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Latest Reads

November 9, 2023

Happy Autumn Reading Sweet Friends!

Today, I am sharing three new books to put on your radar. A spicy rom-com, a father gone missing, and an Air B&B host with a snooping problem are all on tap today. Grab those reading glasses and a cozy blanket, and let’s get reading.

Cheers to Fall Reading!

xoxo,

Kelly

The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva (Henry Holt and Co.)

Tess rents out her deceased sister’s room in her house to help make ends meet. She may appear to be the hostess with the mostess, but she truly is not She has a bad habit of snooping through her tenant’s personal belongings. When she begins reading Arran’s (her latest guest) diary, she is intrigued by his entries and discovers shocking similarities between her and this mysterious woman he continues to write about. As Aaran’s diary entries become darker, Tess begins to wonder who this guy is and how long he is planning to stay. Sylva’s book is a twisted tale that weaves in and out of London’s gloomy streets. Her main character, Tess, drove me crazy with her unreliability, but the constant stalking, slow-burn mystery, and questionable villain kept me entertained until the end. Solid debut!

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon (Berkley Publishing)

I was a huge fan of Solomon’s The Ex Talk, and her latest was just as tremendous. So when Chandler takes a job ghostwriting a memoir for C-list actor, Finn Walsh, things get very interesting. Think one-night-stand gone wrong, clumsy sex, followed by some very steamy lessons in chemistry. Solomon’s main characters are absolutely worth cheering for. Their relationship is wildly quirky and refreshingly raw. I loved how their vulnerability bled through the pages. Solomon shined her light not only on a lovable Jewish heroine and hero but on the everyday struggles of living with anxiety and OCD. My favorite part of all is that this heartfelt and hilarious story embodies healthy and wicked fun sex in the best possible way! Cheers to Solomon for another winning tale!

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim (Hogarth Books)

Angie Kim’s newest book centers around a biracial Korean-American family who are confronted with the unimaginable. Everything changes when Adam goes missing while hiking with his son, who has disabilities. There is NO WAY this dad would ever abandon Eugene in the woods when he is not only non-verbal but unable to care for himself alone. So what on Earth happened? Kim’s story sucked me in immediately. What follows is a character-driven mystery that slowly builds as you turn each page. Kim’s attention to detail is impeccable. Being a mom myself brought many feelings to the surface during a lot of the scenes. I love how she blended family crises, disabilities, and untethered emotions seamlessly together. As the mystery progresses, Kim brings enormous awareness to the rare genetic disorder called Angelman disorder. As someone who has worked in the field of non-verbal communication and Autism Spectrum Disorders, I found Kim’s writing absolutely fascinating. While this read captured my attention right out of the gate, it did move slowly in the middle. However, the pace gained speed again towards the end, leaving me to ponder the ending.

*Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC receives a variety of advance reader copies of books from publishers and authors throughout the year in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

Get Your Read On

June 1, 2023

Hello Book Family!

Happy June! Boy, time is flying by so fast, and summer is FINALLY within our grasp! I am excited to share a handful of books today, perfect for the “spring-into-summer” transition. Rich people misbehaving, friendships and a few funerals, the ultimate small-town gay wedding, and something to really get your heart rate up! Go snag yourself a copy of one of these books and GET YOUR READ ON!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to purchase!

I love every book Steven Rowley has written. THE CELEBRANTS was no different. Once again, Rowley’s writing is a dreamy concoction of heart and humor with a splash of GenX that, in my opinion, can not be matched. Yes, this extraordinary tale had me blotting my damp eyes on MANY pages, but most importantly, it reminded me to live my life fully and to love my people fiercely. Cheers to Steven, “The Scale of Courtneys,” and ALL the Karen Carpenter songs. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: “It’s been a minute–or five years–since Jordan Vargas last saw his college friends, and twenty-eight years since their graduation when their adult lives officially began. Now Jordan, Jordy, Naomi, Craig, and Marielle find themselves at the brink of a new decade, with all the responsibilities of adulthood, yet no closer to having their lives figured out. Though not for a lack of trying. Over the years, they’ve reunited in Big Sur to honor a decades-old pact to throw each other living “funerals,” celebrations to remind themselves that life is worth living–that their lives mean something to one another if not to themselves. But this reunion is different. They’re not gathered as they were to bolster Marielle as her marriage crumbled, to lift Naomi after her parents died, or to intervene when Craig pleaded guilty to art fraud. This time, Jordan is sitting on a secret that will upend their pact. A deeply honest tribute to the growing pains of selfhood and the people who keep us going, coupled with Steven Rowley’s signature humor and heart, The Celebrants is a moving tale about the false invincibility of youth and the beautiful ways in which friendship helps us celebrate our lives, even amid the deepest challenges of living.”

