A Curse of Blood and Stone (Fate and Flame #2) by K.A. Tucker

Review and blog tour courtesy of Valentine PR

Thanks so much to the author and Valentine PR for the gifted, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } My reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

Publication Date: July 12, 2022

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Fiction, Adult

Book Description from Goodreads:

“I do not know how to love you and be a good king to my people.”

From jewelry thief to interloper to queen-in-waiting, Romeria flees Cirilea a traitor to all. But the yawning distance between her and Zander troubles her more than any king’s bounty on her head. While Zander may have escaped by her side, he seeks to regain his throne, and no immortal will ever welcome her as Islor’s queen. She fears it won’t be long before Zander abandons her as everyone else she’s ever loved has.

Zander sacrificed his crown to save Romeria’s life, yet he dreads what her existence means for the future of his realm. As Ybaris’s plan to destroy Islor unfurls, a more insidious threat, orchestrated by rival fates, lurks beneath the surface. He can offer his allies no honest explanation for why he protects the Ybarisan princess and takes counsel from Queen Neilina’s caster, leading those closest to doubt his wisdom—and his allegiance. 

As their company aims for the Venhorn Mountains, steered by prophecy, Romeria is desperate to wield her newfound abilities to undo Princess Romeria’s treachery before the kingdom tears itself apart. But with the mortal rebellion swelling, bolstered by the gift of Ybaris’s poison, it may already be too late.

From internationally bestselling author K.A. Tucker comes the second novel in her Fate and Flame series, an adult fantasy story that should be read in series order.

Review: (5 Stars)

TW: death/murder, violence, reference to sexual violence, some description of gore

You guys, I thought I loved A Fate of Wrath and Flame. And then A Curse of Blood and Stone came into my life. This world and these characters have really made their way into my heart, and I can’t wait to get more of them all!

This book picks up minutes after the events of the first book, and our leads are on the move – so this book feels a bit like a long road trip. You get to see lots of new locations that are either brand new to us or were briefly mentioned in the first book, and it lets you really focus on the characters and their relationships, which I loved! There are a handful of more tense scenes, but over all it’s more of a journey-centered story than more typical adventure, so if that isn’t your style it may feel like a bit of a slow read at times.

My favorite part of this book was that we see more of Romeria and Zander’s relationship, but even more than that we really get to see Romeria figuring out who she is in her new body and new world, and all of the power that comes with them. She really feels like she’s getting her feet under her, and I have really loved getting to see what that process looks like for her. She’s such a badass lady and such a fun character, and I can’t wait to see how she continues to grow! I would seriously read so many books about Romeria.

Overall I would absolutely recommend this book to my friends. But keep in mind that like I said earlier it does immediately follow the first book, so they definitely need to be read in order! I think that the perfect way to read this book would be on some sort of outdoor getaway – camping, glamping, a cabin in the mountains with a glass of wine, you take your pick. But this book feels like it’s begging to be read out in nature and on an adventure!

Meet Kathleen:

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the internationally bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wild, Be the Girl, and Say You Still Love Me. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Oprah Mag, and First for Women.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto.

Connect with Kathleen

Website: https://www.katuckerbooks.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/36Ga0W8

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QPwJZs

Facebook:  http://bit.ly/2MYEDhK

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1468548700062461

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katucker_/

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2FqzR8K

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2rZkYXP

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorkatucker/

My Reviews for more by K.A. Tucker

The Fate and Flame series

A Fate of Wrath and Flame (Fate and Flame #1)

The Simple Wild series

The Simple Wild (Wild #1)

Wild at Heart (Wild #2)

Forever Wild (Wild #2.5)

Running Wild (Wild #3)

The Polson Falls series

The Player Next Door

Standalone stories

Say You Still Love Me

Link to Purchase on Amazon:

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Once Upon a Book Club: Adult Box March 2022

The Oceanography of the Moon by Glendy Vanderah

I was so excited to received the Adult Book box from Once Upon a Book Club for the month of March, with the clue “To the Moon and Back!”

Take a look below for information on the book and gifts that I received in this box, my review of the book, and more – but keep in mind that there will be spoilers on the gifts!

Thanks so much to the folks over at Once Upon a Book Club for gifting me with this box! Check them out for yourself, and use my code TACKLINGTBR at check out for a discount!

