July Wrap Up | Books Read

July ๐ŸŽ† Wrap Upย 

Wow! Itโ€™s been so hot and chaotic here. But books have been keeping me calm and cool. I read 32 amazing books this month that had strong women, heartbreak, and great romance!

Thanks again to all the tagged publishers.

๐Ÿ ๐ŸŒŸ

Up All Nite

We Are the Brennans

When We Blinked

The Magic of Found Objects

๐Ÿœ.๐Ÿ ๐ŸŒŸ

Mona at Sea ๐ŸŽง

With or Without You

Under the Southern Sky ๐ŸŽง

When Weโ€™re Thirty

They Never Learn ๐ŸŽง

Seven Days in June  ๐ŸŽง

Mother of the Accused

Love for Beginners

๐Ÿœ ๐ŸŒŸ

The Stranger in the Mirror

A Ladder to the Sky ๐ŸŽง

The Rightside of Reckless

A House Full of Windsor

Call Your Daughter Home

Ruby Falls

The Therapist ๐ŸŽง


The Happiest Girl in the World

The Murderous Case of Dr. Cream

The Damage [RTC]

God Spare the Girls ๐ŸŽง

When Stars Collide

Radar Girls

Of Women and Salt ๐ŸŽง

Yours Cheerfully

It Happened One Summer ๐ŸŽง [RTC]

๐Ÿ›.๐Ÿ ๐ŸŒŸ

Summer Darlings ๐ŸŽง

โ„•๐• ๐•Ÿ๐”ฝ๐•š๐•”๐•ฅ๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ

Brat: an 80โ€™s story ๐ŸŽง

The Last Nomad

๐Ÿ—“ ๐•Ž๐•™๐•’๐•ฅโ€™๐•ค ๐•จ๐•ฃ๐•š๐•ฅ๐•ฅ๐•–๐•Ÿ ๐• ๐•Ÿ ๐•ช๐• ๐•ฆ๐•ฃ ๐•”๐•’๐•๐•–๐•Ÿ๐••๐•’๐•ฃ ๐•—๐• ๐•ฃ ๐”ธ๐•ฆ๐•˜๐•ฆ๐•ค๐•ฅ? ๐”ธ๐•๐• ๐•€ ๐•™๐•’๐•ง๐•– ๐•ค๐•  ๐•—๐•’๐•ฃ ๐•š๐•ค ๐•ž๐•ช ๐•ค๐• ๐•Ÿโ€™๐•ค ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ๐•ฅ๐•™ ๐•“๐•š๐•ฃ๐•ฅ๐•™๐••๐•’๐•ช!

God Spare the Girls | Book Review

God Spare the Girls

Kelsey McKinney

4 / 5

I love books that take place in states or towns where I have lived. God Spare the Girls is set right in my current backyard.ย 

McKinney writes a compelling story of two sisters, daughters of Luke Nolan, the pastor of Hope congregation, one of North Texasโ€™ largest churches. Nolan has always preached on the virtues of living righteously, especially that of purity, and he expects nothing less from his family.

Abigail, the eldest, is planning her wedding and is following the pure beliefs that she was raised on, while Caroline canโ€™t wait to lose her virginity. 

Weeks before Abigail’s wedding, a shocking revelation is announced about their father. It will cause the girls to question their familyโ€™s bonds and the very religion they put their trust in.

The two sisters flee to the familyโ€™s ranch alone, where they finally have time to walk and talk about life as the Texas sunsets light the sky on fire.ย But here they discover even more family secrets that shake them further.

Although religion plays a large part in this book, I see it more as a family drama and coming-of-age story. ๐†๐จ๐ ๐’๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐†๐ข๐ซ๐ฅ๐ฌ is a sharp reminder that ๐™›๐™–๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ง๐™š๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ, for man is fallible and flawed. The sisters saw that in their father and within themselves, but they found something more important to hold onto.

Thank you to @williammorrowbooks for this gifted copy.

The Last Nomad | Book Review & Tour Stop

The Last Nomad: Coming of Age in the Somali Desert

Shugri Said Salh

Pub Date: August 3, 2021


The memoirs I appreciate the most are those that open my eyes to a different culture or a lifestyle I will never experience. In ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐‹๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐, Shugri Said Salh writes of her early nomadic life in the desert of Somalia.

She and her siblings were forced to flee their homeland as refugees due to the dangers of civil war. Her journey was once again nomadic in nature, traversing through many countries, at times homeless, but ultimately she would marry, start a family and graduate nursing school with honors.

