Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally


Title:  Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord

Author:  Celeste Connally

Narrated by:  Eilidh Beaton

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Length: Approximately 11 hours and 15 minutes

Source: Review Copy from NetGalley and Purchased from


What is your favorite type of tea?  I love black tea and it must be caffeinated.  I purchase looseleaf tea from TeaSource.  Some of my favorite flavors are Georgia Sunshine and Prairie Passion.

Lady Petra Forsyth is the daughter of an Earl living in Regency England.  After tragically losing the love of her life, she has declared herself a spinster.  This does not sit well with some people, such as her detestable Uncle who believes it is unnatural.  She believes she does not need to give up her freedom and wealth without finding true love.  One of Lady Petra’s friends dies suddenly, but her old servant is sure he saw the friend just the other day in London. This sparks Lady Petra’s curiosity, and she starts to investigate.  Lady Petra soon finds out that there are other missing women amongst the ton.  Where have they gone and why?

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord is full of a lot of interesting characters.  I liked Lady Petra’s headstrong ways and inquisitive nature.  Her childhood friend, Duncan, is a perfect foil for her.  I was confused about his place in society though as he was born on the wrong side of the blanket.  It didn’t seem to matter as much in this Regency world as it did in the real Regency world.  I loved his grandmother, the Duchess, and wish she would have been in the book more.  Street urchin Teddy and her lady’s maid, Annie, were also great characters. 

I was intrigued by the mystery and was dismayed when my audiobook copy from NetGalley stopped working at 27% into the book.  I had to purchase it from as I wanted to see where the mystery went and how it would end.  The mystery had a satisfying end and the overall book ended on a cliffhanger.  This is the first book in the Lady Petra Inquires series.  I will be reading the next book in the series.

Eilidth Beaton was a great narrator that gave personality to the different characters.  It was very enjoyable to listen to it while driving.

The storyline was feminist and had a lot of modern thinking about the place of women in society that would not have been prevalent in Regency England.  It reminded me of Enola Holmes in this sense.


The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer


Title:  The Talisman Ring

Author:  Georgette Heyer

Narrated by:  Joe Jameson

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Length: Approximately 9 hours and 39 minutes

Source: Purchased from

Are you a fan of Georgette Heyer?  I randomly discovered her books at the Kewaunee Public Library fifteen or so years ago.  I read Frederica first and I was hooked.  Her Regency romances are a delight and the next best thing to a Jane Austen novel.

In October for my JASNA Northwoods Book Club, we read and discussed The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer.  I had not previously read The Talisman Ring.  It is truly a delight and fun story.  It seemed that everyone in this book club enjoyed it.

Sir Tristam Shield has been called to the deathbed of his great uncle, Baron Lavenham.  It is the Baron’s dying wish that Sir Tristam marry his granddaughter, Eustacie Lavenham.  She has been raised in France and is looking for an adventure in life.  She is silly and full of ideals, while Sir Tristram is, to her eyes, a bit boring.  They resign themselves to a marriage of convenience.  Eustacie meets another cousin, Basil, or Beau Lavenham, who is a renowned dandy, and she learns of her mysterious cousin Ludovic.  Ludovic is the baron’s heir and whom she was originally intended to marry. Ludovic had allegedly committed a murder over a gambling debt and a missing heirloom Talisman ring.  He has been on the run since that time.  Eustacie decides that Tristam is very boring and does not understand her.  Naturally she runs away.  One the road she meets highwaymen, Cousin Ludovic, and Miss Sarah “Sally” Thane.  Sarah is a woman who is “on the shelf” and traveling with her brother, but she is also up for a bit of adventure.  Will true love prevail?  Will the talisman ring be found?  Did Ludovic really commit the murder?

This was a fun romantic mystery and screwball comedy.  I found myself laughing out loud at some of the antics.  I greatly enjoyed the witty dialogue.  I loved all the characters, and I especially enjoyed it when Sarah Thane and Ludovic joined the story.  This book is set in 1793 so it is in the Georgian era rather than Heyer’s usual Regency era.  The Talisman Ring would be a great first Georgette Heyer book to read.

