Book Review | Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews

Title: Against the Currant
Author: Olivia Matthews
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: February 9th, 2023
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary egalley to listen to and review! All opinions are my own.

“Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition.

On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later—murdered—Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent—under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family—what could go wrong?” (Goodreads)

I had seen this one on the library to request while it waited for publication and when I saw it on Netgalley as an audiobook I jumped at the chance to get it sooner! Luckily, I was approved and started it the next day. You know how I love my cozy mysteries haha.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Lyndsay Murray. She is the owner of a new bakery in her community and her family has also helped make her dream come true. There is someone in her community who would like to see her business crash and burn. She stands up for herself for once and from that point on, she becomes a suspect. Even though it got her in a mess, it was nice to see her come out of her shell throughout the book. She can be a real firecracker when she needs to be! I also liked that family was important to her and she kept them safe the best she could under the circumstances.

Family is a big deal in this book and I think that is why I liked the other characters so much. A lot of them were a part of hers. It’s always a great edition to a book when you can get to know the main character through their family. I will say that some were a bit in the background, but I am hoping that since this will be a series there will be more to them.

Some of the characters I would have liked to punch, like the detectives. They were just so persistent in believing it was Lyndsay. I’m glad she ended up showing them up when it came to their own job.

The book is definitely more plot driven which isn’t a problem for me when it comes to cozy mysteries. I don’t mind not having overly developed characters, minus the MC. It was still a very entertaining read and I managed to get through it in a day. The narration was well done for the audiobook! I was also very surprised by the outcome of the murder and didn’t see it coming, although there were some things that I had guessed right.

Overall, this was a great cozy mystery. I can’t wait to see what mess Lyndsay finds herself in when it comes to the sequel.

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Magical Readathon | 2023 Adventure in Aeldia

Hello Readers!

This year I am going to be participating in Magical Readathon. There is also a year-long challenge for it that I found from Dini @ dinipandareads! This will actually be my first year with this readathon so I am really excited for when the actual readathon starts.

This video explains the yearly challenge and the one listed below is a beginner guide to the readathon. It will help you get your character set up, which includes joining a guild and picking your race. I am glad a video was created because otherwise I would have been lost, haha.

Here Is How My Adventure Will Go:

I am going for an owlcat which I think will be a nice edition since I do love cats! I am hoping it will be an easy adventure to get there. There may be a blank spot or two where I haven’t decided any reads yet so it may just be one of those where it will be determined that month.

Turn Left (start a series)

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix
I have finished this one for the month! I know it’s literally the last day of the month but I did it! 😂

Go To The Forest (trees on the cover)

Bear With Me Now by Katie Shepard
I have this one from Netgalley and its due in April so it’s the perfect time to get this one done in the month of February.

Fight A Giant (book over 500 pages)

The Dragon Republic by R.F Kuang, The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, and The Winter Garden by Alexandra Bell are all options! I am not sure what it will be so we will see.

Orilium Academy (Break from Adventures)

This will be the first month of the actual readathon

Stay At Orilium (book finishes on an even page number)

Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor
I have been meaning to get to this series so at least it ends with an even number haha.

Visit The Locked Library (book you already own)

Wicked Little Secrets by Kara Taylor
This is the sequel to the above book and I do own it!

Brew A Potion Of Sleepless Night (read when it’s dark)

I have nothing for this one yet!

Orilium Academy (Break from Adventures)

This will be the second month of the actual readathon

Go On A Date (book with romance)

An Offer From A Gentleman by Julia Quinn, Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter, and Thank You for Listning by Julia Whelan are all possibilities!

Adventure Together (book with a map)

Viper by Bex Hogan
I’ve had this one on my shelf since I got it from Fairyloot a couple years ago. It has a map!

A Rescue Quest (book at risk of unhaul)

Eragon by Christopher Paolini and Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas have been sitting in a “may get rid of” box for too long so I think it will be time to decide their fates.

