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ARC Book Review – The Day He Went Away by Jennifer MillikinThe Day He Went Away by Jennifer Millikin
Published by JNM LLC on November 10th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 356
Source: Author

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


It took 20 years for perfectionist PR pro Kate Masters to fall for her best friend, Army scout Ethan Shepherd, but only seconds for their lives to shatter. When an ill-fated deployment cuts short Ethan’s life, Kate's perfectly planned future vanishes. Heart in pieces, Kate abandons who she is for a reckless and dangerous existence.
Army medic Nick Hunter made a promise to Ethan, his brother-in-arms, before tragedy ripped his friend away. Upon leaving the military, Nick moves to Ethan’s hometown, his determination to uphold his promise as strong as his need to heal his own broken heart. What he finds when he arrives isn’t at all what he thought he was getting into. Kate isn’t interested in healing, making it impossible for Nick to keep his promise.
To survive grief this profound, Kate must learn how to forge a new path, and open herself up to the possibility of an unplanned happiness.
A fictional retelling of a true story, The Day He Went Away explores the devastation of loss, the beauty in losing yourself, and the transcendent power of grief.

After twenty years of friendship, Kate Masters is finally ready to tell her best friend Ethan that she has feelings for him. Ethan has been waiting for this moment for over ten years. They spend nine days together before Ethan goes back for deployment. Neither of them know he’s not coming back. Ethan is killed and Kate loses control of her life. Ethan had made a promise with his brother in arms Nick that he was to take care of Kate if anything happens. Nick is finding it difficult to keep his promise.

In an Oyster Shell – A hauntingly beautiful story about loss and the process of grief. You will probably need tissues, I did.

The Pearls – This book was about love and loss. Even if you have found your forever doesn’t mean you get your ever after. This book was really sad but well-written. It showed the process of grief in all its messy glory. This book was more than thought-provoking, it was emotionally charged.

The characters were sharp. They were well developed and meaningful. Kate was a broken character. Used to being the master of all things she is ill-prepared for the loss that she suffers. Not that anything could ever prepare you for what she endures. She was easy to empathize and relate too. Her actions and reactions made this book raw and real.

The first romance in this book was really sweet. A a childhood friend that has loved you and waited for you for over a decade was heart-warming. When that love is lost you feel the impact.

The Sand – The second romance of the book felt a little forced. It was a bit cliche.

4.5 pearls!

4.5 Stars

About Jennifer Millikin

I operate in a waking dreamworld where I’m always crafting stories in my head. Strong female protagonists are my favorite to write, and I like to make them imperfect. To escape all the story ideas in my head, I practice both heated and traditional yoga. I love being physically active and find I write best when I’m fresh off a sweat session. I have two kiddos, 3 & 5, and they keep me on my toes. As does my 7 month old yellow lab! There’s no shortage of activity in my home, but the busyness is invigorating. Writing has been a lifelong passion and being a published author is a dream come true.


Sunday Post October 23


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at the  Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

It’s a very quiet week here. I got to meet with one of my author friends that was fun. It’s still really rainy here. Makes me wonder what the winter is going to be like. We were supposed to get a big storm last week and it didn’t happen. They are expecting a lot of crazy weather this year. We shall see.

In Review – Click image to go to review.

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This week’s discussion is reading for the seasons.

Coming Up – 

Review – 


On Tour – 


Question of the week – What are you reading? Right now I am reading the Composition of Murder by Larissa Reinhart


I’m drinking fresh roasted Papua New Guinea with cream.

What are you drinking?

Are you a seasonal reader? I am but only when it comes to certain seasons. I’m really good about reading holiday books and books that are good for fall and winter. I am not good at reading summer books. I try but summer isn’t a season that I like to get into so I’m not as apt to read summery things.

I have a book that I read for Halloween a horror book called the Longest Con by Michaelbrenton. I got a jump start on holiday reads for Christmas. A lot of them come out this time of year. So I got started on reading them. There are so many.

So I am a selective seasonal reader favoring the fall and holiday time. I love reading  a cozy holiday read while under a fuzzy blanket. While the weather is cold and rainy and have the heat on it’s the best.

What are your seasonal preferences?

