Review: Sweet As Honey by Jennifer Beckstrand 


Jennifer Beckstrand wrote the Huckleberry Hill series, and I enjoyed every one of them. I was excited to start this new Honeybees Sisters series — and Sweet As Honey is every bit as good as the Huckleberry stories. 

Beckstrand masterfully blends strength of character and physical strength with humbleness, faith in God, and love for neighbor. I especially liked that the Honeybee sisters and their aunt take care of themselves and their land, demonstrating that many hands make light work. 

This first book in the series illustrates a romance between Lily and a young Amish gentleman. Beckstrand realistically wrote the  roller coaster of emotions and the tension between families. Family relationships, beekeeping, and being neighborly rounds out the story, making it much more than a romance. Excellent! Can’t wait for book two. 

-calliope

Buy SWEET AS HONEY 

Review: The Fireman by Joe Hill

25816688** spoiler alert ** This book started out fantastic! I mean I seriously loved every single minute of it! Then I hit the 60% or so mark. It was all downhill from there. The camp, the items that went missing, the tension between the players…all of that was fantastic. However, somewhere along the way Hill seemed to get lost. For starters, where did the love interest between two main characters come from? I mean, we saw the Fireman at the start…and then he just kinda disappeared for a good portion of the book…then when he reappeared there was this relationship that was going on…there just wasn’t a foundation for it. I also have to say that the husband and wife thing…it really pissed me off…it was so cliche…she was madly in love with him…then he turned on her….then she realised that she hadn’t loved him for years and he had never really loved her. Seriously? Like THAT’S never been done before in a book. Stuff like that really pisses me off…but regardless of that, I tried to ignore that let down and got on with enjoying the book…but then we have the whole no relationship thing until in a blink of an eye we have a serious relationship thing….no….I don’t like it when I feel an author is taking me for granted and expecting me to suspend reality…

The storyline was fine…I was even excited about the thief and who it turned out to be…

Then we have the escape…and wham bam….the author expects me to suspend reality again and believe all these miracle close calls…

Yep…there will be a second book…and the Fireman will be the lead (without even being in the majority of the book again, I bet) once again…

Joe Hill, I love your writing…NOS4A2 was simply amazing…it kept me up at night…this one? I was just well and truly gutted that a book that started out so fantastic just took an easy way out at the end…It totally seemed that Joe Hill was simply writing to finish the book and not to finish the story…

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

Buy it now The Fireman by Joe Hill

Review: Up in Flames by Abbi Glines

01 aa3 I had so many preconceived ideas about how I thought this book was going to go and I was COMPLETELY wrong. From the very first page this book had me guessing.

Nan deserved a hea. Heck, everyone does!! But true to form, Nan doesn’t do things the normal way. She goes all out and makes sure it drama filled. I was never an official Nan hater, but I didn’t really like her. As we’ve seen her actions, in the past few books, we begin to realize that there’s more her than she lets on. And when this book was announced, I was so totally excited and curious as to who was going to tame this crazy girl. HA! As if she could be tamed.

To say that this had twists and turn would be an understatement. So without too much, I’ll say this, Hold on tight.

Nan had become a part of me even before I touched her for the first time.Watching her, I’d slowly started feeling things for the beautiful woman who was so alone yet so tough. The small things no one saw I began to cherish.

I never read the synopsis until after I wrote this review. I didn’t want any influence or ideas, so I had no clue what is was about except that it was finally Nan’s turn to shine. So, to say that this shocked the crap outta me, would be an understatement. But why did I ever expect Nan to do anything the easy way. As you come to expect, the drama queen of Rosemary Beach closes out this series with a bang.

I have been a fan of Abbi’s since July of 2012, when I happened to stumble upon The Vincent Boys and then immediately into the Sea Breeze books and from then on, I was hooked. She was officially an auto buy author. I enjoy her books as they have a way of making the world calm down. While they may be emotional at times, I look forward to the break they give me, from all the angst I read. So now we say goodbye to these characters and call me crazy, but I don’t think I’m ready to let go. But I’m still crossing my fingers that she surprises us with a little something in a few years.

