Book Review: The Guilt Trip

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press & Minotaur Books for my advance copy of The Guilt Trip in exchange for my honest review!

This book started a little rough for me. I find it confusing when a lot of characters are introduced at once. For this one we met 3 couples right away; 1 is getting married and the other 2 couples are great friends. I couldn’t keep who was with who straight until halfway through the book, but I know that’s a me thing!

The couples fly to Portugal for a wedding. No one seems to be a fan of the future wife (the brother of the soon to husband is here and sets off a cheating rumor). Is she crazy? Is she hiding something?

There is a lot of speculation of cheating in this one. Something just seems off in general. Sandie Jones does a FANTASTIC job of creating doubt in the reader’s mind. Just when you think, ah this is what is happening you think, ehhh maybe not?

This becomes unputdownable halfway through. You need answers! Is the wedding going on?! Is the future wife cheating on her soon-to-be husband?! Is a child’s paternity going to be questioned within the circle of friends?! Whaaaaaaat?!?

The ending was fast paced and in your face. That epilogue. That short, little epilogue and your mind is blown. Wow. It tied everything together and then I kicked myself, haha.

4 stars.  SOLID read, great thriller. I didn’t anticipate the ending, but it was great and I’m left satisfied with how everything turned out!! You won’t regret reading this one!

Title: The Guilt Trip

Author: Sandie Jones

Genre(s): Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: May 21, 2021

Find it here on Goodreads


Blog Tour: Lies, Lies, Lies @adeleparks #NGEW2020

Thank you to Justine Sha and Harlequin Trade Publishing for my advance copy of Lies, Lies, Lies in exchange for my honest review!

Wow. Lies, Lies, Lies delivers a packed punch! Touching on subjects of alcohol addiction, depression, and sexual abuse, you never knew which way this book was turning.

Daisy and Simon are married with a child. A child that took multiple rounds of failed IVF. Simon starts to drink more and more and Daisy looks to leave the marriage. Before any of that can happen, there’s a tragic accident and Simon ends up in jail. What will happen when Simon comes home and sees Daisy has been friendly with an old friend?

There isn’t much more I can say without giving something away. Just when you think you know what is going on…you don’t, because there’s a twist and turn and well, these flawed people are lying their way through life. Haha. You’re on their wild train wreck of a ride, but it will all play out in the end!

This book was a good twisty thriller. I didn’t expect the ending to play out how it did…BUT I LOVED IT.

4 stars.  I didn’t know if I was coming or going with this tale. In the end, I ultimately enjoyed the path each character took and the growth they made. If you are a fan of twisty, turny thrillers, pick this one up!

Title: Lies, Lies, Lies

Author: Adele Parks

Genre(s): Fiction, Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: MIRA

Release Date: August 4, 2020

Find it here on Goodreads

Buddy Book Review: Her Body and Other Parties

How exciting the world of blogging can be!! I recently connected with Emily at The Literary Elephant over books with short stories and ultimately we decided to buddy read Her Body and Other Parties!

Fun fact, this book has been sitting on her shelf and I borrowed mine from my public library (yay for curbside pick up). As I sat looking at it on my stand one day, I noticed on the spine it read, “YA MACHADO.” Uhhhh…there was some confusion on my part, panic thinking I grabbed the wrong book, until I realized, whoops, someone at the library made an oopsie. Don’t worry, I emailed them to let them know so they have it marked when I return it to fix that!!

We both are answering the SAME questions to the book today on our blogs. Please go check her answers out and if you’re here because you already read her answers, have at it!

1) The synopsis of the book describes it as a collection of “startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.” Such violence can be intentional, self-inflicted, unrealized, or without any identifiable culprit. Which of these types of violence do you personally find more frightening?

Personally, I find violence without any identifiable culprit to be the most frightening because you’re left wondering who did it and what they’re doing. Are they around the corner waiting to get you again? Are they doing the same thing to other people? I found the last story in this book, Difficult At Parties, to be like this because I felt like she was being abused in some manner…but we did not know who. Was it her male friend in the story? We don’t know…I speculate it was him, but we don’t know.

2) Would you be more likely to recommend the book to a certain gender? Why?