ARC Review – Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie BarlowLizzie's Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow
Published by Bookouture on October 21, 2016
Pages: 348
Source: Netgalley

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


A gorgeous country house hotel, a liberal dusting of snow, a cosy weekend away…what more could Lizzie ask for at Christmas?
Every Christmas Lizzie promises herself that things will change and she will leap into the new year a new woman. And yet here she is again, at the beginning of December and nothing is different. Her girls have grown up and left home, her husband Henry is slumped in front of the TV and she is alone in the kitchen, seeking refuge in the cooking sherry and talking to her Gary Barlow calendar. She’s also been very diverted by handsome new neighbour Marcus and she knows she shouldn’t be …
So when best friend Ann suggests a weekend away in the country, Lizzie jumps at the chance. Will this Christmas escape give Lizzie some much needed perspective and allow her to mend her marriage? Or will Marcus prove to be too much of a distraction?
A funny feel good festive read about rediscovering the magic of Christmas - just the thing to curl up with on a cold winters night.
What everyone’s saying about Christie Barlow:
‘This is an excellent book which swept me along so well that I read it in less than a day. I loved the characters and the story and will definitely be reading more by this author. This is definitely a book to read curled up with a mug of tea or hot chocolate.’ Bookloverwormblog
'A heartwarming and cosy countryside read with characters you will love' Rachael Lucas
‘I found this book really enjoyable, the author has an engaging writing style that managed to draw me into the storyline and the lives of our character. The storyline flowed at a great pace and I raced through the book in no time soaking up the wonderful detailed descriptions. I can see that fans of Cathy Bramley and Cathy Woodman would love this book.’ Rea's Book Reviews
‘Kitty's Countryside Dream will have you laughing and smiling one minute and then you'll feel it pulling at your heart strings. This really turned out to be a beautiful book …turning the pages and unravelling the story was very thought provoking.’ Crooks on Books
‘ I didn’t want to put the book down.’ Best Crime Books and More
‘Kitty's Countryside Dream is a soul-boosting necessity. I have a suspicion it's been sprinkled with a little bit of magic, as on the darkest days it'll warm your cockles and make everything seem right with the world. So, get those wellies on and head for a new roost in the country in this delicious feel-good tale with a gorgeous soft centre.' Little Bookness Lane
'A fantastic story, one that will keep you reading long into the night, just to find out what happens. I loved every moment of it and some of the scenes, with chickens, will have you chuckling' Rachel's Random Reads
‘I was unable to put this book down. I read it within a day because I was so drawn in to the characters themselves it was like I knew them. I would completely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Definitely a huge 5 stars!’ Katie's Reading Korner Review
'This had me gripped from the first chapter. It will have you laughing, crying and will just give you a warm feeling inside' Laura H Book Blog

Lizzie is lacking excitement in her life. The most exciting thing that happens to her is her conversations with her Gary Barlow calendar in her pantry. Her marriage is strained feeling more like roommates than anything else. She’s missing her girls terribly who are off to Uni. With the holiday’s quickly approaching Lizzie is wanting a change. She’s not expecting the relationship she has with her new neighbor Marcus. It’s sets everything on its head. Will Lizzie get things figured out by the holidays time?

In an Oyster Shell – A fulfilling heartwarming Christmas read.

The Pearls – My favorite part about this book was her relationship with her best friend Ann. They both had a lot going on in the span of the story, but they were always there for each other. I feel like the relationship between these two was more of the highlight of the book.

The romance in this book in the end, was poignant. You get to see what the true love in Lizzie’s life really is and it comes as a surprise to her and the reader.

The Christmas cheer in this book was really great. I loved all the snow that kept falling. The shops that they would go visit. Eventually, the cottage that her and Ann would share for a night. It was a great Christmas story.

I really loved the character growth that you see in most of the characters. Especially, in Lizzie. You would think at 40 something you would have everything figured out. Nobody really does. It was nice to see the changes that Lizzie went through.

The Sand – This was a great book

5 Pearls!

5 Stars

About Christie Barlow

Christie Barlow the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother decided to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. She is just a Mum who wrote a book to prove to her children whatever you want to do in life go for it. The book she wrote to prove a point is now an Amazon #1 bestseller in the UK and USA.


The Snowfang Bride Book Blitz


snowfangThe SnowFang Bride
Merry Ravenell
(Snowfang #1)
Publication date: October 11th 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal

Centuries of political games killed most of the female werewolves. Now only a few survive, and the Elders work to change the old ways of thinking.

Winter, the only daughter of the SilverPaw Alpha, finally meets the soul Gaia has chosen for her: Sterling, the cold, demanding, and entirely-too-human Alpha of the tiny SnowFang pack.

Thrust into a world of human wealth for which she was never prepared, Winter must become Sterling’s flawless wife and Luna from the moment she arrives. The city is full of threats, both werewolf and human, and Sterling’s past is full of secrets best left undisturbed.

