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review 2019-12-26 23:48
When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith and Funny People
When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith, and Funny People - Gaffigan, Jeannie

I Picked Up This Book Because: Wanted to hear the original account.

The Story:

I’ve been a fan of Jim Gaffigan’s comedy for years and he talks about this time in his family’s life in his standup so of course when I found out his wife had written her own account I had to listen. This story is so traumatic and that is just from me a perfect stranger listening, I can’t imagine the strain on her family, friends and support system. It was open and honest and quite the listen.

The Random Thoughts:

The Score Card:


3 Stars

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text 2019-08-22 23:08
BoB26, Day 4 - If This, Then That
The Nightingale Girls - Donna Douglas
With Every Letter - Sarah Sundin
A Distant Melody - Sarah Sundin
Through Waters Deep - Sarah Sundin
The Dragon and the Pearl - Jeannie Lin
Let It Shine - Alyssa B. Cole
The Bashful Bride - Vanessa Riley
The Preacher's Promise - Piper Huguley
A Most Precious Pearl - Piper Huguley
Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story - Kurt Eichenwald

Recommendations Time!


If you like the Call the Midwife memoirs by Jennifer Worth.....then check out The Nightingales series by Donna Douglas.


If you like true crime sans murder....then check out Conspiracy of Fools by Kurt Eichenwald.


If you like WWII era historical romances....check out Sarah Sundin's trilogies.


If you like adventure/road trips with your romance...then check out the Tang Dynasty series by Jeannie Lin.


If you like more recent historical romances...then check out Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole or any book in the Decades: A Journey of African-American Romance series (each book in the series is written by a different author and takes place between 1910-2008ish). Decades have some of the best romance covers ever!


If you like Regency era historical romances but need more color *cough*….then check out Vanessa Riley's Advertisements in Love series.


If you like historical romances other than Regency era or another mail order bride...then check out Piper Huguley's Home to Milford College series (Reconstruction era/early Gilded Age) or Migrations of the Heart series (WWI/post war/early Jazz Age). 





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review 2019-07-18 04:34
[REVIEW] My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin
My Fair Concubine - Jeannie Lin

This story is My Fair Lady meets Ancient China. I really enjoyed it. There were times when the story dragged a bit--my interest would be elsewhere at times or I just got bored--but I'm glad I pushed through. Yan Ling and Fei Long are great characters, Fei Long's characterization as a steely man of honor was very well done. Yan Ling was sweet, and her journey of self-improvement tugged at my heartstrings. Also, Li Bai Shen is amazing and deserves all the good things.

I loved, loved the ending. I live for HEAs. I had no idea how it was going to end (which made it really hard to enjoy that sex scene), but I'm glad it was solved that way. Everyone was happy and obtained their heart's desire.

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text 2019-06-19 15:50
TeaStitchRead's 25 Essentials - The Last Group
Rebellion - Nora Roberts
With Every Letter - Sarah Sundin
Let It Shine - Alyssa B. Cole
Unclaimed - Courtney Milan
The Dragon and the Pearl - Jeannie Lin
Rebel - Beverly Jenkins
Drifting to You: Cape Fear Shipworks - Kianna Alexander
A Radiant Soul: A Sweet Way to His Heart Novella - Kianna Alexander
The Lawyer's Luck: A Home to Milford College prequel novella - Piper Huguley
The Swan: The Seventh Day: The 12 Days of Christmas Mail Order Brides, #7 - Piper Huguley

Romance (as per the RWA definition)

17. Rebellion by Nora Roberts - my first adult historical romance. TW for rape in the prologue. Enemies to lovers trope with a Scot heroine who is a badass and the half English/half Scot hero who is trying to bring Bonnie Prince Charles back to the throne and fights in the battle of Culloden. They move to America to start a new life and the start the MacGregors series. 


18. With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale #1) by Sarah Sundin. Hero and heroine fall in love via a pen-pal scheme while both serve in the North African campaign of WWII. Faith-based but not preachy. Heroine is half-Filipina, hero is the son of infamous murderer; great cast of side characters that are blended into the story very well.


19. Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole - an American historical romance set in the very early 1960s. Heroine is African-American, hero is Jewish and the son of a Holocaust survivor. The short story that follows the couple post Loving decision and into the thick of late 60s/early 70s rights movements and should be read with the original novella.


20. Unclaimed (The Turner series #2) by Courtney Milan - hero is making his name via his writings on male sexual purity in Victorian England, heroine is blackmailed into seducing him to discredit him. Angsty to the hilt, but I love this book out of all of Milan's historical romances.


