Review: The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey


Release date: April 3, 2018

Publisher: Gallery

Genre: Women’s Fiction


Leaving fans “practically [begging] for a sequel” (Bookpage), critically acclaimed author Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the second novel in her beloved Peachtree Bluff series, featuring a trio of sisters and their mother who discover a truth that will change not only the way they see themselves, but also how they fit together as a family.

After finding out her military husband is missing in action, middle sister Sloane’s world crumbles as her worst nightmare comes true. She can barely climb out of bed, much less summon the strength to be the parent her children deserve.

Her mother, Ansley, provides a much-needed respite as she puts her personal life on hold to help Sloane and her grandchildren wade through their new grief-stricken lives. But between caring for her own aging mother, her daughters, and her grandchildren, Ansley’s private worry is that secrets from her past will come to light.

But when Sloane’s sisters, Caroline and Emerson, remind Sloane that no matter what, she promised her husband she would carry on for their young sons, Sloane finds the support and courage she needs to chase her biggest dreams—and face her deepest fears. Taking a cue from her middle daughter, Ansley takes her own leap of faith and realizes that, after all this time, she might finally be able to have it all.

Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author).


Last year I read Slightly South of Simple and fell head over heels in love with not only Peachtree Bluff, but also the characters and Harvey’s smooth, fluid writing. I couldn’t wait to revisit Ansley, Caroline, Sloane and Emerson and now I want to pack my stuff move to Peachtree Bluff! Ok, at least take a vacation there?!

If the cover of STSC doesn’t make you long for warm weather then I don’t know what will, it’s gorgeous and the inside is just as pretty. This time around the story centers more on Sloane and her despair and hopelessness as her husband Adam, is missing in action. It flips between her point of view and Ansley’s and the entire family is in crisis mode for various reasons. This was much more emotional for me than the first book, it played off of some of my own worst fears and Harvey writes with a passion that tugs on the heart, it’s beautiful and insightful.

The characterization in this series is fantastic, this family of women are all relatable on some level and are the kind of people I would want as friends. I loved finding out more about Sloane, many of her chapters began with an old letter from Adam and they simultaneously broke my heart and made me swoon. You do still uncover some more details about the rest of the family, but Sloane is definitely front and center and her thoughts and feelings about motherhood, being a sister, wife and daughter were SO relatable that Harvey could be plucked them right out of my own head.

Once again this had it all, family drama, secrets, romance, humor and charm, I literally cannot wait for the next book. This is one to pick up when you want to be lost in the pages of a book, pack it for your next vacation, I don’t think you’ll regret it.

The Secret to Southern Charm in three words: Endearing, Warm and Wise.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

Head over to Instagram for a chance to win a copy of STSC!

About the Author:

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina (Berkley/Penguin Random House, 2015), Lies and Other Acts of Love (Berkley/Penguin Random House, 2016) and the Peachtree Bluff Series, beginning with Slightly South of Simple (Gallery/Simon & Schuster, 2017). Dear Carolina was long-listed for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, has been optioned for film and has appeared on numerous “must-read” lists. Lies and Other Acts of Love was a Romantic Times top pick, a Southern Booksellers Okra Pick and was chosen to be a part of the 2017 Trio display, an integration of story, art and song, which will spend the year traveling the country.

She blogs with her mom daily on Design Chic, the inaugural member of Traditional Home’s design blogger hall of fame, about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at

Harvey is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism and holds a master’s in English from East Carolina University, with a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and websites, including Southern Living, Domino, Houzz and Our State. She has been seen featured in Readers’ Digest, The Huffington Post, USA Today’s Happy Every After, North Carolina Bookwatch, PopSugar, Glitter Guide and The Sits Girls. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five-year-old son where she is working on her next novel.

Review: The Fear by C. L. Taylor @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK #OvercomeYourFear


Release date: March 22, 2018

Publisher: Avon Books

Genre: Psychological Thriller


When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

Happy publication day to C. L. Taylor, I’m thrilled to be helping to kick off her blog tour today! I have my thoughts about the book to share, but first I have an extract.


