Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Book Review - A Ranger for the Twins: A Clean Romance by Tanya Agler + Giveaway

Lucie Decker and her family were well known and popular in their town of Hollydale. However, when her husband defrauded the town and its citizens, Lucie is left to deal with the fallout. She divorced her husband when his crimes were revealed. However, people believe she played a role in her helping her husband commit fraud. Lucie has decided to launch a new business to provide her family but, she will need help from an old friend.

Ranger Caleb Spindler is happy to help his friend, Lucie. However, he might have a secret motive behind his need to help Lucie.  While Caleb is trying to figure out the true extent of Lucie's involvement in her husband's crime, will be able to trust her? Lucie has been betrayed before and is hesitant to fall in love again but, will Caleb be the one she can trust her heart to?

The novel is a sweet and clean romance about two people learning to let go of the past and trusting each other. The story was a cozy read about two people falling in love when they been hurt in the past. I found that the novel moved a bit slowly for me and that the pair switches topics back and forth. I feel like this happens when people have known each for a while but, it was confusing to keep track of. I couldn't make a connection to the characters. They felt wooden to me. However, if you are a fan of cozy romance novels then this will be your type of book.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Ranger for the Twins
By Tanya Agler
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
October 6, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She fell from grace…

Before falling for him

When her husband defrauded the town of Hollydale, now-divorced mom Lucie Decker went from being the town darling to total pariah. Now she’s launching a new business and needs ranger Caleb Spindler’s help. And her twins adore Caleb. After all, he’s a genuine hero—even if he is hiding a secret. But while Lucie’s heart has forgotten how to trust, it still remembers how to fall in love…

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series

The Sheriff's Second Chance
By Tanya Agler
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
January 1, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Broken things can’t be fixed…

Or can they?

Officer and single dad Mike Harrison doesn’t believe in second chances. Ever. That is, until he learns that his former best friend—gorgeous green-eyed car mechanic Georgie Bennett—is back in town. Unfortunately, she’s also a suspect in a recent break-in! But it’ll take an old classic car to show Mike and Georgie that almost anything can be restored with a little patience…and a whole lot of love.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

An award-winning author, Tanya Agler moved often during her childhood and settled in Georgia where she writes sweet contemporary romance novels, which feature small towns, family and pets, and themes of second chances and hope. Her debut, The Sheriff’s Second Chance, is a January of 2020 Harlequin Heartwarming release. The sequel, A Ranger for the Twins, will be released in Oct. 2020. A graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and law, she lives with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable Basset, who really rules the roost. Represented by Dawn Dowdle and the Blue Ridge Literary Agency, she’s currently at work on the sequels to her debut. When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies, walking, and a good cup of tea.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a tote bag, $10 Amazon gift card, signed print copy of The Sheriff's Second Chance and a pen (US only)
Ends October 7, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

Book Review - The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates



 In the small town of Ipson, everyone knows about the Ashburn House. There are rumors that the old owner, Edith went mad and that the house is haunted by ghosts. The ghost stories hint at a cruel supernatural being that dwells near the house. When Edith dies, Adrienne inherited the house. She is beyond ecstatic at her good fortune as she is in dire need of a new home. She has no money and has nowhere to go. Adrienne looks at the house as a chance to start over.

Adrienne notices that there are strange messages scratched into the walls. When she leaves a room, the furniture moves around. And when the night falls, something is lurking in the darkness. When exploring the area around the house, Adrienne finds a grave in the forest. The grave has a vague headstone but, it hints at a dark secret. As Adrienne tries to unravel the mystery behind the grave, she discovers that something is hunting her and it won't stop until it gets its prey.

 This was my first novel by the author and now I am hooked! The story was suspenseful and an entertaining read. I did feel that the novel progressed very slowly with many frivolous details. The story had a few predictable elements along with a few twists. I enjoyed reading the parts with her cat, Wolfgang.

**Disclosure -  This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Saturday, September 26, 2020

September 2020 Empties Part 2!



