Just a Girl

Cute chick lit by Becky Monson. I had the pleasure of meeting Becky at a writing conference a year or so ago, and she is a delightful and funny person that you can’t help but adore. Her wit and humor shine in her books. This new one by her — Just a Girl — kept me engaged the whole way through. Never a boring spot.

Quinn is the heroine. She’s a midday news anchor who’s life suddenly changes when she meets a sexy British guy while eating a powdered sugar doughnut. She starts choking, the guy helps her out, she has major “feels” for him, and ends up agreeing to a date later. That’s how she and Henry begin their relationship. She feels comfortable telling him everything—except for what her real job is. She doesn’t want him to Google her and find the viral videos of her letting loose with an F-bomb on public news, when someone scared the bejeebies out of her.

That leads to major problems when she walks into work, just after a perfect third date with Henry, to discover that he is her new boss. And now the story begins! Super fun, swoony forbidden romance that I loved with all my heart. I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of this one quick. You won’t regret it.

Learn more about Becky and her other books on her Amazon page.

Happy reading.

Elantris

Another great fantasy thriller by Brandon Sanderson that I couldn’t put down. In Elantris, Princess Serene sails from Teod to marry the prince of another country. But when she arrives, she discovers that the prince is dead, but her contract is valid and she is still technically married, even though her husband is gone from this world. When a gyorn arrives, a religious high leader for an enemy country’s religion, she determines to save her new kingdom from being toppled by his maneuverings.

So begins a fight for a kingdom’s soul, though the king is greedy and uncaring about his people.

Little does Serene know that her husband truly lives. But he was changed by the Shaod, transforming him into one of the zombie-like undead who are thrown into the crumbling city of Elantris, once the light of the whole world. Ten years ago, something happened that changed the city and its inhabitants into sickly bodies who never heal from pain, but can’t seem to die, unless burned to death.

Raoden, the prince, was changed one morning and his father, the king, threw him into Elantris before anyone could know differently and has spread the lie that his son is dead. Serene is suspicious as she comes to learn more about the king and her betrothed dead husband, but never does she expect that he lives just in the city behind the huge walls.

This might sound like a weird premise, and I can’t do a summary justice for this book because it was super complicated, yet engaging. Sanderson is a master at getting me to care for his characters and help me understand the rules of new worlds quickly, so I feel involved in the world and with the different powers or magics right along with the characters. I really enjoyed this one. It was thrilling, intriguing, had a great side romance, and strong characters I grew to adore. Can’t say enough good about this book. A definite re-read someday.

If you haven’t tried reading a Sanderson fantasy yet, give him a chance. My favorite might still be Mistborn, but Elantris was fantastic as well.   

Happy reading!

Reforming Lord Neil

reforming Lord neill

I’ve loved this series by Sally Britton. This latest book features Lord Neil, who has been a real scoundrel side character in the past books. He is cut off and cast out by his father, the Marquess, to be taught a lesson. As he wanders about, coming to the conclusion that he has not a friend in the world to turn to for relief or housing, he runs into widower Teresa and her mom and daughter, who put him up for the night in their barn.

When he realizes they are in dire need of manly help to do tasks they know nothing about, he offers to do those chores in exchange for lodging in the barn for the foreseeable future, when hopefully his father will relent and let him back into his inheritance.

In the process, the two come to know each other and the “magic” happens. It’s a romance, right?

This was a fun one. I absolutely love-love redemption stories, and this was a super good one, since the character comes sooooo far. I was intrigued to read Neil’s story, since I kind of hated him in earlier books. But his story is touching. A well done conclusion to this series. I highly recommend you grab a copy to read today (it’s free if you have Kindle Unlimited).

Happy reading.

Rules Don’t Apply

rules

Need a good romance. This new one by Mylissa Demeyere was super cute. It’s a flirty love triangle, with not only friendship, but hearts on the line. It’s novella size and the characters are Abby, Chris, and Shane. 

Chris doesn’t realize his best friend Abby is in love with him, so Abby seeks Shane’s help (a classmate’s) to figure out how to catch Chris’s attention (after years of fruitless waiting for him to see the light). But in the process of hanging out with Shane, her heart starts to realize that what it thought it wanted isn’t what it really wants after all. Continue reading

Slavery & Civil Injustice

I finished an awesome series of books this month by Laila Ibrahim. They dealts with the topic of slavery and the injustices black people faced even after it was supposedly eradicated. The first two books were my favorite. I inhaled both of those stories. The third was okay, but not as good as the first two. But it tied up the history of the characters at least, so we could be done. I still highly recommend it. let’s start with the first book. 

Continue reading

Mistborn

Okay, I’m way behind on reading Brandon Sanderson. Last year, I read my first book of his in the Stormlight series. Those are incredibly long books that were hard to get into. Once I did though, I became hooked. 

But my daughter had me read the Mistborn series during Quarantine, and I liked these even better than the Stormlight books. The Mistborn set might be my new favorite books ever. 

I’m not going to review each individual book, but tell you about the first three and the last three (which are separated by 300 years in that story’s history). Continue reading

Curses, Doughnuts, & Facials

What do all these things have in common? They were in books I read in July. Here’s reviews on each of these awesome books that I highly recommend reading, if you haven’t already.

