Women's Fiction/Romantic Comedy Book Review | FINDING FRASER by kc dyer

Genre: Women's Fiction | Romantic Comedy
Author: kc dyer
Rating: 5 stars


I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. He was, in fact, the perfect man.
     That he was fictional hardly entered into it...
On the cusp of thirty, Emma Sheridan is desperately in need of a change. After a string of failed relationships, she can admit that no man has ever lived up to her idea of perfection: the Scottish fictional star of romantic fantasies the world over—James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.
Her ideal man might be ripped from the pages of a book, but Emma hopes that by making one life-altering decision she might be able to turn fiction into fact. After selling all her worldly possessions, Emma takes off for Scotland with nothing but her burgeoning travel blog to confide in.
But as she scours the country’s rolling green hills and crumbling castles, Emma discovers that in searching for her own Jamie Fraser, she just might find herself.


One word to describe this book: FUN! So, so, so fun! Quick, witty, swoon-worthy, and . . . fun!

Confession time: I have never read a single word of the OUTLANDER series. Shameful, right? But even so, I “got” this book. I mean, what woman hasn’t obsessed over a fictional man at some point? And a girl (and not even a young girl, I might add!) who has the cajones to set out on a quest to find her very own real-life version of a fictional heartthrob? #MySpiritAnimal

Seriously, I loved this. The premise is primo and it’s something nearly every woman can relate to. For sure.

Full of wickedly awesome dialogue (complete with Scottish dialect that was impossible not to totally immerse yourself into), extraordinary setting descriptions that made me believe I was right there (I have never been to Scotland, but had no trouble “seeing” what Emma saw), a great cast of characters, and a sweet little romance, this book has it all. OUTLANDER die hard or not, this is a story anyone can love. FINDING FRASER gets an easy five stars from me and is one I highly recommend you add to your Summer TBR List.

Reviewer's Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review can also be found on ChickLitPlus.com.

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Women's Fiction Book Review | THE ONES WHO MATTER MOST by Rachael Herron

Genre: Women's Fiction
Author: Rachael Herron
Rating: 4.5 stars


From the acclaimed author of Splinters of Light and Pack Up the Moon comes a beautiful novel about two very different women who are about to get a second chance at creating a family…

After her husband dies unexpectedly, Abby Roberts comes across something startling: wedding photographs of him with another woman, along with pictures of a baby boy. Shocked, Abby does something utterly impulsive: She embarks on a journey to discover the family her husband apparently left behind.

Money has always been tight for single mom Fern Reyes, and never tighter than now. But this month, in place of a child-support check, her ex’s pretty, privileged wife appears on her doorstep with far too many questions. Unfortunately, her young son is so taken with Abby that Fern doesn’t have the heart to send her away.

What begins as one woman’s search for truth becomes a deep bond forged between the unlikeliest of people, and the discovery that there are many ways to make a family—as long as you take care…


Ah, yes. The secret family plotline. Always interesting to see how characters get themselves into these situations and how it affects those around them. Not surprisingly, it usually affects them PROFOUNDLY.

This can definitely be said for Abby Roberts. Not only does her husband up and die right in their bathroom, but he also has some very bony skeletons hanging in his closet. And poor, innocent Abby gets the brunt of his deception.

For whatever reason, Abby is purging stuff from the house before her husband, Scott, is even in the ground. To me, this seemed like a way-too-convenient way for her to find his dirt. But that’s fine and forgivable. What’s not forgivable is Scott’s abandonment of his first family and the fact that he kept them a secret from Abby. Abby feels compelled to find these people and while I’m not sure that would be the first thing on my agenda mere days after my husband passed, I can see how she’d be curious.

When she meets Fern (Scott’s ex-wife) and Matty (Scott’s son with Fern), Abby is immediately drawn to them and wants to make them her own. Desperate? For sure. But again, Abby has such an innocent side to her that her freaky stalkerism is slightly understandable.

Fern, on the other hand, is a hard core, no-one-leaves, no-one-gets-in kind of woman. She’s fiercely protective of her family and works her tail off providing for them. I could relate to her in this way and was happy when she opened herself up to Abby and Gregory. Although a very bumpy ride to get her there, it was a nice plotline of character growth.

Speaking of character growth: Ms. Herron did an outstanding job developing every one of the characters in this book, right down to the grumpy science teacher and Tulip the dog. I applaud her for that because in a book that could have been too “trope-y” in plot, it was the characters that really made this story sparkle. She also did a great job with scene descriptions and it was easy to put myself right in the room, or yard, or onto the bus with these “people.”

This is the first book of Rachael Herron’s that I’ve read, but it won’t be my last. I love her voice, and she nailed almost all of the dialogue. There were a few situations that were a little cliché or a little too convenient, but overall, the story had an excellent progression and was a well-balanced and highly enjoyable Women’s Fiction read. The Ones Who Matter Most easily gets 4.5 stars!