So, this last set of empties for September is a bit disappointing. I finished maybe a handful of things but, added like hundreds of things to my stockpile that keeps increasing by the day.  I thought with the pandemic I would be using a lot more than I was getting...I guess that's never going to change.

This was my first time using Smith and Cult nail polishes and I love them! They are shiny and take awhile to chip. And the bottle is very generously sized. I have noticed that a lot of nail polish manufacturers though use brushes that don't reach all the way to the bottom. I feel like a lot of product can go to waste like that. I used a new salt scrub that actually creates a foam! The Christophe Robin salt scrub was fun to use but, I had to make sure to stay longer under the water because a few times I have found salt in my roots long after my shower has ended. I am a huge fan of BioBelle's face mask and this one worked so well. I been sleep deprived the last few nights and you couldn't see a trace of that on my face.

I love the Cake Beauty brand but, didn't love their lip balm. It felt greasy and it wasn't very hydrating. Other than the BioBelle (and the Simply When) face masks, the others were meh. They were okay. I don't think I would go out of my way to get them. 

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know your thoughts!

Christophe Robin Cleansing and Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt
Klorane Soothing & Anti-Irritating Shampoo with Peony
Smith and Cult - Bite Your Kiss
Cake Kiss Lip Butter
Dove Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body Wash
Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Organic Lip Balm
Midflower Rosa Damescana Flower Water Brightening Mask
Simply When Snow Song Illuminate
Holika Holika Camomile 2 Step Face Mask
Biobelle #VitaminSea Seaweed and Pearl Extract
Dr Botanicals Pomengranate Superfood Regnerating Sleeping Mask

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Book Review - The Cake Therapist by Judith M. Fertig



Claire O'Neil is a talented pastry chef that has a hidden extraordinary talent. Most talented chefs can taste flavors that most of us miss. However, Claire can "taste" the feelings of other people. She can customize her treats to help someone celebrate love, dealing with loss, and connecting with others.

Claire returns home to Millcreek Valley when her marriage starts to fall apart. She is excited to open her bakery and starting over. As she starts meeting with her clients, she senses some of them are hiding secrets, while others are in pain. However, Claire starts to notice a sour taste that is signaling a story that desperately needs to be told.  Claire is used to helping other people with her ability but, will this story help guide her?

The novel had vivid descriptions of the desserts being made. You can tell the author has a deep appreciation for food. However, while the author went into details about the food, I felt like the story lacked some details. I wish more time was spent on certain parts of the novel. The novel had two "different" storylines that ended up converging at the end. Both storylines had promise but, failed during execution. At times, the story felt convoluted and disjointed. Unfortunately, this book was a miss for me and I am hesitant to read any other books by the author.

**Disclosure -  This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Book Review - They Never Learn by Layne Fargo


Scarlett Clark is a well known and respected English professor at Gorman University.  However, Scarlett is even better at getting away with murdering people. Every year, she searches for a man who is morally corrupted and plots a way to end his life. She is meticulous with her planning and has avoided getting caught.  As she begins to prepare for her next victim, the school opens an investigation due to the alarming amount of deaths on the campus.

She is determined to stay one step ahead so, she decides to join the investigation and befriend the woman in charge, Dr. Mina Pierce. Everything is going according to her plan until she loses control over her latest victim and puts her plan in jeopardy. 

Gorman student Carly Schiller is trying to survive being away from her parents and her freshman year. She is glad to be away from her emotionally abusive father. Carly wants to focus on her school and fade into the background. Her new roommate, Allison Hadley is the exact opposite of Carly. Carly wishes that she can be confident and cool like Allison. The duo becomes quick friends and when Allison is sexually assaulted at a party, Carly becomes obsessed. She plans ways for making the attacker pay and hopes to turn her fantasies into reality.

