My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island – Review

Reading My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island was the most pleasant walk down memory lane for me. When I saw this title on NetGalley, I had to request it immediately due to the title alone.  I was born in Michigan and have vivid memories of visiting Mackinac Island and nearby St. Ignace as a child, though I haven’t been there in probably 20 years. The book featured scenes around Mackinac Island’s most famous landmarks, such as Arch Rock and The Grand Hotel and other areas around the island. One of the most interesting things about Mackinac Island is its restriction of motor vehicles. All of the sights must be seen from a carriage, bicycle, or on foot. I enjoyed the author’s use of bicycles in the story, making it seem realistic to the actual island, though the book was set in a time period before cars would have been common.

Image result for Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island)

In the first half of the story, we are acquainted with Maude, a young woman who finds she has been jilted by her beau. Her hopes of running the inn that has been in her family for years are dashed by her two-timing lover. Maude’s father’s refusal to turn the business over to his unmarried daughter forces her to take matters into her own hands by getting a job at the Grand Hotel as a maid, to prove her competence in managing a hotel.

Along the way, Maude meets a wealthy German aristocrat who seems immensely intriguing and kind.  She cannot help but be captivated by him after he inadvertently helps her young brother. Unfortunately, this impressive German man also has a secret he isn’t telling, and Maude is loathe to trust anyone after being deceived. Continue reading “My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island – Review”

Wait for It – Review

Wait for ItOne of the hardest things to do as a book blogger is to read an entire (670 page) book and give it a low-star review, especially when nearly half of Goodreads readers gave it the full 5 stars. Be warned, dear readers, I have an unpopular opinion ahead. Please don’t grab your torches and pitchforks.

Wait for It was the first Mariana Zapata book I have picked up. I knew about her high ratings, her hardcore fans, and her slow-burn romance style. All of these elements factored in to me choosing to read Wait for It, as it had been sitting on my TBR list for around a year. I needed a break from my current read and was looking for something I was bound to love. Unfortunately, Wait for It didn’t do it for me, as much as I wanted it to. I waited for it…I waited for the story to get rolling, I waited for the writing to get better, and I felt like it took until the last pages of this long book to improve incrementally.

Wait for It features the life of Diana, a young woman who inherited her nephews after the death of their parents, one being Diana’s brother. Diana is finally getting her life sorted out after such an unexpected and heartbreaking disruption, by moving into a new neighborhood. When Diana hears a fight happening outside of her new home, she decides to help out and break it up. The ungrateful recipient of Diana’s help is the younger brother of Diana’s new neighbor, Dallas. Eventually Diana and Dallas develop a friendship, which eventually grows into a deeper relationship.
Continue reading “Wait for It – Review”

The Evolution of Ivy – Review

Bad. Bad. BAD….but so GOOD.

The Evolution of Ivy: Poison is an addicting debut novel from Lauren Campbell.  The main character, Ivy, is a tormented young girl enduring an endlessly painful life.

“I scurry to the back of the classroom, making eye contact with no one, and take my seat.  New outfits, fresh haircuts, and confidence burst from this room, this concrete prison where the kids are wardens, and I’m on Death Row.”

As her future circumstances change, she decides to assume a new identity and remake her life for the better. Her main goal: acquire the love of Brooks, the only boy she ever cared for. Ivy has a take no prisoners approach to her new lifestyle. After all, a person can only be hurt so many times. She refuses to let her plans be thwarted, no matter the cost.

As a reader, I love my fictional characters with a side of crazy.  Crazy people know life, they understand pain, and they don’t live in the traditional ways society imposes. This always makes for an interesting story.  The only thing that kept me from reading Ivy sooner were my hangups about the mature content within the pages. I normally try to avoid the more graphic and gritty novels because it simply makes me uncomfortable and isn’t my taste.  However, I knew I was going to love this story if I could overlook the parts I was apprehensive about.

