Book Review: Take Me to Nirvana by J. Y. Barris

Title:  Take Me to NirvanaTake_Me_To_Nirvana_JY_Barris

Author:  J. Y Barris

Published:  January 10, 2023

Source:  Owned

Type:  e-copy


Nothing is as it seems when Tom hires a mysterious woman to work at his shop. After he loses contact with her, their brief bond eventually leads him to set out with his detective brother to find her…

Take Me To Nirvana is a beautifully crafted novel that celebrates hope and courage. It is a raw, powerful story that follows the sudden disappearance of Amber, a young woman struggling to reconcile a haunting past with her new chance at a normal life. The book delves deep into her troubled mind, and the strange, sometimes gruesome challenges she faces in finding closure.

A Psychological Novel Raising Awareness of Childhood Abuse

In 2020 in the USA, over *7 million children were subject to childhood abuse. In over 90 percent of cases, at least one parent was involved. Take Me To Nirvana aims to throw light on the high prevalence of parent-initiated abuse in the USA and help victims find a route forward to healing and happiness. 

Check it on Amazon Goodreads 


Some years ago, I was approached by J. Y. Barris to read and review her first novel “Erase”. I was a beginner book blogger, focused mainly on vampires and fantasy books. “Erase” was so far out of my comfort zone! But I did it. I don’t know what pulled me to that book, but I read it and loved it so much! So she has become an auto-buy for me.

When I learned about her upcoming release, I preordered it without even reading the blurb. I knew I would love this book, but I didn’t know how much. I can openly say that January 10th was the best day so far this year, since it is the day this book arrived to my Kindle. I fell in love even from the opening lines.  The author begins “Take Me To Nirvana” with a dedication for the victims of child abuse:

This book is dedicated to every child abuse survivor. Sorry if life has been a massive lemon but thank you for trying your best every day to turn it into a colorful lemonade. If you are still haunted by your childhood trauma, let Nirvana carry your sorrow as I hope you find peace within yourself after reading this book in its entirety.

To describe it in few words, Tom Ager hires Amber Simmons to help him organize the activities for his plumbing business. The young woman seems desperate for some help and appears to be looking for a fresh start. Amber’s mysterious life intrigues Tom, so when one day she fails to show up for work, he starts investigating her disappearance. An entire bunch of characters becomes involved, each following their own interest. At the same time, our female main character looks for her own stability and purpose in life.

What is important to mention from the beginning is that there are no perfect characters. All are perfectly flawed, and their flaws actually become helpful at one point in the story. Each plays a role, each falls in like a fitted puzzle piece. So, while there are characters with mental health issues, there are also characters whose personalities may, apparently at least, hinder them to reach a certain goals or social status. We have Tom – a business owner, but unable to have a romantic relationship, Gabe – an apparently carefree guy, working a job just for the income while dreaming of becoming a rockstar, Tom’s brother – looking for professional recognition. Then there is a psychologist, whose sole purpose is to see her patients finally having a shot at life, or even Amber’s strange “sister”. In her own mind, she looks for happiness, in a twisted way.

Characters aside, what is made loud and clear is how much abuse can mess up one’s ability to cope with reality; how much a healthy support system can straighten the child, or teenager or adult. There is this immense power in all of us, but sometimes we need signs or guides to learn how to let it loose Therapy, a good therapist, is more than important in this journey and I like how the author presented the relationship between patient and doctor. This book is so perfectly built, I am at a loss of words!

Favorite Quote: There are quite a few quotes I’ve marked down. One of those is:

“No, I mean it in the most accepting way. Everyone’s a little weird, a little strange in this world, wouldn’t you agree? So don’t be so hard on yourself. I say live life to the fullest, enjoy it in whichever way to please…”

It is not the only place where the author points out that we should be more focused on building a life that satisfies our own expectations, not others. Learn to make yourself happy, learn to love yourself.

Cover Review: Even the cover sends a message. I can tell you what I understand from it, though, at some point I hope to ask the author. The artwork is simple, yet bold. The girl with her eyes covered makes me think about all the children that we don’t know about who fall victims to abuse (physical or emotional), with a future uncertain. Sometimes we don’t care, sometimes we even close our eyes to such cases. Sometimes we are ignorant, but kindness is free, emotional support is also free. The red in the title is like a strong cry to happiness, to finding a path. Nirvana is not just a character, it is our special place.

