A fun romantic read where the heavier subject of mental health is woven into it. Poppy is hardworking and is trying to get her business going while her boyfriend, Dylan, is more laid back with his company. Also, Dylan has a reputation of being a lady’s man. These issues push doubt into Poppy’s mind about her relationship with Dylan. Although Poppy loves her job and Dylan, her friends encourage her to give her business partner, Jared, a chance, since he is more like her. Poppy’s powerful side is how she steps up to help others, and her pods are a version of that. There is some miscommunication, jealousy, and hidden motives mixed in, which add depth. I enjoyed the friendship between Poppy and her assistant, and her devotion to those she loves. Poppy has some important lessons to learn who to trust and where she can offer forgiveness. A read I can recommend for those who love romantic stories.
by Joy York
Reagan comes home after her grandmother was killed during a house robbery in this fast-paced mystery. Her best friend, Mattie, enlists her ex-seal brother-in-law, Aiden, to look after Reagan when she can’t be there. It’s soon apparent Reagan needs some help since another burglary follows the first. There is a slowly developing relationship between the two as they uncover clues that only add more questions about what happened. Some old play jewelry may be part of the answer, while it becomes apparent that someone wants something in Reagan’s grandmother’s house. Reagan not only runs across old pictures she’s never seen before but begins to piece together her family’s history. There were many twists, and I kept reading to see what would happen next. The end had a surprise that I didn’t see coming. The story was packed with several side stories and shifting suspects. A layered whodunit with a touch of romance and friendship. This is a fun read for all mystery lovers.
by Ritu Bhathal
“Marriage Unarranged” is a charming romantic story that completely hooked me. Aashti found out her fiancé had been unfaithful to her, so she called off the wedding. Seems simple enough, but it wasn’t as acceptable in her community to break off engagements. So, after much consideration, Aashti, her two brothers, and her best friend decide to take the trip to India that was to be for her wedding shopping. Told through several points of view, including her ex-Ravi, added a lot of depth and insight to the story. My favorite part, though, was learning more about the Sikh culture in Britain and India. Although it seemed like their customs were old-fashioned, the family was always there for each other. It was wonderful how much unconditional love Aashti had, including from her very overprotective brother. This was a journey where Aashti finds not only her way after being devastated by her loss, but her strength. Developing relationships were an important part of the traveling group’s growth and the trip through India was vivid with images and experiences that shined through the pages. A marvelous story that I found hard to put down and I can’t wait for the next book to see what happens next.
“Knuckleheads” is a unique and compelling read that focuses on two boys growing up in the late sixties and seventies. Zach and Billy have found a bonding friendship in their differences from other children their own age. Zach has dreams which he can go into, and Billy knows the future outcome of events, but not how they come to that ending. Billy struggles in school and has a label for his supposed lack of intelligence. He is moved into another school for such children. Zach is put into therapy and learns to just say what is expected of him. Their abilities and how they had to deal with them were my favorite parts of the story. I love the connection between the boys and the gifts they were given, but unfortunately, no one was ready for them. They had to hide what they really were. This was a time of not only war and civil unrest but when computers were in their early stages before they were common in households, yet they captured the boy’s attention—especially Billy. Lots of good details went into not only the town, people, and the computers. Zach’s father owns a bowling alley and both boys work there while Zach tried to learn to control going into his dreams. The bowling alley brought back a lot of good memories of when I grew up, it was the place to go, just like in the story. Zach is retelling the story of his childhood to his daughter Abbie, about him and Billy. So, father and daughter would comment on the story as it went along. A great debut that is a prequel of stories to come. I am looking forward to reading the next book to find out what happens next!
I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review, in that case:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!
Embrace your inner child this summer, read a book! D. L. Finn