Sunday, January 5, 2020

Once Upon a Sunset

I was thrilled to find out Tif Marcelo wrote this new book, Once Upon a Sunset. I first discovered this author when I read The Key to Happily Ever After, and couldn’t wait to receive her newest creation through Net Galley.

Once Upon a Sunset is a story surrounding a mother, (Margo), and her grown daughter (Diana). Their relationship is close, yet becomes strained when they accidently discover family secrets. They each deal with this in opposite ways.  Margo and Diana disagree on how to handle this newfound discovery and they initially handle the fallout in opposite ways.

As in Tif Marcelo’s first book, Once Upon a Sunset, the Filipino culture is brilliantly portrayed. Though the story is more about self-understanding and growth, there is a romantic vein to the story. I fell in love with both storylines. 

I connected with the mother, Margo and her free-spirited way of handling things, but at the same time I empathized with her daughter, Diana. Both characters delve deep into the past, and in the process discover a lot about themselves. Their relationship is not only repaired, but deepens with a new understanding about each other’s views. Their self-growth is gradual and touching.

I received an ARC from Net Galley. All opinions are my own.

4 Stars

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

As the Light Fades

The first chapter of As the Light Fades hooked me, then the discovery of all the characters who waltz into the setting without a misstep totally captured me. The author, Catherine West weaves various characters into the story seamlessly. 

The storylines are told through several points of view, however I wasn’t confused or taken out of the world this author created. I grew to care about the characters and found it hard to put this book down. I find it hard to pick a favorite character. There’s Liz, a woman who struggles with trust, and must find a new path in life. A teen, Mia who is full of anger and seeks understanding. I adore Mia’s Uncle, Matt… He’s unselfish, caring and unwilling to give up on his niece’s well-being. Drake, Liz’s father, famous artist, and fading fast into a world of dementia pulled my heartstrings.  There’re more well-developed characters, and maybe one will capture you too.  You’ll have to read to find out.

Sensitive subjects such as dealing with past abuse, cutting, and dementia are handled with grace and understanding. Trust and faith are strong themes without being preachy. This is an emotional and uplifting read centered in long-term residents in Nantucket. Lives entwine, and love abounds. As the Light Fades is a must read.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. Opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Whose Waves These Are

Whose Waves These Are is a dual time period book that drew me in from the first page and never let go. Both of the eras are equally compelling. I adore the twin brothers, Robert and Roy, during the WWII era, and Annie’s present-day experiences tied in seamlessly. Even though I fell in love with the primary people in this lovely book, the secondary characters are well developed, adding more substance to this already well-developed storyline.  

This novel is the first I’ve read by Amanda Dykes, and I am ravenous for more of her writing. I believe this is the best book I’ve read in a long time … and I am a voracious reader. 


I received a copy of this book from Net Galley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Key to Happily Ever After

The Key to Happily Ever After depicts the myriad aspects in the loving and sometimes conflicting aspects between sisters. I'm the oldest sister of three girls in my family, and I totally related to the strong bond between Mari, Jane and Pearl. Each one of the characters has their own personality, yet still allow the qualities each can contribute to the de la Rosa company. I wish there were more about their Filipino culture, as it is a fascinating aspect of the respect given to and birth order of the siblings. 

Both the primary and secondary characters feel real, and the visual effects throughout the book plays like a movie to me. I love it when I can fully immerse myself in a book like this. 

The Rings and Roses wedding boutique takes a lot of cooperation between the three sisters, and many times there is a lot of give and take … and conflict. I loved how the family pulled together to solve the toughest of situations, not just in business, but in personal upheaval as well.

The bonds of sisterhood weaves throughout this story. Though it is categorized as a romantic comedy, I think it’s more along the lines of women’s fiction with a bit of romance sprinkled in. Either way, it is an enjoyable read. I loved it! 


I received a complimentary ARC copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Glory Road

This story brought me back to my southern home, complete with a porch swing and sweet tea. I loved the feeling this book evoked.

Laura Denton has a way of making the reader actually feel the comfort of Glory Road, the dirt road leading back home for Jessie after a troubled life. She finds refuge with her young daughter in her childhood home on Glory Road. 

The family members, told beautifully in three POVs, is seamless. Each chapter has a heading with a name, but I didn’t need it, because each character’s “voice” rang clear. I was never lost in the story.

Jessie, a proud owner of a plant shop with the clever name of Twig, savors the hard work, and routine after a rocky marriage, and divorce.. She is raising her daughter, Evan, and their relationship is a beautiful thing to behold. (I fell in love with this sweet girl.) 

Evan is at the brink of starting high school, and feelings for a guy down  the red dirt road adds a new aspect to her life, along with a bit of lovesickness and friendship all rolled into a confusing ball. This young teen is close to her mother and grandmother, and I love the open communication they share.

Gus, a funny name that fits this spit-fire grandmother of Evan and Momma of Jessie, could easily steal the show in any scenario. I laughed out loud several times at some of her antics and sharp tongue. Gus trys to hide an issue that frightens her, but when it becomes a blaring problem, she must finally accept help, which is a hard thing for such and independent woman. 

Without giving away too much of the story, let’s just say  all three of these family members are facing challenges over the summer. Through it all, they have each other, as well as the new people who they allow into their lives.

The secondary characters are well developed and challenges each of the characters to break out of their comfort zones and blossom. You will savor this story, with its southern charm.  I didn’t want this story to end. This book is one of the very few that I will read again and again to relive the feeling of home, trust, and family. Dont miss out on this wonderful read!


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Maybe It's You

This inspirational romance appropriately depicted the edgy and sometimes uncomfortable subjects of 20 something college-aged young adults. The main character, Reagan, has only one experience with church, and it’s not pleasant. No wonder she stresses out when she’s tricked into going to church. (You’ll love this part of the book.) 

Regan is more comfortable with a planned, know-what-comes-next kind of life because her childhood was anything but. Edgy Regan is a spitfire. Her snarky attitude, blunt to the point conversations, and dedication to friendship is a lovely mix. However, she's not always in control. Dash-rendered-stupid moments made me laugh out loud several times.

Dash is on a road to redemption so to speak, and has decided to get his life in order without distractions, and decided to take a yearlong break from dating. Regan was in his sights long before he turns his life around, and he wants to share friendship and faith with her. He’s kidding himself on both points. Their relationship is filled with confusion, laughter, growth, and frustration.

This inspirational romance deals with the struggles of newfound faith and how to instill it in every aspect of life, be it dating, work, friends or your own inner thoughts. I enjoyed this book very much because it did not skirt around real life issues, however at times it became too preachy. That being said, I still recommend this read. 


I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.