About the Box

The To The Moon and Back box was Once Upon a Book Club’s adult box for March 2022! Each box contained a copy of the book and four wrapped gifts to tie into the book – bringing the book and reading experience to life!

Page 55

She guides me out onto the wooden pier. It’s unsettling to walk toward that watery blackness as if impelled down a gangplank to my death. She positions me at the end of the pier and has everyone turn off our flashlights. She tells me it takes a while for retinas to acclimate to darkness. As my eyes adjust, I’m standing in millions of stars.

A small, USB star light that shines star patterns onto walls or the ceiling.

Page 114

“While I’m running water into the tub, she knocks on the door and hands me a book. The cover art looks like a child’s drawing of two people holding hands, the lines connecting stars in the night sky. The constellation is Gemini, the twins. I settle the book onto the bookrest Sachi and Alec gave me for my sixteenth birthday…”

A faux book pamphlet including the novel A Box of Broken Stars details on the cover, plus a wooden and plexiglass bookrest.

Page 195

“I take the rock out of my pocket and hold its cold angular shape in my fist. I’m not sure if I should give it to her.”

A black tourmaline along with the explanation of its healing properties.

Page 211

“I’ve been too distracted to pay much attention to his necklace. The only jewelry I’ve seen on him is the expensive watch he always wears. It’s a key, the old kind I see in antique stores.”

A gold, key pendant inspired by Vaughn’s.

Page 223

“I hold her against my chest. I recognize this song. It’s ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.”

A QR code to listen to the song, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ by The Beatles

About the Book

Published by: Lake Union Publishing

Publication Date: March 22, 2022

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Mystery, Magical Realism

Page Count: 330

Description from Goodreads:

A heartfelt novel of shedding secrets, facing the past, and embracing the magic of love and family by the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Where the Forest Meets the Stars.

After the untimely deaths of her aunt and mother, young Riley Mays moved from Chicago to her cousins’ Wisconsin farm. Here she found solace in caring for her extraordinary adoptive brother, exploring the surrounding wild nature, and gazing at the mystical moon—a private refuge in which she hides from her most painful memories. But ten years later, now twenty-one, Riley feels too confined by the protective walls she’s erected around herself. When a stranger enters her family’s remote world, Riley senses something he’s hiding, a desire to escape that she understands well.

Suffering from writer’s block, bestselling novelist Vaughn Orr has taken to the country roads when he happens upon the accommodating, if somewhat unusual, Mays family. He’s soon captivated by their eccentricities—and especially by Riley and her quiet tenacity. In her, he recognizes a shared need to keep heartbreaking secrets buried.

As the worst moments of their lives threaten to surface, Riley and Vaughn must find the courage to confront them if they’re to have any hope of a happy future. With the help of Riley’s supportive family, a dash of everyday magic, and the healing power of nature, can the pair let go of the troubled pasts they’ve clung to so tightly for so long?

Review:

(My review will be added at a later date!)

About the Author

Glendy Vanderah is the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Amazon Charts bestselling author of Where the Forest Meets the Stars and The Light Through the Leaves. Glendy worked as an endangered-bird specialist in Illinois before she became a writer. Originally from Chicago, she now lives in rural Florida with her husband and as many birds, butterflies, and wildflowers as she can lure to her land.

For more information, visit http://www.glendyvanderah.com.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/glendyvanderah/

Link to Purchase the book:

Learn more about Once Upon a Book Club, or order your next read, here!

The Burning Pages by Paige Shelton

Minotaur Books – Review: 3 Stars

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press and Minotaur Books for the gifted, advanced copy of this book, as well as NetGalley for the gifted e-copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } My reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on my blog at tacklingtbr.home.blog

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction

TW: murder, arson, mention of attempted kidnapping

If there is anything that I love, it’s books about book people, and especially if those book people are also in a setting surrounded by books. Like, for instance, a book person who works and spends most of her time in a cute little bookshop in Scotland. You know, as a random example.

This was a fun mystery with a whole lot of storylines that until the end you’re not quite sure if they’re all connected in some way or not. There’s just a lot going on. I liked each storyline, and I do like how they do fit together in the end (spoiler? I guess?), but I will say that once or twice it got difficult to try and keep everything straight. There were characters with little roles in the smaller scale plots that I had to go back and remind myself who they were and how they were related to the story a couple of times.

