Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Christmas Ever After by Karen Schaler

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

From Karen Schaler, the writer of the Netflix phenomenon A Christmas Prince and Hallmark’s Christmas Camp comes this new heartwarming holiday romance. Mamma Mia meets The Bachelorette in Christmas Ever After…

While promoting her next novel, a Christmas love story, author Riley Reynolds is caught off guard when she’s asked during a live national television interview how she can write about romance when she still hasn’t found “the one” herself. Scrambling for an answer, she quickly answers that she has had great love in her past and that love inspired her novels. Little does she know that this one offhanded remark will turn her world upside down. Three of her ex-boyfriends see the interview, and each, believing she’s talking about him, shows up for her Christmas Camp book event at the Christmas Lake Lodge, determined to rewrite his happily-ever-after with her! Over the festive weekend, Riley’s old boyfriends compete to win her heart, pulling out all the stops while planning the most romantic Christmas dates on the planet. Despite herself, Riley starts falling for each guy- again-but for different reasons. As Riley revisits each relationship and discovers more about herself, she embraces the magic of Christmas and finally finds true love and her own Christmas ever after…

Bonus Content: Christmas Ever After includes delicious original Christmas recipes and fun holiday crafts and activities.

***Head over to Karen Schaler's website to sign up for her VIP newsletter for the latest on her many giveaways, special event and sneak peeks and much more!***

my thoughts:

Love, love, love!! What a fun book! Christmas Ever After is the perfect book to bring you some holiday cheer. I know it's still September, but the days are so dreary, that I can' help but look forward to the upcoming holiday season. And books are the best way to bring some of holiday excitement into your life, especially ones that read like a Hallmark movie.  So, I grabbed a huge cuppa, some chocolate chip cookies and settled down with my copy on a rainy day. I read and read and read until I got to the very end. Talk about a delightful read! Romance, a bit of drama, misunderstandings, old flames, and Christmas - what more could I want in a book!? 

Riley is promoting her new book when she's asked about "the One" and writing about romance. To quell any speculation about her lack of experience when it comes to falling in love, she dishes on a past romance that was the inspiration for her books. Not thinking much about her response, Riley heads off to her Christmas Camp event.  Unbeknownst to her, three ex-boyfriends saw the interview and are now convinced they are the inspiration for her books. So, what happens next? Well, they show up to her event and decide to woo her, again. Yep, it's a blast from the past experience for Riley and let's just say its surprising, funny, romantic, and nostalgic. Riley can't help but think back on each relationship and start looking at each guy as a new romantic partner...who will win her heart this time round? 

Schaler has written a terrific romance story that will hook you right from the start. You won't be a able to help but fall in deep with Riley and her suitors - cheering some on, trying to figure out who should be the one, and hoping for a Christmas love story ending. This is one book that you will thoroughly enjoy. reading. 

I would happily recommend Christmas Ever After to fans of Schaler and anyone looking for a holiday read - you will LOVE this book to bits!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Christmas Ever After  and the link to Karen Schaler's website - check them both out!!

Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

National Geographic Almanac 2021

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

The essential annual for the 21st century, this high-energy almanac is packed with facts, photos, infographics, time lines, and maps–the perfect stocking stuffer and book to browse all year long.

A guide to the world like no other, this vivid and comprehensive book offers the best of National Geographic and more: science, nature, history, world cultures, geography, and the environment, illustrated with amazing photography, fascinating infographics, and maps created by expert cartographers. Highlights this year include the James Webb telescope, launching in 2021; a brand-new wildflower guide; a guided tour of the moons of our solar system; a beautiful infographic on jellyfish; and a feature on lithium, central to the work of recent Nobel prize-winning chemistry.

Divided into lively chapters including Exploration & Adventure, Life on Earth, and The Science of Us, this year’s almanac features top photos from National Geographic’s celebrated Instagram account and geniuses past and present including Jane Goodall, Amelia Earhart, and acclaimed conservationist Kris Tompkins, dedicated to preserving much of Patagonia.