I hate surprises. So much so that when Ben rang me at work on Monday and told me to keep the weekend free because he was going to surprise me, I almost ended the call. Instead I pretended to be thrilled.

‘You okay?’ he asks now. ‘You don’t get travel-sick do you?’

If I look pale it’s got nothing to do with the fact that we are rocketing down the A2 in Ben’s battered VW Golf.

‘I’m fine,’ I say. ‘But I wish you’d tell me where we’re going.’

He taps a finger against the side of his nose and smiles. ‘You’ll find out soon enough.’

Ben was never meant to be more than a one-night stand. I figured he’d be straight out of my bed, and my life, the moment our sweat-slicked bodies cooled. But he stuck around. He stayed all night and then insisted on taking me out for breakfast the next day. I said yes, partly because it was less awkward than saying no. Mostly because I was hungry and I didn’t have any food in the house. We ended up staying in the café for over two hours. I learnt that he was a self-employed graphic artist, he’d never been to a gig, and his dad was a massive hypochondriac. He learnt that I was an only child, a project manager for an eLearning company and that my dad had recently died. Ben immediately reached across the table, squeezed my hand and said how sorry he was. When he asked if we’d been close I changed the subject.

I need to go back there at some point, to my childhood home in the rolling green Worcestershire countryside, to clear and clean the farmhouse and put it on the market, but there’s a good reason why I haven’t been back in eighteen years.

Are you intrigued?! You should be, this was a fantastic read!


From the moment I started The Fear I was totally hooked, Taylor drew me into a dark and tangled web and didn’t let me go until the final chapter. Lou was groomed by a much older man when she was a young teenager and now it’s many years later and she’s still struggling to get past it. Grooming is one of those words that sends a chill down my spine as a parent to two girls, the manipulation and abuse associated with it put the fear into me, what an aptly titled book.

This is told from multiple perspectives, Lou both in 2007 and via her diary entries when she was fourteen, then you hear from Chloe, the teenager who Lou fears is being used in the same way that she was and finally, Wendy. You’re never quite sure exactly what Wendy’s angle is or how she fits into the story, but when it’s revealed I did one of those, oohhh I see what you did there moments, super clever! This is extremely fast paced and sharply written, it begs to be read in one sitting as there’s so much tension and anticipation about what will happen next, both in the flashbacks and the 2007 storyline.

I don’t want to discuss the plot much more, just know that if you’re a psychological thriller fan, this is a must read. The characterization is just as strong as the writing and the story is gripping, I really couldn’t ask for more!

The Fear in three words: Absorbing, Shocking and Thrilling.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Baby Plan by Kate Rorick #TheBabyPlan

About The Baby Plan

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 20, 2018)

Smart and funny, The Baby Plan is irresistible! A winner. Susan Mallery, #1 New York Times bestselling author

In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries creator Kate Rorick’s first adult fiction novel, we enter the wild, bewildering world of modern pregnancies. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shake your head as you wonder where everyone’s sanity went…

Meet the mothers

Nathalie Kneller: Nathalie’s plan: to announce her pregnancy now that she’s finally made it past twelve weeks! But just as she’s about to deliver (so to speak) the big news to her family, her scene-stealing sister barfs all over the Thanksgiving centerpiece. Yup, Lyndi’s pregnant too, swiping the spotlight once more.

Lyndi Kneller:Lyndi’s plan: finally get her life together! She’s got a new apartment, new promotion, new boyfriend. What she didn’t count on, a new baby! She can barely afford her rent, much less a state-of-the-art stroller.

Sophia Nunez: Sophia’s plan: Once she gets her daughter Maisey off to college, she’ll finally be able to enjoy life as make-up artist to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and girlfriend to one of rocks hottest musicians. But after 18 years she discovers the stork is once again on its way.

