A Highlander in a Pickup (Highland, Georgie: Book 2) by Laura Trentham

A Highlander in a Pickup: A Highland, Georgia Novel by [Trentham, Laura]

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: February 25th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Highland, Georgia

A Highlander Walks into a Bar—Book 1 (Review Here)

A Highlander in a Pickup—Book 2

A Highlander is Coming to Town—Book 3 (expected publication date is September 29th, 2020)

Where you can find A Highlander in a Pickup: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

A Highlander in a Pickup is the second book in award-winning author Laura Trentham’s romantic comedy Highland Georgia series, full of love, laughs…and highlanders!

When a gorgeous new man—in a kilt—comes to town, life in Highland, Georgia will never be the same…

Iain Connors is the poster boy for the strong and silent type. Growing up a loner at Cairndow Castle in Scotland with only the cliffs and moors for company, it’s understood Iain will assume the mantle of Cairndow groundskeeper when his father is ready to relinquish it. But his stint in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces has opened up a whole new world—and now, rather than settle down, he accepts an invitation to travel to the States to take charge of the Highland Games. After all, he’s led men into battle, how hard can planning a party be?

Anna Maitland is ready to step up for her best friend Isabel Blackmoor, who can’t run the Games in their hometown this year. Surely Anna, a dance instructor with boundless energy, spirit, and charm, is up for the challenge? What she doesn’t anticipate is a man in a kilt who turns up claiming he’s the one in charge. What’s worse about this Iain? He’s so infuriatingly handsome that she can’t help but fantasize about him whispering sweet-nothings in her ear in his rumbly, sexy brogue. . .

First Line:

Anna Maitland was waving the toddler class out the door of her dance studio, the strains of “The Wheels on the Bus” still resonating in her head, when her phone buzzed.

A Highlander in a Pickup by Laura Trentham

My Review:

I was pumped when I saw that A Highlander in a Pickup was available for review on NetGalley. I wanted to see what Anna and Iain’s love story would be like. So, now you’re wondering why a 3-star review if I was so thrilled to read it.

It wasn’t the plotline. A Highlander in a Pickup had a fast-moving plotline. There was no lag, which is a massive plus for me, and there were no dropped storylines or characters.

I hate to admit this, but it was Iain and Anna’s issues that dragged the story down for me. I love enemies to friend troupe as much as the next person. But in this book, it was taken to an extreme. Even though I knew that Anna and Iain were going to fall in love, there was a point where I wondered if they were going to make it there. There was too much bickering between the two during the first half of the book.

I wasn’t a fan of Iain being overly insecure. He overthought everything that came out of his mouth and was afraid of pissing Anna off. There was a point where I started eye-rolling because it was too much. Other than that, I loved him. He was what Anna needed.

Anna drove me crazy go nuts right. I couldn’t get over her behavior towards Iain. Her hostility was unwarranted and at times, made me mad. She couldn’t handle the planning of the games, and it showed. Also, she was super insecure. OMG, was she ever. I did think to myself, at one point, that she needed therapy. It was that bad. But, putting the insecurities and her bad attitude towards Iain aside, Anna was a good person. And that goodness was showcased time and again.

Anna and Iain’s romance was slow to get started because of everything that I listed above. There was an instant attraction that got pushed to the back burner due to Iain’s insecurities and Anna’s hostility. But, once they kissed, there was no going back. That sexual attraction snowballed into some pretty steamy sex scenes.

A Highlander in a Pickup is book 2 in the Highland, Georgia series. This book can be read as a stand-alone book. But, I would recommend reading A Highlander Walks Into a Bar to understand more about the festival and Highland itself.

The end of A Highlander in a Pickup was your typical HEA. I loved that the author gave a hint about who the next book is going feature.

I would give A Highlander in a Pickup an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread A Highlander in a Pickup. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

Follow Me by [Barber, Kathleen]

4 Stars

Publisher: Gallery Pocket Books, Gallery Books

Date of publication: February 25th, 2020

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find Follow Me: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

From the author of Truth Be Told (formerly titled Are You Sleeping)—now an Apple TV series of the same name—comes a cautionary tale of oversharing in the social media age for fans of Jessica Knoll and Caroline Kepnes’s You.

Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.

Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbor with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.

But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.

First Line:

Everyone on the internet is a liar.

Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

My Review:

I had to take a few minutes to process what I had read when I finished Follow Me. The entire story chilled me. I should have known that the book was going to be creepy when I read the author’s foreword about the RAT’s and the whole secret community that envelopes it. Talk about scary!!

