Anna Kate Callow’s headed back to Wicklow, Alabama to make funeral plans for her grandmother and run the family cafe. The Callow women are guardians and gatekeepers of something incredible. They tend to the mulberry trees, nurture them, and gather their love to bake into pies to serve those who mourn, those left behind. The characters in Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe search deep into their guarded hearts to see what’s truly important in life. Anna Kate, Natalie, and crew carry around a heap of pain (overwhelming grief) tied to the past. Will they be able to let it go and start healing? “But sweetie, letting go is the only way you can fly.” Just like Wicklow, Heather Webber’s story has a way of holding on to you.
🥧 READ IF YOU LIKE 🥧:
-magical realism -blackberry sweet tea & all the kinds of pie -small town, southern charm (I’m talking roughly the size of a postage stamp) -blatant nosiness on full display (gossip which means the same as talking) -a cat with dictator-like behavior -shoo-ee, honey, two heroes to get sweet on (Cam & Gideon. V small side plot) -The Good Witch on Hallmark or Alice Hoffman’s novels
“We’re more than our circumstances. We deserve hopes and dreams and love like everyone else.”
Wildstone! I am in LOVE with this series. Heather, Maze, and Walker had come from vastly different, but equally troubled backgrounds and were all placed in the same foster home with Caitlin and her family. They’re not blood but they’re something deeper. Up until the shockingly traumatic event which scattered them far and wide. Heather was the young soul, Caitlin was the heart, Mayhem Maze was loyal and stubborn, and Walker was the strong silent one. Jill’s stories and characters are very relatable. In several of her stories she includes a dog….TFG has two, adorable pups, Roly and Poly. How CUTE! Little sausage loaves. Peep them in the cover! I laughed, I cried, I swooned! Read if you like childhood BFFs and second chance romance. The Forever Girl is a story of survivors guilt, redemption, trust, and believing in love blindly.
Thank you Jill Shalvis for the advanced copy!
“You don’t need to be in the beginning of a child’s story to change the ending.”
“‘Silencio!’ Peter crosses his arms. Smirking, he says, ‘Whatever spell you just tried to cast on me, it didn’t work, so I think you need to go back to Hogwarts.’ He’s so proud of himself for the Hogwarts reference, it’s kind of endearing.”
“He smells like pool, and summer, and vacations. It’s not like in the movies. It’s better, because it’s real.”
Some of my favorite quotes come from To All the Boys I’ve Loved before. Jenny Han is the queen of YA.
“Remember to keep the company’s number to five. In spite of the autumn chill, optimism wins out. Surprise comes from the sea. Don’t resist it. When in doubt, go north. A sword brings truth and deception. Do not raise your phantom until safe on Aku.”
Marcus Adicio, son of the Magistrate, Heir to the Throne, and a green-robed savant from Baiseen, on his initiation journey to the Isle of Aku. His warrior phantom has taken form, shared his name, and is more present. More real. Ash, the non-savant on the excursion, is the scribe meant to observe and record. Along with three other savants, the company come into predicament after predicament on their travels. What more could possibly go wrong? Lucky for the lot, the mysterious bosun’s mate of the Sea Eagle, Kaylin, will lead them to Aku. Thank the bones. However, the sailor is harboring secrets. The sea is enigmatic… the legendary Mar race steal children into the salty waters. Ash and Marcus’s world is on the verge of the next Great Dying. Amassia’s second sun is nigh. Will the company’s journey be the one before chaos consumes the realms?
What a phenomenal, epic fantasy from A.K. Wilder! Political mishmash and intrigue. Thrill of adventure. Swoony romance. Deception. I am enamored with these characters! Ash’s inner dialogue is giving me life! I snort-laughed over her internal voice’s witty banter and clever quips. SO much snark going on in her head. HERE for it! #IsThisAKissingBook- Dang those protocols to the Drop, yup! 🥰 Kaylin…
Oh, by the Deep, I LOVE HIM! Aye, my sailor. He has me curious though! I adore how he calls Ash, lass. His girl. I ship you Kaylin & Ash. Kash=The OTP. Readers are going to will their eyeballs to read faster as revelations are exposed. “Chop-chop, with the murdering.” GASP! Raise. Your. Phantoms! Crown of Bones is an essential read for YA fantasy devotees of Margaret Rogerson, Adrienne Young, and Leigh Bardugo. On shelves now!
