Henny just had the most wonderful weekend with the man she’s always been in love with…until she gets hit by a car walking back to the Pine Creek Motel where she works. Henny’s untimely death doesn’t end with her following the light into heaven, instead Henny finds herself still among her friends and family and feels that there must be a reason that she hasn’t passed to the other side.
As she watches her friends lives go on she travels around town and see’s Proposition 9, a proposal for a law against LGBTQ’s in Oregon is fought again, 15 years after it’s inception. Through Henny’s flashbacks we re-live the original opposition and also the day her friend Mackenzie revealed she was gay. The parallels to what is happening in her town today are apparent but the difference is in how her group of friends deal with that opposition today. Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins is a look inside a small community while they are grieving, loving, fighting for a cause, and finally moving on from their grief.
Bivald pits Henny’s diverse group of friends against the ultra conservative Baptist community who are trying to convince their town that evil things are going on at the rundown motel. It’s run by homosexuals and their guests are the town rejects (and Henny’s dad), gasp! As we get to know these people we see how banding together against a common enemy helps them deal with their grief for Henny. I loved the diverse cast of characters and how Bivald showed that despite people’s differences on the outside, inside they have the same depth of feeling.
If I had one criticism it would be that I felt Henny’s personal story was left a little unresolved. That’s it. I can’t say anymore because I’m afraid I’ll give the story away. I will say that this story touched me and made me jealous of the wonderful friendships portrayed in this novel and I cried quite a few times. So, keep some tissues close at hand!
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
After nearly two weeks off I am heading back to work today so this is a rather bittersweet Monday. However, I just finished a good book last night and will be starting a new one this afternoon, which turns that bittersweet into, well, semi-sweet at least. Lol. This post originated over on Book Date , so thanks for the idea and letting me join in the discussion!
First Sentence Read: “My funeral begins in an hour.”
First Sentence Read: “Rosie Vega: a department store shopper’s worst nightmare.”
Nina Hill is perfectly happy with her quiet life working in a book store and occasionally hearing from her famous photographer mother. She runs several book clubs and meets her friends for their weekly trivia night at local bars. When a lawyer calls out of the blue telling her that her father died she finds out that she has brothers and sisters that live only a few blocks away her life gets turned upside down.
Since her hilarious debut with The Garden of Small Beginnings Abbi Waxman novels jump to the top of my TBR. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill had the same quirky characters and funny one liners I’ve come to love, but in Nina Hill there was a vulnerability that her other characters didn’t have. Nina was a very complex woman. Raised by a nanny, Nina never had the love of a parent or any siblings. Her life was pretty solitary and change made her anxiety skyrocket.
I loved the cast of characters in this novel! Her trivia friends, and love interest/arch nemesis Tom added depth and fun to her somewhat melancholy character. Her brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces- each added a different emotion for Nina to either embrace or overcome. Connection isn’t easy for a woman whose life has been purposely quiet and structured. All of these people force her to move and live outside her comfort zone, which I think a lot of readers could identify with. I identified with Nina’s love for books, her overstuffed bookshelves, and her need for a quiet night of reading. 🙂
If you’re a fan of quirky novels with a hint of a love story and a lot of family drama, then I think you should give the Bookish Life of Nina Hill a try. If you’ve read Abbi Waxman’s previous novels, you’ll enjoy seeing a few familiar characters again, and will like getting to know some new ones. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“I could go on and on about all the things I loved about this story but will end my review by saying Abbi Waxman has set the bar here for me by creating such a compelling, introvert, giving her conflicts, adding layers of depth to her and then letting her grow. I can’t recommend it enough!” Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading
“The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a delightful read. It’s funny, at times relatable as only bookish people would “get,” and it’s smoothly written. There’s so much to love about Nina and infinitely more to love about this story. ” Jennifer-Tar Heel Reader
Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, and hopefully hearing about what you’ve picked up off your shelf. So here goes!
First Sentence Read: “Just as Emma Castle’s plane landed in Scotland, she pulled out her phone and viewed the incriminating evidence once again.”
