India’s only female lawyer, Perveen Mistry, is compelled to bring justice to the family of a murdered female Parsi student just as Bombay’s streets erupt in riots to protest British colonial rule. Sujata Massey is back with this third installment to the Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning series set in 1920s Bombay.

November, 1921. Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and future ruler of India, is arriving in Bombay to begin a four-month tour. The Indian subcontinent is chafing under British rule, and Bombay solicitor Perveen Mistry isn’t surprised when local unrest over the royal arrival spirals into riots. But she’s horrified by the death of Freny Cuttingmaster, an eighteen-year-old female Parsi student, who falls from a second-floor gallery just as the prince’s grand procession is passing by her college.

Freny had come for a legal consultation just days before her death, and what she confided makes Perveen suspicious that her death was not an accident. Perveen, who strongly identified with Freny—another young Parsi woman fighting hard against the confines of society’s rules and expectations—feels terribly guilty for failing to help her. Perveen steps forward to assist Freny’s family in the fraught dealings of the coroner’s inquest, and when Freny’s death is ruled a murder, Perveen knows she can’t rest until she sees justice done. But Bombay is erupting: as armed British secret service march the streets, rioters attack anyone with perceived British connections and desperate shopkeepers destroy their own wares so they will not be targets of racial violence. Can Perveen help a suffering family when her own is in danger?


The Bombay Prince (Perveen Mistry #3)

The Bombay Prince by Sujata Massey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Bombay Prince by Sujuta Massey is a Soho Crime publication.

I love this series. Perveen is a wonderful character, and I was very much looking forward to this installment, though it took me a while to get it squeezed into my reading schedule.

This third installment is centered around the Prince of Wales’s visit to India. Protests are in the works, planned to coincide with the prince’s arrival in Bombay. Perveen is made aware of the protest when she is approached by a young Parsi university student, Freny Cuttingmaster, for advice about participating in the protest.

When Freny is murdered, Parveen feels responsible and launches an investigation into her death. Her efforts are fraught with danger, more so than usual, as the city has erupted in political unrest…

This installment is a bit of a slow mover, as the author lays out the political unrest of the times, but the tension builds, all the same, as the atmosphere is quite unsettling. Perveen walks a tightrope in pursuit of justice, while also coping with her feelings for a man she will never be able to form a relationship with until the laws change.

Although there were times when the story was a little too wordy, and the momentum suffered as a result, with patience, it becomes clear why it was necessary to include those passages, which didn’t seem all that important, at the time.

The conclusion was definitely a well-crafted surprise and I doubt anyone would have been able to guess the outcome in advance. I was pleased with other developments in the story, too- which could open possibilities for Perveen on both a personal and professional level. I’m curious to see how these threads will proceed and hope to hear from Perveen again soon.

4 stars



Sujata Massey is the author of historical and mystery fiction set in Asia. She is best known for the Perveen Mistry series published in the United States by Soho Press and in India by Penguin Random House India.

Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches…

In the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father is executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.

But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.

When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark its doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?

Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will help her.

Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to fight off the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda and protect the woman for whom he feels a powerful, forbidden attraction. But even he might not be enough to battle the darkness.

Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.


The Hacienda

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Hacienda by Isabel Canas is a 2022 Berkley publication.

If you enjoy a good atmospheric tale of Gothic Horror, then you’ve come to the right place!

With a blurb like ‘Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca’ I was eagerly anticipating this one and I was not disappointed!!

After her father is executed during the Mexican War of Independence, and she loses her home, Beatriz grabs onto a golden opportunity by marrying Don Rodolpho Solórzano, a widower whose previous wife died under mysterious circumstances.

Determined to have a better life, and the security her marriage promises, Beatriz is eager to move onto Don’s countryside estate and begin making it her own. She is not met with warmth by Don’s sister, the staff….

Or the House….

