Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Review: The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr

The Family Gathering (Sullivan's Crossing #3) by Robyn Carr
Publication date: April 17th 2018
Publisher: Mira Books
My rating: 4 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo
An exceptional storyteller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr beautifully captures the emotionally charged, complex dynamics that come with being part of any family. Readers will laugh and shed a few tears as they discover what it means to be loved, supported and accepted by the people who mean the most.

Having left the military, Dakota Jones is at a crossroads in his life. With his elder brother and youngest sister happily settled in Sullivan’s Crossing, he shows up hoping to clear his head before moving on to his next adventure. But, like every visitor to the Crossing, he’s immediately drawn to the down-to-earth people and the seemingly simple way of life.

Dakota is unprepared for how quickly things get complicated. As a newcomer, he is on everyone’s radar—especially the single women in town. While he enjoys the attention at first, he’s really only attracted to the one woman who isn’t interested. And spending quality time with his siblings is eye-opening. As he gets to know them, he also gets to know himself and what he truly wants.

When all the Jones siblings gather for a family wedding, the four adults are drawn together for the first time in a way they never were as children. As they struggle to accept each other, warts and all, the true nature and strength of their bond is tested. But all of them come to realize that your family are the people who see you for who you really are and love you anyway. And for Dakota, that truth allows him to find the home and family he’s always wanted.

My Thoughts:
Robyn Carr is one of my all-time favorite contemporary romance writers.  She writes realistic romances that warm your heart, usually set in a quaint small town with an abundance of lovable secondary characters.   The Family Gathering is the third book in the Sullivan’s Crossing series and centered on another one of the Jones’ siblings, Dakota. 

Dakota distanced himself from his wacko parents as soon as he was old enough to enlist in the army and hasn’t been around his brother and two sisters in quite some time. The circumstances surrounding his discharge from the army and a tragic love lost has made Dakota re-examine his life and reestablish a connection with his brother and sisters. Luckily for Dakota Cal and Sierra have settled in the same place, Timberlake, and so he sets off there thinking he might spend a few weeks. Being around his brother and sister and their mates, as well as the charm of Timberlake and its residents, feels right and so Dakota starts making more permanent arrangements. 

There is no shortage of women in Timberlake, and two take and immediate interest in Dakota, but he only has eyes for, Sidney, a bartender at the local watering hole. Unfortunately for Dakota, Sid isn’t much interested in starting a relationship since the end of her marriage just about destroyed her.  Also, unfortunately, the two woman, Neely and Alyssa, who are interested aren’t what you’d call a picture of sanity.  Dakota deals with these two nut-jobs while trying to get to know Sid and patiently wait for her to come around. 

I love Robyn Carr’s leading men.  They have a protective streak without the usual over-the-top alpha-assholery you find in a lot of romances. Watching Dakota and Sid slowly build to a romance was a delight. Dakota was a sweet guy, patient and understanding.  Also, he was smart about the Neely and Alyssa who were complete psychos! 

There’s were several side stories in The Family Gathering, a standard in Carr’s stories, which were just as interesting and engaging as Dakota and Sid’s story.  Sierra and Sedona, Dakota’s sisters have issues, both happy and sad to work through, and Tom Canaday and Lola sort out romance and merging families. I think the only negative about The Family Gathering is I wanted more!  I wanted to see a little more of Dakota and Sid’s future, but with any luck Ms. Carr will write another installment and I’ll get to catch up with these characters I’ve come to know and love!


Monday, 23 April 2018

Review: In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira

In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
My rating: 4.5 Stars 

The author of the beloved Love Letters to the Dead returns with a parallel story of a mother and daughter each at age seventeen. Marilyn's tale recounts the summer she fell in love and set out on her own path. Angie's story is about her search for her unknown father. This sweeping multi-generational love story introduces readers to mother-and-daughter pair Marilyn and Angie. To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed-race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young, too. When Marilyn was seventeen, she fell in love with Angie's father, James, who was African-American. But Angie's never met him, and Marilyn has always told her he died before she was born. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she's never met she starts to wonder: What if her dad is still alive, too? So she sets off on a journey to find him, hitching a ride to LA from her home in New Mexico with her ex-boyfriend, Sam. Along the way, she uncovers some hard truths about herself, her mother, and what truly happened to her father.

I went into In Search of Us not really knowing much about the book, I’d seen Sam give the book a five star rating and that’s all I needed to give this book a go. To be honest I really did struggle with the beginning of the book, the chapters alternate with perspectives from Angie in the present and her mum Marilyn in the past. And I found myself more interested in following Angie’s perspective, I wanted to follow her story and longing in discovering the truth in what happened with her father. But as the story progressed, I began to understand the importance of getting Marilyn’s story from the past, it played such an integral part to how far Marilyn had come and the person Angie had become today. 