No. This book was…odd. I think those who enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, and LGBTQ+ tales would enjoy this one the most…male or female. It is written from a female’s perspective, but this book is so bizarre at times I don’t think it really matters.

3) Were there any specific times you personally felt unsettled, creeped out, or genuinely frightened?

No. I think the biggest moment for me came with the first story, The Husband Stitch, where at the end I just went, “Ooooooooooooooooooh.” I never felt unsettled or creeped out in any manner.

4) Do you think the final order of the published stories is a strong one, or would you have rearranged them? How would changing the order of the stories have changed your reading experience of the collection?

This was something Emily and I discussed when we finished this one. We would have both flipped the first story, The Husband Stitch, with the final story, Difficult At Parties. The Husband Stitch ends with you knowing everything in that story (this one may be my favorite), it’s solid, your curious state of mind is satisfied. I felt Difficult At Parties left you with a, well what the heck happened?! What’s the story, what is going on? It left me so high and dry and for the end of the book, just ugh! What a note to be left on!!!!

5) The main characters of these stories trend toward passivity- strange things happen to them, outside of their control, while the few choices they do make are either glossed over or portrayed with a weighted inevitability which suggests there was no real choice to begin with. Do you think this style was effective?

Listen, this book was bizarre…so the style fit. One the stories it best fit with was Real Women Have Bodies (especially fitting given our current pandemic). While a pandemic is running rampant, she is doing what she can while working in a clothing store. It was an interesting story for sure!

6) Did you ever find yourself irritated or bored, and if so, why?

YES! I enjoyed The Husband Stitch, Especially Heinous, Real Women Have Bodies, and Eight Bites…half of the stories. The other 4 were just so out there and I couldn’t get a good grip on them. One story, Inventory, is just a bunch of paragraphs describing various lovers she’s had. That’s it. Sometimes I felt like I was in the middle of a conversation and the other person just stopped talking and you’re like, “Oh, ok, I guess we’re done,” without ever getting any closure. I am fairly certain a lot went over my head with this one and I didn’t get as in depth as I should have…

7) What is your opinion on the author’s depiction of sex throughout the collection?

Interesting…I didn’t find it overly grotesque or uncomfortable like in some books, but I felt like every time it was described, it was being described in a manner like she didn’t want to have it, but felt forced/owed it to the person/had to do it. I never felt like she was doing it because she was seeking it out, I always felt like it was because she felt like she had to…which says a lot. I almost wonder if she was taking the standpoint that as women, we are here to please our men. When you look at everything in the book and reflect, it’s almost sad.

8) In “Especially Heinous” the doppelgänger Henson tells the following story to the DA: “The sixty-fifth story is about a world that watches you and me and everyone. Watches our suffering like it is a game. Can’t stop. Can’t tear themselves away. If they could stop, we could stop, but they won’t, so we can’t.” Why do you think Law and Order: SVU is such a popular show, given that it concerns itself specifically with “sexually based offenses” which “are considered especially heinous?”

Ok, now THIS one was my favorite story!! Side note: I’ve never watched Law and Order: SVU before so I was hesitant about this story, but I loved the flow! As a society, we are obssessed with true crime/crime related shows, so no wonder this show is popular. I just really enjoyed this story as she kept intertwining things that happened in previous episodes into others…is this how the show works in real life??

9) Did you like this book? Did you find it beautiful? Is there a difference between your answers?

I’m not mad I read it…I enjoyed half of it, and honestly, Especially Heinous saved this one for me. It was the longest story, but best one in there. It gave me hope as I hit the halfway mark in the book, haha. A perk for me with this book is the fact that there’s only 8 stories, so it makes this feel like a quick read. I broke down reading this by just reading a story at a time. This was definitely out of my normal realm of books I read, but I’m glad I read it!! I never wanted to stop reading it and mark this as DNF, it peaked my interest enough to wonder, what story will be next! Because for a story I didn’t care for, there was one I really did enjoy. Can’t win ’em all, but I’m so happy I decided to read this one! Our answers vary in quite a few places, but that’s what makes the world go ’round!

I hope you enjoyed this cross over buddy post and please, go check out The Literary Elephant’s post and comment to let us know what you thought!!!