Shugri Said Salh writes with poetic beauty, but it is raw and honest. She tells of the trauma she faced as a child – the rite of passage in female circumcision that she endured, the misogynistic standards her society upheld, and the fear of war. While I did enjoy the descriptions of goat herding and life out in the desert, her resilience and determination are what I admired the most. The world comes together by understanding anotherโ€™s story, and ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐‹๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ is just that story.

Thank you to @algonquinbooks and @shugrisalh for an invitation to this tour and a gifted copy.

Love for Beginners | Book Review & Tour Stop

Love for Beginners

Jill Shalvis

4.5 / 5

While out for a run, Emma Harris steps off a curb and is hit by a car. In a coma for two months, itโ€™s a miracle Emma survived. Waking up to the looming hurdle of months of rehabilitation and pain, Emma is heartbroken to find her fiance and best friend have been sleeping together.

With almost everything taken from her while she lay in a coma, Emma needs to find a way to start over. An opportunity arises for her to purchase the doggy daycare she worked at part-time; it would be perfect. The only problem is itโ€™s located in the building owned by Emmaโ€™s high school enemy.

As Emma continues to put in countless hours of physical therapy with Simon, the evil PT, as she calls him, she realizes she might love having his hands all over her body a little too much!

Ahhh, this book is so heartwarming! Not only does it have a sweet romance, but the developing friendship between Emma and her old enemy steals the spotlight. I love how Shalvis added in Simon caring for his dad and Emmaโ€™s survivorโ€™s guilt, which gives the story a very realistic feel. And I know youโ€™ll love Hog, the dog! 

Thank you to @suzyapprovedbooktours @jillshalvis and @getredprbooks for an invitation to the tour and a gifted copy.

Little Free Library Drop | We are the Brennans

Little Free Library Drop ๐Ÿ“˜

Iโ€™m participating with @celadonbooks in the Little Free Library drop of ๐•Ž๐”ผ ๐”ธโ„๐”ผ ๐•‹โ„๐”ผ ๐”นโ„๐”ผโ„•โ„•๐”ธโ„•๐•Š by @tracey_lange 

I was excited to discover that we have three LFLs in our neighborhood. They are located by each of our community pools and playgrounds. 

Some lucky reader is going to be so happy to find this gem of a book waiting for them, which doesn’t hit stores until August 3! I loved ๐•Ž๐”ผ ๐”ธโ„๐”ผ ๐•‹โ„๐”ผ ๐”นโ„๐”ผโ„•โ„•๐”ธโ„•๐•Š so much! This family drama stole my heart. โ˜˜๏ธ You can read my five-star review for this book here on my feed or on Goodreads.ย 

Thank you to @celadonbooks for this great campaign and the gifted copies. 

๐Ÿ“š ๐——๐—ผ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—Ÿ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—™๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—Ÿ๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€? ๐— ๐˜† ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—œ ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ณ๐—ณ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ.

Radar Girls | Book Review & Tour Stop

Radar Girls

Sara Ackerman

4 / 5

Out Now!

Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the skies above Oโ€™ahu hum with the sounds of warplanes. As Daisy Wilder enjoys her morning ride on one of her favorite horses, Pearl Harbor is under attack.

Now that the US is at war and male soldiers are called into active duty, the army enlists females for a top-secret program, WARDs, to help guide US pilots and track unidentified planes in the Pacific skies. General Danielson approaches Daisy to take the test to enter the program. While most of the other girls see Daisy as a high school dropout with family problems, Walker, a pilot, believes she can do it.

Daisy, passing the test, takes her place among the ladies who will become the unknown heroes of WWII. But she is fighting battles of the heart as well. The man she is falling for is part of a dark family secret, and now he is out on the front lines of the war. 

Sara Ackerman pays beautiful homage to Pearl Harbor and the women who courageously served their country during WWII. ๐‘๐š๐๐š๐ซ ๐†๐ข๐ซ๐ฅ๐ฌ is a wartime romance that is as intelligent as it is delightful.

Thank you to @suzyapprovedbooktours @saraackermanbooks and @_mira_books for an invitation to the tour and a gifted copy.

Yours Cheerfully | Book Review

Yours Cheerfully (The Emmy Lake Chronicles #2)

A. J. Pearce

Pub Date: August 10, 2021

4 / 5

Journalist Emmy Lake has just been appointed head of the wartime advice column at ๐˜ž๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ. Now sheโ€™s trying to balance her column, her boyfriend, and her volunteer shifts.