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Oh My Gosh…BIG GAY WEDDING is my first Byron Lane book. I will be fixing this situation ASAP by grabbing A STAR IS BORED. His new novel has it ALL—A swoony male couple, a small town family farm filled with a motley crew of well-loved animals that had me at “Elaine,” and an INCREDIBLE cast of characters that won me over. Lane’s tale follows Barnet and his hope to marry the man of his dreams at his family’s farm. This is an honest tale of a mom holding on to tarnished beliefs (Hello, Catholic Guilt & dead husband). Lane did a phenomenal job capturing the tender yet wobbly relationship between Barnet and Chrissy. Yes, Chrissy grapples with her son being gay, but ultimately, she is a mama who doesn’t want to lose her baby boy to anyone. This is the greatest “romance” and “family” to root for. Lane’s storytelling bubbles over with hope and a profound sense of joy that truly made me smile. And let’s face it…How FABULOUS is a BIG GAY WEDDING?

Publisher’s Synopsis: “Two grooms. One mother of a problem. Barnett Durang has a secret. No, not THAT secret. His widowed mother has long known he’s gay. The secret is Barnett is getting married. At his mother’s farm. In their small Louisiana town. She just doesn’t know it yet. It’ll be an intimate affair. Just two hundred or so of the most fabulous folks Barnett is shipping in from the “heathen coasts,” as Mom likes to call them, turning her quiet rescue farm for misfit animals into a most unlikely wedding venue. But there are forces, both within this modern new family and in the town itself, that really don’t want to see this handsome couple march down the aisle. It’ll be the biggest, gayest event in the town’s history if they can pull it off, and after a glitter-filled week, nothing will ever be the same.”

Click on the book pic to purchase.

T.J. Newman’s sophomore novel DID NOT DISAPPOINT! Her latest flight tale is Big Screen reading with this BLOCKBUSTER, action-packed story. A plane goes down and sinks into the ocean with passengers still alive. Will they be rescued before they run out of oxygen 😬? High octane page turning GEM! Your adrenaline will be OOC with this one! ⁣

Publisher’s Synopsis: “Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 1421 crashes into the Pacific Ocean. During the evacuation, an engine explodes and the plane is flooded. Those still alive are forced to close the doors–but it’s too late. The plane sinks to the bottom with twelve passengers trapped inside. More than two hundred feet below the surface, engineer Will Kent and his eleven-year-old daughter Shannon are waist-deep in water and fighting for their lives. Their only chance at survival is an elite rescue team on the surface led by professional diver Chris Kent–Shannon’s mother and Will’s soon-to-be ex-wife–who must work together with Will to find a way to save their daughter and rescue the passengers from the sealed airplane, which is now teetering on the edge of an undersea cliff. There’s not much time. There’s even less air. With devastating emotional power and heart-stopping suspense, Drowning is an unforgettable thriller about a family’s desperate fight to save themselves and the people trapped with them–against impossible odds.”

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Laura’s book is the ultimate guide to all friendships. She takes a deep dive into all the different kinds of friends we have in our lives and how each one not only has a special place in our hearts but fulfills a role like none other. Whether you have many or a few friends or are searching for more friendships, Laura’s book is for you. It is wonderful on audio as well—read by the author herself.

Publisher’s Synopsis: “You’d love to have a “ride or die” posse like you see on social media, but instead, you have a host of really good . . . acquaintances. After all, trying to find a soul friend in the midst of dirty dishes, deadlines, and, oh, a crazy busy life can be overwhelming. But what if developing great friendships was actually easier than we thought? And what if finding a “soul friend” wasn’t necessarily our highest goal?

In The Life Council, Laura Tremaine–the writer and podcaster behind 10 Things to Tell You–tells us what we’ve been hoping was true all along: making, keeping, and even releasing friends doesn’t need to be as hard as we make it. This fun and practical guide gives you what you need to: 

  • Create your own “life council” with the friends you already have
  • Understand the ten kinds of friends every woman needs–and how to find them
  • Learn how to evaluate your friendship circle for what’s working and what might need to change
  • Navigate tough conversations with friends
  • Get excited again about the possibility of new friendships

The Life Council will give every woman the help she needs to think about friendships in a new way and find true connection, freedom, and joy in her relationships.”

Click on the book pic to purchase.

This backlist beauty is a wicked fun tale combining a mom trying to find friends and fit in and rich people behaving badly. Needy and obnoxious characters, a small town setting, and a dead body…so much fun. Easy-peasy read that moves fast and is wildly entertaining. 

Publisher’s Synopsis: “The Hunting Wives share more than target practice, martinis, and bad behavior in this novel of obsession, seduction, and murder. Sophie O’Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she’s feeling bored and restless. Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie’s curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers. When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control.”

*Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC receives a variety of advance reader copies of books from publishers and authors throughout the year in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

March Highlights 2023

April 6, 2023

Happy Thursday, Sweet Friends!

April Showers Bring May Flowers…but first, let’s talk about my March reading life. Four debut novels, tons of audiobooks, a favorite author, and some backlist beauties paired with a cozy cup of tea filled all my bookworm needs. Here are some of the books I read and where I landed with each of them.

Whether you read one or 21 books this March, I hope you feel delighted with all the words you consumed!

xoxo,

Kelly

George’s debut novel, Maame, absolutely stole my heart, and the audio version was fantastic. Maddie is a character that I want to hug through the pages of the book. This delayed coming-of-age story lived up to the hype and gave me all the feels.