With new discoveries on every page, this cutting-edge book–called a “category buster” by Booklist–brings you, as Publishers Weekly puts it, “all the things that National Geographic does best.”

my thoughts:

What a great book! Chock full of exciting and fascinating information, National Geographic's Almanac 2021 will have you looking forward to the upcoming year. Then again, considering how 2020 has been, how could we not be looking forward to a new year already, right?  

Almanac 2021 covers a plethora of topics: nature, history, and geography to name a few. There are maps, infographics, and tons of amazing photographs to get lost in. You'll find out about so many things you didn't even realize you were curious about - its such a fun book to dip in and out of. I can't wait to peruse it throughout the year of 2021 and learn about butterflies and their migratory patterns, whales, and the solar system. So much to take in - you can't help but get excited about it all. I would most definitely recommend Almanac 2021 to anyone and everyone who loves National Geographic books - you will be thrilled with this latest one!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Almanac 2021
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Secret Crush Seduction: The Heirs of Hansol #2) by Jayci Lee

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

She's done waiting for what she really wants...
"If I don't have you after that kiss,
I'll burn to dust from the inside out..."
Aspiring fashion designer Adelaide Song wants to prove she's more than just a pampered heiress. All she needs is a little courage--and the help of deliciously sexy Michael Reynolds, her childhood crush and her brother's best friend. But when her secret crush turns into an illicit liaison, Adelaide realizes mixing business with pleasure spells trouble for all her plans...

my thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of romance novels. I am. I love the sexy steamy storylines and characters who fall madly in love with one another. I love the drama - there's always drama. I just love it all. They are fun and engaging reads that I gobble up in one sitting. They are pure escapism and that is exactly what I want right now during this pandemic. So, I was thankful when Harlequin provided me with a copy of this terrific book, Secret Crush Seduction. It's the second one is the Song Family series, but it's the first one I've read. And let me just say, I LOVED it. 

So, what's the story about? Adelaide Song.  She's eager to show her family that she can be a vital part of their fashion empire. Except, no one believes in her. They all see her as a party girl who has yet to grow up. So, she decides to enlist the help of her brother's best friend, Michael. He's the executive of their PR department. Who better to help her bring her plans to fruition? A man she's known her whole life. A man she's had a crush on since she was a kid. Uh oh. Maybe, it's not a good idea to go to Michael for help. Especially when it turns out he feels the same way about Adelaide. Will their romance sabotage Adelaide's chances of proving herself to her family? Will their relationship survive a romance? Talk about mixing business with pleasure. 

Lee has written a fun and sexy story about family, friendship, and love. Her writing is great - you can't help but get hooked right from the start. And the characters are so much fun to get to know. This is one book you won't want to miss. I would happily recommend Secret Crush Seduction to fans of Harlequin and anyone looking for a romantic read - you will LOVE this book!!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Brothers of Auschwitz: A novel of hope and heartbreak by Malka Adler

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

An extraordinary novel of hope and heartbreak, this is a story about a family separated by the Holocaust and their harrowing journey back to each other.
There was a good orchestra at Auschwitz. I could immediately hear it was good. I almost wept for the beauty of it, but the large pile of striped pajamas stayed in my mind, and I didn’t cry…
Dov and Yitzhak live in a small village in the mountains of Hungary, isolated both from the world and from the horrors of the war.
But one day in 1944, everything changes. The Nazis storm the homes of the Jewish villagers and inform them they have one hour. One hour before the train will take them to Auschwitz.
Six decades later, from the safety of their living rooms at home in Israel, the brothers finally break their silence to a friend who will never let their stories be forgotten.
Narrated in a poetic style reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, Malka Adler has penned a visceral yet essential read for those who have found strength, solace and above all, hope, in books like The Choice by Edith Eger and The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe.
my thoughts:

Wow. Just, wow. Talk about an emotional, heart-wrenching read. The Brothers of Auschwitz is a biographical novel that tells the story of two brothers and their experience during WWII. We read about their family, their relationship, the war, the Nazis, concentration camps, their lives after the war, and so much more in between it all.  It is a gripping read that will break your heart and make you cry for the atrocities faced by these two brothers.  This is one book that you will never forget. 

