Carbs and Cadavers (Supper Club Mysteries #1) By Ellery Adams


Pages: 298 (eBook)

Publisher: Beyond the Page

Published: February 20, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

James Henry moved back to Quincy’s Gap to become the librarian when his mom passed away and left his dad with no one to take care of him. He befriends the local high school are teacher and she convinces him to join her diet club she has started with a group of friends. He is excited as maybe this will be a way to make some friends in his hometown. At their first meeting they name the club the Supper Club and get hooked into solving the murder of the local playboy at he town’s best pastry shop. Can James and his friends solve the murder and lose weight or will the murder derail their weight loss plans before they start?

How can you resist a main character that loves cheese doodles? I was craving them by the end of the book and wanted them as much as James did. I felt for James at every turn of the page. I understood how he felt and want he wanted out of life. Ellery Adams writes her characters with such feeling that you feel like you personally know them. You want to hop inside the pages of the book and be James’ and his Supper Club friends friend. You want them to know you understand their feelings but at the same time you want to let them now they are perfect they way they are and real friends see past the chubbiness.

I am excited to read a book about a librarian as the main character as I’m always looking for new things to add to be extensive TBR pile. I get excited thinking “oh, my favorite character has read this”. I cannot wait to read the second book “Fit to Die” and revisit my new friends.

No matter what your type of cozy mystery you like, Ellery Adams has a series you will enjoy.

Thank you to NetGalley and Beyond the Page for a copy to read and review based on my own honest words and opinion.


The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

the family next door.jpg

Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: February 6, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

What do you get when you mix a little Desperate Housewives with Big Little Lies? You get The Family Next Door! This is a jaw-dropping, twisty tale that will have you gasping at every page.

Ange, Fran, Essie, and Essie’s mom, Barbara all live on Pleasant Court. The ladies are friendly but not too friendly so they know each other’s business. That is until Isabelle moves in the house across the street from Essie. Isabelle is single and gorgeous. The ladies are skeptical at first that she may try to steal their husbands but then they are convinced she is gay. Why else would a single, beautiful lady move onto a street full of families?

As Essie and Isabelle’s friendship deepen the secrets start to unravel and come out much to everyone’s surprise. Is the darkest secret of all the one most hidden or the one hidden in plain sight?

Come for a visit to Pleasant Court and find out for yourself.

I have this on my to-be-read shelf for months and am kicking myself for waiting so long. I found myself up way too late night and getting up extremely early just to finish this book. I’ve heard Sally Hepworth compared to Liane Moriaty and the critics are right. I can see this made into a mini-series for TV.

The story starts out with Essie leaving her newborn baby, Mia, in her pram in the local park. Essie comes home after having coffee at the local coffee shop and her mother Barbara asks where is the baby. Thankfully Mia is ok but Essie is not and spends some time in the hospital healing from post-partum depression. Essie fears this will return when she has her second baby, Polly. The story picks up from here and goes in a direction I never expected. My jaw flopped open at one point of the book and I am not sure I closed it until after I closed the book.

If you are looking for something to read until Big, Little Lies comes back on the air you need to pick up this book from you favorite bookseller or library. You will be happy you did.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy in exchange for a review in my own honest words.



Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

phoebes light

Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Revel

Published: February 6, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Phoebe has been the one to take care of her fortune hunting scheme of a father since the death of her mother several years ago. Phoebe has come to the crude realization that her father will mortgage anything and everything, including the roof over their heads to fund his business inventions and the like. She has always had her eyes set on the handsome, older gentleman Captain Foulger and takes advantage of hooking her line to him and marrying him against everyone’s wishes. What she does not realize is that the Captain is only interested in an old journal that she has just became the owner. The journal is her great-grandmother’s, one of the first settlers of Nantucket. In it there is a secret that could change the life of whomever reads it.

As Phoebe sets sail on the Fortuna with her new husband, the Captain, she tries to avoid a childhood friend, Matthew. He has joined the crew as the cooper but really has joined as a favor to Phoebe’s father to watch over her. AS the days wear on and Phoebe comes to realize that her marriage is not everything she thought it to be, her friendship with Matthew grows deeper.