This was a cute, lighthearted women’s fiction novel, but I found myself wanting to slap all of these characters silly. Do people really dither about, messing with each other’s lives like this? Super frustrating! Yet… I did read the whole thing. LOL
First Sentence Read: “It was late winter in Northern Rus’, the air sullen with wet that was neither rain nor snow.”
I have heard so many great things about this book, but I’m having trouble getting into it! I may need to skip it and pick up a different book. I’ll try one more chapter…
Now that you know my struggles and frustrations with the books I’m reading, what book are you reading this fine Monday?
The story of the meteoric rise of a rock band and the demise of that same band. Set in the 70’s, Daisy Jones and the Six unveils a story of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but told documentary style. The band takes the reader on a voyeuristic journey through the experiences of everyone involved. The two leads narrated by Jennifer Beals, Pable Schreiber, Benjamin Bratt and more, I was riveted by the characters, awestruck by the casualness of the era towards sex and drugs, and hopeful that the resolution would give me a happy ending for the characters I had come to love.
I’ve read that the story is based loosely on the rise of Fleetwood Mack but in my mind Daisy Jones was more of a Goldie Hawn than a Stevie Nicks. Daisy was just so carefree and sweet although her choices were self destructive to the extreme. When she finally gets her big chance, paired up with a rock band called The Six, her steely ambition contrasts interestingly with that sweet demeanor. As Jennifer Beals voices the character, those two traits come across so strongly, but in this soft easy voice. She did an outstanding job of making Daisy someone we could love, even though her addictions get worse and her actions are painful
Billy and Graham Dunne along with four other members of their band are on a slow rise towards fame when that rise gets a boost by their hit performed with Daisy. When a Rolling Stone writer points out their sizzling chemistry it’s decided that Daisy will join the band. Pablo Schreiber who narrates Billy Dunne’s character gives voice to Billy’s pragmatic character and was fantastic in his portrayal. Benjamin Bratt narrates the voice for Graham Dunne and tells an emotional journey of love between he and pianist Karen Karen that is heartbreakingly real. I’ll admit to driving through the mountains and balling my eyes out towards the end of this novel. Graham and Karen’s story was amazing.
If you loved the movie Almost Famous, I think you will enjoy Daisy Jones and the Six. Listening to it was like listening to an ensemble cast from a movie. I can’t name all of the narrators, but believe me when I say they did a hell of a job and I can’t imagine not listening to it again and again. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“If you love a gripping yarn, stories about real people and their struggles and a plot that is entertaining and exciting, look no further than Daisy Jones And The Six. Believe the hype, it’s real.” Bibliobeth
“I do not think that you necessarily need to be a music lover to enjoy this book, but it will certainly help. I found the scenes that involved writing lyrics completely fascinating and I loved that the book gives the reader an inside look in to the music industry.” Kristin Kraves Books
Fired from her waitressing job and finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman is not the way Georgina saw this day going when she got out of bed that morning. At thirty years old Georgina has struggled to find her place in this world only wanting what anyone wants, the love of a good man, and a job she can feel proud to go to every day. When she lands a job at a pub owned by her ex high school boyfriend she dreams of having a second chance at love, but is hurt when Lucas doesn’t seem to recognize her. Don’t You Forget About Me is the story of how Georgina’s past and present collide, and how, just maybe, things may start to go her way.
There were a lot of things I liked about Georgina, she didn’t take the crap that was dished at her (an inordinate amount of times!), she had a wonderful group of friends, and she was always striving to be better. As this was a slow burn novel I really come to care for Georgina but I’ll admit her struggle with self confidence wore thin for me. If it hadn’t been for a pivotal plot point when she entered a stand up writing competition at the pub where she works, I may have lost patience and put down this novel. It was the story she told that night that caught my attention, and I thought there might just be more to this novel than pining for the ex who doesn’t seem to remember her. We start to get hints of a trauma that may have contributed to how Georgina ended up still waiting tables and hooking up with losers at the age of thirty. Finally, the story flowed and time flew until it was 1am, I was blowing my nose and drying my tears and reflecting on how this story was so well pieced together and where my feelings turned from “meh” to “I really like this!”.