Then the Ministry of Information calls upon Britainโ€™s magazines to help recruit ladies for the workforce. At first, Emmy has a dash of pride, feeling she is playing a part in the war effort. But when she meets a young mother and sees the terrible work conditions these women face in the munition factories, Emmy is conflicted.

I didnโ€™t read book one, Dear Mrs. Bird, but I fell into ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ ๐‚๐ก๐ž๐ž๐ซ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ easily. The characters are warm and engaging, even funny at times. Though this book tackles the grave historical injustices that women workers faced during WWII, the overall tone is of hope and kindness. 

Thank you to @simonandschuster and @Scribnerbooks for this gifted copy.

Mother of The Accused | Book Review & Tour Stop

Mother of The Accused

Leanne Treese

4.5 / 5

Wow! This book had me on the edge of my seat!ย 

For years itโ€™s been just Meredith raising her only son Zach after losing her husband tragically, but now they are moving in with her fiance, Reed. Itโ€™s an exciting time in her life, with Zach in his senior year, applying to colleges, and Meredith planning her wedding. 

But one night of partying and one girlโ€™s accusations – changes everything. Now Meredith finds herself facing the nightmare scenario of her son going to jail for sexual assault. As those closest to her begin to question Zachโ€™s guilt and turn their backs, Meredith turns to an old childhood friend to help prove her sonโ€™s innocence.

This book is so well-written. Leanne Treese brings in so many emotions yet makes sure the story is balanced. Of course Meredith, as Zachโ€™s mother, believes her son, but she also feels a woman should be heard. Does this create doubt, or does it just mean she has to work even harder to prove what really happened?ย 

With the tension of a legal thriller and the emotions of a family drama, youโ€™ll be flipping pages to find out the stunning conclusion of ๐Œ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐€๐œ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐.

Thank you to @suzyapprovedbooktours and @leannetreese for an invitation to the tour and a gifted copy.

When Stars Collide | Book Review

When Stars Collide

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

4 / 5

Well, this was a pleasant surprise!ย 

Take one international opera diva and put her on tour with a backup quarterback, and letโ€™s see whose ego can fit through the door first! 

A luxury watch brand invites Olivia Shore, a world-class soprano, on their month-long tour with Thad Owens, a quarterback for the Chicago Stars who just got booted to backup so he can mentor the new youngster. It appears these two have nothing in common except a passion for what they do and their stardom.

But the more time they spend together, the more they find common ground. As the attraction becomes apparent, so does the reality that, being the stars that they are, they could never play second fiddle in a relationship.

What made this more than a romantic is that there is a mystery afoot. Olivia may be in danger! She is receiving threats, apparently having something to do with her past fiance. She and Thad get into some tense situations, but it only adds to the heat between them. ๐–๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐’๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ฌ ๐‚๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐๐ž is a charming romance with intrigue and opera to make a full-bodied read!

TW: discussion of suicide

Thank you to @williammorrowbooks and @sepauthor for this awesome book package (the cookie that came with it didnโ€™t last a minute). 

The Happiest Girl in the World | Book Review

The Happiest Girl in the World

Alena Dillon

4 / 5

Although fiction, this reads like narrative nonfiction, like it was ripped right out of the headlines – because Alena Dillon based a large part of it off the scandal that rocked womenโ€™s gymnastics when a trusted doctor was found guilty of sexual abuse in 2017.

The story follows Sera and Lucy as they chase their dreams to become Olympic gymnasts. From the tender age of six, they are training, dieting, and working hard to be โ€œelite.โ€ Over the years, the two girls become close friends, even as they compete for that coveted spot on the Olympic Team. We see how their journey affects family, as well, and we get Seraโ€™s motherโ€™s point of view, who was living vicariously through Sera and needed a reality check.

Injuries plague Sera over the years, and Lucy becomes emotionally withdrawn, but the two friends continue to support one another. But when Lucy makes an allegation against the team doctor, Sera makes a choice that could sever their friendship forever.

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐‡๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐†๐ข๐ซ๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐–๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ takes an honest, hard look at this competitive sport, and what these athletes must sacrifice and endure for the hope of the โ€œGold.โ€ 

My heart went out to Sera and Lucy, and I flipped through this one wanting to see how their story would end. Though the ending seemed a bit condensed and hurried, I still felt this was a gripping read, especially in concurrence with the summer Olympics.

Thank you to @letstalkbookspromo @williammorrowbooks and @alena.dillon for an invitation to this tour and a digital copy.