This was fun to listen to on audiobook and Joe Jameson is a good narrator.


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Sailing the Graveyard Sea by Richard Snow


Title: Sailing the Graveyard Sea:  The Deathly Voyage of the Somers, the U.S. Navy's Only Mutiny, and the Trial That Gripped the Nation

Author:  Richard Snow

Narrated by:  Jacques Roy

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 8 hours and 4 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster Audio.  Thank you @simonandschuster #BookClubFavorites for the free books!


Do you like to listen to audiobooks in the car on long trips?  If you are traveling with someone, how do you decide what book to listen to?  We traveled to Michigan over Thanksgiving weekend.  My daughter enjoys watching movies on trips and opts out of audiobooks.  I read the descriptions of several non-fiction audiobooks to my husband and two sons and they all voted to listen to Sailing the Graveyard Sea by Richard Snow.

Sailing the Graveyard Sea introduced us to a new part of history that we had never heard before.  In 1842, the US brig-of-war Somers was being used a training vessel for many 14- to 18-year-olds and was captained by Commander Alexander Mackenzie.  When the ship arrived in Boston, Mackenzie announced that he had narrowly prevented a mutiny and had hanged the three mutineers at sea.  One of the mutineers was 18-year-old acting Midshipman Philip Spencer, the son of the Secretary of War, John Spencer.

As officials look more into the case, they could not find any evidence that a mutiny did indeed take place.  Everything was based on the testimony of one crew man who stated that Spencer had talked about taking over the ship and becoming a pirate.  After Mackenzie heard this, he locked up Spencer and two other men and through paranoia started to believe that everyone was against him and that mutiny was imminent.  He decided to hang the three men without a trial before arriving back at port.  For this decision, he was put on trial.  The trial was riveting and did not end as we all expected it would.

This was a fascinating story that kept us enthralled through our voyage.  Jacques Roy was a good narrator.   I enjoyed hearing the back story of Philip Spencer, the ne’er-do-well son of the Secretary of War.  Spencer loved reading pirate stories and talking about pirates.  Was he just entertaining himself and the other sailor with pirate stories or did he indeed want to take over the ship?  One thing was for certain, the training of officers had to change.  After this trial, the Naval Academy was started in Annapolis.

Overall, Sailing the Graveyard Sea is a fascinating look into a forgotten episode of naval history.

Middlemarch by George Eliot


Title:  Middlemarch

Author:  George Eliot

Narrated by:  Juliet Stevenson

Publisher: Naxos Audiobook

Length: Approximately 35 hours and 38 minutes

Source: Checked out with Hoopla through the Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!


What book did you read this year that had been on your TBR for a long time?  I often have heard Middlemarch described as the greatest book in English literature and have wanted to read it.  I have owned a copy for years, but the size of the book had daunted me.  We read Middlemarch for the Back to the Classics Book Club at the Kewaunee Public Library and discussed it in September and October.  I chose to listen to the very long audiobook (35 hours!) narrated by the wonderful Juliet Stevenson and follow along in my print edition.

Middlemarch is the story of a village, the change that comes to the village, and three main couples.  It covers many topics and there are many characters.  It is really hard to summarize the story succinctly as so much happens in this novel.  It is the story of a small town going through social change with many subplots and various related characters.

I found it fascinating to compare and contrast the three main couples.  Doreathea is a young heiress with many ideals who marries the middle-aged scholar and pastor Casaubon.   She believes she can be a great help to him but discovers that marriage is nothing like her ideals.  When you are crying from unhappiness on your honeymoon, the future does not look bright. Tertius Lydgate is a new physician in town that marries the beautiful Rosamond.  They both live beyond their means and have a disastrous marriage.  Young Fred Vincy thinks he will be the heir of his uncle, but things do not go as planned.  He ruins himself and his beloved Mary Garth’s family through taking out loans for items beyond his means.  He wants Mary to love and respect him and he works through the entire novel to make himself a better man worthy of Mary’s love.  Fred and Mary were my favorite couple.