Follow Me had a medium-paced plotline. For the type of book it was, I was expecting the plotline to be a little faster. But, then again, if it did go more quickly, some of the smaller clues (about who “Him” was, Cat’s mental state…etc) would have been passed over.

I liked the flow of the book too. Usually, I don’t like it when there are more than two POVs’ in a book. The flow of the book is often thrown off. Not in this case. The author was able to switch between Cat, Him, and Audrey effortlessly. That made for a better reading experience for me.

I didn’t like Audrey. Her preoccupation with her Instagram, followers, filters, and brand was almost too much at times. She drove away her friends because of that. Even Cat wanted nothing to do with her by the end of the book. But, as much as I didn’t like her, I did feel bad for Audrey. She didn’t deserve what happened to her.

I didn’t know what to think of Cat at first. But, as the book went on, I began to understand her character. In her way, Cat was just as obsessed with Audrey as Him was. Her deteriorating mental state was apparent in the latter half of the book. I do wish that Cat’s secret was discussed earlier in the book. But, I can see why the author held it back until the last half of the book. It made sense.

I loved that the author kept Him’s true identity a secret until almost the end of the book. It made his chapters scarier to read. Him was completely obsessed with Audrey. It sickened me how easy it was for him to track her. He was able to use spyware to watch her at home. He knew everything about her. What scared me even more about Him was that he was unhinged. He imagined killing his family and decorating the house with their intestines. I wish that the author spent more time on that, but at the same time, I am grateful she didn’t.

The suspense/mystery angle of the book was wonderfully written. The author did a great job of keeping Audrey off balance and showing Him and Cat’s deteriorating mental states. She also did a great job of keeping Him’s real identity under wrap until the end of the book. Four people were on my list, and it was the last person I thought it would be.

The end of Follow Me was chilling. I did figure what happened between Him and Audrey was going to happen. Not to the degree, it happened, but I guessed that basic. But I wasn’t expecting Cat to do what she did. That threw me for a loop. But, it was the very end of the book that chilled me to the bone.

I would give Follow Me an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread Follow Me. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Lily for My Enemy (A Lockhart Sweet Regency Romance: Book 2) by L.G. Rollins

Lily For My Enemy: Lockhart Sweet Regency Romance by [Rollins, L. G.]

4 Stars


Date of publication: February 21st, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: Lockhart Sweet Regency Romance

Wager for a Lady’s Hand—Book 1 (Review Here)

Lily for My Enemy—Book 2

Where you can find Lily for My Enemy: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

He’s from Lords. She sides with Commons.
Watch out London, sparks will fly.

Felix Lockhart is tired of balls, tired of musicales, and most especially tired of society only seeing him as the heir apparent to a powerful seat in Lords. Then, one evening he meets the witty Jocelyn Hunt—perhaps the only young lady in London who isn’t impressed with him.

Jocelyn Hunt will never hold a seat in the House of Commons herself, but she is no less an ardent supporter. When she meets the brooding Felix Lockhart, she is determined he understand that the House of Lords simply cannot continue to ignore the changing times.

Though they quarrel at first, both Felix and Jocelyn find themselves irresistibly drawn toward the other. But when their roles as heir apparent and daughter of a prominent man in Commons push them apart, can their undeniable connection be enough to bridge two groups determined to hate one another?

First Line:

Felix Lockhart, Earl of Sutby, cringed.

Lily for My Enemy by L.G. Rollins

My Review:

Regency romance is one of my favorite sub-genres of historical romances to read. I have said this often, but I love imagining what it was like back then. I have a fascination with the English ton, the Lords, and Ladies. So, when I saw that this book was available for review, I jumped on it.

Lily for My Enemy is the 2nd book in the Lockhart Sweet Regency Romance series. It can be read as a stand-alone. As always, I do suggest reading book one to familiarize yourself with the world. But in this book, the author did a great job of keeping the previous books characters in the background.

The plotline for Lily for My Enemy was medium paced. There was a bit of lag when Jocelyn went to the country, but the author was able to get the book back on track. I did notice that there was a dropped secondary storyline that involved someone paying the urchin to spy on Jocelyn and Felix and then put an unflattering article in the paper. It was never named who, and that storyline was dropped. I wish that it wasn’t. I wish that the person was named. I have a feeling who it was, but now I will never know.

