Books Hauls

Audiobook Haul: November- December 2019

Here are the audiobooks I added to my Audible collection between November and December 2019.

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Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons by Ashli St. Armant (Narrated by: Bahni Turpin)

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You Can Thank Me Later: A Novella by Kelly Harms

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Conviction by Denise Mina (Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron)

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64th Man by Bryan Tucker & Zach Phillips

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The Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward (Narrated by: Andi Arndt & Sebastian York)

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Buried Deep by Margot Hunt (Narrated by: Therese Plummer)

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The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand (Narrated by: Lewis Black)

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Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins (Narrated by: Xe Sands, Lori Gardner & Suzy Jackson)

Book Reviews · Read-a-thons · Recommendations

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

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The Mother-in-Law
By: Sally Hepworth

Published: January 2019
Published by: St. Martin’s Press
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis

A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.

The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation.

Who could possibly want Diana dead?

Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?

With Lucy’s secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans.

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

I picked up Sally Hepworth’s The Mother-in-Law, expecting it to be a fast mystery thriller. The cover describes the characters in this book to all have something to hide, so I anticipated suspenseful reveals. In reality, I would categorize this novel as more of a contemporary, family drama. It was however, a quick read and made for a good selection for a read-a-thon.

Discovering the truth behind Diana’s death kept me engrossed, but I found the interactions and reactions of the characters throughout to have been strange. It was hard to figure out which character we (as the reader) were supposed to sympathize with, as there were questionable qualities about every single one. I welcomed the Australian setting, as I have read very few books from that country.

My thoughts are conflicted about The Mother-in-Law, even though I couldn’t put it down. I’m interested in reading reviews from other readers to see if they felt the same as I do. I would recommend it to those who enjoy family dramas and I would consider reading more from Sally Hepworth.

Challenges · Read-a-thons

Contemporary-a-thon TBR

Are you participating in Contemporary-a-thon? If so what do you hope to read this week?

Charlie's Corner · Personal Post · Product Review · Recommendations · Uncategorized

Charlie's Corner: Kiwi Box Subscription

Welcome to Charlie’s Corner, named after my little boy. Here I will share baby/children’s product and book reviews.

For more information on Kiwi (and Koala) box, visit their website.

Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: January 2020

NOTE: I apologize that the formatting for this post is off. I was having technical difficulties, but wanted to get my wrap up posted anyway.

Every year I try to take a set approach to my reading. For example in 2019, I focused on reading at least 1 new release and 1 book from my TBR Jar each month. Unfortunately because I was so strict with keeping to those goals, I missed out on reading a lot of books that had caught my eye. I also found myself stuck reading some books that I wasn’t as interested in, because I wanted to get through them. So for 2020, I decided to throw the schedule out the window and read what I want. I plan to pick up books as they interest me and if I find them lagging, then I will DNF it. As you can see from my wrap-up below, it is going well so far. Here is my reading progress for the first month of the year.

Total Books Read in January: 4
Total Books Read in 2020: 4

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Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters Romance 0.5)
By: Becky Wade

Genre: Novella, Christian Fiction, Romance
Rating: 1/5

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The Mother-In-Law
By: Sally Hepworth

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Rating: 3.5/5

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Daisy Jones & the Six
By: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Historical Fiction, Audiobook, Audible
Rating: 5/5

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 4
Total Number of Fiction: 4
Total Number of Non-Fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 3
Total Library Books Read: (1 book borrowed from my mom)

Formats Read

Physical Books: 2
eBooks: 1
Audio Books: 1

Currently Reading

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Book Reviews

(MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS) A Rant Review: Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters Romance 0.5) by Becky Wade

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Then Came You
(A Bradford Sisters Romance, 0.5)
By: Becky Wade

Published: March 2017
Published by: Becky Wade
Format Read: eBook, Kindle
Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Novella, Series

Rating: 1/5

Synopsis

A leather-bound journal. A single father. A woman in pursuit of freedom.

Garner Bradford, heir to the troubled Bradford Shipping empire, doesn’t know much about babies. But he’s going to have to learn fast because he’s just become a single father to his newborn daughter. As he confesses through his journal entries, he’s not entirely sure how to keep a newborn alive, whether or not he’ll ever patch together his shattered heart, or how to forgive himself for his mistakes.

Career girl Kathleen Burke is wholly uninterested in settling down. She has big dreams, and none of them include Garner and his small hometown in Washington State. Yet she can’t seem to get her handsome boss out of her head or her heart. There’s something extraordinarily tempting about his beautifully sad green eyes. . . .

Told through journal entries, phone conversations, and letters, Then Came You
is a unique, heart-stirring romance novella by acclaimed author Becky Wade.

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts
(MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)

Then Came You is the prequal to Becky Wade’s Bradford Sisters Romance series. It follows Garner Bradford, the heir of a shipping company and Kathleen Burke; a recent college graduate starting her career at the company.

What did I like about this novella? Well, unfortunately not a whole lot. In fact I found it rather disappointing. For such a short story it was filled to the brim with tragedy. So much that it just didn’t feel believable. I really didn’t see any point in the two main characters coming together. Perhaps there wasn’t enough time given to establish their romance as it mainly focused on their lives before. Some of the decisions the characters made contradicted their earlier thoughts or actions.

There were several parts that frustrated me, but none more than the constant mention of premarital sex being a sin and the embarrassment of having a child out of wedlock. While I respect that this is a Christian book and that people have their own beliefs and values, I felt as if it was insinuating that those who choose that path (myself included) are worse than dirt.