Dellaira gave us such a beautiful story with In Search of Us, I enjoyed going on this incredible journey with Angie to discover the truth about her father, the risks she took to get there and the fear that she had to deal with when she found out the truth. Angie was a character who I immensely liked, yes, she made mistakes along the way when she just had one focus in mind, but what 17-year-old would travel to LA to try and find her uncle, with only titbits of information? Yes, she was going behind her mum’s wishes, but I could understand her sense of longing and answers that she needed after she had first discovered the photo of her parents. I kind of had a feeling about how things would end up for Angie when she got to LA, but nothing could have prepared me for her story. It was heartfelt and raw, and left such a lasting impression with me. 

In Search of Us was just a beautifully written story, I couldn’t praise Dellaira enough in giving us such a wonderful story. The overlap in stories from Marilyn and Angie was done majestically, with Dellaira constantly keeping us on our toes with us not knowing what could be around the corner. In Search of Us was really a gem of a read, one that I will be constantly thinking and talking about in the upcoming weeks.  

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Weekly Recap #30

Hi everyone, with Rachel and I's crazy work schedules, we miss sharing whats going on with us. We used to have a lot of fun with our Showcase Sunday posts, so thought we'd do something regular on the blog, where we share bookish news and life news in general as a weekly recap! We've decided to link our weekly wrap up's with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer.


Hi everyone, sorry for the radio silence for the last few weeks, I had just been dealing with some personal things and just really needed to spend time with family and take a step back from everything. I'm hoping to slowly get back into blogging and reading and my shows as I think now I just need things to keep me busy, so if you have any recommendations, hit me up! I know I haven't done a recap in like three weeks, so for this post I'm just going to focus on the positive highlights instead of overwhelming you with everything in one post! 


Like Jasprit, I've been out of touch due to personal reasons.  Happy family reasons! My daughter gave birth to a little girl! I've been staying with her up in Northern California (still here now) helping with the brand new baby and my daughter's 2 1/2 year old son. Both are so very cute, but I'm exhausted!


(Click on title for Goodreads link)

These were two books that I really ended up enjoying, both came as a surprise as I went into them not knowing much about them, but they ended up being really memorable for me especially In Search of Us. 

(Click on title for Goodreads link)

I won't overwhelm you with everything, just my three most memorable reads.   Loved the backpacking setting and second chance romance in Starry Eyes!  Dearest Ivie was really good, and a way to be in the BDB world without having to be caught up with all that's gone down. It can basically be read as a standalone which was good considering I'm totally behind on the rest of the series and I don't know that I'll ever catch up.  Scourged was the conclusion of the Iron Druid Chronicles and such a complete disappointment! Kevin Hearne owes his fans a novella to fix the mess that we ended with in Scourged! What a complete downer! I was sooooo upset with how it turned out and that's really a tragedy considering IDC is one of my all-time favorite series.

(Click on title for Goodreads link)

This book came on my radar thanks to Nick, I started it this week and its kind of been slow for me so far, I hope it picks up soon!


I'm currently reading Love at Last and really loving it! I can't wait to read the third mystery in the Angie Pallorino series, and I really enjoyed the first book in The Cowboys of Colorado series so I'm looking forward to A Touch of Flame.

(Click on Book for Goodreads link)


As I mentioned above I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince, I can't wait to see how things go down in the next book The Wicked King! The Candle and the Flame by a friend who I've know for a while Nafiza Azad also has me all kinds of excited! 

(Click on Book for Goodreads link)

Didn't know J.R. Ward had a new series coming out, but this sounds interesting.



It was the season finale of Scandal this week and overall I was happy with the ways things ended, but it also left me so sad at the same time, I've been following this show for seven years now and it's definitely an end of an era! I also watched Thor Ragnorok this week, I need to get prepared for Avengers Infinity War, I think I still need to squeeze in Doctor Strange in!


Liked both movies, although I think the first Jurassic Park is still the best one so far.



I became an auntie again! If you follow me on Instagram you'll probably see that my feed is full of my niece, well now she is a proud sister, I'm not sure what she'll be like when he comes home, as she's currently centre of attention, I'm sure she'll be kicking off soon enough :/ And I finally began my training for my Spartan race, my cousin took part in his race last week, and so was kind enough to share some of the obstacles that I would be facing and the majority of them are made up of arm strength, which isn't my strongest, so this week I spent some time just working on my arms, I think the upcoming weeks will be full of the same. 


  I've barely had time to keep up with my training for my upcoming marathon with is three weeks away now! One good thing about being up here is the trails are awesome and gorgeous (see pictures below) up here! I'll be running my 10 miles later today.

How was your week?

Monday, 9 April 2018

Spotlight & Giveaway: Warning Light by David Ricciardi

Hello everyone! Jasprit and I have been a little scarce lately because we've both had some family situations taking up time.  We hope to be back in full force soon and will come around to say hi to everyone shortly, but in the meantime I'd like to share a giveaway and spotlight for an upcoming book:

I do love non-stop action and thrills like theThe Bourne Identity movies, and Warning Light is that kind of story! Twists and turns, on-the-edge-of-your-seat, will-our-hero-get-out alive scenario.  If this sounds like your kind of story read on about the book and scroll down for a chance to win a copy of Warning Light by David Ricciardi!

