Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross

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Book Cover

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam

Date of publication: October 5th 2021

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

A young woman takes a job as a nanny for an impossibly wealthy family, thinking she’s found her entre into a better life–only to discover instead she’s walked into a world of deception and dark secrets.

Nanny needed. Discretion is of the utmost importance. Special conditions apply.

When Sarah Larsen finds the notice, posted on creamy card stock in her building’s lobby, one glance at the exclusive address tells her she’s found her ticket out of a dead-end job–and life.

At the interview, the job seems like a dream come true: a glamorous penthouse apartment on the Upper West Side of NYC; a salary that adds several zeroes to her current income; the beautiful, worldly mother of her charge, who feels more like a friend than a potential boss. She’s overjoyed when they offer her the position and signs the NDA without a second thought.

In retrospect, the notice in her lobby was less an engraved invitation than a waving red flag. For there is something very strange about the Bird family. Why does the beautiful Mrs. Bird never leave the apartment alone? And what happened to the nanny before her? It soon becomes clear that the Birds’ odd behaviors are more than the eccentricities of the wealthy.

But by then it’s too late for Sarah to seek help. After all, discretion is of the utmost importance.


First Line:

The children are chattering.

Nanny needed by georgina cross

I love psychological thrillers. So when I read the blurb for Nanny Needed, I knew that this would be a book that I would enjoy.

Nanny Needed is a story about Sarah. Sarah is living with her boyfriend in New York City and barely making ends meet when she finds a flyer in the lobby of her building. The flyer is for a nanny position in a very affluent area of NYC. Throwing caution to the wind, Sarah decides to apply and gets hired, much to her surprise. But she soon regrets her decision when she finds out her nannying position isn’t what it seems. What is going on in the Bird house? What secrets is Mr. Bird trying to keep from coming out? And how does Sarah figure into everything?

Nanny Needed is a fast-paced book, but it does start slow. There is some lag towards the middle of the book, but it was expected. With what happened and Sarah’s state of mind, I wasn’t surprised by it at all.

I liked Sarah. She started the book as overwhelmed but happy. When she saw the flyer for the nanny position in her lobby, she thought it was a sign, and she was thrilled that she hit it off with Collette. After signing NDA’s and agreeing to a 3-month trial, she realizes what her job would be. Then everything hits the fan. I don’t think that I would have dealt with everything as well as Sarah did. She had some fantastic coping skills (in hindsight, I am not surprised).

The thriller angle was interwoven with the mystery angle, and they were both very well written. There were a few twists in the plotline. One twist I saw coming and called it the minute that Sarah interviewed for the job.

The other major twist, I didn’t see coming, and I was floored. I had to take a break to process what I read. That is how insane the twist was!!

The end of Nanny Needed was almost anti-climatic but perfect. I enjoyed that it not only ended the way it did but there was practically no resolve when the twist was revealed. I will say, without getting into spoilers, that I understand why Stephen did what he did. I would have wanted to know too, but what it cost everyone was almost too much. And poor Sarah!!!

I would recommend Nanny Needed to anyone over the age of 21. There is language and mild violence.

November 2021 Wrap Up

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Just like October, November seemed to fly by. Keeping me busy this month was appointments, school events, and birthdays (Miss R’s 16th and Mr. Z’s 14th). Add in Thanksgiving and this month did fly by!!

I had another full month of reading in November. I got a lot of requests for Indie authors from October that I ended up reading in November. I did stop requesting books from NetGalley (unless I got an email directly from the publisher).

I was behind in my reading and reviews for November. I had my reasons for not getting to my review deadlines (I did let the authors know and for the most part, they were understanding). I did end up catching up with reading and reviews by Thanksgiving. Right now (11-29), I am behind 3 books and 1 review (all NetGalley). That is pretty good compared to October, where I was behind 5 books and 1 review (mix indie author and NetGalley)!! I am hoping to clear my backlog up by the end of next week and work at getting ahead with my reviews.


