Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe (by Jenny Colgan) … what a sweet read!

I fell in love with Issy and the Cupcake Café! What a wonderful tale of how a young woman discovers herself and her strength. You will be cheering her on and trying to talk her out of her bad decisions. There is a wide array of characters with an abundance of personalities … some you’ll love and others you’ll despise. But the ones you love will find themselves burrowing into your heart. And you will chuckle as you read Louis’ speech as if you could hear him saying the words out loud!

Just a fun read that will leave you with a heartwarming feeling.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. I am a huge fan of Jenny Colgan and this series!

Crossing Oceans (by Gina Holmes) … raw from the emotional experience of reading this book

I have had to wait several days before writing this review. I was literally raw from the emotional experience of reading this book. You are hooked on the story from the first page. The characters and their lives will reach into the depths of your heart and squeeze until the tears are pouring down your face. As another reviewed said, “you will have to be personally invested emotionally to appreciate this story.” It is not a light and cozy romance. It is a book that will ensure you face love, faith, family, fear, death, insecurity, and end-of-life decisions.

One word of caution, don’t assume everyone makes the decision you think they should … or maybe they will end up making.

I know that this book was so good that as soon as I dried the tears and blew my noise, I searched for other books by the author. She has touched my heart and made me fall in love with her writing style.

Cherish each day, live each moment to its fullest, be invested in the lives of family and friends, be willing to make sacrifices for the people in your life, and read this book!

Stay (by Catherine Ryan Hyde) … beautiful story of childhood innocence and coming of age

What a beautiful story of a 14-year-old boy, Lucas Painter. Between the childhood innocence and his coming of age, you will become emotionally invested in the book. You will experience a feeling of loss, grief, addiction, depression, first love, anxiety, and fear. And the author does a wonderful job of treating each emotion with respect…not trivializing each of them.

I loved the last chapter when you jump forward 50 years and a glimpse of where the characters have landed in their adulthood. You get a brief review of the lives during that time period. And, of course, you will shed a few tears as you travel through the pages!

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Catherine Ryan Hyde always pulls out all the stops and brings the emotional aspects of her books to the front and leaves you full of life affirming sweetness.

Ghost Wanted (by Carolyn Hart) … fun adventure with Bailey Ruth

Another fun adventure with Bailey Ruth as she is once again sent by Heaven’s Department of Good Intentions to help the people of Adelaide, OK. But this one has a couple of twists, including a “human emotion” side to Wiggins, Bailey Ruth’s boss. A tender romantic focus made this story one of how love endures through the ages. I’m looking forward to the next installment in this series.

A Matter of Trust (by Lis Wiehl) … lots of thrills throughout the pages!

This book will grab you from the beginning and hold tight until the mystery is solved. Then you have a subplot of bullying in school which is a real issue in society today. Though the main character, Mia Quinn, is struggling, she is a strong woman who does her best to raise her children to be the people they should while working as a criminal prosecutor. Lots of thrills throughout the pages make this an exciting read.

Lethal Beauty (by Lis Wiehl) … great journey into immigration, prostitution, human sex trafficking, bribery, and murder

This was a great journey into the world of illegal immigrants, prostitution, human sex trafficking, bribery, and murder. I have enjoyed the books I’ve read in this series. The realistic topics of slavery and sex trafficking make it difficult to absorb the story, but this is the world in which we live … and it’s a sad existence for so many individuals.

Mia Quinn is a well-developed character and the reader will become invested in her life.

The Light in the Hallway (by Amanda Prowse) … roller coaster ride of emotions

This is the first book I’ve read by Amanda Prowse, but it will not be the last! The reader is in for a roller coaster ride of emotions.

I enjoyed the flashbacks to the past mingled with the present. You got a good view of the main characters and their experiences growing up. It helps you have a deeper understanding of who they are and how they developed into the people they are as adults.

The myriad of emotions … from love to loss … from excitement to anger … from fear to confidence … will have you feeling them deeply. There are a lot of decisions to be made and how they are navigated is part of the struggle.

You will be cheering many of them along as they discover the path that will lead them on to their next adventure.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Victims (by Jonathan Kellerman) … an amazing murder puzzle

Whew! This latest installment in the Alex Delaware series has you wondering how Alex and Milo, a detective friend who calls on his help, will figure out who is responsible for such a gruesome murder. And just as you think this is a one-time murder, you’re sucked into a series of murders that has you scratching your head.

The author does a great job of bringing the investigation into a former psychiatric institution into the story as one or more pieces of the puzzle.