Ten Book Lover Conversation Hearts (That Really Should Exist)

Valentine’s Day is coming, y’all… Do you favor the typical gifts, or would you rather have something more original? Say, a special book?

Bethany House Fiction

You know those candy hearts that show up around this time of year? The ones with sweet mottos like “Crazy 4 U” or “Kiss Me” written on them? I’ve always thought they needed to be more specific. And by that I mean…bookish. Here are ten new conversation hearts that don’t exist but totally should.

(For the purpose of this post, we’re pretending that these candies actually have flavors, when we all know they really taste like chalk with slight tints of artificial coloring.)

The Basics

Do I know why “love” is abbreviated “luv” when it saves only one letter and looks ridiculous? No, I do not. Just go with it. This is your standard “declare where your heart is” candy.

Ideal flavor: Classic cherry.

Use this as an excuse to keep reading…not that you need an excuse. (And not that you actually need to keep to the limit described here.)

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Mini-Review: Until We Find Home

35755915Getting invested in the storyline and the characters – especially Claire – took me at least half the book. The premise is historically interesting, and my heart hurt for the little Jewish refugees in her care, but Claire just struck me as whiny and immature for so long, and so fixed on Arnaud (who is never even on the page) that she utterly bored me.

But the references to authors and stories I’ve long cherished – Winnie the Pooh, The Secret Garden, Beatrix Continue reading

Review: Troubled Waters

35086527Troubled Waters left me with mixed feelings. Ian and Sierra’s story has been teased since the prequel to the adventurous Montana Rescue series, and I’ve been antsy with anticipation. Sierra used to work for billionaire Ian until they had a major falling-out and he fired her, despite being completely in love with her. But they keep reconnecting on the PEAK rescue team. Cue the tortured love story.

Their story takes center stage in Troubled Waters, in which Ian and Sierra repeat the Continue reading

Reading Challenges: Yea or Nay?

pexels-photo-64775.jpegEvery January, I set a reading goal for the coming year. There are lots of ways to challenge yourself to read more, and just as many ways to track your progress. I like to use the Goodreads Reading Challenge – it keeps records of when I read a book, my reviews and ratings, how many books I’ve read thus far that year. The only thing I don’t like about the GRC is that it’s a tad difficult to include re-reads of books.

With so many possible parameters for setting a yearly reading goal, everyone seems to do it a little differently. What about you? Do you set a reading goal for yourself?

Do you simply say, like me, “I want to read x number of books this year”? Do you count re-reads in your progress or only new-to-you reads? How about categories? Some bookworms follow a list like this one from Bethany House. They pick books with a certain setting, or a particular kind of narrator, or that belong to a specific genre….

The possibilities are endless, so why not participate in a reading challenge this year? Go on, get reading! 🙂

Mini-Review: Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter

34460561I have to admit, I don’t feel like gushing with admiration over Blue Ridge Sunrise. The family orchard was interesting, and the family reunion bit was charming (though overused these days). But I saw the ex-boyfriend angle coming a mile away, and I just couldn’t get invested in the characters or the storyline. It felt like I’d read this story before, and like I’d already read Hunter’s version of this story before, too. (Falling Like Snowflakes, anyone?) Maybe the next Denise Hunter book will measure up to Seaside Letters, but not this one.

My rating: 3/5 stars

Recommended for: fans of Denise Hunter, Kathryn Cushman, Irene Hannon’s inspy fiction, and other similar authors

Note: I received a copy of this novel via NetGalley.

Recommended Read: Out of the Ordinary

34020175Happy holidays, everyone! It’s been a busy season here, and I’ve got some books piled up to review and some holiday reading recommendations for you. First up is Jen Turano’s Out of the Ordinary.

When shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair’s mother catches Gertrude Cadwalader, paid companion to the light-fingered Mrs. Davenport, returning a pilfered item, she comes to the wrong conclusion. However, Harrison is eager to mend fences once he realizes the error. After a real thief starts preying on society, can Gertrude and Harrison catch the culprit? 

This story is a delight! As always, Turano’s writing is full of humor and historical detail, and the romance between these two unusual members of society is both funny and swoon-worthy. I loved when Harrison matter-of-factly begins calling Gertrude “Gertie.” Her compassion toward quirky Mrs. Davenport and her willingness to be turned orange or wear a birdcage-bustle (read the book) is captivating. I laughed out loud when Harrison picks up Gertrude and runs from his annoyed little sister. Out of the Ordinary is full of endearing moments, mystery, and unconventionality, and it’s utterly charming.

I highly recommend this one if you need a light-hearted read during the stress of the holidays!

My rating: 5/5 stars

Recommended for: fans of Jen Turano; historical fiction readers; anyone in need of a humorous read to de-stress; those who enjoy inspirational fiction

Note: I received a copy of this novel via the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.