The Book of Sorrell

sorrellThis was Jennifer Peel’s first try at a paranormal romance, and I thought she did a really good job. The story and characters were super intriguing and kept me flipping pages quick. Sorrel owns a bakery and is the community’s favorite person, due to her uncanny knack for making them feel happy, helping them heal from sicknesses, and knowing what couples will make it or not when they come in to order wedding cakes. But she has a secret. She’s immortal—a member of the Tellus family. Earth.

When investigative reporter, Eric Knight, enters her shop to do a story on her, their lives will never be the same again…because he has a secret as well. There is a weird connection between them right from the start, although they both work tirelessly to fight it.

I highly recommend this one. The forbidden romance will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Buy The Book of Sorrell on Amazon

The Beantown Girls

beantownSuper interesting WWII book, from the perspective of Red Cross Doughnut girls. These American girls were volunteers who had to pass a rigorous testing to make sure they were physically fit, socially charming and outgoing and could drive and repair trucks. They were sent overseas to train to drive Red Cross-Mobiles that they made and served doughnuts and coffee out of to the troops in England and at the front in France and other places during the war.

This story follows four friends from Boston who go over together. The one girl’s fiancé is missing in action. This pushes her to volunteer, hoping to find out whether he is alive or not. Every soldier reminds her of him. It’s a story of growth, moving on, loving again, and grief and loss. It really tugs at all the emotion strings as each girl goes on her own journey of self-discovery during the awful war. They see terrible things, lose friends they’ve grown to love, and ultimately help serve and lift the troops from despair.

It was a unique view of the war from a woman’s perspective in the Red Cross, which I found fascinating. At the end, the author tells you which incidents in the story are true and which are made up. It’s well documented from actual accounts from Red Cross girls that served during this time. If you want a different slice of WWII history, this was a good one.

Buy Beantown Girls on Amazon

Facial Recognition

facialAnother one by Jennifer Peel. She’s put out several great stories this year. This is a fun contemporary second-chance romance. Gracie has loved Brooks since she was fourteen and her inner voice said, You’re going to marry that man. But after he stood her up at her senior prom, never spoke to her for the rest of senior year, and then moved out of her life when his parents divorced, she had to give up on him. He seemed to easily erase her from his life.

Now, twenty years later, he walks into the spa she owns to get a facial that his girlfriend bought for him. The girlfriend that kept him from seeing her in high school. The one she pretty much despises. Morgan is still running his life, although it’s not a good life. He’s not the boy she remembers, although that stupid inner voice still tells her he’s the man she’s going to marry. Too bad he never got the memo.

This story and the mystery of why Brooks acted as he did back then…and now…was riveting and tugged at all the major heartstrings. Wow. Major played with them. It’s swoony, yet clean, and had great character growth. I always love Peel’s characters. They deal with difficult issues, but the story is still told in a really fun way I adore.

Buy Facial Recognition on Amazon

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I will end by leaving you with wishes that your life will be full of curses, doughnuts and facials soon. These books might leave you “almost” liking 2020. 🙂

Happy reading!

Charissa (4)

Where the Lost Wander

nr5What a powerful story! Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon had all the emotions, so if you want light and fluffy, run from this one fast. Yoke your oxen up and skedaddle. It’s a heart-yanker. You feel all the love, all the deep-seeded, unending pain, the heartache, the laughs, the awe…the victory and triumph. But all the sadness and heartwrenching agony are SO worth it in the end. I think the joy and awe you feel at the end are even magnified because of what you go through with these characters—John Lowry and Naomi May.

It’s set in the 1850s in the pioneering days of U.S. history, when buffalo still roamed the prairies and Indians were trying to make their stand against white man’s intrusion. It’s a love story—one of the best. Continue reading

Love Redesigned

bookDon’t miss this new release by Jenny Proctor. I think it might be her best work so far. The story has a super fun setting in New York and the South, fantastic characters who do a lot of growing, and clean sizzle.

My Review

This is a cute contemporary romance. Dani works as an assistant to Sasha, a designer at LeFranc, a name-brand clothing brand in NYC. When she runs into her ex, Alex, at a coffee shop, her heart dies a little. She’d loved Alex, up until the day he walked out of her life a year ago and ghosted her. But now he is back, and she learns he’s working for her twin brother, Isaac, in their hometown of Charlotte.

Alex is dumbfounded when he sees Dani again. He’d thought he was over her, but one look is all it takes to realize he isn’t. But since she works for and is loyal to the evil woman who is marrying his step-father soon, he doesn’t dare act on his feelings. Leaving her was for the best, or so he thinks. Continue reading

A Note of Change

noteSorry, April and half of May have seemed to disappear from my life and I haven’t been able to find them. I have lots of catching up to do now, because although those months have been lost to me, I still managed to read a bunch of awesome books since my last post in March. Reading always happens…even if time stops.

Today I wanted to talk about a new anthology of three stories by three different authors–A Note of Change. Isn’t is a beautiful cover? And the stories were excellent. I loved-loved every story and author in this one, which rarely happens. I highly recommend it. Here’s a quick summary of what I thought about each book. Continue reading