#Blogmas The Giving Heart by Toni Blake


The Giving Heart by Toni Blake. Lila Sloan travels to remote Summer Island to house sit for her sister Meg. All is well, until she hears this bull dozer on the property with a driver intended on knocking down the trees on it. Enter in, Beck Grainger and the immediate thoughts Sloan has, that Meg will never forgive her if she allows the trees to be knocked down. Were the plans to cut down the trees a secret? Nope, been in the works for months. Beck however, doesn’t like being at odds with his friend Meg’s sister-especially since he finds her so appealing.


The Giving Heart was on its way to being a five star read for me. Sure, the premise of the book is a little ridiculous as you’re reading it. I had to remind myself a few times that the beef that Lila really tries to perpetuate with Beck is all over some trees. I for one, completely get sad when I see a bunch of trees knocked down-but I don’t think I could stand in front of a crew of construction workers and they’d just halt their work! That part aside though, there was something about this book that had me sucked in. It had been a while since I’d read something that had me hanging on every word, and I found that experience with this book. This is the second book in the Summer Island trilogy so I am assuming the side characters in this book were in the previous book, but I think a lot of my interest in the story lay with the side characters, Dahlia and Suzanne. Dahlia is an older character who epitomized confidence and comfort in her own skin. Suzanne went through a tough divorce and has guarded herself against relationships since. Apparently, Beck has had a thing for her and she’s constantly turned him down..until now. Perfect timing right, with Meg in the picture?

This book becomes this weird love triangle involving two people who are also attempting to be friends. At the same time though, it is also obvious that Suzanne has had plenty of space and opportunity to have made Beck hers. Lila is only in town for a while though, so we see Beck have to make that decision-he could totally play it safe and choose Suzanne who is there, will be there, and is finally willing to give him a chance, or he can follow his heart and go after Lila.

The book strangely felt like a mixture of enemies to lovers and friends to lovers; the enemies part felt one sided. Lila really tries to hate Beck due to the tree cutting situation and I think as a way of denying her attraction to him. He is never a jerk to her though so it’s hard to maintain that front.

This book gave me the wintry feels I was looking for, which I appreciated. I feel like a lot of the 2019 *Christmas Romances* have suffered a bit of false advertisement, but this one definitely delivered. What kept this from being a five star read was the random addition at the end of the book I wasn’t expecting and just didn’t work for me. It is a personal preference. It may work for some readers, but for me, when the characters have only known each other for 300ish pages, it just doesn’t jazz well with me. You guessed it, the proposal. 



#Blogmas A Coldwater Christmas by Delores Fossen

My Post (5)

A Coldwater Christmas by Delores Fossen is book four in Fossen’s Coldwater Texas series. I read last year’s holiday romance in this series and had every intention on backtracking through the series in 2019, but failed to do so. *cringe* In my attempt at holding myself accountable however, I will make it a priority in 2020.

What this books is about: Recently separated from her husband Janna, returns to her hometown of Coldwater, Texas to speak to her previous ex-husband and first love Kace about the fact that his father and her mother are engaged. This is sour subject being that Kace and his brother’s cannot stand their father due to him walking out on the family and the boys ending up in some really crappy foster care situations. Twist to the story? Janna has recently left her jerk of a husband Dominick and he is out to drain her bank accounts.

A Coldwater Christmas is hilarious! I adore Delores Fossen’s sense of humor, it truly shines through in this story with roaming Texas longhorns throughout the town streets, flying pink penis’s with smiley faces on them and vibrators sent in the mail. As I read the book it felt like a solid five star read. I was convinced I was going to love it..





My issues with the book lie with a few things at the end of the book and the second chance romance between Janna and Kace.  When reading a second chance romance, I tend to pick sides. You read from a specific character’s perspective (in this case, Kase’s) and it’s usually the character who has blasted in from the past who I feel like has to earn my trust and help me feel that the connection is genuine (in this case Janna!). I didn’t feel a connection between Janna and Kace, especially with the way the ending happened. I felt like if the road we took was the road we were going to take, I should’ve felt more than just these two old lovers have linked back up and are again having amazing sex. The way the book ended felt like a let down because I was loving the book so much in the beginning and middle half.

I have also been pondering on, if a romance is a Christmas romance, how much of the Christmas aspect do I need? The mention of Christmas in this one is very brief, so if that is something you need more of in your books..just throwing it out there, you don’t get much!