When Beatriz begins to experience some frightening events, she realizes she needs help. To that end, she enlists a young priest named Padre Andres, who becomes her only trustworthy supporter. Beatriz comes to believe that if she and Padre are not successful in ridding the house of its evil she will die in the house, just as Don Rodolpho’s first wife did…
Wow! Paying homage to the Gothic Horror of old, while giving the genre a fresh spin, this story has everything you would want in a rip roaring fireside tale of horror, suspense, and forbidden love. I was riveted to the pages, gripped by the spine-tingling supernatural atmosphere, but was also drawn to the romance of the story, as well.

Some religious imagery and conflict were a little uncomfortable as the author mingles secular tendencies with the church, but it was an interesting representation of an internal conflict in all of us.

Overall, this is a superb representation of this genre. I’m duly impressed. I mainly read this book late at night and I must say that it gave me the shivers more than once and had me jumping at the slightest noise. If I have my information right, this is the first full length novel by this author, and she absolutely nailed it!!



A PhD candidate studying medieval Islamic literature, Isabel has lived in Mexico, Scotland, Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan. She has settled in New York City, where she works on her dissertation and writes fiction inspired by her research and her heritage.

In Golden BoyNew York Times bestselling author John Glatt tells the true story of Thomas Gilbert Jr., the handsome and charming New York socialite accused of murdering his father, a Manhattan millionaire and hedge fund founder.

By all accounts, Thomas Gilbert Jr. led a charmed life. The son of a wealthy financier, he grew up surrounded by a loving family and all the luxury an Upper East Side childhood could provide: education at the elite Buckley School and Deerfield Academy, summers in a sprawling seaside mansion in the Hamptons. With his striking good lucks, he moved with ease through glittering social circles and followed in his father’s footsteps to Princeton.

But Tommy always felt different. The cracks in his façade began to show in warning signs of OCD, increasing paranoia, and–most troubling–an inexplicable hatred of his father. As his parents begged him to seek psychiatric help, Tommy pushed back by self-medicating with drugs and escalating violence. When a fire destroyed his former best friend’s Hamptons home, Tommy was the prime suspect–but he was never charged. Just months later, he arrived at his parents’ apartment, calmly asked his mother to leave, and shot his father point-blank in the head.

Journalist John Glatt takes an in-depth look at the devastating crime that rocked Manhattan’s upper class. With exclusive access to sources close to Tommy, including his own mother, Glatt constructs the agonizing spiral of mental illness that led Thomas Gilbert Jr. to the ultimate unspeakable act.


Golden Boy: A Murder Among the Manhattan Elite

Golden Boy: A Murder Among the Manhattan Elite by John Glatt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Golden Boy: A Murder Among the Manhattan Elite is a 2021 St. Martin’s Press publication.

This is a riveting true crime story about the Thomas Gilbert case that grabbed headlines- especially in the New York area. Thomas Gilbert Sr. a wealthy Manhattan banker was gunned down by his son, Tommy Gilbert Jr. after the Sr. Gilbert cut his son off financially. Sounds cut and dried- open and shut- right?


Not exactly.

For years, Thomas Gilbert Jr., exhibited signs of mental instability. Just as there is no doubt, he pulled the trigger that killed his father, there is no doubt Thomas suffered from some form of mental illness.

The question then becomes- is he competent to stand trial for murder? Should he be sent to prison, or should he get a proper diagnosis and receive treatment for his illness in an institution?

This is a complex case and although this is the first true crime book I’ve read this year, with many more on my list, I can say with certainty it will be a ‘favorite’ in the true crime category this year- simply because it was so disturbing and complicated.

I struggled with the situation, which ran through my mind constantly, for days after I finished the book.

There is a lot to absorb.

The ‘entitlement’ aspects, the system that failed the affluent in the same way it fails everyone else, the lack of a proper diagnosis, and Gilbert’s obvious decline makes a compelling argument for his defense.

However, for the record, mental illness as a defense is only successful about 25% of the time.