Will Phoebe be able to save everything near and dear to her or will life play a cruel joke on her instead?

I am a fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher and have enjoyed the fresh eyes she gives to Christian fiction. Normally I am not a big reader of Quaker fiction but I opted to try this novel due to her being the author. I almost gave up after reading at it for two days because of the Old English language of “thee” and “thy”. I’ll be the first to tell you that I do not like reading books written in that style. I am so glad I stuck this one out though. The story of Phoebe and her great-grandmother are exciting. You not only get to learn about the Indians that lived on Nantucket in the late 1600s but you also get to learn how Nantucket was settled by the Americans. As you are reading you get to leave the island and sail to the tropical islands and experience life at sea all the while going back to the 1600s.

I was pleased to learn that we do not get to finish reading the journal and that it will make appearances in the other books of this series. I am fascinated to see how it transforms others lives in the family.

I suggest you pick up this book with an open mind to the Old English language and give yourself plenty of time to get into the book during your first read. You might be like me and find that you cannot put it down because you have become so invested in everyone’s story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Revell for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review written in my own words.

His Guilt (Amish of Hart County #4) By Shelley Shepard Gray

his risk

Pages: 265 (Paperback)

Publisher: P.S. a trademark of HarperCollins

Published: March 6, 2018

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Calvin Fisher is caught between a rock and hard place trying to redeem himself after a lifetime of bad decisions. He wants to get out of gang life but the only way to accomplish that is work for the DEA. Either way he still has to hide his life from his family and do things that goes against the faith he was raised. A phone call from home has him rushing to his brother, Mark’s, side.

Alice has lead the life of a good Amish girl after a wild rumspringa and enjoys her life as an Amish preschool teacher even if she feels smothered at times by her family. To have some freedom, she has agreed to housesit for her brother and sister-in-law who live across from Mark. Alice has developed an interest in Calvin as she watches him from afar.

Will Calvin be able to leave his city life behind while in Hart County or will the city life destroy what he has come to love in this quiet community?

This is the fourth book in the Amish of Hart County series but reads as a stand alone book. I was captivated from the first sentence until the last. Gray has written a beautiful work of art set in my home state of Kentucky. I felt myself traveling the roads with Calvin and Alice and seeing the beauty of the rolling hills filled with Kentucky bluegrass.

His Risk is filled with romance and suspense. You have the budding romance of Calvin and Alice and the married romance of Mark and Wanetta that have the reader cheering and crying. My heart is still pounding from a few scenes and I am not talking about “that”. I am talking about suspense that keeps you turning the pages well past your bedtime.

I was so impressed with His Risk that I have already bought the first three books in the series and will read on my Spring Break from teaching. If interested the books in the series are:
1. Her Secret
2. His Guilt
3. The Gift
4. His Risk
5. Her Fear – release 7/24/18
6. His Promise – release 10/23/18

I dare you to give any of Shelley Shepard Gray’s books a read and not find yourself gobbling up all of them as fast as you can.

Lethal Licorice (An Amish Candy Shop #2) by Amanda Flower

lethal licorice

Pages: 353 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: February 27, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Bailey has stayed in Harvest, OH after the death of her Daadi (grandfather) to her Maami (grandmother) run the family candy shop, Swissmen Sweets. Her grandfather was to participate in the highly competitive Amish Confectionery Competition and the judges have allowed Bailey to take his place. On the first day of the competition Bailey has a run in with a rival Amish candy shop owner, Josephine Weaver. Also, the town’s beloved polka-dotted pig, Jethro, has gone missing and his owner, Juliet, is distraught with worry. As Bailey looks for Jethro she unfortunately finds the body of Josephine. Will the police, particularly Aiden, be suspicious of her once again?

Whenever I am stressed I like to turn to cozy mysteries and Amish fiction. When you put the two of them together I am one happy reader. Amanda Flower has perfected the craft of writing Amish cozy mysteries. You are instantly transported to Harvest, OH into Bailey’s world as soon as you open the book. The details are rich with beauty and flavor. You can almost taste the candy Bailey and the others are making. It is a guarantee you will be craving whatever Bailey and her grandmother are making. Right now I want licorice and taffy. YUM!