I will say, I’m sure part of that is because this is book 7 in this series of cozy mysteries, and is the first one that I’ve read. I’m sure all of the main characters, and maybe some of the more supporting characters as well, were introduced in length in the previous novels, so maybe if I’d read the previous 6 books I would have had a little bit easier time with that. I don’t know that the problem would have completely gone away, since I was mostly having the trouble with folks related to the specific mystery. But either way, take that with a grain of salt.

One other small thing to note is that a lot of the dialogue is written out in a way to be read in a Scottish accent. This made it really fun and feel really immersed in the setting, but definitely keep in mind that you may need to use your own deductive reasoning to figure out a couple of words or sayings if you’re not familiar with it.

Overall I would recommend this book as a fairly easy cozy mystery. I figured out the ending before I got there, but isn’t that part of the charm of a cozy? I tend to think so, anyway. I think that the perfect way to read this book would be curled up in a comfy chair in a little bookshop, or at home surrounded by your bookshelves.

Link to Purchase on Amazon:

April 24 – April 30

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

Rules for Engaging the Earl

Author: Janna MacGregor

Publication Date: April 26, 2022

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Regency

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for the gifted, advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Get ready for lost wills, broody dukes, and scorching hot kissing all over London.

Constance Lysander needs a husband. Or, so society says. She’s about to give birth to her late husband’s child―a man who left her with zero money, and two other wives she didn’t know about. Thankfully, she has her Aunt by her side, and the two other wives have become close friends. But still―with a baby on the way, her shipping business to run, and an enemy skulking about, she has no time to find the perfect match.

Enter Jonathan, Earl of Sykeston. Returned war hero and Constance’s childhood best friend, his reentry into society has been harsh. Maligned for an injury he received in the line of duty, Jonathan prefers to stay out of sight. It’s the only way to keep his heart from completely crumbling. But when a missive from Constance requests his presence―to their marriage ceremony―Jonathan is on board. His feelings for Constance run deep, and he’ll do anything to make her happy, though it means risking his already bruised heart.

With Constance, Jonathan, and the new baby all together, it’s clear the wounds―both on the surface and in their relationship―run deep. But when the nights come, their wounds begin to heal, and both come to realize that their marriage of convenience is so much more than just a bargain.

20% Review:

This book is not shy about throwing you right into the story! We get a short prologue showing our two leads when they were young, to show their previous relationship and their feelings about each other, and then it jumps right to Jonathan’s journey to Constance in London. The events that the back cover mentions (her marriage and finding out about her husband’s deception, Jonathan receiving her letter, etc.) aren’t shown in the book, only the events that follow. I understand that all of it may not have been necessary, but I would have liked to see Jonathan’s initial reaction to hearing from her after all of those years. Other than that, I will say I’m not yet feeling that same draw that I get when I’m really invested in the story. That may very well come later, but so far the story has gotten off to a slightly slow start for me. I’m definitely keeping an open mind, hoping that that will change!

Check out my full review here!

Rules for Engaging the Earl (The Widow Rules #2) by Janna MacGregor

St. Martin’s Press – Review: 4 Stars

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for the gifted, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } My reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

Publication Date: April 26, 2022

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Regency

TW: description of battle injuries/scars

Anyone who tries to say they aren’t a sucker for a childhood best friends to lovers story is lying to you and also themselves, and they can’t be trusted. There, I said it. Now, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at this book in particular.

This one started off a bit slow for me, because the two leads are apart for a good chunk of the book to begin with. When I picked up this book I didn’t realize that it was a second in a series, however, and that the two friends that Constance spends this portion of the book with are characters that you met and undoubtedly fell in love with in the first book (A Duke in Time). I really loved the bond between these three women throughout this book, so I think if I had that love of them going into it then the beginning wouldn’t have felt so long for me. So maybe this is one best read in order, purely for that relationship!

But now on to this story’s love match – Constance and Jonathan. They were best friends in their younger years, and you can tell they both secretly knew that they were each other’s futures, but they never shared that out loud. Bring in the steamy second chance romance! I really loved their relationship. It was a little bit difficult at times, because sometimes it’s hard to read a character treating someone else so coldly, even if you know they’re trying to protect them and that it will all work out in the end. And there are definitely some of those moments in this book where Jonathan was really cold and hurtful to Constance. But what I loved is that that time wasn’t just brushed under the rug like “well he’s not like that anymore, so it doesn’t matter” which I think can tend to happen in those types of stories. Both of these characters knew and acknowledged that that treatment was wrong, and we really got to see them make the choice to move forward anyway, and see him really work to make himself better.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to friends! Like I said earlier, though, I may need to go back and read the first one, and might recommend that folks read it in order so that they don’t miss any of that badass female friendship! I think that the best way to read this book would be outside in a garden, with the sunshine on your shoulders, and maybe a cup of tea or coffee in your hands. Bonus points for a fresh garden picnic, but not all of us have the Earl of Sykeston’s grounds.