I think Gilbert was troubled. He did need some mental health treatment, and probably could have used a stint in rehab for drug abuse. That he has serious issues is not disputed. Still, at the end of the day- and I realize this is not a popular opinion-

If I were on that jury, I’d have come to the exact same conclusion they did. I’m sure the decision was difficult, and Gilbert’s mental health should have been given a great deal of inspection, given serious weight, and I think it was. In the end, though, as hard as it is, as conflicting, and controversial, as the jury’s decision was- I think they got it right, in this case.

I felt so bad for Tommy’s mother, though. What a position she found herself in!! Naturally, as she has lost so much, in such a tragic way, I could understand her feelings.

The author’s goal was to expose a flawed system as much as it was to tell a sensational true crime story. He achieved that goal, and it is certainly something we need to be aware of and seriously consider.

There was a great deal of enabling here, ignorance, and stigma associated with mental illness. All these points are valid, and the system is absolutely flawed- I’m not disputing that- but I’m not convinced Gilbert was in a psychotic break when he killed his father.

That was the part I just could not get past. I’m still thinking, though, that some intervention might have helped Tommy achieve some of the success he struggled to obtain, might have helped him stand on his own two feet, and get the help he needed- which, of course, might have changed the course of his life… but of course, now we’ll never know for sure.

Overall, though, this is an absolutely riveting drama, very thought provoking, and damning. The author did a good job with the book. I tossed and turned a couple of nights mulling over all the various angles of the case, the people involved, and to what extent, if any, Gilbert’s illness played in his crimes. That’s the mark of a job well done.

4 stars



John Glatt is an investigative journalist with more than thirty-five years experience. In the last thirty years he has written 25 true crime books and 5 biographies. With more than a two million books currently in print all over the world, Glatt is acknowledged to be one of the best true crime writers working today.

An in-depth celebration of the romantic comedy’s modern golden era and its role in our culture, tracking the genre from its heyday in the ’80s and the ’90s, its unfortunate decline in the 2000s, and its explosive reemergence in the age of streaming, featuring exclusive interviews with the directors, writers, and stars of the iconic films that defined the genre.

No Hollywood genre has been more misunderstood–or more unfairly under-appreciated–than the romantic comedy. Funny, charming, and reliably crowd-pleasing, rom-coms were the essential backbone of the Hollywood landscape, launching the careers of many of Hollywood’s most talented actors and filmmakers, such as Julia Roberts and Matthew McConaughey, and providing many of the yet limited creative opportunities women had in Hollywood. But despite–or perhaps because of–all that, the rom-com has routinely been overlooked by the Academy Awards or snobbishly dismissed by critics. In From Hollywood with Love, culture writer and GQ contributor Scott Meslow seeks to right this wrong, celebrating and analyzing rom-coms with the appreciative, insightful critical lens they’ve always deserved.

Beginning with the golden era of the romantic comedy–spanning from the late ’80s to the mid-’00s with the breakthrough of films such as When Harry Met Sally–to the rise of streaming and the long-overdue push for diversity setting the course for films such as the groundbreaking, franchise-spawning Crazy Rich Asians, Meslow examines the evolution of the genre through its many iterations, from its establishment of new tropes, the Austen and Shakespeare rewrites, the many love triangles, and even the occasional brave decision to do away with the happily ever after.

Featuring original black-and-white sketches of iconic movie scenes and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers behind our most beloved rom-coms, From Hollywood with Love constructs oral histories of our most celebrated romantic comedies, for an informed and entertaining look at Hollywood’s beloved yet most under-appreciated genre. 



From Hollywood with Love: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of the Romantic Comedy

From Hollywood with Love: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of the Romantic Comedy by Scott Meslow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Hollywood with Love: The Rise and Fall (And Rise Again) of the Romantic Comedy by Scott Meslow is a 2022 Dey Street Books publication.

