REVIEW: The Happy Accidents

The Happy Accidents was like watching a season of This is Us. We follow two sisters and their friend as they all confront the stagnation in their lives. One crazy night, they each make a decision which forces them to reassess their lives: careers, relationships, childhood traumas.

The story examines gender roles, self acceptance and the value of true friendship. It was a nice read with characters who dug deep and made real progress during the novel. I personally didn’t resonate with any of the issues in the novel but I think if I had my rating would be higher. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to Booksparks for a copy. All opinions above are my own.

Do you need to connect with a character in some way to love a story?

Pub Day Review: Within these Wicked Walls

“You’re a surprisingly slow learner, Andromeda.”

“Quick learner,” I said, my mind too tired to keep an annoyed bite from peeking through. “Slow follower.”

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Within these Wicked Walls is THE PERFECT read for spooky season. Andromeda is a debtera, an Ethiopian exorcist, who is desperately trying to earn a patronage so that she can continue working. She leaves her mentor and life in the town’s church to take on an impossible job. Magnus Rochester’s house is cursed by the Evil Eye which manifests in all sorts of spooky, hair-raising ghosts and demons. Rooms fill with blood, residents go missing and turn up dead and a terrifying hyena stalks the castle. In order to banish them she must create an amulet to diffuse each one and clean the house of all evil. When she realizes that a lot of the curse resides with Magnus, the owner of the home, who she is inexplicably drawn to, things become complicated.

The imagery in this novel was so immersive, I love a horror novel where you can see the evil in your own mind. I loved the description of the making of the amulets and how Andromeda saw the way to banish each baddie in her mind. I actually wanted more of that… hoping that the print version has some drawings! The main love story part was my least favorite part, it was a bit too contrived and it turned Andromeda from a shrewd exorcist into a bit of a simpering fool at times. But I did love the secondary love story (no spoilers!). I wanted more backstory for each of the other characters in the house, we got a taste of it but I really wanted more of how they came to be in this strange dwelling. Andromeda was a great strong female heroine who well balanced her youth, her courage and her vulnerability.

This one is perfect for fans of Raybearer or A Song of Wraiths and Ruin.

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy. All opinions above are my own.

What’s the last hair-raising book you read?

REVIEW: The Fortunate Ones

“You are coming of age in a world that wants you to believe it’s ok to be mediocre,” Arch said, “There are no really great men left, the world tells you, so why bother trying to become one?”

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I really enjoyed this book, I can’t exactly pinpoint a reason though. I really enjoyed the writing and story progression. It was one of those books where from page one, I just felt at home in it. Charlie felt and thought like I felt and thought. He begins his life in an underprivileged neighborhood with a single mother. A mother who is trying her best to give him better circumstances. When he is chosen as a scholarship student for a private school, he makes friends with a charismatic rich boy. In no time, he is immersed in a world that he could have never imagined.


He sees these kids his age and their parents completely indifferent to the struggles of the real world around them. They use and abuse others to get their way and Charlie is put off by it and yet, being within their circle changes his and his mother’s lives. So he swallows his criticism. In the second part of the book, we see he’s escaped “those” people and is living on his own terms until circumstances drag him back in. In no time, he is back in the same place, trying to be the conscience of those around him and balancing his own feelings and theirs. Lots of interesting turns of karma throughout (also lots of trigger warnings – message me if you need them.) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Thanks to Algonquin Books for a copy. All opinions above are my own.


What’s the last book you read that just felt easy to slip into?

REVIEW: Bombshell

“In the last two weeks, I have drugged an earl, broken the nose of a thug thrice, and robbed a viscount…”

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Ok, y’all know that I’m not a heavy romance reader; when I got chosen for Booksparks Fall Reading Challenge there were a few in the track I was assigned to. And if you send me a book, I’m going to read it!
So, I think if this book were sold with a different cover and were labeled historical fiction and not romance, I would actually choose it. The cover and category allude to the fact that there are some hard eye roll gooshy love moments and some overly spicy naked moments, but to be honest there was a real story with some bada** action to keep me interested.

Sesily is an anti-hero – to polite society she is a proper woman who refuses to be caught marriage, but secretly she and her friends are a ring of female vigilantes trying to take down the rich men who abuse those “below” them. Enter Caleb, her sister’s business partner and a man with a past to hide. Cue the butterflies and porn music. These two fight, they chase and catch and release one another in a never ending cycle until the truth of Caleb’s backstory is revealed.

There are some obvious tropes here but there’s good banter and it was a quick read. I liked the story infinitely more that it was based on a real group of women. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Thanks to Booksparks for a copy. All opinions above are my own.

REVIEW: Windswept

There’s so much great WWI fiction out there, it’s hard to find a book about a topic I haven’t read before. But Windswept brought me to a new front of the war, in Palestine where the British are fighting the Turks. I learned so much about the impact of the war and British colonialism in this region.

In this story, we follow a nurse who is so dedicated to saving lives that she doesn’t care what side of the war the injured are on. When she saves a man who has an intriguing claim about his identity and mission, her pluckiness gets the best of her and she is drawn into a much more complex world than she anticipated. Ginger struggles with just who she can trust and who is working for the war cause and who is working against it. She certainly gets into a lot of dangerous scrapes in this one!