Thank you Entangled Teen and AK Wilder for an advanced copy. I devoured it! 👏🏼🤟🏼
“There’s nobody I’d rather be in the penalty box with than you.”
Brodie “Wind” Windom has his senior year all planned out: focus on hockey, get on the Boston College team, and no distractions. Until, son of a puck!, some ice princess rams right into him. Willow Covington’s whole world is figure skating. But she’s nursing an injury and rehabbing to be back in time for next years competition. The Fall League hockey team’s goalie is out. Brodie needs the best people on the ice to win State. Will Brodie be able to convince Willow to stand in as goalie and assist her recovery by working out with the boys hockey team? The force is strong with young Padawan, Willow, but she needs the help of Hockey Yoda, Brodie. What’s the brute squad of boys going to do…Accept Willow into the family? Or form an anti-Willow Coalition? Sequins and twirls are out. Pucks and sticks are in. The duo must face their fears in order to make their dreams come true. Game on.
Hey, yooooou guuuys! (Said in best Sloth voice). For the love of ice! YA readers need this novel! ITPB was so dang cute! GAH! I was swooning so hard. Several scenes left me giddy! Brodie and Willow’s nickname of affections…Toe Pick & Puck Head. 🥰 They’re just precious. Brodie is one tough hockey 🏒 player! But he’s also super sweet, so very loyal, nice, and thoughtful. Willow handles everything with “the grace of a figure skater and the guts of a hockey player.” She’s a BAWSE. Strong female lead, right here. In the Penalty Box has everything that I’m looking for in a young adult book: pop culture references (Goonies never say die! Star Wars and even The Princess Bride), an adorable meet-cute (albeit a tad painful), witty banter (Willow can dish the sarcasm), family dynamics (Brodie’s home life isn’t as perfect as it appears🥺) and a dreamy love story (grinning through so many chapters). #IsThisAKissingBook- 👍🏼two thumbs up👍🏼. If you enjoy small-town, sports romances In the Penalty Box needs to live on your shelf. For the occasional squeeze hug, of course.
Guaranteed to elicit smiles, bookworms! Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount are pure magic! 😘🤌🏼 Chef’s kiss Perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series.
I cannot thank Entangled Teen, Lynn Rush, and Kelly Anne Blount enough for gifting me this sweet book! You’re a GEM. All of you.
“You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together…than you’ll hear the sound of your soul.”
“Just read it (read it), read it (read it).”
Well, Michael Jackson does not fit the vibe of Will and Mia but you get the point. Can I say Renee Carlino is a literary genius of romance. Gosh. I love her stories so HARD. Mia Kelly is grieving the death of her father. His memory aches in her soul, but his presence was still palpable in the silence. But she’s guarded and drowning in a huge chasm created by an obsession with getting things right. Mia meets Will Ryan (musician) and he is too cute to boot! He is the rock-and-roll type Mia swooned over. She has a secret and suppressed obsession with the sensitive, torture artist soul. Will is so tender and warm and patient and he makes Mia want to be a better person. Will sees Mia as she is… a lost little soul and he knows it will be a while before she comes around. The characters in Renee’s novel have a passion for life that is absolutely beautiful. Talk about a book hang over! Sweet Thing is a first-love, self-discovery must read for romance readers and music enthusiasts. Ps. There’s a novella on KU! Squeal!
🎶 Song: Sweet Thing by Van Morrison 🎶 (is that too obvious. But I had too)
“Never let me go.” He tightened his grip as his mouth moved to my ear. “Never” “Where have you been?” “Waiting for you.”
“I thought loving someone meant letting go, but by the time I learned that loving someone means fighting for them too, it was too late.”