This is another fun non-fiction book I stumbled across which is centered around a specific sub-genre or topic. Recently, I’ve found myself drawn more and more to these types of books because they are nostalgic and fun, easy and light, but also informative and thought-provoking.

This format of this book is really nice, and of course it starts off with the mother of all romantic comedies- ‘When Happy Met Sally’. Each section is brief, giving a history of the movie, the casting, the behind-the-scenes discussions and the audience’s response to the film.

There are few brief essays inserted in between the chapters too, and some nice sketches inbetween chapters.

It is funny to me how so many people tend to dismiss these movies, but they are some of the most beloved, highest-grossing movies ever. These movies made stars out of many of the actors who had roles in these films. Anytime anyone brings up one of these movies, we always laugh and start sharing our favorite lines or parts in the movie. What this says to me is that these movies make us feel good- and that these movies are far more memorable than anyone wants to admit.

I thought one of the more interesting segments was the one about ‘Pretty Woman’. I honestly didn’t like this one as much as everyone else- but the history behind it is very interesting, working off a rather grim screenplay. The metamorphosis is incredible.

The other movie that had an amazing story behind it was ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’. Everyone loves an underdog- so I loved that this independent film had its own happy ending… and then some. It’s also one of my favorite Rom- Coms. I love this movie- and okay… John Corbett is really easy on the eyes. 💗💓

Are your favorites featured in the book? I’m sure they are- but because this is not a tome or an exhaustive research project- there might be a few movies that you thought should be included but didn’t make the cut. But I’ll go out on a limb here and say I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the movies the author highlighted in this book. It’s a great mix of different styles of comedy and romance, with likely and unlikely success stories- and the impact these movies had on the careers of many of our favorite actors and on Hollywood, as well.

The Rom-Com is still one of the most popular genres, even if the onslaught of Hallmark movies, Lifetime movies, Hulu, Netflix etc. have maybe oversaturated the market- the main draw is still there- the bottom line never changing- these movies make us feel good-

And that’s something that never goes out of style…

With the surge in rom-com books out right now- those who find themselves enjoying those novels might also enjoy looking back on some of the best movies in this category- and, like me, consider some of the newer films in this genre-and maybe a few television movies and shows, too.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable book, and I had a lot of fun with it. Of course, now, I want to go back and watch these movies all over again!

History fans, pop culture enthusiasts, film lovers, and fans of this genre will love this one!!

What is your favorite Rom-Com movie?? I’d love to know. It’s hard to beat When Harry Met Sally- but other than, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I also love Notting Hill and While you Were Sleeping… And Bridget Jones’s Diary.



Scott Meslow is a writer, editor, and critic with over 10 years of experience on the entertainment and culture beat. He writes for publications including GQ, Vulture, The Atlantic, and The Week. His portfolio includes profiles, Q&As, reported features, film and TV reviews, podcasts, and pretty much anything else you might need somebody to write.

Extraordinarily tense and deliciously mysterious, Anna Downes’s The Shadow House follows one woman’s desperate journey to protect her children at any cost, in a remote place where not everything is as it seems.



Alex, a single mother-of-two, is determined to make a fresh start for her and her children. In an effort to escape her troubled past, she seeks refuge in a rural community. Pine Ridge is idyllic; the surrounding forests are beautiful and the locals welcoming. Mostly.

But Alex finds that she may have disturbed barely hidden secrets in her new home. As a chain of bizarre events is set off, events eerily familiar to those who have lived there for years, Alex realizes that she and her family might be in greater danger than ever before. And that the only way to protect them all is to confront the shadows lurking in Pine Ridge.



The Shadow House

The Shadow House by Anna Downes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Shadow House by Anna Downes is a 2022 Minotaur publication.

Alex is starting over once again. She and her two children have left an abusive relationship to live in the rural community of Pine Ridge.

Unfortunately, things get off to a bumpy start for Alex. Her teenage son, Oliver, is having trouble adjusting, while baby Kara, is keeping Alex awake around the clock. If that weren’t bad enough, the not always welcoming community also comes with its own legend about a witch that kidnaps children.

