Book Reviews

The Golden Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #8) by Kimberley Woodhouse

the golden brideTitle: The Golden Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #8)
Author: Kimberley Woodhouse
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Can Olivia survive the crime and Gold Rush fever of 1849…and the countless marriage proposals?
A series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

The Daughters of the Mayflower series continues when Olivia Brighton finds herself widowed and working her brother’s restaurant in San Francisco during the height of the rush for gold. Even though she receives at least twenty marriage proposals a day, she will never marry a gold miner. Her brother’s friend Joseph Sawyer has gotten caught up in local politics and the plight of Chinese in forced labor. The more Joseph gets pulled into investigating crime in the city, the less Olivia sees of the compassionate man. And just when she thinks she could love again, a fire threatens to steal all hope.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Battle of the Alamo (February 2019)

After only being married for a short period of time, Olivia finds herself a widow and parent-less. Her only option being to take a dangerous journey (as a woman, too!) to her brother, Daniel, whom she hasn’t seen in a very long time. In a primarily male-dominated community, Olivia finds herself one of a few women in San Francisco during the Gold Rush fever of 1829.

While working in her brother’s restaurants, Olivia constantly finds herself in compromising positions with men who have no other women to look at besides herself. Avoiding endless marriage proposals and handsy men, Olivia learns to stand up for herself and what she believes in.

But, after so much heartache, Olivia finds herself blessed to come into the presence of her brother’s best friend, Joseph, who isn’t bad at look at, either! However, can Olivia’s opinion of miners change when she finds out Joseph is one himself?

A story of deception, justice, and a hint of romance, readers are likely to fall in love with this feisty woman and caring supporting men!

Bookish Features

Waiting on Wednesday – April 17, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Finale by Stephanie Garber

FinaleFrom Goodreads:

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .



Book Reviews

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

The Waking Forest

Title: The Waking Forest
Author: Alyssa Wees
Rating: ★★★

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

The premise of this novel reminds me of a blend between Hansel and Gretel and Peter Pan. Rhea, our protagonist, lives with her parents, sister, and pet fox. Dreaming, and unable to know if they are reality or not, she sees this shadow of a boy (reminded me of the naughty Peter Pan) that believes they have met before. Slowly, members of her family start disappearing (but no one else believes they ever existed but her).

In an alternate universe, we come across a witch who is visited by a fox. This witch grants children wishes.

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes.

Eventually, the stories are woven together. I think this is where I got lost. I enjoyed the chapters alternating between characters and them being separate. Also, people dreaming and being involved in different worlds is getting a bit old for me, and I find myself not enjoying those stories as much. I wanted to love it and I felt like there was so much more potential, I just think the execution lost me a little bit.


Book Reviews

You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

you'd be mineTitle: You’d Be Mine
Author: Erin Hahn
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Annie Mathers is daughter to not one, but TWO famous parents. Doing everything in her power to not end up like her parents did, she wants no part in the country music lifestyle her parents had. But when an unknown and crush-worthy famous star shows up on her grandmother’s front porch, Annie finds the lifestyle she hated now hard to resist.

And that, boys and girls, is the story of how stone-cold Annie Mathers found her lady parts.

Clay, America’s swoon worthy star, is exactly the kind of trouble Annie has been trying to avoid. This bad boy isn’t all that he seems.

So, she sings like an angel, plays like the devil, pitches championships, and slays amusement park games. Is there anything you can’t do?

Trying to go against all odds, they still find themselves attracted to the opposite. But is there more to each of them than what appears?

This would’ve been just the book I would’ve been looking for in high school. It contains the glamour, the hot bad boy, and the playful love that every teenager wants in his/her life. A perfect summer read for a carefree reader, I can only imagine sipping on some sweet alcoholic beverage by the pool reading this. The audience really gets to know the characters and join in on the country of their character development. This is a perfect read for someone who wants to get swept away and not have a care in the world while reading it!

If I had to choose my favorite, you’d be mine.

Book Reviews

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

Crimes of Grindelwald

Title: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: ★★★★

J.K. Rowling’s five-film Fantastic Beasts adventure series continues with the original screenplay for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shape the wizarding world, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of both the books and films.

Let me just start off by saying that I completely adore the book covers. They are aesthetically beautiful in so many ways. And the minor details of the screenplay writing, with illustrations I dote on.

Did anyone notice the symbol on the title screen?!


I’m always scared of the second installment in a series. They tend to be fillers. And I felt like that was the case for me here. I mean, what were Grindelwald’s crimes in the movie? He just escaped. All the good stuff is going to happen in the third screenplay. Obvi. I just had a hard time connecting with this novel. If it were a standalone, it would fail miserably. There wasn’t enough plot to survive on its own.

What is interesting to me is that Newt goes from being Switzerland to actually choosing who to side with. It seemed like that was a personality trait of his to remain neutral, and I felt that his decision was out of character.

Nagini was brilliant! She is the epitome of “cool” and her story is amazing. I would love to see how that plays out more in the next screenplay. What was weird is that there were so many little stories about all of these new characters. It actually lessened the plot for me because it didn’t tie in all that well. It was like, “Let’s try to make this as interesting as we can. We still need to let readers know about blah, blah, blah people, etc.” Just hold your horses, you are allowed to do that in more than one novel!

The nifflers play an even bigger role in this screenplay and I love it! We also see more of Dumbledore. I remember, years ago, there was a suspicion and rumor about him, and we finally receive the long-awaited answer.


Give me more “crime” that was promised in the next installment!

Book Reviews

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: The Original Screenplay
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: ★★★★★

J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut is captured in this exciting hardcover edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay.

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best.

Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to any reader’s bookshelf.

J.K. Rowling is known for having some great quotes, and that didn’t just end in Harry Potter. Continuing into Fantastic Beasts, there is so much wisdom present in some very simple lines. However, these are very deep.

Are all No-Majs like you?

(trying to be serious, almost seductive)
No, I’m the only one like me.

The below quote is something that I definitely need to work on. It rings so true with today’s society of everyone racing from one place to the next and worrying how we are going to be able to accomplish everything we set for ourselves. Sometimes we need to focus on just living in the moment. If we keep ourselves so busy that we forget to breathe, we lose out on potentially great moments. We forget to just live.

fantastic beasts dance

My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.

Probably everyone’s favorite character (myself included) is the niffler. It is absolutely adorable and brings a little comedic relief to the screenplay.


I really enjoyed this novel. And after the second time reading it, you start to see little things that were missed prior. This was a great setup for the next screenplay, and I think I actually enjoyed it more than The Crimes of Grindelwald. Poor Credence.

Bookish Features

Waiting on Wednesday – March 13, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

We Rule the Night

From Goodreads:

Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.