I liked Felix’s character progression in Lily for My Enemy. At the beginning of the book, he was an immature boy who had little regard for people’s feelings. By the end of the book, he matured into a man who was willing to fight for the woman he loved. It was beautiful to read.

I loved Jocelyn. She wholeheartedly supported her father’s causes and his seat in the House of Commons. She viewed the House of Lords as something evil and corrupt (and she wasn’t wrong). I loved how she wasn’t afraid to go toe to toe with Felix. She was a spitfire, and I loved it.

Lily for My Enemy is a clean romance. There is no sex, and you know what, I enjoyed that. I enjoyed not reading a book that had only a couple of kisses in it.

The main storyline about Felix and Jocelyn’s romance had me on edge. I didn’t think it was going to go anywhere because of their father’s animosity towards each other. There was a point where I compared it to Romeo and Juliet. It was when their father’s found out, and the newspaper printed that article. My heart broke for both Felix and Jocelyn. But, I did admire Felix’s guts in going to Jocelyn’s father and asking for her hand in marriage. That took guts.

The end of Lily for My Enemy was your typical HEA. I cannot wait to read the next book!!!

I would give Lily for My Enemy an Older Teen rating. There is sno ex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Lily for My Enemy. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

All the Best Lies (Ellery Hathaway: Book 3) by Joanna Schaffhausen

All the Best Lies: A Mystery (Ellery Hathaway Book 3) by [Schaffhausen, Joanna]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Series: Ellery Hathaway

The Vanishing Season—Book 1 (Review Here)

No Mercy—Book 2 (Review Here)

All the Best Lies—Book 3

Where you can find All the Best Lies: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

FBI agent Reed Markham is haunted by one painful unsolved mystery: who murdered his mother? Camilla was brutally stabbed to death more than forty years ago while baby Reed lay in his crib mere steps away. The trail went so cold that the Las Vegas Police Department has given up hope of solving the case. But then a shattering family secret changes everything Reed knows about his origins, his murdered mother, and his powerful adoptive father, state senator Angus Markham. Now Reed has to wonder if his mother’s killer is uncomfortably close to home.

Unable to trust his family with the details of his personal investigation, Reed enlists his friend, suspended cop Ellery Hathaway, to join his quest in Vegas. Ellery has experience with both troubled families and diabolical murderers, having narrowly escaped from each of them. She’s eager to skip town, too, because her own father, who abandoned her years ago, is suddenly desperate to get back in contact. He also has a secret that could change her life forever, if Ellery will let him close enough to hear it.

Far from home and relying only on each other, Reed and Ellery discover young Camilla had snared the attention of dangerous men, any of whom might have wanted to shut her up for good. They start tracing his twisted family history, knowing the path leads back to a vicious killer—one who has been hiding in plain sight for forty years and isn’t about to give up now

First Line:

Camilla Flores has always been in the wrong place at the wrong time, starting with the day she was born, six weeks early, in Puerto Rico, before her mother could cross the ocean and land on continental American shores.

All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen

My Review:

All the Best Lies is Reed’s story. Reed’s biological mother was brutally murdered when Reed was four months old. A prominent senator adopted him and but he always had questions about his mother. Then, a DNA test threw his world into a tailspin. The results of that DNA test makes Reed take another look at his mother’s unsolved murder. But, someone doesn’t want that murder solved, and they will do anything to keep it that way. What was in that DNA test, and who killed Reed’s mother? And what is tying them together?

All the Best Lies is the 3rd book in the Ellery Hathaway series. This book cannot be read as a standalone. You do need to read books 1 and 2 to understand Ellery and Reed’s relationship as well as Reed’s relationship with his family. If you do decide to pick the book up and read it, be prepared to be confused.

I loved Reed. He was determined to find out exactly what happened to his mother. His reactions to certain people in the book were right on. I would have been mad too!!! The only thing I didn’t agree with was when he went off on his own towards the end of the book.

I liked that Ellery took a step back in this book. What I mean by taking a step back is that her backstory and issues weren’t made the focal point of the book. She was still the same kick-ass ex-cop who went out of her way to help Reed.

I didn’t agree with the romance angle of the book. It didn’t seem right to have a romance between Ellery and Reed. I understood why the author did it (to show how far Ellery had come) but still.

The plotline about Reed’s mother’s murder was fantastic. The author did a great job of keeping the killer under wraps. Several red herrings were thrown out. I went back and forth about who killed Camilla and mentally kicked myself when the killer was revealed. I also loved the twist that was thrown in at the end. I did not see that coming.