One of the things that I enjoyed throughout the entire novel were Georgina’s group of friends. They were supportive, funny, snarky, and didn’t hold back from letting her know their thoughts about anything and everything. A good group of friends in a novel can help a reader understand their main character better and I really believe that was the case for Georgina. By hearing about Jo’s dissatisfaction with her own relationship the reader could draw a line between a healthy dissatisfaction and the unhealthy boyfriend choices Georgina had made in her past. It also helped the reader really want that healthy relationship for Georgina and Lucas adding to the tension in their story arc.
You’re probably wondering why I haven’t said much about Lucas since he’s the love interest for Georgina and this is a love story. I guess that’s because Lucas was kind of a mystery to me. He was a little stand off-ish, partly because he pretended like he didn’t know her for a good portion of the novel and he was kind of a quiet guy. He was likable, but it wasn’t until the end of the book where he had a defining moment and had probably one of the most romantic dialog’s in a romance I’ve read in quite awhile that I really liked him for Georgina. It was a REALLY good monologue. LOL.
My feelings for this book were kind of all over the place. The first third was a solid three- good but not great. The middle of the book picked up and started to hold my interest. The characters became more interesting and less annoying- a solid four! The last quarter of the novel was riveting, emotional, and un-put-down-able, and I’d give it a five. If you get to the 3/4 mark of this novel and you’re wavering between reading one more chapter or getting a good nights sleep, be warned. You will NOT be able to put this book down so be prepared to be really tired come morning… I was. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“The way the humour is combined with the darker side of relationships and the feeling of failure Georgina tries to hide is really well done. At no time did I think serious issues were being treated too lightly or the story got bogged down in sadness. The plot moved along at a solid pace and always with a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. ” Sam Still Reading
“If you’re looking for a humorous, heartfelt work of women’s fiction with a good smattering of romance, Don’t You Forget About Me might just do the trick. It will certainly entertain. (And have you humming the Simple Minds’ tune from the 80s that shares a title with this book, which is quoted at the start of the story…)” Harlequin Junkie
I was on vacation the last week of August so am a little late getting to my wrap up post this month. Sorry guys! I vacationed in New York City and went to visit family in Maine. Getting out of the south in August was awesome! We happened to hit a week with temperature’s in the low to mid 70’s and no humidity. Now THAT’s a vacation!
In New York we crammed in some fun things like a day at the US Open and got to see Djokovik play, saw Jeff Daniels in To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway, and traveled to the Top of the Rock for the view of Manhattan at sunset, went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Play it Loud exhibit, and we ate SO MUCH FOOD! LOL. My vacations are all about eating, especially in NYC! Here’s some highlights in pic form.
We drove up to Maine and had a great time visiting family and again lucked out on the weather. It was great!
I may have mentioned last month that I signed up to do way too many reviews in the month of August and Sept. So my vacation also spent some time getting caught up on my reading. I scheduled a lot of reviews and even wrote some posts from the road. Here’s what you may have missed on the Reading Chick last month.
AUGUST- BEST READS
“Since this is a trilogy, we are given peeks at the depths of their feelings for each other. There are two more books in this series for all of their mysteries to be revealed and I will be one of the millions that is eagerly awaiting the next installment! ”
“I can’t really think of anything I disliked about this novel. Yes, there was a miscommunication that went on a little too long, but i understood how that helped establish why these two characters needed each other. Maybe it was my own memories of a Renaissance Faire that made me like this so much? Who knows! I just know that I read it at the right time, it hit my sweet spot, and I really enjoyed the journey. You can’t ask for more than that!”
“The Bride Test is a unique romance novel in that its main characters are not perfect at the end of the book. You get the feeling that both Khai and Esme have a long journey of self discovery ahead but they will do it hand in hand.”
*Amazon Associate- I receive a small stipend if you should purchase through the link provided.
THIS CHICKS SUNDAY COMMENTARY
Beyond my July’19 Wrap Up post and My Most Anticipated Releases for August, I did write an editorial asking if Author’s ever wanted to provide a do over because their opinions on a subject may have changed or even a subject that was considered normal (ex: women not being treated equal to men) has now changed. If you missed any of these posts, please click the links below and join in on the discussions!