There was so much more than these love stories.  Fortunes rise and fall.  Some villains get what they deserve, but others don’t.  Just like in real life, not everyone gets a happy ending.  This is not a novel full of action, but a slow moving novel with a beautifully written story filled with characters that you will not forget.

As I stated above, I listened to this on audiobook and also had a text copy that I read along with.  I really enjoy listening to classics on audiobook as I think it makes it easier to understand language from another time.  Juliet Stevenson (Mrs. Elton from the 1996 Emma) is a wonderful narrator.  I have enjoyed her work in the past.  She acts out the parts and has great voices for all of the characters.

I think I enjoyed this book the most in my book club.  It was a very long book for everyone to read and they did not appreciate the excessive Victorian descriptions of everything. There were a lot of great points to discuss that filled up our hour in both months.  If your book club can make it through, it is a good book to discuss.

Favorite Quotes:

“And, of course men know best about everything, except what women know better.”

“What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?”

“People are almost always better than their neighbors think they are.”

“Our deeds still travel with us from afar/And what we have been makes us what we are.”

“The troublesome ones in a family are usually either the wits or the idiots.”

And so many more!!

Overall, Middlemarch is a great classic that is worth reading and savoring.

Monday, November 27, 2023

A Brilliant Match by Jennie Goutet Book Blast! (Austenprose PR Book Tour)

 I am excited to be a part of a Book Blast today to announce an exciting new Regency Romance - A Brilliant Match by Jennie Goutet.  I am excited to read this new book. Details on the book and a giveaway are below.


·       Title: A Brilliant Match

·       Series: The Earl's Sisters (Book 1)

·       Author: Jennie Goutet

·       Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance

·       Publisher: Millefeuille Press (November 21, 2023)

·       Length: (244) pages

·       Format: Trade Paperback, & eBook 

·       ISBN: 978-2494930186

·       Book Blast Dates: November 27– December 4, 2023



A love match would not do. She would make an advantageous matcha brilliant match!

At the age of nineteen, Lady Dorothea Rowlandson was practically on the shelf. Had she not suffered her father, the earl’s, untimely death weeks before last year’s season, she would surely by now be a married lady—the established wife of an illustrious peer. With such a regrettable delay, time was ever more of the essence if she wished to secure her own future and that of her sisters.

Miles Shaw holds an encumbered estate. It is only logical, therefore, that he commence the London Season on the hunt for a well-dowered wife. His personal code of honor requires he be upfront about this goal, so that he deceives no one. And as he fully intends to love and cherish the wife of his choosing, he will naturally bring as much to the union as he receives. After all, he is a landed gentleman with no shortage of charm.

When chance forced Miles and Dorothea to partner one another for the first dance of the first crush of the season, Fortuna could only have been in a funning mood. To have fostered so unsuitable a connection was nothing short of absurd. For what could a peer of the realm’s daughter and a gentleman of no consequence, with his pockets to let, possibly have in common?



  • “This book was an absolute delight and without a doubt belongs on the reading list of any fan of sweet regency romance!”— Merilee Loves to Read
  • “A creative and delightful historical romance, especially for lovers of a good P&P-type story!"— My Literary Love






Jennie Goutet is the best-selling author of twelve Regency romances, including the Clavering Chronicles, Memorable Proposals, and Daughters of the Gentry series. Her books have received first place in historical romance for the New England Reader’s Choice Awards and have hit the number one spot in Regency Romance on Amazon. They have been featured on BookBub and Hoopla and are translated into five languages.


An American-born Anglophile, Jennie lives with her French husband and their three children in a small town outside of Paris. Her imagination resides in Regency England, where her best-selling proper Regency romances are set.




Check out my Instagram Post (link is top right corner) for details on the Giveaway!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The Wishing Bridge by Viola Shipman (TLC Book Tours)


Do you have any towns or areas you visit for the Christmas season?

Frankenmuth, Michigan is a beautiful town known as Michigan’s “Little Bavaria” and takes celebrating Christmas seriously with a giant Christmas store, Bronner’s and a beautifully decorated town. I have only visited Frankenmuth once while I was in college, but I would love to visit again.  Frankenmuth is the setting of The Wishing Bridge by Viola Shipman.

