Saturday, February 27, 2021

Book Review - Sea Rose Lane (Hope Harbor, #2) by Irene Hannon



Attorney Eric Nash returns home after being layoff. When he arrives to his childhood home, he realizes his home is being turned into a bed and breakfast. Instead of being able to plot his new future course, he has to contend with the noise and chaos from the construction along with the alluring architect, BJ Stevens. He finds himself drawn to BJ but, he knows he can't have a relationship with her if he will be leaving town for a new job.

BJ feels attracted to Eric but, she is afraid of committing because of her own disastrous romance in the past. She rather focus on getting her new business new customers and working on her special projects. However, when one of BJ's projects needs help, Eric steps in to assist. Will the pair be able to ignore the feelings they have for each other?

I found the novel to be an okay read. I like that there wasn't too many back and forth between the characters and their feelings. I liked that they were open and honest with each other about how they felt. Their romance was definitely a slow burn and took a while before they confronted their feelings. Fans of the author would enjoy the 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.**

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Book Review - Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes by Jules Moulin



Ally Hughes is a single mother who has her hands full with teaching at Brown with a cranky boss. At home, she has to deal with an old house in desperate need of repair, a critical mother, and a genius daughter. Ally spends her times taking care of other people's needs and she barely has time to date or even entertaining the idea of finding someone.

She doesn't have time for a relationship and she isn't into flings. However, when she meets, Jake, all her best intentions are out of the window. Jake is her student and who wants Ally to open her heart and life to loving someone. Ten years later, Ally is still single. Jake reappears in Ally's life but, as the boyfriend of Ally's daughter.

This novel was a boring read. It feels like this was someone's romantic dream and they decided to create a novel behind it. The story is an fluff piece with boring and predictable characters. If you want to read a book with an abundant amount of sex but, with no story, this is the novel for you.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Book Review - The Birthday Girl by Melissa de la Cruz


Before Ellie de Florent-Stinson became renowned fashion designer, she was a trailer park teen about to turn sixteen. Ellie plans a big celebration for her birthday but, her night doesn't go exactly as she planned. Ellie is celebrating her fortieth birthday and it appears that Ellie has everything she ever wanted. She has a successful business, an accomplished stepdaughter, a handsome husband, and beautiful children. She has several homes and huge circle of well-to-do friends.

However, not everything is what it seems. Ellie is keeping secrets from family and friends. She is struggling to keep all her skeletons buried. She fears all her secrets might be expose on her big night with all her old and new friends at her party. As Ellie's carefully curated life begin to crumble, will she be able to survive the aftermath?
This novel was a boring waste of time. The book was filled with fillers and lacked substance just like its vapid characters. I couldn't find a single thing I enjoyed about the book. This seems like a type of novel that takes a few weeks to create because there really isn't any story. The one "twist" could be seen miles away. This book isn't a thriller but, a fluff piece.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

February 2021 Haul Part 2!


 Wow, the month has blown a flurry of snow and rain showers. Although, I am not really sad to see February go because the weather has been intolerable. I am very excited for warmer weather on the horizon. 

I have finished quite a few masks this month so, I bought a bunch to replenish my stock...even though I finished 10 and bought over 30... I bought some more Aroh, Detoskin, and Factory branded masks. I had really good results with their masks previously so, I wanted to try other masks from the line. I have noticed a difference with my skin texture and hydration when I been using the facial sheet masks more consistently. 

I got some new lip already know the drill. I have an obsession with lip products but, yet I never seem to finish any except one balm every season. I bought two new MAC lipsticks in Mixed Media and Russian Red. Mixed Media is darker than I normally go but, I thought the swatches online looked really good. I am excited to wear it when dining out. I heard many good things about the Natasha Denona brand and this is my first lip product by them. I am really excited to try it. I got a new lip product by Clarins. I never tried any of their makeup items but, their skincare items work well. The rest of the items are things I have bought before or different colors in the same line. 

I bought two new products from Earth Harbor. I have quite a few products from them already.  I am really loving their Tidal Rose hydration mist. It smells so lovely.  I got their Sunshine Dew cleansing oil and the Aqua Aura eye cream. The one thing I don't like is that even though they have a very minimal aesthetic going on, they don't have any instructions on their packaging. I had bought a kit and it was annoying that I had to look up the instructions as it wasn't obvious.

I been loving serums lately! They definitely give you the biggest bang for your buck. I bought Byroe Tomato Serum. It looks so thick and luxurious. I can't wait to give it a try. I got a facial oil from Edible Beauty and the packaging is so cute! And finally, I got a Summer Friday mask because I been seeing it everywhere on IG. I can't wait to try it during my next spa day!