I found the plot around spies and the politics of the time intriguing, it was fun to figure it all out with Ginger. The role of the media in influencing the populace is still a relevant theme today. There were a lot of characters to get to know it first, but stick with it as it will all become clear in the end. I was frustrated at times by the way men around Ginger dictated her decisions but I’m sure it’s accurate to the time, in fact I doubt she would have had as much leeway as she did. I also felt that Ginger, despite her modern attitude, often fell back into the spoiled rich princess role, especially when it came to the romantic aspects of the story. I think I would have enjoyed the story more without those theatrics. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

This is the first time I read a book half in print and half on audio, I enjoyed the multi-media experience. Thanks to Kate Rock Book Tours and Netgalley for access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.

REVIEW: A Lot Like Adios

Ok, this one was well out of my comfort zone. Not only do I not usually read romance, but I don’t go for books this spicy and graphic. But I received this as a part of Booksparks Beautiful Book World Fall Tour and I stick to my commitments. My poor Catholic heart encouraged me to skim some sections and resist shaking my head and comments on casual sex and drug use. However, if you’re comfortable with those things, I did think this story had great representation with successful entrepreneurial, queer, Latinx main characters who balanced their traditional families (hello my comfort zone – yeah I’m old) with their millennial drive to be authentic to themselves.

The romance aspect between these two was less will they or won’t they and more they have and now what. That was a new angle which I think is inherently millennial, thinking they were better off fulfilling themselves than finding a partner. There was good character growth though and I enjoyed their nerdy banter.

I do wish that for the sections where they switch to Spanish there was a translation right there as I kept having to stop and look things up. I liked that it was realistic to bilingual interactions but it kept derailing my reading flow.

Thanks to Booksparks for a copy. All opinions above are my own.

What was the last book he read outside of your comfort zone?

REVIEW: The Gilded Cage

Lynette Noni knocked this sequel out of the park. I had such high hopes because I LOVED The Prison Healer, so I was super nervous going into The Gilded Cage that the magic would be gone. It turns out it’s only gone because Kiva wanted it to be (IYKYK) :-P. It’s hard to review without spoilers for the first novel or this one even.

The story had all the heart and emotion of the first novel albeit with a different setting and different set of challenges for Kiva. Her sense of justice and right and wrong are challenged endlessly and Kiva is exactly who you want her to be from start to finish.
There are lots of intertwined plots to follow with hidden enemies and twists you don’t see coming and another godforsaken ending. Noni is killing me with these! Now I know why I usually wait until an entire series is out before I read it! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy. All opinions above are my own.


Do you read books in a series as they come out or wait til it’s complete?

REVIEW: The Judge’s List

Grisham is back in his sweet spot with The Judge’s List, this novel is a cat and mouse game as the judicial commission tries to investigate a judge who may be a serial killer. We’ve met Lacy before in The Whistler and she’s now been dragged into another criminal case. She is contacted by a woman whose father was murdered decades ago and she is convinced the killer is a former student of his with a grudge. In fact, she thinks he’s acted on lots of grudges and left several bodies in his wake.

Grisham departs slightly from a legal procedural but provides us with a detailed mystery that has several twists and turns. The path the accuser has taken to unravel the judge’s complex criminal history is so impressive even the FBI is wow-ed in this one. You’ll be intrigued by the extent the judge takes to cover his tracks, shocked by the shallow grudges and certainly surprised by the ending. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to Doubleday for a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.


This one is out tomorrow, any upcoming releases that you’re excited about?

👻 REVIEW: The Ghost Tree 👻

The Ghost Tree was definitely a cover buy for me. The premise reminded me of something Stephen King might write although the characters were definitely more YA. At times it gave me IT vibes, with a big bad unknown evil secretly terrorizing this small town. 

Lauren is a pre-teen who is frustrated that her best friend is suddenly less interested in hanging out in the woods and more interested in hanging with boys. So Lauren is left on her own hanging out by The Ghost Tree, the place where her father was killed. When two young girls bodies are found murdered in a brutal way, she is determined to get to the bottom of it. She realizes that these are not the first girls to go missing in town and that their disappearance might be related to her father’s death. But no one seems to remember that girls keep going missing. She teams up with a friend and a cop to try to get to the bottom of just what’s been happening in town.

This book was a like not a love for me. I’m not quite sure why, it had all the elements for a spooky mystery but it just didn’t get my pulse racing. I liked that we occasionally heard from the big baddie but I think there needed to be more there to the story for me. Still a great option for spooky season reads though. ⭐️⭐️⭐️


What was your last cover buy?

REVIEW: Paper Airplanes

What a gut punch of a novel! Paper Airplanes is a story of September 11th written by a woman whose husband worked in the towers and by a twist of fate survived. In this story, we see the impact of a death in this tragedy on a young woman. Her husband is killed (quite graphically – in the opening scenes of the book) in the collapse while his wife Erin is in Mallorca with a friend. The two were relatively newly married and prior to his death, Erin was struggling with the binds of marriage. 

We see Erin’s struggle to get home in the early aftermath and her reluctance to believe that Daniel is really gone. We get glimpses of the days and weeks following the event but the story mainly follows Erin through her stages of grief, coping (not always in a healthy way) and acceptance. She swings through self destruction to finding a way to live productively despite the fact that she felt responsible for all of the decisions that led Daniel to be in the towers in the first place. 

The story is a beautiful snapshot of the impact of grief. We see how all of the people around Daniel cope differently with his death and how hope can come from the most terrible circumstances. Erin isn’t always likable and quite often makes choices that make you cringe but the tone of those decisions felt authentic. The paper airplane connection that runs throughout the story is cute. This novel reminded me a lot of In Five Years, it tackles a very heavy topic with moments of romance, the pursuit of happiness and hope.

Thanks to Booksparks for a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.

Where is the last place you flew to?