Laura and Emma: a Review

IMG_7241Laura & Emma

by Kate Greathead

352 pages

March 2018. Simon and Schuster

Review copy courtesy of Simon and Schuster

A tender, witty debut novel about a single mother raising her daughter among the upper crust of New York City society in the late twentieth century from a nine-time Moth StorySLAM champion.
Laura hails from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, born into old money, drifting aimlessly into her early thirties. One weekend in 1981 she meets Jefferson. The two sleep together. He vanishes. And Laura realizes she’s pregnant.
Enter: Emma.
Despite her progressive values, Laura raises Emma by herself in the same blue-blood world of private schools and summer homes she grew up in, buoyed by a host of indelible characters, including her eccentric mother, who informs her society friends and Emma herself that she was fathered by a Swedish sperm donor; her brother, whose childhood stutter reappears in the presence of their forbidding father; an exceptionally kind male pediatrician; and her overbearing best friend, whose life has followed the Park Avenue script in every way except for childbearing. Meanwhile, the apple falls far from the tree with Emma, who begins to question her environment in a way her mother never could.
Told in vignettes that mine the profound from the mundane, with meditations on everything from sex and death to insomnia and the catharsis of crying on the subway, a textured portrait emerges of a woman struggling to understand herself, her daughter, and the changing landscape of New York City in the eighties and nineties. Laura & Emma is an acutely insightful exploration of class and family warfare from a new author whose offbeat sensibility, understated wit, and stylish prose celebrate the comedy and pathos that make us human. Goodreads Synopsis


Laura and Emma has a Gilmore Girls goes to New York City vibe.  Laura and Emma is the story of single mom Laura and her adventure in raising Emma in the city with all the dry wit you would expect from a thick skinned single mom New Yorker in the 90s.

This novel is told in short vignettes and wow, does it ever work for this book!  The writer has done an amazing job weaving the story together, building the characters and being throughly consistent in these brief little glimpses into the year.

I loved this book and I highly recommend it to anyone that’s a fam of women’s literature or the Gilmore Girls.  Thank you to Simon and Schuster for this free book in exchange for my review.




Ashes on the Moore: a Review

IMG_7229                                                   Ashes on the Moore

By Sarah M. Eden

384 pages

March 2018 Shadow Mountain Publishing

Review Copy courtesy of Shadow Mountain Publishing

The life of an impoverished schoolteacher is not one Evangeline Blake would have chosen for herself. Torn from her home and her beloved sister and sent to work in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, Evangeline must prove herself to her grandfather, a man who values self-reliance above all else, before he will grant her access to her inheritance. Raised to be a lady of refinement, she hasn’t any of the skills necessary to manage on her own nor does she have the first idea how to be a teacher. But failure means never being with her sister again.

Alone and overwhelmed, she turns to the one person in town who seems to know how she feels—Dermot McCormick, an Irish brick mason who is as far from home and as out of place as she is. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot’s tentative friendship deepens and grows. Her determination and compassion slowly earn her the faith and confidence of the skeptical residents of Smeatley, who become like the family she has lost.

But when a secret from her past comes to light, Evangeline faces an impossible choice: seize the opportunity to reclaim her former life and rejoin her sister or fight for the new life she has struggled to build for herself—a life that includes Dermot.

Ashes on the Moor is the inspiring love story of one Victorian woman’s courage to fight against all odds, and the man whose quiet strength gives her the confidence to keep trying. Goodreads Synopsis


If you have followed along with my blog for any bit of time, you would know my love for the Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance titles, both the historical and the new contemporary titles.  They are just wonderful, wholesome love stories without all the smut.

I will say that Ashes on the Moore isn’t my favorite title in the line.  It has a great plot, the characters were developed, and every element of a great book is there. I just didn’t connect with this one.

I think my biggest problem personally is there wasn’t a huge problem to overcome.  Yes, Evangeline’s  family all dies aside from her sister who is taken away from her as they are sent to seperate houses.  She has to start with literally nothing: no family, friends, food or material items and has to learn to be a school teacher.  All of this, and I still didn’t feel there was a big problem to resolve in the book.  This is probably just me, but it’s what I felt.  Just because it wasn’t one of my favorite books, doesn’t mean you won’t love it.  If you are a fan of historical fiction and romance, please give it a try.  I would love to hear your thoughts on it!!!


Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for sending me the free ARC in exchange for my honest review.