You Find An Owlcat Cub (owl or cat on cover)

Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow
It has a cute cat on it and has been on my tbr. It may change but we will see.

Are any of these books on your tbr?

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Top Ten Tuesday | Recent Additions to My TBR

Hello Bookworms!

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.

Today’s prompt is a freebie so I am going to do Recent Additions to My TBR! I have been adding a lot recently so I feel like it will be an easy one.

A Missing Connection by Dani McLean
Secret of the Moon Conch by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong
You Bet Your Heart by Danielle Parker

Unnecessary Drama by Nina Kenwood
It Found Us by Lindsay Currie

A Prayer for Vengeance by Leanna Schwartz
When Ghosts Call Us Home by Katya de Becerra
Hard Dough Homicide by Olivia Matthews

Will you read any of these? Let me know in the comments below!

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Goodreads Monday | Unnecessary Drama by Nina Kenwood

Hello Readers!

Goodreads Monday was hosted and created by Lauren’s Page Turners and has now been taken over by Budget Tales Book Blog. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.

Title: Unnecessary Drama
Author: Nina Kenwood
Genre: New Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: August 8th, 2023
Publisher: Flatiron Books

From the award-winning author of It Sounded Better in My Head comes a deliciously entertaining enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about two high school nemeses who end up sharing a house together their first year of college

Eighteen-year-old Brooke is the kind of friend who not only remembers everyone’s birthdays, but also organizes the group present, pays for it, and politely chases others for their share. She’s the helper, the doer, the maker-of spreadsheets. She’s the responsible one who always follows the rules—and she plans to keep it that way during her first year of college.

Her student housing only has one rule: “no unnecessary drama.” Which means no fights, tension, or romance between roommates. When one of them turns out to be Jesse, her high-school nemesis, Brooke is determined she can handle it. They’ll simply silently endure living together and stay out of each other’s way. But it turns out Jesse isn’t so easy to ignore.

With Unnecessary Drama, Nina Kenwood perfectly captures the experience of leaving home for the first time, dealing with the unexpected complications of life, and somehow finding exactly what you need.” (Goodreads)

DOES THIS ONE SOUND LIKE SOMETHING YOU WOULD READ?

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Blog Tour | This Is Not My Home by Vivienne Chang & Eugenia Yoh (Promo)

Title: This Is Not My Home
Author: Vivienne Chang & Eugenia Yoh
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publication Date: January 24th, 2023
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

—>Click Here For Tour Dates!<—

Thank you to the publisher and TBR and Beyond Tours for a complimentary earc and a chance to help promote this book!

From debut author-illustrator duo Vivienne Chang and Eugenia Yoh comes a humorous and heartfelt reverse immigration story that will resonate across cultures and show us how a place can become home.

This is not my backyard barbecue.
This is not our car, these are not my fireflies.
This is not my farmers market and…
This is not my home.

When Lily’s mom announces their family must move back to Taiwan to take care of her elderly Ah Ma, Lily is devastated to leave behind her whole life for a place that is most definitely her home. But Lily soon realizes, through the help of her family and friends, what home means to them. And perhaps someday—maybe not today, but someday—it might become her home too.” (Goodreads)

 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

Vivienne Chang and Eugenia Yoh met at Washington University in St. Louis. Eugenia studied Communication Design and now works at Chronicle Books. Vivienne studies Economics and is still stuck in St. Louis.
They hope to continue telling stories that simplify seemingly universal ideas through humor. When they are not discussing their next book concept, they can be found at a lake, a library, or in the yogurt section of Whole Foods. Who is this dog? We do not know. We found her in North Carolina.

Joint Website | Vivienne’s Website | Vivienne’s Twitter | Vivienne’s Instagram | Vivienne’s Goodreads | Eugenia’s Website | Eugenia’s LinkedIn | Eugenia’s Instagram | Eugenia’s Goodreads | Eugenia’s Etsy

I love finding children’s books for my daughter that help give a different perspective and this one is perfect for that! I have looked through it and the illustrations are great. I’ll definitely be adding it to our reading list in the coming weeks.