The secondary POV is centered around Renee, a mother whose husband’s family was one of the original builders of Pine Ridge. She, too, has a troubled teenage son, which points to an eerily troubling connection between Renee and Alex…

This book has some super creepy vibes. I wondered just what kind of community Alex had planted herself in!! The people were all a bit standoffish, and some are downright rude, except for Kit- but we aren’t entirely sure what his story is- and he never seems to be in the mood to share.

Without knowing who to trust or how Alex’s story is related to Renee’s, the reader is mostly in the dark without any way to gain their footing. I was very invested early on, but the middle portions of the book dragged, losing most of its momentum. Just as I was about to lose patience, though, the story suddenly got very interesting with a few startling revelations I never saw coming.

The last quarter of the book more than made up for the sluggishness that preceded it, and I ended up enjoying the story more than I had anticipated. Without giving too much away, this story has an ‘Ann Radcliffe’- Terror vs. Horror- approach- (and yes, there are a few Gothic undertones in this novel, to my great delight)-just in case that information helps those more inclined to one over the other.

That said, this would be a good book to read close to Halloween because it has all those great, ‘jumpy’ vibes to it, but will appeal to anyone who likes a good twisty psychological thriller, too.



ANNA DOWNES was born and raised in Sheffield, UK, but now lives just north of Sydney, Australia with her husband and two children. She worked as an actress before turning her attention to writing. She was shortlisted for the Sydney Writers Room Short Story Prize (2017) and longlisted for the Margaret River Short Story Competition (2018).
The Safe Place was inspired by Anna’s experiences working as a live-in housekeeper on a remote French estate in 2009-10.

Sarah and Frank Malloy must catch a scheming killer in this latest gripping installment in the USA Today bestselling Gaslight Mysteries

Former policeman Frank Malloy is frustrated when a woman requests his private detective services to implicate her wealthy husband in adultery, the only legal grounds for divorce in New York state. Although Mrs. Bing seems genuinely distressed about her marriage and desperate to end it, she refuses to tell Frank the reason she absolutely must divorce her husband and admits she has no legal grounds. Frank explains he won’t manufacture evidence for her and sends her on her way.

The following week, Frank and Sarah happen to be attending the first ever auto show in Madison Square Garden when they meet the woman’s husband, Alfred Bing, who has invested in a company that produces one of the electric motorcars on display. A few days later, the newspapers report that millionaire Alvin Bing has been found dead, pinned beneath one of the wheels of his very own motorcar. But who was driving it? The obvious suspect is Mrs. Bing, but Frank and Sarah find that nothing is as it seems in their puzzling, dangerous search for truth.


Murder on Madison Square (Gaslight Mystery, #25)

Murder on Madison Square by Victoria Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Murder on Madison Square by Victoria Thompson is a 2022 Berkley publication.

When Malloy is approached by Mrs. Bing, a woman who is desperate for a divorce, asking him to help set up a sting operation to prove her husband has been unfaithful, he declines to help her. As it turns out he and Mrs. Bing will cross paths again, this time at a car exhibit. Mr. Bing is an investor in automobiles, specifically the electric car models, but when he is run over and killed, Mrs. Bing returns to Malloy’s office asking him to help find her husband’s killer…

Once again, Thompson engages the reader with not only a murder mystery, but the interesting topic of early automobiles. The characters in this one are certainly interesting. The murdered Mr. Bing was not at all a likeable fellow, to say the very least, which of course created quite a few suspects. The reader will catch on to what the situation is like in the Bing household, but will have no idea how things will eventually play out.
I have to say, this was one of the more disturbing mysteries in this series.

Thompson always does her research, and her explanations on electric cars was fascinating. Once again, I want to say how much I am enjoying Gino and Maeve being a part of the detective team and as always, I love touching base with Sarah and Frank- one of my favorite book couples.

