Category: book review

Ten Thousand I Love Yous

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In this humorously touching novel, Ten Thousand I Love Yous, by the critically acclaimed author of Degrees of Love, a woman is blindsided when her high school sweetheart abandons her after eighteen years of marriage.

About Ten Thousand I Love Yous

In this humorously touching novel by the critically acclaimed author of Degrees of Love, a woman is blindsided when her high school sweetheart abandons her after eighteen years of marriage.

At sixteen, Kimberly Kirby thought the only thing she needed to be perfectly happy was to spend the rest of her life with Jay Braxton. Twenty years later, she still believes it. As they proudly watch their daughter, Haley, graduate from high school, she imagines her life is as perfect as anyone could reasonably expect. Jay is a formidable attorney, she a freelance writer, and their love as strong as ever. With Haley heading to UC Berkeley in the fall, Kimberly fantasizes about making love on the kitchen table. She has no clue that Jay’s bags are already packed.

Now divorced and determined to squelch her love for Jay, she accepts a gig writing a sex and dating blog for divorcees. As the Virgin Dater, she is on the hunt for love. No-strings-attached nights with a sexy fireman and moving to San Francisco are just what she needs to boost her battered ego and mend her shattered heart.

But just as she falls hard for a talented young chef, Jay fights to win her back. Torn between her bold new life and the comfort of Jay’s strong arms, she questions if there is too much to forgive. The ten thousand I love yous that had passed Jay’s lips can’t be dismissed, but nor can her newfound freedom and the knowledge that her happiness doesn’t depend on Jay.

My Thoughts

Wow, just wow. This novel had me crying, laughing, crying again and just unable to put the story down. The story focuses on Kim who had her whole life ahead of her watching her daughter graduate from high school and how that came crashing down the day her husband left her.

After allowing herself to fall apart and pity her situation, Kim takes a hard look at herself (forced upon her by her good friend) and realizes she needs to take her life back into her own hands and rediscover herself. This is not an easy journey for her, she struggles, she fails, she picks herself back up, she has doubts and makes mistakes (she finally enjoys her youth that she missed out on raising her daughter). I think this is what makes her character and story so relatable and real. You just can’t help but love Kim. She feels like so many of us – and while I haven’t had the same experience, I can see the valuable lessons in the story. What happens when we stop appreciating the people we love, how we can grow apart, the family dynamics that bind us and even society expectations. While it was a great read that makes you laugh and cry, there are so many valuable lessons in those pages that we can learn so much from. It made me pause and re-examine my own life and how I treat others.

I did not want this novel to end. I fell in love with Kim and the journey she was on finding herself. You kept rooting for her throughout this story, hoping she sees her worth and how amazing she truly is. I loved the pace and the way the story unfolds – Kim shares parts of her past with her ex-husband at various stages in the novel which helps her with her own growth as well as our understanding and context of their relationship and how it evolved (especially as Kim ponders everything she thought she knew).

This is an amazing book that you will not want to put down, a definite must read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Target.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Ten Thousand I Love Yous is Lisa Slabach’s second novel.

Prior to publication, her first novel, Degrees of Love was recognized as a Best Book of 2014 by Kirkus Review. Degrees of Love made its publishing debuted December 1, 2017 and was nominated for a 2017 Reviewer’s Choice Award by RT Book Reviews.

In addition to writing, Lisa is a Fintech Relationship Executive for a Fortune 500 Company. She is a long-time resident of Northern California and lives with her husband, one-hundred-forty-pound puppy and numerous goldfish. In her free time, she enjoys wine tasting, shopping with her daughters, and cooking in her pink kitchen.

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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In Search of a Prince Book review

In the novel, In Search of a Prince, everything changes when her mom drops a bombshell–Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.

About In Search of a Prince

It seems like a dream come true until it forces her to question everything.

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha’s Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops a bombshell–Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.

Distraught by all the secrets her mother kept, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before her coronation, or the crown will pass to another. Brielle is uncertain if she even wants the throne, and with her world totally shaken, where will she find the courage to take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring?

My Thoughts

In Search of a Prince is the modern day fairy tale with surprising twists. I fell in love with the cover (stunning!) but couldn’t put the novel down because of the characters and story.

Brielle is a public school teacher in New York who had very little knowledge of her Father who passed away when her Mother drops a huge bomb on her – the Father she never knew was a Prince and she is a Princess who must return to her ancestral home as her Grandfather is gravely ill. Now let all of that sink in for a moment. Her whole life is completely turned upside down and she is forced to make great decisions based on so very little information. Her curiosity of the family and home that she never knew inspires her to go and at least meet her family, the people and land, with her best friend at her side.

While many seem to be welcoming to her, there are still others who do not want her there and view her as an outsider, determined to make her leave. It is through her own strength, determination and courage (thank goodness for that public school background!) that she takes on a male dominant society, outdated laws and learning the language and culture of her people. No easy task but she does so with grace, humility, compassion and kindness. She is just this lovely, kind but fierce person that you just can’t help but love.