“Take Me to Nirvana” is not just about finding a lost woman. It is about finding that place of happiness, or at least a comfortable level of satisfaction. It is about navigating the tumultuous waters of this life and learning to make camp somewhere, setting up roots. There are so many reasons why this book should be read, and I would make this review incredibly long to speak about all. But, to summarize, J. Y. Barris tells a story with so much to learn from. Her message is loud, clear, important and helpful at the same time, as stated by her in the preface:

My mission with “Take Me to Nirvana” is to write something that gives hope to people affected by childhood trauma and to raise awareness of child abuse. I hope this book will provide them a sense of “you are not alone”, and that it will give them the courage to find their own peace and move beyond their past.

5 stars

There are times I feel I am not able to do justice to books such as this one. I feel I don’t have the right vocabulary or knowledge in general. I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that this review at least sparked our interest. Until next time, Happy Reading!

About The Author JYBarris

I’m a writer, relationship coach, graphic and app designer, an illustrator and artist based in Prior Lake, MN. I work with editors, bloggers, entrepreneurs and app developers to transform ideas into existence.

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Release Blitz: The Hustler Next Door by K.A. Tucker +Review)

He fooled the wrong woman.

The Hustler Next Door by K.A. Tucker is now live!

From the international bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Ten Tiny Breaths comes a new stand-alone enemies-to-lovers, small-town romance.

Justine MacDermott is in what she would call a transition period: squatting in her best friend’s house and working in an appliance store in Polson Falls while the man she was supposed to marry starts a new life with someone else.

She’s definitely not thinking about slashing his tires and wishing his vital extremities would fall off.

When newcomer Garrett Harrington strolls into Murphy’s Appliances looking to buy a refrigerator, Justine convinces herself she’s found her rebound. Or the next love of her life. Either works. But a chance encounter leads her to discover that Garrett isn’t who he made himself out to be, and he’s more interested in hustling her kindly old boss out of his family business—and using her to do it.

Furious at being fooled by yet another man and itching for retribution, Justine enlists the help of unlikely townsfolk to battle Harrington Group’s big-city development plans for Polson Falls.

It’s all going to plan … until Justine finds herself crossing enemy lines.

Download today!

Available exclusively on Amazon & Kindle Unlimited Jan. 5th



This book was amazing to say the least! It’s so easy to read, fun and addictive.

Justine moves to Polson Falls to mend her broken heart and try to find a little bit of tranquility with her best friend and her boyfriend. Her otherwise not so boring life is interrupted when a new development company threatens to change the historical look of the small town. To her disappointment, the hot guy that just entered the appliances shop she works at is actually the guy handling the “remodeling”. Well, that’s too bad! Together with some of Polson Falls’ elders, she does all that she can to stop   Garrett Harrington’s “malicious” intentions.

There are a lot of things that I’ve enjoyed, starting with the banter between our main characters and the atmosphere of the small town, with best friends and gossip. Our main characters each have a strong personality and fight for what they believe. If in the beginning none is willing to listen to what the other has to say, they will manage to figure things out on their own. Where Garret appears to be a bit more willing to reach a middle ground, Justine is stubborn and does not intend to allow another man to step on her. I appreciated as well the best friends and family, who provided support for her when she sees her ex again.  I appreciated a lot of things!

Suffice to say I devoured this book! I read it in one night and oh, what a night it was. I do hope you’ll enjoy it as well!

Until next time, happy reading!

5 stars


Meet K.A. Tucker

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the internationally bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wild, Be the Girl, and Say You Still Love Me. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Oprah Mag, and First for Women.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto.

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Book Review: It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Title: It Ends with Us (It Ends with Us #1) Chrsitmasprincess

Author: Colleen Hoover

Published: August 2nd 2016 by Atria Books

Source: Scribd

Type: Ebook


Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

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, 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.

Check it on Amazon Goodreads 


I was mentioning this in my Weekly Quote article that Colleen Hoover is one of the authors that scare me because of all the feelings I have after finishing her books. My heart is shattered into a million pieces and then put back together. Her stories are emotional and with a deeper meaning. So I finally started “it Ends with Us”, mentally prepared for what was going to happen. I had no idea on the content, as I’ve avoided reviews and spoilers for years.