Overall, this was an exceptional addition to the series- and of course, as always, I’m eagerly anticipating the next installment!



Edgar® Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Edgar and Agatha Award nominated Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt, and the Sue Grafton Award nominated Counterfeit Lady Series set in early twentieth century New York City and featuring con artist Elizabeth Miles. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook MANY GENRES/ONE CRAFT. A popular speaker, Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master’s program in writing popular fiction. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and a very spoiled little dog.

Summer begins with Mary Kay Andrews, in this delightful summer listen about flipping houses, and finding true love.

Hattie Kavanaugh went to work helping clean up restored homes for Kavanaugh & Son Restorations at 18; married the boss’s son at 20; and was only 25 when her husband, Hank, was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Broken hearted, but determined to continue the business of their dreams, she takes the life insurance money, buys a small house in a gentrifying neighborhood, flips it, then puts the money into her next project. But that house is a disaster and a money-loser, which rocks her confidence for years to come. Then, Hattie gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: star in a beach house renovation reality show called The Homewreckers, cast against a male lead who may be a love interest, or may be the ultimate antagonist. It’s a question of who will flip, and who will flop, and will Hattie ever get her happily-ever-after.

Filled with Mary Kay Andrews’s trademark wit, warmth, junking trips, and house porn, The Homewreckers is a summer beach delight.



The Homewreckers

The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews is a 2022 St. Martin’s Press publication.

As the blurb states- The Summer begins with MKA…

Because this is a perfect book for a day at the beach!

Hattie Kavanaugh, a young widow, takes over her husband’s family-owned home restoration business. But after sinking all her money into a real loser, she’s ready to throw in the towel. But, as fate would have it, Hattie is offered a spot on a new reality show, renovating a beach house, called ‘Homewreckers’….

This opportunity could salvage her reputation, and help her recover her losses…

This is a delightful romance. It’s cute, smart, witty and fun- and will be a special treat for anyone who likes house flipping reality shows.

But this story also has a dark side… a cold case involving the disappearance of the high school football coach’s wife, seventeen years prior.

Hattie and her best friend, Cass, get involved in the investigation after their beach house restoration unwittingly exposes new evidence about the case, amid a string of obvious attempts to sabotage the project.

The two threads are separate, but also intermingle, as the mystery could have negative connotations for the show.

I thought the author did a great job of creating the reality show atmosphere, which felt very authentic, especially all the behind the scenes dramas and manipulations.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’m a little late to the MKA party-and have only read a handful of her books-

But better late than never! Can’t wait to read more of her books!



MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 30 novels (including The Homewreckers, The Santa Suit, The Newcomer; Hello, Summer; Sunset Beach; The High Tide Club; The Weekenders; Beach Town; Save the Date; Ladies’ Night; Christmas Bliss; Spring Fever; Summer Rental; The Fixer Upper; Deep Dish; Blue Christmas; Savannah Breeze; Hissy Fit; Little Bitty Lies; and Savannah Blues), and one cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she earned a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia. After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.

Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of Savannah Blues. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by twelve more New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.

She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide—both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels, and both available to rent through Tybee Vacation Rentals. In between cooking, spoiling her grandkids, and plotting her next novel, Mary Kay is an intrepid treasure hunter whose favorite pastime is junking and fixing up old houses.

When a jilted romance novelist escapes to a small beach town, the last thing she expected to find was the start of an even better love story.

In the wake of a broken engagement and the death of her last surviving family member, romance novelist Maya Reynolds moves to the haven of Coral Cove, North Carolina, to take over her great-aunt’s toy store. Some of her grief is immediately eased by imaginative eight-year-old Ashlyn Tanner, who talks her into adopting a kitten and inspires Maya to create a princess tea-party room in the store.

Ashlyn’s dad, local veterinarian Brody Tanner, is quickly smitten by the newest resident of his hometown. As a single parent, he sacrifices a lot in order to give Ashlyn the world, so a romantic entanglement with Maya is not a distraction he is looking for.