The Tuscan Child: a Review


The Tuscan Child

By Rhys Bowen

352 pages

February 2018 Lake Union Publishing

Review copy courtesy of Lake Union and Little Bird Publishing.

In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal.
Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation.

Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now…Goodreads Synopsis


THIS BOOK!  I’m just going to jump right into this review and tell you that you need not read any further and just go ahead and put this on your immediate TBR when it comes out and you can thank me for the recommendation later.

There is a little bit of everything in this novel.  It’s a historical fiction book, with alternating (interwoven) story lines between WWII and the 1970s.  There’s a murder mystery, there’s family mystery and drama and even a little bit of a love story.  And with Italy as the scenery, you know it’s going to be beautiful and delicious!

The storytelling is so lovely that I felt like I was in Italy, learning right to make picci right along with Joanna.

The Tuscan Child is hands down, my favorite read thus far this year, and I think it’ll be a hard one to top!  Thank you Little Bird and Lake Union for the ARC to review.

Check Me Out: A Review




Check Me Out

By Becca Wilhite

368 pages

Published 2/18 by Shadow Mountain

Review copy provided by Shadow Mountain

Greta loves her job as assistant librarian. She loves her best friend, Will, the high school civics teacher and debate coach. She even loves her mother despite her obvious disappointment that Greta is still single.

Then she meets Mac in the poetry section of the library, and she is smitten. Mac is heart-stoppingly gorgeous and showers her with affection, poetic text messages, and free hot chocolate at the local café where he works. The only problem is that he seems to be a different person in his texts than in his face-to-face conversation.

When the Franklin Library is threatened with closure, Greta leaps into action. She arranges for a “battle of the bands” book jam, hosts a book signing by a famous author, and finally, stages a protest that raises more than a few eyebrows.

Through it all, she slowly realizes that it is Will, not Mac, who she turns to for support and encouragement. Mac has the looks; Will has the heart. How can she choose between them?

Check Me Out is a contemporary romance–with just a hint of Cyrano de Bergerac–that reminds us that it is what’s on the inside that matters most.  Goodreads Synopsis


I know I have said it here many times before, but I truly adore the Proper Romance series that is released from Shadow Mountain Publishing.  There’s just something refreshing about a simple love story without all the extra “stuff”.

In the past, the Proper Romance titles have all been historical fiction stories.  They have since branched out and created a present day contemporary line.  This is the second I have read, and loved it as well!

Check Me Out is a great title for anyone looking for a wholesome coming of age love story, with the added perk of being a book about books too.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain for sending me a copy to review and including me in the blog tour!

The Beau & The Belle is OUT NOW!!!

One of my favorite authors, hands down, is R.S. Grey.  (see, I told you all I have varied tastes in reading as my other favorite author is Stephen King…)

R.S.Grey is queen of romantic comedy books.  One of the reasons I’m a huge fan of her work is the fact that she doesn’t load her books down with smut.  While those super steamy scenes going on at least once per chapter might work for some of you, it definitely does not work for me.

The Beau & The Belle does not disappoint!!  It is the R.S.Grey standard of writing we are used to.  I liked how this one went in depth with the past, and then got into the meeting of Beau and Lou in the present day.  Not only is the book set up between past and present sections, it also switches perspective between Beau and Lou throughout.

As you all know, I am very anti spoiler and don’t want to give away too much in my reviews.  Just know that this book had me actually laughing out loud many times.  I highly recommend The Beau & The Belle to anyone looking for a refreshing, light read for fans of contemporary or romance books.

Now, please, read on further for more information on The Beau & The Belle, as well as where you can pick up your own copy today!  Thank you to R.S.Grey herself for sending me and advanced eBook copy of The Beau & The Belle as well as having me in your blog tour.  Congratulations on another awesome release!!

THE BEAU & THE BELLE by R.S. Grey is available now! Don’t miss your hands on this new romantic comedy – read for free with Kindle Unlimited or grab it for just $2.99!



Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.

I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.

That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.

A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.

Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.

Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.

My old friend, Mr. Fortier.

But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.

When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.

Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.

Add THE BEAU & THE BELLE to your Goodreads list here!