Books I got from NetGalley:

Corrine: A Novel by Rebecca Morrow

Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power

City of the Dead by Jonathan Kellerman

Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers

Cousin Calls by Zeb Haradon

Golem by P.D. Alleva

Spies Never Swoon by M. Taylor Christensen

Glory Unbound by Deborah L. King

Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi Vohra

The Secret of the Rai Zamindars: An Aalo & Adhir Mystery by Tanmoy Bhattacharjee

Master’s Promise by Jamie Schulz

Books Read and Reviewed

The Battle for Verdana by Brett Salter (review here)

Lies in Bone by Natalie Symons (review here)

The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness (review here)

Sigiriya: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, Betrayal, and Tragedy in the Royal Court by Senani Ponnamperuma (review here)

Transylvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories by Patricia Furstenberg (review here)

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin (review coming March 15th, 2022)

Intertwined: A Biker’s Tale by Andrew Hartman (review here)

The Voinico’s Daughter by Sallie Cochren (review coming December 23rd, 2021)

A Bridge Between Hearts by Casey Swan (review here)

From Fame to Ruin: A Romantic Thriller Standalone by Jina S. Bazzar (review coming December 21st, 2021)

Storms by Jacque Stevens (review here)

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens (review here)

Hexes & Hairballs by Emigh Cannaday (review here)

Cousin Calls by Zeb Haradon (review coming December 2nd, 2021)

Mystery in the Hill by Aaron Qualio (review here)

My Fair Queen: Allies of the Fae Realm by C.J. Anaya (review here)

Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross (review coming soon)

That’s it. Let me know if you have read any of these books and what you thought of them!!

Goodreads Monday: The Highlander Who Protected Me (Clan Kendrick: Book 1) by Vanessa Kelly

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This is a weekly meme where anyone can choose a random book from their Goodreads TBR and highlight it. Once you choose a book, make sure you link and reference @LaurensPageTurners.


This Week’s Selection

Click on picture to go to Goodreads

Synopsis:

Lady Ainsley Matthews, heiress, and darling of the ton was expected to make a magnificent match. Instead, she’s hiding on a remote Scottish estate, terrified that her vicious former fiancé will use her pregnancy to force her into marriage. One man can help her–Royal Kendrick, son of a distinguished Highland clan. Though a mistake drove them apart long ago, Royal is the only person Ainsley trusts to protect her baby–even if that means agreeing to never see either of them again . . . Scarred in body and soul by war, Royal suddenly has a purpose–caring for an innocent babe and thereby helping the woman he can’t stop loving. But when Ainsley ultimately returns to Scotland, determined to be a real mother to her child in spite of the risk, there’s only one solution: marriage. And only one likely outcome: surrendering to the desire that’s simmered between them for so long, no matter how dangerous it may be . . . Contains mature themes.


If I remember correctly (this book has been on my TBR for years), I got this from one of those sites that searches Amazon for free books. Since I love romance and historical fiction, it was a no-brainer that I downloaded this book.

My Fair Queen: Allies of the Fae Realm (Paranormal Misfits: Book 6) by C.J. Anaya

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Publisher:

Date of publication: August 31st 2021

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy

Series: Paranormal Misfits

My Fair Assassin—Book 1 (Review Here)

My Fair Traitor—Book 2

My Fair Imposter—Book 3

My Fair Invader—Book 4

My Fair Princess—Book 5

My Fair Queen—Book 6

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s not every day an obscure orphan girl becomes a fae queen.

Crysta and her companions have found the diadem and stone, but just when it looks like the tide has finally shifted in their favor, Crysta is sucked into Terise’s sleeping curse with no way of escape and nowhere to hide from Titania’s ruthless attacks.

And now she is permanently bonded…to the wrong fated mate.

Jareth is not only heartbroken at the loss of his fated mate bond, his mating frenzy is in overdrive, preventing him from functioning. He and Kheelan must overcome their differences if they hope to free Crysta, but they are faced with more setbacks as Titania takes faerie captives by the hundreds, building her army and growing her powers.

And the diadem, the key to Moridan and Titania’s undoing?

Tainted by Titania’s curse.

But a cursed relic isn’t the only surprise the wicked queen has in store for Crysta. The battle for control over the minds and hearts of the fae is one Titania intends to win by any means necessary.