Henrietta “Henri” Wegner grew up in Frankenmuth and her parents started Wegner’s, an iconic Christmas store that draws tourists from far and wide.  The business has had troubles making it through COVID and tough competition from Amazon.  Henri left Frankenmuth after graduating from the University of Michigan and works for a mergers and acquisitions company in Detroit.  Her boss sends her home for the holidays to make a big deal for a corporation to take over her family’s business.  Once home, she reconnects with her best friend, Sofie, and her childhood sweetheart, Shep.  She discovers that Shep has been divorced for five years and he makes it clear to her that he is ready to date again.  Henri must decide, does she want to help her family business get back on track, or does she want to finish the big corporate deal that will help her keep her current job?

I loved this book.  Viola Shipman (pen name of Wade Rouse) writes vivid characters with great depth.  I loved Henri, Sofie, Shep, and Henri’s entire family.  I could imagine Henri trying to find success in the world, but suddenly realizing all that she misses as she has strived for success.  She also has great flashbacks and memories of her Grandma that help her to shape her decisions as the novel progresses. I enjoyed that Henri was a class of ’85 graduate and a generation X protagonist in her fifties.  The only time I had to stretch my imagination was besides Henri’s parents still running their business, it seemed like there were a lot of people that worked at her family’s store still there from her childhood.  They would mostly likely be in their late 70’s or 80’s and that seemed to be stretching it on age to me.  The romance was sweet, and the setting was perfect.  I loved that Wegner’s was a veiled version of the real-life Bronner’s.

The extras is this novel are a treat.  The novella Christmas Angels is at the back of this book, as well as book club questions, and a very thoughtful letter to the readers.  I loved this quote in the letter, “The Wishing Bridge is about choice we make in our life – some good, some bad – but realizing if we have a strong foundation, it is never too late to cross that bridge in our lives to become the people we dreamed we could become.”  What a perfect description.

Favorite quotes from the novel:

“Memories serve as the voice to our souls, the soundtrack to our lives.”

“The holidays are hard for a lot of us.  Too many people acting like the world is perfect when others are battling a lot of bad memories, or loss.”

“It’s humbling and a bit terrifying to realize, when you really stop to think about it, that when you reach the age of fifty, there are only, perhaps five people in the universe who truly ‘get’ you.  And the sad part?  They all now probably live in a different city than you.”

“Time, there is never enough.”

The Wishing Bridge by Viola Shipman is a heartfelt, perfect novel about Christmas, the importance of family, and how it is never too late to make a change in your life.  I highly recommend it.

Book Source:  Review copy from Graydon Books as part of the TLC Book Tour. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About The Wishing Bridge

• Publisher: Graydon House (November 7, 2023)

• Paperback: 336 pages

Workaholic Henrietta Wegner can feel her edge beginning to dull in middle age. Once the company’s hottest mergers and acquisitions executive, Henri can see the ambitious and impossibly young up-and-comers gunning for her job. When her boss makes it clear she’ll be starting the New Year unemployed unless she can close a big deal before the holidays, Henri impulsively tells him that she can convince her aging parents to sell Wegner’s—their iconic Frankenmuth, Michigan, Christmas store—to a massive, soulless corporation. It’s the kind of deal cool corporate Henri has built her career on.

Home for the holidays has typically meant a perfunctory twenty-four-hour visit for Henri, then back to Detroit as fast as her car will drive her. So turning up at the Wegner’s offices in early December raises some eyebrows: from her delighted, if puzzled, parents to her suspicious brother and curious childhood friends. But as Henri fields impatient texts from her boss while reconnecting with the magic of the store and warmth of her hometown, what sounded great in the boardroom begins to lose its luster in real life. She’s running out of time to pull the trigger on what could be the greatest success of her career…or the most awkward family holiday of her life.

About the author

Wade Rouse is a popular award-winning memoirist and internationally bestselling author of twelve books, which have been translated into twenty languages and selected as Today show Must-Reads, Indie Next Picks and Michigan Notable Books. Rouse writes fiction under his grandma’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms inspire his writing. He lives in Michigan and California, and hosts Wine & Words with Wade, A Literary Happy Hour, every Thursday. 

