Monday, February 28, 2022

Review: A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

Review: A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

Myra Whitlock has a gift. One many would kill for.

She’s an artist whose portraits alter people’s real-life bodies, a talent she must hide from those who would kidnap, blackmail, and worse in order to control it. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone.

But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor's dead son. Desperate, Myra ventures to his legendary stone mansion.

Once she arrives, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. Someone dangerous lurks within these glittering halls. Someone harboring a disturbing obsession with portrait magic.

Myra cannot do the painting until she knows what really happened, so she turns to the governor’s older son, a captivating redheaded poet. Together, they delve into the family’s most shadowed affairs, racing to uncover the truth before the secret Myra spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.

From Sing Me Forgotten author Jessica S. Olson comes a gothic fantasy murder mystery perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Erin A. Craig.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: I loved how the plot of this was both a fantasy, a romance, and a mystery I managed to guess a couple plot twists, but there were others that completely took me by surprise, which was fantastic! (The whole book was awesome, but the last third was so good!!) I personally think this book can stand alone, BUT after that ending, I would absolutely love another book!

Characters: Myra was a great main character, and her love for her family was so nice. I thought the relationship between Myra and August was adorable!

The Cover: I like it!

Overall: Oh my goodness, I loved this book!! This was the first fantasy I’ve read in awhile, and it’s reminded me why I love the genre so much. I highly recommend reading it when it releases next year!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Blog Tour: Spotlight On Furia!

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

An #ownvoices contemporary YA set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line—even her blooming love story—to follow her dreams.

In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.

At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.

On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.

But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.


“This book will set your dreams on fire… It’s fabulous.” 

Reese Witherspoon

Furia will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to follow their own dreams amid parental expectations and societal pressures”


“Saied Méndez captures both the breathless beauty of fútbol and the depth of its political power… A thoughtful, vibrant addition… [with] incorrigible passion.”

Chicago Review of Books

“An engrossing #OwnVoices novel.”


Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Méndez is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx middle grade and young adult authors. Furia is her first novel for young adult readers.

Furia is out in paperback now from Algonquin!

Blog Blitz Review: A Perfect Equation (The Secret Scientists of London #2)!

How do you solve the Perfect Equation? Add one sharp-tongued mathematician to an aloof, handsome nobleman. Divide by conflicting loyalties and multiply by a daring group of women hell-bent on conducting their scientific experiments. The solution is a romance that will break every rule.

Six years ago, Miss Letitia Fenley made a mistake, and she’s lived with the consequences ever since. Readying herself to compete for the prestigious Rosewood Prize for Mathematics, she is suddenly asked to take on another responsibility—managing Athena’s Retreat, a secret haven for England’s women scientists. Having spent the last six years on her own, Letty doesn’t want the offers of friendship from other club members and certainly doesn’t need any help from the insufferably attractive Lord Greycliff.

Lord William Hughes, the Viscount Greycliff cannot afford to make any mistakes. His lifelong dream of becoming the director of a powerful clandestine agency is within his grasp. Tasked with helping Letty safeguard Athena’s Retreat, Grey is positive that he can control the antics of the various scientists as well as manage the tiny mathematician—despite their historic animosity and simmering tension.

As Grey and Letty are forced to work together, their mutual dislike turns to admiration and eventually to something... magnetic. When faced with the possibility that Athena’s Retreat will close forever, they must make a choice. Will Grey turn down a chance to change history, or can Letty get to the root of the problem and prove that love is the ultimate answer?

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: While reading the first book in the series, I grew to love all the characters that made Athena's Retreat their home. The possibility that it would be forced to close made for a interesting plot!

Characters: The characters are what makes these books for me! As I mentioned previously, I love all the characters who make the retreat their home, from the scientists, to the staff, and the family, they are all fantastic, vibrant, and I want only good things for them. We got to meet Letty and Grey in the first book, but reading from their POV made me love them even more! (And now that we know who the next book is about, I can't wait to read it even more now!)

The Cover: I like it, it's cute!

Overall: This has become one of my favorite series, and I know I will continue to read anything Elizabeth Everett writes! Overall, this is a series I highly recommend reading

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Mini Review: Ten Rules for Marrying a Duke!

Bookish Arabella Bromley never gave a fig for society’s rules—until her sister ran off with a man below her station. Now Arabella is desperate to restore her family’s ruined reputation to favor amongst the ton. She’ll have to marry quickly and well. But in order to carry off her plan, Arabella needs a duke… and she has just the rakish fellow in mind.

The Duke of Whittsley has an ungentlemanly tendency to disregard the rules. Unfortunately, a sense of mischief doesn’t excuse a high-ranking noble from family duty—especially where it concerns producing a son. And that’s where he can’t quite resist Arabella’s distinctly outrageous plan: if he saves her family, she’ll give him an heir.

Now the deal’s been struck. They have one year to achieve their goals and ten iron-clad rules to keep them on track. Like long, scorching kisses and ensuring they’re both exquisitely satisfied. And the only thing that could ruin their plan is the one thing they never planned on: love.
-summary and cover via Goodreads

Mini Review: This was a fun Historical Romance, with Arabella and Sylas being wonderful lead characters! I liked how big a role their families played in the story. Overall, I would definitely recommend trying this book!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Review: All the Right Reasons!

Review: All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle!

The Bachelor meets Gilmore Girls in this laugh-out-loud young adult romance about a girl who joins her mother on a reality dating show for single parents—only to fall for a contestant’s son.

Cara Hawn’s life fell apart after her father cheated on her mother and got remarried to a woman Cara can’t stand. When Cara accidentally posts a rant about her father online, it goes viral—and catches the attention of the TV producers behind a new reality dating show for single parent families.