Jase is the boy next door who befriended Emiline as they bonded over their messed up lives. Then they became more when they get older. Except Jase is her best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Emiline is gifted a debut novel from a mysterious author J. Colby. It’s a bestseller and Em in hooked from the first page because the novel follows Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road in their impoverished, rural town. It very much patterns her dark and broken childhood. Meaning “J. Colby” must be Jase. Is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?
Goodness. Another fantastic, completely gripping story by Renee Carlino. All. The. Feels. Renee has a gift of developing characters and plot lines that make you emotionally invested. Her stories plant inside your heart so deeply. Jase. What a character! He’s perceptive and compassionate. Selfless and despite all his life, he kept getting sweeter and sweeter. Jase and Em’s lives had some ugly but they made their scars beautiful. Another tear jerker! Take my heart, Renee Carlino. Swear on This Life is a must read for fans of Abby Jimenez and Colleen Hoover.
“People needed love most when they weren’t at their best.”
“An obstinate girl who will not be married. A soldier desperate to prove himself. A kingdom on the brink of war.” Sage Fowler did not want to be matched. Zero desire to be herded across the country to be practically auctioned off. However, the matchmaker knows that wild Sage cannot be matched so she takes her on as apprentice. Captain Alexander Quinn’s promotion included escorting (carting) around the young ladies to be married off for political alliances. Basically, his military team is playing nursemaid and they’re not happy about it. With the kingdom on the brink of war, the convoy realizes they need information that Sage can acquire. They want her for a spy. The more Sage discovers, the less certain she becomes about who to trust. And trust is a two way street.
The Traitor’s Kiss is action packed with an adorable romance- #IsThisAKissingBook! Betrayal and espionage! Twists and turns and I was second guessing myself. Wait. Who is mouse? WHICH solider? If you enjoyed the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson The Traitor’s Circle trilogy should be on your TBR! Bring on Traitor’s Ruin.
“He taught me that one way to give your life meaning is to teach another person how to look within and love.”
Charlotte’s (Charlie) life is a hot mess. She’s had several jobs and weird boyfriends. Charlie has a pretty bad track record. Until, she runs into Adam. A stranger on the street and the duo have an instant connection. Charlie falls in love with his spontaneity. But after their whirlwind of a night, Adam ghosts Charlie. Months later, Charlie is still hanging on to him. Will she be able to find out what happened after their magical night together or will she finally be able to move forward and find her HEA?
WOW. What a story packed with feelings! I honestly think it’s best to go in blind. Helen and Charlotte’s friendship had me cackling gleefully. Adam will make readers swoon. You will smile at how oblivious Adam is to his own charm. He is precious, all doe-eyed, and unassuming. Joyful and buoyant. Wish You Were Here is painfully sad but also moving and life-affirming. I ugly cried through several chapters. WRECKED. I’m talking snot and sobs. I had to remind myself to breathe because I was holding my breath to avoid crying. Plan on being inconsolable an hour after reading this book. Grab a mug of warm tea to coat your sore throat. Such a tragic but beautiful, heartrending love story with a ✨ happily ever after ✨. Renee Carlino’s novel is contemporary women’s (new adult) fiction with mature themes and emotional triggers to be aware of. Reader, don’t shy away from this story! Charlie is resilient and her character growth is sensational. Marvelous. Stunning. Renee, dear author, you are truly a gifted storyteller. If you enjoyed Confess by Colleen Hoover and A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks, then Wish You Were Here will leave an imprint on your hopeless romantic heart.
“You’re it for me. Even after all this time, I still want what I wanted in high school. I’m not messing around here. I want us to be together. And I’m pretty sure I love you.”
I squeezed in one last Christmas read, free on KU! #isthisakissingbook It was super cutesy! Read if you like enemies-to-lovers, childhood angst, snowed in with a big personality LI, snark and sweet, holding hands, finding the perfect Christmas tree, throwing snowballs, and making snow angels. Ho, ho, ho!