Link to Purchase on Amazon:

April 17 – April 23

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

Pay Dirt Road

Author: Samantha Jayne Allen

Publication Date: April 19, 2022

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Contemporary, Suspense

Thanks so much to the author and Minotaur for the gifted, advanced copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Friday Night Lights meets Mare of Easttown in this small-town mystery about an unlikely private investigator searching for a missing waitress. Pay Dirt Road is the mesmerizing debut from the 2019 Tony Hillerman Prize recipient Samantha Jayne Allen.

Annie McIntyre has a love/hate relationship with Garnett, Texas.

Recently graduated from college and home waitressing, lacking not in ambition but certainly in direction, Annie is lured into the family business—a private investigation firm—by her supposed-to-be-retired grandfather, Leroy, despite the rest of the clan’s misgivings.

When a waitress at the café goes missing, Annie and Leroy begin an investigation that leads them down rural routes and haunted byways, to noxious-smelling oil fields and to the glowing neon of local honky-tonks. As Annie works to uncover the truth she finds herself identifying with the victim in increasing, unsettling ways, and realizes she must confront her own past—failed romances, a disturbing experience she’d rather forget, and the trick mirror of nostalgia itself—if she wants to survive this homecoming.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

April 10 – April 16

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

This May End Badly

Author: Samantha Markum

Publication Date: April 12, 2022

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult, Fiction

Thanks so much to the author, Wednesday Books, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the gifted, advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Pranking mastermind Doe and her motley band of Weston girls are determined to win the century-long war against Winfield Academy before the clock ticks down on their senior year. But when their headmistress announces that The Weston School will merge with its rival the following year, their longtime feud spirals into chaos.

To protect the school that has been her safe haven since her parents’ divorce, Doe puts together a plan to prove once and for all that Winfield boys and Weston girls just don’t mix, starting with a direct hit at Three, Winfield’s boy king and her nemesis. In a desperate move to win, Doe strikes a bargain with Three’s cousin, Wells: If he fake dates her to get under Three’s skin, she’ll help him get back his rightful family heirloom from Three.

As the pranks escalate, so do her feelings for her fake boyfriend, and Doe spins lie after lie to keep up her end of the deal. But when a teacher long suspected of inappropriate behavior messes with a younger Weston girl, Doe has to decide what’s more important: winning a rivalry, or joining forces to protect something far more critical than a prank war legacy.

This May End Badly is a story about friendship, falling in love, and crossing pretty much every line presented to you—and how to atone when you do.

20% Review:

This book is such a fun read so far! The story is really just starting to dip it’s toes into the fake-dating trope (which I love and am quite excited about), so it’s mostly been talking about the pranking and rivalry so far, but I have not wanted to put it down! I really like Doe as a main character, and being in her head while she talks (thinks?) about the school rivalry is honestly making me feel like I’m back in high school with her. While they may not have been the best years of my life, things like school rivalries and first love are so fun and nostalgic to look back on, making this a really delicious read so far! I can’t wait to fall in love with Wells, because I get the feeling I will.

Check out my full review here!

Left on Tenth

Author: Delia Ephron

Narrated by: Delia Ephron

Publication Date: April 12, 2022

Genre: Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction

Audiobook Length: 7 hours and 38 minutes

Thanks so much to Hachette Audio and Libro.fm for the gifted, advanced audio copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

The bestselling, beloved writer of romantic comedies like You’ve Got Mail tells her own late-in-life love story, complete with a tragic second act and joyous resolution.

Delia Ephron had struggled through several years of heartbreak. She’d lost her sister, Nora, and then her husband, Jerry, both to cancer. Several months after Jerry’s death, she decided to make one small change in her life—she shut down his landline, which crashed her internet. She ended up in Verizon hell.