Not only is there a murder mystery going on there is also a young Amish girl that Bailey meets that is trying to decide her path in life, stay Amish or leave or faith. The care and compassion shown from Bailey and her grandmother is the true spirit of helping one another. You will be moved like I was.

There is a small romance between Bailey and Aiden brewing but it does not take over the main story. They are both taking their time until they move to the next step. Aiden seems like the perfect match for Bailey. He lets her explore but is always around to help her pick up the pieces.

I cannot review the book without a blurb about Jethro. Who can resist a polka-dotted pig? This pig lives the perfect life. He is doted on like a king by his mom, Juliet and she just so happens to be Aiden’s mom and one of Bailey’s close friends in Harvest, OH. I found myself worrying about Jethro being lost in the dark and cold even when I was not reading. I absolutely love how Amanda Flower gives true personality to her animal characters. To me that shows she has a beautiful heart.

I am very excited to see the next adventure of Bailey and friends and to see where the romance is headed. Hurry and get your copy today from your favorite bookseller. If you have not read the first book, Assaulted Caramel, you should buy it also. Make it a sweet weekend of reading.

A Mother’s Love by Charlotte Hubbard

a mothers love

Pages: 368 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington Books/Zebra

Published: February 27, 2018

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Rose has suffered a terrible year full of tragedy. First, her dad and husband die in a fire at the family mill, her mother’s breast cancer comes back after being in remission for thirty years, as her mother lays dying she confesses to Rose that Rose was adopted and her birth mother’s letters are in the dresser. Rose is determined to move forward after her mother’s death for the sake of her daughter, Grace and has accepted a job in a nearby town cooking for the senior center. As she starts her job and gets acclimated it seems God has his own plans when it comes to meeting her birth mom and finding romance.

I absolutely loved that this book talked about the forbidden subject of having a baby out of wedlock. It shows that the Amish are just like us “Englishers” and have forbidden feelings before marriage. Yes, I am old fashioned and believe one should wait but I am in touch with the times and knows it happens. Unfortunately, I see it everyday taking my son to high school. Babies are never mistakes, sometimes they just come earlier than one would like. It was heartwarming to read how wonderful her life was with her adoptive parents. Never in her thirty years did she guess she was adopted. They treated just like she was their own and my wish is every adopted child was able to experience that kind of love.

Rose’s determination to not depend on her church district and on herself was admirable. She had the option to let them take care of her for as long as needed but she wanted to be self-sufficient. What a beautiful trait to show her daughter. You can be true to your faith and to raising your kids as you want and still be able to work and provide for what is needed. You may not always be able to get what you want but your needs are met.

I hope you pick up a copy of this beautiful book and enjoyed it as much as I did. It is a wonderful “gut” book to show love and devotion. It is the perfect gift for the mothers in your life.

Thank you to Kensington Books/Zebra and NetGalley for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review written in my own words.

Playing with BonBon Fire (A Southern Chocolate Mystery #2) by Dorothy St. James

playing with bonbon fire

Pages: 349 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: March 13, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Penn is finding her way as the owner of her grandma’s chocolate shop as well as organizing a beach music festival to bring in the crowds. As a favor, her sister has asked music star Bixby Lewis to perform and with the fame comes the crazy fans. Was the murder of the local a mistaken identity for Bixby as Bixby claims or is there something deeper going on? Can Penn solve the crime before damage is done?

This is the second book in A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery and it has proven to be a winner for me. I feel in love with Penn’s character right away. She has already proven she is strong with overcoming her background of a loveless childhood. She moves to a new town and new state and starts overcoming adversity with trying to find out who her mother is and fighting family members left and right for the knowledge she is seeking.

I have not read the first book in the series (I think I am seeing a pattern for me) but I was able to follow along with who the characters were and how they related to each other. I really want to see how the friendship/relationship between Penn and Harley progresses. Harley seems like a real sweetheart but is he too soft for Penn who has a wall up around her heart?

Thank you Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy to read in exchange for an honest review based on my own thoughts.