Everything about this story, especially the characterization and plot were on point. Let’s not forget the amazing cover design by Murphy Rae of Indie Solutions. Lauren’s ability to tell Ivy’s story had me turning pages faster than I expected.  I could have finished the book in a day, but chose to savor it one more, to make the story more memorable. My empathy was triggered for Ivy’s past. It was heartbreaking to read the cruelty she faced, and I couldn’t help rooting for her to get revenge and take back the life she deserved, despite her less than moral antics. The story alternated between Ivy’s past and present, something I love as a reader, as it allows me to connect to the characters in a deeper way. We also were able to hear a bit of Brooks’ voice, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the guy.

This is a sharply written, genre-busting page turner worth reading immediately, especially for fans of psychological thrillers.  I was immensely impressed with Lauren’s storytelling and her ability to put me into Ivy’s mind so thoroughly.  The Evolution of Ivy feels like the work of an author with eons of experience, not the debut novel it is.  I can’t wait to see The Evolution of Lauren Campbell as she shares more of her stories with the world.  I see the title New York Times Bestselling Author in her future. Give me more cray, cray, Lauren!!!

You need to snag a copy of this book now! It is sure to leave you wanting more of Ivy and Brooks.

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon DE

Happy Reading,
♥Ashley


Follow us!
Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads Ashley | Goodreads Sabrina

Edge of Regret – Shared Review

IMG_0013editedMolly E. Lee never fails to take her readers to the Edge with her exceptionally adventurous stories, tough leading ladies, and her brave male leads.  We couldn’t wait to read more about Wade after reading about him in Edge of Brotherhood in April.  Molly fed us bits of mystery about his past and left us dying to know him better.  Luckily, Molly writes quickly and didn’t leave us hanging for too long.

Wade Roberts was the hunky and hilarious stuntman that joined our favorite guys from Molly’s previous books in the new E.D.G.E television show.  I think all of Molly’s readers instantly fell for Wade’s sense of humor and haunted past. Continue reading “Edge of Regret – Shared Review”

One True Loves – Review

I’m not going to review this novel in the “proper” way. Instead, I want to tell you what it meant to me.

You see, I only read the first couple sentences of a blurb, if at all. I judge by popularity, the cover, genre, the author, all of the things readers aren’t supposed to judge a book by before reading it. Usually if it is popular, it is popular for a reason.

This makes me think of the quote, “if you read what everyone else is reading, you’ll think what everyone else is thinking.”

Alas, I have found a book that makes me disagree with this quote. If a book makes you think, it doesn’t matter what others people’s thoughts on it were. The only thing that matters are the thoughts you take away.

And, did I take away some thoughts. Continue reading “One True Loves – Review”

Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher – Cover Reveal

Atheists.jpgTitle:  Atheists Who Kneel and Pray
Release Date:  TBD
Cover Design:  Ellie McLove of Love N. Books
Synopsis:
Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.
She dates men who need her, but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.
David Lisey is in need of a muse.
A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he’s found what he’s been looking for.
Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential: A broken heart.
David’s religion is love.
Yara’s religion is heartache.
Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.Atheistssleeve.jpg

Are y’all freaking out like I am??? I can barely contain my excitement over this!  The title, the cover, the blurb, the TARRYN!! I love the anticipation of waiting for a new Tarryn Fisher release. Leave your guesses for the release date in the comments!!


Jumping around excitedly,

♥ Ashley

It’s Always the Husband – Review

It’s Always the Husband was a page flippin’ contradiction for me. There were parts I loved and thought were clever and parts I hated. My feelings were similar to the traits and relationships of the characters themselves.
Aubrey, Kate, and Jenny come from different worlds, placed together as roommates in their first year of college. Looking forward to new starts and the best years of their lives, the trio forms an unlikely friendship despite the odds being against them. One girl is poor as dirt from the other side of the country, one is a middle class “townie” with high ambitions, and the other has friends in high places with the world bowing at her feet. The story switches perspectives from past perspective to present day, 20 years after the girls’ freshman year. It follows up with their married lives and their mysterious strained relationship from events happening in their early college days. As we delve into each character’s psyche at different times, we unearth new tidbits about their less than stellar friendship, despite the women still classifying themselves as best friends.  Continue reading “It’s Always the Husband – Review”