She channeled her grief the best way she knew: by writing a New York Times op-ed. The piece caught the attention of Peter, a Bay Area psychiatrist, who emailed her to commiserate. Recently widowed himself, he reminded her that they had shared a few dates fifty-four years before, set up by Nora. Delia did not remember him, but after several weeks of exchanging emails and sixties folk songs, he flew east to see her. They were crazy, utterly, in love.

But this was not a rom-com: four months later she was diagnosed with AML, a fierce leukemia.

In Left on Tenth, Delia Ephron enchants as she seesaws us between tears and laughter, navigating the suicidal lows of enduring cutting-edge treatment and the giddy highs of a second chance at love. With Peter and her close girlfriends by her side, with startling clarity, warmth, and honesty about facing death, Ephron invites us to join her team of warriors and become believers ourselves.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

This May End Badly by Samantha Markum

Wednesday Books – Review: 5 Stars

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books, and NetGalley for the gifted, advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } My reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

Publication Date: April 12, 2022

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult, Fiction

TW: discussion of sexually predatory behavior towards a minor, discussion of homophobia, bullying

I really, thoroughly enjoyed this book! I think with YA romances it can be a little bit tricky sometimes to find the balance of the romance between two characters who are at an age that they are really starting to explore the steamier sides of romance, but also acknowledging how young the characters still are – no matter how adult they may think they are. And this book captured that really beautifully for me – the feeling that these characters are still kids, and still learning and growing, but that they very much see themselves as the adults that they are just a year or two shy of being.

There were SO MANY characters to fall in love with in this book! You’ve got to love a good, old fashioned ensemble cast, right? At least, I do.

Let’s start with the friend groups. The Winfield boys were really intriguing to me as I was reading – from the description you know that they have to all come together at the end against a bigger, better cause, so I was looking forward to seeing how the author humanized these characters to Doe, and maybe even brought her around a bit to their side, and I thought that the background that she gave them was really interesting. Nothing groundbreaking, but really well told.

As for Doe and her group of best girlfriends, there were so many different personalities in the group, and I think the author did a really good job of showing those personality types both clashing and blending, and the love that these girls had for each other through both types of interactions. No friend group is going to get along perfectly all the time, or always agree, so I love it when authors (especially in children’s or young adult stories) show those sides of it too. Especially in a way that shows that not only is it normal but also healthy, and that it doesn’t mean you love your friends any less.

And okay, let’s briefly touch on Wells. I loved him. A whole lot. Like, if I had read this book in high school he may have been my dream guy. I loved him, I loved their relationship, I love the fake-dating trope. It just all really worked for me!

Overall I would absolutely recommend this book to my friends. In fact, I think I may have already recommended it once or twice in conversation. I thought it was such a fun and engaging read, and I will definitely be purchasing a physical copy to put on my bookshelf in case of future re-reads. I think that the best way to read this book would be curled up with a cute guy on a big red arm chair, but if you can’t get that, then I guess any comfy reading nook will suffice. But someone or something cute to cuddle is mandatory!

Link to Purchase on Amazon:

April 3 – April 9

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to share these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

The Younger Wife

Author: Sally Hepworth

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Suspense, Adult

Thanks so much to the author and St. Martin’s Press for my gifted advanced copy, as well as Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy!

Description from Goodreads:

THE HUSBAND
A heart surgeon at the top of his field, Stephen Aston is getting married again. But first he must divorce his current wife, even though she can no longer speak for herself.

THE DAUGHTERS
Tully and Rachel Aston look upon their father’s fiancée, Heather, as nothing but an interloper. Heather is younger than both of them. Clearly, she’s after their father’s money.

THE FORMER WIFE
With their mother in a precarious position, Tully and Rachel are determined to get to the truth about their family’s secrets, the new wife closing in, and who their father really is.

THE YOUNGER WIFE
Heather has secrets of her own. Will getting to the truth unleash the most dangerous impulses in all of them?

20% Review:

This book definitely does not get off to a slow start, that’s for sure! Starting with suspicious events at the wedding, and then jumping back to a year prior to see what lead up to that point. So far we’ve got multiple POV and the idea that (at least) one of these narrators may not be completely reliable, but no idea who yet. I’m enjoying it so far, although I’m yet undecided on how I think I’ll feel about this read. It’s got me turning pages and wanting to keep reading, but I’m not yet sure how I’m feeling about the characters, which I know are going to play a huge part in this story. But I loved The Good Sister when I listened to it last year, so I’m keeping an open mind and I’m excited to see how it all plays out!

