September in Review

Hello Friends! I hope you had a wonderful September. I am so sad to see it go already but am so looking forward to a new month. October and November are my two favorite months of the year. October because of Halloween and November because of my birthday. This is honestly the best time of year and strangely, the time of year that I feel like my reading picks up! Not sure, if it is a rush to get things read prior to the year ending, or just because it is such cozy time..

I read quite a bit this September, so let’s get into what I finished.

phonto (37)

September crept in and my reading mood immediately went into cozy mystery mode! Over the course of a few month’s time, I have managed to haul quite a few cozy mystery series that I found sounded interesting, and I have intentionally saved for this time of year. The first series I started with is the Hat Shop Series by Jenn McKinlay and book one is Cloche and Dagger.

cloche and dagger

I won’t say too much about the cozy mysteries I read in September in this post, because I will have posts highlighting them coming up in a few weeks, but I really enjoyed this one. If you are looking for a good cozy I definitely recommend it.

Immediately after finishing Cloche and Dagger, I jumped right into book two in the series, which is Death of a Mad Hatter.  I will talk about this one in a future post, but where I thought the first book checked all h boxes for the first in a series, I felt this one really stepped up to the plate. It was super intense, and I had no ideas as to the “who done it?”

mad hatter

Still in the cozy mystery mood, I picked up the next book in the Book Retreat series, Murder in the Paperback Parlor. I loved this second book in the series so much! In true Book Retreat series fashion, the guests at Storyton Hall are all there for a themed get away and whereas the last crew were mystery lovers, this crew are romance lovers. Be on the lookout for my thoughts so far on this series in an upcoming post.

paperback

I finished The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick which I really enjoyed. I have a full review coming for this novel, but I recommend it if historical fiction is your thing–especially if you enjoy time travel.

phantom tree

Following The Phantom Tree, I read Family Tree by Susan Wiggs. Back at the end of August I read Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs which I adored so I thought what the heck, let me start the next book on my shelf by her. I literally read this in less than two days. I listened to it on audio while following along with the narrator and could not get enough. It was wonderful. I have a review coming for this one in October so be on the look out for that.

family tree

Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower was my next read, and another cozy mystery. This is book one in the Magical Bookshop series and oh my goodness, I love this series so much. There are currently only two books out, so I am patiently waiting for the release of the third one. I immediately jumped into the second book, Prose and Cons and loved it, I think a tad more than book one. I am currently torn! If I was asked what type of cozy mystery do I prefer, I thought I’d always say the ones involving food but I am finding I love cozies which take place in bookshops. This series not only taking place in a bookshop, but a magical one, just makes it more special. Be on the lookout for a post dedicated to the first two mysteries in this series coming up soon.

crime and poetry

prose and cons

Next, I read the second book in Sarah Morgan’s From Manhattan With Love series, Sunset in Central Park. In book one you meet Paige, Frankie and Eva. The first book was Paige’s romance and this book is Frankie’s. I was super interested in Frankie in book one. She is super against love and romance due to the way she saw her parents’ split take place and everything after. So I was excited to get a book from her perspective. I will admit though, the first few chapters, she frustrated me. Frankie can be a pretty negative person in comparison to Paige and Eva although you understand where she’s coming from. Her story eventually grew on me though. Up next is Eva’s story and hers is, after meeting the girls in book one, the story I’ve looked forward to the most.

sunset in central park

I read my first Candace Osmond novel, Devil’s Heart, which is book one in her Dark Tides trilogy.  This story was gripping. It held me captive until the very ending, and oh don’t get me started on the ending. I highly recommend hauling the first two books at the least, at the same time. I’d be going insane right now if I didn’t have the next book on deck!

candace osmond

The next read was a re-read for me, and that was Mariana by Susanna Kearsley. I have been hyping this novel up since I read it years ago, so I was bit nervous to re-read it. I had this fear of, “what if it isn’t as good as the first time?”  Never fear however when it comes to Susanna Kearsley. I loved this just as much this go around as I did the first time.

mariana

Next I read a poetry collection written by two new to me romance authors, A Love Letter from the Girls Who Feel Everything by Brittainy C. Cherry and Kandi Steiner. This was a short, beautiful collection. It has some beautiful artwork and I could just tell the authors poured their hearts and souls into it. I loved it.

love letter

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid was my next read and I have absolutely no idea why it took me so long to read this book. It is fantastic. It deserves all the hype surrounding it and more. I loved Evelyn. I loved her core group of people she chose to surround herself with and damn, Taylor Jenkins Reid can write a story. This was amazing.