Thank you, Abbi, for giving us such wild and crazy characters that made me laugh, cry and swoon.

~Melpomene

Buy Up in Flames

Get caught up with the whole gang, so you can fully enjoy the ride.

Fallen Too Far
Never Too Far
Forever Too Far
Rush Too Far
Twisted Perfection
Simple Perfection
Take a Chance
One More Chance
You Were Mine
Kiro’s Emily
When I’m Gone
When You’re Back
The Best Goodbye

Review: Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin

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There’s no shortage of stories about the greatest terroristic attack to ever take place on American soil.  Fifteen years after the date, you can still find a few on some bestseller list somewhere.  But stories about this tragic event geared toward young readers and written in a sensitive, thoughtful manner?  Not so much.

The story begins a few days before the event that changed the world.  Four kids leading four very different lives in different parts of the country.  Each has their own struggles to deal with, but they have no idea how small those struggles will seem in a matter of days.

Sergio is a young boy in Brooklyn.  Raised by his grandmother, tormented by the infrequent  appearance of his absentee father, he’s confused about who he is and what path he’s supposed to take in life.  Will is dealing with a different kind of sorrow after the tragic death of his dad.  He just can’t seem to move on.  Aimee doesn’t know where she fits in after she and her family move across the country so that her busy mom can start a new job.  And then there’s Nadira.  As she gets older, she’s confused about her identity as a Muslim and is unsure how to handle the stares and comments she’s starting to get from both strangers and friends.

As September 11 draws closer, these four young people will find their lives crossing paths in a way that none of them could have imagined and in a way that nobody will ever be able to forget.

This is such a well-told, thoughtful story about a time in our history that changed the world as we know it. Many young people today have no understanding of the scope of the tragedy and how it altered everything.  The author does an outstanding job of telling the story through the eyes of four very different people but still drawing them together.  A must-read!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story

Review: Sunshine Beach by Wendy Wax


This fun 4th in a series is set in the St. Pete’s area of Florida – near the famous pink castle, Hotel Don Cesar. 

In Sunshine Beach, a group of women find a run down property and hope to renovate it for their cable show “Do Over.” Problem is, the property has a mystery behind it, and the current owners are reluctant to sell. 

You’ll enjoy following Maddie, Avery, Nikki and Kyra — and their significant (and not so significant) others — as they try to solve a mystery, nail down their love lives, and use the paparazzi to their best advantage. 

I’ll admit that the characters and their relationships to each other confused me at first. Then I realized I hadn’t read the first three in the series! So if you want to pick up this cute summer read, do yourself a favor and read book 1 – Ten Beach Road – first. 🙂

-calliope

Buy SUNSHINE BEACH

Review: Bookends by Jane Green


I love this story with an ensemble cast. Four friends grow up: one flies the coop, one gets married, one finds too much love, and one finds not enough. Green does a wonderful job making Cath the main character without taking time or page space away from the others. The writing is excellent, the plot moves at the perfect pace, and most importantly, there  aren’t so many characters that I have to work to understand who’s who. 

Favorite part: the bookshop, of course! 

Second favorite part: Cath’s romantic interest. Of course. 😉

This British rom com — about the development of relationships, the relative degrees of loyalty, and finding your true self behind the defensive walls we put up — is an oldie but goodie. I wanted to read a Jane Green novel, I did, and now I’ll be reading more!  

-calliope

Buy BOOKENDS: A NOVEL

Waiting on Wednesday~ It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

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TITLE:
It Ends With Us
AUTHOR:
Colleen Hoover
GENRE:
Romance
PAGES:
384 pages
PUBLISHER:
Atria Books
RELEASE DATE:
August 2, 2016

SYNOPSIS:
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up. She graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant and has a total soft spot for Lily; and the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his no dating rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan, her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all too human characters, “It Ends with Us” is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

Preorder HERE

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