HUGE thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Publishing Group for an advanced copy of ROMeANTICALLY CHALLENGED. I received this free advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review!

Annie (Anh Nhi) gets dumped by her fiance and decides on a whim to leave her home in Hartford, Connecticut and travel to Rome for work as a physician’s assistant. To her surprise she ends up in Rome, Rhode Island but still decides to stay because at least she isn’t home. Home, by the way, where her ex-fiance is getting married in her wedding venue on her wedding date. Oh, there’s some drama here for sure.

Annie ends up living in Emmitt’s house, which gets rented out when he’s out of town for work. He comes home unexpectedly and Annie now has a roommate. It’s quite comical watching their relationship bloom. Both are holding their own and refuse to leave the house. Both don’t realize how much they need each other either…

This is your typical frenemies to lovers tale. I will admit, at first this book had a hard time keeping my attention. The writing seemed a little over the place and sometimes I had a hard time following. There were times when characters were mentioned, but they weren’t in the scene…it was just confusing. Eventually I got used to the writing style and stuck with it.

Like any frenemies story, I had to see it through the ending (despite the fact we all know how it ends, haha) and I’m glad I did. It ended up being a nice, quick enjoyable read overall.

3 stars.  It’s nothing to write home about, but a great book to fill some time in. I did enjoy Annie and Emmitt and their story. I also enjoyed the second story in this book, Annie trying to fit in (she was adopted from Vietnam and raised by two white parents and never felt she fit in anywhere). It was nice to follow a frenemy story, as well as one of self-finding. This book is due out July 28th!



Author: Marina Adair

Genre(s): Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.

Release Date: July 28, 2020

Find it here on Goodreads

Book Review: Feels Like Falling @kristywharvey @GalleryBooks #NGEW20

Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books for the advance reader copy of Feels Like Falling in exchange for my honest review!

This was my first novel by Kristy Woodson Harvey…but it won’t be my last! In this novel we meet two women both going through challenging times in their lives. Gray, going through a divorce and trying to keep her company in her hands and Diana, recently left her boyfriend and lost her job, just trying to make ends meet.

I loved how these two entwined together. The story is told through both Gray and Diana so we see their perspectives on things going on. At first it was interesting, how would Gray and Diana mix, and then we find out. Gray went in to pick up pictures that Diana developed (her job) and complained about the quality and ultimately Diana loses her job. Diana shows up at her doorstep and in a weird way, they become dependent on each other.

It’s amazing how sometimes people from different walks of life can balance each other out. Gray was missing things in her life, especially after she lost her mother recently, and Diana filled those holes. It was also interesting to see how Diana needed Gray, despite her tough as nails, I take care of myself persona. This really was lovely.

The writing in this book was fantastic. I could feel the gentle breeze caressing my face as I imagined I was sitting on the back porch, just taking in the breathtaking views of the water. I loved how both Gray and Diana had their own romantic interests. This was a sweet, I have my fingers crossed for everyone, novel that I could not put down.

4 stars.  Absolutely loved the end and I loved the growth each woman shows throughout the read. That was the most enjoyable aspect of this book, it was not just a story, but something you could really see happening. There were also a few loud out parts as well!! This is a perfect summer read!


Title: Feels Like Falling

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Genre(s): Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Southern

Publisher: Gallery Books

Release Date: April 28, 2020

Find it here on Goodreads

Book Review: The Safe Place @WhatAnnaWrote @MinotaurBooks

HUGE thank you to Minotaur Books for sending me an advance reader copy of The Safe Place. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review! This book is scheduled to be released today!!

Emily’s life is falling apart. She is an aspiring actress who loses her agent, as well as her temp job, and her apartment. What more could go wrong? To top it off, she has a strained relationship with her parents and always seems to call when she needs something…this time they aren’t having it.

She ends up running into Scott, the CEO of the business where Emily was just fired from. He offers to take her to lunch and then offers her a job…to help house-keep his home in the South of France where his wife and child are currently living. With nothing left to lose, Emily jumps at this opportunity and is on a plane the next day.

