Posted in Book reviews, Reviews

“Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” by Bethany Turner ~ Review (and MBTI mention!)

 

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@vikinglady10

 

 

Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner

RomCom: Releases Tuesday, May 5th (TODAY!!!)

Review copy from the publisher/author as apart of Launch Team

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanaugh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel’s other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.
When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum, he’s sent packing to get his life in order. When he returns, career in shambles, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public’s good graces is to work alongside Hadley.

As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along, but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love. In the meantime, hide the knives.
Fan-favorite Bethany Turner serves up a heaping helping of humor and romance with this thoroughly modern story centered on cooking, enemies, and second chances.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 
I don’t cook or bake. At least, I don’t particularly enjoy it. So one might ask, why are you reading a very Foodie Novel? And the answer to that, besides the fact that the story itself sounds amazing obviously, is because Bethany Turner wrote it. As soon as I read her debut novel, The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, I was hooked on this author’s writing style. It is so unique, and fun, and witty. So of course I could not miss out on another book by her!
And of course, I utterly enjoyed this one too. Surprise! ;) The story plot was really good, and the characters fabulous. The dynamics were a joy to see played out, and seeing Max transform was especially nice. Hadley was a sweetheart of a character, and I could relate to her on many levels (except the cooking/baking… haha). Max was detestable at first, and I really wondered how we would grow to love him. But we did, we really did.
I will say that I wish there was a bit more emphasis on faith. It was very subtly present, and I still feel that the author was respectful of that, but I think Max’s transformation could have had a lot more ‘oomph’ had the emphasis been more on God’s tranformation in us.
Still, I vastly enjoyed this book, and I’m sad to see it’s over. That just means I have to wait AGAIN for another Bethany Turner book…and that is quite difficult.  I guess I will just have to appease myself with rereads of the authors three published novels so far. ;)
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I don’t actually know if I’ve mentioned here on my blog yet, but I’ve been studying personality types for a while now, and am in the middle of a series on my Instagram where I type characters from books and movies every Monday (God-willing, of course!). It’s been a lot of fun, and yesterday I typed Hadley and Max from this wonderful book! You can check that out on my Instagram – my username is @vikinglady10 . :)

 

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads, Reviews

“Wooing Cadie McCaffrey” by Bethany Turner – Review!

I am so embarressed by how late this post is. Among all the shuffle and trials life has been throwing at my family and I lately, I somehow missed posting this even though I wrote the review immediately after finishing this amazing book. So I am very sorry, Bethany, for my delay! But at long last, here is my review…

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“Wooing Cadie McCaffrey” by Bethany Turner

Christian Rom-Com

Review copy through the author/publisher as apart of the launch team

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn’t love her in the “forever” way she loves him, Cadie believes it’s time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.

But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It’s a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Bethany Turner is back with more of the heart and humor readers love. Anyone who enjoys a good romance or binges romantic comedies on Netflix will devour this delightful story.

My Thoughts:

Is it really over? Bethany Turner sure knows how to write a spectacular romance book that gives you all the happy-tingly feels! Seriously, that ending…I just want to spend a bunch of time awwwwing at it all.
The story is adorable. Really truly it is. But it’s not just adorable. It’s full of real-life struggles, and real-life mistakes and how said mistakes affect life, and yet bring us closer to God through His forgiveness. That message was very sweetly and aptly portrayed in “Wooing Cadie McCaffrey”.
The characters, Cadie, and Will, and Darby, and Kevin, and Ellis (do you want me to go on?), were all so much more than just characters. I loved them all so very much. Will Whitaker is absolutely amazing, and I while I know where Cadie was coming from, I also don’t know how she could even possibly entertain thoughts of resisting him after all he did to show he cared. Okay, as I said, I do understand where she was coming from. Totally. Their misunderstanding was real. But Will is such a sweetheart, and I certainly wouldn’t turn him away if he showed up at my door reenacting favorite rom-com movies. XD Adorable.
There is sex mentioned frequently in this book. And while in some cases that might have been a “turn off” for me, this wasn’t. It certainly wasn’t glorified, nor was it explicitly shown or talked about – it was real life. And I must say, I am incredibly impressed how the author handled it all – with such grace and tact, and real-ness. Nothing about this book felt ‘dirty’ or ‘inappropriate’ in any way to me. I know every reader is different though, which is why I thought I should mention that this book does involve that subject. But trust me when I say, it is all handled extremely well. And really, I don’t think this story could have been what it is without that element, because it shaped the situation. While what happened may not be my ‘normal’, I know it is normal, and seeing how it affected the various characters was realistic, and again, handled so well.
I loved all the movie references, even if I haven’t seen a couple of the ones mentioned. Just knowing what they were was an extreme delight, and it was just such a fun element!
Also, I simply cannot leave this review off without touching on the cover…Oh.My.Goodness.!! It is adorable!! So, so beautiful, and meaningful, and stunning. Definitely a favorite. <3
I love this author’s writing style. So very much. Waiting for her next novel is going to be hard!
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“I’m just saying I’m doing this because I love her, and I happen to think you’re what’s best for her. And clearly you can’t handle it on your own.” -Darby to Will
“I researched. Believe me. You haven’t known a wild Friday night unless you’ve been at Kevin Lamont’s house watching 27 Dresses, and Odell Beckham and Alex Rodrigues show up, because Kev forgot to let them know a cocktail party had been rescheduled.” 
Darby gasped, but it quickly turned into a laugh. “That didn’t happen!”
“Oh, I assure you, it did. But it worked out okay. With Alex there, we breezed through Maid in Manhattan and The Wedding Planner too.” 
Posted in Books, Open Catagory Monday, Questions/answers

The Literary Dinner Party Tag :)

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Hello and Happy Monday! For today’s “open-catagory” post, I am going to do…
The Literary Dinner Party Tag!
In a round-about-way, I was tagged by Faith of Stories by Firefly ~ see, she tagged anyone who was wearing socks while reading her post, and I was, so here I am :D It looks like a fun tag, and I’m looking forward to sharing the characters I chose for the answers!

