was going to finish this weekend, but opted to have a relaxing weekend instead that didn’t involve moving ALL of the furniture in the living room, including taking down a 4′ mirror from the wall (don’t worry, he’ll help me with that).

And my family started playing Pokemon Go again, which has resulted in a LOT of outside walking, which is great because summer in Minnesota is fleeting and before we know it we’ll be waist deep in snow and arctic temps. (Psst! I’d love to be Pokemon Go friends if you play! My invite code is GH3TVWWRT.)

Taylor Swift Eras Tour

Oh yeah, I also had the time of my life attending Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour when it came to town! Seriously, well worth the ticket price. (And no, I did not pay thousands of dollars. I bought my tickets during the presales. 😉)

Unfortunately, none of my excuses are that I was busy writing. Whoops! Hopefully once the weather turns awful again I’ll be able to find the time and motivation to get to work on my long procrastinated sequel to Something I’m Good At… That’s right, Mark’s book is working its way through my brain! He’s not quite so happy-go-lucky like his good pal Kane, so this book is a little tougher, but we’ll get there someday. If it’s the last thing I do… I think I’m starting to see why so many authors are retired with grown children!

Okay! Back to work! This stack of reviews won’t write themselves!