This seems like a dream…beautiful house, beautiful view, great pay, and great perks (car, food, etc). Emily senses something is a little off and stumbles across a huge secret and her dream turns into a nightmare.

This was a slow burn and had me thinking, this seems all nice. Scott had some quirks, but nothing too alarming. Little by little we see Nina’s story (Scott’s wife) unravel and oh boy, what a tangled web she wove. Anna Downes does a tremendous job at keeping the reader guessing and brings it all back full circle.

4 stars.  The action is in the last 25% of this book. It all builds up and then snowballs out of control at the end. It has a very satisfying ending and even an epilogue at the end. I was happy to see how Emily developed over time and was very pleased with her. This is a book that will have you wanting more and more, definitely one to pick up as soon as you can!


Title: The Safe Place

Author: Anna Downes

Genre(s): Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Release Date: July 14, 2020

Find it here on Goodreads

Book Review: What You Wish For #NGEW20 @katherinecenter @StMartinsPress

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for my advance copy of What You Wish For in exchange for my honest review!

What I have determined after reading this book is that I love Katherine Center and I am a huge fan. I love her writing style and everything about her books. So as you continue on, just know how much I adore her and her latest novel.

Reader’s digest synopsis: Samantha has been loving her life as an elementary school librarian in Galveston, Texas. The school’s adoring founder and principal dies suddenly and a new man, Duncan, whom she was head over heels in love with at her previous school, takes over. When Duncan isn’t the man he used to be, she’s determined to figure out what has happened.

I can’t say more because it will ruin the story. It had everything I adore in a chick lit, romance novel. Drama. Love. Friendships. Real talk. It was realistic and felt like this could happen in real life.

I found myself smiling (maybe even had a tear or two in my eye) and yelling at the characters in this book. Samantha ended up reflecting on her life when she was trying to help others do the same. She ended up growing and opening her eyes when she probably never would have. It was great to see her go through that.

5 stars.  I was worried when I saw I didn’t have much left to read, but phew, the ending was absolutely more than I could have imagined and made me SO happy. If you are looking for a happy, uplifting read that you’ll have devoured in a few hours, this is the one to pick up before anything else in your stack!


Title: What You Wish For

Author: Katherine Center

Genre(s): Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: July 14, 2020

Find it here on Goodreads

Book Review: Where The Crawdads Sing @DeliaOwens

I was so glad my book exchange circle at work suggested we read this one together…it’s been sitting on my shelf for a YEAR…oops.

What a beautiful, sad story of survival. I found Part One to be slow and it was difficult for me to keep reading because the pace was just something that could not keep my attention. When I hit Part Two, the flood gates opened and I could NOT put this down.

As I’m sure you know this is a story of the “Marsh Girl” (Kya) who was abandoned by her entire family and ultimately is charged with committing murder. There is a love tale entwined in, as well as different perspectives of people in this one. Part One sets the family and friend scene, as well as the murder scene, and we go back and forth with Kya growing up and present day.

This pulled at my heartstrings. I never cried, but I did have tears in my eyes, especially at the end. I had a feeling I knew who the murderer was in this small town, and I was right, and it made me so happy!

If you have been on the fence about this one, it is worth the read! The dialogue in this novel was outstanding and made me feel like I transported back to the backwoods in North Carolina in the ’50s. Delia Owens really stayed true to the time period and it was very much appreciated and added to the overall reading pleasure of this tale.

4 stars.  I am so glad I stuck with this and powered through. Again, part two was wonderful and flew by. This truly is a novel that touches on many taboo subjects and brings to light the good people in this world. I highly recommend everyone pick this one up!


Title: Where The Crawdads Sing

Author: Delia Owens

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Release Date: August 14, 2018

Find it here on Goodreads

Blog Tour: She’s Faking It @KristinRockaway #NGEW2020

Thank you to Justine Sha and Harlequin Trade Publishing for my advance copy of She’s Faking It in exchange for my honest review!

If you’re looking for a fun, light beach read just stop what you’re doing and get this book into your hands stat! This book is everything and more that you didn’t think you needed to get into the summer groove.

