Friday, April 24, 2020

Date Night with a Book: Love's Recipe by Mila Nicks

Date Night with a book is the new After Dark series of posts on my blog, books posted for Date Nights contain Adult  Romance themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for Date Night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley

Synopsis: "Can two strangers down on their luck discover the flavor of love?

Rosalie Underwood is a broke, recently divorced single mother. After she’s forced to return to her hometown St. Aster, Louisiana, she lands a waitressing job at Ady’s Creole Café. Life’s not done giving her lemons just yet, though. Ady’s Creole Café is on the brink of going out of business. If Rosalie hopes to recover from her disastrous marriage and keep her job, she must figure out a way to save the restaurant. But the only question is how?
When Nicholas Fontaine hires Rosalie Underwood, he doesn’t expect his newest waitress to stir the pot. He was hoping to keep up the charade he’s created since his mother’s passing. Soon he realizes that Rosalie refuses to let Ady’s fail. She cooks up a plan to salvage the business—including the part where she enters the restaurant in a food competition to generate town-wide buzz.
There’s no time for butting heads. The clock is ticking and the business is tanking. Nick’s stuck teaching Rosalie how to cook the one-of-a-kind menu. Rosalie’s trying her best to learn the delicious recipes. In order to succeed, they must come together and work as a team, but brewing feelings between them only complicates matters. Is this a recipe for disaster or a recipe for love?"

My Review: I am a bit of a foodie, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to read a romance centered around food! I haven't read many single parent romances but I like how that, in addition to work place forced proximity, drew the characters together. I have to say at the beginning Nicholas was not my favorite character at all, but I did enjoy discovering what made him tick and what lay beneath the facade. Rosalie on the other had was an instant favorite for me, beaten down but determined to push through to better days. As an added bonus to the book, it is also set in a small town atmosphere, where everyone knows everyone and supports each other, the downside is that everyone knows everyone and gossip spreads fast, which plays into this story perfectly. It was a fun and completely satisfying read, even though I am awfully hungry now!

My Rating: This was such a fun book, it had some heavy topics in it but they didn't drag the story down at all.  It was just what I needed. There was also plenty of tension between Rosalie and Nicholas, but it didn't get over the top with the sex scenes for those of you worried about that.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

 I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Mila Nicks and her books on her Goodreads page and Website.

Love's Recipe releases on May 1st but you can pre-order your own copy in digital format from Amazon or request it at your local library.

Bedtime Story: The Alekizou and His Terrible Library Plot by Nancy Turgeon & Illustrated by Patricia Cullen Raine

Read for: Children's Books & Requested Review

Synopsis: "The Alekizou is a mischievous creature. Join him and his friend the Wise Owl on a rollicking adventure to the library where they unexpectedly learn how important vowels are. Since he can’t read, The Alekizou gobbles up those tasty vowels, ruining the books and making it impossible to speak. Find out how The Alekizou enlists the help of children and American Sign Language to fix the big mess he has made. Celebrating literacy and libraries, The Alekizou makes being a book worm cool."

My Review: This was presented to me as a Seussian book featuring libraries and supporting literacy, and it certainly delivered on it! It is as goofy as you would expect, with a rather unusual character. The images are bright and bold for the littles who may not fully grasp the story, but the story is still fun and interesting for the older children, a great story to read for all. A word of warning though the tongue will get twisted and tangled reading aloud once Alekizou starts his devious plot consume all the vowels. It was such a fun book to read and I definitely would recommend giving it a try.

My Rating: This is a fun book for all ages, though it is a bit difficult to read aloud. Kids will love the goofy things that happen and how you have to read it, they will be asking for it to be read over and over.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, the following is my honest review and opinion. 

Alekizou is expected to be released on June 20th but you can pre-order a copy in print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Review of Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (Poetry Month)

Read for: Audio/ Poetry Month

Synopsis: "Milk and honey' is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. 'milk and honey' takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look."

My Review: I have been eyeing this book for quite a while and I finally decided to take the plunge. I found the audio book on Overdrive at my library and it is narrated by the author. I would highly recommend listening to it! Poetry is one of those things, while beautiful and relatable on paper, is just so much more powerful when read with the conviction of the author themselves. These words were truly powerful and ones that I plan to return to again sometime.

My Rating: I am so glad I was able to listen to the audio book of this one, I think it had even more of an impact on me that it would have read if I was reading it.  I highly recommend it and give it a rating of Four Paws!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Graphic Novel Review of Rascal by Jean-Luc Delgin

Read for: Requested Review/Netgalley/ Graphic Novel

Synopsis: "When a mysterious mewling package arrives in the mail, one busy young woman’s life changes forever. Rascal lives up to his name, filling every day with wild adventures and long naps: brave expeditions into closets, fierce battles with curtains, and wrestling with slumbering giants... Sometimes she’s tempted to throw him out the window. He’s lucky he’s cute. Over 128 pages, Jean-Luc Deglin paints a purring portrait of one unforgettable black cat, an elegant inky swirl in a world of striking blue tones. Hilarious and heartwarming, exasperating and enchanting, Rascal captures the full range of emotions that come with keeping God’s cutest killing machine as a pet. If you love cats, or dream of having one, this book is dedicated to you. Once you bring Rascal into your life, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without him."

