Top Ten Tuesday: Pancake Mysteries

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today is Pancake Day (otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday), and growing up it was one of my favourite days. We didn’t normally have pancakes for dinner, but on Pancake Day, that was exactly what we did! Now that I’m an adult, my daughter and I do have pancakes quite a bit more often, but still every year on Pancake Day, it is the mandatory meal.

So today, I have 5 pancake cozy mysteries that I have read and enjoyed.

Pancakes And Corpses – Agatha Frost

Pancakes And Poison – Ami Diane

Pancakes And Parrots – Leena Clover

Pancakes And Pleas – Gretchen Allen

Flipped For Murder – Maddie Day

Mini Review: Dating Mr Darcy

Dating Mr Darcy – Kate O’Keeffe

Clothing designer Emma Brady is having serious doubts about how far she’ll go to promote her new activewear line. Sure, being on a reality show would be great for business, but is putting up with Mr. Darcy-wannabe Sebastian Huntington-Ross really worth it?

Sebastian is straight out of an Austen novel. But it’s hard to focus on his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders and wickedly sexy accent when all Emma can see is his pride, arrogance, and smug demeanor.

But Sebastian has a secret reason for being on the show, and when Emma figures out what it is, her heart warms to him — without her permission.

Will Emma hold fast and keep the aristocratic Sebastian at arm’s length? Or will she put her reservations aside when the lines between reality and “reality show” start to blur?

I just flew through this book. It’s Pride and Prejudice meets The Bachelor, and is a cute concept. Emma enters a Bachelor type dating show where the Bachelor is a person portraying the character of Mr Darcy. Emma has not entered the show in hopes of finding her true love, however, she is doing it to promote the line of activewear that she has designed.

It is a quick and easy read, with a mix of cast members making up the female contestants on the show. You’ve got the mean girls, the drama queens, and the down to earth girls like Emma. Emma could be quite snarky herself at times, which I didn’t mind. The entire thing is told from Emma’s perspective, so you do get a full feel for the atmosphere of the competition as well as whatever is going on inside her head.

There are quite a few Jane Austen references in the book, but it’s more of a retelling of the Colin Firth movie rather than the original book itself. And oddly, tons of Downton Abbey references are thrown in as well.

Book Review: Josh And Gemma Make A Baby

Josh And Gemma Make A Baby – Sarah Ready

New Year’s Resolution:
Have a baby
Preferably with Josh Lewenthal


Meet Gemma Jacobs. She’s driven, energetic, and a positive thinker. She has a great career working for famed self-help guru Ian Fortune, she lives in a cute studio apartment in Manhattan, and her family is supportive and loving (albeit a little kooky). Her life is perfect. Absolutely wonderful.

Except for one tiny little thing.

After a decade of disastrous relationships and an infertility diagnosis, Gemma doesn’t want a Mr. Right (or even a Mr. Right Now), she just wants a baby.
And all she needs is an egg, some sperm, and IVF.

So Gemma makes a New Year’s resolution: have a baby.

Josh Lewenthal is a laid back, relaxed, find-the-humor-in-life kind of guy. The polar opposite of Gemma. He’s also her brother’s best friend. For the past twenty years Josh has attended every Jacobs’ family birthday, holiday, and event – he’s always around.

Gemma knows him. He’s nice (enough), he’s funny (-ish), he’s healthy (she thinks) and he didn’t burn any ants with a magnifying glass as a kid. Which, in Gemma’s mind, makes him the perfect option for a sperm donor.

So Gemma wants to make a deal. An unemotional, businesslike arrangement. No commitments, just a baby.

To Gemma’s surprise, Josh agrees.

They have nothing in common, except their agreement to make a baby and their desire to keep things businesslike.

But the thing about baby-making…it’s hard to keep it businesslike, it’s nearly impossible to keep it unemotional, and it’s definitely impossible to keep your heart out of the mix. Because when you’re making a baby together, things have a way of starting to feel like you’re making other things too – like a life, and a family, and love. And when the baby-making ends, you wish that everything else didn’t have to end too. 

Trigger Warnings: This book talks about infertility, IVF, and miscarriage.

This romcom gives me serious Bridget Jones kind of vibes, but with infertility, IVF, and support groups thrown in.

32-year-old divorcee Gemma decides to have a baby via IVF, and turns to her brother’s best friend (and one time teenage crush) Josh Lewenthal to be her sperm donor. What comes next is a whirlwind of chuckles, doctor visits, hormones, love, sex, and utter chaos. I definitely pictured Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy as Gemma and Josh while reading this, which only made it even more hilarious.

This book goes into a lot of detail about the IVF process, the ups and the downs, from start to finish. And while this is a cute book, it does focus heavily on infertility and everything that goes with that. The plot moves quickly, which is great because the entire time I just wanted to know what happened next.

