I added this book to my collection a while back and finally began reading it and I am so thrilled by this novel. I've become really interested in true crime, and this novel is not based on real events, but its premise is one that we know to be real, which made this a bit like true crime for me. But I also love that this book does not dwell on the grittier aspects of the crime perpetuated against the main character, Lauren.


My Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction

The novel opens with the abduction of Lauren, which does kinda get your heart pumping, and then skips ahead six years where we see her family continuing to search for their missing little girl. It was quite a page turner as we got to get into the heads of different characters--Lauren's mother and father, her sister Sierra, and even Lauren herself. The writing really draws you in as it come to understand how the abduction of Lauren has affected her family, and how each perceives the situation and how it has affected their lives. I felt compassion for these fictional characters, especially as what has happened to Lauren is laid out. 


And then, suddenly, Lauren is found. A miracle. One parents of missing children everywhere hope for every day. It was wonderful to know Lauren would be going home, but now the novel begins to deal with her recovery. This could be difficult. It could be ugly. It could cause you to feel sick. It might make angry. All of this is possible when you divide into a novel with this premise. But I think the author did a fabulous job in focusing on Lauren's recovery and integration with her family rather than the suffering Lauren endured. We do get glimpses into that, but this novel does not focus on the victimization of Lauren, but rather on Lauren. And I liked that a lot. 

So, for those of you who like crime and mystery, this has enough of that to keep you engaged, and for those of you looking for a good summer read, this might be up your alley as well. It's definitely a page turner so it makes for easy reading. I loved it, and hope that I can continue to find gems like this among the many books on my shelves. 


Happy Reading,
Jewels


This book certainly took me by surprise. It was nothing like I expected, and made for some interesting reading although it's likely not everyone's cup of tea when it comes to romance. First off, it's an older romance and love and romance were handled differently I find in romance novels in the past. Secondly...well, that's what mostly of my review will be about. Secondly. I'd like to thank you for hanging around if you are a follower of my blog as I have not been reviewing books lately. I cannot believe this is the first book I've read in 2019, but there you have it. I did dive into several others, but I guess I was just too all over the place to really get sucked into any book. A first for me but I am back to steady reading now and am hoping to keep it again as reading is my first love in life. 

Series: Wyhnham Saga, #2
Stars: 3/5
Genre: Romance

Love, Remember Me was first written in 1994, and I went into this novel knowing full well that the portrayal of women and relationships might give me some pause. However, I adore historical romance and I just decided to plunge. I thought maybe something that might strike me as overly dramatic and even ridiculous might just be the thing to get back into reading. But this book surprised me, as really opens with young Nyssa Wyhnham making her way to the Tudor court after a visit to her family home from Henry VIII himself. She is there to serve his new queen, Anne of Cleves, and to catch a husband. A simple enough device, and after some times Nyssa does meet the Earl of March, her future husband. Here is where things started to take me by surprise, and even delight me as the plot follows Nyssa's service to Anne of Cleves quite closely, and her separation from the king. 

Courts are usually full of politics and intrigues, and there is not doubt that the court of Henry VIII had many factions and intrigues swirling around at all times, and the author cleverly made use of this to throw Nyssa and the Earl of March together. Once they are married, quite against Nyssa's will, I thought the novel would largely focus on the couple living their life and falling in love. However, I was once again surprised, as the novel does not merely use these historical characters to throw Nyssa and Varian, the Earl of March together, but then follows the rise of Catherine Howard, the king's fifth wife, as well as her downfall. 

This is the secondly I mentioned. This novel really does not focus on the main characters. It's more of a historical fiction in my opinion, with Nyssa and Varian being some minor couple at court caught up in the pages of history. There is not much development of the relationship between the heroine and hero and I hardly felt that devastating feel that I named the blog for, if at all sadly. However, I must say that the plot is well paced, the characters are compelling and the history that this story is steeped in is well researched. If you like history, this might be a good read for you. Otherwise, you're sure to be disappointed. 

I'm so happy to be back to reading and reviewing books! I will have another review coming for you soon so please stay tuned. 

Happy Reading,
Jewels


I just realized that I have not shared with you some very new books on my shelf. It seems that I am always acquiring books. I'm still in a bit of a reading rut, but I am slowly coming out of it. I miss reading and reviewing books so these new books are ones I intend to dive into first. In fact, I already have.




