Arc Review: A Cat Cafe Christmas by Codi Gary

Title: A Cat Cafe Christmas
Author: Codi Gary
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Publication Date: October 4th, 2022
Publisher: Forever
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

“Veterinarian and animal lover Kara Ingalls needs a Christmas miracle. Opening the Meow and Furrever Cat Café to find loving homes for adorable, adoptable cats was a dream come true—but with more cats than customers, it’s quickly turning into a nightmare. If Kara can’t figure out some way to get the café out of the red, it won’t last past the holidays.
Marketing guru Ben Reese may be annoyingly smart and frustratingly bossy, but when he hatches a plan to put the café in the “green” by Christmas, Kara realizes that she’d be a fool to turn down his help. And so what if he turns out to be an excellent problem solver and nerdy-hot—he can’t even handle fostering one little kitten. She needs to keep their relationship professional and focus on saving the cafe.
But if Ben and Kara can set aside their differences—and find homes for all the cats by Christmas—they might discover that, by risking their hearts, they’ll have their own purr-fect holiday . . . together.” (Goodreads)

I’ve already finished a few Christmas reads this year and so far this is my favorite!

The book is told from multiple point-of-views and they come from Kara and Ben. It is is told in third person narrative and I liked how it was written. Both Kara and Ben have some baggage that they are still sorting through when fate has them bump into one another. Their first meeting is far from a meet-cute but it was definitely funny and it means that the romance follows the slow-burn trope which I enjoy.

They both have a great friendship with two of the side characters and I liked having those friendships be a big part of the book. Sometimes they tend to be short with little development.

I really liked how the author incorporated all of the adoptable cats in the book by having their bios begin each chapter. It was a fun way to include different parts of the story. I am also a big cat fan so it’s just a really big plus for me, lol. I’ve also always wanted to go to a cat café and so I liked the setting.

The plot is filled with romance, friendships, the negatives and postives of social media, as well as other sorts of topics. Even though there was a lot going on, I didn’t feel like any of them were lacking.

Overall, this was a fun read! I liked the characters and learning about their struggles while finding a way to swim through the mess and find love.

Book Blog Tour: Sisterhood of Sleuths by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (Promo) | 9-30-22

Title: Sisterhood of Sleuths
Author: Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Genre: Middle Grade / Mystery
Publication Date: October 4th, 2022
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books

—->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!

Maizy always assumed she knew everything about her grandmother, Jacuzzi.  So when a box full of vintage Nancy Drew books gets left at her mom’s thrift store, Maizy is surprised to find an old photo of her grandmother and two other women tucked beneath the collection. Stranger still, when Maizy shows the photo to Jacuzzi she feigns ignorance, insisting the woman is someone else. Determined to learn the truth — and inspired by the legacy of Nancy Drew — Maizy launches her own investigation with the help of new friends, Nell and Cam. What they discover not only points to the origins of the iconic series, but uncovers a truth from the past that will lead to self-discovery in the present, connecting three generations of women. 

This intergenerational mystery filled with literary history, friendship, and family secrets delivers a captivating tribute to the world’s most famous girl detective.

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

Jennifer Chambliss Bertman is the New York Times bestselling author of the Book Scavenger series and Sisterhood of Sleuths, forthcoming in Fall 2022. Book Scavenger was an Indie Next Top Ten pick, an Amazon Book of the Year, a Bank Street College Book of the Year, an NCTE Notable Book, and has been nominated for over twenty state award and honor lists, among other accolades. The series is being translated into more than a dozen languages. Jennifer’s debut picture book, A Good Deed Can Grow, illustrated by Holly Hatam, will be published in 2023. She holds an MFA in creative writing and has worked in a variety of roles with children and in publishing. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Jennifer now lives in Colorado with her family.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

This book sounds great and I can’t wait to get to it! I love mysteries, especially at the middle grade level.

What Do you think about this one?

Audiobook Review: The Maze Cutter by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Cutter
Author: James Dashner
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication Date: October 4th, 2022
Publisher: Akashic Media Enterprises
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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

“Seventy-three years after the events of The Death Cure, when Thomas and other immunes were sent to an island to survive the Flare-triggered apocalypse, their descendants have thrived. Sadina, Isaac, and Jackie all learned about the unkind history of the Gladers from The Book of Newt and tall tales from Old Man Frypan, but when a rusty old boat shows up one day with a woman bearing dark news of the mainland–everything changes. The group and their islander friends are forced to embark back to civilization where they find Cranks have evolved into a more violent, intelligent version of themselves. The islanders are hunted by the Godhead, the Remnant Nation, and scientists with secret agendas. When they cross paths with an orphan named Minho from the Remnant Nation, the dangers become real and they don’t know who they can trust. The islanders will have to survive long enough to figure out why they are being targeted, who is friend or foe, and what the Godhead has planned for the future of humanity.” (Goodreads)

I didn’t even know there was going to be a whole different series set in the same world but in the future. I remember really enjoying the original and so when I saw this on Netgalley I figured why not!