Now these women are about to jump headlong into the world of modern day pregnancy. It’s a world of over the top gender reveal parties (with tacky cakes and fireworks); where every morsel you eat is scrutinized and discussed; where baby names are crowd-sourced and sonograms are Facebook-shared. And where nothing goes as planned…

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


I’ve long been drawn to books about pregnancy and motherhood, even well before I had my own kids, but it’s been awhile since I read one this dang good! It reminded me of the chick Lit I used to read when I was younger, sassy and smart with relatable characters and issues, I couldn’t get enough.

This follows three women at very different stages in their lives making it easy to find someone to relate to. Nathalie is a by the rules kind of girl who has everything in her pregnancy planned out perfectly then there’s her sister, Lyndi who is much more laid back, almost too laid back. Sophia already has one child who’s about to graduate high school so a new baby means starting ALL over. Out of them all I liked Sophia the most but all three were well drawn and went through some growth over the course of the book.

Set in L. A. you get a glimpse into the glitzy side of the city as Sophia is a makeup artist for a TV show and you also get to see the over the top personalities and lifestyle choices Cali residents are known for. The modern day look at motherhood is spot on, from online mommy forums to ridiculous gender reveal parties, Rorick nailed every aspect of pregnancy today with humor, this was a funny one y’all! If you enjoy books about friendship, family, parenthood with some sweet and emotional moments add The Baby Plan to your TBR.

The Baby Plan in three words: Witty, Funny and Light.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.

About Kate Rorick

Kate Rorick is an Emmy Award winning writer who has worked on a number of television shows, most recently The Librarians on TNT. She was also a writer for the hit web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and authored the two series tie-in novels, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet and The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet. In her other life, she writes bestselling historical romance novels under the name Kate Noble. Kate lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Find out more about Kate at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Review: Mathimals by Jon Hales @jonhalesauthor


Release date: February 5, 2018

Genre: Children’s


Do you find it hard to add? Brace yourself for a slightly unusual and mildly chaotic lesson in basic addition! What happens when you add 1 mouse + 1 sheep, for example? Or 4 caterpillars + 4 fish? You’ll find out in this hugely entertaining picture book filled with weird and wonderful creatures. Packed with brightly coloured illustrations, clever wordplay and lots of fun details, this rhyming story is sure to capture the imaginations of young children and is designed to help simple sums stick in the mind. Perfect for ages 2-6 but with plenty for older children and even adults to enjoy.


My kids and I are always on the hunt for new books to read, there’s only so many times I can read Brown Bear, Brown Bear before I go cross eyed after all, and when I can find a book that’s fun, engaging AND educational I’m thrilled! Mathimals was a clever and fun little book that my youngest child, Jackson (3) actually paid attention to. This is a big deal as he has autism and struggles to stick with any activity for more than a couple of minutes but he honestly seemed to enjoy this one and I know we’ll be reading it again.

So the concept of this is simple addition but with a unique spin, it adds animals together to form new creations in an adorable and fun way. It’s set in a catchy rhyme and I found myself reading it in a sing song way that heightened the enjoyment. The illustrations are so cute, colorful, striking and bold with plenty for little eyes to soak in. Highly recommended by me and will definitely appeal to the younger crowd!

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

What I Read Last Week:

The Neighbors : Sneaky, subtle and riveting

The Flight Attendant didn’t really work for me.

Hot Mess: Sexy, snarky and delicious

The Summer of Secrets: Sweet, delightful and heartfelt

The Broken Girls: Creepy, chilling and captivating

Currently Reading:

Up Next:

Not a bad week considering my kids were on spring break and my husband was out of town so I was solo parenting!

How was your week?

Review: The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke @Karenclarke123 @bookouture #BlogTour


Release date: March 15, 2018

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Welcome to the Café at Seashell Cove, where you’ll find irresistible home-baked cakes, smiling friendly faces – and maybe even a second chance at love…

When Cassie Maitland needs a holiday from her glamorous but stressful job in event management, she escapes home to gorgeous Seashell Cove, where her family’s cosy café sits perched on the cliffs above sparkling waves and golden sand.