The next thing Cara and her mother know, they’ve been cast as leads on the show and are whisked away to sunny Key West where they’re asked to narrow a field of suitors and their kids down to one winning pair. All of this is outside of Cara’s comfort zone, from the meddling producers to the camera-hungry contestants, especially as Cara and her mother begin to clash on which suitors are worth keeping around. And then comes Connor.

As the son of a contestant, Connor is decidedly off-limits. Except that he doesn’t fit in with the cutthroat atmosphere in all the same ways as Cara, and she can’t get him out of her head. Now Cara must juggle her growing feelings while dodging the cameras and helping her mom pick a bachelor they both love, or else risk fracturing their family even more for the sake of ratings. Maybe there’s a reason most people don’t date on TV.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: I really liked it! Reading about Cara and her mom on the reality show was fun, and I liked how everything was wrapped up at the end!

Characters: Cara was a good main character, and I liked how her relationship with her mom was a big focus of the book. The other characters were all really different from each other, with some being really likable, and others you absolutely can't stand!

The Cover: It's cute!

Overall: This was a fun YA novel that I enjoyed reading as an adult, and I know it would have been a favorite when I was a teen! Overall, I would definitely recommend it!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Spotlight On Floating on Air!

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to shine a spotlight on Floating On Air by Syrie James, the first in the Struck By Love series! For a Valentine's Day promotion, it's on sale on Amazon for only $.99 starting today through February 14th!

Here's a little about the series!

Syrie James just revised, retitled, and rebranded two of her most popular romance novels as the Struck By Love series: FLOATING ON AIR and TWO WEEK DEAL. The books are set in the awesome 80s and are inspired by the early days of Syrie’s whirlwind romance with her late husband. More on that in Syrie’s new blog “7 Ways My Real-Life Romance Inspired FLOATING ON AIR.

A siren called.

He answered.

A successful radio deejay embarks on a thrilling, long distance love affair with a charismatic entrepreneur, a relationship that plays havoc with her carefully controlled life—and heart.

On a hot summer's day in 1986, Southern California radio deejay Desiree Germain is hosting a contest on the air when she's entranced by the deeply masculine voice of caller number twelve.

Voices never matched faces. Desiree knows that better than anyone. As KICK's hottest radio host, she has a sultry voice that leads people to expect a tall, voluptuous bombshell. Petite in every sense of the word, she hardly lives up to that image.

To Desiree's surprise, caller number twelve turns out to be Kyle Harrison, a handsome, wealthy businessman from Seattle. Kyle has come to claim his prize—and her heart.

They are soon involved in a whirlwind love affair that makes Desiree's heart sing. Is it worth the risk? All the rules say that long-distance romance and radio don't mix.

But a man who is answering a siren's call doesn't care about rules!

A Struck By Love Novel, Book One
Read as a stand-alone or enjoy the series!

Previously published as Songbird.


I hope you enjoy my Struck By Love novels as much as I enjoyed writing them! To keep up with my book news and blog posts, please visit my website, sign up for my newsletter, and follow my blog! I blog about the inspiration for my books, all kinds of historical topics of interest, and I post reviews of my favorite books. For a fun blast from the past, check out my blog 8 Things I Love About the 80s!”


“The queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings.”
—Los Angeles Magazine

Syrie: pronounced like the App, but spelled better.

SYRIE JAMES is the author of thirteen critically acclaimed novels of historical fiction, romance, and young adult fiction that have been international, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers and won numerous awards. Her books are published in more than twenty languages. A research and story structure maven, Syrie is committed to taking her characters on challenging journeys of growth and discovery.

Syrie’s novel The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen sold at auction to HarperCollins in a bidding war between three major publishing houses, became an instant bestseller, and was a Library Journal Editor’s Pick of the Year (starred review). Syrie explores Jane Austen’s real-life romance as a teenager in Jane Austen’s First Love, also a Library Journal Editor’s Pick. The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen (starred review, Kirkus) offers the ultimate Janeite fantasy: the discovery of a long-lost Jane Austen novel.

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë won the Audiobook Audie Award and was named a Women’s National Book Association Great Group Read. Nocturne was an Amazon bestseller, Barnes and Noble’s Romantic Read of the Week, Best Novel of the Year by Suspense Magazine and Romance Reviews, and Bookbub’s Best Snowbound Romance.

Syrie’s contemporary romances Floating on Air and Two Week Deal, which she recently re-branded as the Struck By Love series, are set in the awesome 80s and are dear to her heart, because they’re inspired by her real-life romance with her late husband.

Syrie’s interest in the paranormal inspired her romantic thriller Dracula, My Love and the young adult series Forbidden which she co-wrote with her son Ryan James. Syrie’s love of all things English led to a Victorian historical romance trilogy including the #1 Amazon bestsellers Duke Darcy’s Castle and Runaway Heiress.

A Writer’s Guild of America member, Syrie has sold scripts to film and television and adapted bestselling books to screen. Syrie’s work as a playwright has been produced off-Broadway in New York City as well as in California and Canada. A member of the Historical Novel Society of North America and the Jane Austen Society of North America, Syrie has addressed dozens of organizations, universities, and literary conferences across North America and in England.

Syrie lives in Los Angeles, where she is currently writing her next book.

Here Are A Few Links:

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Ten MG Books with Character Names In the Titles!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl blog

Hi, everyone! The topic for TTT this week is Books with Character Names In the Titles. There a lot of titles that feature a name in the title, and even narrowing it down to just TBR books that have covers I had way more than 10. Which is why I decided to focus just on Middle Grade books for this post!

Ten MG Books with Character Names In the Titles

(Listed in no particular order.)

What books are on your TTT list this week? :)