What do you think about this one?

First Lines Friday | 1-27-23

Hello Lovely Readers!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

“He’s Back.” My maternal grandmother, Genevieve Bain, spoke as though she’d swallowed something distasteful. Like bad fish or lukewarm tea.
I knew right away who she meant. Claudio Fabrizi, the owner of Claudio’s Baked Goods.
Not again.

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The book is….

In Olivia Matthews’s Against the Currant, the first Spice Isle Bakery Mystery, investigating a murder was never supposed to be on the menu…

Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition.

On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later—murdered—Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent—under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family—what could go wrong?” (Goodreads)

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? DO YOU WANT TO READ IT?

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Book Review | The Davenports by Krystal Marquis

Title: The Davenports
Author: Krystal Marquis
Genre: YA Historical Fiction / Romance
Publication Date: January 31st, 2023
Publisher: Dial Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and BookishFirst for a complimentary arc to review! All opinions are my own.

“The Davenports are one of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in a changing United States, their fortune made through the entrepreneurship of William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who founded the Davenport Carriage Company years ago. Now it’s 1910, and the Davenports live surrounded by servants, crystal chandeliers, and endless parties, finding their way and finding love—even where they’re not supposed to.

There is Olivia, the beautiful elder Davenport daughter, ready to do her duty by getting married . . . until she meets the charismatic civil rights leader Washington DeWight and sparks fly. The younger daughter, Helen, is more interested in fixing cars than falling in love—unless it’s with her sister’s suitor. Amy-Rose, the childhood friend turned maid to the Davenport sisters, dreams of opening her own business—and marrying the one man she could never be with, Olivia and Helen’s brother, John. But Olivia’s best friend, Ruby, also has her sights set on John Davenport, though she can’t seem to keep his interest . . . until family pressure has her scheming to win his heart, just as someone else wins hers.

Inspired by the real-life story of the Patterson family, The Davenports is the tale of four determined and passionate young Black women discovering the courage to steer their own path in life—and love.” (Goodreads)

I’m so glad I was able to get a copy from BookishFirst because this was a good YA Regency novel!

The book is told from multiple point-of-views and they come from Olivia, Helen, Amy-Rose, and Ruby. They are all connected in some way and their stories overlap quite a bit but they also have their own plotlines as well.

Helen was my favorite out of the four. She had hobbies that weren’t right for her to have and I’ve felt that way before. She also didn’t care what others thought of her and basically danced to the beat of her own drum. Olivia learned a lot from her when it came to that. Her love interest was a surprise and his intentions were even more surprising as his secrets are revealed. I do hope that she gets a happy ending though.

Olivia was very much the child who did what they were told until she meets someone who changes her perception of the world. I liked that she was open to learning and it’s definitely something that everyone should strive to be like. She didn’t let danger dictate her path, or her parents.

Amy-Rose has had a hard life due to her background and also her position in society. I really felt for her situation, especially when it came to her love interest. She struggles a lot with identity and society only makes it harder for her. I will say that she is very persistent!

Ruby is a friend of Olivia and has been around the Davenport family since they were all children. Her family’s status is changing slowly and its partly due to her father’s campaign for Mayor. She doesn’t really have anyone to talk to about it until she meets a certain fellow and he changes her idea of love and duty.

I did like one more, but honestly they were all great characters and I liked their stories for different reasons. The other characters were also good, but some didn’t have as much page time and I hope we will see more of them in the sequel.

This book is definitely more romance than informative on the issues that are talked about. I don’t think it was bad though as the issues did spark my interest and I have done my own google searches because of it. There is still room for there to be more talk though and I am looking forward to it.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read!