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler


Title:  A Good Neighborhood

Author:  Therese Anne Fowler

Narrated by:  Ella Turenne

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Length: Approximately 10 hours and 35 minutes

Source: Checked out with Libby through the Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!


What book club book have you read that prompted a lot of good discussion within your group?

I unfortunately had COVID in September and was not able to make it to the Pageturners Book Club meeting at the Kewaunee Public Library.  I was sad to miss the meeting as A Good Neighborhood was a book that covered a lot of topics that I think would have led to a good conversation.

In a quiet neighborhood, an older home has been torn down and a large home has been built in its place that doesn’t quite fit into the neighborhood.  Brad Whitman is a successful HVAC business owner and local celebrity due to his television commercials.  He has built the house and moves there with his wife Julia, and two daughters, Juniper and Lily.  Juniper is a teenager that finds herself attracted to her new neighbor, Xavier.  Xavier is a prodigy on the guitar and has a scholarship to a prestigious university for classical guitar. His mother, Valerie, is a widow and university professor in ecology.  She is also African American raising a biracial son.  The neighborhood has been a close-knit community, but things change when Valerie decides to sue Brad Whitman and his builders for killing the ancient oak tree that is in her back yard.  How will this change the neighborhood?

This novel explored many themes including racism, classism, purity culture, and sexism.  It also had a unique narration as the neighborhood itself told the story.  I was not sure where the story was going, and it turned into a wild ride in the last half of the novel.  I’ll admit that I thought it was very well written and enjoyed the first half, but I didn’t really like the direction it took the second half of the novel.  I thought that they made Brad too evil and the way he was evil really disturbed me.  I did not like the direction that Xavier took either.  I just wanted to smack everyone and tell them that they should just sit down and talk about things rather than involving the police, suing neighbors, etc.  It did give me things to think about and I think it would have been a great book to discuss at book club.

Ella Turenne was a good narrator, but I had to stop listening for awhile as I just couldn’t stand Brad’s evil thoughts.

If you’ve read this book, what did you think about it?

Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant by Darci Hannah


Do you like pumpkin flavored food or drink items?  What is your favorite?  I love pumpkin flavored baked goods such as pumpkin bread.

Lindsey owns a bakeshop in an old lighthouse on the shores of Lake Michigan in the small town of Beacon Harbor, Michigan.  The lighthouse is rumored to be haunted and local teens have tried to break in near Halloween to see it for themselves.  Lindsey’s best friend Kennedy has arranged for the Ghost Guys to do a livestream podcast as they look for supernatural beings in the lighthouse.  Unfortunately, they instead found a dead body on a tree outside still dressed in a costume from the local pumpkin pageant.  Who murdered them and why?

I enjoyed this cozy mystery.  It is the fourth book in the A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery Series, but the first book that I have read in the series.  It worked well as a standalone novel.  I enjoyed how the start of the novel set up the scene, introduced the characters, and then after the murder, Lindsey and her friends investigated and started to piece together what was happening.  The ending was very good and I had not guessed the murderer.  After the novel ended, there many tasty looking pumpkin recipes that I want to try out.  I loved the autumnal setting of this book and I really liked it being set in a small town on Lake Michigan.  I live in a small town on Lake Michigan, but on the Wisconsin side.  I need to read the rest of the books in this series!

Book Source:  Review copy from NetGalley and Kensington Books. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

The Seaside Library by Brenda Novak


Title:  The Seaside Library

Author:  Brenda Novak

Narrated by:  Amy McFaddon

Publisher: Harlequin Audio

Length: Approximately 12 hours and 17 minutes

Source: Checked out with Hoopla through the Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

Do you like to go to the beach?  If so, what beach is your favorite?  I live in Kewaunee which is on Lake Michigan so the beach is never far away . . . although I do not want to swim at the beach in November.

The Seaside Library by Brenda Novak was the November pick for the Page-turners Book Club at the Kewaunee Public Library and the April/May pick for the Brenda Novak Reading Challenge.  The book cover made me think this would be a relaxing beach romance, but it was more of an intriguing mystery set on an island.