In Search of a Prince is a story that you will not put down as you keep rooting for Brielle to succeed – not only for her rightful place in her family but for her to find love and happiness. You want her to keep breaking down the walls around her and to show society that a woman can accomplish anything a man can (and maybe even better).

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist and Risking Love is a 2020 Selah Award finalist.

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at http://tonishiloh.com.

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

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Shaped by the Waves Book Review

In Shaped by the Waves, as her curiosity sends her on a journey toward truth, Cassie will discover that who she thought she was and what she wants for her life are both about to change.

About Shaped by the Waves

Cassie George is barely staying above water as she works to get her doctorate and raise her daughter. But she stubbornly keeps swimming to prove a few bad decisions haven’t ruined her forever. Plus, it’s all a great excuse to stay away from the small Oregon town she fled in shame years prior. But when she receives a call that the aunt who raised her has had a major health crisis, she knows it’s time to return.

Cassie is surprised to be more welcomed by the quirky seaside community than she expected, even if there’s still tension between her and her former classmate Nora Milford. But she still can’t help feeling unsettled and is mystified by a mysterious package that appears, full of typed pages that tell the story of an anonymous woman’s life. As her curiosity sends her on a journey toward truth, Cassie will discover that who she thought she was and what she wants for her life are both about to change.

My Thoughts

Shaped by the Waves was a powerful, touching novel of growth, healing, finding oneself and forgiveness. It contained a plot development that I never saw coming and what made this novel so special.

Cassie fled from her home town in shame, never truly realizing that she had nothing to be ashamed of. She has to learn, in time, that those around her love her, want to help her and would never look down on her for her life choices. When a major life crisis hits close to home, she makes the important decision to return home to take care of her Aunt – the woman who raised and loved her when her Mother did/could not. This is when we are introduced to Cassie’s story and how she came to call this small town home in a very unique way – a manuscript sent to her anonymously.

Cassie must learn to let others help her and her daughter, so that she in turn can help her Aunt. She is forced to confront her past and uncovers new truths about how she came to live in this small town, the woman who loved and raised her and the women that were there to guide her during her youth.

It was a beautiful story from start to finish – one of growth, discovery, healing and forgiveness. I did not want this story to end and would love to see a part two. I want to know how Cassie moves forward after the many revelations in this story and how her young daughter adjusts to these changes. Shaped by the Waves is a fantastic novel, that you will not be able to put down.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

CBA bestselling author Christina Suzann Nelson writes stories that focus on changing legacies from dysfunction to hope. Her first novel, If We Make It Home, was named a Library Journal Best Book of 2017 and a Foreword INDIES 2017 Book of the Year. Christina is a part of Oregon Christian Writers and a member of ACFW, where she has served as the northwest zone director. She lives in Oregon’s gorgeous Willamette Valley with her husband of 26 years and their children. Visit www.christinasuzannnelson.com to learn more.

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

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Grace Among Thieves

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Grace Among Thieves is the nail-biting third book in the Grace Michelle Mystery historical series. If you like bright-but-beset heroines, breathtaking twists and turns, and the glamor of a lost age, then you’ll adore Kari Bovée’s riveting tale. 

About Grace Among Thieves

A priceless heirloom worth its weight in lives. Can she crack the case before she becomes a killer’s trophy?

Hollywood, 1924. Grace Michelle’s professional star has risen. Now a successful costumier for a major studio, the ambitious woman has just about everything she wants. But when the father she thought was dead reaches out to reconnect, the talented designer doesn’t know what to think… especially after his new wife is kidnapped.

Discovering her dad is mixed up with a stolen Russian artifact, Grace puts her sleuthing skills to work to rescue the abducted lady. But with a famous actress murdered in connection with the missing valuable and a man she put away stalking her for revenge, the frazzled amateur detective fears getting to the bottom of this crime will leave her six feet under.

Can she hunt down the treasure before it bankrupts the lives of everyone she loves?

Grace Among Thieves is the nail-biting third book in the Grace Michelle Mystery historical series. If you like bright-but-beset heroines, breathtaking twists and turns, and the glamor of a lost age, then you’ll adore Kari Bovée’s riveting tale.

My Thoughts

There is so much to love about this historical mystery that I could not put down. I love our characters, the unique plot and their development.

Grace is an amazing young woman who comes from a difficult background – losing her parents at a young age, becoming homeless and finding a way on their own on the streets. She is strong, calm and fiercely protective of her loved ones and those who are in her care. She is also empathetic and kind – she is the pillar in the storm in this book. She also has an ability to solve crimes and think fast on her feet. She not only helped solve her own sister’s murder, she now finds herself in the middle of another murder mystery. This time the stakes are even higher, when her Father (whom she longed believed dead) returns to look for her help. The mystery keeps evolving as the story unfolds and definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat.