But a lot has changed while Cassie’s been away: her parents have transformed their tired café into a welcoming haven, her friends Meg and Tilly have whole new lives, and old flame Danny’s twinkling eyes and winning smile make Cassie feel even more flustered than they used to.

Keen to throw herself back into local life, Cassie starts to run themed events – including a not entirely successful cat-café day, complete with dozens of felines. Luckily Danny is always around to lend a helping hand, and Cassie soon begins to wonder if her life in London was really all she made it out to be…

Could a new start in Seashell Cove be exactly what Cassie needs?

A heart-warming and hilarious read about friendship, belonging and seaside living. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson, Holly Martin and Jenny Oliver.

I’m delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Cafe at Seashell Cove today!


This book opens with Cassie interrupting her parents in an…AHEM intimate moment and I about fell out of my chair laughing, I just knew I was in for a good time and was I ever right! It was hysterical and really set the tone for how fun this story was. Clarke is one of my favorite authors to turn to when I need a pick me up, she achieves that perfect balance between humor and romance that works so well for me.

Cassie returns home sort of down on her luck, she’s been fired from her London job and her romantic life is pretty stagnant. Instead of the typical plot where the heroine goes home to lick her wounds and get comfort from family, Cassie actually keeps things a secret from then and pretends she left her job willingly and is super happy about it. I love the originality of Clarke’s novels, there’s never anything cookie cutter about them, but she does consistently create lovable and quirky characters that charm me. Cassie’s parents were my favorite they were sweet and doting and always embarrassed Cassie with their affection for each other.

This is set in another idyllic location making it a perfect vacation read, plenty of fun loving moments, a dash of romance and so many laughs my sides were sore after reading! I’m hopeful this is the start to a new series as there were so many characters that I would love to read about again.

The Cafe at Seashell Cove in three words: Charming, hilarious and Effortless.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

About the Author:

Karen Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. Her BEACHSIDE series is set in the fictional seaside town of Shipley and features recurring characters, but each book can be read as a standalone. She is currently working on a new, three-book series set in Devon- the first, The Café at Seashell Cove is out March 15th 2018.

Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download

When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published globally. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’

Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.



Author Social Media Links:





Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James


Release date: March 20, 2018

Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .


It’s rare for me to enjoy a book that blurs the lines between genres, sometimes books that straddle two (or more) genres read kind of messy to me but when I can find an author that manages to blend several genres in a coherent and seamless manner, well, I’m thrilled! The Broken Girls was at it’s core a mystery but it also had historical elements and just enough of the supernatural to be creepy yet plausible.

This is told in dual timelines, you have Fiona in 2014 who is a journalist with painful ties to Idelwild Hall then it also flips back to 1950 when Idelwild Hall was a school for wayward girls and you hear from four friends and roommates. Initially it had a somewhat slower start, but around the halfway point things picked up for me and I was hooked. Fiona and her backstory did reel me in early on but it took me a bit longer to become invested in the four girls, but once I was in, I was all in. Their individual stories were terribly sad and sometimes tragic but their time together at Idelwild Hall was disturbing and at times shocking.

This was an eerily atmospheric read, both narratives are set in Vermont and St. James did an amazing job at creating a hauntingly beautiful setting. The sections in the past were downright scary at times but the more recent chapters were also freaky as the school was long ago abandoned and derelict. Add in a purported ghost named Mary Hand and a handful of cold cases begging to be solved and you have the perfect combination of intrigue and fear. This was a really solid read for me from a talented writer, if you don’t mind a small dose of the supernatural in your mysteries then you should check this one out!

The Broken Girls in three words: Creepy, Chilling and Captivating.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Summer of Secrets by Tilly Tennant @TillyTenWriter @bookouture #BlogBlitz


Release date: March 14, 2018

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Romance


Can new love grow when you dig up old secrets?