Check out my full review here!

Reputation

Author: Lex Croucher

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA+, Adult

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Griffin and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

The hilarious debut novel from Lex Croucher. A classic romcom with a Regency-era twist, for fans of Mean Girls and/or Jane Austen.

Abandoned by her parents, middle-class Georgiana Ellers has moved to a new town to live with her dreary aunt and uncle. At a particularly dull party, she meets the enigmatic Frances Campbell, a wealthy member of the in-crowd who lives a life Georgiana couldn’t have imagined in her wildest dreams.

Lonely and vulnerable, Georgiana falls in with Frances and her unfathomably rich, deeply improper friends. Georgiana is introduced to a new world: drunken debauchery, mysterious young men with strangely arresting hands, and the upper echelons of Regency society.

But the price of entry to high society might just be higher than Georgiana is willing to pay …

20% Review:

Oh my gosh this book is everything that I need right now and more! Surprising to nobody, I am among the masses waiting around for the premier of Bridgerton season 2, so this has been the PERFECT read to fill that void! It’s regency but also has very teen-romcom movie vibes. The description compares it to Mean Girls, and I would throw Clueless in there too, honestly making it a potential for a top read of the year for me if it continues the way it’s been going. The characters are fun and mysterious, the time period is dreamy, and I’ve laughed out loud a few times already. I seriously don’t want to put it down!

Check out my full review here!

The Burning Pages

Author: Paige Shelton

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press and Minotaur Books for my gifted advanced copy, as well as Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy!

Description from Goodreads:

Delaney Nichols faces off against an elusive arsonist in the seventh Scottish Bookshop Mystery, The Burning Pages, from beloved author Paige Shelton….

One winter’s night, bookseller Delaney Nichols and her coworker Hamlet are invited to a Burns Night dinner, a traditional Scottish celebration of the poet Robert Burns. She’s perplexed by the invitation, but intrigued. The dinner takes place at Burns House itself, a tiny cottage not far from the Cracked Spine bookshop but well hidden. There, it becomes clear that Delaney and Hamlet were summoned in an attempt to make amends between Edwin, Delaney’s boss, and one of the other invitees, who suspected Edwin for burning down his own bookshop twenty years ago after a professional disagreement.

But after the dinner, there’s another fire. The Burns House itself is burned to the ground, and this time there’s a body among the ruins. When Hamlet is accused of the crime, Delaney rushes to prove his innocence, only to discover that he might actually have a plausible motive…

20% Review:

Mystery, intrigue, Scottish accents (written out so that they are still present in a physical format) – so far this book has it all! It is a rainy day today in the PNW, so I am devouring this cozy mystery and dreaming of Scotland. I’m really enjoying the characters so far and, as someone who is notoriously bad for picking up a cozy in the middle of a series and reading it as a standalone instead, I really appreciate the bit of background that we’ve gotten on them in the beginning of this book. It’s enough to make people reading it as a standalone feel like we aren’t missing too much, but not enough that it will bore folks who have read the previous books – just a happy medium!

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

The Sign for Home

Author: Blair Fell

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Disability, Adult

Thanks so much to the author, Atria/Emily Bestler Books, and Edelweiss+ for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

When Arlo Dilly learns the girl he thought was lost forever might still be out there, he takes it as a sign and embarks on a life-changing journey to find his great love—and his freedom.

Arlo Dilly is young, handsome and eager to meet the right girl. He also happens to be DeafBlind, a Jehovah’s Witness, and under the strict guardianship of his controlling uncle. His chances of finding someone to love seem slim to none.

And yet, it happened once before: many years ago, at a boarding school for the Deaf, Arlo met the love of his life—a mysterious girl with onyx eyes and beautifully expressive hands which told him the most amazing stories. But tragedy struck, and their love was lost forever.

Or so Arlo thought.

After years trying to heal his broken heart, Arlo is assigned a college writing assignment which unlocks buried memories of his past. Soon he wonders if the hearing people he was supposed to trust have been lying to him all along, and if his lost love might be found again.