Our main character Lily has had a difficult childhood. With and father having alcohol problems and abusing her mother, she found comfort in her neighbor Atlas. He himself living in precarious conditions, the two form a beautiful friendship. However, the possibility of a better future for Atlas leads to the two being separated. Years later, Lily opens a flower shop in Boston and meets Ryle, a neurosurgeon whose main focused is his career. His relationship is based on always being truthful to one another and that seems to make them both content with how the things are going.Unfortunately, soon after their relationship starts, Lily’s past returns and she finds herself in a similar situation as her mother.

There are so many layers to the story, the most significant one being the courage to walk away from an abusive relation. As the author herself explains in the end, it is difficult to walk away from the ones we love and it is very easy to judge looking from the outside.Colleen Hoover offered a complete insight into Lily’s life and reasoning. Her struggle is between reason and feelings: she knows things will not improve, but she still loves Ryle, or maybe she still desires to fix their broken relationship.

I loved all the other elements in the story as well. Lily wants to have a successful flower shop, so she comes up with a brilliant idea that make her bouquets unique. The friendship she has with Ryle’s sister was beautiful as well. But most important, I like how at some point she comes back to her mom looking for support.

Sometimes, even grown women need their mother’s comfort so we can just take a break from having to be strong all the time

I’ve spoken about this book in a Moody Melon Book Pick article as well and, as I as was also mentioning to the readers over there, we should all take a moment to bring encouragements and positive emotions to all women out there in this situation. I loved this book.

Until next time, happy reading!

3 stars

About The Authorcoleenhoover

International and #1 New York Times bestselling author of romance, YA, thriller, women’s fiction and paranormal romance. I don’t like to be confined to one genre. If you put me in a box, I’ll claw my way out. My social media username is @colleenhoover pretty much everywhere except my email, which is Founder of charity and Book Bonanza.

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Book Review: A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Title: A Very Merry Bromance (Bromance Book Club #5) averymerrybromance

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

Published: November 1, 2022

Source: owned

Type: Ebook


Country music’s golden boy Colton Wheeler felt the most perfect harmony when he was with Gretchen Winthrop. But for her, it was a love him and leave him situation. A year later, Colton is struggling to push his music forward in a new direction. If it weren’t about to be the most magical time of year and the support of the Bromance Book Club, he’d be wallowing in self-pity.

It’s hard for immigration attorney Gretchen not to feel a little Scrooge-ish about the excess of Christmas when her clients are scrambling to afford their rent. So when her estranged, wealthy family reaches out with an offer that will allow her to better serve the community, she’s unable to say no. She just needs to convince Colton to be the new face of her family’s whiskey brand. No big deal…

Colton agrees to consider Gretchen’s offer in exchange for three dates before Christmas. With the help of the Bromance Book Club, Colton throws himself into the task of proving to her there’s a spark between them. But Gretchen and Colton will both need to overcome the ghosts of Christmas past to build a future together.

Check it on Amazon Goodreads 


In my hunt for Christmas romance stories, my eyes were captured by this lovely cover. Call me shallow, but that’s mostly what we all do. There are a lot of ups and a few downs here and there, but I enjoyed the story immensely.

Colton is an artist apparently struggling with coming up with the next great song. A year after their first encounter, he comes back where it all started between him and Gretchen, in hopes of finding his muse and also the woman he cannot stop thinking about. She comes from a wealthy family but has given up on the luxurious lifestyle and dedicated her work as an attorney to solving immigration cases and making sure people who came to America looking for a home, manage to get one and a decent life. He is all about Christmas and family and love, she is all that Scrooge is. A deal brings them closer than she expected. As much as she tries to stay away, as much as she avoids being enveloped by Christmas lights, as deeper she gets.

I found two main themes in this book, among others: how much growing up in an emotionless family can damage one’s feelings and the Christmas atmosphere, with all the classic elements.

Speaking about the first, Gretchen did not feel the love of a family growing up. As a teenager, she used to act out in hopes of getting some attention. Her brothers always picked on her and even now, all grown up, she is still thought of as useless and a drama queen. I can obviously understand her desire to follow a different path, as far away from them as possible.

Christmas is so well presented in the book. We have Santa in disguise, wrapping presents, homes full of children and Christmas decorations. Everything felt warm and cozy. Even a cold heart like mine and Gretchen’s would melt at that 🙂  I loved how Colton made a crack in her walls and brought love and affection in her otherwise gloomy existence.

