Book Review – Winter Stroll

Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand
Genre: Chick Lit

Synopsis:

Another Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn composing a holiday letter to friends and family. Though the year has had its share of misfortune and worry, the Quinns have much to be grateful for. They are looking forward to celebrating a baptism over the holidays, as well as welcoming a new family member and enjoying the cheer of Nantucket’s traditional Christmas Stroll.

But just when a tranquil and joyous family gathering seems within reach, Kelley’s estranged second wife shows up after souring on her relationship with the inn’s former Santa Claus. Soon Kelley isn’t the only Quinn entertaining a surprise guest as lovers old and new meet beneath the mistletoe. Wtih jealousy, passion, and eggnog consumption at an all-time high, it might take more than a Christmas miracle to get the Quinns – and the inn – through the season intact.

Thoughts:

The Quinn family have more perils to overcome in this book.

While Patrick is still in prison, his wife, Jennifer, has become addicted to oxycodone. It’s become her crutch while trying to keep things running smoothly until Patrick is released.

Kevin and his fiancee are now running the inn and have a beautiful baby girl. Unbeknownst to Kevin, his ex-wife, Nina is back in Nantucket and is ready to start trouble.

Ava’s old boyfriend is back and is not shy in letting her know that he wants her back, but she’s moved on with Scott – or has she?

Bart’s battalion was captured and taken prisoner in Afganistan and the family has no idea of his condition but that could change once one of his men has escaped and been rescued. Will they find out if Bart is still alive?

Mitzi is a wreck over worrying whether Bart is safe or not and has discovered that she’s made a mistake in leaving Kelley for George. Will Kelley be able to forgive her and welcome her back?

The second book in the Winter series did not disappoint! It was a super fast read and again left me wanting to read more about the Quinn family to find out what happens to them next.

I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – The White Christmas Inn

The White Christmas Inn by Colleen Wright
Genre: Romance

Synopsis:

A New England inn seems like the picture-perfect place to spend the holidays. But when a snowstorm shuts the roads and keeps the guests inside, they find themselves worrying that this Christmas may not be exactly what they dreamed.

Molly just needs to keep her head down and finish her latest book, but her writer’s block is crippling. The arrival of Marcus, a handsome widower with two young girls, is exactly the distraction she doesn’t need.

Hannah had planned a picturesque winter wedding, but as the storm hits, her plans come crashing down. Just when she thinks she’ll never love again, her childhood friend, Luke, comes to check on his grandmother before the storm. Could there be romance in her future after all?

Jean and Tim don’t know how they’re going to keep the inn open another year – or how to bridge the distance between them in their marriage. With a flurry od unexpected guests, they’ll have to work together to keep their little inn afloat. But will it be enough to rekindle their relationship?

As the characters’ stories intertwine, they start to find hope where they thought it had been lost. Though this is definitely not the Christmas any of them imagined, with faith and a little bit of holiday magic, they all might just find this the most wonderful Christmas ever.

Thoughts:

This was such a heart warming beautiful story. I found myself cheering on the characters hoping that they all made it through their trials and tribulations. A wonderful book to give you all of the cozy holiday feels!

I rated this book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – Winter Street

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
Genre: Chick Lit

Synopsis:

Kelly Quinn is the owner of Nantucket’s Winter Street Inn and the proud father of four children: Patrick, a hedge fund manager; Kevin, a bartender; Ava, a schoolteacher; and Bart, the youngest and the only child of Kelley’s second marriage, who has recently shocked everyone by joining the Marines.

As Christmas approaches, Kelley is looking forward to spending some quality time with his family at the inn. But when he walks in on his wife, Mitzi, kissing Santa Claus – or as the man who plays him at the annual Christmas party – utter chaos descends. With his three older children reeling in their own dramas and Bart unreachable in Afghanistan, it might be up to Kelley’s ex-wife, nightly news anchor Margaret Quinn, to save Christmas.

Thoughts (spoiler alert):

Before Christmas even takes place Kevin gets caught committing Insider Trading; Kevin gets his girlfriend pregnant (a girlfriend his family didn’t even know he had); Ava is caught in a love triangle with Nathaniel, her long-time boyfriend and Scott, the Assistant Principal at the school she teaches at; the entire family is concerned about Bart since none of them are able to make contact with him and fear that he might be in danger; Kelly leans on Margaret when his marriage to Mitzi has fallen apart which could spark some old feelings.

This book is the first in a 4-part series and it was so good! It was a heart warming story and left me wanting to find out what happens next for the Quinn Family.

I rated this book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – Christmas Shopaholic

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Chick Lit

Synopsis:

‘Tis the season for change, and Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness – even if that only means listening to a meditation while hunting down online bargains.

But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: her parents hosting, carols playing on repeat, her mother pretending she made the Christmas pudding and the neighbors coming round for sherry in their terrible holiday seaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever, until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch – unable to resist the draw of draft beer and smashed avocados – and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?

Thoughts:

Becky puts so much pressure on herself to make this Christmas perfect that she loses sight of what the true meaning of this holiday is. On top of that, an old boyfriend shows up with his current girlfriend and it’s unclear to Becky what their motives are.

This book was laugh out loud funny! It was a light hearted story that I would suggest anyone read to get into the holiday spirit. It is part of the Shopoholic series; however, this book can absolutely be read as a standalone.

I rated this book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – Truly Devious

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Genre: Young Adult/Mystery/Thriller

This book centers around a private school in Vermont, the Ellingham Academy, where the wife and daughter of the school’s founder were kidnapped and murdered in the 30’s. The only clue was a riddle that was signed “Truly Devious”.

Flash forward to current day and we follow Stevie Bell. Stevie is obsessed with true crime and becomes a student at Ellingham Academy in hopes of solving the murders that took place all those years ago. One big problem is that Stevie thinks she sees a new riddle which is also signed by Truly Devious . . . how can that be?

This book reads really fast and I loved the cliff hanger/teaser at the end! I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

I rated this book with 4/5 stars.

Book Review – The Existence of Amy

The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva
Genre: Fiction

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was contacted by the author asking me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

On the outside, Amy appears to have her life together. She has a good job, friends and her own place. What no one knows, however, is that Amy suffers from severe OCD and anxiety which eventually lead to a depression so deep she is not able to function.

This book was such a great opportunity to learn more about mental health and how someone can work their way back from a dark place in their life. I really enjoyed this story.

I rated the book 4/5 stars.

Book Review – The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Aiden Bishop has been given eight days to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. No one knows who Aiden is because each day he wakes up, he is in the body of someone else and the day of Evelyn’s murder begins all over again. If he doesn’t solve her murder in time, he won’t be allowed to escape back to his own life. Will he be able to trust everyone he encounters and will he be able to solve this murder?

It took me some time to get used to all of the characters in this story. The days also jumped around which was confusing until I got used to it. I will say, however, that once I was able to wrap my head around these things I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride filled with great twists and turns and an ending I wasn’t expecting!

I rated this book 4/5 stars.