Reviewer's Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Middle Grade Book Review | FINDERS REAPERS by Anna Staniszewski

Title: FINDERS REAPERS (Part of the Switched at First Kiss series)
Genre: Middle Grade
Author: Anna Staniszewski
Rating: 4.5 stars


Marcus is a Cupid. Lena is a Reaper. Opposites attract in book 2 of the adorkable Switched At First Kiss series by the acclaimed author of The Dirt Diary.

Lena's not ready for any more supernatural surprises. Her new boyfriend, Marcus, is a cupid. She's a soul collector ("reaper" just sound so harsh). And they just got their powers un-swapped. But things aren't as back to "normal" as they seem...

On his next assignment, Marcus's "love boost" is a little too powerful. (Baby talk is so annoying.) And Lena's soul sort of...escapes. The cause? Lena and Marcus's powers are still intertwined! Their emotions are affecting each other's power. So, basically the fate of the world depends on them getting along in their brand new romance. (Okay, just love and death, but still.)

No pressure, right?


First off, let me just be clear about something: I am a big Anna Staniszewski fan. I love her stories. Full of heart and age-appropriate drama, but also super fun and quick. I can whip through one of Anna's books in a day or two. Pretty much anything you'll read by her, I think you'll love.

Okay, that's that. Now, about FINDERS REAPERS ... (And that title, tho! So. Cute!) :-)

This is the second book in the Switched at First Kiss series. I haven't read Book One yet (I'M WITH CUPID), because I wanted to see if reading the series out of order would be confusing (this was basically research for the author in me. I generally don't make a habit of this). I'm happy to say that the author does a great job catching us up on what happened in Book One (the necessities like who the main characters are, how they know each other, and the main conflict) without info-dumping (writer-speak for telling you everything at once, rather than integrating the pertinent details seamlessly into the story).

Marcus and Lena are relatively normal kids, aside from their superpowers, and they're dealing with things like parents, classmates, bullies, goals, and, of course, First Love. They are super cute together and you can definitely feel their chemistry. (Although I will say that it was a little hard to buy how SERIOUS they are about each other - I mean, I know kids that age easily fall silly in love, but M & L's whole meant-to-be vibe felt a little old to me. If these characters were older teens, I wouldn't bat a blue-gray eye over this, but these characters are in middle school so it was kind of hard not to raise an eyebrow.)

Still, the story was fun and I breezed through it just like all of Anna's books. It's full of heart, the peripheral characters were all very well developed, and I definitely laughed a lot. Plus, the world-building that's been done for this series is just awesome. It totally makes me want to have a cool super power like Marcus and Lena! I'm looking forward to going back to Book One, and you can bet I'll read whatever comes after this one, too. I wholly recommend this book for adults who like Kid Lit and for mature fifth-graders on up.

Final rating? 4.5 stars!

Keep 'em coming, Ms. Staniszewski!

Reviewer's Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Women's Fiction Book Review | START WITH THE BACKBEAT

Genre: Women's Fiction
Author: Garinè B. Isassi
Rating: 4.5 stars


It is the spring of 1989 in New York City when Jill Dodge, a post-punk rocker from Texas, finally gets her big promotion at Mega Big Records. She is thrust into a race to find a gritty, urban rapper before the “Gangsta” trend passes their label by. As Jill and her mostly middle-class coworkers search for the next big rap star, they fluctuate between alliances and rivalries, tripping over the stereotypes of race, class, and musical genre. They work to promote their current roster of acts as well as the new rap artist they sign to a contract. It turns out, he may not be what they expected. Full of original lyrics and wit, Start With the Backbeat is a compelling examination of the nuances of class, race, and culture in America ― which are sometimes ridiculously serious.


Any time I have the opportunity to review a book that features characters working within a creative industry, I jump at it — because there is almost always a very unique undercurrent where the author’s creative-person mindset pulls through to the characters. It’s such a special thing. And that was definitely the case with this book.

Ms. Isassi is very clearly tied to the music industry and because of that, she lends a tremendous authenticity to the characters and plotline. She brings Jill and the gang to life by throwing them into situations that were very likely to have happened in the late ‘80s, while also giving us a peek at the behind-the-scenes inner workings of such a complex biz. Although there are a few modern-day references that snuck in (was there a smoky eye trend in the ‘80s?), the “beige brick with an antenna” brought back some seriously old-school memories. And Jill’s “relationship” with “her Gordon”? LOVED IT! Because we have all been there!

START WITH THE BACKBEAT features a fun cast of characters and very snappy dialogue.  The author also included some original song lyrics within the story, which is always cool because authors who do this are obviously very passionate about the words they’ve chosen to share. Unfortunately, since music is so personal and is hard to portray via the written word, lyrics within a book are usually lost on the reader — which is a shame. Still, I appreciate the author’s attempt to bring her characters to life through “their” songs. If we could actually hear them singing, I bet we’d be as reeled in as the characters in the book.

If you love the music (or any creative) industry, you’ll love this book. It’s fast, fun, and has that happy ending we all love.


Reviewer's Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I've also posted a similar review over on ChickLitPlus.com.

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