Bree is living out her days in an apartment on Pacific Beach in California and suddenly, her life just takes a crap on her. Her boyfriend recently dumped her and left the country to go on a “find himself” mission in South America. Her car breaks down and now she can’t work (she was a food delivery driver). Her life is in shambles and her super organized, super successful sister tries to help her out.

Bree starts an Instagram page and is starting to become an influencer. In the mean time she meets her neighbor, Trey, who lives in her dream home. Bree starts going down a path with Instagram and self-help guru Demi DiPalma and ends up going down a path that isn’t quite what she pictured.

Oh yes, there’s romance. Yes, there’s some drama. At one point in time my mouth was gaped open because things had to change, things had to happen, COME ON BREE GET IT TOGETHER!! Yes, I may have shouted at the book a few times. I also laughed out loud on a few occasions too!

I really enjoyed the sisterly bond in this book. There was even a little bit of growth between the sisters and I just loved it. Despite some petty drama (and in what family is there never any drama) the sisters rise above it and Bree is all the better for it. This is just a really enjoyable, wholesome novel.

4 stars.  I am a fan of Kristin Rockaway so I had a feeling I’d love this from the get go (and I was right). This is such a light, funny, palm to your face at times read that I HIGHLY suggest you read. This is perfect for a day at the beach or just something to put you in a summery mood. I read this one WAY too fast…I couldn’t put it down! I enjoyed this so much, you get an excerpt today!!

From Chapter Two…

“Don’t these books make your purse really heavy? There’s gotta be some app where you can store all this information.”

“Studies show you’re more likely to remember things you’ve written by hand, with physical pen and paper.” She reached across my lap and opened the glove compartment, removing a notebook with an antiqued photograph of a vintage luxury car printed on the cover. “For example, this is my auto maintenance log. Maybe if you’d kept one of these, like I told you to, we wouldn’t be in this
predicament right now.”

I loved Natasha, I really did. She was responsible and generous, and without her I’d likely be far worse off than I already was, which was a horrifying thought to consider. But at times like this, I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake the shit out of her.

“A maintenance log wouldn’t have helped me.”

“Yes, it would have. Organization is about more than decluttering your home. It’s about decluttering your mind. Making lists, keeping records—these are all ways to help you get your life in order. If you’d had a maintenance log, this problem wouldn’t have caught you off guard in the middle of your delivery shift. You’d have seen it coming, and—”

“I saw it coming.”


“This didn’t catch me off guard. The check engine light came on two weeks ago.” Or maybe it was three.

“Then why didn’t you take it to the mechanic?” She blinked, genuinely confused. Everything was so cut-and dried with her. When a car needed to be serviced, of course you called the mechanic.

That is, if you could afford to pay the repair bill.

Fortunately, she put two and two together without making me say it out loud. “Oh,” she murmured, then bit her lip. I could almost hear the squeak and clank of wheels turning in her head as she tried to piece together the solution to this problem. No doubt it included me setting up a journal or logbook of some sort, though we both knew that would be pointless. The last time she’d tried to set me up with a weekly budget planner, I gave up on day two, when I realized I could GrubGetter around the
clock for the rest of my life and still never make enough money to get current on the payments for my student loans. You know, for that degree I’d never finished.

But Natasha was a determined problem solver. It said so in her business bio: “Natasha DeAngelis, Certified Professional Organizer®, is a determined problem solver with a passion for sorting, purging, arranging, and containerizing.” My life was a perpetual mess, and though she couldn’t seem to be able to clean it up, that didn’t stop her from trying. Over and over and over again.

“I’ll pay for the repairs,” she said.

“No.” I shook my head, fending off the very big part of me that wanted to say yes. “I can’t take any money from you.”

“It’s fine,” she said. “Business is booming. I’ve got so much work right now that I’ve actually had to turn clients away. And ever since Al introduced that new accelerated orthodontic treatment, his office has been raking it in. We can afford to help you.”

“I know.” Obviously, my sister and her family weren’t hurting for cash. Aside from her wildly successful organizing business, her husband, Al, ran his own orthodontics practice. They owned a four-bedroom house, leased luxury cars, and took triannual vacations to warm, sunny places like Maui and Tulum. They had a smart fridge in their kitchen that was undoubtedly worth more than my nonfunctioning car.

