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

“The Dating Charade” by Melissa Ferguson ~ Book Review

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The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson

Contemporary romance

Review copy from the publishers

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the book:

Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.
Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.
But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.
No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?
Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

 

The Dating Charade

My Thoughts:

Wow! This book will surely make it on my favorites of 2019 list! What a story. I was absolutely captivated through every page, and didn’t want to put it down – in fact, I rarely did put it down, devouring almost all of it within the day. It was so good!Melissa Ferguson knows how to write an exceedingly enjoyable novel that remains packed full of heart and love. Truly, this book floored me. I was expecting a nice, fun read, but this far exceeded that expectation. The characters were amazing, the relationships fantastic, the tales humorous, and the plot so heartfelt and superb. The realities of the topic dealt with (fostering, child abuse, etc.) definitely pull on the heart strings – the author did a great job of writing it truthfully and with grace.I have nothing but good to say for this book and definitely want to re-read it. Adding Melissa Ferguson to my favorite authors list now!

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“The Theory of Happily Ever After” by Kristin Billerbeck ~ Review

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“The Theory of Happily Ever After” by Kristin Billerbeck

Review copy from publishers// I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious science, as serious as Maggie takes herself. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies–for instance, why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge.

Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart.

Filled with memorable characters, snappy dialogue, and touching romance, Kristin Billerbeck’s The Theory of Happily Ever After shows that the search for happiness may be futile–because sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.

 

My Thoughts:

 

I love the simplicity and coloring of the cover! It’s cute, and gives you a glimpse at the story’s theme too. 
And the story was a fun one. It was a perfect light read that I needed – and humorous! I laughed out loud a couple of times. :D 
Dr. Maggie Maguire is a happiness-doctor, studying and sharing the science of happiness. But to tell you the truth, she is pretty miserable. Disaster seems to surround her at every turn and the reader definitely does feel sorry for her. And yet there were definitely times where I wanted to yell at her and tell her what to do! But there were also reasons behind what she did, which made her actions – good and bad – more understandable. Even if they were sometimes frustrating. ;)
I felt for her in her quest for a Happily Ever After. Most girls do dream of a fairy-tale romance. Also relatable: her watching so many romances and eating gelato. XD
Her friends meant the best for her in their actions. I liked Kathleen and her way of speaking it like it was. I liked Haley at first. *SPOILER* but as the story went on, oh how I wanted to slap her around a bit. I’m sorry, but I did. She was a tantruming child who didn’t get her way, and she was accusing Maggie of being a bad friend when really, she was being the bad friend. Yeah, she bugged me to say the least. ^.^ *END OF SPOILER*
I liked Sam. I liked how he was drawn to Maggie at once, even if he could be rude. He was still quite hero-ish through the whole thing.
Though I know it’s considered normal in the “real world”, to me it was odd how there were many intimate moments yet so much confusion and running apart/away afterwards…and I felt bad for Maggie and her view, I guess you would call it, on kissing. That someone needs to be kissed first to know someone’s true commitment. And again, I know that is kind of normal – supposedly kisses mean nothing, but in my opinion, they are significant and shouldn’t be thrown around willy-nilly.
That is not to say this was not a clean book though – the kisses were not ridiculous or super detailed at all, and didn’t make me feel uncomfortable, which I appreciated.
Another thing I appreciated in this book was how she came to the realization that she couldn’t be everything to everyone. Amen. It’s so easy to slip into the people-pleasing role that we lose sight of what really matters. That being said, there could have been more focus on us needing to please God first and foremost. There were mentions of God sprinkled throughout the book, and Bible verses mentioned, however, I wouldn’t really say it was a deeply Christian book. It was Christian in its essence, but not really in its portrayal. The characters did not bear the fruits of being a Christian, and while no one is perfect (obviously!), there wasn’t even much shown for trying. I guess, to me, the whole idea of happiness being a science we can achieve is a bit…dare I say, silly. Because true happiness – true joy – comes from Jesus Christ. Every other way of happiness is fleeting and not as fulfilling.
For it being a ‘light read’ I do realize I analyzed it a bit – definitely something Maggie and I have in common! ;)
I would like to restate that I did definitely enjoy this book. It was a fun read, and I would even read it again. I just can’t shut my brain off totally when it comes to reviewing. :D
Quotes:
“That’s why, Dr. Maguire, you need to count your blessings. Sometimes, getting your heart broken is the best thing that can happen to you.”
“That’s the thing about resilience. You have to know pain to feel the incredible high of coming back from the darkness.”