The novel was an interesting and engrossing read. There were a few twists but, most of them were predictable. I feel like lately many of the books I am reading have female friendships with a sexual undercurrent. I understand the need to make books inclusive but, I hate when it's like the main focus of friendships. I liked Scarlett as a character and was rooting for her but, I can't say I was fond of some of the other characters. I didn't like that the novel made it seem that most of the male characters (except the one gay couple) were sexual predators. As a female, I already know from firsthand experiences that not all male friends have your best interest at heart. However, there are plenty of men who are also just interested in friendship and won't attack or pressure people into sexual favors. I did like the book and I am looking forward to reading more books by the author.


**Disclosure -  This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.*

Sunday, September 20, 2020

September 2020 Haul Part 2!




Ahh, my favorite season is almost here! I love the fall. I can't wait to snuggle under a blanket, drink a nice warm drink with a book. Oh, I am counting down the days. I got quite a few products that were a little pricey but, I thought why not splurge. 

I love BioBelle masks and got a few more different varieties that I didn't try before. I am a big fan of Marc Jacob and have a few of his makeup but, this is my first skincare item from him. I hope it lives up to the hype. I got a few Earth Harbor skincare treatments. To be honest, I liked the simplistic packaging and that was the main reason I bought them. I never heard of the product before buying it.

I also got a few Tarte lip products and Fenty Beauty lip products. I heard some great things about Fenty Beauty products. I am very excited to try them. I have tried some of the L'Occitane products but, this the first time I tried their oil cleanser. I also got a few new moisturizers that I am excited to try and it's the perfect weather for new cream!




Friday, September 18, 2020

Book Reviewv - The Real McCoys: Two's a Crowd by Matthew Swanson

Photo Credit - Amazon

A new mystery is brewing at Tiddlywhump Elementary, and it's up to the McCoy sibling detectives to help. Moxie and Milton are complete opposites of each other but, together they will need to work to solve the mystery.

Emily, Moxie's friend, receives a letter signed with a purple squiggle. Then other kids start receiving more letters along with questions such as, Who sent them? And why?

While the problem-solving duo is on the case if they can only learn to get along better. When their partnership is torn apart, Moxie tries to solve the mystery being the Squiggles first. Will Moxie be able to solve the case without Milton? Or will she realize that two McCoys are better than one?

The book was a fun and cute read. I found Moxie to be a bit much at times but, I am glad that she can grow and realize her mistakes. I liked the drawings and found them to be entertaining. I am not the target audience for this book but, I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

**Disclosure -  This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Book Review - The Patient by Jasper DeWitt

Photo Credit - Amazon

Parker H. is a young psychiatrist who finds a new job at a mental asylum in New England. He decides to undertake the curing of a dangerous patient that everyone else in the asylum avoids. He begins to chronicle his journey through a series of online posts. Parker hopes to communicate with the world on his struggles and efforts on helping the patient.

The patient is a forty-year-old man who was originally admitted to the hospital at the age of six for night terrors. However, the patient currently has no known diagnosis. His symptoms keep evolving and every person who attempted to help treat him ends up driven to madness or suicide.

The hospital directors are desperate but, fear for Parker's safety. They allow him to be confined to the patient's room and have minimal contact with him. They are worried that if they release the patient to the outside world, that there will be terrible consequences. Parker is confident that he will be the person who will help cure the patient. However, it becomes very clear that after his first encounter with the patient, things start spiraling out of control.

The novel was an interesting and engrossing read. I finished the entire book in one sitting and it was just too good to put down. Some of the characters were more well defined than others. For example, Parker's wife, Jocelyn seemed like an afterthought. Parker was considered a genius and brilliant but, I sometimes question some of his behaviors. However, all in all, I still found the novel to be a suspenseful read with a bit of a supernatural twist.

**Disclosure -  This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Monday, September 14, 2020

Book Review - You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Photo Credit - Amazon
Shay Miller wants to find love but, she finds herself in love with her roommate, Sean. Sean is in love with his girlfriend, Jodie. She works hard at her job but, finds it to be a dead-end and underappreciated.  She wants to have a kinship with others but, find herself lonely and without friends.