First off, after a conversation with a random stranger in the book store I decided to pick up The Witness by Nora Roberts. This is a bit of a risk for me as Nora Roberts is really hit and miss for me. She's adored by thousands, but sometimes her writing irks me. Let's hope this is not one of those times. I am liking mysteries more and more so fingers crossed. I also picked up A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux because the title caught my eye. The blurb sounded like this story might be a good thriller and so it now sits on my shelf. A girl's gotta read ;)



I was buying a lot that day and so The Lady's Traveler's Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl made it home with me as well. The novel is by Victoria Alexander, who I have never read, but the story sounded engaging and possibly humorous and I love good romance so I decided I needed this book. The cover is really pretty too. Next, I found The House on Tradd Street which I had added to my TBR list ages and ages ago and forgot about but once I had it in my hands, naturally I wasn't leaving it at Chapters. I have read a book or two by Karen White so I'm certain this will be a quick read for me.

I hope to review some of these very soon for you. It hasn't been the best blogging year for me, but I am committed to continue to review books. I have so many books I want to read and review and just enjoy, and I know that soon I will be back in my reading groove.

Happy Reading,
Jewels

So I'm guessing you're wondering where I've been. I promised to blog more--I promised that to myself as blogging is important to me. I may not have much of a following, but I love sharing my love of books, and I really wanted to get back into the groove of reading and reviewing.

I still do. I swear. But I realized something as February and March and much of April marched past me. My time management skills...need improvement. I do work full time, but in the past, I had more time to read and blog and what not. Now, life is different now than it was then, but still...where do the hours in the day go? At first, I thought, well February and March just sucked. I had no energy, I was stressed...life was up and down you know? But I started to realize that as much as that was true that something else was happening. I was wasting time. So I started to think seriously about how I was using my time outside of work.

Now, some of my free time was being spent caring for and bonding with my budgies, which are new pets. I adore these birds. And it's taken some time to get them to come out of their cage and doing their birdie thing. And I'm still working on building trust between me and these birds. But caring for these small creatures was not taking up every minute of my free time. Neither were real life annoyances like cleaning, or being sick (which thankfully I have not been this winter) so I knew that my time was being wasted somewhere.

My time was being wasted somewhere in my life....

And I figured out that I had been sucked into a time waster that many people are sucked into...social media. 

Seriously, I was sitting there one day, scrolling through a repetitive and uninteresting Facebook feed and was struck by the fact that I was sitting in front of the TV, not watching really it, scrolling aimlessly through Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. I use these platforms to connect with readers, to share my crochet or to learn more about budgies and even just to see what is going on in the lives of my friends that I don't see that often, but somehow social media had become an unproductive use of my time. I wasn't on these platforms to share anything, or for any real reason, I was just mindlessly scrolling through pictures and doing a whole lot of nothing for a heck of a long time.

So I am putting an end to that. I want to blog, so I am. I'm restructuring how I use my time. I'm putting my phone down. I still check out my feeds, but a lot less. Frankly, it took being bored by social media to realize that I was using it too much. And accomplishing nothing when I really wanted to doing things I love like reading, blogging, crocheting and spending time with my birds. I have time to do these things, but I really need to put down my phone.

I am back and I hope to bring you some book related posts soon.

Happy Reading,
Jewels

This novel was one I listened to a while back on audio, and I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure how to describe it exactly, there is an element of magic and mystery to it, but largely this is a coming of age story as well as a romance. And naturally, all of this combined made me a very happy reader.

My Rating: ❀'s
Genre: Fiction
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The characters in this story are all vibrant and interesting, and definitely my favourite character was Paxton as she was struggling to begin living her own life while still maintaining the traditions and expectations of her family. That's a really hard road to navigate and it was obvious that Paxton needed to set some boundaries for her family. What I also liked was that she was in love with a wonderful man, who it seemed was in love with her, but who was...gay. From the beginning, I had to doubt this fact, but the way this part of the story unravelled was especially good romance in my books. I can't give more away so just read this book.

Now, the story of Willa and Paxton's unexpected friendship was also very interesting as these two women are from entirely different walks of life. But I loved that there was a shared history between their grandmothers and that this unexpectedly brought these women together in a way they could never have imagined. As did the history of their town and a man called Tucker Delvin.

Here is where the magic comes in, though I'm not really sure it was magic. Perhaps more like those from beyond lending a hand to the living? I'm not sure, but I enjoyed hearing this story from the past and having the mystery explained.

By the end of the story, Paxton has really started her life. She finally moves out of her parents' home, has a true friend in Willa, and has the man of her dreams. I was very happy for her, and equally happy for Willa, who has a romance of her own.

Well written, evenly paced and with just enough splashes of romance and magic to make this story one that is truly hard to put down. Or, in my case, since I listened to it on audio, shut off. I absolutely do recommend this novel to anyone looking for a change from romance but still wanting a bit of romance in their next read. This novel won't disappoint you.

Happy Reading,
Jewels