Month in Review

May Reading Round Up

banner

Total books read this month: 11

Book Ratings

You Can’t Hide.  Karen Rose 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Beach House Summer. Sarah Morgan 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Fairy Godmother.  Mercedes Lackey 🌟🌟🌟. 5
A Whisker of Trouble.  Sofie Ryan 🌟🌟🌟. 5
Twilight Shadows.  Emilie Richards 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
The Librarian.  Salley Vickers 🌟🌟🌟🌟
A Mother’s Heart.  Carmel Harrington 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
South of the Buttonwood Tree.  Heather Webber 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Court of Thorns and Roses.  Sarah J Maas 🌟🌟🌟
The Last House on the Street.   Diane Chamberlain 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

New to me authors:

Mercedes Lackey
Salley Vickers
Sarah J Maas

Top Books for May

Looking forward to reading in June

Very likely ones.

Review of Reading Goals for May.

  • five books read from my print TBR. – yes
  • read more of Pride and Prejudice – not sure I read any
  • read a book from library – yes. The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain.

Main Reading Goals for June

  • read five more books from my print TBR
  • continue to read Pride and Prejudice
  • read a library book if one comes in

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

Banner

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

Line break

Hope you are all getting by well. Late Autumn is signalling winter here and the last few nights that’s meant two quilts on the bed!

I’ve been reading and a little visiting and some viewing. Now the nights have closed in its easier to sit by the fire and catch up on some TV shows. I was delighted to find Season 2 of All Creatures Great and Small had dropped here while I wasn’t looking so one of the shows I am indulging in.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

book cover

And Listening to…. Bloomsbury Girls

Up next:

The Library at the Edge of the World Last Week’s Posts

Line break

 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923

Book Connections

Five Books From my TBR in May

Five more books read off my own shelves.  Very satisfying to know that while I do add to it once I have read three, my print TBR has shrunk in 2022.

book cover

The Librarian by Sally Vickers. 4 stars. It took me awhile to really come to like this book. It is set in a quaint stolid time of British history. But it does showcase small community and the petty jealousies and loves that abound in a small community. But mostly it shows one sincere, warm young women finding her way in the world, sharing her love of books as a children’s librarian. Some readers have said they didn’t like the modern ending – I did! 

book cover

#5 in the series.You Can’t Hide by Karen Rose. Another chilling book in this series. I did pick the killer behind the whole thing very early on, there were little clues that pointed. But that said, it was all very convoluted and involved. I could read about that Reagan family any day. Aidan and Tess – great pair.  5 stars.

book cover

Sad to say I didn’t find myself addicted to this book or feel called to continue with the series. Happy that I tried it. I know there are so many fans but won’t be joining them. Very violent – too much so for me, with not enough to hold me in the world. Give me a Nalini Singh book any day. Was good to see what all the hype is about and to see how many have totally loved this series. I’ll end my journey here though.  3 stars.

book cover

#2 book in the series. A Whisker of Trouble by Sofie Ryan. Fun mystery, did pick the murderer very early but that was more from intuition than picking out clues. Nice twists and turns and of course Elvis is so enchanting.  While I didn’t star this highly I will certainly be continuing with the series and catching up with the sleuthing gang. 3.5 stars.

book cover

A Small Blue Thing by Julie Hanify. This was a memoir by someone I had the privilege of being a colleague for awhile . She discovered she had ADHD and was on the autism spectrum. This is a recount – an often detailed one, of various events in her life. I found it a bit too detailed but glad I have finally read it. She certainly had a gift for reaching the students who presented with differing ways. A very gifted person but not sadly always appreciated by those who surrounded her. She wrote this memoir during a creative writing course at university.  Not giving this one a rating.

Banner

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923

Review

A Mother’s Heart. Carmel Harrington

book cover

Published : Bookouture
Date: 23rd  May 2022
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

“When Rachel met handsome Irish widower Lorcan it was a whirlwind romance. Her family back in New Zealand thought it would never last. But it did, and they were so happy. Bringing up two children hadn’t been in her life plan, but it had become her joy, and she was as proud of them as if they were her own.

She’d say to them “even though you didn’t grow in my tummy, you grew in my heart”, and they’d all laugh, knowing they were loved. Their little family wasn’t quite the same as everyone else’s, but it was beautiful, it was happy, it was home.

Until now. Because when Lorcan’s life is taken in a tragic accident, it feels like Rachel’s world has died with him. She knows in her heart that she wants to take the children back to the country she grew up in. Where she’d have support, because they’d be surrounded by her family. Where she could grieve and heal; and the children could have a new start.

However, she doesn’t count on the children’s own grandparents. Their blood relations, who say Rachel isn’t their real mother, and so can’t take them away from Ireland. Who say they won’t let her.

As Rachel finds herself fighting against the only people who might love the children as much she does, everyone will have to ask – what makes a parent? What makes a home? And with whom do the children of her heart have a future?”