#Blogmas Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale


Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale should absolutely be on your holiday tbr. This is the romance between single Mom, nurse Abbey who is trying to hold it all together and Nick. Nick is a millionaire, divorcee, who is hosting family Christmas at his place this year and is suggested to hire Abbey to come decorate and get things nice and festive for everyone.

Jenny Hale does an amazing job at creating and capturing conflict. Nick, who has always wanted to make his father proud, was handed down his dad’s business. He’s very business minded and his dedication to work and not wanting a family is a big reason behind his failed marriage. He wants none of that business again which obviously causes some issues as feelings between he and Abbey begin to grow.

It’s like these feelings are there, but can only go so far because Abbey knows Nick’s stance on certain things. She tries really hard to guard herself and her son but it eventually gets way too hard to.

I loved this book so much and can totally understand why Hallmark wanted to adapt it into a film. It is sweet and cozy. It is a reminder to slow down and that there are more important things out there than working all the time. Don’t miss out on those moments you won’t get to experience again.

Obviously, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s amazing.



#Blogtober Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber


Blogtober“As she struggled against me, suddenly all I could think of was my mother and how she’d shown me that living a life in fear was no way to live at all. It was a choice.”

Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe. Nestled in the mountain shadows of Alabama lies the little town of Wicklow. It is here that Anna Kate has returned to bury her beloved Granny Zee, owner of the Blackbird Café.

It was supposed to be a quick trip to close the café and settle her grandmother’s estate, but despite her best intentions to avoid forming ties or even getting to know her father’s side of the family, Anna Kate finds herself inexplicably drawn to the quirky Southern town her mother ran away from so many years ago, and the mysterious blackbird pie everybody can’t stop talking about.

As the truth about her past slowly becomes clear, Anna Kate will need to decide if this lone blackbird will finally be able to take her broken wings and fly.




This was the perfect book to kick off my September reading. I have been reading quite a few books which follow the same plot line of this story, and have thoroughly enjoyed them all.*woman returns home and inherits xxx* usually a bed and breakfast, but in Anna Kate, our heroine of this novel’s case, a cafe.

“Once upon a time there was a family of Celtic women with healing hands and giving hearts, who knew the value of the art and used its abundance to heal, to soothe, to comfort. Doing so filled their sounds with peace and happiness. Those women held a secret.”

The cafe and specifically the blackbird pie is a staple in the small town of Wicklow, Alabama. Anna Kate never really spent any time in Wicklow, Alabama growing up but when she returns, I don’t think she quite grasped how important her family cafe meant to the community. The magical realism in the story kicks in early in the book when we get glimpses of her grandmother’s storytelling and throughout the book when we get scenes with Anna Kate and the blackbirds. I love what the birds symbolize and how much the importance of love and the magic of love are honed in, in the book.

Grief. This book really touches on how a tragic accident. One moment in time. One incident. How it can affect everyone who has now experienced a loss. We see how grief affects who you become. We see how grief affects relationships and a lot of this book in its own magical way, is a good look at healing.

There is a lot going on in this story, and the story itself is set in a small Alabama town which I felt was a character itself. I love when setting plays a huge part in the story and Wicklow definitely did. You truly get the small town vibe: everybody knows everybody’s business, when there is trouble someone is coming by to help and the southern charm is irresistible.

cafe mood board

Overall, I loved it. I already know it is a story I will be recommending for a very long time. I rated it 5/5 stars. Add this one to your autumn tbr if it’s not on there already.



#Blogtober Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths


So, why not pass the hours with some story-telling? The perfect thing for a late October evening?


Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths is an ode to the long ago written gothic horror novels. Maybe it’s the numerous book titles woven into the story, or the many references to characters that emit this vibe as you make your way through, that you’re reading a very subtle, spooky murder mystery. At one point I thought I was reading a ghost story, but in the fashion of  many gothic writers before her, Elly Griffiths ‘ghosts’ have an explanation.

In Stranger Diaries, our heroine Clare, is a high school teacher English at Talgarth High. The building which houses the school was once the home to writer of a very popular Victorian ghost story, The Stranger, author RM Holland. Within the first few chapters of the book, a co-worker of Clare’s is found murdered in her home. This kicks off the story really. As the police begin their investigation, Clare flips through her journals to remind herself of specific events they have asked her to remember, when she notices someone else’s handwritings in them.


I think what I love so much about this book is how it captures the importance of reading and writing. I kept a list of the titles mentioned in the story and what I think Elly Griffiths did a great job of was, if she was mentioning a title, it added some kind of value to the story. I didn’t feel like she was throwing titles in there just for the hell of it. It really made sense to the way the story was flowing at the time.