There are a lot of other really great elements, but these two just stuck out. There are some scenes that did not stand well with me (not so many, for example, one in which she is extremely eager to have sex with him…too eager, she starts banging her head in the car – eager), which is why I am decreasing one star, but I hope you’ll give this book a try if you are in the mood for a great Christmas romance.

If you want to read more of my thoughts about “A Very Merry Bromance”, check out my article on Moody Melon and remember to comment below on your opinion of the book or the series, if you’ve read it. Until next time, Happy Reading!

4 stars

About The Authorlyssakayadams

Lyssa Kay Adams is the pen name of an award-winning journalist who gave up the world of telling true stories to pen emotional romances.

She’s also a diehard Detroit Tigers fan who will occasionally cheer for the Red Sox because her husband is from Boston. Lyssa lives in Michigan with her family and an anxiety-ridden Maltese who steals food and buries it around the house and who will undoubtedly be a character in a future book.

Things Lyssa loves: Baseball pants, mashed potatoes, and that little clicking sound that scissors make on the cutting table at fabric stores.

Things she doesn’t love: Mean people, melting ice cream cones, and finding food in her underwear drawer.

Keep up with Lyssa on Twitter at @LyssaKayAdams. Please note: She mostly tweets about baseball pants and mashed potatoes.

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Book Review: Tis the Season for Revenge by Morgan Elizabeth

Title:  Tis the Season for Revengetistheseason

Author:  Morgan Elizabeth

Published:  October 25, 2022

Source:  Owned

Type:  e-copy


Abbie Keller thought that Richard Bartholemew Benson the Third would be her forever. In their four years of dating, she never doubted that she wouldn’t end up with his grandmother’s engagement ring on her finger. Sure, she had to change a few things about herself to fit that mold, like dying her hair, dressing more conservatively, and finding golf enjoyable (honestly the most difficult of the changes), but she was sure that at the end of it all, it would be worth it.

That is, until he leaves her crying outside her apartment wearing a Halloween costume, having broken it off with her because she’s just not serious enough. She was just fun, he tells her – and now that Richard has becoming a partner at his law firm in his sights, he needs to focus on work.

So she does what every girl does when she’s broken up with: she calls her friends, gets drunk, dyes her hair, and formulates her plan for revenge. It just so happens that the universe supports her efforts and gives her the perfect match to prove to her ex that he made a huge mistake: his boss.

Abbie starts dating the founding partner of Richard’s law firm, Damien Martinez, with one thing in mind: convincing him to invite her to the huge annual Christmas party as his date.

But when the relationship starts to become something more than casual dating and Abbie sees that the tough New York lawyer has a soft side, will she be able to follow through with her plan of deceit?

Tis the Season for Revenge is a contemporary, grumpy sunshine, age-gap, Christmas romance.

It is a full-length romance with a Happily Ever After that features sexually explicit material and profanity. This book is intended for 18+ 

Check it on Amazon Goodreads 


 A great rom-com, “This the Season for Revenge” really met its purpose. Abbie’s boyfriend breaks up with her on Halloween.  Not only she cannot believe the news, but also she cannot believe the hurtful words he tells her. Later that evening, she and her friends come up with a plan to get their revenge on  Richard Bartholemew Benson the Third. When a dating app matches her profile with Damien Martinez, her ex’s boss, the plan is set in motion. She wants to prove to Richard that she can get an invite to his company’s Christmas party, that someone else can find her worthy of being a good companion for such an event.

There are so many funny moments, especially when it comes to all the shenanigans Abbie and her friends do o the ex. The romance is lovely as well. Damien is adorable. He is polite, clear with his intentions and with a kind heart. He has principles and is not willing to offer promotions without merit. He has a lot of patience with Abbie, when it comes to building back her confidence.

And this is the part I’d like to insist upon. She was emotionally abused in her prior relationship. Richard was constantly diminishing her self-worth, mocking her job and even forcing her to dress in a way that did not represent her at all. Once given the (unhappy) opportunity to take a step back and see the things as they really were, she realized that the way Richard was treating her was not how love actually looked like. She was living in her own bubble, a world built mainly based on her desires to marry a certain type of man. But abuse takes many forms and love makes us blind and ignorant.