A Mother’s Heart is a beautiful bittersweet yet heartwarming read. My heart ached for the ever gracious Rachel, who was an excellent mother to 5 year old Dylan and 8 year old Olivia. The three of them have been through the wringer with Lorcan’s death. And now one set of grandparents seem determined to take Rachel on and challenge her for the children’s care and loyalty.

As the story unfolds about this blended family, some secrets are eventually revealed that shed light where there has been mystery. Eventually things work out for them all, but not before there is much tension and heartache.

I liked all the characters. Rachel is a fantastic mother, and so giving and patient with the grandparents especially Sheila who is so picky. It was easy to feel annoyed with Sheila (as the reader) but also I had sympathy for her as well. She feels threatened and fearful of losing her grandchildren. A grandparent wants to be close to their grandchildren, it’s and important relationship.

The setting ranges between New Zealand and Ireland. Oh yes! Loved that little detail. Of course I did. Rachel is a New Zealander, I have to say I was on their side over the custard for the trifle! Rachel has family in New Zealand she is close to and her heart longs to be with them. But… her children are Irish with all their relatives in Ireland. What a dilemma.

This is a page turning, thought provoking story that encourages us to see things from all angles and to choose love and kindness and happiness, and to appreciate the wonder of family. I really loved this book.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

Line break

Well a quieter reading week. I was busy sewing and getting quilts ready for my brother to take back with him to two of his grandchildren so reading went on the back burner!  We had a nice evening with him and his wife. It’s quite a few months since we all gathered so that was great.

What I read last week:

book cover

What I am reading now:

Thought I’d see how I go with it.

book cover

And still listening to South of the Buttonwood Tree.

Up next:

This is a small memoir that has been on my shelf too long, written by someone I used to work with.

book cover 

Last Week’s Posts

A Beach House Summer Sarah Morgan

My Reading Rules

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923

Book Connections

My Reading Rules

I was listening to the Currently Reading Podcast and their deep dive was about their reading rules. It of course is different for everyone. I decided to name five of my own reading rules!

    Reading Rules

Read and Chill Out

Read What I Want.  I read mostly for entertainment and relaxation. I don’t want to read classics and literary fiction most of the time so I won’t.

Challenge Myself Occasionally. Just because I like light books, it doesn’t mean I can’t be drawn to challenge myself when I feel like it, to read a different genre, new author, debut book, a book someone else has shown how much they loved it, or even a so called classic.

Skip parts of the book and sometimes not finish it.  If it is slowing the plot down, is violent or open door sex that goes on for pages or just seems like fill I skip it. If it is boring the socks off me I abandon it.

Choose what I read by what I feel like at the time. Even if I have said it’s what I am going to read next, I might not. From now on I will not prioritise review books unless I need to read it for a book tour. It can languish for awhile, I will still read and review it. But… I might want to read a library book or from my own shelf first.  This is a new rule for me!

Audiobooks are counted as reading a book. Of course! I might not be reading with my eyes but I am reading with my mind, it takes slightly different skills but it is still reading, It is delicious being read to!

Banner

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923

Review

Sarah Morgan. Beach House Summer

Beach House Summer

Published: Harlequin Books
Date: 17th May 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

When Joanna Whitman’s famous ex-husband dies in a car accident, she doesn’t know what to feel. Their dysfunctional marriage held more painful secrets than she cares to remember. But when she discovers that the young woman with him in the crash is pregnant, Joanna feels compelled to act, knowing exactly how brutal the media spotlight will be on celebrity chef Cliff Whitman’s ex-wife and his mysterious female friend.

Ashley Blake can’t believe it when Joanna shows up in her hospital room and suggests they hide away at her beach house on a sleepy stretch of California coast. Joanna should be hating her, not helping her. But alone and pregnant, Ashley can’t turn down Joanna’s offer. Yet she knows that if Joanna ever found out the real reason Ashley was in that car, their tentative bond would shatter instantly.

Joanna’s only goal for the summer is privacy, but her return causes major waves in the local community, especially for the man she left behind years ago. All Ashley wants is space to plan for her and her baby’s future, and to avoid causing any trouble for Joanna. But as secrets spill out under the hot summer sun, this unlikely friendship is about to be put to the test.

Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan is a delightful summer read. It draws the reader in with a bit of a small mystery at the beginning about Ashley and Cliff. 

Joanna begins out as a person in hiding – mostly from the press. She has had a few bad experiences in her earlier life and that plus the present pressure of the press hounding her has made her want to curl up into herself. But… her personal assistant and later Ashley have things to say about that.

Ashley is pregnant and alone, or so she thinks. She has fled from an unsure situation into the fire. When Joanna takes an interest in her, things look up for her. Together both of them support each other and help build each other up into stronger women.