My Review: If you have been around me at all, you will know I am a big cat person, with a particular love for black cats, so when I saw this book I jumped at the opportunity to read it. I loved the art style of this graphic novel, simple yet with so much emotion. Who wouldn't fall in love with that black blob of a kitten?! I enjoyed the format of a sequential comic, each page telling a complete story but still part of the greater story. This is definitely a story for cat lovers, we find all the fur everywhere and those attempts on our life endearing.

My Rating: This was a super cute book, made me miss my own little spunky black blob.  Definitely a slice of life with a cat.  I thoroughly enjoyed this one and give it a rating of Four Paws!

 I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the following is my honest review and opinion. 

Rascal was just released in English on April 3rd, so you can now obtain your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon, or request it at your favorite comic book store or book store!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Review of Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley

Synopsis: "In this epic standalone fantasy, the acclaimed author of the Queens of Renthia series introduces an imaginative new world in which a pair of strong and determined women risk their lives battling injustice, corruption, and deadly enemies in their quest to become monster racing champions.

Life, death, and rebirth -- in Becar, everyone knows that who you are in this life will determine what you are in your next life. The augurs can read your fate in your aura: hawk, heron, tortoise, jackal, human. Armed with that knowledge, you can change your destiny with the choices you make, both in this life and your next. But for the darkest individuals, there is no redemption: you come back as a kehok, a monster, and you will always be a kehok for the rest of time.

Unless you can win the Races.

As a professional trainer, Tamra was an elite kehok rider. Then a tragic accident on the track shattered her confidence, damaged her career, and left her nearly broke. Now Tamra needs the prize money to prevent the local temple from taking her daughter away from her, and that means she must once again find a winning kehok . . . and a rider willing to trust her.

Raia is desperate to get away from her domineering family and cruel fiancé. As a kehok rider, she could earn enough to buy her freedom. But she can't become good enough to compete without a first-rate trainer.

Impressed by the inexperienced young woman's determination, Tamra hires Raia and pairs her with a strange new kehok with the potential to win -- if he can be tamed.

But in this sport, if you forget you're riding on the back of a monster, you die. Tamra and Raia will work harder than they ever thought possible to win the deadly Becaran Races -- and in the process, discover what makes this particular kehok so special."

My Review:  I have really enjoyed Durst's books in the past so jumped at the chance to read a standalone fantasy. I was immediately drawn to the character Tamara, she is snarky and feisty. The world building was fantastic, smooth and I felt completely enveloped in the setting and culture. Speaking of culture, the use of reincarnation in this book was unique and intriguing. It was a thrilling ride with all the danger around every corner. The background of politics was a nice backdrop that kept you trying to put the pieces together. It also had an interesting play on good and evil, and the way power can corrupt. There were also themes around family. All in all it was an engrossing, thrilling and satisfying standalone.

My Rating: I was so drawn into this story, it is a long one being a standalone fantasy, but so worth it! I loved every minute of this book, the world, magic system, the cast of characters, the politics, the twists and turns, all of it.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the following is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Sarah Beth Durst and her books on her Goodreads page or Website.

Race the Sands was just released today, so you can obtain your own copy in print or digital format today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or request it at your library or bookstore and they will be happy to get it for you!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Dark Harmony
Alya and the Three Cats
Magic Bites
This is How You Lose a Time War - DNF 50%
Race the Sands

Currently Reading:

You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers - Print - on page 43 of 320

Pages Read/ Time Listened
308:46 Hours Listened (24:31 listened this week)
11,359 Pages Read (576 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
White Rose  - READ
Stealing Thunder (gift)
The Eyes of Tamburah (gift)
The Wolf in the Whale
~~~~~~~~~~March Birthday Waiver Books ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rain Dragon Rescue
The Order of the Unicorn
The Book of Boy
All the Wandering Light
Life on the Leash
Phoenix Unbound
Magic Bites - READ
Fantasy Lover
Night Pleasures
The Midnight Lie
You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids  (gift)
Mary Shelley Monster Hunter Vol. 1
The Caged Queen
The Mum Who'd Had Enough
Ash and Quill
The Voyage to Magical North
I Needed a Viking
Smoke and Iron
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood (gift)
The Worst Best Man
Scavenge the Stars
Hades & Persephone
Beachside Beginnings (gift)
Finding Forever

Well, last week wasn't the greatest week for the blog. It was hectic and crazy around my house as we dealt with work and school from home while Hubby was on vacation. We also had an appraisal done on our house and purchased a new car and sold our old car. It has been a busy, crazy and chaotic week around here. I am honestly surprised I got any reading done at all! I didn't even post at all last week which is really unlike me.  But I will be working hard today to get caught up on writing reviews and getting some posts up. 

I hope you and your loved ones are all safe and healthy.