Adler has written a story filled with authentic details that are vivid, personal, and historical. She has utilized the story of these two brothers, along with her own father's experience to create a story that will open your eyes to the truth and fill your mind with images that will haunt you. She writes about the ugly horrors of it all, but she also weaves the idea of hope throughout. The strength and hope that this family clung to throughout their journey of hell. It is an amazingly powerful read. You can't help but question humanity as you read this story. This is one book that will have you thinking a million things at once as you read it. The Brothers of Auschwitz is a story that you must experience - it is the epitome of a must-read. I would recommend it to everyone. Check it out!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Brothers of Auschwitz
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

His Only Wife: A Novel by Peace Adzo Medie

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

     Peace Adzo Medie’s captivating debut novel, HIS ONLY WIFE, paints a nuanced portrait of a young African woman who must forge her own sense of identity and worth within the strictures of a less-than-ideal arranged marriage. Medie, who is also an accomplished academic in the UK and her native Ghana and the author of the seminal text Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa, displays a great talent for fiction writing, crafting a deceptively breezy narrative that invites readers into the intimate world of its heroine, Afi—a world that straddles traditional expectations and modern desires. As Afi navigates the pressures of an unusual marital situation, she also learns to exert her own independence in unexpected ways.

     Afi is a young seamstress living in the small town of Ho when she is betrothed to Eli, the
successful son of her family’s benefactor. The marriage has been arranged by Eli’s family in an
effort to get him away from his Liberian mistress, a woman viewed as unsuitable by all. Eli is not
even at the wedding—the couple is married by proxy. Afi moves into a luxury apartment in
Accra, the bustling capital city, but weeks go by without a visit from her new husband. She
enrolls in design school and begins to build a life for herself. When Afi and Eli do finally
consummate their marriage, the attraction and affection between them is real. But, Eli continues
his second life with the other woman, leaving Afi confused about her options.

     HIS ONLY WIFE “is a commentary on the value that is placed on marriage in Ghanaian
and most African societies (and in many other places in the world),” Medie says. “This emphasis
on marriage and its association with womanhood, places a great deal of pressure on young
women and causes many to settle for relationships that are often unfulfilling and unhappy.” At its
heart, the novel is a story of a young woman coming into her own and finding her voice. It also
offers a unique glimpse into a very unconventional marriage, and into life in Ghana. HIS ONLY
WIFE “is also a feminist novel,” Medie adds, “but not in a way that might be familiar to many
readers. This is because Afi’s path to finding her voice is circuitous and not always

     Depicting a way of life that may surprise many uninitiated Western readers, HIS ONLY
WIFE is also “a hilarious, page-turning, sharply realized portrait of modern womanhood in the
most infuriating of circumstances. A gem of a debut,” says Wayetu Moore, author of She Would
Be King.

my thoughts:

I absolutely LOVED reading His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie. It's the story of Afi, a young woman who enters into an arranged marriage with a man from a wealthy family.  His family is not happy that he is entangled with a mistress and is hoping that by marrying Afi, he will finally settle into a respectable life. Except, that doesn't happen. In fact, he doesn't even show up to his own wedding and instead Afi marries him via proxy. Yep, a proxy. How crazy is that?! So, Afi settles into her new married life sans husbands which is strange, but also freeing in a way. She enrolls in school and starts a new life for herself. And then, he shows up. Things take a turn for Afi when she finds herself attracted to her husband. It's obvious that he likes Afi, too. Except, he won't break things off with his mistress. And so, Afi's marriage becomes complicated as emotions become entangled and options become limited. Talk about a difficult relationship.

Medie does a fantastic job of describing Afi's marriage, the Ghanian culture, and the concept of womanhood. She explores the ways in which women find their voices within unhappy relationships and how society plays a role in limiting women's growth. This story is captivating and eye-opening. It's definitely a must-read for anyone looking for their next great read. You won't want to miss out on Medie's excellent writing and her unforgettable characters. Such a great book!!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!