Get your hands on THE BEAU & THE BELLE now:



The Social Affair: A Review

I know about Britney King thanks to Instagram. I happened to win one of her books (Water Under the Bridge) a few months back and from there went out and bought all of the rest of her books!  When I was chosen to be part of her blog tour and receive a free ebook of her latest book, there was zero hesitation when I answered yes!
The Social Affair is one of those books you can easily read in a day.  It’s fast paced, and once you start, it’s very difficult to set it down.  Trust me!
There have been many parallels said of this book and Girl on the Train.  While I can see the similarities, they are TOTALLY DIFFERENT.  The Social Affair was new and kept me guessing throughout the book.
 Told from multiple perspectives, it’s almost as there are two stories that are interlinked but seperate, weaving themselves together throughout the book and the reader is set to work at figuring how the weave together long before truths come out!
I don’t like giving away too much in my reviews, especially when they are psychological thrillers.  I think every reader should be surprised at the twists and turns.  I will say that I HIGHLY recommend The Social Affair to anyone who like thrillers and books that get in your head.  Now, I’m off to go post a beautiful post on my Instalook, I mean Instagram account and you can read on for more information on The Social Affair……(and don’t forget to click on the GIVEAWAY link!!)
Title: The Social Affair
Author: Britney King
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: January 18, 2018 

In the tradition of Gone Girl and Behind Closed Doors comes a gripping, twisted, furiously clever read that demands your attention, and keeps you guessing until the very end. For fans of the anti-heroine and stories told in unorthodox ways, The Social Affair delivers us the perfect dark and provocative villain. The only question—who is it?
A timeless, perfect couple waltzes into the small coffee shop where Izzy Lewis works. Instantly enamored, she does what she always does in situations like these: she searches them out on social media. 
Just like that—with the tap of a screen— she’s given a front row seat to the Dunns’ picturesque life. This time, she’s certain she’s found what she’s been searching for. This time, she’ll go to whatever lengths it takes to ensure she gets it right—even if this means doing the unthinkable.
Intense and original, The Social Affair is a disturbing psychological thriller that explores what can happen when privacy is traded for convenience.

Britney King lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, children, two dogs, one ridiculous cat, and a partridge in a pear tree.


When she’s not wrangling the things mentioned above, she writes psychological, domestic and romantic thrillers set in suburbia.


Currently, she’s writing three series and several standalone novels.

The Bedrock Series features an unlikely heroine who should have known better. Turns out, she didn’t. Thus she finds herself tangled in a messy, dangerous, forbidden love story and face-to-face with a madman hell-bent on revenge. The series has been compared to Fatal Attraction, Single White Female, and Basic Instinct.

The Water Series follows the shady love story of an unconventional married couple—he’s an assassin—she kills for fun. It has been compared to a crazier book version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Also, Dexter.

Around The Bend is a heart-pounding standalone, which traces the journey of a well-to-do suburban housewife, and her life as it unravels, thanks to the secrets she keeps. If she were the only one with things she wanted to keep hidden, then maybe it wouldn’t have turned out so bad. But she wasn’t.


The With You Series at its core is a deep love story about unlikely friends who travel the world; trying to find themselves, together and apart. Packed with drama and adventure along with a heavy dose of suspense, it has been compared to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Love, Rosie.


The Social Affair is an intense standalone about a timeless couple who find themselves with a secret admirer they hadn’t bargained for. For fans of the anti-heroine and stories told in unorthodox ways, the novel explores what can happen when privacy is traded for convenience. It is reminiscent of films such as One Hour Photo and Play Misty For Me. 

Without a doubt, connecting with readers is the best part of this gig. You can find Britney online here: 

To get more– grab two books for free, by subscribing to her mailing list at or just copy and paste into your browser. 
Happy reading.




Grist Mill Road: A Review



Grist Mill Road

By Christopher J. Yates

352 pages

Published 1/18 by Picador

Digital ARC provided by Netgally


Grist Mill Road is a dark and twisty Rashomon-style narrative which is expertly plotted. The year is 1982, the setting an Edenic hamlet some 90 miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew and Hannah— are bound together by a single, terrible, and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves could never have predicted, the three meet again–with even more devastating results.

Here is a triple helix of a story structure, a sharp-edged love triangle complete with an Atonement style revelation. Character-driven, gorgeously written and wrenching, it exposes the poisonous resentments, sexual longings, and reservoirs of violence that roil just below the orderly surface of small town life. Goodreads Synopsis


This. Book.  Wow!  What a great read to kick off the new year.  Classified as a psychological thriller, but Grist Mill Road is so much more than that!  This is a slow, literary burn of a novel that never feels slow up until the last 100 pages or so and all the questions are answered!  Highly recommend this book to just about anyone who reads!  Great for fans of thrillers, and literary stories alike.  Do yourself a favor and pick up this one, out now!

Thank you to NetGally and Picador for providing me with this copy to review.