When they are betrayed by those closest to them, Winter and Sterling embark on a dangerous game of brinkmanship that will change their lives, and the future of the werewolves, forever.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks


Sterling had been prepared to be resentful and distrustful of me, certain I was playing along with some ploy to part him from a large chunk of his wealth, or ruin him in some way. Knowing that wasn’t the case after all had to have been the final insult. Him thinking he had been bullied and played, just to find out he wasn’t even worth toying with.

Sadly, for both of us, this wasn’t as simple as me being my father’s pawn.

It would have been a hell of a lot more straightforward if I was bait, and Sterling the nice woolly sheep being led in for fleecing.

Him sleeping apart from me wouldn’t make things any better between us, or easier on the pack. It’d make things worse.

Sterling’s lips compressed a little tighter.

“I won’t make off with your virtue,” I told him.

A glint in his hazel eyes, like a knife twitching in and out of direct light. He leaned forward, his voice like a hand through my fur, “Whatever virtue I had was made off with long ago.”

A little color crept to my cheeks, my insides squirmed, but not from fear. What would those hands feel like on my skin? Rough like the scrapes and callouses on them, or gentler? Angry, perhaps. His fingers pulling through my hair, perhaps just a little too rough.

One thing at a time. Maybe I should find out how his hands got that scraped up before I let him touch me with them.

Sterling kept watching me, observing, learning my every nuance and tick, as mates—especially Alphas—will do. He came to the conclusion my body wasn’t actually on offer just yet. “You trust me to not lay a paw upon you.”

“Should I not?” I asked.

He leaned closer, his breath on my cheek, his lips very close to mine. “When I shake off the shock, Winter, I would not trust me.”

His words were like a rough caress, sending fire over my skin and a single shock through me. Desire overrode the haze of rattled anger and insult. I think I might have whispered something monosyllabic, and certainly imbecilic. It didn’t matter. He closed the final breath of distance between us, his strong body pressed mine against the wall, and kissed me.

I had never been kissed like that. Hard. Rough. Hungry.

My fingers found his shirt and jawline, one set twisting into the fabric, the other raking fingernails along his flesh, enjoying the painful bristle of his unshaven skin.

He grabbed a handful of my thigh, lifted me against him, his touch rough and everything I had never known I needed. No, not rough enough, not nearly enough. He felt so strong, so solid, so rough under those tailored human clothes.

I gathered myself and pried him back a few degrees. “Not tonight,” I breathed. “Gaia may have chosen you for me, but I want to see why.”
merryAuthor Bio:

Merry leads a heavily caffeinated lifestyle offset by the occasional 5K or 10K. She lives in the North Bay area of CA with her husband and fellow author, David, plus their two cats.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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Review – Christmas Comes to Main Street by Olivia MilesChristmas Comes to Main Street (Briar Creek, #5) by Olivia Miles
Series: Briar Creek #5
Published by Forever on September 27th 2016
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


The mistletoe is out, and the gloves are off . . . 'Tis the worst season to be single, but Kara Hastings won't let a little Christmas funk spoil the festive season. Sure, running her own bakery is a little harder than she expected, but she can handle it. And she'll prove it to a certain infuriatingly handsome, bossy Big City guy. She may be sugar and spice, but she can kick his butt twice. Nate Griffin is in Briar Creek only for the holidays, and he refuses to fall for the whole "small town, candy cane-scented Christmas Wonderland" thing. He's more interested in the fresh-faced cookie chef who always knows exactly how to get under his skin. So when Nate challenges Kara in the town's big holiday contest, it's not just the competition that starts to heat up. If he's not careful, Kara won't just melt his icy resolve against a small-town Christmas . . . she'll melt his heart too.

Kara Hastings is known around town about going to job to job. Her opening up a cookie shop may just be a fleeting endeavor. Kara works hard to get business to boom and prove she has finally found her calling. Being Christmas time its a busy time of year but she still can’t help but notice everyone is getting married except for her. Then she meets Nate and everything changes.

In an Oyster Shell  – Another great installment of the Briar Creek series. It’s heart-warming and cozy makes for a great holiday read.

The Pearls – Kara has been my favorite character in the series, so I am more than happy that she gets her own book. This story does not disappoint you get a more clear picture of who Kara is. I really enjoyed that.

I love small town settings and briar creek is one of the best. There have been four other books set in this town and it really give you a cozy hometown feel. I like the Briar creek setting which is complete with crazy characters that make the town what it is.