1// A Character who can/likes to cook:

I want to say the name of a character in a novel that is not yet published (that’d be because it’s not finished yet…), but I will do my best to name characters in already published works. So… I would say, Rylan of “One Enchanted Eve” by Melissa Tagg – while she primarily ‘bakes’, I think she and Colin could produce a scrumptious feast. :)
One Enchanted Eve (Enchanted Christmas Collection #2)
2// A Character who has the money to fund this party:
King Hezekiah  and Queen Hephzibah of “Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews – they’re King and Queen, so yes, they can afford this. :D
Isaiah's Daughter (Prophets and Kings, #1)
3// A Character that might cause a scene:
Freydis – I can just picture her at a dinner party and it not going so well…!
Forest Child (Vikings of the New World Saga, #2)
4// A Character who is amusing:
Sarah Hollenbeck – not sure if she’ll mean to be amusing, but it will be hysterical nonetheless!
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck
5// A Character who is super popular
Lukas De Wilde  – yep.
A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England, #2)
6// One Villain:
Alex Martin – okay, he’s not really a villain at all. And he has his good qualities. Buuuut, well, yeah. Just gonna leave it at that. ^.^
Pit of Ambition, Book II in The Caselli Family Series
7// One couple – doesn’t have to be romantic:
I could come up with a thousand…but I will go with: Violet Hawthorne and Vance Everstone. <3
The Cautious Maiden (The Everstone Chronicles, #4)
8// One hero:
Walter <3
A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1)
9// One underappreciated character:
Chiara – I adore her, and her tenacity for life!
   Destiny Defied (The Destiny Series #1)  Destiny Delivered (The Destiny Series #2)  Destiny Defended: Rakshasa's Curse (The Destiny Series #3)
10// One character of your own choosing:
Again, I could choose a ton, but I’m going to go with Josey. :) Love her!
Everything's Coming Up Josey (Josey, #1)
And that brings us to the end of this tag!! I tag anyone who loves books and wants to do this ;)
Are you familiar with any of the characters I named?
Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads, Reviews

Book Review: “The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck” by Bethany Turner

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“The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck” by Bethany Turner

Releases October 3rd, 2017 (today!!)

Review copy from the author/publishers; launch team copy.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life

 

My Thoughts:

 

This book was adorable. The writing style was truly so great, and I was just drawn right in by the first chapter. It was so…readable. :) The style felt so unique and yet still so familiar to my own. And the story – oh my goodness, I had so many giggles throughout it. This was a book where I literally laughed out loud. Which then caused my family to question my sanity a tiny bit, but more so they wanted to know what I was laughing at. So yes, I had to read some parts out loud, and they giggled right alongside me! Sarah was hysterical in so many ways. From her crazy “What if??” scenarios, to her panicked reaction to things. And very relatable in those instances. Her character really was a gem to read.
Piper! Oh Piper, I loved her so much. Will she get her own story, Bethany? Please? She was like *the best* friend. So grounded, so joyful, and so loyal. Yep, loved her.
Ben. Um, yeah he was kinda perfect. Not like unrealistically perfect. But Bible-Nerd cute perfect. You can see why she fell for him right away.
The characters were all so well-written, and like-able (except Patrick…and one or two others that are supposed to be unlikeable. :D). This book was just a lot of fun to read.
So, the only “downside” to this book for me, what made this a 4.5 instead of 5 for me was Sarah’s obsession with sex. Yes, I expected a bit of that, seeing the plot of the story. And for the most part, it was handled really well and tastefully (going from a “steamy romance” novelist to a Christian…tricky transition that would be! But like I said, it was handled well!). And there wasn’t the “shame” that often comes when Christians have to deal with anything sex-related. However, that seemed to be Sarah’s driving point – when could she be together sexually with Ben? It couldn’t be soon enough for her, and sometimes that seemed like the only reason she wanted to be with him. No, I know that’s not true – she was in love with him for more reasons than that, but that was definitely a focal point that got stronger towards the end. There was nothing really inappropriate, but it was…edgy? That’s why I would recommend only for mature readers, because well, there’s a fair amount of sex talk. And for me personally, I don’t think it was all totally necessary. No, sex is not a shameful thing, and like I said, I was impressed that the author didn’t make it so, but I also don’t think it needs to be the focal point of a book, if that makes sense. And I know everyone’s preference on this one is different. I’m just stating this for others who feel as I do. :)
But that aside, it was a really adorable book, and I dearly loved it, enjoying it so very much. Author Bethany Turner writes with such wit, you can’t help but smile and laugh along, and it still deals with tougher aspects of life.
Oh, and the cover…!!! I can’t end my review without saying something about that. The cover for “The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck” is superb. Spot on. Brilliant. Amazing. Basically, I’m in love with it. As soon as I received my copy, held it in my hands, I was practically drooling over it. So beautiful! <3

 

(I created the first two – flower pot, and pink background – and the other graphic is from the author herself. :))