A relationship is like the law. It needs balance. If it’s out of balance, if one person sees themselves as less valuable, the balance isn’t there.

While I appreciated a lot of elements in the book, there are some that I did not enjoy. There is a lot of repetition. Abbie tells her best friends about her date with Damien and it felt just like a retelling with “oh”s and “omg”s or something of the sorts. I unfortunately skipped through these pages. I also feel that the seamy scenes were a bit to steamy for how fun and carefree is the overall atmosphere. They didn’t connect in some strange way.

Favorite Quote:

“Isn’t that a perk for men? A woman who loses her inhibitions?” I ask, raising an eyebrow and smiling.

He laughs again and, damn, he’s got an excellent laugh.

“Losing her inhibitions? Yeah, that’s a plus. But the women I date? They don’t need to drink for that to happen. It just … does.” His smile is feline, sly.

What I like about this quote is Daminen’s confidence and how his maturity is also showing up. Later on, he stands behind this affirmation, belieeeeeve me!

Cover Review: I actually love this cover. It’s all the things Abbie is represented by: the broken heart, the pink, the blond hair and the mocking of the ex. I adore it!

To summarize, I had higher expectations. No, that didn’t come out right. I really liked the story, very much actually. But because of those two elements, I cannot proceed with a clean 4 star rating. I’m going with a 3.5, rounded to 4. An enjoyable Christmas read, which I am sure you’ll like as well.

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Book Review: Tangled by Emma Chase

Title:  Tangled (Tangled #1)Tangled

Author:  Emma Chase

Published:  August 2nd 2013 by Gallery Books

Source:  Scribd

Type:  e-book


Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything – or anyone – derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

Check it on Amazon Goodreads 


Yet another book by Emma Chase that made me adore her as an author. I’ve read this as part of my weekly articles for Moody Melon and I can tell you right from the start that I loved it so much, despite all the issues that the reviewer in me cannot overlook.

Drew is the best at what he does. He has put so much of his time and talent in working for his father’s company, but, when competition comes along, his ego is hurt. Even more so when said competition is smokin’ hot. Since we don’t mix work with pleasure, he’ll have to “keep it in check”. Hmm… time for an exception to the rule, maybe. And so does our race start. Which one of them can close a major deal first? How fast will Kate give in to Drew’s charm?

“Tangled” made me laugh so much. I absolutely savored all the chapters and I got so tangled (pun intended) into the story that I completely forgot about the imperfections here and there. We have cute banter and a hate to love relationship. There is the feeling of betrayal and amending for mistakes. Drew is always looking for a challenge and Kate is that for him, until he falls victim of his own games. Kate is in a relationship already and not interested in infidelity. Everything seems to be so complicated, like most affairs of the heart are.

As a reviewer, I have to mention that this is not a perfect book. Starting with Drew’s decision to keep everything professional which is easily forgotten especially toward the end where there are several (I would say) embarrassing scenes at the office. His feelings for Kate seem to be clarified too fast and in general the conflict resolutions happen too fast.

Still, considering how much fun I had reading it, I cannot give less than 4 stars. I am well aware that I am judging this with emotions, not reason, but hey, reading’s supposed to be mostly emotional, at least my kind of reading.

If you want to read more of my thought on “Tangled” by Emma Chase, head over to the article on Moody Melon magazine, where I’ve originally posted the review. Until next time, happy reading!

About The Author


Emma Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of romance filled with humor, heat and heart. Her books have been published in over 20 languages and the film adaptation of Tangled, Emma’s iconic enemies-to-lovers rom-com, was recently released by Passionflix.

Emma lives happily-ever-after in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and two adorable, misbehaving dogs.

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Book Review: The Christmas Princess by Patricia McLinn

Title:  The Christmas Princess (The Wedding #5)Chrsitmasprincess

Author:  Patricia McLinn

Published:  October 15, 2014 by Craig Place Books

Source:  Amazon

Type:  ebook


A Princess for a few weeks …

The coming Christmas season isn’t looking great for April Gareaux. Her job is uninspiring, her engagement is off, and she has nowhere to live. Certainly her family would take her in, especially Leslie and Grady Roberts and their circle of friends who have become her extended family. But it’s time she stops relying on them.