Can Crysta and Jareth unite the Unseelie and Seelie Courts before Titania and Moridan destroy the Fae Realm?


First Line:

“Oberon will never allow this,” Titania said, pacing the floor of her bedroom, her tears flowing as she thought of her sons, their bodies torn in battle.

My Fair queen by c.j. anaya

I have said this on my blog before, and I repeat it, I don’t particularly appreciate picking a book up halfway through or at the end of a series. I feel that I am missing out on storylines and character arcs. Unfortunately, I did feel the same way about My Fair Queen, but the author did do a fantastic job of slipping in background stories of the secondary and main characters. So I didn’t feel that out of sync with the book.

My Fair Queen is the last book in the Paranormal Misfits series. It cannot be read as a standalone book. If you do (like I did), you will be left feeling that you missed out on something important (like I did).

The pace of My Fair Queen was lightning fast. Everything happens within a couple of days of the books starting. There is some lag towards the middle of the book (when everyone has a chance to breathe for a minute), but it didn’t affect how I enjoyed the book.

It did take me a little while to get into My Fair Queen. I want to say I started to get interested when Crysta and her friends go visit the vampires. Then the book got interesting.

The storyline with Titania was heartbreaking. The author does reveal why Titania did what she did at the beginning of the book. For the author to get me to feel pity for the bad guy is good writing.

The storyline with Crysta, Jareth, and Keelan was sad also. There were references to what Keelan did to Crysta and Jareth (and I don’t know if I could forgive and forget). There were also references to why Keelan’s fated mate has bonded to another (again, another sad story). That storyline was resolved at the end of the book. But there were some things left up in the air. It makes me wonder if there will be a series with Keelan in it.

There is some mild language in My Fair Queen. I didn’t mind that, but some people do, so the warning. There are also some heavy petting situations with Jareth and Crysta. There is sex, but that is during the last chapters of the book. It isn’t graphic, but you know what they’re doing.

The end of My Fair Queen was exciting. I loved the big showdown between Crysta and Titania. I also loved how Crysta defeated Titania. The same with the battle scene between Jareth and his father. The author wrapped up those storylines, but I have some questions that the author didn’t answer in this book.

I would recommend My Fair Queen to anyone over the age of 16. There is violence, mild gore, and language. There are also some kissing scenes and one sex scene.

Storms (HighTower Fairytales) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: November 11th 2021

Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Young Adult

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen—Book 1 (review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 8

Storms—Book 9

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10 (Review Here)

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13 (Review Here)

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 14 (Review Here)

Purchase Links: Amazon


Goodreads Synopsis:

I once thought I might kill a prince. In another glance, I thought I would marry him. But then came a day I never expected.

The day I would kill a god.

When Arianna freed the soul of the prince from a dark god and shattered the underworld, she assumed she could bring peace to the world above. But there are consequences to the powers she gained and a war brewing between the provinces that will require all her magic and heart.

To master her gifts and save her home, Ari climbs to the top of Olympus and fights a war with gods on either side.


First Line:

The Prince of Solis talked so much, not even death could shut him up.

storms by jacque stevens

I am a huge fan of Jacque Steven’s books. Something about them calls to me. Maybe because she doesn’t add anything extra to the plotline, or perhaps because I can easily picture the characters and plotline in my head when she writes them. Either way, I love her books. So when she sent out the ARC for Storms, I accepted it.

Storms is the 3rd (and final) book that is based on The Little Mermaid. I will warn you that you do need to read Depths and Graves before you read Storms. I didn’t, and I was a little lost at the beginning of the book. She does explain, briefly, the backstory. But, I strongly suggest that you read the first two books first. It will make understanding what is going on in this book a lot easier.

Storms is a relatively short book (127 pages), and because of that, I could read it within a day. It is a fast-paced book, with the storyline progressing quickly. As I mentioned above, the author keeps to the storyline, and there is almost nothing extra going on or secondary characters added at the last minute. That made it a delightful book for me to read.

I wasn’t too sure what to think of Ari during the book. I went between respect and disbelief. I am sure if I had read the previous books, I would have had a better opinion of her. I will say that Ari in siren mode was scary, and I didn’t blame Jonas for running away. I did doubt her humanity at specific points in the book. But once the middle of the book rolled around, her humanity was no longer in doubt. It took a lot of courage to do what she did, and by the end of the book, I was amazed by her.

I wasn’t too sure about the end of the book. On the one hand, I was happy about how Ari’s life turned out. But on the other hand, I did have a “what if” moment when someone made an appearance.

I would recommend Storms to anyone over the age of 16. There is violence, but otherwise is a clean book.

Mystery in the Hill by Aaron Qualio

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Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc.

Date of publication: March 13th 2021

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Young Adult

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo |Google Play

Goodreads Synopsis:

A small Wisconsin town is shaken to its core when four high school boys stumble upon an unexpected discovery. As past and present secrets are exposed, more unsolved mysteries are revealed, leading to more danger than anyone could have ever imagined.


First Line:

It was the last period of the school day on a Friday in mid-May at Ashbelle High School, and the seniors in Mr. Winters’s U.S. History class were pretty much checked out just like seniors all over the coutry were this close to graduation-“senioritis” they called it.

mystery in the hill by aaron qualio

When I read the blurb for Mystery in the Hill, I was interested. I knew that I wanted to read this mystery. I am glad that I read it, but I felt that it fell short of my expectations.

Mystery in the Hill is a fast-paced book. It starts fast and keeps the pace up throughout the book. There is a tiny bit of lag in the middle of the book, but it wasn’t enough to distract me from the book.

Mystery in the Hill has dual timelines going on. The book went between 1997 and 1944. There were also dual plotlines going on. While the 1997 plotline dealt with the mystery of why a door was buried in the hill above the high school, the 1944 plotline dealt with three men stealing something that could get them in a lot of trouble. I had no issues going between the different timelines or keeping track of what was going on in each one. The author made that very easy.

I did feel that there were a lot of extras added to the plotline. I understand why the author did that (he wanted to flesh out the plotline and the characters), but I felt that it took away from the book.

I didn’t feel that the characters were as fleshed out as they could be. There were times where they felt flat, and their interactions felt forced. I couldn’t form an attachment to any of them.

I did like the mystery angle of the book. While the author didn’t hide anything (except what happened to the police officer in 1944), I still enjoyed reading that angle. For me, it was more of when is everything going to happen than who did it.

The end of Mystery in the Hill was interesting. The author was able to wrap up the plotlines in a way that satisfied me as a reader.

Hexes & Hairballs (The Faerie Files: Book 3) by Emigh Cannaday

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Publisher: Black Feather Publishing

Date of publication: October 9th, 2021

Genre: Romance, Paranormal

Series: The Faerie Files

Wiretaps & Whispers—Book 1 (review here)

Catnip & Curses—Book 2 (review here)

Hexes & Hairballs—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

I can’t believe Logan’s been my partner for over a year. Actually, he’s been more than that for half as long.
I know he’ll always have my back.

But when a routine monster eviction goes horribly wrong, he’s furious that I didn’t run when I had the chance.
What’s his deal? The way I see it, the FBI didn’t hire me to run away.

They hired me to get the job done.

Plus, I’m not the type to run from anything. I did it once when I was a kid and I’ve regretted it to this very day.
I suppose that explains why I’m taking this latest case so personally.

Funny how some things come around full circle…especially when you least expect it.


First Line:

“Carl, you got a spare flashlight? The batteries keep going dead in mine.”

Hexes & Hairballs by Emigh Cannaday

I was very excited when I opened my email and saw the ARC for Hexes & Hairballs. I have read the first two books in the series and couldn’t wait for book 3. So, yes, I fangirled out a little bit. I believe there was dancing around the living room and some booty shaking before I sat back down to download it. Unfortunately, though, life got in the way, and I couldn’t read Hexes & Hairballs right away. It got pushed to the back burner while I did Mom things and collapsed in an exhausted puddle at night. Then my schedule cleared, and I was finally able to sit down and read this book. And let me tell you, it was definitely worth the wait.

Hexes & Hairballs is a fast-paced book. The author starts fast and doesn’t let up the pace for the entire book. There was no lag which is always a plus, and the flow of the book was fantastic!!