Recently engaged, Harper Woods wakes up every morning on Silver Hill Farm feeling like the luckiest woman in the world. She has escaped her troubled past, outside the rolling yellow cornfields go on for miles and just downstairs are the gorgeous tea rooms she’s always dreamed of owning.

But Harper is about to discover something that will change her luck forever. For better or worse? She has no idea. Not until an expert can identify whether the jewellery she found hidden in the farm’s foundations is priceless, or utterly worthless…

As news of the discovery spreads through the village, there are others who’d like to lay their claim to the fortune. In particular, Will Frampton, handsome recluse and Lord of Silver Hill House, the crumbling stately home on the other side of the hill in desperate need of renovation.

It seems everyone wants a piece of the sparkling prize hidden under the Silver Hill tea rooms. But as relationships are tested and tea cakes begin to fly, will anyone catch the romance blossoming in the most unexpected of places?

Love and laughter are the biggest reward of them all in this utterly heart-warming romance, perfect for fans of Jane Linfoot, Debbie Johnson and Jenny Colgan.

I’m so pleased to be one of the stops on the blog blitz for The Summer of Secrets today!


Diving into a new Tilly Tennant novel is akin to eating a delicious meal filled with all of my go to comfort foods and The Summer of Secrets did not disappoint! Even though I wasn’t able to take a trip anywhere fun for spring break this year this gem of a book swept me away to a quaint, charming little village which was the next best thing to a real vacation.

Tennant has a real knack for crafting lovable characters that I just can’t get enough of. Harper runs a farm with her best friend Pip and their friendship was so sweet and genuine, I just adored them both. As for the romance there was plenty going on here as Harper is engaged to Shay and there are several other budding relationships but to say more would just spoil it. The portrayal of how these romances unfolds is always so practical and just rings true, I so appreciate that! Tennant always alludes to sex in a classy, subtle way and I really think that makes it even sexier than if she went into detail about what was happening with her characters in the bedroom.

What do I look for in a romance novel? Interesting characters and an intriguing plot to start and this one definitely has that, there’s a light mystery that keep me engaged and plenty of lovely characters to root for. I also want a great setting and the village was adorable and so beautifully described. Finally, I want a bit of humor and a lot of heart and I got more than enough of both here, I always finish her books with a smile on my face and a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. So if you’re a fan of contemporary romance and looking for a vacation read check this one out!

The Summer of Secrets in three words: Sweet, Delightful and Heartfelt.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

About the Author:

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her next Tilly Tennant novel. She also writes as Sharon Sant, where she explores the darker side of life, and Poppy Galbraith, where things get a little crazier.


Author Social Media Links




Review: Hot Mess by Emily Belden #BlogTour


Release date: March 20, 2018

Publisher: Graydon House

Genre: Women’s Fiction


Sweetbitter meets The Devil Wears Prada in this riveting and provocative novel set in the trendy Chicago restaurant scene.

Twenty-something Allie Simon never imagined she’d fall for a recovering drug addict—but that was before she met Benji Zane, Chicago’s hottest up-and-coming chef, who’s known as much for his hard partying ways as for his unparalleled culinary skills. Six months into their relationship, the food and chemistry are out of this world, but the reality of living with a cooking wunderkind hasn’t exactly been all hearts and flowers. Still, Allie’s convinced that her love is the key to fixing this talented man’s broken soul—so when Benji is offered his dream job as chef de cuisine for a new restaurant opening on Randolph Street, Chicago’s foodie hot spot, Allie agrees to invest her life savings in his future. But less than a month after she goes all in, Allie learns a heartbreaking lesson: addicts lie. Benji cracks under the pressure, relapses and disappears, bagging out not only on the restaurant, but on her, too. Left with nothing but a massive withdrawal slip and a restaurant that absolutely must open in a matter of weeks, Allie finds herself thrust into a world of luxury and greed, cutthroat business and sensory delight. Lost in the mess of it all, she can either crumble completely or fight like hell for the life she wants and the love she deserves.