21. The Dragon and the Pearl (The Tang Dynasty #2) by Jeannie Lin - again with the enemies to lovers with a hero and heroine who are not squeaky clean typical romance characters. The setting, the details, it is all so different and refreshing from the glut of historical romances. Some of the best sex scenes because of the sensuality of the writing and not the graphicness.


22. Beverly Jenkins - seriously, just anything by her. Ms. Bev does so much research and then seamlessly blends that real historical detail into a great romance. Just can't go wrong with a Jenkins historical romance. 


23. Drifting to You and A Radiant Soul by Kianna Alexander and The Lawyer's Luck (Home to Milford College #0.5) and The Swan: The Seventh Day (The 12 Days of Christmas Mail Order Brides #7) by Piper Huguley - I feel these authors in general and these books in particular need to be on anyone's essential romance list because they defy an ugly and false myth that constantly circulates around romance writers groups and bloggers - certain characters can't have a happy ending when their story is set in certain times - or to put it more bluntly, black woman can't have HEAs at any time in American history prior to 1955. Alexander and Huguley prove you most certainly can have your black heroine have a HEA in any historical setting if you approach your writing with sensitivity and knowledge of the era and area you set the story in. Basically, do your homework.



24. True Colors by Kristin Hannah - story of three sisters and how they dealt with growing up without a mom and with an mentally/emotionally abusive man. The youngest sister marries a Native American man who is convicted of a crime he didn't commit and goes to jail and how the Innocence Project-like organization, along with his sister-in-law, got his name cleared and him back at home with the family. 


25. Naked in Death (In Death #1) by JD Robb - a futuristic-ish police procedural that is about to publish #49 in September and #50 in February 2020. It was originally slated as a trilogy and this is where it all started. The more recent ones have been hit or miss for me, but yet I keep coming back to spend time with the NYPSD gang because the specialness of this series comes via the relationships between the recurring characters and the main characters.


And that's my essential 25-ish books.

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text 2019-05-14 05:56
BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Final Square Voting!
The Duchess Deal - Tessa Dare
Mortal Arts - Anna Lee Huber
My Fair Concubine - Jeannie Lin
Mistress of Rome - Kate Quinn
Help me choose a book for Square 100!

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber
My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin
Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn
Created with PollMaker

In keeping with my Reading Assignment Challenge, I need one more historical fiction book to finish this month's requirements, so this poll is made up of all historical fiction novels.  Also to give me an extra push, these are also all books that I already own and have been trying to find a chance to read since forever... except for Mistress of Rome, which was a fairly new addition to my digital shelves.

I don't know how long I'm going to keep this poll up, but it'll at least be for 24 hours to give lots of people a chance to vote.  Thanks, everyone!

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night.  Now there’s a new item on the list.  He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife.  When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly…  Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover.  She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly…  Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…


Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber

Scotland, 1830.  Lady Kiera Darby is no stranger to intrigue—in fact, it seems to follow wherever she goes.  After her foray into murder investigation, Kiera must journey to Edinburgh with her family so that her pregnant sister can be close to proper medical care.  But the city is full of many things Kiera isn’t quite ready to face: the society ladies keen on judging her, her fellow investigator—and romantic entanglement—Sebastian Gage, and ultimately, another deadly mystery.

Kiera’s old friend Michael Dalmay is about to be married, but the arrival of his older brother—and Kiera’s childhood art tutor—William, has thrown everything into chaos.  For ten years Will has been missing, committed to an insane asylum by his own father. Kiera is sympathetic to her mentor’s plight, especially when rumors swirl about a local girl gone missing.  Now Kiera must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend—and save the marriage of another…


My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin

The Nobleman Who Turned a Tea Girl Into a Princess...

Yan Ling tries hard to be servile—it's what's expected of a girl of her class.  Being intelligent and strong-minded, she finds it a constant battle.

Proud Fei Long is unimpressed by her spirit—until he realizes she's the answer to his problems.  He has to deliver the emperor a "princess."  In two months can he train a tea girl to pass as a noblewoman?

Yet it's hard to teach good etiquette when all Fei Long wants to do is break it, by taking this tea girl for his own...


Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

First-century Rome: A ruthless emperor watches over all—and fixes his gaze on one young woman...

Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia.  Now she has infuriated her mistress by capturing the attention of Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator—and though his love brings Thea the first happiness of her life, their affair ends quickly when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.

Remaking herself as a singer for Rome’s aristocrats, Thea unwittingly attracts another admirer: the charismatic Emperor of Rome.  But the passions of an all-powerful man come with a heavy price, and Thea finds herself fighting for both her soul and her sanity.  Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin.  But in the end, the life of Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor’s mistress.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/booklikes-snakes-and-ladders-final.html
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