Different perspectives. At first I didn’t think I’d like getting the different perspectives. Initially, I rolled my eyes because I didn’t want to relive scenes all over again. As the story progressed though, I realized the importance behind doing this. We get the perspective of Clare, her daughter Georgie and the Sargent Detective, Harbinder. Having these different perspectives, at one point was about to drive me mad! I felt like you couldn’t trust anyone.

I will admit, I thought I knew The Whodunnit and was shocked when I learned who it was, so if you’re in the mood for a haunted school a murder mystery, crossing over ghosts and the love of gothic novels..I can’t recommend this book enough!

If you decide to give it a read, please let me know what you think of it.

Happy Reading friends. we will chat again soon.



Only Him (One & Only #2) by Melanie Harlow

Only Him

by Melanie Harlow

book #2 in the One and Only trilogy

Goodreads Rating: 4.15 Stars

My Rating: 4/5 Stars


Sometimes your first love deserves a second chance.

He was my first crush, my first kiss, my first everything.
But I’m not a lovesick teenager anymore, and I’d never let that cocky troublemaker break my heart again.
So when he shows up out of the blue asking me to have dinner with him “for old time’s sake,” I say I will. After all, it’s been twelve years, and I’m stronger and smarter than I was back then.
Except…he still does something to me. He’s got those eyes that make me weak, those hands that drive me wild, and a body I can’t resist—especially once I see the tattoos. It doesn’t take long for our trip down memory lane to go from sweet to sizzling.
We’re just as good together as we were back then—better, even—and I’m willing to give the only man I’ve ever loved another chance.
But he’s got to tell me the truth.

* * *

All I wanted was to see her again. Tell her I’m sorry. Make her smile.
Okay, that’s a lie. I wanted to do more than that—a lot more. But I know she’s better off without me, and I promised myself I’d behave.
Except I’ve never been much good at keeping promises…or my hands to myself when I’m around her.
I can make her laugh, I can make her cry, I can make her body surrender to mine in ways that neither of us could have imagined back then. I can—and I do—love her more than she’ll ever know.
But I can’t tell her the real reason why I’m here.
And I can’t stay.

him collage.JPG

My Thoughts:

Per usual, I read this trilogy completely out of order but if you were considering reading it, just putting this into the universe: that is totally fine, each book can be read as a standalone.

Only Him was such an emotional second chance romance following Dallas and Maren. There is something about rekindling flames with your first love type stories that I yearn for. It’s like this slight hold on innocence, but now we’re adults and it’s interesting to see if we love each other the same now that we have time and life experiences on our side. With Maren you instantly get the sense that she needs some sort of closure with her and Dallas’s situation.  Same with him, which is basically how the story kicks off. Dallas has some medical issues and makes the decision to go see her after all these years to apologize for how things ended.

I think what’s going to stick with me most about this story is Dallas. He has some family drama. He was the screw up kid, always compared to his older brother who got the good grades, stayed out of trouble. Dallas was always in trouble, dropped out of college and does tattoos for a living. The author really wrote the growth of Dallas as a character well. We see him choosing to be miserable and he gets called out on it. We see how things aren’t always what they appear. We see Dallas and his brother work towards mending their relationship, and Mister Perfect Big Brother shares with Dallas a situation that humbled him.  It really opened the conversation on, as a man, being okay with being vulnerable.

Only Him

The relationship between Dallas and Maren kicks off kind of fast, I mean the two already have so much love for each other, so I didn’t mind. They definitely make up for lost time, but Dallas’s medical issue is a big part of the conflict and he takes the opportunity for Maren to be there for him, away from her. You have two people who obviously love each other, yet it’s so complicated.

Minus the medical issues and family drama, this book felt like a love letter to first loves we don’t get closure on. I think everyone remembers their first love, but if you found yourself in a situation like Maren’s, it makes total sense how, regardless of how much Time has passed, that you’d still be fixated on them.  I thought Melanie Harlow captured that so well.

If you are already a fan of Melanie Harlow’s I think this back list title is definitely a must read. I have chatted with a few friends who admitted this was their least favorite book in the trilogy..and I will say, book three remains my favorite, but Only Him is still very good. Very sexy, and very emotional, but so worth it.






Well Met by Jen Deluca

“I met Jake at a frat party when I was nineteen. We were drunk, we…you know.” I shrugged. “We were just together after that. He never asked me out; I never accepted.”

well met 2

Our heroine in Well Met by Jen Dulca is Emily who is fresh out of a breakup with her ex boyfriend Jake. Jake and Emily met at a party when they were 19 and their relationship just sort of happened after that. While together, Jake convinced Emily to quit college where she was pursuing an English Degree, to work two jobs and help provide for him as he pursued his law degree. Jake gets his degree and offered a job..and dumps Emily.

Then Emily’s older sister and niece are in a bad car accident which brings her to Willow Creek, Maryland. She moves in with her sister to help with normal day to day things. Em’s niece really wants to participate in the town’s Renaissance Faire but has to have an adult sign up with her, so Emily steps up, signing up to be a tavern wench. Enter Simon. These two can’t stand each other, basically immediately. But then the two get into character and Emily realizes he’s kind of hot. Eventually for both Emily and Simon, feelings begin to change.

“April was right. I hadn’t been on this side of the grounds much at all. Except for the first day of Faire. The hand fasting. That day had been the beginning of everything between Simon and me. The first time he’d kissed me, even though it was staged. The first time I’d felt his hand around mine and felt safe. Protected. Like he was the one I was meant to be with. It had all been fake emotion brought on by being in character and fancy words spoken while our hands had been bound together with a golden chord. But it had been real, and more importantly, it had led to something real.”

I’m sure you’ve seen this book somewhere as it is all over the place at the moment. Well Met is very original. It brings something fresh to the lineup of 2019 romance releases with the Renaissance Faire theme. What I liked most about this book was the premise and the plot. I liked that Emily stepped up and was there for her sister and niece during a period of their lives when they are trying to get things back to normal. This also allowed Emily and her sister to work on their sisterly relationship that they never really got to have due to their age difference.

I liked the hate to Love relationship between Emily and Simon. The faire is a very big deal to Simon who we learn gradually, makes the faire a priority in honor of his deceased brother, who the faire was once upon a time, a big deal to. Simon is also an English teacher so he knows what he is talking about. He doesn’t think Emily takes things seriously and also thinks her and this guy Mitch are a thing. Mitch and Simon grew up together but were complete opposites: Mitch was the big, buff, popular guy and Simon was the nerd living in his brother’s shadow. The walls between Emily and Simon slowly come down once they give each other a chance and actually communicate. I enjoyed the pacing. It was a while before things start to shift between the two and I liked that it wasn’t rushed.

My only issue with Well Met, was that for a large part of the book it felt that Emily continuously resorted to her “I’m not good enough,” internal struggle so much, and we weren’t seeing any action on her part to grow from it, move on from it, or do something about it. I will admit, I cried at the end, but even with the beautiful ending, I was left to feel..does Simon making this vow to show her everyday how important she is, have to be what she needs to feel important? Emily is super smart, she holds her own with the literature talk with Simon. She steps up to help her sister and niece get back on their feet. She helps the Queen with the bookstore/cafe idea and is the no brainer person to run the store when the Queen needs to take off for a while..like there are so many arrows pointing to Emily being a pretty bad ass woman. I wish we would have seen more of her recognizing her self-worth on her own.

To not end off on a bad note though, Well Met is worth the read. Read it because it is going to be different than the 2019 releases we have had thus far. I really think the faire setting brings something totally different to the genre and it’s exciting. Deluca’s writing I am rooting for. There were no complaints there and I am excited to see what else she has in store for us.

For my rating, make sure we are friends on Goodreads. You can follow me, here.

Let me know if you have already read Well Met, what your thoughts about it are and if not, is it something you plan to pick up. We will chat again soon. Until then, take care of yourselves.



Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber

“Pride will only take you so far, Mom”

Window on the Bay 

by Debbie Macomber

Published July 16, 2019

Goodreads Rating: 4.05 Stars

My Rating: 3/5 Stars


Jenna Boltz’s life is at a crossroads. After a messy divorce from her surgeon husband nearly twenty years ago, she raised her two children on her own, juggling motherhood with her beloved job as a Seattle intensive-care nurse. Now that Paul and Allie have gone to college and moved out, Jenna can’t help but wonder what her future holds.

Her best friend, Maureen, is excited for Jenna’s newfound independence. Now is the perfect time to finally book the trip to Paris they’ve been dreaming of since their college days. But when it comes to life’s other great adventure–dating–Jenna still isn’t sure she’s ready to let love in . . . until an unexpected encounter begins to change her mind.

When Jenna’s elderly mother breaks her hip, Dr. Rowan Lancaster saves the day. Despite his silent, stoic exterior, Rowan is immediately smitten with Jenna. And even though Jenna is hesitant about becoming involved with another surgeon, she has to admit that she’s more than a little intrigued. But when Jenna’s children approach her with shocking news, she realizes that she needs to have faith in love and embrace the unexpected–before the life she has always dreamed of passes her by.



Window On the Bay is a slow paced, dual narrative romance following two friends, Maureen and Jenna. These two ladies are best friends, singles Mom who have both raised their kids, worked, provided for their families and found themselves in the routine of being alone.

What I liked about this book is that in true Debbie Macomber fashion, our heroines are older which I think is always a refreshing perspective to read from.  However, because these ladies were older, with grown children who they raised alone, provided for alone, I expected to genuinely feel that I was reading from the perspective of a older woman with age and wisdom under her belt.

When I think of angst I think of me being a 17 year old, starry eyed girl with her head in the clouds and the push and pull, back and forth, love me/love me not I put myself through and others through when I thought I was in love. When I’m reading from the perspective of an older woman, with adult kids, and feel that the author is attempting to write in angst or an older woman’s version of it, I tend to roll my eyes a bit. Now, I’m 32 and am nowhere near having things figured out but I hope that if I am alive and well in my mid forties, early fifties that I will be at some kind of peace with all I’ve endured in my thus far and know it’s either a yes or no for whoever is trying to ease their way into my life. Maureen and Jenna both felt entirely too childish for me!

One has a love interest who is the complete ‘opposite’ to her. She is a librarian, he’s a plumber. It felt a little judgmental at times. The other is worried because professionally, she has Told herself due to what’s happened in the past, she wouldn’t allow herself to go there with another professional like he is.  All of that I fine, if you like it, I love it kind of thing but it was so childish and immature it made the story very unbelievable in parts for me.


Debbie Macomber crafts her stories in a way where you are completely on board with what issues your heroine needs to work through. Typically you see your completely flawed, but stitched together with good intentions, hero, and are fully aware he Is 100% smitten with the heroine. You then spend the entire story seeing events unravel that lead to the heroine getting a handle on her issues, moving on, and learning to recognize and appreciate our Mister Right whose been under her nose all this time.

In Maureen and Jenna’s cases, things were no different, but as women who have issues because of whatever has happened in their past, they looked for excuses to not give things a chance. Everytime Maureen and Logan had a disagreement she basically dumped him. I was so happy when he finally stood his ground and was like fine, if that’s what you want. I was like heck yes, MOVE ON LOGAN..no one has time for these games! With Jenna whose kids have a dead beat, sperm donor father, she learns that Rowan, her love interest is the father of her daughter’s college roommate. The girl tries to paint him as this deadbeat father too, and it never crosses Jenna’s mind to allow him the opportunity to explain himself. She just kicks him out. Later to find that the girl moved to their city because she knew he was there, and she tried to manipulate him into giving her all the things she wanted. Within moments, Jenna had her mind completely made up that he wasn’t the guy for her because of what his daughter was saying.

I rated this book 3 out of 5 stars because although there was a lot about it I didn’t enjoy, there were things that I did. Most importantly the setting. Debbie Macomber has this way of transporting me to the location unlike any other author. She plucks me out of down south Texas and plops me in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. I love it, every time.

I did enjoy seeing the growth of these women as mothers. Despite their age, they still didn’t have all of the answers, and still had things they had to learn to better their relationships with their kids. I’m not always a fan of the ways Macomber writes the kids of the heroines in her books but in this one in particular, the annoying daughter I couldn’t stand, was able to redeem herself by the end of the story.


Overall, if you are already a fan of Debbie Macomber’s writing style and way of crafting a story, I do think you’ll enjoy this one. Around this time last year we got Cottage By The Sea released by her, and that’s a story that really impacted me and has stood the test of time. Window On The Bay I can already tell will not have that affect on me. If she is an auto buy author for you already though, I think it is worth reading since you’re already invested in reading what she puts out. Just know it didn’t become a new favorite of mine.



The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Published by Avon, August 6, 2019

Book 1 in the Modern Love series

Goodreads Rating: 4.05 Stars

My Rating: 3/5 Stars



Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

– Nude pics are by invitation only

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

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The excitement when I learned we were getting a new romance from Alisha Rai, was off the charts. I’ve read the first two book in her Forbidden Hearts trilogy and both of those I really enjoyed. There isn’t anything fun about them, so I have be in the right mood to pick them up, but I’ve come to expect that with that particular trilogy. Maybe I was a tad guilty of judging a book by it’s cover with The Right Swipe. The summer romances we’ve been seeing released have been, or appeared to be, fun, summer reads. The Right Swipe comes packaged in this gorgeous hot pink illustrated cover, so I braced myself for a good time.


The premise had promise. Second’ish chance romance between Rhiannon and Samson who hooked up once. The pair made plans to link up again but Samson never showed, which lead to Rhi moving on and believing he deliberately ghosted her.

Rhi owns an online dating site called Crush and wants to purchase a site called Matchmaker. Enter, Samson. Samson is the nephew of Matchmaker’s current owner. The two end up working together on a side project. Start sleeping together again. I’m trying to not get irritated by writing this review so I’m going to just cut to the point.

I rated this book 3 out of 5 stars. The premise was there and it could’ve been amazing but where it went wrong was: to me it was pretty boring and I didn’t like Rhiannon. There. I said it. What Alisha Rai tries to do is really get you as the reader to understand how difficult it has been for Rhi, a black woman in her tech career. I got it. She has this tough exterior. She sticks to the script. She keeps it professional at all times. I got it. What didn’t work for me, was that it felt like I never got anything from Rhi but that tough exterior. She remained so hardcore throughout so much of the book that even during scenes where I felt the author was attempting to soften her up a bit, it didn’t feel believable. Her tough exterior made the happy ever after in the ending extremely hard to believe. I read it. I know it happened, but it felt kind of mediocre. There was nothing exciting about it which makes me sad, because although I would’ve enjoyed to see more from Samson, what I could see was that he was totally smitten with Rhi.


The book brings up some very important issues though; relationship violence, workplace sexual assault, the me-too movement, feminism, being a woman in a male dominated industry..add in that the woman is a woman of color. I liked that Alisha Rai was able to weave such important issues flawlessly into the story. None of these topics felt forced or out of place, but even the scenes depicting these topics felt more believable than the romance between Rhi and Samson. The romance is what I was there for and it was a let down.

I would love to chat with anyone who has read this book. I feel like I am in the small minority of readers who weren’t fans but it also has some 5 star ratings, so I would never say Don’t read it. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me. I will definitely keep a look out though for whatever else is to come from the series. Rai introduces us to a cast of characters I’m really interested in. I want to see whose story is next!



Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

Published October 1, 2019 by Central Avenue Publishing

I was provided a review copy via Netgalley



Bestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the mythology of the goddess to weave a common thread through the past and present.By the end of this book, Aphrodite make you believe in the possibility of your own healing.

My Review:

I will make this as quick as possible: Get your hands on this poetry collection the moment it releases. My first read by Mateer was Honeybee which I read last year. Mateer’s poetry style had me hooked from the first page and I have been binging whatever collections of hers I can find ever since. I was super excited to see she had a new release on Netgalley.

I like that this collection has a theme and sticks with it. Mateer crafts her poetry, stitching each poem together with tales of Aphrodite as its backbone.

Aphrodite notes the romance novels piled by my bedside, their tattered covers and their dog-eared pages. She says “I thought you weren’t looking for love.” I say, “That doesn’t meant I’m not hoping it will find me.” I say, “Isn’t everyone looking for love.” She pauses for a long moment before she says, plainly, “No.”


I think with poetry that comes out now, it either works for you or it doesn’t. I have loved poetry for as long as I can remember and yes, I’m a huge supporter of the work but that doesn’t mean that everything is for me. The different styles poets these days have can go completely over my head. I seek poetry that speaks to me eternally 17 year old soul. The 17 year old girl spirit within me is who I use to judge if a collection works for me. The 17 year old girl with a stack of composition books hidden under her bed with poetry of her own scribbled onto the pages.

What Trista Mateer does, 17 year old Bree is a total fan of. Her poetry hits me in the gut, breaks my heart, stitches everything back together and leaves me completely empowered by the end of it all. This collection has passage upon passage that you should meditate on..

“I treat my greatest loves like seeds. When I’m ready, I put them down and I seldom look back at what has grown behind me. I keep my eyes trained ahead. There is always more ground to cover.”

There is an entire poem on shame that I highlighted the entire thing. It is brilliant and for anyone trying to grapple with shame, I can’t recommend reading this particular poem over and over again, and then some.

Treat yourself. Give it a try. This collection is absolutely worth it. There is something simple about Trista’s writing. Nothing over the top, but she is going to have your emotions all over the place. She is writing the poetry we need in 2019.