Shay's life changes when she meets the Moore sisters. Cassandra and Jane are the definitions of perfection and glamorous. Shay is envious of their lives and wants to be just like them. When they accept Shay as their friend, Shay is willing to do anything for them to be their friend. How far will Shay go to prove her loyalty to them?

I have read the other books by the duo and enjoyed them. This book was also an enjoyable read towards the end. While the twists were surprising, I wasn't exactly blown away. I felt that the novel had too many characters with a different back story. It was hard keeping track of the different people and their history. I wasn't very fond of the main character, Shay because she kept making bad choices that made her look desperate for a friend. I felt like the story was a bit convoluted and long-winded but, I am still excited about their next book.

**Disclosure -  This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.*

Saturday, September 12, 2020

September 2020 Empties!

Yay, I managed to finish a few facial masks and some skincare products. Most of the masks I tried were okay. I did like the Be Shine Mask. It was the only one I noticed a difference for. If you have really dry and sensitive skin, I would recommend the First Aid Beauty. My skin felt so much better after a few uses.  

I bought the Verso Dark Spot treatment to help with the dark spots from wearing the mask. It did help lighten the appearance but, the treatment finished before the spot disappeared. The spot treatment was $150 and barely did anything. Everything else was okay but, not noteworthy to buy again.

Have you tried any of the things I finished?

Cowgirl Extreme C Serum
Eos Shea butter Hand Cream - Coconut
Image Skincare I Mask Hydrating Hydrogel Sheet Mask
Puclair Cocktail Cinderella Sheet Mask
It's Skin Tea Trea Balance Sheet Mask
Bolero Anti-Aging Paper Mask Pomegranate & Gogi Berry
Merbliss Nurse Healing Intense Soothing Guaze Seal Mask
Feel Brilliant Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sheet Mask
Nature Republic Acai Berry Mask Sheet
FrienVita Perfect Skin Adhesion Firming Gold Glow Mask
Lassie'el Be Shine Jewerly Mask Aqua Aura
La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
Mio Skin Tight Body Serum
Burt's Bees Natural Skin Care Body Wash
Burt's Bees Spearmint & Lime Body Wash
VersoSkincare Dark Spot Fix with Retional 8

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Book Review - The Bye Bye Man: And Other Strange-but-True Tales by Robert Damon Schneck

Photo Credit - Amazon
In the winter of 1990 in Wisconsin, three college students decide to experiment with an Ouija board. Little did they know that would be a terrible mistake. The board allowed them to make contact with a psychic serial killer known as The Bye Bye Man. When they learned his name, he becomes drawn to you. He is willing to travel day and night for his next victim. You will know he is close when you hear a shrill sound of a steady whistle. He might be even waiting for you outside your bedroom door, talking to you in the voice of a trusted friend.

I see the movie before I read this and thought it was done well. It was scary and entertaining. The book contains several short stories of weird but, true stories. The author provides the story along with some background and provides his theories. Some of the stories were interesting but, I found a few to be dull and boring. Overall, it was an interesting read, and look forward to reading more of his novels.

**Disclosure -  This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.*

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Book Review - A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho

Photo Credit - Amazon
Finley and Betty have been friends for years and their friendship even survived when Fin moved in the ninth grade. They talk on the phone constantly and when Fin comes back from Manhattan to Maine for the summer. During the fall of their senior year, they both applied to NYU and hope to be reunited for good as roommates.

When Betty disappears, her ex-boyfriend Calder admits to drowning her. However, his confession is thrown out and the town believes that he was coerced into confessing and Betty had run away with one of her suitors. Fin believes that Calder is responsible for Betty's death and she is determined to get justice for her friends, even if she is endangering herself and her loved ones. How far is Fin willing to go to find justice for her friend?