7husbands

I finished The Cottages on Silver Beach by Raeanne Thayne next, which is book 8 in her Haven Point series! I can’t believe I have read 8 books in a series! I made it through this one pretty quickly. I was able to get the audiobook from Scribd and once I started listening, was hooked. Raeanne Thaye does a fantastic job of creating characters who are interested in each other but everything besides that just makes things so damn complicated! I loved this one. This series is so near and dear to my heart and I am happy to say the next one up for me, is her new release, Season of Wonder which released on September 25th.

cottages

Next, I finished another cozy mystery and that is, Town in a Blueberry Jam by B.B. Haywood. I have been making my way in and out of this one since early summer, and being that I hauled the entire series in the matter of two trips to the bookstore, I figured I need to start making my way through it. Unlike the other cozies I read this month, this first in the series didn’t leave me with the urge to jump immediately into the next book. I didn’t feel that connection to the story as I did with prior reads but my fingers are crossed that the second book pulls me in.

blueberry

My next read was sort of a let down for me, and that Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill. I love poetry and am a fan of short stories and I find it brave when an author decides to put a body of work into the world consisting of both. A lot of readers haven’t found their niche with poetry and short stories don’t work for everyone. I had high hopes for this one though, because I read a previously written poetry collection by Nikita Gill and loved it. This one missed the mark for me though. She hits some very important themes which I appreciate her for not shying away from, but I found myself preferring the poetry over the short stories and after a while, it felt as though I was reading the same thing over and over. It became super repetitive.

fierce fairytales

 

A fun read towards the end of the month was Miracle on 5’th Avenue by Sarah Morgan. I will be posting my thoughts on this one in a review to come, but I will leave you with, I LOVED it! Sarah Morgan’s books are so much fun and so sexy.

miracle

 

Lastly, I finished I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel. I prefer not to give star ratings to essays, memoirs or any other nonfiction depicting anything personal or based off the author’s life, so although there isn’t a star rating, just know I loved this gem. If you haven’t hauled it, do so. Keep it on your nightstand and just casually read one or two stories here until you’ve finished it. It is one of those books best consumed in bits and pieces. I loved it.

So Friends, those are the books I read in September. It turned out to be a really good reading month for me.

Let me know what you read in September and if you have any new favorites.

 

signature

July in Review

Hey Friends! I hope all is well with you. Another month has passed us by in what feels like the blink of an eye. As I look back at what I read in July, I am realizing how good of a reading month it was for me. Not necessarily just thinking about how much I read, but in terms of what. I read some really feel good books and read a couple with friends which is always a fun way for me to tackle a book.

phonto (25)

I read The Inn At Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber which I have written a review for. I listened to this via Overdrive and also followed along, which I highly recommend doing if you are interested in starting this series. The narrator, Lorelei King, is fantastic and it is just one of those stories that feels good to have someone read aloud to you. This read as the first book in a series should. As I was reading it, I felt like there was more to come while at the same time, introducing me to the main character and what I can expect from the rest of the series. Jo Marie is the main character, a war widow who moves to Cedar Cove and purchases an Inn. Moving and buying the Inn eventually helps her begin to heal from the loss of her husband and she slowly realizes, that is what she wants the Inn to sort of represent for everyone who stops there; a place for healing.