The plotline about Ellery and her father broke my heart into little bits. I wanted to smack the crap out of her father. I understood her feelings about what he asked. I would have been torn too.

The end of All the Best Lies was terrific. The author did a great job of wrapping up all of the plotlines and bringing them together. I loved how Ellery was able to get the killer. Well, she had help but still. It was fantastic. I do wonder if there is going to be a book 4.

I would give All the Best Lies an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread All the Best Lies. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Been there, Married That by Gigi Levangie

Been There, Married That: A Novel by [Levangie, Gigi]

2 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: February 11th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Where you can find Been There, Married That: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Bookbub

Book Synopsis:

A hilarious new novel full of Hollywood glitz, glamour, and scandal.

When he changes the locks, she changes the rules.

Agnes Murphy Nash is the perfect Hollywood wife – she has the right friends, the right clothes, and even a side career of her own as a writer. Her husband Trevor is a bigshot producer, and from the outside it looks like they’re living a picture-perfect celebrity life, complete with tennis tournaments and lavish parties.

But the job description of a Hollywood wife doesn’t cover divorce, which is the way Agnes’ life is headed after she comes home one day to find her credit cards cancelled and the security passwords to get into her enormous LA home changed. Oh, and there’s a guy there whose job it is to tase her if she tries to enter…which she does. Needless to say, Agnes’ husband is dead set on making sure she loses big time, but Agnes isn’t the type to just lie down and take it. In a world of fremenies and hot nannies, personal psychics and “skinny” jello shots, Agnes may be losing her husband, but could that mean getting her own life back?

Been There, Married That is a drop-dead hilarious battle of wills that will make you laugh out loud, cringe, and keep turning the pages to see what crazy disaster will happen to Agnes next…and how she’ll rise from the ashes.

First Line:

“A toast!”

Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie

My Review:

I like contemporary women’s fiction as much as the next person. But, it seems like 90% of women’s fiction that I read ends up being rubbish. So, I wasn’t exactly thrilled when I got the email for Been There, Married That. I debated on deleting the email and pretending I didn’t see it. After reading the book, I wish I did.

The plotline for Been There, Married that was a mess. I do not have a problem following plotlines, but this one tried my patience. There was a significant amount of lag in the book. It happened right when Agnes had her mini-breakdown. The book never recovered. There were also dropped storylines, which is another thing I didn’t like. Don’t introduce a storyline and not complete it. Uggh!!

I found all of the characters (the teenagers included) to be unrelatable. I know that they are supposed to be a parody of what people think Hollywood wife is like, but man, it left a bad taste in my mouth. There were off-colored jokes and racial stereotypes (the Latina housekeeper). Let’s not forget that there were jokes about rehab. There were some funny parts of the book (Agnes being called A-Nus by Petra was one), but overall, I didn’t care for the characters.

The divorce storyline, unfortunately, was true to life. The lengths that Trevor went through to get dirt on Agnes and her sister, I believed. The fact that Penelope was caught in the middle, I believed also. I also believed that money buys things, and in this case, it was a frame-up of Agnes’s sister. Of course, the end of that plotline was as confusing as the rest of the book, but it was the most relatable thing in the book.

The end of the book was a confusing mess. I had to read the last chapters a few times before I understood what happened. I did NOT enjoy that.

I would give Been There, Married That an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would not reread Been There, Married That. I would not recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Stepbrother with Benefits (The Masons: Book 2) by Hazel Kelly

Stepbrother With Benefits: An Opposites Attract Romance (Mason Family Book 2) by [Kelly, Hazel]

4 Stars


Date of publication: February 3rd, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: The Masons

My Best Friend’s Sister—Book 1 (review here)

Stepbrother with Benefits—Book 2

Where you can find Stepbrother with Benefits: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

The first time I laid eyes on James Mason, the world stood still.

Unfortunately, the tether ball I’d just spiked didn’t, and when it ploughed into the back of my distracted head, I bit my tongue so hard I tasted blood.

I don’t know why I was so dumbstruck. All he did was ride up on his skateboard and call my best friend’s name.

Perhaps it was his confidence that roused me. Or the funny cowlick at the front of his dirty-blond hair. Or the way his jeans sagged on his hips… Not that I’d ever noticed the way a boy’s jeans fit before.

But it wasn’t my name he called that day, and it never will be.