Ariana has returned to where she grew up, Mariners Island, after twenty years.  Her two best friends, Ivy and Cam still live on the island.  Her teen years were filled with an unrequited love for Cam as well as a mystery that comes back when she returns to the island.  The remains of a missing girl are discovered, and the cold case is reopened.  Cam was the last person to see her alive and is the prime suspect.  Ivy and Ariana are his alibi, but they have held the secret for the last twenty years that they lied to cover for Cam.  He left them an hour before the time they gave in their statement.  As the mystery reopens, Ariana and Cam find that they may have feelings for each other as well.  Will the murderer be uncovered and will romance bloom?

I thought the murder mystery was interesting, but sad.  I did not guess the ending until the story lead me to the conclusion.  I did not care for the love story between Ariana and Cam.   Mostly because Cam was still married at the time.  He talks about how he doesn’t love his wife and only married her because she got pregnant, but when you talk about your wife that way to people, are you really giving your relationship a chance?  Ariana spends the night when his wife is away, and she catches them pillow fighting when they return.  They are like – we are innocent, but the wife is dubious.  I would be dubious too as I can’t imagine any scenario where it would be okay for my husband and I to have a “friend” over and be pillow fighting with them half dressed in our bed.  That is weird.  It made me not care for their romance at all.  I am not a fan of romance that starts when one of the characters is married.

Amy McFaddon was a good narrator, and the mystery story line kept me engaged with this audiobook.  I quickly finished it.  It did make for a good book club discussion on this novel.

The Witching Tide by Margaret Meyer


Title: The Witching Tide

Author:  Margaret Meyer

Narrated by:  Miranda Raison

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 9 hours and 36 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster Audio.  Thank you @simonandschuster #BookClubFavorites for the free books!


When you think about witch trials, do you think about Salem, Massachusetts or do you think about England?  It was only within the last ten years that I found out about the witch finder, Silas Makepeace, in England and the horrors of what happened there.

Martha Hallybread is a midwife and healer who lost her voice as a child.  Her life changes forever when Silas Makepeace, the witchfinder, comes to town.  Her employer and surrogate son, Kit, gets her a job helping Makepeace look for marks of the devil on women.  Martha finds herself in a terrible situation, powerless to help or stop what is happening to the women in her small community.  Will Martha be able to save herself and the other women of her community?

The Witching Tide was a difficult book to read.  It was terrifying how when the witchfinder came to town, neighbors were turning on each other and hysteria ruled the day.  The proof that was used was horrifying and also laughable that such things could be used to condemn women.  They were powerless against the accusations. 

This book was very well written, and Miranda Raison was a good narrator. The one downfall is that it was slow in the middle and tended to get repetitive with Martha’s thoughts circling her mind.  She has a wax doll given to her by her mother that she keeps with her that she constantly worries about.  I just wanted her to throw it away!

The Witching Tide is an interesting story about a terrible time in history. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

After that Night by Karin Slaughter


Title:  After that Night (Will Trent Series #11)

Author:  Karin Slaughter

Narrated by:  Kathleen Early

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Length: Approximately 16 hours and 34 minutes

Source: Review Copy from NetGalley.

Do you have a favorite genre that you like to read in the fall?  I really love to read thrillers and mysteries in the fall.  After that Night by Karin Slaughter was a riveting thriller that kept me on pins and needles throughout the entire story.

Doctor Sara Linton made a promise to a dying girl, Dani, that she would find who had raped and brutalized her.  Years later as Sara testifies at a trial to convict Dan’s rapist, she discovers that this case may be linked to her own brutal rape fifteen years before.  With help from her fiancé, Will Trent, and his partner, Faith, they investigate Sara’s rape as well as Dani’s to figure out if they can find the perpetrators.  Will they solve this crime before they strike again?

This book kept me on the edge of my seat as Sara, Will, and Faith investigated the crime and put the pieces together.  Even after you think you know what’s going on, there is still a slight twist at the very end.  The crimes were horrifying and made me want to lock my daughter up to keep her safe. It’s sad to know that there are people like that out in the world that only think about themselves and their gratification and not about the people whose lives they’ve destroyed.