It’s already 9/8, so I’m into the month of September and trying to stay on track with my blogging. I am only committed to 4 reviews, so I’ll get those out of the way starting this week. I’d really like to spend my reading time actually picking out a book that may take me a little longer to read and make me think a little bit! A nice historical, or even a political thriller. Both of those genre’s require paying attention to what I’m reading, otherwise I’ll be re-reading sections when I can’t figure out what’s going on!
I never did get out a Giveaway post last month, so I may try to compile some goodies to give away to a blogger. Hopefully, I can do that in the next week!
If you’ve read down this far, thanks! I’d like to ask what’s on tap on your own blog next month? I need to do some hopping! Let me know!
Emmanuelle Peroni and Cooper Endicott grew up as best friends having a lot in common. He was the son of the Governor and her father had been Mayor of Hope Lake, Pennsylvania for 30+ years. Over the years their friendship has been strained as she’s fought feelings for him and been hurt by his lothario ways. When her father announces his retirement as Mayor he plans to groom Cooper to run in his place. However, Cooper’s single status and charming charisma starts to work against him giving his running mate a lot of material to expose. When he asks Emma to help him by running his campaign she balks, not wanting to give him anymore time than her vote. However, he’s her best shot at maintaining the status quo in both her job and personal life. As they work together she starts to have feelings again but will Cooper give her more of his heart than he had in the past?
On the Corner of Love and Hate was kind of an enemies to lovers romance. I say kind of because they weren’t really enemies since they considered each other a best friend, but there was an anger on Emma’s side that was lacking on Cooper’s. The first half of the book explained Emma’s side, their past, and Cooper’s somewhat smarmy present. I had a bit of trouble liking either of these characters until the second half of the book. Emma complained too much and Cooper’s charm rubbed me the wrong way. Also the introduction of a past girlfriend into the story threw me and truthfully kind of pissed me off. What was he thinking?
Emma’s acceptance to run his mayoral campaign helped to show each of these characters strengths. Cooper’s charm was less smarmy and more appealing while Emma’s whiny workaholic tendencies worked very well towards pushing Cooper to be his best. Also, pitting him against a sleezy running mate helped Cooper look less sleazy. Boy, reading this makes me look like I didn’t enjoy the book at all, doesn’t it? I did actually like it more as I read on and liked the ending a lot. It just took me a bit to get there.
I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest!
Maddie Hanson was jilted at the altar six months ago. Living in her hometown of Orion surrounded by her friends, she is spending her time trying to bring her bookstore to life while at the same time waiting for her first book to be released. When her publisher sends out ARC’s of her book, she reads a not so nice review by a blogger named “Silver Fox” and retaliates in anger at his questioning her lack of romantic experience. This comment spurs Maddie to look at her past decisions and the men surrounding her to try to find her own real life romance hero.
Dating By The Book is a trip down memory lane of several novels that I and other bibliophiles love. Each man in Maddie’s life representing a hero in one of the novels her book club is reading. A club that is in fact filled with men; her high school boyfriend Dylan, lifelong friend Max, and dependable customer Charlie. Each of whom could be a romantic interest in the likes of Rhett from Gone with the Wind, Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, and Rochester from Jane Eyre. Let’s not forget about the mysterious Silver Fox who develops into an email pal giving solid advice about life, love, and plot points in her novel. I couldn’t help but picture Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan from You’ve Got Mail each time her mail chimed!
Maddie’s journey to find passion and love was intertwined with her need to get her second book finished in time. Each lesson she learns about herself is written into her book, reminding me that each author puts her heart and soul into their novel, regardless of how well that novel is received. Luckily, that’s not a problem with Dating By the Book. Even if it didn’t have all of the literary references to hold my interest the story itself made sense and took me on a journey. It’s one of those books that can be taken as a life lesson to the person who reads it, or it can be tossed into a bag for their summer vacation. Both to be revered and enjoyed.
If you have read Mary Ann Marlowe’s two previous novels, Some Kind of Magic and Crazy Kind of Love you will be happy to hear that she does also have a rock star in this book. Is he the man of Maddie’s dreams? Well, he has a lot of competition, that’s for sure! Even with that familiarity, I was happy to see the author try something a little different in this novel which reads more as a Women’s Fiction novel than a Contemporary Romance. Also, for those readers who are fans of a slow burn romance novel, you’re going to love how the relationship between our heroine and hero develops throughout this novel. By the time they get together you are so ready for it, and I mean that in the best way possible.
