Friday, March 10, 2017

Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer

Perfect mystery, perfect characters, perfect ending with just enough hints of the future to keep the reader (me) coming back for the next book.
I was fairly confident I was going to like Kneaded to Death because I have loved everything I've read by this author.  She makes up the best characters and weaves them into relationships with characters that you wouldn't expect. Plus the upside is these characters can develop further in the upcoming books.
Set in Santa Sofia, California, six months after the hit and run death of her mother, Ivy Culpepper has moved home to help her father deal with his loss and because she needs family too. She visits a local bread bakery and is invited to join the group for classes. The first night of class, there is a disturbance in the parking lot and when the student bakers go out to investigate, they find one of the other students dead in her car.  As Ivy starts to investigate, she finds there are many mysteries in her corner of Santa Sofia.
Very enjoyable cozy mystery.  I can't wait to find out what happens in the next installment.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Give me a Chance

Give Me a Chance by Natalie Ann is the second book in a new series (you don't have to read all the books in the series, there are; however, visits with the characters in book one, Second Chance).  This installment is the story of Quinn, the foster kid from Chicago, and Max, the plastic surgeon from New York.
Max needs a nanny for his two young children after an unexpected divorce and move from New York to Lake Placid.  Quinn needs a full time job, a nicer place to live, and enough money to get ahead and help her three (now adult, but struggling) siblings who were split up when they were sent to foster care.
I liked this book because it is a feel good story and I was routing for the characters to shed what is in the past, leave it in the past, and make a connection. It's the perfect story to just sit back and enjoy an evening or two.  There is also the added enhancement of Quinn's mother turning up and trying to ruin Quinn's chance at happiness.
The kids add to the enjoyment of this book. They are just precocious enough and they need Quinn to help them heal after their mother's abandonment.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Second Chance by Natalie Ann

On her 18th birthday Mallory disappears without a trace from the home she shared with her drug addicted mother and her mother's second husband.  Twelve years later her almost boyfriend and next door neighbor catches sight of her while he is visiting his grandmother. After he confronts her, she slowly starts to trust him and they start to rebuild their relationship.
It's no secret to anyone who reads my reviews or my blog that I really like Natalie Ann's books.  She writes touching stories about flawed people with real life problems.  She writes about people who could live next door, the people you see in the local coffee house.  They are not made out to be superheroes.

This is book one in a new series set in Lake Placid.  All of the books in the three series by Natalie Ann are standalone but they do have continuing characters, so the reader "keeps up with" the people from past books.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

All I Want for Christmas by Jenny Hale

All I Want for Christmas is the perfect book to read at Christmas.  Author Jenny Hale has chosen the ideal location, added the angst of a life changing decision, and mixed in characters the reader can relate to.

After Leah's beloved grandmother dies Leah learns that her grandmother has left her estate to Leah and David a boy she knew growing up. David's family owned the estate until his grandmother sold it to Leah's grandmother. It was used by both families as  destination location for events, and Leah plans to continue in that practice.  David, however, has become wealthy during the intervening years and wants to turn the estate into a single family home.

When Leah and David reconnect he offers her one million dollars for her share of the house.  She is torn because moving there has always been her dream, but the chance to give her daughter a better chance at life is strong.  While Leah struggles with her decision, the house fills up with family and friends who plan to spend their last Christmas together at the estate.

I enjoyed the story and watching the relationship grow between Leah, David, and Leah's adorable daughter, Sadie.  If you are looking for an entertaining winter read, grab a quilt, a cup.of hot chocolate, and this book.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Christmas Cake Cafe

The Christmas Cake Cafe by Sue Watson is a good book and I enjoyed the main theme. I liked Jen and Jon.  I liked Jen's half sister most of the time because she was definitely a big catalyst in Jen letting go of the pain of her past.  I found Jen's two friends and travel buddies people I would avoid if ever I were to meet them.  Together they were too loud, too out there, and way too full of themselves. I mean who travels with only a suitcase full of clothes that can't be worn in public, and dancing on tables is fun when you are in college, but not when you are pushing 30.

I enjoyed reading about the village, the shops, the townspeople, and the budding romance between Jen and Jon, and I wish the author had spent more time on them and Jen's coming to terms with her parents divorce.

I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.