SYNOPSIS:

“It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced-stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare, and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting. When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts” She finds a flatshare, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it’s not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family and the perils–and rewards–of putting her heart on the line.”

Here is the deal, Appiah’s debut novel will land differently with each reader—heavy themes relating to motherhood, marriage, and expectations in life are deeply explored. She did an exemplary job exposing the darker side of parenting by not sugarcoating Efe or Sam’s emotional journey. Be prepared to have profound conversations about this story.

SYNOPSIS:

“On a Spring afternoon in London, Sam hops the stairs of his flat two at a time. There’s £1,300 missing from his and his wife, Efe’s, shared bank account, and his calls are going straight to voicemail. When he finally reaches someone, he learns Efe is nearly 5,000 miles away as their toddler looks around and asks, “Where’s Mummy?” When Efe and Sam met as teens headed for university, it seemed everyone knew they were meant to be. Efe, newly arrived in the UK from Ghana and sinking under the weight of her parent’s expectations, found comfort in the focused and idealistic Sam. He was stable, working toward a law career, and had an unwavering vision for their future. A vision Efe, now a decade later, finds slightly insufferable. From the outside, they’re the picture-perfect couple everyone imagined, but there are cracks in the frame. When Efe and Sam are faced with an unplanned pregnancy, they find themselves on opposing sides. Fatherhood is everything he has dreamed of, but Efe feels stuck in a nightmare. And when a new revelation emerges, they are forced to confront just how radically different they want their lives to be. Already swallowed by the demands of motherhood and feeling the dreams she had slipping away once again, Efe disappears.”

Hello, filthy rich people. Bea is on a mission to marry for MONEY and have it all. Being a con artist is in her blood, so lying and scheming is as simple as an obnoxious air kiss with people you despise. I LOVED this debut. It was juicy and entertaining and the perfect distraction from the busyness of life.

SYNOPSIS:

“Like any enterprising woman, Bea knows what she’s worth and is determined to get all she deserves–it just so happens that what she deserves is to marry rich. Filthy rich. After years of forced instruction by her mother in the art of swindling men, a now-solo Bea wants nothing more than to close and lock the door on their sordid partnership so she can disappear safely into old-money domesticity, sealing the final phase of her escape. When Bea chooses her ultimate target in the fully loaded, thoroughly dull, and blue-blooded Collin Case, she’s ready to deploy all of her tricks one last time. The challenge isn’t getting the ring but rather the approval of Collin’s family and everyone else in their 1 percent tax bracket, particularly his childhood best friend, Gale Wallace-Leicester. Going toe-to-toe with Gale isn’t a threat to an expert like Bea, but what begins as an amusing cat-and-mouse game quickly develops into a dangerous pursuit of the grisly truth. Finding herself at a literal life-and-death crossroads with everything on the line, Bea must finally decide who she really wants to be. Like mother, like daughter?”

Another debut filled with grandiose living and the ins and out of being rich. Pineapple Street was delightful to listen to on audio. If you are in the mood to bop around inside someone’s head a meander around their life in gorgeous Brooklyn—this one is for you.

SYNOPSIS:

“A deliciously funny, sharply observed debut of family, love, and class, this zeitgeisty novel follows three women in one wealthy Brooklyn clan Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected old-money Stockton family, followed her heart, trading her job and her inheritance for motherhood but giving up far too much in the process; Sasha, a middle-class New England girl, has married into the Brooklyn Heights family, and finds herself cast as the arriviste outsider; and Georgiana, the baby of the family, has fallen in love with someone she can’t have, and must decide what kind of person she wants to be.”

None Shall Sleep was our #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS March selection. I am calling this Silence of the Lambs “light”—perfect for the YA reader in your life. I enjoyed this one on audio!

SYNOPSIS:

“In 1982, two teenagers–serial killer survivor Emma Lewis and US Marshal candidate Travis Bell–are recruited by the FBI to interview convicted juvenile killers and provide insight and advice on cold cases. From the start, Emma and Travis develop a quick friendship, gaining information from juvenile murderers that even the FBI can’t crack. But when the team is called in to give advice on an active case–a serial killer who exclusively hunts teenagers–things begin to unravel. Working against the clock, they must turn to one of the country’s most notorious incarcerated murderers for help: teenage sociopath Simon Gutmunsson. Despite Travis’s objections, Emma becomes the conduit between Simon and the FBI team. But while Simon seems to be giving them the information they need to save lives, he’s an expert manipulator playing a very long game…and he has his sights set on Emma.”

Laura Cathcart Robbins’ memoir, 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘩: 𝘔𝘺 𝘓𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘏𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨, is her unimaginable story of addiction and journey to sobriety. Page by page, she details what her daily struggles with Ambien and alcohol looked like back in the day. This book BLEW MY MIND! Incredible on audio!

SYNOPSIS

“After years of hiding her addiction from everyone–from stockpiling pills in her Louboutins to elaborately scheduling withdrawals between PTA meetings, baby showers, and tennis matches–Laura Cathcart Robbins settles into a complicated purgatory. She learns the hard way that privilege doesn’t protect you from pain. Facing divorce, the possibility of a grueling custody battle, and internalized racism, Robbins wonders just how much more she can take. Now, with courage and candid openness, she reveals how she managed to begin the long journey towards sobriety and unexpectedly finding new love. Robbins harrowingly illustrates taking down the wall she built around herself brick by brick and what it means to be Black in a startingly white world.”