A commercial flight with mechanical issues makes an emergency landing in Iran. A CIA analyst, never trained as a field agent, is in the race of his life. This is all you need to know to walk into WARNING LIGHT.

Warning Light by David Ricciardi
Publication date: April 17th 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo
No one knows what CIA desk jockey Zac Miller is capable of--including himself--when a routine surveillance job becomes a do-or-die mission in the Middle East.

When a commercial flight violates restricted airspace to make an emergency landing at a closed airport in Iran, the passengers are just happy to be alive and ready to transfer to a functional plane. All of them except one . . .

The American technology consultant in business class is not who he says he is. Zac Miller is a CIA analyst. And after an agent's cover gets blown, Zac--though never trained to be a field operative--volunteers to take his place, to keep a surveillance mission from being scrubbed.

Zac thinks it will be easy to photograph the earthquake-ravaged airport that is located near a hidden top secret nuclear facility. But when everything that can go wrong does, he finds himself on the run from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards and abandoned by his own teammates, who think he has gone rogue. Embarking on a harrowing journey through the mountains of Iran to the Persian Gulf and across Europe, Zac can only rely on himself. But even if he makes it out alive, the life he once had may be lost to him forever . . .

About the author
A keen outdoorsman, David Ricciardi incorporated many personal experiences into WARNING LIGHT. He's backpacked through the mountains of the western United States and Alaska, received extensive training from law-enforcement and US special operations personnel, and once woke up for a 2 AM watch aboard a sailboat only to discover that it was headed the wrong way through the Atlantic sea lanes in heavy weather, with one of the crew suffering from hypothermia. In addition to being an avid sailor, David is also a certified scuba rescue diver and a former ski instructor. WARNING LIGHT is his first novel.

The lovely people of Berkley have generously provided a copy of Warning Light to one lucky reader.  Simply fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.  Giveaway is open to US residents only. Good luck!

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Blog Tour: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett


Hi everyone today I'm pleased to be taking in part in the Starry Eyes blog tour by Jenn Bennett hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club. Before I share my review with you here's a bit about the book. 

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: April 3rd 2018. 
My rating: 4 stars. 
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together. What could go wrong? With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely. And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

I've been devouring Bennett's books lately, they've just been satisfying the need for great Contemporary YA books, they're refreshingly fun, bring such swoony relationships and I just don't want to put them down. So, when I first heard about Starry Eyes, I knew it would be a book that I couldn't wait to have in my hands and let me just say this book is so worth it. I love books that feature best friends to enemies trope, especially more so here, as Bennett really gave us this story between Zorie and Lennon well. I liked how we didn't really know what had caused this rift between them, but I was dying to know, as they had been the best of friends for a long time, and then things just came to an end one night. And Zorie's dad didn't really like Zorie spending time with Lennon either and what was up with that? 

I liked the whole set up that we got from this book, with Zorie and her friends going on a glamping (glamourous camping) trip with her friends and Lennon turns up unexpectedly. But in a way it was probably good that he did, as everyone else seems clueless with what to do. And when they got kicked out and had to go on their own, Lennon's the one that takes the lead and tries to keep everyone on track. This glamping trip didn't really turn out the way that Zorie was expecting, she thought she'd be able to spend time with friends, but she ends up being ditched and stuck with Lennon instead. But to be honest for me, this was really the better alternative for Zorie, there were still so many unresolved issues between her and Lennon and I really wanted to get to the bottom of them, also what she had with Lennon before everything hit the fan, was amazing, and I was hoping that there would be the chance for Zorie and Lennon to salvage some of it at least. When the truth was actually revealed about what really went down, I was quite surprised, as I wasn't expecting it, but it really explained and justified the reasoning behind one of the characters behaviour. It really was an emotional upheaval for our characters having to deal with this, but I think Bennett did an excellent job giving us this aspect of the story. 

I'm glad to say that I was actually right in my assessment of characters for once, I had an inkling of which characters were about to kick off and which weren't worth the time either. It was kind of awful these characters living up to some of the things that I expected to happen, especially when they hurt a lot of other people along the way, but you know those self-absorbed characters that only really think about themselves? seriously they weren't worth it, but they riled me up either way, like how can you be completely clueless? This minor annoyance aside, Starry Eyes really was a beautiful read, I loved the whole stargazing aspect that Zorie was interested in, but also how emotional and raw this story could be too. Bennett's storytelling was again done eloquently and I loved getting lost on this trip with Zorie and Lennon.

About the author: Jenn Bennett is an award-winning author of young adult books, including: Alex, Approximately; The Anatomical Shape of a Heart (aka Night Owls in the U.K.); and Starry Eyes. She also writes romance and urban fantasy for adults. Her books have earned multiple starred reviews, won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award, and been included on Publishers Weekly Best Books annual list. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two dogs. Visit her at

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