But my sister wasn’t a safety net, and I needed to stop treating her like one. She’d already done so much for me. More than any big sister should ever have to do.

“I just can’t,” I said.

“Well, do you really have any other choice?” There was an edge to Natasha’s voice now. “If you don’t have a car, how are you going to work?”

“I’ll figure something out.” The words didn’t sound very convincing, even to my own ears. For the past four years, all I’d done was deliver food. I had no other marketable skills, no references, no degree.

I was a massive failure.

Tears pooled in my eyes. Natasha sighed again.

“Look,” she said, “maybe it’s time to admit you need to come up with a solid plan for your life. You’ve been in a downward spiral ever since Rob left.”

She had a point. I’d never been particularly stable, but things got a whole lot worse seven months earlier, when my live-in ex-boyfriend, Rob, had abruptly announced he was ending our three-year relationship, quitting his job, and embarking on an immersive ayahuasca retreat in the depths of the Peruvian Amazon.

“I’ve lost my way,” he’d said, his eyes bloodshot from too many hits on his vape pen. “The Divine Mother Shakti at the Temple of Eternal Light can help me find myself again.”

“What?” I’d been incredulous. “Where is this coming from?”

He’d unearthed a book from beneath a pile of dirty clothes on our bed and handed it to me—Psychedelic Healers: An Exploratory Journey of the Soul, by Shakti Rebecca Rubinstein.

“What is this?”

“It’s the book that changed my life,” he’d said. “I’m ready for deep growth. New energy.”

Then he’d moved his belongings to a storage unit off the side of the I-8, and left me to pay the full cost of our monthly rent and utilities on my paltry GrubGetter income.

I told myself this situation was only temporary, that Rob would return as soon as he realized that hallucinating in the rainforest wasn’t going to lead him to some higher consciousness. But I hadn’t heard from him since he took off on that direct flight from LAX to Lima. At this point, it was probably safe to assume he was never coming back.

Which was probably for the best. It’s not exactly like Rob was Prince Charming or anything. But being with him was better than being alone. At least I’d had someone to split the bills with.

“Honestly,” she continued, “I can’t stand to see you so miserable anymore. Happiness is a choice, Bree. Choose happy.”

Of all Natasha’s pithy sayings, “Choose happy” was the one I hated most. It was printed on the back of her business cards in faux brush lettering, silently accusing each potential client of being complicit in their own misery. If they paid her to clean out their closets, though, they could apparently experience unparalleled joy.
“That’s bullshit, and you know it.”

She scowled. “It is not.”

“It is, actually. Shitty things happen all the time and we have no choice in the matter. I didn’t choose to be too broke to fix my car. I work really hard, but this job doesn’t pay well. And I didn’t choose for Rob to abandon me to go find himself in the Amazon, either. He made that choice for us.”

I almost mentioned the shittiest thing that had ever happened to Natasha or to me, a thing neither of us had chosen. But I stopped myself before the words rolled off my lips. This evening was bad enough without rehashing the details of our mother’s death.

“Sometimes things happen to us that are beyond our control,” Natasha said, her voice infuriatingly calm. “But we can control how we react to it. Focus on what you can control. And it does no good to dwell on the past, either. Don’t look back, Bree—”

“Because that’s not where you’re going. Yes, I know. You’ve said that before.” About a thousand times.

She took a deep breath, most likely to prepare for a lengthy lecture on why it’s important to stay positive and productive in the face of adversity, but then a large tow truck lumbered onto the cul-de-sac and she got out of the car to flag him down.
Grateful for the interruption, I ditched the casserole on her dashboard and walked over to where the driver had double-parked alongside my car.

“What’s the problem?” he asked, hopping down from the cab.

“It won’t start,” I said, to which Natasha quickly followed up with, “The check engine light came on several weeks ago, but the car has not been serviced yet.”

He grunted and popped the hood, one thick filthy hand stroking his braided beard as he surveyed the engine. Another grunt, then he asked for the keys and tried to start it, only to hear the same sad click and whine as before.

“It’s not the battery.” He leaned his head out of the open door. “When was the last time you changed your timing belt?”

“Uh… I don’t know.”