Then comes an extraordinary offer – spend the holidays in Washington, D.C., with King Jozef of Bariavak as his possible long-lost granddaughter. Even more extraordinary is the man behind the offer and the one who will be beside her through the coming weeks, Hunter Pierce.

This is the last assignment Hunter would pick. Determination and grit have moved him beyond his past in Bariavak. Yet, here it is standing in front of him again, refusing to be ignored. … Just like his reactions to April. How can he fight what he’s feeling when they’re together all the time.

King Jozef has known tragedy in his life. Now, comes this lovely young woman bringing joy to his holidays. How can he resist dabbling in some royal matchmaking. Wouldn’t it be delightful if he could give April a Christmas gift she will never forget …

… Her Prince for a Lifetime

Check it on Amazon Goodreads 


Yes, this is book 5 in the series, I haven’t given up the bad habit of picking up books in the wrong order but that’s ok (in this case). I was looking for some Christmas romance books, just to help me get into a more festive mood. “The Christmas Princess” was free as an e-book on Amazon and about a princess, so why not? Well, there is much more to it than that.

April finds herself in an unpleasant situation, so close to Christmas, when her fiancée’s mother informs her of her immediate termination of the engagement. Struggling to find a place to leave, she accepts a deal with the US Government (yup, you’ve read that right) to pose for a short while as the lost granddaughter of King Jozef of Bariavak. She is thrown in sessions of “princess lessons” and Bariavakian history, held by her detail, Hunter Pierce. The stiff bodyguard takes all his assignments seriously, but especially this one. April’s life appeals to him in a strange way and her kind heart starts to warm his as well.

While I am writing this review, I find myself in a conflicting situation. I enjoyed the story more than I was anticipating, but there were sections that made me cringe a little. I still don’t know what my rating will be…

April is a lovely person. She is kind, with love to offer to those who receive none. Lying to the king does not seem like such a good idea, especially when she realizes he is a nice person, but at least she will make sure his Christmas will be happier. The author created a character easy to like, who brings happiness wherever she goes. There were moments where I thought she lived in a bubble. Her world is full of love, no room for hatred or bad words. I like her bubble…

Hunter is like a wall. Nothing seems to affect him, nothing takes him away from his professional conduct. He serves the country that has given him a future and he does it so well. However, his past cannot be ignored. He will have to make peace with his demons and he will have to stop running.

I loved the Christmas atmosphere and how all the characters were at some point convinced to decorate, to prepare presents and to find time for family. April is the one that brings people together. Now, because I started with book 5, it was a little difficult to know all the side characters and to understand the role each family member had. This didn’t affect my liking the story, but having the full picture would have been better.

We’ve arrived at the things I did not enjoy as much. It took me a while to get into the story. In the beginning, the writing felt difficult and I pushed myself to get through the 30% limit. I whish I had more background on April’s education. She is stuck at a job she does not like, advocating for a vegetable she does not eat (are there such jobs? …having a moment of ignorance now…). Then, there is the romance. I am sorry, but I did not like it. Whenever Hunter acted like a jealous boyfriend, it felt off. The brief love making scenes were not great. It seamed to me the author was shy in writing them and kind of forced herself to spice up their intimacies. There was no need for that at all. I for one, don’t need hot scenes, especially if the book has a cozier and family kind of vibe.

 Cover Review: It definitely gives me the winter chills. I like how the snow globe is the focus point on the cover, given that it has a certain importance to our main characters. It doesn’t give me royal or Christmas vibes but I like it. Also, it keeps consistency with the other books in the series.

Favorite Quote:  

Humility does not suit you. But beware of arrogance

Words spoken by the wise King Jozef to Hunter, they stuck with me for some reason. To be honest, in that particular scene didn’t perceive him as being humble or arrogant. But it’s a nice quote.

I’m still not at peace with the rating, but it would not be ok to increase it either. “The Christmas Princess” was a lovely story, with a beautiful atmosphere and perfect to put you in that holiday spirit. It left me wanting to know the full story of Bravakia (past and future books). As my fist read for the Christmas season, I declare myself satisfied. But despite all the positives, the romance and some elements from our MCs’ past did not stand well with me.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any books from the series and what are your reading plans for the rest of the year. Until next time, happy reading!