What I loved even more than the suspense were the characters and their relationships.  I loved Sara and Will’s love story and finding out more about them.  They are on the verge of being married so they have that on their minds as well.  Faith is a great partner, worried mother, and Sara’s best friend.  Faith wants what is best for her son who is soon graduating from college, but is what she wants, what he wants?  I have only read the last few Will Trent books and I really need to go back to the beginning of this series and read from the beginning.  I do feel you can read them as standalone as they give background on the characters.   I have not watched the show yet, have you? 

Kathleen Early was a great narrator.  This was yet again another audiobook that made me want to keep driving just so I could keep listening to the story.  It was a perfect book for the end of October and beginning of November.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

None of This is True by Lisa Jewell


Title: None of This is True

Author:  Lisa Jewell

Narrated by:  Kristin Atherton, Ayesha Antoine, Louise Brealey, Alix Dunmore, Elliot Fitzpatrick, Lisa Jewell, Thomas Judd, Dominic Thorburn, Nicola Walker, Jenny Walser

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 10 hours and 20 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster Audio.  Thank you @simonandschuster #BookClubFavorites for the free books!

Have you read any good thrillers lately?  None of This is True was a great thriller read for October that kept me riveted during long drives.

Josie Fair and Alix Summers meet when they both are celebrating their 45th birthdays at a local pub and discover they are birthday twins.  Josie learns that Alix is a podcaster and listens to her podcasts.  They run into each other again and Josie tells Alix she thinks she would make an interesting subject for Alix’s podcast as she is about to change her life.  As they get to know each other, Alix discovers that Josie has lived through some terrible times and her story does have the makings of a great podcast.  As the title informs the reader, is Josie’s story true?  What is truth, and what is fiction about both Josie’s and Alix’s lives? 

This thriller keeps the reader guessing throughout the novel.  I guessed some of the reveals, but other items took me by surprise.  I needed an audiobook that could keep me engaged on long car trips and this was it.  I almost hated arriving at my destination as I wanted to know what was going to happen next!   I don’t want to spoil the story by giving away too many details, but this was a great thriller story and audiobook.

None of This is True is a stellar audiobook production with great sound effects and a full cast to put together the pieces of the podcast.  Especially listening to this as an audiobook, it was so fun to hear all of the interview clips and parts of the podcast rather than just reading them.  It was an immersive experience.  It was one of the best audiobook productions I have ever listened to.  I highly recommend it if you’re looking for an engaging audiobook.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon


What is your favorite book or movie that explores mother and daughter relationships?

Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon is a delightful new novel that explores mother and daughter relationships during a murder investigation.  Lana Rubicon runs a powerful real estate empire in Los Angeles.  After she finds out she has cancer, needs treatment, and help, she moves in with her estranged daughter, Beth, and granddaughter, Jack in a coastal city three hundred miles north of LA.  While her relationship with Jack strengthens, Beth and Lana remain at odds.  Jack discovers a dead body while leading a tour group on a kayaking trip for her job, and quickly becomes the prime suspect.  Lana pushes all of her energy into solving this mystery to help her granddaughter.  Will she be able to solve this mystery and repair her relationship with her daughter?

I was not sure what to expect when I started reading Mother-Daughter Murder Night.  Were the mother and daughter committing murders, victims of murders, what exactly did the title mean?  The title is a memory that Lana and Beth have of watching crime shows together for a mother-daughter murder night.  Lana wishes she could bring those happy times back by solving this mystery.  I loved that.

This novel was all about family dynamics and relationships.  I loved the characters, especially strong-willed Lana and her equally strong-willed granddaughter Jack.  I felt at one with frazzled mom Beth trying to keep it all together.  I loved these relationships and would really enjoy seeing this book made into a movie.  The humor was fun throughout this book as well.

I enjoyed the cozy mystery aspect of this novel as well and wanted to know how it would end. I did guess the ending, but I enjoyed the journey getting there.

This is author Nina Simon’s debut novel and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.  I thought it was touching to find out in the acknowledgement section that Nina wrote this novel with her own mother as a project to divert them from her mother’s cancer and treatment.