Because guys like James Mason don’t fall for bookworms like me. And even if they did, that farfetched dream died the day he became the stepbrother I never wanted.

Not that I don’t want him.

I love the idea of him wrestling me to the floor and pinning me down with the weight of his body. But there’s nothing familial about the way I wish he would pull my hair, the way I wish he would pull me close.

I’ll be taking that secret to the grave, though, because our families have been through enough.

Besides, he doesn’t see me that way.

So I keep biting my tongue. As hard as it takes to keep my secret.

And only when I’m alone do I ever imagine that it’s him.

First Line:

The first time I laid eyes on James Mason, the world stood still.

Stepbrother with Benefits by Hazel Kelly

My Review:

Stepbrother with Benefits is book 2 in The Masons Series. I keep going back and forth if you can read this book as a standalone. In some sense, yes, you can. But if you want to understand the dynamics of James and Brie’s combined family, then I would highly recommend reading book one first. It explains the backstory to the series better than this book does.

I am going to throw up a trigger warning. A professor sexually assaults Brie in the middle of the book. It wasn’t rape but a combination of grabbing (breast and genitals) and threats made against Brie. It was a direct reference to the #MeToo moment. If this triggers you, I suggest picking up another book to read. The author did a fantastic job of showing how raw Brie was after that and how she dealt with it.

Brie and James had some serious chemistry going on in this book. Even before they had sex, their encounters were sexually charged. When they had sex, it was flipping amazeballs. One of the best sex scenes I have read to date. Even I was left feeling fulfilled by reading it!!

I didn’t get the “Ewww” factor with Brie and James being stepbrother and sister. One reason: They weren’t blood-related. Another reason: They weren’t raised to think of themselves as siblings. Brie was Maddy’s friend way before James’s father, and Brie’s mother got married. So they knew each other. If anything, I thought that it was a sweet romance. It was evident that James loved Brie. I guessed that right from the beginning.

I liked Brie, and I had an instant connection with her. She was quiet and didn’t bother anyone. She was loyal to her best friend, to the point where she backed off when she thought her friend was interested in James. But, she was also a fighter and a survivor.

I loved James in this book. He had come across as uptight and controlling in Maddy and Quinn’s story. So to see him unbend in this book was excellent. What I loved is that he acknowledged his feelings for Brie reasonably early in the book, and he spent most of the book trying to win her over. The most telling scene was when he went after the professor but refused to do anything. I had tears streaming down my face. If only all men (and women) could act like that when a loved one had been harmed. I loved that he also fought for her. He started reading Harry Potter, and that scene in the ice cream store was sweet.

I will say that both Brie and James dealt with the backlash about their relationship fantastically. I loved how James put various people in their places.

The end of Stepbrother with Benefits was terrific. Not only did it set up Maeve’s story perfectly, but the way it ended with James and Brie was perfect. Put it this way, they both deserved the HEA that they got.

I would give Stepbrother with Benefits an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Stepbrother with Benefits. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

Things in Jars: A Novel by [Kidd, Jess]

4 Stars

Publisher: Atria Books

Date of publication: February 4th, 2020

Genre: General Fiction

Where you can find Things in Jars: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book synopsis:

In the dark underbelly of Victorian London, a formidable female sleuth is pulled into the macabre world of fanatical anatomists and crooked surgeons while investigating the kidnapping of an extraordinary child in this gothic mystery—perfect for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Book of Speculation.

Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

First Line:

As pale as a grave grub she’s an eyeful.

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Things in Jars, I knew that I needed to read the book. A mystery set in Victorian England that had a paranormal/fantasy bent to it. Another thing going for this book is that I had read Himself by the author and loved it. So, yes, I was excited to read the book. I am glad that I did because Things in Jars were fantastic!!

Things in Jars had a great storyline. Bridie Devine is a female detective who takes on a case that she thinks will be easy. A 6-year-old girl has been kidnapped, and her father is frantic to get her back. But, as Bridie starts to investigate this story, she notices that things aren’t adding up. Then Bridie’s past collides with her present in a way that could derail her investigation. What is so special about that girl? Why are so many people after her? And what will happen when Bridie is forced to face her past?

The plotline for Things in Jars was lightning fast. That surprised me because when a book goes from past to present, there is always some lag. But not in this case. The author was able to keep up the pace of the plotline and seamlessly go from past to present. There are also no dropped characters or storylines. It made reading this book absolutely a joy!!