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

surprise me

Pages: 448 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House Publishing

Published: February 13, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sylvie and Dan have married for ten years and are the couple who finish each others sentences and know what the other is thinking before they speak. They are the quintessential couple. After a trip to the doctor they panic and their lives as they know it start to unravel. Dan becomes more and more angry as Sylvie and starts closing himself off to Sylvia. Sylvie thinks more about her deceased dad which angers Dan more. Fights happen more and jealousy starts. Their plan to surprise each other to spice things up brings more surprises than either anticipates. Will the biggest surprise tear Sylvie’s world apart or can she and her marriage come back stronger and better than ever?

My rating was almost a 3 star rating but the last quarter of the book saved it. Even though the book is about Sylvie and Dan, Sylvie is the main character and she starts off as a whiney brat that I just wanted to smack. I don’t condone smacking someone but she needed it. Heaven forbid things did not go as planned as she was hell on wheels. Her husband had a lot more patience than I would have as even her friend.

I was not too keen on how they looked at “long-term” marriage. They almost viewed it as a death sentence. Are you telling me they seriously did not think about this before saying I do. Did they not think about their age and how long they could possibly live and do the math and think wow, we could be married for 68 years? Personally my goal is to be married as long as my grandparents will be in April of this year which is 70 years (impossible for us unless we live to be in our 120s).

As I mentioned above the last quarter of the book saved it for me. There is a moment that Sylvie has with her neighbor John that changes everything…” Love is finding one person infinitely fascinating. […] And so…not an achievement, my dear […] Rather, a privilege.” I find this one moment in the book the most romantic moment in the book. I hope it moves you as much as it did me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for a copy to read and review using my own honest thoughts and opinions.


Still Me (Me Before You #3) by JoJo Moyes

still me

Pages: 388 (Hardcover)

Publisher: Viking, An Imprint of Penguin Random House

Published: January 30, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Louisa Clark has taken the job as a personal assistant to a NYC rich housewife and she is in for a fast paced learning experience of what it is like to live in NYC. As she starts making friends with everyone from the grouchy next door neighbor in the building to the owners of a local retro clothing shop she starts learning who she really is and starts moving on from the depression that overtook her after Will’s death. When her year is up what will Lou decide: go back home across the pond or stay in NYC?

I was hesitant to start the third book in the series since I was so disappointed in the second but I really wanted to know what happened when she moved to America. Am I ever so glad that I did read this book. It was wonderfully funny and heart wrenching at times as I followed Louisa through her time as a personal assistant. She has a lot more class than I would have had at one point (you will see what I am talking about when you read the book). I got to watch her grow into herself as she started coming out of the depression fog from Will’s death and started making friends and going out on dates. It was great to see her start taking an interest in her quirky clothing again as that is when you really see her come alive. The stripy tights make a great comeback! How can you not love her stripy tights?

My suggestion: only start this book when you have time to read it in one sitting as it was so hard to put down and not think about while working. I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next. If you read Still Me and are hesitant like I was to start Still Me take the plunge I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Death by a Whisker (A Cat Rescue Mystery #2) by T. C. LoTempio

death by a whisker

Pages: 318 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: February 13, 2018

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Since returning to Deer Park, NC, Sydney has been helping her sister run the Friendly Paws Animal Shelter. They are in need of money to keep the shelter running and provide much needed upgrades. A fundraiser has been planned with a famous author at the local bookshop. Unfortunately, the author experiences a nasty accident and is unable to attend. They decide to turn to Ulla Townsend, a local girl who made it big. While at the fundraiser, Ulla falls victim to a fatal accident. Can Sydney solve the crime without upsetting someone who is close to her?

This is a fast-paced cozy mystery that can be read quickly. I thought it was good but not one of my favorites as it did not hold my interest exclusively. I cannot pin point why as the writing and plot were good. Maybe my interest was not as keen since it was not a culinary cozy, which are my favorite.

I have not read the first book in the series but I did not feel as if I missed anything nor did I feel lost as I was reading. The author did a great job giving brief backgrounds of the characters. It does appear there could be a love triangle brewing for the main character, Sydney. I’m not sure Will is her “ride or die”. It would be interesting to follow this particular story line.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for a copy to read in exchange for an honest review in my own words.