The book is told from multiple point-of-views. I wouldn’t say that one was more thrilling to read about than the others. At times the point-of-views were kind of bland and it felt like I didn’t get to know the characters that well. I would say that the book is more plot driven than character. I like a bit of both or more character driven.

It was interesting to be back in this world. It felt a bit different but also the same in some ways. The world building was fine but I do feel like I was missing something when it came to the cult and everyone’s plans. I don’t think it was entirely explained well but I am assuming there will be more answers as the series continue. The pacing could definitely be slow at times.

I did like the narration for this book and thought it was well done.

Overall, it was good. I wouldn’t say it was as good as the original but it wasn’t bad.

Book Review: Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall

Title: Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist
Author: Codi Hall
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: October 5th, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablance
Rating: ⭐⭐

“Nick Winter is just out of the military, and his Christmas homecoming is not going as planned. What was supposed to be a memorable holiday with his long-time girlfriend goes sour when he learns she cheated on him while he was stationed overseas. At least Nick can rely on his usual shift at the family Christmas tree farm with his best friend, Noel Carter, and her endless supply of Christmas tunes to lift his spirits. A night of fun together is just what he needs to forget about his ex.

But then they kiss. And it feels…so right.

If Noel can turn Nick’s Blue Christmas merry and bright, this might be the last Christmas Nick spends with a broken heart. This year, they’ll be Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree as a couple―as long as Nick’s ex doesn’t go standing under any mistletoe.” (Goodreads)

I wanted to give this one a try as I had seen it last year but never got around to it. It doesn’t matter if it is Christmas or not, I’ll still read it anytime of the year lol.

Personally, this one just wasn’t for me. I am not a fan of friends-to-lovers but do try to give it a try when the book is appealing. It has worked a few times for me but I just couldn’t get behind Nick and Noel. It felt like they had already made their minds up from the beginning but just had all of this extra baggage that kept following behind them, especially Nick’s ex. She was something else.

The Christmas aspect of the book was very minimal. I would have liked to see more.

I also wasn’t a fan of the writing style and this is more of a me thing than an issue with the book. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it just doesn’t and that is okay!

Overall, it was okay.

WWW Wednesday | 9-28-22

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 The Maze Cutter by James Dashner. I saw it on Netgalley and was approved for it right away. Call me curious after I enjoyed the original series when I had first read it! I’m already 35% through. It’s been fine but hasn’t grabbed me yet.

My current ebooks are The Serpent and the Wing of Nights by Carissa Broadbent and A Cat Cafe Christmas. I am only 10% into the first and haven’t started the other yet so I can’t say anything about either, haha.

  • Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau (🎧) ⭐⭐⭐
  • House of Beating Wings by Olivia Wildenstein (arc) ⭐⭐⭐
  • The Fiction Between Us by Julie Olivia ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto (arc) ⭐⭐⭐

My next audiobook has not been picked yet, haha. I have nothing from the library at the moment so we will see!

I will also be reading After Dark with Roxie Clark by Brooke Lauren Davis and The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park.

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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Arc Review: House of Beating Wings by Olivia Wildenstein

Title: House of Beating Wings
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Genre: New Adult Fantasy / Romance
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Publisher: Indie Published
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the author for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

Free the crows, Fallon, and they will make you queen.
Until an oracle predicted my regal future, I’d never imagined myself rising above the curve of my round ears. After all, I was the magicless halfling loved by beasts but loathed by every pure-blooded faerie at court. Well . . . by all but one.
Dante Regio, prince of Luce, had owned my heart since he gave me my first kiss. If gathering a slew of iron relics could help me overthrow the current monarch and crown his brother to rule at my side, then treasure hunting I’d go.
If only the oracle had warned me what winged demon I was releasing into the world.
And that I’d become this demon’s obsession.” (Goodreads)

I have read this author before and wanted to give another of her series a chance. I thought this one would be for me but unfortunately I I kept falling out of interest with it.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Fallon. She isn’t well liked amongst those who are higher in society than her. I wouldn’t say that her family life is decent either. Fallon has a lot going on! I don’t think that she was a bad character. I didn’t mind her, but she was a bit wishy washy when it came to the two men who are vying for her affection.

I wouldn’t say that I liked either men. They both had their flaws and they were kind of too much for me. One felt possessive and the other was decent until she asked him something and he went weird lol. It just wasn’t my cup of tea but I know others may like them.

The world was a bit confusing because there are so many terms to learn that are put in the beginning of the book but it is a lot! I couldn’t remember them all. I did like learning about the creatures in this world and the plot was enjoyable for the most part.

Overall, this was good but also just not for me.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Nice Typography | 9-27-22

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 Typographic Book Covers and it says to do covers with mostly words. I wouldn’t be able to name one. So, the other option was to do Books With Nice Typography so that is what we are doing!

What’s Your favorite style of typography i have shown?

Apparently I have a specific typography because some look same, haha.

Let me know in the comments below!