I was completely torn while reading this book. I didn't really care for any of the characters and when the mystery behind Betty's disappearance is solved, I could care less. I am not even sure the plot is completely believable. The story hints at a town that is keeping secrets which when was "revealed", it was so ordinary. I feel like watching the primetime news would have more noteworthy secrets than this book. The only reason I had picked up the book was that I liked the cover and the bathtub was only mentioned once offhandedly. This was a disappointing and longwinded read.

**Disclosure -  This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.*

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Book Review - Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King

Photo Credit - Amazon

Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes were enlisted to help an old friend find their missing aunt, who lives in an asylum. Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in Bethlem after her brother and father died in the Great War. While on an outing for her brother's birthday, Lady Vivian disappears.

Mary doesn't want to take on the case but, she can't turn down her friend, Ronnie. Together with Sherlock, Mary travels to Venice to find the missing woman. While at Venice, they discover the influence of Benito Mussolini is causing a disturbance in the city. When Mary and Sherlock begin their search for the missing woman, they are thrown into a whole different world.

I have seen Sherlock shows and movies but, haven't read the novels. Mostly because I wasn't much of a huge mystery fan but, the books are on my TBR list now. I was quite disappointed in this novel though. The characters were all dreadfully boring or wooden. Sherlock felt more like a filler than an actual detective and Mary was a bore. The ending felt juvenile and didn't seem like an ending had much thought put into it. I was surprised that there were no surprises or twists but, a straightforward runaway storyline. This was my first book of the series and maybe this book was a dud but, I am in no rush to find out.

**Disclosure -  This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Friday, September 4, 2020

Book Review - Brother's Keeper by Julie Lee + Giveaway

Photo Source - Amazon

In 1950 in North Korea, twelve-year-old Sora and her family are living under a regime with harsh rules. They need permits to travel,  no criticizing the government, they must attend all Communist meetings and wear red. The people are afraid to speak their minds and don't trust their neighbors.

The war between North and South Korea is causing chaos. The people are using it as a chance to escape. Sora and her family walk hundreds of miles to get the city of Busan in South Korea from their tiny mountain village. They will just need to avoid frostbite, bombs,  hunger, border guards, enemy soldiers, and many other obstacles. 

When the bombing becomes more than the family can bear, Sora and her younger brother, Young has to get to Busan on their own. Will they be able to survive the journey by themselves?

The novel was a heart-wrenching and emotional read. I felt for Sora as we have similar cultural values to treat girls/women as disposable. I wish this horrible trend would end because every single life regardless of gender should have value and be treated as equals. I enjoyed reading about Sora's journey and how she learned to stick up for herself. The book is a great read for children and adults alike.

**Disclosure - I received a free unedited copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

About the Book:
Author: Julie Lee
Pub. Date: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Holiday House
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 304

Can two children escape North Korea on their own?

North Korea. December, 1950.

Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live under an iron set of rules: No travel without a permit. No criticism of the government. No absences from Communist meetings. Wear red. Hang pictures of the Great Leader. Don't trust your neighbors. Don't speak your mind. You are being watched.

But war is coming, war between North and South Korea, between the Soviets and the Americans. War causes chaos--and war is the perfect time to escape. The plan is simple: Sora and her family will walk hundreds of miles to the South Korean city of Busan from their tiny mountain village. They just need to avoid napalm, frostbite, border guards, and enemy soldiers.

But they can't. And when an incendiary bombing changes everything, Sora and her little brother Young will have to get to Busan on their own. Can a twelve-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother survive three hundred miles of warzone in winter?

Haunting, timely, and beautiful, this harrowing novel from a searing new talent offers readers a glimpse into a vanished time and a closed nation.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

About Julie: 
Julie Lee graduated from Cornell University with a degree in history. After working in market research in Manhattan for over ten years, she decided to pursue writing full-time. Currently, Julie lives in Georgia with her husband and three children. When she is not spending time with her family, she is working on her next book while pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Brother's Keeper is her debut novel.

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of BROTHER'S KEEPER, US Only.

Rafflecopter Link:

Tour Schedule:

Week Two:
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