The Books I Read in November

Did I read books in November? Yes, I did, and some of them were very good, but the last half of November was such a blur for me that I have to stop and think about it. My reading will likely slow down a lot for the remainder of the year as well, but that’s okay. Reading doesn’t have to be rushed. It’s to be enjoyed.

When I say I read, I use that term losely because I listen to a lot of audio books. I count that. My husband does not. Ha. Each to his own.

November book reviews

When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting I listened to this one on Scribd. It’s a super cute story and I finished it pretty quickly. Avery is involved in an accident while driving to see friends. Her roommate, Declan, was supposed to be with her but stood her up after a one night stand of his own. He realizes he can’t stand to lose their friendship and decides he will be the one to take care of her. Lines get really blurred and they each discover why neither has never settled down with anyone. Warning – the whole book isn’t “clean” and gets a little R rated at times but the story is still cute. It takes a serious note at the end as well because Declan doesn’t really know how to have a relationship and has to work on some personal issues to move forward. 4 stars

Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh I love Melinda Leigh’s books and this is part of an older series I decided to go back and read. I read and listended via Kindle Unlimited. Some hikers disappear in the woods in Maine and one is found dead. Jayne Sullivan is a tabloid photographer who comes to town looking for a sculptor believed to be living under the radar there. She finds Reed Kimball at the property and they connect. Reed is a former detective who is asked to help the town with the investigation of the death. Jayne finds herself in the middle of danger and Reed finds himself wanting and needing to protect her. Together they solve the case of the missing and dead hiker. This one has all the things a Melinda Leigh book usually has- crime, thrillers, a few scenes to get the adrenaline going, and a little romance. 4 stars

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews- Another cute story to pass the time, especially if you want to read a holiday related story. I listened via Scribd

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love―but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit―beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.” This was super cute and well put together. It will have you smiling a lot and maybe even shedding a tear or two. 4 stars

Check out my favorite holiday romances.

The Meaning in Mistletoe (Poppy Creek, #4) by Rachel Bloome This is the cutest series that explores a group of friends in Poppy Creek. I loved the other three books but purposely saved this one to read closer to the holidays because it has a Christmas setting. Kat Bennett goes to Poppy Creek to meet her sister (Penny, a member of the Poppy Creek group) she’s never met and to get an item that belonged to their mother in hopes of saving the women’s shelter where she works and lives. What she finds is Jack Gardner and more hope and salvation than she bargained for. I never wanted a Christmas wedding but there is one in here and they are fun to read about. 5 stars

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier This was my favorite of the month. A well written psychological thriller. I didn’t see what was coming and how the parts tied together. This one starts with a mother, Marin, and son, doing holiday shopping. A “Santa” kidnaps Marin’s son and for a year there are no leads. But there are a lot of secrets between Marin and her husband Derek as they deal with their loss. Marin discovers Derek is having an affair and decides she will do something about it to avoid losing him too. This one is hard to tell without spoilers, so I’ll just say it’s a must read if you like suspense. 5 stars

Sworn to Silence/ Kate Burkholder by Linda Castillo I have been wanting to read this series to I finally started it on Kindle Unlimited. I actually started this one in October and felt like it was a slow go for me to begin with, but once I got hooked on the story, I wanted to finish it up quickly so I ended up getting the audio version to finish up. And technically it was Dec. 4 when finished but I’m going to go ahead and include it here.

“In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and “English” residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish.

Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as chief of police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She’s certain she’s come to terms with her past―until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past―and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.”

This was well written and I didn’t see the plot turn coming until it did and it was time for it. And then my jaw dropped. I will be reading the rest of this series. It’s going on my 2022 reading list. 5 stars

DID NOT FINISH

It’s rare that I don’t finish a book but I started the audio version of The Twelve Dates of Christmas and found myself not giving one rat’s behind about this chic and her twelve dates. Maybe it’s the narrator, or the fact that I’m pretty sure where this will end up, but I got bored and left this one.

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