As the three develop a deepening bond in the seaside town where Maya experienced some of her happiest childhood memories, clouds cast a shadow over Maya’s hope for the future: an impossible deadline looms over her next novel, a long-held secret by her late mother about Maya’s absent father comes to light, and Brody’s resolve to avoid romance seems unbreakable.

But together, they just might discover that sometimes happy endings happen outside the pages of Maya’s novels too.



The View from Coral Cove

The View from Coral Cove by Amy Clipston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The View from Coral Cove by Amy Clipston is a 2022 Thomas Nelson publication.

When the last member of Maya’s family passes away and still nursing a broken heart, she decides to shake some things up in her life. First, she plans re-locate to Coral Cove, North Carolina to run her great-aunt’s toy store.

She still plans to continue her career as a romance author, but finds that the upheaval has left her with a stubborn case of writer’s block.

On a more positive note, meeting eight-year-old, Ashlyn Tanner, who is very persuasive in convincing Maya she needs to adopt a kitten, and Ashlyn’s dad, Brody, the local veterinarian, who is also recovering from the pain of loss and heartache, give Mara some new motivation and inspiration.

As their friendship blossoms, Maya makes a startling discovery about her father, that sends her a quest to the find the man she thought had abandoned her at birth…

This is a charming story about healing and new beginnings. The characterizations are marvelous- especially Ashlyn who was a scene stealer on occasion.

I loved watching the characters grow and develop, admit mistakes, turn wrongs into rights, and find strength in each other.

The pacing is just right, as is the dialogue. The tension is also well scripted, without too much angst or heaviness.

Overall, a very nice, sweet, clean romance with a lovely and heart- warming happy ever after!

Will read this author again!



Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. An advocate for organ and blood donation, Amy donated a kidney in 2011 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through her donation, her husband received a second kidney transplant. Amy and her husband matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. You can find her on the web at or on Facebook at

Trish Doller’s The Suite Spot is a charming romance novel about taking a chance on a new life and a new love.

Rachel Beck has hit a brick wall. She’s a single mom, still living at home and trying to keep a dying relationship alive. Aside from her daughter, the one bright light in Rachel’s life is her job as the night reservations manager at a luxury hotel in Miami Beach—until the night she is fired for something she didn’t do.

On impulse, Rachel inquires about a management position at a brewery hotel on an island in Lake Erie called Kelleys Island. When she’s offered the job, Rachel packs up her daughter and makes the cross country move.

What she finds on Kelleys Island is Mason, a handsome, moody man who knows everything about brewing beer and nothing about running a hotel. Especially one that’s barely more than foundation and studs. It’s not the job Rachel was looking for, but Mason offers her a chance to help build a hotel—and rebuild her own life—from the ground up.



The Suite Spot (Beck Sisters, #2)

The Suite Spot by Trish Doller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Suite Spot by Trish Doller is a 2022 St. Martin’s Griffin Publication.


This is the follow up to ‘Float Plan’, which I really enjoyed, and where we first meet Rachel. She gave her sister a really hard time, in that book, so I was very curious to see what her story would be like…

Rachel is a single mom working in the hospitality business. Her daughter’s father, Brian, is immature and not much help to her. She still lives at home with her mother, but she’s getting by- until she loses her job and has one final blow up with Brian. She takes a job, sight unseen, working at a brewery hotel in Ohio.

Upon arrival, she realizes she’s been duped, but the hotel’s owner, Mason, offers a better opportunity than she signed up for- a chance to help him build his hotel from the ground up.

With Mason’s background in beer brewing and Rachel’s hospitality experience, they could be a good team.

The trouble is, Mason is not in a good place after suffering the worst tragedy imaginable. As long as he and Rachel give one another a wide berth everything should work out okay. But as time passes a friendship of sorts develops between them- but Rachel finds herself wishing for more…

I loved this story- everything about it! It’s such a sweet, touching and gentle story, but it’s also just so normal- which is such a relief to me- and unbelievably refreshing!!

Maisie, Rachel’s daughter, was age appropriate-and… Again… Refreshingly normal. (I was beginning to wonder if regular kids existed anymore, as we seldom see them in books anymore)

So much of the story felt real and heartfelt. All the everyday things ordinary people deal with- regular jobs, business building, single parenthood, dead-beat dads, family issues, pain and loss, and the natural longing to find the right person to share one’s life with. I felt like these were people I might encounter in my life and would feel comfortable getting to know them. I loved the way these characters developed and became stronger- first working on their own pain, issues, and insecurities, and then stepping up for each other.

The author wrote this book in 2020 and realized the need to write a gentle book as much as we needed to read one. While there are some heavy topics, and they are given the gravity they deserve, the story is not heavy or gloomy, just realistic and ultimately uplifting and heartwarming. The author gives it just the right balance.

Overall, this there isn’t much to critique here. This is a short book, but packs a lot into the space allotted it. I really, really need to read more books like this one! All the stars for this one!!



Trish Doller is a writer, traveler, and dog rescuer, but not necessarily in that order. She is the author of Float Plan, her women’s fiction debut, and The Suite Spot. She has also written several YA novels, including the critically acclaimed Something Like Normal. When she’s not writing, Trish loves sailing, camping, and avoiding housework. She lives in southwest Florida with an opinionated herding dog and an ex-pirate. Find Trish on Twitter and Instagram at @trishdoller.

An exciting novel based on the fearless reporter Nellie Bly, who would stop at nothing to expose injustices against women in early 19th century New York, even at the risk of her own life and freedom.

In 1887 New York City, Nellie Bly has ambitions beyond writing for the ladies pages, but all the editors on Newspaper Row think women are too emotional, respectable and delicate to do the job. But then the New York World challenges her to an assignment she’d be mad to accept and mad to refuse: go undercover as a patient at Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum for Women.

For months, rumors have been swirling about deplorable conditions at Blackwell’s, but no reporter can get in—that is, until Nellie feigns insanity, gets committed and attempts to survive ten days in the madhouse. Inside, she discovers horrors beyond comprehension. It’s an investigation that could make her career—if she can get out to tell it before two rival reporters scoop her story.

From USA Today bestselling author Maya Rodale comes a rollicking historical adventure series about the outrageous intrigues and bold flirtations of the most famous female reporter—and a groundbreaking rebel—of New York City’s Gilded Age.


The Mad Girls of New York (Nellie Bly, #1)

The Mad Girls of New York by Maya Rodale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Mad Girls of New York by Maya Rodale is a 2022 Berkley publication.

This is a fictionalized account of Nellie Bly, who carved out a career for herself as a journalist despite the odds against her. Her bravery in getting herself admitted into an ‘insane asylum’ to report on the conditions put her on the map, and launched her successful career in a very male dominated career. She survived ten days in the asylum and proved the skeptics her critics wrong.

Rodale has done a fabulous job of telling Bly’s story, as well as incorporating a few other trailblazers into the story. The book also details another scandalous story, based on facts, that Bly’s only female rival covered, which was also quite a sensational headline grabber.

The ‘mad girls’, many of whom were not insane, just ‘inconvenient’, poor or sick, with no options, are well drawn and sympathetic. Their mistreatment is appalling and having their stories told was groundbreaking investigative journalism.

Rodale brings their voices to life, while chronicling the tenacity of those who helped open doors for women, proving that yes, they can get the story… and so much more!!



Maya Rodale is the best-selling and award-winning author of funny, feminist fiction including historical romance, YA and historical fiction. A champion of the romance genre and its readers, she is also the author of Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained. Maya reviews romance for NPR and has appeared in Bustle, Glamour, Shondaland, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post and PBS. She began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and has never been allowed to forget it.

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