I loved the plot and the twists in this story. You were never too sure what to expect next and that is my favourite part of a story. Solving the crimes and the mystery behind the valuable, historical item hits very close to home for Grace in this story but she keeps her cool about her through every step of the novel. There were a few times that my heart was sore for her character as she dealt with many emotions that having her Father back in the picture would resurface. But throughout all of this, her character was focused and some of that may have had to do with the calming, spiritual presence of her sister (yes – her sister who was murdered is still very much a part of this story). The ending was definitely not what I expected but made the story.

Grace Among Thieves is a fast paced, suspenseful novel that will have you on the edge of your seat as you dive into Grace’s Hollywood world.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

When she’s not on a horse riding along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovée is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined in her historical mystery novels.

Kari Bovée writes the award-winning Annie Oakley mystery series and the Grace Michelle mystery series. In 2020, she was honored with First Place in category for the Chanticleer International Clue Awards for her book Folly at the Fair. In 2019 she was awarded the NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and won First in Category in the International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards. It was also a finalist in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings won First in Category for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards. Peccadillo at the Palace won Grand Prize in the 2019 Goethe Awards, and was a finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category.

Kari Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a $35 PayPal gift card, autographed copy of GRACE AMONG THIEVES, and gift basket containing mouse pad, mug, and tote bag courtesy of the author of the Grace Michelle Mysteries! Enter here.

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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Royal Trivia: Your Guide to the Modern British Royal Family

Royal Trivia: Your Guide to the Modern British Royal Family is geared toward fans of Netflix’s The Crown or anyone who loves the royals, this book is a great way to keep up with (and quiz your friends about!) one of the most iconic families in the world.

About Royal Trivia: Your Guide to the Modern British Royal Family

Test your knowledge of Kate, William, Meghan, Harry, Diana, Charles and Elizabeth II!

This collection of fascinating facts and anecdotes about the British monarchy will keep you in the know and ready to impress with tid bits on all your favorite modern royals—perfect for cocktail hour (or afternoon tea) conversation. From the jaw-dropping weddings and headline-making fashion moments, to the births of new royals and history behind the most regal events, this book has trivia for any enthusiast. Inside you’ll find the royal scoop, including:

  • Details about the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Drama decoded, from the Sussexes’ move to Montecito to the Cambridges’ path to the throne.
  • Facts about Princess Diana’s royal courtship Sartorial specifics (hello, revenge dress).
  • And so much more!

Geared toward fans of Netflix’s The Crown or anyone who loves the royals, this book is a great way to keep up with (and quiz your friends about!) one of the most iconic families in the world.

My Thoughts

Similar to Rachel, my first exposure to the royal family and all things British was through my Mom. She adores the royal family and had us waking up early to watch weddings, events and funerals. Her cabinets are full of commemorative cups, plates and more of the royal family. While I think they are a lovely family and love watching their weddings and following them on television, I must admit that I didn’t know too much about them.

I couldn’t wait to dive into this adorable book that promised a collection of facts and stories about the famous family. The book covers The Cambridges, The Sussexes, Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth, as well as providing a family tree and further resources if you would like to learn more. Although each chapter covers a specific branch of the family (such as Will and Kate, Harry and Meghan) you will find some additional tidbits of information on other figures of the family in these chapters. The facts that were contained in the book were new to me (some I knew a little bit about for example, that Prince William was the first royal born at a hospital or Princess Diana’s struggles with bulimia) and were not what I was expecting at all. I had no idea that a then 19 year old Princess Elizabeth and her 14 year old sister, Margaret, were able to leave the Palace and celebrate with the public on May 8, 1945 – what street did she dance down and what did they experience? Or that Princess Diana was laid to rest with a gifted set of rosary beads and a photo of her children – but who were those beads from?

Royal Trivia was easy to read and I appreciated the smaller size of the book, which would make it great for trivia nights. It has a wealth of knowledge on the royal family with interesting facts that are geared towards both those with limited knowledge of the royal family and for those who cannot get enough. Royal Trivia will make a great gift for those who love all things royal, especially with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year (70 years of service to her people!).

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Authors

Rachel Bowie is cohost of the Royally Obsessed podcast, recently named one of the best podcasts of 2021 by Town & Country. She’s also director of special projects for PureWow.com, a role that has led her to cover the royals—say, test driving Kate Middleton’s go-to coat brand or penning an op-ed about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s future beyond the Palace—among other subjects for over six years. Her love of the royals was sealed at a young age following the death of Princess Diana, but also growing up as a mega-fan of Prince William.

Roberta Fiorito is cohost of the Royally Obsessed podcast, recently named one of the best podcasts of 2021 by Town & Country. She’s also senior editor of branded content at Gallery Media Group, and has covered the royal beat for PureWow.com for over five years, meticulously poring over every Meghan Markle sighting and Kate Middleton outfit choice. She’s been a devotee of the royals ever since her family moved to Scotland for a year, where she was immersed in U.K. culture and history.

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

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