I loved the characters in this book. Josh and Gemma are adorable friends. Gemma is goal orientated and determined, while at times slightly naïve. Josh is cute and funny, confident, and he made me smile on every page. The chemistry between the two of them is brilliant and they are very cute.

I knew exactly where this book was going to go fairly early on, but that didn’t particularly matter as it was a fun read regardless.

This ARC was provided by Netgalley, and this is my honest review.

What is your favourite romantic comedy book? How about movie? Let me know!

Book Review: Under A Sky Of Memories

Under A Sky Of Memories – Soraya M. Lane

Sicily, 1943. Three American women, all nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, are determined to do all they can for their country. Vita is fun-loving, Dot shy and sweet-natured, and Evelyn practical and determined, but for all their differences, a life of military service pulls the three together as firm friends.

When they’re selected for a daring mission, the women are proud to play their part. But disaster strikes when their plane crash-lands behind enemy lines in occupied Albania. Together with twenty-three other medics, they find themselves trapped, cut off from all communication with the squadron, and in terrifying and unimaginable danger.

As days and nights pass without hope of rescue, the group must travel on foot across unfamiliar terrain thick with Nazis and their violent local allies. Can Evelyn, Vita, and Dot survive the perilous journey through enemy territory—and finally find their way home?

Oh my goodness! This book was so good. A historical fiction following three very different young American girls (Dot, Vita, and Evelyn), each with their own background, personality, personal drama, bonded by shared experiences during WWII.

This book is intense, dramatic, and heartwarming. Sent overseas to Sicily during WWII to help injured soldiers, a disastrous plane crash leaves them stranded in Albania. From there, it is a story of survival, hope, love, and friendship.

Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the girls, each one written so humanely that I felt for each of them. I was stressed and nervous for each of them, and loved reading each of their stories.

The friendship between the three girls is beautiful. Each one comes from a very different background, but through training and their experiences they form a strong bond. They are serious, goofy, funny and at times emotional, and I loved reading about them.

I do typically enjoy wartime historical fictions, but this was the first one I’ve read that is set in Italy/Sicily/Albania, and I liked seeing a different side of the war.

I received this ARC copy via Netgalley, this is my honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Valentine’s Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The theme this week is a valentine’s freebie. I chose to do books with love in the title. I did a list like this last year (here), but I decided to do a new and updated version.

  • Ugly Love – Colleen Hoover
  • Love Her Or Lose Her – Tessa Bailey
  • To Sir WIth Love – Lauren Layne
  • Like A Love Story – Abdi Nazemian
  • Field Notes On Love – Jennifer E. Smith
  • The Spanish Love Deception – Elena Armas
  • A Pho Love Story – Loan Le
  • Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch
  • I Think I Love You – Auriane Desombre
  • The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood

Have you read any of these? Let me know your thoughts!

It’s Monday – Feb 7th 2022

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme that is currently being hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday, and somehow we are already a full week into February. January felt like it both took forever and flew right by. We currently have no snow, and it was warm enough that Lottie and I were able to spend quite a bit of time outside this weekend. The wind was quite heavy for some of it, but we managed a nice walk, found a few new playgrounds, Lottie got to climb some trees, and she attempted to teach me a game called Grounders (I’m still lost and confused about what I was supposed to be doing).

What I Read Last Week

Lalani Of The Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly. I really enjoyed this (my full review is here).

How Poetry Saved My Life by Amber Dawn. I don’t read a ton of poetry, but I quite liked this one. The poems are quite gritty which I definitely liked.

What I’m Currently Reading

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. I’m participating in Polarthon readathon hosted by Jadeyraereads this week, and this is my first book for that. I’m about 2/3 of the way through, and it’s nice. I haven’t read any of the Chronicles Of Narnia before, so this is my first one.

The Key To Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo. I’m only a couple of chapters into this so far, but it’s been a nice easy read.

What I’m Planning To Read Next

Shiver by Allie Reynolds. This is the next book I’ve got planned for Polarthon this week.

Josh And Gemma Make A Baby by Sarah Ready. This is an ARC I got through Netgalley that I need to get to. It gives me Bridget Jones kind of vibes and sounds like it might be entertaining and funny, so hopefully it does not disappoint.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know your thoughts!



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Book Review: Lalani Of The Distant Sea

There are stories of extraordinary children who are chosen from birth to complete great quests and conquer evil villains.

This is no such story.

Sometimes, you are an ordinary child.

Sometimes, you have to choose yourself.

This is the story of Lalani Sarita, a twelve-year-old girl who lives on the island of Sanlagita in the shadow of a vengeful mountain. When she makes a fateful wish that endangers her already-vulnerable village, she sets out across the distant sea in search of life’s good fortunes. Grown men have died making the same journey. What hope does an ordinary girl have?