Book Review | Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne

Title: Pride and Protest
Author: Nikki Payne
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance / Retelling
Publication Date: November 15th, 2022
Publisher: Berkley Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

“Liza B.–the only DJ who gives a jam–wants to take her neighborhood back from the soulless property developer dropping unaffordable condos on every street corner in DC. But her planned protest at a corporate event takes a turn after she mistakes the smoldering-hot CEO for the waitstaff. When they go toe-to-toe, the sparks fly–but her impossible-to-ignore family thwarts her every move. Liza wants Dorsey Fitzgerald out of her hood, but she’ll settle for getting him out of her head.
At first, Dorsey writes off Liza Bennett as more interested in performing outrage than acting on it. As the adopted Filipino son of a wealthy white family, he’s always felt a bit out of place and knows a fraud when he sees one. But when Liza’s protest results in a viral meme, their lives are turned upside down, and Dorsey comes to realize this irresistible revolutionary is the most real woman he’s ever met.” (Goodreads)

I wanted to pick this one up after seeing Julie @ One Book More review it on her blog. I’ve enjoyed some other Pride & Prejudice retellingso this one sounded perfect!

The book is told from two point-of-views and they come from Liza Bennett and Dorsey Fitzgerald. They come from different backgrounds and how they have grown up definitely plays into their view point of the world. I liked how open they both were to getting to know one another after a spark between them was felt. They were very cute together and I liked when they interacted. Passionate it definitely a word that would describe both of them!

I would say that all of the characters were well done. I was always curious to see how their plot line would turn out in comparison to the original work. Their personalities matched up well but it was also a refreshing take.

A lot of important topics are discussed in the book and it’s easy to see where the inspiration comes from. I liked seeing it relate to our own world and thought it was a good modern retelling. Sometimes retellings can be hard to do, especially when someone has read the original work. Even though I had ideas on how things could go I was still excited to continue on and wanted to listen to it every chance I got.

This is just my personal taste but the internal spicy dialogue was a bit too much. I know others will enjoy this and so it’s not really a complaint but you know what I mean! I also thought that the timeline was a bit confusing when time was mentioned but it didn’t really impact the story.

Overall, this was a good retelling and I thought the narrators did a great job!

WWW Wednesday | 1-25-23

Hello, My Lovely Bookworms!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and is now hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

It consists of answering these three questions:

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

My audiobook is Do I Know You? by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka. It’s a very interesting premise and I don’t know how I will feel about it so we shall see haha.

I started The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway by Ashley Schumacher. It’s her third book and I am excited. I am hoping I will love it as much as her other books.

I’m also continuing on with The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and am on the third book called The Dragon Reborn.

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty (arc) ⭐⭐⭐✨
Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews (arc/🎧) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I will be listening to This Is Not a Personal Statement by Tracy Badua.

My next couple reads will be Salvation (Sanctuary #3) by Caryn Lix and The London Séance Society by Sarah Penner (arc).

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT READ? ARE YOU LOVING IT? HAVE YOU READ OR WANT TO READ ANY THAT I HAVE LISTED? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!

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Top Ten Tuesday | New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022

Hello Bookworms!

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.

Today’s prompt is New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022! I read 180 new authors in 2022 so it will be hard to narrow it down!

1.) Tamara Berry (Buried In A Good Book)
2.) Susan Lee (Seoulmates)
3.) Vanessa Len (Only a Monster)
4.) Chelsea Abdullah (The Stardust Thief)


5.) Ebony LaDelle (Love Radio)
6.) Lane Clarke (Love Times Infinity)
7.) Sophie Irwin (A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting)
8.) Rachel Gillig (One Dark Window)

9.) Kim Michele Richardson (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek)
10.) Jamie Wesley (Fake It Till You Bake It)
11.) Matthew J. Kirby (Icefall)
12.) Shauna Robinson (The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks)

13.) Jane Kuo (In the Beautiful Country)
14.) Phong Nguyen (Bronze Drum)
15.) Amy Harmon (The First Girl Child)
16.) Jenny Hickman (Married by Fate)

Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments below!

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