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The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

 May 21, 2019 I've tried several times to get through The Scent Keeper . I liked the writing style, but the plot just never drew me in. In an effort to clear it out, I tried once more. It was still a struggle. Emmeline lives on a remote island with her father. He's never revealed the reason he has small bottles in drawers that line the walls of the cabin they live in. All she knows is he is overly protective of the pieces of paper and "scents" within those bottles. His scent machine is a mystery to her, and one that he will not share.  As time passes, a tragedy befalls this small family. Suddenly, Emmeline is thrust into the world where a couple takes her in. Her new life is in an unfamiliar land where she's not living off nature and exploring by herself. She doesn't fit in and faces things like bullying. Emmeline needs to find her place in a sometimes cruel world, and it's going to start by examining how she got to this point. Once again, I struggled. The

Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto

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Release Date - March 29, 2022 I adored Dial A for Aunties . I spent more time laughing during that book than I'd laughed at a book in a long time. Four Aunties and a Wedding is just as much fun. I can only imagine those headpieces! Meddy Chan's wedding is fast approaching. She doesn't expect her mom and aunties to pick the most ridiculous gowns and headpieces she's ever seen. Worse, they find the perfect wedding team within their own family. Soon, Meddy and Nathan are agreeing to hiring family members that Meddy's never met before, but it all seems perfect. And then the night before the wedding, Meddy overhears her cousin and photographer talking on the phone about a target. She confronts her cousin and learns they're Asian mafia and the wedding day will go as planned so that they can do their job. If she tells anyone, they'll reveal the truth about Meddy's family to the police. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Meddy cannot figure out how she can

Finding Home Again by Brenda Jackson

 Release Date - October 2019 Some of the books I read don't click the first time. I try to work back to them and give them additional changes. I have loved the Catalina Cove Novel collection, but Finding Home Again never quite clicked. I finished it this time, but I still don't think it was one of my favorites from this series. Kaegan broke Bryce's heart many years ago when he made an assumption rather than asking her for an explanation. She never intended to give him a second chance. But, he's back in town and they keep running into each other. When Kaegan learns the truth of that night so many years ago, he cannot believe he let her slip away. He will do anything possible to win her back, but is it too late? I think this is one of those stories where I had a hard time sympathizing with the hero. He was an idiot and while he realizes it, it's hard to forgive him for making such a stupid decision in the first place. I'd like to rule it out as being a juvenile m

First Kiss at Christmas by Lee Tobin McClain

Release Date - October 2021 In the midst of all life's thrown my way, I read this months ago and failed to review it. First Kiss at Christmas is a fantastic romance. Kayla Harris is a school teacher with plenty of male friends, but never seems to find Mr. Right. When Tony DeNunzio brings his nephew, Jax, into her classroom, she feels an attraction.  Tony's goal this year is to help his young nephew adjust to a new home and new life without his mom. Love is not in the picture, yet the more time Tony spends with Kayla, the more he can't ignore the attraction. Is there something more there? This is an uplifting, delightful romance with a strong hero and the right balance of chemistry and caution. The character never lose track of Jax's need to be the center of attention. I loved that.

The Next Thing You Know by Jessica Strawser

Release Date - March 22, 2022 Years ago, I read Me Before You and absolutely loved it. I worked my way through all of Jojo Moyes books after that. When I saw that The Next Thing You Know  was of a similar storyline, I knew I had to read it. Nova works as an end-of-life doula, a career that makes sense to anyone facing a terminal illness or end-of-life scenario, yet not everyone understands it. Mason, a musician, seeks  Nova out, despite not really understanding her work. Mason's career as he knows it is over, due to a debilitating condition that he doesn't really tell Nova too much about. Despite his younger age, Nova agrees to help him. It's what she does, yet this is one of the most personal, challenging clients she's ever had. There's more to this story than I feel comfortable bringing up. A major plot twist hits and the story then goes between past and present to tell Nova and Mason's experiences together. An end-of-life doula is a career I believe needs to

Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay

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 Release Date - September 25, 2012 The last thing photojournalist Lark expects is to find herself in the small town Last Chance, but that's exactly what happens after her father's death. His final wish was to have his ashes scattered on the town's mini-golf course. What Lark doesn't know is that her dad fled town right after the death of a prominent member of the town. Many people object to her presence and the owners of the mini-golf seem unwilling to consider her dad's last wishes. Stone, the local police chief, isn't happy that Lark's in town, and he is one of the first to admit he wants her gone. The widower is busy raising two girls, and his oldest daughter's fascination with Lark's work isn't helping. His daughter is happy Lark's in town and is doing everything possible to get to know her.  With some of the Christ Church Ladies' Auxillary trying to get Stone to see that Lark's a suitable match, Stone is finding it hard to igno

The Suite Spot by Trish Doller

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 Release Date - March 8, 2022 This book is everything. I loved Trish Doller's previous release and The Suite Spot confirmed that she needs to be at the top of my must-read list. I described Float Plan as "lovely." I feel the same about Doller's latest. After a rich, handsy frequent guest lies, Rachel Beck loses her much-needed job as an evening manager at a luxury hotel in Miami. As a single mom, she needed that job, worse her reputation is in tatters. When she's given the chance of a lifetime to move her and her young daughter to Kelleys Island in Ohio, she's hesitant. Ohio's weather is nothing like Miami's, but she needs a job that makes her happy. Working at sleazy hotels is not making her happy. Once she arrives on the island, she learns Mason didn't exactly tell the truth. The Lake Erie island does have a brewery and cabin rentals, but it's not completed. If she stays, Rachel would be helping with everything from the construction to the