Book Source:  Review copy from NetGalley and William Morrow Books. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

To Spark a Match by Jen Turano (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


Are you smooth in a social situation, or do you tend to get into mishaps?  The heroine of this story, Miss Adelaide Duveen tends to get into mishaps.  She starts the story by causing a scandal when she shows up with her dress accidentally tucked up showing her undergarments which are embroidered with her favorite animal, cats.  Adelaide has had five unsuccessful seasons, and it appears that she will remain a spinster with her cats and books.  One evening, she stumbles upon Gideon Abbott in the library at a party and realizes that there is something more afoot than just a regular party. Gideon is a former intelligence officer and is on a case.  Adelaide causes a distraction for him to be able to make his escape, but it further ruins her reputation.  Gideon uses his matchmaking friend Camilla to help Adelaide become fashionable again after this incident.  Will Adelaide’s become a diamond of the first water? 

To Spark a Match is Book 2 in the matchmakers series after A Beautiful Disguise.  A Beautiful Disguise is also a great book and I highly recommend it.  You first meet these characters in book one, but you can definitely also read To Spark a Match as a standalone novel.

I loved the humor in this novel.  It was fun to read the hijinks and witty banter throughout the novel.  There was also mystery and romance.  I really enjoyed the Adelaide and Gideon as characters and I loved their development as the story progressed. They had great chemistry and their personalities really complimented each other.   I loved Gideon’s job and Adelaide’s involvement in it.  It made for fun adventure and intrigue.  I mostly really loved that as the novel progressed, Adelaide learned to love herself just as she is.

The setting is Gilded Age New York.  I am watching the new season of The Gilded Age and loved the reference to Ward McAllister in the book (he’s a real life person who is a character on The Gilded age).

Favorite Quote:  “I believe my propensity for mishaps, my love of books, my lack of proficiency with most feminine arts, my enormous collection of cats, and my questionable fashion sense already sets me worlds apart from the crowd – and not in a favorable manor.”

Overall, To Spark a Match is a delightful novel with humor, mystery, and romance.  It’s a great read!

Book Source:  Review copy from Bethany House Publishing as a part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


·       Title: To Spark a Match

·       Series: The Matchmakers (Book 2)

·       Author: Jen Turano

·       Genre: Historical Romance, Gilded Age Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (November 14, 2023)

·       Length: (368) pages

·       Format: Trade Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook 

·       ISBN: 978-0764240218‎

·       Tour Dates: November 13 – 21, 2023



After five unsuccessful Seasons on the marriage mart, Miss Adelaide Duveen has resigned herself to the notion that she's destined to remain a spinster forever--a rather dismal prospect, but one that will allow her to concentrate on her darling cats and books. However, when she inadvertently stumbles upon Mr. Gideon Abbott engaged in a clandestine activity during a dinner party, Adelaide finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue that resembles the plots in the spy novels she devours.

Former intelligence agent Gideon Abbott feels responsible for Adelaide after society threatens to banish her because of the distraction she caused to save his investigation. Hoping to return the favor, he turns to a good friend--and one of high society's leaders--to take Adelaide in hand and turn her fashionable. When danger surrounds them and Adelaide finds herself a target of the criminals in Gideon's case, the spark of love between them threatens to be quenched for good--along with their lives.


  • “Turano charms with her offbeat characters, and she has a knack for funny, flirty dialogue…fans will find this irresistible.”— Publisher’s Weekly
  • “Turano delivers a rousing second installment in her the Matchmakers historical inspirational romance series set in New York's Gilded Age. This is a delightful novel about individuality and unexpected love that balances humorous hijinks and the intrigue of criminal activity within the rare book world. It shimmers with spunk and stars a most admirable leading lady whose unapologetic acceptance of herself is what refreshingly captivates her hero's heart."— Booklist
  • “This book is full of ups and downs, twists and turns, hilarious encounters, slow burn romance, bookish characters, cats and a dash of mystery! I highly recommend it, friends!”— Tasha, Clean Read Book Club






Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by BooklistJen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from RT Book Reviews, and praise from Library Journal. She's been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers' Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado.