Review: Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner


I love books by Jennifer Weiner. She has an uncanny ability to take something mundane, commonplace even, and weave an incredible story around it. This older story from her collection of hits is no exception.

This is a story of four women and how their lives come together in a most unexpected way. There’s Jules, a young college student desperate to save her father from himself. Annie lives a simple life as a mother and wife but longs to do more. India is trying to find happiness by remaking herself. And there’s Bettina, probably the most practical of the bunch who knows something is amiss when her very wealthy father takes a new bride. Finally, at the center of it all is a baby. Wanted by some, not expected by others.

On the surface this is a simple enough story, one that could be found in real life often enough. But here’s where the magic of the author comes into play. Jennifer Weiner is able to delve deeply into the past of each of these characters. She makes us understand their motives and even care about them. This is what keeps you reading until the very end.

It’s fairly common for authors to write their stories from different perspectives. Sometimes it works, but just as often it overwhelms the story. That’s not the case with this book. I had no problem switching between characters and even found myself looking forward to a new chapter which brought a new voice. Is the storyline a bit far fetched at times? Of course. But that’s why it’s fiction. It’s okay to suspend your sense of reality and lose yourself in a great story such as this one!



Buy It Now:   Then Came You

Review: Huckleberry Hearts by Jennifer Beckstrand

This is the perfect book to read around Thanksgiving – when you’re full and happy, and maybe a little nostalgic… or when you’re remembering the dearly departed and hoping new memories fill up the empty spaces. 

Amish grandparents Anna and Felty use their matchmaking skills – and love! – to bring Cassie together with her meant-to-be. Nevermind that Cassie’s mom wants her to marry an Amish guy.  And come back home. And rejoin the church. What?!  While Cassie wants to remain in the modern world and find a moral Englischer, she doesn’t fight her family. But while Cassie tries to keep the peace, her soul mate is going through a crisis of faith.

I love all of the Huckleberry Hill books, but I especially appreciated the messages in this one. Beckstrand touches on love, loss, death, staying true to yourself, freedom of religion, and the popular question of why evil exists and why God doesn’t stop it.  

I stayed up late, I bawled my eyes out, and even though Beckstrand is taking a break from the series, I’ll be stalking her page to see if she changes her mind. Excellent read, with plenty of laughs, some tears at the end, and a whole lot of warm hearts. 



Review: Life and Other Near Death Experiences by Camille Pagan


Dying isn’t funny. Or at least it shouldn’t be. But somehow this wonderful little gem of a book makes it so.

Libby’s perfectly crafted world comes to a crashing halt in the span of less than a day. Not only does she find out that she has cancer, likely very quickly ending her life, but she also finds out that her dear husband is gay.

So she does what any of us would do in that same situation. She quits her job, which she hated anyway. She kicks her husband out and sells their apartment. She purges herself of all her worldly possessions and takes a lengthy trip to the Caribbean. Make perfect sense, right?

She soon finds out, however, that simply crawling into a corner and waiting to die isn’t as easy as it might sound. She has a brother and father who both love her dearly. She finds herself relishing the simple things in life, such as the feeling of warm sand between her toes. She strikes up an unlikely friendship with her elderly landlady.

And then there’s Shiloh, the handsome pilot she finds herself falling for. When he discovers that she plans to give up without putting up a glimmer of a fight, he quickly lets her know that’s not an option.

Make no mistake, this is a romance story. But it’s also a funny story, one about family and bouncing back. It’s a story about not giving up regardless of the curveballs that life inevitably throws your way. The writing is witty and wry, and the characters are so likeable that you almost forget that it’s a work of fiction. A fun, inspiring read!


Buy It Now: Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

Review: If Anything Should Happen by Bonnie Hearn Hill

If Anything Should Happen is a cute introduction to a new mystery series. It didn’t really seem mystery-series-ish to me, but that could be because Hill is developing background and setting the scene. 

Two radio station friends lend each other emotional support through life’s ups and downs… And when Kit’s mom leaves a mysterious note that opens up a few cans of worms, her colleague is there for her every step of the way. 

The contents of the note thrust  Kit into a decades-old, small town scandal that’s serious business. Someone has already died at the hands of a psycho, and he’s not afraid to do more damage. 

I felt like the plot and subplots were a little disconnected. I didn’t get enough of Kit at the radio station to really know her personality like her colleagues do. I did see her as a daughter, and I enjoyed the exploration of her relationship with her parents. The story was more family drama than mystery, if you ask me. But book two may have a different tone, and I hope to see more of Kit’s talk radio stuff. 🙂 



Review: Colorado Mountain series by Kristen Ashley

01 Colorado Mountain

Holy emotional roller coaster, Batman!!!

I just spent the last two weeks reading Kristen Ashley’s Colorado Mountain series and then kicking myself for waiting so long to pick these up. I am seriously questioning my sanity as a romance reader. These are a must!!! In fact, go to her website and look at the reading order HERE and start reading. Trust me. Things make a lot more sense that way. You can still enjoy them just by reading each series, but if you go in order, it brings out a few details and “Holy Crap!” moments that you don’t want to miss.

These six books all have a heavy dose of romance with a nice dose of excitement that sure to get your heart racing and your emotions rolling. My favorites, in this series are The Gamble and Breathe. In The Gamble, Max is the super alpha male who doesn’t take no for an answer. He is a fierce protector and lover. *whew* What a way to start the series!!

My most favorite book was Breathe. There’s aren’t enough words to convey all of my feelings. I had tears all over the place, with this one. I had a few “Holy crap!” moments, and then I discovered why she has a reading order. It made all kind of sense, going in the intended order. I went all giggly when I got to that point. It made me love her even more. When you go to read it, you MUST have this song nearby. No joke. Every time I hear this song, I think of this story and I start crying. My family makes me skip it when it comes on. They hate to see me cry. But this song…..

If you’ve never read Kristen Ashley, I highly encourage you give her a try. You can thank me later.


The Gamble (Colorado Mountain Series Book 1)
Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain Series Book 2)
Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain Series Book 3)
Breathe (Colorado Mountain Series Book 4)
Jagged (Colorado Mountain Series Book 5)
Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountain Series Book 6)

Review: Heir to Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

01 heir What a sweet addition to the Edenbrooke story line. Go HERE to read my Edenbrooke review.

When I heard that Julianne was writing a short prequel, I was super excited. I adored Edenbrooke and couldn’t wait to catch a glimpse into Philip’s head. In fact, my daughter loved Edenbrooke so much, she squealed when I told her about this short story. I read it first, because I’m faster than her, and read her this quote and I swear, she swooned. My anti-romance 13 yr old swooned. I was so proud.

“A trap door closed around my heart, and in that moment, I was helpless. Whether she loved me for my money or myself, whether she loved me at all, whether her heart was even available for the winning…none of it mattered. I was smitten to the core.”

My heart is happy and is now craving a reread of both books.


Buy Edenbrooke: A Proper Romance
Heir to Edenbrooke

Review: A Spy in the House (The Agency #1) by YS Lee

6698199What can I say? I am absolutely smitten with mystery novels set in Victorian England of late. I finished one prior to this and just fell in absolute love. So I rushed out to find another. Although the two books were different, this spy mystery did not disappoint me!

I’ve always loved stories that have a disadvantaged young person that is suddenly given a second chance in life. This novel starts with a very young Mary Lang about to be hanged for house burglary. In the days that follow Mary suddenly finds herself in unusual circumstances and is given a second chance in life. As she grows up into a young adult she finds that, although she is very thankful for her second chance, she is somewhat unfulfilled at her current occupation of teaching at a school for young ladies. Once she confesses this, her life is suddenly sent in an entirely different direction.

As much as I loved this book, I did find parts of the mystery and the story to be somewhat farfetched. By all of that aside, I loved the characters and the banter between the two main players, Mary and James. I also appreciate the fact that YS Lee did not find it necessary to turn a young 17-year-old Mary into some wonder spy that conquers the world and makes all the right decisions. The fact that she accepts helps from others, even seeks out advice at times, makes many mistakes and perhaps uses bad judgement really lends to the fact that Mary is, after all, only 17 years old.

This series is 4 books long and even before I finished the last sentence in this first installment I was already excited to begin starting the second book.

Finally I have to say that the most intriguing part of the book is the barely touched upon background of Mary’s own past. I look forward to most of the solving of Mary’s own history…..I was also sooo excited to see the “friend” Mary met in the warehouse at night might end up making an appearance in the later books as one of Mary’s closest companions….or at least I hope that is the case…..but I can’t say anymore, as I must be off to meet up with Mary and her next spy adventure!!!

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now A Spy in the House by YS Lee

Review: The Girl with the Wrong Name by Barnabas Miller

51E6IyEo21L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Want an intriguing book with more twists and turns than you can keep track of? Before you’re even halfway through? This latest offering from Barnabas Miller is that and more.

Theo has secrets, and some of them even she doesn’t know. It all goes back to “The Night in Question.” She has a scar, but not much else to pull her memories from. And to make things more difficult, she finds herself pulling away from those she’s always been closest to. So she loses herself in her documentaries as she becomes immersed in the lives of strangers, traveling the streets of New York.

And this is where the story becomes really confusing. You’ll second guess yourself and wonder if it’s all going to make sense at some point. And it will. But not easily.

If you like your stories neatly mapped out for you, then this one isn’t for you. It’s not logical, it’s not sequential, it doesn’t even make sense sometimes. But still, it’s mysterious and compelling enough to keep you reading if for no other reason than to find out just how exactly that scar came to be?!?


Buy It Now: The Girl with the Wrong Name

Review: Heartsong Cottage by Emily March

Shannon has a broken heart – and a secret. Daniel has a broken heart – and is a detective.  It’s up in the air whether they can find healing and solace together, or if their trust issues supercede their chemistry. 

Heartsong Cottage is the latest in the Eternity Springs series, which I find charming and heartwarming. 

Romance? Check. A wedding? Check. A drunken mess? Check. Good friends? Check. Celeste working her magic? Check and double-check. 

When Shannon and Daniel wade through uncertainty, the Eternity Springs community comes through for them. Love from their friends and the healing spirit of the town are more than these broken people hoped for. And I appreciate that kind of charming embrace. 

But the trope has been overdone. I’ve read too many stalker-traumatizes-and-detective-saves-the-day suspenseful romances. I skim-read about a dozen pages in the middle of the book because I felt like I had read them before – in a half dozen romance novels in the last five years. 

March’s writing is excellent. The characters are loveable. Eventually there’s resolution and a nice, tidy, happy ending. But the journey there wasn’t the fresh new adventure I was hoping for. 


Buy HEARTSONG COTTAGE ($5.99 today)

Review: Reaper’s Fall by Joanna Wylde

01 reap I like MC books. They live a life I’ll never understand. They have a sense of loyalty and support that you’ll never find anywhere else. Reaper’s Fall is all about that. It’s about finding a balance and opening up yourself to more than just your family of brothers. It’s about opening yourself up to a real family.

He never meant to hurt her.

Levi “Painter” Brooks was nothing before he joined the Reapers motorcycle club. The day he patched in, they became his brothers and his life. All they asked in return was a strong arm and unconditional loyalty—a loyalty that’s tested when he’s caught and sentenced to prison for a crime committed on their behalf.

Melanie Tucker may have had a rough start, but along the way she’s learned to fight for her future. She’s escaped from hell and started a new life, yet every night she dreams of a biker whose touch she can’t forget. It all started out so innocently—just a series of letters to a lonely man in prison. Friendly. Harmless. Safe.

Now Painter Brooks is coming home… and Melanie’s about to learn that there’s no room for innocence in the Reapers MC.

Being in a MC means doing what needs to be done, for the good of the club. If that means putting yourself out there, and then going to jail, that’s what you do. When Painter met Melanie, there was an instant attraction, but then he got himself into trouble and was sent to prison for two years. But when he’s out, she thinks that they’ll be able to start right up, where they left off, but she has no idea why that’s not going to happen.

My feelings are all over the place, with this book. I liked it, and yet I spent the majority of the book with anger flowing through my veins. Painter made me so mad and yet I knew what was going through his head. I knew what he was trying to do and how he thought he was making the best decisions. And then the other part, I wanted to smack Melanie upside the head, because she couldn’t see what was right in front of her. Painter was doing what he thought was best and she kept getting stuck in her own head. These two needed someone to knock some sense into them.

I’m glad we got to see Painter get his story. He’s not really a likable character, from the past books we’ve read, but he was due to get knocked on his bum by a girl. I’m glad I hung in there and watched it happen.


Buy Reaper’s Fall (Reapers Motorcycle Club)

Get caught up:
Reaper’s Property (Reapers Motorcycle Club Book 1)
Reaper’s Legacy (Reapers Motorcycle Club Book 2)
Devil’s Game (Reapers Motorcycle Club Book 3)
Reaper’s Stand (Reapers Motorcycle Club Book 4)