3 stars

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn’s novels—cited by reviewers for warmth, wit and vivid characterization – have won numerous regional and national awards and been on national bestseller lists.patriciamclinn

In addition to her romance and women’s fiction books, Patricia is the author of the Caught Dead in Wyoming mystery series, which adds a touch of humor and romance to figuring out whodunit.

Patricia received BA and MSJ degrees from Northwestern University. She was a sports writer (Rockford, Ill.), assistant sports editor (Charlotte, N.C.) and—for 20-plus years—an editor at the Washington Post.

She has spoken about writing from Melbourne, Australia to Washington, D.C., including being a guest-speaker at the Smithsonian Institution. She is now living in Northern Kentucky, and writing full-time. Patricia loves to hear from readers through her website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

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Book Review: The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid

Title:  The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding (Scandalous House of Calydon #1)dukeshotgunwedding

Author:  Stacy Reid

Published:  May 1, 2017 by Entangled Scandalous

Source:  Scribd

Type:  Audiobook


Victorian Era England…

 As far as rash decisions go, it was formidable. But Lady Jocelyn Rathbourne’s will remains strong. If the only way to save her family’s estate and reputation is by aiming a small pistol at the Duke of Calydon, then so be it. For Lady Jocelyn demands satisfaction – and she will have it at any cost. Even if it means demanding the hand of the intense and foreboding Duke himself… But she’s made the first move against a very dangerous opponent… For Sebastian Thornton is no stripling to be trifled with. The lady has played her hand. Now it’s his turn. For Sebastian is in need of a wife. And to find a wife with spirit and fire – even if she means to only marry for his money – would be a great prize indeed. And he intends to thoroughly take his pleasure with her… and demands his own satisfaction in return.

Check it on Amazon Goodreads 


This was an absolute delight! Since I was looking for a short story to keep me entertained for a few hours, Stacy Reid’s novella was the perfect choice.

Lady Jocelyn visits the Duke of Clayton with the intention to negotiate a compensation for her ruined reputation. She is willing to see justice delivered by any means necessary: a duel, or a peaceful approach. The duke listens carefully to the woman’s story and proposes a marriage to atone for his brother’s actions. Surprised by his demeanor, lady Jocelyn prepares for her new life.

There is quite a lot going on. Sebastian Thornton’s past left him with no trust in love. He is not looking for feelings in his marriage with Lady Jocelyn. He just wants an heir. However, our heroine does hope for a good relationship with her husband and she is willing to construct it. I liked a lot how she took initiatives and opened doors for an easier communication with Sebastian and he was wise enough to accept his wife’s proposals.

That’s the best message from this story: communication is the key to a great marriage. Yes, a classic line, but beautifully presented in this historical romance novella. If you want to read more of my thoughts, head over to Moody Melon, where I’ve originally posted the review and let’s chat in the comments.

Until next time, happy reading!

5 stars

About The Author Stacy Reid

I am an unapologetic romance lover. I read it. I write it. Enough said. Well..I also have a warrior way “Never give up on my dreams.” I spend a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese anime and playing video games with my love, Dusean.

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Book Review: Find Me: A Holiday Romantic Comedy by Liz Lincoln

Title:  Find Me: A Holiday Romantic Comedy (Milwaukee Men at Work #4)findme

Author:  Liz Lincoln

Published:  December 5, 2015

Source:  Scribd

Type:  Audiobook



Brady and I have been friends for years. But I’m not going to get through my first Hanukkah since my mom’s death without us finally becoming more.

For the past few years, I’ve travelled all over the world, trying to find somewhere to belong. Now, spending a week in Brady’s arms, I’m starting to think I was looking in the wrong place.

But can I convince Brady that this time, I’m not going to walk away?


I’ve been in love with Laura since we were fifteen. Spending a week as more than friends is like a Christmas miracle. Except I know she’s not going to hang around and run her mom’s shop.

Part of what I love about Laura is her free spirit. I’d be an ass to ask her to stay just for me.

But how do I let her go, again, now that I know everything I’m giving up?

Check it on Amazon Goodreads 


Lately I seem to have come across OK-ish books. I miss a story that can warm my insights properly and I hoped that “Find Me” by Liz Lincoln would do that for me.

Laura returns home to Milwaukee for the holidays, looking forward to reunite with her best friend Brady. Her mother recently passed away, so she plans on finding some comfort in his arms, at least for a short while. Parallel to the romance, we have all the family affairs that need to be set in order. A quick read, this story has plenty of elements, some good, some not that great.