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Audiobook Review: The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time #2) by Robert Jordan

Title: The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time #2)
Author: Robert Jordan
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: November 15th, 1990
Publisher: Tor Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

“The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

For centuries, gleemen have told the tales of The Great Hunt of the Horn. So many tales about each of th Hunters, and so many Hunters to tell of…Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages. And it is stolen.” (Goodreads)

I knew I needed to get back into this series after seeing a lot of others getting back into it or doing a reread. I usually just keep putting it off because they are so long! This time I decided to go with an audiobook instead and it didn’t disappoint. The narration was well done.

The book is told from multiple point-of-views. It was nice to have since the characters aren’t always in the same place and they are dealing with different situations but all under the same plot. There are still characters that I like more than others but that is usually expected. Some new characters were introduced and some didn’t live long, haha. It was hard to feel bad for them since I hadn’t known them for too long.

Since this is a rather long book, there are some duller moments. I do think that the audiobook helped me to stay on track since I could say, “Hey, I am going to listen to 8% today.”, but usually listened to 10% or so. I think I am going to stick to the audiobooks

Overall, it was good but I do think I liked the first more. There seemed to be a lot more going on, but there was some thrilling moments in this one. I could definitely see where some inspiration from Tolkien was taken as well. I will still continue on with this series but not sure when I will start the next book.

Arc Review: One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig

Title: One Dark Window
Author: Rachel Gillig
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Publisher: Orbit Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom of Blunder—she needs a monster. She calls him the Nightmare, an ancient, mercurial spirit trapped in her head. He protects her. He keeps her secrets.
But nothing comes for free, especially magic.
When Elspeth meets a mysterious highwayman on the forest road, her life takes a drastic turn. Thrust into a world of shadow and deception, she joins a dangerous quest to cure Blunder from the dark magic infecting it. And the highwayman? He just so happens to be the King’s nephew, Captain of the most dangerous men in Blunder…and guilty of high treason.
Together they must gather twelve Providence Cards—the keys to the cure. But as the stakes heighten and their undeniable attraction intensifies, Elspeth is forced to face her darkest secret yet: the Nightmare is slowly taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop him.” (Goodreads)

What a wild book this was!

This book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Elspeth but there are flashbacks here and there to explain more about the shepherd king and rhymes that correlate with the magic system which is done by providence cards. Basically, they are like tarot cards. I loved all of the tales surrounding the cards as they were fun to read and gave me a bit more on what to expect from them. Elspeth has grown up with keeping a lot of secrets for her own safety as well as those she is close with, like her family. It must have been tough because the ruling king seems kind of ruthless and as you get to know one of the princes you realize he is to.

Elspeth is strong-willed and wants to do what is right, but she can also be impulsive which can cause a lot of chaos. I would say that in ways she can be morally grey and the thing living inside her head definitely is. The nightmare is something else and I loved the conversations they had!

The other characters in the book were just as interesting, even if some had smaller parts. I never once thought, “ugh, it’s this person again”. Even though the ruthless prince has personality, not always in a good way but he sure knows how to liven up a party! A lot of the characters have the same goal in common but it’s getting there that is different.

My least favorite part was the romance. It’s not bad per say and I did enjoy it a lot, but the build-up kind of sped up and then they were definitely in love. I do like the guy that Elspeth is interested in and their banter was cute so I’m not really going to complain that much, haha.

There were so many plot twists when it came to the plot and I was hear for every single one! They had my jaw dropping and the author killed me with that ending. I knew something was going to happen but let me down easy. It came full force!

I loved the magic system and thought that it was very unique. Nothing I have ever read before and I think it was done well. I understood it from the beginning and that’s something that doesn’t always happen when reading fantasy.

Overall, this was a fantastic book and I can’t wait for the sequel!

Goodreads Monday: The Sweetest Betrayal (The Kinder Poison #3) by Natalie Mae | 9-26-22

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: The Sweetest Betrayal (The Kinder Poison #3)
Author: Natalie Mae
Genre: YA Fantasy / Romance
Publication Date: February 14th, 2023
Publisher: Indie

In this heart-pounding conclusion to The Kinder Poison trilogy—which People magazine proclaimed a “delicious high-stakes adventure”—war looms over Orkena, but can Zahru save her people without losing herself?

War has come to Orkena.
Zahru has risen as Mestrah, and she is determined to peacefully end the escalating tensions with Wyrim, her country’s long-time enemy. Yet diplomacy proves to be futile, and when Zahru turns to Orkena’s allies for help, she finds that none are willing to come to her aid—not without Kasta ruling at her side.
As Wyrim advances on the capital, Zahru is desperate to protect her people, even if that means accepting Kasta’s help. But her enemy is merciless. And as ambushes and betrayals push Zahru to increasingly dark tactics, she wonders if perhaps Kasta had it right all along: maybe peace was never an option … and maybe she was never meant to do this alone.
Can Zahru spare her enemy without sacrificing her kingdom? Or will Orkena’s salvation only come if Zahru becomes the monster her people need?” (Goodreads)

(Head here for a sneak peek of chapter 1 and a Q&A!)

DOES THIS ONE SOUND LIKE SOMETHING YOU WOULD READ?

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