Natasha shook her head and mouthed, Maintenance log! in my direction but I pretended not to see.

The driver got out and slammed the hood shut. “Well, this thing is hosed.”

“Hosed?” My heart thrummed in my chest. “What does that mean? It can’t be fixed?”

He shrugged, clearly indifferent to my crisis-in-progress. “Can’t say for sure. Your mechanic can take a closer look and let you know. Where do you want me to tow it?”

I pulled out my phone to look up the address of the mechanic near my apartment down in Pacific Beach. But Natasha answered before I could google it up.

“Just take it to Encinitas Auto Repair,” she said. “It’s on Second and F.”

“You got it,” he said, then retreated to his truck to fiddle with some chains.

Natasha avoided my gaze. Instead, she focused on calling a guy named Jerry, who presumably worked at this repair shop, and told him to expect “a really old Civic that’s in rough shape,” making sure to specify, “It’s not mine, it’s my sister’s.”

I knew she was going to pay for the repairs. It made me feel icky, taking yet another handout from my big sister. But ultimately, she was right. What other choice did I have?

The two of us stayed quiet while the driver finished hooking up my car. After he’d towed it away down the cul-desac and out of sight, Natasha turned to me. “Do you want to come over? Izzy’s got piano lessons in fifteen minutes, you can hear how good she is now.”

Even though I did miss my niece, there was nothing I wanted to do more than go home, tear off these smelly clothes, and cry in solitude. “I’ll take a rain check. Thanks again for coming to get me.”

“Of course.” She started poking at her phone screen. A moment later, she said, “Your Lyft will be here in four minutes. His name is Neil. He drives a black Sentra.” A quick kiss on my cheek and she was hustling back to her SUV.

As I watched Natasha drive away, I wished—not for the first time—that I could be more like her: competent, organized, confident enough in my choices to believe I could choose to be happy.

Sometimes I felt like she had twenty years on me, instead of only six. So maybe instead of complaining, I should’ve started taking her advice.

Excerpted from She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway, Copyright © 2020 by Allison
Amini. Published by Graydon House Books.


Title: She’s Faking It

Author: Kristin Rockaway

Genre(s): Fiction, Chick Lit

Publisher: Graydon House

Release Date: June 30, 2020

Find it here on Goodreads

Blog Tour: The Last Wife #NGEW2020

Thank you to Justine Sha and Harlequin Trade Publishing for my advance copy of The Last Wife in exchange for my honest review!

The Last Wife is a tale which perfectly encapsulates the saying, “oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Marie and Nina are best friends and Marie promises Nina that she will take care of her family when she is diagnosed with a terminal illness. When Marie starts to do this things fall apart and yet come together.

Marie ends up divorcing her husband when she finds out he’s been having an affair and the other woman has fallen pregnant. It deeply hurts Marie as she has been trying for years to have a baby and failed. She takes this opportunity to move in on Stuart, Nina’s widow, and take over her family.

I did not find this to be a thriller, yet there were a few suspenseful parts to this one. A big part of this book is a trip to Ibiza where Nina, Marie, and their old friend Camilla which took place 10 years prior. Marie’s boyfriend, Charlie, died on that trip and she can’t really get over it. She blames Nina and Camilla on the death of Charlie and won’t stop until she hears what she wants to hear.

All the characters in this one are weird. There’s something a little off with all of them. Just when you think maybe Marie is the one manipulating everything the other characters do things and you just think everyone is trying to control and manipulate the situation. It’s really just a bit bizarre.

This book was not particularly for me and I thought the ending completely fell flat. I don’t want to give too much away, but Marie made it out to seem like a different situation and then suddenly in the end all is well.

3 stars.  I was engaged enough with the writing to plow through this one, but if I’m honest I didn’t really care about this one. I could take it or leave it, yet I’m sure some of you out there will love this one and eat it up…it just wasn’t my cup of tea. If you enjoyed Karen Hamilton’s previous novel The Perfect Girlfriend you will absolutely enjoy this one as well!


Title: The Last Wife

Author: Karen Hamilton

Genre(s): Fiction, Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Graydon House

Release Date: July 7, 2020

Find it here on Goodreads