rose harbor.jpg

Once I finished The Inn At Rose Harbor, I couldn’t resist, and immediately jumped into the second book in the series, Rose Harbor in Bloom. This too, I followed along with the audio book via Overdrive. This was another well crafted story with a cast of characters all healing from something. Annie Newton arrives at the Inn in the midst of coordinating her grandparents fiftieth wedding anniversary while healing from her broken engagement.  With all of the chaos of planning going on and her grandparents not seeming to be able to get along, she is forced to face and be around Oliver Sutton, who, growing up always teased her. We also meet Mary Smith, a business woman who comes to the Inn after being diagnosed with a serious illness. While there, she comes face to face with a lingering regret; the love of her life whom she let go of nineteen years ago. Where I felt like the first book was a great introduction story, Rose Harbor in Bloom jumped right into my heart and shredded it into pieces before bit by bit piecing it together again.

rose harbor in bloom.jpg

Next, I read Love Letters which is book three in the Rose Harbor series. In this book, a slight twist happened that I expected but at the same time didn’t expect. Jo Marie has a handy man named Mark who is difficult at times, rough around the edges, but is a good friend to her. But Jo Marie knows nothing about Mark and it is starting to bother her. In this novel, she begins to realize she has been thinking about him a lot more than willing to admit. It was the guests of the Inn though that really tugged at my heartstrings. We meet Ellie, a 23 year old woman taking a leap of faith by traveling to Cedar Cove to meet a guy named Tom whom she’s been corresponding with for months but has never actually met in person and we also meet Maggie and Roy. Maggie and Roy are a married couple who are taking their first vacation together since their children were born. Both have made mistakes in their marriage and they are hoping this vacation will help rekindle the spark in their relationship. I love how vulnerable the characters in this novel had to be. We see them all really have to open themselves up to possibilities. It was great.

letters.jpg

I could’ve totally binged the Rose Harbor Inn series, but I had to keep in mind that I have also been making my way through another series, the Haven Point series by Raeanne Thayne. So I picked up the next book in the series for me, Snowfall on Haven Point. This one follows Andrea Montgomery, a single Mother of two whose police officer husband died in the line of duty. Andrea comes to Haven Point trying to escape a fellow officer and friend of her husband who took advantage of her after her husband passed. We are first introduced to Andrea in the previous book, Riverbend Road when she meets and becomes friends with Wyn Bailey. In Snowfall on Haven Point, Wyn asks Andrea to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who was recently injured in a hit and run vehicle accident. Marshall doesn’t like feeling helpless at all, and is not excited to have someone looking after him but the more and more he spends time with Andrea and her kids, his mind starts to change.

snowfall.jpg

 

I read another Debbie Macomber novel, her newest release, Cottage by the Sea. I took my time with this one and enjoyed it so much. I read half of it in physical copy and actually listened to the second half with my current free subscription to Scribd. In this story, we follow Annie Marlow who in the blink of an eye’s entire life is rocked by tragedy. As expected, she grieves for a long time, until encouraged to return to somewhere she remembers being happy. Annie returns to Oceanside in the Pacific Northwest and rents the cottage her family used to spend summers in.  It is in Oceanside that Annie begins to restore her spirit. She gradually makes friends with Mellie, her landlord who is a total recluse, Britt who works at a local coffee shop and Keaton, who she’s most drawn to. Keaton is a big strong guy but at the same time quiet and peaceful and the two grow close. As they grow closer though, the chance of a life time lands in Annie’s lap and she’s torn between feeling safe in Oceanside and Keaton’s arms, or this chance toward continued success. Debbie Macomber hasn’t ceased to amaze me yet. I feel like I know what to expect when I pick up one of her novels but she has such an incredible way of creating these characters you care about and these locations that sound so cozy and dreamy, you don’t want to leave.

 

cottage.jpg

My last book of July was Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale which I buddy read with Becky from Beck’s Books on Youtube. I enjoyed this book so much. In the beginning it felt as though Rodale was hitting points that weren’t anything new, so I became a bit nervous but it started to really get good. I think this book is a must read for romance readers and would be a great conversation started if you were able to convince a non romance reader to read it.

Dangerous-Books-For-Girls-Cover-1

 

Share with me what you read in the month of July!! I hope all is well with you, take care of yourselves and until next time, xx

signature