Alexis and Logan stole my heart. They both truly came into their own as their stories unfolded. Their fake dating, political dilemmas, and personal baggage make them so much more than a hot politician running for governor and a small-town school librarian. EEEEKKKK…LOVED THIS! Out May 9th!

SYNOPSIS:

“As a shy school librarian, Alexis Stone is comfortable keeping out of the spotlight. But when she’s dumped for being too meek–in bed!–she decides she needs to change. And what better way to kick-start her new, more adventurous life than with her first one-night stand? Enter Logan, the gorgeous, foul-mouthed stranger she meets at a hotel bar. Audacious and filterless, Logan is Alexis’s opposite–and boy, do opposites attract! Just as she’s about to fulfill her hookup wish, the hotel catches fire in a freak lightning storm. In their rush to escape, Logan is discovered carrying her into the street, where people are waiting with cameras. Cameras Logan promptly–and shockingly–flees. Alexis is bewildered until suddenly, pictures of her and Logan escaping the fire are all over the internet. Turns out Logan is none other than Logan Arthur, the hotshot candidate challenging the Texas governor’s seat. The salacious scandal is poised to sink his career–and jeopardize Alexis’s job–until a solution is proposed: he and Alexis could pretend to be in a relationship until election day…in two months. What could possibly go wrong?”

WOW! Charlotte Perkins Gilman was the original feminist. If the history of mental health pertaining to women fascinates you—this is a must-read. The intense imagery blew me away, and Gilman captured her protagonist spiraling into “madness” with an eerieness that I just can’t shake. Freaking brilliant!

SYNOPSIS:

“The Yellow Wallpaper is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the nineteenth century toward women’s physical and mental health. The story also has been classified as Gothic fiction and horror fiction. The story is written as a collection of first-person journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband has confined her to the upstairs bedroom of a house that he has rented for the summer. She is forbidden from working and has to hide her journal entries from him so that she can recuperate from what he calls a “temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency,” a diagnosis common to women in that period. 

Her husband controls her access to the rest of the house. In the end, she imagines that there are women creeping around behind the patterns of the wallpaper and comes to believe that she is one of them. She locks herself in the room, now the only place where she feels safe, refusing to leave when the summer rental is up.”

This story was wonderful. I loved Jimenez’s leading characters, Alexis and Daniel. They had plenty of chemistry, lots of steam, and developed backstories that added to their “relationship.” Jimenez always manages to write great love stories that have an extra layer of drama and difficult subject matters. This time around, she brought attention to domestic abuse. She did a fantastic job incorporating a heavy topic in a gentle and sensitive manner. The cherry on top was not only a happy ending but a baby goat in PJs! Another winner from this auto-buy author of mine!

SYNOPSIS:

“After a wild bet, a gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddling with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come–the complete opposite of sophisticated city girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable. While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And with every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people. Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him, either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?”

I threw in some personal development this month. Dr. Hyman has been around for quite some time now and he is the guru on clean and wholesome eating. Despite it being very repetitive, I took away some new tips and ideas for my own health and wellness.

SYNOPSIS:

“The key to losing weight and keeping it off is maintaining low insulin levels. Based on Dr. Hyman’s groundbreaking Blood Sugar Solution program, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet presents strategies for reducing insulin levels and producing fast and sustained weight loss. Dr. Hyman explains how to: activate your natural ability to burn fat — especially belly fat; reduce inflammation; reprogram your metabolism; shut off your fat-storing genes; de-bug your digestive system; create effortless appetite control; and soothe the stress to shed the pounds. With practical tools designed to achieve optimum wellness, including meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists, as well as step-by-step, easy-to-follow advice on green living, supplements, medication, exercise, and more, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet is the fastest way to lose weight, prevent disease, and feel your best.”

*I received some of today’s books as advance reader copies from the author/publishers in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

The Boyfriend Candidate

The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead (Graydon House)
Pub Day~May 9, 2023

March 7, 2023

Hi Book Lovers!

Today I am jumping ahead and sharing one of my FAVORITE author’s upcoming novel. Ashley Winstead, author of In My Dream I Hold A Knife, Fool Me Once, and The Last Housewife has a brand new romance novel coming out May 9th called The Boyfriend Candidate, and I can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on it. 

The Boyfriend Candidate is a “spin-off” to Winstead’s debut romance novel, Fool Me Once, and it did not disappoint.  I LOVED Fool Me Once, so reading about Alexis Stone was such a treat.  First things first, The Boyfriend Candidate can be read as a stand alone novel with ease.  However, Winstead’s previous love birds (Lee & Ben) are the cherry on top!  They make more than a few cameo appearances, and references to their “love story” are peppered throughout.  If you haven’t read their story it is OK. It simply is an IYKYK situation, which made me feel pretty cool.  