Hexes & Hairballs is told from Logan and Elena’s POV. It is also written in the first person. I had no issues with telling whose POV I was reading. The author put either Elena’s or Logan’s names at the beginning of the chapter.

The plotline for Hexes & Hairballs was simple. After defeating a supernatural entity under New York City (and yes, the author got everything right, including the rats), Elena, Logan, and the rest of their team head back home. But they don’t get to rest. Instead, they are sent to England to investigate why a child reappeared after 40 years and hasn’t aged. What they find over in England is something that they weren’t expecting. Also, there is an old enemy who is waiting in the shadows to strike. Will Logan and Elena make it through? Will they have their happily ever after?

Elena was her typical bundle of fire during this book. She took charge of the situations and did her best to resolve them. I disagreed with what she did when she was in the hospital with the boy. It should have been left to the professionals. But in the end, it did work in her favor. I did feel bad for her during the last few scenes of the book. What was revealed was a huge shock. I put my Kindle down and said, “No, effing way.”

I liked Logan in Hexes & Hairballs. Like in the previous books, he tended to get himself into situations that were a little dicey. I can’t go into what was dicey in this book, but he bore the brunt of everything.

Logan and Elena had insane chemistry in Hexes & Hairballs. That chemistry didn’t fade during the book. Instead, the author was able to build it back up after they were doing the nasty.

What surprised me the most about Hexes & Hairballs was the depth of the secondary characters. I felt that I got to know Solana a lot better and, in turn, understood why she was the way she was. I pitied her. The same with Sluagh. He showed a more human side when he was telling Solana’s story, and I got the feeling he disagreed with the kidnapping of human children.

The paranormal angle of the book was well written. The author took the stories of changelings and Fae abductions and made them her own. What I enjoyed the most about it was portrayed in a way that made it feel realistic. The emotions that the little boy went through came off the pages. I was in tears when he asked for his “mum” and when Elena told him what had happened.

The end of Hexes & Hairballs was well written and action-packed. But I did get the impression that maybe this wasn’t the last book in the series. I hope that it is the case because I would love to see what Elena and Logan do next!! How the author wrote the ending made me wonder that.

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (HighTower Fairytales) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: September 23rd 2021

Genre: Fairy Tales, Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: HighTower Series

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen—Book 1 (review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 8

Storms—Book 9 (review here)

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10 (review here)

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13 (review here)

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 14

Purchase Links: Amazon


Goodreads Synopsis:

Who is the man who holds her heart?

After playing Robin Hood for months, Marian is starting to wonder how well she knows Robin of Locksley. Her husband could just be depressed, returning from a war that should have claimed his life. He could just be adjusting to their new life in the forest. Marian wants to be patient, but after surrendering Locksley to the sheriff and his men, the villages need Robin Hood more than ever.

When a fight for a king’s ransom costs much more than gold, everything boils to the surface. How can Marian continue to take the name or even stay married to a man she now despises?

And who will wear the hood in the end?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and non-stop twists and turns, this action-packed fantasy retelling is for you.


First Line:

Ballads of Robin Hood have spread through the English countryside like wildfire, becoming greater and more fantastic with every pass.

marian’s man by jacque stevens

I enjoy reading fairy tale/myth retellings. Each fairy tale retelling that I have read has been different and exciting. Though, I haven’t read a retelling about Robin Hood and was immediately interested when Robin’s Hood came out. Then I read the blurb for Marian’s Man, and I couldn’t wait to read it!!

Marian’s Man takes place shortly after the events at the end of Robin’s Hood. Rob and Mare have been reunited. Mare is prepared to keep wearing the hood, but Rob doesn’t want her to, and he takes on the Robin Hood persona. While Mare isn’t happy, she understands. During one of her forays into the village, Mare discovers that the Queen will be riding through the village on her way to pay the ransom for King Richard. She also finds that the sheriff and his cronies have a plan to rob the Queen. What will happen? Will Robin Hood come to the rescue? Or will the ransom be taken? And can Rob and Mare reconnect, or will Rob’s demons take over?

Marian’s Man is a fast-paced book that kept my attention the entire book. It is a short book (183 pages), and with the fast pace, it took me a couple of hours (broken up over the day) to read. There was no lag, and the author kept up the fast pace of the entire book.

Marian’s Man is told from both Rob and Mare’s POV. I loved that!! I liked being able to see Rob’s take on everything that was going on. It made the book much more interesting to read.

I felt terrible for Rob. He suffered while in the Middle East. I wasn’t surprised that he was having flashbacks, and I wasn’t surprised when he started to deal with his demons the way he did. I was a little surprised at how much he didn’t want to be Robin Hood. He hated the hood, which was a direct contrast to how Mare felt about it. I also liked seeing how honest he was with himself about how he felt about Mare. It was refreshing to see a man lay it all out.

I liked Mare in Marian’s Man. She was determined to stand by Rob, no matter what. While she was confused by how he acted (the flashbacks made him do awful things), she was there for him. She wasn’t happy about not being Robin Hood. She loved wearing the hood and outsmarting the sheriff. So, I wasn’t surprised by what she did towards the end of the book.

Mare and Rob’s romance was a slow burn throughout the book. I did get aggravated with them during certain scenes. They were madly in love with each other, and then they would act a fool because of jealousy. But other than that, I enjoyed their romance.

This is a clean book. There is no sex, and there is a handful of kissing scenes. The chemistry between Mare and Rob is palpable, and I can’t wait for them to finally get down and dirty.

There is a hint of a love triangle, which I didn’t like. I felt that it could have been left out of the book because it added nothing to it.

The end of Marian’s Man was excellent. While it didn’t take me by surprise, it shocked me a little. I cannot wait to read the next book and see what happens then!!

I would recommend Marian’s Man to anyone over the age of 16. There is no sex (some kissing scenes), but there is violence.

WWW Wednesday: November 24th 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I Recently Finished Reading:

A young woman takes a job as a nanny for an impossibly wealthy family, thinking she’s found her entre into a better life–only to discover instead she’s walked into a world of deception and dark secrets.

Nanny needed. Discretion is of the utmost importance. Special conditions apply.

When Sarah Larsen finds the notice, posted on creamy card stock in her building’s lobby, one glance at the exclusive address tells her she’s found her ticket out of a dead-end job–and life.

At the interview, the job seems like a dream come true: a glamorous penthouse apartment on the Upper West Side of NYC; a salary that adds several zeroes to her current income; the beautiful, worldly mother of her charge, who feels more like a friend than a potential boss. She’s overjoyed when they offer her the position and signs the NDA without a second thought.

In retrospect, the notice in her lobby was less an engraved invitation than a waving red flag. For there is something very strange about the Bird family. Why does the beautiful Mrs. Bird never leave the apartment alone? And what happened to the nanny before her? It soon becomes clear that the Birds’ odd behaviors are more than the eccentricities of the wealthy.

But by then it’s too late for Sarah to seek help. After all, discretion is of the utmost importance.

What I am currently reading:

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived for this cowboy in New York Times bestseller Donna Grant’s newest novel, Home for a Cowboy Christmas.

Tis the season—for everyone except Emmy Garrett. She’s on the run after witnessing a crime. But when it becomes clear that trouble will continue following her, the US Marshal in charge takes her somewhere no one will think to look–Montana. Not only is Emmy in a new place for her protection, but now, she’s stuck with a handsome cowboy as her bodyguard…and she wants to do more than kiss him under the mistletoe.

Dwight Reynolds left behind his old career, but it’s still in his blood. When an old friend calls in a favor, Dwight opens his home to a woman on the run. He tries to keep his distance, but there’s something about Emmy he can’t resist. She stokes his passion and turns his cold nights into warm ones. When danger shows up looking for Emmy, Dwight risks everything to keep her safe.

What books I think I’ll read next:

Layla Hilding is thirty-five and recently divorced. Struggling to break free from the past—her glory days as the lead singer in a band and a ten-year marriage to a man who never put her first—Layla’s newly found independence feels a lot like loneliness.

Then there’s Josh, the single dad whose daughter attends the elementary school where Layla teaches music. Recently separated, he’s still processing the end of his twenty-year marriage to his high school sweetheart. He chats with Layla every morning at school and finds himself thinking about her more and more.

Equally cautious and confused about dating in a world that favors apps over meeting organically, Layla and Josh decide to be friends with the potential for something more. Sounds sensible and way too simple—but when two people are on the rebound, is it heartbreak or happiness that’s a love song away?
In The First Christmas, Stephen Mitchell brings the Nativity story to vivid life as never before. A narrative that is only sketched out in two Gospels becomes fully realized here with nuanced characters and a setting that reflects the culture of the time. Mitchell has suffused the birth of Jesus with a sense of beauty that will delight and astonish readers.

In this version, we see the world through the eyes of a Whitmanesque ox and a visionary donkey, starry-eyed shepherds and Zen-like wise men, each of them providing a unique perspective on a scene that is, in Western culture, the central symbol for good tidings of great joy. Rather than superimposing later Christian concepts onto the Annunciation and Nativity scenes, he imagines Mary and Joseph experiencing the angelic message as a young Jewish woman and man living in the year 4 bce might have experienced it, with terror, dismay, and ultimate acceptance. In this context, their yes becomes an act of great moral courage.

Readers of every background will be enchanted by this startlingly beautiful reimagining of the Christmas tale.
A young woman in a vaudeville sister act must learn to forge her own path after her twin runs away to Hollywood in this richly immersive debut about love, family, and friendship.

Leaving was my sister’s choice. I would have to make my own.


All Harriet Szász has ever known is life onstage with her sister, Josie. As “The Sisters Sweet,” they pose as conjoined twins in a vaudeville act conceived of by their ambitious parents, who were once themselves theatrical stars. But after Josie exposes the family’s fraud and runs away to Hollywood, Harriet must learn to live out of the spotlight—and her sister’s shadow. Striving to keep her struggling family afloat, she molds herself into the perfect daughter. As Josie’s star rises in California, the Szászes fall on hard times and Harriet begins to form her first relationships outside her family. She must decide whether to honor her mother, her father, or the self she’s only beginning to get to know.

Full of long-simmering tensions, buried secrets, questionable saviors, and broken promises, this is a story about how much we are beholden to others and what we owe ourselves. Layered and intimate, The Sisters Sweet heralds the arrival of an accomplished new voice in fiction.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a deeply moving novel about the resilience of the human spirit in a moment of crisis.

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. The whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.
Anna doesn’t care if the prince is charming. She only has to keep him alive.

Agent Anna Rivers is no stranger to sabotage, mysterious attacks, or high-speed car chases, so the assignment to protect Prince Leopold from an unknown foe should be no problem. But his constant flirting will definitely test her resolve to not get romantically involved on a mission. Can she save the prince and guard her heart at the same time?

If you enjoy kick-butt spy-girls and charming princes, you’ll love SPIES NEVER SWOON, the second book in the Banana Girls series where the romance is sweet and the suspense is cozy.

Top Ten Tuesday: Character I’d Love an Update On

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


When I saw today’s prompt I immediately thought of quite a few characters that I’ve wondered what happened to them. So here’s my list. Please let me know if you have read any of these books and if you have wondered about them too.


1. The Faerie Files: Logan and Elena

I loved watching Logan and Elena’s relationship grow throughout the book. But I was left wondering: What is the next step for them? Did they get married? Have Faerie children? Inquiring minds want to know.

2. Storms by Jacque Stevens: Arianna

The end of Storms left me with so many questions. Where were Arianna and her husband going? Did they just leave without telling anyone? Are they going to live a quiet life on a deserted island?

3. I Am Margaret Moore: Margaret, her friends, Jack

I wanted to know if Margaret ever saw her parents again. I know at the end of the book, she saw her friends but I was more interested in her parents. The author went briefly into what happened to her friends but I was left wondering what happened over the course of their lives. And Jack. I wondered what happened to him after Margaret made peace with what happened.

4. The Brightest Star in Paris: Amelie and Benedict

While I loved how the book ended, I wanted to know more about Amelie and Benedict’s married life. Did they have children? Did Amelie start teaching ballet?