The only redeeming qualities for me was the format it was written in: letters, journal entries, postcards and phone conversations. I also appreciated that this story focused on a single father, as that isn’t as common in books today. The scenes where it showed Garner bonding with his little girl were sweet.

I am disappointed to say that I won’t be continuing with the Bradford Sisters series, nor do I plan to read this author again.

Book Reviews

Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, 2.5) by Colleen Hoover

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Finding Cinderella
(Hopeless, 2.5)
By: Colleen Hoover

Published: October 2013
Published by: Atria Books
Format Read: eBook, Kindle
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Novella, Series

Rating: 2/5

Synopsis

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love has conditions: they agree it will last only one hour, and it will be only make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them seemed perfect only because they were pretending it was. Moments like that happen only in fairy tales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in love-at-first-sight is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Unfortunately for Daniel, finding true love doesn”t guarantee a happily ever after… it only further threatens it.

Will an unbearable secret from the past jeopardize Daniel and Six’s only chance at saving each other?

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

For the past several years, Colleen Hoover has been one of the most hyped authors on the scene and I was curious to find out if I would join her fan bandwagon. So I picked up Hopeless, the first book in the series of the same name. And what do you know? I loved it! Sky’s story had me immediately hooked. This intense novel ended up being one of my favourite books that year. I was intrigued to hear that there was a second book in the series, however after hearing that it was basically the same story, but from Holder’s perspective I decided not to read it.

After reading Finding Cinderella, which is book 2.5, I wish I had read Losing Hope first because there were a lot of things I didn’t remember or missed out on. I was quite surprised how different the tone of this novella was from the first book in the series. Hopeless was serious and intense, whereas Finding Cinderella was a “meet cute” romance.

Unfortunately the ramblings of the male lead: Daniel became more annoying to me as I read on. However I did find his relationship with his Cinderella to be quite cute. They were a great pair and their individual sense of humor were so in sync.

Although Finding Cinderella didn’t live up to Hopeless, I do plan to read more from this author in the future. I would suggest to those who would like to read this novella, that they read the second book in the series first.

Challenges · Memes · Read-a-thons

Bout of Books 27 Wrap-up

Grab button for Bout of Books

During the week of January 6, 2020 I participated in Bout of Books 27 read-a-thon. Although I didn’t post my intention or progress here on my blog, you can see my posts over on my Instagram. Today I will share my wrap-up.

My goal for the read-a-thon was to complete 1 full length book. I chose to read The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth.

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And I am pleased to say that I completed my goal on the last day of the read-a-thon! The number of pages read totalled 347. I didn’t participate in any of the posting challenges, however I do hope to in the next round.

I look forward to participating in the next Bout of Books Read-a-thon which is scheduled to begin May 11, 2020.

Did you participate in Bout of Books 27? If so how did you do? Also if you know of any other read-a-thons that are coming up, I’d love to hear about them. Leave me a message in the comments.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

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Someone We Know
By: Shari Lapena

Published: July 2019
Published by: Pamela Dorman Books
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

Maybe you don’t know your neighbors as well as you thought you did . . .

“This is a very difficult letter to write. I hope you will not hate us too much. . . My son broke into your home recently while you were out.”

In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses–and into the owners’ computers as well–learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.

Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?

In this neighborhood, it’s not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide . . .

You never really know what people are capable of.

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

Someone We Know is the latest release from Canadian author Shari Lapena. I have been hearing a lot about her books and have been eagerly awaiting the chance to pick up one.

This thriller follows a community of people with a lot of secrets and an unsolved murder. The synopsis lead me to think that the plot would have had more to do with the secrets the teenage boy uncovers in the homes he breaks into. However it is more centered around the murder and those who were connected to the victim.

I enjoyed this mystery and found it to be a quick read. Some aspects of the plot I was able to predict, however there were details I didn’t see coming. Someone We Know might be light on suspense, but I would definitely recommend it to fans of the genre. I look forward to reading more from Shari Lapena in the near future.

Book Reviews · Charlie's Corner · Recommendations

Charlie’s Corner: Let it Snow!

Welcome to Charlie’s Corner, named after my little boy. Here I will share baby/children’s product and book reviews.

Today I would like to share two library books we enjoyed, that had the same theme: snow!

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The Snow Day
By: Komako Sakai

Published: January 2009
Published by: Arthur A. Levine Books
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: Children’s Books, Picture Books

Rating: 3/5

Quick Thoughts

The Snow Day follows a little bunny, who wakes up to discover that his city is covered in snow and school is closed. No only is he stuck inside, but his Father’s plane is cancelled and he can’t make it home due to the storm. The little bunny and his mother spend the day waiting for the snow to stop. Children who live in apartments and cities will be able to relate to the little bunny. As will those whose parents often travel for work. This setting was a different perspective than is normally seen in children’s books, which was refreshing. My toddler and I enjoyed reading this story over and over again. The illustrations were dreary in colour, however it fit with the tone of the snow storm.

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Just a Snowman
(Little Critter)
By: Mercer Mayer

Published: September 2004
Published by: HarperFestival
Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Children’s Books, Picture Books, Series

Rating: 4/5

Quick Thoughts

My toddler and I enjoyed being back in the world of Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter series. In this installment, Little Critter is enjoying a snow day and his one goal is to just make a snowman. However his friends and family keep him busy with other fun activities including: skating and snowball fights. As to be expected, this story is delightful and chalk full of funny irony. We look forward to reading more Little Critter books in the future.