With razor-sharp wit and searing insight, Emily Belden serves up a deliciously dishy look behind the kitchen doors of a hot foodie town.

I’m so pleased to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for Hot Mess today! Check out TLC Book Tours for the full schedule.


If you like wickedly delicious humor, a not so perfect love story and mouth watering descriptions of food, Hot Mess needs to be on your TBR! This is told solely from Allie’s point a view, a twenty five year old woman entangled in a dark relationship with a bad boy chef, Benji. I’m not sure if hot mess even accurately describes the total nightmare that is their union, but she believes in Benji despite his drug addiction and selfish behavior. I liked Allie and was totally rooting for her, she’s young and a bit naive but she’s loyal to a fault and she had a sassy side that was great. Benji was ugh, I’ve been in a relationship with a drug addict before and it’s not pretty, Belden did a great job accurately portraying what’s it like to live with an addict.

While much of this book was light and fun it has a dark edgy side that was realistic. As much as I consider myself to be a minor foodie I don’t know much about actually operating a restaurant and the insiders look at the not so glam industry was juicy and fascinating. It’ll also make you hungry and may even cause you to want to binge watch Top Chef, or maybe that’s just me? The writing was solid and full of snark with a side of millennial humor and a dash of social media obsession, what more could you want?! Maybe a bit of romance? Don’t worry, Belden has you covered this is a sexy little read but the romance isn’t the star, the food is! And Allie, she’s a bright little star and the backdrop of Chicago doesn’t hurt either, it adds a hip vibe that was really cool. If you like foodie fiction definitely check this one out, totally recommended.

Hot Mess in three words: Snarky, Sexy and Delicious.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.

About the Author:

Emily Belden is an author for powerhouse publisher, Harlequin/HarperCollins. She is represented by famed literary agency, Browne & Miller, along with 44 Blue Productions in Burbank. The SoCal studio is adapting her memoir into a comedic series.


Connect with Emily

Website | Facebook  | Twitter

Review: The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian


Release date: March 13, 2018

Publisher: Doubleday

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police–she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home–Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did?


Chris Bohjalian is one of those authors I’ve been meaning to read for the longest time, I’ve heard nothing but great things about his books and was super excited that I would finally be reading one of his books, this one sounded exactly like the kind of book that I would end up loving and I had heard he was an excellent writer. After finishing and really thinking about this one before I wrote my review I can definitely say that yes, he is a fantastic author but this one really didn’t excite me as much as I had assumed it would.

This started out very strong for me, Cassie is the perfect representation of what I expect in an unlikable narrator, she’s a hot mess and she knows it, she’s unashamedly badly behaved and I liked that she owned her crappy behavior and questionable decision making skills. The premise was also interesting even though I’ve read similar books, but the whole waking up next to a dead body will honestly probably never get old for me. After the initial setup I just got bored though, I’m all for a slow burn but this moved at an extremely sedate pace and I just could not stay focused. It actually took me over a week to read and that’s a super long time for me, I’m a book every day, every two days at the most reader and getting through this one felt like work, never a great sign. It was missing excitement and tension and when things finally seemed to heat up I really didn’t care all that much and then it was just a little too far fetched for me to believe.

Here’s my dilemma; the author can write, there is no question about that and his attention to detail is impeccable, there was a lot of interesting information about flight attendants that made me keep turning pages and I always appreciate a writer who has done their homework. But I’m wondering if his style is always this way, do his books follow a similar pattern? If you’re a fan of his work what’s your favorite book of his? Because I really want to add something else of his to my TBR but if all of his books are similar to this I may have to pass…So help me my fellow bookworms, do I call this a fluke and give him another shot or is it a case of a mismatch between author and reader and move on? I hate when a book/author is super popular and I just feel like I don’t get the hype!

Overall rating: 3/5 (Full disclosure, this would be like a two from me based on plot and pacing but the solid writing made me bump it up, it was that good. Also, I skipped my three word sum up because I am just way too torn to pick three words, sorry!)