I am not a massive fan of when books got back and forth in time. But in this case, the author made it work. As Bridie investigated Christabel’s kidnapping, the author showed what it was like for Bridie growing up. It wasn’t pretty. There were parts of her childhood that made me want to hug her. The time spent in the Eames household, and what Gideon put her through was awful. But, it showed where she got her medical skills and how it shaped her into the woman she was in the present day.

The storyline with Christabel’s kidnapping was interesting. I liked it because I had to figure out if Christabel being a freak of nature was true or not. For a time, I did think that Christabel was an innocent child. But, then there was a crucial scene that involved snails and feet that changed my mind.

I liked that the author took the Irish myth of the Merrow and ran with it. I wasn’t familiar with that myth and spent some time reading about it after I finished the book. I loved it!!

I also loved how the author tied Bridie’s past and present together. There were a couple of people from her past that showed up, not including Ruby Doyle. I was surprised at how they were tied in.

I loved the paranormal angle of the book. I did feel that Ruby’s storyline was dragged on, and I did think, for a time, that his connection to Bridie was forgotten. But, it wasn’t, and the reveal was heartbreaking. I’ll admit, I cried.

The end of Things in Jars was nothing short of amazing. The author did a fantastic job of wrapping everything up. My heart broke a few times when reading the ending. I was wondering if there was going to be another book, but I don’t think so. If I’m wrong, that’s great. But the vibe I got was no.

I would give Things in Jars an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Things in Jars. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Impossible Castle (Guardian of the Realm) by M. Gregg Roe

The Impossible Castle (Guardian of the Realm Book 1) by [Roe, M. Gregg]

2.5 Stars


Date of publication: November 16th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Guardian of the Realm

The Impossible Castle—Book 1

Where you can find The Impossible Castle: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Who (or what) is building a castle in the middle of nowhere?

For the young Guardian of Andoran’s Realm, it’s a real concern. People are relying on her. Okay, most of the populace don’t even know she exists, but it’s still her job to protect them. Well, one of her jobs. She’s also teaching martial arts and helping to raise her orphaned cousins. Life is complicated. Anyway, it’s her first real crisis, and she’s anxious to prove herself.

Fortunately, our powerful-but-inexperienced Guardian is not alone. She has friends she can rely on for help and advice, including some who are seasoned adventurers. Of course, they have their own issues to deal with, especially the one who’s half demon. But who doesn’t have problems?

First Line:

Floating high above the treetops, the Guardian of Andoran’s Realm shook her right fist at the leaden sky.

The Impossible Castle by M. Gregg Roe

My Review:

Fantasy is a favorite genre of mine to read. I haven’t read a straight fantasy novel in forever. So when I was approached to review The Impossible Castle, I was more than happy to accept the review. Then I read the book. It took me six days to read the book. Six days when I usually read a book within 1-2 days.

The Impossible Castle tells the story about Audrey, the young Guardian of Andoran’s Realm, and a mysterious castle that is being built. Audrey enlists the help of old and new friends to figure out exactly why the castle is being assembled and if it is a danger to her Realm.

The Impossible Castle’s plotline was medium paced and, when I could follow it, was well written. But, I had a hard time following it. If the author had kept to Audrey’s plotline, I would have been OK with it. But there were plotlines involving her friends that were in no way were connected to the main plotline. That made it hard for me to focus and honestly made it hard for me to enjoy the book.

The characters were well written. But, the story cycled between 4-5 characters, and the book got dragged down. I dislike it when there are two POV’s, so 4-5? No, thank you. It made an already tedious book harder to read.

The Impossible Castle is not for teens. There are no explicit sex scenes, but there is a lot of sex. There is a succubus who uses her powers as an executioner. Building the castle makes everyone incredibly horny. There were several scenes where they are building the castle and have to go home to have sex. I am not a prude, far from it, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable having a teenager reading the book.

As I was reading The Impossible Castle, I kept getting a feeling that this was part of a series. Well, I wasn’t right, but I wasn’t wrong. The characters were all featured in Andoran’s Realm. Again, it wasn’t evident because the author kept referencing things that happened in that series. I kept thinking I was missing out on something until after the book was read. So, because of that, I would suggest that you read the Andoran’s Realm trilogy first. I wish I did.

The end of the book was exciting but didn’t make me want to read the next book. After six days of reading, I was glad to be done..

I would give The Impossible Castle an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would not reread The Impossible Castle. I would not recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**