 Winstead is back at it blending a classic romance trope with a touch of Texas politics. It is so evident in her writing that she herself is a lover of books and words.  She adds in with purpose two things I am passionate about…, a teacher’s room romance book club and standing up for banned books,  Let’s not forget a few music mentions like Wreckless Eric’s song, Whole Wide World, and of course, Amarillo By Morning…a nod to all the cowboys and maybe even the 4-H kiddos (Logan). You need to read the book for that part to make sense.  She is so great at effortlessly bringing awareness to hot topics while at the same time teasing readers with an off the chart romance! 

 Alexis and Logan stole my heart. The both truly came into their own as their stories unfolded. Their fake dating, political dilemmas, and personal baggage make them so much more than a hot politician running for Governor and a small town school librarian.   I loved how Winstead kept their “fake” relationship piping hot with conflict and a whole lot of sexual tension.  She created  a significant amount of “anticipated steam” that kept the pages turning and turning all day long until I reach the end …SWOON!.  I was DYING for these two to pull-it-together and just get together!!!! .  

The Boyfriend Candidate is a must read this spring! I am hoping there is a third book in this Texas romance world Winstead created and…I even have bets on who it will be about!!!!

Be sure to pre-order this gem down below and check out my thoughts on ALL of Winstead’s books RIGHT HERE!

xoxo,

Kelly

Click on the book pic to Pre-order

*I received an advance reader of this book from the author/publishers in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it!

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

The Way You Look Tonight

Home Again by Melissa Grace (July 27, 2021)

July 24, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Happy Saturday! Do you remember when I told you about how much I loved Melissa Grace’s book, Home is Where You Are? Well guess what??? The sequel, Home Again, is coming out for all the world to read on July 27, 2021 and I am here to tell you how fabulous it is. Grace once again dazzled me with her passionate characters and heartfelt tale. The spotlight is on Ella and Cash this time around, and their love story does not disappoint. I am now impatiently waiting for book three ❤️❤️❤️.

“Ella Claiborne is ready to find love again. Long since widowed and with her daughter Grace leaving the country, Ella dives headfirst into the dating pool to ease her loneliness. After her date ditches her at her best friend’s wedding, Ella quickly realizes there’s only one man she’s truly interested in. There’s just one problem–he’s her daughter’s boss.

Cash Montgomery has already loved and lost. After losing his wife to cancer, he isn’t sure he’s ready to put himself back out there, but he finds himself drawn to Ella. After one unforgettable night, Cash begins to wonder if there could be a future for the two of them.

With one devastating phone call, Cash and Ella are tossed into a whirlwind of emotions. Once the dust settles, Cash must decide if he’s ready to let go of the ghost of his former love, and Ella is faced with the realization that grief changes us forever.

Home Again, the second installment in Melissa Grace’s Midnight in Dallas series picks up right where the first book left off. Liv and Dallas are still very much present in this book with their story continuing on in the background, but the main focus is on Ella and Cash’s journey. Second chance love is a trope that I LOVE reading and this magical story of love after loss melted my heart in all the best ways. This time around Grace turned the heat up on her bedroom scenes and I was pretty psyched to get a glimpse early on in the book. Cash and Ella’s chemistry was seeping off the pages and I happily absorbed every bit of it. While the passion was no doubt alive and thriving, so were the relationships between family and friends. The thing I love about Grace is she is extremely thoughtful when writing about all of her characters. She is constantly finding ways to nourish their relationships during times of change and does a beautiful job infusing life’s everyday challenges into their stories. Grace makes me want to jump into this book and hang out with this crew at Sunday dinners. Now that is a sign of a stellar story.

If you are in the market for a touching story filled with tons of hope after sadness, then I can’t recommend this book enough. I imagine you can read this as a stand alone, but I encourage you to read Home is Where You Are first. I am a huge devotee of reading book series in the order they were written 🤷‍♀️. Why skip around when you can read them all 🥰🥰!

Pre-order this book NOW…I INSIST!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Did you know that Melissa Grace was a Guest Writer on Dear Mr. Hemingway? Check out what she had to say to the big guy RIGHT HERE!

Click on this Gorgeous book cover to pre-order this book.

***I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it!

Here Comes The Sun

It Had To Be You by Georgia Clark (Atria/Emily Bestler)~May 4, 2021



May 3, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Love is in the air, and it feels like Valentine’s Day… in the beginning of May.  Because of this, I have to share with you the most sprightly and heartwarming book. It Had To Be You by Georgia Clark has all the “feels” and I literally can’t stop smiling.  Love almighty love is the theme here, and Clark delivers a five star tale blending a sprinkle of Modern Love with a dollop of Love Actually.  This twenty-first century romantic comedy is a ray of sunshine and I can’t wait for the world to read it.

Liv and Eliot Goldenhorn have been married for decades.  Their New York wedding planning company, In Love in New York is THE place to go for the ultimate wedding experience.  One night, Liv finds out that her husband had a heart attack while away, and died.  Soon after, Liv discovers that not only did her husband/business partner die, but that he left his half of the company to his GIRLFRIEND, Savannah (excellent time for your jaw to drop).  Why on Earth is he trying to bring these two women together after his death? 

Now that you have the backdrop of the story, let me continue with what happens next.  Liv is baffled when Savannah moves to New York to take on her “half “of the wedding business, and so begins their unexpected journey as business owners and women trying to discover love after loss. To enrich this story further, Clark brings in a cast of characters with their own unique love challenges that all link back to Liv, Savannah and In Love In New York. 

It Had To Be You is a must read for anyone looking for love,hope and a happily ever after.  LGBTQ themes, diversity, and romance were lovingly woven together to showcase the power of love. Clark magically melded together an incredible ensemble of characters that offered a different point of view for each new chapter.  The five storylines were distinct in their own quirky way and I was completely obsessed with each and every one of them.  As a woman in my 40’s, I personally relished reading about Clark’s characters my age and even older. It is so refreshing to see more mature women and men in romance books.  This writer truly knows how to tap into the human heart and I look forward to more books written by her.  

It Had To Be You is a treasure that belongs on everyone’s bookshelf.  It is a well needed hug after a long day kind of book and I can’t encourage you enough to read and savor this all inclusive love story.   

Love and Happiness My Friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly


P.S.  Georgia Clark shared her own happily ever after in Brides Magazine.  Check it out Right Here!

Click on the Book Pic to Purchase!

Let’s Get It On

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters (Atria)

“But she has no time for these dangerous thoughts-she had a scheme to enact, a dowager marchioness to thwart, and a marquess to make miserable.  In short, she was busy.  Busy ladies had no time to dwell on kisses.”

April 6, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Do regency romance novels ring a bell? If I remember correctly, this sub genre was brought to your attention by author Lauren Layne when she wrote to you about her favorite comfort read back in February of 2020.  I have to admit, it has been awhile since I have sunk my teeth into one of these juicy romances set in the early nineteenth century, but after Bridgerton took the world by storm on Netflix this past winter, regency romances are back on center stage.  To Love and To Loathe by Martha Waters is out today and its flirty, fresh and everything in between.  An easy-peasy lemon-squeezy read is the best way to kick off spring in my opinion and Water’s latest historical rom-com will have you smiling from ear to ear.

“She did not wish for much in life-a comfortable house, an extensive wardrobe, and a plentiful supply of paint and canvas were all she really asked for.  But the sensation of winning a wager against Willingham?  Yes, she would admit to wanting that rather badly.”

Welcome to high society where the widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are center stage.  These two “friends” turn an argument at a ball into a full on wager.  Diana will turn over one hundred pounds if “playboy” Jeremy marries within the year.  Shortly after, Jeremy brings another proposal to Diana.  He recently received a harsh review of his bedroom skills from his last mistress.  He asks Diana to embark in a brief dalliance with him at his house party at Elderwild, his country estate.  During this affair, Diana can offer him some “constructive” criticism of his intimate most moves, while providing him with a much needed confidence boost. In addition, word will get out that Diana, the independent widow, is open to more interludes herself.  What sounds like a win win situation becomes more complicated as the banter, flirtation and romping intensifies. As Jeremy’s competence in the bedroom becomes oh so promising and Diana’s desire for independence dwindles, the two of them must decide how to proceed when the house party fun comes to an end.

“Jeremy was a man of simple pleasures: a glass of brandy, a hard ride on a horse, a good round of boxing at Gentleman Jackson’s, a tumble with a willing woman.  None of these occupations provided him with expertise that he generally had much cause to call upon, but in that moment, he knew one thing with the utmost certainty:  that moan had not been one of pain, but of pleasure.”

Here is my take.  To Love and To Loathe is an opulent tale that is sparkly and bright.   Who doesn’t love a fiery kiss against a ginormous tree with a gorgeous man who just dismounted his sweaty horse.  Don’t be afraid to raise your hand…mine is way up high. I am talking callous hands cupping your face, a few nibbles on your neck, hair askew, dress ruffled in all the right places, and panting from the sheer thrill of getting caught….you get my drift.   Place this scenario in the early 1800s on a grassy estate with nosy maids lingering around every corner and a few two a.m. booty calls (very classy mind you), and you have the key ingredients to a regency romance. 

Water’s story has a gorgeous atmosphere bubbling over with schemes and desire.  One thing I adored was how forward thinking the women in her book were during this male dominated time.  Waters weaved in contemporary themes of love, relationships and independence in a vivacious way.  Instead of keeping her innermost thoughts and desires stifled out of ear of polite society, her female protagonist expressed them using a paintbrush on canvas and in the bedroom with her “Misteress”, Jeremy.   I absolutely love the evolving relationship between Diana and Jeremy.  Their constant wordplay with one another and coy foreplay left me short of breath. The plot was straightforward, but the main characters’ pasts and individual hankering for intimacy and love kept me not only intrigued, but highly entertained.  To Love and to Loathe is a quick and chucklesome read that is heartfelt and down right a blast.  I hope this book brings you as much joy as it brought me.

Happy reading dear friend.

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. To Love and to Loathe is book #2 in The Regency Vows series.  Book one is called To Have and To Hoax.  I did not read the first book in this series, but will happily tell you that book #2 works perfectly well as a stand alone. I of course am running to get the first book posthaste!!!

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Guest Writer~Kristen Granata

Photo Credit~Kristen Granata

March 31, 2021

Happy Wednesday Book Lovers,

Today is the last day of the Indie Author Guest Writer Series. We are finishing off this incredible series strong with romance author, Kristen Granata.    

Kristen Granata is a teacher by day, and an author by night. Known for writing emotional contemporary and new adult romance, she loves creating realistic, flawed characters who struggle through the darkest parts of life and come out stronger on the other side. Kristen is a self-proclaimed “bitter cynic trapped in a hopeless romantic’s body.” Her characters pack a sarcastic punch, make you laugh, make you think, make you ugly cry – and they will always live happily ever after. If you’re a lover of moving, inspirational reads, Kristen’s your girl.

Kristen published her first book, Collision, in March of 2018. Since then, eight more books have been born.  With over 8,000 loyal followers on Instagram, this romance writing diva is one to follow.  Granata’s page is filled with  family life, hysterical videos and all things books and reading.  One thing that I truly admire about Kristen is how she openly shares her mental health struggles with depression and anxiety with her Instagram following. Her message is a beacon of hope to anyone who is suffering: You are not alone. She delicately weaves this theme into her writing, and demonstrates the ability of love to heal trauma.

When she’s not teaching or writing, Kristen is reading, Instagramming, indulging in her messy love affair with popcorn, and annoying her wife and step-daughters by incessantly singing along to The Greatest Showman soundtrack. 

Who else is as obsessed as I am?  

I hope you enjoy her letter to Mr. H.  Her book recommendation is awesome and she is also paying tribute to one of our previous guest writers.  Enjoy Sweet friends!

Happy Reading!

Kelly

P.S.  Be sure to check out Kristen Granata on all of her bookish adventures RIGHT HERE!

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Being that I suffer from depression, it’s no surprise I immediately fell in love with this book I’m about to recommend to you. I think you’d enjoy it, and I wonder if you’d be able to relate to anything Emery Reed goes through. As you know personally, depression takes control of our thoughts, our actions, and our lives. And it takes Emery on a road trip—one he doesn’t plan on coming back from.

I’ve read On the Way to You, by Kandi Steiner many times since I first read it in 2019. It was recommended to me by a friend, and it was the first Kandi Steiner book I’d read. Her writing is beautiful, like poetry, and every sentence wrapped around my heart. I’ve read every one of her books since then, but this one always stands out as different from the rest.

Cooper is an old soul in a young woman’s body. She’s experienced her share of heartache and tragedy, but it doesn’t bring her down. Something is missing from her life though, and she gets into a beautiful stranger’s car when he asks her to join him on his road trip. Sure, it’s dangerous. Sure, it isn’t smart. But our hearts connect us with certain people we need before our minds realize what’s happening, and Cooper was drawn to Emery that day for a reason.

It’s a heartbreakingly beautiful story watching Cooper as she “comes of age” in a sort of way—you’d no doubt love the adventure she goes on—and watching Emery struggle with a decision no one should ever have to. I especially love how Cooper snoops through his journal, and we get to see some of the real raw darkness that’s inside of Emery. I cried my eyes out when she finds him on the edge of that literal cliff at the end of their trip, and I know you’d be moved to tears if you could read it too.

“There was a war raging inside that head of his tonight, and only he could see it. Only he could fight.”

I’ve dedicated my own writing to bringing awareness to mental health. All nine of my books have serious topics weaved into their love stories. My mission is to help people who are suffering. To help them know that they’re not alone. And to show them that there’s a warrior inside them, if only they’d dig deep and let her out. There’s hope at the end of the dark tunnel of depression. I only wish you’d have found it.

Sincerely,

Kristen Granata

P.S. My very first book, Collision, follows a woman named Merritt who’s reeling from her father’s suicide. It’s a contemporary romance that showcases how we can find hope and love after tragedy. If you’re into emotional love stories that make you cry, then this book is a must-read!

Click here to Purchase!

Guest Writer~Kandi Steiner

Photo Credit~Kandi Steiner

Greetings Book Lovers!

It is Friday friends and I am in absolute love with today’s Indie Author Guest Writer.  Best Selling author Kandi Steiner is on the blog today and I couldn’t be more excited. Steiner is best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories and loves bringing flawed characters to life.  No two Kandi Steiner books are ever the same. If you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, Steiner has got you covered.  I Have been a fan of Steiner for more years than I can count.  Her book, On the Rocks was featured in The 2019 Dear Mr. Hemingway Holiday Books & Pairings.  Be sure to check out my love for this book and what I paired with it for the winning combination!

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Steiner graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed it to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, snuggling her furry puppy and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order. 

I am living vicariously through Steiner today as she shares a book she loves and her  memories of spending time at The Hemingway House in Key West Florida (my trip was cancelled to go there last year due to the pandemic).  Get ready to add ANOTHER fabulous book to your TBR.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!

Happy Reading!

Kelly

P.S. Happy Pub Day to Steiner.  Her book Hazed, was released yesterday!  Be sure to check it out!

Click on the book pic to read!

P.P.S. Connect with this beautiful writer on all her wonderful platforms below!