Did you get anything new that you are excited to try?

Friday, February 19, 2021

Book Review - Hunted by Darcy Coates


Eileen is a twenty-two-year old who decided she wanted to embark on more challenges in life. She decides to hike the remote Ashlough Forest alone. After not returning any calls from family and friends, they reported her as missing. Five days later, her camera is found in a river and it contains weird photos that were taken around her disappearance.

Chris is heartbroken over his sister's disappearance. He wants to believe that she is still alive. However, when the police abandons their search, he and his four friends decided to make their own search party. They decide to stray from the hiking trails to find clues on Eileen's disappearance. While searching the mountain range, they discover find disturbing evidence that they might not be alone in the forest and that Eileen's disappearance was no accident.

I have read quite a few books by the author and this is one is quite different from her normal ghost stories. I found that this book is more of a thriller with death involved. While, I did enjoy the novel I found that book was longer and then necessary and the culprit was very easy to guess. I didn't care for most of the characters in the novel and found them to be trite. I think I might stick with her ghost stories.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Book Review - We Thought We Knew You by M. William Phelps


It was July 2015 and it was an ordinary day for Mary Yoder and her husband, Bill. Mary had returned home from their chiropractic center and was felling unwell. Mary was known for being very health-conscious but, today she was suddenly unwell with bouts of vomiting and sweating along with feeling very weak. 

Bill took Mary to the ER to help diagnose her illness. However, the doctors in the ER and ICU were baffled by the cause of her rapidly progressing illness. Bill and their children gathered around Mary in shock as they say goodbye to their beloved mother.

In the weeks after Mary's sudden death, the family received startling news from the medical examiner that Mary was deliberately poisoned. They found trace amounts of colchicine, which is a lethal substance that is very toxic if it isn't used as prescribed. The chemical is typically used to treat gout and Mary doesn't have gout.  The case takes a strange turn when the local police department receives an anonymous letter that claims Adam Yoder had poisoned his mother.

Kaitlyn Conley is Adam's ex-girlfriend and she works at the Yoders' clinic. Katie is pretty and popular but, some people speak of her ability to lie and manipulate people for her own benefit. She has been known to exhibit behaviors fueled by rage because someone had rejected her. Katie had spent time by Mary's bedside during the last few hours of Mary's life.

This was my second true crime novel and it was an interesting read. I liked that the author include the backstory and the trial proceedings. I wasn't fond of the layout of the book. I felt that some of the same information was being told multiple times and it felt like the author was jumping around a few times. However, the author  did a good job showing the compelling evidence of the murder of Mary along with showcasing Mary as beacon of the community.

**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.**

Monday, February 15, 2021

Book Review - The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox


In 1846, Gabriel Stone is desperate for a fresh start. He decides to move to Maine to escape the ghost of his past that haunts him in Massachusetts. After the death of his wife, he decides to take the position of a minister in the remote town of Pale Harbor.

When Gabriel arrives,  the town isn't as quiet as he thought. There are strange and unsettling things that started happening when Gabriel arrives. The townspeople are certain that Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow, is responsible for all the heinous acts. Sophronia lives with her spinster maid, Helen, at Castle Carver. The townspeople believe that she is a witch because she reportedly killed her husband.

The incidents start to escalate from benign creepy to dangerous acts of violence. It becomes clear to Sophronia and Gabriel that the person is copying the stories of  Edgar Allan Poe. The pair realize they must work quickly to find the culprit otherwise, there might be more bloodshed.

I thought the novel was an interesting read. I thought the main characters would be spending more time figuring out who the culprit was. Instead, they spent most of the time pining for each other. I thought the novel was going to be a murder mystery and not heavy on romance.  I found some of the characters and their actions questioning. For example, Gabriel coming to Pale Harbor to honor his wife. However, he makes such a lame attempt to be a proper minister. Or Sophronia claiming Helen is like a doting mother or sister figure but, barely knows the woman or her past. Then there are times that Helen is openly defiant to Sophronia and acts like she is the mistress of the house. The story moved a bit slower than I would have liked but, I found enjoyed the mystery portion of the book.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Book Review - The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor


Joe thought once he left Arnhill, he would never have to return again. He left behind painful memories of bullying, the betrayal of friends, the suicide, and what happened after his sister went missing. However, Joe has no choice but to return home, when he receives an ominous email. The sender claims to know the truth behind his sister's disappearance and claims it is happening again.