Let’s start with our female character. Half Jewish, half Catholic, Laura’s childhood was mostly a struggle: to please both traditions for Hanukkah and Christmas and to deal with an alcoholic mother. What I loved about Laura was her free spirit, her passion for traveling in areas where help is needed and to support misfortunate communities. But, as involved as she was in her travels, as superficial she appeared in her relationship with her mom or even with Brady. She didn’t think how her actions would hurt him on the long run. She simply took what she needed.

Brady appears hot and cold in the beginning. The reasons are later clarified, but I was confused for a short while. I like how he tried to bring a little bit or Christmas to a Hanukkah celebration, to comply with both cultures that Laura’s grown into. I see him more as a victim than a hero. He’s a good guy, emotionally tortured by his best friend.

Then we have all the elements surrounding the romance: the religion and family affairs. When it comes to the first, I didn’t feel Laura was attached to one side or the other. I am not criticizing that, I appreciate that at least she tried. Definitely, she is not one to stick with the religious traditions. Her focus is more on the activities she has with her best friend. When it comes to family, clearly hers is a dysfunctional one. One of her aunts is constantly complaining that Laura’s mom was a burden and Laura having no clue about her mother’s dreams or desires.

From plot point of view, nothing much happens. Laura has a few days to spend with her best friend, in bed (a lot). Here and there we get a hint of his feelings, while she is planning her next departure. There is no background on how she is financing said trip (or if I missed that, I apologize) and, what’s more, she seems to be dependent on Brady not only on a personal level, but also professionally, with him helping her understand the shop’s financial position.

Cover Review: Abs…why? I mean, yeah, the sex is quite a lot in this book, but so the festive month of December. The abs are not the center of attention. Are we all women so “abs-obsessed”? Is that how we come off? All the romance reads are focused on abs. The blue in “Find” stands out too much. Definitely, in my opinion, the cover choice could have been better.

The audio version was great. Kate Mitchel had a much challenging role I think, but that’s because Laura’s chapters were more than Brady’s and also because there were more female lines. She was excellent interpreting the aunts and the “loud” family moments. Matthew Holland was great as well, especially when transmitting Brady’s emotions. Both narrators were believable and their voices clean and clear.

All in all, I did not dislike the story, but I cannot say I liked it either. The plot lacks action (or at least I was expecting more) and the main characters threw me off at times. It was a quick read though.

2 stars

About The Author lizlincoln

Liz has been concocting stories as long as she can remember, and from the beginning they involved two people falling in love.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time rooting for the UW Badgers and the Green Bay Packers (or yearning for the return of football season), cross-stitching and embroidering sassy sayings or nerdy characters (Wonder Woman is her favorite), and drinking too much Diet Coke.

She lives in Milwaukee, WI, with her husband, two kids, three cats, and a turtle.

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Weekly Quote #25


I haven’t read any book by Colleen Hover since “Slammed” #1 (here’s my review, from 2016). “Slammed” was published in 2012. This is my one and only book that I’ve read so far by her. I absolutely adored this book. I think it was the first review I’ve ever written, probably not the first I’ve published. You may ask yourselves why I haven’t kept up with her writing (or you may not ask yourselves this, but I’m gonna tell ya still).  Well, her books are so emotional, so deep and so full of meaning. It takes certain state of mind to properly enjoy them or to even write a decent review.

So I’m starting to catch up on her stories. Not because I’m in my right state of mind (hey, you have to be crazy to keep a job like mine and a book blog and learn to sew a decent garment for a potential sewing business), but because I’m behind. I’m behind with my reading. I need to catch up.

Ok, enough chit-chat. Today’s quote is from “It Ends With Us” by none other than Colleen Hoover! For those of you outside of the romance reader’s community (Hello, welcome, I’m Lilly), she’s awesome! I’m only in the beginning; there are tons of amazing quotes still to come.

There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.

I agree… We are all just people. We do what we can. We take the best decisions we can. They don’t have to be great. But who knows what the outcome would be? I always say our brains are not wired to take bad decisions intentionally. At some point, something seemed all right, which is why we took said decision. If, on the short or long run, it proves to be a bad one, that’s a bummer. We fix it (or take the pain, shut up, move on).

One week till Christmas, enjoy 🙂