Lalani Of The Distant Sea – Erin Entrada Kelly

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Beautifully written and incredibly dark. This is a sad story that deals with pain, loss, and violence. The atmosphere throughout the book is dark and melancholic, but with a hint of hope. I loved the world of Sanlagita, it was not the happiest of places, but I loved the descriptions and atmosphere around it.

The book weaves parts of Filipino myths and stories through the plot, and though it is not an area of mythology I currently know much about, I loved the way it was done. I was on edge the entire time I read this book, I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next, but it was a nail-biting experience to get there.

I adored protagonist Lalani, her courage and determination was beautiful, especially when everything around her seemed to be so hopeless. Lalani has such a kind heart and I definitely loved getting to know her.

“Sometimes the only way out is through”.

It takes a little while for the plot to really get going as the worldbuilding itself takes some time. I didn’t mind that part as it really helped to set the story. A lot of side characters were introduced in a relatively short succession, and I found myself getting a bit lost among all of them. I also found the ending to be just a little abrupt, maybe because I just wanted more, it left me with a few unanswered questions.

I would like to read this with my daughter someday, though currently at 8 years old I think this would be a bit too dark for her.

February 2022 TBR

Yeah, it’s a little late for this post, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a TBR for the month.

A Song Below Water – Bethany C. Morrow. I’ve had this one on my TBR since July/August and have not got around to reading it yet.

The Key To Happily Ever After – Tif Marcelo. I can’t get through February without a little bit of romance!

No Exit – Taylor Adams.

When She Returned – Lucinda Berry. Buzzword prompt for February is pronouns, and I found this interesting sounding thriller on Kindle Unlimited, can’t wait to check it out.

One By One – Ruth Ware. A wintery thriller.

The Highland Fling – Meghan Quinn. This sounds like a cute romance.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know your thoughts!

Book Review: Fearbook Club

Fearbook Club – Richard Hamilton

The new kid in middle school is tossed in with the misfits of the Yearbook Club only to uncover a mystery going back decades: One student from each class goes missing every year, and no one seems to care. Now, the “club” will be pulled into supernatural peril as they attempt to solve these mysteries, all while being harangued by their drama-inclined advisor, their creepy principal and, oh yeah, the ghosts of those kids who have disappeared. 

First of all, the illustrations in this graphic novel are absolutely stunning, I loved a lot of the detail used in the images. There is an element of darkness in every picture which really set the tone of the story which I enjoyed.

New student Whit Garcia is a budding photographer who is thrown into the school Yearbook Club, in order to make friends and be involved in the school community. The entire story takes a creepy turn from there. The rest of the Yearbook Club consists of identical twins Hester and Hillary, delinquent Press, and an eccentric drama teacher who is more interested in his own non-existent acting career than he is in either yearbook club or teaching.

I would have liked the story to have been a bit longer, as I feel it was a bit rushed in parts, and I would have just enjoyed a longer and more in depth storyline. I feel like there were a few details and information that was left out that would have been helpful. For example, the school principal kept throwing out the word centuries a lot in reference to her time teaching, and her storyline was never fully touched on, and I had so many questions about her that were left unanswered.

This ARC copy was provided by Netgalley, and this is my honest review.

Book Blitz: Between

Synopsis

Lana Hathaway wasn’t supposed to die. But when she suddenly finds herself face-to-face with a handsome guardian angel named Kade, Lana learns she has just drowned in her best friend’s swimming pool. Kade explains that because of her untimely death, Lana has become a Watcher like him—a soul stuck in limbo between Earth and Beyond. However, not wanting Lana to suffer his same fate, Kade breaks eternal rules and releases Lana back to Earth.

Soon, Lana and Kade discover that releasing her back to Earth had profound and unexpected consequences: now Lana is being hunted by those who dwell Below, including an enigmatic soul named Damien. With both their eternal destinies on the line, Lana and Kade must decide if Damien is an enemy or an ally as they race against time to save themselves . . . and if they fail, they will remain Between forever.

Author’s Bio

TJ Amberson hails from the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband and nutty cocker spaniel. When she’s not writing, TJ might be found pretending to know how to garden, riding her bike, playing the piano, enjoying a hot chocolate, or scouring the Internet for cheap plane tickets. She adores all things cozy, seasonal, and holiday-themed; she cheers for happily-ever-afters; and she believes there’s no such thing as too much seasonal decor. With a love of multiple genres, TJ writes sweet romance and romantic comedies for adults and advanced teen readers, and clean fantasy adventures for teen and advanced tween readers.

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60191125-between
Purchase:Amazon: https://amzn.to/3r6rIyZ

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