Joe decides to lie and apply to a teaching job at his former high school. Joe has to deal with a few people who aren't happy with him coming back to town including, new ones he made over the years. Joe knows he will need to come to terms with his past if he wants to help prevent another tragedy.  However, he is having hard time returning to the abandoned mine where his entire life changed forever.

I have read "The Chalk Man" and have enjoyed it. This book was equal amount of creepy and suspenseful. The novel had a few unexpected twists but, I felt that the ending was a bit lacking. It felt like it was thrown together and I felt like some things were left unexplained. However, I still enjoyed the book and look forward to read more works by the author.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

February 2021 Empties!

Wow, its the middle of February already! I am not sad that this month is almost over because I am tired of the snow. It's been snowing at least every other day already.

 I am so proud of myself! I finished so many sheet masks and full size items. I think this is the most I ever finished in one month.  There were a few things that I liked this month. I liked the Pure Lotus Mask, the Minus Mask, the Beautiful Factr, and the Facetory Artemisia mask. I would repurchase these mask especially, if they were on sale. I found that they worked well and felt very soothing against my skin.

I liked the Too Cool for School moisturizer.  It was very thick and I feel like my skin hydrating. I wasn't crazy about the texture though. It felt a bit tacky and goop when applying to my skin. I got the Collagen socks and gloves set because my limbs always need extra hydration during the winter. I like that these had detachable sections so, you can apply nail polish with the mask on. The other stuff I finished and they were okay. I would be in no rush to re-purchase them again.

Here is a list of everything I finished - 

Lala Chuu Soothing Essential Mask White Truffle
Voesh Collagen Socks
Voesh Collagen Gloves
Facetory Artemisia Refreshing Relief
Lassie'EL Deeeep Forcus Petit Patch Mask Lifting Solution
The Pure Lotus Lotus Leaf Mask
Bling Pop Lemon Face Mask Vitamin + Brightening
The Beautiful Factr. Milk Spread Balancing Mask
Minus Soothing & Pore Care Facial Mask
Frecipe Rose Jelly Bomb Mask
Too Cool for School All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream
Skininc Supplement Bar My Daily Dose Hydration
Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
LA Colors Diamond Top Coat
Thank You Farmer Miracle Age Repair Serum
Holika Holika Lazy & Easy All Kill Cleanser Oil to Foam
Dermelect Rapid Repair Facial Moisturizer
Sanitas Detoxifying Scrub Mask
Blaq Mask
GlamGlow PowerMud Dual Cleanse Treatment
Miracle Fruit Seed Oil Treatment
Freida and Joe Sweet Garden Shower Gel

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Book Review - Craigslist Confessional: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers by


Helena Dea Bala was exhausted and found herself isolated even though she was surrounded by people. One day, she decides to escape outside to take a break and finds herself splitting her lunch with a man who panhandles near her office. The pair chatted like old friends while they were eating. They were honest and open with each other as they didn't fear judgment. After their conversation, Helena felt free and connected in a way she hasn't felt in years. 

Inspired to help others, she posts an ad on Craiglist promising to listen to anyone anonymously for free. The speaker was allowed to talk freely without having any fear. They told secrets that they weren't able to share with anyone including loved ones.  Helena wasn't expecting much responses to come in but, she was surprised when her inbox was flooded with requests from people who were desperate to connect. She decided to defer her student loans, quit her job, and spend her time listening.

The book is a collection of forty people telling a moment in their lives that defined them. Some stories were heart warming and inspiring while, some were sad. I did find a few stories boring or disgusting (one person confessed to drinking his own pee) and I had to skip their story. While reading the book, I felt like I was getting a glimpse into someone's life and sometimes, I wish I knew more. I felt though at times, that the author or person might have embellished their story because it felt "too perfect" or "out there" to be true. However, after reading the book I been trying to be more understanding, empathetic, and patient with people.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Book Review - They Did Bad Things by Lauren A. Forry


In 1995, six students move into a house at Caldwell Street, while studying at the university. Several months later, one of the students was found dead at the end of the year party celebration. The student's death was ruled an accident by the police and his case was closed. The other five roommates knew it wasn't an accident but, they went on with their lives and kept the truth of what happened buried with them.

