A Highlander is Coming to Town by Laura Trentham

a highlander is coming to town by laura trentham book cover

A review copy was generously provided by St Martin’s Press

a highlander is coming to town by laura trentham book cover

As I head into the eighth month of my work from home and self isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve found myself looking forward to holidays a lot more. Needless to say, I’ve been gearing up for Christmas extra early this year and was very excited to get the opportunity to read and review A Highlander is Coming To Town.

You better watch out. . .

Holt Pierson is dreading Christmas. His parents absconded to Florida for the season and left him to handle the family farm which will be his one day―whether he wants it or not. Driven by duty, Holt has always followed the path expected of him. But lately, he’s been questioning what he wants and where he belongs. Will assuming the responsibility of the Pierson farm make him happy or is there something―or someone―else out in the wider world calling to him?


To Claire Smythe, the Scottish lead singer of a touring band, Highland, Georgia, is the perfect place to hide . . .until a very handsome and deeply curious Holt begins to ask all the questions Claire doesn’t want to answer. As Holt draws Claire out from under and into the fabric of small-town life, can Claire put the past behind her and embrace the unexpected gifts of the season―including the new and lasting love?

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Blog Tour: Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffet

Those Who Prey Tour Banner

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Those Who Prey blog tour hosted by Turn The Page Tours! I hope you enjoy my review and enjoy the book as much as I did! Be sure to snag a copy here: https://bookshop.org/a/11727/9781534450967

My review

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Those Who Prey – I had never read a book about cults before and have never been a big fan of organized religion. However, the idea of a book about a girl whose loneliness leads her to fall for the alure of a cult (or a church as it’s disguised) was enough to make me sign up for this blog tour, and I’m so, so grateful that I did.

Sadie meets The Girls in this riveting debut psychological thriller about a lonely college freshman seduced into joining a cult—and her desperate attempt to escape before it’s too late.

College life isn’t what Emily expected.

She expected to spend freshman year strolling through the ivy-covered campus with new friends, finally feeling like she belonged. Instead, she walks the campus alone, still not having found her place or her people so far away from home.

But then the Kingdom finds her.

The Kingdom, an exclusive on-campus group, offers everything Emily expected of college and more: acceptance, friends, a potential boyfriend, and a chance to spend the summer in Italy on a mission trip. But the trip is not what she thought it would be. Emily and the others are stripped of their passports and money. They’re cut off from their families back home. The Kingdom’s practices become increasingly manipulative and dangerous.

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A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe – Blog Tour

A Golden Fury Blog Tour
A Golden Fury Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe! Thank you to the lovely folks over at Wednesday books for including me on this tour and for the review copy of A Golden Fury. Be sure to check them out on Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to order your copy of A Golden Fury here.

My review

I was thrilled when the folks over at Wednesday Books reached out to me about reading A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe – it was immediately clear that this book was unlike anything I had read before. Alchemy is a topic you don’t see often in YA fiction, so needless to say, I was excited to dive right into it. Also, not that you should ever judge a book by its cover, but oh my god this cover is stunning – kudos to whoever the designer was.

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

A GOLDEN FURY and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.

The only issue I had with this book was the pacing – the first half of the book was a bit too slow for me. There was a lot of world building that had to happen in the first half, but it seemed to come at the expense of significant plot events. The second half really picked up speed and kept me more glued to the pages. That being said, Samantha Cohoe certainly built an immersive atmosphere – within the first couple of pages I could practically see Normandy in the spring. Also, she is great at writing tension – there were scenes where my heart was racing at the thought that a glass might shatter – not something I normally get excited about.

Thea was a great character – she was a strong, independent young woman who was self-reliant and incredibly intelligent. From the first pages her ambition is clear – as too is her yearning for her mother’s praise. When everything goes awry, she becomes a fish out of water and quickly proves just how much of a scrappy survivor she is. Even through hardships, she was a bad ass, take-crap-from-no-one type of character – my favorite. Throughout the course of the book her character evolved and developed – she went from seeking the praise of her mother to someone wise and self-sacrificing for the greater good. I thoroughly enjoyed her character arc and hope I get to read about her in a future book.

A Golden Fury is filled with mystery, is atmospheric, and tackles the fascinating topic of alchemy. I loved how well it set the scene, and how immersive it was – there were scenes that had my heart racing even though they weren’t necessarily action scenes. I’ve never read a book about alchemy before, and after A Golden Fury I hope to read more. I can’t wait to read whatever Samantha Cohoe writes next. 4/5

Samantha Cohoe, author of A Golden Fury

About the Author

Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel.

Check out her Twitter here and her Instagram here!

Order your copy of A Golden Fury now: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/a-golden-fury/

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Book Review: Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

simmer down by sarah smith cover
simmer down by sarah smith cover

Thank you to the lovely folks at Berkley for the review copy!

With current events, I’ve been turning to rom-com books for escapism and a sense of levity. Thankfully, I’ve been on a real hot streak lately – naturally, I was very excited when I got the chance to read and review Simmer Down by Sarah Smith. Just from the blurb I could tell I was in for a treat – a rom-com between two rival food truck owners? Sign me up.

In this finger-licking good rom-com, two is the perfect number of cooks in the kitchen.

Nikki DiMarco knew life wouldn’t be all sunshine and coconuts when she quit her dream job to help her mom serve up mouthwatering Filipino dishes to hungry beach goers, but she didn’t expect the Maui food truck scene to be so eat-or-be-eaten—or the competition to be so smoking hot.

But Tiva’s Filipina Kusina has faced bigger road bumps than the arrival of Callum James. Nikki doesn’t care how delectable the British food truck owner is—he rudely set up shop next to her coveted beach parking spot. He’s stealing her customers and fanning the flames of a public feud that makes her see sparks.

The solution? Let the upcoming Maui Food Festival decide their fate. Winner keeps the spot. Loser pounds sand. But the longer their rivalry simmers, the more Nikki starts to see a different side of Callum…a sweet, protective side. Is she brave enough to call a truce? Or will trusting Callum with her heart mean jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

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