The romance in this story was epic. I like that we get to see more from the hero’s side of things. I feel like this story was a little more raw than the other books in the series.

The Sand – The pacing could be a little slow but was overall very good.

4 Pearls!

4 Stars

About Olivia Miles

Olivia Miles is a bestselling author of contemporary romance. A city girl with a fondness for small town charm, Olivia enjoys highlighting both ways of life in her stories. She currently resides just outside Chicago with her husband, young daughter, and two ridiculously pampered pups.

Review – Right Under Your Nose by Holly Tierney-BedordRight Under Your Nose by Holly Tierney-Bedord
on November 13th 2015
Pages: 117
Source: Kindle Unlimited

This is a novella length book.
Ariadne Daniels seems to have it all: A successful career as a pastry chef, a Victorian home in a trendy neighborhood, and her dedicated boyfriend Scott who she's been with for years.
Her life is great until the day she stops by Scott's apartment to surprise him and finds out that he's not so dedicated to her after all. Shocked and too depressed to celebrate, she decides to skip Christmas. Her best friend Jess does his part to convince her otherwise, but Ariadne's determined to wallow in her misery, at least until spring.
Life has other plans for her, however. Some helpful meddling from a new friend at a local bookstore, along with some questionable behavior on the part of Jess’s girlfriend, turn Ariadne’s ho-hum holiday plans on their head.

Ariadne Daniels favorite time of year is Christmas. This year she decided to cancel it because she found out her long-term boyfriend had been cheating on her. Her best friend Jess tries to convince her otherwise. Yet, it’s an eccentric book owner that gets involved that helps change the tide of Ariadne’s Christmas.

In an Oyster Shell –  A quick read novella that will leave your heart warmed.

The Pearls – This was a cute novella. I liked the irony of the title. It comes from the bookstore that Ariadne finds down the street from her house. It’s called right under your nose. That bookstore and the owner becomes the catalyst of a lot of changes to Ariadne’s holiday. The romance between Jess and Ariadne was sweet. It’s a cozy holiday read.

The Sand- The main character could be a little off-putting at times.

3.5 Pearls

3.5 Stars

About Holly Tierney-Bedord

Holly Tierney-Bedord writes contemporary fiction. She is the author of Surviving Valencia, Right Under Your Nose, Bellamy’s Redemption, and Coached, as well as children’s books. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.


Sunday Post – October 16


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at the  Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Still enjoying the cold rainy weather in the Great Northwest or as more appropriate these days the Great North Wet. I am itching for the holidays to get here. I don’t really celebrate Halloween save giving out goodies to the children. So I am waiting anxiously for November to get here. We travel every other year for Thanksgiving and this year is our year to stay home. I am eager to get plans under way! It’s early I know but it will be here before you know. In a little under a month will be the HO HO HO Readathon I am so excited. I’ve already started reading holiday books. It’s interesting that most of them come out around this time and not closer to Christmas.

This Week In Reviews – Click image to go to review.

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On Tour – 


Giveaways – 

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This weeks Feature and Follow is most memorable characters.

This week’s discussion is Why I don’t do Audiobooks.

Coming Up – 



Question of the Week – What are your plans for Halloween? I am just planning on handing out Taki’s which seem to be a favorite among my nephews and nieces.


I’m drinking a fresh roasted coffee with cream. I think today I’ll have two!

What are you drinking?

So this is ironic that I am writing this post today. I just received an audiobook from a giveaway I entered. Do you ever win stuff that you don’t remember signing up for?

So as a general rule I don’t do audiobooks. I can hardly sit still to watch a 40-minute tv show. Listening to an audiobook is not my preferred way of reading. I have a super flexible schedule and hardly have the opportunity to sit and listen to an audiobook.

I understand they can be really convenient for commutes and for other activities where you want to be hands-free. I hardly ever have the need to be hands-free. The only way I will do audiobooks is if I win them. Which I don’t enter to win very often. I won one and listened to it while I was sewing. That was a unique occasion.

Another reason I don’t like audiobooks is I feel as if narration could throw off the writer’s voice if you will. I want to hear what the writer is saying through the written word not some narrators interpretation of the tone.

I am sure if I had a long commute or had big projects like that sewing project I was doing, I would be more inclined to listen to audiobooks. With this newest audiobook, I think I will listen to it on my 3-hour drive to my mom’s house.

Audiobooks have their place but I would prefer to read.

What are your thoughts on audiobooks?