Review

Meant to be Yours. Susan Mallery

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Published:Harlequin
Date. 22nd October 2019
Source. Publisher via NetGalley

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Meant to be Yours is #7 in Susan Mallery’s Happily Inc series. However it can easily be read as a stand alone, although I am sure readers of the series will be very happy to catch up with other previous characters.

Happily Inc is a town that has come to life because it caters for specialty destination weddings. In this book we meet Renee, who is one of the actual wedding coordinators. She helps plan all the details and sees it through to the end. She is a lovely down to earth person, except that she has a big hang up about her mother. She loves her very much but can’t cope with a special ability her mother has. Renee has decided that while she plans others weddings, marriage isn’t for her.

Jasper is a writer, ex military who has seen far too much for any human being and has been deeply changed by his war experiences. He believes he can never marry because he is far too damaged and won’t be good in a committed relationship.

They meet! And are about to have all their pre suppositions challenged!

I loved the pet aspect to this book, it added warmth and charm, It also challenged our two – Renee and Jasper to see things differently. I liked the friendship aspect to the story, the women were there for Renee, the men for Jasper – and that was something new for him, now he has friends to turn to. And the love story is sweet.

I wasn’t so enamoured by the wedding planning business. How many ways to add zest to a wedding! What’s wrong with plain ordinary! It bored me somewhat.  However this town has certainly found a way to form a community and make a living which is great.  For those who enjoy a small town romance.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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.

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Well I seem to be busy at present. I guess that’s what going into Spring does!

Last week I went to the movies to see Ride Like a Girl. It was directed by Rachel Griffiths who was one of the sisters in the TV series Sisters and Brothers. It was about the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup – a horse race that many Australians and New Zealanders stop to watch on the first Tuesday in November. Whether we are horse racing enthusiasts or not.

It was an inspiring movie and I loved the story and the scenery. She is still quite young and is now a trainer. She was the youngest of ten and had one brother who has Down’s syndrome. He became a strapper (someone who grooms and cares for the horses) and he played himself in  the movie. Delightful.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

 

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And I am about to start listening to…

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Up next:

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Month in Review

October Month Wrap Up

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Total books read this month: 15

Authors Come From:

Canada: 2
USA: 9
Australia 2
England 1

New to me authors:

Marjan Kamali
Katherine Reay
Charlie Lovatt

Reading Challenge Update:

This month I completed my Goodreads Challenge.

I am on track with the library challenge and I may or may not make the audiobook challenge.

Reading Club Update:

I read The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovatt as part of the Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club. I read it as a slow read for the month and have to say while I got a little lost in places it was a really good read.

I read At The Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham for the Emilie Richards Reading Challenge – this month it was a book set in Canada.

I read The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker by Joanna Nell as part of the Hachette Australia Books with Heart Facebook group book club.

Top Book for October

Set in a bookshop. This was one I was really happy I had bought and that there is the possibility of one day picking it up and rereading it. Most of my reads this month were 3 and 4 star reads, I think this was my only 5 star read.  Thanks to Katherine P for her review that led me to it.

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Looking forward to reading in November

I don’t have any specific books I am looking forward to in November but I am looking forward to choosing some off my own shelf!

Main Reading Goals for November…

Complete the Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge

Incoming Books for October

Purchased

Library Books

From NetGalley or Edelweiss

Audio Books from Audible

Joining up with Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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Review

A Texas Kind of Christmas

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Published: Kensington Books
Date: 29th October 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

A Texas Kind of Christmas has three novellas by three authors. They are loosely linked by place and year. The first is by Jodi Thomas, and here we are taken to the Texas frontier with a mixture of ranchers, lawmen, supposed outlaws, hotel staff and a young woman about to choose her husband.  She has a wealthy father who just wants to see her married off and happy, but her step mother has nasty intentions. She eventually makes her choice as does Katie one of the hotel maids.

Birdie’s Flight by Celia Bonaduce is the second story. We meet Birdie or Bridget, just arrived in Dallas needing a job. Thanks to a few serendiptious happenings she finds one as a seamstress. We also meet the capricious Charlotte who is looking for that perfect dress for the dance. Birdie is fleeing someone, just who and why we have to read on to find out. By the end of the story both girls find the one they love.

Spirit of Texas  by Rachel Miles gives us a ride through Texas to Dallas on a coach along with Eugenie who has come from England to seek out and bring home her mother.  Asher has been designated to guide her to Dallas to the St Nicholas hotel. Its a story of second chances and a ride through the wild country side.

These stories have plenty of a western feel and are a load of adventure and fun. They are short but each of them is satisfying and I felt did not suffer from being a novella.  I picked this book up because of the name of Jodi Thomas, however I have to say I enjoyed each story – all so well written and engaging.

Book Connections

Connect Five Books – November/December

BannerJoin me for 2019 in Connect Five – Books.

 

Congratulations to Bev at Beverley Baird  for Sept/October. She’ll be choosing her book soon.

The last couple of months here are some of the connections readers made.

This month readers linked up via blogs, twitter and Goodreads. Which was so cool and readers – so simple!

Remember you didn’t need to sign up for this challenge you can just join in as you see you have five connections.

When you have five that connect in whatever way you are able to group them then link up. How might you do this?  One of these ways is good.

  • Write and link up a blog post
  • Share the five books on Instagram and link up
  • Have a Goodreads shelf and link that up – this may be a little different but maybe use it in combination with a comment would be helpful.
  • Or… if you belong to none of these places, share five books in a comment.

What’s the Challenge?

To look for connections between books you read. There will be  many connections that just float over our awareness. Let’s see can we raise that a bit, whether its fairly surface level or something deeper.

If you need some guidelines for this then see the original post. Connect Five Books.

Remember:

  • A book can only be used once for this challenge in the year.
  • The books must be read in 2019.
  • Books can be carried over until you have five of something. It may take a few months to gather five of something.
  • You may have  many connections of five to link up . So if you have two groups of five then you can link up twice and so on within a month.
  • You may just link one group of five during the year, or many each month. It depends on how many connections you come across!
  •  Use the hashtag  #connect5books2019 if sharing on social media.

When?

Every second month I will post a link up on the last Wednesday of the month. This one will finish on the last day of December.

#connect5books2019

A Giveaway

For those who have a five book connection and link up there will be a random prize draw for one reader who will win a book of their choice for that month from the Book Depository.

At the end of the year there will be one draw as well for all those who have participated during the year –  a book of choice from the Book Depository up to the value of $18 U.

Please remember to link to the actual post/place where you have the five connections.

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Review

All About Evie. Cathy Lamb

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Published: Kensington
Date: 29th October 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Evie has premonitions, unbidden they come to her and show her what is going to happen to a person. It drives her crazy because if they are bad she wants to save the person and stop whatever is about to befall them.  Sometimes she saves someone, stops the awful thing happening, other times she experiences powerful guilt that she couldn’t stop it.

Evie runs a bookshop, she is passionate about it, look out if you haven’t read a book lately! She loves animals, and has quite a variety of them, often she has rescued them from mean circumstances. She loves to eat healthily – like ice cream because it has protein and nutritious milk origins.  She adores her sister Jules and loves her mother and aunts. She is so in love with Marco, the vet, but for some unfathomable reason sees no future with this.

Evie’s Mom and two aunts are wacky! They provide much of the comic relief, a bit like the clowns in a Shakespearean play. They love flowers, and the hats they make and wear are outrageous. They drove me a little silly to be honest, but… their hearts are full of love.

And we do need a little comic relief because there is a dark side to this story. We meet Betsy and Johnny, and they are in a very dark horrible place. Prison to be exact. Some of the prison scenes are gut wrenching.

Cathy Lamb in All About Evie explores family, love, friendship, cruelty, heartache and twisted prejudices. It’s entertaining and funny with sad depths. However it’s ultimately  uplifting redemptive  and a celebration of life – a worthwhile read.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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.

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And we come towards the end of October! Hope all that celebrate Halloween enjoy it.

Our Spring weather continues to be capricious. I drove into the city in the most stinking heavy rain one day, bumper to bumper and hardly able to see where I was going. Yucky.

I also got some time to read, quilt and do a bit of gardening, earthing up the potatoes that are appearing. I need to plant beans, I am a bit behind. I only like going out on sunny days!

What I read last week:

One audio completed and enjoyed.  A Texas Kind of Christmas was for review and At the Mountain’s Edge was from my own shelf. All good reading.

What I am reading now:

Oops, accidentally picked this up for review  so am now forging ahead!

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And an audio book I bought months ago when there was a sale or something!  Cute cover.

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Up next:

A library book

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Last Week’s Posts

One Wish.  Jodi Thomas

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Review

One Wish. Jodi Thomas

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Published: Kensington Books
Date: 29th October 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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One Wish is a novella written by Jodi Thomas with her trademark Texan setting and characters. And there is a canyon! Yes I associate canyons with Jodi’s books.

Maggie has a general store in town – she is all alone her parents having died. One evening bad men storm her store and it is only due to Sam Thompson’s quick thinking that she is saved from them. Needing to get Maggie to safety because the outlaw may gun for her, Sam takes her deep into the canyon he calls home. Oh my I loved the description of how his home is built.

It’s a novella so things move fast, there is action,  we meet a few other delightful characters, a couple who are mean and nasty and one surprising character who arrives at the right moment.

It’s a warm delightful little story and I revelled in it as I read.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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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.

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And another week speeds by. We had our big annual book fair on Saturday. Its fund raising for quite a few worthy causes so I like to go, although… I don’t need any books! And I only picked up a couple for myself. However a friend likes to read Dick Francis (he wrote horse racing crime books)  and as my friend is recovering from an Op, I went seeking … crawling around under trestles and in boxes and managed to come up with about five so that was satisfying!

What I read last week:

This looks a lot but I had almost finished All About Evie last Monday and One Wish is a novella. Giver of Stars was my audiobook that I finished. So good! If you like her books don’t miss it. I also bought the audio of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, as it was on special so will listen to that soon to compare.

What I am reading now:

Just beginning this, all novellas – review book.

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Started listening to this one because I needed something simple after The Giver of Stars and to give me a break before I listen to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.

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Up next:

I am going to wait to decide. I’ll need something riveting I think so I’ll decide a little later in the week.
 

Last Week’s Posts

Just One Wish.  Rachael Johns
Five books with a Diversity aspect read in 2019

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Book Connections, Review

Five Diverse Books I’ve Read in 2019

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Reading can take us beyond what we experience from people and events and culture immediately around us. These books did that for me. I think after the mass shooting we saw happening in the mosques in Christchurch New Zealand, I challenged myself to be more aware of picking up books that helped me explore the wondrous diversity existing in our world.

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Ayesha at Last is set in Toronto, Canada and is about Ayesha and Khalid, both belonging to a Muslim community. It’s a romance that is full of twists and turns, has humour and a tad bit of revenge which I always enjoy when a baddie gets his desserts. Ayesha and Khalid have a love/hate thing going on, plus interfering relatives to add to it. I loved the diverse aspect of the Muslim religion, how they live and what’s important to them. Not everything in the story is completely wrapped up for every character, which really just made it feel more real. I’ll certainly want to read another book from this author – this is a debut novel, with flavourings of pride and plenty of prejudice.

book coverPride Prejudice and Other Flavors is set in California, however it involves a high ranking Indian immigrant family and DJ Caine a chef who is a mix of Indian/African. While the two main characters have their share of pride and prejudice, the book also touches on the prejudices white people have towards those with darker skins. The many tasty flavours of Indian cooking is a large component. I enjoyed this read, it explores the roles in family, sibling relationships, illness (Trish the heroine is a neurosurgeon) and betrayal. It does have romance but its more mainstream than outright romance. My kind of read.

book coverThe story of three sisters, who visit India, in response to their dead mother’s request. Each has a secret or challenge they are hiding from the others. While they have not been that close, due really to growing up circumstances, the trip eventually bonds them together. I liked the Indian setting and the cultural values shown. Some very shocking from my viewpoint. I liked though how the book highlighted and dealt with the issues raised. The only question I still wonder about is the sore ankle the eldest sister had. It went nowhere. Excellent on audio -the narrator did a very good job on the whole and added to my enjoyment of the book.

Book coverField Notes on Love has  two delightful main characters who come from diverse backgrounds. Hugo is bi racial and has throughout his life had to put up with slurs, but with the support of his siblings (one of sextuplets) Hugo has come through it well. Mae is the wonderful daughter of two Dads and with the side support of a special Nana she too is a well balanced individual. They both have dreams and throughout a week long train trip they will discover what that really means. It is YA and I loved the read.

Book CoverThe Stationery Shop of Tehran is partially set in Iran and shares the story of the coup of 1953. A prime minister who had been elected democratically was ousted by the Shah,and foreign powers! All because of oil! This story gives insight into a family life and the love of two people whose lives are disrupted by this event. It’s sad because two young people who love each other are separated by others. Who? Well it will take them many years to realise. In the meantime they have lived good lives but what might have been? I liked this story even though it was a little outside my usual.  I especially liked the insight into Persian life and cooking.