Twenty years later, the remaining five of them arrive at the Wolfheather House. They were lured there under false pretenses. They realize this after seeing each other there.The house is an old crumbling secluded mansion that has limited cell signal and has no way out when a storm hits. They realized that they were all trapped together unless they confess their crimes.
I thought the novel was an interesting read. However, there were a few times when I was questioning the motives and thoughts behind the character's reaction. For example, they were quick to blame someone who might have done something but, when they saw evidence of someone else committing a devious act, they quickly believed that they were innocent. I didn't really care for any of the characters and thought they all deserved what they got. Although, I am not even sure if the entire plot is quite believable. It was an okay read but, I won't go out of my way to read other books by the author.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Book Review - The Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant



Bri Duval loves baking and all things about romance. She created her own version of the famous Parisian love-lock wall at her local bakery in Story, Kansas. She never expected that her pet project would become a viral hit. The Trek Magazine sends a travel writer, Gerard Fortier, to write a feature on the bakery. 

Gerard has been burned by love and has no interest in romance. However, when he meets Bri, maybe he will be able to change his mind about romance. Bri wants an epic love story like her parents had and doesn't want to get involved with Gerard, even if he is handsome. 

Just when everything seems to be going perfect, Bri is hit with a series of devastating events that threaten her livelihood and her parents' legacy. She begins to wonder if Gerard's idea of romance might be the right idea after all. Will Bri and Gerard be able to find their happy ending?

I thought the novel was an okay read. It was very slow during some parts of the book. I wasn't fond of the two main characters. I felt like they were both to self absorbed and caught up in their own wants. For example, Bri was so dead set on keeping the bakery she didn't even consider how her two elderly benefactors felt. She had the future of the bakery planned out like she owned it. I hated when Gerard called Bri, "Cupcake", it felt so indigenous and forced. The novel had one unexpected twist and that was its only redeeming quality of this novel. 

 **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.**

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

February 2021 Haul!



I can't believe that January is over! I feel like the year has been moving so quickly. Today, we had a big snowstorm and I thought it was the perfect time to go through some of my purchases. 

I bought a few more face masks from Facetory and Ulta. I got a few more When masks. I love their masks and when they are on sale, its a good deal. I got some Amazon and they were a $1 a packet. They are usually okay but, this was before I realized that I could just wait and get some masks on sale from more reputable brands. I got an avocado mask pack for my scalp because during the winter my scalp gets so dry and itchy. I am hoping with this mask pack that it will keep my scalp in good condition.

I been doing my nails at home more often. And I never really used a top or base coat and it really does make a difference. I bought a set of Seche Vite top and base coat because I heard so many good things about this brand. I bought quite a few new lip products because I have a mental problem. But I bought a few Colourpop lipsticks from their Villians line and I am in love. I can't wait to wear these out in public. I got Ursula, Cruella, and Evil Queen (and La Lady from their regular line). I love Urban Decay and I got Backtalk. This isn't usually a color I reach for but, I am trying to move out of my comfort zone. I also got some new lip products from Bite Beauty, Half Baked, Tarte, Smith and Cult, and Stila I love these brands and just got new colors for products I already own.

I got some makeup wipes for days I am just so lazy even though my skin always revolt the next day. I got one from Ricky's and the other by a brand called "Flaunt". I can't even where I bought this from but, I am thinking it was probably one of those discount makeup sites I visit and things are usually "cheap" that I just buy it because its a "good deal".

I bought the Factory Oats facial oil. I have used quite a few of their branded products and think that they do a good job at an affordable price. I bought the ElishaCoy hyalurone cream because I have used the essence and it always left my skin hydrated. I also finished a cream I use in the night so, I might rotate this one in.

Did you get anything new that you are excited to try?

Monday, February 1, 2021

Book Review - Death of an American Beauty by Mariah Fredericks




In 1913, Jane Prescott is a lady's maid but, she is taking a break to visit the opening of an art exhibition. The cubist exhibition is shocking and scandalous in New York City. This is also the fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation speech. The wealthy society women are determined to celebrate the occasion in style. 

Dolly Rutherford, the heiress to the glamorous Rutherford's department store, has gathered her friends to put on a play. Louise Tyler, Jane's employer, is scheduled to play the role of Lincoln. Jane is torn between helping Louise and enjoying her vacation. However, the decision is made for her when a murdered outside Jane's childhood home. The house is used as a refuge for working women who want to leave the profession. 

Her uncle runs the shelter and he falls under suspicion. Jane fears for him because he is keeping his whereabouts a secret. Jane decides to enlist help from her friends to help solve the murder. Will Jane be able to solve the murder before she is next?

This was my first book by the author. It seems that each book could be read as a standalone.  I thought the book was an interesting read but, sparse with twists and turns. I was able to guess the murderer halfway into the book. I did like that the author including tidbits of history in the novel. I look 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.**