➜ NEWSLETTER: kandisteiner.com/newsletter

➜ FACEBOOK: facebook.com/kandisteiner

➜ FACEBOOK READER GROUP (Kandiland): facebook.com/groups/kandilandks

➜ INSTAGRAM: Instagram.com/kandisteiner

➜ TWITTER: twitter.com/kandisteiner

➜ PINTEREST: pinterest.com/authorkandisteiner

➜ WEBSITE: www.kandisteiner.com

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

On my 30th birthday, I strolled through the house in Key West that you once called home. I was in awe, standing in your second-story office overlooking the pool and the palms, my eyes soaking in the same views you did while writing some of your greatest works. It was easy for me to understand why that would be your favorite place to sit and be inspired, especially because Key West is one of my favorite places in the world, too.

And of course, having a dozen or so polydactyl cats roaming around doesn’t hurt. 

That wasn’t my first trip to your house. No, that first time was many years ago, when I was early in my writing career and had no idea what the future held for me. But on my 30th birthday, my second time touring your old home, I wasn’t alone.

I was with a boy named Jack.

Jack and I met on Bumble, a dating app that I find is difficult to explain if you haven’t been on it yourself. All you really need to know, however, is that we went on a hike for our first date, and I knew instantly that he was something special.

Two years later, and we are engaged.

Engaged! Writing that word makes me giggle like a schoolgirl, Ernest. I just can’t get over the way it feels to say, “My fiancé!” Our engagement is recent, you see, as he just proposed on March 11th. Maybe that’s why I’m all wrapped up in my ooey, gooey romantic feels and find myself reaching for books that make me feel the same way.

Have you heard of Staci Hart?

She’s a fantastic writer with a knack for romantic comedy, and I’ve never read writing so lush and poignant in all my life. I recently read her latest release, Bet the Farm, and I’ve included it here with my letter for you to read, too. This romantic comedy had me laughing so hard my eyes watered, but even better? The romance made me swoon with big, fat, heart eyes and my hands clasped over my chest. I couldn’t get enough of the main characters, and the setting of this picturesque small town in California was just the icing on the cake.

Did I mention that the heroine is lactose-intolerant, and she’s just inherited her grandfather’s dairy farm?

Trust me — this is a must read.

I hope all is well on your end, and I look forward to hearing about your most recent hunts and boxing matches. You’re still the reigning champion in Key West, no doubt.

Warm Wishes & Whiskey,

Kandi Steiner

P.S.  Also, thought you might find it funny to know that you can name your iPhone when you set it up.  Mine is named Ernest Hemingway. 🙂

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Thunder Only Happens When It Rains

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren (Gallery Books) May 18, 2021

March 25, 2021

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Do you believe in soulmates? Love at first sight, fate brought you together, undeniable chemistry? Having had four wives (at different times) clearly something was amiss for you.  Am I right or am I right? What if you, Hadley, Pauline, Martha and Mary all had the opportunity to take a DNA test that would tell you just how compatible you were together?  Now that I have your attention, I will politely keep my guesses to myself and chat more about this concept of using people’s DNA to create the perfect match.  I’ve talked to you before about my love for the author duo Christina Lauren.  Well guess what…they are back and taking matchmaking to a whole new level in their latest creation, The Soulmate Equation. Only Lauren can take on DNA and statistics and make it heartfelt and sexy.  Let’s take a look and see what’s going on, shall we?

Jess Davis is our leading lady in The Soulmate Equation.  She is a single mom who busts her tail as a statistician trying to make ends meet for her and her seven year old daughter.  Even though Jess is single, she is not sure if she is ready to mingle quite yet. Her best friend convinces her to take a DNA test put out by the new buzz-worthy matchmaking company, GeneticAlly. Jess is skeptical about this company that basically uses DNA from its participants to create the perfect match.  When the results come back, Jess quickly learns she scored a 98% compatibility rate with her match, which is almost unheard of.  Here is the kicker, her match is none other than the founder of the company, Dr. River Pena.  Because Jess is completely pessimistic and disbelieving of this match,  GeneticAlly calls her into their office to make her a proposition.  The company offers to pay her to get to know River and be photographed with him at events to help promote the success of their match and GeneticAlly as a whole.  The money is of course great, so Jess temporarily puts her worries aside and takes the plunge getting to know River.  As the two of them embark on this new journey together, unexpected feelings occur leaving Jess in the most unique situation. 

Let me first start by saying that Christina Lauren always delivers a timely tale of love and romance.  They truly never run out of new and fresh ways to bring people together.  This dynamic writing pair upped the game for modern day dating with an innovative concept of using DNA to find your ultimate soulmate.   Lauren mixed in messy families, slightly older protagonists and a few unexpected twists to keep this contemporary romance vibrant and unique.  Let’s not forget the sizzle between Jess and River that had me teetering in my seat.   The Soulmate Equation is the perfect afternoon delight!  This bright and shiny new tale will have you smiling from ear to ear!

Enjoy Sweet Friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S. Be sure to check out what I had to say about Christina Lauren’s book, In a Holidaze!

Click on the book pic to pre-order this spring treat!

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