I’m still reading and listening to books. If you love them, I hope you are too. Now that the daylight hours are short, it’s the perfect time to curl up in the evenings with a book.
If you are looking for a good holiday romance story, I rounded up some good holiday books last year.
Be sure to also check out the gift guide for book lovers.
What I Read in October
I read six books last month, all from authors I’ve previously read. I feel like I need to branch out and read other authors, but there is something to be said about having go to selections. I get hooked on series and become determined to finish them.
One of my go to authors is Christina Lauren (actually a duo of authors). Last month I read/listened to Love and Other Words. It was a bit of a departure from the typical Christina Lauren book. It turned out to be a bit of a tear jerker but it took a while to get there.
I got a bit frustrated with the dragging out of the story so I only gave this one 3 stars but ultimately I’m glad I finished it.
Macy Sorensen is settling into adult life: working as a new pediatrics resident, and planning her wedding to an older, financially secure man ( or actually avoiding the planning but living in the security of having a fiance.)
Then she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life. They had an abrupt break up and went for years without contact. The rest of the story is told in alernating timelines between their childhood/teen years and now and it takes the whole book to find out why they abruptly split and if they can pick back up now. Once you get there, grab the tissues! I read and listened on Scribd.
The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews
Andrews is the author of 30 books and I’ve read nine of them. The Homewreckers is the story of Hattie Kavanaugh, a young widow working with her father-in-law to restore and flip old houses. On the verge of business failure, Hattie gets the chance to star in a TV reality how about flipping houses. The directors decide it needs a romantic twist and she get casts with the hot home decorator who is called in as part of the show. Will there be sparks? Love or electrical?
This was a cute and funny story with a little mystery woven in. There is an old wallet belonging to a missing teacher found in the house. Will they find the teacher? Someone is trying to sabatoge the whole project. Who’s behind that? It’s a little “all over the place” but the stories tie together nicely and keep you engaged. 3 stars
Long Lost by Linda Castillo (Kate Burkeholder 4.5)
I’m working my way through this series and love it. This is a short novella you can read or listen to in under an hour but Kate and John cover a lot and solve a mystery in a short time. Do they tell their findings? 3 stars
The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo
“On a late-night shift, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide—an old man found hanging from the rafters in his dilapidated barn. But evidence quickly points to murder and Kate finds herself chasing a singularly difficult and elusive trail of evidence that somehow points back to the tragedy of that long ago incident. Meanwhile, Kate has moved in with state agent John Tomasetti and for the first time in so long, they’re both happy; a bliss quickly shattered when one of the men responsible for the murders of Tomasetti’s family four years ago is found not guilty, and walks away a free man. Will Tomasetti be pulled back to his own haunted past?
When a second man is found dead—also seemingly by his own hand—Kate discovers a link in the case that sends the investigation in a direction no one could imagine and revealing the horrifying truth of what really happened that terrible night thirty-five years ago, when an Amish father and his four children perished—and his young wife disappeared without a trace.” source
This was a clever story with a little twist to who you expect the killer to be. 4 stars
In the Pines by Kendra Elliot
“A national treasure hunt with a $2 million prize has driven obsessed fortune seekers to overrun the small town of Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. The hunt’s cryptic clues and the lure of wealth have exposed the desperate side of human greed: theft, fights, trespassing—and even the motive to kill. Police chief Truman Daly craves peace in his town but has a murder on his hands instead. Now the big prize isn’t the only thing hiding in the pines. So is a killer.
When a young boy walks into the local café and claims his mother and baby sister have been missing for weeks, FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick investigates and exposes a disturbing twist in his story. Deep family secrets and lies that started sixty years ago have burst into the present, bringing with them deadly consequences.” source
I love the Mercy Kilpatrick character and the narrator does a great job with these books on audio. I was happy to have another book in this series to read/listen. This one was just released in August 2022. I listened on Kindle Unlimited. 4 stars
Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave
“Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.
And then she gets hacked.
When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.” source
I tried to listen on Scribd but the audio kept jumping to the wrong place, so I read the ebook version on Scribd. Ultimately a cute story, but Sunshine Mackenzie was definitely not a character I invested much in. Her niece was a lot more fun and interesting. 3 stars
Ways to Read
I’ve been in a rut lately where nothing I’ve read or listened to has sucked me in. I can take it or leave it. All of the books above are good, but most are not books I loved and will remember for years to come. Let me know if you have recommendations for something that really sucks you in.
For listening to audiobooks, try Audible Plus (free trial available).
Listen or read to certain selections with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Listen or read to available selections on Scribd. Try it free for 60 days.
Shop discount used books at Thriftbooks. Spend $30 with this link and jpin Reading Rewards and we both get a free book credit.