This is a story about small community, second chances, growing up, friendship, sibling relationship, parenting and of course some romance. The characters had me on their side and I loved the setting of the house, and the way things all get sorted out, mainly by talking things out and finding what is important in each person’s heart.

photoAuthor Bio:

Sarah Morgan is a USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She has sold more than 21 million copies of her books and her trademark humour and warmth have gained her fans across the globe. Sarah lives with her family near London, England, where the rain frequently keeps her trapped in her office. Visit her at http://www.sarahmorgan.com

Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @SarahMorgan_
Facebook: Sarah Morgan
Instagram: @sarahmorganwrites
Goodreads

Buy Links: 
BookShop.org
Harlequin 
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Powell’s 



#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

Line break

Welcome in and hope all is going reasonably well for you all. I had a good week. I ventured into Wellington city via a new road that opened a little while back. Quite an experience as it cuts through some high hills. It takes off a whole lot of the small towns and so you can go along at full speed.

After connecting with a friend we then travelled around the harbour to Eastbourne for a walk and the yummy oysters, scallops and chips. Great way to spend a day.

Now wet weather has set in and while not too cold I have lit the fire a few times. Makes things cosy!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

book cover

And listening to..

book cover

Up next:

I am not too sure, I am only beginning A Mother’s Heart and I am not sure what I will feel like reading once I finish that one.  

Last Week’s Posts

Book. Directions

Lost Coast Literary. Ellie Alexander

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923

Book Connections

Book Directions

In June the informal reading challenge I am joining in with on Emilie Richards Reader Page is …. A book with a direction in the title. So I have been considering. In actual fact there are quite a few book titles with a direction word in it!

book cover

South of the Buttonwood Tree is perfect directions. You’d know exactly where to aim, well if you knew which Buttonwood tree! That said I am starting to listen to that now, so it won’t be of any use to me for the challenge next month.  Blue Bishop has a knack for finding lost things. While growing up in charming small-town Buttonwood, Alabama, she’s happened across lost wallets, jewelry, pets, her wandering neighbor, and sometimes, trouble. No one is more surprised than Blue, however, when she comes across an abandoned newborn baby in the woods, just south of a very special buttonwood tree.  I have only recently started to read Heather Webber books and I have really liked what I have read.

book cover Another great directions  book, In the Middle of Hickory Lane.  But this one I think publishes in July so too late for June.  Great cover and I will probably listen to this on audio as well.  Family, community, secrets and some magical realism. All elements I enjoy.

book coverWell you’d know where to head too with this title. I’ve never been to the East End except via books like this one. All about a below stairs cook and the mysteries she solves. It’s a series! I love the setting and the characters. Murder in the East End.

book cover Well I think this title gives some direction as well. Under the Southern Sky. Another one that I have read though. Kristy Woodson Harvey has written a story that just kept on giving. A story of family, loss, love, new hope. Wonderful to listen to, because the narrators brought the characters alive.

book coverSummer on the Island. Well the directions don’t tell me which island but its on the island.  This is the book I will most likely read for the challenge as I have it from Netgalley, by a accident actually but that’s okay.  As it happens the island is small and off the coast of Florida and its detailed as a summer of healing, friendship and love and a secret that could change everything!

Banner

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923

Review

Lost Coast Literary. Ellie Alexander

book cover

Published:  Sweet Lemon Press

Date: March 29th 2022

Source:Publisher via NetGalley

Book editor Emily Bryant finds herself unexpectedly in the charming town of Cascata on California’s Lost Coast, holding the keys to her grandmother’s rambling Victorian mansion. While sorting through her grandmother’s things, Emily learns that to inherit the estate she must edit old manuscripts. It’s a strange request from a family member who was basically a stranger.

Emily quickly realizes that there’s something different about these manuscripts. Any changes she makes, come true. At first, she embraces the gift. She has a chance to help characters find true love or chart a new course for their future. Only things go terribly wrong. Her edits have the opposite effect. The sweet and funky seaside community of Cascata is reeling from the chaos Emily has created. Everything she thought she believed about her family and her past is in jeopardy, and no amount of re-writing can fix the damage she’s done.

Then she finds one last manuscript. If Emily can get this edit right, then maybe she’ll have a chance to create a new narrative for herself and everyone around her.

A reader may be acquainted with Ellie Alexander’s mystery books, but this is not one of them. It is a delightful step out into an entirely different story. It is set up on the Lost Coast of the Northern West Coast of the USA.

Narrowing in further, it is set in the most wonderful Victorian mansion. Note the front copy of the book. I want to visit it, it is full of books and hidden nooks. It is to this house that Emily arrives at after being summoned by her Uncle after her grandmother dies.

Emily is an aspiring editor in New York and it takes some pulling to get her to come to Lost Coast Literary, the name of her grandmother’s house.

Emily has been estranged from the Lost Coast side of her family, and as she carries out some of her grandmother’s wishes she becomes acquainted with them and the local community, and did I say – the house!

I’ll leave the rest for you if you by chance read this book. I suspect any lover of books and a bit of magical realism would enjoy it. As Ellie Alexander I note on her website runs writing courses for aspiring writers, I believe within these pages too may be some hints.

A fun book to read and have your heart touched by.