No longer willing to accept what others tell him, Arlo convinces a small band of misfit friends to set off on a journey to learn the truth. After all, who better to bring on this quest than his gay interpreter and wildly inappropriate Belgian best friend? Despite the many forces working against him, Arlo will stop at nothing to find the girl who got away and experience all of life’s joyful possibilities.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Sari, Not Sari

Author: Sonya K. Singh

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult, Fiction

Thanks so much to the author, Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

This delightful debut rom-com follows the adventures of a woman trying to connect with her South Asian roots and introduces readers to a memorable cast of characters in a veritable feast of food, family traditions, and fun.

Manny Dogra is the beautiful young CEO of Breakup, a highly successful company that helps people manage their relationship breakups. As preoccupied as she is with her business, she’s also planning her wedding to handsome architect Adam Jamieson while dealing with the loss of her beloved parents.

For reasons Manny has never understood, her mother and father, who were both born in India, always wanted her to become an “All-American” girl. So that’s what she did. She knows next to nothing about her South Asian heritage, and that’s never been a problem—until her parents are no longer around, and an image of Manny that’s been Photoshopped to make her skin look more white appears on a major magazine cover. Suddenly, the woman who built an empire encouraging people to be true to themselves is having her own identity crisis.

But when an irritating client named Sammy Patel approaches Manny with an odd breakup request, the perfect solution presents itself: If they both agree to certain terms, he’ll give her a crash course in being “Indian” at his brother’s wedding.

What follows is days of dancing and dal, masala and mehndi as Manny meets the lovable, if endlessly interfering, aunties and uncles of the Patel family, and, along the way, discovers much more than she could ever have anticipated.

20% Review:

Confession time, I’m a little bit past 20% (not by much, only an extra chapter or so) because I couldn’t stop long enough to write a mini-review. And where this last chapter just ended? I. Am. HEATED! I won’t spoil anything, but you know that point in every cheesy Hallmark romcom where the boyfriend/fiancé that she has at the beginning of the movie does or says something terrible, and even though you know he isn’t the main love interest in the movie it still makes you mad? That’s the point I’m at in this book. Okay anyway moving on – this book is such a fun read so far! I am loving Manny as a main character, and honestly I wish Breakup was a real company. Lord knows I could have used that service once or twice when I was in the world of dating! I can’t wait to see where the rest of the story goes from here.

Check out my full review here!

Lessons in Chemistry

Author: Bonnie Garmus

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Humor, Feminism, Romance

Thanks so much to the author, Doubleday Books, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

A delight for readers of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, this blockbuster debut set in 1960s California features the singular voice of Elizabeth Zott, a scientist whose career takes a detour when she becomes the star of a beloved TV cooking show.

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with–of all things–her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Sari, Not Sari by Sonya Singh

Simon & Schuster – Review: 4 Stars

Thanks so much to the author, Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the gifted, advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } My reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult, Fiction

TW: whitewashing POC, some racially/culturally insensitive language

I will start off here by saying that I really loved this book! Once I finished it I messaged my husband and told him that it might have already cemented itself as one of my favorite reads of the month, that’s how much I enjoyed it.

I want to say early on in this review, however, that I am not Indian, so I don’t have that insight into the story or characters that own-voices reviewers might have. I have seen some folks talking about this book in reviews and elsewhere online that the way it was written and the way the people and culture were represented may not have been as accurate or respectful as some folks would have liked, which is what will keep this from being a 5-star review for me.

A huge part of the plot of this book is that Manny is spending the week with Sammy (the love interest) and his family to really get a taste of the Indian culture that she didn’t experience growing up, and that she’s never felt like she’s had access to. I’ve seen a lot of people online talking about how what is basically a week-long boot camp on how to be Indian is problematic because there is no one specific way to represent any culture or community, and I absolutely agree with that. The author makes a specific point more than once throughout the book to acknowledge this, and to have multiple characters tell Manny that or show her their own versions of their culture.

I think that the author adequately acknowledges this and it is therefore an intentional part of the story, as well as Manny’s character development. However, as I said in the beginning, since I am not a member of this culture I don’t believe I’m the one to speak on this. I’ve lowered my review by one star to reflect this, and will gladly re-evaluate it in the future if more own-voices reviewers come out to speak on it.

All of that being said, I think that the book was well written, and the characters were entertaining and engaging. And I absolutely fell for Sammy – I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t! For me, this was a book that I didn’t want to put down.

Overall I would recommend this book to friends and fellow readers, but with the above note. I think that the best way to read this book would be out at a park or someplace with the buzz of activity and a large glass of white wine!

Link to Purchase on Amazon: