Category: book review

The Here and Now #review

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares is the romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world if she can let go of the one thing that she has found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

These are the three biggest rules that seventeen year old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve must remember. The only thing is that Prenna did not immigrate from a different country. She came from a different time – a future where a mosquito borne illness has mutated into a pandemic killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who have escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules to never reveal where they are from, never interfere with history and never be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she is told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

Where to start with this novel – I loved every moment! Ann Brashares has the most incredible way of writing that has you wanting more (to be honest when the novel was finished I was hoping for a teaser to a second part!). I love stories set in the future and the way they had traveled back in time was brilliant. The romance that blooms between her and Ethan is forbidden but could not be helped. I know that this will be a hit for many young readers!

Rating: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book but was not obligated to write a post. I wanted to share this awesome book with you!

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Four Weddings & a Kiss #review

Four fantastic authors come together to bring you Four Weddings & a Kiss – Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher. Four stories intertwine when a young man questions the suitability of a potential woman.

Spitfire Sweetheart by Mary Connealy follows the story of Maizy Place – an unruly tomboy. When she causes an accident that injures her neighbour Rylan Carstens, she becomes his unlikely caregiver. Rylan has never noticed how pretty his infuriating neighbour is and he definitely never expected to fall in love.

Love Letter to the Editor by Robin Lee Hatcher is the story of Molly Everton, the outspoken daughter of the town’s newspaper owner. When her father brings in an outsider to be the editor she tries to drive him out of town. But Jack Ludgrove is not intimidated. He is resolved to change Molly’s mind about him both as an editor and as a man.

A Cowboy for Katie by Debra Clopton finds us meeting Katie Pearl, a young woman that is uninterested in men and love. What she needs is help on her ranch so she hires Treb Rayburn. Treb is a wandering cowboy looking a make a few dollars – will he help to change Katie’s mind?

In Courting Trouble by Margaret Brownley Grace Davenport is either the unluckiest woman alive or a killer. When her third husband is found dead Grace is arrested. Attorney Brock Daniels is not intersted in the case until he meets Grace. Only a miracle will prove her innocence but the joining of two lonely hearts may be their saving grace. 

There is so much to love in this novel! Four fantastic authors spin tales of love, romance and mystery in a way that leaves you craving more. They give just enough to keep you hanging on the edge of the seat. The simple romances in each story will make your heart warm (who wouldn’t want a strong cowboy?!). Each story is intertwined in a unique way to show that love knows no boundaries and that we can never help who we fall in love with. Only that we should embrace love – the most precious gift of all.

You can find more reviews on the Litfuse blog tour here. You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Rating: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Nightingale Girls Series #review

I am a huge fan of historical novels that combine facts with a fictional story. The Nightingale Girls series looked like the perfect British read for me and I could not wait to start reading it! All three books definitely lived up to my expectations and more.

In the first book of this series, The Nightingale Girls finds three very different young girls signing up as student nurses in 1986, while England is still mourning the death of George V. Dora is a tough East Ender driven by ambition but also desperate to escape her overcrowded home and abusive stepfather. Helen, the quiet one, is a mystery to her fellow nurses and avoids fun and gossip. In fact she is in the formidable shadow of her overbearing mother who dominates every aspect of her life. The third character, Millie is a rebellious aristocrat on the run from her conventional upper class life. She is doomed to clash over and over again with the terrifying Sister Hyde and to get into scrape after scrape especially where men are concerned.

Book one really brings the personalities of the characters into life. Each young lady is so different and yet so similar. Donna Douglas makes it easy to imagine the life of each class in England in this time period. I found it hard to imagine the lives of women during this era and the restraints that they were under but I also loved how each young lady was driven by something different but each one is looking to find themselves and gain independence and respect.

Book two in this series, The Nightingale sisters we are introduced to new characters but our familiar ones are still with us. The student nurses live in fear of the ward sisters whom they view as heartless and frightening with impossibly high standards. But the sisters also have troubles of their own. 
Violet, the new night sister is carrying a dark secret that she refuses to let anyone know. As her mysterious life deepens, Sister Wren is determined to find out the truth. In this series, Dora is struggling with her own secrets and her heartbreak of losing Nick, the man she lost to her best friend. A new arrival on the ward brings the chance to put a smile back on her face but she finds it hard to get over Nick so easily. Millie is torn between two men but then an unexpected friendship with an elderly patient makes her question where her heart and future truly lies.
I thought it would be difficult to beat book one but the second book does not disappoint! The characters begin to grow as they grow their studying. It is incredible to watch them grow and learn but still remain true to their personalities. Violet adds quite the new twist into the story and opens up the kinder side to the Sisters that we do not always witness. I completely love the way Donna writes and pulls you right into the story and the characters lives. You feel like you are right there in the hospital learning and growing with them.
In the final book in The Nightingale series, The Nightingale Nurses find themselves in their final year of training and the most difficult and demanding part of their career. Helen is at a crossroads in her life as she battles her mother over both her love life and future career. Dora is not able to stop loving Nick who is now married to her best friend Ruby but Ruby is hiding an awful secret that could destroy her marriage and friendship. Millie is anxious for her fiance who is sent to Spain to cover the Civil War and matters on get worse when she encounters a fortune teller who delivers a sinister warning about their future.

In the final book in this series, Donna Douglas serves up so much adventure, excitement and heart break it is hard to believe she managed to do it all in one book! I can not picture any other ending then the one she delivered (even if I wished for just one more book!). The nurses find themselves in this book and develop into the young women that will go out in to the world to work, to serve and to care for others.

This series is incredible! Each book is definitely a 5++++! I could not put these books down and was literally reading non stop. If you love British novels then these are for you and if not give them a try! You may just be surprised.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of these books in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my won.

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OMG that’s Paleo? by Juli Bauer #review

With my gluten free lifestyle I have had to reach out to find new recipes to all my old favourites.

OMG that’s Paleo was actually recommended by a friend who swears by the Paleo diet. This e-book (also comes in paperback format) is written by Juli Bauer who is also the  blogger behind – this is her debut book which features one hundred recipes each with corresponding photos. In a style unique to her, the recipes are paired with funny side stories as well as cooking tips and advice on following a Paleo diet. She breaks the recipes down by meal, food group and even includes desserts (yes please!).

I loved her writing style – it did not feel like your typical and traditional cook book which was awesome. It was also helpful as a newbie to the Paleo diet to have all of our helpful tips and advice (including cooking advice!). Some of the recipes I don’t think I could see myself trying just due to taste preferences but a lot of the recipes were quite helpful. There was also a great variety as well to keep those taste buds from becoming bored! This would be quite the helpful book for individuals curious about the diet and looking for new recipes to try out. I do wish there had been a few more pictures to help out with the recipes for this newbie but this may just be me!

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Mother’s Secret by Amy Clipston #review

A Mother’s Secret by Amy Clipston is Book Two in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series. Our main character, Carolyn Lapp dreams of marrying for love. But will the errors of her past destroy this dream forever?

Carolyn longs to have a traditional Amish family. But she lives on her brother’s farm with her parents and her fifteen year old son, Benjamin. Carolyn has never revealed the identity of Benjamin’s father and lives daily with the guilt and shame of her youthful indiscretion. Her brother simply will not forgive her.

His answer is to arrange a practical marriage for Carolyn to Saul, a widower with a young daughter. But Carolyn is not convinced that Saul really loves her and believes he is simply looking for someone to help raise his daughter.

When Benjamin causes trouble at a local horse auction, horse breeder Joshua Glick decides that he must be taught a lesson. Carolyn and Joshua are unmistakably drawn to each other but Joshua mistakenly assumes that Benjamin is Carolyn’s brother. Carolyn fears that if he discovers the truth her past will destroy their budding romance.

A Mother’s Secret was an excellent and intense read. It had me crying at parts and at other times praying for Carolyn. My heart bled for her and the guilt she carried for having her child out of wedlock which went against her family’s beliefs. You just kept wanting her to realize she did nothing wrong and that she was perfect in God’s eyes. The way she was treated by people around her was awful. You want to hold her and protect her. It was an incredible tale of forgiveness, family and acceptance. At parts I had the sense that she was building this story into a possible third book – which I really hope so! I would love to read more about Carolyn, Joshua and Benjamin! A definite must read – you will not be able to put it down!

You can find more reviews of A Mother’s Secret on the Litfuse Blog tour here. You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Rating: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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