It’s summertime and there are so many good books out there to read and not enough time to get to all of them. My recommendation is that Dating by the Book is worth moving up on your TBR pile, putting in your bag when you hit the beach, or digging out of your purse sitting on the train to work in the morning. It’s fun, but it also makes you think about your own choices in life, love and literature.
I received a free copy of this book from the author for my honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“What didn’t really jive with me was the overall chaotic feeling of the characters and storyline. There was just a bit too much going on for my taste. I never fully connected with the main character or any of her love interests and, because of that, there was no one I was rooting for her to end up with.” The Oxford Comma Momma
Recently I was looking at my NetGalley ARC’s trying to map out my reading schedule and realized I didn’t have any books I had to read for a July release. What?!! Immediately I wondered if I missed any and Googled Goodreads most popular list of July releases to just double check. There are some good ones on the list but surprisingly only a few that were on my radar. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton being releases but I like certain genre’s and there are only a few that hit my sweet spot.
It’s kind of nice to know I can read for pleasure and maybe get a head start on my August ARC’s, cause you know, I over-requested for that month. Sooo many August releases this year! Anywho… here are some July releases that I’ve added to my TBR, and got in line for a few of them at my local library.
DEB’S TOP 5 RELEASES FOR JULY
5) Protect the Prince (A Crown of Shards #2) by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: 7/2/2019
Publisher: Harper Voyager (Harper Collins)
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
I loved the first novel in this series and can’t wait to dive into Protect the Prince!
Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.
First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.
Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.
Dark forces are also at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, her immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes Evie wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.
Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s … well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.
Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…
Nora Roberts is sometimes hit or miss, but I do like her Romantic Thriller’s, and well she is Nora Roberts and always hits my TBR.
For both Zane and Darby, their small town roots hold a terrible secret. Now, decades later, they’ve come together to build a new life. But will the past set them free or pull them under?
Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back…
Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own.
Together they will have to teach each other what it means to face the past, and stand up for the ones they love.
Not sure how I missed this one because I really like this author and this looks so cute! If you like YA, you need to check this one out.
Synopsis: One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?
Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.
Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .
Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.
I actually did ask for an ARC of this novel and got rejected… BOO! I love Berkley books but for some reason I only get about 50% of the books I request. Regardless, this author wrote one of my top funniest books The Garden of Small Beginnings, and I hope for a repeat every time and so she lands on my TBR again…
Synopsis: Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
Nina considers her options. 1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.) 2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee). 3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.
1)Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Series #4) by Ilona Andrews
Release Date: 7/16/19
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Fantasy
It is not a secret that I’m having a secret love affair with the writing team called Ilona Andrews. LOVE this series, and really any series they write. This date just dropped this week and I AM SO EXCITED! They release each chapter for free on their website, but I always wait for the entire book to release to read it.
Synopsis: Maud Demille is a daughter of Innkeepers—a special group who provide ‘lodging’ to other-planetary visitors—so she knows that a simple life isn’t in the cards. But even Maud could never have anticipated what Fate would throw at her.
Once a wife to a powerful vampire knight, Maud and her young daughter, Helen, were exiled with him for his treachery to the desolate, savage planet of Karhari. Karhari killed her husband, and Maud—completely abandoned by his family—has spent over a year avenging his debts. Rescued by her sister Dina, she’s sworn off all things vampire.
Except… In helping Dina save the world, she met Arland, the Marshal of House Krahr, one of the most powerful vampire houses. One thing led to another and he asked for her hand in marriage. She declined. Arland is not used to hearing the word ‘no;’ and try as she might, Maud can’t just walk away from Arland. It doesn’t help that being human is a lot harder for Maud than being a vampire.
To sort it all out, she accepts his invitation to visit his home planet. House Krahr is extremely influential and Maud knows that a woman—a human, with a very questionable past—who’s turned down a proposal from its most beloved son won’t get a warm reception. Maybe she’s not sure about marrying Arland, but House Krahr isn’t going to decide for her. Maud Demille has never run from a fight, and House Krahr will soon discover that there’s a lot more to Maud than they’re expecting.